A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 9 No. 8 – August 1923
ANDERSON'S CONSTITUTIONS OF 1723
Bro. Lionel Vibert
Past Master Quator Coronati Lodge No. 2076, England
Bro. Lionel Vibert, of Marline, Lansdowne, Bath, England, is author of Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges and The Story of the Craft and is editor of Miscellanea Latomorum. He has contributed papers to the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, notably one on "The French Compagnonnage," a critical and exhaustive treatise that is bound to replace Gould's famous chapter among the sources available to the rank and file of students of that important theme. After having devoted his attention for several years to pre-Grand Lodge Masonry, Bro. Vibert is now specializing on the Grand Lodge era the records of which are still so confused or incomplete that, in spite of the great amount of work accomplished by scholars in the past, a work "great as the Twelve Labours of Hercules" remains yet to be done. The paper below is one of the author's first published studies of the Grand Lodge era. To us American Masons, who live under forty-nine Grand Jurisdictions and to whom Masonic jurisprudence is an almost necessary preoccupation, any new light on that formative and critical period, and especially on Dr. Anderson whose Constitutions is the groundwork of our laws, is not only interesting but useful.
THE GRAND LODGE THAT WAS brought into existence in 1717 did not find it necessary to possess a Constitution of its own for some years. Exactly what went on between 1717 and 1721 we do not know; almost our only authority being the account given by Anderson in 1738 which is unreliable in many particulars. Indeed it cannot be stated with certainty whether there were any more than the original Four Old Lodges until 1721; it would appear from the Lists and other records we possess that the first lodge to join them did not do so till July of that year; the statements as to the number of new lodges in each year given by Anderson are not capable of verification. It was also in the year 1721 that the Duke of Montagu was made Grand Master on 24th June, having probably joined the Craft just previously. The effect of his becoming Grand Master, a fact advertised in the dally press of the period, was that the Craft leapt into popularity, its numbers increased, and new lodges were rapidly constituted. Even now it was not anticipated that the Grand Lodge would extend the scope of its activities beyond London and Westminster, but Grand Master Payne, possibly anticipating the stimulus that would be provided by the accession to the Craft of the Duke, had got ready a set of General Regulations, and these were read over on the occasion of his installation. Unfortunately we do not possess the original text of them but have only the version as revised and expanded by Anderson. But we can understand that in a very short time it would be found necessary for these regulations to be printed and published to the Craft. Their publication was undertaken by Anderson, who took the opportunity to write a history of the Craft as an introduction, and to prepare a set of Charges; his intention clearly being to give the new body a work which would in every respect replace the Old Manuscript Constitutions. The work consists of a dedication written by Desaguliers and addressed to Montagu as late Grand Master; a Historical introduction; a set of six Charges; Payne's Regulations revised; the manner of constituting a new lodge; and songs for the Master, Wardens, Fellow Craft and Entered Apprentice, of which the last is well known in this country (England) and is still sung today in many lodges. There is also an elaborate frontispiece. The work was published by J. Senex and J. Hooke, on 28th February, 1722-3, that is to say 1722 according to the official or civil reckoning, but 1723 by the so-called New Style, the popular way of reckoning. (It did not become the official style till the reform of the calender in 1752.) The title page bears the date 1723 simply.
Dr. Anderson was born in Aberdeen, and was a Master of Arts of the Marischal College in that city. He was in London in 1710 and was minister of a Presbyterian Chapel in Swallow Street, Piccaldilly, till 1734. He was also chaplain to the Earl of Buchan, and as the Earl was a representative peer for Scotland from 1714-1734, it was probably during these years that he maintained a London establishment. We do not know that the Earl was a Mason, although his sons were. When Anderson was initiated we do not know either; but it may have been in the Aberdeen Lodge. There is a remarkable similarity between his entry in the Constitutions of his name as "Master of a Lodge and Author of this Book," and in entry in the Aberdeen Mark Book, of "James Anderson, Glazier and Mason and Writer of this Book." This was in 1670 and this James Anderson is no doubt another person. It just happens most unfortunately that the minutes for the precise period during which we might expect to find our author are missing. In any case he was familiar with the Scottish terminology which he no doubt had some share in introducing into English Freemasonry.
Nor can it be stated with confidence when he joined the Craft in London. He was Master of a lodge in 1722, a lodge not as yet identified, but there is no record of his having had anything to do with Grand Lodge prior to the Grand Mastership of the Duke of Montagu. He was not even present at the Duke's installation; at all events Stukeley does not name him as being there. He himself, in his version of the minutes, introduces his own name for the first time at the next meeting.
HOW HE CAME TO WRITE THE WORK
His own account of the work, as given in 1738, is that he was ordered to digest the Old Gothic Constitutions in a new and better method by Montagu on 29th September, 1721, that on 27th December, Montagu appointed fourteen learned brothers to examine the MS., and that after they had approved it was ordered to be printed on 25th March, 1722. He goes on to say that it was produced in print for the approval of Grand Lodge on 17th January, 1722-3, when Grand Master Wharton's manner of constituting a lodge was added. In the book itself are printed a formal Approbation by Grand Lodge and the Masters and Wardens of twenty lodges (with the exception of two Masters), which is undated, and also a copy of a resolution of the Quarterly Communication of 17th January, 1722-3, directing the publication and recommending it to the Craft.
With regard to the committee of fourteen learned brethren and the three occasions on which the book is alleged to have been considered in Grand Lodge, the Approbation itself states that the author first submitted his text for the perusal of the late and present Deputy Grand Masters and of other learned brethren and also the Masters of lodges, and then delivered it to Grand Master Montagu, who by the advice of several brethren ordered the same to be handsomely printed, This is not quite the same thing.
And it is to be noted that in 1735 Anderson appeared before Grand Lodge to protest against the doings of one Smith who had pirated the Constitutions which were his sole property. His account of this incident in the 1738 edition suppresses this interesting circumstance. Further it is very clear from the Grand Lodge minutes that the appearance of the book caused a good deal of dissension in Grand Lodge itself, and it brought the Craft into ridicule from outside; in particular Anderson's re-writing of Payne's Regulations was taken exception to. Anderson himself did not appear again in Grand Lodge for nearly eight years.
The true state of the case appears to be that Anderson undertook to write the work as a private venture of his own and that this was sanctioned, since it was desirable that the Regulations at least published, without any very careful examination of his text, or of so much of it as was ready, and that when it was published it was discovered, but too late, that he had taken what were felt by many to be unwarrantable liberties not only with the traditional Charges but also with Payne's Regulations.
THE BOOK IS ANALYZED
In using the term Constitutions he was following the phraseology of several of the versions of the Old Charges, and in fact the word occurs (in Latin) in the Regius, though Anderson never saw that. It was apparently traditional in the Craft. The contents of the work itself indicate that the various portions were put together at different dates and Anderson tells us it was not all in print during Montagu's term of office.
Taking the Approbation first, this is signed by officers of twenty lodges; the Master and both Wardens have all signed in all but two. In those, numbers eight and ten, the place for the Master's signature is blank. Mr. Mathew Birkhead is shown as Master of number five; and he died on the 30th December, 1722. Accordingly the Approbation must be of an earlier date and of the twenty lodges we know that number nineteen was constituted on 25th November, 1722, and number twenty if, as is probable, it is of later date, will have been constituted possibly on the same day but more probably a few days later. Thus we can date the Approbation within narrow limits. In his 1738 edition Anderson gives a series of the numbers of lodges on the roll of Grand Lodge at different dates which cannot be checked from any independent source, and he suggests that on 25th March, 1722, there were already at least twenty-four lodges in existence because he asserts that representatives of twenty-four paid their homage to the Grand Master on that date; and that those of twenty-five did so on 17th January, 1722-3. Because of Anderson's assertion as to twenty-four lodges some writers have speculated as to the lodges the officers of which omitted to sign or which were ignored by the author. But the truth probably is that these lodges — if they existed at all — were simply not represented at the meeting.
The Approbation is signed by Wharton as Grand Master, Desaguliers as Deputy, and Timson and Hawkins as Grand Wardens. According to the story as told by Anderson in 1738 Wharton got himself elected Grand Master irregularly on 24th June, 1722, when he appointed these brethren as his Wardens but omitted to appoint a Deputy. On 17th January, 1722-3, the Duke of Montagu, "to heal the breach," had Wharton proclaimed Grand Master and he then appointed Desaguliers as his Deputy and Timson and Anderson, (not Hawkins,) Wardens and Anderson adds that his appointment was made for Hawkins demitted as always out of town. If this story could be accepted the Approbation was signed by three officers who were never in office simultaneously, since when Desaguliers came in Hawkins had already demitted. This by itself would throw no small doubt on Anderson's later narrative, but in fact we know that his whole story as to Wharton is a tissue of fabrication. The daily papers of the period prove that the Duke of Wharton was in fact installed on 25th June, and he then appointed Desaguliers as his Deputy and Timson and Hawkins as his Wardens. It is unfortunate that Anderson overlooked that his very date, 24th June, was impossible as it was a Sunday, a day expressly prohibited by Payne's Regulations for meetings of Grand Lodge. There are indications of some disagreement; apparently some brethren wished Montagu to continue, but in fact Wharton went in the regular course; the list of Grand Lodge officers in the minute book of Grand Lodge shows him as Grand Master in 1722. And that Hawkins demitted is merely Anderson's allegation. In this same list he appears as Grand Warden, but Anderson himself has written the words (which he is careful to reproduce in 1738): "Who demitted and James Anderson A.M. was chosen in his place;" vide the photographic reproduction of the entry at page 196 of Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha Vol. X; while in the very first recorded minute of Grand Lodge, that of 24th June, 1723, the entry as to Grand Wardens originally stood: Joshua Timson and the Reverend Mr. James Anderson who officiated for Mr. William Hawkins. But these last six words have been carefully erased, vide the photo reproduction at page 48 Quatuor Corontorum Antigrapha Vol. X, which brings them to light again. Hawkins then was still the Grand Warden in June 1723, and on that occasion Anderson officiated for him at the January meeting. The explanation of the whole business appears to be that Anderson in 1738 was not anxious to emphasize his association with Wharton, who after his term of office as Grand Master proved a renegade and Jacobite and an enemy to the Craft. He had died in Spain in 1731. For the Book of Constitutions of 1738 there is a new Approbation altogether.
But we have not yet done with this Approbation for the further question arises, At what meeting of Grand Lodge was it drawn up? The license to publish refers to a meeting of 17th January, 1722-23, and that there was such a meeting is implied by the reference to this document in the official minutes of June, when the accuracy of this part of it is not impugned. But this Approbation was as we have seen drawn up between the end of November and the end of December, 1722, and between these limits an earlier date, is more probable than a later. No such meeting is mentioned by Anderson himself in 1738. But the explanation of this no doubt is that he now has his tale of the proclamation of Wharton at that meeting on 17th January, and any references to a meeting of a month or so earlier presided over by that nobleman would stultify the narrative. It is probable that a meeting was in fact held, and that its occurrence was suppressed by Anderson when he came to publish his narrative of the doings of Grand Lodge fifteen years later. The alternative would be that the whole document was unauthorized, but so impudent an imposture could never have escaped contemporary criticism. Truly the ways of the deceiver are hard.
THE FRONTISPIECE IS DESCRIBED
The Frontispiece to the Constitutions of 1723, which was used over again without alteration in 1738, represents a classical arcade in the foreground of which stand two noble personages, each attended by three others of whom one of those on the spectator's left carries cloaks and pairs of gloves. The principal personages can hardly be intended for any others than Montagu and Wharton; and Montagu is wearing the robes of the Garter, and is handing his successor a roll of the Constitutions, not a book. This may be intended for Anderson's as yet unprinted manuscript, or, more likely it indicates that a version of the Old Constitutions was regarded at the time as part of the Grand Master's equipment, which would be a survival of Operative practice. Behind each Grand Master stand their officers, Beal, Villeneau, and Morris on one side, and on the other Desaguliers, Timson, and Hawkins, Desaguliers as a clergyman and the other two in ordinary dress, and evidently an attempt has been made in each case to give actual portraits. It is unnecessary to suppose, as we would have to if we accepted Anderson's story, that this plate was designed, drawn, and printed in the short interval between 17th January and 28th February. It might obviously have been prepared at any time after June 25, 1722. By it Anderson is once more contradicted, because here is Hawkins — or at all events someone in ordinary clothes — as Grand Warden, and not the Reverend James Anderson, as should be the case if Wharton was not Grand Master till January and then replaced the absent Hawkins by the Doctor. The only other plate in the book is an elaborate illustration of the arms of the Duke of Montagu which stands at the head of the first page of the dedication.
We can date the historical portion of the work from the circumstance that it ends with the words: "our present worthy Grand Master, the most noble Prince John, Duke of Montagu." We can be fairly certain that Anderson's emendations of Payne's Regulations were in part made after the incidents of Wharton's election because they contain elaborate provisions for the possible continuance of the Grand Master and the nomination or election of his successor and in the charges again, there is a reference to the Regulations hereunto annexed. But beyond this internal evidence, (and that of the Approbation and sanction to publish already referred to), the only guide we have to the dates of printing the various sections of the work is the manner in which the printers' catch words occur. The absence of a catch word is not proof that the sections were printed at different times because it might be omitted if, e.g., it would spoil the appearance of a tail-piece; but the occurrence of a catch word is a very strong indication that the sections it links were printed together. Now in the Constitution of 1723 they occur as follows: from the dedication to the history, none; from the history to the Charges, catch word; from the Charges to a Postscript 'put in here to fill a page', catch word; from this to the Regulations, none; from the Regulations to the method of constituting a New Lodge, catch word; from this to the Approbation, none; from the Approbation to the final section, the songs, none; and none from here to the license to publish on the last page.
Accordingly we may now date the several portions of the work with some degree of certainty. The times are as follows:
- The plate; at any time after June 25th, 1722.
- The dedication, id., but probably written immediately before publication.
- The historical portion; prior to 25th June, 1722.
- The charges printed with the preceding section, but drafted conjointly with the Regulations.
- The postscript; the same.
- The General Regulations, after Wharton's installation
- The method of constituting a new Lodge; printed with the preceding section.
- The Approbation; between 25th November and end of December, 1722.
- The songs and sanction to publish; after January 17th, 1722-3, and probably at the last moment.
Of these sections the plate and Approbation have already been dealt with. The dedication calls for no special notice; it is an extravagant eulogy of the accuracy and diligence of the author. The songs are of little interest except the familiar Apprentice's Song, and this is now described as by our late Brother Matthew Birkhead.
THE HISTORICAL PORTION
This requires a somewhat extended notice. The legendary history, as it is perhaps not necessary to remind my readers, brought Masonry or Geometry from the children of Lamech to Solomon; then jumped to France and Charles Martel; and then by St. Alban, Athelstan and Edwin, this worthy Craft was established in England. In the Spencer family of MSS. an attempt has been made to fill in the obvious gaps in this narrative by introducing the second and third temples, those of Zerubbabel and Herod, and Auviragus king of Britain as a link with Rome, France and Charles Martel being dropped, while a series of monarchs has also been introduced between St. Alban's paynim king and Athelstan. Anderson's design was wholly different. He was obsessed by the idea of the perfection of the Roman architecture, what he called the Augustan Style, and he took the attitude that the then recent introduction of Renaissance architecture into England as a return to a model from which Gothic had been merely a barbarous lapse. He traces the Art from Cain who built a city, and who was instructed in Geometry by Adam. Here he is no doubt merely bettering his originals which were content with the sons of Lamech. The assertion shows a total want of any sense of humour, but then so do all his contributions to history. But it is worth while pointing out that it suggests more than this; it suggests that he had an entire lack of acquaintance with the polite literature of the period. No well-read person of the day would be unacquainted with the writings of Abraham Cowley, the poet and essayist of the Restoration, and the opening sentence of his Essay of Agriculture is: "The three first men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman and a grazier; and if any man object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire he would consider that as soon as he was so he quitted our profession, and turned builder." It is difficult to imagine that Anderson would have claimed Cain as the first Mason if he had been familiar with this passage.
From this point he develops the history in his own fashion, but he incorporates freely and with an entire disregard for textual accuracy any passages in the Old Charges that suit him and he has actually used the Cooke Text, as also some text closely allied to the William Watson. We know the Cooke was available to him; we learn from Stukeley that it had been produced in Grand Lodge on 24 June, 1721. Anderson, in 1738, omits all reference to this incident, but asserts that in 1718 Payne desired the brethren to bring to Grand Lodge any old writings and records, and that several copies of the Gothic Constitutions (as he calls them) were produced and collated. He also alleges that in 1720 several valuable manuscripts concerning the Craft were too hastily burnt by some scrupulous brethren. The former of these statements we should receive with caution; for the very reason that the 1723 Constitutions show no traces of such texts; the latter may be true and the manuscripts may have been rituals, or they may have been versions of the Old Charges, but there was nothing secret about those. The antiquary Plot had already printed long extracts from them.
