A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 12 No. 3 – March 1926
THE CONFESSIONS OF A CONSUMPTIVE
Transcribed by Bro. R. J. Newton, New Mexico
THIS story draws a picture that must surely make even the most unimaginative realize something of the suffering, mental and physical, the want and despair, the breakdown of self-respect and moral restraint that conditions too often force upon this class of unfortunates. Though first published in 1917. when it appeared in the "Outdoor Life", the official organ of the National Tuberculosis Association, a periodical circulating chiefly among physicians and social workers interested in this cause, yet those in touch with the situation say that with the exception of the references to bar-rooms it is as true to life today as it was when written, and that it is a typical history that could be matched by hundreds of actual cases. It is reproduced here by the special request of the publicity committee of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association.
"I am a 'Lunger.'
"If I had the gifts of a Dickens or the talent of a Jack London I might be able to give you some faint idea of just how much hell there is in that one word.
"We who are so described are shocked when first we hear the word 'lunger'; we learn to hate it, but we finally begin to use the word in speaking of ourselves, because it fits, as no other word can possibly fit, the outcasts who wear it. I have gone beyond the point where I care about most things, but even now as I pick this out, one-finger fashion, on a discarded typewriter, I shudder at the sight of the word in cold type.
"We are the outcasts of America's civilization, the discards and the rejected, the unfit and the proscribed. We are the people from those cities of the East which violate all the laws of God and humanity — but very few man-made laws — in the housing of their people, or in the sanitation of their working places; the cities with their streets and alleys, with unclean food-shops; the cities with their governments and their people exploited by politicians; with their grasping and avaricious 'best citizens,' owners of dives and tenements. We, the 'lungers', are only a part of the by-products of modern American municipalities. We are the small per cent of the million or more of American consumptives who have had enough ambition, or money, or wanderlust, or hatred of the place of our infection, or bad medical advice, or philanthropy of misguided friends, to cause us to come West to prolong our lives.
"I was — but never mind that. It is what I am now that counts. I am now about one hundred pounds of flesh and bones, mostly bones. And I am a tramp. Not the 'ho' with which you are familiar, but the type that exists in the Southwest. I live off the charity societies. When they will no longer aid me I work the churches. Then I 'panhandle' among the stores and business houses. A coughing consumptive can easily secure a dime or a quarter if he will only move on quickly. But sooner or later some business man will complain to the police and I am picked up and told to 'move on'. Then I go to the county or city officials to get a ticket to the next place.
"I am now at the end of my rope. I mean physically. I could go on indefinitely as I have gone, but my strength has failed, and next week I shall enter the county poor-house to await my finish. And I know it will not be long delayed.
"I came West ten years ago. By doing so I prolonged my life just about eight years. The possibility of so doing was very attractive to me then. But many times since I have regretted it. It has not been worth while, and I always lacked the courage to end it myself, as some of my comrades of the 'Rainbow Trail' have done.
"The chase for a cure is a rainbow hunt. Like the children who search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we hunters for health go on and on, seeking always that will-o'-the-wisp, the place that will heal our torn and bleeding lungs. As our strength fails we will not admit to ourselves the change in our bodily condition, but attribute the decline to the 'climate' of the place where we happen to be, and start for another place, though it be only fifty miles away.
"I could have died decently at home eight years ago. My family would have cared for me to the end and given me a decent burial. And I could have died respected by those who knew me and by myself. Now I shall die a pauper, a drunkard, a dope-fiend, feared by all who come in contact with me, and despised by myself. And I shall be buried in some Potters' Field at an expense to the taxpayers of about $15. It will be worth that amount, or more, to them to put me out of their sight.
"My family believe I died five years ago. At that time my better nature was still in the ascendant. I recognized the changes that were taking place in my moral nature. I realized that I was on the down-grade morally and spiritually as well as physically. I had some slight conception of the depths to which I would sink, and to spare them the agony of sharing, even at long distance, the travail of the downward path, I induced a friend, a fellow-sufferer, to assume my name and identity when he entered the hospital to die. His body was not shipped home, my family collected the insurance and mourned for me. Since then I have not heard of them.
"Whether my wife is living or dead, is still mourning for me, or has married again I do not know, and I cannot find out without arousing a suspicion in their minds which might be followed up and reveal the truth. It was kinder to deceive them than to have them see me now or learn of my condition. I shall enter the place where I shall die under an alias with a faked record of my birth place, previous place of residence, etc. When I am dead they may find at the hospital that I have lied to them, but what difference will it make then?
"When I came to the West I was full of hope that a short stay would restore my health and that in six months or a year I could return to my family and my business. So every 'lunger' thinks and hopes. But few are able to do so. If they get well they have to stay in the West. For in most cases return to the home is followed by a relapse, and often a hemorrhage will cause immediate death. The returned 'lunger' also finds it hard to 'fit in' again, for the fact of his pilgrimage to the West to be cured of consumption is well known to all his former friends, who are suspicious of his 'cure' and fear the possibility of infection. It is not easy for him to get back his job or to resume his social standing, no matter how well he looks. And sooner or later he has to turn his face to the sunset, warned by a loss of weight and by afternoon fever that the disease is again active and that his time is growing short. On the contrary, if he remains in the West, if he has the money and the intelligence to make the fight, and can spend at least a year in some sanatorium, he may regain his health, he may even become a unit in the business and social life of the community and live far beyond his normal span of life. The West is full of such people and their families, and they have contributed much to the building up of the country.
"But God help the man or woman who comes expecting to 'live off' the country; to get a job doing light, or out-door work, or 'roughing it' on a ranch, as the Eastern doctors are so fond of prescribing for those patients whose money or vitality is running low. Some doctors will care for patients gratis when their money is exhausted; many will not, and then the doctor, to get rid of the patient, will recommend a change of climate. Doctors do not like to sign death certificates, for it reflects upon their skill, so they think. When the poor consumptive is told that his only chance for life is to go to the Southwest, it often means that the end is a few weeks off and that some other doctor will be compelled to record the death of the poor unfortunate. This explains why many consumptives die on the trains going to health-resort cities, and why over 10 per cent of the consumptive migrants die within thirty days of their arrival at resort cities. Unfortunately, there is no way to reach the doctor who is guilty of such cruelty.
"The consumptive becomes a 'lunger' as soon as he arrives in a Southwestern city; and the people know what to do with, or to, 'lungers'. He gets his first shock when he goes to a first-class hotel (if he has the price). If he wears the visible signs of his disease there is no room available for him. Or if he gets by the room clerk, his cough soon betrays him. This will happen to a 'lunger' no matter how many hotels he goes to, or how many towns he visits. He is not wanted among healthy people; and they do not hesitate to notify the hotel management of his presence and insist upon his removal. Now the second-class and even the third-class hotels are being compelled to adopt the same policy. Some hotels in the smaller resort towns place placards in their office to the effect that none but healthy people are received there. After experiencing this several times, or finding his money running low, the 'lunger' decides to find a boarding house. He secures the daily paper and scans the furnished room list. He notes at once the repetition of the phrase, 'No sick taken,' and he begins to wonder where a consumptive can lay his head.
"Some cities require boarding-house keepers who propose to care for consumptives to register that fact with the health department and prohibit their taking any healthy guest in the same house. If one goes to the health department of the city to get the list of places where consumptives may board or room, it will be found that few, if any, such places are registered, even in cities where thousands of consumptives live.
"As a result of such legislation and the phthisiophobia that prevails in the West, the 'lunger' becomes a liar, a hypocrite, and a danger to the public health. In self-protection he conceals the fact of his disease if possible. He contracts 'stomach trouble,' 'pleurisy, 'asthma,' and various other chronic or constitutional ailments, but never tuberculosis. He finds landladies who will take him in for a price somewhat in excess of that paid by their healthy guests, and who for the excess will cheerfully lie to the healthy guests as to his condition. He learns that he must take absolutely no precaution against infecting his fellows, for the use of the sputum cup or spitting into a handkerchief or a rag, or the use of a disinfectant in a cuspidor in his room or at his place of employment, brands him as one of the unclean, and he loses his job or his temporary home. Then he moves, as he often does, for the people of the Southwest are almost as competent to diagnose the disease as some physicians. When they detect his ailment they often unite against his continuing as a guest in the same house with them, or as a fellow employee. There is no disinfection of the place and no renovation. Another 'lunger' or a healthy person goes into the same place and undergoes the risk of infection or reinfection.
"There has been a superstition in the Southwest that the natives were immune from infection; that the marvelous climate, the bright sunshine, the pure air, the dry atmosphere, were unfavorable to the development of the disease. But sad experience has proven this a fallacy. The new theory of childhood infection and the development of the disease in later life is finding strong confirmation here. The children of the families who years ago took consumptives into their homes for a price, or because of relationship, are now grown into adult life and are meeting the strain of business competition, or the drain of dissipation, the pangs of childbirth, the weakness occasioned by illness; all of these are often followed by the development of tuberculosis from the germs implanted in childhood. This explains the fact that so many of the children of consumptives die of the disease, and gave rise to the fallacy of tuberculosis being an inherited disease.
"By bitter personal experience I learned what awaits a 'lunger' in the several years in which I was able to do some work and live in comparatively decent places. At first the thought of being responsible for the sickness and death of others as a result of my own careless disposition of my sputum, laden with the germs of the disease, was horrifying to me. But eventually this feeling wore off. I did not care. Why should I? Someone had caused my sickness and suffering by his criminal carelessness. Why should I try to protect others? And especially when the very protection I tried to give them branded me as a leper, as a pariah, and made of me an Ishmael, with the hand of every man against me. For years now I have not taken any precaution. As a result I am doubtless a murderer. Others are following me to the grave because of my indifference and carelessness. Now as I come nearer to the end, I think the mists of dope and drink in which I have lived for so long, where I have found at least temporary surcease from my mental and physical suffering, are clearing away. I am beginning to realize what I have done, and the realization makes me suffer all the more. Now I shall welcome the grave as a respite from the agony of mind and body which is more than I can bear.
"The time came when I could not work. I could no longer live in any but the cheapest lodging-houses, and I was compelled to beg the price even for their filthy accommodation. I tried to get odd jobs of grass cutting, cleaning of yards, and similar work, but no housewife wanted such as I was upon her premises for fear of contamination. The only place where I could work was in a saloon. No other place of business would have me around, because of my condition. I had begun to drink before this; now I became a drunkard.
"At last, kicked out even of this place of refuge, I became a wanderer. I had begged from every possible source in the town in which I have lived, and had exhausted possibilities of support. I was well known as a drunkard and a vagrant. Yet because of my affliction they had borne with me, and I had not received the treatment usually meted out to such characters. So when the Mayor stopped me on the street one day and offered to give me a ticket to ______, I gladly accepted it and the dollar he gave me and left for a new field. His Honor told me that there was a free hospital in this place where I could get treatment, which was a strong inducement to me to go.
"'Passing on' the sick is a favorite method of treatment in the West. County and city officials figure that it costs less to do so than to care for the patient in a hospital. So whether a community boasts of a hospital or not, when the sick stranger is at last brought to the notice of an official the first thought of the latter is to pass him on to the nearest large town. This is often done even in the case of citizens and natives of the place who may become public charges. The charity societies of the larger cities have many cases thrust upon them by the adjacent smaller towns. The idiot and insane, the aged and the physically disabled, and even the bed ridden, are sent away from the community which is morally responsible for their care, or for securing such care for them, to another place which has absolutely no responsibility in the case, and often has not the money or the proper institutions for their care. It is sometimes even found that relatives have sent away members of their own families to avoid the burden of their support. The sense of community and family responsibilities is lamentably weak in America, as this practice is not limited to one section of the country.
"So I went on my way. I secured admission to the hospital and stayed there until I gained some strength, at least enough to justify them in discharging me. There I gained something else — the 'dope' habit. They gave me drugs to ease me. I don't blame them. They had more cases than they could take care of. It made the work easier for them, and it made life easier for me temporarily.
"I left the hospital. I did not try to work. I knew an easier way to live, and I knew that the length of my life depended upon the way in which I secured the means of existence. Work, physical effort, would hasten death. Therefore I became a beggar. Dope and drink would give me temporary ease, and thereafter I would gain what ease I could by the use of both.
"My systematic business training helped me here. I made a schedule of my prospective supporters — the different churches, charity societies, including the Jewish Relief and the St. Vincent De Paul, the stores and offices, the factories, etc. I was all things to all men. I belonged to any church and believed in any creed. I had worked in every line of business. I was whatever the prospective donor of my next meal happened to be. Being a man of intelligence, I found little difficulty in getting my living, such as it was.
"Each day was sufficient to itself. When I had secured enough food and money to satisfy my need of food and lodging, drink and dope, I did nothing the rest of the day. And to this practice and to my intelligence and business ability I attribute the fact that I have long outlived those with whom I came into contact in the first years of my life in the West.
"I must pay my tribute to the people of the West. Their sympathy and their charity have been boundless. They have done much for us of the East who have come among them and asked them to support us while we sowed the seeds of death among them. Seldom was I refused in my pleas for aid. And this was the experience of my fellows. Why the West stands for the imposition of thousands of consumptives upon them is beyond me, accustomed as I, an Eastern business man, am to the organized, scientific, and often cold-blooded charity of the East. This is my only criticism of the West. Their charity is long-suffering and kind. But it is not wise. It often defeats its own end. It demoralizes and makes pauper. Organization of towns and states and an interstate organization would soon put a stop to the plague of consumptives who now go from city to city and from state to state, living off the country and spreading their disease. I was one of them and I know.
"As a general thing my word was taken as to my condition. I was seldom 'investigated.' And when I was it was easy to go on to the next town where they were not so efficient. County and city officials very often do not work in cooperation with charity societies, which made it easier to work both and to work the public. Transportation was always forthcoming for myself and for my 'wife,' if I happened to have one. For I was also guilty of this.
"I was always attractive to women, and to this day I have tried to make a decent appearance and to keep myself clean as to body. There are women 'lungers' as men, though not in such large numbers. They find it harder to get a living than men do, and some of them are reduced to trading upon their sex. It was never hard to find one willing to share what little I had. Tuberculosis seems to intensify the baser passions and I did not deny myself the comfort of a woman's companionship when I could have it. And several children, abandoned, as their mothers were abandoned, are now inmates of orphanages, or perhaps have been given a home by someone. I do not know. I can only hope that they will not inherit any of their father's defects, moral or physical.
"Seldom did I leave a town without knowing all I needed to know about the town to which I was going. In the places where we 'lungers' lived we met with those who had been in the town to which we wished to go; we exchanged information and lists of names of people who could be depended upon to give us the means of existence; we learned from each other the best avenues of approach to produce the best and quickest results. So we smoothed the way for one another and learned to avoid places and people that were unproductive or not easily touched. We strove to live along the line of least resistance and did so.
"And so the years have passed. Life has been one town after another, varied by numerous but short stays in hospitals to recuperate my strength. Home I had none. After the first year I do not believe there was ever any hope of cure for me. I believe that $1,000 or perhaps less, would have saved me if I had had it when I came to the West. I could have entered a sanatorium where I could have received good care, medical attention, and nourishing food for a year or more. And this, in the wonderful climate of this Western country, would have cured me, for I had the will to live, and the intelligence to follow the doctor's instructions. But after providing as best I could for my family when I left home I had little left wherewith to make the fight and I did not know the odds against me. In the ten years I have lived since I came to the West I have cost society many times the $1,000 that might have saved me.
"My story is the story of thousands, varying only in length of time and degree of suffering. I have read that a national organization which is making a study of tuberculosis estimates that ten thousand to fifteen thousand hopeless consumptives come to the West every year, and that 50 to 60 per cent of them become a charge upon the public. They might as well add another cipher to their figures, for neither they nor anyone else can tell just how many of us start the pilgrimage each year.
"'America, we who are about to die, salute you.' And we wonder how long you will permit us to go on. How long will it be before the people realize that they who are gathered together in one county or city are as one family, and should unite to care for their own, who for any reason are not able to care for themselves? How long will it be before the great National family will do something for us who, because of absence, have lost our claim upon the cities and states of our nativity but still have some claim upon our country? As I meet the death which I have long evaded, in a poorhouse ward, among strangers, I wait for the answer, though I know that I shall not live to hear it."
* * *
Why be afraid of death
As though your life were breath?
Death but annoints your eyes
With clay: O, glad surprise!
Is sleep a thing to dread?
Yet sleeping you are dead
Till you awake and rise,
Here, or beyond the skies.
Why should it be a wrench
To leave your wooden bench?
Why not with happy shout
Run home when school is out?
"The dear ones left behind."
O, foolish one, and blind,
A day, and you will meet
A night, and you will greet'
This is the death of Death,
To breathe away a breath
And know the end of strife,
And taste the deathless life.
And joy without a fear,
And smile without a tear,
And work, nor care to rest,
And find the last the best.
— Malbie D. Babcock
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THE WORK OF THE A.U.B.
Bro. John W. Shuman, California
IN the articles on Palmyra and Palestine that respectively appeared in The Builder for November and January last, the author, Major "Jack" Shuman, referred several times to the American University of Beirut, at which he was for some time Director of Internal Medicine. As these two articles have roused a good deal of attention Bro. Shuman has given us the following account of this institution at our special request. He writes regarding it as follows: "In this story only part of the work of the A.U.B. can he described. It is hoped that at least enough has been given to give members of the N.M.R.S. more than a glimpse of the opportunities America has of spreading its ideas and ideals in that part of Asia." The illustrations are all from photographs taken by the author's wife, excepting the one showing the chapel of the college, which was kindly furnished by the American Director of the Near East Colleges.
The work of the American University is Modern "Missionarying." The A.U.B. is a by-product of old style missionary endeavor. It was founded by Rev. Daniel Bliss in the 60's of the last century as the Syrian Protestant College (S.P.C.).
Missionaries in Syria are not new. They have been an institution over there for centuries. The American type has been there at least one hundred years, for the Beirut Presbyterians can remember back that far. Dr. Bliss went out to Syria as a parson missionary, but wisely saw better opportunities for good along educational lines. He was a real pioneer and had the "pep" and zeal to "see through" whatever he started. The East did not slow him up like it does so many white men who migrate to its sunny clime.
