A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 12 No. 2 – February 1926
THE MODERN OPERATIVES AND THEIR CLAIMS
Bro. C. Walton Rippon, Lancashire, England
WE are very glad to present this article to readers of The Builder. Bro. Rippon is on the same side of the controversy as Bro. Springett and we will welcome any further defense of these claims. If all that can be said for them is brought together, our readers will be able to judge for themselves.
THE two articles by the editor in the November and December issues of THE BUILDER are hardly just to the memories and reputations of these English Masons of repute in their own country, and contain some discrepancies. On page 332 we are told that Stretton was a "north of England Civil Engineer," and on page 367 that "he was apprenticed in a large engineering works in the north of England" and "was not apprenticed as a stone mason but as an engineer." Now Leicester is in the Midlands of England and Stretton's life work was done in the neighborhood of that town.
A civil engineer in England is not necessarily, and in many instances is not in fact, a practical mechanical engineer; he lays the "track" or designs the canal on which the other runs his trains or propels his boats. In a paper read at Lodge 2429, Leicester, on the 4th of January, 1910, Stretton says:
"In October, 1866, when 16 years of age, I was articled at my own request to a Civil Engineer, a premium being paid for my training. Part of the instruction was to have a month's practical work with stone masons in a stoneyard.
"In the following May the writer and five other premium apprentices were sent to a stone mason's quarry and yard."
After various practical jokes had been played on them and 15/- (about $3.50) gratuity or footing money handed to the leading craftsman, who threw it on the ground with the remark "Freemasons don't drink Cowan's money," they were advised by a foreman to leave the yard. The owner said to the boys, "They [the workmen] don't want your money, and if you wish to learn anything about Masons' work, you'd better join the Worshipful Society of Free Masons."
The first step towards obtaining membership was to fill up a form of application, a copy of which he gives. This being completed was posted up at the door of the stoneyard and the candidates were in due time advised to attend on the following Friday at High Twelve [noon], bringing no valuables and only sufficient money to pay the fees. The routine was divided under the following heads:
- DESIRE to become a member.
- CONSULTATION with the Superintendent.
- APPLICATION to the Super-intendent; form filled up and handed in.
- NOMINATION; proposed, seconded, and supported by five other members.
- CONSIDERATION by the officials.
- COMMUNICATION of provisional acceptance.
- APPLICATION at No. 1 Stoneyard at High Twelve.
- EXAMINATION by Surgeon.
- INTERROGATION as to age, Character, and trade knowledge.
- with FREEDOM to follow at the end of Seven Years.
"At the end of the month's training in the stoneyard, as arranged with the employer, we had to terminate our time, and there seemed no way of obtaining release from the seven years' bond. It was explained that we were bound for seven years, and that period we must serve, but as there was at that time insufficient work in the yard, we must be placed on the 'Journey list,' and travel the country, taking a job where we could find one, and making application to any 'Free Masons' Arms' in case of distress. We were sworn as 'Journeymen,' paid our fees, and were bound over to return to the yard, to be 'made Free' at the conclusion of the seven years.
"The inn-keeper of every Free Masons' Arms was sworn as a 'Serving Brother,' so that 'at certain intervals' he could enter the lodge. His wife was also sworn as a 'Mason's Dame,' so that she could serve in the lodge as a waitress when required. She might act as nurse to any Mason who was ill, or had met with an accident, and her conduct was specially provided for in her 'oath.'"
In a second paper read at the meeting of the same lodge, Sept. 25, 1911, Stretton published the forms of application covering the degrees above the Fellowcraft, those of the two earlier being set out in the first mentioned paper.
The oath in the First Degree provides for branding with the mark of a traitor, being "throatalled," and after the mention of twenty-four hours goes on "so that my soul have no rest by night or by day." The traitor's mark was derived from the scythe, to be mown down from right to left against the sun, and thus to go against El Shaddai is fatal. The double-ended scythe was the branding mark of the traitor, and this was cut on both cheeks. If you take the marks on both cheeks and Cross them you form a reversed Swastika; going against the sun. The Operative tradition teaches that unless a body be properly buried in peace, with the proper Ceremony according to the rank of the Mason, that the soul will have no rest by night or by day; and this has always been regarded as a terrible punishment for any Mason.
The late W. Bro. Dr. Carr also furnishes a paper the lodge meeting March 25, 1912. In this he speaks of the neck cord or C — T — being removed when the candidate is "made free." In the Second Degree he received an additional sign in which he represented the Sq — L — & P— R — . In a paper given to the Lancashire College of the Societas Rosicruciana Anglia in November, 1912, W. Bro. Carr says:
"It amounts to a practical certainty, that in the Ritual of the Operative Free Masons existing today, we have the same Ritual as that which existed among the operatives two centuries ago, and from which the Speculative Ritual was then derived. The evidence in favor of this view seems so accumulative, and so increasingly weighty, that it amounts to such proof as would accepted by an average man, in the conduct of his own business affairs, and the ordinary matters of daily life."
From my knowledge of Dr. Carr, after working with him in several degrees up to the time of his death, from conversations with him in his own house relative this matter, from the photographs he showed me and the facts that he was a graduate of an English University, a member of one of our legal schools, the Inns of Court, a Provincial Grand Warden in the Craft and the Mark Degrees, attaining Grand or Provincial rank in others, I say without any hesitation that he was absolutely incapable of lending himself to any attempt to mislead his brethren. Bro. Stretton also was Provincial Grand Warden of Leicestershire, and President of the local Society of his professional colleagues, and any attempt to mislead men who knew his antecedents and working life would have been met with ridicule and exposure.
When Masons like Bro. John T. Thorp and the Rev. Canon Covey-Crump (amongst others) listen to anyone they do not hesitate to say what they think and certainly to call attention to anything which they consider misleading. Could Stretton sketch his operative career, giving details of every step, over a period of 42½ years from his entry to his attaining the position of Solomon, before his professional and Masonic brethren without incurring ridicule and refutation if the whole of it were imagination and fabrication? I cannot conceive of the possibility.
[The writer of the article to which Bro. Rippon takes exception desires to say how reluctant he was to express the opinion that the evidence he has been able to collect seems to indicate that Bro. Stretton may have been the originator of the Modern Operative Society and their Rituals; more especially as the latter was now unable to reply for himself. But the question has much more than a personal aspect. Masonic history has suffered too much in the past from the fogs and mists of fable invention, to make students willing to allow a new myth to be created. It follows that these claims should be thoroughly criticised before they become a tradition. It is a fact that no documentary evidence has yet been presented to indicate that the Operative Society had any existence prior to the time that Bro. Stretton told us about it.
The writer would also like to thank Bro. Rippon for his correction of a very careless blunder. His own knowledge of England is almost entirely confined to the part south of the Thames and in writing he loosely thought of all the rest as north, forgetting that the "North of England" has a quite definite geographical delimitation. The term "gentleman apprentice" was also rather loosely used. "Premium apprentice" or perhaps "indentured apprentice" would be the proper terms to be applied, the other is a colloquial expression current among the workmen — at least in the South of England. — Ed.]
* * *
IN THE NORTHEAST CORNER
Communicated by the Tubercular Sanatorium Committee of New Mexico
IN the letter accompanying this article Bro. R. J. Newton, Secretary of the Committee says: "... The brethren here believe that we must prove the need for the work the new Sanatoria Association proposes to do by facts and figures and by citations of specific cases. I am frank to admit that the situation is worse than I believed it to be and I think that the publication of such "case histories" as I found in the files of the El Paso Relief Bureau and Temple Lodge Albuquerque, will be a revelation to the Fraternity ... And what Bro Newton had told us personally some months ago was bad enough.
"MASONRY takes care of its own." That is the Masonic tradition.
Next to the legend of the fidelity of the Master Builder stands the deeply grounded belief that a Mason, in distress, will always be succored by his brethren.
Masons believe it. The profane world believes it more strongly than Masons themselves. And the women believe it even more implicitly than the men.
Is their faith well-founded? Certainly the teachings of the Craft for some centuries have stressed the duty of fraternal aid and assistance to the brother in need — but are these teachings put into practice? Were they in the past? If so, is Masonry of today less mindful of its duties and obligations?
This is an age of doubt, of scepticism, of challenge. No existing institution is free of criticism, or will escape the hammer of the iconoclast. Political doctrines, religious dogma, forms of government, the claims of science, every institution of man, and even that Book itself which has been the inspiration and guide of millions must stand the acid test, must answer the question, "What is your real value, your practical and net worth, to the world of men today?" That net worth will, in time, be determined. The thought or thing, no matter what it be, that does not measure up to the practical and spiritual needs of mankind will be discarded, junked and thrown upon the scrap heap of the world. That which is good in it may be used again in another form, but the thing itself will pass from the sight and sound of men.
Masonry, like all other institutions, cannot escape this inquisition. Thinking Masons realize that we are now undergoing the judgment. It is not a judgment of the profane world, but rather is it a trial by members of the Fraternity itself, who seek to know if we are meeting our obligations, to the world, to each other and to ourselves. They are asking if we practice that which we preach and if not, why not?
No Mason can bring an indictment against the Craft and prove that it is delinquent in its duties. But no Mason can truthfully say that Masonry is doing all that it can do and all that it should do to make the highway of the world a smoother, straighter road for men to travel and to make this a safer, saner, happier world for our children. It has often been said that we can prove anything by the Bible. So we can prove by examples of practical charity, or by failure to do acts of humanity, that Masonry is perfect, or imperfect. That it meets its obligations, or that it fails to do so.
The National Tuberculosis Association has made several estimates of the number of tuberculous Masons in America in the last few years. With a tuberculosis death rate of 141 per 100,000 living men, over 20 years of age, any group of 3,000,000 would suffer an annual loss of 4,230 lives. This does not include such tuberculosis deaths as are ascribed to other causes. If there are nine living cases to every death as estimated by the National Tuberculosis Association, then there are nearly 40,000 living cases of tuberculosis needing treatment in America today.
That thousands of consumptives go West every year, in the belief that the climate of that semi-arid region will arrest their disease, and that many of them become in time charges upon public charity, in whole or in part, has been proven by investigations of the United States Public Health Service and the National Tuberculosis Association. That this migration is increasing has also been proven by an investigation made this year by the National Tuberculosis Association. That there are many Masons among these unfortunate sick has been shown by two incomplete investigations of the Tuberculosis Sanatoria Commission of the Grand Lodges of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, and by the Tuberculosis Sanatoria Committee of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, acting alone. Masonic relief workers of El Paso have recently estimated that there are 600 non-resident sick Masons in that city and Albuquerque Masons have listed 200 cases. Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Antonio and the smaller cities and towns have their share.
Some of our Northern and Eastern brethren have said that the sick should not go West because there are plenty of hospital beds in the North and East for them. This statement is not entirely correct for only five states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island have a sufficient number of hospital beds for consumptives, according to the standard of the National Tuberculosis Association, of one hospital bed for every annual death from tuberculosis. But the following states, in the order named, furnish half of the migration of consumptives to the Southwest: Illinois, New York, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Minnesota. Only two of these states have adequate hospital facilities, New York and Minnesota, and New York is second in the number of tuberculosis migrants to the West. As a Past Grand Master of New Mexico said, "The North and East may have the hospital beds, but we have the hospital patients."
But no repetition of figures can convince Masons and Masonry of the number and needs of the sick as strongly as the citation of actual cases. One man killed before your eyes is more shocking to you than to read of a thousand killed in battle. For the information of the Craft there is submitted a limited number of "case histories" of brethren all of whom are, or were, victims of tuberculosis and health-seekers in the Southwest. These are not selected because they are worse than others. They are typical of many. These are but a few of the known cases. This issue of THE BUILDER could be filled, if the space were at our disposal, with similar histories of Masonic "lungers" and what happened to them when they took their stand in the northeast corner of the Southwest, waiting. Some of them still wait — but many waited in vain.
This is the challenge to American Freemasonry today. By the way we meet it will the world and three million Freemasons determine if the Craft has the vision and talent for spiritual leadership which can make it the greatest force for good in America in the years to come, or if we shall some day read upon the walls of our Temples, "Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting."
Were you one of these members of our Grand Lodge of Sorrow, what would be your verdict? Would you say that "Masonry always takes care of its own?" Consider some of these cases and try to put yourself in their place.
SICK MAN BRANDED AS FAKER
Bro. No. 2. Grand Lodge of Scotland. Claimed he was shipped to Albuquerque by Masonic Relief Association, Cincinnati. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, expended $66.09 on brother for relief and advised home lodge and asked for refund of this amount. After nearly a year the home lodge replied: "It is not customary for us, when advancing relief, to reclaim it from the applicant's mother lodge. It is with reluctance that we came to the conclusion some time ago that we warn the Relief Associations in America from advancing money to this brother, as he has now traveled over a considerable part of the States and obtained relief rather freely." All of which may be true but the fact remained that the brother was consumptive and was accepted as such for admission by the U.S. Public Health Service and sent to Ft. Bayard Hospital. Receiving no compensation, had no money and no clothing fit to wear. The Sojourners' Club, Ft. Bayard, outfitted him with clothing and gave him small amount of cash.
"SURE CURE" PROMISED — COST HIS LIFE
Bro. No. 10. Grand Lodge of Kansas. Applied for help within short time after arrival at Albuquerque. Confined to bed at cheap hotel with bad cold. Had funds for ten days only. Temple body, Albuquerque, arranged for treatment in sanatorium for $70 monthly and wrote home lodge asking them if they would pay expense. If not, would they pay brother's transportation home? They agreed to pay for return home and to try to get him into tuberculosis hospital there. Brother then refused to go home because a doctor had guaranteed to cure him in three months. Home lodge agreed to pay him $50 monthly for three months. Patient planned to take small cottage with another sick man and "batch" it. Died suddenly within three weeks. Home lodge paid extra expense incident to final illness. Buried at Albuquerque.
ELKS GAVE $250 — MASONS GAVE $50
Bro. No. 16. Grand Lodge of Arkansas. Anthony Lodge, No. 48, New Mexico, wired and wrote home lodge about brother's need of hospitalization. Brother was living with farmer 40 miles from El Paso, very sick and having slow hemorrhages. Hard pressed for money. Anthony Lodge "got no satisfaction" from home lodge secretary, but it is believed that as a result of these communications home lodge asked El Paso Relief Bureau to investigate patient's condition. Previous to this the secretary of home lodge had drawn on the brother for the amount of his dues and he was very much worried about his inability to pay and feared suspension. After receiving Relief Bureau report dues were remitted and lodge contributed $50 for hospital care. The patient's home lodge of Elks contributed $250 for hospital expense. Patient died in hospital.
WHO WILL PAY FOR WINTER'S STAY?
Bro. No. 30. Grand Lodge of Illinois. Applied for aid shortly after coming to Albuquerque, stating that his home lodge was helping him some. Needed medical attention. Examination was secured for him and three months' rest ordered. Money advanced for food and lodging by Temple Lodge which was reimbursed by home lodge, which also advised, "Do not know what we will be able to do for Bro. ___. I am sure that he should stay there (Albuquerque) this winter, if possible, but our lodge is out of funds and the members have been caring for him out of our pockets but so many of the members do not live around here and lots of them poor that it is uphill work to keep him going, however we are going to do the best we can. He is worthy but has spent all his means on a sick sister who died with the same trouble and he cannot help himself."
HEROIC SMALL SON IN DEADLY DANGER
Bro. No. 34. Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, found brother quite sick living in two-room shack with no one but thirteen-year-old son to care for him. Son also worked long hours in grocery store to support father. Brother had been sick for several years and had never had proper care. Was in serious condition, shack filthy and patient had not had a bath for six weeks. No chance for recovery and boy endangered because of dirt and filth and poor nourishment. Brother placed in Methodist Sanatorium at reduced rate and home lodge notified. They had been helping out of lodge funds and contributions. Assistance also given by Masonic Home Board of Oklahoma. Brother is steadily improving and has chance for recovery if can be kept in institution for another year.
TAX-PAYERS TAXED FOR NON-RESIDENT SICK
Bro. No. 39. Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Wife of brother applied to Relief Bureau, El Paso, for help. Brother unable to work and she was needed at home to care for him and three children. Emergency relief given and home lodge asked to contribute $25 monthly for support of family. Secretary at once sent $25 and promised to bring case before lodge for action. Home lodge refunded money advanced for emergency relief and sent additional $25. Later wife fell and broke both arms which made bad matters worse. Home lodge took up collection for brother and appointed committee to visit his (blood) brothers to seek their help. Later family became practically destitute due to brother's inability to work and home lodge gave further assistance and named a committee to take case up with Grand Lodge. Wife later got job in store leaving sick man to care for three children. Some little help given by his family. Finally Relief Bureau appealed to Grand Lodge of Louisiana for help reciting all the facts and giving two-year history of family. At this time they were about to be evicted and it was necessary to put father in county hospital, children in a home and the mother was then able to take care of herself. Another appeal to home lodge brought $47. The brother died in hospital and his family had his body returned for burial, although the wife and children remained in El Paso. It developed that two other brothers of this patient were patients at the county hospital for some time before and during his illness. El Paso County tax-payers and citizens were taking care of three men from another state, whose relatives were able to pay to have body of one of them shipped home for burial.
LIGHT WORK WITH LIGHTER PAY
Bro. No. 41. Grand Lodge of Michigan. Home lodge forwarded $50 to Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, and asked for investigation and report on this brother who seemed to be in pretty good condition but troubled with pleurisy which made it impossible to do heavy work. He had secured light work at $10 per week which will help in his support.
BUILT A TEMPLE — CAN'T HELP SICK BROTHER
Bro. No. 45. Grand Lodge of Tennessee. Home lodge requested El Paso Relief Bureau to make investigation of physical and financial condition. Brother found to be better than formerly, but in debt for living and medical expenses about $120 with $4 on hand. Emergency relief given and home lodge notified that he would need $50 monthly for at least six months. Second letter required to get answer. Secretary replied, "I was instructed to send Bro. $10 each month to help pay his expenses. We would like to do more but we are under a very heavy expense just now, in fact for the next ten years, we have just about completed our new Temple at a cost of nearly $60,000 and we have borrowed quite a great deal of this and of course we have to pay this back in monthly payments and just can't pay out very much other than this. We have two more brethren in a hospital and keeping up several charity cases."
RELIEF BUREAU HELPED — HOME LODGE REFUNDED
Bro. No. 48. Grand Lodge of Ontario, Canada. Brother, a health-seeker, applied for and received help from Relief Bureau, El Paso, while seeking employment which was difficult to find. Total of $78.92 advanced him and reported to home lodge which made a refund of same.
