A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 7 No. 4 – April 1921
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia
GENERAL HENRY DEARBORN
HENRY DEARBORN, physician, soldier, patriot and statesman, was one of those remarkable characters who covered much ground and did it well. He rose to the rank of Major General in the Army of the Revolution, and yet the rising generation probably can tell us less about him than they can about the champion boxer or the stroke oar in the college race crew.
This Republic, which we hear lauded in many Fourth of July orations, owes as much to General Dearborn as it does to any division commander in the Revolutionary War. General Dearborn was born in New Hampshire, in 1751, of English ancestry, and died at Roxbury, Mass., in 1829, where he was buried. Past Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson, of Massachusetts, informs the writer that the remains of General Dearborn, and those of his wife, were removed to Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, in 1834. No memorial was erected to mark either burial site.
Dearborn was a man of great endurance, powerful, enthusiastic and sanguine. When he learned of the Battle of Lexington he immediately organized a company of sixty men, marched to Lexington, making sixty-five miles the first day, but unfortunately arrived too late to get into the fight.
He was made a Captain in Stark's Brigade, and was at Bunker Hill on the 17th of June, 1775. He accompanied General Arnold to Quebec, going through the dense woods of Maine, was taken prisoner at Quebec, paroled, and soon afterwards exchanged.
He served under General Gates at the capture of Burgoyne and distinguished himself and his regiment by a gallant charge at the battle of Monmouth, in 1778. He then served with General John Sullivan (who was afterwards Grand Master in New Hampshire) in the expedition against the Indians in 1780, and also with the Army in New Jersey in 1781, and the following year was on garrison duty at Saratoga. He was appointed Marshal of the District of Maine, by General Washington.
He served two terms in Congress and was Secretary of War for eight years. He held that the Republic expected every man to do his duty and was remiss if he did less, that the reward for the performance of a great act was in the pleasure one experienced for having performed it.
In 1809 General Dearborn was Collector of the Port of Boston, and in 1812 was commissioned the senior Major General in the Army and Commander of the Northern Department. In the spring of 1813 he captured the town of York, in Upper Canada, and also Fort George at the mouth of the Niagara, being afterwards recalled and placed in command of the military district of New York City.
General Dearborn in 1815 resigned his commission in the Army to accept the position of Minister to the kingdom of Portugal, where he remained for two years, being then recalled at his own request.
His life was published by General Henry A. S. Dearborn who was a prominent member of the Bar in Boston.
It is a pleasure to note what a great number of our Revolutionary ancestors were Freemasons; how pure and upright they were, but it is a pity their biographers have failed to record their Masonic membership.
The only memorials to this great man and patriot are a street in the city of Boston named after him, and Fort Dearborn, at Chicago, shown as the frontispiece in this issue of THE BUILDER through the courtesy of the National Geographic Society.
The War Department will furnish gratuitously small markers for the graves of Revolutionary soldiers, and even one of these modest and inexpensive stones would afford some pleasure to the descendants of Revolutionary sires.
Fort Dearborn, which was but a block house, has vanished, and the rising generation who thread their way through the curves and tangents of Dearborn Street probably have never known whence or why the street received its name.
Brother Dearborn was made a Mason in St. Johns Lodge, Portsmouth, N. H., in 1777.
* * *
THE CRAFT IN THE BRITISH ISLES IN 1920
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
WHEN THE YEAR opened, the Craft in England had to regret the absence of its Grand Master, the Duke of Connaught, who had been compelled to seek convalescence, after an acute bronchial attack, in the south of France. The year ends with the Grand Master again absent from the country, but this time, he having been restored fully t health, he is on his way to India as the accredited representative of his king and country, and the latest report to hand, coming exactly at the moment these words are being written, is that the Duke of Connaught is "enjoying better health than he has enjoyed for some time." Deo Gratias.
The past year has witnessed the foundation in England of a record number of lodges, warrants having been granted for the consecration of no fewer than 162, as compared with 129 in 1919; 88 in 1918; 39 in 1917; 24 in 1916; 21 in 1915; 30 in 1914; and 68 in 1913; this last being the average pre-war figure. The growth of the Craft in England and the increase in the number of lodges has necessitated the appointment of a second Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in the United Grand Lodge and of Assistant Provincial and District Grand Masters in the larger Provinces and Districts.
In Royal Arch Masonry, the progress has been marked in proportion, 71 chapters having been warranted during the year. Six Grand Superintendents have been appointed to provinces and two to districts: W. Lascelles Southwell to Shropshire, Lord St. Levan to Cornwall, Edward Holmes to Leicester and Rutland, Dr. E. H. Cook to Bristol, Rev. Dr. E. C. Pearce to Cambridgeshire, Major R. L. Thornton to Sussex, Sir George Fletcher MacMunn to Punjab, and James MacKenna to Burma. Here, as in the Craft, it has been found necessary to appoint a second Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in consequence of the increasing number of Chapter consecrations.
The principal change in the government of Mark Masonry has been the appointment of Sir Richard Vassar-Smith as Deputy Grand Master in succession to Mr. R. Loveland Loveland, K. C., who has rendered long and valuable service in this degree in particular, but in all branches of Masonry in general.
A similar story is told by the Scottish Masonic authorities. New lodges are being formed, some in very remote districts, and the enthusiasm for the Craft and its many branches, apparently is deep-rooted and sincere. Certain restrictions as to the number of candidates that may be initiated at one time have been introduced which has led to the introduction of "waiting lists," thus affording an additional test for the neophytes. The Earl of Eglinton and Winton has been installed as Grand Master Mason in succession to Brigadier General R. Gordon Gilmour, Scotland being more democratic in its constitution than England, the Grand Mastership, in normal times, changing annually. One of the most important Masonic events of the year was the official visit of a deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland to the Grand Lodge of England.
In Ireland, Colonel Claude Cane has succeeded the veteran Sir Charles Cameron as Deputy Grand Master, who has devoted some seventy years of his life to Masonic work and propaganda. Ireland also, during the year, has lost its Grand Secretary, H. E. Flavelle, who was also well known as an indefatigable worker.
The support given to the three central Masonic institutions has been well maintained, the aggregate amount collected at the annual festivals totalling up to no less a sum than £293,188 from 16,056 Stewards; while the Mark Benevolent Fund also enjoyed a record festival, 975 stewards being up to the sum of over £10,050. All the institutions have once more accepted the whole of the qualified candidates without subjecting them to the ordeal and expense of a ballot. The Freemasons Hospital and Nursing Home, placed at the disposal of the military authorities for the purposes of a War Hospital, has, during the year, reverted to its original purpose and has already well justified its existence, despite the doubts of many, when the scheme was first propounded, as to its necessity. There was no formal opening ceremony, but the Grand Master paid an informal visit at the time of the transfer and gave a welcome to the first patients. The Old Peoples' Institution has now 1400 annuitants on its books, while 777 girls and 905 boys are being educated and maintained in the other institutions. During the year, R. Percy Simpson has resigned from the secretaryship of the Girls' School, and, just at the closing of the year, comes the news of the passing of James Morrison McLeod, who, for more than twenty-seven years, guided the affairs of the Boys' School in a masterly and highly successful manner.
Many honors, politic and civic, have fallen to the lot of prominent Brethren during the year, but none gave greater pleasure than the Baronetcy conferred upon the Deputy Grand Master, Sir Frederick Halsey. The Earl of Stradbroke, Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk, has now left to take up his duties as Governor of Victoria, but this is the only province in England which is not under the direct government of its appointed head. During the year three Provincial Grand Masters have been installed into office: F. M. LaMothe, Isle of Man; Louis S. Winsloe, West Lancashire; and the Bishop of Thetford, Norfolk. Four District Grand Masters have also been appointed: Major-General Sir George Fletcher MacMunn, Punjab; James MacKenna, Burma; John Langley, Egypt and the Soudan; and Henry J. Hyde-Johnson, Nigeria.
The Masonic Million Memorial Fund, originating with the Grand Master, is making steady headway, an impetus having been given to the scheme during the year through the acquisition by Grand Lodge of the long line of premises adjoining the existing Masonic buildings in Great Queen Street. The Duke of Connaught has now expressed a wish to meet all the Provincial Grand Masters in conference upon the scheme immediately after his return from India.
One of the most notable events of the year has been the formation of the grand jurisdiction of Queensland, which promises to be one of the strongest of the overseas jurisdictions.
A notable attack on the Craft was made during the year by a prominent London daily, but the readers of THE BUILDER have already been made familiar with the trenchant and effective reply of Brother A. E. Waite.
The obituary list of the year has not been heavy, but it contains some noted names of hard workers in the Masonic cause. Four Grand Wardens have passed away: Lord Egerton of Tatton (who was also Past Provincial Grand Master for Cheshire); the Earl of Dartrey; Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Gerard Smith (Past District Grand Master Western Australia); and Sir Thomas Vezey Strong. Two Grand Chaplains in the persons of the Rev. Richard Peek and Bishop Stevens have also joined the Grand Lodge Above. Other notable names in the list are Judge Woodfall, the Rev. C.E.L. Wright (who bequeathed his Masonic collection to the Grand Lodge Library), Sir Gabriel Stokes, R. G.; Venables, Sir David Mercer, and Richard Luck, all Past Grand Deacons, Percy F. Wheeler and James Morley, Past Assistant Grand Registrars; Dr. Hill Drury, J.R. Cleave, William Lestocq, and James W. Mathews (founder of the Genesius Club of Instruction), Past Assistant Grand Directors of Ceremonies. But not all the ardent lovers of the Craft and workers in the cause are included in Grand Lodge lists. Many names could be mentioned, but to the writer and to many others, the passing of Frederick Henry Buckmaster, London Rank, an ardent student of Masonry in all its branches and one who was a thorough exemplification of what a Mason should be in practice as well as in idealism, will be felt for many days and years.
And the future? As a body we are the admiration of the world for our noble exemplification of our Masonic principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. We can honestly lay claim to that achievement as a body. Have we the same right to claim it as individuals? Do those who are dependent upon us regard us individually with the same high esteem and respect as the world at large appreciates us a body? By the populace we are acquitted as possessing high ideals and acting up to them; what is our individual position? It is a personal question, and the answer cannot here be written. It must be answered individually.
* * *
GRAND LODGE OF ARIZONA ADOPTS N.M.R.S. STUDY CLUB PLAN
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodgえ of Arizona the Committee on Foreign Correspondence made the following recommendation to the Grand Lodge, which was adopted:
"Your Committee recommends that each and every Master of a Subordinate lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction be directed to immediately proceed to the formation of a Study Club (provided that one has not already been formed in his lodge), to meet at least once every month and on a date when no degree work is in progress; that each lodge decide for itself the manner of carrying out the objects of this recommendation, but we recommend that each lodge follow the general outlines of the Study Club plans as promulgated by 'THE BUILDER' of Anamosa, Iowa. Further, that the incoming Grand Master see that this recommendation is carried into effect at the earliest possible date and that each lodge be required to report to this Grand Lodge at its next annual communication the progress and results of the formation of the various Study Clubs.
Harry A. Drachman, Chairman,
H. D. Aitken, Member
Lloyd C. Henning, Member,
February 8, 1921. Committee.
* * *
Good character is human nature in its best form. It is moral order embodied in the individual. Men of character are not only the conscience of society, but in every well governed state they are its best motive power; for it is moral quslities which, in the main, rule the world.
— S. Smiles.
* * *
WHENCE CAME FREEMASONRY
Bro. E. Ellison, California
A REVIEW OF THE HISTORICAL FORCES WHICH TENDED TO GIVE THE FRATERNITY ITS PRESENT CHARACTER
IT IS AN ambitious undertaking to attempt to compress the history of this venerable institution within the limits of a brief article. Let me say at the outset, that it is not my intention to enter into details. Rather, I propose to draw a brief sketch, or, more accurately, an outline of the historical forces which tended to give the Fraternity its present character. Let me add that I do not lay claim to original research or discovery in Masonic history. I shall only try to piece together information obtained from a general reading, not only of Masonic, but also of so-called profane works.
The origin of Freemasonry is unknown. All attempts to penetrate the veil which enshrouds the birth-place and cradle of the institution have proved fruitless. True, our tradition informs us that "it has existed from time immemorial," but is not that in itself an admission that we do not know when or where it originated? Probably we shall have to content ourselves with Topsy's philosophy and say that it "just growed." I mean by that, that it has sprung into existence in response to that instinct which impels man to seek the association, the friendship, and the protection, of his fellow men.
Up to a generation or two ago, it seems to have been the accepted belief among Freemasons that their Fraternity was in no particular the work of man but of divine origin; that is to say, it was believed that at some time in the remote past the G.A.O.T.U. had handed down the peculiar mysteries of Masonry to some of the personages of whom we read in the Old Testament, and that these mysteries had been minutely and regularly transmitted down through succeeding generations. There was, of course, some question as to who first received the divine revelation. That honour has been variously accredited to King Solomon, Moses, Noah, Tubal Cain and even to Adam. But, in either case, the belief rests upon a foundation no stronger than the legends which we find embalmed in the so-called Ancient Charges or Gothic Constitutions, or in Dr. Anderson's "Constitutions and History of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons," and has been discarded because it could not stand the test of scientific historical examination.
HUMAN ORIGIN OF THE FRATERNITY
We now look upon the Fraternity as of purely human origin — the product of the minds of those who comprise it and have comprised it. In other words, it is a reflex of the hopes and ideals, the aims and aspirations of its membership. At the same time, it has been subjected to pressure from without, because the men who comprise the Fraternity are also members of the larger surrounding human society, and their viewpoint as Freemasons is consciously or unconsciously influenced by the education, the training and the experience they have acquired in the outside world.
We know that there is a constant change in the current of thought with reference to almost every subject and condition of life. As science advances and knowledge increases we are gradually throwing off many beliefs which our forefathers religiously entertained, just as, by the same law of progress, many of the things to which we today pin our faith will be disproved and rejected by our descendants.
Like every other human institution, Freemasonry has been affected by this change. The history of the Fraternity, therefore, in a measure runs parallel to the history of the intellectual development of humanity. On its long march down the centuries, each age has put its seal and imprint upon the institution; it has been impressed with the philosophy characteristic of successive ages; and it has accepted, absorbed and preserved in its system many customs and usages, many forms and ceremonies, many beliefs current in the outside world during different periods. With the passage of time, some of these have become obsolete and have been discarded, others are being carried along in the body of Freemasonry, although the original significance of them has been lost sight of or forgotten, and still others have been invested with new meaning — new symbolism.
MORAL PHILOSOPHY DIVINE
There is one thing divine and immutable about Freemasonry, namely, its moral philosophy. But in that respect it does not differ from other organizations which undertake to teach men their duty to God and to their fellows. There is no progress in moral doctrines. The Moral Law — the Ten Commandments — is as true today as on the day it was handed down to Moses in thunder and lightning at Mount Sinai. The Golden Rule of the Carpenter of Nazareth is as truly a living ideal in our day as on the day He first gave it to the world in His Sermon on the Mount.
OLD BELIEF ABANDONED
Why has the old belief in the divine origin of Freemasonry been abandoned? In the past century tremendous strides have been made upon every field of knowledge, including that of history. Within the memory of living men, the sites of the cities of ancient civilizations have been relocated and their ruins excavated. The languages of peoples who have long since vanished have been reconstructed and translated into modern tongues. The pyramids of Egypt have been explored and their hieroglyphs deciphered. The temples of Ancient Greece and the catacombs of Rome have given up their secrets. The gravemounds of the Scandinavian chieftains have been opened and have laid bare their wealth of historical treasure. Travellers have explored the countries of Asia, where no white man formerly had set foot, and have returned with the sacred books of religions established centuries before the Christian era. From the material thus obtained, coupled with the fragments of ancient learning which have come down to us, the modern historian has presented to us a reconstructed history, enabling us to form a clearer conception of the lives and habits, the religious, social and political institutions of the ancient peoples.