The work of the College (1) was "to lay the foundation of (Western) Christian literature, through which the millions of people in Asia, Barbary states, Egypt and Central Arriea (he was not short-sighted) might be reached for the Kingdom (of Christ)." The work grew for there was a real demand for education. At this time the College Departments consisted of Arabic (which is the dominant language of Syria) language and literature and modern languages, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, natural science, commerce and medicine. The name S.P.C. was changed to A.U.B. when General Allenby drove that part of the German Army called Turks out of Palestine and Syria during the late war. Howard, son of Daniel, was then the second president of the school. Rev. B. Dodge, a grand nephew-in-law of the founder, has since succeeded him. The A.U.B. is a sort of family missionary institution, as it were. Some have called it "The Iron-Ring," meaning the Bliss circle.
No one can blame the missionaries for enjoying life in and about Beirut, with the beautiful Georgian Bay in front and the lofty Lebanon Mountains for a background, from whence King Hiram felled the cedars to fill his lumber contract with the Builder Solomon who erected the first temple. In passing, it may be noted that Beirut, or Beyrouth, as the French spell it, is the Capital of Syria. During the school year (October to June) the teachers live in the city, but in the summer time they remove to their summer homes in the mountains, twelve to twenty miles away, or else they travel. The only department kept open, and that is cut down to less than a quarter of its capacity, is the hospital.
The French who mandate Syria now are kindly disposed towards the A.U.B. They have a university of their own in the same city run by the Jesuits. In Damascus there is an Arabic University. All have Medical Departments. The A.U.B. is one of a group of five schools in the so-called Near-East backed by American capital and advisory boards in New York. Two of the others are located in Constantinople (Robert's and Women's), one in Sofia in Bulgaria and one in Smyrna. The teaching is given in English.
The attendance at the A.U.B. is well on 1,000 students in all departments. The latter represent many nationalities, creeds and walks of life. It is safe to say that there is one department which, though not greatly advertised, does more to make men equal, that is, to wash out differences of sects, race, etc., than any other. That is the Department of Athletics! Here Moslem, Jew and Gentile (of all brands), Druz, Kurd and Copt, Russian, Turk and Armenian, Arab, Lebanese and American throw aside tribal customs, society badges, marks and what not, to toss, hit and kick "the ball on its nose," and to run, jump and strive to win events. All perfectly willing to hail and do just honors to "the best man" or team. There is nothing strange about this, it is just human nature.
Another popular department is that of Medicine and its allies, Dentistry, the Hospital, etc. Any human being can feel a pain and appreciates relief, even if he can't distinguish the advantage in "swapping religions." The A.U.B. runs two chapels, one for Christians and one for other beliefs, held at the same time. Students are marked on attendance. Even professors who do not attend are envied those who feel compelled to be present! To give an idea of the medical work of the A.U.B. the following is abstracted from another article by the author this subject: (2)
"During the school year of 1922-23 the Department of Internal Medicine of the A.U.B. received five hundred patients in the hospital and thirty-one hundred in the Out-patient Department. This report deals particularly with the five hundred male and female adult hospitalized patients. The hospital was composed of four buildings of the pavilion type, and is a part of the Medical Department of the university. The number of beds in use by all departments was one hundred and sixty-five. Twenty two beds were allotted to the medical service; these at stress times were supplemented by floor cots.
"The raising of the general health standard of people thereby increasing their general usefulness and happiness is certainly a good work. This should be the aim of those who are doing medical missionary work, for it is fully realized that this physical improvement must be done through sanitation and health service to prevent disease; all of which involves housing, labor age, and private and public enterprise, etc., for conserving health.
"That we were handicapped in our work is readily admitted, most missionary institutions are. The greatest handicap was the lack of facilities to work out the diagnosis properly. When I went to Beirut the laboratories (aids in diagnostic medicine) were as follows: There was no full time pathologist; the hospital bacteriologist was the instructor in the practical course of physiology as well as the adjunct professor of internal medicine (the title without duties); the X-ray was of an obsolete type nineteen years old, and at so great a distance from the medical building that it was impractical to transport patients to it. But no difficulties were insurmountable and the medical school is getting along towards an A-plus rating similar to medical schools in the United States.
"Uniform history charts and records for all services like those used in standardized American hospitals were recommended and introduced. During the previous year one hundred and eighty patients were admitted to the medical service, against the five hundred herein reported, which helps to demonstrate the growth of the work.
"It was not long before we were able to obtain regular Wassermanns, agglutinins, for typhoid and typhus, complement fixation for hydatid cyst, tuberculin, and other tests, from the hospital clinical laboratory. The native doctors and students and most of my colleagues were enthusiastic for the methods of modern medicine, especially the thorough examination of the patient before a diagnosis was made and treatment started."
In June, 1923, the senior medical students numbered twenty-eight. To an American their names would sound strange, and the literal meanings of them stranger still, and it is not easy to imagine young men so called studying the latest type of scientific medicine. The two first on the class roll of that year were Faiz 'Abd-ul-Malak and Yakub 'Abd-ul-Masih, which literally are Faiz Slave of the King and Jacob Slave of Christ. But they were all an interesting and most intelligent lot of men to work for, and the letters I receive from some of them well repay me for any efforts I may have made in their behalf.
Incidents of my service there are forever cropping up in mind, some extremely pathetic, but others mighty humorous; for example this one:
To the clinic came an Armenian refugee. He had lately arrived from Turkey. He claimed that when he had feared robbery by brigands, he had swallowed his gold! The Turkish gold piece or pound ($5.00) is quite a little bigger than one's thumb nail. The man asserted he had swallowed $130.00 worth (27 pieces) and wanted his "Bank Account" opened by the surgeon. The man was greatly emaciated, because although he had money he could not exchange it for bread and no one would sell him food on credit. The surgeon took his word for a promise of ten pounds for the operation fee and opened his stomach. But lo and behold, the operator found only twenty-one gold coins! The patient when he came out of the anesthesia claimed he had been "short-changed." Possibly he figured on interest — the Armenian being a little more shrewd than the Jew. (3)
(1) From book, "Reminiscences of Daniel Bliss," by D. B. (2) Medical Work in Syria," Medical Journal and Record, April 1. 1925. (3) "Lutheran M. D. in Syria," The Lutheran, May 29, 1924.
* * *
THE HIRAMIC LEGEND AND THE MEDIEVAL STAGE
We are very pleased indeed to introduce to the readers of The Builder a new contributor. Bro. Thiemeyer is young both in years and in Masonry, yet already he has made more progress in knowledge than many of his seniors. He has chosen to deal with a very difficult, yet most interesting subject, and we have the promise of further articles from his pen.
A DISCUSSION IN THREE PARTS
Bro. Ernest E. Thiemeyer, Missouri
THE INTERNAL DIFFICULTIES OF THE STORY
NOTHING in the so-called Blue Degrees of Masonry even remotely approaches the Legend of the Third Degree for solemnity, beauty, impressiveness, or philosophy, it is, in fact, the summit of Craft Freemasonry. As a subject of constantly recurring interest it has appealed to students as a problem to be solved, a mystery to be unraveled, and has attracted the minds of the greatest Masonic scholars of all times. They find in it abundant opportunities for philosophizing and, further, when they attempt to trace its origin and growth, they are at liberty to occupy their inventive genius in a manner unparalleled in any other branch of Masonic research. So far as the expounding of the teachings of the Legend is concerned, everyone is entitled to his own opinion; the only boundary that can be placed on such an interpretation is that it remain within the limits of logical reasoning. To you it may mean one thing, but to me it may have an entirely different significance. We may not agree with the teachings of Socrates, Plato, or the classical philosophers any more than we do with Freud, James, or the modern schools, but we do not have that type of intelligence which will permit us to say that they are wrong. The most that can be said is that their opinions are not in accord with ours, and so it is with the teachings of Masonry; on the other hand, when it comes to investigating the sources of the Masonic Legend, we can, with a fair degree of certainty, disagree with theories advanced, and base our disagreement not on an interpretation of facts, but on facts which are conclusive in themselves.
From the cradle of Masonic scholarship we find just this. The theories of many students concerning the origin of our Legend have been torn down and new structures based on new evidence erected to replace them. On investigating the field, one finds those who are firmly convinced that the Legend in its present form is a dramatic, or narrative, account of an actual happening at the building of King Solomon's Temple. We find these extremists replaced by other students who cannot agree with the arguments advanced and substitute their own theories, gradually tending toward a more and more iconoclastic viewpoint until we reach the other extreme and find advocates of the theory that the whole fabric was invented shortly after the formation of the Grand Lodge in 1717 by some of the ritualists of that day. To most scholars of our time these theories will appear absurd. The present trend of opinion is toward a course midway between the two. It is these compromise (if I may call them such) theories that are receiving the most credence today, and it is one of these that will form the basis of this discussion.
In the Transactions of the Lodge of Research, No. 2429, Leicester for 1920-21, there appears an article by Bro. Robert Race advancing the theory that the Legend was originally a Miracle or Mystery Play. In support of this theory he advances many arguments, which on first thought appear beyond refutation. Because his reasoning is so apparently water-tight this theory has come into quite good repute, and Masonic students are feeling more and more inclined to accept this opinion as probably the true origin of the Legend. The italics above indicate the impression given by Bro. Race's arguments. However, on giving the matter deeper thought and a careful reading for a second or third time, a number of peculiarities — absurdities, if you prefer — come to light. It is with these that this article intends to deal. It is not written with any predestined course of destructive criticism tending to develop or advocate a new or at least a different theory as to the origin of the Legend, but solely to dispose of the Race theory as impracticable and untenable. There is no intention of showing what the Legend is or has been, but merely to point out what it is not.
When an analysis of Race's theory is made, we find that his discourse divides itself naturally into three sections and an introductory foundation. It is with the three sections of the main argument that we are particularly concerned; in the order of their appearance they are: — first, a ritualistic discussion which points out numerous inconsistencies and absurdities in the narrative account of the Legend; second, an explanation of these defects as consequent on the crudity of the medieval stage; and lastly, an astronomical interpretation of the Legend to which allocated the true foundation of the fabric. The first and last of these sections are relatively unimportant when viewed in the light of the second; to state differently, if it can be proved that the internal difficulties of the story are explicable in any other manner than through the exigencies of the stage, and that the explanation of these inconsistencies and improbabilities cannot logically be attributed to the theory that the Legend was originally the plot of a Miracle or Mystery play of medieval times, we have destroyed Bro. Race's theory with the utmost dispatch. If addition, we can prove that many of the internal inconsistencies may be explained in other ways, and can destroy his astronomical foundation for the Legend, we are only adding fuel to a fire which has already reached a temperature sufficient to cremate the corpse.
That Bro. Race has assigned the true foundations of the Legend to the symbolism of the astronomical universe is unfortunate. That we can find reason to make this assumption cannot be denied, but if we are to uncover the true symbolical foundation of the Legend it is necessary to discover the first symbolical interpretation of death and the resurrection. It is hardly conceivable, if we care to go to the root of the matter, that the diurnal rotation and the annual revolution of the heavenly bodies, interpreted as their death and resurrection, was the first devised system of symbolism treating with this subject. There appears, early in Bro. Race's symbolical treatment, a glaring misinterpretation of the symbolism of the Temple, which he says represents the Heavens. This is the exact antithesis of what it really signified, if it had any meaning whatever. It was built in the form of an oblong square, longer from East to West than from North to South. The square, in its symbolical interpretation, has always been connected with things earthly, and an oblong square has been considered the emblem of the Earth, bearing out one ancient type of cosmogonic belief that the earth was of rectangular form, longer from East to West than from North to South. If there was any symbolic significance in King Solomon's Temple, it was beyond reasonable doubt, emblematic of the Earth.
DEITIES OF VEGETATION WORSHIPPED
To return to our argument, it is possible, but hardly probable, that primitive man who was eking out a precarious existence in caves and on such natural resources as the Earth offered had any great interest in the heavenly bodies. Granting that there is some reason to believe that he was interested in them, it is almost beyond probability that this interest took on a symbolical significance. The natural course of development would be through those things in which he had a vital interest — the vegetable and animal kingdoms. This statement is born out by the opinions of many students of ancient cultures and religions; to mention one, Phillips Endecott Osgood in his booklet, "The Temple of Solomon," states that the religions of primitive man were closely connected with nature. In the early stages they worshipped gods, not as personifications, but as actual plants. Tree worship was one step in the development; from this came the worship of pillars; and finally the modification of the columns to anthropomorphic deities. As existence became less difficult man's interest spread and his range of vision took in the stars and astronomical universe. The phenomena he saw there finally took on the same symbolical significance he had previously attributed to the vegetative kingdom. In their annual phases, plants go through a death and resurrection; in the stars, primitive man saw a parallel in the disappearance and reappearance caused by their rotations and revolutions. Man as a reasoning creature is not inclined to manifest interest in things which only remotely affect his welfare. Certainly in his primitive state this meant life, and life meant plants and animals, not stars and planets. As progress is made and the difficulties of existence become less and less trying, man broadens his view, and in the early ages of man this meant that he began to observe his surroundings, not because they were essential to his well-being, but because he needed something more to keep his mind occupied. The true foundation of the Legend, if it is essential to our investigation, is to be looked for on Earth and not in the Heavens. There is much that could be said on this point, but it is not an essential feature of our discussion, and with this brief analysis we can be content.
In order to fairly criticise this theory of the origin of the Legend it is necessary to have a background on which to work. Bro. Race makes the point early in his paper that "this story must be regarded as pure allegory, and not as literal history." It is beyond belief that we should find a Masonic scholar of standing who would doubt this assertion. Continuing with a synopsis of his article, it is found that Bro. Race accepts as his authority for information concerning the Temple of Solomon the Jewish Scriptures. He is very careful, however, to show that the accounts of the Old Testament writers contradict each other, and as a whole are not to be relied upon too strongly. They offer, however, the best obtainable on this subject, and will answer satisfactorily. In order that this foundation may be complete, the accompanying plan of King Solomon's Temple is reproduced from Race, together with his explanation of the construction of the Temple and the form of procedure in it.
"You see here," says Bro. Race, "an oblong building with two large chambers in the middle, the Holy of Holies (H. H.) and the Holy Place (H. P.), but in addition we have a number of chambers all round the main chambers. Only one entrance is found leading to the interior of the Temple: It is on the East and opens into the Holy Place. There is no indication how people got to the small chambers unless they went from one to another. An 'X' is put here to represent the Winding Staircase leading to the small chambers. On the South side is the only entrance other than that on the East and it leads to the small chambers that surrounded the Temple on three sides. We have here the entrance to the Temple, a number of steps leading to the Porchway (P.) and in the Porchway the two great Pillars whose names you are all familiar with, B. and J. Opposite is the Altar (A.). That gives you an idea of the arrangement of King Solomon's Temple so far as we need to know anything about it this evening, viz., two chambers, the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, divided by a partition which consisted largely of tapestry — some kind of veil — with one opening at the East and no other opening into the body of the Temple. If we go a little further and see how the Temple was surrounded, we shall have a little more material for our description. Round the Temple was a courtyard surrounded, as far as we can gather, by a wall with three gates, on the North on the South and on the East. This gate (N.) led to the open country. This gate (S.) led to the land around King Solomon's buildings — his home, palace, etc. This gate (E.) led as it indicates, to the East.
"Now we know something about the surroundings we want to know something about the procedure in the Temple. The Holy of Holies was only to be entered by the High Priest, and then only once a year. The Holy Place was open to all other Priests to perform their priestly functions, but nobody else was allowed to go within the walls of the Temple. (I am alluding to the main body of the Temple, and not including the small rooms around it.)
"The Levites helped outside; they took care of the doors, they helped with the sacrifices, and there is some reason to suppose that there was occasionally singing of some kind, which singing was produced by the Levites. The method of worship was totally different from anything we are accustomed to, and in the sense in which we generally use the word, it was hardly worth calling worship. It is perhaps best described in our ritual where we say that H. A. retired 'to pay his adoration to the Most High.' From Ezekiel we learn that it was the practice for all who went to pay their adoration to the Most High to enter by the North or South Gate; but whatever gate they entered by, after paying their adoration at the Door of the Temple by making some sort of obeisance, they proceeded to leave the precincts by the opposite gate — they must not go out by the same gate. Coming in by the South, they must go out by the North. With regard to the East, this gate was a very important one inasmuch as nobody was allowed to use it except the Prince (Ezekiel calls him the 'Prince'. The word does not necessarily mean King Solomon; we do not know for whom the word is intended, but it is evidently meant for the ruler of the country for the time being, and therefore, in King Solomon's time, it is reasonable for us to suppose that it was specially and particularly used by the King himself) and then only upon special days for worship: and moreover, when he came in by the East Gate he had to go out by the same gate. There was no proceeding to the West for we do not seem to have any door on the West according to the accounts."
With this preliminary explanation, Bro. Race launches himself into an examination of the story in the ritual, which in its frank revelation of certain esoteric matters might prove astounding to American Craftsmen. It would be interesting to follow his line of argument and pick the flaws in it as he proceeds, but for fear of arousing too much indignation the better procedure would be to limit the discussion to certain details which will be sufficiently clear and still remain within the bounds of propriety, as it is interpreted in America.
In entering into an investigation of the examination of the story of the Legend brought out by Bro. Race in his argument, the most glaring fault that comes to the attention is his lack of comparative knowledge of rituals as they are worked today, at least so far as the Second Section of the Third Degree is concerned. The basis of the whole argument seems to be the prevailing working in the British Isles as the discrepancies mentioned appear in the Scotch, Irish, and English workings with some possible exceptions. As a further limitation on the value of Bro. Race's theory, he has founded his discourse upon the ritual as it is worked today and has not devoted his attentions to a critical examination of the older forms of the Legend, which, it is apparent, is a necessary essential to the formation of a correct opinion concerning the origin of our Third Degree. These points will offer, at least by inference, another reason than the one he offers for the appearance of the improbabilities and inconsistencies of the story. To prove his theory Race must produce conclusive evidence that there is no other manner in which to explain them. This he does not do, and the explanation left open is obviously the only correct one. With these fallacies before us let us proceed to a critical examination of Bro. Race's discourse on the story.
