A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 12 No. 10 – October 1926
THE RITE OF STRICT OBSERVANCE
Bro. Burton E. Bennett, Washington
The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, or, as it is otherwise called, Knights Templar, was founded in Palestine in the 12th century by the Crusaders. The Order was a purely military one. It was made for the purpose of guarding the pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. The Order got the latter part of its name, "Temple of Solomon," from the fact that the King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, gave a part of his palace known as the "Temple of Solomon" for its use. At the head of the Order was a Master of the Temple, afterwards known as a Grand Master. His authority was very great, and generally his word was law; but in extremely large matters — such as declaring war, etc. — he had to consult the chapter, and the members decided by a majority vote. The celibate life members wore a white mantle with a red cross on it; the others a black or brown one, also with a red cross on it. Within fifty years after it was founded it was established in nearly all of the countries of Europe. Lands and manors and castles were given to the Knights by different kings in their kingdoms, and the Pope allowed them to have their own churches and even churchyards in which the excommunicated could be buried. They were even free from tithes and all local jurisdictions, and finally became a separate ecclesiastical society under the Pope. The result was "war" between them and the secular clergy, but as long as the Crusades continued they remained all powerful with the Papacy. Their object was to carry on the Crusades and wrest the Holy Land from the Infidel, and for this purpose they gathered money and recruits from all parts of Europe. It is now plainly seen that when the Crusades were over it was the inevitable fate of the Knights Templar to fall. Until nearly the end of the 13th century, when the Moslems expelled the Christians from the East, the history of the Crusades is a history of the Templars.
In 1291 the Templars retired from the Holy Land to Cyprus, and ten years later the curtain was rung down on their vast theatre of action — Asia Minor.
The Knights who in the 12th century came together to protect the pilgrims going to and returning from Jerusalem, and took an oath to live in chastity, obedience and poverty, two hundred years later were the most influential, rich and powerful body of men in the world. When their last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, came to Paris he brought with him 150,000 gold florins, and ten horse-loads of silver. But this was a very small part of their immense wealth. They had castles and strongholds and estates in all parts of Europe, and they had a strict military organization connecting them together. They were the international bankers of the then known world. They were trusted with money and with its transmission to all parts of Europe, and the East on account of their great wealth, great protective power and their pious life. While they never exercised governmental power like the Knights in Prussia and in Rhodes, still they were really far more powerful — an ecclesiastical power that covered the entire civilized world. They never, apparently, were so high as just before they fell.
THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE TEMPLARS
For a long time the princes of Europe had been plotting to wreck the Templars and seize and divide up their great wealth. They got the Hospitallers with them by holding out the bait of the Templars' wealth. The Crusades being over they pretended that it was best to have all of the military Orders united. But they could not achieve their object. Finally trumped up charges of blasphemy were made against the Templars, and through them the acquiescence of the Church obtained. Their Grand Master and most of the Knights were arrested and the Order suppressed.
Jacques de Molay and many others were put to the most excruciating tortures, and in their agony confessed to everything that their tormentors desired. Under trial by torture, if on the trial one repudiated his confession he was forthwith put to death. But if he stood by his confession it was a plea of guilty, no matter how innocent he might be, and his tormentors did with him as they wished. Jacques de Molay, at his trial, rose to sublime heights (as did many other Knights), and as befitted a great man at the head of the mightiest Order in the world, repudiated his confession, declared his own and his Order's innocence and offering up his prayers to God was burned alive amid the chants of priests of the Romish religion, with the acquiescence of the Pope of Rome, at the behest of greedy, soulless princes headed by the King of France.
The charges against the Templars were false as history has since abundantly shown. It was a dark day for Europe and Christian civilization when the Templars were destroyed. It established criminal procedure by torture, which continued down to the French Revolution; it established in the feudal mind the idea of witchcraft, and intercourse with the devil, which has only been overcome in comparatively recent times, and which curse we have had our part to bear as is witnessed in our Salemism; and, finally, it enabled the Turks to ravage Eastern Europe and oppress it continuously down to our own times — the end of the Great War.
THE STRICT OBSERVANCE
The Rite of the Strict Observance is based on "Templar Masonry." Its founders claimed that all Templars were Masons, that they founded Masonry and that the time had come to proclaim it to the world, and to have the Order of the Temple given back all of its former possessions, and to have all of its former powers restored to it. But what is the legend of "Templar Masonry"? Perhaps the French Masonic writer, Beranger, in the following short description, depicts it as well as it can be done. He says:
The Order of Masonry was instituted by Godfrey de Bouillon, in Palestine, in 1330, after the defeat of the Christian armies, and was communicated only to a few French Masons, some time afterwards, as a reward for the services which they had rendered to the English and Scottish Knights. From these latter true Masonry is derived. Their Mother Lodge is situated on the mountain of Heredom, where the first Lodge in Europe was held, which still exists in all its splendor. The Council General is always held here, and it is the seat of the Sovereign Grand Master for the time being. This mountain is situated between the West and the North of Scotland, sixty miles from Edinburgh.
There are other secrets in Masonry which were never known among the French, and which have no relation to the Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Degrees, which were constructed for the general class of Masons. The high degrees, which developed the true design of Masonry and its true secrets, have never been known to them.
The Saracens having obtained possession of the holy places in Palestine, where all the mysteries of the Order were practised, made use of them for the most profane purposes. The Christians then leagued together to conquer this beautiful country, and to drive these barbarians from the land. They succeeded in obtaining a footing on these shores under the protection of the numerous armies of the Crusaders, which had been sent there by the Christian princes. The losses which they subsequently experienced put an end to the Christian power, and the Crusaders who remained were subjected to the persecutions of the Saracens, who massacred all who publicly proclaimed the Christian faith. This induced Godfrey de Bouillon, toward the end of the thirteenth century, to conceal the mysteries of religion under the veil of figures, emblems and allegories.
Hence the Christians selected the Temple of Solomon because it had so close a relation to the Christian Church, of which its holiness and its magnificence made it the true symbol. So the Christians concealed the Mystery of the building up of the Church under that of the construction of the Temple, and gave themselves the title of Masons, Architects, or Builders, because they were occupied in building the faith. They assembled under the pretext of making plans of architecture to practise the rites of their religion with all the emblems and allegories that Masonry could furnish, and thus protect themselves from the cruelty of the Saracens.
As the mysteries of Masonry were in their principles and still are, only those of the Christian religion, they were extremely scrupulous to confide this important secret only to those whose discretion had been tried, and who had been found worthy. For this purpose they fabricated degrees as a test of those in whom they wished to confide, and they gave them at first only the symbolic secrets of Hiram, on which all the mysteries of Blue Masonry is founded, and which is, in fact, the only secret of that Order which has no relation to true Masonry. They explained nothing else to them as they were afraid of being betrayed, and they conferred these degrees as a proper means of recognizing each other, surrounded as they were by barbarians. To succeed more effectually in this they made use different signs and words for each degree, so as not only to distinguish themselves from the profane Saracens, but to designate the different degrees. These they fixed at the number of seven, the imitation of the Grand Architect who built the Universe in six days and rested on the seventh; and, also, because Solomon was seven years in constructing the Temple, which they had selected as the figurative basis of Masonry. Under the name of Hiram they gave a false application to the Masters and developed the true secret of Masonry only to the higher degrees.
THE TEMPLAR MYTH
Templar Masonry is divided into four divisions each claiming a different descent from the Templars. (1) That of France which claims descent by way of a charter given by Jacques de Molay, before his death, to Johannes Larmenius creating him Grand Master. (2) That which claims descent from Pierre d'Aumon (who succeeded De Molay as Grand Master) who fled with a few Knights to Scotland, and there established Masonry. From Scotland, it was carried to France, and there was formed the Chapter of Clermont, from which it went to Germany and made the Strict Observance which Von Hund so greatly developed. (3) That of the Scandinavian countries which claims descent by way of the real Order of Christ of Portugal that succeeded the Templars, through Beaujeau, a nephew of De Molay, who took his uncle's ashes to Stockholm and buried them there, and established the Swedish Templar system. (4) That of Scotland which claims descent from the House of the Templars that was never abolished there. The Royal Order of Scotland was created for some of the Knights by Robert Bruce and the rest were united with the Hospitallers. At the Reformation a part embraced Protestantism and united with the Masons. The part that remained Catholic was ultimately joined by the Young Pretender and was carried to France. (5) That of England, all other parts of the British Empire, and the United States which claims descent from the Knights in England who, when the Order was dissolved, buried themselves in the Masonic Fraternity, and were allowed to retain all of their secrets, and practice all of their ancient rites.
Of course all of the above is untrue. It is indeed the purest nonsense. These fabrications were made for the purpose of establishing an order not only that nobles of all countries could join, but that all who joined would believe they became ennobled. Designing men took advantage of it to obtain both money and power through "lost secrets", occultism and magic. It was an age that believed not only with personal contact with God, but also with the devil; and the supposed secrets of the Ancient Masons furnished the seed for all this tremendous growth. The truth is that all Templar Masonry is descended from a Kadosh degree invented in Lyons, France, in 1743. Gould, the greatest and most learned of all Masonic historians, says:
During the period I have just sketched (rise of High Degrees in France) it has always been maintained that Ramsey introduced a Rite of five degrees between 1736-38, called the "RITE DE RAMSEY" or "DE BOUILLON." I trust that I have already demonstrated that he did nothing of the sort, but it may be added, that beyond mere assertions, echoes of Thory, there is not the slightest evidence that a "Rite de Ramsey" ever existed. The application is a comparatively modern one, not being heard of till Thory invented it. Nevertheless, about 1740, various Rites, or degrees, of Scots Masonry, did spring into existence followed shortly afterwards by Scots Mother-Lodges controlling systems of subordinate Scots Lodges. At first these had reference to the recovery of the "lost word," but before long additions were made. In 1743 the Masons of Lyons invented the Kadosh degree, comprising the vengeance of the Templars, and thus laid the foundation for all the Templar Rites. It was at first called Junior Elect but developed into Elect of Nine, or of Perignan, Elect of Fifteen, Illustrious Master, Knight of Aurora, Grand Inquisitor, Grand Elect, Commander of the Temple, etc.
The Rite of Strict Observance was carried from France to Germany as early as 1749, if not before. Von Bieberstein, as Provincial Grand Master, was succeeded at his death, about 1750, by Karl Gothelf, Baron Von Hund, and Alten-Grotkau. He was made a Mason in 1742. A year or so afterwards he met at Paris Lord Kilmarnock, who interested him in Templarism, and he was initiated into the Order of the Temple. He was given a patent and directed to report to the Prov. Grand Master, Von Bieberstein, of the VIIth Province in Germany.
VON HUND AS GRAND MASTER
When Von Hund succeeded Von Bieberstein, at his death, as Provincial Grand Master, the Strict Observance began to assume a commanding position in the Masonic world. We can trace its beginnings back to Lord Kilmarnock, Grand Master of Scotland, in 1742-43. Kilmarnock in Scotland was made a barony, under the Boyds, the ruling family, in 1591, and was made an earldom in 1661. Lord Kilmarnock was working in behalf of the exiled house of Stuart, and used the Templar system for that purpose. Von Hund probably knew nothing of this and was honest in what he did. Lord Kilmarnock was the last Boyd to bear that title and was beheaded on Tower Hill, London, in 1746, for his share in the Jacobite uprising.
In 1751 Von Hund began to give particular attention to the restoration of the Order of the Temple, and evidently considered it his life work. He commenced to make Knights and divided all Europe into nine Provinces, to-wit: (1) Arragon, (2) Auvergne, (3) Occitania, (4) Leon, (5) Burgundy, (6) Britain, (7) Elbe and Oder, (8) Rhine, and (9) the Archipelago.
The Rite of Strict Observance consisted of six degrees, namely, (1) Apprentice, (2) Fellow Craft, (3) Master Mason, (4) Scottish Master, (5) Noviciate, and (6) Templar. The first three degrees was Ancient Craft Masonry. The fourth degree depicts the method used to preserve the "lost word", which was cut on a plate of pure metal, put into a secure place, and centuries afterwards recovered, so it was asserted. It of course belonged to the Ecossais system of degrees (Scots system). The select Master of the American Rite belongs to the same system, and its teachings are found in the Royal Arch Degree. It is the fifth degree of the French Rite. The thirteenth degree of the Scottish Rite also belongs to this system. The fifth degree is preparatory to the real Templar degree, and the sixth degree is the real Knighthood. Later another degree called the Professed Knight was, it is said, added to Hund's system. Only noblemen were eligible to Knighthood, although others could be made companions by paying very large sums of money.
THE IMPOSTOR JOHNSON APPEARS
In 1763 a fellow named Leucht, going under the name of Johnson, who had got hold of some Masonic papers relating to Masonry proper, as well as the "high degrees", appeared at Jena where there was a Clermont Chapter practicing the Templar degrees in the Strict Observance system, and stated that he had a commission from the Sovereign Chapter in Scotland to reform the German Lodges and impart the true secrets of Masonry, and that these secrets enabled their possessors to prepare the philosopher's stone. He obtained large sums of money from the members. It was soon seen that he was a charlatan. He fled, but later on was arrested and died in prison. Even this episode did not harm the Strict Observance, rather it spread its fame, probably on account of Von Hund's high standing and well known honesty. It took on a most wonderful growth. It became practically the only Masonry in Germany and spread into Holland and Russia and into France, Switzerland and Italy as well.
In the Strict Observance the real rulers of the Order were unknown, and on joining it an oath of obedience was made to the Order and to the Unknown Superiors, who at the proper time and in the proper place would make themselves known, when the Order would be restored to all its pristine glory. Von Hund probably thought that the "Young Pretender" (also known as the "Young Chevalier" and the "Count of Albany"), Prince Charles Edward, was the Grand Master. While it was probably a political scheme in his behalf in the first place it was dropped after his defeat at Culloden in 1746, and all of the time since then Von Hund was working honestly in the dark without any backing whatever. The Knight of the Red Feather, whom he asserted he met in Paris, and whom he supposed was the Grand Master of the Order, was, as far as Von Hund was personally concerned, only a red devil.
The Rite of the Strict Observance reached its highest point when the Princes of Germany joined it. The Lodge of the Three Globes of Berlin, Prussia, with its subordinate lodges, the English Provincial Grand Lodge and the Lodges of Denmark, also joined it. However Zinnendorf, who was a member and active worker, resigned in 1766 to introduce the Swedish system into Germany. It grew rapidly and soon became a real rival to the Strict Observance. The members began to want to realize something out of their membership. They wanted to know who the "Unknown Superiors" were. They really wanted to receive that occult knowledge which all of the Knights of the Order believed the rulers possessed — the heritage of the Order of the Temple. While all of this seems nonsense to us, it was not to them. It was the fault of the age, for all believed in occult science, and those who delved into it believed that the great secrets belonged to the Masons. But to which branch they did not know, and how to find the right one was their constant aim.
THE CLERKS OF THE STRICT OBSERVANCE
An Order called the Clerics turned up and it was supposed for a time that the "lost secrets" were with it. But nothing was found there, and it was determined to have a general convention for the purpose of examining into everything, so as to get on the right road. All still firmly believed that the Unknown Grand Master and his Councillors possessed all occult science and that a way could be devised to reach them. This convention took place at Brunswick and was in session from May 23 to July 6, 1775. But nothing came out of it except extreme dissatisfaction to all, and it was agreed to fully examine into both the descent of the Order and the Grand Mastership of the Young Pretender. Baron Von Hund while intimating who the Grand Master really was, with tears in his eyes refused to state directly, saying that he had taken an oath, on his sword and honor, never to do so; but as those who were in authority seemed to be determined to divulge nothing, it might be well to elect a Grand Master and take all matters into their own hands. This course produced a charlatan greater, if possible, than Leucht.
Baron Von Gugumos was at the Brunswick convention and told different members of it that they were all on the wrong track; that the Strict Observance was an imitation, or rather, only a branch of the true Order, and possessed none of the real secrets; that the Patriarch of the Greek Church at Cyprus was the Grand Master of the Order and that there reposed all of the mighty secrets of the alchemists that had been preserved from the most ancient times by the Templars. Some of the princes and others were initiated into his Order, and he promised to get the Patriarch to disclose to them all of the alchemical secrets. Much enthusiasm was aroused, and it was thought at last that they were on the right track.
THE CONVENTION OF WIESBADEN
A convention, at the suggestion of the Baron, was held at Wiesbaden on Aug. 15, 1776, with the consent of the Prince of Nassau-Usingen, but without that of the Duke of Brunswick. Among those present was the sovereign, the Duke of Nassau; also the Duke of Gotha, the Landgraves Ludwig and George, and many other nobles of lesser note. At one time there was not less than twelve reigning sovereign Princes of Germany members of the Rite of the Strict Observance, and they were the most active members seeking "lost secrets". It is no wonder that Gugomos had everything his own way, when so many in authority believed in magic and alchemy and, in fact, in all of the occult sciences. Gugomos produced an impressive patent, made for him by some scholar, and made a mystic speech. He reinitiated them into the "real Order" and sold them shoddy regalia and brass jewels at exorbitant prices. In the language of the present day, "he made a killing." Some had doubts and wanted him then and there to perform his magic feats. This, he said, he would gladly do if they would build the necessary sacred shrine and that while this was being done he would go to Cyprus and get the necessary sacred wands and altars. It was necessary, he explained, to have a secret and proper sanctuary for the delivery of the oracles, and then again the recipients must be properly prepared. He went but he never came back.
Baron Von Hund died on Oct. 28, 1776, and as might be expected confusion ensued. His effects were carefully examined, but nothing was found that could throw any light on the Order or its Grand Master, except that the Baron believed that it was the Young Pretender. But Prince Charles Edward on being questioned later on in Italy about it, stated that he knew nothing about it and was not even a Mason.
In 1782 the Rite of Strict Observance was reorganized by Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, who was elected Grand Master General. The next year however, the Lodge of the Three Globes of Berlin, with all of its subordinate lodges and the Hamburg Lodges, withdrew from the Strict Observance. On July 3, 1792, Prince Ferdinand died, and the Order died with him except in France and Denmark. In Denmark in 1792 Prince Karl of Hesse was appointed Grand Master of Denmark by royal decree. In 1808, in France, Prince Cambaceres, Arch Chancellor of the Napoleonic Empire and Grand Master of the Grand Orient, became Provincial Grand Master. The Rite continued being worked in the Rectified Rite, under the Grand Orient till 1811, when it completely died out. Prince Karl of Hesse died in 1836 and in 1855 the Danish lodges adopted the Swedish Rite, and with this the Rite of the Strict Observance breathed its last breath.
[It will be of interest to compare this generally accepted statement with the conclusions reached by Bro. J.E. Shum Tuckett in his article on Prince Charles Stuart in THE BUILDER, May, 1925, page 146. Bro. Tuckett shows that this statement was first made eighty years after the alleged interview, and it author, Findel, gives no authority for it. The earliest account, published only six years after the event, does not even mention the Prince. Ed.]
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MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
ESEK HOPKINS was born in 1718 in Scituate, R.I., of Quaker descent. He was a brother of the Stephen Hopkins who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was a handsome man, and his face habitually bore a mild, benevolent expression, which was belied to some extent by the fact that he had a very quick temper, rather an unusual thing among the Quakers.
