A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 9 No. 4 – April 1923
How Masonic Education Admits One to the Glory and Greatness of Masonry
Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, New York
The following address was delivered before A great company of Masons in Chicago, on the evening of March 21, 1917, at a reception accorded the speaker just before he sailed to begin his ministry at the City Temple, in London, Grand Master Wheeler presiding. The Editor of THE BUILDER has unearthed it from somewhere and asks me to allow him to publish it. If I hesitate, it is for two reasons: it reads like ancient history today, and it has too much of the personal element in it. Yet perhaps my experience of losing interest in Masonry, and then regaining it, may be of value as a warning to lodges to give young men something more than the Ritual of the Order.
Since these words were uttered the Great War and the Little Peace have swept over us, leaving desolation and disillusionment in their wake. They have gone, those years, dark, dreadful, and confused; but the ideals of this address still glow and abide in the heart of the speaker, and he makes bold once more to commend them to his brethren. In a day when the brotherhood of the world is broken, our great and gentle Craft has an opportunity, the like of which it has never known before, to use its influence and power to spread that fraternal righteousness without which the future will be as dark as the past. — J.F.N.
WHEN I was a little child about seven years of age, I came to know several men who were wont to visit the home of my mother about once a month. She was a widow, and had a little family to look after, and we lived in the South in the midst of the poverty that followed in the wake of the Civil War. At first I did not know the purpose that these men had in mind in visiting our home. But one day I asked my mother, and she told me that they were members of the Masonic Order. They had just come to learn if there was any way in which they might help her in her struggle to keep her family together. Happily, aid was not needed, but every month, and sometimes more than once a month, those men would come with a quiet and kindly knock to see if we wanted anything.
As I grew older, I learned to know these men, and I learned also to know the story of my father who had been a member of their lodge — had, I believe, been a Master of it — and I learned something in connection with his Masonic experience that would perhaps interest you if I recite it very briefly. He was a soldier of the South, as some of you, or your fathers, were no doubt soldiers of the North in our Civil War. He wore the gray uniform, and you wore the blue. He was captured at one of the battles in the State of Arkansas, and as a young captain in the army of the South was brought up the Mississippi River to Rock Island, where he was detained as a prisoner of war for quite a while. The northern climate was very severe on southern men in prison. How severe, you may learn by looking into the archives of the War Department. My father fell ill, desperately ill. He made himself known as a Mason to an officer of the prison at Rock Island. The officer took that young brother Mason out of the prison to his home, and nursed him back to life. When the War closed, and his freedom had again come, that officer, his brother Mason, put money into his hand, and a little pearl-handled pistol in his pocket, that he might find his way back home midst unsettled conditions following the war.
Such was the spirit of Masonry in our Civil War, and if the real story of its service in softening the horrors and terrors of war, in sweetening to some degree its bitterness, is ever told, it will be a volume that men will open with trembling hands, and close with weeping eyes. Indeed, at a time when churches were rent in twain, when states were torn asunder, the only tie that remained unbroken in the hour of the Civil War, was the tie of Masonic Fellowship.
Having this tradition of the beauty and service of Masonry in my own family, is it a wonder that when I grew to be a man I had a desire to be a Mason? And it so happened that the son of this soldier of the South was initiated into the Order of Freemasonry not very far from where his father had been a prisoner of war, under the Grand Jurisdiction of Illinois, in old Friendship Lodge No. 7. Now, that was a night that I can never forget. While I was in college I suffered from a lightness of purse that was so painful that I did not belong to any fraternities. I had no time to waste, no money to spend on anything but bare necessities of life — and sometimes they were rather bare, so that I came into this Order to receive my first impression of a secret fraternity, and it was profound and lasting. Somehow, as I have further discovered the many beauties in Masonry, all of them benign and exalting, I still think that perhaps the most beautiful thing in all Masonry is its First Degree.
The other degrees followed. and at the close of the Third Degree there was a little banquet, as was the custom of that lodge, and the candidate of the evening was asked to express his impressions of Masonry. Well, they were so many, so vivid, and so deeply spiritual, that I found difficulty in putting into words what was in my mind. But I did manage to ask if there was any little book that would tell a young man entering the Order the things that he would most like to know about Masonry — what is it? whence it came, and what it is trying to do in the world? No one present that evening knew of any such little book. So I began to ask questions of the Master of the lodge, as to what the meaning of the lodge was, of what it was a symbol, what was the meaning of the exercises in the preparation room, the knocks at the door, the movements about the lodge, and the different symbols that I became aware of when I entered the Light? I asked him why he did this, why he did that, and why he did the other? "Well," he said, "we do it because that is the way Masons have always done things." Which is only saying that we do it because we do it.
Not satisfied with such an answer, I asked, "Why? What do you mean by it?" Alas, he could not tell me. I did not blame him then, and I do not blame him now; but I was full of innumerable questions, because I came into old Friendship Lodge fresh from Harvard University, and it seemed to me that a thing so impressive and so stately must have a long history, must have a deep meaning; and I wanted to know both. I had made some study of Egyptology, and I saw about me certain signs and symbols that brought echoes from a long past. And so, receiving no satisfaction from the Master of the lodge in answer to those questions, I ventured to ask a member of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. While he told me of the moral suggestions of the symbolism of the Order, and gave me very briefly and in vague outline the story of modern Masonry, from the founding of the Mother Grand Lodge of England down to our day; back of that he could not go; deeper than that he did not dig.
WHY I LOST INTEREST IN THE CRAFT
After a time, while I enjoyed the ceremonies of the various degrees, I lost some of my interest in the Order. Years later I went to live in Iowa, and I found there, as Grand Master at that time, a remarkable man, as big in body as he is in mind, who had appointed a committee to investigate the literature of the Order, if perchance he might discover such a little book as I had asked on the night on which I received the Third Degree in Masonry. He was looking
DR. NEWTON ASKS FOR MATERIALS CONCERNING ALBERT PIKE
"I am preparing a biography of Albert Pike. Inasmuch as the Pike family has authorized me to undertake this work, and the proper Scottish Rite authorities have given me most cordial encouragement, I shall hope in the course of time to prepare a volume that will be more or less authentic. May I ask you to co-operate with me? I should like for you to make the request through your columns that your readers supply me with any literature, letters, diaries, books, or any other matter that may throw any light whatever on the career of our great and distinguished brother. I shall take pains to preserve any such material in good condition and return it promptly."
for such a book in order that he might put it into the hands of all young men who were received into the fellowship of Masonry in Iowa. Unable to find just what he wanted, it fell to my lot, after fourteen years, to prepare the little book that I felt the need of years before; and that is the story of The Builders. If I have done nothing else, I hope I have made it a little easier for young men entering the Masonic Fraternity, and whose minds are filled with so many questions that lead into so many interesting fields of study, to find such a little book; and I hope my labor is not in vain.
One of the first things that impressed me when I entered old Friendship Lodge was the fact that it contained in its fellowship men of every political party; and, later, when looking into the history of the Order, and its principles, I learned that questions of politics that divided men and sometimes estranged and embittered them, were not permitted in a Masonic lodge. To me that was a very eloquent fact. Knowing something of the bitter partisan spirit in the history of American politics, it seemed to me a wonderful thing that there should be a great, kindly fellowship that eliminated such questions, and permitted men of all parties to meet as man to man in the simple, fundamental fellowship of humanity without regard to party.
As I looked further into the history and philosophy of the Order, I learned the deep reason why the ancient Masons prohibited political discussions in their lodge rooms, and it seems to me that time has only confirmed the wisdom of our fathers in that regard, as in so many other regards. Just now there is a tendency in some parts of the country, under one pretext or another, in one form or another, to bring political issues within the Masonic fellowship. It would be a great blunder; it would make our Masonry something different, something dangerously different from the Masonry of our fathers. It will cease to be an Order which unites men, and will become only a tiny atom in an indistinguishable blur of partisan feuds. So, brethren, let us use words in their right meanings, and not try to stretch or twist the word "politics" so as to bring in under any kind of excuse the thing which our fathers so wisely excluded from our lodges.
Another thing that impressed me that night in old Friendship Lodge, was the presence of men of nearly all the religious persuasions represented in the community. There is a certain stage in the growth of a town — a certain gosling stage, as I sometimes describe it — when it is neither a town nor a city; when it is divided up into cliques and parties, and when sectarian rivalry is very acute. It was so in that community at that time, whatever may be its state of mind now. In that lodge room were gathered men who were supposed to be rivals on the outside of the room, and yet they met in a spirit of fraternity and good will. As I passed through the degrees, I found that the Order placed emphasis only upon those profound, fundamental things that underlie all religions, over-arch all creeds, and that upon that platform, these men, however they might differ in the details of dogma and ceremony, stood together man to man, brother to brother, in the spirit of fellowship.
MASONRY ASKS, "WHAT IS YOUR NEED?"
Later, when I studied the story of the Order, and particularly the founding of the Mother Grand Lodge of England, and looked at the background of sectarian bitterness, confusion and bickerings, which marked that time, and against that dark background saw the men who founded the Mother Grand Lodge, and the fundamental principles of religion which they enshrined into their constitution, it seemed to me that such an event was forever memorable and prophetic.
But I am letting the hounds get ahead of the hare. As I pondered over my initiation that night, it seemed to me that I had come into an Order which was prophetic of a time when men would discover outside the lodge, as they discovered inside, that the things that they have in common, the things upon which they do agree, are of so much greater importance that they will overshadow the things about which they have debated so long. It seemed to me that I stood at an altar which was prophetic of a time when the estranged religious units of the world would be brought closer together, and men would ask not, "What is your creed?" but, "What is your need?" And when they thus arrive, the scene will be presided over by the beautiful genius of Freemasonry, which has prophesied it for centuries.
Naturally, I wished to know something of the story of such an altar, and so I went back into the past as far as literature and records would take me. Perhaps you will let me tell you a few of the things that I discovered. I found that primitive society had three great institutions with which we are familiar, and one that we need to rediscover. First, it had the home, crude indeed, as all things were in the beginning of the world, yet that rude home had in it the prophecy of the home in which you were born, with its tenderness, its beauty, and its memories. It had the church, not then a church, nor a great temple, but only an altar of unhewn stone, its rites crude, its smoke of incense ascending in a cloud of fear. Yet in the darkness of it all was a gleam of that light which and never was on land or sea. Third, there was the state or tribal form of government — very rude at first, very imperfect, but the basis and prophecy of this great republic in which we live.
But there was another institution, of which I had known nothing at all, and the very existence of which I had not guessed. It was called the "men's house." It stood at the center of every village, and was really the center of the life of primitive society. It was the secret house of initiation, in which every man of the tribe, when he became of age, was initiated, trained, sworn, and then entrusted with the law, legend, history and religion of his people. Here is the origin of all secret orders, of whatever kind, and this is what our Masonic fathers meant when they said that Masonry is as old as the race. Certainly the idea, necessity and practice of initiation goes back to the beginning. For years I have followed the different ceremonies of initiation used in different primitive secret societies, and I have found that while they differed, each having a certain local color of its own, they had certain basic things in common; that the purpose was always the same, the spirit was always the same, and that nearly always the climax was the same. Nearly always there was a degree which represented, in a dramatic form, the death and the resurrection of the candidate.
Those early initiations were frightful, brethren. Men were exposed not only to physical dangers, but to spiritual terrors, in order to test their physical courage, their mental power, and their moral trustworthiness. When they were so proved, they were admitted into the secret order of primitive society, and given certain words and tokens and grins and signs whereby they could make themselves known everywhere; and I was much interested in discovering how universal are the signs and tokens which we use in our lodges. If you think about it, they are the natural gestures of greeting, of distress or of brotherliness, and because they are so natural they have been used the world over. For Masonry has as a part of its genius the wisdom to use what is old and wise and human.
Continuing my study, I have followed the history of this men's house of primitive society down the years until it became associated with the art of building, because of the importance of architecture. I traced the Order of Builders out of Egypt into Asia Minor, where they built the Temple of King Solomon; then westward into Rome and the College of Architects up to the time when the Roman Empire reeled to its ruin. Then they seem to have taken refuge on an island in Lake Como, and from there I traced them to the great Order of the Cathedral Builders who uplifted those shrines of beauty and prayer which the great war has destroyed. After the cathedrals were built the Order began to decline. They were called Freemasons because they were permitted to go wherever their work called them; because they were free from taxation; because they enjoyed many legal privileges not granted to other bodies; because of their exceeding importance as master builders. Free, also, to distinguish them from guild Masons, because a guild Mason could not go outside the town in which he lived, whereas Freemasons could journey far and near.
THE ACCEPTED MASON ENTERS THE CRAFT
When the Order began to decline, men who were scholars and thinkers and students, but not architects, began to ask to be received in its membership; men like Ashmole, who founded the Museum at Oxford, England. They were accepted, and hence the name, "Free and Accepted" Masons. These men sought membership in the Order because they found in it a rich deposit of symbolism which was worth their study, and in some lodges the Accepted Masons were in the majority. Such was the fact in 1717 — a date which will be celebrated in every jurisdiction of the world — the founding of the Grand Lodge of England. That date, June 24, 1717, gave a new impetus and a new emphasis to Masonry, and it spread rapidly all over the world.
And so Masonry came to our shores, very early, long before our Republic was founded, before even the name "United States" was ever spoken. It was a great day when this kindly and friendly Order, with its spirit of justice, liberty, tolerance, intellectual courtesy, brotherly love and spiritual refinement, put its foot upon our shores. To tell the story of the connection of Masonry with the history of this country, and particularly with the history of our Republic, would be to repeat a romance. It was not an accident that the Tea Party in Boston Bay was planned in a Masonic lodge and executed by the members of that lodge. It was not a mere coincidence that the first President of this Republic was also a Master Mason, and that so many of those who united in forming the organic law of this Republic were Master Masons. And, because the spirit of Masons had become a part of their thinking and living, they wrote it into the fundamental law of our land. So it has been all down our history. This Republic has never had a better friend than the Ancient Order of Freemasonry, and it never will have. In every great hour of national trial in the past, our Order has stood true to our Republic, as it will stand true today in the crisis through which we are now passing — perhaps the greatest crisis in all our history — when the flag will need the love and loyalty of every true American. Masons from one end of the land to the other will insist that the flag shall protect every citizen, and that every citizen shall protect the flag.
Naturally my study of Masonry increased my zeal for promoting an interest in the study of it among my brethren; and hence my association with this movement in behalf of Masonic education. What is education? Let me put together two famous definitions, one by Huxley and the other by Milton, and they will tell us what it is. Education is the training of the intellect in the law of nature, and the fashioning of the affections and of the will into an earnest loving desire to live in harmony with those laws, that a man may be fitted, justly, skillfully and magnanimously to perform every office, both private and public, of peace or of war.
If you would sum it up all in one word, it could not be better described than by the one word used by that mighty German genius — the greatest man Germany has known, except Luther — Goethe, when he used the word "Reverence." Reverence first, for that which is below us, for the tiny, teeming, swarming forms of life at our feet. Such reverence led a poet to say that he would not count among his friends a man who would needlessly put his foot upon a worm, or wantonly and cruelly take life from any living creature. Reverence, in the second place, for that which is on the level with ourselves, for the human, for all that wears the human shape, however deformed or sin-bespotted, or far fallen; the insight to see behind every face, however scarred or blackened, something noble and divine. And reverence, in the third place, for that which is above us, which out-tops our knowledge, and upon which we are every moment dependent. That one word, so expounded, might be used as a synonym for education — Reverence.
What do we mean by a profane? Why do we so describe a man who is not a Mason? What is the difference between this lodge room and the street? Answer that question, and it will describe the difference between a mind that is reverent and one that is irreverent. Anything and anybody can go through the street, a cow or a cat or a dog; but not so in our lodge room. Here certain thoughts and things are excluded. Just so, a man who is profane will allow any kind of thought, no matter how slimy, to go wiggling and squirming through his mind; but if he is a Mason in the true sense, his mind is a place of reverence, and there are some thoughts that will not be permitted to enter when they knock, no matter how many knocks they give at the door. Some sentiments will be put out as cowans and eavesdroppers, and not be permitted to pollute the sancity of his mind and of his heart.
MAX MULLER'S PARABLE OF EDUCATION
Perhaps a description of education is better than a definition, and there is a story translated from the literature of the Ancient East by Max Muller which is a perfect parable of what I have in mind. The gods, so runs this story, having stolen from man his divinity, met to decide where they should hide it.
It was a long, solemn, secret council. One suggested that it be buried in the earth, but the caution was expressed that man might dig there and find that pearl of great price. Another suggested that it be taken and dropped into the depths of the sea, but the same fear was expressed that man, being a great wanderer, and having an insatiable curiosity, might go even to the depths of the sea to find the lost treasure. Finally the oldest and wisest of the gods said in a whisper, lest it be heard outside the council chamber, "Let us hide it in man himself, as that is the last place he will ever think to look for it." And it was so agreed. Man did dig into the earth, bringing up gold and silver and precious ore, and he did go over the sea and down under the sea, seeking high and low, and far and near, before he thought to look within himself to find the God whom he sought. Evermore the Lost Word is near us, even in our hearts, and happy is the man who finds it. It is more precious than all the gold in all the tempted hills.
Education, then, in the Masonic sense, as I understand it, is this discovery of whence we came, who we are, and where we are going. What is the first question that Masonry asks you at the door? Is it not just this question? She wishes to know whence you came, and what is your purpose here on earth. Without waiting to receive your answer, for you are not then truly qualified to give an answer, she admits you into her Temple, tells you whence you came and why you are here upon earth — the reason for your life, its excuse for being. She helps you towards that self-discovery which is the awakening of the soul, the beginning of its advance, morally, intellectually, and spiritually. Moreover, in the First Degree she trained you in the simple, old, homely, fundamental morality which underlies not only individual character, but is also the strength and support of society.