WHAT RACE'S THEORY INVOLVES
On examining Bro. Race's paper, one is immediately struck by the fact that the plot of the Mystery Play, which he presents, in narrative form, as a plausible explanation of those internal difficulties existing in the story, is identical with the plot of the Legend as it is worked in England today. From this argument it would follow that the plot of the Legend in the 14th or 15th century was the same as it is today. To grant such a premise is absurd, but those changes in plot which are known to have taken place will be ignored for the time being. If the plot is the same as it was four of five centuries ago, it might, with reason, be assumed that there would be found the world over, survivals of the same inconsistencies that are made the basis of Bro. Race's criticism. This because it is known that all regular lodges of Freemasons are outgrowths of the Grand Lodge of England and as a consequence would practice the same ritual. These difficulties survive in England today and it would not be illogical to suppose that since they survive there they must be found in other localities.
We are told by Bro. Race that the twelve repent "at the moment." He criticises this statement, "I mentioned the recantation 'at the moment' — ... but one can hardly think that twelve conspirators kept together with the other three until the last moment and then retired." The recantation literally, "at the moment" is found in the Emulation working of England, the Scotch working of Harvey, and in an Irish version which I have examined only casually. In the work of several American jurisdictions — Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, an New Hampshire — there is no such limiting statement. Neither is it found in French rituals. So far as the American work is concerned it is said only that they recanted, how long before the assassination is not mentioned. Bro. Race does not dwell on this particular point as important, but he offers an explanation of it in his dramatic plot, and as a support for his theory, I take exception to it. He continues with a statement which he deems of particular importance. H.A. was struck "lifeless" at the East Gate. To quote again:
"'Lifeless' it says. That may mean absolutely dead or it may mean apparently dead. We use the word commonly in both ways, a man falls down apparently dead — he has fallen 'lifeless', he is without or almost without life. I do not need to any further, brethren, to show what an enormous amount of matter is here which we cannot accept as literally true."
The following phrases in three rituals allude to the same point — Pennsylvania, "Killed him"; Missouri, in the dramatic interpretation "slain" and in the narrative account "felled him ... and killed him outright"; French, "l'entendit mort" — stretched him dead. To Bro. Race this is evidently an important point as he makes mention of it in three places in his discourse. First as quoted above; second, in connection with the raising; and lastly, as one of the things that can be explained by the exigencies of the stage. These are typical examples of inconsistencies with which Race deals — rhetorical difficulties — but there remains another and more important one, inconsistencies of an action.
TYPICAL DIFFICULTIES DISCUSSED
To attempt to trace all of the difficulties falling into this classification through the whole of Bro. Race's argument would be interesting, but illustrations of typical examples will serve the purpose, and the more profound scholar can investigate the others as his inclination may direct. (In the remainder of this article, quotations not attributed to a definite authority are taken direct from Race.)
"He came towards the East Gate ... and then ... what? Not a word to tell us! He disappeared and the three villains disappeared. We are not told what became of any of them. We are asked to believe that at the height of day, 12 o'clock noon, it was possible for a man to come here (and Since the Temple was not quite completed a lot of workmen would certainly be about)" to become the subject of a tragic accident while "no one was the wiser."
"Brethren, it is putting a very great strain on our credulity to say the least of it; but disregarding all these difficulties, the story goes on very blithely, 'we left off at that part of our history,' and so on, and tells that the loss of Hiram was first discovered, not by the absence of his own person, but by the lack of those plans which had hitherto been supplied to the workmen. Had these four men, H. A. and the three villains, had they no homes, had they no wife nor child nor friends who must wonder in the evening why they did not come home? Were there no workmen who would remark to one another that they had not seen the Master? Was it possible for three men to remove the corpse and take it away without anybody having the slightest idea of what had happened in broad daylight? That is what we are asked to believe and that is what is a little bit difficult to believe. The absence of plans was the first indication that something had happened, and we find that the Prefects reported the case to King Solomon. Now King Solomon was a wise man we are told, and although he did not follow the policy which might have been followed, say by Sherlock Holmes, what he did proved very effectual. He had all the workmen paraded before him, and thus found out the three missing villains. He then selected fifteen men whom he could trust and ordered then to make diligent search after our Master, and he sent them off in three F.C. Lodges through the three entrances. Why should they go through the three entrances? It suggests at first that probably one went South one went East (through a gate that was never opened), and one North. No one went West; yet you remember, one class pursued their researches in the direction of Joppa, which was West; whether they went out North or South and then turned West in pursuit of their researches we do not know." This quotation is lengthy, but a typical statement of Bro. Race's arguments and the reason for taking it as an illustration of our point will become apparent as we analyze it.
On Bro. Race's own statement the difficulties arising from the disappearance of the ruffians is unimportant. These troublesome inconsistencies do exist and cannot be denied. (Remember this is allegory!) But in the latter portion we find important variations. In the American work there is no statement that the loss of Hiram was discovered by the lack of plans. In fact, it is not told how or when it was discovered, but only that Solomon was apprised of it on the following morning. As to Bro. Race's questioning their having friends, families, homes, etc., need there be any other criticism made than that these men were Tyrian workmen and away from home? They had friends, no doubt. The American ritual does not mention that his friends had not missed him (and the British working says that only by inference) nor that his loss was not discovered by them, but simply that Solomon was not advised of the loss until he entered the Temple on the following morning. (In the British work the Prefects notify Solomon.) Hiram of Tyre, so far as is known, may have learned of the loss through the workmen and not reported it to Solomon. There is no apparent reason for his not reporting it, neither is it essential to the question. The difference in working bears out our point and that is all that is necessary, but it is not all we have to offer. Solomon's procedure in the discovery of the ruffians according to the British working is entirely different. The method of ascertaining the guilty parties is the same and there the resemblance ceases. The recantation was mentioned earlier. The twelve who recant (in the American rituals) are sent out in bands of threes, not, as in the British form, fifteen F.C's picked by Solomon and divided into F.C. Lodges; and in all directions, instead of three directions as the British ritual assumes the three bands were sent. To state that all of the difficulties in the foregoing quotation are dealt with in our argument would not be true, but a sufficient number of them have been considered to suggest the possibility of further study. There is one other difficulty mentioned by Bro. Race that does not fall under either of the above headings and that I wish to discuss.
Bro. Race mentions Hiram's paying his devotions to Deity in the Temple and in view of the fact that Priests alone were allowed within the confines of the building this would be an absurdity. The possibility left open to us is that the Temple was incomplete, but this is disposed of by stating that it would be impossible to worship in a temple not yet completed because it would lack that consecration which would make it a place of worship. It would be, to my mind, a perfectly simple matter for H. A. to offer up his prayers (or whatever he was supposed to do in paying his adoration to the Most High) in an unconsecrated temple. Such an action would have occupied in his mind the same place that the silent communion which numbers of people today are accustomed to take with their Creator in their homes or offices. It does not necessarily mean that Hiram offered up the conventional devotion which would be the equivalent to him of what congregational worship in church is to us. But even more interesting, is the fact that Prichard's Masonry Dissected states only that he was making his rounds of inspection during the hour of refreshment; the early French rituals also give this reason for his presence there. (I have italicised below a passage which quotes Prichard's exact wording.) This brings us to another phase of our argument, that of the changes which have taken place in the rituals, and we will consider them at this time.
THE LEGEND SHOWS VARIATIONS
The plot of Bro. Race's Mystery Play being identical with the plot of the Legend as practiced today precluded any possibility of changes having taken place. Inconsistencies and contradictions in the wording and action of modern rituals were considered and no explanation offered. If the plot of the modern Legend had been uniform throughout the world it would be possible to conclude that no changes had occurred, and that the Legend as we know it now may have been the Libretto for a Medieval Mystery Play. It cannot be stated on the basis of the arguments here presented that this is impossible, but it can be concluded that it could not have been a Mystery Play having the plot Bro. Race intimates it did have. The unfortunate feature is that the drama today is not the drama of two centuries ago. Changes have come about, the Legend has taken on a new and more complicated form, and these developments cannot be ignored in advancing a theory such as Bro. Race advocates. Samuel Prichard's Masonry Dissected, first published in October of 1730, while not a reliable authority, has been considered as possibly representative of the type of ritual practiced at that time and will serve as a practical illustration of the difficulties of the subject. The Master Mason "came to survey the works"; three ruffians supposed to be Fellowcrafts accosted him and dealt him his "quietus." The search is conducted by fifteen Fellowcrafts who by order of King Solomon went out of the west door, divided themselves from right to left, within call of each other. It at once becomes apparent from this synopsis, which covers the salient features of this form of the Legend, that the changes which have taken place are not only numerous, but of a vital nature. It is obvious that it is the features which have been added that are the ones to which Bro. Race so strongly takes exception. The difficulty over the recantation is removed, as is the one based on the word "lifeless." He received his "quietus" which should satisfy us, but if it does not, the next question from Masonry Dissected will settle it for all time, "How was he killed?" The procedure of Solomon in discovering the ruffians, etc., is entirely missing. The Fellowcrafts were not sent to search for them, but to find H. A. What happened to the ruffians is never told. In fact, when we make a careful analysis, not only in the light of Prichard, but taking other sources into consideration as well, we can be sure of very little of the plot of the Legend. About all that seems to be persistent is that a Master Mason at King Solomon's Temple was killed by three ruffians and that later he was found.
THE LEGEND IS NOT HISTORY
That the Drama is an allegory is a well-established fact. It could not by any stretch of the imaginative powers become the historical narration of an actual happening at King Solomon's Temple. Evidently, this is what Bro. Race is attempting to prove throughout his discourse on the inaccuracies to be found in the Legend. That these difficulties can be explained by the exigencies of the stage is equally demonstrated, but that this is the right explanation is another matter. It would be very easy to write too much on the variations in rituals of the present day and the changes which have taken place within the period of authentic history as a consequence we have taken only typical examples.
The recantation "at the moment", is explained by Bro. Race as follows:
"On the stage fifteen men come and immediately begin to discuss their plans, but twelve of them retire 'at the moment' of carrying their conspiracy into effect. What is difficult to accept in a story becomes simplicity when we put it on a stage. They retire. The three men hide ..."
That this is a well-founded explanation is to be doubted. If the Legend existed at the time Miracle Plays were being presented, Prichard would convince us that they knew nothing about the recantation of the twelve. When he comes to consider "lifeless," Bro. Race calls to mind the disagreeable features connected with the raising of a body (as we know it to be done) that had been buried in a hot country for at least three days; he explains all of these away by the fact that the actor would not be actually dead, but only playing dead and at the completion of the drama would make his bow with the rest. This all seems superfluous. With these illustrations it is clear to see how easily the difficulties of action could be explained. It is in much the same way that Bro. Race explains all of them. The parading of the workmen to answer roll call and assist in locating the ruffians is cited as a golden opportunity for pageantry and this, he says, was a weakness with medieval people. When one studies Bro. Race's article the numerous difficulties he points out convince one that there is no possible inconsistency that has not been mentioned. Yet there is one, and Bro. Race's explanation of it would be interesting. If it can be explained through the exigencies of the stage it would be astonishing to see the manner in which it was handled. The Legend tells us that there was in excess of 150,000 workmen on the Temple, and that Hiram was the Master Architect. There is no doubt that, from the Legendary account, Hiram was a man whose integrity, fidelity, and exemplary conduct should be perpetuated and his memory revered by all generations. But, again taking the Legendary story, his genius was such that it should have more emphasis laid upon it in the workings of the ritual. That he was a genius cannot be too strongly impressed upon our minds, for he drew out the plans by which to direct an army of 150,000 work men from day to day, and during the hour of refreshment! In my opinion, it would take a more realistic drama than we know, and certainly one far surpassing that of the medieval period, to explain that superhuman power. It seems apparent that if we consider the internal difficulties of the story as a whole, together with its inconsistencies and improbabilities, a more simple and more logical explanation of them than the one offered by Bro. Race presents itself. To explain them by saying that they are allegory and nothing but allegory, in which we do not hope to find the true relation of facts as we do in historical narration seems to be far more logical than to attempt to explain their illogical sequence and absurdity of action by the medium of the stage.
There is no conclusive evidence thus far that the Legend could not have been a Miracle Play. The fact we have presented simply show that many of the internal difficulties at present existing in the drama are recent innovations. Some of the inconsistencies and improbabilities exist in the older forms of the Legend and might be explained by the exigencies of the stage, but we have conclusively shown that while this is a possibility, it certainly is not a probability. If the Legend was the Libretto for a presentation on the medieval rostrum, certainly it was not presented as we know it, but in a form much simpler and easier of production. It is also to be noted that during the Medieval period plays of this nature were not presented on a stage but in pageant form. The three exits mentioned by Bro. Race did not develop earlier than the middle of the 16th century. The mill of evolution grinds slowly but continuously and exceedingly fine. It has done its bit toward developing our Legend.
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FREEMASONRY IN KENTUCKY
Bro. Henry Baer, Ohio
THE seed of Masonry had been planted in most fertile ground by the early pioneer brethren of Kentucky, and with the formation of her Grand Lodge and continued settlement of the state the Craft took great forward strides and soon ranked with the leading Jurisdictions of the land. Lodges sprang rapidly into existence and from the original five bodies, with a total membership of about one hundred and fifty, these numbers steadily mounted until by the year 1830 there were sixty-six chartered lodges, with two thousand six hundred members. In this time and later there was a rapid spread of Freemasonry throughout the Mississippi Valley, a total of nineteen lodges being chartered by the Kentucky Grand Lodge in the several States or Territories of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana and Arkansas, where no Masonic Governing Bodies yet existed. From the fact that these earliest lodges of the then known western country were warranted by Kentucky this State may well claim the title of being the "Mother of Freemasonry in the Mississippi Valley."
During the early 30's Kentucky suffered heavily in common with all other Grand Jurisdictions of the United States from the effects of the fierce anti-Masonic campaign which for years swept the country following the disappearance from New York State in 1826 of William Morgan, a renegade Mason, and his alleged murder at the hands of the Fraternity. Fanned by the high wind of bigotry and fanaticism, and the slander of political frauds, vicious assaults directed against it nearly resulted in the collapse of the Masonic Institution in America. Many lodges surrendered their charters, some becoming totally extinct while others suspended labor for several years. Even a few Grand Lodges ceased to function owing to the fury of fanatical attacks against the Order. This last, however, was not the case in Kentucky, its Grand Communications being held each year despite all vicissitudes and losses. That the representatives of but 13 lodges attended the Grand Lodge meeting of 1836 is indicative of the force of the fight made in this state. The number of lodges steadily dwindled during this decade until by 1840 but 37 remained upon the Grand Lodge roll with a loss of approximately half the Masonic membership. However, with the recession of the tide Masonry quickly became restored to normally in Kentucky during the 40's and once again resumed her onward march. By 1850 there were one hundred and thirty-nine lodges in operation with a membership that totalled nearly five thousand. From this time the Order grew in leaps and bounds, these numbers being more than doubled in another decade and continuing at a healthy rate in the years following.
The appendant degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry early made their appearance in Kentucky and were later placed in a state of organization. A Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was established at Lexington by authority of the Grand Lodge in November, 1814, and within the next two years others were formed at Frankfort and Shelbyville. These on Oct. 16, 1816, were regularly chartered by Thomas Smith Webb, Deputy Grand High Priest of the United States, and were the earliest regular Chapters working four degrees in the state. While the granting of the authority to Lexington Masons to organize a Chapter was the first time that this branch of Masonry appeared by name in the record of the Grand Lodge, the fact of its adopting "crimson" for its livery as early as 1800 would indicate the Royal Arch "tendency" of the leading spirits in Grand Lodge, and the strong influence of Ancient Craft Masonry in Kentucky. On Dec. 4, 1817, a Grand Chapter for the state was formed at Frankfort by the three existing Capitular bodies, with James Moore, Past Grand Master, as first Grand High Priest.
Just when the Council Degrees were introduced into Kentucky is not known, but the records disclose that on Dec. 10, 1827, a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters was organized at Frankfort by six Cryptic bodies then working in the state, with Robert Johnson, Grand Master in 1828, as first Thrice Illustrious Grand Master.
As to the formation of the earliest Commanderies, Knights Templar, there is likewise no information at hand. The Grand Encampment of Kentucky was instituted on Oct. 5, 1847, at Lexington by representatives of five Commanderies, Henry Wingate, Past Grand Master and a most distinguished Mason, being elected first Grand Eminent Commander.
Scottish Rite Masonry was introduced and the Grand Consistory of the Ancient and Accepted Rite established at Louisville in August, 1852, by Albert G. Mackey 33°, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction. A period of inaction set in immediately following its inception and it was not until in November, 1858, that this body was revived and organized anew at Louisville with Rob. Morris as Commander-in-Chief. Since its reorganization Scottish Rite Masonry in Kentucky has experienced a healthy growth, while the Capitular, Cryptic and Templar Bodies have enjoyed a most prosperous and flourishing existence.
Duelling, as is well remembered, was quite a common occurrence in this country during the first part of the nineteenth century. Perhaps in no other state was the practice more indulged in than Kentucky. A most unusual record is found in the Grand Lodge Proceedings for 1818. At the annual session Dr. William H. Richardson, Grand Master, and Dr. Benjamin W. Dudley, Past Master of Lexington Lodge and an officer in Grand Lodge, were summoned to appear before the Grand Lodge to answer to charges preferred against them of having engaged in a duel. After due investigation by a committee it was reported that a reconciliation had been effected between the warring Craftsmen. A motion was made, nevertheless, to expel both members from the Fraternity; this was tabled Henry Clay then offered a resolution to suspend the combatants from the privileges of Masonry "during the pleasure of this Grand Lodge," which was adopted and the unhappy incident brought to a close. These brethren remained suspended until the next meeting of the Grand Lodge a year later. Several other instances of duelling between members came to the attention of the parent body and in each the participants were severely disciplined.