Returning to the narrative we are told that Noah and his sons were Masons, which is a statement for which Anderson found no warrant in his originals; but he seems to have had a peculiar fondness for Noah. In 1738 he speaks of Masons as true Noachidae, alleging this to have been their first name according to some old traditions, and it is interesting to observe that the Irish Constitutions of 1858 preserve this fragment of scholarship and assert as a fact that Noachidae was the first name of Masons. Anderson also speaks of the three great articles of Noah, which are not however further elucidated, but it is probable that the reference is to the familiar triad of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. He omits Abraham and introduces Euclid in his proper chronological sequence, so that he has corrected the old histories to that extent; but after Solomon and the second Temple he goes to Greece, Sicily and Rome, where was perfected the glorious Augustan Style. He introduces Charles Martel — as King of France! — as helping England to recover the true art after the Saxon invasion, but ignores Athelstan and Edwin.
He however introduces most of the monarchs after the Conquest and makes a very special reference to Scotland and the Stuarts. In the concluding passage he used the phrase "the whole body resembles a well built Arch" and it has been suggested, not very convincingly perhaps, that this is an allusion to the Royal Arch Degree.
There is an elaborate account of Zerubbabel's temple which may have some such significance, and the Tabernacle of Moses, Aholiab and Bezaleel is also mentioned at some length, Moses indeed being a Grand Master. He also inserts for no apparent reason a long note on the words Hiram Abiff, and in this case the suggestion that there is a motive for his doing so connected with ritual is of more cogency. It is an obvious suggestion that the name was of importance to the Craft at this date, that is to say early in 1722, and that the correctness of treating Abiff as a surname instead of as equivalent to his "father" was a matter the Craft were taking an interest in.
THE SIX CHARGES
The Charges, of which there are six, are alleged to be extracted from ancient records of lodges beyond Sea, and of those in England, Scotland and Ireland. In the Approbation the assertion is that he has examined several copies from Italy and Scotland and sundry parts of England. Were it not that he now omits Ireland altogether we might nave been disposed to attach some importance to the former statement. As yet no Irish version of the Old Charges has come to light but it is barely possible that there were records of Irish Freemasonry at the time which have since passed out of sight, a Freemasonry no doubt derived originally from England. But the discrepancy is fatal; we must conclude that the worthy doctor never saw any Irish record. And we can safely dismiss his lodges in Italy or beyond Sea as equally mythical.
Of the six Charges themselves the first caused trouble immediately on its appearance. It replaced the old invocation of the Trinity and whatever else there may have been of statements of religious and Christian belief in the practice of the lodges by a vague statement that we are only to be obliged to that religion in which all men agree. Complete religious tolerance has in fact become the rule of our Craft, but the Grand Lodge of 1723 was not ready for so sudden a change and it caused much ill feeling and possibly many secessions. It was the basis of a series of attacks on the new Grand Lodge.
CONSTITUTING A NEW LODGE
The manner of constituting a New Lodge is noteworthy for its reference to the "Charges of a Master," and the question, familiar to us today: Do you submit to these charges as Masters have done in all ages? It does not appear that these are the six ancient Charges of a previous section; they were something quite distinct. But not until 1777 are any Charges of the Master known to have been printed. It is also worthy of notice that the officers to be appointed Wardens of the new lodge are Fellow Crafts. There is also a reference to the Charges to the Wardens which are to be given by a Grand Warden. This section appeared in the Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge as late as 1873.
Anderson in 1738 alleges that he was directed to add this section to the work at the meeting of January 17 and he then speaks of it as the ancient manner of constituting a lodge. This is also the title of the corresponding section in the 1738 Constitutions, which is only this enlarged. But its title in 1723 is: "Here follows the Manner of constituting a NEW LODGE, as practised by His Grace the Duke of Wharton, the present Right Worshipful Grand Master, according to the ancient Usages of Masons." We once more see Anderson suppressing references to the Duke of Wharton where he can in 1738, and yet obliged to assert that the section was added after January 17th in order to be consistent in his story. It is not in the least likely that this is what was done. It was to all appearance printed at one and the same time with the Regulations, which he himself tells us were in print on 17th January, and since Wharton constituted four lodges if not more in 1722 he will not have waited six months to settle his method. We may be pretty certain that this section was in print before the Approbation to which it is not linked by a catch-word.
The Regulations, as I have already mentioned, have come down to us only as rewritten by Anderson. The official minutes of Grand Lodge throw considerable light on the matter. The first of all relates to the appointment of the Secretary, and the very next one is as follows:
The Order of the 17th January 1722-3 printed at the end of the Constitutions page 91 for the publishing the said Constitutions as read purporting, that they had been before approved in Manuscript by the Grand Lodge and were then (viz) 17th January aforesaid produced in print and approved by the Society.
Then the Question was moved, that the said General Regulations be confirmed, so far as they are consistent with the Ancient Rules of Masonry. The previous question was moved and put, whether the words "so far as they are consistent with the Ancient Rules of Masonry" be part of the Question. Resolved in the affirmative, But the main Question was not put.
And the Question was moved that it is not in the Power of any person, or Body of men, to make any alteration, or Innovation in the Body of Masonry without the consent first obtained of the Annual Grand Lodge. And the Question being put accordingly Resolved in the Affirmative.
We would record these proceedings today in somewhat different form, perhaps as follows:
It was proposed (and seconded) that the said General Regulations be confirmed so far as they are consistent with the Ancient Rules of Masonry. An amendment to omit the words "so far ... Masonry" was negatived. But in place of the original proposition the following resolution was adopted by a majority: That it is not, etc.
The effect of this is that it indicates pretty clearly that there was a strong feeling in Grand Lodge that Anderson's version of the Regulations had never been confirmed; that there was a difference of opinion as to now confirming them, even partially; and that in fact this was not done, but a resolution was adopted instead condemning alterations made without the consent of Grand Lodge at its annual meeting first obtained. I should perhaps say that the word "purporting" does not here have the meaning we would today attach to it; it has no sense of misrepresentation. Anderson was present at this meeting, but naturally not a word of all this appears in the account he gives of it in 1738.
Regulation XIII, or one sentence in it rather, "Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow Craft only here, (i.e. in Grand Lodge) unless by a Dispensation," was at one time the battle ground of the Two Degree versus Three Degree schools; but it is generally admitted now, I believe, that only two degrees are referred to, namely the admission and the Master's Part.
The order of the words is significant. In the Regulation they read "Masters and Fellow Craft." In the resolution of 27 November, 1725 by which the rule was annulled, the wording is "Master" in the official minutes, which is a strong indication that the original Regulation only referred to one degree. In 1738 Anderson deliberately alters what is set out as the original wording and makes it read "Fellow Crafts and Masters," while in the new Regulation printed alongside of it the alteration of 27 November, 1725, is quoted as "Masters and Fellows" both being inaccurate; and he even gives the date wrongly.
The second Regulation enacts that the Master of a particular lodge has the right of congregating the members of his lodge into a chapter upon any emergency as well as to appoint the time and place of their usual forming. But it would be quite unsafe to assume that this is another reference to the Royal Arch; it appears to deal with what we would now call an emergent meeting.
Payne's, or rather Anderson's, Regulations were the foundation on which the law of the Craft was based, it being developed by a continual process of emendation and addition, and their phraseology can still be traced in our English Constitutions today.
In America Franklin reprinted this work in 1734 apparently verbatim. In 1738 Anderson brought out a second addition which was intended to replace the earlier one altogether, but it was a slovenly performance and the Regulations were printed in so confused a manner, being all mixed up with notes and amendments (many inaccurately stated), that it was difficult to make head or tail of them and to ascertain what was the law of the Craft. He also re-wrote the history entirely and greatly expanded it, introducing so many absurdities that Gould has suggested that he was deliberately fooling the Grand Lodge, or in the alternative that he was himself in his dotage. He died very shortly after. But this same ridiculous history has done duty in all seriousness till comparatively recent years, being brought up to date by Preston and others who were apparently quite unconscious of its true value. Unfortunately that portion of the history which professed to give an account of the proceedings of Grand Lodge and for which the official minutes were at Anderson's disposal is full of what one must consider wilful inaccuracies and misstatements.
In the next edition of the Constitutions, 1754, the Regulations were rewritten by Entick, but the history was preserved. Entick also reverted to the Charges as drawn up in 1723 into which, especially the first, Anderson had introduced various modifications in 1738, and those Charges are the basis of the Ancient Charges to be found today in the Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England, the only differences, except as regards the first Charge, not amounting to more than verbal modifications.
OUR DEBT TO ANDERSON
While as students we are bound to receive any statement that Anderson makes with the utmost caution unless it can be tested from other sources, we must not be too ready to abuse the worthy Doctor on that account. Our standards of historical and literary accuracy are higher than those of 1723, and his object was to glorify Montagu and the Craft and the new style of architecture introduced by Inigo Jones and others of his school; and this he did wholeheartedly, and if in the process he twisted a text or two or supplied suitable events to fill gaps in his narrative for which mere history as such had failed to record facts, no one at the time would think any the worse of him for that. It was a far more serious matter that he was instrumental in removing from the literature of the Craft all definite religious allusions; but as we now see, the Craft in fact owes its universality today to its wide undenominationalism and in this respect he builded better than he knew. The Constitutions of 1723 remains one of our most important texts and only awaits publication in full facsimile with suitable notes and introduction at the hands of some Society with the requisite funds.
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IS FREEMASONRY A RELIGION?
Bro. H. L. Haywood
"Do you believe that Freemasonry is a religion? If it is, can a Mason belong consistently to his lodge and to a church? If it is not, why does it have so much in its Ritual about the Bible, and why do some of the organized churches oppose it as though it were a dangerous rival?"
The seasons themselves do not recur with more certain regularity, than comes this inquiry to Ye Editor's desk, nor is there any one subject that receives more universal discussion in the Masonic press. And neither, one may continue, is there any other inquiry that remains so unsatisfactorily answered, if one may judge from the reactions of the rank and file of Masons. There is a difference of opinion on the subject as universal as it appears to be lasting, and it may well be that Freemasonry will go on until the last candidate is raised in the last lodge without the question ever having received a plain and final answer.
The reason for this lies very close at hand. Religion itself is the subject about which men differ the most, both in theory and practice, and this confusion in the general mind inevitably makes its way into every discussion of the relation of Freemasonry to religion. Until men at large become agreed as to what religion is, or what it should be, or how it is to be used and practised, we must expect a wide difference of opinion as to what may be the religion or lack of religion of our Craft.
If by a religion a man has in mind an organized church, with its official priesthood, its authorized doctrines, and its sacraments, then Freemasonry is not a religion, for it has none of these things; but if religion is made to mean any form of teaching concerning the soul and its adventure through this life, and concerning God, then it may well be that Freemasonry is a religion, because it most plainly has something to say about these matters. But if, further, the word religion is not to be given either one of these definitions, but is made to stand for something special to an individual's view, then that individual must make up his mind about Freemasonry to suit his own theories.
According to the view of the present writer Freemasonry may be described as religious but not as a religion. The religiousness which lies in it is not something that is to be set apart as a thing by itself to function as the rival of some organized church but is to be interpreted as that groundwork of faith which lies at the root of all the creeds together. Just as a man must be a human being before he can become a citizen of the United States, so must a man have certain religious principles in his soul before he can become a Mason; and just as a citizen of the United States is free to live in any state in the Union, or even to live abroad, so may a Mason unite himself with any church he pleases. The religion that is in Freemasonry is not something that can be made the rival of any religion but rather is what lies at the bottom of all religion whatever (except of the savage variety) so that one finds Masons consistently belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church, or to a Mohammedan communion, or an Episcopalian church, or a Methodist, or to Christian Science, or what not. The teachings of the Craft are not such as can come into conflict with the doctrines peculiar to any one of these faiths but are such as all their communicants share in common. When the framers of the good old paragraph in Anderson's Constitutions said that the religion of Freemasonry is that in which all good men agree, they probably came as close to a final statement of the subject as we shall ever have.
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CAMP ROOSEVELT: A BOY BUILDER
Bro. F. L. T., Illinois
Here is a beautiful account of how a Mason, Bro. F.L. Beals, Major, U.S.A., of Chicago, Ill., learned to apply his Masonry in a practical and constructive way. Like a true builder he has his eye to the future. He has taken to heart the great admonition left by George Meredith:
"Keep the young generations in hail;
Bequeath to them no tumbled house."
TRUE fraternalism means sharing alike one's joys and woes, means "feeling" for our brother man. Not in the detached sense which enables one man to say, "Oh, I'm sorry," when he hears of the misfortune of a neighbor, and then goes on his way to his party or dance, forgetting all about the misery in the heart of the man next door, but that genuine sorrow which makes him give of himself, which makes a man go out of his way to help his neighbor, which makes him dig in and help — that is the true fraternalism of man and man. The man who, when his brother advances in business, when high honors are bestowed upon him, can rejoice with him and let no mean thoughts of jealousy or envy fill his mind, has the truly fraternal spirit. But, while we speak of it on all sides, while we use the word, do we use the meaning of the word — do we act?
Fraternalism, then, is but another name for "good citizenship," — that term which has sprung up in recent years, and clamors more and more loudly to be heard, until now it is on the lips of every public-spirited man and woman, and every educator. The need for good citizenship is apparent. It is one of the crying needs of the day, in line with modern advancement and progress. But, educators contend, good citizenship cannot be a part of the man who has been untrained in good citizenship, any more than can a man who has never learned the French language speak it. It must be included in the training of the boy and girl, so that when they are grown to young manhood and young womanhood, they know whereof they speak when the subject comes up.
And so, while they deliberate about it, while they make plans for making "citizenship training" a part of the school program, the Chicago Board of Education, more progressive, has evolved a system of its own for introducing the subject in a manner which the past four years' trial has proven to be highly successful. To revise the regular school program, to change it about and cut it so as to include this big subject, would undoubtedly work havoc on the present system of education. And so in order not to endanger the existing plan, and. also, in order to utilize to better advantage the summer vacation months which so often afford opportunity for boys to learn obnoxious habits, the system of citizenship building evolved by the Chicago public school system is tried out during the summer vacation months.
On the shores of Silver Lake, Indiana, near LaPorte, sixty-five miles from Chicago on the New York Central Lines, is the site of what was once a private boarding school for boys. Here numerous buildings of log and frame construction afford splendid facilities for work, recreation and joyful out-door living for the hundreds of boys from all parts of the country who gather here each summer to derive the benefits of their stay at Camp Roosevelt, for so the camp is named. The War Department of the U. S. Government, eager to aid in this movement, lends complete camping equipment, and assigns officers and non-commissioned officers for purposes of instruction. The American Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., and the Chicago Dental Society send their representatives and maintain their units at the camp. Here, under expert guidance in the great outdoors, boys from ten to eighteen years of age grow bronzed, robust, pleasing to the eye and agreeable to deal with — strong boys are made out of weak ones, democratic boys out of juvenile snobs, and studious, attentive boys of harum scarum scatterbrains.
To best promote such a program, the camp is divided into three sections: the summer schools division, which includes seventh and eighth grade and complete high school subjects, and whose credits are recognized on the same basis as those of other Chicago summer school credits; the R.O.T.C. or military division, which is primarily physical drill and setting-up exercises for the older lads, from 14 and up; and the Junior Camp. for the younger lads. Each program, while distinct, blends in harmoniously with the other, and Very afternoon program of athletics and recreation combines the three divisions. The evening entertainments are provided by the "Y." and afford a maximum of clean, wholesome fun for all in camp.
The "man on the job," the Commanding Officer, is Major F. L. Beals, U. S. A., Supervisor of Physical Education in the Chicago public high schools, who founded the Camp Roosevelt Idea. Major Beals is a man who has devoted the best years of his life to studying and working with boys. He has started hundreds of boys on the road to successful manhood. To his forethought, his unselfish devotion to the development of Camp Roosevelt, is due the measure of success which it has attained. Major Beals has surrounded himself with a large group of experts in boy training, who have aided and assisted him untiringly.
A committee of influential Chicago business and professional men, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Angus S. Hibbard, have formed the Camp Roosevelt Association, for the purpose of securing contributions each year to carry on the camping program. Thus Camp Roosevelt is maintained as a public institution, not a profit making enterprise, but with its financial soundness assured. Boys from all parts of the country who attend the camp are required to pay but a fraction of the usual cost for attendance at camps which include only a small part of the program so extensively carried on at Camp Roosevelt.