MYSTO-RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES IN ANCIENT TIMES
Among other things, we have learned of the existence in highest antiquity of secret mysto-religious societies, similar in some respects to our present day Freemasonry. This historical fact has received close study at the hands of Masonic students, who have devoted years of labour in an endeavour to establish the descent of our Fraternity from the mystic brotherhoods of ancient times. Some of our learned brethren have essayed the task of tracing the pedigree of Freemasonry back to the birth of civilization, and in order to demonstrate the ancient origin and high descent of that institution, have attempted to reconstruct the rites of the Ancient Mysteries. I shall not attempt to examine the various elaborate pedigrees that have been traced, or the ingenious arguments that have been advanced in support of them. The fact is, that no satisfactory written or other authentic record has come down to us concerning the secret rites of these Mysteries. Consequently, the efforts made to reconstruct them from the references available are not likely to have met with better success than would the attempt on the part of a profane of our day to give to the world the benefit of our Masonic ceremonies.
It should be remembered that we are here dealing with the customs and usages of peoples who have long since disappeared from the earth, with whose institutions we are, after all, but imperfectly familiar, and whose viewpoint it is difficult if not impossible, for us to obtain. Let us also bear in mind that the secrecy of present day Freemasonry is as nothing when compared with the jealous care with which the ancients guarded their secrets from the profane. The laws the Brahmins, for instance, provided that if an uninitiate was caught listening to the reading of the sacred books, he was to be punished by pouring hot oil into his ears, and if he had succeeded in committing to memory any portion of the text, his throat was to be cut.
LEGENDARY OR TRADITIONAL HISTORY
We shall divide the history of the Fraternity into two parts. The first, we shall call the traditional or legendary period, by which we mean the time before accounts of current events were committed to writing; when all information was perpetuated by oral communication from father to son, and from generation to generation. The second, we shall call the historical period, and by that, we, of course, mean that part of the life of the Fraternity concerning which we draw our information from authentic records, whether found in lodge books, in the public archives, or in the literature of the day. The first period is like a desert "without milestone or finger post," and the Masonic explorers who have attempted to trace the path of the Fraternity by its "footprints upon the sands of time," have traversed so many divergent roads, and have arrived at so many conflicting conclusions, that their labour is of little value to us. Each succeeding writer has torn down and destroyed the hypotheses of those who have preceded him, in order, as it seems, to make room for his own theory.
The historical period we shall again roughly divide into three eras. The first, (commencing about the year 1200 and ending about the year 1550), we shall call the Operative period. The second, (commencing with the Reformation and ending in the year 1717), for want of a better name, we shall designate as the Operative-Speculative period. The third, (commencing with the so-called Great Revival, the formation of the first Grand Lodge, and carried down to our own day), let us call the Speculative period. We will now consider these eras in the order named.
OPERATIVE PERIOD (1200-1550)
Bearing in mind the proposition we laid down at the outset of this discussion, that the character of the Fraternity has been largely shaped by surrounding conditions, let us briefly review the social and political institutions of the time.
FORMATION OF GUILDS
When the Roman Empire fell before the invasion of the barbarians of the North, the conquerors built upon its ruins a number of small tribal states. The people were barbarous and quarrelsome, and these states were in constant warfare with one another. For centuries might was the only law. Anarchy reigned supreme. The great civilization of the Romans became engulfed and disappeared. This is the period known in history as the Dark Ages.
Slowly and painfully civilization had a new birth. The tribal governments gave way to national authority. The people fell under the softening influence of Christianity. Wars became less frequent, and men again began to practice the arts of peace.
During the disturbed period of the Dark Ages, the artisans and workmen of the cities, in order to obtain protection from the repacity and cruelty of then feudal lords, banded themselves together into trade guilds, or corporations, and step by step, by means of bribe, purchase, and quite often by open rebellion, succeeded in wresting from their lords paramount the privilege of regulating the affairs of their respective crafts, and, later, established the complete self-government of their cities. The Masons, like their brethren of other crafts, also formed corporations; but since their employers and feudal lords, in the majority of cases, were ecclesiastical dignitaries, Princes of the Church, it was to them that the Masons applied for their charters of privileges. References to these instruments have been found in the fabric rolls and archives of medieval churches.
But the most interesting information concerning the organized life of our forefather Masons in medieval times is to be found in the so-called Ancient Charges or Gothic Constitutions. The originals of these curious documents were drawn at a time when the art of writing was known only to the members of the theological profession, and they bear the imprint of the credulity and ignorance which characterizes all the literature of the period. Their contents are usually divided into two parts. The first, purports to be a history of the craft from its inception down to date, and is valuable chiefly as showing what was the belief of our Masonic fore-fathers concerning the origin and progress of their craft. As a chronicle of actual events it has no value at all. The oldest existing document of this kind is the so-called Halliwell Poem, composed about the end of the fourteenth century, although it bears internal evidence of having been compiled from much earlier manuscripts.
The Buchanan MS., a seventeenth-century Scotch Constitution, may be taken as the type for all these documents. In it we are told that God gave the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences to Jabal, Jubal and Tubal, the three sons of Lamech; that when He was about to take punishment upon the world for its sins by the Flood, the sciences were enclosed in two pillars; one made of wood, that it might not sink; the other of marble, that it might not burn; that after the Flood the pillars and the secrets they contained were found by Hamarynes (Hermes), the father of all wise men, who taught the sciences to Abraham, and were by him brought into the "Londe of Egypt," where he imparted them to his "Goode Clerke Euclid." From Egypt the sciences were in due course of time introduced into Palestine.
The building of King Solomon's Temple pays an important part in the narrative, and we are told of Hiram, the King, and Hiram, the Builder, the latter being referred to as the King's Son of Tyre. We are told, further, that in the days of Charles Martel, the science of Geometry, which our operative forefathers regarded as synonymous to Masonry, was brought into France by one Naymus (Mamon) Grecus, who had been employed at the building of the Temple. Now that edifice was erected about one thousand years before Christ. Charles Martel ruled in France nearly eight hundred years after Christ, so that our good brother Grecus must have attained the rather unusual age of nearly eighteen hundred years. Of course, the matter of bridging the span of eighteen centuries by the life of an individual did not trouble the legend writers of the Middle Ages. I am citing these things to show that the "legendary" history of Masonry is simply a compendium of sacred and profane history coloured by the romance so generally accepted during that period.
The second part of these documents contained the rules and regulations of the Craft, and taught members their duty to God and to one another. Many of these ancient regulations have come down to our own time and are a part of the body of our laws under the name of Ancient Landmarks.
It should be added that in the days before Grand Lodges had been formed, the status of a lodge was determined by it having in its possession a copy of these Ancient Charges. These, therefore, served the purpose of our present day charters.
CLAIM TO DIVINE ORIGIN
The Masonic Craft is unique in the respect that it is the only one of the medieval guilds for which divine origin was claimed, or which itself laid claim to have been established by Biblical personages. The probable explanation of this claim is to be found in the fact, that the Masons were almost exclusively employed upon religious edifices and therefore in close contact with the writers of history, as it was then written, and were especially favoured by the historians by having ascribed to their craft high antiquity and a long line of royal patrons and protectors. We should bear in mind that in the Middle Ages high descent was regarded as of great importance, and that many families, and nations even, claimed to be able to trace their ancestry back to the flood and even to a more remote period.
The intimate association of the Masons with the members of the religious order, also tended to give to their craft that semi-religious character which it has maintained ever since.
The Masonic guilds also differed from other medieval trade corporations in the fact that in the former masters, journeymen and apprentices remained members of the same society. In other trades, especially in the commercial pursuits, the guild masters became wealthy and arrogant, and made use of their power to oppress their journeymen and apprentices, with the result that the latter formed guilds of their own as protection from their masters.
In the Masonic craft there was no opportunity for great financial gains. The masters did not undertake work on their own account, as do our modern building contractors. The owner of the building to be erected furnished all the material entering into its construction, and the craftsmen, from master to apprentice, were engaged to supply the skill and labour required in preparing plans and specifications, shaping the material and assembling it in the edifice. The master was the executive head of the job — the master workman — and laboured side by, side with his "companions and varlets" (fellow-crafts and apprentices) in the lodge or on the scaffold.
The pay was modest, considering the character of the work and high requirements of the trade, not only in manual dexterity, but technical training and scientific knowledge and artistic sense. Still the craft had high standing among the trades, and ranked among the most honourable of professions; and its members enjoyed certain exemptions and immunities which may account for the fact that they assumed the name "Free Masons."
BLACK DEATH-STATUTES OF LABOURERS
About the year 1340 Europe was scourged by a dreadful contagious disease, known as the Black Death. So virulent was the contagion and so frightful its ravages that the population in many countries was decimated, and in certain districts completely destroyed. In consequence, there existed a great scarcity of labour, especially in the skilled trades. The workmen, as might be expected, took advantage of this scarcity to improve their wages and conditions of employment. Their efforts met with strong opposition from the employing classes, who complained to King and Parliament against what they regarded as exactions on the part of the workmen. Drastic legislation was enacted prohibiting and punishing any attempt to increase wages above the level prevailing prior to the pestilence. This and kindred legislation has been classified in history as the Statutes of Labourers." It did not have the desired effect, as is shown by the fact that in every succeeding Parliament the Commons renewed their complaints and grievances, but the only remedy proposed was to increase and sharpen the penalties of the law. Finally, a statute was enacted outlawing all forms of organizations having for their object the regulation of wages and denouncing such organizations as conspiracies. This was intended as a death blow to the guilds; but it failed signally. The guilds formed themselves into burial societies and continued in existence under that guise.
The prosecutions of the Masons under the Statutes of Labourers were especially vigorous and severe, and the members of the lodges, therefore, were compelled to assemble in secret. It is an interesting question whether this may not be the period referred to in the Monitor, where we are told that "our ancient brethren assembled on the highest hill and in the lowest vales, the better to observe the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers." Prior to this time, according to the Ancient Charges, the Masons in given districts met openly in Annual Assembly, and their meetings were attended by members of the nobility as well as the civil magistrates. It may be well to explain here that a "cowan" in Masonic language is one who attempts to practice the craft without being a member of a regular lodge, and having been duly apprenticed to the trade.
Curiously, the oldest lodge minute extant, that of Edinburgh Lodge No. 1, Scotland, contains an account the trial of one George Patton, who had vexed the souls of his brethren by putting a cowan to work for two days and a half. The minute is dated July 31, 1599.
The lodges also adopted the expedient of admitting to membership men of high birth and station and placing themselves under the patronage and protection of these new brethren. This gave to the lodge an air of respectability, enabled its members to obtain employment on public buildings in preference to cowans, and insured them a measure of protection from the severity of the Statutes of Labourers. The number of non-operative members gradually increased, and they became known in the Fraternity as "Accepted" Masons or "Geomatics."
It was during this era that the beautiful Gothic style of architecture was developed and perfected and the noble churches erected which distinguish the ancient cities of Europe where they stand as eloquent witnesses to the skill and industry of those who built them, and the art and science of those who planned and designed them. The architects of succeeding ages have copied and imitated, but have never been able to improve upon either the style or construction of these famous edirces.
DECLINE OF GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE
The Reformation was followed by a decline in church building. The property of the church was confiscated by the temporal powers, and Freemasonry as an operative science became almost a lost art
OPERATIVE-SPECULATIVE, PERIOD (1550-1717)
We have now arrived at the most interesting period in the life of Freemasonry, the time when the societies of builders and architects were transformed into speculative or philosophical associations.
Although this era is closer to our own day than that of Operative times, the lodge records are extremely meagre and fragmentary. True, they bear sufficient testimony to the fact that Freemasonry had a continuous existence from earlier times, and also to the dual character of the membership of the lodges; but the lodge books are silent upon the subject we are most interested in, namely, how the so-called speculative element became superimposed upon the operative.
In Order to form an opinion on that subject, it is necessary to consult contemporary literature, supplemented by information concerning the lives, habits and intellectual pursuits of men who were prominent in the Fraternity. Assembling all the information thus made available, we can form a tenable theory.
POWER OF THE CHURCH
Let us first briefly survey the social and political and life of the people. The power of the Church had advanced so rapidly during the last centuries of the Middle Ages, that it had become the dominant factor, not only in religion, but in the affairs of state. So powerful had it become politically, that the Pope of Rome could compel a German Kaiser to stand barefoot in the snow for three days, clad in the penitential hair shirt, while begging forgiveness. The Church proudly proclaimed the doctrine, that "as the sun is a greater light than the moon, so is the spiritual greater than the temporal power." Kings and princes ruled only at the will and pleasure of the Holy Father at Rome. The influence of the Church extended to every detail of life, and from the cradle to the grave.
During the Middle Ages the Church had been the repository of all learning, and it was also the patron of the arts and sciences. This position suited it, because it served to glorify religion and to exalt the power of the Church. In its capacity as Keeper of the Public Conscience, the Church was also the censor of public morals and beliefs, and no one was permitted, except by its sanction, to give utterance to any new idea upon any subject. As is always the case with irresponsible power, the Church became arbitrary, despotic and tyrannical. Its sole care was to preserve the existing order, and it therefore prohibited the publication of any innovation. It mattered not whether a new idea or scientific discovery conflicted with the dogmas of the Church. The fact that it was contrary to the accepted belief was sufficient to exclude it. The author was haled before the ecclesiastical tribunal and ordered to recant. His books were burned by the common hangman, and the author himself was indeed fortunate if he did not share the fate of his work. History records the names of many men who were thus compelled to deny great scientific discoveries they had made, and of others who refused to recant and sealed their conviction with their blood.
The Reformation changed all this. That event was not only a protest against the many religious superstitions perpetuated by the Church, but was a revolt against the mental bondage laid upon the people. No sooner was the yoke lifted than men began pursuing knowledge upon every field and in every direction. They threw themselves with especial enthusiasm upon the study of the natural sciences in an effort to solve the mysteries of Nature's wondrous laws. Having no previous experience, and no rules of reason to guide them, they indulged themselves in the wildest speculations and the most extravagant flights of fancy.
Among the studies which occupied the time of the scientific men of that day were the following: They studied the heavens, believing that in the courses of the celestial bodies they could foretell coming events. They experimented with the transmutation of the base metals into gold. They tried to compound a salt, or panacea, which should be a sovereign remedy in all diseases which flesh is heir to. They travelled in search of the fountain of eternal youth. They practised magic, white and black. They endeavoured to form a "word," or combination of letters, which when properly pronounced would enable them to command the spirits, which, as was then believed, inhabited the sea and air, etc. The generic term for all these studies was the Hermetic, or secret, philosophy. Although we may smile at the vagaries of these sages, we must not forget that humanity owes them a debt of gratitude. Upon their labour and industry our modern sciences rest. The astrologer, who studied the stars and cast horoscopes, is the progenitor of the modern astronomer. The alchemist, who laboured to transmute the base metals, is the forerunner of our chemist. Much of our medical science is founded upon the experiments of the Hermetics who tried to produce the universal salt.
ROSICRUCIANISM AND THE KABBALA
The mystic philosophy of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross and of the Hebrew Kabbala was given to the world about the middle of the sixteenth century and were widely studied by the learned men of the day.
In those days there were no universities in the modern acceptation of that term. The Hermetic philosophers, who were as a rule poor men, attached themselves to the households of men of high rank, who provided them with the necessary materials for conducting their experiments and also afforded them protection from the ignorant and bigoted populace. In those times it was not quite safe to be known as a seeker after truth. The common people regarded the Philosophers with superstitious dread, believing they were in communion with evil spirits, a belief which was no doubt strengthened by the peculiarities of dress and habits affected by the Hermetics. Many of them lost their lives at the hands of enraged mobs who believed they were rendering both God and humanity a service by ridding the world of them. It might be added that the noble patrons of the Philosophers were not actuated by any desire to promote the general knowledge. They sought their help, believing them capable of foretelling the outcome of wars and intrigues. Greed for gold was no doubt their motive for patronizing the science of alchemy.