He had a college training, but again rather unusual in taking to the sea as his profession. At the beginning of the Revolution, Governor Cooke commissioned him as a Brigadier-General, but in December, 1775, Congress appointed him as Commander-in-Chief of the as yet unorganized Navy. He is sometimes spoken of as Commodore, but the records of the Navy Department show that this title was never officially employed until it was conferred on Farragut in 1862, so that such usage is an anachronism.
In February, 1776, he sailed with the first American fleet, consisting of four ships and three sloops of war, bound for the Bahamas. The forts at New Providence were attacked and taken and a large quantity of ordnance stores, ammunition and one hundred cannon fell into the hands of the victors, a valuable and welcome addition to the equipment of the badly equipped revolutionary forces.
On the return voyage he took the British schooner Hawk and the bombing brig Bolton as prizes. For those exploits he was officially complimented by the President of the Continental Congress.
Two days later with three ships he attacked the Glasgow, a vessel of twenty-nine guns, but she managed to make her escape. For this he was rather unreasonably censured. Complaint was also made that he had not done anything against the British ships on the southern coast, and as a result he was ordered to appear before the Naval Committee to answer to these charges. He was exonerated, but unavoidable delays in getting his ships ready for sea, a most difficult matter when there was no organization, little material and no naval supplies, gave another opportunity to his enemies, and he was again made the object of charges of neglect and inefficiency, and as he did not obey a citation to appear before the Committee at Philadelphia he was summarily dismissed from the service in January, 1777.
The control of the Navy was then in the hands of a political committee. Between the colonies there was a great deal of jealousy which often led to a state of high tension. This endured all through the Revolutionary War and for eight years after, till to some extent put to rest by the adoption of the Constitution. There is little doubt that it was due to such jealousies and bickerings that this unjust treatment was meted out to Hopkins.
This, however, did not deter him from still seeking to serve his country, and he entered the Army a second time and continued to fight for the cause of freedom till the end of the war.
It is not known when or where he was made a Mason. During the Revolution there were many traveling lodges among the forces on both sides, of which scarcely any records remain. After an exhaustive search that led to no definite results the writer appealed to Henry C. Dexter, then Grand Master of Rhode Island, who wrote as follows:
It has been handed down and is generally understood and accepted, that Esek Hopkins, Naval Commander, and his brother, Stephen Hopkins, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, and seven times elected Governor of Rhode Island, and that General Nathaniel Greene, the contemporary of General Washington, were Masons. They were probably made in the traveling or military lodges which were common in those trying and early days of our country.
The illustration shows the life size statue erected to the memory of Esek Hopkins in Providence, at the expense of the State of Rhode Island.
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FACTS FOR FABLE ABOUT FREDERICK THE GREAT
Bro. Cyrus Field Willard, California
THE Yankee doughboys when they went to France, which then was "bled white" and the English "had their backs against the wall," are credited with looking over its capital with some amusement and quizzically remarking, "So this is Paris."
In this same spirit the writer read in the June number of THE BUILDER the article entitled "The Great Frederick or the God of the Fable," taken from an alleged "History of French Freemasonry" and translated by Bro. A. L. Kress. After reading it, he said:
"So this is American Masonic research."
There is nothing new in it. Certainly there is no research connected with it as there is with other articles in the same number. Instead of going to official Masonic documents to prove the falsity of the multitudinous assertions that Frederick the Great had the controlling influence in the formation and shaping of the polity of that branch of Masonry which is now known as the "Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite," Lantoine repeats the old chestnuts ascribed to Lord Dover and Mirabeau and which were refuted by Albert Pike, as will be shown later. These have been repeated again and again, by German writers also, and for reasons which will also be explained later.
Lord Dover (1797-1833), an English author, wrote a Life of Frederick the Great, which was published in 1831, or forty-five years after the death of Frederick. Frederick was not then popular in England as he had been basely deserted by George III of England in 1760, in the midst of the Seven Years' War, on account of fear for his kingdom of Hanover, leaving Frederick alone to fight the combined Roman Catholic powers of Europe. Frederick needed the help of the Freemasons, and they needed the help of Frederick. Frederick took it out on George III by helping to make him lose the brightest jewels of the crown, the American colonies, in the Revolutionary War. He furnished Baron von Steuben, his Adjutant General, no doubt supplied with all the plans of his staff, and it was von Steuben who drilled the American Army and licked it into shape so it could withstand regular British troops.
The assertions that Mirabeau are alleged to have made as to Frederick's physical condition were successfully controverted by Albert Pike in his Historical Inquiry, and yet they have been repeated over over again by the French and German writers, have a motive in so doing. Now comes Lantoine the same old falsehoods, as Pike bluntly terms them.
Albert Pike's Historical Inquiry in Regard to the Grand Constitutions of 1786 was first published in 1872 by the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, as an introduction to the Latin Constitutions. In February, 1883, a separate edition of this Inquiry was issued at Washington, D.C., in pamphlet form, to which appended a short preface which Pike, as Grand Commander and with his signed thereto, said:
As the authenticity of the Grand Constitutions of 1786 continues to be denied upon the same old untenable and exploded grounds, it is deemed advisable to print and publish this Inquiry for more, general circulation. It contains my reasons for believing these Constitutions to be genuine.
It should be read by evert Masonic writer and every member of the Scottish Rite. He says on page 127:
But we now believe that they were made at Berlin under the auspices of Frederick in May, 1786, and that he was the Patron and Protector of the high degrees and did approve these Constitutions.
On page 129, he says:
Francois Xavier Martin, afterwards for many years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana, in an address delivered at New Bern, in North Carolina, in 1789, and published two or three years later in the Free Masons' Magazine of London, said that Frederick the Great was in his lifetime at the head of Masonry in Europe.
The statement, so often repeated, that Frederick was not in a condition to attend to any business in May, 1786, we repeat, is a mere bald and naked falsehood, contradicted by every account of the closing scenes of his life. There never was the least foundation for it. It is simply a lie. Mirabeau who is quoted as authority in support of this lie, in his 10th Letter (of the "Histoire Secrete de la Cour de Berlin") writes on 2nd of August, 1786, "Au reste la tête est parfaitement libre et l'on travaille même beaucoup" ("For the rest his head is perfectly clear and he even works a great deal"). In Letter XIV on the 17th of August, he wrote "Je savais le mercredi — qu'il n'avait parlait qu'a midi aux secretaires, qui attendaient depuis cinq heures de matin; que cependant les depeches avaient ete nettes et precises," ("I knew Wednesday that nothing was said until noon to the secretaries, who were in attendance from five o'clock in the morning; but nevertheless the dispatches were perspicuous and precise " [Page 138]
In the year 1786, he (Frederick) was 74 years of age an in full possession of those uncommon powers of understanding by which he had always been distinguished. But his body was not equally vigorous with his mind. Count Herzberg attended him until the moment of his death and has given in his Memoire Historique sur la derniere annee de la vie de Frederic II a full account of his mental and bodily condition, confirming what Mirabeau said, as we have quoted above, that on the 2nd of August his head was perfectly clear and he performed a great amount of labor. Count Herzberg says: "He employed the same indefatigable attention to the internal government of his kingdom and to the management of his affairs during the last seven months of his life [the date of the signing of these Constitutions, May 1, was three and a half months before his death] as he had formerly, and with the same success, notwithstanding the painful malady with which he was all the time afflicted. He did not for a moment remit his practice of reading all the dispatches of his foreign Ministers and of dictating every morning from five to seven the answers to be immediately sent. Only a few days before his death he thus dictated all the maneuvres to be performed at the reviews in Silesia. [Page 139]
From this it can be seen it would be perfectly easy for him to have dictated, on May 1, the Grand Constitutions. On page 140 we read:
Count Herzberg says that during the last five weeks of his life, though he was much swollen with dropsy, could not lie on a bed nor move from his chair, he never betrayed the least symptom of uneasiness. He read night and morning the despatches of his foreign ambassadors, and the civil and military reports of his ministers and generals, and dictated the answers to his three Cabinet Secretaries in the most minute and regular manner as he did his answers to the letters and applications of individuals. Thiebault (Original Anecdotes of Frederick the Great, Vol. I page 141) says: "He directed his State affairs to the very last and a few moments before his decease insisted on signing a letter addressed to M. de Launay." Thiebault had been at the Court of Frederick for twenty years and had personal knowledge of that whereof he wrote.
On page 141, he says:
From Lord Dover's Life of Frederick II, London, 1832, we take the following facts and circumstances. Frederick had had gout for some time and in August, 1785, fever. On the 18th of September, 1785, he had an attack of apoplexy from which he recovered. During the autumn his fever left him but was succeeded by a hard dry cough. His legs swelled and oppression in his chest prevented him from sleeping in bed. The gout left him and never returned. In April, 1786, he was better and on the 17th of that month he went to Sans Souci, which residence he never left. On the 4th of July, 1786, he applied himself to public business from half past three in the morning to seven. Then he ate a huge breakfast, at eleven was helped on horseback and remained riding and frequently galloping about the gardens of Sans Souci (Potsdam) for three hours.
If he could do this on the 4th of July, he could sign the Constitutions of 1786 in May, as our Supreme Council, in 1802, said he did.
On the 6th of June, 1786, he wrote to Dr. Zimmerman requesting him to repair to Potsdam that he might consult him. The doctor did so immediately and remained until the 11th of July. He found the King afflicted with dropsy but in the perfect possession of his intellect and mental vigor; and afterwards published his Conversations with the late King of Prussia had during that visit. [Page 140]
It will be interesting in view of the assertions that have been made that Frederick took no interest, in his later life, in Freemasonry to ascertain who this Dr. Zimmerman was. On page 144, Pike says:
Dr. Zimmerman, author of Thoughts on Solitude and who was with Frederick in June and July, 1786, was an Illuminatus President of the Order in Manheim, and most active in propagating it in other countries. He was employed by it as a Missionary and erected Lodges at Neuchatel, in Hungary and even in Rome. When in Hungary he boasted of having established more than a hundred Lodges, some of which were in England.
From Carlyle's History of Friedrich II of Prussia, Book XXI, Chap. 9, Bro. Pike quotes as follows: [See page 208, Historical Inquiry.]
During all this while and to the very end, Friedrich's affairs great and small, were in every branch and item guided on by him with a perfection not surpassed in his palmiest days: he saw his Ministers, saw all who had business with him, many who had little; and in the sore coil of bodily miseries, as Hertzberg observed with wonder, never was the King's intellect or his judgment more just and decisive. The body of Friedrich is a ruin but his soul is still here; and receives his friends and does his tasks as formerly.
LANTOINE AND PIKE
Lantoine goes too far when he insinuates doubts of Albert Pike's truthfulness. The latter he quotes as having said:
We possess the copy of the Constitutions of Frederick and I certify that it conforms with the original which through misfortune has disappeared and on which the august signature had been effaced by the water of the sea.
Lantoine tries to be sarcastic when he says: "And we do not even know the name of the wretch who not only exposed the manuscript to the spray but also let it be borne away by the wind," with much more, in the same poor taste. We of the older generation who have come within the sphere of Albert Pike's activities and influence, know that he was the soul of honor. His strict rectitude and honesty is proverbial. If he said he certified to the fact that the copy of the Constitutions, which they possess, conforms to the original which through misfortune has disappeared, every one of the 300,000 Scottish Rite Masons of the Southern Jurisdiction will accept this statement as being absolutely true. This in spite of whatever nasty innuendoes against the honesty of our great Grand Commander that may be made by any member of the French bodies, which have fought the Scottish Rite for their own selfish purposes ever since it was re-introduced into France in 1804.
In his Historical Inquiry, page 142, Albert Pike summed up the matter in a masterly manner, which lays bare the reasons for the animus of the French writers, such as Lantoine, in their bitter and mendacious attacks on the Scottish Rite, while he flays them for their oath-breaking proclivities. This summing up is as follows:
We may safely "rest the case" as far as this point is concerned [that of Frederick being unable to sign the Constitutions of 1786 on account of sickness], and it is the one on which the greatest stress has been laid ever since the writers of the Grand Orient of France commenced their war on the Grand Constitutions. That body, originally created by a revolting committee of the Grand Lodge and which during the Empire [the time of Napoleon] was compelled to respect the rights of the Supreme Council of France to which, receiving from it the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, in 1804, all its prominent members had sworn allegiance; that body which had never had or pretended to the least jurisdiction over the degrees above the 18th, clutched the whole when it hastened to prostrate itself and rub its muzzle in the dust before the Bourbon throne on the fall of the Empire; and as the Grand Constitutions, permitting but one Supreme Council in France, branded that one "set up in its bosom" as illegitimate and spurious, as it was, its writers denied the authority of these Constitutions, which they were all sworn to obey who had the degrees of the Rite.
It is well to bear in mind, today, when efforts are being made to belittle Albert Pike, that he was a man of towering intellect and ripe culture, capable of reading in the original, in no matter what language, any desired book in his wide research, whether Sanscrit, Zend, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin or any of the modern languages. He was also an eminent lawyer who had won great suits in the U.S. Supreme Court, to which he was admitted to practice, and his legal mind was capable of knowing all about and gauging the value of evidence and the credibility of witnesses educed. It is impossible to quote here the whole of his Historical Inquiry. It gives from pages 142 to 153 a very comprehensive study of all the Masonic systems that appeared from 1760 to 1786 in Germany and throws a flood of light over the controversies, chicaneries and trickeries that marked the period and are the real reasons why the German writers wish to deny that Frederick ever had any connection with the Rite. On page 153, Pike says:
Prussia was a Protestant country. Frederick was a philosopher-holding the opinions of Voltaire, Rousseau, D'Alembert, Condorcet, and others. He was opposed to all tyranny over the conscience and, of course, to Papism. To prevent the extension of Romanism in Germany and to limit the power and dominions of Austria were the great purposes of his life. Within his own kingdom he resolved to govern and he did govern everything. It will be seen that towards the end of his life he had reasons for wishing to control the Masonic Order.
Frederick's greatest merit in the cause of Germany was in warding off the last comprehensive plan of the Roman church for the conversion of the Protestants. He preserved Germany from the attempt of Maria Theresa to make Catholicism the religion of the Empire. [Vehse, Court of Prussia.]
On page 154, Pike says:
Frederick's interference in these affairs excited against him the Roman Catholic potentates of Europe, whose spirit of revenge was formidably manifested in the coalition of 1756, when Austria and France united for his destruction. The principle which actuated Louis XV in forming this coalition was a religious one. This the papers of the Duke de Choiseul prove. His object was to crush Frederick and Protestantism. Frederick saved Germany in 1756 by the resolute stand he made against the House of Hapsburg.
This coalition of 1756 to which Pike refers started the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), in which of course Frederick would have the support of the Freemasons against the efforts of the Papacy.
The Freemasons in 1785 were numerous enough to make their support desirable, either to Austria or Prussia. Each sought it, continues Bro. Pike on page 155. Vehse says [Court of Austria, II, p. 312] that Joseph II put himself at the head of the Secret Orders — The Freemasons and Illuminati were made the tools of his plans for the acquisition of Bavaria, and "were the tools of Joseph until Frederick opened their eyes."
How did he open their eyes? or rather how did he bring the influence of the Masonry, of which these men were the chiefs, over from Joseph II to himself? We think it was by the sensible and effective measure of putting himself at their head. If he did so, the Constitutions of 1786 were a natural result.
THE JESUITS AND MASONRY IN GERMANY
Bro. Pike goes on to examine historical conditions existing at that time when the Jesuits swarmed over Germany and fought Masonry there, as well as elsewhere. He believed the question whether Frederick did put himself at the head of the Free Masonry of the higher degrees and formed a scale which rejected all the degrees invented in Germany as one of great probability, and he says, page 157:
When we scrutinize the Constitutions ascribed to Frederick, we find in them passages which so perfectly apply to the circumstances that existed at their imputed date as to form strong evidence that they were written at that time.
That Frederick was reputed to be the head of the Rite at Berlin is attested by a volume of evidence and there is no positive evidence against it. Some of this attesting evidence will be given later.
To show how baseless is the testimony of the opponents of the Scottish Rite as to the physical condition of Frederick, which in their opinion made it impossible for him to have signed these Constitutions of 1786 on May 1, let us examine an impartial authority, fortified by the passage of time and with many source information at its command. In the article "Frederick II", the Encyclopedia Britannica says:
Frederick's chief trust was in his treasury and his army. By continual economy he left in the former the immense sum of 70,000,000 thalers; the latter at his death numbered 200,000 men disciplined with all the strictness to which he, throughout life, accustomed his troops. He died at Sans Souci, Aug 17, 1786, his death hastened by exposure to a storm of rain, stoically borne, during a military review.
Yet Lantoine and the other writers, from whom he takes these old falsehoods, would have us believe that this wonderful man of affairs, who could sit out review his troops in a storm of rain, was too sick to sign the Constitutions of 1786, on May 1, three months and a half previously. The absurdity of these old statements is apparent.
Let me say at this point, that prior to the researches I have made as to the origin of the Scottish Rite, I believed, as Pike once did, that the assertions that Frederick the Great had something to do with the organization of that body were merely fables made up to amuse the new members of the Rite but baseless as historical verities. Pike said he once thought this story a "pious fraud". But the more I dug into matters and consulted official documents, I found, as I will show later, that the headquarters of the Scottish Rite (which was the Rite of Perfection with 25 degrees until these Constitutions of 1786 were adopted) were in Berlin and that all reports and lists of members were transmitted to Berlin. I have been forced to believe that Frederick II controlled these headquarters as the head of the Rite, as a multitude of writers have asserted. This Rite of Perfection was, three and a half months before his death, when he was according to the testimony of many historians in full possession of all his mental acuteness, changed from a Rite of 25 degrees to the Scottish Rite of 33 degrees by the Constitutions of 1786, and these Constitutions show why and how it was done, what Rites the extra degrees came from, and that it was by his own ipse dixit.
THE GRAND LODGE OF THE THREE GLOBES
In the same manner, and by his own "say-so", he had erected the symbolic lodge, which he organized in 1740, to a Grand Lodge which he called Aux Trois Globes (To the Three Globes), as everything at his court was in the French language then. This most irregular Grand Lodge, which exists at Berlin today as one of the old Prussian Grand Lodges, thus irregularly constituted was duly recognized by the Grand Lodge of England.
It is evident that Lantoine is ignorant of the fact that Frederick was carried on the tableau or list of officers as Grand Master of this Grand Lodge until 1758, with Baron von Printzen as Deputy Grand Master and doing most of the work, as is customary.
In that year, Gould recites, a Chapter of Clermont of Scottish degrees was organized by Baron von Printzen and the Marquis de Tilly-Lernais, a French officer, prisoner of war, of the Duke de Broglie's regiment, of which regiment Baron de Kalb was also a member. This Chapter was attached to the Grand Lodge Aux Trois Globes, which Chapter still exists at Berlin, according to Gould. Gould also shows the identity of the Chapters of Clermont (which were named after the Count de Clermont, duc de Bourbon, then Grand Master of France and head of the Council of Emperors of the East and West), with the latter organization which was then the governing body of the Rite of Perfection. Gould also shows in his Complete History of Freemasonry, Yorston American edition, that in 1760 the Chapter of Clermont at Berlin assumed the name of "Premier Chapter of Clermont." What this meant can be inferred, if at that time Frederick in some manner became the head of the Rite as it then was.