For this reason, the introduction of this, the first public "citizenship builder" in the country, may well be accounted a success, and its plan could with profit be emulated by public school systems throughout the country. Those of our readers who are looking ahead to the future of their growing sons would do well to study thoroughly the Camp Roosevelt Plan, and, if possible, give to their boys the opportunity of a period of training under such splendid supervision.
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SOME NOTES ON THE MEANING OF THE WORD "FREEMASON"
Bro. H. L. Haywood
THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD "MASON" has supplied amateur etymologists with endless opportunity for pursuing their favourite pastime of word catching, and with what results one may learn in the article on the question published in Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume II, page 471, where the most ingenious accounts are recorded of how the word came into existence, and what it meant when it did come into existence. Some of these are as fanciful as a piece of embroidery, and about as substantial.
Dr. Murray's New English Dictionary, which is published by the English Philological Society, the court of last appeal on the etymology of English words, sets us all a good example by refusing to commit itself to any derivation. "The ulterior etymology is obscure," it says, "possibly the word is from the root of Latin 'maceria' (a wall)." The same authority gives the every day modern use of the word "mason" as follows: "A builder and worker in stone; a workman who dresses and lays stone in building." A quotation is given of the date of 1205. It is doubtful if in this country, and at the present time, very many persons think of a mason as a "builder in stone": most of them think of him as one who cuts stone to shape and who fits it into place with mortar, or who does the same thing with brick: the idea of a mason being a builder has about gone out of the popular mind. The owner or architect is spoken of as the "builder."
But there was a time, it would appear from what meager records we possess, when a "mason" was all this and very much more beside; he was (or might be) one who could design a structure, superintend its erection, organize the workmen and manage them in their labours, and also carve, engrave, etc., etc. In short, he was a "builder," the very best possible definition of the word "mason," from our own point of view. "Of the term 'architect,'" says Gould in his Concise History (Revised) page 71, "there was apparently no use (in the Middle Ages) and it seems to have been only introduced into English books about the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth."
"Builder" must be understood here in its most literal sense. In the Middle Ages these men were doubtless organized into a fraternity, and had their secrets, their initiations, and their symbology, but all that was more or less secondary, and the principal thing was that churches, cathedrals, and similar structures should be erected. All the symbolical, speculative, spiritualizing uses of the term came later: "'Mason' may be German or Latin," writes Lionel Vibert in his Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodge, page 12, "but the ulterior etymology is obscure. At all events, when we first find it, it is purely and simply a trade name, and has no esoteric meaning of a brother or son of anything, or of anyone."
If an obscurity may be said to hang about the meaning of the word "mason" what shall we say of the cloud-banks that conceal the origins of the word "freemason"! Of this term Gould writes, in his Essays on Freemasonry, page 180: "The earliest use of the English word 'freemason' (at present known to us) is associated with the freedom of a London Company (1376), and it is from a similar, (or in part identical) class of persons, and not from the persons who worked free stone, that I imagine the existing term freemason to have been inherited." Findel, in his famous Geschichte der Freimaurerei, gives the word as used in 1212. Steinbrenner, in his Origin and Early History of Masonry, page 110, says the word occurs for the first time in a statute passed in 1350, which was in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Edward I. Leader Scott (see her Cathedral Builders) applies the term to the Magistri Comacini, but I haven't noted where she makes them ever use the word itself. It is not safe to make any definite assertions, as writers sometimes mistakingly do, about the earliest uses of the word: for one thing, because at any time somebody may discover a new manuscript or record; for another, because, as one follows back the stream of etymological change toward the sources of the language, he can't tell whether or not certain long dead words may or may not have meant "freemason," and there is no telling when new light may be thrown on the matter. Also, it is wise to be very careful about the "authorities" one makes use of; a number of Masonic writers have made assertions about the word born of nothing but a profound ignorance of philology.
About the meaning, or meanings, which may be more or less justly attached to this word there has been a vast deal of controversy and discussion. It is difficult to find more than two or three writers to agree at any one time. I shall give a list, in arbitrary order, of some five or six of the interpretations which have proved more or less satisfactory.
A LIST OF MEANINGS IS GIVEN
1. The Freemason was a superior kind of Mason.
"When we first meet with the word," writes Vibert in his Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges, page 13, "it clearly means a superior workman: and he draws higher pay." On page 12 of the same work Vibert quotes Speth as follows: "There is abundant evidence that in the course of time the Freemasons came to be looked upon as a special class of men endowed with superior skill, executing a well-defined class of work, and that this class of work became known as Freemasonry." I don't know of any of the first-class writers who have accepted this as a satisfactory account of the matter. The possible exception would be Conder, the author of The Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry, one of the source-books of very much modern Masonic literature, and a work that gives a complete history of the Masons' Company of London. To this work he added a brief chapter to show that the Masons came to be called "free" because the most skilled among them worked without plans: they were so adept in their art that they could dispense with mechanical aids, a "free-hand" artist does not need a set of tools as the ordinary draughtsman does.
2. Freemasons were Masons who had been made "free" in the ordinary medieval sense of that word.
There was little liberty in the Middle Ages the individual or for corporations: most of them were bound in some fashion or other to a lord or master, or a community, or to the church; those who were relieved from such obligations were "free." Stieglitz's History of Architecture is authority for the statement that the Byzantine builders of about the seventh century formed themselves into guilds and that on account of having received from the popes bulls giving them the privileges of living according to their own laws and ordinances they were called "free." Of the Magistri Comacini, Leader Scott writes: "They were Freemasons because they were builders of a privileged class absolved from; taxes and servitude, and free to travel about in times of feudal bondage." For this view Gould believes there is no evidence: "In Germany, as in England, a tradition prevailed from early times that the Masons were granted very exceptional privileges by the Popes; but whether in either instance it rested on any foundation of fact, must be left undecided." This is from page 36 of the 1903 edition of his Concise History.
3. A worker in "free stone."
Free stone was stone that had been brought from the quarry and made ready for the skilled workman: according to the theory here given Freemasons came to be thus called because they were skilled workmen who worked in free stone, in contradistinction to the "rough masons," (in Scotland they were called "cowans") who worked in the quarry. The statute of Edward I mentioned above, seems to bear out this definition. It was once in almost universal acceptance. Dr Begemann, one of the most erudite of all Masonic scholars, seems, unless I mistake his meaning, to accept this interpretation. Another learned scholar, Chetwode Crawley, says that, "The word 'Free' which we first meet with, [was] employed to designate worker in freestone." He adds, however, that the term gradually assumes the significance of "free of the guild." These references are to the fifteenth century.
4. Free in the sense of being free OF the guild.
A workman still under his indentures was not to go and come as he pleased: he was compelled to and work under the closest restrictions, and do what was laid before him, and when, and where he was told. After becoming a master, however, he became free of the guild in the sense that he enjoyed in it all its privileges. This definition accords well with the fact that among other groups of workmen were those called "free"; in a fifteenth century document certain tailors in Exeter are spoken of as "free tailors"; in a reference of 1666, carpenters are similarly designated; and there are many other records to the same effect in the histories of other guilds. Also, this definition fits in with the original meaning of the word "cowan." A member of the guild had to be made free by formal action of the company; he who refused to recognize the authority of the guild, and who set himself up to work as he chose, was called a cowan, and bitter was the feeling of the regular Mason toward such a "scab."
THE EMANCIPATED WORKMAN CALLED "FREE"
5. The New English Dictionary seems to lend its authority to the theory that "free" in freemason came into use to describe those workmen who were emancipated and given liberty to go and come as they pleased, anywhere and at any time. When skilled workmen were scarce, and there was not a man in the town who could do a certain bit of work, it was necessary to import one from an adjacent city. In the course of time more and more skilled workmen were thus passed about until at last the custom arose of giving such men their "freedom" that they might work wherever opportunity offered. This ingenious theory has plausibility in its favour but no facts, and it is a singular thing that all our Masonic scholars, after years of research, have never given countenance to such a notion: it goes to prove what Gould was always asserting, that speculation on things Masonic by men outside the craft are almost always worthless, be they scholars or not. Here is the definition as given in the Dictionary: "Perhaps the best hypothesis is that the term refers to the medieval practice of emancipating skilled artisans in order that they might be able to travel and render their services wherever any great building was in process of construction."
6. Perhaps the most brilliant hypothesis of all is that presented by William Speth in his now famous essay which was printed in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volume X, page 10. He contends that in medieval England there were two kinds of masons' guilds — stationary and travelling. The former were circumscribed by the limits of the city in which they were incorporated; they could do any kind of architectural work inside those bounds, but none outside. They were not free to go about, as a true trade union in our day would be free to do. But alongside these were guilds of masons who made a speciality of cathedral and similar building: owing to the difficulties of such work, to the special skill and experience demanded by it, these guilds differed in very many ways from the ordinary town guilds: their members were more expert, they had traditions and customs of their own, and they were free to move about from town to town as building needs might require. It was owing to the last named circumstance, so Speth asserts, that they were called "free," and he argues that modern Freemasonry descends from these itinerant guilds rather than from the better known and more numerous stationary, or town guilds. Speth offered this as "a tentative inquiry" and to date it remains as such, but many incline toward it and believe that it perhaps comes nearer than most hypotheses to solving the mystery. The reader who may care to go mole thoroughly into the matter may be referred to Gould's careful examination published in his Collected Essays on Freemasonry, page 171. The conclusion to which he arrived is clearly indicated by the last sentence of his essay: "To those of my fellow students, therefore, who are interested in the problem of 'Free' and 'Freemason,' let me conclude by saying — in the words of the Genius to the Hermit of Bassora — 'If you wish for the solution, be patient, and wait.'"
MACKEY'S ARTICLE IS GIVEN
To those who have not access to Mackey's Encyclopedia it may be a service to reprint the article on the word "Mason" as contained on page 471, Volume II:-
"The search for the etymology or derivation of the word Mason has given rise to numerous theories, some of them ingenious, but many of them very absurd. Thus, a writer in the European Magazine for February, 1792, who signs his name as 'George Drake,' lieutenant of marines, attempts to trace the Masons to the Druids, and derives Mason from 'May's on,' 'May's' being in reference to May-day, the great festival of the Druids, and 'on' meaning men, as in the French 'on dit,' for 'Homme dit.' According to this, 'May's on' therefore means the 'Men of May.' This idea is not original with Drake, since the same derivation was urged in 1766 by Cleland, in his essay on 'The Way to Things in Words, and on The Real Secret of Freemasons':
"Hutchinson, in his search for a derivation, seems to have been perplexed with the variety of roots that presented themselves, and, being inclined to believe that the name of Mason 'has its derivation from a language in which it implies some strong indication or distinction of the nature of the society, and that it has no relation to architects,' looks for the root in the Greek tongue. Thus he thinks that Mason may come from 'Mao Soon,' 'I seek salvation,' or from 'Mystes,' 'an omotoate'; and that Masonry is only a corruption of 'Mesouraneo,' 'I am in the midst of heaven'; or from 'Mazourouth,' a constellation mentioned by Job, or from 'Mysterion,' 'a mystery.'
"Lessing says, in his Ernst and Falk, that 'Masa' in the Anglo-Saxon, signifies a table, and that Masonry, consequently, is a 'society of the table.'
"Nicolai thinks he finds the root in the Low Latin word of the Middle Ages 'Massonya,' or 'Masonia,' which signifies an exclusive society or club, such as that of the round table.
"Coming down to later times, we find Bro. C. W. Moore, in his Boston Magazine, of May, 1844, deriving Mason from 'Lithotomos,' 'a Stone-cutter.' But although fully aware of the elasticity of etymological rules, it surpasses our ingenuity to get Mason etymologically out of Lithotomos.
"Bro. Giles F. Yates sought for the derivation of Mason in the Greek word 'Mazones,' a festival of Dionysus, and he thought that this was another proof of the lineal descent of the Masonic order from the Dionysiae Artificers.
"The late William S. Rockwell, who was accustomed to find all his Masonry in the Egyptian mysteries, and who was a thorough student of the Egyptian hieroglyphic system, derives the word Mason from a combination of the two phonetic signs, the one being MAI and signifying 'to love', and the other being SON, which means 'a brother.' Hence, he says, 'this combination, MAISON, expresses exactly in sound our word MASON, and signifies literally loving brother, that is, philadelphus, brother of an association, and thus corresponds also in sense:
"But all of these fanciful etymologies, which would have terrified Bopp, Grimm, or Muller, or any other student of linguistic relations, forcibly remind us of the French epigrammatist, who admitted that alphina came from equas, but that, in so coming, it had very considerably changed its route.
"What, then, is the true derivation of the word Mason? Let us see what the orthoepists, who had no Masonic theories, have said upon the subject.
"Webster, seeing that in Spanish 'Masa' means 'mortar,' is inclined to derive Mason, as denoting one that works in mortar from the root of "mass,' which of course gave birth to the Spanish word.
"In Low or Medieval Latin, Mason was 'machio' or 'macio,' and this Du Cangee derives from the Latin maceria,' 'a long wall.' Others find a derivation in 'machines,' because the builders stood upon machines to raise their walls. But Richardson takes a commonsense view of the subject. He says, It appears to be obviously the same word as maison, a house or mansion, applied to the person who builds, instead of the thing built. The French 'Maisoner' is to build houses; 'Masonrier,' to build of stone. The word Mason is applied by usage to a builder in stone, and Masonry to work in stone.'
"Carpenter gives 'Massom,' used in 1225, for a building of stone and 'Massonus,' used in 1304 for a Mason; and the Benedictine editors of Du Cange define 'Massoneria' 'a building, the French Maconnene, and Massonerius,' as 'Latomus' or a Mason, both words in manuscripts of 1385.
"As a practical question, we are compelled to reject all those fanciful derivations which connect the Masons etymologically and historically with the Greeks, the Egyptians, or the Druids, and to take to word Mason in its ordinary signification of a worker in stone, and thus indicate the origin of the order from a society or association of practical and operative builders. We need no better root than the Medieval Latin 'Macconer,' to build, or 'Maconetus,' 'a builder."'
BROWN GIVES A VERY FANCIFUL DEFINITION
To all this may be added a paragraph from Stellar Theology, by Robert Brown: "Masonic tradition is but one of the numerous ancient allegories of the yearly passage of the personified sun among the twelve constellations of the zodiac, being founded on a system of astronomical symbols and emblems, employed to teach the great truths of omnipotent God and immortality." The writer goes on to explain that the names of the Masonic degrees and officers all refer to the sun or moon.
William Tyler Olcott offers the following in his Sun Lore of All Ages, an interesting but uncritical book, where, on page 304, we may read: "The word Masonry is said to be derived from a Greek word which signifies 'I am in the midst of heaven,' alluding to the sun. Others derive it from the ancient Egyptian 'Phre,' the sun, and 'Mas,' a child, Phre-mas, i.e., children of the sun, or sons of light. From this we get our word 'Freemason."'
The excellent Cyclopedia of Fraternities, compiled and edited by Albert C. Stevens, prefers to define the term by means of a description, a wise method. Freemasonry, so we read, "is a secret fraternity, founded upon man's religious aspirations, which, by forms, ceremonies, and elaborate symbolism, seeks to create a universal brotherhood, to relieve suffering, cultivate the virtues, and join in the endless search for truth." (Page 17.)
It is manifest that we can never agree on a definition of "freemason" until we have agreed on some theory as to the origin of the Craft, and it is this fact that attaches so much importance to the word itself, and lifts the search for an adequate definition above levels of a mere learned pedantry. In the article on Freemasonry which appears in the opening pages of the Cyclopedia quoted above we find this paragraph:
"Among various theories as to the origin of modern Freemasonry, the following have had many advocates: (1) That which carries it back through the medieval stone masons to the Ancient Mysteries, or to King Solomon's Temple; (2) not satisfied with the foregoing, that which traces it to Noah, to Enoch, and to Adam; (3) the theory that the cradle of Freemasonry is to be found in the Roman Colleges or Artificers of the earlier centuries of the Christian era; (4) that it was brought into Europe by the returning Crusaders; (5) that it was an emanation from the Templars after the suppression of the Order in 1312; (6) that it formed a virtual continuation of the Rosicrucians; (7) that it grew out of the secret society creations of the partisans of the Stuarts in their efforts to regain the throne of England; (8) that it was derived from the Essenes, and (9) from the Culdees."
