A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 13 No. 7 – July 1927
Prof. E. E. Boothroyd, Canada
THE Reformation would appear to be generally regarded as a purely religious movement, a movement by which a great part of western Europe rejected the ecclesiastical supremacy of the papacy and abandoned or modified the doctrines and practices of the mediaeval church. This is very natural in view of the fact that the religious questions which agitated men's minds in the 16th century — as to the number and character of the sacraments, the organization of the church, the invocation of the Virgin and the Saints, the wearing of vestments, and the like — are still vital and controversial questions in the 20th. A close examination of the movement will, however, show that many elements other than the religious dictated the character and course of the Reformation, and may lead to a suspicion that religion, far from being the only factor, was not even the most important.
The first of the non-religious aspects of the Reformation to attract the student's attention would probably be that of race. Protestantism seems to have appealed, with comparatively few and unimportant exceptions, to the Teutonic races alone. It spread with remarkable rapidity among the Germanic peoples of England and southern Scotland, of Holland, north Germany and Scandinavia, but appears to have had little attraction for the Celtic and Romance nations. It is true that Calvin was a Frenchman and that his teachings had considerable influence in his mother country; but the Huguenots never formed more than a small minority of the French, and Huguenotism was largely eradicated by the persecuting policy of Louis XIV; while the Celtic stocks of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and the Romance populations of Spain and Italy rejected Protestantism and clung to the religious organization and beliefs of their ancestors. This fact can hardly have been accidental, and gives to the Reformation the appearance of a racial movement by which a cleavage was opened between the Teutonic peoples and the other races of western Europe, Celtic and Romance.
Turning from the general character of the movement to a study of the course of events in the various countries which adopted Protestantism, the student will note that in nearly every case the Reformation assumes a national appearance. It has been said that Zwingli's first real collision with the papacy arose in 1521, when Leo X sent to Switzerland to raise forces for the war against the French. He was unable to prevent the levy of troops, but his PATRIOTIC feelings led him to make bitter complaints against the Roman pontiff.
In England the statute of Supremacy of 1559 is for the utter extinguishment and putting away of all usurped and FOREIGN powers and authorities out of his realm. And the national character of the English Reformation is also visible in the penal laws against the Roman Catholics in the later years of Elizabeth. Roman Catholic priests and emissaries were executed, not as heretics, but as traitors; they were hanged, drawn and quartered, not burned. In Holland Protestantism became the badge and symbol of Dutch independence from Spanish rule. William the Silent was originally a convinced Roman Catholic, and it was only as the struggle for freedom developed that he became a Protestant. Gustaf Vasa, the champion of Swedish national liberty, adopted the Reformation and forced it upon a reluctant country at the Diet of Westeras, in 1527, as a means of establishing an independent Sweden, not from any religious motives. Thus at every turn in its history the Reformation exhibits the influence of nationality and national feeling.
Nor were political ideas without their share in the movement. Protestantism assumed three main forms in the 16th century, those of Anglicanism, Lutheranism and Calvinism; and a study of the history of these three forms will reveal the significant fact that Anglicanism and Lutheranism were adopted in countries where the political system was monarchial, Calvinism where political ideas were republican and democratic. Anglicanism was, of course, practically confined to England; Lutheranism was favored by the majority of the German princes and in monarchical Denmark and Sweden, while the republican Swiss and Dutch leaned towards Calvinism. Moreover the real strength of that English Puritanism which established the Commonwealth of England in 1649 and played no small part in the founding of the United States, was supplied by the Calvinistic Independents. In the actual conflicts of the 16th century political and religious aims appear inextricably intertwined. The religious wars in France have been described as being, in reality, the last great armed struggle of the feudal nobility against the growing power and absolutism of the Crown, while the same feudal tendency can be seen in the rising of the Catholic earls of the North against Elizabeth in 1569. Thus the character and course of the Reformation seem to have been profoundly affected by political ideas and political movements.
Another salient characteristic is the important part played in the history of the Reformation by finance. The actual cause of its outbreak was a matter of papal finance. When Leo X found himself faced with the problem of providing the necessary funds for his great building program and other extraordinary expenses, he had recourse, as his predecessors had frequently done, to the expedient of a lavish sale of Indulgences, and in so doing fired Luther to nail his ninety-five theses to the cathedral door at Wittenberg and inaugurate the Reformation. The English statutes which reject papal authority were designed to disburden the country of divers great and intolerable charges and exactions before that time unlawfully taken and exacted.
When Gustaf Vasa had freed Sweden from Danish control and was seeking to establish a strong monarchical government to preserve that hard-won independence and maintain internal order, he found in the wealth of the church the only source from which the necessary revenue to provide for the administrative expenditure could be drawn; and it seems to have been his financial necessities which dictated the determination to introduce the Reformation into Sweden. Perhaps the most significant of the four articles issued by the Diet of Westeras was the one which laid it down that the king is allowed the free disposal of clerical and monastic property.
In the Low Countries the Duke of Alva seemed likely to be successful in stamping out the Reformation by the ruthless action of his Council of Blood, until his tax on sales of 1569, which meant ruin for a commercial community, led to that desperate resistance which founded the Protestant state of Holland.
Finally the student of the Reformation cannot fail to notice the fact that there is a social aspect of the movement. In mediaeval times the clergy had been a class apart. Distinguished from the laity by the physical mark of the tonsure, prohibited by the law of the church, at least from the 11th century, from sharing that married and family life which is the foundation of human society, largely exempted, as the struggle between Henry II and Becket shows, from the Jurisdiction of the state and secular law, the cleric stood outside the ordinary life of the time, directing and controlling it, but from without, not from within. In Protestant countries this social and legal separation of clergy and laity was ended by the Reformation, and a more unified social system established, while that legal control over men's actions which had been exerted by the church in the Middle Ages through the Canon Law and the Courts Christian gradually ceased, not merely in Protestant countries but also to a considerable extent in those countries which remained Catholic. The dominant force in the social organism was thenceforward the state, not, as in former days, the church. Nor was this all. In the Reformation there stands clearly revealed that principle upon which modern society and social life and action have been based — the principle of Individualism. Lord Acton, himself a Roman Catholic, who held to his faith through the great storm precipitated by the promulgation of the doctrine of papal infallibility, has described the attitude of Luther at the Diet of Worms as "the most momentous and pregnant fact in modern history." And the reason which the distinguished historian gives for his statement is that as Luther faced the authorities of church and state he stood for the individualistic against the corporate idea. Mediaeval life had been corporate through and through. Agriculture had been carried on, not according to the ideas of the individual agriculturalist, but in accordance with the "custom" of the manor; the artizan had worked at his craft, not as he himself thought best, but along the lines dictated by the elaborate regulations of his guild; and in religion men had been bound, under penalty, to accept the teaching of the corporate church. When Luther at Worms rejected that corporate teaching because it conflicted with his personal views and the feelings of his own individual soul, he stood forth as the incarnation of that principle of individualism on which modern society came to be organized, until in our own days the rise of trades-unionism, state-socialism and kindred movements began to give evidence of a new swing of the social pendulum.
Thus arises the conception of the Reformation, not as a purely religious movement, but as a complex of movements, racial, national, political, financial and social, as well as religious. Further, as has been indicated, the student of Reformation times may well come to doubt whether the religious element was the primary force. Religion was certainly not the original question at issue. Abuses, not errors, were the evils which led the reformers to attack the existing system. As Wyclif, in the 14th century, had first attacked the wealth of the church and the wordliness of the prelates, and had only gone on after a considerable time to a questioning of doctrine and a denial of transubstantiation, so Luther, in the 16th, began his career as a reformer with a simple attack on the practice of selling Indulgences, and would have repudiated, in the initial stages of his career, any imputation of unorthodoxy. In England the Reformation movement was inaugurated by Henry VIII on legal and financial grounds — to vindicate the sovereign independence of English courts, subject to no appellate jurisdiction on the papal curia as the Constitution of Clarendon had declared as far back as 1164, and to fill the royal coffers and the purses of his courtiers with the spoils of the monasteries. In Sweden Vasa had attacked the existing system to secure a revenue for his newly-established government, and in Switzerland Zwingli had objected to the drafting off of Swiss youth to fight the political battles of the papacy. In no case, apparently, was the Reformation originally due to disagreement with religious doctrine, or discontent at purely religious practices; although it is true, as the movement developed, religious questions did begin to play a part, and the reformers went on from a mere attack on abuses to a criticism, and frequently to a rejection, of fundamental dogmas and long-established practices of the mediaeval church, and an attempt, in many cases, to replace the church organization which had gradually been evolved by the development of fifteen centuries by what they considered to be a constitution more nearly resembling that of the primitive church, as conjectured from New Testament narrative.
Two questions are naturally suggested by the foregoing considerations: how it was that these racial, national, political, financial and social movements came to be so closely associated with the question of religion, and how an attack on certain abuses of the existing system, a reform movement pure and simple, developed into an attack on fundamental doctrines and practices, a thorough religious revolution. The answers to these questions are to be found in the history of the mediaeval church, and will give us a true conception of the real nature and meaning of the Reformation.
Historians tell us that the thousand years from the 6th to the 16th centuries are the "Middle Ages," the period of transition from ancient to modern civilization and social organization. During the first five centuries of the Christian era the civilized portion of Europe, nearer Asia, and north Africa had been united in the world-state of the Roman Empire and gradually knit together into the ecumenical organization of the Christian Church. The histories of the secular and religious institutions during this period were, however, diametrically opposite. The state, the Roman Empire, was gradually weakening and decaying, the church steadily developing and organizing itself in doctrine, practice and administrative system. One organism was dying, the other gradually rising from infancy to maturity. Accordingly, when in the 5th and 6th centuries the pressure of the Huns and growth of population drove the Teutonic races of the north — Goth, and Frank, Vandal, Lombard and Saxon — in upon the Roman Empire in the great folk-movement of the barbarian invasions, the state-system of the Roman Empire, already perishing of internal decay, was dashed to pieces, while the religious organization, the church, still in the period of vigorous growth, not merely survived and retained its influence over the old provincials but extended that influence over the conquering barbarians and even over the German districts it had failed to penetrate in the time of the Empire.
During the early period of the Middle Ages, then, the political and social system of civilized antiquity — developed by the races of southern Europe and extended over the Celtic populations of Gaul and Britain — was replaced by the primitive, barbaric institutions of the Teutonic conquerors, while the religious system remained and was gradually adopted by the newcomers. Western Europe entered upon the transition from ancient to modern life with the anomaly of a civilized religious organization inherited from the Romance nations established in the midst of the barbaric political and social institutions of the Teutons; and mediaeval history is really the story of the mutual influence of these widely different systems and views of life. Gradually, as the thousand years rolled on, the church civilized the savage, primitive, barbarians who had conquered the ancient state; but was itself affected by the thought and organization of its rude environment, and by the nature of the task upon which it was engaged.
One effect of this development was that the church assumed the appearance and began to perform many of the functions of a state. The different sides of human life and activity, religious, political and social, may be separated for philosophical examination, but are intimately related in actual fact — religious views must necessarily dictate social customs, and social customs determine the character of political life. The primitive political institutions of the early Middle Ages were quite unable to provide that peace and order which the civilized religious life of Christianity requires. Upon the church, therefore, devolved the task of making good the deficiencies of the contemporary state. But the state-system under which it had originated, and which gave the church its conception of a civilized state, was that of the Roman Empire; and, accordingly, the mediaeval church came to assume the character of a world-state under the autocratic rule of the papacy, on the model of its prototype. As a state, the church was forced to develop a legal and financial system and so arose the wonderful organization of the Courts Christian with a final court of appeal at Rome in the papal curia; and a highly developed law, the Canon Law — codified in the Decretum of Gratian in the 12th century, and dealing with many subjects which we now associate with the state and secular law, wills and contracts the taking of interest, and the like — while papal Lance was developed until an English parliament declared that the papacy derived an annual revenue from England five times as great as the royal revenue itself.
The authority of the state depends, in the ultimate resort, on force; and as the clergy, a minority of the population, could not depend upon physical force to secure their authority, they were forced to rely upon moral. Thus religious doctrine and practice were in turn affected. The clergy had to make themselves regarded as superior beings with supernatural powers and authority if they were to establish and retain their control over the savage, war-like populations of the West. And accordingly the student of mediaeval history will notice the development of the doctrine of transubstantiation, the miracle by which the duly ordained priest, and he alone, can effect the change of substance from bread and wine to flesh and blood, in virtue of which power he is established as a personage distinct from and superior to the laymen; the stress laid upon the control of the keys of heaven and hell inherited by the popes as the successors of St. Peter; and the use of excommunication for political purposes — to prevent the taxation of clerical revenues, to ensure obedience to papal commands on the part of recalcitrant monarchs and nobles, and so forth. Bearing in mind the primitive conditions of the early Middle Ages, it is hardly too much to say that the power of the mediaeval priest was similar to that of the witchdoctor of a savage tribe.
Throughout the greater part of the mediaeval period this political, social, legal, and even financial activity of the church was extremely beneficial, acting as a civilizing agency by which the Teutonic conquerors were raised to a higher and more advanced level of thought and action. In England, for example, in the sphere of politics, it was the existence of a single church which supplied inspiration and a model for the development of a kingdom of England, a single strong state in place of the many independent warring kingdoms of the original heptarchy; and Stubbs has pointed out that representation had been in practice in the Convocation of the Church long before Edward I created the Model Parliament, the idea of which was, in all probability, largely suggested by that fact. It would, indeed, be almost impossible to overestimate the debt owed by western Europe to that "Mother Church" which gave it the first lessons, not only in Christianity, but in civilization, and under whose guidance it rose from utter barbarism to an ordered and cultured life. But in proportion as the church accomplished its civilizing mission, its secular activities, political, legal and financial, ceased to be necessary and beneficial, and became actually harmful. No man can owe allegiance to two states. And as the Teutons developed nation-states with organized administrative and legal systems a clash between church and state became inevitable. The financial system by which the church had obtained the funds necessary for the maintenance of its elaborate and semi-secular organization was felt to be especially irksome when the newly-created states needed increasingly large revenues to enable them to carry on their work, and found the resources on which they had to rely drained away by excessive papal taxation.
Moreover the church itself was suffering a moral and spiritual decline, partly as a result of its great service to mediaeval Europe. Forced to embark on a career of secular activity in consequence of the barbarism by which it was confronted at the beginning of the mediaeval epoch, the church had inevitably become secularized. Popes had ceased to be religious leaders and become statesmen, "bishops," it has aptly been said, "had become barons in mitres." And as a result innumerable abuses had crept into the ecclesiastical system. Thoughtful men were alienated by the worldliness of the later mediaeval church, and the flagrant abuses which flourished were unchecked, an often abetted by its rulers. "Chaucer's gentle irony" played around the hunting monk and the fashionabl prioress of the Prologue, and ceased to be quite so gentle when he sketched the characters of the summoner and the pardoner; while his imaginative genius allowed itself free play as he drew the contrasting portrait of the ideal pastor in his poor parson; and Langland finds in Piers Plowman that the official guides of the organized church do not know the road to God, and the pilgrims who would seek His abode have to fall back upon the guidance of the simple ploughman who has been "Truth's servant" many a year.
In the light of these facts, the true character of the Reformation, and the strange intermixture of racial, national, financial and religious elements in the movement become comprehensible. The Reformation appears as a great revolution by which the nations of western Europe broke loose from that mediaeval tutelage of the church which had raised them from initial barbarism to a level of civilization comparable to that of antiquity in which their mentor, the church, had originated, and entered on the fuller, freer life of modern times. The racial quality of the movement shows the Teutonic stock freeing itself completely from the Latin authority which had educated it in civilization, and going forth to live its own life. The national aspect is seen to be due to the fact that during the Middle Ages a new system of political organization had been evolved, that of the autonomous nation-state, which was inherently antagonistic to the idea of a world-state which the church had inherited from the Roman Empire, and had restored in the pontificate of Innocent III.
The prominence of financial questions was a natural effect of the change in political and economic conditions which rendered the practical monopoly of wealth by the church an insuperable bar to progress. Arid in like manner with the other aspects of the Reformation. While the apparently strange fact that all these movements should be associated with a religious development may be attributed to the fact that the mediaeval church had based its secular activities on a religious foundation, and had claimed power and authority over non-religious spheres of life on the ground that its ministration in such sacraments as those of the altar and holy matrimony rendered the clergy superior to the laity, and that power of the keys inherited by the popes as the successors of St. Peter constituted them a supreme authority in matters secular as well as spiritual. It was natural that in rejecting the secular authority and reforming the abuses of the church, men should go on to attack the religious beliefs and organization out of which that secular authority and those abuses had arisen; that Wyclif, for example, should proceed from an attack on the wealth of the church to a rejection of that doctrine of transubstantiation which had proved a regular mint to the clergy.
In conclusion it should, perhaps, be pointed out that the real meaning and importance of the Reformation will not be understood if attention is directed solely to the rise of Protestantism. The effect of the movement was well-nigh as great in those countries which retained their spiritual allegiance to the See of Rome; since the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic church which was the direct result of the Protestant revolt did much to reform existing abuses, to strip Catholicism of that secularity which had been the real cause of the movement, and to confine the activities of the church to those religious and spiritual spheres of action for which it had been created, and to which, when an efficient state has been evolved, it should properly confine its energies.
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THE GOD OF THE MASON
Bro. Ferdinand Oudin, Illinois
EVER since man aspired to something more than material life he has attempted to define who and what God is. His success in this direction is probably difficult to estimate as there are today as many definitions as there are religions or sects, and this could be subdivided still further if personal definitions of individuals are to be considered.
This leaves the question, "What is the God of the Mason?" a peculiar one to answer. The adherents of orthodox religions find no difficulty in this, they will give their answer unhesitatingly, but do they not overlook the fact that the interpretation they give is their own or that of the particular creed which they profess? Also the self-styled liberal thinker is no better; he has no patience with the orthodox views but insists that a more modern interpretation be accepted regardless, on his part, whether such be generally acceptable.
Speculative Masonry has on its membership roll Christians of all degrees, Universalists, Unitarians, Jews, Mohammedans, Brahmins, Theosophists and what not. How then shall we approach this analysis so as not to offend any? It is self-evident that personal interpretation must not enter in. Possibly the best way will be to start with the beginning of Masonry so far as documentary evidence will permit. Let us then examine some of the old documents, dating from 1390 to 1714, of which nearly a hundred have come down to us. We find that many of them begin with an invocation to the Trinity. "The might of the Father of Heaven with the wisdom of his glorious Son, through the grace of the goodness of the Holy Ghost, there be three persons in one Godhead, be with us at our beginning and give us grace so as to govern us here in mortal life living, that we may come to his kingdom that never shall have ending. Amen." The Dowland MS., 1500 A.D., differs slightly in that it uses the term "Father of Kings" in place of "Father of Heaven." In the Halliwell Poem, in these lines, under the title "Ars quatuor coronatorum" we find an invocation to God and the Virgin. There are also found instructions regarding behavior when attending church and at the celebration of Mass. The invocation appearing in many of the MSS. of the German "Steinmetzen" read somewhat after the manner: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in the name of the blessed Virgin Mary.
