THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 15 No. 5 – May 1929
THE FUTURE OF FREEMASONRY
The Concluding Article of a Series on Ancient Freemasonry and Present Day Problems
Bro. Herbert Hungerford
Author of Seeing Both Sides of Yourself
In this final article Bro. Hungerford points out the reasons for an optimistic outlook in regard to the future of the Craft. The old self-gratulatory spirit is passing away. Thinking brethren everywhere are comparing our practice with our Ideals in growing discontent; and in this growing dissatisfaction and disinclination to rest upon the laurels of the past lies the great hope for the future. For the Pharisee who thanks God that he is not as other men are there is no hope, it was to the Publican who confessed his sins that the promise of the future was given.
OUR PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVE in attempting this somewhat superficial survey of our ancient institution and its relations to some of the outstanding problems of our own times has been to formulate, or, at least, to suggest some forecast of the future of Freemasonry.
In this brief summing-up of the series, please bear in mind the point previously mentioned so frequently, that our purpose is far more suggestive than conclusive. In brief, as our previous articles have attempted to stimulate your own thinking along the lines of our discussion rather than to present complete and definite plans and programs to be carried out, so this final article will not undertake to prophesy future events in Freemasonry, but will be confined to pointing out certain observable tendencies and trends.
I certainly have no desire to pose as a prophet. Yet, I have no hesitancy in expressing my faith, or, at least, my hopes regarding the future possibilities of Freemasonry, based upon observation and study of our past progress and our present activities.
The Importance of Ideals
Some of the brethren who have participated in this series of discussions by contributing their criticisms or viewpoints on various topics we have touched upon, have raised the objection that the writer's attitude has been too idealistic; that he has been advocating principles and practices of perfection far beyond the power and abilities of the poor, frail mortals comprising the membership of our fraternity to live up to in the regular course of their customary activities.
Admitting that we have been advocating ideals of achievement and practices in human relationships far above the customary behavior of ordinary human beings, still we do not admit that such criticism of our attitude is justified, because we maintain that the ideals of our institution are not one whit lower than our articles have represented them. Furthermore, when the far-seeing founders of our fraternity established it as an art to be practiced, they thereby indicated the fact that Freemasonry was to be regarded as an idealistic institution. Every art is a striving towards certain ideals of perfection which are never exactly and completely attained. There are standards of perfection in all fields of activity. Those who parade these standards and uphold the highest ideals as the goal to be aimed at by the votaries of any order, surely should not be criticized as being "too visionary." Bear in mind the fact that "where there is no vision, the people perish."
The key-note of our theme throughout this series has been our conviction that, by shifting the emphasis in our Masonic programs so that less attention is paid to non-essential or side-line activities and our major effort given to the promotion of better understanding of the fundamental principles of Freemasonry and to the encouragement of a more universal practicing among the Craft of the true art of Freemasonry, we would thereby make a large contribution towards the solution of many of the world's problems in religion, education, politics and business.
In this final article, therefore, I propose to point out a few activities which seem to me to be indications of hopeful endeavor towards the goals of highest achievement. Because I have not hesitated to call attention to some of the faults and shortcomings of modern Masonic activities, some of my readers, possibly, may have classed me as a pessimistic critic. Possibly, however, after you have read my views as to the trends and prospects of our fraternity, you will change your opinion and put me down as "one of those incurable optimists." If you do, I shall not greatly object.
The High Repute of Freemasonry
To begin with, let me state that it is my sincere opinion, based upon a considerable amount of observation on this particular matter, that the vast majority of people in all walks of life today, outside of our Craft, look upon the Masonic Order as the greatest of all fraternities. I am not using the term as referring chiefly to size and extensiveness. I estimate that at least nine persons out of every ten hold Freemasonry in the highest esteem. If my observations are fairly accurate, the critics of Freemasonry, outside the Craft today, are few and their criticisms are, usually, feeble or futile. The caustic rantings of a few cantankerous professional scolds or fault-finders, such as Ed Howe or Hank Mencken, because some of us may find pleasure in rigging ourselves out in somewhat showy regalia, or in enjoying any of the other innocent indulgences of our various ceremonials, are but a drop in the bucket as compared to the high praise and almost universal commendation that Freemasonry receives from the general public.
Without apology for what might appear to be a somewhat egotistic attitude towards our Craft, I have no hesitancy in affirming my belief that Freemasonry is deserving of the high place in the esteem of the world that it has won for itself. It really is, I believe, the greatest fraternity in the world.
Furthermore, I regard it as greater today than ever in its history. Not for one minute do I think that modern Freemasonry is resting upon laurels of the past. Neither do I admit that there ever was a period in the history of the Craft when more of its members were deeply and sincerely concerned with the best ways of maintaining and promoting the highest and noblest ideals of the institution.
If you regard this optimistic viewpoint at variance with the criticisms of our Order that have been presented in our previous articles, let me hasten to show you why I believe these seemingly opposite points of view in reality are in perfect harmony.
Freemasonry today would be facing a serious crisis if the leaders in Masonic endeavors and activity held the same views that the world at large outside the Craft apparently holds. The wise observation that it is a dangerous condition when "all men speak well of you" applies to social groups as well as to individuals.
But, my personal observation leads to the opinion that the more thoughtful members of our fraternity are far from complacent regarding the present conditions of the Craft. Everywhere I come into touch with Masonic leaders, I find plenty of evidence of wholesome dissatisfaction which I regard as the most hopeful and healthy portent for the future of Freemasonry.
Many Cities Within Our Craft
There are thousands of Masonic leaders, I believe, who are diligently and sincerely seeking ways and means of applying the teachings of Freemasonry to the solution of present day problems. The many comments I have received on this series of articles coming from every section of the country, is one indication of this. Another of much greater significance is the generally critical tone of the principal articles in the Masonic press everywhere, excepting in the few back-patting and personal sheets which are too few and insignificant to be deserving of serious attention.
During the several years I was connected with the staff of speakers of the Masonic Bureau of Educational and Social Service of New York State, I was afforded considerable opportunity of observing the sort of speeches which made the biggest hits with the brethren. It appeared to me as a most gratifying fact that the old back-patting palaver style of speech was not applauded or appreciated nearly as much as the plain talks containing really constructive criticism and practical suggestions for the improvement of the Order.
Unless I have failed to read aright the signs of the times, Freemasonry is on the verge of the greatest era in the history of the institution. The unusual and not altogether beneficial conditions in the Craft which came as an aftermath of the world war are now passing. We are beginning to get away from the notion that progress is denoted by increase in numbers. We are losing our liking for big drives and mass movements, the direct resultant of the various drives and campaigns which were so necessary a part of war activities. We are beginning to think in terms of Masonic quality rather than mere quantity.
In brief, I am confident that we are beginning to shift the emphasis in our Masonic programs, so that in a steadily increasing number of Lodges, the activities are being centered upon the real fundamentals of our great Masonic teachings, instead of being concerned chiefly with the least important features of Masonic endeavor.
Please do not misunderstand that I am pretending that, throughout the Craft generally, we have already Shifted the emphasis. But I do insist that the tendency in this direction is plainly discernable. It has been my privilege to visit quite a number of lodges and to discuss the conditions of our Craft with a good many devoted brethren in all parts of the country. Everywhere the same thought has been uppermost in the minds of Masonic leaders: What can be done to encourage a larger percentage of our members to practice the real art of Freemasonry and live in accord with true Masonic teachings?
There is a practical answer to this question, I sincerely believe; an answer that has been tried and proven worthy. Granting the fact that our discussions in this series have only scratched the surface and have not delved deeply into historical research or social or economic analysis; still, I feel sure every reader who has followed the series will admit that they have all pointed in one direction.
The point repeatedly emphasized is that no changes or modifications are necessary in the purpose, plans or programs of Freemasonry in order to answer the above vital question in a plain and practical way. All we need to do is to continue the shifting of the emphasis in our Masonic programs and activities in the ways already noted as being the tendency in many Lodges.
Getting right down to brass tacks, I contend, that the Masonic Study Club Movement, as fostered and directed by The National Masonic Research Society, offers the most effective answer to the question as to how any Lodge or any group of really interested brethren may stimulate and encourage the more widespread practice of the art of Freemasonry among all their fellows and brothers.
If you are anxious to develop the true Masonic spirit among the members of your Lodge, I doubt if you can find a more satisfactory and certain way of accomplishing this commendable aim than by organizing a Study Club. You are surely aware of the difficulty of deeply impressing the principles and teachings of Freemasonry through the frequently hurried administering of initiatory rites. Neither does sitting on the side lines listening to these ceremonials or even participating in them, bring out clearly and completely the noble ideals and practical teachings of our Order. Nor will a few brief talks or lectures by well-informed brethren fully accomplish this objective. All these things will help, of course, yet you will find no other means as effective in teaching Masonic ideals and inculcating the practices of Freemasonry as organizing and conducting a regular course of readings and discussions.
You will note, therefore, that although we have reached the final discussion in our series on Ancient Freemasonry and Present Day Problems, we have really just begun our endeavors towards the practical application of the points we have attempted to present during this series.
In accepting the appointment as sort of a chairman for The Masonic Study Club Forum of THE BUILDER and general campaign manager for the extension of the Study Club Movement, I admit my deep appreciation of the honor and privilege of this service, but also wish to express my Obligations to, and my dependence upon the counsel, criticism and cooperation of my brethren in all parts of the country who have shown so much interest and given such splendid encouragement to all efforts on behalf of the extension of Masonic education. If those who have been encouraging my efforts in this series will continue their cooperation by helping to awaken interest in the Study Club Movement among the Craft everywhere and will also aid in organizing, conducting and passing along, through our Study Club Forum, any practical pointers brought out by actual Study Club activities, I certainly shall have no fears regarding the future of Freemasonry.
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WHERE ARE WE DRIFTING?
Bro. R. J. Meekren
Statistics show some interesting trends in modern Masonry. They are graphically presented in the article which follows. The light thrown on our present system of admissions is an important contribution to the craft.
WHAT is the actual condition of the Masonic Fraternity in America today? We know that it has well over three million members, and there is undoubtedly a certain prestige given by such huge numbers. But in itself this does not tell us much of real value. Those who have read, even occasionally, the Reports of our Grand Lodges during the past ten years know that there has been a great expansion since the War. They will also be aware that there has been considerable, though vague, uneasiness in regard to the increasing losses due to members dropping out of the organization. Some Grand Lodges have been so impressed by these fears that they have introduced regulations restricting the freedom of the individual Mason by denying him the right to dimission from his lodge, permitting him only to transfer his membership. Whether justified or not, this is undoubtedly an innovation in the "body of Freemasonry," although those who advocate it do not seem to realize the fact. But though such drastic attempts to stop the leaks are being made or advocated, no one seems to have any very clear comprehension of the amount of these losses and their relation to the total membership.
It is a very curious thing that this lack of definite knowledge should exist, and all the more curious in view of the fact that American Grand Lodges as a anywhere available in the Masonic world. Whenever dual or plural membership is suggested it almost always happens that the first objection advanced against it is the alleged difficulty it would cause in keeping accurate membership rolls. But such records are hardly worth while for their own sake and as an end in themselves.
As a preliminary essay in what is almost a virgin field of investigation I have prepared the accompanying charts to show certain relationships between the gains and losses in membership over a period of fifteen years. The basic figures used for this purpose have been taken from the tables that have been compiled annually since 1913 by Bro. George A. Kies, Grand Secretary of Connecticut, and published annually in the Proceedings of that Grand Lodge. Without this foundation to build upon it is doubtful whether I should ever have had the courage to undertake this task, even had time been available. Bro. Kies, therefore, should have at least half of whatever credit may be due.
As has already been mentioned, the official rulers and leaders of the Craft have very frequently expressed grave fears in regard to losses from various causes, especially those by suspension for non-payment of dues. Rather less frequently, doubts have been voiced as to whether the growth in the last decade has not been altogether too rapid.
There are four avenues of loss, one of which is inevitable, that is death. The other three are dimission, suspension and expulsion. The first chart shows the relationship between these last. The graphic method of showing the relationship of varying figures is now so frequently used that most people are more or less familiar with it. The curves A and B show respectively the dimissions and affiliations for each year, according to the scale of numbers on the perpendicular axis. It must be borne in mind that on such a scale only round figures can be used. But this does not affect the general accuracy of the result so far as showing the relationship between them is concerned.
One thing is apparent immediately upon inspection of these two curves, A and B. that they very closely parallel each other over the whole period. It will be noted that in 1916, and again in 1923, the distance between them increases. This distance represents in each year the difference between the number of Masons dimitted and those affiliated. It is quite possible that economic and other external causes would account for this divergence of the curves at these two periods. The normal reason for dimission is change of residence. Whenever conditions lead to a general movement of population, such divergence is naturally to be expected. Whether the later divergence that appears in 1927 can be wholly accounted for in this way is not clear. For that we must wait and see. But on the whole we may conclude that the relationship between dimission and affiliation appears to be quite normal, and the difference no greater than should be naturally expected.
The curve E shows the expulsions. While 674, the total for 1927, is altogether too many — it means that in over 600 lodges there has been careless investigation, or too little courage in denying admission to unfit applicants, yet relatively the figures are so small as to have little significance in a broad survey. And while the number has nearly doubled in the fifteen years, the rate of increase has been much less in proportion than the rate of growth. This is certainly not a discouraging feature.
The curves C and D show the relationship between suspensions and reinstatements. As in the case of A and B. the distance between these two curves shows the balance of the number of Masons suspended over those reinstated in any given year. We see there was an increase in these from 1913 to 1915, and then, after some fluctuations, a decrease. Roughly, only with larger numbers, the suspended increased at much the same rate as the dimitted Masons until 1918-1919, when they began to decrease. There is no doubt that a proportion, perhaps a larger proportion — there is no means of determining — of suspensions are due to the same cause as dimissions. Brethren move to another locality but neglect to keep in touch with their lodge. It is especially noteworthy that while 1921 showed the smallest balance of unaffiliated Masons in any year after 1915, the number of reinstatements was actually greater than the suspensions. The year 1921 was a remarkable one in several ways. It is one of the indications of the relation between dimissions and affiliations being on the whole a normal one, that this year shows no greater balance of dimits over affiliations than appears in 1925, when suspensions were rapidly increasing and, as will be seen, accessions were still more rapidly falling.
The rapid increase of suspensions is undoubtedly a very unhealthy symptom, and should be carefully considered in the light of the curve of admissions in Chart II. Though here a word of warning must be given. The difference in scale must be taken into account. Were the curve A in Chart II drawn to the same scale as in Chart I, the peak in 1921 would be roughly six times as far from the base line as the curve of dimissions in the same year in the latter chart, which would take it a long way out of the page. The greater numbers involved in Chart II necessitated the reduction of scale. The larger scale was used in Chart I in order to show more distinctly the trend and fluctuations of the different curves.
