THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 14 No. 3 – March 1928
THE SHADOW OF THE VATICAN
Dr. Leo Cadius
THIS series of articles is written by a member of the Roman Church.
He is still a member of that Church and has no desire to leave it.
The articles do not touch on any matter of faith or doctrine, and while severely critical of the administration are in no sense an attack upon the church itself.
His purpose in writing them is the hope that the abuses he describes and the conditions which foster them may be removed.
Our purpose in publishing them is to give our readers an intimate inside picture of the actual working of the ecclesiastical machinery which may help them to judge to what extent the doubts and apprehensions that exist in the minds of many American Freemasons are well founded.
It is the author's opinion that the reforms he proposes would not only be to the advantage of Roman Catholics but would largely remove the suspicions of so many thoughtful non-Romanist American citizens.
LET me say in advance that Zambolinus is a fictitious character.
Not so many years ago a young, but influential, Italian ecclesiastic came to our shores. Zambolinus, an impecunious young American priest, borrowed two thousand dollars from a Polish pastor to entertain the Italian. Zambolinus, by the way, is not of Polish extraction. He worms his way into the good graces of the interesting visitor. He has a very attractive financial proposition to make him. Through this Italian who was destined to have a very brilliant career, Zambolinus obtains a letter of introduction to Signorina Peppina in Rome. He is admitted into the sanctum of Zambo. He understands so well how to humor the little French poodle that he becomes his chief favorite. It is for that reason that he is surnamed Zambolinus.
Zambo being, as has been stated, the Pope's chief deputy in governing the Catholic Church in the United States, Zambolinus, as the poodle's foremost favorite, figures as the power behind the throne. Many a clever American prelate has attempted to supplant him in the assertion of Zambo. But none has ever succeeded in eliciting nearly as many friendly wags of the tail from him as has our tricky Zambolinus.
Having the instincts of a Prussian drill master Zambolinus rules his clergy with a rod of iron. He walks rough shod over them in utter disregard of the canon law that guarantees them certain rights. There is no appeal against his tyranny. The all-powerful Zambo protects him. So there is nothing left for the priests, the highly educated moral leaders and educators, but to jump through the hoop as he cracks the whip. Byzantinism has become rampant where it was formerly unknown. Simony, the sale and purchase of ecclesiastical offices, such as pastorates, is practiced openly. The pronunciation of the Latin has also been changed. In the place of the ancient per omnia saecula saeculorum wherewith the priests formerly ended the orisons of the High Mass, they are singing now in unison: per omnia shekels.
Zambolinus, as custodian of the credit of a prosperous corporation sole — built up mostly by the financial sacrifices of the good Catholic working people — is fond of worldly splendor. The draperies in his episcopal residence cost over fifty thousand dollars; his bedroom suite fifteen thousand dollars; his automobiles are insured for thirty-five thousand dollars. At a small banquet he gave in honor of a distinguished visitor of the Zambo Brotherhood, the roses alone cost about a thousand dollars. The hotel bills he runs up while vacationing at the seashore have become a national topic in ecclesiastical circles. At great occasions, a galaxy of purple prelates and papal knights with cape and sword surround his throne. It surely pays to court Zambo — as far as this world is concerned. Compare with his the life of a lonely mission priest in southwestern Texas who inhabits a hovel, feasts on peas and stale bread and makes his circuit on an old nag or in second-hand Ford.
Zambolinus is not without his commendable qualities. He is an able, vigilant administrator. He shirks no issue. He is prompt, no procrastinator. But by reason of his great personal extravagance, his insatiable vain-glory, his ingratitude, his double-dealing, his lack of veracity — strange traits in a bishop — and, most of all, by reason of his tyranny, he is detested by his subjects, the people as well as the clergy. He must have been the recipient of numerous threatening letters. At any rate, he rarely, if ever, ventures forth into public without a bodyguard of detectives, over a dozen or more at times, all furnished by the city of his episcopal see.
On account of his unshakable and unbreakable "pull" with Zambo, the domineering, vindictive Zambolinus is feared by practically the entire American hierarchy. The Knights of Columbus are, so to speak, the secular arm of the American Catholic episcopate. They carry out its policies. It is obvious that they entertain a great respect for the wishes of Zambolinus who, through the grace and favor of Zambo, is something of a dictator in the American Church. Under these circumstances, he is a great potential factor in American politics: city, county, state and national. He may not have the power to nominate presidential candidates, but he should easily command sufficient influence, by exerting a little pressure on the hierarchy, to prevent the nomination of any presidential candidate, on either the Republican or the Democratic ticket, whom he dislikes.
It is not probable that Zambolinus takes much of a hand in secular politics. His ambition lies in a different direction. But if he wants to, he can hold the balance of power in a presidential campaign.
He is a formidable potentiality in the political life of the nation. This prestige he owes to Zambo, the symbolical Italian-owned little poodle in Rome; to Zambo, the deputy of the Holy Father, of the most absolutistic and most powerful autocrat in the world.
But let me repeat that Zambolinus is-merely a fictitious character.
The Catholic Church has made remarkable progress in this country. Thanks to her iron-clad unity and her perfect organization, she can achieve great results with a minimum expenditure of brains, initiative and money. Ample credit is due to her splendid system of parish schools. Also the improved facilities of transportation, notably the automobile, have highly benefited the country districts. Magnificent churches, academies, colleges, elementary schools, hospitals have grown like mushrooms out of the ground everywhere in the last thirty years. An efficient publicity service has been organized to disseminate Catholic literature. The Knights of Columbus have developed into a powerful body whose influence is felt throughout the nation. Without going into further details, we may safely state that the resources and equipment of the Roman Church in this country is vastly, nay infinitely, superior to those of thirty or forty years ago.
She is also putting up a fairly successful fight against race suicide. And although our new immigration laws favor the Nordic nations, nevertheless she seems to gain more by immigration than all other denominations combined.
All in all, if the Roman Church keeps up her present rate of increase — and there is no reason apparent why she should not — we will have to figure with the probability that in half a century from now the Catholics will preponderate numerically over all non-Catholics combined. In other words, the population of the United States will in a majority be Roman Catholic.
That also means — laugh, kind reader, laugh — that Zambo of Rome will be the undisputed dictator of the American Republic. By Zambo is understood, of course, our present hierarchic system. For the literal Zambo, the little French poodle, will be dead. He will be succeeded by some other Zambo, or Fido, or Caro, some bulldog, terrier, pug, dachshund, spitz or mongrel owned by some Italian Cardinal's relative.
A STRANGE FORECAST
We may conjure up already in our minds the future pilgrimages our presidential candidates will make to Rome to secure Zambo's endorsement. How deferentially they will kiss his paw How they will shower presents upon him! What generous election pledges they will lay at his feet!
The year 1976 will be the second centenary of the United States. By that time one-half of the population ought to be Catholic, according to present prospects. My prophetic vision tells me that in that year Zambo himself in person will visit the United States to grace the Philadelphia exposition. The Atlantic fleet — navy or air — will accompany him across the ocean as an escort of honor. At the twelve-mile limit the official delegates will welcome him. He will enter New York in triumph. The President of the United States will reverentially kneel before him to kiss his paw. The army will pass before him in parade. On a specially built train, painted in cardinal red, he will tour the country amid one continuous ovation. All the governors of our sovereign states and the mayors of our metropolitan cities will hasten to render him homage with bended knees.
The crafty King Louis XI of France made his barber his principal adviser. The mentally brilliant King Frederick the Great of Prussia was largely swayed by the instinct of his two pet dogs. He distrusted anybody at whom they might suspiciously sniff. The Czarina Elizabeth of Russia — oh, well, all history illustrates abundantly that in autocracies the most ridiculous things imaginable have happened. The Vatican is the most absolutistic of all autocracies. Nowhere in the world, with the exception of Ireland since 1925, is the Vatican's control as absolute as it is over the Catholics of the United States. So we may confidently look forward for many a ludicrous stunt pulled off under Zambo rule, for many a rare treat for our American sense of humor.
But supposing now that the American sense of humor is not sufficiently developed to welcome the thought of having Zambo for a national dictator, what then?
There is but one answer to that question. The American non-Catholics will have to see to it that their Catholic fellow-citizens become emancipated from the rule of Zambo.
STATE CONTROL OF THE CHURCH
In most of the so-called Christian countries, the pope's power is defined and limited by the existing concordates between the Holy See and the respective governments. These agreements guarantee a certain amount of protection to the Church. But, on the other hand, they also restrict her freedom. She had to accept them under duress. The state arrogates to itself control over her. Union of state and church usually means servitude of the Church.
In the United States of America the Church is not hampered by these limitations. The papacy has a free hand. It has made the most of this rare opportunity. The result is that the American Church with her immense resources, the fruits of the generous sacrifices of her adherents, is completely controlled by the masterful Italian Oligarchy. The latter arbitrarily selects the bishops and appoints them custodians of the diocesan finances. These care-takers are accountable to the pope only. If the faithful want to obtain a glimpse of their financial status, they have to petition Rome.
While in many an American diocese the clergy and the people are dissatisfied with the financial administration of their bishop, I have to learn yet of an instance of a petition for an investigation being forwarded to Rome. They lack the courage. The priests are peons, the lay people unaccustomed to have a voice in ecclesiastical affairs. Neither the Catholic nor the secular press dare to print a word displeasing to the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The state and federal legislators fear it, speak only in whispers of its power. Money, the financial resources of over one hundred American dioceses, the moral prestige of the sacrosanct bishops, their potential influence in politics and business — all these factors combined form an unassailable wall of protection for the existing hierarchic system. This system, with its colossal power, the Roman Pontiff holds in the hollow of his hand.
The American Catholics are far from being pleased with this state of affairs. The common clergy and the thinking part of the laity would like to have a share in the management of their respective dioceses and in the appointment of bishops. Some of the bishops also feel keenly their humiliating status of lackies to the Italians. But they are all tongue-tied — bishops, priests and laymen.
The pope is safe-guarded against all criticism by the reverence due him, in the Catholic mind, as Vicar of Christ on earth. Under the protection of this cloak of reverence, he has stripped the young church of America of every vestige of self-determination and home-rule. He selects the bishops as he pleases, the bishops appoint the pastors arbitrarily. Thus we have the unworthy spectacle of American priests fawning on their bishops, of American bishops courting Zambo.
A Zambolinus considers the Catholic Church the greatest democracy in the world. In a way it is. A sufficiently bold and unscrupulous youth who knows how to "work" this Italian Oligarchy, can easily attain the position of right-hand man of the papal viceroy in Washington and make himself national dictator of the Church, under Italian supervision.
There are, of course, many American Catholics who differ from him. In their mind, the present constitution of the Church is a slap in the face of democracy and an insult to American self-respect. But they are powerless. A bishop or priest who raises his voice in protest, is promptly crushed. A layman does not feel qualified to pass an opinion in such a matter. But bishop, priest, or layman, he cannot make himself heard, if he tried. For the press, Catholic or secular, is also tongue-tied. And a criticism voiced in a Protestant publication would be interpreted as an unfriendly act, inspired by anti-Catholic bias. Thus any protest directed against the high-handed Italian monopoly would be a pebble cast into the ocean; it would not oven raise as much as a bubble.
THE ACTUAL SITUATION
To sum it up: The Roman Catholic Church in America is helpless in the grip of the Italian octopus that chokes any and every aspiration of national self-respect and democracy. Delivery can only come from the outside, from the American non-Catholics, if their interest can be aroused and if they master sufficient courage to meet the issue.
I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that even non-Catholics who are kindly disposed towards the Catholic Church and lavish in their praise of her remarkable vitality, strength, consistency and other distinguishing features, feel somewhat uncomfortable at her rapidly increasing prestige and power. They are under the impression, and justly so, that the present constitution of the Roman hierarchy will slowly but surely develop into a formidable menace to American democracy and national self-respect. But in delicate regard for Catholic sentiment and susceptibilities, and in broad-minded disinclination to meddle in other people's religion, they dare not suggest a change of the hierarchic organization.
The only American non-Catholics who speak openly of a Catholic peril are the patrons of those scurrilous sheets that revile everything Catholic, past, present and future. They stoop to the lowest misrepresentations and patent calumnies. They usually sail under Protestant flag, to the deep chagrin and disgust of all fair-minded intelligent Protestants.
These fanatics, however, are right in one thing: There is a Catholic peril.
Not that the Catholics would ever conspire against the government. Nothing is further from their mind. The Catholics have always and everywhere been loyal to the lawfully constituted authority. Even to a government that persecuted them and deprived them of their just civic rights.
The danger lies somewhere else. The day seems to be in sight when the Catholics, by their mere numerical preponderance, will have it within their power to control the government. That in itself would constitute no peril whatsoever. There is no doubt that a Catholic President, assisted by a preponderantly Catholic Congress, would continue the government along the established lines. Catholic mayors and predominantly Catholic city councils in New York, Chicago and Boston have not differed from non-Catholic administrations, nor have Catholic governors in Illinois and New York from non-Catholic executives.
With a Catholic majority in the United States, the power of the Roman hierarchy, now already considerable, would be paramount. The priests, moral peons, can be intimidated into paying homage, obedience and money to the bishop, where the latter has no right to demand them. I could name two important archdioceses in which the priests, with gnashing of teeth, are paying such tribute. Through these peon-priests a bishop can, if he wants to, exact successfully not only money and homage, but even political obedience of the Catholic people. The atmosphere of reverence protects him against public criticism. Under these conditions, the officials of the city, state and government can be intimidated into submitting to the dictation of the bishops. In a preponderantly Catholic America, the entire system of government, city, county, state and federal, the educational system, our state universities, could thus be easily controlled by the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
HOW IT MIGHT WORK
Even that need not necessarily cause any alarm. A broad-minded and just hierarchy will respect the freedom of conscience, will recognize merit, will encourage the progress in science and culture, will foster social welfare and economic justice.
But here is the danger: the American Catholics have absolutely no voice in the appointment of their bishops. That right is invested in the Italian Autocracy. The American episcopate is completely enslaved, body and soul, by said Autocracy. Yes, even bodily. The American bishop proclaims it in his official documents that he is bishop "by the favor of the Apostolic See." Through this favor he enters into possession of the episcopal residence and of the episcopal revenues. A withdrawal of this favor means dispossession for him.
Under the present hierarchic system, in a predominantly Catholic America, the Italian Autocracy would be the long distance but actual supreme government of the people of the United States. The President and Congress will represent an eviscerated nominal government with no more than a shadow of power.
Under the present hierarchic system, the American candidates for public office will scramble for the favor of the Zambolinuses as the American Zambolinuses are scrambling for the favor of the Italian prelates and of their relatives and servants.
Under the present hierarchic system, there will rest with some Italian cardinal's sister, with some Italian cardinal's secretary, with some Italian Friar Joseph, the decision whether a Republican or a Democrat shall occupy the White House. Presidential and other elections will be mere mock performances.
Under the present hierarchic system, a future President will be enabled to style himself truthfully:
"N. M.......... by favor of the Apostolic See, President of the United States of North America."
UNCLE SAM AT THE CROSS-ROADS
Personally I am acquainted with only about twenty American bishops. That is less than one-fifth of the American hierarchy. However, I have met priests from all parts of the country. From their conversation I have received the following impression of the American Catholic episcopate:
About one-third of the bishops are men of conspicuous ability and merit. It is for that reason that they have been chosen by the Vatican. Some of them are men of outstanding merit. But they are not to be found at the top of the hierarchy.
The second third are mediocre men who owe their dignity to somebody's unsolicited kind recommendation. They can hardly be blamed for accepting the "greatness" thrust upon them.
The last and very influential third are men who kissed, figuratively speaking, the paw of Zambo.
Byzantinism is in the ascendant. From present indications it would appear that in thirty years from now about four-fifths of the American hierarchy will be members of the Zambo Brotherhood. Why not all, or nearly all of them? Because Zambo finds it to his own interest to award a bishopric occasionally — usually an unimportant one — to a man of merit, to a man who has not kissed his paw.
The American Catholic bishops as a rule do not dabble in politics, at least not openly, for fear of arousing Protestant susceptibilities; also for other reasons. Occasionally, though, they make use of their potential political power, either in the interest of public morality or to hand a plum to a favorite of theirs.
Here are two instances:
In a certain American metropolis the Democratic party intended to renominate a certain judge of the juvenile court. Said judge had proven himself utterly unfit for his office. Among other things, he had in open session put questions in unprintable language concerning abnormal sexual aberrations to mere children. The Archbishop of the city sends word to the party leaders that if they nominated that misfit, he would, contrary to all usage, publicly oppose him. They dropped him.
The other instance:
In spring 1926 a little celebration was held on the outskirts of an American metropolis in honor of the Archbishop. A Protestant United States Senator was one of the principal speakers. At the close of the celebration the Archbishop, shaking hands with him, remarked: "Senator, I want to ask you a favor. Could you not get for Mr. A. the position of ____?"
The position mentioned is an important federal "job" and from the point of view of Prohibition a very interesting one. Mr. A. is a well-known Catholic politician.
"I will do my best, Archbishop," replied the Senator.
Three months later Mr. A. received the federal appointment. He is a good and capable man, well qualified for the position. There is nothing wrong about his appointment. Many an office-holder may perhaps owe his position to the recommendation of some Protestant bishop. Why should not a Catholic bishop recommend somebody for office? But here is the difference: a Protestant bishop owes his power to American citizens who elected him bishop. A Catholic bishop owes his power to Zambo, the representative of a foreign autocrat.
Zambo is a factor in American political life. He has been distributing patronage all along. He has nominated candidates and he has defeated candidates. His power is growing in leaps and bounds. Slowly but surely the day is approaching when Uncle Sam will find himself at the mercy of Zambo.
Zambo will in all probability be a broad-minded, easy-going master. He will be strict in but one thing: He will insist on very strict laws regarding divorce. He may prohibit divorce altogether. Outside of that, he will not interfere with personal freedom. On the contrary, he will be too tolerant towards vice and corruption. All in all, he will be a good-natured, open-minded, congenial master with plenty of human sympathy. He will give abuse and take abuse. His rule will in many ways resemble that of the Tammany Hall of the olden days but with a greater regard for decorum and public respectability.
I have heard the opinion expressed that Cardinal O'Connell of Boston was the political sponsor of President Coolidge. I am fully convinced that this is a "false alarm." But — and this is important — it might easily have been the case. To whom does a prelate like Cardinal O'Connell owe his great power and prestige? His official stationery will tell you: "William Cardinal O'Connell, by the grace of God and favor of the Apostolic See, Archbishop of Boston." He is an appointee, an agent, of the Apostolic See, of the most absolutistic of all autocracies.
THE POSSIBLE REMEDY
If the American non-Catholics really want to prevent their country from becoming a papal satrapy, they will have to take action. I can see but one course open to them: to emancipate the American Catholics from the yoke of the Italian autocracy.
It is all-important that the rescue crew, that volunteers to engineer this emancipation, proceed in a strictly objective, dispassionate, friendly way. All antiCatholic bias will have to be suppressed. The American Catholics are, after all, well-meaning, loyal citizens, sociable and open-minded, who rather believe in parading their faults than their virtues. They are the victims of circumstances. They have been slowly and imperceptibly subjugated by the subtle Italian autocracy.
The first step should be to arouse the Catholics to a realization of their humiliating situation. Their parish schools offer a convenient handle.
These schools are a valuable asset to the nation and to the church. They teach sound Christian morality based on the fear of God. They inculcate respect for lawfully constituted authority. They foster a spirit of loyalty and patriotism.
There is just one fly in the ointment. These schools are also instrumental, unconsciously, in creating an atmosphere of servile reverence for the Italian oligarchy, which despises democracy and ignores national self-respect.
