A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 9 No. 1 – January 1923
OUR NEW HEADQUARTERS
BY THE time these words reach the reader we shall have moved into our new headquarters building at 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where, under ideal conditions and with a complete outlay of the most modern equipment, we shall undertake anew the tasks to which this Society was dedicated nine years ago, and which it formally undertook in January, 1915. Immediately behind the headquarters building stands an ideally equipped plant in which THE BUILDER will be printed and books published. In the headquarters building itself we shall have every imaginable convenience by way of offices, staff rooms, library, cafe, radio room, book room, stock room, mailing room, vaults, archives and everything else needed for the carrying on of our work. Members and their friends hereby are extended an urgent invitation to drop into the reception room for a visit over the headquarters building, of which we are sure they will feel very proud.
The Society will profit in many ways by this removal. It will now be near the postal center of the country and thereby have ideal mailing convenience. It will be in a railway center with easy access to trunk lines. And above all it will have as a near neighbor the Iowa Masonic Library, one of the greatest collections of Masonic books anywhere in existence, and manned by a staff of librarians always ready to lend their assistance to any enterprise of Masonic reading, study, or information whatsoever.
Meanwhile we are enlarging our own staffs and facilities to care for the rapidly expanding volume of our activities. Never before was the Society so healthy, its outlook so inspiring, or its friends so ready to con operate. Unless an accident intervenes — which God forfend — one or two more years should bring to complete fulfillment the dreams of its founders who, many years ago, foresaw its place and its possibilities.
Of the new developments within the Society during the past year two stand out as deserving especial notice. One is the successful outcome of an experiment of a new type of research by means of private groups, cooperating through the mails under the leadership of a group chairman, all the members of each group being bound together by their ability and their interest in some phase or problem of Masonry. Undertaken as an experiment two years ago this venture has proved so successful that three of these groups are now ready to publish books, and others will be similarly ready in six months or another year. The other outstanding development is of a piece with this, and makes possible its fulfillment. Through the instrumentality of the Society certain of the big publishers of the country are now preparing to issue a very extended program of Masonic books, a thing so sadly needed these many years. This means that in the course of time the Fraternity will have a literature worthy of it and adequate to its needs, and that the leaders of the Craft will have placed at their disposal the guidance and the information they have so long desired.
While writing these lines there has come to ye editor's desk a great sheaf of letters from members of the Society written in reply to a circular letter recently mailed out by Brother Wildey E. Atchison, who has labored so indefatigably and to such good purpose these past six years as our Assistant Secretary. It is a remarkable fact that of all these responses, while many contain constructive criticisms and suggestions, only one contains a real "knock": and as for the good will expressed by them all it has served to give every member of the staff of editors a new inspiration for the future. The majority who offer constructive criticisms ask that as much as possible all articles be not too long and written in a style not above the head of the average. This is good advice, and hereby respectfully passed on to our contributors.
It is a matter worthy of comment that a few of these brethren have written as if they were mere subscribers to a magazine and not members of a Society. This is their loss, because we are in strict truth a Society and have many things to give to our members in addition to THE BUILDER. A reader can learn what are all the prerogatives of membership by addressing an inquiry to headquarters. It is also worthy of comment that so many of these correspondents expressed approval of THE BUILDER for refusing to mix in controversies and for never publishing anything out of bitterness or ill will. Surely! what is Masonry for if it is not to teach men to subdue their passions, to live in the spirit of toleration, and to speak the truth with kindness! These letters also showed that THE BUILDER is being read by women of the household, and by many who are not in any way connected with the Fraternity. May the same continue! It should continue, and that not only with THE BUILDER but with all other Masonic periodicals and with the Fraternity as a whole, because men everywhere are in need of Masonry and of what it has to give to a world so sorely struggling.
Because of all these developments those members of the Society who labor at headquarters are in a happy mood and cheerful at the beginning of 1923, and wish for every member of the National Masonic Research Society family a God speed! for the New Year.
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AN INTERPRETATION OF THE PLUMB LINE
Bro. Channing Gordon Lawrence, New Brunswick
Here is a reading of the lesson of the plumb line that shows spiritual insight. Brother Lawrence is Grand Chaplain of New Brunswick; Worshipful Master of The Corinthians, No. 13; member of Royal Arch Chapter and of A. and A. S. R., etc.
Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumb line. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more. — Amos VII, 7-8.
AMOS was one of the Prophets of Israel. We are accustomed to think of a prophet as one who predicts the course of events. Among the Hebrews the Prophet did occasionally predict, or foretell, the consequences that might be expected to follow upon evil living; or he foretold at times the help comfort that God would provide for His faithful people; but the characteristic function of the Prophet was not to foretell, but to tell forth. He told forth truths about God. The teaching of the prophet Amos has been preserved nearly three thousand years while myriads of other books have perished because it contains lessons that are of real worth and that are always of appropriate application.
Nearly all successful teachers have taught by means of illustration. They have used signs and symbols that were selected to impress upon the mind wise and serious truths. Jesus of Nazareth, whose life and teaching have profoundly influenced the whole trend of civilization, illustrated his lessons by means of parables. The parable was a short story drawn from everyday life. To many of the hearers it was no doubt a well-told story and nothing more. But in every parable a principle of morality or a spiritual truth was exemplified. The story partly concealed the truth from unworthy or unfriendly hearers; and it partly revealed it to those who had ears to hear or, in other words, to those who desired light on heavenly things.
The parable, as a means of illustration, was a development of later Hebrew thought. In the days of the Prophets teaching was frequently illustrated by means of the Vision.
The vision differed from a parable in that it represented the lesson taught as having been revealed directly to the prophet by God Himself. Thus when the prophet was convinced of the truth of a sufficiently important lesson and was certain of its divine character, he introduced it with such words as, "I saw the Lord standing beside a wall," or "I heard the Lord saying unto me," and so forth. We cannot suppose that wherever in the ancient writings the Prophets use such language they have been permitted with natural eyes to look upon God, or that with mortal ears they heard in audible tones the voice of God: they used these expressions "I saw," and "I heard," to make their teaching impressive.
But in this the prophets were in no sense guilty of deception or of misrepresentation. They told the truth just as you do when you often unconsciously follow their example. One day a peculiarly profound thought occurs to you, so unlike your usual trend of thought that it seems to have come to you from without; and you say, "I have had an inspiration." But what does that mean? Inspiration is literally a "breathing in." There has been breathed into your mind an idea, a thought, a suggestion from the great Spirit of Wisdom. You heard no audible voice but yet, it may be, God spoke to you as truly as He spoke to Amos or Hosea or Isaiah; as He speaks every day to men who keep their minds in harmony with God. The wireless telegraph was perfected in our time but the principle of its operation has been in use between earth and heaven since the Creation. Messages have always been coming from God to men and we call it inspiration. And messages go back from man to God and we call it prayer.
So the vision of Amos contains a lesson of profound importance which the prophet wished to communicate in a striking and impressive way. First we shall consider The Wall.
You see its successive layers, each stone hewn, and shaped and placed by the hands of a builder, each separate stone and each layer of stones all cemented together with mortar applied with a trowel. Its angles are right angles, its layers are horizontal, its sides perpendicular. And how did it come to be so? These are evidences of a Mind wise enough to design and to measure and lay out work. And beside the Wisdom that designed, there has been Strength sufficient to divest those blocks of their superfluous parts and lift them to their proper position. And deeper still we perceive the Beauty of manly courage and godlike faith that dared to attempt such an enterprise and trusted in the laws of Nature that the effort would not be in Vain.
In our speculative capacity let us think of that wall as representing the result of human endeavour, something that man designs and attempts and finishes, something that he builds, in imitation of the Creator whose image he bears. While we might with profit consider our great Fraternity, built up by our predecessors in the Craft so that now it is known and respected the world over, yet I prefer that we should at this time consider that wall as representing human character, mine or yours.
For character is the result of human effort continued from day to day. That which you most desire in the depths of your inmost heart is the plan by which you govern your building. Set your affection on things which are base and dark and unworthy and your character becomes a wall of unlovely type. Set your affection on things above, on the unseen values of eternity, on truth and light and justice, and the built-up wall of your character will proceed along lines that please the eye of the Master. The stones which enter into that wall are acts and words and thoughts. As a wise and skilful builder rejects some of the stones that are brought to him as unfit to have a place in his building, so you ought often to reject many a thought that is suggested, to refrain from repeating much that is told you and to abstain from many deeds which by the thoughtless and profane, are performed to our knowledge every day.
A wall of masonry is not just a chance accumulation of stones and mortar. It is a studied and carefully planned arrangement executed with attention to every detail. And just so, good character in man is not a wild and natural growth but is only developed under careful discipline, The standard of righteousness is as unvarying as the Plumb, Virtue is as exact as the angle of the Square, and our determination to be and true must be as continuous and unbroken as the level line which stretches far beyond the bounds space into the realms of eternity. Let no one suppose that it does not matter what he thinks, or how speaks, or what he does, for thoughts, words, and deeds are the building material of his character.
So much for the wall. We note next that it was being inspected. "Behold the Lord standing beside a wall." Amos reminds us that He who made the worlds is interested in the work of His creatures. He comes having authority to examine and inspect the work which we present. Those of you who did military service in the memorable days of the Great War, remember how novel a thing to us the inspections of the army were. We were inspected in every conceivable way, our bearing and deportment, our dress, our sleeping apartments, our bodies, our food, and our correspondence. There seemed to be nothing that the army did not in some way look into. And he was a dull soldier who did not at least dimly guess that somewhere, not far away, is One who similarly looks into and sees the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Lord stands beside every wall and though our thoughts, words and actions may be hidden from the eyes of man yet that All-seeing Eye whom the sun, moon and stars obey, pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." He who allows himself to think lightly of God, who neglects to pay to T.G.A.O.T. the reverence and the adoration due to His Holy Name, is lacking in that wisdom which is needed to plan direct any truly great work. Look up, my brothers, into the starry sky, the canopy of heaven, and behold the myriads of planets all in motion and yet moving as they have for untold ages without collision or confusion. Study the order and the beauty apparent there. Think of the wisdom which carefully planned all their nice exactness. Think you that such a Master will be satisfied with careless, sloth or indifferent service?
His work as revealed in Nature alone necessitated an awful knowledge of the intricate relations of curved lines intersecting, of the laws of moving bodies, of the principles of ornamentation and of many a science and art that we may not even imagine. But our simple building is a matter of the relation of only two straight lines, one perpendicular and one horizontal: Yet it is a building that He will look into. Take heed that we build aright!
THE PLUMB LINE
There remains for our consideration the instrument by which the test was made. "Behold, the stood upon a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand."
From any given point an incalculable number straight lines may be drawn in any number of planes. They may extend east or west or north or south, or up or down, or they may lean in a thousand variations of each of these several directions: an immeasurable number of lines from that one point and every one of them is straight. But only one out of the thousands can be plumb! A great many are nearly plumb, but one, and only one, is strictly so. According to that one upright straight line will our work be tried.
When a wall gets out of the plumb it leans either out or in. And when it leans seams begin to show on the opposite side. And the seam is the visible sign to all who pass by that the wall is not so well built as it might have been. It may be still a very useful wall affording support, or shelter, or defense, but because it is not plumb it is not so good as it might have been. For a wall ought to stand according to the plumb. And the wall that leans ever so little is a reproach to the builder who ought to have kept it plumb.
In the wall of our character we are inclined to lean out or in. Inward in the way of selfishness, personal interest, love of gain and pride. Think too much of self and your wall begins to lean and the seams open on the outer side. And the tendency to please the world, rather than to please God, will draw your character away from the plumb in the other direction. One does not like to displease his neighbour and to avoid doing so he leans away from uprightness. Or he finds it trying and unpleasant to tell the truth when a little concession to popular fancy will bring popularity; a little flattery or praise. But lean ever so little and the seams come and grow. And men say that "So-and-so would be upright but for this or that; he is of perfect character only for this one flaw," — and so forth. And alas, you have not built Plumb.
A hard, hard thing it is to keep to that unerring line. We cast our eye down its length to see how often our work has varied from the plumb, and with much humility and many tears we look up to the Great Master and we trust that He, in His wisdom, knows that we desire to please Him. We can say truly that above all other lines we desire and prefer the plumb.
May God forgive me if I am wrong in this, but I believe that although our work shows many flaws, our walls far from perfect and the seams show on every side, yet the Great Master will know that we have tried to build aright. And may it not be that in another world with choicer stone to quarry and finer tools to work with and brighter Light to lead us, may not the Apprentice of this life be advanced to a higher degree of service?
There have been times in the history of philosophy as in the history of religion, when men have gone to an extreme in emphasizing the seriousness of life. But few, if any, are guilty of that fault today. We are rather in the way of becoming a materialistic and superficial people. Our grandfathers read through tremendous volumes of Shakespeare and Thackeray and Macaulay with interest and profit. We tire ourselves with the short stories of the magazine. They patronized and enjoyed the three-hour plays and operas of real worth. We troop in thousands afternoon and evening to the pictures and are content. We hustle frantically and nervously through the day in machines of the highest gear, along roads that are built for speed, leaving ourselves so little leisure for study or reflection that there is danger of "the attentive ear" and "the instructive tongue" becoming only figurative expressions and memories of the past. But as builders who serve a heavenly Master, we must not allow ourselves to be seduced by the ease-loving spirit of the age. There rests upon every Freemason a great responsibility. We, in our generation, guard certain great traditions of the past: we hold in trust sacred mysteries that we must pass on unchanged to those who are yet to come. And to keep ourselves worthy of this honourable duty we must adhere to the plumb in our several stations before God and man.
Above all things in our truly Masonic work we must avoid haste and carelessness, and in all our ceremonies and operations prepare ourselves thoroughly, proceed regularly, and continue persistently while the Light lasts, carrying out each detail with precision and giving to each the dignity and honour due to it as part of the plan of a Great Architect.
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ST. LOUIS LODGE TRAVELS TO ALEXANDRIA, VA., TO CONFER MASTER'S DEGREE
In the presence of a throng of Masons, who filled the lodge room of Alexandria-Washington Lodge, No. 22, of Alexandria, Va., the Worshipful Master and officers of George Washington Lodge, No. 9, of St. Louis, conferred the Master Mason's degree upon a member of their lodge. Thirty members of George Washington Lodge came to Alexandria for the purpose, and were the guests of the Alexandrians for a day, after which they returned home.
The world needs sentiment. Living as we do a life of hard, practical reality, with the daily chase for the daily meal the outstanding need of us all, we need those institutions which cherish and preserve sentiment.
And here is sentiment at its purest and best. When thirty men take a long journey for the sake of a revered name; when a lodge in St. Louis will travel to Alexandria, because the name of their lodge is George Washington, and George Washington the man was Master of Washington-Alexandria Lodge, they have moved, spiritually, a far greater distance, than actually, in the flesh. It is a fair example of the power of the Masonic Order over men's hearts; it is because Masonry has kept alive the sentiment and the beauty of an idea, rather than of a practical reality, that it has lived and grown and thrived.
The Masonic Order is not eleemosynary in character, though it practices charity; it is no mutual benefit organization, although it is mutually beneficial to its members; it is not a life assurance organization; it offers little if any material, practical assets to its membership. That it is of the greatest use to its members, and a high influence for good in all communities where Freemasons are (a fact which can not well be disputed), comes from its hold upon the hearts and minds of men; as in this instance of its power to make men take a long journey, in reverence and love for the traditions which cluster about the First President of the Union.
— Capital News Service.
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On you, who Masonry despise,
This counsel I bestow;
Don't ridicule, if you are wise,
A secret you don't know;
Yourselves you banter, but not it;
You show your spleen but not your wit.
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BROTHER SIR CHARLES WARREN, P.G.D.
PAST DISTRICT GRAND MASTER, EASTERN ARCHIPELAGO
Bro. Dudley Wright, England
This paper was written for THE BUILDER at our own request, in order that our readers might be made acquainted with one of the most illustrious names in modern Freemasonry. Bro. Warren's career, along with his unabated zeal for the Craft, furnishes us with one of the secrets of the great power of Freemasonry m Britain, where it is rightly considered an enterprise entitled to the guidance and support of the greatest in the realm.
BROTHER Sir Charles Warren, F.R.S., the first Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, was born at Bangor, Wales, on 7th February, 1840, the son of Major-General Sir Charles Warren; and was educated at Bridgnorth, Cheltenham College, Sandhurst, and Woolwich. He entered the Royal Engineers as a Lieutenant when he was seventeen years of age, being gazetted as a Captain in 1869. He conducted the explorations in Palestine from 1867 to 1870, and in Our Work in Palestine, published in 1875, by the Palestine Exploration Society, the following tribute is paid to him:
"Let us finally bear witness to the untiring perseverance, courage, and ability of Captain Warren. Those of us who know best the nature of the difficulties he had to work against can tell with what courage and patience they were met and overcome. Physical suffering and long endurance of heat, cold, and danger were as nothing. So long as the interest in the history of modern Jerusalem remains, so long as people are concerned to know how sacred sites have been found out, so long will the name of Captain Warren survive."
Captain Warren had more or less a free hand for his important work in the Holy Land, his instructions being merely to keep as nearly as possible to the sacred area of the temple, outside, but not within, where he was permitted by a vizierial letter, to dig. Among other discoveries which he made was that of the underground passage connecting the palace at Jerusalem with the Haram area, while he also made explorations in the Tyropean valley among the remains of Solomon's bridge, by which the monarch crossed the valley from his palace on Zion to the temple on Moriah. In 1876 Brother Warren published his work on Underground Jerusalem, followed four years later by The Temple or The Tomb, and, in 1884, in conjunction with Captain Conder, he published Jerusalem.