In 1758 certain Masons, styling themselves "Sovereign Princes and Grand Officers of the Grand Sovereign Lodge of St. John of Jerusalem," founded at Paris a body called "The Chapter of Emperors of the East and West." This Rite seems in the beginning to have consisted of twenty-five degrees, at least all the writers who speak of its original scale assign to it that number. The Rite established or adopted by this chapter or council consisting of twenty-five degrees, has ordinarily been known as the Rite of Perfection or of Heredom. In 1759 the Council of the Emperors of the East and West is said to have established a council of Princes of the Royal Secret at Bordeaux. [Page 170, Historical Inquiry]
On the 27th of August, 1761, Stephen Morin was given a patent by the Grand Lodge of France and the Council of Emperors of the East and West, which was signed by nine commissioners and certified to by Daubantin as Secretary of the Grand Lodge and of the Sublime Council of the Prince Masons in France.
On the 21st of September, 1762, it is said nine commissioners from the Council of Emperors of the East and West and from the Council of the Princes of the Royal Secret at Bordeaux, met at the latter place and settled the Regulations of the Masonry of Perfection in thirty-five articles. Wherever and whenever made, the testimony of all the writers is unanimous that these Constitutions became as early as 1762 the law of the Rite of Perfection. [Page 176.]
BORDEAUX OR BERLIN
Now this matter of the Princes of the Royal Secret being organized at Bordeaux is only a blind. Prussia and France were then engaged in the Seven Years' War and it was necessary to assign it to Bordeaux instead of Berlin, where it was organized as the Chapter of Clermont which Gould speaks of as being organized in 1758, and Rebold in his Histoire des Trois Grandes Loges, pages 46 and 47, goes into it very minutely. On page 46, he says:
Independent of these Provincial Grand Lodges, there were also established in France other constitutive bodies, some professing the Scottish Rite introduced by Doctor Ramsay (1730) and others, analogous Rites under other names: we will cite among others the Chapter of Arras constituted the 15th of April, 1747, by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, and another under the title of "Mother Lodge of St. John of Scotland" constituted at Marseilles, in 1751, by a Scotchman of the suite of the Prince. Later there was established the Chapter of Clermont, founded at Paris in 1754 — the refuge of all the partisans of the Stuarts. In order to hide the true authors of the System of the Templars, later called "The Strict Observance", they made believe that the Chevalier de Bonneville, likewise a partisan of the Stuarts, was the founder of it, while he was only its propagator. Finally in 1758, the Chapter called the "Emperors of the East and West" was formed, of which the members gave themselves the titles of "Sovereign Prince Masons, Deputies General of the Royal Art Grand Wardens and Officers of the Grand and Sovereign Lodge of Saint John of Jerusalem."
Then below this is a note in which Rebold says:
After the Acta Latamorum of Thory, it would be by this chapter that the consistory of Princes of the Royal Secret was founded, in 1758, at Bordeaux, and the commissioners of these two councils, in meeting assembled, established the Regulations in 35 articles of the Masonry called "of Perfection" which determined the 25 degrees of the Scottish system, such as has been practiced in France since that time. This assertion of Thory is inexact for there exists no proof that a consistory of Princes of the Royal Secret was sitting at Bordeaux before 1789.
But there was one at Berlin as a Chapter of Clermont, which Gould says was formed in the year 1758. Rebold goes on to say:
No Masonic authority of that name having existed, neither in 1758 nor in 1761, at Bordeaux, it could not in consequence have aided in the establishment of these famous regulations upon which the Supreme Council for France of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite at Paris founds its origin and its rights to the exclusive administration of this rite and which it calls "The Grand Constitutions." Outside of the facts which will be advanced later against the authenticity of these regulations that they designate unreasonably as constitutions ... the manuscript of it, which exists to this date, must leave it to be supposed that it was at Berlin [instead of Bordeaux] that it had been drawn up, for the name of the city where they were determined upon is indicated there only by the initial B followed by three points. Now as they assure us that the King, Frederic of Prussia, had ratified them in his quality of supreme chief of the rite ... this initial must indeed indicate Berlin and not Bordeaux. Is it by ignorance or by design that later they have completed the word and substituted there Bordeaux? [Page 47, Rebold.]
In this connection, let us throw a cross-light on the situation by showing that Rebold was right when he said that the initial B must have been Berlin; and the reason was the war then existing between France and Prussia, which caused them to camouflage it as Bordeaux when in fact it was Berlin. On page 176 of Historical Inquiry Albert Pike says:
In two old rituals of the twenty-fourth degree (Kadosh) in our possession, is the following note: "The Grand Inspector, Stephen Morin, founder of the Lodge of Perfection, in a Consistory of Princes of the Royal Secret, held at Kingston, Jamaica, in January of the Masonic year 5769, informed the Prince Masons that latterly there had been some excitement at Paris and investigations had been made there, to learn whether the Masons styled Kadosch were not in reality the Knights Templar; and that it had in consequence been determined in the GRAND CHAPTER OF COMMUNICATION OF BERLIN AND PARIS that the degree should for the future be styled Knights of the White and Black Eagle and that the jewel should be a black eagle." That degree is so styled in the Regulations of 1762.
This shows that there was a Grand Chapter at Berlin in 1768, or only six years after the Regulations were drawn up at Berlin, as Rebold said.
The Grand Orient of France has for years dropped the belief in God, the Grand Architect, out of its Freemasonry and, as a consequence, it is not regarded as a Masonic body by the other Grand Lodges representing over 90 per cent of the Masons of the world. The Grand Lodge of France to which Lantoine is said to belong is merely the "me, too," the echo of the Grand Orient, and has done the same. I have been reading his diatribes for some time past in Le Symbolisme and while he is a brilliant writer, yet like most Frenchmen he is not always reliable. As he has spoken sneeringly of "The Great Frederick or the God of the Fable", so might I have termed my characterization of his article, in view of the position of the French Grand Lodges in the eyes of the Masonic world, "The Fable Without God or Truth."
* * *
RELIGIOUS ANTI-MASONRY, 1826-1840
Erik McKinley Eriksson, Ph.D.
Professor of American History, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
FOLLOWING the disappearance of William Morgan, in the latter part of 1826, there developed an Anti-Masonic movement, the fanaticism of which has not been paralleled in the whole history of the United States. Though the movement was chiefly of a political character it affected every phase of life. Close friends became bitter enemies, families were divided and even churches were broken up, so bitter was the feeling engendered by the Anti-Masons.
The fact that, prior to the Morgan affair, there had been occasional attacks on the Masonic fraternity by religious zealots is evidence that the Institution had many enemies. These needed only such an incident as Morgan's disappearance to cause them to unleash their full fury against the Masons. Urged on by the scheming, opportunistic politicians who hoped to create a great political party out of the excitement, the orthodox churches in the "affected area" vied with each other in condemning Masons and Masonry.
Resolutions hostile to the Institution were frequently passed, Masons were barred from churches unless they would renounce and denounce the fraternity, and many ministers who were Masons had no choice but to join the Anti-Masons or give up their pulpits. Some ministers, more fanatical than others, assumed the role of crusaders, and journeyed up and down the land, exhorting such audiences as they could assemble to join in the movement to stamp out Masonry. Others, not content to use the pulpit for the purpose of venting their spleen on the Masons, hastened to spread their ideas abroad by means of the printed page. Thus there was added to the great flood of Anti-Masonic material poured from the presses of the country a large number of Anti-Masonic religious tracts. It should be noted that ministers who were seceding Masons were the most vehement in their attacks on the fraternity.
So intense was the religious feeling aroused that for a time there appeared a possibility that a "Christian party" would be formed. However, little headway was made towards making such a party a reality, for the proposal was immediately denounced as a movement to unite the church and the state. The definite formation of the Anti-Masonic party in 1827 resulted in the absorption of the religious fanatics by that organization.
SOME REASONS FOR ANTI-MASONRY
The narrow fanaticism of religious Anti-Masonry was well shown in the resolutions drawn up by various gatherings of orthodox churchmen. Thus, at a meeting of the Saratoga Baptist Association, held at Milton, New York, on Sept. 12 and 13, 1827, with twenty-two churches represented, it was resolved
that we have no fellowship for or with the Institution of Freemasonry; and so declare because:
First — Freemasonry professes to have its origin in and from God.
Second — It professes to correspond with, and bears an affinity to, the ancient Egyptian philosophy.
Third — It adopts a novel and unscriptural manner of instructing men in the doctrines, promises and consolations of the Gospel, and draws its lessons of morality from stone hammers, mallets, chisels, and other working tools.
Fourth — It publishes to the world songs, etc., of such a contrariety of character, as to serve the purposes of profanity, revelry, the worship of the true God, and heathen deities.
Fifth — It pretends that its religion and morality are the same as those taught in the Bible.
Sixth — That the ancient Egyptian philosophy, with its hieroglyphics and mysteries, and the religion of Christ cannot correspond or bear affinity to each other.
Seventh — It perverts and degrades the meaning of Scripture passages, and, by their use and application to Masonic ceremonies, dishonors God the Son
Eighth — It unwarrantably and irreverently employs the name of Jehovah in the dedication of Masonic Halls.
Ninth — It dedicates Lodges, Chapters, etc., to St. John and Zerubbabel.
Tenth — It authorized the practice of religious rites ceremonies, and observances, not commanded or countenanced in the New Testament....
Eleventh — It imposes obligations of a moral and religious nature, which cannot be communicated to any other than Masons or candidates of the Order, not even to brethren of the church of Christ.
Twelfth — It affixes new names and appellations to both God the Father, and God the Son, and those which are immoral and irreligious to men. Thirteenth — It amalgamates in its societies men of all religions professing to believe the existence of a Supreme Being of any description; thereby defeating all its pretensions to the morality and religion of the of the Bible and sapping the foundations of Christian fellowship.
Thirteenth — It amalgamates in its societies men of all religions professing to believe the existence of a Supreme Being of any description; thereby defeating all its pretensions to the morality and religion of the Bible, and sapping the foundations of Christian fellowship.
Fourteenth — It authorized forms of prayer accommodated to the prejudices of the Jews; thus rejecting the only Mediator and way of access to the Father.
Fifteteenth — It receives and adopts Orders of Knighthood from Popery.
After adopting this resolution, it was resolved "That we do not fellowship our Baptist brethren, unless they completely abstain from Freemasonry." In the printed proceedings of the meeting there were included extracts from various Masonic sources, purporting to sustain the charges made against the Masonic Institution.
Another typical set of resolutions was that passed by a Baptist conference at Whitesboro, New York, Oct. 22 and 23, 1829, at which the churches of ten counties in Western New York were represented. These resolutions stated it as the duty of every Masonic church member to not only renounce the fraternity but to give his church "satisfactory evidence of the same" (which meat a public denunciation of the Institution) under pain of being refused the fellowship of the church. Similar action had been taken by the Baptish Genesee Consociation in June, 1828.
But it should not be inferred that the Baptists were the most fanatical in their attacks on Freemasonry, for the Presbyterians, the Dutch Reformed sect, the Methodists and the Congregationals — in fact, all the orthodox denominations were equally zealous in the Anti-Masonic crusade. Among the religious Anti-Masonic gatherings during the period which were widely reported to have taken action against the Masons were the "Associated Reformed Synod" of New York, meeting at Newburgh, New York, in 1830; the Presbyterian Synod of Rochester, in 1829; a convention of nineteen Baptist churches at Le Roy, New York, in 1828; the New England Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, meeting at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, June 13, 1829, and the Dutch Reformed Church, meeting at Hackensack, New York, in June, 1831.
One of the unique features of religious Anti-Masonry was the fact that occasionally members of various denominations held joint meetings for the purpose of condemning Masonry. A notable instance of such a gathering was the "Sangerfield Meeting," held at Waterville, New York, Jan. 14, 1830. It was claimed that there were present three hundred persons, including Congregationalists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists, as well as members of Dutch Reformed, "Seventh Day Baptists" and "Reformed Methodist" churches.
After hearing the testimony of seceded Masons regarding Masonic oaths, the conference drew up a short address denunciatory of Freemasonry, and also adopted five resolutions. These declared Masonry "opposed to the principles and tendency of the Gospel of Christ" and, as was the practice of such gatherings, called on "every professor of religion, who is a Freemason, to dissolve all connection with the Masonic fraternity" and to give "satisfactory evidence" to his church that he had done so. All Masons who would not renounce the Institution were to be excluded from the churches. It was declared to be the duty of ministers and professors of Christianity to oppose Masonry, both privately and publicly. But the most interesting action taken at the meeting was to set aside the last Thursday of February  "as a day of solemn fasting, humiliation and prayer, on account of the existence of Masonry in the Church."
The meetings mentioned were the ones which attracted most attention during the period of Anti-Masonic excitement, but there were many others. Similarly there were a few ministers who made themselves so notorious in promoting Anti-Masonry that they must be mentioned to the exclusion of hundreds of others who lacked the ability to secure publicity for themselves. Easily the most fanatical of these Anti-Masonic ministers was Lebbeus Armstrong, a seceding Mason, whose excesses led to his expulsion from the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church of Northampton and Edinburgh in Saratoga County, New York. Two of his sermons, published in pamphlet form in 1829 and 1830, are extant, and well reveal the absurdities of some Anti-Masons. In one sermon Armstrong contended that the total overthrow of the Masonic Institution had been predicted by St. Paul and was in process of fulfillment. Even more ridiculous was his assertion that
It [Freemasonry] Bears Decided Marks Of Being One Of The Confederate Powers Of Iniquity, Predicted By The Apostle John, On The Isle Of Patmos, Which Would Combine The World In Arms Against God, And Be Overcome At The Battle Of The Great Day Just Before The Millenium.
The "Confederate Powers of Iniquity," he asserted, were "Mohometanism, Anti-Christian Despotism and Freemasonry." Surely the passions of people were highly excited when they would listen to and read such material!
Few, if any, of the religious Anti-Masons wrote more at length than did John G. Stearns, also a seceded Mason, who was a minister at Paris, New York. In 1828 he published a pamphlet entitled Plain Truth, which dealt at length with Masonic oaths. Much longer and much more widely read was his Inquiry Into the Nature and Tendency of Speculative Freemasonry, published eventually in seven editions. In this latter work he dealt chiefly with Masonry and religion. He denounced Masonry because, he asserted, it "professes to be a religious institution" and claimed divine origin. He denied that it was divine, but, on the contrary, he claimed that it had its origin among the heathen. He criticized the Institution because it admitted those who were not professing Christians, and he found fault because it did not "save men," though he claimed falsely that it pretended to do so. A long chapter was devoted to "The Unlawful and Unchristian Nature of Masonic Oaths." Today, as one views the thousands of Masons active as church members and ministers, it can only afford amusements to read Stearns' repetitious tirades, of which the following is typical:
Masonry has a pernicious influence in the church of Christ. The church cannot maintain its discipline without a perpetual war with it. When church members act under the influence of Masonic oaths, and in view of the Masonic interest, they violate the Christian covenant and contend against the laws of the house of God.... The institution of Masonry is not based on real affection, but on un-Christian and unlawful oaths.... By the influence of Masonry, unpleasant feelings are often produced in the minds of Christians towards each other.
Another Anti-Masonic minister who attracted to himself considerable attention was Joel Parker, pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church of Rochester, New York. On Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 4, 1828, he delivered a sermon entitled, The Signs of the Times, in which he linked Freemasonry with intemperance and slavery as the special objects of his attacks. The charge against Masonry which he stressed chiefly was that "Its religious worship is purely theistical," and that its many prayers were "offered without the acknowledgement of a Savior."
In Vermont, Henry Jones, pastor of the Congregational Church in Cabot, attracted attention in 1829 by publishing Letters on Masonry, Addressed to the Professed Followers of Christ, which letters were chiefly an attempted vindication of his own act in renouncing Masonry. He admitted that he had become a Mason in 1815 "from vain and worldly motives." His excuse for abandoning Masonry, as he stated, was "that it appears, in this land of gospel light, not only useless, but a hindrance to the progress of Religion." He too attacked the Masonic obligations which he characterized as "mock solemnity, profanity."
The sermon of David Pease, of Massachusetts, entitled The Good Man in Bad Company, was delivered and published ostensibly as an apology for his secession from the Masonic Institution. Rev. Daniel Dow, of Thompson, Connecticut, and Jedediah N. Hotchkin, of LeRoy, New York, were others conspicuous in promoting religious Anti-Masonry.
Unlike the ministers mentioned, who attained no prominence as political Anti-Masons, was Moses Thacher, of Massachusetts. One of the most active of the political Anti-Masons in the state, this seceded Mason did not hesitate to carry his Anti-Masonry into the church at Wrentham, of which he was pastor, with the result that his congregation was split into factions. The Anti-Masonic group under his lead withdrew and formed a new parish at North Wrentham, for which unauthorized action he was censured by a council composed of seven Congregational Churches.
In his various speeches it was Thacher's custom to charge that the Masonic oaths contravened "our duty and allegiance to God." "In short," he asserted, "every obligation, every rite, in the Masonic Institution, is directly calculated to bring sacred things into contempt, and to lead on, step by step, into absolute skepticism." Again, he charged:
It [Freemasonry] is, in all respects, directly calculated, both in letter and spirit, to subvert and eradicate the first principles of the Christian religion. Freemasonry is a system of deism in its first degrees, and of atheism in the end....
The Masonic Institution then, instead of being a school of charity and moral virtue, is a school of infidelity. There is no system on earth so artfully contrived, and so completely fitted to make deists and atheists, as Freemasonry. It doubtless has made more skeptics in religion than any other system of means that was ever put into operation.
THE ALLIANCE OF POLITICS AND RELIGION
The political Anti-Masons realized that in religion they had a potent weapon so they lost no opportunity to fan the flame of religious prejudice against Freemasonry. Therefore it is nothing unusual to find in the proceedings of local, state and national Anti-Masonic conventions, resolutions and addresses designed to show the Masonic Institution to be opposed to the Christian religion. Thus, at a meeting of Anti-Masons at Reading, Massachusetts, early in 1829, those present declared it their duty to use their "best endeavors to put down the Masonic Institution" because it was "opposed to revealed religion," and
Because to use it appears immoral.... Its immorality appears in its songs, profane rites, indecent ceremonies; multiplied, and often repeated blasphemous oaths; its profane mimicry of death; of the Savior's priesthood and death: of the holy scriptures, and of the last judgment, in their high and ineffable degrees, and in their funeral ceremonies.
Similar statements were issued by other local gatherings and by state Anti-Masonic conventions. Special attention was also given to the subject by the two Anti-Masonic national conventions. At the national convention held at Philadelphia in September, 1830, a special committee was appointed, headed by William H. Maynard, of New York, to report on the "effect of Freemasonry on the Christian religion." The report submitted was hardly more than a compilation of the various charges that had been hurled at the Institution by the religious Anti-Masons prior to that time. The liberality of the Masons in the matter of religion was especially attacked.
In the Connecticut Anti-Masonic Convention of 1832 there were adopted fifteen resolutions introduced by Henry Dana Ward, of New York City, a minister and seceded Mason, who had made himself conspicuous in promoting political Anti-Masonry. Two of these resolutions dealt specifically with Masonry and religion. They attacked, in the customary way, the Masonic obligations as "a direct violation of the laws of God and of civil society" and declared "that the use of the language and prayers of the Scriptures, and of the sacred name and titles of the Supreme God, in the ceremonies of the fraternity, are highly irreverent, profane and even blasphemous." The fact that ministers were Masons was viewed "with abhorrence, and even horror."