A CONFLICT OF IDEALS
The American non-Catholics are aware of this. There exists a widespread propaganda to safeguard national ideals in the common schools. The State of Oregon passed a law prohibiting private primary schools. The federal courts declared this law unconstitutional, because encroaching on the natural right of the parents to select whatever education they deem best for their children.
This decision of the federal courts might be challenged. In most civilized countries, America included, there are compulsory school laws forcing parents to provide a certain minimum of education for their children. According to above decision, such compulsory school laws would also infringe on parental rights. Nobody views them in that light, however. On the contrary, these compulsory school laws are considered beneficial and in keeping with the spirit of progress.
If a sovereign state of the Union has the right to prescribe a minimum of elementary education, may it not also claim the right to insist that in the parish schools the American ideals of democracy and national self-respect be protected?
If the Soviets conducted in this country private elementary schools — as they are doing in England — in which two million American children were taught communistic and anarchistic ideals, would the state or federal authorities have the right to close these schools? I am not prepared to answer that question, but I am convinced that the American Catholics would clamor for the suppression of those schools without concerning themselves much about the natural rights of the Soviet parents to select for their children whatever education they consider most suitable.
In England, a bill has been introduced recently into the Upper House, demanding the suppression of the Soviet schools far teaching anarchism and immorality.
There is no such perversion taught in the Catholic schools. On the contrary, the opposite ideals are being fostered. But there is being instilled also into the minds of two million pupils of the American Catholic parish schools the deepest possible reverence, the strongest possible attachment, to a foreign absolutistic system: the Italian Autocracy.
The spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution of the United States surely ought to empower the state legislatures and the federal government to employ the means necessary to protect the American ideals of democracy and national self-respect. The State Legislatures and Congress would be acting according to the spirit of the Constitution, then, if they adopted a legislative measure to the effect that:
Only such organizations or individuals as conform to our traditional ideals of democracy and national self-respect can be authorized to conduct private elementary schools.
THE CHURCH AND AMERICAN IDEALS
The great question then would be: Does the Roman Catholic Church, in its present hierarchic form of government, conform to the American ideals of democracy and national self-respect?
I, for one, would answer: No!
If the Roman Catholic Church adopted a representative form of government, as has, for instance, the Protestant Episcopal Church;
- If the administrative powers be invested, say in an Upper House of the Bishops and a Lower House of the common clergy and laity;
- if the members of both Houses are chosen, indirectly, through popular vote;
- if the Pope, the Supreme Executive of the Church, be elected in a truly representative form that accords equal, pro rata, recognition to the various nationalities constituting the Church:
Would the Roman Catholic Church then conform to our established standard of democracy and national self-respect?
I would answer: Yes.
Let us assume now that the Federal Government felt authorized to close the Catholic parish schools, because the present hierarchic form of government of the Roman Church does not conform to our traditional standard of democracy and national self-respect: what would the effect be?
The parish schools being of paramount importance to the Church, more important even than the very houses of worship, the American Catholic hierarchy would be compelled to petition the Pope that he accede to the reasonable demands of the American government and that he reorganize the government of the Church on a representative basis.
Could not the American bishops of their own accord petition the pope to this effect, without being forced by the Federal Government?
They could: but they would never muster sufficient courage to do so. Never, unless they are compelled to. They would never, even in the humblest and most apologetic language, presume to submit to the Holy Father a petition that would displease him and his Italian advisers.
It would no doubt be an easy matter to convince our Congress that the Italian Autocracy, with its absolute control over the American Catholic hierarchy, is developing into a rapidly growing menace to American independence. In fact, it is already a formidable menace.
But quite a different thing would it be to persuade Congress — or the legislature of a state with a large Catholic population — to take action against the menace.
Its attitude would probably be like that of a well-known Chicago judge. When a certain alderman, a powerful politician who had been caught in the meshes of the law, was assigned to his court to be sentenced, he threw up his hands: "Please don't pass the buck to me!" Congress will want to pass the pleasure of taking the Italian bull by the horns on to some future Congress. However, under pressure, it would accept the inevitable.
Here is one mode of procedure that might be followed: Let a bill be introduced into the House requesting the Administration to recommend to His Holiness the Pope, residing in Rome, Italy, to change certain administrative and doctrinal tenets of the Roman Church that constitute a source of apprehension and anxiety to the liberty-loving people of the United States. The changes suggested are:
- That His Holiness the Pope reorganize the government of the Church on a representative basis that would accord to the Catholic clergy and the people the power to elect its ecclesiastical superiors and to share in the administration of the temporalities of the Church, and also would accord to the various nations constituting the Roman Church, a fair, pro rata, representation in the Supreme Government of the Church. a government of the United States is aware of the fact that the Roman Church in its original constitution is not a republic and that the spiritual powers of the hierarchy of the Roman Church are not derived from the consent of those governed, but are derived from the Sacrament of Holy Order. The Government of the United States, therefore, does not suggest a change that would conflict with the original constitution of the Roman Church, but on the contrary suggests a return to said original or primitive constitution and, perhaps, the perfecting of said original constitution along the lines of modern electoral methods.
- That His Holiness the Pope repudiate the claim of the papacy, as voiced by approved Catholic theologians, that all civil authority is subject to the Roman Pontiff.
- That His Holiness the Pope repudiate the claim of the papacy — that the Roman Pontiff has the divine right to force, under given conditions, the Catholic religion on people unwilling to embrace said religion.
If His Holiness the Pope should reject these demands, what then?
The Federal Government could, through the regular channels, adopt the following measures:
- Close the Catholic parish schools.
- Demand the withdrawal of the Papal Delegate in Washington, as, under those circumstances, his presence in the United States would be a source of apprehension and discomfort to the liberty-loving American people. Moreover, in case of a great religious excitement, his safety could not be guaranteed.
- Require of every Catholic citizen who wants to exercise the right of the ballot, a two-fold oath:
- that he, the Catholic voter, repudiates the claim of the papacy that all civil authority is subject to the Roman Pontiff;
- that he repudiates the divine right of the Roman Pontiff to compel, under given conditions, non-Catholics to embrace the Catholic faith.
- That in every textbook of United States history used in American schools, a brief chapter be inserted explaining the reasons why the American government adopted those measures in regard to the Catholic Church. It ought to be made clear to the rising generation that the government was forced to take these steps in the interest of the freedom of conscience and of lasting religious peace.
- Place an "embargo" on the Peter's Pence.
- Exclude Catholic immigrants.
These measures would be merely the opening skirmishes in the gigantic struggle.
If the American Government demanded of the papacy the repeal of the absolutist and intolerant laws that disturb the religious peace of the world in general, and of the American people in particular, it would confer a signal favor on the vast majority of the American Catholics. Of course, tongue-tied as they are, they could only give their secret approval. They would, however, come out in the open, if among the more than one hundred bishops there were found one man sufficiently courageous to endorse publicly the action of the government. But this is not to be hoped for.
(To be Continued)
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NEW MEXICO RESOLVES TO CARRY ON
IT is not often that THE BUILDER undertakes to publish news. But so many of our readers have been profoundly disappointed at the prospect of the complete failure of the campaign for the relief of tuberculous Masons that we have felt obliged to make space for the good news that has just reached us in the following telegram from M. W. Bro. H. B. Holt, President of the Association.
THE BUILDER, St. Louis, Mo.
Grand Lodge adopted report and recommendations. Jurisprudence Committee revised resolution, which was also adopted, recommending that the Association change its name to Masonic Tuberculosis Association. Also recommended changing Article four of charter to make the Association the agent or trustee of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico. Also recommended changing Article six to provide for the election of the Board by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, or the appointment of Board members by the Grand Master, not limiting membership to New Mexico brethren. The resolution also reaffirms the recognition of the obligation upon the Fraternity to relieve the sick, and the conviction that organized effort is necessary, and that the entire Fraternity should unite in the work, and function through the Association. The resolution favors continuance of the effort to arouse the Fraternity, and pledged Grand Lodge assistance in securing action by other Grand Lodges and Masonic Bodies. It directed the Grand Master to make the appeal in the name of the Grand Lodge. It also pledged the continuance of the one dollar assessment on New Mexico Masons. When the Association Board adopts the suggested amendments the organization will then be an Association of Master Masons incorporated by the authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, and controlled by it, to secure aid for and furnish relief to tuberculous Masons, and members of their families sojourning in the Southwest, seeking the benefits of the climate; and also to secure action by Grand Lodges and Masonic Bodies for relief and hospitalization of tuberculous Masons and members of their families in every state.
H. B. Holt.
The recommendations spoken of in this communication formed part of the report presented by Bro. Holt, as President of the Association to the Grand Lodge. An advance copy of this was sent to us, but too late for publication in this issue. We give, however, the recommendations below, and will print the remainder of the report in the April number of THE BUILDER.
The action taken by this Grand Lodge with reference to this Report will determine the fate of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association.
The Association was sponsored and its Charter applied for and obtained by authority and direction of this Grand Body; and there is here presented for determination the question of whether or not steps shall be taken to dissolve the corporation, or an effort made to perpetuate its primary objects through amendments of the Charter, changing the plan of organization; or, whether or not it is advisable to abandon the existing legal entity, and substitute some other agency through which to administer tubercular relief; or, whether or not this Grand Lodge shall entirely abandon tubercular relief work except such as strictly relates to brethren of this Grand Jurisdiction and their families.
If the existing legal entity is not perpetuated, it will be necessary to consult the donors of relief funds as to the disposition to be made of same.
If the existing corporation is not dissolved, and its Charter is amended as above suggested, no complication will arise as to administration and disposition of relief funds with the possible exception of such as may have been specifically donated for building purposes, and as to those it is our belief that authority may readily be obtained to expend them for tubercular relief.
If the movement in which we have been engaged did not involve the lives and homes of Master Masons, it would be easy to reach the conclusion that we have done our utmost, and that our responsibility is ended; but consciousness of the fact that there is involved the welfare and lives of so many indigent brethren and members of their families, suggests that we should discuss the question from the standpoint of our obligations as Masons.
If defeat is not conceded, and if this Grand Lodge shall determine to "carry on," notwithstanding the indifference and apathy toward, and ignorance of, the great problem, until, like the importunate widow of the Scriptures (Luke 18:2-5), by our constant repetition of appeal and argument, we compel a hearing and secure action by the great body of American Freemasonry, then, as stewards of this trust, it would appear to be our duty to point out the way whereby another, and perhaps successful, effort may be made.
A studious review of the whole great effort to date, reveals the outstanding, significant and regrettable fact that American Freemasons, as individuals, have not been permitted to consider and act upon our appeal, because Masonic leaders in the several sister jurisdictions, with few exceptions, have declined to authorize or permit the circularization of constituent lodges and their individual members.
Our plan of organization contemplated an association of Grand Lodges and other Masonic bodies, for relief on a national scale.
Not only has our effort to perfect such an organization failed, but the Masonic Service Association has lost many of its member Grand Lodges; and it is evident that there is a growing prejudice against national Masonic associations — no matter how worthy the object.
If this Grand Lodge shall approve the suggested amendment of our Charter, and if same is amended as suggested, the existing corporation would thereby become an Association of Master Masons, rather than of Masonic bodies; which, however, would still constitute a legal entity or corporation sponsored by and largely under the control and direction of this Grand Lodge, by virtue of the fact that all New Mexico members of the Fraternity are members of the existing Association, and would continue so to be; and members of the Board of Governors would be chosen from individual Masons of Grand Jurisdictions, who might signify their willingness to serve by reason of their interest in the work, and their membership in the Association.
And it is possible that the future development of the movement may ultimately result in the accomplishment of our primary object and purpose.
And thus, having a legal entity, so sponsored and directed, this Grand Lodge would be in position to appeal to sister Grand jurisdictions and other Masonic bodies, for financial aid, and such appeal should emanate from this Grand Lodge; and the funds of the Association might ultimately prove sufficient to provide for the activities of the Fort Bayard Relief and Sojourners Club, and similar activities — whereby the general fund of this Grand Lodge would be relieved to that extent.
Should it be determined to recommend the dissolving of the existing corporation, it will immediately become incumbent upon this Grand body to determine through what, if any, agency relief work shall be administered.
In the event of such decision, it would seem advisable to create a more or less permanent agency, in the shape of an appropriately named committee of five or seven members, who shall be appointed or elected — the minority number for a period of two years and the majority for a period of three years, and thereafter their respective successors to be chosen for terms of three years.
Such an agency, if created, should be clothed with full administrative and discretionary powers, through the medium of appropriate legislation by this Grand Lodge.
The third alternative is that of abandoning organized tubercular relief work, except such as is strictly required for our own indigent tuberculars and their families, and the continued maintenance and support of the Fort Bayard Relief and Sojourners Club.
The adoption of this policy would be in line with that advocated and pursued by many of our sister Grand jurisdictions; but would be contrary to our conception of the fundamental teachings of Masonry.
We are taught and understand that all Masons are our brethren, regardless of the Grand jurisdiction from which they hail, and that it is our duty to respond whenever we perceive the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress.
Due regard for our obligations precludes the ignoring of the appeal of any distressed worthy brother no matter whence he comes.
As individual Masons we are taught to practice charity and to be truly benevolent, but organized charity is absolutely essential in order properly and adequately to deal with the great problem which confronts American Freemasonry today.
We are of the opinion that this Grand Lodge would do well to consider the first mentioned proposition. Therefore, in order to initiate discussion of the whole subject and to present the primary proposition in such form that it may be acted upon, we submit the following proposed resolution, to-wit:
WHEREAS, the President of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association has reported to this Grand Lodge inability to complete organization of the Association along the lines prescribed in the original Charter, and has suggested that the Charter be so amended as to change the name, method of government, and plan of organization;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That this Grand Lodge recommends that steps be taken to amend the Charter of said Association, as follows, to wit:
FIRST: That the name of the Association, wherever same appears in the original Articles of Incorporation, or Charter, shall be changed so as to read "Masonic Tuberculosis Association."
SECOND: That Article VI, with the exception of the Proviso therein, be amended so as to read as follows, to-wit:
All the affairs and business of this corporation shall be under the control of, and shall be conducted by, a Board of Governors chosen by and from the membership of the Association at each annual meeting and/or of such other and/or additional members as from time to time, during intervals between annual meetings, may be named by the existing Board of Governors or the executive committee.
And be it further resolved that this Grand Lodge reaffirms its recognition of the obligation devolving upon the Masonic Fraternity to make adequate provision for the relief of worthy brethren and members of their families who are victims of tuberculosis; and its firm conviction that adequate relief can be afforded only through the medium of an efficient organization; and that the burdens incident to providing adequate relief for indigent brethren and members of their families, victims of tuberculosis, who migrate to the Southwest in search of climatic advantages in the hope of regaining their health, should be assumed and borne by the Fraternity at large, through the medium of an agency such as that which is here involved, through which only can the problem be efficiently and economically handled.
And this Grand Lodge therefore favors a continuance of the effort, heretofore so earnestly made to arrest the attention and arouse the interest of American Freemasonry and to enlist the financial aid and assistance of individual Masons and of Masonic bodies throughout the United States; and pledges a continuance of its financial support to the further efforts and work of the Association, and its active cooperation in the renewed and continued effort to secure requisite financial assistance from other Grand jurisdictions and Masonic bodies.
The proposed amendments, if made, will so change the name of the Association as to meet objections made to a "National" Association, and also the opposition to the establishment of a "National Sanatorium."
They will also so change the method of government and plan of organization as to meet and eliminate objections by some Grand Masters to participating in the management of the Association or assuming any responsibility for its financial support.
And, under the proposed change, members of the Board of Governors may be selected from any Grand jurisdiction, from among interested Masons who are desirous of aiding and assisting in the work.
The effect of the amendments will be to provide a legal entity, sponsored and controlled by this Grand Lodge, to which other Grand jurisdictions and Masonic bodies may be induced to render financial aid, as the result of direct appeals for aid emanating from this Grand Lodge, without becoming committed to continuous appropriations, but the support once afforded, would doubtless be continued as long as merited.
And in addition it will also be possible for the Association to make direct appeal to individual Masons for support.
By the adoption of the proposed resolution, this Grand Lodge will reaffirm and declare its allegiance to the movement, and its sponsorship of the Association heretofore created by its mandate.
It is for us to determine whether or not we shall "carry on" as proposed in the foregoing resolution, or what alternative course of action shall be pursued.
REPORT ON TUBERCULAR RELIEF IN ARIZONA
This report was presented to the Grand Lodge of Arizona and was adopted at the annual communication held last month.
To the M. W. Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of Arizona:
Your Committee on Sanatoria reports that progress has been made during the past year in the effort to secure cooperation of other Grand Bodies in the operation of the sanatorium at Oracle, Arizona.
It now appears probable that the cooperation and assistance of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico and its constituent corporation (the N.M.T.S.A.)
(organized for benevolent and charitable purposes to secure financial assistance from other jurisdictions and Masonic bodies for the care of Masons and their families who are suffering from tuberculosis)
may be secured to assist in carrying on this work which the Grand Lodge of Arizona has had in hand for several years, as considerable progress has been made along these lines during the past year in conference with Grand Lodge officers of New Mexico and other jurisdictions.
Your committee therefore recommends that the Grand Master be authorized to continue negotiations with the Grand Lodge of New Mexico and other Grand Jurisdictions and Masonic organizations, as may be necessary, to the end that all assistance possible may be secured by the Grand Lodge of Arizona in carrying on this work.
The determination of the brethren both in New Mexico and Arizona to continue their efforts to meet the need for the relief of tuberculous Masons and members of their families in spite of the discouragement of the past year is very good news indeed, and we know that all members of the Research Society will desire that the new attack upon the problem will be crowne with a successful issue.
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SAINT PATRICK AND THE SNAKES OF IRELAND
Bro. H. S. Darlington, Oklahoma
WHERE is not much that is truly authentic in the tales about Saint Patrick; yet we may be certain of some of the events in his life, which were connected with his mission of driving the "snakes" out of Ireland.
His father probably held some manner of public office under the Roman governor of Britain. Patrick in his youth was named Sucat, and was apparently born in Wales about 389 A.D. He was captured by Irish raiders on the coast, when about sixteen years old. For six years he was held a prisoner, during which time he seems to have learned the language of his captors, and also he seems to have heartily learned to hate the Druidical religion.
He effected his escape, and reached Europe or Africa in a ship. He mentions crossing a desert before reaching Gaul. But that "desert" is probably the symbolical path of asceticism which is barren of spiritual blossoming until priesthood has been attained. In Royal Arch Masonry, the candidates go blind-folded over the terrible desert of ignorance and ancient faiths, all the way from Babylon to Jerusalem. The worst is then over.
Sucat seems to have stayed for fourteen years or thereabouts in France. How much of that time he put in studying for orders we do not know; but we do know that he studied under the direction of the Bishop of Gaul, and received the name of "Patricius." He was commissioned to go to Ireland to convert the poor benighted heathen to the true faith, and to counteract the spread of an independent sect of Christians who were working in the southeastern part of the Emerald Isle. Patrick, however, went into northern Ireland, thus leaving the sect in question unmolested; and so it remained until fused into the Church of England at a later date.
Either accidentally, or purposely, Patrick broke the taboos of the Druid priests on May-eve, when sacred or "new" fire was made throughout the locality, by diffusion from a single flame. The Druids were really staging a dramatization of their doctrine of the manner in which the Promethean fire, or the blaze of forethought was brought into the dark mind-realms of mankind. Patrick's actions were looked upon as sacrilegious, as they really were; and thus his conflict with the Druids began. Patrick and Christianity won the trial, and the Gospel was spread over the island rapidly. His particular mission and hobby was the persecution of the Druids, and the suppression of their rites and practices. He broke into their circles and their schools in the groves. He broke into their temples, such as they were, and smashed their idols, when they had any. In fact, Patrick and his followers seem effectively to have banished the Druids from Ireland, if they did not also exterminate many of them, which is not at all unlikely.
