A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 6 No. 12 – December 1920
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia
GENERAL MORDECAI GIST
MORDECAI GIST was born in Baltimore on the twenty-second of February, 1742, the anniversary of the birthday of Washington. His ancestors were wealthy and distinguished people whose names are often found in the annals of the French and Indian wars.
Mordecai Gist was educated for an Episcopal clergyman, but on the outbreak of the War of the Revolution he joined the first company recruited in Maryland, and became its Captain.
In 1776 he was promoted to Major of a Maryland Battalion which was prominent in the battle of Long Island. He saw considerable service in the North, and was promoted to Brigadier General and commanded the Second Brigade of Maryland soldiers. In 1779 he was transferred to the South, and at the Battle of Camden, S.C., where De Kalb lost his life in 1780, he was conspicuous for valor and for splendid generalship.
He was then assigned to recruiting and securing supplies and clothing for the Army, and was eminently successful in that trying time. This duty completed, he returned to the field and took part in the expulsion of the enemy from the Southern States, and was present at the siege and capture of Yorktown. He was, at that time, at the head of a Light Corps and rendered eminently effective service at that critical period of the war. He was accorded the credit of saving the day by a gallant charge in the Battle of Combahee.
When the war had ended, General Gist purchased a plantation near Charleston, S.C., where he lived during the remainder of his life. He was buried in the Church Yard of Old Saint Michaels Church (Episcopal), and the memorial shown in the frontispiece was placed over his grave by the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
General Gist was the first Vice President of the Maryland Society of the Cincinnati, which was instituted by General Knox at the close of the war. His Masonic record is given in the Annual Report of the Grand Lodge of Maryland for 1911. It reads:
"On the twenty-seventh of April, 1780, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania granted a charter for Army Lodge No. 27 to the Masons of the Maryland Line in the Revolution. Its officers were General Mordecai Gist, Worshipful Master; Colonel Otho Holland Williams, Senior Warden, and Major Archibald Anderson, Junior Warden...."
The writer would like to invite attention to the neglect of our distinguished dead, and to the fact that the young, and still small Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is doing the work of erecting memorials which we Masons should have done long ago.
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SYNOPSIS OF THE FINAL REPORT OF THE MASONIC OVERSEAS MISSION
Bro. Townsend Scudder, P.G.M., New York
To the Masonic Grand Jurisdictions of the United States participating in the efforts to secure governmental permission for the Masonic Overseas Mission to engage in War Relief service overseas:
THE MISSION which you dispatched in January, 1919, to Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas begs leave to submit the following report:
A report in writing of the negotiations of the Mission with the United States Government for passports, bearing date December 31, 1918, has heretofore been made. Thereafter, an opportunity having been presented for affiliation with the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. as a Masonic Unit, and, having been accepted, pursuant, in part to the suggestion of the President and of Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick that we ally ourselves "with a recognized relief agency," arrangements were perfected, so far as they could be, and passports applied for through the Y.M.C.A. Further difficulty in obtaining passports was then experienced, which was solved, however, by a visit to Washington, and passports were actually issued and delivered to us on the 21st day of January, 1919. We immediately sought transportation by the first available steamer. The long delay goaded us to get to our destination at the earliest possible moment, and learning that the "Aquitania" of the Cunard Line was to sail from Halifax February 1, still a troopship in the service of the British Admiralty but carrying passengers on that voyage, we succeeded in securing passage on that steamer and left New York January 30 for Halifax by rail. Each member of the Mission carried hand luggage and in addition each had a small service trunk; we took along, also, a large trunk containing stationery, typewriter and supplies. On arriving in Boston one of the party accompanied the trunks crosstown in an express wagon to safeguard their arrival at the North Station, and saw them aboard the seven o'clock train for Halifax on the Boston & Maine Railroad. This being accomplished we were reasonably confident that our luggage would be duly delivered at our destination because transported on the same train with ourselves, but on arriving at Halifax after midnight February 1, we were dismayed to find that but two of the six trunks were on the train, the others, including the large trunk referred to, having been lost somehow en route. The steamer was due to sail 9 A. M., and the next train to arrive from St. John which could bring the trunks was scheduled to arrive at the same hour. The agent of the line, to whom we appealed, was most sympathetic and promised to do all that he could for us but feared the worst since the ship, being still a troopship, was under the control of the Government, and he doubted that her sailing could be delayed.
Pending the results of his efforts we had determined that two of the Mission whose trunks had not arrived should remain ashore and, in the event of their failure to arrive in time to sail, that they should return to New York, and thence sail on the next available steamer.
However, by great good fortune and the kind offices of the agent, Mr. Barrow, the steamer's sailing was delayed an hour and a half. Three of us went aboard, leaving the other two ashore, and well within the time appointed they joined us on board with all our property, and thus we sailed, according to plan, with Mission and impedimenta intact.
The ship was dingy and rusty, with partitions removed and furnishings very scanty; she had not been overhauled for months. All the ports were blackened to prevent lights being seen without. The passenger list was small and varied, but our accommodations, in the circumstances, comfortable. We were booked to land at Liverpool, but, for reasons of state, the ship was diverted to Glasgow, where we arrived at noon of Friday, February 7, and that evening left by rail for London, having previously wired for accommodations. Labor in both Scotland and England at the time of our arrival was in a turmoil, and a railway strike was on effecting the London tubes. We had reason to apprehend an extension of the disorder, and, therefore, sought to make all haste to push forward toward our destination.
Arriving in London on the morning of February 8, we drove to the hotel to find it crowded and no accommodations awaiting us. London was overcrowded; the many hotels, diverted to Government purposes, had greatly depleted available room for visitors. We were fortunate, however, in finding shelter at The Thackeray in Great Russell Street, where we were comfortably established during our stay, if one can do without heat, warm baths, and hot water, difficult to get anywhere in those times.
We thought it advisable, while in London, to learn of the activities of the Grand Lodge of England in war work and service; also to lay before those in authority in that Grand Lodge the hopes and purposes of the Masonic Service Association of the United States, recently projected, and other matters of importance connected with our Mission. One of our members having been taken ill, the days of his convalescence were profitably employed in conferences with Sir Alfred Robbins, P. Colville Smith and other Grand Lodge Officers, and in inspecting Masonic Relief Service, and studying the activities of the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. in and about London, to the end that we should be somewhat familiar with the method of operating "Y" huts and the relation of that service to the men when we should undertake such work ourselves, in accordance with the terms of the arrangement which we had made with the "Y" before leaving New York. We had engaged to take over and operate such hut or huts as might, in a conference at Paris between the "Y" authorities there and the War Department, be mutually deemed advisable, the same to be maintained as "Y" enterprises for all men in the service, but designated by an appropriate tablet as Masonically supported. It was further understood that all purely Masonic service should be outside such quarters. This arrangement, it was calculated, would afford us a maximum of liberty and freedom of action and, at the same time, of economy of expense and organization in the matter of movement throughout the A.E.F.
Our interviews in London were highly satisfactory, and the cordial reception which we had at the hands of our English brethren will long and pleasantly be remembered. We there had the additional privilege of attending the consecration of the Woodford Lodge in East London by a ceremonial most impressive and in many particulars unfamiliar. Our reception at the dinner following the consecration, attended by a large body of average English Freemasons — business men of the City of London — and the hearty response to our brief remarks, was wonderfully stimulating.
We had learned that Paris was not less congested than London and therefore endeavored to make sure of accommodations when we should arrive there. The work in London being finished, and arrangements to travel to Paris via Folkestone-Boulogne having been effected through the Movement Order Department of the "Y" (a very difficult route over which to obtain permits to travel in war times, we found), we left London February 15, and arrived in Paris the same evening, in a steady downpour of rain. London had been intensely cold and disagreeable, but dry. Heat in hotels and public buildings was unusual and deficient, and the discomfort of living conditions intense. Food was expensive and meagre, and we were assured that food, at least, would be more abundant, and less expensive, in Paris. We were disillusioned. Fortunate to a degree in being received at the hotel with which we had communicated (an old French establishment familiar to one of the Mission) we found Paris not less uncomfortable than London, no heat, little food, higher prices, great congestion, and continuous, dreary daily rain.
We promptly sought opportunity with the "Y" authorities to discuss our business, and to effect plans for the work which we had projected, and, though we were met with cordiality by the officers of that institution, the very conditions under which work was done in Paris and the circumstances of the war, made progress agonizingly slow. For nearly four weeks we worried along, making little headway and not knowing whether we should be able to pursue our work and perform the service which we had hoped to render, or should have to fold our tents and return home.
That time of uncertainty was by no mean wasted; it was devoted to the full, and every minute of it, to canvassing the Masonic situation in the A.E.F., and planning and arranging ways and means for undertaking and pursuing our work, as soon as a foothold should be established.
We had carried with us from home a large number of letters from Masons with the A.E.F., inquiring about Masonic activity, existent or projected. Responses to these letters were prepared on the steamer, and mailed on our arrival at Glasgow. Replies to our letters, which had announced our expected arrival in France about February 15, and given an address there, began to arrive before the end of February, and thus we started a chain of active correspondence.
We had understood, before leaving home, that a considerable proportion of the Secretaries in the service of the "Y" were Masons, but observation, contact, and the records which were subsequently opened to us, led us to believe that not less than 70 per cent. of the "Y" Secretaries were members of the Craft. We had been in correspondence with a Masonic organization in the "Y." composed of "Y" Secretaries, called the Trowel and Triangle Club, which had existed for some months, and whose main purpose seemed to be an occasional dining together, and the entertaining of persons of interest or distinction. It had no other apparent activity; but we saw in it a means, effectively and economically, to extend our influence, and by combining effort, to reach and serve the members of the Fraternity in the service.
Its officers and members we found to be intelligent, zealous, keenly alive Freemasons, some of them hailing from our own State. We promptly got in intimate contact with these brethren, told them the story of our efforts to get Overseas and to serve, all which stimulated in them prompt sympathy and desire to cooperate. This resulted, gradually, in the formation of a plan for the reorganization of that Club, ramifying, as it did, throughout the entire A.E.F., and comprising, in its membership, a very large number of the Secretaries at training camps, leave areas and with various units of the army all over France and in Germany, and the utilization of the Club, and, through it, of the Secretaries, members of it, throughout the A.E.F., as the connecting link between Masonic life in the A.E.F. and the Mission, with its headquarters in Paris. Through the Trowel and Triangle Club, to membership in the Board of Governors of which one of the members of the Mission was elected, and with all of whose administration the Mission was intimately in touch, we advertised promptly for the names and addresses and the officers of all Masonic Clubs or other organizations in the A.E.F., with the result that, within approximately two weeks, we were in receipt of a large volume of mail and in close touch with the Masonic pulse of the Forces, and equipped with intimate and reliable information regarding most, or all, of the Masonic Club life, which then existed, and some of which had become dormant or extinct by reason of the departure or impending departure for home of the units with which connected. Conspicuous among our co-laborers in this service were Sidney Morse, in charge of the Records Bureau of the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A.. John Garland Pollard of the Board of Discipline, Cass Connaway, Chief Counsel, William L. Hartman of Denver, Colorado, and J. M. Crouch of West Virginia, in charge of Paris Warehouse.
On March 11, 1919, the "Y" offered us the hut known as the "Officers and Men's Club," 31 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, which we immediately accepted. The offer contemplated our taking it over and operating it as a "Y" hut, bearing all expense thereof. Investigation proved it to be the original headquarters of the "Y," a palace, charmingly located, and capable, we thought, of great development. It was serving, at the time, approximately 110 officers and men, some of whom — about 25 — were accommodated with rooms, and all with luncheon and dinner at prices materially below the prevailing prices of similar accommodations. The use of the building for months had, of course, resulted in deterioration and the existence, we thought, of the restaurant, led to conditions of untidiness which were better avoided. We found, also, that the restaurant was a serious expense, all out of proportion, we thought, to the service rendered. The method of its management seemed calculated to pamper a few, instead of to serve many, and we concluded promptly to eliminate the restaurant and to develop the usefulness of the institution to the greatest possible extent. On March 14th, letters were exchanged covering the agreement to take that property over, which we were fortunate in arranging not to involve liability on our part for damage to property (a familiar invariable consequence of the relation of landlord and tenant in France), and that we should be at liberty to abandon the enterprise at any time on thirty days' notice.
The figures of its operation for a year previous, which were furnished us, showed an annual loss or excess of outgo over income of approximately $30,000. The management of this enterprise we had no hesitation in undertaking, in view, not only of the ditty, as we conceived it, of keeping our bargain, but the necessity, as we found it — or then saw it — of our having a definite status with the "Y" in the A.E.F., in order to maintain our position and render any kind of service, Masonic or otherwise, to the men with the colors.
Fortune, however, was kind. It chanced that certain devoted women had been interested in the conduct of that hut from its inception and the thought of it being taken out of their control distressed them. We were asked, first, to reconsider our proposal to abandon the restaurant, to which we consented, temporarily. The agreement covering its operation by the Mission was modified at our instance, by providing that we should conduct it in any case from April 1st until June 30 (the end of a rent period; at which time the tenant, under the lease, would have the right to abandon), with the privilege, however, of abandoning it then on thirty days' notice to the "Y" and, if continued thereafter by us at its instance, with the privilege of abandoning it at any time during that continuance, on thirty days' notice.
Notwithstanding, the movement in "Y" circles to withdraw the offer of the hut progressed, without interference on our part. Awaiting the final decision we pursued our activities intensively in every direction.
The hut was not turned over to us, and we incurred no expense in connection therewith, but by mutual consent we were relieved from the duty of carrying on operations of that character or of devoting our time or energy to such activities. Gradually we drifted into a service of a purely Masonic character, and no question was raised or exists as between any party to the original agreement, regarding the soundness of our position, or the propriety of our conduct.
Meanwhile, we undertook also, the reorganization of the local Masonic Club in Paris, and the placing of it in a position of usefulness. This involved further advertising for local Masons, particularly among the officers stationed in or near Paris and resulted, most happily, in procuring the consent of Col. H. H. Whitney, Chief of Staff of the Paris Division, to act as President, and Major Otto H. Lee, Assistant Judge Advocate, and Capt. Keely, Q.M.C., as Governors, thus assuring to the Club not only the patronage of officers, which was essential to its usefulness, but also their keen interest in its welfare, with the result that its sessions were greatly popularized.
Brother J. M. Crouch was actively interested in the Trowel and Triangle Club, and one of its Governors. He was also an intimate friend of Judge George Fleming Moore and deeply interested in his enterprise at 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III. It was natural that Brother Crouch, whose friendly interest in the activities of the Mission was early manifested, should suggest the propriety of the Trowel and Triangle Club Governors holding their meetings, and the members of the Overseas Masonic Club their sessions, in the quarters at 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III, and as spontaneously and in the same kindly spirit as the suggestion was made, it was accepted. The Mission had maintained its headquarters at the Hotel Peiffer, 6 Passage de la Madeleine. It had been planned to transfer headquarters to the hut at 31 Avenue Montaigne, but late in March Brother Charles W. Connery, the manager of the American Masonic Headquarters, 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III, offered to the Mission the use as offices, without charge, of the entresol rooms in that building, and to decorate them for that purpose. The offer was gratefully accepted and our quarters appropriately furnished by the Mission, and these quarters were from early April, 1919, used by the Mission as a convenient place to meet Masons seeking information and advice, relief and Masonic service.
This cooperation between the Mission and Brother Connery was most genuine and comfortable, and reacted promptly in a marked increase in the attendance of visitors at the building, 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III, and the extension of its usefulness. It grew to be in fact as well as in name the American Masonic Headquarters in Paris and France.
Continuously, members of the Mission were in the field. The occupied territory at Coblenz and its neighborhood was visited, as well also the leave areas, General Headquarters at Chaumont and its neighborhood, the seaports — Marseille, Bordeaux, St. Nazaire, Brest and Le Havre — and the intervening country in central France, where most of our forces were camped or billeted. The time of the members of the Mission was devoted to visiting Clubs and addressing the men, encouraging the formation of Clubs where none existed, furnishing Masonic information to interested inquirers, and generally rendering all and any assistance to Freemasons, which was within our power to render. We early established pleasant relations with Major W. S. Solomon, 417th Telegraph Battalion, Signal Corps, stationed in Coblenz, who hails from Rhode Island, and who had undertaken the reorganization of the Third Army Masonic Club at Coblenz. At the time we came in touch with him, the membership of that Club was about 500. We aided him in every way in our power, and he was, by great fortune, aided also by the presence and active cooperation of two "Y" Secretaries in his neighborhood, Past Grand Master Davis of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, and Deputy Grand Master Collins of the same jurisdiction, with both of whom we had the most delightful and profitable relations. Before we left, the membership of that Club was about 2,000, and included two sub-Clubs, one made up of Ohioans, and the other of New Yorkers, each of which numbered over 125.