Turning now to the second chart, the curve D shows the total losses through the three causes dealt with in Chart I. The interesting fact which strikes us first is that from 1913 to 1926 this line falls well below C, the curve of the losses by death during the same period. The death rate serves the purpose of a standard of comparison. The dotted straight line drawn through C shows that deaths have very steadily increased, which is a necessary consequence of the increase in membership. The year 1919 shows a sharp increase, due doubtless to the influenza epidemic. But the following years show a decreased rate which about balances it. Comparing this with curve D we may perhaps be justified in assuming that losses from other causes have not been critically serious. But unfortunately the year 1927 shows them to be greater than the losses by death. This may be no more than a temporary fluctuation, but it must be noted that since 1921 these losses have tended to increase too steadily, and too sharply, to be an altogether encouraging sign.
But confidence is somewhat restored by the curve of accessions, the line A. These have been so much greater than losses from all sources that, in spite of the latter, the membership has rapidly increased. Yet it is not an altogether healthy curve. It looks like — altogether too much like — a fever chart. The tremendous number of admissions from 1919 to 1921 could not possibly be normal. At least after this "temperature" there would be a period of indigestion, if nothing worse.
It is curious to note that the peak in 1921 was also, as already observed in dealing with Chart I, coincident with the lowest net loss in dimissions and a slight gain as between suspensions and reinstatements. These phenomena, it may be assumed, were all due to much the same causes, whatever they were. The same influences that led to the unparalleled influx from the outside into the Craft, led also to the renewal of lapsed memberships.
The Curve B is plotted from the total net losses from all causes, and here again cause for misgiving is shown. From 1921 on, these losses have been tending ever upward as shown by the dotted line; while, ignoring the steep drop after 1921, there has been, from 1923 on, an even sharper trend downward in accessions. This points to the two lines meeting, or even passing, in 1930; which means in effect that the Masonic birthrate will fall below the death-rate, and the organization come to a standstill, or start on the downward grade, so far as membership is concerned.
Chart III shows the cumulative gross increase over the same period. In this the scale has been still further reduced, as we are now dealing with millions instead of thousands. This increase has been roughly 2,400,000; an average of 160,000 a year, or a little more than half of that for 1921.
In this chart the four curves are all divergent (with the exception that D is not uniformly so). This is because they show the successive totals in each year from 1912, and not merely the number for each year by itself, as in the first two charts. The greatly reduced scale also tends to iron out the annual fluctuations. The divergence between A and B shows the cumulative totals of losses from death, that between B and C the actual number of unaffiliated Masons, that between C and D the total of the suspended and expelled, while the space between D and the base line represents the number of members in good standing in excess of 1,400,000. If the base were to show zero it would have to be drawn as far below its actual position as the curve D is above it in 1923. When this is taken into account (and to visualize it a sheet of white paper with a base line ruled on it at the right distance might be laid on the page) it will be seen that the losses by non-affiliation and suspension form only a very narrow fringe or border to the area showing total membership. In short they do not give much support to alarmist views.
Coming now to the consideration of the curves in detail, we find that in 1927, in round numbers, 2,460,000 candidates had been admitted into the Order since 1912; while in the same period 444,000 Masons had deceased. In the last named year, 1927, there were 68,000 unaffiliated Masons — not a very large number when compared with millions — and 192,000 who were under sentence of suspension or expulsion; which number is too large. According to this there were in good standing 3,157,000 Masons. This figure is between 80,000 and 90,000 less than those usually given. But there are many ways in which this discrepancy could have arisen. It must be remembered that returns come into each Grand Lodge at different times and there always has to be a certain amount of approximation. As these curves have been plotted from the positive data it is not probable that they are very far from giving the correct totals.
These curves bring out certain features that are not so easily observable in the two previous charts. They confirm the inference that the number of unaffiliated Masons is on the whole a normal one. Naturally there must always be some unaffiliated Masons — unless every Grand Lodge followed the novel method of forbidding dimission altogether. The greater the total number of Masons, the greater must be the actual number of those who, for one or other of a multitude of good and legitimate reasons, desire to leave one lodge and join another. As this must take, at the least, several months in each case, there must always be a balance of those who are for the time being unattached. The regularity of the divergence between B and C shows conclusively that this proportion has not increased, if anything it appears to have somewhat lessened, when it is compared with the divergence between A and B. For the loss by death must in the long run be about the same among Masons as for the community at large, and thus it gives us a norm by which to judge the other losses.
The curve D does not show quite the same regularity as C, for after having diverged rather too rapidly from 1913 to 1919 it then begins to approach C, and in 1920, 1921 and 1922 runs almost exactly parallel to it, which means that the total remained stationary during those years. But after 1922 it begins to diverge again more rapidly than ever. Whether or not this is merely temporary, a result of the "indigestion" following the orgy of the years 1920 to 1923, remains for the future to show us.
This preliminary and hasty survey at least shows a very promising field for further investigation and research, in which the statistics compiled annually by each Grand Lodge may be made to give up their real significance. Every institution, as every individual, exists in time. A wider realization of this fact is one result of the popular interest in the mathematical theories of relativity propounded by Einstein. As has been well said, history is not the bare record of a series of isolated facts but the representation of a process. We cannot understand any situation unless we have some idea of how it came to be. Without some knowledge of the past it is impossible to even guess at the future. The apparent conclusion to be drawn from this consideration of the history of the growth of the Masonic Fraternity in recent years is mixed. There is no cause for alarm apparently, yet we cannot say that it is wholly healthy and as we could desire it to be.
As it may be convenient for reference, the round totals as used in preparing the graphs for the article are here given, as taken from the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. Except in the case of expulsions, all figures below the hundreds have been omitted, and in some cases those higher than that have been approximated; as for example, 983 may be estimated as practically one thousand.
One thing may be gathered from this table which was not represented in the charts, and that is the relationship of the number of lodges to total membership. The average membership per lodge in 1927 was somewhat under 200, in 1913 it was a little over 100. This again is a characteristic and not reassuring symptom. The average number of suspended Masons to each lodge is very nearly twelve.
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"G"; GEMATRIA; THEOLOGY
Bro. L. F. Strauss, Massachusetts
ONCE upon a time long, long ago, there was an Organization, Federation, Community of men living, working, praying, on the banks of the Jordan and the Nile, on the shores of the Dead Sea, in the Desert of Arabia, in the town of Engada and near an oasis at the foot of Mt. Sinai. A strange confederation, a strange community of men, yea the strangest, the most wonderful Brotherhood the world had ever seen for "By their fruits ye shall know them" was once upon a time proclaimed by the Master.
Who were these men? What is the name given by the lips of men to this Community, this Brotherhood?
The appellation was coined from the Greek word meaning "holy"; from which term Josephus wrote "Essaes"; from which Philo Judaeus made "Essenoi," and Pliny the Younger made "Essenes" (although the critic is not sure about the exact coinage of Pliny).
The name used by contemporaries and by the common people was "Hasidim," which term is translated into English by the word "saints." The designation given by the Apostle Paul was also translated as "saints."
The self-designation of this Brotherhood, which should be of special interest to Freemasons, was "Banaim." This word translated into English means Builders. The universal aim of every member, called "Banus" by Josephus, was to build a bridge between this world and the other, to become an architect under the direction of and guided by the example of the Great Architect.
The term (h)agioi, the appellation used by Paul, is of interest to the philologist. From ago, agere, actus we have the English active, action, actor. The Latin is closely connected with the Greek ago, ayeix, with the same meaning. The Greeks by means of the spiritus aspen that is by prefixing the sign for the aspirate, or rough breathing (for they had no letter for H), indicated a reverential feeling. Thus Paul gives "hagiois" "hagioy." This word, to a Greek mind, would indicate men working, especially active for, a holy cause. The translation of "hagioi" in our Bible is "saints." This word "hagioi" we find in Chapter xvi of Paul's Letter to the Corinthians, a chapter of great importance to the faithful, and of special interest to the historian, the scholar, the philologist, and psychologist.
A very strange phenomenon is there presented. The translation of the first two verses of this chapter is, to use a mild expression, erroneous. Here we find quite a variety of renderings, of translations. For historical, philological and psychological reasons the translators were puzzled.
Thus the Revised Version has:
Now concerning the collection for the saints as I have given order to the churches of Galatia even so do ye upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
What a rendering, what a translation! The devil laughs and the angels weep. We have here in Greek three terms, three words which puzzle the unsophisticated reader: " (h) agiois," "logia," "sabbatou." ( H ) agiois rendered by "saints" as before stated. But for the term "logia" to be rendered "collection"!
Philologically logia is related to logos, meaning "word"; to the Latin loquor, loqui from which we have the English "colloquy" and "loquacious." Then the translation of the Greek sabbatou by "the first day the week."
This last, most glaring falsification is of modern date. The Vulgate, the Latin version, is here superior, more truthful. "The sabbath," at least is faithfully kept in this translation, as by some few others, by Martin Luther for example. He kept the Sabbath, too, in his translation and for "logia" he gives "steuer" or "tax."
Now the word Sabbath is used in the Bible, in both the Old and the New Testaments, very many times; and this word always designates the seventh day of the week, a day of rest. What here puzzled the truth seeking translator was "a collection of money" or, to Luther, an "imposition of tax" on the Sabbath.
Another small point of information: the rendering of Matthew xxviii, v. I, as "end of Sabbath" is erroneous. The Greek word signifies evening, and the translation here should be "Sabbath eve." At the time of Jesus and His Apostles and in the orthodox Jewish world of today the term Sabbath eve means Friday evening, the beginning and not the end of the Sabbath. "One half of the world knows not how the other half lives" or thinks.
We will here give the literal translation of the first two verses of Paul's epistle to the Corinthians.
About the bequests (dedication) for the saints (church workers missionaries) as I ordained (decreed) to the churches of Gaiatia, so do ye also. On some Sabbath each one of you bequeath (dedicate) of his treasure (fortune) whatever to him seems befitting (becoming or proper) so that not when I come a dedication (bequest) will have to be made.
The term logia, a word of Hebrew-Hellenic coinage, translated in our Bible by "collection," was connected with the Hebrew Divine service on the Sabbath, even as in the Orthodox Jewry of today.
If in this case the term will arouses the curiosity of some readers of THE BUILDER a dissertation will be given in a succeeding article.
After this brief excursion into the Biblical realm, made primarily because in the word hagioi, translated "saints," we find a reference to our ancestors, that is, our Masonic ancestors; let us now return to our subject, to our heroes bearing such a different appellation, the Essenes, self-designated "Banaim" or Builders. From this term Builders we have our modern "Masons" and the name of our highly appreciated magazine, THE BUILDER.
Paul's hagioi furnished the pioneers the propagandists, to use a modern word the missionaries, who preached and eventually founded what is today Christianity. A miracle, a most undisputable miracle. A comparatively small number of men, a group of despised, poor Jews conquering, overcoming the Roman empire, transforming, transmuting the Graeco-Roman civilization, converting the Celtic, the Germanic, the Slavonic world. What a miracle!
Here we would refer the reader to previous articles by the author published in THE BUILDER: "Joshua ben Joseph" (called "Jesus the Christ"), "The Essenes," "The Kabala," "The Kabala and Freemasonry," and "Gematria."
Learned scholars make Jesus the Christ a member of the Essenes. The Apostle Paul informs us that he had sat at the feet of Gamaliel, a recognized teacher of "Essenism." Masonic authorities make John the Baptist and John the Evangelist members of the Order of Essenes and claim them as fathers of Masonry.
In this matter the psychologist finds a strange lesson and valuable information. Some Christian historians object, repudiating the "descent." We might learn from our opponents. In the Catholic Encyclopedia we find such statements as:
Deists and continental rationalists strive to metamorphose the Essenes into predecessors from whom gradually and naturally developed Christianity, etc.
Freemasons pretended to find in Essenism pure Christianity, etc.
Why this objection to Christian Essenic relationship by the Holy Roman Catholic Church? Why this unfriendly attitude toward the Essenes? For the contemplation of the Holy Father, the Pope and his bishops we will give the opinion, the judgment of an impartial "contemporary," a careful observer, in a way an eye witness, the testimony of Pliny, a good and noble Roman.
Ab oeeidente litora "Esseni fugiunt," usque qua nocent gens sola et in toto urbe praetor eeteras mira; sine ulla femina, omni venere abdicata, sine pecunia, socia palmarum in diem exaeque convenarum turba renascitur, large frequent-antibus quos vita fessos admores eorum fortuna fluetibus agit. Ita per saeculorum milia incredibile gens eterna est in qua nemo naseitur tam fecundia illis aliorum vitae poenitentia est.
Now this will be of interest: In The History of the World, commonly called "the Natural Historie of G. Plinius Secundus," translated into English by Philemon Holland, Doctor in Physicke, Londini, Impensis G. B., 1601," we find in the eighty-eighth chapter, headed "The People Esseni," the following rendering of the above citation:
Along the west coast inhabite the Esseni, a nation that is living alone and solitaire and of all others throughout the world admirable and wonderful. Women they see not — carnall lust they know not — they handle no money — they lead their lives by themselves and keep companie only with Date trees. Yet nevertheless the countri is evermore well peopled for that daily numbers of strangers report thither in great frequenci from other parts and namely such as be wearie of this miserable life are by the surging waves of frowning fortune driven thither to sort with them in their manner of living. Thus for many thousand years (a thing incredible and yet most true) a people had continued without any supply of new breed and generation. So mightily increase they evermore by the wearisome state and repentence of other men.
Now there might be an objection to, a denial of, Essenic fatherhood of Christianity or of Freemasonry but there cannot be, there is not a rejection, a denial of Essenic paternity of a something called the Kabala.
And this other fact is just as indisputable; the nomenclature, the terminology for Masonic presentation has been taken from that same Kabala.
In a previous article by the author, published in THE BUILDER, such a list of names was given. To this list we wish now to add the term En Soph. As the fingers write this word the hand trembles. This word, this term En Soph in the Essenic or Banaic realm stands for the Highest, whose Representative here on the Earth is given the name Supreme Architect. In the Masonry of England the word En Soph is a most important figure of speech, in a way a leading landmark.
Right here stands, ante ocalos, one scene in Masonic panorama; the ingenuity of man is exhausted in an effort for calling special attention to some certain things, certain forms, in an attempt to arouse at least what is called curiosity; and we hear, "Search."