APPEALED FOR HELP — WIRED ANSWER "COLLECT"
Bro. No. 50. Grand Lodge of Georgia. This brother, wife and babies, living with and supported by brother-in-law, who was not a Mason, but a consumptive himself and a health-seeker. Entire income of family of 13, $100 monthly. Brother's wife sufferer from asthma; baby sick and all children down with measles at one time. Living in three-room cottage and all children endangered because of two consumptives living in crowded quarters with them. Six months' old baby found by physicians to be tuberculous, due entirely to close association with sick father. Appeal made to home lodge for relief by El Paso Relief Bureau absolutely disregarded. No attention paid to telegrams. Finally home lodge secretary replied to Bureau's appeal for assistance and sent the reply "Collect." Later secretary wrote claiming that sick man who was unable to work and was being supported by a consumptive brother-in-law and had no income, was supporting relatives back home, therefore needed no help for himself. Relief Bureau again fully explained circumstances but still no help forthcoming. Bureau finally made appeal to Grand Lodge of Georgia to compel home lodge to do something for sick brother. No help secured. Brother and his wife then placed in County Hospital and after some time he is able to do some light work. The brother-in-law died of tuberculosis and this brother is now helping his family in addition to trying to support his own.
IF ALL LODGES WERE LIKE THIS ONE
Bro. No. 53. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Brother applied for help to Relief Bureau, El Paso, which was given and refunded by home lodge. Secretary said, "Our lodge is interested in his welfare and is anxious that he recover his health and have his family join him so that they may enjoy life together again. The fraternity in El Paso are away ahead of us here in the east in having that Employment and Relief Bureau as we have nothing of the sort here."
RETURN TO EAST WILL COST HIS LIFE
Bro. No. 57. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Investigation made by Temple body, Albuquerque, at request of home lodge disclosed fact that brother quite sick and unable to work. Wife working half-day. Selling jewelry to get money needed for living expense. Brother wishes to go back east to secure funds to live on in New Mexico, but this would mean speedy end for him. Facts reported to home lodge.
NO BROTHER TO SUFFER OR WANT
Bro. No. 59. Grand Lodge of Indiana. Brother had been living in small New Mexico town but came to El Paso hoping to secure light work and to live cheaper. Voice almost gone and unable to work, apparently would not be able to for some time to come. Sister was sending him $25 monthly and expenses $50 to $60. Home lodge asked by Relief Bureau to contribute balance of support. Home lodge secretary replied that they had been helping the brother and sent small check for emergency relief and promised to take up with lodge. "We certainly do not wish any of our membership to suffer or want."
Brother came into office of Bureau with three cents, entire cash on hand the day this check arrived. Later got $30 from sister and asked Bureau to hold lodge check until needed. Lodge made him monthly allowance of $25 and their support had much to do with his improved condition. Later brother went to Tuscon, Arizona, for the winter but asked that his monthly remittances be sent through Relief Bureau. Came back to El Paso in spring as his throat was giving him trouble. Relief Bureau helped him get needed clothing.
His sister was compelled to quit work to care for a bed-ridden mother and could send him no more money. Facts reported to home lodge. Patient has failed in last few months and throat is worse. Relief Bureau wrote, "Brother is still holding up his head and making a fight that certainly wins the admiration of all with whom he comes in contact." Returned home much against home lodge's wishes to help take care of folks.
SIX MONTHS' CARE MIGHT HAVE SAVED HIM
Bro. No. 62. Grand Lodge of Virginia. Home lodge requested investigation of brother's physical and financial condition, which was made by El Paso Relief Bureau. Brother in need of care for next six months or would have complete breakdown. Trying to work but unable to hold permanent job. Wife entered hospital to complete course as nurse. Home lodge advanced $50 for emergency relief.
"THIS IS MASONIC CHARITY." MORE NEEDED
Bro. No. 63. Grand Lodge of Ohio. Home lodge had been helping brother for three or four years. He was trying to make a living by carrying papers with help of 14-year-old son. As he grew worse, was unable to continue all of his route and became involved in debt to employers account using collections to pay living expenses. Home lodge paid up indebtedness to publishers and advanced $25, making total of $800 they had given this brother. Inquired as to amount needed to care for him. Advised that wife and boy working, but nurse needed for few months as brother was sinking and death expected soon. This expense was paid and when brother died $500 was paid by the Widows' and Orphans' Fund, the home lodge secretary having paid this brother's dues to save this insurance for his widow and child. Masonic funeral given in El Paso and Relief Bureau aided widow in collection and investment of insurance money. Widow retains her position and boy is carrying paper route. Home lodge wrote, "This lodge is very grateful for the wonderful service you have rendered. It shows that El Paso has a Relief Bureau that is a real organization and that is a credit to the Fraternity." Home lodge also requested special attention to the son of deceased brother.
COLLECTION NECESSARY TO HELP SICK BROTHER
Bro. No. 66. Grand Lodge of Nebraska. Brother patient at Methodist Sanatorium and applied for help as his means were exhausted. Had been sick for four years. Said that he had been main support of father and mother until he broke down and that they were now helping him. Asked for help from home lodge. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, wrote them and they replied that they had been helping him, and had contributed $100 to return him to Southwest after he had come home on a visit. Prior to that had been making monthly contributions, amount not stated. Secretary reported lodge had no funds now but would take up a collection at next meeting and would ask Grand Lodge to aid, which aid was given.
HOW NOT TO HELP A SICK BROTHER
Bro. No. 69. Grand Lodge, District of Columbia. Wealthy home lodge sent this brother to Albuquerque apparently with no restriction on his expense account and he proceeded to abuse their generosity and charity by extravagant living, contracting bills for unnecessary things and calling upon them for considerable sums from time to time. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, endeavored to restrict him and to induce home lodge to do so. Their attitude is shown by the statement, "We do not want you to run out of funds or be obliged to call on resources other than ours." Probably expended $2,000 on this brother who did not show proper appreciation of their fraternal interest.
ABANDONED BY HOME LODGE AND GRAND LODGE — DIES
Bro. No. 71. Grand Lodge of _____ (name withheld). Home lodge sent this brother to Albuquerque at their expense July 3, 1922, and requested Temple Lodge to "look after his welfare" and "advance him such pecuniary assistance as may be necessary," which they would refund, such assistance to continue until advised otherwise. Temple Lodge placed brother in Presbyterian Sanatorium and complied with request of home lodge in every way, sending bills and statements for expenses, reporting brother's condition. In September, 1922, brother was moved to a private boarding house and physician dismissed in order to reduce expenses. On Nov. 8, 1922, home lodge advised Temple Lodge that they would be compelled to discontinue paying any further sum for expenses incurred by the brother.
"We are of the opinion that a lodge ought to extend temporary relief to members, but we do not think that the Order could be expected to keep a member permanently, in fact it would be impossible for most lodges to do so, and if it was done in one case it would create a precedent that would be difficult to continue." The home lodge also notified the brother that their support would be discontinued.
Temple Lodge then asked the Grand Secretary of New Mexico to take up with the Grand Lodge of _____ the matter of securing further aid for this brother who had been shipped to New Mexico by his home lodge and then abandoned to the care of Temple Lodge. This appeal was made just prior to the 1922 meeting of the Grand Lodge of (name withheld) and was considered by the Grand Lodge at its annual communication and resulted in the adoption of the following: "Your committee are of the opinion that each lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction should look after its own indigent members to the best of their ability, and it is not incumbent upon this Grand Lodge to dictate to a subordinate lodge as to how it should disburse its Charity fund, so long as such lodge does not repudiate any just obligations made by the lodge. And that as this Grand Lodge has no charity fund of its own, there is no way to take care of any case of this nature, except by placing such brother in the Old Folks' Home. We therefore offer the following: Resolve, That Grand Sec. be authorized to forward a copy of the above to the Grand Sec. Of New Mexico and that no further action be taken by this Grand Lodge."
Pending action on this appeal to the Grand Lodge of ______, Temple Lodge continued to care for this brother. On Jan. 1, 1923, the Grand Secretary of ______ advised the Grand Secretary of New Mexico of this action, which he promptly reported to Temple Lodge. Final action in this case is covered in a letter from Temple Lodge to the home lodge which shipped the brother to Albuquerque:
"In the meantime (Nov. 6 to Jan. 2) Bro. ______ was here without funds and was unable to leave his room to try to make arrangements for his support. In fact from the date that he received your letter stating that you would not be responsible for any further expenses on his behalf, he went from bad to worse. His doctor advised us that it was impossible for him to aid Bro. in his recovery if he continued in the same state of mind, that of utter despondency.
"We could not possibly have complied with your instructions and set this brother adrift to shift for himself in his condition. We felt that we were duty bound, in the name of humanity if for no other reason, to take care of him. This we did until he asked that we send him home before he died, as he felt that he could not last but a short time here, under the existing circumstances."
Nearly two months after the receipt of this letter the home lodge reimbursed Temple Lodge $232.94 balance of money expended on this brother.
STANDING BY THEIR SICK BROTHER
Bro. No. 74. Grand Lodge of Iowa. Disabled ex-service man receiving $100 monthly compensation. Wife employed and getting along nicely until wife contracted pneumonia, baby became sick and brother had to undergo minor operation, all of which resulted in indebtedness of over $400. Home lodge advanced $300, to pay bills, which with discounts secured by Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, reduced indebtedness to about $50. Home lodge asked to be kept advised as to brother's condition and future needs.
MASONRY HELPS FAMILY OF DECEASED BROTHER
Bro. No. 76. Grand Lodge of Mississippi. Step-son of a brother who died in 1913, sick with tuberculosis in El Paso. Wife and niece also tuberculous. An ex-service man drawing small compensation which was temporarily held up for some reason and family in want. Mother came to Relief Bureau with watch fob, Masonic emblem with name and number of lodge thereon, only evidence of dead step-father's Masonic connection. Relief Bureau advanced $10 for emergency relief and wrote home lodge which reported records destroyed in 1914. Relief Bureau then wrote Grand Secretary of Mississippi who replied that father died in 1913, in good standing. Home lodge and Grand Lodge then co-operated in advancing $100. Young man died in very short time thereafter but this money helped very much in last days of illness. Wife will receive pension of $30 monthly. Wife returned home to Mississippi. Mother and niece now under care of Associated Charities.
PATIENT PAYING BACK MONEY LOANED
Bro. No. 80. Grand Lodge of Texas. Brother working for the railroad and becoming unable to continue was placed in Hotel Dieu. Mother came to El Paso as boy was to undergo operation. Family unable to bear extra expense and home lodge appealed to advanced $100. Operation successful and patient improved. Home lodge contributed additional $50 to take care of further expense. Patient had to come back to hospital twice at later dates. The home lodge advanced him money directly and he is reported to be paying back money advanced.
Bro. No. 86. Grand Chapter of Alabama. Applied for relief to Masonic Bureau, El Paso. Claimed he wrote home Chapter several times, without reply. Bureau wrote Chapter for help. Commandery remitted dues and advised that they were in very bad financial condition. After several months, Chapter sent $10 and wrote that it was all they could do at present and all that had been authorized. "Will ask the Chapter to assist him to the limit, but the Chapter meant nothing to him before he was taken sick and now that he is unable to work it is the first Order he calls upon." The Chapter had been advised that the Companion was unable to work account of his illness.
NEVER SAW CHILD'S PICTURE BEFORE DEATH
Bro. No. 91. Grand Lodge of Missouri. Brother very ill and later died of tuberculosis in El Paso. Only request was for a picture of his little girl and Relief Bureau asked lodge in town where divorced wife lived to get one from her. After some difficulty with former wife picture secured and sent but came after his death. Relief Bureau attended to all details of funeral and assisted members of family who came to him just before he died. Home lodge wrote, "This lodge thanks you sincerely for the kind treatment given our late brother in his last illness and the splendid service given to his family."
LIFE INSURANCE PAID — PROTECTED WIDOW
Bro. No. 99. Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Brother very ill at Government hospital and wife came to El Paso to be with him before death. Needed money to pay life insurance for wife's protection after death and to help pay for her expenses while with him. Home lodge sent $100 at once. Brother died and Relicts Bureau took care of all details of shipment of body and care of widow.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE M.S.A.
A Committee of the Masonic Service Association co-operated with a similar committee of the New Mexico Grand Lodge in an investigation of the condition of tuberculous Masons in the Southwest. A report of the work, which has not yet been completed, was made to the recent Chicago meeting of the Masonic Service Association and considerable time was given to the consideration of this Masonic relief problem. The Association adopted resolutions, recognizing the seriousness of the problem, and endorsed the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association as the proper agency to administer relief. An appeal was authorized to all Grand Jurisdictions for funds for the organization work of the Sanatoria Association. The first response to this appeal was made by the Grand Lodge of Texas, which contributed $1,000 for development of this Masonic charity.
* * *
"Freemasonry interferes neither with religion nor politics, but has for its foundation the great basic principles of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man; therefore, no Atheist can be a Freemason. It strives to teach a man the duty he owes to God, his neighbor, and himself. It inculcates the practice of all virtues and makes an extensive use of symbolism in its teachings."
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FREEMASONRY IN KENTUCKY
Bro. Henry Baer, Ohio
INTRODUCED in the last quarter of the eighteenth century by sturdy pioneer settlers to a wilderness country, the territorial part of Virginia long the favorite hunting grounds of northern Indian tribes, the story of Freemasonry in Kentucky forms what is probably the most interesting and colorful account of any Grand Lodge Jurisdiction in the United States. Beginning with first settlement, virtually every step of the early history and progress of the State seems linked with the Fraternity. While much has been written of general historical nature, but little, strangely enough with such a fertile field in which to labor, has ever appeared in the latter connection, and nothing at all of its Masonic story during years of settlement preceding the formation of its Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. This last is due, case of so many other Grand Jurisdictions, to the loss of early records, where any were kept, and adherence to "Ancient" Constitutions which imposed the utmost secrecy upon the Craft, and forbade any secret code or written record of whatever nature under penalty of expulsion. To this latter provision the Masons in Kentucky have steadily seemed to cling. It was not until more than a half century after a Grand Lodge had been established that the first, and last, extensive account of Freemasonry in the State was compiled and published by Rob. Morris when he served as Grand Master in 1858. This was a monumental work of facts carefully gathered and authenticated through years of laborious research, and much of the following was drawn from this source. Inasmuch as in pioneer days there was a necessary relation between civil and political conditions of a country and its Masonic history (and none more so than in Kentucky) it is thought proper to first set forth certain facts relative to the early settlement and progress of the State.
In the middle of the eighteenth century Christopher Gist, intrepid backwoodsman and pathfinder, was sent out by a group of Virginians who had formed a land buying enterprise known as the Ohio Company, to explore the country west of the Allegheny Mountains. Descending the Ohio River in the face of great dangers he made examination of this wild but beautiful region as far as the Falls, where later Louisville was built. Then swinging southward he returned by circuitous route through the wonderful Blue Grass country and virgin forests of Kentucky. Moved by his wondrous tales of discovery several other adventurous spirits made trips westward during the next two decades and explored the territory to the east, north and south. Chief among them were Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton, the most celebrated Indian fighters and pioneers of the eighteenth century. From the year 1775 settlement of the country began and by 1779 the little hamlets of Harrodsburg, Boonesboro, Limestone (Maysville), Louisville and Lexington had been established as well as several scattered trading stations.
All through these and subsequent years there was much fighting of a desperate character with the Indians of the north, who, angered at the invasion of their "happy hunting grounds" by the whites, watched every cabin and conducted numerous raids upon the settlements and stations, killing and scalping men, women and children, driving off stock and burning their cabins until the territory became known as the "dark and bloody ground." History records that between the years 1777 and 1782 many fierce and bloody battles were fought, in which members of the Craft participated; the Kentuckians in every instance being overwhelmingly outnumbered, but often inflicting severe punishment upon their savage foe. The greatest disaster occurring to the settlers was in 1782, when after a force of 500 Canadians and Indians led by Simon Girty, a renegade white, had unsuccessfully laid siege to Bryan's Stations, a force of one hundred and eighty-two Kentuckians who had set out in pursuit was ambushed and badly defeated at the Blue Licks with a loss of a third killed and several taken prisoners. For some time, however, General George Rogers Clark, Kentucky's most noted hero, had in retaliation been conducting raids against the tribes to the north destroying crops and laying waste their towns. After a final expedition to the Miami towns of the Ohio country in 1782, following the Battle of the Blue Licks, no large body of Indians ever again invaded Kentucky. Many minor but bloody conflicts were fought in the territory from 1788 to 1793, when roving bands of savages again swooped down upon isolated stations and cabins and took further toll of settlers' lives. History estimates that in the nearly twenty years of terror and bloodshed at least 1,000 were slain and many carried away into captivity. Undoubtedly the greatest dangers, hardships and vicissitudes ever known to pioneer existence were undergone by these early emigrants in the "dark and bloody ground," who could look for no assistance from the colonies, engaged as they were in the War of Independence, and perforce fought a lone fight.
With the close of the Revolution in the spring of 1783 ensued a rush of emigration from beyond the Alleghenies and the eastern half of the territory soon became quite settled. Plans were laid as early as the following year for a separation from Virginia, the Mother country, and the formation of a state. For various reasons it was not until June 1, 1792, however, that the independence of Kentucky was won and a state born, the first in the Mississippi Valley, with Colonel Isaac Shelby, hero of King's Mountain in the Revolutionary War, as Governor. At the beginning of this decade furious fighting had again broken out with the Indians who, driven from Kentucky, conducted similar warfare against the settlers in the Ohio and Indian Territories. With the scenes of battle now shifted northward large forces of Kentuckians led by General Charles Scott, a hard two-fisted fighter of the Revolution, participated with militia and regular troops in the several ensuing engagements. A crushing defeat administered to the enemy at Fallen Timbers, Toledo, Ohio, in 1794 by the army of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, assisted by 2,600 mounted volunteers from Kentucky under Scott, finally brought an end to savage warfare in this century.
Just what part Freemasonry played throughout these trying times has never become known but it is believed not to have been a negligible one. No records from those early days in Kentucky have ever come to light nor is it thought any were kept in a period when "Silence and circumspection" were Masonic virtues practiced much more literally than now. Whether Daniel Boone was a Mason has often been debated. From the fact that in 1845 there was a turnout of Masons in full regalia who participated in the ceremonies attending the re-interment of his remains at Frankfort; that the Grand Lodge of Kentucky later contributed $50 toward the erection of a monument in that city; and further, that several lodges in the state have been named in his honor; conclusions might be drawn that he most probably was a member of the Craft, but like so many of the old-time brethren never stated or left record of his affiliation. Unofficial information is at hand that General George Rogers Clark held membership in the Order. A Virginian by birth he came to Kentucky with the first settlers in 1775, moved there a year later and became famous in the Indian wars which followed. He was a brother of William Clark, a noted explorer, who with Merriweather Lewis in 1803 set out to cross the Rockies and became the first American to view the Pacific Ocean. Both William Clark and Merriweather Lewis were Masons. That General Wayne held membership in the Fraternity is recorded in Masonic history. General Scott was born in Virginia and coming to the Blue Grass country in 1785 soon became prominently identified with its history and affairs, serving as Governor of the state from 1808 to 1812. In Peters' Masons as Makers of America Scott is listed with the many others of Washington's generals who were enrolled in the Craft. It is also believed that Colonel Isaac Shelby first Governor of Kentucky, was a Mason like so many of the early pioneers of the West; but as in case of Clark this has not been definitely established.