In 1876, Brother Warren was appointed Special Commissioner to settle the boundary line of the Orange Free State and, in 1877, to perform the like service with regard to Griqualand West, for which he was thanked by the Government for his services and awarded the C.M.C. The following year, 1878, saw him engaged in the Griqua-Kaffir war, when he was wounded, awarded a medal, thanked by the Imperial Government and the Provincial Legislature, and made a Major and Lieutenant-General. He was in charge of the Diamond Field Force and afterwards of the Field Force in Bechuanaland. During the Zulu War he organized a volunteer force for the assistance of the Transvaal and Natal, acting in the capacity of Commander-in-Chief, becoming, in 1879, Administrator of Griqualand West. In 1880, he returned to England, and, in 1881, was appointed Instructor of Surveying at Chatham. In 1882 he returned to Egypt, when he served under Arabi, and was engaged in the special duty of restoring in the desert the authority of the Khedive, and in bringing to justice the murderers of Professor Palmer and his companions, whose bodies he recovered in 1882. For this purpose he entered the Arabian deserts without escort, accompanied by Lieutenants Burton and Haynes. In the same year he was appointed to a Colonelcy, being also awarded a medal and Medjidie third class. In 1883 he was made K.C.M.G., and, in 1884, he again proceeded to South Africa in command of the Bechuanaland expedition, and, for his services there, he was, in the following year, created G.C.M.G. On his return, in 1886, he was placed in command of the forces at Suakim, but was recalled in the same year to reorganize the London police force as Chief Commissioner, from which position he retired in 1888, being awarded the K. C. B. for his services. From 1889 to 1894 he commanded the troops in the Straits Settlements and, from 1895 to 1898, he was in command of the troops in the Thames district. His last appointment was in 1899 and 1900, when he was Lieutenant-General in command of the South African Field Force, when he was mentioned in despatches.
Brother Sir Charles Warren was initiated into Freemasonry in the Royal Lodge of Friendship, No. 278, Gibraltar, and was already a Past Master and Past First Principal of a Royal Arch Chapter when he undertook the Palestine Exploration. He was also a Past Master of the Charles Warren Lodge, No. 1832, Kimberley, South Africa, but he is best known to English speaking Freemasons as the first Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076. The warrant for this lodge was granted on 28th November, 1884, but after the application for the charter had been sent in, Brother Warren received his command to repair to Bechuanaland. He asked his cofounders to make another selection from among their number, but they did him the signal honor of preferring to await his return to England, with the result that the lodge was not consecrated until 12th January, 1886. He was appointed to the rank of Past Grand Deacon of England in 1887 and from 1891 to 1894 he was District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago.
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FREEMASONRY IN CHILE
Bro. George Lanzarotti, Chile
Here is an article of greater interest than most. Would we had more like it! Aside from the contribution it makes to our knowledge of Freemasonry in South America it is a reminder, gentle but firm, of the fact that one should carefully consider the source of whatever he reads about Freemasonry in Central and South America. Brother Lanzarotti will be very glad to communicate with any Mason desiring further light on the subject. Address him care THE BUILDER.
MANY American Masons I have met have such mistaken ideas concerning Freemasonry in Chile that I have been moved to write these lines to correct, if possible, these wrong impressions.
Among some American brethren the opinion is prevalent that the Grand Lodge of Chile is based on the same principles as that of the Grand Orient of France. This statement has some foundation due to the fact that up to the year 1852 the native lodges existing in this country were under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Bordeaux; but since 1852, when the Grand Lodge of Chile was established, we have had no other connection with French Masonry than of being on friendly relations, the same as maintained with all the duly recognized Masonic powers of the world.
These brethren also believe that we have removed the Holy Bible from our altar, and that our organization is composed mostly, if not wholly, of atheists. This is far from the truth. We maintain the Holy Bible on the altar, and every candidate has to accept the principle of the S.G.A.O.T.U. before being accepted as a brother. There are many protestant pastors among the members of the Chilean lodges who no doubt would have retired if they had found in our meetings or rituals any inclination towards atheism. All the sessions in our lodges are opened and closed to the Glory of the S.G.A.O.T.U.
Another charge against our Institution is that it is believed to mix in politics; to this charge I will reply that our Constitution strictly prohibits our Fraternity from dealing in either political or religious matters! but as the majority of the Chilean Masons are also Chilean citizens, it is not to be wondered at that they will back up, as good citizens, the political parties that are more in harmony with their Masonic ideals.
To realize what has been performed by the Masons here, towards the uplift of the moral and physical condition of the Chilean people, it would be necessary to analyze the last six decades of the history of this country: one would then discover that the promoters of many enterprises that had the welfare of the nation in view were members of the Fraternity.
Regarding the spirit which prevails among the members, let me give you the following case. There is a lodge located in an isolated village; all its members are scattered around the country; the lodge meets twice a month; some of the members live as far as forty miles away from the Temple and have no other means to reach it than on horseback! and yet the attendance is never below eighty-five per cent of its total membership!
The Grand Lodge of Chile has jurisdiction over fifty-eight lodges; fifty-five of these are in Chilean territory and the other three on Bolivian soil. There are also ten Triangles, or Lodges of Instruction, which are expected to become duly constituted lodges within a short time. The principal work carried on by these bodies is the promoting of universal education, and although the obstacles to overcome are great, due to superstition and fanaticism on the part of the bulk of the people, this work is steadily carried forward, and the first ode of the Hymn of Victory will not be sung until illiteracy has disappeared in this young republic.
So I pray you not to be the echo of our eternal enemy, but please believe that the Fraternity at this end of the world is doing its best and as much, if not more, than in some other countries.
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Hail, Masonry! to thee we raise
The song of triumph, and of praise.
The Sun which shines supreme on high,
The Stars that glisten in the sky,
The Moon that yields her silver light,
And vivifies the lonely night,
Must by the course of Nature fade away,
And all the Earth alike in time decay;
But while they last shall Masonry endure,
Built on such Pillars solid and secure;
And at the last triumphantly shall rise
In Brotherly affection to the skies.
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THE TRESTLE BOARD
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
IN THE French town of Caudebec, which stands on the Seine River, is the grave of one "Guillaume Letellier, master mason of the church, who had the conduct of the works for thirty years and more, and erected the choir and chapels." On the grave stone of this long forgotten Masonic brother who was once a master builder is an inscribed drawing the plan of a building. It was the custom of builder in those days to have their tools engraved on their grave stones, just as knights and lords made use their heraldic devices. Brother Letellier chose to be remembered as one who made designs for buildings and therefore selected a building plan for his own during remembrances.
We do not need to be told how important in the work of Operative Masons was the making of a plan for a building. "What has the Master on his trestle board?" was a question often asked with keenest interest by the workman. And because of this importance the trestle board, which represented the whole labour of making plans, came to be used as a symbol, just as we found Brother Letellier using it as a symbol his own life's work. When Masons ceased to be Operative Masons, and turned their attention to the building of men in fraternal life, they retained the trestle board as a symbol.
The trestle board in Speculative Masonry is a symbol of that which we call an ideal. One should not be frightened by the use of this word. It does not refer to something visionary, or far away, or, as our slang expression has it, "highbrow." Quite the contrary!
Before we go on a journey we plan our travels, our railway connections, our stop-overs, and our destination. Before we undertake to erect a building we are so careful to have a plan that often we pay an expert to make one for us. It would be equally wise if each of us were to have a plan similarly for his own life. A plan for one's life is what we mean by an ideal. It is a plan for doing things.
Also, an ideal is a plan for improving actual conditions. If our lodge room were too small, or is badly ventilated, or inadequately lighted, or the members quarrel among themselves we might feel very unhappy because of such conditions: and some of us might put our heads together in an effort to better conditions. We would say, "Let us do this, and that, and the other thing, so that we can be happier in our lodge work." Such a plan for bettering unsatisfactory conditions would be an ideal. It is something that we would draw, to speak figuratively, on the trestle board of our lodge. Such an effort to better actual conditions would not be "high brow"; on the contrary it would recommend itself to men of sense and sagacity.
We Masons believe that condition could be improved in our human world. We are too busy to dream impossible dreams about mankind: we are too practical to wish to waste time and energy on unattainable aims. We do not try the fantastical. But we know there are some things to be improved by plain common sense efforts, and we are leagued together and solemnly sworn to assist in such endeavors. This program for improving conditions among men is what we mean by the Masonic ideal; it is what the Fraternity has drawn upon its trestle board.
For instance, we Masons believe that much of the unhappiness in the world is due to ignorance, and we believe that if all men were well educated they would be happier than they are. We Masons, therefore, wish to do all we can to uphold and improve the whole public school system, and to try to make it possible for all the children of all the people to have all the enlightenment that is possible under the circumstances. Brethren, let us each one as individual Masons put that down on our own private trestle board.
Another example. Those of us who are acquainted with any community know that men and women very seldomly live as happily with each other as well as might be. We are all bound up together. We are compelled to live in neighbourhoods. We must live together whether we choose it or not. Is it not wise, then, for us to learn how to live happily together? The effort to bring men and women into harmony with each other is the great aim of Brotherhood, and this practical, common sense, hard-headed effort to organize human neighbourhoods into human happiness, that is one of the great purposes of our Fraternity. It is on our trestle board.
A final example. Nations, like individuals and families, are also compelled to live together: there is no escape from that! But unfortunately, nations have not as yet learned how to live happily together. Ever so often they go to war, and then men and women suffer the most terrible unhappiness known to our race. How can we eliminate war and do away with national antagonisms is a difficult problem; the ways and means cannot be discussed here. But we men, we Masons, know that it can be done, and we are dedicated to the effort to do it. How to bring nations to live happily together, that also is on our trestle board.
None of these things are impossible dreams. The more experience and wisdom and common sense a man has, the more hard-headed he is, the more will he wish these things to be. They, and the other plans we have for improving conditions, will give us more prosperity, more money, more health, and more happiness. It is to such an ideal that Masonry is dedicated. Brethren, let us ourselves become dedicated also. Let us make such an ideal the symbol of our lives, just as did the good Master Mason, Brother Letellier, long ago!
* * *
WAS DR. JOHNSON A FREEMASON?
SOME PHASES OF HIS LIFE
Bro. Arthur Heiron, England
Dr. Samuel Johnson, the most picturesque figure in the history of English literature, and the hero of the world's greatest biography, found the craft of writing English prose in the gutter, a profession for scamps like rag picking, and by his own character and ability lifted it to the dignity and power of a national art. His writings may sound pompous and unreal to us now but in their own day were a marvel and they wrought miracles in English, so that after these two hundred years one cannot move near him without coming under his spell. His place in history is ample warrant for the exhaustive and patient thoroughness with which Brother Heiron has undertaken to ascertain if he could have been a member of the Fraternity. As one reads this remarkable essay he finds Dr. Johnson growing very real and very human.
At the same time, and as a matter of even greater interest to the readers of these pages, Brother Reiron's study brings out into vivid colour a picture of the Craft as it was in the London of the early eighteenth century, at which period Speculative Freemasonry was as yet in its swaddling clothes. Brother Heiron is the author of "Ancient Freemasonry, and Old Dundee Lodge. 18 — 1722–1920," a review of which was contributed by ye editor to page 243 of THE BUILDER for Sep. 1921.
THE ABOVE query has often exercised the minds of thoughtful students, for there are so many ponderous phrases and involved sentences in our ritual (more especially in the Masonic lectures) that bear the impress of the Johnsonian School, that even though we may not be able definitely to decide this question, it does seem fairly certain that at some time or other — Dr. Johnson (1709-1784) was a member of the Craft, it being quite clear now that several of his most intimate friends and associates were themselves Freemasons.
Although on various occasions brethren in England and the United States have asserted that he was a Craftsman, yet up to now no lodge has definitely claimed him as a member, but the records of the "Old Dundee" Lodge, No. 18 (English Constitution) — which was No. 9 in 1755 and therefore one of the oldest lodges in the world, constituted 1722-23 — prove that in 1767, a candidate named "Samuel Johnson" was "Made a Mason" and afterwards "Raised a Master" in their lodge room situated on the first floor of a building in Red Lion Street, Wapping, London, E., the freehold of which our ancient brethren had purchased in 1763.
Now, as it was not customary until 1784 for the addresses or descriptions of candidates to be written in the minute books or other records of the lodge, there is no certain proof at present as to who this man was, but the circumstances surrounding Dr. Johnson's life and habits at this period of 1767 are so strange and complex that many brethren believe the identity of this candidate with the author of the "Dictionary of the English language" to admit of but little doubt, and unless and until a satisfactory and complete "alibi" can be proved to the contrary, the evidence seems in favour of this suggestion.
The full story is told in detail in Chapter XIV of a History of Freemasonry in the 18th Century, published by Kenning & Son, London, in 1921 entitled "Ancient Freemasonry, and the Old Dundee Lodge No. 18 — 1722–1920" to which further reference may be made.
In order to appreciate this story one must try and understand the real man himself; it will therefore now be necessary to recall to memory various incidents in the life of Dr. Johnson that make manifest his bohemian disposition and the lighter side of his life that are not often investigated or discussed, for when he is quoted in these present days the motive seems chiefly an attempt to impress the reader with some witty or apposite saying of the learned sage.
But there is obviously another side of his character and disposition that deserves attention and this phase is very apparent in the story of his life written by his devoted friend — one night almost say "slave" —, to wit, "James Boswell."
It will also be very essential to refer to his "constitutional melancholy" which Johnson said was the "curse of his life" and accounts for much of the irregular conduct so often alluded to by his biographer.
A Freemason of considerable repute and standing stated recently that he could not believe that a man of Dr. Johnson's steady character and deep religious principles would have so lowered himself as to frequent a rough neighbourhood as Wapping undoubtedly was in 1767; he admitted however that he had not studied the details of Johnson's life and that his knowledge was merely confined to his literary work. To contradict this erroneous view this article has been written, in order partly to demonstrate that one who was so humorous and full of fun, so fond of club life, such a frequenter of taverns as Johnson was, is singled out as just the type of man who could have loved to join a Freemasons' lodge, for in those far-off days a lodge much resembled a social Masonic club.
The full responsibility for the discussion of this subject however really rests with Dr. Johnson himself, for if he had not told the world in 1783 (through Boswell) that Johnson was intimately acquainted with Wapping (then the Port of London) this story would never have seen the light of day; it certainly would not have originated from the musings of an innocent and unknown writer.
It is desired however at the outset most emphatically to state that in reproducing some of these episodes in Johnson's life, there is not the slightest desire to say anything that might wound the feelings of those who hold his memory in reverence nor any intention to derogate from the high position he holds in the general estimation as a teacher of moral truth and virtue. Great allowance has also to be made for the atmosphere in which Dr. Johnson lived: it was a coarse and rough age indeed and things happened then that would seem incredible in the London of 1922.
Boswell at one time felt doubtful as to publishing all he knew, and in 1768 he actually asked Johnson if he objected to his letters being published after his death. His answer was, "Nay, Sir, when I am dead, do as you will." Boswell further says: "When I delineate him without reserve, I do what he (Johnson) himself recommended both by his precept and example." Dr. Johnson himself said in 1777: "If a man professes to write a life, he must represent it really as it was"; and further, "that a man's intimate friend should mention his faults, if he writes his life."
Boswell, in dedicating his immortal work to Sir Joshua Reynolds, says in 1791: "I have therefore in this Work been more reserved, and though I tell nothing but the truth, I have still kept in my mind that the whole truth is not always to be exposed": and lastly on this point "Bozzy" wrote: "I will not make my tiger a cat to please anybody."
And now for the information of those who have had no opportunity to study the career of Johnson, a short sketch of his early history is now given; this may save some effort to the reader, for Boswell's "Life of Johnson" is a lengthy work, the popular edition two volumes containing nearly 1,300 pages of small print.
A FEW DETAILS OF JOHNSON'S PRIVATE LIFE
Samuel Johnson was born at Lichfield in Staffordshire in 1709, his father, Michael Johnson, being bookseller in that city.
Now Samuel possessed robust body and active mind but unfortunately also inherited a tendency to scrofula, which affected his eye sight, and still worse "a melancholy" which had much to do with his physical mental and sufferings so often referred to by Boswell; we are also told that when an infant only about two years old, he was taken to London and "touched by Queen Anne for the evil"; it is said that this was perhaps the last instance of the exercise of such Royal condescension.
His early education was received at two grammar schools; then in his nineteenth year he entered Pembroke College, Oxford, but after a residence of about three years left the University without taking a degree. His father dying in very poor circumstances in 1731, Johnson remarked, "I must now make my own fortune," and then commenced a hard struggle for existence.
In 1735 (when only twenty-six years old) he married Mrs. Elizabeth Porter, the widow of a Birmingham mercer: she was nearly forty-seven (twenty years older than Johnson) but as he was almost penniless and she brought him a dowry of 800 pounds, this may perhaps have influenced his mind, for his lifelong friend, David Garrick, described this good lady as "very fat with a bosom of more than ordinary protuberance with swelled cheeks of a florid red, produced by thick painting and increased by the liberal use of cordials — flaming and fantastic in her dress and affected both her speech and general behaviour." There were no children born of this ill-assorted marriage but on the whole the quaint pair seemed to have been fairly happy for when she died in 1752, Johnson was much distressed and on the anniversaries of her death it was his custom to remember her in prayer.
With the assistance of his wife's dowry he started a small school, for in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1736 there appeared the following advertisement: "At Edial, near Lichfield in Staffordshire, young gentlemen are boarded and taught the Latin and Greek languages by Samuel Johnson."
According to Boswell, he only had about three pupils, the chief one being the celebrated "David Garrick" (1716-1779). His scholars were not very dutiful, for we are told "the young rogues used to listen at the door of his bedchamber and peep through the keyhole that they might turn into ridicule his tumultuous and awkward fondness for Mrs. Johnson," whom he used to call "Tetty" a pet name for Elizabeth.