Let us now briefly consider the sign. The symbol, the most conspicuous and ever present letter "G." Again this writer refers the reader to a previous article in THE BUILDER, entitled "Gematria" We will here restate this much: the modus and opus operandi of a community called Hagioi (saints) Essenes-Kabalists, self-styled Banaim (builders) was, is, called Gematria. We will also remind the reader of a well known statement: "There are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamt of in our philosophy," and recall also a certain oath of secrecy. And then there comes the injunctions of the Master: "Give not that which is holy unto dogs." "Cast not your pearls before swine lest they turn and rend you." "To you it is given to know the Kingdom of heaven; to them we speak in parables."
We also wish to here remind the reader of this fact: The pre-Christian Essenes had the idea, the doctrine, of what today is called the Copernican or heliocentric theory of the solar system. The exact wording of this doctrine was given in an article published in THE BUILDER. To the Mason interested in occultism in general, and in Masonic ideas and symbolism, we recommend the reading and contemplation of Francis Bacon's New Atlantis.
In this we are introduced to "Solomon's House"; we are informed that Moses by a secret Kabala ordained the laws of Ben Salem, and are told "We are here in God's bosom, a land unknown."
"G." Idea, Primary Principle: All creation has developed through emanation from the En Soph. Remember, O remember, dear reader, En Soph constitutes one of the most important symbols in modern Freemasonry. The first degrees of that evolution are the ten Sephiroth, from the last of which Kingdom (Thy Kingdom come) developed the twenty-two letters of the [Hebrew] alphabet. Through the latter the whole finite world has come. These are dynamic powers, symbolized by the written signs we call letters. Since these powers are numbers, everything which has sprung from them is also number. Number is the essence of things.
Mr. Carey Lee of Philadelphia has written a strange little booklet entitled Equivalent Numbers of Elementary Bodies. In this he introduces the reader to a kind of Gematria in the realm of chemistry. Space allows of only short quotations. The author says:
It has been the object of this paper to develop as far as possible those universal relations existing between the atomic weights of elements, etc.
In this way, little by little, the materials are collected for future generalizations with the reasonable hope of eventually arriving at an intimate knowledge of the true constitution of the materials which compose our globe.
With the advent of Christianity there ensued a division in the realm of the Essenes. We do not deem it expedient to state particulars, to give details. There arose, there was born, a Christian Kabalism, a Greek Gematria.
The Rev. T. S. Lea, D.D., an English clergyman, informs us in his work entitled Gematria, that:
... it is during the last half of the 19th century that the complete connection of the earliest Christianity with Greek Mithraic and other mysteries has been brought to light. These mysteries have a connection, by no means unimportant, with the symbolism of names and numbers.
The same ... may be said of the Essenes, the Neopythagoreans and all the many embryonic forms of Gnosticism which were like microbes in the air, naturally infecting more or less every religious growth within their sphere or influence. The disputants of past generations were unaware of most of these things. Yet the Primitive Christian was an Initiate plainly enough and had a disciplini areani, even as other Initiates. But the Christian Mysteries were unique in that they brought with them the "open door," and offered an initiation of a more universal nature than was allowed in the Eleusinian and manifold other rites which are multiplying at and about the time of the formation of the first Christian society, etc.
There is very early Christian authority for this Gematria. In the gospel according to the Hebrews, quoted by Origen and St. Jerome. (See also Acts of St. Thomas.) Hence it will be seen that the phoneen eremo is the germ of the three-fold Logus plus the power of baptism, that being the second operation of the same power of the Trinity becomes manifest. It will be remembered in this connection that Ioannes stands for the triple Logos. Three is the number of the greatest and most profound of the Christian Mysteries.
Let us now come to an exemplification of the Hebrew Gematria. The sacred Tetragrammaton, the Name of God, I H V H as transliterated into our letters (of which Jehovah is the familiar form) may be integrated in many ways. The following four are the usual ones adopted. It must be remembered that in Hebrew and other Semitic languages, as was also the case in Greek, the letters of the alphabet were commonly used to represent numbers. Alph, the first letter, stood for one, beth, the second, for two, and so on. The later letters were used for tens, hundreds and thousands. In this way any group of letters might equally spell a word or represent a certain sum. The four chief ways of enumerating the sacred Name above mentioned are the following:
- Jot, Hei, Foif, He = 45.
- Yot, He, V. H. = 52.
- Yot, Hei, Foif, Hi = 63.
- Jot, H. V. H. = 72.
Vulliaud, a French author, gives the following:
Jave=26, Adonai=25, Ahih=61, Ja he donai=91, making a total of 203. And he says in respect to this, the passage has been freely translated:
This number, 203, is equivalent to the word "beer" or fountain (strictly speaking, a well) which numerically taken, Beth 2, Aleph 1, Resch 2000, which added together is 203. This word "beer" is the symbol of the fountain or spring from whence flows the love of God (Jehovah); the power of God (Adonai), the truth of God (Ehyeh) and so on.
The same author also informs us that it is from the Kabbalistic Science that:
... Christianity has drawn its dogmatic system, and very probably its ethics also the Essenico-Kabbalistic morality.
And he says further:
The word "Essaios" according to the most correct etymology is derived from the Syro-chaldaic word, assa, signifying, "to cure," and thus it gives us a literal translation of the Greek name Therapeutes, or in Latinized form, Therapeutae.
The Christian Greek Gematria may now be set forth. Some of these figures have been woven into the outer garments, and might be found in the innermost shrine of modern Freemasonry.
First; the name Ioannes (our name John). I=10, O=800, A=1, N=50, N=50, E=8, S=200, making a total, 1119.
Second; the name Iesous, which is the Greek form of Jesus. I=10, E=8, S=200, O=70, U=400, S=200, which makes 888. The letter represented by "o" in Ioannes is Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet. The "o" in Iesous is Omicron, the fifteenth, which explains the apparent inconsistency in numerical value.
The number 888 is the most significative found in the inner shrine. Eight has been called the Dominical number, it is found everywhere employed symbolically to convey the idea of Salvation, Perfecting and Regeneration; from the company of Noah onwards through the Bible, and it is nowhere more emphasized than in the name of the Lord, which teaches the doctrine of the perfected Humanity in the number 888 found in the name Iesous, which itself means Savior. There can be little doubt that this is the mystery to which Ireaeus alludes when he speaks of the "numbering of the name of Jesus."
* * *
THE PASSING OF RAE J. LEMERT
Bro. Ernest E. Murray, Montana
THE physical organism of Bro. Rae Lemert ceased to function on March 28; the mind and the soul lives and passed on to the next sphere of the immortal cycle.
There is no death and he had no fear of it, but rather looked forward to his journey. On this earthly pilgrimage there were but two great affections to make a desire to remain and work and fight — his great affection for his wife and an equally great one for Masonry and the Masonic Fraternity. Which of these two an actions were the greater he probably could not have himself decided. Had he been given the choice where to die — either in the arms of his wife or actively engaged on Masonic work — the writer, who knew them both so well, believes he would have chosen the former, but it was decreed otherwise.
It is doubtful if a more dramatic passing for such a man could have arisen. Taking part in the Scottish Rite ceremony of extinguishing the lights, within the hour his own earthly light was extinguished and the Masonic Fraternity, the world over, had lost one of its great intellectual lights. At the close of the ceremony during the celebration of the Passover, when the brethren partook of a small piece of cold lamb and unleavened bread, he was seen to quietly fall forward in his seat. Mrs. Lemert was instantly summoned and arrived. Although medical men who were present endeavored to restore breathing, it was useless. Bro. Lemert had been called.
That he should be called at the partaking of this simple meal is likewise dramatic and significant, for he appeared to have no delights of the table — to him simple food to sustain life was all he desired and chose. Neither did he have any desire for the simplest luxuries. Giving only such time as was necessary to his profession, he worked incessantly for Masonry. With limited means he took over the Montana Mason, knowing that it involved a great amount of work and the practical certainty of losing money. Most of the writing of articles was done by him and are treasured by the scholars of the Craft. He has left behind him a mass of manuscript, including a history of Freemasonry, as the result of many years of intense research. He possessed one of the finest private Masonic libraries extant.
The term "genius" is often lightly used, but only that word fitly described him. Possessing a most remarkable memory and an amazing reader, he had such an intimate knowledge of the contents of his books that he could instantly clinch a question by turning to the passage closing the point from any of his books. Many of his books are beyond price. He once remarked to the writer that whatever book he desired he always, somehow, came into possession of it; how such possession came about was often uncanny.
To the outside world he was always the "good fellow" and strove not to appear to his brethren in any way conscious of any mental superiority, for anything approaching flattery or ordinary praise of his abilities was abhorrent to him. Always he worked wholeheartedly for the Craft and the principles of Scottish Rite Masonry. He was a man of many parts, an attorney-at-law, a certified public accountant, a chemist of high attainment, well versed in ethnology and anthropology, a Bachelor of Arts at the age of 16, an accomplished linguist, writing fluently in French, Spanish, Italian, German and Hebrew, and no mean knowledge of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. He possessed a great collection of old coins aggregating great value which he started as a boy.
Those who knew him personally loved him and he loved them. They keenly mourn their loss, Ichabod. The Fraternity as a whole are not aware of the great loss they have sustained.
He held high rank in all the Masonic bodies with the single exception of the Knights Templar, which he did not join, for there were parts of the ritual which did not coincide with his religious views. Although not orthodox in his beliefs, he joined the Baptist church, as he considered it incumbent for all Masons, as he told the writer, to be affiliated with and attend some church.
He took pride (if such a word can be applied in a man of his character) in being a Mason of the 33° — no greater Scottish Rite Mason ever lived with the exception of Albert Pike, whom he held in the greatest reverence.
His funeral was conducted by the Grand Lodge of Montana, where he held the office of Grand Historian. The attendance at the funeral service, which was held in the Scottish Rite Temple at Helena, Mont., filling it to capacity, bore testimony to the respect in which he was held.
But, as the sprig of Acacia is the symbol, although he has departed our midst, his good works will thrive and benefit mankind.
* * *
AMERICAN ARMY LODGES IN THE WORLD WAR
Sea and Field Lodge No. 4, Overseas, at Marseilles, France
Bro. Charles F. Irwin, Associate Editor
A CAREFUL study of the map of France is necessary to the Masonic student of the World War who would have any understanding of the intricate problems forced upon the Allies by the immense frontage on which they faced the enemy, the enormous tonnage of munitions, supplies of food and equipment, and the transportation of troops, with the consequent overcrowding of all the available ports with the ever-increasing thousands of men not only from America, but also from Africa, South America and the East. Every point in the social register was touched in this mad, this titanic activity.
The entrance doors to France were to the North, the West and the South. Those to the North, such as Cherbourg and Le Havre, Boulogne and Calais, must be kept open in the main for the movement of the British troops and supplies; while Marseilles to the South was required for the movement of troops from the Mediterranean and Africa.
This left the three main western gateways for the unrestricted entry of the American troops and supplies, namely, Brest, St. Nazaire and Bordeaux. However, Le Havre and Marseilles were also utilized for the handling of American men and materials.
The Overseas Masonic Mission with Justice Scudder at its head, made a thorough survey of the situation from a Masonic standpoint. A careful study of their movements deepens our admiration for their grasp on the strategic values of the situation. And the indications are plain that their attention was very early attracted to the need and opportunity for Masonic work in these ports of entry and departure. Thousands of the Craft had been constantly coming and going through these gateways and many more were stationary in the permanent staff of these bases.
The reports which the Mission submitted to the Grand Lodge of New York in 1920 indicates clearly that Marseilles came under their observation very soon after they established headquarters in Paris. The story of the Masonic activities in Marseilles is set down also in several accounts rendered by W. Bro. Charles T. Arreghi, Master of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, Overseas, situated at Marseilles.
On March 12, 1919, Bros. Thomas Channing Moore and Merwin W. Lay, of the Overseas Mission, proceeded to Marseilles and got into touch with the active Masons at that base. They found a Masonic Club which was attempting to hold the interest of the members of the Craft sojourning there. Their stay in Marseilles was long enough to enable them to visit the several camps outside the city and to observe the conditions, social, military and fraternal. On their return to Paris they made an exhaustive report to the full Mission, as a result of which it was decided to investigate still further the situation in that base. Consequently Bro. W. C. Prime proceeded to Marseilles, where he went over the whole situation with a view to the placing of one of the Warrants therein. Bro. Prime arrived at Marseilles on April 9, 1919, and eventually delivered into the hands of Bro. Charles M. Conant, the Y.M.C.A. Secretary there, the warrant for SEA AND FIELD LODGE, No. 4, Overseas. Turning now to the report of Bro. Townsend Scudder in the 1920 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New York (page 193), we read:
The Cathedral and Fort St. Jean across the harbor.
I instituted Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, at Marseilles, with Wor. Chas. T. Arreghi, of New York, as Wor. Master — which sat 21 times at the Temple of the Grand Orient, 24 Rue Piscatoris, and conferred the degrees on 142 candidates, which included 5 accommodated by courtesy for other Lodges. Its first session was April 16th, 1919, and its last June 4, 1919.
I have before me several accounts of the forming and operation of this Lodge. Some of them are from the pen of Wor. Bro. Arreghi. The earliest is a clipping from the Masonic Standard of May 5, 1919. It is entitled "Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4." Another was published in THE BUILDER for May, 1920. This was reproduced verbatim in the History of Masonry in the World War compiled by my very dear friend and brother, Alexander P. Anderson, of Brooklyn, New York. Bro. Anderson, by the way, was the originator and active directing personality in the "Granite Club" aboard the U.S.S. New Hampshire, during the War. This Club has a most interesting record and furnished Masons en route to and from France with Masonic entertainment. We owe much of our collection of data to Bro. Anderson's cooperation. Bro. Jesse R. Ayer, of Michigan, who served as one of the officers in this Lodge, provided us (through the kindness of Bro. James G. Frey, Editor of The American Tyler-Keystone) with a very valuable account of this Lodge, in which he served as Junior Warden.
Before giving these original accounts I wish to remind the Masonic reader of the conditions prevailing in this seaport, Marseilles. The picture is a dark one. But we must remember that all seaports contain sinister elements and Marseilles was overcrowded to exhaustion during the World War and much transpired there during the war which could not exist in times of peace. It is only just to our French Allies to keep in mind that her manpower was drained almost to the vanishing point, and that consequently she had to utilize her older men, and often inferior material, to police the sections far from the battle front. This condition impressed itself more and more upon us as we came into contact with various sections of her country during the struggle.