TRANSFORMATION OF THE SOCIETY
The bearing of these facts upon the history of Freemasonry, is obvious. We have already noted that in the Middle Ages a number of lodges placed themselves under the patronage of powerful princes and nobles, and we stated the reasons which impelled them to this step. Many of these high and mighty men also became employers of Hermetic philosophers, and we are not overstepping the bounds of probability in stating that the noble patrons introduced the Hermetic philosophers into the craft societies, where, under the seal of secrecy imposed by the obligation, they exchanged views, discussed the progress of their experiments, and thus gradually transformed the lodges into speculative or philosophical societies, finally incorporating in the ritual the so-called speculative element, which ultimately gave to Freemasonry its present character.
At this point it will be noted that, while Freemasonry as an operative art was practised in nearly every country of Europe during the Middle Ages, it is in the British Isles alone that we find the speculative element embodied in the Masonic system.
In Germany and France the operative societies continued to exist until the middle of the last century, when they were imperceptibly merged into the modern trades union movement. In point of efficient organization the German "Steinmetzen" were in advance of their brethren in other countries, having in 1549 organized their craft under a national government, with headquarters at Strassburg, the Master of Works of the cathedral of that city being the Grand Master.
EARLY "ACCEPTED" MASONS
The earliest "accepted" Mason on record is John Boswell, a Scotch nobleman; who was a member of a lodge in Edinburgh in the year 1600. Earl Morey (Murray) is also an early "accepted" Mason. He was only the patron of the Masons in his domain, but also rated a great Hermetic philosopher. He was admitted in the year 1641. Elias Ashmole, a great English antiquary and Hermetic and Rosicrucian writer, was "made" in Warrington Lodge, England, 1647.
SPECULATIVE PERIOD (1717 — )
We have now arrived at the last period of our review, at the opening to which the Fraternity "threw off the trammels of the operative art" and evolved into a benevolent philosophical society, in which form it has spread to every quarter of the globe and is being practised in every country where the people have arrived at a sufficient high state of civilization to appreciate its beauty.
Let us again take a view of the social and political conditions, as they presented themselves during the first decades of the period we are now considering.
ABSOLUTISM IN GOVERNMENT
The Reformation had broken the power of the Church, but in doing so it had helped to build up another power which, in course of time, became an even greater menace to human freedom and progress. As the Church declined in importance, the authority of the kings advanced. Step by step, the king became absolute, both in state affairs and in the government of the Church. The latter became the handmaid of the temporal power. Government control by both pulpit and press, and other means of public expression, rendered it difficult and dangerous for the people to air their grievances, and gradually they were deprived of every right and privilege. "The King can do no wrong" became the principle by which the nations were governed.
The only country in which the people had maintained in their own hands a share in government, and where the personal rights of the citizens were respected, was England. When the king of that country attempted to make himself absolute, the people rose in rebellion and assumed the reins of power into their own hands. England, therefore, was regarded with great admiration and respect by the people of continental Europe, and her institutions were studied and praised by the reformers of other lands. In time the effects of the revolution in England made themselves felt on the continent. About the beginning of the eighteenth century the system there had become so rotten and corrupt that it was ready to fall of its own weight. The "forward looking" men of the time boldly condemned and denounced the existing order and demanded its overthrow. Art and science had a new birth. This was the so-called Golden Age of literature.
During this period a new religious cult sprang up, known as the Deists. They took the ground that all religious dogmas are the invention of the priests with a view to keeping the people in ignorance and subjugation, and they declared that the only right way to worship God was in his wondrous works. They also preached the "Brotherhood of Man" and gave to the world the slogan: "Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood." There is no doubt that Freemasonry became deeply impressed with the new religion; one of the chief tenets of our Fraternity being religious toleration, its only requirement being belief in the Supreme Architect.
In the early days of the eighteenth century, a number of the foremost men of science and letters of continental Europe visited England, some to study her institutions and others to escape persecution at home. Naturally, they associated themselves with men of their own views and pursuits. At this time the most prominent members of the Royal Society, a body of British scientists, were members of the Masonic fraternity. They introduced their visitors into the mysteries of the Craft. When the latter returned to their own countries, they came as missionaries for the new philosophy.
SPREAD OF FREEMASONRY
The society spread rapidly from England and Scotland to other countries of Europe and also to America. The men who were labouring to establish the new principle in religion and government made use of the fraternity to propagate these principles, and did so most effectively. It was not long, however, before the powers of the time began to recognize in Freemasonry a menace to the existing order and took steps to suppress it. Kings pronounced banishment and death penalties upon its votaries. The Church hurled its anathema against them. And the blindly bigoted populace pursued them in frantic fury. To this rule there were some exceptions. King Frederick II, of Prussia, who, as Crown Prince, had been made a Mason, on his ascension to the throne took the Fraternity under his immediate protection and raised it to the dignity of a semi-public institution. A king of Sweden had prohibited the practice of Freemasonry under pain of death. His successor repealed the edict and bestowed marked favour upon the Fraternity. This monarch was at the time engaged in a struggle with the old nobility. Accordingly, he sought to make use of Freemasonry in his cause by securing the admission of men who had made their mark in art, science and literature, thus creating a new nobility of mind and attainment with which to combat the old aristocracy of birth and wealth. The impress thus left upon the Fraternity in Sweden has persisted to our own day. The Craft was introduced to America in the year 1738, and here it found fruitful soil. We shall, perhaps, never know the full extent of the part played by the Fraternity in establishing upon this continent the principles of justice and democracy. We know that a number of those who signed the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons, and among those who were in the forefront of the struggle for independence were men who had taken the oath upon the Masonic altar. In short, the early history of this nation is intimately associated with the history of the Masonic Fraternity.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MOTHER GRAND LODGE
The history of Freemasonry during the period we are now considering commences with the establishment of the Mother Grand Lodge. On St. John's Day, 1717, the Masters and Wardens of four lodges meeting in London assembled at the "Goose and Gridiron" tavern, and, having put the oldest Master Mason in the chair, they erected and proclaimed the Grand Lodge of England, which is the mother and model of all grand bodies.
Shortly thereafter a committee was appointed to examine the Ancient Charges and to "digest them upon a new and better form." One of the members of this committee was Dr. James Anderson, a Scotch Presbyterian minister, author of the first printed work on Freemasonry. His "Constitutions and History of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons" was published by order of the Grand Lodge and was widely read. It passed through a number of editions; but it is no longer regarded as a textbook, since more recent investigation has shown it to be historically inaccurate and in other respects unreliable.
The committee doubtlessly introduced a number of innovations in the ritual as well as in the form of government of the Craft; but they simply built a new superstructure upon an old foundation. The basic principles of the Fraternity have remained unchanged through all vicissitudes of time.
Closing this discussion, I would express the hope that the members of the Fraternity would give to its history a more close study. It will enable them to understand and appreciate many things about their glorious Craft which are now a sealed book to them. It will tend to increase their respect and admiration for their ancient institution, and that can but result in making them better Freemasons — and that means better men.
* * *
MASONIC CLUBS IN THE A.E.F.
Bro. Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
UPON THE entrance of the United States into the World War, the several Grand Lodges considered carefully the advisability of issuing charters to Military lodges. Most of them declined to do so. Since the war and our return to peace-time conditions, the wisdom of this decision is apparent to those who were in the army and who were identified with the Masonic activities which were carried on through the Masonic Club movement. Although the writer assisted in the conferring of the several degrees in lodges which came over to France from several Grand Lodges at home, yet I am convinced that in most cases it would have been as well both for the candidate as for the Craft in general had the postulants waited till they returned to America. Usually there sprang up in the minds of soldiers a sudden desire to enjoy whatever privileges or benefits might flow from Masonry. They were hastily entered, passed and raised without time to consider the several steps or to familiarize themselves with the lectures. They therefore could in the nature of the case get but the superficial view of the Fraternity and not the underlying principles.
The decision to refrain from issuing military charters or dispensations left the Craft within the army to their own devices. The heroic struggle of the Grand Lodges of America to send a Commission to France to provide for the Craft in the A.E.F. — their efforts to break through the "invisible government" which hedged in those who had the authority to grant the passports, is embodied in the report submitted by the Committee under the leadership of Justice Scudder, of New York. The Justice presented a bound copy of this report to me in Paris and it made fine reading not only for us Americans but also for my British and French Masonic brethren. I took pleasure in loaning it to numbers of both these classes.
One of the evidences of the vitality of the Craft is found in the spontaneity with which the Craft got together under the most unusual and unpromising circumstances for social intercourse and for comradeship.
Before embarkation for foreign service groups of the Craft had gravitated together in the several cantonments and embarkation camps. Aboard many transports of British and American registry were found Masons in the crews. By the courtesy of these marine officers and brethren, cabins were thrown open for our use and we held conferences and rallies as we passed through the strain of expected submarine attacks.
After landing in France the natural places for Masonic Clubs to open were at the ports of entry and the centers of largest concentration of troops. Consequently the clubs of Brest, St. Nazaire, Bordeaux, Le Mans, Paris, Tours, etc., were the earliest. As early as the fall of 1917 these clubs were coming into existence. Being left necessarily to our own devices, and under the severe strain of fighting conditions we were in no shape to turn our attention as actively toward Masonic club life as we were after the signing of the armistice. Yet, early in the spring of 1918, the clubs began to appear in the training camps and even in individual units. The latter were invariably itinerant clubs and suffered a more severe strain for support than the permanent clubs of the camps and depots.
With the Army of Occupation, the Masonic Clubs entered the Rhine Valley and speedily became the centers for relaxation and fellowship for Masons of high and low degree. The Club at Coblenz was a fine example of these. With its commodious parlors and its fine spirit of fellowship it has left an indelible record on the members of the Craft who enjoyed its hospitality. This club still ministers to the Craft.
It is to be noted here that four of the welfare organizations which worked with the army abroad were strong supporters of our clubs and rendered us splendid support. I refer to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Jewish Welfare Board, and Y.M.C.A. The Y.M.C.A. especially gave us invaluable assistance for which American Masonry can not be too appreciative. This organization was offered and manned to an unusual degree by Master Masons. One club — the Overseas Club of Paris — was composed almost exclusively of secretaries and officers of the Y.M.C.A. The earliest attacks upon that institution sprang from sources which have ever been opposed not only to the principles for which the Y.M.C.A. has stood but also opposed to Masonry. To attack the Y.M.C.A. meant to attack Masonry at the same time.
The places where the clubs should assemble were matters of grave importance. Technically they could not be held in military buildings. Actually many of them were held in military buildings and were patronized by those in high command. The clubs usually came into existence in the same way. A few enthusiastic Masons met together and proposed a club. Investigation discovered who were Masons and an invitation was issued for those to assemble in a certain place on a specified date. Usually this proved to be a Y.M.C.A. hut. For in every hut you could find one or more Masonic secretaries. The club contained the usual officers — president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. In addition to these came several committees, the number varying according to the strength of the club. Meetings were held weekly and programs were put on. These were made up of music, oratory, and reminiscences. Later in the period of overseas life, contact was had with the Entertainment Section of the A. E. F. and troupes were assigned to the Masonic clubs just as they were to the huts and other places of troop meetings.
Later we also organized the work of the clubs in several of the bases so as to have the presence of the American girls working in the several welfare organizations. Thus an element of the home life proved invaluable. At these special social meetings dances and other forms of entertainment prevailed. One thing was by common consent observed and that was the deposit of military titles as we entered the door. It was unique in the American Army to hear a buck private greet a Brigadier General as "Brother Smith." It was even more illuminating as to the democracy of Masonry to see that aforesaid buck private tag an officer of high rank in a "Paul Jones" and sail away with the fair prize. I really think for the first time we understood why this American custom was called "Paul Jones." When our French guests beheld it for the first time they were amazed. For in their country it meant the height of rudeness to part a couple in the midst of the dance.
At every regular meeting of a club much attention was given "for the good of the order." The sick, the distressed, those who were staggering under burdens imposed by the war, such received our attention. Flowers were sent to the sick in the hospitals, and laid upon the caskets of the dead. Masonic emblems were placed on the graves. The cases of Masonic soldiers were investigated and their desires forwarded so far as military custom would permit. We ministered to the dead in several ways. In all parts of our overseas army brethren who died were laid to rest by Masons. Though we could not use the formal ceremonials, yet we employed ceremonies understood by the Craft. One of many incidents comes to my mind. A Richmond, Virginia, brother had died in the camp in which the writer served as Camp Chaplain. At once there arose in the minds of the club the thought that he might be laid away Masonically. A regiment was in camp whose Chaplain had at one time been Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. I refer to that prince of men, Captain Charles Dubell, of the Episcopal Church. I trust his many friends may read this and let him know of my humble tribute to his merits. Brother Chaplain Dubell chose for his pallbearers soldiers who were Masons. The officer who commanded the detail of troops was a Mason. In fact every man who had anything to do with the funeral was a Mason, and improvising with his inimitable skill, Brother Chaplain Dubell committed this brother to the bosom of mother earth with words which were understood to every Master Mason present. The writer had occasion to bury a Surgeon, the head of one of the Indiana Hospital Units at St. Nazaire, and in the sight of many soldiers, he laid away the brother, having as Wardens two Jewish brethren, and improvising much of the burial ritual of our Craft. One of these Wardens by the way was a Captain and the other a Sergeant.
Opportunities also came frequently to forward the interests of brethren who were sick or wounded. An officer, a member of an Illinois lodge, lay with his hip encased in a plaster cast. He was headed back to America and indications were unfavorable for his recovery. Ascertaining that he was aboard the hospital ship I secured a pass, boarded the ship, and entered the hospital bay. There, as they loosed the cables that held the ship to France, we placed our arms about this brother and whispered in his ears words of cheer and fellowship. And before we were able to leave the ship in the lower harbor, we sought the ship's surgeon, found him one of our number, and said good-bye with the assurance that our brother who lay in weakness would receive princely care. Later correspondence establishes the fact that this occurred.
During most of this time the several clubs were self-supporting. When you consider that the "free money" possessed by the average doughboy per month was $5 or $6, and that he paid 25 cents a week dues and an assessment of 25 cents whenever flowers were to be ordered, you can measure faintly the hold Masonry had on its membership overseas. But a new period came with the arrival of the Overseas Commission headed by Justice Scudder and Merwin E. Lay representing the Grand Lodges, and of Charles Connery, representing the southern jurisdiction Scottish Rite. These separate commissions established headquarters in Paris, under the same roof. They worked in harmony and opened club rooms which were used by scores of the brethren sojourning in Paris or passing through that city. They endeavored to secure a list of the older clubs which had been formed throughout the A. E. F. and I believe they have a large list of the clubs. It would be well for members of the many A. E. F. Masonic clubs to forward their club names, locations, and further information to THE BUILDER to be added to the list.
These Commissions found many of the older clubs to be heavily in debt. This grew out of the fact that these older clubs at the old ports of entry were now the centers of the movement of troops homeward. By this time, the spring of 1919, the Masons were becoming aware of the worth of their clubs and they availed themselves of them at the ports of embarkation. Thus Bordeaux, St. Nazaire, and Brest faced serious deficits in their treasuries. The Commissions as soon as they discovered this condition forwarded moneys and erased the indebtedness. Moreover they financed the establishment of secretaries over these clubs at the ports of embarkation. Secretary Witte at Brest, and Secretary Huntley at St. Nazaire were two of the number. They were in the uniform of the Y.M.C.A. but were supported entirely by the Masonic Commissions.
These army clubs proved to be the breeders of friendships that have spread clear across the American continent. The brethren who met amid the shock of battle, who served in the back areas, and who endured that long strain when all hearts turned homeward and all feet marked time, and who sailed the Atlantic toward the civilian life; all these cemented friendships which today are ripening into the richest of experiences. My own most pleasant memories cluster around hundreds of these Masonic friendships and I am sure that scores from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Gulf to Canada will recall those days we spent together when they see my name at the head of this paper.
