A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 6 No. 3 – March 1920
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
THE FIRST Secretary of the Treasury, the close friend of Washington, is mentioned on page 45 of "The Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania," and on page 58, as subscribing a sum of money for the lodge, and on page 73 as having been raised to the degree of Master Mason on the 16th of December, 1757, in the second lodge of Moderns.
There has been so much written about this most interesting patriot that it might seem out of place to dwell at length on his literary, military or diplomatic career.
He descended from a Scotch father, a French Huguenot mother, and was born in the West Indies. His opportunities for education were limited. He was at first a clerk. He wrote a description of a hurricane at St. Kitts, which was largely copied and which invited attention to him.
Hamilton possessed a splendid memory, a logical mind, and with them industry and ambition. He was a man of splendid disposition, having consideration for everybody, with a fixed determination to do right.
He had one misfortune — he was handsome. A handsome fellow is usually envied by the men and spoiled by the girls. He was born at Nevis in January 1757, and was killed in a duel at Weehawken in July 1804, when only 47 years of age. The modest memorial over his grave in Trinity Churchyard, New York City, is visited by many.
From his mother he learned French, but English was the language at Nevis, and when he went to New York for his education he was well versed in both languages.
Hamilton's newspaper work soon placed him in the class of the better literatus of the day, his ability to speak in two languages, his charming voice, handsome personality and his magnetism induced followers.
When the war began he became an Artillery Captain. His military operations were creditable. His replies in Holts Magazine to the attacks of Mr. Seabury upon the Continental Congress brought Hamilton into the limelight. In 1777 Washington made him his aidede-camp with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. It should no longer be repressed that there was much jealousy between the colonies, and Washington availed himself of the grand ability of Hamilton to smooth the Governors of the Colonies the right way and bring peace and harmony among them, which he did admirably. His knowledge of French enabled him to smooth out difficulties with our allies, though on one occasion he was roped into being a second in a duel between Laurens and Lee. He was, however, averse to dueling.
Hamilton was at West Point at the time Arnold deserted. He strongly urged a compliance with the request of Andre, to be shot instead of hanged.
He married the second daughter of Philip Schuyler, after which he resigned his place on Washington's staff and became a commander of a New York Regiment, but soon afterward was elected to Congress, taking his seat in November 1783. In Congress he soon became active in the matter of the settlement of the public debt. The nation was without money, its credit as limited, its expenses were reduced to a minimum, the Army and Navy were dismantled and the officers and crews discharged, only one Navy officer remaining, John Paul Jones, but as a Commissioner, however, to remain in France for the purpose of settling our tangled relations. Ships were owned by each nation, and sometimes jointly. Crews in French hulls were sometimes American, and vice versa. Such were the problems Jones was obliged to reconcile, but he died before his work was finished and though the Republic owed him $60,000 at the time of his death, he was buried by charity.
Hamilton became the first Secretary of the Treasury and was well qualified for the position. His efforts went far toward establishing our credit; far toward fostering our commerce and establishing schemes of economy which have led to the wealth of the nation. It is a pity we ever departed from the ways of Hamilton.
But there has never lived a positive man — one who dared to do what he believed was right, but that man made enemies. Jealousy is the cause of so much of this world's trouble. If a man cannot be crushed; if his defense is invulnerable; if his following is overwhelming, you have only to associate his name with an attractive woman and make the most vague insinuation, and the public will believe you.
We are not quoting from the press, but from the gossips of the Capital who have dwelt here for ages. The writer was born in Washington and, when not absent on public service, has always lived at the Capital. More than that his parents and grandparents married and lived in the Capital City. The gossips give a story of interest. A very beautiful and attractive lady, greatly pleased with the dimpled cheeks and rosy face of Hamilton, proceeded to make him believe she was enamored of him. Let us drop the curtain here for a moment.
It was not long before an infuriated husband appeared at Hamilton's office, asking $10,000 heart-balm. He did not talk shooting, but threatened publication. The game was apparent and Hamilton was not the kind of man to submit. He refused to pay the money, and at the appointed time the daily papers printed the scandal, but with no mention of the demand that had been made for money. The sensation, as might be imagined, came as a great shock.
Mr. Hamilton published a card acknowledging his guilt, offering no excuse and begging the public pardon. He made no counter-accusation, nor did he invite attention to the peerless charms of the lady. The public seemed to forgive, and the incident was closed.
Hamilton had offended Aaron Burr, by opposing him in his candidacy for Governor of New York. Burr challenged Hamilton and they fought with pistols in Weehawken. Hamilton fell at the first fire. As a child I often heard the story of Burr practicing for this duel. Walking in his garden with a book he would suddenly draw and fire, and in this way became proficient in such tactics.
Hamilton's modest little memorial in Old Trinity Churchyard is thus inscribed:
The patriot of incorruptable integrity
The soldier of approved valor
The Statesman of consummate wisdom
Whose talents and virtues will be remembered by
A grateful posterity
Long after this marble shall have mouldered
He died July 12th, 1804, Aged 47
* * *
THE AMERICAN DOUGHBOY
Bro. Reginald Wright Kauffman, Pennsylvania
At a dinner given in honor of Bro. Col. H.H. Whitney, of Gen. Pershing's staff, as President of the Overseas Masonic Club, Paris, on June 20th, 1919, the following address was delivered by Bro. Reginald Wright Kauffman, author of the American war novel "Victorious," and the Secretary of the Club was requested by Bro. Whitney and members of the Overseas Masonic Club and the Masonic Overseas Mission, to send a copy of the manuscript to THE BUILDER for publication.
Unfortunately the copy retained by Brother Connaway, the Secretary, was lost, but we have been able to obtain another from Brother Kauffman and we believe it will have lost none of its interest through its delayed publication.
BY THOSE who should know more of such matters than I do, it has been said that the World War, differing from all preceding conflicts in the extent of its operations, and involving more countries and more combatants than any other struggle recorded in authentic history differed from every other conflict also in this: that it produced no outstanding hero, no figure to claim the admiration or devotion of mankind. These authorities aver that, just as the war now ended has been vast beyond comprehension — just as it has evolved theretofore undreamed — of engines of destruction and produced inventions for wholesale slaughter by scientific means — so it has lessened individual endeavor and robbed the soldier of his military acclaim.
My novel "Victorious," to which you, Bro. Toastmaster, have so flatteringly referred, was written to controvert such assertions. It was written to pay what tribute I could to the sole heroic figure that, it seems to me, the chaos of the past red months has flung upon our ensanguined horizon: I mean the fellow in our ranks, the American Enlisted Man.
It has been my fortune to see a deal of the fighting that began in 1914 and that idealists still hope to end by their League of Nations and the Peace of Versailles. I remember how, when I left Antwerp eight hours before the Germans entered it, I got aboard a troop-train that, I was told, carried what remained of the Belgian Army — and how I took up almost as much room on that train as the Belgian Army did; I never expected to see it as a battling force again. Time passed; the dripping shuttle of the war darted to and fro, and I found myself in the first-line beyond La Panne. I was at that portion of the long front which, of all others, was then the worst to police and the hardest to maintain. Trenches could not be dug, because to dig two feet was to reach water; the dead were buried above ground, and the enemy outnumbered us ten-to-one. Yet there was the Belgian Army, ensconced behind perfect ramparts, living in cleanly order, young, vigorous, calm, heroic. And the Belgian enlisted-man, the Jasse as they call him, was the force that made this possible. Nor can I ever forget the courage of the Tommy or any of his British brothers-in-arms. During the Second Battle of Flanders I happened to be with a unit of the English Army in which there had been many recent replacements — Cockneys mostly — unused to war, of whose morale there was considerable doubt. How would such fellows behave under fire? Well, a shell exploded in a trench in which were five veterans and a single newcomer. When the smoke cleared a little, one of the veterans looked at the body of another and cried to his comrades:
"My God, just see Bill: his heady blown off!"
There followed a moment of silence, and then came the thin, complaining voice of the Cockney:
"Aw right, old top; but where is 'is 'is 'ead? Carn't you find it for me? 'E was smokin' my pipe !"
To the stubborn heroism of the French poilu, moreover, we owe the maintenance of three-fifths of the Allied line for three-fifths of the war. I know a Breton widow who had three sons of whom one had gone to America and, prospering, sent home money to support his mother. In 1915 she wrote him: "Your two brothers have been killed in battle: come home and die for France" — and the boy came home and died before St. Quintin. When the cause was at its blackest hour, I have sat in the fortress of Verdun and have seen men come in from the trenches for a one-day rest — men that had been fighting since the outbreak of hostilities. They were cold, they were wet, the filth of the dugouts was still caked upon them; many were slightly wounded, all were in a state of exhaustion; yet when one of their number began to sing "You Shall Not Pass," their eyes glistened, their bodies stiffened, they stood erect — they joined in the refrain, and they forgot everything but that they were fighting for their country; they were glad to go back and fight!
The men of Belgium, France and England were heroes; they were heroes that the world will do well to remember; that it will do ill ever to forget. But the native-land of the Jasse had been devastated; the patrie of the poilu had been invaded, the homes of the Tommies had been shelled from the air, whereas, from across the wide Atlantic there came your countrymen and mine, lads who had no reason to nourish personal revenge in their hearts, boys brought up in the prospect of perpetual peace, young fellows whose fatherland had summoned them to fight — for what? Not for reprisal, not for conquest, not for anything — remember the public avowals of the President, whatever has been the outcome — not for anything but the worldwide propaganda of democracy. What, I ask you, of them?
We have heard tonight of how, raised from the ranks by fiat of the War Department that could not, or would not, help them to the insignia of the grade to which it promoted them, hundreds of these enlisted men borrowed from the Masonic Overseas Mission the scant price of their shoulder-bars, and how every one of them has paid his debt. We have heard of the difficulties that this commission encountered at Washington before directed to go abroad as Y.M.C.A. secretaries if it hoped to go at all, how Mr. Fosdick quoted the American commanding-general in France as opposed to the commission's presence here and that when it finally came, the doughboy welcomed it. I think that you know how he welcomed it and why. He welcomed it because he is of the stuff of which Free Masons are made, and it was as such that he welcomed it.
I knew the American Camp in France from its earliest days, and I knew the first American front. At the Camp, men were billeted, God knows why, in reeking stables, with leaking roofs, the cattle housed beneath them. In the trenches they found themselves, amid arctic surroundings, clothed in summer uniforms, wrapped in newspapers instead of adequate overcoats, their frost-bitten toes bursting from their imperfect boots. They found themselves in the condition of the Continentals at Valley Forge, in the condition of the Federal Ninth Army Corps when, after the Kentucky campaign, it re-enlisted to a man "for the duration of the war." And these boys of yesterday were the worthy sons of their fathers of the Civil War and of their ancestors of the Revolution: they knew that they were not there to complain, and they did not complain; they knew that they were there to fight — and how they fought no tongue can ever justly tell.
Again, in the terrible Spring of 1918, I was in Brest. The enemy thundered at the gates of Paris, and in our own lines there was nothing but disorder and delay. At the American port I saw over three miles of docks that resembled a house into which a vast family had just moved. From one end of the place to the other ran almost uninterrupted ramparts, fifteen , to twenty feet high, piled with material of war that somehow could not reach the front. Mail-bags, motorcars and wagon-parts lay there, and had, some of them, lain there for months. Food rotted before one's eyes. I have seldom witnessed a more dispiriting spectacle.
Then a Y.M.C.A. secretary, a Mason, carried me to barracks to speak to soldiers newly arrived abroad. I stood on a low stage at the end of a vast, tunnel-like hut, and the secretary had the soldiers sing for me:
"While you are sleeping,
Your France is weeping:
Wake from your dreams, Maid of France!"
They sang slowly, giving full weight to every word and conferring a true dignity on what they sang.
"Her heart is bleeding:
Are you unheeding?
Come with the flame in your glance!"
I saw them as a sea of faces upraised to mine. The secretary had been telling them that I, not as a Y.M.C.A. man, but as a correspondent, knew what real fighting was and would tell them of the high battle in which they were now so soon to bear arms.
"Through the gates of Heaven, with your sword in hand,
Come, your legions to command!"
I, newly arrived from the horrors of the front; they fresh from their clean homes: a sea of boys' faces, eager, earnest, faithful ! They were come as conscripts, but as willing ones; they were come here to die — and they knew it, and were ready. By God, I tell you, gentlemen, I never before realized what a splendid thing it was to be an American!
I might continue with sketches of the doughboy — and that word "Doughboy," coined to designate the infantryman, now stands for every private in our Army — I might go on with sketches of him in seven different forms of battle, but I content myself with only one more. It is a sight I caught of men I knew going into action.
It was a gray land on a gray day. The barren fields stretched eastward under a bleak and humid sky. From out that way, fighting through the dense atmosphere, came now the rumble of the distant battle's guns. Gun-carriages crawled along, the steel tubes of the field artillery dull in the scanty light, the wheels heavy with clogging masses of blue clay. The infantry, at route-step, marched with feet mud-shod. There was no bragging, no rude assurance: only a very certain, though very quiet, determination.
Here was a lad that had been working his way through Harvard, starving himself in a garret, because he wanted to become a teacher: the brutal fist of Berlin had descended, and the boy forever forewent his dreams, put aside his ambitions, sacrificed what he had sacrificed so much to gain — and volunteered. His frugal life, his years of self-denial, even his conscious meannesses and skimpings — they seemed to me to form a veritable halo around that youngster's head.
There was an older man, the husband of a wife, the father of a family. He had closed up, when drafted, business that he had just succeeded in clearing from debt. "Of course, I don't like it," he confessed to me; "but of course I wouldn't have stayed at home even if I could, because I know we're here to stop the secret diplomacy that ends tyranny and to end autocracy, even in America."