In the Masonic Standard for May 31, 1919, appears a communication from W. Bro. Chas. T. Arreghi, P.M. of Howard Lodge 35, to W. Bro. Harold W. Stimpson, from which the following is taken:
Marseilles, France, April 22. Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, of Marseilles, had its first real meeting last night, and it was a complete success. Notwithstanding the great variations of ritual among the offers, everything went off like clockwork and the ceremonies were dignified and impressive. You can understand what variations would exist, as I in the East hailed from New York, the Senior Warden from California, Junior Warden from Michigan, Senior Deacon from Texas, Junior Deacon from Kansas, and Senior Master of Ceremonies from Texas. Forty-five members were elected and 35 of them were initiated in full form.
We were up against it for furnishings, but army efficiency overcame the difficulties. The Aprons were made by the Salvage Corps women — the Square and Compasses by one of our mechanics who fashioned them out of iron — for an Altar we used a triangular shaped desk, and the Master wore as his Jewel the Past Master's medallion donated him by Howard Lodge (35, NY). The candidates were received in bunches of ten, nine and seven.
One incident would have tickled the risibilities of Howard members. Le Grand Venerable Monsieur Mognier was received by me in the East. He is the head of the 30, 31, 32 and 33 (degrees) Masons here and a most important Masonic official. I greeted him after an introduction by the Senior Warden, Bro. Conant, and thanked him for all the courtesies we had received from our French brothers. Then I ordered the Grand Honors and presented him with the gavel. He responded through an interpreter stating how delighted the French Masons were to extend to their American Brothers what hospitality they could offer and assured us of their highest esteem. Then, much to my embarrassment he embraced me before all the Lodge, and kissed me four times on the cheeks. To the credit of the Lodge, be it said, they viewed this demonstration with proper decorum. The room was well filled, there being, beside the seven charter members, about 60 visiting American Brothers and 15 French Brothers, which made a total of 117. We now have over $500.00 in the treasury; so we are quite prosperous and contemplate giving the French Brothers a dinner later on as a mark of appreciation.
In the article in THE BUILDER already mentioned, Bro. Arreghi gives a more expanded account which is here reproduced to make the present series complete:
"One day in November, 1918, in the ancient, dirty and over-populated city of Marseilles, France, four Americans were in the Officers' Mess Room in the buildings facing the Place Victor Hugo, which formerly was the home of the Faculte des Sciences, and later used as barracks for French-Algerian troops, and at that time being used as Base Headquarters of Section No. 6, A.E.F.
"The four Americans were known to each other as Master Masons and consisted of Major Charles T. Arreghi, a Past Master of Howard Lodge, No. 35, New York; the Y.M.C.A. Secretary of the Section, Charles M. Conant, of Amicable Lodge, Cambridge, Mass.; Major Basil G. Squier, of Manila Lodge, No. 1, Manila, P.I., and Capt. Alex. H. Fairchild, of McAllen Lodge, No. 1110, McAllen, Texas. The conversation had turned on the subject of instituting Masonic activities in Marseilles a growing demand for such an undertaking having become noticeable. Bro. Arreghi stated he had written to his home Lodge inquiring as to the possibility of securing a charter from the Grand Lodge of New York State and had received a reply informing him that efforts were being made to comply with his request and also that a Masonic Commission was endeavoring to secure permission to come overseas for the purpose of starting Masonic activities.
"This meeting led to further informal meetings and talks by the four brothers, to which were invited other enthusiastic Masons. Bro. Conant then conceived the idea of a Masonic Club, and working along these lines got in touch with local French Masons who most generously offered the use of the French Masonic Temple at 24 rue Piseatoris, which had housed several ancient French Lodges, some for a continuous period of seventy-five years. The French Lodges whose home was here were "Parfaite Sincerite", founded in 1767; "Reunion des Amis Choises", 1801; "Phare de la Renaissance", 1859; "Parfaite Union", 1863; "Verite-Reforme", 1875; "Amis du Travail", 1882. The years stated are the years in which these Lodges were founded as Free and Accepted Masons, but most of them were outgrowths of more ancient Operative Masonic Societies and direct descendants of such. This building was admirably situated for the new Club, being convenient to all sections of the city where the Americans were stationed. Rue Piscatoris is a very narrow, winding street, reached from Cours Lita Litand, one of the main thoroughfares, by a series of stone stairs of varying steps, the ascent of which reminded the brothers of their progress in the Second Degree to the famous Middle Chamber.
"Arriving at the door of Number 24, one mounted another stone stairs which brought him to an open courtyard furnished with tables and chairs, and which became a most popular rendezvous where the brothers could sit warm evenings, converse and indulge in light refreshments.
"To the right of the courtyard was a door entering into the building proper, opening which one found himself in a comfortable sized room, also equipped with tables and chairs which was used by the French brethren for social purposes. The walls bore many bulletin boards of the various lodges, Masonic pictures, portraits and devices. At one end of the room was a small stage and piano. To the left of this stage was an anteroom that led to the lodge room.
"It was in the banquet hall, as the first described room was known, there was held on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, 1918, the first meeting of the 'A.E.F. Masonic Club of Marseilles', with Bro. Charles M. Conant as President and Treasurer, and Bro. Fred. G. Redwine as Secretary. Anyone who could prove either by examination or the presentation of membership cards or certificate that he was a Mason, was eligible for admission and at this first meeting there were about 150 American Masons present. A subscription was taken up for the purposes of entertainment and the evening was most pleasantly passed in this 'get-together' meeting. Refreshments in the shape of sandwiches and coffee were procured from the Base Commissary, supplemented by various light beverages procured from the French brothers charged with the care of the establishment.
"This meeting was but the first of a series of such gatherings. The room was available for use by the Americans three times a week, and every Wednesday night an entertainment or dance was given, the talent for the entertainments being furnished by Bro. Conant, from the various Y.M.C.A. entertainers that happened to be in town at the time. The club was a success from the start. The meetings were well patronized by American Masons and on entertainment nights the room was usually packed to the doors.
"Many Americans, brought to these entertainments by their Masonic friends, witnessing the good-fellowship and perfect harmony existing, became interested and the demand for a chartered Lodge grew stronger and stronger. Bro. Arreghi in the meanwhile had been corresponding with brothers in the States in an endeavor to secure the necessary authority to confer degrees, but delays in postal transit prevented a speedy accomplishment of his request. Finally not until March, 1919, he received a letter from R.W.T. Channing Moore, who informed him that he, together with M. W. Townsend Scudder, Past Grand Master of the State of New York, as Chairman; R.W.W.C. Prime; R. W. George S. Goodrich and R. W. Merwin W. Lay, were in Paris, having come from the United States under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A., as a Masonic Commission to investigate conditions and further the Masonic work in the A.E.F. A few days later, Bro. Moore and Bro. Goodrich arrived in Marseilles and were presented to the Club, whom they informed that a Dispensation would be granted for a Lodge in Marseilles. This good news was joyfully received and it seemed as though the ambition of the brothers in Marseilles would be realized.
"But alas, the inevitable flies appeared in the ointment, for two weeks later Bro. Prime arrived with the Dispensation. He was also the bearer of the news that the Dispensation could only be used under prewar restrictions; that only classes of not more than five could be initiated, passed and raised at a time; that two weeks must elapse between degrees; and that candidates hailing from homes outside of the States of New York, Massachusetts and Oregon would have to receive the consent of their home jurisdictions before degrees could be conferred upon them. This in view of the fact that it was probable that the Base would be evacuated by the American Forces in two or three months meant that only a few candidates could be accepted, and after a conference between Bros. Prime, Arreghi, Conant and Hood, it was decided with deep regret not to accept the Dispensation.
"Bro. Prime returned to Paris with the document, but the disappointment as voiced throughout the American Forces was so intense that Bro. Conant made a hurried trip to Paris, and after an interview with Bro. Scudder, in which the situation was explained to him, all the objectionable restrictions were eliminated, and Bro. Conant returned in triumph to Marseilles, the proud bearer of the Dispensation.
"No delay was made in calling a meeting of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, and it was held in the Lodge Room of the Masonic Temple, on the evening of April 16, 1919 the Charter Members being:
- W.M. — Charles T. Arreghi, of New York
- S.W. — Charles M. Conant, of Massachusetts
- J.W. — Bishop E. Shirey, of Pennsylvania
- Treas. — Clarence E. Mayo, of Oklahoma
- Secy. — William F. Hood, of Wisconsin
- S.D. — John Bonner, of Texas
- J.D. — Carrol E. Griffin, of Montana.
"In addition to the above-mentioned officers, the Worshipful Master appointed the following:
- S.M.C. — Alex. H. Fairchild, of Texas;
- J.M.C. — Jesse R. Ayer, of Michigan
- S.S. — Hiram Jennings, of California
- J.S. — John C. Fletcher, of North Carolina
- Tiler — Allison Webb, of Ohio.
"This first meeting was devoted to organizing and installing the various officers. On account of the temporary nature of the Lodge, the Initiation Fee was fixed at the minimum, $20.00 with no dues, as the expenses being light, no rent to be paid, etc., it was not desired to make the initiation burdensome on the applicants, many of whom were dependent on their meagre army pay. It was ruled by the Master that in as much as service abroad deprived a man of his franchise as a voter, he therefore temporarily was without United States residence and could justly claim his station as his residence and that applications would be based on these premises.
"It was decided that the seven charter members would constitute an examining committee to pass on applicants and that the applicant should be judged as to fitness for membership from personal examination, his army record and the testimony of his comrades. On account of the various jurisdictions from which the officers of the Lodge hailed and the variation in ritual, it necessitated, as the Lodge was operating under a New York Dispensation, that they conform to the work standard in New York State. This caused a little raggedness in the rendition of the ritual at first but the rough spots were soon ironed out by little practice.
"Paraphernalia was loaned by the French but owing to the absence of an Altar, one had to be improvised out of a desk belonging to one of the minor French officers. The Bible was furnished by the Y.M.C.A. and the Square and Compasses hand-hammered out of steel by Bro. Bonner. The Aprons were made by the seamstresses of the Base Salvage Repair Shop and the Costumes of the Initiates were obtained from the same sources.
"Thirty-one applications for Initiation were acted upon, all having been thoroughly investigated; also forty (40) applications for affiliation. Affiliation in Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, being only temporary it did not affect the status of the affiliate in his home Lodge.
"The second meeting, at which the first degree work was performed, was held on April 21, with the Wor. Master Charles T. Arreghi in the East and all the officers at their respective stations. Shortly after the opening it was announced that the Venerable Grand Maitre Aime Mognier, 33°, and head of all the Masonic activities of southern France, sought admittance. He was received, together with a delegation consisting of Masters of the local Lodges, by the Master who made an address of welcome in French, necessarily short as he was not exactly a fluent speaker of that language. Bro. Mognier responded, translated as follows:
It is indeed a pleasure and an honor for me to be present at the first meeting of the American Lodge, No. 4, Sea and Field. As a member of the Council of the Grand Orient, of France, and as Worshipful Master of a Lodge of the Orient at Marseilles I assure you, my dear brethren of our entire fraternal affection. As we declared to you on the occasion of your first visit and reception at the solemn meeting of the French Rite, it is with all our hearts that we offer you in its entirety the halls of the Masonic Lodges of the Grand Orient of France. In the name of the Grand Orient of France I salute your Worshipful Master your Worthy Officers, and you, my brethren. Our affection for America is already of long standing and today since this frightful war has permitted you to know us better, we hope that sentiments of a new and great reciprocal affection will be established between us and that our relations will be of intimate friendliness. To the glory of our Masonic ancestors, American and French, our heart is with you.
"At the conclusion of his remarks, Bro. Mognier embraced the Master and saluted him with a kiss on each cheek, in due French form, which rather unexpected honor was bravely borne by the embarrassed Master. After the Grand Honors were given the distinguished visitors were seated in the East and the meeting was continued.
"During the work, 35 candidates were initiated in full form. For the first section they were disposed of in batches of ten, nine, nine and seven. The second section was performed on one only, the others being seated west of the Altar where they could benefit by the instruction.
"Notwithstanding the unfamiliarity of some of the officers with the standard New York work, the degree was presented in a dignified and impressive manner, the trifling irregularities in ritual which existed proving to be no impediment to the effective performance of the ceremonies. At this meeting there were present the seven charter members, fifty brethren who had all been duly examined and vouched for, thirty-five candidates, and fourteen visiting French brothers, a total of 106. Receipts for the evening were $550.00, quite a fair start financially for the infant Lodge. After the meeting all adjourned to the banquet room, where a supper of sandwiches, cheese and coffee was furnished and the balance of the evening was passed in social intercourse.
"Up to and including the last meeting on June 4, there were 21 stated communications and three special meetings. June 4 was the last meeting, as Bro. Arreghi was to sail for the United States on June 7 and the Dispensation had been granted with the understanding that the Charter would lapse with his withdrawal from Marseilles; also the city was being evacuated as an American Base. Before closing the Lodge sine die, a contribution of 2000 francs to the French Masonic Building Fund was made as part recognition of their great hospitality and use of their Temple free of rent. An artistic and appropriate memorial done by one of the local artists was framed and also presented to the French Lodges.
"Notwithstanding these expenses, the cost of several entertainments, the usual expenses of a Lodge for printing, etc., and the small fee charged for membership, there was finally at the close of the Lodge, turned over to the Grand Lodge of New York, in addition to the percentage of fees due the Grand Lodge, the sum of $678.00 to be added to the Charity Fund, or to be devoted to such other purposes as the Grand Master saw fit.
"The net results as to the activities of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, in respect to creating Masons were that 137 candidates were initiated, passed and raised; 5 candidates were passed and raised for other Lodges and 140 brethren temporarily affiliated, which with the original charter members of seven, made a total of 289 members after an existence of exactly seven weeks. Materially, it is evident that the Lodge prospered. Morally and spiritually it is also evident that the Lodge was an instrument of great good. Marseilles even in peace times has an atmosphere not tending toward right living, which was greatly magnified by wartime conditions. The city was congested, its normal population of 500,000 being more than doubled by the great influx of troops from all parts of the globe French and British Colonials, black and white, Asiatics, Brazilians, Americans, swarms of refugees from the devastated parts of France, and riffraff from Paris, the shores of the Mediterranean, Spain and Italy. It made the city a veritable rabbit warren of things unclean in person and mind, where vice of the most loathsome kind and crime of all varieties flourished and human life, let alone morals, wasn't worth a sou.
"In this plague-spot of rotton and noisome influences, Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, proved a haven of cleaned wholesome character, where Masons and their friends could meet in pleasant surroundings and be free from the degrading and revolting influences of the city. In that Lodge Room, as Masons they met and conversed and as many testified it was the nearest approach to 'home' that they had encountered since their arrival on those alien shores. Here it was that they all met on that common level of true Masonic democracy where the humblest private could talk as man to man to his colonel without the restrictions of military regulation, and in this way better understanding and closer relations were established. The Lodge exerted a wholesome effect on the entire American establishment in that section, and operating as it did in those weary, homesick days existing between the Armistice and the actual return home, it proved a steadying and uplifting influence to a sagging morale."