The Masonic itch to create side degrees appeared everywhere at home and abroad. Numerous mushroom degrees appeared, to flourish for a day in some one locality and then fall asleep. The Order of the Frog was one which the writer helped to exemplify. Amid this transient growth, there emerged one degree which will remain as the flower of American Masonry in France. It originated in the aviation camps at Ramorattin, in the brain of secretary Charles Huntley, of Schnectady, N. Y. Its beauty and the potential power in its imagery were so apparent that it was impossible to hold it within the bounds of the one camp. Thus it slowly spread to neighboring camps. It is called the "S. O. L." Degree. Its similarity to our army "hardluck" slang proved a little unsatisfactory. But since these letters have no connection with the army slang, the name will doubtless prevail permanently. Unfortunately most of the troops had begun to return home before the worth of this degree was recognized. It was when the Commissions at Paris saw its value and financed the project of sending Brother Huntley to the various military centers to impart it, that it began to grow in numbers. The degree is purely military. Its one lesson is exalted patriotism. It is Masonry militant. It can be obtained only by Master Masons who served overseas. Also by any overseas soldier who becomes a Master Mason, and by the sons of any former overseas Mason. Thousands have received it, the number being now probably between 5,000 and 10,000. It would be worth while for any brother eligible to receive it to correspond with Brother Charles Huntley, Schenectady, N.Y., who is the Adjutant General of the Grand Dugout of America. The writer provided the 6 ritual and administered the degree to 400 in Brest in August of 1919, in the space of two afternoons and evenings. And literally hundreds of others were asking for the degree when the writer sailed with his ritual.
Masonry thus touched the soldier life on every side. It gave him entertainment; it furnished him friendships; it ministered to him when sick, and laid him away when he died; it spread its arms about him so that space and time lost their meaning to him; it has perpetuated itself on the tablets of a thousand hearts. The emblem of the Square and Compasses for the soldier of yesterday has become today the symbol of a brotherhood that is invincible, true, glorious, eternal.
* * *
KEEP ME STRlVlNG
Bro. G. A. Nancarrow, Indiana
O keep me striving after Thee, my God,
I ask no lighter way to tread;
I seek not flowers but e'en the rod,
And feed my soul on hunger's bread.
For I would grow to Thee in nature's part;
Not at a bound to scale the heights
But by the hungerings of my heart
Reach up to Thee through days and nights.
To win to Thee though eons intervene,
Though I shall labor through the dust
A thousand groping lives which lie between—
I shall for Thou hast said I must.
* * *
God grants Liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 47
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 EMBLEMS"
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 to discuss or inquire into, and bring it up when the Question Box period is opened.
* * *
QUESTIONS ON "THE EMBLEMS"
THE HOUR GLASS
Recite the monitorial lecture on "The Hour Glass."
In what manner was the Hour Glass symbol commonly used by operative Masons? Is the emblem a modern one? How was it used in funeral ceremonies in early days? What is the lesson we should learn from this emblem?
Recite the monitorial lecture on the "Scythe."
Have you any answers to the questions asked by Brother Haywood in this section of his paper?
EMBLEMS OF MORTALITY
Recite the ritualistic lecture on these emblems.
What does the First degree symbolize? The Second? What does the drama of the Third degree symbolize? Did you realize the significance of the Hiramic Legend the night you were raised? Was its meaning entirely clear to you at that time, or did you have to study it out later?
THE BUILDER: Vol. IV. — Acacia, p. 323; Hour Glass, p. 325; Scythe, p. 325; Setting Maul, p. 323.
Mackey's Encyclopedia Acacia, p. 7; Hour Glass, p. 337; Scythe, p. 674, etc.
Bro. H.L. Haywood, Iowa
PART IX — THE EMBLEMS — CONCLUDED
THE HOUR GLASS
IN WRITING of Masons' Marks, Brother Gould notes that one of the commonest has ever been the figure of an Hour Glass. "The Hour Glass form, very slightly modified, has been used in every age down to the present and in almost every country. According to some good authorities, it was a custom (at the period immediately preceding the era of Grand Lodges) to inter an Hour Glass with the dead, as an emblem of the sands of life having run out." What could more clearly prove the hold which this simple eloquent symbol has ever had on the imagination of man? "The sands of life! they are swiftly running away. Be up, mortal, and about your task. Soon the night cometh when no man can work. In the grave man will seek him out no more inventions; what you do you must do while it is still called Today!" Such is the message of the Hour Glass, too simple to need any interpreter. He who has learned how to transform time into life, how to make the years leave behind them that which perishes not, who lives the Eternal Life in the midst of time — such a one has learned the lesson of the Glass.
If the hour Glass is the symbol of the fleetingness of a mortal life in which all do fade as doth the leaf, in which the sands are ever running out, the Scythe is the figure of Time which is itself that stream in which the sands are borne along. Time! What a mighty theme! The libraries of the world could not hold the books that might be written about this eternally fascinating, eternally elusive mystery! least of all would it be possible in a page or two to capture its secret, so infinite are the suggestions of one small symbol in Masonry's House of Doctrine.
Time is ever with us, flowing through our minds as the blood courses through our veins, yet does it mystify us; and the more thinking we do, the more mysterious does it become. We divide it into Past, Present, and Future, but what is the Past? has it ceased to exist? If so, why does it continue to influence us; if it continues to exist why do we call it the Past? What is the Future? Is it something already made, awaiting us Out There as the land waits for its explorer? What is the Present? We feel that it exists said "Now" it is still future; the moment I have said it, it belongs to the past. How can one's mind lay hold of that which is always becoming but never is? If one's mind can not apprehend it how can it be said to exist? It is such puzzles as these that have led our most opulent minds to despair of ever surprising its secret from it.
Nevertheless, Time is here, a part of the scheme of things, for good or for bad; indeed, it seems to be the very stuff of life itself, as Bergson has shown so convincingly in his "Creative Evolution." Existence itself is a process of duration and man begins to die the moment he is born.
The stately solemn words of the Lecture, offered in elucidation of the symbol, leaves the mind saddened, and weighted, with a sense of the frailty, or even futility, of life. Wm. Morris, who is in so many ways the poet of the Builder, felt in the same way about it. All through his pages one feels its presence like a shadow, against which life's little events become etched into brighter relief, so that the little amenities of the day became all the dearer in that they flutter so fragilely over the abyss of eternity, all the more precious because "the sweet days die." But there is no need that we be shadowed by the sadness-sweetness of this melancholy. Time is a part of the scheme of things, it is the very form of life, so that he who accepts life must also accept Time and look upon it as friend and ally rather than enemy. Time helps to solve our problems, assuages our griefs, and always does it carry us farther into the strange advantages of existence. The most triumphant minds have trusted themselves to it, as a child to its mother, learning how to transform it into ever richer life, not lamenting the past, nor impatient for the future, but living in an Eternal Now which must be such Time as heaven knows. "Man postpones or remembers," complains Emerson; "he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches which surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with Nature in the present above time!
"Great souls live many an eon in Man's brief years,—
To him who dreads no spite of Fate or Chance,
Yet loves the Earth, and Man, and starry spheres,
Life's swiftness is the pulse of life's romance;
And,when the footsteps fall of Death's advance
He hears the feet; he quails not, but he hears."
* * *
EMBLEMS OF MORTALITY
It is above all things fitting that the ritual which began with the candidate's birth into the world of the lodge should end by bringing him to that death which is but a larger birth into the Grand Lodge above; thus does our sublime symbolism, like the sky, gather all things into its embrace and overarch the end as well as the beginning. So also is it fitting that the ritual throws about the instruments and trappings of the grave the memories of the slain Master, thus reminding us that death may be transfigured by a great soul into a paean and a triumph.
To die is as natural as to be born. Death is no interloper in the universe, but one with its laws and its life; in truth, it is itself the friend and servant of life in that it keeps fresh the stream and removes the out-worn and the old "lest one good custom should corrupt the world." The very act of death proves this, for, however much we shrink from its approach, we yield peacefully to it when it comes. Of this all our physicians testify, as witness these words from one of the noblest of them, Dr. Osler:
"I have careful notes of about five hundred death-beds, studied particularly with reference to the modes of death and the sensations of the dying. Ninety suffered bodily pain or distress of one sort or another; eleven showed mental apprehension; two positive terror; one expressed spiritual exaltation; one bitter remorse. The great majority gave no sign one way or another; like their birth their death was a sleep and a forgetting."
Natural as it is, death will ever remain solemn, and even sad, not only because of what comes after, or "because of the body's masterful negation," but because, as the Lecture reminds us, the day of death is a kind of judgment day, for it brings to an end and sets a lasting seal upon, the life of a man. The world with its problems, its imperious needs, its gray tragedies, and ancient heart-breaks, is left behind; the man's career is ended, and the influences of his life, the harvest of his deeds — all these are now taken from his control. What he has done he has done, and death places it beyond his changing. Surely, it must be an awful thing for a human being to realize at the last that, so far as he has been concerned, there is less happiness, less love, less kindliness and honour among men than before he entered life. To so live in the midst of this mystery-haunted world, to so work among the winged days that little children may be happier, youth more joyous, manhood more clean, and old age less lonely; to so live that men will hate less and love more, be honourable in public dealings as in private acts, create more than destroy; to so live that the great Kingdom of Brotherhood may be brought near and man be bound closer to man, and woman closer to woman; that it is to be a Mason!
* * *
A NEW SERIES OF STUDY CLUB ARTICLES TO BEGIN IN THE APRIL ISSUE
With this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin is concluded Subdivision E of Division I of the Main Outline of the Bulletin Course of Masonic Study, "Third Steps."
In the April issue we shall publish the first instalment of a new series of articles on "Philosophical Masonry," or, in plain words, "The Teachings of Masonry." It has been found necessary to deviate somewhat from the plan of the Main Outline as originally laid out for the reason that early in 1918, after having published a number of papers by Brother Clegg, it was found that a series of articles on the three degrees had just been completed by Brother Haywood who had written them with the intention of having them published in book form. These articles proved to be just what we needed to cover Subdivisions C, D and E of Division I of the Main Outline of the Course of Study, and arrangements were accordingly entered into with Brother Haywood for their use.
It developed in this series Brother Haywood had covered not only "Ceremonial Masonry," but also "Symbolical Masonry," thus combining Divisions I and II of our Main Outline. It is for this reason that the Outline has been re-arranged and we are taking up the study of "Philosophical Masonry."
The introductory article of the new series, which appears next month, will give the reasons for such a series in explanation of what "the teachings of Masonry" mean, and tell us how we may each of us arrive at our own "Philosophy of Masonry."
What is Freemasonry? What is its function in the world? What is it trying to do? How did it come to be? What is it like as a whole? Such are the questions to be answered by such a course as this.
To understand his Fraternity the Mason himself needs to know it in its general principles, fundamental ideas, etc.
There is no authorized interpretation of Masonry — it is the duty of each Mason to think it out for himself. "Thinking Masonry out" — this is to make for one's self a "Philosophy of Masonry." Each of us requires the help of a Philosophy of Masonry in order to do this.
Masonry is a world-wide institution, centuries old, which is as complex as a civilization. In order to find one's own proper place, one should know the Fraternity's own life and development as a whole.
Masonry is an international organization which annually costs the world nobody knows how many millions in men, money and effort. To justify such a society and such an expenditure, is one of the purposes of a Philosophy of Masonry.
How can one arrive at his own "Philosophy of Masonry?"
He can study its development through the past, plot the curve of its tendencies, and thereby learn what it has Factually been doing.
There is a great deal in the various activities of the Order — speeches, books, study clubs, etc. — which appeals directly to the mind. The philosopher of Masonry can study these activities as they actually are.
Masonry revolves about a few great ideas. These are easily got at and must be studied with care.
Problems of human society at large can be studied from Masonry's point of view — this is one way of arriving at a Philosophy of Masonry.
We can study the works of Masonic philosophers in the past: Oliver, Preston, Pike, etc.; and in the present: Waite, Pound, and others.
One may study the monitorial interpretations, and lectures in the various degrees. The ritual as it now stands is to!a certain extent self-interpreting.
Such are the points to be covered by Brother Haywood in this new series of articles.
As heretofore, supplemental references to articles in back numbers of THE BUILDER and in Mackey's Encyclopaedia will be given prefacing each of Brother Haywood's papers to enable the members of lodges and study clubs to prepare additional papers on the subjects covered monthly by Brother Haywood, and this new series will have just as much, if not more, interest to every Master Mason as those that have already been published in the study course.
* * *
SECRET SOCIETIES IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
THE STATEMENT is made very frequently both in the Roman Catholic press and from the pulpit that members of that faith are not permitted by their church or papal decree to become members of any secret society whatever may be their constitution or however harmless their character. In accordance with such interpretation of Roman Catholic jurisprudence, consistent Catholics refrain from associating themselves with the Masonic Order, and also from such organizations as Druidism, Forestry, Buffaloism, Ancient Britons, and the like. The Roman Catholic statement, however, demands qualification, for the prohibition applies only to societies not under the jurisdiction or government or oversight of the Roman Catholic clergy. For there are affiliated to the Church in all parts of the world certain societies to which only Roman Catholics may belong, which have certain forms of initiation or admission, which meet behind closed doors, their minutes of proceedings not being published; some of which, moreover, engage in revolutionary propaganda, which constitutional acts are inhibited by Masonic Constitutions.
One of the most famous and active of these societies at the present day is that known as the Knights of Columbus, which, as a body, has recently recognized officially the existence of an Irish republic, with Eamon de Valera as its president, and which has passed resolutions urging the United States Senate and House of Representatives to do the same without delay. The object underlying such resolution is apparent. It is well recognized that were the Senate and House of Representatives to do any such thing, there would, at once, be an open break in the diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, which might, and not improbably, result in another outbreak of war. The Knights of Columbus, which is a very powerful organization, limited in membership to Roman Catholics, has been, not inaptly, described as the Pope's most powerful secret society in America; yet we do not read that this resolution has received papal condemnation or disapproval, so that it may quite fairly be assumed that it has the papal sanction. There is ample proof in many published statements that the members of this society work under clerical direction: the following quotation will suffice. In 1916, Archbishop Munderlin, in an address to the Knights of Columbus, as reported in the Chicago Evening American of 9th March, 1916, said: "I will expect you to be ready. I am your leader, your thinker, and your director. I will tell you what to do and will expect you to do it. I need you men. Never differ from your bishop. He thinks for you."
There is in Ireland, America, and other counties, another society of a similar character. It is known as the Order of Hibernians, and it is a continuation of the famous Ribbon Society, which was prominent in Irish life some years ago. These Ribbonmen appeared in the early part of the nineteenth century, after the suppression of the rebellion in 1798, and was formed from among the surviving members of the United Irishmen, Whiteboys and Defenders, all of whom took an oath "to burn, destroy, and murder all heretics up to my knees in blood." Each Ribbonman took an oath (see Report of Select Committee on the State of Ireland, 1832) in the following words: "I swear I will to the best of my power cut down kings, queens, and princes, dukes, lords, earls, and all such, with land-jobbing and heresy. I swear I will never pity the moans and groans of the dying from the cradle to the crutch, and that I will wade knee deep in Orange blood." All these societies were under the direction and control of the Catholic clergy, confined in their membership to Roman Catholics, and among their objects were to assist Roman Catholicism and the visionary idea of Ireland as an independent nation. The system did not receive the support of all Irish Catholics. Mr. A. M. Sullivan, his work, New Ireland, (seventh edition, pp. 41 and 42) says:
"But alas! when one comes to review the actual results of the Ribbon system in Ireland — to survey its bloody work throughout those fifty years — how frightful is the prospect? It has been said, and probably with some truth, that it has been too much the habit to attribute erroneously to the Ribbon organization every atrocity committed in the country, every deed of blood arising out of agrarian combination or conspiracy. An emphatic denial, and challenge to proofs, have been given to stories of midnight trials and sentences of death at lodge meetings. Very possibly the records of lodge meetings afford no such proof, though there is abundant evidence that at such assemblages threatening notices and warnings were ordered to be served and domiciliary visits for terrorising purposes were decreed. But vain is all pretence that the Ribbon Society did not become, whatever the original design and intention of its members may have been, a hideous organization of outrage and murder. It is one of the inherent evils of oath-bound secret societies of this kind, where implicit obedience to secret superiors is sworn, that they may very easily and quickly drop to the lowest level of demoralisation, and become associations for the wreaking of mere personal vengeance."