In the Second Degree she asks you who you are, and adds another lesson, another step, in that process of self-discovery by teaching you that you are an intellectual being, that you have intellectual powers that must be developed and put to the highest uses. Hence her recommendation that you look into the arts and sciences and master the great problems of life, climbing up slowly but surely to wider intellectual outlooks, where there are longer vistas and lifting skies. For this reason, as in the olden time, every lodge is a school for the training of the mind in the moral Geometry of God — training us to think truly, clearly, justly, kindly. For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, and so is the world to him — luminous and lovely, or dark and dreadful.
Finally, in the Third Degree, Masonry asks that most solemn of all questions, which every man who thinks asks his own heart again and again: "Whither goest thou?" What is the meaning of all this stream of human beings pouring in upon the earth, passing swiftly across it — some sadly, some gladly — and vanishing into the beyond? Whither do they go? What is the destiny of this endless procession? Masonry seeks, in her Third Degree, to make you realize, my brother, that you are an immortal spirit hereto now, upon the earth. It initiates us, symbolically, into the Eternal Life in Time. If we are immortal at all, we are as immortal now as we ever can be, and to know that fact, and to govern ourselves accordingly, is the supreme human experience. It takes away the fear of death. It makes you a Master of life and time. For surely there is no tyranny like the tyranny of time. Give a man one day in which to live, and how cramped he is. The tick of a watch sounds like a gong. Give him a week and you have liberated him, insofar, and he can breathe more easily. Give him a year, and he can move with more leisure and more amplitude. But let him know that he is divine; that above him there hovers and waits an infinite time; let him know that he is an immortal being and he is free! He can spread his wings and think as far and as fast as his mind can go. He can lay out great plans, and labor for their fulfilling; he can dream great dreams. It adds to the dignity, worth and glory of life. And this is the great insight, prophecy and experience which Masonry would awaken in our hearts — the master truth of the Master's Degree. And so, while teaching us how to live, Masonry would fortify us against the Shadow that waits for every man — teaching us, as Dante said, "how to make our lives eternal."
MASONRY ASKS A YOUNG MAN GREAT QUESTIONS
How beautiful it is that an Ancient Order, coming down to us from the earliest time, should win elect young men to its fellowship, and ask them such great questions. And as they bow at its altar, upon the Bible which their mothers read, it exacts from them high and solemn vows of chastity, of charity, of brotherly love, relief and truth. What is it that makes a man great? It is a great faith and a great idea. Ideas rule the world. Above the battle lines in Europe, if you have eyes to see, you can discover two wars now raging, as long ago Homer saw two battles above the city of Troy — one between the Greeks and Trojans, and one in the viewless air between gods and goddesses. Just so, above the long battle lines you can now see a battle of ideas. Ideas migrate like birds. They hide in crooked lines on a printed page. They force us into the arena to fight for them. Ideas rule the world. Get a right and true idea into the mind of a young man, and you have done more for him than by giving him any treasure of silver or precious stones. When Masonry brings a young man to an altar of prayer, in an atmosphere of reverence, and before the open Book which is the moral manual of civilization, and plants in his mind great, simple, luminous and valid ideas of what it is to be a man, and what life means, it has rendered to him the highest service that any institution can render to a man.
This is what I mean, brethren, by Masonic education, not some dry digging into dusty old documents which have no practical relation to the human life of today. I mean that we should study the story of this Order, its origin and growth, its uses, its great principles and their expression in ritual; but still more the expression of those principles in character and their application to every day life. Truth is for life, and we know as much as we do. I believe that this is worth while for the future of Masonry, for its increased efficiency, and for a deepening of interest in it. Numbers do not count. Size does not signify. It is quality of manhood, quality of thinking and feeling that counts in the long result of time. And Masonry, by bringing men together and teaching them to be friends, without regard to creed, or sect, or party, and training them in the service of great ideals, in loyalty to the great truths, is doing more for the safety and sanctity of this great Republic than both its army and its navy.
"Oh! the cedars of Lebanon glow at our door,
And the quarry is sunk at our gate;
And the ships out of Ophir, with golden ore,
For our summoning mandate wait;
And the word of a Master Mason
May the house of our soul create!
While the day hath light let the light be used,
For no man shall the night control!
Or ever the silver cord be loosed,
Or broken the golden bowl,
May we build King Solomon's Temple
In the true Masonic Soul!"
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THE STORY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE HARVARD LODGE
Bro. Guy H. Holliday. Massachusetts
AT HARVARD University, there was instituted, on May 18, 1922, a lodge to be known as "The Harvard Lodge." This is a lodge of a new type in the United States, a "college" lodge; a lodge with great possibilities for future usefulness to Harvard and to the Craft.
Harvard University with its many graduate schools brings together student brethren from every State in the Union, and, in fact, from nearly every part of the world. These men find little opportunity to enjoy the fellowship of their home lodges during the whole period of their academic and professional courses, and they hesitate to visit to any extent the local lodges in Cambridge and Boston, so that at the very time when they should enjoy the pleasant association with their brethren the most, and improve themselves in Masonry, they are to all intents and purposes masonically dead. For such men, and from the moment they enter the University, The Harvard Lodge will furnish a common meeting place; it will furnish for them, through its special committees, a place to turn to for advice and help in all matters relating to the life and work of the University. More important still, they will learn at once that they have friends by the score in their new surroundings.
It is expected that the men who have known Harvard Masonry, those who have taken their degrees in, or who have affiliated with the new lodge, and those who have known the lodge only as welcome guests, will eventually spread over the country, and wherever they may find their lot cast take up Masonic work with renewed interest and earnestness.
The establishment of a lodge at Harvard has been the subject of discussion for some years, but until now no steps have been taken to accomplish it. In March of last year, however, an amendment to the Massachusetts Grand Constitutions was unanimously adopted, providing for "college" lodges, which should be relieved of the burden of obtaining releases, as other lodges are required to do, on candidates residing beyond the limits of the city or town where the lodge is situated, but on the other hand limiting their held for candidates to the college itself. This amendment was to the section relating to local or territorial jurisdiction of lodges, and reads as follows:
"If, however, the jurisdiction named in the charter shall be a college, university or other institution of like character and standing, such jurisdiction shall be limited to and include only, the following; viz., concurrent jurisdiction with the lodge or lodges having regular territorial jurisdiction over any candidate who, at the time of application is an officer, instructor, student, or employee in, and who in addition to having a Masonic residence in Massachusetts, shall have been on the rolls of such college, university, or institution for six months continuously preceding the date of his application. The special jurisdiction conferred by this section shall not be subject to waiver on the part of the lodge enjoying it."
Following this action by the Grand Lodge, the Harvard Masonic Club, an association of Masons in the University numbering some 120 members, took up the question of a Harvard lodge at its Annual Meeting in April. As a result, and with the advice and active assistance of Rt. Wor. George B. Colesworthy, (A. B. 1901) District Deputy Grand Master for the Second Masonic District, a petition for a dispensation to establish a lodge was prepared and presented to the Grand Master, who in May ordered that the lodge be instituted.
The petition was headed by the District Deputy, and there followed the names of his two immediate predecessors in office, both Harvard graduates; those of Professor Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Law School, Past Deputy Grand Master in Massachusetts, of Professor Kirsopp Lake of the Divinity School, of a Presiding Master, and of several Past Masters and other officers of the Cambridge lodges. The petitioners were in all one hundred and twenty in number, of whom thirty were graduates, sixty students, twelve from the Faculty members and instructors, and eight officers or employees of the University.
The petitioners named as their Master Rt. Wor. Guy H. Holliday (A. B., '89, LL. B., '92), Past District Deputy Grand Master of the Second, or Cambridge, Masonic District, and an honorary member of the Harvard Masonic Club; as Senior Warden, Milo G. Roberts, a Junior in the College; and as Junior Warden, Jess H. Jackson, an Instructor in the College.
The officers appointed later were: Treasurer, Assistant Professor Edwin A. Shaw, of the Graduate School of Education; Secretary, James E. Bagley, a special student in the College, Senior Deacon of Euclid Lodge of Boston; Chaplain, Professor Kirsopp Lake, of the Divinity School; Marshall, W. Arnold Hosmer, Instructor of the Graduate School of Business Administration; Senior Deacon, Dr. Donald V. Baker, '08; Junior Deacon, Dr. Frank A. Hamilton, Instructor in the Medical School; Senior Steward, E. Stanton Russell, '19; Junior Steward, Albert A. Schaefer, '06; Inside Sentinel, David W. Wainhouse, '24; Organist, Charles A. Young; Tyler, Arthur E. Conant, College Bell Ringer.
This "line" of officers is in accord with the democratic character of the new lodge, which includes not only men coming from widely separated places, but also represents every grade and variety of academic rating.
The reception of The Harvard Lodge by the other Cambridge Lodges has been most cordial. It has been received into the family of lodges occupying the beautiful Cambridge Temple, and is at present using regalia loaned by Charity Lodge. The youngest of these lodges, "Richard C. Maclaurin" ("The Tech. Lodge") instituted in 1920 and by an amendment of its charter in June, also a "college" lodge, has presented the new lodge with a gavel; and the oldest, "Amicable," dating from 1805, has given the Great Lights.
It has been well said that a University is a place of opportunities: Harvard University is peculiarly a place of opportunities for this newly added School of Friendship and Brotherly Love — The Harvard Lodge.
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TO TEACH HUMANS WHAT HUMANS ARE IS THE HIGHEST DUTY OF HOMES AND SCHOOLS
Dr. Cassius J. Keyser
Adrain Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, New York
(All publication rights reserved by author.)
Aside from winning a place as the dean of American mathematicians, loved and revered for his ability in teaching teachers a most difficult science, Dr. Keyser has long been a pioneer in that region where mathematics merges into logic or into philosophy. His great work, Mathematical Philosophy: A Study of Fate and Freedom, was reviewed by Ye Editor on page 319 of THE BUILDER for October last. A similar review of Korzybski's Manhood of Humanity, referred to in the following paper, was published on page 256 of THE BUILDER for August. Dr. Keyser's article does not have an immediate reference to Freemasonry as such, but it throws so much light on some problems that arise out of our Masonic thinking and activities, that it has been published here as offering much help to Craftsmen who take their Masonry seriously, and desire to see it win its way in the world.
IN OUR education there is much that is good and much that is bad. What is good in it is due to human nature — to what man is. Much of what is bad in it is primarily due to our thinking and teaching that man is what man is not, and to our not knowing and not teaching what man is.
To teach boys and girls to understand and to feel what they as humans really are, is the highest duty of the home and the school. But the home and the school have not kept that obligation. Why not? Because parents and teachers have themselves never been taught to understand and to feel what they as humans really are.
In a recent bulletin of the Cora L. Williams Institute for Creative Education, Miss Williams has said that "time-binding should be made the basis of all instruction" and that Alfred Korzybski's book, The Manhood of Humanity, should be a textbook in every college throughout the world. These fine brave words are just. Why? Because that book, which all fathers and mothers and all other teachers should read, reread and digest, tells us for the first time in the history of the world what that is in virtue of which we humans are human.
What is that thing? The answer is that humans are human because they are by nature "time-binders." But what does Korzybski mean by "time-binding?" Nothing can be more important than to get the meaning of that mighty term into the heads of men and women, for when it gets into their heads it will get into their hearts also; and once it begins to work in the heads and hearts of men and women everywhere, there will be at hand a great new epoch, not only in education, but in all the cardinal concerns of our human kind.
Let me try to make the meaning of the term clear, for, strange to say, some of those who have read the book (or think they have) have missed the term's meaning and yet that meaning is the book's very lifeblood and core. Please be good enough to meditate upon the following considerations. They are simple and obvious, but very significant:
A BEAVER AND A MAN
Think of a beaver and a man. The beaver makes a dam; the man makes a bridge. Both the dam and the bridge embody three factors — raw material, toil and time. I draw special attention to the factor, time, because it has never been duly considered in the study of civilization, nor in the philosophy of human education and human nature, nor by fathers, mothers, and other teachers of the young or the old. We shall suppose the dam and the bridge to outlast their makers, so that the dam is present to the next generation of beavers, and the bridge to the next generation of men. That means that a new beaver is confronted by an old-time factor (embodied in the dam) and that a new man is similarly confronted by an old-time factor (embodied in the bridge). What happens? What are the effects, upon the new beaver and the new man, of the old-time factors? The importance of the question cannot be exaggerated, for the answer discloses an infinite chasm between beaver "mind" and man "mind" — an infinite difference, not in degree merely, but in kind. And what is the answer? The reader knows what it is. It is that the new beaver makes a dam, but it is no better than the old one, while the new man makes a bridge that is better than the old one, or he perhaps invents a ship or a flying machine. That is a fact. Do not fail to think about it again and again.
What does it teach us? It teaches us the vast difference between the relation of animal "mind" to time and the relation of human mind to time. It teaches us, if we will but open our eyes to the lesson, (1) that the "mind" of animals is such that the presence of old-time factors in the surviving achievements of the dead does not enable the living to make improvement, and (2) that the human mind is such that the presence of old-time factors in the achievements of bygone generations does enable the living to surpass the deeds of the dead. Does this ability to surpass the dead mean that the living have more native ability than the dead possessed? No. It means that human beings have the power to add to their native ability by absorbing the intelligence embodied in past achievements and so to do greater things than they could do if their native ability were not thus reinforced. The capacity for thus making the past live and work in the present, the capacity for making the intelligence and talent and genius of the dead cooperate with the living so that humanity can go foreward as if each generation had native ability equal to the combined native abilities of all past generations — it is that strange familiar human capacity which Korzybski calls time-binding capacity.
I am writing this article for such readers and only such as are both able and willing to pause and reflect. Those who reflect upon what "time-binding" means will see more and more clearly that they are here in the presence of an idea that is truly momentous. No idea in the literature of science or philosophy is or can be more momentous, for the time-binding capacity of man is the most precious thing in the world. It is the power that has created civilization and goes on creating it more and more rapidly. And that power belongs to man and man only; animals do not have it. That is why Korzybski has defined "Humanity" as "the time-binding class of life," and it is also why he denies that humans are animals.
Above I spoke of an infinite chasm between human mind and animal "mind". It is the chasm between having time-binding power and not having it; it is the chasm that yawns between endless progressibility in humans and the utter lack of it in animals; it is the immeasurable difference between a human world clad in a great and growing civilization and a non-human world where there is, rightly speaking, no civilization at all; for what I said respecting the making of a better bridge applies equally to all the elements and forms of both material and spiritual wealth. Wherever we see art or science or invention or philosophy or wisdom or ethics or institutions of justice or education or religion, we behold something that owes, not only its existence, but the possibility of improving it, to the time-binding capacity of our human kind.
MAN IS NOT AN ANIMAL
A few weeks ago I discussed this matter with a biologist. He agreed that humans are "time-binders." He agreed that time-binding power is the power that makes civilization and makes it progress. But, said he, humans are animals, time-binding animals. "Please tell me," I said, "why you say that humans are animals." Notice his answer, for he said: "I call humans animals because humans have certain animal organs and certain animal propensities." "You know," I replied, "that animals have certain organs and properties that plants have — they take food, for example, and grow and die. Why, then," I asked, "do you not say that animals are plants or that plants are animals? And a cube," I said, "has surfaces and some surface properties, but you do not say that a cube is a surface. Why not?" The questions are questions of logic. My friend, the zoologist, had not considered them, and I am still waiting for his answer.
Another biologist, an eminent one, came to me and said that Korzybski's conception of man is "crazy." "What," I asked, "is his conception of man?" "I don't know," he replied impatiently, "and I don't believe Korzybski knows." "Korzybski," I replied, "knows precisely what he means; so do I, and I can make the meaning perfectly clear to any intelligent inquirer." But that eminent biologist did not wish to understand the idea; he wished to call it crazy. From which the reader will rightly infer that even an eminent biologist may be a bigot.
Happily not all biologists are so contemptuous of ideas that did not happen to originate with them. For example, in his presidential address (Science, December 30, 1922) at the last annual meeting (Toronto) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. L. O. Howard, eminent entomologist, said: "Count Korzybski, in his recent remarkable book, The Manhood of Humanity, gives a new definition of man, departing from the purely biological concept on the one hand and from the mythological-biological-philosophical idea on the other, and concludes that humanity is set apart from other things that exist on this globe by its time-binding faculty or power or capacity." Dr. Howard adds that "it is indeed this time-binding capacity which is the principal asset of humanity."
And what, pray, is the "principal asset" of animals? It is their ability to move about in space. For this ability, (which plants have not) to run or crawl or creep or fly, enables the animals to gather the natural fruits of the earth in many different localities. That is why Korzybski defines animals to be "the space-binding class of life." Like humans, animals can bind space but, unlike humans, animals cannot bind time (in the sense explained). To teach that humans are animals is just as stupid as to teach that animals are humans. And it is not merely stupid; it is very harmful, harmful to ethics, and every one knows that to teach bad ethics is the worst possible kind of education. For bad ethics means bad economics, bad politics, bad industrial management, bad government, bad individual life, and bad community life.
Some people have said that ethics can not be taught. They are mistaken. Ethics is something that we can not avoid teaching. All persons and especially fathers, mothers and teachers are teachers of ethics. And the kind of ethics they teach depends upon their conception of humanity, upon their philosophy of human nature. Every home and every school in which humans are regarded as animals is, consciously or unconsciously, a nursery of animalistic ethics, space-binding ethics, the ethics of tooth and claw, of combat, violence, and war. It is the brutal ethics of survival of the fittest where fittest means strongest, not best. This is zoological ethics. There is another kind that is just as bad. I mean mythological ethics, the selfish and insolent ethics of Gott mit uns. So long as individuals or states are fashioned and controlled by zoological ethics or by mythological ethics or by the two combined, we may expect individuals and states to leap upon their neighbors like infuriated beasts.