Soon after the arrival of the Mission in France there commenced a regular system of granting leave to soldiers to visit Paris for a period of three days, and approximately 300 — 900 men daily arrived in Paris on leave. Shortly thereafter the Government inaugurated an educational program, the purpose of which was to occupy usefully the men awaiting the determination to evacuate France, and their transportation home, and considerable numbers of men were assigned to the University of Paris, to the Sorbonne, and other Paris and French educational institutions, and many were assigned also to educational institutions in England. The plan involved a change in their pay system and a transfer to a different paymaster, and commutation of housing and rations amounting to the equivalent, with their pay, of approximately $3 per day, not, however, payable in advance.
The Mission found opportunity for most useful service in directing visiting doughboys to places of interest, hotels, amusement places, etc., in Paris, and furnishing general information, for which at the time no adequate provision had been made.
Soon, the problem of loaning funds to officers and soldiers, members of the Craft, was sharply presented. The cost of living in Paris was excessive, and they were in many instances short of funds, expecting pay and with funds at home which they were unable to avail of. At one time the American Red Cross had served in the matter of cashing checks. The Y.M.C.A. had rendered similar service, but both had been discontinued. In this situation the Mission realized that both an opportunity and a duty were presented, and endeavoring to exercise discretion and discrimination, during its entire stay in France, made loans, cashed checks, made advances and assisted financially many members of the Fraternity engaged in the service. That this service was appreciated by the beneficiaries thereof goes without saying, and the loans were in most cases repaid promptly. But few thereof are outstanding.
About the time of the arrival of the Mission in France the withdrawal of our troops from the front, and from billets, at the instance of the French Government, had begun, and thereafter rapidly progressed. The expansion of Le Mans as a concentration district for our troops thus withdrawn and prior to their dispatch to the seaboard for embarkation for home, was undertaken, and a capacity of 350,000 men was planned. Early in March Brothers Moore, Lay and Goodrich were commissioned to visit the Le Mans area after a conference at Paris with Brother Harry B. Mook, Regional Financial Director of the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. in that area, and we determined to aid and sustain an American Masonic Club in that district. This Club was established with Bro. Harry B. Mook as President, occupying the building at 45 Rue Chanzy, the rent of which the Mission paid, and its membership approximated 900, besides which it served a very large number of men, visitors to that area, or temporarily therein.
On March 10th, Brother Goodrich visited Lyons to inspect that field from a standpoint of Masonic service, and from there proceeded to Dijon, returning to Paris.
On March 11th, Brothers Moore and Lay visited Marseille, attended the weekly meeting of the American E.F. Masonic Club, which met in the temple of the lodges of the Grand Orient at 24 Rue Piscatoris, and enjoyed fraternal intercourse with both American and French brethren. They proceeded on March 13th to Nice, an important leave area, where the situation was canvassed with Bro. James G. Gipe, Y.M.C.A. Secretary, and arrangements made to foster a Masonic Club in that area, and to guarantee its rent and necessary expenses. From there they returned to Paris.
On March 17th Brother Prime visited Chaumont, investigated conditions in that area, including the former aviation base at La Trecey; also Neuchateau; and addressed Goodfellowship Masonic Club presided over by Capt. A. C. Howard.
On March 22, Bro. Lay visited Saumur, and attended a banquet held at the Budan Hotel by Villebernia Masonic Club, located at Camp Strathcona and Mt. Royal, a few miles outside Saumur, 68 members of the Fraternity were present. The members of the Club for the most part were officers and men from the First Company, 14th Grand Division, and the 31st Engineers. The camp had been a permanent one, with little change in its personnel since June, 1918. They were engaged in the operation of the railroads in connection with the S.O.S.
On March 24th, Bro. Lay visited Tours, attended a meeting of the Acacia Club with Col. George E. Newell of Virginia in the chair, the meeting of which was held in the Y.M.C.A. Headquarters.
On March 25th, Brother Goodrich visited Chaumont; also Neuchateau, and neighborhood, with a view to ascertaining what service, if any, the Mission could perform in that area.
On March 26th, Brother Lay visited Sunset Overseas Club at St. Aignan, at which camp approximately 10,000 men were quartered, and addressed over 250 men.
On March 26th, Brother Moore visited Coblenz and the occupied territory, and attended a dinner of the N. Y. Club on March 28th, and of the Third Army Club on March 31st. He also visited the Masonic Club at Mayen, and generally inspected the district.
On March 27th, Brother Lay proceeded to Bourges, and investigated with members of the Fraternity the desirability of establishing a Club at that point.
On March 28th, he attended a meeting in the Central Records office of Bourges, and they then decided to form a Club which the Mission undertook to support. There were no social service attractions at that city, except a K. of C. hut.
On March 28th, he went from Bourges to Marmagne near Mehun, a camp of 5,000 men. Espoir Masonic Club meets on Wednesday nights, using the Y.M.C.A. hut, and performing an important service.
On March 29th, the Masons in Camp at Bourges held a banquet at the City Prefecture with Lieut. Col. Smith presiding, which Brother Lay attended.
On March 31st, he proceeded to Gievres, the great warehouse camp of central France, which joins and coordinates with the air station at Pruniers, better known as Romorantin, and attended the East sub-Post Masonic Club meeting. It had a membership of over 400 men and used a hut furnished by the Camp Commandant in the officers' barracks.
On April 1st, he visited the Square and Compass Club at Gievres, which met in the Jewish Welfare Hut. 200 men were present. He was also able, through the "Y" Secretary, to arrange with the Commanding Officer for a hut for the use of the Club. He there met Bro. Charles H. Huntley, a "Y" Secretary, who was an active worker, and the originator, with Brother Porter, of the S.O.L., a very popular so-called side degree, returning thence to Paris.
On April 5th, Brother Prime visited Bordeaux, accompanied by Brother James D. Collins, Deputy Grand Master of Rhode Island, who was planning to embark for home from Bordeaux, and with him visited Camp De Souge, 15 miles out of Bordeaux, and there conferred with officers, members of the Fraternity, regarding the Masonic situation, and the possible service to be rendered by the Mission. They also met a delegation from the Camp De Souge Masonic Club at Camp De Souge who were planning to visit Liberation Lodge at Bordeaux (holding obedience to the Grand Loge National) that afternoon, and conferred with Major Gilbert in charge of the hospital at that point. Returning to Bordeaux with Brother Collins, he attended a session of Liberation Lodge in the Masonic Temple occupied by the Loge Anglais, founded in 1734, under dispensation by the Grand Lodge of England, and at various times thereafter holding obedience to the Grand Orient, or the Grand Lodge of England, but now holding obedience to the Grand Loge National, and being one of the constituent lodges which formed that Grand Body in the autumn of 1913. He took part in conferring the Masonic degrees on four members of the A. E. F. in the afternoon, and on eight in the evening. He also conferred with Capt. John D. Hatch and associates regarding the establishment of a Masonic Club in Bordeaux, which was shortly thereafter established with the zealous aid and support of Bro. Collins.
Proceeding on April 6th to Nimes he investigated that leave area from a Masonic point of view, and determined that it would close so shortly thereafter as to require no service from the Mission. Proceeding to Marseille that afternoon, he conferred with Bros. Charles M. Conant, Captain A. C. Gilbert and other brethren regarding the American Masonic Club at Marseille. The following day he attended a meeting of the American Masonic Club at Marseille held in conjunction with Heather Hill Masonic Club of the 13th Engineers (which was about to return home) at the Macaroni Factory in Camp Covington outside Marseille, and addressed about 400 brethren. Proceeding that night to Beaune by way of Lyons, he arrived there on April 11th, conferred with Bro. Mark E. Penney regarding the needs of that Camp, of approximately 14,000 men, and visited the A. E. F. University, an extensive establishment which had taken over a base hospital of many buildings on a plateau overlooking the Rhone, situated about four kilometres outside Beaune, and that evening attended a meeting of the newly organized Masonic Club, and addressed about 200 members, leaving at midnight for Paris.
On April 9th Bros. Moore, Lay and Goodrich visited Le Mans, and addressed large gatherings of Brethren, besides performing other important Masonic work.
On April 14th Bro. Lay visited Nevers and the American Masonic Club at that place. He learned that the Club had raised a fund of over 5,000 francs for the placing of art glass windows in the Protestant Chapel at Nevers as a memorial to the American Masons in the A. E. F., and attended the regular meeting of the Club on April 15th. He proceeded to Bourges again on April 16th in connection with the Club at that point, and arranged for quarters to accommodate them.
On April 16th, he again visited Espoir Club at Camp Marmagne.
On the 17th, he proceeded to Gievres, and visited the Trowel Club which meets in the Y.M.C.A. hut.
On the 18th, he visited the Square and Compass Club at Pruniers, where arrangements were made to decorate the graves of Masons on Easter Sunday, and he attended the memorial service.
On April 19th, he visited Issoudun, and conferred with the officers of the Fellowcraft Club of Montierchaume Camp near Chateauroux, and conferred also with Lieut. Poole, Secretary of Base Hospital No. 63, organized in 1913 at Caen, and finally located at Chateauroux. He also met representatives from four Clubs at Gievres, and Romorantin, regarding Masonic work at Romorantin.
On April 20th, Easter Sunday, he attended the decoration of graves in the American Cemetery at Gievres by the Trowel Club. 100 men marched to the Cemetery. Six graves of Masons were decorated and photographs taken to be sent home. That afternoon he attended a banquet of the Square and Compass Club at Romorantin, with 175 men present, and in the evening attended Masonic Memorial Services under the auspices of the Trowel Club in the main auditorium hut of the "Y," with 800 men present, and Red Cross and Y.W.C.A. women present by special invitation.
On April 16th, Brother Moore of the Mission was compelled to return to New York by reason of important business matters. He left regretfully, after serving faithfully the entire period for which he generously had volunteered.
From the time of his arrival in France until April 16th the Chairman of the Mission was constantly in Paris in charge of the affairs of the Mission and daily occupied with correspondence, conferences, assisting brethren, and generally superintending the Mission's affairs. Excepting as indicated in the above analysis of activities, Brother Prime also was occupied assisting the Chairman, and attending to correspondence. The first few months the Mission employed no Clerk, its voluminous correspondence being attended to by the members.
On April 16th, the Chairman departed for Switzerland on an important mission, arriving again in Paris on April 23rd.
In his absence Brothers Goodrich and Prime were constantly in Paris.
The Grand Master of New York had cabled the Chairman requesting him to return in time for Grand Lodge, which was to sit May 6th, and great difficulty was experienced in arranging transportation home. However, accommodations were secured for the Chairman and Brother Prime, who left Paris on April 26th, and Havre the same day, arriving in New York May 5th, the day before the Grand Lodge convened. Brothers Goodrich and Lay remained in charge. On the voyage home, we volunteered as Troop Secretaries, and served 252 casuals and 17 officers.
On May 1st all passes for American soldiers to be in Paris were withdrawn, and all Americans in uniform were ordered to remain off the streets. Not a wheel turned in Paris. All cars, taxicabs, subways, and all means of transportation remained idle. All stores, restaurants, and places of business were closed. Troops were brought into Paris, and thoroughfares leading to central points were closely guarded in anticipation of labor disturbances.
Provision was made at the headquarters at 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III from possible danger to American women in Paris, particularly Red Cross and Y.W.C.A. women, for whom cots and blankets were provided. A large number of American women gathered there
On May 3rd, Brother Lay proceeded to the A. E. F. University at Beaune.
On May 6th, he proceeded to St. Nazaire, and attended a meeting of Masonic Club No. 1 which was organized July 8, 1918.
On the following day he visited the Montoir Masonic Club near St. Nazaire, and Base Hospital No. 1.
At that time two other Masonic Clubs were in process of formation in the St. Nazaire area, and to meet the needs of the Clubs he assigned Brother Charles H. Huntley as General Secretary for Masonic Clubs in that area, his salary to be borne by the Mission. He also arranged for a distribution of cards to all home-coming soldiers.
The Labor Department of the Government had been anxious for our cooperation in reaching homecoming soldiers with information and advice to proceed, promptly on arrival, to their home towns and not to linger in cities or near the seaboard, and respecting re-employment. We gladly afforded all aid in our power in this endeavor.
On April 25th a delegation of doughboys from St. Aignan, headed by Sergeant Starkey, visited Paris and presented the situation of upwards of 100 doughboys, members of the Fraternity, at that camp, about to be commissioned officers, requiring uniform and equipment as a condition of receiving their assignments, and without funds to purchase same, and solicited the aid of the Mission in their behalf. St. Aignan was a casual camp, to which all men for any reason detached from their units were assigned; also replacement troops sent from home awaiting assignment; also men awaiting sentence after trial by court martial, and doughboys awaiting commission after examination for promotion. It was dubbed "St. Agony," an obviously appropriate term. Lieut. Col. Oliver S. Perry, a member of the Fraternity, was in charge of the camp, and he, as well as other officers, members of the Fraternity, had exhausted their resources in relieving and assisting Brethren in the service, situated as reported by Bro. Starkey. The sum of 50,000 francs was requested, for use as a revolving fund to relieve these brethren in their emergency. It was represented that they were possessed of funds at home or of funds in the hands of friends, neither of which were readily available, or at all, excepting after great delay, and we were satisfied that a rare opportunity for service was here presented. We desired, however, to be sure of our ground, and requested Brother Starkey to return to St. Aignan, canvass the situation most carefully and advise the minimum amount which would afford the relief desired.
On May 9th, Brothers Lay and Goodrich proceeded to St. Aignan and there conferred with Col. Perry and other officers, members of the Fraternity, and with Bro. Starkey. They presented a list of 74 candidates and commissioned Second Lieutenants in financial need. It appeared further that immediately a man received his commission, his findings as private stopped, and he was required to pay his food at 10 francs per diem, and often was short of funds until next pay day. Careful investigation established the worth of the applicants, and the Mission deposited with Col. Perry 25,000 francs to be distributed by him, Major McCatharan and Brother Starkey among the men deemed worthy by them, in sums not to exceed 300 francs each, for which their obligations were to be given, payable to the Mission. These obligations were met with almost uniform promptness, and but a few thousand francs of the total amount remain outstanding. The fame of this service, and its signal influence, spread rapidly throughout the A. E. F. No other institution or organization was prepared to, or endeavored to, furnish any similar service.
Brothers Lay and Goodrich returned to Paris, where they remained in charge of the Mission's activities until their departure for home on June 28th, constantly occupied during the entire day from early in the morning until late at night in the office of the Mission in conferences with, and assisting, members of the Fraternity seeking aid and advice.
On May 19th, they mailed letters to all Masonic Clubs enclosing greetings from the Mission and literature prepared by the National Superintendent of Bureaus for returning soldiers and sailors.
On May 28th, they distributed among the Masonic Clubs memorial aprons contributed by the Bee Hive Lodge of Chicago, Ill.
The services of the members of the Mission were called for several times in the conduct of Masonic funerals.
On May 29th, Wor. Brother C. D. Brooks, of Uncas Lodge, No. 949, Syracuse, who had been engaged in the educational activities of the Y.M.C.A., and had planned to take part in the educational work of the A. E. F. University at Beaune, was buried with Masonic services in the Suresnes Cemetery outside Paris, conducted by Brother Lay.
May 30th, Memorial Day, Brother Lay proceeded to Montrichard, and there delivered a Memorial Day address. From there he proceeded to St. Aignan for a conference with Col. Perry regarding loans and other matters.
On June 20th, the Mission gave a dinner in honor of Col. H. H. Whitney, President of the Overseas Masonic Club of Paris, at the Laurent Restaurant. General Pershing had been requested to attend this function, and wrote an appreciation, of which he afterward authorized publication.
The correspondence is as follows:
(On the letter-head of the Mission)
10 Avenue Victor-Emmanuel III,
June 13, 1919.
