THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 10 No. 4 – April 1924
(Will be observed by Rose Croix Chapters of Scottish Rite, April 17)
THE ceremonies of Maundy Thursday, made obligatory on each Rose Croix Chapter of the Scottish Rite, is a festival almost as old as the world, for it has been observed in some form or other from time immemorial. It began with early man's naive wonder at the coming of spring, an event to him of the very greatest importance, since it represented the return of the sun god from the death of winter to the resurrection of the vernal equinox. "The year's at the Spring," that was his feeling, and this feeling took a thousand forms of expression, some of them magical, some religious, some of them a joyous human merry-making. Whatever the form the kernel of feeling remained the same; the god of light, warmth, and life, whatever may have been his name Mithra, Attis, Cama, Osiris, Ormuzd, Dionysus had been dead through the winter time, and now he had come back to life again, and would bestow life on his people, therefore there were solemn rejoicings.
The Parsees, who retain ancient Zoroastrianism in something like its original form, still celebrate the event in a very old manner. They call their festival "Jamshedji Nauroz." Other religions have departed farther from the ancient forms but nevertheless retain the idea and the feeling. The Jews gave to their vernal festival the character of a national memorial service to keep fresh in the minds of the people their deliverance from bondage in Egypt, the land of darkness, and called it the Passover.
The Christian ceremony of the Lord's Supper has an historical connection with the Jewish Passover. Jesus and His disciples went to an upper room to observe the Passover (or Paschal) feast. Under normal circumstances there should have been a servant at hand to wash their feet, a service made necessary by the fact that all men wore sandals when walking abroad and consequently gathered up sand and dust; but there was no such servant available, and the disciples, who had gone on ahead, were quarreling among themselves as to who would perform this menial act. When Jesus arrived He immediately gave them all a silent rebuke by taking up a towel and basin to wash their feet Himself. But it will be better to give the story as found in the New Testament, John XIII, 1-15:
"Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that be should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
"And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
"Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
"He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
"After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was glided,
"Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
"Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
"Peter said unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
"Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
"Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
"For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
"So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
"Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
"For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
What the Passover had been among Jews the Last Supper came to be among Christians, and then with a very close connection with Easter Day. And since it was always the policy of the early Church to accommodate itself as closely as possible to the religious customs already in popular use both Easter and the celebration of the Lord's Supper became substituted for the ancient religious ceremonies of the vernal equinox, as that in its very act "of making all things new" the new religion retained many things very old, and thus enabled the religious man to retain his contact with customs as ancient as the world.
The act of washing the disciples' feet, originally a simple rebuke to men untaught in the wisdom of humility, became in time a rich symbol of all service. Bishops and popes bathed the feet of the poor and everybody that was able distributed baskets of food to the needy. Some historians of the Church believe that the word "Maundy" came thus into use, being derived from the Saxon "maund" or "mond," meaning "basket"; others, with a sounder reasoning perhaps, trace the term to a corruption of the first Latin word in the saying "A new commandment give I unto you," which in the Vulgate read, Mandatum novum do vocio. In either event the Maundy Thursday rites have been quite generally practiced throughout Christendom, and still, in many lands, retain a very old form. One of the best examples is furnished by English customs, a very complete description of which may be found in Curious Survivals, by Dr. George C. Williamson (Herbert Jenkins, publisher), a page or two of which is here quoted with the publisher's permission:
"Perhaps the most interesting of the ancient ceremonies retained in the Church of England is that in connection with the distribution of Maundy money, which takes place annually in the Abbey. The last Sovereign in England who actually washed the feet of poor men on Maundy Thursday was James II, but this ceremony, in commemoration of the act of Our Lord, is still carried out in Catholic countries, and was, until recently, one of the notable events of Holy Week in Vienna, when the Emperor of Austria took the chief part in it. It still takes place in Spain with its accustomed ceremonial, but in England the day is commemorated only by the distribution of the silver currency, struck specially for that occasion, and given away to a certain number of poor men and poor women, who have been selected as suitable recipients for the bounty.
"English sovereigns have always attached great importance to this ceremonial. Elizabeth observed the day with specially lavish bounty, and there is a remarkable miniature in existence, representing her distribution of Maundy money. Charles I and Anne also distributed the Maundy money with specially imposing and stately ceremonial, and today, linen scarves or towels are worn by all officials connected with the Royal Almonry, and by the children of the Royal Almonry, who also take part in the ceremonial. These are, of course, typical of the towel which Our Lord girded about Himself, when He the disciples' feet.
"The ceremonial is one of the few occasions when the public see the Yeomen of the Guard in their full uniform, the oldest military body in the kingdom, whose record dates back to 1485, and who still wear, with proud distinction, the Tuder crown ornament which commemorates their original appointment. Moreover, those who are to take part in the ceremony carry with them bunches of flowers and foliage, reminiscent of the day when the Yeomen of the Laundry performed a preliminary ablution of the feet of the beggars with ceremonial herbs, prior to the washing of the feet by the Sovereign.
"The money is borne into the Abbey by one of the Yeomen, who carries on his head a splendid silver-gilt dish, and the strings of the purses, red and white, with which originally they were bound to the girdle of the persons who used them, hang over the borders of the dish, with curious effect. The number of pennies given away corresponds with the age of the King, the recipients, as well as the pence in the white purses, equalling years of the King's age. The money consists of pieces of the value of fourpence, threepence, twopence and a penny, the total number of pence agreeing with the number of the years of the King's age, and the coins are current coin of the realm, although specially struck for the purpose. I am inclined to think that there might be some difficulty if one of these pennies was presented as the fare in an ordinary omnibus, because of its exceedingly small size, and the chances are that the 'bus conductor would not recognize it as current coin, but it is really so, and but for its size, the coin would pass readily from hand to hand.
"As a matter of fact, however, the little group of silver coins has a higher value than its intrinsic importance, and collectors are always eager to add it to their collections. The red purse should contain within it a pound, in gold, and thirty shillings, an allowance in lieu of provisions formerly given in kind; it does not in these later days contain gold coins, but the distribution is made in paper. In addition to this Maundy money, there are three other sums of money distributed on the same day, known as the Minor Bounty, the Discretionary Bounty and the Royal Gate Alms, and these, in accordance with ancient usage, are distributed at the Royal Almonry Office, to some 'hundred aged, disabled and meritorious persons, who have been personally recommended by the clergy of selected parishes,' throughout the different dioceses of England and Wales.
"Gate Alms no doubt derived its name from the money that was given to those beggars who clustered round the gates of the Royal Palaces, and the duties of the King's Almoner, with regard to poor people, are expressly laid down in some papers belonging to the time of Edward I, where it is stated that he was to collect and distribute the fragments from the Royal table, and give away the King's cast-off robes, but it is particularly noted that he was not to do so either to 'players, minstrels or flatterers.'
"Cardinal Wolsey, when first be kept his Maundy celebration, or, in the old phrase, 'made his Maund' (the word coming, of course, from the word mandatum, and being carried out in obedience to Our Lord's commands) did so at Peterborough; and on the occasion in 1530, gave three white and three red herrings to each recipient of his alms. It is to his benefaction that the Almonry owes its present seal. On this seal is represented a great three-masted ship, Henri Grace de Dieu, in full sail. This important vessel was built by Wolsey in 1512 and presented by him to Henry VIII, and when he was the King's Almoner he had it represented on the seal he used for the documents in connection with the ceremony, and this seal still exists, and is in use, at the present day.
"The great monasteries also had their almoners, and also some of the chief noblemen, and the office still survives and is used in various ancient hospitals, and in some few other places.
"It is of interest to notice that the Lord High Almoner and his assistant, the Sub-almoner, remove the ceremonial copies which they wear when they enter in the procession of the Maundy, and gird themselves with linen towels before they make the presentation. The ceremony must have been far more imposing in the old days, when the Sovereign himself took prominent part in it, but it is still an exceedingly interesting and picturesque one, and one of the most important survivals of an ancient religious observance. In Monte Cassino, in Italy, it is carried out with great elaboration, and the recipients are still actual pilgrims, but in addition to the washing of feet, they are the recipients of a big loaf of bread, and a piece of money, and are then taken in to the large refectory, and given a substantial meal. Similar procedure takes place in many other Catholic monasteries throughout Europe." (Page 179 ff. The accompanying illustrations are from this same book.)
It is worthy of notice in this connection that Maundy Thursday, with its ceremony of the Lord's Supper, the Coena Domini, has been the inspiration of some of the most enduring art of the past thousand years. It appears in Da Vinci's picture, "The Last Supper"; in the epics of Calderon; in Wagner's "Parsifal"; and it has been the source of all the beautiful "grail (or graal) literature" ("grail" referring to the cup used by Jesus), of which Tennyson's Epics of the King is the most familiar example. The finest use of it in American literature is Lowell's Vision of Sir Launfal, in which are lines of almost poignant beauty:
"The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
In whatso we share with another's need;
Not what we give, but what we share,
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, hungering neighbour, and Me."
It would be difficult at this late day to trace the use of Maundy Thursday in Rose Croix Chapters of the Scottish Rite to any one origin. As there used, it is not Christian, Jewish or Pagan, but a re-writing of inspirations from many sources so as to make the ceremony stand in a universal tradition.
"To Freemasons," writes Conley, "it has no religious significance, but it is a feast dedicated to freedom, and the right to worship God according to the dictates of our own consciences, in which good men of all creeds and faiths may join without relinquishing the essential doctrines of their own religion. It is this liberality that gives Masonry the character of universality."
* * *
WILLIAM PRESTON AND THE PRESTON LECTURES
Bro. Captain C. W. Firebrace, P.G. Steward,
P.M. Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, England
The following paper was read before the Jubilee Master's Lodge, No. 2712, Dec. 21, 1923. Its author is introduced by Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Associate Editor, now in England, in a recent letter, of which a paragraph may be quoted:
"I take the very greatest pleasure in this word of introduction to you of Captain C. W. Firebrace, who has the very enviable distinction of not only being a Past Master of the oldest of Masonic lodges, 'Antiquity, No. 2,' but is honoured as being Prestonian lecturer. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity of listening to the first of these addresses which he has given in London and is a splendid introduction to the others which it is expected he will present. I know that you will he highly gratified to receive a copy of this address for publication in THE BUILDER, and sincerely trust he will forward others when they are presented to the brethren, and in this way give our brothers in the United States an equal opportunity to profit by what Bro. Firebrace is doing so excellently on this side of the Atlantic."
Masonic students have no need to be told that William Preston was one of the most influential Masons that ever lived, so influential indeed that nobody can expect to understand the present ritual without knowing something about this remarkable man and his work. Consult THE BUILDER as follows: 1915. pp. 7, 31, 292; 1916, pp. 166, 167, 302, Cor. 31; 1917, p. 212; November C.C.B., 7; 1919, March C.C.B., 3; September C.C.B., 3; see also "Philosophy of Masonry," by Roscoe Pound; "The Grand Lodge of England," by A. F. Calvert, and The Short Talk Bulletin, M.S.A., Vol. 1, No. 2. See frontispiece, this issue.
THE Lectures which go by the name of Prestonian are so interwoven with the life of their author that to trace their origin and history is practically to give an account of his Masonic career.
They influenced it almost from the outset; the first ten years were devoted to their preparation, the remainder to the promulgation of his system. Of his life in the world outside, we know but the bare outline; few details are extant, and his name is not found in any of the letters or memoirs of the time. Through his position in the printing house of William Strahan, who published the works of Johnson, Gibbon, Blair, Robertson, Hume and many others, he became well acquainted with these eminent men of letters, and we are told that his literary skill was such that authors submitted to his correction of their style. He may even have blue-pencilled the Lives of the Poets, and detected bad grammar in the Decline and Fall. These great men honoured him with their acquaintance, and presentation copies of their books found their way into his library, but he was never an intimate, he had no part in their lives. In Masonry it is otherwise; here he stands out, a leader almost from the first, a true friend to every worthy Mason, and it is from Masonic records, and chiefly from the minute books of the Lodge of Antiquity, that we learn what manner of man he was.
He was born in Edinburgh on July 28, 1742, the second son of William Preston, and eminent writer to the Signet. His father lost his fortune through troubles resulting from the Rebellion of 1745, and died in 1751. The younger William after completing his education at Edinburgh University became amanuensis to Thomas Ruddiman the grammarian, and was by him apprenticed to his brother Walter Ruddiman, an Edinburgh printer. With his employer's consent he came to London in 1760, and being furnished by Ruddiman with a letter of introduction to William Strahan, a brother Scot, he obtained employment in his house as compositor. It is evidence of his industry and ability that he remained in the same employ during his whole life. He was soon promoted to the reader's desk, and later to the general superintendence of the whole business. William Strahan at his death in 1785 left him an annuity, and in 1804 he became a partner with Andrew Strahan whose confidence and friendship he maintained till death. He never married; no feminine influence seems to have touched him. Masonry was his early mistress and to her he remained constant to the end.
HE BECOMES A MASON
The exact date of his admittance into Masonry is not recorded. In March, 1763, some Scottish Masons founded a Lodge No. 111, under the Constitution of the Atholl, or Ancient Grand Lodge, to which they had been recommended by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. It met at the White Hart in the Strand, and Preston is said to have been the second person initiated in it. He was then twenty or twenty-one years of age. He, with other members, afterwards joined a lodge acting under the older Constitution of the Moderns, and they prevailed on their brethren at the White Hart to transfer their allegiance. A new Constitution was granted, and thus was founded the Caledonian Lodge, No. 325, which still works in London and is now No. 134.
Preston now turned his attention to the study of Masonic science, and for the next ten years was occupied with the arrangement and digestion of the Masonic Lectures. In this he was assisted by many zealous friends, whom he assembled for the purpose of discussion and mutual improvement. He sought knowledge from every source, by literary research, by correspondence and conversation with prominent Masons at home and abroad and, to quote from the Memoir by Stephen Jones in the "European Magazine" for April, 1811, "He has been frequently heard to say that in the ardour of his enquiries, he has explored the abodes of poverty and wretchedness, and, where it was least expected, acquired very valuable scraps of information." Gould, in his History of Freemasonry, laughs at his credulity and stigmatizes him as a romancer and a Masonic visionary, but we must remember that the age of critical examination had not then been born, and in every branch of knowledge much was accepted in simple faith which now would not receive a minute's consideration. He may have been credulous but what he wrote he believed. A remarkable young man, this Scotsman of five and twenty, for whom the frivolous pursuits of London and the fascination of feminine intercourse had no attraction, and who, in those days when drinking and gaming were the pastimes of high and low, frequented taverns only for the purpose of gaining knowledge, and assembled his friends for mutual instruction! Judging by the portraits taken in later life he was of pleasing appearance, and his faculty for making friends and keeping them testify to the attraction of his manners and the steadfastness of his character. Throughout his life we find him vigorous in action, resourceful in emergency, quick perhaps to feel and resent a slight and holding to his opinions with the tenacity characteristic of his countrymen, but facing his opponents with undaunted courage, bearing adversity with fortitude when they gained the upper hand, but showing no malice when the victory was won. And in his later years he had his reward in the respect and love in which he was held by his Masonic brethren, particularly in the lodge for which, as he himself expressed it, he ever retained so great a veneration, the Lodge of Antiquity.
HE DELIVERS THE FIRST PRESTON LECTURE
In 1772 the first Lecture was finished, and on May 21 he delivered it at a grand gala held at his own expense at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand in the presence of the Grand officers and many other brethren. In the same year he published the Illustrations of Masonry, which he later greatly altered and enlarged, and of which twelve editions were published in his life time. The whole system of the Lectures in the three degrees was completed in 1774, and were publicly given by him at the Mitre Tavern, Fleet Street.
We now come to his connection with the Lodge of Antiquity, which he joined on June 1, 1774, and was elected Master on June 15. His occupancy of the chair lasted three and one-half years, and during that time several Lectures were given by him in the lodge. We find a very interesting minute dated March 5, 1777, when a "Chapter Night" was held. The proceedings show us the scheme which Preston had devised for promulgating his system, and which he later carried into effect when he founded the Grand Chapter of Harodim. There were present eighteen members and nine visitors. The following is an extract from the minute:
"Lodge opened in the Third Degree in an adjacent room. Procession entered the Lodge Room, and the usual ceremonies being observed, the Three Rulers were seated. A piece of music was then performed, and the 12 Assistants entered in procession and after repairing to their stations the Chapter was opened in solemn form. Brother Barker then rehearsed the Second Section. A piece of music was then performed by the instruments. Bro. Preston then rehearsed the Third Section. An Ode on Masonry was then sung by three voices. Brother Hill rehearsed the 4th Section, after which a piece of solemn music was performed. Bro. Brearley rehearsed the 5th Section, and the funeral procession was formed during which a solemn dirge was played, and the Ceremony concluded with a Grand Chorus. Bro. Berkley rehearsed the 6th Section, after which an anthem was sung. The Chapter was then closed with the usual Solemnity, and the Rulers and twelve Assistants made the procession round the Lodge, and then withdrew to an adjacent Room, where the Master's Lodge was closed in due form."
Preston acted as Chief Ruler, John Wilson, the S.W., was Senior Ruler, and William Manning, who held no office in the lodge, was Junior Ruler. Among the twelve assistants were four visitors.
In the following December occurred the unfortunate incident which led to the quarrel with Grand Lodge, and eventually to the expulsion from the Society of Preston and nine other members of the lodge. The incident itself was a trivial one. The brethren after hearing a sermon preached by their chaplain in St. Dunstan's Church walked back to the Mitre Tavern, a distance of a few yards, in their clothing without having previously applied to Grand Lodge for the necessary permission. But Preston, by his success in raising the lodge from the low state to which it had sunk under the Mastership of his predecessor John Bottomley, had roused the jealousy of the older members, and he had also offended the Grand Secretary, James Heseltine, who had also been until recently a member of the lodge. Preston had been appointed Assistant Grand Secretary, in order that he might prepare a new edition of the Constitutions.