When and by whom Freemason was first brought to Kentucky will likely never become known. Even such an indefatigable student as Rob. Morris was unable to unearth anything of a definite nature in years of research. Assuredly, however, it had its introduction with earliest settlement and was thereafter no longer to be confined in scope to the long strip of land east of the Alleghenies. In the beautiful language of Morris:
"Every emigrant whose slow moving wagon surmounted those barriers brought some knowledge of Masonry from the east to the west, some family tradition, some incident of a charitable character to relate to his children when they should arrive at their wildwood home; and this was the germ which was to expand into a great stock. Many came from Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Connecticut possessed of light and knowledge of the Institution. Among their scanty books were to be found the 'Ahiman Rezon' of Pennsylvania or one of the various editions of Dermott or Anderson; and when they were set down amid the cheerlessness of the forests far from the pleasant influences of schools and churches and the social gatherings of their former homes, what wonder that thoughts of their old Masonic homes, of fraternal circles at labor and at refreshment possessed their minds with the keenest desire! What wonder that the faintest suggestion of the establishment of a lodge within ten, or twenty or thirty miles of the log cabins was hailed with ardor, or that signature and influence and open purse were offered unreservedly to perfect the idea! Such elongations of the Masonic cable-tow were rarely witnessed as those displayed by the emigrant Masons in the 'dark and bloody ground,' thirsting for the 'social joy' connected with the 'great design'."
Among the pioneer brethren who felt the need of that fraternal society and friendship to which they had been accustomed and was not to be afforded by their isolated position in the wilderness were those residing in or near Lexington Town. As early as 1785 a little band of eight settlers from this vicinity began planning the erection of Masonic Lodge. In consequence a petition was later forthcoming to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Virginia praying that a charter be granted to organize a lodge. This in due time was favorably acted upon and a warrant issued these brethren under date of Nov. 17, 1788, to form Lexington Lodge, No. 25, naming Colonel Richard Clough Anderson as first Worshipful Master. Colonel Anderson, a Virginian and distinguished soldier of the Revolution, was a brother-in-law of General George Rogers Clark, having married the latter's sister. With the arrival of this charter candles were set aglow in a little log structure and sent their flickering rays into the gloom of the wilderness, the first Great Lights of Masonry to be erected in the western country. The next lodge to become established was at Paris by virtue of an authority emanating from the same source under date of Nov. 25, 1791, which was styled Paris Lodge, No. 35. Then after a lapse of several years came the constitution of Georgetown Lodge, No. 46, on Nov. 29, 1796, at Georgetown; Hiram Lodge, No. 57, on Dec. 11, 1799, at Frankfort, and Ahraham's Lodge at Shelbyville, under dispensation in the year 1800 and later known as Solomon's Lodge, No. 5. The warrants or other authority for the formation of these last three lodges likewise were of Virginia register.
As in other pioneer states of the early West the first legislators and principal public officers of Kentucky were nearly all of the Craft. Indeed, the first appointments of Governor Shelby for Fayette County, wherein was erected Lexington Town, were exclusively of Masons. Silent testimonial of the influence of Masonry in those days is perhaps to be noted in the Seal of the State. This shows within a circle two figures' standing with hands clasped in an attitude of Brotherly Love. Further, what appears to be the letter "G" is to be seen in the inscription at either end of the words "United We Stand — Divided We Fall," a most appropriate and fitting motto for this state.
With the close of the eighteenth century in view of the long and tedious journey entailing attendance upon the Grand Lodge meetings in the Mother Jurisdiction, the seats of the Kentucky lodges and that of the Grand Lodge of Virginia being more than 700 miles apart and the fact that the Grand Charity Fund could not be extended to any brother or Mason's family in the State nor could the work of the lodges be inspected by the Grand Master for this reason, it was deemed expedient by the brethren of Lexington Lodge that in order to promote the welfare of the Craft a Grand Lodge be formed in Kentucky. Invitations were accordingly sent the other four lodges and a meeting arranged to take place on Sept. 8, 1800, in Masons' Hall Lexington, each lodge to be represented by its delegates. These assembled on this date and an organization was effected with John Hawkins as Chairman of the Convention and Thomas Bodley, Clerk. Resolutions were then passed by the fifteen brethren present that a Grand Lodge be established in the State and that a respectful address to the parent body in Virginia be drafted setting forth the several reasons actuating the lodges in seeking separation from its jurisdiction.
On 16, 1800, representatives from the five lodges met in the same place for the purpose of opening a Grand Lodge and holding its First Grand Communication; James Morrison of Lexington Lodge, as the oldest Past Master present, taking the chair and appointing temporary officers. After charters or dispensations had been surrendered and the credentials of all approved, an election of officers was held. As a result the following were chosen as the first Grand Officers of the newly-formed governing body and installed in due and ancient form: William Murray, Master of Hiram Lodge, Grand Master; Alex. Macgregor, Master of Lexington Lodge, Deputy Grand Master; Simon Adams, Master of Abraham's Lodge, Grand Senior Warden; Carey L. Clark, Past Master of Georgetown Lodge, Grand Junior Warden; James Russell, Grand Secretary; John A. Seitz, Grand Treasurer; Thomas Hughes, Grand Senior Deacon; Nathaniel Williams, Grand Junior Deacon; Samuel Shepard, Grand Pursuivant, and John Bobbs, Grand Tyler. Next the "Ancient" Constitutions and By-Laws of Virginia were adopted for use until such time as regulations for the government of Kentucky lodges could be prepared. These Constitutions had been used by the Virginia brethren since 1792 and were virtually the "Ahiman Rezon" of Lawrence Dermott, the celebrated Irish Mason and leader of the group which seceded from the Grand Lodge of England after its organization and formed the so-called Ancient Grand Lodge. (1) The five lodges were then numbered according to the dates on their respective authorities ranking thereafter in the order named: Lexington Lodge, No. 1, Paris Lodge, No. 2, Georgetown Lodge, No. 3, Hiram Lodge, No. 4, and Solomon's Lodge, No. 5. Until one of its own could be designed, the seal of Lexington Lodge was adopted as the official seal of the newly-formed Grand Body. In the absence of parchment or vellum for the proper execution of new charters it was directed that written forms of authority be prepared on paper, to remain in effect until more formal charters could be issued. To cite an instance of the delay and inconvenience to which the pioneers of those early days were subjected it was ten years before the parchment warrant of Lexington Lodge was received. A committee was then appointed to address each Grand Lodge in the country and inform them of the organization of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and the reasons therefor. With the confirming of these proceedings by those present they were subscribed by the newly-elected Grand Officers and this epoch-making session came to a close. The Grand Lodge of Virginia later approved the action of the Craft in Kentucky in withdrawing from its jurisdiction, her reply being received some time in the year following and read in Grand Lodge at the session of October, 1801.
William Murray, first Grand Master, was Attorney General of Kentucky when elected to this exalted station and has been followed in that office by many men who were prominent in affairs of State and Nation. It was William Murray who generously donated to Lexington Lodge the lot whereon to build "Masons' Hall."
Thus under the circumstances and in manner related was born the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Kentucky, formed at a time when but half of the state was settled, and that still little better than a wilderness; while all that territory lying west and north of the Green River was yet an unbroken forest. Though all the five lodges within the confines of the state shared in its inception, yet upon Lexington Lodge, No. 1, devolves the credit and honor of having suggested and taken the initiative in the establishment of a ruling body of the Craft; the first in the country west of the Allegheny Mountains. From its very beginning some of the most distinguished citizens of the Blue Grass state were included in its personnel. These lent their able assistance in the development of the new Grand Lodge and in the safe guidance of its destinies throughout later troublous years.
While each constituent lodge contributed its share of intellect none had a larger representation, or a more conspicuous part in its affairs, than Lexington Lodge. Especially was this so in earlier years, for of the thirteen Grand Masters who served for varying terms from 1800 to 1820 eight were numbered among its members, comprising some of the brightest stars in the Masonic firmament of Kentucky: James Morrison, John Jordan, Jr., George W. Bibb, Joseph Hamilton Daviess, Daniel Bradford, Thomas Bodley, Samuel H. Woodson and Henry Clay. This old lodge has enjoyed an uninterrupted existence for nearly 140 years and is today one of the most thriving bodies in the state, its membership from the little handful which began labor in 1788 having grown to approximately 700. Of the other four lodges all are still upon the Grand Lodge Roster with the exception of Georgetown Lodge, No. 3, whose charter was forfeited in 1804.
(1) It is only fair to say that many competent scholars have come to the conclusion that the "Ancient" Grand Lodge was not formed by seceders from the Grand Lodge of 1717, but by independent or "St. John's" lodges which had never been connected with it. [Ed.]
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Bro. William M. Stuart
AMONG the distinguished foreigners, Masons as well as soldiers, who aided mightily in the American Revolution, not the least was Count Casimir Pulaski, a native of the province of Lithuania in Poland. Count Pulaski was educated for the law, but fate ordained that he should be a soldier. The internal troubles of Poland led, in 1769, to a rebellion against King Stanislaus, and in this insurrection both Count Casimir and his father, the old count, were concerned. Eventually Casimir's father was captured and executed. The next year Count Pulaski was elected commander-in-chief of the rebel army, but was unable to gather a sufficient force to make headway with his cause.
He now conceived a desperate undertaking. It was no less than a plan to seize the king, place him at the head of the troops by force and thus, with royalty as a figure head, rally a sufficient number of fighters to beat back the army that Catherine of Russia had dispatched to invade Poland. In conformity with this hazardous plan, forty young men, of whom Count Pulaski was one, entered Warsaw disguised as peasants. For a time fortune favored the adventurers. Meeting the equipage of the king in the street, they stopped it, took hence His Majesty and conveyed him in safety without the walls of the city. But here the hue and cry became too hot for them; they were forced to abandon their royal prey and make their escape.
Very soon after this abortive attempt Pulaski's force was defeated, his estates were confiscated, himself outlawed. Thereupon he entered the service of the Turks. Eventually he went to Paris and, the war of American Independence now being on, had an interview with Benjamin Franklin. Through the influence of Poor Richard, Count Pulaski was induced to come to America and cast in his fortune with the struggling patriots. This was in 1777.
PULASKI COMES TO AMERICA
Whether Masonry had anything to do with Pulaski's meeting Dr. Franklin and the ensuing result is not now known, at least to the writer. It is, however, a rather remarkable fact that a majority of the foreign soldiers whom Franklin influenced to take up our cause were of the Ancient Craft. Franklin's Masonic status is too known to need exposition. To Washington and Congress Franklin recommended Count Pulaski, an officer famous throughout Europe for his bravery and conduct in defense of the liberties of his country against Russia, Austria and Prussia.
For a time, however, there was no command offered this distinguished officer, as Congress, to use an apt phrase, was "getting rather fed up" on foreign soldiers of fortune. Hence for the present he was content to serve as a gentleman volunteer with the light horse. In this capacity he fought in the bloody Battle of Brandywine and distinguished himself for his bravery, approaching to foolhardiness. More than once he rode up to pistol shot distance of enemy's line to reconnoiter.
The Battle of Brandywine was remarkable, if for no other reason than that Washington, with a poorly equipped and largely untrained army of eleven thousand troops, fought, without being annihilated, an enemy, perfectly appointed and drilled, numbering over eighteen thousand men. And although Washington was outflanked and had part of his army crushed, the result was little less than a drawn battle for the patriots, owing to the resolute stand and splendid fighting of the division commanded by Bro. Nathaniel Greene.
Washington now recommended to Congress that Count Pulaski be commissioned a brigadier-general and placed in command of the cavalry. "This gentleman," said Washington, "has been, like us, engaged in defending the liberty and independence of his country, and has sacrificed his fortune to his zeal for those objects. He derived from hence a title to our respect that ought to operate in his favor as far as the good of the service will permit."
Congress was not slow in adopting the suggestion of the commander-in-chief. At the onfall of Germantown, where the American army, confused by a heavy fog, retreated in the very moment of victory, the count again won honors by his steady conduct in covering with his cavalry the retreat of two divisions of infantry.
PULASKI'S LEGION AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
A few months after the Battle of Germantown, Count Pulaski resigned his command and asked of Congress authority to raise an independent corps, to consist of a troop of horse, sixty-eight in number, together with two hundred foot. This authority was granted and "Pulaski's Legion," as it was presently called, was raised in 1778, chiefly among the better families of Baltimore. Many of the officers, though, were foreigners.
Numerous stories have been told concerning the horsemanship of the count. Says Lossing: "It is related that, among other feats, that daring horseman would sometimes, while his steed was under full gallop, discharge his pistol, throw it in the air, catch it by the barrel, and then hurl it in front as if at an enemy. Without checking the speed of his horse, he would take one foot from the stirrup and, bending over toward the ground, recover his pistol and wheel into line with as much precision as if he had been engaged in nothing but the management of the animal." Anyone who has witnessed the justly famous "monkey drill" of the regular cavalry in the American army of the present can not help but speculate as to whether this mode of rough riding did not originate in the days of Pulaski.
General Lafayette had been wounded in the Battle of Brandywine and for a time was under the care of the Moravian nuns of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While in the hospital at this place he was visited by Count Pulaski. Learning of the presence of the distinguished foreigner, the nuns of the Moravian order prepared for him a beautiful banner of crimson silk, richly embroidered with intricate needlework. It was twenty inches square and intended to be attached to a lance when borne in battle.
Although the youthful Lafayette was not a Mason at this time, being later raised in a military lodge, it is supposed that the Count was a member of the Order when he came to America. Whether he was consulted as to the design on the banner we do not know; but certain it is that on one side is a Masonic design; being no less than the All-Seeing Eye enclosed by a triangle. Longfellow has written a poem concerning this famous banner, the last two verses of which read:
"'Take thy banner. But when night
Closes round the ghastly fight,
If the vanquished warrior bow,
Spare him — by our holy vow;
By our prayers and many tears;
By the mercy that endears;
Spare him — he our love hath shared;
Spare him — as thou wouldst be spared.
"'Take thy banner; and, if e'er
Thou should'st press the soldier's bier,
And the muffled drum should beat
To the tread of mournful feet
Then the crimson flag shall be
Martial cloak and shroud for thee.
And the warrior took that banner proud,
And it was his martial cloak and shroud."
In the spring of 1778 the British launched an expedition against Little Egg Harbor on the Jersey Coast, a rendezvous for American privateers. The invading force comprised three hundred regulars and a large number of Loyalist volunteers; the whole being under the command of Captain Patrick Ferguson, a talented officer who was to meet his death at the Battle of King's Mountain later in the war, as was related in the article on Nolichucky Jack in a recent number of THE BUILDER. As the expedition was long en route, many of the privateers received warning and put out to sea, others fled up the river to a place called Chestnut Neck, whither they were presently followed by Ferguson. The town and shipping were completely wrecked by the vengeful British.
Among the troops sent against the marauders at this time was Pulaski's Legion, accompanied by a gun of Proctor's artillery. Unhappily, a deserter from the legion carried word to Ferguson that the Americans were encamped but twelve miles up the river; the infantry being quartered in three houses by themselves, while Pulaski with the cavalry was located at some distance.
FERGUSON AND PULASKI MEET
This intelligence was enough for Ferguson, enterprising soldier as he was. Taking two hundred and fifty men, he proceeded up the river in boats and at four o'clock the next morning approached the spot occupied by the Legion. The oarlocks had been muffled; it was very dark. A few smouldering brands indicated where the campfires of the previous night had been. There was no light in the houses that loomed ghostlike and grey through the haze of early morning as the boats neared the shore.
They grated on the beach, and yet there came no hoarse challenge of sentry. Perhaps the guards were asleep. It is possible that none had been posted; although that would be hard to believe concerning an officer of Pulaski's stripe.
Silently Ferguson marshalled his men and led them to surround the three houses. A sudden gruff command and the blaze and roar of a volley of musketry were the first intimations that the sleeping Americans had concerning the presence of the foe. Then ensued a scene of confusion worse confounded. Some of the suddenly aroused men of the Legion thrust their muskets out of the shattered windows and fired at random into the gloom. Others rushed from the houses, only to be spitted like partridges on the bayonets of the British regulars. Hoarse shouts, cheers, screams and groans, blended with the constant banging of muskets to produce a pandemonium of horror. And so the bloody work went on unchecked. In the official report which Captain Ferguson later made to his superior, he says: "It being a night attack, little quarter, of course, could be given, so there were only FIVE PRISONERS." At this moment Ferguson was tasting the sweets of victory; but in time he was to behold men of his command being shot down like rabbits by the infuriated mountaineers of Tennessee.
The tumult of the conflict now roused the cavalry camp at which Count Pulaski was personally located. Through the foggy dawn came the wailing of a bugle, followed soon by the pounding of hoofs and the cries of charging dragoons. Hastily collecting his men, Ferguson embarked and succeeded in getting well out into the stream before the cavalry arrived. There was much random firing, but the British were safe. All that remained for the horsemen to do was to bury fifty men of the infantry who had been butchered. Among the dead were two officers of foreign birth. During the winter of 1778-79 Count Pulaski with his Legion was stationed at Minisink. This was one oldest settlements in Orange County, New York; dating back as far as 1669. It was located between the sites of the present towns of Goshen and Port Jervis, among the Shawangunk Mountains. In February, 1779, Pulaski was ordered to join General Lincoln's army in the South, and this left the Minisink region without the protection of regular troops.
Thayendanegea, the famous Mohawk chief, commonly known as Joseph Brant, was not long in seizing the opportunity thus presented. At the head of a considerable force he invaded the country round about Port Jervis plundered and burned, then, upon the approach of a body of militia, retreated up the Delaware Valley. He was overtaken near the location of the present village of Lackawaxen and a severe battle ensued. Owing to the lack of ammunition the Americans were finally defeated and a large number slain. Brant, who was a Freemason, saved the life of Major Wood of Goshen when the latter inadvertently gave a Masonic sign; not at the time being of the Order. Having been apprized of the reason for his life being spared, the major hastened to affiliate himself with the Craft. This was not by any means the only time during the war that Brant recognized and honored the sign.
SAVANNAH BESIEGED BY THE CONTINENTALS
In October, 1779, General Lincoln, in conjunction with the French Count D'Estaing, laid siege to Savannah, Georgia, then occupied by General Prevost with a British force of two thousand, eight hundred and fifty. The combined French and American army numbered about five thousand, of which rather more than half were French. A fierce bombardment failing to reduce the place at once, D'Estaing urged an assault. Fearing the effect of the autumnal storms along the coast, he wished to take his fleet away as soon as possible. Accordingly the morning of the ninth of October was selected as the time to launch the attack.