The school soon proved a failure and in 1737 Johnson (aged twenty-eight) started out for London accompanied by his pupil, David Garrick, both impecunious, each to try his fortune in the great metropolis. Garrick became the world-famed actor, whilst Samuel Johnson raised himself by industry and ability to the foremost rank of authors and, thanks to Boswell, (wherever the English language is spoken) his name will now never die. Later in life Johnson referred to their mutual poverty at this period with these words: "when I came to London (in 1737) with two pence half-penny in my pocket, and thou, Davy, with three-half pence in thine." The above was virtually the only serious love affair in Johnson's life. Left a widower in 1752 (when only forty-three years old) he never essayed matrimony again but seemed content to live the solitary life of a single man, so that when our story from Wapping commences in 1767 he had been a widower for fifteen years. Johnson's views as regards the advantages or the reverse of married life were rather mixed; once he said of another: "He has done a very foolish thing, Sir, he has married a widow, when he might have had a maid"; and yet, he had married a widow himself! Boswell tells us that, "A gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage, married immediately after his wife died. Johnson remarked 'it was the triumph of hope over experience!'"
JOHNSON AND SAVAGE
Johnson (aged twenty-nine) now commences life in London but unfortunately before long became friendly with one "Richard Savage," a dissipated and profligate man, well acquainted with the lower life of London, and who doubtless introduced Johnson to the frivolities of Wapping. They were both poor and Boswell says, "they (Savage and Johnson) were sometimes in such extreme indigence that they could not pay for a lodging, so that they have wandered together whole nights in the streets."
The following dates are here given:-
1709. Samuel Johnson born at Lichfield.
1755. "Dictionary of the English Language," by Samuel Johnson, A. M. (now first published).
1756. Johnson arrested for debt.
1762. An annual pension of 300 pounds granted to Johnson by the Tory Government under Lord Bute.
1763. Boswell (aged 23) first introduced to Johnson (aged 54), a forerunner of about 270 subsequent meetings.
1784. Dr. Johnson's death and burial in Westminster Abbey.
1791. Boswell's "Life of Johnson" published.
We now come to the story that hails from Wapping.
Extracts from Boswell's "Life of Johnson."
Dr. Johnson's Advice to Boswell (1783).
1783, April 12. Saturday. "I (James Boswell) visited him in company with Mr. Windham of Norfolk. He (Dr. Johnson) talked today a good deal of the wonderful extent and variety of London, and observed that men of curious inquiry might see in it such modes of life as very few could even imagine. He in particular recommended us to 'Explore Wapping,' which we resolved to do, and certainly shall."
BOSWELL AND WINDHAM VISIT WAPPING (1792)
Note. The first edition of Boswell was published in 1791 and contains the above last three words "and certainly shall," but in the second edition of 1793 these three words are omitted, and instead we have the following addendum, viz:
A footnote by Boswell states: "We accordingly carried our Scheme into execution in October 1792, but whether from that uniformity which has in modern times to a great degree spread throughout every part of the Metropolis or from our want of sufficient exertion we were disappointed."
Note the astonishment of Boswell. Evidently the learned Doctor had never before in their previous conversations referred to Wapping; it was clearly some private experience that Johnson had carefully kept to himself and now leaked out by accident for the first time. (It is obvious that he did not tell all his secrets to Boswell, thirty-one years his junior. Why should he?) Now Johnson died the next year (1784) but Boswell was so much impressed that he could not forget those words, and so in 1792 (nine years after this strange advice and eight years after Dr. Johnson's death) determined to investigate the matter for himself. He therefore made a special journey to Wapping with his friend Windham — doubtless in the day time — but without success.
Now at this period Wapping, situated not far below London Bridge, was the Port of London, many sailing vessels of from two to four hundred tons burthen laying at anchor there in the "Pool" in the River Thames. There were also about forty taverns in the neighbourhood ready to supply refreshment and amusements (dancing, bear-baiting, dog fights, cock-fighting, female pugilists, etc., etc.) for the large number of British and foreign sailors who were often detained in the Port for several weeks waiting for a return cargo to distant shores. It is however more than probable that if Boswell had penetrated at night — in charge of a suitable guide — into the purlieus of the place, he would have fully realized what Dr. Johnson referred to when he advised his two friends to "Explore Wapping" and also said, "that men of curious inquiry might see in it (Wapping) such modes of life as very few could even imagine." In more modern days Ratcliffe Highway, which adjoined Wapping, also had a very dangerous and unsavoury reputation.
[Note. The "Windham" above referred to was the Rt. Hon. William Windham, D.C.L. (1750-1810.) He was a distinguished statesman and scholar and in 1782 was elected M.P. for Norwich; and in 1794 under Mr. Pitt was appointed Secretary at War. He was an intimate and valued friend of Dr. Johnson, and was in close attendance on him during his last illness in 1784.
Boswell tells us: "Mr. Windham having placed a pillow conveniently to support him, he (Johnson) thanked him for his kindness and said, 'That will do, — all that a pillow can do.'" Windham was also present at the funeral of Dr. Johnson in Westminster Abbey, acting as one of the pallbearers.
This same James Boswell, who thus accompanied Windham on their visit of exploration to Wapping in 1792, was a Mason of high degree, having attained the rank of Deputy Grand Master of Scotland in 1776 and 1777.]
A "SAML. JOHNSON" MADE IN 1767 — EXTRACTS FROM MINUTE BOOKS OF "OLD DUNDEE"
1767, May 14. "Lodge Night. Bro. Dormer proposed Mr. Samuel Johnson ... to be made a Mason in this Lodge next Lodge Night, 2nd. and deposited 10s. 6d. [Brother Dormer was an old Past Master, 1746, and a pipemaker.]
May 28. "Lodge Night. Mr. Samuel Johnson was Accepted."
June 11. "Lodge Night. Agreeable to the proposal of Bro. Dormer, Mr. Saml. Johnson was Made a Mason for which Honour he paid Two pounds two."
"Likewise Bro. Dormer proposed Bro. Johnson to be Raised a Master Mason next Lodge Night, 2nd. and Deposited 2s. d;"
July 9. "Lodge Night. Agreeable to proposal of last Lodge Night, Bro. Johnson was Raised a Master, for which Honour he paid Five Shillings." [Note. Mr. Saml. Johnson is now a Master Mason and a member of the "Dundee Lodge," No. 9 (now No. 18) meeting at their own freehold in Red Lion Street, Wapping: it was not customary in 1767 for the addresses or description of candidates to be inserted in the lodge's books, and it is very doubtful if they were even mentioned in open lodge, the recommendation of an old Past Master being quite sufficient. If the candidate was respectable they were glad to have him, the extra fees meant that the supply of liquid refreshment would be increased, a dominant factor in those days.]
BRO. SAML. JOHNSON ATTENDED TWENTY-ONE TIMES
According to the Secretary's entries in the minute book, Bro. Samuel Johnson (whoever he was) made twenty-one attendances at the "Dundee Lodge" at Wapping, and was a member for three-and-a-half years; he paid his "Dues" and then ceased his membership Christmas 1770.
His twenty-one recorded visits were on the following dates, viz:
1767. June 11, June 25, July 9, December 2 (Feast Day).
1768. June 23, July 14, August 11, August 25 October 27, December 8, December 22.
1769. January 26, February 10, March 23, April 13, April 17, April 27, May 11.
1770. September 13, November 8, December 13.
These twenty-one dates have been careful checked as far as possible with the recorded movements of Dr. Johnson, and it seems clear to the writer that he could have been present at Wapping on the days referred to if it had been his desire so to do. On various occasions in 1768 and 1769 when Dr. Johnson was undoubtedly at Oxford or at Brightelmstone (Brighton) his presence at Wapping is not recorded in the lodge books; this may only be negative evidence but rather leads one to think that our member, "Samuel Johnson," was really identical with the learned Doctor himself. Of all this more anon.
* * *
GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST IN SHRINE MEET IN JUNE
Washington, D.C. — The Imperial Council Session of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North America, which will occur in Washington in June, 1923, is expected to bring to the Capital City the largest crowd of sightseers which has ever invaded it. It is predicted, from requests for parking space for railroad ears, and reservations made in hotels, that more than three hundred thousand visitors will crowd Washington dung Shrine week.
Provisions for the comfort and safety is made in a joint resolution introduced n the Senate by Chairman Ball, of the Senate District Committee. This resolution appropriates $25,000 or so much of that sum as may be necessary for the maintenance of public order, the safety of the public, etc., during the annual session of the Imperial Council of the Mystic Shrine.
The convention will be held from June 3 to June 7, inclusive, but the appropriation covers the period from May 25 to June 10.
The resolution also appropriates funds for the erection of temporary public convenience stations, information booths, etc. The commissioners are to be authorized to make special police regulations for the occasion, to fix passenger fares, and otherwise control the public utilities that would be called into service.
— Capital News Service.
* * *
Beneath his hand the tiered marble grew;
By day he wrought and night;
He reared the glistening white
In many-columned grandeur, strong and true,
To meet glad heaven's down-bending arch of blue.
But just when with delight
The craft began with might
To shape his dreams, he turned to structures new
The thronging, anxious workmen sought in vain
Their master everywhere;
His trestle-board was bare
Of all the high designs of heart and brain.
In dust, Time that unfinished labor rolls
Not stones, alas, but souls.
* * *
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
WILLIAM PINKNEY, who was a member of Amanda Lodge, of Annapolis, Md., was born in that city in 1774. His parents were English and Loyalists but the boy, like so many other youths in similar circumstances, became staunchly patriot.
He commenced the study of law in the office of Samuel Chase in 1786, began his own practice in Harford County two years later, and became in time a remarkably able lawyer and orator of the old school. He was elected to be representative in the Maryland House of Delegates, and at the same period was made a state delegate to revise the Constitutions of the United States.
He married Miss Rodgers, at Havre-de-Grace, the sister of the famous Common core John Rodgers of the Navy. A large family was born of this union, and their descendants are much in evidence in the state of Maryland today. In person Mr. Pinkney was a handsome man, with "complexion fair, and light brown hair," and it is said that he had a pleasant voice, so pleasant that it materially assisted him in winning his hearers to his side.
While a member of the Maryland House of Delegates he attracted much attention through his able advocacy of the right of slave owners to manumit their own slaves. Until 1795 he served as a member of the Maryland Executive Council. Later he went as a delegate from Arundel County to the state legislature.
General Washington appointed Mr. Pinkney in 1796 a commissioner to England in accordance with the seventh article of Jay's treaty in order to settle with the British Government claims made by merchants of the United States for damages occurring through "irregular or illegal captures or condemnations"; and during this same period succeeded in establishing in the British courts the claim of the State of Maryland to own certain stock in the Bank of England.
Throughout these official labors in London a number of important questions came up concerning international law, such as the practices of prize courts, the laws of contraband, domicile, blockade, etc.; on these questions Mr. Pinkney submitted written opinions which are to this day accepted as models of powerful argument and judicial eloquence.
Soon after his return to the United States in 1804 he removed his residence from Annapolis to Baltimore, and in 1805 was appointed Attorney General of the state. In 1806 he was made commissioner with James Monroe, then minister to England, to treat with the British Government concerning the capture of neutral ships in time of war; these negotiations were partly responsible for the War of 1812. Mr. Pinkney was eminently successful in his share of the conduct of these negotiations and did not return home until 1811, when he was recalled at his own solicitation.
Upon his return he was elected to the senate of Maryland, but in the following December was appointed Attorney General of the United States. He took a prominent part in the demonstrations growing out of the War of 1812 and himself commanded a battalion which he raised for the defense of Baltimore. He was wounded severely in the Battle of Blandensburg.
In 1816 he served in the United States Congress as Representative and in 1816 — 1818 was made minister plenipotentiary to Russia and a special minister to Naples, at which latter place he undertook to secure indemnity for American merchants who had property confiscated: but in this mission he met with no success. Upon his return to the United States he was elected to the Senate and held that place until he died at Washington in 1822, at the comparatively early age of fifty-eight.
He was buried in Congressional Cemetery at Washington, which was the property of Christ Church (Episcopal). In this it was the custom at the time to erect little inexpensive slaloms of stone whenever a member of Congress died. On one of these little stones we may read:
"In memory of the Honorable William Pinkney, Senator of Maryland in the Congress of the United States. Died February 25th, 1822."
Time has so nearly obliterated the letters that this inscription is now very difficult to read. The writer would invite the attention of the Fraternity and of Patriotic Societies to the fading of these precious records, the very existence of which may soon be disputed by treasonous hyphenated foreigners who are already trying to re-write American history in their own interests.
The writer would also call attention to another point made clear in these memoirs. In the early days of the Republic, and in spite of constant friction with Great Britain, our envoys met with less friction and obstruction in England than in any other land.
* * *
THE AMEX-MASONIC CLUB
Bro. Aubrey O. Bray, Arizona
Brother A. O. Bray, the author of the present article, has presented to us an interesting account of the formation of one of our Overseas Masonic Clubs. His recital reproduces so vividly the obstacles that presented themselves to so many of our clubs that what he says for the Amex Club will stand with minor modifications for many of the others. The Amex Club was one of our most vigorous and helpful clubs and ministered to scores of the Craftsmen.
On page 166 of THE BUILDER for last June I made an announcement concerning an effort being made by the National Masonic Research Society to secure and collate all possible data concerning Freemasonry in the World War. This work, the direction of which has been entrusted to me, is progressing rapidly. Every brother who possesses such information as that contained in the splendid article below should send the same to me.
Brother Bray is now an attorney in Tucson, Arizona. His affiliations are numerous: John El. Felts Lodge No. 29, Norwood, Georgia; Hubert Chapter No. 120 R.A.M., Warrenton, Georgia; Plantagenet Commandery No. 12, Milledgeville, Gal; Al-Sihah Temple, Macon, Gal; Square and Compass Club, College of Law, University of Southern California. Phi Alpha Mu (Masonic) Fraternity, University of Southern California; Corresponding Member, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, London. For further reference to the Amex Club see THE BUILDER, January 1922, page 5; April 1922, page 159.
— Charles F. Irwin, Associate Editor.
SOON AFTER my return to the States and discharge from the army there came to me the idea of writing up some of my experiences in which Masonry had a part while I was in the army. The ones of most interest to the Craft in general would, of course, be those which occurred in connection with the Amex-Masonic Club, at Camp De Souge, France, which it was my good fortune to assist in organizing. On account of subsequent injuries, and nearly four months in the hospitals, my memory was somewhat dulled and I was unable to call to mind the names of many brothers who took an active part in both the formation of the club and its work. Also I had not heard anything from the club since the date of leaving Camp De Souge for the front. I immediately began efforts to secure the records of the club so as to refresh my memory and get the subsequent activities in which it engaged. But unfortunately it has proved difficult to dig up the facts. I followed up every clew without any success. Brother William G. Prime of New York, a member of the Masonic Overseas Mission, was also consulted, as he had visited the club while in France. So far I have been unable to locate them.
Brother Irwin, who is laboring so hard in this field, has been insisting that I go ahead and write up what I remember, leaving the rest, and subsequent events, to be written up when the records are discovered. If any brother who had an active part in the work of the Club during the time of which I write is not mentioned by name, he will please understand that it is not an intentional slight, but a failure of memory.
About the middle of July, 1918, I was taken with an attack of "flu," then just beginning its start in our army, and sent to the camp hospital at De Souge. I soon discovered that the man in the bed next to me was Scottish Rite Mason, Corporal Chambers of Battery A, 342 F. A. As our beds almost touched we began to hold brotherly conversation before either of us was able to sit up. As soon as we were able to get out of bed and walk around, we found several other Masons in the same ward. Just about this time the wounded men from the front began to arrive at our hospital. We found several who had not been paid for some time, and consequently were absolutely penniless. Also many of them had not had an opportunity to converse with brethren many months. Some were very downhearted as a result of the hardships which they had suffered, and the inadequate medical attention they had received. It was a great relief to them to again have an opportunity to talk with brethren.
It was while convalescent in this hospital, and as a result of seeing these men, that there came to me the idea of some kind of Masonic organization at the camp to get the brethren together, and to relieve some of the sufferings and hardships incident to the service, and especially of those in the hospital.
On rejoining my regiment, I found that the same idea had already been discussed among the brethren there. Some time during the first week in August several of the brethren, among whom were Sergeant Rhinehold, Supply Sergeant of Battery C, 340 F. A., Sergeant Dick Schuster, Battery C, Jay N. Christman of the Medical detachment, and myself, were in the supply room of Battery C one afternoon after retreat, discussing the question of an organization. We decided that the organization should embrace the entire camp. We set an afternoon for the formal organization and resolved to pass the word around to all the brethren with whom we came into contact in the meantime, asking them to pass it along likewise.
The meeting was to be held in the same room, Battery C supply room, and long before the hour set the room was crowded to overflowing. Just across the parade ground was a large pit from which gravel for making roads through the camp was taken. We decided to emulate the custom of our ancient brothers of meeting on the highest hills and in the lowest vales, and consequently adjourned to the gravel pit.
The sun was just disappearing in one of those beautiful red sunsets in a cloudless sky which defies all description, when we reached the rendezvous. In the twilight — which is much longer in that latitude than hero between sunset and dark a permanent organization was formed. Brother Warren D. Vincent, affectionately known as "Dad," of Hoisington Lodge No. 331, Hoisington, Kansas, Supply Sergeant of the 314th Ammunition Train, was elected president. The writer was elected secretary and treasurer, and accepted upon the condition that brother Montgomery of the Ammunition Train be appointed assistant, which was done. Brother Max A. Payne, Zion Lodge No. 1, Detroit, was elected corresponding secretary. There were other officers elected but I cannot recall them. I will pause here long enough to say that brother Montgomery kept the books for the secretary-treasurer, and to extend my appreciation to him for the efficiency with which he kept them, and the work he relieved me of. Brother Will Hetherington, Nebraska Lodge No. 1, Omaha, Neb., also rendered appreciated assistance in preparing the minutes from my notes, as he wrote a legible hand, which I did not, and had more time. Brother Montgomery was also appointed chairman of the hospital visitation committee.