PRESTON IS EXPELLED
When the work was almost completed, Heseltine associated with him John Noorthouck, another senior member of the lodge. Preston resented sharing with a newcomer the honour to which he considered he was alone entitled, and resigned his office. Bottomley and Noorthouck, therefore, seized the opportunity to attack Preston, and reported the breach of the Regulations to Grand Lodge, and Heseltine supported them to the utmost of his power. The quarrel dragged on throughout the year 1778. But for the virulent hostility of Heseltine it might have been settled amicably, but in the end he carried his point and Preston and his adherents were expelled in January, 1779.
The lodge had already in November, 1778, decided "to withdraw themselves from the Society" and from this time onward there were two Lodges of Antiquity, Preston's lodge, independent but in friendly relations with the Grand Lodge of All England at York, and Noorthouck's lodge, which remained faithful to the Grand Lodge in Queen Street. On his expulsion Preston withdrew his name from all the other lodges of which he was a member, and in bitterness of spirit he decided in October, 1781, to retire from Masonry altogether. He accordingly resigned his membership in the Lodge of Antiquity. Deprived of his vigorous direction, that lodge fell upon evil days and might have collapsed altogether had not he been persuaded to return in October, 1786. He was elected Deputy Master, took up Masonry again with all his old energy, and quickly restored the lodge to a condition of prosperity.
In 1787 he realized his scheme for rendering the Lectures, of which he had already made trial on the lodge Chapter Night in 1777, and instituted the Grand Chapter of Harodim. The minute books of the chapter have long been lost, and such knowledge as we have of its constitution and proceedings are derived from the minute books of the Lodge of Antiquity, Stephen Jones' Memoir of Preston, The Illustrations of Masonry and from a little book entitled The Pocket Companion or Freemason's Guide to the Science of Masonry, in Three Parts. It is dedicated "To the Council, Assistant Council, other officers and Companions of the Grand Chapter of the Antient and Venerable Order of Harodim, for whose use it is principally intended." The author is anonymous but was almost certainly Preston himself. Part I, The First Lecture, was published in 1790, and is in the possession of the lodge. Part II, The Second Lecture, was published in 1792, a copy being in the Grand Lodge Library. I have not met with a copy of Part III. In the Introduction to Part I, it is claimed that the Order of Harodim is coeval with the building of King Solomon's Temple, and that it was established by the 3,300 eminent Masons who assisted Solomon.
From the Illustrations of Masonry we learn that the chapter was governed by a Grand Patron, two Vice Patrons, a Chief Ruler and two Assistants, with a Council of twelve Companions. There was also a Chief Harod and a General Director. Stephen Jones tells us that at a later period Lord Macdonald presided as Grand Patron, and James Heseltine, William Birch, John Spottiswoode and William Meyrick as Vice Patrons. (Heseltine will be remembered as having been mainly instrumental in procuring Preston's expulsion in 1778.) The Lectures were divided into Sections, and these again into Clauses. The sections were assigned annually by the Chief Harod, to skillful Companions denominated Sectionists, who in turn distributed the clauses to Clause Holders. Such Companions as had mastered all the sections were classed as Lecturers. The chapter held seven meetings in the year, opening at four o'clock for private business. Dinner was at five, and the public lecture, to which visitors were admitted on payment, took place at eight. From the Pocket Companion we gather that the proceedings at the Lecture were similar to those at the lodge chapter night already described. Refreshments were provided during the Lecture, and after each section a toast or sentiment was drunk. A list of these Lecture toasts is given at the end of the book.
HE IS RE-INSTATED
Preston and the other expelled brethren were re-instated and their character vindicated by Grand Lodge on Nov. 25, 1789, and steps were soon after taken to re-unite the two Lodges of Antiquity. This union was happily effected on Nov. 12, 1790, under the Mastership of William Birch, Preston being unanimously elected Deputy Master.
With a view to bringing the Chapter of Harodim into correspondence with Grand Lodge, the Harodim Lodge, No. 558, had been founded in March, 1790. This lodge united with the Lodge of Antiquity in December, 1792, and for the rest of its existence the chapter and the lodge maintained a close connection. But its members gradually fell off, financial difficulties supervened and in spite of efforts to keep it alive it ceased to exist in 1801.
Its end may have been hastened by the establishment by Preston in 1796 of a Lodge of Instruction. Here the sections and clauses were rehearsed by the brethren who afterwards illustrated them at the regular lodge meetings. This Lodge of Instruction lasted with some intervals of abeyance until 1836.
Except for three years, when bad health compelled him to relinquish it, Preston held the office of Deputy Master until 1815. He died after a long illness on April 1, 1818, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. During his lifetime and up to the year 1838, a section from one of the Lectures was illustrated at the lodge meetings whenever time permitted. The brethren taking part were styled Lecturers and Clause Holders, and the clauses were annually assigned and the names of the Clause Holders printed, in the summonses. They were generally given in the form of question and answer, the senior members or "Lecturers" asking the questions and the junior or "Clause Holders" giving the answers. But sometimes the Lecturers, Preston, Stephen Jones, Meyrick, and others, gave a clause alone, and the words "Harodim" or "in Harodim Style" is added after their names. This would appear to show that the Lecturers in the Chapter of Harodim sometimes used a narrative form, omitting the questions altogether. This method seems to have been used by Preston when he first delivered the Lectures in public, and by the participants at the lodge chapter night in 1777. The Prestonian Lecture was certainly delivered in this way, and after its institution, the question and answer method dropped out of use in the lodge. The clauses were illustrated by one brother only, and the addition of the word "Harodim" no longer appears.
HE FOUNDS THE PRESTON LECTURESHIP
Under Preston's will the Masonic charities benefited to the extent of 1,000 pounds, and he also bequeathed "To the Right Honourable the Earl of Moira, Acting Grand Master for the time, three hundred Pounds, Three per cent Consolidated Bank Annuities, the Interest of which shall be applied by him to some well informed mason to deliver annually a Lecture on the First, Second or Third Degree of the order of Masonry according to the system practised in the Lodge of Antiquity during my Mastership."
Thus the Prestonian Lecture was founded. It was given for the first time in the Lodge of Antiquity on May 25, 1820, by W. Bro. Stephen Jones, P.M., Preston's most intimate friend and Masonic legatee. He delivered the first two sections of the First Lecture, when it was verified by the brethren present, that they had been worked on the Prestonian system and were considered sufficient to establish Jones' claim to the interest of the fund. The M.W.G. Master, the Duke of Sussex, then Master of the lodge, had retired before the Lecture, and the Deputy Master, Bro. McGillivray, was instructed to report to him to that effect. Bro. Jones was again appointed Lecturer in 1821, 1822 and 1824.
No Lecture appears to have been given in the lodge in 1823, 1825 or 1826. Bro. Laurence Thompson, Secretary of the lodge, succeeded Jones and delivered the Lecture every year up to 1854, with the exception of 1853, when owing to his indisposition Bro. John Henderson took his place. Bro. Thompson died in 1855. He was the last survivor of Preston's pupils.
The Lecture for 1857 was given on Jan. 20, 1858, by Bro. Collings in the Royal York Lodge of Perseverance, No. 7. A portion was also delivered in April, 1858, in the Grand Stewards' Lodge by Bro. Johnson, P.M., but the official Lecture for that year was given in October in the Lodge of Antiquity by Bro. Thistleton, the Secretary. A MS. book in the Grand Lodge Library containing the Lecture of the First Degree has an introduction from which it would appear that this Lecture was again delivered about the year 1863 or 1864, but the place and Lecturer's name are not recorded. No Lecture has been given since that date.
COPIES STILL IN EXISTENCE
The Lodge of Antiquity possesses a collection of MSS. containing sections of the Lectures written in question and answer by different members of the lodge. None would appear to be earlier than 1806 and none are in Preston's handwriting. Similar MSS. are in the Grand Lodge Library. We have also some printed syllabuses of the First and Second Degrees and part of the Third Degree. Two editions were issued, the first between 1808 and 1813, the second with many variations, in 1828.
Of the Prestonian Lectures, the Lodge of Antiquity has a copy of the First and Second Degrees in the handwriting of W. Bro. John Henderson. Their date is unknown but they cannot have been written before 1827. We are told, however, that Bro. Henderson took them before the year 1838 from Bros. Meyrick, Burckhardt, Thompson and others of Preston's pupils. This copy was presented to the lodge by Bro. Henderson's executor in 1867. The Lecture of the Third Degree is written in a printed copy of the By-laws of 1788. It is in Masonic cypher. The heading states that it is by Bro. John Turk, P.M., of the Universal Lodge, and "carefully revised by Bro. William Preston, Esq. 1816." There are also in the Grand Lodge Library three MS. books containing the Lectures of the three degrees. These are later copies. There is also there a note book formerly belonging to Bro. John Henderson. This contains inter alia the Lectures of the First and Second Degrees in question and answer, an early fragment of the Lecture of the Third Degree, and a full version deciphered from Bro. Turk's copy.
In the sixty-five years which have elapsed since the delivery of the last Prestonian Lecture, Preston has been almost forgotten except by those who are students of Masonic history. If this paper serves to bring before you some idea of the work and character of our revered Past Master, I shall be well content.
* * *
THE BROTHERHOOD OF DOCTRINES
With an Introduction by The Editor
EPOCH-MAKING utterances in science are not always accompanied by a blare of trumpets. It happens once in a while that an entirely new idea is given to the public through obscure channels in a form so modest as almost to escape attention. Riemann's revolutionizing paper "On the Hypotheses Which Lie at the Base of Geometry," published in 1854, is a case in point; so also Minkowski's "Space and Time," published in 1908, which established a new starting point in scientific thinking. Count Korzybski's paper, given herewith, may fairly be considered a similar instance because, though it has not yet reached the general public, it has been recognized by scientific thinkers as an outstanding achievement. Some day it will be used to date a new manner of thinking in the subject with which it deals.
For this reason it is recommended to the most careful attention of the reader. It should be read, not once but many times. One need not be frightened away from it by the fact that it is a document of exact science, because while the language may at first be strange the ideas themselves are such as may be readily grasped by any intelligent man; and ultimately the language itself will be found to make this easier than if more familiar words were used. This same thing is also largely true about Einstein's theory, for while it is very difficult for a layman to follow the technical arguments on which it is based, the theory itself rests on principles not difficult to comprehend. In his connection one recalls a sentence from Relativity and Gravitation, by T. Percy Nunn, Professor of Education in the University of London: "Einstein's doctrine about absolute and relative motion is plain common sense, but its consequences, when it is taken seriously, are revolutionary and startling."
It may also be recommended to the thoughtful reader for yet another reason: it furnishes us a scientific base for our own great Masonic doctrine of Brotherhood. This is an exceedingly important thing, as a moment of reflection will prove. Roughly speaking, and from the present point of view, science may be described as an effort to know what facts are and what are the relations among them. If any human ideal is out of joint with facts, and with the relations among them, it can never hope of realization but remains a romantic dream on which it is useless to waste our time. Is the doctrine of Brotherhood such a romance of the mind? There are many who think so, even among Masons; they do not really believe and strive for it because, secretly, they consider it impracticable a beautiful hope but not something made necessary by the very structure of our human world. The all-important thing for us Masons in Count Korzybski's paper is that, first, he shows that Brotherhood is a law of man; and, secondly, he lays bare the rigid logical process which proves that it is a law of man; and, thirdly, shows how ultimate world Brotherhood may be obtained. It is because he does this that a Mason who takes his Masonry seriously should read, ponder and inwardly digest it.
We are now living through the most revolutionizing period in human thinking the world has ever known. Science is experiencing a renaissance the like of which has never occurred before. Einstein's entirely new conception of the universe has come somewhat before the public, but Einstein is only one of a group of thinkers equally able and equally revolutionary using "revolutionary" in its exact sense. Whitehead, Russell, Keyser, Poincare, Wittgenstein, Huntington, Veblen, Carmichael, Cassirer and a dozen others have entirely rebuilt the foundations of science. Count Korzybski belongs with this group. His signal achievement has been to do for the science of man what Einstein has done for physics and astronomy. One of the results of his thinking is embodied in his Manhood of Humanity, reviewed in THE BUILDER, August, 1922, page 256. Other results will be embodied in a forthcoming book to be entitled Time-Binding.
Such work as this is of the greatest importance to Masonic thinkers because, as stated above, it will help us to establish a scientific foundation under our doctrine of Brotherhood, a thing we need so badly for, in this country at least, no serious attention has ever been paid to the scientific implication of Masonic philosophy. Once Masons learn how to think Masonry scientifically, we shall be able to rid the Temple of all the rubbish of foggy, half-informed, wild thinking which now so often encumbers it. In other words, the thinking of Masonry and the technique of Masonry must be made rigorously scientific or we shall go on to the end of our days warring with phantoms or thinking in the dark. Such a thing has never been attempted in American Masonry (it has been in some other countries) but sooner or later we must come to it. It will be very interesting to discover how many members of the National Masonic Research Society are concerned about this matter. If a sufficient number sufficiently feel the importance of such an undertaking, THE BUILDER will undertake to secure permission from Count Korzybski to publish his "Faith and Freedom," an essay that complements and completes the arguments contained in "The Brotherhood of Doctrines." Professor Keyser's Mathematical Philosophy was reviewed in these pages October, 1922, page 319; it is published by E.P. Dutton & Co., 681 Fifth avenue, New York, N.Y.; $4.70.
EVERY now and then there appear in the history of humanity gigantic thinkers who shape and mold our mental processes for centuries to come. In our own time we are witnessing such a turning of the page in human history. The birth of a new era is upon us; a host of men in all walks of life feel it unconsciously and work toward it. A few leading mathematicians have made these unconscious strivings of mankind conscious — without them we would feel our way but in the darkness, which is a slow, very slow process of guesswork, whereas with their work our path is clear.
I hope the reader will understand the inherent difficulties which beset any attempt to give a general summary of a new epoch which is still making its own foundations. In the space allotted for this writing only a very few of the most momentous points can be sketched, and I make no pretense to finality. The aim is to draw the attention of scientists and thinkers to the fact that something of grave importance for all our human future is going on, and to encourage inquiry and collaboration, thus accelerating the inevitable.
What I here call the inevitable is the coming of the empire of sound logic — a logic demanding scientific knowledge of human nature, adjusting human beliefs, institutions, doctrines and conduct to the essential facts and laws of human nature, and converting the pseudo-sciences of ethics, economics and government into genuine sciences for promoting human welfare.
The "Brotherhood of Man," of which we all dream, can be accomplished only and exclusively by the "Brotherhood of Doctrines."
It will be found that when what Professor Cassius Keyser calls the "Great Stupidity" has been eliminated by sound logic, all that is dismal, destructive, woeful and despairing will become constructive, hopeful and favourable to human weal.
Such an inquiry will show that there still persist many doctrines originally established by myth and magic; and, although at the first glance they seem harmless, their sinister effect retards human progress, knowledge and happiness.
The history of human thought may be roughly divided into three periods, each period having gradually evolved from its predecessor. The beginning of one period overlaps the other. As a base for my classification I shall take the relationship between the observer and the observed. This relationship is clearly fundamental because there can be no "observer" without something to observe, and also no "observed" without somebody making the observation. To put it otherwise there is no such thing as a "fact" free from the share of the observer's mind. In speaking about these periods I shall not take into account individual thinkers, because in many instances it may be found that certain thinkers (Plato, Lucretius, Leibnitz, etc.) in a given period were far ahead of their contemporaries, and that their theories or discoveries which had no great influence in their own time were prophetic expressions of the latest developments of science, therefore I shall only speak summarily about those currents of thought which have immediately affected the fate of our "common humanity."
The first period may be called the Greek, or Metaphysical, or Pre-Scientific Period. In this period the observer was everything, the observed did not matter.
The second period may be called the Classical or Semi-Scientific — still reigning in most fields — where the observer was almost nothing and the only thing that mattered was the observed. This tendency gave rise to that which we may call gross empiricism and gross materialism.
The third period may be called the Mathematical, or Scientific Period. It began in 1854 with George Boole's The Laws of Thought. This work started an internal revolution in logic and also in mathematics which ultimately resulted in the last few years in the merging of both — the discovery that logic and mathematics are one. In this period mankind will understand (some understand it already) that all that man can know is a joint phenomenon of the observer and the observed.
We might otherwise call the three periods:
- The Absolutist Period.
- The Confused Absolutist-Relativist Period.
- The Relativist Period.
The general characteristic of the first two periods was that they both used traditional, insufficient, and often fallacious subject-predicate, Aristotelian logic which must result, as it did, in a philosophical impasse. The confusion became so acute that hardly any two thinkers were able to understand each other except through sympathy.
THE OLD LOGIC HAMPERS EVERYTHING
It may be proved also that the direct result of this faulty logic has hampered enormously the natural sciences and progress in all fields of human affairs. The history of mankind, despite all the beauty and culture in it, has been in greater measure a history of misery and periodical collapses, wars and revolutions.
The old complete, consistent "absolutism" leads obviously to blind fanatical theories. The mixture of absolute and relative concepts and words leads to confusion and bewildering paradoxes. Consistent "relativism" clarifies this whole hopeless mess and probably will lead toward some "absolute" — if such a thing exists.
In the new mathematical-scientific era the simple truth has been discovered that all we know is a joint phenomenon of the observer and the observed, which means that for science and life logic is as vital a factor as "facts" because, for human knowledge, there are no "facts" free from the share of the observer's mind.