These invocations leave no doubt as to the Christian character of early Masonry and in the case of the Halliwell Poem and the German MSS. show the influence of the undivided Western Church as it was before the Reformation.
There also, many references to Old Testament characters and events are found in these old MSS. Considerable stress is laid on Lamech and his three sons, to whom is attributed the discovery of all sciences. Noah and the flood also, the Tower of Babel, and of course King Solomon's Temple find their place. The legends of the Craft are largely developed from Old Testament stories. Even the Hiramic legend from beginning to the denouement presumes a knowledge of, and belief in, statements made in the Old as well as New Testament.
EARLY MASONRY WAS CHRISTIAN
Now, it is safe to assume that what religious thought permeated the Masonic mind prior to the 18th century was that of orthodox Christianity, decidedly influenced by what is now Roman Catholicism. These same views, slightly modified, were evidently held by the founders of Speculative Masonry, more or less directed by conservative Protestantism. These early Masons would, of course, interpret the Bible in accordance with the views of the day, which were very much what we now term Fundamentalists.
Our rituals, which were to a great extent formulated by such men, should be interpreted from the same mental viewpoint as the compilers had. So let us from that angle study our present proceedings.
At the very start we invoke the blessings of Deity. In our petitions we call upon him as the "Supreme Ruler of the Universe" or "Most Holy and Glorious Lord God, the great Architect of the Universe," or again in another form we petition the "Almighty and All Wise Father, the Creator and Governor of Heaven and earth, we would humbly ask thy blessing upon us thy children." Still again we say, "Vouchsafe thine aid, almighty Father of the universe." These prayers are petitions of the children of God to a personal God, the most holy and glorious Lord God of the Old and the Almighty and All Wise Father of the New Testament.
We are invited to enter the lodge in the name of the Lord and are dedicated to God in the following "...Almighty Father of the universe ... grant that this candidate ... may dedicate and devote his life to thy service." We are further assured that our trust being in God, our faith is well founded. We take an obligation in the presence of Almighty God and promise to live up to it with his help. We salute the Holy Bible, testifying by this act that we believe it to be the rule and guide of our faith and signify that we subscribe to the statements made therein.
THE BIBLE IN THE LODGE
On three occasions we find the Bible open so as to bring before our eyes passages of scripture. First at the 133rd Psalm, where we learn the lesson of brotherhood and eternal life. Next we read, in the seventh chapter of Amos, his prayer to a very personal God to divert the judgment of the grasshoppers, the "Lord repented of this" and manifested himself to Amos standing on a wall with a plumb line in his hand. Now a more personal God could hardly be pictured, and our old ritualists surely did not pick this chapter for its reference to the plumb line only. Lastly, we see the Bible opened at the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiasties, where we read in the thirteenth verse, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." This is said by the author who until recent years has been thought to be King Solomon. There is no controversy as to what kind of Deity his God was. Solomon was a monotheist who believed in a God with whom he could converse and one who had manifested himself to men. It does not seem likely that our early brethren would lay the Bible open at this passage which commands us so forcefully to fear God and obey his law did they not hold views concurrent with those of Solomon. While there are many parts of the ritual that are based on the Bible, I shall content myself with allusion to one more, this is the promise of "admission into the celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides." This makes it incumbent on a Mason to believe in a future existence where he will be as a knowing and thinking entity and where God possessing similar attributes presides.
A careful study of the ritual with a thought to the custom and philosophy of the times when they were formulated cannot help but lead us to the conclusion that the traditional God of the Mason is the "personal" God of "fundamental" Christianity.
Now this summation leaves us in an embarrassing position. According to it many men, it would appear, have gained admission under false pretenses. The question is one that will sooner or later have to be settled in some way. That is, shall the God of the Mason be He as interpreted by Christian, Jew and other monotheists, or can He be anything as defined by Pantheists, Deists, Theists, etc.?
In France the Grand Orient has settled the matter, they have given active expression to the oft-repeated fact that Masonry is not a religion but rather a system of ethics and morals. We in the United States take exception to their act going so far, in the case of most of our Grand Lodges, as to withhold fraternal recognition for this reason. But do we not appear in a ridiculous position, we have a ritual that is quite orthodox in that it demands a belief in a God and a future life as pictured in the Bible, the Great Light of Masonry, and then we admit to membership many whose views are the very antithesis to this. Now if the bars are to be let down, then how far shall we go? Let us for sake of argument disregard all scriptural reference direct or indirect that may appear in the ritual, let us consider only the one question and its answer, which if the latter is in the affirmative, allows a man to become a Mason. The question is, Do you believe in the existence of God? The answer is, I do. The answer is given in all sincerity, but let us see what the God is that this man believes in.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE DEITY
I do not believe it necessary to go deep into the question regarding the God of the Christian. We know him to be a personal one, a being who directs the affairs of the universe, who looks after man as a father watches his children. Whether he is a severe and vengeful God as the Old Testament sometimes pictures him, or the loving, forgiving one of the New Testament, is of little moment here, in either case he is essentially the same.
And so with the God of the Jew, Mohammedan or Unitarian. Their creed differs from the Christian's only in that theirs is monotheistic. Their God is the same as that of the Christian omitting the Trinity. He is the one true God who has no other gods besides him. He is "personal," having conversed with and revealed himself to man. He guides the destinies of the individual as well as of nations.
The Pantheist is the next to be considered. His creed is in direct antagonism to the foregoing; it negates all personality of God, the creation of the world, the immortality of man. His God is one and the same with the world, neither God nor the world have a distinct and separate being. His God may assume various forms according to the conception of divine nature, either a spirit or a substance, resulting in idealistic pantheism in the former or materialism in the latter. This theory of Deity became a factor in European thought through the publication of Spinoza's great work, Ethica ordine geometrico demonstrata, in the nineteenth century.
The Deist is not quite so radical, he recognizes a God, a Creator, but one who having accomplished his task of creating the universe now stands outside of it, restraining from all interference with the laws he has established. This God is a good God; he possesses self-conscious intelligence and will. This he has applied to designs and their execution as is manifested in universal nature. He is a benevolent being for all this has been done for man's happiness. He is also very indulgent for man's sins are only forgivable errors that do not influence his future life, which consists only of man's immortal mind returning to and commingling with the divine mind. No need for either adoration or supplication for this God does not bother himself; has he not finished his work, and did it well, when he completed the universe?
The Theist is only a modernization of the Deist. He merely attributes a bit more warmth to God who is one with the world but whose activities are confined within the course of nature. The whole tone of the Theist's creed possesses a feeling of warmth and spirituality that compares favorably with any other faith, but it denies the Bible's claim to be or to contain a divine revelation, in it the Theist only recognizes the literary product of inspiration limited to the writer.
So then the Panthesists, Deists and Theists and many others whose creeds are similar in character are admitted to Masonry. And why not? Have they not all truthfully acknowledged a belief in God? Maybe not the God of the Mason, who knows?
In extenuation of the tendency for thinking men to depart from the strict orthodox definition of God I need only refer to:
- The acceptance of the doctrine of evolution in the world of science.
- The preeminence of science and its claim of absolute and uniform operation of the laws of nature, which calls in question any statement regarding divine interference of these laws.
- The modern reinterpretation of the Bible by scholars in accordance with the principles of critical research as applied to other ancient literature.
- A realization, through the science of comparative religion, that the so-called heathen religions are not so satanic as traditional theology interpreted them to be.
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THE VATICAN TALKED
Dr. Leo Cadius
IN my discussion of the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX I have arrived at the, perhaps, faulty conclusion that its promulgation was a mistake. It was, to my mind, in itself an innocuous and timely document that respected the liberty of conscience and the reasonable rights of the state. But being infelicitiously worded, it has been misconstrued, has irritated millions of non-Catholics and, all in all, done more harm than good.
Being in a fault-finding mood, I will call attention here to a few more papal pronouncements that have unnecessarily stirred up bitter sentiment against the Catholic Church and hence should have been omitted. These pronouncements are not entirely a thing of the past. They are again and again being cited, sometimes for the purpose of anti-Catholic propaganda. They are like phonograph records: they may be turned on any moment. They should be destroyed in the interest of religious peace. I know of but one way of destroying, or at least weakening, them: Let the Vatican retract them, or apologize for them, in a Syllabus of Papal Errors or of Papal Retractions that breathe a tone of genuine tolerance and good will towards all mankind. The present Pope, Pius XI, could do so with the best of grace and without any self-humiliation; for he himself has so far abstained from any hasty, intolerant utterance.
I am entertaining the hope that this article of mine will be favored with the kind attention of the American Catholic Episcopate. Maybe the dignitaries will be inclined to suggest to the Vatican such a Syllabus of Retractions. If not, they might at least succeed in persuading the Vatican to be guarded in its future pronouncements.
The purpose of this, my criticism, is not destructive, but constructive; to remedy past mistakes and to prevent their repetition in the future.
1. THE ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X ON THE REFORMATION
It seems to have been inspired by two causes. One was the Los-von-Rom (away-from-Rome) movement in German Austria. The other was the approach of the fourth centenary of the Reformation.
A. THE LOS-VON-ROM MOVEMENT
This was essentially of a nationalistic, political character. Religion practically played no part in it. A few thousand German Austrian Catholics, who had already discontinued the practice of their religion long before, formally espoused Protestantism to emphasize their hatred of Rome. It is doubtful whether most of them, after having abjured their faith, ever put a foot into a Protestant church again. The well educated and perfectly organized German Catholics were fully competent to cope with the situation and check the movement. As regards the history of the Reformation, Catholic historians of the first rank, like Johannes Jansen, Ludwig von Pastor, the Dominican Denifle, the Jesuit Hartmann Grisar and others, had covered that field so well as to evoke the uncomfortable admiration of their literary adversaries. The Pope could shed no additional light upon it. He was a splendid, spiritual pontiff, who introduced many important beneficent reforms. He was the best kind of a pontiff, but no historian. Besides that, the political agitation in German Austria (it can hardly be dignified with the name of a religious movement) had fairly spent itself. In the rest of the world, there was nowhere among Catholics a drift towards Protestantism. Religious indifferentism and anti-Christian socialism was the chief menace confronting the Roman Church, and the rest of Christianity as well.
A papal encyclical may be devoid of great intrinsic value and significance. Nevertheless, it always carries considerable weight and will attract world-wide attention by reason of the exalted position of the pontiff. If our encyclical was really aimed at that little provincial disturbance in Austria, at a dying straw fire, then the Pope was shooting sparrows with a Big Bertha. Moreover, this German Nationalistic agitation which often disgraced itself by rowdyism and riots, rather aided the Catholic cause. It aroused and consolidated the insulted Catholics and confirmed them in their loyalty to the Holy See, particularly the non-German nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Insults always have that effect.
B. THE FOURTH CENTENARY OF THE REFORMATION
This fell in October, 1917, four hundred years after the bold Saxon Monk had hurled the gauntlet at the feet of the papacy by affixing his ninety-five theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. The German Protestants were then planning, rather appropriately, a giant demonstration, a Lutherfeier, for the occasion. (It did not materialize on account of the world war.) Did the Pope actually hope to succeed in throwing cold water on Protestant enthusiasm? He was, by his very position, the last person on earth who could hope to accomplish that! And what benefit would have accrued from it to the Church? The best he could expect was that his encyclical would fall flat. And unless he used the utmost tact and caution, he was liable, by a single unguarded remark, to pour oil into the flame and to foment Protestant enthusiasm into a substantial, if only temporary, Protestant revival. He came very close to achieving that.
Here was clearly a situation where silence would have been golden. Any effort to the contrary was bound to be a case of love's labor lost. But the pontiff saw fit to talk.
The ill-fated document contained, among others, one passage that gave grave offense. It referred to the Reformers as "men whose God was their belly." Therewith the Holy Father had put his hand into a wasp's nest.
The King of Saxony, himself a devout Roman Catholic, over ninety per cent of whose subjects were Protestant, addressed a spirited letter to the Pope, protesting against the encyclical. Other German Catholic leaders followed suit, with the result that the papal letter was officially suppressed in Germany.
But the mischief was done. The German Protestants took up the challenge. They returned insult by insult. That was to be expected. They called the Pope an "uncouth, churlish, peasant pope" (bauern-pabst) alluding to his humble parentage. And as regards the Biblical quotation "whose God is their belly," they pointed with satirical glee to the well known propensity of the Catholic prelate toward a conspicuous en bon point. That propensity is proverbial among the German Catholics themselves. Among the Bavarians the expression is in vogue: "to have a belly like a prelate." (Einen Bauch haben wie ein Prälat.) They mean no disrespect. They do not begrudge the prelates their sleek, abdominal rotundity, front and rear elevation.
The sarcastic Rhinelanders, though very loyal sons of Holy Mother the Church, have a song describing a church procession in which the passage occurs: "Here comes the high clergy! How they swing their wobbly bellies! How they swing their wobbly bellies!" (Hier kommt die hohe Klerisei! Die wackelt mit den Bauchen! Die wackelt mit den Bauchen!)
During the heyday of the excitement, in cities preponderantly Protestant, Catholic clergymen who were burdened with an excessive avoirdupois were afraid to show themselves on the street. They were liable to be mocked by being sneeringly called "Reformers." Carlsbad, Marienbad, and other watering resorts became overcrowded with distressed Catholic ecclesiastics who were hurrying thither to reduce a more than normal tonnage and displacement. See what may happen when the Pope talks!
The practical outcome of the encyclical was: It fanned Protestant enthusiasm. It brought humiliation on the Catholics. A serious internal crisis was narrowly averted by the prompt action of the German Catholics in protesting against the Letter.
My love of historical truth compels me to add another melancholy reflection. The Holy Father, in characterizing the Reformers as "men whose God is their belly," betrayed a rather awkward lack of familiarity with a very important, outstanding phenomenon in ecclesiastical history: the forerunners and leaders of the Reformation had no "bellies" to speak of! This hapless oversight is the more deplorable when you consider that His Holiness had any number of scholarly consultors at his command who could have drawn his attention to that peculiar circumstance.
John Wycliff, John Huss, John Knox, John Calvin and the whole regiment of trouble-making Johns were lean, austere churchmen. Had they devoted themselves more assiduously to the joys of a well-set table — as did the popes of that period — and developed a complacent corpulence, they would never have embraced the profession of a reformer. You could never think of a jovial, fat-kidneyed rascal like Sir John Falstaff turning uplifter and reformer!
Martin Luther was a slender, ascetical Augustinian monk when he was stung by the reforming bee and commenced to thunder away at the demoralized papal court. Had he granted himself an indulgence in gastronomical delights, he would never have concerned himself about the indulgence preached by John Tetzel — another overzealous, troublesome lean John, by the way. It is the leanness of these men, their lack of appreciation of the highly developed culinary art of those days, that lies at the bottom of the whole tragedy. For a tragedy the Reformation is, from my orthodox Roman Catholic point of view.
It is true, Martin Luther later became partial to good cheer, seasoned by conviviality and appropriate table talk, and he accumulated a double chin. But that was after the mischief was done, after he had upset the apple cart and caused a rift in the Western Church. That double chin came too late. Had he acquired it twenty years sooner, there would never have been a Reformation. Erasmus, who had laid the egg that Luther hatched out, was another lean, sour-faced, nervous dyspeptic. It was the lean, restless Cassiuses that engineered the Reformation!
Since that tragic event, the most dangerous of all heresiarchs, or schismatics, was John Ignace von Doellinger. He was the leading scholar in the Church at his time. The distinguished Jesuit historian Emil Michael pays him, the outspoken enemy of the Jesuits, the compliment of having been a walking library. He was the pride of the University of Munich where he taught. He was another lean John, though his colleagues, in affectionate admiration, spoke of him familiarly as "our Natzy," from his middle name, Ignatz.
Doellinger's father was a noted surgeon who held the chair of anatomy at the University of Munich. He was an aggressive materialist and atheist who denied the existence of a spiritual soul. With more wantonness than good tact he would occasionally, while dissecting a body in the lecture room, taunt his hearers in his amusing dialect: "Go upstairs where my Natzy is expounding his theology! Tell him to come down here and show us where the soul is! I have dissected hundreds of bodies, but I have not found a soul yet!" Though a religious scoffer, the old man was very proud of his "Natzy," who already as a young priest had acquired an international reputation as a scholar.
In a city where every man, woman and child drinks beer and every self-respecting citizen cultivates a spacious ante-pendium, our "Natzy" quenched his thirst with milk and lemonade, rarely, if ever, touching the more palatable and exhilarating malt. This peculiarity of his was regarded as an eccentricity that a scholar of his renown was entitled to. It was generously condoned. In an ordinary mortal it would have been viewed with strong misgivings as to his proper mental balance.
At the time of the Vatican Council Doellinger agitated against the dogma of papal infallibility. After it was proclaimed, he refused to subscribe to it. He was excommunicated. The event, though not unexpected, caused a great sensation throughout all Europe, most of all in Munich. When the decree of excommunication was read from the pulpits of the city on a certain Sunday, it fell like a peal of thunder on the ears of the faithful. A hush hung, like a pall, over the normally so gay community.
On the evening of the same Sunday a group of Doellinger's colleagues met as usually at their accustomed stammtisch (round table) in the Hofbrau. They sat there in deep reverie. At last, one of them, a florid, benevolent churchman of ample dimensions and irreproachable orthodoxy, broke, after quaffing his eighth stein, the gloomy silence: "I have always said it that our Natzy was headed for trouble. Had he taken his twelve steins of Hofbrau every day, like a good Bavarian, he would never have bolted the Vatican Council."
There was more truth in that remark than one is inclined to believe. The Germans have a saying:
Ein Bayer ohne Bier
Ist ein gefährlich Tier.
"A Bavarian without his beer is a dangerous animal." He will be at the best an intolerable crank. He may even go so far as to become a schismatic, heresiarch and reformer. Doellinger is an illustration.
Let me cite just one more instance of a reformer, of an ultra-modern one, one of the most recent model, one whom we, the people of the United States, have particular reason to be interested in. Of course, his name is John, and he is lean. Your surmise is correct: it is John D. Rockefeller, the king of unsavory oil. He is the financial angel, or archangel, or arch-fiend, of the iniquitous Anti-saloon League, that aggregation of Uplifters and Reformers that is universally dreaded and detested as the direst curse, plague and pestilence of the human race today. He is the Super-Reformer. I assert without fear of contradiction that if Lean John was blessed with a sound digestion and pushed a comfortable "tank" along, as he could well afford, he would not be promoting that nefarious League that has cast a wet blanket over our once happy nation. Not contented with that, it is reaching out with fiendish malice to pour wormwood into the cup of cheer of many another friendly nation with whom we have never had a quarrel. Is there need of adducing any more examples of Reformers? We let this suffice.
The Romans had an adage: omnis pinguis bonus, "every fat man is good." They were keen observers. Fat men have rarely caused any more serious trouble than displacing too much room in a crowded car. Of course, a fat man is not necessarily a bonvivant. Saint Thomas of Aquinas, the profound scholar, was exceedingly abstemious and exceedingly corpulent. Nor was His Holiness, Pope Pius X, himself a feather-weight, though a strict practitioner of the simple life. Nevertheless, as a general rule, fat men are known to be remarkably regular and punctual in making their appearance at meal time.