THIS IS A MOMENTOUS lDEA
Let us glance at the other side of the shield. I wish to ask the reader a very important question. Suppose that everywhere throughout the world the home, the school and the press were to unite in teaching boys and girls and men and women to understand and to feel that they are neither animals nor mysterious hybrids of animals and angels, but that they are by nature humans and that the proper life of humans is the life of civilizers, not the animalistic life of mere space-binders, but time-binding life — Life-in-Time. The question I wish to ask the reader is, "What would be the effect of such world-wide instruction?" It is one of the questions I have dealt with in my new book of lectures for educated laymen, (Mathematical Philosophy, E. P. Dutton and Co.), but a full answer cannot be given in a word. For the answer must be given in terms of a new ethics — the ethics of time-binding, the ethics of civilization-building — And the effect of such human ethics upon the welfare of our humankind. Some competent person ought to write a book upon this great subject for the use of fathers, mothers, and teachers. A little reflection enables one to see pretty clearly some of the things which such a book of ethics would teach.
It would teach that human history (the life-history of our race) has depended and depends upon three fundamental factors: (1) what we call environment; (2) human nature (what man is); (3) knowledge or ignorance of human nature (what humans have thought, and now think man is). It would teach that nothing can be more important than to make our conception of human nature agree with what human nature is; it would teach that the class of humanity is infinitely separated from the class of animals by the capacity which humans have for binding time, for thus creating and-more and more advancing civilization; it would teach that the zoological conception of man as a kind of animal tends to foster the brutal ethics of lust and might; it would teach that the conception of man as a hybrid of angel and beast tends to promote the irrational ethics of magic and myth. It would teach that a sound human ethics must be a natural ethics based upon human nature — upon the laws, that is, of those time-binding energies of man that produce civilization; it would teach that it is a sovereign duty to discover those laws and to disseminate a knowledge of them throughout the world, for conduct that conforms to them is ethically good and that which does not is bad. It would teach us that the civilization which we (of a given generation) have was not created by us but is the product of the time and toil of the dead; that it is, therefore, just as natural a resource as land or sea or sun or sky of the common air, and that for us to quarrel and fight for possession of its goods is to descend from the proper estate of humans to the level of beasts fighting for the fallen nuts of a tree. A sound human ethics would teach us that by studying the works we have inherited from the past we can understand them; that by understanding them we absorb the intelligence and genius embodied in them; and that we are thus enabled to produce things in the form of wisdom or material wealth which we could not produce by our own merely native ability even if that ability were multiplied a million fold. It would thus teach us that even what we call our own achievements is in the main not our own but is mainly the work of intelligence which we have absorbed from the achievements of the dead and which still lives in us literally and works through us. Human ethics would teach us that we are not only. heritors of the civilization produced by the past generations, that we are not only organs for enabling the creative intelligence of the past still to live and work, but that we are the trustees of the great and growing inheritance for future man. The supreme law of human ethics is the law of co-operation, for the time-binding ethics of our human race is, not the ethics of brutal combat, but the ethics of cooperation of the dead and the living for all the living and the yet unborn.
If, by home and school, boys and girls were everywhere bred in ethics thus based upon the time-binding laws of our human nature, what would be the effect of it upon conduct and upon the ways and institutions of human society? I submit the question for the reader's meditation.
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HOW TO EDUCATE MASONS IN MASONRY
Seven Grand Masters
In order that this Society might be the better enabled to keep in touch with Masonic educational activities and needs throughout this nation, we recently addressed to all the Grand Masters the following question: "What in your opinion is the best way in which to educate Masons in Masonry?" Nearly all the replies made thereto were interesting to a degree and some were of great value, so that if there were room it would be a pleasure to publish them all in these pages: but the limitations of space are such that we have instead selected seven typical replies as representing various sections of the land and varying shades of opinion. It is worthy of note that it has come to be taken for granted in every Grand Jurisdiction that some form of Masonic education is a practical necessity. It is respectfully suggested to chairmen and members of new Grand Lodge educational committees that it might be wise to borrow a leaf from the experiences of committees long in the field. This Society will give all interested in such matters cordial and immediate cooperation.
Applied Masonry is Needed in this New Day
The quest for light and more light has ever been the Freemason's chief aim. The ancient Operative Masters were students and teachers, as well as architects and builders. The medieval guild of Freemasons conserved, developed, and transmitted from ancient to modern times the higher mathematics and the technique of the building arts. The Operative lodge is a vocational school, as well as a school of morals, a self-governing community, a trades-union and a social brotherhood. When the Operative lodges, after the Reformation, broke away from the medieval church, amalgamated with the local guilds of Stone Masons, and began freely to "accept" non-operative members, they inherited, conserved, and have since transmitted in large measure to modern times and customs and teachings of the ancient Anglo-Saxon guilds.
Later, the group of philosophers who organised the British Royal Society interpreted the Masonic quest for light terms of that free spirit of inquiry, with which the names of Roger Bacon and Francis Bacon are associated and which has given rise to modern science. Desaguliers and his associates organized the British Royal Society as a research group. They revived the Masonic lodge as an agency for the dissemination of the results of research among the people. From this viewpoint also Preston, himself a self-made man and a private student, developed his celebrated lectures which, as modified and embellished by Webb, Cross, and others, are the basis of our present monitorial work.
The Masonic lodge, in other words, while consistently maintaining through the ages the quest for truth, has modified both the subject matter it has taught and its method of presentation to conform to the progress of knowledge and to the conditions of every age.
The World War has shaken to its foundations the entire structure of civilization. New social thrusts and tensions have been brought about to which every human institution must readjust itself. The Craft in New York believes that the time is opportune to expand the content of its teachings to embrace the full circle of knowledge, including the discoveries of modern science, in application to the needs of modern life.
Our Committee on Educational Service has made the following declaration:
"The period of Operative Masonry has passed. The period of purely Speculative Masonry is passing. May we not hope that the Fraternity is about to enter a new period which shall combine the past teachings of both Operative and Speculative Masonry in what may be called APPLIED MASONRY, when every member shall be assigned by the Master to some definite task and all, in their stations, shall cooperate in helpful, stimulating, constructive service for the common weal?"
To this end, we are endeavouring (without in anywise modifying our regular ritualistic work or infringing the ancient landmarks) gradually to convert our entire lodge system into a great, modern, popular university wherein brethren of expert knowledge in all fields of learning and activity will lecture on their respective specialties as applied to the needs of individual, family, community, state and nation.
We are now using, and intend further to develop, the use of all kinds of projection apparatus, including slides, films and opaque projectors, for visual education.
We are promoting the formation of Masonic libraries and book, periodical, and study clubs.
Later we hope to revive the ancient relationship of Master and Apprentice. We intend to place in the hands of the Entered Apprentice a list of recommended readings and put him in the relation of an apprentice to some Master Mason of expert knowledge and practical experience, whose obligation shall be to supervise and assist him in becoming a Master Workman in his chosen field.
According to returns from my questionnaire, some twenty-seven hundred addresses were given in New York lodges last year on a variety of subjects. Among these were more than one hundred illustrated lectures on the part played by our Masonic forebears in the formative days of the Republic. Our lodges have also celebrated with appropriate patriotic exercises the Masonic birthday of George Washington and Flag Day and interested themselves actively in the support of the public schools.
The ideal to which we look forward is the installation in every lodge of a library of Masonic and other appropriate books; a full equipment in each lodge of projection apparatus for visual education; regular lectures in lodges interpreting the problems of modern life in terms of Masonic truth; the formation of book, periodical, and study clubs; and the enrolment of every apprentice in a course of vocational reading and study under the guidance of one or more of his elder brethren.
We believe the day has come when our young men may and should see visions and our old men dream dreams. We have in mind, moreover the classic aphorism of Thoreau. "If you have been building castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. Now build the foundations under them." These are the designs upon our Trestle Board and the work of laying the foundations is well in hand.
— Arthur S. Tompkins, Grand Master, New York.
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The Subordinate Lodge Should Take the Initiative
To my mind the education of the Craftsman in Masonic principles can come only from the Fraternity. The Fraternity is primarily the Masonic subordinate lodge. It is in the subordinate lodge that the Mason learns of his duties to God, his country, his fellow man and himself. Every Grand Jurisdiction is only as strong as its subordinate organizations. Therefore the problem of education rests with its constituent lodges. A Grand Lodge can make its plans for education, but the inspiration for and the attainment of knowledge can come and must come from its lodge leaders.
When our lodges shall learn that a ritual is only for interpretation, that symbols are merely for explanation, and that true Masonry lies solely in the proper application of the emblems, then shall the pregnant possibilities of learning be put into realities.
When the ritual and ceremonies are employed for the above purposes, and discarded as simply a dramatic performance, we shall approach the full opportunity that awaits us.
In Georgia, we are endeavouring to get away from the grinding out of candidates and conferring of degrees. At our 1922 annual communication in October last, our General Welfare Committee brought in a resolution, which was adopted, creating a Committee on Masonic Education. This committee is headed by our Past Grand Master, N.H. Ballard, a prominent Masonic student and superintendent of the Georgia State Department of Education.
The committee will arrange a series of study courses for the various lodges. It will present a plan that will endeavour to make Masons as contrawise to the recent desire on the part of lodges to make members. In our Jurisdiction we have annual conventions of districts and counties. The state is divided into districts, and each year there are the district and county conventions. It has been a custom to confine these conventions mostly to the "rendition of the work." Our Committee on Masonic Education will also prepare educational programs for these conventions, so that the Craftsman may learn of the hidden truths and principles of the Fraternity, that he may become more than a mere poll-parrot to recite the ritual "letter perfect."
In other words, our Masonic Educational Committee, better knowing the needs of our Georgia Craftsmen, will endeavour to provide for Georgia Masons what the Masonic Service Association of the United States is doing through its program.
The plan is young with us, but Georgia Masons are determined to make Masonry a system for the development of its members along the best and broadest lines of knowledge.
My idea is, if I may take the liberty of quoting, summed up in a paragraph of the introduction to the review of Georgia's Foreign Correspondence report of 1920, as follows:
"Out of all the chaos, readjustment and confusion, there is being awakened in American Masonry the ideal of a bigger, broader and better education. We cannot say it is the birth of a new ideal; it is more of a resurrection of the old principles of our forefathers as written in the Declaration of Principles of our nation. It is the re-application of Masonic tenets to social and political creeds (not through organization as a Fraternity, but by individualistic preparedness); it is the education of the Craftsman to the highest plane of citizenship through his Masonic ideals. This new education, thank God, has no reference to the worn-out bromidic platitude of a 'more beautifully rendered letter-perfect ritual.... The education that is to be urged is an American Masonic education, having for its three-fold purpose the conservation of the Republic, the cooperation of pure citizenship, and the Americanization of the people...."
— Joe P. Bowdoin, Grand Master, Georgia.
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The Wisdom of Freemasonry Is in Its Ritual
This question has demanded the attention of a great many of our thoughtful and constructive brethren for years and their conclusions are so satisfactory, pleasing and practical, that I deem it a privilege to pass on the result of their labours with the hope and prayer that they may find a place in the lives of our brethren everywhere.
Looking at the Masonic situation of today and yesterday, our future is assured while Masons continue God-fearing, intelligent, reputable and law-abiding and absolutely loyal to the teachings of the Masonic Ritual.
The Masonic Ritual is a wonderfully comprehensive ceremonial and includes all the instruction bestowed by lodges upon candidates and brethren.
Freemasonry is the wisdom of the Masonic Ritual when at work in the world, a wholesome, lively vital force for good. Masonic ceremonies were never intended as mere entertainment nor as furnishing materials only for sages or philosophers to dilate upon, but as educational agencies which, when acquired and applied, become potent factors of daily usefulness in the lives of the brethren. The function of any educational plan within the lodge is to enable the assimilation of "those useful rules and maxims" inculcated in the ceremonies.
A hearty welcome has always been held out to any and all trustworthy information of a genuinely Masonic character. Our Ohio Code of Jurisprudence provides that the several subordinate lodges shall be enjoined to introduce as often as it is feasible in their meetings, lectures and essays upon Masonic polity, our permanent system of Craft control and government, and the arts and sciences connected therewith.
The same section of our Code recommends that lodges should be supplied with libraries of useful and practical books. Much tactful persuasion must be used with the brethren to persuade them to read and study these books. The great advantage of the personal ownership and use of reliable text-books must be made apparent to all.
Our Grand Lodge not only recognizes and adopts "The Charges of a Freemason" as containing the fundamental laws of Freemasonry, but also declares that they should be frequently read and perused by Masters and other Craftsmen, as well within the subordinate lodges as without, to the end that none may be ignorant of the excellent principles and precepts which they inculcate.
The provisions of our Masonic Code in Ohio prompts a rendition of the Masonic Ritual with all possible accuracy of head and all attainable warmth of heart, that the principles of our Institution may be deeply and indelibly impressed upon all who come within their legal scope.
Our state is conveniently divided into districts and each lodge is visited at least once a year and examined in no perfunctory way. Our District Lecturers also hold group meetings of several lodges at a time, particularly of the officers. Every practicable means that the progress of the Institution and the repute of our profession may require is employed that we may thereby sustain and promote the common welfare, prosperity, unity and happiness of the Craftsmen in all their undertakings.
It is unnecessary to dwell upon the splendid Masonic Home that is maintained or treat of any other past or present activity of ours for the Fraternity. Prompt has always been the response to any call for service in behalf of a brother either in or out of the state.
Any system of education should be conservatively directed at the individual. Singly we initiate and singly we propose, and our initiates should be competent to do their personal duties among their fellow men. An initiate shall be held to no allegiance for any particular creed of party or church, but we do seek to educationally impress our Masonic principles upon him, that no worthy work shall lack his earnest interest nor shall the distressed lose his loving care.
While parties are many and associations of men are increasingly manifold, and world perplexities are rapidly multiplying, there is the greater need of all practicable insistence on Masonic instruction that the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man may be our individually personal pursuits; that the symbolic reminders by simple tools and ages-old precepts be not forgotten by any one of us; and that there shall never be lacking among us the sage counsel of competent and faithful Masters — these are some of the legitimate educational labours of our Craft in Freemasonry and to these high and exalted ideals with great sincerity of prayer and purpose the Masons of Ohio pledge their untiring zeal and constant and utmost endeavors.
— Harry S. Johnson, Grand Master, Ohio.
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Freemasonry Is in Itself an Education
I believe Masonic membership too easily and cheaply acquired. In "cheaply" I do not allude to the amount of the fee charged, for aside from the necessity of having funds for our work, I regard Masonry as God-given, open for all qualified men even if they have not the price of the fee. I hold that no man should be advanced, even from an Entered Apprentice, until he has made suitable proficiency, and that proficiency should consist not wholly and solely in memorizing a formula, but that he should live and act as a good man and true, performing real service in his community, loved and respected by all. Rather than a quiz in open lodge on a formula, his quiz should be on his understanding of Masonry, its history, its symbolism, its philosophy.
His attendance at lodge, his ready response the call of duty, his interest in civic life, devoid of selfish gain, would be a more suitable evidence of his worthiness to receive and have the rights, lights and benefits of advancement, until when he was proclaimed a Master Mason, he would be truly such — a Master — one who knows, one who has attained.
Masonry is education, an education covering every phase of life's activity. The great professions in their higher aspect, are included in this understanding, philosophy, science and art, and yet how many Master Masons have studied the seven liberal arts and sciences?
I appreciate your question and I believe your publication can do an invaluable service to the Craft in an educational campaign with pointed suggestions for the brethren, as I am fully convinced that the great majority of Masons are really and truly praying for the Light.
I suggest that where possible, lecturers of the right kind should be in the field, not only preaching but teaching. These should be men who are not seeking to build a following or subtly playing polities for some crafty one who wears a Masonic pin; men who talk love and by example stimulate others to love; practical men, not dreamers. Men who would encourage the lodges visited, to devote half the time in study and discussion of the real teachings of Masonry and make it worth while for the brethren to attend lodge.
What a wonderful world this would be if the Masonic Fraternity were living and practising Masonry, "dwelling together in unity" — then would the Turk sheath his sword, for the light of the ages would have been placed on a hill, and Intolerance and Ignorance would slink back into the pit.
— G.G. Brown, Grand Master, Oregon.
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We Need Teachings That Are Strictly Masonic
Our brethren must be taught that Masonry can not drift from its clearly defined moorings. In these days when insidious propaganda is attempting to undermine the very foundations of our Government as laid by our Colonial forefathers, many of whom were Masons, every member of the Fraternity owes the duty to practice in his daily life those principles inculcated by Masonic precepts and instilled into each of us in our Masonic journey.
Too often, I fear, Masons lose sight of the beacons that clearly mark the Masonic highway and wander afield, only to find that a will-o'-the-wisp is leading them more and more into remote regions that are far removed from the Masonic highway to which there can be no return except in retracing the steps to the point where these first diverged.
No public glamour must make us forget our duties as Masons. Public opinion is of a changeable character. Masonic teachings, besides being wise, are centuries old, and are fundamental in their truths and texts. Masons who have permitted their visions to be obscured and have in their anxiety "to do things," followed prophets whose teachings are not strictly Masonic, must rend asunder the obscuring mist and renew their allegiance to Masonry in its purest and noblest conception.
In our Jurisdiction there is a Grand Lodge standing Committee on Masonic Education. This Committee is of recent origin and little opportunity has been had to disseminate such teaching as is implied by its name. It is fully expected that the Committee will function successfully without undue delay, and that this will result in the true principles of Masonry not only being better understood by the brethren, but that the example set by each Mason because of his clearer conception of his duty to God, his country, his neighbour, and himself, will be reflected in the entire Jurisdiction so that it will redound to the benefit of all of the people of our state, and thereby make our Institution, through the public activities of our brethren, as individuals, better understood and more highly honoured.