The ranks had come to rest, but now the darkness grew suddenly deeper. The bugles sounded. I knem whither, through the faint twilight, the thoughts ox these men had gone: they had gone to mothers, wiver and sweethearts in quiet American towns, to Americas homesteads and American ways, to the great, bungling busy, loving, erratic chaos that we cherish and will die for and that we call the U.S.A.
Again the bugle shrilled into the dark.
They were already there — the double lines of them, the long, narrow packs on their backs, two lines of them rising out of the dull night and passing into it again.
"Right dress — right dress — right dress!"
The order passed along. The men shuffled in the mud, the lines straightened, the soldiers stood still.
Well, it had come to this. All their love and longing, all their business deals and drudgery and economies — all their hopes and fears had come to this night in France, to the wet and the cold and the now close-by trenches, to the "arrow that flieth in darkness and the pestillence that destroyeth by noonday" — and not a man of them all was visibly sorry.
"Squads right — march!"
Their rifles went to their shoulders. They turned — by rows of four they turned — and swung off eastward toward those distant growling guns — swung off on their way to fight. They believed, and they were prepared to make sacrifice for their beliefs, and so, even into the darker darkness of the grave, they did not march without the company of the Immortal Friend. As truly as I stand here tonight, I tell you that I believe God marched along with them.
My brothers, I am not what most of you would call a religious man, but I have always believed in the Supreme Architect, and that Architect has given me the chance to believe in the American Enlisted Man In His wisdom, God has given America this splendid heritage, the heritage of the men that fought and came home, and the men that fought and fell. In the ideal of those fellows, however hidden by a modesty that flung over itself a blushing coarseness, He has indeed built up for us and for our country a mighty salvation. If we save that, if we carry on the work that they magnificently began, if we end autocracy at home as the tried to end it abroad, we shall indeed, and in the only possible way, "make the world safe for democracy" but if we waste what they have done, if we neglect the pure principles of Freemasonry in our national life, if we tolerate ideals that militate against those of the Fathers of the Constitution in the severe and imminent days of reconstruction, then, I assure you, we shall be committing the sin against the Holy Ghost and leading our land to eternal damnation.
For my part, I do not believe that we shall so err. I have a faith in American manhood that cannot be shaken. Because I have seen the American Enlisted Man in battle, I believe in America. It is the America Enlisted Man, in very truth, that has given back the old America to Americans. He fought for you; fight you now with him. Rise with me, I conjure you, and drink the health of THE AMERICAN DOUGHBOY!
* * *
From labour health, from health contentment spring;
Contentment opes the source of every joy.
— James Beattie.
* * *
Keep your eyes and ears open if you desire to get on in world.
— Douglas Jerrold.
* * *
THE CRYPTIC DEGREES
Bro. Gustav A. Eitel, Maryland
Many inquiries have come to us for information concerning the origin and history of the degrees of the Cryptic Rite, or the "Council" degrees. To Brother Wm. F. Kuhn, of Missouri, was assigned the task at the last meeting of the General Grand Council of compiling for that Body an official history of the degrees. When this official history is completed Brother Kuhn has promised it to us for publication in THE BUILDER. In the meantime we give to our readers the following article prepared by a committee of the Maryland Grand Council of which Brother Eitel was the chairman. The introductory remarks of this committee are self-explanatory.
FOR THE benefit of the Companions of our jurisdiction, few of whom have access to what has been written about the degrees of the Cryptic Rite — their origin, their introduction and dissemination in our country — we present, without comment, what your Committee has been able to gather from the writings of the several accepted authorities and searchers in this field.
It is not the Committee's intention to give an exhaustive history of the degrees, but only sufficient data to enable our Companions to get a far understanding of the history of the degrees, and of the claims made of their origin and dissemination.
None of the later day Masonic writers have given this subject more research and study than our late Companion Edward T. Schultz, and we present in full from his "History of Freemasonry in Maryland," (1884,) Vol. I, pp. 335–344:
THE CRYPTIC DEGREES
Much obscurity has existed regarding the origin of the Degrees of Royal and Select Masters, and also as to the date where, and by whom they were introduced into this country. It would appear that the Royal Master's Degree was first known and worked in the Eastern States, while the Select Degree was first known, and at a much earlier period, in the Southern and Middle States.
Nearly all the early Masonic writers of the country concede that Philip P. Eckel and Hezekiah Niles of Baltimore had, at an early period, the control of at least the Select Degree, and that from them emanated the authority under which it was introduced into many of the other jurisdictions of the country.
In an article in Cole's Ahiman Rezon (1817), written by Brother Hezekiah Niles on the Select Degree, occurs the following: "Though this beautiful Degree is known to some persons in many parts of the United States, we are not informed that it is worked in anywhere but in Baltimore. We have been told that a regular Chapter of Select was held at Charleston, S. C., many years ago, but believe it has declined."
Brother John Dove, of Virginia, speaking of the Select Degree, says: "This beautiful Degree is comparatively of modern origin, having been with the Degree of Royal Master, in the possession of a distinguished Chief in the State of Maryland as a purely honourary Degree, elucidatory of and appendant to Royal Arch Masonry, and by him conferred without fee; he delegated authority to others to use them in the same way, until the year 1824, when the Grand Chapter of Maryland, with his consent, took charge of the degrees and ordered them to be given before the Most Excellent Master, where all intelligent workers in the Royal Arch must at once perceive the propriety of their location."
Brother Mackey, in his History of Freemasonry in South Carolina, under the head of Cryptic Masonry, says:
"For many years there have been three distinct claims urged for jurisdiction over these degrees in America — first by the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree; next by some of the Grand Chapters; and lastly by the Grand Councils composed of the Subordinate Councils of each State."
"Connected with this question of jurisdiction is another in reference to the historical origin of the Degrees, and as to the person or persons by whom they were first introduced into America. The Masons of Maryland and Virginia contend that the Royal and Select Degrees were introduced by Philip P. Eckel, of Baltimore, one of the most distinguished and enlightened Masons of his day, who in 1817, communicated them to Jeremy L. Cross, and gave him authority to confer them in every Royal Arch Chapter which he might visit in his official character."
The following extracts are quoted from the history of Brother Robert B. Folger, of New York:
"The Masons of that day (1816) were divided in opinion concerning the proper place to which these degrees (Royal and Select) belonged. One party preferred that they should be kept separate and left where they were — a separate system. At the meeting of the General Grand Chapter in 1816, the whole matter then came up for discussion; Mr. Eckel, of Maryland, taking a very prominent part in advocating the union of these two degrees with the services of the Royal Arch Chapters. The discussion became warm and lasted the better part of two days, when the motion to unite them with the Chapter Degrees was rejected. Whereupon, immediately after adjournment, the State Grand Council of Royal Masters was formed, and the different Councils then came under that governing power, and continued so up to 1828. It was this move on the part of the General Grand Chapter, in refusing a recognition of those degrees, that determined Mr. Cross in his future course:"
"Mr. Eckel, the Baltimore delegate, then went home; and when Cross, who at that session of the General Grand Chapter had been appointed and confirmed as General Grand Lecturer, started on his lecturing tour, he stopped at Baltimore and purchased and received the privilege from Eckel and Niles to erect and establish Councils of Royal and Select Masters throughout the Southern and Western States. This privilege he carried out pretty effectually, beginning with New Jersey; and all the Councils in existence in those States mentioned in his narrative were established by himself, also the Eastern States, except Rhode Island."
From the above quotations it will be perceived that it was the general belief that the control of the Royal and Select Degrees were vested in Eckel and Niles.
But we think Bros. Dove, Mackey, Folger, and others, make a great mistake in coupling the Royal Master's Degree with the Select, in connection with the names of Eckel and Niles; for there is no evidence whatever to show that these brethren ever exercised or claimed control of the Royal Master's Degree, or that they were even in Possession of that degree at the periods named by them.
Brother J. H. Drummond, of Maine, states on apparently good authority, that Eckel did not receive the Royal Master's Degree until 1819; that in that year he and Bro. Benj. Edes of Baltimore, received it from Ebenezer Wadsworth of New York. This is probably true; for there is no mention of that degree being worked in this jurisdiction in any document, or upon the records of the Grand Chapter or of its subordinates earlier than 1850. Bro. Cole in 1817 speaks of it incidentally, but not as among the degrees conferred.
The Select Degree is recognized by the Constitution of the Grand Chapter adopted in 1824, but there is no mention of the Royal Master's Degree.
Furthermore, the Warrant granted to Cross by Eckel and Niles, a copy of which, taken from a photograph copy of the original, in the possession of Bro. Wm. R. Singleton of Washington, is here inserted, and from which it will be seen that the Select Degree alone is mentioned:
TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
Imprest with a perfect conviction that the knowledge of the mysteries of the degree of Royal Arch are eminently promoted by a knowledge of those revealed in the Council of Select Masons; and Whereas the said degree of Select is not so extensively known as its wants and the good of the Craft require —
Therefore Know ye, That reposing especial confidence in my beloved and trusty Companion Jeremy L. Cross I do hereby, by the high powers in me vested, authorize and empower him to confer the said degree as follows, (viz.) In any place where a regular Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is established, the officers or members approving, he may confer said degree according to its rules & regulations, but only on Royal Arch Masons who have taken all the preceding degrees, as is required by the General Grand Chapter. When a competent number of Select Masons are thus made, he may grant them a Warrant to open a Council of Select and confer the degree and do all other business appertaining thereto.
Given under my hand and seal at Baltimore the 27th day of May, A. D. 1817 and in the year of the Dis. 2817.
PHILIP P. ECKEL,
Thrice Illustrious & Grand Puissant in the Grand Council of Select at Baltimore & approved as G. G. Scribe.
Approved & attested as Ill. in the G. Council. H. NILES.
In the first Warrants issued by Cross under this commission the Companions were empowered "to form themselves into a regular Council of Select Masters," but in the Warrants issued by him in 1819 and thereafter the "High Powers in him vested by the Grand Council at Baltimore," were enlarged to include the Royal Master's degree.
In view of the action taken subsequently by the Brethren of Baltimore, there is every reason to believe that the "enlarged powers" under which Cross claimed to act were not granted or authorized by Eckel and Niles.
At the Session of the Grand Chapter held in 1827, Jos. K. Stapleton, Grand High Priest, submitted "documents upon the subject of the institution of the Select Degree independent of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter," which were referred to a committee, who recommended that a circular be sent to the several Grand Chapters regarding the matter and which was adopted. A copy of this circular is here inserted:
M.E.G. Sir and Companion:
I am instructed by the Grand Chapter over which I have the honour to preside, to address you and through you your Grand Chapter, upon the unsettled state of the Degree of Select Mason — a subject deemed by us of sufficient importance to claim the particular attention of your Grand Chapter.
This degree existed under the authority of a distinguished chief in the State of Maryland, but without the recognizance of our Grand Chapter, for man years; until, in the year 1824, upon the revision of our Constitution, it appearing evident that the Select Degree not only has an intimate connection with, but is in a measure necessary, as preparatory to and elucidatory of, that of the Royal Arch; it was formally recognized by our Grand Chapter, and required to be given by our subordinate Chapters, in its proper order, immediately preceding that of the Royal Arch. Under this arrangement we have since progressed, much to our satisfaction — but it is with regret that we have learned that Councils or Chapters of Select Masons have been established in some of our sister States, independent of Royal Arch Masonry, avowedly in pursuance of, but we are satisfied, through a great mistake or actual abuse of any authority delegated, or meant to be delegated, in relation to the Select Degree. We would therefore beg leave respectfully to recommend to you Grand Chapter the consideration of this degree, and the circumstances under which it exists, if it does exist, within your jurisdiction; with the hope that you will see it to be for the general interests of the Craft take the said degree under your recognizance and control, to whom of right it belongs, and thereby do away what is felt to be a grievance by those distinguished chiefs, whose authority, delegated to a limited extent and for special reasons, has been perverted for sordid purposes, by the creation of an independent order, never contemplated by them; and which we believe to be inconsistent with the spirit and best interests of our institutions.
Respectfully and fraternally,
JOS. K. STAPLETON
Grand High Priest.
It will be seen that Bro. Cross is charged with having abused the "authority, delegated or meant to be delegated" to him. It has been said by old Masons in the presence of the writer that for his course of action in this matter, he was expelled by the Grand Chapter; but there is nothing in the records to warrant such an assertion.
By virtue of the powers claimed to have been received from Eckel and Niles, Cross established some thirty-three Councils in various parts of the United States, he also delegated his powers to others, who in like manner issued Warrants for Councils of Royal and Select Masters. It is said that as high a sum as one hundred dollars was demanded for a Warrant. From all that has been stated, it is evident not only that Eckel and Niles claimed to have had the supreme control and authority over the Select Degree, but that this claim was generally regarded valid, and it is equally as evident, we think, that these Brethren never claimed the control of the Royal Master's Degree.
It has always been a question of much interest with Masonic writers to know the source whence these Brethren received their authority and control of the Select Degree. An old document that most unexpectedly came to the knowledge of the writer about a year ago, settles that question beyond a doubt. It is as follows:
Whereas, In the year of the Temple, 2792, our thrice illustrious Brother, Henry Wilmans, Grand Elect, Select, Perfect Sublime Mason, Grand Inspector General, and Grand Master of Chapters of the Royal Arch, Grand Elect and Perfect Masters' Lodges and Councils, Knight of the East, Prince of Jerusalem, Patriarch Noachite, Knight of the Sun and Prince of the Royal Secret, did by and in virtue of the powers in him legally vested, establish, ordain, erect and support a Grand Council of Select Masons in the City of Baltimore and wrought therein to the great benefit of the craft and to the profitable extension and elucidation of the mysteries of Masonry — and whereas, we the subscribers to these presents are by regular succession possessor of all the rights, privileges and immunities and powers vested in any way whatsoever in the said Grand Council of Select Masons, considering the great Advantages that would accrue to the Craft in an extension of the knowledge of the Royal Secret as introductory to, and necessary for the better understanding of the Superior Degrees.