Upon early rosters are to be noted the names of many men famous in the public life and Masonic history of the state and several of national renown: Colonel Joseph Hamilton Daviess, distinguished soldier, lawyer and Freemason, who while Grand Master of Kentucky, and having Masonic jurisdiction over the Territory of Indiana, lost his life while gallantly leading a charge at the Battle of Tippecanoe on the banks of the Wabash, Nov. 7, 1811; Colonel Abraham Owen, an officer of the Grand Lodge, was also killed in this engagement, together with other Masons from Kentucky; John Allen, brilliant lawyer and Grand Master in 1808-9-10, who was among those slaughtered in the terrible carnage of the River Raisin in January, 1813; John Simpson, Deputy Grand Master in 1808-9-10, likewise killed at the Raisin, as was also Paschal Hickman, a Grand Lodge officer, and several others of the Craft from Kentucky; Henry Clay, illustrious and foremost statesman of his time, Secretary of State in the cabinet of John Quincy Adams, and United States Senator, first Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and Grand Master in 1820; John J. Crittenden, United States Senator and Governor of the state from 1848 to 1850; John C. Breckenridge, famous soldier and statesman, Vice-President under James Buchanan and Grand Orator in 1854, with others of this distinguished family who won high Masonic honors such as George Breckenridge, Grand Master in 1839, Joseph C. and Robert J Breckenridge, who served terms as Grand Orators of the Grand Lodge; William T. Barry, brilliant states man and Grand Orator; Rob. Morris, Grand Master in 1858, a most eminent Masonic lecturer, poet and historian, crowned Poet-Laureate of Freemasonry in America, the first to be thus honored, principal founder of the Order of the Eastern Star and author of its ritual, and many other names dear to the hearts of Kentuckians, as Bullock, Pope, Overton, Grundy, Banks, Southgate, Bodley, Taylor, Wingate, all of whom were prominent in the state as well as in the Craft.
Strange parallels are to be noted in the Battle of Tippecanoe, which ushered in the War of 1812 and wherein the gallant Daviess was slain, and Bunker Hill, the first major engagement of the Revolution where fell the immortal General Joseph Warren. In each a Grand Master made the supreme sacrifice for his country on territory over which he held Masonic jurisdiction, Warren having been Grand Master of "Ancient" Masons in Massachusetts while Daviess was Grand Master of Kentucky and the Territory of Indiana. In the summer following the latter's lamentable death a lodge was formed at Lexington and styled Daviess. Lodge, No. 22, in his honor. This was the first instance of a Masonic lodge being named after an individual in Kentucky.
Herein during the year 1846 was initiated Dr. Joseph S. Halstead. This estimable Craftsman later removed to Breckenridge, Mo., where he still resides hale and hearty at the great age of 107 years. (2) Now rounding out his eightieth milestone as a member of the fraternity, Bro. Halstead probably has the distinction of being the oldest Mason in the United States, if not in the entire world. The last birthday of this venerable centenarian was fittingly celebrated in Breckenridge, a holiday being declared and the whole population turning out to do honor to its most distinguished citizen.
Alive and progressive from its very beginning the Grand Lodge of Kentucky quickly took rank with the leading Grand Jurisdictions in the land, at one time, about the middle of the eighteenth century, standing second in respect to total membership. Likewise did she keep pace with the foremost in the pursuit of Masonic knowledge and become a pioneer in construction and educational work and the care of her widows, orphans, indigent members and their wives.
Her Book of Constitutions was published in 1808 when not more than five other Grand Bodies had done so; several periodicals were distributed from the year 1821, Tannehill's Manual was issued in 1840, and her Code of Masonic Law was published in 1857, the earliest work on Masonic Jurisprudence in the United states. Then there was the renowned Universal Masonic Library and the History of Freemasonry in Kentucky, by Rob. Morris, which is claimed to be the first true and accurate account of its kind in America.
CONSTITUTIONS ARE ADOPTED
The early Masons in Kentucky had all been instructed under the Ahiman Rezon or Constitutions of Virginia (1792). This closely followed that of Lawrence Dermott, long the leading spirit of the "Ancient" Grand Lodge in England which professed to recognize only Ancient York Masonry. Kentucky's Book of Constitutions, published in 1808 and again ten years later, was patterned upon these "Ancient" regulations. Like other Ancient York jurisdictions the rule forbidding any member visiting a lodge of so-called "Modern" Masons under penalty of Masonic discipline was rigidly enforced in the State. This provision remained in effect until the union of the warring Grand Bodies in 1813. While the initiatory work has always been "Ancient" in character the Thomas Smith Webb, or "Prestonian Lectures" of England, which were disseminated in Kentucky between the years 1815 and 1818 (and became with a few unimportant changes the standard of all Grand Jurisdictions in the country excepting Pennsylvania) were found easily adaptable by the more skillful Masons of that period. (3)
The instructing of candidates in the "work" or lectures, by the traditional mode from "mouth to ear," as well as the conferring of degrees, is still done in the ancient style which came from Virginia 150 years ago. These methods will doubtless continue in the State as under its Constitutions any written record, ritual or cipher code is strictly forbidden. In the conferring of degrees there is no other guide than a monitor which gives but the barest outline of the work with many gaps and deleted passages. Naturally in the process of so many years there has crept in variations of style and changes in phraseology in the exemplification of the work. This has been a matter of concern to Grand Lodge officers for some time and a plan is being evolved to secure more uniformity in this regard. The best suggestion offered thus far, and one that is receiving favorable consideration, is to form Masonic districts in the state and assign the best ritualists from the ranks of Past Grand officers to properly instruct the various lodges in each district and in this manner secure more uniformity in the conferring of the degrees.
MASONIC HALL BUILT
As early as the year 1813 steps were taken toward the erection of a Masonic Hall for holding the sessions of the Grand Lodge in the town of Lexington. With money received from donations and by the aid of a lottery that the Grand Lodge conducted under its auspices throughout the state a fund was eventually established. Delays were encountered and through various reasons it was not until ten years later that the Temple was completed at a cost of nearly $30,000 (considered quite a sum in those days) and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on Oct. 25, 1826, the first Masonic edifice of its kind in the land.
When General Marquis de LaFayette made a tour of this country in 1825 he visited Lexington and was cordially welcomed by the Masons of that city. A grand ball was given in honor of their distinguished guest and the party with him in the new hall, which was attended by a brilliant assemblage of the brethren and their ladies. At another time two Indians visited Masons' Hall where a lodge meeting was in progress, one of whom was the celebrated Colonel Ross. After being duly examined and found worthy they were admitted and introduced to the members. This was the only instance of full-blooded Indians ever being received in a Lexington Lodge.
The first home of the Grand Lodge, however, had but a brief term of usefulness, being destroyed by fire in the year 1837. In this conflagration the original charter of Lexington Lodge, No. 1, and also that of Daviess Lodge, No. 22, was lost, as well as many valuable records and archives of the Grand Lodge. A new building was immediately proposed and soon erected at a cost of about $25,000. This second Temple was built upon the site of old Masons' Hall, the ground having been presented to Lexington Lodge near the close of the eighteenth century by William Murray, later first Grand Master, as has been noted above. After meeting in Lexington for over fifty years the seat of the Grand Lodge was in 1858 removed to Louisville, where its sessions have since been held.
In the year 1843 the Grand Lodge of Kentucky instituted measures for the establishment of a Masonic School in the state for educating the orphans of deceased members as well as the children of indigent Masons. Eventually an institution of this character was opened at La Grange. It did not long survive as proved a heavy drain upon the Grand Lodge resources and was in later years abandoned. But in 1867 plans were laid in Grand Lodge for the construction of Widows' and Orphans' Home in Louisville, the money for its erection and maintenance to be raised by taxation of every member in the State. Within a few years the Home was completed and opened its doors, the first Masonic Institution of its kind, and the finest for man years, in this country.
In addition to giving the wards of the Home a thorough schooling, the boys and girls were taught trades or other occupations for which they may have been fitted. When arriving at the age for leaving the Institution a course of higher education was opened to those qualified, the Board of Trustees appointed by the Grand Lodge arranging to place them in outside high schools or colleges at its expense. The Home, which is still existence, now has about seventy of its former wards scattered over the State of Kentucky in advanced institutions of learning. One of its industrial features is a printing establishment wherein job work and general printing for the outside trade is done by the boys. The Home prints and publishes the "Masonic Home Journal," believed to be the only Masonically owned and operated newspaper in the world, a copy of each issue being sent to every Mason in the state.
In 1871 the Old Masons' Home at Shelbyville was built with funds similarly acquired by the Grand Lodge, Kentucky again leading all others and erecting a place of abode where veteran members of the Craft and their wives may find real kindness and love in their declining years.
While Masonry in the Blue Grass state has always been in a live and flourishing condition, in respect to membership there has never ensued a greater period of prosperity than in late years. In 1918 with the close of the World War there were approximately forty-two thousand names upon the Grand Lodge Register. At present with a total of more than six hundred active lodges the Craft in the state can boast a membership which is rapidly approaching the seventy-five thousand mark. This is a phenomenal increase and presage of a greater triumphant march of the Institution than ever before in what was once the "dark and bloody ground of Kentucky.
The most important matter now occupying the attention of the Grand Lodge and interesting the Masons of the state is the erection of a new Widows' and Orphans' Home at Louisville. Although the present edifice is valued at one million dollars the need of a larger and more modern structure was foreseen several years ago. A committee was appointed which after examination named $1,000,000 as the amount necessary to build the Home. Individual subscriptions and donations were then received which has netted more than half of this sum. Later, however, when plans and specifications were submitted it was seen that the original estimate had been too low and in consequence $600,000 was added thereto. In order to raise the entire amount a plan was evolved whereby every Mason holding membership in the state was assessed the sum of twenty dollars, payable in four equal installments, this to apply to all but those who had already subscribed or given at least that amount. Ground was secured just outside of the corporate limits of Louisville and actual work has already begun upon some of the more important buildings. A feature in the new Home will be a large auditorium wherein the meetings of the Grand Lodge are to be held, its present quarters now having become inadequate.
The officers of the Kentucky Grand Lodge for the year 1925 are: Bros. H. M. Grundy, Grand Master; G. A. Holland, Deputy Grand Master; C. S. Rankins, Grand Senior Warden; Hanson Peterson, Grand Junior Warden; James Garnett, Grand Treasurer; F. W. Hardwick, Grand Secretary; T. W. Pennington, Grand Senior Deacon; J. J. T. Hourigan, Grand Junior Deacon; Rev. R. B. Grider, Grand Chaplain; G. B. Spencer, Grand Marshal; J. T. Linebaugh, Grand Sword Bearer; C. W. Homan, Grand Pursuivant, and W. H. Hawes, Grand Tyler.
(2) Since this article was written Bro. Halstead has been called to the Grand Lodge above. He passed away at his home at Breckenridge, Mo., Sept. 13, 1925. (3) This is the generally accepted pedigree of the "lectures" generally in use in the Jurisdiction of the U.S.A. Bro. Kress of Pennsylvania, who has devoted much time to the subject, is emphatically of the opinion that Webb not only did not use Preston's lectures, but that it is most improbable that he had the least idea of their real form and character. What Webb undoubtedly did do was to use much of the matter in Preston's openly published Illustration of Masonry in compiling his Monitor.
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MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
JOHN JACOB ASTOR
IN the year 1763 in the village of Waldorf, near the ancient university town of Heidelberg in Germany, was born the fourth son of a butcher and inn-keeper named Asdoer, later Anglicized into Astor. The family was very poor and the sons all left home as soon as they reached an age to fend for themselves. The youngest, who had been baptized John Jacob, lost his mother in his boyhood, and a shrewish step-mother who took her place gave an additional inducement to him to follow the example of his brothers. At the age of sixteen he packed up a bundle of his few belongings, money he had little or none, and left his birthplace to seek his fortune. He seems to have walked to Heidelberg and from there worked his passage to Holland on one of the river boats. From Holland in like manner he crossed the North Sea and landed in London. There was a reason for this temporary objective. An uncle of his was established there in partnership with an Englishman named Broadwood, engaged in the manufacture of musical instruments and one of his elder brothers was working for them. John Jacob was also given work and remained there until he was twenty, working hard and saving every possible penny.
But this was only a stepping stone. In 1783 he used a large part of his little hoard to pay for a steerage passage to America, the remainder he invested in a new suit of clothes and a few flutes which he hoped to sell at a profit, and so embarked on the long, always uncomfortable and often dangerous voyage. In this case stormy weather and adverse winds were met and the passage was greatly prolonged. At the time this seemed unfortunate, but it is possible that it had a direct bearing on his future fortunes. On the ship was another German, who had been engaged in the trade, and from him the youth learned much of its romance and risks, and the enormous profits that repaid a successful venturer. He landed at Baltimore, but soon made his way to New York, where another brother, Henry Astor, was living, following the paternal trade of butcher.
Henry was apparently far from well-to-do and was unable to take him into his own house, but found lodgings for him with a baker. John Jacob worked for the baker to pay his board while he looked around for something better. The tales of his fellow voyager seem to have actuated his next step for he went to work, for a fur dealer, at advance in remuneration, for here he got two dollars a week in addition to his board and lodging. His work here was chiefly the beating and dressing of furs and repacking them for export. He appears to have used the opportunity to learn all he could about the trade, and not long afterwards set up for himself in a small way. He made journeys to the Indian settlements and bought furs, carrying them at first on his back. These he would bring to New York where he dressed and prepared them, putting by all the best for a further venture. As soon as he had enough accumulated he took passage to England where he sold them very profitably. While in London on this occasion he established relations with the furriers there, and also induced his uncle to give him an agency for the firm of Astor & Broadwood in New York. He returned with a stock of musical instruments and opened the first store for their sale in America.
He married Sarah Todd, a relative of the Knickerbocker Dutch family of Brevoorts. His wife brought him a small portion, which was, however, a welcome addition to his capital. She became as deeply interested in furs as her husband and even a better judge of them. Later when he was dealing direct with China, for which trade the very best skins were collected, the final selection was always left to her judgment.
Astor's next step was to become a ship owner, his idea being to take advantage of every profit to be obtained between the trapper and the foreign consumer. The carrying of other freight more than paid for the transportation of his furs. He was now established in a big way, and was determined to emulate the methods of the great fur and trading companies. In 1809 he applied to Congress for assistance in establishing a chain of trading posts from the Great Lakes to the Pacific, and as a beginning of this enterprise the settlement of Astoria was founded at the mouth of the Columbia River, But with the outbreak of the War in 1812 these plans were interrupted and after peace was made the project fell through for some reason. This was likely enough on account of the great development of the already established channels of his business. Though he never lost his interest in furs, yet his operations now extended in many directions and his ships were trading all over the world.
Though in early life he had had but the barest rudiments of education, and though in his manhood his whole waking time was devoted to his work, he yet seems to have had a wonderful faculty for acquiring knowledge. It was doubtless due to this quality and to the constructive imagination which went with it, that he was enabled to take such good advantage of the opportunities that fell in his way. His actions seem to have been uniformly on the highest level of probity even where public opinion would not have condemned a lower standard, as in his dealings with the Indians. His friends and associates were in his later years men of scientific and literary standing. It was Washington Irving who suggested to him the founding of the Astor Library for which he left $400,000 in his will. He also left $50,000 for the founding of an orphanage and old people's home in his native town in Germany.
As to his Masonic connections there is not very much to be discovered. It is probable that he joined the Order in America. But we do know definitely that in 1798 he was elected to the office of Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of New York, an office he held for two years.
He died in New York in 1848 and was buried in Trinity Cemetery.
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What care I for caste or creed?
It is the deed, it is the deed.
What for class, or what for clan?
It is the man, it is the man!
It is of love and joy and woe,
For who is high and who is low,
Mountain, valley, sky and sea
Are for all humanity.
What care I for robe or stole?
It is the soul, it is the soul.
What for the crown or what for chest?
It is the soul within the breast,
It is the faith, it is the hope,
It is the struggle up the slope,
It is the brain and the eye to see,
One God and one humanity.
— Robert Loveman.
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MASONRY AND TOLERATION
Bro. S. J. Carter, New York
THE two articles here presented deal with a subject of some importance from very different standpoints. The second does not specifically deal with Freemasonry at all, and might have appeared anywhere — but written by a Mason and sent by him for publication in The Builder, the Masonic application is to be understood as in the background.
The standpoint of the writer is one that is very generally taken; and it is for the reason that so many will endorse it that we present it here. On the other hand it is probable that the views expressed in the first article would not be willingly assented to by a very large proportion of the Masons of the country. We leave it therefore to our readers to think the matter out for themselves. It is not an unimportant question; there are strong tendency currents in the thought of the American Craft today, and it certainly behooves readers of The Builder at least to consider whither these are setting, and whether it is well that we should drift with them, or whether they should be resisted.
Is toleration "the Grand Characteristic of Masonry?" Mackey said that it was, and other eminent members of the Craft seem to have been of the same opinion. On the other hand certain tendencies are developing in the expression of thought and opinion among members of the Order in America which logically imply that for certain things Freemasonry is not, or should not or cannot afford to be tolerant.
Tendencies in thought are like the slow movement of a glacier — by no means easy to observe and apt to carry us along in a direction we do not realize. If they are in accord with the true aims of the Institution they should be encouraged, but if not they ought to be combatted, their consequences pointed out and everything possible done to nullify their effect.
We speak of toleration freely under the impression now quite well what we intend by the word, and that others will take it in the same sense as we do ourselves; but a reference to a dictionary will show that its cognates, such as tolerance, tolerate and tolerable have many different shades of meaning; and it may therefore be well to consider these in order to know definitely what is implied by the term.
The root of this group of words originally meant to carry, to take up, to bear, and was extended from a purely physical sense to a metaphorical one. In old English it was used in the sense of endurance, and from the physical endurance of pain or hardship to that of mental or moral burdens. In the terminology of medicine tolerance is still used in the sense of the ability of the organism to receive drugs or shocks or to withstand poisons. However, it is today most frequently used and understood as meaning the power of the mind to bear with opinions and beliefs different from or opposite to our own, and to put up with people who have characteristics which we do not like. Tolerance in this sense is the result of experience, understanding and sympathy. Carelessness and indifference sometimes produce an attitude which may simulate true tolerance in appearance, and to which the name itself may be loosely applied, but we cannot be said to bear with those things which do not affect us, nor is it toleration in this sense to submit to things or persons we are afraid of.