General truths cannot be established by gross empiricism because it deals only and exclusively with particular observations, and this is why the orthodox tradition led automatically to doubt and unwarranted pessimism, so characteristic of that period. Obviously if there is such a thing as general knowledge, its foundation must be found outside of gross empiricism. Most probably such a thing does exist and its origin may be traced to the constitution of the human mind itself — to sound modern logic (mathematics).
Someone may ask, How about "intuitions," "emotions," etc.? The answer is simple and positive. It is a fallacy of the old schools to divide man into parcels, elements; all human faculties consist of an inter-connected whole. We choose to deal with logic because laws of thought are the only aspects of the whole which are tangible and invariant, the eternal laws of thought which can be handled rigorously. When the problems of these aspects are solved, the others, the vague ones, like "intuitions," "emotions," etc., will fall into line automatically. As Keyser has pointed out, it matters what an animal is; with man it matters not only what man is, but even more what we humans think man is. The tragedy of man has been and is that in creating his institutions and ethics he has never been conscious of this.
Already I have given a hint as to how the source of general knowledge can be found in the inherent constitution of the human mind. If I may, I shall give more hints. Let us imagine that in the night, during our sleep, the universe, ourselves included, should "grow up," ten, one hundred, or "n" times. Is there any human possibility of detecting in the morning this remarkable event? It is a well proved fact that the answer must be negative. Man could not detect the change. His room had, let us say, ten steps in the evening before the change; it would have ten steps in the morning after the change. It is obvious that such metaphysical, so-called "absolute" space is not an absolute space; this example does away with absolute space. But it is easy to see that the number ten (or any other) has remained. Similar reasoning proves that, to the best of our knowledge today, all absolutes have gone except number, whatever number is. If we could succeed in squeezing out some wisdom, some general knowledge, from number, which is this "only absolute left," we should be entitled to expect that this wisdom would contain the germ of absolute knowledge. As a fact this is being done by a few leading mathematicians.
Modern mathematics deals formally with what can be said about anything or any property. As the reader can easily see, we are witnessing the birth of the wonder of wonders — the birth of what may be called "qualitative" mathematics. Here it may be explained why mathematics has this exclusive position among other sciences. It must be emphasized that it was not some special genius of the mathematicians, as such, that was responsible for it. With the birth of the rational being — man — rational activity began spontaneously (no matter how slowly) and this rational activity manifested itself in every line of human endeavour — no matter how slight this rational activity was. Today we know that all man can know is an abstraction. I use the term "abstraction" in the sense of Whitehead: "To be an abstraction does not mean that an entity is nothing. It merely means that its existence is only one factor of a more concrete element of nature." The process of constructing those abstractions is quite arbitrary. From the time man began he has been plunging into this process of constructing arbitrary abstractions — it was and is the very nature of his being.
MAN BLUNDERED INTO MATHEMATICS
Obviously, in the beginning, man did not know anything about the universe or himself; he went ahead spontaneously. It is no wonder that some of his abstractions were false to fact; that some of them were devoid of meaning, and hence neither true nor false but strictly meaningless; and that some of them were correct. In this endless spontaneous process of constructing abstractions he started from that which was the nearest to him — namely himself — and ignorantly attributed his human faculties to all the universe around him. He did not realize that he — man — was the latest product in the universe; he reversed the order and anthropomorphized all around him. He did not realize, and this is true even today in most cases, that by so doing he was building up a logic and a language unfit to deal with the actual universe, life, man included, and that by doing so he was building for himself a mental impasse, through his inconsistency and naive observation. In a few instances good luck was with him; he made a few abstractions which were at once the easiest to handle and were correct, that is, corresponding to actual facts in this actual universe.
These abstractions were numbers.
Let us see how numbers originated and what was their significance. Anyone may see that there is an actual difference between such groups as X or XX or as XXX, whatever the class was composed of, be it stones, figs, or snakes. And man could not miss for long the peculiar similarity between such X class of stones or such XX class of snakes, etc., and here happened a fact of crucial significance for the future of man; he named these different classes by definite names; he called the class of all such classes X "one," the class of all such classes XX "two," XXX "three," etc., and number was born!
Here as everywhere else "le premier pas qui coûte" ("it is the first step that costs"); having created number the rest followed as a comparatively easy task. Man could not miss for long seeing, that if such a class X is added to such a class X he gets such a class XX, but the other day he had called such classes by names "one" and "two," so he concluded that "one and one make two" — mathematics was born — exact knowledge began.
Good luck combined with his human faculties has helped man to discover one of the eternal truths.
The creation of number was the most reasonable, the first truly scientific act done by man; in mathematics this reasonable being produced a perfect abstraction, the first perfect instrument by which to train his brain, his nerve currents, in the ideal way befitting the actual universe (not a fiction) and himself a part of it. Now it is easy to understand from this physiological point of view why mathematics has developed so soundly.
The opposite must be said about the other disciplines. They started with fictions mostly, and until this day they persist and, playing in vacuo, bring havoc into the life of man.
Mathematics started aright — the others did not!
The biggest triumph of human thought was, and forever will be, the discovery of new mathematical methods embracing larger and larger parts of the whole — these are the milestones of man's progress.
A REVIEW OF "MATHEMATICAL PHILOSOPHY"
Mathematical Philosophy by Keyser is one of these milestones of everlasting significance. In this monumental work there are discoveries of the gravest importance. Keyser is one of the very few in the world, as far as I know, who is blazing a new trail in this field. Whoever is interested in human progress, and who of us is not, should read and re-read this book. The peculiarity of such works is, that the range of their bearing is so vast that it takes time and meditation to digest and appropriate their seemingly simple content. Neither must it be forgotten that the old traditional logic and its progeny, our language and habits, work against us.
The reader may be reassured that this "new" wisdom is much easier than the old one. Mathematics is nothing else than common sense refined and elevated to the rank of science — it is natural to man — it covers his "intuitions"; whereas the old logic was not equipped to deal with the living thought without an unnatural constraint; generally speaking, it rarely covered "intuitions" and common sense.
The reader will get the first sharp mental shock by reading the title which tells us that mathematical philosophy — that is, the only rigorous scientific philosophy — is the "study of fate and freedom .... it will become increasingly evident as we advance that the work we are to be engaged in is fundamentally the study of fate and freedom — logical fate and intellectual freedom .... Without more talk and without danger of misunderstanding, we may, I believe, now speak of ideas as constituting a world — the world of ideas. With that world all human beings as humans have to deal — there is no escape; it is there and only there that foundations are found — foundations for science, foundations for philosophy, foundations for art, foundations for religion, for ethics, for government and education; it is in the world of ideas and only there that human beings as humans may find principles or bases for rational theories and rational conduct of life, whether individual life or community life; choices differ but some choice of principles we must make if we are to be really human — if, that is, we are to be rational — and when we have made it, we are at once bound by a destiny of consequences beyond the power of passion or will to control or modify; another choice of principles is but the election of another destiny. The world of ideas is, you see, the empire of fate.
"Is the human intellect, then, a slave? No: it is free; but its freedom is not absolute; it is limited by fact and by law — by the laws of thought, by the immutable character of ideas and by their unchanging eternal relationships. Intellectual freedom is freedom to think in accord with the laws of thought, in accord with the nature of ideas, in accord with their inter-relations, which are unalterable. And no variety of human freedom — no institution erected in its sacred name — if it does not conform to the eternal conditions of intellectual freedom — can stand."
This discovery of logical fate and freedom, its formulation and elaboration, is of such importance that, were it the only one in the book, the book would live forever. After some reflection, its practical bearing becomes evident in that all our talkings about "Brotherhood of Man" or "Democracy," etc., are beautiful words but meaningless so long as we do not inquire into the basic premises which underly those doctrines and investigate if the premises are true; because, if the premises should prove to be false, this "logical fate" would drive us to disasters. Sad experience is daily making it more evident that a scientific (not metaphysical) inquiry is imperative. As a fact we have not hitherto had the method by which to approach or handle human affairs in a truly scientific spirit, but once this method is discovered, we have no more excuses for continuing to welter in the old chaos.
There is, perhaps, nothing wrong with "human nature," but there is something basically wrong with our old premises and logic. As a fact, every human activity has at its foundation some doctrine as an inherent, unconditionally inseparable part of it. Because of this logical fate, the analyzing of these doctrines, which underly all human activities, becomes the most important — nay the all-important — fact for all the future of man.
Keyser, to the best of my knowledge, is the discoverer of a new mathematical method whereby this can be accomplished; in a wonderfully precise and clear way he elaborates the theory of postulates and doctrinal functions. Most of what he has to say is either entirely new, or given in a new form; he illustrates his thesis continually with many examples so as to make it perfectly clear to the reader. By the discovery and elaboration of this logical fate which dominates our lives, by the discovery and elaboration of the theory of the doctrinal function, Keyser goes to the very roots, not only of all actual, but all potential human knowledge; to the roots of all human problems and relations.
What is the importance of such theoretical works? Let me answer by an example:
The pyramids were built without the knowledge of exact sciences; quite true, but what was the waste in effort, the price in life and happiness which such ignorance brought upon the people! A Galileo, a Newton, a Leibnitz for instance, discovered some new facts, gave us some new definitions and formulated some new methods of handling old problems and at each stage of civilization such discoveries and their logical consequences transformed deeply all our knowledge and therefore affected enormously our practical achievements. As a matter of fact, at the bottom of every "practical" achievement there is some theory, and it is not a paradox to say that history proves that the most "practical" achievements are always "theoretical" discoveries because they are the factors which make the former possible.
The theoretical discoveries and knowledge as expounded in Keyser's work will deeply transform all human activities, because they will enable man to revise uncriticised prejudices which, until now, we have accepted as truth. "Thought unexpressed is thought concealed, and concealed thought — light hid under a bushel — fades and perishes with the thinker. Expressed, however, it lives and grows, engendering its kind, adding its flame to the flame of other thought, and so that radiance which is 'all there is' increases and tends to abide."
Keyser's book deals with many interconnected ideas of universal interest of grave importance; they form a system which is bound to abide. A short list of his subjects is an evidence of this: Intellectual Freedom and Logical Fate — Mathematical Obligation of Philosophy — Humanistic and Industrial Education — Human Ethics not a Branch of Zoology — Postulates — The Model of Principles and Platforms — Criticism and the Sword of the Gadfly — Municipal Laws and the Laws of Thought — Basic Concepts — Propositional and Doctrinal Functions — Marriage of Matter and Form — Its Infinite Fertility — Doctrines as Offspring — Interpretations — One Doctrinal Function the Matrix of Infinitely Many Doctrines Identical in Form, Diverse in Content — Essential Discriminations — Distinction of Logical and Psychological — Postulate Properties — Truth and Criticism — Mathematical Philosophy in the Role of Critic — Autonomous Truth and Falsehood — The Prototype of Reasoned Discourse Often Disguised as in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Origin of Species, the Sermon on the Mount — Transformation — Involved in all Thinking — Its Study the Common Enterprise of Sciences — The Problem of Time and Kindred Problems — Invariance — The Ages-old Problem of Permanence and Change — The Group Concept — Variables and Limits — Mathematical Infinity — Hyperspaces — Open Avenues to Higher Worlds — Forms of Intellectual Emancipation — Mathematics of Psychology — Psychology of Mathematics — Science and Engineering — Change of Emphasis from Non-Human to Human Energies — Science as Engineering in Preparation — Engineering as Science in Action — Mathematics the Guide of the Engineer — Engineering the Guide of Humanity, etc., etc.
Such a book is bound to make a strong appeal to intelligent people. All intelligent persons will find some of their burning questions answered. For instance, parents are asking, Why should our children study mathematics? What is the educational value of mathematics? Scientists are asking, How is mathematical science related to the other cardinal enterprises of Man? Sociologists must ask afresh, What is Man? and how can mathematical thinking help to make the social sciences genuine sciences? Engineers would like to know, How can we humanize engineering? and so on.
"WHAT IS THAT TO ME?"
The layman, the "practical" man, the man in the street, says, What is that to me? The answer is positive and weighty. Our life is entirely dependent on the established doctrines of ethics, sociology, political economy, government, law, medical science, etc. This affects everyone consciously or unconsciously, the man in the street in the first place, because he is the most defenceless.
As a fact most of the so-called scientists reject logic entirely because the old logic is misleading, and they are entirely ignorant of this "new" logic, though it is seventy years old. I explained before that science is a joint phenomenon of logic and facts, and there can be no escape from the conclusion that such scientists as ignore sound logic are not scientists at all but merely clerks in scientific offices; and yet the people listen to them and are too often hypnotized by their nonsensical conclusions so misleading and immeasurably harmful.
How about the next generation, their future welfare and happiness? If they are taught false logic and false doctrines, mental cripples are produced, destined for a life of misery. Is this what parents want for their beloved ones? What of the teachers — the men and women who in the literal sense are the builders of the next generations? What do they know about the latest progress of knowledge? Or are they still in the dark ages of ignorance? In the light of these questions, the man in the street has sufficient reason to be vitally interested in this subject.
The new sciences are not strictly "popular." Scientists who have spent their lives in the studies of classical texts, and who are not capable of following up a little piece of sound reasoning, and even some mathematicians and engineers who have learned technic without bothering to inquire into its meaning or justification, are bound to resent these views. The layman must understand the reasons for such opposition.
True knowledge cannot be concealed for long; but if ignorance, dullness, apathy retard its application this will mean one or two more generations of misery. It may take a still more terrible World War to whip mankind into the realization that man should use his brain and the knowledge already at hand.
The writings of Keyser, besides their great scientific value, have another quality not easily found in other scientific writers, namely, an unexcelled style of their own, making his writings not only jewels of thought but jewels of style and language as well.
To sum up. A diagram may help to visualize the power of one of the discoveries of Keyser:
- A = Old non-scientific assumptions, postulates, beliefs.
- B = Old non-scientific ideas, non-coordinations, wars, revolutions.
- C = New scientific assumptions, postulates, premises, truths.
- D = New scientific coordinated systems, ideas, ideals
This diagram makes it evident that —
(1) Any change in (A) the old premises, postulates, necessarily involves changes in (B): it explains why the World War having exposed many old, hidden fallacies (A), must affect our social, economic, political and other relations, and that, therefore, no return to the old (B) is possible.
(2) It is impossible to start with old (often false) premises (A) and reach new ideals (D) and convince all; because in such case Logical Destiny is against the would-be reformer, whoever he may be; because inconsistencies (E) arise, which prevent the general acceptance of the high-sounding, logically unsound doctrines. For example, we may preach "Brotherhood of Man" and still practice the "Wolfhood" of man.
(3) A new, better civilization (D) must start with new, truer, scientific premises, postulates (C); then, and then only, Logical Destiny will again be our ally, instead of enemy (E).
(4) In the old civilization everyone blames everyone else for everything; Nations blame Nations, Religions blame Religions, Labour blames Capital, Capital blames Labour, etc. Logical destiny proves that no one is to be blamed. In false premises are the roots of guilt — all the rest, the consequences, are but the outgrowth of them. This understanding at once abolishes ALL REASONS FOR BITTERNESS in individual life, community life, international life: it proves that a "League of Sound Logic" is the best "League of Nations" because effective under the subtle inevitable laws of Logical Fate — Unified Doctrines Will Unify Man.
So it may be hoped that those who most earnestly believe in the "Brotherhood of Man" will be re-inspired and be the most eager to investigate and understand and assist in the establishment of the "Brotherhood of Doctrines," because there and only there will be found the foundations of the higher aspects of the ideals for Brotherhood among men.
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ORGANIZATION OF THE GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER OF ROYAL ARCH MASONS THE UNITED STATES
By Bro. C. C. Hunt, Associate Editor, Iowa
ON Oct. 24, 1797, a convention of committees from St. Andrew's Chapter, Boston, Temple Chapter, Albany, and Newburyport Chapter, met in convention at Masons' Hall, Boston, Mass., and resolved to take steps necessary to forming a Grand Royal Arch Chapter for the states in the northeastern part of the United States. Thomas Smith Webb was chosen chairman of this convention. They therefore issued a circular letter to the chapters in these states asking them to send one or more delegates to represent their chapter at a meeting to be held in the city of Hartford, Conn., on the fourth Wednesday of January, next ensuing.
Most of the chapters invited accepted the invitation and on Jan. 24, 1798, the delegates from the several chapters met at Hartford, Conn., and organized the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Northern States of America, consisting of the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont and New York. A constitution was adopted and officers elected, among them being Ephraim Kirby, of Litchfield, Conn., as Grand High Priest, and Thos. Smith Webb, of Albany, N.Y., Grand Scribe.
The first meeting of the Grand Chapter after its organization was held on the third Wednesday of September, 1798, in the city of Middleton, Conn. The second meeting was held on the second Wednesday of January, 1799, at Providence, R.I. At this second meeting the Constitution was amended and the name changed to the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for the Northern States of America. This change was apparently made because of the fact that some of the states had organized Grand Chapters of their own under the original Grand Chapter, and the name was changed to General Grand Chapter to indicate the superior body.
Provision was also made for future organization of other State Grand Chapters, and for meetings every seven years after 1799, instead of annual meetings as had been the case before.
The third meeting was, therefore, held in 1806. At this meeting requests for charters were received from Georgia and South Carolina. Therefore the Constitution was again changed to enable them to take in Grand Chapters from other states. The new name was General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for the United States of America. Since that time other Grand Chapters have been organized under the General Grand Chapter, and at the present time all the Grand Chapters in the United States, with the exception of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Texas, are members of the General Grand body.
As to the present General Grand Chapter ritual, there was a memorial presented to the General Grand Chapter at the convocation at Indianapolis in 1912, from the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of Mississippi, in which attention was called to the fact that —
"...in the ritual as promulgated by the General Grand Chapter, there are numerous instances in which the same idea is presented in a different phraseology, which makes it difficult to retain. The language employed is not a matter of any great importance, but the fact that it varies in numerous instances has proven a source of great embarrassment in the propagation of the work, because the mind is burdened needlessly in an endeavor to express in more ways than one, an idea that is identical.
