A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 15 No. 7 – July 1929
FREEMASONRY IN CYPRUS
Bro. C. G. Toraritis
A COPY of this address was sent by the author to Bro. Walter H. Braun, the Editor of the "Templegram," the official bulletin of Henry L. Palmer Lodge, No. 301, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As it was too long to publish in the "Templegram," and as it was also of sufficient interest to merit the attention of a wider circle than the membership of Henry L. Palmer Lodge, Bro. Braun has very kindly communicated it to THE BUILDER.
Dr. Christophorus G. Toraritis is a member of the Supreme Council of Greece A. & A. S. R., and Grand Inspector General for the Island of Cyprus, as well as Representative of the Grand Lodge of Greece, a position roughly equivalent to a D.D.G.M., only relatively of greater importance. The address was given before Cimon Lodge, No. 53, Larnaca, Cypress, Sept. 30, 1928, on the occasion of the reception of a number of visitors from the British Fleet.
THOSE of the English brethren, who had attended the recent meeting of Zeno Lodge, will remember that I had promised to make a speech on the history of Freemasonry in Cyprus during the present meeting in Cimon Lodge, as I consider that the English brethren would be interested in this subject.
Consequent to my promise I am going now to deal briefly with this subject in accordance with such sources and information as I shave been able to find.
It would not be possible for any historian of the Freemasonry of modern times to overlook that of England, because your great country has undoubtedly been the mother, the light-giver, the hearth, from which modern Freemasonry has spread, not only all over Europe, but in the East and in America as well. Let us examine, therefore, how and when Freemasonry commenced to be of importance in Great Britain that we may be enabled later to study Cyprus Freemasonry as its descendant.
Anderson, in the Constitution of Freemasonry, which was published in 1723, stated that King Athelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, the first Christian King of England, gave himself up to the construction of great buildings and for this purpose he had called in Masons from France. These Masons brought with them the Charges and Regulations of the Lodges of Roman era, known under the name Collegia Romana, and with the help of King Athelstan, they improved the constitution of English lodges. Edwin, the King's younger son, was instructed in Masonry, and through the son's recommendations to his father, the King issued a charter, granting the right to the Masons to freely regulate their own affairs, and these Masons were to convene once a year at a general meeting or Assembly. At the first of these meetings which was held at York, and at which Edwin presided as Grand Master, there were produced the documents, of which some were in Greek, Latin and French, and on the basis of these old records the Laws and Regulations in accordance with which the Craft was to be governed in the future were drawn up. These were later sanctioned by Henry VI and the Lords of his Council, on the 24th of June, 1717. Four Masonic lodges, the only ones surviving from the troubled period of James II, met at the Appletree Tavern and established the Grand Lodge of England, still in existence, under the influence of two famous Freemasons, namely Rev. James A. Anderson, D.D., and Rev. J. Theophilus Desaguliers. Anthony Sayer was chosen as the first Grand Master. Two years later (1719) Desaguliers was elected Grand Master and from this time onward a great progress of the Craft is observed, many noble and wise men joining it. As I have mentioned above, in 1723 Anderson published his famous Book of Constitutions, which he dedicated to the then Grand Master, the Duke of Montagu. To these two great Masons the systematized drawing up of the first and second degree rituals is said to be due.
In very brief compass, this is how and when modern English Freemasonry was founded and the Grand Lodge of England established, that wise and powerful Masonic authority which since that time has spread, and continues, up to the present time, to spread all over the world, in zealous thoughtfulness and with an exemplary authority, our sublime Masonic principles, directing the numerous lodges under its obedience with beneficent power.
THE INTRODUCTION OF MASONRY IN CYPRUS
After this brief but necessary prologue I shall deal with the Freemasonry of Cyprus, in regard to which I should, however, mention that unfortunately the sources from which enlightenment was to be derived are very poor, and much is entirely missing. The island birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty, has to exhibit two first-class stars in the Masonic firmament each well versed in Masonry: Zeno, the son of Mnassiou, the famous founder of the Stoic philosophy, who, as all of you are aware, has contributed so much to the Masonic ideal, is the first, and the second is St. Epiphanio, Bishop of Salamis, who was surnamed pentaylotte, five-tongued, as he was versed in the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syrian and Egyptian languages, and whose works on the Eastern mysteries, and those of Eleusinia are considered classical. Before these great minds the ages will continue to do respectful homage. But no information has been preserved of the Freemasonry in Cyprus at that time, nor during the subsequent centuries. During the Turkish occupation, although this was never positively ascertained from authentic sources, it seems likely there were certain sporadic groupings of Masons, at least among those connected with the various Consulates, and in view of the Friendly Society being a body very close to Freemasonry, and knowing that the Archbishop and the other bishops and the chief men of the Island were initiated into the mysteries of this Friendly Society, we cannot exclude the possibility that these persons, or some of them, might have been initiated into Freemasonry. But I should repeat that all these are surmises not yet authentically verified. Organized Freemasonry, and this can be fully verified, appears in Cyprus at the time St. Paul's Lodge, No. 2277, was established, and this was the first cradle of the Craft in Cyprus. The founders' application to the Grand Lodge of England to sanction the establishment is dated April 7, 1888; the sanction was granted on the 1st of August, and the installation of the lodge took place on Nov. 1, 1888. W. Bro. Harricott conducted the installation ceremony, Bro. H. Silvester was the first Worshipful Master, and the other founders were twenty-seven in number.
The appearance of Freemasonry in Cyprus as an autonomous society commences from the establishment of this lodge. In the Masonic temple of this workshop were received the first Greek Masons, who have been the zealous apostles of the Masonic ideal all over the Island. At this stage we should stop to mention the name of a great son of Cypriote Freemasonry, an inspired worker in the field of Masonic ideals, the deeply respected and beloved old brother, John Carageorghiades, a physician, whose character will always be held forth as an example of Masonic industry and zeal. Bro. Carageorghiades was among the first shoots of the Masonic seedlings of St. Paul's Lodge, and after he had arranged for a few more Greeks to be initiated in his mother lodge, he erected, with the aid of English brethren, a second lodge in the Island, which is the first Greek Lodge, Zeno No. 18, which is now subject to the Grand Lodge of Greece.
The first Greek Lodge was established on Nov. 15, 1893, and its founders were fourteen in number. In 1892 St. Paul's Royal Arch, No. 2277, was established in Limassol. The following English Masonic lodges were also established, but unfortunately I do not know at this moment the dates of their erection; they are, St. Paul's Mark Master Lodge, No. 455, in Limassol; St. George's Lodge, No. 2402, originally in Larnaca, but now working successfully in Nicosia; and St. George's Mark Master Lodge in Larnaca.
THE SCOTTISH RITE INTRODUCED
With really great joy and Masonic pride I would acquaint you, my dear brethren, that Cyprus, and particularly Limassol, has a complete chain of Masonic workshops, that is from the lowest one, the symbolic lodge, to the highest that can exist in a country where there is no Supreme Council, namely, the Areopage, and the establishment of the various Greek lodges took place as follows:
On the 30th of November, 1899, nine Freemasons of the 18th degree established the Chapter Plato, No. 6, in the Valley of Limassol, under the jurisdiction of the most glorious Supreme Council of the thirty-third for Greece.
On the 7th of October, 1918, Cimon Lodge, No. 53, was established, under the holy dome of whose temple pan-Cypriote Freemasonry is welcoming you today, with an exceptional great joy and happiness. On the 30th of December, 1918, twelve Freemasons of the 30th degree established the highest Masonic lodge in the Island, the Areopage Cyprus, No. 3, at Limassol, empowered to grant the degrees from the 19th to the 30th, inclusive.
On the 8th of February, 1921, to complete the chain of the Masonic lodges, eleven Freemasons of superior degrees, established the Lodge of Perfection, Eleutheria (Freedom), No. 2, at Limassol, which works the degrees from 4 to 14, inclusive. As you can see, brethren, Freemasonry has now been solidly established, and has begun to spread all over the Island, establishing new lodges in nearly every one of our towns. Solon Lodge was established at Nicosia on the 18th of July, 1921; Cinyras Lodge, No. 64, at Paphos, the fabled birthplace of Aphrodite, on the 8th of April, 1923; and thirteen Freemasons established, on the 5th of January, 1928, Evagoras Lodge, No. 77, at Famagusta, which is at present occupying the place of Benjamin among the Masonic lodges in the Island and which, I am sure, will with great pleasure cede this position to a lodge in Kyrenia, the only town in the Island not yet possessing one, but in which I have great hope the Great Architect of the Universe will shortly help us to found another, when from all six towns of the Island the Masonic light will be spread in all its brilliance to the G. A. of U. and the prosperity of humankind in general and of the people living in the fatherland of the great Stoic philosopher in particular.
The Freemasons of the Island, including as well, the regular members of the different lodges, and those sojourning with us, number some 600; and it is with great pleasure that I would communicate to you that the Masonic phalanx in the Island, thanks to the praiseworthy labors of the various lodges, is continually on the increase, not only in quantity but also, and this is more important, in quality.
I am outlining the history of Cyprus Freemasonry, and I should not omit to mention that the Craft had successfully carried out a bold defensive war for nearly ten years during the famous Archbishop's question; when Freemasonry was persistently and cunningly slandered as being hostile to religion. During this conflict the Masonic unity among the brethren, and their mutual aid and support was admirable.
The foregoing is all I can say of Cyprus Freemasonry. Undoubtedly there are many and great omissions, but let us hope that in the lapse of time these will be filled up and scholars better equipped than myself will deal more perfectly with this subject, in which I shall always be greatly interested. Myself, I have simply broadly outlined it and I shall be delighted if some able writer will shortly appear to compile the same in greater completeness.
As you see, dear brethren, the Freemasonry of Cyprus owes its genesis to that of England, which, as I have mentioned above, can properly be designated as the mother of the modern European and American Freemasonry.
We Greek Freemasons are deeply grateful to English Freemasonry, and pan-Cypriote Freemasonry today, under the holy dome of a Greek lodge, addresses, through you, dear English brothers, as representatives of the English Craft, fraternal greetings, with the hearty wish that it may continue in prosperity and to ever progress, to the benefit of the highest and noblest Masonic ideals. To me, my brethren, you will, I trust, give permission to greet your Freemasonry in general, and in particular your high Masonic authority, the United Grand Lodge of England, in the name of the Grand Lodge of Greece, of which I have the great honor to be the Representative in the Island, and under the authority of which the present lodge was constituted. and continues to hold allegiance.
[At the conclusion of his address Bro. Toraritis called upon the members of Cimon Lodge to give a formal Masonic salute in honor of the Grand Lodge of England, and the visiting naval brethren.]
* * *
THE DEGREES OF MASONRY: THEIR ORIGIN AND HISTORY
Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren
WE will now have to traverse once more the same ground  that we did last month, this time in order to bring out another feature characteristic of old Scottish Masonic usage, as that is exhibited in the records of the ancient lodges of that country. The often quoted clause of the Schaw Statutes relating to the admission of Fellows, requires, among its other provisions, that the reception or admission should be duly recorded, "ord'rlie buikit," in the lodge books, and that
... the names of the intendaris that Salt be chosin to evrie persone to be alsua insert in thair buik.
The interpretation of this is a matter open to some doubt. The indefinite phrase "shall be chosen to [for] every person" leaves us uncertain whether the intenders had been the official instructors of the apprentice who was then being "received or admitted," or whether they were then chosen to instruct the newly made fellow of craft, as such. A good deal depends on the answer we give to this.
It is to be remarked that the minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh do not seem to mention intenders , so that we are unable to say whether they were appointed there or not. This metropolitan lodge, however, seems as exceptional in its way as Dunblane or Haughfoot were in theirs. This is only one feature in which it differed from other lodges. But the most marked and characteristic difference was the sharp cleavage between employers and employed, the former seemingly to have been well on the way to becoming a caste apart. In none of the other lodges does this strong distinction appear; indeed, in the Aitchison's Haven Lodge the term "Masters" is hardly ever used in speaking of the composition of the lodge. In the excerpts published by Bro. R. E. Wallace-James, the usual formula is "the brethren," or "the brethren of the lodge," when speaking collectively, or "fellow of craft," when they are mentioned by name.
THE PROBLEM OF THE INTENDERS
The first example we will take of the appointment of intenders is that of the "entry" of William Brotherstains at Peebles in 1716, which has already been cited. He chose for his intenders, David and Richard Whyts, who were fellows of craft and masters of the lodge. Alexander Veitch, described as "enter'd prentise," was "received" on the same date, presumably as a fellow of craft seeing that he was already "entered." So that it is evident that intenders were appointed both for the newly entered apprentice, and the master or fellow craft who was received. The appointment of intenders was regularly recorded in this lodge, but there is no need to quote further and later instances.
At Aberdeen a special article appears in the Statutes forbidding any member of the lodge to
... teach or instruct ane entered prentise untill such tyme as he be perfyted be his Intender.
His Intender and his Maate gives him over as being taught any person hath liberty to teach him anything he forgets.
And then it is enacted that if, when the apprentice "is interrogat at our publict meetings" [i. e., general meetings of the lodge] he has forgotten anything "he must pay for it," unless he could show it was something he had not been taught, in which case the intender was fined instead.
But there is nothing here to show who the apprentice's intenders were; that is, whether they were also apprentices or fellows. Fortunately the Aitchison's Haven minutes make this quite clear. In the second minute, which has already been cited, the entrant, Alexander Cubie, chose two intenders who are expressly stated to have been Apprentices. The minute gives the names of the fellows of craft, and then those of four apprentices. and adds
... of ye quhilk enterit prentiseis Alexander Cubie chois Archibald Glene and James Pettiecrief to be his instructoris...
As we have already seen, in quoting these minutes before, Alexander Cubie was chosen two years later by Andrew Patten as one of his intenders, Cubie being himself still an apprentice. But this is not all. Robert Widderspone, who was made a fellow of craft two days before Cubie was entered an apprentice, is recorded as choosing George Aytoune and Johne Pedden "to be his intenders and instructouris," and these had just been named in the list of fellows of craft present. Thus we see that in a lodge whose Warden (or Master as we should say) had signed the Schaw Statutes, both apprentices and fellows of craft chose intenders, which intenders were of their own grade. Further instances could be cited in which this also appears quite unequivocally, but it is hardly necessary to do so.
There is another entry which is puzzling, and may be significant. Andrew Patten was "entered" as we have seen, on the second day of January, 1600. But on the seventh day of June in the year before, 1599, he had already been mentioned in what must be regarded as a most important minute:
Upon ye quhilk day Andro Pattene payit xx sh to his buiking and had servit VI zeiris of his prentisehip II zeiris to serve before vir witnes Johne Fender Wilzame Aytone, etc.
As the scribe was economical of words and punctuation alike we would paraphrase the statement thus:
Upon the which day Andrew Patten paid 20 shillings for his registration and [declaration was made] that he had served 6 years of his apprenticeship, [and had] two years more to serve, before the [following] witnesses, John Fender, William Ayton, etc.
This brings definitely before us that question which has appeared vaguely in the background, suggested by the variations in the phraseology of the different records. It has already been remarked that sometimes it was doubtful from the phraseology used, whether "entry" meant anything more than mere "booking" or registration. Here apparently we have the two things definitely recorded, as done at digerent times. Patten at the lowest, must have been seventeen or eighteen years old in 1599, seeing that he had then been an apprentice for six years, and this was six months before he was made an entered apprentice. This seems decidedly to confirm our suspicions that the apprenticeship of the lodge was as distinct from legal apprenticeship, as, let us say, civil marriage and church marriage are in France and some other countries. And to accept this as an hypothesis would clear up many obscurities which appear in the various references and allusions to apprenticeship in the Mason's Craft.
WHAT INSTRUCTIONS DID THE INTENDERS GIVE?
But more than this follows from these minutes. A young man of eighteen who had worked at the trade for six years must have been a fairly competent Craftsman if he had had normal ability and intelligence to begin with. What then did he need intenders and instructors for? This question becomes still more pressing in the case of the "accepted" fellow of the craft. Ex hypothesi he was a competent and skilled Mason or he would not have been passed why then did he need instructors? What were they to teach him?
It is possible that those who have had no experience of skilled handicraftsmanship, and the way it is learned in apprenticeship which is more a soaking in of information than the result of set instruction may fail to see the full force of this question. But, though books and lessons can make things easier, and can shorten the time of pupillage if intelligently used, the technique of a skilled trade can only be learned by working at it, as we have had occasion to remark before. The only answer we can give to the question raised is that the intenders taught the neophyte the formal secrets of the society whatever they were. Perhaps those "simpel questions and answers" to which the brethren of Melrose reduced their ritual in 1764 may serve us here as the basis of a guess.
But yet another thing follows if this be accepted, and that is, that the things taught to the "fellow of craft," in spite of the fact that two apprentices at least were required to make the lodge complete, were something that the latter did not know; though the same reasoning leads us to the conclusion that they also had been taught something that was kept strictly from the outside world, cowans and un-entered apprentices alike. In short, that there were two "degrees," according to our definition of that term.
THE ANNUAL EXAMINATION
All this illuminates the various regulations and ordinances and enactments concerning periodical examinations. We have already cited the Aberdeen statute. If it be understood that the apprentice's intenders there referred to were themselves apprentices, then the point of their having full responsibility, and their liability to fine if they omitted anything, becomes quite clear — in effect they also were being examined.
The tradition of such formal or ritual examinations was a continuous one in Scotland from the earliest times of which there is record into and through the eighteenth century . It also appears as something taken for granted in the earliest days of English speculative Masonry. So much so that the "work" of the lodges in the eighteenth century was understood to be this rehearsing of examinations, and not (as it now signifies in America) the initiation of candidates. This last, indeed, was regarded as something apart, almost as an interruption to the regular labors of the lodge. However this merely falls into place with our supposition, it hardly lends it any weight. We will therefore go back to the Schaw Statutes, No. 2, the version pertaining especially to Kilwinning. The fifth clause enacts
... that the Warden of Kilwinning ... elect and chuis sex of the maist perfyte and worthiest of memorie within [the bounds of the lodge] to tak tryall of the qualificatioun of the haill masonis within the boundis foirsaid, of their art, craft scyance and antient memorie, to the effect the warden deakin may be answerable heirafter for sic personis as is committit to him, and within his boundis and jurisdictioun .
The conjunction of art, craft, science and ancient memory as subjects for examination is very curious and intriguing. Art and craft may refer to manual skill. Science could mean ability to make plans, lay out work and estimate costs. But what was "antient memorie"?
The thirteenth paragraph of the Statutes returns to the subject.