To make a long story short: Pope Pius X was a good, kind, saintly pontiff. But, be it said with due reverence to his august person, his exalted position and to his prerogative of infallibility: he was beating the air when he attacked the "bellies" of the Reformers. They had no "bellies" deserving that name, "bellies" in the full, comprehensive sense of the word. It was the absence of a regular "belly" that made them Reformers.
2. THE ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON FREEMASONRY
It is known, by its opening words, as the encyclical Humanum genus, "the human race." It is dated 20th of April, 1884.
Here is an anthology from it:
They [the Masons] vie in attacking the power of God.
The sect of Masons is established against law and honesty, and is equally a danger to Christianity as well as to society.
Its tenets contradict so evidently human reason that nothing can be more perverted.
Inebriated by its prosperous success, Masonry is insolent, and seems to have no more limits to its pertinacity. Its sectaries bound by an iniquitous alliance and secret unity of purpose, they go on hand in hand and encourage each other to dare more and more for evil.
Impious [Masonic] sects in which one sees clearly revived the contumacious pride, the untamed perfidy, the simulating shrewdness of Satan.
I believe that most of the American Catholics who should happen to read the above florilegium will disapprove of the severe language in which the Pontiff condemns a fraternal organization to which 85 per cent of our national Senate and our national House of Representatives and a very large section of our other leading citizens belong. From the days of George Washington and Bishop Carroll of Baltimore — and prior to that — down to the present day, the American Catholics and Freemasons have lived together on the best of terms. They have cooperated harmoniously in building up the nation. They have shared the common sacrifices and dangers in war and common prosperity in peace. Quite commonly we hear an American Mason say that some of his best friends are Roman Catholics; and vice versa.
The Literary Digest, of Dec. 1, 1923, quotes Father Francis P. Duffy, the chaplain of the famous Sixty-ninth Regiment, and friend of Governor Smith of New York, as follows:
We must take a stand against the narrow-minded within our own fold. Take, for instance, the matter of Freemasonry. I am bitterly opposed to the attempt made by some Catholics to create a state of friction between the Catholic Church and the Masonic Order. It is true that a Catholic cannot be a Mason neither can he be an Episcopalian. The Masons we know, and particularly the leaders of Masonry, are not anti-Catholic. There is no feeling of antagonism between the priest and the Mason. We have inherited our views of Masons from other countries and from other times. There is no reason why we should go out of our way to start a fight with the Masons. There are Catholics who are hindering the work of men like Justice Tompkins who are doing all in their power to keep their ancient and honorable Order from going over to the dark ways of bigotry, as some of its wily members would have it.
Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry vastly outnumbers the Latin or Continental Masonry. A Masonic friend advises me that the bulk of Anglo-Saxon Masonry frowns on the political activities of the Latin brotherhood and has formally repudiated any connection with it. It cannot sever its affiliation with it because it has no such affiliation.
I am told that American Masonry has no national organization. The members in each state form a unit that is completely independent of the forty-eight other units. Much less is the whole of Anglo-Saxon Masonry an international organization. There is no such thing as a central Masonic headquarters or central government on the plan of the Superior-General of the Jesuits and other Catholic Orders. In that respect it resembles, in a way, our Benedictine order in which each archabbey with its dependencies constitutes a separate group or congregation independent from the other groups. Over these groups, united only by the common rule and common ideals, the Abbot-Primate in Italy has practically no jurisdictional or administrative powers.
Whatever the faults and delinquencies of Latin Masonry may have been, Anglo-Saxon Masonry — and, be it remembered, that means the by all odds larger part of the Masonry of the whole world — has not conspired against the Roman Church. The Catholics have been, and still are, a hopeless minority in the English-speaking world. In these same countries Masonry has all along been a great force; perhaps not as strong as we Catholics imagine it to be, but a sufficiently strong power to persecute and disfranchise us Catholics, if it wished to do so. It has abstained from persecuting us. There is no indication that it ever aimed at harming us. Religious tolerance is a cardinal principle of Anglo-Saxon Masonry. It seems to have been faithfully practiced. Individual Masons, and even whole lodges, may have manifested some hostility to the Roman Church, but not because they were Masons, but rather despite the fact of being Masons.
Even if today Anglo-Saxon Masons organized and united to declare war on Roman Catholicism, could we blame them after all the insults that have been hurled at them by the Vatican and a large section of the Catholic press? Does it not place us American Catholics in an embarrassing position, if the supreme head of our Church, a foreign ecclesiastic in whose election not a single American citizen had a vote, refers to a fraternal order to which George Washington belonged, to which today the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States belongs, to which a most imposing galaxy of our most distinguished citizens and patriots has belonged or belongs — if the supreme head of our Church, a foreign autocrat, refers to that fraternal order as an agency of Satan?
The basic tenets of Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry may be irreconcilable; though I know of Catholic bishops, of a rather conservative type at that, who fail to see in Masonry anything but a fraternal order with humanitarian ideals. But let those basic principles be irreconcilable, could that difference between Romanism and Masonry not have been expressed in moderate, polite language?
When Pope Leo XIII, whose "smooth diplomacy" our loyal Catholic press loved to extol, released that unfortunate encyclical Humanum genus, replete with insults to Masonry, our American Catholics should have done what the German Catholics did with the encyclical of Pius X on the Reformation: they should have protested against it.
It is somewhat late to take action now, but the damage inflicted on American Catholicism could still be partly repaired. Could not an organization of representative American Catholic laymen like the Knights of Columbus choose a Commission of priests and laymen — men like Father Duffy, Dr. John A. Ryan of the Catholic University in Washington, Col. P. H. Callahan — to study Anglo-Saxon Masonry, its chief tenets and its history?
If the Commission finds that said Masonry is not irreconcilable with Catholicism, then let the Knights of Columbus petition the Vatican that it lift the ban from such units of Anglo-Saxon Masonry as formally repudiate all affiliation, or community of interests, with Latin Masonry.
If, on the other hand, the Commission should report that Masonry and Catholicism are irreconcilable, either dogmatically, or in practice, or both, then let the Knights petition the Pope that he at least issue a new Apostolic Letter dealing exclusively with Anglo-Saxon Masonry. In this Letter he could in moderate language and in a conciliatory tone state the reasons why membership in the Masonic Order is incompatible with membership in the Roman Church. He could explain that certain charges raised against Masonry in the Encyclical of Leo XIII do not apply to Anglo-Saxon Masonry. He could give the latter credit for its merits in the promotion of religious tolerance, of humanitarianism, of material progress and prosperity, of pacificism and the ideal of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. If it be found that British Masons have helped to liberate the English Catholics from the obnoxious disability laws, that fact should also be mentioned. The Vatican claims to be empowered to speak authoritatively for Catholicism. The Vatican should not be too proud to express its gratitude to non-Catholics who have conferred a favor on Catholicism.
A kind word is never wasted. We want religious peace and tolerance. Vatican theologians have in the past rushed in where angels feared to tread.
If the Knights of Columbus should ever seriously consider taking up this issue, they might include in their petition to the Vatican a list of more grievances we American Catholics would like to see disposed of. I shall take the liberty, in future articles in this magazine, of submitting a few items to their kind consideration.
* * *
FREEMASONRY AND THE ESSENES
Bro. L. F. Strauss, Massachusetts
THIS is the second of two articles by Bro. Strauss on the subject of the Essenes and their connection with Speculative Freemasonry. The first was published in the May number of THE BUILDER. The author is strongly impressed by the very great influence that Hebrew words and ideas have had on the Masonic ritual. He does not, as we understand it, attempt to prove that Freemasonry is a survival of the Essenic Order, but only to point out the very curious parallels, which are too numerous to be due to chance. How they are to be explained is another question.
AS already stated the scholar, the philologist, the epistemologist and the theologian expended so much energy in the search for the epistemology, the derivation, the etymology of the word Essaioi, or Essenoi, of which Essenes is an anglicization, that their intellect became exhausted and their imagination led them astray. We are here reminded of the labor in an antique theologian's meditation over the question as to why the term "beginning" was the third and "heaven" the seventh word in his Bible. That his Bible was only a translation, and that this order or sequence might be different in the original, never entered his mind.
The situation is also analogous to the troubles of our Egyptologists. All our knowledge of Egyptian life, culture and history is based upon the works of the ancient Greeks. These Greeks were a peculiar and marvelously clever and ingenious people. They had, also, a strange, a good modern trait: a very great admiration for themselves and their nationality. All other nations or peoples were barbaroi, anglicized into "barbarian." These Greeks had most elaborate spectacles; each Greek had one of its own particular make.
As a result, a great transformation took place. The description of the ancient world became Hellenized, even the names of ancient Gods, places and persons. A Zarathustra became Zoroaster, Messiah became Christos (hence our own name Christian), a Ramses became Sesostris, a cause of much trouble and confusion to our Egyptologist.
Now Philo and Josephus, our chief, in a way our only informants about the order or Brotherhood of "Essenes," were writing in the Greek language and as was but natural adopted Greek habits, that is, they Hellenized; and so out of the word Hasidim, the popular Jewish name of this brotherhood, they coined the Greek words, Essaioi, or Essenoi, which, after all, was not as radical as the change of Sesostris from Ramses.
In the New Testament we find one definite reference to our Brotherhood by the Apostle Paul, who had been initiated into the sixth degree of the Society; in his letter to the Corinthians, Chapter XVI, we find logias tes is tous hagious translated by "collection for the saints."
Our theologians are puzzled over the term Logias translated with collection. This translation is altere pede claude, lame on the other foot, but not as glaringly false as the rendering in the next verse of the word Sabbatton with Sunday, or the first day of the week. Even Martin Luther showed himself here a better man and a more truthful translator.
After this diversion, we will ask again: what was the real name of these Essenes, that is, what was the name, the designation of the Essenes by themselves, of themselves, for themselves?
This name is of special significance, of particular interest to the members of the Society of the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons. This real name was Banaim, which translated into English means Builders or Masons.
This word Banaim has also been translated Carpenter, and there are some who here see a reference to Jesus the carpenter and Jesus the carpenter's son.
As additional information we will state that the word Bannaim, with two n's, signifies, in English, bather, or baptizer, and as these Essenes bathed daily "before breakfast," used immersion as a symbol of repentance and as a part of ceremony for initiation of a novice into first "degree," the word spelled with two n's became another popular designation. This fact throws a luminous ray over the figure and name of John the Baptist.
FREEMASONRY AND THE ESSENES
The visible, historical threads of the order of "modern" Freemasonry lead us to the Middle Ages, into the British Isles, there to vanish like unto a stream that sinks into a subterranean channel. What strikes the student at first sight as odd indeed is the Hebrew nomenclature, the Jewish garment in which the Order of Free and Accepted Masons presents itself to the outside world. Why is it that Hebrew words, Jewish names and symbols are used in which to shroud the most important ceremonial functions, the most ingenious symbolism the world has even seen?
I will give a much abbreviated list of names, words and symbols of Jewish origin used by Freemasonry:
Adonai — Lord; used by the Jews in place of Jehovah, the name of God.
Adon Hiram — Adoniram — The Lord is exalted.
Ahiah — I Kings iv:3.
Aheman — Rezon. Derived from a very old and obsolete Hebrew word and used as title to a book of instruction in the Grand Lodge of York.
|Balgulkal — obsolete Hebrew||Giblim|
|Cedars of Lebanon||Jah|
|Melech||Shield of David|
|Miter||Signet of Zerubbabel|
|Peleg||Tomb of Adoniram|
|Pentalpha — Solomon's Seal||Tubalcain|
|Rabboni||Twelve Lettered Name|
|Sabbaoth||Two Lettered Name|
|Seal of Solomon||Zadok|
To the uninitiated it must appear strange that so many traces of what might be called prehistoric Freemasonry lead us to the north of England, thence to the Highlands of Scotland (some very learned "higher critics" attempted with great erudition to infer from this a connection between Freemasonry and the ancient Druids). Another remarkable thing is the strange phenomenon consisting in the fact that in the Scottish Rite the dates of all official documents are given according to the Hebrew months and Jewish era, and more remarkable still, use is made of the old form of the Hebrew alphabet. Strange, very strange symbols (for the uninitiated or the uninformed) are seen in the Rite of Misraim, but for him who sees or knows, a lucid light is shed indeed on the "travails" of man. Freemasonry has been remarkably successful in shrouding its origin, its history and its philosophy on religion. The veil was undoubtedly necessary and to some extent is still. I will lift it but a very little, just enough to give a glimpse. The seeming mystery in the apple grown on the tree of good and evil was the thing that first attracted, then enticed our good mother Eve. In like manner has the mystery enshrined in the symbols of Freemasonry puzzled, in the last fifteen hundred years, the heads of the learned and set in motion their hands and pens. What learned books have been written on the meaning and origin of the symbols and what scholarly controversies have been raised!
THE INTERPRETATION OF HIEROGLYPHS
For thousands of years the learned scholars of Europe and Asia gazed at the strange hieroglyphics engraved on the sacred and profane monuments of ancient Egypt. How ingenious and abstruse were the scholarly treatises on, and explanations of, these strange figures. But in the fullness of time an old, dilapidated and half-broken stone was found in a place called Rosetti, and through the markings on this half-broken stone the strange and mysterious figures were explained, the history, the mysteries of ancient Egypt stood revealed.
Now, what this stone, the Rosetti stone, was, or rather has become, to the hieroglyphics and mysteries of ancient Egypt, that the teachings and the doctrines of the "Essenes" are to the symbols employed by the Order of the Free and Accepted Masons.
This article is but introductory and so we will confine ourselves to hints sufficient for the wise.
Among the first instructions the Masonic neophyte receives is a hint as to the importance, the significance of the lambskin, the twenty-four-inch gauge and the common gavel (the gavel stands in a certain relation to but is by no means identical with the Master's mallet or hammer).
Hammer or mallet is the English rendering of the Hebrew word makkab, from which we get Maccabees, the name for the last dynasty of the Jews.
The lion of Judah in Christology stands for the Lord Jesus but it is also the "Essenic" appellation of Judas Maccabeus, a member and noted figure in its history.
The following stanza from a Masonic song:
But the emblems that we shower,
Tell us there's a mighty power
O'er the strength of death and hell
Judah's Lion shall prevail.
The lambskin is an Essenic figure standing for sacrifice and purity indicated by its white color.
The number twenty-four is a favorite occult "Essenic" number as it equals 23x3.
In Masonic lore we meet very often the heroic figures of St. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. The first is universally recognized as a member of the "Essenes." The second is not thus recognized but his relation to the order stands revealed in his doctrines propounded.
INDEBTEDNESS TO HEBREW DOCTRINE
The student finds in Masonic literature the doctrine of the triune triad encompassed by the Shekinah and he recognizes here the "Essenic" doctrine of the Sephiroth.
Where did the founders of Freemasonry obtain their knowledge of the meaning of the twelve-lettered name, only revealed to the Essenic initiates of the order of Zenuim or Chaste Ones? There is also a forty-two lettered name which, if found in Masonic symbols, would be of deep significance.
Of special interest also are the names of Enoch and Melchizedek, so often met with in Masonic literature. These names, so conspicuous in the doctrines of the "Essenes" and in apocalyptic literature, have ever been a puzzle to the learned but uninitiated theologians.
We cannot help sympathizing with the Apostle Paul when he throws out such vague but significant hints about the personality of Melchizedek, of whom, as he says, "I have much to tell you but you are babes and cannot stand strong meat." But our sympathy goes out still more to Christian theologians when they attempt to explain or explain away the words of the apostle.
This fact, and the way in which Freemasonry has incorporated these two names in its doctrines and its symbols, is one of the strongest evidential factors of Masonic cognizance of Jewish concealed knowledge and of the inner connection between the Society of Free and Accepted Masons and the ancient order of "Essenes."
Strange indeed is human ingenuity! That Enoch lived three hundred and sixty-five years, exactly as many years as the year has days, has no special significance to the ordinary Bible student. "And Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him." That he should have ascended seems indeed extraordinary, but that the number three hundred and sixty-five and the ascension into heaven should have any connection with the sun or zodiac is never suspected by the innocent reader of the Bible.
That the renaissance of the society of Free and Accepted Masons begins in the British Isles in the year 1717 and thence starts its triumphal march over the entire face of our globe, is nothing specially remarkable. Is there no significance in the year 1717 nor is any special meaning to be attached to Hebrew nomenclature? Is it not significant that at a period when the Jews were persecuted and despised everywhere a reverential recognition of Hebrew symbols of Hebrew nomenclature should take place and this in the year 1717? It may be a little help for some to obtain an additional glimpse of that strange figure 17. See Gospel of John, chapter xxi. Here we find the number 153. We hear, or rather read, of a great catch, a catch of 153 great fishes. Now why not 152 or 154 fishes? What special significance is there in the number of 17? Is it because ten plus seven is seventeen? Is it the fact that 153 equals 32 multiplied by seventeen? Is it the fact that one plus five plus three equals nine? A special significance was recognized by the initiates, the so-called Church Fathers, Origenes was informed. He gave hints sufficient for the wise or the initiated; St. Augustine had not been initiated or only partially. He was puzzled. As his explanation, he gives us the fact that 153 equals a binominal co-efficient, that it is the sum of the natural numbers up to seventeen, that one plus two plus three plus four, etc., up to seventeen equals 153. In addition, Augustine gives us this reason for seventeen: the number ten for commandments plus the number seven as of the "spirits."
Let us ask Augustine why count up to number seventeen, and not to eighteen or nineteen?
We come nearer the solution of the riddle when we look at II Chronicles, chapter ii:16, where we find Salomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, and found their number 153 thousand and six hundred.
One of the most conspicuous symbols with the most definite meaning for our brethren, our predecessors the Banaim, is the letter "G." How many modern Freemasons know today the significance of this letter "G"?
The "explanation" by the term "geometry" may fulfill a useful purpose. We are here reminded of Bacon Shakespeare's "A little scratched will serve." But that this letter "G" should have as its main significance the word "God" the idea of the absolute cannot possibly be accepted.
Freemasonry is first of all a universal, an international organization or institution.
Here it should be borne in mind that the word "God," for the Supreme or Absolute, is confined to the German or Teutonic languages. The letter in Hebrew we do not wish to give, but it is not "G." In the Greek language the first letter for the word "God" is Theta. In the Latin, French and Italian, in fact in all the so-called Roman languages, the initial of the name of the Most High is "D," and as this letter "G" was used as a symbol by the "Banaim" thousands of years before a letter in the German-Teutonic language was written or printed, this symbol "G" cannot possibly have stood as a first letter of the Teuton word for God.
In a subsequent article we may give — in a veiled form — the significance of this "G" as a symbol in the lore of the "Brotherhood" named "Banaim" — the pre-Christian Masons.
These "Banaim" were, primarily, what in modern parlance would be called "Theologians." Theos, God and Logos, Knowledge or Science. But these "Banaim" were also philosophers and even scientists, and as such they had found a solution to problems puzzling to the philosophers and scientists of our own day.