MEET IN A "Y" BUILDING
It was decided to hold the next meeting one week later at the Y.M.C.A. building nearest brigade area. Permission for the use of a room was secured, notices posted in all the Y.M.C.A. buildings in camp, and all brethren asked to pass the word at every opportunity. We thought that the room at the "Y" would be large enough to accommodate all who would wish to attend, but soon it was too crowded to carry on business, and a large crowd gathered outside. Again we were forced to resort to the customs of our ancient brethren, and adjourned to the top of a small sand hill just west of the "Y" building. To use the words of "Dad" Vincent, "we adjourned to the top of Mount Moriah."
At this meeting the constitution prepared by the constitutional committee was adopted, and the prior election of officers was confirmed. The name of "Amex-Masonic Club" was adopted for the organization. This meeting lasted for some time after dark. There had been about forty brethren at the meeting in the gravel pit, but there were over two hundred at this meeting. That will give you some idea of how the club grew, and of the work of the secretary-treasurer at this meeting. Some of the brethren produced a couple of candles for the secretary's use when it grew dark, and one of the writer's most vivid recollections is of lying sprawled out in the sand upon his stomach while he collected the five-franc registration fee and scribbled down the names and lodges of the new members by the light of these candles.
The purposes of the club were to bring the brethren in the various organizations in camp into communication and thereby promote Masonic fellowship; to further the application of Masonic principles to the daily lives of the brethren; and to relieve in every way possible the hardships incident to the service, especially of the brethren in the camp hospital.
To provide the necessary funds a registration fee of five francs, about eighty cents at that time, was charged. As all the organizations at camp, except the regular camp forces, were there just temporarily for training before going to the front, it was believed that the brethren in the incoming organizations would about equal in number the brethren in the outgoing organizations. As there was a brigade leaving and one entering camp almost every day, our membership would be kept at about the same number and a sufficient income would be produced from the registration fees of the new members. These surmises proved correct. After reaching a membership of about 350 at the third meeting, it remained around that figure as long as I was at camp, with a steady income from new registrations. The club prospered financially as will be shown later on.
It is easy to be seen from the foregoing that the problem of an adequate place to meet was a very pressing one at this time. There was only one building large enough for our needs in our brigade area: that was the mess hall of the 314th Ammunition Train. "Dad," the president, secured permission from the commanding officer of the Train to use this hall for our meetings. The problem of lighting then confronted us. There were no lights in any of the barracks or mess halls in our area. On account of the "daylight saving" craze Was then at its height, breakfast was the only meal at which lights were needed. The Government seemed to think that we could eat breakfast in the dark, and that we should be in bed by dark anyway. By the time the Ammunition Train finished the evening mess it was too dark in the hall to carry on business. Brother Vance, Sergeant in the Camp Engineers, used a pull with the camp electrician and got the hall wired and furnished with globes for us.
We were now in position to hold some real meetings. The first meeting in the mess hall, which was the third held by the club, almost filled the hall to capacity. According to a notation made in my field memorandum book, Lieutenant Weatherwax, of St. Charles Lodge No. 141, Charles City, Iowa, was registered as a member at this meeting, and was the first commissioned officer to enter the club. Other officers soon came in, Captain W. H. Mick, of Nebraska Lodge No. 1, Omaha, Nebraska, finally becoming president of the club. While I am speaking of officers, I will relate this incident. At one of our meetings in the mess hall a major made a talk in which he said that he had known many Masons in the army, from the highest officers to the "buck" private, in all branches of the service, and that he had never seen one shirk his duty in the least.
FORAGING FOR REFRESHMENTS
In the interim between the meeting on the sand hill and the first meeting in the mess hall, the executive committee decided that we should have some refreshments at the meeting. This policy was approved. the club and became a fixed custom. One of the first decisions in regard to refreshments was that we would not have anything to drink, as we felt that the boys were getting enough of that on the outside. It was very difficult to get anything suitable in sufficient quantities for such a large number on account of the food situation in France at that time. Of course, anything which necessitated cooking was out of the question, as such refreshments were impossible under the conditions. There seemed to be a good supply of grapes Old nuts at the French stands set up along the roads leading into the camp and just outside the camp gates. We could get tobacco and cigarettes from the quartermaster, and occasionally a box of cigars. It proved harder to get sufficient quantities of grapes and nuts than it first seemed. I went out among the French stands "well heeled" with club funds, but the French would not sell any large quantities, even at higher prices than they were charging (and they severe charging enough). I even offered to buy the entire stock but they all turned me down. Returning into camp greatly disappointed, I met Mess Sergeant Charlie Murphy, of Battery E, 340th F.A. a devout Roman Catholic and Knight of Columbus, just going out on a ration expedition himself. I knew that Murphy was the best rustler of rations in the army, as I was in Battery E for the first ten months I was in the service. Also, I knew Murphy well personally. We lived in the same little Arizona town, and went to camp together at the first call. I knew that if anybody could get what we wanted, Murphy could. I told him my troubles in full. A bargain was immediately made, whereby a Knight of Columbus became purchasing agent for a Masonic club. Nobody could have filled the bill better. As long as Murphy and myself remained at camp we were well supplied. It was a matter of great personal sorrow to me to learn that after the armistice, Murphy died of pneumonia in Germany.
While I am on the subject of the refreshments I shall tell a little incident on "Dad," our president, which was the cause of many good natured jokes at his expense. Dad was going up to Bordeaux on a quartermaster truck one day and suggested that he buy up a supply of refreshments for the next meeting while he was in Bordeaux and have them brought back on the truck. This met with hearty approval, as we were sure he could get up a fine layout in the big city. Dad returned in a touring car with an officer and the truck came on later, but without Dad's purchases! Dad had bought a lot of stuff and had it all collected in one French store for the truck to call and bring to camp. The truck never succeeded in getting it. Whether Dad, a stranger in Bordeaux was unable to give the truck driver correct directions; whether the truck driver was unable to follow Dad's directions; whether the shrewd Frenchman saw a chance to grab the stuff; or whether the truck driver got it and disposed of it to his own profit, we were unable to learn.
The hospital committee under brother Montgomery did great work among the brethren in the hospital. After every meeting of the club there were always some smokes, grapes, and nuts left over. These were turned over to the hospital committee for distribution among the sick and wounded in addition to the regular hospital appropriation. One of the men on duty in the receiving ward of the hospital was a brother, and assisted in locating sick and wounded brothers in the wards. Several times a week brother Montgomery and his committee went through the hospital distributing fruits, smokes, etc., to the wounded brethren. Messages from and to the sick brothers in the hospital were carried by the committee to and from friends and brothers on the outside. Many of the men in the hospital were in low spirits, and it was a source of great cheer to them to see and talk with the committee, and to know that the Great Fraternity to which they belonged had not forgotten them, even though our Government, or perhaps I should say the Secretary of War, apparently discriminated against it and would not allow it to engage in any organized effort on behalf of the soldiers in our armies. * Each brother felt himself a committee of one, representing his lodge, and Masonry in general, charged with the duty of assisting the brethren, extending charity and relief to all his fellow men, and exemplifying Masonic principles and traditions in his daily relations with his fellow men. Of the work done by individual Masons in combating Bolsheviki ideas among the troops after the armistice, I may speak in a later article. It was worth all of our efforts in behalf of the sick brethren to see the changes in their faces, and observe the new tenor of their conversation after a few minutes of talk with the committee. Brother Montgomery reported one man in the hospital who had been elected to take his degrees in a Pennsylvania lodge, but before having an opportunity to take them, had been sent overseas. In the fighting at Chateau-Thierry he had a leg shot off. The Club instructed the committee to treat him as a brother. I have often wondered if he ever got his degrees.
TO THE FRONT
Near the first of September there came a rumor that orders had been issued for our Brigade to move toward the front. Consequently at the next meeting an election was held to replace the club officers who were in our Brigade. Brother Vance, whose first name and lodge I do not remember, of the Camp Engineers, was elected president, and a Corporal in the Camp Quartermaster Corps was elected secretary. There were other changes, but being unable to recollect them and having no records I am unable to give them.
I will ask the reader to pardon me while I relate a personal incident which illustrates some of the fortunes of war. The day before we left camp, about September 10, 1918, our regiment was paid, which was the last pay day I had until I reached Newport News, Va., December 30th, 1918. Everybody knew that we were leaving immediately for somewhere on the front, and that it would in all probability be the last pay day we would have in many months, if indeed we were ever to get another one before returning to the States. A1though having unlimited funds in France, the paymaster's machinery was completely "bogged down." I had in my purse about a thousand francs which belonged to the club, and about four hundred francs of my own, mostly saved up while I was sick and unable to spend it. After every meeting of the Club I would bring the money I received from the registration fees, mostly five-franc notes, to the barracks and trade in the small notes among the men for large ones so as to reduce the bulk of the roll. Knowing that everybody in the barracks had seen me with this unusual roll of money, I always slept in my shirt with my purse buttoned up in my shirt pocket. Getting a few minutes off from the work of preparing for departure, I went over to the quarters of Sergeant Vance, the newly-elected president, took all the books, with the treasurer's book balanced, and settled with him in full, paying him about a thousand francs. In my hurry to get back, after settling with him, I put my purse in my blouse pocket instead of my shirt pocket. Passing through the barracks on my way to work, I removed my blouse and threw it on my bunk, forgetting that my purse was in it. When I returned somebody had stolen the purse. They made a pretty good haul as it was, but I have an idea that they were disappointed in not getting the club funds also. Had they been ten minutes sooner, they would have put me in a very embarrassing position with the brethren as I would not have been able to replace the money at that time. No doubt my explanation would have been accepted without question, but I would never have felt right about it. In this instance "Lady Luck" was both with me and against me.
My lodge card and all my identification papers were in the purse. I soon realized that to locate the thief was impossible, I posted notices that if my lodge card and papers were placed where I would find them, I would forget about the money and ask no questions, but they were never returned.
I was now about to begin the journey to the front, facing the possibility of not getting another pay day, and getting wounded, with months in the hospitals without a cent (which actually happened), or of being captured and having no funds with which to better my condition. The brethren in my company, among whom were brothers Will Hetherington, Nebraska Lodge No. 1, Omaha, Jesse Sollenberger, Pelton, Geil, and others, whose names I do not remember, each contributed a loan of five francs. This came in very handy, and I made it go as far as possible during the three months I was in the hospitals after getting gassed at Thiacourt on October 4th.
THE CLUB PROSPERS
It will be seen that the club was in a growing condition, and prosperous financially when I left. It must have continued to prosper, for I have a letter from Dr. (formerly Captain) W. H. Mick, Nebraska Lodge No. 1, Omaha, saying that upon his return to the States in January 1919, he deposited with the Grand Master of New York one thousand francs, the property of the club, and that he later received acknowledgment of receipt from brother Boaz, the subsequent president of the club. Brother flick was president of the club when ordered to the States, and did not have time to account with his successor in office.
Brother William C. Prime, of New York, in his report to the Masonic Service Association, mentions visiting this club in April 1919. ** It must have been active up until the time the camp was finally abandoned. The information I have at present indicates that Brother Boas was the last president of the club, but I have been unable to ascertain his lodge or his address. Both Captain Hick and myself have exhausted every lead we could get, but without success. If any brother reading this can assist in locating him, please communicate with me at once.
Any brother having information of the activities of the club subsequent to September 10th, 1918, or of anything previous to that time not mentioned herein, will do a great favor by communicating with me. I consider this just the beginning of the history of the club, which I hope to revise and complete at a later date when time and diligent search reveal the records.
* On this subject see THE BUILDER, Vol. V, 1919, pages 59, 87, 115.
** See THE BUILDER, December, 1920, page 324.
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It matters not the stuff or stock we use,
The hours of labor or the tools we choose,
If out each soaring plan be drawn aright,
If but our course be ever toward the light;
Nor need we haggle o'er the day's reward,
Whose toil is honest in the eyes of God.
It matters not the how, the when, the where,
If men can see that all our works are fair:
No greater he who wields the captain's sway
Than he who learns to serve and to obey:
Whate'er the fabric we would fain erect,
Some must bear burdens and some must direct.
It matters not the end we have in view
If but each workman to himself be true:
He builds on sand, tho he may win acclaim,
Who builds not character to buttress fame;
The Golden Rule must shape the builder's will,
The temple, lacking soul, is empty still.
It matters not if impious hands would drag
Thru license, lust and lawlessness, that flag
Which stands for consecrated blood, far spilt
To save those sacred things our fathers built:
We shall defend them, too, and failing — then
We'll vow by God, to build them up again!
— George Sanford Holmes.
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Who does the best his circumstance allows, does well, acts nobly; anger could do no snore.
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FREEMASONRY'S RESPONSE TO THE CHALLENGE OF FORT BAYARD
Bro. Francis E. Lester, P.G.M., New Mexico
IN THE January, 1922, issue of THE BUILDER there was published a statement under my name setting forth the conditions at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, the largest Government Tuberculosis Hospital in the country, where something over 1100 tubercular war veterans are patients. In that statement I explained the challenge to Masonry that existed by reason of the fact that the two hundred or more Masons in that Government Hospital were receiving from Masonry few or no measures of relief.
The article referred to produced remarkable results. Supplemented by an appeal to the various Grand Lodges of the United States, it led many of them to send in contributions, none less than $500, for the needed relief. The Grand Lodge of New Mexico at its February communication definitely endorsed, and pledged itself to this undertaking, and although it represents less than 6,000 Freemasons, a contribution of $1000 for the building fund and $100 per month for relief purposes was made in addition to liberal contributions from the constituent Blue Lodges, the Scottish Rite and the Shrine of New Mexico. A Freemason of San Antonio, Texas, Brother Robert J. Newton, became so impressed with the merits of the Fort Bayard situation that in personal conference he brought it to the attention of Brother Leon M. Abbott, Grand Commander of the Northern Scottish Rite Jurisdiction, with the ultimate result that that Body has contributed the sum of $25,000 which it is estimated will cover the cost of a building to be erected for relief purposes at Fort Bayard for the Masonic organization known as the Sojourners' Club, and the plans for the building are now completed and its construction is about to be undertaken. There remains the question of properly financing the maintenance and relief fund for this work.
Many Blue Lodges throughout our country and individual Masons in various parts of the country have responded to the appeal appearing in the January BUILDER. Among these is the case of a Freemason in a far eastern state who, reading this appeal, gave up an anticipated trip to his home lodge in a nearby town for the purpose of witnessing the installation of his lodge officers, and remitted the cost of that trip to the Fort Bayard relief fund. The amount was small, but the spirit of sacrifice was large. That same Brother Mason on numerous occasions has secured from one source or another a considerable number of contributions, and has remitted them for this relief project.
The funds already available have resulted in a complete change in Masonic conditions at Fort Bayard. These changed conditions have renewed the energies of the faithful workers of the Sojourners' Club, and have inspired and cheered our afflicted brother Masons, many of them helpless, at Fort Bayard. Whereas it was previously a common saying there that if a man was a Mason, "nobody cared," it is now recognized that a Mason has behind him an organization whose conception of relief is something more than a subject for ritualistic lip-service.
The relief funds of the Sojourners' Club at Fort Bayard are carefully administered in a business-like manner. Its Treasurer is under bond and detailed monthly reports are rendered. All remittances should be sent to R. W. Brother A. A. Keen, Grand Secretary, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This statement is made in the belief that it will cheer the hearts of Masons everywhere to know that something definite and worthy is being accomplished at Fort Bayard in the name of Masonry, and that the big work just started there promises large accomplishments.
After the foregoing had been set in type a letter was received from Brother Arthur Harris, welfare worker in the Sojourners' Club at Fort Bayard, who forwarded a clipping from the El Paso Times, of issue September 2, 1922. This newspaper account is of such interest that, with Brother Lester's consent, it is here added to his own account of one of the most genuinely Masonic undertakings ever attempted.
Fort Bayard, N.M., Sept. 2. — The first social service building ever put into a hospital by a fraternal organization, other than the K. C. huts of the Knights of Columbus war time activities' branch, will be the handsome building of the Sojourners' Club, which will be built at Fort Bayard by the Masonic Order. Bids hat asked for and ground will be broken for the foundations by October 1. Plans for the building were drawn by Forrester & McCullough, architects, of Washington. Scottish Rite Masons of the Northern Jurisdiction have raised the $20,000 to $30,000 it is estimated the building will cost.
The Sojourners' Club is an organization of all Masons at Fort Bayard, including officers, employee and patients. They announce as their ideal the service of all mankind, regardless of whether he belongs to their Order, and especially to interest themselves in relieving the condition of gassed and sick soldiers unable to secure compensation from the government, due to their inability to trace their disability to military service.
The club was organized in January, 1919. It was discontinued from June to November, 1920, due to loss of members caused by departure of personnel at the time the hospital was transferred from the army to the public health service. It now has a membership of 200.
Plans for the club building provide for a two-story building of either stucco or finished lumber. On the first floor will be an auditorium with a seating capacity of 500 and a modern stage, also a billiard room, ladies' rest room, a kitchen and a lounging room. The second floor will contain the club rooms, a secretary's office, and several guest rooms. There will be handsome porches for both floors 50 feet long and 10 feet wide.
Arthur Harris, formerly an employee in the registrar's office, has been employed by the club as welfare worker and assumed his duties Friday.
A number of the medical staff states that Fort Bayard is the foremost experiment in America of the evolution of hospitalization. The conception of a hospital as a place where the patient may be nursed back to health with full mental power as well as full physical power, and without living in the discomfort of usual hospital life, is entertained by all at Fort Bayard. It is due to this conception of hospitalization that the Sojourners' Club is building its handsome new club. The American Legion is also following out this general idea, and as an experiment, has placed a salaried liaison officer here. This is the first hospital in which either the Legion or Masonry has tried this experiment.
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THE STUDY CLUB
The following paper is one of a series of articles on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings of Masonry," by Brother Haywood, to be used for reading and discussion in lodges and study clubs — From the questions following each section of the paper the study club leader should select such as he may desire to use in bringing out particular points for discussion. To go into a lengthy discussion on each individual question presented might possibly consume more time than the lodge or study club may be able to devote to the study club meeting.