Item, it is ordianit ... that the luge of Kilwynning ... tak tryall of the art of memorie and science thairof, of everie fallow of craft and everie prenteiss according to ather of their vocationis, and in case that thai have lost onie point thairof eurie of thame to pay the penalty as followis for their slewthfulness...
the faulty fellows twenty shillings and apprentices eleven. In this we have "art of memorie" as well as "science." And these were apparently divisible into "points." Here again we have a term that survived into the eighteenth century with a technical and, as one might say, speculative sense. Attention too must be called to the phrase, "according to either of their vocations," to modernize the spelling. This certainly seems to imply a different content for the "art of memorie" in the two grades or classes.
The tenth clause states the fees that all "fallows of craft at his entries is (or are) to pay to the "common box," and the value of the gloves to be given to the members of the lodge "or euir he be admittit," and then comes the proviso:
... and that he be not admitted without ane sufficient essay and pruife of memorie and art of craft, be the warden, deacon and quarter maisteris of the ludge...
Here we have "proof of memory" and "art of craft." The changes have been pretty well run on these terms, and the natural interpretation is that none of them was used very strictly. The essay was undoubtedly the "master piece" which proved the candidate's manual skill and ability to design and plan. And that is the most obvious and effective way of discovering a Craftsman's capability; and we must insist again, that this kind of capability once acquired is never forgotten, any more than one forgets how to swim or ride a bicycle once either art has been acquired.
While it must be remembered that these statutes, and the ordinances of most of the Scottish lodges, primarily regulated the craft and trade by which the masons earned their livelihood, it must not be forgotten that they seem to have been very largely re-enactments or reinforcements of old usage and custom. To argue that their main purpose necessarily excluded reference to anything except the severely practical is to argue from an assumption; in effect the importation of our own mental habits and point of view into the past. At least the phraseology suggests more than a concern limited strictly to practical skill and knowledge of craft technique; and it would seem as if these references, and all those previously adduced, will be most reasonably treated by interpreting them to relate to some formal and conventional body of information, very probably in the form of catechetical questions and answers, concerning which it would be quite possible to examine everyone at an annual assembly, and in which it would be at once apparent whether a man had forgotten any "point" or not.
Thus our picture is still further developed. The main lines are now fairly clear and definite. The three classes of evidence so far examined, taken as a whole, are all explicable upon this suggested interpretation; and the mutual support thus given by each class to the others raises the probability of the hypothesis to a considerable degree. But the details are still missing, and for so much of these as can be recovered we must look to the last group of documents.
THE VESTIGES OF OPERATIVE RITUAL
We have already indicated that the small and curious group of documents known as the "Old Catechisms" are all of unknown origin and of dubious character. They are untrustworthy witnesses whose evidence, unless otherwise supported, is not to be relied upon. Unfortunately there is nothing else. Aside from them there is scarcely a hint as to what the ritual usages of the pre-Grand Lodge of Masons may have been.
It is to be regretted that, though the greater number of these documents have been published, and though they have been frequently discussed, and still more frequently quoted, they have never been systematically and critically examined and classified in the same way as the Old Charges have been, as by Hughan and Begemann, to mention two of the foremost scholars in this field. It seems best therefore to briefly give some account of them here.
We have first three printed examples, all of which were published as exposés during the first years of the Grand Lodge of 1717; in consequence, it may be presumed, of an aroused curiosity upon the subject of Freemasonry on the part of the general public. The first of these in point of date is the Mason's Examination, published in the Flying Post, or Post Master of April 13, 1723. It will be remembered that the first Book of Constitutions was in print, and apparently on sale to the general public in the early part of the same year. The sanction to publish at the end of the work being dated Jan. 17, and this was probably printed just before publication. 
The printed Constitutions were apparently the cause of a good deal of excitement within the Fraternity, and of curiosity and gossip outside it. The Examination appears in the Flying Post as a communication to its editor from an anonymous contributor. The preface, in the form of a letter, is quite complimentary to the Craft, and introduces the communicated document as a forgery, that was pretended by its inventors to have been found among the papers of "a Fellow Mason lately deceased." As there was an earlier publication of like character (of which no copy remains) it is possible that this was merely a reprint with a new introduction.
The following year a pamphlet entitled, The Grand Mystery of the Free Masons Discover'd appeared, which contained also, "Two Letters to a Friend", signed by "Verbs Commodus." This Catechism is likewise said to have been "found in the Custody of a FreeMason who Dyed suddenly." The two letters are "propaganda" for the rival society of the Gormogons. The first of them decrys and ridicules the Masonic Fraternity, and the second eulogizes the upstart rival organization now so dead that few but scholars have even heard its name.
Six years later appeared the Mystery of Freemasonry in the Daily Journal of Aug. 15, 1730, and in the following October came the first edition of Prichard's Masonry Dissected.
The Mystery of Freemasonry (or of Freemasons) must not be confused with the Grand Mystery Discovered of 1724, as it is quite a different document. It, too, was said to have been "Taken from a Manuscript found amongst the Papers of a Deceased Brother." It may be remarked here that there is nothing inherently improbable about this having happened, not only once but a number of times. On the other hand it must also be remembered that this explanation of how such a thing came to be in hands of outsiders would be very likely to occur to a forger or fabricator, and also that the earliest example extant is characterized as an invention by the Flying Post's contributor. It follows that we cannot safely come to any definite conclusion, and must leave the question of authenticity open.
The MS. Catechisms are even more dubious as to origin than the printed ones. With the single exception of the Dumfries-Kilwinning, No. 4; they have turned up in between the leaves of old books, or in collections of papers and MSS., with nothing discoverable as to their antecedents; but again there is one exception, the Trinity College MS., which bears an endorsement in another, and later hand; "Molineux Family Papers, Freemasonry Feb., 1711." In fact so casually have these MSS. appeared that it gives some verisimilitude to the claim made by the publishers of the printed catechisms; that the originals belonged to deceased Masons.
The existing MSS. are the Dumfries-Kilwinning MS., No. 4; the Trinity College MS. above mentioned; the Sloane MS. No. 3329; the Chetwode Crawley MS.; the Essex MS. and the Institution of Freemasons, the last two of which are later than 1750; and a copy of the Mystery of Freemasons which may or may not be independent of the printed version of 1730. Finally we have the confused and fragmentary Mason's Confession, published in the Scot's Magazine in 1755, which professes to refer to a quarter of a century earlier ; namely, "about the year 1727."
Three of these Catechisms are versions of a common original, the Grand Mystery, the Essex and the Institution. The first was printed, as we have seen, in 1724. The two latter can be shown, by minor variations, to be independent versions, so that in spite of their late date as copies, they support the earlier printed document. This makes it practically certain that the original version, from which all three are independently derived, must be older than 1724 by a number of years. The same thing is true of the Examination and the Mystery of Freemasons, which are also independent versions of a common original. The remaining documents all stand alone, having no specially close relationships. So far as the probable date of the MSS. can be determined from the paper and handwriting, they might all be earlier than 1717, with the exception of the Essex and the Institution. But most of them have been set later than this on account of their contents. However, as the age of these contents is a question at issue, this cannot be accepted as a conclusive argument against an earlier dating. Into this controversy there is no need for us to enter now; it is sufficient to say that all these independent MSS. are of about the same period as the printed Catechisms. Probably the contents of all are, in the main, older than 1717, but all are open to the suspicion of being modified, added to or re-arranged at some time after this date.
These rather tedious prefatory remarks have been necessitated by the fact that the documents are practically unknown to the average Masonic reader, in spite of the fact that much of the Grand Mystery is to be found in Mackey's History, and that Gould published it, and the Examination in full . A general idea of the nature of the Catechisms may thus be gained from these well-known works. We shall strictly limit ourselves here to such passages as may throw light on the existence of separate degrees, and these are fortunately not very numerous. And in respect to this, we shall merely inquire what it is they tell us, regardless of their general lack of authority and the uncertainty as to their date. And in doing this we shall treat them as a whole, so far as that may prove to be possible.
THE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP
First we will take that group which may be designated by the name of its published exemplar the Grand Mystery. In each of these three catechisms we have this question and answer:
Q. How many proper points?
A. Foot to foot, knee to knee, hand to hand, heart to heart and ear to ear.
itself this signifies little to our purpose, but as has been said, these cryptic statements must be treated as a whole, and we have to interpret one by parallel passages elsewhere, when such exist. The same answer appears in the Examination and the Mystery, with the slight variation, "mouth to ear" instead of "ear to ear," but the question makes it much more significant in view of our present object. It is, "How many points be there in Fellowship?" In view of all that has gone before this can hardly be assigned to apprentices.
In the Chetwode Crawley MS. we find this passage:
Q. Are you a Fellow Craft?
Q. How many points of fellowship are there?
The answer being the same as the enumeration in the Grand Mystery of the "proper points."
Returning to the latter, and the two related versions, the Essex and the Institution, we find almost at the beginning these questions and their answers:
Q. What is a Mason?
A. A Man, begot of a man, born of a woman, and Brother to a King.
Q. What is a Fellow?
A. A Companion of a Prince.
This has no close parallel elsewhere in our sources, but there is a passage in the Dumfries-Kilwinning MS. No. 4 which seems to be an echo. It will be best to give it in full.
Q. What are you?
A. I ame a Man.
Q. How shall I know that?
A. By all true signs ...
Q. What, are you no more to us?
A. Yes, but a man, I was begotten of a man and born of a woman, and besides have several potentat kings and mighty princes to my brothers.
The spelling in this MS. is fearful and wonderful, and punctuation is practically absent, so we have inserted several commas to bring out the apparent meaning.
As the first answer stands it makes very little sense, and is probably corrupt, as perhaps the whole passage. If we could suppose that the original answer was "I am a Mason," the rest would be significant.
- See BUILDER, May, p. 168, note 17. To the works there cited should have been added W. F. Vernon, History of Freemasonry in the Province of Roxburgh Peebles and Selkirkshire. ↩
- That is, so far as ean be judged from such excerpts as have been published. ↩
- For other instances see Gould, Hist., voI. iii, p. 57 and note 5. ↩
- This and the following citations are quoted by Gould loc. cit. in his notes. For the text see Lyon, Hist., p. 12, et seq. ↩
- The "Sanction to Publish" at the end of the book is dated Jan. 17, 1723, and this was probably printed shortly before publication. See Vibert, BUILDER, 1923, p. 230. ↩
- The Dumfries-Kilwinning was published by John Lane A.Q.C., vol. vi, p. 41; the Sloane MS. has been published a number of times; see BUILDER, 1928, p. 248, note 4; also for the Institution. The Trinity College, the Chetwode Crawley and the Essex MS., have never been published. Compare also the discussion of these documents by Bro. Herbert Poole, A.Q.C., vol. xxxvii, p. 5, et seq. ↩
- In the Appendix to his large History. In the American Edition it will be found in the middle of the last volume at p. 276. ↩
* * *
GENERAL WASHINGTON JOHNSTON: AN EARLY OPPONENT OF SLAVERY
Bro. Curtis G. Shake, Indiana.
ONE day in the year 1793 there arrived at Vincennes, the "Old Post on the Wabash," a lad of seventeen years who answered proudly to the name of General Washington Johnston. Little is known of his early life, but it has been established that he was born Nov. 10, 1776, in Culpepper County, Va., near where George Washington had lived many years.
Before his migration to Vincennes, General Johnston had spent some time with relatives at Louisville, Ky. It is said that he studied law there and it is quite certain that when he left that place he had somehow and somewhere acquired the rudiments of a liberal education. Louisville was then a frontier settlement of some seventy log cabins. It had been established by Col. George Rogers Clark only fifteen years before, on the occasion of his celebrated campaign against Kaskaskia and Vincennes.
We have no account of Johnston's journey from Louisville to Vincennes. It is quite certain, however, that he followed the old "Buffalo Trace," which took its name from the fact that from time immemorial countless thousands of those animals had traveled the same route each season between the prairies of Illinois and the salt licks of Kentucky, thereby establishing a well worn trail through the wilderness. In Esarey's History of Indiana may be found a graphic account of a journey made over the same route by Arthur St. Clair and Judge Jacob Burnet, six years after Johnston had located at Vincennes. It is very interesting in connection with this sketch, because it gives us an idea of the dangers and difficulties encountered by this lad of seventeen in traversing a distance that may now be covered in a pleasurable motor jaunt of three short hours.
At the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville) they left their boat, mounted horses and proceeded on their way. About nine o'clock in the evening they discovered, at a little distance from the path they were traveling, the camp of four or five Indians, which they approached. After having shaken hands with the Indians, they procured a brand of fire, proceeded some distance further on their way, and halted for the night. Having brushed away the snow from the spot they had selected for a camp and collected a good supply of wood for the night they kindled a fire, took some refreshments, wrapped themselves in their blankets and laid down to sleep.
The next night they encamped in a rich valley, where they found an abundance of fallen timber, thus enabling them to keep up a warm fire through the night, before which they slept very comfortably till morning. During the night a couple of panthers, attracted by the light of the fire, approached sufficiently near the camp to serenade the travelers with their unwelcome music, but kept a respectful distance. The next day they encountered a severe snow storm, during which they surprised eight or ten buffalos, sheltering themselves from the storm behind the top of a beech tree full of dead leaves, which had fallen by the side of the "trace" and which hid the travelers from their view. The tree and the noise of the wind among its dry leaves prevented the buffalos from discovering the men till they had approached within two rods of the place where the animals stood. The latter then took to their heels and were soon out of sight. One of the men drew a pistol and fired but without visible effect.. That evening they reached White River where they found an old cabin, deserted by its builder, in which a large wildcat had taken shelter, and seemed at first inclined to vindicate its right of possession. It was, however, soon ejected, and the travelers entered and occupied the premises without molestation during the night and without attempting to do personal violence to the tenant whom they had driven out. The next morning they arrived at Post Vincennes.
And now let us take a glimpse at Vincennes, not the modern little city that proudly bears that name, with its well paved streets, its beautiful homes, its churches and its schools, but the Vincennes of 1793, when General Washington Johnston took up his residence there. Again we are obliged to look to contemporary sources for information. In 1796 Vincennes was visited by Count Volney, a traveler from France. In his published works he has left us an interesting description of Vincennes and its people as he saw them, when Johnston had been a resident there but three years.
The day after my arrival a court was held, to which I repaired, to make my remarks on the scene. On entering, I was surprised to observe the audience divided into races of men, in persons and feature widely differing from each other....
They know nothing at all of civil or domestic affairs: their women neither sew, nor spin, nor make butter, but pass their time in gossiping and tattle, while all at home is dirt and disorder. The men take to nothing but hunting, fishing, roaming in the woods and loitering in the sun. They do not lay up, as we do, for winter, or provide for a rainy day.... If they trade, they try by exorbitant charges to make much out of little; for little is generally their all, and what they get they throw away upon Indian girls, in toys and baubles. Their time is wasted too in trifling stories of their insignificant adventures to town to see their friends. Thus they speak of New Orleans, as if it were a walk of half an hour, though it is fifteen hundred miles down the river.
Speaking of the Indian population of the town he wrote:
The men and women roamed all day about the town, merely to get rum, for which they eagerly exchanged their peltry, their toys, their clothes, and at length, when they had parted with their all, they offered their prayers and entreaties, never ceasing to drink till they had lost their senses. Hence arise ridiculous scenes. They will take hold the cup with both hands, like monkeys, burst into unmeaning laughter, and gargle their beloved cup, to enjoy the taste of it the longer; and about the liquor with clamorous invitations, bawl aloud at each other, though close together, seize their wives and pour liquor down their throats, and, in short, display all the freaks of vulgar drunkenness. Sometimes tragical scenes ensue: they become mad or stupid, and falling in the dust or mud, lie a senseless log till next day. We found them in the streets by dozens in the morning, wallowing in the filth with the pigs. It was rare for a day to pass without a deadly quarrel, by which about ten men lose their lives yearly... They dwell separately, in mistrust, jealousy and eternal animosity. With them, what they want they have a right to, and what they have strength enough to seize is their own.
Thus we find General Washington Johnston located at Vincennes in 1793, determined to become a lawyer and inspired, no doubt, by the brilliant achievements of such men as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, back in Old Virginia. What force of character, what tenacity of purpose, what vision and what faith he must have possessed, not to have completely lost himself amid such unpromising and uninspiring surroundings! How the young man spent the first six years of his life in Vincennes is not recorded, but it is evident that he applied himself in study, by way of preparation for his chosen profession, for at the February term of the District Court of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, held at Vincennes in 1799, he was duly admitted to the bar the first to receive that honor west of what later became the State of Ohio.
By all present day standards, Vincennes must have presented anything but an attractive picture when Johnston became a disciple of Blackstone and nailed up the "shingle" that proclaimed him an "attorney and counsellor at law." The village was nothing more than a frontier settlement of rude log cabins. The streets were mere paths leading from one house to another. The fort, the church, and the tavern comprised all that might have been termed public buildings. The population, aggregating perhaps six hundred souls, was a motley mixture of French, Indians and Americans, the latter consisting of venturesome pioneers who had wandered up from Virginia through Gumberland Gap, by way of Kentucky. Only a few of the French spoke English and practically none of the Americans spoke French. The seat of the government was at Marietta, Ohio. There was no newspaper and no postoffice.
A FRONTIER LAWYER
The practice of law presented many perplexing problems to the young barrister. Conflicting land claims constituted a most prolific source of troublesome litigation. Sessions of the General Court were infrequent, the judges being obliged to ride the circuit, which embraced Marietta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Vincennes and Kaskaskia. At Vincennes the situation was further complicated by the attitude of the French inhabitants toward the new system of administering justice. They were accustomed to a simple and inexpensive government, very much resembling the manorial system of the middle ages. The law of the land since the time of Grozat had been called rather grandiloquently the Coutume de Paris. Evidently no one knew what the "customs" of Paris were, so the military commandant of the fort and the Catholic priest, who together had been the whole government of the French settlement for nearly a century, administered the customs of the country, somewhat after the fashion of the common law. The priest kept the vital statistics, settled all minor disputes, and, of course, officiated at all marriages. The commandant issued and confirmed land grants and administered a self-imposed criminal code in a summary manner. No wonder the French settlers at Vincennes were perplexed and bewildered, and petitioned Congress to be relieved from the blessings of freedom and self-government!
It is remarkable tribute to his character that Johnston was able to win and retain throughout his eventful life the respect and esteem of all the discordant elements that went to make up the citizenship of the community. He learned to understand the viewpoint of the French inhabitants, and mastered their language. So great was the confidence of the judges in his honor and integrity that he was permitted to address juries in French, a privilege never accorded any other lawyer at Vincennes.