At the national convention held at Baltimore, in September, 1831, attention was again given to the subject in two of the nineteen resolutions adopted by the convention. These resolutions, also proposed by the indefatigable Ward, were brief. They denounced the Masonic oaths and obligations as deserving "the unqualified reprobation and abhorrence of every Christian, and every friend of morality and justice." It was further resolved:
That these oaths being illegally administered, and designed to subserve fraudulent purposes, ought not to be regarded as binding in conscience, morality or honor; but the higher obligations of religion and civil society require them to be explicitly renounced by every good citizen.
Perhaps Ward, in proposing this particular resolution, was seeking to ease his own conscience and that of fellow ministers who were seceding Masons by getting the Anti-Masons of the country to endorse their action.
DEFENDERS OF MASONRY
It should not be supposed that Masonry was without defenders against the attacks of the religious zealots. (The Masonic newspapers were the vehicle for counterblasts against fanatical attacks of the enemies of the fraternity. Speakers before Masonic gatherings denied that Masonry was in conflict with religion and their speeches were published in the periodicals or circulated in pamphlet form.) Many ministers remained loyal to the fraternity and were outspoken in defense of it during the period. Some under the pressure of persecution gave up their pulpits but would not renounce Masonry. Occasionally, church members who were also Masons published denials that their Masonic membership interfered with their Christian duties.
Typical of the attitude of Masonic newspapers towards those who were manufacturing the charges that Masonry was the enemy of religion, is the following extract from an editorial in "The Craftsman," Feb. 17, 1829:
We would caution all who have the welfare, the peace and the happiness of their country at heart against the dictation of designing knaves, high-reaching politicians, crafty gownsmen, and calculating financiers who seek political power and sectarian success on the one hand and full coffers on the other. We would caution the honest man, who bears in his bosom the heart of a freeman, against the machinations of the hypocritical professor of religion — the sincere Christian against the deep-designing and callous-hearted politician, and the philanthropist, the lover of freedom and equal rights, against the wiles of both....
The different classes we have alluded to are now making joint stock of their labors, and attempting to unite church and state under the significant title of Anti-Masonry. Every priest who does not pronounce a curse upon the oldest institution in the world, and damn as an infidel every upholder of it. they would hurl from his desk; and every member of the church who would not join in that curse, they would excommunicate and disgrace.
Also in "The Craftsman," in the spring of 1829, appeared a series of six articles signed "Civil Rights," reviewing Rev. Joel Parker's sermon, "Signs of the Times." Similarly answers were made to other ministers who attacked Masonry on religious grounds. When Elder David Pease turned apostate he was made the subject of a bitter editorial denunciation in the "Boston Masonic Mirror," Aug. 14, 1830. It was pointed out that Pease had been an ardent Mason, that he had accepted Masonic charity, and that he had "prayed often and fervently for the prosperity of the Masonic fraternity." The Masonic editor denounced him for turning against the Masons, and labelled him an "ungrateful hypocrite" and a "profligate libeller." The same newspaper also published a series of articles, signed "Royal Arch," directed against Pease, which articles were later published in pamphlet form.
One of the most widely noticed Masonic speeches during the period of the "excitement" was that by John H. Sheppard, a lawyer, delivered before Lincoln Lodge at Wiscasset, Massachusetts, June 24, 1831. In the course of his address he asserted that "In its very foundation Masonry is a religious institution." When the speech was published he inserted an explanatory note, which may be quoted as typical Masonic defense against the attacks of the religious Anti-Masons. He said:
When I allege that Masonry is a religious institution, let no one misunderstand my meaning. We take the Holy Bible to be the rule and guide of our faith, and profess a belief in one eternal God, our creator, preserver and benefactor. Thus far it has a religious tendency, and in the higher degrees, a continual advancement is made in those things which appertain to eternity. The institution is therefore built on a religious foundation, being opposed to infidelity and idolatry. To me it has ever appeared as preparatory to the introduction of Christianity — but let no man imagine that we claim the Masonic Institution as a substitute for the Christian religion. It is only a forerunner of revealed truth, and while it embraces men of every sect, it confesses, like one of its patrons, St. John the Baptist, there is One who cometh after it, the latchet of whose shoes it is unworthy to unloose.
Among the ministers who defended Masonry against the religious attacks was Rev. Lorenzo Dow, whose "Notes on Anti-Masonry" were widely published by Masonic newspapers. A strong defense of Masonry was delivered on Feb. 2, 1830, by Rev. Joseph Prentiss before the Grand Chapter of New York. Rev. Alfred Ely, of Monson, Massachusetts, by defending Masonry in 1829, subjected himself to bitter attacks by the Anti-Masons. Other defenders of the Institution against religious fanaticism were Joseph Emerson, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, who, on July 26, 1828, addressed a letter to the Genesee Consociation, in which he deplored their "anathema" against Masons. "If anything unscriptural," he challenged, "has been discovered in our avowed principles, our charities, our mutual attachments, I would fain have it designated." He went on to say that he considered Masonry "a moral, pacific, benevolent, humane and social institution ... productive of incalculable benefit to the world." If it had been "perverted" then "Christianity much more." In answer to the assertion that the Bible did not command secret societies, a Masonic writer named William Sherman, employing the dialogue form of argument, pointed out that it was not necessary to prove that they were commanded, but rather to show where they were prohibited.
PERSECUTED MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL
Among the Masonic ministers who remained loyal, even though forced to leave the pulpit, was Rev. Ephraim Wood, of Streetsborough, Ohio. When the Methodist quarterly conference refused, in 1831, to renew his license to preach because he was a Mason, he wrote, and had published, a series of letters addressed "To the Methodists of the United States." He charged that "the Methodist clergy, as a body, have established a clerical Inquisition, to punish all who dare dissent their political dogmas."
Another persecuted Masonic minister whose case attracted wide attention was Rev. Stephen Fenn, of Harpersfield, New York. On June 21, 1829, he preached a farewell sermon, in which he referred to thirty-six years of service to the congregation. He deplored the fact that Anti-Masonry had arrived, creating such a spirit of bitterness that several of the congregation had refused to pay him any salary because he was "guilty of the crime of being a Mason." Therefore, he had concluded that the best way out was to resign and leave the scene of his long services.
As there were some Masonic ministers with courage enough to endure the Anti-Masonic persecution, so there were Masonic church members who refused to give up their allegiance to the Order. Thus, in April, 1829, fifteen Congregationalists and three Baptists of Thetford, Vermont, issued a joint statement "To the Christian Publick," in which they defended their retention of membership in the Masonic fraternity. They said:
We do not regard Freemasonry as being equal to Christianity in importance; but we do regard it as a charitable and moral institution of which a Christian may avail himself to very great advantage.
Our lodge is opened and closed with prayer, and instruction is always given, relating in a greater or less degree to the principles contained in the Sacred Scriptures.
Similarly, in 1830, Masonic members of the First Baptist Church in Pawtucket [Rhode Island] drew up a preamble and seven resolutions in defense of their adherence to the fraternity. They asserted that they considered Freemasonry "as a seculiar institution" and not as "a substitute for devotion and piety, as many who have seceded from it seem to have done."
As it was in Vermont that Anti-Masonry wrought its most thorough devastation, it is of interest to note that the Masons of that state did not yield without a struggle. On April 7, 1829, they held a convention at Middlebury and issued an appeal to the people. Among other things they dealt with the religious attacks on Masonry. They denied that there was any inconsistency between Masonry and Christianity. The appeal referred to the religious character of the Masonic forms and ceremonies, and stressed the tolerance of the Institution in the matter of creeds.
The prevalent spirit of persecution and proscription, which denied them church fellowship because they were Masons, was described as being "at war with the genius of the American government and the character of the American people."
Enough evidence has been presented to show that there was a widespread, well-defined religious Anti-Masonic movement in the period following the Morgan affair. At that time it was overshadowed by political Anti-Masonry and was made to serve the ends of scheming politicians. Political Anti-Masonry disappeared in the United States many years ago, but it is significant that religious Anti-Masonry still continues. The same appeals made by the religious fanatics of a century ago to arouse the passions of the people against the Masonic fraternity are being employed at the present time. It is a compliment to the good sense of the American people of today that these appeals receive little response. In fact the Anti-Masonic arguments — if such they could be called — had lost most of their potency before the great outburst of Anti-Masonry subsided in the late thirties of the last century. When people in the "affected area" began to regain their sanity, they saw how utterly absurd were the charges made by the religious Anti-Masons.
As the subject of religious Anti-Masonry has never been dealt with, except in a very incidental way, it has been necessary to depend almost entirely on contemporary sources.
Much material is available in newspapers and periodicals hitherto cited, including the Amaranth, The Craftsman, American Masonick Record, The Masonic Mirror and Mechanic's Intelligencer, The Masonic Mirror, New Series, and the Anti-Masonic Review.
There are numerous pamphlets containing both the Anti-Masonic and the Masonic views on the subject of Freemasonry and religion. The following pamphlets, containing the views of religious Anti-Masons, have proved useful: Lebbeus Armstrong's Masonry Proved to Be a Work of Darkness, Repugnant to the Christian Religion; And Inimical to a Republican Government (New York, 1830), 24 pp.; Lebbeus Armstrong's The Man of Sin Revealed, Or, The Total Overthrow of the Institution of Freemasonry Predicted by St. Paul, and Now Fulfilling... (Philadelphia, 1829), 51 pp.; Daniel Dow's Free Inquiry Recommended on the Subject of Freemasonry ... (Norwich Conn., 1829), 20 pp.; Jedediah N. Hotchkin's Candid Appeal to the Professors of Religion Upon the Subject of Speculative Free-Masonry (New York, 1828), 16 pp.; Henry Jones' Letters on Masonry, Addressed to the Professed Followers of Christ, Now in Connection With the Institution of Freemasonry (Boston, 1829), 48 pp.; Joel Parker's The Signs of the Times... (Rochester, New York, 1828), 16 pp.; David Pease's The Good Man in Bad Company: Or Speculative Freemasonry a Wicked and Dangerous Combination... (Brookfield, Mass., 1831) 24 pp., John G. Stearns' Plain Truth: Containing Remarks on Various Subjects Relative to the Institution of Speculative Free Masonry (Cazenovia, New York, 1828), 82 pp.; John G. Stearns' Inquiry into the Nature and Tendency of Speculative FreeMasonry... (Utica, New York, 1829), 211 pp. (Fifth Edition): Moses Thacher's Address to the Church and Congregation ... On His Seceding From the Masonic Institution (Boston, 1829), 12 pp.; and also his Address Delivered at Weymouth ... Worcester ... And at Reading (Boston, 1830), 30 pp.
Other useful Anti-Masonic pamphlets, dealing with Masonry and religion, are the following: Minutes of an Address Delivered Before the Anti-Masonic Convention of Reading, Mass., Jan. 15, 1829... (Boston, 1829), 19 pp.; Proceedings of the Sangerfield Meeting, Held at the Presbyterian Meeting, House in the Village of Waterville, Jan. 14, 1830... (Utica New York, 1830), 16 pp.; An Address Adopted at a Meeting of Citizens of Philadelphia, Opposed to Secret Societies... (Philadelphia, 1829), 44 pp., Candid Reply to the Address of the Rev. Alfred Ely, of Monson, Mass., on the Subject of Speculative Free Masonry, by an Impartial Examiner (Boston 1829), 20 pp.; A Reply of the Genesee Consociation, to the Letter of the Rev. Joseph Emerson...Relative to Masonic Ministers and Masonic Candidates for the Ministry (Hartford, Conn. 1829), 34 pp.
Of interest because published in England but dealing with American Masonry is a pamphlet entitled Horrifying Disclosures of the Profane Oaths and Blasphemous Ceremonies of the Freemasons! With Their Insulting Mockery of Prayer, the Sacred Person of the Redeemer, and the Name of Almighty God! Including All Their Works of Darkness ... (London, 1837) 16 pp.
The Proceedings of the Anti-Masonic state and national conventions were consulted for material dealing with religious Masonry. While most of the material on the Masonic gleaned from the newspapers cited, a few pamphlets provided information. These included: An Appeal to the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont on the Subject of the AntiMasonic Excitement... (Middlebury, Vt., 1829), 36 pp.; Emerson's Letter to the Members of the Genesee Consociation, N.Y. (Brooklyn, Conn., 1829), 16 pp. — also an edition published in Boston, 1829, in 23 pp.; Joseph Prentiss' Discourse Delivered Before the Grand Chapter of the State of New York... (Albany, 1830), 12 pp.; The Principles of Anti-Masonry, Illustrated in a Series of Letters Addressed to Rev. David Pease, Renouncing Mason, Anti-Masonic Lecturer, &c., by Royal Arch (Belchertown, Mass., 1830), 32 pp.; John H. Sheppard's Address Delivered Before Lincoln Lodge, Wiscasset, June 24, A.L. 5831 (Boston, 1831), 32 pp. (Second Edition); and [William Sherman's] Ancient Order of Freemasonry and Liberty of Conscience, Opposed to Bigotry and Superstition, Exemplified by Plain and Indubitable Facts and Reasoning, Deduced From Scripture and Common Sense. By a Candid Man (New York, 1828), 40 pp.
The resolutions of the Saratoga Baptist Association adopted in 1827, were copied from the second volume (pp. 459-461) of Charles T. McClenachan's History of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons in New York... (New York, 1892), 4 v. It will be noted that the list contained in Rob. Morris' William Morgan... is characterized by numerous inaccuracies, hence it has been deemed desirable to give the list in full from another source, bearing evidence of being accurate.
Those seeking to learn the Masonic attitude towards religion, as well as many other things, will find a good exposition in Albert G. Mackey's The Mystic Tie. (New York, 1865.)
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HISTORICAL SHAFT FOUND IN IOWA
Communicated by Bro. W. H. Knutz, Illinois
IN the late fall of 1892, a rough stone shaft five (5) inches thick, six (6) inches wide at the top and seven and one-half (7½) inches wide at the bottom and thirty (30) inches long, was found by the side of an old wagon trail about four miles north of the town of Wall Lake, Iowa. The accompanying photograph shows the proportions and markings of the shaft.
The place where the shaft was found is a gravel pit. Two feet of dirt lay over the gravel bed. This was being removed and the gravel loaded on cars of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad by means of a steam shovel. All stone was being loaded with the gravel. The particular shaft in question slid down by the steam shovel and it was several days before the engineers in charge noticed the stone and its historical markings. The laborers were asked if a grave had been discovered. The laborers thought graves were in evidence, though no mention was made of finding bones. A number of flint arrow heads were found several rods from the shaft.
Two men in the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad took charge of the shaft. One of the men lived in Mason City, Iowa; the other in Ohio. It is thought that the shaft was shipped to Ohio. One of these men was a Mason, probably the man living in Ohio. Before shipping it, the shaft was photographed and items of interest recorded. It is believed that this record may be found in files of the Journal printed in Wall Lake in 1892.
It is also believed that a man named Hamilton left some point in the East to join, by appointment, a party of surveyors at the trading post of Fremont, Neb. Some of these trading posts were established prior to the building of Chicago or Omaha. Hamilton never reached the party he was to join.
The above information was given to the writer from memory by Mr. F. C. Bartholomew, of Howard, Wyo., who took the original photograph of the shaft when found in 1892. Mr. Bartholomew at that time, 1892, was living in Wall Lake, Iowa.
Contemporary history shows that trading posts were probably established in Nebraska as early as 1795. Lewis and Clark camped on the site of Omaha in 1804, which site became a trading post in 1825. Joliet and Marquette discovered the Chicago River in 1673. In the same year they discovered the Mississippi. The first settlement was made in Iowa territory in 1788.
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TO the Hebrew priesthood after the return from Babylon, as to the prophets before the exile, the "high places," the traditional local sanctuaries of the land of Palestine were an utter abomination, being in their eyes purely idolatrous and perversive of the true worship of Jehovah. Yet in the Bible itself, if we read between the lines, or rather if we distinguish between the older legends collected and written down by pious hands and the later denunciations and exhortations of the prophetic writers and the legal and historical compilations of priestly editors, we can see plainly that in earlier times these local sanctuaries were perfectly orthodox. Mount Moriah was itself but one of these high places, sacred doubtless from prehistoric times, but not consecrated to Jehovah until Joab, David's Captain, had scrambled up the gully at the head of a storming party and took the city from the Jebusites by assault.
When one reads the ninth chapter of the first book of Samuel it is obvious that no question had as yet arisen as to the propriety of sacrificing at such places. In the book of Deuteronomy we have the later regulations thrown back into the past by a kind of didactic fiction very common in primitive codes. The later law is put into a narrative form and ascribed to Moses.
In chapter twelve the children of Israel are commanded to abolish and utterly destroy the sanctuaries of the land that they were about to enter and take possession of, and that they were to sacrifice only in "the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes," which, of course, was a reference to Jerusalem in Judah. And this in spite of the fact that these very sanctuaries that were condemned to destruction were precisely those that in earlier stories had been the places where the patriarchs had set up their altars or had had visions and revelations of God. Immediately following this restrictive command comes a rather curious proviso — "Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates." From our point of view this sounds wholly unnecessary and meaningless. The force of it is not apparent until we realize that among Semitic nomads the eating of flesh was always a sacrificial rite, indeed to some extent it still bears traces of this character among the Arabs, if we may judge from travelers' accounts. This proviso in the Deuteronomic law sets out indeed the modern distinction, that the killing of a sheep or calf need not have anything to do with religion and sacrificial ritual.
Jacob set up a pillar at Bethel, and another at the grave of Rachel. By the command of Joshua twelve stones were brought up out of the bed of the river Jordan and set up at the place called Gilgal. As Gilgal means "wheel" it is most probable that they were placed in a circle. All these places were, or became, sacred, but Bethel and Gilgal especially appear again and again in the history of the Hebrews. Samuel sacrificed at Gilgal, and there Saul was made king; Bethel was included in the circuit that Samuel made yearly. Later it became one of the two great sanctuaries of Israel, corresponding in the northern kingdom to Jerusalem in that of the House of David.
The prophets, being reformers and puritans, denounced them all, both the greater and the lesser, as they did indeed the whole system of rites and ceremonies that went with them. As in the fifth chapter of Amos:
I hate and dispise your feast days ... though ye offer me burned offerings and your meat offerings I will not accept them.
And in the second chapter of Isaiah:
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me, saith the Lord.... Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth.
The priests and scribes who followed made a practical compromise. They retained Zion and the Temple and the elaborated ritual of sacrifice but condemned all the rest, a policy for which there was doubtless excellent reasons, both moral and spiritual.
The Masonic ritualists of the eighteenth century very naturally, considering their prepossessions, drew a parallel between the traditional meetings on high hills and low vales with such Biblical references, taken at their face value. There is reason to think indeed that this had been done even before the formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717, for in some documents that seem to reflect earlier usage we find references to the Valley of Jehoshaphat as a place of Masonic meeting, as well, of course, as the Temple which was built on the ancient "high place" above it.