General John J. Pershing,
G.H.Q., Chaumont, France. Dear Sir and Brother:
On Friday evening, June 20th, the Masonic Overseas Mission is giving a dinner in honor of Colonel H. H. Whitney, President of the Paris Masonic Club at the Restaurant Laurant, on the Champs Elysees, at 6:30 P. M., and would deem it a great honor if you could arrange to be present.
Trusting that this may be possible, I am,
Cordially and fraternally yours,
GEO. S. GOODRICH,
Of the Mission.
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
Office of the Commander-in-Chief
France, June 14, 1919.
Mr. George S. Goodrich,
10 Ave. Victor Emmanuel III, Paris.
Dear Mr. Goodrich:
I have received your cordial invitation of June 13th to dine with the Overseas Mission to the Freemasons on June 20th.
I am indeed sorry that my military duties force me to be absent on that date, and so I cannot have the pleasure of dining with you. I wish to express my extreme regret as nothing would have given me greater pleasure. I have heard nothing but the highest praise of the results of your generous efforts in the American Expeditionary Forces, and desire to express to you personally my hearty thanks for the consistently helpful attitude you have assumed.
(Signed) JOHN J. PERSHING.
He did not attend the dinner. However, among those attending were Col. H. H. Whitney, Majors Martin and Robinson, Cass Connaway, General Counsel of the Y.M.C.A., Charles W. Connery, Manager of the American Masonic Club, Sidney Morse, in charge of the Records Department of the Y.M.C.A., John Garland Pollard of Virginia, member of the Board of Discipline of the Y.M.C.A., Ex-Governor Dunn of Indiana, Brother Newby of the Grand Commandery of the United States, Major Ross Corbin, of the Red Cross, Sherif Pasha, a Turkish Mason, and many others. Anticipating the return of Brothers Lay and Goodrich, Brother Erastus C. Knight, who had been originally designated a member of the Mission, but had taken up active duties in New York in connection with the activities of the War and Relief Administration, and particularly in connection with the care of wounded brethren during their presence in and near New York at the various debarkation and Base Hospitals, was dispatched, and arrived in Paris on June 13th in time to gain from Brothers Lay and Goodrich, before they left, an intimate understanding of the various activities of the Mission, it being planned that he should remain indefinitely after they left, and as long as the need required. The fund raised by the American Masonic Club at Nevers for stained glass memorial windows in the Protestant Chapel at Nevers was turned over to the Mission, the glass ordered, and under its auspices and supervision installed. The Chairman of the Mission returned to Paris, after visiting London and attending the Peace Session of the United Grand Lodge of England, and arrived in Paris, July 3rd, remaining there to close up the various activities of the Mission, its relations with the Y.M.C.A., and with Headquarters, No. 10 Avenue Emmanuel III, also to settle all bills or arrange for same. When he departed he left Bro. Knight to oversee the final details. He sailed from Havre about the middle of August. Brother Knight left Paris Aug. 30,1919, and arrived in New York with the records and other property of the Mission.
You will remember that at the conference of Grand Masters held at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 24th to 28th, 1918, which resulted in the adoption of the tentative organization of the American Masonic Service Association of the United States, the project of dispatching the Mission overseas was brought before the assembled Grand Masters, and it was unanimously voted that the Chairman of the Mission be appointed the representative of the Masonic Service Association of the United States overseas. The original plan by New York for Masonic Service overseas contemplated impartial service to all Freemasons in the United States forces whencesoever they hailed, and the Masonic Service Association of the United States at the conference referred to adopted the Mission also as its Mission to Freemasons in the United States forces overseas, and undertook to share pro rata in the whole expense thereof. We bore letters of credit for fifty thousand dollars, in addition to travelers checks, aggregating $5,000, in all $55,000. The total expenses of the Mission, including outstanding loans but not including the depreciation in the value of the franc, are approximately $35,600, of which New York will pay her proportionate share, our sister jurisdictions joining in this service having requested that they each pay on a proportionate basis equal to what the membership of each bears to the total membership of all contributing.
In closing this report, it is fitting that sincere acknowledgment should be made of the cordial relations which at all times prevailed between the Mission and the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. as well as of the great service and assistance which that organization afforded us. All our transportation in France and England was obtained through its Movement Order Department, and Masonic Secretaries were assigned and transferred freely at our request. Motor vehicles, mechanics, building material, hut equipment, moving picture machines and films, entertainers, food and supplies of all kinds were freely and promptly furnished upon our requisition, and while our arrangements, as was proper, provided for payment for all such services and supplies, we received great assistance, many facilities and favors for which we could not compensate in money, and were not asked to.
The situation of our boys after the Armistice was signed, and movement back from the front was commenced, concentrated for transportation home, no longer with the stimulus of a fight unwon, with little to do and less to occupy their minds, much of the time in mud, wet, cold, and general distress of mind and body, can well be imagined. Words are inadequate to express it accurately. To such men, in such a plight, yearning for home, and in dire need of distraction, the Mission and its varied service was a veritable God-send.
The influence of the Mission's presence, representing organized Freemasonry in the United States, was also felt deeply by the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. The large number of members of the Fraternity in that service were greatly heartened and stabilized thereby, and beyond doubt rendered more efficient service.
In closing this report the members of the Mission desire to record their personal appreciation of the privilege of participating in this service, and their admiration of the quality as men and Masons of the rank and file of American officers and doughboys engaged in the World War. The memory of the dear associations which they have enjoyed will never die.
MERWIN W. LAY,
GEORGE S. GOODRICH,
WILLIAM C. PRIME,
ERASTUS C. KNIGHT,
THOS. CHANNING MOORE
of the Mission.
* * *
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT TO CANDIDATES
You are about to be initiated into Freemasonry. It is deemed proper in this Grand Lodge that all candidates for our ceremonies shall know in brief just what Masonry is, what its aims and purposes are, and in that way any erroneous or trivial notions which you may have had will be entirely removed and your minds free to receive the great truths which Masonry hopes to teach.
You are to be congratulated upon having been found worthy to pass the unanimous ballot of the members of this lodge, and it is of the utmost importance that you so conduct yourself as to be always worthy of this confidence.
The Order with which you are seeking to unite is known in this State as Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry. Ancient as having a recorded history of more than two centuries, and still more ancient as having come down from the old guilds or fellowship of Operative Masons, who worked upon those wonderful cathedrals and other public buildings in Europe which were constructed during the middle ages, and which have been and still are the marvel of all who behold them. We do not desire our candidates to understand that we claim any connection with those workmen who built King Solomon's Temple, although we use in our ceremonies and ritual the symbolism of the same.
Free Masonry is made up always of free men — free born. Free Masonry was originally composed of workmen who, by reason of special privileges granted them by the church in the early middle age, were free to travel and work without the usual restrictions which were common in those times.
Accepted Masonry, or Speculative Masonry, is distinguished from Operative. The transitions to Accepted Masonry came about the beginning of the 18th century, when many gentlemen, scholars, scientists and clergymen, sought and attained admission to the guilds of Operative Masons, and were known as Gentlemen, or Accepted Masons. From 1717, with the organization of the Grand Lodge of England, Masonry has been Speculative rather than Operative.
Our Order intends to make good men better, and thus wiser and happier; men capable of rendering large service to their fellow men. This is its main object. It is founded upon certain vital and fundamental truths, chief among them is the belief in one Ever Living and true God, and our dependence upon him. If there is any doubt in your mind whatever on this point, you ought not to think of proceeding further. Other great truths will be taught as you proceed with your degree.
Please bear in mind that there is nothing in Masonry which does not have a serious purpose. Nothing is done to embarras you, or trifle with your feelings. Your preparation for initiation all has a meaning which will be explained later.
With this preliminary statement, let me express the hope that your mind will be at ease and in a mood to receive the important lessons which Masonry is intended to teach you.
* * *
The foregoing "Preliminary Statement to Candidates" has been authorized by the Grand Lodge of North Dakota to be given to all candidates in that Grand Jurisdiction prior to their preparation for initiation into the First degree. It is designed to be delivered preferably by the Worshipful Master in some suitable room other than the lodge room.
* * *
I cannot know the future of this life,
What storms may come, what woes,
Or whether I shall conquer in the strife,
But I can trust in Him. He knows! He knows!
* * *
I will chide no heathen in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults.
* * *
The truly generous is truly wise, and he who loves not others, lives unblest.
* * *
MASONS' MARKS AND MARK MASONRY
Bro. Charles C. Conover, Michigan
THE MARK DEGREE — ITS HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
THE MARK degree seems to antedate any of the chapter degrees. In England and most of her dependencies it is controlled by a separate organization known as the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. These lodges take their material from the Master's degree and they confer the degrees of Mark Man, Mark Master and in some instances the Royal Ark Mariners. We naturally first turn to Mackey's Encyclopedia for his viewpoint. On the subject of "Mark Man" he says:
"According to Masonic tradition, the Mark Men were the Wardens, as the Mark Masters were the Masters of the Fellow-Craft Lodges, at the building of the Temple. They distributed the Marks to the workmen, and made the first inspection of the work, which was afterward to be approved by the overseers. As a degree, the Mark Man is not recognized in the United States. In England it is sometimes, but not generally, worked as preparatory to the degree of Mark Master. In Scotland, in 1778, it was given to Fellow Crafts, while the Mark Master was restricted to Master Masons. Much of the esoteric ritual of the Mark Man has been incorporated into the Mark Master of the American System."
MARK MASONRY — PLACE AND MEANING
When we read the story of the building of that house upon Mount Moriah we are amazed at the magnitude, as well as the splendor of the work. By the quarries, in Lebanon, and in the mountain that overlooked the Dead Sea, men wrought by plan — Fellow Crafts and M. M.'s of the different lodges. They apparently wrought also by piece in many cases; and it was important that a careful record should be kept of work done, of work done well — and of the worker, whatever he had done. This was done by a system of Marks. Whether each family had a separate Mark, or each nation or each company of workmen, it is impossible to say. But that Masons were in the habit of making such Marks for purposes of signature there is no doubt. When few could read, and fewer write, a plan of adopting some easily remembered Mark would be a great advantage. And there is no doubt that the signature in some way of a man's workmanship was of importance to the Wardens and the Overseers. Masonry has ever emphasized the value standard in regard to membership in a lodge, both in operative and in speculative labor; and we can easily understand that such a system of Marks as we have discovered would become necessary, especially in a work of such stupendous magnitude as the Temple of Jerusalem, or the other great works of antiquity in which bands of workmen of different nations and languages and habits were employed. The Marks would be, to the Overseers, both statement of account and surveyor's report; and every man would receive praise and reward or punishment as these marks were borne upon good or bad work. The apprentice hand made a blind Mark of equal angles, and the F.C. a true mark of unequals. In the former we find a standard easily followed, and the absence of a personal characteristic of great importance. In the Mark of the Master was the individuality of that skilled artisan. The standard of obedience was no longer inexpertly and blindly emphasized; but the workman obeyed Masonic law by expressing his own characteristic in the varying unequal angles. The circle was avoided, and never became a Mason's Mark unless in combination with some perpendicular or angle. The circle is the means to right lines; and in right lines is Masonry builded. The study of the ancient Marks in buildings of all nations and religions and Masonic tendency reveals some curious suggestions. Mr. Godwin and M. Didron, in the forties of last century, brought these Marks under the observation of antiquaries. The first, who was editor of the "Builder," submitted, in 1841, a most interesting communication upon the subject to the Society of Antiquaries; and M. Didron, a Parisian student of archaeology, communicated his own findings to the Comite Historique des Arts et Monuments shortly afterwards. Various conclusions were reached by learned men who took the matter up; but nothing appears to be conclusive beyond that with which we have already stated. The Marks were the signature and the challenge of the workmen.
And, just in the same way, the Mark Mason of today demands that a Mark shall represent the responsibility and the account of the Mark Mason. Just as in business the reputation of a merchant or manufacturer may be said to be constantly in pledge against the fulfillment of a contract, so Mark Masonry throws herself upon her character, upon her Masonic brotherliness, upon her right to receive and to give. And just so her character stamps her acts and her ideals. The Mark is found upon the obverse of the jewel, and not upon the apron, which with the exception that there are no tassels and that the ribbon is edged with crimson, resembles that of the M. M. Craft degree. The jewel takes the form of the keystone of an arch. Upon one side are the letters H.T.W.S.S.T.K.S., and upon the other Hebrew characters of similar import. These are arranged round a space, circular, in which the Mark of the wearer is inscribed. So that both the Royal Arch and the Mark are based largely upon the content and construction of the arch in Masonry. The principal difference is one of form. The Royal Arch deals with the secret the arch has hidden; and the Mark illustrates more the value of the arch itself and the importance of reliable work. (The Trestle Board, Vol. 26, No. 6 Calif.)
William J. Hughan of England, who with Robert F. Gould, were the most painstaking Masonic historians in separating the wheat of truth from the chaff of fiction and tradition, has this to say about Mark Masonry:
During the centuries which immediately preceded the establishment of the premier Grand Lodge of England and the World, the "Mark" was directly connected with operative and speculative Freemasonry, and from time immemorial, it has been the custom for the skilled Craftsman to chisel his distinctive Mark on the stones he fashioned, so as to indicate his workmanship.
It is this fact that differentiates the Mark degree from all other ceremonies additional to the first three, and justified the formation of the Mark Grand Lodge, nearly fifty years ago, so as to take under its wing those lodges which worked with interesting and suggestive ceremony, the English Craft agreement excluding it from the formally recognized series, according to the Articles of Union of A. D. 1813-4.
The antiquity of Mark Masonry cannot be doubted. Operatively considered and even speculatively, it has enjoyed special prominence for centuries; records of the custom being followed by speculative brethren, according to existing records, dating back to 1600, in which year, on the 8th day of June, "Ye principal wardens and chief master of maissons, Wm. Schaw, master of work to ye Kingis Maistie," met members of the Lodge of Edinburgh (now No. 1) at Holyrood House, at which meeting the Laird of Auchinleck was present, and attested the minutes of the assembly by his Mark, as did the operatives, in accordance with the Schaw statutes of December 28th, 1598, which provided: That the day of reassauying (receiving) of said fallow of craft or master be ord'lie buikit and his name and Mark insert in the said buik."
That theoretical Masons selected their Marks just as the operatives did, during the seventeenth century, is abundantly manifest, by an examination of the old Scottish records of that period. One of the most noteworthy instances out of many is the Mark Book of the Lodge of Aberdeen (now No. 1 tris) which started in A. D. 1670, and is signed by 49 members, all of whom but two have their Marks inserted opposite their names.
The Master of the "Honorable Lodge of Aberdeen" in that year was Harrie Elphingston, Tutor of Airth and Collector of the King's Customs and only a fourth part of the members were operative Masons, the roll of brethren including the Earl of Findlater, the Earl of Dumferline, Lord Pitsligo, the "Earl of Errolle," a professor of mathematics, several ministers, doctors and other professional men and tradesmen, such as wrights (or carpenters), slaiters, glaziers, etc.
The names of the apprentices were entered in another list, the Marks chosen by such being evidently similar to the fathers' in several instances.
When a special and elaborate ceremony (with a distinctive legend) was first used it is not possible to decide, but probably about the middle of the eighteenth century, soon after the arrangement of the Royal Arch as a separate degree. The oldest preserved records date from the year 1769, and there is no lack of evidence as to the observance of the custom in speculative lodges during that century and later, either in separate lodges or under the wing of the Royal Arch. The Mark continued to be worked in England as an unauthorized ceremony until the year 1856, when the Mark Grand Lodge was founded and has proved a conspicuous success, having ultimately secured the support of all the "time immemorial" and other lodges in the country, besides having warranted several hundreds of lodges to work the degree in England and the Colonies and dependencies of the British Crown.
The ceremony is very popular, especially in North America, where there are over a quarter of a million subscribing members, [latest figures show over half a million] and is recognized by all Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons there and elsewhere, excepting in England. The Grand Lodge of Ireland includes it with the additional degrees belonging to "the other Masonic Grand Bodies recognized in it, and acting in union with it," and the Grand Lodge of Scotland authorizes the Mark to be "conferred on Master Masons, and the secrets only to be communicated in presence of those who have taken the step in a lodge entitled to grant it." The Mark Grand Lodge in recent years has incorporated the "Mark Man" with the "Mark Master"; and wisely so, as it was the former that was conferred on Fellow Crafts, and the latter on Master Masons, during the eighteenth century. — (The Trestle Board, Vol. 23, No. 4, October, 1909, California.)