Perhaps no man in Indiana, certainly none in Indiana Territory, ever held so many important offices of public trust as he did. In 1800 he was made the first postmaster at Vincennes. Three times he was elected President of the Board of Trustees of the Borough of Vincennes, an office that corresponds to that of Mayor now. In 1810 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace, a position of much responsibility in those days. He was for two terms a member of the Territorial Legislature, and was Speaker of that body at the time it petitioned Congress to admit Indiana as a state. At different periods he served as Auditor of Public Accounts, Adjutant General, and Treasurer of Indiana Territory. He was a member of the General Assembly of the state in 1821, 1822, 1826 and 1829. During the session of 1822 he was Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was twice the presiding Judge of the Circuit Court. In 1809 he published the first law book written in Indiana Territory, under the title, The Justices' and Constables' Guide. He was with General Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe, and upon the return of the General from that engagement, publically welcomed him on behalf of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives.
JOHNSTON'S EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS
Not alone as a public officer, but as a private citizen as well, did Johnston assume a position of leadership in the community. He frequently delivered public addresses on patriotic occasions, and a number of these were published in The Western Sun, by request of the citizens. He was one of the members of the original Board of Trustees for the Vincennes University, and the first Clerk of that Board, and throughout his life manifested the deepest interest and concern in that institution. He was likewise one of the incorporators of the Vincennes Library Company which, in 1806, established the first library in the Territory. At his death his own extensive collection of books found its way into this library, and upon the dissolution of the Company in 1883, these passed into the possession of Vincennes University. Their well balanced variety, and the succinct marginal notes, in the bold handwriting of the original owner, stand as mute proof of his comprehensive interest in literature and the cultural pursuits.
General Washington Johnston was one of the pioneers of the old Indiana Territory and when we speak of Indiana Territory it is well to bear in mind that it embraced what is now the states of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Indiana all of the old Northwest, except Ohio. He came to Vincennes at the formative period, when the future states were just beginning to develop. The Constitution of the United States had been adopted only six years earlier. George Washington had been first inaugurated President but four years before, and but fourteen years had passed since George Rogers Clark had captured this part of the country from the British. He saw the beginning of almost everything, and was himself a part of almost everything in the beginning. He reached Vincennes seven years before it was known that it would become the capital of Indiana Territory. He saw the courts and the seat of government established. He saw the territorial officers as they tardily came to take up their residence and set the wheels of government in motion. He saw, one by one as they came, bright, educated, ambitious and daring young men from the eastern states, who had each determined to make a mark for himself in the new country. He saw the settlers come and drive the Indians from their habitations and hunting grounds. He saw some men from the free states, and some from the slave states, who brought their slaves with them, all determined to carve out homes in the wilderness and on the prairies. He saw representatives come from the various settlements round about to the seat of the new government, bringing with them their various problems to be solved.
He saw William Henry Harrison come as a young man of twenty-seven to assume his duties as Governor of Indiana Territory, and he knew Zachary Taylor when he was a young army officer stationed at Vincennes. He was Harrison's steadfast friend and staunch supporter from the beginning to the end. When Harrison first came everybody was his friend, but as time wore on enemies sprang up and these tormented him and his administration continuously, but Johnston never failed him
One of the most vexing problems that arose in those early days was the question of slavery. It may seem strange to us that slavery should ever have been a serious problem in Indiana Territory, but it was one of the most difficult matters that confronted the new community. Harrison favored slavery, and this fact brought many of his friends to the same way of thinking.
It is true that the Ordinance of 1787, creating the Northwest Territory, prohibited slavery. But this was only a legislative enactment that could have been changed by Congress, and it came very nearly to the point of doing so two or three times under the influence of those who would profit by it.
In 1807 the Territorial Legislature adopted a very remarkable law respecting slavery, known as the Indenture Act. It provided, among other things, that slaves might be brought into the Territory by their masters; that within thirty days thereafter the owner and the slave might enter into a contract of indenture, by the terms of which they might agree upon a period of years during which the slave should serve the master in consideration of his freedom, and that upon the refusal of the slave to enter into such an agreement he might be removed from the Territory by his master and sold.
The following are specimens of Indenture agreements, taken from public records, as given by Col. William M. Cockrum, in his Pioneer History of Indiana.
On this 27th day of July, 18 , I, Joseph Barton, have this day set free my slave, Thomas Turner, and I hereby make and acknowledge the emancipation paper for his complete freedom. The said Thomas Turner for the privilege of being known as a free man, has agreed to indenture his Services to me for a period of thirty years from date.
(Seal) JOSEPH BARTON.
I, Thomas Turner, do hereby accept the emancipation papers for which I Sincerely thank my former master and do cheerfully agree to indenture myself to the said Joseph Barton as per the above agreement.
July 27, 18—. THOMAS TURNER.
X My own mark.
This is to certify, that I, James Hartwell, of my own free will and accord, do this day emancipate and give freedom to a negro slave, named Charles Hope, brought by me from North Carolina. In making these papers I want to bear testimony to the painstaking and careful way he has done his work, and that he is a quiet and most obedient servant and has always been very easily managed. For these good qualities it affords me great pleasure to be able to give him his rightly earned freedom. For some necessary expenses that has to be incurred before he can leave the home he has so long lived at and for the love he has for me and my family, he hereby agrees to indenture his Services to me for twenty-nine years from the 18th day of October, 18—, which is the date of this agreement.
I, Charles Hope, do hereby acknowledge my thankfulness to my master for the kindness he has shown in setting me free and I cheerfully accept the conditions in my freedom papers and agree to serve the time Specified, or until death.
X His Mark.
These contracts of indenture were assignable to any person in the territory if the slaves consented, which they were practically obliged to do. Commenting upon the last mentioned case, above quoted, Col. Cockrum in his book says:
Note the meanness of this hypocrite who made the great show of giving this negro pretended freedom with such a good certificate of character, which would make the negro more salable when he had an opportunity to sell him, and on the fifteenth day of the next November he did sell him to a neighbor for four head of horses, ten head of cattle, one hundred acres of military land, and a promissory note for three hundred dollars. The next year this negro went with his master on a pretended trip to the saline country of Illinois, but was carried farther south and was sold into slavery for life.
Johnston was a member of the legislature in 1808 as he had been in 1807. That body in 1808 was almost evenly divided on the subject of slavery; at least it was supposed to be at the beginning of the session. As usual, a number of petitions relating to slavery were presented, and these were all referred to a committee of which Johnston was the chairman.
It was not long before a report came in and this was written by Johnston himself. He read the report to the body and took the strongest grounds possible against slavery. The document was a masterly one and it must have been delivered in an eloquent manner, because after it was read, and before the body adjourned, the report was unanimously adopted.
This proved to be the death knell to the institution of slavery in Indiana Territory. The question was never presented again, and Congress never had another opportunity to comply with a request from Indiana Territory to extend slavery to any of its soil.
Johnston was severely criticised for his apparent change of front on the question of slavery. He answered his critics with characteristic candor and frankness. He acknowledged that he had allowed himself to be considered a pro-slavery man, out of deference for what he believed to be the sentiment of a majority of the people among whom he lived. But he said he had always abhorred slavery and was personally opposed to it. He said further that he had never before been confronted with the responsibility of seriously and officially passing upon the subject; that when he considered the harm that it would do posterity, and the trouble that it would surely bring to the country there was but one course for him to take, and that he had taken that course.
This report was a remarkable document. No more able or forcible indictment against human slavery was ever submitted to any body of people in the United States. It contained the cold logic of William Lloyd Garrison, the fiery eloquence of Wendell Phillips, and the human sympathy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." It deserves to be classed among the great state papers of the period.
JOHNSTON AS A MASON
Johnston became and continued to be throughout his life a devoted adherent of the institution of Freemasonry. He was probably made a member of the order at Louisville. The community at Vincennes was more or less unfriendly to Masonry, and William Henry Harrison was a pronounced anti-Mason, but the Fraternity had a bold and determined champion in Johnston. Through his earnest and persistent efforts Masonry was introduced into Indiana Territory. On his initiative a group of members at Vincennes applied for a dispensation to establish a lodge there to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. This was granted Aug. 27, 1807, but one difficulty after another prevented the formation of the lodge. The dispensation having expired Johnston requested another which was likewise granted. The lodge was finally instituted on March 13, 1809, the first legally constituted lodge of the order, or for that matter the first assemblage of Masons in the territory now comprising Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
On the occasion of the anniversary of Saint John the Baptist, 1809, he delivered a Masonic address at the court house in Vincennes, "in the presence of the members of the lodge and a respectable collection of citizens." The full text of this discourse was published by request in The Western Sun of July 16, 1809. In the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Indiana for 1819, it is disclosed that Johnston proposed to publish in book form a collection of his Masonic addresses, but if this was done no copy is known to be in existence.
He served repeatedly in every office of Vincennes Lodge, No. 1, and was the moving spirit in the organization of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. He represented the Vincennes Lodge at the preliminary meeting held at Corydon, Ind., Dec. 3, 1817, for the organization of a grand lodge, and acted as chairman of the committee which formulated the address to the grand lodges of Ohio and Kentucky, advising them of the proposed action. For two years he was the Deputy Grand Master of Indiana, and there is a tradition at Vincennes that he purposely remained away from the Grand Lodge meeting of 1830, because he did not desire to be elected Grand Master.
General Washington Johnston died at Vincennes Oct. 26, 1833, and was buried with full Masonic honors. In 1923 the Grand Lodge of Indiana and Vincennes Lodge, No. 1, caused an appropriate monument to be placed at his grave in Fairview cemetery. His family Bible and the Masonic jewels that he wore are prized possessions of the Vincennes Lodge.
In the Vincennes Gazette of Nov. 9, 1833, appeared this obituary:
Departed this life on the 26th ult. Gen. W. Johnston, Esq., in the 59th year of his age. He was born in Culpepper's county, Va., and came to this borough in 1794 (1793). He was one of the very oldest immigrants to this part of the country. The writer of this paragraph (which is far too short and imperfect adequately to detail his merits) does not design to eulogize him now, for "flattery" cannot "soothe the dull cold ear of death," but to pay a just tribute of respect to departed worth. As a lawyer he stood deservedly high. His reading in his profession was varied and deep, and he used the advantages which he possessed for the advancement of the interest of his clients' justice. He filled many honorable offices with credit to himself and usefulness to the people. As a legislator he was discriminating, industrious, intelligent, and dignified. As president judge he preserved the sanctity of the "ermine," and was equally impregnable to the flattery and intimidation. As a magistrate he was enlightened and faithful to his trust. And in the various relations of a Christian citizen, husband and father, he was not surpassed. He was one of that noble and gallant band that presented a fearless front to the murderous tomahawk and deadly rifle on the well contested and bloody field of Tippecanoe. His death has left a blank in our society which will not readily be filled. He was buried with Masonic honors and the large concourse of citizens that followed his remains to the grave, proclaimed the respect entertained for his memory.
One writer has summarized the distinguished services rendered by General Washington Johnston in these appropriate words:
"He killed the institution of slavery and established the brotherhood of Freemasonry in Indiana."
GENERAL WASHINGTON JOHNSTON'S REPORT AGAINST SLAVERY. 1808
After a struggle of seven years the inhabitants of this portion of the British Empire in America found themselves in possession of independence as a nation, and in the institution they adopted they secured the enjoyment of a degree of personal liberty utterly unknown to any other government. But an unfortunate circumstance darkened the cheering prospect. In every state, but especially in the southern section of the Union, an oppressed race of men, supplied by a most inhuman trade, portended the most serious evils to the American nation. Sensible that slavery in a country where liberty was deservedly so dear, and had been purchased at so high a price, presented a feature of deformity not to be justified, every state hastened to put an end to the horrid traffic.. Those which could do it without anger abolished slavery altogether, and those which from the great number of their negroes could not with due regard for their safety follow at once the dictates of justice and humanity, enacted laws for the protection of that unfortunate class of men, and then gradual emancipation. When the Northwestern Territory was ceded by Virginia to the United States, Congress obeyed the impulse of justice and benevolence and endeavored to prevent the propagation of an evil which they could not totally eradicate, by enacting in the ordinance which forms our constitution that "there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the Territory, otherwise than, etc."
The law of the Territory entitled, "An act concerning the introduction of negroes and mulattoes into the Territory," makes it lawful for a holder of slaves to bring them into the Territory, and to keep them therein during sixty days, during which period the negro is offered the alternative of either signing an indenture by which he binds himself for a number of years, or of being sent to a slave state or territory there to be sold. The natural inference from this statement forces itself upon the mind that the slave thus circumstanced is held in involuntary servitude, and that the law permitting such proceedings is contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the ordinance, and that therefore it is unconstitutional. Your committee might add that the most flagitious abuse is made of that law. Negroes brought here are commonly forced to bind themselves for a number of years, reaching or extending to the natural term of their lives, so that the condition of those unfortunate persons is not only involuntary servitude but down right slavery. It is perhaps unnecessary to advert to the novel circumstances of a person under extreme duress of a slave becoming a party to a contract, parting with himself and receiving nothing.
- That slavery though in itself unjust, might nevertheless be tolerated for reasons of expediency is a point which your committee do not feel themselves at liberty to concede. They are firmly fixed in the persuasion that what is morally wrong can never by expediency be made right. Such a pliable doctrine, if generally admitted, would soon line our highways with banditti, our streets with footpads, and fill our exchange alleys with swindlers; but policy itself forbids the measure. With respect to population, the great and more compact middle and eastern states, compared with the southern states, justifies the expectation that emigration will proceed more from the first than the last. This observation will be rendered conclusively by the fact that the state of Virginia, older and larger than Pennsylvania, contains a body of militia of sixty odd thousand men, when Pennsylvania actually musters ninety odd thousand men.
- With respect to the spirit of enterprise and internal improvement, your committee cannot trespass upon the time of the house by entering minutely into the elucidation of this important Subject, upon which very erroneous opinions have been entertained. They will only observe that a general view of the different states of the union, and of their respective means of prosperity and importance, will soon convince the impartial enquirer that the hand of freedom can best lay the foundation and rapidly raise the fabric of public prosperity. The old states north of Maryland, without one single precious commodity, exporting nothing but bulky articles, present everywhere the spectacle of industry and initiation. Their style of agriculture is superior. Their mills, bridges, roads, canals, and their manufactures are in point of number without a parallel in the southern states, and they, besides other parts of the world, export to those states manufactured commodities to a large amount annually. On the subject of public improvements we will beg leave to refer the house to a document laid before Congress on the subject of roads and canals. The state of Ohio furnishes us with a case in point, which aptly illustrates the two foregoing observations. In the short space of a few years our eyes witness it growing into importance, where but a little while before Indian hordes and savage beasts roamed without control. Farms, villages and towns are multiplying with a rapidity unprecedented in the history of new settlements. The same cause will produce the same effect. The exertion of the free man who labors for himself and family must be more effectual than the faint efforts of a meek and dispirited slave, whose condition is never to be bettered by his incessant toil. The industrious will flock where industry is honorable and honored, the man of an independent spirit where equity reigns, and where no proud nabob can east on him a look of contempt.
- With respect to the influence which the practice of slavery may have upon morals and manners, when men are invested with an uncontrolled power over a number of friendless human beings, them to incessant labor; when they can daily see the whip hurrying promiscuously the young, the aged, the infirm, the pregnant woman with her sucking infant, to their daily toil; when they can see them unmoved, shivering with cold and pinched with hunger; when they can barter a human being with the same unfeeling indifference that they barter a horse, part the wife from her husband and, unmindful of their mutual cries, tear the child from its mother; when they can, in the unbridled gust of stormy passion, inflict cruel punishments, which no law can avert or mitigate; when such things can take place, can it ever be expected that the milk of human kindness will ever moisten, in their intercourse with one another, the eyes of the man in the daily practice of such enormities, and will respect the moral obligations and the laws of justice, which they are constantly outraging with the wretched negro? Their passions, never controlled, will break out in frequence, which will be decided with savage cruelty, and their manners will receive a tinge of repelling fierceness, which will be too often discernible, where a proper education has not softened and expanded the heart and corrected the understanding. At this very moment the progress of reason and general benevolence is consigning slavery to its merited destination. England, sordid England, is blushing at the practice! I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. Must the Territory of Indiana take a retrograde step into barbarism and assimilate itself with Algiers and Morocco?
- With respect to its political effects, it may be worthy of inquiry how long the political institutions of a people admitting slavery may be expected to remain uninjured. How proper a school for the acquirement of republican virtues is a state of things wherein usurpation is sanctioned by law; wherein the commands of justice are trampled under foot; wherein those claiming the right of free men are themselves the most excerable tyrants, and where is consecrated the dangerous maxim "that power is right?" Your committee will here only observe that the habit of unlimited dominion in the slave holder will beget in him a spirit of haughtiness and pride, productive of a proportionate habit of servility and despondence in those who possess no negroes, both equally inimical to our institutions. The lord of three or four hundred negroes will not easily forgive, and the mechanic and laboring man will seldom venture a vote contrary to the will of such an influential being.
This question your committee have hitherto only considered in relation to the internal prosperity and happiness of the Territory. They cannot yet dismiss the subject without offering to this House two observations tending to prove that in relation to the United States the admission of slavery into this Territory is a measure which neither justice nor policy can justify. The negro holders can emigrate with their slaves into the extensive Mississippi Territory, the Territory of New Orleans, and the more extensive Louisiana. By opening unto them the Territory of Indiana a kind of monoply of the United States land is granted to them, and the middle and eastern states, as well as enemies of slavery from the south, are effectually precluded from forming settlements in any of the territories of the United States. Your committee respectfully conceive that the national legislature cannot with justice make such an unequal distribution (if they may be allowed the expression) of the laws with the disposal of which they are entrusted for the benefit of all, but especially of those states whose overflowing population render emigration necessary.
If we take a general survey of the geographical extent of the United States we will discern the system of slavery extending from the line of Pennyslvania and the Ohio river to the Floridas, and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. By the purchase of Louisiana, where it was found existing, it may spread to an indefinite extent north and west, so that it may be said to have received a most alarming extension, and is calculated to excite the most serious fears. By admitting it in Indiana, that is to say opening to it the vast tract of territory between the state of Ohio, the river of that name, the Lakes, and the Mississippi, the comparative importance of the middle and eastern states, the real strength of the Union, is greatly reduced and the dangers threatening the internal tranquility of the United States proportionately increased.
From the above reasons, and many others which might be adduced, your committee are of opinion that slavery cannot and ought not to be admitted into this Territory; that it is inexpedient to petition Congress for a modification of that part of the ordinance relative to slavery, and that the act of the legislature of Indiana for the introduction of negroes and mulattoes into said Territory ought to be repealed, for which purpose they have herewith reported a bill.
Your committee are further of opinion that a copy of this report, and a copy of one of the petitions upon which the same is predicated, be immediately made out, signed by the Speaker of the House and attested by the Clerk, and forwarded by the ensuing mail to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, with a request that he will lay the same before Congress.
GEN'L W. JOHNSTON, Chairman of Committee.
Indiana Territory, Vincennes, 19th Oct., 1808.