Unfortunately, a sergeant of one of the Charleston militia companies deserted during the night of the eighth and divulged to Prevost the complete plan of attack. The British general at once took measures to profit by this information. Just before dawn on Oct. 9 the French and American armies pressed forward through a heavy fog to the attack, under cover of a tremendous burst of artillery.
The British were waiting. They opened with such a devastating fire that the French column was crushed almost at once, D'Estaing himself being wounded and borne from the field. The Americans pressed forward and forced an entrance to a strong position known as the Spring Hill Redoubt. Across the ditch and up the glacis they swarmed, planted the flag on the parapet and strove valiantly to hold what they had gained.
Against this forlorn hope the British commander massed his best troops. A contest grim and great followed. Here fell many of the bravest. Sergeant Jasper, the hero of Fort Moultrie, perished while carrying the flag. The line was swept away.
PULASKI KILLED IN THE BATTLE
In the meantime Count Pulaski, at the head of two hundred horse, was endeavoring to force his way into the town in another quarter. Galloping in advance of his troops, carrying the banner that had been presented to him by the Moravian nuns, he had crossed the ditch and abatis when he was struck by a grapeshot and fell from his horse. His first lieutenant seized the banner, rallied the troops and continued the charge. But the constant blazing of guns in front, the whining grapeshot and musket balls annihilated the heads of the columns and drove the men back in confusion. By ten o'clock the French had given up the contest and the Continentals were retreating. The combined army lost over eleven hundred men in the terrible assault.
Some of Pulaski's men found him in a great pile of dead and wounded. They bore him from the field, still alive but mortally hurt. He was taken to an American man-of-war and there he died. Under a large tree on St. Helen's Island, fifty miles from Savannah, they buried him. Congress voted to erect a monument to his memory.
The famous banner was given by the first lieutenant, Charles Litomiski, to Captain Bentalon, who took the flag to Baltimore when he retired from the army. Lossing records: "It was used in the procession that welcomed Lafayette to that city in 1824, and was then deposited in Peale's Museum. On that occasion it was ceremoniously received by several young ladies. Mr. Edmund Peale presented it to the Maryland Historical Society in 1844, where it is now carefully preserved in a glass case. But little of its former beauty remains. It is composed of double crimson silk, now faded to a dull brownish red. The designs on each side are embroidered with yellow silk, the letters shaded with green. A deep green bullion fringe ornaments the edges." (Lossing wrote in 1852.) And so that courageous nobleman who lost father, estates and title in defense of his own land, gave his life for the land of his adoption. Never did he forfeit honor. Pulaski is a name of which both America and Masonry are proud.
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MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
PIERPONT EDWARDS was the son of Jonathan Edwards, the author of the famous treatise on the Freedom of the Will that at one time had such a tremendous influence on Protestant theology. His mother was Sarah Pierpont (or Pierrepont, as the name is sometimes spelled), herself a daughter of a well-known New England Divine, the Rev. James Pierpont of New Haven, Conn.
Jonathan Edwards was minister at Northampton, Mass., when his second son, the subject of this sketch, was born, to which charge he had succeeded on the death of his grandfather, the Rev. Mr. Stoddard, to whom he had been assistant. While the young Pierpont was little more than a baby his father was dismissed from- his pastoral charge by the representatives of the congregation on account of his inflexible insistence on the highest standard of admission to the communion table. Following this he took up work at Stockbridge, Mass., where he engaged in missionary work among a tribe of Indians domiciled there. As the only school available was composed of both Indian and white children this led to Pierpont's brother, who was six years his senior, speaking the Indian tongue as well as his own, and doubtless Pierpont himself also learned as much of it as a child of such tender years might be expected to do, though of this there is no definite record.
After six years in the work the post of President of Princeton University was offered to the father, and the family removed thither. Unfortunately in less than a year he died of smallpox and was followed to the grave very shortly by his wife, so that Pierpont and his surviving brothers and sisters were left orphans. They, however, were not friendless and were carefully brought up. Pierpont is believed to have received his education at Yale, though other authorities state that he graduated at Princeton in 1768. It is possible that he was a student at both universities. After obtaining his degree he studied law and was admitted to the bar, and began to practice at New Haven in 1771. He was very highly thought of as a lawyer, not only for his extensive legal knowledge, but for his forcible and fearless advocacy of any cause that he judged to be right
AT New Haven he became a member of the Masonic Order, being initiated in old Hiram Lodge, now No. 1 on the Grand Lodge roll of Connecticut, the lodge that had among its members so many characters prominent in the War of the Revolution. In due course he became Master, which honorable office he held for two years.
At the outbreak of the Revolution Pierpont took an active part. Like so many others he joined the army, but the scanty records of the time tell us little beyond the bare fact. Without doubt he honorably discharged all the duties that fell to him to do. When in 1779 American Union Lodge of Morristown, N. J., celebrated the festival of St. John the Evangelist he is mentioned as one of the many officers of the Revolutionary Army who were present, among whom were Washington, Jackson, Alexander Hamilton, and also Benedict Arnold.
When the War was ended and peace concluded he became interested in politics, as every lover of his country naturally was. He was a member of the Continental Congress and later was elected several times as representative for New Haven in the General Assembly, and was Speaker of the House in 1789 and 1790. Previously, in 1788, he had been a member of the Connecticut Convention at which the Constitution of the United States was ratified. In 1806 President Jefferson appointed him Judge of the United States Court in Connecticut, which appointment he held until his death.
Pierpont Edwards had a very positive and courageous character, which considering his ancestry is not to be wondered at. The son of the austere minister who was ejected from his church by a worldly and latitudinarian congregation, was one of the founders of the Toleration Party in Connecticut. His advocacy of this cause roused the hostility of the Calvinists and lost him many supporters in his political life. But this opposition to him did not endure a great length of time, and whenever any question of importance arose it was generally recognized that his motives were pure and unselfish, that he loved the Commonwealth, and that he generally was on the right side. One example of his acceptance of duty is his acting in his legal capacity as trustee and administrator in settling the estate of Arnold after the latter had been declared guilty of treason and had fled the country. This could not have been a task calculated to increase his popularity among the unthinking and showed that he was far from being a politician as the word is now understood.
Although so active in public life he appears from stray records to have been interested in sundry mercantile adventures. Probably he did not devote much time or attention to these. To take a partnership in a trading voyage then was about equivalent to buying some speculative stocks on the exchange today.
When in 1783 thirteen of the old lodges in Connecticut met in Convention at New Haven to establish some general regulations for the good of Masonry, he represented his lodge, and was elected secretary of the Convention. He was also chosen as one of a committee of four to act as general guardians of the Craft in the state. All these lodges had received their warrants from the appointed Provincial Grand Masters who derived their authority from England. Most of them held under the Grand Lodge of the Moderns, but approximately a third were under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. With the independence of the United States this authority seemed to be at an end and in May, 1789, another Convention met at Hartford to consider the formation of a Grand Lodge. Pierpont Edwards was a delegate at this meeting, and was chosen chairman of a committee to prepare a plan of action to submit to meetings to be held on the following July. When the Convention re-assembled Edwards presented the report of his committee, which included not only a plan for the formation of a Grand Lodge but also a Constitution for its governance. This was adopted and the Grand Lodge was formed. On a ballot being taken for the office of Grand Master Edwards was elected. He was re-elected the following year, after which he was succeeded by William Judd. He died in April, 1826, at New Haven, where he was buried. Though not one of the well-known figures of the Revolution he was one of the many sincere and active patriots without whose support the more prominent leaders would probably have failed. Local tradition says that he was a very charitable man and detested anything in the nature of gossip. That he was respected by his brethren in the Craft is obvious from the positions he held.
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THE ARK OF THE COVENANT IN THE LIGHT OF MODERN RESEARCH
Bro. Arthur C. Parker, New York
READERS of The Builder will remember the most interesting and instructive account of Indian Secret Societies and initiation ceremonies by Bro. Parker which was reproduced in the May and June numbers for 1924. The author is the State Archeologist of New York, which should be sufficient evidence of his qualifications to speak on the subject discussed in the present article.
SHALL we penetrate the innermost veil of the Temple and view through the clear light the sun, unobscured by the smoke of priestly incense, the Holy of Holies?
The Ark of the Covenant is of the most interesting and important institutions mentioned in the Hebrew scripts as these were finally codified. Its story gives a wonderful glimpse of Hebrew religion and history. The dramatic episodes clustering about the story of the Ark have made it a conspicuous symbol in Freemasonry, and we find it used in certain degrees of the Scottish Rite, no less than in the Royal Arch. Of such major importance is the Ark that we find it displayed upon the seals and arms of almost all Grand Lodges. Whence came this Ark, and what is its true history? Dare we ask for more light than that commonly given in traditional explanations? If so, let us consider the Ark in the light that actual investigation, archeological exploration, and philological science (1) have shed, and weigh our present belief in accord with the injunction to "prove all things".
Critical Hebrew scholars are agreed that the Hebrew word aron, translated in our English Bible "Ark" means nothing more or less than box, coffer or chest. Box is the accepted translation. This same word (aron) is used to describe the coffin in which the mummy of Joseph was carried out of Egypt and into Canaan (Gen. 1, 26; Ex. xiii, 19) and it is also used to mean collection-box, being applied in Kings xii, 10, and 2 Chron. xxiv, 10, to mean the box provided as the receptacle for the money offerings of the people for the repair the Temple.
It is this same word which is employed in Ex. xxvii, 1, ff., and we are told that the aron here described was made from costly material by Bezaleel after the specifications laid down by Moses (Ex. xxv, 10, ff.) after he descended from the mountain with the second tables of the law (Ex. xxxiv, 29), but Deuteronomy plainly tells us that Moses constructed the Ark himself, of plain shittim wood (acacia) just before he went up to receive the tables of the testimony in the first instance.
According to the scriptural account the Ark rested for some time at Gilgal after the passage of the Jordan, and later was removed to Shiloh. It was from Shiloh that the Israelites took the Ark of the Covenant in order that it might rest in their military camp before the battle with the Philistines. To the Israelites Yahweh militant was a war god to be invoked accordingly; but their shouting was in vain and the Philistines captured the Ark, hoping thereby to secure the power within it. But the scriptures relate that the enemy was afflicted supernaturally and that they sent back the Ark in consequence, after which it was placed in safe keeping at Kirjath-jearim. In the reign of Saul we hear of the Ark of Nob. From Kirjath-jearim David took the Ark to the house of Obed-edom and from thence to his palace at Zion. Finally we hear of the Ark in the Temple of Solomon where a special sanctuary had been prepared to receive it. Here the sacred chest remained as a central feature of the scribal accounts of the Hebrew mysteries until the religion of Yahweh had so far fallen into decay that the people gave themselves over to idolatry and placed their idols in the very sanctuary itself. The priests of the Lord, unable to endure this profanation, removed the Ark from the Temple, carting it from place to place to preserve it from the anger of the princes. Josiah then ordered the priests to return it to the sanctuary and leave it there. (2 Chron. xxxv, 3.)
THE ARK SAID TO HAVE BEEN CONCEALED
According to tradition, the prophet Jeremiah, before the Babylonian captivity, foretold the national calamity, and removed the Ark to a certain cave in that mountain which Moses ascended before his death. The priests who went with him placed certain marks on the spot, hoping thereby to remember the hiding place; but when the priests went back to again discover the Ark they could not find it, and the prophet reproved them for their curiosity and proclaimed that the spot should remain unknown until such a time as all the scattered people should be gathered together again and reconciled.
The Talmudic version differs slightly in that it relates that Solomon having had revealed to him that the Assyrians would one day plunder the Temple and carry away its treasure, took the Ark to an underground chamber and concealed it there together with other sacred articles, including Aaron's rod, the pot of manna, the priestly pectoral and the holy oil. Other Hebraists affirm that Nebuchadnezzer took the Ark to Babylon. In the book of Esdras we read a lament that the Ark was stolen by the Chaldeans. But all scriptures and traditions agree that the Ark never reappeared in the second Temple.
Other Hebrew traditions relate that no one save Moses shall discover the Ark, but at the second resurrection (and here we quote St. Epiphanius) "the Ark shall be raised and come forth out of the rock, it shall be placed on Mount sinai, and all the saints shall be assembled about it, waiting for the Lord's return, and endeavoring to defend themselves from the enemy who would take it. Jeremiah at the same time sealed the stone [where the Ark was hidden] writing with his own finger the name of God upon the place, in like manner as if it had been cut with iron. From this moment a dark cloud spread over the name of God and has kept it concealed to this very day, so that no one has been able to discover the place or read the Divine name. This cloud appears every night with great brightness over the cave, to show, as it were, that the glory of God does not forsake His Law. And the rock, before mentioned, lies between two mountains where Moses and Aaron died."
The Mohammedans have distinct traditions of the Ark and relate that within it are the shoes that Moses pulled off when he communed with God (Ex. iii, 5). They inform us that the Ark was given to Adam by God and that it passed through the hands of the patriarch down to Moses to whom it was given as the dwelling box of the God. They tell us that the Israelites bore it before them in battle because the power within it blew as a strong wind and fiercely, so that the enemy was completely overcome.
SACRED CHESTS USED IN OTHER RELIGIONS
The Children of Israel during their enforced sojourn in Egypt became familiar with the sacred arks and chests of the Egyptians and long before Moses is reputed to have enclosed the tables of the law in the Ark of the Covenant, he had seen arks and holy coffers in the temples of Egypt. They came out of the land of their captivity quite familiar with the idea of arks with cherubim and seraphim and mystical contents. One has only to view the inscriptions and wall paintings of the Nile land to see what the Israelites had in mind when their Ark was made. Those of Egyptian origin were phallic in nature and contained among other things the symbols of generation and fertility. To them the great mystery of life and its origin, and the mysterious elements in nature that contributed to produce or generate life were sacred things to be venerated by the highest religious rites. Thus, a flowering rod or a male animal symbolized the father principle in nature, while an egg, a pot of "manna" or a vase typified the mother principle. Let us pause to view the well-known "Ark of Phile" where we see amid emblems of male and female life an ark or chest borne upon a lunar boat carried by priests with solemn ceremony. This ark shows the cherubim and seraph in the same attitude as depicted or carved in representations of the Jewish ark. Over the Ark of Ph is the winged sun with uraei (representations of the sacred serpent) which the Jews modified to the shini cloud in which Yahweh manifested himself, and was metaphorically called in more than one eastern tong the "Sun of Righteousness." Despite all the attempts of the prophets the Jews never totally escaped from the influence of their Egyptian teachings, and orientalists have no difficulty in finding in the scriptures references to the constant leaning of Hebrew thought toward Egyptian doctrines, symbols and mysteries. Thus did the Israelites come out of Egypt with a distinct picture of a holy ark or box in mind, and in their belief their welfare was bound up with its safety. (2)
But long before the Egyptian captivity the tribes Israel and their cognate kinsmen have been familiar with the arks of Babylon and Assyria. These also were phallic and bore the symbols of the lingam and yoni — the male and the female principles in nature. In many of the Babylonian and Assyrian sculptures we may see winged figures, sometimes priests and sometimes eagle-headed men, gathered on opposite sides of a representation of a sacred grove or altar. These winged priests or angels (seraphim and cherubim) hold in their right hands the cones of the male palm and in their left small hand bags, in which the cones, no doubt, had been kept. These cones are directed toward the thirteen representations of the female palm or palm flower of seven petals and the action is that of pollenizing the flower. The tree or sacred lattice from which these "flowers" project is the female principle, or the mystical "tree of life." Borne upon a chest or base it becomes an arkite charm. Abraham, it will be remembered, came out of Ur of Chaldea, and in Abraham's mind were pictures of these Assyrian shrines. Indeed, wherever the Hebrews went, they were never far from some sacred ark belonging to one cult or another. (3)
EARLY HEBREW TRIBES RESEMBLED THE ARABS
The pre-Mosaic Hebrews were nomads with a primitive religion similar to that of the Arabs of the deserts. Their political organization was similar. Their culture was more like that of the nomadic Arabs than of the civilized Phoenicians, Canaanites and Babylonians. Like the Arabians the Hebrews built shrines of stones, or set up stones to be worshiped as gods or as the abodes of gods. Stone worship is apparent all through the scriptures, and we find a sacred stone or mazzebah in every sanctuary. On these stones were poured drink offerings and they were anointed with oil. (Gen. xxv, 14.)
It is not strange that tablets of stone engraven with the words of the law should be thought sacred and carried in arks as objects of veneration and that the same phallic emblems employed by the Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians should be associated with them. The ark idea was one deeply engrafted in the minds of Asiatic peoples and in entering Canaan the Israelites did not escape it, for they found arks in the temples and sanctuaries of even the heathen Canaanites. These arks and their deities were frequently worshiped by the Israelites, and the Yahwistic prophets are constantly rebuking them for seeking out strange gods.
Sacred chests or arks were used by the early Greeks and Romans who, like the nations of Asia, placed in them their sacred relics, charms and fetiches. Apuleius and Plutarch describe the arks of Egypt, and Pausanias tells of the sacred ark of the Trojans which contained all their religious mysteries and which was taken in the siege of Troy and fell to Euripilus as his share of the booty. Nor is this idea of a sacred ark holding emblems of heaven's promises peculiar to Asia and the Levant, for all through the two continents of America the various tribes of American Indians had their sacred arks or boxes, and these were carried into battle just as was the ark of Yahweh militant by the Jews, to give success in battle. Like the Jews they believed that the god-power within the sacred bundle would rush out and destroy the foe, and like the Hebrews, their arks were sometimes captured by the enemy, and as frequently brought back because they had brought calamity to their captors.
DID THE HEBREWS HAVE MORE THAN ONE ARK?
It was the Rabbi Judah ben Laquish, who flourished in the second century A.D., who first suggests a plurality of sacred arks. He contended that there were two arks that went with the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings. In one was the complete tables of the law and in the other fragments of the first tablets. More recent investigations seem not only to confirm the suppositions of the Rabbi Judah but go far beyond in showing that there were many arks by the Israelites and that even the carefully edited scriptures of the Hebrews fail to eliminate all evidence of this fact. We now know that the books of the law were written long after the prophets and that the Hexateuch is the result of a compilation of several earlier accounts. It was Jean Astruc, a French physician, who first called the attention of the theological world to this and his discoveries have now been generally accepted by Biblical students. It is shown by these that the Scriptures embrace what are known as the Elohistic and the Jehovistic accounts, which explains the apparent differences of certain similar accounts, as for example the sixth and seventh chapters of Genesis. Thus arose the designations of J and E to mark the sources of the older stories of the Bible, later augmented by the Deuteronomic code called D. Then came the code of the Law of Holiness, H, which forms the greater part of the Book of Leviticus. Later scribes compiled the ecclesiastical traditions and religious teachings of the earlier time, beginning with the creation, and running through the whole Hexateuch, which is known as P or the Priestly code. After the captivity JEDHP were once more edited and combined to form the Hexateuch as we have it at the present time, and it was this completed work that was issued on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles as recorded by Nehemiah.