Tolerance is the ripe fruit of experience. Youth is naturally intolerant, for it has not yet realized how many points of view there may be besides its own, nor how many beliefs other than those it holds. In youth this may be forgiven for it is the time of apprenticeship to life. But unless we learn as we grow older that opinions we dissent from may appear self-evident to others, and beliefs we are constrained to deny may be yet honestly held by someone else we are not growing in wisdom. With understanding and sympathy we may even appreciate the point of view of those whom we oppose, and the motives of our enemies. Even the criminal is a man, and thinks and feels essentially as we do ourselves. In his circumstances, with his prepossessions and subject to his temptations it may be we would have done no better than he; as Baxter said when he saw a man being taken to the gallows, "There, but for the grace of God, goes Richard Baxter."
If this be the nature of toleration in the individual what does it mean applied to an institution? We may perhaps most easily see by taking concrete examples. Political parties are generally intolerant, associations of scientists or philosophical societies are tolerant. With the one the object is to secure the triumph of certain opinions or ideas by any means and at any cost, with the other to arrive at the truth, or at least at the facts relevant to any question. In religion Islam is characteristically intolerant. According to Mohammedan belief God hates all who do not accept its creed and has foreordained a terrible place of eternal punishment for them. As a logical corollary any injury the faithful may do to the unbeliever is pleasing to him. Human nature is fortunately far from being consistent and many Mohammedans are better than this corollary of their faith; yet it is on this principle that Turkish rulers and Kurdish tribes have treated Armenian and Syrian Christians within their power.
Here, however, we are brought up against the fact that however definite our ideas of what toleration and intolerance mean, yet in their application they are never absolute. The persons or societies to which we apply these terms are only relatively or approximately one or the other. Either relatively in contrast to others or approximately in accordance with an ideal standard more or less definite.
A tolerant institution judging by our examples would appear to be one that was not bound by a detailed or narrowly defined set of beliefs or opinions, but which held only those absolutely necessary, upon which the greatest possible number of people in contact with it can agree. A political party sets forth a platform; from it probably nearly as many people in the country dissent as there are who support it. This is not necessarily because it is dishonest, or unwise, or impracticable, though it may seem so to its opponents. But obviously the party cannot tolerate, in the medical sense, the presence of the dissentients in its ranks, for to do so would render it impotent. On the contrary, a society of sociologists and students of political economy can contain members of all shades of opinion because its object is discussion and not the propagation of special theories. A church in the same sense cannot tolerate in its membership or among its clergy disbelief in any point or points of the creed by which it is distinguished. The more detailed and dogmatically defined that creed is the more intolerant it must of necessity be; but a society of philosophers can admit among its members any religious opinion from blank atheism to the most dogmatic form of Christianity, because such a society demands only adherence to those fundamental laws of thought without which no argument or exchange of opinion would be possible.
From these considerations it certainly seems that Mackey was quite right, and that toleration is a characteristic of the Masonic Fraternity. And if we turn to its history this opinion will be strengthened. It is true that the old Manuscript Constitutions charged the Mason to honor God and holy church and to have no dealings with heresy, and heresy has an ugly sound in the light of the records of the past. But on examination we see that the exhortation is very indefinite, and probably more formal than real. The earliest of these documents and their originals were written when an open heretic was as rare a bird in England as a Buddhist is now in America. Approximately all men could agree to this regulation, while of the few whom it would bar not many were likely to be candidates for Masonry. At the Reformation all parties regarded all others as heretical so that the phrase could be taken any way. The real meaning in effect, if not the original intention, was that Masonry had nothing whatever to do with religious questions. We find, too, that from the first glimpses we get of its internal economy that its membership was drawn from all ranks and levels of society, excepting only the unfree.
Again in 1746 Great Britain was in the throes of a bitter internecine struggle, in which political partizanship was inflamed by religious bigotry. Yet Ashmole, a Royalist and a member of the Church of England was made a Mason in the same lodge, and at the same time, as Mainwaring the Puritan and Parliament-man. Both however could agree on the essential points of the Christian faith, for the supposition that anything else could be possible would then have seemed monstrous to all. Yet seventy years later there was a great change in this regard. Science, in the modern sense, had pushed up into the light of day, and was putting forth leaves and branches. With new knowledge came doubts of old beliefs. Thinking men, or some of them, and still more their followers, broke away from the doctrines of Christianity and Deism was born. Yet, as intellectual evolution is gradual, a thoroughgoing atheist was still a social and moral outcast. In 1723 belief in Christianity was eliminated from the newly organized Grand Lodge Masonry, because without taking this step the Institution would have been forced by the march of events into a position of intolerance, of having to take sides on a question of religious belief. The step was naturally opposed, much dissatisfaction was caused by it, many members withdrew, many lodges resumed their independence, or so it seems probable. The Masonry of Scandinavia never agreed to this change, and has in effect, though very politely and without any public denunciations, tacitly excommunicated the Freemasonry of the rest of the world for what it regarded as a violation of the most essential landmark; excepting from this ban only some of the German Grand Lodges that have kept nearer to it in this regard. From the point of view of legality they are undoubtedly right and we are wrong. Yet it would seem that tolerance is the very life principle of Masonry, and that any rule or tradition that limits its universality must sooner or later be broken and cast aside. When it is found that many good men did not accept the doctrines of Christianity, then belief in them could no longer be required of its candidates.
So far we have dealt only with the internal aspect of the Institution. What is to be said of its relationship to other corporate bodies? Towards the state its position is very clear and definite. Every Mason is bound to be a true and loyal citizen of his own country, and obedient to the laws of the country in which he resides. If the law forbids Freemasonry, there is nothing for the Masons concerned but to close their lodges, cease all Masonic activities and wait till a reversal of the law permits them to resume their interrupted labors. It is true that Masons have not always perfectly obeyed their own rule, that they have in some cases broken through or evaded such laws yet it is equally true that in most such cases they have with dignity submitted to injustice, and as an organization ceased to function.
But what of its attitude to other forms of hostility, whether on the part of individuals or societies? So far as the individual Mason is concerned his duty is clear. He is forcibly charged as an Entered Apprentice never to enter into any dispute on the subject — "neither are you to suffer your zeal for the Institution to lead you into arguments with those, who through ignorance, may ridicule it" — this is but the bare text, if it is not to be defended against ridicule, neither is it to be defended against any other attack. Why? Because it needs no defense? In most cases it does not — although such ignorant hostility may become powerful enough to sway the government of the state, and obtain the enactment of repressive laws. The real reason is that it cannot defend itself in this way without acting in opposition to the law of its being. It cannot descend to dispute and argue its cause individually, or in the public press, or before the rulers of the state, without derogating from its universal and essentially tolerant character. As the word is understood it has no cause, its tenets, its objects, are such as all good men can accept, and few would care to gainsay — they are such as all good men actually do hold and exemplify in their lives-Masonry only giving them more and wider opportunities to do so. Such an Institution must be tolerant, or cease to be itself.
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Ralph T. Scott, Washington, D.C.
THE manner in which some Protestants react to Roman Catholic propaganda makes one feel that broad minds, like broad rivers, are usually shallow. The Catholic propagandists set up a wail for tolerance, and immediately our broad-minded citizens of other faiths take up the refrain.
Toleration of the other fellow's beliefs and ideas is a fine thing — provided the other fellow is equally tolerant of our own. But why should we be tolerant of an organization which, although insisting upon tolerance towards itself, makes no pretence of being tolerant towards others? "The Church Militant," an appellation applied by the Roman Catholic Church to itself, is not indicative of a spirit of tolerance. It is in truth a "Church Militant", fighting with all its power and resources for its own glorification. Its doctrines and teachings absolutely prohibit its being tolerant.
A recent editorial in America, one of the leading Catholic publications of the country, in a passing reference to the charge that the Church is arrogant, admitted this to be true, but stated in justification thereof that it is "Divinely Arrogant". That probably accounts for its intolerance — it is Divinely Intolerant. This one statement clearly indicates the attitude of the Catholic mind, and so long as such an attitude persists it is not hard to realize that there can be no toleration by the Catholic Church of those things which are in opposition to it.
Many non-Catholics base their perverted ideas of tolerance on the fact that they have Roman Catholic friends and acquaintances, also business associates, whose feelings they do not care to hurt. They will not take any stand against the Catholic Church as an organization for fear of offending their Catholic friends as individuals, quite overlooking the fact that a true Catholic has no existence as an individual — he is merely a cog in a great machine; a pawn in the hands of the Roman hierarchy. From birth to death he is under the control, directly or indirectly, of his ecclesiastical superiors, who say what school he shall attend, what books he shall or shall not read, what subjects he shall or shall not discuss, prohibit his thinking for himself along certain lines, tell him who he can marry, and so on ad finem. They even say where he shall be buried when he is dead. And it is to avoid giving offence to such a puppet as this that certain so-called broadminded persons, like an echo from Rome, plead for toleration of the Catholic Church. The similitude might be further emphasized by remarking that an echo is only a reflected noise.
It is only fair to say that most Catholic laymen are honestly convinced that the teachings of their Church are incontrovertible, and, to their credit, they have the courage of their convictions and are willing to fight for them. It is this courage that is so badly needed by so many of our Protestant citizens. The Catholic believes Catholicism to be right and everything else wrong beyond a shadow of doubt; the Protestant thinks Protestantism might be right, but he isn't exactly sure about it. He says he is convinced, but, unlike the Catholic, he lacks the courage of his convictions. Toleration based on respect for another's ideas and opinions is commendable, but toleration based on morbid sentiment or fear of consequences is both cowardly and disgusting.
We who are not Catholic should certainly have an equal right to be as jealous of our faith as the Catholic is of his, and should take greater pride in being called bigoted for maintaining this right than some of us do in being termed broad-minded and tolerant because we have not the courage to stand up for our own convictions.
We can entertain a feeling of sympathy for the individual Catholic as one who has been misguided and misinformed, as the Catholic feels towards all who are not of his faith, but if we try to be too tolerant of the Catholic Church as an organization it will not be long before we will be pleading to that Church for tolerance, and when that time comes we will not find that institution so full of the same spirit of toleration they are now insisting upon from others. Or it may be we will not find so many weak-minded individuals among the membership of that organization.
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AN OLD NEWSPAPER REFERENCE TO GEORGE WASHINGTON
Mizpah Lodge, of Cambridge, through the courtesy of Bro. William E. Parker, has presented to the Grand Lodge a copy of the Dartmouth Gazette of Hanover, New Hampshire, bearing date Monday, Dec. 30, 1799, containing the announcement of the death of George Washington. In immediate connection with the news item is the following paragraph:
In consequence of the heartrending news of the death of the illustrious and beloved Brother Geo. Washington, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Lodges of Masons in the United states, a number of the brethren of Franklin Lodge, No. 6, holden at Hanover, convened and came to a resolution to pay a becoming tribute of respect to his memory on Thursday the 9th day of Jan. next; when will be pronounced an oration suitable to the occasion; and such other ceremonies attended to, as the brethren may judge consistent with the solemnity of the event. Brethren of neighbouring Lodges will oblige by attending this occasion. Dec. 27.
N.B. The Brethren are desired to meet at Mason's Hall, at 12 o'clock on said day.
This old paper is one of the earliest known newspaper references to Washington as a Mason. It is interesting to note that it records the erroneous idea which appears to have prevailed among the brethren of that time that Washington was a General Grand Master of Masons in the United States. The error probably arose from the fact that there was a widespread desire for a General Grand Lodge, and a unanimous opinion that if such a Grand Lodge were formed Washington was the one man in the country to be General Grand Master. The attempt to form such a Grand Lodge, however, did not succeed. Owing to the slowness and difficulty of communication in those days the brethren were apparently aware of the desire but not of the failure.
A similar reference to Washington as General Grand Master appears in the account of the memorial observances held by Tyrian Lodge, of Gloucester.
The Grand Lodge is deeply indebted to Mizpah Lodge for this very valuable gift. The paper has been carefully framed for preservation between two sheets of glass and is to be among the cherished possessions of the Grand Lodge where it is safe from theft or fire.
— Abstract from Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1921.
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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
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THE history of Freemasonry has many aspects. The collection of facts, the bare recital of events, is in any history only the material — the bricks and mortar — out of which the structure is to be reared. But history itself is the result of the application of an art. Science and scientific methods have their place, for only thereby are we assured of the facts we are to employ, but it is itself a living thing that whether we know it or not, has a momentous bearing on the present and through the present the future — on our present and future.
One of the curiosities — at least it seems very curious indeed at the first glance — is how an organization of craftsmen, who however ingenious, intelligent and imaginative yet worked with their hands, whose clothes were soiled with the dust of the stone cutting shed, and the cement and mortar they spread between stones squared, and carved with beautiful and noble designs, exhibited in its new form a strong tendency to become an entirely aristocratic institution; a tendency not entirely dead it would appear — when we realize that in modern democratic countries income gives the individual the corresponding status to that which once depended chiefly on birth.
It must be admitted that there are grounds for the opinion stated so strongly by Mackey in his history, that there was a deliberate and conscious plan on the part of the Speculative element to oust the old Operatives, first from any participation in the government of the Craft and later from any participation in it at all. It is an extreme statement, rather incredible in itself, and unsupported by facts, so far as it presupposes the carrying out of a definite plan; but that the tendency existed seems open to no doubt whatever. When the revived and remodelled organization was carried to France and Germany it was among the upper classes it spread, and only very slowly and gradually worked downwards in the social scale. After all it might be argued that it was not so great a change after all, and more in form than in spirit. As an Operative organization its members formed a sort of aristocracy of labor, and those who joined them as honorary members belonged almost entirely, so far as the scattered records go, to the ruling caste, the gentry as the old English term went. That is, it was always a picked body of men with special qualifications.
And yet the tendency to which Mackey referred certainly seems to us to have been in the wrong direction. The aristocracy of Masonry is one based on internal qualifications and not on external circumstances. No social class has a monopoly of virtue or ability. The fine gentlemen of the eighteenth century, with their embroidered coats and lace frilled cuffs; their wigs and swords, despised the base mechanic arts and crafts; yet they could not eliminate Hiram the widow's son, the apotheosis of the dignity of labor. True, it would seem they were not quite at ease with him. They allegorized him, took him as a symbol of Jacques de Molai or Charles I, or if mystically inclined, of the spirit or power behind nature, yet in spite of all they could not get rid of him. There he was, the master workman, who designed the temple and labored upon it with his own hands.
It often leads us into unexpected discoveries to ask questions about things everyone takes for granted. What is labor — work? Why should it ever have been despised, though obviously necessary? The aristocracy of the period of which we speak had perhaps reached the end of its usefulness. Its members did seem to be little more than parasites on society, using up a wholly disproportionate amount of the wealth of the community. Yet they had had a very important part to play in the evolution of our modern civilization. Let us take King Solomon's advice and go to the ant for an illustration. The ant is a very energetic and tireless worker, indeed (as Mark Twain once pointed out) she seems not to care so much what she is doing as long as she does something. But there are varieties in tropical countries which seem to be on a higher level, which have a highly developed division of labor. Among many of these there is a soldier class, a force unfitted to do anything but fight, in some cases they are even unable to feed themselves, but have to be waited on. The aristocracies of the world in general and of Europe in particular, have been fighting classes, and because organized warfare means discipline and order, they became a ruling caste as well. They therefore filled a necessary function, and in a sense they earned what they got, at least as much as our multimillionaires today. What then is work, and earning a remuneration therefor? The idea that first comes in anyone's mind is that it is doing something you don't particularly like doing in order to obtain a certain amount of money in return. But surely this is too narrow, and not even within its limits entirely accurate. A man's work may be very interesting to him even under modern conditions, and he may do it without any direct return in money. Some such definition as this would be better. "Work" is some kind of activity that tends to increase the total wealth or wellbeing of the community. The laborer is worthy of his hire, but it makes no difference whether he receives it directly at the hands of an employer, or indirectly from the community as interest on capital invested, or property held by him. Those in such a fortunate position are under the strongest moral obligations to do something for the good of the community that supports them. Without the community, the social organization, the possession of gold is as the possession of pebbles picked up at random, as Robinson Crusoe discovered when he found the chests of gold in the wreck. The capitalist, as did the aristocrat of the past, receives his wages from the community and if he does not earn them sooner or later he will be discharged, and as a class will disappear.
Freemasonry, then, among other things, continually reminds us of the worthiness of labor, and the honor that is the due of those who fulfill their task.
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THE word by itself has an older significance, still valid in speaking of the affairs of peoples and states — that of turning back from any form of social progress, blind conservatism, interested opposition to liberty, justice, or democratic forms of government. Still even this specialized use is plainly derived from its primitive meaning, most clearly seen in the language of physical science. In mechanics we say that where any force is applied in one direction — an action — there is a corresponding equal force in the opposite direction reacting to it. In chemistry the addition of one substance to another causes a reaction. From pure physics it was carried over to the interaction of men in groups considered historically and then got specialized in the sense mentioned above. But the general sense of the word has taken a new lease of life and in current American speech today it has come, very conveniently, to mean a man's response and general attitude towards a proposition made to or information received by him. It is according to this latest usage that we would speak of it now.
Psychology tells us that the normal result of emotion is action. Anything — a set of circumstances, a story told, an appeal, acts in the way of releasing a certain amount of nervous energy, which has got to find an outlet in some way. We may liken (the analogy is of course very crude) the mind to a steam-boiler, and the cause of emotion, of whatever nature, to the fire. Steam is generated and may be used to run an engine and do useful work. But if it is not so used, and the fire goes out, the heat is dissipated, or the boiler may leak a little, and so before long there is no power available. If for instance the fire was some disagreeable occurrence and the emotion anger, and we restrain the natural and (from the scientific point of view) appropriate action of sharp rejoinder or giving a blow, the emotion leaks out and after a while the matter can be dealt with dispassionately. The boiler metaphor is, as was said above, rather crude; perhaps a storage battery might be better, a storage battery connected to a number of lamps and electrical devices, any of which can be used — but if none are used, the battery charge will gradually be dissipated because no insulation is perfect. But even this is not a complete analogy, for it remains indifferent which of all the appliances is used. One particular lamp may be used a hundred, a thousand, or a million times, yet it remains just as easy to turn another switch and use the current to run a motor as it was at the first. With the nervous organism it is not so, the man who gives way to anger becomes increasingly bad tempered, the man who does not, starts a habit of self-control.