Know all, whom it may concern, that we do hereby authorize and empower our trusty and beloved Companions, K.S. --- K.T. ---- H.A. ---- of the same, to open and to hold a Chapter of Select Masons in the City of Baltimore, under such By-Laws and regulations as may be enacted and established for the government of the same, subject to the following general rules and regulations:
Art. 1st. The Degree of Select Mason shall not be conferred on any one that has not past the Chair and received the Honourary degree of Mark Master Mason, nor shall it be conferred for a less sum than Dollars.
Art. 2nd. The Officers and Members of the Chapter shall pay due obedience to any regulations of the Grand Council which shall be consistent with the Rules of the Order, and duly respect the Officers and Chiefs thereof, and the three Chief Officers of said Chapter shall in virtue of said Officers constitute a part and be Members of the Grand Council. The said Council shall not levy or receive of any Chapter more than — Dollars per annum exclusive of the Secretary's fees for Warrants, Dispensations, or other Official Writings, which shall in no case exceed a reasonable compensation for the labour and trouble of furnishing the same.
Art. 3rd. In case the G.R.A. Chapter of the State of Maryland and District of Columbia, or the General Grand Chapter of the United States shall assume and take charge of the Degree of Select Mason, then and in that case all power and authority under these presents shall cease and determine forthwith, provided a charter of recognition is granted to this Chapter.
Art. 4th. The three Chief Officers of the Chapter must, and always shall be Royal Arch Masons.
Art. 5th. Select Masons made under the authority of a Royal Arch Chapter, and by the High Priest thereof in the Jurisdiction of the State of Maryland and District of Columbia, shall be acknowledged and received as such by said Select Chapter, which Chapter shall be known by the name of — Chapter of Select Masons, No. 1.
In Testimony whereof, we have Signed our names and affixed the Seal of the Grand Council, this
[SEAL  ] PHILIP P. ECKEL, H. NILES,
It will be noticed that all that was needed to make this document effective was the filling of dates, names of officers, and the price to be charged for conferring the degree. From some cause the dispensation was not used, but the fact is fully and emphatically stated by Eckel and Niles, under their hand and seal, that they were, "by regular succession, possessors of all the rights, privileges, and immunities and powers vested in any way whatsoever in the said Grand Council of Select Masons" which had been instituted in the City of Baltimore in the year 1792 by Henry Wilmans, "Grand Inspector General."
This document, in connection with the Rules and Regulations of the Lodge of Perfection which have been quoted, leaves no room for doubt that Wilmans was an Inspector of the Rite of Perfection, and that he exercised in the City of Baltimore in 1792 the powers claimed by such Inspectors. But from whom did Wilmans acquire his powers of "Grand Inspector General," and the authority "to establish, ordain, erect and support a Chapter of Select Masons?"
We regret we cannot answer the question, nor could the Brethren in various parts of the country, to whom we applied. The name of Wilmans does not appear upon any register or document in the archives of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, or upon any other known document or record containing the names of the early Inspectors. From the fact that in both the documents he is styled "Deputy Inspector" led to the supposition that he might have derived his powers from Europe; acting upon which supposition, letters were addressed to the Grand Lodges at Berlin and Bremen, while the result of the correspondence which ensued, was of an interesting nature, nothing in regard to his Masonic character could be learned.
It has been ascertained that Wilmans was a native of Bremen, and that he emigrated to this country and settled in Baltimore, as early at least as the year 1790. The first mention of his name on the records of the Grand Lodge is in connection with Concordia Lodge in 1793, of which he was appointed the first or Charter Master. In the same year he was elected Deputy Grand Master, and in the following year Grand Master of Masons in Maryland. The register of the Old Zion Lutheran Church, of this City, shows that he died in 1795.
In a MSS. book of Moses Holbrook, of South Carolina, written in 1829, it is stated that Joseph Myers, a deputy Inspector General, deposited in the year 1788, in the archives of the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem at Charleston, "a certified copy of the Royal and Select Masters' Degrees, received from Berlin."
This is evidently an error, so far as it relates to the Royal Master's Degree. As initiated, the degree was first known in the Eastern States, and the earliest reliable mention of it there is in the year 1809.
Bro. Holbrook wrote his book in 1829, a which time both degrees were conferred at Charleston, and naturally he connected the two in his statement; making a similar error that others do when stating that Eckel and Niles claimed the control of the Royal Master's degree. The book referred to, contains also the statement, that somewhere about the year 1788, Joseph Myers was for a time located in Baltimore.
Did Wilmans receive the Select Degree from Myers, or did Myers receive it from Wilmans?
If the degree came from Berlin, it is quite probable that Wilmans brought it with him, as he came from Germany about the time mentioned for the deposit, in the MSS. of Holbrook.
There is a tradition existing in the Eastern States, that Eckel received the degrees from a Prussian temporarily sojourning in Baltimore. The period of Wilman's residence in Baltimore was perhaps not over eight years, and with some propriety, he might have been regarded as a sojourner, — and a Prussian.
It is stated, but upon what authority we know not, that the Royal and Select Degrees were conferred by Andrew Franken at Albany in 1769, and that he conferred them upon Samuel Stringer who afterwards removed to Maryland; but we have not been able to find this name upon any of the records of this jurisdiction.
These statements or traditions, it will be seen, all point to Maryland as the source from whence the Select Degree or (as the writer will have it,) Royal Master's Degree also was subsequently introduced into other parts of the country.
Brother Folger says: Eckel at the Session of the General Grand Chapter advocated "the union of the degrees with the services of the Royal Arch Chapter." This has always been the opinion of the Companions of Maryland.
From 1824 to 1852, the Select alone was worked in the Chapter. After 1852, both degrees were worked in Councils specially convened for the purpose, after the Most Excellent and just before the conferring of the Royal Arch degree. At one period, however, they were, as stated by Bro. Dove, conferred before the Most Excellent.
At the Centennial Celebration of the Grand Chapter of Maryland in 1897, Companion Edward T. Schultz delivered an Address on "Royal Arch Masonry in Maryland." At the conclusion of this paper he augments and amplifies his previous history of "The Cryptic Degree' by new and additional evidence and proofs.
Although in some parts the statements of his earlier history of the degrees are repeated, yet to attempt to excerpt would destroy its value; and as these historical facts have not been heretofore embodied, and, that they may be preserved in our Grand Council proceedings, we print that part of the Address in full:
The degrees known as the Royal and Select Masters, termed Cryptic Masonry, have been so closely allied to Royal Arch Masonry in our jurisdiction that a history of the one is not complete without a reference to the other; one of the degrees of this system, the Select, having been known and worked in our jurisdiction before the formation of the Grand Chapter, and indeed, before the organization of Chapters independent of lodge authority.
Although the earliest known date of the introduction of the Royal and Select Degrees must be placed at least a half century later than that of the introduction of the Royal Arch, their origin is equally as obscure as that degree.
While the degrees are undoubtedly, of European origin, the first mention of them is found in this country, and the earliest authentic evidence of the conferment of either of them is to be found in our own City of Baltimore.
Every one of the many writers upon the subject of these degrees has assigned a prominent position to Maryland in connection therewith; but errors are so blended with the facts, in their statements, that it would seem to be a duty we owe to the memory of the fathers of Royal Arch and Cryptic Masonry in this jurisdiction, that in this, our Centennial year, we should eradicate these errors.
Mackey, Dove and Folger, as well as nearly all writers who have followed them, state in general terms that in the early part of this century the Maryland Companions claimed that Philip P. Eckel "a distinguished Chief" in their State had the custody and control of the Royal and Select Degrees.
This is true so far only as regards the Select Degree; there being not a scintilia of evidence to show that either Eckel, his coadjutors, or their descendants in this State, ever claimed or exercised any control of, or authority over the Royal Master's Degree. On the contrary neither of them was in possession of that degree until some years later than the period of which these writers speak.
Dr. Folger, in his history of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, says: "At the meeting of the General Grand Chapter held at New York in 1816, the subject of the Royal and Select Degrees came up for discussion; Mr. Eckel of Baltimore, took a prominent part in advocating the union of these two degrees with the services of the Royal Arch Chapters. The discussion was warm and lasted the better part of two days, when the motion to unite them with the Chapter degrees was lost."
This is not true, there being no reference to the subject in the printed transactions of the General Grand Chapter. I wrote to Companion Christopher G. Fox, General Grand Secretary, who kindly examined the original proceedings in his custody, and he wrote me that there is no mention whatever of these degrees in the transactions of that Convention.
Companion Eckel may have urged the members individually to agree with him to a union of the Select with the Chapter degrees, for it is well known that he greatly favoured such a union; but it is not at all probable that he could have advocated a union with a degree of which he was not in possession, the Royal Master's degree not being conferred upon him, and Companion Benjamin Edes, until 1819 by Ebenezer Wadsworth of New York.
Another grave and misleading error into which these writers have fallen is, that in the year 1817 Jeremy L. Cross, the celebrated Masonic Lecturer, received the Royal and Select degrees from Philip P. Eckel and Hezekiah Niles, and that he purchased from them the authority to confer said degrees upon Royal Arch Masons and to establish independent Councils of the same.
The facts are Eckel and Niles conferred the Select degree upon Cross on the occasion of a visit by him to Baltimore in the year named, and these Compassions gave him verbal permission to confer it upon such as he might find worthy and qualified, but under the sanction of a Chapter Warrant and without fee."
Cross was greatly "impressed" with the beauties of the degree and of its importance and value to a full understanding of the Royal Arch. But to confer it under the sanction of a Chapter Warrant and without fee did not accord with "his sordid purposes." He therefore, conceived the idea of establishing Councils independent of Chapters, and accordingly conferred the degree upon a number of Companions at Windsor, Vermont, and on July 15th, 1817, organized at that place a Council of Select Masters. He then wrote to Eckel under date of July 17th, 1817, requesting and urging him, as "Thrice Illustrious and Puissant in the Grand Council of Select at Baltimore," to confirm his action in the establishment of the Council at Windsor, and to empower him to establish similar Councils elsewhere. (After Cross's death a copy of a letter written to Eckel containing such a request was found among his papers.)
It is not known what answer, if any, Eckel made to this request, but subsequent developments made it quite sure that such an authority was not given to him. It is true there was found among Cross's effects a document in his handwriting, purporting to have been signed by Eckel and Niles, giving him such authority; it is dated May 27th, 1817, nearly two months prior to the time when he asked that such power might be given him.
Companion Josiah H. Drummond of Maine, who has more thoroughly examined the origin and history of the Council degrees than anyone, especially Cross's connection therewith, exhibited this document, in connection with undoubted signatures of Eckel and Niles, to experts in handwriting. He also sent photographic copies to Brethren in various parts of the country, all of whom, except one, (and he has since reconsidered his opinion), pronounced the signatures thereupon to be not genuine. 
I also submitted one of these photographic copies to experts in handwriting in our city, four of whom were bank officers, and every one, by a comparison of Eckel's and Niles's signatures in my possession, pronounced the signatures on the document in question, simulated, not genuine.
If I am asked, why refer to such matters at this late day?; why throw a shadow on the reputation of a deceased Companion?; I reply, justice to the reputations of Companions, also deceased, whose memories are dear to the heart of every Maryland Mason, demands that the truth be told. For if this document be genuine, then Philip P. Eckel, Hezekiah Niles, Henry S. Keatinge and Joseph K. Stapleton basely slandered a worthy Companion Royal Arch Mason when they stated repeatedly, that such authority was never given to Cross by Eckel and Niles. Such a denial was incorporated in a circular letter issued by the Grand Chapter of Maryland in 1827, copies of which were sent to all the Grand Chapters of the country, including the one of which Cross was a member. As Companion Drummond says, "Is it credible that if this document had been genuine, he would not have produced it when so gravely accused?" He made no special denial, expressed or implied, till more than twenty-five years afterwards, and all that was done then was to say that he received a Warrant from Eckel and Niles to confer the degrees and grant Warrants.
Under the authority falsely claimed to have been received from Eckel and Niles, Cross organized many Councils in the North, South and West and deputized others to do the same. At first these were for the conferring of the Select Degree only, but in the year 1818 he received the Royal Master's Degree, when he united that degree with the Select in Councils.
Without doubt these were the first Councils of Royal and Select Masters ever organized anywhere, and whatever virtue there may be in the present Council system, now so generally practised in this country, the credit of its inception is wholly due to Jeremy L. Cross, in whatever light his questionable methods to effectuate its establishment may be viewed.
We thus see that in the early part of this century it was generally believed that Philip P. Eckel had the custody and control of the Select Degree but neither he nor any of his contemporaries has left us the slightest intimation as to the source whence he received the degree and his power of control thereof.
A document that most unexpectedly came into my possession some years ago, settled that question beyond peradventure. It is a Dispensation or Warrant for the, formation of a Chapter of Select Masons at Baltimore, signed by Philip P. Eckel and H. Niles. In the preamble to this document, it is recited, that in year of the Temple 2792 (1792) our Thrice Illustrious Henry Wilmans, Grand Inspector General, etc., did, "by virtue of power in him legally vested, establish, ordain and support, a Grand Council of Select Masons in the City of Baltimore, and wrought therein to the great benefit of the Craft, etc.," and that "the subscribers, (Eckel and Niles) are, by regular succession, possessors of all the rights, privileges, immunities and powers vested in any way, whatsoever, in said Grand Council of Select Masons.