In a letter to the Masonic Home Journal of Louisville, Ky., Companion Alfred A. A. Murray, Grand Scribe E., corrects an erroneous idea which had been published previously, and treats of the Mark degree in Scotland:
As regards the Mark degree itself it was not worked in the Fellow Craft lodges, but there were really two degrees, namely, that of Mark Man, which was given to a Fellow Craft, and that of Mark Master, which was given to a Master Mason. The degree of Mark Man was worked down to within fifty years ago by various Craft lodges, and given to Fellow Crafts. The degree of Mark Master was conferred as a separate degree in the same way as the Royal Arch, and was expressly cut off by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, about 1800, in the same way that the Royal Arch and the Temple were cut off. Before that date they used to be worked by an inner circle of the lodge as a sort of side issue not under the Grand Lodge of Scotland at all.
The Royal Arch and the Temple were, after 1800, organized as governing bodies, and then the Mark Master degree was taken under the sole control of the Supreme Grand Chapter, and continued so till, as I say, about fifty years ago, when an agreement was made between the Grand Lodge and the Supreme Chapter that the two degrees of Mark Man and Mark Master were to be amalgamated, and were to be conferred under the authority of either body, but only upon Master Masons.
It is wise to get a clear statement made upon the point, because I observe a very large amount of mistaken information is being printed from time to time, which is derived from confusion of thought and want of knowledge, and results sometimes in mistaken action.
THE MARK DEGREE — ITS ROMANCE AND LESSONS
Companions in this country will be deeply interested in the following article by Herbert J. Williams, Grand Scribe E., of New Zealand, as it opens up a new thought and lesson from another angle than that with which they are familiar. The rejected work was not that of another, but his own which was misunderstood.
For the groundwork of the degree, Mark Masonry is indebted to the building of King Solomon's Temple, which is the basis upon which the whole superstructure of Freemasonry rests. And though today this legendary foundation is recognized as being quite mythical, yet the end fully justifies the means, in view of the great moral edifice erected.
The scene of our story lies in the great Temple building, and the wonderful organization which controlled 180,000 workmen is recounted. The first page of the history of the degree opens with the introduction of the Fellow Craft, who desires enrollment in the arms of workmen, and as a Mark man he works well and worthily, and receives his wages. The fact that he has worked "well and worthily" may be noted in view of subsequent happenings. After working in the quarries for some time, on one eventful day he accompanies some of his fellow-workmen, and duly submits his work for examination to the overseers, but for some unaccountable reason he presents a stone which is not confined to right lines and angles, but was as a keystone, wedge-formed, an entirely new departure from the rectangular. This in itself was quite sufficient to excite the surprise of his companions and the displeasure of the overseers, who refused to pass the stone, and as an indication of contempt finally ordered it to be heaved over among the rubbish, and the legend relates that it long lay hidden. For centuries it was believed that the principle of the arch in building was not known at the time of King Solomon, and it was only within the last few years that this statement has been entirely disproved. Archways with regular keystones have been found in the doorways of tombs at Thebes, which could not be of later date than 1540 B. C., or 460 years before the building of the temple. And we are further told that the Cyclopean gallery of Tyrius exhibits lancet-stapled arches as old as Abraham. It is assumed by Lawrence that the principle of the Arch was a kind of guild secret, of which H ___ A ___ would be in possession, but it was not known to the workmen generally. But to return to our romance. The Craftsman who had been turned down by the overseers was on subsequent examination denounced as an imposter, and narrowly escaped the penalty which invariably followed such an indictment. But as time went on, and the building neared completion, it was discovered by the Master that a certain stone was necessary for the completion of the building, and the Master was satisfied that he had is issued a plan of this particular stone. The overseers having been convened in council, admitted having received it, but working strictly by plans, the stone was rejected and cast aside. How it was subsequently found by the skillful Craftsman, and the honor that he received is well known to each Mark Master. That the Craftsman was a skillful worker must be admitted from the excellence of his artistic work. That he was actuated by good motives may be gathered from the record that from the commencement of his career he worked "well and worthily." Yet when the stone was rejected, he was deeply humiliated, he was accused of working for self-glorification, and received angry words and reproaches. As we know that his fellow-workmen were well pleased at the humiliation of what they conceived to be his vanity. Picture to yourselves what this worthy Craftsman must have suffered, perhaps for years, until the subsequent finding of the stone. Whether his work was the result of seeing the plans, or whether as an artist he knew such a stone would be required matters little, there is no record that he displayed the least vanity or ostentation. On the contrary, after the finding of the stone, the extreme value of which was recognized by H ___ A ___, he was advanced to the degree of Mark Master and ordered to cut his name upon it. Again imagine the feeling of the worthy Craftsman when the stone — his work — was being conveyed with much pomp and parade to be fixed in its place. Well might he have been excused for manifesting feelings of the utmost pride, and of retaliating on those of his companions who had assisted at his humiliation. He had no such thoughts, but rather in an ecstasy of joy gave the thanks to God that he had worked well.
Were there no other lessons conveyed in the teaching of the Mark degree, this beautiful romance and its moral should give ample compensation. And there is no other character in Freemasonry who shows such restraint under suffering, patience of endurance under the sneers and gibes of his fellows, or such nobility of character in the hour of his unbounded triumph. What a glorious example of the suppression of self, and the glorification of the Supreme Architect.
To the ancient operative Mason the "Mark" was only a means of identification, protected by his known ability and the registration of his Mark, as signatures are, in our day, recorded in a bank.
In ancient Rome, when two friends were about to part, it was a custom to break a piece of money or ivory in two, and having registered a secret Mark, each retained a part, and this was a token of everlasting friendship, and was called the "arrhabo." Both word and custom were borrowed from the ancient Israelites, for it is derived from the Hebrew "Arabon," a pledge.
Among modern speculative Masons the Mark is no longer a means of livelihood, nor is it a mere emblem of livelihood, nor is it a mere emblem of ornamental appendage of the Mark Master degree, but a sacred token of the rites of friendship and brotherly love, it is a veritable "tessera hospitalis," and when presented by the owner to another Mark Master, would claim, from the latter, acts of friendship, which only a mutual obligation would warrant.
If a Mark is presented for the purpose of obtaining a favor, it then becomes an "Arabon," or pledge, and while it remains in the possession of its owner, it ceases, so far as he is concerned, to be of advantage to him, until, conforming to an ancient usage, of redeeming it from its former pledge.
In Rome the "tessera hospitalis" extended to the descendants, and if the father exchanged a broken die on parting, the son honored it, as this short quotation from an old Roman comedy will show, as between Agorastocles and Poenulus:
Ag. — I am a son of old Antidamus.
Poe. — If so, I pray you Compare with me the hospital die I've brought this with me.
Ag. — Prithee, let me see it. It is, indeed, the very counterpart Of mine at home.
Poe. — All hail, my welcomed guest, Your father was my guest Antidamus. Your father was my honored guest and then This hospital die with me he parted.
Now that we understand the customs of the ancients, how easy to comprehend the message of St. John the Evangelist, when he says, "To him that overcometh will I give a white stone, and in it a new name written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it," or in a more literal translation, "To him who overcometh will I give an arabon of my affection, and entitle hilt to privileges and honor of which none else can know the value or extent."
The symbolism of the Mark degree, unlike all other degrees in Freemasonry, may be comprehended in one emblem — the Keystone. Around this is woven the whole of the romance. It was this that caused the humiliation of the skillful Craftsman, in his desire to produce good and useful work, and his long period of sorrow and dejection by its rejection, and, consequently, to this symbol he owed his honorable advancement, and the tardy recognition of his skill.
We need no legend to estimate the value of the Keystone in its material sense. To the operative Mason of today it is an invaluable aid in the science of architecture. How much more so would it be in ancient days, when it would appear that the knowledge of its use and construction was actually confined to a privileged few of the higher class of Temple builders. To speculative Mark Masons of today it not only constitutes the jewel of the degree, but it also bears the special Mark chosen by the Mark Mason on his advancement to the honorable degree.
Now, what are the great lessons which the teaching of the degree inculcates? We may answer, primarily, "Charity," in its highest attributes. Not to judge harshly and condemn the actions of others because we may not understand them. To act in charity to all mankind, and more especially to our brethren in Freemasonry, is a Masonic command, which was not exemplified by the overseers in their treatment of the skillful Craftsman's work. Among some of the sterling precepts of the Mark degree we are enjoined to do justice to all mankind, to love mercy, which equally blesses him who gives and him who receives, to practice charity in all its phases, to maintain harmony in our own persons, and to endeavor to promote it with others. To quote an American writer: "The rejection of the keystone should teach us that nothing has been made in vain. It matters not how worthless and insignificant a creature may appear to our prejudiced eyes, we may rest assured that if infinite wisdom has been employed in its creation, it has, in the economy of Providence, its appropriate place and use; from it we may also learn never to despond and grow weary in welldoing. Although our motives may be misinterpreted and the work of our hands be misjudged by our erring fellowmen, still may we have faith that there is over all a Judge who sees not with the eyes of man."
I wonder how many of us seriously consider the very great responsibility that devolves on the members of this degree. In the concluding charge the newlyadmitted brother is told that while he acts in conform ity with the sublime precepts of the Craft, "Should misfortune assail you, should other friends forsake you, should the envious traduce your good name, or the malicious persecute you . . . among Mark Master Masons you will ever find friends who will administer relief to your distresses and comfort in your affliction." Surely this constitutes the essential essence of true Freemasonry, and were it only given practical effect would raise Mark Masonry high above its sister branches of Freemasonry and would convert the ideal into the real. — New Zealand Craftsman.
MARK MASTER'S LOW WAGE
Bro. George W. Warvelle, Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter, R.A.M., of Illinois, thinks it absurd that the century-old rate of a penny a day still continues to be paid as the wages of a Mark Master, and this notwithstanding the ever increasing high cost of living. Bro. Warvelle says:
This ridiculously low wage scale seems to have been the work of the early American ritualists. I have in my possession two old English rituals, of Mark Man and Mark Mason, in both of which there is a specification of wages. In the former the rate was "nine shekels, equal to £1 2s. 6d. of our money," and in the latter it was "Twenty-five shekels, equal to £3 2s. 6d. of our money." What the present rate may be in England I am unable to say, but no Englishman would work for the beggarly stipend paid in the American Mark lodges. I am inclined to believe, however, that our English brethren have fixed these abnormally high prices to make up for the actual wages formerly paid in England to the operative craft. As late as the year 1689 the wages of Freemasons were prescribed by law at one shilling and four pence a day. To demand more subjected them to severe penalties. In fact, it was really the passing of restrictive laws commencing say, about 1356, that led to the present speculative institution, and Masonic scholars of eminence assign the year 1424 as the cessation of English Freemasonry as a strictly operative association. — (Tyler-Keystone, Ann Arbor, Michigan, December, 1914.)
Bro. Wm. J. O. Astrop writes in the Tyler-Keystone:
I desire to draw attention to the statement on page sixty-two of the Tyler-Keystone that "pure ancient Masonry consists of three degrees." In operative craft Masonry there was but one degree, that of the E.A., but as an older apprentice was eligible to the chair, he was entitled to his Mark for which he paid the clerk or Secretary of the lodge. The lodge of Kilwinning Peebles charged thirteen shillings and four pence for registering this Mark. The Mark thereafter could not be changed. For want of being able to write his name the apprentice used his Mark as a signature as well as marking his work. During the seven years usually spent in service as apprentice, his Master was his guardian. He got his board, lodging and clothing from his Master, and was allowed to venture out after dark to go to lodge or places of enjoyment only unless accompanied by two fellows to bear witness that he was in respectable company, so that no reflection would be brought upon the craft. Brethren would travel fifty miles to defend his character and good name.
In his "Concise History of Freemasonry" Brother Robert F. Gould gives the history of the Mark degree in its relation to Grand Lodges:
In 1856, March 5th, at a meeting of the Grand Lodge, it was resolved unanimously:
"That the degree of Mark Mason or Mark Master is not at variance with the ancient landmarks of the order, and that the degree be an addition to and form part of Craft Masonry; and consequently may be conferred by all regular warranted lodges, under such regulations as shall be . . . sanctioned by the Grand Master."
The resolution, however, was negatived when the minutes were brought up for confirmation in the following quarter. A Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was formed in London during the same year, but it has not been recognized by the "United Grand Lodge" of the Craft. We find then, among the conflict of laws under the various Grand Lodges, that in England the Royal Arch is recognized, and the Mark degree is not; in Scotland, the Royal Arch is not, but the Mark is; and in Ireland both are recognized. The earliest known reference to tie Mark degree, it may be observed, occurs in the minute book of a Royal Arch Chapter at Portsmouth, under the date of September 1st, 1769.
(To be continued)
* * *
It is one hour past high twelve, and it is time for us to awaken from our lethargy and sleep of security, and note the signs of the times as they appear in the trend of the world's affairs. If Masonry is to continue to be a teacher and leader of the world in its march toward a higher civilization among the nations of the world; if it is to continue to be the guardian and preserver of those principles of justice and human liberty given us by our ancestors; if we are to be the conservator of American liberty, schools and homes, and exert any great influence upon the life and character of the brethren and the people of the particular community in which we live, we must do more than wear our Masonry in the lapel of our coats.
The time is near at hand, if not at our very door, when the ignorant and vicious, the selfish and the avaricious, with a heart and mind full of prejudice against the government, will find a fruitful field of labor, and, if they are finally successful in their efforts, we will find the separation of the church and state next to. impossible, and the teachings of the youth of this great land, the honor, respect and love of the glorious heritage bequeathed us by our Masonic ancestors, entirely out of order. Let us then discharge our full duty as Master Masons, because as doing so we will be actually discharging in harmony our full duty as American citizens.
— Wm. A. Westfall, P.G.M., Iowa.
* * *
Did you see yourself to-day
As the children were at play?
They were building houses tall
Just within the garden wall
Near the gate.
Carefully their blocks they laid,
Carefully the side walls made
Lest they fall.
Block by block the houses grew
Till it seemed that just a few
Would complete the maker's plans.
But alas! Too eager hands
Caused the ruin.
Bated breath and shining eyes
Thinking to have won the prize,
Work well done,
Then, unsteady, grasping hands,
Eager to complete the plans,
And the ruin.
Did you see yourself to-day
As the children were at play?
Have you builded castles tall,
To be humbled by their fall,
Did your eagerness prevent
The Great Builder's glad consent
To your plans?
He whose wisdom builds the best-
Builds with knowledge of the test
Of all time—
Does not hurry in His task,
And His wisdom does not ask,
Am I done?
Grant us patience, O Great Builder!
In Thy wisdom, without murmur,
Thus to build.
As we gain the heights we've scanned,
May we always feel Thy hand
Did you see yourself to-day
As the children were at play?
— Ermina Lincoln Cooper, in The Universalist Leader.
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 43
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 "THE FIVE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP"
In conducting the study meetings the Chairman should endeavor to hold the discussions as closely as possible to the text and not permit the members to speak too long at one time, or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that a discussion is turning from the original subject the Chairman should request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or phase of the matter he wishes toidiscuss or inquire into, and bring it up when the Question Box period is opened.
What is said of teaching by symbols? What method was used by the Jews in learning the Ten Commandments? Give examples of the use of symbolism in teaching at the present day outside of the Masonic Fraternity. Cite some of the things you have learned through this manner of teaching in Masonry. Describe some of the methods used in our kindergarten schools. Why did the old builders find it necessary to teach their Apprentices moral truths? Where was the only place this information could be obtained? Why?
What plan did the master workmen adopt to convey this knowledge to the Apprentices? What did the plumb symbolize? The level? The square? Give other examples of builder's tools used as symbols.
What is Dr. Carr's theory of the origination of the symbol of the Five Points of Fellowship? Have you ever heard any other theory? (A general question.)
What were the Five Points of Fellowship in the early Grand Lodge period? Why is it presumed that the hand was superseded by mouth to ear or cheek to cheek?
What does "foot to foot" mean? Should we withhold our assistance until it is asked for? Has the lodge a responsibility in this connection, or does the responsibility rest entirely upon ourselves as individuals? What did your lodge do to help your brethren in the Army?
How should we apply the second of the Five Points, "Knee to Knee"?
What is the admonition of the third of the Five Points, "Breast to Breast"?