"Your Memorialists think that it is worthy of your consideration, that latitude should be given to the several Grand Chapters, to follow the work of their several Grand Lodges where there is a difference existing between the lodge and chapter work, in the same jurisdiction. In the large chapters existing in cities, where one set of brethren do the work of the lodge and another that of the chapter, this it not a matter of very much importance, but in small towns or cities where the same brethren are the workers in the lodge and chapter also, it is exceedingly confusing to have to use one phraseology in the lodge and another in the chapter to convey an identical meaning and your Memorialists think that no harm could come from granting the Grand Chapters liberty to follow in the work of the chapter, the work of the Grand Lodge."
The special committee to whom this memorial was referred reported that they found the complaint of the Mississippi companions well founded, and recommended certain changes to make the ritual more uniform. This report was unanimously adopted, but did not fully correct evil complained of, and at the convocation at San Francisco, Cal., in 1915, the Grand Chapter of Iowa presented a memorial calling attention to one hundred forty-five other changes which should be made to harmonize the work.
Trowel Chapter, No. 49, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also presented a memorial asking that the Past Master's Degree be rewritten. Both of these memorials were referred to a committee on ritual, but in the meantime the General Grand High Priest had recommended that a committee be appointed to rewrite and revise the entire ritual, to bring it into harmony with changes which had already been made. This recommendation was adopted by the General Grand Chapter and the committee on ritual recommended that the memorial from Iowa be referred to the special committee, which was done. Companions Wm. F. Kuhn, Nelson Williams and Harry W. Harvey were appointed on the committee and presented their report at the Triennial Convocation at Baltimore in 1918. This report consisted of a complete revision of the ritual and was adopted.
This is the present General Grand Chapter ritual, and the above briefly recites the circumstances leading up to its adoption. The essentials which go with this ritual are the old-time essentials of the General Grand Chapter. The committee reported that they made no change in this whatever.
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CONCERNING "THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY IN NEW JERSEY"
Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Massachusetts
Those who are familiar with Bro. Johnson's "Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750" will be interested to know that he has revised and expanded that book into a new volume under the title, "The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America," to be issued during the coming month.
"THE Story of Freemasonry in New Jersey," by Bro. Ernest A. Reed, published in THE BUILDER, November, 1923, page 329, is exceedingly interesting, particularly as coming from such an able pen. But Bro. Reed has been misled by his sources in some instances so that I believe a further discussion will be as acceptable to him as to others. It will assist me if the reader, before going on with the following, will re-read his article.
Bro. Reed attempts a reason for the failure of Daniel Cox to establish lodges in the province of New Jersey, and later speaks of Cox's "return to England in 1731." The fact is, that while Cox was appointed June 5, 1730, as Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for two years he was not on this side of the Atlantic at any time during those two years. During that entire period he remained in England endeavouring to perfect certain property rights to a large section of North America, which he claimed had been granted to his father. When therefore in January, 1730-1, Cox attended the Grand Lodge in London he naturally was recorded in accordance with the commission which he held, although he had never exercised it.
Later in his article Bro. Reed makes this statement:
"Perhaps the best known military lodge on the American side was American Union Lodge of the Connecticut Line, as its name indicates, a lodge formed among the troops from Connecticut. The warrant and minutes of this lodge are preserved among the records of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut; but at the time this lodge came into being there was no Grand Lodge of Connecticut and the warrant was granted by Deputy Grand Master Gridley of Massachusetts, the same Gridley who laid out the breast-works at Bunker Hill and who was acting Grand Master on account of the death in battle of Grand Master Joseph Warren. The minutes are well kept and show every location of the Connecticut troops."
Nearly all of this paragraph needs revision. The facts concerning American Union Lodge are quite interesting. The Grand Lodge of Connecticut does not possess the original warrant to which Bro. Reed refers. It has what purports to be a printed copy of a commission issued by John Rowe as Grand Master, to Joel Clark, Esquire, to be Master of American Union Lodge, "now erected in Roxbury or wherever your Body shall remove on the continent of America, provided it is where no Grand Master is appointed."
This commission is dated Feb. 15, 1776. It is not a warrant for a lodge and from its terms it is not clear whether the lodge was warranted before that time or not. The commission is, as stated, merely the appointment of a brother as Master of the lodge.
The lodge when constituted was not "of the Connecticut Line." At that time there was no Connecticut "Line." There were at least three regiments of Connecticut troops in or about Boston, but there were no "line" troops until the organization of the Continental Army, many months later. American Union Lodge was formed among the troops who were in Roxbury, and probably of the Connecticut soldiery, though I have not yet located Joel Clark.
AMERICAN UNION HELD A MEMORABLE MEETING
We know that on Dec. 27, 1779, a festival meeting of the lodge was held at Morristown to celebrate the festival of St. John the Evangelist. Bro. George Washington was present, and at that meeting there was a proposition for the appointing of a General Grand Master for the United States. By that time the lodge was undoubtedly composed largely, if not wholly, of brethren of the Connecticut "line."
In 1791, this lodge was located in Ohio, and the original records of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts of March 11, 1793, contain a reference to a letter received from "R. Oliver, Master of American Union Lodge, No. 1, in the Federal Territory North West of the river Ohio."
On Sept. 12, 1803, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts received a petition from American Union Lodge of Marietta (Ohio), praying for "a renewal of their charter by this Grand Lodge, and to be received under its jurisdiction and patronage." Favourable action was taken on this petition. On Sept. 10, 1804, an official list of the lodges and their rank was adopted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and American Union Lodge of Marietta, Ohio, is listed with the date of its charter as Feb. 15, 1776.
On Sept. 10, 1805, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts received returns from this lodge, and on Dec. 9 of the same year it was represented by somebody at the Quarterly Communication. The roll of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, published Dec. 9, 1806, records the lodge; but on Sept. 14, 1807, a list is made up of lodges "which have never made any returns or any payment at all to the Grand Lodge, owing perhaps to their not being visited, to distance, or want of funds." American Union Lodge at Marietta, state of Ohio, appears on this list.
The record of the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts held on Jan. 10, 1819, reads in part as follows:
"The Committee appointed to consider the subject of American Union Lodge, now or formerly under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, report that from the best information they have been able to obtain, it appears, that some time in 1802, a number of Brethren in the Town of Marietta, in the State of Ohio, obtained from this Grand Lodge the renewal of a travelling charter, which in the year 1776 was granted to certain Brethren to be used in the Town of Roxbury, and elsewhere, and which had now fallen into the hands of the said Brethren at Marietta.
"That in the year 1808, the several Lodges in that State of Ohio, met in Convention by delegates at Chillicothe, [Ohio], for the purpose of forming a Grand Lodge, for that State the convention proceeding in the Business for which they were assembled, elected their Officers, and appointed a day for their installation....
"An extraordinary Freshet prevented the delegates from American Union Lodge attending. The Convention however met and proceeded to install the Officers elect, this being done in the absence of the delegates from American Union Lodge, whom your Committee had requested that the installation might be postponed until they should be able to attend, gave offence to said A.U.L. whereupon having assembled, they voted to recede from the compact, and remain independent of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. But a large minority of said Lodge, were still desirous to adhere to the compact and become subordinate to the Ohio Grand Lodge and as they state from conscientious ceceded from A.U. Lodge, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ohio for dispensation to hold a regular Lodge under its jurisdiction; their petition being granted they were constituted and organized under the same name of the Lodge, from which they had seceded, so that there are two Lodges now existing in the same place, bearing the same name, the one adhering to the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the other to that of Ohio. These are the prominent facts out of which your Committee believe the difficulties and disagreements between these Lodges have been produced.
"Your Committee find on the records of the Grand Lodge, confirmation of the foregoing statement respecting the renewal of the Charter of A.U. Lodge, and also notice of the fact, that they hold the same so long as they comply with the regulations and requisitions of this Grand Lodge. How far they have complied with this condition your Committee are not able to say, because they do not know whether the said Lodge is holden to pay similar fees with other Lodges under this jurisdiction. But inasmuch as the Charter of A.U. Lodge probably contained terms of limitation terminating its validity with the establishment of a Grand Lodge in the State of Ohio, as they have never paid any fees to, or been represented in this Grand Lodge, and as they profess to have the right to confer degrees in Masonry of which this Grand Lodge has no cognition and aside from all these considerations did they not exist. The distance which A.U. Lodge is located from this Grand Lodge and the great propriety there would be in her uniting with the Sister Lodges in the State of Ohio, which the harmony, and interest of the Craft in that region so much demand. We are decidedly of the opinion that the said American Union Lodge, has no just claims to the protection of this Grand Lodge, and no fair pretensions to the privilege of remaining longer under its jurisdiction. And that it is her imperious duty, a duty she owes to this Grand Lodge, to the Craft at large, and to her own best interests, forthwith to relinquish all rights and privileges derived from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and unite zealously and cheerfully with the Grand Lodge of Ohio in disseminating the pure light of Masonry through the regions of the West.
"All of which is respectfully submitted
Zach. G. Whitman,
"Resolved That this Grand Lodge consider that the Grant on conformation of a Charter to American Union Lodge, from this Grand lodge, has expired by the conditions therein contained, and that it is their duty to conform to the Grand Lodge of Ohio, as their lawful superiors.
"The foregoing report and resolve were read and accepted, and the corresponding Grand Secretary directed to transmit a copy of the resolve, with the doings of this Grand Lodge, on the memorials presented to the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and American Union Lodge."
ORIGINAL CHARTER WAS GRANTED BY ROWE
Again, the original charter of this lodge was not granted by Deputy Grand Master Gridley. It was granted by John Rowe. The printed copy of the appointment of Joel Clark bears the name of John Rowe at the top and the signature of Richard Gridley is the first name signed at the bottom. Those familiar, however, with the form of charters and commissions issued by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts will know that the Grand Master signs well up on the left hand margin of the charter. The other officers sign at the bottom. Those who have seen the printed copy, therefore, suppose that Rowe did not sign the commission. It is evident to a Massachusetts Mason that he did sign it just as much as Gridley signed it. The original charter itself, however, has long since been destroyed by fire. When so destroyed it was in the custody of the proper officers of the lodge at Marietta, Ohio.
It has been claimed that Union Lodge, No. 40, of Danbury, Conn., is the successor of American Union Lodge. This is very doubtful and quite improbable. The only evidence to support this claim, so far as the writer is aware, is a letter written Jan. 5, 1780, by Major Jonathan Heart, who was then Master of American Union Lodge, urging that the warrant for Union Lodge, No. 40, be granted. Major Heart himself took the warrant of American Union Lodge from Connecticut, where he had been a Grand Lecturer, to Ohio, where he was an officer of the Federal Forces at Fort Harmar, opposite to Marietta.
To him is due the establishment of the lodge at Marietta. As a Past Grand Lecturer of Connecticut, it is hardly probable that if the charter had been replaced by the charter of Union Lodge, No. 40, of Connecticut, Bro. Heart would have continued to use the charter as authority for his lodge in Ohio; nor would the lodge itself in 1803 have been likely to seek a renewal of its charter by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
Richard Gridley was the engineer who laid out the breast-works at Bunker Hill, but he was not acting Grand Master on account of the death in battle of Grand Master Joseph Warren. Joseph Warren was Grand Master of "Massachusetts Grand Lodge," a Grand Lodge founded in 1769 by virtue of a commission from the Earl of Dalhousie, then Grand Master Mason of Scotland, appointing Joseph Warren to be Grand Master of Masons in Boston, New England, and within one hundred miles of the same. This, therefore, was an "Antient" Grand Lodge, established during the schism when the Grand Lodge of Scotland was in communication with the "Antients" and not with the "Moderns." [See Study Club in this issue.]
TWO GRAND LODGES IN MASSACHUSETTS
At the time this Grand Lodge was established there had for a long time been a Provincial Grand Lodge in Boston founded on July 30, 1753, by virtue of a commission issued by Montague, then Grand Master of England. This Grand Lodge was known as "St. John's Grand Lodge." At the time that American Union Lodge was chartered, John Rowe and Richard Gridley were Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master respectively of St. John's Grand Lodge, and Joseph Warren was Grand Master of Massachusetts Grand Lodge. The schism in Massachusetts was healed by the union of the two Grand Lodges in 1792, although the schism in England between the "Antients" and the "Moderns" was not healed until 1813.
I should be very glad, if it be desired, to furnish citations for every statement which is made above. My point in calling attention to this is not only to correct some errors into which Bro. Reed has unwittingly fallen, but also again to point out how necessary it is for the student of the history of Freemasonry to examine the original evidence before he makes statements of things which are supposed to be historical fact.
Bro. Reed has undoubtedly quoted statements which others have made and which he supposed were true, but I doubt if there is any field of history where so many erroneous statements have been either carelessly or unguardedly made as in the field of the history of Masonry. When one so-called historian makes a statement, someone else assumes it to be true, quotes it, and the error spreads. It is safe to make assertions of historic fact in Masonic matters only when one has verified statements which he finds by reference to competent contemporaneous evidence. In the light of recent investigations and discoveries, there is no history extant of Masonry in this country upon which any great reliance can be placed published prior to Clegg's Revision of Mackey. It is most unfortunate to give further credence and currency to errors (and some deliberate mis-statements) of the past by their republication.
I use the words "deliberate mis-statements" advisedly. Some conspicuous examples are pointed out in my Beginnings of Freemasonry in America about to be issued from the Doran press as a part of the National Masonic Library.
* * *
THE STUDY CLUB
Chapters of Masonic History
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Editor
PART XI. THE GREAT CLEAVAGE IN FREEMASONRY; AN ACCOUNT OF THE "ANCIENT" GRAND LODGE
OF all the chapters in the long and varied history of our Craft not one is more interesting or more important to know than that which relates how there grew up alongside the first Grand Lodge (described last month) a rival Grand Lodge, how the two became bitter rivals, and how at last a union was brought about. Therefrom a reader can learn how certain changes came into the Craft which still puzzle him, and also, to a certain extent, why Masonic ceremonies in America differ from those practiced in England, and also among various American states. Necessarily only a rapid summary of many events can be attempted here; those who would seek details are referred to the books listed at the end of this article, and especially to Masonic Facts and Fictions, by Henry Sadler, the classic in this field.
I. CAUSES THAT LED TO THE RIFT
It is absolutely impossible to work out a connected and detailed history of all the causes that led at last to the formation of a new Grand Lodge, and for the same reasons impossible to lay one's finger on a certain year or place and say, here is where it began. The thing came about gradually and out of many forces at work.
One of the main results of the formation of the first Grand Lodge established at London in 1717 was that Operative Masonry was completely laid aside in favour of Speculative Masonry. Such a radical change in the inmost nature of the Craft could not but arouse opposition. It is supposed, for example, that the difficulties into which Anthony Sayer fell, after he had served as the first Grand Master, may have been due to his dislike of the new regime, he having been an old Operative Mason. How much trouble the great change caused, or long it lasted, is now impossible to determine, but it seems evident that a resentment against the new order of things lasted long in some quarters, and that whole lodges refused for many years to acquiesce in so complete a departure from the old ways.
Another cause of trouble in the early years of the first Grand Lodge was the adoption of the "Paragraph Concerning God and Religion" in Anderson's Constitutions. Prior to 1717 the rank and file of Craftsmen had been of the Christian persuasion and the Craft itself, to judge by its own Constitutions, had been frankly Trinitarian Christian. The new Constitutions, now associated with the name of Anderson, changed all this; according to its somewhat ambiguous wording a Mason was required to be only of that religion "in which all good men agree". This did not please those who wished to see Freemasonry remain specifically Christian, consequently they made trouble about it.
From the records of the first Grand Lodge itself it is evident that all was not smooth sailing. There was constant complaint of "irregular makings", but little was done to head off that evil; also it appears that Grand Lodge affairs were managed with laxness, if not sometimes with downright carelessness. A fair example of this is furnished in the case of Lord Byron, who was elected Grand Master April 30, 1747. That gentleman, sometimes known as "the wicked Lord Byron", appeared before his brethren only five times in five years, and seems to have paid little heed to his responsibilities. The carelessness aroused so much feeling that "it was the Opinion of many old Masons to have a consultation about electing a new and more active Grand Master"; they "assembled for that purpose" and would have carried it through had it not been for the intervention of Bro. Thomas Manningham, M.D. From this, and from similar instances that could be named, one may judge that Grand Lodge did not keep a very tight hold of the reins, a fact that will help to explain what came afterwards.
INNOVATIONS HAD BEEN MADE
A worse thing "worse", that is, from the point of view of the conservative brethren at the time was that the first Grand Lodge deliberately made a few drastic "innovations" in the old forms, a thing that came about after this wise, so it is believed: after Freemasonry became more or less popular in London numberless men became desirous of making their way into lodges without the troublesome cost of a regular initiation. To meet their needs certain so-called "exposés" were published, the most notable of which was Masonry Dissected, by one Samuel Prichard, described as a "late member of a Constituted Lodge". Upon this, clandestinism became so rife that at last Grand Lodge, in self-defense, determined upon making changes in the esoteric work that would enable regular lodges to detect the frauds. It is now next to impossible to learn with certainty just what these changes were, but according to the enemies of the Grand Lodge of 1717 and to scattered references in Grand Lodge records they were somewhat as follows: The installation ceremony of the Worshipful Master was either abolished or suffered to go by default; the Third Degree was remodeled; the symbolism of the preparation of a candidate was changed; one of the most important secrets of the First Degree was transferred to the Second, and vice versa; some of the old "geometrical secrets" long practiced among "ancient Operative Masons" were either entirely omitted or else changed out of all recognition, etc. As a proof that such charges of innovations were not without foundation in fact is an entry in the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of 1717, 1784 edition, which says, "Some variations were made in the established forms," and this goes on to explain that these changes were made, "more effectually to debar them [i.e., clandestines] and their abettors from the Lodges."