Bro. Jesse R. Ayer, in a letter written in the fall of 1928, had this to say about this Lodge:
Transferred to Marseilles, I soon found that the Grand Lodge of the State of New York had issued a dispensation for forming "Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, U.D." and was welcomed with open arms. The original Junior Warden was from Pennsylvania, but he became doubtful of the attitude of his own Grand Lodge, especially when he found New York had granted a dispensation allowing the exchange of fraternal courtesies with the Grand Orient of France for the time being. The Master of No. 4 asked me to fill the chair (of J.W.), and it resulted in some of the pleasantest hours I spent in France. Faced by the differences in state rituals, we were a little discouraged as the Master was a P.M. of New York; the S.W. from Los Angeles; the J.W. (myself) from Michigan, and the S.D. from Texas. Experience on the Visitors' Committee at home induced me to advise the W.M. to start the First Degree, and the subordinate officers had an answer for every question but two, through to the end of the Third. Their words were not always just what the W.M. expected but they were good Masonry, and it worked. And when I quoted the Michigan Apron Lecture, and the Secretary (Wisconsin) vouched for it, we were directed that thereafter the Junior Warden or the Secretary would always present the Apron! We met three times a week with an attendance of from 50 to 200 and the visitors. More than once I have seen tears in the eyes of men who had not as they said been "so close to home" in months, or in years.
We met in the French Temple half way up the rue Piscatoris and the French brothers were all that could be fraternal. But on one memorable night the French Tyler was gone, had taken the key, and two Great Lights were missing. We were a bit beyond the two half-opened knives used at Is-sur-Tille, but I had in my pocket the embossed match safe I carried away from the dance at St. Nazaire. It was the work of a moment to pry off the embossing, and voila! — the work was on! Three (I think) Entered Apprentices were admitted that night and proved good Craftsmen.
Our officers' jewels were made to represent an army officers' identification bracelet, gold plated and inscribed, and I have mine yet. And I still have and cherish my NE VARIETUR, issued by Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, U D., Marseilles, France.
The latest reference to this lodge that I have found is the report of the Master, W. Bro. Arreghi, to the Overseas Masonic Mission, which is included in the report of the latter already referred to in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New York for 1920. Bro. Arreghi stated that "the Warrant and all the records had been surrendered to the Grand Secretary, the regular annual report required of lodges duly made, and dues paid up on one hundred and thirty-seven members. The surplus in the treasury had been turned over to the War Relief Fund. The same procedure was followed in respect to the remaining members as in the other Overseas Lodges, the members were transferred to Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, to the number of ninety-two, forty-six having dimitted previous to this."
The following is a copy of the Dispensation under which Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, Marseilles, France, worked:
SIT LUX ET LUX FUIT.
William S. Farmer, Grand Master.
I, William S. Farmer, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, do, by these presents, appoint, authorize and empower our
Worthy Brother, Charles T. Arreghi, New York, to be the Master, our Worthy Brother, Charles M. Conant, Mass., to be the S.W. Our Worthy Brother, Jesse R. Ayer, Michigan, to be our J.W., our Worthy Brother, Clarence E. Mayo, Oklahoma, to be our Treas., our Worthy Brother, William F. Hood, Wisconsin, to be our Secy., our Worthy Brother, John Bonner, Texas, to be our S.D., our Worthy Brother Carrol E. Griffith, Montana, to be our J.D., of a Sea and Field Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be by virtue hereof, constituted, formed and held at Marseilles, France, and elsewhere overseas as may be convenient and necessary, which Lodge shall be distinguished and known by the name and style of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, overseas.
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 labor as may be necessary and requisite, subject to my approval and subject as hereinafter set forth.
And further the said Lodge is hereby invested with full power and authority to assemble on all proper and lawful occasions and to elect and confer the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry or any or either thereof upon candidates who have actually enlisted or been drafted or commissioned officers in the United States Forces in the present great war, on payment of Twenty Dollars — conforming in all respects and at all times to the provisions of the Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York and to the standard ritual prescribed thereby, 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 or warranted Lodge.
Said Lodge shall have a seal and shall have and keep all books required to be kept by regular Lodges in the State of New York, 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 14th day of December, in the year of our Lord, One thousand nine hundred and eighteen, and in the year of Masonry, Five thousand nine hundred and eighteen.
William S. Farmer, Grand Master.
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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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R. J. LEMERT
DEATH seems to be busy among Masonic scholars. Last month we had to announce the decease of Bros. J. Walter Hobbs and Bascom Clark; this month it is Bro. R. J. Lemert.
At the request of the editor, Bro. E. E. Murray, a close friend of Bro. Lemert, has prepared a brief account of his life and work, which will be found on another page. We may add here the details of his Masonic connections, for which we are also indebted to Bro. Murray.
Bro. Lemert was a Past Master of King Solomon Lodge, No. 9, of Helena, Mont. He was a member of Helena Chapter, No. 2, R.A.M. He had twice served as Thrice Illustrious Master of Helena Council, No. 1, Royal and Select Masters. He was a charter member of Helena Consistory, No. 3, A.&A.S.R., and was the first Wise Master of Helena Chapter of Rose Croix. He had received the Thirty-third and last degree of the A.&A.S.R. He was also Recorder of Algeria Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., and was a member of Miriam Chapter, O.E.S., both of Helena, Mont.
A number of years ago he took over the Montana Mason, which he made one of the small group of really worth while Masonic journals in America. This task was undertaken in addition to the carrying on of his professional work.
It is possible that in some quarters Bro. Lemert's ability was underestimated on account of his interest in what is loosely known as "occultism." This has often been the fate of men who went against the fashionable line of thought of their day. But whatever judgment may be passed on this point, it is certain that American Masonry has lost a great student, a keen thinker and an able and incisive writer. A loss that it can ill afford to sustain.
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THOSE who are not actively engaged in the effort to promote Masonic education find it hard to understand many of the problems which must be faced. There is no denying, for example, of the fact that the forty-nine Grand Lodges in the United States are extremely jealous of their own traditions and laws. No one of them but has its own particular fetish of ritual. They do not criticise too severely the differences in ritual that are known to exist, but they do tacitly adopt the stand that the ritual as practiced in their own jurisdiction is the one and only authentic one, and that the others in so far as they differ from this, contain innovations which should not be adopted. In a national sense, therefore, it is a problem of how to treat matters of ritual so that no one will be disgruntled. Another thing exceedingly hard to counteract is the mass of fallacies which has been foisted upon the Masonic public by so many writers and speakers. Unfortunately such misinformation is to be found in the pages of many Masonic books regarded as authoritative. The great mass of people are inclined to accept the words which appear on the printed page as gospel. Our method of counteracting this situation is to quote several conflicting points of view and depend upon the individual's sense of proportion to decide which is the correct one. We endeavor to lead him into the right path, and to teach him how to avoid the pitfalls of misinformation by furnishing only such material as has some foundation in fact. Teaching, in this way, to weigh evidence before reaching conclusions is the only method by which we can discount the dogmatic assertions of would-be prophets with more self-confidence than knowledge. But the most difficult thing of all is to overcome the apathy of the Masonic public in general. The great numbers do not seem to have any interest in getting at the root of a problem but are willing to take anything that is said as truth.
Those of us who are interested in the promulgation of Masonic truth are frequently confronted with the same type of insidious persecution that has been, and is, prevalent in ecclesiastical and even academic circles. It is taken for granted in any sort of scientific work that the research student is about "ten jumps" ahead of public opinion. How true that is may be illustrated by an occurrence of nearly a century ago. A few years after the opening of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad a group of school children in Ohio chose as a subject for debate the following proposition: "Resolved, that the railroad is a more practicable means of transportation than the rivers." The authorities forbad the discussion on the grounds that it was sacrilegious to make comparisons between the work of God and the work of man. Apparently it did not once occur to these ardent religionists that there was another point of view entirely compatible with their religious tendencies, and that was to the effect that the railroad was the work of God through his instrument, man. That the whole thing was utterly foolish will be granted by every thinking person today.
That same mild form of insanity is being foisted upon the Masonic public today. It frequently happens that an effort is made to define that portion of the Masonic ritual which demands a belief in God. A Liberal cites his views, and that of people of similar bent. Some Conservative immediately wants him thrown out of the Order. The writer has had such an experience. If called upon to defend his position he, as a Liberal, would base his defense upon the premise that each Mason is entitled to worship God according to his own opinion and belief. There is another thing which should have some weight, and that is the old regulation which encouraged Masons to adopt the religion of the country in which they were working. Deep under the surface the question is resolved into a plea for tolerance. There is no reason for one Mason to make an effort to thrust his views upon another. To return to the educational significance of the thing — Masonic educators who hold to the liberal views are liable to find themselves opposed by the conservatives. The argument simmers down, in the last analysis, to the question of Masonic law. The scholar who is in a much better position to know the legal phases of the matter is often worsted in argument, but not because he is wrong, but that he prefers to accede to some petty demand in order not to sacrifice a higher ideal.
A pertinent illustration of what is meant is to be found in the recent action of the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri in suspending from its faculty Dr. Max F. Meyer and in summarily dismissing Dr. H. O. DeGraff (who incidentally is a member of the Fraternity) and a student assistant in Psychology. The cause of this action was the circulation of a questionnaire designed to furnish the material for a research paper for a class taught by Dr. DeGraff. Some of the questions were of an intimate character and dealt with relations between the sexes. It must be understood that the questionnaires were to be anonymously answered, that there was no compulsion to answer, and that the preface left ample room for any sort of an answer the recipient chose to give. Twenty-five years ago such a questionnaire circulated among young people would have been thought impertinent and perhaps even insulting. The young people of today would not consider it so. Persons who were young at the opening of the present century are considering the matter in the same light as they would have considered it during their younger days. They have not kept up with the changing atmosphere of thought. It is unfortunate that men of this calibre should sit in judgment in such a case; that they did, is amply shown by the action of the board.
It may be asked, what has this to do with Masonic education? Simply this; we have just as many men sitting in judgment on Masonic scholars, whose thinking is centered in the past as we have in profane education. They do not know, or perhaps do not want to know, that the world has moved; that much water has gone under bridges; and that much evidence is now available which had not been unearthed when the authorities on whom they depend were active. Views of Masonic history are much changed, we now have facts where only speculation existed before. Why such a lack of progressive thinking should exist is hard to explain, but there is no denying its reality and there is no denying its hampering influence on Masonic scholarship.
The conservation of truth, and the propagation of that truth, is one of the sublimest objects of Freemasonry. The love of tradition is so strong in Masonic circles that a custom once thought to have a foundation in fact remains a fetish regardless of how thoroughly scholars have proven its falsity. When a Masonic student mentions one of these fetishes as a falsity, he is heretical and should be expelled from the Order. We hold to the desirability of truth and we plead for the acceptance of it, but like the scientist or the religionist, if Masonic scholars step ahead of Masonic public opinion they are, if not persecuted, condemned and burned at the stake, at least denounced as innovators, destroyers of tradition, and as unfit for association with their brethren. Such may be the situation in spite of the fact that the scholar is making a serious effort to replace a modern innovation by a really ancient custom or usage, and much more in accord with Masonic tradition.
Masonic scholars may practice to the utmost three of the cardinal virtues. They must, or should be temperate in their views; prudent in accepting evidence. They must practice fortitude when they see their theses scorned by those ignorant of the facts; but they must beg for justice from those who hear what they have to say.
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THE ONLY TWO WAYS TO WRITE A STORY. By John Gallishaw. Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. Cloth, Table of Contents, vii, 486 pages. 6 x 2 x 9½ inches. Price $5.25.
Mr. Gallishaw has trained, examined and compared short story writers for over ten years. The result of this laboratory work is Mr. Gallishaw's assertion: "There are only two ways to write a story."
The book follows the case method of teaching that has been found so fruitful in the study of law. The text includes stories by some of the best writers of the day. Aside from its value as a text for those learning to write it is interesting reading for the case content.
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WHY ARE YOU A MASON?
Bro. Herbert Hungerford
A Personal Challenge From the Campaign Manager of the Masonic Study Club Movement to Every Brother Who Really Relieves in Practicing the Art of Freemasonry.
YOU might regard this as sort of an inaugural address in appreciation of my appointment as Campaign Manager of the Masonic Study Club Movement and chairman of the Masonic Study Club Forum of THE BUILDER. At any rate, you may rest assured that, after this opening address, it is my intention to devote most of the space allotted to this department to contributions from those who may offer ideas, suggestions and experiences for the practical advancement of Masonic education through Study Clubs.
It is fitting and proper, however, that I should, in accepting the responsibility of leadership in such an important endeavor, make some statement of my personal views as to the purpose, plans and possible programs of the work in which we are mutually engaging.
Even as I accept this appointment as a personal challenge for me to employ my abilities and experience on behalf of the betterment of Freemasonry through the encouragement and extension of Masonic education, so I am passing along to you the challenge of this service as your individual opportunity to do your bit in furthering the Masonic Study Club Movement.
In putting up to you personally the question, Why are you a Mason? I do not wish to be considered impertinent, but simply desirous of bringing this matter to you as a personal responsibility. Your reasons for joining the Masonic Fraternity, probably, will determine your attitude towards the Craft.
WHY EVERY MASON SHOULD STUDY MASONRY
My question might have been put even more bluntly by asking, What kind of a Mason are you? or, I might have toned it down more politely by inquiring, What does your Masonry mean to you? But, all I am driving at is to stimulate a little self-inquiry on your part as to whether and to what extent you really believe in personally practicing the art of Freemasonry.
If your Masonry means something more than a passing impulse or fancy on your part, you certainly must be interested in any endeavor which promises to aid you "to improve yourself in Masonry."
Without reservations, I claim that the Masonic Study Club Movement affords every member of the Craft who sincerely desires to improve himself in Masonry one of the most certain and fruitful means of individual improvement and general Masonic advancement.
You are well aware of the fact that, in order to become a Mason, you were obliged to study to prepare yourself for the initiatory rites of the order. If you observed those rites carefully, you must also be aware of the fact that it was by no means the intention of the founders of the Fraternity that your study of the purposes and principles of the Order should cease as soon as you were admitted to the inner fold. On the contrary, since nearly every admonition you received during your advancement through the Degrees of Masonry impressed the fact that you were engaging yourself into an art to be practiced, you surely could not overlook the direct implication that this must mean that your Masonic study ought to be continued even more diligently after you assumed the obligations and responsibilities of membership in the Craft.