It is to be regretted that this document is not dated and that the blanks for the names of the officers are not filled in, as it shows that in all probability the organization of the Body was not, at that time at least, consummated; but as the signatures of Eckel and Niles, as well as the seal of the Body of which they were officers, are undoubtedly genuine, and the document having been found in the possession of a descendant of one of the signers, it must be accepted as evidence of the facts therein stated; namely, Henry Wilmans established a Grand Council of Select Masons in Baltimore in the year 1792, and that Philip P. Eckel and H. Niles were, by, regular succession, the possessors of the power heretofore residing in said Wilmans.
Now this, we boldly assert, is the earliest authentic evidence so far produced of the conferment of the Select Degree; the earliest authentic evidence of the conferment of the Royal Master's Degree being in a so- called Grand Council of Royal Masters at New York in 1807.
The word "Grand" used by these Bodies must not be construed as it is in our day. The term was at that time assumed by all Masonic bodies which claimed the power of constituting other bodies of like character.
It has, however, been asserted that both the Royal and Select Degrees were conferred in the Lodge of Perfection established at Albany, New York, in 1766 by Andrew Franken, who received his power of Deputy Inspector General of the Rite of Perfection from Stephen Morin at Jamaica, who had received his powers to propagate that Rite in the New World from the Council of Emperors of the East and West in France, but no evidence whatever has been produced to substantiate this statement.
It is also claimed by the Grand Chapter of South Carolina and the Supreme Council for the Southern jurisdiction, that both degrees were conferred in the Lodge of Perfection established at Charleston in 1783.
As has been adverted to, in 1827 the Grand Chapter of Maryland addressed a circular letter to the other Grand Chapters of the United States, in which, after referring to the action of Cross and others in the formation of Councils independent of Royal Arch Chapters, the Grand Chapters are urged to take the Select Degree under their "recognizance where of right it belongs."
The Grand Chapter of South Carolina referred this circular to a special committee, who made a report in 1829, which was substantially as follows:
"That three brethren then living received the Royal and select Degrees in the Sublime Lodge of Perfection at Charleston in 1783, and that the Grand Officers and Inspectors have been steadily conferring said degrees under their authority in the South and West. That the committee has seen and perused the first copy of these degrees that ever came to America and old copies of Charters that have been returned by Councils in States where Grand Councils had been formed. Furthermore, that in 1788 Joseph Myers, a Deputy Grand Inspector, deposited in the Council of Princes of Jerusalem at Charleston, certified copies of said degrees from Berlin, Prussia."
Companion Drummond who saw what purports to be a certified copy of the rituals deposited by Joseph Myers, says:
"The ritual annexed is certainly not a copy of the one deposited, for the ritual of the Select Degree refers to the Royal degree, and moreover both of them recognize the Supreme Council as the governing authority, and that body did not exist until 1801." 
As has been stated, there is no mention of the Royal Master's Degree found anywhere, other than in this report, earlier than 1807. It does not appear in either the 1802 or 1807 published list of the many degrees, some fifty-five, conferred by the Inspectors.
There is no evidence that these Inspectors or Supreme Council ever issued Warrants for the formation of Council or Grand Council earlier than 1860; the returned Charters that the committee "saw and perused" were those issued by John Barker subsequent to 1818. This Companion claimed to act as the agent of the Supreme Council, but Companion Drummond is of the opinion that he never received any authority to do so from that body. It is believed he received the degrees from Cross.
The Berlin theory of the origin of the degrees must of course be classed with the Frederick the Great theory of the origin of the so-called high degrees; no one at this day gives to it any credence whatever.
While I would not for a single moment question the veracity of the distinguished Companions composing the committee of the Grand Chapter of South Carolina, it really seems, in view of the facts stated, that their entire report must be received with considerable misgiving. The evidence adduced does not, in my opinion, warrant the conclusions reached by the Companions of South Carolina and the Supreme Council.
- The impression upon the seal is too indistinct to be read. ↩
- See History of the Cryptic Rite, by J. Ross Robertson. ↩
- See History of the Cryptic Rite, by J. Ross Robertson. ↩
* * *
AMERICANISM VERSUS SOCIALISM
By Frank Allaben, President National Historical Society
Amid the many efforts being made these days to define Americanism it is refreshing to find one that is crystal clear. Masons have an unfailing desire to uphold the Constitution of the United States, because they believe that that document is the bulwark of Americanism. This article, from the pen of one who is not a Mason, gives us in simple form concrete examples of how some of the theories now being advanced as cure-alls for our civic ailments are opposed to the most vital principles contained in our Constitution. The author is President of the National Historical Society, an organization very similar to that of this Society in its general plan. We publish this article with the author's consent, granted because he feels that Freemasonry is devoted to the advancement of American citizenship. Delivered originally as an address before the Bergen Reformed Church Men's Club, we feel that it is entitled to the closest study of the members of this Society.
MY SUBJECT is Americanism; and I hope we may gain new inspiration and renewed courage by contrasting the principles which constitute Americanism with two other sets of principles which just nom threaten our national peace and the welfare of the world.
One of these hostile sets of principles is today at work underground, plotting, as secretly as possible, to throw our social order into sudden confusion by great labor strikes, in order that under cover of these a small fraction of our population, the elements of revolution and anarchy, may overthrow the principles of Americanism, seize the machinery of American government and convert the powers we have ordained for justice into a weapon of violence to confiscate private property and dominate the economic means of life. This is the plot of an unscrupulous minority to crush our governmental safeguards under a reign of terror in order to rob and ruin the great majority of law-abiding Americans as the Russian people have lately been robbed and ruined. You need no argument from me to convince you that this conspiracy of destruction must be fought to its death. I seek, therefore, only to make the inherent wickedness of socialistic absolutism more apparent by showing that its fundamental principles are totally subversive of and utterly irreconcilable with Americanism; while I also wish to point out how these doctrines of destruction may be overcome without violation of the personal liberty guaranteed to all by Americanism.
But another evil now challenges and imperils Americanism. I refer to the abuse of power by organized labor and organized capital, by some even claimed as an unalienable right, in declaring and carrying on private economic war against one another in our peaceful communities by means of the strike and the lockout, with their attendant evils of riots, bullyings, assaults, murders, arson, theft, and economic destruction. Fortunately, these activities are simply abuses of usurped power, developed under years of toleration, and, unlike the conspiracies of socialistic absolutism, are not aimed against our Government nor intended to subvert our institutions and manner of life. But, in the light of the historic principles of Americanism, these practices belong to license and not to liberty. They are not rights, but tolerated wrongs. All other Americans have given up the barbarism of private war, and resort only to their law-courts to compel justice; and organized labor and capital have no inalienable rights which do not belong to all of us. Their violences we have simply suffered for a time, with the optimistic hope of Americans that they would solve their problems and reach a stable equilibrium.
But today the labor strike has become a great peril; for it is behind organized labor that the "red" conspiracy against our governmental safe-guards lurks and hides, gathering energy to spring out upon us suddenly, camouflaged under the confusion of some great labor strike. All the European assaults of bolshevism, successful or abortive, have leaped out of the whirlwinds of labor strikes; while in America today revolutionary radicalism secretly struggles to seize the machinery of organized labor as a tool for the destruction of organized government.
Thus the labor-strike has become a great problem for the American people. It should be solved, and solved speedily. I believe it can be solved by a simple application of American principles. Therefore let us turn now to a brief examination of these.
Americanism is defined by the Declaration of Independence, which, basing its doctrine upon "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," asserts the rights of man in one immortal sentence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
This declaration was received with acclaim by our colonial forefathers, who also expressed their boundless joy in bonfires, torch-light processions, the firing of guns, and the ringing of bells. Samuel Adams bears witness that the people received this statement of their rights "as though it were a decree promulgated from heaven."
And out of heaven it came — an assertion in proof of which I cite the great fact that in little more than one hundred and forty years these principles have covered the earth and have been received as self-evident by practically all mankind, Christian and pagan. To me this is conclusive evidence of two things: first, that the Divine Intelligence Who rules this world, in Whose existence and beneficent guidance I firmly believe, must be greatly interested in opening to all peoples the door of liberty first opened to our fathers; and, second, that our fathers' statement of the principles of liberty and righteous government, since it carries instant conviction to the universal conscience, must have gathered the fundamentals of just human government out of "the laws of nature and of nature's God."
If this be true we should cherish these principles of Americanism as a sacred trust, held by us as trustees, for ourselves, for our posterity, and for the world; and we should reject with jealous zeal any doctrine or practice which transgresses these principles.
In the light of these principles let us test two doctrines made in Germany, the doctrine of autocratic government promulgated and practised by Prussian royalty and nobility, and the doctrine of socialistic government proclaimed by Karl Marx. Let us apply the four great tests of Americanism.
Firstly, the appeal of our Declaration of Indepen dence to "the laws of nature and of nature's God" is the acknowledgement that eternal principles of right and wrong exist and can be deduced by man from the laws of God and nature. But German autocracy and German socialism both deny this great truth. The German ruling class held that human government is above all standards of right and wrong, doing what il pleases to accomplish its selfish ends; and under this doctrine Germany set out to conquer the world with shocking atrocities. This autocratic anarchy, this monstrous repudiation of all our normal standards of righteousness, is what we fought and conquered in the late war, thus reasserting the American doctrine that the laws of nature and of nature's God establish standarde of right to which individuals, peoples, and governmente are all alike amenable. But the doctrine of socialistic absolutism, even more than the doctrine of autocratic absolutism, declares war against all the standards or right acquired by man through painful centuries, proposing to overthrow governments like ours, wreck man's social order and industries, confiscate private property, deny religious and political liberty, and even invade the sanctity of marriage and the rights of the family circle. Before our eyes, in Russia, we see these happy gains of human progress trampled into the slime of socialistic anarchy; and the war for Americanism will not be won until, with the idol of autocratic absolutism, the idol of socialistic absolutism is broken and cast out.
Secondly, in stating that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that governments are instituted among men to secure these rights, the Declaration of Independence simply asserts man's relationships in nature, the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, with the obvious truth that just government must recognize and protect the equal rights and privileges of all the members of man's one race and family. But autocrats and socialists alike oppose this doctrine. Both preach class-hatred and class-war, each holding that government must be class-rule, either by the upper crust or by the proletariat. In other words, autocracy and socialism beat the world with the same stick of class-rule, and only quarrel as to which end of the stick shall do the beating. Autocrats believe in government of autocrats, by autocrats, for autocrats. Socialists believe in government of the proletariat, by the proletariat, for the proletariat. But Americans believe in government of the people, by the people, for the people; and by this we mean government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.
I may add that the right to pursue happiness is the right of private ownership — the right of each individual to pursue and to possess property and all the things of life which can be enjoyed without invading another's right to pursue them. Yet their denial of this right of the individual, to pursue and possess as his own the things which make men happy, is the cardinal error of all forms of socialism.
Thirdly, the statement of the Declaration of Independence, that governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed," is necessarily the assertion that the will of the majority must prevail in all cases where a people differ in judgment. This principle underlies our Constitution, and was sealed by our fathers' blood in our Civil War. Yet autocracy and socialism alike attack this fundamental of government by seeking to impose the tyrannies of minorities upon the great majorities of the earth.
But, fourthly, while Americanism gives to the majority the right of decision in all questions open to debate; it is its glory first of all to secure the rights of the minority by guaranteeing individual liberties which are not open to debate. Thus while autocracy and socialism trample the rights of great majorities, Americanism protects the rights of a minority as small as one man.
The Constitution of the United States is simply a wonderfully successful plan of government to carry out the principles and secure the rights proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. It provides a representative organization through which the people may exercise their executive, legislative, and judicial powers on the principle of majority rule; yet in the very document by which they ordain this, the people have prohibited their representatives from invading certain fundamental rights guaranteed to each individual.
These personal rights, which no executive power, nor legislature, nor law-court may abridge, include the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, except when rebellion or invasion requires its suspension; include immunity from bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and unequal taxation; include religious freedom; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; the right to assemble peaceably; to petition Government for redress of grievances; to keep and bear arms; and to be secure, in person, house, papers and effects, against unreasonable search and seizure; include the right of trial by jury, even in civil suits, involving more than twenty dollars; with exemption from bearing witness against one's self; and include the right never to be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; with the full right of private ownership of property, which may not be taken, even for public use, without just compensation.
These rights, privileges, and exemptions, the Magna Charta of personal liberty, are assailed alike by autocracy and socialism. In denying the right of private ownership of property, socialism attacks what man most prizes, next to life and liberty; and in Russia today the curse of socialism has robbed the people of religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble peaceably, and the right to petition government for redress of grievances, robbing them of these as completely as any crowned tyrant could rob them.
Do not the four tests we have made identify Germen autocracy and German socialism as twin deformities, the two halves of one evil, a monstrous double birth out of the perverted womb of class-hatred? But this brings us again to our necessity of self-defense. We have conquered German autocracy on the battlefield; but German socialism conspires in our midst. Can we conquer this ruthless propoganda without violation of freedom of speech?
In the first place we should support our Government in prosecuting all citizens and deporting all foreigners who can be convicted of instigating violence; and we should encourage our legislators to enact strict laws covering such crimes; for there is no principle of Americanism that teaches us to tolerate illegal assaults upon our liberties.
In the second place the carrying on of secret and anonymous propaganda against our principles of government should be made a criminal offense; for our constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of peaceable assembly, and of petition for redress of grievances, are only intended to afford upright conscience and honest conviction full opportunity of expression in open publicity where all men can hear and judge.
In the third place we must overcome evil with good, defeat error with truth, drive out the darkness by bringing in the light. For years we have let socialistic books and pamphlets multiply and spread without any serious attempt to answer them, and tens of thousands of Americans have been deceived. "Where no vision is, the people perish." We may win a temporary skirmish by policies of repression; but if we would win our children and posterity, we must arm every American with the light of knowledge. We should place in the hands of every man, woman, and schoolchild an understandable exposure of the sophistries of socialism, with a record of its deeds in Russia, and of its plottings here, contrasted with the justice and blessings of Americanism, the envy and the admiration of the whole world. This is the way to destroy false doctrine. The triumphs of Americanism are triumphs of enlightenment.