— Charles A. Bamberger, Grand Master, Delaware.
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We Must Teach All to Love and Practice Masonry
The education of Masons in Masonry is one of the greatest problems confronting the Craft today. There is no limit to education in any sphere, and Masonry embraces such a world wide field that we almost despair of trying to comprehend it.
Many Masons consider themselves educated if they can repeat the lectures, confer a degree or read the signs and symbols, and believe they graduated when they received the Master Mason's Degree, proudly pointing to their apron as their diploma and the square and compasses that they wear as their class pin.
But the real Mason, the man who was made a Mason in his heart, the intelligent man, the Masonic student, realizes that this is only the beginning of a course of study that will end only when the word Finis is written on the pages of his life. He realizes that it means research, study, work, an every day effort to make better men, better homes, better morals, better government and higher ideals. He realizes that it means educating himself and his associates to be not only better husbands, better neighbours and friends, not only to be hardworking, upright and God-fearing, but that they have a duty to perform to themselves, their neighbours, their families, their state and their nation.
As Masons we are in honour bound to strive earnestly to bring nearer the day when Truth, Justice and Honour shall prevail in both our private and public life.
We cannot hope to maintain our high standard of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, or command the respect and deference the world now gives us if we do not retain pride in our citizenship and strive day by day to improve ourselves. Today the world needs Masonry and its teachings more than ever.
The eyes of the profane are upon us, on those who are in authority, and those high in the councils of the nation — as well as those of us in the humbler walks of life, and it becomes us therefore "To walk worthily of the vocation wherein we are called," and realize that it is not all of Masonry to wear a Masonic pin, or know some letters, signs and symbols, better than we know the Ten Commandments.
The day has come when we must teach, not only our Craft, but the people, something. This intelligent age demands it. Take the thinking man of today and confer the degrees upon him as some lodges do, in the old time way and he is often not only disappointed but disgusted with Masonry. He expected something out of the ordinary; he paid his money and he is entitled to all that Masonry professes to teach.
We need Masters who can teach, Masters who read, who study, who dig, and delve in Masonic literature, and Masonic lore: Masters who know, understand, love, and practice Masonry,
"For heart to heart, can only teach That which unto them was taught."
That is my conception of educating Masons in Masonry; it is a stupendous task, a difficult problem, but it can be done and will be done. For as a pebble dropped in a pool of water causes the ripples to expand and expand until they reach the shore, go, will the teachings of Masonry continue to expand the souls of men until they touch the shores of Eternity.
We have divided our state into five districts and have a Board of Custodians, consisting of five members — one for each district. This Board has authority to appoint as many District Deputy Lecturers as may be necessary to supervise the work in the different lodges. These Deputies must pass an examination before the Board of Custodians and must be well versed not only in ritualistic work but in lodge procedure.
The Custodians from time to time arrange for district meetings or conventions, which are attended by all lodges 'nearby, at which time matters of civil, patriotic, and Masonic nature are discussed, as well as providing for a social hour.
This year has been devoted to a consideration of our Public School System and our public schools.
We find these conventions well attended and great interest taken and we feel that we are getting results.
We are also working in harmony with, and along the lines suggested by, the Masonic Service Association.
At our Grand Lodge meetings we have had speakers of note address the Grand Lodge and our last one was unusually interesting and instructive.
The coming year will see a still greater effort along these lines, as we find the brothers are waking up to the necessity of doing something more than conferring degrees, and having a social session.
— Theorus R. Stoner, Grand Master, South Dakota.
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Real Masons, Not Members, Are Required
If Masonry in the large centers of population had less diversified interests it would be easier to educate Masons in Masonry. Many never get into the real spirit of the institution so that their duties and obligations rest lightly upon them. Connecticut has undertaken this year to make use of two of the Masonic Service Association's lectures, namely, "The Fatherhood of God" and "The Brotherhood of Man" in connection with its educational work, and has tried to impress upon the membership that it is Masons, not members, that is required. The activity of Masons in all great crises of our country's history has also been featured.
— Frank L. Wilder, Grand Master Connecticut
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"THEN THEY TOOK HIM, AND SLEW HIM AT THE PASSAGES OF THE JORDAN!"
Bro. Walter Booth Adams, M.A., M.D., Syria
Brother Adams is Professor of Pharmacology and Dermatology in American University, Beirut, Syria, and a member of Amos Beecher Lodge No. 121, of Hartford, Conn. He wrote the article which follows at our express request, and its freshness and novelty was such that we have asked him for others like it, and are glad to announce his consent. Readers of THE BUILDER will be interested to know that it was through Dr. Adams that Brother Joseph Fort Newton's The Builders is now being translated into Arabic. It is doubtful if any book on Freemasonry has ever enjoyed that distinction. Does the reader chance to know of such a thing? Freemasonry is active in Syria. A Masonic periodical is published at Damascus.
WHO IS NOT familiar with the story in the twelfth chapter of Judges and the terrible punishment meted out on the unbrotherly Ephraimites by the men of Gilead at the fords of the Jordan? Having been myself at the very place perhaps adds interest to the story for me: but I wish to record a most interesting double repetition of history.
It will be recalled that Jephthah, the strong man in Israel in his day, was the leader, Sheikh, we would say in these days in Arabic. Jepthah won a notable victory over the people of Ammon, who lived to the south of his tribe. When he was threatened, the Ephraimites would not come to the help of their brother tribe, the Gileadites: but when the battle was won and there was spoil to be gathered in and divided, the Ephraimites were right there for the division and threatened Jephthah with burning his house over his head for not summoning them to share in it. This was a bit too strong, and Jephthah took up the challenge and a civil war or battle took place and the bullies and boasters "got their come-uppance," as the old New England phrase so graphically puts it.
Not only were the Ephraimites "scattered and peeled," but Jephthah stationed a force at the fords of the Jordan to intercept the Ephraimites fleeing west to their homes. "And the Gileadites took the passages of the Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said Nay; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth (which signifieth a stream): and he said Sibboleth: for, he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of the Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand." A truly terrible punishment for unfraternal acts and threats! This is reckoned by chronologists to have taken place about 1140 years before Christ. Three thousand years is a long stretch!
In the year 1840 Muhammad Ali, the Viceroy of Egypt and the founder of the royal house that now reigns in the Valley of the Nile — first as Khedive, then Sultan, and now as King — rebelled against the Turkish government and made his able son, Ibrahim Pasha, his commander-in-chief. He swept through Palestine and Syria, driving the Turkish forces before him, and impressing into his army, the Syrians. The Syrians greatly resented this forced drafting into the Egyptian army as much as they resented and did their best to evade the Turkish draft in the Great War, but the conscription was very thorough and the more hated on that account.
Ibrahim Pasha drove the Turks well into Asia Minor and was threatening Constantinople; and indeed, the Turks were unable to stop him. But it was contrary to the policy of the European powers to have the Turks conquered by the Egyptians, and the allied fleet, mostly British with some French and a few Russian ships, bombarded Beirut — we have some of the solid shot cannon balls in the museum of the American University of Beirut as a memento of it. They captured the city, drew their ships up on the sands of St. George's Bay, cut down some of the best remaining of the Cedars of Lebanon, but not all of them, to make tar, and then proceeded to calk the seams of their wooden ships. Holding Beirut, they threatened Ibrahim Pasha's line of communication with Egypt. He turned about and retreated, coming down through Aleppo and Damascus and crossing the Jordan at the same fords that the Ephraimites had crossed, and met with such disaster in mispronouncing a word. Now, in all retreating armies there are stragglers, and many of them. As I have intimated, the Syrians hated the Egyptians, and when the soldiers, the stragglers, came to the ford the Syrians would ask them: "Are you a Shami (Syrian)?" "Yes, indeed," the Egyptian would slay to gain favour and perhaps food. "Then say Jamel (camel)." "Gamel," the Egyptian would inadvertently say. Now there is no "J" sound in the Egyptian dialect of Arabic. The letter that is written the same is in the Syrian dialect sounded like a soft "J," really like the French "J," whereas the Egyptians always pronounce it like a hard "G," and accordingly said "Gamel." In fact, the English language got its name for, that ugly brute, the pet of the "Shriners," from the Egyptian dialect, but we have substituted a "C" and for the "G." So the Syrian soldiers said "Jamel," they said, "Pass on, my brother"; but when the Egyptians said "Gamel," they said, "Iktul 'ameru," (cut off his life!) and they killed them just as the Gileadites slew the Ephraimites, three thousand years before at the same place.
But that is not all. The Turks in the Great War drafted the Syrians into their army and most of them were very unwilling soldiers. They were not in sympathy with the Germano-Turkish aims and plans. When Allenby made that wonderfully complete crumpling up of the Ottoman army in Palestine and across the Jordan in September, 1918, many who did not get caught in the net at first tried to escape by crossing from the east of the Jordan to the west side by these same fords of the famous river. There they met many Syrians, some soldiers and some civilians, and each fleeing soldier was asked whether he were Syrian or a Turk. If he said he was a Syrian, they said to him: "Say Buzszle" (onion); and if he were a Turk he would say "bussel," for the Turkish language makes no difference in pronouncing the "Sod" and the "Seen," both varieties of the letter "S." The "Sod" is a heavy "S" sounded with the tip of the tongue down below the roots of the front teeth and the Turks pronounce it just like an ordinary "S." The Syrian ear is very discriminating to these sounds; and when they heard the word for onion come hissing out instead of lisping out like a tongue-tied child, they said "Iktul 'ameru" (cut off his life), and they slew many Turks at the fords of the Jordan.
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WAS DR. JOHNSON A FREEMASON?
SOME PHASES OF HIS LIFE
Bro. Arthur Heiron, England
With this instalment Brother Arthur Heiron concludes his examination of the famous Dr. Johnson's possible connections with Freemasonry, and brings to end as interesting an essay as one has read in many a day, especially in the sidelights it throws on the doings of Freemasons in eighteenth century England. The pages now following have a peculiar interest in that they set forth evidence to show that David Garrick, Edmund Burke, and Sir William Forbes were Masons. It is clearly proved that Boswell himself was made a member before 1770, which is a fact that excites our curiosity, see-thanks for his essay. May he find it possible to publish the lodges of those early days. Brother Heiron has our thinking that he was of a type which we seldomly associate with same in book form!
ENOUGH has certainly now been said (perhaps too much) to demonstrate that whatever other good qualities the learned doctor possessed, he was indeed a lover of fun and humour, at times a real "Bohemian," a frequenter of taverns, very partial to club life, and just the type of man who could appreciate the jovial good fellowship that was to be found in a leading and important Masonic lodge. The "Dundee Lodge" No. 9, undoubtedly was such a lodge, and met in its own freehold at Wapping from 1763 to 1820, a unique experience for a lodge in those days.
Even if the critical student does not accept the evidence as sufficient to make the identity clear, surely it is most reasonable to believe that Dr. Johnson did indeed join the Craft at some period or other, even if we may never know the actual name of his lodge; if he did do this, he would only be following the example of certain of his most intimate acquaintances. And now let us turn our thought for a few moments to his biographer and close personal friend "James Boswell."
BOSWELL'S MYSTERIOUS SILENCE
We arrive now at the strangest feature of this little story namely, that while Boswell's "Life of Johnson" contains about 1300 pages, yet the important and very interesting subject of Freemasonry is never even alluded to. Johnson and Boswell were both inveterate gossips and this book is full of discussions of nearly every subject under the sun, both grave and gay, including such items as "Religion"; "Life and Immortality"; "Marriage and Divorce"; "Politics"; "Ghosts"; "Various methods of shaving"; "Hours of sleep needed for health"; etc., etc., etc. Boswell once asked his hero; "If, Sir, you were shut up in a castle and a new-born child with you, what would you do?" "Why, Sir, I should not much like my company," was Dr. Johnson's sage reply.
At first one might believe that Boswell's strange silence on the subject of the Craft was because he was not himself a Freemason, but this proves erroneous, for "James Boswell" had been "Made a Mason" before 1770 in Edinburgh, in "Canongate Kilwinning" Lodge (No. 2), of which he became the Master; was elected Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1773, and was afterwards "Raised to the Dais as Depute Grand Master" (of Scotland) in 1776-77.
Several other of Johnson's most intimate friends were also Freemasons; viz., (1) Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, who was actually Grand Master of Scotland in 1776 and 1777. He was a well known and respected banker, often in London and at one time associated with "Coutts," also an author. (2) David Garrick, the famous actor, who had actually been a pupil at Dr. Johnson's school in 1737; and, (3) Edmund Burke, the renowned orator and statesman. There may be a slight doubt as to the last two names, but none as regards Boswell and Forbes.
Now all these friends of Johnson were also members of his famous "Literary Club" and they often met together for friendly discussion. Dr. Johnson was perhaps the greatest talker the world has ever known; Mrs. Thrale says "that conversation was all that Johnson required to make him happy"; even Burke, England's greatest orator, was content to say but little when Dr. Johnson was present, stating, "It is enough for me to have rung the bell to him." Surely Boswell, the "babbling and loquacious Boswell," vain and loving praise, would have informed Johnson of the great honour conferred upon him (Boswell) when the Grand Master of Scotland appointed him his Deputy in 1776, and it is almost certain that discussions would have taken place between these two on the merits or demerits of an Order that had existed certainly back to medieval times, when the Operative Craft Guilds were in full sway; and which in 1769 was described in a history by Wellins Calcott, a Past Master, as "the most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons," of which book Boswell himself was one of the original subscribers. Freemasons also in those days constantly made charitable gifts to deserving objects quite outside the Craft; as an instance, the "Dundee Lodge" No. 9, (not a wealthy lodge) in 1766 subscribed thirty pounds sterling for the "Unhappy Sufferers by the Great Fire at Barbadoes," which was far distant from our brethren at Wapping.
Could the reason possibly be that Dr. Johnson (not desiring any enquiry being made as to his wanderings and researches at Wapping in 1767), personally requested Boswell never to allude to the subject of the Craft when writing his Life? It will be remembered that Johnson never referred to "Wapping" till 1783, the year before his death, and how surprised Boswell was when his hero's acquaintance with this locality was for the first time thus revealed. The reader must however decide for himself the true motive for Boswell's strange silence on a subject that certainly merited discussion much more than many of the trifling themes he and Johnson used to argue about.
JOHNSON'S FRIENDS AS MASONS
- Bro. James Boswell (1740-1795)
- Bro. David Garrick (1716-1779)
- Bro. Sir William Forbes (1739-1806)
- Bro. Edmund (?) Burke (1730-1797)
The evidence as to these friends of Dr. Johnson being members of the Craft is as follows: As regards Boswell and Forbes, an extract taken from the History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No. 1, by David Murray Lyon, second edition, 1900, states on page 55:
"James Boswell of Auchinleck, son and heir of the Scottish Judge, Lord Auchinleck, and himself the well known author of 'Corsica,' and the biographer of Dr. Johnson, was made a member by honourary affiliation in February, 1777. Previous to this he had been elected Senior Grand Warden in the Grand Lodge of Scotland and was subsequently raised to the dais as Depute Grand Master, which post he held during the years 1776-77 and 1777-78. Canongate Kilwinning was his mother lodge, of which he became Master. His uncle, John Boswell, M. D., Censor of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, was Senior Grand Warden in 1753-54. James' son, Alexander (afterwards Sir Alexander) Boswell, was also a member of the Craft, and at the time of his death by the hand of a duellist, was Master of Lodge Kilwinning and an ex-officio Provincial Grand Master of Ayrshire."
A further extract on page 361 states: "1776, December 10: Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, Baronet. The Grand Master, who was accompanied by his Depute, James Boswell, the biographer of Johnson, was made 'an honourary brother of the Lodge, as a mark of the sense the Brethren had of his high and distinguished merit in every department of life.' Sir William Forbes was initiated in Canongate Kilwinning in 1759. He held the post of Junior Grand Warden from 1765 to 1769 and, as 31st Grand Master, presided in the Grand Orient during the two years ending November, 1778.... He was a member with Johnson, Burke, Garrick, Reynolds and other notables of the celebrated Literary Club of London." (Substantially the same accounts can be found on pages 53 and 328-330 of the original edition of Lyon's History, printed in 1873.)
[Note: Sir William Forbes, born in 1739, died in 1806; he was a friend of Sir Walter Scott, who dedicated to his memory the fourth canto of "Marmion."]
A further reference is to be found in Gould's "History of Freemasonry," Volume V, Chapter XXIII, p. 63: "Sir William Forbes ... the latter — whose Depute was James Boswell of Auchinleck — laid the foundation stone of the High School of Edinburgh, June 24th, 1777."
A further reference is to be found in A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, by Wellins Calcott, P.M., printed in London, 1769, where on page IV the list of subscribers to that Masonic history includes: "James Boswell Esq; Author of the History of Corsica"; Boswell having visited Corsica and in 1768 written a history of that country.
And a final reference appears in The History of Free Masonry and the Grand Lodge of Scotland, by W. A. Laurie, Secretary to the Grand Lodge of Scotland: printed in 1859. An extract from the Table of Grand Office-bearers in Grand Lodge of Scotland from 1736 to 1858, gives "Boswell, James, (the biographer of Johnson)" as S.G.W. in 1773, and D.G.M. in 1776-1777.
[Note: The writer is personally indebted to Bro. J. E. Shum Tuckett, M.A. (Cantab.), P.Pr.G.R., Wilts., P.M. "Quatuor Coronati Lodge" No. 2076, a well known, keen and ardent Masonic student, for this interesting information thus clearly proving James Boswell and Sir William Forbes to be Freemasons.]