THE LEGEND OF THE SNAKES
It was in that work of extirpating the Druidical faith, and in driving out the priests called "Druids," that Saint Patrick gained that strange zoological distinction of having driven the "snakes" out of Ireland. The Irish peasant, however, absurdly imagines that the zealous missionary actually ridded the swamps and meadows of literal reptiles, in spite of the fact that small serpents are still found in Ireland. In fact, the ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic Church seem to have fostered this view of what Saint Patrick did. They did not understand that the term "snake" was symbolical.
It was the Druids who were the "snakes." They called themselves "snakes." They were proud to call themselves "serpents" and especially "adders." They had degrees of initiation into their priestly and philosophical secrets. The candidates or those of the lowest order seem to have been called "vipers." They lived as it were, far down from the sunlighted hill-tops. The vipers lived in the swamps and lakes. The "adders" seem to have been the highest order, and were the Druids proper. (1) They were supposed to be spotted with milk-white markings of the light of wisdom and purification. They symbolically lived upon the hill-tops, and were "Spotted Adders" basking in the sunlight of truth.
Far and wide, the serpent is called the emblem of wisdom and knowledge. The Druids looked upon themselves as having won the wisdom of the serpents. Even Jesus said: "Be ye wise as serpents." But the Druids prided themselves on spiritual and cosmic wisdom, rather than on the carnal wisdom that the serpent conferred when "Adam knew his wife." The Egyptians tried to show that the brow of Pharaoh was the seat of wisdom by representing the uraeus twined about his head.
A student of Druidical lore by the name of Davies has translated the poems of a Gaelic bard named Taliesin. In the "Ox-pen of the Bards," this poet says:
I am a singer:
I am a tower:
I am a Druid:
I am an architect:
I am a prophet:
I am a serpent:
I am love...
Thus he identifies himself as a Druid with the serpents. In the "Battle of the Trees," the same bard also says:
I have been a spotted adder on the mount ...
I have been a viper in the lake ...
Drest in my priest's cloke
And furnished with my bowl.
The bard is apparently speaking of the initiations through which he had passed in being made a Druid of high order. Evidently, he passed through something analogous to the degrees of primitive secret societies, or of Freemasonry. The Druids are well known to have had at least three degrees which were conferred most solemnly at night. The first and lowest was the Eubates, the second, the Bards; and the third, the Druids. The candidate went through a symbolical death, being buried in the West, and then was resurrected in the East in the Third Degree. There were probably other degrees that had to be passed, too.
THE MYSTIC EGG
The Druids in their rituals staged the idea of "world renewal," and they taught the doctrine of reincarnation of the soul, as a means of spiritual purification and salvation. They taught the immortality of the soul, and the final resurrection of the dead. These ideas were beautifully symbolized by means of a small golden egg, or by a colored glass egg, which, as an emblem and a silent promise of a new life, was hung about the neck by a chain.
Pliny says he saw one of those eggs, and he tells what he heard concerning it. He says it was covered with a membrane or integument; but he seems not to have examined it further than to state that the membrane was studded with small cavities. They probably represented eyes by which the Druid saw and knew all things. Pliny does not state whether there was a golden, a glass, or a vitrified-clay egg within the covering. Perhaps very few of them were really of gold. Many of the glass ones were of several colors. Pliny describes the one he saw as an "involved ball"; and by that we assume he means that it was a sphere or egg enclosing several other eggs concentrically, after the manner of the Babylonian conception of the universe, world within world.
The egg was supposed to be produced in the froth of a knot of serpents, and from them it shot forth or was tossed up. At such a moment, the plucky man would snatch the egg or catch it in his cloak, and ride off at full speed, with the snakes in pursuit. The thief had only to cross running water to make himself safe, because the "adders" could not or would not continue. The egg was also said to send its rays to a distance. It was called a "Token of Life," and "the splendid product of the adder." These statements have reference doubtless to dramatic events in the rites of passage. The egg in the cloak is no doubt the candidate himself wrapped in his own cloak. It is he who is shot forth, tossed up, or as he would say "raised" in radiant wisdom by the concerted teachings of the closely knitted knot of brethren who circle about him in single file, circumambulating like a snake.
The running water that he crosses has reference to baptism, whereby symbolically the candidate accomplishes a new birth. Then having come to the status of the "twice-born men," the adders no longer pursue him, for he is on a par with them. (2) As a finished mental and spiritual product of the esoteric teachings of the adders, the tyro becomes a splendid jewel, a radiant ball, or a golden egg, a perfect Ego. Then he is entitled to wear the golden egg, as the insignium of his order, even as a Mason wears his emblem. The egg is his proof offered to others that he has been shown the secrets of Life in its fullness of immortality, radiance, wisdom, power and influence. All in all, the ideas were most noble and poetical ones.
The one unquestioned good that Saint Patrick did accomplish was the suppression of human sacrifices or the remnant of it that the Druids in Ireland practiced. Their rites of "world renewal" involved the symbolical representation of the destruction of the wicked souls, by the tossing of a basket-full of criminals all ablaze into the sea, from off a cliff. After ten years labours, Saint Patrick went to Rome for the first time. He came back with several parcels of holy bones, and with them, he introduced the cult of cadaver worship into Ireland. Even though the Cross superseded the luminous egg as a symbol of Irish religion, we have nevertheless retained the egg in its brightly colored form, as the emblem of the resurrection, and which is conferred especially upon children on Easter Sunday. Easter was a great fete-day with the Druids, but not with the early Christians. So after all, the "Splendid Product of the Adders," was not wholly extirpated from the Emerald Isle, even if Saint Patrick did succeed in driving the "snakes" out of the land.
1. This contrast between adders and vipers is not borne out by the zoological facts. They are both names for the same species of viperinae. [Ed.]
2. It would probably be well to offer some proof for the bald statement in the foregoing text, where it was asserted that the candidate fleeing with the stolen egg, is not pursued farther than the stream, because therein, he is purified by a baptismal rebirth, lifting him spiritually to the status of the "Snakes.". The following quotation seems to substantiate the writer's interpretation. It is taken from Conway's "Demonology and Devillore," N.Y., 1889, page 3:
"William Craft," an African who resided for some time in the kingdom of Dahomey, informed me of the following incident which he had witnessed there. The sacred serpents are kept in a grand house, which they sometimes leave to crawl in the neighboring grounds. One day a negro from some distant region encountered one of these animals and killed it. The people learning that one of their gods had been slain, seized the stranger, and having surrounded him with brushwood, set it on fire. The poor wretch broke through the circle of fire and ran, pursued by the crowd, who struck him with heavy sticks. Smarting from the flames and blows, he rushed into a river; but no sooner had he entered there, than the pursuit ceased and he was told that, having gone through fire and water, he was purified, and might emerge with safety."
The candidate for Druidical honors seems to have purified himself by a baptism in water alone, for no mention appears to be made of any requisite baptism by fire. In the one case, the offender emerges from the stream, forgiven for having stolen a "snake's" egg; and in the other case, he is forgiven for having killed a snake. In either case the snakes are sacred.
* * *
THE DIONYSIAC ARTIFICERS; A MASONIC MYTH
Bro. David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
MANY Masonic writers, especially in recent years, have adopted the assumption that the ancient Dionysiac Artificers of Ionia were an organized brotherhood of architects and builders, the forerunners of the Craft if not its actual founders. It is disconcerting, therefore, to discover in absolutely none of the Greek and Roman authors of antiquity a single mention of them in connection with the structural arts. Misled by their own failure to verify the pretentious footnotes cited in Alexander Lawrie's History of Freemasonry, the first edition of which appeared in Edinburgh in 1804 and the second edition in 1859, some very eminent brothers here and abroad have been made the victims of an imposture that in the interest of truth should be exposed.
The first suggestion of the Dionysiac Artificers as a possible fraternity of Masonic character was made by Professor John Robison, a Scotch mathematician, secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, who in 1797 published a book entitled Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of the Freemasons, Illuminati, etc. His purpose was probably political in some way, but so far as the book itself was concerned on its face it was an attack on Freemasonry's interference with government and included English Freemasonry as well as that on the Continent in its indictment. In his second edition he recanted his statements about the Craft in Great Britain. On page 20 of Proofs of a Conspiracy Professor Robison says among other things:
We know that the Dionysiacs of Ionia were a great corporation of architects and engineers who undertook, and even monopolized, the building of temples and stadia, precisely as the Fraternity of Freemasons monopolized the building of cathedrals and conventual churches in the Middle Ages. Indeed, the Dionysiacs resembled in many respects the mystic fraternity now called Freemasons.
Robison, as a scholar at a time when the classics were essential as part of the equipment of an educated man, must have been aware that as architects and engineers the Dionysiac Artificers were unknown to the ancients. At any rate he limited himself to pointing out pretended points of resemblance and he did not go so far as to say that the Dionysiac Artists and the modern Freemasons were the same. It remained for Lawrie's History of Freemasonry eight years later to take Robison's statement as the basis for a long chapter in which the unqualified assertion was made that the two were identical. Lawrie was a bookseller in Edinburgh in 1804 and because of the vogue of his book (as Robert Freke Gould, Masonic historian, suggests), he later became Grand Secretary of the Craft in Scotland. But he was not a man of education, and the very learned air of his production led to the general belief that he had employed someone else to write it. On May 9, 1863, Notes and Queries (London) published a statement that at the sale of the library of Dr. Irving, a note in the doctor's hand-writing was found in a copy of the History in which it was stated that Lawrie had asked Irving to write it and on his declining had employed David Brewster. Brewster, who afterwards became famous through his discovery of the diffraction of light, for which he was knighted, was a young man at the time, a recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh, who was supporting himself by furnishing articles to encyclopedias and current magazines, and, if he was the author of Lawrie's History he must have regarded it as an occasion for a jeu d'e'sprit, for he certainly knew his Greek and Roman writers. But a single putative note is hardly sufficient evidence that Brewster had anything to do with it. Nor is it necessary to assume that the author of the book was a man of great erudition, for the Dionysiac idea was ready to his hand in Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy and the classical quotations were easily available at Lawrie's own book-shop in Lempriere's Classical Dictionary, which had been first published in 1788 and of which there had been many editions.
The chapter of the History in which the Artificers are discussed appears on its face to be a very learned affair, with copious footnotes. It treats of the Dionysia, or mysteries of Bacchus, by way of introduction, tells of how they were interwoven with those of Ceres and gives some particulars of the Eleusinian mysteries at Athens, with references to Plutarch and Herodotus. Then it says:
As Bacchus was the inventor of theatres, as well as of dramatical representations, that particular class of Masons, who were employed in the erection of these extensive buildings, were called the Dionysian Artificers, who possessed the exclusive privilege of erecting temples, theatres, and other public buildings in Asia Minor. They supplied Ionia and surrounding countries with theatrical apparatus by contract; and erected to Bacchus, the founder of their Order, the magnificent temple at Teos. These artists were initiated into the mysteries of their founder, and consequently into those of Eleusis. (History, page 25.)
For the statement that they were employed in the erection of extensive buildings and were called Dionysian Artificers, Aulus Gellius, lib. xx, c. 4, is given as the sole authority, while to sustain the rest of it the especial references that would carry weight in regard to "the magnificent temple at Teos" are to Strabo, lib. iv. Let us first turn to Aulus Gellius, whose work is called Noctes Atticae, using the copy of the original as published by Teubner at Leipzig in 1903, the text edited by Carolus Hosius. Here is book twenty, chapter four, to which Lawrie refers his readers, translated:
Unseemly and shameful fondness and lust of players; and words written upon it by the philosopher Aristotle.
A wealthy youth, pupil of the philosopher Taurus, had as companions in his pleasures and pastimes some comedians, tragedians and flute-players. They call this race in Greece the artificers of Dionysus. To lead the youth away from fellowships and social intercourse with stage players, Taurus sent him these words copied from Aristotle's book called General Problems and ordered him to employ himself daily in reading it: "For what reason are the Dionysiae Artificers for the most part worthless? Because, with as little as possible of reading and studies and barely sufficient skill, they form a fellowship to share in the manner of living and because they are in difficulty most of the time on account of their incontinence. Each is skilled in providing unskilled thines."
This quotation, it will be noted, is solely about shiftless and dissolute actors and flute-players, yet it is the only citation made by Lawrie to sustain his statement that the Dionysiac Artificers were employed in the erection of extensive theatrical buildings! The fraud practiced upon the reader by Lawrie is at once apparent, but the rest of his statement may well be quoted here in its essentials. On page 27 of his History he resumes his theme thus:
About a thousand years before Christ, the inhabitants of Attica ... sailed to Asia Minor, drove out the inhabitants seized upon the most eligible situations and united them under the name of Ionia in compliment to the majority of their number, who were natives of the province. In a short time the Asiatic colonies surpassed the mother country in prosperity and science. Sculpture in marbles and the Doric and Ionian orders were the result of their ingenuity... . For these improvements the world is indebted to the Dionysian Artificers, an association of scientific men who possessed the exclusive privilege of erecting temples, theatres and other public buildings in Asia Minor.... These artists were very numerous in Asia and existed under the same appellation in Syria, Persia and India. About three hundred years before Christ a considerable body of them were incorporated, by command of the kings of Pergamus who assigned to them Teos as a settlement, being the city of their tutelary god.
The History goes on to say that they had words and signs of recognition, were divided into lodges, and each separate association was under a master and presidents or wardens; that they had a general meeting once a year, used utensils in ceremonies "some of which were exactly similar to those that are employed by the Fraternity of Freemasons," and that the richer provided for the less fortunate brothers. Therefore, says Lawrie:
We are authorized to conclude that the fraternity of the Ionian architects and the Fraternity of Freemasons are exactly the same.... In their internal as well as external procedures the Society of Freemasons resembles the Dionysiacs of Asia Minor.... We are authorized to infer not only that the Dionysiacs existed before the reign of Solomon, but that they assisted this monarch in building that magnificent fabric which he reared to the God of Israel.
The only ancient author to whom Lawrie's History refers for these statements and who directly mentions the Dionysiac Artificers is Strabo. The first footnote in the Lawrie work says: Strabo, liber iv, and two other footnotes repeat it — Strabo, liber iv. Book iv of Strabo never mentions them, but is principally a description of the western European lands, Britain and the Alpine regions. All that Strabo has to say about them is found in his fourteenth book, chapter 50, 29, and it is as follows: [translation in Bohn's library]
Next to Colophon is the mountain Coracium, and a small island sacred to Artemis, to which it is believed that the hinds swim across to bring forth their young. Then follows Lebedos. distant from Colophon 120 stadia. This is the place of meeting and residence of the Dionysiac artists (who travel about) Ionia as far as the Hellespont. In Ionia a general assembly is held and games are celebrated every year in honor of Bacchus. These artists formerly inhabited Teos, a city of the Ionians next in order after Colophon, but on the breaking out of a sedition they took refuge at Ephesus — and when Attalus settled them at Myonnesus, between Teos and Lebedos, the Teians sent a delegation to request the Romans not to permit Myonnesus to be fortified, as it would endanger their safety. They migrated to Lebedos and the Lebedians were glad to receive them on account of their own scanty population.
There is nothing in this about a fraternity of architects and engineers or builders, nothing about their having the exclusive privilege of erecting theatres temples and public buildings and nothing to justify the idea that they were stonemasons or masons of any sort; yet it is the reference made by Lawrie and out of it Prof. John Robison also must have drawn whatever he knew about the Dionysiac Artificers. Other footnotes in Lawrie's History name Herodotus, Anacharsis Plutarch, Livy, Gillies' History of Greece, Chandler's Travels in Asia Minor, Chishull's Asiatic Antiquities, Ionian Antiquities by the Society of Dilettanti, Josephus' Antiquities and Potter's Antiquities. The Anacharsis on whom he relies is the hero of Barthelemy's fictitious Anacharsis en Grece, and the archaeological lore of the French numismatist has been superseded by modern scholarship. Anacharsis was published in 1789 as admittedly a work of fiction and was a widely read work in the original French. Gillies' History of Greece, published in 1786, was really a potical document for the Whig party in Great Britain and, though once widely read, never had any value as history. Chandler was a classical scholar and an able man, but he discusses the settlement of Ionia and not Dionysiac Artificers in the places mentioned by the footnotes given by Lawrie, except with reference to their settlement in Teos, in which Chandler, as would be expected of a scholar, follows Strabo, whom he illuminates by the knowledge gained in his own wide travels. Chishull is not mentioned in any encyclopaedia and the writer cannot trace his works. Of Herodotus, Livy and Plutarch, Lawrie quotes them only in connection with the Dionysia, the Bacchic mysteries, and the worship of Dionysus, and not as authority for any statement, whatever, about the Artificers, with which as an obvious matter of fact they have nothing to do.
But, if the Dionysiac Artificers were not builders, what were they? Precisely the "comedians, tragedians and flute-players" of whom Aulus Gellius speaks in his Noctes Atticae, as already quoted in this article, and they continued as such in classic period without much change, spreading in the early years of the Christian era to many parts of the Roman Empire outside of the region where they lived in Strabo's time. Writing in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology for July 1924, on "The Castanet Dancers of Arsinoe," Professor W. L. Westermann of Cornell University says:
Among the members of the Dionysiae guild at Ptolemais we find listed a cithara player, a singer to cithara accompaniment, a dancer, a flageolet player for tragic performances, and trumpeter (page 143).
The earliest reference to Dionysiac Artificers that the writer has been able to find occurs in Aristotle's Rhetoric, iii: 2,10, where, speaking of deducing a metaphor from a higher class if it is desired to cry it up and from a lower if it is wished to cry it down, he gives this example:
And someone speaks (of the courtiers of Dionysus) as Dionysian parasites: they, however, call themselves artificers.
The word translated "parasites" is in the original kolakoi, meaning "flatterers, fawners," and that rendered by "artificers" is technitai, which is interpreted in Liddell and Scott's Lexicon: "theatrical artists, musicians as well as actors." Concerning the passage quoted from Aristotle, Buckley in his translation of the Rhetoric says:
Dionysokolakas: This term, by which the tribe of flatterers seem to have been exposed to ridicule on the stage, was ingeniously borrowed from the name of the patron of the theatre Dionysos; they, however, thought proper to change one theatrical appellation for another more respectable and dignified themselves by the name technitai. This, as well as the corresponding Latin term, artifices, seems to have been commonly applied to actors, musicians, etc.
There is one reference to the Dionysiac flatterers or parasites in Polybius (History, xvi: 21, 8), where they are found in Egypt, not building temples or theatres, but enjoying the bounty of the pleasure-loving Egyptian general Tlepolemus. Says Polybius:
For though he (Tlepolemus) had complete control of the exchequer, he spent the greater part of the day in playing ball and in matches with the young men in martial exercises — and directly he left these sports, he collected drinking parties and spent the greater part of his life in these amusements and with these associates. But that part of his day which he devoted to business he employed in distributing, or I might rather say in throwing away, the royal treasure among the envoys from Greece and the Dionysian actors, and more than all among the officers and soldiers of the palace guard.
Here the word translated "actors" is the same technitai that Buckley translated as "artifices" The English is rendered in this quotation from the Macmillan edition of Polybius, London, 1889, edited by E. S. Shuckburgh, M.A., from the Hultsch text.
Two ancient writers are cited in Frazer's Pausanias and have been drawn to the writer's attention by Bro. R. J. Meekren, editor of THE BUILDER. They are Pausanias and Athenaeum. Fraser says (book 1, chapter 2, 5) of Dionysus the Minstrel:
We know from Athenaeus that the "artists of Dionysus" had a precinct in which sacrifices and libations were offered.