Considering the period this is a most remarkable document and we may well be proud that it came from the pen of a Mason.
The obelisk marking the grave of General Washington Johnston was erected by the Grand Lodge of Indiana, as appears from the following transcript of the inscriptions on the two bronze plates on the base. That on the south side reads as follows:
ERECTED A. D. 1923, A. L. 5923, BY THE GRAND LODGE, F. AND A. M. INDIANA, AND VINCENNES LODGE NO. 1, F. AND A. M. IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICES OF GENERAL WASHINGTON JOHNSTON TO FREE MASONRY AND THE STATE
The tablet to the west bears these words:
GENERAL WASHINGTON JOHNSTON BORN NOVEMBER 10, 1776; DIED OCTOBER 26, 1833: FATHER OF MASONRY IN INDIANA TERRITORY; CREATOR OF VINCENNES LODGE NO. 1, F. AND A. M. MARCH 13, 1809; FOUNDER OF GRAND LODGE F. AND A. M. INDIANA DECEMBER 3, 1817.
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FREEMASONRY, JUDAISM AND GENERAL ERICH LUDENDORFF
Bro. L. F. Strauss, Massachusetts
THE future historian, the writer of history yet to be made, will be puzzled by one problem, one strange manifestation.
The phenomenon is named anti-Semitism. It is an agitation, a propaganda, of international scope, forming the substructure of political parties in some countries, and is directed towards the curtailment or complete denial of social, economic and political rights to the Jew; even towards "making it impossible for him to exist," to use Mussolini's phrase in regard to Italian Masons.
The psychologist will speculate and the historian will wonder in regard to this phenomenon, that the originators, the leaders, of the anti-Semitic movement were "good Christians," in many cases the officials and administrators of Christian Churches and denominations.
Historian and psychologist will comment on and seek to explain this strange phenomenon. Jewish converts were welcomed and generally received a fair, and even generous treatment in the Roman Catholic Church. Even in Great Britain we can point to Disraeli, and to many other Jews who have won high place and received honorable treatment. But in Protestant countries generally, welcome has been conspicuous by its absence, and anything like a fair economic or social treatment has usually been totally denied to anyone of Jewish race. The writer of these lines has had some strange experiences in this regard. Once he was teaching philosophy in a Christian institution. He was meeting with marked success, there was a wonderful response on the part of the students but there was a conference of the authorities, and a pious official said: "What will the world say? What will people think? A Jew teaching philosophy in a Christian Institution!"
In a like case we read:
The accusing angel flew up to Heaven's Chancery with the words, and blushed as he gave them in. The recording Angel dropped a tear as he wrote them down, and blotted it out forever.
As illustration of anti-Semitism in Germany, the future historian and psychologist could mention the case and conduct of Stoecker, a Court preacher in the time of Bismarek's regime. More recent is the behavior of Ludendorff, a German general.
FREEMASONRY AND GENERAL ERICH LUDENDORFF
"We do not take possession of our ideas; they take possession of us, they master us and force us into the arena and we are but gladiators fighting for our ideas," so said Heinrich Heine.
Let us, first of all, introduce the innocent reader to our subject-object, the main, the "heroic" figure of this article, whose name constitutes one-half of our title, Erich Ludendorff, the military genius, together with Hindenburg, now President of Germany, the chief commander in the Great War of 1914-19. Meyer's Encyclopedia ascribes to him the glory, the initial success of the German army. "For all the achievements, the successes of the German army, its victories in the East and West, credit and honor is due to Ludendorff. His labor was gigantic and so were all his contributions in German military matters." In some future textbooks of History, the student will learn, will have to memorize:
Ludendorff was the guiding "genius" in the German invasion of Belgium. His scientific strategy made possible the swift capture of Liege, the military occupation of a great part of Belgium and France, the near capture of Paris, the capital of France, whose occupation by German troops "might" have terminated the war, and for a time established the European, in a way the world hegemony of Germany. But Fata versunt aliter. Providence has decreed otherwise.
Let us return to our main, our renowned and excellent subject.
Erich Ludendorff was born April 9, 1865, in Druszewina, Posen, now a part, a province, of the kingdom, empire, republic, "a name, what's in a name," etc. of Poland. His father was an officer of the Prussian Army, a successful commander in the Prussian-Austrian conflict of 1866. Erich Ludendorff was a pupil of the cadet school in Plow; he was made a Lieutenant in 1882, at the age of seventeen; and naturally "rationally" became a military man. The English word military comes, is derived, from the Roman word miles, militis, which means soldier.
Now, for the understanding of the psychologically inclined reader: by race Ludendorff is, and proudly calls himself, a "Nordic." This word Nordic is intended to designate a Northman, that is, a Norman-Swedish-Norwegian-Danish-North-German member of the genus hobo. Although born in Posen, a Polish-Slavic district, he traces his paternal ancestry to Sweden, from which country also his father had taken unto himself a wife.
Erich Ludendorff, after the war, became an unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency of the German Republic. He is now a member of the German Reichstag. He has published a number of partly political, partly military publications or treatises, which have been translated into most Aryan languages, and might be found on the shelves of our Public Libraries. The latest, to readers of THE BUILDER the most interesting, achievement of Erich Ludendorff is the writing and publication of a learned, scientific, philosophic treatise on the subject of Freemasonry. This book, printed in 1927, has for its title, The Annihilation of Freemasonry Through the Revelation of Its Secrets. For an understanding, an appreciation of this purpose, this good intention, this attack by General Ludendorff, we deem it expedient to give a few historical statistical facts concerning the "Fatherland" and of Freemasonry.
Germany is a country which, before the war, had a population of a little over 65 million, and now has a population of somewhat more than 60 million. The number of members of an Order called Freemasonry, on a planet called Earth, is about four million, in the U.S. membership is about three million, in Germany is about 60,000 (Ludendorff claims 80,000). In the U.S. three men in a hundred are Masons, in Germany there is one Mason in a thousand inhabitants.
The number of Jews now living on this Planet Earth is about fifteen million, of which number we have in the U.S. about three million or three per cent of U.S. population. In Germany are living today (official statistics) 600,000, or one per cent of the German population. Ludendorff, as usual, exaggerates a little and claims one million Jews as inhabitants of the Fatherland.
As stated, the number of Masons upon a planet called Earth is about four million, of which number this writer gives about one per cent, or 40,000, as Jews. Of these 40,000 about 30,000 are in the U.S., and most of these are in the "Jewish metropolis" called New York.
THE MASONIC "SITUATION" IN GERMANY
In ancient times, that is, until very recently, unbaptised Jews were not admissible into German Masonry. At this hour in most lodges "unbaptized" Jews are not even nominally admissible, baptised Jews are nominally admissible. A few lodges welcome, nominally, all religious denominations, even Jews, as members of their Order. Now, if the number of Jews in Masonic lodges of Germany were in exact proportion to the percentage of their race to the whole population, there would be six hundred Jewish Masons; but actually we find in Germany, whose population is over sixty million, about two hundred Jews, two hundred sons of Israel, who are members of the Order of Freemasonry.
After the presentation of these facts, we will give a few excerpts from the latest book by General Ludendorff.
"The Secret of Freemasonry is the Jew. A man of any racial affinity, particularly a German, ought to recognize this fact." "To prove, to justify, to establish this declaration I [Ludendorff] will give the reader a glimpse of the dependence of German Freemasonry upon Judaism." "The Jews, of course, know but too well the secret or secrets of Freemasonry, for we read in a work by Dr. Isaac M. Wise [once upon a time a friend of this writer, L. F. Strauss, and the father-in-law of Mr. Ochs, owner of New York Times], 'Freemasonry is a Jewish institution whose history, degrees, symbols, passwords are Jewish from beginning to end.'"
"The dependence of Freemasons upon Jewry not only renders so difficult the liberation of the German people from the yoke of enemies, but it intensifies, aggravates the enslavement and makes of some Germans, workers in the establishment of Jewish domination and Jewish world dominion. The primary aim of Freemasonry is to impress the educated, the professional leaders in industry, into service for the establishment of Jewish dominion."
"The degradation of Germans of both sexes was made possible by making a German forget that he was an Aryan, a Teuton and above everything, a German."
"There is not sufficient space to give now the whole history of Masonry. We wish to state this only: Masonry came to Germany from England about the middle of the 18th century, with strongly Jewish constituent forms and formulas; it was favored by Jewish 'Parvenus," such as Moses Mendelsohn, and was supported by the Order of Jesus." [Jesuits.]
"This World Freemasonry had made propaganda for the World War, and now prevents the establishment of truth about this war by means of Judaizing this our Universe."
"Membership in one of the highest Masonic degrees is not a test or proof of a higher initiation, of a knowledge of final designs of the Order. In one of the publications mentioned we can read to what awful, frightful things a member of the 30th Degree finds himself exposed."
"Count Hangwitz, one of our foremost statesmen, found himself in such a dilemma. He proposed the prohibition of the Order in the Congress at Verona in the year 1822."
"Rulers, Sovereigns were chosen Protectors, and then had to suffer." "Emperor William II and the Czar of Russia were not Freemasons, and for this reason both lost their throne." "Masonic members, not in Jewish Lodges, on the Planet Earth amount to several millions, first, U.S. with more than three million Masons, next England with several hundred thousands, Germany 80,000. This number 80,000 gives a good, a correct picture of German, Teuton blood. But hereby is strengthened the force of German Jews, who number about one million in Germany." [Exaggerated official statistics say 600,000.]
"Freemasons are influential officials in the German government. Streseman is a Mason. Freemasonry is a sticky, glutinous, invisible substance penetrating everything."
"The flower called Acacia is the Sceptre of Judah. "I [Ludendorff] know the Acacia to be a thornbush. In the inner realm of Freemasonry Acacia is presented as the tree of life, is adorned with blossoms white and red and impersonates Truth and Justice." "The Germans, of course, know but too well this truth or justice promised to the World by the Sceptre of Judah."
"In all Masonic Lodges shines the Star of David." "In the lowest degree, in that of apprentice, we have in Germany, in place of the six-pointed, the five-pointed star, which today has become the Jewish Soviet star — a Kabbalistic symbol." "This five-pointed star represents Light, personified by the Jew priest standing in the inner shrine of the Temple of Israel when the High Priest [on the Day of Atonement] returns to the inner Sanctuary." [Some useful information here.]
"G, so conspicuous in all Masonic presentations, represents Gematria. In reality this letter G takes the place, personifies, the letter of the initial letter of Jehovah."
"Kabbala. This Kabbala is a book of Jewish philosophy, Jewish magic, dark superstition.... Gematria is vicious superstition letter and number mysticism. The Hebraic word for World War calculated by, in Gematria, equals 1914."
"The six-pointed star of David is for the Jew the creation in six days and the geometric figure of Solomon's Seal, presented in the form of a triangle."
"This star of David we find in all lodges."
"The Kabbala teaches Jewish ideas of Creation, mentions 10 concentric figures."
"The Kabbala teaches the idea, the doctrine of reincarnation."
"A tree is another Kabbalistic figure or picture for creation and is a highly venerated symbol in the realm of Freemasonry."
"The New Testament. So-called Christian humanitarian Freemasonry bases its mythology, not on Jesus of Nazareth, not on Petrus, not on Paulus, not on the four evangelists, but on the Evangelism of St. John. Here we find the first words of John: In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, God was the Word, etc. This is in accord with fundamental Kabbalistic Doctrine of the Logos." [Correct, Strauss.]
"The highest doctrines of moral laws and ideas about Divinity are expressed in the Kabbala by the word 'Vernunft,' reason. In the bloody French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century this goddess 'Vernunft,' or Reason, was carried through the streets of Paris and in her name the most noble and hochrassiger, most highly aristocratic, nordic blood was shed just as now in Russia. The Jewish Vernuntt demands these racial wars."
"The Jew has but one purpose, one aim in life: To make his ethical standard a religion, a faith for the whole Universe. Christianity, Mohammedanism, is for the Jew a first step, Freemasonry is a second step."
"The Order of Odd Fellows is another tool in the Jewish effort. Here appear Moses and Aaron as Chaplains, as ministers in Levitical dresses. We even hear the 'Our Father' and the customary blessings of the Christian Church."
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AMERICAN ARMY LODGES IN THE WORLD WAR
The Two Kentucky Field Lodges
Bro. Charles F. Irwin, Associate Editor
MY approach to the task of writing the histories of these two Military Lodges has been postponed to the latest possible moment due to the fact that the record of these two Lodges is the most unsatisfactory of all the series we have been recording. They are also the only ones in the entire series in which their officers made no report back to the Grand Lodge, returned no records nor their dispensations. In other words, after they were granted their dispensations and started on their way, they dropped from the official sight of their Grand Lodge officers thenceforward. Only a note here and there is left to indicate whether or not they ever held a single meeting after their formal institution.
The Grand Lodge Officers attempted to obtain reports and records but in the words of Grand Secretary Hardwick:
They made no returns to us. While I was present at the setting to work of both I know of no meetings they had afterwards as the Regiments moved and I was not in touch with them and no report of any kind was made to this office.
Bro. Dave Jackson, in his 1919 report as Grand Secretary, said in reference to "Army Lodges," after first reciting the circumstances in which the two were established in Kentucky regiments, under dispensation from Grand Master James N. Saunders, that:
If either of these lodges ever held a meeting, the Grand Secretary has not been advised of it, nor has he been able to get in communication with the masters or secretaries since the organization of the lodges. When the dispensations were continued by the authority of this Grand Lodge in 1917, date of expiration was not given, but the presumption is that they expired at the termination of the war. Unless otherwise instructed, I will drop the names of these two lodges from our roster of subordinate lodges.
No action appears to have been taken by the Grand Lodge in respect to this part of Bro. Jackson's report, and apparently this was taken by him as tacit authority for the erasure of the lodges from the Grand Lodge roster, as they do not thereafter appear.
W. A. COLSTON ARMY LODGE, U.D. 159th U.S. Inf.
THE first of the two Kentucky Lodges to come into existence was designated the W. A. Colston Army Lodge, U.D. The petition came up from the Masons within the First Kentucky Infantry, that was designated by the government as the 159th U.S. Infantry. The petition is as follows and received favorable consideration by the Grand Master:
PETITION FOR A MILITARY LODGE AND DISPENSATION GRANTED
To Grand Master J. N. Saunders, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.:
We, the undersigned officers of the First Kentucky Infantry, having volunteered our services to the country in the war now waged, and being about to depart for foreign lands for active service with the Army of the United States; we, each of us, being residents of Kentucky, Master Masons in good and regular standing, under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., not disturbing our present relationship to our home Lodges, hereby ask a Dispensation empowering us to meet as a Masonic Lodge at or near the military stations of said Regiment of the United States Army, and there practice the rites, perform the duties and enjoy the privileges of Masonry; and in said Lodge to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and raise soldiers of said regiment who are residents of Kentucky, who are found worthy and who possess the requisite qualifications.
William A. Colston, Falls City Lodge No. 376 (J.W.).
I. L. Shulhafer, St. George Lodge, No. 239 (S.W.)
Harris Mallenekrodt, Phoenix Lodge, No. 31, No. Carolina.
C. V. Williams, Aurora Lodge, No. 633.
F. J. Hardesty, Eminence Lodge, No. 282.
J. C. Barnes, Donovan Lodge, No. 292.
B. F. Ewing, Louisville Lodge, No. 400.
George M. Chesehier, Louisville Lodge, No. 400.
Dan Carrell, Daylight Lodge, No. 760.
Walter Byrne, Jr., Russelville Lodge, No. 17.
H. F. Rives, Solomon Lodge, No. 5.
F. S. Wright, Solomon Lodge, No. 5.
Ellis Duncan, Daylight Lodge, No. 760.
Thompson Short, Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Hubert E. Royalty, Breekinridge Lodge, No. 67 (W. M.).
Dan F. Offut, Preston Lodge, No. 281.
The Grand Master reported that the above mentioned were all of them residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Master Masons in good and regular standing, under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and officers in the First Kentucky Infantry, Army of the United States now One Hundred and Fifty-ninth United States Infantry, summoned to active military service in a foreign land, and said, that, without disturbing their present relationship to their home Lodges, they asked for a dispensation empowering them to meet at or near their military stations as a Masonic Lodge:
... and there to practice the rights, perform the duties, and enjoy the privileges of Masonry, to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and raise soldiers of said regiment who are residents of Kentucky, who are found worthy and possess all the requisite qualifications.
The Master Masons who make this petition have evidenced the highest claim to all the rights and privileges possible to be granted under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky; they have voluntarily offered their services and their lives in defense of their country, in vindication of the rights of outraged civilization, and in protection of peaceful homes, of guileless children and defenseless women against the most barbarous and faithless military tyranny the world has ever known. The dispensation is granted.
The petitioners are hereby authorized to open and hold a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at or near the military stations of said regiment, to be known as W. A. Colston Army Lodge, with jurisdiction not territorial, with the First Kentucky Infantry, now One Hundred and Fifty-ninth United States Infantry. I hereby designate Hubert E. Royalty to be Master, and I. L. Shulhafer to be Senior Warden, and William A. Colston to be Junior Warden of said Lodge, each of whom has been examined by me and found proficient in the work and lectures of the Symbolic degrees of Masonry.
This Lodge shall be governed by the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and the By-laws and Rules of Order as recommended by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and published in the authorized Book of Constitutions, Fourth Edition, pages 184-190.
All Past Masters admitted to this Lodge to retain such rank therein as though Past Masters thereof.
Given under my hand and the Seal of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., at Standford, Ky., this 27th day of August, 1917.
J. N. Saunders.
On Aug. 27, 1917, at Regimental Headquarters of the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth United States Infantry, at Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, with the assistance of the Officers of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, in the presence of most of the Past Grand Masters of this Grand Lodge, and a large company of distinguished Masons from different parts of the State, the Grand Master instituted W. A. Colston Army Lodge and installed the Officers thereof in person.
As to any work that may have been performed by this Lodge, no returns having been made to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and no Dimits having been brought under the notice of the Grand Secretary, all presumption is to the effect that the Lodge was dormant so far as work was concerned.
In a letter from Bro. Frank D. Rash, Louisville, Ky., Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, dated Feb. 16, 1929, he says:
The latest sum total of information I have been able to secure indicates that most likely neither of these Lodges held any meetings after their Institution. At least Capt. Shulhafer, S.W. of the W. A. Colston Army Lodge, tells me this concerning his Lodge. He did tell me that perhaps one social session was held on the transport en route to France.