Still another cause that contributed to the new developments has to do with the Royal Arch, a subject peculiarly difficult to deal with, especially on paper and then in short space. Laurence Dermott, the creative genius of the new Grand Lodge (about which more anon), once wrote these words:
"A Modern Mason a member of a lodge under the Grand Lodge of 1717 may safely communicate all his secrets to an Ancient Mason, the member of a lodge under the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge started in 1751, but that an Ancient Mason cannot with safety communicate all his secrets to a Modern Mason without further ceremony."
After quoting these words, and some others not necessary to be included here, Bro. Fred J. W. Crowe, in his revision of Gould's Concise History, page 256, remarks that, "There is little doubt that these differences consist of changes in the Third Degree and the introduction of the Royal Arch."
THE ROYAL ARCH BECAME AN ISSUE
The theory here is that in their re-organization of the Ritual, Desgauliers and his fellows in the early days of the Grand Lodge of 1717 left the Third Degree without its logical conclusion, so that a certain vital secret was lost but not found; and that many of the brethren, in order to complete the symbolism, either adapted or created a supplementary ceremony to make good the loss. In so doing they ran counter to the practices of the Grand Lodge of 1717 and thereby became stigmatized as "irregulars". Firm in their belief that they were right and the Grand Lodge was wrong, they persisted in their course until at last they founded a Grand Lodge of their own. This, as stated above, is a "theory", but there are facts to support it, and it is reasonable on the face of things.
Be the facts what they may, it is certain that after the new Grand Lodge was formed it made use of the ceremony known as the Royal Arch and practiced it as a part of legitimate ancient Freemasonry. The results of this have been succinctly described by W. J. Hughan in a communication quoted on page 1185, Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, by Bro. Robert I. Clegg:
"The Royal Arch Degree was not started by these 'Antients' [as the new Grand Lodge came to be styled] but only adapted by them as an authorized ceremony. In self-defence the 'Moderns' [as the Grand Lodge of 1717 was dubbed], who had worked it before the origin of the 'Atholl Masons' [another name for the new Grand Lodge], but not officially, gradually gave it more prominence. In 1767 they formed a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and issued Warrants for Chapters, pushing the degree more even than the 'Antients', though not recognized by their Grand Lodge; so at the Union of the two Grand Lodges in December 1813, the way was prepared for the inauguration of the 'United Grand Chapter' in 1817, the ceremony being adopted as the completion of the Master Mason's ceremony, not as a separate and independent degree."
The most important of all the theories as to the rise of the new Grand Lodge is that worked out by Henry Sadler, though the word "theory", in view of the many facts he has marshaled in his Masonic Facts and Fictions, is too weak to suggest the cogency and power of his reasoning. I must content myself with giving a very brief resume of the results arrived at in this remarkable book.
The most important result of Sadler's work has been to abolish the old notion that the "Antient" Grand Lodge resulted from a "schism", or "secession" from the older Grand Lodge. The "schismatic" theory was given currency by the older Grand Lodge, and it came to be generally accepted among its supporters and apologists; even Gould, who was usually so independent in his theorizing, clung stubbornly to it long after others had been convinced of Sadler's views, for the which reason it was deemed wise to make a revision of his Concise History. Sadler made it clear that the "Antient" Grand Lodge grew up, not out of a split-off from the Grand Lodge of 1717 but from independent causes, and that in a day before the doctrine of exclusive jurisdiction had been adopted there was no illegality in such a step.
The next most important result of his researches was that the primary inspiration in the founding of the "Antient" Grand Lodge came from Irish Masons who had settled in London, and who had not been recognized by the Grand Lodge of 1717. Sadler shows that a majority of the members of the first lodge warranted by the "Antients" were Irishmen, and that they closely copied the usages and customs of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and that in the loose talk of the times they were accordingly dubbed "Irish Masons". Most of these men were of the "lower" classes, painters, tailors, mechanics, labourers, and so on, thereby standing in sharp contrast to the membership of the lodges working under the Grand Lodge of 1717.
THE "ANTIENTS" WERE CLOSE TO THE G.L. OF IRELAND
The "Antients" differed much in their practices from the older Grand Lodge and at the same time, in so differing, stood close to the customs of the Grand Lodge of Ireland: Sadler's own summary of this may be given:
"It will doubtless suffice if I merely mention the chief remaining points of connexion and similarly without further comment: The Book of Constitutions, and the By-Laws for private lodges; Craft Warrants recognizing the Royal Arch degree; Grand Lodge Seals, and the method of affixing them with the same coloured ribbons [same, that is, as the Grand Lodge of Ireland], which so far as I know were not used by any other Grand Lodge; Certificates in Latin and English; Constitution of a lodge for Grand Officers only, and the names of the members entered in the front of the register; System of registration in the books of the Grand Lodge; the fact that the 'Ancients' were designated 'Irish Masons', their lodges 'Irish Lodges', and their warrants 'Irish Warrants', by independent and unofficial writers at various periods, from about fifteen years after their organization in 1751 up to the end of the last century" [that is, the eighteenth century].
After the new Grand Lodge was once under way, and after it had begun to come into conflict with the older body, of course the defenders of the "Antients" began to make up arguments to defend their own position; to a large extent such arguments were merely special pleading, and not now to be taken with much seriousness. Such, by way of example, was Dermott's that the earlier Grand Lodge had been constituted in an illegal manner. In his Ahiman Rezon, 1778 edition, he says that "to form a Grand Lodge there must have been the Masters and Wardens of five regular Lodges," and asserts that "this is so well known to every man conversant with the ancient laws, usages, customs and ceremonies of Master Masons, that it is needless to say more." Dermott must have known at the time that such a statement was groundless; there never had been such a law. As time went on this argument was replaced by another to the effect that the "Antients" had set up house for themselves because the older Grand Lodge had been guilty of innovations, which, though it was doubtless true enough, could not very well stand because the "Antients" themselves had been guilty of many innovations of their own; for they had brought into the Masonic system an entirely new degree, an innovation of the first order, one would suppose.
II. FORMATION OF THE "ANTIENT" GRAND LODGE
It is time to give an account of how the "Ancient" (I shall hereafter give it the modern spelling) Grand Lodge came into existence.
First, however, I shall say a word about Laurence Dermott, who figured so much in all that happened, recommending the reader betimes that he peruse W. M. Bywater's Notes on Laurence Dermott and His Work, published in London, 1884. Dermott was born in Ireland in 1720, twenty-two years before the birth of William Preston, who first saw the light of day in Edinburgh, July 28, 1742, and who alone of all the luminaries in Freemasonry of that generation shares with Dermott an equal fame. Dermott was initiated in Ireland in 1740, and went through the chairs of Lodge No. 26, Ireland, where he was installed Worshipful Master June 24, 1746. It appears that he was fairly well educated for those days, and Gould is of the opinion that he probably knew a little Hebrew, which will account for the fondness he had of covering his papers with Hebrew characters — that ancient and difficult language! He moved to London, probably as a youth, with little in his pocket but many schemes boiling in his head, which head was tireless, alert, witty, sarcastic, and often a bit unscrupulous in waging war on his foes, of which his energy made him many. It seems that he engaged himself as a journeyman painter (Preston became a journeyman printer, it will be remembered) and that he prospered so that in after years he spent much money in charity and in his Masonic activities. In late records he was described as a wine merchant, and it appears that he enjoyed the luxury of gout. Once made a Mason he never rested but devoted himself to it as to a mistress, with passionate earnestness, never permitting himself to become discouraged, and always in the front line of battle. Aside from his genius in putting a Grand Lodge under way his greatest achievement was the composition of his Ahiman Rezon (meaning "Worthy Brother Secretary"), the Constitutions of the new Grand Lodge, and afterwards adopted by many other Grand Lodges, our own Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Carolina among them.
THE "GRAND COMMITTEE" IS FORMED
So much for Dermott. The extent of the "irregular makings" so often complained of in the records of the Grand Lodge of 1717 may be shown by the fact that because of these the Grand Lodge erased from its list at least forty-five lodges between 1742 and 1752. Brethren so dealt with, along with many free lances, and also some independent, or "St. John's lodges," (about which many interesting things might be written) came together and formed a "Grand Committee" of "the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons"; this Committee formed itself into "The Grand Lodge of England according to the Old Constitutions," which Grand Lodge afterwards came to be called the "Ancient" Grand Lodge in contradistinction to the "Modern," as the older Grand Lodge became dubbed. The earliest record of the Grand Committee is of date July 17, 1751; on that day Lodges No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 "were authorized to grant Dispensations and Warrants and to act as Grand Master." The office of Grand Master was left vacant until a "noble brother" could be found to accept the position; and the place of Lodge No. 1 was left standing to be occupied by the Grand Master's Lodge, a thing suggested no doubt by the Grand Lodge of Ireland having done the same thing. John Morgan was elected Grand Secretary in 1751 but it appears that he was lax in his duties, therefore Laurence Dermott was elected to take his place Feb. 5, 1752, after which time the Grand Secretary's most bitter enemies could not complain of any laxness whatsoever, because Dermott became the leading spirit in all that followed, and it was to his genius that a group of malcontents, drawn from what at that time were the lower or middle classes, were able to forge ahead and to grow more rapidly, time taken into consideration, than their rival Grand Lodge.
One of the expedients hit on by Dermott was the warranting of military lodges, a thing not done before, and which accounts for the rapid growth of Ancient Masonry in the American Colonies, for owing to the use of warrants to army lodges the British forces in this continent became Masonic missionaries. The Modern Grand Lodge afterwards followed suit in this. Another expedient was the frank and open pushing of the Royal Arch Degree; it is easy to understand that a system offering four degrees would make more appeal to the generality than one offering only three. Also the Ancients were able to secure formal endorsements from the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, and in addition thereto a certain amount of active support from those influential bodies.
In a list of the Grand Secretaries of the Ancient Grand Lodge it will be noted that Dermott served eighteen years:
- 1751, John Morgan.
- 1752-70, Laurence Dermott.
- 1771-76, William Dickey.
- 1777-78, James Jones.
- 1779-82, Charles Bearblock.
- 1783-84, Robert Leslie.
- 1785-89, John McCormick.
- 1790-1813, Robert Leslie.
More instructive still is the list of Grand Masters elected:
- 1753, Robert Turner.
- 1754-56, Edward Vaughan.
- 1756-59, Earl of Blesington.
- 1760-66, Earl of Kelly.
- 1766-70, Hon. Thomas Mathew.
- 1771-74, John, third Duke of Atholl (also spelled Athol, Athole).
- 1775-81, John, fourth Duke of Atholl.
- 1783-91, Earl of Antrim.
- 1791-1813, John, fourth Duke of Atholl.
- 1813, Duke of Kent.
It will be observed that of the sixty years during which the Ancients had a Grand Master a Duke of Atholl occupied the throne for thirty-one years; it was for this reason that the Ancients were often called "Atholl Masons," and for a corresponding reason that the Moderns were sometimes called "Prince of Wales Masons."
THEY GREW RAPIDLY
The zeal and energy of the Ancient leaders, in addition to the superior attractiveness of their degree system, is shown in the rapidity with which the new Grand Lodge made headway. In 1753 a dozen or so lodges were on the list; during the next four years, and largely owing to Dermott's activity, twenty-four were added; between 1760 and 1766, while the Earl of Kelly was nominally Grand Master, sixty-four more were taken in charge. By 1813, when the Union was effected, the Ancients claimed a grand total of 359 lodges, though it is certain that in many cases the names of defunct lodges were still carried.
The Ancients adopted as their Book of Constitutions the Ahiman Rezon, largely the work of Dermott, though he closely followed in the main the lines of the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and at the same time borrowed with a free hand the Anderson Constitutions used by the Moderns, first published in 1723; the first edition of the Ahiman Rezon appeared in 1756. By closely following the Constitutions already in use Dermott was able to avoid the appearance of too wide a departure from Freemasonry as already practiced, and at the same time, though unwittingly, prepared the way for the Union that came afterwards, a fact of happy augury for the Craft at large.
The existence of two Grand Lodges, both with their headquarters in London, naturally caused a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding among ordinary Masons; in many cases such brethren held no brief for either party, so that in some cases it is of record that a man held office in lodges under both constitutions; but for the most part there was a good deal of bitterness among the partisans, though it must be said that the Ancients were more avid of controversy than the Moderns, and that in almost every instance when an olive branch was extended it was from the latter-named camp. An example of the irenic attitude of the Moderns is furnished by Preston, who says that while in 1801 charges were preferred against brethren under the Moderns for their activities in Ancient lodges the matter was suffered to drop.
In 1797 a move was made looking toward union but the project fell through. Two years afterwards, however, the two Grand Masters, the Earl of Moira for the Moderns and the Duke of Atholl for the Ancients, acted together to have the Craft specifically exempted from the Act to Prevent Secret Societies in England. Also, as another step that paved the way for a merger, the Modern Grand Lodge succeeded in securing the endorsements of the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland in such wise as to place the Ancients on a somewhat doubtful footing, a thing that completely reversed the original situation so far as those two Grand Bodies were concerned.
THE UNION IS EFFECTED
As early as 1809 committees met to consider the "propriety and practicability of union." On Oct. 26 of that year the Earl of Moira (for the Moderns) warranted a special lodge to serve as a means for bringing about a merger; this lodge held its first meeting on Nov. 21 and then resolved to call itself "The Special Lodge of Promulgation." On April 10 of the year following the Earl of Moira informed his Grand Lodge that both he and the Grand Master of the Ancients "were both fully of opinion, that it would be an event truly desirable, to consolidate under one head the two Societies of Masons that existed in this country." These proceedings were transmitted to the Grand Lodge of Ancients, where this frank avowal of a desire for union was met with unfeigned cordiality, so that after concessions were made by both sides, though more heartily by the Moderns, it was agreed all the way around that differences should be ironed out, and a union be made. "The Grand Assembly of Freemasons for the Union of the Two Grand Lodges of England" was held Dec. 27, 1813. With due and solemn ceremonies the long wished for merger was consummated, all Grand officers showing, almost without exception, a fine and statesmanlike spirit. During the month preceding the Duke of Atholl had resigned the Grand Mastership of the Ancients in favour of the Duke of Kent, the latter being placed in the chair Dec. 1; at the time of the Union the latter nominated the Duke of Sussex as "Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England" and he was unanimously elected.
Each of the two Grand Lodges participating appointed a committee of nine expert Master Masons or Past Masters and these were then formed into a Lodge of Promulgation, the purpose of which was to work out a form of ritual acceptable to all. This lodge continued its work from 1813 to 1816, often against opposition; but while its work was of consequence and official, the real fusing of the two systems went on according to circumstances in the private lodges, so that the influence of the Lodge of Reconciliation was more academic than real.
The work of preparing a new Code of Regulations for the United Grand Lodge was referred to a Board of General Purposes; its work was approved by a Special Grand Lodge Aug. 23, 1815. Meanwhile, and in order to bring about the closest relations possible between the new United Grand Lodge and the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland an International Commission was formed and began its deliberations June 27, 1814, continuing until July 2 following. As a result it was declared that "the three Grand Lodges were perfectly in unison in all the great and essential points of the Mystery and Craft, according to the immemorial traditions and uninterrupted usage of Ancient Masons;" eight resolutions, called the International Compact, were adopted.
IV. BY WAY OF CONCLUSION
The effect of all this re-organization on the ritual has been so well summarized by Bro. W. B. Hextall that I shall quote his paragraph in full from Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. XXIII, page 304: (the reader should consult that entire volume)
"A conclusion to which I personally come, is that for many years after the Union — speaking approximately, until about 1825 — a good deal of 'give and take' concerning ritual went on unofficially, in London as well as in the Provinces, and that our Craft ceremonies, as practised from 1830, and earlier, considerably deviated from those which were ascertained in the Lodge of Promulgation, 1809-11; worked in the Lodge of Reconciliation, 1813-16; and approved by Grand Lodge on 5th June, 1816. The material from which we have to draw inferences is slight, but at the same time cogent; and when (to name a few points only) we find duties originally assigned to the Senior Deacon transferred to his Junior colleague; the entrusting with the means of satisfactory proof leading to the second degree otherwise performed; and the admission of a member or visitor 'by proof of his having ascertained the degree in which the Lodge is opened from an inspection of the three great lights at the entrance' (Lodge of Promulgation minutes, January 5th, 1810) fallen into complete disuse; it is difficult to avoid realizing that, to a large extent, the subject of Craft working must have been placed in the melting-pot, and that quite apart from the means of instruction officially provided in 1813."
In order to assist brethren to find their way out of this welter Lodges of Instruction came into existence, some of which grew to be permanent institutions; it was as a result of the influence of these that the various "workings" came into use in England, "Emulation," "Stability," "Oxford," etc.
If one will take a sufficiently wide view of the history of English Freemasonry from 1717 until the Union had been everywhere accepted he will see that the whole period takes on the character of a grand transition, and that in this perspective the mere details and machinery of the Great Cleavage along with the subsequent official act of Union drop into second place as events, great in importance, but of the nature of incidentals. The change from Operative to Speculative Masonry officially made in 1717 was profound beyond our usual understanding of it; and such a change could be completed only after many years, much experiment, and a long evolution. In this view the great result of the Union was that it brought finally about the complete crystallization and solidification of Speculative Freemasonry, fixed its character for generations to come, established in the United Kingdom the firm principle of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction, and made possible the establishment inside the Craft of those Powers and Authorities which today prevent the dispersal of its energies and the division of its forces. Even until now that influence is at work; and it will continue at work until, out of its inevitable logic, a way will be found to unite and unify Freemasonry the world over, of which consummation we can all sincerely say, So Mote It Be!