ANCIENT DOCTRINE AND MODERN SCIENCE
Ignorant people think that the so-called doctrine of evolution, just as they think of the so-called heliocentric doctrine, is a modern discovery or, as some hold, an invention and delusion. Here it might be of interest to learn that the Banaim-Builders came nearer to actuality in their doctrines than we find today in the doctrines or theories given in the text-books of our children.
Again, ignorant people think that the problem of evolution has been solved. That the theories have been scientifically established. For the benefit of our readers we will present the opinion of William James, recognized not only in America, but also in Europe, as America's greatest and only original thinker and pioneer in the world of thought. We will here present an extract from a lecture delivered a few years only before the change called death:
The plain truth is that the philosophy of evolution, as distinguished from our special information about particular changes, is a metaphysical creed and nothing else. It is a mood of contemplation, an emotional attitude, rather than a system of thought — a mood which is as old as the world and which no refutation of any one incarnation of it (such as the Spencerian philosophy) will dispel; the mood or fatalistic pantheism with its intuition of the One and All, which is, which was and ever shall be and from which womb every single thing proceeds. Far be it from us to speak slightingly here of so holy and mighty a style of looking at the world as this. What we at present call scientific discoveries had nothing to do with bringing it to birth. Nor can one conceive that they should ever give it its burial, no matter how logically incompatible the ultimate phenomenal distinctions which science accumulates, should turn out to be. It can laugh at the phenomenal distinctions on which science is based for it draws its vital breath from a region which — whether above or below — is at least altogether different from that in which science dwells. A critic however, who cannot disprove the truth of the scientific creed can, at least, raise his voice in protest against its disguising itself in scientific plumes.
The reader should here bear in mind that William James accepts the idea, the principle of evolution. He only calls attention to the fact that this idea, these principles are today not scientifically established, that our scientists are still in search and thus far, in vain, for the "modus" and still more the "opus operandi."
The members of the Brotherhood of Free and Accepted Masons will be pleased to learn that their pre-Christian ancestors, the Banaim-Builders-Essenes, just as they had received the heliocentric doctrine, had also received, by divine revelations, or as some would call it, inner illumination, or using the most modern scientific expression, a vision into "cosmic consciousness," not only the mere theory of evolution but also the "modus and opus operandi" of "mother nature" in what is called today the doctrine of evolution.
Neither the doctrine of evolution nor what is called today the heliocentric doctrine, could be given out to the general public. These doctrines would necessarily have seemed strange and absurd to the uninitiated.
Here we are reminded of the Master's words, "To you it is given to know the 'secrets' of the Kingdom of Heaven, to them I speak in parables.
"Do not give that which is Holy unto dogs, do not cast pearls before swine lest they turn and rend you, and their second state is worse than their first."
Now just as the mental progress of the human race, the advance of science made possible and expedient the publication and ensured the acceptance of the heliocentric doctrine, and the doctrine of evolution, so in the opinion of some the discoveries made through psychic research, some features imbedded in the doctrine of relativity have made it possible and expedient to proclaim aloud some of the secret doctrines given under a most solemn oath of secrecy after a lengthy period of probation on the banks of the Nile and the river Jordan by our spiritual ancestors the "Banaim."
As already stated, we will here lift the veil a little, very little. Just enough to give a glimpse of the wisdom of our predecessors, the founders, or using a term more modest, the propagandists or "missionaries" (another translation of the Apostle Paul's hagioi) of Christianity.
As an illustration of the truth of the words of Solomon, "There is nothing new under the sun," I will quote a passage from a book that has furnished to Freemasonry most of its symbols and rites:
In the book of Hammuna the Elder we learn through some extended explanation that the earth turns upon itself in the form of a circle; that some are on top, the others below; that all creatures change in aspect, following the manner of each place, but keeping the same position. But there are some countries on the earth which are lighted while others are in darkness and there are countries in which there is constantly day or in which the night continues only some instants. These secrets were made known to the men of the "secret science," but not to the geographers.
These words, a graphic description of the modern heliocentric theory, are found in a book compiled more than 2,000 years before Kepler, Galileo or Newton.
Dialogue Between Teacher and Pupil
Teacher: The sun is the begetter of all good, the ruler of all order, movement, and the governor of the seven worlds. All things change and are in motion continually.
Pupil: Do you say, Father, that the earth is motionless?
Father-Teacher: No, my son! Not even the earth!
"Breaths" of the nature of creeping things change into things which dwell in the water. "Breaths" which dwell in the water change into beasts which dwell on land; "Breaths" which dwell on land change — "Breaths" change into man.
Translation of words for which dashes are substituted is not considered expedient. This presentation of evolution is an extract of a translated translation of the traditional teaching given thousands of years before Darwin, Wallace or Spencer.
"Extract" No. 2
"The word 'space' is unmeaning when it stands alone; for it is only by regarding something which is in space that we come to see what 'space' is; and apart from the meaning to which it belongs, the meaning of the term 'space' is incomplete. Thus we may rightly speak of the space occupied by water and fire, and so on (but not of space alone). FOR AS THERE CANNOT BE A VOID, so it is impossible to determine what space is if you regard it by itself. For if you assume a space apart from something which is in it, it will follow that there is a void space, and I TEACH you that there is no such thing as a void space in the universe. If 'void' has no existence then it is impossible to find any REAL thing answering to the word 'space' taken by itself."
Translation of a translation of knowledge delivered traditionally given orally only under the seal of secrecy by our friends the Banaim thousands of years before our brother Einstein presented the "new" doctrine of relativity.
"Extract" No. 3
"There is no death. The word 'death' is a mere name without any corresponding fact. Death means destruction, and nothing in the cosmos is or can be destroyed."
Translation of a translation from the traditional teaching given orally only by our brethren the "Banaim" thousands of years before Maeterlink wrote his "Blue Bird."
"Extract" No. 4
"God is pre-existent and ever existent. He and He alone made all things, created all things by His will. Who then can speak of Thee or to Thee and tell Thy Power? Whither shall I look when I praise Thee? Upward or downward, inward or outward? For Thou art the place in which all things are contained; there is no other place besides Thee and all things are in Thee."
"And what offerings shall I bring Thee, for all things are from Thee? Thou givest all and receivest nothing; for Thou hast all things and there is nothing that Thou hast not."
Translation of a translation of the lore of our brethren the "Banaim."
"Extract" No. 5
"And at what time shall I sing hymns to Thee? For it is impossible to find a season or a space of time that is apart from Thee. And for what shall I praise Thee, for the things Thou hast made or for the things Thou hast not made; for the things Thou hast made manifest or for the things Thou hast concealed, and wherewith shall I sing to Thee? Am I my own or have I anything of my own? Am I other than Thou? Thou art whatsoever I am; Thou art whatsoever I do and whatsoever I say. Thou art all things and there is nothing beside thee, nothing that Thou art Not. Thou art all that has come into Being and all that has not come into being. Thou art mind so that Thou thinkest and Father in that Thou createst, and God in that Thou workest, and God in that Thou makest all things."
Translation of a translation of the lore of our ancestors the "Banaim" given orally under the seal and solemn oath of secrecy hundreds of years before Plato and thousands of years before Kant, Emerson, Bacon Shakespeare, Royce, Pope, Tennyson or Walt Whitman.
"Extract" No. 6
- "Holy is God the Father who is before the First beginning;
- Holy is God Whose purpose is accomplished by His several powers;
- Holy is God Who wills to be known and is known by them that are His own;
- Holy are Thou Who by Thy Word hast constructed all that is;
- Holy are Thou whose brightness nature has not darkened;
- Holy art Thou of Whom all nature is an image;
- Holy art Thou Who are stronger than all domination;
- Holy art Thou who art greater than all preeminence;
- Holy art Thou Who surpasseth all praises.
- Therefore with all my strength will I give praise to God the Father.
"I pray, O Lord, accept pure offering of speech from a soul and heart uplifted to Thee, Thou of Whom no words can tell, no tongue can speak, Whom silence alone can declare.
"I pray that I may never fall away from that knowledge of Thee, Which makes our Being; grant Thou this my prayer and put power into me, that so having obtained this boon, I may enlighten those of my race who are in ignorance, my brothers, Thy sons."
An extract from a prayer taught as a secret lore, orally only, by our brethren, our predecessors the Banaim Builders Masons, thousands of years before this our time.
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AN INDIAN RELIC
ABOUT two years ago a story was going the rounds of the Masonic press that would have been very significant if true. It was said that an ancient Indian carving had been discovered in Arizona representing the Square and Compasses in the familiar arrangement that become known to all the world as the peculiar emblem of the Craft. The statement has once again made its appearance, and may again go the rounds as a convenient and interesting item to help fill up a spare column, and serve to cause wonderment to the brethren at large.
At the time THE BUILDER made inquiries about the find, but without much result. The object was cut out of shell, it was turned up in the course of archeological excavations near the Casa Grande National Monument, it was in a deposit of undoubtedly ancient Indian remains, and the experts of the Smithsonian Institution were quite sure on general principles (as indeed was THE BUILDER) that, whatever it was intended to represent, it was not the Square and Compasses.
Through the kindness of Bro. Frank Pinckley, the Curator of the Casa Grande National Monument, a photograph of the relic has now become available, a reproduction of which is here given. It must be admitted that the general resemblance to the Masonic device is quite striking, and that there was really some excuse on the part of Masons without antiquarian knowledge for so interpreting it. Nevertheless such an identification is really impossible.
The cliff dwellers of the Southwest, though undoubtedly in possession of a comparatively high barbaric culture, did not practice any arts or manufactures that would require more than the most primitive and elementary forms of measurement, any more than do their present representatives and probable descendants, the Pueblo Indians. It is true they built houses, walls and stairways in stone, and that their buildings were rectangular, but it was uncoursed rubble work without use of any cement or mortar. And judging from photographs, it would appear that the building was done entirely by eye and without any of the refined testing appliances of more advanced workmen.
It is very possible that historically this culture was an offshoot at an earlier stage of the advanced and complex civilizations of Mexico and Central America. In these regions the Indians did build massive structures with (in part, at least) squared and carved stone; and though, so far as it has been possible to learn, there is no record or representation anywhere (as in Egypt and Mesopotamia) of the tools and technique of their masons and sculptors, it can nevertheless be safely deduced from the character of what remains of their work that they must have used methods of some very considerable refinement in planning and testing their work as it proceeded. At least the use of the line, the plumb and the straight-edge can be postulated, and probably some form of level and square also. There is nothing in their architecture, however, to show the use of any such instrument as the compasses. The lines of their buildings are all straight, and the curves in their carving are all obviously free hand.
To suppose that the cliff dwellers, none of whose work would require any more measuring than could be done with a marked stick or a piece of string, could have used in a symbolic, or mystical or magical sense, implements the use of which was unknown in their culture is really absurd. Symbols of any kind derive their significance from some analogy, which is always in the first place quite obvious. Symbols derived from artificial objects such as tools and implements derive their symbolic meaning from their practical use. If their practical use is unknown the root is cut, and they tend to die out, unless, as not infrequently has happened, they are gradually transformed and given a new description.
The only theory on which a knowledge of the square and compasses could be supposed among the cliff dwellers is on that of transmission and survival from some higher civilization. The object in question is presumably too old to have been due to European influence in modern times, and we should have to fall back on some earlier contact. For those who are able to believe (and there are such among us) that Freemasonry as we know it existed in ancient Egypt or fabled Atlantis, this would very probably seem plausible enough. Still, even granting some old world influence, either from Europe or Asia, or both (which is of course not at all impossible and perhaps even probable), there remains other objections based on the character of the pictorial and plastic representations of the Indians of North America. We find on examining a collection of these that artificial objects almost never enter into them. It is true that in picture writing tepees are found, and men holding spears, bows and arrows and the like. But these are never, or at least most rarely, represented by themselves, nor any other objects, implements or artifacts made by man. Indian art, like that of the cave men, was concerned almost exclusively with natural objects, and preeminently with beasts, birds and other animals.
It is true that certain motifs appear in decoration — the cross, spirals, circles, chevrons, and so on; but these do not represent artifacts, manufactured articles, and in many cases they are demonstrably conventional representations of animals. In so many cases indeed that it raises a suspicion that all might have had such an ultimate origin.
There is another consideration. It has been pointed out that Indian symbolism and representations tended to change as the tribes changed their location, and that in time became adapted to the nature of the environment. That is coast tribes represented in art forms, and took as totems, marine creatures. The forest tribes used the animals they knew, and not those, such as the bison for example, whose habitat was on the plains. Dr. G. H. Dauherty, Jr., has pointed out quite recently that among the Ojibways a sea shell figured as a very sacred object, never taken from its wrappings except on certain annual ceremonies, in the precincts of the medicine lodge. The same object was sacred among the Omahas also. Now the use of a marine shell in such a way by inland tribes has naturally been interpreted as indicating that in the past they migrated from near the seashore. But now comes the interesting feature. In later legends the shell was being replaced by the otter. The old symbol was a survival, it was no longer part of their environment, and it was replaced by an animal that was, the transition being made more easily as both symbols were connected with water. In the face of such evidence, even were it granted for argument's sake that in the unknown past such implements of a highly specialized occupation had been introduced from a higher level of civilization, it does not seem at all probable they would be preserved merely as symbols. The principle of survival accounts for the continued existence of many relics of bygone ages, but tenacious as tradition is in clinging to vestiges of the past, it holds only to those things which find a place in later conditions. In this case no such adaptation seems possible.
An examination of the illustration of the object which has given rise to these speculations will in itself lead to the same conclusion, when taken as a whole. It is as we have noted carved out of shell, whether marine or fresh water does not appear. In view of the Ojibway and Omaha tradition mentioned above, it is interesting that a great many ornaments have been found, of engraved or pierced shells. Too much stress must not, however, be put on this, for the material is a beautiful one in itself, and is used in civilized art as well as that of savages. What is more to the purpose is that these shell ornaments seem to form a class into which the object we are discussing should naturally be included. A great many of them are circular in outline and pierced for suspension. It must always be remembered that primitive ornaments are almost always amulets or charms as well as decorative, the objects represented by or on them being of a sacred character. Among the Indians, as we have said, such objects were generally, almost invariably in fact, birds or animals of one kind or another. As illustration several cuts of such objects are here reproduced. Figure 7, which is a shell engraving found in Tennessee, represents a human figure. To civilized eyes the resemblance is not clear, but the work in this case does not seem to have been finished. Other engravings have been found showing similar designs make it clear that this is what was intended. The figure is represented as kneeling, the arms curiously contorted, the hands spread out on each side, and some sort of mask apparently on the head. This particular specimen was selected because it was apparently the intention to finish the work by cutting out part of the background, or so the holes drilled apparently at random would seem to indicate. In Figure 3 this process has been very skillfully and effectively carried out. This is one of a series engraved with spiders. The spider, it will be remembered, plays a very important part in certain Indian creation myths. In some of these spider shells the representation is much more realistic than in this instance and shows very close observation and much the supposed Square and Compasses are the body and artistic ability.
In Figure 2 we have an elaborate combination of cross, star, rectangle and four woodpecker heads arranged in a swastika-like pattern.
Before coming to a consideration of the Arizona find, it may be as well to consider two other designs here reproduced, Figures 4 and 5. These also have a strong superficial resemblance to the Square and Compasses, especially Figure 5, which has been printed upside down to bring this out more clearly. These designs are taken from ancient vases of Cyprian ware, of which a great many specimens have been recovered. This design can be shown conclusively to be a conventional representation of a lotus blossom, a series of stages from a realistic outline of the flower to the geometrical pattern in Figure 5, can be made out, which leaves no possible doubt as to its origin. These have of course no direct connection with the subject of the discussion, but they do show that apparent resemblance is no guide to accurate interpretation.
Returning now to Figure 1, it is obvious on inspection that the crescent-shaped base is due not to intention but to accident, for both extremities show the marks of a broken surface. Taken in conjunction with the other shell ornaments we have a strong presumption that this object was originally circular or oval. The straight edge above the central drill hole looks also as if it had been broken, but only an examination of the object itself would verify this. But it is practically certain that the central part of the design touched the encircling band in several points. These objects were made to be worn, not to be preserved in museums, and are always made as strongly as the material permits. Pierced designs of civilized artists are practically always thus tied together.
The suggested reconstruction in Figure 6 is only intended to show how such a design might have been arranged. Such duplication is not typical of Indian art, and more probably some other feature filled up the space, possibly some kind of crest as is shown on the woodpecker heads in Figure 2 — for looked at without preconception, the intention of the maker seems to have been to represent conventionally some kind of bird. The head and the beak are clear enough — the two rectangular extensions are the wings, while the supposed Square and Compasses are the body and feet.
To our eyes the conventions of primitive artists are very strange — though we have our own — and the more so when we find them now and then showing realistic touches. But a design repeated tends to become conventional inevitably, and curves frequently become straight lines or angles, and proportions utterly distorted. The believers in the Masonic interpretation will probably not be convinced but we believe that at least two out of every three children, if asked what they thought this was intended to represent, would reply at once that it was a bird.
In Figure 2 we have exceedingly realistic representation of a the ivory-billed woodpecker. The salient features of the bird's appearance are drawn in with a sure hand and with an eye quick to distinguish characteristic points, but in other engravings of this series the representation is cruder and more conventional. In some the strong bill and the crested head and neck are still well marked, but in others all one could confidently say is that they are just birds' heads. They are, however, interpreted as woodpeckers because of their place in the series and on grounds connected with archeology and Indian legend and myth.
The same variation is to be seen in the "spider" ornaments, as we have already remarked. The specimens ranging from highly realistic treatment to bare conventional representation. The object that we are discussing is, unfortunately, so far without a parallel, but judging it by the experience gained from familiarity with the designs on the various series of shell engravings, where a sufficient number of examples have been found to make these out, we might guess that some bird with a marked and noticeable crest, as well as a strong beak, was intended. The crest having been broken off. In this case the crest may have been much exaggerated, to balance the insignificance of the wings and body.
Such grotesque representations of both animals and men are to be found in Indian art, from places as widely separate as Alaska and Peru. In such paintings and carving of natural objects we must seek for the interpretation of this Arizona relic, even if it does disappoint those who like to imagine an indefinite antiquity for Speculative Masonry.
* * *
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P.G.M., District of Columbia
WILLIAM JENKINS WORTH
AT the junction of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, in New York City, there is a modest memorial, a monument somewhat effaced by time and the dust of that great city, which marks the resting place of a soldier and a Mason, William Jenkins Worth. It is passed, daily, by the thousands who go through Madison Square. Bro. Worth was born in Hudson, N.Y., in 1794, and died in San Antonio in 1849. He entered the U.S. Army as a private in 1812 and was promoted to lieutenant a year later, and made aide to General Morgan Lewis, and, in 1814, was aide to General Scott. In the battle of Chippewa he distinguished himself and was brevetted captain, and, at Lundy's Lane, where he was badly wounded, he was promoted to be a major. In 1815 he was made instructor of cadets at West 'Point. He was Major of Ordnance in 1832 and Colonel of Infantry in 1838. Two years later he was sent to Florida and, in 1841, took the chief command against the Seminoles, bringing the war to a close in 1842, at which time he was brevetted brigadier general.