This is the sum total of all that I have been able to glean as to the Military Lodges of Kentucky during the World War. The present Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky is M.W. Bro. Dr. John W. Juett of Eminence, Kentucky. Bro. Juett was a Y.M.C.A. Secretary in France during the war and in 1919 was stationed at St. Nazaire, Base No. 1 in the Embarkation Service. I met him while on duty at that Base and formed a lasting and warm friendship with him. "Dad" Juett, as he was affectionately known by thousands of returning soldiers, was one of the most popular Y Secretaries in the A.E.F. and a tower of strength to our overseas Masonic activities. He was for quite a while President of the Masonic Club of Base No. 1 and through his experience and executive ability enabled that Club to do a most effective piece of work.
In the course of the years he has now reached the summit of Blue Lodge leadership in his native State. Immediately upon his induction into the office of Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Juett appointed a special committee to investigate the whole matter of the two Kentucky Field Lodges. This committee is the Deputy Grand Master Frank D. Rash of Louisville, and Bro. Rash is confidently expecting to be able to report back to the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge this year the complete story of these two Lodges with their records attached. The story therefore of the Kentucky Lodges is still open with bright expectations that it will be made complete so that it may accompany all the other histories of American Field Lodges.
This may be said of our Kentucky brethren. I was fortunate in meeting many of them during the war and have made a host of friends among them since that struggle and I know that they embody a host of sincere and excellent Craftsmen. There is no doubt at all but that these Masons did hold meetings and that they performed those deeds of Brotherly Love and Relief which distinguished the Craft throughout our Army.
For their own sakes our interest and our hope is that the former officers of the two Lodges will have that historic vision which will arouse them to the importance of enabling their Grand Lodge to rescue and to preserve the records for later generations.
The following notice of this Kentucky Field Lodge appeared in the Masonic Home Journal of Louisville, Ky., for Sept. 1, 1917, and was reproduced in THE BUILDER for November of the same year:
KENTUCKY GRAND LODGE GRANTS DISPENSATION FOR MILITARY LODGE
"For the second time in the history of the First Kentucky Infantry, a Masonic Lodge has been established in its ranks. During the war with Spain, just before the regiment was ordered to Porto Rico, a dispensation was granted and KENTUCKY ARMY LODGE, No. 1, U.D., was organized from among the soldiers, which flourished until the regiment was mustered out of the service.
"On last Monday night M. W. Grand Master James N. Saunders called together the officers of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., to meet in one of the buildings just completed at Camp Taylor, for the purpose of granting a dispensation to a number of soldier brethren who had petitioned for permission to organize a Lodge, to be named after their Colonel.
"The Grand Master issued a dispensation to form the W. A. Colston Army Lodge, U.D., and under direction of the officers of the Grand Lodge it was set to work. The following brethren having been selected and named in the petition as the three principal officers were installed by Grand Master Saunders:
Lieut. Dr. H. E. Royalty, Worshipful Master
Capt. I. L. Shulhafer, Senior Warden;
Col. W. A. Colston, Junior Warden.
The newly elected Master assumed office, and thanked the Grand Master for the honor conferred upon him by appointing him the first Master. The following officers were elected or appointed:
Maj. Dan. M. Carrell, Secretary
Lieut. Walter R. Byrne, Treasurer.
Capt. George M. Chesehier, Senior Deacon.
Capt. Ben. F. Offut, Junior Deacon.
Lieut. Harris Mallenekrodt, Chaplain.
Lieut. Frank M. Wright, Tyler.
"Col. Colston, when called upon for a few remarks, made a stirring and patriotic speech, referring particularly to the fact that the teachings of the Masonic Order are exactly the same principles that the United States is now fighting to uphold.
"A number of Past Grand Masters who were present were called upon by the Master for remarks, and they responded in inspiring, patriotic speeches until a late hour, after which a luncheon was served in the Officers' Mess Hall to all present."
The reference to the former Field Lodge of the First Kentucky Infantry during the Spanish-American War brings to mind the fact that the officers of this former Lodge are designated in their dispensation as follows:
We recommend that Bros. John H. Cowles, Wallace W. Morris, and Fred. W. Hardwiek be appointed Master and Wardens of this temporary Lodge, to be known as "Kentucky Army Lodge, No. 1, U. D."
John H. Cowles was Captain of Co. H; Fred. W. Hardwick was Second Lieut. of Co. H.- Wallace W. Morris was First Lieut. of Co. H.
In these names the readers of my story will be pleased to discover our Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, Sov. Grand Com. John H. Cowles, while in 2nd Lieut. Hardwick they will discover the genial and popular Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. They have run true to form and in the years that have passed each has come to a position of honor and responsibility, which but proves that the brethren of Kentucky are fine example of Masonry at its best.
There is a still further strain of coincidence in the two histories of the Kentucky Army Lodge, No. 1, U.D., of the Spanish-American War, and the W. A. Colston Army Lodge, U.D., of the World War. It is found in the person of Bro. I. L. Shulhafer. In the Masonic Home Journal of March 17, 1917, we find the following:
The next meeting was held on Aug. 1 in the Quartel de Infanteria, Mayaguez, Porto Rico, in the audience chamber of the Commander, the Worshipful Master being seated on a dais, over which was suspended a portrait of Alphonso XIII, King of Spain. The Fellow Craft degree was conferred on Bro. I. L. Shulhafer, Lieutenant of Company M, at the request of St. George Lodge, No. 239.
In the story of the later Kentucky Military Lodge (W. A. Colston) we read: "At the end of the petition presented to the Grand Master of Kentucky, a list of names of the petitioners." The second in this list is I. L. Shulhafer, St. George Lodge 239.
In the dispensation granted we find this line: "I hereby designate I. L. Shulhafer to be Senior Warden."
From these two paragraphs from the two stories we are glad to present to our readers the remarkable record of Bro. Shulhafer in the two historic epochs in Kentucky Military Masonry.
J. N. SAUNDERS ARMY LODGE, U.D. 160th Inf., U.S.A., Kentucky
THIS is the second of the Kentucky Field Lodges that were warranted by Grand Master Saunders during the World War. It bears the unique distinction oaf having had two names during its brief career. You will discover the name originally applied to it in the petition sent up to the Grand Master by the Masons of the 2nd Kentucky Regiment, known during the War as the 160th Infantry, U.S.A.
The story as I have obtained it from Grand Secretary Hardwick of Kentucky is as follows. It comes from the records of the Grand Lodge and the first is the report of Grand Master Saunders to the Grand Lodge, accompanied by this note: "I am sending you the portion of my address to the Grand Lodge as Grand Master, upon the subject, which shows my opinion. The Grand Lodge sustained me and continued the dispensations until the close of the war and the return of the Regiments. Upon request of the members of the Army Lodge the name 'Kentucky Rifle Lodge' was changed to 'J. N. Saunders Army Lodge.'" (signed) J. N. Saunders.
The following is the story as P.G.M. Saunders told it to me: From eighteen officers and privates in the Second Kentucky Infantry, Army of the United States, he received the following petition and made the following order:
To James N. Saunders, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.:
We, the undersigned officers and members of the Second Kentucky Infantry (now the One Hundred and Sixtieth United States Infantry), having volunteered our services to the country in the war now raged, and being about to depart for foreign lands for active service with the Army of the United States; we, each of us, being residents of Kentucky, Master Masons in good regular Lodge standing, under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., not disturbing our present relationship to our home Lodges, hereby ask a dispensation empowering us to meet as a Masonic Lodge at or near the military stations of said regiment of the United States Army, and there practice the rights, perform the duties and enjoy the privileges of Masonry; and in said Lodge to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and raise soldiers of said Regiment, who are residents of Kentucky, who are found worthy and who possess all the requisite qualifications (signed):
First Lieut. J. M. Harper, McKee Lodge, No. 144 (S. W.).
Capt. K. B. Wise, Harlan Lodge, No. 879 (J. W.).
First Lieut. Ena W. Walker, Jackson Lodge, No. 731.
Capt. George W. Jenkins, Whitesburg Lodge, No. 754.
First Lieut. A. C. Cope, Breathitt Lodge, No. 649.
First Lieut. Ura W. Bryant, Island Lodge, No. 743.
First Lieut. Carter D. Stamper, Proetor Lodge, No. 213.
First Lieut. Hiram Hogg, Jr., Booneville Lodge, No. 425.
Capt. R. J. H. Spurr, Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Capt. F. W. Staples, Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Major Robert W. Jones, Lexington Lodge, No. 1 (W. M.).
Sergt. James Bowling, Red Bird Lodge, No. 838.
Cook, Henry Evans, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
Corpl. Charles Barker, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
Robert Stone, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
W.O. Bradley, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
Fred M. Curtis, Somerset Lodge, No. 111.
Sergt. John M. Bartley, Whitesburg Lodge, No. 754.
All of them residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Master Masons in good and regular Lodge standing, under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and officers and members of the Second Kentucky Infantry, now the One Hundred and Sixtieth United States Infantry, summoned to active military service in a foreign land, not disturbing their present relationship to their home Lodges, ask me for a dispensation empowering them to meet at or near their Military Station as a Masonic Lodge, and there to practice the rights, perform the duties and enjoy the privileges of Masonry, to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and raise soldiers of said regiment who are residents of Kentucky, who are found worthy and who possess all the requisite qualifications.
The Master Masons who make this petition are the descendants of the home-seekers who, bearing the rifle, the Bible and the ax converted "No-Man's Land" into one of the greatest of all the American States.
Masons of such descent, Masons who voluntarily answer their country's call to patriotic duty, to hardships, to victory or to death are entitled to make such request. The dispensation is granted.
The petitioners are hereby authorized to open, and hold a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at or near the military stations of said regiment, to be known as KENTUCKY RIFLE LODGE, with jurisdiction not territorial, and limited to residents of Kentucky in the service of the United States with the Second Kentucky Infantry, now the One Hundred and Sixtieth United States Infantry.
I hereby designate Major Roger W. Jones to be Master, First Lieut. Joseph M. Harper, to be Senior Warden, Capt. Keith B. Wise, to be Junior Warden, each of whom has been examined by me and found proficient in the work and the lectures of the symbolic degrees of Masonry.
This Lodge shall be governed by the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and the By-Laws and Rules of Order as recommended by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and published in the authorized Book of Constitutions, Fourth Edition, pages 184-190.
All Past Masters admitted to this Lodge to retain such rank herein as though Past Masters thereof.
Given under my hand and the seal of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., at Stanford, Ky., this 25th day of September, 1917. (Signed)
J. N. Saunders, Grand Master.
On Sept. 25, 1917, upon a high hill, in the open, overlooking Camp Stanley, near Lexington, Kentucky, guarded by military pickets, who stood out of sight and hearing, and carefully tiled by two Master Masons, I opened Kentucky Rifle Lodge, U.D., installed its Master and Wardens, and, upon their appointment and election by the Lodge, installed the remaining officers.
The love and the prayers of a grateful people go with the brave boys of these two Lodges. They have voluntarily answered the greatest call our country can make to its patriotic sons; they have voluntarily enlisted in the holiest army that ever followed a battle flag. We who sit at home in the place of safety cannot, dare not, deny our soldier brothers, to the guardsmen of our homes, to the defenders of our country, the sweet ministration of Masonry in their shell-swept camps, which we, in places of security, here at home enjoy.
I recommend the Grand Lodge continue these dispensations until the close of the war and the return of what will be the two battle- scarred regiments.
J. N. Saunders, Grand Master.
Bro. Frank D. Rash, in corresponding with me, calls attention to the change of name of this Field Lodge as referred to already by me. I trust that readers will note this alteration of the name of this Field Lodge that no confusion may arise and the impression go forth that Kentucky had more than its two Army Lodges in the World War. The change of name was altered, on Oct. 18, 1917, by Grand Lodge action, in honor of the Grand Master, to "James N. Saunders Army Lodge, U.D."
In the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, pages 110- 111, the following report was brought in to Grand Lodge by its Committee on Charters and Dispensations:
Two dispensations were granted by the Grand Master to form "Army Lodges". The report of the Committee which was adopted, was as follows:
We approve the action of the Grand Master in establishing these two Army Lodges. We find there will be numerous questions arising from time to time, and believe that, in as much as it seems to be the desire of the Craft to maintain Army Lodges, these two Lodges be continued under dispensation.
Your Committee is of the opinion that it would not be wise at this time to take further action. Your Committee feels that inasmuch as these Army Lodges remain under dispensation and therefore under control of the Grand Master, the incoming Grand Master be left free to handle as to any questions (sic.) arising in the future concerning territory, designation of Army unit to which the Lodge may be attached, and any other questions which may arise.
We are in a state of war, conditions are changing daily, and we feel the incoming Grand Master should not be hampered by instructions and restrictions, but should be at liberty to use his judgment in handling Army Lodges during the War. We recommend that dual membership be allowed in the case of the members of these or any other Army Lodges which later may be established for the duration of the war only, and that the members of these or any other Army Lodges which later may be established for the duration of the war only, and that the members of any Army Lodge under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge be allowed to retain membership in their home Lodges.
Just this word in closing. W. Bro. Fred Hardwick has been indefatigable in his cooperation with me in the securing of the data for this story. He is most desirous of recovering for the records of his Grand Lodge the records and books and papers of the two Kentucky Field Lodges. And although ten years have passed and more since the Lodges functioned, surely among the former officers of these Lodges there may yet remain brothers who will deem it their duty and privilege to reduce to writing and to forward the same to their Grand Lodge Officers, the story of the Lodges as they recall them.
There are bright prospects that this happy consummation is just before Bro. Rash as he labors in fulfilling the responsibility the Grand Master has laid upon him, and we are all looking forward eagerly to the next annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky when a special order of the day will demonstrate a splendid ceremony as the lost is found and fitted into the Arch of the Kentucky Grand Lodge.
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BOARD OF EDITORS
R. J. Meekren, Editor-in-Chief
E. E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor
Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
R. V. Harris, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
F. H. Littlefield, Missouri
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Arthur C. Parker, New York
J. Hugo Tatsch, Iowa
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
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THE MOUNTAINEER MASON
TWO years ago the newly organized Masonic Research Society of West Virginia inaugurated the publication of their official organ, The Mountaineer Mason, the first number of which appeared in April, 1927. It was stated in the editorial announcement that a publication was necessary to such an organization, which
... in order to accomplish anything of an important and enduring character, must have a means not only of permanently preserving but also of disseminating to others the result of its research work, the information gathered and collated thereby.
A secondary consideration lay in the fact that the State of West Virginia was, so far as Masonic publications were concerned, a virgin field, and the promoters believed
... that the position Masonry has attained in this state ... by its growth and development in the last quarter of a century, warranted a periodical of a research nature.
It was also stated that the new magazine was absolutely non-commercial in character, but it was hoped that it would be able to pay its own way. Expenses were reduced to the barest minimum. Those responsible for the editorial and business management receiving and expecting no monetary compensation.
Bro. Prescott C. White was chosen as editor and with him were associated Bros. C. William Cramer, Gilbert B. Miller and E. M. Showalter. Under their direction a most useful and interesting magazine was issued, one that the Masons of West Virginia could justly be proud of, and which strongly merited their support.
Unfortunately the Masons of West Virginia remained indifferent, with the result that The Mountaineer Mason has ceased publication.
With the disappointment and discouragement that this has caused in the zealous brethren who have so unselfishly labored for the welfare of the Craft, who without hope or desire for reward have sought to disseminate Masonic light in places where illumination was evidently most feeble, we have the deepest sympathy. They have made a noble attempt, and like hundreds before them, they have failed — in the face of an invincible ignorance and an impregnable indifference.
When a broad survey is taken of the activities of American Masonry the observer may be pardoned if he feels pessimistic. There is a tremendous potential moral force latent in the Craft, there are enormous financial resources available, millions of dollars are as nothing, apparently, when it is a question of building luxurious temples, and like enterprises. But an attempt to raise the intellectual level of the American Craft receives the slenderest support, and in too many cases is starved to an untimely death. Even where such an effort is adopted officially, and is supported by Grand Lodge appropriations, it is subject to constant attack on the part of a reactionary minority, which is often enough supported, in effect, by a passive and indifferent majority.
Such reflections are bound to occur to the thinking Mason when confronted with such happenings as the brief career of The Mountaineer Mason. If failure was the result, it was not the fault of the laborers, and the seed they sowed was good, but it fell in hard and stony ground, and was choked, besides, with thorns.
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A NEW DEPARTMENT
WE inaugurate in the present issue a new Department. Naturally it is experimental to begin with, but if it proves of value and interest it will be continued.
THE BUILDER has never undertaken to publish news in any form, and it is not going to begin now, even if a good deal of what may appear in the new Department should as a matter of fact prove to be news to many of our readers. Our contemporaries, or an overwhelming majority of them, are organized to publish Masonic news within their respective fields, and this we gladly leave to them. What we propose to do is to give a monthly revue of important and interesting events with comments thereupon when such seem called for.
Naturally the personal equation will inevitably enter into the selection of/matter for use in these special columns. And it may quite often happen that important matters will not appear interesting — at least not until their bearing is fully understood. But, though it is hardly likely that we can wholly succeed in it, our endeavor will be to insert nothing that is not worthy of permanent record.
The Society receives Masonic and other journals from all over the world. We have attempted to make our exchange list as nearly exhaustive as possible. It is doubtful if there are so many as a dozen Masonic periodicals published throughout the world that do not come regularly to this office. This puts us in a very favorable position to resume everything that is of Masonic concern wherever it may occur.
We intend further to make these columns catholic, in the widest sense. We see no reason why our readers should be kept in ignorance of what is happening among unrecognized, or irregular Masonic groups, if it appears of real interest. Whatever it may be deemed policy to ignore in official quarters, we assume that members of the Research Society are competent to make their own judgments, both about the events themselves, as well as of such comments as we may offer upon them. There has been altogether too much ignorance on the part of Masons everywhere, but especially in America, of what is occurring in other parts of the Masonic world, and this has operated to the great practical detriment of the fundamental ideal of Masonic universality. We therefore feel that if certain things are passed over on account of ulterior considerations, such an undertaking would be positively of more harm than good.
It is our hope that this survey and review will materially aid in a wider diffusion of knowledge of the current history of the Craft, the problems before it, and lead to a better understanding of the principles upon which they are to be solved.
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LAST month we published a letter offering some criticism of the methods of working in the American Military Lodges in the Great War; in the Correspondence Columns of the present number will be found a letter from a Canadian brother who condemns such lodges altogether, and does not seem to approve even of their history being recorded. So far, this is practically all the adverse criticism that either the articles, or the Army Lodges with which they deal, have received.
As one who is in very much the same position as that of our correspondent of last month, the Editor would like to say that he cannot agree with the idea that such lodges could not adequately investigate the character of those who petitioned for admission. Every man who served in any of the armies will bear this out. In the conditions of field service the masks and disguises we all wear in civil life are stripped off. Men appear as they are, for the standards of judgment are different. It is true that a soldier estimates his comrade by the cruder virtues. If he gets drunk, or runs after women, that means little or nothing. What does count is: can he be depended on? Can he be trusted? Will he stand by you? Will he share his rations or his pay with you? Will he risk his life to assist you? And, again, every man who served will bear this out, about these things one could learn more in a week on active service than the most painstaking committee would be able to discover in a year in civilian life.