Now with all the careful editing received by these old documents of the Jews certain things have not yet been erased, despite the attempts of the priests to bend the older writings to fit the changing faith and beliefs of Israel. With the Jewish faith the "Ark of the Covenant" became a central religious institution, and the legends clustering about the Ark make it an object of extraordinary prominence. It was with considerable care, therefore, that in compiling the older codes, it was sought to eliminate all allusions implying the existence of several arks, and the doctrine of a single holy and mystical "Ark of the Covenant" written into the P code. This is so far apparent to the critical student of the Hebrew language and religious writings that Professor William R. Arnold in his "Ephod and Ark" published in the Harvard Theological Studies (Cambridge, Mass., 1917), states:
"The historical ark of Yahweh was not a unique but a manifold object, attaching to every Palestinian sanctuary that possessed a consecrated priesthood, and the theory of a single ark corresponding to that of a single legitimate sanctuary, is the last surviving neuteronomistic conceit in the theological science of the present day."
THE ARK CALLED AN EPHOD
Reference to the other arks in the Old Testament is hidden behind the word "ephod," which word had been consistently substituted by the scriptural editors. We read of the ephod as a loin cloth or apron, and David is described as wearing a linen ephod when dancing before the Lord. Again we find that in priestly times the ephod is used to describe the ceremonial vestment of the priest. But a third application of this word shows no relation to the former descriptions and we find it was a solid object used in divination. In 1 Sam. xxi, 9, we read of the sword of Goliath wrapped in a cloak lying in the sanctuary of Nob "behind the ephod." What then is this ephod and why have the priests substituted this word for another which they wish to blot out? What is the expunged word? This word for which the "solid" ephod has been substituted is none other than aron, an ark or chest. It is the same priestly instrument of divination that was used all through the land of Palestine. In substituting ephod for ark the late priestly editors sought to protect a doctrine that had grown up and to eliminate the grosser references to the use of the "sacred coffer."
Let us pause for a moment to read from the original Hebrew through a careful translation made by Dr. Arnold, professor of Hebrew at Andover Theological Seminary, what the prophet Jeremiah himself had to say of the "box of Yahweh." Let us remember that the Israelites were scattered and that the monarchy of Jeroboam had been broken up. The wretched remnant of North Israel for three generations had lived in captivity and their God had been relegated to a position of equality with other deities invoked with pagan rites among the sacred groves of Canaan. To these Israelites Jeremiah addresses the following words:
Return you wandering children, declares Yahweh, for I am your owner. And I will take you one from a city, and two from a clan, and will bring you to zion and I will give you shepherds after my own heart, and they will feed you with knowledge and discretion. And it shall come to pass that when you increase and multiply in the land of those days, declared Yahweh, that men will no longer speak of the box of Yahweh nor will it enter their minds nor will they invoke it, nor will they resort to it; neither will it be manufactured any more. (Jer. iii, 14 — 16.)
Professor Arnold commenting on these texts says:
"The box of Yahweh here referred to is not an individual object but an institution. Neither the fictional Sinaitic box of Jewish dogma nor yet the supposedly unique historical box of Solomon's temple, was resorted to and invoked in the days of Jeremiah by the people of North Israel. Evidently, too, the object which the prophet has in mind has been reproduced again and again in the past and might conceivably be multiplied indefinitely in the future, so that he cannot be alluding to a box whose essential character consisted in its harboring an ancestral fetich of the age of Moses. Nor should we overlook the significant implication of the context, it is as the cherished instrument of divine guidance that the sacred box is to be superseded by the ministrations of prophecy. For the rest it is apparent that Jeremiah had never heard of the fiction of 1 Kings vii, 9, regarding the Solomonic box, and that it would have been quite foreign to his temper to sympathize with it. To his mind, the box of Yahweh was a pagan excrescence which could not be too thoroughly eradicated."
In the judgment of the modern student of Biblical knowledge the individual ark or chest left in Solomon's Temple was not of such special intrinsic value as to tempt the spoilers of the Temple, whether Shishak (1 Kings xiv, 25), Hazael (2 Kings xii, 18), Tiglathpileser (2 Kings xvi, 8), Senacherib (2 Kings xviii, 15) or Nebuchadnezzer (2 Kings xxv, 13 ff). Certainly in the elaborate catalog of objects taken from the Temple by these raiders if the ark or chest had been a valuable article it would have been specifically mentioned and its loss proclaimed as a calamity. If by some chance the box survived the ravages of four centuries of stormy Hebrew history, a thing scarcely to be expected of a wooden box of acacia wood, housed in a damp stone building often out of repair, it would have finally perished in the flames when the Temple was destroyed. Very likely the Solomonic box fell into decay long before 586 B. C. when the Israelites lost their independence. Jeremiah would scarcely have saved it for he was not an advocate of divination by means of a sacred box but a believer in "inspired human speech," a long step ahead in the evolution of the Hebrew faith.
Although, it is true, that priestly divination had taken the place of the rite of divination by means the box of Yahweh, still the priests remembered their ancient right of bearing this box before them and the traditions of invoking the counsel of Yahweh by its means were still current, though such invocations were frowned upon by the prophets who now led the religious thought of the Hebrews.
ESTIMATE OF THE ARK CHANGED
Some years after the destruction of Solomon's Temple the question arose as to the purport of the Solomonic ark about which so many traditions clustered. The box of Yahweh had now become a dogma and the scribes to fortify these priestly legends are believed by some modern theological critics to have deliberately interpolated Deut. x, 5 and 1 Kings viii, 9, 21. The original accounts of the tables of the law, according to competent authorities on the Hebrew scripture had nothing whatever to say of a box or ark. Nor, on the other hand, did the original stories of Solomon's Temple have anything to say about the Sinaitic tablets. The fact that the Hexateuch was compiled long after the writings of the prophets gave the scribes ample time to interpolate, edit and gloss the original documents before them, and nothing is clearer than the fact that scribal midrash has altered completely original meanings and words in the earlier writings.
The critical student is referred to the Harvard Theological Studies III, "Ephod and Ark, a study in the records and religion of the ancient Hebrews," by William R. Arnold, Hitchcock Professor of Hebrew in Andover Theological Seminary. Dr. Arnold discusses, from the original Hebrew, this most interesting subject about which so many interesting traditions have arisen.
The "Ark of the Covenant" as an actual object in the sanctuaries of Israel served a useful purpose in the religious life of the Hebrew and directed the attention of an ignorant and wayward people toward a Jehova (Yahweh) who was a greater deity than man had yet conceived. And when the arks had passed out of existence as material things the Hebrew faith took a higher and more spiritual form. It was mistaken zeal for dogma that led the scribes and Rabbis to interpolate and gloss their scriptures in later years and so attempt to efface the real character of the arks or sacred boxes. That the religion of the Hebrews should have grown out of varied beliefs in magic, in sacred charms and in the ability of certain persons to influence the Deity for the purposes of material gain is no impediment to the religion finally evolved. All mankind at one time believed in magic and to a large extent still does, but that does not detract from the fact that through painful errors, woeful mistakes and vain invocations, man may even yet discover God, when he his seen his error and searched aright. The story of the Hebrew faith is a story of an evolution toward spirituality and toward a higher conception of Deity than ever held before.
(1) During the past fifty years critical students of archeology, philology and history have produced a vast array of facts relating to the early history of the Hebrews and the evolution the Yahwistic religion of Israel. These facts were not available to the compilers of the canonical books now comprising our Old Testament when the council met at Nicea or Trent to determine what books were inspired and what were not. Thus after years of critical research in Bible lands, we of today a given a totally different perspective of many of the institutions and doctrines of the Hebrews.
One has only to attend the lectures given in any great Theological seminary or to read the books prepared by the professors teaching in these institutions to note that a vast change has come over the theological world with respect to the externals of religious belief and dogma.
(2) John P. Peters, D.D., Sc. D., Rector of St. Michael's Church, New York, and former Professor in the Philadelphia Divinity School, in his "Religion of the Hebrews" (1914), in discussing the ark says: "Was the Ark, then, a modification of the Egyptian god-ship, or is it in any sense due to the Egyptian use of ships to convey the gods from place to place? It seems to me probable that we should recognize here Egyptian influence, and that the Egyptian ship became among the Hebrews a box, very much as in the Hebrew flood story the Babylonian ship became a box."
(3) The sacred boxes or box-shrines of most oriental nations were not portable, for, like the pre-Mosaic Hebrews, it was generally believed by the Asiatics that the gods were localized and fix to certain spots or mountain peaks. The use of portable arks or box-shrines as traveling dwelling places for the god was an idea which the Hebrews developed in a special way. It was an important link in the evolution of the God idea. With most of the Levantine peoples the sacred box was not removed from its "holy of holies" except in emergency, or for the purpose taking it to another shrine.
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THE CEREMONY OF INSTALLING A GRAND MASTER IN 1768
Bro. A. L. Kress. Associate Editor. Pennsylvania
ON Nov. 23, 1768, John Rowe was installed as Provincial Grand Master for all of North America at Boston, Mass. A detailed description of the ceremony was recorded in the Grand Lodge minutes "for the direction of those who may have the Management of such a Solemnity on any future Occasion," which may be found in the Reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1733-1792, pages 148-161.
The brethren assembled at the hall and after the Grand Lodge was opened, Henry Price, acting as Provincial Grand Master, proceeded to read the Duke of Beaufort's deputation appointing John Rowe as Provincial Grand Master. The Grand Secretary then proclaimed him to be such, the lodge signifying their approbation "by the usual significant testimonial of Three times Three." After a procession around the hall and a short address by Henry Price, a minister present offered the following beautiful Masonic prayer:
"O most Glorious and Eternal God! who art the infinitely all-wise Architect of the Universe: We thy Servants; Assembled in Solemn Grand Lodge, would now extol thy Power and Wisdom in the Works of Creation and Providence: Thou said let there be Light and there was Light: The Heavens opened and declared thy Glory, and the Firmament Spangled with thy handy Work; The Sun who Rules the Day, gave Light to the Moon; the Moon who Rules the Night, tells to the listening Earth the surprising story of her Birth, so that there is one Glory of the Sun, another Glory of the Moon, and one star differs from another star in Glory, and all by most Wondrous signs and Tokens, without Voice, Sound or Language, solemnly Proclaim Divine Mysteries. We adore thee for that distinguishing Characteristick thou hast given of Man, being made in thine own Image, and hast above all thy Creatures made him Lord of this lower World, and given him a capacity to imitate thy Moral Perfections. We beseech thee to give us thy Servants at this Time, Wisdom in all our doings, Strength of Mind in our difficulties and the Beauty of Harmony in all our Communications with one another: But Grant, O Lord! that thy servant now about to be Solemnly invested with the Authority and Rule over the several Lodges in this part of the World, may be endued with Knowledge and Wisdom to instruct and explain to us the Mysteries of Masonry: and grant that we may understand, learn and keep all the statutes and Commandments of the Lord, and this Holy Mystery, pure and undefiled unto our Lives end; that Brotherly Love and Charity may always abound among us; let this be always the Cement of our Society, each one striving how to be most beneficial to Mankind.
"And when we have finished our Work here below, let our Transition from this Earthly Tabernacle be to the Heavenly Tabernacle above, where safely Lodged among thy Jewels, we may Shine with Thee for ever and ever.
"We ask all in the Name of him who stood on the Pinnacle of the Holy Temple, even Christ Jesus, our Lord, Amen.
"The foregoing prayer, performed by the Revd. Brother Bass, The Grand Master Elect standing before Solomons Chair, — and Grand Master Price at his Right hand, The Bible open at the Gospel of St. John, the Compasses open and the Square laid thereon all laid on the Table before the Grand Master, he proceeded to give the following Charge to the new Grand Master:
"'Right Worshipful Brother. The first and most essential requisite towards a right conduct in the great trust you are undertaking is to study the utility as well as to enforce the practice of all moral and social duties.
"'Here sir, is the Bible, the Compass, the Square, the Level and the Plumb Rule, the Symbols of Masonry: The first is to be the Rule and Guide of your faith; the others are well known Instruments necessary to Builders. The Compass teaches us Prudence and circumspection; the Square teaches us Justice and Truth; The Level and Plumb teaches us the Equality of states, and Uprightness of Conduct among Masons. If there be any virtue and if there be any Praise, think on these Things.'
"Then Grand Master Price took the Collar with the Jewel appending thereto, and put it over the Neck of the new Grand Master, and said, 'Receive this Jewel as the Badge of Dignity; The Sun here Represented, as it enlightens, warms and cherishes the Earth, so you are to be the Great Light and Comforter of the lodges; The Compass extended on it, sheweth, that his Dimensions and Influences are within the Compass of Science, of which you are to be the Patron. Let me now Seat you in Solomon's Chair (The Grand Master gently with both hands placed the new Grand Master in the Chair) and Cover you with the distinguishing Badge (and put his Hat upon his Head) of Superiority; and may you long enjoy this eminent Station, for the good of Masonry, and be a Crown of Honour to ourself for ever and ever.'
"The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, and all the other Grand Officers, Masters, Wardens, and Brethren of Lodges in Course, Congratulated the New Grand Master upon his exaltation and then retired to their places.
"Then the new Grand Master called to Order by a Stroke of the Hammer and stood up and gave his Benediction to the Brethren, as follows:
"'May the Grand Architect of the Universe, pour down his Blessings on this Society, and enable me to discharge the great Trust reposed in me, to the Honour of his Name, and the Royal Art: and may there never be wanting such to fill the Chair who shall promote Masonry, and the Good of Mankind, so long as the World endureth. Amen!'
"Then Lodge was closed in Form.
"Then the Marshall call'd forth the Officers and Brethren in the Order they were to be formed for the Grand Procession to Church, as follows:
- The Grand Tyler, with the Constitution Book open on his left arm, and a Naked Sword in his Right Hand
- Two Bands of Musick, belonging to the 59th and 64th Regiments.
- The Brethren of Newburyport Lodge.
- The Master and Wardens of Newburyport Lodge.
- The Stewards of the Apprentices Lodge
- The two Wardens of the Apprentices Lodge.
- The Brethren of the Apprentices Lodge, two and two.
- The Secretary and Treasurer of the Apprentices Lodge.
- The Master of the Apprentices Lodge.
- The two Stewards of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
- The Wardens of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
- The Brethren of the Fellowcrafts Lodge, two and two.
- The Secretary and Treasurer of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
- The Master of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
- The two Stewards of the Masters Lodge.
- The Wardens of the Masters Lodge.
- The Brethren of the Masters Lodge, two and two.
- The Secretary and Treasurer of the Masters Lodge.
- The Master of the Masters Lodge.
- The three Grand Stewards.
- The Plumb carrier, The Chaplain, The Level carrier.
- The Square carrier, The Bible carrier, The Compass carrier.
- The Grand Sword bearer with the Sword of State.
- The Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer.
- The Grand Wardens.
- The Deputy Grand Master, The Grand Master, The past Grand Master.
- The past Deputy Grand Masters and past Grand Wardens.
- The Grand Marshal.
The procession then moved to Trinity Church where the Reverend Brother Bass preached a sermon."
It was the practice of the Moderns to charter "Masters Lodges." No one so far has given us any satisfactory explanation for this or what distinguished these "Masters Lodges" from others. We find them in many places. Bro. M. M. Johnson believes these "Masters Lodges" worked the "Chair Degree." It is interesting to note that in the above ceremony, the jewel of the Master of the "Masters Lodge" was the Pantheon, while that of the Masters of the other two lodges was the Square. I judge the Pantheon was intended to symbolize Solomon's Temple. Has anyone any opinion as to its significance as used above?
In the public processions of that time, the brethren walked hand in hand, in twos. There was some debate as to aprons for the above occasion, and it was finally agreed "that those Brethren who do not choose to Line their Aprons with Green Silk, may wear them plain, or line them with any other Colour'd Silk but Blue or Red, and no Precedency be taken by any Brother with a Lined Apron, to those who wear Plain ones."
* * *
BOARD OF EDITORS
Editor-in-Chief — R. J. Meekren
Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
R. V. Harris, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
F. H. Littklefield, Missouri
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Joseph Fort Newton, New York
Arthur C. Parker, New York
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
* * *
THERE is a strong tendency at the present day to resort to new laws ad hoc on every possible occasion. Is some reform demanded, some abuse to be removed or any emergency arise, straightway a brand new piece of legislation is proposed, more often than not hurriedly drafted in the first place and ignorantly amended in the second, before it reaches the statute book.
It is a state of affairs to which a democracy is peculiarly exposed and it is not a healthy state. Those familiar, for example, with the history of Athens will remember how in its decline the flood of laws, enactments and decrees rose higher and higher. It is quite certain that in the great majority of cases the situation held out as the reason for proposing a new law today is not due to the lack or sufficiency of old laws to serve the purpose, but to failure in their enforcement. It is a pathetic fallacy, due we must suppose chiefly to ignorance, that a new law will set everything right. No need to bother about the machinery of enforcement, that is a detail, and like most details uninteresting. There is no opportunity in it for a campaign, for honor and glory — and political advancement.
The same general tendency seems likely to overflow into the affairs of the Craft. Grand Lodges, not content with the traditional organization and the old and well-tried sanctions under which it operated, are experimenting more and more with new regulations, some of them very radical in principle. There is a constant increase of centralization. More and more the old rights and privileges of the lodges are being curtailed. More and more the ancient powers of the ruling Masters are being put into the hands of Grand Lodge officials — generally in the name of executive efficiency, uniformity of work, or maintenance of discipline.
A very unusual piece of legislation recently passed by one of our Grand Lodges may be cited as an example. Not only is it a completely new departure in itself, but it is also apparently retroactive, a most dangerous thing in principle and establishing a very bad precedent. According to this enactment it seems that every Mason who has been tried and condemned on a criminal charge in the courts of the state is to be ipso facto and automatically expelled from the Fraternity, without any further investigation or the privilege of a trial before his brethren. Privilege is hardly the proper word, for it is one of the ancient rights of a Mason which date back to the ages when the Craft was Operative as well as Speculative.