Alas and alack! when the doctors so disagree what are we poor laymen to do! Speaking for myself I may say that I am not a partisan of any one of these theories because I do not believe that we now know, and I am in doubt if we can ever know, the real facts about the origin of "freemasonry": know them, that is, with such certainty and definiteness as will enable us to be sure of a definition of the word. As things now stand I am more inclined towards Speth's theory than any other, but I feel that it is very possible that some two or three of the theories (among those that I have numbered) may be true at the same time.
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THE STORY OF PHILIPPINE MASONRY
Bro. G. J. Mariano
The following story, for all its directness and simplicity, moves before a background of dramatic struggle, of suffering, and passion. Our Filipino brethren were always confronted by two great difficulties in their endeavors to establish Masonry in the earlier days; the opposition of the authorities, and their unfamiliarity with a Craft that had its inception in, and derived its form from, English speaking people. One is grateful to Bro. Mariano for so straight-forward a narrative.
CONSIDERING THAT the Filipinos were under the Spanish rule for more than three hundred years and knowing that Spain was once and is still one of the most Catholic nations and the strongest supporter of the Inquisition during its life, the most natural and logical presumption would be that Freemasonry, in the Philippines could not flourish very well. However, this is not the case. In spite of the difficulties and sufferings encountered by Filipino masons in spreading, the light of truth, these self-sacrificing pioneers went ahead with the strongest determination towards the road of progress, slowly and secretly at first, then openly and vigorously afterwards.
Among the Spanish liberals who were sent to these Islands were Admiral Malcampo and, later, Admiral Mendez-Nunez, who showed their valour in fighting and stopping the Moro piracy; they were the organizers of the first lodge in the Philippines, established in Cavite in 1856 and called the "Primera Luz Filipino," under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Portugal. This lodge, however, was composed of Spaniards only. Later on, the foreigners in the Islands other than Spaniards organized another lodge to which Filipinos were admitted. The Spanish Masons soon discovered this and organized another lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente de Espanol to which Filipinos were admitted in order to win their confidence and help. This may be called the Spanish participation in Freemasonry in the Philippines.
In foreign countries leading Filipinos, among whom were Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena, Antonio Luna, Mariano Ponce, Dominador, Juan Luna and others, were initiated in the Order.
The first lodge which was composed wholly of Filipinos was organized in Madrid and called "Solidaridad Lodge No. 53" under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente Espanol. To Dr. Rizal and del Pilar belong the honor of conceiving the idea of organizing Philippine Freemasonry. Through the efforts of del Pilar the necessary authority was secured from the then Grand Master, Dr. Miguel Morayta, of the Grande Oriente Espanol, to organize lodges in the Philippines. Antonio Luna and Pedron Serrano were designated to come to the Philippines to organize Philippine Freemasonry. However, Antonio Luna was unable to come to the Philippines with Pedron Serrano.
THE FIRST FILIPINO LODGE IS ORGANIZED
It was in January 16, 1891, that the first Filipino Lodge was organized in the Philippines and was called Nilad Lodge No. 144, under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente Espanol, but it was not constituted until March 12, 1892. Soon after the constitution of the Nilad Lodge No. 144 applicants poured to her doors incessantly and the initiates in the Order were rapidly increasing in numbers. It was deemed advisable to take the necessary precautions in order that its existence might not be discovered by the enemies of the Craft, namely, the Roman Catholic Church supported by the Spanish Government. The State and the Church were united and went hand in hand in running the affairs of the Islands. The Church was considered as the safest foundation of the Spanish Government in the Islands.
The growth of the Craft was rapidly spreading to the four corners of the Philippines. The soil was, then, fertile but circumstances were against the open organization and labour in behalf of the ideals and principles of the Craft, much less its rapid growth. It must be remembered that to be a Mason in those days in the Philippines meant to be a traitor to his country, bad Christian, heretic, and was punished with deportation to the distant parts of the Islands or the facing of a firing squad. Torn from those nearest and dearest to him, such was his punishment for daring to aspire to see the light, to perform the duties he owed God, his country, his neighbour and himself, in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience! To be caught at a meeting clandestinely held meant a term of imprisonment, physical or mental torture, and in endeavors to extort from him, by force or otherwise, the most excellent tenets of Freemasonry, brotherly love, relief and truth.
AGUINALDO IS MADE A MASON
During the most trying and bloody last seven years of Spanish rule in the Islands, when Freemasonry was very active, its discovery caused nearly all its members to be executed or deported and very few escaped the wild methods of Spanish repression of the then breeding Philippine Revolution. The lodges were all temporarily shattered and the members persecuted like outlaws. At this critical period of the Philippine history the Filipino patriots and heroes of the Philippine Revolution, viz., Andras Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, General Vicente Lukban, one of the two last generals to surrender to the Americans, and others, were initiated in the mysteries of the Craft.
With the transfer of sovereignty circumstances also changed and a new era opened in Philippine Freemasonry, because its work has been made open and protected, where before it was kept hidden and was persecuted.
Brother Ambrosio Flores and others, soon after the downfall of the Spanish rule, immediately started the movement of reorganizing the lodges shattered by the destructive blows of tyranny. The first lodge to be organized was the Modestia Lodge No. 119; it was followed by the Dalisay Lodge No. 117; Sinukuan Lodge to. 272; Nilad Lodge No. 114; Walana Lodge No. 158; and Lusong Lodge No. 185. These lodges were under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente Espanol
The Gran Logia Regional was organized and installed on September 14, 1907, as the local supreme Masonic body over the lodges installed under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente Espanol until February 13, 1917, when she automatically ceased to exist as the twenty-seven lodges under her went to the Union of Freemasonry in the Philippines.
The first American lodge in the Islands began its work on August 21, 1898, and was authorized by a letter of dispensation issued by Brother Robert M. Carother, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota. However, this military lodge existed only for a year because on the following year when the North Dakota Regiment of Volunteers left the Islands for the United States the lodge with its letter of dispensation was taken by them. The Manila Lodge No. 1 (formerly No. 342) is the first American permanent lodge in the Islands and was organized in November 14, 1901, in the house of Brother H. E. Stafford, who later on became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands.
GRAND LODGE OF PHILIPPINE ISLANDS IS ESTABLISHED
Eleven years afterwards (December 18-19, 1912) the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands was duly and properly established. The Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands was composed then by the Manila Lodge No. 342, Cavite Lodge No. 350 and Corregidor Lodge No. 386, under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California.
At the establishment of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands two grand Masonic Bodies were then established: the Gran Logia Regional de Filipinas, under the Grande Oriente Espanol, made up by the Filipino lodges, with supreme authority over its subordinate lodges; and the other was the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, made up by the three first American lodges, also with supreme authority over the above mentioned American lodges. Each Grand Lodge worked for its own progress and prosperity in spite of the existence of the other in the same territory.
Undoubtedly the Gran Logia Regional de Filipinas truly represented Philippine Freemasonry as it was composed wholly by Filipino lodges, was older in the Philippines and its origin may be traced back to the glorious days of Rizal and del Pilar in their fights in Spain for liberal reforms; and to the days of Bonifacio, Jacinto, Aguinaldo, Mabini, Luna, and the heroes and martyr victims of Spanish tyranny, in their fights for the freedom of Filipinos. But the only thing lacking her and which she was working very hard for when the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands was constituted, was sovereign, supreme and exclusive territorial Jurisdiction in the Philippine Islands.
Lodges under the jurisdiction of other Supreme Councils were organized and installed in the Philippines but they all disappeared by joining the Gran Logia Regional, except the La Perla de Oriente Lodge No. 1034, S.C., which is still working.
PHILIPPINE MASONRY IS UNIFIED
The greatest Masonic event during the American administration was the UNIFICATION OF FREEMASONRY IN THE PHILIPPINES on February 14, 1917.
This memorial event was reported by Brother Charles S. Lobingier, Deputy of the Supreme Council, to the Sovereign Grand Commander and the Supreme Council, in part as follows: "Within the past year a divided house has been joined together. Where there was diversity there is now unity; where there was weakness there is potential strength. In short, it is my privilege, to announce the unification of our rite in the Philippines. Not that there has ever been dissension among the bodies of our obedience here, but, as you will note from previous reports of mine, Scottish Rite bodies, acknowledging allegiance to other Supreme Councils, have continued to exist there alongside our own. The reasons for this were mainly historical and call for brief review. In the Philippines, Masonry considerably antedates American occupation. As long ago as 1856 the Spanish Admiral Malcampo, later Governor-General, organized a lodge at Cavite, under the Grand Oriente of Portugal."
Brother Teodoro M. Kalaw, the last Grand Master of the Gran Regional Lodge, at the inauguration of the Salomon Temple, Manila, ten days after the unification, in the course of his address commented on the event in this wise: "It is well to say it here that we, the Freemasons of the Old Grande Oriente Espanol, did not go to the union without titles nor name. We brought to it our heroic and historic past. We had our own glories, our own traditions, and a beautiful and magnificent history full of heroism and blood. That is the richness we brought .... We went to the union for this sole consideration, only and exclusively, because we do not wish to see Freemasonry divided in the Philippines .... We went decidedly to the union to save the most principle: the UNITY OF FREEMASONRY."
At the present writing there are seventy-seven chartered Lodges and one under dispensation in the Philippine Islands under the jurisdiction of the Grand lodge of the Philippine Islands, F.&A.M. and several are on the way of formation. These lodges are located all over the Islands. In the farthest north province of Cagayan there is located the Mabini Lodge No. 39 named in honour of Brother Apolinario Mabini Filipino patriot and brain of the Philippine Revolution in the farthest south province of Davac, there is located the Sarangani Lodge No. 50 named after a mountain in the Island of Mindanao; in the east there is located in the Province of Leyte the Makabugwas Lodge No. 47, named after the morning star or "makabug-was" in Visayan dialect.
It can be safely affirmed, without fear of contradiction, that any brethren can go to any province in the Islands and surely meet other brethren. At present there are approximately six thousand Master Masons in the Islands.
MASONRY FLOURISHES IN MANILA
There are two concrete and one semi-permanent Masonic buildings in Manila, viz., the Masonic Temple, located in the Escolta, the business center in the Philippines; the Plaridel Temple named after the symbolic name of Brother Marcelo H. del Pilar, is located at Calle San Marcelino; and the Salomon Temple located at Calle Bilbao, Tondo, its main door facing the Manila Bay, one of the biggest and finest in the Orient and part of its foundations is being kissed by the rolling waves of the Manila Bay where the Spanish fleet, representing the sceptre and power of Spanish oppression, was destroyed by the American fleet under Admiral Dewey, representing democracy and the good-will of America by helping the Filipinos to establish their own free and independent government. In Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, there is another concrete Masonic building. Most of the Philippine Lodges own magnificent buildings.
The first book published about Freemasonry in the Philippines was printed in 1920 and written by Brother Teodoro M. Kalaw and this is the first attempt that real Freemasonry was brought to light and exposed to the Filipino public. I said real because the Freemasonry known to the majority of the people was the Freemasonry described and made known to the people by the friars to suit their purposes. The mere initiation to the mysteries of the Order involved the greatest personal sacrifice and therefore it was very risky to expose, explain and fight openly for the highest ideals and principles of the Craft. It meant as if between fire and powder, or having and the other out. All possible and imaginable means were exerted by the enemies of the Craft to discover the members in order to deport or to destroy the lodges, and by these tyrannical means the enemies of the Craft believed themselves to have succeeded in eradicating from its roots, at least in the Philippine Island, the triple and imperishable rights of men — Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality: Liberty to do right within the bounds of the law under which the rights of the individual and minority is protected as well as those of the majority; Fraternity, in the sober sense which regards that men are children of a common Father; and Equality in the eyes of the law, in political rights and in the rights of conscience.
There are three Masonic publications now in the Philippines, viz., "Hojas Sueltas," a monthly publication; and the "Far Eastern Freemason," a monthly publication; and the "Acacia," published fortnightly, Besides these, there are many bulletins issued by the various lodges.
FILIPINO MASONS ACTIVE PATRIOTS
In the fights of the Filipinos for their liberties the Filipino Freemasons have taken a leading and active part.
Dr. Jose Rizal, called the father of the Philippines, attorney Marcelo H. del Pilar, 33 degree, the founder and the first leader of Philippine Freemasonry, Graciano Lopez Jaena, patriot and founder of the "La Solidaridad," a fortnightly publication, were the leaders of the Filipino people in their fights for liberal reforms during the Spanish rule. Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Katipunan, Emilio Jacinto, the brain of the Katipunan; Emilio Aguinaldo, 32 degree, President of the erstwhile Philippine Republic, Apolinario Mabini, the brain of the Philippine Revolution; Antonio Luna, Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Philippine Republic, were the leaders in the fight for freedom against Spain and afterwards against America. During the present but peaceful fight for the final redemption of the Islands there stands, conspicuous, Hon. Manuel L. Quezon, 32 degree, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, President of the Senate, and Ex-resident Filipino Commissioner in Washington and the Filipino who has done more than any of his countrymen for the passage in the American Congress of the Jones Law, the preamble of which in part, is as follows:
"WHEREAS it is, as it has always been, the purpose of the people of the United States to withdraw their sovereignty over the Philippine Islands and to recognize their independence as soon as a stable government can be established therein, etc."
Hon. Rafael Palma, 32 degree, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, Senator and Ex-Secretary of the Interior; Hon. Teodoro M. Kalaw, 32 degree, Ex-Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge, Past Master of the Nilad Lodge No. 12 and Secretary of the Interior; Hon. Isauro Gabaldon, 32 degree, Filipino Resident Commissioner; Hon. Teodoro P,. Yangoo, 32 degree, Ex-resident Commissioner; Hon. Manuel Earnshaw, 32 degree, Ex-resident Commissioner, and many other leading Filipinos, have played an active part in Philippine affairs.
* * *
"Masonry requires of Masons fraternal confidence, sympathy and love. Masons are taught to confide in each other. And in this world, where there is so much cold suspicion and jealously and distrust, is it not cheering to feel that there are faithful hearts into which we can pour our sorrows and griefs and wrongs, and be assured that they will be met by no sneering repulse, by no frigid exhortation to take care of yourself, and to manage your own affairs better; but rather by a warm brotherly sympathy, that is at once interested fro you, ready to soothe and counsel and aid."
* * *
THE GREEN DRAGON TAVERN, OR FREEMASONS' ARMS
Bro. Charles W. Moore, Massachusetts
What the Goose and Gridiron Tavern is in the ancient annals of London Freemasonry The Green Dragon Tavern is to the memories of the Free-mason, of Boston and New England. In it and about it revolved many of the most exciting activities of the Boston Revolutionary times, not the least of which were the patriotic caucuses and plottings of the brethren who in those days held their lodge in that historic building. But there is no need here to expatiate upon that subject: the whole story is told at length and in colourful detail in the article printed below, which is an extract beginning on page 155 of "The Lodge of St. Andrew, and the Massachusetts Grand Lodge," printed in Boston, 1870, "by vote of the Lodge of St. Andrew."
NOTED LANDMARKS, which call to mind associations with the early history of a nation, always possess a peculiar interest to all lovers of their country, and the story belonging to them is awakening, as well as instructive. Among the famous places of Boston, in past days, was a widely known and celebrated building called The Green Dragon Tavern, situated on the border of a mill pond, in what is now Union street, and near the corner of Hanover street; "in its day," it was the best hostelry, of the town. The celebrity of the "Green Dragon" however, is not now due to any remembered excellence of hospitable entertainment, but for the social and political public and private gatherings of the people, — with other interesting local incident, — for three fourths of a century, antecedent to the American Revolution; and above all, for the stirring, patriotic, no less than timely consequential measures determined under its roof by the historic men of '76, who brought to pass that memorable Epoch. It was indeed the cradle of "Rebellion"; the chosen asylum, where the Revolutionary master spirits, who organized successful resistance to British aggression on the liberties of the colonies, took grave counsel together.
To the Masonic Fraternity of Massachusetts, the old "Green Dragon," — which, a century ago, began to be called also "Freemasons' Arms," — presents associations of especial significance. It was here within its walls, that the Freemasonry of this commonwealth was preserved in Grand Lodge jurisdiction, bright and vigorous; where its charities, its hospitalities, and its good tidings were kept up between the years 1775 and 1792, a period which witnessed the disruption, by reason of the war for Independence, of important branches of the Order in Massachusetts. Still further, this was the scene of Warren's most intimate political and Masonic associations, with the patriots and Masons of his time.
To the members of the Lodge of St. Andrew, this estate, — their own magnificent possession for more than a hundred years, — is endeared by ties which run over a still longer period.