In conclusion I return to the problem of the laborstrike and lock-out. These violences should cease, for they are acts of private war, and in a day when all nations seek a league to substitute law for wars between peoples, it certainly is incongruous for Americans to continue to license private war in the bosom of their own family. Moreover, these violences must cease, for they now conceal threats against the existence of our Government and liberties.
Henceforth, like the rest of us, labor and capital must take their cases to the law-court. But they are entitled to the best safeguards of American justice, and labor, at least, will feel itself defrauded if it must take justice from some Federal commission, or central court of judges, far removed from the locality where the case arises. Labor and capital are entitled to trial of their causes by jury, and to trial in the communities where the troubles start, and where the facts can be established by competent witnesses.
Organized labor, like organized capital, is now equipped with expert leaders, and in important labor trials, where decisions are far-reaching, these experts on either side can assist with their extensive knowledge. In all such trials the American people are an interested party, equally with labor and capital. For if labor receives higher wages, or capital receives larger dividends, the American people must pay them out of the higher prices charged them. Thus in important labor trials the people should be represented by Government experts who are able to present statistics and bring out significant facts.
A problem so immense as labor violence can be barely touched in its most fundamental parts at the end of a brief address. But if a true solution appears in a discussion so short, it bears testimony to the power of American doctrines as universal solvents of political difficulties.
Let us trust Americanism, applying it to our problems with constantly increasing confidence; for all our difficulties grow, not out of our national principles, but out of our departures from them.
* * *
What we need most is not so much to realize the ideal as to idealize the real.
— F. H. Hedge.
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 36
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 "Third 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 "INTRODUCTION TO THIRD STEPS"
In a study of Third Steps shall we expect to find architectural symbolism as in our preceding studies? In what terms were the teachings in First and Second Steps given to us? Of what will our new studies treat?
Who originated our Third degree? and when? Have these questions ever been satisfactorily answered?
How many degrees were there at the beginning of the Grand Lodge period? What were they? Why was the old Apprentice degree divided into two parts? When was this division made?
Did this change meet with unanimous approval? Was the new degree universally worked immediately after the division?
Why was the new degree so slow to meet with universal approval? Was it welcomed by Masons outside of London?
Who is believed to have been responsible for the introduction of this new material?
What was the new material introduced between 1723 and 1738? Why does Brother Haywood not believe that it was the Hiram Abiff legend? What is Brother Haywood's theory concerning the substance of this legend? His answer to the question, Who imported the new material? Was the Third degree as elaborate from the first as it is now? Is it worked uniformly in all countries? In all Grand Jurisdictions in the United States?
If you received the degree in another State than the one in which you now reside, state for the benefit of the other members of your Study Club some of the details in which the work as you received it differs from that of the Jurisdiction where you now live.
What is the possibility of our learning the full details concerning the origin and early working of the degree in the very near future? Do we have record of similar legends in existence before our present Masonic system was established? Can you cite some of them?
What is the purpose of this degree? What is its secret?
Vol. II. — Differences of Ritual, p. 381; Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism — The Third Degree, p. 109; Uniform Work, pp. 348, 382; York Rite, p. 327.
Vol. III. — Causes of Divergence in Ritual, Nov. C.C.B., p. 4; The Lodge and The Candidate — The Degrees, Nov. C.C.B., p. 1.
Vol. IV — The Degrees Problem, April C.C.B., p. 6.
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Degrees, p. 203
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Bro. H. L. Haywood,
PART I — INTRODUCTION TO THIRD STEPS
THE MOMENT one enters into a study of the Third Steps he finds himself in an atmosphere very different from that of the First and Second: the opening and closing ceremonies are similar to theirs but the architectural symbolism which was in them the predominant feature is here crowded into the background by a symbolism of a very different order; for whereas the first two degrees deliver their message in the terms of building, the Third speaks of a living and a dying and a using again. Its language is that of life and death. And so compact is it of profound meanings that it furnishes the suggestions, as many scholars have noted, from which the highest grades have developed their magnificent teachings.
By what men the degree was made, or when, are questions on which our authorities differ so widely that one student — Brother Robert I. Clegg — has collected no fewer than twenty different theories, while another — Brother Hextall — has found fourteen different interpretations. Where so many scholars have failed to discover a satisfactory hypothesis it would ill become me to offer a theory of my own, and I must content myself to state, as nearly as I can, such positions as the majority have agreed on.
It seems that in the beginning of the Grand Lodge period there were at most but two degrees, these being known as the Apprentice and Fellow Craft or Master Mason parts, the latter being convertible terms. But during this same period as much new material — new at least, to the ritual of initiation — was introduced that it became necessary to break up the old Apprentice degree into two parts leaving the old Second to become the new Third. This was done for the sake of convenience, as the ceremonies had grown too long for only two evenings. This division was made some time between 1723 and 1738.
The new arrangement was a long time in gaining a foothold among the brethren. At first only a few were made Masters and then only in Grand Lodge; in fact so few knew how to "put on" the degree that for some time special "Masters' Lodges" were organized for the purpose. The progress of the tri-gradal system was even slower in countries other than England; Gould notes that the Third did not become common in Scottish Lodges until after 1770.
Why was the Third so slow in "taking on" if it was the old Second degree? The explanation of the problem seems to be that so much new material had been added to it that it had become practically a new ceremony. There is even some reason to believe that it was this new material which gave offense to many old Masons living at a distance from London, who were thereby led to form the rival Grand Lodge of "the Ancients."
By whom was this new material introduced? Some attribute the innovations to Preston, others to Dr. Desaguliers; others, of whom Pike was one, held to the theory that at the time of the Revival certain groups of Speculatives seized the opportunity to embody some of their own ideas in the ritual. Another theory, more reasonable than these, it seems to me, will be brought out when we seek to answer the next question.
What was the new material introduced between 1723–1738? Many of our scholars, perhaps a majority, would answer, "The Hiram Abiff legend." As we are to devote a section to this we can not go into that matter here except to say that it seems unreasonable, on the face of it that so elaborate a drama, occupying the greater part of one whole degree, could not have been bodily imported into the ritual as a wholly new thing; the conservative "old Mason," of whom many were surviving during the Revival period, would not have tolerated so huge an innovation. The more reasonable theory is that the substance of the legend, and materials appertaining thereto, had long been a part of the floating tradition of the Craft if indeed, as there is some evidence to show, it was not a part of the old operative ritual. This would answer the question, Who imported the new material? No one man or group of men imported it; "the Third Degree was not made, it grew — like the great cathedrals, no one of which can be ascribed to a single artist, but to an order of men working in unity of enterprise and aspiration." To this it may be added that the degree has not ceased to grow, in America at least, for it is more elaborate here than in England, even as it is more elaborate there than in other countries — more elaborate, and different.
By whom the degree was made, and when, will furnish material for many debates in years to come and in the lap of that future must the problem be laid but of one thing we can be very sure, the idea enshrined in the ceremony is so old that we find it serving as the motif of initiatory dramas long before the dawn of history. In every one of the Ancient Mysteries, so far as we have any memorials of them, the action centred in the violent death of some just person and his being raised again. In various guises was this idea presented but always did it convey the same truth — that in men there is something that can not die, that this "something" is akin to the divine, that it can be given the rule of a man during his earth pilgrimage, and that it is the purpose of initiation to discover and to crown this divine element in human life. This is nothing other than Regeneration; it is nothing other than Eternal Life, the life of God in the soul of man lived in the bounds of time and space and under human conditions. Such, I take it, is the secret of our Third degree. To elicit that secret, and to expound it, will be the task of the remaining sections of our study.
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THE NEED FOR MASONIC STUDY CLUBS
It should be impressed upon the minds of our members that there is in our institution something to help them in their every-day living, which the seeker who is willing to devote a small portion of his time to the quest may easily obtain. The reward of his endeavors will appear in the higher development of the individual with vision of practical service to humanity. Many of our lodges in Minnesota have taken hold of this matter with a will, but there must be follow-up work that these beginnings may not be lost.
In my appeals to lodges I have attempted to show the meanings of the degrees, and the call they make to each Mason. I am confident that if fostered intelligently Masonry may be made to become dynamic, awakened out of its apparently dormant or static condition.
What is more, I am satisfied that Masons are eager to receive whatever can be given them in the way of Masonic knowledge, information or assistance to study. It might be well to urge that greater emphasis be placed upon the monitorial readings to the candidate in the preparation room and so make real the fact that study must be devoted to every phase of Masonry, and if the candidate is unwilling to devote at least a part of his time to such study he should be informed that it would be better for him to proceed no further.
Our ceremonies, symbolism and philosophy are set forth in beautiful language, but they must be interpreted by the individual in terms of his own need. Many of our phrases are archaic, testifying to the antiquity of the institution — these should be carefully analyzed to be understood and applied. Herein lies the opportunity of the older and better informed brethren, and at the same time the responsibility of the lodge to the candidate is pointed out. If this responsibility is accepted and the opportunity for a systematic study of Masonry is offered, Masonry will flourish, not in numbers only, but in the quality of its members as well.
Masonry must accept the challenge for a citizenship that will stabilize free government and secure an enlightened democracy, thus making the world safe for democracy. It must teach its votaries to think in terms of civic duty, common interest and world-wide brotherhood. The true Mason has always been ready for service, kindly in his dealings, practicing the tenets of his profession, brotherly love, relief and truth. There are many such among us today and we know them by "the perfect points of their entrance."
Masons are for more light, willing to receive information and may be interested in the study of Masonry if they can be induced to read some Masonic literature, journals like those published in our own and other jurisdictions which put the facts and claims of the institution in a simple and straightforward manner.
Where the officers of our lodges are anxious to help the membership to a fuller and better understanding of the teachings and principles of the institution great interest is being awakened.
There should be a departure from the formal notices of lodge meetings. In other words, more attention should be devoted to modern advertising of their meetings.
During the past several months I have visited fifty or more of our lodges in the interest of the Study Club movement and without exception all of these lodges have expressed a desire for more visitations of this character — they want help and will welcome whatever will bring light.
The time is ripe and crucial in Minnesota for a real awakening among Masons in order that they may march together, shoulder to shoulder, to the drumbeats of high and noble principles which will sound the death knell of the slavery of ignorance, superstition, passion and low motives.
As the founders of our liberties marched and fought, so let us, Masons of Minnesota, march and fight for true manhood, home and country, until we can say that we have achieved a civilization as lasting in its grandeur as those mighty monuments that dot the banks of the historic Nile.
Bro. R. E. Denfeld, Chairman,
Committee on Masonic Study and Research
Grand Lodge of Minnesota.
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BEAUTY FROM ASHES HERE
Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
Beauty from ashes, — if so be the soul
Is forging on towards its glory goal,—
For it must first within the life repose
Though ashes lie upon its trail of woes,
The heart may pluck its flowers by the way
E'en though the green of years be turned to gray.
It is for it, though skies but slowly clear
To qualify e'en through the ashes here.
For all it is and has must now appear
Though hopes deferred may start the flowing tear,
It is for it to brave each searching test
For it may be that it was for the best.
O, it may 'mong the ashes scattered round
Rich harvests find upon life's sacred ground!
The way may hold so much to bless and cheer
That beauty rare may spring from ashes here.
So while upon the pathway that we tread
The ashes lie, 'tis there our hopes are spread
The fairest flowers may bloom for us today
Because they grew in sorrow's yesterday.
From ashes there may new creations spring,
The price is paid for each new offering
May strew the path whereon we forward go
With all the best that mortals here may know.
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WHY WE ENUMERATE TO TEN
Bro. U. R. Partlow, Arkansas
The following article by Brother Partlow, while containing no particular reference to Masonry will, appreciated by many readers of THE BUILDER who have a liking for curious facts.
An arrangement of ten dots in a triangular form of four rows, called the "tetractys," was emblematic of the Tetragammaton, or sacred name of four letters, and this figure was held in high veneration by the Pythagoreans who are said to have taken their most solemn oaths, especially that of initiation, upon it. In the symbols of Masonry the sacred delta bears the nearest analogy to the tetractys of the Pythagoreans.
ARISTOTLE is attributed with asking the question, "Why do all men, barbarians is well as Greeks, numerate up to ten and not any other number?" Aristotle, even at that time, had made a very wise and true observation for with but one exception the statement of Aristotle is true.
Number is co-eval with spoken language and probably antedates even symbolism. Primitive man must have had some way of recording results of his fishing and hunting expeditions, the number of warriors in opposing camps as well as of the friendly strength. History records many methods of keeping this record and with one exception all reckoning was done in terms of ten.
Example of this is to be found in the mode of reckoning by the Paloni Indians of California. Dr. Hoffman reports that each year these Indians chose from their number certain representatives to visit the San Gabriel settlement to sell native blankets. Every Indian sending blankets provided the salesman with two cords of twisted hair or wool, one of which was used for the purpose of keeping a record of values received and the other cord for keeping record of the blankets sold. For every real received a knot was tied in the cord and when the sum reached ten reals a double knot was used.
The ancient Peruvians used a method similar. Edward Clodd says: "The quipu has a long history, and is with us in the rosary upon which prayers are counted, in the knot tied in the handkerchief to help a weak memory, and in the sailor's log line." The quipu consisted of a main cord to which were attached at given distances other cords of different colours to represent different objects, such as cattle, corn, sheep, and etc., and for every ten of anything a single knot was tied in the cord and for twenty, two knots, for thirty, three knots and so on, thereby proving the method of reckoning by ten.