In the war with Mexico he distinguished himself in the battle of Monterey; in the capture of Vera Cruz; in the engagements of Cerro Gordo, Puebla, and Molino del Rey and in the storming of the City of Mexico. For these services he was brevetted major general and was presented with a sword by Congress, and also by the State of New York; his native county in the state, Columbia, and by the State of Louisiana. After the war he served in command of the Department of the Southwest, where he remained until his death.
The Grand Secretary in New York (R. W. Bro. Kenworthy) made an exhaustive search for his lodge membership, but was unable to find any record. Bro. Milligan, however, found, in the New York Masonic History, that on Nov. 25, 1857, "in the chill breath of autumn, within the heart-throbs of the great city of New York, and in the midst of a mighty throng, the Masonic Brethren, in white gloves and aprons, were seen paying the last tribute of patriotism and fraternal affection to the military achievements and skill of departed chivalrous brother,
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM J. WORTH.
"The Grand Master, John L. Lewis, Jr., took charge of the services in person. Fitting words were spoken, becoming fitting deeds; and as the night looked down upon the dissolving pageant many a heart breathed its fresh blessings upon the Mystic Band which enrolled in its ranks such a patriot and hero as William J. Worth."
The address, on this occasion, was delivered by brother the Honorable Fernando Wood, Mayor of New York City. From this scholarly work it may be interesting to quote the following details:
William Jenkins Worth was born, 1794, in Hudson, N.Y. When 18 years of age he entered the military family of Morgan Lewis as private secretary. This country was on the eve of another war with England. Young Worth accompanied General Lewis, in the spring of 1813, to the frontier of Canada, having received the commission of lieutenant in the U. S. Army. He was present and took part in the attack on Fort George with such distinguished bravery and ability that he was appointed aide de camp to his patron, the General. He won fresh honors at the battle of Chrystler's Field, on the St. Lawrence. Shortly thereafter Gen. Lewis was placed in Command at New York City, and he wrote to Young Worth to join him, but remarked in his letter "if laurels are your object you have a better chance of being gratified where you are than here." Notwithstanding the strong attachment entertained for the General, Worth remained in the field, and wrote: "The enemy being within striking distance, separated only by the Niagara which we cross on the morrow, and the battle field in view will, I trust, excuse my choice."
In 1814 he became an aide to General Winfield Scott and was with him in the battles of Chippewa, where he was brevetted a captain for his gallant conduct.
The fact that the Grand Lodge dedicated the Memorial is sufficient proof of Gen. Worth's membership in the Order, and it is supported by the presence and participation of the Mayor, Bro. Fernando Wood, who must have had positive proof of that membership or they never would have participated. The records of the many military lodges of that day were lost or destroyed, and it is more than likely Worth was a member of one of these.
Personally Gen. Worth was a modest, abstemious man, kindly in disposition, easily approached, and intensely loyal.
* * *
IOWA AND THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION
The Grand Lodge of Iowa, at its annual communication on June 15, at Council Bluffs, voted unanimously to withdraw from the Masonic Service Association of the United States, having previously, by a vote of 1,000 to 10, approved the action of the Grand Master in giving notice to the Masonic Service Association of the United States of intention to withdraw.
Iowa is the sixteenth state to withdraw from the Masonic Service Association, whose membership is now twenty-one states with approximately 20 per cent of the total Masonic membership of the United States within their jurisdiction. Iowa was the sponsor state for the organization of the Masonic Service Association, the meeting at which it was created having been held at the call of that jurisdiction.
Iowa, through its Grand Lodge, was also the sponsor of the National Masonic Research Society, organized for educational work among the Craft.
There is this difference, however, between the two organizations, in that the Masonic Service Association is supported by a per capita tax of 5¢ per member from each of the member jurisdictions, while the National Masonic Research Society is supported solely by the dues of its own membership, with its surplus earnings, whenever there are any, devoted to the extension of its educational activities.
* * *
BOARD OF EDITORS
R. J. Meekren, Editor-in-Chief
E. E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor
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
Arthur C. Parker, New York
J. Hugo Tatsch, Iowa
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
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THE STUDY CLUB
IT has been usual in the past to omit the Study Club articles during the summer months. Last year the series dealing with The Form of the Lodge ran on until August, as it seemed better to conclude them and begin a new series in the autumn. This latter, on the Precious Jewels, was concluded last month.
The whole question of this department has been under consideration for some time. It has been felt that it ought rather to contain matter relating to the work of such groups, with hints and suggestions to learners and organizers, rather than the providing of advanced material, as in recent years it has come to be.
This, however, has been a natural development; in the first years of THE BUILDER the Study Club Bulletin was of this more elementary character. But when this ground had been covered, it seemed useless to go on and repeat it, and so the character and contents of the articles gradually changed. Now, however, those earlier articles are twelve years old, and not very easily obtained. Repetition might be of advantage to our newer members.
But even so, the problem would once more rise, and it is not altogether easy to decide on what lines it could be best carried on so as to be most useful for the purpose in view. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions we should be very glad to receive them.
* * *
THE Editor of the Masonic Journal of South Africa viewing the United States and the British Isles from a vantage point of several thousands of miles from each, has recently compared the prevailing tendencies in these two important parts of the Masonic world in regard to the housing of lodges. As the subject seems of interest we are moved to add something to the discussion.
With much that he says we are in full agreement, especially where he deals with conditions that appear to exist in places in his own country. It does not seem quite appropriate that lodge rooms, or at least rooms where lodges regularly meet, should be also used promiscuously for all kinds of profane gatherings as well, balls, concerts and other like entertainments.
In contrast with this he praises the tendency everywhere in the United States for Masons to spend effort and money to build temples for the accommodation of their lodges, and likens it to the building of churches and cathedrals by our operative predecessors "to the Glory of God." With this he compares unfavorably the persistence in England of the habit of holding lodges in rooms in the modern equivalents of the oldtime taverns, the larger hotels and restaurants.
However, we think that he here somewhat misapprehends the situation. In most cases these "tavern" rooms are fitted up as lodge rooms in such a way that they could not well be used for any other purpose, nor are they so used in the majority of cases. So long as a lodge does not actually own its hall or meeting place, there does not seem any real difference in principle between paying rent to a hotel or restaurant proprietor and paying rent to a Masonic Temple Corporation or Board of Trustees; though there is undoubtedly the question of sentiment and the feeling of appropriateness to consider.
The ideal is of course for a lodge to possess its own meeting place, but such lodges, even in America are in the minority, while in the country and the smaller towns in England many halls are owned by the local lodge.
Masonry, while retaining essential features, inevitably takes on different characteristics in different countries, and in this particular matter we find one of these differences due to local habit, traditions and circumstances.
It is undoubtedly a marked feature of present-day American Masonry to erect huge and elaborate buildings devoted exclusively to Masonic purposes, and to spend on them enormous sums of money. The question may be asked why this should be so? Are American lodges richer than the English ones? They are certainly very much larger, and therefore presumably their incomes are greater. Nevertheless we believe that the average dues are higher in England than in the United States. What then do they do with the money? They perhaps spend more in entertainment, but this more often does not come from lodge funds as each member pays for his own dinner and that of his guests. What then is the answer? It would seem to be this — English Masons are pre-occupied with their charities, they are continually trying to outdo their past records in their contributions to these purposes, which are made both from lodge funds and individual collections. The collection plate is as regular a feature in English lodges as in most churches, and money so collected is never included in the ordinary lodge funds. Our English brethren pay a high price for their Masonry in order that they may extend the influence of their benevolence — and they do not seem to have enough left over to spend much in the way of bricks and mortar, or concrete and cut stone.
We are somewhat reminded of that ancient Christian legend of St. Thomas, who it is said was sold as a slave into India; and how a king in that country hearing he was a skilled craftsman set him to build a palace. The king provided money without stint which St. Thomas gave to the poor and needy, and when the day of reckoning came he told the king he had built him a palace in heaven. The king was furious and condemned him to death. But that night his brother died, and when they were going to bury him, he suddenly revived; and he asked the king to sell him the palace he owned in heaven, as he had been there and seen it, and it was the most wonderful that could be imagined. Whereat the king was converted, and all the great and wealthy brought money to St. Thomas for him to build them palaces that would never decay or be destroyed. Masonry is a Fraternity of Speculative Builders, it is well enough to build houses here and now for our own use, but better to build spiritual mansions that will never wax old.
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A CASE IN POINT
IN view of the unmistakable wave of opposition to the proposals of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association that hag developed in the past few months, the letter that appears on another page should be carefully considered. Bro. Behrens is one of the foremost physicians of St. Louis. The case so movingly described by him from his own experience is typical of many others, so also is his attitude typical of the great, we believe the overwhelming, majority of Masons whenever they individually come to realize the facts. Why then, and how, can any effort to relieve the sufferings of our distressed and dying brethren be opposed?
Quite frankly we have taken sides in this matter, as is probably sufficiently evident, but for this very reason we will welcome any criticism that anyone may have to offer. Indeed more, we earnestly desire those who oppose the suggested project for relieving the situation to set forth their reasons for doing so. We would devote all the space necessary in the columns of THE BUILDER for this purpose.
Criticism and opposition, so far as we can discover, is almost entirely from what may be called official circles. This may be a mistaken estimate of the situation, and if so we hope to be corrected. It seems to be based, again so far as we can discover, and again if we are wrong we will welcome correction, on two main objections. One that there is really no problem, that the whole thing is grossly exaggerated. Two, that Masonry can only function properly through Grand Lodges. In other words that each jurisdiction should make its own arrangements within its borders, and conversely that it has no responsibility outside of them.
We admit that in putting thus baldly what seems to us the essence of these objections it may seem an unfair presentation to those who hold them, which is one reason why we invite them to state their own case. But, supposing that this analysis is correct we must say that the first objection is simply a matter of fact. We believe that in the last year or so we have presented sufficient evidence to establish a strong prima facie case at least, and one that requires more than mere assertion to overturn. With regard to the second, why should this particularity only affect the tuberculosis problem? The Craft generally has been appealed to for aid to the sufferers from the recent floods. And the appeal has been nobly responded to. There has been no standing on precedents and constitutional machinery; Grand Masters in the states affected have appealed to the Craft in other jurisdictions; funds have been contributed not only for Masonic sufferers but for general relief, and they have been disbursed not only by Masonic but also by outside agencies. This is entirely as it should be. We have said nothing about this emergency in THE BUILDER because it was obviously unnecessary. Everyone in the country was fully and constantly apprised of the facts through every possible channel of communication, including the radio. Masons everywhere were appealed to both through the lodges and through the Red Cross and relief committees. There was nothing that we could do to further the matter.
But it gives rise to serious reflections. Can Masonry only function in the presence of the cataclysmic and spectacular disaster? We recall that exactly the same thing happened last year when Florida was devastated by a tornado. The continuing emergency, that affects those whom we are all under obligation to aid, is ignored. Why?
For one thing, it has not a good press. The Craft at large knows little or nothing about it. There is nothing spectacular about it. We will all go to immediate trouble, and perhaps incur personal risk, to assist a man trapped in a burning building. His need is obvious and pressing to the most obtuse and unimaginative. But a man slowly starving to death is another matter. If he appeals to us we very likely suspect him to be a professional beggar, and we have no time to investigate. It is all very natural, but should we be content with leaving things so?
We must remember the situation is one of long standing. Those in contact with the facts have been trying to get some action — some action beyond what their own efforts could accomplish — for years. When last year the Masons of New Mexico formed the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association it was in desperation. They had found that no existing organization could or would function in the matter, and they therefore created another for this purpose. This action, this organization has been criticised, which is legitimate. We can state positively that the Masons of the Southwest will be glad to wreck the Association if anything else will take its place and meet the need. Any criticism of detail, of machinery, will be welcomed, and all objections of this score will be met. The only thing these brethren are interested in is that the destitute tubercular Masons who are actually now in the Southwest should in some way be relieved and given all possible chance for their lives.
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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
Richard H. Hanna, Vice-President
Jaffa Miller, Vice-President
Francis E. Lester, Vice-President
Wilbur L. Elser, Executive Secretary
Alpheus A. Keen, Secretary
John W. Bowman, Treasurer
Robert J. Newton, Editor, Publicity Director N.M.T.S.A. Las Cruces, New Mexico.
HOW DOES MASONRY FUNCTION?
FREEMASONS who believe that Masonry has always taken care of its own. Freemasons who are willing to aid and assist their unfortunate brethren. Freemasons who agree that Masonry should provide for the relief and hospitalization of sick and suffering tuberculous brethren, consider these few cases in each of which Freemasonry has failed to do, what you and we believe to be its duty.
CANNOT HELP T.B. WIDOW OF T.B. MASON
Mrs. M. An inmate of a tuberculosis sanatorium in an eastern state wrote the Sanatoria Association, that she would be discharged from the hospital in July, but would not be cured and would need additional hospital care. She is a patient in a State hospital and patients are only allowed to stay a certain length of time during which period they are supposed to learn how to care for themselves and to protect others from infection. In a sense it is an educational institution and not curative and patients are given treatment for a certain period of months and are then dismissed without regard to their physical and financial condition.
The lady is a widow of a Master Mason who died of tuberculosis and who had belonged to a lodge in a neighboring state. She wrote to the Sanatoria Association asking for hospitalization in the Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium which is still non-existent but which she believed, or hoped, had been provided by American Freemasonry for the care of its T.B. brethren. Perhaps had it been in operation she might not be a widow and might not be suffering from tuberculosis, contracted from her tuberculous husband.
The Sanatoria Association wrote to the secretary of her deceased husband's lodge and AFTER two months received a reply, reading in part as follows:
I have had this matter up with Mr … president of the Masonic Relief organization of ……… Inc., who advises me that in as much as the lady is not a resident of the State of …… she is NOT QUALIFIED for assistance through the said organization.
We regret very much to advise that there is NOTHING we can do in her behalf.
If the lodge to which her husband belonged, or the Grand Lodge of that state, or its relief organization cannot, or will not, help her and disclaims responsibility solely because she is not now a resident of the state where her dead husband's lodge is located, who is responsible and who will help her?
What does this tuberculous widow of a Master Mason think of the Masonic Fraternity as she lies in her hospital bed, looking forward to the day when she will be dismissed and perhaps lose her chance for life?
"DO NOT ADVANCE ANY FUNDS TO OUR BROTHER"
Bro. W. is a member of a lodge in one of the great central states, which state has a large Masonic population and a wealthy Grand Lodge. He is now living in Phoenix, Arizona, to secure the benefit of the climate for his wife and daughter, both of whom are afflicted with tuberculosis. He has been assisted by the Sanatoria Association and by Arizona Lodge, of Phoenix.
The secretary of Arizona Lodge wired to the brother's lodge stating his situation; that because of irregular employment he was behind with house rent, doctor's bills, etc., and needed relief to the amount of $50. No attention was paid to the telegram and a letter was sent giving more details. A reply was received by the Arizona Lodge secretary reading as follows:
I am authorized by the W. M. to advise you NOT to advance ... any funds to the credit of this lodge.
The brother's lodge secretary gave no reason for such a decision, and did not disclaim responsibility, or claim that the brother was not in good standing. Neither did he plead lack of lodge funds.
What should Arizona Lodge do in this case where the need for help is real and urgent and the home lodge refuses aid with no explanation of its reasons for such refusal?
What should Southwestern Masonic Lodges do in the case of sick brethren when home lodges fail to reply to appeals for help for their own sick brethren, or present alibis for not giving such help, or refuse assistance?
DID THIS GRAND MASTER HELP FLOOD SUFFERERS?
Miss S. is a patient in a tuberculous sanatorium in a Southwestern city and the Sanatoria Association pays $18.75 weekly for hospital care. Her brother, who is also reported to be tuberculous, is a member of a Masonic Lodge in a great and wealthy northern state where the Masonic population exceeds two hundred thousand and the Grand Lodge has assets of more than a quarter million.
A report of Miss S's physical and financial condition was sent the Grand Master and to her brother's lodge. To date not one cent has come from the Grand or subordinate lodge to relieve her present distress. The Grand Master writes that he has no funds upon which he can draw for her relief.
Shall the Sanatoria Association continue to help pay hospital bills for treatment which is necessary if she is to have any chance of recovery, out of the funds contributed by the Freemasons of states other than the state responsible for her care?
Should the Sanatoria Association use some of the $1 per capita contributed by New Mexico Masons, for the care of this unfortunate sister of a Freemason who comes from a state where Freemasons are far greater in numbers and wealth than are the Masons of New Mexico?
ARIZONA MASONRY ON THE JOB
The following letter was written by the secretary of an Arizona Lodge to the Grand Master of a great Masonic state and needs no comment. This is but one of many similar cases that are met with in the experience of Southwestern Masons in their efforts to help tuberculous brethren from other states. If such help was not given by them sick brethren would die from lack of food, shelter and care while waiting for their brethren back home to answer the call for aid.
About a month ago you informed me that the Board had called a meeting for the first week in May and at that time would take up the matter of relief for Bro … To this date I have not had any word from anyone regarding this case.
I cannot understand the negligence and delay in arriving at some conclusion whereby the bills for this brother Mason can be met. The correspondence in the files regarding this case certainly show that this neglect has not been from this end, for I have been writing letters every few weeks for the last ten months either to his lodge or to the Grand Lodge endeavoring to procure financial relief for Bro ……
When I wrote and wired you about a month ago, I advised that his bills were then considerably over $400, and now that another month has passed it is still climbing up at the rate of $15 per week. Can you not rush action through so that this man's bills can be paid and that he can be taken home to his family if they are not going to give him support?
Mrs …, who runs the sanatorium, is very much in need of her money and has again requested me to see if something cannot be done. It certainly is taking a lot of my time and attention, all of which we will gladly give, but still we expect your lodge to appreciate the importance and necessity of furnishing whatever financial assistance is required in caring for your unfortunate brother.
A QUESTION OF CLIMATE
The two letters which follow, were written by the Grand Master of a Northern state. The first would appear to give his personal viewpoint of the proper handling of a tuberculous patient, that is to give her the benefit of climate, if possible. The second letter would seem to give his official viewpoint on the care of Masonic T.B. cases.
I have a young woman friend here who has tuberculosis and needs to get out of this climate.
Please advise me if your sanatorium is operating, and what the expense per week or month. If she can go there it would mean for her to stay through the winter at least.
I do not know how well her people are fixed financially, or much about the family, only her, but I do know that she should have her chance to stay in the world.
She is a member of the O.E.S. and has held some office in her Chapter.
Grand Master, you are right, she should have her chance in the world and if you had given the Sanatoria Association your support she and the tuberculous Freemasons of your state might now be getting their chance to recover health and strength. In the light of the above your second letter will explain to the sick why there is no Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium, because it is typical of the attitude of many leaders of the Craft, like yourself.
I do not feel that I can offer you any encouragement that the Masons of … will cooperate in the buying and maintaining of a Sanatorium for Tubercular Masons. However this matter will be submitted to our Grand Lodge and it is entirely in the hands of these brethren for decision.