BRO. DAVID GARRICK'S SNUFF-BOX
The evidence as to David Garrick (1716-79) being a Mason is not so strong but still fairly circumstantial, for one of the old lodges in London, known as "St. Paul's Lodge" No. 194, constituted in 1790, preserves as one of its cherished relies a silver snuff-box, and engraved on the inside of the lid is a statement that the box is a duplicate of one that originally belonged to "Bro. David Garrick"; this souvenir has been in the possession of this lodge for so many years that the oldest member can assign no date as to when it was first acquired.
BRO. BURKE (EDMUND?) (1730-1797)
This great writer and statesman was a member of "Jerusalem Lodge," No. 44, Clerkenwell, London.
1769, March 3. "Burke's Lodge"; when the members went to the King's Bench Prison and made John Wilkes a Mason. (see Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volume III, page 61.)
(Note: The writer is indebted for this item to Bro. W. Wonnacott, A.G. Supt. Wks., Assistant Librarian to the Grand Lodge of England.) Here seems reasonable evidence that Edmund Burke, England's greatest orator, was a Freemason; his impassioned speech of three days duration delivered on the "Impeachment of Warren Hastings" was perhaps his greatest effort.
In the "Old Charges" approved by Grand Lodge in 1722, the brethren are enjoined to "Cultivate Brotherly Love, the Foundation and Cape-stone, the Cement and Glory of this Ancient Fraternity"; surely such lofty and unselfish sentiments should have appealed to both Johnson and Boswell who were so constantly talking of their religious principles; yet it almost appears as if Boswell by his contemptuous silence (and certainly by his indifference) was willing to cast a kind of slur upon our noble Craft as though the subject was not even worthy of discussion by a man of his eminence; therefore acting in defense of our Order, the following observations were added:
Description and Character
Lord Macaulay evidently did not hold a very high opinion of the biographer of Dr. Johnson, for writing in September 1831, in the Edinburgh Review, he said: "Boswell was one of the smallest men that ever lived, and yet, he has beaten them all." He was "a man of the meanest and feeblest intellect," servile and impertinent, shallow and pedantic, a bigot and a sot, bloated with family pride, .... stooping to be a tale bearer, an eavesdropper." "That such a man should have written one of the best books in the world is strange enough." "If he had not been a great fool he would never have been a great writer." "He was a dunce, a parasite, and a coxcomb," "but his book has made him immortal." "His fame is great; and it will we have no doubt be lasting," and yet, "While edition after edition of his book (viz., Boswell's "Life of Johnson") was coming forth, his son (Sir Alexander Boswell), as Mr. Croker tells us was ashamed of it, and hated to hear it mentioned."
CARLYLE ON "BOSWELL"
Let us now read a few statements from an essay by Thomas Carlyle, the sage of Chelsea, who, writing in Fraser's Magazine of 1832, said: "Boswell was a person whose mean or bad qualities lay open to the general eye, visible, palpable to the dullest.... That he was a wine-bibber and good liver, .... is undeniable enough. That he was vain, heedless, a babbler, had much of the sycophant, alternating with the braggadocio, curiously spiced too with an all-pervading dash of the coxcomb, ... that he appeared at the Shakespeare Jubilee with a riband imprinted 'Corska Boswell' round his hat .... is evident as the sun at noon. The very look of Boswell seems to have signified so much. In that cocked nose, cocked partly in triumph over his weaker fellow-creatures, partly to snuff up the smell of coming pleasure and scent it from afar, in those big cheeks, hanging like half-filled wine-skins, still able to contain more, in the coarsely-protruded shelf mouth, that fat dew-lapped chin; in all this who sees not sensuality, pretension, boisterous imbecility enough? The underpart of Boswell's face is of a low almost brutish character." These are the comments made by one Scotsman on a brother Scot!
These criticisms thus made by Macaulay and Carlyle on Boswell seem to us in 1922 rather unduly severe, but as they wrote their remarks only about thirty-seven years after Bosell's death, they doubtless received some of their information from various people who knew him personally and were well able to judge. It will be noted also that Boswell in his own private letters, written by him to his intimate friend Rev. W. J. Temple (published for the first time in 1857), does not spare himself but practically confirms the rather severe verdict above recorded.
It may now we think fairly be said that the following points have been sufficiently demonstrated; viz.,
- Dr. Samuel Johnson's admitted acquaintance with Wapping.
- A "Samuel Johnson" "Made a Mason" at Wapping in 1767.
- Rarity and scarcity of this name.
- Dr. Johnson's great love of London, fondness for club life, a frequenter of taverns.
- His partiality for dancing: most probably he attended the "Wapping Assembly" (1763-1820).
- Masonic references. Dr. Johnson gives a Charge to Boswell.
- "James Boswell" and "David Garrick," both Freemasons. "James Boswell," Depute Grand Master of Scotland (1776-1777).
- His strange silence as to the Craft.
- Macaulay and Carlyle on Boswell.
- William Preston.
- Various "pros" and "Cons."
It may be remarked and truthfully that after all, the above statements seeking to prove that Dr. Johnson was a Freemason are merely based on "circumstantial evidence"; this is admitted, although the chain of evidence is fairly strong, but nearly all criminal trials of modern days depend on testimony.
The Hon. Mr. Justice Darling, a lawyer of repute and wide experience, in summing up the facts in a recent sensational trial for murder, (where the prisoner was convicted of poisoning his wife by arsenic) remarked, "It has been said that the evidence in this case is only circumstantial; well, in my opinion circumstantial evidence is the best evidence you can get provided there is plenty of it."
It is now humbly suggested that the "circumstantial evidence" concerning Dr. Johnson's alleged connection with the Craft (even if the name of his lodge be not a certainty) is sufficiently strong to deserve acceptance, but the responsibility for the final verdict is left to each individual reader, who by this time is fully qualified to decide for himself. And now having in a very halting and inefficient manner brought these few facts to the notice of the Craft, the writer wishes his brethren "Adieu," and retires into, his former obscurity.
- Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1791.
- Hawkin's Life of Johnson, 1787.
- Dr. Johnson's Prayers and Meditations, 1785.
- Macaulay's Essay in the Edinburgh Review, 1831.
- Carlyle's Essay in Fraser's Magazine, 1832.
- Diary of Madame D'Arblade (Fanny Burney), 142.
- Heiron's Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge No. 18, 1722-1920.
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MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
ROBERT E. PEARY
ROBERT E. PEARY, arctic explorer and discoverer of the North Pole, was a member of Kane Lodge of New York City. Shortly after his birth in Pennsylvania in 1854 his parents moved to Maine, and there it was that Robert spent his boyhood. He was graduated from the Van Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York, with the degree of Civil Engineer. In 1881 he entered the United States Naval Service as a civil engineer with the rank of lieutenant, and served his corps with faithfulness and zeal. In much of the work under his charge, as in the docking improvements at Key West, he almost always managed to keep his work at a cost underneath the estimates and appropriations, a thing that is somewhat rare. He was always exacting and particular in his work and usually managed to have his own way, which was always very much to the interest of the Service.
My first acquaintance with Peary was about 1885, at which time he was constructing a patent sled for the purpose of using it on the ice-cap of Greenland, which is the farthest north of any land. He believed that Greenland might extend to the Pole and that by going across its ice-cap he would be enabled to make that much coveted discovery. His purpose was to use a sail to help the dogs pull the load. This was the first time that an explorer had planned to use Greenland as a highway to the Pole.
It required no argument to enable me to see and appreciate his methods. Snow falls on high places in the arctic regions as it does in the tropics, but the winds pile it up on the lower levels so that after the lapse of thousands of centuries this vast deposit of unthawed snow approaches a general level. The weight of the snow (snow is really a very heavy material when packed) at last transforms it into solid ice, which at the edge of the land falls over into the sea as icebergs. The depth of these icebergs, as they lie in the cold water, is an indication of the depth of the snow and ice in Greenland, and its bulk is sometimes mountainous.
I doubted Peary's ability to reach the top of the Greenland ice-cap, but he said he would find a way or make it, an expression that he frequently used. I doubted still more his ability to get from the Navy Department a leave of absence to make his experiment, and I was even more skeptical of his ability to secure an outfit or an appropriation for the same, because neither Congress nor the Navy Department had shown much liberality in such matters for several years. Dr. Kane's expedition to the arctic, as I have already explained in these pages, was financed by Mr. Grinnell.
But Peary was confident and he at last succeeded. His excursion over the ice-cap of Greenland was much as he expected and he made wonderful speed over that rolling surface. But alas!
"The best laid plans of mice and men
Gang aft agley."
Peary at last came to a ravine as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, but more jagged and frozen, in the bottom of which moved a great mass of sluggish water and ice. It was impossible to cross this but it proved that Greenland was an island, which was a great discovery in geography and alone entitles Peary to an ever enduring crown of fame.
His next plan — like a good engineer he learned from experience and did not repeat mistakes — was entirely different. He conceived the idea of establishing food depots along the trail, a day's travel apart, in order that the party making the final dash might travel with lighter load and thus stand a better chance. It was by this means that he succeeded in realizing what had been the fond dream of arctic explorers for a hundred years. Peary's method of establishing food depots at intervals was adopted by Captain Roald Amundsen, the famous Norwegian who discovered the South Pole. Captain Scott of the Royal Navy, who died during his attempt to reach the South Pole, also used the same method.
Peary had grit, daring and endless perseverance. On one voyage he broke his leg, but refused to turn back. He had his leg put in splints and he recovered. Neither did he falter when three of his toes were so badly frozen that they had to be amputated. It was while he had to lie by with his broken leg in winter quarters that his wife joined him, and their daughter, famous as the "snow baby," was born at that time.
It happened that Peary, the discoverer of the North Pole, and Amundsen, the discoverer of the South Pole, were entertained together at a dinner given in Washington, D. C., by the National Geographic Society. A gold medal was given to each of these great men by the President of the United States. One of the speakers of the occasion was Sir James Bryce, the then Ambassador from Great Britain, who, in a very happy speech said: "Something has happened here tonight which never happened before and which can never happen again. There meet with us the discoverer of the North Pole and the discoverer of the South Pole."
The beautiful memorial shown in the illustration is a granite sphere resting on four bronze feet, upon a rectangular base, also of granite. The outline of the continent is sculptured on the sphere and at the extreme north of it is a five pointed star. Few observers know that this star is a Masonic emblem, the pentalpha, which is emblematic of the five points of fellowship, as beautifully explained in the lecture of the second section of the Third Degree.
This memorial was planned by the widow of Peary, but the National Geographic Society secured not only the privilege of assuming the cost, but also of having charge of the dedication. The dedication took place on the sixth day of April, 1922, at the National Cemetery of Arlington, Virginia, near the capital of the nation. It was originally planned that the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia should perform the ceremony, and a large deputation from Kane Lodge came from New York to assist, but for some reason unknown to me the Masonic service was omitted. The famous Marine Band furnished the music. The Secretary of the Navy, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and the President of the National Geographic Society made eloquent addresses. The stoppers which held the Union Jack over the memorial were broken by Peary's daughter, Mrs. Stafford. As the flag slid down from the sides of the memorial, the Marine Band rendered the national air. President and Mrs. Harding, the Chief Justice of the United States, the Secretary of State, and many senators and members of the Diplomatic Corps and officers of the Army and Navy were among the guests. Congress enacted that Peary should be promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in recognition of his services and he was retired with that rank in 1909. He was much broken in health, but he never referred to that and concealed his misfortunes, and gamely assumed a happy air. We have always thought that it was the devoted attention that he received from his brave little wife that kept him alive so long. He died in Washington in 1920.
* * *
THE STUDY CLUB
FREEMASONRY AND THE MEN'S HOUSE
Bro. H. L. Haywood
Editor, The Builder
I — ANTHROPOLOGISTS DISCOVER THE MEN'S HOUSE
EVER SINCE Heinrich Schurtz published his Altersklassen und Maennerbunde in 1902, anthropologists have become more and more interested in the part played by secret societies among primitive peoples. Herr Schurtz discovered that secret societies were not by any means a private thing, of little interest and less consequence, as former anthropologists had believed them to be, but that they were of equal importance in primitive life with other social institutions. He found that "in intimate connection with the age-classes, and more particularly with the dominant role played by the organized bachelors, there develops the men's house. It is characteristic as a structure in which the adult but single men cook their meals, work, play and sleep, while the married men dwell apart with their families. Women and children are usually barred from the premises, while the mature young girls may freely consort with the inmates."
Prof. Hutton Webster, of the University of Nebraska, working independently and without knowledge of the findings of Schurtz, arrived at the same conclusion, and wrote a treatise on the subject that has proved of the utmost importance to students of secret societies. This was published in 1908 under the title of Primitive Secret Societies: A Study in Early Politics and Religion. The central conception of this book is that of the men's house. Prof. Webster describes this at some length on the first page of this book as follows:
"The separation of the sexes which exists in civilized societies is the outcome, in part, of natural distinctions of sex and economic function; in part it finds an explanation in those feelings of sexual solidarity to which we owe the existence of our clubs and unions. Sexual solidarity itself is only another expression for the working of that universal law of human sympathy, or in more modern phrase, of consciousness of kind, which lies at the foundation of all social relations. But in primitive societies, to these forces bringing about sexual separation, there is added a force even more potent, which originates in widespread beliefs as to the transmissibility of sexual characteristics from one individual to another. Out of these beliefs have arisen many curious and interesting taboos designed to prevent the real or imagined dangers incident to the contact of the sexes. Sexual separation is further secured and perpetuated by the institution known as the men's house, of which examples are to be found among primitive peoples throughout the world.
"The men's house is usually the largest building in a tribal settlement. It belongs in common to the villagers; it serves as council-chamber and town hall, as a guest-house for strangers, and as the sleeping resort of the men. Frequently, seats in the house are assigned to elders and other leading individuals according to their dignity and importance. Here the precious belongings of the community, such as trophies taken in war or in the chase, and religious emblems of various sorts are preserved. Within its precincts, women and children, and men not fully initiated members of the tribe, seldom or never enter. When marriage and the exclusive possession of a woman do not follow immediately upon initiation into the tribe, the institution of the men's house becomes an effective restraint upon the sexual proclivities of the unmarried youth. It then serves as a clubhouse for the bachelors whose residence within it may be regarded as a perpetuation of that formal seclusion of the lads from the women, which it is the purpose of the initiation ceremonies in the first place to accomplish. Such communal living on the part of the young men is a visible token of their separation from the narrow circle of the family, and of their introduction to the duties and responsibilities of tribal life. The existence of such an institution emphasizes the fact that a settled family life with a private abode is the privilege of the older men, who alone have marital rights over the women of the tribe. For promiscuity, either before or after marriage, is the exception among primitive peoples, who attempt not only to regulate by complicated and rigorous marriage systems the sexual desires of those who are competent to marry, but actually to prevent any intercourse at all of those who are not fully initiated members of the community.
"An institution so firmly established and so widely spread may be expected to survive by devotion to other uses, as the earlier ideas which led to its foundation fade away. As guard posts where the young men are confined on military duty and are exercised in the arts of war, these houses often become a serviceable means of defence. The religious worship of the community frequently centers in them. Often they form the theatre of dramatic representations. In rare instances these institutions seem to have lost their original purpose and to have facilitated sexual communism rather than sexual separation. Among some tribes men's house is used as the centre of the puberty initiation ceremonies. With the development of secret societies, replacing the earlier tribal puberty institutions, the mens house frequently becomes the seat of these organizations and forms the secret 'lodge.' The presence then in a primitive community of the men's house in any form of its numerous forms points strongly to the existence, now, or in the past, of secret initiation ceremonies." (Primitive Secret Societies, pages 1, 2, 3)
One may doubt the accuracy of Prof. Webster when he says that "examples are to be found among primitive people throughout the world." There are not many examples to be found in Asia and it may very well be that in certain parts of that continent the primitive secret society has never been known: some authorities are of that opinion, Schurtz for example, who was not able to discover traces of men's secret societies over large portions of the continent. In his chapter on "Diffusion of Ancient Ceremonies," Webster has himself furnished no Asiatic examples but has confined himself to Australia, Tasmania, Melanesia, Polynesia, South America, Central America and North America.
It is impossible in the present limitations of space to set down very many examples of the primitive secret cult: a few specimens will suffice. Among the Andaman Islanders there are three kinds of huts, for bachelors, spinsters and married couples, respectively. In their eleventh year boys and girts are subjected to various ordeals and in every case must participate in elaborate ceremonies upon passing from one age grade to another. Women participate in these mysteries as well as men. Most Australian tribes have initiation ceremonies at or near the time of puberty. In most cases these ceremonies are very severe; men only are admitted; and the rite appears usually to be a form of preparation for matrimony. The Masai divide their male members into three grades of boys, warriors, and elders; their ceremony is accompanied by circumcision. Among the Banks Islanders the males constitute a kind of triple secret society but this group is entered not by initiation but by paying a fee. Men live in the village club house, which is a lounging place and eating place by day and dormitory by night: they are divided into grades with power and prestige accordingly, and only men of wealth can reach the higher positions. This same people have "Ghost Societies" which are very secret in their nature and have headquarters in the most secluded places. Among the Pueblo Indians the Zunis had a "Mask Dancer" society, in which there were degrees, initiations, and much primitive mummery: each society had its own lodge building in which were apartments representing the four quarters of the compass, the zenith, and the nadir. The Hopi Indians had similar secret fraternities and so also the Crows, who had a "Tobacco Society" with initiation ceremonies, degrees, etc. The Hidatsas had many social clubs, entrance to which was gained through purchase: their women had similar organizations. On the other hand the Shoshoneans of the Great Basin have apparently never had anything that may be properly classed as a secret society. These cases are but typical of the countless instances in which primitive people — or savages as we call them — have made use of secret organizations.
II — TRIBAL INITIATION IS A SEVERE ORDEAL
In most cases the initiation ceremonies are in the nature of ordeals and many times are so severe that death or permanent crippling is not unknown.