In a sense there may be a connection if we take into our purview the whole field of comparative religion, for the custom of holding religious rites on hill and mountain tops is a very widespread one. Especially is it to be found in the countries at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, as well as in northern and western Europe. The most superficial acquaintance with classical literature will recall the names of Olympus, of Helicon, Cithaeron, and Mount Ida in Crete where Zeus was born. In Asia Minor there is Sipylus and the mountain on which the city of Pergamus was built, "where Satan's throne is," as St. John tells us in the book of Revelations, a reference to the wonderful altar to Zeus that was a temple in itself, on the very summit. There is also the Capitol at Rome, crowned by the temple of Jupiter Maximus, a hypaethral temple, too, that is open (at least in part) to the sky; as P. E. Osgood thinks the Temple of Solomon was also. But though such as these are the more famous instances it would seem that traces of the worship of the sky god and the "mountain mother," the earth goddess, was performed in some fashion or other on almost every hill or mountain overlooking a fertile valley. Traces of it in tradition or archeological remains are to be found almost everywhere within the extensive limits mentioned above. And in many cases the pagan cult survived right down to modern times in more or less Christian disguise.
Even where there were natural eminences, conspicuous in height or contour, men were apt to add some artificial element, an altar, a rock-cut throne, an image of the god, standing stones or pillars, or an additional elevation shape of a mound of earth or stone. The stupendous platform of the Temple at Jerusalem is exceptional for there the rocky hill is literally encased in wrought stone, only its utmost apex, the rock El Sakhra, appearing above the pavement; though the same sort of thing has been done elsewhere, as at Baalbec in Syria. At Pergamus and Corinth, though the mountain was in each case quite covered, it was by building a city with its streets and houses, right up to the sanctuary crowned summit.
The very earliest form of architectural effort, if indeed it may so be called, would seem to have been the cairn and the barrow, mounds respectively of stones and earth, with more elaborate forms combining the character of each, as where the heap of earth was ringed or outlined at the base by stones, or where stones were piled over a core of earth. The purpose of many of these mounds is by no means clear, as the so-called egg and serpent mounds, and those in the form of crescents and other figures, but it is safe to say that by far the greater number are sepulchral in character even if secondarily serving as places for the performance of sacred dances and other rites. The custom of interment in barrows survived in the north of Europe right into the historic period.
The famous mausoleum erected by Queen Artemisia as the tomb of her husband, the King of Caria, appears to have been in form a tumulus of wrought stone elaborately adorned with sculptures, and we may guess that from the same germ sprang the pyramids of Egypt, all of which, with the mysterious exception of the greatest of them all, were tombs. But the primitive connection between the tomb and the sanctuary is so intimate that it is impossible to separate them. Where a king or hero was buried there normally arose a cult, and where there was a sacred place a legend of a burial very frequently arose. So strong was this association that even in an ethical religion like Buddhism the tope or stupa, which is essentially a conical mound of solid masonry, always contains a small enclosed chamber or cavity in which some sacred relic, the hair or bones of some saint, are deposited.
The two countries where the use of elaborately built pyramidal structures as places of sacrifice and worship are about as far apart and as disconnected as they could well be, Mexico and Mesopotamia. The tower temples of Babylonia have been explained as an instance of religious conservatism. The race that built them is supposed to have come down to the flat and fertile plains "between the rivers" from the north, where worship at mountain shrines was a marked feature of the various cults. As in their new home there were no hills they built artificial ones to serve instead. The earliest Chinese culture is supposed by some to have been derived from Mesopotamia, or to have been influenced by it, and in China we do find certain traces of the use of artificial mounds as temples. The Temple of Heaven and Earth at Pekin for instance, where the Emperor performed certain rites upon which the prosperity of the whole country was supposed to depend, especially of its agriculture, is essentially, although considerably disguised, a circular mound open to the sky with very elaborate approaches.
If, as many have thought, the origin of the native civilizations of America derived in part from China and Japan it might be supposed that this particular feature was also borrowed. On the other hand it is just as probable that it was an entirely indigenous development, springing from the more primitive earth mound, such as those which have been found in such numbers in the middle-west of this country. These again, though it may be no more than a coincidence, are most frequent on flat level plains far from any prominent natural eminence. Both the Tower of Babel and the pyramid appear in many old Masonic designs, in both cases being apparently derived in the first instance from allusions in the old MS. Constitutions. The two pillars are there said to have been set up by the children of Seth upon which to inscribe their scientific discoveries, especially in geometry, so that they might be preserved, and were naturally equated with the two pillars of the porch of Solomon's Temple. This story was undoubtedly derived from Josephus, who said that one of them was still standing in his own day. It has been conjectured that this was an allusion to the great pyramid of Egypt. The "Legend of the Craft" then referred to the Towel of Babel as the place and occasion for the first organizing of the Mason's craft. The representation of these structures in Masonic designs was perhaps at first only a mnemonic symbol for these details in the traditional story.
Although a great deal has been written about the pyramids and the Temple, there still seems to be room for a comprehensive treatment of this subject of the sanctity of high places.
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DR. GEORGE OLIVER: A WARNING
Bro. Gilbert W. Daynes, England
AMONGST the Masonic writers of the 19th century there was one who had during his life-time a tremendous following all over the world, and even now his statements, although uncorroborated, are often quoted as historical facts. This author was Dr. George Oliver. During his Masonic career Dr. Oliver probably wrote more books upon Freemasonry than any other brother has done. But, written in an uncritical age, it behooves us to test the reliability of statements made in those books by such outside evidence as may come to our knowledge.
The Iowa Masonic Library has recently found, in a 19th century MS. Ritual obtained with the Bower collection in 1882, a MS. of part of a lecture delivered by Dr. George Oliver to the members of the Witham Lodge, Lincoln, England, in 1863, about four years before his death. This lecture is entitled "A Lecture on the Various Rituals of Freemasonry from the 10th Century to the Present Time." The MS. comprises only part of the lecture, and may have been copied from one of the English Masonic magazines of the period. After a few preliminary remarks, to whet the appetite of his audience, Dr. Oliver states:
"During the last century several revisions of the Ritual took place, each being an improvement on its predecessor and all based on the primitive Masonic lecture which was drawn up in the 10th Century and attached to the York Constitutions. This lecture to which I shall invite your attention was in a doggerel rhyme, a kind of composition which was very popular amongst our Saxon ancestors in the time of Athelstan. About the latter end of the 14th Century it was carefully translated from the Saxon for the use of the York Grand Lodge, and the MS. of that date is now in the British Museum."
This statement is certainly most entrancing. Is there, perchance, some ancient Masonic manuscript hidden away in the British Museum, with which Masonic students of today are unacquainted, but with which Dr. Oliver was on familiar terms? Alas no; for on reading further, and examining the extracts given by the Doctor from this "lecture," the secret is solved. The MS. from which Dr. Oliver is purporting to quote for the extracts are not really quotations but merely a very modern version of that ancient Poem, perhaps modernized by himself — is none other than the Regius MS., discovered by Mr. J. O. Halliwell Phillipps in 1839, and still to be found in the British Museum under its catalogue reference, Bibl. Reg. 17 A, i. But it is hard to recognize that MS. under Dr. Oliver's description. There is no evidence to suggest that the poem is Saxon in its origin, or that it was translated in its present form from the Saxon, or that it was prepared for the use of the York Grand Lodge. We have had the benefit of considerable study upon the MS., and such evidence as there is points to the copy of the Old Charges used by the author of the Regius Poem (circa 1390) being later in date than the copy of the Old Charges used by the copyist of the earliest prose version, the Cooke MS. (circa 1430). It would therefore be consistent with this evidence to assume that the Regulations were originally in prose and not in Saxon verse. We now know that the compiler of the Regius Poem both collected and transcribed from varied sources "but without taking the trouble to attach any real thread of union to the collection or transcripts of which his verses are made up." Of these sources two are 14th century works: "Mirk's Instructions for a Parish Priest," and "Urbanitatis." It will be found that the last hundred lines of the Regius Poem agree very closely with the secondly mentioned MS. Again, there is no authority for the statement as to the use of the Regius Poem by the York Grand Lodge. There is a total absence to any reference to York in the Poem. We do not know of any such Grand Lodge at York at that time, and it is hardly to be supposed that Dr. Oliver had access to information which is now no longer available. May we not hazard a guess that the Doctor is generalizing from the meeting at York in A. D. 926, about which even to this day all we know is merely traditional?
After several modernized, and altered, extracts from the Poem Dr. Oliver says: "Thus did our ancient brethren lecture eight hundred years ago." Is this true? Was the Poem a Ritual, or did it constitute a lecture, to be used in lodges, in A.D. 1063? There certainly is no tittle of evidence in support of this statement, and I do not think we shall be considered unreasonable or uncritical if we cast doubt upon its veracity. As Bro. R. F. Gould has correctly observed, when commenting upon the Regius Poem and the Cooke MS.:
"We know absolutely nothing of either of the MSS. last cited except what can be gathered from their actual texts. This should be carefully borne in mind in order that we may separate the colouring of ardent imagination or inaccurate observation from what is positively true or historically correct."
The poem is the only one of the Masonic MSS. — about 100 in number — containing the Regulations of the Craft in verse. It does not contain much of the historical matter, which is common to all the others; but it has tacked on to it a considerable amount of extraneous matter. In addition to the portions taken, as before indicated, from "Mirk's Instructions for a Parish Priest" and "Urbanitatis," there are some thirty-eight lines upon the Legend of the Quatuor Coronati. If all those added portions had formed part of the so-called Lecture, is it likely that not one of the hundred odd copies of the Old Charges should have any reference to these matters? We know that every one of the Old Charges is silent on these portions of the Regius Poem.
Dr. Oliver then goes on to quote "the decrees of the Order" as they were "in the reign of Edward III., A.D. 1357." The quotation is taken from the Second Edition of Anderson's Book of Constitutions, published in 1738, but as the Doctor has not quoted correctly, and as his doctor predecessor was notorious for his inaccuracies, I do not propose to examine any further into this quotation.
Coming to more recent times, Dr. Oliver makes the following statement:
"The first catechismal formula was introduced by Grand Master Sir Christopher Wren about the year 1685 and was called an Examination."
Again, Dr. Oliver quotes passages from what he terms "Sir Christopher Wren's Ritual," and what do we find? The Examination, said to have been introduced about 1685, is none other than "The Grand Mystery of the Free Masons Discover'd," published in London in 1724. Thus, instead of being a pre-Grand Lodge Ritual, which would have been a valuable find, it is one of the earliest so-called Exposures, which may or may not have reflected what took place within the lodge at that date. It certainly had not the imprimatur of the Grand Lodge, and it would be saying a great deal for our credulity if we accepted the statement, made by Dr. Oliver, that it was a Ritual introduced by Sir Christopher Wren, and, of course, also put on one side our doubts as to the Grand Mastership of Sir Christopher Wren. It is obvious that, so far as Sir Christopher Wren is concerned, Dr. Oliver accepted with childlike simplicity the statement of Dr. James Anderson, in the Constitutions of 1738, that this worthy was elected Grand Master in 1685. I think we may also guess how Dr. Oliver arrived at the date 1685.
With the quotations last mentioned the MS. breaks off abruptly, and with it my criticisms. I trust that I may not be thought too harsh or severe upon Dr. Oliver and his statements, and be told that I am merely being wise after the event, now having the benefit of the researches of students who are living in a more critical age. I have only tried to be fair, bearing in mind that historical accuracy is what every Masonic student should strive to attain. I would, however, be the first to admit that it is very helpful to have the critical censorship of present day Masonic students, and this indeed is the very point upon which I would lay stress. These notes are written to warn students, who have not critically examined the earlier writers, that they must not rely upon the dicta of Oliver and his predecessors, but should test all unsupported statements made by such writers in the light of present knowledge. But especially should this be done if they would join that band of Masonic historians, or seekers after truth, who "prefer to follow where the facts tend rather than as the fancies or wishes of others would lead them."
* * *
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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A POINT OF VIEW
AN esteemed correspondent expresses himself quite strongly in a recent letter in regard to part of the argument in the chapter from Lantoine's History of French Freemasonry which appeared in THE BUILDER for June. He reads in it a deliberate insinuation that the late illustrious brother Albert Pike was guilty of duplicity and intent to deceive when he made the assertion that he had seen and personally examined the original of which the document known generally as the Constitutions of Frederick the Great is professedly a copy. As it is quite possible that other readers may have taken the passage in the same way it seems advisable to say a word about it here. But first it must be made quite clear that there is no intention whatever of expressing any opinion upon the vexed question as to whether these Constitutions did have the origin that is implied by their contents and signatures, but only to touch on the question as to the meaning of the passages that appeared in THE BUILDER recently.
The Editor has carefully read and reread these, but is obliged to confess that he cannot see that this is their natural meaning; indeed such an interpretation had never even occurred to him until the point was raised. It is, of course, possible to construe them in this sense, and it is possible that the author so intended them, but it would seem most likely that if this had been his meaning he would have made it clearer, judging by his general outspokenness and willingness to tilt at anything he considers erroneous.
As a matter of fact it seems hard to suppose that any one who has made the least investigation into the subject could have failed to be convinced that the early members of the Scottish Rite in this country firmly believed that Frederick of Prussia was at the head of their organization, as many yet believe. Of course their belief is not in itself proof of the fact, but it is part of the evidence to be weighed. Lantoine's sarcasm seemed to be directed against those who, as he thinks, led them astray. As is well known he is not alone in this opinion. Gould, in Chap. xxiv of his large History, unequivocally states that
The Constitutions of 1786 were undoubtably fabricated in America, and probably those of 1762. The intercalation of the 8 additional degrees [making 33 out of the original 25 of the Rite of Perfection] also took place there. Of this there can be no moral doubt.
Unfortunately he does not here, as he does elsewhere, give the evidence upon which his opinion was based, merely saying that "the details of these occurrences cannot be given without encroaching upon the space already apportioned to other subjects," so that we cannot judge the matter for ourselves. It might be supposed, on the ground of a note, that he depended here a good deal upon Rebold, who as an opponent of all the high grades and orders might be taken as biased. In any case a good deal of new evidence has turned up since Gould wrote, and there have been modifications in the interpretation of the old that may have more or less bearing upon the point in debate. And it must also be said that even if Gould were right, the alleged imposture can have been known only but to two or three, and in any case it all happened long before Albert Pike appeared upon the scene.
Bro. Cyrus Field Willard, in his article published in THE BUILDER for September, 1925, made out a very strong case for the thesis that Stephen Morin was an American Protestant of Hugenot extraction, and not a French Jew, as has been so frequently asserted. Also, as will be gathered from his article in the present issue, he believes that Frederick did sign the Constitutions, and that in his controversy Pike was right and Lantoine wrong. Our readers must judge as to this for themselves, but one thing is quite certain, no one who knows anything at all about the man himself can ever believe that Albert Pike had the least part or lot in any subterfuge or deception, or anything upon which there was the least shadow of dishonor.
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TOWARDS THE EAST
THE newly entered Mason is requested at a certain point in the ceremonies "to approach the East."
The command to the unthinking — and how many brethren have thought of it? — would appear to hav been then and there fully and completely obeyed. Th candidate moved from one part of the room to another, and after certain formalities "received light."
"To approach the East," the command is so familiar to those who frequent our lodges it has come to have very little significance, save as a quaint and traditional way of saying "come here" or "I wish to speak to you" or like commonplace utterances. Yet Masonry is a symbolic system, its ritual is allegorical; did any one ever approach the East? Certainly none, in this life at least, ever reached it. "As far as the East is from the West," said the Psalmist seeking a figure to express infinity; towards the East is a direction, not a limit, a direction in which we may travel all our lives if we will and yet be no nearer to an end than when we started. But the East is the place of light, and the more we press our symbolic journey towards it the greater illumination we will receive. The command received by the Neophyte was not then and there fulfilled, the goal was not then attained, the light received was only a figure of the reality. The command is one to be followed and only by his own effort, his own thinking upon these things, can the Mason approach the goal thus set in view.
A survey of the situation at the present time, in this country — there is no need to go further afield — raises the insistent question of what it is that men see in Freemasonry that they wish to belong to it; it being so painfully obvious that they do not see at all what it really is.
There are more than three million Masons in the United States, is there among them one in a hundred who has heard and followed as he could the injunction to travel to the East? It is doubtful. But if no more, then there are nearly three million Masons who know nothing of Masonry more than they heard when they "passed through" the degrees. Is it any wonder that so many in good standing are irregular in attendance at lodge, or regular in their absence? We all know the categories in which they are classed. The man who comes on election nights, the man who comes to special functions, the man who comes when there are refreshments. They are, in mass, continually being lectured, rebuked, exhorted, pleaded with, in almost every Masonic periodical, by almost every Masonic speaker. But are they really so much to blame? When the proportion of delinquents is so great it is surely symptomatic of something unhealthy in the general state of affairs rather than a matter of individual will.
But even if this be granted we are yet far from being able to diagnose the case. One says this and another says that, and the probability is that it results from a number of complete causes. It may be that the Craft in America is headed the wrong way. We may be like passengers on a ship, looking to the East while the vessel carries us towards the North, the place of darkness.
In conversation recently a certain brother asked the writer the question, "Why do men become Masons?" and he admitted that he could not answer. From the outside he would appear an enthusiastic worker. He has served his lodge and been honored by election to its highest offices. Next year he will normally be chosen to preside over his chapter. He is a good ritualist and has endeavored to put his life into the ceremonies so far as he himself has received light, and yet in confidence he admits he does not know why he is a Mason, or why he should be one. The ritual is beautiful and impressive when well worked, but when it is seen two, three or more times a night, twice or thrice every month it begins to pall. Most of us can agree. He has looked for fraternity, and to some extent has found it, but he feels that it is so diluted by the number of Masons with whom he cannot fraternize that it seems to mean little more than ordinary friendship formed outside the Craft. Have not many of us felt the same? He looked for high ideals in the rulers of the Craft and — there is no need here to repeat the details — found petty intrigues and ambitions, jealousies, rancors and indifference. He is willing to admit that there are exceptions that stand out like shining lights, but his point is that the proportion of such exceptions seems to be no higher in a Grand Lodge or Grand Chapter (which, in theory, are composed of the elite of a picked body of men) than are to be found in any chance gathering.
And so it seems as if this good brother, who to outward appearance is a zealous Mason, is really very likely in a year or so to become another absentee, another workman lost to the Craft.
What should he do? What should the hundreds and perhaps thousands who are in like case do? It is not easy to say, but one thing would help greatly, and that would be to turn the eye of criticism inwards and ask, "Do I act as a brother towards my fellow Masons? Do I seek after the ideal and avoid the petty and mean? Am I the kind of man that brings honor and credit to the Craft? Will those who know me conceive a favorable opinion of the Institution?"
Freemasonry is a fraternity, a brotherhood; whatever else it may be or ought to be, it is this fundamentally or it is nothing. Now in such an organization every member is entitled to its benefits, to the regard, the friendship and the assistance, when needed, of all the others. If not, then what is it all about? What do our Masonic obligations mean? Every Mason is entitled to expect, to receive all this, but only on the condition that he is always ready to give. It is a case where if we seek our own things we lose all, we can only gain by seeking a brother's welfare. If every Mason truly and actively regarded Masonry as an organization through which he may serve and help others, one sufficient answer to the problem would be found.