No picture of the Green Dragon Tavern of any description, is known to be in existence save the on now presented in this "Memorial." This was engraved recently for the Lodge of St. Andrew, from a model which the Hon. N. B. Shurtleff prepared some years since, with his usual accurate and thorough knowledge of ancient noted Boston houses. From this model in wood, with much painstaking on the part of the "Lodge," in the way of exhibiting it for criticism to old inhabitants who were familiar with the look and details of this ancient structure — which was removed forty-two years ago, — the present picture has been made. It is believed to be a faithful representation and it may also be affirmed that it is unanimously recognized as such by every one who is competent to judge.
FROM THE RECORDS OF THE LODGE
At a Quarterly Communication, March 24, 1864 the Worshipful Master, Edward Stearns, called the attention of the Lodge to the fact that the Green Dragon Tavern was purchased by this Lodge, March 31, 1764, and that Thursday next, the 31st instant, would complete a period of one hundred years from the date of the deed of that estate. Whereupon, on motion of Brother Wellington, it was
Voted, That a committee of five be appointed, with full power to make arrangements for celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the purchase of the Green Dragon Tavern.
The following brethren were appointed: A. A. Wellington, Charles W. Moore, J.R. Bradford, Samuel P.Oliver, and Isaac Cary.
On motion of Brother Palmer, it was
Voted, That the above committee be increased to eight, that being the number of the original committee appointed January 12, 1764, "to purchase a house for the benefit of the Lodge of St. Andrew."
The Worshipful Master, Brother Wm. F. Davis, Senior Warden, and Brother John P. Ober, were thereupon added to the committee.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE LODGE RECORD OF THE CELEBRATION
A special meeting of the Lodge of St. Andrew was held in the new building on the "Green Dragon" estate, Union street, on Thursday evening, March 31, 1864, at 6½ o'clock, for the purpose of celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the purchase of the Green Dragon Tavern.
An apartment in the building was suitably decorated for the festival, and a bountiful dinner provided.
The Worshipful Master presided, and in a dignified, appropriate address, invoked the attention of the brethren to the ceremonies of the evening, and to the remarks of members whom he should call upon to speak upon the pleasant Masonic memories suggested by the spot whereon the Lodge was then assembled, and to the historical incidents connected with the "ancient Inn." After a proper allusion to the distinguished men who had held Masonic intercourse together in times past in the hall of the "Green Dragon," the Worshipful Master called up M. W. Brother Wm. Parkman:
Who stated that on the 12th day of January, 1764, the Lodge resolved by vote to purchase a house; accordingly Thomas Milliken, Samuel Barrett, Edward Foster, Caleb Hopkins, Moses Deshon, William Haskins, Joseph Webb, and John Jenkins were chosen a committee for that purpose. On the succeeding 31st of March, Catherine Kerr, by her deed of that date, conveyed in fee the premises known as the Green Dragon Tavern, unto the above named committee. The estate was managed by committees of the Lodge until 1832, when the estate was conveyed to Brothers Benjamin Smith, Henry Purkett, Zephaniah Sampson, David Parker, Thomas W. Phillips, John Suter, and Ezekiel Bates, to be held by them as trustees for the use and benefit of the Lodge of St. Andrew. In January 1852, Brothers Smith, Purkett, and Suter being deceased, a new board of trustees, consisting of Brothers David Parker, E. Bates, T. W. Phillips, Z. Sampson, J. P. Ober, Thomas Resteaux, and Wm. Parkman were chosen, to whom the premises were conveyed for the use and benefit of the Lodge. Brother David Parker was chosen chairman, Brother T. W. Phillips, treasurer, and Brother Wm. Parkman, secretary. In 1855 Brother Parker having removed from the city, resigned as chairman, and Brother John P. Ober was elected to fill the vacancy. In 1859 Brother Phillips died, and Brother Restieaux was elected treasurer.
The Most Worshipful Winslow Lewis then addressed the lodge, and said that:
By the dispensation of the Supreme Grand "Master, a severe domestic affliction has deprived us all of the presence of Brother Charles W. Moore, from whom we should have received the fullest information of those memorials of the past, which are so hallowed to the memories of every member of the Lodge of St. Andrew, who are now assembled to commemorate, on this spot, the associations connected with a locality dear to every Masonic heart, to every patriot's breast! But, Worshipful Master, our Brother Moore, though absent, and stricken by bereavement, was not willing to let this Centennial occasion pass by, without communicating such interesting facts relating to the Green Dragon Tavern as he had from time to time preserved. And I therefore shall, with your permission sir, read a communication on this subject, which my Brother Moore has handed me, to be presented to the Lodge at this festival.
REMINISCENCES OF THE GREEN DRAGON TAVERN
With perhaps the single exception of Faneuil Hall, there was no public building in Boston at the close of the last century, which had acquired a more extensive notoriety or filled a larger place in the local history of the town, than the old "Green Dragon Tavern." I need not trouble you with any particular description of it, for that will be given by one who is pre-eminently distinguished for his extensive and accurate knowledge of all the interesting historical localities of the city.
We have no record or other authentic evidence of the fact, but there can be little doubt that St. Andrew's Lodge, which was, in its incipiency, composed largely of North-End men, originated and was informally organized in the "Long Room," so-called, in the northerly end of this Tavern, in the year 1752. It is nevertheless proper to say, that this inference is predicated on the known fact, that it was in this Hall that in 1756 it was re-organized and commenced work under a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, — a circumstance that would not have probably occurred, had not the Hall been previously occupied by it, and was then in a condition suited to its purposes. And this hypothesis is strengthened by the additional fact, that it continued to hold its regular monthly meetings here until the year 1818, when it was removed to the Exchange Coffee House.
It was in this "Long Room," also, where so much of our Revolutionary history was made, that the Massachusetts Grand Lodge — an offshoot of St. Andrew's Lodge — with Joseph Warren for its Grand Master, was organized on the 27th of December, 1769, and continued to hold its meetings until its union with the St. John's Grand lodge in 1792.
In 1697 the tavern was kept by John Cary, and was at that early day, and perhaps earlier, known as the Green Dragon Tavern.
In 1764 the property was purchased by St. Andrew's Lodge, when it took the name of "Freemasons' Arms," — the new proprietors having placed a large Square and Compass on the front of the building. It however soon after dropped this title, and was more popularly known as "Masons' Hall"; by which name it continued to be masonically designated until the removal of the Lodge, when it resumed its ancient title of "Green Dragon Tavern."
On the 24th of June, 1772, the festival of St. John the Baptist, was celebrated by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, by a public procession, formed at Concert Hall, the brethren marching in full regalia to Christ Church in Salem street, where "a very suitable and pertinent discourse was preached by the Rev. Samuel Fayerweather, of Narragansett"; after which they returned to Masons' Hall, and "dined together in the Garden, under a long Tent erected for that purpose; and the remainder of the day was dedicated to mirth and social festivity."
The garden here spoken of, was in the rear of the house, and extended northerly to the water, covering the ground now occupied by Mr. Riddle as a salesroom. Our late Brother Sampson has said to me that he was accustomed in his boyhood days, to fish for flounders at the lower end of this garden; which, in early times, extended to what was then known as the "Mill Pond." — a large basin of salt water, cut off from Charles river by dykes, and used for mill and other purposes. It was here that in the winter-time the "North-End Boys" and the "West Enders" used to fight their mimic, and not always bloodless, sectional battles, until, after the occurrence of several serious mishaps, they were interfered with and their sports forbidden by the Selectmen of the town. It is hardly necessary to say that the area formerly occupied by this pond is now an extensive business section of the city.
There were present at the above celebration, M.W. Joseph Warren, Grand Master; R.W. Joseph Webb, D.G.M.; Paul Revere, S.G.W., pro tem.; Thomas Crafts, J.G.W. pro tem.; Samuel Barrett, G. Treasurer; Wm. Palfrey, G. Secretary; and the Masters, Wardens, and brethren of St. Andrew's Tyrian, Massachusetts, and St. Peter's Lodges, together with a sufficient number of visitors to make a company of ninety-seven brethren, which at that early day was a very large and full attendance.
Public Masonic Processions were at this time of rare occurrence. One of the earliest of which we have any record, took place on St. John's Day, Dec. 27, 1749, and was the occasion of unusual curiosity and interest in the community. It called forth from a learned wit a short poem, in which the circumstance is treated with much satirical humour and ridicule. The author of this poem was Joseph Green, a merchant of town, and undoubtedly an Anti-Mason, though it would be difficult to tell from what motive, unless it was that he had failed to obtain admission into "the Lodge." But whatever the motive may have been, the poem is so well done and so keen in its satire, that I do not hesitate to quote a few passages for your amusement. The marching of the Procession is thus described:
"See! Buck before the apron'd throng,
Marches with sword and book along;
The stately ram, with courage bold,
So stalks before the fleecy fold,
And so the gander, on the brink
Of river, leads his geese to drink."
The keeper of the Royal Exchange Tavern, where Masonic meetings were at one time held, is taken notice of in this wise:
"Where's honest Luke? that cook from London;
For without Luke the Lodge is undone.
'Twas he who oft dispell'd their sadness,
And filled the Brethren's heart with gladness
Luke in return is made a Brother,
As good and true as any other,
And still, though broke with age and wine,
Preserves the token and the sign."
In another place Luke comes in with less credit:
"The high, the low, the great and small,
James Perkins short, and Aston tall;
Johnson as bulky as a house,
And Wethered smaller than a louse.
We all agree, both wet and dry,
From drunken Luke to sober I."
The poet designates Lewis Turner as "Pump Turner," probably from his occupation. Dr. Thomas Aston figures as "Aston tall." Francis Johonnet is called "laughing Frank," and is thus nicely introduced:
"But still I see a numerous train:
Shall they, alas! unsung remain?
Sage Hallowell, of public soul,
And laughing Frank, friend to the bowl;
Meek Rea, half smother'd in the crowd,
And Rowe, who sings at church so loud."
Aston was an apothecary and grocer; Hallow here referred to, was probably Captain Benjamin Hallowell an active and influential Mason; John Rea was a ship-chandler, and kept in Butler's Row; John Rowe afterwards Grand Master, was a distinguished merchant and importer, and lived in Essex street, and the owner of Rowe's pasture, through which Rowe street now runs; Buck, probably means Buckley member of the First Lodge, as were also Henry Whethered and Henry Johnson.
Our brethren, in these early days of the Institution in the colonies, were more particular in the observance of the winter and summer festivals of the Order (Dec. 27th and June 24th) than their successors have been. These celebrations, however were not always public. On the contrary, I believe that of the 24th of June, 1772, was an exceptional case in the history of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge; and, consequently, in that of our own Lodge; for the two bodies, on all occasions, moved as a unit, and held their festivals together at the Green Dragon. I will not occupy your time by referring to them in the order in which they took place, but that of 1773, being the last with which General Warren's name is connected as being present, I deem it worthy of special notice in this connection; and this cannot be done more satisfactory than in the words of the record. The annual communication of the Grand Lodge was held this year, on the 3d of December, and after the ordinary business had been disposed of, the record says:
"The Most Worshipful Grand Master (Warren) then desired the opinion of the Grand Officers present, with respect to Celebrating the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, 27th Instant.
"Motioned and Seconded, The Feast be Celebrated the 27th Instant, at Masons' Hall (at the Green Dragon).
"Voted, The Stewards of the Grand Lodge of St. Andrew's, and the Massachusetts Lodges, agree for and provide the dinner, and that three Brethren be desired to joyn the Stewards.
"Voted, Brothers Bruce, Proctor [and] Love.
"Voted, The Festival be advertised in the Public Prints."
I accordingly find in the "Boston Evening Post," of December 20, 1773, the following advertisement:
"THE Brethren of the Honourable Society of Free and Accepted MASONS, are hereby notified, That the Most Worshipful JOSEPH WARREN, Esq., Grand Master of the Continent of America; intends to Celebrate the Feast of St. JOHN the Evangelist, on Monday the 27th of December Inst. at Free Masons' Hall (at the Green Dragon), Boston, where the Brethren are requested to attend the Festival.
By Order of the Most Worshipful Grand Master. Wm. Hoskiss, G. Sec'y.
"N.B. Tickets may be had of Mess. Nathaniel Coffin, junr., William Mollineaux, junr., and Mr. Daniel Bell.
"The Table will be furnished at Two o'clock."
This "Feast" was held in the Long Room of the Green Dragon on the 27th, and the record names as being present, "M.W. Joseph Warren, Esq., Grand Master; Hon. Wm. Brattle, Esq.; Rev. Dr. Samuel Mather; Worshipful Joseph Webb, Esq.; and thirty-eight others including the Grand Officers."
There had formerly been some degree of coldness between the two Grand Lodges in the Province; as was natural enough in view of the causes which led to the organization of the younger body. It is therefore the more gratifying to find on the record such unmistakable evidence of the fraternal feeling existing between them at this time, as the following:
"The Most Worshipful Grand Master was pleased to direct three Brethren, viz: Jona. Williams, Elisha Thatcher, and H. Hatell, to wait upon The Most Worshipful John Rowe, Esq., Gd. Master, the Grand Officers and Brethren at Their Feast, at Col. Ingersoll (Bunch of Graves Tavern), to acquaint them, the Healths would be drank at half after 4 o'clock. The committee returned for answer, that Grand Master Rowe and the Brethren concerned would return the Compliment at that period."
I give the following summary of the "Reckoning on this occasion as a matter of curious reminiscence:
|50 dinners a 3 s||7. 10 0|
|13 dbtle. Bowles Punch||1. 14 8|
|12 Bottles Port a 3 s||1. 16 0|
|17 do. Medaira, a 4 s||3. 8 0|
|14. 16 8|
|Collected — 40 Tickets a 6 s||12. 0 0|
|After Collection||2. 16 0|
|14. 16 8|
"Punch" was a favourite Beverage in the days which we are speaking, and very large "double Punch Bowles" were a fashionable, if not a necessary appendage to the dinner table on all public occasions; nor we they dispensed with until a much later date.
Our late Brother John J. Loring was initiated in Masonry at the Green Dragon, and used to describe with quiet humour, the appearance of Brother Eben'r Oliver, — one of the old-school North-End mechanics, and the Closet Steward of the Lodge, — while in the discharge of what the brethren then doubtless held be one of the most important of his official function. He was a large portly man, and without exaggeration, might exclaim with Falstaff,
"I am in the waist two yards about." He was ............."fat, Sleek-headed, and such as sleep o'nights.................. "In fair, round belly, with good capon lined."
But withal a most excellent, amiable, and faithful brother.
The Lodge having reached a convenient resting place in its "work," the brethren were called from labour to refreshment, — and refreshments in those days was what the word in its common acceptation implies. At this interesting period of the proceedings, Brother Oliver never failed promptly to present himself at the door, in his best, "bib and tucker," bearing a huge Punch Bowl! — one half resting on his correspondingly huge abdominal protuberance, the other supported his brawny arms. Thus prepared for the encounter, the brethren being seated "in order," with their glass in hand, — he, with dignified solemnity, and fully impressed with the magnitude of the business before him slowly commenced his tour of duty, — paying his respects first to the Master in the "East," and then passing regularly around the hall, until the members were all supplied, or in the technical language of the day, "all charged," and waiting the order of the Master. He then slowly retired, with the benedictions of his brethren, and a consciousness of having faithfully performed his share in the "work" of the evening!
Such a scene would not commend itself to favour at the present time; but it was one of a class common, only in the Lodges, but with modifications, in the social, civil, literary and religious societies of that early day, when .... The funeral baked meats
"Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables."
It was in the "Long Room" of the Green Dragon that on the 28th of August, 1769, the present St. Andrew's Chapter was organized as a Royal Arch Lodge, under the authority of the Charter of St. Andrew's Lodge. This degree was anciently given in Masters' Lodges; which arrangement was subsequently changed, and it was conferred in Royal Arch Lodges, attached to and working under the authority of the Charters of Craft lodges. The present Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Ireland still retain a nearly analogous provision in the following words: "Every Warrant to hold Councils or Encampments, shall be granted to some warranted or acknowledged Lodge to which a Royal Arch Chapter is attached; and shall not only bear the same number, but shall be held in the same place in which the Lodge and Chapter usually hold their meetings."
General Warren was a member of this Lodge, and being present in 1770, the year after its organization, the record says he "gave his opinion in favour of holding (continuing) the Royal Arch Lodge until he should receive instructions from Scotland. If then so directed, he will grant them a Charter therefor." There is no evidence that such a charter was required or issued, and the Lodge continued to hold its meetings at the same place, and under its original authority, until the 25th of November, 1790, at which date we find in the records the following vote:
Voted, That Brother Matthew Groves be a committee to return the thanks of this Lodge to St. Andrew's Lodge for their politeness in granting us the use of their Charter.