In conducting the study club meetings the leader should endeavor to hold the discussions closely to the tenet of the paper and not permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the discussion is turning from the original subject the leader should request the members to make notes of the particular points or phases of the matter they may wish to discuss or inquire into and bring them up after the last section of the paper is disposed of.
The meetings should be closed with a "Question Box" period, when such questions as may have come up during the meeting and laid over until this time should be entered into and discussed. Should any questions arise that cannot be answered by the study club leader or some other brother present, these questions may be submitted to us and we will endeavor to answer them for you in time for your next meeting.
Supplemental references on the subjects treated in this paper will be found at the end of the article.
THE TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
Bro. H. L. Haywood
PART XVII — BROTHERLY AID
IT IS ONE of the principal uses of history that it enables us better to understand the present. We are ourselves so intimately related to our world as it now is, and this world is so complicated, that often it is quite impossible for us to form a true conception of it. But after a few decades have passed, and our own period detaches itself and becomes a unity, so that it can be viewed as a whole and as a thing by itself, it becomes greatly simplified; multitudes of bewildering details drop away, and it stands forth in its essentials, so that the historian can grasp it in its true proportions and relations. In this wise it often happens that in a certain true sense no age is understood until it has taken its place in history. This fact itself in turn can be brought about to enable one to view his own period as if it were a thing past, for it often happens that we discover some earlier period to be so like our own that to learn to understand that past period is to enable one's self to understand one's own. All this, which seems so remote from the theme of this paper, is written to explain why I shall begin the study of Brotherly Aid by a rapid sketch of a condition that developed itself among the Roman people many centuries ago. That condition, I believe, was the same in essentials as the condition in which we now live, so that by viewing it as a whole we can the better understand the social world in which we find ourselves.
In the early days of the Republic Roman life was a very stable thing, and Roman customs were almost stationary. A man grew up in the house in which he was born; when he married he brought his wife to live with him under the paternal roof; and when he died he left his own sons abiding in the same place. Neighbouring families were similarly stable, and all these groups, owing to this perpetual neighbourliness and to intermarriage, became so inwoven with each other that in a community there would be not one stranger. A man's life took root in such a community like a tree and grew there permanently. The individual was not left to his own private resources: he was surrounded by others who were ever at hand to aid him in misfortune, nurse him in illness, and mourn him in death. He was strong with the strength of his family and of his neighbourhood, and this no doubt accounts for the sturdy manhood and womanhood of the early Romans.
What are the principal uses of history? Why is it difficult for us to understand our own time? How does history help to learn the present by means of the past? Describe conditions under which the early Romans lived. In what way did this make for a healthy manhood? How did these conditions protect a man from physical and moral bankruptcy? How does the history of Freemasonry help you to understand Freemasonry as it now is? Did you live in childhood under conditions similar to those described?
But there came a time when the long enduring stability of Roman life was broken up. By gradual degrees the Romans conquered adjoining territory. A great military system was organized. Whole nations were brought into the Roman system. Alien peoples flocked into Italy, and new religions established their headquarters in Rome. The Republic gave way to the Empire, and the Senate succumbed to the Emperor. Great cities arose; travel was made possible; and a feverish restlessness took the place of the old stability. The old calm neighbourhood life was destroyed and in its place there grew up a fermenting life in town and city. A man no longer lived and died in the place of his birth, but moved about from community to community, so that men became human tumbleweeds evermore shifting about from place to place as the windy currents of chance might carry them. It came to pass that a man lived a stranger in his own neighbourhood, so that he scarce knew the other persons living under the same roof. He was thrown back on his own unaided individual resources in misfortune and in death. In the unequal struggle he often became morally bankrupt and the constant strain undermined his health. It was for such causes that Rome ultimately fell.
In this situation men set out about the creating of a bond that would take the place of the lost neighbourhood ties. They organized themselves into Collegia. These groups were formed of men engaged in the same trade and they usually, in the early days of their history, were principally devoted to securing for a man a becoming burial service, the lack of which so filled a Roman with dread. But in the course of time these organizations — we could justly call them lodges — assumed more and more functions until at last a man found in them charities, social life, business aid, religious influences, friendship, and such other features of general protection as caused him to call his own group "My Mother Collegium." To live a stranger in a city was not longer a thing to dread to a man who could find in such a fellowship the same friendship and support that his forefather had secured in the old-time neighbourhood.
What broke up the stability of ancient Roman life? Did the Romans come to have cities, factories, tenements, etc? What was Rome's "immigration problem"? Was it like ours? What cause led to the breakdown of Roman character? What were Collegia? How were they organized and what purposes did they serve?
It would be easy to compare with the rise and development of the Collegia the rise and development of the Church in the Middle Ages, for the latter came into existence to serve similar purposes; but there is no need of this, because the idea has already been made sufficiently clear. So is it also clear, I trust, that we men of today are living under just such conditions as brought the Collegia into existence, which is the one point of this historical excursion. The great majority of us are living in towns and cities; and almost all of us are subject to the unsettling conditions that shuttle us about from place to place, and from condition to condition, so that life has lost its firmness and security. We live in streets where our next door neighbour is a stranger to us; or in an apartment house or tenement where with dwellers on the same floor we have no ties at all. Our industrial system is such that vast numbers of us are ever moving about from one job to another, which fact is true also even of the farmers, the majority of whom are tenants, and therefore migratory. In the midst of such conditions the individual is often thrown wholly upon his own resources which is such an unnatural thing that many break under it. The restlessness and the ache of modern life are undoubtedly due in large measure to these facts.
But it is here that the lodge comes in, for the lodge, from this present point of view, is nothing other than a substitute for the old-fashioned small community life wherein neighbour was so tied to neighbour that there was no need of associated charities, social centers, or employment bureaus. In a lodge a man need no longer be a stranger: he finds there other men who, like himself, are eager to establish friendships, engage in social intercourse, and pool the resources of all in behalf of the needs of each. The fraternal tie redeems a man from loneliness and from his old pitiable sense of helplessness, and atones for a hundred other ills of city conditions. In his fraternal circle is the warmth and security which a man needs if he is not to succumb to the pressure of modern life. Little wonder is it that men so often think secretly of their lodge as "my mother" and cherish for it until death a deep regard that no profane can ever comprehend!
What purposes were served by the Church in the Middle Ages? Have you experienced the loneliness of city life? Does moving about make for happiness? Why are so many families migratory? What are the effects on health, happiness, morality? What function is performed by the lodge in modern life? Have you found the lodge to be a circle of friendship? If not, why not?
In the ample framework of these facts one can see at a glance what Brotherly Aid really is. It is the substitution of the friend for the stranger. It is a spirit which throws round a man the comforts and securities of love. When "a worthy brother in distress" is helped it is not as a pauper, as in the necessarily cold fashion of public charity, but the kindly help which one neighbour is always so glad to lend to another. Masonic charity is strong, kindly, beautiful and tender, and not charity at all in the narrow grudging sense of the word. Nay, it does not wait until a brother is in distress but throws about him in his strength and prosperity the affectionate arm of friendship without which life is cold and harsh. Friendship, fraternity, fellowship — this is the soul of Freemasonry of which charity is but one gesture with a thousand meanings.
What is meant by, "Brotherly Aid"? How does Your lodge assist a "worthy brother in distress? Could you improve on the Masonic methods of charity? What is the difference between Masonic charity and public charity? What is the Bible's teaching concerning "charity"? (See I Cor. xiii.)
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Vol. I (1915) — Masonry at Work, p. 64; Problems in Masonic Charity, p. 88
Vol II (1916) — History and Charity, p. 31; Washington, the Man and Mason, p. 43; Charity Never Faileth, p. 154; Masonic Homes -I, p. 75; Masonic Homes — II, p. 116; Masonic Social Service, p. 99; The Iowa Plan, p. 126; Masonic Social Service — A Hospital for Crippled Children, p. 263; Every Lodge a School, p. 308; "Unto the Least of These," p. 319; The Fame of the Craft, p. 384
Vol. III (1917) — What an Entered Apprentice Ought to Know, April C.C.B., p. 7; The Masonic Relief Association, p. 270; Physical Qualifications of a Candidate, p. 310; Fraternal Forum, p. 195; Golden Rule Lodge, p. 220.
Vol IV (1918) — Louisiana Relief Lodge No. 1, p. 243; Relief Work in World War, p. 201; Stop, Look, Listen, p. 305; Masonic War Work in England, p. 315; "What is Masonry Doing in This War as a Fraternity?" p. 89; Has Masonry a Duty in the War? p. 330.
Vol V (1919) — Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada, p. 217.
Vol VI (1920) — Active Charity, p. 97; The Vital Parts of the Breast, April C.C.B, p. 3.
Vol VII (1921) — Masonic Charities in the British Isles, p. 88; Practical Brotherhood, p. 102; Everlasting Necessity for Brotherhood, p. 317; Fraternal Side of Old Guilds, p. 174.
Mackey's Encyclopedia (Revised Edition);
Charity, p. 143; Collegia Artificum, p. 158; Freemason, p. 282; Freemasonry, p. 283; Lodge, pp. 449-451; Middle Ages, p. 483; Roman Colleges of Artificers, pp. 630 — 634; Stonemasons of the Middle Ages, pp. 718-722; Travelling Masons, pp. 792-795.
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OUR STUDY CLUB PLAN
"The Bulletin Course of Masonic Study," of which the foregoing paper by Brother Haywood is a part, was begun in THE BUILDER early in 1917. Previous to the beginning of the present series on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings of Masonry," as we have titled it, were published some forty-three papers covering in detail "Ceremonial Masonry" and "Symbolical Masonry" under the following several divisions: "The Work of a Lodge," "The Lodge and the Candidate," "First Steps," "Second Steps," and "Third Steps." A complete set of these papers are obtainable in the bound volumes of THE BUILDER for 1917, 1918, 1919 and 1920, and the monthly numbers for January, February, March and April, 1921.
Following is an outline of the subjects covered by the current series of study club papers by Brother Haywood:
THE TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
General Introduction. — A. Reasons for a course explaining what the "teachings of Masonry" mean. — B. How one can arrive at his own Philosophy of Masonry. — Conclusion. The Philosophy of Masonry is not a study of philosophy in general, but such a study of Masonry as a philosopher gives to any great intellectual problem.
- The Masonic Conception of Human Nature.
- The Idea of Truth in Freemasonry.
- The Masonic Conception of Education.
- Masonic Ethics.
- Masonry and Industry.
- The Brotherhood of Man.
- The Fatherhood of God.
- Endless Life.
- Brotherly Aid.
- Schools of Masonic Philosophy.
This systematic course of Masonic study has been taken up and carried out in monthly and semi-monthly meetings of lodges and study clubs all over the United States and Canada, and in several instances in lodges overseas.
The course of study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information, THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia.
HOW TO ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
Study clubs may be organized separate from the lodge, or as a part of the work of the lodge. In the latter case the lodge should select a committee, preferably of three "live" members who shall have charge of the study club meetings. The study club meetings should be held at least once a month (excepting during July and August, when the study club papers are discontinued in THE BUILDER), either at a special communication of the lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular communication at which no business (except the lodge routine) should be transacted — all possible time to be devoted to study club purposes.
After the lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the lodge over to the chairman of the study club committee. The committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject to be discussed at the meeting. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their material, and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper by a previous reading and study of it.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
- Reading of any supplemental papers on the subject for the evening which may have been prepared by brethren assigned such duties by the chairman of the study club committee.
- Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper.
- Discussion of this section, using the questions following this section to bring out points for discussion.
- The subsequent sections of the paper should then be taken up and disposed of in the same manner.
- Question Box. Invite questions on any subject in Masonry, from any and all brethren present. Let the brethren understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and enlightenment and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may be able to think of. If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, send them in to us and we will endeavor to supply answers to them in time for your next study club meeting.
The foregoing information should enable study club committees to conduct their meetings without difficulty. However, if we can be of assistance to such committees, or any individual member of lodges and study clubs at any time such brethren are invited to feel free to communicate with us.
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THE LARGER MEANING OF THE THOMSON TRIAL
BY THIS time readers of THE BUILDER have had opportunity to read Brother C. C. Hunt's history of the trial of The American Masonic Federation of which the now notorious Mathew McBlain Thomson was head; and they have learned that this case is one of interest and significance for Freemasons the world over. The manner in which the Salt Lake City brethren and their associates managed their end of the trial is deserving of great praise, especially so in the scholarly way in which they prepared their brief, the credit for which largely belongs to Brother Isaac Blair Evans, one of Salt Lake City's brilliant lawyers. Brother Evans has published a volume on the case that should have a circulation wherever men are interested in the history, the structure, and the working of the Masonic institution, and it is hoped in many quarters — in these quarters especially — that Brother Evans and his associates will find a way to place the volume on the general market.
Clandestinism is not a thing of the past. It is probable that it will be very much of a thing in the future because as the Fraternity grows in power and in prestige such unscrupulous rascals as Thomson and his confederates will be more and more tempted to find ways and means of exploiting it. It is a matter for Masters and Grand Masters, for Secretaries and Grand Secretaries, and for Jurisprudence Committees to think about, and learn about. It is doubtful if one could find a more perfect specimen of clandestinism, or a clearer revelation of the ins and outs of clandestine methods, than this American Federation: it is like a laboratory case that possesses all the typical attributes.
The trial of the Federation presents a feature of peculiar interest to thorough students of Masonry. On the surface the case hung upon the question whether or not Thomson had misused the mails, but in preparing their prosecution Brother Evans and his associates found it necessary to go to the roots of Masonic history, jurisprudence, and philosophy. To solve the immediate and practical problem they were compelled to go back and solve the problems of history. Freemasonry is so organized that it is almost always thus. What we do today is, by virtue of the very nature of the Craft, necessarily linked to what was done yesterday, and new departures must always be tested by the ancient landmarks. Masonic history, Masonic study and Masonic research are not dry as dust pursuits for a pedant in a corner, but practical everyday necessities, without which the most modern and urgent activities will go astray.
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MASONS AND SCHOOLS
It has been most interesting, and illuminating withal, to observe the reactions to the Public School number published last August, especially in the pages of some periodicals not always friendly to Freemasonry. In one of these latter an editor cites that issue of THE BUILDER "as proof of the fact that Masonry, under cover of a professed friendship for the public schools, is trying to destroy all private and parochial schools." Nothing could be farther from the truth so far as THE BUILDER is concerned, and, unless the present scribe is wildly astray in his interpretation of the Masonic mind of the country, the statement is wide of the mark in its larger applications. The rank and file of Masons are not out to destroy private schools: they know that educational needs are altogether too various to be satisfied by one system and that business, music, theological, technical, correspondence, night, and many other types of private schools will be a long time with us.
But Masons believe at least a majority of them do — that the educational standard of private schools should be maintained on a par with public schools in order that pupils in the former be not handicapped in the race of life. Also, they believe that education is by its nature a thing that should function in the interests of the whole of society and not for the sake of private interests. It is the business of a school to turn out well trained citizens, not to manufacture children into members of a sect or party.
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ILLEGAL WEARING OF LODGE EMBLEMS
"House Bill No. 530, By Messrs. Clark & Hilzim 2-9-22. Judiciary 'B'. An Act to forbid the wearing of emblems by persons not authorized so to do:
"Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi, That whoever not being a member of the Confederate Veterans, of the Daughters of the Confederacy, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, of the Sons of the American Revolution, of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of the Colonial Dames, of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the Sons of Veterans, of the Women's Relief Corps, of the military Order of the Foreign Wars of the United States, of the American Legion, of the American Legion Auxiliary, of the Masons, of the Woodmen of the World, of the Knights of Pythias or of any other patriotic or fraternal organization, shall wilfully wear the insignia, distinctive ribbons or membership rosette or button or any imitation thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $20.00 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
"That this act shall be in force and effect from and after the date of its passage."
The above bill was presented to the Mississippi State Legislature some time back. Can any Mississippi brother tell us if it passed? It is to be hoped that it did, for such a law should be on the books of every State. While the solons are at it, they should include in their proscriptions all fraternity members not in good standing: an expelled member, or one dropped for N.P.D., has no more just right to wear an emblem than an uninitiated profane.
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A UNIQUE BOOK ON FREEMASONRY
"The Gospel of Freemasonry," by "Uncle Silas." Published by the Clarke Publishing Company, Madison, Wisconsin. Copies obtainable through the National Masonic Research Society, 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Price $1.00 per copy, postpaid.
TO GET the right perspective upon this work it is desirable to know something about the author. "B. B.," as he is affectionately known among his friends, is not only a typical American in his citizenship, but is a man who practices in his personal relations the virtues that such citizenship suggests. He started out in life under circumstances that might well have discouraged him, for he was left an orphan at an early age, and was soon thrown upon his own resources. This is doubtless the key to his broad understanding of his fellow men. His is not an academic knowledge of temptation, human frailties and of the inspiration in the "noble and mysterious triumphs, which no eye sees, which no renown rewards, which no flourish of trumpets salutes." He is the publisher of one of the greatest papers in the country devoted to farmers and farming, but despite his business responsibilities and activities, he has taken time to devote himself to the needs of the destitute and of the suffering with keen and compassionate understanding. His charity is of the kind in which the personal equation enters — not the cold and casual giving to organizations entwined in a maze of red tape. He gives and works personally, as a follower of the Gentle Nazarene.
It is typical of Bascom B. Clarke that the profits from the sale of "The Gospel of Freemasonry" have been set aside for charity; and this is in itself so novel a thing in this materialistic age that it holds the attention, and leads the reader to wonder what other novel thing such a man may do or say. And his book is quite in character, filled as it is with a homely and quaintly expressed philosophy and illustrative incidents of his Masonic experiences. Of course he tells us a great deal that we have long known; but he tells it in a way to bring truisms home to us afresh.
"Freemasonry, Ezra, consists of more than signs and passwords and mystery," he says.... "Freemasonry doesn't advertise its business on bulletin boards along the railway track and in elevated stations excepting as the acts of its votaries tell of its helpfulness to man."