We selected anger because it is a very powerful impulse, and one in which the principle at work is perhaps most obviously exhibited, but the principle is universal and works equally with every kind and every degree of emotion or feeling. The emotion we would deal with now is that of compassion a nd the rather complex one best described perhaps as the feeling that wrong things should be set right. We may listen to an address describing such things, or read an appeal for aid to people in dire need. We are strongly affected, we feel something should be done about it, that we should do something. This particular nervous battery is peculiarly liable to leakage, and unless we do something very soon the power has disappeared. After a while, while we go on regarding ourselves as goodhearted and sympathetic people, who would be classed in the upper ethical levels of humanity, our compassion and service batteries develop short circuits and cannot be charged at all. In plain language we get a mental habit of being thrilled and emotionalized and doing nothing.
Of course, if this is what we want to be, it is all right, only it ought to be faced quite clearly what kind of character this leads to. But if not, then a habit should be started of doing something appropriate whenever such an emotion is roused. For example, a beggar tells a hard luck story — if we could believe it true, we would then at the moment try to help him. Statistics and experience tell us however that it is probably not true, that to give money indiscriminately does more harm than good — so we harden our hearts and pass on. The emotion dissipates and it is easier to refuse next time. After a while we do nothing at all for the unfortunate. What might he done, when doubtful about the individual case, is to set aside the quarter or half dollar we were inclined to give, and contribute it later to something we are sure about. A professional mendicant's appeal at home thus might be used to swell a fund for the relief of refugee children in Greece or Turkey.
As readers of THE BUILDER will have gathered, the executives of the National Masonic Research Society have definitely taken up the cause of the Masons suffering from tuberculosis. It is perhaps not properly or specifically a matter for such an organization to deal with, but it needs no apology. The Society is first of all Masonic. and its members are Masons, and their interest in the Order naturally leads to a higher conception of its functions and the obligations it imposes. The membership of the Society averages a high degree of influence in the Craft, THE BUILDER is distributed widely and evenly over the whole United States. We do not pretend that it is our campaign and we do not care whose may be the credit. We would be delighted to have every Masonic journal in the country take the matter up, but our part is to bring home the need to the members of our own Society. Individually they may feel unable to do much; collectively they can do a great deal. This is not a case where money is asked for, it is a case for action, and no Mason can have read the pitiful details given in the brief case histories published last month, or the pathetic confession, which because it is fiction is the truer picture of what has happened over and over again with varying details, and nor feel that something ought to be done. The moral of what is here advanced is, "Do something and do it now."
"But what can I do?" the individual may ask. There are many things and each must judge what he is best situated to do. The least would be to tell other Masons about it, or show them the articles we have published. Or bring the matter up in lodge and move that the lodge representatives bring the matter up in Grand Lodge — or write to the Grand Master. If every reader wrote a letter to his own Grand Master it would go far towards bringing the project into "practical politics" and to establish an informed body of Masonic public opinion to back it up. Masonic charity — that is its benevolence and brotherly love — is not limited, but no man's power or charities are without limit, and every man owes his duty first of all to his own, his own family, his own friends, and then successively to those who come into his life. In entering the Masonic brotherhood we come into a potential contact with thousands who otherwise would be strangers and whose existence even would be unknown. To them then our duty comes quite clearly and without ambiguity. It only needs to direct the fraternal feelings of Masons in general into one channel and the problem will solve itself.
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CANADIAN MASONIC LITERATURE
Bro. N. W. J. Haydon, Associate Editor, Canada
THE most prolific author of our membership was undoubtedly M. W. Bro. J. R. Robertson, who died in 1918; his wealth and energy were simply poured out in Masonic and other good works. His chief literary monument is his great History of Freemasonry in Canada, which appeared in 1900 in two large and handsome volumes, profusely illustrated. They cover the growth and progress of the Craft in what was known as "Canada," but now Ontario, from about 1791 to the formation of a sovereign Grand Lodge in 1856. In 1886 he published his Cryptic Rite, Its Origin and Introduction on This Continent, in collaboration with M. W. Bro. Josiah H. Drummond of Maine; in 1890 he produced his History of the Knights Templar of Canada. and also a little volume of Talks With Craftsmen composed of articles he had contributed to the Masonic press. In 1905 he visited the native home of his parents in Stornoway, Scotland, and published The Annals of Lodge Fortrose, No. 108, G.R.S., which was established there in 1767 and is still working.
In addition to his charitable and literary activities, he was the chief promoter and supporter in having painted the magnificent series of life-size portraits of the Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of Canada, from its organization in 1856, which adorn the walls of the Yonge Street Temple, Toronto, and at his own expense supplied those of the eight Provincial Grand Masters, who presided previously from 1792. As may well be supposed the difficulties of obtaining some of these early portraits would have been too much for less wealthy and persistent seekers. In the case of the earliest ruler, R. W. Bro. Wm. Jarvis, the only basis that could be found was an ivory miniature owned by a descendant residing in India, and M. W. Bro. Robertson had to furnish a bond of 100 pounds for its return, before the owner would loan it. This fact should serve as a warning to other Grand Lodges who might like to preserve the replicas of those who have received their supreme honors.
Quite a number of lodges appear to have published histories after attaining to a record of fifty years — those of which I have knowledge are Cariboo, at Barkerville, B.C., by R. W. Bro. Rupert W. Haggen, undated; Ionic, of Toronto, in 1897; Lake, of Ameliasburg, Ontario, in 1919, by the Secretary, Bro. J. E. Glenn; Acacia, of Hamilton, in 1905, by R. W. Bro. Lyman Lee; and St. John's, of the same city, in 1902, by R. W. Bro. W. M. Logan, our present Grand Secretary; Harmony, of Binbrook, Ontario, by W. Bro. D. G. McIlwraith, M. D.; and King Solomon's, of Toronto. in 1896.
Of centennial histories we have those of Norfolk, at Simcoe; Ontario in 1904, by V. W. Bro. J. F. Thompson, M.A.; St. Andrew's, of Toronto, in 1923, by R. W. Bro. H. T. Smith; Barton, of Hamilton, in 1895, by M. W. Bro. A. T. Freed, now being revised and reprinted; and United, at Brighton, Ontario, by R. U. Bro. Rev. E. W. Pickford, a year or two ago. While the present number of this lodge (29) does not appear to put it in our centennial class in Ontario, it has one of the early warrants of the Provincial Grand Lodge, as to which the exact seniority has been difficult to determine, owing to successive re-numberings and loss of official records.
For Quebec there is a substantial Outlines of History in the Province of Quebec, by M. W. Bro. J. H. Graham. M.A., in 1892, and Histories of Mount Royal, in Montreal, in 1878, by V. W. Bro. P. MacTavish, and of St. Paul's, in the same city, in 1876, by a committee.
In 1913 M. W. Bro. James A. Ovas edited Masonry in the Province of Manitoba, published by Northern Lights Lodge of Winnipeg, and to this must be added Bro. William Douglas' Freemasonry in Manitoba recently reviewed in THE BUILDER.
(To Be Continued)
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Bro. R. J. Meekren
WITH the last article we completed the examination of the sources of information in our possession regarding the Operative symbolism of the Craft. It is very scanty, much of it indirect, and whatever inferences that may be based on it must be very cautiously advanced and searchingly criticized.
With this examination we have accomplished a definite stage in our consideration of the whole subject of the symbolism of Masonry, and one chiefly, perhaps, of interest from the historical and antiquarian point of view. Nevertheless it is necessary for completeness, and it is of value in giving a background to the study of the symbolism we have in the Craft today. An organization such as ours cannot be fully comprehended except in the light of its history.
Entering upon the next stage we find that the difficulties of the subject are hardly less than in the first, though of a rather different kind. For one thing, far from suffering for a lack of information, we find our authorities so numerous and so diffuse, and in many cases so little in agreement with each other that a sense of bewilderment is probably the first feeling induced in the mind of the student who attempts to treat the subject with any thoroughness. So far from having to reconstruct a picture out of a few scattered fragments we have to find room for material enough to make a dozen different designs and still have some over. Not only have we the "symbolic" degrees proper of the "blue" lodge, with their official exposition and explanations and a multitude of books, pamphlets and tracts professing to further explain them, but we have the continuations, adaptations and elucidations that have been offered in an amazing variety of so-called "higher" degrees. Even if we count only those now commonly worked in America, there is a sufficient complication, and if we add those still conferred in Britain and in Europe, and those that are now obsolete, it becomes a very serious problem to even decide on the method to adopt in attempting to thread the labyrinth or to obtain some of order out of the confusion.
The more usual method, and one which has been adopted in a large number of handbooks, monitors and the like, is to take the degrees in the sequence in which they are conferred, and this has great advantage in its simplicity — as a scheme of treatment — and its comparative directness. But so much of the material offered in the appended degrees and orders and rites was either suggested by, or was definitely intended to explain or carry further, the symbolism of the Craft degrees, on which all the rest is founded, that this apparently simple mode of approach lands us in fresh difficulties, especially when we discover, as is almost certainly the fact, that the later degrees have reacted on, and caused the modification of the rituals of the first degree. As, for example, certain changes have been made in the second part of the third degree looking to and preparing the way for the Royal Arch, while a whole group of incidents has been inserted in the legend, with corresponding additions to the ceremonies as worked generally in the United States (though not elsewhere) which seem to have originated in what have been called the "vengeance" degrees of Ecossaism or "Scotch" Masonry.
GROUPING CRAFT SYMBOLS PROPOSED
Perhaps the most profitable means of attacking the problem will be to take the symbols of the "blue lodge" and group them, not as they occur in the degrees, but by intrinsic relationship (though naturally this will follow to some extent their sequence in the ritual) and work back toward their origin on the one hand and forward to their interpretation on the other; using relevant matter found in the higher degrees and elsewhere as it may appear helpful to do so. But it is obvious that to accomplish this task with anything like completeness will be practically impossible in a series of articles such as this, though this will not really be altogether a drawback as the chief purpose of the Study Club Department is rather to give suggestions in matter and method than an exhaustive treatment.
In the symbolic degrees from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason there are set forth a number of symbols and emblems, with certain explanations that really raise more questions than they answer, and often in their obviousness seem carefully calculated to stimulate inquiry rather than to satisfy curiosity. But these objective symbols are not all there is to be considered. The ceremonies themselves are symbolic, at least in their essential features, so that we find on the threshold of our subject a natural and convenient division — though as in the several members and organs of a living creature there are very close and vital connections between them. One of these connections is obvious at a glance, though a rather superficial one, and that is that all of what we have called the objective symbols are mentioned or in some way employed in the ceremonies themselves. A consideration of this fact leads to a further possible analysis of the subject. The ritual of Masonry (as indeed all ritual) presents two main features which are quite distinct though very closely connected. In the first place it includes certain actions and movements (in Masonry technically known as "floor work") which are accompanied by verbal formulas and addresses. These two elements can each be cross-divided into the essential and the non-essential. It might be difficult to define these so as to set every part distinctly under one head or the other; here we will take the division rather as relative than absolute. For the present purpose the essentials in action and speech are those that it is the intent of the whole ceremony to have done, that form the raison d'être of the proceedings; while the non-essentials are those which either spring out of the former, or are dependent on them. In one sense, and for various reasons — tradition, usage, authority, convenience, appropriateness — they may be necessary too, but they are subsidiary, they might be left out in some cases, or be done some other way or at some other time. The essentials in our present sense might be likened to the living germ in a seed, the non-essentials to the various forms of stored-up nutriment and protective husks and shells which the seeds of different plants exhibit. Or to take another illustration from the rites of the Christian Church, the sacrament of baptism, which also is an initiatory rite, consists essentially of the application of water by the ministrant to the person baptized and the use of a short and simple verbal formula expressing the intention of the ceremony. Normally, in all churches, prayers and exhortations accompany it. It is done in a building consecrated to Christian worship. The minister has been set aside and specially authorized to perform this office among other things. But none of these elements are essential to the validity of the rite. Any baptized person can, in emergency, baptize another at any time and in any place. Neither church nor congregation, neither prayers, hymns or exhortations are necessary — just a simple action and a short sentence.
It is hardly necessary to carry the analogy further, nor can the Masonic ceremonies be openly subjected to like treatment. But it will be very illuminating to the studious Mason to go through the ritual step by step and endeavor to separate the essential from the non-essential, in the sense in which we are using the terms here. He will find that the essentials, though forming a complete whole, yet leave a very short and, in a sense, simple ceremony, though its symbolic nature will become even more apparent. Among these non-essentials are the explanations of the objective symbols of the Craft, while the symbolism of the ceremonies lies, as has been just said, in those points that are essential.
SYMBOLISM DERIVED FROM UTILITARIAN ACTION
It is however true that certain symbolic ideas, in the more superficial sense of the word, can be attributed to certain parts of the added ceremonial, but such symbolism is secondary and derived. For example, that part of the "floor work" known as "squaring the lodge" is at least at the present day a bit of appropriate ceremonial only. In some places it is insisted on at all times, in others it is only observed for the progress of the candidate. It may possibly be an ancient usage, or (what is not the same thing) it may have a lot of ancient history behind it. It is possible that when a "flooring," that is, a floor or "master's" carpet was still part of the essential equipment of the lodge — on the floor — or earlier still when the "lodge" was still "drawn" in chalk and charcoal on the floor, that it was not regarded as being the thing to walk on it, except as the ceremony demanded, and to go round it — it sounds rather like an Irishism — may have been the origin of squaring it. But whether this be the origin or not, its persistence lies in the fact that it seems naturally appropriate. And this feeling of appropriateness, the sense of a thing being fitting or becoming, brings us at least to the debatable border line of symbolism at least. And further, it is also obvious that it can be given a symbolic meaning in line with the general trend of Craft symbolism. Our "walk" in life is understood to comprise our occupation, our social position and our dealings and relations with others. Taking the Masonic meaning of the square, it is easy to explain why, symbolically, Masons should go about the lodge, which represents the world, by right lines and angles, upon the square in short.
This is an example of how a symbolic meaning can be evolved from a quite utilitarian action. This particular piece of symbolism here advanced will be found in no official explanation, neither is the usage universal upon which it is founded, while it is difficult to say definitely whether it is modern and is spreading because appropriate, or whether it is ancient and has been in places neglected and disused. One thing only is certain, that not being universal it cannot be essential.
We thus have certain things said, and certain other things done according to tradition, or authority, that are not necessary to the regularity or validity of the "work," however useful, appropriate, dignified or edifying they may be, and when we have set all these aside we are able to get at the essential symbolism of our rites. But in discussing this, as Dr. Oliver once said, the poorest lecturer has an immeasurable advantage over the most skillful writer. In open publication the subject can only be treated indirectly. In what is to follow the Mason must take what he sees to be applicable, and to some extent be prepared to read between the lines and fill in for himself what is not said.
PRIMITIVE INITIATIONS DISCUSSED
In recent years the importance of initiation ceremonies in the study of comparative sociology and the evolution of culture and religion has become more and more evident, until now almost every textbook relating to such subjects has some reference to them. The facts collected in such quantity show that these rites must have a normal psychological basis, so that Masons no longer have to account for the existence of their own ritual, which once seemed a thing apart, for now it is seen to fall into a class, numerously represented, of natural human institutions found in all parts of this world and apparently in every age, and at every level of culture, though it must be confessed it has more the appearance of a survival in the higher civilizations. It may be found possible to draw some general conclusions from the facts at hand. To initiate, of course, is literally to begin, and we may initiate a new course of action, a fresh undertaking as well as a candidate. In the ritual sense an initiation is a beginning, a new start, the entrance on a new life, a new occupation or a new social status, and in this last is included, of course, the becoming a member of some special social group or organization. The most largely represented group of initiations are those of the entrance of the young people of clan or tribe into the status of adults, but there are many others. There are other social ranks, the installation of a chief or head man is initiatory, the entering into a priesthood, or the ranks of medicine men or magicians; rites of adoption and blood brotherhood, rites of acknowledgment at the birth of a child, by which it is given the right to live and without which it would be abandoned. A French author has generalized all such ceremonies under the name, now very widely used by anthropologists of rites de passage, transition rites, ceremonies marking the passing from one thing to another, where the change is dangerous, or otherwise important in the life of the individual. Such rites include the observances proper to almost every possible normal incident and accident that can happen between birth and death, inclusive of the two last. The ritual reception of the new born infant, the funeral ceremonies, puberty, marriage, parenthood, becoming an elder, being chosen as a leader, going on a journey, recovering from illness, are all from this point of view included; and all such observances have a family likeness, and all tend to exhibit the same kind of symbolism.
There are two things which obviously mark every change: the putting away or passing out of the old and the entering upon the new. Actually, of course, all changes, however sudden or complete they may appear, are the results of a process, and there is no absolute passing out of one to the other — at least within the beginning and ending of life itself. But it is the tendency of the human mind, an inevitable tendency, for it requires much investigation and reflection to see behind the appearance of things, to make definite and clear-cut divisions, and where these do not actually exist then the change must be emphasized in some way. For instance, the putting on the wedding ring makes the girl a wife. A boy grows into a man day by day and month by month but the primitive group takes him at some time during the process of growth and makes him a man by appropriate ceremonies. Ritual, it has been said, is a thing pre-done or re-done, its psychological basis being a desire or need to express collectively a strong feeling or emotion. When we are going to do a thing we think about it and probably talk about it. After it is done we recall it and relate it. Among primitive peoples, perhaps partly because of the greater inadequacy of language, the thing thought about is not only spoken of but is acted out. The preparation for hunting, or war, or sowing seed, or gathering harvest, is to dramatically represent what it is intended to actually do. This comes naturally and inevitably from man's mental mechanism — even animals exhibit the same kind of phenomenon, the cat will lash itself with its tail before it springs, dogs will walk round and snarl before they fight, and thus it happened that men at first took such preparatory expression of feeling as being necessary to accomplishment, and this primal and elemental confusion of thought is one of the roots of magic. As soon as men began to differentiate and distinguish it is seen to be unnecessary actually — but habit preserves previous usage, at least on the more important occasions, and then a new theory is invented to account for its being done. Or rather, for this implies a previous theory, what was done at first instinctively is accounted for and explained by postulating an unknown power or connection in things — the very first step towards philosophy and science.