In the concluding paragraph of the chapter devoted by Mr. A.M. Sullivan to "The Ribbon Conspiracy' (it must be remembered that Mr. Sullivan was a Roman Catholic and a Nationalist), he says:
"From 1835 to 1855 the Ribbon organization was at its greatest strength. For the last fifteen or twenty years" (he wrote in 1877) "it has been gradually disappearing from the greater part of Ireland, yet, strange to say, betimes intensifying, in a baser and more malignant form than ever, in one or two localities. With the emigration of the labouring classes it was carried abroad, to England and to America. At one time the most formidable lodges were in Lancashire, whither, it is said, the headquarters were removed for safety."
In America the society became known under various names, such as the "Molly Maguires," "Buckshots," etc., and there are some interesting details concerning its machinations and iniquities to be read in E. W. Lucy's book, The Molly Maguires, particularly the sworn evidences of Detective McParlan. Membership was confined to Roman Catholics of Irish birth or parentage. At the time in its history of which Lucy wrote, it had an elaborate organization, each lodge consisting of a president or body-master, together with a vice body-master, secretary, assistant secretary, and treasurer, making five officers at the head of each lodge. Then there were higher bodies, which had each a county delegate, county secretary, and county treasurer, who were assisted by a county committee. Above these were state officers, consisting of state delegate, state secretary, and state treasurer; while, above these again, were national organizations, consisting each of national delegate, national secretary, national treasurer, and president of the Board. But the over-ruling body was known as the Board of Erin, which consisted of representatives from England, Ireland, and Scotland, which met at various intervals, in one or other of the three countries. The members of the main body were known to each other by signs and pass-words, or sentences, which were issued by the Board of Erin and changed four times in the year. Some of these are given in Lucy's book. One ran:
The Emperor of France and Don Carlos of Spain,
They unite together and the Pope's right maintain;
the response being:
Will tenant right in Ireland flourish,
If the people unite and the landlords subdue?
That the trouble of the country may soon be at an end,
to which the answer was given:
And likewise the man who will not her defend.
Later, in Beaconsfield's time, the greeting between members was:
What do you think of Disraeli's plan,
Who still keeps Home Rule from our native land?
the answer to which was:
But still with good words and men at command
We will give long-lost rights to our native land.
During part of 1875 the greeting was changed to:
Gladstone's policy must be put down,
He is the main support of the British crown;
to which the fellow-member made reply:
But our Catholic lords will not support his plan,
For true to their Church they will firmly stand.
William Carleton, in his interesting novel, The Tithe Procter, a novel, be it remembered, founded absolutely on fact, proof of which is given by him in the preface, and a novel which deals entirely with the machinations of a secret society, the membership of which was limited to Roman Catholics, says:
"The condition of all secret and illegal societies in Ireland is, indeed, shocking and most detestable, when contemplated from any point of view whatsoever. In every one of them — that is, in every local, body, or branch of that conspiracy — there is a darker and more secret class, comparatively few in number, who undertake to organize the commission of crimes and outrages; and who, in cases where they are controlled by the peaceably-disposed and enemies to bloodshed, always fall back upon this private and blood-stained clique, who are always willing to execute their sanguinary behests, as it were, con amore. In other cases, however, as we have stated before, even the virtuous and reluctant are often compelled, by the dark and stem decrees of these desperate ruffians, to perpetrate crimes from which they revolt."
The most important secret society, from the Roman Catholic point of view, is that great and wonderful organization, the Society of Jesus, better known, perhaps, as the Jesuits. It consists, not only of the clergy, and of these there are two classes, professed and unprofessed, but also of various branches of lay associations and societies. There are also various sodalities, meeting ostensibly for devotional practices and religious purposes, but which meet in secret conclave, initiated members only being admitted. The most important of these latter is that known as the Prima Premaria. This society was founded in 1563, and established canonically in 1584, by a Bull issued by Gregory XIII, and which bas attached to it a number of branches in all parts of the world. The suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, says Waterton, in Pietas Mariana Britannica, "did not affect the Prima Premaria, for the ex-members who continued under the name of the English Academy, kept up the sodality until they were driven out of Liege in 1794, in which year they came to England and established themselves at Stonyhurst. Consequently, the Stonyhurst sodality, tracing an unbroken descent from the year 1617, is, perhaps, the oldest existing branch in the world of the Prima Primaria." In December, 1857, a branch was founded at the well-known London Jesuit church in Farm Street, Berkeley Square, W, "for gentlemen only." One of its rules is that "only those are to be admitted into the congregation who are in a respectable position in life and with some pretensions to a literary education." Another runs: "Upon sodalists, moreover, it is enjoined that they should always obey, with a prompt and ready will, the counsels and commands of their directors." Yet another says: "The immediate superior of the congregation of the Prima Primaria, by virtue of the Apostolic Constitution, is the Father General of the Society of Jesus. To him consequently belongs the government of the Congregation: it is in his power to make laws; revoke or modify them, since everything depends on his authority." Another rule given in the Manual for the Use of Sodalities Affiliated to the Prima Primaria tells us that "those are excluded from the congregation who suffer from epileptic fits, or are physically or accidentally deformed."
Another society, also closely connected with the Jesuits, is that known as the "Holy League of the Heart of Jesus," all members of which have to make the following solemn promise: "Freemasonry and all other secret societies having been condemned by the infallible voice and authority of the Vicar of Christ. I . . . . obedient to that authority, solemnly resolve and engage never to belong to any such secret association, under whatever name it may be called; but, on the contrary, to oppose to the utmost of my power, their influence, their teaching, and their acts. Amen."
This obligation is elaborated in the Handbook of the League, where part of the constitutions is set out as follows:
"Our reverend directors, our promoters and associates, will understand the motives which should prompt the Director General of the Holy League to issue the following instructions: In order the more thoroughly to enter into the intention of the Holy Father expressed in the teaching of the late Encyclical Letter, Humanum Genus, (directed against Freemasonry), we earnestly beg of all our Directors, both diocesan and local, to require in all receptions of associates of either sex to the Holy League, and, in the case of our promoters, as a necessary condition, the promise never to enter into any secret society, and not to give encouragement or help to any of them."
It may not, perhaps, be known generally that some of the branches of the Children of Mary, the members of which form an attractive and striking figure in many open-air Roman Catholic processions, now so frequent in the summer months, are branches of the Prima Primaria, erected by a diploma of the General of the Society of Jesus, and enjoy all privileges of indulgence attached to it in common with all other sodalists. A distinction, says Waterton, must, therefore, be made between the Children of Mary, or lady sodalists, who are affiliated to the Prima Primaxia, and those local or convental fraternities, known by the same name.
In 1877, Pope Pius IX organized the "Militia of Jesus Christ," a Catholic Crusaders association, which had as its third aim: "to array against the powerful organization of the secret societies leagued against the Lord, and His own innumerable army of devoted Catholics, ready to fight in open day, with all the means at its power, those who work in secret and in darkness." It is unnecessary to point out that the objects of the attack were not the Jesuits and other Roman Catholic secret societies, who, undoubtedly, correspond thoroughly to the description given. According to a correspondent of the Daily News this Militia numbered more than a million members, principally in France and Belgium, within a very short time of its formation.
In the Memoirs of Saint-Simon (Volume III, p. 268, 1902 ed.), we are told that "the Jesuits constantly admit the laity, even married, into their company. The fact is certain. There is no doubt that Des Noyers, secretary of state under Louis XIII, was of this number, and that many others have been so too. These licentiates make the same vow as the Jesuits, so far as their condition admits: that is, unrestricted obedience to the General, and to the superiors of the Company. They are obliged to comply with the vows of poverty and chastity by promising to give all the service and all the protection in their power to the Company; above all, to be entirely submissive to the superiors and to their confessor. They are obliged to perform with exactitude such light exercises of piety as their confessor may have adapted to the circumstances of their lives, and that he simplifies as much as he likes. It answers the purposes of the Company to ensure to itself those hidden auxiliaries. But nothing must pass through their minds, nothing must come to their knowledge that they do not reveal to their confessor, and to the superiors, if the confessor thinks fit. In everything, too, they must obey, without comment the superior and the confessor." This, of course, is in accordance with the enormous claims made by the Church of Rome, not only to be the administrator of the laws of God, but also to be empowered to make fresh laws, which must be obeyed with equal rigidity, under penalties and punishments. This claim is well set forth by the Rev. Edmund J. O'Reilly, S. J., in his book, The Relations of the Church to Society, wherein he says: "The Church's jurisdiction, like that of any State, comprises legislative an executive powers. The Church not only administers divine laws, but makes laws herself. Some of them are in great measure identified with her administrate of divine law. She imposes on her subjects the obligation of receiving her declarations of faith, and, more less, under ecclesiastical penalties. But, besides doing this, she imposes other obligations in connection with faith and morals. She commands and forbids acts that are not already respectively commanded or forbidden by God. All this she does for the better attainment of her end, which is the salvation of souls. These laws of the Church are human laws, enacted in virtue of authority received from God, but still human laws, liable to abrogation, mortification, and dispensation, where circumstances may so require or render expedient."
* * *
THE AWAKENING IN MASONRY
It is quality and not quantity that Masonry seeks in her membership and we are not at all interested in acquiring members unless they shall be, or appear likely to become, Masons in fact as well as in name.
I have the courage to believe from my observation throughout the state, and my correspondence with other jurisdictions, that a greater and more vital interest is being taken in what Masonry stands for than ever before, but whether or not that awakening of interest in vital topics is a by-product or in any sense due to the war conditions, is not really important. The salient thing is that there is this awakening of interest, and it is most decidedly a feature which must be taken into account in our calculations, and as we recognize the fact, we realize that more and more it is true that the eyes of the world are upon us, and that our responsibility is correspondingly enhanced.
If we can once get the great mass of the brotherhood to realize that there is nothing more important than the recognition of the common bonds of humanity, that the doctrine of brotherhood means in very fact just what it says, that we are all descendants of one Almighty Father, that we are linked together in fact as well as in name, by an indissoluble tie of sincere affection, I venture the prediction that we will see the Masonic order take its rightful place as a dynamic force in the nation, and in the life of the people, and that it will command recognition not alone for its professions, not alone for the beauty of its doctrines, but deservedly for its solid, practical accomplishment in all constructive policies and endeavors for the uplift and unity of humanity.
— P.G.M. Webster, California.
* * *
"Alas, a Gospel of Brotherhood, not according to any of the Four old Evangelists, calling on men to amend each his own wicked existence, but a Gospel rather according to a new Fifth Evangelist, calling on men to amend each the whole world's wicked existence, and be saved by making a Constitution."
— Carlyle, The French Revolution.
THE WORLD will never be better than the men who inhabit it. Everything begins and ends with the individual. One man living a Brotherly Life is worth a thousand lectures on Brotherhood. Men can make many things by wholesale, but great souls, faithful and generous hearts are made one by one. Commonplaces ! it will be said. Even so. Bread, meat, sunlight, night and day are commonplace, but by such things men live. The trouble is that we fly so high that we overlook what is near by, building air-castles without foundation. Freemasonry is the realization of God and the practice of brotherhood, and it must begin with each of us in his own life.
Once for all the Great Brother of Galilee set forth this fact with unforgettable vividness in a story that one can read in two minutes. He told of "a certain man," — it might be any man of any race who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and was set upon by thieves who robbed him, beat him, and left him half dead. One can see the hard faces of the robbers silhouetted against the rocks — low-browed, dark-faced, with cruelty in their eyes — the plagues of society, desperadoes by calling, murderers by vocation.
There are the Priest and the Levite who journey that way, passing by the man in his distress. They are not hypocrites; they are simply men who separate religion from human service, as most men do. They tried to unite devotion to God with contempt of the need of mankind. They thought God lived in the Temple, listening to songs and prayers, not knowing that He is out on the highways of life where men faint and fall. It is the old atheism which divides piety from humanity, and thinks of religion as a sweet, dreamy emotion, rather than a matter of practical service.
There is the Samaritan — a heretic, an outcast, — with divine instincts, quick and keen sympathies, responsive to human need, asking no questions, but doing the thing that needed to be done. There is the innkeeper, kindly but business-like, glad to welcome the man who has been unfortunate, but glad also to have a paying guest, and happy to be assured that everything will be settled on business principles. It is an immortal picture of our human society, and in the living wisdom of the world there is nothing to surpass it alike in vividness and comprehensiveness.
The medicine for the sickness of the world, the way out of the blind alley into which it has run, the hope of a better day of justice and goodwill, lies in the actual practice of brotherliness between man and man. Nothing can take the place of it. There is no substitute for it. No plan, no scheme, no programme for a better world order is worth the paper it is written on, without men of the brotherly spirit. Whoso lives the brotherly life, however obscure he may be, does more for the world than all the orators. Professions of Brotherhood in a Masonic lodge are of no more value than professions of religion in a church — unless they are acted upon.
Such words need to be said again and again, each man to himself, if only to keep alive the sense of solemn and high responsibility in our own hearts. No one may shirk this matter, or shift it to another, without weakening the basis of society and making all holy things less secure. The Samaritan did not report the case of the man by the roadside to the Society for the Relief of the Distressed. He got down off his donkey, picked the man up, and took care of him. He did not denounce the Priest and Levite. He saw it as his duty, did it, and went on about his business.
But let us go a little further. Some one has said that it is easier to give five dollars to a beggar than it is to forgive a man who rides his logic ruthlessly over our pet prejudices. It is easier to help a man who is down — whether by his own folly or the fault of another — than to give a square deal to one who is in the race with us for the prizes of life. Philanthropy is one thing; justice is another. In time of dire need men want charity; justice they want all the time. The ancient prophet had the true order of things when he told us what is required of us: "To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." Here is the idea in a very striking, searching poem by Ina Coolbirth:
O Soul! however sweet
The goal to which I hasten with swift feet—
If, just within my grasp,
I reach, and joy to clasp,
And find there one whose body I must make
A footstool for that sake,
Though ever and for evermore denied,
Grant me to turn aside!
"The principal intention of forming societies is undoubtedly the uniting men in the stricter bands of love; for men, considered as social creatures, must derive their happiness from each other; every man being designed by Providence to promote the good of others, as he tenders his own advantage; and by that intercourse to secure their good offices, by being, as occasion may offer, serviceable to them."
— Charles Brockwell, A Charge to Masons, 1749.
Masonry is organized brotherhood. Because fellowship is a source both of joy and of power, because we can do together what we could never do alone, men are drawn together and joined together in a great fraternity, the better to promote the principle and practice of brotherhood in their own lives and in the life of the world. Such an order of men, ancient, universal, beneficent — made up of select men trained and sworn to help make righteousness prevail — is a prophecy of that spirit, that tendency, that tie which at last
Shall bind each heart and nation
In one grand brotherhood of men
And one high consecration.
Masonic philanthropy is an honor and an ornament to the Craft. It does the work of the Good Samaritan, taking care of the widow, the orphan, the aged and infirm with a munificence as beautiful as it is gracious. Besides, in ways innumerable and untraceable the spirit of Masonry mitigates the hard lot of many outside the order. Only the art of an angel could record the ways in which Masons help one another, showing a brotherliness truly practical in sickness and in difficulty. Wrought in secret, under cover of Masonic silence, only a tiny part of this untiring ministry is known to the world — and that is as it should be.
Unfortunately the thieves who robbed the man on the road to Jericho escaped. Nothing more is said about them in the parable. No doubt they robbed other travellers. Here is one of the dark problems of the world, weaving a shadowy fringe on the borders of human society. The Good Samaritan did not remove the cause of the misery he helped to heal. He could not do it alone. Hence the necessity of organized fraternity, that together we may clean out the den of thieves, and make the highways of the world safe for all who travel on lawful avocations. The State, in any great conception of it, is an organized brotherhood, and Masonry labors unceasingly to inculcate that idea. An unworthy citizen cannot be a good Mason.