From the Corpus Inscriptorum Graecorum he finds that one of the two priests of Dionysus the Minstrel was chosen from the guild, partly religious, partly theatrical, called the "artists of Dionysus."
It is Athenaeus who quotes Poseidonius (Poseidon. apud Ath. 212 D), and Poseidonius gives a graphic, if brief, picture of the noisy doings in the precinct to which Frazer refers. His Greek is crabbed, but he tells to
men, women and children expecting largesse, sallying forth pell mell, altogether, to the temple; even the poorer men, to support whom at the common tables fees are collected; youths growing their first beard and the artificers of Dionysus, and all behaving with arrogance and jeering at the state.... Rich and poor they parade in procession which is a sacred affair, many arrayed in shirts of bright colors that drag along.
There are two inscriptions in the Corpus Inscriptorum Graecorum, as published by the classical scholar and antiquarian Philipp August Boeckh, which he restored. The restoration perhaps is the one that forms the basis for Frazer's deduction about the priest of Dionysus the Minstrel being selected from the artists of Dionysus, but the inscriptions are very defective and Boeckh does not pretend to certainty, owing to the extensive lacunae. Transcribing the uncial Greek into English letters, the first inscription spoken of, one found on the lower front of an interior gate at Ammoehosti near Salamis (Famagusta), is as follows:
OLYMPIADAT ... ... ... ... ... ... .
THEODOROYTOY ... ... ... ... ... .
BASILEOSTOYSTI ... ... ... ... ... .
KAIARCHIEREOSTOYSTI ... ... ... ... .
KYPRONGRAMMAT ... ... ... ... ... ... .
TECHITON ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .
By dexterous measurements and surmises from other inscriptions, this is restored by Boeckh so that it could be translated:
In (such an) olympiad, a sacred gift (of such a woman) from the king of the same birth, the commander of the army, the admiral, the chief priest of lower Cyprus, the chief clerk, the Dionysian Artificers.
The other inscription discussed by Boeckh is equally unsatisfactory. Both appear to be a statement of the officials and corporate bodies that have contributed toward the erection of a gate or monument and the Dionysiac technitai are mentioned in each.
Citations from Pausanias by Frazer, book one, chapter two, 5, and book seven, chapter three, describe the city of Teos and Lebedos, and one sentence in the former, translated by Bro. Meekren and forwarded to me by him, is of importance because it confirms Strabo's statement about the general meeting to the extent of telling of the building where the preparations are made for the "processions which are conducted annually and at other intervals."
From the quotations already made, it should be unnecessary to point out the absurdity of imagining that these strolling players, the Dionysiac Artificers, were ever employed on the Temple of Solomon as expert stonemasons or in any other capacity. If they ever had been domiciled in Tyre or anywhere on the Syrian coast, the fact would certainly have been stated by Strabo, but he is specific that their headquarters were in Ionia and he enumerates the cities in which they lived from time to time. There is no record of the Ionians as a people before the eighth century, B.C., and Homer uses the name but once. As King Solomon's temple was built in the first half of the tenth century, B.C., and as the first mention of the Dionysiac Artificers is found in Aristotle, who flourished in the fourth century, it is hardly necessary to do more than call attention to the fact that the temple had been built, razed and built again before the guild of Ionian actors ever was organized. Of Lawrie's statement on this point, therefore, it must be said as Robert Freke Gould said of him in connection with assertions about the Sinclair deed in Scottish Masonry: "We look in vain for any corroboration of this assertion, for it is simply untrue."
From time to time there have appeared references ts the work of Hypolito Da Costa in an effort to support the belief that the Dionysiac Artificers were really ancient Freemasons. Da Costa published in London in 1820 a small book entiled: Sketch for the History of Dionysian Artificers. What it has to say about the Artificers exactly follows the statement in Lawrie's History even to the very words and the only citation germane to the subject is that from Strabo, which is the same that is made by Lawrie. Obviously Da Costa, who had some reputation as a Masonic student, was a victim of Lawrie's deception, as many others have been since his day.
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Bro. A. J. B. Milborne, Canada
IN 1887 appeared a book, now long out of print, entitled The Real History of the Rosicrucians. Now, forty years later, comes another work by the same hand, that of Bro. Arthur Edward Waite, the well-known student of occultism and mysticism, whose many laborious and beautifully written books would alone make a library on these subjects. In the new volume, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, he takes up the old subject "as one who can speak now, not only with different and much further knowledge on the internal side, but as one who has travelled various paths belonging to its sacred world." Bro. Waite is acknowledged to be an authority, not only on Rosicrucianism, but on those subjects pertaining to sacramental religion and higher mysticism, all of which he has studied devotedly throughout his life, and which are the theme of his many books. There is an interrelationship between Bro. Waite's works, and the volume under review is not only a history of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, but another step towards that height to which he has so zealously and devotedly directed his course — "the Life Which Is Hidden With Christ in God."
At the outset the claims of the mythical precursors of the Order are dealt with in no uncertain manner. Those put forward on behalf of Raymond Lully and Count von Falkenstein and that made by Karl Kieswetter as a direct descendant of the last chief of the Brotherhood, inspire no confidence; those asserting the association with the Order of Paracelsus, Cornelius Agrippa and Dr. John Dee are set aside, and the contention more recently advanced by Mrs. Henry Potts, W. F. C. Wigston and Harold Bayley that Francis Bacon was connected with the Brotherhood is disproved by analytical and pungent criticism.
Bro. R. F. Gould (not C. F. Gould as appears on pages 80 and 435) in his Concise History of Freemasonry writes that Benedictus Figulus affirms the existence of an association of physicians and alchemists in the fourteenth century the object of which was discover the Philosopher's Stone. Bro. Waite says this may be true, but that Bro. Gould has been misled by the story that this body was merged in the Rosicrucian Order about 1607.
The Militia Crueifera Evangeliea, formed possibly by Simon Studion in 1586, and acknowledged to be an occult evangelical fraternity, is found to be identical with the record of the later body in respect of doctrine and symbolism, though distinguished from it by its distinct Second Adventist viewpoint. Three witnesses are produced in support of its claim as a forerunner of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross and critically examined — Professor J.G. Buhle, who derived his information from Wirtembergisches Repertorium der Litteratur, which in its turn derived from Simon Studion's Noametria, an unprinted book described as a brief introduction of all mysteries in Holy Scripture and the universal world, and containing the first intimation of the Rose and Cross in symbolism; C. G. von Murr, the author of an essay on the True Origin of the Rosicrucians and Masonic Orders, published in 1803, and Melchior Fischlin. Bro. Waite adds in an appendix that "The Militia was no more than a field in which the Order may have sprung up."
Proceeding, the author is persuaded that the philosophical and theosophical position of the Rosy Cross belonged to Christian Kabalists, who believed the Zoharic literature bore testimony to the fact that the expected Messiah was Christ; but he asserts that Heinrich Khunrath, an illuminated Christian Kabalist of the period, casts no light on the historical origin of the Rosy Cross, nor is any basis found for the alleged connection with it of Jacob Bohme, the German theosophist. In discussing a book — La Prophetic du Comte Bombast — published in 1701, attention is drawn to the fact that Dr. Francois Allary, to whom the publication is ascribed, describes the nephew of Paracelsus as being a Chevalier de la Rose Croix, a title "which is so familiar in High Grade Masonry after 1754," and it is found "not a little curious in 1701, from a Masonic standpoint, when it is moderately certain that there were not even three Masonic degrees."
Scrutinizing all the evidence, Bro. Waite discovers no trace of the Society prior to the seventeenth century and expresses the view, under reserve, that the Rosy Cross was in embryo in 1604, that the Naometria of Studion was its first memorial, in the sense of a precursor, and that its doctrine was held in common by many theosophists at the end of the sixteenth century.
THE OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS
Turning next to a consideration of the official publications of the fraternity, Bro. Waite says it is certain that prior to 1614 (the probable date of the first printed publication of the Fama Fraternitatis) the peculiar set of notions and the prevailing atmosphere which characterized Rosicrucian documents are to be found in the writings of Valentin Weigel, a Lutheran mystic, who Gottfried Arnold asserted was the founder of the Order, and also in those of Egidius Gutmann, mentioned by Arnold as a member. Weigel died in 1588 or many years before the Rosy Cross had been heard of, and Gutmann, Bro. Waite maintains, was not a member, though he may be considered as a precursor of the Order in that he represented its attitude and mental feelings.
The Fama Fraternitatis, which contains the legend of the mythical founder of the Brotherhood — Christian Rosy Cross — relates the circumstances under which the Order came into being and accounts, after its particular fashion, for the supposititious transmission of secret knowledge from East to West, was originally issued accompanied by a reply thereto by Adam Haselmeyer. Haselmeyer claimed to have seen the original manuscript in 1610 though it was in existence fifteen years earlier if the evidence of Julius Sperber is accepted. The fraternity is described as being versed in Higher Magia and pure Kabalism, and as possessing a hidden art of healing and the secret of the transmutation of metals, but the author finds "the root of all was in certain written memorials, which were a heritage from the past." The Universal Reformation which was bound up in the original issue of the Fama, and as a result was accepted at the beginning as an official document, was the work of an Italian satirist — Frajano Boccalini, and in Bro. Waite's estimation has no title to consideration as a Rosicrucian publication.
The Fama Fraternitatis was followed by the Confessio Fraternitatis R∴C∴, which furnishes the first date in Rosicrucian history — 1378, the year of birth of Christian Rosy Cross — but it is found to be an unsatisfactory document, though corresponding more or less to the expose promised in the Fama.
The third Rosicrucian document — The Chemical Nuptials of Christian Rosencreutz — is an allegorical romance or parable woven about the legendary founder of the Order, and does not contain any contribution to its history. Bro. Waite now supports the view that this singular work was the production in his early youth of Johann Valentin Andreae, and has revised his former opinion set forth in his earlier book that it was incredible as a boyish effort. It was published in 1616, and he considers it unquestionably a contribution to the Rosicrucian philosophy.
The thesis of Professor Buhle that the series of publications was part of an elaborate hoax planned by Andreae is examined at length and the conclusion is reached that there is nothing to justify the alleged authorship by Andreae of the Fama and Confessio, nor to support the claim that he was even a Rosicrucian, though it is admitted that Andreae was one of a close corporation from which the tracts emanated.
Summing up the documentary evidence before him, Bro. Waite finds in the Fama an early vistage of a design which developed subsequently under the protection of the Rosy Cross, namely the spiritualization of alchemy, and in this design he traces a reflection of the Lullian philosophic system.
The publication of the Fama created considerable stir in Germany and the Confessio stimulated the production of much literature, not only in support of the movement, but also hostile to it. This literature is discussed under four heads: (1) the letters and pamphlets of those seeking admission to the Order, in response to the invitation extended in the Fama; (2) independent tracts on various branches of occult science and philosophy dedicated to the Brotherhood; (3) critical tracts in examination of Rosicrucian principles, and (4) dubious and palpably fraudulent documents.
An interesting chapter is devoted to the Kentish philosopher — Robert Fludd — and his association with the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, to which he was drawn by its possession of the basis of philosophy and the supreme secret of medicine. He wrote in defence of the early Rosicrucian pamphlets in 1616, and in his later works conceived the Brotherhood to be working under the impulsion of the Holy Spirit and to be endowed with spiritual virtue and the higher Divine Grace. He thus spiritualized the Order even as he did Alchemy — in which the Philosopher's Stone became the Power of God. The writings of Robert Fludd are found to be of some importance as a presentation of the Secret Tradition in Christian times, and a development at large of the Rosicrucian philosophy. A commentary on the debated question as to the actual existence of the Rosy Cross as a corporate entity is obtained from Fludd's last work — Claris Philosophiae et Alchymiae Fluddanae — where he "puts on record his personal conviction that all persons whatsoever may and shall be accounted as true Brethren of the Rosy Cross if they are rooted firmly in the Christian faith, confirmed in the knowledge of themselves, and consciously built up on that cornerstone which is Christ Spiritual." Bro. Waite affirms his belief that Fludd was acquainted with Studion and was by him brought into the circle of adeptship, but that the Order was not formed by him, though he may have belonged to something at work under that name.
The connection of Maier, the great German alchemist, with the Brotherhood is then taken up. His first publication was issued in the same year as, if not earlier than, the Fama (1614), and as no mention appears in it of the Rosy Cross, Bro. Waite concludes he was not then connected with the Order. His entrance into the debate is sufficiently late to give the quietus to those who suppose that he visited England commissioned to spread its claims, though there is no question that he travelled there as an alchemist. Maier comes to the defense of the Rosy Cross in 1617, when was published his Silentium Post Clamores, and he espoused its cause until his death in 1622.
After dealing with the history of the Order in Germany, France and Holland, in the course of which Bro. Waite examines the many pamphlets put out by its apologists and assailants, the reader is brought back to a renewal of interest in the Order in England following the publication in 1650 of two tracts by Thomas Vaughan writing under the pseudonym — of Eugenius Philalethes. The extravagant and mendacious histories of the Order involving Elias Ashmole, Vaughan and others, written by contemporary and later writers receive energetic condemnation — "a considerable number of lying witnesses being driven out of court, carrying with them the baggage of their mischievous and idle fictions." The connection of Elias Ashmole with the Brotherhood is dismissed as a legend, unsupported by any evidence, though it is conceded that his contributions on the subject of Alchemy are a reflection of Rosicrucian doctrine.
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY REVIVAL
Just as in England, Rosicrucianism fell into a state of somnolence, so in Germany, nothing is heard of the Order during a period of at least seventy years, or until 1710, when Sigmund Richter published the Laws of the Brotherhood. A change is now noted in its form and spirit, and the Society divided into two branches called respectively the Rosy and the Golden Cross under an Imperator. The first trace of ritualistic observances also appears in the use of a very simple form of acception "comparable ... to the method of conferring the Liveries still prevalent in certain City Companies of London," "probably not unlike the mode of making an Enter Apprentice and communicating the Mason's Word in Scotland," and recalling "exactly the procedure indicated by some of the Old Charges of English origin."
From the publication of Richter's Laws in 1710 until 1777 there is no evidence as to the nature of the secret workings of the Holy Houses, but in the latter year a new epoch in the Golden and Rosy Cross opens with developed ceremonial forms and under Masonic auspices. Bro. Waite gives an abstract of the Legend of Foundation and finds it to vary but slightly from that of the Secret Tradition in Israel. "The Legend is notable otherwise as formulating for the first time, and on the authority of the Order itself what may be called the once familiar and even popular thesis which represented Speculative Freemasonry as emerging from a Rosicrucian center." The Order was also Christian and maintained the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, but after a detailed examination of the rituals and instructions of the grades "it emerges with considerable clearness that the concerns of the Golden and Rosy Cross in the year 1777 notwithstanding the spiritual and religious atmosphere by which it was encompassed, had no other purpose than the physical medicine of men and metals."
THE PARALLELISM TO FREEMASONRY
In discussing the revival of interest in the Rosy Cross, Bro. Waite refers to the revival of Freemasonry in 1717, which he contends, was due, not so much to the formation of a Grand Lodge, or to the fact that Freemasonry came into public favour, but to the developments in its ritual. These developments, he says, "must, and can be only, in the present state of our knowledge, relegated to post-1717, and most probably are the work of the period between 1724 and 1726." Just as mere vestiges of ritual are found in the operative documents of the Masonic Fraternity, so does Bro. Waite find corresponding vestiges in the Rosicrucian laws of Richter. "There was no borrowing one from another, since neither had aught to lend." There is also the natural parallel between the Apprentice Mason who learned the mystery of his trade and the Novice of the Rosy Cross, who acquired Hermetic secrets, as both were communicated under a pledge of secrecy. This, then, "is how Masonry stood in relation to the Rosy Cross, until the former had earned its titles ... by the high magic of Rites" and the Rosy Cross passed under its banner.
The Masonic grade entitled Rose Croix is first heard of in France in or about 1754 under the obedience of a Council of Emperors of the East and West, being numbered eighteen in its sequence of twenty-five grades.
It was the only grade that had any Rosicrucian complexion and the author finds its sudden appearance after a hundred years without trace of the Rosy Cross in France, one of the most unlikely things that ever occurred in Masonic history. The belief is affirmed that it came from a Rosicrucian source, and that it stands at the present day as it stood then "the Christian answer to Masonry, the Christian intent and meaning impressed upon the Craft grades, their completion and their crown." "The Rosy Cross is for the eighteenth degree of the old Rite of Perfection precisely that which it was for Robert Fludd, namely the Cross of Calvary steeped in the mediatorial blood of Christ" and Bro. Waite says, "there is no question that the eighteenth degree in its valid and orthodox form as the Word discovered and communicated, carried on the Rosicrucian claim to possess the key of Masonry, to be actually its fons et origo and to deliver its final message.
The chief occult personages in France during the second half of the eighteenth century — the Comte de Saint Germain, Cagliostro and Martines de Pasqually, and the contentions put forward by their respective protagonists are discussed. The survival of the Order in Germany during the same period is followed up and the connection with it of Frederick William II, and his chief advisers, Bischoffswerder and Wollner passed in review. The reorganization of the Brotherhood in 1777 did not, however, eliminate undesirables and malcontents, and as a result other Rites and Orders became established in the likeness of the original and advancing corresponding claims. Among these were the Initiated Brethren of Asia, which was active in Austria and Italy, and the Fratres Lucis. Both lapsed gradually and passed out of sight at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
THE ROSICRUCIANS IN RUSSIA
The Rosy Cross is followed to Russia which it entered upon the auspices of German adepti and, with Masonry, became identified with Martinism. It appeared to connote a purely spiritual movement, centers about the person of N. Novikoff, and ends in 1792 with his arrest and imprisonment by the Empress Catherine II. An interdict was laid on all Masonry in 1797, removed by Alexander and applied again more rigidly in 1822, but, Bro. Waite adds "we know that suppressions of this kind do not kill institutions which have anything vital in them, they disappear from public gaze, and find a place in catacombs or in the very crypts of palaces" and he believes, from reports which have reached him, that the Rosy Cross was still subsisting in Petrograd before the war, though he surmises that it has degenerated into the older occult activities.
Another phase of the Rosicrucian mystery is entered upon in 1794 when a certain Comte de Chazal, a resident of Mauritius, received Dr. Sigsmund Bacstrom into a Societas Roseae Crucis. The document recording the reception is epitomized and the conclusion is drawn from its analysis that this sodality is not to be identified with the Golden and Rosy Cross, but is attributable to the system of which Richter was the spokesman or even to some earlier development.
The circumstances attending the formation of the existing Rosicrucian Society — otherwise Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia are examined, and an analysis is given of the manuscript The Star Rising in the East, the product of a Major F. G. Irwin, who organized a similar society in the West of England about the year 1874 and which apparently passed out of existence a few years later. In the opinion of Bro. Waite neither of these societies reflect anything from the past of Rosicrucian history.
Summing up the results of his exhaustive enquiry, the author concludes that "there were several schools within the general circle of the Order... (1) those of the astral workings, activities and fruits of the magical paths in their distinction from the Higher Magia ... (2) those which confessed only to dedications in physical alchemy, like the Reformation of 1777 and (3) those for which the Kentish philosopher Fludd stood up a most valiant champion more than a hundred years before." "The various associations and sodalities which have claimed the generic title exhibited in the early 17th Century, rose up in their day, advancing their particular claims, and they died also in their day." "It is above all things probable that their connection one with another was in the bond of union furnished by an identical name and a certain consanguinity of intention, whatever the intention was." Traces of spiritual intent are discovered in the disjointed progression of the Order, and reflections of the speculative theosophy of the Zoharic and Kabalistic schools are found in its doctrine. But the links are broken everywhere, "that which remains, however, is the Rosy Cross, a body of Christian symbolism, variously interwoven and clothed in various forms."