It does, however, seem that those who were instrumental in forming the Army Lodges were too much affected by the vicious "degree mill" tradition that now has American Masonry in its grip, and is sapping its life like a cancer. The figure is not too strong. The Army Lodges should have been worked for the benefit of soldiers who were Masons, not for the purpose of making as many members as possible out of soldiers who were not Masons; and this in effect seems to have been very much what was done, whether it was intended or not. Nevertheless it was a noble experiment, and we hope that it will give rise to further discussion by our readers, so that when Bro. Irwin's series of studies is completed a final summing up of results can be made as a guide for a future emergency. And it would be useful and interesting to know whether a larger percentage of men made Masons in Army Lodges are now suspended or unattached than the average, though doubtless the figures would be hard to obtain. Perhaps this could be done for New York were someone there to attempt it.
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CHRONICLE AND COMMENT
A REVIEW OF MASONRY THE WORLD OVER
A New Old Masonic Journal
Recently there has been an amalgamation of the Southwestern Freemason and the Corner Stone, under the name of Freemasonry and the Eastern Star. Claiming, according to rule in such matters, the age of its senior constituent, the new magazine is the oldest on the Pacific Coast. It is to be a journal for Masonic homes, as its title indicates. It is going to adopt the policy of promoting Masonic principles in practical, everyday life — the home, the school, the church; and in business and politics also. It is not to be an official mouthpiece, it will be free to criticize, when criticism is called for, in the interests of constructive effort. While this is all very much what every Masonic periodical hopes and desires to be, the fact that Bro. E. P. Ramsay is editor will be earnest that in this case, at least, promise will find vigorous fulfillment. Bro. Ramsay says what he thinks; and no one, of however great influence or exalted position, can make him "soft pedal." In these days of chain newspapers, a controlled press and government by propaganda, such men are badly needed. Would there were more of them.
According to reports in the daily press a case that has been pending in the Supreme Court of the United States has been decided in favor of the Negro Order of the Mystic Shrine.
The case began in Texas as far back as 1918. The regular (white) Shrine body at Houston sought an injunction against the Negro organization to restrain them from using the badges, titles, ritual and so on of the Order. The Supreme Court finds that there is no evidence of fraudulent intent on the part of the members of the Negro body, and that the latter has obtained a prescriptive right to the use of the name and emblems and other distinctive features of the Shrine.
We cannot help feeling that appeals to the courts in such matters are, to say the least, undignified; and whatever the decision, can only do more harm than good.
"Spilling the Beans"
The Editor of the Prophet, the official publication of Oola Khan Grotto, M.O.V.P.E.R., of Cincinnati, Ohio, has an interesting article under the above title in his last issue. He discusses the origin and real right and title (if such ever existed) of the "initiation stunts" practiced on the candidates of both the Grotto and the Shrine. He remarks it would be "a stupendous task for any one fraternal organization to prove its claim that it originated these stunts." We fancy it would be not only stupendous to attempt, but impossible to achieve. Such methods of embarrassing, humiliating and terrifying candidates have been borrowed and stolen and adapted and re-borrowed until they are common property, not only of the fraternal organizations, but of school children, golf caddies and newsboys.
Michigan Considers Dual Membership
M.W. Bro. Frank T. Lodge, P.G.M., is leading a movement to put Michigan in line with those of the American Grand Lodges who permit their members to belong to more than one lodge. Those who have opposed this usually advance two objections; the first, apparently regarded as the most important, is the alleged impossibility of keeping accurate membership records. The second is an imagined difficulty about discipline. Neither difficulty seems to be much more than a mountainous mole-hill when fairly met.
The Mason's sentiment of affection for his Mother Lodge is not a thing to be scorned, or to be regarded as a kind of snobhishness Besides dual membership will permit the formation of real research lodges wherever there are sufficient studious brethren to form them.
An American Importation
We learn from a number of sources that the Masonic authorities in England are disturbed by the recent importation from America of an organization rather vaguely described as a "quasi-Masonic body." No name is given, but it seems to have a "Supreme Grand Lodge of the World," presumably in the U.S.A., and to be headed by a Grand Dictator.
We do not know to which of the numerous fraternal organizations of this country this refers. It does not seem to require Masonic affiliation as a qualification to join it, and so, according to American ideas, it is not quasi-Masonic, and would be considered outside the jurisdiction of Masonic authorities. However, in some countries a Mason may not join any other society without permission, which is the other extreme.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge
It is gratifying to learn that Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, the oldest and foremost research lodge in the world, has succeeded in overcoming its financial difficulties, and is apparently entering upon a period of prosperity. At the May meeting, Bro. Lionel Vibert, Secretary since the resignation of Bro. W. J. Songhurst, was able to report that the Publication Fund has nearly $5,000 to its credit. As a result, the transactions, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (familiarly known as A.Q.C.), have been brought up to the end of 1927; and the volume for 1928 will be forthcoming before the end of the present year. We may perhaps also look forward to some more of the valuable reprints to be issued in the near future.
There were just over one hundred applications for membership in the Correspondence Circle, which the Secretary remarked was a record for a May meeting, and double the average.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge has been subjected to some criticism recently. We have long known that the members of the self-styled "Anthropological School" of Masonic Research regarded themselves as in opposition to what they call the "Authentic School," by which term they apparently mean Historical; and an English brother, in an article recently published in this country, also had some severe things to say. But opposition and criticism of this kind is generally a stimulating influence, as it apt pears to be in this case.
W. Bro. W. John Songhurst
We learn that W. Bro. W. John Songhurst, the former Secretary and present Treasurer of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, was unable to attend the Annual Festival of the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, owing to illness. Bro. Songhurst has served as a Patron, and Member of the House Committee of the Institution, as well as having served 27 Stewardships. It is said that this was the first time for many, many years that he was not able to be present at the festival.
Many members of the National Masonic Research Society will recall with pleasure their relations with Bro. Songhurst, and will sincerely regret his illness. We trust that it is not serious and that he is by now fully recovered.
Charity in the Masonry of England
The English Masonic press reported during May on the 141st Anniversary Festival of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. This is an annual affair of the English Craft and ranks with the festival for the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys as well as other charitable festivals observed by our English Brethren. It is interesting to note that over $350,000 was subscribed for the work of this enterprise. R.W. Bro. Brigadier-General Richard Beale Colvin, Provincial Grand Master of Essex, was chairman of this year's festival. His province outranked all others in contributions; the sum subscribed being over $150,000. The London Masons were not far behind with contributions of $125,000. Two lodges contributed over $5,000 each, while two others brought in over $2,500. One of these last two has only thirty members.
What could not the Masons of this country do for charity if they showed as much real interest in regard to this basic tenet of the Fraternity?
Emancipation of Irish Catholics in 1825
The Trestle Board of San Francisco publishes a letter from Col. Claude Cane, D.G.M. of Ireland, drawing attention to a fact well known in the history of the British Isles. This is, that the man to whose untiring and disinterested efforts the Roman Church in Ireland owes the greatest debt of gratitude, was Lord Donoughmore, Grand Master of Masons in Ireland. Lord Donoughmore succeeded after many years of constant agitation in obtaining the repeal of the laws which discriminated against Roman Catholics in Ireland. Indeed, he sacrificed his life to this cause, for he rose from a sick bed to attend the House of Lords in May, 1825, to move the second reading of the Catholic Relief Bill; and from the after effects of this undue exertion he never recovered — dying in August following. Lord Donoughmore maintained that in thus serving the cause of religious freedom he was but carrying out the principles of Freemasonry — which is so true as to be almost a truism.
Bro. Cane's letter seems to have been inspired by a recrudescence of Anti-Masonry in certain journals of the Irish Free State, including the government organ. Perhaps some of the supporters of the Free State government are hoping for an opportunity to ape Mussolini's "black shirts" and start a Masonic persecution of their own. Will American Masons, in that case, accept the accusations made against the Masons in Ireland as true, as they have done in the case of those made by the Fascists? They are of exactly the same kind, made in the same way, and the attack seems to have begun on very much the same lines.
Freemasonry and Fascism
We regret to see that more than one of our contemporaries has apparently accepted the pamphlet by Mr. Roe, reviewed in THE BUILDER last month, at its face value. It is a very curious phenomenon, the avidity with which so many Masons accept every statement detrimental to the Masons of Latin countries. Every scrap of abuse, every slanderous utterance, is received almost as gospel truth without the least consideration of its source. The orthodox in religion once regarded heretics in the same way. There was some excuse for that, because the differences in belief were held to affect men's eternal salvation. No one has ever dreamed of saying that unorthodox and irregular Masons will be dammed on that account in the next world; yet often enough, the same men, who say that all creeds are good, as they all lead to the same end, are bitterly intolerant in this regard. It may be that we cannot recognize these men in other countries as Masons, but that is no reason why we should join their enemies (and ours) in slandering them. At the utmost, all that can be said against them is that they are liberals in politics and free thinkers in religion; neither of which things are crimes, nor even regarded as morally reprehensible among our own people.
Ludendorff Fined for Libel
A curious case has arisen out of Ludendorff's frantic campaign against Freemasonry. Following the precedents of wartime propaganda he published in his notorious book, The Destruction of Freemasonry Through the Revelation of Its Secrets, a photograph of the members of a German Military Lodge at St. Quentin in 1916. In this photograph appeared a civilian. Ludendorff stated that this man was a Frenchman, a spy, with whom the German Masons were conferring. It turns out that this individual was a German, as ordinary common sense would lead anyone to suppose. He naturally objected and brought a suit against Ludendorff. The result has been, that in spite of all efforts to evade it, the latter has been found guilty of libel and fined eight hundred marks, or sixteen days' imprisonment, whichever he prefers. The most reasonable, as well as most charitable supposition, is that Ludendorff is insane. He is now seeking to revive the cult of the old pagan deities of the Germanic tribes.
Freemasonry in Czecho-Slovakia
The articles by Bro. Joseph R. Roucek that appeared in THE BUILDER for February, March and April have been reproduced in a large number of the Masonic periodicals of the country. We are not quite sure where it originated, but a sub-title has also been freely reproduced. This reads: "The first authoritative information on Masonic activity in the Balkans ever published in America." If a European writer spoke of New York as a city in Pennsylvania the geographical displacement would seem to us a ridiculous error. Czecho-Slovakia, or Bohemia, lies between Austria, Poland and Germany. The Balkan Peninsula is to the south and east of Austria. Prague is about five hundred miles north of Bucharest — which may be taken as marking the northern boundary of the Balkans. Presumably the error arose from a confusion between Czecho-Slovakia and Jugo-Slovakia.
Alleged Ancient Masonic Coffin
A paragraph has been going the rounds of the Masonic press in regard to an iron coffin turned up by the plow near Ferguson, Ark., and at present, it is said, in the possession of Crescent Lodge, No. 133, Arkansas City, Kan. It is "engraved" elaborately, and the ornament includes a "Masonic symbol." It is further said that when found it contained "a skeleton, a sword, bits of armor and several coins."
At the first intimation of the existence of this curiosity THE BUILDER endeavored to find out more about it. Unfortunately letters to those who might be expected to know something have been unanswered. Failing positive information it seems well to warn those who may have seen the item that the whole story should be regarded as highly suspicious. For one thing, if the coffin is made of iron it is not likely to be even so much as a hundred years old. It is greatly to be desired (though probably too much to hope for), that someone in a position to do so would investigate further.
The Eldredge Masonic Apron of 1727
For the sake of those of our readers who have seen an item which has appeared in a number of Masonic periodicals about this interesting relic (which would be much more than merely interesting were it really of the age alleged) we are glad to say that an investigation is being made at THE BUILDER'S suggestion, by a brother in Detroit. The information so far obtained is to the effect that the fabric of which the apron is made cannot possibly be so old as the family tradition of the owner would make it out. There is no documentary evidence to support the claim.
Napoleon's Masonic Regalia
The Flint Hills Craftsman of recent date carries an announcement that M.W. Bro. J. E. Fowler, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington, has presented to the Scottish Rite Bodies of the Valley of Hoquiam two Masonic collars, an apron, two jewels and a baldrick, which are stated to have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte. The relics are all enclosed in the French lacquer box, inlaid with pearls, in which they have always been kept. We do not know what evidence there is of their authenticity.
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HOW TO ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT A MASONIC STUDY CLUB ON THE ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION PLAN
Bro. Herbert Hungerford
Help to Make These Pages a Real Forum for Discussion
All brothers interested in any phase of Masonic Education, especially those who believe in fostering the Masonic Study Club movement are invited to send criticism, comments and, particularly, practical suggestions for furthering this movement. Those who are willing to help organize Round Table Discussion Groups or other Masonic Study Clubs in their Lodges or their districts are invited to send for Membership Blanks, etc., which will be supplied free of cost.
Address: Herbert Hungerford, General Campaign Manager, The Masonic Study Club Campaign, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
YOU must first be prepared in your heart by having a sincere and enthusiastic conviction of the benefits that your Lodge and your fellow-members will derive from a Round Table Study Club. If you are simply luke-warm towards the idea, merely thinking that it might be a good thing, it would be far better if you do not attempt to start a Study Club. A halfhearted attempt to form a club among your brethren would be doomed to failure at the outset. Unless you are filled with contagious enthusiasm for the project and go into it with a zealous determination to carry it through to a successful conclusion, it would be a mistake for you to start anything. If you think that you can give the idea a little push and leave it to go ahead on its own steam, you have the wrong notion regarding the Study Club movement.
When you yourself have a clear vision of the benefits each of your brethren will gain through his study of the history, symbolism and principal teachings of Freemasonry, and when you appreciate the advantages your Lodge will derive from having more members who are better educated in the fundamentals of Freemasonry, you will not have the least difficulty in obtaining all the cooperation and support you need for organizing a Study Club in your Lodge.
You must realize, of course, that our Round Table Study Club program is not another auxiliary Masonic association. It is not a side-line or a diversion from regular Lodge activities. On the contrary, when rightly understood and properly organized and conducted, a Study Club should be regarded as a regular and essential feature of the program of every live Lodge. The time will come, we hope, when it will be the usual custom for the Master of each Lodge to appoint an Educational Committee, similar to the Entertainment or Finance Committees, the principal purpose of such Educational Committee being to assist the Master to encourage and promote Masonic education through Round Table Study Club programs and in various other ways.
After you have caught the vision of the good that will be accomplished among your brethren and in your Lodge, the next step is to secure the support and enthusiastic cooperation of the Master of your Lodge. Providing you present the project properly, so that the Master will see that, instead of competing against or interfering with other Lodge activities, a Round Table Study Club is bound to stimulate increased interest in all other Lodge affairs, you will have little difficulty in persuading the Master to back up your endeavors. Moreover, a properly conducted Study Club will help the Master solve one of the major problems of many modern Lodges, namely, how to discover, develop and train the future leaders and officers of the Lodge. In some Lodges today, there are officers whose ignorance of the real fundamentals of Freemasonry is almost appalling.
FIRST SECURE APPROVAL OF THE MASTER
Without the full approval and sincere support of the Master, of course, there should never be an attempt to start a Study Club in any Lodge. It will be a rare exception, however, to find a Master who will not heartily approve and support the Study Club program, providing its principles have been properly set forth and its advantages clearly presented.
Naturally, if you bring the Study Club idea to the attention of the Master of your Lodge, he will be apt to insist upon your accepting the appointment as Chairman of the Educational Committee. Unless you feel that you can render better service by remaining in the background as an unofficial sponsor and guide for the Study Club project, you should accept the chairmanship. In some cases, of course, you may find it better to urge the appointment of another as chairman; but you certainly should stay with the project and help carry it through to a completely successful establishment. Simply to take the initial steps of starting the club and then leaving it to fend for itself would be almost like abandoning your own baby.
Before any formal announcement is made, after the proposed Chairman of the Educational Committee has agreed to accept the appointment, in conference with the Master, a small group of key men for your Study Club group should be selected, each of whom should be personally interviewed and interested in the project.
Do not disregard this preliminary personal work, if you wish to insure the permanent success of your Study Club program. An offhand announcement of the Study Club idea in your Lodge may arouse some interest. It may even get some sort of a program started; but, if you want to build your Study Club plan on a firm foundation, you must make these preliminary preparations that have been herewith outlined.
After these necessary preliminaries have been arranged, an announcement of the appointment of the Educational Committee should be made in the Lodge bulletin, also announcing that a Round Table Discussion Club will be organized for those who may be interested.
START SLOW AND GROW SOLIDLY
When the plan is explained at the regular meeting of the Lodge, let us caution against spread-eagle oratory or too much emphasis of the project. It is far better to begin with very small groups, each of whom is sincerely and seriously interested in Masonic education, than it is to start with a larger group, some of whom have little or no heart interest in the idea but have come along with the others through their casual curiosity or chiefly because their interest has been overstimulated by some high-powered speaker.
At your organizing meeting, steer clear of red tape rules and elaborate plans and programs. Stick closely to the main issue and let informality be your guiding principle. A chairman to preside and lead the discussions and a secretary to send out notices of the meetings and keep the records are all the officials required. No constitution and by-laws are needed, as the simple plan of procedure for conducting each meeting, as presented herewith, will be sufficient for all practical purposes.
The only necessary expense for each member of the Study Club group is the small cost of enrolling for membership in The National Masonic Research Society, which includes a subscription to the official organ, THE BUILDER, in which each member of your Study Club group will find full information regarding each course of study taken up in a Round Table Discussion Program, as well as other valuable information and aids towards Masonic Study. Likewise, in THE BUILDER, each Study Club member will find suggestions and ideas from others throughout the country engaged in similar activities, which will be a constant source of inspiration and stimulus for each member to attend regularly and participate enthusiastically in all the meetings of his particular group.
While there is no iron-clad rule requiring every Study Club member to enroll in the N.M.R.S. and thus become a regular reader of THE BUILDER, we feel quite certain that you will find that the modest sum required for such membership will do more than anything else you possibly could do to insure the permanent success of your Study Club program. Bear in mind that membership in the N.M.R.S. also carries other valuable benefits and privileges, such as the privilege of obtaining advice and information on any Masonic subject from a staff of specialists in Masonic Research and Education, backed by the resources of one of the most completely equipped libraries of books and pamphlets on Masonic subjects that can be found anywhere in this country. As you are aware, no doubt, The National Masonic Research Society, through its official organ, THE BUILDER, and other publications is the principal sponsor for the Masonic Study Club movement and devotes its chief endeavors to the fostering of this movement and the general advancement of Masonic education.