To what does the fourth point, "Hand to Back," refer?
What is the lesson to be learned from "Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear"?
What would be the result if every Mason were to practice in his daily life the precepts enjoined in the "Five Points of Fellowship"?
* * *
Vol. II — The Five Points Symbolism. Poem, N.A. McAulay, p. 295.
Vol. IV — Symbolism of the Three Degrees, O.D. Street, p. 322.
Five Points of Fellowship, p. 572.
* * *
BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
PART VIII — THE FIVE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP
One of the best devices for remembering a thing is to tie it up to some familiar object. Primitive peoples, who had few or none of the contrivances for preserving records, such as writings, pictures, etc., habitually made use of this method. For example, the Jews used to learn the Ten Commandments by linking each one to a finger. By the same process, it is believed, the habit of numbering in tens came into habitual practice through the ease with which counting could be done by help of the ten fingers. Even today, and in spite of the numberless artificial schemes now in use to help memory, the ancient habits are still in vogue, as one may learn by watching children at study.
This device for fixing a thing in memory, for making it take hold of the mind, is one of the explanations, it is very probable, of the manner in which the old builders symbolized the objects and practices of their art. The guilds had to teach the Apprentice simple truths and elementary morality, not only because it was necessary that he be a good and well instructed man in order to be an acceptable Mason, but also because there were few or no public schools wherein the youth might learn such things. If he was to learn them at all he had to learn them in the guild.
Led by instinct or experience the master workmen hit upon the plan of conveying this instruction by tying each separate truth or duty up to some implement, or building part, or building process, with which the Apprentice would come into contact almost every day. The plumb was used as the symbol of uprightness, the level of fellowship, the square of right conduct, and so on.
Bro. Dr. Thomas Carr, who has written so instructively of Operative Masonry as it still exists, believes that it was in the methods for laying out the plan of a building that we have the original symbol of the Five Points of Fellowship. He says that a point was fixed at the centre of the plan; that by means of the 3, 4, 5 triangle a line was drawn out through each of the four corners, thereby assuring that every corner would be a right angle; and that the four lines and the central point became later the geometrical symbol of the Five Points of Fellowship.
This may well have been the origin of the symbol but we know that at some early day the five rules of fellowship became attached to the very different symbolism of the limbs and organs of the body. In the Grand Lodge period it seems that the symbols were the hand, the foot, the knee, the breast, and the back; later on, at least in America, the hand was omitted and the mouth to ear, or cheek to cheek, substituted. When this was done, or by whom, or why, we can not know, but it may be guessed that the change was made because the body symbols were so much more intimate and vivid and easily remembered than the geometrical. On this matter we can only hazard a guess as is so often our alternative in matters having to do with the history and development of the ritual. Whatever may have been the original symbolism of the five points, whatever may have been the evolution of the body symbolism, as the matter now stands, we have the rules of right fellowship linked with foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand to back, cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear, and it is this present system that we must endeavour to understand.
"Foot to foot" means that we must ever be ready to go to our brother's help in case he is in need of assistance. It is not enough that we should be willing that he seek our aid; we must seek him, if we learn that he stands in want. This applies to the lodges as well as to the member, and there are few better reasons for pride in our Order than the swift, silent manner in which it always flies to the brother in need. During the recent war, many of our lodges were engaged in sending help and cheer to soldier brethren in the cantonments and even in the trenches of Europe; a splendid interpretation given to the whole world of the meaning of foot to foot.
"Foot to foot that we may go,
Where our help we can bestow;
Pointing out the better way,
Lest our brother go astray.
Thus our steps should always lead
To the souls that are in need."
"Knee to Knee." Never are we more tempted to lapse into a selfish individualism than in prayer, strange as it may seem; it is so easy, when bowing before the All Father, to pour out our own confessions, our private feelings, and desires! The very intimacy and secrecy by which prayer is preserved from perfunctoriness and formality is itself one of the sources of selfishness in it, because it tends to shut others from our thought. Masonry urges us to take our brother with us when we go to God in order that our fellowship may be lifted into heaven itself and thereby be made even more beautiful and divine. If you would have a little book, reader, in which the social uses of true prayer are sent forth out of a noble nature's own experience, lay hold of "Letters to His Friends," written by that "Apostle of Intercession," Forbes Robinson.
"Knee to knee, that we may share
Every brother's need in prayer,
Giving all wants a place,
Where we seek the throne of grace.
In our thoughts from day to day
For each other we should pray."
"Breast to breast." By this, as I understand it, a brother is not only admonished to keep inviolate the secrets of his fellows but is also reminded that fellowship is not transfigured into real friendship until it has been carried into the heart. To interpret fraternity in the terms of relief and aid alone is to leave it too external, too much in danger of becoming a mere matter of giving and taking. Fellowship needs to become a matter of the spirit, an intimate, emotional condition, which gives the brother a place in one's thoughts and affections as well as a place beside one's body in the lodge room. This spiritualizing of fellowship includes, as a part of itself, that guardianship of our brother's secrets, already, referred to, and effectively described in another stanza of Bro. N.A. McAulay's poem, from which I have been quoting:
"Breast to breast, to there conceal,
What our lips must not reveal,
When a brother does confide,
We must by his will abide.
Mason's secrets to us known
We must cherish as our own."
"Hand to back." This undoubtedly refers to our duty of helping a brother to carry his material burdens; may we not also make it refer to burdens of a more intangible character? If we could take an X-ray photograph of what is on his soul as well as on his back, how surprised we would often be! Secret anxieties, blighted hopes, unspoken sorrows, nameless griefs, worry, care, these are not visible, often, but they are always real, and nothing is more helpful to a man than to share with him the burdens on his mind and on his heart.
"Hand to back, our love to show
To the brother, bending low,
Underneath a load of care,
When we may and ought to share.
That the weak may always stand,
Let us lend a helping hand."
"Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear." Often is real brotherliness best shown in the manner in which loving deeds are done! Ostentation in offering help, a too public parading of one's kindliness, a thoughtless, tactless, blundering, obtruding one's self on another, all this may of itself hurt more than it heals. How delicate, how gracious, is that kindliness invoked by the symbol of cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear! Such kindliness is as courteous and sweet as the mercies of God.
"Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,
That our lips may whisper cheer,
To our brother in distress;
Whom our words can aid and bless.
Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to thee."
Such are the Five Points of Fellowship of which ours has been so brief an exposition; may we not add to our thoughts this further suggestion, that the very manner in which the five points are given to the candidate is in itself significant of much? If we could only draw as close together in mind and heart as are the bodies in that ceremony would not a great deal of our unbrotherliness die of its own accord? Suspicion, jealousies, frictions, misunderstandings, in how many cases do these spring from the distance that we permit to lie between ourselves and our fellows! For is not this the cause of much strife, — not that we are rich, or poor, or learned or ignorant, but that we are strangers? To know a man better is almost always to love him better. And who will deny that it is only in such intimacy, wherein body and mind are mingled, that we are permitted to hear that real Building Word which is the great secret of Masonry? And who can doubt that in such a fellowship we are translating into very life and deed the three great principals of the Order, Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth?
* * *
THE WORD OF GOD
Bro. O. B. Slane, Illinois
In the beginning was the word
That the oath-bound Mason heard,
The Bible says the word
Was with God;
But the gospel of St. John,
As from creation's dawn,
Declares that the word
All things by Him were made,
The earth's foundations laid,
Sun, moon and stars obeyed
The voice of God;
From Him came all of life,
Through the struggle and the strifes
By the great Masonic word
From the darkness and the night,
Came the glory of the light,
Bursting full upon the sight,
Light of God;
And brethren on the square,
Inspired by faith and prayer,
Beheld in golden glare!
The Word of God.
* * *
It is true that in the fierce struggle for possession, we come to hate those who possess, and to deny the right of property when this right is in the hands of others than our own. But the bitterness of attack against others' possessions is only a new proof of the extraordinary importance we attach to possession itself.
— From "Simple Life," by Charles Wagner.
* * *
I would have none of that rigid and circumspect charity which is never exercised without scrutiny, and which always mistrusts the reality of the necessities laid open to it.
* * *
Be just and fear not; let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's, thy God's, and Truth's.
* * *
Let us stand by our duty fearlessly and effectively.
* * *
LONDON MORNING POST'S ATTACK ON FREEMASONRY
Bro. Arthur Edward Waite, England
(Reprinted by permission from the October issue of THE OCCULT REVIEW)
For seventeen days in succession, ending July 30, "The Morning Post" published a remarkable series of articles on 'The Cause of World Unrest," the work of two anonymous writers, with occasional intervention on the part of leading articles, generalizing on the subjects treated, and of occasional correspondents, chief among whom is Mrs. Nesta H. Webster, author of a book issued in 1919 under the title of "The French Revolution." As expressed in a short announcement of July 12, the articles claim to disclose "the existence of a revolutionary movement in which Jews and secret societies play a leading part."
On July 24 another announcement stated that "thousands of new readers have been taking 'The Morning Post' during the publication of the series." Accepting this implicitly on the honourable assurance of the oldest morning paper, I regard it as incumbent on myself to review the whole question, in so far as it affects the things for which I stand and the dedications of my literary life. The nature of the secret societies incriminated emerges in another passage which appeared on July 21 and affirmed (1) that for a long period of time a conspiracy has been gradually developing for the overthrowing of the existing Christian form of civilization; (2) that the prime agents of this conspiracy are Jews and revolutionary Freemasons; and (3) that its object "is to pave the way for the world supremacy of a chosen people." I propose on my part to show that the writers are utterly misinformed, where it is possible for an individual critic to cheek them, and that it would be curious therefore — as well as difficult to suppose — if they are mainly or substantially correct over their findings in those political realms which lie beyond my field of research.
It is to be observed that the existence of a plot for "the destruction of all Christian Empires, Altars and Thrones" is an old Roman Catholic thesis, put forward long prior to the War. One of the forms which it took was a review of the Dreyfus case, and it not only made common cause of the Latin Church against Freemasonry, but seems to have been part of that cause. A periodical, called La Revue des Sociétés Secrètes, was filled with the case against Freemasonry and the case against Israel. The management of both issues was of similar value, being the enumeration and repetition of various less or more familiar facts on which a false construction was placed, or of statements that were probably untrue. Both forms being equally effective in impressing those who were unversed, the first was pursued when possible. My thesis is that the revelations in The Morning Post on "the cause of world unrest," the "most formidable sect in the world" and "the terror in France," but especially on "the red curtain in Freemasonry," the "arrière Loges" and the "ritual of revenge" bear all the marks and signs of derivation from the same mint, appeal to the same sources, and are speaking the same language as the French anti-Masonry of the last thirty years and over. They are the work of writers belonging to the Latin Church or alternatively content to depend — so far as Freemasonry is concerned — solely on material which, during the period specified, has been dished up in various forms for the one purpose with which Rome is concerned on this side of its activity — namely, the forlorn hope of destroying the "iniquitous sect" of Masonry, and presumably to maintain at white heat the old hostility of France to Jewry and all connoted thereby. I speak with a certain authority, for it happens that I know the leading literature of anti-Masonry, on what it has depended from the beginning, and the contentions which it will sustain to the end. It happens also that I am a Freemason, holding the chief Rites and Degrees, under one or other obedience, that I know the literature of Freemasonry, its history ab origine symboli and the great cloud of its rituals. If I flourish, for once in my life, a trumpet of this kind, it is in order that the anti-Masonic sect, wheresoever dispersed over the world, in whichever of its disguises, and in this or that of its regular, or casual journals, may learn exactly where they are. Finally, I am a Christian and Catholic Mystic, and by Catholicism embraces all that belongs to the eternal in the symbolism of Roman Doctrine and Ritual. It comes about in this manner, that for me Emblematic Freemasonry is a Mystery of the relations between God, Man and the Universe, set forth in the figurative and sacramental forms of sacred ceremonial. It will be understood on this basis that those various associations which, in France and other Latin countries, while still wearing an outward guise of Freemasonry, regard the belief in God and immortality, the intercourse between God and the soul represented by the Bible and other Sacred Books as matters of personal opinion — to be held or not according to mental predilection — have made void their Masonic titles. They are cut off from communion with the vital and spiritual source: they may be political or not, revolutionary or not, monarchical and otherwise "reactionary," or the reverse of these; they are in no case part of my concern. The question is whether the writers in The Morning Post have followed a line of accusation which incriminates all Freemasonry even when it offers a distinction; and the answer is that they have. Out of this there arises the further question whether they and the Roman Catholic crusaders, on whom they depend, are competent witnesses on the Masonic side of their subject; and the answer is that they are not.
It is obvious and goes without saying that the articles are not written by Masons holding under any obedience, and my thesis is that they betray the most extraordinary ignorance on elementary matters respecting the Craft and its developments. It is recognized from the beginning that English Freemasonry is not to be included by their sweeping thesis concerning universal revolution, but it is affirmed that "there is Freemasonry and Freemasonry." More correctly there is Freemasonry and there are things which masquerade in its likeness but do not belong thereto. Any one acquainted with the subject would know that true Freemasonry is neither English nor English-speaking only, neither British, Colonial nor American, to the exclusion of other countries. It is certain that prior to the War Germanic Freemasonry had no poisoned wells of political concern. There are also other countries — and I should place Sweden among them — where "pure and ancient Freemasonry," with some flowers of its later development, are equally uncontaminated as to root and branch and blossom. But having made the distinction in question, like a proverbial sop to Cerberus, the articles proceed to ingarner some time-immemorial charges of French origin against Templar Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite as one of its custodians, which is a charge against English as well as continental bodies. The writers seem unaware that there are great Templar jurisdictions in England, Scotland and Ireland, and also Supreme Councils of the Thirty-Third Degree. I have said therefore that their line of accusation incriminates all Freemasonry, even when it claims to do otherwise. It is not that there is "malice afore-thought," of which I find no signs; but the writers have entered a field which calls for special knowledge, and they have not even a smattering. They affirm, for example, that there are at least thirty-three degrees of Masonry, whereas there are fourteen hundred in the historical list of Ragon, and over two hundred less or more in activity at the present day.
It is impossible within the limits of this study to enumerate all the misconceptions, but the following examples may stand for the whole. (1) To illustrate an alleged vengeance formula in the Craft rituals, it is said that the candidate for the grade of Master hears for the first time of a murdered founder, whose fate has to be avenged. This is erroneous. The legend is concerned with an assassination which is represented as duly expiated in the order of law and justice. There is no arrière pensée and there is no consequence in the life of Craft Masonry. It will be seen that this invention inculpates English Masonry as associated with a vendetta which is foisted on Masonry abroad. (2) It is said correctly that there is the quest of a Lost Word in Masonry, which Word is arbitrarily affirmed to be Jehovah, and explained — with unthinkable logic — to signify natural religion. There is no such meaning tolerated by the orthodox Grades. There are various Sacred Names, carrying their proper philological import; in branches of Masonry belonging to the symbolical time of the Old Covenant they are derived for the most part from the Old Testament; but in those which belong to the New and Eternal Covenant the Name is Christ. (3) The last misconception which I shall notice among points of ritual and symbolism is the folly that terms the Craft degrees Jewish, thus implicitly connecting them — under all their obediences, English and continental — with an alleged Jewish peril. It is obvious that allegories dealing with Solomon's Temple must contain Jewish material in the nature of things. The imbecility is to draw any inference therefrom as to the work of Jews in Masonry. Even "the Word of God" is Jewish in the Old Testament, yet I fail to see that the circulation of the Scriptures is playing into the hands of Israel, in order that it may possess the world. The Craft rituals as we have them are the work of Christian hands, Protestant enough in all conscience and therefore suspect by Rome; but Jewry had no share therein.
(4) Passing now from ceremonial questions to matters of external fact, it is affirmed that Philippe Egalité, Duc d'Orléans, was not only Grand Master of the Grand Orient — a creation, by the way, of 1773 — but of the Templars also. Now, it so happens that The Morning Post does not know what it means when it speaks of Templar grades. There were something like six Rites incorporating this element, all independent in origin, working and history. Philippe Egalité stood at the head of none. The only purely Templar Rite in France during his reign as Master was the Strict Observance, the titular patron of which was in Germany, not in France where a Lyonnese merchant, named J. B. Willermoz, was Provincial Grand Master of Auvergne. A certain Council of Emperors possessed the Templar Kadosh Grade, but it was not a Templar Rite. Philippe Egalité took such an active interest in Masonry and had so great a faith in its possibilities that when he was elected Grand Master in 1771 his presence could be hardly secured for installation; and he exhibited the uttermost negligence in that capacity, while in 1793 he repudiated Freemasonry in the Journal de Paris. He affirmed that it had once presented to his mind "an image of equality," but that he had found the reality and so left the phantom. He was further of opinion that there should be no mystery and no secret assembly in a republic. The Grand Orient declared the headship vacant and a few months later the guillotine closed the question so far as the quondam Grand Master was concerned. These are the facts, with which we may compare the long since exploded fictions reproduced by The Morning Post on the subject of Philippe Egalité engineering his vast machine of Masonry to consummate revolution.