Finally, Bro. Waite takes the position that "Though many associations sprang up successively and concurrently under the implied and expressed claims connoted by the same recurring denomination, though their history is chequered enough, though that which is called originally the House of the Holy Spirit may have been occasionally a den of thieves, the sacramentalism of the sign remained, and — again in the natural evolution of things — it was antecedently and above all things probable that there would come about (1) a reversion to the one only and valid message of the sign; (2) a desire on the part of some who knew and were of the elect that the Rosicrucian House of the Holy Spirit should become or again be consecrated to the Holy Spirit of God. It is this transformation which has come to pass in fact. The old Rosicrucian Tree of Life in Kabalism has become the Tree of Life in mystical experience on the ascent of the soul to God. The light of the Rosy Cross under such new birth in time is the light of the world in Christ. The path of the progress through the mystical Grades and Worlds is the path of the soul's return to that center from which it came forth, or even to God who is its end. After this manner is adeptship transformed by sanctity, the key and secret of all being the translation of ritual into life. The term and crown of all is a great mystery of attainment.... The new spirit has changed not the old name, which is of catholic and perfect meaning in the world of types, but it has changed the body of the thing and has given it a robe of glory." "The Rosy Cross is not a Rite in Masonry, and does not demand now, as it did once, a Masonic qualification of members, yet the key of Masonry is there, for it is a mystery of new life, of figurative or mystical death, and after these experiences there is a Great Mystery of Raising. But it is all in the light of the Sun in Christ shining at the zenith-altitude in a heaven of soul, no longer in the substituted and penumbral rays of the Craft Mason, which have been called darkness visible."
Such is the lofty spiritual note upon which Bro. Waite reaches the end of another path in his quest.
In spite of the difficulties engendered by the successive transformations which the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross has undergone, the mass of myth and legend which surrounds its origin, and the hindrances created by the extravagant claims of earlier commentators, Bro. Waite has given a remarkable and valuable contribution to our knowledge of its history.
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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. Littlefield, 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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A REVIEW OF THE TUBERCULAR CAMPAIGN
IT was, in July, 1926, that THE BUILDER definitely assigned two pages every month to the N.M.T.S.A. for the forwarding of their campaign to inform the Masonic Fraternity of the facts about the tubercular situation and the crying need for a real solution of the whole problem. The management of this department has been entirely in the hands of Bro. R. J. Newton of New Mexico, under the direction of the Executive Committee of the Association. We mention this last because we gather that had Bro. Newton been permitted he would have answered directly with facts and figures and names and dates many criticisms levelled against the Association and its aims. The Executive Committee, in the spirit of Masonic amity, did not wish to hurt anyone's feelings, not even to the point of demonstrating that such critics were mistaken or were ignorant of the facts. The motive was one that we must sympathize with, and even admire, yet it is more than possible it was mistaken. One cannot make omelettes without breaking eggs. It is hard to move numbers of men, harder still to move official groups, without making many uncomfortable at the very least. Many of us are uncomfortable and ashamed that the problem exists at all, or that it should have been allowed to grow to such proportions with no real effort to meet it, and still more so at the gratuitous difficulties that have been put in the way of amending the situation.
THE BUILDER had received communications from New Mexico on the subject, as presumably had the other Masonic periodicals of the country, and while sympathetic had not felt called upon to take any particular part in the campaign. We confess this freely. It perhaps will in part account for the fact that the Masonic press has really on the whole given so little support to the movement. It was not until Bro. Newton came to St. Louis and told those of us here personally about the situation, including some things almost incredible, things that could hardly be published, that it became clear that Masonic obligation bound us to do whatever we could, and to use THE BUILDER as a means of communicating the facts to the Craft. The obligation lay upon the Executive of the Society and the Editors of THE BUILDER in their character as Masons. It lay equally on the members of the Society. However uninteresting, dull or monotonous the pages of the Northeast Corner may possibly have seemed to some of our readers, it was, as we conceive it, our duty to publish these facts and appeals, and the duty of our readers to consider, and act upon them as opportunity served. The fact that members of the N.M.R.S. are students, and THE BUILDER a research journal, not concerned as such in matters of passing moment, does not absolve it or them from the primary Masonic obligations, and we do not apologize for having used to this end a channel of communication designed for other purposes. Nor, so far as we are able to guage the feelings of members of the Society, is any defense necessary, for with almost no exceptions our correspondents have expressed the deepest interest and concern in the movement.
When the N.M.T.S.A. was first organized it seemed to be a long step towards solving the problem. Questioning was expected. The Grand Lodges and the Craft at large had a right "to be shown," to have the facts laid before them and the need demonstrated. That the new Association would be actively opposed did not even occur as a possibility. But it has been; and the opposition has been strong enough to bring it to a standstill. And this because, it may well be, it was not forced to come out into the open. We do not now intend to discuss this opposition, but its strength, or its mass, lay, it would seem, in the very natural and human dislike of lodges, of lodge officers, perhaps even of Grand Lodges, to admit that they had failed in meeting their responsibilities towards their own members stricken with tuberculosis. Those who had failed those who had sent sick brothers to the Southwest and said they could do no more, those who had suspended absent brethren for non-payment of dues, who might have been found to be sick and destitute had inquiries been made, did not like to have the facts brought home. We can all see that they would not like it, and that the natural reaction would be to doubt the facts presented, and to seize upon any side issues which could be criticized, and in doing so obscure the real object in view.
This we say is the natural reaction. No one likes to be told of mistakes or errors, still less of being remiss in duty. And when any of us are charged with such dereliction, we instinctively defend ourselves; the lines such defense will naturally take will be precisely those upon which the N.M.T.S.A. has been criticized and its efforts opposed.
THE BUILDER has not criticized hitherto, but it has never undertaken to support the Association blindly. So long as there seemed some hope that this particular effort might succeed it did not seem to be conducive to the end in view to do so, for this was the only thing to be considered. Besides we fully admit that "hind sight is better than foresight," and that we did not see things that are now fairly clear. But it may be advisable to discuss the conduct of this attempt in order that the next effort may avoid the snares and pitfalls in which the first seems to have got entangled. For we must repeat, though this attempt may have failed, the problem remains, in every state growing steadily more acute, and American Masonry must find some remedy or stultify itself.
The first thing — it seems only a trifling detail, but such trifles sometimes have far reaching effects — the name the Association adopted was against it. Not only was it too long and too clumsy to be used conveniently in either speech or writing, but it gave an opening to the opposition by seeming to insist upon what was really a subsidiary question. Had it been called "The Masonic Tuberculosis Association," or even "The Masonic Tubercular Relief Association," it would, we believe, have been much better, and might have made a material difference to the outcome. In conversation, in giving addresses, in writing letters, the name was altogether too cumbersome. Even when initials only were used it was awkward. It is possible that the adoption of a short title with a swing to it, a title that was in itself a "slogan" or rallying cry, would have helped to turn the balance from failure to success. At least those who know anything of advertising will not be inclined to minimize this possibility.
But the more definite defect of the name was that it concentrated attention, not upon the need of relief, but upon one particular method of affording it. In other words it would seem that it was a mistake to have included the word "Sanatoria." The project to provide one or more of these institutions for the treatment of Tuberculous Masons was open to reasonable objection from several directions. It was and is a thing about which there could be diverse and opposing opinions. It has been the chief point of attack on the part of critics, and in criticizing this means to the end, the end itself has been forgotten. Again, a perfectly natural and human thing to do, one that might have been, and perhaps ought to have been, foreseen. Looking back at least, it would appear to have been almost inevitable that this conception would arise. Then the vexed question was raised whether there be any special advantages in the climate of the Southwest for the treatment of the disease. Many physicians say there is not, others believe there is. Where doctors disagree laymen can take their choice, and the doubt thus raised offered another excuse for inaction and delay.
Then those Jurisdictions which already have public and private sanatoria of their own, or were planning to have them, naturally felt that they were not called upon to assist in building or buying other institutions elsewhere. These Jurisdictions are not many, but they are influential out of all proportion to their number. Their attitude counted for a great deal to make or mar the success of the Association. It made no difference that the spokesmen of the latter disclaimed any intention to force the member Jurisdictions into adopting this one plan of action; there was the word "Sanatoria" in its title to outweigh all protest and explanation.
Further it opened the way for another objection. It was said that to start hospitals for tuberculosis would lead to demands for hospitalization of other diseases. Cancer was one especially mentioned in this connection. This argument is very plausible, and we have no doubt helped to lead many to an adverse conclusion who did not stop to consider that cancer patients, or people suffering from most other diseases, do not leave their homes to gain health, or at least do not migrate to one particular locality. It was also forgotten that tuberculosis is an infectious disease, which the others that have been mentioned are not. The effectiveness of this objection lay in the obscuring of the essentials of the problem by confusing it with the means proposed to solve it. If it were merely a question of curing the tuberculous why should that disease alone be provided for? The fact that three relatively weak and poor Jurisdictions are by force of circumstances being made to bear an undue proportion of the burden of the whole country was lost sight of — though it is the crucial point, the very heart of the situation, the thing that makes it a national and not a local concern.
Though the considerations which led to it are worthy of the greatest respect, it seems also to have been a grave tactical error not to have replied to objections as they arose. It is well enough to turn one's face to the smiter as the Gospel bids us — but not when we are engaged in defending the rights and claims of others. We believe this absence of adequate open reply under attack was also misunderstood by many, and was made capital of by others. Naturally, to those who did not know, silence was taken to mean that there was no defense. A long letter was sent out by one Grand Master, formally to the Grand Master of New Mexico, in effect it was a circular letter to the Grand Masters of the country. It was a very able presentation of all the arguments against national action, and especially against the N.M.T.S.A. It took, and made the most of all the confusions of the real issue, such as those we have touched on. The central need for action was dismissed lightly as much exaggerated. It was an exceedingly able forensic, ex parte, argument against the contentions of the T.S.A. This letter had a tremendous effect, it is not too much to say that it was devastating. Why? Because it was unanswerable? Not at all; anyone familiar with the facts could have answered it, but the Executive Committee thought, so we understand, that it might lead to unfraternal recrimination if its fallacies were exposed. But in the meantime the influential Masons of the country were allowed to assume that no defense could be made. We are inclined to think that this was the turning point. Had the charges been met, for they amounted to that, there was still some hope of success.
Another mistake we believe, it was again done from a desire not to hurt anyone's feelings, was the omission of names, dates and places. There have been published in the Northeast Corner many brief records, each one a condensed tragedy. They were merely samples from the records of the Association. The names of lodges and jurisdictions were withheld. Naturally everyone said, "Well that couldn't happen in my lodge — that wouldn't be permitted in our jurisdiction." As a matter of fact they came from all over the country. In a few cases they were challenged, but with one exception every statement was made good.
Two Grand Lodges at least, possibly others also, must be credited with making an attempt to find out how many of their members were among these tubercular migrants. Unfortunately they sought their information through official channels. Naturally their inquiries produced negligible results. How many lodge secretaries know anything about absentee members, their health, wealth or even, often enough, their whereabouts? Let us be fair, how can they know? There are very few lodges whose secretaries give their whole time to the work, and it would take all one man's time to keep in close touch with all the members of even a moderately large lodge, as lodges go in this country. It followed that this method of gaining information was foredoomed to futility. Credit is due to the Jurisdictions that made inquiry, they at least were in the van, they recognized a duty, but it was most unfortunate they were so easily satisfied.
What is the answer to the problem! For one thing it shows the enormous difficulty of getting coordinated official action, whether through some connecting organization or informally. The answer may be to take a short cut and meet the need by an organization of individual Masons. We know that thousands of Masons want to have something done, and if it cannot be done officially the next best thing is to do it through some organization that is. not official, that is composed of just Masons, Masons who do desire to put into practice the principles and precepts of the Fraternity.
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A CHANGE OF PLANS
THE preceding article was written when it seemed as if there was no prospect of usefully continuing the work of the N.M.T.S.A. or its corporate existence. A few months ago the Editor of the Masonic Chronicler of Chicago, whose editorial articles are always worth reading, deplored the prospect of such an "ignominous failure for Masonic Charity" and expressed the wish that "some miracle might happen" to save the project. At almost the last moment the miracle seems to have happened. The brethren who have sacrificed so much for this work have conquered their profound discouragement, and instead of recommending the dissolution of the Association, have made plans to continue the work along somewhat different lines. The same considerations expressed above seem to have led them to similar conclusions, and the President of the Association, Bro. H. B. Holt, in his report to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico suggests the amendment of its constitution in such wise as to make it an Association of Masons under the supervision of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, and also to change its name to the Masonic Tuberculosis Association. These recommendations will be found on another page. We hope to give the report in full next month, it has reached us too late for insertion in this issue.
It appears, from the report, that the one dollar per capita tax paid by the brethren of New Mexico, has almost entirely paid for the expenses of the publicity campaign. This disposes of the rather cruel insinuation that has been made in some quarters that the Executive of the N.M.T.S.A. appealed for funds for the relief of sick brethren and spent them in advertising. As Bro. Holt says, the New Mexico brethren had a perfect right to spend their money as they thought best, and it is not easy to say that they were not right. At least it is now-a-days the accepted procedure to advertise any need for relief in a large way, and in making this decision they were in the best company. In any case the campaign has been most economically managed, and the running expenses have been kept down to the lowest possible figure.
The first thing that is proposed is that the reorganized Association shall take up the management of the Tuberculosis Camp at Oracle, Arizona. Hitherto this has been open only in the summer time. It is hoped to make it more useful by providing medical attendance, which has hitherto been lacking, and perhaps increasing its capacity. Other openings will doubtless present themselves, and we feel confident that this new plan will meet the approval, and receive the support of the members of the Craft.
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One of the most recent developments in the field of Masonic Educational activities is the recent edict of Grand Master Will H. Fischer of California. The plan for the conduct of Education in that jurisdiction constitutes something of a radical departure from the practice which has been in vogue for a number of years past. The whole purpose of the new movement may be summed up in the following brief paragraph:
The time has come to bring into our lodges some up-to-date information concerning arts and sciences of modern civilization, and to interpret for the benefit of Masons the bearing of these arts and sciences upon the affairs of modern life. Degree work alone, although of extreme importance, will not hold attendance up to the desired level. Masters universally desire a good attendance record. Careful execution of this program is the one certain way to secure an increasing attendance and an increasing interest on the part of new members.
It appears from this, and from the subject which has been announced, "The Automobile," that the intention is to bring into the lodge extraneous material. It will be interesting to watch developments and to learn of the success of the plan.
At this distance it is impossible to judge why such action seems necessary. We can readily see the value of discussing matters that have some bearing on the Masonic Fraternity, and still are divorced from the cut and dried research that is being carried on by Masonic students. There are dozens of such topics which might be mentioned. Why not a series on Masonry in Business; Tuberculosis and Masonry, or better, the part of Masonry in Combatting Contagious Diseases; Masonry and Education; Masonry and Charity (in the sense of working with established charities)?
The crying need of the Fraternity today, as I see it, is something to link it with everyday affairs — something to make it a vital and integral part of a man's moral existence. There is a need for encouraging the practice of Masonry outside the lodge. A program with this aim in view should be successful and would accomplish the desired result without divorcing Masonry from the educational activities. It would be a consolidated program rather than two separate ones as California seems to propose.
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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.
THE TUBERCULOSIS TRIANGLE
Bro. Robert Jessup Newton, New Mexico
WHAT chance has a man or woman who has to work for partial or entire self-support under such circumstances?
There is no nourishment in fresh air and sunshine. The consumptive has that in abundance, but that simply tends to emphasize the need for plenty of nourishing food. A sick man might get along for many months of the year in the Southwest without a permanent shelter. And for the same months his need for clothing would be small. He may even recover without medical guidance; but he cannot get along without food and his quest for it, or means to get it for himself, and for the wife and small children who too often accompany him, is the supreme tragedy of his hopeless existence. For this reason the average "lunger" fights a losing fight from the date of his arrival.
Many cases do not consult a doctor after their arrival or at any time during their stay in the Southwest. Their home physician told them all they needed was fresh air. They write to him for advice and he gives them "absent treatment" which takes no account of the effect of altitude or of their actual condition. Some patients have spent several years in the Southwest with no appreciable gain in health or strength.
So much for their physical condition and their needs. What kind of reception awaits them in the land of fresh air and sunshine? With the exception of an intelligent few who have made arrangements in advance for care and treatment in a sanatorium, the consumptive must find a place to stay after his arrival in his chosen city or town. The man without much money may find it easier to get accommodations than his richer brother if the latter shows any visible signs of his disease, because hotels and boarding houses which cater to the well-to-do cannot give shelter to a consumptive whose condition is apparent, and every new arrival is, in a sense, under suspicion. The demands of healthy guests make it impossible for a sick man to gain admission, or to remain long in most hotels and boarding houses. This is even true of the cheaper lodging places with any number of regular guests.
In many resort cities, the advertisements of rooms for rent, specify "no sick." In one city an ordinance requires segregation of the sick and well, and boarding houses which propose to care for consumptives must record that fact and not accept healthy boarders. However, in many boarding houses though every guest may cough you will never find a case of tuberculosis. They are all suffering from hay fever, nervousness, rheumatism, heart disease, stomach trouble and other ills.
Consumptives are compelled to resort to "light housekeeping rooms" and will live, cook, eat and sleep in one room often with one or more members of their families. Thorough cleaning and disinfection after removal of such cases is practically unknown.
The same hesitancy about accepting consumptives in hotels, boarding houses and rooming houses extends to hospitals, except those exclusively for the treatment of such cases. The same reason is given, the objections of other patients suffering from other illnesses to the presence of consumptives.
Because of his financial condition the average consumptive is compelled to resort to the cheaper restaurants and live on the coarsest and commonest foods. The "good nourishing food" prescribed by his physician is beyond his reach.
In the business world the same condition exists. It is common for an advertisement for help to specify, "No invalids nor sick need apply." Other employes resent the presence in their midst of a recognizable case of tuberculosis. The searcher for "light work" finds strong competition for every possible job and also finds the pay to be much "lighter" than the work. Willingness to work for mere expenses is manifested by many more than can be employed. The ambition of most cases to "rough it" on a ranch cannot be achieved, because such work is strenuous and is performed by Mexicans to a large extent.
"Homesickness" is another factor in the miseries of the average "lunger." He is not wanted and is made to feel that in every place frequented by healthy people. Because of this he is driven to solitude or to the society of others ill like himself, or to the society which preys upon his kind if they have any means. It has been truly said that "homesickness has slain its thousands."
One popular method of caring for the tuberculous sick in some places in the West and among a certain kind of public official is to "pass them on" to the nearest large city. A consumptive can always get a railway ticket to some other point if he will only use it. This relieves the town of his present residence, of any further expense of handling him. The injustice done him and the community to which he is sent is not given consideration. It is also true that this method is practiced by officials and organizations of cities and towns in other parts of the country, and the practice of "dumping the sick" on the Southwest has brought forth loud protests from many places.
In the report of the National Tuberculosis Association of the 1920 study of Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Los Angeles, El Paso and San Antonio, Miss Whitney said: "None of these cities has anything like adequate provisions — medical, relief or institutional — for caring for tuberculous persons whether resident or non-resident." In the 1925 report this statement was repeated, with this addition: "After four years that statement is still true." If this is true of these six largest cities, it necessarily follows that it is also true of every city and town of the "Tuberculosis Triangle."
The question was asked at the conclusion of the report: "Are these cities going to be able to meet this increasing and continuing burden? If so, how? If not, what is to be done about it?"
This is the question that now concerns the Southwest. Burdened with a present large population of indigent tuberculous men, women and children from other states, and with every train adding to that burden, "What is to be done about it?"