"The diversity of the ordeals is most interesting. Thus, depilation, head biting, evulsion of teeth, sprinkling with human blood, emersion in dust or filth, heavy flogging, scarification, smoking and burning, circumcision and subincision, are some of the forms in which the ordeals appear, among the Australians alone.... Of all these ordeals circumcision has the greatest prominence.... Almost universally initiation rites include a mimic representation of the death and resurrection of the novice. The new life to which he awakes from initiation is one utterly forgetful of the old; a new name, a new language, and new principles are its natural accompaniment.... A new language is closely associated with the new name. The possession of an esoteric speech known only to initiated members is highly useful as lending an additional mystery to the proceedings.... The various ceremonies which take place on the arrival of girls at puberty are distinctly less impressive than those of the boys. As a rule there is no admittance at a formal initiation possessing tribal aspects and secret rites.... No doubt various beliefs arising from many different sources have united to establish the necessity of secluding boys and girls at puberty.
"Isolation from the things of flesh and sense has been a device not infrequently employed by people of advanced culture for the furtherance of spiritual life, and we need not be surprised to find uncivilized man resorting to similar devices for more practical purposes. The long fasts, the deprivation of sleep, the constant excitement of the new and unexpected, the nervous reaction under long-continued torments, result in a condition of extreme sensitiveness — hyper-aesthesia — which is certainly favourable to the reception of impressions that will be indelible. The lessons learned in such a tribal school as the puberty institution constitutes, abide through life.
"Another obvious motive dictating a period of seclusion is found in the wisdom of entirely separating the youth at puberty from the women until lessons of sexual restraint have been learned. New Guinea natives, for instance, say that 'when boys reach the age of puberty, they ought not to be exposed to the rays of the sun, lest they suffer thereby; they must not do heavy manual work, or their physical development will be stopped, all possibility of mixing with females must be avoided, lest they become immoral, or illegitimacy become common in the tribe.' Where the men's house is found in a tribal community, this institution frequently serves to prolong the seclusion of the younger initiated men for many years after puberty is reached." (Primitive Secret Societies, pages 36, 37, 38, 41, 45, 47.)
"Puberty institutions for the initiation of young men into manhood are among the most widespread and characteristic features of primitive life. They are found among peoples considered the lowest of mankind: among Andamanese, Hottentots, Fuegians, and Australians; and they exist in various stages of development among peoples emerging from savagery to barbarism. Their foundation goes back to an unknown antiquity; their mysteries, jealously guarded from the eye of all save the initiated, preserve the religion and morality of the tribe. Though varying endlessly in detail, their leading characteristics reproduce themselves with substantial uniformity among many different peoples and in widely separated areas of the world. The initiation by the tribal elders of the young men of the tribe, their rigid seclusion, sometimes for a lengthy period, from the women and children; their subjection to certain ordeals and to rites designed to change their entire natures; the utilization of this period of confinement to convey to the novices a knowledge of the tribal traditions and customs, and finally, the inculcation by most practical methods of habits of respect and obedience to the older men — all these features are well described in the quaint and vigorous account by an old writer of the ceremonies once practised by the Tuscarora Indians of North Carolina." (Ibid, page 32.)
These initiations differ strikingly among themselves, nevertheless they one and all have certain fundamental features in common. In one paragraph of a brilliant treatise on Initiation, in Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (Vol. VII, p. 317), Count Goblet d'Alvielia, who stands so high among European Masonic scholars, furnishes a list of these features:
"The formalities of initiation, whether its dominant function is magical or religious, present striking resemblances. Andrew Lang notes the following general characteristics: (a) mystic dances; (b) the use of the turndun, or bull-roarer; (c) daubing with clay and washing this off; (d) performance with serpents and other 'mad doings.' To these we might add: (e) a simulation of death and resurrection; (f) the granting of a new name to the initiated; (g) the use of masks or other disguises. In any case, we may say that initiation ceremonies include: (1) a series of formalities which loosen the ties binding the neophyte to his former environment; (2) another series of formalities admitting him to the superhuman world; (3) an exhibition of sacred objects and instruction on subjects relating to them; (4) re-entry or reintegration rites, facilitating the return of the neophyte into the ordinary world. These rites, especially those of the first three divisions, are found fulfilling a more or less important function in all initiation ceremonies, both savages and among the civilized."
Whence came these secret clubs? Did they all originate from one center? N.W. Thomas, writing in Volume XI of Hasting's Encyclopedia, page 297, offers a reply with which most authorities would agree:
"We may perhaps sum up the position by saying that to trace all secret societies to a single origin, is probably as mistaken as to trace all forms of religion to a single source or to seek to unlock all the mythologies by a single key. It seems clear that age grades, burial clubs, initiation schools, religious confraternities, occupation groups, and magical societies have all contributed to the mass of diverse elements grouped under secret societies; it cannot be definitely laid down that any one of these took an earlier type as a model; as we find all in their rudimentary stages in various parts of Africa, we must, unless we suppose that these rudiments are derived from the fully developed societies of other tribes, suppose that they are the seed from which, in other areas, secret societies have been evolved and that all are equally primitive, though not necessarily equally old."
III — DID FREEMASONRY EVOLVE FROM THE MEN'S HOUSE?
When secret societies appear among barbarian and half civilized peoples they retain many of the fundamental features described in the above pages, but at the same time become strikingly different and often are used for entirely different purposes. All readers of Masonic literature are familiar with the story of the Druids, the Druses, the Culdees, the Assassins, etc. etc.: also the numberless secret societies of China, which, it appears in the majority of cases, are political in character rather than moral or religious. These barbarian, or semi-civilized organizations, have their grades, signs, secrets, pass-words and initiation ceremonies, as have all the others, and there is no need in this connection that we particularize among them or pay them any further attention.
The reader will already have noted a certain similarity between some of these associations and our own. In some cases these similarities are so striking that they almost amount to identity, as when one of our Masonic signs is found in the possession of some savage cult. Tales of how Masons have saved their lives or gained other advantages among savage peoples through use of one of the Masonic signs, have been among the stock stories of our literature for many years.
A sensational use of these facts has been recently made by Brother J. S. M. Ward in his Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, published in 1921. Brother Ward boldly takes the position that the primitive secret societies such as those described above are to be considered an integral part of Freemasonry, or vice versa. He makes this position plain in the following words: "Boldly this is my contention, that our present system is derived originally from the primitive initiatory rites of our prehistoric ancestors. I base this contention on the fact that many of our most venerated signs and symbols, grips and tokens, are used today by savage races with precisely the same meaning as with us. I cannot agree with those who would contend that it is either a matter of coincidence or else that they are purely natural signs which express simple elementary sentiments." This statement appears on page 119 of his book. On 123 he repeats it in other words: "My contention, then, is that Freemasonry derives originally from those primitive rites which first taught a boy whence he came, then prepared him to be a useful member of society, and finally taught him how to die and that death did not end all. On these primitive rites, I consider, man built up the mysteries and the various religious faiths of the ancient world some of which have survived to the present day, while others have developed into other religions, Christianity included." The thesis is developed in still other words on page viii of his Preface where he says: "Briefly, the theory I venture to propound is that Freemasonry originated in the primitive initiatory rites of prehistoric man, and from those rites have been built up all the ancient mysteries, and thence all the modern religious systems. It is for this reason that men of all religious beliefs can enter Freemasonry; and, further, the reason we admit no women is that these rites were originally initiatory rites of men; the women had their own. These, for sociological reasons perished, while those of the men survived, and developed into the mysteries."
If Brother Ward could make good his thesis, he would bring about a complete revolution in anthropology. A secret society that has existed in all parts of the world through all the many centuries of history, would be the most stupendous facts known to sociology and would necessitate a complete revision of our social theories. The thing is too stupendous to have happened. In order to make out that Freemasonry as we now know it is in solidarity with all these other secret fraternities, it is necessary to stretch the facts at almost every point; to fill in the gaps with guesses and hypotheses; and to read into the ceremonies of the primitive tribes many meanings and purposes that they have never been capable of entertaining.
It was made abundantly plain in the quotations given above from various authorities that all secret societies have a culture in common and in the nature of the case inevitably make use of signs, symbols, ceremonies, degrees, lodges, initiations, etc., so that if a new secret society comes into existence, created ab initio by its own members, it will necessarily have many features in common with other similar organizations, so that always a little imagination will make it easy for men to believe that what has been recently created has existed elsewhere for many centuries. Nothing is easier than to create traditions and ancient history for a secret cult; and that because it is furnished with the many usages that other secret cults have employed in past times. Freemasonry is no exception to this rule. Almost everything in it can be paralleled in the possessions of similar societies that existed hundreds of years ago and always there is the temptation to borrow the authority and prestige of antiquity. Oftentimes one finds attributed to a very ancient day symbols that were created, according to our positive knowledge in recent times. "The Virgin Weeping Over A Broken Column is a case in point here. It was devised by American Mason about one hundred years ago, but only recently I read a learned article which sought to show that this symbol had been borrowed by Freemasonry from the Ancient Mysteries.
Brother Ward tries to prove that the Higher Grades are as ancient as the Craft Degrees. To an American reader, familiar with the history of the Scottish Rite, his case is not fortunate. We know that Albert Pike himself, alone and unaided created a great deal of the lofty and beautiful structure of the Scottish Rite ritual, so that it has been said of him that he found the Scottish Rite a log cabin and left it a marble palace. But there are many things in the Scottish Rite ceremonies older than history, someone may argue. Truly enough, but we know how they came there: Albert Pike took them from his own great learning of the ancient books. Much of the material is very old but the structure into which it is built and the use to which it is put, date from the labours of Albert Pike, or else from his immediate predecessors.
The real crux in all this discussion may be thrown into the form of the question, How old is Masonry? This question never loses its vitality and seems to hold an inexhaustible fascination for Masons. The answer depends upon the meaning we attribute to the word Masonry. If by Masonry we mean any kind of secret organization, then it is as old as the world. If it is used of any secret society that employs some of our signs or symbols, then it may be traced here and there into many lands and through many centuries. If it is used in the strictest sense to indicate a man that has been initiated into a regular lodge of symbolical Freemasonry working under the authority of a regular Grand Lodge, then Freemasonry is only two hundred years old. If it is to be used of organizations with which this modern speculative Freemasonry can trace an undeniable historical continuity, then it may be dated from the twelfth or thirteenth centuries. Of one thing we can be sure, the men's house, a lodge in which brethren meet behind tiled doors, is not a modern, artificial thing but springs out of human nature itself, to satisfy the needs that have been felt ever since man began to be
Vol. I (1915) — Ancient Evidences, p. 18; The Golden Bough, p.22; The Men's House, p. 308.
Vol. 11 (1916) — Masonic Tradition, p. 189; Indian Masonry, p. 190; The Meaning of Initiation, p. 205; Masonic Signs, p. 253; Indian Freemasonry, p. 371.
Vol. III (1917) — A Central African Mystery, p. 15; The Origin of Druidism, p. 22; The Initiatory Rites of Druidism, p. 35; Masonry Among Primitive Peoples, p. 38; Secret Societies of Islam, p. 84; Aboriginal Races and Freemasonry, p. 96; Chinese Signs, p. 156; The Men's House, p. 209.
Vol. IV (1918) — Definitions of Masonry, p. 125; The Voice of the Sign, October, C.C.B., p. 4; The Divine Mystery, p. 334; The Mysteries of the Art of the Caverns and Early Builders, p. 366.
Vol. V (1919) — Legendary Origin of Freemasonry, p. 297.
Vol. VI (1920) — A Bird's-Eye View of Masonic History, p. 236; The Purposes of Legends and Myths, p. 258; Freemasonry Among the American Indians, p. 295.
Vol. VII (1921) — Whence Came Freemasonry, p. 90; Little Wolf Joins the Metawin, p. 281.
Vol. VIII (1922) — American Indians and Freemasonry, P. 71; Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, pp. 88, 151, 152, 153; Masonry Among the Chippewa Indians, p. 126; A Mediating Theory, p. 318; Traces of Masonry Among Indians and Worth Americans, p. 354.
Mackey's Encyclopedia — (Revised Edition):
Albert Pike, p. 563; Assassins, p. 82; China, p. 147; Chinese Secret Societies, p. 148; Civilization and Freemasonry, p.153; Culdees, p. 191; Degrees, p. 203; Druidical Mysteries, p. 220; Druses, p. 221; Initiation, p. 353; Man, p. 461; Primitive Freemasonry, p. 584; Scottish Rite, p. 671; Secret Societies, p. 677; Woman, p. 855.
Books Consulted In Preparing This Article:
Lowie, Primitive Society. J.S.M. Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods. Webster, Primitive Secret Societies. Frazer, Golden Bough. Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VII, p. 314; XI, p. 287. Smith, Religion of the Semites. Heckethorn, Secret Societies. Lang, Myth, Ritual, and Religion. Thomas, Source Book For Social Origins. Rivers, The Todas. Tyler, Primitive Culture. Wallace, The Malay Archipelago. Coote, The Western Pacific. Upward, The Divine Mystery. Capart, Primitive Art. Evans, Tree and Pillar Cult. Harrison, Ancient Art and Ritual. Maspero, Dawn of Civilization. Wright, Indian Masonry. Giles, Freemasonry in China.
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THE BUILDER IS ONE HUNDRED MONTHS OLD
When this Society was organized some nine years ago in order to serve in behalf of Masonic education and kindred interests, a few brethren — influential in the Craft and themselves very much in favor of the project — expressed fears lest the undertaking fail for lack of support. The Fraternity, so they thought, was not sufficiently interested in such matters, which was only another way of saying that it was not interested in itself, for Masonic education is nothing other than an attempt to put Masons into more complete possession of their Masonry. Time has happily proved these men unduly pessimistic. This Society has never been so flourishing as now, and as for Masonic education, it is everywhere and without exception completely in the ascendant.
With this issue THE BUILDER has come to its one hundredth month. It is an event worth signalizing by a new dedication to the old cause, by a larger determination to accomplish more in the future, and by a sincere prayer that T.S.G.A.O.T.U. may continue richly to bless our beloved Craft in all its undertakings. This CENTURY NUMBER is dedicated to that end, and as an earnest of still better things to come.
LACK OF TRAINED LEADERS IS A DANGER TO MASONRY
THOSE WHO ARE familiar with the pages of the V. S. L. will recall how difficult a thing it was for the old Jewish tribes to lay aside their differences, their jealousies, and their deeply rooted feuds in order to unite under one leader. But the thing became necessary and it was accordingly done. The Canaanites who continued powerful in the great central valleys and who — with justice, as we would now think — believed themselves the rightful owners of the land, determined to gather all their power together in order to deal one last and fatal blow against the loosely knit tribes of the immigrant invaders. It was then that the Jewish tribesmen discovered how helpless they would be against such a foe as Sisera and his well drilled regiments and how necessary it would be for them to choose leaders and to learn to obey. Deborah saw all this very clearly, and she brought Barak to see it also, along with many other less popular and less powerful chiefs. Had the Jews not thus discovered the function and necessity of leadership, and had they not learned the wisdom to follow their leaders, they would have been swept out of existence by Sisera, and the subsequent history of the world would have been a very different tale.
So much for the episode, which is here offered as a parable wherefrom to draw a lesson that evermore needs to be learned anew. Our own nation is supposed to be a democracy; and we are supposed to be democrats — the reader is requested to dissociate the word from its partisan connections — but our democracy appears to be in danger, and we democrats are becoming perturbed lest it be not able to surmount that danger. The thought I wish to apply to the problem is that we must learn anew the lesson Deborah learned long ago; we must rediscover the lost philosophy of leadership, and learn how to select, to develop, and to follow leaders.
More and more it has become the custom among; speakers and publicists to describe democracy in such a wise as to ignore altogether the whole principle of leadership as though it were something entirely foreign to, or even antagonistic to, democracy.
The fallacy is an easy one to fall into. The word "democracy" means, so it may be asserted, that The masses of the people rule themselves: if they must rule themselves then they need no rulers; if they need no rulers in government then they need none, in business, or in industry, or anywhere else. Therefore — thus runs this species of reasoning — we should have "direct democracy"; which is only another way of saying that the people as a whole should decide on all large questions concerning everything of a public character; the people should not have representatives or leaders; they should be left "free" to run themselves — and to manage their own affairs.
This kind of logic, which should be easily riddled by every high school sophomore if high school sophomores were taught to think at all, is: being used with much success by demagogues the country over. Those who do not wish entirely to overthrow everything in the present system, but who desire to see the people own and manage all their own public utilities, and direct and control by their own mass action all public affairs, such as the declaration of war, the making of treaties and all that, describe all this as "direct democracy," which may be defined as mass action by the people without the intermediary action of representatives. Those who do not care a straw about our present system of civilization, and who would rejoice to see it utterly demolished, with the Constitution abandoned and Congress destroyed, would have every detail of public affairs immediately managed by the mass action of the whole population. They are the Communists strictly so-called and, like their fellow theorists in Russia, would, if they were to be consistent, cast aside not only all leaders but even those classes who supply most of our leaders, the professional groups who have what is called a higher education.
I think the reply to these theorists should be that democracy in itself is a thoroughly conservative form of civilization, and that by its very nature it implies leadership as one of its necessary and most important functionings. It is wrong to suppose that a democracy can function without leaders. It is equally wrong to suppose that leaders are in any wise a contradiction of democracy. Democracy implies leaders and the following of leaders; so is it now, and so will it ever be, for that is the way things are made.
TO FOLLOW A LEADER IS NOT A DISGRACE
At the back of all this anti-leadership reasoning is the half formulated feeling that somehow or other it is a kind of disgrace to fall in behind a leader. It appears to betoken inferiority on the part of those who suffer themselves to be led. Those who, wittingly or unwittingly, harbor this feeling should look more carefully into the matter; if they do, they will discover how groundless is their objection. To follow the rightful leader is an act of intelligence and usually reveals good sense and superiority, rather than the opposite.