Dr. Conant gives an interesting example regarding the number concept. He says: "More than a century ago travellers in Madagascar observed a curious but simple mode of ascertaining the number of soldiers in the army. Each soldier was made to go through a passage in the presence of the principal chiefs; and as he went through a pebble was dropped on the ground. This continued until a heap of ten was obtained, when one was set aside and a new heap begun. Upon the completion of ten heaps, a pebble was set aside to indicate one hundred, and so on until the entire army had been numbered." Before the use of writing paper the British exchequer used a system of reckoning and accounting at was interesting as well as curious. The method was by use of tally sticks on which notches were cut, a deep notch for a pound, a shallow one for a shilling. The stick was then sawed half in two near one end and split down to the cut, each half bearing a record the notches. One piece was given to the depositor, the other half was kept. A great mass of these sticks was deposited in the basement of the Parliament building and in 1834 a bonfire was made of them. So great as the accumulation of these sticks that from the great bonfire and heat that on Thursday, October 16, 1834, a furnace became overheated and set fire to the building and in a few hours the House of Commons and House of Lords were in ashes.
The Hawaiian tax-gatherers kept account of the assessable property by means of cords in which knots were tied and they carried one for every ten.
It can be seen that calculating by tens was a method in general use among ancient peoples. W. R. R. Ball in his Short History of Mathematics, page 127, says "The only tribes of whom I have read who did not count in terms of either five or some multiple of five are the Bolans of West Africa who are said to have counted by multiples of seven, and the Maories who are said have counted by multiples of eleven." These exceptions are hard to explain in terms of other methods.
Most races have shown the same aptitude in representing numbers by means of tens, and various inventions have been devised to expedite these; namely pebbles arranged in groups of tens, and from these developed the abacus. Ball, in his History of Mathematics, says: "This instrument (abacus) was in use among nations so widely separated as the Etruscans, Greeks, Egyptians, Hindoos, Chinese, and Mexicans; and was, it is believed, invented independently at several different centres. It is still in common use in Russia, China and Japan." It is rather interesting to see the similarity in calculating and reckoning among primitive people especially where they are isolated from each other by impassable barriers, such as oceans, seas and mountains. One is led to look for this cause in some natural means common to all races. Aristotle in commenting upon the matter of peoples enumerating by tens and not by other numbers, remarks that manifestly it is not by chance. He says: "The truth is, what men do upon all occasions and always they do not from chance but from some law of nature. Whether is it, because ten is a perfect number? For it contains all the species of number, the even, the odd, the square, the cube, the linear, the plane, the prime, the composite, or is because the number ten is a principle? For the numbers one, two, three and four when added together produce the number ten. Or is because the bodies which are in constant motion are nine? . . . Or is it because all men from the first have ten fingers? As therefore men have counters of their own by nature, by this set, they numerate all other things." Prof. Ball, of Trinity College, Cambridge, in commenting on this same subject, says: "Up to ten it is comparatively easy to count, but primitive people find great difficulty in counting higher numbers; apparently at first this difficulty was overcome by the method (still in use in South Africa) of getting two men, one to count the units up to ten on his fingers, and the other to count the number of groups of ten so formed." "The number five is generally represented by the open hand, and it is said in almost all languages the word five and hand are derived from the same root word. It is possible that in early times men did not readily count beyond five, and things if more numerous were counted by multiples of five." Prof. Ball goes further and says: "That some tribes seem to have gone further and by making use of their toes were accustomed to count by multiples of twenty. The Aztecs, for example, are said to have done so. It may be noticed that we still count some things (for instance sheep) by scores, the word score signifying a notch or scratch made on the completion of the twenty."
It can be seen that man carries with him a natural counting machine, — that is the fingers of his hands, and from all authority it appears that the counting on the fingers was the beginning of the number concept, for with exceptions named above all reckoning has been in multiples of five, and that in all instances nearly have been ten.
The Chinese have an interesting kind of digital signs and the same was interestingly told in Leslie's and well illustrated in that magazine a few years ago. Since each finger has three joints, the thumb nail of one hand touch the joints in succession, passing up one side of the finger, down the middle, and again up the other side, thereby giving nine applicable to the decimal notation. On the little finger these signify units, on the next tens, on the next hundreds, etc. I relate this incident to show various methods of calculating, and are based upon the "ten system."
After years of struggle primitive man learned the use of making some definite account of the reckoning with his hands in order that a definite record might be kept. This led us to consider the origin of numbers with especial reference to how they are made. One, of course, is made by one mark, and in fact all other of the numerals were made by the number of marks it represented. Ultimately the straight lines were discarded, the corners becoming rounded and the numerals are rounded as we have them today.
The use of the alphabet as numerals probably dates from about 500 B.C. The Greeks used the letters of their alphabet as symbols for numerals, the first nine letters of the alphabet being used for the first nine numbers, the next nine numbers for the numbers ten, twenty, thirty, etc. As the Greek alphabet consisted of but twenty-four letters, three obsolete letters were introduced or interpolated. The Greek mode of writing fractions was simple, the denominator simply being written under the numerator.
The Hebrews used their alphabet in the same way, each letter having a numerical signification as well as representing certain sounds in the formation of words and ideas.
The Babylonians had a strange system inasmuch as sixty was the base. It is presumed as the year was at that time reckoned as 360 days, thus dividing the circle into 360 equal parts, and that the perimeter of the circle was divided into six equal parts by stepping off the length of the radius upon the circumference. Further the Babylonians had a basal number of 12,960,000, and if you raise 60 to its fourth power your product will be this famous number. Prof. Hilprecht thinks that 12,960,000 is the famous number of Plato. It is said that the number 12,960,000 is constructed from 216, the minimal number of days of gestation in the human kind, and if the 216 be interpreted as day, together with 12,960,000 the latter number gives 36,000 years, the "great Platonic year," which was the Babylonian cycle.
The most famous system was that of the Hindus which assigned a symbol to each of the nine numbers. In the Hindu notation each number has in addition to its intrinsic value an acquired value by reason of position. Thus 3 standing in the second place would have a value of thirty, while in the first place it would have its intrinsic value only. The best we can say is that the origin of the Hindu's system of notation is shrouded in mystery as many other Oriental customs are; for the reason the Orientals attribute all great inventions or discoveries to a direct revelation of God. The history of Oannes, the Babylonian god of mathematics and learning, is an example of primeval belief that all human knowledge goes to divine revelation. Hamurabi, the great Babylonian law giver, claimed to have received his legend information from the sun god. Moses, the Hebrew law giver, claimed to have received his laws directly from God, yet much of the law of Moses is identical to the law of Hamurabi, indicating that Moses had some acquaintance with the laws of his famous predecessor.
In searching into the origin of the numeral system, as in all other knowledge of great antiquity, we are confronted with the fact that knowledge was from remote antiquity up to the period almost of public education, concealed from the masses and was sacredly held in the breast and the hearts of the priestdom. Also, no method of perpetuity then existed except by tradition, symbols, legends and written hieroglyphic on papyrus and other destructible materials.
* * *
"TOGETHER, BRETHREN, LET IT BE DONE."
WHAT CAN American Masons make our new-found unity to mean? To ask the question in this way implies limitations. "WHAT CAN IT NOT BE MADE TO MEAN?" would be the better way of putting it. The possibilities of cooperation among the brothers of our Craft are without limit. l Recognition of our common aims is almost at hand. In every Jurisdiction the rank and file of our Fraternity are coming to believe that Freemasonry has a mission to perform in the world today. The history of every organization which grows to the maturity implied in the word "institution" is that it lives if it performs the functions for which God intended it. If it dies, it does so for one of two reasons, either it has FAILED to meet the responsibilities imposed upon it, or it dies after having accomplished its mission.
The most egotistical Mason in America would not say that we have accomplished our mission — especially when he ponders the five years of world history just closed. He who would admit that Freemasonry is doomed to fail in its mission would be a coward.
The sane Mason, the optimistic Mason, the brother who has glimpsed the true meaning of "Brotherhood," believes that Masonry is ordained to work in the present generation for the fulfilment of its time-honored prophecies. Talk to him and see if this is not true. Come to my desk and read the letters he is writing, and you will believe. "Hope" is written there. "Determination" is written there. "God prosper the vision of the Masonic Service Association" is written there. "Let us work together, after a common plan, for the fruition of brotherhood," is the battle cry of the thinking Mason of today, who sees the foundation of the world crumbling because the cement of brotherly love is being dissolved.
The Executive Commission of the Masonic Service Association, after two months of careful consideration of the task imposed upon it, has tried to define "Service." It has determined to create a practical machinery capable of carrying into effect the objects of the Association. Foundations only have been laid. But the general plan for the superstructure has been drafted. It will be found in the center of this issue of THE BUILDER, and has been furnished by the Commission to every other Masonic magazine with which we are in touch.
This plan claims to be only a method of cooperation. The immediate tasks before us are succinctly stated in terms the spirit of which cannot be misinterpreted. The method of approaching those tasks is indicated. The Commission is able to promise more than the cooperation of its own members, for it has the assurance of many of our ablest men throughout the country that they will help us to the limit of their abilities in carrying out this plan.
What remains? One thing, and one thing only. The active and enthusiastic cooperation of our several Jurisdictions themselves. If each of our Grand Lodges, through its responsible officers, will use its best efforts to adapt this program to the use of the Craft within its boundaries, Masonry will begin to move forward, unitedly.
It is no small thing that the Executive Commission, drawn from eleven different parts of the United States, each member having his own individual viewpoint, should hold a three-day session devoted exclusively to this problem of cooperation and, BY UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT, build a program of cooperation and state it in words! Yet that is exactly what did happen. They came together wondering whether so tremendous a problem as faces the Masonic Fraternity could be expressed in terms upon which they could all agree. They faced the problem together, as brethren. They did agree.
Will our Grand Bodies cooperate to make the administration of the Association succeed, by considering the proposed plan with the determination to make it succeed? Each will use that part of the machinery of organization which meets its individual need. Each must carry out the proposed plans as the judgment of its leaders shall dictate. The way is provided. It is a practical way.
Every thinking Mason should put his shoulder to the wheel. Together we can insure REAL cooperation.
TOGETHER, BRETHREN, LET IT BE DONE.
G. L. S.
* * *
A CONFESSION — AND A CHALLENGE
Who am I? I am one of the more than 100,000 young men who, during the year 1919 knocked at the doors of your Masonry. I was accepted, and initiated. I was passed and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. I took my first degree on a beautiful bright morning, the lodge having favored my convenience. For nearly nine hours I watched other young men receive the degree. It impressed me to the very depths of my soul. I had found what I wanted — fellowship, earnestness, reverence for higher things. With relief I missed dogma. I subscribed to no creed. Yet I was told that the new path which I had commenced to tread led to heights still to be climbed. I was content.
I took your lessons seriously. I worked hard to learn your catechism. I was determined that no idle curiosity should be impugned to me. I had come to learn, and I was learning. In like spirit I was passed. Again I studied. I was raised, in more senses than one. I was raised above myself. You men who performed the ceremonies upon me will never know how great your impression was. I caught something of your inspiration. I took the Masonic lesson home to myself. If in making application for membership there had been anything of unworthy motive, or if I had expected to find "horseplay" I was ashamed. You illumined my path. You placed a star before me to guide me. I tried to learn all that you had to teach me. Dimly I realized its vastness. I was humble in your presence. I was determined that you should never be as ashamed of me as I was of my own ignorance.
Months passed. I have been a regular attendant. I have not sought to obtain an office I am not yet worthy of honors. I only want to learn.
Now I have become "proficient." I am able to "travel in foreign countries." I know my tests. I can prove that I have received the degrees.
I have been "traveling" a little, here and there, as my duties in life have permitted. I have visited other lodges. I have seen the three degrees exemplified four or five times a month. I know the rote. I have even learned all the parts in the Entered Apprentice degree, though I never expect to have a chance to confer it. My lodge has several hundred members, and there is no use in my aspiring to hold an office.
I have even learned the challenge of the first degree. It is "great stuffy" and I love it. I should like to give it, some day. Wonder if I'll ever have a chance?
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It is six months since I wrote the above. We had our election last night. The Senior Warden of our lodge was elected Master. The Senior Deacon was elected Junior Warden. A brother whom I do not know and have never seen was appointed Junior Deacon. He will go "up the line" as they describe it to me. The new Junior Deacon has been a Mason six years, they say, and has never held an office until now.
I wish our lodge wasn't so large! A young fellow would have a chance, then. But I suppose that is all right.
A brother shoved a "Chapter" petition under my nose tonight. Said if I wanted to "get it all," I ought to belong to the "higher bodies." Wonder what they are? I was told I would be a Mason when I received the third degree.
* * *
I've been elected in the Chapter, now. As soon as I get that, I'll take the Commandery, too — Brother Jones, whom I met coming out of the church last Sunday told me that the "Black Cross" degree was the "ne plus ultra" of Masonry. There was a "Consistory" meeting in town last week, too. It lasted four days. And then on Friday night there was a "Shrine" meeting. I met some of the "Shriners" in the temple parlors. They surely were a bunch of good fellows! It looks as if I was going to spend at least $250.00 in getting Masonry, before I'm through! It certainly is a luxury. I cannot really afford it, but I want to know what Masonry really is. There is much that I do nor understand. They told me it would all be explained is the Chapter. But it wasn't. I want all they have to give me!
* * *
I've had it all. It is exactly twelve months since I took my first degree, and I'm an "R.A.M.", "K.T.", "32°," — yes, and a "Noble of the Mystic Shrine," too. Everything but the 33° and they say I shall have to wait fifteen or twenty or thirty or forty years for that, if I ever get it.
If I go to all the "bodies" it will take me three or four nights a week, and to get the benefit of the Scottish Rite and the Shrine I'll have to lay off at least two weeks a year. But it is all grand! It is worth it! My wife doesn't think so. She wonders what it must be, to attract me so much.
I wonder, too.