Hospitals have been provided for pay patients and with some exceptions are profitable investments. In nearly every city you will hear of some doctor who has become rich by operating a tuberculosis sanatorium. Capital is always quick to take advantage of opportunities and if the need existed for more pay institutions, doubtless they would be built. But the great, real and continuing need is for more sanatoria to care for the sick who cannot pay their way. "What is to be done about it?"
To accuse the Southwest of being uncharitable, callous or indifferent to the condition of the sick and their needs would be unjust to the best people of the United States. Many of them have traveled the rough and rugged road, this Via Dolorosa, and have great sympathy for the sick and they are willing to and do extend a helping hand. By far the larger portion of the monies expended in Southwestern cities for relief by private charitable agencies is spent for relief of non-resident tuberculous cases. In the city of El Paso an average of $1,000 a month for thirty-four months was expended by the Masonic Relief Board for the care of non-resident tuberculous Masons alone.
No matter what the grand total expended in all cities and towns of the Southwest, by charitable agencies, institutions, fraternal and other organizations and by individuals, it is insufficient to meet the demands and the need.
WHAT IS TO HE DONE ABOUT IT?
There are some who have advocated state quarantine laws against consumptives. Of course they mean the, indigent cases only. This would not be a quarantine against sickness but against poverty. Publicity was the panacea offered by tuberculosis workers. They proposed to and did broadcast the story of the hardships of the indigent consumptives in the Southwest and warned the sick person not to go to the Southwest unless he or she had at least $1,000 or the equivalent of support for one year. Unfortunately this campaign of education "boomeranged" for the sick man without money construed this as an endorsement of climate. He figured that it meant that the tuberculosis societies believed that climate was a good thing for the man with some means. Therefore it was equally good for him. In spite of all this publicity, the National Tuberculosis Association, in its latest report, conceded that migration is on the increase.
The question propounded by Miss Jessamine S. Whitney, statistician of the National Tuberculosis Association, who made studies of the indigent migratory consumptive problem for that Association in 1920 and 1925, "Are these cities going to be able to meet this increasing and continuing burden? If so, how? If not, what is going to be done about it?" remains unanswered to this day.
There is probably no single solution of this problem. It will take the work of many agencies, both public and private, to meet the need. Hospital care for these indigent consumptives is the primary requisite, preferably hospital care in their home states. With the exception of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island, no state has anything like adequate provision for its consumptive population, according to the standard set by the National Tuberculosis Association of one hospital bed for every annual death.
There will always be migration and nothing can stop it. Hospitals must be provided in the Southwest for these people, because the lack of such sanatoria, in years past, has meant the sacrifice of many valuable lives.
It is impossible for northern and eastern states to build institutions in southwestern states because of constitutional limitations. On the other hand, the Federal Government can and should make some provision for these unfortunates, in existing federal hospitals, in additional federal hospitals to be built, and in existing public and private hospitals.
Organized groups of people should care for the members of their own groups. The Modern Woodmen of America have one of the finest sanatoria in the world at Colorado Springs, and there are many similar and smaller sanatoria established by churches and other organizations. If every such group in the country would adopt a plan for hospitalization of its sick, the number of available hospital beds in the country would speedily be doubled.
Recently the great Masonic Fraternity has taken up the problem of hospitalizing consumptive Masons. The Grand Lodge of New Mexico organized the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association and is enlisting the help of other Grand Jurisdictions in the effort to build one or more Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria.
In addition to the hospital care of cases, large sums are needed annually to give emergency and home relief in the Southwest. This money will have to come from other states to supplement the contributions of the people of the Southwest.
There is need for a great central organization which will act as a clearing house for all relief agencies in the "Tuberculosis Triangle" and co-ordinate the efforts of such agencies. Its influence among them would be in proportion to the financial help it could give in the solution of their problems. There is little doubt that these social workers would welcome such an addition to their forces, for they are fighting a hard fight and in addition to the burden of work for non-resident sick they have a large and increasing problem with the indigent Mexicans.
We are pleading particularly for the white man, the American citizen, born and raised in this country, who through no fault of his own is down and out, a stranger in a strange land, sick, homeless and helpless. He is a victim of our imperfect civilization, a by-product of our insanitary city, the inevitable result of the failure to hospitalize some other victim of tuberculosis.
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THE STUDY CLUB
A pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on request, in quantities to fifty.
THE PROBLEM OF NEW MEMBERS
LAST month in this Department we discussed various methods of sustaining interest in Study Clubs after they had become functioning bodies. The discussion was based largely upon the assumption that a given objective varied sufficiently to avoid the possibility of monotony or routine creeping into the meetings would accomplish the desired result. If we do secure and maintain a maximum of interest the problem of new members is not so important. There comes a time in the history of every organization when new members are essential to its welfare and progress. No matter how interesting the meetings are made certain of the original membership is going to drop out. There are numerous causes for this situation. Among them might be cited the motive which impelled last month's article. Loss of interest — a dying out of the enthusiasm which first prompted the members; leaving the city; and a multitude of such excuses that could be cited. There are two problems which confront every Study Club when this situation arises. First, how to secure new members to keep the group alive, and second how to interest the novices once they have joined.
These two phases of the question are inseparably linked with the problem of maintaining interest.
Last month's article pointed out the manner in which new members might be brought to the Club though this was accomplished indirectly. It might be stated that any activity assumed by the Club would be a successful aid to increasing the membership. There is something more to the problem than finding this activity however,
The Study Club has certain well defined characteristics. In most cases it is an extra-lodge activity. As such it does not obtain general recognition among the members of the lodge or lodges from which its membership is drawn. Before it can hope to increase in size it must do something to bring it to the attention of the lodge as a whole. There are several ways in which this might be accomplished. The meetings of the Study Club should be set sufficiently far in advance to permit of their being announced in the lodge Bulletin, or included with the announcement of lodge meetings. The membership of the lodge as a whole should be invited to attend the meetings and to join the Club. A small percentage of the membership will take advantage of this situation — frankly, not enough to accomplish the desired result. Something more than just this is necessary. Occasional meetings with well qualified speakers will add more to the occasional attendants. The publication, as suggested last month, of a Question and Answer column in a local Masonic periodical will help gain the necessary publicity. The presentation by the Study Club of programs before the lodge is another method of keeping the Club before the membership as a whole. If the members of the lodge can be made to realize that the Club is really for their benefit they will be willing to help in its activities. What will help more than all of these is for the members of the Study Club to talk about the work they are doing whenever the opportunity presents itself and don't forget to add an invitation to attend the next meeting.
It is not so difficult to get new men into the Club as it is to keep them there once they are members. A Study Club is a progressive organization. When it is first formed everyone is on an equal footing as a rule. No one knows very much about Masonry even though every member does know the ritual from memory. Even those who think they know something will often find that what they do know is inaccurate, or even wholly wrong. These men develop along certain lines, most of them at about the same rate. They have been together for several months, learned many things they did not know before, and which are unknown to those who come in as new members. The great danger in this condition lies in the fact that soon they will be discussing in their meetings things which are beyond those new to the subject. When this stage is reached it will perhaps be well to increase the number of meetings though satisfactory results may be obtained in other ways. In any event, the only way to maintain the interest of those just on the threshold of Masonic knowledge is for the older members to act as instructors to the younger ones. Every other meeting might be conveniently set aside to discuss the more elementary problems for the benefit of those not so far advanced.
Such meetings will do good for the older ones as well as the newcomers. It is hard to realize how much that one hears slips by. New things will develop; new light will appear on old subjects and the review will help to fix more firmly the lessons learned earlier. So far as the new member is concerned, he will know that he is being helped over the rough spots and that the members of the Club are trying to help him along instead of leaving him to flounder through the maze as best he can. He will reach the higher level sooner for having the path made smooth and before very long he will be keeping pace with the rest.
Just here it is necessary to show again the value of the systematic study of Masonry. Unless it is studied along some prescribed line, the older members have a heterogeneous knowledge that does not fit together. They know more than the younger men, but it is so poorly arranged in their own minds that there is no chance for them to be of real assistance to the beginner.
If some course of study such as the Syllabus of Masonic Study published by this Society is followed, a certain point in the education has been reached. It is an easy matter, in the course of a few review meetings, to cover the ground again and help the newcomer to reach the point at which the older members are working. The new ones can read the texts and with help cover the ground much more rapidly than could the original members with no local assistance.
It is only natural to suppose that the deeper issues will come up for discussion at times. It would be very unfortunate if the work of Study Clubs was confined indefinitely to what might be termed the grammar school of Masonic education. The discussion of such problems will hardly find a place in the average Study Club; not because they should not appear therein, but because it frequently requires much work and thought to bring such subjects to a place where they can be clearly presented.
When a Study Club finds itself with a number of such advanced students it will find them very willing to help the younger men along. Occasionally they will have a paper to present, usually in some special field in which they have found particular interest. Such essays can be read when occasion arises and it may even be possible for these advanced scholars to group themselves in a smaller circle, an adjunct of the original Study Club, for the sole purpose of working out more difficult problems.
This really brings us to problems which will be solved of their own accord. There is no need for discussing them at this time. The principal purpose of this article is to suggest some way in which the beginner in Masonic study can find himself and become acclimated in a Masonic Study Club. That he should be compelled to do this of his own accord is as absurd as that a child should be expected to acquire an education without assistance. Just as it is the duty of parents and teachers to instruct the rising generation is it the duty of those versed in Masonic lore to assist in the education of his less informed brethren.
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THE GOOD WILL TOUR OF BRO. LINDBERGH IN CENTRAL AMERICA
Communicated by Bro. Jose Oller, Panama
AS a member of the Masonic Fraternity and in my capacity of member of the National Masonic Research Society, I have been making known in this country the good works and services that every day is rendered by the Society to the Fraternity in general, and especially the journal which is received by some of the brethren here.
In 1923 I was Grand Master of this jurisdiction and I wrote an article on Freemasonry in Panama, in which I was glad to associate M.W. Bro. A. D. H. Melhado and the then Grand Secretary Bro. Victor Jesurun. The article was published in the September number of that year, in THE BUILDER, by the courtesy of Bro. Haywood. Since that time I have been gathering new data about Freemasonry in Panama, and have something more that would extend and enrich that work. I am still compiling more on the subject, for a further article in the near future.
On the occasion of the presence in Panama of Bro. Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, who is a member of one of the St. Louis lodges, I took part in his entertainment in Masonic circles here. In connection with this I have written a few words about his visit to this city, and I am glad to enclose herewith two photographs showing the presentation gift made especially for him on this occasion.
Bro. Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, of world fame and renown as the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone by air in his famous plane the Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris in May, 1927, was good enough to accept the kind invitation of Don Rodolfo Chiari, President of the Republic of Panama, to include Panama in his good will tour to Central America. The. city of Panama is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, and is the capital of the Republic of Panama. Bro. Lindbergh, who is a Master Mason and a member of Keystone Lodge, No. 243, of St. Louis, Mo., was fraternally received and entertained by the Grand Lodge of Panama, at an emergent communication on the morning of the 10th of January, 1928; he was enthusiastically greeted by his Panamanian brother Masons, in whose names the Most Worshipful D. Leslie Sasso, Grand Master, presented him with a most significant gift, which we describe hereunder and publish a photographic copy of, for the interest of the Craft.
This globe, representing the world, is made of twenty-five pieces of Panama native mahogany, not including the two pieces representing the North and South poles, which are made of a native cedar called "amarillo." The twenty-seven pieces forming the entire sphere were put together with a very fine white glue, and each point at the ends is protected with brass screws, solidifying in this manner the entire globe. The part that appears in relief over the smooth surface represents the five portions of the inhabited world, and the smooth surface represents the oceans and seas. The relief is one-quarter of an inch thick as an average. The measurement of the globe outside, without taking into consideration the part in relief, is thirteen inches in diameter, while the inside diameter is of twelve inches, and three-eighths in the hollow, thus giving the globe itself a thickness of five-eighths of an inch. Over the lower part of the globe in the inside rests a hatter's block made of light mahogany covered with blue velvet. The interior of the upper half of the globe in its concavity is also covered with blue velvet to which is combined a white silver color hem that unites in the center point at the top. At the right and over the Atlantic Ocean there is a carved shield over which there is in basrelief the following dedication sentence: To Brother Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, the Masons of Panama. January, 1928.
The book, which represents the Holy Bible, is made of a variety of selected native woods, while the covers are of mahogany of a special and beautiful variegation; the part representing the leaves of the Holy Bible is made of "amarillo," which, with its light gold color, gives the impression of the real body of a book; this part is in the form of a drawer of singular construction, covered in the inside with blue velvet at the bottom. In this drawer is deposited a sheet of parchment upon which is written in Spanish a few appropriate words of greeting to Bro. Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh from his brother Masons of Panama. The souvenir leaf bears the signatures of the Masons of this jurisdiction that could be located within a short time. The message of greeting on the parchment reads as follows.
Souvenir from the Masons of the Republic of Panama, to Brother Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, on the occasion of his visit to this country, on his renown aeroplane Spirit Of Saint Louis. Panama, January 9th, 1928.
The back of the book, which represents the binding, is of a red wood known by the name of "red cacique." This wood is also of a very fine quality. The Masonic emblems on the back of the book are made of various pieces of wood, viz.: the compasses and the letter "G" from "naranjo," and the square and borders are of walnut wood. These are inlaid over the "red cacique" half-round surface of the binding, in the upper part of which there is in bas-relief the word S. Biblia in Spanish, meaning Holy Bible.
The book measures seventeen inches long, is ten inches wide and three inches high. The sphere is fastened on the book by means of two good sized brass screw bolts. This magnificent piece of work was executed by Mr. Juan Jose Lugo, cabinet maker of the city of Panama.
Inside the globe was placed a very fine Panama hat as an additional gift for Bro. Lindbergh's personal use.
The emblematical Masonic scope of the gift is, as conceived by its designer, the writer of this article, that the world rests on the Bible; covenant between spirit and matter, in the quality; the material world being in need of the spiritual realm in order to exist.
Bro. Lindbergh, while in Panama, paid a tribute to the Liberator of South America, Simon Bolivar, by presenting a wreath of flowers to the monument of this Spanish-American hero. After being entertained by the Panamanian government, and in our best social circles, he left for Havana, previously to which he went to Bogota, capital of the Republic of Colombia, and to the city of Caracas, capital of Venezuela, South America, where he was received with great enthusiasm. His good will tour has been without doubt a very great success.
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WHY IMPORTED BOOKS COST SO MUCH
George P. Brett
The following has been published as a pamphlet by the well known Macmillan Company. It appeared first in the New York World in November, last year, and its subject matter was commented on editorially under the heading of "A Tax on Learning."
Some of our members have asked, and probably many others have wondered, why imported books are now sold at prices so high that they are almost prohibitive. This explanation will doubtless be of considerable interest to all book buyers, and for this reason we have obtained permission to reproduce it. By making the facts known it may be possible to create a body of public opinion on the matter that will lead to the removal of this unnecessary bureaucratic obstacle to the advance of learning.
NOTWITHSTANDING the great increase in pleasurable occupations that has come about in the last dozen years or so, pastimes which were previously unknown or enjoyed only by the very few, reading still holds its place as the one resource always to be depended upon for the great majority of our people.
As evidence of this truth, it is only necessary to point out the enormous increase in number and circulation of our popular magazines, notwithstanding which the best sellers among the books of the moment still hold a foremost place.
It seems rather a pity that the publishers and the booksellers, aided by the reviewers, should have fostered this craze for the reading of the best seller, valueless and inappropriate as many of the books of that class are for the information, interest, or even pleasure of hosts of their readers. To many of us the rereading of an old and tried favorite would give greater satisfaction.
It is riot surprising, however, that the public has turned for its "pleasures of reading" to the best seller of the moment, as, until the last few years, there has been absolutely no guide to the quality and value of the ten thousand or more new books each year poured unceasingly before the public from the presses of the publishers. Latterly, this has been remedied by the laudable work of the American Library Association in publishing, from time to time, lists of the most worthwhile published books, appraising their values so that any discriminating reader may, by consulting these lists, be informed as to whether a book of any class among the miscellaneous publications of the day is really worth his while or not.
Unfortunately there is no such guide to the large class of more serious and semi-professional books which form so large a part of the output of our best publishing houses, and the extension of the American Library List to include such professional and special books would be of the greatest use to the student and the scholar if the list were made complete and authoritative, as is the case with the list of books of general literary interest.
Imported books of this class, many of them of great importance (I may mention, as examples, Professor Whitehead's well known works on the "Principles of Natural Knowledge" and the "Principle of Relativity With Applications to Physical Science") are as necessary to the student, the professor, and the directors of our educational institutions as are the tools of his trade to the carpenter, the mason, or the clerical worker, notwithstanding which the circulation of such books in recent years has not kept pace, largely owing to their cost, with the growth of our public interest in the development of science and education.
Many of these books which are so necessary as the tools of his trade to the special student and educational worker are the productions of foreign scholars attached to the great universities of Great Britain and other countries, and such books, owing to their small circulation and their appeal only to students and scholars, are seldom printed in this country and are usually imported in small quantities for those to whom their use is necessary.
Students and others who need such books in their work are seldom gifted with this world's goods in abundance and are often in receipt of most moderate salaries as compared with modern standards. It accordingly follows that the price at which such books are sold is a most vital matter from the standpoint of those who use them.
In the year 1903, an attempt having been made by the Custom House appraisers to increase greatly the dutiable value of books imported from abroad, which would have resulted in considerable increases in their prices to students, the importers of such books in New York appeared before the Board of General Appraisers in an effort to have such books declared dutiable at the then prevailing rate of 25 per cent on the cost of the books to the importers rather than on the advanced and fictitious cost advocated by some of the appraisers before whom these books were entered for assessment. After a long controversy, which was carried on partly in the newspapers and partly with the Custom House officials, the case was referred for final action to the Board of General Appraisers, who, after hearing fairly all the evidence, decided that books should be admitted into this country at the cost to the importer for the purposes of the assessment of duty; and the practice of so admitting these books at the cost to the importer plus the then existing duty of 25 per cent prevailed from 1903 for a period of nearly fifteen years, with the result that books necessary to the student and the scholar were not advanced in price, as would otherwise have been necessary, and were sold at a much lower price than is possible today.
In the year 1913 a new Tariff Bill was enacted in which Congress, evidently with the laudable intention in mind of reducing the cost of such books to students and others, lowered the duty on them from 25 per cent to 15 per cent. That it was the intention of Congress to reduce the duty on these classes of books mostly or solely is evidenced by the fact that in the new bill many other classes of books which are competitive from the American publishers' and printers' point of view were raised from the normal rate in various ways.
Apparently the action of Congress in reducing the duty met with objection on the part of the Treasury, and in 1918-19, through its Board of Appraisers and Customs Courts, the question of value of the imported books on which the new duty of 15 per cent should be assessed was again raised, and, notwithstanding the arguments of the publishers — arguments which convinced the Board of General Appraisers in the years 1902-03 — the Customs Court declared that the duty should be assessed not upon the cost of the books but upon a fictitious price, which in many or most cases was double and in some cases more than double the actual cost of the books to the importers, the effect being that the books in question now paid a greater amount of duty under the reduced rate as authorized by Congress than was previously paid on such books at the higher rate of 25 per cent and the prices of these books to students and others were of necessity greatly increased.
There seems no reasonable excuse for this successful attempt on the part of the Treasury, through its Customs Court, to nullify the deliberate intentions of Congress, and the students and others who use books to which this new ruling applies apparently rejoiced too soon at the attempt of Congress to reduce their burdens. As has been pointed out above, books imported from abroad now cost these consumers more in relation to their foreign price than was the case before the duty was nominally reduced by Congress from 25 per cent to 15 per cent.