How to Conduct Round Table Discussion Programs
WE are repeating, in connection with this article, the Topical Outlines of the Seven Keypoint Introductory Programs for Round Table Discussion Groups, published in a previous issue of THE BUILDER.
While we believe that the logical plan of taking up these courses is to commence with Masonic History, and then to take up Masonic Symbolism, concluding with Masonic Teachings, there is nothing to prevent any group from changing this order if it seems desirable for one reason or another.
The principal point to be kept in mind in conducting every meeting is that it is a Round Table Discussion, the chief objective being to have every member participate in the program. If anyone is permitted to make long-winded speeches, or even if you bring in well-informed and highly talented speakers outside your group, you certainly will defeat the main objective for which your Study Club is organized.
It is admitted that often it is the easiest way to get some good talker to tell your group what you think they ought to know about these various subjects; but bear in mind the old tried and true pedagogical principle, "Telling is not teaching." In a Study Club, the prime objective is to encourage every individual in your group to dig out as many facts as possible by his own efforts in his own way. The job of the Chairman, leader or teacher of the group, is to inspire, stimulate and aid in this personal study and research. A good leader will never try to show off his own superior knowledge, although it must be admitted that too many teachers, even in famous institutions of learning, sometimes seem to disregard this fundamental factor.
The big task of the group leader is, first, to get the discussion properly started and, next, to steer it along right channels, so that it will not run off into side issues, or get tangled up in a lot of technical or unimportant details. Likewise, the discussion must be kept free from personalities and must not be permitted to become merely the voicing of unbaked opinions and personal prejudices.
If you permit your Study Club group to become dominated by a few or to become, in any sense, a "one man affair," you will soon defeat your own purpose. Make every meeting a genuine discussion of all possible phases of the subject, viewed from various angles and you will have no difficulty in maintaining the interest of your group.
The simplest system for conducting each meeting is to have handed out previously to each member of the group a written question on some phase of the main topic, with the understanding that each member is expected to dig up all the facts possible in answer to his particular question and present his answer at the next regular meeting. Members should be permitted to write out their answers and read the same or make notes and present a verbal answer. Also the same question may be assigned to several members, although it will be best to confine each member to a single question.
At the meeting, after each question has been answered by the member or members to whom the question has previously been assigned, a limited time not more than three minutes should be permitted for general comment and discussion of that particular question.
After all the scheduled questions have been answered and discussed, there should be a general discussion covering all phases of the main topic and including any additional questions that may be developed during the discussion.
Bear in mind, however, that the subjects of our Keypoint Programs are so broad that it will be impossible to cover them completely and exhaustively. Furthermore, the objective of the Keypoint Programs is to stimulate a desire for further knowledge rather than to satisfy fully the quests of those who join our Round Table Discussion groups.
If you exercise reasonable skill in steering the course of these discussions, you are likely to find that many of your group will be anxious to prolong the discussions of mooted points. Above all things do not permit this. In fact, the best possible time to break up a meeting is when everybody is anxious to have it continue. If the interest is strong at the close of each meeting, it will carry through and sustain itself for the next meeting.
In fact, while simplicity and informality should be the general keynote of your programs, this does not imply any lack of orderliness or system. Particularly, it does not mean that you should be informal or irregular as to the time and places for holding your meetings. In assuring prompt and regular attendance, nothing carries more weight than having and living up to a strict schedule for opening and closing each meeting. The final order of business at each meeting should be assigning the question slips for the next meeting. Always have plenty of these slips prepared so that every person present will be given one.
No specific recommendations are made regarding the frequency of meetings, as this will naturally vary with local conditions. We are always pleased, however, to answer inquiries on any feature or phase of Masonic Study. Since our chief endeavor is to encourage the organization of Study Clubs to aid every club in every way possible to achieve the highest possible success, we esteem it as a privilege as well as a pleasant duty to give free counsel from our experience to everyone who seeks our advice.
Pointers for Reading Service League District Managers and Other Masonic Study Club Organizers
FIRST, study the whole proposition carefully and become thoroughly familiar with the reasons back of the Masonic Study Club Campaign and the advantages which every Lodge derives and each Study Club member gains from participating in this program.
Note that a Study Club is not another auxiliary Masonic association, but should be regarded as a feature of the regular program of activities of each Lodge which fosters and supports the Study Club idea. In fact, one of the best ways of forming a Study Club in any Lodge is for the Master to appoint an Educational Committee, similar to the Social, Finance and any other standing committees, the objective of this Educational Committee being to assist the Master in promoting Masonic Education through Study Club programs as well as in other practical ways.
The advantages of providing the ways and means for encouraging Masons, particularly newly-enrolled brethren, to make some further study of the history, symbolism and principal teachings of the fraternity, to supplement the somewhat superficial and casual knowledge they gain from regular ceremonials and the occasional lectures, are so obvious that most Masters, and others who have the best welfare of the Craft at heart, will gladly cooperate in the furtherance of any practical plan and program such as our Study Club Campaign provides.
The first step, therefore, in starting a Study Club, is to explain our plans and programs so as to gain the unqualified and enthusiastic cooperation of the Master of the Lodge. No attempt ever should be made to introduce a Study Club Program into any Lodge, unless the full approval of the Master is first obtained.
If possible, as noted previously, you should persuade the Master to appoint an Educational Committee with a Chairman who is definitely interested in the Study Club Plan and familiar with its progress.
There should not be too much "horn-tooting" and "whooperup" talks in getting your Study Club group interested, otherwise, you will find that the overstimulated interest may die out before the program gets fairly started.
The best way to bring the Study Club program before a Lodge is to arrange with the Master to have a Chairman of the Educational Committee explain the proposition at a regular communication of the Lodge. There should not be any oratory and very little talking from those who are not going to take an active part in the program of the Study Club.
In any Lodge, however, no matter how quietly the Study Club idea may be presented, there will be a few members to whom the idea will make instant appeal. These naturally interested brethren will be by far the best possible nucleus of the group to begin your Study Club program. Better far to begin with a small group of brethren really interested and let this group increase gradually than to work up a big enthusiasm and get a large group to start and then have those who were simply carried along by the tide of enthusiasm drop out as soon as this tide ebbs, which, of course, it is bound to do when you take up the routine work of your Study Club programs.
These words of caution and counsel, of course, are more or less perfunctory, or what might possibly be called "glittering generalities." You must be aware, of course, that we cannot hand you an infallible formula that will enable you to organize a Masonic Study Club in every Lodge you approach.
Organization work of this kind requires tact, personality and good judgment on the part of those undertaking it. So the best we can do is to try to make the importance and value of the Masonic Study Club movement as clear and plain as possible, offer you a few general suggestions for introducing the movement in the Lodges of your locality and leave the rest to your own best judgment.
One point, however, that we wish to impress as strongly as possible is the urgent necessity that you keep as closely in touch with our Reading Service League Office as you possibly can, letting us know just how you are progressing and also letting us pass along for your benefit our advice on any point that may come up during your work. As you are aware, our main task is to help you do this organizing work successfully. We have enjoyed considerable experience, although we do not profess to know all there is to know about it. But we do feel confident that we shall be able to aid you on any matter concerning which you care to consult us.
Seven Keypoint Introductory Programs, Arranged for Round Table Discussion Groups
- Primitive Origins of Masonic Activities.
- Legendary Forerunners of Freemasonry.
- Early Records of Operative Freemasonry.
- The First Grand Lodges of England.
- Beginnings of the Craft in America.
- Patriotism, Persecution and Progress.
- Historical High Spots of the Past Fifty Years.
- The Origin, Development and Importance of Symbolism.
- The Major Symbols of the First Degree.
- The Minor Symbols of the First Degree.
- The Major Symbols of the Second Degree.
- The Minor Symbols of the Second Degree.
- The Major Symbols of the Third Degree.
- The Minor Symbols of the Third Degree.
- The Prime Importance of Character Building Through Self-Denial, Self-Control and Self-Culture.
- A Reverent and Reasonable Faith in the Fatherhood of God.
- The Practice of Brotherly Love in All Human Relationships.
- The Belief Life Is Eternal and the Soul of Man Is Immortal.
- The Profession and Practical Exemplification of the Spirit of True Democracy.
- The Practice of Universal Tolerance, Unlimited Charity and Constant Loyalty.
- The Ultimate Triumph of Truth and Righteousness.
QUESTIONS FOR ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS
Subject: Masonic History, 1-The Primitive Origins of Masonic Activities
- In what ways do certain Masonic activities cater to inherent human instincts, traits and desires?
- In what respects were the earliest social groupings of primitive man similar to Masonic Orders of the present day?
- Mention some of the earliest social orders from which modern Freemasonry may have derived certain characteristics?
- What are the grounds for the claim that architecture was the first of all the arts?
- To what original principles or fundamental factors do you attribute the permanent growth of Freemasonry?
- Point out some of the relations between the arts of building and the development of principles of morality?
- Trace the origins of modern educational principles and methods back to the invention and use of tools and implements for architecture and agriculture and to the employment of Symbols for communicating ideas.
PRIZES FOR ASKING QUESTIONS
As has been repeatedly urged, we desire to make this department a real forum, consequently we are anxious to receive comments and contributions from everyone interested to aid the cause of the Masonic Study Club Campaign.
First of all, we want our readers to help develop these Round Table Discussion Programs. To stimulate further interest in this particular matter, we will award a yearly subscription to THE BUILDER, either as a renewal or extension of your present subscription or as a gift to one of your friends, for the seven best sets of seven questions apiece on any of the topics named in our Keypoint Discussion Club Programs. As a suggestion regarding the sort of questions desired, a set of model questions are presented. Remember, we will award seven annual subscriptions to THE BUILDER, for the seven sets of questions that our editorial staff judges to be the best submitted. This contest is open to everyone, whether subscribers or not. Contributions must be received not later than Sept. 1, 1929, and announcement of prize awards will be made in the November number of the THE BUILDER. Send all entries for prizes to address below.
All brothers interested in any phase of Masonic Education, especially those who believe in fostering the Masonic Study Club movement, are invited to send criticism, comments and particularly, practical suggestions for furthering this movement. Those who are willing to help organize Round Table Clubs in their Lodges or their districts are invited to send for Membership Blanks, etc., which will be supplied free of cost.
General Campaign Manager
The Masonic Study Club Campaign,
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THE LENGTH OF THE CABLE TOW
A correspondent is quoted in the current number of the Masonic World as follows:
No church nor Masonic organization has the right to exist that is not engaged in making the community a better place in which to live.
The editor, Bro. Jos. E. Morcombe, comments thus:
A thorough and general conviction of the truth in such statement should give up cause furiously to think. There would as result be a great stretching of the scope of the Masonic cabletow, a vast extension of the force and meaning of Masonic obligations. We are not concerned for the churches mentioned; they are doubtless well able to take care of their own affairs and to decide upon their proper course. But most of us will admit with sorrow, and perhaps with some shame, that judged by efforts for community betterment our lodges have not been conspicuous successes.
The criticism is doubtless justified — but still it is not the lodges, as lodges, but their members as Masons, upon whom this responsibility is laid. But if the latter fail therein, then the lodges are proved at fault — either in selecting unfit material, or else in not properly instructing their candidates.
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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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HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH RITUAL. By the Rev. F. deP. Castells. Published by A.Lewis, London. Cloth, table of contents, index, 119 pages. Price $2.75.
BRO. CASTELLS has a rather low opinion of the work of such Masonic scholars as might be classed under the head of that ill-chosen term, the "Authentic" school of research; for which, by the way, if any qualification be really needed, "critical" or "historical" would be far more appropriate. It is to be feared that none of these terms can be accurately used of Bro. Castells' methods or conclusions. Every seeker after truth should cultivate an open mind, but that does not mean that we should discard all previously accepted conclusions at the advent of every new opinion, for to do so would in practice mean that we should never arrive anywhere. The line we are following may be wrong, but it is well nevertheless that it should be thoroughly explored. This consideration will serve as good reason for critical students to continue their plodding progress step by step, and not to take aerial flights borne on the wings of eclectic symbolisms. But it equally debars them from condemning those who prefer the latter method of discovery, for something may be seen by them through the mists and clouds of fancy which will prove of permanent value.
So far as can be gathered from his published works Bro. Castells' general position seems to be that the traditional ritual history of Masonry is founded on genuine fact, that it was transmitted by the Hebrew race, and that it is so closely related to Kabbalism as to be in effect an entrance or portico to the adytum of that mystical system. As subsidiary to this, he regards the Royal Arch as being Masonry proper, and infers that all lower grades were offshoots from it, designed to sift out those candidates not really fitted to receive its exalted mysteries.
This position has been very fully set out in the author's earlier works. Indeed the Origin of Masonic Degrees might well be called a study of the Kabbalah as much as anything else. The present work is much more closely defined by its title, for it is really an analysis of the Royal Arch ritual; and even if its historicity be questioned, Bro. Castells is entitled to the credit of having compared the various types of ritual actually in use. Generally such studies have been undertaken on the basis of one ritual form only.
This latest work also seems to offer indications that the author has not been content with such sources as he used in his earlier efforts, but has pursued his researches. And if we cannot agree with his interpretation of them, it must be admitted that it is far from easy to appraise such vestiges of Masonic antiquity that remain to us; and their fragmentary character makes some assumptions necessary to extract any meaning from them.
It might seem as if in such a case one set of assumptions is as good as another. Certainly they cannot be approved or rejected in the same clean cut way as we can deal with questions of fact. They require as a rule very delicate balancing of considerations for and against, and differences of opinion are inevitable. Nevertheless such assumptions, so far as they pretend to explain and interpret historical evidence, do depend on that evidence to the extent that they must use the facts as they are found in their proper context; for anything at all may be proved by facts selected here and there, and whittled down or twisted in order to make them fit.
One serious complaint must be made about Bro. Castells' method of work, and that is the complete absence of definite references. At times modern Masonic writers are quoted, but without any indication where the statements or opinions ascribed to them are to be found. He cites old rituals, printed and in MS., but seldom gives even a clue as to what they are. Unless the reader is sufficiently conversant with the material to recognize the passages quoted, he is left entirely in the dark if he wishes to verify them, or to judge for himself, from their context, whether they really bear the interpretation put upon them. What, for instance, is the "old American Ritual" cited at pages 17, 27, 32 and elsewhere, and which it is intimated at pages 46 and 67 is one hundred and fifty years old? Is it something else from the only American ritual that he was able to find in the Grand Lodge Library, dated 1892? Of this he says that it "has the ceremonies completely remodelled" though "it contains all the essentials of our Supreme Degree." The way this is put gives the impression, possibly quite unintentional, that this ritual "produced at Wisconsin" (sic) is something new, full of innovations. As it has not been possible to identify the work it cannot be said definitely that this is not so; but it is most probable that it follows the normal American type. Indeed it may be guessed that all Bro. Castells meant to say was that it differed from the English type — only if so, he might have expressed himself with less ambiguity:
But the question remains, what is the American Ritual that is a century and a half old? Where is it? There are two or three at least who would travel a thousand miles or more to see it, if they were told where it could be found. As a matter of fact, one is inclined to suspect from what is said concerning the peculiar features of this ritual, that this Wisconsin publication is a reprint of part of Elder Bernard's "Light on Masonry," published in 1829, at the height of the anti-Masonic furore. But this, even if its accuracy be granted (which is at least open to question) does not take us back to the eighteenth century. And Webb stood at the dividing line between the centuries, and though we may doubt if he very greatly modified the Craft rituals, it does seem very probable that he remodelled those of the Chapter and the Commandery. And Webb became the law and gospel for American Masonry, with the exception of Pennsylvania. In actual fact there seem to be no known Royal Arch rituals extant earlier than the beginning of the nineteenth century, or the last decade of the eighteenth, either in print or in MS. If Bro. Castells knows of any he will do Masonic scholarship the greatest service if he will let us into the secret of their whereabouts.
It would seem that at about the end of the eighteenth century there were the widest variations in the Royal Arch as practiced in different places. So wide indeed that visitors were frequently re-obligated in order to communicate things they had not received in their own Chapters. As Webb standardized the American work, so was it remodelled in England, and probably Ireland, a little later on. In all cases great changes were made. The English ritual minimized the dramatic element, the American exaggerated it. In Ireland a subsidiary incident was developed as the principal motif.
On page 38 Bro. Castells refers to an "interrogatory," which he says "is taken from the Sections, which are at least two hundred years old." By "Sections" he means what in America is called a "Lecture," properly a Catechism. Now the only authority for these "Sections" that he mentions is Carlile's expose of 1825 (as at pages 15 and 20). The "interrogatory" above mentioned was not taken from any American ritual, nor is it in Carlile. Apparently it comes from some other source — but without further knowledge it would be unsafe to accept it as two hundred years old.
In dealing with the "Vaulted Chamber," he describes some ceremonies of the "eighteenth century ritual," by which apparently he means the American form, and in a suggested comparison with the English work (which refers to "three cope stones") he observes that "the mention of three 'keystones' at a later date is decidedly wrong; there could only be one Keystone." Why? If there be any point that emerges from the scraps of information we have about pre-nineteenth century Royal Arch symbolism it would seem to be that originally there were three vaults and so three keystones. And this even so late as 1825, for it is plainly so stated in Carlile. The three "copestones" of the present English work are an attenuated survival of the original three arches. Carlile is here supported by numerous Masonic designs, many of which are of the eighteenth century.
It is perhaps not worth while to discuss the arguments when the premises on which they are based seem to be so uncertain and unreliable. But we can say that the symbolical interpretations suggested by Bro. Castells are often worthy of consideration, they are sometimes striking and almost always ingenious. And in one matter we must heartily agree with him; the lectures of the three Principles, and especially that of the Ex. Z., in the English ritual, certainly do need drastic revision and curtailment. When he had to deliver them, the present reviewer was never able to look the candidate in the eye; and whenever possible he sought a later opportunity to explain their impossibilities and to try and substitute something better. The older and shorter addresses, while trite and superficial, were much to be preferred. In fact it would seem that in the attempt to make the Royal Arch a ne plus ultra, and the repository of the most awful mysteries, the ritual makers of the nineteenth century succeeded only in creating bathos. If there is little real interest in the Royal Arch by the average Companion, it is not the fault of the general conception of the degree (or Order), but the execrable taste of the furnishers and decorators who painted and gilded and fitted it out in the very worst rococo style.
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THE HOLY KABBALAH. By A. E. Waite. Published by Williams and Norgate, Ltd., London, and the Macmillan Co. New York. Cloth, analytical table of contents, illustrated, index, xxvi and 686 pages. Price $7.75.