* * *
Masonic Research might be compared with an ocean, unfathomable in its delights and profit. Many who had hesitated to enter upon its depths, and had stepped trembling from the shores of ignorance, had presently been found swimming in its deep waters, and had with reluctance relinquished the delightful exercise even for a short breathing space. Or it might be likened to an unexplored country, but the explorer found it not to be wild nor overgrown with weeds, but well planted with luxurious trees, yielding fruit of varied description. The plants therein knew nothing of seasonal changes, were not dependent for fructification upon weather or climate, only upon husbandry, and the more frequent the gathering the more fruitful the yield. There is no boredom in Masonic Research, and one never hears of the student who is "fed up" with the exercise. The only danger — which, after all, is not a real danger, but only an additional attraction — is that a man having fixed upon a certain branch of study as his aim and goal, may be allured into pursuing one of the many pleasing and seductive side-tracks, and become enthralled at other beautiful landscapes unfolded to his vision. Instead of finding Masonic Research a cold, dry study, the neophyte finds it warm and energizing to a high but pleasing and fascinating degree. At first it may tickle the fancy, but quickly it illumines the understanding; it begins as a fascinating pastime, it continues so, but also as a profitable study. It has many avenues, but, like the various paths through the Oxford meadows, they all lead to the waters — in this case the waters of knowledge, unfathomable, but ever-satisfying, health-giving, and soul-inspiring. It is a food, the "food of gods," the food of progress, because it is based on solidity, and not on the slops of sensationalism.
— Dudley Wright, London Freemason.
* * *
THE NORTHEAST CORNER
Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F. & A.M.
Masonic Temple, Albuquerque, N.M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, President
Jaffa Miller, Vice-President
Richard H. Hanna, Vice-President
Alpheus A. Keen, Secretary
FRANCIS E LESTER, Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico
JOHN W. TURNER, Treasurer
ARIZONA — Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS — Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
CONNECTICUT — Fred A. Borland, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.
FLORIDA — Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.
IDAHO — Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.
KENTUCKY — G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.
MINNESOTA — Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis,
MISSISSIPPI — John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.
MISSOURI — Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Doniphan.
NEW JERSEY — Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.
NEW MEXICO — Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.
NORTH CAROLINA — Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.
OKLAHOMA — Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.
RHODE ISLAND — Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.
SOUTH CAROLINA — Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning.
SOUTH DAKOTA — L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.
TENNESSEE — Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.
TEXAS — Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.
UTAH — Fred M. Nye, Ogden.
VERMONT — Christie B. Crowell, Grand Master, Brattleboro.
NORTH DAKOTA — Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.
WASHINGTON — Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Masonic Temple, Tacoma.
WlSCONSIN — Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING — Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER — Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.
ROBERT J. NEWTON, Editor, Publicity Director N.M.T.S.A. Las Cruces, New Mexico.
* * *
THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
A meeting of the Board of Governors of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association is to be held in Chicago, at the Sherman Hotel, on Friday, Nov. 19.
At this meeting plans and policies for the relief and hospitalization of Masons suffering from tuberculosis will be determined, including also the financing and construction of Sanatoria, and other matters connected with the forwarding of the purposes of the Association.
AN APPEAL TO MASONIC TRAVELING SALESMEN
The National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanitoria Association has issued a call to Masonic traveling salesmen to assist in the work of acquainting their brethren throughout the country as to the need for relief and hospitalization of consumptive Freemasons and the movement initiated by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico for their care and treatment.
"Our traveling brethren can render great service as missionaries in this movement," said Francis E. Lester, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Past Grand Master of New Mexico and Executive Secretary of the Sanatoria Association. "Every city and town in the United States is visited by a Masonic traveling man and most of them visit the local Masonic lodge whenever opportunity offers. They meet the officers and members of the local lodges in the course of business, or socially, or Masonically. They can, and we believe that many of them will, take the time to tell their brethren, individually, or in lodge meetings, of the organized effort to save Masonic lives and homes from the ravages of tuberculosis.
"We want to 'get over' to our brethren the fact that more than 4,000 American Freemasons die every year throughout the United States from tuberculosis; that many of them could be saved by sanatoria care if placed in a hospital before the disease has made too much progress; that tuberculosis is sometimes curable by intelligent care, and always preventable. Hospitalization of consumptives prevents them spreading their disease to their wives and children and others who live in close contact with the sick.
"We want Freemasons to realize the great strength of the Order when combined in a common cause. There is no reason why the fraternity can not provide for its tuberculars just as other organizations have done. With 3,250,000 Freemasons united in this one great national humanitarian task, the cost to each would be insignificant. Yet the combined contributions would be adequate to pay all costs of construction and operation of the necessary institutions.
"The National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association was created to provide a legal Masonic agency through which all Masonic bodies and Masons everywhere can unite to save our sick brethren to their families, to the country and to the fraternity. There may be a few Freemasons in the United States who are not worth the expenditure of $1,000 to $2,000, the cost of one or two years' hospital care, but I seriously doubt it. This small amount will assure life to most cases, if hospital care is provided before too late. The fraternity is rich enough to pay the bill, and no matter what it costs, every Freemason, who is sick with tuberculosis and who needs the helping hand of the fraternity, will be taken care of. Is there a living American Freemason who will not subscribe to that principle?
"I shall be glad to furnish full and complete information to every Masonic traveling man who will enlist as a member of 'The Flying Squadron,' to carry the gospel of this greatest of all National Masonic charities into every American Masonic lodge. Our 'evangels of commerce' can and will render great service and help speed the day when the doors of the first Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium will open to receive our unfortunate sick brethren."
HOW MANY MASONS LIKE THIS BROTHER?
While the thought has never been put into words in letters received by the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, yet reading between the lines of some letters, it has appeared that some brethren have an idea that Masonic charity should be limited to those of their own household, that is, of their own lodge, their own city, or in its widest application to those of their own Grand Jurisdiction.
The Sanatoria Association contends that Masonic charity should know no limitations or restrictions; that it should operate upon the broadest lines; that it should be administered without regard to the recipient's place of birth, his legal residence or the place of his Masonic affiliation.
Now comes a brother from far-off Hawaii, the Pearl of the Pacific, and if there are many like him there, a bright shining jewel in Masonry's crown of deeds well done. This brother writes as follows:
"I am enclosing a small money order and ask that you be kind enough to give it to a distressed Mason in your district, or apply it on the general fund for tubercular Masons.
"While I have steady employment shall endeavor to send a like amount each month, so if you know of a brother in need and fighting to get well, tell him to expect it. Shall send to you and thank you in advance for your trouble.
"How I wish each Mason in America could give as the Shrine does, $2 a year, and 'Relief' would be a reality."
MIGRATORY T.B. MASONS IN SAN ANTONIO
THE city of San Antonio, Texas, has been for more than a century one of the Southwestern Meccas for consumptives. For that reason the brethren of San Antonio are much interested in the movement for erection of Masonic Sanatoria for the care and treatment of the sick from American Grand Jurisdictions who go to the Southwest seeking benefit of climate. An interested brother has secured some information from brethren who, because of their official position, or work, come in contact with migatory cases and has forwarded the following report to THE BUILDER for publication:
P. D. Mathis, Secretary, and Herman Horner, Almoner, respectively, of the Scottish Rite bodies of San Antonio, made the following statement: "During our experience as Secretary and Almoner, for the past twelve years, we have been called upon to render assistance, financial and otherwise, to several hundred brother Masons afflicted with tuberculosis, and after their death our bodies have contributed thousands of dollars for the support of their families. We recognize the great need for tuberculosis hospitals and sanatoria where such cases can be taken care of in early stages and a cure at times effected."
George Ferris, former Secretary Masonic Welfare Association, states: "During the year that I was Secretary, I was much impressed with the great need for adequate care of our tubercular Masons. We came in contact with about 150 cases in the course of the year. Some were San Antonio Masons, but a majority of them from other places. Many of them needed sanatoria care, which very quickly depleted their savings and left them without resources. They then had to return to their homes or seek employment, which naturally lessened their chances for recovery."
Lonnie Irvin, Past Master, Anchor Lodge, says: "It would be impossible for me to give the exact number we have helped, but I can say that most of the charity cases were tuberculosis, and I know that several died because they did not have proper care.
"Masons and Masonry could not possibly do a better piece of constructive work than organizing and putting into effect in some way a place for these unfortunate brethren and the only way to take care of them is to build a sanatorium. Let us do something."
Dr. William C. Farmer, of Farmer's Sanatorium, made the following statement:
"I am pleased to give you the following information concerning Masons suffering with tuberculosis who come to San Antonio and vicinity for care and treatment. My observation extends over the past twenty years here, and during this period I have had a broad experience with this class of patients.
"There has always been, and there still is, a large number of destitute Masons coming here expecting to find a tubercular sanatorium where they may be cared for free of charge. Most often they barely have enough money to pay their railroad fare to San Antonio and a very little, if any, left for daily expenses. This class of patient usually belongs to a Blue Lodge with a small membership, and not financially able to supply him with any more money, and frequently not even railroad fare. Many such cases have been sent here by contributions from their Masonic brethren and friends, expecting, of course, to find a free institution for their care on arrival. These brethren must, of necessity, be cared for at the expense of the local lodges or returned home most often to die for want of sanatorium care.
"Another class, of which there are many coming here, expect to find an institution with cheap rates, for about $5 to $10 per week. They also usually belong to a lodge financially poor but possibly able to supply a small amount of money per month to the patient, and the patient and relatives supply the remainder. As you well know, it is impossible to get in a private sanatorium at this rate, so they live in a cheap boarding house and usually receive free medical attention by some Masonic physician. But of course it is impossible for a tubercular patient to derive much benefit from this mode of living anywhere, and he almost invariably dies, when he might have recovered under suitable sanatorium care.
"Another class, of which there are also many, are sent by their lodges who can pay about $10 to $15 per week for a few months, but at the end of this period the financial burden becomes too heavy for his lodge and the patient returns home, only to relapse and die. I receive many applications from lodges for the care of this class of patients, but of course can only accept a very few, though I am accommodating several in my sanatorium just now; but as you no doubt are aware, I lose considerable money on every patient taken at this low rate.
"While I was Worshipful Master of Anchor Lodge during 1920 and 1921, we received many applications for assistance in some form from Masonic lodges to care for their tubercular members, or from Masonic brethren who had come here from a distance suffering with tuberculosis.
"All classes of these patients come from every part of the country, and especially from the North and East, and a very large percentage of them would get an arrestment of their disease if they could only have proper care in a sanatorium located in the Southwest, with its excellent climatic advantages.
"This only gives you a general idea of my experience, and although it is impossible to give you definite figures, I know there are hundreds of these cases coming here whose lives could be saved if we had a Masonic tubercular sanatorium for their care located somewhere in our great Southwest."
EXISTING MASONIC T.B. SANATORIA PROVISION
THE Grand Lodge of Arizona has a convalescent camp at Oracle. Patients needing 'hospital care are not received and the number who can be admitted is limited.
The Grand Lodge of Mississippi erected a building of twenty-four rooms at a cost of $25,000 on the grounds of the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Sanatorium, Mississippi. Admission is limited to Master Masons of Mississippi in good standing who are patients at the State Sanatorium.
The Masons of Chattanooga, Tennessee, are building a forty-two bed unit at the Pine Breeze Tuberculosis Sanitorium near that city. They will present the building to the sanatorium.
The Grand Lodge of Virginia is building a sixty-bed hospital building at the Blue Ridge State Sanatorium, near Charlottesville, at a cost of about $115,000. The Masonic Relief Foundation of Virginia is authority for the statement that there are 600 tubercular Masons in Virginia. Virginia lodges have been called upon to contribute an average of $20 per capita for hospital construction. J. E. W. Timberman, President of the Foundation, says in his calls for funds:
"We are now in the broadest sense actively engaged in the character of service upon which the enduring foundations of our Institution rest and without which it has no just claim to the endorsement of an impartial posterity."
One of the small Eastern Star chapters of Porto Rico is building a cottage for its tuberculous members.
If there is any other tuberculosis sanatoria provision for Freemasons anywhere in the United States "The Northeast Corner" will be pleased to receive information about it for publication.
$1.00 DOWN — AND $1.00 A YEAR
"An assessment of ONLY $1.00 (an insignificant if individual donation) — voluntarily assumed and CHEERFULLY CONTRIBUTED by EVERY American Freemason — will provide the magnificent total of $3,250,000.00 ANNUALLY for relief and hospitalization of our tuberculous brethren in Masonic Sanatoria. 'One Dollar Down and a Dollar a Year' will provide 3,500 Hospital Beds for Masonic consumptives and pay for their maintenance within the next seven years. Who among us would miss $1.00? Who would hesitate, or refuse to CONTRIBUTE $1.00 for this PRACTICAL fulfillment of Masonic obligations? Who can measure the far-reaching, beneficent power to save Masonic lives and homes, or who can estimate the incalculable value of this national Masonic relief work, which can be efficiently administered for American Freemasonry IF adequate provision is made for its cost by the COMBINED annual individual contributions of $1.00 by 3,250,000 American Freemasons? "
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THE PRECIOUS JEWELS
Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren
THE Masonic usage of the word jewel has doubtless struck many a brother as not a little peculiar upon his first introduction to the traditional phraseology of the Craft. What is possibly its most familiar application, that of designating the badges of office used in the lodge, is however sufficiently in accord with the modern meaning of the word to make it appear plausible that it was through this that it came to be adopted into our terminology. These badges, worn on the breast and suspended by a ribbon or an ornamental chain, are frequently superb examples of the jewelers' art. It might thus seem not unnatural to suppose that plainer specimens were merely substitutes or imitations of such jewels, and that the other applications of the word in the rituals are derived from this by association, and as affording a secondary verbal symbolism indicating the value set by Masons upon certain emblems. There is no need to say any more of this, as like so many apparently obvious explanations, further examination shows it to be wide of the mark, for this use is not the primary one. But though secondary it is doubtless true that its accordance with the ordinary every-day meaning has had a great deal to do with the persistence of the word in Masonic forms. Such evidence as we have seems to indicate that it came into use by Freemasons a very long time ago and that it is possibly as old as anything in the system. At any rate it is pretty certain that it originally had nothing to do with ornamental badges of office.
THE MEANING OF THE WORD
A jewel to us signifies something precious; this in ordinary every-day usage seems to be the root idea, whether the value be intrinsic in the material or due to its beauty and workmanship. It is therefore with something like surprise that we learn that the word is really derived from the same root as the French word jeu, and that it meant originally a plaything, a toy or a trinket. So fully indeed did the word connote the idea of "play" in medieval times that in Flanders the dramatic performances presented by the Craft Gilds on the different festivals were actually called jewels. In Masonic usage, however, the idea of value seems to have always been the prominent one as far back as we can go. Whether the other was also present may be an interesting speculation. In most trades there are traditional jokes which through familiarity have become more habits of speech than occasions for laughter except when first communicated to the novice. That our old operative predecessors had a strong sense of humor is certain, and also that, like unsophisticated folk generally, they did not see anything inappropriate in mingling it with the sublime, or setting the comic side by side with the serious and sacred. Men who have the true craftsman's appreciation of, and interest in their work, are quick also to make fun of it on occasion, and it would be natural enough for them to speak of their most necessary implements and tools as "playthings." Such tricks of speech were to be heard among the elder workmen in different occupations within the memory of those still living, and may even yet survive if trades unionism, and the idea that work is essentially an evil to be reduced to an absolute minimum, have not quite killed them. The case of one old rough mason, still alive some twenty years ago, might be quoted. It was his invariable habit to speak of any particularly awkward stone, either from its shape or size, as a "trinket," which seems a curiously apt parallel. No stress, however, is to be laid on this suggestion, only it may be as well to bear in mind that at the time the word was first employed Masonically it had other meanings in common use besides those to which it is now limited, and that such meanings may have been in the minds of the men who first spoke of the "jewels" of their Craft.
PRESENT MASONIC USAGE
Though, as we have noted, the first thought suggested to a Mason today by the word is that of the insignia of the officers of the lodge and the honorary badges given to past officers, yet he can hardly fail to be aware that it has other applications. In the Second Degree the candidate is told of the "three precious jewels of the Fellowcraft." In England the Entered Apprentice learns that "the perfect Ashlar is for the experienced Craftsman to try and adjust his jewels on." In America, from the time of Webb at least, the corresponding passage says that the same ashlar "is a stone made ready by the hands of the workman, to be adjusted by the working tools of the Fellowcraft." There is no doubt but that here tools are synonymous with jewels, but these jewels of the Fellowcraftsman are not the three mentioned above. The candidate is at the same time told of the furniture and the ornaments of the lodge. The former includes the Square, which is found in several of the sets of jewels hereafter quoted, while the latter may be derived from a tradition that had come to be misunderstood of an earlier set of jewels. That "jewel" and "ornament" have long been almost synonymous may have had something to do with the change in name.
There will be no need to remind the Mason who is in least familiar with the formularies of the Craft how confusingly these various groups overlap and interconnect. There is one external characteristic common to them all, with the exception of the first, and that is their arrangement in triplets. And even if the jewels of office are now more than three it must be remembered that originally the lodge had only this number of officers, the Master and the two Wardens, so that this set, too, originally agreed with the others in this regard. Indeed a purist in Masonic nomenclature would have good grounds for insisting that the insignia of the subordinate officers are not properly called jewels, and that the custom of doing so is due to ignorance and carelessness. This may well be, but of course such extensions of meaning by analogy and association are quite normal in the evolution of language; and something after all has to be conceded to convenience.
Let us now consider these various groups in more detail. The "furniture" consists, as is well known, of the Bible, the compasses and the square. It is probable that the term is derived from another statement, that a lodge must be furnished, that is provided with, these things as one of the conditions of regularity. The "ornaments" consist of the Mosaic Pavement, Indented Tessel and Blazing Star. We have already seen a possible connection between the terms ornament and jewel and will defer further discussion for the moment. The "jewels" or "tools" of the Fellowcraft mentioned in the explanation usually given of the perfect ashlar, are the "square, level and plumb" which are also said (in America) to be the immovable jewels of the lodge, and are also actually the insignia of the three principal and original officers of the lodge. The movable jewels are the two ashlars and the trestleboard. It may be remarked here that except in the United States these last are called immovable and the others movable. There is also evidence to show that this is the original usage, and that the peculiar American description is due to a more or less deliberate change made by the Baltimore Convention in 1843. Finally we have the "precious jewels of the Fellowcraft," which phrase seems only to be used as a figurative mode of describing the traditional manner of conveying Masonic instruction and preserving Masonic secrets.
Taking for granted the now generally received hypothesis that Freemasonry two hundred years ago comprised only two grades or degrees, each with its appropriate ceremonies and ritual secrets, it is feasible to suggest tentatively that all these groups or sets of three are variants or doublets of some common original which was given as part of the instruction in the primitive "making" or initiation of the first grade, excepting those now said to belong especially to the Fellowcraft. These, as has been seen, stand quite apart from the others, and we shall therefore dismiss them for the present with the suggestion that they seem to be connected with the account of the five senses on the one hand, and the symbolic key of Masonry, which is enlarged upon in the first section of lecture in the Entered Apprentice Degree as usually worked in England. It would seem that they may have come to be termed jewels toward the end of the eighteenth century to signify their importance in the emblematic instructions regarding the basic duties and obligations incumbent upon each individual Mason.