I believe that we are in better shape with the facilities that we have at …… to take care of Tubercular brethren and their dependents than would be possible at a distance. While I am aware that one of the peculiarities of this disease are unrest and the desire to travel from one place to another and can see your viewpoint that you have many itinerants to look after, we would sincerely thank the brethren in the Southwest to report any case from …… and they will be properly taken care of.
Grand Master, we have had that promise from many states that all cases reported will be properly cared for, but sad experience has shown the Masons of the Southwest that it takes much time, work and the expenditure of money to induce the Grand Lodges and constituent lodges of other states to keep that promise.
There is no Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium in the Southwest, or elsewhere in the United States, because the leaders of the Fraternity lack the vision of united fraternal service, or because they fear that a union of the forty-nine Grand Jurisdictions in a national humanitarian work might lead to union for other Masonic activities, which union might, in time, deprive them of some authority and to some extent diminish their honor and glory.
If the rank and file of American Freemasonry ever wakes up to the need and the opportunity for service they will demand and secure action. As it appears now the only interested workers are those to whom tuberculosis is, or was at one time, a personal enemy, having invaded their homes, and those who, because of their being true Masons at heart, desire to practice the teachings of the Fraternity.
"Faith, without works, is dead."
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"WOODMEN HOSPITALIZE SICK MASON"
Brother No. 100. Grand Lodge of Texas. Brother, his mother, both tuberculous, and father palsied. All of family unable to do for themselves and in need of entire support. Home lodge constantly informed of condition and help given from time to time without any regularity and only after demands made by El Paso Relief Bureau. Senior Warden of home lodge, who was also county judge, visited patient and fully informed of facts, yet it required work on part of Bureau to get relief from home lodge. Patient finally sent to Woodmen Hospital at San Antonio, there being no Masonic hospital, and parents sent back home. Both mother and son died some few months later.
"NEW MEXICO HELPED — FLORIDA REFUNDED"
Brother No. 115. Grand Lodge of Florida. Brother health-seeker in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and was assisted by Aztec Lodge, No. 3, to the total amount of $532.70, which was refunded by his home lodge. Patient died in Las Cruces and body was shipped home at request of home lodge.
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The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.
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RECORDS OF THE LODGE ORIGINAL, No. 1. Now the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, of the Free and Accepted. Masons of England, acting by Immemorial Constitution. Vol. II. By Capt. C. W. Firebrace, P.M. Privately printed. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, appendices index 340 pages.
THE importance of the Lodge at the Goose and Gridiron in the history of Freemasonry since its revival and transformation into a purely Speculative Society is obvious to every Mason with even the most superficial acquaintance with the subject. Though a number of old lodges in Scotland have records going back a great deal further, yet it was in England, or rather in London, that the crucial step was taken. Undoubtedly preceded and prepared for by events of which no direct record remains, yet still a step which in a real sense involved all the later changes and developments. Four lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron Alehouse in St. Paul's Churchyard, apparently as what we should call a Convention, and proceeded to form themselves into a Grand Lodge. At least this is the impression given by Dr. Anderson's account of the affair, the only one we have. It is evident on reflection, however, that it was not a Grand Lodge in our present meaning of the term, and it was probably not till several years later that the organization then inaugurated — or revived — developed into a representative body such as we know. The point is that this "Assembly," to use Anderson's own term, was held at the place of meeting of the lodge that is now named Antiquity, number two on the roll of the United Grand Lodge of England. It might possibly be surmised from this that this lodge had some sort of preeminence. However, a preliminary meeting the year before had been held at the Apple Tree Tavern in Covent Garden, the third of the four lodges named by Anderson, and of this the first Grand or General Master chosen, Anthony Sayer, was a member, while those who followed him in the position, Payne and Desaguliers, were members of the lodge in Westminster. Gould points out that this last lodge, which met originally at the Rummer and Grapes, and later at the Horn Tavern, had a membership drawn from a much higher social level than the other three, and it has been supposed in consequence that it probably took the lead. This depends a good deal on our idea of what actually took place in the years between 1716 and 1723. If it was deliberate reconstruction then we might expect such men as were members of the Westminster Lodge to have had the initiative. If, however, it was really a revival followed by a rapid evolution this does not necessarily follow. The social status and occupations of the earlier Grand Wardens, for instance, would seem to show considerable deference to such operative elements as still existed in the other three lodges, and it is quite possible the original impetus came from them. The four lodges were distributed, as to their places of meeting, in a curve roughly parallel to the river, between the City and Westminster, the Rummer and Grapes being at one end and the Goose and Gridiron at the other. Convenience of location for a general assembly would naturally have led to the choice of one of the two intermediate lodges, as in the first meeting in 1716. Why then were the succeeding ones held in the City?
The tradition cherished by the Lodge of Antiquity is that it was formed during the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire, and that it was composed especially of the Masons at work on the Cathedral. Anderson seems to give support to this, but on the other hand the tradition itself may be based on Anderson's account. There is no direct evidence to enable us to determine. Or again, the proximity of the lodge to the Cathedral may have helped to give rise to this belief, a belief not at all improbable in itself. In some notes on the old Tavern in Vol. VII of A.Q.C. there is a reference made to a description of the "attractions" of the house in a book, by one Ned Ward, published in 1713, "celebrated" apparently in verse, and from which the following couplet is quoted:
Dutch Carvers from St. Paul's adjacent dome
Hither to wet their whistles daily come.
It is very likely that the Masons came also, and if they had a lodge that it was kept in this convenient hostelry. Be this as it may the lodge believes that it was so and that Sir Christopher Wren was Master at least.
With this belief we can sympathize even if it have no better foundation than a tradition of uncertain origin, and certain inferences with which its possibility may be supported; but in other ways Masonic scholars may feel some reserve. The lodge is very exclusive, and has always considered (it must be admitted quite in the best tradition of the eighteenth century) that its own affairs were strictly private, including its ancient records. It was only in 1911 that a project to publish these came to fruition in the publication of the first volume of the present work by the late Bro. W. Harry Rylands. Bro. Rylands was also a member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and his name is well known to all Masonic students. The first volume was issued in a very limited edition, and distributed only to members of Antiquity Lodge with the exception of a few libraries. The only review it received was in A.Q.C. This first volume covered the period down to the momentous split in the lodge in the time of William Preston, and is to the student probably the most interesting part of its history.
Since the war the project of completing the work was revived and placed in the hands of Capt. C. W. Firebrace, who like Rylands, is a Past Master of the lodge. But the second volume though still a limited edition, is available to brethren other than members of the lodge, and it is hoped to obtain sufficient funds through its sale to reprint the first volume and thus make it more accessible. This plan will meet with the approval and sympathy of every Mason at all interested in the history of the Craft.
Bro. Firebrace takes up the tale where Rylands left off, with a brief recapitulation of the circumstances that led up to the painful dispute that resulted in fifteen members following the lead of Preston and asserting their independence, while ten claimed to be the real lodge and remained in obedience to Grand Lodge. There had been forty-one members, and of the remainder some "wobbled" and others withdrew altogether.
The cause of the quarrel was largely personal, due to jealousies and differences between Preston, the author of the famous Illustrations of Masonry, and two other brothers, Northouck, known especially to Masonic students as editor of the fifth edition of the Book of Constitutions, and one Bottomley who was Master of the lodge when Preston joined it and under whose rule it had got into a very low state. These two were, however, warmly supported by James Heseltine then Grand Secretary. The story has been told frequently enough, based chiefly on the accounts of the participators in the quarrel, which are naturally ex parte, and the records of Grand Lodge. Both Gould and Mackey are severe on Preston's party, which they call schismatic, but one cannot help feeling that they are judging events by law and precedents that the quarrel itself (and other like incidents) has helped to make. Aside from the personal enmities that provided the motive power, the real question at issue was the status of an unconstituted lodge that was itself one of the founders of the Grand Lodge. There is a good deal to be said for Preston's contentions. Mother Kilwinning did much the same thing in Scotland, with rather more success; probably because at unity with itself.
The story is told in the present volume from the inside, from the minute books of the two rival lodges into which the original lodge was split. The one standing for independence of any higher authority, the other admitting the sovereignty of the Grand Lodge in terms almost abject. The impression given by most accounts is that eventually Preston and his Lodge of Antiquity made a complete surrender. A reading of the documents now published makes it clear that while the Grand Lodge pretended to take the statements as submission and repentance, that in doing so they had to ignore reservations that at an earlier stage in the dispute would not have been accepted, or so one would judge. In fact it was a compromise, and the two lodges were reunited with almost as much care to save the face of both sides, as later was employed in the Union of the Modern and Ancient Grand Lodges. In fact the means adopted may well have formed a precedent and model for the more important reconciliation.
This episode takes nearly a third of the book, and is perhaps the most important part of it, or at least the most interesting for the general reader; there are, however, many other things of importance if space permitted to touch upon them. There is some account of the Chapter of Harodim, which seems to have been a kind of side degree, that required as a preliminary the opening of a lodge. On page 123 "a very beautiful Masonic Device ... representing a lodge properly displayed" is mentioned. It was made of mosaic work in marble and was a gift to the lodge. The donor, Bro. George Brown, gave an explanation of it, which "has been recently provided" as a result of research in old minute books and MS. lectures. This is a little obscure, but it seems to mean that this explanation has been pieced together from various sources. It could be wished that this design had been reproduced as one of the illustrations with which the work is embellished, though the late date, 1798, makes it perhaps not of very great importance for the study of the history of the ritual.
There seems no doubt that Preston had a very great influence on the ritual used in the lodge during the years of his connection with it, and further that this ritual was quite different in many respects from that of the other lodges under the "Modern" Grand Lodge. From what Bro. Firebrace says it would appear that this old ritual has now been all recovered, a task on which the late Bro. Wonnacott was working a few years ago. Bro. Firebrace is also inclined to take the difference between the Antiquity or Preston ritual and that arranged by the Lodge of Promulgation after the Union (which is presumably more or less the basis of that now taught by the Stability and Emulation lodges of instruction) as confirming the very generally held opinion that the present English ritual is based on that of the Ancients. This does not follow, for the Preston arrangement was sui generis. We know quite well what the modern ritual was like from several sources, and the present day English workings follow it very closely, while the ritual of the Ancients was quite different both in arrangement and phraseology. The compromise between the two systems seems to have really been that the arrangement and formulas used were "Modern" or based on the "Modern," while the "secrets" were those that the "Ancients" contended for, except that in the third degree they were combined with those of the Moderns.
Some account of the Preston letters is also given, though curiously nothing is offered in explanation of its disuse for so many years. There were for years, both in this country as well as in England, inquiries published in Masonic periodicals, as to its disuse, and what had become of the fund. Which were all met by Grand Lodge officials with masterly and overwhelming silence. One is rather curious to know what was at the bottom of it. Preston undoubtedly wished to perpetuate a knowledge of his ritual as he had arranged it. Was the lectureship suppressed so that it should not be perpetuated? Bro. Firebrace, very appropriately as a Past Master of Preston's lodge, was the first lecturer appointed on its recent revival, and we learn from this account that he did give Preston's lecture in the first degree. But the more recent lecturers have launched out into the broader fields of general Masonic scholarship.
The book is beautifully printed and handsomely bound, the proof reading has been most carefully done, and though the price is high, it is in every way worth it, and could not have been produced for less under present conditions. Every Masonic library should have a copy, and all lodges contemplating establishing a library should purchase it. For it is like the sibylline books, if not purchased now the opportunity will pass forever.
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FIRST STEPS IN FREEMASONRY. Compiled by the Toronto Society for Masonic Research, for the Good of the Order. Privately printed. Paper, table of contents, 53 pages. Price, 25 cents. Special prices for quantities.
THIS is the third edition of a very useful little booklet intended for the use of the newly made Mason. It does not attempt to be so systematic and comprehensive as some works intended for the same purpose, and thereby gains on the whole, for anything like completeness is of course impossible on such a small scale. The sketch of the history of Freemasonry in Canada is excellent, and wherever we have been able to test it, very accurate. One might perhaps object to the scheme of Masonic organization presented on the second page. Surely "Districts" form no essential part of the Grand Lodge system of government. The lodges and the Grand Lodge are the fundamental elements. This is perhaps rather trifling, yet it might well give the uninstructed a false lead. It sounds rather as if the Districts formed the Grand Lodge, instead of being merely conveniences for administration through Deputies of the Grand Master.
The account of the Craft in the British Isles also seems open to criticism in some respects.
The account of the rise of the "Ancients," for example, is open to several objections. Dermott did not lead the disaffected brethren (whether they were Irish or English) in forming their Grand Lodge, for it was organized before he left Ireland. Neither did he dub their opponents "Moderns," for they seem to have been the first to use the term to describe themselves. He did see the controversial value it had and was quick to use it, but he did not invent it.
The remark that the Old Lodge at York, in its capacity as a Grand Lodge, did not recognize the "Ancients" is also a little misleading — it recognized the "Moderns" no more, and in its last spasm of life authorized Preston's lodge, now Antiquity No. 2, to act as a Grand Lodge for the south of England. The term "York Rite" is truly a misleading one, but there was no attempt at deception in its origin. The "Ancients" claimed to work pure Ancient York Masonry, not meaning thereby what was being worked by the Old Lodge at York in 1750, but the Masonry of the time of Prince Edwin and the legendary Assembly at that city in the misty past. It was an uncritical claim of course, but made in full good faith.
The criticism of these few references has taken an undue amount of space. The rest of the account is excellent and should stimulate the intelligent reader to wish to learn more.
The chapters on Masonic teaching are also excellent and should be very useful. With the last, however, one feels rather inclined to quarrel. Purporting to explain why Freemasonry became popular it gives a rapid and unsympathetic sketch of English history. Had this been written by an American writer with the republican viewpoint, it would have been more understandable. But everything seems to be put in the worst possible light. The feudal barons were much more than a lot of parasites. The pure parasitic type did not last long. They did a great deal more than make love, hunt and fight, though they did all three. Through the feudal period, properly so-called, the common people, even the serfs, were not entirely without a voice in the management of the affairs that interested them — that is, of their own community, for the minor courts and folk motes were real living institutions, and in not a few cases still survive, though now shorn of all their original functions.
It is very difficult in such an abbreviated account to avoid misleading statements. The author of this seems to have very strong prepossessions, and to have selected his material accordingly. As however histories of England are readily accessible in all public libraries this is perhaps of no great moment. The purpose of the sketch is to show in very black colors the deplorable results of tyranny and religious intolerance, and to contrast with it the ideals of Masonry, freedom, equality and fraternity. There is no doubt much truth in this presentation, though it does not seem that it was altogether necessary to go back much further than the Stuart period to bring out the contrast. One point that might have been made in this connection is the practical value that affiliation to a widespread fraternity might have had to prominent men in such troubled times as those of the Great Rebellion and thereafter, and perhaps also earlier in Tudor times, too. The same risk that led to the construction of secret hiding places, and bolt holes and passages, of which almost every old house in England has one or more, might well have also led men to join the fraternity of Freemasons. If at any time obliged to fly for their lives it gave a possibility of finding assistance in places where otherwise it could not have been found.
However in spite of the things which it has seemed necessary to question, the little work is a very creditable performance, and we congratulate the Toronto Research Society on its production, and hope that they may be encouraged to persevere in the good work.
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THE LOST KEY, AND EXPLANATION AND APPLICATION OF THE MASONIC SYMBOLS. By Prentiss Tucker. Published by Harry M. Welliver, Seattle, Wash. Table of Questions, index, 191 pages. Price, $2.50.
THIS is really a very remarkable book and so far as the present reviewer is aware, and his acquaintance with this department of Masonic literature is fairly extensive, no one has ever before attempted anything at all like it. There have been books in plenty on Masonic symbolism, and on the symbols of Masonry, and from many points of view. It is perhaps not very easy to characterize the difference, but possibly it might be put in some such way as this: other expositions are of the nature of dictionaries, this is a grammar. Other writers taught the alphabet, Bro. Tucker has undertaken the ambitious task of teaching us to read.
Perhaps the majority of writers on the subject have had some leaning toward the occult. There is also generally an attempt to find the derivation of the symbols, to compare them with those found elsewhere, leaving the uninstructed reader too often with a confused impression of varied and often times not at all consistent interpretations. There are three or four books available to the American Craft which are excellent, and which would be a useful complement to the present work. But none of them has attempted explanation on the same scale of comprehensiveness and detail.
The newly made Mason is confronted with a lot of strange ritual observances, and has presented to his notice a number of objects to which emblematic and moral interpretations are attached. All ritual observance is in one respect like poetry, it can easily be parodied, and the highest emotion turned to derision. It depends entirely on the atmosphere, the preparation, the state of mind. What many a candidate has taken at the first to be intended for some kind of practical joke, he has found later to be quite otherwise on account of the solemnity of the procedure and the gravity of those assisting. In this atmosphere he has been greatly impressed, partly by the admonitions, explanations and exhortations addressed to him, but also to a very great extent by the demeanor of those present. On reflection he finds it hard to give just credit to the contributing causes and strike a true balance between them. The teachings that is the formal explanations — of Freemasonry are good, but they are not new. Also they are obvious. In fact the brother who goes on thinking about it comes to the conclusion that these explanations are purposely obvious, and perhaps rather trite, when critically analysed apart from the influence and glamor of the "work." The conclusion follows quite naturally, and has been expressed scores of times, that the explanations conceal more than they reveal, or that they merely indicate what each must seek for himself.
But though many have said this and doubtless thousands more have thought it, at this point the ways diverge. Most interpreters following a most natural impulse seek to make out that their explanation is the one intended by the original devisers and founders of Masonry — who seem usually to be taken as some group of men who deliberately put together in cold blood a set of ceremonies and symbols to teach a secret philosophy. This idea of the founders of Masonry is of course pure myth. The founders of Masonry were Masons much like ourselves, good men and not so good, intelligent men, and less intelligent, who had received a tradition, who used it awhile and passed it on a little changed. Here and there in the last two hundred years a noted ritualist has had rather more influence than the average, but not at all to the extent that is popularly supposed. The ritual and the symbols have grown in a living organism, and they must be interpreted as living and growing and not as dead and artificial.
Reflection, then, upon our symbols has brought many a Mason to dimly see a close inter-connection in the parts of the system, as complex and vital as the parts of a living organism. Its very complexity has probably discouraged investigation along these lines. Possibly too it has been more often seen or felt by brethren less favored with educational and social advantages, who, in the place of research and analysis, have followed the older road to truth, contemplation and meditation.
Bro. Tucker brings out one point very forcibly in his introductory chapter, and that is the mnemonic function of a symbol. The cross to a Christian reminds him not only of the death of Jesus Christ, but of all that goes with it and follows from it, so that whenever he sees a cross, this or some part of it is recalled, he is reminded of things he believes vital, it repeats them to him by way of stimulating trains of association. And so it is with all symbols, including those employed by Masons.
Another point that does not seem to have been so fully made out is their suggestiveness. Symbols, at least those that are not merely arbitrary, are patient of many interpretations, and therefore mean always what they mean to us; that is, our own thought and reflection is the chief element in their significance, outside of the broad outlines laid down by their nature and the official explanations.