With this as the foundation of his conclusions, Uncle Silas not only awakens concurrence in the minds of his readers, but entertains them with telling comment throughout, having frequent recourse to scripture (which few laymen have read more assiduously) and incidentally giving an interesting account of how he first became interested in Freemasonry. "In grandmother's God," he replied, when asked the question, "In whom do you put your trust?" His grandmother was a Methodist. Uncle Silas says: "The gospel of Freemasonry, Ezra, consists in being ready and willing to strain a point, if necessary, to help those in distress. It beats all how much you can do after you think you've done all you can do. Just enter into your closet before going to bed, or if you are too tired to pray in a musty closet, why just lie down in bed — it doesn't make much difference to the Grand Architect whether you pray like a Presbyterian, standing up, or shouting like a Methodist like you thought the Lord was deaf, or whether you pray like the Arab, lying on your belly, just so as to pray and mean it, old chap — and before you begin to saw gourds for the night, sorter make a digest of the day's work and ask God to forgive you for the crooked paths and to help you plow straighter furrows next day."
How can one read this sort of passage without saying, as I did, "Dear, old, hard-boiled Uncle Silas!"
— George C. Nuesse.
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INFORMATION CONCERNING "ANCIENT FREE MASONRY AND THE OLD DUNDEE LODGE, No. 18 – 1722-1920."
"Ancient Freemasonry, and the Old Dundee Lodge No. 18 – 1722-1920," by Arthur Heiron. Published by Kenning Son, 16 Great Queen St., London, England. Copies obtainable through the National Masonic Research Society, 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Price $5.00, postpaid.
In its issue of September, 1921, THE BUILDER published an article in review of "Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge, No. 18" by Brother Arthur Heiron, of England, in which it heartily recommended to Masons everywhere this very excellent work. Since that time the book has been received with such favor that the publishers are now arranging to issue a new edition. Meanwhile the author has prepared for circulation among such brethren as may be interested a circular containing a descriptive synopsis of the work, along with a number of appraisals that have been trade by competent Masonic critics. Also, and this is of greater importance, he has prepared an index which is to be incorporated in the second edition but which may now be procured, in booklet form, by those who possess or will purchase copies of the first edition. THE BUILDER will furnish either of these to brethren who request them. By reading the circular and the index a brother can gain a clear knowledge of the book itself, and will not risk spending his money "sight unseen."
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TWO NEW BOOKS ON FREEMASONRY
"Masonry and Citizenship"; "The Master Mason; Speculative Masonry"; both written by Rev. Frederick J. Lanier, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and published by the author at that address, to whom orders should be sent. One dollar each, net.
Down in the Old Dominion Masons are hearing more and more about Brother The Rev. Frederick J. Lanier, long an active member of George Washington's old lodge at Fredericksburg, Va., and Rector of St. George's Church in that place. Brother Lanier has lately informed THE BUILDER that he has resigned his rectorship in order to devote his whole time to Freemasonry, which is good news indeed, for he will most certainly find a warm welcome and a wide place in his new field.
Thus far Brother Lanier has published two little books, named above. The former of the two is a compilation of brief chapters drawn from such various sources as will appear in the list here given along with three chapters original with the author-editor. Chapter I is a brief speech by President Harding; II is an "Address to a Newly Made Mason," compiled from various sources; III and IV are drawn from "The Builders" by Bro. Dr. Joseph Fort Newton; V is "What Makes a Man a Mason," from Maurice Penfield Fikes and others; VII, "Masonry and Citizenship," by Roosevelt; VIII, "Applied Masonry," by Eminent Sir W. D. Carter; IX, "The Blacksmith," taken from Rabbinical sources; X, "Masonry and the American Federation of Labor," by Brother Samuel Gompers; XI, "Industrialism To-Day," by Judge Elbert Gary, (is Judge Gary a Mason?); XII, "The Future of America," by Harding and others; XIII and XIV, by the author, are on "The Duty of Masons in the Present Crisis," and "How Prayer Makes the World What It Is."
"The Master Mason," published also during last year (1921) is, though not quite so large in bulk, the more ambitious of the two in that it is comprised almost wholly of the author's own writings. According to the preface the book "does for those who have been initiated, passed, and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason what 'Morals and Dogma' does for Scottish Rite Masonry. It supplements the lectures that are given in the several degrees, and will be of great assistance to Masters of lodges."
To compare this little volume with "Morals and Dogma" is loading it down with a needless handicap. It is unlike Pike's magnum opus in every respect. But for all that it is interesting to read, and helpful, too, to a Mason who enjoys speculation. If one is to find fault at all with Brother Lanier it is that he has resorted too much to his own inner consciousness in interpreting Masonic principles and symbols, and too little to the interpretations already furnished us by the Craft itself, in its ritual, its history, and its jurisprudence.
The treatment of the Masonic Apron is an example of the evils of this subjective method of symbological interpretation. On page 9 the author gives "the form of the apron" as an equilateral triangle, a square, and a circle combined. The circle is supposed to be the string, and this is explained as being a "symbol of spirit"; the triangle represents the flap, and is described as teaching the "threefold personal revelation of God"; the square is made to represent the material universe. The Apron is also explained as teaching the threefold nature of man, who is said to be body, soul and spirit.
The Masonic Apron is none of these things. It is not a circle, plus a square, plus a triangle; it is an apron. It is a piece of lambskin or of cloth of no official shape or size, attached to the human body by a string of like material, and having a flap. Among Operative Masons it was in use for the obvious and very necessary purpose of protecting the clothing. Custom made of it an emblem representing labor, and the dignity thereof. To interpret the meaning of the Masonic Apron one must stick to the history of it, and to the interpretation already given, times without number, by the Fraternity itself. To go far afield, and to treat it as though it were a geometrical design, is not to treat it as a Masonic emblem at all.
Symbology is one of the most difficult of all undertakings in the Masonic field, and its difficulties are increased over and over when it is made subjective and personal, and detached from history. To resolve our embeds and symbols into geometrical diagrams, and then to fill them in with theories of our own, is no proper way to precede: but, as Robert Freke Gould said so well once and for all, "the study of our history and of our symbolism must be proceeded with conjointly." Only then can we keep the solid ground under our feet, and avoid the vagaries of our own private fancies.
This is not to say that "The Master Mason" is full of vagaries and private fancies; far from it! Brother Lanier is a well-read man who has thought much, and who has discovered the unsearchable riches of the Masonic ritual. Once he has built under himself a firm groundwork by thoroughly mastering the classics of Masonic symbology and history he will give US some valuable books.
* * *
"LE LIVRE DU MAITRE"
"Le Lime Du Maitre," published in France, and in the French language, 221 pages, paper covers. Orders should be sent to the Librairie du Symbolism, Square Rapp 4, Paris 7e, France.
A plan of education for making Freemasonry clear to the brethren was worked out in Paris as long ago as 1888 within a Masonic group studying initiation. The Apprentice Manual (Livre de l'Appenti) was at once begun but did not appear in print until 1892 under the auspices of the Lodge Travail et Vrais Amis Fideles, and bore no individual signature. A like work for the benefit of the Fellow Craft (Livre du Compagnon) was published in 1911 and was edited in a much larger measure under the personal responsibility of Past Master Oswald Wirth. This accomplished brother has now brought out the Master Mason's Book (Livre du Maitre) for the use of brethren of the Third Degree. He says in his preface to this work:
"There is no doubt that for the recovery of the lost Word I must have recourse to the light of most instructive brethren. These are such as Joseph Silbermann and the Brother Hubert, manager of the Chaine d' Union, who have verbally stimulated my meditations, also Ragon, Eliphaz Levi, Albert Pike, and, above all, Goethe, have instructed me by their writings.
"But it suffices not in these matters that one digests the thought of others. To tie together the broken threads of neglected traditions it is necessary to revive the past by an intense and preserving personal effort. One must himself actively live anew in ancient times, self-absorbed in the study of significant monuments which we today have forsaken. Ruins, superstitions, discredited philosophical doctrines, alien religions, all merit examination with care; but nothing is known more revealing than poems and myths.
"Poets whose imagination is enlightened are in Initiation more instructive than cool reasoners. The Chaldean epic poem of the heroic Gilgamesh and the compositions of a high initiatory bearing, carry us back more than five thousand years.
"The tale of the death of Osiris and many other fables form by images and symbols precepts of the most profound wisdom. The Bible itself is precious for him who knows the meaning. The seduction of Eve by the serpent makes pertinent allusion to fundamental principles of initiation, the same as with an abundance of more recent accounts.
"Generations transmit to one another fantasms frivolous in appearance though the thinker ought not to scorn them. Such are these glowing on the panes of that window of the West which the Initiate, setting out in the morn from the East, approaches at night, after having at noon examined all things in the full light of day.
"At daybreak his reason awakes watchful near the East window for the first rays of light summoned to penetrate the soul. That illumination too suddenly received may dazzle and render him presumptuous. Full of ardor the intelligence thus surprised believes itself strong against all error: it sees only everywhere prejudices to fight and phantoms to put to flight. That is the age of hasty judgments, holding no account of any received authority and carrying condemnation without reserve on all which accords not with the independent opinion too hurriedly acquired.
"That childish exuberance calms down about middle life. It is then that daylight mercilessly falls nearly vertically through the window of noon. Objects then project a minimum of shadow and reveal themselves in all their reality. This is the time suitable for a critical observation of things and permits one to investigate them under all aspects. Judgment ought then to be circumspect and to remain poised willingly in suspense. An accurate understanding refuses to condemn because with forbearance the circumstances may be explained when all the factors involved are fairly considered.
"Full light leads to tolerance which characterizes the Wisdom of Initiates. It becomes necessary to arrive where all is judged with serenity in order to obtain the right of opening the western window of the Sanctuary of Thought. The Sun is then setting; the turmoil of the day calms and the peace of night spreads gradually o'er the land. Details become erased in the deepening shadows setting forth the glory of the Evening Star before which all others pale. That Star is not the proud Lucifer, inspirer of boasting and mutiny: it is the hearth of serene splendor yielding a vision evoking the intellectual. Henceforth the night may be veiled in gloom yet darkness outdoors prevails not over the light within. When the living are silent, the dead are disposed to speak. The hour comes then to draw forth from those retainers the secrets borne by them within the tomb. They are the True Masters from whom we are able to bring back understanding when we conform to the prescribed rites.
"But ascribe not to ceremonies only a sacramental value. Hiram is not resurrected inwardly because we have outwardly played that part. Nothing counts as Initiation beyond what is inwardly accomplished.
"Strive ye then, Symbolic Masters, to transform symbol into reality. Nominal holders of diplomas and wearers of insignia transform yourselves into Thinkers participating in an imperishable Thought.
"May the Book of the Master guide you in the accomplishment of this great work!"
The book is divided into chapters on "Historical Notes relative to the Master's Degree"; "Ritualism of the Master's Degree"; "Philosophic Conceptions pertaining to the Master's Degree"; "Duties of a Master Mason"; "Interpretative Catechism of the Master's Degree"; "Notes on the Philosophy of Initiation relative to the Master's Degree"; "Prerogatives of Mastership"; and "Bibliography for the Use of Master Masons."
The above chapters are divided again into sections: for example, the chapter on Bibliography deals in turn with "Religion" the first two books recommended to Master Masons on that subject being, by the way, editions of the Bible, "Symbolism," "Hermeticism, Alchemy and Occultism," and "Freemasonry," all the books in the lists being, of course, in the French language.
The chapter on an "Interpretative Catechism" has a number of replies of much interest to us. Among them we find the following questions and answers relative to the story of the fate of Hiram:
"This is a symbolic fiction, profoundly true because of the education gained thereby."
"What is that teaching?
"The pure Masonic tradition, personified by the architect of Solomon's Temple and who is constantly in peril through the ignorance, fanaticism and ambition of Masons who know not Freemasonry nor devote themselves to this sublime work."
* * *
"What signifies this verdant branch [acacia]""
"It represents the survival of energies that the "rare cannot destroy."
* * *
The candidate is further aspect why he receives the acacia, and he replies:
"In accepting the acacia l bind myself to all which survives of the Masonic tradition. I thus promise to study Freemasonry with fervor in all that remains of its past, in its rites, its customs, and its practices, without allowing my" self to be turned backward by an archaism contrary to the spirit of the times."
"How severe you received as Master Mason?"
"In passing from the Square to the Compass"
"The Compass is then more especially reserved for Master Masons?"
"Yes, for only they understand the handling of this instrument with profit."
"What use do they make of the Compass?"
"They measure all things in taking account of their ret rations to each other. Their reason, fixed as the head of the Compass, reports on objects according to the span of the Compass points which bind them. The judgment of an Initiate inspires him not according to the rigid graduations of the Rule but by the farsight based on a rigorous adaption of logic to reality.
"What is the insignia of Master Masons?"
"The Square united with the Compass."
"What signifies the reunion of these instruments""
"The Square controls the work of the Master Mason who ought to act in everything with rectitude and inspiring all with the most scrupulous equity. The Compass directs that activity for betterment to the end that it finds an application the more judicious and fruitful."
"If a Master Mason was lost, where would you find him?"
"Between the Square and the Compass."
"How do you interpret that reply?"
"The Master Mason seeks to be distinguished by the morality of his actions and by the just practice of his reasoning. It is from this point of view that he holds himself between the Square and the Compass."
"What do Master Masons seek?"
"The Lost Word."
"What is that word?"
"The key of the Masonic secret, or in other words, the comprehension of that which remains unintelligible to the profane and to the imperfectly initiated."
* * *
"How do Master Masons travel?"
"From East to West, and from North to South, on all the surface of the earth."
"For the diffusion of light and to rather that which is scattered. In other words. to learn that they may know and understand that of which they are ignorant. and to contribute moreover in bringing about the reign of harmony and fraternity among men."
"On what do Master Masons work?"
"On the trestle-board."
"Do they then lay out the plans that others shall execute?"
"Master Masons prepare for the future which they forsee by building on the experience of the past."
"What use do Master Masons make of the Trowel?"
"It binds them to cover up the imperfections in the work of Apprentices and Fellow Crafts."
"Of what is it the emblem?"
"These sentiments of kindliness which animate the man enlightened in regard to all the weaknesses of which he discerns the cause."
* * *
"What is from that time the object of Mastership?"
"To search for that Master Mason which in us is the state of an inanimate corpse, to bring that death to life, to the end that we bestir ourselves accordingly."
But the temptation to quote from this handy and suggestive philosophical manual of French Freemasonry extends these comments unduly and we must bring these random free translations to a halt.
The book of 221 – 4¾, x 7⅜ inch pages, paper covers, is sold by the Librairie du Symbolism, Square Rapp 4, Paris 7e, France
— R. I. Clegg.
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A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE NEGRO, WITH A NOTE ON "NEGRO MASONRY"
"A Social History of the American Negro, Being a History of the Negro Problem in the United States, Including a History and Study of the Republic of Liberia," by Benjamin Brawley; Published, 1921, by The Macmillan Company, Near York, and Chicago (to whom orders should be sent).
This is the most complete sociological study of the Negro by a Negro, probably, that has yet been published, and deserves a careful examination; but for our purposes here it will be sufficient to quote a passage that deals with "Negro Masonry"; it will be found on page 70ff.:
"After the church the strongest organization among Negroes has undoubtedly been that of secret societies commonly known as lodges. The benefit societies were not necessarily secret and call for separate consideration. On March 6, 1775, an army attached to one of the regiments stationed under General Gage in or near Boston initiated Prince Hall and fourteen other colored men into the mysteries of Freemasonry. These fifteen men on March 2, 1784, applied to the Grand Lodge of England for a warrant. This was issued to African Lodge, No. 459, with Prince Hall as Master, September 29, 1784. Various delays and misadventures befell the warrant, however, so that it was not actually received before April 29th, 1787. The lodge was then duly organized May 6th. From this beginning developed the idea of Masonry among the Negroes of America. As early as 1792 Hall was formally styled Grand Master, and in 1797 he issued a license to thirteen Negro to assemble and work as a lodge in Philadelphia; and there was also at this time a lodge in Providence. Thus developed in 1808 the African Grand Lodge of Boston, afterwards known as Prince Hall Lodge of Massachusetts; the second Grand Lodge, called the First Independent African Grand Lodge of North America in and for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, organized in 1815; and the Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania."
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THE PERIOD OF THE WARS OF THE ROSES
"England Under the Yorkists, 1460-1485, Illustrated from Contemporary Sources," by Isobel D. Thornley: No. 2 in the University of London Intermediate Source-Books of History. Published by Longmans, Green and Co., Fourth Avenue and 30th St., New York, N. Y., to whom orders should be sent. Price $3.25.
The period covered by this volume was full of life, color, and dramatic surprises in Britain and on the Continent. In 1460 Nicholas of Cusa took the decisive step in scholarship that ushered in the Renaissance and signalized the passing of the Middle Ages. In 1479 Castile and Aragon were united under Ferdinand and Isabella, except for which they would not have been prepared to sponsor Columbus in 1492. The most Holy Inquisition began to add its splash of crimson to the picture of the times in 1840. Mathias Corvinus took Vienna in 1485. The Russians overthrew the Mongols, and the Ottoman Empire made war on Vienna, much to the interest of the popes of the times, who, of the Borgia or Medici variety, were as good at gold getting and bloodletting as any of their compeers. Colorful days they were indeed! Old Piero set up the house of the Medici in Florence and Lorenzo followed him in such wise as to earn his title, "The Magnificent." Florence was made over into "Europe's Athens" — at least such was the attempt — and Ficinio was set up in the Academy to teach the blooded youth how to make charms out of frog's liver. At the same time the precocious Pico della Mirandola, famous as the discoverer and friend of Savonarola, went about like a shining comet, spouting thirteen languages; while Leonardo da Vinci tried to build flying machines.