(5) It is affirmed that Frederick the Great of Prussia was Grand Master of a world-wide system of Freemasonry. He was nothing of the kind. Masonic historians would take a natural pride in giving such a celebrated, if not illustrious, personality an important position in the Order; but the most that can be shown is that he was President of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes at Berlin, his correspondence with which remains to exhibit how far away the connection was. The old, old story of the old false charter which represents him creating a Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite as a system of Thirty-three degrees is put forward as an historical fact, but it has been abandoned long since by Masonic scholarship worthy of the name. (6) Reflecting here as elsewhere the parti pris of Abbé Burruel, the Lodge of Les Amis Réunis and the Rite of the Philaléthes are represented as arrières Loges in which the Revolution was plotted. They were an open lodge and an open Rite existing in the face of day. The account is otherwise muddled, representing Savlette de Langes as belonging to the former and not the latter whereas he belonged to both, and was so much the moving spirit of the second that it is supposed to have suspended its labours when he died. As a matter of fact the Rite was founded within the bosom of the lodge, and the Convention of Paris, held in 1784, indicates at full length the real nature of its concerns. Fortunately the chief documents on which Burruel relies for his foolish account are in my possession: they are concerned with the occult sciences, not with Revolution.
(7) There is another and to me more important matter. The great French mystic, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, is represented as a political "fanatic" and a member of the alleged revolutionary lodges. This is partly on the authority of Barruel and partly on that of a converted Jew, named Lemann, who became a Roman Catholic priest. The latter affirms that Saint-Martin "developed" the "sect" of Pasqually after the latter's death. I cast back the statements into the mouths of their makers. The French mystic had no sect, no Rite, though he had a great number of unincorporated disciples. He did not belong to the Rite of the Philaléthes or Les Amis Réunis. He became a Mason in his youth, but left the Order to follow "the inward way." I appeal to my Life of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, published in 1900. (8) As regards Martines de Pasqually — whose very name is blundered, still following Barruel — The Morning Post affirms that he "worked in France on very much the same lines as Weishaupt," founder of the Illuminati, "worked in Germany." In reply to this amazing rubbish, I appeal to the same work of twenty years since, and need only add here that in such case Weishaupt worked in "occult communications" by virtue of which it was supposed that the Christ of Palestine instructed the Brethren of Pasqually's Masonic Rite of Elect Priests — Rit des Elus Cohens — according to that which was called in their terminology la voie sensible. It is a new view of the German revolution-manger, and The Morning Post will find that "second thoughts are best." As against some other misstatements of Lemann and Abbé Barruel, Pasqually was not a Jew. He was born in the parish of Notre Dame (Saint-Hugues), town and diocese of Grenoble. The baptism of one of his children on June 20, 1768, is on record in the municipal archives of Bordeaux. (9) In or about the year 1780 that brilliant adventurer who called himself Count Cagliostro, founded a Rite of Egyptian Masonry, which filled for a brief period the Masonic world of France with wonder. This also is garnered by The Morning Post into its indiscriminate net of revolution-plots. There could be nothing more antecedently ridiculous, and again it happens that the rituals are in my possession, while I am acquainted otherwise at first hand with the written laws and constitutions. Egyptian Masonry was an occult Rite, belonging to Hermetic Masonry and more especially designed to sustain the claims of Cagliostro as possessing the Great Secret of the Universal Medicine. I observe that the author of the article under notice identifies the "Grand Copht" with Joseph Balsamo, so he has not read the evidence against this view produced by Mr. W. R. Trowbridge, who is not a Mason and has no job in Romanism or revolution questions.
After this enumeration there remain over three matters which deserve studies set apart to each. I have indicated a root-opinion on the part of The Morning Post that the Templar Movement in Masonry is contained within the measures of a single system, being in fact the Scottish Rite — a somewhat inchoate collection of thirty high grades superposed on those of the Craft. It is a development from that Council of Emperors, which superposed twenty-two Grades, and as regards both they are not Templar Rites in the proper sense of the words. The Rite of the Strict Observance was solely and militantly Templar, ab origine symboli. It superposed three Grades, of which the first — or Master of St. Andrew's — formed a connecting link between the Craft and two exceedingly important modes of Templar chivalry. It used to be said that it was Jacobite at the inception, but was certainly not. Here for the first time — albeit by implication only — it is accused of political purpose, under the Duke of Brunswick. As a fact the writer in The Morning Post does not know that he is impeaching the Strict Observance: he seems to think in his state of confusion that the Duke of Brunswick was "Grand Master of the German Freemasons" because he was Grand Master of certain Ecossais lodges. As regards the Scottish Rite — Antiquus Scoticus Ritus Acceptus, as it is called in the forged Constitutions — it did not come into existence till 1801, and then at Charleston, U. S. A. In this connection the articles remind us that Stephen Morin carried a warrant from Grand Consistory of Masons, countersigned by the Grand Orient, to America, and there began to confer high grade powers on a number of Jews, among them Hippolyto Joseph Da Costa, who was not a Jew at all, and at a subsequent date would have died in the hands of the Holy Inquisition at Lisbon, if he had not been rescued by English Masons, facts perhaps naturally omitted by writers in The Morning Post. So much for Morin. We hear also in 1901 of the first Supreme Council in Charleston when Jews were again prominent, among them being Frederick Dalcho. Our contemporary is unfortunate, for Dalcho, who was of Prussian origin and English birth, was for twenty two years a priest of the American Episcopal Church, and a monument to his memory is still standing in the vestry of St. Michael's at Charleston. These are the kind of qualifications which pronounce on "Red Masonry" and presume to talk of revolution in connection with the Scottish Rite. The same fatal blundering pursues the articles when they proceed to Albert Pike and his work in the Southern Jurisdiction of that obedience. The writer is of course unaware that Pike reconstructed the rituals and that they stand therefore at his value as a symbolist and critical scholar: the value is unfortunately very slight. But those who suggest that he imported revolutionary notions into his Masonic Order are talkers of rank nonsense, and the quotation from his Morals and Dogma which is made in Article IV, on the profanation of Masonry by plotters of anarchy — whatever its value as history — is sufficient as to his own position. Among the evidences offered to the contrary are ritual counsels to destroy Ignorance, Tyranny and Fanaticism. Very well: be it agreed that this is part of the design of Masonry. Does The Morning Post stand for ignorance, stand for Tyranny, and stand for Fanaticism? No; but Roman Anti-Masonry — which it reflects throughout the Masonic part of these articles — invariably regards every plan for their removal as a siege laid against the walls of its particular Spiritual City. As one who knows all the rituals of the Scottish Rite and has made a long critical study of many codices of each, I am in a position to check wild statements respecting their content. For example, I am familiar with some twenty separate and independent versions of the Rose Croix, and I affirm that Barruel lied when he said that the French ritual current at his period represents Christ as "a common Jew crucified for his crimes." I challenge The Morning Post and its anonymous contributors to produce any codex which does. In France then, as in England now, Christ — for the Rose Croix — is the Son of God and Lord of Glory. I lay down the same challenge respecting alleged "subversive forms of Freemasonry" working "a ritual of hatred for the Cross." Templar or non-Templar, there are no such grades. The Cross is an object of veneration in Christian Masonry, and in some of the "philosophized" degrees it is treated as an universal symbol. Now the Templar rituals were Christian in all their forms during the eighteenth century, but a few were philosophized afterwards. The Rite of the Strict Observance has been always Christian. Here again I know all its rituals, including those which are held in great secrecy. They were communicated to me after the same long delay and under the same great reserves as was done presumably in the past. They are neither of Stuart legitimacy nor of continental anarchy: they belong to things of the spirit and God known of the heart; and the Templar Order in Britain — where it is governed by Great Priory — in the Colonies and America, belongs to the same category. This notwithstanding, the claim to descend from the old Knights Templar is a myth and pure invention. Couteulx de Canteleu is a false witness on this subject, just as Copin Albancelli is an hystérique insatiable about the Jews.
I pass now to the German Order of Illuminati. It may have been observed that the root-authority on which The Morning Post depends for its case against Masonry is Abbé Barruel, in an almost forgotten work, entitled Memoirs of Jacobinism. He is said to trace the origin of the French Revolution through a bewildering maze of secret societies; but as a fact his societies are Masonic, plus German Illuminism, the position regarding the latter being one of extreme simplicity. The Bavarian Order of Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776, and it was suppressed by the Elector of Bavaria in 1789, some of its active members and the author of its more advanced rituals having withdrawn previously. Those who say that "it was continued in more secret forms" have never produced one item of real evidence. The Morning Post affirms that the Illuminati came out of their seclusion and at tempted a revolution at Berlin in 1918. There is again not a shadow of proof that they did anything of the kind, though a few revolutionaries of that date took over some catchwords adopted by the original gang. Weishaupt assumed in his Order the name of Spartacus, and The Morning Post reproduces a question raised by Mrs. Webster — namely, whether it was "mere coincidence" that the Spartacists of modern Germany "adopted the pseudonym of their fellow-countryman and predecessor of the eighteenth century." The simple and obvious answer is that it was not coincidence but imitation. Mrs. Webster is not of any importance on this part of the subject, but she has been cited often and has intervened at length in the debate. It may be well to point out that she seems to be a member of the Roman Communion, as shown by her invariable allusion to the "Catholic Church," meaning the Latin or Roman Rite. Her historical accuracy appears on August 3, when she quotes an address of Lamartine to "his fellow-Masons." Now, in that speech Lamartine mentioned expressly that he was "not a Freemason," and did not understand "the particular language" of the Order. Mrs. Webster may or may not have read the address which she cites: her evidence is not to be trusted in either case. For the rest, I can tell Mrs. Webster and all others who are concerned that the Order of Illuminati was revived in Germany to my certain knowledge about 1893; that I have all its rituals, all its Statutes, Constitutions and so forth; that it had nothing to do with polities and nothing with revolution. It follows from all the evidence that Barruel was not "justified by time" in his fantastic thesis of survival. The "formidable sect" mentioned by Mr. Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on November 5, 1919, is certainly not a succession from Adam Weishaupt. As a scheme of universal revolution German Illuminism looks formidable in the light of those archives which were published by the Bavarian Elector. So also does the Masonic Rite of Mizraim, with its Laws, Statutes and vast mass of arrangements, not to speak of the rituals representing its ninety Grades, suggest to an unfamiliar mind that it was a thing of great moment and very wide diffusion, but the cumbrous scheme never kept half-a-dozen chapters together, of all its Senates and all its Areopagite Councils. It was and remains a scheme on paper, and this is the description applying to the archives of German Illuminism, which were magnified in the mind of Barruel till they looked like a colossal conspiracy diffused everywhere. I agree with Lord Acton that the "appalling thing" is the design in matters of this kind, but in the present case it is also the thing ridiculous, for Weishaupt's House of Revolution was a house of cards, and the sands on which it was built were the parchments on which he wrote. His scheme was in concealment behind the ignorance of its members, and there was no influential centre to move the puppets on the external stage. There was the amiable enthusiast Baron von Knigge, who wrote up the advanced rituals and retired altogether when Weishaupt wanted to correct them.
It is gross exaggeration to suggest that the Illuminati were "in secret control of a multitude of lodges throughout Germany," for there was no such multitude in existence; it is gross exaggeration to say that Freemasons were "initiated in shoals" by von Knigge at the Convention of Wilhelmsbad in 1782. But if both statements were literal no magnitude of external membership would have made Illuminism a living reality when there was no vitality behind it. This is the general answer to the thesis of Barruel and to those who at this day have turned to his forgotten book. It answers also the question of the articles, whether the German Illuminati were the only or chief sect which had a hand in the French Revolution. It was too invertebrate from the beginning to have had a practical hand in anything, and it had passed out of existence. The mark which it left upon Masonry was in Southern Germany, where the downfall of the one Order caused the suppression of the other. All that is said about Mirabeau, his visit to Berlin and his plot to "illuminize" French Freemasonry, may be disposed of in one sentence: there is no evidence to show that Mirabeau ever became a Mason. The province of Barruel was to colour everything, and he laid on the blacks and the scarlets with lavish brushes. But he was largely confined to the documents, and it is just one of those cases in which documents produce a false impression, for the reasons given.
The next point is possibly the grand divertissement of all. Those who are entitled to speak about secret societies in France at the end of the nineteenth century are aware that Leo Taxil flaunted in the face of Paris his public confession that everything concerned with Diana Vaughan, the Universal Masonic Directorium, its supreme pontificate, Lucifer in the High Grades and Le Diable au XIXe Siècle, were impositions of his own invention. Every one knows that Dr. Batame, otherwise Dr. Hacks, whose name appears as author of this work, had confessed previously, deriding the credulity of "catholics." I have always felt sure that there would be a recrudescence of these mendacities when people had forgotten the circumstances which led to their public exposure; but I did not expect it to occur in the columns of The Morning Post.
I have now done. On the basis of these findings I deny that evidence has been produced for the hand of Freemasonry even in the French Revolution. The contrast made by Louis Blanc between Craft degrees for those who were to be kept in the dark and "occult lodges" for the elect is opposed by the history of French High Grades. The latter were as much open to those who sought them as anything in the Craft itself. In the sense of Louis Blanc there were no occult lodges. I am sure, however, that French Freemasonry was a finger-post pointing in the direction of revolution. The Masonic watchwords of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were like a passing bell ringing out the old order. And the French Revolution was like the German Reformation, a pretty bad thing, but it had to come. The factory of the one was not in "shadowy sanctuaries" but in the French Court, while in the other the factory was at Rome.
The question of Co-Masonry I leave to those who are concerned. The lodges and chapters are illicit from the standpoint of the Grand Lodge of England, under whose obedience I abide as a Mason. The reasons are that it initiates women and is empowered by an irregular jurisdiction. But I believe that The Morning Post has discovered another mare's nest, while it is specifically wrong as usual on its points of fact. The French Lodge Libres Penseurs did not transform into Le Droit Humain; the Order is not oriental; and its devotion to the supposed Comte de St. Germain is an incident of theosophical revelations.
As regards Latin Freemasonry in this twentieth century, I hold no brief whatever. Wheresoever dispersed over continental Europe it may be playing the game of politics, as it is aid to do in South America; but there is of course no concerted effort as there is no central direction; and I have not heard a single name of importance cited in connection with the alleged doings. It would serve, I should think, no purpose for any serious government to concern itself with the scattered groups unless and until they are caught in overt acts.
I have now reviewed the whole position, and as regards "perils" and "protocols" I make no claim to know; but having spent a great part of my literary life in the criticism and exposure of fraudulent documents, one has acquired a certain instinctive — or shall I say expert? — sense on the subject. The protocols are stolen documents, presumably of French origin and therefore suspect, because in Roman Catholic circles of that country the animus against Israel has ranked second only to that against Masonry. Admittedly also there is no evidence in support of them, though they are taken on faith at their face value by both writers in The Morning Post. For myself I can say only that if the alleged fact of a Jewish Peril rests on no firmer ground than these documents, we may reach an aureum saeculum redivivum before an universal social cataclysm. For me they are not suspect; they take their place in the class to which I have referred. I shall believe in the protocols and their Elders of Israel when I believe in the Charter of Cologne, the Charter of Larmenius, and the Ecossais Constitution of Frederick the Great.
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Our Order occupies an enviable position in the eyes of the world. It is regarded as a pioneer in advancing civilization, a bulwark of civic righteousness, liberty loving and God serving. Such a reputation has been earned and won by generations of constant loyalty and devotion to the traditions, purposes, and fundamental teachings of Masonry.
The prohibition of proselyting and importuning of men to join our ranks has been a great contributing factor in the enduring success of our organziation. Quality, not quantity, is our like blood.