Masonry is organized patriotism. Neither a political party nor a religious sect, it none the less stands for just laws and the spirit of loyalty and co-operation without which the state cannot be stable and effective. Patriotism is the translation of private faith and individual righteousness into terms of public virtue and social service. Nothing less than this is worthy of the name. The crying need of today is to extend the spirit and principles of Masonry to the whole life and transactions of mankind — and this must begin by extending them to all the transactions of Masons. The failure to do this accounts for the deficit between private morality and public morality. Men as a group, as a party, as a corporation will do what not one of them would do as an individual. The responsibility is distributed until it evaporates; and so we have a public and corporate life which is a reproach to the character of the community. When we are truly patriotic this will not be so.
Practical brotherhood, if it has any meaning at all, means that all men, regardless of race, rank, or creed, shall have an opportunity to live and to live well — that even the humblest child, to the measure of its capacity, shall be admitted to the full inheritance of humanity. It will not merely be friendly to, but will help forward every wise effort in behalf of a full, free, happy, useful life for all classes, and will seek to organize civilization to that end. Masonry, in its organized capacity, may not formulate or support definite political and social programs; but it will create and cultivate in its members the will and the passion to be champions of every cause which endeavors intelligently to build a better human order.
We are all blind until we see
That in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making if
It does not make the man.
Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the work unless
The builder also grows.
— Edwin Markham.
That is to say, Masonry is the application of noble ideas to practical life. If it merely ends in fine emotion or eloquent sentiment, it fails. Ideas do not work themselves out automatically. Some seem to think that all we have to do is to throw a great idea into the world, and then by virtue of some magic power that truth possesses, it will begin to work and bear fruit of its own accord. It is not so. There must be soil for the seed, and hard work in its cultivation. Ideas by themselves are ghosts until they are incarnated in men, and the men are organized for the service of the truth.
Great ideas are simple enough, but their application is complex and difficult. For example, many men today — men who are in no sense Socialists — refuse to accept the present industrial order as final. It makes money, but it mutilates humanity. Commercially it may be a triumph, but humanly it is sadly imperfect, and its injustice is only equalled by its ugliness. We cannot see the next step, but there must be a way to bring back beauty and joy into the work of the world, which is now so often a drudgery and a grind. Ruskin was right when he said that life without industry is sin, and industry without beauty is brutality. He was also right when he wrote:
"There is no wealth but life — life, including all its powers of love, of joy, of admiration. That country is richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over the lover of others."
Our ancient Operative Brethren came nearer solving these vexing questions than any one has ever come since. They worked as a fraternity; they had joy in their work, and saw spiritual meaning in it. Labor was a joy to them because it was constructive, and because they never lost the human touch — which is the saddest tragedy of modern industry. Their labor was communal. Each man worked as a brother in a community, not as a cog in a machine. It was mixed with friendliness, comradeship, and goodwill. They regarded their ingenuity — both as artists and as artisans — as a form of divine inspiration, a holy and consecrated skill, for which they gave thanks as a community on Whit-Sunday. The Master was not a Foreman or an Overseer; he was a Brother, a friend, a teacher.
Surely modern industry is not the better for the loss of this spirit of reverence and cooperation — brotherly leadership and communal responsibility — which distinguished the fraternity of Operative Freemasonry. Today Master and Man are far apart. They have little personal contact. Social welfare work in factories is too much like a sop to the discontented — too much like a form of charity. Men go to their work as if driven, finding no joy in it, shirking it as much as possible. Our ancient Brethren never thought of getting all they could for as little work as possible. The whole idea of using men to make money, instead of using money to make men, is foreign to the genius and history of Masonry. No Mason was regarded as a "hand"; he was a fellow, a brother — not an animated tool but a human being. There is no hope of peace in the industrial world until this spirit of humanity and fraternity is recovered — restoring the status of labor, and also its high obligation. Masonry did it once; Masonry can help to do it again
Masonry is an international fraternity. Its members are prepared to travel in foreign countries and work and receive the wages of a Master Mason. Each is enjoined to be loyal to his own country, without hatred of other lands — knowing that other men love their countries as he loves his. In all the teaching of Masonry there is a recognition of the human race as a family, a brotherhood — a sense of the fact that the good of humanity as a whole does actually exist — and that is the one thing needed today. The world is perishing for lack of Brotherhood, and though we have the great ideal on our lips, it has not yet found its way into our hearts and hands.
Does it make you mad when you read about
Some poor, starved devil who flickered out,
Because he had never a decent chance
In the tangled meshes of circumstance?
If it makes you burn like the fires of sin,
Brother, you are fit for the ranks — fall in!
Does it make you rage when you come to learn
Of a clean-souled women who could not earn
Enough to live, and who fought, but fell
In the cruel struggle and went to hell?
Does it make you seethe with an anger hot?
Brother we welcome you — share our lot!
Whoever has blood that will flood his face
At the sight of Beast in the holy place;
Whoever has rage for the tyrant's might,
For the powers that prey in the day and night,
Whoever has hate for the ravening Brute
That strips the tree of its goodly fruit;
Whoever knows wrath at the sight of pain,
Of needless sorrow and heedless gain;
Whoever knows bitterness, shame and gall
At thought of the trampled ones doomed to fall;
He is a brother-in-soul, we know;
With brain afire and with soul aglow;
By the sight of his eyes we sense our kin—
Brother, you battle with us — fall in!
— Joseph Fort Newton
* * *
Edited by Bro. Robert Tipton
THE MARKED tendency among men is to think in terms of their own calling. We recall a time when we were engaged in the vocation of mining. It was at an early period of our life, but we remember very distinctly that all things of import were in some degree considered with reference to our own vocation. One felt that the importance of mining was primary in character. If men should cease to go down into the depths of the earth and bring forth coal, commerce would stop and households would perish. There probably was some recognition at times that the farmers were indispensable, but the knowledge of complexity of civilization and a genuine dependence on coal of all who participate in civilization, gave us a sense of our immeasurable importance. We think that this, probably, was something of the emotion that possessed those engaged in the great Steel industry when the strike was being carried on a little over a year ago. Had success come to the strikers, the country for a while would be thinking quite pertinently in terms of Steel.
There came to our desk sometime ago two or three books dealing with Steel. The poet endeavoring to interpret it, and the steel worker, a name much maligned by the public press (justly or unjustly, it is not ours at this time to say), Em. Z. Foster, told of the struggle about Steel, and then a group of Churchmen, of whose integrity and uprightness there is no question in the minds of any, sought to indicate to the people of the country the tragedy of Steel. To the first, of course, the poems of Strandberg, which in a subtle way incorporate both the struggle and the tragedy, will probably belong the credit, ultimately, of arousing the consciences of men to things nefarious in the industry, and what we may conveniently designate at this time as un-American.
We are not unmindful at this juncture of a certain eastern minister, a man whom, we have been assured, can neither be bought nor bribed, resenting the criticisms and reflections of the commission of his fellow ecclesiastics, entered the ring of controversial conflict like some medieval gladiator, in defense of those practices of the great corporations that governed steel whose privileges and prerogatives he felt were being unrighteously and unjustly assailed.
As our interests here, however, are in books, and our chief anxiety is to have the people at large judge rightly on the question affecting in so marked a way the happiness and prosperity of the American people, we are but anxious to draw the attention of reading Masons to these publications, believing in that fairmindedness that has characterized the fraternity that will enable its members to pronounce a just verdict and one that will be consistently American and for the promotion of happiness generally. Our interest centering in such a specific way upon a program which we conveniently designate as Americanization, we feel urged to say that in brief these books point out that the major portion of those engaged in the steel industry, of foreign extraction, anxious to become Americans, cannot become so, under the conditions and circumstances imposed upon them in the steel industry. Only a fair consideration of these documents will assure us of the justice of such a conclusion. That we might not be accused of partiality or prejudice, and that we might vindicate our position of keen desire to have all Masons acquaint themselves with the vital problems whose solution means weal or woe for America, we but urge that these works be read and considered in a true, impartial, and Masonic spirit.
The publications are: "Report on the Steel Strike of 1919," (Inter-church Commission of Inquiry Report); "Smoke and Steel," and "The Great Steel Strike."
* * *
The amazing genius and prolific powers of writings of H. G. Wells are again amply testified to in his "Outline of History," published by the Macmillan Co., 66 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y., ($10.00). One wonders indeed how it were possible to undertake such a task in the face of the wide and searching reading necessary to produce such a work, especially when we consider the yearly output of literature of one kind or another that generates in the fertile brain of England's premier novelist. That the "Outline of History" is infinitely more than a sentimental generalizing of which the average educated man may be capable through his knowledge of history is clearly shown by a perusal of the names of the collaborators of Wells in his marvelous achievement. Connected with his own name and revealed throughout the book as keen critics and admiring helpers are some of the leading scientists, archaeologists, etc., of Great Britain.
One feels that to have written such a work, having its genesis in the misty dawn where astronomers find their field for speculation, and coming down through those departments of life of interest to the geologist, biologist, and archaeologist, even down to the present, climaxing with the Great War, Wells must have exhausted all sources of information which were of pertinent value in the writing of the "Outline."
Not a little of its charm is contained in its Wellsian phraseology, his brilliancy of intellect being everywhere apparent. We feel that it is timely, bringing hope to a chaotic world through the revelation that progress is certain and sure, even though it is slow in development. Whatever cataclysmic disasters have befallen the efforts of men in the attempt to mold the world, arising out of the ruins of the old, there has ever emerged the enthusiastic effort to renew and rebuild. War is revealed as the fateful fallacy, and nowhere is this better emphasized than in the brief chronicling of the ancient civilization of the island of Crete, where for a thousand years because of a general peace, the arts and all things conducive to human happiness seemed to have flourished.
One wonders, on closing these volumes, what Wells will attempt next; whether his prophetic genius will prove to be as great as his capacity for accurate retrospection. This will probably be proven when he writes a book that will be prophetic in its imports as it is deducted from the observances of his "Outline of History."
* * *
We have just had the pleasure of reading what is probably the most talked of novel of the season — "Main Street," by Sinclair Lewis. Our first pronouncement upon this book would be that it was a condition and not a place. Saying such would be analogous to the conception of Heaven that prevails in most minds today, but to make such comparison is to at once realize that "Main Street," as a condition, is far more cognizable than Heaven. We venture to assert that no more daring arraignment of mediocrity in life has ever been made. It is so pertinently realistic that one senses it immediately as a delineation of those circumstances, conditions and places with which the majority of us are most familiar.
The little western town, with its characters that have so much to do about nothing, is but a microscopic portrait of the whole United States. The rare soul, ever the pertinent power in the transformation of things from a condition of dull mediocrity to an advanced step of living, fighting against malignant forces disguised in the garb of respectability, is admirably portrayed here. The price of her protest is sensed in her defeat. "Main Street" does not become transformed from a place of petty selfishness and arbitrary notions to one of freedom and utmost good will toward all, in a day, but the hope that is perennial is that the Carol Kennicotts, with their eternal agitation, do succeed in lifting things a little higher and pushing things a little forward. The manner in which this is accomplished is probably best emphasized in the book where she leads her husband to look at the sleeping babes in their cot, and says to him, "Do you see that object on the pillow? Do you know what it is? It is a bomb to blow up smugness. If you Tories were wise you wouldn't arrest anarchists; you would arrest all these children while they're asleep in their cribs. What that baby will see and meddle with before she dies in the year 2000! She may see an industrial union of the world, she may see aeroplanes going to Mars."
The book, indeed, is not only a study but a challenge.
Now comes "Potterism." Our first characterization would be that it was the English "Main Street." Such is true as far as its analytical phase is concerned, but whereas "Main Street" is microscopic, we would feel like pronouncing Potterism as telescopic. We sense in it a very sane arraignment of the most marked phases of our everyday life. Its description of the chaotic thinking of the day is accentuated as the author makes manifest the cause of such muddle-headed confusion. There is little room left for believing anything but that we are all representative of some phase of Potterism, and that the genius whose sanity and respect for truth and fact is his greatest characteristic is a rare specimen in our midst and, like the hero of Potterism, he is likely to be killed.
It is a splendid thing to be revealed just as we are, especially when what we are is but the revelation of possibilities for further deterioration in matters of taste, ideals, and modes of living, for thereby desires might be created within that will crave redemption. We sometimes feel that we are having more than our fill of the literature that is dubbed realistic, but of books of this character of which these days there are a multitude, there are books to some purpose and those that are utterly worthless; that reveal but snobbery at work seeking the distasteful to exploit it, and which erstwhile caters to the most base and vain in man.
The narrative in Potterism related by Arthur Gideon we feel to be worthy of second reading. It is clear, erudite, and serviceable. The selfishness, greed, and love of the sensational, so alluring to the mass is here noted and understood in all its nakedness. That the cheapness of life that is such a major quantity is the result of the great convulsive change in the world conditions one can hardly question.
That this book may in some measure be a ministrant to the regaining of right concepts of living and proper values is devoutly to be wished, and those critics whose word is worth hearing have spoken in some measure in regard to it. Delightfully written, throbbingly interesting, one is carried along catching the variety of viewpoints set forth, and finally left in a frame of mind that ought to warrant better things, if sufficient numbers read the book.
* * *
Frances Kellor has made a very subtle analysis of what is probably the most compelling problem before the American people in her book, "Immigration and The Future." The clear-cut apprehension of the nature of the problem is at once ascertained when the author distinguishes between what is the grave concern of both Europe and America. Here in America the problem is of amalgamation and assimilation of the various nationals that come to our shores, and Europe reveals her keen interest in preserving national unity and character. A thoughtful presentation of the view taken by Europe of America is given in a very convincing way. Europe's concern will be in no small degree an effort to retain her hold upon those immigrants of their respective countries who come to these shores, if for no other reason than in some great emergency they may be found to speak a good word for them. An appreciation of this viewpoint will be accentuated by recalling the effort of Germany and her conception of dual citizenship. In plain words, the effort of foreign countries will be to keep those who come to these shores still in vital relationship to them. To continue such relationship will be to intensify the racial and national difficulties of Europe in this country, and the sorry experiences of the war, brought about with those whose racial and national affiliation would not admit of them sensing the American viewpoint as readily as we desire, determine that the American policy shall be one of a severance of relationships on the part of the immigrant to old lands from which he came, and demand that he subjugate himself to the assimilation process whereby he becomes Americanized.
The difficulties, advantages, and necessities relative to this problem the author has admirably stated. The analysis clearly distinguishes the romantic aspect that largely characterized immigration in the past and the economic considerations that are to determine immigration in the future. Indeed, immigration is to be thrashed out purely on an economic basis.
The formidable list of names cited by the author as advisers, and those whose patriotic interest in the problem reveals their utmost concern for America's future? is a formidable one and comprises men from all walks of public life in America.
At this moment of severe agitation regarding the immigrant problem the book will be a most serviceable instrument in the hands of all who are endeavoring to shape the Americanization movement from a wise and sane basis.
To illustrate further the character of the work and in order that our readers may judge whether or not they need this book on their shelves we are appending an epitome of the work as it is presented by the publishers:
"American Labor wants immigration suspended for a period of years. American Business anticipates expansion that requires immigration. American Public Opinion is for America first. Europe wants to control its nationals wherever they are.
"These are the questions America must answer in its future policy:
"Is immigration essential to the economic development of this country?
"Is America a necessary asylum for the foreign-born?
"Will the troubles of Europe be solved in America?
"Shall immigrant savings be spent in America?
"Shall America become a one-language country?
"What shall be done with the foreign-language press?
"Shall American citizenship be compulsory?
"Shall aliens be registered?
"Shall immigration be dealt with abroad?
"What is the answer? — Race Assimilation or Race Separation?"
For our part we deem it indeed a most timely and indispensable work.
It is published by the George H. Doran Company, 38 West 32nd St., New York, N. Y., and may be had at all first-class bookstores.
* * *
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.
THE PAPAL WARNING AGAINST NON-ROMAN CATHOLIC ORGANIZATIONS
A large number of requests have been received from our reader's for a full translation of the text of the warning against non-Roman Catholic organizations issued by the Pope of Rome through the Papal Secretary, Cardinal Merry Del Val, November 5th, 1920.