Thus the history of symbols is quite another thing from their interpretation. Closely connected of course, but symbols change their meaning as organs in a living animal may change to some extent their function. It is on the historical side that the present work seems weakest. But as an honest, sincere and most illuminating attempt to bring out a real meaning in every detail of the American ritual, a meaning connected with and having its part in a complete system it deserves the highest praise, and the book should be not only read but re-read and thought about by every Mason who desires more light on this elusive subject than he has yet been able to obtain.
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TALL TIMBERS: GIANTS IN CONTRAST. By Chesla C. Sherlock. Published by The Stratford Company, Boston, Mass. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 330 pages. Price, postpaid $3.15.
IN such a work as Tall Timbers it might be expected that one of the chief fascinations of biography, namely, living in the period of the person whose life is portrayed, would be lost. Fortunately there is nothing of the sort in the present case. It would seem almost impossible to carry one back to the turbulent period of the American Revolution in a series of short biographical or rather character sketches, but in some miraculous manner the reader is transported and feels himself breathing the atmosphere of a century and a half ago. This in itself is an accomplishment of which Mr. Sherlock can well be proud.
It is, however, only one of the delightful features of the book. Another is the human character of his tales. It is only in recent years that Americans have begun to realize that the great men of a past age may have been national heroes and giants without being saints or angels. Mr. Sherlock has fallen in with the trend of modern thought in this respect, and the idealized and idolized Washington and Lincoln become real men who except for their attainments might well have been neighbors of any modern American. Americans generally delight in reading stories of the outstanding characters of Revolutionary times, and it may be safely said that they will get as much, if not more, enjoyment from the human documents contained in this work than from such works as they may have read hitherto. There is a distinct difference. At the moment, the thought of Phillips Russell's Benjamin Franklin intrudes itself and for no other reason than that this, too, was one of those human documents which has done much to destroy the hero cult in American history.
When one first peruses the list of characters Mr. Sherlock has selected he wonders at the choice. Naturally Washington, Franklin and Lincoln would appear. Jefferson, Jackson, and Hamilton might well be included, but there is just a little surprise at finding George Mason and James Madison among those present. On second thought and actual reading of the work surprise gives way to complete concurrence with the plan and I dare say no one would doubt the wisdom of the choice.
The man from Gunston Hall, of whom probably the great majority of Americans have never heard, towers head and shoulders above many whose names are on the tip of every American tongue. George Mason was a giant, but he knew little about advertising and as a result of this lack is, perhaps, not so well known as others who accomplished less. 'Twas ever thus; those who do most say the least as a general rule. At any rate Mason loved his home and because of this domestic affinity preferred private to public life. He was the man who said "Liberty cannot flourish where there is no security" and he entered the Constitutional Congress, doubtless with the idea that he was doing his duty because he was helping to make this government secure. His nature is perhaps best expressed by this excerpt from a letter to his son written not more than ten days after his arrival in Philadelphia:
I begin to grow heartily tired of the etiquette and nonsense so fashionable in this city. It would take me some months to make myself master of them, and that it should require months to learn what is not worth remembering as many minutes, is to me so discouraging a circumstance as determines me to give myself no manner of trouble about them.
That he had an overpowering sense of civic responsibility we know for it was in another letter to the younger George that he said:
The eyes of the United States are turned upon this assembly, and their expectations raised to a very anxious degree.
May God grant, we may be able to gratify them, by establishing a wise and just government. For my own part I would not, upon pecuniary motives, serve in this convention for a thousand pounds a day. The revolt from Great Britain and the foundation of our new government at that time, were nothing compared to the great business before us now; there was then a certain degree of enthusiasm, which inspired and supported the mind; but to view, through the calm, sedate medium of reason the influence which the establishment now proposed may have upon the happiness or misery of millions yet unborn, is an object of such magnitude, as absorbs, and in a manner suspends the operation of the human understanding.
Surely a man with such lofty conceptions of public service deserves to be classed with the "tall timbers." The philosophical view he takes of these duties, and the problems confronting the infant nation naturally lead to the contrasting of George Mason with Benjamin Franklin. Their personalities were totally different though their thoughts on matters of government often ran in the same channels. It would be most difficult, for example to imagine Franklin yearning for the companionship of his wife. He spent some twenty years abroad, away from home and family, but that seemed to affect him not in the least. Mason felt deeply the loss of his wife and mourned her until his death.
After these practical philosophers comes a pair of soldiers, Jackson and Washington. The principal contrast here lies in a variation of method and a conquering of impetuosity. Washington was doubtless as impulsive as Jackson, but felt this was a fault and tried to overcome it. Jackson never made the attempt to do so. Madison and Hamilton form an interesting contrast in statesmanship. and the book closes with the leaders of the people, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
The book is entertainingly written and is the work of a student who has the happy faculty of tempering scholarship with readability in his writings. There are some minor faults, one has, for instance, a fleeting feeling that on occasion the author has allowed his own emotions to run away with him. This feeling is, however, overbalanced by the interest of the subject. and the facility of expression with which Mr. Sherlock is endowed.
Of especial interest to members of the Craft is the fact that four of the eight "Tall Timbers" were Masons. Two more, Madison and Jefferson may have been, there are some indications that they were, but these have not been supported by confirmatory evidence. One certainly was not, though in thought and principle be might well have been. Abraham Lincoln is said to have expressed regret that he had never joined the Craft. Of George Mason there is nothing to say. He was a close friend of Washington which might indicate something or nothing. So far as records are concerned we have been able to find nothing to support or deny his connections with the Fraternity. Interesting, indeed, is the fact that one only of these "giants" was certainly not a Mason, and that half of them certainly were.
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AN EXPERIMENT WITH TIME. By J. W. Dunne. Published by Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, diagrams, 208 pages. Price, $2.65.
THIS is truly a startling work, breath taking one might almost say. We are quite used to occultists and spiritualists, and psychic researchers no longer give us the thrill that a past generation felt when an attempt was seriously made to dispassionately consider the claims for super-normal recurrences, but to have someone come along to tell us what in effect and result amounts to the same kind of thing, in the language of the new geometries of multiple-dimensioned space, yea, and relativity also, is something to make the most blasé reader "sit up and take notice." It set the reviewer at least to recording his own dreams once more (as he did years ago when Freud first broached his doctrine of dream interpretation) but also, so far with quite negative results.
The author begins by telling us how he became aware that he was occasionally dreaming of things that later on actually happened, sometimes in a day or two, once many years afterwards. How not being "psychic," and distrusting occultist explanations as a good physicist should, he was much perturbed by all this. How he got other people to try recording their dreams and noting if anything dreamed of happened shortly after, which led to the discovery that his volunteer observers were even more frequently than himself living in their sleep through some part of their future waking life. A further set of experiments showed that under the right conditions the future was in part foreseeable, in stray glimpses as it were, even when awake. All which phenomena would usually be taken as supporting the old beliefs in clairvoyance, second sight, scrying, and so on. But these theories did not at all commend themselves to the author, with his scientific training — training in the exact sciences, physics, mathematics, mechanics — and so he sought some other explanation.
Probably everyone who reads anything more than the daily newspapers is aware of the new theories of space propounded in comparatively recent years, which are said to transcend our common every day notions. Einstein is well known by name, even to newspaper readers, the fourth dimension has become almost a household phrase, even if few have any idea of what it may be. It may be thought that a book that deals with such matters is not for the ordinary reader. Nevertheless the author is not only a mathematician, he is also something of a humorist, and after explaining a thing in simple and concise mathematical language (simple to another mathematician, that is) he descends quite freely to common inexact English and tells it all over again at length with homely illustrations and metaphors so that the non-mathematical but moderately intelligent reader can get the draft of the argument.
However the author is not the first to employ the conception of a fourth dimension for this purpose. Prof. Zollner, who held the chair of Astro-Physics in the University of Leipsig in the middle of last century, also employed a somewhat similar explanation of the "spiritualistic" phenomena then much exercising the Occidental world. He incurred, by the way, much unjust obloquy for accepting such phenomena as real, and not as pure imposture. He was one of the first to use the illustration of a supposed "flat earth" inhabited by intelligent creatures of two dimensions only, to show how we, existing in three dimensional space, would cause disturbing and miraculous phenomena in such a world, quite normally and simply, and then by analogy showing that if there were a four dimensional world, inhabited by appropriately endowed beings, they could without special effort produce all the marvels of the spiritualistic seance — such as reading sealed letters, entering closed rooms, cabinets and so on, or, which was one of his crucial experiments, tie knots in an endless cord or string without breaking it anywhere.
Zollner's discussion ignored time — he supposed the fourth dimension to be spatial. Since Einstein, the world at large has come to see in time this fourth dimension. According to this way of conceiving the world we can never return to the same thing or the same place, for everything has moved along in time. The paper on which this is being written is not the same paper, strictly speaking, as that on which the review was begun, it and the reviewer, and everything and everybody else are all so much older, and age changes everything, and a thing that is changed is not exactly the same thing that it was before.
It will be as well here to quote the passage in full where the crucial conception is broached of a series of dimensions, not spatial but temporal. The author begins with the common everyday ideas about time:
… the man-in-the-street is, all said and done, Homo sapiens and the original discoverer of Time. It was from him, and from him alone, that science obtained that view of existence...
His idea was that temporal happenings involved motion in a fourth dimension.
Of course he did not call it a fourth dimension‑bis vocabulary hardly admitted of that‑but he was entirely convinced:
- That Time had length, divisible into "past" and "future."
- That this length was not extended in any Space that he knew of. It stretched neither north-and-south, nor east-and-west, nor up-and-down, but in a direction different to any of those three-that is to say, in a fourth direction.
- That neither the past nor the future were observable. All observable phenomena lay in a field situated at a unique "instant" in the Time length — an instant dividing the past from the future — which instant he called "the present."
- That this "present" field of observation moved in some queer fashion along the Time length; so that events which were at first in the future became present and then past. The past was thus constantly growing. This motion he called the "passage" of Time.
He then says that part of what had been postulated in the paragraphs just quoted referred to another Time, and not the one supposedly alone under consideration. This is the important conception on which the rest of the book is based. We quote again:
The employment of these references to a sort of Time behind Time is the legitimate consequence of having started with the hypothesis of a movement through Time's length. For motion in Time must be timeable. If the moving element is everywhere along the Time length at once, it is not moving. But the Time which times that movement is another Time. And the "passage" of that Time must be timeable by a third Time. And so on ad infinitum. It is pretty certain that it was because he a vague glimpse of this endless array of Times, one, so to say embracing the other, that our discoverer abandoned fur analysis.
When we can move in two directions, as backwards and forwards and right and left, we have no longer a simple length but a surface, any point in which can be reached. Two time dimensions establish a sort of time plane, on which we would be no longer confined to the inexorable movement in one direction only. Past and present can be visited as it were while the normal faculties are engaged in the present. Stated thus baldly it sounds utterly fantastic, but developed step by step it sets one wondering.
But the author does not stop even here, he goes on to show how the conception — a purely mathematical one in a sense — would support the reality of the soul, of its immortality, of free will, of the reason for sleep and death, and of God as the super observer "at infinity," super conscious and absolutely free. These results are only hinted at, but they show the importance of the theory if it be accepted.
In several places the author makes it fairly plain that he does not fancy the "occult" — even so much of it as is taken as subject matter by Psychical Research. He says in one place, for example, dealing with the problem of dreams, that clairvoyance is no explanation. Which is true, but neither is the term "sight" an explanation of the function of the visual organs, or hearing of those of audition. No name is in itself an explanation. But the terms such as clairvoyance, telepathy and so on are only names for classes of phenomena not perhaps wholly abnormal, but at least uncertain and unusual. In this new theory we have an endless succession of time dimensions — and that one which is "at infinity," or the whole class of them perhaps, seems to correspond with the older concept of eternity. It may be that the complexity is due to the mode of expression, as for example in simple arithmetic one-third is a simple clear cut fraction, but when we try to express it in decimal notation we have an endless regress of threes — three recurring to infinity — never really attaining one-third exactly but approaching it indefinitely. Perhaps after all God, and the soul and eternity are the simpler and more satisfying names for the realities lying behind the world of our everyday lives.
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THE LODGE IN FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE. By, P. W. George. Published by the John Day Co., New York. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 256 pages. Price, $2.15.
TO the lay brother the work of a Worshipful Master does not seem to be particularly important. He has to preside over the lodge and supervise its activities, and, in large cities, a certain amount of fraternal visiting falls to his lot. These duties of the office seem, at times, to be particularly onerous and one often wonders whether the W.M. does not grow weary of the continual rounds of formal duty which come before him. Doubtless he does become bored at the queries brought to him from time to time by those whose actions must receive his authority, but there are other times when routine gives way to problems of a different nature. It is these problems which make up the chief source of worry in a Master's life, and they are the root from which sprouts the tree of satisfaction when the term of office is over. The rank and file generally has no conception of this side of a Master's existence, and if it did have it would doubtless lead to a more consuming ambition upon the part of Masons generally to occupy Solomon's chair.
Bro. P. W. George has given us a delightful picture of some of the problems which arise, and purely fictitious as they are, give one the opportunity to learn that Brotherly Love and Relief do not necessarily mean Charity in the usually accepted sense of the term. I mean by this that Charity has more than one way in which to make itself manifest. When we speak in common parlance of Charity we mean donations of money to those less fortunate than ourselves. This is not Masonic Charity except where money is the only way to solve a given problem. Pride often stands in the way of a request for assistance, because the supplicant. feels that he does not want to accept money and thus become a subject of Charity. Better to let the unfortunate one think he is making his own way and be a help to him without letting him know how he is being assisted than to destroy his independence, his self-respect, and his character generally by making him a charity patient in the usual sense. The Master of The Lodge in Friendship Village has a way of doing just this and many Masters of lodges could learn something from this country gentleman if only they would.
Just a word as to the book itself. Bro. George's style is very readable and most entertaining. There is no real fault to find in any of the stories unless it be that occasionally it seems as though the Masonic element was being dragged into the plot by its cars. This is the most difficult of all faults to avoid, and one that is perhaps most easily pardoned. There is an object lesson in every story and it is the kind of a lesson we delight to learn.
E. E. T.
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F.O.R. By K. P. Went. Published by Wm. Reeves, London. Cloth, illustrated, 117 pages.
THE initial letters stand for the words, Freemason's Own Ritual, but what kind of Freemason it is intended for is not clear. There is a considerable class of works, usually wretchedly printed on the poorest paper, purporting to reveal all the secrets of Masonry to all and sundry who have the (usually inflated) price. In spite of its title and its comparatively attractive binding and get up, it seems that the present work must be put in this class.
There are some brethren who make collections of this kind of Masonic curiosa and to them it will be of interest. They will not need to be told that it is absolutely without authority and strictly speaking spurious.
It is of course well known to all instructed Masons, that certain parts of our ceremonies, or rather of the verbal forms employed in them, are not secret. The parts, that is, that in the United States are very generally called "monitorial," and that are to be found in the various standard monitors which are freely published and sold; many indeed being authorized by different Grand Lodges. Since the days of Preston and Webb such publications have been made use of by Masons, and are also accessible to non-Masons. There are, however, rather curious differences in such works. Passages that are relegated to the obscurity of asterisks and initial letters in some of them are in others found in extenso in plain print. But it is safe to say that nothing to be found in Preston's Illustrations or Webb's Monitor or the various Books of Constitutions, or anything of like nature can by any stretch of imagination be regarded as part of the secrets of Masonry.
The work under consideration gives all of such verbal forms with reasonable accuracy, so far as we can judge, as usually employed in England. Coupled with these passages is matter of the strictly expose type which may afford entertainment for Masons possessing a certain sense of humor. We cannot recommend it to anyone else.
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CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP LODGE, No. 84, A. F. & A. M., Hagerstown, Maryland. By J. Lloyd Harshman. Privately printed. Cloth, table of contents, appendix, 90 pages.
A VERY creditable little work. The chief deficiency noted is the lack of an index, which is to some extent made up for by a useful table of contents.
Lodge histories are naturally intended primarily for the members of the lodge, and for them and their use of such a work, an index may not seem an adjunct worth the time and trouble of making. But such lodge histories in bulk, on the shelves of Grand Lodge libraries (when the latter are properly organized) become material for further and later researches, and then the unindexed book becomes at the least a constant source of irritation to the seeker for information, and at the worst may lead to important facts being overlooked. The staff of the N.M.R.S. is always available to give any advice and assistance in this way to those who have such work in hand.
Friendship Lodge, at Hagerstown, is not yet ancient, but it is old, having passed the century mark, if its identity with the lodge existing before the anti-Masonic excitement be allowed. This question of identity in lodges is rather difficult to decide. A lodge may change its name, may work under different jurisdictions, may change its place of meeting, may even become dormant, and yet with reason be considered the same lodge. One lodge is known to the reviewer that has passed through all these phases, and even changed its nationality to boot, yet it is allowed to be the same lodge.
Friendship Lodge was an offshoot, or daughter of the lodge originally meeting at what is now Hagerstown. Some of the members found a distance of six miles a serious handicap to attending meetings. Doubtless in those days it was as great a handicap as fifty miles would be in these days of cars and concrete roads. To its credit the daughter lodge managed to survive the fanatical opposition of anti-Masonry where its mother succumbed. Under the circumstances it might almost be credited with the seniority of the original lodge at Hagerstown, though as some of the petitioners were members of another lodge at Boonsboro, twelve miles away, this might not after all be quite logical. But the principles of identity in a lodge, as was indicated above, are by no means settled or clear.
All old lodges have seen ups and downs, periods of prosperity, periods of lethargy and decay. Friendship Lodge is no exception, but it has come through them with flying colors and we hope it may continue to flourish for another hundred years.
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DAWN: A LOST ROMANCE OF THE TIME OF CHRIST. By Irving Bacheller. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Price, $2.65.
TO attempt a definition of Masonic fiction is a task more difficult than it seems at first glance. Shall we confine the field to those books or stories which make definite mention of the Craft? Or shall we say that any literary effort which has for its object the promulgation of the principles for which the Craft is known to stand comes within the meaning of the term? So far as the present writer is concerned the latter, or broader, classification is the one which should be adopted.
In the more restricted sense Dawn is not Masonic fiction. It deals neither with the Craft in general nor with any particular set of brethren. It is a story for all the world (as for that matter so is all Masonic fiction) and takes its inspiration from a source which has been a guiding light through almost two thousand years. On the other hand the spirit of fraternity in the highest and noblest sense fills every page. The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, the greatest fraternity the world has ever known, is the Craft of which Bro. Bacheller speaks. Any Mason who reads his latest work will feel, perhaps subconsciously, that the author is one who has traveled in the course of the sun. It is not through what is said that this feeling arises, but from the way in which it is said, from the background of spirit, which, perhaps, intentionally submerged, nevertheless insists upon being heard. The present writer had not read the book, only accounts of it, and still there was a persistent feeling that the author had sought the light. It was not surprising that upon inquiry he was informed by the publishers that Bro. Bacheller was a life member of Kane Lodge in New York. It may well be said that, in a different way, he is as great an explorer as the man for whom his lodge is named, Flisha Kent Kane. His explorations were to the outposts of civilization; his spirit finds many of its kindred in the lodge which bears his name, but where Kane explored in the flesh, Bacheller treads in the spirit. He seeks the little known and explores his own vivid imagination for the details to fill in the story.