General Warren, as before stated, was a member of the Royal Arch Lodge, as were also Col. Joseph Webb, Col. Paul Revere, and other prominent members of St. Andrew's Lodge. Indeed, of the twenty-one members who composed the Royal Arch Lodge in 1769, fourteen of them were members of St. Andrew's Lodge. In 1794 this Lodge assumed the name of a "Royal Arch Chapter," and in 1798 it united with King Cyrus Chapter of Newburyport, and at Masons' Hall, in the "Green Dragon Tavern," organized the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts.
On the 17th of May, 1770, the petitioners for "the Massachusetts Lodge," which was a scion of St. Andrew's Lodge, met at "Masons' Arms," in the "Green Dragon Tavern," and organized that body. It held its second meeting at the same place on the following 4th of June, and was then removed to "Concert Hall." And on the 10th of November, 1795, Columbian Lodge also held a meeting at the "Green Dragon." These were the only occasions when the "Long Room" was ever occupied by any other private Masonic Lodge than our own. Columbian Lodge was at this date located at Concert Hall, and its occupancy of the room on the occasion referred to, was probably a matter of accommodation to the proprietors of that establishment, which was then the popular resort for dancing parties and other social purposes.
But it is perhaps to the political associations which cluster around its name, that the Green Dragon Tavern is more particularly indebted for its historic celebrity. It was here that many of the most important and eventful of the political transactions preceding the Revolution were, if not positively inaugurated, discussed, matured and put into execution. That this was so, is undoubtedly in some measure to be accounted for by the fact, that the Hall in the building was the only room in the Northern section of the town, excepting Deblois's Hall, on the corner of Queen and Hanover streets, which at that time was adapted to popular assemblies; and by the additional and perhaps more significant fact, that the principal leaders of the Revolution in Boston, were members of the Masonic Fraternity, and many of them of the Lodge which held its communications there, — a circumstance which would very naturally influence them in the selection of the place for their private consultations. It is not however, to be inferred from this, that they either met as Masons or used Masonry as a cover to their purposes; for others than Masons were associated with them. But be this as it may, it will not be irrelevant nor perhaps wholly uninteresting to the members of the lodge, to refer briefly to some of the more popular purposes to which the Hall, in the early days of its history, was appropriated.
One of the largest, and perhaps one of the most efficient of the political clubs which sprung into existence during the troublous times of 1768, and onward, was that known as "The North-End Caucus." This body was composed almost exclusively of North-End mechanics, — distinguished for their daring and activity, — and held its meetings in the Hall of the "Green Dragon Tavern." Warren who, Frothingham says, was idolized by the North-Enders," was an influential member of it, as were Revere and others of his personal friends.
The Hall was also used as a central and safe place for the meetings of private committees and rallying clubs, with which Warren, as chairman of the "Committee of Safety," was in frequent consultation, and directed their movements. Barry, in his History of Massachusetts, says: "The town (Boston) was full of clubs and caucuses, which were used with effect to secure unity of action; and the hardy mechanics who had done so much to promote the industrial prosperity of the metropolis, and who now acted as patrols, were the steady supporters of the patriot cause. In vain were the artifices of loyalists employed to seduce them to compliance with the wishes of his excellency; and when their services were required at the barracks, 'all the carpenters of the town and country' left off work; and British gold was powerless to tempt them, though 'hundreds were ruined, and thousands were half starved,' nay, they went further, and obstructed the works of the governor. His supplies of straw were set on fire; his boats conveying bricks were sunk; and his wagons laden with timbers were overturned."
The character and services of these important Clubs are well illustrated by our Brother Paul Revere, in his narrative of the events of 1775, when he says, about thirty persons, chiefly North-End mechanics, had agreed to watch the movements of the British soldiers and the Tories, in anticipation of their descent on Concord. These patriots met at the Green Dragon Tavern. "We were so careful," he says, "that our meetings should be kept secret, that every time we met, every person swore upon the Bible that they (he) would not discover any of our transactions, but to Messrs. Hancock, Drs. Warren and Church, and one or two more leaders. They took turns to watch the soldiers, two by two, by patrolling the streets all night."
In reference to this club, Elliott, in his history of New England, has the following: "Among the most active of the Sons of Liberty was Paul Revere. In the Fall and Winter of 1774-5, some of the best Boston mechanics formed themselves into a club, to watch the doings of the British soldiers. They were 'High Sons of Liberty,' and men of action, who met at the Green Dragon Tavern; and every man swore on the Bible that nothing should be revealed except to Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Dr. Warren, and Dr. Church" (the latter a traitor). Revere was a leading man in this club, and was sent by Warren on the night of the 18th of April to notify Hancock and Adams of the movement of the British troops on Lexington and Concord, at the former of which places these two patriots were concealed.
Another of these Clubs which held their meetings at the Green Dragon Tavern, was the "Caucus-Pro Bono Publico," of which Warren was the leading spirit, and in which, says Elliott, "the plans of the Sons of Liberty were matured."
It is to be regretted that no authentic record of the names of the persons who composed the Boston Tea Party in 1774, has come down to us. "But," says Frothingham, "as Warren was presented to the Privy Council as one of the prominent actors in these proceedings, and was held up by his political opponents at home, as one of the Mohawks," and as "he was not one to shrink from any post of duty, it is not more improbable that he was one of the band who threw the tea overboard, than that his friend John Hancock (captain of the Cadets) should have been one of the guard to protect the actors."
The tradition of the Lodge is, that all the preliminary measures in this affair were matured at the Green Dragon, and that the execution of them was committed mainly to the members of the North-End Caucus, — that stalwart and fearless band of North-End mechanics, whose directing genius was Warren, — having the cooperation of the more daring of the "Sons of Liberty." That Warren was present as a leader in the affair, does not admit of any serious doubt; nor is there any question that his personal friends Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Joseph Webb, Paul Revere, Thomas Melville, Adam Collson, Henry Purkett (who used modestly to say he was present only as a spectator, and in disobedience to the orders of his Master, who was actively present), and other patriots of the day, were cognizant of it, — and some of whom at least are known to have participated in its final consummation. It was the first act in the great drama, the conclusion of which was the independence of the country.
The "Master" referred to above, with whom our late Brother Purkett served his apprenticeship, was Samuel Peck, a cooper by trade, and one of the leading and influential members of the "North-End Caucus." He was also an active member of St. Andrew's Lodge, — a connection which strengthens the tradition of the Lodge, that the table for the famous Tea Party was first spread in its "Long Room." Among the members of the Lodge, who are known to have taken an active part in the affair, were Adam Collson, Thomas Chase, Samuel Gore, Daniel Ingollson, Samuel Peck, Edward Proctor, Henry Purkitt, and Thomas Urann.
I have looked in vain for a copy of an old revolutionary song said to have been written and sung as a "rallying song" by the "tea party" at the Green Dragon. The following fragment, though probably not in all respects an exact transcript of the original, will indicate its general character:
Rally, Mohawks! — bring out your axes!
And tell King George we'll pay no taxes
On his Foreign tea!
His threats are vain — and vain to think
To force our girls and wives to drink
His 'vile Bohea!
Then rally boys, and hasten on
To meet our Chiefs at the Green Dragon.
Our Warren's there, and bold Revere,
With hands to do and words to cheer
For Liberty and Laws!
Our country's "Braves" and firm defenders,
Shall ne'er be left by true North-Enders,
Fighting Freedom's cause!
Then rally boys, and hasten on
To meet our Chiefs at the Green Dragon.
I regret not being able to give the balance of this song, but perhaps some curious antiquary may hereafter discover it, if it ever appeared in print. I am inclined to think, however, that it was a doggerel made for the occasion, and passed away when it ceased to be of use, or appropriate. The two stanzas I have reproduced, are given as nearly as my memory serves, as they were often recited more than a third of a century ago, by the late Brother Benjamin Gleason, who, born near the time, was curious in gathering up interesting reminiscences of the revolutionary period of our history.
In January 1788, a meeting of the mechanics and artisans of Boston was held at the Green Dragon Tavern, and there passed a series of resolutions urging the importance of adopting the Federal Constitution, then pending before a Convention of delegates from different parts of the State. Hon. Daniel Webster, in a speech delivered by him at Andover, in the autumn of 1843, referring to this meeting and these resolutions, holds the following language: "There was a particular set of resolutions, founded on this very idea of favouring home productions, full of energy and decision, passed by the mechanics of Boston. And where did the mechanics of Boston meet to pass them? Full of the influence of these feelings, they congregated at the Head-Quarters of the Revolution. I see, waving among the banners before me, that of the old Green Dragon. It was there, in Union street, that John Gray, Paul Revere," both members of the Lodge, "and others of their class, met for consultation. There, with earnestness and enthusiasm, they passed their resolutions. A committee carried them to the Boston delegation in the Convention," then in session. Paul Revere, whom Mr. Webster in a previous address, delivered on another occasion, says, was, "a man of sense and character, and of high public spirit, whom the mechanics of Boston ought never to forget," was chairman of this committee. He placed them in the hands of Samuel Adams. "How many mechanics," said Mr. Adams, "Were at the Green Dragon when these resolutions were passed?" "More, sir," was the reply, "than the Green Dragon could hold." "And where were the rest, Mr. Revere?" "In the streets, sir." "And how many were in the streets?" "More, sir, than there are stars in the sky."
The late Hon. Edward Everett, in an address on the Battle of Lexington, delivered at Lexington on the 19th of April, 1835, speaking of the patriot Samuel Adams, says:
"He was among the earliest and ablest writers on the patriotic side. He caught the plain, downright style of the Commonwealth in Great Britain. More than most of his associates, he understood the efficacy of personal intercourse with the people. It was Samuel Adams, more than any other individual, who brought the question home to their bosoms and firesides, not by profound disquisitions and elaborate reports, — though these in their place were not spared, — but in the caucuses, the club rooms, at the Green Dragon, in the ship-yards, in actual conference, man to man and heart to heart."
The Old South Church was, in these stirring times, called by the patriots, the Sanctuary of Freedom; while, on the other hand, the Green Dragon Tavern was denounced by the Tories as a Nest of Traitors! The distinction in these appellations is more obvious than the difference! The enemies of the tyrannical and oppressive measures of the government, were all either patriots or traitors, according to the standard by which they were tried.
I give these anecdotes as striking and forcible illustrations of the popular character of the Green Dragon, and of the important part which the mechanics of the North-End played in public affairs, at that day. It is not however, to be inferred that the mechanics residing in other sections of the town were inactive. That the former appear more prominently than other of their class, is probably owing to the circumstance that the North-End was then the business part of the town, and where most of the mechanical trades were carried on.
It man I think, be safely assumed, that from the year 1767, when the Townshend Revenue Acts were passed, imposing a Tax on Tea, creating a Board of Customs, and legalizing Writs of Assistance, to the close of the War of Independence, there was not a other public house in the whole country, and assuredly not in Massachusetts, where so much of the "secret history" of the Revolutionary period was made, as at the old Green Dragon Tavern; and it is to be deeply regretted that the subject was not attended to when that history could have been intelligently and reliably written. It is now too late. The patriotic men who alone could have furnished the material have passed away, — and they have taken their "secret" with them.
When Mr. Webster, who was perhaps better read in the early local history and events of the Revolutionary period than any other public man of his time, described the Green Dragon Tavern as the "Head-Quarters of the Revolution," he wrote the title page, and opened a volume, which, if written as he alone could have written it, would have been an addition to the early political annals of the Commonwealth of surpassing interest and importance.
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CORRECTIONIn the article on "An Early Masonic Document of South Carolina," by Samuel Oppenheim, in our July number, our attention has been called by the author to a misreading in our printing of some of the names in the facsimile petition and in giving the names of the signers on behalf of the various lodges. The name in the petition printed as E. W. Weyman should, according to Mackey's History of Freemasonry in South Carolina, be Cav: Weyman, and that printed as G. McArthur, Jr. Grand Warden should be Geo. Aertsen, Junr. Grand Warden. In the list of lodge signers, Sam Campbell, of Lodge No. 4, should read Law. Campbell; Lodge No. 5, Alex. Roff should be Alex. Ross; Lodge No. 8, T. Reid should be S. Reid; Lodge No. 10, E. W. Weyman again should be Cav: Weyman; Lodge No. 11, Samuel Pilbury should be Samuel Pilsbury; Lodge No. 16, Touber Borten should be Jabez Borten; Lodge No. 17, J. N. Mitchell should be Jno. Mitchell. In the account of the signers the reference to E. W. Weyman, Lodge No. 10 should be Cav: Weyman; and the reference to Simon Magwood should read: Simon Magwood, of Lodge No. 14, was Grand Master in 1802. In 1828 he wrote to the Grand Lodge asking to be excused from further attendance because of age, saying he had attended meetings for forty years. He then presented his apron to the Grand Lodge, of which he was thereupon made an honorary member.
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"The first thought of a Mason should be, as his duty is, to trust in God. This thought leads the true Mason to desire His aid and guidance. From this comes Faith: and then follows Hope, inciting to action. Trust and Hope inspire confidence in government and respect for law."
— H. G. Reynolds.
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A GERMAN MASONIC BIBLIOGRAPHY
BIBLIOGRAPHIE DER FREIMAURERISCHEN LITERATUR; by August Wolfstieg. Published 1911-13 by the Verein Deutscher Freimaurer, Germany. Vol. I, 1990 pp.; Vol. II, 1041 pp.; Vol. III (Register), 536 pp. Octavo, paper covers, weight twelve pounds. Anastatic reprint, Leipzig, 1923. Price $18.00, carriage extra. Obtainable through the National Masonic Research Society, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
"OF MAKING MANY BOOKS THERE IS NO END; and much study is a weariness to the flesh." The preacher who thus admonished his readers may not have been a member of our ancient and Honorable Fraternity — I seriously doubt it — yet his words are decidedly applicable to the voluminous literature of the Craft. One little suspects how many books have been written about Freemasonry until he turns the pages of the three large volumes of Wolfstieg's masterpiece named above. His name is familiar to Masonic students conversant with the German language, for he ranks among the foremost Continental Masons of the present day; but for all his other writings his fame will be preserved to Masonic posterity through this stupendous bibliography of Craft literature.
The earliest Masonic bibliography known is the four page list included in the Almanach des Franc-Maçons for 1757. Other compilations were made in later years, of which Deutsche Bücherkunde der Freimaurerei by Karl Christoph Stiller, published in 1830, was by far the most pretentious. It described 1052 Masonic publications.
Brother Stiller, however, was not the first European of his period to consider the publication of an extensive Masonic bibliography. His efforts were preceded by those of Friedrich Mossdorf (1757-1843) and Johann Christian Gaedicke (1763-?) who had each compiled lists, but which were never published in book form. Mossdorf, however, did publish (1826) his Handbuch der Mysterien and Geheime Verbindungen, which was part of the proposed bibliography, but unfortunately, never printed.
The German Masonic literature of the first half of the last century clearly indicates an active interest in the Fraternity. Only sixteen years elapsed after the publication of Stiller's bibliography when the foremost volume of its kind for that century appeared, the Bibliographie der Freimaurerei, by Dr. Georg Klosz, published in Frankfort in 1844. Klosz compiled a list of over 5400 titles, and added greatly to the value of his book by means of explanatory notes. This volume completely overshadowed all previous bibliographies, which are of value now only as curiosities of Masonic literature.
The next noteworthy contribution to Masonic lbibliography was the supplement to Klosz's book, compiled by Reinhold Taute, Maurerische Buecherkunde: Ein Wegweiser durch die Literatur der Freimaurerei, published in 1886. Early books not known to Klosz were added, and the list is especially complete in hooks published between 1844 and 1885. It has copious notes, and is an improvement on Klosz inasmuch as a more detailed classification of subjects is made.
The phenomenal growth of the Masonic Fraternity in the years following 1886 made it very advisable to prepare a new bibliography of Masonic books. As early as 1903 the Verein Deutscher Freimaurer considered the subject, and after careful deliberation, a special committee was appointed to devise ways and means of undertaking the colossal task. Prof. Dr. August Wolfstieg was appointed chairman of the committee which was finally authorized to carry cut the assignment, an appropriation of approximately $6,500 was made, and under Wolfstieg's leadership, five ladies, experienced in library work, spent ten months in visiting Continental libraries and gathering necessary data. The classification of material was begun in October 1910, and in the following year the first volume of Wolfstieg's Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen Literatur appeared. Volume II was published in 1912, and the Register (index) followed in 1913.
It is essential to examine the books carefully in order to fully appreciate the value. They are not specifically designed for reading or study — for such close application to the volumes is indeed "a weariness to the flesh." Yet to the critical student of Masonry, and to librarians especially, the work is a positive necessity.