A careful perusal of the secular press, supplemented by an examination of a number of the leading Roman Catholic journals, has thus far failed to uncover a complete translation, but we reprint herewith, in answer to our numerous inquirers, a textual translation of the warning, which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor of February 5th, 1921. — Editor.
The most eminent and reverend cardinals who are, like the writer whose name is subjoined, inquisitors general in matters of faith and morals, desire that the ordinaries should pay vigilant attention to the manner in which certain new non-(Roman) Catholic associations, by the aid of their members of every nationality, have been accustomed now for some time to lay dangerous snares for the faithful, especially the young folk.
They provide in abundance facilities of every kind which apparently aim only at physical culture and intellectual and moral training, but in point of fact corrupt be integrity of the (Roman) Catholic faith and snatch away children from the church, their mother.
These organizations enjoy favour, have at their disposal material resources and the zeal of influential people, and render distinguished services in the different fields of beneficence; it is not surprising, then, that they impose on inexperienced people who have not made a close examination of these works.
"INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL CULTURE"
But no thoughtful person can have any doubt of their real spirit; for if up to the present they have allowed people only gradually to obtain glimpses of the end whither they tend, they proclaim it today in the brochures, newspapers and periodicals which are the organs of their propaganda.
Their object, they state, is to insure by good methods the intellectual and moral culture of the young; and making this culture their religion, they define it as full and complete liberty of thought outside and independently of every religion or deity nomination. On the pretense of bringing light to young folk, they turn them away from the teaching of the church established by God, the light of truth, and incite them to seek severally from their own consciences and within the narrow circuit of human reason the light which should guide them.
The principal victims of these snares are young students of both sexes. These young boys and young girls who need the help of others to learn the Christian doctrine and to preserve the faith inherited from their fathers come under the influence of people who despoil them of this precious patrimony and lead them insensibly today to hesitate between contrary opinions, tomorrow to doubt all things whatsoever, and in the end to embrace a sort of vague and indecisive religion which has absolutely nothing in common with the religion preached by Jesus Christ.
CREDIT GIVEN FOR BENEFICENT WORK
These maneuvers cause much more considerable ravages in the souls — would to God that they were less numerous — who, owing to the negligence or ignorance of parents, have not received at the domestic hearth that early instruction in the faith which is a primordial necessity for the Christian.
Deprived of the use of the sacraments and excluded from every religious practice, accustomed to regard the most sacred things only with the most complete independence of judgments these souls thus fall miserably into what is called religious indifferentism, which has been condemned by the church on numerous occasions, and which implies the negation of all religion.
Thus one sees these Christians in their bloom, on a road where they have no guide, perishing in the darkness and torture of doubt; to make shipwreck of the faith; is it not enough to refuse the mind's adhesion even to a single dogma?
It will happen, perhaps, that one may chance to hear from the lips of these young folk some sign, and may find in their hearts some dying shadow of piety, or even that they show more than ordinary ardor in their devotion to works of beneficence; this may be taken as the effect of a long habit, or of a more gentle temperament, or of a more sympathetic heart, or, in a word, of an entirely human and natural virtue, which of itself is devoid of all value in regard to eternal life.
Y.M.C.A. IS NAMED
Among these societies it will suffice to mention that which, having given birth to many others, is the most widespread (by reason especially of the important services which it rendered to a large number of unhappy people in the course of the terrible war) and disposes of the most considerable resources; we mean the society called the Young Men's Christian Association and in abbreviation form the Y.M.C.A.
Non (Roman) Catholics of good faith give it their support inadvertently, considering it an organization of advantage to all, or, at least, inoffensive to every one, and it is also supported by certain (Roman) Catholics who are too confident, and are ignorant of what it is in reality; for this society professes a sincere love of young folk, as if nothing was dearer to it than the promotion of their corporal and spiritual interests; but at the same time it shakes their faith, since, by its own confession, it proposes to purify it and to impart a more perfect knowledge of real life by placing itself "above every church and outside every religious denomination." ("What the Y.M.C.A. Is and What It Proposes," brochure published at the central office, Rome).
What good can be expected from those who, banishing from their hearts the last vestiges of their faith, go far from the cradle of Jesus Christ, where they enjoyed happiness and rest, to wander at the instigation of their passions and of their nature?
NEW ZEAL IMPLORED
Therefore, all of you who have received from Heaven the special mandate to govern the flock of the Master are implored by this congregation to employ all your zeal in preserving young folk from the contagion of every society of this kind, whose good works, presented in the name of Christ, endanger the most precious gift that the grace of Christ has given them.
Put the imprudent on their guard and strengthen the souls of those whose faith is vacillating; arm with the Christian spirit and courage the organizations of the young of both sexes existing in your dioceses, and establish others like them; to provide these societies with the means of counteracting the conduct of their adversaries, appeal to the generosity of the more well-to-do Roman Catholics.
Also get parish priests and directors of organizations for the young to fulfil their mission bravely, and particularly by the diffusion of books and pamphlets, so as to raise up barriers against the encroaching waves of error, to expose the tricks and snares of the enemy, and to give efficacious aid to the defenders of the truth.
It will be your duty, then, at the regional meetings of Bishops to treat this grave question with the attention it merits and, after deliberation, to come to the decisions that will appear practically suitable.
In this connection the Sacred Congregation asks that in each region an official act of the hierarchy declare duly forbidden all the dally organs, periodicals, and other publications of these societies of which the pernicious character is manifest, and which are profusely distributed with a view to sowing in the souls of Roman Catholics the errors of rationalism and religious indifferentism.
[Here a note calls attention to Fide e Vita (Faith and Life), a monthly review of religious culture, the organ of the Italian Federation of Students for Religious Culture, San Remo; to Bilychnis, a monthly review of religious studies, Rome, and Il Testimonio (The Testimony), a monthly review of the Baptist Churches, Rome.]
Metropolitans are charged with the duty of making known to the Holy See, within six months, the resolutions and decisions occasioned by the situation of each diocese.
Given at the Palace of the Holy Office, Rome, on the 5th November, 1920.
R. CARD. MERRY DEL VAL,
* * *
THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MEMORIAL OFFER TO THE AMERICAN LEGION
Many inquiries have reached us of late for full information concerning the Knights of Columbus' proposition to turn over to the American Legion the sum of $5,000,000 from the former's "War Fund." The following press reports give the status of the matter at the time we go to press with this number of THE BUILDER. — Editor.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MEMORIAL
Due to the interest which is being manifested in the proposal of the Knights of Columbus to appropriate out of its war fund moneys the sum of $5,000,000, to be used in the construction and equipment of a building in Washington for the American Legion, the terms of this offer, now under consideration by the National Executive Committee of the Legion, are hereby published in full. They are as follows:
The K. of C. propose and offer to appropriate the sum of $5,000,000 of its War Funds moneys to and for the following uses and purposes:
1st. Four million dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary (any surplus reverting to the principal of the Endowment Fund hereinafter referred to), to be used to erect, furnish, and equip a building in Washington, D. C., to be known as The American Legion National Memorial and to become upon completion the property of The American Legion subject to the conditions and purposes hereinafter expressed.
Said building is to be erected on a plot of land to be secured by The American Legion, preferably by Act of Congress devoting some public land in Washington for this purpose.
The building is to be devoted as far as possible to patriotic uses and the public welfare.
Its purpose under the control of The American Legion shall be to serve as a memorial to those who have given their lives in the service of the nation at war; to serve as an evidence of the people's gratitude to those who enlisted but happily survive their service; to serve as an incentive to the coming generation to serve their country freely and bravely when war may come in the future.
AUDITORIUM AND HEADQUARTERS
It shall provide for an auditorium to accommodate 10,000 or more people and smaller halls for gatherings of the public — all free, if possible; if not, at the lowest charge commensurate with maintenance and upkeep. It shall provide free headquarters for the business and affairs of The American Legion and appropriate space for the Spanish War Veterans, the United Confederate Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Grand Army of the Republic, and a room for the Knights of Columbus; also quarters for such other bodies devoted to similar purposes as may from time to time be determined.
Said building to be erected, furnished and equipped by a committee consisting of three members to be designated by the Knights of Columbus; three members to be designated by the American Legion; and the Secretary of War, for the time being, if he will accept; otherwise, by the Superintendent of State, War and Navy Buildings, if he will accept; otherwise, by such person, preferably a public official, as the President of the United States shall designate. The architects shall be Magenis & Walsh, of Boston, Mass.
2nd. One million dollars of said five million shall be set aside and known as The American Legion National Memorial Endowment, to be held by a Board of Trustees, with fullest powers to manage, to invest and reinvest said fund and consisting of the head of The American Legion, for the time being; the head of the Knights of Columbus, for the time being; and the Secretary of the Treasury for the time being, if he will accept; otherwise, by such person, preferably a public official, as the two first named shall designate. In case of vacancy the body represented shall have the right to fill, and a vacancy in the third place mentioned shall be filled by the two remaining trustees.
BUILDING AND FUNDS TO REVERT
The income from this fund shall be devoted to the upkeep, lighting, heating, and cleaning of the building as in the discretion of said trustees seem best.
The committee hereinabove designated and the trustees shall serve without compensation. Their expenses shall be paid from the building fund and from the income of the Endowment Fund respectively.
In case The American Legion shall cease to exist, then and in such event the title to said building and land shall revert to the nation for such purposes as the United States Senate shall determine, and the Endowment Fund shall revert to the Knights of Columbus to be subject to the same trust as the War Fund from which it is taken.
— Capital News Service. Washington. D.C.
* * *
LEGION REJECTS MEMORIAL OFFER
Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 1921. — The American Legion decided last night that, while it could not accept "in its present form" the offer of $5,000,000 from the Knights of Columbus for the construction of a war memorial in Washington, it would accept the tender if certain revisions in it were made.
The executive committee announced the appointment of a special committee to confer with Knights of Columbus officials to ascertain whether that organization is "willing to revise the offer so as to tender the fund unconditionally."
The Knights of Columbus offer was made with provision for a building committee with three members each to be appointed by that organization and the American Legion and one by the Secretary of War, and also for three trustees to administer the maintenance fund of approximately one million dollars each organization to name one trustee and the Secretary of War the third.
Members of the committee explained that there was no objection to the nature of these conditions, but that it was thought best to accept the offer only if made unconditionally.
The following were named on the committee to confer with the Knights of Columbus: John J. Wicker, Jr., Richmond, Va.; John G. Emery, Grand Rapids, and T. Semmes Walmsley, New Orleans.
After discussing the proposal at a session which lasted until midnight, the executive committee of the legion, which convened here today for a three day meeting, issued a statement in which it said:
"Acting on the offer to the Knights of Columbus to donate $5,000,000 to the American Legion for the erection and maintenance of a national memorial building in Washington, the national executive committee of the American Legion decided that it was not best to accept the offer in its present form.
"A special committee is to be appointed by the national commander to confer with Knights of Columbus to ascertain vhether the Knights of Columbus are willing to revise the offer so as to tender the fund unconditionally. It was decided that if such revision is made the offer will be accepted."
— Capital News Service, Washington, D.C.
* * *
Mention was made in THE BUILDER several months ago of Jeremy Cross, to whom is accredited the authorship of the lecture on the "Broken Column." Since I do not have access to any reference works on Masonry except my copies of THE BUILDER and can find nothing about the life and activities of Cross in them, will you please give me some information along this line?
F. H. K., Oregon.
Jeremy Cross was a pupil of Thomas Smith Webb, who was practically the founder of our American system of Freemasonry, and who was Grand Master in Rhode Island in 1813. Cross was born in Haverhill, New Hampshire, June 27, 1783, and died there in 1861. He was made a Mason in 1808.
Webb's modifications of the lectures of Preston became generally accepted throughout the United States, and Cross, who had become highly proficient as a pupil, traveled extensively and taught the work in several States. Webb having borrowed liberally from the works of Preston, Cross did the same from Webb and published in 1819 "The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor." In this work he published a number of engravings of the different emblems of Masonry as memory aids which so popularized the work that it almost superseded the monitor compiled by Webb. Cross later published a Knight Templar monitor.
Mackey says that Cross received the appointment of Grand Lecturer from many Grand Lodges and traveled for many years extensively through the United States teaching his system in lodges and other Masonic bodies.
In his later years he made an effort to establish a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Bite. His efforts along this line proved unsuccessful and he shortly thereafter retired to private life. He died at the age of seventy-eight.
* * *
MASONIC MEMBERSHIP STATISTICS
Will you kindly give me the statistics on the Masonic membership of the United States and the English-speaking nations throughout the world? W. B. F., Montana.
Such statistics are difficult of exact compilation for the reason that the fiscal years of the several Grand Lodges vary. We give herewith, however, the figures for 1919 and 1920 as nearly as it has been possible to compute them. This information has been collected by Brother Robert I. Clegg, one of the Board of Editors of THE BUILDER, and just published by him in the "Masonic Year Book" of the Masonic History Company:
1919 AND 1920
Official reports of the Grand Jurisdiction in continental and insular America for 1919 show that at the end of the fiscal year there were 2,086,808 members in 15,225 subordinate lodges.
The largest Grand Lodge is that of New York, which then had jurisdiction over 872 lodges and a membership roll of 202,777; while the smallest is Nevada, with 22 lodges and a membership of 2,078.
The United Kingdom comes second, with an aggregate of 5,130 lodges and a total membership of 327,764; England contributing 3,442 lodges with 240,000 members; Scotland, 1,115 lodges with 69,745 members; Ireland 530 lodges with 18,000 members. Australia has seven Grand Lodges, with 1,025 private lodges and a membership register of 74,733; while Canada has nine Grand Lodges, 1,057 private lodges and 118,112 members.
The above figures were compiled by Brother C. C. Hunt, Deputy Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and he has very kindly brought them up to date for us as regards the United States. His revision follows:
Total membership of the Masonic fraternity in the United States, 2,246,724, furnished by the Grand Secretary of each jurisdiction, from the last figures obtainable from them, in December, 1920:
|District of Columbia||13,723|
* * *
A letter in a recent number of THE BUILDER contains an inquiry from Bro. Jesse M. Whited of San Francisco, for "Masonic plays." On the same page there is an interesting note by Bro. Dudley Wright concerning the Knights of St. John. The proximity of these two items is, doubtless, accidental; but there is, nevertheless, a connection between them. The history and symbolism of the Knights of St. John figure in more than one brand of Masonry; e. g. in the Commandery as the "Knights of Malta" and in the Constantinian Orders as the third and highest of the ordinary grades.
That peculiar Syrian sect known as the Druses has also a certain connection with Masonry. The 25° of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, at least as worked in the northern jurisdiction, is based upon its history and symbolism.
Now it happens that Robert Browning left us a five-act play entitled "The Return of the Druses" in which not only that peculiar sect but the Knights of St. John (of Rhodes) form the characters.
The scene is laid in the fifteenth century on an island of the southern Sporades, in the Aegean sea, which had been colonized by Druses from Lebanon but was ruled by the Knights of St. John from Rhodes through a Prefect. The particular prefect in command up to the time of the play seems to have ruled harshly and to have incurred the hostility of the Druses, one of whom — an initiate — is made to say:
"I know our Nation's state? Too surely know,
As thou, who speak'st to prove met Wrongs like ours
Should Rake revenge: but when I sought the wronged
And spoke, 'The Prefect stabbed your son — arise!
Your daughter, while you starve, eats shameless bread
In his pavilion — then arise,' my speech
Fell idly — 'twas, 'Be silent, or worse fare.
Endure, till time's slow cycle prove complete.
Who may'st thou be that takest on thee to thrust
Into this peril — art thou Hakeem?'"
Hakeem, be it remembered, was the Druse Khalif or prophet who, some three centuries before had disappeared (the Druses do not believe that he died) and whose reincarnation is one of the articles of the Druse faith.
Another Druse initiate of the isle was Djabal who sought to rouse his people against their oppressors and lead them back to Mt. Lebanon and who took advantage of the popular belief by declaring himself Hakeem and announcing that he would presently be changed into the prophet.