THE JEWELS OF THE LODGE
In this, as in other special investigations of the kind, we are greatly handicapped by the lack of definite and trustworthy information; and for the earliest origins there is practically nothing outside the old Catechisms which have already been freely made use of in the previous articles in this series. As has been stated before, they are documents of very doubtful authenticity, but if we reject them on that account we have simply nothing at all to go upon. We must therefore use them for whatever they may be worth, always remembering that conclusions based upon them must always be held with a certain reserve.
Assuming then that these documents represent variant forms of the oral tradition of pre-Grand Lodge Masonry, or part of it, let us see what they have to tell us upon the subject. Eight of these catechisms have questions and answers relating to the jewels of Masonry or of the lodge, and of these four seem to agree that they were a square ashlar, a diamond and the common square; by which presumably we are to understand the working tool of that name. It is true that the Mason's Examination says that there are four, naming them as the "square, astler, diamond and common square," yet this is probably, indeed almost certainly, an error arising through the separation, by an inserted comma, of the adjective "square" from the substantive "astler," thus turning the original form, represented by the other three versions, into a duplication of the common square. Unless indeed we suppose that the qualifying word "common" was later inserted in order to prevent the statement appearing utter nonsense, and to try and give some meaning to the double mention of the implement. But this appears the less likely hypothesis.
That the original number of jewels in this tradition was really three and not four is further supported by the fact that in the Mystery of Free Masons, which is obviously a slightly variant form of the Examination tradition, this answer has dropped out together with the following question, while the answer to the latter has taken its place. This will be made clear by placing them in parallel columns, as follows:
|Q. How many precious jewels are there in Masonry?||Q. How many precious jewels be there in Masonry?|
|A. Four, Square, Astler, Diamond and Common Square.||A. — — — —|
|Q. How many lights be there in a lodge?||Q. — — — —|
|A. Three, the Master, Warden and Fellows.||A. Three, the Master, Warden and Fellows.|
All the other documents that mention the jewels follow it with a question about "lights" including Prichard's Dissection. Of the remainder several mention the lights in approximately the same relative position so that we may perhaps assume that in the originals of all these variants there were questions and answers respecting lights and jewels grouped together. From a number of considerations, such as the general use of the subjunctive mood instead of the indicative it would seem that the Mystery is probably somewhat the older form of the two, though both are certainly defective in that each contains matter that has dropped out of the other. It would be very easy, when two consecutive questions demand answers beginning with the word "three," and neither of them very intelligible as we may suppose to the copyists, that such a slip should be made, and once made, be perpetuated.
This, however, is by the way. In three other forms we have agreement on the same sequence of questions about jewels and lights, though the defining phrases "in Masonry" and "in the lodge" are absent, probably marking an earlier stage in the tradition. These three form another well-defined group as they resemble each other even more closely than the two first quoted do. The answer to the question about jewels, with some variation in spelling, is in two of them as follows:
Q. How many jewels?
A. Three, a square asher, a diamond and a square.
The third has the obviously corrupt rendering:
A. Three, a square where, a diadem and a square.
Now diadem appears a very possible mistake for diamond, but "a square where" is most mysterious. In type there does not appear any resemblance that might account for it, but if the word "asher" be written out carelessly and the top of the "a" left open the two first letters together will bear some resemblance to a "w" and a copyist ignorant of the real word intended might well have read it so. He would thus seem to have before him the word "wher" and would quite naturally take it for "where" even if it did make no sense. If we could suppose that he might have had before him a copy that spelled "asher" with a final "e" it would be all the more natural. But abbreviations and variegated spellings were so universal at the time we may suppose this copy to have been made that the supposition is hardly necessary.
The conclusion then that we come to as a result of this discussion is that five out of the eight documents referring to jewels agreed on there being "the square ashlar, diamond and square." And though, as we have seen, these five fall into two groups in each of which the exemplars are so closely related that they should be taken rather as representing two independent witnesses, yet as this throws back the date of their originals it also tends to augment their weight.
The three remaining references are as follows: In the Sloane M.S. No. 3329, we have:
How many jewels belong to your lodge?
There are three, the square pavement, the blazing star and the Danty Tassley.
The Chetwode Crawley M.S. has:
Are there any jewells in your lodge?
Three, Perpendester, Square Pavement and an brobed Mall.
While the Mason's Confession has a more extended version:
How many jewels in your lodge?
What are these three?
A square pavement, a dinted ashlar and a broached dornal.
What's the square pavement for?
For the Master to draw his ground draughts on.
What's the dinted ashlar for?
To adjust the square and make the gages by.
What's the broached dornal for?
For me the younger and last Entered Prentice to learn to broach upon.
Before proceeding to discuss these it may be useful to quote what Prichard in his Masonry Dissected has to say on the matter. Prichard is the first record we have of two groups of jewels called movable and immovable. The former according to him are those which (following the innovation brought in by the Baltimore Convention) are now called the immovable in America. Those that he thus distinguishes are the "Trasel board, rough ashlar and broached thurnel." Following which comes the question:
What are their uses?
Trasel Board for the Master to draw his designs upon, the Rough Ashlar for the Fellowcrafts to try their jewels upon and the Broached Thurnel for the Enter'd 'Prentice to learn to work upon.
As the movable jewels spoken of immediately preceding are "the square, level and plumbrule," we may legitimately suppose that these are also the jewels of the Fellowcrafts here spoken of as tested on the ashlar. These however we will pass for the time being, remarking, however, that the passage bears out the opinion that the older usage is to call these implements "jewels" and not "tools."
In the four accounts just given of the jewels of the lodge it would seem at first sight that they disagreed with each other as much as they vary from those previously discussed. Yet three of them coincide in speaking of a square pavement, while two agree with the earlier set in mentioning an ashlar. Closer examination may reveal other identities concealed under the differing phraseology.
Though less extended in form, Prichard's version seems to bear considerable resemblance to that of the Confession. Both agree on that mysterious and much discussed object the "Broached Thurnel" or "Dornal," for there can be no doubt that these are but dialectal variants of the same word. Both also mention an ashlar, though in the one case it is rough and in the other "dinted." Still it would appear that the same thing was intended in each case. It is true that in Prichard the "Square Pavement" is replaced by the "Trasel Board", which is probably the prototype both of the English "tracing board" and the American "trestle board," yet both are explained as intended for the Master to draw his plans on. In fact, the explanations of all three are equivalent and couched in very similar language. The ashlar would appear to have been used as a test block for trying the accuracy of the working tools while the "dornal" or "thurnel" was for the Apprentice to learn to work on.
Prichard's work is of very doubtful character, but whatever conclusions we may come to regarding it, it is impossible to believe that it was pure invention. However he may have modified and rearranged the material before him it is practically certain that he copied from earlier documents. As we have them his three catechisms bear internal evidence of being compilations, and we might suppose that he had built them up out of similar documents to those we now know as the Old Catechisms. It would seem that such variant forms as he knew were combined and sometimes given different applications. If this were not done by him then it was by others before him, and really this seems the more probable hypothesis, for his work was but a catch-penny publication and it hardly seems likely that he would have gone to any unnecessary trouble to edit his material; unnecessary that is from his point of view, seeing that his object was only to turn a more or less honest penny.
Immediately preceding the questions relating to the jewels we find in the "Dissection" the following:
Have you any furniture in your Lodge?
What is it?
Mosaic pavement, blazing star and indented tarsel.
What are they?
Mosaic pavement the ground floor of the Lodge, Blazing Star the Centre and indented tarsel the border round about it.
What is the other furniture of a Lodge?
Bible, Compass and Square.
Other and later authorities describe the first group not as furniture but as ornaments, but its resemblance to the set of jewels given in the Sloane M.S. is so striking that it makes us suspect that jewel, furniture and ornament were then all very fluid terms, and not used with the technical precision that later came into vogue. While the "Danty tassley" of the older version might seem an ignorant corruption of "indented tessel," or of the "indented or tesselated border," the phrase more familiar to English Masons, yet second thoughts lead us to suspend judgment. It may really be that both are due to attempts to rationalize a phrase already corrupt and obscure.
The same works should be consulted as were given in the February Study Club, page 59. The paper by Bro. Herbert Poole in the last part issued of A.Q.C. will be of assistance. A notice of this appeared in the August BUILDER, page 252.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
In what way can the present use in the ritual of the term "jewel" be best explained? What was the original badge or insignia of office of the Master of a lodge? Could the phrase, "all the implements of Masonry," as used in the American ritual of the Third Degree have a reference to a time when Master Mason was equivalent to Master of a Lodge?
* * *
THE BIRTH AND GROWTH OF THE GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND, 1717-1926. By W. Bro. Gilbert Daynes. Published by the Masonic Record Ltd., London.
WE are very glad to give an advance notice of this important work by our Associate Editor for England, and as soon as possible will review it at length in these columns. Lord Ampthill, the W.M. Pro Grand Master of England, has written an introduction in which be says he can recommend it to the Craft with the utmost confidence. Readers of THE BUILDER will not need to be told either of Bro. Daynes' literary ability or of the character of his scholarship. The Book Department is prepared to receive orders for delivery as soon as available. The price, postpaid, will be $2.30.
JESUS OF NAZARETH. By Dr. Joseph Klausner, translated from the original Hebrew by Herbert Danby, D.D. Published by the Macmillan Company, New York. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Ma3onic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Building, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, table of contents, index. Price, postpaid, $4.75.
JOSEPH KLAUSNER was born in Russia in 1874. In 1897 he entered Heidelberg, where he studied Philosophy and Semitic Languages. For his degree of Ph.D. he wrote the thesis Die messianischen Vorstellungen des judischen Volkes im Zeitalter der Tannaiten (i.e. Jewish Messianic ideas in the Tannaitic period), a subject on which he has persistently worked ever since and which compelled him to devote an attention, closer and more minute than had yet been given by any Jewish scholar, to the subject of Jesus, his Messianic claims, and the problem of Christian origins. This work was published in German in 1904 and by it he is best known in non-Jewish circles. His other works have been published in Hebrew and consist principally of the three volume work, The Messianic Idea in Israel and a four-volume History of Israel. In 1905 he succeeded "Ahad ha-Am" (Asher Ginsburg) as editor of Ha-Shiloach and he has edited this, the most important Hebrew literary periodical ever since. He is a leader in the cause of the present cultural revival among the Jews, commonly called Zionism.
Here, then, is a book written by a Jew on a subject which hitherto has been treated principally by Christian scholars. The treatment is different, as one might naturally suppose, from anything thus far attempted. It makes no pretense of exploiting Judaism at the expense of Christianity, although one might expect such to be the case. The book is written with no other purpose in view than to explain the paradox which has confronted most scholars in dealing with the subject. "Jesus was a Jew, but His followers were not Jews." The whys and wherefores of this statement are the particular interest of Dr. Klausner. He is eminently fitted to handle the problem, not only because he has a clearer understanding of the Jewish religion than would be possible in a Christian scholar, but because he is thoroughly conversant with the period of early Rabbinical literature as well. An additional recommendation lies in the simple statement that Dr. Klausner is a Jew. One would, at first thought, be inclined to the opinion that this subject is the private property of Christians, but if one stops to analyze the situation he will soon come to the realization that the whole matter is a question of departure from Judaism and that Christianity is founded on the same basis as the religion of the Hebrews. There are differences between the two, but they are for the most part differences in interpreting what was originally Jewish sacred law. It may be concluded, then, that the clearer the understanding of the Jewish faith the better the qualifications for pointing out the differences between the two creeds.
It is possible that the world will never see a truly impartial survey of the subject, until someone with no personal prejudices on either side makes a life study of both religions and transcribes his conclusions for the benefit of posterity. The prejudices which are inherent, unconsciously perhaps, in a student of either sect will doubtless color his product. Certainly this has been true of previous Christian writings and in some sense it is true of Dr. Klausner's work. On the whole the problem is much like that of the French Grand Lodge defending its action and the English Masonic world condemning it. Both sides are obsessed with their own ideas of right and wrong and it is most difficult for an adherent of either faction to write an impartial estimate of the merits of the case. It is even a more imposing task that has confronted Dr. Klausner. Too much praise cannot be accorded him for his effort to be purely objective. It must be said, however, that one attempting to read his work in the objective manner cannot help but feel than on occasion Judaism receives more than its share of glory. There is much in the book to offend Christians who are overly sensitive, but it must be remembered that this work was written in Hebrew and for Jewish readers. With this idea ever present one is more generously inclined. In the opinion of the present reviewer, there can be no doubt that the book is a defense of Judaism and of the attitude of the Jews toward Christianity. Such a conclusion does, in a certain sense, tend to abrogate Dr. Klausner's statement that he has no desire to exploit either religion and in fairness to him it must be said that he has reached a conclusion that is entirely compatible with the facts as presented. In this sense it is purely the objective estimate of the merits of the evidence made by a scholar and not the prejudice of a Jew against Christianity which accounts for the conclusions.
So earnest is the attempt to confine the discussion to pure scholarship that the author feels the necessity of offering proof in support of his contention that Jesus was a Jew. This is a fact which no Christian will doubt. They may assert that in the final analysis he was not a Hebrew, but they must admit, even the most critical, that he was born of Jewish parents. (Of course such as deny the existence of Jesus are not considered. It seems a well-established fact that Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, did live and the weight of scholarly opinion must be sufficient for our immediate needs.) Dr. Klausner, in concluding his discussion of the Jewishness of Jesus, says:
"Jesus was a Jew and a Jew He remained till His last breath. His one idea was to implant within His nation the idea of the coming of the Messiah and, by repentance and good works, to hasten the 'end"'
Therein is struck the keynote of the whole argument. The essential difference between Christianity and Judaism lies in the acceptance and rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. Before any conclusion as to the merits of either opinion can be reached, an understanding must be had of the impossibility of these claims, from the Jewish standpoint. To the Jewish nation religion was not only a spiritual government, it was a temporal power as well. The Old Testament contained the Laws of God, but these laws were not mere philosophical sayings to guide one to upright conduct, they were the actual laws for the government of the land. A breach of these regulations was a penal offense punishable by such action as the court might direct. The rulers of the land, that is, in a legislative sense, were often the prophets and the high priests. When the Jewish race was no longer a ruling, self-governing nation, the coming of the Messiah was no spiritual phenomenon, but was expected as a real event. Through His coming the nation would be set free and would again rule itself. The Messiah of the Jews in the period of the Second Temple (from the Return from Exile until the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E.) was a purely temporal liberator. Once this idea is clearly understood we can see why Jesus became unacceptable as the Messiah, and why Christianity and Judaism became widely separated religions. When the Nazarene first entered on His mission He was accepted as nothing more than a wandering Rabbi. Palestine was full of them and their teachings were adopted by various groups. Such was Jesus' first following; a small number of people guided to Him by the hope of something different in religious teachings. With the performance of the miracles (whether faked or otherwise) Jesus came to be looked upon as another Prophet. It seems likely that His own ideas were quite different, however, and from the time of His baptism by John the Baptist He thought of Himself as the Messiah, and this in the truly nationalistic sense of the Jewish race. That is, He looked forward to the throwing off of the Roman yoke and felt that He was the one to carry out this ambitious purpose.
It is at this point that the reviewer is inclined to accuse Dr. Klausner of some Jewish favoritism. It seems that he is picturing a Jesus who is not actually the Jesus of the scholar, but the Jesus of the Jew. The point is relatively unimportant, but mention is made of it as a support to the contention mentioned earlier that one is not always willing to admit the author's objectivity.
There was no indication of His Messianic ideas forthcoming from Jesus Himself. He kept this idea entirely in His own counsel and confided it to no one. It was not until He came at last to Caesarea Philippi that any admission of His Messianic claims was made and even then it was only through not denying that He was the Messiah. According to Klausner there is reason for believing that even then He had no idea that His kingdom was not of this world. It was not until He began to preach of the world to come that He came to be doubted and His followers began to fall off in great numbers.
So long then, as Jesus was a temporal Messiah come to free the Jews from Roman domination they were willing to acknowledge Him. When His Messiahship became spiritual they left Him. There is nothing so strange in that. The Jews had for many centuries looked forward to the King-Messiah as a temporal ruler. They could not immediately change their conception. In this change of attitude Jesus was discarding the old and substituting the new. The Jews were willing to follow the new, even if it meant a breach of certain ceremonial laws, such as the ritual separation of the clean and unclean which Jesus abrogated in His practice of dining with publicans and sinners. They could even overlook the disregard for Sabbath laws and the "washing of hands", if their idea of a return to a national entity was to be realized. To even these extremes could they follow the new so long as it retained a promise of renewing their nationalism, but when their religion was to become a spiritual doctrine and the old lawmaking power was to be lost, they forsook the new. This is perhaps a natural result: for centuries the legal and ruling feature had been a part of their religion; it was deeply rooted in their mental make-up and was not to be lightly laid aside. It is another repetition of the old story, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." Just so far would they follow and not one bit farther.
Thus, Jesus was a Jew and yet unacceptable to the Jews in a "nationalist" sense. Because of Klausner's brilliant exposition of the relation of Jesus to the Jews there is quoted below his concluding section on the subject. It is well worth studying, particularly after one has read Jesus of Nazareth.
There is no page in this volume, no step in the life-story of Jesus, and no line in His teaching on which is not stamped the seal of Prophetic and Pharisaic Judaism and the Palestine of His day, the close of the period of the Second Temple. Hence it is somewhat strange to ask, What is Jesus to the Jews? "Jesus," says Wellhausen, "was not a Christian: He was a Jew," and as a Jew, His life-story is that of one of the prominent men of the Jews of His time, while His teaching is Jewish teaching of a kind remarkable in its truth and its imaginativeness.
"Jesus was not a Christian," but He became a Christian. His teaching and His history have been severed from Israel. To this day the Jews have never accepted Him, while His disciples and His followers of every generation have scoffed at and persecuted the Jews and Judaism. But even so, we cannot imagine a work of any value touching upon the history of the Jews in the time of the Second Temple which does not also include the history of Jesus and an estimate of His teaching. What, therefore, does Jesus stand for in the eyes of the Jews at the present time?
From the standpoint of general humanity He is, indeed, "a light to the Gentiles". His disciples have raised the lighted torch of the Law of Israel (even though that Law has been put forward in a mutilated and incomplete form) among the heathen of the four quarters of the world. No Jew can, therefore, overlook the value of Jesus and His teaching from the point of view of universal history. This was a fact which neither Maimonides nor Yehudah ha-Levi ignored.
But from the national Hebrew standpoint it is more difficult to appraise the value of Jesus. In spite of the fact that He Himself was undoubtedly a "nationalist" Jew by instinct and even an extreme nationalist — as we may see from His retort to the Canaanitish woman, from His depreciatory way of referring to "the heathen and the publican", from the terms "Son of Abraham", "Daughter of Abraham" (which He uses as terms of the highest possible commendation), from His deep love for Jerusalem and from His devoting Himself so entirely to the cause of "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" — in spite of all this, there was in Him something out of which arose "non-Judaism".
What is Jesus to the Jewish nation at the present day?
To the Jewish nation He can be neither God nor the Son of God, in the sense conveyed by belief in the Trinity. Either conception is to the Jew not only impious and blasphemous, but incomprehensible. Neither can He, to the Jewish nation, be the Messiah: the kingdom of heaven (the "Days of the Messiah") is not yet come. Neither can they regard Him as a Prophet: He lacks the Prophet's political perception and the Prophet's spirit of national consolation in the political-national sense.