Even although under a strictly narrow legal interpretation of the wording of the Tariff Act, backed by a report from a customs agent which was biased, incomplete, and inaccurate, there is perhaps warrant for the ruling which was put into effect, it seems without doubt that common sense should govern the matter, as was the case in 1903, rather than a merely technical, narrow, legal ruling on the actual words used, the evident intention of Congress having been to reduce the duty, whereas the ruling of the Customs Court above referred to actually increases it, and the benevolent intention of Congress has been frustrated by the bureaucratic methods of the Treasury.
When this somewhat high-handed ruling was made there seemed little doubt that it was a war measure, and I accordingly, while appearing by attorneys at the hearing before the Customs Court, made little serious effort to influence or combat the Customs Court's decision, especially as the increased duty, as is always the case, could be handed over to our customers by the simple process of raising the prices.
It is time, however, that we went back to the saner view of this matter that prevailed for fifteen years, between the years 1903 and 1918, especially as the increased duty received by the Treasury was not large, the sums involved being tens of thousands rather than millions of dollars, and no appreciable increase of revenue resulted.
The fact that these imported books, as I have already said, fail to sell as well as formerly, largely on account of their increased prices, undoubtedly points to the fact that students and others are doing without, as best they can, books which are necessary to them in their daily work, and a relief from this condition is certainly greatly to be desired.
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A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE
We have received advance notice of what will undoubtedly be a most valuable work for students interested in the Order of Knights Templar, whether Masons or otherwise. It is entitled Bibliographie de l'Ordre des Templiers. The author is M. Dessubre, and there will be a preface by Albert Lantoine. It is being published by the firm of Nourry, Paris. The edition is a limited one of five hundred copies. If ordered beforehand the price is 40 francs. It contains bibliographical details, not only of printed works, but also those in manuscript that have never been published. It should be in every Masonic library.
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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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THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSY CROSS, being Records of the House of the Holy Spirit in its inward and outward history. By Arthur Edward Waite. Published by William Rider and Son. Illustrated, index, 649 pages. Price $9.20.
For an account of this work see the article by Bro. Milborne on page 78 of the present issue.
THE SECRET TRADITION IN ALCHEMY; ITS DEVELOPMENT AND RECORDS. By Arthur Edward Waite. Published by Alfred A. Knopf. Cloth, Analytic Table of Contents, Appendix, Index, xxii and 415 pages. Price $5.25.
EVERYONE knows that there were such people as alchemists, and that they sought the philosopher's stone, or a sovereign elixir by which gold and silver might be made from baser metals and life indefinitely prolonged; and it all seems a fantastic mixture of gullibility and knavery that would be quite impossible in our day and with the general diffusion of knowledge that characterizes our culture. It is probable too that most people, even well read people, have a hazy idea that alchemy was a product of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and was a kind of illegitimate by-product of the intellectual movements begun in the Renaissance and liberated in the Reformation. It may come as something of a shock to find out that its literature is almost as old as Christianity, beginning apparently in the third and fourth centuries and continuing till it was eclipsed by the rise of the modern science of chemistry.
This and much other curious information of the same kind the reader may glean from Bro. Waite's pages; but this is not what he has set out to tell us. The present work is one in a series, the last in the series he tells us, and thus can only be judged as a part of the whole — as another wrought stone added to the edifice begun, now many years ago. Bro. Waite's preoccupation is with mysticism, and in many previous books the list is a very long one — he has investigated secret mystical traditions ranging from the Kabbalah to Freemasonry. Wherever there was said to be an esoteric school, or any group or organization composed of those who had known, or who were seeking, those ineffable experiences that are the basis of mysticism, there has he diligently labored with the endless patience of the scholar, and with the pen of a poet he has written what he has found for those who can understand. He has sought everywhere, even in the most unlikely places; in the fancies of modern magic, and the mysteries and mystifications of occultism as well as in the works of the mystics properly so-called.
It follows therefore that only incidentally does he tell us of what alchemy was and whence it came, and how it was transmitted from generation to generation and from country to country. Yet, though only incidental to his purpose it happens that it was necessary to treat it in considerable detail for the purpose in view.
It has been said, that there was really no difference between chemistry and alchemy, that the latter was but the chemistry of its day and merged into the modern science in due time. The founders of our chemistry began as alchemists; men such as Van Helmont and Boyle, for example, were in the transition stage, starting from the traditional conceptions and working from them by truly scientific methods. It may therefore well be asked, what has chemistry and its forerunner to do with adventures of the spirit in heavenly things and visions that may not be uttered? And here it may be said at once that, for the author's main purpose the present work is in the main negative. It is in short an examination and criticism of a claim that the true purpose of the alchemists had nothing to do with physical things, but with an inner transmutation of the soul; and that all the paraphernalia of processes and vessels and furnaces were but a set of fantastic symbols and allegories. He takes, first of all, two writers of the last Century as protagonists of this mystical theory. Mrs. Atwood, who published A Suggestive Inquiry Into the Hermetic Mystery in 1850, in England, and General E. A. Hitchcock who, seven years later, gave to an unheeding public in America his Remarks on Alchemy and the Alchemists, apparently in ignorance of Mrs. Atwood and her work. The interpretation of alchemical literature suggested by these two writers is first examined and criticized on its own grounds, and then the whole subject is discussed, beginning with Egypt and the Byzantines, through Syria, and the Arabians to Mediaeval and Modern Europe, to see how far the literature bears out their hypothesis.
As has been intimated the result is mainly negative. It is demonstrated that from the first the alchemists, with some exceptions at the last, were not seeking spiritual regeneration in alchemy, but the secrets of the transmutions of material substances, and especially of metals. They were, as Bro. Waite puts it:
Self educated seekers at the dawn of physical science, they tried all things that came their way, and bought their experience hardly, without a band to guide. Among martyrs of science, they may deserve to bear their palm. Unenlightened and unequipped, they laid the foundation of a providential and life saving knowledge.
But then he adds that we may find also
.... that their furnaces were erected occasionally "on a peak in Darien," and that through the smoke of their coals and their chemicals they beheld illimitable vistas, where the groaning totality of Nature advanced by degrees to perfection. "A depth beyond the depth and a height beyond the height" opened beneath and above them, and glimpses of glorious possibilities in all the kingdoms overlighted their barbarous language and transfigured their strange symbols, The explanation is not that they were spiritual masters... But in those days a world of wonder opened wherever any quest began, because it was ever pursued in a great unknown, the unmeasured Cosmos of Nature, where never a plummet could sound the vast abysses and never a shaft of thought penetrate the starry heights. The occasional greatness of alchemical literature is accounted for in this manner, while at the same time its intimations of spiritual realities are reduced within their proper limits.
The quotation is a long one, but though from an early chapter in the book, it gives very clearly a summing up of the result of the investigation in its main outlines.
The question naturally arises bow it came about that a mystical interpretation of alchemy could have arisen. That it was popularly supposed to be connected with sorcery and witchcraft we can understand well enough; or that alchemists may have dabbled in astrology and the Kabbalah seems quite natural. To the ordinary intelligent reader these things all seem to be very much in the same class — but this does not explain how the theory arose that it bad no concern with metals, except the figurative gold of the heart. The answer seems to lie in a curious impasse to thought created by the literature of the subject, from the beginnings of it down to its conclusion. Excepting a mass of spurious works made to sell in the latest period, and some other doubtful books, there is, it appears, a prevailing note of sincerity running through it all. In spite of himself a man's work bears the tokens of his honesty, or his lack of it, for those who can see, and these tokens of honesty are here apparent. Yet these books assert not only an unwavering belief in the possibility of transmutation, but also its attainment. Now how can men go on, generation after generation, honestly and sincerely asserting that to have happened which is impossible? Fraud and gullibility are explanations that do not meet the case at all on a critical examination. Thus the possibility that they were speaking of something quite different from their ostensible subject of discourse might seem to be the solution.
And this general possibility is made more plausible by the fact, as appears in the present work, that some of the later alchemists, and those who were speculatively interested in the subject, did understand it mystically. Not, however, exclusively so, but, so to speak, additionally so. Boehme and Vaughan, one not a practiser of the art at all, and the other apparently only a dilettante, took it in both senses, as being true on different planes according to the old Hermetic maxim, "As above so below." The Rosicrucians, and later, certain Masonic rites and degrees, seem to have sought both the physical and the spiritual Stone at the same time; and (in the latter case at least) do not seem quite to have known just which it was they wanted most. It might be said in their defense that they supposed the key, when found, would unlock all doors.
Another question may arise in the reader's mind, quite apart from the author's purpose. Here we have presented to us a panorama of a persisting search down through the ages by men of many nations and of all ranks and degrees. Not fools, not blind dreamers and nothing more. Many of the most notable minds in the history of our civilization are numbered among them. They experimented persistently. At hazard doubtless, but even at hazard and on false principles how was it they accomplished so little in the way of chemical discovery? These alchemists were men of equal intelligence and gifts to our chemists and physicists today, why then did they not do something, attain something in their age long search? It is a puzzling problem and raises a suspicion, that is borne out in other matters, that nothing can develop till the time be ripe. But there may be a more direct cause too. For some reason, and it is one of the mysteries of the subject, every alchemist who wrote on the subject felt be was under an unevadable obligation to write in cryptic and symbolic language, to say nothing plainly, perhaps to make it impossible for anyone to understand who did not already know. And more than this, it seemed that none would tell another seeker plainly of what he had himself discovered. Every man, therefore, had to begin absolutely at the beginning and rediscover everything for himself. When with Academies and Royal Societies men began to plainly communicate what they had found to their fellows, progress began and continued at an ever accelerating rate. Why did it take so long to learn that team work was the only way to conquer Nature? The answer does not yet appear.
There are a few typographical errors, all of an obvious kind, only one calls for note, on page 286 "of" is put for "or." The others are chiefly the insertion of letters that do not belong.
For those students with a leaning towards the occult, this, and we may add, the other works of Bro. Waite, should certainly be read. There are so many blind leaders of the blind in this field. Bro. Waite combines with his other qualifications an accurate and painstaking scholarship. The reader can be assured that he will not be led astray by mis-quotations, by guesses in the guise of facts, or enthusiasm running far in advance of knowledge.
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THE MARYKNOLL MISSION LETTERS. China, Volume II. Published by the Macmillan Co., New York. Cloth, 402 pages. Price $3.10.
THE village of Ossining, New York, is the railroad station for two institutions of a widely divergent character. The one is the state penitentiary at Sing Sing, the other is the Roman Catholic mission house of Maryknoll, the headquarters of an exclusively American society that trains missionaries for China and Korea.
The Maryknoll society was organized in 1911 by a southern priest, the Rev. Thomas Price, who, after having labored for over twenty-five years, in North Carolina, decided at the age of sixty to devote the eve of his life to mission work in China. He founded the society, went to China, and there succumbed to the hardships of his calling. He is buried near Hongkong.
The society grew and flourishes, spiritually if not temporally, and is sending band after band of enthusiastic priests, brothers and nuns to the Celestial empire and the Hermit Kingdom where they have established numerous missionary centers. These pioneers of Christian civilization send occasional reports to the headquarters in Maryknoll. From these communications The Maryknoll Mission Letters have been extracted and arranged, the first volume of which appeared in 1923, the second in 1927.
These letters unveil to us an interesting picture of present day conditions in China. They are written in a happy vein. Genuine undiluted American optimism and humor ooze from every page. They are far from being sad reading. When the missionary Father strikes good pot luck, a well cooked chicken or goose, and fairly comfortable sleeping quarters, he enjoys these rare treats and says so. When he has to go without his meal and night rest, or has to sleep on the crowded deck of a dirty junk amid a jam of not over cleanly peasants with the tail of a crated pig tickling his nose, he manages nevertheless to see something funny in the situation. And a holdup by bandits or a forty mile hike over muddy roads are not without their charm. There is no cloud for him without its large silver lining.
There are plenty of clouds, to be sure. The country is torn by a seemingly endless civil war and is infested by bandits. The terms soldier and bandit are usually interchangeable there. The looting and burning of villages and towns are not uncommon occurrences. And there are the abominations of heathenism. To mention but one: when the Chinese mother discovers that her new born babe is a girl, or a crippled boy, she will just as likely as not throw it into the alley to leave it perish.
The missionary rectifies things as best be can, to the full extent of his very limited resources — probably nowhere in the world will a dollar stop more misery than in China — and where he cannot help for lack of men and money, he simply resigns himself to the inevitable with as much equanimity as possible. He has to keep up, and be evidently succeeds in keeping up, his optimism and his sense of humor. This mental attitude is as necessary for him as is his daily bread amid those uncongenial, squalid, depressing surroundings. It braces him up. The game is young, he says. As our schools and free dispensaries, our orphanages and other charitable institutions increase and multiply, our facilities to accomplish good also expand.
The Maryknoll Letters are entertaining, cheering, instructive and exceedingly edifying. In this age of flapperism and of jazz, of selfishness and of crime waves, of fascism, bolshevism and all sorts of dangerous experimentalisms, they are refreshing and inspiring. Some of the Letters betray a remarkable felicity at diction and power of description. The reader feels himself almost an eye-witness to the scene. We express the hope that the book will have a very large circulation, that the admirable zeal and enthusiasm of the brave missionaries will never abate and that the good Lord will bless their work and make it prosper most abundantly.
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THE MOB. By Vicente Blasco Ibanez. Published by E. P. Dutton and Company, New York, 1927. Cloth, 395 pages. Price $2.50.
THE victory of mind over reverse circumstances is the theme of this book. It deals with the lives of a peculiar group, we may almost say race of people known as the "rag-pickers" who live on the outskirts of Madrid, in the Cuarto Caminos. From these people is derived the name of the book, "The Mob." They were a poverty stricken, famished horde, gathered at the feet of Spain's capital who feed upon the city's refuse and filth.
Using one of the members of this group to develop the main theme of the story, the author proceeds to make of the book something more than a novel. He makes of it a kind of sociological discussion of the conditions in Spain showing the unfairness of class distinction. Isidro Maltrana, the character with whom we are interested by the varied circumstances of his life, has had the fortune, or misfortune, whichever way one cares to judge after reading the book, to have gained an education vastly superior to his companions in the Cuatro Caminos. He must have inherited his capacity for learning from his father who was not a rag-picker but followed the honest profession of a brick-layer. But the shiftless part of his nature he inherited from his mother's side. His mother dies early in the story but there is Mariposa, his grandmother, who gladly takes it upon herself to look after "the wise man," as Isidro is called. This dirty old woman lives like a pig in a hut which she shares with her two horses. But we are not so much concerned with her as we are with Isidro. In the beginning his actions seem to be losing efficaciousness, his life seems to be surrounded with confusion, and he is striving for a clue to some sound order and authority.
Throughout the book this character holds our pity. There is little for him to do; his unmethodical and eager studies have annulled his will. He had spent his life finding out what thousands of beings thought throughout the centuries, and when the contingencies of life called for action, he was weaponless, with no strength to keep on going. He contributed spasmodically to a newspaper in the city. But the members of the staff accused him of "possessing the poison tree of knowledge." They gave him a free hand to write whatever came into his head, but when he published three articles on Ruskin and an article on beauty, Nietzsche and imperialism, and the harmonies and discordances between socialism and the doctrines of Darwin and Haeckle, they could not restrain themselves any longer. Months afterwards in the editorial rooms they still laughed about those columns.
It was always thus with the unfortunate Isidro, his mind was above his surroundings but he lacked the necessary means to place himself in the proper environment. He was from the first an ardent lover of Hellenism; he wanted to see things in their charm; he wanted to invest human life with a kind of aerial ease, clearness and radiancy. He wanted to make it full of what Ruskin would call sweetness and light. With this end in view he persuaded the beautiful Feli, daughter of the ferocious trapper, or poacher, Mosco, to run away with him to live as man and wife in El Rastro. For a while the couple live in the shabby apartment of a religious fanatic, Brother Vicente, and are very happy. Isidro writes a book for which he receives an amount of money large enough to appease their wants for a while. But with the knowledge that he is to become a father there comes a sudden drop in his exuberant love of life. He felt that the leaded cloak of the years had fallen on his shoulders and he saw the poverty in which he lived in a blacker and sadder light.
The couple found existence harder and more difficult every day. The weariness of poverty paralyzed their activity and to add to their discomfiture Brother Vicente learned of their illegal relationship and asked them to leave his house. Black despair followed. They became just another two of the "mob," seeking only a roof and enough food to keep them from starvation. They moved to Cambroneros, a section of the city inhabited by gypsies. In this heterogeneous population the gypsies formed a world by themselves, an independent society within the miserable horde camping around Madrid.
It is interesting to note here the author's knowledge of gypsy life. It is one of the most interesting chapters in the book, showing the quaint customs and traditions that surround this nomad race. Ibanez shows them to be a people of fiery imagination who live by continual lying and stealing. But these people are kind-hearted and prove very friendly to the poor couple.
The details of the story from here on are depressing and the action moves very slowly. Isidro proved unable to cope with the reverses of fortune and finally sent Feli to the community hospital. He then spent his days wandering about the streets of Madrid seeking work. He was afraid to go to the hospital and inquire whether or not he had become a father because Feli had asked him to bring her flowers and he could not aff ord to buy them. "Poor mutilated fly!" They had pulled off the wings with which he was born and an evil fate amused itself by pushing him along and shouting: "fly!" He finally went to the hospital however and found that he was the father of an ugly little boy, greatly resembling himself. Feli died a few days later.
It was this event that rejuvenated Isidro's soul and here is where the theme, the victory of mind over reverse circumstances, manifests itself. From the steps of his grandmother's dirty little hut, where he had taken his son to be cared for, be spent long hours in contemplation. Looking down on the capital it seemed to him "domineering and triumphant, crushing its surroundings with the aid of its greatness. It could not see the famished mob gathered at its feet. It was beautiful and ruthless." Isidro mentally examined that avalanche of misery and from his contemplations he reached the conclusion that what the mob needed was leaders. He decided that "if the serfs of poverty like himself, instead of cowardly lowering themselves to the mighty, offered in their service what they had learned, endeavored to organize the horde," that conditions would change.
But it was not only this awakening to facts that changed Isidro's life, it was his love for his son. This iron love made of him another man. He decided to succeed so that his son could march on without getting dirty. Thus the mind is victorious. So ends the book leaving the reader much food for thought and contemplation. In portraying these sordid conditions Ibanez has focused his lens so that no detail is left blurred. It is a good story, not quite so powerful, perhaps, as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but certainly fully as interesting.
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DER SCHRIFTSTELLER DER EINSTIGE GENERAL DER INFANTERIE ERICH LUDENDORFF ALS "WAHRHEITSSUCHER" IM LICHTE DER DEUTSCHEN PRESSE VERSCHIEDENSTER RICHTUNG. EINE KLEINE BLÜTENLESE. Compiled by Ernst Paul Kretschmer. Published by Adolf Forker, Leipsig. Paper, 96 pages. Price one mark.
IT is a somewhat lengthy title for a booklet of 96 pages and it means "The writer, the former Infantry General Erich Ludendorff as 'Seeker after Truth' in the light of the German press of the most divergent political creeds. A little anthology arranged by Ernst Paul Kretschmer of Gera." It is, as the title indicates, a selection of utterances of the German press concerning General Ludendorff's booklet of 82 pages against Freemasonry. Said booklet is entitled, Vernichtung der Freimaurerei durch Enthuellung ihrer Geheimnisse, that is, "Annihilation of Freemasonry through the revelation of its secrets." It appeared in Munich in August, 1927. Ludendorff himself is the publisher, a Munich bookseller acting as distributor. Within three weeks 27,000 copies were disposed of, by November 50,000 copies; in November an additional edition of 25,000 copies was in print.
From a long list of absurd charges Ludeneorff raises against Masonry we select a few: "Masonry brings its members into conscious subjection to the Jews ... It trains them to become venal Jews ... The higher-ups in German Masonry are forever lost to the Fatherland ... German Masonry is a branch of organized international Masonry the headquarters of which are in New York. There also is the seat of Jewish world power."
According to him, America's entry into the World War was brought about by the Jesuits, the Jewish society of the Benai Berith and the Masonic Grand Lodge of New York. These three bodies conspired together to ruin Germany and Austria Hungary. Yes, yes, the Jesuits entered into an unholy alliance with Jews and Freemasons to destroy Austria Hungary, the only extant Catholic world power! It was due to the intrigues of these three accursed organizations that the Central Empires lost the war. Kaiser Wilhelm and the Czar Nicholas both lost the throne, Ludendorff avers, because they were not Masons.
In the Odd Fellows he recognizes an organization made up of Jewish Freemasons.
At the end of the war a certain Dr. Wichtl, of Vienna, published a book with similar charges against Freemasonry. Ludendorff refers to Wichtl's book as a Masonic publication! No wonder the socialistic Volkszeitung of Bremen comments:
The "Revelation" betrays an ignorance in matters of history that borders on the fabulous. And such a mixture of ignorance and credulity comes from Ludendorff, a man who for several years was all powerful in Germany! A horrible disclosure, showing what imbecility sometimes rules the world!
The former Quartermaster-General of the German armies does not fail to call attention to the heinous oaths through which Masonry imposes silence and obedience on its members. If a Mason is caught divulging one of the secrets of the Order his tongue and his entrails are torn out!
One cannot help pitying the German papers that, owing to Ludendorff's prominence, are forced to comment on these absurdities and to refute them. In reply to his accusation that the German Masons are hirelings of the Jews they point to the fact that more than two-thirds of German Masonry belong to the Grand Lodge of Prussia to which only Christians are admitted. They cite the names of distinguished Germans who were members of the secret craft: King Frederick the Great of Prussia, Emperor William I, Emperor Frederick II, Grand Admiral von Tirpitz; famous writers like Goethe, Lessing, Wieland, Herder, Rueekert, Kleist; heroes of the wars of liberation (from Napoleon) like Bluecher, Stein, Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and others. They were all blind, ignorant tools of a nefarious Jewish sect! As are also, in Ludendorff's opinion, Premier Briand, Herr Stresemann, President Coolidge and other noted contemporaries.
It is not probable that of the 80,000 Masons in Germany a single one lost a moment's sleep over the threatened annihilation of the Order. Ludendorff has given them a welcome opportunity to vindicate the Craft before the German public and to remove many an inveterate prejudice. Nor have they omitted to mention that thousands of them served under him during the war and risked their lives at the front while he, the Quartermaster-General, directed the movements of the armies at a safe distance from the front. They feel it keenly that this same man should now defame and vilify them as disloyalists and traitors to their country.
And thus a proud, tall cedar of the Lebanon has fallen. The former Quartermaster-General, one of the most brilliant military leaders and organizers in all history, has stooped to become a defamer of a well-deserved class of his fellow citizens.
And how does Hindenburg, the idol of the German people, stand in regard to Masonry? On July 14, 1926, he granted an audience to representatives of the Old Prussian lodges. He expressed his pleasure in receiving the assurances of their loyalty. He added that there was a Masonic tradition in his own family, his two grandfathers, both of them veterans of the wars of liberation (from Napoleon) having been Freemasons.
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EGYPTIAN STUDIES. By Isobel Holbrook. Privately printed.
THE pamphlet is, according to the author, largely based on two books by W. Marsham Adams, The House of the Hidden Places, and The Book of the Master, published nearly thirty years ago and both very difficult to obtain. These works dealt with the Great Pyramid and the "Book of the Dead."
It is needless to say that the title "Book of the Dead" is one used by Egyptologists for their own convenience, to denote a tremendous collection of funerary texts found carved on the walls of Royal Tombs, painted on coffins and written on papyrus. In very few cases was the whole used, there were four versions each with many variants. These consisted of so-called chapters, each of which is really an incantation, and these might come in any order. The collection as a whole is very ancient, and some of its parts were ancient when the collection was first put together. So much for the opinion of those whose training and work gives them the best possible right to be heard.
Miss Holbrook's pamphlet treats these texts as a ritual of initiation, and the Pyramid as a temple for the ceremony. Like so many other works of this class there is an imaginative and spiritual value aside from anything historical. The attempt to explain part of the funeral texts by referring them to the chambers and passages of the Pyramid is very ingenious, and the lessons inculcated are above reproach. Some Masons, more especially Scottish Rite Masons, may find this version of the ageless essentials of initiation of interest, and some things might be used as illustrations of Masonic teaching. But it is only right to insist that there is no probability at all that the Pyramid was a temple of initiation. What the component parts of the funerary texts were is impossible to say. They may in the dim prehistoric past have had some connection with initiatory rites, perhaps parts of them were used in such rites at a later period, as passages of Scripture are with us, but that as they stand, they compose a connected ritual is quite untenable, and there is no doubt whatever that in historic times their value was purely magical, they ensured a blessed hereafter to the deceased.
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NEW BOOKS RECEIVED
MIND AND PERSONALITY. By William Brawn. Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index, 330 pages. Price $3.75.
An attempt to obtain a synoptic view of personality, as considered from the standpoints of the various sciences. It is in the nature of an interim report on the subject, since the material furnished by psycho-pathology continues to flow in an abundant stream, and the working out of its philosophic implications is a task that cannot be hurried. Enough is now known to warrant the drawing of provisional and tentative generalizations.
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THE MAKING OF A STATE. By T. G. Masaryk. Published by Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York. Cloth, Frontispiece, Table of Contents, Index, 453 pages. Price $6.35.
A discerning historical interpretation both of the process of Czecho-Slovak redemption from Hapsburg servitude, and of the war as a whole. Wider in range than any "war book" yet written, it is a comprehensive examination of the philosophy of national, international and social life by a philosopher-statesman whose principles experience has vindicated. It deserves not only to be read, but to be studied throughout the English speaking world.
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CHRISTIANITY. By Charles Guignebert. Published by the Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, 507 pages. Price $4.75.
The main lines of thought in this book may be best understood by remembering that it is an endeavor to describe and account for the formation, successive modifications and final destruction not only of dogmatic assertions of religions in general, but of one particular religion, studied as a concrete reality. It is above all with facts, their significance, consequences and connections that it deals. It is history and tries to delineate the main outline of Christianity so as to show that a religion not only in its dogmas, but also throughout the ramifications of its whole organism, undergoes the process of evolution.
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SYMBOLISM, ITS MEANING AND EFFECT. By Alfred North Whitehead. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, 88 pages. Price $1.65.
The author defines symbolism thus: "the human mind is functioning symbolically when some components of its experience elicit consciousness, beliefs, emotions and usages, respecting other components of its experience." His thesis is "that symbolism is an essential factor in the way we function as a result of our direct knowledge."
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THE TRAVAIL OF THE SOUL. By Katherine Tingley. Published by the Woman's International Theosophical League, Point Loma, California. Cloth, Frontispiece, Table of Contents, 291 pages. Price $2.15.
A theosophical textbook which can be highly recommended to those interested in the subject.
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AS MAN TO MAN. By Conde B. Pullen. Published by the Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, 302 pages. Price $2.65.
This book constitutes a series of definitions of the dogmas and principles of the Roman Catholic Church explained in a discursive manner by the editor of the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
THE WARDENS' COLUMNS
In the May, 1927, issue of THE BUILDER a question was submitted by C. B. R., of California, relative to the symbolism of the Wardens' Columns.
In the reply it is held that outside of the position of the columns in "calling off and on," there is no symbolism attached thereto.
Inasmuch as the lodge is said to be governed by the Master and Wardens acting together, may it not be said that the columns are symbols of their authority in the same manner that the "fasces" were the badge of the authority of the Roman magistrates, or the sceptre, the ceremonial emblem of authority borne by a sovereign, sometimes referred to as the "royal mace"?
The columns are generally alluded to as the Wardens' Columns, but are they not generally furnished in sets of three, one being for the Master? How does this third column fit into the scheme? Should it be raised on the Master's pedestal at the opening of the lodge and remain upright until the lodge is closed, or should it be lowered during the second section of the Third Degree?
A. E. T., Manila, P.I.
We must confess to being uninformed as to the "Warden's Columns" being sometimes furnished in sets of three, but would feel that if this be the case it could be quite confidently asserted it was an innovation brought in by manufacturers of lodge furniture and has neither antiquity nor any authority behind it. If it has anywhere been introduced (and we suppose it has by implication from what Bro. A. E. T. says) it is still, fortunately, very far from common.
There is no doubt that the two columns represent first the two pillars of the porch of K.S.T. and second, that they mark the stations of the Wardens, and in a sense the office of Warden itself, as the gavel may be said to represent that of the Master. It does not work out perfectly, for the Wardens have gavels or mallets too. But in processions the Master carries his gavel, while the Wardens carry their columns only.
The only excuse for giving the Master a column (against the consensus of ancient usage) would be to make the three refer to the principal supports of the lodge, referred to in the lecture of the First Degree, the pillars of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.
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I have been informed that in the United States the installation of the officers of a lodge are frequently conducted in a public way, with ladies and others present, who are not Masons. I should like to know if this is true, for it seems very extraordinary. How can the Master of a lodge be installed except in a lodge, and if it is in a lodge, how can those not Masons be present?
E. H. S., Canada.
This question opens up several points on which it must be confessed we have not at hand much definite information. In the first place it is an undoubted fact that, in some jurisdictions at least (we do not know how many), public installations are permitted. Their permissibility is based on the fact (alleged) that there is nothing secret in the installation ceremonies. In a sense this is largely true, practically the whole of these ceremonies are openly printed in Monitors and Codes, with the exception only of the modes of salutation, and so on, which are only alluded to. On the other hand, it might be argued that on the same grounds a candidate might be given the charge in public, as that too is printed at length in the same manuals.
However, there is a certain respectable precedent. Dedication and installation are somewhat analogous in character, and when Freemason's hall was dedicated in London in 1776 ladies were present, and other non-Masons too apparently. However, in this case the Grand Lodge was opened in another and closely tiled room, and entered the hall in procession. Later the ladies withdrew and the hall was tiled while certain ceremonies (which nevertheless were quite fully described in printed accounts) were performed. These done, the ladies were re-introduced, and at the end of the proceedings the Grand Lodge retired in procession and was closed in form in the place where it was opened. It would seem that only in some such way can the public installation of officers be carried out. Still, in the United States there has been a distinct tendency to degradation in these ceremonies, the distinctively Masonic and secret part has been progressively curtailed and forgotten, in some states at least, until at last the idea has arisen that there is nothing secret in it at all. The funeral ceremonies have also suffered from a parallel degradation to an even greater extent. We hope when occasion serves to be able to obtain more definite information upon this very interesting subject.
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THE GRAND LODGE OF SWEDEN
With the greatest interest I have read your editorial in the last copy of THE BUILDER in relation to Recognition and I agree with you that the question ought to be taken up by the different Grand Lodges and that undoubtedly for practical reasons it should be advisable that the American Grand Lodges make the first step to attain a general international understanding in relation to it. The absurdity of the present condition is evident and undoubtedly not in accordance with the idea, underlying Masonry, of an universal brotherhood.
As an illustration of the correctness of your editorial I will relate an incident of which in the latter days I have got knowledge but although I am not committed to any secrecy as far as the incident regards I omit the names.
A short time ago a young Danish Mason addressed himself to the officers of a Masonic lodge in California handing them a letter from the Worshipful Master of a Danish Masonic lodge in which the California lodge was asked to do the Danish lodge the favor to confer upon the young Danish Mason the Second Degree, as be had had to leave Denmark before, according to the rules, it had been allowed to do it.
The letter from the Worshipful Master was backed by a letter from the Secretary of the Danish Grand National Lodge, of which according to the letter King Christian X is Grand Master, certifying that said Danish lodge was a lodge of good standing under the Grand Lodge, working according to the Swedish Rite, and asking the California lodge brotherly to comply with the request of the Worshipful Master.
Of course I can not relate what decision the Grand Lodge of California is going to take — personally I don't think that it can comply with the request on account of certain differences in the rites, which undoubtedly the Worshipful Master has overlooked — and in reality this is irrelevant as the point is, that a Danish Grand Lodge, working according to the Swedish Rite, recognizes an American lodge while the Swedish Grand Lodge, working according to the same Rite does not recognize another American lodge of the same good standing. This needs no commentars.
This letter, by a Swedish Mason, now a citizen of the United States, throws some further light upon this confused question. The following is part of a letter from a Danish correspondent, who seems to have a different view of the general state of affairs. We believe a return to true Masonic doctrine in this matter, that fraternal relations exist till formally broken off, would remove at least some of the perplexing inconsistencies that surround the subject.
I believe I can explain why many American brothers are refused as visitors in lodges of Swedish Rite. I have, long before the war, seen an article, I don't remember where, explaining that in the United States the Old Charges were considered a landmark, and that many Grand Lodges had taken notice of the fact that the Swedish Rite declined to acknowledge this landmark. In consequence, a considerable number of American Grand Lodges had black listed the Swedish Grand Lodges, thus refusing their members as visitors. I saw a list of the relations of the American Grand Lodges and, as far as I remember, more than half of them did not recognize the Swedish Rite. Of course, the Swedish Rite, in return, does not recognize them. The American Grand Lodges were quite right in acting so, for the Swedish Rite has nothing in common with the Anglo-Saxon lodges but the name Freemasonry. Their doctrines and principles are in most respects quite opposite. They have, therefore, always endeavored to conceal their deviations, and striven to maintain their connection with the English Grand Lodge which, to a small Continental Obedience, is the door opening out to the wide world. By means of interrelationships of Royalties the English Grand Lodge has hitherto been prevented from examining the question of whether the Swedish Rite should be placed inside or outside of Freemasonry.
P. A. F., Denmark.
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THE LESSER LIGHTS
I am interested in the question submitted by Bro. J. M. Lowndes, of Wyoming, in the December number of THE BUILDER for 1926, in regard to the proper way to place the "lesser lights."
Before taking up the question of placing, I desire to call attention to the fact that there seems to be a difference of opinion on the part of the different jurisdictions as to what the lesser lights really are. In some jurisdictions the lesser lights are said to be the sun, moon, and the W.M., of which the lights ("lights" meaning the candles or electric light bulbs attached to the stands) are the "representatives," while in others attention is directed to these actual "lights" with the statement that they are the lesser lights and represent the sun, moon, and W.M. The latter expression may be intended to mean the same as the former, but it certainly does not convey the same meaning as it is stated.
The first three paragraphs of your answer to Bro. Lowndes' question are clear, at least I believe that I have interpreted them correctly in the diagrams submitted herewith, numbered 1 to 5. Diagrams Nos. 1, 2 and 3 depict the three ways described in the second paragraph of your answer. Diagram No. 4 is the radical departure to which the third paragraph of your answer is devoted.
The last two paragraphs of the answer were no doubt perfectly clear to Bro. Lowndes, but as neither his question, as stated, nor the answer give the Wyoming practice, nor am I familiar with either the Wyoming or the Oklahoma practice, it is not clear to me how the lights were shown on the "old French charts."
Paragraph 4 of your answer states that the lights are placed in the N.E., S.E. and S.W. corners and that this arrangement applies equally to Wyoming, Oklahoma and the old French charts. The "corners," however, are not clearly located. My diagram No. 5 is based on the supposition that the lights are grouped around the, altar. Is this correct, or do your "corners" refer to the lodge room?
You have described five different groupings. There is yet. another way of grouping which I have shown in diagram No. 6. The lights are grouped about the altar, one light in the N.E. corner, another in the N.W., and the third in the S.W. corner. The corners refer to the altar itself. This manner of placing the lights is the practice in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands which follows very closely the ritualistic procedure of the Grand Lodge of California. This arrangement of the lights, I have been led to believe, is common to a majority of the Grand Lodges in the United States. Is that a fact?
How many of the groupings depicted are now in use in the United States?
A. E. T., Manila, P.I.
It is impossible to reproduce the diagrams sent by Bro. A.E.T., but we believe anyone can reconstruct them from the description referred to. One careless error crept into the reply to Bro. Lowndes in regard to the usage Bro. A.E.T. refers to as No. 4. Instead of "northeast" it should have been "southeast quarter" of the lodge room, i.e., southeast from the Altar. The question was dealt with very fully by Bro. Atchinson in THE BUILDER for September, 1918, who gave eleven different arrangements actually in use in the United States, a fact that had escaped our attention.
It should have been made clearer too that the old French Charts and plates do not show the same arrangement, nor is any one of them really exactly the same as the Wyoming method. This because in the eighteenth century the altar or pedestal was in the East in front of the Worshipful Master, while the lodge proper was held to be the diagram on the floor to the west of this pedestal. The candles were placed at the corners of the diagram, sometimes two in the west (S.W. and N.W.) and one in the East (sometimes S.E. and occasionally N.E.) or again sometimes two in the East and one in the S.W. In representations published in England during the same period the lights are arranged in a triangle with its base somewhat north of the median line of the diagram, and the apex in the South.
Taking this as the original usage it is possible to see how the English and American customs diverged. As the officer (and brethren) moved back from the diagram the lights might be taken with them because they had always marked their stations. Conversely they might be left in the middle of the room because that was where they had always been. It would depend on which consideration seemed most important. Then when the diagram got modified into a carpet or board or chart, and the pedestal was moved away from the Master to the center of the room and became the altar, the candles would be arrange about this last. The one thing that was constant throughout was that the arrangement permitted the interpretation that on light was toward the East, one to the South and one to the West, without too obvious incongruity. The whole subject need thorough investigation, and it is hoped that in the not to distant future the "Lights of the Lodge" will be fully discussed in THE BUILDER.
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EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WORK RECONSTRUCTED
In your February issue you run an illustration of an eighteenth century lodge. It may interest you to know that Science Lodge, No. 50, at Sandusky, Ohio, has been doing this work in full costume for some ten years past. The work was dramatized by the writer and has been given in a number of cities in Ohio and Michigan.
I am enclosing one of our programs. It might interest your readers to know that we have been doing this work for so many years. I believe Bro. Morcombe was the first to do this work but I have never seen his play.
C. H. Merz, Ohio.
We are very pleased to publish the above letter. It shows that the possibilities of reproducing in a dramatic way the usages of our predecessors have occurred independently in more than one quarter, and should be proof of the practicability of this way combining a most interesting entertainment with instruction Bro. Merz sent with his letter a copy of a program, from which it would appear that his reproduction of an 18th century lodge, When Temples Were Inns, is very similar to that arranged by Bro. Milborne in Montreal. If any of our readers know of other reconstructions put on in their lodges we should be glad to have the particulars.
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May I be permitted to point out an uncorrected misprint in my review of Albert Lantoine's recent book in the February BUILDER, as it completely reverses what I wished to say. I the next to the last paragraph on page 60 I wrote "The Presbyterians have not been distinguished for a wide tolerance in the past; at that period it would be more accurate to describe them as most intolerant." I am made to say however that they were most tolerant."
Needless to say I do not wish to reflect in any way upon the Presbyterian churches. Toleration at that time was regarded by all religions as a vice, not as a virtue. It was a pandering to evil. The Calvinist standpoint is logically as ex elusive as that of the Roman Church. Granted that either on is right it follows that everyone else is wrong.
S. J. C.
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THE ORDER OF DE MOLAY
Many of our members are keenly interested in the Order of De Molay for boys. We have been asked on behalf of the Grand Council to give publicity to its new address. Order of De Molay, Frank S. Land, Grand Scribe, 201 East Armour boulevard, Kansas City, Mo. Whereto all concerned give good heed.