It is very probable that many brethren will not at first see the point. If a man is a criminal he is unfit to be a Mason. He should never have been permitted to enter, and the quicker he can be got rid of the better. The automatic method does get rid of him without any formality or fuss or delay, and is therefore to be commended. This is very plausible, but the reasoning on which it is based is fallacious. For instance, there is a tacit assumption that the verdict of the court is infallible. When the point is raised we must admit that it is not, that innocent men have often been condemned. Are we to desert a brother in the hour of his greatest need? But further there is yet another assumption, that what is a crime before the law of the state is necessarily un-Masonic conduct, an offense against the laws of the Craft. We know very well that this is not the case when we stop to think, even though in great part the two codes may agree. Political offenses, for example, have never been regarded as in themselves censurable from the Masonic standpoint. A rebel against the state is not as such to be condemned by the Craft. Hundreds of cases could be cited to substantiate this. Again, Masonic law does not view an action from the same point of view as that of the state. To the latter if the action falls within a certain external definition it is a crime. Motives and circumstances may be considered in determining a sentence, but do not affect the question of guilt in the eyes of the law. But motive and circumstances make all the difference in estimating moral delinquency, and it is with that alone that Masonry is concerned. It follows that many actions are un-Masonic and dishonorable that are legal, and some things are legal crimes that are not dishonorable or immoral. Possibly very few, but the possible existence of any means the possibility of grievous wrong to a brother if the action of the Masonic code become a mere reflex of the juridical machinery of the state.
But what is the reason held out for the passage of such a disturbing enactment? The answer is illuminating — it is because a number of lodges have failed to do their duty in the past. Either no charges have been preferred, or inadequate penalties were inflicted. Here we have the root of this radical and dangerous growth laid bare. It is not the deficiency of machinery to meet the case, but its non-enforcement. If lodges have not done their duty and nothing was done about it whose fault was it? If the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge had done their duty in the matter no cause for scandal could have arisen. Either the particular lodges would have taken appropriate action when directed so to do, or they would have ceased to exist. Perfectly adequate means exist, of ancient establishment and well tried, to remedy the evil, but they are allowed to lie idle; and for that reason a new and dangerous process is to supersede it, which because it is automatic presumably is expected to work. But if the evil lies in non-enforcement will the present law be enforced? In the same breath as it were that we are told of it, it is also suggested that certain exceptions will be made in the retroactive clauses. That is, in effect, that discretion will be used — by somebody. Discretion is an excellent and necessary thing, only in an automatic law there is no room for discretion legally, it is irregular, and itself a breach of or disregard for the law.
Here lies the sting of the whole matter, these new rules and regulations that over-ride the old established laws of the Craft are proposed, not because the latter are not good, or are no longer suitable to present day circumstances, but because they have not been enforced. The new rules in general are even more difficult to enforce than the old, and so we start on a downward slope, continually inventing new laws today to meet the inoperation of those of yesterday, while the habit and temper of non-enforcement is continually growing stronger. In the language of the Scripture it would be well to "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein."
* * *
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
FROM one point of view very little. As Shakespeare remarked the rose would still be a rose whatever it was called. Yet practically there is a great deal in a name, and it makes a great deal of difference in our communications with our fellows whether the right name, the right descriptive word be used. And "right" in this connection means the word that has the most power to evoke in the hearer the same thought as is in the mind of the speaker. That this can be done exactly is hardly possible, we come nearest to it in the technical terminology (which might be called the private slang) of scientists, engineers and such like people. This kind of speech is about very closely defined things or objects, the subsidiary associations that words used in ordinary conversation possess for most of us are kept down to a minimum, so that a technical expression means, and can mean, only one thing — to those familiar with it.
This is not the case, for instance, with the name with which we started. A rose can mean many things from a blushing maiden to a member of a widespread order of plants. It may recall old-fashioned gardens, or the hopes and joys of the long buried past — anything with which it has been connected in our lives.
Words being thus almost living things, part of our mental furniture, growing in meaning as we advance in knowledge and experience, they really have an importance not easily estimated. For example, some of our correspondents are inclined to criticize the term "Study Club" as not the best title for the organization it is intended to designate. In the letter published in the January number of THE BUILDER the confusion caused by the possibility, in a large lodge with many social activities, of mistaking it for some other club is advanced as a reason for making a change. We are inclined to go rather deeper for a reason, though without any intention of belittling the one advanced, for indeed the first requirement in a name is that it should be unambiguous, that so far as possible it shall be sufficiently distinctive to prevent such confusions and mistakes. Nevertheless there seems to be a more fundamental inappropriateness in the term. A club is primarily a social organization. All the primary associations that we have with the word are of this character. A club tout seul is a place where a special group of men — or women — can meet and talk, lounge, play, eat, and perhaps sleep. Certain kinds such as the golf, the country, the athletic, which specializing in some social amusement, sport or recreation, nevertheless keep in line with the primary conception. Now far be it from us to suggest that Masons interested in learning more about the institution of which they are members cannot or do not enjoy themselves when they meet together, that there shall be no social intercourse at their gathering. The very existence of the National Masonic Research Society is bound up with the contention that this kind of study can become a most interesting and fascinating pursuit — in common speech that it is great fun, and can give all kinds of thrills to the student in search of elusive facts; and so there is no reason why those interested in studying Masonry should not have a club. But we begin here to come up against the customary usage of words. We have, for example, plenty of Historical Societies and Associations, but no Historical Clubs. There are no Biological or Mathematical or Engineer Clubs in this sense. It seems that the word "club" is on a somewhat lower level; or perhaps on a different plane, would be a more non-committal way of putting it. Architects may belong to a Society, Organists to an Association. If in a large city we find a Club of Architects or Organists, we understand at once the distinction and the different purpose of the two organizations.
The proper place for Masonic instruction is the lodge. It is true that under the present circumstances in this country there is not much likelihood of many lodges realizing this, or trying to revive this well-nigh obsolete function. But as it really is their function no machinery should be set up to do this work of a character such that it will tend to perpetuate the present state of affairs. For this reason the word society or association were better avoided as implying a too self-sufficient and independent organization. The word "group" has been suggested, and it certainly seems to fill most of the requirements, but it is perhaps too indefinite. Of all possible terms "circle" certainly seems the best. In the first place it has associations with reading and study. In Germany the "Correspondence Circle" has long fulfilled similar functions to those of the National Masonic Research Society with us. On the other hand, though suggesting a group with some form and coherence, the organization is so slight that it can easily blend with any other — it is quite within usage to speak of a circle, a learned circle, an upper or inner circle, in a larger and more inclusive organization. A Study Circle in a lodge is ready at any time to coalesce with the lodge itself when the Master and brethren are willing.
On the other hand "Study Club" has already a tradition behind it, and it may be that by now it would not be well to change it. It would be interesting and instructive to learn how our members feel about it.
* * *
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE OLD CATECHISMS
Bro. R. J. Meekren
THE light that may be shed on the subject of Masonic symbolism by those curious documents which have been grouped under the term "Old Catechisms" has now to be considered. There are not many of them, and few but students know much about them or even of their existence. This is not at all the place for anything like a full account of them, yet a brief description may be of assistance in estimating whatever value they may be supposed to have. Two of them appeared in print in 1730 as exposures of the secrets of the Craft, and have since then been reprinted a number of times; they were both reproduced in full in the Appendix of Gould's History. The catechism proper of one of them is also to be found in Mackey's History. Other documents of similar character have turned up in more recent times, some of which have been published in various Masonic journals and Transactions; there are about a dozen of them all told, including the MS. recently discovered by Bro. W. J. Songhurst, Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
The matter contained in these documents it must be confessed appears as strange to the Mason today as it must to the profane, though naturally, seeing that it professedly relates to the Craft, certain things are referred to that form part of our own system. As for example the lodge, the Temple of Solomon, the square and compasses, and so on. But the natural judgment on first examining any one of them would be that it was an invention by somebody who really knew no more about Masonry than any outsider could pick up.
A closer acquaintance with the different documents might lead to a modification of this view, however. It is possible that they represent, fragmentarily, parts of the old Operative esoteric system. Though it must be admitted that with no record of the intervening stages of the evolution, it certainly leaves the matter open to doubt how the Speculative system could have been erected on such a meager foundation. The chief argument would be the incomplete nature of the documents in question. Mackey assumes quite decidedly that the Catechism he reproduces represents the ritual "accepted by the Speculative Freemasons from their Operative brethren, and used until the genius of such ritualists as Desaguliers invented something more worthy." (1)
Whatever they may be they are not rituals. The most that could be said is that they have some ritual references and give some disjointed description of the ceremonies of admission. Their contents vary a great deal, but the most natural conclusion is that they are copies of, or based on, memoranda made by individuals for their own use, for the purpose of retaining so much as would be necessary to establish their claims to be received as members of the Fraternity. This supposition fully accounts for their incompleteness and unsystematic nature. One of them, the Mason's Confession, published in the Scots Magazine in 1755, purports to give what an anonymous individual, who had come to regard the Institution as sinful and invented by the devil — "idle nonsense" and "horrid wickedness" are the terms he uses — is able to remember of his admission to the Fraternity some twenty-eight years before; apparently, judging by internal evidence, in a lodge of strongly Operative character. Another, the Sloane MS. No. 3329, appears to be a compilation from more than one source, with some unsympathetic comment by the compiler. All the others seem to have the character suggested above, that of private memoranda.
For our present purpose no more need be said on this score. Disregarding their origin, and making no judgment on their value or authenticity, but merely taking them as they stand, let us see what they offer in the way of symbolism. There is, however, one other document, though it is of even more questionable character, to which it may be useful to refer, one which has been reprinted many times and is even yet to be obtained, and that is Prichard's Freemasonry Dissected. The reason that it may be useful in this connection is that though much longer and more diffuse, and much more coherent in arrangement, yet there is nothing in its first part that has not a parallel in one or other of the Old Catechisms, though more frequently in a less developed form. One might suppose the notorious Dissector compiled his account from different sources; or on the other hand it may be taken as additional support for the supposition that the other documents contain only fragments of the actually existing catechisms. But that again is a question apart from the inquiry on which we are engaged. The point is that it does seem allowable to compare the often times cryptic phrases of the more archaic documents by comparison with the expanded account of the Dissection, when that may appear to shed some light upon this very obscure subject.
The very first point that strikes the attention is the existence of some kind of initiatory rite. That such existed was well known to the profane even in the 17th century, as witness Plot's account, and Aubrey's note in his Natural History of Wiltshire, both of which have been often quoted. (2) But such a ceremony, or in fact any ceremony at all, however simple, must be to some degree symbolic. From the four documents that pretend to give some account of this initiation (The Mason's Examination, The Mystery of Freemasons, The Mason's Confession, and the unpublished Chetwode-Crawley MS.) we learn the following. The first describes a form of preparation of the entrant at the door; his knee is specifically said to have been made bare, and everything made of metal is taken from him. Later his elbow is spoken of as bare also. The Mystery corroborates this by mentioning a demand by the doorkeeper for any weapons he may have, and later describes him as being bare knee'd. It might almost be supposed that the breast was bared, too, but this is not explicitly stated.
PRIMITIVE MAGIC APPEARS
Now these requirements have a suspicious flavor of magic about them. The deprivation of everything made of metal about the person as a preparation for the performance of a ritual, magical or religious, may even go back to a period of transition from the use of stone implements to the higher culture in which bronze and iron were used. The requirement would in any case carry the origin of the ceremonies back to a time when its necessity was generally presupposed. It is quite certain that this condition did not exist two hundred years ago in England, nor the anthropological knowledge for its comprehension. Indeed one may guess that there was even then a tendency for it to break down into a purely formal requirement, the giving up of some metal instead of all, as the surrendering the sword, then very commonly worn by all men above the lowest classes, and with this there would be the possibility of an obvious interpretation — that of submission, good faith and peaceful intention.
In the same way the baring of parts of the body would appear to have in origin the purpose of making actual contact with sacred objects. In the old form of judicial oaths, still in force in some countries, the Bible is kissed, as earlier still were the holy relics on which the oath was taken. The hands of kings were kissed, as are those of priests in the Greek Church. The Holy Sacrament may not be received with gloved hands, and Moses was told to remove his shoes on holy ground. So according to the Confession the entrant had his bare elbow on the Bible, and the Mystery says he knelt bare knee'd within the square, while both say the compasses were held to the breast. As the two latter instruments seem to have been sacred, almost fetish objects, the sanctity of the oath was increased by contact with them while taking it. The following quotations will show the way in which they were regarded:
How was the Master clothed?
In a yellow jacket and a blue pair of breeches.
and Would you know your Master if you met him?
Yes ... by his habit.
What colour of his habit?
Yellow and blue, meaning the compass which is brass and iron.
Again from the Confession:
Where is your Master?
He is not so far off but he may be found. Then if the square be at hand it is offered on the stone which they are working ... and so the square is acknowledged to be their Master.
How set you the square?
I ca' in two irons in the wall, if two will not serve three will and that makes both square and level.
The author comments on this to the effect that two nails are driven into the wall at the same height on which one limb of the square can rest, and another perpendicularly underneath so that the other limb can be pushed up against it, the three points naturally out line a square, and give also a horizontal. He adds, however, that "ordinarily they ca' in but one" and goes on to remark that "the reason it is said to set the square and not hang it, is They're not to hang their Master."
But the matter is even more explicitly stated later on where the question is asked:
How many points in the Square?
What are those five?
The square our Master under God is one, the level's two, the plumbrule's three, the handrule's four and the gage is five.
Other references to these implements will be quoted later in another connection which will further illustrate the estimation in which they were apparently held. We will now consider some other accounts of the preparation. Prichard has the following description of the entrant's condition:
"Neither naked nor clad, barefoot nor shod, deprived of all metal and in a right moving posture."
The last phrase might be modernized "in a most pitiable state."
With this may be compared the Examination:
How was you made?
Neither naked nor clothed, standing or lying, but in due form.
And the Essex MS.:
What posture did you pass your oath in?
I was neither setting nor standing, lying, hanging nor properly kneeling, clothed nor naked, shod nor barefoot, but as a Brother knows how.
The Sloane MS. has:
What were you sworn by?
By God and the Square.
Whether above the clothes or under the clothes?
Under the clothes.
Under which arm?
The right arm.
Which presumably refers to the necessity of the square being in contact with the body, and may be better understood by the following from an additional question and answer in the Mystery, apparently not quite consistent with the previous quotation:
What was you doing while your oath was tendering?
I was kneeling bareknee'd betwixt the Bible and the square.
to which the note is added,
N.B. There's a Bible put in the Right Hand and the Square under the Right Elbow.
The Dumfries-Kilwinning MS. No. 4 gives the following account; the spelling is modernized:
How were you brought in?
Shamefully with a rope about my neck.
What posture were you in when you [were] received?
Neither sitting nor standing nor running nor going but left knee.
Why a rope about your neck?
To hang me if I should betray my trust.
Why upon your left knee?
Because I would be in so humble a posture to the receiving Royal Secret.
Which might perhaps be paraphrased, "Because it was fitting I should be in such an humble posture when receiving the Royal Secret."
Now such primitive rites as seem to underlie these variant accounts are hardly symbolical. The metal was taken from the person of the neophyte for the same reason that a surgeon washes his hands in a disinfectant, to remove a dangerous influence that would militate against the success of what was to be done. Of course the primitive science had no foundation in fact, but it was based on reasoning and the action following from it was logical, and so to say, a matter of commonsense. At a later stage, with increased knowledge the original reason becomes obscure and finally forgotten. Conservatism however maintains the action, and so new, and usually mystical, reasons are invented. But at the period to which our documents belong mystical reasons would not serve; it was on the whole a shallow, materialistic, unbelieving age, and so the stress is laid on the personal humiliation involved, and the ceremony does in a sense become truly symbolic. Not of course that this aspect was entirely new. All societies and communities tend to magnify their own importance, it goes to make up the elusive thing called esprit de corps. If these sources give us any real information it would seem that the Operative organization insisted that it was honored by no man, however great, who joined it, but that itself honored all whomsoever it received whatever their rank and station. In form at least it insisted that the entrant came of his own will, and made him submit to forms certainly well designed to express humility and submission.
The majority of these documents state explicitly that the proper place for performing these ceremonies was out of doors. There is no need to remark that this is also a mark of its primitive origin. For example, the Essex MS. has this:
Where was you made a Mayson?
In a just and perfect lodge.
How many make a lodge?
God and the Square with 7 Right and perfect Maysons in the highest Mountains or in the lowest valleys in the world.
The Examination says:
Where was you entered?
In a just and perfect lodge.
What makes a just and perfect lodge?
Master, two wardens, four fellows with Square, Compass and common gudge.
Note that this again makes the number seven. Gudge undoubtedly is a dialect form or corruption of gauge. Then follows:
Where was you made?
In the Valley of Jehosaphat behind a rush bush where a dog never heard to bark or a cock crow, or elsewhere.
The last clause, "or elsewhere," is apparently an emendation following the disuse of the traditional outdoor meetings. And because of this disuse the "lowest valley" receives a Biblical name and is obviously on the way to a symbolic interpretation.
The Confession has this:
Where should the Mason word be given?
On the top of a mountain from crow of a cock, the bark of a dog, or the turtle of a dove.
And in another place:
Where place ye your lodge?
On the sunny side of a hill that the sun may ascend on't when it rises.
The proviso that the place be out of hearing of the sound of the common domestic animals means that it should be far from human habitation. This is brought out in the Chetwode-Crawley MS.:
What makes a true and perfect Lodge?
Seven Masters, five apprentices, a day's journey from a Borrowstown without Bark of a Dog or Crow of a cock.
Such form of expression at the least verges on figurative or poetic symbolism.
The number of those present seems to have been regarded as important, and except in one case is always uneven. The Sloane gives six, two masters, two fellowcrafts, and two "Interprintices," but says "five will serve." The quotation from the Essex MS. Given above stipulates "five or seven." The latter seems to have been regarded as the proper number taking the evidence as a whole, but in an additional fragment appended to the Essex we have this:
And how many Masons was so called?
Any odd number from three to thirteen.
The Confession mentions another number:
Who made you a Mason?
God Almighty's holy will made me a Mason, the square under God made me a Mason; nineteen fellowcrafts and thirteen entered 'prentices made me a Mason.
The Confessor remarks that there weren't really this number present, but "so I was taught to answer."
The Essex MS. and two others have the following explanation, which itself needs explaining:
Why do odds make a lodge?
Because all odds are men's advantage.
Which seems to mean that odd numbers are lucky — which again is magical.
HOW THE LODGE WAS SITUATED
We saw that the Confession placed the lodge on the sunny side of a hill that the first rays of the rising sun might strike it, for that seems to be the meaning. Every one of our authorities (except an appended fragment to the Kilwinning MS.) has something to say about the situation of the lodge.
The Essex and the two parallel versions have this:
How doth that Lodge stand?
Perfect East and West as all holy temples do.
The Examination and the Mystery:
How is it seated?
East and West as other temples are.
How stands your lodge?
East and West as kirks and chapels did of old.
Because they were holy and so ought we to be.
Prichard gives as a reason: "Because all churches and chapels are so or ought to be so," while Kilwinning and two others mention the orientation of the Temple of Solomon to account for it:
Which way stands your lodge?
East and West because all holy churches and temples stand that way and particularly the temple of Jerusalem.