The 43,000 titles which the first two volumes contain are divided into two large classifications — general and historical. The first of these is subdivided into nineteen general heads, of which the following are a few: bibliography, catalogs, journals, pocket-companions, collections and serial works, anthologies and songs, addresses and sermons, encyclopadias, essays, etc. One hundred and eighty-seven pages, comprising 3771 items, are devoted to this first division.
The second division treats of Masonic history under fifty-four heads. The first nine include books and articles on introduction to Masonic history, secret societies and their history, the history of Freemasonry in general, early history, the mysteries and building art of ancient times, medieval period, the Renaissance and the Reformation, the classical period, and the general history of Freemasonry after the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England. Thirty-four heads treat of Masonic history in various parts of the world by geographical classification. The remaining divisions itemize books on military lodges, biographies, catalogues of Masonic antiquities, coins, medals, seals, heraldry, hieroglyphics, topography and chronology.
The original plan was to include only German publications, but after the work was begun, it was wisely decided not to entirely omit foreign language publications. A list of library catalogs consulted clearly indicates, with the exception of one American, three English, two French and three Dutch lists, that very little attention was given to anything but German indexes. It is to be regretted that the many existing English and American catalogs were not consulted, among them those of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the Supreme council, A.&A.S.R., Washington, D. C.; Library of Enoch T. Carson, valuable because of comprehensive and illuminating notes; the Masonic Library of General Samuel C. Lawrence, now in the possession of the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts; Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania; and others which might be mentioned. These could have been obtained without difficulty.
Yet it is possible that the absence of many English and American publications in this bibliography par excellence may stimulate an energetic American Masonic association or an individual brother to prepare a bibliography of Masonic books and noteworthy magazine articles which have appeared in the English language. Such an enterprise would, of necessity, be a labor of love; but to any one familiar with the literature of the Craft, the assignment would not be a difficult task. I confess that I should like to undertake it myself.
J. H. Tatsch.
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CONCERNING THEOPHRASTUS BOMBASTUS VON HOHENHEIM, OTHERWISE CALLED PARACELSUS
PARACELSUS; HIS PERSONALITY AND INFLUENCE AS PHYSICIAN, CHEMIST AND REFORMER, by John Maxson Stillman, Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, Stanford University, Published by The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago. Order from National Masonic Research Society, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cloth, 184 pages, bibliography, illustrated. Price $2.10.
After the Barbarians had smashed up Roman civilization there ensued a period of restlessness during which tribes and nations ran about like grasshoppers in a field; governments came and went like smoke; and the chief business of man was to rant about over the earth making war. In the course of time this vast and bloody confusion settled down, and the Barbarians themselves learned how to behave as civilized people: cities were built; highways were laid; morals were adopted; and the tribes came under the steady influence of civil law. Slowly there uprose upon this foundation a system of thought which culminated after several centuries in what we call Scholasticism. This Great System (it may be so called) rested ("rested" is an accurate word here, because the system had a rigidity about it like crystals) upon two vast dogmas: the ultimate authority of the Pope in morals and religion; and the authority of Aristotle in science. Men did not begin by asking, What are the facts? but, What say the authorities? The naturalist said, What did Pliny write? The physician was more anxious to learn the text of Galen, or Avicenna, than to know the patient's temperature. If the dicta of the authorities did not coincide with facts, so much the worse for facts! Such was the spirit of the time.
To our eyes this Great System was a house of cloud hanging suspended in the heaven, having in it no substance of fact, and under it no solid foundation: but to the men of the time it was anything but cloud-like, for it was built solidly into the human scheme of things; the force of armies was behind it; laws upheld it; superstition confirmed it; and there were countless vested interests to protect it. The individual who set himself up in opposition dashed his head against a wall of brass.
The break-up of the Great System was one of the most exciting periods in all of human history; at any rate, the story of it is exciting to read, for it was a season of alarms and excursions, a huge confusion, a tremendous anarchy. A world broke into pieces, and time was divided into before and after. Nature, reason, and the logic of facts made war upon authority, and great was the battle, like some dim struggle in the night between Gog and Magog. The principal leaders in the warfare were almost all tragic figures, who went about with blood running down their faces, striving mightily. Few of them stand out of the scene with any distinctness, for they labored in smoke and dust and darkness, and what glimpses we can get of them are like vivid pictures seen in lightning flashes. Luther, Erasmus, Leonardo, Copernicus, Columbus, Rabelais, Machiavelli, Vesalius, Lorenzo, and the phoenix-like Savonarola, these and their companions in the struggle, where is there a one about whom we have clear and adequate knowledge? They are one and all children of storm, and the objects of endless debate and controversy.
There is a sense in which the most typical of all these protagonists is Theophrastus Bombastus von Mohenheim, better known by his own invented cognomen of Paracelsus, which name itself is a symbol of the era, for it was chosen for controversial purposes. This Swiss-German, born two years before Columbus arrived on these western shores, was a kind of monstrosity, half giant and half dwarf, with medieval superstition rampant in one hemisphere of his brain, and modern thought bursting in the other. He fought, bled and suffered, made war on the Pope and on Luther, set up one school of medicine and overthrew another, engaged in countless controversies, and spent years rushing over Europe in search of knowledge like a man in a fever. His whole career is a kind of tortured hieroglyph of his period, which every man should be familiar with.
What a strange life he led! His grandfather was a Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. His father was a physician, and his mother a nurse, so that he came by his predilection for medicine quite naturally. Early in his life he turned away in disgust from the quaint and useless "knowledge" then taught in the "schools" and started out to learn about things at first hand. Instead of wearing his eyes out on the old manuscripts he sought knowledge where it can alone be found, in nature, in facts, through direct observation of things as they are. While his chums were learning by rote the impossible theories of Pliny and Galen, he went into the mines and there learned chemistry and physics, insofar as that was then possible. For a time he served as town physician of Basel but soon the wise old owls scented his heresies and drove him out. For years he travelled about experimenting, discovering, everywhere prying for facts. He died in 1541 in poor circumstances.
Paracelsus's most immediate achievement was to ally medicine with chemistry, a thing which, though it is a commonplace with us, appeared to be a wild innovation to his contemporaries. But his greatest and most enduring achievement was that he helped so mightily to knock the foundations from under the old authoritativeness of the schools in order to persuade physicians and scientists to go direct to nature for their knowledge. To learn by observation and experiment, that was his battle cry, and with it he made his impression on his age, and helped to bring in the modern world.
H. L. H.
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A BURBANKED BROWNING
BROWNING, HOW TO KNOW HIM, by William Lyon Phelps; published by the Bobbs-Merrill Company, at $1.25.
This is a happy day for those scribblers who like to write "How to" books — "How to" plant your own garden; "How to" take care of your own automobile; "How to" learn French in twenty lessons; and all that, ad infinitum. Most of these books are wearisome to the flesh, the mind, and the spirit, as is everything that lacks originality, verve, imagination, and that puts you in the attitude of a school boy conning his A B C's. The present volume is one of a series of "How to" books, namely, "How to Know Authors"; and the series is edited by Will D. Howe; and published by Bobbs-Merrill who know "how to" run a publishing business at Indianapolis, which is a city where James Whitcomb Riley once lived.
I undertook to read this series by way of the How to Know Dante, by Alfred M. Brooks; and, with all sincere apologies to Mr. Brooks, found the volume as dull as a time table. It was the kind of a book that a machine might write. But with Robert Browning, How to Know Him I had better luck, as one might expect in a volume done by so sprightly and clever a littérateur as William Lyon Phelps, who is, for those that care to know it, Lampson Professor of English Literature at Yale University. No better description of the book could be written than that furnished us by the author himself in his wee bit of a Preface:
"In this volume I have attempted to give an account of Browning's life and an estimation of his character: to set forth, with sufficient illustration from his poems, his theory of poetry, his aim and method: to make clear some of the leading ideas of his work: to show his fondness for paradox: to exhibit the nature and basis of his optimism. I have given in complete form over fifty of his peoms, each one preceded by my interpretation of its meaning and significance."
These promises are one and all carried out to a "T", and with flash, too, and not at all like things done by most professors of literature when they try their own hands at the craft.
Browning is terra incognita to many, especially to men, who ask for poetry that is not only simple and sensuous, as Milton ordained that it should be, but also rapid, and dramatic, as Brother Rudyard Kipling showed them how it could be made. Browning is not simple, he is not rapid, and he is not to be understood save by a certain amount of work, which is a thing that men disdain to devote to poetry, as a usual thing. This is a shame, and to these same men a great loss, for Browning is pre-eminently a man's poet, and was a real man in his own proper person, and has something worth while for men, far more worth while than the sentimental tin panning that many more easy and popular rhymesters give a man in return for his time.
In Professor Phelps' volume Browning is no longer a prickly cactus, full of metaphysical subtleties calling for the interpretative functionings of a Browning Society, but is a singer thoroughly Burbanked, thoroughly introduced, made acquainted, and easily understood.
No more need be said about the book than this, for, being on a non-Masonic theme, it is not properly a fit subject for the Library Department of a strictly Masonic journal; but I shall quote a rather extensive page from Professor Phelps' book, and that for a sly reason of my own, which a Mason may understand. This quotation has to do with the poem known as "The Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister." Read it with care — and with amusement:
"'The Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister' differs from most of the Dramatic Monologues in not being addressed to a listener; but the difference is more apparent than real; for the other person is in plain view all the time, and the Soliloquy would have no point were it not for the peaceful activities of Friar Lawrence. This poem, while it deals ostensibly with the lives of only two monks, gives us a glimpse into the whole monastic system. When a number of men retired into a monastery and shut out the world forever, certain sins and ambitions were annihilated, while others were enormously magnified. All outside interests vanished; but sin remained, for it circulates in the human heart as naturally as blood in the body. The cloister was simply a little world, with the nobleness and meanness of human nature exceedingly conspicuous. When the men were once enclosed in the cloister walls, they knew that they must live in that circumscribed spot till the separation of death. Naturally therefore political ambitions, affections, envies, jealousies, would be writ large; human nature would display itself in a manner most interesting to a student, if only he could live there in a detached way. This is just what Browning tries to do; he tries to live imaginatively with the monks, and to practice his profession as the Chronicler of Life.
"The only way to realize what the monastic life really meant would be to image a small modern college situated in the country, and the passage of a decree that not a single student should leave the college grounds until his body was committed to the tomb. The outside interests of the world would quickly grow dim and eventually vanish; and everything would be concentrated within the community. I suppose that the passions of friendship, hatred, and jealousy would be prodigiously magnified. There must have been friendships among the monks of the middle ages compared to which our boasted college friendships are thin and pale; and there must have been frightful hatreds and jealousies. In all communities there are certain persons that get on the nerves of certain others; the only way to avoid this acute suffering is to avoid meeting the person who causes it. But imagine a cloister where dwells a man you simply can not endure: every word he says, every motion he makes, every single mannerism of walk and speech is intolerable. Now you must live with this man until one of you dies: you must sit opposite to him at meals, you cannot escape constant contact. Your only resource is profane soliloquies: but if you have a sufficiently ugly disposition, you can revenge yourself upon him in a thousand secret ways.
"Friar Lawrence unconsciously and innocently fans the flames of hatred in our speaker's heart, simply because he does not dream of the effect he produces. Every time he talks at table about the weather, the cork crop, Latin names, and other trivialities, the man sitting opposite to him would like to dash his plate in his face: every time Friar Lawrence potters around among his roses, the other looking down from his window, with a face distorted with hate, would like to kill him with a glance. Poor Lawrence drives our soliloquist mad with his deliberate table manners, with his deliberate method of speech, with his care about his own goblet and spoon. And all the time Lawrence believes this enemy loves him!
"From another point of view, this poem resembles 'My Last Duchess' in that it is a revelation of the speaker's heart. We know nothing about Friar Lawrence except what his deadly enemy tells us; but it is quite clear that Lawrence is a dear old man, innocent as a child; while the speaker, simply in giving his testimony against him, reveals a heart jealous, malicious, lustful; he is like a thoroughly bad boy at school, with a pornographic book carefully concealed. Just at the moment when his rage and hatred reach a climax, the vesper bell sounds, and the speaker, who is an intensely strict formalist and ritualist, presents to us an amusing spectacle; for out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing."
* * *
SOLILOQUY OF THE SPANISH CLOISTER
GR-R-R—there go, my heart's abhorrence!
Water your damned flower-pots, do!
If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence,
God's blood, would not mine kill you!
What? your myrtle-bush wants trimming?
Oh, that rose has prior claims—
Needs its leaden vase filled brimming?
Hell dry you up with its flames!
At the meal we sit together:
Salve tibi! I must hear
Wise talk of the kind of weather,
Sort of season, time of year:
Not a plenteous cork-crop: scarcely
Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt:
What's the Latin name for "parsley"?
What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout?
Whew! We'll have our platter burnished,
Laid with care on our own sheld!
With a fire-new spoon we're furnished,
And a goblet for oneself,
Rinsed like something sacrificial
Ere 'tis fit to touch our chaps—
Marked with L. for our initial!
(He-he! There his lily snaps!)
Saint, forsooth! While brown Dolores
Squats outside the Convent bank
With Sanchicha, telling stories,
Steeping tresses in the tank,
Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horsehairs,
—Can't I see his dead eye glow,
Bright as 'twere a Barbary corsair's?
(That is, if he'd let it show!)
When he finishes refection,
Knife and fork he never lays
Cross-wise to my recollection,
As do I, in Jesu's praise.
I the Trinity illustrate,
Drinking watered orange-pulp—
In three sips the Arian frustrate;
While he drains his at one gulp.
Oh, those melons? If he's able
We're to have a feast! so nice!
One goes to the Abbot's table,
All of us get each a slice.
How go on your flowers? None double?
Not one fruit-sort can you spy?
Strange!—And I, too, at such trouble,
Keep them close-nipped on the sly!
There's a great text in Galatians,
Once you trip on it, entails
Twenty-nine distinct damnations,
One sure, if another fails:
If I trip him just a-dying,
Sure of heaven as sure can be,
Spin him round and send him flying
Off to hell, a Manichee?
Or my scrofulous French novel
On gray paper with blunt type!
Simply glance at it, you grovel
Hand and foot in Belial's gripe:
If I double down its pages
At the woeful sixteenth print,
When he gathers his greengages,
Ope a sieve and slip it in't?
Or, there's Satan!—one might venture
Pledge one's soul to him, yet leave
Such a flaw in the indenture
As he'd miss till, past retrieve,
Blasted lay that rose-acacia
We're so proud of! Hy, Zy, Hine.
'St, there's Vespers! Plena gratiâ
Ave, Virgo! Gr-r-r—you swine!
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER'S ATTITUDE TOWARD OCCULTISM, ETC.
I have been a steady reader of THE BUILDER since its second year, and never fail to go through it every month, every page. It often seems to me that THE BUILDER is opposed to occultism. It doesn't publish many articles from that angle. Don't you believe that there is occultism in Masonry, in view of Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma, and other such official books? I should like to know what you think about this subject.
THE BUILDER has never been opposed to occultism; on the contrary, it has published a number of articles from that point of view; like-wise from the point of view of mysticism, which has many points of contact with it. Ye Editor himself is not an occultist, but that is neither here nor there, because THE BUILDER does not exist to promulgate the views of any individual. We are quite happy to publish studies of the occult interpretation of Masonry providing (please note the providing) they are otherwise up to par, a thing that doesn't often happen, because, for some reason or other, such contributions are very often impossible in form or sadly lacking in scholarship. This is in no sense set down here as a reflection on occultism itself but as a report of the facts, so far as we are concerned. Some of the most effective interpretations of Masonry thus far granted to us Masons have been from the occult point of view, as witness Wilmshurst's The Meaning of Masonry, which is a wise and beautiful book, published not long since. Pike's Morals and Dogma may possibly be a case in point, but there are many to disagree with you on that, because they conceive Pike's position to be grounded in metaphysics rather than in occultism, and that is a distinction with a difference, very much of a difference.
Be all that as it may, the great difficulty in discussing this subject springs from the inability of various writers to agree on what occultism really means. Some time ago Ye Editor wrote to a number of representative Masonic occultists to ask them to explain to him, freely and in confidence, what they might understand occultism to mean. One brother, representing the extreme position at one end of the scale, frankly identified it with astrology, alchemy, magic and all such interests; from the opposite end of the scale another brother defined it as belief in any reality — such as the soul, God, or a future life — not susceptible of tangible proof; and between the two were six or seven others to offer other explanations almost equally diverse. So long as there is so little agreement among those who use the word it is going to be difficult for any of the others of us to know whether we are occultists or not.