Mackey's Encyclopedia (Revised Edition)
Ahiman Rezon, 37; Ancient, or Antient, or Atholl Masons, 55; Antiquity, Lodge of, 65; Book of Constitutions, 112; Christianization of Freemasonry, 148; Dermott, Laurence, 206; Grand Lodge, 306; Grand Master, 307; Innovations, 353; Ireland, 357; Lectures, History of the, 430; Preston, William, 579; Prichard, Samuel, 583; Ramsay, A. M., 607; Reconciliation. Lodge of, 611; Royal Arch Degree, 643; Schisms, 668; Symbolic Degrees, 752; United Grand Lodge of England, 815; York Grand Lodge, 867.
Ahiman Rezon, all eds., Laurence Dermott. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, V, 166; VI, 44, 65; VIII, 233; XI, 190, 202; XXIII, 37, 162, 215; XXIV, 268. Atholl Lodges, R. F. Gould. Book of Constitutions, ed. by Entick. Book of Constitutions, ed. by Noorthouck. Builders, The, Joseph Fort Newton. Century of Masonic Working, F. W. Golby. Concise History, R. F. Gould. Grand Lodge of England, A. F. Calvert. History of Freemasonry, Findel. History of Freemasonry, R. F. Gould. History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, Murray Lyon. Illustrated History of the Lodge of Improvement, Henry Sadler. Illustrations of Masonry, Wm. Preston. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, R. I. Clegg. Masonic Facts and Fictions, Henry Sadler. Memorials of the Masonic Union, W. J. Hughan. Military Lodges, R. F. Gould. Minutes of the Grand Lodge of England, W. J. Songhurst, Ed. Notes on Law. Dermott, W. M. Bywater. Origin of the English Rite, W. J. Hughan. Short Masonic History, Fred Armitage. Story of the Craft, Lionel Vibert.
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The present series of Study Club articles will be brought to a conclusion in the June issue, after which it will be published in book form. Readers are asked to assist me to delete all errors in matter of fact from the volume by calling my attention to any such detected in the Chapters as they have appeared in THE BUILDER. Such corrections will be accepted as a personal favor. The next series will very probably comprise studies in American Freemasonry.
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"Articles of Union Between the Two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England"
As a supplement to the Study Club paper this month, and by way of completing the account there given of the manner in which the "Antients" and "Moderns" , the rival Grand Lodges, were amalgamated into, or were made to be superseded by, the United Grand lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England, the Articles of Union, adopted in 1813, are here given in full. The student will find this, along with all the other important official documents and records, in W. J. Hughan's "Memorials of the Masonic Union," 1913 edition, Bro. John T. Thorp editor. The book should be studied with great care.
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN
The Most Worshipful His Royal Highness, Prince Augustus Frederick. Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness, Baron Arklow, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and Grand Master of the Society of Free and Accepted Masons under the Constitution of England; the Right Worshipful WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT, Provincial Grand Master of Masons in the Ionian Isles; the Right Worshipful Arthur Tegart, Past Grand Warden; and the Right Worshipful James Deans, Past Grand Warden; of the same Fraternity: for themselves and on behalf of the Grand Lodge of the Society of Freemasons under the Constitution of England: being thereto duly constituted and empowered: on the one part.
The Most Worshipful His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, Earl of Dublin, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Field Marshal of His Majesty's Forces, Governor of Gibraltar, Colonel of the First or Royal-Scots Regiment of Foot. and Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons of England, according to the Old Institutions; the Right Worshipful Thomas Harper, Deputy Grand Master; the Right Worshipful James Perry, Past Deputy Grand Master; and the Right Worshipful James Agar, Past Deputy Grand Master; of the same Fraternity: for themselves and on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England, according to the old Institutions: being thereto duly constituted and empowered:on the other part.
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS —
I. There shall be, from and after the day of the Festival of Saint John the Evangelist next ensuing, a full, perfect, and perpetual union of and between the two Fraternities of Free and Accepted Masons of England above described; so as that in all time hereafter they shall form and constitute but one Brotherhood, and that the said community shall be represented in one Grand Lodge, to be solemnly formed, constituted, and held, on the said day of the Festival of Saint John the Evangelist next ensuing, and from thenceforward forever.
II. It is declared and pronounced, that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees, and no more; viz: those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch. But this article is not intended to prevent any lodge or chapter from holding a meeting in any of the degrees of the Orders of Chivalry, according to the constitutions of the said Orders.
III. There shall be the most perfect unity of obligation, of discipline, of working the lodges, of making, passing and raising, instructing and clothing brothers; so that but one pure unsullied system, according to the genuine landmarks, laws, and traditions of the Craft, shall be maintained, upheld and practiced, throughout the Masonic world, from the day and date of the said union until time shall be no more.
IV. To prevent all controversy or dispute as to the genuine and pure obligations, forms, rules and ancient traditions of Masonry, and further, to unite and bind the whole Fraternity of Masons in one indissoluble bond, it is agreed that the obligations and forms that have, from time immemorial, been established, used, and practiced, in the Craft, shall be recognized, accepted and taken, by the members of both Fraternities, ag the pure and genuine obligations and forms by which the incorporated Grand Lodge of England and its dependent lodges in every part of the world, shall be bound: and for the purpose of receiving and communicating due light and settling this uniformity of regulation and instruction (and particularly in matters which can neither be expressed nor described in writing), it is further agreed that brotherly application be made to the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland, to authorize, delegate and appoint any tow or more of their enlightened members to be present at the Grand Assembly on the solemn occasion of uniting the said Fraternities; and that the respective Grand Masters, Grand officers, Masters, Past Masters, Wardens and brothers, then and there present, shall solemnly engage to abide by the true forms and obligations (particularly in matters which can neither be described nor written), in the presence of the said members of the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland, that it may be declared, recognized, and known, that they all are bound by the same solemn pledge, and work under the same law.
V. For the purpose of establishing and securing this perfect uniformity in all the warranted lodges, and also to prepare for this Grand Assembly, and to place all the members of both Fraternities on the level of equality on the day of Re-union, it is agreed that as soon as these presents shall have received the sanction of the respective Grand Lodges, [Note] the two Grand Masters shall appoint each nine worthy and expert Master Masons or Past Masters, of their respective Fraternities, with warrant and instructions to meet together at some convenient central place in London, when each party having opened in a separate apartment a just and perfect lodge, agreeably to their peculiar regulations they shall give and receive mutually and reciprocally the obligations of both Fraternities, deciding by lot which shall take priority in giving and receiving the same; and being thus all duly and equally enlightened in both forms, they shall be empowered and directed, either to hold a lodge under the warrant or dispensation to be entrusted to them, and to be entitled the LODGE OF RECONCILIATION, or to visit the several lodges holding under both the Grand Lodges for the purpose of obligating, instructing and perfecting the Master, Past Masters, Wardens, and members, in both the forms, and to make a return to the Grand Secretaries of both the Grand Lodges of the names of those whom they shall have thus enlightened. And the said Grand Secretaries shall be empowered to enroll the names of all the members thus remade in the Register of both the Grand Lodges, without fee or reward: it being ordered that no person shall be thus obligated and registered whom the Master and Wardens of his lodge shall not certify by writing under their hands, that he is free on the books of his particular lodge. Thus, on the day of assembly of both Fraternities, the Grand officers, Masters, Past Masters and Wardens, who are alone to be present, shall all have taken the obligation by which each is bound, and be prepared, to make their solemn engagement, that they will thereafter abide by that which shall be recognized and declared to be the true and universally accepted obligation of the Master Mason.
VI. As soon as the Grand Masters, Grand officers, and members of the two present Grand Lodges, shall, on the day of their Re-union have made the solemn declaration in the presence of the deputation of Grand or enlightened Masons from Scotland and Ireland, to abide and act by the universally recognized obligation of Master Mason, the members shall forthwith proceed to the election of a Grand Master for the year ensuing; and to prevent delay, the brother so elected shall forthwith be obligated. pro tempore, that the Grand Lodge may be formed. The said Grand Master shall then nominate and appoint his Deputy Grand Master, together with a Senior and Junior Grand Warden, Grand Secretary, or Secretaries, Grand Treasurer, Grand Chaplain, Grand Sword Bearer, Grand Pursuivant, and Grand Tyler, who shall all be duly obligated and placed; and the Grand Incorporated Lodge shall then be opened, in ample form, under the stile and title of the UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF ENGLAND.
The Grand officers who held the several offices before (unless such of them as may be re-appointed) shall take their places, as Past Grand officers, in the respective degrees which they held before; and in case either, or both of the present Grand Secretaries, Pursuivants, and Tylers, should not be re-appointed to their former situations. then annuities shall be paid to them during their respective lives out of the Grand Fund.
VII. THE UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF ENGLAND shall be composed, except on days of Festival, in the following manner, as a just and perfect representative of the whole Masonic Fraternity of England; that is to say, of
The Grand Master, Past Grand Masters, Deputy Grand Master, Past Deputy Grand Masters, Grand Wardens, Provincial Grand Masters, Past Grand Wardens, Past Provincial Grand Masters, Grand Chaplain, Grand Treasurer, Joint Grand Secretary, or Grand Secretary if there be only one, Grand Sword Bearer, Twelve Grand Stewards, to be delegated by the Stewards' Lodge, from among their members existing at the Union; it being understood and agreed that, from and after the Union, an annual appointment shall be made of the Stewards if necessary, The actual Masters and Wardens of all Warranted Lodges, Past Masters of lodges, who have regularly served and passed the chair before the day of Union, and who have continued without secession regular contributing members of a Warranted Lodge. It being understood that all Masters who, from and after the day of the said Union, shall regularly pass the chair of their respective lodges, but one at a time, to be delegated by his lodge, shall have a right to sit and vote in the said Grand Lodge; so that after the decease of all the regular Past Masters of any regular lodge, who had attained that distinction at the time of the Union, the representation of such lodge shall be by its actual Master, Wardens, and one Past Master only, And all Grand officers in the said respective Grand Lodges shall retain and hold their rank and privileges in the United Grand Lodge, as Past Grand officers, including the present Provincial Grand Masters, the Grand Treasurers, Grand Secretaries, and Grand Chaplains, in their several degrees, according to the seniority of their respective appointments; and where such appointment shall have been contemporaneous, the seniority shall be determined by lot. In all other respects the above shall be the general order of precedence in all time to come, with this express provision, that no Provincial Grand Master, hereafter to be appointed, shall be entitled to a seat in the Grand Lodge, after he shall have retired from such situation, unless he shall have discharged the duties thereof for full five years.
VIII. The Representatives of the several lodges shall sit under their respective banners according to seniority. The two first lodges under each Grand Lodge to draw a lot in the first place for priority; and to which of the two the lot No. 1 shall fall, the other to rank as No. 2; and all the other lodges shall fall in alternately, that is, the lodge which is No. 2 of the Fraternity whose lot it shall be to draw No. 1, shall rank as No. 3 in the United Grand Lodge, and the other No. 2 shall rank as No. 4, and so on alternately through all the numbers respectively. And this shall forever after be the order and rank of the lodges in the Grand Lodge, and in Grand Processions, for which a plan and drawing shall be prepared previous to the Union. On the renewal of any of the lodges now dormant, they shall take rank after all the lodges existing at the Union, notwithstanding the numbers in which they may now stand on the respective rolls.
IX. The United Grand Lodge being now constituted, the first proceeding after solemn prayer shall be to read and proclaim the act of Union, as previously executed and sealed with the great seals of the two Grand Lodges; after which the same shall be solemnly accepted by the members present. A day shall then be appointed for the installation of the Grand Master and other Grand officers with due solemnity; upon which occasion the Grand Master shall in open lodge, with his own hand, affix the new great seal to the said instrument, which shall be deposited in the archives of the United Grand Lodge, and be the bond of union among the Masons of the Grand Lodge of England, and the lodges dependent thereon, until time shall be no more. The said new great seal shall be made for the occasion, and shall be composed out of both the great seals now in use; after which the present two great seals shall be broken and defaced; and the new seal shall be alone used in all warrants, certificates, and other documents to be issued thereafter.
X. The regalia of the Grand officers shall be, in addition to the white gloves and apron, and the respective jewels or emblems of distinction, garter blue and gold; and these shall alone belong to the Grand officers present and past.
XI. Four Grand Lodges, representing the Craft, shall be held for quarterly communication in each year, on the first Wednesday in the months of March, June, September, and December, on each of which occasions the Masters and Wardens of all the warranted lodges shall deliver into the bands of the Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer, a faithful list of all their contributing members; and the warranted lodges in and adjacent to London shall pay towards the Grand Fund one shilling per quarter for each member, over and above the sum of half a guinea for each new made member, for the registry of his name, together with the sum of one shilling to the Grand Secretary as his fee for the same, and that this contribution of one shilling for each member shall be made quarterly, and each quarter, in all time to come.
XII. It shall be in the power of the Grand Master, or in his absence of the Past Grand Masters, or in their absence of the Deputy Grand Master, or in his absence of the Past Deputy Grand Masters, or in their absence of the Grand Wardens, to summon and hold Grand Lodges of Emergency whenever the good of the Craft shall, in their judgment, require the same.
XIII. At the Grand Lodge to be held annually on the first Wednesday in September, the Grand Lodge shall elect a Grand Master for the year ensuing (who shall nominate and appoint his own Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, and Secretary), and they shall also nominate three fit and proper persons for each of the offices of Treasurer, Chaplain, and Sword Bearer, out of which the Grand Master shall, on the first Wednesday in the month of December, chuse and appoint one for each of the said offices; and on the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, then next ensuing, or on such other day as the said Grand Master shall appoint, there shall be held a Grand Lodge for the solemn installation of all the said Grand officers, according to antient custom.
XIV. There may also be a Masonic Festival, annually, on the Anniversary of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, or of St. George, or such other day as the Grand Master shall appoint, which shall be dedicated alone to brotherly love and refreshment, and to which all regular Master Masons may have access, on providing themselves with tickets from the Grand Stewards appointed to conduct the same.
XV. After the day of the Re-union, as aforesaid, and when it shall be ascertained what are the obligations, forms, regulations, working, and instruction, to be universally established, speedy and effectual steps shall be taken to obligate all the members of each lodge in all the degrees, according to the form taken and recognized by the Grand Master, Past Grand Master, Grand officers, and Representatives of lodges, on the day of Re-union; and for this purpose the worthy and expert Master Masons appointed, as aforesaid, shall visit and attend the several lodges, within the Bills of Mortality, in rotation, dividing themselves into quorums of not less than three each, for the greater expedition, and they shall assist the Master and Wardens to promulgate and enjoin the pure and unsullied system, that perfect reconciliation, unity of obligation, law, working, language, and dress, may be happily restored to the English Craft.
XVI. When the Master and Wardens of a warranted lodge shall report to the Grand Master, to his satisfaction, that the members of such lodge have taken the proper enjoined obligation, and have conformed to the uniform working, clothing, etc., then the Most Worshipful Grand Master shall direct the new Great Seal to be affixed to their warrant, and the lodge shall be adjudged to be regular, and entitled to all the privileges of the Craft: a certain term shall be allowed (to be fixed by the Grand Lodge) for establishing this uniformity; and all constitutional proceedings of any regular lodge, which shall take place between the date of the Union and the term so appointed, shall be deemed valid, on condition that such lodge shall conform to the regulations of the Union within the time appointed; and means shall be taken to ascertain the regularity, and establish the uniformity of the Provincial Grand Lodges, Military Lodges, and lodges holding of the two present Grand Lodges in distant parts; and it shall be in the power of the Grand Lodge to take the most effectual measures for the establishment of this unity of doctrine throughout the whole community of Masons, and to declare the warrants to be forfeited, if the measures proposed shall be resisted or neglected.
XVII. The property of the said two Fraternities, whether freehold, leasehold, funded, real or personal, shall remain sacredly appropriate to the purposes for which it was created; it shall constitute one Grand Fund, by which the blessed object of Masonic benevolence may be more extensively obtained. It shall either continue under the trusts in which, whether freehold, leasehold, or funded, the separate parts thereof now stand; or it shall be in the power of the said United Grand Lodge, at any time hereafter, to add other names to the said trusts; or, in case of the death of any one Trustee, to nominate and appoint others for perpetuating the security of the same; and in no event, and for no purpose, shall the said united property be diverted from its original purpose. It being understood and declared that, at any time after the Union, it shall be in the power of the Grand Lodge to incorporate the whole of the said property and funds in one and the same set of Trustees, who shall give bond to hold the same in the name and on behalf of the United Fraternity. And it is further agreed, that the Freemasons' Hall shall be the place in which the United Grand Lodge shall be held, with such additions made thereto as the increased numbers of the Fraternity, thus to be united, may require. And it is understood between the parties, that, as there are now in the Hall several whole length portraits of Past Grand Masters, a portrait of the Most Worshipful His Grace the Duke of Atholl, Past Grand Master, of Masons according to the Old Institutions, shall be placed there in the same conspicuous manner.
XVIII. The fund, appropriate to the objects of Masonic benevolence, shall not be infringed oil for any purpose, but shall be kept strictly and solely devoted to charity, and pains shall be taken to increase the same.
XIX. The distribution and application of this Charitable Fund shall be monthly, for which purpose a committee, or Lodge of Benevolence shall be held on the third Wednesday of every month, which lodge shall consist of twelve Masters of lodges (within the Bills of Mortality); and three Grand officers, one of whom only (if more are present) shall act as President, and be entitled to vote. The said twelve Masters to be summoned by the choice and direction of the Grand Master, or his Deputy, not by any rule or rotation, but by discretion; so as that the members, who are to judge of the cases that may come before them, shall not be subject to canvass, or to previous application, but shall have their minds free from prejudice, to decide on the merits of each case with the impartiality and purity of Masonic feeling: to which end it is declared, that no brother, being a member of such committee or lodge, shall vote, upon the petition of any person to whom he is in any way related, or who is a member of any lodge, or Masonic society, to which he himself actually belongs, but such brother may ask leave to be heard on the merits of such petition, and shall afterwards, during the discussion and voting theron, withdraw.