However, I would not have you consider your relations to the Masonic Study Club Movement merely from the standpoint of your personal obligation or responsibility. Rather, I would have you regard the opportunity you are offered of organizing, acting as leader, or simply enrolling as a member of a Masonic Study Club as one of the choicest privileges that you may possibly gain from your membership in our great Fraternity.
PLEASURE AND PROFIT TO BE GAINED
To really appreciate Freemasonry, you should supplement the knowledge you gain through its impressive ceremonials by some study of the origin and development of these ceremonials and their symbolic meaning. Likewise, to gain a clear conception of what Freemasonry stands for and how it is related to all the problems of life, you should study something of the great historical background and the inspiring achievements that Masonry has made during its long and honorable career.
The consensus of opinion among thoughtful observers is that character, influence and happiness which, when properly combined, constitute the best achievement of success in life, can be gained only through the discovery and development of a personal philosophy of life. To build character, wield influence and enjoy happiness you must develop a fairly clear conception of the meaning of life and your relations to your world.
I mention this in order that I may offer personal testimony to the fact that, through my study of Freemasonry, I have discovered and developed a most inspiring and soul-satisfying philosophy. Also, I may add that a number of other brethren with whom I have discussed these intimate matters, have told me that their Masonic studies have brought to them an understanding of life's real values and meanings similar to those I have discovered. Accordingly, I would recommend this as one of the highest personal benefits to be derived from your Masonic Study Club.
MASONIC STUDY IN ANTIQUITY
You understand, of course, that we are proposing nothing new or unique in advising that every Mason should belong to a Study Club. Among our ancient brethren, the study of the principles and the formulation of the practices of Freemasonry, doubtless, was a fairly universal activity of the Craft. Likewise, there have been groups of Freemasons since time immemorial who have met together regularly or occasionally to study the teachings of the Order.
One of the principal objectives for which the National Masonic Research Society was chartered fifteen years ago was the promotion of Masonic education and the encouragement of Masonic Study Clubs. During ail these years, this particular endeavor of the N.M.R.S. has been carried forward with steadily increasing success. Each year there has been a greater advance in the number of Study Clubs as well as marked improvement in the programs of these clubs.
In accepting this appointment to help organize and conduct a campaign for the further extension of this Study Club Movement, let me sincerely acknowledge my personal gratitude for the excellent foundations that have been so firmly established as well as for the good work that already has been accomplished.
Let me frankly confess that my chief qualifications for undertaking the direction of this campaign is my keen enthusiasm for the work that is already being done. Possibly, another qualification may be the fact that my natural disposition is that of a "booster," although some of our high-brow brethren may not regard this admission with much favor.
No iron-clad rules and regulations and no cut-and-dried formulas are required in forming and conducting a Masonic Study Club. Of course, all new Clubs may wisely profit by the experience of their predecessors, but there is the widest possible latitude in the plans of organization as well as in the programs. Some of the most successful clubs are conducted with the least possible formality, while others equally successful adopt regular rules of government, elect regular officers, and conduct all activities in accordance with regular schedules and carefully planned programs.
The N.M.R.S. stands ready and is duly prepared to aid all types and classes of Masonic Study Clubs having really serious aims. The size of the club is of far less import than the earnestness of its intentions.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Finally, brethren, if you believe in the importance and value of Masonic study, let me earnestly appeal for your cooperation and support in this undertaking. I am not outlining any particular plans or procedure and my only policy, as the director of this campaign, will be sincere effort to give all possible encouragement to everyone who feels in any way inclined to participate in the project; also to give fair consideration and due credit for every idea, suggestion or plan proposed by any interested brother.
I am not a "desk hound," but spend most of my time out in the field, so I may not always be able to answer my correspondents promptly. But, I assure you that every letter containing a question, suggestion, criticism or comment of any sort will, in due course of time, receive my careful attention and personal, reply. Meantime, the boys in my office will promptly attend to all requests for bulletins and data regarding the campaign and will promptly forward your letters to me for my personal attention wherever I may be out in the field.
I hope, therefore, that every brother who has a word to offer on this matter of stimulating more widespread interest and encouraging the organization of more Masonic Study Clubs, will respond to this Macedonian call. Address Herbert Hungerford, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
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Communicated by Bro. W. M. Brydon, Virginia.
In 1926 THE BUILDER published an article by M.W. Bro. Baird on John Penn, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, as one of his series on the Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons. In this it was said that the author had not been able to secure a photograph of the monument to Bro. Penn.
John Penn died at his home in Granville County, N.C., in 1788, and according to Winfield he was buried near Island Creek. The same authority states that in 1874 his remains were exhumed and removed to Guilford Court House, N.C., and there re-interred, and a monument erected to his memory which is shown in the accompanying illustration. This monument stands at the side of the road which goes through Guilford Battle Grounds, between the two entrances to the Grounds. The following is the inscription upon the bronze plaque built into the pediment. It consists, apparently, of an excerpt from the diary of John Adams.
William Hooper and John Penn
Delegates from North Carolina, 1776, to the Continental
Congress, and Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Their remains were reinterred here 1894. Hewes' grave is lost.
He is the third signer.
Lee, Henry and Hooper were the orators of the Congress.
(John Adams' Private Diary, Vol. II, page 396.)
Bro. Baird was unable to find out anything very definite about Penn's Masonic connections. Bro. William L. Boyden in his invaluable work, Masonic Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers, has little more to say. He quotes the 1919 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina in which it was that "Colonel William L. Taylor, of Granville County, a zealous Mason, as his father was before him, states that his father and Penn had attended lodges together in North Carolina." As in so many other eases, we know indirectly, but definitely, that individuals were members of the Craft, though no record remains of where they were made or when.
A number of John Penn's descendants still live at Guilford, one of them his grandson and namesake, though not a Mason. This family of Penns so far as has been discovered, had no connection with the better known Penns of Pennsylvania.
* * *
In the April number, a very interesting scholarly article by Bro. C. H. Briggs, Past Grand Master of Missouri, appears, that is too strongly tinged with fundamentalism to be permitted to go unchallenged in a modernistic age.
In the first place he states that each petitioner for the degrees, must declare a "firm belief in the one living and true God." I think he has added somewhat to the context of the belief required. That may be the law under the Grand Lodge of Missouri, but it is certainly not in some other jurisdictions where a simple belief in God is required. A definition of the God is not required, fortunately, for the growth and welfare of the Craft.
One's viewpoint may be Unitarian, Trinitarian, Deistic, or Pantheistic and as Albert Pike has well said in the Morals and Dogma, "No one Mason has the right to measure for another the degree of veneration which shall feel for any God or for the founder of any faith. We teach belief in no particular creed, as we teach unbelief in none."
Our distinguished brother says that forty years ago a Freemason who had outgrown his belief was expelled from a Masonic lodge. Possibly so in Missouri, of forty years ago, but hardly so, even in that state now, tinged as it may be with the obscurantism of the same nature which has rendered Tennessee, Mississippi, and other states a laughing stock among intelligent people, so far as their stand on evolution is concerned.
By this token, such a distinguished brother as the late Luther Burbank, 33rd degree, Honorary Member of the Southern Jurisdiction and for a long time active in his lodge in California, would be condemned, and so would Thomas Edison, so would have been the late Samuel Clements, "Mark Twain," and many another distinguished brother who could not subscribe to the creed as set forth by Bro. Briggs. All Freemasons profess belief in God confined to the center of unity in "the one religion common to all mankind," that is, "the religion of humanity."
What is your religion? That of all wise men. What is the religion of wise men? Wise men never tell. That may sum up the position as far as Freemasonry and its attitude toward religion is concerned, leaving each to find for himself that path which he judges would best serve him in preparation for the unknown. Whether that unknown be a raising again to a newer form of activity for service or whether that be simply one of the fond imaginations of mankind and the end be simply deep mystery. What matters as far as our preparation is concerned?
One says to live this life here and now, so as to be ever prepared to hear the call, to go to meet his God, speaking reverently. Another says so live from day to day so you can look every man in the eye and tell him to go to Hell. That is to say, that being honest, and having dealt squarely, you fear nothing. It is simply a different expression of the same idea and neither is to be valued above the other.
What price fundamentalism?
G. A. Kenderdine, Iowa.
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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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FASCISM, MASONRY AND THE VATICAN IN ITALY. By James P. Roe. Pamphlet No. 5. Published by the Italian Historical Society of New York. Paper, 9 pages.
IN itself this pamphlet would not call for more than the briefest bibliographical reference, but there are secondary features which make it desirable to give it more extended notice.
We are informed, in a "Publisher's Note" on the second page, that
The Italian Historical Society assembles in quarterly publications the documents relating to social reforms, economic developments and achievements, which are of interest to students and to the public at large, and which shed light on the life of contemporary Italy.
Our information is that this Society is a propaganda agency for Fascism. This is really borne out by the carefully worded statement of purposes just quoted. We have no quarrel with this Society, or its members, for wishing to propagate their views on the political and social developments in Italy, or for preaching Fascist doctrines if they believe in them; though it may be thought that their choice of title for their organization (whether adopted purposely for such end or not) is definitely misleading, tending to produce the impression that the subjects discussed will be dealt with dispassionately and scientifically.
In a letter accompanying the pamphlet, signed by the Chairman of the Society's Board of Trustees, it is stated that
The author of the monograph, Mr. Roe, is himself a prominent American Mason. He has spent much time in Italy since the beginning of the Facist Regime and he writes with authority.
After reading the pamphlet one is inclined to wonder, with what authority does he write? The authority possessed by those fully and adequately seized of all the facts? Or the authority of counsel for the defense, of an accredited mouth-piece?
One is also inclined to question Mr. Roe's prominence as a Mason. Very possibly he, like thousands of other men, is prominent in his own circle, and we can let it go at that. But the statement in this place seems to be designed to create a favorable reception of any strictures Mr. Roe might make upon Italian Masonry. It would be taken by those without any knowledge of the subject, that a Mason would not treat other Masons with injustice.
We understand that Mr. Roe was for a number of years the English Editor of Giovinezza, the "official" Fascist organ of the U.S.A. This fact may further assist us in estimating the kind of authority with which he writes.
Coming to the pamphlet itself, it may be frankly said, to begin with, that it presents a very pretty and plausible picture which might well be accepted by anyone with no knowledge of events in Italy during the past five years or so. But it will leave even those who have only read newspaper reports gasping with amazement. There is scarcely a paragraph in the seven pages of text which does not present its flagrant misstatement or its insidious suggestio falsi. The very first sentence sets the keynote. We are told
... Mussolini has had to solve no greater, no more complex problem than that involving Masonic activities and the so-called "Roman Question."
Why should these two entirely separate and disparate things be linked together as one problem? Unless to carry over the undoubted difficulties and complexities of the Roman Question, that is the political problems connected with the status of the Pope, into the simple and innocuous subject of Masonry, where in truth no problem existed. There was no danger to Mussolini from the Italian Masons, either individually or collectively. Many of them were Fascists, and both of the two governing bodies of the Italian Craft acceded to every demand made by the dictator. No one could have followed the course of events, even at a distance, in newspaper headlines, without realizing that the dispute was like that of the wolf and the lamb in Aesop's fable. In reality Mussolini's action was parallel to that of Nero in dealing with the Christians. In each case an autocrat gave over a small and unpopular group to persecution to please the majority, especially of the lower and more brutal elements of society. It is possible, as has been suggested, that he had a personal grudge against the Fraternity, on account of his having been rejected as unfit material. But this is not necessary to account for what happened. All autocrats have to pander to the populace; the attention of the latter has often to be turned from important matters by some political or social red herring confusing the scent. In this case the Italian Masons had the ill luck to be the sacrifice.
One hardly knows how to deal with such an extraordinary complex of misrepresentation. To do so fully would take four or five times the length of the pamphlet itself, though it is only about three pages that are devoted to Masonry. We are told "Masonry in Italy was not ... the open, benevolent and fraternal organization" we know in America. This is mostly innuendo. If Masonry in Roman Catholic countries generally is not "open" there is an excellent reason, and it is not the fault of Masonry.
"Italian Masonry was mainly a small, almost exclusive body of men, socially, financially and politically determined to maintain control of the ... Government ... and to combat the influences of the Roman Catholic Church." When was Masonry in any country not exclusive? When was smallness of numbers made a sin or a crime? Why should the Masons be condemned for withstanding their age-old and most bitter enemy, the Curia, when a page or two later Mussolini is fulsomely praised for doing the same thing?
But perhaps the next sentence will explain. All "This program was part of the major political plan which sought to control government generally in Europe." Mr. Roe may believe this but all that can be said, if he does, is that he is abysmally ignorant of European Masonry, and could not possibly have sought information about it except from its enemies.
But it seems that in consequence of this "program" Italian Masonry degenerated "to a low estate, unworthy of its hallowed name and purposes." The best answer to that, to anyone who knows anything about it, is the character of the Italian Masons themselves.
In the next paragraph allusion is made to an internal quarrel that split Italian Masonry about the end of last century. What bearing this has is hard to see. From the political viewpoint a divided fraternity would be impotent even if it had political aims. But we are told that one of the groups affiliated itself "unashamedly with the organized endeavor of the politically manipulated Grand Orient of Paris to dominate the Italian Government of whatever ruling party in the interests of the French Government."
If this truly astounding sentence had come from the pen of a "Clerical" anti-Masonic hack-writer, of whom there are so many in Europe, it would not surprise anyone. But from a man who is said to be a Mason it is appalling.
We may quote some further gems: the Fascisti found "the State undermined by the secret, illegal unpatriotic attitude and activities of men ... who diluted their allegiance with a pretense of Masonic loyalty." What does this mean? Allegiance to whom? And what is Masonic loyalty? The suggestion is obvious of course; but if Italy is a united nation today it is wholly due to the efforts of Freemasons. Fascism itself created most, if not all, the disorder it found.
There is one more thing only that space will permit touching upon. Statements are made on pages 5, and 9, that necessarily imply that Masonry still exists and functions in Italy, in a "purged" and "purified" state of course. We must not be too hard on the author. It is possible this was written before the final crushing of the Fraternity, and the issuance of the slogan, "Make it impossible for Freemasons to live," that has been so thoroughly carried out. But if so, then the good faith of the Italian Historical Society suffers.
The part dealing with the Vatican must make its author and publishers feel a little foolish in view of the recent alliance between Mussolini and the Pope. They should have waited a little longer.
We presume that Mr. Roe, like most people, has his living to make, but we would wish that an American, and especially an American Mason, could find a better occupation than this.