* * *
I haven't been to lodge for three weeks. It is the first week I've missed going to at least one session of some kind, since I was first initiated. But I've been thinking a lot, these three weeks. I was talking to Brothers J. and K. last Wednesday night. I met them down at the American Legion meeting. J. took the work two weeks before I did; K. was "passed" the same night I was. Both of them finished up about the same time I did. They asked me whether I thought, after taking the other degrees, that it would be worth while for them to "go on up" — as one of them expressed it.
I said NO!
They were surprised. But I told them — they're good friends and splendid fellows, and we "went over the top" together just before the Armistice — my whole story about Freemasonry.
I told them I was disappointed. I expected so much — perhaps too much, when I joined Masonry. I liked it at first, and I love it still. But I've stopped learning about it, and really know less now than I did when I was studying the first three degrees. There's some mystery about it. I don't understand, yet, what it's all about. I've rushed through. I've seen it all. But I haven't digested it. Now, I've got a high school education. I can read, I think, as intelligently as the average. I follow the "Literary Digest," as well as read several other magazines. I've tried to find a real Masonic magazine. Hunted high and low, until Brother L. (who has never filled an office, though he's been a Mason thirty years) told me about "THE BUILDER."
I like it, but some of it is over my head.
I've talked to older brethren. They cannot give me what I'm after. I have read something about where Masonry came from. I'm glad to know that. But, honestly, fellows, I want to know what Masonry is doing, today. Maybe I don't understand it as I should, and that is the reason why I chafe about it. But I want to know what it is that Masonry really tries to teach!
"I go up to lodge once in awhile, now," replied J. "I've been asking the Master and Wardens until I'm ashamed to ask them any more. Besides, they cannot answer my questions. They say they're too busy conferring degrees. But, honestly, I believe they do not know themselves!"
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The foregoing is not a literal experience of one doughboy. It is the combined story of three or four to whom ye scribe has had the privilege of talking during the past three months. Is it not time for us to stop and think of what we are doing? Is it not time that a program of Masonic education be announced, and carried into every lodge in the United States? Dare we be slow in answering honest questions like these, and justifying the hopes of the young men who are flocking to our doors?
Bring the lesson home and your lodge and my lodge, your Grand Master and my Grand Master, will vie with one another to see which can arrange programs that will prevent the inevitable slump if we keep taking young men in at the rate of 100,000 a year and do not teach them that which they need to know.
The challenge is to us, my brethren. We accept these young men — but we are not treating them fairly.
It is to meet conditions such as are pictured in this article that thinking Masons are coming to feel that every Jurisdiction should join with each other to try to answer the inquiry (sometimes spoken, often unuttered,) of these sincere young men who have learned the meaning of "efficiency" and want to do the work which their conscience tells them they ought to do in making Masonry a real part of our civilization.
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THE COIN OF GOD
Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
Not mere existence counts for worth,
We came, we're here as parts of earth,—
As parts of its all-nature plan
We live and act the part of man;
But higher values there must be
Than those of mere nativity.
And if there's value we must pay
The price beyond the right to stay,—
The price above the normal need
Or privilege that we may plead,—
The price that pays for something worth
More than can be derived from earth.
And we must duly share in things
Beyond what just mere living brings;
Our entries on life's balance sheet
Must for the higher realm be meet,
And if thereon there's credits made
'Twill show that we in kind, have paid.
And just as we invest in gold,—
The soulful things of worth untold,—
Just as we pay the price of life
Above its elemental strife,—
Just so much then will worth appear,—
The coin of God, so precious here.
* * *
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.
SPEAKING OF BOOKS
A GREAT MAN once told us that we should not read any book that was not at least a year old. The tendency today, apparently, is to read as many books as possible that are not a year old. Booksellers, publishers and newspapers everywhere seem to vie with each other in announcing the enormous sales of the best sellers. Reading occasionally a best seller is fast convincing us that enormity in sales of best sellers is far from indicating a heightening of the taste for real literature among the American people. We have often heard it said by a dear friend that the many people love the photo play, as it spares them the necessity of exercising their brains — an observation of course in which opinion may differ. Our opinion is that there is a sort of sensuous intoxication bordering too frequently on the sensual that lends attractiveness both to the best seller and the photo play that keeps them first among the things in the affections of the mass of the people. However that may be, the monotonous similarity in what sells for a book, and that which is dramatized on the screen, is criterion enough for us stating that our interest in things bookish is very much along one track. Let us as Masons solemnly ponder this fact that those immoral agencies that are undermining society are intensely aggravated by the realism of the so-called books that are so vociferously handled as best sellers. Divorce, crime, anarchy and the other malignant ills are not going to be mitigated by our present book method of portraying ugly realism.
If this land of ours exists for aught under the starry blue, it stands for homes where the hearth is a sanctuary, it stands for clean men, women and children. It stands for the things of beauty and goodness, justice and benevolent government. "To your knees, O Israel," was a cry among our ancient brethren when the world was out of joint. To our knees must we come too, that arising from them, we might catch a vision of the finer things. We need respite from best sellers and sensational films with their leprous taint. As Masons let us be sure that our shelves are richly stored with those books that have stood the test of time. As Masons and Americans we have yet in our literature those of an older day whose eyes were freer than to behold iniquity, or if they did see it they did not place a halo about it. Hawthorne, Irving and Howells, to read them today, is as partaking of rich draughts that come from deep wells in Elysian fields. We have aped in literature those mad sensualists of lands abroad, and the day of emulation of their great ones seems to have passed. The other day we read George McDonald's "Robert Falconer," a wise and good work. We confess to having found it in some measure laborious, but we arose feeling the stronger for having read it. We read Silas Lapham, too, and came away with a sorrow because so few books of fiction in this land were of its noble quality. In this day of revaluation and adjustment we need as Lincoln needed, in his trying hours, the ministry of books that are as a gift of the gods, and not those cheap effusions of maudlin sentimentalists that delight in naught save those things of dark moral phases.
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OUR HUGUENOT ANCESTORS
"French Blood in America," by Lucian Fosdick. Price $2.50. Published by The Gorham Press, 7-11 West 45th St., New York, N. Y.
A book that has stirred our blood recently has been Lucian Fosdick's "French Blood in America." The heroic qualities of the Huguenot ancestors of those of French blood among us is set forth in admirable fashion. Not a few surprises are in store for the reader as the author essays to set us right about the nationality of the Pilgrims. Many of them were of French extraction we are told, who having sought refuge in England found in due process of time their names to be Anglicized. John Alden and Priscilla, many will be shocked in discovering, were really French Huguenots. For the proof of the pudding of course there is but one avenue, and that in this case, is to read the book.
Of nearer interest and greater importance is the history of those connected with the founding of this great Republic. And of especial interest to Masons will be the fact that many of these were active members of the Craft. The author indeed has been compelled to set aside a chapter under the caption of the French in Freemasonry — a chapter indeed that is wondrous with its names of patriots and suggestions of their prodigious efforts in the Revolutionary period. We would urge its reading by the Craft, if for no other reason — and there are many — than that it is one of the most powerful books that we have been privileged to read of late, that will resolve Masons to be as heroic as those godly Huguenot exemplars, whose tales Fosdick has so powerfully retold in their fight against religious tyranny and oppression.
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A BIOGRAPHY OF GENERAL GRANT'S MILITARY SECRETARY — THE LAST GRAND SACHEM OF THE IROQUOIS
"Life of Ely S. Parker," by A. C. Parker. Published by the Buffalo Historical Society, Buffalo, N. Y.
Through the thoughtfulness of the author, we are in receipt of a splendid biography of General Ely S. Parker, the last Grand Sachem of the Iroquois, and General Grant's Military Secretary.
The work is valuable from a number of angles. Its able setting forth of Indian customs and life, its vivid description of the rise of the General from a position of affluence among his own people to one of great power among the whites; and its brilliant elucidation from an Indian standpoint of the wrongs suffered by the redmen at the hands of the whites, gives it a pertinent historical significance. That both the author and the subject of the book were Masons is amply assured by the frequent allusions to Masonic terminology.
There is a chapter devoted to the General's Masonic career, and an extract from an oration indicates his tender solicitation for the order. "I feel assured," says he, "that when my glass is run out and I shall follow the footsteps of my departed race, Masonic sympathies will cluster around my coffin, and drop in my grave the ever green acacia, sweet emblem of a better meeting." Of vivid interest is the General's effort to get into the army in the early sixties and his refusal by Secretary Seward. He was disqualified on account of his being an Indian, but later he was commissioned and ultimately attached to General Grant's staff. He had known Grant years before, and as our author suggests, rendered him some signal service, when Grant was an obscure Captain in the West.
Tender and touching are the pictures of the General's friendships with prominent whites, and his patriarchal mindfulness for the betterment of his own people has assured the preservation of the name of the last Grand Sachem in the historical annals of our country.
* * *
A BOOK OF PROMISE AND HOPE
"The Hill of Vision," by Frederick Bligh Bond, F.R.I. B.A. Published by Marshall Jones Company, 212 Summer St., Boston, Mass. Price $1.50.
At this time of writing we are entertaining in this country Maurice Materlinck and Sir Oliver Lodge. A contemporary has referred to the one as having an interesting message, and the other as being probably the most popularly known advocate of a belief in Spiritualism. After commenting further on the notables he cites that the solid men of England are interested in Spiritualism but concludes that the movement is not likely to gain much foothold in America. However that may be, solid men in America are from time to time surprising us with declarations in regard to it, and those frequently come from unlooked for quarters. Notably of late, espousing the belief in Spiritualistic phenomena and enhancing the interest in Spiritualism is Dr. Russel H. Conwell, of Philadelphia, the eminent Baptist Divine.
Our interest in the subject has not been generated by any psychic experience — we keep the open mind and we plead as our sole interest the desire to draw the attention of the Craft to such books as are the statements of the conviction of men who will ever merit our respect of their opinions, even though we do not agree with them. Ralph Adams Cram has written the introduction to the Hill of Vision. In it he sets forth his association with the author and the author's effort in resorting to automatic writings to locate the Edgar Chapel among the ruins of Glastonbury. His search, we are told, is successful as a result of the information revealed. Their spirit communicators, it is of interest to know, are scholastic and prophetic. Especially is this demonstrated in the Scripts that pertain to the great war. An admirable case is made out showing that a prediction of the end of the great war did actually transpire at the stated date. The book further contains a powerful analysis of the world forces that clashed, and its suggestions regarding the aftermath are extremely pertinent, and many things prophecied are indeed coming to pass under our very eyes. It is a book of promise and of hope whether arising out of the subliminal consciousness of its author or the communications of those who are among the Cloud of Witnesses. The scholastic and philosophic dissertations will afford a feast for those appreciative ones, into whose hands this little book chances to come.
GOULD'S "CONCISE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY"
"A Concise History of Freemasonry," by Robert Freke Gould. Published by Gale & Polden, Ltd., London, England. Copies may be had through the National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. Price $4.50, postpaid.
Among the great names in Freemasonry ever to be counted with, is that of Robert Freke Gould. His name is always a synonym for Masonic Research. His prodigious labours so nobly embodied in his works are a priceless heritage to the Masonic Craft. Could he but speak to us he probably would say of his works that "this was the best of me for the rest, I have lived just as other men." It is needless for us to dwell further upon the character of his gifts of research as our business here is but to urge upon Masons the indispensibility of having some of his works in their libraries. We often hear it said that not to have read such and such a book is not to be a well read man, and in view of this we could say that not to have read certain Masonic works that are standard, is to find one's self frequently in the class of the limited in Masonic knowledge. To read many books is not the privilege of the many, but to the many a liberal education, we are told, is afforded if they but sit fifteen minutes a day at a five-foot bookshelf, where the best of the world's literature is available. The basic fault today as it pertains to growing wiser through the good use of books, is not our little reading, but the character of the reading that we do.
Even so among us Masons. Our Masonic information has oftentimes been derived from sources that are chimerical or highly speculative. Masonry probably has suffered more from nonsensical, fanciful literature, loaded to bursting with impossibilities, as much as any movement since the dawn of time. We would submit Gould's Concise History as one of the great necessary corrective books of Masonry. As a brief compendium of the forces that in the aggregate make our antecedents, it is in a field by itself. It is not a book that will read like a best seller, it is rather like a profitable mine to which one can go again and again and bring forth treasures. It disillusions us by setting forth to us in dispassionate manner those movements of the past in which something of the Spirit of Freemasonry is seen, but only by a prodigious stretch of the imagination can be identified with the Freemasonry that we know. Cyclopedic in nature it is the admirable handbook necessary to the new initiate coming from the hands of one of the greatest Masonic scholars that will give an estimable appreciation of the greatness of the order to which he belongs. It is a story of the development of the Craft, and its trials and expansion affords it being eminently useful on any Masonic library shelf.
MARCH BOOK LIST
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. $3.75
- 1722 Constitutions (reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids.) Edition limited. $2.00
- "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
- Symbolism of Freemasonry, A. G. Mackey. $3.15
- Masonic Jurisprudence, A. G. Mackey. $2.65
- Masonic Parliamentary Law, A. G. Mackey. $2.15
- Freemasonry in America Prior to 1759, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Massachusetts. $1.35
- 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 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.
* * *
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.
INFORMATION DESIRED ON SCANDINAVIAN MASONRY
I am making a special study of Scandinavian Masonry and would particularly like to know:
- The present status of Norwegian Masonry.
- The exact degrees worked.
- The requirements of candidates as regards religious belief.
- Would a Master Mason from the United States be able to gain admission with the knowledge and means of recognition at his command?
- The influence of Rosicrucianism and Swedenborgianism, and also of the old Druids and Drottars on Norwegian Masonry.
O. Ingmar Oleson, North Dakota.
We have sent such material to Brother Oleson as we have been able to dig out of our Clipping Bureau and library, but this has been somewhat meagre so far as present day conditions in the Scandinavian countries is concerned.