The partial biography of Doris shows most clearly what can be done by one with a deep insight into human character and an incident, fragmentary in itself, to add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding. "Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone," and "Go, and sin no more," are the texts about which this vital story are woven. To attempt a discussion of the story and its style is to detract from the beauty of the original. No more need be said to the members of the Craft than that through reading this book they will learn more about Cardinal Virtues in a few short and extremely pleasant hours than the ordinary lecturer on these subjects could teach in a lifetime of formal repetition.
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NEW BOOKS RECEIVED
Ask Me Brother, by Charles H. Merz, published by the Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., New York. Price $1.75.
Documents Illustrating the History of Civilization in Medieval England (1066-1500), by R. Trevor Davies, published by Methuen & Company, London. Price $3.95.
Masonic Jurisprudence, by A. G. Mackey, revised by R. I. Clegg, published by The Masonic History Company, Chicago. Price $3.65.
From Serfdom to Bolshevism, by Baron N. Wrangel, published by J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia. Price $4.20.
Dollar Masonic Library, published by Commission on Masonic Education, Detroit, Michigan, and Bureau of Social and Educational Service, New York. Price $1.15.
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A LETTER FROM A WELL-KNOWN PHYSICIAN
In view of the present discussion as to the advisability of building a tuberculosis hospital in every state for the care of tuberculous Masons or of building one or more National institutions, the first of which would be established in the Southwest, the following letter written by Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf, New York City, for more than twenty-five years a recognized authority on tuberculosis and the writer of many books and articles on this disease, will be of interest:
Although intensely interested in any movement for the relief and care of tuberculous Masons and their families, and also non-Masons, since I started to plead for the establishment of Masonic sanatoria more than 25 years ago and, considering my financial situation, contributed largely to a fund which was created for that purpose, I do not feel justified to participate in subscribing for your institution unless you can interest the New York Grand Lodge to share in your movement.
The Grand Lodge of New York has at its disposal a large tract of land and a considerable fund for the establishment of a tuberculosis sanatorium. Personally I would very much like to see an institution for the especial use for Masons and their families at last established in the great State of New York, but I hope you can persuade the Grand Lodge of New York to help you by turning over its funds collected for a local institution, to be used for the national one.
The enclosed clipping represents part of the Grand Master's address, as it appeared in the New York Masonic Outlook of September, 1924. Perhaps you can persuade the Masonic authorities of New York State to create a little tuberculosis reception hospital where patients desiring to go to the New Mexico institution will be temporarily received.
Wishing you all success in your enterprise, I am, Fraternally yours,
* * *
THE CHISEL AND DIAMOND
The sarcastic manner in which Bros. Kress and Meekren refer to certain portions of the ritual of the Mark Degree cannot go unchallenged, and although probably not the keen Masonic student or research worker that either of these brothers is, still, I take exception to some of their remarks in their recent article.
With reference to the diamond, there is no doubt in my mind that the quotation given from the ritual is absolutely correct. I believe it to be a diamond that is referred to, and not a stone as suggested by these brothers. In the ritual there is no reference to a lapidary cutting a diamond, although in the olden days, before the introduction of scientific machinery, the chisel would, in my opinion, be the logical tool for the purpose. However, in this particular case the chisel is only claimed to have the effect of removing the external coat or incrustations which conceal the latent beauties of the diamond.
As to the authors' remarks regarding the point of a chisel under pressure of a mallet, I wonder how many operative masons our brothers interviewed; how many operative masons' tool chests they examined; how much work done by operative masons they carefully inspected; or how many operative masons they have actually seen at work before they committed the gross error of likening this expression to the famous definition of a crab! Of course as we are not operative but speculative Masons, we may not know bow many different kinds of chisels there are; what a mallet is or how it is used; but before we put our thoughts in writing and broadcast them it would be well to be sure of points such as these.
For the information of other possibly unenlightened brethren, and as a M.E.M., I feel it my duty to "dispense light and knowledge," I may say that an operative mason, in finishing stone or carving certain characters upon it, uses a chisel with a point, under pressure of a mallet. He at first strikes the chisel with the mallet and then, as the work nears completion, he presses or pushes the sharp-pointed chisel with his mallet.
A mallet is not a gavel. An operative mason never strikes a stone with a mallet, nor does he strike a chisel with a gavel. The gavel comes in contact with the stone, the mallet comes in contact with the chisel.
F. G. G., Canada.
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MASONRY FOUNDED IN NATURE
Whatever is founded in nature is permanent; and although it may frequently be blended with transcient combinations, it still remains a part of creation. The plant may be cut down by the frosts of winter, or by the ruthless hand of the destroyer; but the root still lives in all its inherent strength and natural energies. It waits but to receive the warmth of a genial sun, to put forth anew its stalks and branches, and its fruit and flowers.
We need not say, how many times FREEMASONRY has been conquered and disgraced — for such has been asserted of it in every civilized country, and still, it lives. In common parlance — it dares to live. Whatever is founded in nature, cannot but live. Its chief principle is life — and whatever constitutes life, is morally good — and whatever is evil, is essentially death. Therefore, it is not optional with men, whether good things shall be permitted to exist; for it is not within the power of human agency to destroy them. Such is the wise provision of nature, that though the evils of this world appear many, the blessings are more. The balance of moral power is on the side of goodness, and the cause of right and justice does not depend upon conventional decisions.
It was decreed in France, that "death was an eternal sleep!" — and what was the effect of such a vote upon the glorious doctrines of the immortality of the soul!
Politicians of every age and country have denounced the Institution of Masonry, as fraught with evils unnumbered and unlimited! But time has cut down these prophets and their prophecies as transitory and unnatural. Excitement is incident to party movements; and party measures are seldom dictated by that judgment which is guided by reason. Passion results in confusion, and confusion leads to error. Party discipline is never based upon the immutable principles of justice; and, therefore, no party succeeds in all its views and measures. There may have been many errors in the conduct of Masons, and in the administrations of Masonry; but the principles of the Institution are permanently good, and will forever remain so. Nations may rise and fall-parties organize, re-organize, and disorganize — great minds re-act upon one another, till the last hour of mortal strength — injustice and cruelty may reign during the common period of human life — still, the elements of all the fundamental laws of our moral nature remain unchanged. Institutions based upon these laws may be opposed and even suspended in their operations. But never destroyed.
Masonry has been tried, judged and proved. She has risen superior to her enemies, in every age, and it is because her inherent energies are truth, love justice and mercy. All parties, powers, circumstances and events, in opposition to these, are but the poisonous vapors of evil passions, which flit in momentary glory, and then sink back to unsubstantial confusion. Masonry is adapted to human nature; and so long as nature is true to herself, so long will Masonry prove true to man.
— Freemason's Magazine, December, 1841.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
A CASE IN POINT
I feel a great hesitation in again writing regarding the Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium to which you often and so rightly refer editorially and forcefully. I feel as you do. Masonry should mean good deeds done daily, not alone for Masons but everyone possible. I may interpret ritualistic Masonry wrongly, but as I understand it our teachings are to regard the whole human family as one, and the broadness should begin in our own family. How can we reach out to help others, if we do not make an effort to aid our own?
I do not know of greater humanitarian help than putting a tubercular brother on his feet again, and giving him back to his family a helpful man, and this is possible, if we can get him at the right time and place him under the right so-called schooling and hospitalization. When such is accomplished, the refrain will so often be heard that Masonry will be glorified by the profane, and it will make us feel a greater pride, as Masons, because we are doing actual deeds, and not talking about doing them.
There are over three million Masons in the United States. Suppose each state should assess, or recommend, one dollar, or let's say two dollars, per capita for our tubercular sanatoria. I doubt if any Mason would hesitate, if he but knew the great brotherly act of relief be was doing.
I have yet to hear a Shriner object to his two dollars per year assessment for those crippled children in their twelve hospitals, and their work is daily and daily becoming more blessed — it is wonderful.
Masons as a rule are liberal and far seeing, but we must be shown the way. We kick, and a little pushing of us into line makes us act petulantly, but we quickly learn to like doing good.
I am prompted to write this letter by one received from a splendid little woman in the past few days, whose husband is at Koch's Hospital. He is a Mason. They were married but ten months when, like a thunderclap out of a clear sky, he had a hemorrhage of the lung. His employment had to be stopped; his salary also, and his savings were soon gone. Fortunately our city has in Koch's Hospital a splendid humane institution, and gives most expert and excellent care. It is now eight months that this splendid young brother has been at Koch's. His case is arrested, and he needs climate change and hospitalization for a period to put him on his feet. His means gone, this is denied him, and he will surely slip back again and die. All cases do not need climate change, but his does. What a truly Masonic act if we could say, go to the Masonic Tubercular Sanatorium now and get well, putting our hand to a lung-diseased brother's back and helping him back to life, so to speak. His life is precious to him and his splendid little wife, who is working and sharing her small salary now with him. He looks beaten, as a few months before he was the wage earner and proud and honorable.
Keep up the good work, for it is good; it is a burning need. Keep your eyes open and in time we will see the need and Masons will not regret the doing.
Louis H. Behrens
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ROMANISM AND MASONRY IN ENGLAND
Please accept my sincere thanks for your last letter which interested me very much and in connection with which I feel impelled to send you a few lines.
The Roman Catholic difficulty with us here is, I imagine, less than with you but probably in character the same. It seems to me there can be no real fellowship between our Craft and the Roman Church. Apart from whatever may be more or less true, that Masonic bodies in France, Italy, etc., have been involved in political intrigues and plots in the past, and even apart from such associations in the present day as is alleged, the whole attitude, to my way of thinking, is such that any hope of getting along together is doomed to failure.
My experience of the attitude of the Roman Church is this: First, the true Roman Catholic must have renounced all reason if he is a loyal adherent. He may have, as the result of some reasoning process, preferred that church and joined it, but there his reason must end.
I knew of an eminent King's Counsel some years ago whose power of reason and deep thinking was notorious, and when the question was asked how could he (an Englishman) have seen his way to join the Roman Communion, the answer was: "My profession takes all my thoughts and reason. I have none to spare for religious inquiry, hence I join a church which takes over that for me."
How can an intelligent Freemason with his outlook of brotherhood and breadth of creed for a moment accept that attitude?
I give two instances:
Years ago I was in Antwerp, and the master of our hotel was a Freemason. He took me over a Creche which the Masonic lodge in Antwerp was running. (Ninety babies in one room asleep while their mothers were at work.) And he told me the whole thing was at the first thwarted by the Church and threatened with failure. Nurse after nurse came, and soon left. At last they got hold of the Queen, put up a board "Under Royal Patronage" and succeeded at once. But I said, "How does the Church act towards you?" "Oh," said he, "we are anathema but we go to church all the same, but not to communion, which we are refused." Here you see is the religious instinct asserting itself, but in reality discounted by the Church.
The other instance is that of a man near me, a member of an active lodge, and a Roman Catholic. He still calls himself such, but never I believe goes to church knowing he is barred. Personally I think he would be acting more wisely if he joined one of our English Communions.
Then there comes the question of Confession. I knew an eminent Roman Catholic priest who when Masonry was denounced in Ireland heard the confession of those who gave up the Fraternity. Some were men of standing and influence. This priest (not a Mason of course) knew much more than he would have done otherwise of Masonic matters, but the curious thing he told me was that in Ireland Societies disbanded, sent their members to Confession saying they belonged to no society, and after absolution reformed their society. That's not Masonry.
The attitude of all our principal religious bodies in England towards our Fraternity (except Roman Catholics) is kindly and genial, and we have members of most of them, especially of the Church of England.
No doubt part of Rome's strength is her uncompromising firmness with regard to her main beliefs, but she has no room for appreciation of any religious life outside her community, and but for a saving clause which permits a possible Heaven to outsiders who have failed to obtain the earnestly sought for light which would have led them to Rome, viz., their "invincible ignorance," would in order to be logical be bound to damn all outside her pale.
I have already said I see no hope of any possibility for a man to be a true Mason and a true Roman Catholic, a shuffling compromise is weakness and had better be avoided.
But I also wish to admit that the Roman Church, insofar as her fundamental doctrines are concerned, does base her position on the same foundation as Christians generally. It is when as is now (as for ages) she has denied as well as asserted, has put forth claims which overlie and weaken her fundamental faith, and acted in a quite wrong way with others, that the position to thoughtful and broad-minded folk becomes impossible. One is prepared to say to our Roman Catholic friends, believe if your conscience so directs all that you are asked to do, but for Heaven's sake don't curse me or anybody else if my conscience leads me otherwise.
If there is anything in this that will help your dealing with the difficult question to which you refer, you are welcome to make such use of it as you like.
W. Ravenscroft, England.
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THE SITUATION IN MEXICO: A REPLY
Bro. C. L. P., Missouri, has been badly misinformed about "The Situation in Mexico."
- The actual religious conflict in Mexico is not the culmination of a war of three-quarters of a century's standing between Freemasonry and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, as a political power, was buried in Queretaro, Mexico, by the Liberal Party and it remains buried, not even the Pope dreaming to resuscitate that political corpse. Masonry has had no war with the Church since the Liberal Party took into its hands the leadership of the Mexican nation. There could not be any war with a vanquished enemy.
- General Porfirio Diaz was not a Catholic; on the contrary, he was a liberal and a great leader of the Liberal Party. He was a Sovereign Grand Commander ad-vitam of the Supreme Council of Mexico. He always controlled the Church without interfering with religion. The separation of the Church and State was an accomplished fact since 1857; since then nobody has attempted to restore the political power of the Church.
- Calles is not a 33rd Degree Mason. If he is a Mason at all, he does not show it in any way and he is not affiliated with any lodge; furthermore, he thinks of Freemasonry with contempt, he has not even refrained from expressing himself against Freemasonry, although now he wants to use Masonry for his political ambitions. He has abstained from becoming a member of the Fraternity, notwithstanding several friendly indications insinuated to him by some of his followers, thus clearly demonstrating his regard for things Masonic. It is certainly quite unfortunate to have had the inspiration of exhibiting Calles before the American Fraternity as a Mason; the irony of this presupposition is rather too strong to let it pass without comment.
- The Church is not defending any political rights and does not preach against the enforcement of the Constitution of 1917; the leaders of the Church in Mexico are too intelligent and too shrewd to commit themselves to such a stupidity; they have been trying to influence public opinion in order to compel Congress to amend the Constitution on the points of "free schools and free worship." The Church in Mexico takes the same standing that it does in the United States. Of course, it is obvious to the good observer that the Church has been slowly strangled by the State, therefore, the Church is the one party that craves for the separation of the Church and State.
The real issue between the Church and the State is: "Freedom of primary education and freedom of worship" vs. "Absolute and exclusive control of primary education and supervision and control of worship by the State."
J. d'A., Mexico
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MANKIND AND THE DEITY
The Jewish Rabbi quoted by Bro. N. W. J. Haydon of Canada in the June BUILDER reminds one of the famous western river "one mile wide and one inch deep." If anyone wished to found a universal brotherhood on the belief that a revelation of God was given to Confucius and Laotse, to Buddha and Krishua, to Zoroaster and Mahomet such as was given to Moses and the Hebrew prophets (to say nothing of Jesus and His Apostles), probably he can get some Freemasons to join him, but American Freemasonry is not going to broaden out in that fashion.
Had I any criticism to pass upon the Scottish Rite it would be on its efforts to extract good ore from the residuum of Oriental Philosophies and Religions. In my opinion the "tailings" are not worth working over. Neither Confucius nor Buddha claimed to know anything about God. In a recent number of The Ladies' Home Journal a writer tells us that 85 per cent of the inhabitants of Burmah are Buddhists. He says that if as many as five men are partners in a store there will be five different padlocks on the door and the store cannot be opened in the morning until the last man of the five gets there to unlock his padlock.
The outstanding feature of nearly all Oriental religion is the deification of lust. In the last few weeks I have seen the statement in print that British law in India against the display of the nude expressly exempts Hindoo temples. That were the law to be enforced without such exemptions one-third of temples of India would be destroyed. This confirms what a friend told me of his observations in India fifty years ago. "The pathetic story of Isis" on her vain search referred to by Bro. John W. House of Canada in the June BUILDER reflects light upon ancient Egyptian religion. Had Cleopatria lived two thousand years earlier she would have made an ideal Egyptian goddess. Josephus tells us that Liberius had the Temple of Isis in Rome destroyed and its priests crucified because they used religion to victimize a noble Roman Matron.
Mahomet was one of the most lustful of men. While he limited others to four wives he had special exemptions in his own favor. He prescribed death as the penalty for adultery, but required the testimony of four witnesses to prove the crime. The law was made a roaring farce by the Caliph Omar's celebrated ruling which Gibbon gives in its Latin form that I will not quote. Mommsen speaking of the Phoenicians says: "It seemed as if their worship was meant to foster rather than restrain lust and cruelty."
American Freemasonry never will become "liberal" enough to go back of our Bible for any basis for morals and true, Fraternity.
C. H. Briggs, Missouri
All that Dr. Briggs here says may be true, and indeed very much more of the same kind of thing might be adduced. But there are several considerations to take into account before coming to a conclusion. If we judge others by their worst they will be justified in judging us, too, by our worst. Obscene carvings are not unknown in old churches for one thing, and the tale of lust and cruelty that a Hindoo or Chinese can compile against Christians and Christianity (as represented in the acts of churches and denominations) may well make us blush — because it also would be true. We know it is not the whole truth; and we should judge them by their best — not by the stage attained but the advance they have made. We have Scripture warrant that God left himself not without witness among the nations; and to see nothing but evil in non-Christian religions is, with all deference to our reverend brother, not a little unfair.
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THE ORIGIN OF THE TEUTONIC CROSS
Can you give me information on the origin and history of the Teutonic Cross used in the Scottish Rite, or tell me where I can find such information? I have consulted a number of works but learned very little regarding the matter.
W. B. S., California.
Have you read the article on the cross and crucifixion in the Encyclopaedia Britannica? There is quite a lot of information compressed there in short space. Churchward, Yarker and Higgins all deal with the cross as a symbol, but not in our opinion very helpfully. Baring-Gould in his Curious Myths of the Middle Ages gives a great deal of interesting material on the subject, and though his work is now some forty years old it is still of considerable value.
The origin of the cross as a symbol has never been agreed upon by scholars. It is probably derived from a number of roots, each of which assisted in strengthening the sanctity with which it was regarded. As representing the four quarters of the earth, as a sexual symbol, as an astronomical or at least a celestial phenomenon, and finally as possibly an element of primitive design.
G. S. Tyack in The Cross in Ritual and Architecture says: "Every crusader of whatever rank had a cross of some material stitched on his tunic. It was only natural that some differentiated form should be adopted as distinguishing marks by the crusading orders. There are over thirty named forms of cross used in heraldry, and it is hard to believe that the differences involved implied any symbolic meaning."