For consider: When the brainiest men in the world get together in order to perfect a plan of mass action what do they do? They organize themselves, they elect officers, they formulate constitutions and regulations, and then the rank and file of them fall into line and keep step with the procession. The scientists who make up the Royal Society or the literati who comprise the membership of the French Academy do not reveal any mental inferiority merely because they all have leaders, and frankly recognize those leaders as such. When the biggest business men of the nation set out to accomplish a thing, they choose their guides and their organizers and the mass of them suffer themselves to be led. Leadership is a fact as well as a factor in every concerted movement ever undertaken even though that movement be communism itself, for it should be recalled (as seldomly it is) that Lenin and Trotsky are leaders of Communism in exactly the same sense that Harding and Coolidge are political leaders with us.
Democracy does not imply leaderlessness; it implies leadership. It should be remembered that the forefathers who laid so wisely the foundations of this United States understood full well that there can be no such thing as an automatic action of the human mass. No, and per contra! for they revealed their very genius in the plan they devised whereby the masses of us can select and control our leaders. It was in THAT, rather than in what Brooks Adams miscalls "the democratic dogma" of direct action, that these forefathers showed their sagacity as politicians and their greatness as statesmen.
When we come to decide questions of national policy, what other course can be followed save that of selecting representatives or delegates and empowering them with the prerogatives of action? Consider the posture of affairs at this present moment. This nation is trying to decide as a matter of policy what course to follow on the proposed cancellation of war debts; it is trying to decide what policy to pursue with regard to the reorganization of agriculture; it is undertaking to deal with a dozen major problems that have arisen as aftermath of the Great War; it must somehow learn anew how to regulate railways so as not to destroy their efficiency and prosperity; these and many other questions of policy are before this nation, and these questions must somehow be settled. But who is there among the rank and file of us that is capable of understanding all these matters? Would we not as a people bungle these matters up beyond untangling were we to decide them all by direct vote? Under such circumstances but one course is possible: we must select representative men of good character and high ability and set them to solving these problems for us.
But the deciding of matters of policy is less than half the battle. After the policy has been agreed upon it becomes necessary to set up the machinery of administration whereby the policy is to be made effective. If, for example, Congress should decide upon an entirely new policy regarding immigration we could not all, as a mass of people, take our stations at Ellis Island in order to see that the machinery of control is operative; the mere thought is ridiculous. But the same thing is true of every other matter of similar import. We must have leaders capable of threshing out pubic problems; able to decide them wisely; and we must also have leaders, and by an equal necessity, capable of putting policies into effective operation.
Other examples of other ways in which leadership is necessary could easily be given were there need, which there is not, because the subject needs but to be faced in order to be understood.
FREEMASONRY MUST HAVE TRAINED LEADERS
I think it would be well to apply all this to our Fraternity which is organized on the same ground plan as our government. It is a democracy that exists in a republican form, which carries on its activities by means of leaders constitutionally chosen according to law, and therefore the very fabric of its organization implies not a direct action by the mass of the membership but an indirect action through properly chosen representatives and leaders. Just as there are leaders in Grand Lodge politics (I use that word here in its accurate sense) so must there be leaders of Masonic thought, and leaders in the ventilation and settlement of Masonic policies. For us to make light of our leaders, or refuse our leaders support, or to spread among our membership a cynicism that would call the whole system of leadership into question, that would be folly of a suicidal kind.
Of course there are plenty of false leaders in our midst. Crooks and blockheads make their way into every organization once it grows to a respectable size and begins to wield influence; and they make trouble.
In every organization there are men who pull wires in order to have themselves advanced to positions for which they are not fitted, merely in order to bask in the light that beats upon a throne. Others, and often they have not a shred of right to such places, get to the top by dint of scheming and philandering merely to satisfy the ambition of place; for fame, as we say! And others there are who sometimes rise to positions of leadership, in spite of profound ignorance as to what Masonry itself is and what the Fraternity as an organization is trying to do in the world.
There are these and other types of false or unfit leaders in our midst, but what of it? Not for such a reason can we leap to the conclusion that leadership itself is an evil. The cure for false leadership lies in a Masonic education that will build itself into the whole rank and file of the membership, from the top down, so that everywhere members will know what Freemasonry is and what it is doing, and what it is going to do, and how it. is to be done. To the extent that such a thing is done our members will know whom to select for their leaders; when to approve the action of their leaders; how to remove false leaders; and whom to train to become future leaders.
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THE HERMETIC MYSTERY AND ALCHEMY, by M. A. Atwood. A suggestive inquiry into Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy, published by William Tait, Belfast, Ireland, £1-1-0.
THE DOCTRINE OF Hermes, the Egyptian, comprises at once a religion, a philosophy and an art. That doctrine, and those of the Sephiroth, the Ain Soph, and the Kabala are practically identical — that from nothing there came the Great Monad, Deity, by whom and from whom everything was created and in everything is He. This is the beginning, the base of the doctrine. Pythagoras, who sojourned many years in the East, preached the same doctrine. Hermes made no claim to being the author but on the contrary maintained that it was ancient. By philosophizing on this point and studying nature, Hermes realized that man was of an entirely different character to all else on earth in that he possessed reasoning power, that he was endowed with an intellect, that he was created in the image of God, and that he must have been created for a divine purpose, that man is divine in that he has a dual personality, and that the spiritual body died not with the physical. This dual personality was not realized by the vast majority of mankind, and this latent personality was capable of great development. "Know thyself," says he. The development of the latent powers of man could not be accomplished by simple faith but by absolute conviction.
It was for the development of spirituality that the Mysteries were practiced. The author quotes many authorities in regard to just what the Mysteries consisted of. The Lesser Mysteries were open to almost all and taught certain truths and the necessity of a moral life as the prerequisite for reformation, regeneration and the perfection of man, even as we Masons do. The Greater Mysteries were only for the very few, and a long period — many years — elapsed after being initiated in the Lesser Mysteries. The aspirant had to cast aside all worldly desires in the cultivation of the spiritual and psychic. "The doctrine of the Greater Mysteries," says Clemens Alexandrinus, "related to the whole universe; here all instruction ended; nature and all things she contains were unveiled." Nor were the visions of gods attending on those Mysteries dead images, nor mere symbols, nor impotent, nor idle, nor invisible, though unseen. That the aspirant was put under the influence of what is termed Mesmerism is evident but in the Hermetic Greater Mysteries the evidence points to his acquiring the power temporarily to disassociate his spiritual body from the physical and to travel in "foreign countries," where he beheld something of the life hereafter. Was not this the power held by Emanuel Swedenborg in the eighteenth century and has it not been in the power of certain persons from time to time that they might bring spiritual matters before the multitude? The disciples of Hermes, by their mode of life, by their mentality, by their convictions, by their virtue, acquired the power of healing by the laying on of hands. It is this side — the religious, the philosophic — of the Hermetic doctrine, which, however much some may so declare it, is not contrary to Christianity, and should most appeal to us.
The greater part of the book, which comprises 600 pages, is given up to an "enquiry" in the Hermetic art of producing the "philosopher's stone" that transformed the baser metals into the purest gold; and the "elixir of life" that will prolong human life. Being an enquiry and not just an essay, there are long quotations from old books showing what a searching enquiry had been made, and it is these quotations that rather break the thread and irritate one trying to obtain an understanding on this very abstruse subject.
Everyone must admit that there is a fascination about the idea of the transmutation of the baser metals into gold and it was doubtless due to this that the first edition, which was published in 1918, was soon exhausted and the present edition made. The work was written some seventy years before by a young woman barely thirty years of age who delved exhaustively into the subject with her father. The book was actually printed and a few copies sold when the father, moved by a change of religious thought, bought in the whole issue, because he deemed that he had divulged knowledge which was sacred. The fear that anyone by this book alone could discover the art was certainly groundless, for the whole doctrine as quoted from the various authors is closely veiled in language not understandable by moderns unless specially trained.
The Hermetics in expounding their doctrine used the technics of their art as allegories and it is difficult at times to distinguish when they were expatiating on their art, and when propounding doctrine.
I imagine that few would care to wade through it as I-had to do in order to review it. That the assembly of-all the authorities as has been done in the book was well worth while will be admitted. The philosophy — should be studied; it is not a book for casual reading. Masons of the Scottish Rite, who are well versed in the degrees (unfortunately they are few) will have certain of the degrees recalled to them as they read, particularly the seventh, eighteenth, and thirty-second: while our English brethren, working the Emulation ritual, will find that the Hermetic doctrine is quoted in the third degree.
— Ernest E. Murray.
* * *
AN IMPORTANT WORK ON THE KABBALAH
THE KABBALAH, ITS DOCTRINES, DEVELOPMENT, AND LITERATURE, by Christian D. Ginsburg; The Bloch Publishing Company, 26 East Arid Street, New York City. For sale by National Masonic Research Society, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: $2.35, postpaid.
In his admirable treatise on the subject in Hasting's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Mr. H. Loewe gives his readers a list of "the chief Kabbalists" which comprises no fewer than twenty names. The first is that of Aaron ben Samuel, a Jew of Italy who lived in the ninth century: the last is that of Baer of Meseritz: a Jewish ascetic born in 1710. Mr. Loewe also gives a list of the Kabbalistic works, the oldest of which he dates in the sixth century. One glance at the great scope of the Kabbalah as thus indicated is sufficient to set one on his guard against any cheap or rapid generalizations on the subject, either as to its history or its teachings.
A tendency to occultism developed among the Jews long before the beginning of our era, and this became the source of many bizarre forms of religion, some of which were similar to the Kabbalah, the most famous literary expression of which is known as the "Zohar." For a long time it was the custom to attribute to the Kabbalah a great antiquity, but this has been now abandoned by almost all competent scholars, especially since the appearance of Graetz's History of the Jews, in which famous work that trenchant writer dealt literalistic believers in the Kabbalah a savage blow. The custom now is to hold that the Kabbalah had its rise among Spanish Jews in the thirteenth century who, of a mystical turn of mind, reacted against the "philosophical" movement headed by Maimonides, the great savant and thinker that tried to drain all supernaturalism out of the Holy Scriptures in order to give a "naturalistic" account of Jewish history. There was much fakery and chicanery among the early Kabbalists — the Zohar itself is described by Graetz as a pious fraud — but for all that they created a powerful movement, and one that has not yet by any means expended all its force.
It is doubtful if the Kabbalah would ever have made itself felt outside a limited circle of Jewish enthusiasts had not a condition developed in Germany of great moment. In the face of an attempt made by the Jesuits to drive the Jews out of North German communities Reuchlin, who ranked with Luther as a great religious leader, astonished the world by stoutly championing the cause of the Jews, and that in the face of almost universal opposition, especially from Rome. Through Reuchlin's advocacy — he believed himself to have discovered a secret movement toward Christianity in Kabbalistic literature — the Kabbalah became a kind of fashion. Pico Mirandola, the prodigy of his time, also defended it; and it is said that Pope Sixtus embraced it. In the course of time its literature found its way to the study table of every important theologian, Protestant as well as Catholic.
Once "in the atmosphere" Kabbalism took many forms and poured its influence into many unexpected channels. As an example of this last, it very doubtless had much to do with the secret teachings and symbolism of early Speculative Freemasonry. There are the best of reasons for believing that such all-important features of our esoteric work as the Temple of Solomon and the Lost Word ultimately were derived from that source. This may be so or it may not; in either case the subject is one that cannot be ignored by any Masonic reader.
Dr. Ginsburg's book is not new. It was first published in London in 1865 along with an essay on The Essenes. Subsequent historical discoveries have robbed the latter essay of much of its value, but the treatise on The Kabbalah continues to be the best and most widely used brief work in our language. George Routledge & Sons of London, have made photostatic plates of the Kabbalistic portion of the original edition and thus guaranteed that the new edition (handled in this country by the Bloch Publishing Company) is like the former down to the least detail. The volume has been added to THE BUILDER'S Book List. It is absolutely essential to every Masonic library.
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SPEECH MAKING MADE EASY
SPEECHES, THEIR PREPARATION AND DELIVERY, by Alexander Burton. Published by Edward J. Clode, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
There is the same difference between the speech maker and the orator that there is between the mother who croons a child to sleep and the prima donna who thrills a great audience at the Metropolitan Opera. Oratory is a fine art, for which few are equipped: the making of speeches is a more humdrum acheivement. Any man of normal vocal powers and an average intellect can learn the trick. All he needs is a little practice and a little coaching.
Speeches, Their Preparation and Delivery is a book that can do the coaching. It is not a heavy text for use in college classes but a fresh readable bit of counsel by an experienced speaker, who knows what he is talking about and how to say it. Officers who often address a lodge, and other brethren who are called on at lodge social functions, will find this volume well worth owning.
The author devotes most of his attention to after dinner speeches, for which the demand always exceeds the supply. He tells the tyro how to make his speech simple, so as to avoid flowery rhetoric; how to deliver it with geniality and with wit and humor so as to please an audience in gastronomic mood; and how to relate a humorous yarn. Toasts, poems, quotations and such other speech supplies are furnished as speakers find themselves in need of. The book is composed of 251 pages and is well bound in red cloth. It may be whispered under the breath that a number of good sample speeches are included.
* * *
WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?
Freemasonry is a science which is engaged in the search after divine truth, and which employs symbolism as its means of instruction.
— Albert G. Mackey.
* * *
In every clime, from age to age,
Masons performed their mystic rite;
Craftsmen, scholar, poet, sage,
Met, and beheld Masonic light
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes over 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 Study Club course. The Society is now receiving from fifty to one hundred inquiries each week: it is manifestly impossible to publish many of them in this Department.
CONCERNING SCOTTISH RITE BLUE LODGES
Is there such a thing as a Scottish Rite Blue Lodge in this country? Is there such a thing in other countries? How do they differ from York Rite Blue Lodges, and do they learn the same lectures as we do? Are they recognized by our Grand Lodges?
1. Is there such a thing in this or any country?
There are no Symbolic lodges in the United States which confer the first three degrees of Masonry, and which derive their authority from either the Northern or the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. There is an exception in California where a lodge composed of French speaking brethren confers the First Degree of the Scottish Rite, under special dispensation of the Grand Lodge of California. There is a similar case in Louisiana, but I cannot now supply details.
2. Is there such a thing in other countries?
Yes. The first three degrees of the Scottish Rite are used in all countries where Masonry exists except in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
3. How do they differ from York Rite Blue Lodges, and do they learn the same lectures as we do?
It would be impossible to tell you on paper the differences. While complete data is lacking, it is safe to say that you would not recognize the lectures they use. They differ entirely from what you have learned. Your lectures would be of little value to you if you were attempting to work your way in to visit. The signs differ somewhat, but your words and grips would prove you a Mason. Even here, you would probably find a word in the First and Third Degree you had never heard of before. Each Supreme Council, though, has the right to fix its own ritual.
4. Are they recognized by our Grand Lodges?
Some are by some Grand Lodges and others are not. It all depends on whether our Grand Lodges have adopted the policy that Blue Lodges, to be entitled to recognition, must trace their origin back to the Grand Lodge of England. That is, Symbolic lodges will not be recognized which derive their authority from Supreme Councils. Each Grand Lodge in this country has its own ideas and policies when it comes to recognition. There is much absurdity connected with this question of recognition.
In connection with the ritual used where the Scottish Rite Symbolic degrees are conferred, from the evidence at hand, it is the writer's opinion that the Scottish Rite ritual for the First, Second, and Third Degrees, has largely been adapted from the ritual used in The French Rite.
— A. L. Kress.
* * *
BROTHER KRESS WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT THOMAS SMITH WEBB
"I should like to ask every reader of THE BUILDER to furnish me whatever information he may have, based on contemporary sources, relative to the life and activates of Thomas Smith Webb. Also I should like to be placed in touch with any of Webb's descendants."
A. L. Kress,
830 Center Street,
* * *
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE NO. 2076, OF LONDON
Can you please explain to me how I may become able to affiliate with the Correspondence Circle of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, London, so often referred to in THE BUILDER?
We have received from an American representative of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge permission to publish the printed application blank now in use: it fully explains all the things about which you inquire. If desired, applications for membership will be sent through the National Masonic Research Society.
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE NO. 2076, OF LONDON
(Warrant granted on the 28th November, 1884).
- To provide a centre and bond of union for Masonic Students.
- To attract intelligent Masons to its Meetings, in order to imbue them with a love for Masonic research.
- To submit the discoveries or conclusions of students to the judgment and criticism of their fellows by means of papers read in Lodge.
- To submit these communications and the discussions arising thereon to the general body of the Craft by publishing, at proper intervals, the Transactions of the Lodge in their entirety.
- To tabulate concisely, in the printed Transactions of the Lodge, the progress of the Craft throughout the World.
- To make the English-speaking Craft acquainted with the progress of Masonic study abroad, by translations (in whole or part) of foreign works.
- To reprint scarce and valuable works on Freemasonry, and to publish Manuscripts, etc.
- To form a Masonic Library and Museum.
- To acquire permanent London premises, and open a reading-room for the members.
The members of our Correspondence Circle (of whom there are now nearly 3500) are placed on the following footing: —
The summonses convoking the MEETINGS are posted to them regularly. They are entitled to attend all the meetings of the Lodge whenever convenient to themselves. When present they are entitled to take part in the discussions on the papers read before the Lodge, and to introduce their personal friends. They are not visitors at our Lodge meetings, but rather associates of the Lodge. The stated meetings are the first Friday in January, March, May, and October, St. John's Day (in Harvest), and the 8th November (Feast of the Quatuor Coronati). At every meeting an original paper is read, which is followed by a discussion. The funds are wholly devoted to Lodge and literary purposes, and no portion is spent in refreshment. The members of the Lodge and Correspondence Circle usually dine together after the meetings, but at their own individual cost. Visitors, who are cordially welcome, enjoy the option of partaking — on the same terms — of a meal at the common table.