We should like to hear from such members of the Society as may have made late investigations on the foregoing subjects.
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ATTITUDE OF GERMAN GRAND LODGES TOWARD THE MASONRY OF OTHER COUNTRIES
I should like to know on what grounds German Masons severed relations with the Grand Lodges of other nations during the late war.
Henry E. Mielke, California.
Since we have no method of ascertaining the present attitude of the German Grand Lodges toward the Masonry of America and other countries allied against Germany during the war we are publishing a report of a "Special Committee on Fraternal Relations with the Grand Lodges of the German Empire" of the Grand Lodge of Colorado which, we believe, will throw practically as much light on the question as is at this time obtainable. This report follows:
For many years the published Proceedings of this Grand Lodge have set forth lists of Grand Representatives of Grand Lodges with which this Grand Lodge was in fraternal correspondence. These lists include the Grand Lodges of the United States, which exchange representatives; the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland, Ireland and the colonies of the British Empire; Egypt, Cuba, the Philippine Islands, Porto Rico and Valle de Mexico.
These lists included a list of seven lodges under the subs title "Confederation of German Grand Lodges."
The last mentioned list does not appear in the published Proceedings for 1918, for what reason we are not advised, as no action was taken by this Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication of 1918, touching the matter here involved, except the appointment of this committee.
It will be noticed that the German Grand Lodges with which we were in fraternal correspondence are under the jurisdiction of the "Confederation of German Grand Lodges."
Our investigation leads to the conclusion that there is a "German Grand Lodge Diet," and a "Grand Lodge League of Germany" in addition to the "Confederation of German Grand Lodges."
We are not concerned at this time with the number of so-called Grand Lodges in Germany, for the reason that our fraternal correspondence was limited to those Grand Lodges which are listed as members of the "Confederation of German Grand Lodges."
It has been very difficult to secure authentic information as to what action, if any, has been taken by Grand Lodges of the German Empire, or their constituents, upon the matter here under consideration.
The following extracts taken from the March, 1917, Bulletin of the "International Bureau for Masonic Affairs" are presented as showing the state of mind of some German Masons and Masonic writers:
"THE COILING SERPENT OF HATRED"
"The Masonry of Germany alone," writes a German newspaper, "deserves esteem and respect."
"The war," says a German writer, "has taught us that the Masonry of our country must become exclusively national. It must wear a German dress, and have a German character. It must renounce every connection with the World's Masonry."
"The War," says another German journalist, "has destroyed all ideas of Masonic Internationalism. International Masonry has become bankrupt. This opinion is general in all German lodges. Masonic Cosmopalitanism is, therefore, a fiction. German Freemasonry has no need for the 'International,' which has nothing to offer it."
"The so-called English Masonry, which made such a boisterous entrance into the world in 1717, notwithstanding its unimportance, was very different from what we German Masons represent to ourselves as models of virtue. It was a very narrow — and very English — organization which had absolutely no thought of a union of humanity.
"The great extension of the idea to the whole of mankind is the work of International 'Deutschtum'; it is only the German brain and the German heart that can carry the enterprise to a successful end, together with the current of the World's Union. Let us be frank; for us Germans, our ideal dream of Internationalism has come to naught. Instead of being figurants we have become actors. In future we shall also continue to practice the model of Masonic virtues, but we shall not carry them out into the vast world."
"Latin Masonry does not possess a single spark of the Masonic spirit. Our Masonic ideal is truly German. or, in a wider sense — Germanic. English Masonry is nothing but vanity and sport: in it there is no trace of our spiritual comprehension. In France, Masonry works in politics, to which it sacrifices the great part of its activity. International Masonry is dead, and notwithstanding all efforts to the contrary, will remain dead. Let us, therefore, be German Freemasons, and work in our own way."
And lastly, here is the concluson arrived at by a brother: "We German Freemasons will have nothing more to do with international relations, and above all we will have no official relations. Long live German Freemasonry! Down with international fanaticism! It has deceived the world long enough and now deserves to be struck down!" Here, as elsewhere, it is "Germany above all."
The views above expressed may be the extreme views of individual German Masons and German writers, and not fairly presentative of the mental attitude of the great body of the Craft of the German Empire. We sincerely hope that this is the case.
It appears from the best information which we have that during the years 1914, 1915 and 1916, the Grand Lodges of Germany with which we were in fraternal correspondence, i.e., the Grand Lodges of the "Confederation of German Grand Lodges," passed and promulgated edicts severing fraternal relations with all Grand Lodges of enemy countries.
The declaration of war by the United States, April 6, 1917, against the German Empire, automatically placed the Grand Lodges of the United States under the edicts of the Grand Lodges of the "Confederation of German Grand Lodges," passed and promulgated in 1914, 1915 and 1916.
In other words, fraternal relations between the Grand Lodges of the "Confederation of German Grand Lodges" and the Grand Lodge of Colorado are interdicted by the action of said German Grand Lodges above set forth.
We are of the opinion that fraternal relations were thus severed with the German Grand Lodges without the necessity of any retaliatory action on our part, and we recommend that they be so considered and that all necessary proceedings as to the withdrawal of commissions, etc., be taken by the proper officers of this Grand Lodge.
* * *
The fifty-four landmarks of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, published in the January issue of THE BUILDER, opens up a new phase of Masonic penalizing in the following:
"52. The only penalties known to Masonry are FINES, reprimand, suspension for a definite period. and expulsion."
I have been a Mason for thirty years, and never before even heard of such a penalty as a fine warranted by Masonic law.
Is there any authentic record of any lodge, or Grand Lodge, having fined a Mason? If so, for what offense? and to what purpose was the fine applied?
This Landmark, to me, is as curious as are some of the allegations contained in the "old Constitutions," and I am interested to learn further of "Masonic fines."
Gene T. Skinkle, Illinois
(Will some of our Kentucky brethren give us a few concrete examples? — Editor.)
* * *
WHAT WOULD BE THE STATUS OF FREEMASONRY UNDER "SINN FEIN" GOVERNMENT IN IRELAND?
In this community, and I presume where conditions are thought to be favorable all over the country, we are about to witness the beginning of a "drive" to place the bonds of the "Irish Republic." There is a phase of this situation to which I have as yet seen no reference made, and which I believe is of vital concern to American Masons. What would be the status of the Grand Lodge of Ireland under such a government as is proposed for Ireland by Mr. de Valera and his followers? I have seen no contradictions to the statements that the Sinn Fein movement has the hearty approval and assistance of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland (and for that matter, in this country also) and on the other hand there is considerable evidence to support such statements. This being so, is there any reason to suppose that the Grand Lodge of Ireland would meet with any more favorable treatment than has been received by Freemasons in Austria, Portugal, and in some of the South American countries where clerical influence has controlled the government?
I do not see how American Freemasons can remain indifferent to the possible fate of a Grand Lodge of such ancient and honorable traditions, and one which has been bound by close ties of affiliation to the Grand Lodges of the United States. I would be glad to have your comment on this matter.
Francis H. Coffin, Pennsylvania.
(This communication was received after the February number of THE BUILDER containing the article by Brother Trimble on "The Effect of Home Rule on Freemasonry in Ireland" had gone to press. — Editor.)
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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A BETTER KNOWLEDGE OF MASONRY
The field of Masonic research is so vast that there is abundant room for many more prospectors than are at present engaged in exploring the rich veins of history, legend and tradition.
Furthermore we are fortunate in having THE BUILDER to act as both promoter and superintendent of this work, furnishing moreover a storehouse for whatever material of value is obtained from the same. The quest is alluring and the assured return to the seeker is well worth the labor involved.
For example, in studying the religion of the ancient Egyptians, one learns of their extensive use of amulets and further search reveals the fact that among these talismans against evil are found
"the Square, which because of its phonetic value NEH, (protection,)
assured divine protection to the soul. Also interpreted as an admonition 'to act rightly to act justly.'
"The level, SEKHEKH, emblematical of the moderation and justice which were hoped for on behalf of the dead."
Other symbols and signs are met with in the temples and ruins of buildings excavated in Yucatan, Mexico, among the Incas of Peru, and in the Caroline Islands.
The sources are unlimited. The opportunity is here. Not to take advantage of it is to miss a great deal in Masonry.
Curtis G. Culin, New Jersey.
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THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES
Readers of THE BUILDER and the editors were indeed fortunate in their opportunity to recently enjoy the articles by Brother Dudley Wright on the above subject. Through his scholarship we received a comprehensive outline of a once powerful fraternity, which seems to have been resurrected, or reincarnated, in the Freemasonry of today.
A few gleanings may perhaps be permitted to one who has always been attracted by Eleusis and all the name connotes, and I offer them in the hope that others may find them useful.
The name itself means "the Place of the Coming," as it marked the spot on the Attic coast where the distracted mother first landed when she had started on her long search for the stolen Prosperine. The Triptolemus mentioned in the earlier part of the story appears to have been rather a method of cultivation than a person, although he is used to represent mankind as a recipient of instruction in agriculture from Ceres.
The local inhabitants marked the anniversary of this event by a festival and ceremony, which naturally grew more elaborate as time passed. When they were finally conquered by the Athenians in one of the fratricidal wars which so long disturbed ancient Hellas, the festival was taken over with other loot by the victors and adopted into their own system of rites, as has happened into so many other customs related to man's spiritual necessities.
Otherwise Eleusis was an obscure little town, having no other reason for its importance in classical history, even as Oberammergau in Bavaria has a world-wide fame for the Passion Play conducted decennially by its pious townsfolk, but that very respect giving valuable evidence of the strong religious instinct inherent in all sorts and conditions of men, which forces them to raise objects of worship and build revered legends wherever they are gathered together.
As regards the nature of these observances, it is not wise to take the statements of the Church Fathers without a few grains of salt, for they were, almost all of them, notoriously partisan in matters of system; and there is enough other evidence without going to that which is so clearly prejudiced. There is also the analogy of our own lodges today, for those who visit much know that some delight in being "noise factories," others are not particular as to any perfection of word rendering in their work so long as the sense is adequately conveyed, and others believe in a due decorum and dignity both ceremonial and social. So too must the ancient hierophants and their subordinates have differed during the long centuries in which Eleusis prospered, and all we have today is the scattered impressions of those whose accounts have survived the tooth of time and the torch of the invader.
So, while it is true that Sophocles in his "Antigone" speaks of Bacchus as "Thou who reignest in the arms of the goddess of Eleusis" (Ceres), yet we are justified in believing that the two modes of celebration were widely different in their general character. The Bacchanals sought liberation from the flesh and union with their God by exhausting sense impressions of the most violent type. We have borrowed a word from them to convey just such an idea in "orgies," but this is only another form of an older Greek word "ergo" or "ergon" which Homer uses to indicate both the hard labors of war and the equal toil of peace.
The rites of Eleusis, on the contrary, sought to lead their votaries by an inward path to the same goal. Certainly they had a spectacular element, for like our Freemasonry of today they appealed to and received almost all classes of citizens, those who take their obligations seriously and those who regard them as only a fanciful trimming to the social privileges and prestige of membership. Still, barriers existed so that homicides and others, and those whom we would call "mediums" were not admitted; even the autocratic Nero being unable to force his way in, as Suetonius tells us.
But apart from all this, the chief value for us lies, I think, in the picture of our ancient brethren trying to find their way to the Great Architect in His Temple hidden so securely from the flippant, yet right next to every honest seeker. The ceremonies portrayed the drama of a great experience in the evolution of every human soul. For over eighteen hundred years they directed the minds of their participants to almost all that is good in modern Christianity, such as the life after death, the due rewards of virtue and iniquity, and the immanence of Divinity; only the vicarious atonement was lacking, and that idea — which had not then been taught — is more a concession to human frailty than a stirring of the will to meet bravely the trials of life, to stand as victor by resolution of the Warrior fighting within each one of us.
By the end of the fourth century A.D. the Mysteries of Eleusis had run their race and ended their usefulness. Their physical death may be said to date from the invasion of Alaric and his Goths in A.D. 396 but they had been solemnly renounced by the emperor Theodosius some two years earlier. Unlike the Collegia Fabrorum they had no Comacine Masters to lift the torch of knowledge from their failing hands and preserve it through the Dark Ages of mediaeval ignorance which eclipsed the glories of Greece, Rome, and Byzantium while retaining their cruelties. The shrines of Eleusis are now a pasture for goats and its sunny hillsides see only the perennial mystery of wooing as conducted by a humble peasantry. Legends remain in plenty embodied in the local folklore, even as the heroic figures of forgotten years reappear in the twilight tales of many another fallen race. But of outer physical relics there are now none save the timeworn statue of Ceres, alone and unworshipped, a mark for curious eyes, in the quiet hall of the Library of Cambridge University. Thus has history again written "Ichabod."
In case any reader of THE BUILDER would like to follow up this avenue of research, I append some sources of information that should be useful:
Grote's History of Greece, Vol. 1.
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 73, 1853.
Contemporary Review, Vols. 37 and 38, 1880.
These contain Lenormant's encyclopedic articles on the Eleusinian Mysteries.
American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. 26, 1901, an article by Daniel Quinn.
"Echoes of the Eleusinian Mysteries in modern Greek folklore," by G. F. Abbott in "The 19th Century," Vol. 63,1908.
"Greek Mysteries and the Gospel Narrative," by Slade Butler, in "The 19th Century," Vols. 57 and 60, 1905-6.
N.W.J. Hayden, Ontario.
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FREEMASONRY IN THE UNITED STATES, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, IRELAND, AUSTRALIA AND CANADA
COMPILED IN DECEMBER, 1919
Bro. John P. Keys. Pennsylvania
|District of Columbia||1793||1810||30||11,857|
|New South Wales||1820||1888||287||25,980|
|Prince Edward Isl'd||1797||1875||16||960|