— Leon M. Abott, Grand Master, Massachusetts
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The best preparation for the right is to work diligently while the day lasts. The best preparation for death is life.
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MASONRY AND THE PROBLEMS OF MEN
THE WHOLE purpose of philosophy is attained when men are enabled to think clearly and act wisely. To this end has the thought of all great philosophers been directed. Long before Plato, through his persistent questioning, strove to elicit from men their knowledge as to what constituted truth and virtue, eager souls had been groping for the light that makes men free.
No man, having once rightly apprehended the significance of Freemasonry, will be blind to the necessity of men directing their lives by some sort of a philosophy. A man's philosophy is the reason he gives for the deeds he executes in life. And his life in turn is the great witness to the richness or the poverty of his philosophy.
Of the making of books there is no end, and so saying we are but re-echoing the conclusions of a probable ancient brother. Such too may be said of philosophy. Of philosophies there is no end. But what wonderful understanding would one need to select wisely and value justly, for his own governance and happiness, a practical and workable philosophy from among such a number. This task is for the scholar, as most of us in this busy world have not the time to devote to intense studies. Masonry rests on the principles of the first great elemental philosophy, "Belief in God and the immortality of the soul." Providentally for us Freemasonry has preserved the record of man's early thinking. Thus a philosophy of life has been brought down to us which is radiant with a beautiful simplicity, and nowhere is it more practical than in its application to the social and governmental activities of men.
Someone has told us that Masonry is philosophy teaching by symbol, even as History is philosophy teaching by example. In Masonry we have a philosophy that is practical for life and conduct everywhere and all the time. It is a sign of a new day for Masonry that the Masonic Service Association of the United States is confirming this conception. Evidently the most important work to be done now is to emphasize fundamentals. To do this effectively we must go back to the Landmarks of the Fraternity. Masonic philosophy is embodied in those Landmarks. To translate those Landmarks into civic duty and to bring to each Mason a realization of his own part is the task of the Service Association. If the appreciation of the individual Mason for these principles can be aroused the possibilities of the Service Association program will be fulfilled. He who recognizes the value of such an interpretation will live it. When not only one Mason but two million of them apply Masonic principles to the era of readjustment and reconstruction which now lies before us, our government and our society will be stabilized. By such a process only can humane and righteous conditions be established on the earth.
Masonic philosophy enjoins that life must be viewed reasonably. As if to assure man that the time requisite for such contemplation shall be set aside, it has measured the day into proportionate parts. Eight hours of the twenty-four, it is impressed upon the new initiate, is for the service of God and a distressed worthy brother, eight for work, and eight for rest and refreshment. It must not be implied that a specified form of worship is enjoined in the hours that have reference to God. Neither is it implied that we are literally to seek out a brother daily that we may relieve him of his distress, which usually is understood to mean his bodily necessity.
It is not altogether a modern thought that we can worship through our work, but it is a thought that can be reconsidered to advantage, especially in this day. Our work then must be worship and the period designated as being set aside for the service of God must be devoted to our spiritual enrichment, and not in ways derogatory to the growth of man's nobler self.
There are those to whom every form of work is drudgery. They cannot think of work in terms of service. They cannot understand that any task, no matter how menial, can be dignified by a definite aim. Perhaps they see in the evolution of industry that the man who was once a skilled handicraftsman is now a mere cog in a machine. If they would turn the canvas around they would see what a boon to humanity as a whole intensive production has become. They know that the unhealthy conditions in factories a generation or two ago have given way to sanitation and comfort. Some are pessimistic and feel that these improvements, like many others, have been won from unwilling employers. Often this is true but on the other hand we must remember that it was some considerate employer who first realized the relation between pleasant sutroundings and efficiency.
The alienation of employer and employee, creating a condition of almost social anarchy, is gradually being bridged. The idea that is going to prevail after the wage and profit issues are adjusted, is that they are co-partners. Whether the work to be done be simple or intricate, it is as co-operators that good work, square work, the best work can be done. In arriving at such mutual relationship the Masonic teaching regarding the right use of the day will not only be appreciated but applied. No doubt, as some theorists are fond of exclaiming, the world's work could be done in infinitely less time if everybody worked, or rather if every ablebodied man worked. But just at present we are not living in any Utopian realm; we are living in the United States where eight hours a day, worked and not shirked, is considered the requisite for both comfort and success.
To what use do we put the eight hours of rest after our eight hours of labor are over? We chance to live where the eight hour day is in vogue and our observation in traveling lends weight to our personal conclusion as deducted from conditions at home. Are these young men who loaf and upon whose hands time seems to be heavily hanging doing anything commensurate with a service to God or a distressed worthy brother?
We fear that they are rather of those who brood sulkily over working conditions and are naturally the prey of fanatical agitators. It is the conclusion of some of our keenest students that Young America is neither reading nor thinking. In this Young America must be included many who display upon their coats the square and compass. Had the Masonic ritual told them its full story, they would know how to employ the other eight hours, and their lives would prove it.
— Robert Tipton.
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Edited by Bro. Robert Tipton
The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library Editor will be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges, either through this Department or by personal correspondence.
It will be our aim to publish in this Department each month a list of such publications as we may be able from time to time to secure for members of the Society. However, a book listed herein this month may be out of stock next month, and further copies unobtainable, and for this reason it is recommended that when ordering books or pamphlets from these lists the latest monthly issue of THE BUILDER be consulted, and no orders be made from lists more than thirty days old.
In the monthly reviews the names and addresses of the publishers of the books are given in order that our readers may order such books direct from the publishers instead of through the Society. In many instances the books may be found in stock at local book stores.
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THE BALKAN SITUATION
"The Balkans," by William M. Sloan. Published by the Abingdon Press, 150 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. Price $3.00.
WE HAVE found "The Balkans," a laboratory of history, to be both a very readable and serviceable book. Professor Sloan, an astute student and keen observer, has portrayed, as few men can portray, the Balkan situation of past and present, and his prophetic utterances regarding the future may yet prove to be attended with considerable degree of fulfilment. That he has kept pace with the making of history is more than evident. A keen and observing traveler, his pictures of the various peoples that inhabit the Balkan Peninsula are highly interesting. What difficulties will be encountered in the readjustment of Europe to normalcy, under the proposed League of Nations, are markedly designated in Professor Sloan's work.
A brief work, yet so comprehensive and so prophetically uttered. We are advised that it is in popular demand by students of history everywhere. Impartiality of judgment is manifest throughout, and a thorough, fair treatment of the problems of the small nationalities that make the Balkans has been splendidly accomplished.
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SOME CHARMING VERSES
"Japanese Prints," by John Gould Fletcher. Published by The Four Seas Company, 67 Cornhill Street, Boston, Mass.
Mutual acquaintanceship among peoples will do much to dispell those illusions that arise as a result of ignorance and bigotry and are too often the great potent factors that generate wars. We are reminded of the story told of Charles Lamb who at one time evinced his hatred for a chance passer-by. When called upon to explain the grounds for his intense dislike, his quiet naive reply was that he did not know the man, otherwise he could not hate him. No doubt the essayist just then was desiring to teach a valuable lesson. In the preface to "Japanese Prints," John Gould Fletcher has very pointedly signified the reason why we should become acquainted with the best of the literature of the Orient.
His apt and capable distinction of the differences between the mysticism of the East and that oil the West is charmingly stated. The only difference, says he, between the Eastern and Western mystic, is that one sees the world in the grain of sand and tells you all about it, the other sees and lets his silence imply that he knows its meaning. Later he also speaks of the necessity of sitting at the feet of the great poets of the Orient if the desirable and coveted simplicity in English poetry is to be again achieved.
Through the medium of his delicate and sensuous poems we are brought into a noble relationship with the genius that can appreciate the beautiful and spiritual in life without being continuously desirous of playing the role of interpreter.
It is the genius that apprehends divinity in things both great and small. Affected writing about the emotional and subjective are very much taboo in the poetry of the Orient and it is conspicuously absent in the "Japanese Prints." There is much to learn about the purpose of poetry as we read these songs that universalize instead of personalize emotions. and employ the imagery of descriptions that ranges from clouds to pebbles. The impersonal is the crown that glorifies this little volume.
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AN INSPIRATIONAL BOOK FOR "YOUNG AMERICA"
"The Man Who Dares," by Leon C. Prince. Published by the Abingdon Press, 150 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. Price $1.00.
A timely little book, appealing to "Young America" to make good after the manner revealed in the lives of those who dared to do great things. It is a work full of inspiration to young life and takes its place in importance with those productions of modern philosophers of optimism, ever holding out to the present generation the vision of its possibilities, if right thinking and sane, intelligent action are its portion.
That the author, who, by the way, is a college professor, has a comprehensive understanding of the problems of young life, is revealed by the masterly and incisive telling of the truth with which he deals.
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AN INTERESTING BOOK OF FICTION
"The White Moll," by Frank Packard. Published by the George H. Doran Company, 38 West 32nd Street, New York, N. Y.
Rarely have we been thrilled by a tale of life in the Underworld as we have been by the reading of Frank Packard's "White Moll." It is a charming story written in a recent style, and packed with climaxes that keep one perpetually alert as to what is going to transpire next. Free from the taints of modern fiction, (burdened too frequently with the salacious), it follows the adventures of a charming young woman who by strange experiences comes to be regarded with both fear and veneration by the habitués of the Underworld.
It is a novel calculated for summer reading with almost old-fashioned villians and plots to read about, that after reading can leave one as wholesome as when one started to read. Frank Packard is striking an old key in a new way among fiction writers.
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ESSAYS ON PIONEER DAYS IN OHIO AND THE MIDDLE WEST
"Wild Turkeys and Tallow Candles," by Ellen Hayes. Published by The Four Seas Company, 67 Cornhill Street, Boston, Mass.
A fascinating book of essays that adds much to the historical literature of pioneer days in Ohio and the Middle West has just been published by the Four Seas Company under the title of "Wild Turkeys and Tallow Candles." Its author, Ellen Hayes, a former professor at Wellesley College, has put all of the charm of the days she describes into her book and in a series of vivid pictures has given us a first-hand knowledge of the hardships, the thrift, the courage and the devotion that characterized the old settlers of the days between 1800 and the Civil War.
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A TIMELY SATIRE
"1200 A Year," by Edna Ferber and Newman Levy. Published by Doubleday, Page and Company, Garden City, N. Y.
We are told that this play is a timely satire on the absurdities of professors at $1,200 a year, and street sweepers at $2,500 a year, and will go "on the boards" this Fall.
It is a splendid and humorous arraignment of the shabby genteel and pauper respectability as it is frequently evidenced in the under-paid teachers and college professors. It is a delightful treatment of the day laborer, who is remunerated lavishly for minding trains, while those who train minds are subjected to gross, humiliating circumstances. This is a promise of the satirical literature that must come into being to help in the solution of our present social and economical difficulties. It is a human picture, such as we are all familiar with, and dealt with in a fashion that is both healthy and suggestive.
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"A BUNCH OF EVERLASTINGS"
"A Bunch of Everlastings," by F. W. Boreham. Published by the Abingdon Press, 160 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the perusal of this volume of sermon essays dealing with texts that have made history. Their charm lies chiefly in the manner in which the texts are revealed to be related to the lives of great men. Only recently has the author of these essays been brought to our notice, but the facility with which he wields the pen, evidencing a brilliancy of mind, makes us desire to read more of what he has written. A refreshing power is felt throughout this little work and none who read can help but be profoundly touched as they learn of the significant part that these texts have played upon the lives of men so far apart in time as Sir Frances Xavier, John Bunyan, Wilberforce and Sir Walter Scott. The essays are inspirational, reassuring and comforting.
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ADDRESSES OF BISHOP BASHFORD
"The Demand for Christ," by Bishop James W. Bashford. Published by The Methodist Book Concern, 150 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y. Price $1.50.
We are advised by the President of the De Pauw University that the many requests for the publication of the addresses of Bishop Bashford was the cause of the issuance of the present volume. That this noted churchman was a statesman of no small calibre is emphasized in more than one of the addresses in this book. His utterances on "America and World Democracy" and "Christianity and Education" are destined to be pertinent reading for a long time to come. These addresses contain the best of the good Bishop's heart and brain. Their inspirational power is a dynamic incentive to right living.
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THE WORDS OF A COMING PLAYWRIGHT
"Plays," by Susan Glaspell. Published by Small, Maynard & Co., 15 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass. Price $2.00.
We have in these plays the indication of the rise of a great American dramatist. Her analytical sense, both penetrating and keen, has enabled her to hold up to view many of the foibles and the idiosyncrasies of our social life.
There is a wisdom pervading these plays that challenges thought. Susan Glaspell may indeed well be hailed as one of the most powerful of American dramatists contributing today to the making of American literature. We shall await with interest for further productions from this gifted playwright.
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DECEMBER BOOK LIST
The following list embraces practically all the standard works on Masonry which we are able to secure and keep in stock for the accommodation of individual members of the Society, Study Clubs and Lodges.
We are finding it more difficult each year to procure new or second-hand copies of the earlier works on Masonry of which, owing to the limited market for them at the time of their publication, but a small number of copies were printed.
We are continually in search for additional items which will be listed in this column whenever it is our good fortune to secure them.
It is suggested that the latest list be consulted before sending in orders and that no orders be made from lists more than one month old, since our stock of these books is limited and a book listed this month may be out of stock by the time next month's list is published.
Since the publishers are constantly increasing their prices to us the following prices are subject to such changes.
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
- Philosophy of Freemasonry, Pound. $1.25
- "Lectures on Masonic Jurisprudence," by Brother Roscoe Pound. $1.50
- Freemasonry in America Prior to 1759, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Massachusetts. $1.35
- 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¢
- Symbolism of the First Degree, Gage, pamphlet. 15¢
- Symbolism of the Third Degree, Ball, pamphlet. 15¢
- Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, Waite, (pamphlet). 15¢
- "A Vest Pocket History of Freemasonry," by Brother H. L. Haywood. (Special prices on lot orders for 25 or more copies for presentation purposes). 25¢
- "What an Entered Apprentice Ought to Know," by Hal Riviere. (Special prices on lot orders for 25 or more copies for presentation purposes.) Pamphlet, paper covers. 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, 1920 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 Before the Existence of Grand Lodges, Lionel Vibert. A digest of the researches of Gould, Hughan, Rylands, Speth and others on the origin and early history of Masonry. $1.75
- Concise History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould. $4.50
- Collected Essays on Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould. $7.50
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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A TWENTIETH-CENTURY FUNERAL SERVICE NEEDED
For many years I have refused to recommend, defend or excuse what seems to me the atrocious burial service laid down in our Masonic trestleboard.
I am convinced that we should no longer delay the providing of some funeral or burial service that will be more in keeping with the spirit and faith of the twentieth century. The present ritual service is cold, stilted, formal and comfortless. A service that should bring some ray of comfort and of hope has too often brought a deeper sense of sorrow and despair. Let us have a form that will give expression to the true Masonic faith in the immortality of man, the supporting, protecting and comforting power of an ever present and all loving God. Then indeed shall the trembling lips of the widow and orphan tell us how blessed is the sacred ministry of Masonry.
Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master, Massachusetts.
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The Committee on Burial Service reported to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge the following recommendations covering the preparation of a Masonic burial service:
- The Masonic burial service should be complete in itself. That is to say, it should be so arranged that it could be used as a complete service in case there were no church or other service held. It should, however, be so arranged that it could be readily shortened so as to be used in connection with a church service if desired.
- It should be simple and should be accompanied by sufficiently full directions to make it easy to be conducted by those not much experienced in such matters.
- It should be deeply religious, but not exclusively Christian.
- It should not be a repetition, whether in whole or part, of any church service which might be used in connection with it.
- Its emphasis should be laid upon life, hope, and immortality.
- Its endeavor should be to comfort and to convey the assurance of sympathy."
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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.
SOME PERTINENT QUERIES ANENT THE SCOTTISH RITE AND KNIGHT TEMPLARY IN TEIE UNITED STATES, ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
Will you please answer briefly through the Question Box Department the following questions:
What basis has the current statement that Masonic Knight Templary is an American invention?
What is the relationship between the Knight Templar bodies of Scotland and those of the United States?
Do not the American Knights Templar recognize Scotland's claim to having sustained the Order since the martyrdom of Jacques de Molay, as set forth in the prefatory notice to the Statutes of the United Order of the Temple and Hospital in Scotland?