They have the privilege of using the READING ROOM and Library of the Lodge at 27, Great Queen Street, London, W.C.2.
The printed TRANSACTIONS of the Lodge and the St. John's Card (with list of members) are posted to them as issued. Three parts of the Transactions are published each year. They contain a summary of the business of the Lodge, the full text of the papers read in Lodge together with the discussions, many essays communicated by the brethren, biographies, historical notes, reviews of Masonic publications, notes and queries, obituary, and other matter. They are profusely illustrated and handsomely printed.
Papers from Correspondence Members are gratefully accepted, and as far as possible, recorded in the Transactions.
A Candidate for Membership in the Correspondence Circle is subject to no qualification, literary, artistic, or scientific. His election takes place at the Lodge-meeting following the receipt of his application.
The JOINING FEE is 21s., which includes one year's subscription to the following 30th November.
The ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION is only 10s. 6d., and is renewable each December for the year next following. Brethren joining us late in the year suffer no disadvantage, as they receive all the Transactions previously issued in the same year. By the payment in one sum of Twelve Years' Subscription in advance, i. e., Six guineas, individual Brethren may qualify as LIFE MEMBERS of the Correspondence Circle.
It will be seen that the members of the Correspondence Circle enjoy all the advantages of the full members except the right of voting in Lodge matters and holding office.
Every Master Mason in good standing throughout the Universe, and all regular Masonic Lodges, Chapters, and Libraries or other corporate bodies are eligible as Members of the Correspondence Circle. W. J. Songhurst, P.G.D., Secretary.
* * *
HOW TO DEAL WITH AN ATHEIST MEMBER OF A LODGE
As a member of the National Masonic Research Society, I would like to be informed how to handle such a case as the following:
In the place of business where I am employed, there is an employee who is a member of a lodge in another jurisdiction. This man was conversing with another employee who is a strict Catholic. I overheard this man express himself that there is no such thing as a "Supreme Being." He also remarked that the Bible is a collection of foolish stories. I told him that I would never sit in a lodge room with a man of his type and that I would never recognize him as a "Mason." Since that day this man has tried his utmost to undermine my position.
I would like to be informed, through the columns of the "Question Box," how this party could be brought before a Masonic tribunal, so that he may receive the penalty due to him.
S.S., New Jersey.
Take the matter up with your Worshipful Master. Have him ascertain this brother's views on the question. If he finds that the brother frankly confesses himself an atheist, he can then be brought to trial. There is no other way of handling such a case. If the brother is in strict truth an atheist he has no place in such a Fraternity as ours, and he should too much scorn to play the part of a hypocrite to remain in it. However, it is necessary to use caution because there is a great difference in men's conception of God, and it may well happen that what would be faith in God in one case would be deemed atheism by others who hold a different conception.
* * *
CAN EASTERN STAR CHAPTER REFUSE ANY APPICANT?
I am in search of information to settle a recent argument that has been brought before our lodge during the past month. One brother contends that a chapter of the O.E.S. cannot refuse to admit to membership any brother who is in good standing in his Blue Lodge. Another argues that any chapter of the O.E.S. has a right to reject or black ball any brother it they choose to do so.
Mrs. Minnie Evans Keyes, Right Worthy Grand Secretary O.E.S., International Headquarters, Washington, D.C., has replied to your query. She quotes Landmark 11, page 4, of the Ritual of the O.E.S.:
"The right of every Chapter to decide, from among eligible candidates, who shall be admitted to membership."
This clearly proves that a chapter has a perfect right to reject any candidate whatsoever, even though he be in good standing in his lodge.
* * *
AN INQUIRY CONCERNING DR. ROBERT TALIFFERRO LIVELY
There is legend in my family that about 1865 or 1866 my grandfather, Dr. Robert Talifferro Lively, of Pilot Grove, Grayson County, Texas, was invited to address an open meeting of Masons in New Orleans, and that he killed his sheep, prepared the parchment and wrote his address thereon, and that he rode from Pilot Grove (about 16 miles S 30 E from the present site of Sherman, Texas,) to New Orleans on horseback, delivered his address and then rode home. The story, as I understand it, is that it was his wish that this Masonic Parchment should go to his youngest son, and so on down each time to the youngest, in the event the youngest was not a Mason to the next youngest, et cetera. My father, Robert Morris Lively, of Whitewright, Grayson County, Texas, being the youngest, fell heir to this parchment (as my grandfather died about 1866 or 1867 from the best accounts that I can get), he being a Master Mason with membership at Whitewright, Texas. My father died in 1906, at which time I was eleven years old. After the death of my father, my mother used to show me a roll of paper that she said was my grandfather's address and that it should become my property when I was made a Master Mason, to be kept by me until my younger brother, born 1905, should become a Master Mason. In the event that he was never a Master Mason it would then become my permanent possession. This parchment was preserved and kept for me, but, in 1910 we moved from Whitewright, Texas, to Durant, Oklahoma, and this treasured parchment was lost at that time and in some manner during the move. My mother died in February, 1922, and she always told me that she was forever looking for that paper that by rights belonged to me at the present; but it was never found prior to her death, and as our home in Durant has been broken up, and with mother and father both dead, and with my grandfather having died years before I was born, I don't suppose that I shall ever be able to see this treasured Masonic Paper, and further I only know of two (very old) men who are alive today who knew my grandfather, and they were very young men at the time of his death and were in all probability not Master Masons at that time.
For the reasons stated above I am asking you to publish this letter with the hopes that some elderly brother in New Orleans, or who was at the meeting mentioned above, may remember this circumstance and will write me the particulars and possibly give me a summary of what my grandfather's address consisted of. And I am also in hopes that some secretary who now has the records of the old lodges in New Orleans will have some record of this address and will be able to advise me, and possibly to send me a certified copy of the same.
Morris U. Lively, Texas.
* * *
ROBERT MORRIS AS THE FATHER OF UNIFORM WORK
I write to add some notes to your reply to J.C.D. on page of THE BUILDER for February last.
As far back as 1822 there was a Masonic Convention held at Washington, D.C., primarily to consider the formation of a General Grand Lodge, but which expressed the opinion that Uniformity of Work was a most desirable attainment.
Thereafter followed the anti-Masonic excitement, from which the Craft did not really begin to recover until about 1840. One consequence of it was that the knowledge of the ritual and the work became sadly deficient and all sorts of additions and subtractions were introduced.
The result was that many members of the Craft felt it advisable to meet together to determine what the old work was. So, on the initiative of the Lodge of Alabama, a convention was called at Washington in 1842, which later recommended another convention which was held at Baltimore in 1843. The primary purpose of this latter was to agree upon a Uniform Work for national adoption. There were fifteen jurisdictions officially represented at this last convention. They met and adopted a Uniform Work, then termed "the Baltimore Work."
But "uniform work" in those days had a different meaning from what it has today. Then it only implied a general uniformity in essentials. Grand Lodges did not have the mechanism or the desire to know whether uniformity of work actually existed within their own jurisdiction or not. It was by no means unusual for each new Grand Master to promulgate the version he knew as the "official work" for that year. Such a course could only result in confusion in the Temple.
While there is point to the comments of Bro. J. F. Brennan which you quoted, and it is the spirit and not the letter which counts, still Masonry is an organized institution and the methods of organization which might meet the requirements of a small membership would hardly answer for a large one. Then too, it is an unfortunate (often) trait of men to want to leave their personal mark on things by "improving" them. So it simply evolved, this necessity for one definite standard within a jurisdiction.
We may well term Rob Morris the father of "uniform work," using the term as we do to-day implying strict verbal accuracy. He was the first to set forth that doctrine and to preach it, through his "Conservators" Association of Symbolic Masonry. Here is his own language:
"This harmony shall consist in the most perfect uniformity amongst ourselves and our pupils, and the Craft at large, so far as we can honorably influence them. It shall reach to the strictest minutiae — to words, syllables, and letters — to official matters — to times and seasons — to modes of inculcation. To this end the Conservators must resign every preconceived habit or notion that conflicts with the standard of Preston and Webb and must sacrifice every variation of word, syllable and letter upon the common altar of National Uniformity."
The above was written in 1860 and it is not too much to attribute all that has since occurred along the line of uniformity of work to Rob Morris, the Conservators, and the above policy laid down by him in 1860.
In many states at present uniformity of work probably exists in theory only. Then too, there are exceptions made in the cases of some old lodge which has preserved its ritual for perhaps one hundred years. There is such an exception in J.C.D.'s own state of Connecticut.
— A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania.
* * *
SOME LUTHERANS ARE NOT OPPOSED TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS OR TO MASONRY
In looking over THE BUILDER of last August I have come upon a statement on page 238 that needs replying to. It was made by Bro. Lewis E. Smith, writing as Grand Master of Nebraska, and stated the following:
"In our state the Lutherans and the Roman Catholic churches have joined hands, after fighting each other for four hundred years, and are carrying a case to the Supreme Court of the United States in an endeavor to invalidate our language law."
Brother Smith does not say which Lutherans he refers to. I am Lutheran, but the church I belong to is not opposed to public schools, but endorses them. The Lutherans are divided on that question. If I am not mistaken, the Missouri Synod members are the only ones in favor of the language law. Our church teaches Sunday School in the language of the land.
Julius Hoga, Nebraska.
Brother Smith has welcomed your correction, Bro. Hoga, as do we. You might have added that there are many Lutheran churches that are not opposed to Freemasonry, either. We have in our files letters from Missouri Masons who are members of the Lutheran fellowship. There is no reason under the blue skies why any great church should oppose Freemasonry, which is the friend and aider of all who would live the spiritual life.
* * *
THE ITALIAN NATIONAL GRAND LODGE
In No. 9, Vol. VI, (Sept. 1920) of your beautiful magazine, THE BUILDER, you published the Report presented by the Committee on Foreign Lodges to the Grand Lodge of the State of Alabama.
By the resolution adopted at that time by the above mentioned Grand Lodge, there was recognized as a regular Masonic Body the Grand Orient of Italy: and our National Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. Masons of Italy was declared an irregular one.
I enclose you the copy of a new Report presented by the President of the Committee on Foreign Lodges to the Grand Lodge of the State of Alabama which approved the proposed resolutions on the Assembly held in Montgomery on the 7th of December, 1921.
I hope you will publish in your magazine the new report and that you will call the attention of your readers not only to the new resolutions of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, but also to the fact that our National Grand Lodge is now recognized by the majority of the regular Grand Lodges of U.S.A.
With many thanks and best regards, I am
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
Raoul V. Palermi, Grand Master,
Italian National Grand Lodge.
The report referred to in the above is here given in full, and thanks to the courtesy of Oliver D. Street, of the Grand Lodge of Alabama:
TO THE M. W. GRAND LODGE A. F. & A. M. OF ALABAMA:
At the 1919 Communication of this Grand Lodge recognition of the National Grand Lodge of Italy was refused because no showing was made by it in response to repeated requests as to the circumstances and purpose of its formation. We have been furnished with this information. From it we learn that in March, 1919, the lodges then adhering to one of the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite of Italy, completely severed their relations with their mother Supreme Council, with the full consent and acquiescence of the latter body; that these lodges by this action became entirely independent of any control by the Scottish Rite bodies.
These lodges thereupon proceeded to hold an assembly or convention with the result that they formed themselves into the National Grand Lodge of Italy. This Grand Lodge is completely independent of any superior governing power and conforms to those principles and practices which are recognized and practiced by all American Grand Lodges.
A belief in Deity is exacted of its initiates and the Bible is displayed upon the altar of the lodge. Only the first three degrees are practiced or controlled by it.
The reason for the formation of said Grand Lodge was that there was not then (and is not now) in Italy any other independent Grand Lodge of Masons. The motive was to place Blue or Symbolic Masonry in Italy on that basis which has proved so successful and satisfactory in our own and other countries. This step has already proved its wisdom: the National Grand Lodge now has 560 lodges and more than 60,000 Masons and is still increasing rapidly in numbers.
At the same time, in 1919, that the above action was taken with regard to the National Grand Lodge of Italy, the Grand Lodge of Alabama recognized the Grand Orient of Italy as an independent Supreme governing body of Symbolic Masonry. In this we now find that we were mistaken. We have favored with a copy of some of the laws and regulations of the Grand Orient. From them we learn, among other things, that the Grand Orient cannot issue a charter for a lodge without the approval of the Sovereign Grand Commander of another Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite which exists in Italy, or in certain cases, the approval of the President of the Council of the Italian Rite. The Masters and officers of the subordinate lodges also take oath "to obey with alacrity, precision and zeal the supreme authority of our Ritual Hierarchy"; i. e., of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, or of the Grand Council of the Italian Rite, as the case may be. The General Assembly is the legislative body for the lodge; it also elects the Grand Master. Its members include not only the delegates from the lodges, but ten delegates from the Scottish Rite Supreme Council, ten from the Grand Council of the Italian Rite, the presidents of the chapters and councils of Kadosh of the Scottish Rite and the presidents of the District Councils of the Italian Rite.
It is perfectly manifest that the Grand Orient is not an independent sovereign body but is strongly under the domination and control of the Scottish Rite Supreme Council and of the Grand Council of the Italian Rite.
We, therefore, recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:
- RESOLVED, That the Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of Alabama recognize the National Grand Lodge of Italy as an independent sovereign governing body of Symbolic Masonry and the Grand Master is hereby requested to arrange an exchange of Representatives.
- RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Grand Lodge of Alabama does not recognize the Grand Orient of Italy as an independent governing body of Symbolic Masonry, but finds that it is under the control of the governing bodies and authorities of the Scottish and Italian Rites.
Oliver D. Street, Chairman.
* * *
LODGE PRESENTS BIBLE TO PUBLIC SCHOOL
I wish to call your attention to what seems to be an entirely new idea in the activities of Masonic Lodges, and that is the presentation of a copy of The Great Light to the Public Schools. This is described in our Lodge Bulletin, in which there is a photo-engraving of the Bible which was presented to a new High School in Hempstead, L. I., under date of May 8th. It has been stated on several occasions that this is the first time that this has ever been done in this Jurisdiction. I am wondering whether you can cite any other occasions when this was done by a Masonic Lodge?
I might add that the occasion of this presentation was a wonderful success. About twelve hundred Masons accompanied the Lodge while it went from "Labor to Refreshment," escorted by two hundred Knights Templar in full uniform and the Kismet Temple Band of Brooklyn, N.Y. Masons came from far and near to assist us in this celebration and the enthusiasm which was shown was simply wonderful. The Bible was carried from the Masonic Temple to the School House by four High School boys, sons of Past Masters, and for a town of only about ten thousand inhabitants, you can imagine that it created quite a stir.
I am writing you as I am with the idea in mind that other lodges throughout the United States, feeling that they would like to take a strong stand on the question of the free Public School, would be delighted to have this thought brought to their attention, as it really is an activity which Masons can enter into and I believe would create great enthusiasm everywhere among the members of any lodge.
A. H. Phillips, New York.
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POEM ON LETTERS OF THE KEYSTONE
I saw an inquiry in the Question Box in the December number on page 385 asking for a poem based on the letters on the Keystone and beginning with "H."
This poem is copyrighted by Bro. Henry L. Brown, who is my uncle.
I with pleasure forward the same to you for the benefit of the Craft.
Happy the man whose every act shall bear
The rigid test of the unerring square;
Who, while times level he unswerving trod,
Stands firm before his fellow and his God,
Seeking by deeds of charity and love
To gain admittance to that Lodge above,
Knowing the stone among the rubbish cast
Shall be, regained, the corner stone at last.
William L. Cooper, Past High Priest of Franklin Chapter No 2, New Haven, Conn.
More than a score brethren replied to F.H.C.'s inquiry. The variations noted among all the versions submitted shows that the poem has been preserved by memory in the great majority of cases. The above version was selected for publication in order to record the possible authorship. To show the nature and extent of variation another version is added:
Happy is the man whose thoughts can bear
The rigid test of the unerring square.
Who through this world unswervingly doth trod
Steadily advancing toward his Maker and his God.
Seeking by acts of charity and love
To gain admission to that lodge above.
Knowing the stone in the rubbish cast,
Shall crown our Master's work at last.
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
A darky asked for an afternoon off on the ground that he was an officer in a lodge. "What office do you hold," inquired his employer. "I is the Supreme Sovereign Judicious Omnipotent Omnipresent Exalted Grand Ruler," meekly explained the supplicant for a half holiday. "Well! Well! You must be at the head of it." "No, boss, there is eight above me."
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Does your Grand Lodge have a library of its own? If not, why not start one? This Society is now installing one very large Masonic library in a new temple. Our service is at your command, and we are not in it for money.
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If you don't receive a prompt reply to a letter addressed to us write again. Many letters are relayed to associates in different parts of the country, and hitches may very well occur.
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A large publishing house is looking for a man to prepare a book of designs and suggestions for Masonic buildings. A good chance for the right man.
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Have you a library in your lodge room or Masonic club room? If so, let us know. We are compiling a list of Masonic libraries.
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The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Richmond, Virginia, have published a booklet entitled Virginia Schools, Their Progress and Their Needs that is a model of its kind, and richly worth reading by others than Virginians. Copies may be secured from P. O. Box 1523, Richmond, Va.
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Evans Lodge No. 524, Evanston, Illinois, has this for THE MASONIC CREED: "BELIEVE in God's Infinite Benevolence, Wisdom and Justice: HOPE for the final triumph of Good over Evil, and for Perfect Harmony as the final result of all the concords and discords of the Universe: and be CHARITABLE as God is, toward the unfaith, the errors, the follies, and the faults of men: for all make one great brotherhood."
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A dozen or so have written to ask if Brother Baird won't bring out his "Memorials" series in book form. So mote it be. Brother Baird, it is up to you.