But though the Essex does not refer to the Temple in this place it has later the following question and answer:
In what part of the temple was the Lodge kept?
In Solomon's porch at the west end of the Temple where the two pillars are set up.
Now this is probably an explanation on the same lines as the identification of the deep valley in which a lodge might be held with the Vale of Jehosaphat. The original setting or situation was East and West, in reference to the rising sun. It was naturally associated with the orientation of churches with which of course the Operative Masons were familiar; and after the Reformation, as the Bible became a popular book, the Temple analogy would almost inevitably be adopted if it had not appeared before, which is quite possible. There are other indications that the East and West direction was regarded as important. The Chetwode-Crawley MS. has:
Which way blows the wind?
East and West, out of the South.
Prichard has only "Due East and West" for answer to the question.
The fact that in several forms the lodge is called after St. John may be of importance in this connection. We begin to get a composite picture of a lodge formed on a hilltop towards the east. It would almost appear that the original time of assembly was sunrise, or rather just before it. Now the assembling on hilltops on midsummer day before dawn was a very widespread and persistent folk custom of a primitive religio-magical type. But midsummer day is also the day of St. John the Evangelist, a coincidence that seems significant, for there are certain independent traditions that may point to the lodges originally meeting only once a year. But such a state of affairs, one would judge, had long passed at the period to which the relics we are considering properly belong. It is perhaps not surprising, in view of the zealous Protestantism of North Britain, that in the two versions of definite Scottish origin no reference to the Saint appears. The Sloane MS. (which Gould however thought was drawn, at least in part from Scottish sources) does mention him, thus:
Where was the word first given?
At the tower of Babylon.
Where did they first call their lodge?
At the holy chapel of St. John.
Perhaps it was from some such variant that Prichard got the word "holy."
From whence came you?
From the Holy Lodge of St. John's.
Though as we have seen it appeared in the "holy temples" referred to as a reason for placing the lodge East and West.
In the above quotation from the Sloane MS. there seems to be a reference to the history of the Craft in the Old Constitutions, which assigns the first definite organization to the occasion of building the Tower of Babel. While the second answer seems to indicate an attempt to explain or rationalize the ascription of the lodge by assuming that it had first met in a sacred building dedicated to St. John.
Before we leave the lodge there are some other references that should be considered. Prichard has a set of questions as to the positions of the Master, Wardens and a Senior and Junior Entered Apprentice. The arrangement seems rather self-conscious and artificial The Examination and Mystery both seem to be corrupt at this place, but together they seem to indicate the following as their original:
How do Masons take their place in work?
The Master's place southeast, the Warden's place northeast and the fellows the eastern passage.
The Essex and its parallels seem to have had:
What is the Master's point?
At the east window waiting the rising of the sun to set his men at work.
What is the Warden's point?
At the west window waiting the setting of the sun to dismiss the enter'd apprentices.
This last is intermediate between Prichard and the former quotation. It would be comparatively late as the presence of windows supposes a building. The more primitive arrangement fits into the old outdoor meeting very well. The lodge would be a level area on the hilltop marked out or enclosed in some way, leaving an opening to the east and presumably another to the west, for designating the particular passage as "eastern" implies more than one. The entrant conducted in at the latter would be approaching the sunrise, and those forming the lodge would be all facing him. There are several references to day and night, of which the version in the Confession is representative:
The day's for seeing, the night for hearing.
Prichard and the Kilwinning MS. make two bites of it. The former has:
What's the day for? To see in.
What's the night for? To hear.
LIGHT IS SYMBOLIZED
Now the Mystery describes the entrant being taken "by two Wardens" through a "dark Entry" and "conducted from Darkness into Light." But before we go further with this it may be as well to consider another point which is stressed in all our documents except the Trinity College MS. As the latter has only eleven questions and answers in all it can hardly be supposed to be complete, so the omission is not very significant. The question in the majority of cases is
How many lights in your lodge?
to which, however, the answer varies considerably. The majority agree that there are three, but the Kilwinning MS. and the second catechism in the Sloane MS. have only two. They are said to be, giving some typical answers:
Three, a right east, south and west.
The southeast, south, and southwest.
Three, the northeast, the southwest and the eastern passage
The Essex group explains them as representing the three persons of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, while the Examination refers them to the Master, Warden and Fellows, and the Chetwode Crawley MS. says "one denotes the Master, the other the word, and the third the fellowcraft."
The explanations in the instances where two only are given are; Kilwinning:
Ye sun riseth in the east and sets all men to work, and sets in the west and so turns all men to bed.
While Sloane says "that there is one to see to go in and another to see to work."
In all these varying forms a general underlying meaning seems present. The lights originally had to do with celestial phenomena, and not with such artificialities as windows and candles. On our supposition of an outdoor assembly before dawn on St. John's Day all these references seem to arrange themselves in something like order. The neophyte, brought to the lodge while it is yet night, is in darkness, represented at a much later period by a dark anteroom. He can only hear directions given to him. At sunrise he receives light, physically, as well as symbolically by being "entered" to the Craft, and being entrusted with its secrets. That the lights are sometimes explained as referring to the Holy Trinity, or to the Master and celestial luminaries, are only inevitable symbolical developments.
THE KEY OF THE LODGE
The subject has by no means been exhausted but we will consider only one more point, the key. There is as much unanimity in mentioning this as there was on the lights, but even more importance seems to have been laid on it, though its possibilities seem much narrower. We may take the Essex MS. as typical:
Have you a key to the lodge?
Yes I have.
What is its virtue?
To open and shut, and shut and open.
Where do you keep it?
In an ivory box, between my tongue and my teeth, or within my heart where all my secrets are kept.
Further questions refer to a chain to this key, "as long as from my tongue to my heart." Other variants speak of the key lying under a "green turf or a square ashlar," or in "a bound case under a three-cornered pavement a foot and a half from the lodge door." The chain also appears as a "cable." The Sloane MS. has:
What is the key of your lodge door made of?
It is not made of wood, stone, iron or steel, or any sort of metal, but a tongue of good report behind a brother's back as well as before his face.
Which the Kilwinning MS. explains thus:
My head is the box, my teeth is the bones, my hair is the map and my tongue the key.
"Map" is a dialect form of mop. Probably the turf or "divoy" has the same meaning. Prichard combines most of this, and makes something of a play on words — "Does it hang or lie?" by which apparently we are to understand that being a tongue of good report it will not lie about a brother, but that its owner would rather hang first. Really it would seem that the earlier conception was that the key was not the tongue, but the word. Though the tongue as the organ of speech was probably always confused with it.
To sum up this rather tedious discussion, granting the supposition that these catechisms do represent in part what might be called the formal esoteric teaching of the Operative Craft, we see that the symbolizing tendency was present. It might plausibly be supposed that it was at an earlier period even more developed than we find it, as there are many signs of these accounts being corrupt and deficient; though it is really more probable that such questions and answers formed the text on which the young Mason's instructors or "intenders" expounded at length according to their knowledge and ability rather than that they included a full exposition of the mysteries of the Craft. Those who expect to find symbolism shadowing forth the deepest mystical, philosophic and cosmic truths will of course be disappointed, and perhaps contemptuous. Let them remember Naaman the Syrian. The imagery of the Scriptures themselves deal chiefly with the affairs of every-day life and the thoughts, feelings and desires common to all men. Why should that of our Operative predecessors be expected to have had something different, something more occult? They were practical men, and their codes and secrets related especially to their work and the ordinary circumstances of their lives. It is after all not a little thing to teach even common morality — it is really not very common — and if a system of symbolism will help to enforce the lesson it is justified. And so far as such a system is true it can be fitted in or adapted to teaching greater and deeper truths still, as far as the human mind can go — towards the East, the place of light.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
(1) Mackey, Revised Edition, p. 980. (2) Gould's Concise History, pp. 99, 119. Mackey 658. Gould's Collected Essays should be referred to, especially the first "On Some Catechisms, etc., in the Scottish Idiom and the sixth On the Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism, though the author uses the word symbolism in a way peculiar to himself. There are many valuable papers in A.Q.C. that should be looked up by the student fortunate enough to have access to them.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
In what way could ceremonies based on primitive magic have become part of the Operative ritual?
What symbolism is implied in the adoption of an admission ceremony into a society, and what forms might it take?
How could the simple symbolism of light and darkness be developed?
What kind of symbolism would it be natural to suppose the Operative Masons to have evolved?
* * *
"THE GOODNESS AND SEVERITY OF THE LAW"
IT is in their certainty and severity that many laws are most beneficent. Even of the laws against murder and other crimes as horrible this is true: for if a man knows beyond doubt that the gallows or the penitentiary will follow his deed, such a fear will recall him to his senses when nothing else can, inside himself or without. Most attempts to soften the severity or to make uncertain the executions of these laws are inspired by a false sentimentality which cannot bear to think of inflicting pain on any human being. The sentimentalist should favor making fear of wrong doing absolutely ubiquitous, for only thus can men be prevented from crime. The justest mercy to those of murderous disposition is to neutralize their criminal impulses by a fear that operates automatically wherever they are. Such a fear does more to maintain security for all citizens than any number of policemen or penitentiaries, and in the long run keeps men out of prisons, which is certainly more kind to them than any amount of coddling after they are behind the bars.
* * *
THE CRAFT IN GEORGIA
FREEMASONRY AND ITS PROGRESS IN ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA: WITH BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GRAND LODGE, F. & A. M., OF GEORGIA 1786-1925. For sale by the compiler, T. C. McDonald, P.M. 27 West Alabama Road, Atlanta, Georgia. Cloth, 294 pages. Price postpaid $5.25.
BRO. McDonald deserves the plaudits of his Georgia brethren for bringing together into permanent form so many facts of local Masonic history; it is to be hoped that such appreciation will be forthcoming by the large sale of the book in Atlanta and vicinity. The volume is indeed a labor of love.
While something remains to be desired in the treatment that the compiler has given his subject, it cannot be denied that much labor has been put into it. Material is included that future historians and biographers cannot disregard; this fact assures the work of a place in the literature of Georgia Freemasonry. The numerous articles on miscellaneous subjects which have been included in the work cannot be endorsed without reservation, but the critical student will know what to cull.
The work is very profusely illustrated, including many fullpage groups of lodge officers. There are also a number of pictures of general historical value that will appeal to the student of Masonic history in this country. There are biographical sketches, portraits of most of the Past Grand Masters of Georgia who are still living. The work will naturally be of interest chiefly to the brethren in the state for whom it wins written, and the compiler and author is to be commended for his work on their behalf. It has been very highly recommended by the chief Masonic authorities in the state, and we trust it will meet the appreciation of the Craft in Georgia.
* * *
TORQUEMADA AND THE SPANISH INQUISITION. By Rafael Sabatini. Published by Stanley Paul & Co., Ltd., London. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Fifth edition, cloth, illustrated, table of contents, 404 pages. Price postpaid $2.70.
WHAT is the root of religious persecution? To its victims it naturally appears devilish and its ministers cruel and bloodthirsty men possessed of the spirit of utter wickedness, and this is true whether it be Christian sect against Christian, or Christian against Mohammedan or Jew in any combination. Taking a present day example, it is not easy for us to do justice to the motives of the Turks in their policy of extermination of the last remnants of the Christian populations of Asia Minor. Motives here are mixed as elsewhere, the mob spirit, racial antagonism, national resentment (it must be remembered that the Assyrian Christians fought bravely and effectively on the side of the Allies in the war) desire for plunder and like human and unworthy objects and desires have their part, and the religious one is apt to appear but the cloak of hypocrisy. Yet Islam is one of the great ethical religions, its creed is devoutly held, its moral effect is good, at least so far as it goes; and what is much to our present point, the Mohammedan is ready himself if need be to endure persecution for his faith. Indeed the probability is that a larger percentage of people in any Mohammedan country would choose death rather than apostasy from their faith than would be found among Christians in America.
Torquemada himself would doubtless have gone to the stake not only willingly but joyfully, had it been to witness to the faith that was in him. He does not seem to have been especially cruel by nature, he certainly was a man of irreproachable conduct and absolutely without any shadow of self-seeking in his character — what twist is it in human nature that can produce this intolerant cruelty in people who in their normal relations as neighbors, friends, citizens, are fairly decent and capable of kindness and compassion? The author points out what is probably the immediate reason, quoting from the historian Lecky, that religious persecution has its root in the belief or doctrine of "exclusive salvation."
The logic of the Inquisitors sounds to us much like the genial conversation of the Walrus with the confiding oysters in Alice in Wonderland.
"The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things —
Of ships, and shoes, and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.
So were the Inquisitors instructed to question the accuse "vaguely" so that he might perhaps "betray matters or per sons hitherto unsuspected." They were to address him "wit great sweetness," and the following was given as an example:
"Look now, I pity you who are so deluded in your credulity and whose soul is being lost; you are at fault, but the greater fault lies with him who has instructed you in these things. Do not then take the sin of others upon yourself.... And so that you may not lose your reputation, and that I may shortly liberate and pardon you and you may go your ways home, tell me who has led you — you who knew no evil — into this error."
With such "kind words" the inquisitor was to proceed, always assuming the main fact to be true, and confining his interrogations to details. It sounds like the very extreme of hypocritical cruelty; yet the truth was that it was probably quite sincere, and most certainly that it was seriously intended. What is more it is implicit in the attitude of all persecutors for religion's sake, whether Puritans hanging Quakers, Church of England rulers ferretting out Roman Catholics and dragooning Covenanters; Presbyterians harrying Prelatists; Calvinists persecuting Zwinglians, and the rest — the underlying premiss necessary to their arguments, whether of self-justification or of accusation against their opponents (and victims) is "only those who believe as we do can be saved." This being granted, especially when supported by the doctrine of a terrible and eternal place of punishment for those who have not received salvation, makes any and every atrocity justifiable and even meritorious if directed to the end of forcing the unbeliever, or the misbeliever, to renounce his error. But this is not wholly satisfying. While we can see how this belief operates when existent, it is only to present a fresh puzzle in the new question. How did such a belief arise — or, rather, how is it that a revival of religion, or the preaching of a new one, seems as a matter of fact to have always brought in its train this idea, or feeling, of exclusiveness? The answer is probably to be found in religious psychology. As a matter of fact the phenomenon is no peculiar to religion. It is quite natural, and even normal, for the mind to take for granted that the familiar way of doing a thing is the only way; and the first feeling roused in the individual when told of another is often incredulity and even resentment. For example, most women (in a position to have one) are very insistent that a maid servant shall do the housework in a particular way; and how many suggested improvements have been turned down by foremen and managers with an authoritative "it can't be done." Much more is this true of religion which embodies the highest and deepest interests and motives of life. From this standpoint indifference or agnosticism must be regarded as a religious attitude negative in latter state of mind come the claims of some form of positive religious belief. Or it may be the case of a conventional and habitual religious connection, that in essentials is really much the same thing as the negative attitude, out of which the man is driven by the preaching of a purer and more living form. In either case the new belief, whether in a new religion or a more vital form of the old one, is accepted as the one great thing in life. It is of such importance in the eyes of the convert that it is most difficult for him to believe that any other can be compared with it, or have any value; in other words, it seems to him to be the only way of attaining salvation.
Such a feeling being present, intense in proportion to the strength of the religious belief, it is but a step to fortify it with logical reasons and even to make it an article of faith. It is in this way that the paradoxical effect has come about that the higher and purer forms of religion have produced the greatest intolerance and the highest degree of persecuting zeal among their followers.
To put the process in a nutshell, the value and importance of "the Faith," whether Christian or Mohammedan, Orthodox or heretical, to the individual believer led to the naive assumption that no other belief could be true. Because the individual felt that without it he would be lost, would be still "dead in sin," it was argued that God must condemn all who did not believe in or adhere to it. Out of the individual's own vivid realization of the depths from which he had escaped he created a terrible place of punishment for sinners and unbelievers — at first perhaps purely metaphorical and symbolical, as in the Book of Revelations of St. John, but very soon almost inevitably understood literally. With such a belief it is obvious that the roughest and most drastic methods of saving others from such a fate would seem justified, just as a child may be severely whipped for playing with matches. Conversely, now that belief in hell has been so generally discarded among us, and a wider conception of religion adopted, it is very difficult to maintain our missionary zeal. Our most potent arguments (seemingly at least) have been lost. It is hard to strike a balance; but at least these considerations help us to see that the persecutor in all periods is a most human character.
In the present work the author devotes one chapter to early persecutions, both of the Christians by the Roman authorities, and later of the pagans by the officially recognized church. In the next he briefly sketches the foundation of the Inquisition as an institution in the Crusade against the Albigenses in the South of France. The rest of the book is devoted to the Spanish Inquisition proper. In this country it became well nigh an imperium in imperio, not only independent of the state but almost more powerful than the Pope himself; and Torquemada was the man who established it and laid the foundations of its power in the face of the genuine reluctance of the Queen and King, and the opposition of the ruling classes both of state and church.
Isabella, the Catholic, was a very remarkable woman, and one of the most capable rulers the world has known. Spain was divided into many small kingdoms and principalities, and to a number of these she succeeded as heiress of her utterly incapable brother, Henry IV of Castile. Her marriage with Ferdinand united the whole country with the exception of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, fated soon after to fall. An incredible state of anarchy existed, worse even than that under the robber counts of Germany. There was no law, no justice, no peace. In a very short time Isabella (there is no doubt that she was the predominant partner and the driving force) reformed the whole state. The lawless nobles, amazed and confused, were brought up short and reduced to order. An effective police was established, justice was done, offenders swiftly punished, and an era of unprecedented prosperity ushered in. Yet she authorized the Inquisition, which, in the long run, seems to have been one of the chief causes in reducing Spain from one of the greatest world powers to almost an international non-entity.
The occasion of the organization of the Inquisition was the problem of the so-called "New Christians," who were of Hebrew descent. There had been Jews in Spain from the earliest times. As elsewhere they were traders and money lenders, and given the least opportunity became wealthy, and powerful with the power wealth confers. As elsewhere then, and now, there was great prejudice against them and they were frequently subject to mob violence, as well as official persecution of a spasmodic kind. At the end of the fourteenth century these persecutions popular and official attained a climax. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered, and thousands saved their lives by an enforced acceptance of baptism. Such converts could hardly be expected to be enthusiastic believers in their new religion. With many undoubtedly it was merely a mask, but even those who may have really accepted the Christian faith it was difficult to give up the habits and customs of daily life belonging to their people. Even their methods of cooking were later made the grounds of a charge of "judaizing." It was chiefly to seek out among these converts those who were inclined to return to their old faith that the Inquisition was demanded by Torquemada. But once set up, the secret tribunal remorselessly extended the scope of its activities until no one was safe. None so high or powerful that they could escape, and none so low or obscure as to evade observation.