XX. A plan, with rules and regulations, for the solemnity of the Union, shall be prepared by the Subscribers hereto, previous to the Festival of St. John, which shall be the form to be observed on that occasion.
XXI. A revision shall be made of the rules and regulations now established and in force in the two Fraternities, and a code of laws for the holding of the Grand Lodge, and of private lodges; and, generally, for the whole conduct of the Craft, shall be forthwith prepared, and a new Book of Constitutions be composed and printed, under the superintendence of the Grand officers, and with the sanction of the Grand Lodge.
Done at the Palace of Kensington, this 25th Day of November, in the Year of our Lord, 1813, and of Masonry, 5813.
AUGUSTUS FREDERICK, G.M. L.S. WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT, P.G.M. Ionian Isles. L.S. ARUTHUR TEGART, G.W. L.S.
In Grand Lodge, this first day of December, A.D. 1813. Ratified and Confirmed, and the Seal of the Grand Lodge affixed.
AUGUSTUS FREDERICK, G.M. (Great Seal) WILLIAM H. WHITE, G.S.
JAMES DEANS, P.G.W. L.S. EDWARD, G.M. L.S. THOMAS HARPER, D.G.M. L.S. JAMES PERRY, P.D.G.M. L.S. JAMES AGAR, P.D.G.M. L.S.
In Grand Lodge, this first day of December, A.D. 1813, Ratified and Confirmed, and the Seal of the Grand Lodge affixed. EDWARD, G.M. (Great Seal) ROBERT LESLIE, G. S.
Note. This sanction was given by both Grand Lodges meeting on the same day in London, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1813, the "Moderns" at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, Strand, the "Ancients" at Freemasons Hall.
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ON NATIONALIZING AMERICAN MASONRY
A SWING around the circuit of American Grand Lodges will convince any unprejudiced observer that there is almost everywhere abroad a determination to nationalize American Masonry. Let not a reader become alarmed! This has nothing to do with a scheme for a National Grand Lodge, but quite the contrary and that for obvious reasons. Almost everybody knows that a National Grand Lodge, whatever may be the theories for or against it, is inherently impossible, and that because the formation of such a body would mean a complete revolution in the organization of the forty-nine Grand Lodges already existing in this country. No, it is not this that is held in mind by those who seek a closer and more unified amalgamation of all the forces of American Masonry; they have in view rather a closer co-operation of the organizations already existing and a more widespread understanding of the general purposes and ideals of the Craft to the end that all of us, from Maine to California and beyond, may the better be enabled to work together for the far-off event toward which Freemasonry moves.
Consider a moment what may be done to bring this about without adding a new cog to the machinery already existing. We can all assist to encourage and to distribute a national Masonic literature, to be created by representative and competent spokesmen from all parts of the land. There can be a systematic co-operation of all Grand Lodge officials so that each Grand Lodge is kept constantly in touch with what is being done by all other Grand Lodges; for example, if a Grand Master issues an official letter on a subject of general interest he can see that all his brother Grand Masters receive a copy, etc. Conferences of Grand Masters and of Grand Lodge officers, such as were held at Washington last November, can be made an habitual thing, so that each Grand Lodge can share in the fruits of the labor of other Grand Lodges. Where Grand Lodges maintain some kind of service, such as an Educational Bureau, it can extend its courtesies and assistance to neighboring Jurisdictions. Lastly, and not to extend further a list of suggestions equally obvious, all this may be brought home to the individual Mason everywhere if he can be persuaded to read the Fraternal Correspondence Report in his own Grand Lodge Proceedings, a thing that should somehow be done, because of all the pages of printed matter published each year in the name of Masonry those Reports are easily the most valuable so far as the nationalizing of the Masonic mind is concerned. All this is only another way of saying that among themselves Grand Lodges, like private members can practice Masonic brotherhood, to the end that there be not anywhere sectional feeling or exclusiveness but everywhere a sense of the solidarity and unity of American Masonry as a whole.
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MODERN SCIENCE AND THE SCIENCE OF MASONRY
Count Korzybski's article in another part of this issue brings to the front, and in a new, quite unexpected way, how important a place geometry has come to occupy in modern scientific thought. The great revolution now going on in science, in comparison with which the revolutions due to Copernicus and to Sir Isaac Newton were of almost secondary importance, has its roots in mathematics and had its start when Loubacheski showed up the inadequacy of Euclid's geometry.
Such a thing as this would have greatly excited the old Operative Masons, to whom geometry and Masonry were terms so nearly synonymous that they fained to believe Euclid had been one of the founders of the Craft. It is easy to understand how they came to feel such reverence toward what many persons consider a dead cult for drawing meaningless diagrams — lines, angles, curves, all made on paper, and apparently having no conceivable relation to the throbbing life in men's veins. The Operative Masons discovered the wonder of geometry through their own daily experiences and while solving the most "practical" problems. By means of it they transformed dead and shapeless stone into the organic and living unity of a cathedral; made arches to fly up fearlessly toward heaven, and mighty buttresses to suspend in the air, like birds' wings; created rose windows, filled with infinite traceries, beautiful as a dream; and learned how to express by curve and angle the ideas arising in their minds.
More than this. Because the structure was not organized out of guess work but was founded in exact principles by vigorous rules each individual workman was able to apply himself at the right point and in the right time; the work of hundreds of individuals resulted in perfect unity; and the craftsmen themselves, bound by the invisible ties of their science, lived in brotherhood.
All of which, if we wish so to view it, is a parable of what may again take place, but on a larger scale. More of human differences than one would suppose are due to errors of fact and to inexact thinking; instead of applying the plumb, the level, and the square to their thinking, the majority drift along aimlessly, or else let themselves be filled with passions and prejudices. Out of such a welter no unity, no lasting brotherhood can come. But if as a result of a new development in science our great social efforts are rescued from partisanships and bitter feelings and placed on the same solid foundations as physics, chemistry and mathematics there is some hope that a general agreement among men may be reached. In that event we should find ourselves as citizens not struggling in a welter of cross purposes and disturbing prejudices but we should all become like the craftsmen of old, trained workmen, each engaged at his own task on a structure that will endure. In such an event Masonry would come into its own to a degree, and after a fashion, such as few of us now dare to dream or hope for.
* * *
SHAKESPEARE AND THE APPRENTICE RIOT
The Craft antiquarians who have entertained the hope of proving that Shakespeare was a Freemason should jot down in their note-books the new Shakespeare item brought from England by E. H. Sothern a while ago, not because it has any direct bearing on that question but as furnishing a splash of color to data otherwise sufficiently drab. This find, dug up from among the innumerable manuscripts housed in the British Museum, consists of a few pages in the bard's own hand-writing, thus being the only specimen in existence, all the others being mere signatures and some doubt about them; indeed it has been questioned if Shakespeare knew how to write at all, because it has looked as if the reputed signatures had been made by different persons who signed his name for him, he putting down an "X". The new item will dispose of this question once and for all, unless all the manuscript experts are astray, because it consists of a passage of a play copied off by him.
The play, entitled "Sir Thomas Moore," was written by Anthony Munday. It appears that this drama proved objectionable to the official censors who employed various and sundry scribes to revise it. It is believed that Shakespeare himself either revised or copied off a revision of a passage in the third act and thereby hangs the tale, so far as the present point is concerned. The scene shows a great crowd of London apprentices, drawn from various crafts, indulging in a riot on the streets; the cause of this riot was the presence in the city of a large number of foreigners, always a bone of contention in those days; the apprentices declared that these aliens consumed such large quantities of food as to force up the price of living; and that they had introduced into the city such noxious vegetables as parsnips, thereby spreading about many vile diseases. Between these terrible vegetables and the influx of competing workmen the apprentices were so beside themselves that they threatened to wreck the whole fabric of social order. Thereupon Sir Thomas Moore as sheriff of London made them a speech, one passage of which was written, so it is believed, by Shakespeare, and reads in this wise:
"For to the king God bath his office lent
Of dread, of justice, power and command
He hath not solely lent the king his figure
His throne and sword, but given him his own name
Calls him a God on earth. What do ye then,
Rising 'gainst him that God himself installs,
But rise 'gainst God?"
It is to be hoped that the youths were quieted by this pompous bombast!
If it is accepted that Shakespeare wrote this in his own hand then he knew how to write, and that will knock one of the main props out from under the Bacon theory, for the Bacon enthusiasts have always held that the poet was too illiterate to have composed dramas, almost every one of which implies a deal of general culture. This will have some bearing on Masonic studies because it has been held in some quarters that Lord Bacon, the real author of the Shakespearean plays, was, for purposes of personal safety in an intolerant time, a Rosicrucian or member of some other secret group, and assumed a disguise behind the name "Shakespeare" to shield himself from the authorities. A few extremists have credited him with being a Freemason or even with having founded the Order. Those who have coquetted with this heresy will do well to make a little study of Anthony Munday's exhumed play and the circumstances appertaining thereto.
* * *
"There must be something after death
Behind the toil of man
There must exist a God divine
Who's working out a plan;
And this brief journey that we know
As life must really be
The gateway to a finer world
That some day we shall see."
* * *
"THE BLUE LODGE CLASSIC"
"The Builders, A Story and Study of Masonry," by Dr. Joseph Fort Newton. Published by The Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and now also by George H. Doran as Vol. V in the M.S.A. National Masonic Library. For sale by National Masonic Research Society, 19~0 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Blue cloth, 317 pages, with Index. $2.15 Postpaid.
THE most striking thing to be said of this now familiar book is that while it is headed toward the mark of 50,000 copies no formal review of it has yet been published in this country, except for a tribute by Bro. Malcolm Bingay in The Masonic News, Detroit, written two or three years ago. Like Masonry itself the fame of it has gone about from ear to ear, each individual being moved to tell his neighbor of it until, after ten years, it circulates like blood in the arteries of the Craft in America, and bids fair to do the same in other lands. Written in the beginning on commission from the Grand Lodge of Iowa as a guide to the young Mason it has become a handbook for Masons everywhere, young and old alike, and become also in the meantime "The Blue Lodge Classic."
The Builders opened up a new trail in Masonic literature, at least in the United States; there were no precedents, no patterns to copy by, so that its success is all the more remarkable in that it shows its author to have had prophetic vision in addition to his gifts as a writer and his knack of scholarship. Those who have not undertaken the responsibilities of authorship under such conditions cannot possibly realize what a blood consuming task it is. It happens that the present scribe put in a year of work in the same great Masonic library in which Dr. Newton had made his own studies two or three years before, therefore he has some knowledge whereof he speaks, and can remember all too vividly what a wearisome toil it was, and how easy by comparison would be the famous task of hunting needles in a hay-stack. Thousands of books, but such books! dry, dull, dreary, crabbed, without indexes usually, seldomly a citation of authorities, no saving salt of humor, nothing (save in a few exceptions) of the transforming touch of genuine literature in it all! To discover a few flowers of fact blossoming in that jungle of conjecture made one feel like stout Cortez, when, from that peak on which John Keats placed him, he looked down on the Pacific! "Those days" (one should say "them" to make the quotation exact) are not yet "gone forever" but they are going, and that because others have been inspired by The Builders to follow the same trail.
To understand the pith and point of Bro. Newton's interpretation of Masonry one must first know his general outlook on life, which is that of the Christian mystic, bred in many schools of letters, who looks out of the eyes of the poet on a world that is too marvelous for words to describe, save those of ecstasy and wonder. To him man is neither a clod nor a clown, but a being with divinity in his soul, eternity before him; and our race, though its tale is pathetic enough, and the way dim, is a pilgrimage of souls on the Great Quest for that which abides amid the flying years, for that which is of some worth among so much that fades. Freemasonry is a part of that Quest, with its own manner of lighting man on his journey, and no quarrel to be had with the other Aiders and Helpers by the way. In such a setting Masonry becomes one of the Great Poetries of the world, spiritualized and redeeming, far above the small matters about which Masons sometimes make such a posher; and because The Builders grows out of such a vision there is a beauty upon the book that remains behind in the heart; long after the last page has been forgotten.
He must be a crabbed soul indeed who would read such a volume as if it were ever meant as an encyclopedia of facts, and in order to quarrel with its author over matters of detail. Nevertheless one can hope that one of these days our friend will find some opportunity out of the great press of his duties to revise some portions of it in the light of what has been discovered since 1914 and to make corrections of some small errors in dates, names, etc., as on pages 216 and 217 where two proper names are mis-spelled and a date is given as 1753 instead of 1751. At the same time it would help a beginner if it were made more clear that some items in the historical portion are either matters of conjecture or else of the author's own theories of the matter, as in the case of the Comacine Masters, which is a question still before the house. It would also help if the bibliography were re-written so as to give titles accurately, since the omission of a word often makes it impossible to locate a title in a catalog. And there are many Study Clubs that would welcome an additional chapter of "Questions for Discussion" in order that so excellent a text be made more convenient to use.
H. L. H.
* * *
J. F. NEWTON'S COLLECTED MASONIC PAPERS AND ADDRESSES
"The Men's House, Masonic Papers and Addresses," by Dr. Joseph Fort Newton. Cloth, 261 pages. Vol. VI, M. S. A. National Masonic Library. Published by George H. Doran, New York. May be purchased through National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis. Price, $2.15 postpaid.
Recall the dreariest hour you ever spent in a lodge room. Imagine that the room itself was ill lighted, poorly ventilated, and the seats uncomfortable, that only a handful were present, and that the ceremonies were poorly rendered by men utterly unaware of the meaning of it all, everything perfunctory, dull, uninspired. Now imagine how it would have been for some man to enter and, in a half hour of talk, utterly transform and transmute it all into something sacred and revealing, beautiful to witness, rich with meaning, memorable in its impressiveness, and accomplishing this, not by importing into it a content it did not have, but by laying bare the riches already there, though hidden from unseeing eyes.
Such magic as this is the secret of Bro. Joseph Fort Newton's great and ever growing influence in the Masonic Craft. By his luminous comprehension of "The Mission of Masonry" and his eloquent and persuasive language in describing "The Ministry of Masonry" he has been able to open the eyes of the young men in every lodge room to see what is the inner nature and ultimate appeal of that Masonry to which so many of us lay claim but which so few of us possess in any real sense. He is one who sits in The Interpreter's House, not primarily interested in matters of fact, but concerned that the multitudes who enter the Body of Freemasonry remain not unawares of the great Soul that throbs within it.
His new volume The Men's House, so named from the initial essay contained in it, is a collection of papers published in Masonic journals, several of them in THE BUILDER, and addresses delivered on important occasions. These are grouped severally, as "Principles," "Practice," "Personalities," and "Prophecy," reminding one of the similar grouping of the chapters in The Builders into "Prophecy", "History", and "Interpretation" so that while the chapters themselves are unconnected the book as a whole possesses an underlying unity. The groupings in The Men's House are more or less evenly divided among twenty-three chapters.
Where there are so many things to choose from it is impossible to be specific except to say that in this collection are several of Dr. Newton's papers that have long been sought after, notably "The Men's House," a vividly condensed sketch of Masonic history; "The Mission of Masonry," and "The Ministry of Masonry," circulated for years in pamphlet form by the Grand Lodge of Iowa; "The Geometry of God," a Masonic sermon; "The Doctrine of the Balance," a study of one of the ideas central to the Scottish Rite; "The Patriarchs," a particularly beautiful tribute to the aged in the Craft; and "Solemn Strikes the Funeral Chime," a little classic in interpretation of David Vinton's deathless Masonic hymn. There is no need to add, as a kind of practical postscript, that those brethren who seek inspiration and suggestions for Masonic addresses will find this volume valuable to their hand.
Dr. Newton is Educational Director of the Masonic Service Association and editor of its journal, "The Master Mason."
* * *
More than 80 per cent of the Passenger train conductors of the United States are Master Masons.
* * *
A MODERN ESTIMATE OF MASONRY
GREAT TEACHINGS OF MASONRY, by H. L. Haywood, editor The Builder. Published by George H. Doran, New York. Vol. II of M. S. A. National Masonic Library. For sale by National Masonic Research Society. Cloth, index, $2.15 postpaid.
Freemasonry is a philosophy of individualism; unto each man is given the privilege of seeking through his own heart and conscience his soul's salvation. What road he takes to find, at last, peace with God must be his own determination; the Order asks only that we have a firm faith in God — and he can express that faith in any creed best suited to his nature; it matters not whether he be orthodox or liberal, Jew or gentile. His individual creed has nothing whatever to do with Freemasonry.
Freemasonry only teaches that when a man has strived by all the power of his being to find the peace of God in his own heart through a belief in the Great Fatherhood and a love of all mankind as brothers, he has found Masonry's only secret; that as a temple is reared by the strength of each individual stone, so shall society grow better through the strength of each individual life.
Now it so happens that into our Order from time to time there come individuals who are too modest and self effacing to be true members of the Craft. In this strange quixotic modesty they realize that they are unworthy of any individual effort to improve themselves; that they are hopeless. And so casting aside all such ideas they devote their energies to saving the other fellow! And the more the "other fellow" resents it, the greater their zeal. They lack the patience of the years; they are "direct action" gentlemen. With no time to waste on futile effort in improving themselves they want the "other fellow" shot at sunrise if he does not change immediately!
This is one foreign substance in the cement of Freemasonry — the man who has no time to seek for virtue in his own heart because he feels he has to devote all his time to finding evil in the heart of another.