Neither can they regard Him as a lawgiver or the founder of a new religion: He did not even desire to be such. Neither is He a "Tanna", or Pharisaic rabbi: He nearly always ranged Himself in opposition to the Pharisees and did not apprehend the positive side in their work, the endeavor to take within their scope the entire national life and to strengthen the national existence.
But Jesus is, for the Jewish nation, a great teacher of morality and an artist in parable. He is the moralist for whom, in the religious life, morality counts as everything. Indeed, as a consequence of this extremist standpoint His ethical code has become simply an ideal for the isolated few, a "Zukunfts-Musik", an ideal for "the days of the Messiah", when an "end" shall have been made of this "old world", this present social order. It is no ethical code for the nations and the social order of today, when men are still trying to find the way to that future of the Messiah and the Prophets, and to the "kingdom of the Almighty" spoken of by the Talmud, an ideal which is of "this world" and which, gradually and in the course of generations, is to take shape in this world.
But in His ethical code there is a sublimity, distinctiveness and originality in form unparalleled in any other Hebrew ethical code; neither is there any parallel to the remarkable art of His parables. The shrewdness and sharpness of His proverbs and His forceful epigrams serve, in an exceptional degree, to make ethical ideas a popular possession. If ever the day should come and this ethical code be stripped of its wrappings of miracles and mysticism, the Book of the Ethics of Jesus will be one of the choicest treasures in the literature of Israel for all time.
This is Dr. Klausner's estimate of the Jesus who was a Jew, but whose followers were not Jews.
Aside from the discussion of Christ, His life and teachings, and their relation to Judaism, there is one feature of the work which merits more than passing notice. The discussion of sources contained in the first portion of the book is a splendid treatment of a very dry subject. To those who read Jesus of Nazareth for enjoyment only, I should strongly recommend their reading the introduction first and following the author's advice therein contained. They should, says Klausner, begin their reading at the second book. For those who are interested in learning something about the writings of the time and the later progress in gospel criticism the source material will prove most interesting and enlightening. Of special value is that section dealing with the Canonical Gospels and the Study of the Life of Jesus. It forms in itself a brief, but complete history of Gospel criticism, splendidly written and intensely interesting. One should consider most carefully the opinions of the various scholars as Dr. Klausner treats of them. To the ordinary reader the portions devoted to the Hebrew, Greek and Latin sources will prove exceedingly dull; but they are worth reading through, even to those not technically interested.
The second book (the work is divided, according to the old custom, into eight portions, each termed a book) is devoted to a discussion of political, religious and social, and economic conditions. It is a good estimate and forms a much-needed background for a clear understanding of the life and times of Jesus.
Of particular interest to Freemasons will be the section treating the Essenes. This religious sect about whom little is known is dealt with at considerable length and aside from the discussion under religious and social conditions the book contains many references to them. To Masonic students the book would be of value for these portions alone.In conclusion, a word of caution is necessary. Jesus of Nazareth is not a book to while away a pleasant hour. It is no fairy tale, but a scholarly treatise that requires patient and thoughtful reading. If the reader be interested in learning of the historic Jesus it is to be recommended. Dr. Klausner's work is primarily for students, yet it is one which every thinking Christian should read and think about; and then read again. Words of recommendation and praise too often mean little or nothing, but here is a book which merits the highest praise that can be given it, and more.
E. E. T
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AN ENGLISH MASON AND AMERICAN LADIES
R. W. Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, P.G.W., President of the Board of General Purposes (England), was, with Lady Robbins, the guest of the evening at the Ladies' Festival Banquet of the Authors' Lodge, No. 3456, held in London on June 30. At the meeting of the lodge immediately preceding, it was proposed by W. Bro. Professor H.C. Plummer, F.R.S., W.M., seconded by Bro. E.R. Garnsey, S.W., and unanimously resolved that Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins should be elected an honorary member, a distinction he now shares with Bro. Rudyard Kipling. At the banquet following, Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, in submitting the toast of "The Ladies", said:
"As the youngest member of the Authors' Lodge, I have been given the highly honorable, but extremely onerous, task of submitting the toast of the evening, that of 'The Ladies'.
"It was a happy prelude to this gathering that today I received an offer — a special offer, I am assured, at one-half the usual fee, to be paid even by monthly installments if desired — to furnish me for the trifling sum of one guinea with 'the real key to success in public speaking.' I am tempted to be sorry that it did not reach me sooner, so as to rid myself of that 'most distressing form of nervousness when speaking in public', with which it is plainly thought I am afflicted; but, as the main point of the suggested teaching seems to be that I have to bring my ideas within an illuminated circle, I will try to focus them within the brilliant circle I am now addressing. I have a double claim to be here tonight, as, while not until today a member of the Authors' Lodge, I was thirty-four years ago a founding member of the Authors' Club, with which that lodge is proud to be associated. Moreover, though not the writer, I am the frequent reviser of one of England's 'best sellers', for the Masonic 'Book of Constitutions', with which in another place I have so much to do, has a steady and certain sale every year of more than thirty thousand copies; and even a small royalty would assure at least a modest competence. But there is a further and more direct Masonic claim. The toast of 'The Ladies' is one I have very seldom proposed, because of my manifest unfitness to perform so gallant a task; but I always approach it with the awe and reverence due from the lesser to the greater half.
"As a Freemason, therefore, I give the toast with all sincerity, because from our earliest moments in the Craft we are taught to reverence women. It partly arises from that reverence that we do not invite ladies to join the laborious side of our Masonic life. The original Freemasons were operative workers; and, as the whole of our tradition is derived from the operative side, it has no more been contemplated to have female masons than female stonecutters or female bricklayers. But with one phase of our activities we are always delighted to associate them, and that is on the side of benevolence. A story goes that that vigorous example of womanhood, Queen Elizabeth, being annoyed that she could not be made a Mason, directed the Order to be suppressed, but was dissuaded on finding that some of her most trusted advisers were Craftsmen devoted to good work. Whatever the value of the story — and I do not vouch for it — none of our Queens have interfered with our development, but rather have greatly assisted in our benevolent endeavors.
"Frankly, I have always believed that the best work women can do for Freemasonry is in the direction of benevolence; and I was confirmed in this belief when, with Lady Robbins, I visited the United States on a Masonic mission two years ago. In America, female Freemasonry, of both a direct and indirect kind, flourishes amazingly, and its work has been on various lines. I greatly doubt whether it would tempt many of our lady friends to be associated with certain of their activities such as are proudly claimed in one Jurisdiction — the ripping up of old carpets in lodge rooms, the cleaning of windows and sweeping of floors, and the replacing of oil lamps by electric light. But in other directions, and particularly in the construction and maintenance of hospitals, they have done most worthy work. I would take this opportunity, indeed, of paying a high tribute to the cordiality and wonderful kindness of many American ladies closely associated with Freemasons, and most of them in some direct or indirect fashion with Freemasonry, who welcomed Lady Robbins and myself in the ten American Jurisdictions I was privileged to visit. They knew beforehand the position taken up by the Grand Lodge of England in regard to mixed organizations associated with Freemasonry, and not one of them from beginning to end of a most wonderful tour said a word either to my wife or to myself to endeavor to make us converts to their cause. For their good works, I sincerely admire them; for their friendliness I deeply thank them; and, though I stand where I did concerning any possible association of women with the English Craft, I shall never lose my feeling of admiration for these American ladies."
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
THE BIBLE AND EVOLUTION
Noting the communication of M. W. Bro. C. H. Briggs, of Missouri, in the September issue, regarding the statement of Bryan that
"Of the million species of life that science claims to know today, show me a single instance where you have ever crossed the line between species and produced a new and fertile species."
I merely suggest that a little consideration be given to the achievements of the late Luther Burbank, who seems to have approached very closely to the college professor's "they will do it yet." Burbank claimed that he could "train old varieties in the plant world to new habits and possibilities, and could produce entirely new varieties with characteristics and values never known before."
The God of nature institutes species and makes alterations according to laws not yet understood by human kind. Electricity has existed from time immemorial, but only in recent years has human endeavor been permitted to use radio activity. If so be, then in time it is likely that man will know how to use and direct forces in living tissues and cells. After all, man's boasted knowledge of nature's laws is but in its infancy. Let us wait and watch.
Garrett B. Hunt
In my letter in the September BUILDER, there is one sentence which needs correction in one word. That sentence runs, "Embryology does not favor it." No such thought was in my mind. Embryology is the strongest argument for Evolution that I know. What I wanted to say was that Embryology does not prove Evolution, plausible as it may be and does make it appear to many, but it does show the unity of God's work. If as you say in your kind footnote, the Bible is a "Symbol only," we ought to quit telling candidates that it is the rule and guide of our faith and practice.
C. H. Briggs
[That the Bible is in Masonry a symbol first of all was not stated on our own authority. It has been asserted by many Masonic writers, and so far as we are aware has never been called in question. Mackey distinctly and unequivocally states it in his Encyclopedia, while for a living authority we may quote Oliver Day Street in his Symbolism of the Three Degrees. But even so there does not seem to be any necessity to change the phrase quoted by Bro. Briggs in any Jurisdiction where the great majority of those seeking the light of Masonry believe in the Bible as truly the word of God.]
* * *
I was in Jamaica, B.W.I., last month, and had the pleasure of visiting Phoenix, No. 914, E.R., at Kingston, and making the acquaintance of Dr. Armstrong, the local Secretary for the Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
I thoroughly enjoyed the satire in the last number. I had read a column at least before it dawned upon me that my leg was being pulled. Whilst watching the loading of bananas on the ships at Jamaica, I noticed that an old nigger gave a "token" to the women for each bunch of bananas carried to the dock from the warehouse, while at the warehouse door was a young negro, armed with a knife about four feet long, with which he deftly snicked the long stems from the bunches as the women with the bananas on their heads passed him. This struck me as very significant, and the obvious, conclusion is that the Mark Degree had its origin in the native customs of Jamaica, but I do not think I shall enter upon a controversy with your contributor.
A. J. B. Milbourn
[Another brother writes that he also enjoyed the skit but that he thinks nevertheless that it was a dangerous thing to publish in THE BUILDER, for he says that undoubtedly some misguided brother will be quoting it in the near future as a serious contribution to Masonic research. We hope not, but must admit that this possibility made us hesitate a good deal before we took the fatal step. However, life, even the life of Masonic research is not possible without some risks.]
* * *
ERRORS AND INCONSISTENCIES
Each month I have had in mind to write you some sort of expression of the solid pleasure I get out of reading THE BUILDER each month. I have had it from the first and esteem it highly for its contents as well as for its purpose.
In the August number, which came to me yesterday, I was delighted to find one of the most delicious bits of satire I ever encountered. I refer to "Anti-Diluvian Masonry," by "Justus B. Wright," whoever he is. Obfuscology is making too much headway in Masonry.
For example, on page 234, Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch has President John Adams say: "I never had the felicity to be initiated." Again, on page 235, Bro. Tatsch says: "Thomas Jefferson, although not a Mason." But on page 256, in answer to a correspondent, the Editor says that John Adams was a member of St. John's Lodge of Boston, and that Thomas Jefferson was a member of the Lodge of Nine Muses, in Paris.
Leave it to you if this is not obfuscatory! At any rate, it is likely to prove puzzling to the brother in search of light.
I was very pleased to get the information contained in the article on "Fascism and Freemasonry." At Washington last fall I met Raoul V. Palermi, 33°, who felt rather gloomy at the outlook for Masonry in the land that is blessed with the double benediction of Pius XI and Mussolini.
Also, I find myself in hearty accord with the spirit of your editorial, "A Masonic Crisis." Even though I am not sold entirely on the sanitarium idea, I feel that something should be done to aid the brethren who are suffering. If this sanitarium is decided upon, I will aid to the utmost of my ability.
T. W. McCullough
On page 256 of the August issue of THF, BUILDER, you list Thomas Jefferson as a Mason because of being on the rolls of the Lodge of the Nine Muses at Paris. I have spent some time on various occasions trying to connect Thomas Jefferson with the Lodge of the Nine Sisters but have never been able to satisfy myself of his Masonic affiliation. I certainly do not find him mentioned as a Freemason in Amiable's History, though there is another mention of him as President of the United States, but this does not suggest his lodge membership at all. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has some tableaus of the Lodge of the Nine Sisters, but these do not disclose, so far as I can recall, any mention of Thomas Jefferson as a Freemason. Will you not kindly refer me to any page or other reference for the information you have used in the above mentioned article?
I also note that you have Benjamin Franklin as Great Master of St. John's Lodge, Boston.
Robert I. Clegg.
In your issue of August, 1926, page 256, you say in part: ... It is said that twenty-three of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons," giving their names. Bro. John J. Lanier, 32nd degree, of Fredericksburg, Va., in "Masonry and Citizenship" (third edition, page 31), says: "More than fifty of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of the Masonic fraternity," which is more than double the number that you give.
I write this as the two accounts are conflicting, and as our history is still in the making, the exact facts should be arrived at for the sake of future generations. I am inclined to think Bro. Lanier is correct, as I had learned at one time, I have forgotten when, that of the fifty-six signers, over fifty were Masons, four were Protestants and not members of the Craft, while Chas. Carrol, of Carrolton, was a Catholic, the only one.
I notice in the August issue of THE BUILDER two statements, both of which are positive, and at the same time are directly contradictory. At the top of page 235 of that issue, in the first line is written, "Thomas Jefferson, although not a Mason," etc., while on page 256 in the second column, in a list of the twenty-three signers of the Declaration of Independence said to have been Masons, Thomas Jefferson appears again as a member of the Craft. These two statements, you will see, are in direct conflict and one of them must be wrong.
W. P. Barrett
[The authority for the list here criticised is a clipping in our files taken from the Masonic Voice Review. It was evidently made a long time ago before the need of exact references had become apparent, for there is no indication of date, page or volume, nor of the name of the compiler. In quoting it we introduced the list with a dubious "it is said," but perhaps its lack of definite authority should have been made still more clear. THE BUILDER is very fortunate in possessing so many readers quick to check such editorial slips.
It would he a very useful thing if a really authoritative list could be compiled with a full discussion of all the evidence pro and con for the Masonic standing of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, for the question is one that is naturally of perennial interest to American Masons.]
* * *
EARLY LODGES IN THE MIDDLE WEST
I have been so busy with other matters that I have not had time to take up with you the difference of opinion held by my good friend Cheetham on page 255 of the August BUILDER. Bro. Cheetham has taken what he thought was good authority, and which has been accepted for many, many years as such, but the information was merely tradition and not verified by the records — of which I have photographic copies.
1st. The membership of the lodges at Kaskaskia and St. Genevieve. It is true that the reprint of the official record of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, edited by George Frank Gourley, contained a statement that the organizers of these lodges were French traders, but if you will look at page 101, and especially page 110, "Territorial Masonry," showing the membership of the lodges at Kaskaskia, I don't believe you will be able to find the French traders were very active in the formation of this lodge. On page 155 and pages 168-69 you will find the names of the members of Louisiana Lodge, No. 109, at St. Genevieve. The organization of this lodge was largely the result of Aaron Elliott and Andrew Henry's work.
2nd. The petition for the lodge at Kaskaskia was dated March 9, 1805, dispensation was issued Sept. 24, 1805, and the charter was granted at the session of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania June 3, 1806, but not issued until June 18. The lodge was formally constituted Sept. 13, 1906.
3rd. No discussion as to this point.
4th. Agreed here.
5th. Gourley's reprint is wrong here. Entire list of members of Louisiana Lodge published on pages 168-169 of Territorial Masonry.
6th. My statement was merely an inquiry as to source of authority. I have Scharf's History of St. Louis and the article contained therein is by Fred Billon. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has no data as to the members of old No. 111, in St. Louis, as no returns were ever made end, of course, Billon's views are largely hearsay.
Ray V. Denslow
* * *
THE HESPERIC RITE
In a recent issue of Le Symbolisme there is a request for light from Bro. Albert Lantoine concerning the Hesperic Rite a Freemasonry. He says:
"We have at hand a diploma which was delivered in the name of Maconnierie Hesperique, Philosophique et Templier, by the Sovereign Grand Commander Supreme Master Virginius to the illustrious brother Ciprien Demoin, thirty-sixth and last degree, who we find named on the same occasion Grand Secretary General. The design at the head carries the letters E. T., and in a ribbon the following Masonic abbreviations: A.L.G.E.N.T.B.L.A.O.G.A.D.U.
"We have not made any mention of this order in the first edition of our History of French Freemasonry [recently noticed in THE BUILDER] because we have only found the following information about it, on page 24 of the Rameau d'Or d'Eleusis of Marconis. The Rit Hesperique, Philosophique et Templier, was established in 1538, and restored in 1842 by the Bros. Dolabele, astronomer, and Virginius, publicist. This order possessed thirty-six degree of advancement."
It is perhaps possible that some of our American students, readers of THE BUILDER, might have some further information upon this interesting subject.
Robert I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
SOME SCOTTISH DECISIONS
The following items are sent in believing they will be of interest to readers of THE BUILDER. In British Masonry the Immediate Past Master, though not exactly an officer of the lodge holds, nevertheless, an official position and certain formal duties devolve upon him in opening and closing the lodge.
At a meeting of the Grand Committee, of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, held on Dec. 17, 1925, the following items of interest were considered, among others:
The Provincial Grand Secretary of Argyll and The Isle asked a ruling whether the Tyler of a lodge who, by the By-law receives "such a sum in name of salary as the lodge may fix and who pays his test fees each year, is entitled to vote in the election of Office-bearers, and, if so, how?
The ruling recommended is — No. The Tyler by accepting his office gives up his right to come into the lodge to speak or vote.
The Provincial Grand Secretary of Dumfriesshire asked ruling in the following circumstances: The Right Worshipful Master of one of the lodges in the Province is at present recovering from a serious illness which has affected his memory. At recent meeting of his lodge he was present in the chair, but, owing to his disability, he delegated the duty of opening the lodge to the Deputy Master, who is also a Past Master of the lodge. Provincial Grand Secretary asks: Was the Right Worshipful Master within his rights in doing so, looking to the fact that the Immediate Past Master was also present?
The ruling recommended is — Yes.
R. I. Clegg.
* * *
THE CROSSED SWORDS
Please tell me if there is any meaning as to why the Inside Tyler wears the crossed swords, the Secretary the crossed pens and the Director of Ceremonies the crossed batons for their insignia. Why crossed, why not single?
H. W. W., Canada
The office of Inner Guard is peculiar to the Freemasonry of the British Empire. In the United States the duties of this officer are carried out by the Junior Deacon, as was the arrangement general in the 18th century. The jewels, as they are customarily called by analogy (though the word you use, insignia is better) of the subordinate officers of the lodge can hardly be said to have any real symbolic meaning, they are more or less appropriate emblems. The reason for crossing two pens for the Secretary, two keys for the Treasurer, two batons for the Director of Ceremonies, or Marshal, is undoubtedly that a more artistic design is thus produced and nothing else. Originally one key designated the Treasurer. In the case of the Inner Guard, there was probably also the desire to distinguish the emblem from that of the Tiler, whose emblem is the single sword.
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BOOKS WANTED AND FOR SALE
I have a complete file of THE BUILDER (unbound) which I would like to dispose of.
I should like to know whether it would be possible for you procure for me a copy of The Divine Pymander of Hermes Trismegistus, by W. Wynn Westcott, London, 1894.
P. C. B