A vivid and full account is given of the methods of the inquisitors. Physical torture was not so frequently or lightly employed as it is popularly supposed to have been. Its use was hedged with restrictions — but sooner or later if the suspect did not fully confess or submit it was employed; but always done in due form.
"It must be admitted," says the author, "that the records show none of that fiendish invention which is so widely believed to have been employed. The cruel subtilities of the inquisitors were spiritual rather than physical."
According to the code there were five degrees of torture: (1) the threat; (2) being shown the instruments; (3) being prepared; (4) being bound upon the "engine"; (5) the actual application. For further details on the unpleasant subject the reader is referred to the work itself. It must be said that the author does not dwell any more than is necessary on these matters, and the account is as free from gratuitous horrors as the subject will allow.
The "Instructions" prepared by Torquemada seem to make suspicion and proof equivalent. The former word is nearly always used where it would seem more natural to us that "proof" or "evidence" was intended. The person under suspicion was not to be told the precise charge against him, as has already been noted nor his accuser, or the witnesses against him. It was argued that it was better for the innocent to suffer than the guilty to escape. Nay more, it was seriously advanced that the innocent should be willing to suffer.
"In short, to burn at the stake for crimes never committed is a boon, a privilege, a glory to be enjoyed with a profound gratitude toward the inquisitors who vouchsafed it. One cannot help feeling a pang of regret at the thought that the scholiast [Pegna, who wrote a commentary on the Instructions] should have been denied that glory."
One case is treated very fully from actual records that have been discovered; it is that of a young "New Christian" by name Yuce Franco, who seems to have been present at the ritual killing of a Christian boy (afterwards canonized as the "Santo Nino") by a number of Jews and New Christians. This ritual murder was carried out in a cave near La Guardia. It seems to have been an actual fact and not a popular invention based on racial antipathy; but curiously the intent does not appear to have been a mockery of the Crucifixion, as the Christians naturally supposed, but rather a piece of witchcraft with the object of protecting the Jews and injuring their enemies by magical means. But again the reader must be referred to the book for details.
What are we to think of this Institution? Could it from any point of view, considering the times and circumstances, have been justified? Today it would be hardly possible to say so, yet fanaticism and intolerance very easily spring up in any community if unchecked by knowledge, and once started along the path it is not far to go before like results are reached. It will not be amiss even for us to bear in mind what Sabbatini says of Torquemada's Instructions:
"They are rash who see hypocrisy in the priestly code that is to follow. Hypocrites there may have been, must have been, and many. Yet the system itself was not hypocritical. It was sincere, dreadfully tragically, ardently sincere, with the most hopeless, intolerable and stupid of all sincerity — the sincerity of fanaticism, which destroys all sense of proportion, and distorts man's intellectual vision until with an easy conscience he makes of guile and craft and falsehood the principles that shall enable him to do what he conceives be his duty to his fellow man."
It is a fascinating book and one that is difficult to drop once the reader has started it.
* * *
THE LITERARY VALUES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
THE LITERARY GENIUS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. By P. C. Sands. Published by the Oxford University Press, 1924. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Blue cloth, index, 123 pages. Price, postpaid, $1.65.
THIS little book was intended as a text book for Scripture Study in schools, and grew out of a series of lessons devised on quite new lines. These lines are indeed so new — to all but specialists in Biblical criticism — that the work should be of great interest to the general reader whatever his religious convictions. The author has no dogmatic axe to grind. He is evidently a sincere Christian of orthodox views, but this one gathers almost entirely from the way in which he says things, the turn of his phrases. His primary purpose, and one to which he faithfully and scrupulously adheres, is to show the literary value and interest of the Bible, and especially of the Old Testament, both in the original, and in what must most concern all but the smallest minority of his readers, the English version. It is a work to be most highly recommended, and after reading it many will doubtless feel inclined to turn to the pages of the old Book to see how they appear in the new light.
* * *
MASONIC MEDITATIONS. By Franklin Riley Poage. Published by the author. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Bldg., St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, table of contents, frontispiece, 157 pages. Price postpaid $1.85.
IN this little book the author has presented his brethren with a series of suggestive essays on various aspects of life as it should be lived by a Mason. Though each one is complete in itself, yet in the arrangement there is a logical progression to be observed. "Searching or Finding" sets the keynote, followed by "In the Heart." Bro. Poage sets down a few of the thoughts that these phrases and their associations might suggest to a Mason. Then follows "Life Organized" by the application of rule and order, the twenty-four-inch gauge of the Entered Apprentice, and so on to "Moral Mastery."
In "True Work" a traveler is quoted as saying that other peoples think that Americans care for quantity rather than quality. It is true that the loving and careful workmanship of the true craftsman is not greatly in evidence among us, though it is one of the moral lessons for which Masonry stands. Every man's work will be tried, as by fire, said St. Paul, and what is deficient, what is of poor materials, will be destroyed and the true value of what he has done made manifest.
"Inasmuch" consists largely of reflections upon the great work being done by the Shrine for crippled children. The remainder of the book is more miscellaneous in character, but a very high level of literary style is maintained all through. Bro. Poage writes in a very pleasing manner. The book would make a very excellent gift to any Mason, and especially to the newly-raised Master, to whom it will open up vistas of the moral teachings of the Craft. It would also be very useful to those who have to prepare addresses at Masonic functions, for texts, suggestions and illustrations are to be found on every page.
The make-up and the printing are excellent; there are very few errors in the proof reading. There is a brief introduction by Bro. Joseph Fort Newton.
* * *
Bro. Toler R. White, Arizona
This was delivered after the raising of two Ministers of the Gospel to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.
AS you all know a week from this evening we shall come together again for the purpose of electing a corps of officers for the next Masonic year, so, as tonight's work closes the active labor for the current year, it seems to me a sort of valedictory for myself and, so far as activity in their present stations concerned, for those who have so well assisted me the official work of the lodge for 1925.
As material with which to round out the year's labor there is none that could afford me greater pleasure than these upon whom we have this evening carved the words "MASTER MASON", men who have consecrated and dedicated their lives to the service of The Great Architect of the Universe, and noblest and most beautiful vocation within the choice of man to follow.
The Church in its broad sense as covering all denominations is the greatest institution we have, and as her handmaiden Masonry has always upheld and supported her. It should not be possible for any Mason who before our altar declares his trust in Almighty God to view the work of his ministers without a feeling of admiration for them and for their devotion to the cause of Him who was born in a manger and died on a cross in order that mankind might have not only eternal life, but also a most wonderful and beautiful happiness during his sojourn upon the earth.
Every Mason should study the life of Christ, for in it we find exemplified all the great tenets of our Institution, and one who endeavors to incorporate those principles into his daily life must of necessity conform very closely to the example given us by the Master. Nowhere and at no time has any other given such demonstration of brotherly love as when after pleading daily with His own people He exclaimed in the anguish of His great heart, "O Jerusalem, how oft would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings," and, also when from the cross He prayed His Father to forgive His enemies, for He said, "They know not what they do."
In the feeding of the multitudes we find a record of one of the greatest pieces of material relief work ever done. We see in His healing of the sick additional demonstration of His endeavors toward the relief of His fellow creatures. No other man has approached His record in the practice of this great principle. And as to His belief in the virtue of truth, which we are taught is the foundation of every virtue, we have the evidence of His daily life, for notwithstanding the influence that might have come to Him through important personages He never hesitated to rebuke them when occasion arose.
Hence, as Masonry is not in any sense a religion, but rather the handmaiden thereof, we as Masons should lend our loyal support to the efforts that these, our newly-raised brethren, are putting forth in the upbuilding of the cause of The Great Architect of the Universe, whose votaries we profess to be, and to whom we must all eventually bend our knees.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
Referring to the query in the January issue of THE BUILDER, regarding Charles Carroll, of Carrollton: Schultz, in his "History of Freemasonry in Maryland," refers to Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, but does not attempt to connect him with Masonry. Below is a portion of the minutes of the Special Communication of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, held for the purpose of participating in the exercises in connection with the commencement of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad July 4, 1828:
"Agreeably to previous arrangements the Grand Lodge formed a procession in the following order, and proceeded to the Exchange in Gay Street [Baltimore], where they were met by the venerable Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, who followed in the rear of the Grand Lodge; and the whole proceeded to the head of Bond Street where the right of the Grand Civic procession rested.
"The deputation from the Blacksmiths' Association next advancing, presented Mr. Carroll the pick, spade, stone-hammer and trowel prepared by them for the occasion and made the following address....
"The deputation from the stone-cutters now came forward, and the ear containing the Foundation Stone was driven to the l spot. While the stone was preparing, Mr. Carroll, accompanied by the Grand Marshal of the day, and by Mr. John B. Morris, and bearing in his hand the spade just presented, descended from the pavilion and advanced to the spot selected for the i reception of the Foundation Stone, in order to strike the spade into the ground. He walked with a firm step and used the instrument with a steady hand."
it may be that his participation in the above ceremony gave rise to the impression that he was a Freemason.
W. L. B., Washington, D.C.
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THE TUBERCULAR SITUATION
I cannot refrain from writing you relative to the article in THE BUILDER for November, 1925, on tubercular brethren and the proposed action to remedy their troubles.
Every right minded person would wish to do all he could to help any and all of these unfortunates, but it certainly does irritate me when I see that any individual, or number of them, not only go into a matter of this sort with all their energy in action, so far as anything they themselves can do is concerned, but far worse than this, incite others to follow their example, without having the slightest knowledge of the effect of their efforts, which only too often are injurious rather than helpful. Most people would say they should be given credit for their intention, but why credit one for doing vast harm when, if he would only refrain from doing anything at all, it would be infinitely better?
I note in the report of the Sojourners' Club that "Many of them carried burdens of grief, and worry for loved ones at home, without means of support." This is absolutely what I have always maintained; it is quite certain that this grief will do more harm in almost every instance than the environment. It is the worst possible thing in most instances for these people to go away from home, the dictum of most medical men in the country notwithstanding. It is generally supposed that abundance of fresh air, food and sunlight does the business. All these can be had at home in the vast majority of cases. I know that our state has built a large plant for the care of these people, and I feel that the money spent in erection and maintenance, to say nothing of the sums spent for transportation of patients and attendants, would take care of many times the number of afflicted and do them all much more good if they were all left at home and given proper care.
This, of course, presupposes that the disease is not communicable, which I insist upon, having had many years of experience and never yet having seen a case acquired from another. Everything must have a cause, and if those who should know will ever take the trouble to investigate they will soon learn that all these cases have wasted a tremendous amount of nerve energy, a drain that possibly no one could withstand long. The sensible thing to do is to find what is at. the bottom of this and remedy it, when the individual will build up. No case of pulmonary tuberculosis should die if properly treated at a reasonably early period. It is little short of criminal to encourage these people to flock to the Southwest, thousands of miles from home and loved ones, when there is nothing in prospect but grief and want. I know that they can all get as much sunshine, fresh air and food in South Dakota as they can anywhere and if by any possible chance the real truth would ever be thoroughly disseminated instead of the foolish theories which have cursed the inhabitants of the earth for lo these many years, this particular affliction would soon be mastered.
Really now, is it not absurd to read how these good people spent a large proportion of their money for transportation for both living and dead! There is absolutely not a grain of sense in the whole proceeding. Not only let them remain at home but encourage them to do so, and if necessary force them to do so; at least do not undertake to raise vast sums of money to be worse than thrown away. I speak from actual experience of more than thirty years in the practice of medicine, and no theory goes with me at all.
Every state, community, lodge, should look after their quota of such eases, and no one can do it better than they if they pursue the proper plan. These folks going away from home is about the same as farm or other laborers going to other states when there is plenty of work at home. I maintain that a man who is a good workman has a vastly better chance of securing and holding employment in his home community than anywhere else.
E.W.F., South Dakota.
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THE SUPPRESSION OF CHARGES OF UNMASONIC CONDUCT
If charges are preferred against a brother for un-Masonic conduct, can these written charges be held up by the Secretary, owing to the social prominence of the accused? The undersigned contends that once charges are preferred the lodge must act upon them regardless of any such considerations.
With reference to your inquiry as to whether charges which have been preferred against a brother for un-Masonic conduct can be held up by the Secretary of the lodge, it can only be said that no Secretary has the power to withhold anything properly brought to his official attention, because he is merely an instrument of the lodge and cannot act for the lodge under any circumstances, except as may be specifically provided in the by-laws of that individual lodge. Charges of un-Masonic conduct against a member must be placed before the lodge for action according to the Grand Lodge laws of Minnesota and the collateral provisions which may exist in the by-laws of the lodge in which the charge is made. This is generally true of all jurisdictions everywhere.
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WHAT DO OTHERS THINK?
Were it not for your request for constructive criticism and suggestions this would not be written. I am repeating a suggestion made once before without apparent effect. Undoubtedly I am old-fashioned, but I remember the dictum of my sophomore rhetoric of nearly forty years ago that the purpose of all discourse is either to inform or to persuade. Of many points made to that end, the only one which I distinctly remember is economy of the recipient's attention. As an editor of manuscripts for departmental publication, I try to keep this point carefully in mind. It is a prevalent vice of periodicals of about every kind to break articles suddenly at the end of a page, or sometimes in even less excusable places, and direct the reader to some distant page, to be hunted for, there to continue the line of thought. To command my obedience, the article must be of very exceptional interest, and I usually don't obey. In time this habitual disobedience promotes indifference, and I have felt that tendency in the case of THE BUILDER. The magazines usually plead the necessity of catering to the advertisers, and so splitting up the reading matter, but THE BUILDER has not this incentive for even so slight an annoyance to readers. And now you have the benefit of my one suggestion, which probably means only wasted time at the typewriter.
A.L.C., Washington, D.C.
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I am very anxious to secure all possible information of a Masonic nature about Major General Henry Knox who was our first Secretary of War, as we are organizing a military lodge at Boston to be called Major General Henry Knox Lodge.
We are unable to find anything about the Masonic career of Major General Henry Knox, first Secretary of War of the United States, beyond the bare fact that he was a Mason. He was particularly prominent in the formation of the Society of the Cincinnati. That in itself would indicate that he had Masonic connections, as it is hardly likely that the idea of such an Order would have occurred to anyone who was not already a member of some kind of fraternity. Also the greater number of the first members appear to have been Masons.
Perhaps some of our readers may be able to furnish more information.
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SALT AS A SYMBOL
Last September I received an account of the laying of the "foundation stone" for a Masonic Temple at Long Sutton, England, the place where I was born. In the ceremony conducted by the Provincial Grand Master, it stated that corn, wine, oil and salt were used. Can you enlighten me as to the symbolism of salt?
F.B.M., New York.
Unfortunately we have not any English formulary for the consecration ceremony at hand. In one used in Scotland salt is not included. It is however used in the Royal Arch consecration ceremonies as practiced in Canada.
In Mackey's Encyclopaedia, under the heading "Salt," it is said that in the Swiss ritual this substance is added to the corn, wine and oil, and here it is expressly stated to be a symbol of wisdom and learning, which should characterize a Mason's lodge. The foundation stone is sprinkled with salt with this formula: "May this undertaking, contrived by wisdom, be executed in strength and adorned with beauty, so that it may be a house where peace, harmony and brotherly love shall perpetually reign."
It is probable that the corn, wine and oil is taken from the Old Testament, and probably from the Psalms. Another possible meaning of the salt is that in oriental countries the sharing of salt between two strangers creates a bond of hospitality, or brotherhood, between them. With this underlying idea it would be very suitable for us in the dedication of a building where Masons are to hold their meetings. It may also have an allusion to the saying in the New Testament, "If the salt has lost its savour," which again would have an appropriate meaning.
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I understand that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts instituted various lodges in Chile, China and the Canal Zone. I would like to know if these lodges are considered as regular lodges or clandestine.
T. A. DeA., Ohio.
It is quite true that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has chartered lodges in the Canal Zone and in China. This is a perfectly legitimate proceeding as neither of these countries have any Grand Lodge organized within their limits, and therefore according to the law of jurisdiction, as followed in America, it is open to any Grand Lodge to charter lodges in such unoccupied territory. As a matter of fact, there are also lodges chartered in China by the Grand Lodges of England and Scotland and other governing bodies in Europe. Wherever the Grand Lodges which chartered these subordinates are in communication with each other, the subordinate lodges can also have intercourse and are regarded as perfectly regular.
In regard to Chile the question would be different as there is a Grand Lodge formed there. However we have no information that any foreign Grand Lodges have chartered lodges that country.
It must however be emphasized that this is the American view of the law governing jurisdiction. The Grand Lodges in other parts of the world do not wholly agree with this and follow their own rules, which has often led to disputes and sometimes to the severing of fraternal relations. In any case whether such lodges as you speak of are recognized or not by other Grand Lodges, they cannot possibly be called clandestine in the proper sense of the word.
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CIRCLE, CLUB OR GROUP?
In regard to the article appearing in the Question Box of the January issue of THE BUILDER, referring to Study Clubs, and your desire for an expression of opinion as to a suitable name, may I give you my own experience in the matter? A number of men in my lodge who are interested in the subject of Masonic study, formed a group for this purpose. Inasmuch as the object was Masonic study, without any social or club connections, we have designated our organization as the Masonic Study Group.
W.B.B., New Jersey
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BOOKS WANTED AND FOR SALE
Our Library is lacking Vols. 3, 7, 19 and 25 of The Universal Masonic Library, published by Robert Morris, 1856. We have available for exchange or sale Vols. 5, 10, 12, 15, 21, 22, 24, 27 and 29. I would be very pleased to hear from anyone desiring to obtain these or wishing to dispose of those we require.
Letters may be addressed care of the Editor.
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
The following is an extract from The Norfolk Chronicle, or The Norwich Gazette, which was printed and published in Norwich, Norfolk, England, on Saturday, May 13, 1797:
"At a full Court of Mayoralty on Sunday his Royal Highness Prince William of Gloucester was admitted to the honorary freedom of this City.
"On Thursday afternoon, between three and four o'clock, hi Royal Highness left this City, accompanied with the universal respect and admiration of all ranks.
"The Prince during his residence visited several times the Lodges of Freemasons, to the Craft and Mysteries of which he is particularly attached. On Tuesday night the Royal George Chapter was held at the White Swan, by his Command, over which his Royal Highness presided — several brethren were exalted, and the Prince established his character as a perfect master of Masonry, in the strictest sense of the word. The evening before his departure he honored the Theater with his presence, to serve a brother Mason."
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In a bas-relief at Dendirah Osiris is shown rising from a bier. In another he is shown enclosed in a tree, and is called in the inscriptions "the one in the tree" and "the solitary one in the acacia." At the temple of Philae he is shown lying dead with stalks of wheat springing up from his body, while a priest stands close by pouring water over it from a libation vase. An inscriptions reads: "This is the form of him whom one may not name, Osiris of the mysteries, who springs from the ebbing waters."
There is little doubt that in origin Osiris was a deity of vegetation and more especially of the various kinds of grain.