There is another set which does not hurt the ancient Craft in the same painful way, but which does create chaos in the minds of the sincere who are seeking light. These are the occult and esoteric minded gentlemen who insist on weaving around the simple fundamental lessons of Freemasonry a weird and wonderful past without warrant of fact. The Masonic historians of, let us say, the mid-Victorian period delighted in manufacturing history. They varied their programs some dating the Order from Adam and others of the more conservative school making Noah the first of the brethren.
But today Freemasonry is coming into its own. We are getting out of the darkness of prejudice and miasmatic marsh of metaphysical mush, the intellectual hunt-the-slipper and anachronistic nursery nonsense. We are getting light, at last, in Masonry. A new school of Masonic writers and historians are coming to save that which is pure spiritual gold in the Order and is burning away the dross.
And among the leaders of this new, clean, fine and wholesome common-sense school I would place Bro. H. L. Haywood, editor of THE BUILDER. Not that I always agree with him. I don't think I would admire him so much if I always found myself in complete agreement with him, because he would bore me.
Once in a while in his writings I get a faint aroma of the marshlands of which I speak, but I forgive him this, as he, valiant soul, has had to go through the darkness of the forests of prejudice and the dangers of the marsh to bring the jewels of the Order into the light. More power to his brilliant pen! His monument will be, I think, that he has delved into the amazing, appalling array of weird and wonderful histories of the Craft, has exploded their fallacies, has saved from them the real grains of truth, and is still afire with ardor for the Craft and with his faith firmer in his fellow man and — God bless him — with ever and anon a whimsical touch of humor.
His latest book, The Great Teachings of Masonry, is a supplement to his first great effort, Masonry. If the average Mason, seeking light, will take Bro. Haywood's two volumes, with Dr. Joseph Fort Newton's masterful book, The Builders, he will get a liberal education in the origin, the philosophy and the law of the Order. Together they make an ideal combination: Haywood, the brilliant reporter, Newton, the inspired preacher of a great cause.
"There is," writes Bro. Haywood, in his new volume, "no authorized interpretation of Freemasonry. The newly initiated brother does not find waiting for him a ready-made Masonic creed, or a ready-made explanation of the ritual — he must think Masonry out for himself."
In this spirit is his book written. There is none of the dogmatic in his effort. But, so that the Masonic seeker can "think things out for himself," Haywood points the way.
"How can we arrive at a philosophy of Masonry?" he asks. "How are we to learn the authentic interpretation of the teachings of Masonry? What is the method of procedure whereby one who is neither a general scholar nor a Masonic specialist may gain some such comprehensive understanding of Masonry as has been called for? In short, how may a man get at it?"
The purpose of his book is to answer these questions, and as far as I am able to judge, he has succeeded brilliantly.
He does not attempt to force upon his readers his own preconceived views. He suggests. In his fine chapter on symbolism he says:
"Its value for us is like gold hidden away in the mountain — the miner must dig for it. And that in itself is a virtue, because many men are cursed by the refusal to use their own faculties. They go through the whole of their lives parroting other men's thoughts, and such a life is necessarily lacking in the pleasure of making mental discoveries, which is one of life's richest joys."
Quoting Goethe, greatest of Masonic philosophers: "Men changes but Man remains the same," Haywood rises to splendid heights when he presents the purposes of Masonry as follows:
"Racial distinctions, sex, color, language, creeds, governments, these have broken our human family into divers and often quarreling groups; but while men change in language, in theories, and in customs from generation to generation, there is that in man which does not change, either in time or place, a common humanity which ever remains the same, and stretches under the world, as the earth retains her unbroken identity beneath the many inequalities of her surface. From the mist-hung distance of remotest times down into our own hour man has thought, loved, labored, dreamed, prayed, hated, fought, the while he has walked 'the dim and perilous ways of life.' His spirit has sought goodness, truth and beauty, and he has evermore craved the companionship of his fellows. It is the misfortune of too many creeds, moralities and sects, be they political, social or religious, that they eater to the accidental and temporary needs of men, and too often divide rather than unite our hard driven, struggling race. It is the glory of Freemasonry that it speaks the revealing word to that in each of us which is universal, thereby helping to build in the midst of years 'an institution of the dear love of comrades' in which the mind is free to think, the hand to do, and the heart to love."
Every young and eager Mason owes to Pro. Haywood an unpayable debt of gratitude for his first volume Symbolical Masonry. Every older Mason owes him alike for his, The Great Teachings of Masonry. He is one of those rare few who know how to tell "what it is all about" so that the one being told will understand. The spirit of the Lost Word is not lost in a Niagara of words; he does not diffuse light, he gives it.
Malcolm W. Bingay.
* * *
CONTAINS DESCRIPTION OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
THE SHIP TYRE, by Wilfred H. Schoff, published by Longman's Green and Co., New York. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society. Cloth; $2.10 postpaid.
A careful, painstaking study of Biblical history in connection with that of Babylon has been made by Mr. Schoff, who has brought to it deep learning, as might be expected from the translator of The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, The Pergolas of Hanno and the story of Isidore of Charax. Notwithstanding his scholarship, however, the student of Biblical lore will be slow to accept Mr. Schoff's theory that Ezekiel's description of Tyre is really meant for Babylon, a name which the prophet was precluded from using owing to political exigencies. Mr. Schoff makes out a plausible case, it is not to be denied, but the reader is impelled to ask himself whether, granted that the words of Ezekiel might be intended for Babylon, they still lose any of their applicability with equal force to Tyre. There is much curious information in the work, however, especially that with regard to ancient ships contained in a long "note" on pages 71, 72 and 73. The short chapters make the book one easily read and of these Chapter III, devoted to a description of the Temple of Jerusalem, will receive especial attention at the hands of those Masons who have made the study of the Temple symbolism their particular undertaking.
D. E. W. Williamson.
* * *
"That low man seeks a little thing to do.
Sees it and does it;
This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
Dies ere he knows it.
That low man goes on adding one to one —
His hundred's soon hit;
This high man, aiming at a million,
Misses a unit.
That has the world here — should he need the next,
Let the world mind him!
This throws himself on God, and unperplexed
Seeking shall find Him."
— Robert Browning
* * *
A LAMBSKIN LECTURE
In West Australian lodges it is the custom to deliver the following lecture, known as the Lambskin Lecture, immediately after the investiture of the initiate:
"It may be that in the coming year upon your brow may rest laurels of victory. On your breast may hang jewels fit to deck the diadem of an Eastern potentate. Nay, more than these, with the light added to the coming light, your ambitious feet may tread round after round of the ladder which leads to fame, both within and without our mystic circle. Even the purple of our Fraternity may one day rest on your honoured shoulders. But never again from mortal hands, never again until your enfranchised spirit shall have ascended upwards and inwards through the pearly gates, can any honour so distinguished, so emblematic of purity and perfection be bestowed upon you as that which has now been conferred. Let it be yours to wear through an honourable life and at death to be laid on the coffin which shall contain your earthly remains.
"And when at last your feet shall have reached the end of life's toilsome journey and from your nerveless hands' grasp shall drop for ever the working tools of life, may the record of your life and actions be as pure and unsullied as that fair emblem which is now yours. May its pure and spotless surface be to you an ever-present reminder for higher thoughts, greater deeds, nobler achievements, and when at last your naked soul shall stand, as one day stand it must, trembling and alone, before the Great White Throne, we, your brethren, pray in all sincerity that it may be your lot to hear from Him who sitteth as the Judge Supreme, those words, those welcome words: 'Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.'"
* * *
It is just as much the duty of Freemasons to develop right thinking and right living as it is to further educational activities along purely technical lines. Education which does not fit those who obtain it for living — and we use the word in its broadest sense — is of no real value either to the individual or to the state. — The Missouri Freemason.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX and CORRESPONDENCE
MEANING OF "MOTE" AND "HELE"
Will not someone explain the meaning of the word "mote" in the phrase, "So mote it be?" It always sounds queer to me.
It is an Anglo-Saxon word, derived from "motan," which meant "to be allowed," and which means, in Masonic uses and according to its tense, "So may it be." The word "hele," pronounced "heal," is of similar origin, and means "to cover up," or "conceal." It is said that this word is still used in its original sense in Sussex, Cornwall, etc. "For instance," writes one authority, "in Sussex a house with a new roof is said to be newly heled."
* * *
Does England have a uniform Ritual as we have in each state? Where can one find information about the English Ritual?
Masonic Ritual, Described, Compared and Explained, by J. Walter Hobbs, published by The Masonic Record, London, is the book you want. In it you will discover that there is a "multiplicity of systems of Ritual" in England, though these various "workings" do not seem to differ as much among themselves as do ours from state to state. The workings most generally used are Emulation, Stability, West-end, Oxford, Logic, West London, North London, Metropolitan, etc. To teach these workings there are many Lodges of Instruction, some of them very old, and all of them governed by rules 158-161 in the Book of Constitutions. Such lodges existed before the Union of 1813, described in the Study Club this month. The most famous of all the workings are Stability and Emulation. The former is traced back to a Lodge of Instruction organized in 1817, with most of its founders former members of "Ancient" lodges; one of these was the Rev. Dr. Hemming, after whom the "Hemming Lectures" are named. From the first Preceptor, Philip Broadfoot, until now there has been an unbroken line of Preceptors. Bro. F. W. Golby, the present Preceptor, published a history of Stability Working in a volume A Century of Masonic Wording, 1921. The Emulation Lodge of Improvement was founded November, 1823. Its most famous leader was Peter Gilkes, initiated in 1786 in a "Modern" lodge. A history of this working was written by Henry Sadler, 1904, entitled Illustrated History of the Lodge of Improvement. Every student of Ritual should be familiar with both of these books. Consult also Vol. III, Transactions Author's Lodge. A review of The Masonic Ritual, by Bro. Hobbs, was published in THE BUILDER January, 1924, p. 29.
* * *
ANTIQUITY OF LEGEND OF THIRD DEGREE
Is there any way of learning how old is the Tragedy of H. A. in our Third Degree? I have read many theories of one kind and another. Can't you put into condensed form what our best authorities say on this important point?
Your inquiry was referred to Bro. David E. W. Williamson, who condenses into one paragraph a great deal of information:
According to an opinion expressed in November, 1886 (See A.Q.C.), Bro. R. F. Gould held that the Legend of the Third Degree was of comparatively recent origin, say 1725, but we find him writing in the A.Q.C. in 1890 (reprinted in Collected Essays, p. 133): "Our written traditions are carried back — speaking roundly — to the fourteenth century and, to me at least, it does not appear one whit more extraordinary that our symbolical traditions may have enjoyed an existence in a period of time equally remote." In the discussion upon this point in A.Q.C., Vol. XXXIII (1920, part ii), Robert H. Baxter comments: "There is an indication of it in the Cooks MS. of early fifteenth century transcription, which is generally regarded as the oldest text of all copies of the Old Charges" (p. 114).
The theory of modern origin is that expressed by W. J. Hughan at the Quatuor Coronati discussion of a paper on "The Genesis of the Third Degree" in 1897 (A.Q.C. C, p. 133), but, so far as I have been able to understand it, our Bro. Hughan was almost, if not wholly, alone in his contention. So early, though, as A.Q.C., Vol. I, p. 30, we find Rev. A. F. H. Woodford saying: "Where did the Freemasonry of 1717 come from? To accept for one moment the suggestion that so complex and curious a system, embracing so many archaic remains and such skilfully adjusted ceremonies, so much connected matter, accompanied by so many striking symbols, could have been a creation of pious fraud or ingenious conviviality, presses heavily on our powers of belief and even passes over the normal credulity of our species." (Quoted by Gould, Collected Essays, 137.) Gould's paper on "The Genesis of the Third Degree" is the most complete presentation of the facts we have, as far as I am aware, but scattered through A.Q.C. are many isolated sentences pointing to the belief of such men as Edward Conder that the Master Mason Degree was the second degree until a considerable time after 1717. For instance, in Conder's paper on "The Hon. Miss St. Leger and Freemasonry" in A.Q.C. VIII, p. 20, you find: "At the date of her initiation all the principal points of the Craft were probably included in this, the second, or, as we now call it, the third degree."
In the same volume, in his relatively little known essay on "The Duke of Wharton and the Order of Gormogons," Gould says (A.Q.C. VIII, p. 120): "The number of Masonic Degrees known and recognized as such in 1723 ... were two, Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft, the former combining the degrees of Entered Apprentice and the latter being that of Master Mason, as we now have them." The point is made by John Lane, in his paper on "The Early Lodges of Freemasons" (A.Q.C. VIII, 1895, p. 193), that "in 1717 and for years prior to that date there were numerous lodges, not only in London but also in various other parts of England, whose members assembled by virtue of what is now termed the doctrine or power of 'inherent right,' every lodge being a law to itself, and neither exercising nor attempting to exercise authority or jurisdiction over any other lodge or the members of any other lodge, nor rendering obedience to any person, lodge or organization, whatever," which is important.
It gives especial point to Dr. Chetwode Crawley's comment on Prof. Swift A. Johnston's paper about descriptions of the Temple (A.Q.C. XII, 135 et seq), in which he says: "It is fairly incredible that the legend could have been introduced by one of them [Anderson and Desaguliers] as a pure innovation. The introduction of incomparably smaller innovations in the same generation raised such a storm that the Craft in England was split in twain for many a year. We may rest assured that the brethren at large in the British Isles would not have accepted a totally new environment for the tradition merely because it found favor with the lodges of the cities of London and Westminster."
Personally, I think the last statement by Crawley is unanswerable.
David E. W. Williamson.
* * *
VISIT PETERBOROUGH CATHEDRAL
I should like to call the attention of those readers who are likely to visit England during the summer to the advisability of visiting Peterborough Cathedral and seeing the buttress erected by the Masons of this district. The ceremony of dedication is to take place on Thursday, June 12, and will be performed by the Prov. G. Master of the Province of Norths and Hunts, the Lord Lilford, Past Grand Warden of England.
Perhaps I ought to explain more fully how this has arisen. During the period of restoration, which has occupied several years and will take several more before completion, it was found necessary, owing to an underground spring which had been undermining a portion of the building for centuries, to erect a buttress at the northeast corner of the building; both the work and the position being so eminently Masonic it was decided to hold a Masonic Service in the Cathedral of the united Provinces of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk which was accordingly held on Thursday, the 18th day of May, 1922, and it was a brilliant success, the whole of the amount required about 1,400 pounds being raised. The whole of the service including choir, etc., was purely Masonic, and the lady friends of the brethren were admitted by ticket at 2 o'clock.
The first procession consisting of the brethren from the Province of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire who had previously assembled and clothed themselves in the Thomas A. Becket Chapel arrived at the west entrance at 2:10 and were followed by the brethren of the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland who assembled at the Vineyard, and the brethren of the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire who assembled at the Training College, after which came the Choir and Robed Clergy, and were seated as the clock struck 2:30, at which time the service was due to start. The first lesson was read by the R.W. Prov. G. Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, the second by the R.W. Prov. G. Master of Cambridgeshire, the third by the R.W. Prov. G. Master of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire and the fourth by the V.R. Bro., The Dean of Peterborough, the lessons, psalms, hymns, etc., were all specially chosen and eminently appropriate. Fine weather graced the proceeding and numerous photographs were taken including moving pictures. Films of the procession were shown at various houses in different parts of the Kingdom, and were afterwards presented and deposited in the Petersborough Masonic Museum. The completion of the work is at hand and the dedication will take place as I have mentioned at the beginning of this letter. There will be a Provincial Grand Lodge held at the same time and we should heartily welcome any visitors, and will endeavor to show them objects of interest to Masons, in the Cathedral! including the Central Boss under the Parvise in the West Front (14th Century).
J. G. Sturton,
18 and 20 Bridge St., Peterborough, England.
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CONCERNING FAMOUS REVOLUTIONARY MASONS
I have been very much pleased with THE BUILDER for March and I thought that Bro. Kress' article was particularly good. I was glad to read Bro. Williamson's account of "Where Napoleon Was Made a Mason." Gould's chapter on "Masons in the War of the Revolution" is full of the enthusiasm and earnestness that he put into all of his writings, but there are some points that still need to be cleared up. Lafayette was made a Mason before he came to the United States. Mad Anthony Wayne never was a Mason. So far as I have been able to learn none of the Lees of Virginia were members of the Craft. Light Horse Harry Lee, who delivered the classic oration at the tomb of Washington, does not appear in any Virginia record. I think the Chapter on Masonic History in the Study Club this month is particularly good; I found it very interesting to see that cut of the Goose and Gridiron.
George W. Baird, District of Columbia.
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"History of the Eastern Star," by Kennaston.
"Caliph of Bagdad," by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.
"Genius of Freemasonry," by Buck.
Vol. I, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.
Vol. XXXII, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum; both must be complete, and with St. John's Cards.
"Records of the Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masons," by Edward Conder.
"Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry," by H. P. H. Bromwell.
"History of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite," by Robert Folger.
Bound volume THE BUILDER, 1918.
"Genius of Freemasonry," by Buck.
"Robert Burns and Freemasonry," by Dudley Wright.
Send description and prices to Book Department, National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo.
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
Life is not as bad as it is.
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It has been a pleasure during the past two or three months to have so many active brethren of the Society drop in for a visit at headquarters. If you chance into St. Louis, be sure to look us up. The latch string is hanging out.
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How many apples did Adam and Eve eat? Since this question was put in this Corner last January, quite a number of mathematical brethren have submitted replies. Here is one from Bro. Lincoln Stewart:
"I believe you are yet far from the solution of that apple proposition. It is undeniable that Eve when she 81,812 many; and that Adam when he 8184240-fy himself against her intrigues.
"The total of 812,896,052 apples if packed in barrels would fill a string of box ears reaching from Hobeken, N.J., to a point just east of the stockyards in Omaha."
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Boy! Page Johnny Appleseed!