HOW PRIMITIVE RITUAL WAS REGARDED
We are not now investigating the origin of magic; but we saw some reason to think that magical ideas underlay some of the ceremonies of the Operative Masons, so that the question is not entirely alien to our subject; while of course primitive initiations can only be understood in the light of magical ideas. Two general ideas cover most of the manifestations of this earliest hypothesis about the nature of things. One we may call the idea of contagion — that power, good or evil, can be communicated by touching the charged object or person, or being touched by it, and the other that what affects a part affects the whole, or, and this is close to symbolism, that an object or person can be affected through something like, or intended to represent them. The first of these principles underlies all the systems of taboo, of healing or helpful influences through amulets, fetish objects and the like. While the second ramifies into so many forms that it is difficult to know what to select as typical. To possess part of a person's hair, finger nails, a tooth, is to have power over the person himself. But also anything that has been in contact with him will equally serve, which thus combines the principle of contagion as well. Then something designated as representing him will do as well, which may be anything from an attempted effigy or portrait down to any object that can be cut or pierced or burned. The making of a wax image of a man and slowly melting it was a well known magical artifice in medieval times — but in Italy a lemon stuck full of nails would serve as well.
On these principles the ritual pre-doing of something desired or needed would have a potent influence in making the actual action successful. The crops would be more bountiful if the seed were sown with proper ceremonial; the boys would become much stronger and more virile men if properly initiated; there would be much more likelihood of success in war or the chase when preceded by the proper ritual dances. And this ritual, though in origin a purely dramatic attempt to express intention, in itself perhaps no more magical or religious than the signs or gestures of a deaf-mute, would constantly tend to be complicated and re-inforced by added symbolisms. Two things will constantly operate, a desire to make the presentation as realistic as possible, by appropriate dress and properties, and the other to represent what could not be actually presented by something else in some way connected or associated with it, and in this we have symbolism proper.
HOW RITUAL IS CONSTRUCTED
Coming now to the elements of the ceremonies themselves, we noticed above the two things characterizing a change, the passing from the old and the entering into the new. There are two experiences common to all men that are in excelsis the "entering in" and the "passing out," birth and death. It is not surprising then to find these two motives constantly drawn upon for ritual purposes. We find, for instance, a sickly child is passed through a split sapling. The later explanation of this is that the disease is conveyed to the tree which will wither and die. Here the contagion motive also appears. But in other places sick people crawl or wriggle through holes in stones, either natural or artificial. The entering into the underground sanctuary of Trophonius in Ancient Greece was analogous to this. The initiatory rites of the Brahmins simulate a birth, and among various savage races this is carried out with all the realism possible. Ceremonies in which a death is represented are also very frequent, and still more frequently death is said to occur. The Esquimaux magicians ascribe their powers to having been killed and torn to pieces by a bear, who afterwards puts them together again and gives them magical powers. The uninitiated in Australia are told that Daramoolun tears the boys to pieces and burns them to ashes, and then kneads the ashes and makes them alive again. Elsewhere they are supposed to be swallowed by some monster and then disgorged again.
But other methods of marking the change are possible. The most natural is the giving up of clothing, ornaments and possessions of the old life. The young people's hair is cut off, as in Greece, teeth are knocked out, or other mutilations performed, circumcision being a very common one. The Brahmin boy is stripped naked before the rites begin. Not only must the outward and separable marks of the old status be removed but the intangible influences and contagions received from previous surroundings must be removed by washing or other form of purification.
When the separation from the past is completed, and emphasized in every way possible, then the marks and badges of the new status are formally received. It may be bodily markings, cuttings of the flesh to make scars, tattooing, filing the teeth. Or distinctive clothes, head-dresses or ornaments are given. And what is usually regarded as the climax, the central and vital part of the rites, the neophyte is brought into close and magical contact with the objects in which are to be found the mana or power which informs the new life. The churinga and bull-roarers of Australia, the blood of the totem animal, the amulets, fetishes or gods of the group. We have already seen something like this possibly suggested in the old Operative records. Other modes of separation are also possible. In one case a circle is drawn and the boys are brought it by their mothers. Then they leave the latter and enter the circle into which the women may not come. The basic ideas are worked out in almost countless different ways, but always, once the key has be given, the significance of the rite can be traced.
It must not be supposed that these analogies necessarily lead us to look for any lineal and continuous descent of Masonry from primitive puberty or other like rites. This at best is a highly speculative position, and in the light of such knowledge as we possess, hardly worth arguing about. But what we may obtain is light upon the psychology of all such rites, are the limited area, comparatively speaking, within which their symbolism is contained.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
Among the many books treating of the subject of primitive and savage rituals the following may be recommended, most of which may be found in public libraries: Tyler's Primitive Culture; Frazer's Golden Bough; Themis by J. E. Harrison; Drama of Savage People by Loomis Havemeyer; Primitive Society by R. H. Lowie.
In the article for last month an error passed unnoticed. On page 58 St. John the Evangelist should, of course, have been St. John the Baptist. The assignment by the Christian Church of the shortest and longest days in the year to the Evangelist and Baptist respectively, was undoubtedly under the influence of the statement made by the latter in reference to our Lord: "He must increase but I must decrease." After mid-summer the days decrease in length, while after the day of St. John the Evangelist, who preached the gospel of Jesus, they increase
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Into how many distinct points can the ceremonies of each of the three degrees be divided? Which of these are obviously non-essential, which might done some other way, and which are absolutely necessary? What parallels can be found for these points in detail with primitive rituals or initiations Are there still any traces in Masonic ceremonies that might point to a derivation from ideas of primitive magic?
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ENCICLOPEDIA DE LA FRANCMASONERIA, Por Albert G. Mackey, Editada en el idioma espanol por R. E. Chrone.
IT is with much interest that we learn of the translation of Dr. Albert G. Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry into Spanish. While the claims of the translator for the book are more extravagant than the work merits, it is a step in the right direction. We wish to offer our congratulations to Mr. R. E. Chrone, the translator, and to express the hope that he will continue the good work.
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FOREIGN COUNTRIES. By Carl H. Claudy. Published by the Masonic Service Association, Washington, D. C. May be purchased from the publishers. Cloth, table of contents, 148 pages. Price, $1.25 net.
TO the young Entered Apprentice, the newly passed Fellowcraft, and the Master Mason of any age, Masonically speaking, who has given little thought to the subject of Masonic symbolism, Carl H. Claudy's Foreign Countries will come as a revelation. To the student of Masonry who is well acquainted with the orthodox interpretations of the ritualistic symbols, it will suggest new paths to be followed and more worlds to conquer.
A pity it is that so interesting a writer has not devoted more time to an elaboration of the thoughts he indicates. Such a book should not go the way of so many works for the casual reader; the style is too entrancing to permit such a fate. Foreign Countries is a book that deserves a place in every Masonic library and would form a splendid beginning for any embryo student of Masonry. It resolves itself into a plea for more thought on the part of those brethren whom many of us term "button-hole" Masons.
In this twentieth century bustle and rush, too many Masons are inclined to be like the factory worker who, at the end of a lecture delivered by Mrs. Cornelia S. Parker, which was devoted to a plea for less hurry and more thinking, came up to her and said, "You know that's all true, what you said about thinking. I'm speaking from experience. It got so that the only place I had to think was in the bath tub. And then, every time didn't my wife rattle the door knob and call shakily, 'Charlie, are you sick, or drowned, or anything? Surely you don't need all that time for a bath?' 'No,' I told her finally, 'I'm not sick or drowned, I'm just thinking.' And do you know what that woman did? She had a shower bath put in. That was three years ago. I swear, I haven't thought since."
If Foreign Countries can be of assistance in leading to the discarding of any Masonic shower baths, it will have accomplished its purpose.
E. E. T.
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EMBLEMATIC FREEMASONRY AND THE EVOLUTION OF ITS DEEPER ISSUES. By A. E. Waite. Published by Wm. Rider and Son, London. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Bldg., St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, index table of contents, 801 pages. Price, postpaid, $4.95.
THIS work, published now nearly a year ago, has been waiting too long (owing to various untoward circumstances) for notice in the pages of THE BUILDER. However, as a result, the reviewer has had the advantage of seeing what others, both in and out of the Craft, have had to say of it; and as it is not an easy book to read (it is probable that it was not intended to be) this is not to be disregarded. Yet not very much assistance has thereby been gained after all; those not of the Order who have read it, were principally impressed by the chapters on the Vengeance Grades and the Alleged Masonic Peril, in which anti-Masonic alarms and excursions, old and new, are treated in the most effective way, that is, with caustic wit and devastating irony, and finally laughed out of court. To take such alarmists seriously would be to add one absurdity to another. But the remainder of the book seems to be as difficult to grasp for Masonic reviewers in general as for outsiders. Most of the former seem in addition to the "Peril" above mentioned to be impressed by the account of Ancient York Masonry — and let it go at that. Yet Bro. Waite is not a negligible writer, and his book is not a collection of fragments merely, but a whole, in which every part has its place. He means something and he apparently knows what it is that he means, even if other people do not. And further he differs in yet another point from most of the multitude of authors who have written of Masonic Emblems and Symbols and Mystic Teaching; he has wide learning generally, an expert knowledge of the rituals of the "high grades" of Masonry both old and recent, active and obsolete, and in addition to all this a highly developed critical faculty, and a habit of carefully citing his authorities.
The present writer read the work through, and like others was struck by Ancient York and the Masonic Peril. They stand more in the light of general knowledge and the ways of Masonic research — and the rest seemed a sort of confusion. Bro. Waite has a marked style of his own, his English is of the highest literary quality, his rare use of colloquialisms and slang are no inadvertencies, but intentional, to best make his point. He has a poet's command of rhetoric — and yet it must be confessed that at first his style is rather irritating — probably because it is not easy to see whither he is going or what he really means. Another confession must be made also; after the first reading the book was laid aside, and then later was read again — backwards — the last chapter first, and curiously, by this process, its real purpose and intention began to emerge. This perhaps is not so surprising (and it is not really meant for a joke) for when one refers to the preface, it appears that the several chapters are separate studies, and though put in an order that may be called historical, yet as the work is only incidentally concerned with history, the last may well be taken first.
In truth the book should be read as one would a poem, for though written in prose, it is poetic in style and substance. The message, the meaning of it is to be interpreted in this way, and not as a work of history, or controversial scholarship. Though again, and perhaps this is what obscures the fundamental nature of the work, the poetic or inner truth expressed is backed up and built on a foundation of critical argument. Perhaps the best thing to do will be to try and set forth what is apparently the object aimed at — and that naturally will not be easy to accomplish without distorting the balance or mutilating parts of what may be termed the author's methods and conclusions. The latter is not only a deeply religious man, but a Christian, and not only a Christian but a Catholic — in the true meaning of that much abused word which colloquial usage has for the sake of a careless convenience almost completely assigned to one part only of the divided church. He is not only all this but he is a mystic; not that he claims this directly for himself, but one can hardly avoid the impression that he has at least stood on the threshold of the heavenly places — the gates of vision.
Like so many who have desired this light, he has apparently sought in many places. The various schools of occultism hold out promises, and till one has tried them there is no way of finding them wanting. To such seekers Freemasonry seems to offer a way — toward the East. They enter, and they pass from grade to grade — not dissatisfied wholly, or even at all, at the first, but ever as they go on, it seems that the real secret ever recedes. Door after door is opened to their knocking, but though the inmost sanctuary is promised ever it turns out to be another ante-chamber, a more inward holy place, but not the Sanctum Sanctorum itself. Yet shadows there are, and in the veiled Trinitarianism of the Chapter — especially of the English Royal Arch — the Christianity of the Templar Orders, the impressive allegories of the Rose Croix, something is to be found, in symbol at least, of that which is sought; the Word, not lost in the true sense, but withdrawn, hidden, by those who possessed it, because the Craftsmen were not yet fit to receive it. So the author has sought, and has meditated; he has read, and weighed and considered; and it would appear to him that there was a secret tradition in Masonry — a secret even to Masons — that even in the higher grades they were still put off with a substituted word, with official secrets, at the lowest mere marks of recognition, certificates of initiation, and at the highest no more than tokens of reality, as a piece of paper with a name and other letters and characters on it represents gold in some far off treasury. He finds in Masonry and all its multitudinous offshoots, rites and supreme and ne plus ultra degrees, a continual tendency to shadow forth this ultimate secret — not Albert Pike's Deistic or Pantheistic philosophy of balance or equilibrium in things, of action and reaction — but of the Vision, the ultimate reality, of union with God in Christ; and finding this, as he has set forth in previous works, he asks in this one how it has come about — who put this into Masonry? Where did it come from? Apparently it is the blind being led by a way they knew not, even it would seem the blind led by the blind, and yet by some influence, that might be symbolized by the Unknown Superiors of the Strict Observance, they are kept from wholly falling into the ditch. Ever apparently, if one understands his thesis aright, the obtuseness, the insufficiency, the materiality of Masons in general — that is, their lack of mystical vision — tends to stultify, to confuse and obliterate the traces of this leading, and ever it reappears. He therefore begins at the beginning — not of the Craft and its organization, but of our knowledge of the records left to us, and he finds it was at first simply and naively Christian. Masons were to fear God, not any god, but the Holy Trinity — and to be loyal sons of Mother Church, the Catholic Church.
But after 1723 this was all changed — not that Anderson was a Deist, but he was a Protestant and a Presbyterian, and anything Catholic, even true primitive Catholicism, was an alien, an idolatrous thing. In his confused desire to get rid of that, to suit the taste and beliefs of his age, he confusedly ejected not only Christ and Trinity, but almost, if not quite, any true idea of God at all. Yet in spite of this, religion and Christianity straightway came back in another guise — in the Holy Royal Arch, in the chivalry of the Temple. The allegory of the slain Master puzzles him; convinced as he is that it was invented or imported after 1717, though he cannot imagine whence or by whom in that shallow, artificial, sceptical age. He seeks northward from the capital, the seat of the Grand Lodge, to the old metropolis and fabled center of Masonry, York. But there again he can find no evidence of anything but the barest and most rudimentary organization of Operative origin, in which neither symbolism, allegory nor mystic quest is to be found. It reminds one of that earlier seeking by brethren in Europe who sent to Kilwinning, the fabled Mother Lodge of the higher mysteries — and found no more than he finds at York. It is the origin of the third degree that is the crux. Here we have what can be, and has been, interpreted as a Christian allegory, yet there is, he concludes, no trace of it before 1717 or 1730 or thereabouts, and reluctant though he is, he concludes that somehow a psychological miracle was wrought, and that someone did conceive this mystical tale even in that inconceivable age for such an achievement. Reluctantly he comes to this conclusion, with a lingering hope that its real origin might have come from Rosicrucian thought through Robert Fludd and his circle — not directly, as a transformed rite, but indirectly by an unobtrusive influence. But then again he finds we are at a loss to know what was meant by its originators, and how they finished the tale, for that it was an unfinished tale he seems to hold. He seeks an answer in the Royal Arch, and finds it does not really fit, though the Arch is purely religious while the Craft has been reduced to the level of bare ethic. It is to be understood, of course, that he speaks of the English Royal Arch, the American ritualists have brought their form of it more into line with the lodge, and as he would judge, have degraded it; at least we suppose he would so judge were he familiar with it. From the Arch he proceeds to the "Second Birth of Masonry" in France and Germany. His estimate of the maze of degrees and rites that sprang up in mushroom growth during the latter part of the eighteenth century is quite different both from that of the devotees of higher degrees and of historical critics. He sees quite plainly the absurdities which mark them, their fantastic character, their questionable origin, and more than questionable propagation, and yet he sees more in them — the evolution of the true tradition behind these shifting forms, that are like magic lantern pictures thrown on a screen of smoke or vapor. Whether we can see this with him or not, it is certain that we cannot dismiss his argument, as so many symbolic interpretations can be, by a reference to history, for he is not only aware of the historical facts but freely and impartially discusses them. The secrets of Masonry, he says, "are many and belong to several planes." There are "those of the threshold, purely official in character and betrayed generations ago." Also the secrets of its origin and development and "the real intention of those who devised our rituals." From another point of view the life of the lodge is one of the chief secrets, and this is, of course, incommunicable outside its hallowed precincts." The bond of brotherhood "is not less inexplicable after its own manner," but above all these is the secret of that hidden way by which Emblematic Masonry is translated into life. "Beyond and far withdrawn, it is right to say that there lies the undiscovered of the Masonic oversoul." And yet the legend of the Builder "is a devised myth" and valid only as an allegory; and then comes that other mystery that perennially haunts him — how came anyone in the world of Anderson or Desaguliers to devise it, or to choose it if it were already invented? The people who moralized and eulogized in their rituals, conveying "eternal commonplaces of human duties in terms of ineptitude written about a self-centre," protected on all sides by reservations in obligation that nullify the whole ostensible intent. Indeed it is a mystery! He says that it is well that we do not know what the men of that "age of abysmal dullness" did intend by their symbols and allegories lest we should yet be bound by their interpretation. But surely the essence of symbolism is that it cannot be interpreted save to him who interprets for himself.
It would be to go aside from the way to discuss Masonic origins here, but it does seem that the conclusions Bro. Waite has accepted are not absolutely final, and that in the light of the evidence he himself refers to. All must agree with him on the incompatibility of the tale of the lost word with the period in which it emerged into the light of historical day, but it seems possible to go further and say that a psychological impossibility is as impossible as a physical one. The early variant forms of the story point, by all canons of criticism, to a much longer history than invention in 1720 can give. And were this the time and place to do so a case could be made out that the original form knew of no compact between three masters, or substitution of a word, let alone any pursuits or punishments. It is possible, could he be convinced of this. that his scheme of transmission and origin of the mystical tradition might be modified — but hardly his chief conclusions.