S. J. C.
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HIRAM AU JARDIN DES OLIVIERS. By Albert Lantoine. Published by V. Gloton, Paris. Paper, 32 pages. Price 5 francs.
AFTER having written of Hiram Couronne d'Epines the historian of French Freemasonry writes of Hiram in the Garden of Olives. But the symmetry is rather oriental. The first work was in two fat volumes, the present one is nothing but a very slim booklet. Is the difference in size significant?
Both titles tell their own tale. The earlier work was critical, not to say sharply and caustically critical, although the utterance of one who loved the thing criticized and would fain have it amended and perfected. The little book now under review is a historical sketch of the connection of Masonry — and naturally of French Masonry in particular — with movements and tendencies leading to the promotion and maintenance of world peace.
Reading between the lines, one gathers that even in the tolerant atmosphere of French lodges there are still remains of war bitterness, and the assumption of the natural man is to be found, that loyalty is always first to the smaller group, and that it must always be, "my country, right or wrong." This is all in the sequence of evolution, and is inevitable. It takes much knowledge, and more imagination, to feel loyalty to all humanity. Perhaps it is too much to ask; perhaps mankind, as our pessimists are so fond of telling us, is incapable of it. But it is not a pleasant prospect; for the alternative is that civilization must commit suicide, stinging itself to death, as the scorpion ringed with fire is fabled to do, with its weapons of defense — but unlike and more foolish than the scorpion, itself kindling the flames that lead to the tragic climax.
However this may be, Lantoine shows us by a series of quotations from long forgotten books, addresses, orations, poems and the like, how strongly and consistently Masons from the first have advocated peace; peace between nations, based on justice and good will. Even the reviewer, who is not unfamiliar with 18th century Masonic literature, felt not a little astonishment at the volume and continuity of the expression of this sentiment. Masons naturally began with the fact that their Fraternity was universal in its scope; that within its bond men of different races and countries became brothers. And the corollary was inevitable that what was possible among a few was not inherently impossible among many — on the same basis.
It is not logically impossible, whatever the practical obstacles may be; that much must be admitted. But the practical obstacles are many and great, and it may take more wisdom than the rulers and leaders of the nations have to overcome them. Masonry too, in expanding, has lost its cohesion; and with its schisms is losing sight of its greatest ideal — universal brotherhood. As the author says, in his Conclusion, the translation is the reviewer's:
Indeed, events seem always go contrary to its [Freemasonry's] mission; and not only do the ambitions of the great present obstacles but also, alas, the smallness of little men.
And a little later he goes on to say:
We still today, in spite of the complications which prolong a state of war, remain faithful to our program. Do we shut our eyes before realities? Perhaps. But it has been, through the course of the ages, those who looked higher and saw further, beyond the passions of the day, who prepared the way for better things.
In this lies the justification. Only the path is not an easy one, and it is to be feared that our merely formal initiations do not well prepare the neophyte to take the harder ways for the distant gain.
The book is illustrated by a striking woodcut portrait of the author in profile.
S. J. C.
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THE HISTORY OF THE MOTHER SUPREME COUNCIL
Bro. Chas. S. Lobingier
THIS important work has not yet been published. The MS. has been submitted to Bros. C. C. Hunt, J. Hugo Tatsch and E. M. Eriksson, all of whom are authorities in historical research, and whose names are well known to readers of THE BUILDER.
The report was submitted to the authorities of the A. & A. S. R. of the Southern Jurisdiction, and is published in THE BUILDER by request. It runs as follows:
We take pleasure in expressing herein our opinion of the manuscript submitted to us for review by Bro. Chas. S. Lobingier, 33°, G.C., "The History of the Mother Supreme Council."
As we first beheld the huge bundle of manuscript, we involuntarily asked, "What manner of work is this?" Its very proportions tell the story of an indefatigable labor which still further amazes one as he goes through the manuscript page by page.
To begin, the undertaking was carefully charted and the outline as approved by the Supreme Council has been faithfully followed. This is emphasized by Bro. Lobingier in his introduction under "Scope and Limits," which we commend for careful reading, as it is advisable to bring this compliance with instructions before the Supreme Council when expressing an opinion on the work. The Table of Contents indicates very clearly just what subjects have been developed; and to those familiar with the preparation of historical works, it is apparent that the author selected his background very carefully, and brought not only the essential facts to bear, but gave them a judicious and sympathetic interpretation which shows him to be a historian in the real sense of the term, rather than a compiler of miscellaneous facts placed together in a more or less haphazard fashion. The work, in our opinion, will go down in Scottish Rite history with Albert Pike's "Morals and Dogma," and as such will take an honored place among the immortal documents of the Supreme Council.
Another point worthy of emphasis is this: Though the work is naturally a pronouncement in favor of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, it is clearly evident that it has been written in a very impartial manner. The arguments which have to be presented for the Rite are all supported by authoritative quotations, and are not left entirely as the personal opinions of the author. Furthermore, opposing statements — where any exist — are also quoted carefully, and where such quotations, either for or against, are impracticable, copious references are given so that the student who wishes to pursue the subject further can find the sources very readily. This not only indicates the fairness of the work, but further impresses the reader with the fact that our Rite has nothing to hide, in spite of what opponents have said in the past.
We predict that one of the book's greatest attributes, namely, the addition of copious footnotes and references, will be commented upon adversely by those who clamor for Masonic books written in a popular vein. It may be true that such additions tend to make a volume pedantic and heavy; but it is also true that in such a work as this, such footnotes and references are necessary to stamp the work as scholarly and authoritative, for by their aid the critical reader can verify the sources quoted and satisfy himself that they are correct. Only a writer who can quote no authority for his statements, who is making statements which are generally accepted as true, can afford to omit the footnotes. In this particular ease, in view of the fact that the work deals with subjects about which many conflicting views have been expressed, it is eminently fitting that all sources be cited. It must not be forgotten that this is really the first exhaustive treatment of our history which has been prepared, and as such, must be presented in such a way as to convince the impartial and painstaking critic that it is indeed authoritative and trustworthy. It is therefore all the more fitting that the author fortify his work by citing chapter and verse for all assertions.
We are much impressed with the opening chapters, which introduce the reader to the background against which our Rite stands in such splendid relief. Bro. Lobingier's knowledge of the classic past has been condensed in a most readable form, and with the deft touch of the artist, he has brought out the essential points. It is not difficult to take musty documents and dry minute books from which to present a tale of events in chronological order; but ability of a high degree is required to present both history and the interpretation thereof, and further still, to weave in the essence of a subject — in this case the philosophy of Scottish Rite Masonry as it bears upon the conditions of the past which gave it birth. The contributions of the Renaissance, the Protestant Revolt, the Political Revolution and the Industrial and Social Revolution to the birth and development of Scottish Rite Freemasonry are concisely touched upon, and give the reader a perspective which he would not have were the story to begin with 1801, or with the period of a few decades earlier. Yet through it all runs the critical analysis of the jurist, and the reader at all times feels that his feet are placed upon solid ground. Were there any tendency to romancing and sheer invention — which those of us who know the author realize is impossible — it is apparent that such fanciful additions have no place in this truly historical work.
Bro. Lobingier has not blindly followed previous writers. He has blazed a trail of his own, and the extent of his sources is shown by his footnotes. He does not flinch from disagreeing with Gould, the eminent English historian; and, in proof of his statements, cites other English historians who followed Gould as members of representative research societies. Bro. Lobingier also analyzes Gould's treatment of French history in which he used material of a writer which he (Gould) himself criticized as being "sometimes blinded by his hatred of the 'High Degrees'."
Part I of the work, "The Historical Background," is a masterly condensation of a vast deal of material. Though a book in itself, it contains essentials which cannot be omitted from a work such as Bro. Lobingier has prepared, limited as the undertaking as a whole is to a history of the Mother Supreme Council. It is this portion of the work which we have used more than any other upon which to base our opinions, for obviously we cannot go into all of the subjects covered, by careful examination on our part of original documents and other difficult sources available only to the author. From our knowledge of Part I of the book, we have every confidence in the worth of the latter chapters and such reading as we have given them enables us to say with fullest assurance that they are written in the same careful and scholarly manner as the sections which we have analyzed more thoroughly.
Another phase of the work which has impressed us is the readable manner in which some of the simplest yet least known functions and attributes of our Rite and of the Supreme Council have been treated. The volume is more than a history; it is an encyclopedia — for it answers questions to which no one except perhaps the active officers of the Supreme Council can respond satisfactorily. The volume will do much to remove the air of exclusiveness and secrecy which pervades the activities of the Rite, and will do more than anything we know of to relieve the Rite from the charge of aristocracy and superiority which has been made about it. It contains material that every zealous devotee of Scottish Rite Masonry can use in informing the Masonic world of-the real nature and functions of the higher degrees, and in this respect Bro. Lobingier's work will have a lasting worth — something far in excess of that possessed by a volume which is looked at for a moment, and then consigned to oblivion in a seldom used bookcase.
To enumerate the various points would simply mean to recapitulate the table of contents. The work is not only a history, but it is a chart by which Scottish Rite Masonry can plot its course through the unborn years. It is history, philosophy and prophecy under one cover — history of the past, philosophy of the Rite and a prophecy of what the combination of history and philosophy will bring about in legitimate Masonic fields in the future.
To say more at this time would be redundant. Each one of us signing this report has had more than average access to the literature of Freemasonry, and ordinarily our attitude to anything new in Masonic books is rather critical, for we know much is perpetrated in the name of Masonic literature which is of no outstanding merit. Hence the privilege of examining a work such as Bro. Lobingier's comes as an experience but rarely met with. The author, by virtue of temperament, education, professional fitness and long experience in Scottish Rite Masonry, is unusually well qualified to undertake a work such as he has successfully completed. In unequivocally endorsing his labors and earnestly recommending their acceptance, we express a judgment which is based upon experience in examining other Craft and related literature, and upon hours of discussion and reading. It will be remembered that Bro. Lobingier has personally consulted with us twice during the past year, and has also been in close touch with us by correspondence. Thus we feel that we have had an opportunity for an intimate and sympathetic understanding of his assignment — one which he has completed with marked success.
We unhesitatingly recommend that the work be given your endorsement and support. We feel much indebted to you for the privilege of reviewing this volume in manuscript form, and assure you that the hours spent upon it have been most delightful ones.
C. C. Hunt, 32°,
Grand Secretary and Librarian, Grand Lodge of Iowa.
J. Hugo Tatsch, 32°,
Curator and Associate Editor, Iowa Masonic Library.
E. M. Eriksson, Ph.D., 32°,
Professor of American History, Coe College.
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COMING UP THE ROAD. By Irving Bacheller. Published by The Bobbs Merrill Company. Cloth, table of contents, 5½ x 9 inches, 816 pages. Price $8.65.
THE sub-title Memories of a North Country Boyhood tells about all that can be said concerning this latest product from the pen of Bro. Bacheller. (Readers of THE BUILDER will recall that Dawn, Bro. Bacheller's latest novel, was reviewed in these pages some months ago and that the Masonic affiliations of the author were mentioned at that time.) The title chosen for the work is one of the most appropriate that it has been our pleasure to see in recent months. There are several conflicting thoughts that come to mind when first one sees it; the implication of a struggle up the highway of success; the mere passage of an individual along the roadway of life, and several other that might be mentioned if space were available. When one has finished reading the book, however, he sees how each of these first impressions finds its place in the scheme of the tale. There is the serene contentment that suggests a calm passage along life's road, but there are also the trials and tribulations besetting the path of the young man in his struggle for success.
All of this and more too forms a vital part of Bro. Bacheller's autobiographical sketch. Above these generalities there stands one other that seems particularly appropriate in this instance. In all of Bro. Bacheller's works that it has been our pleasure to read we have noticed a certain wistfulness, a kind of longing, that defies description, but which can be felt nevertheless. This characteristic is even more evident in Coming Up the Road. It makes one feel that possibly the author in living over the scenes he describes longed for them and possessed an actual desire to re-live them in reality. Particularly is this felt in the early pages of the book and more specifically in those chapters which describe the experiences of sap-collecting in the north woods and continue with an account of summer play on the farm. More interesting still is the tale of a camping trip into the woods. The journey was not a howling success from the standpoint of comfort and enjoyment, but one cannot help but feel that the author is describing the experience in the eyes of one who has passed the age when such a trip could be thoroughly enjoyed, but who nevertheless would like to undertake it again in the same attitude of mind in which the first journey was planned and executed.
The struggles of a young journalist in New York take up a large part of the book. They are interesting and entertaining, but more than that they are illustrative of the paths that joined to form the road along which he was toiling. Those of our readers who recall the popularity of Eben Holden at the beginning of this century will be interested in the account of how it was written, of the trials that accompanied its struggle for publication and of the success which ultimately came its way.
There is hardly a dull page in the whole volume and it takes a real effort to put it down once the reading has been started. When the final page has been reached there is a desire for more of the same sort of material and perhaps that is the best test of the readability of any volume.
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HANDBOOK OF ALL DENOMINATIONS. Prepared by M. Phelan. Published by The Cokesbury Press, Nashville, Tenn. Cloth. 215 pages. Price $1.40.
IN this Compendium has been gathered particulars of the history, faith and usages of all Christian doctrines. The Old World origins and present connection with existing American sects of over fifty separate and distinct denominations, as well as the subdivisions into which many of them have been divided are concisely treated by the author.
The statistical matter prepared from reliable sources and brought up-to-date and the alphabetical arrangement of the contents render the volume very convenient for reference. The work has been carefully revised and as it is now in its fourth edition it may safely be said that it will meet the needs and expectations of those who are interested in the subject of which it treats.
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WHAT IS WRONG WITH MARRIAGE? By Dr. G. V. Hamilton and Kenneth MacGowan. Published by Albert and Charles Boni, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index. 319 pages. Price $3.15.
THE question which forms the title of the present volume has an answer which is another of those things which have been long sought. It has had many and varied answers, none of them satisfactory. Perhaps the fairest criticism that could be made of the attempts to solve this perplexing problem is that none of them have been scientific. No one has actually endeavored to make use of the law of averages in determining the percentage of marriages that are successful. Even this book does not do that, but when one considers the fact that four years were spent in interviewing the 100 men and 100 women who made up the experimental group it is readily seen that any sort of research into this field planned and executed upon a thoroughly scientific basis would require several life-times to complete.
Doubtless many of our readers will wonder why we are reviewing such a book in the pages of a Masonic magazine. It may be as well to interpolate some explanation before we proceed with any discussion of the book itself. In the first place this volume was bought by a member of the editorial staff for his own perusal and information. After reading it the conclusion that it would be valuable to Masons generally in helping them solve the problems of life was reached. No more explanation than that should be necessary. If only one of the vast number of Masons in this country is helped to a happier solution of his problems through reading this volume our efforts will have been very much worth while.