Why is the name "Scottish Rite"? Having recently sojourned in Scotland, where I visited and studied with learned Masons, I found the Order of the Temple considered as the zenith of Masonic attainment, and that Masons there scarcely know of the Scottish Rite. Is it considered an historical truth that the Scottish Rite is a French invention, and was considered clandestine for many years by Grand bodies of England and Scotland?
How did the Red Cross degree (degree of the Captivity or Babylonish Pass) as conferred under the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, come to be attached to the Commandery series in the United States?
Has the Royal Ark Mariner degree, as conferred under jurisdiction of the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, and under separate jurisdiction in England, ever been conferred in the United States by any Masonic body?
A. H. H., California.
You have certainly propounded a number of diverse questions, Brother H. Two or three pages could be written in answer to most of them, but I imagine what you wish is something short so I am confining the replies as closely as possible to the point, taking up the questions seriatum:
MASONIC KNIGHT TEMPLARY NOT AN AMERICAN INVENTION
What basis has the current statement that Masonic Knight Templary is an American invention?
This certainly is not a "current statement" outside the United States, and I cannot remember having ever heard it in that country. I think there is no doubt that the Masonic and Military Order first saw light in Europe and a reference to Mackey's Encyclopedia will make it evident that such is the belief of that ancient American writer. In speaking of the origin of Masonic Knights Templar he says: "From the Baldwyn Encampment and its coordinates, the old English and the American Templars." The origin of this Encampment which met, and still does meet, at Bristol, England, is unknown. It was certainly working about the middle of the eighteenth century, and then conferred the following degrees: 1° Entere° Apprentice, 2° Fellow Craft, 3° Master Mason, 4° Royal Arch, 5° Knight Templar and Knight of Malta, 6° Rose Croix, 7° Knight K-H (the present 30°).
FRATERNAL RELATIONS OF KNIGHTS TEMPLAR OF UNITED STATES AND SCOTLAND
What is the relationship between the Knight Templar bodies of Scotland and those of the United States?
The Great Priory of Scotland is, I hear, in full communication with the Grand Encampment of the United States.
SCOTLAND'S CLAIM OF SUSTAINING THE ORDER SINCE DE MOLAY'S MARTYRDOM
Do not the American Knights Templar recognize Scotland's claim to having sustained the Order since the martyrdom of Jacques de Molay, as set forth in the prefatory notice to the Statutes of the United Order of the Temple and Hospital in Scotland?
As far as I know, the American bodies make no reference to Scotland's claim, but I do not think that they repudiate it. The tradition is that the Order of the Temple when persecuted in Europe took refuge in Scotland where the Knights were allowed to reside unmolested, and after a time united with the Freemasons in that country. It is very well known, but, I believe, without proof.
THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM "SCOTTISH RITE"
Why is the name "Scottish Rite"?
The following explanation was given by me in Vol. I, No. 8, of Masonic Notes:
In the year 1307, a persecution of the Knights Templar began in Europe by the Church and State, and the Order was practically broken up. It is said that many of the Knights took refuge in Scotland, where they joined the Freemasons. This is the explanation generally given of high grade Masonry, and it is an undoubted fact that in many of these degrees, the symbols of the Templars are mixed with those of the Craft. For this reason the high degrees were said to be "Scottish," although the earliest records of them come from France, where they were organized by Ramsey, who put forward the above explanation for the name.
Another favorite explanation is that these degrees were the invention of the followers of the House of Stewart, the pretenders to the throne of England, who intended to use them as a means of gaining political power
Yet another explanation has, I understand, been put forward by Schiffman. He states that about 1725, some Masons in France adopted the acacia as their emblem and became known as "Frères Ecossois." The ignorant mistook this for "Frères Écossais," or "Scotch Brothers," which gave rise to the popular belief that the degrees which they possessed had their origin in Scotland. The only difficulty in this explanation is the word "Ecossois," which I am unable to find in any French dictionary. The word "acacia" remains unchanged in the French language, but its pronunciation is very similar to "Ecossois," or even "Ecossais."
ORIGIN OF THE SCOTTISH RITE ORGANIZATION
Having recently sojourned in Scotland, where I visited and studied with learned Masons, I found the Order of the Temple considered as the zenith of Masonic attainment, and that Masons there scarcely know of the Scottish Rite. Is it considered an historical truth that the Scottish Rite is a French invention?
One can hardly say that the Scottish Rite is a French invention, although most of the degrees appear to have had their origin in France. The stages of evolution are as follows:
1743. Lyons Chapter, France, working six degrees
1764. Chapter of Clermont, Park, working twenty-five degrees.
This Chapter was succeeded or absorbed by the Council of the Emperors of the East and West, in 1768. At the same time some of the degrees were conferred by the Baldwyn Encampment in England.
The Council of the Emperors of the East and West delegated their power to Inspectors General and in this way the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States was formed, having jurisdiction over thirty-three degrees, and which established Supreme Councils in other countries.
Most of the degrees are certainly of French origin, but if the means by the term "Scottish Rite" the present organization, the initial effort was certainly made in the United States.
EARLY STATUS OF SCOTTISH RITE DEGREES IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
Was the Scottish Rite considered clandestine for many years, in the Grand bodies of England and Scotland?
From the middle of the eighteenth century, the present 18° and 30° could be obtained in the Baldwyn Encampment, so there is, I think, no doubt that they at any rate were not looked upon with disfavor, although of course the Rite is not and never has been recognized by the Craft as a part of the Masonic system. Until the Supreme Councils of England and Scotland were formed in the nineteenth century, no doubt, any "high" degrees, coming from France would have been considered most irregular.
RED CROSS DEGREE PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED INTO UNITED STATES BY WEBB
How did the Red Cross degree (degree of the Captivity or Babylonish Pass) as conferred under the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, come to be attached to the Commandery series in the United States?
These degrees are supposed to have been taken from the Scottish Rite systems by some American Masonic organizer (perhaps Webb.) These are certainly in a more rational place when conferred in connection with the Order of the Holy Royal Arch.
THE "ROYAL ARK MARINER DEGREE" IN THE UNITED STATES
Has the Royal Ark Mariner degree, as conferred under jurisdiction of the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, and under separate jurisdiction in England, ever been conferred in the United States by any Masonic body?
In the first place, the degree of Royal Ark Mariner is not under "separate jurisdiction" in England. It is conferred under the authority of the Grand Mark Lodge, being governed by the Grand Master with the advice of a Board called the Grand Master's Royal Ark Council.
In the United States the degree is the first of a long series conferred by the Sovereign College of Allied and Christian Degrees, a body organized in 1892. The present headquarters are in Norway, Maine, and there is a lodge working in New York City.
C.C. Adams, England
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THE MOVABLE AND IMMOVABLE JEWELS
In the October issue of THE BUILDER you make me say that Albert Pike calls the American explanation of the movable and immovable jewels a modern "invention." The word I used was "innovation," quite a different thing.
Since writing that article I have run across a statement of Robert Morris published in 1859 that he knew that Webb taught that the square, level and plumb were the immovable jewels. In August, 1859, there appeared in the Indiana Freemason an article by a brother who learned the work from a pupil of Snow and who states that Brother Snow himself told him that this brother had the work perfectly. From this article I quote the following:
"Some writers contend that by common usage the square, level and plumb are the immovable jewels, and that such was Webb's teaching; but with this assertion we do not coincide, and as we can not enter into an argument on this subject except orally, we will pass in review some of the evidence. Certain we are that Snow, Gleason, and Preston did not so teach; for the former we have living witnesses at hand, in addition to our own personal knowledge, and for the latter we have a lecture by Preston on this subject, which we will publish in part at some future time; this lecture says the square, level and plumb are the movable jewels. This is confirmed by Brother Gleason, who received the lectures in 1805 from Brother Webb himself. This evidence is conclusive."
Brother A. Trowbrigge, of Camden, N. Y., in 1860 called attention to the fact that Webb in his Monitor mentions the movable jewels first, and that in his lectures he taught following this the question, "What are the movable jewels? A. The square, level and plumb. Q. To whom do they belong? A. To the principal officers in a lodge who are the representatives of our three first M∴ W∴ Grand Masters."
Brother Hiram Bassett, in the Voice of Masonry of August 15, 1860, gives the following reasons for calling the square, level and plumb the immovable jewels:
"That the square, level and plumb are the immovable jewels, I have no doubt; not the material tools used by operative Masons, but the great moral principles which speculative Masons use, and which the metal jewels found in a lodge merely symbolize. No one, I presume, will contradict that these latter are immovable; but the great Square of Nature, the Level of Equality, and the Plumb-line of Rectitude are immovable and unchangeable, and exist the same yesterday, today and forever. In another sense, too, as geometrical principles, they are immovable. Vary the angle in the slightest degree at which the two sides of the square intersect each other, and it is no longer a square; elevate or depress any portion of the level, it loses its horizontal position, and is no more a level; and to remove the plumb one iota from a strictly upright position, it ceases to be a plumb. Indeed if these are not the immovable jewels, I am utterly at a loss to determine in what sense any of the jewels of a lodge can be said to be immovable; for the ashlars and trestleboard, as I conceive, are not immovable, either in their literal or symbolical sense, as nothing material can be said so to be. Therefore, I presume no one will contend that the simple metal tools are themselves the jewels or principles by which a Mason is expected to regulate his life and conduct. Does anyone suppose that it was a material standard that the Great Architect of the Universe had reference to when he declared unto Amos that he would set up a plumb-line in the midst of his people Israel, by which they should be thereafter judged? Most certainly not. But it was the great principle of moral rectitude which he placed in their midst as the standard by which they should be tried. And in the final day we shall all be tried by this same standard, together with the immutable and immovable square of truth; and by standing these unerring tests, will we alone be redeemed, or rather elevated to that perfect and immovable level upon which we all hope to meet when our imperfect ashlars shall have been made perfect, and fitted to their places 'as living stones in that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.' And how else can they be made perfect, except by the application of those unerring and immovable principles symbolized by the square, level and plumb, agreeable with the designs laid down by the Supreme Grand Master in the Book of Life — our spiritual trestle-board?"
If our American ritual tinker, whoever he may have been, when he transferred the adjective "immovable" from the ashlars and trestle-board to the square, level and plumb, had said that the latter were immovable because they represented unchangeable principles and the former movable because they represented a developing character, he would have had a much stronger case than he has. It may be, however, that this thought was present, even though it is not given in the ritualistic explanation, and this may account for the fact that it gained such ready and universal acceptance in this country.
C.C. Hunt, Iowa
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ARS QUATUOR CORONATORUM AND MASONIC REPRINTS FOR SALE
A brother leaving the country has left with us for disposal the following:
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volumes I to IV, bound in regulation half morocco.
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volumes V to XIII, complete with binding cases, but not bound in.
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volumes XXIII to XXIX, complete but without binding cases and unbound.
Masonic Reprints Volumes II to IX, bound in half morocco.
Masonic Reprints Volume X, unbound and without binding case.
Irish Masonic Reprints Volumes I to III, bound in half morocco.
For the entire set of the above thirty-three volumes, together with several loose numbers, some being duplicates and others odd issues, the brother concerned is asking £35, packed and ready for shipping. The cost of shipping to an American port would be around £3 10s. to £4. The books are in quite good condition.
The Masonic Journal of South Africa,
P. O. Box 2000, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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OLD BOOKS TO EXCHANGE
I have a few duplicates of old and out of print books in my private collection, which I would like to exchange with some other member of the Society, for books which I do not have. Following are a few of my duplicates:
Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, N. Y., 1855, binding worn.
Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, Louisville, Ky., 1853, binding worn.
Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, Vol. XIV of Universal Masonic Library, Lodgeton, Ky., 1856. Binding faded.
Revelations of a Square, George Oliver, 1855. Binding worn.
Webb "Monitor," Providence, R. I., 1805 edition, calf.
Vol. XV of Universal Masonic Library, Lodgeton, Ky., 1856, containing "Constitutions of 1723," and "The History of Freemasonry." (This is the so-called Lawrie History, which was written by Sir David Brewster.)
"The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors," Ravenscroft. Cover soiled.
If I can get in touch with some of the members who have duplicates to exchange I can probably find several other duplicates in my collection.
I would be glad to exchange any of the above items for "Mystic Masonry," by J. D. Buck, or "Negro Masonry," by W. H. Upton.
Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin.
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THE LELAND-LOCKE MANUSCRIPT
The question has often been asked: "Are Masons better than other men?" Of all the answers to this none is more succinct than that given by a medical brother to King Henry VI: "Some Masons are not so virtuous as some other men; but for the most part they are better than they would be if they were not Masons." This statement, amplified and expanded, forms to this day the substance of many a Masonic oration. There are several other striking answers in the once famous but now too much ignored document known as the Leland-Locke MS. The last item in the interrogatory is especially worthy of note: "Do Masons love one another mightily as has been said?" the answer being: "Yes, indeed, and it cannot be otherwise, for the better men are the more they love one another." It was the beauty and truth of this sentiment which induced the great philosopher, John Locke, to become a member of the Craft. The history of the document is interesting. It was first printed in 1748 and purports to be the copy of a MS. found after diligent search by Locke in the Bodleian Library. It was included in most of the Masonic works published during the latter half of the eighteenth century. No question was entertained as to its authenticity until Lessing threw doubt on the subject. Subsequent German writers were divided in their opinion. Scepticism culminated in the statement of Bro. R. F. Gould that Fort was the only Masonic writer of our day who believed in its credibility. On the other hand, Bro. Dr. Fort Newton, in his illuminating work, "The Builders," voices the incredulity no further than to say that the MS. is not allowed by all to be genuine.
Freemasonry has suffered much loss at the hands of the iconoclasts. In late years a school of writers has arisen who, is the words of Bro. Fort Newton, reject almost everything that cannot prove itself in a Court of Law. In a system such as Masonry, which depends on oral tradition, it is absurd to expect in every case direct documentary proof. The more strict the fidelity to obligation the fewer the records must necessarily be. The arguments advanced against the time-honoured MS. are puerile, while the intrinsic evidence of its veracity are irresistible. The very errors in the text are witnesses of its truth. The blunder of calling Pythagoras "Peter Gower" is just such as might be made by an illiterate Craftsman in adopting a vernacular corruption of the French word "Pythagore"; similarly to confounding the ancient Phoenicians with the modern Venetians would not be unlikely in the days of the grandeur of Venice. The most plausible of adverse criticism lies in the violently uncouth spelling which corresponds to no period of English orthography; but this has little disqualifying cogency when we find in lodge minute books within the last century such monstrosities as "Shuper exclant Masons" and a "Sertifiket" of a "Resectobel Order."
The document is supported by so many contemporary and credible allusions as to make it almost inconceivable as a forgery.
In any case it deserves to be rescued from oblivion if only on account of the sublime truths it contains. Among these is the statement that Masonry enables men to be virtuous without hope of reward or fear of punishment. The pursuit of virtue for its own sake and not for ulterior aims differentiates Masonry from the dogmatic religions. Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth bring their own rewards and are not dependent on the enticements or terrors of another world. Bro. Calvert has done good service in adding the original text of the MS. as an appendix to Vol. III of the Authors' Lodge Transactions, so that Freemasons can judge for themselves of its value.
John A. Cockburn, P.G.D., England,
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"What induces so many men without solicitation to become Masons?" is often asked. Is it curiosity? If only that it is never satisfied. Is it search for knowledge? Yes, partly, but also for truth which is great arid shall prevail. Is it simply the gregarious instinct? Not altogether, though all lonely men desire to link up with those whose friendship will not languish. Is it a sense of littleness in the universe and isolation? Sometimes, for many men have prayed the Breton monosyllabic prayer — "Oh God be good to me, Thy sea is so wide and my boat is so small." Human sympathy thrives on human intercourse and all real culture requires a social atmosphere. Is it an appeal similar to that of religion? Is it because of the example of true members of the Craft who have poise without pose — who have neither artificiality nor affection, and who have pledged themselves to serve their fellow-men and to render loyal obedience to properly constituted authority? Is it because men introspectively ask (as we all should) —
"Am I a friend to as many men
As are good staunch friends to me?"
Whatever may be the inducement to enter within the veils, the older we men grow, we know that the most beautiful reward that any man in the world can have is the gift of friendship generous, overflowing, bountiful, real.
— Bro. W. N. Ponton, Canada.