"I have loved Masonry from the beginning," he says, "from the time when I found by passing through the grades and rites that it does, after its own manner, make for reality in Christ," and "in view of this love I have sought here to indicate that there is a way, not foreign" to what is implicit in it, "by which it can communicate to those who are elect the blessed sacraments and symbols of divine science." With this love of his no one can Quarrel. and his interpretation is his right. The official explanations in all the grades, narrowly looked at, are not interpretations at all, nor even explanations. Some brief and pithy, some long-winded and verbose, at first hearing they may satisfy the wonder and curiosity of the neophyte — but if he thinks at all, they are no more than challenges to him to seek a meaning for himself. Bro. Waite sees Christianity in Masonry everywhere; so have others, Dr. Oliver for one, the makers of Rose Croix and Masonic for others, but there is another line of interpretation. A French Mason has acutely said, in view of well known controversy and excommunications, that Anglo-Saxon Masonry insisted that the candidate should have arrived at the end of the mystical journey before they allow him to make a symbolical beginning. In other words they demand that he shall have found the Word, the belief in God, before they admit him as an apprentice to that mystical Craft in which he is to learn how to build the temple of his faith. As a matter of fact, it would appear that there have been two ideals in Masonry, a lower and a higher, if one will, but not easily compatible; the one that which Bro. Waite so clearly sees, and the other that of universality. Were all the world Christian there would be no problem, or did only everyone believe in a personal God it would not be acute. When our Operative predecessors invoked the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin they simply never thought that there could be any who did not believe — the Catholic faith was taken for granted like the wind blowing east and west, and the sun rising east of the hill whereon they set the lodge. When Anderson wrote of the religion in which all men agree, he excluded the atheist as a stupid and an abnormal exception. What he saw was that as men of violently hostile political parties were brothers in the lodge, so also were Presbyterian, Huguenot and Church of England man, in a day when bitter religious persecutions were in the memory of all. It is impossible to believe he meant what his words say, probably he might have balked at Romanists and Jews, sure it must be that Mohammedans and Buddhists never entered his mind, and the idea that a hundred years and more later his mediating clause, intended for Christian denominations, would be interpreted in a non-religious sense, would doubtless have startled and shocked him. Yet it is a canon of interpretation in law that it is what the law says that must be followed and not what the legislator may have had in mind, for the one is certain and the other doubtful. Yet it is more than an interpretation of law but the development of a principle — the principle of a universal bond between all good, true and loyal men. This ideal would leave religion to churches and priests and prophets, and would be content to have Masonry fill the humbler and more modest roll of "conciliating true friendship between those who would otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance." The Anglo-Saxon mind, practical, apt at compromise, wise in working agreements, looking to the present emergency and content to risk tomorrow, has tried to combine in some measure both ideals, and has in some measure succeeded, because in the Anglo-Saxon world conditions were favorable to the attempt. Scandinavia, and to some extent Germany, has remained true to the higher religious ideal, to which the lower is subordinated entirely, while in Latin countries, and especially among the clear-thinking and logical French, the lower has been taken as the true end of Masonry, and the higher left to the individual and the churches. It is well for us now and then to really face the facts of the matter. At first sight it would seem as if — on the basis of the degrees and orders that already exist — there might be a Speculative ethical Craft, in which only aptitude, character and intelligence would be demanded of the entrant to the lodge, which would lead up to Theism. A chapter that would begin with Theism and end with belief in a personal God, the Father of all living — and after that Christian orders leading up to the Mysticism that Bro. Waite and others have more or less fully and clearly seen implicit in the developed institution. But on examination difficulties appear, and apparently insurmountable. If the churches have looked askance at the Theism of the lodge, much more would they regard a Christian rite as heresy, and we would have in the end but another sect. Fortunately none of us have to decide the matter, it has been a result of group evolution along one line — the lower, modified by the influence of the other, the higher, and there we must leave it, with one last quotation:
"The whole Mystery of Freemasonry and all its symbolism are unfolded, realized and made alive in Christ. Enoch, Elias, Elisha are types of Christ attainment. Hiram rises as Christ, because the death-state of the Hiramic Myth testifies to an inward experience which belongs to the Christ-life in man. Hereafter the true Mason is Knight Beneficent and Freeman of the Holy City; he is a 'Mystic Citizen of the Eternal Kingdom,' and is called as such to the highest life of good will in the world to which he belongs. He is working towards that time when the kingdom of this world shall become the Kingdom of Heaven. Of such is the prospect which opens for those who ascend Heredom on the confines of the West, fronting the area ocean. There is a way of return eastward from Heredom, perchance a way of Elias, and it is followed over wide waters. Tradition says that the High Art of Masonry and the Chivalry of its Holy Temple came from the East, to find its final refuge and a place of deep contemplation in Isles of the West. There is a spirit of things which has peeled off the dead letter, and in this spirit the old tradition is true."
This stirs one to the very heart, and raises the longing that it could be realized; and yet there are the churches — and has not the lower ideal, too, a place? And is not Freemasonry the only means extant of realizing it? Would it not be, speaking as a Christian to followers of Christ and not here to any others, would it not be a great work to join all good me in the bonds of friendship and brotherhood within the circle of which the believer in Christ could say, in life and conversation, to his brother yet in darkness, "Come and see," as Phillip did once to Nathanael?
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THE AMULET OF TARV. By Percy F. Kensett. Published by Ed. J. Burrow & Co., Ltd., Cheltenham. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, table of contents, 268 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.25.
A MAN of today wedded to a girl of three thousand years ago sounds like a fantastic conception, but is realistically accomplished by Percy F. Kensett in his novel, The Amulet of Tarv. Such a flight of imagination is not the only feature of the story that commends it to readers, however. It is written in a most vivid style that grips the interest and at times holds the reader as under a spell. One almost feels himself living the life of Tarv, the Warrior-Priest of a Druidic Cult. There are several Masonic allusions in the story which make it worth while from a purely fraternal standpoint, and though one would hesitate to pin his faith on such an expression of theory, it forms another example of how easily the ancient Fraternity fits a primitive religious cult. This dovetailing of Freemasonry and religious mysteries has been frequently and seriously advanced, not only in the case of Grecian mysteries, but also in relation to the Druids. Such theories have fallen into disrepute, but have recently been revived with a somewhat different treatment. That such an allocation of the foundations of the Fraternity will again come into prominence is not to be doubted, if scholars of today will put their minds to a purely scientific treatment of the subject.
We wander, and it is best to confine ourselves to the subject in hand. Mr. Kensett, undoubtedly Brother Kensett, seems to be well acquainted with ethnological research and is thoroughly acquainted with the primitive mystery cults. This reconstruction of a typical one is of value from more than a purely entertaining standpoint. To scholars it forms an interesting contribution to scientific literature; to Masons, a peculiar adaptation of Masonic principles; and to general readers, a gripping tale of two worlds. It will more than repay anyone who peruses its pages. Such a meritorious addition to the rather slender list of Masonic novels is very welcome.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE BOX
I have read with much interest the article "Turhand Kirtland" in the January issue of THE BUILDER and my attention was especially drawn to that part of it which referred to Rufus Putnam as the first Grand Master of Ohio.
For many years before Rufus Putnam went to Ohio he made his home in Rutland, Massachusetts. His former home is now preserved as a memorial to his memory and is owned by a society known as The Rufus Putnam Memorial Association.
When our lodge was organized in 1913 it took the name of Rufus Putnam — he being one of the earliest known Masons to have lived in the town. I do not believe that many of our members are aware of the great honor that was conferred upon him by the Masons of Ohio.
I am desirous of obtaining, if possible, a copy of that part of the meeting which refers to his election as Grand Master. I should like to frame it and place it in the memorial room of our lodge. Perhaps you can refer me to the proper person or persons from whom I can obtain this matter. Any assistance you will be able to give me will be greatly appreciated.
Robert Brown, Massachusetts.
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"ANCIENT" AND "MODERN"
I would like to ask about the note on page 54 of the February issue of THE BUILDER, which runs as follows: "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." Of course, I knew that there were intimations to that effect, and I am anxious to know the basis for your statement that it is now a generally accepted conclusion. If you will be good enough to tell me on what you based your remark, I shall be greatly obliged, as that particular period of the great schism has always interested me profoundly.
It is not always easy to give chapter and verse for an impression gained through discursive reading and occasional correspondence and conversation. The note in question was also queried by the author of the article, who thinks that the members of the lodges that were erased from the roll of the 1717 Grand Lodge may have had a good deal to do with the formation of the later body. The note was therefore worded in an indefinite way merely to draw attention to the fact that there was another side of the question.
It appears that from Preston's time on, the older body and its literary partisans consistently repeated the accusation that the Ancients were composed of rebellious Masons who had left, or been excluded from the Grand Lodge of their proper allegiance, and that their action was rebellious and irregular, and that their body was what most of us would loosely call clandestine today. This opinion was passed on and repeated with hardly a dissentient voice till the late Henry Sadler published his Masonic Facts and Fictions, in which he gave strong reasons for believing that this was merely the parrot echoing of partisan propaganda, and that in reality the Ancient Grand Lodge was formed by lodges of immigrant Irish artisans which had been working more or less on the theory of inherent right. It is possible that some Irish warrants had been brought over by emigrating lodge officers, but in any case the position of these lodges was that of independence. In a later work, Masonic Reprints and Revelations, Bro. Sadler gives a facsimile of the exceedingly rare pamphlet, A Defense of Freemasonry, and notes that the author of this vindictive diatribe against Dermott and the Ancients nowhere intimates that the latter had ever belonged to the senior Grand Lodge, indeed he rather hints that most of them were of too low a rank in the social scale to have ever been admitted. and he also says they are "chiefly natives of Ireland."
Bro. Sadler also in the later of these two works gives a list of brethren whom he had convinced; he says:
"I will take the opportunity of mentioning a few who do or did believe in it, and whose opinions should have some weight ... the Rev. A. F. Woodford, Past Grand Chaplain of England and for many years editor of 'The Freemason,' ... Sir Albert W. Woods, C. B. Garter King of Arms, ... Bro. F. A. Philbrick, Grand Registrar of England ... Bro. Thomas Fenn, President of the Board of General Purposes, and Col. Shadwill H. Clerke, Grand Secretary of England," and to these may also be added Dr. Chetwode-Crawley.
Bro. W. R. Smith, in a series of articles now running in "The London Freemason," seems inclined to call Bro. Sadler's conclusions in question and to give more prominence to the unattached English brethren, who probably joined the newer organization, but it does not seem that he intends to try to prove the older assertion, nor even that he has succeeded in overturning Bro. Sadler's argument.
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May I draw your attention to an error in the last number of THE BUILDER which should not have passed, although the writer of it probably did not know any different. On page 36, near the foot of the first column, are the words "Grand Lodge of Ontario." There is no such body in Canadian Freemasonry; the one that claimed that title died some thirty years ago, and although our younger leaders would like to see it in use again, as being less verbose than our present title — Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario — still the change is improbable for some time to come. I understand there are legal difficulties, owing to the conditions under which it was first issued.
N. W. J. H., Canada.
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During the controversy among the Jewish Rabbis, principally Rabbi Wise of New York and Rabbi Leo Franklin of Detroit pertaining to the acceptance of the teaching of Christ, there arose in my mind a question which I wish to ask.
Rabbi Franklin in defending Rabbi Wise said in part that Jesus Christ was a member of the Monastic Order of Essenes and also a student of Rabbi Hillel the Elder, who was instrumental in bringing about or establishing a portion of the Talmud. Dr. Widdifield, Pastor of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Detroit, denied this statement saying that Hillel the Elder was in his dotage at the time of the birth of Christ, and consequently, would not have been able to act as tutor. Rabbi Hillel was also supposed to have been very active among the Essenes as I understand existed in the century before the Christian Era. Our Masonic Code Rituals in the Blue Lodge have continual references to the Essenes, and I wonder whether this Monastic Order had any connection with either Operative or Speculative Masonry? Or how is it that our Rituals use this term of Essenes if it at no time had any connection with it?
Some Masonic writers have tried to connect the Essenes with Freemasonry, but the attempt has long been abandoned by serious students. The basis of the theory was fairly plausible. Freemasonry supposedly was founded by King Solomon, it was therefore considered probable at least some form of it remained with the Hebrew people, but no trace or record of it appeared. However, the Essenes were described by Josephus as practicing secret ceremonies of admission, and they were assumed to be a link in the chain of transmission.
The reference to them in the Codes or Ciphers which you mention follows from this. In them it is simply a blind to conceal the real character of the work, but as the Essene theory was popular at the time they were first put out there was a natural association of ideas which led to the choice of this disguise.
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THE MORAL ASPECTS OF THE CRAFT
To me Masonry is contained within the allegories and symbols of its ritual and ceremonies, not in its history as an Order, nor in the biographies of those who have been or are members of the Order, although these have their rightful place in the study of Masonry. They are the rubble of the temple and very useful and necessary in the building of the foundations of the structure to be erected.
The structure in question is man, perfect man, the Master Mason, but the Master Mason in fact, the one who has actually "become." The ceremony is but the means to the end. To my mind the Master Mason's ideal is the equilateral triangle — an equal development of mind, emotions, and spirituality. These aspects to be shown forth in his every day life in the world.
For the development of these qualities he needs more than intellectual food. This develops but one side of the triangle. He needs to train and develop his emotional nature, to learn to subdue his passions and improve himself in Masonry. This means that he must examine himself, note his weaknesses, and vices, and endeavor to transmute them into their opposite virtues. His mind controlled, and by the mind the virtues developed, he is in a position to equalize his nature by living a life of service to his fellowmen and thus serving God. He then becomes truly spiritual and can work with the least expenditure of energy.
Without a good body usually the above qualifications are of little value, so it is necessary for him to train himself physically, learn hygiene, and how to feed himself and so enjoy health and happiness and spread it among those with whom he comes in contact.
It seems to me to be necessary to bring these things before the brethren continually. Go a little further and tell them how to build their bodies and how to build the threefold nature that is within them, and so enable them to realize that truth is within and can be found in no other place.
I believe that if THE BULDER would branch out into these other lines of building it would be much more widely read and more members profit thereby. By following out that which is contained within the ritual and ceremony of the Craft degrees has brought wonderful realization — a glimpse into the Middle Chamber.
H. C., Montana.
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FROM EAST TO WEST
The following question has been asked by a brother and I would be very glad to have your explanation:
Why do we go toward the West in search of the genuine secrets of a Master Mason?
If the secrets were lost in the East and all circumstances in this connection happened in the East, why is it that we go West in particular, to search for that which was lost? Why leave the East?
The question asked does not occur in the American ritual, nevertheless the fact remains that according to the legend the substituted secrets were found in a search made toward the West. There is, however, evidently a certain confusion or at least a parallelism that is confusing. In the catechetical lectures used in Great Britain (on which your ritual is based) there comes in the second section of the Fellowcraft a question "Did you ever travel?" and it is followed by a statement that Masons traveled to the East for instruction and West to impart knowledge. In the first section of the Third Degree is the demand "Whence came you?" with the answer "from the East" and is followed by the reason that the Master travels to the West in search of that which was lost, by which we are to understand, according to the dialogue in opening the lodge, the "genuine secrets of a Master Mason."
It is true that according to the legend it was at the East gate the secrets were lost, but if the narrative be followed it will surely be evident that only a search toward the West could have any chance of success.
As a matter of fact there is a discrepancy in the story, partly depending on the fact that the temple it presupposes is not arranged as the Old Testament tells us that of King Solomon's Temple was. The Masonic Temple had gates East, West and South. King Solomon's Temple had them (into the courts) North, East and South. It is possible that ritual reasons lie at the bottom of the story as it is now told. The earliest story we have does not specify the gates and we may suppose the tragedy occurred at the western and not the eastern entrance.
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Can any reader of THE BUILDER inform us whether Mr. Van Dyke, the author of the Other Wise Man, is a Mason or not?
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I want to call your attention to a clause in the article on "Pulaski" written by Bro. William M. Stuart, February issue, where reference is made to Lafayette "Although the youthful Lafayette was not a Mason at this time..."
If the author of this article will refer to the records of the meeting of Grand Lodge of Tennessee, May 4, 1825, he will learn that Lafayette made the statement that as young as he was he had been made a Mason before coming to America.
Following is a paragraph taken from an article written by myself which was published in the Girard Craftsman's Club Bulletin, October, 1925:
Lafayette was a guest of honor of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee May 4, 1825, when he said that he had been initiated as young as he was before coming to America. This statement should set at rest for all time any doubt as to where he was made a Mason.
A. G. Scholl. Pennsylvania
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BOOKS WANTED AND FOR SALE
Mrs. Pauline Muilliere has for sale a set of Mackey's Encyclopaedia, 1919, full black morocco, gold embossed, gold edge, in excellent condition. Kindly address all inquiries in care of the Society.
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The article in the February number of THE BUILDER was exceedingly interesting and suggestive, but I should very touch like to know more about the "sacred arks or boxes" (page 47) of the American Indians. Could Bro. Parker tell us where information on this point is to be found? In the next sentence he speaks of a "sacred bundle" almost as if it were the same thing as he had just referred to as a box.
I am not able to refer to Plutarch at the moment but I am under the impression that the Palladium of Troy was supposed by the ancient Greeks to have been a statue of Pallas Atena, and I have seen a reproduction of a relief or vase painting which shows Euripylus pulling down a small, stiffly archaic image of this goddess from a pedestal, with, if I remember correctly, Diomedes and Ulysses standing by. Unfortunately I cannot recall at the moment where this has been published. I, for one, should very much like to know more details of the palladium regarded as a sacred chest.
R. L., Canada
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
A lady, whom Ye Editor is proud to number among his acquaintances, was recently responsible for the following bon mot. It is not Masonic, but worthy of record somewhere, though the point will only be obvious to those who have seen certain hunt posters that decorate blank walls in our cities and disfigure the countryside. She is so old-fashioned as not to approve of women smoking, but is fully abreast of the times otherwise. In an address given to a woman's club and a propos of cigarettes she quaintly remarked that she did not approve of the kind of exercise obtained in walking a mile for one popular brand, but still did not think that it was worse than being satisfied with another.
In the first case the smoker would at least have the benefit of the exercise!