It is impossible in the short space of a review to adequately criticise the mass of detail that is compiled in the short space of three hundred pages. Any adequate attempt at such an analysis would run to almost as much length as the book itself. A discussion of the method followed will probably be much more interesting and will recommend the book with as much force as would be possible by any other method.
Dr. Hamilton selected 100 married men and 100 married women who would represent a certain stratum of society. They were supposedly normal in every respect. Not all of the subjects were college graduates and not all of them were married to each other. Several divorced persons of each sex were included. The problem was not limited solely to securing persons who were normal in every respect. The persons selected must be willing to speak frankly and freely about their affairs and all phases of their marriage. It is not easy to find such people. Few persons in this world today are willing to make themselves the guinea pigs of scientific investigation into marriage.
This problem was not the only one, neither was it the most serious one which confronted the investigators. Some means must be found by which the personality of the investigator would not inject itself into the discussion. It would be nothing more than human nature to suggest reasons for happenings as described by the persons investigated. The results must not be distorted by the entry of a foreign element into the research. In order to avoid this possibility the questions to be asked were typed upon cards and the person questioned picked them up, read them and then made such answers as came to mind. The examiner sitting opposite did no more than take down all of the replies.
Another pitfall had to be avoided and that was that the frankness and truthfulness of each person in the experiment must be checked. By means of specially designed questions appearing at strategic points in the examination this necessary checking was obtained. It was necessary to throw out two or three answers because it was obvious that the person was not as truthful as he should have been. From this it can be seen that not only were the check questions present, but they were effective.
The scientific results of the investigation were published in a limited edition solely for students. The volume we are describing was written by Mr. Kenneth MacGowan, a prominent critic. It is in a very readable style though one cannot help but wish that the opportunity to go into more detail on some phases of the investigation was utilized. The discussion is brief and is limited to very little more than a presentation of the facts. The conclusions to be drawn from these facts are grouped for the most part in the closing chapter of the book, though many of them are mentioned at the time the evidence is presented.
The results of the research are such that every married man and woman should read the work if for no other reason than to help them educate their children against some of the pitfalls that await them when they reach the marriageable age. The book should be in every home in which there are children; it should be used as a text-book for the guidance of married people and for the education of the growing child.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
BROTHERS J. W. HOBBS AND BASCOM CLARK
The following personal reminiscences and appreciation of our deeply regretted brethren, J. Walter Hobbs and Bascom Clark from Bro. Robert I. Clegg, the Vice-President of the Society, are a welcome addition to the brief notices that appeared in THE BUILDER last month. With Bro. Cleggs' permission we present them here in the assurance that it will be of general interest to our members.
What you say so well of Walter Hobbs and Bascom Clark in the current issue of BUILDER does appeal to me. With the first I made many trips. I was in his company at Port Sunlight, at Chester, at Liverpool, at York, and frequently at Masonic meetings in London. Our exchanges of occasional letters were to me a constant delight. I have been his guest at home and always he was most congenial, sincere, enlivening and brotherly.
With Bascom Clark I have passed many hours at his office in Madison and elsewhere. We were in Atlantic City together last September with Dr. A. G. Lawrence who has also passed on.
Brother Clark did much in quiet and effective charity. He excused his charity by saying privately to me that he not only made it pay as a Masonic satisfaction but he would have his brother Masons join him in defraying the expenses!
He proposed to himself that as a writer on Masonic subjects he would make some extra money by such use of the pen. Hence the books he published. Many of them were given away but such funds as came along from these sources were used exclusively in Masonic Charity and he took great comfort thereby.
You will I am sure be interested in these few further personal details of a couple of excellent brethren whose passing has been to me a great shock.
Robert I. Clegg, Illinois.
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In the April BUILDER, Bro. H.H.D., of Canada, says under the heading of "Masonic Collars" that his lodge has quite a few relics and curiosities that have been given by different brethren in the past.... Was there at one time any symbolism attached to them (the collars)? If so what did they signify? Or was it merely the natural and obvious way to carry the jewels of office?
Here H.H.D. shows that he too has been doing some thinking of his own.
Would that more of our members raised such questions as these. With all possible respect for the opinion advanced by the Editor of THE BUILDER, the writer believes that there is ample authority for stating that the Worshipful Master at least, wears a collar of elliptical form and of a celestial blue color. His collar represents (or formerly represented) the circle of the Zodiac, which is that apparent elliptical belt of 16 degrees in width which goes round the heavens, on the middle of which the sun pursues his apparent annual course from West to East, as seen from the earth, which belt includes the planes of the orbits of all the planets. His collar is (was) studded with stars, representing the planets, which are always to be found within the Zodiacal belt, and nowhere else, as seen from the earth, the ground floor of the symbolic lodge. It is more than probable that the "signs" of the Zodiac were anciently on the collar, but, if so, they have disappeared, but the stars remain. Lodges today throw aside the "old-fashioned" collar and substitute a chain of metallic links, an invention to be attributed to the love of the regalia makers for innovations and financial gains.
Former practices are being subverted, and Masonry, as to its usages, as well as fundamental principles, is being constantly cast aside for want of knowledge, caused by negligence.
Charles H. Merz, Ohio
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LIGHTING THE CANDLES
I am interested in the inquiry in the April number of THE BUILDER, from G.M.C., Montana, regarding lighting of the candles, and am glad the brother brought up the question.
The method taught in this jurisdiction is as follows: in opening we light the candles first, East, West and South, and in closing we close the Great Light first, then the candles, South, West and East; this is in conformity to the idea advanced by the brother from Montana, that the Great Light should never be open during a period of darkness.
The use of electric substitutes is taboo in this state, and many of the lodges have discontinued their use and gone back to the true symbolism of the burning candle, until well over 90 per cent of our lodges are using candles.
We are glad to have this authoritative statement concerning the procedure in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin. Bro. Keenan being Grand Lecturer in that state. The question has also elicited comment from Dr. Merz editor of the Sandusky Masonic Bulletin and author of the well known work, Guild Masonry in the Making. We give here the part of his letter dealing with this.
The question as to the proper order of "Lighting the Candles" submitted by G.M.C., of Montana, in the April number of THE BUILDER is an interesting one from several points of view. I do not regard the matter as a "tweedle-dum or tweedle-dee" proposition. The brother from Montana gives evidence of having done some thinking for himself, for which he is to be commended. That the colors, white (a modified form of the yellow), red and blue were dedicated to the three principal officers of the lodge, is clearly set forth by Cross in his Installation Charges. "This symbol (Eternal light) is also represented by a white taper, which at the opening of the lodge you (the Master) are (presumed) to light at the altar." "This symbol (red) is represented by the red taper, which at the opening of the lodge you (the Senior Warden) are presumed to light." "This symbol is also represented by a blue taper, which at the opening of the lodge you (the Junior Warden) are (presumed) to light at the altar."
G.M.C. has good authority for lighting the tapers representing the W. Master first and then the other tapers in order.
No lodge should ever permit the use of electric candelabra. By their use every vestige of symbolism is destroyed. I am aware that many Grand Masters have ruled that the electric candelabra are permissible and so they have passed upon many other questions in a manner that shows all too little knowledge of Masonic symbolism.
Thirdly, we have a letter from Bro. C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary of Iowa, and general Secretary of our own Research Society. Bro. Hunt calls in question the tacitly assumed connection between the three chief officers of the lodge and the three lesser lights.
In the April BUILDER, page 127, is a question and answer regarding the order in which the candles should be lighted, which in my mind raises another interesting question and that is: In how many Grand Jurisdictions do the candles or tapers represent the three principal officers of the lodge? I do not find it so in the rituals I have examined. In the Work of Webb, Cross, Barney and others in this country as well as in the celebrated Emulation Work of Great Britain these tapers represent the sun, moon, and Master of the lodge. This is also the interpretation given in the Iowa Work and here it makes no difference in which order they are lighted.
Our practice also differs from that of the Montana brother as to the time of opening the Bible. With us it is the first to be opened and the last to be closed. With the first dawn of physical light the Mason finds the open bible and when his labor is finished, with the last gleam of his material light he still sees before him the open Bible. Your correspondent says: "The first Great Light is not to be opened or closed during a period of darkness." May I ask why? It is the Great Light of Masonry. It should always be available to a Mason when at labor, and a closed Bible does not give light. As long as a Mason has physical light with which to pursue his calling he should not be deprived of the open Bible to give him spiritual light.
In the Great Light we are informed "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth"; God also said: "Let there be light and there was light"; but this was the work of the first day of creation. It was not until the fourth day that the sun, moon and stars were made. Thus the heaven was created before the earth and heavenly light before physical, all of which is symbolized by displaying the symbol of spiritual light before that of physical and extinguishing the physical before closing the symbol of the spiritual.
When we come to the end of life's toilsome journey and from our nerveless grasp shall drop forever the working tools of life, how will it seem to have someone say, "Your eyes will soon be closed in death, the Bible cannot be closed in darkness therefore your Great Light must be closed before the darkness of death settles upon you?"
C. C. Hunt, Iowa.
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THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA IN AMERICA
The following communication has been received in response to the note under the above head in the April number of THE BUILDER. We fail, however, to appreciate exactly Bro. Gretzinger's point. The facts he relates are well known, to Bro. Bennett, as to every one else who has ever read anything of the history of the Knights of St. John, called variously of Rhodes and Malta. A sovereign power, however decadent, as the Order is supposed to have been in 1798, is not a negligible entity. And there is no doubt that the Knights in Malta at that time were Roman Catholic in religion, whatever the Knights of Brandenburg may have been, or the alleged survival, as a Protestant Order, of the Sixth or English "Langue" in Scotland.
In reply to the note of Bro. Burton E. Bennett in your April issue, I would like to offer the following observations:
In the year 1517 the great Protestant Reformation became an historical fact. Luther's teachings and doctrines reached the furthest civilization of the world. As far back as 1463 the Knights of St. John held intercourse with the English and Scottish Knights under Grand Master Knells. The branches that refused to accept the Protestant faith ceased to exist or had but a precarious existence for a few years, then passed away. Even the Latin or rather the heterogeneous branch that lived until 1789 on this island was weakened by Protestant Knights deserting to Scotland and England in 1557. [See Vertot's Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitalers de S. Jean de Jerusalem, and the Encyc. Brit.]
The island was taken by Bonaparte in the outset of his expedition to Egypt, June 12, 1798. It was again surrendered to the British under Pigot, in Sept. 5, 1800. At the Peace of Amiens it was stipulated that it should be restored to the Knights. The British, however, retained possession, and war recommenced; but by the Treaty of Paris in 1814 the island was guaranteed to Great Britain.
Through these years, it will be observed, the Knights from the Island of Malta not only held intercourse but actually affiliated with those of England and Scotland.
Thus the Scottish branch was able to purify and correct its work and sustain its sometimes struggling life.
During the period of Reformation the Sixth Language accepted the doctrine of the reformed faith; and, under the leadership of Sir James Sandilands, of Scotland, assisted the sainted John Knox in establishing Protestantism in Scotland.
On the 7th day of March, 1853, the Grand Lodge of Scotland did by public proclamation establish its right to the supreme government of the Religious and Military Order of the Knights of Malta, and has since been known as the Imperial Parent Grand Black Encampment of the Universe, with headquarters at Glasgow, Scotland. The claim to this title is being perpetuated at the present day in Scotland by this body.
In the year 1870 the Order was first introduced into America, an encampment being chartered in Toronto, Canada, from which it soon spread to the United States, and in 1875 the Supreme Encampment of America began its career under a grant issued by the imperial body of Scotland; but a few years later the charter or grant was revoked by the Imperial body, and the members expelled, for violation of obligation, ceasing to be a Protestant fraternity, destroying the degree work and ancient landmarks, defying the authority of the Imperial body, changing the name and objects of the Order.
Some of the subordinate commanderies, however, remained loyal to the Imperial Encampment. They continued to carry on the work, and in 1884 formed themselves into a Grand body. Their growth was most remarkable, and on June 1, 1889, the "Supreme Grand Commandery of the Continent of America" was chartered by the "Imperial Parent Grand Black Encampment of the Universe," and under this charter the Supreme Grand Commandery of America is granted the sole power on the American Continent to issue charters to Grand and Subordinate bodies, is made the final arbiter in all questions of dispute, and is given unlimited authority on this continent so long as it maintains Protestantism, civil and religious liberty and the ancient landmarks of the Order.
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A.F.&A.M. AND F.&A.M.
I should like an explanation as to the reason why we have the title, "Free and Accepted Masons" in some jurisdictions and "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons" in others, all recognizing one another though with different designations. Was this caused by their being chartered by the two Grand Bodies in England prior to the year 1813?
E. T. Beltz, Wyoming.
This same query, propounded by A.J.B., was briefly answered in 1916, in the second volume of THE BUILDER, p. 190. Bro. Beltz has indicated the usually accepted explanation. All Masons, between 1760 and 1813, claimed to be both Free and Accepted, but the junior organization claimed to follow the "Ancient Institutions" — hence their nickname "Ancients," or "Antients." The premier Grand Lodge had made very considerable changes in the old system, and described their modified system as Modern Masonry. This was done, without any doubt, without due reflection, or with any realization of what an excellent controversial weapon it gave to their able antagonist Laurence Dermott, Grand Secretary of the Ancients.
The Grand Lodge of the Antients founded more lodges in America than did their rivals, though in some of the Colonies the latter were the strongest. The exact sequence of events has never been fully traced out, and is a task waiting for some competent brother to take up. The actual adoption of one title rather than the other in the different states when their Grand Lodges were organized, seems in general to have had little relation to ancestry — most American Grand Lodges are descended, directly or indirectly, from both the English systems. There being no observable rule we may guess that the choice in most cases was due to fortuitous circumstances. To some influential brother preferring one or the other, or to other like considerations. Probably, as the records of the formative years of the older jurisdictions are so scanty, it may be impossible to discover in most cases what did happen. But something might be done to throw more light upon the question than we now have, and it is to be hoped that some of our budding historical students may be moved to take it up.
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THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK
On page 71 of the March number of THE BUILDER occurs this sentence: "The chairman of the Mission was Chief Justice Townsend Scudder of the Highest Court within the State of New York."
Bro. Scudder was and is a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York; there is no Chief Justice. This is the highest court of original jurisdiction; above it is the Court of Appeals, which is a distinct body and of which he never was a member.
J. H. Vrooman, Jr., New York.