England was in terrible straits. It is true that trade flourished in the towns and that wages reached unparalleled heights — "the golden age of English labor," it came to be described —; it is true that Caxton set up his printing press in 1477; that the times made possible the pretty commercial romance of Sir Richard Whittington who had the distinction of becoming a hero in Mother Goose, a thing that will probably never happen again; but in spite of a modicum of industrial advance in prosperity England rocked and shook, and burned and bled, and groaned through such a sea of anarchy for a generation as Sovietism itself almost pales beside. The whole period falls inside the terrible Wars of the Roses.
The Wars of the Roses began with the Battle of St. Albans in 1455: it did not burn itself out until that unscrupulous fiend, Richard III, dramatized in Shakespeare's play, was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. During those thirty years twelve pitched battles were fought and the hatred among the factions was so intense that almost all of the English nobility were slain, a national disaster in those times. The Wars were named after the Roses because of the general custom of partisans or dependents wearing distinctive badges: the badge of the Lancastrians was the Red Rose, that of the Yorkists the White. The trouble began when Henry VI lost England's French possessions: it did not end until all parties were exhausted, and the Tudors had stepped to the front.
Readers of Masonic history have a peculiar interest in Henry VI, the last of the Lancastrian Kings. Some of our writers, Preston I think was one of them, gave currency to a story that this monarch was himself a Mason, and there is a fragment of an old catechism extant to that effect, still accepted as gospel by the unwary. Henry VI was demented and helpless. But he was very pious and it was long reported that miracles occurred at his tomb. An attempt was made to have him canonized a saint but the popes asked too big a price. There isn't the slightest evidence that he was ever a Mason or that he so much as knew of the existence of the Craft.
In his history of this troubled time Hume complains of the paucity of available records, and explains the lack by the holocausts of destruction which rolled like crimson waves across the land. Since Hume much new data has been unearthed. It so happens that one of the English savants to whom much of this new knowledge is due is an illustrious English Mason, Brother E. H. Dring, who was elected Worshipful Master of the Lodge Quatuor Coronati in 1912, and who has contributed to the Transactions of that learned body a mass of valuable erudition. He had the good fortune to discover The Great Chronicle of London, a document quoted by John Stow, but afterwards lost: it is now regarded as "the most important MS. yet published relating to the History of the City." In her introductory treatise the author expresses her indebtedness to Brother Dring and to his MS.
"England Under the Yorkists" is not a narrative in itself but comprises a collection of original sources. Book I is composed of contemporary accounts of the rise of the York faction and its attainment to the crown; Book II gives one a vivid outlook upon the legal, criminal, and political customs; Book III has to do with the Church; and Book IV, the portion of greatest value to us, furnishes much material on trade, industry, education, laboring conditions, etc. On page 218 is an extract from regulations made by the Craft of Brewers in London and approved by the Mayor and Aldermen. It is followed by examples showing the manner in which guilds controlled their members. There is an "Ordinance concerning the Passion Play at Leicester"; "The Foundation of a Guild," by Richard III; and there is an account of a guild school, and other such matters.
On page 245 is an extract from "The Babees Book" which was a standard of good manners for servants in great households, beginners in which service were probably made to learn it by rote. A stanza of it will be quoted here as showing how like it is to our own Regius MS., which seems like doggerel to us, but was not at all in its own time, when chronicles (history proper did not begin until Thomas More had written his "History of Richard III") and other learned works were often composed in rhyme, as had been a universal custom in olden times.
"Now must I telle in shorts, for I muste so,
Youre observaunce that ye shalle done at none;
Whenne that ye se youre lorde to mete shalle goo,
Be redy to feeche him water sone,
Summe belle [clear] water; summe horde to he hathe done
To clothe to him, and from him yee net pace
Whils he be sette, and have herde sayde the grace."
It is becoming more and more the custom in colleges and universities to study original sources rather than the elaborated accounts of the literary historians who inevitably mix up much rhetoric with the facts. It would be a good custom to establish among students of Masonic history. At any rate, every Masonic student should have all the original Masonic sources on his shelves. "England Under the Yorkists" is one of the volumes to be included in such a list.
H. L. Haywood
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PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
We are constantly receiving inquiries from readers as to where they may obtain publications on Freemasonry and kindred subjects which are not offered in our Monthly Book List printed on the inside back cover of THE BUILDER.
Titles which cannot be readily procured through our American and European connections will be printed in this column, thus enabling readers having copies to dispose of them if they so desire. Inquirers are requested to state what prices they are willing to pay, for we are frequently able to obtain books at reasonable prices which might be sold out if we were first obliged to have the price approved by the prospective purchaser. Such figures will be considered confidential and will not be published.
It is also hoped — and expected — that readers possessing very old or rare Masonic works will communicate the fact to THE BUILDER for the benefit of Masonic students.
Post office addresses are here given in order that those buying and selling may communicate directly with each other. Brethren are asked to cancel notices as soon as their wants are supplied.
In no case does THE BUILDER assume any responsibility whatsoever for publications thus bought, sold, exchanged or borrowed.
By Bro. D. D. Berolzheimer, 334 Fourth Ave., New York, N. Y.: "Records of the Hole Craft and Felawship of Masons," E. Conder, 1894; "Masonic Bibliography," E. T. Carson, 1876; "Masonic Review" (of Cincinnati), volumes 43, 44, 45, 1873-4; Kenning's "Masonic Cyclopedia," 1878; St. John's Card, A.Q.C., 1892; any Proceedings or Books of Constitutions prior to 1840; any miscellaneous publications, St. Johns Grand Lodge, New York; any miscellaneous publications, Phillips Grand Lodge, New York; Lodge of Research No. 2429, Leicester, England, Transactions, volumes 1 to 10, inclusive, 1892-1902.
By Bro. G. Alfred Lawrence, 142 West 86th Street, New York, N. Y.: Proceedings of the Scottish Rite Body founded by Joseph Cerneau in New York City in 1808, of which De Witt Clinton was the first Grand Commander, and which body became united, in 1867, with the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, A. & A. S. R. Also Proceedings of the Supreme Council founded in New York by De La Motta, in 1813, by authority of the Southern Supreme Council, of which he was Grand Treasurer-General, these Proceedings from 1813 to 1860.
By Bro. George A. Lanzarotti, Casilla 126, Rancagua, Chile: All Kinds of Masonic literature in Spanish. Write first quoting prices.
By Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin: "Catalogue of the Masonic Library of Samuel Lawrence"; Second edition of Preston's "Illustrations of Masonry"; "The Source of Measures," by J. Ralston Skinner, 1876, or second edition, 1894; "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," volumes 1 to 11, inclusive.
By Bro. Ernest E. Ford, 305 South Wilson Avenue, Alhambra, California: "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," volumes 3 and 7, with St. John's Cards; St. John's Cards for volumes 4 and 5, A.Q.C.; "Masonic Review," volumes 1, 2, 7, 31, 32, and 43 to 60, inclusive; "Voice of Masonry," volumes 2 to 12, inclusive, and volume 15; Transactions Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction, for the years 1882 and 1886; Original Proceedings of the General Grand Encampment Knights Templar for the years 1826 and 1835.
By Bro. Frank R. Johnson, 306 East 10th Street, Kansas City, Mo.: "The Year Book," published by the Masonic Constellations, containing the history of the Grand Council, R. & S. M., of Missouri.
By Bro. L. Rask, 14 Alvey St., Schenectady, N. Y.: "Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists," by E. A. Hitchcock, Janesville, N. Y., about 1865; "The Secret Societies of all Ages and Countries," by C. W. Heckethorn; "Lost Language of Symbolism," by Harold Bayley, published by Lippincott; "Sacred Hermeneutics," by Davidson, Edinburgh, 1843; "Solar System of the Ancients Discovered," by J. Wilson, published by Longmans Co., London, 1856; "The Alphabet," by Isaac Taylor, Began, Paul, Trench & Co., 1883, or the edition of 1899, published by Scribners, New York; "Anacalypsis," by Godfrey Higgins, 1836, published by Longmans, Green & Co., London; "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," any volume or volumes.
By Bro. N. W. J. Haydon, 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: "The Beautiful Necessity," and "Architecture and Democracy," by Claude Bragdon.
By the National Masonic Research Society, 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: "Discourses upon Architecture," by Dallaway, published in 1833; any or all volumes of "The American Freemasons' Magazine," published by J. F. Brennan, about 1860.
By Bro. A. A. Burnand, 690 South Bronson Ave., Los Angeles, California: "Thomas Dunckerley," by Sadler; "History of Freemasonry," by Robert Freke Gould, 4 volumes, full morocco binding, very fine condition; "History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders," Hughan and Stillson.
By the National Masonic Research Society, 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: See itemized list on inside back cover.
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THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
JOHN ADAMS NOT A MASON
Can you please tell me when and where President John Adams was made a Mason? While you are at it you might tell me whether John Quincy Adams was a Mason.
L.T.D., New Hampshire.
Both of your questions are fully covered in a note on the subject by Brother Dr. Frederick Hamilton, Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, and published in the Massachusetts Proceedings for 1921, page 193. It would appear to ye editor that this definitely settles the question. Dr. Hamilton's note is here given in full:
"The question is frequently raised as to whether or not John Adams and John Quincy Adams were members of the Masonic Fraternity, and the statement that one or the other of them was a Mason is not infrequently made. It seems worth while that a statement should be made on this point, which shall, if possible, definitely settle the.
"The case of John Quincy Adams was dealt with in a manner which appears to be conclusive in a statement which may be found on page 298 of the Massachusetts Proceedings for 1918. [He was not a Mason.]
"I have made a very careful investigation of the case of John Adams, and I think we may regard it as definitely settled that he was not a member of the Fraternity. On page 134 of the second volume of Massachusetts reprints will be found a letter from President Adams which ought to be conclusive. Shortly after Mr. Adams' election to the Presidency, a loyal address was sent him by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The letter just referred to is a very courteous reply to that communication in which President Adams acknowledges the loyalty of the Fraternity, expresses his appreciation of it, and refers to the fact that President Washington and many of the writer's friends were members of it, but makes the statement that he himself is not a member of it. Apparently in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding, the President makes this statement in two forms. He says that he is not a member of the Fraternity, and elsewhere in the letter says that he was never initiated.
"This ought to be conclusive, but the natural desire to associate President Adams with the Fraternity with which so many of his distinguished colleagues were connected, coupled with the fact that the name John Adams appears in a considerable number of places in the records of our Grand Lodge and of particular lodges, have led to the tradition that John Adams was a member of the Craft.
"I have carefully examined our index cards, records of our local lodges, and records of the Grand Lodge, and have endeavored to analyze evidence obtained therefrom, with the following results:
"Our lodge records show that there were three men by the name of John Adams who were members of Boston lodges.
"I. John Adams took his degrees in the First Lodge in Boston, now St. John's Lodge, in 1750, and died in 1795. The dates prove that this was not the President.
"II. John Adams took his degrees in St. Andrew's Lodge in 1778. This could not have been the President as he was in France during the whole of that year.
"III. John Adams took his degrees in Columbian Lodge in 1800, in February, and April. This could not have been the President as the dates were in the middle of his Presidential term when he was busy in Washington and neither the records nor the history of the lodge claim him as President. The President was at this time 65 years old.
"The records of the Grand Lodge show that a John Adams was present at the Feast of St. John on January 31, 1757. This was a very distinguished gathering, and our lists give the names of all of those present, ninety-five in number, including the Earl of Loudon and the Governor of Halifax. This was probably John Adams of the First Lodge in Boston. The President was at this time a young law student in Worcester.
"A Captain Adams is reported as being present at the Feast of St. John, September 28, 1778, and again September 21, 1779. This could not have been the President as he held no military rank, and at least on one of those occasions was in Paris.
"A Brother Adams, Christian name omitted, is reported as being present at the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, June 24, 1782. This could not have been the President as it is hardly probable that so distinguished a man as a future President had already become could have been recorded in the official minutes of the Grand Lodge as simply Brother Adams.
"I think it may be said with as much certainty as is possible in any historic statement that John Adams was not a Freemason."
In addition to the above consult THE BUILDER, Vol. II, page 351; Vol. V, pages 166, 334 for reference on John Adams. On John Quincy Adams see Vol. II, page 351; Vol. III, page 62, 256; Vol. IV, page 347; Vol. V, page 209, 336.
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THE COMENIUS SOCIETY
I have received a letter from a brother of mine in Germany — he also is a Mason — asking me to contribute a bit toward what he calls The Comenius Society. Before sending him any cast I want to know what I am helping. Can you tell me anything about this Comenius Society?
L.D. von K.L., New York.
The Comenius Society was organized in 1891. It was named for Johan Amos Comenius (often used in the form Komensky) the last Bishop of the Moravians, and a famous educator, born in Moravia in 1592. Two hundred and forty-six men signed the call for organization, among them being Kuno Fischer, Eucken, Deussen, and Paulsen. The purpose of the Society was to foster idealistic education, especially among the masses, and it has organized a number of schools, university extension courses, and that sort of thing; and it has lent its influence to reform movements designed to check the abusive use of alcoholic liquors, tobacco, and slushy literature. It publishes a monthly which before the war was called "Monatschefte": since the war the name has been changed to "Geisterkultur and Volksbildung," or, "Mindculture and Popular Education." The Society claims at present to number in its membership some three hundred Masonic lodges and these lodges are now helping it to launch a drive for financial support, a thing made necessary by the devastations of the Great War. Your brother, no doubt, is helping on with this drive. As to what extent the Society is worthy of financial support THE BUILDER cannot say; neither does it know how reliable are the claims the Society makes for itself. We would welcome information from any quarter.
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WANTS TRUTH ABOUT TEMPLARS
Can I accept with any degree of truth the writings of that classic authority on Freemasonry who is accepted and quoted the world over from his writings upon that subject — Albert G. Mackey, M. D., author of "Lexicon of Freemasonry" in which he states:
"Notwithstanding the efforts of King and Pope the Order of Templars was not entirely extinguished. In France it still exists and ranks among its members some of the most influential Noblemen of the Kingdom. In England the Encampment of Baldwin which was established at Bristol by the Templars who returned with Richard I from Palestine still (1852) continues to hold its regular meetings and is believed to have preserved the ancient costume and ceremonies of the order. This encampment with another one at Bath and a third at York constituted the three original encampments in England. From these have emanated the existing encampments in the British Islands and United States so that the order as it now exists in Britain and America is a lineal descendant of the ancient order."
Albert G. Mackey, M. D., also in the "Lexicon of Freemasonry" gives a completed list of Grand Masters of the Templar Order from French sources, from Hugh de Payens 1118 down through continuously with date of year each one served unto that of. Sir Sidney Smith 1838. If these writings of the author are wrong and incorrect like the productions of many of our extemporaneous writers and speakers and officers who do sometimes admit that they are not speaking from the results of research, why does the Fraternity as a whole officially not ask that whichever one is erroneous be expunged from our libraries and publications?
C. D. P., New York.
Your query, Brother Proper, is in all strictness a challenge to the literati of the Craft, and we prefer to let it stand as such. Ye editor is now organizing a group of special researches for the purpose of ventilating the whole vexed question of Templar origins.
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WHY DOES "THE BUILDER" COPYRIGHT ITS ARTICLES?
Would I be considered impertinent if I were to inquire why THE BUILDER copyrights all its articles? It would seem to me a better plan to let the whole Fraternity have the use of them.
Your question is not impertinent and your point is well taken. The National Masonic Research Society copyrights all articles published in THE BUILDER in order that it can publish in serial form forthcoming books. It is obvious that an author cannot publish a book in serial form unless he is so protected. Other Masonic journals can republish articles from THE BUILDER by making the usual request.
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HOW TO ORDER BOOKS FROM PUBLISHERS
Living in a little town without a book store or even a library I am at a loss to know how to get books I need. Isn't there some agency, or something of that kind that I can use to get books for me?
Your best bet is to order direct from the publisher. If you do not have the name of the publisher of the book you want, or have his name but not his address, write to the Secretary of the State Library Board of your state: if you have no such secretary write to the librarian of the nearest public library. Once you have the publisher's name and address direct your letter accordingly and be sure to give correct title, date, and full name of author. The publisher will then give you the postpaid retail price of the book, you can remit by money order, and the book will be promptly mailed to you. In case a publisher cannot sell a book direct he will always give you, at your request, the name of the nearest dealer. Buying books is not more difficult or mysterious than buying bread, or coal, or a Ford automobile. If you try it a few times you will quickly get the hang of it. It is a good thing to try. A house without books is like a man without a head.
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OLD AGE AND FREEMASONRY
I have been requested to deliver the address when our lodge presents a medal to one of its charter members. Will you give me some suggestions in that line? I know that this request may be somewhat out of the ordinary, but I do not know where elsewhere to look.
In such an address you will very naturally have much to say concerning old age. There are a number of books on that subject, among which may be mentioned Campbell's "Grow Old Along With Me," and "Over the Tea Cups," by O. W. Holmes. There are numberless essays and chapters. See especially "The Patriarchs" by Bro. J. F. Newton, published in THE BUILDER for March 1916, page 67. See article "On Growing Old" in The Atlantic Monthly, for June 1915; Montaigne's essay "Of Age"; Bacon's essay "Of Youth and Age"; Emerson's chapter "Old Age" in his "Society and Solitude"; Stevenson's "Crabbed Age and Youth" in his "Virginibus Puerisque"; Lamb's essay "The Superannuated Man" in his "Last Essays of Ella"; and see Benson's "From a College Window," page 28. A very excellent poem, appropriate for your use, was published in THE BUILDER, April 1916, page 101: it is entitled "When Old Age Comes" and was written by Burges Johnson. If you have access to it you would enjoy to read Cicero's "De Senectute," the most famous book, perhaps, ever written on the theme. As to long service in Freemasonry what could be better than this, a sentence from one of the pages of Albert Pike: "There is nothing which will so well remunerate a man, when the days of his life are shortening to the winter solstice, as faithful service in the true interest of Masonry."