Meanwhile the old Prefect having died
"The Knights at last throw off the mask — transfer,
As tributary now, and appanage,
This islet they are but protectors of,
To their own ever-craving lord, the Church,
Which licenses all crimes that pay it thus—
You, from their Prefect, were to be consigned
Pursuant to I know not what vile pact,
To the Knights' Patriach, ardent to outvie
His predecessor in all wickedness;
The pact of villany complete, there comes
This Patriach's Nuncio with this Master's Prefect
Their treason to consummate."
Upon his arrival, which was to have been the signal for the Druse uprising, the Nuncio seeks to persuade them of Djabal's imposture:
"What say ye does this wizard style himself?
Hakeem? Biamrallah? The third Fatemite?
What is this jargon? He — the insane Khalif,
Dead near three hundred years ago, come back
In flesh and blood again?"
Djabal believes himself betrayed by a young Druse girl with whom he is in love but who, overcome at his reproaches, and believing him to be indeed Hakeem, falls dead before him. In sore distress Djabal tells the Druses:
"We shall henceforth be far away.
Out of mere mortal ken — above the Cedars—
But we shall see ye go, hear ye return,
Repeopling the old solitudes, — thro' thee,
My Khalil. Ye take
This Khalil for my delegate? To him
Bow as to me? He leads to Lebanon—
And as the curtain falls he states himself and cries
"On to the Mountain. At the Mountain, Druses."
The play is full of dramatic episodes and stirring passages and provides a fitting subject for the best histrionic talent of our craft. It leads, too, into many interesting though half forgotten by-paths of history, and appropriate scenery might be found by reproducing views of the Hospital of the Knights of St. John at Rhodes. This famous building, erected about the time covered by the play, has recently been restored by the Italian administration of Rhodes and converted into a museum of which it has been said that none other "in the Near East can vaunt a residence of such monumental and historic value."
Here, then, we have a play which, if not strictly Masonic, deals with subjects of great interest to Masons and leads to a deeper study of the origins and ramifications of our world-wide order.
Charles S. Lobingier, China
* * *
THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE AND FREEMASONRY
Widespread as are the enterprises of the yeoman Catholic Church and of our ancient Craft there is one feature wherein we Freemasons are fettered. The Church of Rome has long encouraged and required a common means of intercommunication between the congregations of all countries. Latin is the language employed for this purpose. We need not now discuss the ecclesiastical dialect that is used by papal authority nor its suitability for the worshipper in his devotions; these are matters of some importance but we may put them aside for the present. Suffice it to say that the Roman Catholic Church has by universal choice of Latin enabled its priests and the executive officers of all ranks and of all nationalities to have an intercourse that has undoubtedly done much for uniformity of practice and the avoidance of misunderstanding. How much we as Freemasons have lost by lack of the very same benefits, only those of us may infer who seek to be informed of the work of the Fraternity the world over.
For these reasons the several attempts at an international language have been followed with sympathetic interest in the hope that out of them there would arise a really practical means of reaching hands over the seas and the quicker gaining a knowledge of the status and aims of brethren abroad.
At the various international language congresses attempts have been made to assemble the Freemasons in attendance. Such was the case at the one held at the Hague last fall. An English brother learning of my desire to know what might have been accomplished, was good enough to bring me into correspondence with the presiding officer of the Committee organized at the Hague. Synopsis of the business done there has been forwarded to me together with an announcement from the Secretary. These have been translated and they are submitted herewith:
UNIVERSAL LEAGUE OF FREEMASONS
A resume of the report of the Convention of Esperantist Freemasons at the Hague on the occasion of the Twelfth Universal Esperanto Congress.
There were present at this convention thirteen Freemasons, male and female, from England, Holland and Scotland. Freemasons from Spain, Italy and France, although registered for the Hague Congress of Esperantists were not able to come to Holland.
The President was Brother Paul Blaise, of the Lodge Albert of Belgium, London.
The order of the day (program of procedure) was to reestablish the Universal League of Freemasons.
The proposition was made that the Universal League of Freemasons be a League for the spread of Esperanto among Freemasons.
As regards the question of who would be able to join the League, the President said "We will be as far as possible broadminded in the matter."
Concerning the first proposition they unanimously accepted the following resolution:
"The Freemasons of the various nations, convened at the Hague, on the occasion of the Twelfth Universal Congress of Esperantists, express the desire that the Universal League of Freemasons be re-established with the object of studying the best means of spreading our language among the Freemasons of all countries."
Concerning the second proposition they decided to accept as members all Freemasons, male or female, of whatsoever Grand Orient, Grand Lodge, or Order, he or she might be.
Owing to various causes, the conference was of opinion that it would be best that the executive officers should have the headquarters in a neutral country. All were of the same opinion and Holland was selected as the headquarters home.
As President they elected Brother Dreves Uitterdyk, Hilversum (Grand Orient of Holland), and as Secretary Brother F. Foulhaber, Borgerstrant 103, Amsterdam (Lodge "George Martin II, No. 93, Universal Co-Masonry").
After an inspiring address from the President, Brother Blaise, to zealously advocate our language in the Lodges, in order that we should have a great and more fruitful convention at Prague, the meeting was closed.
(The Secretary adds the following communication.)
Very dear Brethren and Sisters:
Here is a resume of the report of our first after-the-war convention. Our League, while reawakened, yet is found in a chaotic condition. As regards many of its former members we do not know whether they are living. This annnouncement is just to take measures to reunite the broken-up fraternal organization in order that we may fervently work for "our holy cause."
Relative to the needs of our International Language in an Order as important as is ours, we ought not to have unlike opinions. The Masonic Fraternity throughout the whole world fain would have it. The Institution where we are missionaries, asks for it. Many other important organizations already very well understand its utility and turn it to account. We, as bearers of the new culture, should not linger in the rear ranks. Our duty is to go in the front of the civilizing agencies and to show mankind its ideal and for that ideal point the way.
The field of our labor is great and ought to be systematically cultivated. As unity is the requisite for harmonious cooperation, the headquarters advises you to act as follows:
- Make a translation of the above report and write an article about our language and get it printed in the Freemnsonss journal of your country.
- Subscribe to the "Bulletin," the official organ of the International Bureau of Masonic Affairs. (Five Francs, yearly). The editor, Brother Quartier-la Tente, has promised to us a page dedicated to Esperanto. In that page will appear all information relating to our League.
- Have your address printed with the addition of the word "Esperantisto" in the Masonic Year-Book issued from the same office (Rue Beaux Arto 26, Neuchatel, Switzerland).
- Send all news concerning Esperanto in Freemasonry to the Secretary of the Universal League of Freemasons, also the issues of your Masonic publication in which appear articles about Esperanto.
- Let it be known when your Grand Lodge or Grand Orient will have national or international conventions in order that we may be able to consider in what manner our language may be better advertised during these meetings.
- Translate the various technical terms pertaining to our Order and if you are able the whole ritual of the three first degrees. It is necessary that we should have as far as possible and very soon the terms and the whole ritual in Esperanto in order that we will be ready when the language shall officially be neceptable. Send these to the Secretary so that we may Inter on compare the different translations and eventually offer a choice of them.
- Send as soon as you can your subscription for 1920. (Fifty Cents). Kindly forward it by international reply coupons. Following the payment you will receive your membership card. Seeing that this small sum at the present time will not suffice, and since the Treasury is in an empty state, gifts of money will be freely acceptable.
- Buy the very fine pamphlet "The Liberty of Conscience and World-wide Freemasonry" (La Libereco de la konscienco kaj la tutmonda Framasonaro), to be obtained from Sinjoro F. Schoofs, Anwerpen Kl. Beerstrant 45, Belgium, (10 centimes).
- Found a section of the Universal League of Freemnsons if in your neighborhood there are some Brother Esperantists.
Fellow thinkers! Between the several nationalities Brethren still find this great wall of diversity of tongues, this wall of a thousand years which shall divide them. Help us to destroy that wall. The great success of our Twelfth Congress give to us the needful energy: Onwards Let each one fulfil the admonition of the Executive Officers according to his strength. If each bears n brick we shall be able to build the Temple.
With fraternal salutations and handclasp.
On carefully reading the statements we are impressed by the fact that in the purpose to be broad the Committee has gone very far. We for example do not recognize as Masonic the organization of which the Secretary is a member. Therefore the project is very seriously handicapped at the very start and at headquarters. The reader will also note that among the suggestions is the one of translating the rituals. Of course this is out of the question for an American Freemason. But the particulars are all of much importance to us and we hope that other attempts may bring results in which we Americans can take an active part. This article will at any rate show the necessity for great care in correspondence with foreigners claiming to be members of the Craft.
Robert I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
HAYWOOD'S "VEST POCKET HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY"
The Book Committee of the Cincinnati Masonic Library Association, after careful examination, has recommended that the Library purchase one hundred copies of "A Vest Pocket History of Freemasonry," by H. L. Haywood, and acting upon this recommendation, I have been authorized to make such purchase.
For a long time we have been trying to locate some small pamphlet that would cover the subject of Masonry generally that could be read by the average young man in less than an hour, and yet contain enough detail to be interesting enough to carry the reader through to the end. Most short works have attempted to make the subject matter interesting through the use of fiction, or assertions based more on the imagination of an unreliable writer than on known facts, and it is a dangerous thing to place a work of this kind in the hands of one who is reading his first book on Masonry, and who, in nine cases out of ten, will make the first book his last, through one excuse or another.
It is the beginner you have to coax to read, and it is usually harder to get him to read the second book than it was the first, and, I understand, this is true generally throughout the country.
It seems to me that writers should have these things in mind when writing on the various Masonic subjects today. It certainly would be a big help to librarians in increasing the circulation of books in their libraries, and, in the near future, Masons would be generally the better informed. You can not create interest in a dry and voluminous work of any kind, except in a book-worm, and there are very few book-worms being taken into the Masonic fraternity today. With all due respect to the lodges and their membership, most of them are book-shy.
Brother Haywood has carried out well the idea we have had for some time, and if I had any criticism to offer, it would be that he should keep in mind the fact that a great many Masons who should, at least, read the work, are men who for the first time are hearing of the persons, creeds, sects, times and places mentioned by him, when they see these in his essay, and that particular care should be taken that explanatory phrases are added, wherever these appear, that the reader may not become discouraged because he is a little weak on history or literature. In almost every instance Brother Haywood seems to have had this in mind, and I felt that I wanted you to know our appreciation of his and the Research Committee's efforts along this line, and we shall await with interest the future efforts of these people as promised in the "Foreword" of the pamphlet referred to.
I do not mean to discredit the need of larger and more detailed and comprehensive works — not at all, for they are necessary adjuncts to the library of any reliable writer, but I am more concerned with the beginner in Masonry just now.
I might say that it is our purpose to take up this pamphlet with the Masters of each of the lodges in this county, and those across the river in Kentucky, about fifty in all, and urge that each Master adopt the policy of presenting this pamphlet to each Mason as he is raised, having the lodges get their supply through us, selling to them at the exact cost to us.
Frank S. Bonham, Secretary and Librarian,
The Masonic Library Association, Cincinnati, Ohio.
* * *
CANDIDATE RAISED BY FATHER AND BROTHERS
The Masons of Butte, Montana, had a unique experience of witnessing the conferring of the degrees in Masonry on the seventh son of one of the members of the fraternity when Charles R. Gieser became a member of Butte Lodge No. 22, A. F. & A. M., the work of all three degrees being conferred during sessions at which all of the stations, from Worshipful Master to Junior Steward, were filled by the father and six brothers of the candidate. It is a record for Montana for the father and six of his sons to confer the degrees of Masonry on the seventh son. Another feature of the work that was out of the ordinary is that only one of the members of the Gieser family has ever held office in a Masonic lodge, although they are all enthusiastic Masons and all members of Butte Lodge No. 22. George Gieser, Jr., is Senior Warden of Butte Lodge No. 22.
Warren E. Coman, Montana.
* * *
THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF SOME OF OUR SYMBOLS
It is a cardinal principle in treating of Masonic symbols that most of them have been imported into our modern ritual minus the original explanation of their significance and minus any explanation at all worthy of the name.
Indeed the whole treatment of the subject should resolve itself to this:
- The establishment of this principle.
- Study of the question in each case why the true meaning is lost. It is usually conjectured that the early ritual mongers adopted the symbols not knowing the meaning and not caring much. An alternative conjecture, in many cases, is that the true significance frightened them. They were very orthodox, very narrow, very conventional and very unscrupulous with the unscrupulousness of highly moral, self-righteous men.
- Especially the study from countless sources outside of Masonry as to what Masonic symbols may be conjectured to have originally meant.
The meanings assigned in the modern ritual are almost invariably not worth considering or learning or passing an examination upon.
Perhaps the most striking illustration of point two is the sun and moon as symbols. I do not doubt but that they really meant something to our medieval brethren nor that the Presbyterians who had Masonry in their charge in 1717 would have altered that genuine significance to the childish explanation of the ritual of today purposely if they did not do it ignorantly.
Compare the fact that one of the Scottish Rite degrees originally taught the Manichaean heresy and that traces thereof can be found therein today. Not for nothing has Freemasonry been denounced as devil worship. Of course the fire is in ludicrous disproportion to the smoke but it is true here as often that where is much smoke there is some fire.
Consider the explanation given of one symbol that "it teaches Masons to be general lovers of the arts and sciences." Can any one doubt but that is a substitution for the original explanation? I believe that to have been almost the most significant of all their symbols to the medieval ancestors of modern Masonry.
All this is suggested by the treatise upon the "Book of Constitutions" contained in the February BUILDER.
I do not doubt but that symbol originated in the practice in medieval times of securing a "book" as the warrant for constituting a new lodge. The treatment of this symbol would consist in getting together all the information available as to what such book consisted of and how the book was secured. I do not purpose treating it but to show what I mean I refer to that Chapter of Gould's History entitled the "Stonemasons of Germany."
Modern writers almost always in treating of this symbol wander down to the modern "constitutions" of Grand Lodge. There is no analogy. The modern article which most nearly resembles the "Book of Constitutions" is the lodge charter. The significance of showing that guarded by the Tyler's sword is obvious. Past Grand Master Upton somewhere speaks of the "ludicrous idea" that the modern Grand Lodge Constitution corresponds to the ancient Book of Constitutions referred to in the ritual.
A. G. Pitts, Michigan.
* * *
We are constantly receiving inquiries from members of the Society and others as to where they might obtain books on Masonry and kindred subjects, other than those listed each month on the inside back cover of THE BUILDER. Most of the publications wanted have been out of print for a number of years. Believing that many such books might be in the hands of other members of the Society willing to dispose of them we are setting apart this column of THE BUILDER each month for the use of our readers. Communications from those having old Masonic publications for disposal will also be welcomed.
Post office addresses are here given in order that those interested may communicate direct with each other.
By Bro. Elmer G. Smith, Box 102, Tooele Utah, "The Cathedral Builders," by Leader Scott; "Ancient Charges," by W. J. Hughan.
By Bro. N. W. J. Haydon, 564 Pape Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a copy of Da Costa's "Dionysiac Artificers." Brother Haydon has been trying for years to find a copy of this work, but without success, and will gladly enter into an arrangement with some more fortunate brother for the temporary loan of a copy.
By Bro. T. J. Fox, 638 East Water St., Princeton, Indiana, "Mystic Masonry," by J. D. Buck.
By Mrs. Albert Clark Stevens, 80 South Clinton St., East Orange, N. J., Volumes l to 4 and 15 to 30, inclusive, Universal Masonic Library.
By Bro. H. M. Jacobs, 10212 64th Ave. South, Seattle, Washington, "Ahiman Rezon," Mackey; "Comparison of Egyptian Symbols and Hebrew," by F. Portal; "The Chaldean Account of Genesis, etc.," by Geo. Smith; "The Temple of Solomon," Open Court Co., Chicago; "The Temple of the Jews," by Ferguson; "Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan People," by Schroeder.