It appears that the word originally derived from the Latin occultus, which was compounded from ob, meaning "over," or "before," and calere, meaning "to hide," or "to conceal." The word "hell," which formerly had the meaning of "a hidden place," has sometimes been similarly traced, but on that there is no agreement among etymologists. The Century Dictionary defines occult as, (1) "Not apparent upon mere inspection, nor deducible from what is so apparent, but discoverable only by experimentation; opposed to manifest. (2) Mysterious, transcendental; beyond the bounds of natural knowledge." Philosophers of the Middle Ages, who were first responsible for the general use of the term, meant by it any science based on observed proof, or experimentation, and had in mind that such sciences bring to the surface qualities that had hitherto remained concealed. Since that time the work has turned a complete somersault and now stands not for the things that are revealed but for the things that are concealed, or at any rate are concealed to all except to a select few.
In view of the general inability to agree on the precise meaning of occultism, at any rate in Masonry, it seems wise not to be in haste to tag any given book or essay as occult, and thus to praise or to condemn it, but to adjudge it on its own merits, and leave it to men to label it whatever they choose.
* * *
THE MEANING OF THE WORD "MYSTERY"
Can you tell me what is the meaning of the word "mystery"? In reading THE BUILDER I get confused about it. I see it used with regard to the Ancient "Mysteries," and then in the work Masonry itself is spoken of as a "Mystery."
L. G. P., Florida.
There has been a deal of controversy among scholars as to the accurate meaning of "Mystery" when used of the so-called "Ancient Mysteries": for this reason I shall let an expert speak in the person of Miss Jane Harrison. On page 153 of her great work, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, (it is a book worth going twenty miles to read) she says:
"Purification, it is clear, was an essential feature of the mysteries, and this brings us to the consideration of the meaning of the word 'mystery.' The usual derivation of the word is from 'muo,' I close the apertures whether of eyes or mouth. The 'mystes,' it is supposed, is the person vowed to secrecy who has not seen and will not speak of the things revealed. As such he is distinguished from the 'epoptes' who has seen, but equally may not speak; the two words indicate successive grades of initiation. It will later be seen [that is, in her book] that in the Orphic Mysteries [of which she makes Avery profound and detailed examination] the word 'mystes' is applied, without any reference to seeing or not seeing, to a person who has fulfilled the rite of eating the raw flesh of a bull. It will be seen that in Crete, which is probably the home of the mysteries, the mysteries were open to all, they were not mysterious. The derivation of mystery from 'moo,' though possible, is not satisfactory. I would suggest another and a simple origin.
"The ancients themselves were not quite comfortable about the connection with 'muo.' They knew and felt that 'mystery,' secrecy, was not the main gist of 'a mystery': the essence of it all was purification in order that you might eat and handle certain 'sacra' [that is, roughly speaking, sacred things: tokens]. There was no revelation, no secret to be kept, only a mysterious 'taboo' to be prepared for and finally overcome. it might be a 'taboo' on eating first-fruits, it might be a taboo on handling magical 'sacra.' In the Thesmophoria [an ancient rite practiced by women] the women fast before they touch the 'sacra'; in the Eleusinian mysteries you sacrifice a pig before you offer and partake of the first-fruits. The gist of it all is purification. Clement [one of the first of the great Fathers of early Christianity] says significantly, 'Not unreasonably among the Greeks in their mysteries do ceremonies of purification hold the initial place, as with barbarians the bath.' Merely as an insulting conjecture Clement in his irresponsible abusive fashion throws out what I believe to be the real origin of the word 'mystery.' 'I think,' he says, 'that these orgies and mysteries of yours may be derived, the one from the wrath of Demeter against Zeus, the other from the pollution relating to Dionysus.' Of course Clement is formally quite incorrect, but he hits on what seems a possible origin of the word 'mystery,' that it is the doing of what relates to a 'muses,' a pollution, it is primarily a rite of purification. I,ydus makes the same suggestion. 'Mysteries,' he says, 'are from the separating away of a pollution ('muses') as equivalent to Sanctification."' (Page 153.)
Miss Harrison's interpretation appears to be re-inforced and, in a way illuminated, in the early books of Plato's Republic. This masterpiece of the Athenian philosopher should be carefully studied by those who seek to learn something about the Ancient Mysteries; it records for us what impression they made on keen and clear minded men living at the time.
The word "mystery" was used in the sense as above described long into the Middle Ages, and indeed, with certain modifications, is still used, as by Masons when referring to their own rites which, whether the word mean either "secrecy" or "purification," are in truth a mystery.
But there is quite a different use of the word which, strangely enough, has come into the current of Masonic phraseology, and therefore has been the cause of much confusion. When the Normans conquered England they brought with them their word 'metier,' which is the root of words meaning "to minister, to work for, to help, to assist," etc. Oftentimes workmen, in the early fourteenth century, were called "ministers." The stork which such a man did was his "ministry." Through long usage by quite illiterate and very ignorant men this word gradually became corrupted (see A New English Dictionary on this) into "mystery."
Accordingly, the old Craft Guilds were often called "mysteries," that is, "ministries." Freemasonry also in that sense; it is a craft, a cleft of workmen, doing a certain skilled labor.
Still a third use has had influence on Masonic phraseology. In the Middle Ages plays were given not in theatres but on movable vans or wagons, each scene on a wagon; these moved in a "procession" from one street corner to another; and these plays were always produced by the "mysteries" or guilds. Now it happens that many of these plays were called "mystery plays." It used to be supposed, even by such authorities as Skeat, that they were called "mystery" plays because they were played by the "mysteries"; later investigations have proved, however, that the word comes from quite a different source when applied to the plays. But that is too large a matter to be entered into here.
As we use it "mystery" never means "that which is mysterious," but rather that which is concealed from the profane; or a rite of purification; or a work done by those especially skilled and organized therefor.
* * *
CONCERNING THE MARK MASTER DEGREE
I would like very much to get some information with reference to the origin and history of the Mark Master Degree, and it has occurred to me that you could supply me with this information. Can you give me the date of the organization of the first Mark Masters Lodge in England and the date of the organization of the Grand Lodge of Mark Masters in England? In this Grand Lodge of Mark Masters still in existence? When was the Mark Master Degree included in the Chapter Degrees? Were the other three degrees in the Chapter ever conferred without the Mark Master Degree? Was there ever a Mark Masters Lodge in the United States? When and where were the Chapter Degrees first introduced into the United States and by whom? When and where was the General Grand Chapter organized?
If you will do me the kindness to me this information same will be most highly appreciated.
Frank O. Miller, P.G.H.P., Georgia.
So far as I know the Mark Master Degree as distinct bodies were not organized until the formation of the Grand Lodge of Mark Masters in England in 1856. Prior to that time the Mark Master Degree was given in a Craft lodge as an extra or side degree. In England the Mark Master Degree is not worked in a Royal Arch chapter but in a Mark Masters lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Mark Masters. This Grand lodge is still in existence.
The Mark Master Degree has never been included in the Chapter Degrees in England. In the United States it was included at the time the General Grand Chapter was organized in 1797 or thereabouts. In Scotland this took place, about 1800, when the Grand Lodge of Scotland cut it off from the Craft lodges.
Yes, there have been several Mark Lodges in the United States. Some of them derived authority from Craft lodges, others from chapters. The General Grand Chapter at one time granted warrants to hold Mark Master lodges apart from the chapter, but this practice was discontinued in 1856. I do not know when and where the chapter degrees were first introduced into the United States. It has been claimed that the Most Excellent Master Degree was invented by Webb. It is not practised outside of the United States. The Past Master Degree grew out of the rule that the Royal Arch Degree could only be conferred on Past Masters. This rule is no longer in force for the Royal Arch Degree in England. In Pennsylvania the Past Master Degree is only conferred in a Craft lodge and the applicant for the degree, if he be not an actual Past Master, must pay $10.00 to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for a dispensation to permit his lodge to confer the degree upon him, and he cannot petition a chapter for the Royal Arch Degree until his lodge has made him a Past Master, either by election to the office of Master or by dispensation from the Grand Lodge.
The first record of the conferring of the Royal Arch Degree, strange as it may seem, is in this country although we have reason to believe that the degree was first worked in England. However, the first record is in the minutes of Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, of Virginia, the lodge in which George Washington received his Masonic degrees. Under date of December 22, 1753, this degree was conferred in Fredericksburg Lodge.
The General Grand Chapter of the United States was organized October 24, 1797, at Boston, Mass., or rather, the convention out of which it grew met at that time and place. This convention adjourned to meet at Hartford the following January, and at that time and place the General Grand Chapter was organized under the name of the Grand Chapter of North America. The following January the name was changed to the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of the Northern States of America, and on January 9, 1806, the name was changed to the present title "The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America."
C.C. Hunt, P.G.H.P., Iowa.
* * *
AN EASY WAY TO GET MASONIC BOOKS
I live in a little village "a thousand miles from nowhere," no library, public or private, and not a Masonic book in sight so far as I know. Can you suggest how two or three brethren and myself might get hold of some Masonic books to read?
K. M., North Dakota.
Why not start a book club? Get five other brethren to join with you, each to pledge himself to purchase one book and then to be willing to lend it to each of the others of the group in turn. In this way each of you can have the use of six books at the price of one. Count on it costing you about two dollars each. If you purchase standard works you can sell the six volumes at second hand for about one-half price and thus have a start toward another lot. One of you could act as purchasing agent and manager in general. Books have a way of getting misplaced or forgotten if somebody doesn't make himself responsible. Eternal vigilance is the price of a library.
The Grand Lodge of North Dakota has, at Fargo, one of the best Masonic libraries in the country. It is not a mere collection of books, gathering dust, but is an institution alive in every sense of the term. The librarian in charge is Miss Clara Richards, to whom unstinted praise is due for her capable work in diffusing the light of Masonic knowledge, and for her efforts in placing literature in communities where no libraries exist. Write to Miss Richards, asking about the "traveling libraries" she has established.
* * *
THE MATHEMATICS OF THE BIBLE
The following communication came to us through the kindness of Bro. N. W. J. Hayden, Toronto, who rightly believed it would be interesting to read in THE BUILDER.
When Shakespeare, in one of his plays, makes one of his characters propound a problem which absolutely stagers another character and we find it amounts to no more than a sum in simple long division, we know at once that the play must have been written some time before the seventeenth century, seeing the introduction of the rule for long division is due to Briggs (1561-1631). The authorship of the works attributed to Shakespeare may be a disputed point, but this fact alone precludes our placing the date in the nineteenth century. Such a higher critic would be laughed out at court. Conversely, when Dante says: "As cloth the expert geometer appear who seeks to square the circle," we do not say that at once places him and his work in the twentieth century, for the quadrature of the circle is a problem only now given up; the attempts were made thousands of years B.C.
Let us apply the same tests to the Bible after having a few salient facts firmly fixed in our minds: 1. The division between what a person knows and does not know in mathematics is very sharp. The highly gifted musician often leaves far in the rear the theorist with the greatest knowledge. There are no Schuberts amongst the mathematicians whose work ends with their knowledge. 2. Few books supply us with so much data as the Bible. Next, let us note the outstanding facts in the History of Mathematics. 1. The branches developed in order were geometry, arithmetic and algebra. If, however, we take the modern science of arithmetic, that subject comes last, a most important point to remember. 2. Up to 60 B. C. things were at a dead level, so to speak. From the fall of Alexandria, A. D. 641, to the fall of Constantinople, A. D. 1453, is another period of almost dead level.
The period of greatest advance lies between the foundation of the Ionian School by Thales, circa 600 B. C., and Hero the Elder, circa 120 B. C. During this period no two centuries were alike. Any mathematical allusions to actual facts would Lear the greatest diversity even if but two centuries intervened.
In the light of these facts, judging the Bible by its own context, where would a mathematician place the date of the Pentateuch, before or after the Ionian School?
Next let us consider the state of learning.
The first mathematical subject the world ever knew was geometry and it had its source in Egypt, not Babylon, nor even Greece, but the country where the Hebrews were oppressed for four centuries. From the Egyptians, consequently, they picked up their scanty knowledge of mathematics. Moreover, Joseph moved in the best society, knew intimately the leading mathematicians (or geometricians, rather), and married a priest's daughter. So did Moses. This is important, for the priests of Egypt had all the learning. Now for the name of another Egyptian priest, just as celebrated though it does not appear in the Holy Writ, Ahmes, the mathematician. People may dispute about the age of the Pentateuch, but no one will deny the great antiquity of the hieratic papyrus which forms part of the Rhind collection in the British Museum, and which is the work of Ahmes. Its date is given as about 2000 B. C. (Authorities, Eisenlor, Cantor, etc.). He and Joseph might easily have been on friendly terms.
Lastly, it is believed by the same authorities to be a copy of a work one thousand years earlier. Next, as to its contents (I restrict myself to the geometrical portion): First, Ahmes gives us rules for finding the contents of barns, and the expression is "A into B into (C plus C by 2)." These were just the kind of barns into which Joseph gathered the corn, and probably he and Ahmes, by putting their heads together, managed to calculate the amount stored up. Next he tries to find the area of a circle whose diameter is D, and gives it as the square of D diminished by one-ninth. Notice he does not say eight-ninths. This is important. Thus the value at "pi" is given as almost 22 by 7, as in our modern books on mensuration. Lastly, he uses a little trigonometry for measuring the Pyramids.
But the ordinary Egyptians only knew a few principles of mensuration, and that a triangle whose sides are in the ratio of 3:4:5 is right angled. These numbers, or their multiple, continually appear in Egyptian geometry. Now compare the Bible: Dimensions of the Ark: two cubits and a half, a cubit and a half, a cubit and a half, or the ratio 5:3:3 (Ex. 26:10); Mercy Seat, two and a half a cubit and a half, or ratio 5:3 (height not given in verse 17); table, two, one, one and a half, or 4:2:3 (v. 23); Altar, 5:5:3 (27:1); Court, 100:50:5, or 20:10:1 (v. 18), etc. Special instructions were given that Altar was to be four-square — that is, containing right angles. Was this beyond their skill? No, they knew how to draw a perpendicular, as would form a right angle long before he or any other Jew had seen the fact of any Babylonian. Turn to Ex. 31:2, where God specially called Bezaleel, whom He graciously filled "with the Spirit of God" — that is, endowed him with geometrical skill. Note how God never asks anyone to do the impossible, yet expects him to do his best. Had the work been done during the Babylonian period, probably conies and cycloids would have been employed. Had the books been written then, the authors would have used more advanced mathematics.
Look at the passage of the Jordan. Why did not the Israelites at least try and find the width of the river? God would have told them to do so had it been possible, for He never lets us allow our brains to run to waste. Why was it impossible? Because the first one to measure the distance of an object without going up to it was Thales, whose discovery Euclid made use of in Book K., proposition 26. Dates for comparison: Joseph, B. C. 1700; Ahmes, B. C. 2000; Moses, 1400; Thales (I. 5), 640; Captivity, 700; Pythagoras (I. 47), 500; Ezra, 450; Plato, 429. Compare carefully these dates, and in the light of the geometry of the Bible as compared with that of Ahmes, Thales, Pythagoras or Plato see where is the most reasonable date for the Pentateuch. If permitted, I should like to write upon the arithmetic and algebra of the Bible.
Alfred W. Hinton.
* * *
"I have heard of a poem called "When Pa Joined the Lodge." Can you furnish me with a copy or inform me where I can procure it?"
* * *
YE EDITOR'S CORNERWhew! Dog days are upon us!
* * *I was ill and in bed about six weeks a little while ago, and therefore fell wofully behind with my correspondence. Brethren who may still be awaiting my belated reply are asked to continue to have patience. The many kindly letters received made me realize more than ever how much like a family we all are.
* * *In the best Chinese poems there is a lovely sorrowfulness that comes through, even in translation. Witness this poem as translated by L. Cranmer-Byng (author of Odes of Confucius and A Lute of Jade).
A KING OF TANG
By Wang Po
There looms a lordly pleasure-tower o'er yon dim shore,
Raised by some King of Tang.
Jade pendants at his girdle clashed, and golden bells
Around his chariot rang.
Strange guests through sounding halls at dawn go trailing by —
Gray mists and mocking winds;
And sullen brooding twilights break in rain on rain
To lash the ragged blinds.
The slow sun-dappled clouds lean down o'er waters blue,
Clear mirrored one by one.
Then drift as all the world shall drift. The very stars
Their timeless courses run.
How many autumn moons have steeped those palace walls!
And paled the shattered beams!
What is their royal builder now! A lord of dust?
An emperor of dreams?