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ARTICLES IN "THE BUILDER" ON KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
In any of the volumes of the magazine prior to 1918 can there be found any discussion or papers relating to the plan of King Solomon's Temple, and how to reconcile the differences found in the various descriptions of the same recorded in the Old Testament?
In THE BUILDER for March, 1916, Brother George W. Warvelle discusses the "Legends of King Solomon" and touches briefly upon the comparative historicity of the Biblical accounts. In the number for April, 1916, Brother Asahel W. Gage places the accounts from Kings and Chronicles alongside each other for convenient comparison. On page 64 of the issue for February of the same year you will find an instructive letter from Jos. W. Eggleston who tries to solve one of the problems concerning the Temple. Through the issues for April, May, and June of 1917 the late Brother Wm. A. Paine contributed an exceptionally able series of articles on Masonry and King Solomon's Temple in which you will find a number of items concerning your own particular problems. But the articles that may throw the most light on those problems will doubtless be the series on "The Pillars of the Porch" by the late Brother John W. Barry, which began in THE BUILDER for June 1917.
If you desire to go into the matter at length look up the volumes on Kings and Chronicles in The International Critical Commentary of the Bible.
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ORIGIN OF "SHIBBOLETH"
One of the things that seem very curious to me is the word "shibboleth" and the explanation that is given to it. What is the origin of the word? I am not where I can get hold of books very easily so I am asking you to help me out a little bit, and oblige.
"Shibboleth" has come to be the synonym for a password through the narrative found in the Bible, Judges 12:1-6. Because the tribesmen of Ephraim refused to assist him at a critical juncture in his quarrel with the Ammonites, Jephthah, after he had defeated the latter, turned on the Ephraimites to punish them for what he deemed their treachery. Jephthah was chieftain of the tribesmen of Gilead. "And the Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And it was so, that, when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, Let me go over, the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite?" The two tribes were closely related in appearance so that it was difficult to distinguish between them, just as one cannot always tell whether a man be an Englishman or a Scotchman, but, as in the latter case, there were certain differences of speech that no artifice could conceal. "If he said, Nay; then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth; and he said Sibboleth; for he could not frame to pronounce it right; then they laid hold an him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan." It is curious to note that this is not the only instance in history where such a thing has occurred. During the awful days of the Sicilian Vespers a suspect was similarly tried. The name of dried peas among the Sicilians was "ciceri": if the man pronounced the "c" with a "chee" sound he was allowed to pass as being a Sicilian; but if he gave it an "s" sound, he was captured as being a Frenchman. During a battle between the Danes and Saxons on St. Bryce's Day in 1002, if tradition is to be trusted, the words "Chichester Church" were employed as a like test.
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THE MASONIC CONNECTIONS OF PRESIDENT JAMES BUCHANAN
As a member of the Society, I write to ask for some information. Was President James Buchanan a Mason? I have heard that he was and again that he wasn't.
J.T.M., North Carolina.
Brother J. Fred Fisher, Secretary of Lodge No. 43, F. & A. M., Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has given us the following information:
"President James Buchanan was made a Mason in Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa. on December 11, 1816. He was entered by W. M. Bro. John Reynolds, and was passed and raised by W. M. Bro. George Whitaken on January 24, 1817. He was elected Junior Warden, December 13, 1820, and Worshipful Master December 23, 1822. At the expiration of his term of office, he was appointed the first District Deputy Grand Master of this district. He was elected an honorary member of the lodge March 10, 1868.
"He was also a member of Royal Arch Chapter, No. 43."
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ANENT NEGRO MASONRY
From whence did Negro Masonry arise?
H.A.S., Washington, D. C.
Prince Hall and thirteen other Negroes were made Masons at Boston, March 6, 1776, in a military lodge, and when this army lodge was discontinued these men applied to the Grand Lodge of England (the so-called "Modern") for a charter. The charter was issued September 20th, 1784, but, owing to we know not what delays, was not received by Prince Hall and his fellows until 1787, at which time they formally organized themselves into a lodge registered on the rolls of the Grand Lodge of England as "African Lodge, No. 429." After a variety of vicissitudes, about which there is still a deal of controversy, this lodge became dormant, was erased from the Grand Lodge roll, and then, after a few years, was revived, this time as an independent body. From this lodge grew the "Prince Hall Grand Lodge," and from that Grand Lodge the great bulk of so-called Negro Masonry has descended. The subject has been the occasion for ceaseless debate, much of it unfortunately acrimonious, and there is no need here to enter into all the questions as to legality, and all that. If you care to go into the matter thoroughly write to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Washington for a copy of Grand Lodge Proceedings containing their famous Negro Masonry report. This was written by Brother W. H. Upton, P.G.M. of Washington, was published in book form, and remains the locus classicus on the subject.
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AN OLD MASONIC PITCHER
The accompanying photographs were contributed by Brother A. E. Harris, B. D. No. 1, Box 189, Sherwood, Oregon, who is in possession of the pitcher. In a letter he has given the family tradition as to this relic which will be not without interest to our readers:
"According to family tradition the pitcher was made with five others about five hundred years ago. It is said to have been brought to this country from Scotland by John McDonald. His birth is not known. He was married to Freelove Bucklin of Cumberland, R. I., March 6, 1732. He was made a freeman (citizen entitled to vote) May 6, 1735. He died November 14, 1744, at Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Then comes some confusion in the tradition. One story is that he died while there on Masonic duty, which is very possible for there were Masons there at that time. The other is that he was one of the first of the Rhode Island volunteers who went to the siege of Louisburg. His wife and family resided at Johnstone, R. I., at that time. The estate was settled April 16, 1747. (Book 4, pages 179 and 208, Providence, R. I., Records of Probate.)
"According to tradition the pitcher became the possession of the oldest son who became a Mason. After the Revolutionary War the sons went west and the pitcher became the property of Sarah McDonald when she began housekeeping in 1812. She was my great grandmother. "There are no stamps or marks on the bottom of the pitcher or elsewhere — so the maker is not known. On pp. 111-13 of 'The Old China Book' by N. Hudson Moore there are pictures and descriptions of jugs something like ours."
The verse on one side of the pitcher is the second stanza of the famous old "Apprentice's Song" which was written (so it is supposed) by the actor, Matthew Birkhead, and first published by him in Read's "Weekly Journal," December 1, 1722. It was later published in the 1723 edition of Anderson's Constitutions. This stanza makes it impossible for the jug to have been made earlier than 1722.
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GOVERNOR WISE OF VIRGINIA
In the September issue of THE BUILDER, page 292, a correspondent invites the writer to confirm his statement in relation to the Wises of Virginia. He is correct in all save the name of one political party. Henry A. Wise was Governor of the State when the Civil war broke out. He did advise "fighting it out in the Union," and opposed secession. The legislature twice defeated the ordinance of secession, but when it was represented that unless the State did secede it would be obliged to fight against the rest of the South, the State seceded. The writer's mother had three cousins in the legislature at the time, who voted against secession. There were exactly as many emancipation societies south of the Mason and Dixon line as north of it, and men were frequently liberating their slaves in their wills. Washington himself did so. The war was to settle a point in the Constitution as to whether or not a State had the right to secede, and the negro was but an incident. Henry A. Wise was elected Governor on the Democratic ticket. There never was a "Know Nothing" party: it was the American Party, and was nicknamed "Know Nothing" by its enemies.
John S. Wise was elected to Congress in 1882 on the Republican ticket. He was defeated two years before, on the Democratic ticket I believe. He afterwards practiced law in New York City and very successfully. He served in the Confederate Army. G. W. Baird, District of Columbia.
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AN ANTI-MASONIC RESEARCH GROUP
The National Masonic Research Society, under direction of J. H. Tatsch, associate editor THE BUILDER, is engaged in special research work on the subject of Anti-Masonry. Brethren interested in this fascinating field of Masonic history are requested to communicate with Brother Tatsch, indicating in which one or more of the following classifications they wish to participate:
- Anti-Masonry in Great Britain prior to 1717.
- Anti-Masonry in Great Britain since 1717.
- Anti-Masonry in America prior to 1826.
- The Morgan Excitement and the Anti-Masonic Party, 1826-1840.
- Anti-Masonry in America 1840 to 1883.
- Anti-Masonry in America since 1886.
- Anti-Masonry in Continental Europe prior to 1788.
- Anti-Masonry elsewhere than America and Europe.
- Exposes of the 18th Century (any language).
- Exposes of the 19th Century.
- Engravings and illustrations applicable to any of the foregoing sub-divisions.
All communications on this subject should be addressed to J. H. Tatsch, 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
Can you write short stories or novels? Publishers are offering a big opportunity in Masonic fiction.
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I have been traveling about over the country during the past two months, and have found the Fraternity in a flourishing condition everywhere. The usual complaint is, — We are growing too fast.
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Have you any second-hand Masonic books to sell? Let us know if you have. Perhaps we can help you dispose of them.
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Brother J. F. Newton's "The Builders" is outselling any other Masonic book. It has appeared in an English edition: also it has been translated into Dutch, and will be translated into French and German. A brother in Damascus, Syria, is preparing to translate it into Persian.
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JANUARY BOOK LIST
"The Religion of Freemasonry", by, Henry Josiah Whymper, with an introduction by William James Hughan. Edited by George William Speth. We have purchased the only remaining copies of this classic. (See THE BUILDER for September, 1922, page 282.) Slightly shopworn but unused. Paper covers, 260 pages. When the few copies in stock become exhausted the work will be entirely out of print. $2.15
"The Builders — A Story and Study of Masonry," by Brother Joseph Fort Newton, former Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER, is now the fastest selling Masonic book in the world. It is being translated into several languages. (Special price in lots of twelve or more copies.) Bound in substantial blue cloth: beautifully printed. Single copies $1.75
"Questions on The Builders." Compiled by the Cincinnati Masonic Study Club to be used in connect/on with "The Builders," by Joseph Fort Newton. Paper, 13 pages, closely printed $ .15
"The Story of the Craft," Lionel Vibert. One of the best of brief histories of Masonry. Cloth binding; 86 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, April 1922, page 120) $1.35
"Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges'" Lionel Vibert. Embodies findings of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research on Masonic history prior to 1717. A standard. Cloth binding, 164 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, October 1917, page 314.). $1.75
"A Concise History of Freemasonry:' Robert Freke Gould. Revised by Fred J. W. Crowe. Absolutely indispensable. Cloth binding. 349 pages. (See THE BUILDER, January 1922, page 23: June 1922, page 183.) $5.00
"Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge No. 18 – 1722-1920," Arthur Heiron. Very readable. In one year it has established itself as a standard work. Index supplied. Description on request. Cloth binding, 303 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER September 1921, page 243.) $5.00
"Masons as Makers of America," Madison C. Peters. Gives account of all prominent Revolutionary heroes who were Masons. Has gone through several editions. Cloth binding, 60 pages $1.00
"Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods," J.S.M. Ward. Opens up a new field. Full of curious information. Cloth binding. 360 pages. (Reviewed four times in THE BUILDER: March 1922, page 89; May 1922, page 151.) $7.50
"Collected Essays on Freemasonry," Robert Freke Gould. Important treatises by the master Masonic historian. Large size, beautifully printed. Cloth binding, 300 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, March 1918, page 93.) $7.00
"Symbolism of Freemasonry," Albert G. Mackey. New edition of a Masonic classic, revised by Robert I. Clegg. De Lure fabrikoid binding, 311 pages. (Old edition reviewed in THE BUILDER, August 1920, page 226. New edition reviewed in the December 1922 issue.) $3.65
"Masonic Jurisprudence," Albert G. Mackey. Indispensable to Masters, Wardens and lodge workers. Cloth binding, 570 pages $3.15
"Military Lodges," Robert Freke Gould. Concludes with a chapter on Masonic beginnings in America. Cloth binding, 232 pages $2.15
"Notes on Laurence Dermott and His Work," W.M. Bywater. Necessary to an understanding of history of English Grand Lodges. Cloth binding, 54 pages.$.75
"Medieval Architecture," Arthur Kingsley Porter, Harvard University. Two volumes of 500 pages each. Full of information of great value to students of the history of Freemasonry. Recommended by the editor of THE BUILDER. Abundantly illustrated. Complete indexes and bibliographies. $13.00
"The Meaning of Freemasonry," W.L. Wilmshurst. Lectures delivered in English lodges on the symbolism and philosophy of Freemasonry; accounts of ancient systems of mysteries, initiations, etc. New. Cloth binding, 216 pages $3.25
"The Arcane Schools," John Yarker. A famous book. Especially interesting to students of the occult. Cloth binding, 535 pages $5.00
"The Kabbalah, Its Doctrines, Development and Literature," Christian D. Ginsberg. For many years the standard. A new reprint. Cloth binding, 232 pages $2.35
"Mormonism and Masonry," S.H. Goodwin, Grand Secretary of Utah. Printed for the Society by the Grand Lodge of Utah. A fascinating story of a little known chapter in the history of American Masonry. Paper binding, 38 pages $.25
"The Atholl Lodges — Their Authentic History. Being a Memorial of the Grand Lodge of England 'According to the Old Constitutions' Compiled from Official Sources," by Robert Freke Gould. Cloth binding, 192 pages. $1.10
"Things a Freemason Should Know," by Fred J. W. Crowe. Eight chapters of compact information about English Freemasonry. Cloth binding, 86 pages. $1.25
"The Gospel of Freemasonry," by "Uncle Silas" A very rapidly selling book written in a new vein. Third edition. Cloth binding, 60 pages $1.00
"The Evolution of Freemasonry — An Authentic Story of Freemasonry. Profusely Illustrated with Portraits of Distinguished Freemasons and Views of Memorable Relics and Places of Singular Masonic Interest " by Delmar Duane Darrah. Very substantially bound in green buckram. Calendered paper 422 pages $5.00
"1722 Constitutions" (reproduced by Photographic plates from an original copy in the archives of the Iowa Masonic Library. Cedar Rapids.) Edition limited $2.00
"Philosophy of Freemasonry," Roscoe Pound $1.26
"Lectures on Masonic Jurisprudence," Roscoe Pound $1.50.
"The Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," Bro. I.W. Barry, P.G.M., Iowa, paper covers, illustrated. A story of the Flag and Masonry $.50
"The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors," and "Further Notes on the Comacine Masters," W. Ravenscroft. The two works in one binding, paper covers, illustrated. $1.00
"Further Notes on the Comacine Masters," by W. Ravenscroft, paper covers, illustrated $.50
"Symbolism of the First Degree," Gage, pamphlet $.15
"Symbolism of the Third Degree," Ball, pamphlet $.15
"Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism," Waite, pamphlet $.15
"Report of the Masonic Overseas Mission." A special Number of THE BUILDER containing the full Report of the Masonic Overseas Mission on Their Efforts to Secure Governmental Permission to Engage in Independent War Relief Work Abroad. $.35
"Military Lodges," G. Alfred Lawrence. Paper covers $.35
"Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750," Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Massachusetts $1.35
"A Vest Pocket History of Freemasonry," by Brother H.L. Haywood (Special Prices on lot orders for 25 or more copies for presentation purposes.) Single copies $.25
"What an Entered Apprentice Ought to Know," Hal Riviere. (Special prices on lot orders for 25 or more copies for presentation purposes.) Pamphlet, paper covers. Single copies $.15
BOOKS BY DUDLEY WRIGHT
"Robert Burns and Freemasonry." Contains chapter by Dr. Joseph Fort Newton. Cloth binding, 113 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, August 1921, page 235.) $1.75
"Masonic Legends and Traditions." Cloth binding 152 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, February 1922, page 57. Review by A. E. Waite reprinted in THE BUILDER, July 1922, page 221.) $1.50
"The Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites." One of the best accounts of one of the most influential of the Ancient Mysteries. Cloth binding, 108 pages. $1.50
"Woman and Freemasonry." Especially valuable for students of the Order of the Eastern Star. Cloth binding, 184 pages $1.90
THE FOUNDATIONS OF A MASONIC LIBRARY
Mackey's "Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry," latest revised edition. Two large volumes with total of 943 pages. Second volume includes a large descriptive bibliography of Masonic books, also a long glossary to explain Masonic words and phrases. De Luxe fabrikoid binding. $16.00
Mackey's "Revised History of Freemasonry," by Robert I. Clegg. Seven large volumes with total of 2376 pages. Complete index covering all volumes. Illustrated. De Luxe fabrikoid binding $56.00
1915 bound volume of THE BUILDER, 312 pages $3.75
1916 bound volume of THE BUILDER, 384 pages $3.75
1917 bound volume of TIIE BUILDER, 384 pages $3.75
1918 bound volume of THE BUILDER, 366 pages $3.75
1919 bound volume of THE BUILDER, 336 pages $3.75
1920 bound volume of THE BUILDER. 344 pages $3.75
1921 bound volume of THE BUILDER, 368 pages $3.75
1922 bound volume THE BUILDER, 388 pagers $3.76
The above volumes bound in Goldenrod buckram.
A very limited number of bound volumes for each of the above years, in three-quarter morocco binding $4.76
1915-1916 bound volumes of THE BUILDER, (two years in one cover), Goldenrod buckram binding, 696 pages. $6.00
These bound volumes may be purchased separately or as a set. They comprise the most interesting and complete Masonic reference library in existence.
Consolidated Five Year Index to THE BUILDER (for the years 1915 to 1919, inclusive), paper covers $1.25
* * *
We carry these books in stock solely for the accommodation of our members. Profits are returned to the treasury of the Society, to be used to enlarge its services.
This list embraces the standard works on Masonry and allied subjects that we are able to keep in stock. It is being augmented as rapidly as possible. Many of the best known and older books are out of print and Impossible to obtain: of new titles only the better class are selected.
The reader is urged to order from the Book List published In the current issue of THE BUILDER because the supply of many titles is very limited.
Since publishers are constantly revising their prices to us the above prices are subject to change without notice. The prices shown include postage.
Address all orders to
NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
2920 First Avenue East.
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA.