A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 15 No. 2 – February 1929
THE PRACTICE OF FREEMASONRY AS A SOLVENT FOR WORLD PROBLEMS
Being the second section of the discussion of the question: Is Freemasonry Playing Its Part in Promoting the Welfare of the World Today?
The fourth of a series of articles discussing our ancient fraternity and present day problems
Bro. Herbert Hungerford
Author of Seeing Both Sides of Yourself
Is Bro. Hungerford justified in his contention that Masonic principles fearlessly applied would solve the problems facing us today? Could Freemasonry exercise a real influence in the world? Have Masons forgotten their fundamental ideals, so that while doing reverence to the Landmarks in word they neglect them in deed? Is Freemasonry a Fraternity or merely a social organization? Is it universal or only to some extent international? In short, Whist is it ad about, what are we doing and what are we trying to do? Can anyone tell us?
HOW AMUSING and absurd it is to have some "nervous Nellie" in our Fraternity protest that the Landmarks of Freemasonry forbid the discussion of religion in our lodges or other strictly Masonic circles. If this were true, our entire ritual would have to be revised and most of its principal tenets recast in order that our official ceremonials might not transgress our own traditional principles.
Surely no member of the Fraternity will deny that our ceremonials are discussions and demonstrations of religious and ethical principles from beginning to end. Every formal Masonic lecture is a discussion of religious ideals and an admonition to religious practices.
What our constitutional rules actually prohibit is the discussion of sectarian questions or doctrinal religious issues.
There's a world of difference between discussing a disputed doctrinal problem or a sectarian religious question and discussing the application of those broad religious principles which Freemasonry professes to uphold and to practice to the various problems which are disturbing the world today.
I am dwelling upon this fact because it seems quite necessary to get this particular point fully cleared up as we attempt to consider the pertinent question as to whether or not the principles and purposes of Freemasonry, if properly practiced, might become a solvent for the distressing questions with which our civilization is faced.
Let me remind you that I stated, in my previous article, my contention that our Fraternity contains in its basic aims and objectives, the principles and program which, if sincerely practiced, generally and regularly, by our members throughout the world, would actually prove a solvent for all the serious social difficulties of our times.
Putting it plainly and boldly, I believe with all my heart and soul that, if Freemasons throughout the whole world would begin to practice the principles and precepts which the Fraternity professes and teaches, we would set into motion such forces for human betterment that it would mean, ultimately, the solving of every present day problem.
You may regard this as a too bold and, possibly, too idealistic a prediction. But, I hope, you will at least give it due consideration.
In the first part of this particular discussion, I quoted from more than a score of persons prominent in world affairs, showing how diverse are the views as to what constitutes the foremost problem which our world is facing today. Yet I think we may be able to devise a fairly simple outline of the three principal world problems which will be sufficiently broad and comprehensive to include every major problem of our times.
Peace, Prosperity and Progress: Our World Problem
Suppose, for instance, we regard the promotion of peace, prosperity and progress as the three-fold problem of the world. This, of course, must mean universal peace, the prosperity of all mankind and the progress of all humanity everywhere. Surely, you will observe, if we provide a program and a plan that will promote all these, in the broad universal way we have outlined, such a plan or program will include the solution of all the major as well as the minor problems named by our correspondents.
Will any Freemason dispute the statement that the central tenet of our creed and the backbone principle of our Craft is the profession and the practice of universal brotherhood? In every degree, our ceremonials impress this central theme. Every emblem and symbol of the Craft relates to this central ideal, either directly or indirectly. Our reverence for the great Architect of the universe, the Father of all mankind, is simply the basic idea or the main root supporting this central trunk of our Masonic tree. The acknowledgment of our common Father of all mankind presumes the practice of universal brotherhood.
I am not pretending that Freemasons, as a rule, are practicing the principles of universal brotherhood; but I do contend, without fear of contradiction, that the central ideal upheld in all our ceremonials as the most important endeavor for all candidates for advancement in our Fraternity is to profess and to practice universal brotherhood.
Putting my proposition into a nutshell, it is my firm conviction that the practical exemplification of a truly universal brotherly love, exactly as it is plainly advocated as the central theme of Freemasonry, would do more towards promoting world peace, and advancing the welfare and common good of humanity, than any other political plan or social formula that could possibly be devised.
It is "old stuff," of course, to complain that we do not practice what we preach. Every man and Mason has it dinned into his ears the fact that we poor, frail mortals are prone to make mistakes and fall short of living up to our pretentions and professions.
Are Masonic Lodges Stressing Superficialities?
So, please do not infer that I am merely trying to find fault because we, as Freemasons, are subject to the shortcomings which all flesh is heir to. My criticism is more pertinent and more serious. Furthermore, the flaw that I point out could be remedied, whereas only through the long painful educational process of struggle and conquest, trial and error, failure and victory, will the common faults of our humanity be overcome.
What I am trying to point out and drive home is my personal conviction that most modern activities in our lodges are placing stress upon secondary matters and failing to emphasize, as effectively and fully as we should, the real Landmarks, the fundamental factors of Freemasonry.
We conduct high-pressure fund raising campaigns to build memorials and monuments. We play up the social features of our program to the limit. We rush batches of candidates through our degree mills and try to beat the records of our predecessors in office and outshine our sister lodges. All these activities are in accord with the progressive, competitive, strenuous spirit of our times. But, in making them our foremost and, frequently, our only definite objectives, it seems to me that we are departing much farther from the ancient landmarks of Freemasonry than we would by any possible discussion of religion in our lodge rooms.
What is the Central Theme of Freemasonry?
If the broad platform of brotherly love upon which the structure of our great Fraternity is established comes to be regarded merely as a pretty figure of speech and not a genuine working principle, a real fundamental factor of Freemasonry, it seems to me that it is high time for us to pause for a while that we may consider what being a good man and a Mason should really mean. If it does not mean, according to every intent and purpose of the founders of Freemasonry, that you thereby acknowledge your allegiance to the belief in universal brotherhood and the practice of brotherly love towards all mankind, then I have sadly misinterpreted what appear to me as plain statements of our professions of faith and practice.
If you still harbor the slightest suspicion that universal brotherhood is not the central theme of Freemasonry, let me suggest that you try to recall any portion of our ritual which does not set forth some ideal either directly professing or closely harmonizing with the cardinal virtue of brotherly love.
How Would it Work Out in Actual Practice?
Possibly, however, you may still wonder what are the grounds for my assertion that brotherly love, really believed and practiced, would act as a common denominator for developing the practical solution of every world problem.
Suppose, accordingly, that we attempt to analyze and resolve the ideal of brotherly love into some of its prime factors, or essential elements. As we have been dealing with our other points in groups of three, as for instance, the three-fold world problem, let us consider three elementary factors of universal brotherhood. These are by no means all the factors and, possibly, may not be the most important. Yet they will be sufficient, I trust, to drive home our point that brotherly love is the universal solvent for the ills of mankind.
Understanding, confidence and tolerance are the three great attributes of brotherly love to which I would invite your consideration.
You will readily observe that all of these elements characterize the true spirit of brotherhood. There always exists a bond of sympathy and understanding between loving brothers. Likewise, love that endures must always be built upon mutual faith and confidence. Finally, there is, between those who bear true affection towards each other, a spirit of tolerance, which overlooks common faults and condones human weaknesses and shortcomings.
Now, suppose that throughout the whole world, among all the races and peoples of every country, there existed a world-wide spirit of real understanding, genuine confidence and true tolerance, would we be so fiercely concerned in fighting over petty partisan policies or battling for the conquest of either property or political power?
Can Our Remedy for World Ills Be Applied?
I am sure, however, that it is needless for me to argue that the world-wide practice of all the elementary attributes, relations and activities of brotherly love certainly would cure the ills of mankind. Doubtless, you will admit the efficacy of the proposed remedy, but, probably, you will insist that we are today a long, long way from finding a practical plan for the adoption and application of this remedy.
I do not deny that present conditions seem to indicate that this doubtful attitude is fairly justified by the facts. We may be, according to current indications, a considerable distance from world brotherhood.
But this does not diminish the importance of the point I have been attempting to present. Admitting that world brotherhood may be simply a far-off ideal for the many millions of mankind, yet we must also admit that, among the several millions of Masons throughout the world, this ideal is not, or should not be, something in the dim and distant future. In Freemasonry, the ideal of world brotherhood is something ever present and always advocated as a real working principle of the Craft.
If world brotherhood ever becomes a universal working principle, it certainly will have to have its beginning somewhere. It is my sincere conviction that the leaven of this great ideal already has begun its work in our great Fraternity. Too slowly, it may seem to us, it is working and spreading the beneficent ferment in its influence among the more thoughtful members of our Fraternity.
If this series of discussions, in which I am attempting to act as sort of a chairman, should lead a few more brethren to see still further light on the fundamentals of Freemasonry, and should thereby, through these leaders, instill in a few more lodges more emphasis upon the real and abiding factors of our Fraternity, I shall feel that I have not labored in vain.
Again let me remind the reader, that when we call these articles discussions, we mean that our principle objective is to stimulate contributions from those who may be interested. My own endeavor has not been to present an exhaustive treatise upon each topic considered, but rather to raise as many questions as may be possible, without making my article merely a questionnaire.
The editors of THE BUILDER will be pleased to consider any comments or contributions that you may submit. Do not hesitate to write if your views are at variance with the writer's. You should not overlook the slogan on the cover of THE BUILDER. Why not do your part to help make this magazine "An Open Forum for All the Craft."
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THE DEGREES OF MASONRY: THEIR ORIGIN AND HISTORY
Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren
THAT any body of Masons were so much influenced by Prichard's six-penny pamphlet that they straightway gave up their old customs to follow his imaginings seems so inherently improbable that only the most definite evidence could convince us of it. However, Gould, in making this suggestion has left himself a loophole. He may be interpreted, if we read between the lines, as meaning no more than that Prichard's work represents a procedure that was then being followed in some quarters, which the Grand Lodge, or the Grand Lodge officers and their circle, judged to be not in accord with the "ancient and symbolic traditions of the Craft."
We think that this point was not really an essential part of the theory of a misunderstanding. It was based in Gould's mind, so it appears to us, upon his dislike for the "Ancients." Previous to the Union in 1813, the "Moderns" changed certain features of their ritual and thus came to differ, not only from the "Ancients," but also from the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, on the grounds of which the two latter bodies had for many years refused them recognition while maintaining fraternal intercourse with the Ancients — a fact that Gould very much minimized and glossed over.  He insisted that the original Grand Lodge had never made any changes with the single exception of the one we have been considering — the unwilling sanction of the division of the Apprentice's part into Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft. He puts this very strongly in his smaller History in commenting on the negotiations that preceded the Union. 
... the virtual adoption of the method of working among the "Ancients" which has been relied upon as affording decisive proof of the "Moderns" having finally returned to the old ways I regard myself from an entirely different aspect, and consider that it points with certainty to "an alteration" for the first and only time, "in its established forms," by the earliest of Grand Lodges.
This is explicit. According to him the yielding of the senior Grand Lodge in matters of ritual was a surrender to innovations introduced by the "Ancients" at least so far as concerned England from Ireland.
We must take this as representing his final and mature opinion, though earlier utterances seem to conflict with it. As for example in the larger and earlier work we find
These alterations [the expansion of the Apprentice's Part into our first and second degrees] if I am right in my supposition were not effected in a day. Indeed it is possible that a taste for "meddling with the ritual," having been acquired, lasted longer than has been commonly supposed, and the variations made in the "established forms," which was one of the articles in the heavy indictment drawn up by the seceding against the Regular Masons, may have been but a further manifestation of the passion for innovation which was evinced by the Grand Lodge of England during the first decade of its existence. 
And later still, we are inclined to think.
In the same volume, referring to the changes made by the Moderns to conform with the usage of the Ancients just before the Union, he says:
This was virtually a return to the old practice, and it will be sufficient to remark, that with the exception of the opportunities selected under the two systems for the communication of secrets, there appears to have been no real difference between the procedure (or ceremonial) of the two fraternities. 
With the last statement we are unable to agree, unless the term "real" be understood in an exceedingly general (not to say vague) sense. But it does seem that here he did still accept the received assertion that the Moderns had made deliberate changes  with a view to excluding the members of lodges which were not in their obedience. If so, he later modified his opinion, and we could wish that he had given his readers warning of the fact.
It will be necessary now to show as briefly as possible how he justified his later contention, in the face, not only of the fact that it was regarded as a matter of general knowledge in the later part of the eighteenth century, but also in view of the formal admission by the Grand Lodge of the Moderns in a resolution passed at the Quarterly Communication of April 12, 1809.
That this Grand Lodge do agree ... that it is not necessary any longer to continue in Force those measures which were resorted to in or about the year 1736, respecting irregular Masons, and do therefore enjoin the several Lodges to revert to the Ancient Land Marks of the Society. 
He calls this "a lamentable exhibition of weakness and ignorance of history." He quotes Bro. Sadler on an earlier page in support of his view:
To adopt the words of Mr. Henry Sadler, "I am fully convinced that at this period the leaders of the rival Grand Lodges really knew very little of each others origin and antecedents." It would, indeed, be quite possible to show, from their own writings, not merely a sufficiency but an affluence of proof, that neither Dermott nor Preston was even superficially acquainted with the history of English Freemasonry between the years 1717 and 1751. 
This is undoubtedly true, but it does not follow that a tradition to the effect that a deliberate change had been made for the purpose specified, was without foundation in fact. That still remains an open question.
Gould's argument may be summarized thus. Beginning with the position, already sufficiently defined, that in England Masonry emerges into history as a two degree system, but that in Scotland it contained, on the esoteric or speculative side, only the "Mason Word" (which, as we have said, he was apparently inclined to take very literally as implying merely a single password) it followed that in his opinion when the London Grand Lodge acquiesced in the division of the first grade into two, it was fully competent to decide how the division should be made. We must ask our readers here to bear in mind that the most prominent and most definite charge made against the Moderns was that they had transposed certain words. Gould argues that whatever arrangement was followed by the Moderns was the one that was made when the present second degree was separated from the first, and whatever the merits of that fundamental innovation might be it was within the competence of the Grand Lodge to regulate it, and that this being the original arrangement, and if a different one was improper, then it was the other Grand Lodges that were at fault. That of the Ancients, and also those of Scotland and Ireland which agreed with them. 
The argument is a very plausible one, but its weakness lies in the impossibility of adequately accounting for the change being made in Scotland and Ireland. If Scotland got the degree system from England, as he holds, why did it twist things round in adopting it? He suggests, in the case of Ireland, that it had the same right that the Grand Lodge of England had to divide the original first degree as it chose, and suggests that the Irish brethren were misled by Prichard. The Ancients probably got their ritual from Ireland, at least we may so think if we accept Sadler's thesis that they were in the first place chiefly Irish immigrants to London. Besides this we have Gould's own assertion (whatever it may be worth) that in 1739 there were discontented lodges following Prichard's arrangement. This, however, he ignores in the present connection. It seems therefore that his hypothesis raises a dozen difficulties in order to solve one. On the other hand he did not consider the possibility that there might have been a traditional sequence in the old Apprentice's Part, which was in itself the basis of the original division. If so, then from the standpoint of conservatism it would not be justifiable to alter it. There is evidence overlooked by Gould that this was the case. To this we shall have to come later on.
We have scarcely touched upon his discussion of the vestiges of the old ritual practice as his treatment of these seems to be merely auxiliary to his main argument. One point remains which we find still rather obscure, and that is just what he meant by insisting the "essentials" of the ancient symbolic system were the same as those we have today? He intimated indeed that he could not speak more precisely. However in his large History  he gives the impression that he believed the legend of the Builder to have been incorporated between 1723 and 1729, while in his paper on the Antiquity of Masonic Symbolisms he says what seems to be the exact reverse of this.
Gould bulks very largely in the discussion of this problem, not only because of his extensive acquaintance with the facts concerning it, but also from the sheer bulk of what he has written, and because, owing to the comparative accessibility of his two Histories and the Collected Essays his views are perhaps more widely known than those of any other Masonic writer, with the possible exception of Albert Mackey. 
We have attempted to show that whatever degree of credence may be given to his opinions, his arguments are not logically conclusive. It is possible, it may even be probable, that no solution of the puzzle can ever be discovered which will compel assent; but it is something to know wherein certainty has not been reached. The facts themselves, as our readers by now must fully realize, are complex and obscure, and it is impossible to adequately discuss them without entering into a complex argument. We hope that in this case we have not made Gould's obscurity still greater in our attempt to elucidate his position. With Gould what may be called the classical period of the discussion comes to an end. It seemed that, for the time being at least, all the evidence available had been brought forward and debated from every point of view, and that there was no more to do than to give judgment upon the argument. Masonic students have very generally accepted the two degree hypothesis; and though there is, as we have seen, plenty of room for divergence of opinion within those limits, yet probably a majority have taken it in the same sense as Gould and Speth; that the original second grade was equivalent to our third, and that our second has been manufactured or evolved out of part of the original first.
Thus the focus of interest shifted to the origin of the third degree and its relationship to the Royal Arch. These intensely interesting problems fall outside the limits that, for purely practical reasons, it has been necessary to lay down although seeing they are closely, one might say organically, connected, it will be impossible to avoid some mention of them, if the subject is to be shown in its true relations.
For our present purpose, therefore, we will briefly mention such contributions to the subject of the evolution of the Masonic ritual, the origin of the Royal Arch and cognate topics, so far as they bear upon the particular object of this survey.
Bro. Roderick H. Baxter read a paper before the Manchester Association for Masonic Research in 1909, on the "Old Charges," in which he briefly touched upon the question of their ritual use in early Masonic lodges.  Eight years later he took up an extension of this subject before the Humber Installed Masters Lodge, under the head of "The Old Charges and the Ritual," and in the following year gave substantially the same paper before Quatuor Coronati Lodge.  In this he summarized Speth's arguments on the subject of degrees and indicated his own adhesion to his conclusions. He showed also a number of striking parallels between passages in the MS. Charges and certain present day ritual formulas, chiefly of a hortatory character. As against the doubt expressed by Gould, whether these MSS. were used in the eighteenth century lodges, he advanced the strong, though indirect, argument, that Anderson's Constitutions were to take the place of the old manuscript charges, and that it was directed that they should be read at the making of Masons. Whether this was ever actually done or not we do not know, and it is pretty certain that if it was done it very soon dropped out of use. But it is a fair inference that this direction was not a new thing, that in this too the printed book was intended to take the place of the older and more concise documents. This would also account for the evidences of borrowing collected by Bro. Baxter. The position might be stated thus: There was a definite recollection that the Old Charges and the introductory legend had formed part of the ritual. They became obsolete with the advent of the printed book. The latter, if for no other reason, on account of its impossible length, was never used in this way, or if used was soon disused, and so, in compensation, the old MSS. were used as a quarry by ritualists in search of material for exhortations, eulogiums, moralizings, and so on. Just as, much later, Webb used Preston's Illustrations without regard to the original place and purpose of his material. It is obvious that this kind of ritual expansion and embellishment has no direct bearing on the question of origins.
In another paper before the Manchester Association Bro. Baxter discussed the Chetwode Crawley MS.  and its bearing upon the "two degree" hypothesis. This MS. seems to shed a good deal of light upon the well known "Haughfoot minute," and Baxter notes Hughan's admission in regard to it, that it did give real support to the theory of an original system of two grades. A rather grudging admission it must be said.  Bro. Baxter however expresses the opinion that the argument in favor of two degrees is conclusive, the Chetwode Crawley MS. being an additional and convincing piece of evidence. But it must be remembered that it is possible to hold that there were two original degrees, and yet to suppose the third degree to be a modern invention. As we saw in the discussion of Speth's argument, Bro. J. Ramsden Riley was of this opinion , as some other students still appear to be also. Bro. Baxter, however, agrees in this with Gould, and in 1914 in a paper read before the Humber Installed Master's Lodge, he undertook to prove the antiquity of our Third Degree.  In the course of his argument he referred, as others have done also, to the various legends of Masonic tragedies; as those of Roslin, Gloucester, Cologne, etc., and also to the folk tragi-comedy embodied in the Mummer's play. In this, however, we must not follow him now.
The late Bro. E. L. Hawkins read a paper in Quatuor Coronati Lodge on the Evolution of the Masonic Rituals.  He however only dealt in this with the period ending with 1716. He covered in this very much the same ground that we have already traversed but in the discussion Bro. Dring made a point that had not definitely been brought out before and that was that certain of the MS. Constitutions, the Watson and Heade versions being specially mentioned,
... show a distinction between being made a Mason and a Fellow being received and allowed. According to those versions it was on the latter occasion (when the Fellow was received and allowed ) that the Charges might be read to him. My view is that one can only form personal conclusions or opinions as to what the procedure really was. 
And he went on to say that the differences and discrepancies were due to the transition from the Operative to the Speculative regime proceeding at different rates in different places. 
In 1917 Bro. Redfern Kelley  discussing the origin of the Royal Arch, intimated his acceptance of the single initiation theory, with second, third and fourth degrees added in succession, but without advancing any new arguments. He however did not take it in exactly the same sense as Hughan and Mackey and the other brethren of their school, as the following passage shows:
In Ancient Craft Freemasonry there would appear to have existed from time immemorial, so to speak, a certain essential and well recognized archaic legend; and in connection with that legend a peculiar secret, which may be regarded as being one of the ancient esoteric landmarks of the Order, primitively considered, that this particular esoteric landmark, the M... W... [presumably these letters stand for "Mason Word"], was recognized under the ancient "Operative" system and subsequently under the combined "Operative and Speculative" systems; and as well under the more recent and improved purely "Speculative" system which obtained since the year 1717; and that, as a "Prime Secret," it was invariably communicated to all candidates indiscriminately, on their admission into the Order under the primitive one degree Ritual of the Craft, as acknowledged and practiced in, and prior to, the latter year  irrespective of any distinction of class either of "Apprentice," "Fellow of the Craft," or "Master" of the Guild or of the Lodge. 
In other words, that all the essentials of our three degrees were included in the primitive ritual of initiation. It will be remembered that Bro. Sydney Klein had suggested a very similar theory in the discussion of Speth's paper.  Bro. Klein, however, begins with the second degree, that is, he supposes the original initiation to have taken place at the end of the Apprentice's term of servitude, when he was made free of the Craft.
Bro. R. J. Meekren, in an article published in the Tyler-Keystone, March and April, 1918, had also developed at some length a similar theory, more like Bro. Kelley's than that of Bro. Klein. It was, however, written with insufficient information, and is another example of the difficulty would-be students so often experience in gaining access to the results of the investigations made by others. A further suggestion was made in this article that the first of the Masonic degrees to be put third in the series was not the "Master Mason" but that of "Past" or "Passed Master," and that from this as a germ the Capitular Degrees eventually were developed, i.e., the various Excellent Masterships and the Royal Arch. This, as will be remembered, was not wholly unanticipated. Bro. Upton, for example, suggested something like it. 
The paper by Bro. Kelley referred to above was rather severely criticized by the other members of Quatuor Coronati Lodge; chiefly on account of his acceptance of the "single initiation" hypothesis, but partly on other grounds which do not concern us here.
Bro. J. E. S. Tuckett is the next student who calls for some notice in this connection. His work has dealt more with the origins of the additional degrees, but among his postulates for these researches is this:
That before 1717 Freemasonry possessed a Store of Legend, Tradition and Symbolism of wide extent. That from 1717 the Grand Lodge selecting a portion only of the Store, gradually evolved a Rite consisting of E.A., F.C., M.M., and R.A. That the restriction of the terms "pure," "Ancient," and (in a certain sense) "Craft" to the degrees included in this Rite is arbitrary, and due solely to the accident of selection by the Grand Lodge. 
We believe that there is a good deal to be said for this, though we think too much emphasis is laid on the "selection," which gives the impression that it was a deliberate and conscious process. Our own feeling is that the Grand Lodge followed, rather than led, in the matter; and even that it may have been reluctantly dragged into accepting the evolving expansions of the ritual that took place in the formative period, 1717-1738.
Bro. Tuckett accepts two original degrees under the names of "Enter'd Mason or Apprentice" and "Enter'd Fellow or Master," and suggested that they were recast , the present third degree being "a dramatic representation of the older 'Master's Part."' Which seems to imply that the latter consisted chiefly of the communication of an item of legendary history. But some years later  he summed up his views as follows:
The old two degrees were substantially the same as our present day First and Second.
"The Master's Part" was not a degree but a ceremony-with-secrets, conferred upon but few. This was elevated to the status of a recognized degree our present Third Degree for which all Brethren in possession of the other two were eligible.
This would seem to be closely allied to the theory that the third degree was originally for Masters of Lodges (or earlier still, of employers) although this is not definitely brought out. Otherwise the theory is like that of Bro. J. Ramsden Riley.  But what a ceremony-with-secrets if not a degree? We are inclined to think that such a conception as this would only be possible in England, where the brethren are "teethed" on the eminently practical but absurdly illogical compromise of 1813. 
By this, for the purpose of English Masonic Constitutional Law the term "Degree" is defined as applicable only to the three specifically mentioned, and to nothing else. Whatever propriety this usage may have in its limited legal sphere, it must be said that from the etymological point of view it is artificially restricted, and for the historian's purposes highly inconvenient; and more than that, it tends to misunderstanding and confusion of thought. It is however useless to quarrel over words. To those who use the term in this restricted sense we submit the following schema:
Sub-class: (a) Degree. (b) Ceremony-with-secrets.
We desire, though, to make it quite clear that we have used, and intend to continue to use (on the mere ground of convenience) the word "degree" for the class, amending the classification thus:
Sub-class: (a) Degree in English legal sense. (b) Ceremony-with-secrets.
In short, following the classic example of Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, we will pay the word extra and make it mean what we like.
It is obvious, as we think, that the Royal Arch and the Installed (or Past) Master have every characteristic of a degree, there are in them secrets, communicated to duly qualified persons under a vow of secrecy, in a ritual that is also secret and which is accompanied by a legendary history. The special qualifications demanded are not, for the student's purpose, a relevant mark of distinction. Historically the R.A. and P.M. are intimately connected with the first three degrees of our system, and no attempt to investigate the origin of the last mentioned can be complete that entirely ignores the additional ceremonies-with-secrets that in England are denied the name of degrees, though acknowledged to be part of the "pure Ancient" system.
Bro. Tuckett has collected much evidence to substantiate in some sense the vague statements of older Masonic authors regarding the Jacobite influence in early Speculative Masonry. Interesting as this is, it is yet itself too speculative, in the ordinary, non-technical sense of the word, to be dealt with here; though if, as has been frequently suggested, the degree of Master Mason is a cryptic allegory of the history of the cause of the Stuarts and the hopes of their supporters, it could hardly be left out of account. Bro. Tuckett, however, sees the effects of this influence rather in the formation of those early "additional" grades that were termed "Scottish," or more properly Ecossois.
The Rev. H. G. Rosedale does ascribe the third degree to this cause, unfortunately without seriously attempting to support it with evidence. He says for example:
It is clear that the two first Degrees were in existence and fully recognized though possibly not in separate form before the year 1717. The full "Third" Degree did not appear as an accepted Rite till 1724, when, according to Bro. Yarker and others, the old Jacobite Lodges in London owing to the repeated failures of Jacobite plots were beginning to regain strength and when the newly-formed Hanoverian Grand Lodge had proved a success. 
Earlier in the same paper in which this occurs, Bro. Rosedale had argued that the division of opinion in the country at large during the religious and political struggles of the seventeenth century had been reflected in the Masonic Fraternity, even to the extent of producing groups or lodges on each side of the dispute. No reason is given for this but probability. To us it seems highly improbable. That Masons, as individuals, were divided is certain; that their political and religious differences were carried into the lodges to the extent of creating two opposed Masonries there is no evidence at all. We cannot forget that the lodge at Warrington initiated on the same occasion the royalist Ashmole and the parliamentarian, Col. Mainwaring, at the very time the Civil War was tearing the country in two. That groups of royalist Masons may have formed lodges and made Masons of other royalists is very possible, just as a group of good Presbyterian Masons at the siege of Newcastle initiated Robert Moray, but this is not at all the same thing that we understand Bro. Rosedale to assert. Still less can we accept his contention that the schism between the Moderns and the Ancients had their roots in these political and religious differences, especially as no evidence is advanced in support of the hypothesis. In justice to Bro. Rosedale, however, it must be said that he touched on this matter only as preliminary to an examination of later ritual development (which of course is outside our present purpose altogether) and so did not really attempt to prove his statements.
Bro. Rosedale followed the late John Yarker in this idea of two opposed Masonries divided on politico-religious grounds, though he may of course have reached the conclusion quite independently. Bro. Yarker seemed to be willing to admit the antiquity of the essentials of our present system, but his theory is complicated by his acceptance of the modern Operative or Guild Masons. These claims are so far apart from the main lines of this investigation that we must ignore them here. 
A number of other brethren have addressed themselves to the problem of the origin of the sublime degree of Master Mason. Two of these essays call for brief mention. Bro. Moir Dow in discussing "The Basis of the Third Degree," appears to accept a system of two grades as inherited by the Grand Lodge of 1717 from the old lodges which composed it; but seems to suppose that this was a comparatively recent evolution from a Single initiation. At least he thinks it
... highly probable that by this simple mode Elias Ashmole was "made a Mason" in 1646 ...
and he goes on to say that
There is evidence, however, that side by side with the one Degree mode, the reception ceremony comprised two steps or stages. We know definitely that a certain point the Entered Apprentice withdrew from the Lodge Room when the initiate received further instruction. This early evidence (based on Scottish records), is of high importance as manifesting evolution in a ritualistic direction ... and it is therefore probable that by the close of the 17th century influenced by the increasing speculative element that the two-Degree system developed, became crystallized, and displaced in England generally the original sole Degree. 
The evidence, "based on Scottish records" must be, we presume (unfortunately no references are given) the "Haughfoot minute," interpreted in the light of the Chetwode Crawley MS. The hypothesis offered by Bro. Dow is a new combination of the elements. Contrary to the earlier investigators he seems to incline to the belief that the more complex two degree system arose in Scotland. We could wish that he had developed his arguments in favor of this view. We can only guess that it is based on the fact that the lodge at Haughfoot seems to offer the earliest existing record of two separate grades which comprised ceremonies with special secrets pertaining thereto. Not, we think, sufficient to produce conviction. And we might ask why a single initiation should have been divided or expanded in the 17th century, when Freemasonry was still mainly operative, if there were no earlier tradition of such division?
Two years later Bro. G. W. Bullamore defended the "Antiquity of the Third Degree." In this paper he made some interesting suggestions. He supposes that the three classes mentioned in the Old Charge,
... the "Masons, fellows or freemasons" of the Apprentice Charge are the accepted Masons, Mark fellows and Master builders. These three classes would meet in separate lodges... . There would be no regular advance from accepted Mason or layer to mark mason or hewer and then from hewer to master. The Master's Lodge could no doubt confer the secrets of all three degrees, and in this sense might be considered to work the three degrees, but the evidence of the Old Charges favors the view that the apprentice when he had finished his time either became a fellow or else a master on account of his exceptional abilities. 
Or we might add, because he had capital enough behind him, or was the son or relative of a master. Bro. Bullamore further said that our present ceremonies originated from these three types of lodges, and that there
... are facts which suggest that distinct types of Lodges have amalgamated to form our present ceremonies. The struggle between Ancients and Moderns was far too great to have been produced by a few minor alterations in the ritual. 
This last may be true, and we are inclined to think it is, but as Bro. Bullamore does not tell us what these facts are on which he bases this rather startling theory of the amalgamation of quite separate units we can hardly criticize it profitably. As for the third degree itself, which presumably was that of the "master builders" in his classification of ranks or kinds of operative Masons, he apparently would explain its genesis in the light of foundation sacrifices. Not at all an original idea, of course; and though he adduces many interesting facts, yet he does not develop the argument based on them very definitely, probably because of difficulties that will be apparent to all Freemasons. 
Gould's argument on this point depends on the lack of precision in ascribing any date to the supposed change, either by the Grand Lodge itself in 1809, when it spoke vaguely of 1736, or by Preston or Dermott. The unrecorded motion of 1730, earlier than the publication of Prichard's work, and so unaffected by it, seems to him the only possible place to be found for it in the record. From that it would follow, on his premises, that as the things transposed were still equally component parts of the original first grade, their order was a matter of no consequence. To that we would repeat that there may have been a traditional order within the old "Apprentice Part," and that changing this was one of the "measures adopted." If a recollection of this was handed down, and it is precisely the kind of thing that might be thus remembered, it would be more probable that both its date and the exact circumstances might be forgotten, while the main fact was remembered that there had been a transposition for the purpose of excluding unrecognized Masons or imposters. Our own opinion is that there was such an original, traditional sequence, and that it had been changed; and further that this "slogan" of the "Ancients," as it might be termed in present day parlance, merely represented the differences between them and the "Moderns"-which were many and important- and which they supposed (not unnaturally) were all deliberate innovations on the part of the latter. Though in all probability most of them were actually inherited from variations antedating 1717, many years perhaps, possibly centuries.
- Gould History, Vol. iii, p. 248, cf. Essays, p. 229. ↩
- Gould Concise History, p. 441. Also A.Q.C., Vol. x, p. 138. ↩
- Hist., Vol iii, p. 114. ↩
- Ibid., Vol iii, p. 252. ↩
- At least it is plausible that Dr. Desaguliers advocated something of the kind in 1730. Gould, op. cit., Vol. iii, p. 138. ↩
- Hist., Vol. iii, p. 250; Concise Hist., p. 441. ↩
- Ibid., p. 433. ↩
- Ib., pp. 403 and 408. Also Essays, pp. 228 and 232. ↩
- Hist., Vol. iii, pp. 117-119. ↩
- A.Q.C., Vol iii, p. 23; Reprinted in the Essays, p. 141. ↩
- Trans. Man. Ass'n1909-10, , p. 22. ↩
- A.Q.C., Vol. xxxi p. 33. ↩
- Trans. Man. Ass'n, 1910-11. ↩
- The point has been touched on in a previous note. BUILDER, Aug., 1928, p. 248. The reference is to Hughan's Origin of the English Rite, p. 23. ↩
- BUILDER, Oct., 1928, p. 299. ↩
- Trans. Humber Installed Masters Lodge, 1912-1916, p. 635. ↩
- A.Q.C., Vol. xxvi, p. 6. ↩
- Ibid.; p. 19. ↩
- The William Watson MS., Q.C.A., Vol. iii, has the following passage which succeeds the account of the great Assembly at York under Edwin. "In England right worshipful masters & fellowes yt been of divers Semblies and congregations wth ye Lords of this Realme hath ordained & made charges by their best advise yt all manner of men yt shall be made & allowed Masons, must be sworne upon a booke to keep the same in all yt they may to ye uttermost of their power, & alsoe they have been ordained yt when any ffellow shall be reeeiued & allowed yt these charges might be read unto him, & he to take his charges, and these charges haue been seen & perused by our late Soveraigne Lord King Henry ye sixth & ye Lords of ye Honourable Couneell, and they have allowed them well & said they were right good & reasonable to be holden...." ↩
- A.Q.C., Vol. xxx. D. 7. "The Advent of Royal Arch Masonry. ↩
- Ibid., p. 13. ↩
- BUILDER, Oct., 1928, p. 299; A.Q.C., Vol. xi, p. 61. ↩
- BUILDER Oct., 1928 p. 301 and others have reverted to it since. We hope to explore it more fully later on. ↩
- A.Q.C., Vol. xxxii, p. 5. ↩
- Trans. Man. Ass'n, 1921 1922, p. 78. ↩
- Trans. Dorset Masters Lodge, 1926-1927, p. 42. ↩
- BUILDER, Oct., 1928, p. 299. ↩
- Already quoted, BUILDER May, 1928, p. 132. ↩
- Trans. Man. Ass'n, 1919-1920, p. 21. ↩
- Bro. Yarker's views are set forth, not very coherently, in his work The Arcane Schools, in which a mass of interesting material has been collected. We must confess though that we do not think the author an entirely safe guide in its interpretation. For the claims of the modern operatives, see also Carr, The Ritual of the Operative Freemasons, and Merz, Guild Masonry in the Making. The articles in the BUILDER for 1926 may also be consulted. ↩
- Trans. Man. Ass'n, 1922-1925, p. 28. ↩
- A.Q.C., Vol. xxxviii, p. 68. ↩
- Ibid., p. 76. ↩
- Readers who desire to follow this up may be referred to Bro. J. S. M. Ward's recent work Who Was Hiram Abiff? There is much material of this kind in Frazer's Golden Bough and Tyler's Primitive Culture. ↩
* * *
AMERICAN ARMY LODGES IN THE WORLD WAR
Bro. Charles F. Irwin, Associate Editor
WE have been presenting a series of American Field Lodges that flourished during the World War, both at home and overseas. Six of these lodges have thus far been presented, as follows:
- August — Montana Military Lodge, No. 1, U.D.
- September — Army Lodge A, U.D., North Carolina
- October — North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D.
- November — Emergency Lodge, U.D., of Indiana
- December — Lahneck Lodge, No. 1186, Coblentz, of Texas
- January — Overseas Lodge, No. 1, at Coblentz, Germany (Rhode Island Grand Lodge)
This month we are presenting the first of a series of five Military Lodges all under the dispensations of the Grand Lodge of New York. Four of these were stationed overseas. The first of the series was at first stationed in the City of New York. After seeking for an authoritative account of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, I secured the following from M.W. Bro. William C. Prime, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York, and the Secretary of this lodge. Bro. Prime was also one of the active members of the Overseas Masonic Mission that went to France in the spring of 1919 and ministered to the Craft throughout France and other Allied Countries in a most efficient manner. The history of this mission will be given in the articles on Masonic Clubs which will follow the present series. To those of us who met the warm friendliness of the Overseas Mission, and benefited by it was one of the outstanding experiences of our sojourn in France during the latter part of the War, and all Masons in the A.E.F. owe them enduring gratitude. To M.W. Bros. Prime and Townsend Scudder, and the many other fine New York Masons (not overlooking my excellent friend and brother Merwin W. Lay of Syracuse, and our dear old comrade Charles H. Huntley of Schenectady) this chapter is especially dedicated.
The warranting of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, provided the substructure upon which each of the other four Overseas and Field Lodges of the Grand Lodge were warranted and worked. It is my personal testimony, after having had the privilege of attending the closing Communication of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2, at Paris in July of 1919, and having participated in the conferring of the Third Degree, in the East, that same evening, that the Ritual of New York, as used in its Military Lodges in the World War, omitted not a single fundamental of the Masonic Principles in the three degrees. That the procedure was not only dignified, but produced a deep emotion seldom aroused by the peace time rituals. That the vow each Candidate took upon himself as stated above, was under the most profound feelings of exalted loyalty to his God, his Country, his Neighbor and Himself as phrase by phrase this obligation was given him by the Master of the Lodge.
Upon my own return to my own Grand Jurisdiction of Ohio late in the summer of 1919, I discovered that through misrepresentations, current in a number of Grand Lodges, relative to New York's Military Lodges, a Resolution had been passed by my Grand Lodge holding in abeyance all Ohio material made in a New York Military Lodge. I am happy to say that through my own personal efforts after a full explanation of the work as I had seen it, the Past Grand Masters almost to a man, led by our splendid P.G.M. Charles Pretzman of Columbus, Ohio, with ardent support of P. G. Masters Kissel of Springfield, and Flotron of Dayton, that Resolution was recalled the next Annual Communication and all Ohio material made through a Sea and Field Lodge of New York State were permitted to visit Ohio Lodges and to present their dimits for membership in the same.
One of the priceless rewards that come to a Searcher after Light in the Masonic quarries, is the friendship formed with excellent brothers in all quarters of the country. I have been forming such friendships during the past ten years and count myself among the wealthy of our land, although but an humble shepherd in the fields of our Lord. This account by Bro. Prime is so full and complete that there is nothing more to add to it, and I therefore give it just as it stands.
* * *
SEA AND FIELD LODGE No. 1 OF NEW YORK
Stationed in New York City
Bro. William C. Prime, Secretary
WITHIN approximately a month after the United States entered the Great War, the Grand Lodge of New York convened in Annual Communication, enthusiastically voted unlimited support to the Government, of men and money, and adjourned without substantial action looking to the opportunities and meeting them, which the War inevitably would offer.
Early in the summer of 1917, M.W.G.M. Thomas Penney appointed a committee on "Plan and Scope of Masonic Service During the War", who pondered over the problem which the Grand Lodge had neither attacked nor solved. The Committee's advice caused the Grand Master to reconvene the Grand Lodge (the 136th Annual Communication), on the 10th day of September, 1917. After a sincere and most telling address, the report of the Committee was presented, whereupon the Grand Lodge among other actions taken, adopted the following Resolution:
Whereas, Numerous members of the Masonic Fraternity have entered, or are about to enter, the service of the Country in its armed forces at sea and on land, in the Great War- and
Whereas, in cantonments, training camps, at sea or at the front, the influence of Freemasonry is inestimably valuable to its votaries- and
Whereas, both to members of the Fraternity and to their dependents and relatives, the opportunity and the duty to administer will presently be at hand; and,
Whereas, it may be found that the Fraternity can best administer to the souls and the bodies of its members through the time-honored institution of Masonic Lodges; now, therefore,
Be it Resolved, that Sea and Field Lodges be organized in cantonments, training camps, on vessels, and in regiments or other military units at the front, if in the judgment of the Grand Master it be wise to exercise his prerogative in that regard; and the Grand Master is requested to take such steps as in his judgment shall seem best, to establish by his warrant, wherever he may see fit Sea and Field Lodges, at home and abroad, with such authority to make Masons, and under such regulations as to dual membership or multiple membership, inspection and control, as to him shall seem proper; and also to take all Such steps as to him shall seem best and appropriate to extend the influence of Freemasonry through deputies, representatives or otherwise to and among the members of the Fraternity engaged in the Country's Service; and to render to stall sick and distressed, such aid, comfort and relief as to him shall seem fit.
Resolved, That this Grand Lodge do and it hereby does extend to sister Grand Lodges in the United States an invitation to cooperate and participate with it in the work above described and to do, if in their judgment it be wise, whatsoever the Grand Master of New York may do in the matter of warranting Sea and Field Lodges for the Period of the War.
At the same Session the Grand Lodge authorized the Grand Master to grant a dispensation to a Lodge to shorten the time between degrees, in case of war material.
The problem of Masonic Service during the War was not simple. How to render it, in what form to present it to the Masons in the service of the Country was the question.
In the Civil War some twelve Field Lodges had been warranted by New York; but the experience which our Grand Lodge had with their work and officers was not satisfactory. Little record was kept, and almost none was turned over to the Grand Secretary after the War was over, and it was almost impossible to learn what those Lodges had done and what material had been handled. This left a bad taste and tended seriously to prejudice the leaders of the Fraternity against the proposal to authorize Sea and Field Lodges in the Great War.
Nevertheless, with this previous experience plainly in mind, the Grand Master after full consideration, on Oct. 6, 1917, by his warrant created Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, with an unusual personnel; the warrant designating the seven Officers from Master to Junior Deacon necessary to constitute an Entered Apprentice Lodge, and authorizing it to sit in the City of New York and elsewhere as might be convenient; to initiate, pass and raise its own war material without the usual formalities required for chartered Lodges; to initiate, pass and raise war material from foreign jurisdictions on request of the Grand Master; and to pass or raise, for other Lodges in the State of New York, war material that had already been initiated. Having in mind the total omission of records or the careless keeping and more careless failure to file them, by the Civil War Lodges above referred to, Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, had three separate complete records of all of its transactions as regards candidates, consisting, first, of complete applications fully signed, authenticated and approved; second, its minute books containing the full record of all its proceedings; and third, a complete card index of all of its personnel as well also as the personnel of the Overseas Lodges consolidated with it, on which cards are substantially all the data contained in the application blanks and the record transcribed from the minutes of the actions of the Lodge thereon.
With this triplicate record it is not likely that, large as the number of those served may be, any loss of important material or information can occur.
At least three cantonments were in rather close proximity to New York City and several others had been established in various parts of the State of New York and several in the adjoining States nearby the New York Harbor. Troops were pouring into those stations from all over the country. Some of them had been accepted candidates for Masonry but had not yet been initiated; others had received one or more of their degrees, but had not yet been raised.
Our New York Law did not permit, nor does it now permit, a Lodge to initiate any but its own material; and the prayer from all over the country was pressing us that we find some way to help them in the situation, by initiating, passing, and raising, or of passing and raising, foreign material thus situated, as well also as some of our own Lodges in other portions of the State, whose material was due to embark for foreign service.
There was also an appeal for the sons of Master Masons, which was very potent and induced the Grand Master to include in his delegated authority to Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, the power to accept and to confer the three degrees upon candidates who were under the age of twenty-one, sons of Masters (Lewises in fact), provided, however, that each of such candidates should be the subject of a special and separate dispensation granted by the Grand Master after thorough inquiry into the candidate's history and the reasons advanced for the conferring of this exceptional favor.
M.W. Townsend Scudder, P.G.M., was appointed the Worshipful Master; R. W. George J. Jackson, Deputy Grand Master, was appointed the Senior Warden; M. W. Robert Judson Kenworthy, P.G.M., was appointed the Junior Warden; Bro. Harold E. Lippincott, Judge Advocate, was appointed Senior Deacon; R. W. John A. Dutton (then Commissioner of Appeals, now Grand Master) was appointed Junior Deacon. The remaining personnel was of similar caliber.
The original Committee and these Lodge Officers, with the Grand Master, foresaw the peculiar character of the service which this Lodge would be called upon to perform, and they realized early the inadaptability of the regulations and ritual to such an undertaking. Practically none of the Candidates would live in New York, nor would have leave, time or opportunity to visit New York City for instruction, and the personnel of the Lodge were busy men, who could not, if they would, go to the stations of the Candidates to instruct them. Instruction and catechism would require time.
The men were all, practically, on the point of embarking. New York and its neighborhood was but a brief resting place before boarding transports for foreign service. To initiate a candidate, then to postpone his passing or raising until after instruction and examination, might involve a delay in his Masonic progression that could easily cover years, if in fact he ever went further in the institution. He might be on the seas, in the trenches, or in a "better country" before the Lodge machinery could arrange for his Masonic accommodation. It was obvious that the unusual must be done, and it was done bravely and prayerfully.
By the authority of the Grand Master, expressly granted in the warrant, the Officers of the Lodge undertook to formulate a simplified ritual for the extraordinary purpose for which the Lodge was created and adapted. This ritual, after some evolution recommended by later experience, soon reached a high degree of perfection and rendered possible a very signal service.
Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, sat, in all, 36 times to confer degrees, always at New York City. Sometimes in the afternoon, usually in the evening, at substantially weekly intervals, save that in the first ten days of December, 1917, it sat twice in the space of five days.
These Sessions opened with the usual ceremonies, including the carrying-of the Colors. The Lodge sang the first verse of "America" with a special second verse composed during the War and which was very appropriate to the occasion. A talented quartette assisted and each degree was prefaced with a hymn especially appropriate to it. For the first degree we used "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah", to the tune of "Autumn". The third degree was preceded by "I would not live alway". While the Lodge was closed with the hymn "O God Our Help in Ages Past".
The several degrees were exemplified usually by selected persons, members of the Lodge, in successive stages; the entire personnel of the Lodge however being on the qui vase to render any service which might be required. Each of these were fully equipped to take any position at a moment's notice.
In all cases the Candidates were vouched for by a Past Master of a regular chartered Lodge in the State of New York. A peculiar form of application with additional data relating to the military station of the applicant, yet covering all the requirements of the usual application, was adopted. Upon the Secretary fell the burden of verifying the data thus furnished, and the preparing of the detail of each communication; and at each Session, which opened at seven o'clock P.M., a roll call was made which revealed the class which had been summoned for the evening and who had been elected by the approval of the Master and Wardens who had passed upon their credentials. This service was rendered for the minimum fee prescribed by the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of New York; and no dues were imposed. A Lodge Card and a Diploma together with a Bible appropriately inscribed, was presented to each Candidate. In the Bible was attached a neat title plate on which the name of the owner was inscribed, together with the Lodge War Pledge, which read as follows:
We undertake to maintain our part of the War free from hatred, brutality or graft, true to the American purpose and ideals.
Aware of the temptations incidental to camp life and the moral and social wreckage involved, we covenant together to live the clean life and to seek to establish the American uniform as a symbol and guarantee of real manhood.
We pledge our example and our influence to make these ideals dominant in the American Army and Navy.
This Pledge was also administered and assented to in the course of the proceedings.
The degrees were conferred consecutively on one evening occupying in all approximately three and one-half hours. Upon one occasion Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, took over the entire Trestle Board of another Lodge, which for some reason was prevented from working, and upon another occasion, a special Session was held in order to confer the degrees upon a class of twenty-four soldiers and sailors from another New York lodge, treating this Session, to all intents and purposes, as its own.
In some cases the rendering of the service consecutively was impossible due to the requirements of one or another jurisdiction. In all such cases Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, did what it could and if the Candidate did not receive his entire Masonic work, in the matter of the degrees, it was not through any negligence of the Lodge or its officers.
The total number of Candidates who entered the Outer Door was 743. Of that number 439 were enrolled as members of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1; 57 were candidates under the age of twenty-one years, that is, they were in each case a "Lewis"; 131 were Candidates of New York City Lodges; 54 were Candidates from other New York Lodges outside the metropolis; while 119 were Candidates of foreign Jurisdictions.
The largest class of candidates present at any one Session was 54. These men were arranged in six files of nine each; a man's length between each file; at a certain stage in the work, and at a signal from the East, with one accord and in perfect unison, these Candidates experienced the full exemplification of the second section of the third degree. It is to be observed that each candidate had a Conductor who attended to the ritual throughout this section.
Visitors were not welcome; while each who was present, by invitation, was so employed in a valuable service, and so occupied in his own task, that at no time was any carelessness, levity or lack of dignity observed in any of the labors of the Lodge. It was a serious and holy and intense procedure. Upon the conclusion of the work for the evening the officers with scarcely an exception, however cold or inclement the weather, were wet to the skin through sheer nervous tension and the exaltation aroused by the occasion.
One Saturday in December, 1917, a flotilla of transports convoyed by a destroyer was due to leave the New York Harbor. Twenty-two of the personnel of the destroyer were brought in the morning to the attention of the Secretary of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1; they were properly and singularly vouched for. Their applications made out in proper form, were passed upon, after their credentials had been closely scrutinized. At seven o'clock the Session opened, most of the Candidates being accompanied by their fathers, who of course were Master Masons. At approximately eleven o'clock on a wild winter night, they left our shores, after having been taken into Masonic Fellowship, and followed by our united prayers went out upon the troubled seas, equipped each of them, so far as we could aid them, with a new inspiration and a new Light, out to the hazardous service of the Supreme Architect of the Universe and of their country.
At each of the Communications of the Lodge a box was passed and voluntary contributions were collected, totaling in all $3,563.21. This sum, after a modest deduction of expenses for stationery and the musical services, was placed in the War Relief Fund. It is almost interesting to record that many Lodges for whom courtesy work was rendered, voluntarily contributed to this same fund.
Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, was warranted, as distinguished from the usual authority of a chartered New York Lodge. This warrant gives life to its Lodge during the pleasure of the Grand Master. Since the Armistice and demobilization of our military forces a diligent effort has been made continuously to bring about the demission of the membership of our lodge to regular chartered Lodges.
In 1920, the Grand Master recalled the Warrants of the other four Overseas Sea and Field Lodges, and consolidated their undimited material into Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, for the purpose of record and control. At the present date only 291 out of a total of 1,192 are still undimited. Some of these no doubt are in the other world.
Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, still lives. Its personnel is unchanged save that in April, 1918, its Senior Warden met an untimely death and the Junior Warden was advanced to that station. Otherwise the personnel all stepped up.
On several occasions thereafter the Lodge was employed by the Grand Master as a convenient agency to sponsor patriotic occasions, and it will probably continue so long as it lives to be available for any emergent service upon the call of the Grand Master.
The particular motif of this undertaking was originally to inspire in the Candidates the virtues of decency and personal purity and respect for others. We endeavored so to exalt the spirit of the Candidates whom we served that they would not only have no fear of death should it come to them, but that they would be keen so long as they should live and the military service still embrace them, to keep themselves fit to fight if need be. It is a matter of great satisfaction that in not a few distances from time to time during the War and the years following it, letters and personal communications have been received from many indicative of their lively memory of their experiences and of the indelible lessons which were taught and which were safely received.
And a closing word with regard to our ritual. The standard ritual of the Grand Lodge of New York was used throughout with some abbreviations in the lectures, excepting that in the second section of the Third Degree a modification of the Emulation Ritual of the United Grand Lodge of England was used, adapted to the purposes of our undertaking. To those familiar with that Ritual, its appropriateness will be obvious. To handle any such company as 54 Candidates in one class in one and the same evening in the space of something less than an hour in the Second Section of the Third Degree would have been impossible by any other method. Altogether aside from the facility which it offered, the fine dignity and the absence of all levity was an outstanding characteristic of our War Ritual.
Although our method of inquiry into the qualifications may have seemed to be rather informal; however moderate or even cheap our fees may have appeared (which might have inspired some Candidates to seek membership at a material saving) yet there was but one instance in our entire experience, known to us, of any Candidate accomplishing this purpose. With that exception if it is such, we have not known of a single instance of unworthy material having been accepted by our Military Lodge.
The following comments from other Jurisdictions will be interesting and informing. The Fraternal Correspondent, in the Proceedings of Pennsylvania, for 1918, says that at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New York, held on May 7, 1918, the Grand Master, mentioning Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, said that it conferred the degrees on 431 applicants, of whom 39 were under the age of twenty- one years. He also attended the first meeting of this Lodge, at which time his son was made a Mason. The ages of the initiates under twenty-one ranged from eighteen years and four months to twenty years and ten months. The majority of them were over nineteen years.
In the Pennsylvania Proceedings for the following year, 1919, it is noted that:
In addition it [S. & F. L., No. 1] raised about 300 Candidates for other Lodges. The total membership at the date of report was 361. It conferred no degrees after the Armistice, Nov. 11, 1918. Its future existence depended at the will of the Grand Master.
The Fraternal Correspondent of South Dakota remarks in the Proceedings of that Grand Lodge for 1920 that:
The work of the Sea and Field Lodges was closed, except No. 1, which remains in existence for the purpose of placing the Masons made in all of them in regular Lodges.
He recommended that their names so far as appropriate be given chartered Lodges of the State from time to time.
As was to be expected there was not unanimous approval of New York's action on the part of other Grand Lodges. In the Proceedings of Texas for 1921 the criticism of the South Carolina correspondent is quoted with approval, and it is intimated that the Grand Lodge of New York was acting improperly in issuing warrants for Sea and Field Lodges in France, the Texas brother adding that:
If the Grand Lodge of New York can issue a warrant for a Lodge in France, under the jurisdiction of New York, it might with the same authority set a Lodge to work in Texas or South Carolina.
The report of M.W. Bro. Townsend Scudder to Grand Lodge on the work of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, which was received and ordered printed in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New York for 1920, is as follows:
New York City, May 4, 1920.
Hon. W. S. Farmer, Grand Master.
Dear Sir and M. W. Brother:
I beg to submit the following report of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1
Since Nov. 9, 1918, no sessions save formal business sessions have been held. The last session was held on April 5, 1920, in conjunction with a regular session of Jonkheer Lodge, No. 865, at Yonkers, N. Y., on which occasion, by your permission, the officers of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, undertook to confer the Second Section of the Master Mason degree for that Lodge.
In March last you issued instructions to the Wor. Master to assimilate the undemitted material of Sea and Field Lodges Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5, overseas, and that thereafter that material should be recorded and transferred in the same manner as the material of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1. Your instructions have been carried out.
During the year 1919, 145 demits were issued, and from the institution of the Lodge to date 225 have been transferred to other Lodges. The number remaining upon the roll, untransferred, exclusive of the personnel, is 204.
Fraternally, William C. Prime,
The Grand Master's Address for the same year had the following reference to Sea and Field Lodges:
In my address to the Grand Lodge at its 138th Annual Communication, I stated that the warrant establishing Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, was still outstanding, and that I had also issued warrants establishing Sea and Field Lodges, Nos. 2, 3 and 4, for work and instruction overseas.
I did, in fact, issue warrants for Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2, with M. W. Townsend Scudder as Master, at Paris, France; Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, with R.W. Harry B. Mook, Past Master of Excelsior Lodge No. 195, as Master, at Le Mans, France; Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, with W. Charles T. Arrighi, Past Master of Howard Lodge, No. 35, as Master, at Marseilles, France, and Sea and Field Lodge, No. 5, with Bro. Mark E. Penney, Junior Warden of Konosioni Lodge, No. 950, as Master, at the A.E.F. University, Beaune, France.... Inasmuch as the establishment of Sea and Field Lodges was commenced in the administration of my predecessor, I should hope if my suggestion is approved that one of said Lodges may be located in Buffalo; and that I should be glad if one of them No. 2 might be located in or near my home city, Syraeuse. I should like to see them established in different parts of the State.
In the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Florida for 1919 is the following sympathetic account of the social activities of the lodge:
The first Army Lodge chartered by the State of New York known as "Sea and Field Lodge", has arranged to open and has now opened the club rooms in the basement of the Masonic Hall on Twenty-Third Street. It is probably the most magnificent club of its kind in the city. Large rooms opening from the main entrance have been remodeled and are furnished with costly rugs, tables, desks, chairs, full writing equipment, magazines, and every other convenience for a lounging room for the men in service. Attendants are on hand at all times, to render assistance to the visitors.
These facilities are offered only to soldiers and sailors in uniform, and all is free without a cent of charge. They also have all the privileges of the club on the top floor of the building.
The old banquet room has been turned into bath and amusement rooms. There are showers, tubs and lockers fitted with the very best plumbing, and there are billiard and pool rooms and there are rooms for checkers, dominoes, and shuffleboard The War Demonstration Committee of the Grand Lodge are keeping up these rooms in perfect shape and they are being visited by several hundred enlisted men almost daily.
In 1919 many thousands of cards were distributed throughout the embarkation centers and ports informing returning Masons of these Club Rooms in New York and extending to them every courtesy while stopping in the vicinity of New York prior to their demobilization. A photograph of one of these cards is here reproduced. It bears the seals of the Grand Lodge and of the lodge, and is signed by the Secretary. This was made out as a specimen for record.
The following circular letter was issued by the Grand Lodge of New York to all the Grand Lodges of the U.S.A., informing them of the formation of the Sea and Field Lodge and offering its services to them:
GRAND LODGE OF THE FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK MASONIC HALL.
Office of the Grand Secretary.
New York, June 14, 1919.
Most Worshipful Sir and Dear Brother:
The Constitution of the Grand Lodge of New York gives it jurisdiction over all men serving in the United States Army and Navy. The Grand Lodge of New York has warranted Sea and Field Lodges in France, and may warrant some in the occupied territory to serve the Craft if the circumstances justify this course. Notwithstanding the fact that under its Constitution the Grand Lodge can accept material resident of other jurisdictions when serving in the United States Army or Navy, it has hesitated so to do and has uniformly sought the acquiescence of the Grand Lodge in the jurisdiction in which the Candidate resided, when in civil life.
We appreciate fully that most Grand Lodge Constitutions have no provisions to meet conditions prevailing in war times and that few Grand Lodges have provided for waivers excepting through the medium of the local lodge within the jurisdiction of which the candidate resides.
An important part of our service to the Craft overseas is to correct the unfavorable impressions which our younger members had gained through the failure of our Fraternity to serve them independently over there as a war relief organization. It happens that much can be done to retrieve our failure and further our cause by accepting certain candidates whose influence and good will we can use for the betterment of the condition of our members.
We would like to have it understood that your Grand Lodge will not take offense if in our effort to serve American Masons overseas in some cases we initiate, pass and raise material which in civil life would belong to you exclusively.
These men will become members of our Sea and Field Military Lodges. We will carry them until they have had a reasonable time to affiliate elsewhere. We confer the degree for the minimum of $20. Of course the money is not a factor. Our sole purpose is to help our boys overseas. When the new members return they will affiliate where they belong and an affiliation fee in their case can be made to equal the home initiation fee, if that will better suit local sentiment.
The purpose of this letter is to receive from you, if it seem to you proper, some assurances that in this Service overseas to the Fraternity as a whole the American Masonic Mission will not give offense to your Grand Lodge when it accepts candidates in the service hailing in civil life from your jurisdiction
This letter aroused mixed feelings in the various Grand Lodges. Some granted this permission while others summarily refused to do so and declared summary action against any material received by the New York overseas lodges that came from their Grand Jurisdictions. The letter, as a historical document, indicates a genuine effort on the part of New York to meet and solve a wartime emergency situation.
It will be useful, as will as interesting, to put on record The Warrants by which Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, was constituted.
Sit Lux Et Lux Fuit.
I, Thomas Penney, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, do by these presents, appoint, authorize and empower our worthy Brother Townsend Scudder to be the Master; our worthy Brother George J. Jackson to be the Senior Warden; our worthy Brother Robert Judson Kenworthy to be the Junior Warden; our worthy Brother Arthur K. Kuhn to be the Treasurer- our worthy Brother William C. Prime to be the Secretary, our worthy Brother Harold E. Lippineott to be the Senior Deacon; our worthy Brother John A. Dutton to be the Junior Deacon of a Sea and Field Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be by virtue hereof, constituted, formed and held at the City of New York, and elsewhere as may be convenient and necessary, which lodge shall be distinguished and known by the name or style of Sea and Field Lodge No. 1 and the said Master is hereby authorized to appoint subordinate officers of said lodge; and said lodge is authorized to adopt all such by-laws and regulations for the governance of its proceedings and labour, Subject to any approval, as it may see fit.
And further the said lodge is hereby invested with full power and authority to assemble on proper and lawful occasions and to confer upon candidates who have been elected and initiated members of a regular lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, and who have actually enlisted or been drafted or commissioned officers in the United States Forces in the present great war; the Second and Third Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, without the usual interval, and without the usual proof of suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees- and, to elect, initiate, pass and raise, without the usual formalities and requirements of chartered lodges, candidates, residents of the State of New York, who have actually enlisted, or been drafted or commissioned officers in the United States Forces in the present great war, who apply therefor in writing, and who satisfy the Master and Wardens of said lodge that they are qualified, and who are about to be sent out of this jurisdiction on duty, and on payment of twenty dollars, and to initiate, pass and raise candidates who have actually enlisted or been drafted, or commissioned officers in the United States Forces on the present great war, residents of other states, who have been initiated or passed, or who having been elected members of regular lodges in their respective states, have not been initiated, upon the request of the Grand Master, and Satisfactory proof that they have paid all fees required by the laws of the jurisdiction in which they were respectively elected, as also to do and perform all and every such acts and things appertaining to the Craft as have been and ought to be done for the Honor and Advantage thereof.
Membership or Officership in said lodge shall in nowise impair or affect existing membership or officership in a regular chartered lodge.
Said lodge shall have a seal and shall have and keep all books required to Abe kept by regular lodges in the State of New York, and the same and all records to be surrendered to the Grand Lodge on the termination of this warrant.
This warrant shall terminate at the pleasure of the Grand Master.
Given under my hand and Private Seal at the City of New York, in the United States of America, this sixth day of October in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and seventeen, and in the year of Masonry, five thousand and nine hundred and seventeen.
(Signed) Thomas Penney,
(Seal) Grand Master.
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Sit Lux Et Lux Fuit.
Thomas Penney, Grand Master.
I, Thomas Penney, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, do, by these presents, simplify and enlarge the authority and power heretofore granted by me to Sea and Field Lodge No. 1, and to certain brethren appointed officers thereof, as appears by the warrant thereof, granted by me and dated on the 6th day of October, 1917, by expressly authorizing and empowering said lodge to initiate candidates who have been elected members of a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, and who have actually enlisted or been drafted or commissioned officers in the United States forces in the present great war, and who, for reasons satisfactory to the Master and Wardens of said Sea and Field Lodge No. 1, are unable to present themselves for initiation to the lodge which elected them, upon request of said lodge, and satisfactory proof that they have paid all fees required to be paid by said lodge, or upon payment thereof to said Sea and Field Lodge No. 1.
This supplemental Warrant shall terminate with the original warrant at the pleasure of the Grand Master.
Given under my hand and private seal at the City of New York in the United States of America this 29th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand, nine hundred and seventeen, and in the year of Masonry five thousand, nine hundred and seventeen.
(Signed) Thomas Penney, Grand Master (Seal)
Visitors were not received in the lodge except by invitation because of the strenuous character of its labors. The following is a copy of the invitation to the first meeting:
GRAND LODGE, F. & A. M. State of New York.
The honor of your presence is requested at the first Communication of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, Wednesday evening, October 10, 1917, at six o'clock.
Assembly in the Grand Master's Room, Masonic Hall, on the hour sharp.
By order of Townsend Scudder Master.
Wm. C. Prime, Secretary.
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FREEMASONRY IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA
Bro. Joseph S. Roucek, New York
THE author of this account of Freemasonry in Czechoslovakia was born in Prague, and received port of his education in the old University there. He completed it in this country, in California and New York, and he is now on the staff of the latter institution as an Instructor in the Department of Diplomacy and Government. He is well known throughout the country as a lecturer and author, especially on subjects connected with modern history and international relations, and also on the manners and customs of his native land.
WHEN I decided to write the story of Czechoslovakian Masonry, I was quite surprised to find out that almost nothing is known about it to American Masons. My research work showed that Masonic literature contains exactly five lines about it. This seems to be rather curious in view of the fact that last May the National Grand Lodge of Czechoslovakia was accorded recognition by the Grand Lodge of New York, and that each Grand Lodge of this country received a petition from Czechoslovakia for similar recognition. If we put the story in a larger setting, it should be realized that Czechoslovakia presents a very interesting and unusual subject for the American reader. The father and maker of Czechoslovakia, Theodor Garigue Masaryk, was a personal friend of President Wilson. He declared the independence of his country in Washington, on Dec. 18, 1918, and hence Czechoslovakia considers herself a legitimate child of America. Furthermore, Masaryk married an American lady. His family connections with America and American Masonry will be mentioned later, as well as other interesting facts.
In order to appreciate the present situation of Masonry in Czechoslovakia it will be necessary to skim over a few historical facts which will give us the necessary orientation.
The history of Masonry of Czechoslovakia, or rather of Bohemia, is indissolubly woven into the history of an age-long struggle by a valorous people for their freedom. That the fight was destined to be long and fierce is apparent by a glance at the map of the new Europe. For Czechoslovakia lies in the heart of the Continent, a veritable European crossroads. Lying midway between East and West, she has had throughout her history to make a choice between, on the one hand, the influences of Western culture and Western ideals, pointing to progress, freedom and constitutional government, and Eastern influence, wholly unprogressive in character, upon the other; and very early she chose to link herself with the West. Today, Czechoslovakia forms the middle ground between West and East and North and South.
The name "Czechoslovakia" was something quite new to most Americans in 1918. It comprises two words, "Czech" and "Slovak," the former being pronounced as "check." "Czech" is identical with "Bohemian," while the Slovak is the Czech's kinsman, dwelling in that region just east of Bohemia.
But this explanation does not give a complete picture of the country. It is composed of several provinces which were included in the old Austria — Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia — while the former Kingdom of Hungary included Slovakia and Carpathian Russia.
The Czechs are the westernmost branch of the Slavs, their name being derived, according to tradition, from that of a noted ancestral chief. The term Bohemia was applied to the country probably during the Roman times, and was derived, like that of Bavaria, from the Boii, who for some time before the Christian era occupied or claimed parts of these regions.
WARS OF RELIGION IN BOHEMIA
It is a matter of interest that the checkered history of Bohemia has developed in part out of the religious convictions of its people. In the history of the Czechs, religious passion has been the creative energy at the heart of their nationalism. The religious fervour of the past has been the chief impulse governing political events, and the great controlling force in the evolution of state and people. It was the conflict for religious rights and freedom that aroused, influenced and determined the nation in its remarkable medieval democracy; and it was the union of this religious spirit with the distinctive Czech nationalism that was so terribly humiliated and destroyed after the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. These religious wars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries had weakened Bohemia to such an extent that she was obliged to recognize the Hapsburgs as her rulers, who, with the assistance of the Jesuits, took revenge on the "heretic" nation by burning hundreds of thousands of Bibles and religious works written in the vernacular.
The story of the oppression of Bohemia under the Austrian Hapsburgs is too long to be told here. It is no exaggeration to say that on the eve of the World War no one even dreamed of the resurrection of old Bohemia, or of the creation of a new nation with a name as yet unknown.
Bohemia's contribution to America is greater than is commonly realized. The man who made the first maps of Maryland and Virginia, and who introduced the cultivation of tobacco into the latter state, and, for these and other services, became the lord of the "Bohemian Manor" in Maryland, was the exiled Bohemian John Herman. The parents of Phillip, lord of the Phillip's Manor on the Hudson, one of whose female descendants came so near to becoming the bride of Washington, were also Bohemian. Not a few of the Czechs came into this country with the Moravian Brethren (the Unitas Fratrum). One of the most honored names in the universal history of pedagogy is that of the Czech patriot and exile, Jan Amos Komensky, or Comenius (1592-1671), the last bishop of the Bohemian Brethren, after whom the first Czechoslovak lodge was named. His pedagogical writings constitute the foundations of modern education. Once he was invited to become the President of Harvard University. To make this story short, it might be mentioned that among others stand out Prokop Divis, the discoverer of the lightning rod, and Joseph Ressel, the inventor of the screw propeller. Antonin Dvorak was admittedly the greatest composer of his time. His "Slavonic Dances" and his symphonies are played everywhere. Invited to this country, he was for several years director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City, during which time he made an effort to develop a purely American music, based on native, and especially Indian, melodies. The result is the "New World Symphony," the Largo of which "Goin' Home" was sung to Lindbergh when welcomed at Washington by President Coolidge after his epochal flight to Paris.
FREEMASONRY IN THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN MONARCHY
Because of the fact that Bohemia was a part of Austria-Hungary up to 1918, the history of Masonry is a part of the history of the Empire. It should be kept in mind that in all countries wherein the Roman Catholic clergy predominate, Masonry has always experienced great difficulty in attaining a permanent foothold. Of this fact Austria is a striking example. The Lodges constituted in the Austrian states have never had but a brief term of existence, the persecutions on the part of the clergy, and the prohibitions of the sovereigns, having never given them any time to take root.
The history of Freemasonry in the Austro-Hungarian Empire may be divided into two separate epochs. The earlier period comprises the history of the Order in the eighteenth century; extending more exactly from 1726 to 1795, in which year Masonry was altogether suppressed by an Imperial and Royal Edict in both countries. Thereafter Masonry slumbered more than half a century, and had to be founded anew, its reintroduction being due to quite other authorities, with entirely different elements and effected in other ways, than those of the past. There is, therefore, no organic connection between the earlier and the latter period, comprising modern Masonic history and life in these countries.
One distinction more. At the earlier epoch Masonry flourished as well in the Austrian dominions as in the lands of the Hungarian Crown; in the nineteenth century Masonry revived simultaneously with Hungarian Constitutional freedom; first, for a very short period indeed, immediately previous to the outbreak of the Hungarian War of Independence in 1848; and again to a more durable existence after the restoration of the Hungarian Constitution in 1867, when it received governmental recognition in the countries of the Hungarian Crown, while still remaining forbidden in Austria.
It follows from what has been said that in the recent period we can only recognize a history of Hungarian Masonry because, although there were individual Masons in Austria, yet their respective Lodges were held under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Hungary, and for ritual work they assembled only on Hungarian soil.
These facts should be kept in mind, because they are intimately connected with the history of Bohemian Masonry and with the foundation of the first Czechoslovak Masonic Lodge.
PRECURSORS OF MASONRY IN BOHEMIA
The country of the actual Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in which Freemasonry made its first appearance was Bohemia. It is strange that even before real Masonry struck its roots into her soil there are recorded a series of societies which, although in no direct connection with Masonry, yet undoubtedly show features of striking likeness to our institution. Only a few words about them.
The eldest of these societies, whose origin can be retraced as far back as the fourteenth century, is the "Fraternity of the Hoop and Mallet." Their emblem was a hoop with a mallet hanging within. They seem to have been originally a simple guild of hoopers. The list of its members, however, exhibits a great number of names belonging to nobles, knights and clergymen. So it may be assumed that very early other persons beyond operative hoopers had been "accepted" in the gild (quite in the same way as happened in England with the accepted Masons). These noble members became the ruling power before long. At the head of the fraternity stood King Wenceslaus, the governing power being vested in three captains, newly elected each year. It appears that the fraternity was once of chivalric character. Its members engaged in works of charity; they erected and endowed a church at Prague in 1382, which was given by them, with all its rights and revenues, to the "Magisters, Bachelors, and Students of the Bohemian tongue at the University of Prague" in 1403. Not long afterwards the fraternity seems to have ceased to exist. Possibly a part of the "operative" members joined the Bohemian Masons, known under the name of "JungHerrn von Prag," who took part in the building of Strassburg Cathedral [1365-1404], but who are mentioned as late as 1486.
One reason for the dissolution of the "Hoopers" may be found in the internal troubles and civil war which succeeded the execution of John Hus. The result of the Hussite Wars is well known to those acquainted with European history. Part of the Hussites later joined the Protestant Churches, but a small number maintained the doctrine of Hus in all its purity.
The true heirs of Hus were the Bohemian Brethren, the Unitas Fratrum, also known as the Church of the Moravian Brethren, or the Moravian Church, though the distinction is purely geographical. This was a religious community, the story of which offers one of the most interesting chapters in the religious history of Europe, and whose influence has done great service both to Bohemia and to the world. Their principles were grounded on pure and primitive Christianity, and emphasized the doctrine of the original equality of men, and as a consequence, the precept of a universal fraternal love, not a little reminding us of Masonry.
A few of their principles will be mentioned. The reader will immediately see their connection with the Masonic doctrines and practices.
Adults seeking admission from other evangelical bodies, which in later years meant the Lutherans chiefly, were generally received upon promise of obedience to the pastors, and of willingness to be subject to all the rules regulating the life and conduct of members of the Unity. They were exhorted to renew their vows to lead a holy life, and upon receiving the right hand of fellowship were admitted to all the privileges of the church. Those coming from the Papal Church were first admonished to consider well the step they were about to take. If the applicant professed to have carefully considered the question, he was asked to give his reasons for wishing to leave his church and seeking to join another. In case these were found satisfactory, he was admitted to the class of beginners, or catechumens, where he might become the better acquainted with the life and doctrines of the church; and the church in turn could test his sincerity and piety. Before full admission was granted, the applicant was again questioned concerning his motives in seeking admission to the Unity. Was it because he found the truth of God, good government, and wholesome discipline among the Brethren? Has he confidence in their teachings, their discipline, their pastoral oversight and guidance? Does he accept the full right of the pastor and the lay officers of the local church to teach, warn, admonish, reprove, and in case of need to discipline him? If his answers were found satisfactory, this private examination before the pastor and the church officers was followed by public reception to membership at the next communion. The candidate was again exhorted to steadfastness in following the truth of God to the end, and the pastor, giving the new member the right hand of fellowship in token of obedience to Christ, announced his reception into the church, and admission to all its privileges.
In putting their principles into practice, the Brethren very properly began with a gradation of their membership into four classes: that of beginners, those growing in grace, the perfect, and the fallen. The perfect were those who had attained to so full a knowledge of the things of God, and were so rooted and grounded in Christian faith, love and hope, that they were capable of enlightening others in them, and could be intrusted with oversight over the weaker members. From this class the lay officers of the local church were elected. These included the judges, the almoners, the custodians, and the sister elders. Their duties were carefully defined and strictly performed. Space does not permit their detailed enumeration; their names indicate their nature and scope. But to give an idea of the thoroughness and comprehensiveness of the ecclesiastical fabric of the Unitas Fratrum, and of the seriousness and purity of spirit which characterized it, we shall indicate some of the duties of the lay elders. They had liberty to visit the home of any member of the church, to note the conduct of husband and wife, children and domestics, to correct offenses, and to enjoin family worship both morning and evening. They were expected to prevent all possible offenses and scandals in the church. If the head of a household lay sick, it was their duty to visit and comfort him, and in case of emergency to secure provision for the proper support of his widow and orphaned children. In case any orphans or wards were left, the judges had oversight over their interests, that no injustice might be done them.
In consequence of the severe persecutions they had to endure, a part of the Bohemian Brethren emigrated at the beginning of the seventeenth century to Hungary, Poland, and the Netherlands. In the latter century they established a society of similar tendencies, which was called the "Friends of the Cross." Their main task was to spread true brotherly love, which should unite, not only the members of the society, but all mankind. Beyond that they tried to increase enlightenment by the publication of good books for the people. The last Bishop of the Bohemian Brethren, Jan Amos Komensky, better known as Comenius, is world-famous. Komensky's manifold activities as educator, novelist, philosopher, theologian, historian, and philologist, which he embodied in some one hundred and fifty works, and his importance for world education and the progress of science in general, are of such magnitude that it is impossible to deal with them here. He is one of the spiritual fathers of Masonry, and is often called "A Mason without the Apron." An eminent authority on Komensky, Dr. R. J. Vonka, a prominent Czechoslovak Mason, has written a thesis proving that all the Masonic symbols can be traced to this eminent man.
THE FRATERNITY OF THE HATCHET
At the end of the seventeenth century, and even in the first half of the eighteenth century, there existed in Bohemia another society of a similar kind, named "The Fraternity of the Hatchet (Hackebruderschaft)." It is possible they were a branch of the Bohemian Brethren, like "The Friends of the Cross" in Holland. The emblem of the fraternity was a small hatchet, which was always carried by the members. Their motto and form of oath was, "by the old hatchet," and one of their rules provided that, "no one should be admitted a member whose helve did not fit the old hatchet." The chief object aimed at by the "Brethren of the Hatchet" was the exercise of a true, faithful, and sincere friendship.
Now going back to the "Friends of the Cross" in the Netherlands, there existed about the same time Lodges of Operative Masons, which, at the end of the seventeenth century or beginning of the eighteenth century, must have united with the Friends of the Cross, the members of the latter society most probably becoming Accepted Masons much in the same as happened in England.
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THE COSMOLOGY OF THE FREEMASON
Translated from Die Baguette by E. Rammelmeyer, Utah
THIS composition came from the pen of a brother Mason who lived in the 18th century in Germany and closed his earthly life as a comparatively young man, yet rich in writings for the benefit of the Craft. Of his works one volume consists almost entirely of Masonic essays. The Freemasonry of this man, full of enthusiasm and kindly inspiration, took in the large, broad remote horizon of the profane world. In it there was no harm to anybody, but much usefulness and inspiration to the brethren.
His name was Aloys Blumauer, born in Steyr, Dec. 21, 1755. He became a Mason in 1781 in Vienna, Austria, in the Lodge Zur Warren Eintracht. His "Aeneide" and the "Prayer" had several editions, but his works are now only known in literary circles.
GREAT, extensive and comprehensive is the goal of the Mason; broad the sphere of action for his mind and heart; unbounded the field whereupon he works.
When the Mason perceives the light he is born to truth and humanity, and as far reaching as the expanse of truth is also the native place of his mind, and as far reaching as the boundaries of living humanity, so far extended is the limit of his heart. There is not in the great "All" of creation a spot which would not give to the searching mind of a Mason food for contemplation, and there is no place on the earth's surface where his loving heart would not find an object and confrontation of his rendering a kindness and service in another man.
Therefore, my brethren, we find in every zone of this earth Masons, and for this reason a good Mason in our order must of consequence be in his heart as well as in his mind a cosmopolite, following the great universal rule. Veracity is the constituent principle of a Mason, the goal to which his mind is striving to go, the source of light his soul is thirsting for. And this element wherein he lives breathes the fragrant air of the "All" creation of the Architect of the Universe.
Everywhere in the whole visible natural order of things grows the tree of knowledge and beckons to him to nourish his mind and be refreshed and strengthened in his thirst after the truth.
As he knows that this gift of heaven is neither allotted to a certain season or climate of any country, but sprouts forth everywhere beneath the steps of the attentive wanderer, he gathers them wherever he finds them, not minding the adverse light-shy zealot who condemns surroundings beneficial to the Mason's mind, or any other "Know-All" who claims to be in sole possession of all truths and human knowledge.
Convinced that the wise hand of the Creator sowed the seed of all the true and enduring, as well as the seed of love, goodness and charity throughout all of the creation, so he never searches for the truth at one particular place only never swears on the word of a teacher who recommends his temple as the only source of light, nor does he follow a swarm of Masonic sectarians who, like the heathens, go on a pilgrimage to Delphos as the only place in search of truth.
To a Mason every knowledge, every disclosure and science is gratifying; he has no preference for confident, fixed or certain truths; he never thinks onesidedly, nor does he lean to one side more than another. The general tendencies of his mind follow a firm, steady pace, examining his way to the right and left, never faltering by flattering or fawning acclamations, nor being blended by delusive shimmer.
In whatever feigned or gorgeous garment the truth is depicted by anyone to ensnare his mind, he never hesitates or wavers, knowing that truth has an undraped body, and how could he love it on account of the draperies?
The Mason does not fear or is timid of unlimited truth, he loves it, he honors it, even if it would disturb him out of his sweetest dreams, or should deprive him of the calm and peace of his life. The glance of his eye is the sight of the eagle in the sun, never dazzled, never recoiling before the light of truth, however weaker souls may only enjoy the mixture between deception and truth and complain of eye-sores when gazing in the bright rays of truth. But he, with firm eyes, looks the truth in the face and comforts and refreshes his light-wonted spirit in its all-glorified godly shimmer.
The Freemason is tolerant against errors. He knows how difficult it is to free the truth from the dross which passes through the heads of men and often some of the latter is firmly attached in the mind to remain there.
He knows the immensity of the sphere of truth and how short the sight and small and often the wanderer's strength in search grows weary.
He knows deception in all kinds of conventions, which in hundreds of forms and formalities speak falsely against truth, and are quite often supported by power and authority, laws and anathema claiming in the realm of truth an acknowledged supremacy.
Thus, my brethren, the Mason thinks and ponders and through it, from the intellectuality of his mind, embracing the truth wherever he finds it, he grows to be a world citizen.
But if the Mason thinks as a world citizen, so must he also act as such; and the sphere of activity of his heart can not be less than the sphere of his mind, and it is impossible for him to esteem every truth without loving all men.
Therein, my brethren, we perceive the great law of equality, which is one of the brightest pillars of our royal order. Not to make all men equal, for that would be a mere chimera, but to love all men alike is the great attainable aim which the hand of Nature has set up in the heart of the Mason. The Mason serves humanity, and in all zones, under all forms of governments, openly and secretly; and therefore how could one land or one strip of this God's green footstool have the exclusive claim of his heart? The Mason loves the strict truth and weighs his fellowmen according to their mental intellect, and recognizes merit for the measure of his benefactions as he has no preference to the unworthy, should he be his brother, but preference only for the worthy.
How could he do otherwise, knowing the universal law that he must divide his esteem and affection according to the merits of the individual, and not follow his private inclinations, often detrimental to righteousness, nor to be too subservient to fraternal demands at the expense of humanity?
Regrettable to say, it is often a sad occurrence in almost all human societies, brotherhoods and orders, that the members look only towards the center of their order, often turning their back to each other; so that the boundary of their organization becomes the boundary of their participation and sympathy for humanity. But more even than this, the social motive, the beneficial, helpful, natural tendencies of men in the intimate brotherhood of their kind has contrived from time immemorial hate, persecution and insurrection.
Perpetually the Brahmin hates the Dervish, the Augur the Haruspex and the black Christian Monk the brown Monk. This seemingly inevitable course, which leads a multitude of human societies to become disputing and quarreling fractions against the well-being of humanity. The laws of our worthy and honorable Fraternity alleviate this in uniting the members in symmetrical and universal love for all humanity.
Great is this law, my brethren, but few the number who fulfill it. The heart of the Mason should take hold of all humanity; but alas, it often does not even embrace the men of a single country, the members of a society, the followers of a system, or the brethren of a lodge; the adept insults the profane; the profane defames the adept, and within the bounds of universal humanity there are religious sects accusing each other of heresy without restraint; while lodges, rendered virtually hostile through petty jealousy and envy, pursue each other; and some members provoke brother against brother, who in the very bosom of fraternal charity revive the intolerant abominations of the Guelfs and Ghibelines.
Brethren, let me turn away from this picture. I will not criticize any further; considering the high honor of our Order and the forbearance of those of our noble-minded brothers whose hearts have never been poisoned by envy or party spirit. Then let us merit the name we carry let us always be unbiased Freemasons, men of a free mind and heart, who, with unembarrassed soul, intercept every ray of truth, and love all mankind with a clean, uncorruptible heart.
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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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THE PRESSURE OF RITUAL WORK
IN a recent issue of the "Masonic World," December, 1928, to be precise, Bro. Morcombe, who is an Associate Editor of THE Builder in addition to his other charge, refers to a suggestion made by M.W. Bro. W. A. Sherman, P.G.M. of California, in regard to the duties of the Masters of lodges. Bro. Sherman said in 1923, in an Addendum to his Annual Address:
It is the opinion of your Grand Master that in these times of rapidly increasing membership the ritualistic work of the Lodge should be separated from the executive, that while the Master should be held to accountability for the character of degree work, yet his energies should be devoted more largely to the development of fraternal relations among his members, educational programs that will instruct yet not disrupt his Lodge in short to do those things that will make his Lodge a vital force for service and understanding in the community.
The touch about the possible disruptive effect of educational programs gives food for questioning if not for wonder. But that must be left aside at present.
The suggestion embodies an idea that is far from new, and indeed one that in other countries is to some extent the regular practice. In European countries the Orator had appeared on the scene as an indispensable officer of the lodge at least as early as 1745, and while we can hardly say that he was entirely the Initiating Official, yet a very large part of the work, and the most onerous (for most men) was devolved from the Master on to his shoulders. To the Master were left the indispensable ritual acts and the short spoken formulas that were considered to be the essentials, while the Orator expounded and explained them, very frequently in his own language.
This method could hardly be adopted in working the American ritual, which is so different from any that has ever been followed elsewhere in the world, but it does show that such a plan is practicable. As a matter of fact something of the same sort is being evolved in America in those jurisdictions in which there are no restrictions as to who shall occupy the stations in the lodge. It is not at all rare to see all the chairs occupied pro tempore by brethren who are not, and never have been, installed in any office. In some places a custom has arisen that the Junior Warden shall undertake all Initiations, the Senior Warden all Passing, leaving the Raising to the Master. And these officers again devolve a large part of their work upon volunteers.
With the large memberships that are to be found in every city, and the enormous amount of ritual work these lodges are called upon to do in the course of the year, some method of relieving the installed officers is absolutely necessary, merely on account of the limits of human endurance. But it is open to question whether the methods that are being evolved under the pressure of circumstances are the best that could be devised. One defect that is apparent is that it does not lead to the selection of Masters with executive and administrative ability. The sequence of promotion tends, from bottom to top, to stress ritual and ceremonial and to obscure the other functions of the perfect lodge. And the larger the lodge the more ability is required in its executive head for it to function as it should, a need that is too often lost sight of.
Some eight years ago the. present writer made a suggestion directed to the same end as that of M.W. Bro. Sherman. It was that of confederated or grouped lodges, in which the social and fraternal advantages of the small lodge would be combined with the financial and administrative benefits derived from large memberships. The essential point in the scheme was that all the business of the combination should be in the hands of a lodge composed of representatives of the smaller units, and which would do no ritual work. The plan would not necessarily imply dual membership, or at least it could be modified to avoid this. But, whatever plan might be adopted, it does seem that here is a field for practical research. For that something ought to be done to stem the drift of American Masonry away from the practice of intimate friendship and brotherly love is keenly felt by most thoughtful members of the Craft. We would welcome any suggestions or plans to meet the situation.
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HISTORY AND EVERYDAY LIFE
THE following news item put out by the Associated Press last month is of interest in that it emphasizes the practical importance of that supposedly useless and dry-as-dust subject, history. It is a condensed report of an utterance by the President of the American Historical Association.
NEW YORK, Jan. 5. — Historical research as something useful to apply to everyday life and to the doings of politicians is forecast by Dr. James Harvey Robinson of New York, newly elected president of the American Historical Association.
Concerning the purpose of the $1,000,000 which the association plans to raise for historical research Dr. Robinson says:
"The real significance of history is a new way of seeing what things really are by following the process by which they have come about. Our churches, schools, senates, courts, diplomats and the working of our business system must be explained by a knowledge of their coming about.
"As time goes on the fund would not be applied exclusively, perhaps not even chiefly, to historical research in the narrower sense of accumulating new information.
"A fuller knowledge of the past doings of politicians would tend to make our oversight of them more exacting."
This judgment concerning the value of, or rather necessity for, a knowledge of history is profoundly true in a democracy, where every citizen has a real, if indirect share in the conduct of his government and of the policies of his country. It is sometimes said, with superficial plausibility, that history does not repeat itself. Neither does individual experience. But every man of mature age — or at least mature judgment (and here we may include the ladies) — knows very well that there are kinds of situations, crises, emergencies, in human life which past experience will teach us how to meet and adjust ourselves to. The same is exactly true of communities and states. Only as these are longer lived than individuals the individual personal memory is not equipped to understand them without the aid of records of the past; that is, without a knowledge of history.
A striking instance of this has been painfully apparent in the recent discussions of the so-called "Peace Pact," in the Press and in the Senate both. In the November issue of THE BUILDER last year, we said that the great importance of this mutilateral treaty lay in the fact that the signatory powers, in plain and simple language agreed to renounce war, not absolutely — this is very important — but as an instrument of policy.
If our politicians and writers of newspaper articles had any real acquaintance with history, beyond the chronological scheme of dates, and the interesting stories tending to flatter national vanity, which is what passes for history in the schools of most civilized countries, they would have realized the extreme importance of this distinction. For as we said in the article above mentioned "it is not too much to say that war was the instrument of national policy," and has been for centuries. War was taken for granted, and the threat of war, more or less veiled, was the chief inducement in national bargaining. To have pretended to renounce all war, that is, conflict between bodies of armed men, would have been as chimerical as to pass a law that no one was to use violence within a state, and on the strength of such a law to disarm and disband the police.
It has been discovered since 1918 that civilized languages are lacking in their vocabularies, in that there are no definite terms to distinguish between aggressive war and defensive or punitive war. To say that there is no difference between these is, to go no further, to condemn those who fought for the liberties of this country against the autocracy of the Hanoverian George III. To say that every aggressor country will attempt to show that it is the victim may also be true. It has not been true in the past; and here again a knowledge of history would show that such hypocrisy would bear witness to a real advance; for it would show that civilized people no longer regard war as a justifiable means to any end but that of self defense against attack — armed attack, not economic competition.
The value of this treaty is precisely in the fact that it gives formal and explicit expression to this change of attitude among civilized peoples. It does not attempt to go too far, or do too much. It makes no provision for any sanctions, for no nation is yet ready to depend on international action for its own defense. It simply gives each adhering country an opportunity to solemnly affirm the sentiment of its people that to use war, or the threat of war, to gain selfish advantages is as reprehensible and criminal as blackmail and banditry. That the majority of people in every civilized country do now believe this is undoubtedly true, and to have it formally expressed in an international declaration of policy is a step in the right direction. And no one should be so silly as to object to taking this step because it does not bring us at once to the desired goal. On that principle no one would ever do anything or get anywhere.
So we repeat once more; without a knowledge of history the free and independent voter is hoodwinked, and can be led anywhere; very possibly by interested parties who do not care what pitfalls and dangers are in the way so long as their own petty purposes are attained. Or rather, it is a case of the blind leading the blind; and we have the best authority for the end of that journey.
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OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESEARCH
IT is not at all unusual to hear it said that there is little or no chance for any new historical fact being discovered by an American Masonic student. Far off fields look green — always and it is assumed that of necessity all treasure trove yet to be found lies hidden across the Atlantic, and in consequence there is nothing for us to do but look on enviously while our brethren in more favored lands dig out new facts, while to us is left the minor and less exciting task of possibly joining in the discussion of what others have found.
With this prepossession (amounting one might say to a sort of collective inferiority complex) we seem to miss entirely the opportunities that do from time to time turn up. We may mention, as the classic horrible example, the alleged record of the "giving the degrees of Maconrie" to "Abm Moses" in the "House of Mordecai Campannall" in Rhode Island in 1656 or 1658.
This is quite fully discussed by Bro. Melvin M. Johnson in his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America. At least Bro. Johnson quotes fully from statements made by various prominent brethren at the time this matter first came to light nearly sixty years ago. But on carefully examining these statements it is to be noticed that they all consist largely of argument based on the implicit assumption that it is utterly impossible that a Masonic lodge could have been held in Rhode Island in 1656. It is a false assumption. There is nothing impossible in lodges being held then in the American Colonies, though there are features about this particular claim that give rise to doubt, but these were not touched on by the brethren who rejected it. The point, however, that is particularly worth noticing is that no one seems to have gone to Bro. N. H. Gould, the owner of the alleged record, and questioned him directly. All the inquiries seem to have been made at second or third hand. Bro. Gardner, Grand Master of Massachusetts, did write to Bro. Gould, but he could not reasonably have expected the document (if it really existed) to have been sent to him for inspection. Bro. Doyle, Grand Master of Rhode Island, "made many inquiries about these documents of brethren in Newport," but not, apparently, of Bro. Gould himself. What value have such long-range investigations to us? We are left with the painful doubt that there is a bare possibility, putting it at its lowest, that a tremendously valuable record has been lost to us because no one had the common sense, the gumption, to go to Bro. Gould himself and demand either that he show the document to competent witnesses, or else admit by his refusal to do so that it did not exist, or was not genuine. In such cases a negative result is as valuable as a positive one, though it may not be so significant.
At the present moment there are in different parts of the country several opportunities for investigation which no one in the respective localities seems to appreciate, so far as we can discover. There is yet another in Canada, which if authenticated, will prove as significant and important as the Annapolis stone, or the Rhode Island record above mentioned. This we believe (or at least hope) the Toronto Association for Masonic Research will thoroughly investigate, and we will say no more of it now.
A correspondent sent us recently a clipping from the St. Paul Pioneer Press containing a report from St. James, Minnesota, of a Masonic medal found thirty years ago on a farm near Marshall, in the same state. It bears the date 1790, it is said. While a Masonic medal of this date may not be a fact of very great importance, it is of sufficient interest to make it worth while to have as full and accurate an account of it as is possible, put on record. It might be very useful in determining some point in local Masonic history. One can never tell in what way one fact will fit in with others.
This is one opportunity for someone. The next is an "emblem," consisting of a brass plate "about seven inches square," presumably engraved (though this is not stated) with a Maltese Cross and the letter G. It was recently discovered in digging foundations at Sioux Falls, North Dakota, under eighteen feet of earth. According to the only account of this we have seen, that in the Masonic Tribune, of Seattle, Jan. 12, 1929, it has been presented to the Masonic Library at Sioux Falls. It would seem that conditions could hardly be more favorable for making a complete and accurate report of this relic, with description and full details of how and where it was found. Yet, if we are to predict what will be done from what has been usual in the past, it is quite possible that this will be merely shown to visitors, and that in future years all that will be known of it is that it was said to have been found at such a time and such a place. It is so hard to realize the importance of fully investigating and making records at the time. The time passes and the opportunity slips away, and eventually is gone beyond recall.
Yet one more thing calls for examination, this time it in an opportunity for some brother in Detroit. Surely among the thousands of Masons in and about Detroit there is one with sufficient interest to undertake it. There is an old Masonic Apron, in the possession of a Mr. Frank Eldridge whose address is 2906 Seventeenth street, Detroit. This is a family heirloom, as the male ancestors of Mr. Eldridge appear to have been Masons, though he himself is not one. It is said to have been made by a lady, a Mrs. Fink of London, for Hezekiah Eldridge in 1727. It is made of silk, in colors, pink, blue and white. If it really is as old as 1727, it is most remarkable, for at that time it is generally supposed that the old operative skin aprons were still in use in the lodges. We have been in correspondence with Mr. Eldridge, but have not been able to obtain any definite account of what proof or record exists of the age of this relic. We suggested to the Educational Commission of the Grand Lodge of Michigan that it was a great opportunity to set some enthusiastic brother on the trail, but we have no knowledge whether anything has been done. We can only say that if there is any reasonable proof that this apron is as old as is claimed, it is valuable, and should be secured for the Craft. Or at least photographs, and a full and accurate account of its history should be put on record.
If nothing is done when such things as these turn up, we have no right to bemoan our lack of opportunities. Rather we should be glad that they more frequently occur where there are those who are glad to seize them as they come.
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EQUALITY IN MASONRY
ONE of the ideals of Freemasonry is symbolized by the Level; that is the equality of all Masons, despite the accidents of birth, education and fortune; coupled with the doctrine that all preferment in the Craft is based on merit and services rendered. However, Masons are only human, and it is natural that one who is prominent in the world should be deferred to in the lodge more than he otherwise would be.
We in America have often prided ourselves upon our republican principles and democratic habits; and have been more than a little inclined to judge our brethren in other countries as guilty of snobbery in electing men of rank to the highest offices, and in other ways giving undue consideration to members with titles or of aristocratic birth. In view of the fact that all European aristocracies were based fundamentally on the control or possession of land when that was the only form of productive capital, and that our millionaire class is also based on the control of productive capital in other forms, we may draw attention to an item of news which, as it is going the rounds of the Masonic press, would seem to be regarded as of interest and importance.
It seems that Bro. Henry Ford, who it is said had not previously been in lodge for more than twenty years, recently visited Zion Lodge, No. 1 of Detroit, and that he was "officially recognized and given a seat in the East." We confess to not being informed whether in earlier life Bro. Ford ever served his lodge as Master; if so, he was entitled to this honor and it hardly seemed necessary to make a special point of it. But if not, wherein lies the difference in principle between this fervid welcome and electing a noble duke or royal prince as Grand Master and giving him a deputy to do the work?
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THE QUESTION OF NON-AFFILIATION
The problem of the unattached Mason has exercised the rulers of the Craft, and has furnished subject matter for the Masonic press for a hundred years and more. Practically without a single dissentient voice it has been assumed that the non-affiliated brother was, if not a rebel and traitor, at least disloyal and delinquent. It has been taken for granted that fundamental Masonic law required that every Mason should be a member of some lodge. For this, the third charge in Anderson's Constitutions dealing with the lodge, is taken as authority. But the clause, "and every brother ought to belong to one" is not mandatory. It expresses the desirability, the propriety, of lodge membership, but leaves it to the individual to make the decision. However, most Grand Lodges now penalize in some way the unaffiliated brother.
In view of this general unanimity of sentiment we were much struck by a recent editorial article in the Masonic Home Journal, of Louisville, Kentucky. Incidentally we may remark that articles by Bro. H. H. Moore, the editor of this periodical, are always worth reading. In this case Bro. Moore goes directly counter to the common opinion and as a forcible argument for the defense we have asked permission to reproduce it, as we believe it will be of interest even to those who will disagree with it. — Ed.
This question of non-affiliation is a disturbing element in our institution, yearly increasing in magnitude, which neither the animadversion of Grand Masters nor the legislation of Grand Lodges has lessened or abated; on the contrary it is thought both have rather increased the number and the obstinacy of unaffiliated Masons, and that such will be the case until there is an entire change of policy and practice, as well in Grand as in constituent lodges. It is hard to conjecture whither and how far the radical mind will lead and control in matters of this kind. The first step toward an equitable solution of this and similar questions is to stop legislation; the second is to cease calling non-affiliation a crime. Non-affiliation is not a crime, has but recently been so denominated, and that in defiance of general ancient usage, so far as can be ascertained, and is in opposition to the present practice of the oldest Grand Lodge on the continent. There is not a word in the obligations which the Mason assumes on his making, that contemplates or looks to continued membership. While in a lodge he is bound to obey its laws; laws, however destitute of public sanction, and, therefore, wanting the very element upon which crime can be predicated in case he is guilty of their infraction. Out of the lodge, by virtue of a legally obtained dimit, such and all laws of a private and particular nature no longer bind him to obedience, and so long as he violates no part of the common law of ancient craft Masonry, crime cannot, with any degree of justice, be imputed to him. There are many good and sufficient reasons why Masons do not wish to affiliate, and the attempt to compel them is as absurd as it would prove futile. It would be well to let humanity, fraternity and justice govern our councils, and the strife now looming up with angry aspect in many jurisdictions would be averted. Induce the large number of members systematically absent, except at celebrations, eats and elections, to attend the lodge regularly, and possibly their example may stimulate the non-affiliate to lay aside his indifference and seek lodge relations. At any rate, cease to denounce him, to placard his name on your lintels, to call him drone and criminal, until you can show, by a general attendance of your present members, that a new impetus had been given to the old forces, and to them had been added new ones, and to interest, enlighten and upbuild faster and firmer the brother remaining within the lodge, than any appliance which can be found or adopted by him who stays without. We hear much of perfect ashlars and pure cement; we fear five-eighths of the former are naught but cobble stones or spawls, while the latter has no more adhesive consistency than mere mud. Anyhow, the cracks in the walls of some lodges are yearly growing in number and size, and unless master workmen are soon summoned to repair with better materials than frequently used, those walls at no distant day will crumble to dust.
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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.
PAPERS OF THE CEDAR RAPIDS CONFERENCE
In continuing the presentation of the papers read at the Cedar Rapids Conference in May, 1928, we now come to the subject of Masonic Education. The title of the first is sufficiently descriptive of its contents to require no further introduction. The author is Chairman of the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research and Education in Wisconsin, and is a nationally known figure in this connection. His opinions therefore carry no little weight.
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MASONIC EDUCATION IN WISCONSIN
Bro. Silas H. Shepherd
THE work we have attempted along educational lines in Wisconsin will probably be more Satisfactory for this conference if we state the things we have attempted to do rather than those we have accomplished.
The purpose for which we started this work was to create a greater interest in the various phases of Freemasonry and while the results have not reached our hopes or expectations, we believe that a foundation is being laid for more efficient work in the future. As we have been told by Brother Clegg, Masonic Education is not something new, but has always been the outstanding feature of the Fraternity.
The methods by which it has been promulgated have however been constantly changing. Many things contribute to make this necessary; the large influx of membership of recent years has made former methods ineffective and the problem of today seems to be one of method. For this reason it is highly advantageous for those of us who are interested in seeing the Craft function to its fullest extent to discuss our problems together and benefit by the mistakes as well as the proven successful methods which we have witnessed. When we have eliminated all the errors in our methods and consolidated all the beneficial features which have been adopted in various parts of the country, it is quite probable we will have solved the great problem of Masonic Education.
In Wisconsin our work has been quite meager and elementary during the twelve years our Committee has been functioning. Our principal work has been the publication and distribution of elementary pamphlets. While these have not been as satisfactory as we would have liked to have them, we believe they have inspired in several lodges and in quite a number of individual brethren a sincere desire to go into the deeper phases of Masonic study.
The earlier pamphlets of our Committee dealt largely in the history and literature of the Fraternity. But during the past year we have published a series of pamphlets which are outlines of the symbolism of the Entered Apprentice Degree. These seem to fill a need and we contemplate a series on the Fellow Craft Degree during the coming year. While these pamphlets are simply outlines, they contain extensive references to all the standard Masonic texts on the subject and can be used by either individuals or study groups to considerable advantage.
The most serious detriment to organized efforts to promote Masonic study is the failure of Masters of lodges to see the necessity of promoting it and giving the necessary time to its attention. In too many of our lodges the degree work takes up so much time that Masters do not feel justified in giving the time necessary for Masonic Education. Of course those of us who understand the situation realize that the degrees are of little value unless followed up by education which will make the candidate understand the forms and ceremonies which he has participated in.
Another feature of our work has been the sending of Traveling Libraries to our lodges. Commencing with two traveling libraries a few years ago, we now have twenty libraries in the field and almost half of the lodges in Wisconsin have had the use of these. These libraries not only give many of the brethren an opportunity of seeing some of the standard Masonic works which they probably would not otherwise have known about, but in several of the lodges it has induced the formation of lodge libraries which we continually urge.
Perhaps one of the most efficient methods of Masonic Education is a group of speakers. We only recently started to organize a Speakers' Bureau, and we believe when it is fully developed it will prove of great efficiency. One of the most detrimental features to the Speakers' Bureau is the difficulty in getting talented brethren to devote the time necessary to inform themselves on Masonic subjects. If these brethren could understand the keen interest which will be given to any talk by some brother who has given the subject sufficient attention to present the phases of Freemasonry which every brother is anxious to know, they would gladly respond to the work with the time and attention necessary. It seems self evident that the two principal methods of Masonic Education must be the printed page and the spoken word. It is difficult to say which of these is the more important. We believe they should always work side by side and should always have as a basis the Ritual of Freemasonry.
Countless hours are spent by brethren in making themselves proficient in the Ritual. We heartily agree that this is highly essential, but we deplore that in too many cases perfection in the Ritual has been the goal of many. After we become proficient in the knowledge of the verbal Ritual we have only commenced our Masonic Education. We have only received the key to knowledge, not the knowledge itself. The knowledge consists in the meaning of the forms and ceremonies of the Ritual. This again is not the goal. The goal itself is to put into practice the knowledge thus attained.
The efforts we have made in Wisconsin have been largely experimental and we trust that such conferences as this will help us to get on to more solid ground, and formulate methods of promulgating the meaning of the Ritual in the most effectual manner possible.
The most encouraging feature of the educational work in Wisconsin is the splendid activities of Henry L. Palmer Lodge. Several years ago this lodge started a Masonic Library which now numbers over a thousand volumes. Not only has this library a wonderful collection of books for private lodge use but it is very efficient having in continual circulation a large number of books. This lodge also conducts a Study Circle which meets every Wednesday evening of the year. This Study Circle is continually increasing in both numbers and efficiency and we believe is one of the most progressive Circles of any lodge in the United States.
My first inspiration to study Masonic literature came from the Iowa Masonic Library. The Iowa Masonic Library has always been the source of light to which I looked in times of need. The inspiration given by this great library has probably been no small part of the inspiration which has caused many other libraries to spring up, and it is quite probable that the future will see many other small libraries of the present grow into large libraries of the future.
In order to be of the greatest efficiency libraries must also adopt the most efficient methods in promoting the use of their books and in making them available to those who intend to use them.
These conferences will bring out problems in library work which ought to be beneficial to both libraries and library users.
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The next paper was by the Editor of THE BUILDER, and its scope is likewise fully indicated by the title.
MASONIC STUDY CLUBS
Bro. R. J. Meekren
THIS is an exceedingly important subject though it may be that I live too close to it to see all its bearings.
In the first place the name Study Club is, I believe, a detriment to the movement, but it seems to have come to stay. We in the National Masonic Research Society have given a great deal of thought to this point, trying to devise some new term that would be less terrifying and repellent to the brethren whom we are all trying to reach, but without evolving any practicable substitute. However, as the name becomes a household phrase, it will, as all names do, become a mere label, and thus we may hope that its detrimental features will be minimized. Circle would, I believe, have been a better term than Club, because less definite. A Club implies a regular and permanent organization, a "Circle" may exist without any organization at all; and this brings me to the second point, that the Study Club, like a Sunday School, is a substitute the latter for the religious training that properly should be given to the home, the former for the Masonic instruction that should be given in the lodge. Every Master of a lodge undertakes, though few of them realize it, the education of the brethren under his supervision. Every time the lodge is opened, it is repeated that it is the Master's function "to set the Craft to work" and to give them proper "instruction for their labor." If only Masters would realize this, if only Grand Lodges would insist on it, the problem would be solved. In any ease, we should stress the fact that the Study Club is not the ideal, and that at least its members should set before themselves as one of their chief aims, the enlightening of their brethren by talks and addresses in lodge whenever occasion serves.
This movement is really no new thing. As far back as 1732 or thereabouts, Martin Clare gave lectures in his lodge. It has been frequently stated, and the error has been given very wide circulation through Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (it has been corrected in the revised edition), that Clare was given the task of preparing a new set of catechetical lectures as part of an improved ritual; but this is pure fiction. His lectures were of a scientific and historical character.
Later in the same century William Hutchinson, as Master of his lodge, prepared and delivered a series of lectures on the origin and meanings of Masonry; his well known Spirit of Masonry, first published in 1775. Preston did compile a new set of catechisms, but he added also much explanatory material, and invented his Chapter of Harodim, as a sort of exalted Study Club for earnest minded brethren.
Others followed in the footsteps of these early Masonic educationalists, among whom I will mention only Dr. George Oliver, who not only instructed his own lodge, but also delivered various series of lectures in many other lodges also; most of which lectures he later published in book form. It is well, I think, to keep these facts in mind.
Coming to the actual working out of the organization of a Study Club, Group or Circle; conditions and circumstances vary so much that it is impossible to lay down any detailed rules, except of the most general character. We always advise the absolute minimum of machinery. There are groups functioning very successfully with no more than a director or leader, who is not even formally elected. On the other hand there is a very efficient and successful Study Club in California that is provided with President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer as well as Director. The best way seems to be to do with as little as possible in this regard.
Any group of this kind must have at least the nucleus of a library, whether the books are owned by individuals or collectively. Some works of reference are almost essential, Mackey's Encyclopedia at least, and a standard history is almost as necessary. This brings up the connection of the Study Club movement with Masonic libraries. All these, that are more than mere collections of books locked up in some inaccessible room, are constantly receiving requests for information. If Masonic Education is to spread, every Grand Lodge will have to organize a library; which means not only buying books but providing a librarian to make them available. Further than this, every place where there are a considerable number of lodges should have one also. Once the movement gets started it will spread, I believe, as public libraries have in the last thirty or forty years. And libraries, eventually, and inevitably, mean readers.
The next point is what we may perhaps call the curriculum. Here again no definite rule can be laid down. It depends on the composition of the Club. A select group of reading Masons will follow their own bent. They do not need guidance. But in most cases the members are distinguished only by a desire to know more about Masonry. If, however, there is only one among them who is already to some extent a student, he will probably select the path that most interests himself, and being interested himself will have the better chance to interest others. But by far the larger number of groups have no one specially qualified as a leader, except in enthusiasm and desire to help. Every Study Club must have one or two enthusiasts or it would never be formed. It is in these cases that some kind of ready made program is a necessity.
The natural starting point of Masonic study is the symbolism and ritual. The two from this aspect are inseparable. Every Mason can be interested in this, and from this he can be led naturally into further fields. For distinctions of subject are after all rather arbitrary. One cannot go into the meaning of the ritual very deeply without getting into history for instance.
One great point in the working of a Study Group is to set every member to work, especially in the case of those who begin in the kindergarten class. Every one should be set some question to find an answer to, which he should deliver himself. Thus two purposes are served; each brother will at least remember what he has looked up himself, and he will get practice in expressing himself to others. The majority of Study Club members are not numbered among the orators of their respective lodges.
One thing should be avoided, and that is making up the program with addresses either from qualified members, or invited speakers. Unfortunately it is much easier to secure one or two speakers than it is to plan the work so everyone may take a part in the proceedings. The latter needs real work on the part of the director or leader, and I fear, too many of these, without realizing it, follow the line of least resistance.
This briefly sets forth the actual status of the Study Club movement as far as our experience goes. I should like to say a few words on possibilities. A Study Club should not be regarded as a permanent institution. We should not feel discouraged because they live for awhile and then die. They may have served their purpose. I repeat, the proper organ of Masonic instruction and education is the lodge, and ideally its director should be the Master, or someone acting as his agent or deputy; and as fully empowered in this regard as a brother invited to occupy the chair in the initiation of a candidate. We must recover the conception that instruction is part of the "work" of the lodge, and that instruction is not restricted to the formal explanations of the ritual. So completely have American Masons lost the original idea of the proper activities of a lodge that this will seem to many of them an innovation. There is no need for me to say to those present that it would be only a return to the older traditions.
Thus really we should aim at the extinction of Study Clubs by absorption into the lodges. The Clubs should be a leaven, and when the lodges are duly prepared, and "raised," they can gracefully pass out of existence.
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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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TRANSACTIONS OF AUTHORS' LODGE, No. 3456, London, England. Vol. IV. Edited by Albert F. Calvert, P. G. Std. Cloth, thick octave, illustrated, 467 pages.
AMERICAN Craft students are generally familiar with the Transactions, issued by the various English research lodges and associations, of which a very representative list appeared in THE BUILDER for November, 1922. An organization not so well known, because of its limited membership, but which has already issued four volumes of highly desirable material since 1915, is the Authors' Lodge, No. 3456, London, England. Membership is not only based upon Masonic affiliation with a recognized lodge, but it is also necessary to be a member of the Authors' Club of London. Hence many American brethren who would otherwise be eligible, are not able to affiliate; nevertheless, such can purchase the Transactions after the members of the lodge have been supplied. The roster appearing in Vol. IV, under review, shows 115 active and four honorary members. Among the former are five Americans.
The editor's name, Bro. Albert F. Calvert, is well known to American Masons through his numerous works, among them The Grand Lodge of England (1917); Old King's Arms Lodge, No. 28 (1899); Grand Stewards' and Red Apron Lodges (1917); Old Engraved Lists of Masonic Lodges (1920); The Grand Festival and the Stewards (1919), and The Grand Stewards' Lodge (1920). No Masonic library is complete without them; unfortunately, they are out of print and difficult to obtain. They portray Masonic life of bygone days, and contain biographical sketches of early worthies little known to Masons of this generation. For this reason one is glad to see some of Bro. Calvert's articles, particularly "Lodge Nights in the Olden Days," in the volume before us. Others of particular interest are sketches of George Payne; Philip, Duke of Montagu; Dr. William Stukeley, and Orator John Henley, all by Bro. Calvert.
Sir Alfred Robbins contributes three articles of timely interest, "Grand Lodge and Its Work," "The Masonic Million Memorial Fund" and "Problems for Grand Lodge." His duties as Chairman of the Board of General Purposes, United Grand Lodge of England, make him most qualified to discuss the topics he presents.
Other brethren whose names will be recognized are Colonel Gilbert W. Daynes, writing on "The G.A.O.T.U. and the V.S.L."; the late Bro. The Rev. J. George Gibson, an honorary Past Senior Grand Warden of Iowa, writing on "Our Ritual"; Bro. Bernard H. Springett has an article on "Some Early Masonic Ritual"; Col. Cecil Powney writes along related lines in his article "The Craft Degrees."
Our brethren overseas have far more freedom and latitude in writing on these topics than we have in America, where the "secrets of Freemasonry" are construed to mean the text of the ritual, instead of only the essential and distinctive grips, words and signs. For this reason American brethren are often much astonished when seeing the revelatory handbooks current among English and Scottish brethren.
"Freemasons' Lodges in French Monasteries," by Bro. Springett, will be informative to many who do not know that Roman Catholics were until recent times active and devoted Freemasons. There are two articles on our "ancient friend and brother, the Great Pythagoras," one by Bro. H. C. Plummer, F.R.S., and the other by Bro. E. R. Garnsey. "Some Links Between Mithraism and Freemasonry," by Bro. H.G. Burrows, will interest Masons who are tracing Freemasonry back of the 11th and 12th centuries.
Altogether there are forty-eight fine articles, each worthy of serious reading. Brethren who have a complete file of the Transactions of Authors' Lodge, No. 3456, are to be congratulated, as only a limited number of copies was issued. Vols. I and II have long been out of print.
J. H. T.
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MUSINGS OF A FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENT. By Louis Block, P.G.M. Privately printed, Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Paper covers, 114 pages, index.
TO understand this book, it is necessary to know something of its author. Douglas Martin, editor of "Masonic News," Detroit, has given a terse pen picture of Bro. Louis Block in 1926 which tells its own story. "Every now and then," says Bro. Martin, "the Craft pauses in its labors and listens to a voice from Iowa. 'Louis Block,' say the brethren, 'is at it again.' And well may the brethren listen because Louis Block is one of the reasons for Iowa leading in the work of Masonic education. Another reason is the Iowa Masonic Library."
The leadership of the Iowa Masonic Library in Craft educational matters is felt outside of its own bailiwick by the publications it issues. The 1928 contribution of the Library is Musings of a Fraternal Correspondent, distributed gratis upon request. The readable volume is a collection of "Forewords" and "Afterwords" which formed a part of Bro. Block's annual Correspondence Reports to the Grand Lodge of Iowa. The chapters selected by Bro. Block for reproduction in the new book cover topics which were not only vital at the time of publication, but which will strike a responsive chord in the hearts of Masons at the present hour. Written in energetic and compelling style, they command attention, and as such have been considered worthy of reproduction in many Masonic periodicals, as is evidenced from a glance at the exchanges which all Masonic editors receive.
Readers of THE BUILDER, representing as they do the intelligentsia rather than the ritualistic automatons of Freemasonry, will be interested in what Bro. Block has to say of the Ritual. Two fine papers on this subject, entitled "The Ritual" and "Getting at the Meaning of the Ritual" state facts in terms which cannot be misunderstood. Our doughty warrior has no hesitancy in dubbing the average ritualists as "phonograph Masons" and "mechanical Masons," and it is no secret that his outspoken utterances have aroused ill will in some quarters. Yet he has accomplished what he started out to do, namely, to make ritualists think; and while we shall always have a high degree of Masonic illiteracy among those who worship the letter rather than the spirit of Masonry, it must be conceded that in Iowa Bro. Block has held aloft the torch ignited by Theodore Sutton Parvin of blessed memory and has contributed no small share to the encouragement of Masonic learning in the United States.
Bro. Block is also a vigorous opponent of side orders, and in "The Menace of the Side Orders," he tells what he thinks on this subject. Advocating lectures, readings, discussions and debates in the lodge as a means of counteracting the side orders, he says: "Perhaps if we do this we will be pouring parts green upon these parasites. But if that doesn't work we may need a new set of Masonic police regulations, that will put these bums in the bastile where they belong." Unusual language, but it expresses the unofficial attitude of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, of which Bro. Block has so often sounded the keynote. Other topics touched upon are "Masonry's Idea of World Peace," "Masonry, Religion and Politics," "Masonry and Americanism," "The Design of the Masonic Institution," etc. Each chapter is a straight-forward, clear and concise presentation of sound tonics worthy of consideration by all thinking Masons.
J. H. T.
[Readers sending for copies of the book to the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, should at least defray the cost of mailing, which is ten cents. Ed.]
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AN ENCYCLOPEDIC OUTLINE OF MASONIC, HERMETIC, QABBALISTIC AND ROSICRUCIAN SYMBOLICAL PHILOSOPHY, BEING AN INTERPRETATION OF THE SECRET TEACHINGS CONCEALED WITHIN THE RITUALS, ALLEGORIES AND MYSTERIES OF ALL AGES. By Manly P. Hall. Illustrations in color by J. Augustus Knapp. San Francisco, H. S. Crocker Company, 1928. Parchment and boards, folio, 211 pages, with copious index of 3; pages, slip case. Price, $100.
EVEN the most hardened of reviewers will greet this book with a sincere and hearty welcome, for it is a volume designed to command attention and respect. Its size — nineteen inches high, thirteen inches wide, almost two inches thick, with a weight of fifteen pounds — naturally attracts the eye, but these physical proportions are forgotten as one later contemplates the magnitude of the volume in its literary aspects. Accustomed as we are to machine made books, cheapened everywhere in the interests of mass output and economy of production, the weary critic literally hugs this artistic production to his bosom, for it is a delight to the eye and a feast for the soul. I know of no other book of modern times which so transports one in flights of fancy to the medieval presses of Aldus, Estienne, Plantin and Elzevir, as does this masterpiece. The craftsmen who wrought this wonderful production of the printer's art were truly inspired by the ideals of their ancient forebears.
The technical terms necessary to describe the volume in its physical aspects beggar one's vocabulary. The bibliophile only encounters them in his fancies, or in his dreams. As students of catalogues issued by venders of incunabula, we read of vellum binding, little thinking we should ever see a massive book of the present day so bound. But here it is, half vellum and boards. The boards are not the common article so described, but are substantial material covered with a fibrous paper of batik design which prepare us for the dignified Alexandria Japan so reverently fingered and turned as we page through the book. Quality is the dominant keynote; little wonder the volume won first prize at the Advertising and Printing Convention held in Honolulu in 1928.
The title page is in two colors, red and black; each page is headed by numerals — not in commonplace Arabic — but in Roman notation printed in a delicate blue. Each chapter has an ornamental Caxton initial in a warm orange and black. The text is set in twelve point Italian Old Style, a type face of sufficient density to be easy reading, yet not so heavy as to mar the artistry and symmetry of the open pages as a whole. A very noticeable feature is the manner in which each chapter, regardless of various sized illustrations with "run around" text, invariably ends at the bottom of the left hand page. The mechanical skill required to accomplish this is deserving of every commendation; and credit must also be given to the author for his part in fitting the text to the physical demands of the page. Nowhere does the text appear curtailed or abrupt. Each chapter ends with an case and elegance of style possessed of every literary refinement.
One is struck by the beautiful frontispiece in colors; but we are rendered speechless when we find there are fifty-four such illustrations throughout the book. These are specially painted by J. Augustus Knapp, an artist whose understanding of the author's purpose is clearly revealed by his sympathetic interpretation on the canvas. The engravers who made the color plates are also masters of their art. With such perfection in the technical and highly complicated art of color reproduction, no doubt can remain as to the excellence of the two hundred or so zinc and copper etchings which reproduce the illustrations from rare tomes listed in the stupendous bibliography at the end of the volume.
But let us go on. Pages could be written about the physical aspects of the book, and then the story would not be told.
The author presents the book to his readers with a very appropriate introduction, saying in part:
Numerous volumes have been written as commentaries upon the secret systems of philosophy existing in the ancient world, but the ageless truths of life, like many of the earth's greatest thinkers, have usually been clothed in shabby garments. The present work is an attempt to supply a tome worthy of those seers and sages whose thoughts are the substance of its pages.
Work upon the text of this volume was begun the first day of Jan. 1926, and has continued almost uninterruptedly for over two years. The greater part of the research work, however, was carried on prior to the writing of the manuscript. The collection of reference material was begun in 1921, and three years later the plans for the book took definite form. For the sake of clarity, all foot notes were eliminated, the various quotations and references to other authors being embodied in the text in their logical order. The bibliography is appended primarily to assist those interested in selecting for future study the most authoritative and important items dealing with philosophy and symbolism. To make readily possible the abstruse information contained in the book, an elaborate topical cross index is included.
I make no claim for either the infallibility or the originality of any statement herein contained. I have studied the fragmentary writings of the ancients sufficiently to realize that dogmatic utterances concerning their tenets are worse than foolhardy. Traditionalism is the curse of modern philosophy, particularly that of the European schools. While many of the statements contained in this treatise may appear at first wildly fantastic, I have sincerely endeavored to refrain from hap-hazard metaphysical speculation, presenting the material as far as possible in the spirit rather than the letter of the original authors. By assuming responsibility only for the mistakes which may appear herein, I hope to escape the accusation of plagiarism which has been directed against nearly every writer on the subject of mystical philosophy.
Having no particular "-ism" of my own to promulgate, I have not attempted to twist the original writings to substantiate preconceived notions, nor have I distorted doctrines in any effort to reconcile the irreconcilable differences present in the various systems of religio-philosophic thought.
The entire theory of the book is diametrically opposed to the modern method of thinking, for it is concerned with subjects openly ridiculed by the sophists of the twentieth century. Its true purpose is to introduce the mind of the reader to a hypothesis of living wholly beyond the pale of materialistic theology, philosophy, or science. The mass of abstruse material between its covers is not susceptible to perfect organization, but so far as possible related topics have been grouped together.
Rich as the English language is in media of expression, it is curiously lacking in terms suitable to the conveyance of abstract philosophical premises. A certain intuitive grasp of the subtler meanings concealed within groups of inadequate words is necessary therefore to an understanding of the ancient Mystery Teachings.
Running through the table of contents, it is apparent that the studious Mason will be interested in the Ancient Mysteries and secret societies; Atlantis and the gods of antiquity; the initiation of the Pyramid; the Zodiac and its signs; the life and philosophy of Pythagoras; the human body in symbolism; the Hiramic Legend; the symbolism of fishes, insects, animals, reptiles, birds, stones, metals, and gems; the Qabbalah and the secret doctrine of Israel; the fraternity of the Rosy Cross; the chapters on alchemy; symbolism of Freemasonry; the faith of Islam; American Indian symbolism, etc.
The novice in Freemasonry will be astounded by the ramifications of the volume, and to what extent of knowledge and ancient lore the author touched in his painstaking labors. The Scottish Rite Mason, familiar with many of the philosophical systems of earlier times through his reading of Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike, will find a wealth of material in this book elucidating the rituals of the Rite. The Rosicrucian Mason, affiliated with the brethren of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, not to overlook the various Rosicrucian societies in the United States, will revel in the work, for it makes available information and symbols much sought after.
Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy is a book which will have more than a mere ephemeral existence. The high cost of production (more than $110,000 outside of bibliographical volumes valued at $150,000) puts the work out of reach of the average brother; but there is nothing to deter libraries and lodges from procuring the volume. The original edition, for advance subscribers, was taken by 525 individuals and institutions; a fifth edition, numbering eight hundred copies, and of which but a few hundred are left, will most likely be the last. Hence the fortunate ones who have specimens may well treasure them, for such books appear upon the market only accidentally when the publishers' editions are sold out.
All in all, the work is one which requires careful examination and leisurely reading to be appreciated as it deserves. To reduce the lore of the ages to such minimum as this capable compilation and interpretation represents requires skill of no small degree, as will be perceived by those who merely read the list of works consulted, leaving out of the question any examination of the voluminous books themselves. With the wide diversity of opinion existing among students regarding occult topics, it is natural that there will be disagreement on the part of some with the author. Yet, be that as it may, all will agree that a herculean task has been capably essayed, and Mr. Manly P. Hall deserves unstinted credit for his efforts.
J. H. T.
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GOETHE: THE HISTORY OF A MAN. By Emil Ludwig, Translated from the German by Ethel Colburn Malone. Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. Cloth, illustrated, index, x and 617 pages. Price $5.25.
THERE are three questions which a reviewer should have in mind during the reading and discussion of a book — What is the author seeking to do? Is this worth doing? Is it well done?
The first of these questions Ludwig has answered clearly and unmistakably in the subtitle of his work, "The History of a Man," and in the "Introduction" to the English translation by Ethel Colburn Wayne. In an "Epistle Dedicatory" to Mr. Shaw the author explains his "Purpose of reconstructing the genuine man, who really lived, from the aesthetic divinity" and enabling the reader to "be a spectator of the sixty-yeared battle which his Genius fought with his Daemon, and from which he finally wrested a kind of tragic victory." Ludwig's aim, then, is to dissipate the mists in which the adoration of a century has enshrouded the figure of the greatest German writer, and paint for his readers ,a picture of Goethe as he really was. Especially does the biographer seek to direct the reader's attention to the subjective rather than to the objective side of that lengthy life, rather to the soul-struggles than to the acts and achievements of his hero.
Now this was obviously well worth doing. Nothing in history is more striking than the way in which legends grow up around the great personalities of the past until the clearcut lines and true proportions of the actual figures are blurred and magnified into a sort of historical spectra of the Brocken. And although such legends have a practical as well as a poetic value, it is essential in the interests of truth and accuracy to go back to the actual records and reconstruct the authentic individuals. This has, indeed, become one of the major literary activities of the day, partly as a result of the universal search for the truth of a Scientific era, partly, in all probability, as a reaction against the every-day conditions of life. In an age when the machine is more and more, and the man ever less, the mind turns for relief from the mechanization of existence to the study of individual character and the lives of great men. Emil Ludwig is eminently in the height of fashion in directing his energies to biography, and especially to its psychological aspect.
The question of how far Ludwig has been successful in achieving his object is more difficult and complicated, and the answer must to a considerable extent, depend upon the character and predilections of the individual reader. Many no doubt, will find the perusal of the six hundred and forty-two pages of the English translation rather a tedious and bewildering task than a pleasure, and will regret that the mercy towards foreign readers which, as the preface explains, has abridged the German text by half, was not further extended. Such an initial feeling of bewilderment is a natural result of the method adopted by the author to depict the real man. "The book," Ludwig tells us, "will display in a slowly moving panorama the landscapes of his (Goethe's) soul," and at the same time enable the reader to witness the constant series of campaigns which the hero's Genius waged with his Daemon. This Caesarian division of Goethe into three parts — Landscape, Genius, and Daemon — is liable to confuse and perplex the reader, and lead him to regard Goethe's soul as a mere terrain on which two external powers waged a ceaseless warfare. And as the evil power seems to have won almost every battle, and the divine element to have preserved itself only by a series of strategic, if unheroic, withdrawals, the reader is apt to grow weary of the constantly repeated phenomenon of defeat and retreat.
It will frequently be with a feeling of relief that an arduous and wearisome task has been accomplished that the last words will be read, and the volume closed and laid aside. And the natural conclusion will be that Ludwig has not been very successful in the attempt to achieve the object he had set before himself.
And yet, as one reflects over what one has read, a portrait of the great German poet forms itself from the material which the author has presented. "The slowly-moving panorama" comes to rest and on the screen of the imagination there remains the picture of a many-sided individual, emotional and scientific, idealistic and practical. The Genius and Daemon of the biographer appear as the two sides of that dual nature, strenuous and practical, emotional and sensual. And Goethe stands revealed as a man endowed with the greatest scientific and literary abilities, yet prone to erotic crises in which he is tempted to turn from study and creation to love and sensual enjoyment. The depth and strength of the two sides of Goethe's character and the length and fierceness of the inner conflict in which they involved him explain his rank as the greatest of German poets. For after all this quality is the essential characteristic of the poetic temperament. It is the combination in a single person of the emotional and the intellectual, enabling the individual to strike out great ideas and present them in beautiful forms, which makes the poet. Thus the hasty verdict of failure will be revised and modified. If Ludwig has not clearly depicted the real man, he has supplied the materials by which the reader can perform the feat for himself.
Moreover, although prone to over indulgence in a somewhat meaningless flood of verbiage, there are times when Ludwig becomes simple and direct, and achieves marked success in the living presentment of his subject. The description of the closing years of the long life is an excellent piece of work, and here and there in the earlier chapters scenes and pictures impress themselves vividly upon the reader's imagination, notably, for example, the "interior" of Frommann, the Jena publisher, at the beginning of the tenth chapter. So that moments of tedium and bewilderment are balanced by moments of interest and insight. And the final verdict will be that the volume was well worth the reading.
As has been the general rule among the biographers of Goethe, his Masonic interests are little more than barely mentioned. This is the more strange, seeing that many of his poems are of a distinctly Masonic character, and Wilhelm Meister can hardly be fully appreciated without some knowledge of the ideals and aims of Freemasonry in Germany at the period it was written. In spite of this, and the fact that having been initiated as a young man he retained and maintained his connection with the Fraternity during a long life, Ludwig has only the following brief and truly misleading references. On page 166 we are told that:
Goethe consented to join the Freemasons on the somewhat arrogant ground that he was desirous of good fellowship.
An account of the circumstances of Goethe's application and initiation were fully described in an article by Bro. Harvey McNairn in THE BUILDER for September, 1923. Goethe said in his letter to von Fritsch, the Master of Lodge Amalia, that he desired to belong to the Society of Freemasons in order to have opportunities "... of walking in closer union with persons I have learned to respect." This is not quite the same thing as a "desire for good fellowship" in the usual connotation of that phrase. Further Goethe made this application of his own will and desire, and not (as the word "consented" suggests) at the instance or persuasion of others. So far indeed was this from being true that the Master of the lodge seems to have hesitated a good deal whether to act upon the petition.
The second reference in the present work is on page 303, where it is said.
He prevented the establishment of a lodge in Jena — indeed he induced a colleague there to lecture on the chaotic state of the secret societies and make a simultaneous attack in print so as to proclaim open hostility "between ourselves and the fools and knaves."
This last quotation has also been exploited by the writer of the article on Masonry in the Catholic Encyclopedia. It would go far beyond the limits of a review to fully deal with this. A knowledge of German history at the time, and Masonic history in Germany would be necessary. The article by Bro. McNairn above mentioned has something on the point; something may be found in Findel, and of course there is much that has been Written in German which has never been translated into English. In brief; Goethe was on the side of Craft Masonry as against the Strict Observance and other congeries of "high grades" that were sapping the life of the Fraternity.
The final reference is at page 457, where it is said that in later life Goethe re-established a Masonic lodge which had been closed for twenty-five years. The lodge in question was Lodge Amalia in which he had been initiated. It was dormant twenty-six years as a matter of fact. The suspension was due to trouble over the Strict Observance. Its resuscitation was largely due to Schroeder, the apostle of Craft Masonry in Germany, who won the support of Goethe and the Duke of Weimar.
This slighting of so strong an emotional and intellectual interest in Goethe's life as Masonry undoubtedly was, gives rise to the suspicion that Ludwig has not been unaffected by the tide of anti-Masonry that has risen in Germany since the war, the prophet and protagonist of which is the half insane General Ludendorf.
Whatever may be the reader's verdict on the content of the book, he will undoubtedly be favorably impressed with its outward appearance. Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons have given us an exceedingly attractive volume with the stout binding, clear type and charming series of illustrations that lead one to take down a book from the shelf for the mere pleasure of feeling it in one's hands and idly turning the pages.
E. E. B.
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VICTIM AND VICTOR. By John Rathbone Oliver. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, table of contents, 435 pages. Price $2.65.
IN his previous book, Fear, Dr. Oliver showed how closely religion and disease really are linked. This is not quite an accurate estimate of the purpose of the earlier work because the religion that is emphasized in Fear is not what most people would acknowledge as such. It is what most doctors would doubtless call mental hygiene, but to me it is much more than that. That book constituted almost as clear an estimate of the religion that I have been endeavoring to practice as it would be possible to put on paper. All of this meaning is, of course, stressed only by implication. This is not the proper place to discuss the book that Dr. Oliver wrote almost, or perhaps it is more now, than a year ago. We are especially concerned at this time with his new book that is fresh from the press.
Someone who had read Fear suggested that an "equally interesting book might be made by working out a portrait of a priest-physician with some psychasthenies and delinquents mixed in with the other fictionized characters to show with what uncanny skill he could establish healing contact with them compared to either clergymen or psychiatrists in their separate spheres." It is really this remark that caused Dr. Oliver to write this second volume, not, in any sense dependent upon the previous one, but still carrying out the idea of the first book and taking the matter just a little farther along. Dr. Oliver continues his description of what he has done by saying "This, however, proved a task beyond my strength. I have had to content myself with imagining two men, one a physician the other a churchman, and with delineating certain interesting patients whom these two treated successfully together". To see how well this aim has been realized it is necessary to read the book.
I do not think that Dr. Oliver has succeeded quite as well as he did in Fear. This may be only a personal opinion, but after reading the book I was left with a sense of dissatisfaction that was not present when I had finished the previous one. Perhaps this feeling is engendered by the fact that the author has seen fit to close the lives of both central characters in the course of this history. This hardly seemed necessary. During the reading of the book the two heroes are so much alive, so full of vitality, that one would like to think of them as actual human beings still administering to the wants of their patients, instead of being under the necessity of thinking that their work is being carried forward by others, if at all. Perhaps there is no richer reward for a life of fruitful labor than what John Vandercook has so beautifully described as "venturing into finality", and maybe I am wrong.
There is another side to this question which does give some consolation, and I leave it to others to decide whether it is this or the other that is the best solution to the problem. Certainly the two men merited some reward for the good that they did in this material world. We are accustomed to thinking that the fruits of labors, which sometimes seem altogether fruitless here, are to be harvested in "that land from whose bourne no traveller returns". Doubtless it is this that Dr. Oliver had in mind when he closed his book as he did, and possibly it is the best solution of what would have been a very vexing problem had he allowed both or either of the two to live on. The revelations which are put in print in the pages of Victim and Victor are of such an intimate nature that no man living would like to feel that he had laid his soul so bare to the eyes of the world. When we think of this phase of the problem that confronted Dr. Oliver it seems that to have allowed them to continue their ministrations would have been to detract from the reality of the two characters.
Occasion has been taken to mention that the central figures in Victim and Victor seem to live and breathe as one pores over the pages of the book. No matter how little one may agree with the theories that are brought out in those same pages, one must admire the author for his facility of expression, his keen insight into human nature, and further than that, his skill, which at times seems far above all technique, in making his characters real. I am inclined to be envious of the style of realistic writers, but I have never met an author that I have envied as much as I do Dr. Oliver. To have his gift for expressing things that, for me at least, are beyond expression; to have his knack of making people live, breathe, and walk through the pages of a book would be a joy forever.
There was a key thought in Fear that might be singled out and made the main matter of a review of that work. This is not the case in the present work. There is too much in the way of divergent interest, too much that would have to be mentioned in explanation for any one thought to be taken as the leading principle; but there is a sentence in the New Testament, which may seem trite from too frequent use, but which in spite of that is still as full of meaning as it was when it was written centuries ago, and which sums up in a very few words everything that might be said about the context of Victim and Victor. It runs "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
This fits Michael Mann as no glove could possibly fit his hand. Through the trials and tribulations of more than half a generation this one thought seemed uppermost in his mind. It is by and through the practice of this doctrine that the Victim of circumstances became not only the Victor, but the lord of all he met and overcome.
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ADVENTURES IN FLOWER GARDENING. By Sydney B. Mitchell.
GOOD ENGLISH. By Virginia C. Bacon.
FRENCH LITERATURE. By Irving Babbitt.
PIVOTAL FIGURES OF SCIENCE. By Arthur E. Bostwick. All published by the American Library Association, Chicago. Price $0.35 each.
THE name of the American Library Association is sufficient guarantee for the authoritativeness of any of the above works. In order that the titles may not be misleading, it is necessary to state that these pamphlets belong to a series which is fast becoming lengthy and to which the Association has given the general title of Reading With a Purpose. In the case of other pamphlets in this series which have come to our desk we have stated that they were well worth while, really, they are more than that because they enable the average man who has some time for reading, but lacks sufficient leisure to enable him to wander through the devious paths frequently necessary to gain acquaintance with subjects of interest, to gather, almost at a glance, the information necessary for a general understanding of the subject. Each course is accompanied by a bibliography and the texts selected are moderate in cost or may be obtained on loan from any fair-sized public library. To those interested in reading along any special line we not only suggest, we recommend, that they write the American Library Association in Chicago, Ill., for a complete list of their reading courses. Such a procedure will save much time and will in addition prevent any possibility of reading unauthentic works.
E. E. T.
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MACHINERY IN THE LIBRARY. By Arthur E. Bostwick Published by the St. Louis Public Library. Paper, Index, 24 pages.
THIS pamphlet would hardly be of value to the average Masonic Library because they are too small, though it is a very good discussion of the uses of machinery in the large library. Public institutions of this nature will find the work filled with valuable suggestions, perhaps the larger Masonic libraries will find therein some suggestions that may enable them to simplify their tasks.
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NEW BOOKS RECEIVED
WHAT IS THE MIND? By George T. W. Patrick. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index, viii, 185 pages. Price $2.65.
This book belongs to the Philosophy for the Layman Series. In it the author points out how the older views of the mind have gradually given way to the realization that it is simply a term for certain operations and activities of the human organism as a whole. The reader will also find in this book a clear statement of how the psychologist looks at evolution.
THE NATURE OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD. By A. S. Eddington. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index, xvii, 561 pages. Price $3.90.
The author discusses some of the results of modern study of the physical world which give most food for philosophic thought. Some of the subjects treated are: The downfall of classical physics; relativity; time; the running-down of the universe; gravitation, the law and the explanation; man's place in the universe the quantum theory and the new quantum theory; world building; reality; causation; science and mysticism.
ARTICLES DE PARIS. By Sisley Huddleston. Published by The Macmillan Company. Cloth, Table of Contents, xii, 207 pages. 5 ½ x 7 1/2 inches. Price $2.15.
The book contains three dozen essays, in lighter vein, of the most variegated and entertaining character. Robespierre, Bluebeard, Guy de Maupassant, Anatole France, and the Last of the Bohemians are among the subjects dealt with, and the volume also includes a criticism of James Joyce's "Ulysses."
THE NEW QUEST. By Rufus M. Jones. Published by The Macmillan Company. Cloth, Table of Contents, 202 pages. 5 ½ x 7 ½ inches. Price $1.90
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The Philosophical Publishing Company, of Quakertown, Pa. announces that a new and "very important work" The Fraternity of the Rosicrucians, is now in press and shortly to be published. The very liberal offer is made by the company to donate a free copy to every (legitimate) Masonic Library in the world that wishes to apply for one. The work is to be sold at the price of $3.00.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
PRESENT DAY PROBLEMS
The December issue of THE BUILDER was one of the most interesting issues I have ever read.
In the article relating to Religion and Masonry, I quite agree with the author that there are too many Masons too prone to slur any of the numerous religions to be found in a small town. In this connection I am reminded of the words of the Master when He said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Religion has always made a very strong appeal to me, especially when I was younger than I am now, even if I didn't know what it was all about. But I like to go back as much as I am able to do, to the time before I became a Master Mason. That is a pretty hard thing to do sometimes. I try to recall the way my mind was running in those days. I realize now that I was groping this way and that, hunting for I knew not what. Then came the turning point. The Master Mason's Degree and the Royal Arch. It finally dawned on me that I had found what I was looking for. Naturally, I became interested in religion again, and for a time attended a Men's Bible Class in the Presbyterian Church. The teacher of the class was a professor at the high school and a Blue Lodge Mason. The text for the first Sunday was "And whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself, shall be exalted." I was rather interested to know how the Sunday-school teacher would handle that text. I had just gone through that very thing. Indeed, when I received the Royal Arch Degree the road was very rough and rugged. Well, the Sunday-school teacher fell down flat. Right then and there I said to myself, to use a popular expression, "Masonry puts it over." And indeed it does. But that does not mean that I have lost all interest in church. I am very fond of the Presbyterian minister here, and like to listen to his sermons; but he happens to be a Scottish Rite Mason. So I have come to the conclusion that while the churches get men started in the right direction, Masonry finishes the job.
Have been reading with a great deal of interest the articles on Army Lodges. While my own father was not a member of the Masonic Fraternity, he spent forty-five years of his life in the service of his country, having graduated from West Point in 1872. The article about Lahneck Lodge, No. 1186, at Coblentz, Germany, makes one proud that he is an American citizen and a Master Mason.
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IMHOTEP, PHYSICIAN AND ARCHITECT
The following item from the London Times of Sept. 6, 1928, is interesting in connection with my review of Imhotep, by J. B. Hurry, in the January number of THE BUILDER. As it may not be known to all your readers, I quote it in full. It occurred in a report of the Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England on Sept. 5, 1928:
"Brigadier General Charles S. Wilson, the District Grand Master of Egypt and the Sudan, presented to Grand Lodge a maul which had been found in the tomb of Poser, a Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, at Sakkara. He stated that competent Egyptologists declared that the maul was certainly not more modern than 1300 B.C., and it might date from any time back to 2500 B. C. The funeral temple in which the maul was found was believed to be the first building ever erected in stone. It was built by Imhotep, the King's Prime Minister, who was long worshipped as a god in Egypt. It had only been discovered recently that he was not a god, but a human being, and the King's Prime Minister.
"Lord Ampthill [the Pro-Grand Master] in accepting the gift, said that the maul was far older than anything now in the museum of Grand Lodge and it was fitting that it should come from a land which was deeply associated with the mysteries of the Craft."
This maul, or rather mallet, is of the same conical shape that is still used by sculptors, stone cutters, and wood carvers. It is a genuine operative implement as it shows the wear and tear of long and heavy use.
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MASONRY IN MEXICO
Occasionally I get out and read the old files of THE BUILDER as a Sunday afternoon diversion. Today I ran onto an article in the October, 1916, number which impressed me as having enough merit to justify being reprinted. This appears on page 310 under the heading, "Mexican Masonry: Another Side," by Bro. Eber Cole Byam, of Illinois.
I lived for a good many years on and along the Mexican border, and while not prepared to go quite as far as Bro. Byam has, I realize that he is shooting pretty close to the mark.
We as Masons are prone to feed ourselves up on anything that coincides with our prejudices and as a result sometimes arrive at some very erroneous conclusions.
While this article is perhaps just a little extreme, from our own observation I cannot help but feel there is a strong undercurrent of truth running through it.
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NAPOLEON A MASON
In reference to the article by Bro. E. E. Murray entitled "Napoleon, the Mason, and the Pope," which appeared in THE BUILDER for last September, I would like to know what grounds there are for believing Napoleon to have been a member of the Masonic Fraternity.
This was referred to Bro. Murray, who wrote to our correspondent as follows:
As you will see I am away from home and do not expect to get back, except between trains, for a couple of weeks, and I am without any books here to refer to, so am writing this that you may not think I am discourteous in not replying, and as soon as I get back home I will quote chapter and verse. However, speaking from memory, you will find that Mackey in his Encyclopedia quotes French authors that Napoleon was made a Mason in, I think, Malta. Gould, in his history of the Netherlands, mentions that when he placed his brother on the throne of Holland, in 1805, he instructed him to be Patron on Masonry in that country. I had this before me recently when digging into Netherlands' history. Then there is in existence an old engraving showing Napoleon giving the grip and word to a Tyler at the door of a lodge. If my memory does not sadly forsake me, within the past two years one of the descendants of Napoleon presented to some museum in France his apron or other Masonic regalia. This is not conclusive evidence, I admit and it may be very hard to place the finger on a lodge minute recording his admission to the Order. About four years ago Bro. Rae Lemert, of Helena, editor of the Montana Mason and Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Montana, and who has a very large library of French Masonic books, several of the 18th century, went into the matter fully, as he does in all things, and wrote an article in that magazine. As soon as I get back home I will look it up and copy it out and send it to you.
In a second letter he supplemented this with the following information:
In the issue of the Montana Mason of September, 1922, there appeared a cut of a picture of Napoleon entering his lodge wearing his apron and sash. In the issue there was the following article:
NAPOLEON AND THE CRAFT
"The Great Napoleon, the famous Emperor of the French, was a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and many anecdotes are current regarding his admiration for the Institution, and his attachment to it. Engravings showing him in Masonic garb are rare, but this magazine presents to its readers this month a reproduction of one taken from a French work showing Napoleon at the entrance to his mother lodge demanding admittance, accompanied by several of his officers. Close observers will discern certain interesting features in the print."
If you desire more direct evidence than I have quoted as to his being a Mason, I am confident that Lemert will be very pleased to supply it. Similarly it is stated that some if not all of his brothers were Masons, so were some of his marshals and generals. That he was approached by the Grand Orient, when he was Emperor, to give the Fraternity his protection; that he named one of his brothers Grand Master; that he asked his brother when made King of Holland, to be protector of the Craft, and several other acts are those of a member and not merely a sympathizer.
There was an important article on this same subject in THE BUILDER for March, 1924, by Bro. D. E. W. Williamson, "Where Was Napoleon Made a Mason?" In this some evidence that had hitherto been unknown to English and American students was brought forward. This was found in a French work by Charles Bernadin, Notes to Serve as a History of Freemasonry at Nancy up to 1805, in which is quoted a statement by M. Noel, "historian of Lorrain," himself a Freemason. Bro. Bernadin says that Napoleon paid a visit to the lodge at Nancy in November, 1797, on his way, via Switzerland, from Milan to Paris.
Bro. Williamson also refers to the paper by Bro. J. E. Tuckett which is to be found in A.Q.C., vol. xxvii, p. 96, in which an exceedingly strong case is made out for Napoleon's membership in the Fraternity, so strong that though the evidence is mostly circumstantial it only just falls short of complete demonstration. Bro. Tuckett's own summary of his conclusions are as follows:
- That the evidence in favor of a Masonic initiation previous to Napoleon's assumption of the Imperial Title is overwhelming.
- That the initiations took place in the body of an Army Philadelphia Lodge of the (Ecossais) Primitive Rite of Narbonne, the third "initiation" of the "Note Communiquee" being an advancement in that Rite.
- That these initiations took place between 1795 and 1798.
Hitherto one of the chief objections to admitting that Napoleon was a Mason has been found in the fact that when he was asked to become the Patron of the Craft in 1804 he requested from Prince Cambaceres to have a report "on the objects and principles of the association, especially as to what is caned the secret of the Freemasons." The question was raised by the Masonic historian Findel, and repeated by later students. Findel said:
If the Emperor Napoleon was a Mason ... he ought properly speaking to have been well acquainted with the Institution and its tendencies without making any special enquiries on the subject.
Bro. Tuckett clears this difficulty away very easily by pointing out that in the many Ecossais rites, the symbolic degrees were regarded only as stages of the novitiate, and it was impressed upon the initiates that even the Master Mason was comparatively yet in a state of darkness, and that the true secret was known only in the more exalted grades. No one has ever suggested that Napoleon had "advanced" beyond the degree of Master, and it therefore seems not only natural, but obvious, that as Emperor he should want to know what these reserved secrets were before giving his countenance to the Institution in so definite a manner.
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I was interested in your reply to E.H.P. in the Question Box last month. I see a number of Masonic magazines regularly, and I have several times noticed in recent years that a statement that discredits French Masonry will be copied freely from one paper to another, but if anyone writes anything in its favor, or tries to point out the real facts, this is allowed to drop as quickly and quietly as possible.
I saw just the other day an account of Latin Masonry that seemed to be dealing mostly with that of Italy, though the writer included France and Spain also. I have not got it by me so I cannot quote as I would like to do. But in spite of the facts made known by the newspapers of the world regarding the brutal treatment of men in Italy for the crime of being Masons, this brother calmly tells us that all this talk of persecution arose merely because disloyal government employee were discharged from their positions. He said also, as if it was the most dreadful crime, that Latin Masonry is anti-clerical. I can only suppose that he is so ignorant of conditions in Europe that he does not know what Clericalism means, and that he supposes that to be anti-clerical is to be against ministers of the Gospel, and so hostile to religion. Every Mason in the United States would be anti-clerical if Clericalism in the European sense existed in this country. It is commonly supposed that the result of the recent election was partly due to fear that the election of a Roman Catholic President might lead to something of the sort.
It was also said that Latin Masonry was subversive of government. It sounds well but what does it mean? What does it mean in Italy? That Masonic principles would be subversive of government dictatorship? Were not the principles of Mussolini and his Fascisti subversive of the constitutional government? Are Masons bound by Masonic law to support any government no matter how it got into power or how it exercises power? If so, then George Washington and Paul Revere and Joseph Warren and the hundreds of other Masons who rebelled and fought against Britain should have all been expelled for unMasonic conduct. It seems we have one rule for ourselves and another for other people.
The recent statement by the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction about European Masonry should do a lot of good, it is all the more forceful because it is so carefully worded. I hope it may have the widest publicity. We should not go on repeating like parrots the wild stories invented by the enemies of Masonry. For they are told, and believed, about American Masonry, just as much as about French or Spanish or Italian.
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THE DOLLAR MARK
I have always understood that our sign for the dollar was derived from a combination of the two letters U.S. Recently, I have seen it claimed that it originally referred to the pillars of Hercules, and that these have a remote connection with the pillars of King Solomon's Temple. Can you tell me if this is correct?
Our information is, though we cannot give the original authority for it, that this conventional sign is derived from a coin-type of the south of Spain. The piastre, or piece of eight reals, coined by Charles V (1600-1556) at Seville, bore on the reverse two pillars with a scroll. This coin was called a "collonate," or pillar piece. It is unlikely that this was an entirely new design. The city of Cadiz was founded, it is supposed, about 1100 B.C. by colonists from Carthage, itself a colony of Tyre. The original name was Gadir, or Agadir, meaning "the Stronghold." In Latin this became Gades. To reach this place the Straits of Gibraltar had to be passed, which to the Greeks, under the name of the Pillars of Hercules, was the end of the world. As Hercules, or Herakles, was originally a Phoenician solar deity, there is little doubt that the Rock of Gibraltar, and the corresponding hill of Ceuta on the opposite shore, were connected with Hercules, as marking the gateway of the setting sun; and the tradition would very likely survive in the south of Spain. As the two pillars of King Solomon's Temple are undoubtedly only an instance of the marking of the sacred place, or the dwelling place of the deity, by two isolated pillars, a custom common all through Syria, there is a definite link between them and the pillars of the west.
The remaining steps are comparatively simple. The Spanish coin became a common medium of exchange all through the New World; it was the "piece of eight," well known to every boy who has read Robinson Crusoe. The two pillars and ornamental scroll were naturally conventionalized until they became the two perpendicular lines through an S. which forms our dollar mark today. Thus by a long and circuitous route there is a real line of descent from the pillars of the porch.