THIS latest work from the pen of Bro. Waite proves that in spite of advancing years his powers are in no way enfeebled nor his industry slackened. The amount of work he has accomplished is remarkable for its sheer bulk, and during a long literary life he has written nothing that, in its own field, can be safely neglected by the seeker therein. Now at an age when any man might be expected to lay down his working tools he has produced another solid piece of work, thoroughly and competently dealing with a subject about which much has been written but with little knowledge in too many cases. Every would-be occultist, every teacher or prophet of some brand of "new" thought, honest and dishonest alike, have fallen back on the Kabbalah as a fountain of mysteries, and a source of secret illumination with (on the part of most) no real acquaintance at all with the Kabbalistical texts. The term "Kabbalistic" has been one to conjure with since the Middle Ages — literally to conjure with — in the working of ceremonial magic, both black and white. But of what "it was all about," really, very few seem to have so much as guessed.
Bro. Waite, in the present work, is continuing to prosecute his search for a "secret tradition." None of his books can be properly estimated or appreciated unless this be kept in mind. And a secret tradition is the most elusive thing imaginable, as one would naturally expect.
There is a widespread school of thought — with many organized and unorganized groups within it — which holds to the general hypothesis of a religion behind all religions. This is often more than a hypothesis, becoming an article of faith in itself. Albert Pike held it, among many other leaders and teachers and prophets, and he recast the rituals of the Scottish Rite, and compiled Morals and Dogma to propagandize this view.
The hypothesis to which we refer is not at all the same thing as that underlying the scientific study of religion from the purely anthropological and objective standpoint, though there are many points of contact and resemblance. Comparative religion is not concerned with the content, the value or truth of religion, but merely with its form, its history and evolution. The attitude of the theosophical occultist — the term will serve to designate those referred to, even if not a very accurate definition — is quite different. Here the conception is of different religions being deliberately devised systems, adapted to races and peoples at different levels, by teachers and prophets, who were the agents and servants of the hidden religion, the true religion, to which only those of the highest endowments, spiritual and intellectual, could ever hope to arrive; and they only by a long series of initiations.
There is a manifest plausibility about this view. There is so much, taking the various religions together, which they seem to hold in common. There may be even the adumbration of higher truth in it for those to whom God is not merely an impersonal, indifferent "All," and individuality in man — and beast — a mere illusion. But into this it will not be safe to venture now. What we are concerned with is that Kabbalism has been frequently and confidently adduced as one of the vehicles, or official paths, from exterior religion to the occult ecclesia; the religion behind religion, conceived as a hidden organization, a "Great White Lodge," enduring from age to age, watching over the world — with, the cynic might say, singularly little effect.
The Kabbalah is by its own claim a "Secret Doctrine." Not a doctrine of magic worked by names of power, as it has so often been taken to be; all that is mere excrescence, debased offshoots of the main stem; the true Kabbalah is a doctrine of mystical interpretation of the Holy Scripture — the Law. And here we may quote Brother Waite's own words:
It is, of course, broadly and generally, a method of interpreting Scripture, but so far as this expression is to be understood in an ordinary sense — as an actual and logical construction of the letter — the interpretation, as I have indicated already, is of no value — for the most part, at least. It is to be taken or left in the sense of its own motive, which is to establish, at any and all cost, a Secret Doctrine on the foundation of the Old Testament; and in the light of this it signified little that the Doctrine, in respect to exegesis, was arbitrary to the last degree.
Yet, so Bro. Waite judges, the "sons of the Doctrine" produced "pure and precious jewels of the spirit" amid "much dust and scoria" from the matter that passed under their hands, and he goes on to say:
It is only as if casually that the word interpretation can be held to apply in any solid sense; the Secret Doctrine is rather the sense below the sense which is found in the literal world — as if one story were written on the obverse side of the parchment and another on the reverse side.
Thus it appears that the Kabbalah is not properly either exegetical or historical:
... it is not of systems, schools or interpretations, it is of a living and spiritual kind. Here is, indeed, the only vital point of view from which the subject can be regarded, and it redeems the whole circle of my present inquiry from the charge of vanity. It explains also why the research has been undertaken and why its results are offered at full length to those whom they concern.
It would hardly be possible to adequately criticise such a literature as that of the Kabbalah without some discussion of its origin, its age and authenticity. The first four books (of which there are twelve in all) in Bro. Waite's work deal with this aspect of the subject; and although, as he takes pains to make clear, he is not interested in such matters as textual criticism, and dates and authorship, for and in themselves, yet his treatment is not the less thorough and painstaking on that account. It would appear that he has read exhaustively all that has ever been published upon the subject. At its own value the literature of the Kabbalah has its origin in the remote past; the Sepher Yetzirah is ascribed to Abraham, for example; but on its own account it was an oral tradition till the time of Rabbi Simeon teen Jochai in the second century of our era. The Sepher Yetzirah, or "Book of Formation" or "Creation," is regarded as the oldest extant work, and Bro. Waite thinks that there is nothing inherent improbable in its having been the work of Rabbi Akiba, shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century; although this ascription first appears more than a thousand years later. Obviously therefore it remains an undecided question. The Zohar or "Book of Splendor" by its own account was written down by a disciple of Rabbi Simeon, and in part pretends to reproduce discourses and discussions between that famous Rabbi and his disciples. It is patently a compilation, and the materials used are of very different ages. Modern critics have ascribed it Moses de Leon, a Spanish Jew of the 14th century. Of this question Bro. Waite says:
It is useless to reason with those whose confidence is not shaken in the face of impossibilities, whose imagination can bridge all gulfs in evidence by fantastic suppositions. On the other hand there is the crass criticism which rules off a literature by a single stroke of the pen into the region of forgery and imposture.... It does not matter that this criticism is always in disgrace. It proved Troy town to be solar Mythos till Troy town was excavated; it undermined, as it believed, the Book of Daniel till fresh archaeological discoveries cast it into the pit it had dug. It is truly not less stupid, and it is far less engaging, than the opposed excess.
But extreme incredulity is only extreme credulity turned inside out, or working in a negative sense. Bro. Waite goes on to say that
... the history of debated questions of this kind teaches another lesson, and the closest approximation to truth is found usually in the mean of extreme views
and concludes that an unbiased consideration of all the evidence
... will lead us to conclude that there are elements of old doctrine in the Zohar, their exact antiquity is, in part, highly speculative, but it is quite sufficient to invest them with considerable interest, from this point of view only. Like the Sepher Yetzirah, some of it may be even referable to a comparatively remote antiquity.
Thus if we accept the indications found in the Talmuds which point to the existence of a secret and mystical tradition among the Jews,
... and follow them through the large mystical literature which intervened between those works and the Zohar as we now have it, we shall be led, not to the conclusion of the mere occultist and dreamer, that there was a great body of Secret Doctrine which became revealed gradually, but that there was a kernel of Tradition which was planted in the secret heart of Israel, which many watered and fostered, till the growth at length put forth, not without something of transformation and of suddenness, the strange flower of the Zohar.
If then we are to conclude, from the external evidence critically examined, that the Kabbalah is relatively old — perhaps going back to the first centuries of the Christian era — and also that it is genuine, not in the sense of coming from the authorship ascribed by tradition, but in that of being the product of a mystical school of thought within the Jewish religion, what, if anything, has it to offer to us now? Its bizarre symbolism is not of a kind to appeal to the ordinary intelligent person, even if of a religious nature. Bro. Waite tells us that the Kabbalah is the first word to appear in the western world to affirm
... with no uncertain voice that God is altogether without mutation or vicissitude — that wrath and judgment are of man alone, placing thus a new construction on the divine warning: "Judge not, less ye be judged"; and showing also the significance of the not less divine promise: "I will repay." Never for the true Kabbalist could this mean that God would repay the sinner in his own spirit, outrage for outrage, hate for hate... Amid the firebrands of the Papal Church it promulgated for the first time the real meaning of the forgiveness of sins.
This is something certainly, though it does not lie on the surface. Nor does another matter which Bro. Waite discerns, but of which none of the ordinary accounts ever gives so much as a hint. It is a "Mystery of Sex." In hag-ridden America, obsessed as it is today with real (if psychological) Incubi and Succubi this should be of interest. But it is to be feared that this mystery is too great, that too high a price is demanded of those who would penetrate it.
It is rather curious and exceptional. All schools of mysticism have features in common, and one of the most general of such connecting links is asceticism. The attainment of the Beatific Vision, of the final ecstasy of union with God, is deliberately sought by the path of keeping the body in subjection, of self-denial and abstinence and continence. And before all continence. The oriental mystic and the occidental alike have held that only at this price could the doors be unlocked. Herein it would seem that the Kabbalah has opened another way — the way of marriage — holding that man is imperfect without woman, and that for everyone there is a spiritual partner or spouse of the opposite sex, with whom the way of perfection may be travelled. It is a doctrine that will commend itself to all true lovers. And it would serve as well as a corrective to the silly nonsense now so fashionable on this subject, which is nothing but an unreasoning and hysterical reaction from the Puritan theory that everything pleasant was wrong and all joy inherently wicked — especially when it was the joy of the lover in the beloved. But for all this those interested must go to Bro. Waite's work for themselves — the eighth Book is devoted to it, the way thereto having been prepared by those which precede it.
The eleventh Book considers the connections of the Kabbalah with other lines of Secret Tradition, real or alleged. Ceremonial magic, in the West, was (so it appears) highly Kabbalistic, borrowing freely from its doctrine concerning names and words of power — and spiritual hierarchies. Among these is a short chapter on the links between the Kabbalah and Freemasonry. It is brief, because Bro. Waite has so fully dealt with the Secret Tradition in Masonry that it was unnecessary, as well as out of place, to have said more here. After a reference to the hypotheses which relate the Fraternity to the Ancient Mysteries, the Templars and the Rosicrucians, he goes on to say that
... no presentation of this hypothesis has been able to survive analysis, and it is left at most with a possible connection between Masonry and Rosicrucianism a little before and after the Grand Lodge epoch of 1717... This being the state of the case, and the claim on antiquity which is made for Freemasonry by some of its unwise votaries not having been urged by the institution on its own behalf outside the Rituals, there is nothing prima facie to accredit the idea that it has ever been a channel of any Secret Tradition except its own, or to warrant us in supposing a priori that it should have any distinct analogies with Kabbalism. And as a fact its position in this respect is much like that of Alchemy, seemingly fortuitous, a question of subsequent introduction, as much imputation as reality, a varnish rather than a permanent tincture.
He adds that Masonry has "attracted occultists and even mystics" and that during the Rite-manufacuring period, the latter part of the eighteenth century,
... alchemists, Swedenborgians, Martinists, theurgists, astrologers, all invented new Grades and new Orders, and as at this period there were also Kabbalists, so in one or two instances we hear of Kabbalistic Rites, especially of Rites and Grades which exhibit Kabbalistic influences.
And he concludes from this that as Freemasonry is not alchemy, or theurgy or mysticism, neither is it Kabbalism, though "it has been put to use in Kabbalistic as in other interests."
Further on he briefly mentions Albert Pike's interest in occultism, and such Kabbalism as was known to Pike's unacknowledged master in these things, Eliphas Levi, and says that:
It matters little that the sources from which Pike drew were of the worst rather than the best, or that though a man of wide reading, he was not a critic; for we are concerned only with a tendency and its development.
And Pike, "in spite of these limitations," did make available an amount of information on occult subjects which no previous scheme had imported into Masonry, although it is only the rites of Memphis and Misraim which claim "a distinct purpose of an occult kind."
The final conclusion is that the Kabbalistic influence is confined to the so-called High Grades, and that to interpret the Third Degree by Jewish Tradition ("outside the allegory of the Lost Word") is absurd, and;
So far as history is concerned Kabbalism and Masonry once joined hands in the sphere of the Higher Grades, and as a historical fact this is interesting, but that it otherwise significant must be left to those who affirm it.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
A CRITIC OF ARMY LODGES
Herewith please find a total of three dollars, being a renewal of my membership and subscription for the ensuing twelve months.
Whilst writing I would like to address a few words regarding the contents of THE BUILDER. Many of your articles are of great and general interest but on the other hand there are some that cannot be classed under this heading — I refer particularly to those dealing with Overseas Lodges. These cannot be of any interest to the majority and neither can they appeal to those who are seeking historical information. Undoubtedly they were a very sad mistake from a Masonic point of view (that is the lodges) as shown from the articles themselves and from the large number of brethren who have been suspended for N.P.D. and general lack of interest in Craft affairs.
The articles in THE BUILDER often ask what is the matter with Masonry? This question can be quickly answered by any one who has read the papers dealing with Overseas Lodges. I do not for one moment accuse these lodges of being the sole cause but they form a glaring example of members being accepted without due regard to their fitness. How could any lodge decide whether HUNDREDS of men were suitable within the space of a few months? How could ANY investigating committee decide upon character knowing only the man's army character?
I have probably written a lot to express my mind regarding the articles in question, but the continued grabbing of material, whether suitable or otherwise, certainly needs drastic action. In my mind the only good cause the articles can afford is to prevent the Craft suffering from a like disaster at some future time at the hands of other thoughtless members of our Order.
Naturally, as a whole, I appreciate THE BUILDER or I should not renew my subscription.
Gordon Harvey, Canada.
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SOME MASONIC PROBLEMS
The comments published on Bro. Hungerford's articles make me wish to speak too, even though I may also be only a voice crying in the wilderness. With the mutually opposite views of D.D.H. and A.E.C., I feel in sympathy and J.T.T. has given an accurate diagnosis. Our last Grand Master, here, held constantly in his addresses to our lodges to the opinions expressed by D.D.H. but, if they are right and the utmost limit of Masonic achievement is to become a nursing mother for the various service clubs, then I must agree with A.E.C. that "Freemasonry is, as a whole, operating under false pretenses." There seems greater need than ever for the exercise of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, so why keep our machinery idle?
Bro. Roucek, on page 114 (April), might have gone further and applied his "second problem" to Freemasonry the world over instead of only Continental Europe. The human qualities of our membership will not differ greatly anywhere and the old difference between Operatives and Speculatives seems reborn in the division between intellectuals and men of other types. It is likely they will always remain with us, and Bro. Roucek's solution goes far towards realizing a happy cooperation.
With this, however, there remains grave need for a sense of responsibility on the part of our Investigating Committees, through whose incompetency, largely, is due the influx of unsuitable material, which is a deterrent to efficiency in any direction of activity. A remedy against this can be found in the practice followed, I understand, by lodges in Switzerland. A local Brother, who had been stationed there during the War, spoke here several times after his return on his experiences and stressed the fact that entrance and advancement there were far more difficult than with us.
The lodge, in the city where he passed most of his service, was constantly occupied with benevolent work; not because of the demands of the War but as a normal condition by which applicants and initiates were tested before their membership could be completed. No candidate received more than one degree in a year's time and not only had his proposer and seconder to report on his behavior during the periods between these ceremonies, but the initiate had to give a written statement of his understanding thereof and of his experiences in trying to live up to them. On these reports would depend entirely his further treatment.
If my readers will stop to consider what a difference would result in the Freemasonry of North America if such a practice should by any means be inaugurated here, they will at once perceive why there is so much unrest and dissatisfaction amongst us under conditions wherein nothing of the sort is attempted. Unsuitable material would cease to obstruct Masonic progress, or make our offices ridiculous by their natural incapacity to meet such responsibilities.
This cannot be done as long as we put quantity and ceremonial so much in the place of quality and work, as at present, and allow all natural impetus to service of any sort outside our present narrow limits, to be continually turned aside from Masonic channels. The statement that we are not operative but speculative Masons, that our teachings are allegorical and without historical accuracy, should not be twisted into a reason for mere verbiage, regalia, temples and other externals.
Critics may justly point to the "Three Jewels" of British Masonry, to the Homes supported by some U.S. Grand Lodges, to the fact that 80 per cent of its revenue is earmarked for benevolence by the G. L. of Canada, in Ontario; but the core of this discontent is, like the Kingdom of Heaven, not outside but within each one of us. For we spend vast amounts which others direct into useful channels, yet as Lowell wrote — "The gift without the giver is bare." Some genius in psychology may yet earn our gratitude by devising a method whereby we can work individually to these ends, as well as pay others to do so.
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With further reference to "Masonic Fundamentalism," the writer has lately been making a number of addresses under the auspices of the Service Committee of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and in every one of those addresses has stressed the fact that Masonry requires a belief in God, but does not require a definition of the term God.
It is extremely doubtful if brethren could write a definition upon which any two, or at least any considerable number, could agree. To wrangle with a fundamentalist upon these matters is vainest of vain oblations. The great names which adorn the pages of Masonry from Voltaire, Payne, yes, even Washington and Franklin and many another, were all professing a belief in "One true and living God," which would scarcely be approved among the ranks of fundamentalists.
Each Mason has a right to make such application of our teachings as he sees fit, which best approves themselves to his conscience and understanding. The writer has been for many years a Knight Templar. In becoming a Knight Templar in an American jurisdiction a man is required to profess that he is a firm believer in the Christian religion. What does that mean? He can give it any such interpretation as he sees fit. The word religion is very elastic, and even a modern Jew can, without conflict with his conscience, subscribe to that platform.
On the other hand, visiting in the Canadian jurisdiction we found that a positive statement of belief in the Holy and Undivided Trinity was a pre-requisite for membership in the Commandery degrees or Preceptories, as they are known in Canada, and elsewhere, and that the Apostle's Creed was recited as an article of faith. In some consistories in the northern Masonic jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite an attempt is made to give the degree, a distinctly Christian interpretation, and some consistories will not admit anyone except professed Christians. Such was not the belief of Albert Pike, who was seeking to find a common denominator for all sorts and conditions of men and all kinds of beliefs, and to honor a Shrine in which all could gather and develop their common humanities for the good of all. Pike believed he had found this altar in Freemasonry and that its teachings could be elaborated and expanded through the several degrees of the Scottish Rites as written by him for the Southern Jurisdiction.
No, the writer doesn't belong to the "snollygasters," but I believe he would rather belong to them than to the "gullibles," who believe everything, and as the late Bob Ingersoll used to say, "wished there were more to believe."
Happy is it for Freemasonry, though, that there is a place for all sorts and conditions of men and beliefs and that laying aside differences of opinion we should unite under friendly auspices and in kindly consideration one of another. A study of the "Morals and Dogma," by Pike, will benefit all of us and a recognition of the fact that none of us are altogether right or altogether wrong will help us orient our opinions.
What I believe to be true and what I know to be true are very separate and distinct things. The one is essential, the other is fundamental, the one is demonstrable, the other is problematic. Believe what we will, the other party has a right to do likewise, amend his theory is as likely to be right as our own.
G. A. Kenderdine, Iowa.
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EXAMINATION IN COURTESY WORK
A candidate has applied for admission, been accepted, and has received his E.A. Degree in Lodge "A." He later finds that his occupation calls him to another part of the country, too far away to attend his lodge, but there is a lodge in that town which we will call "B."
Lodge "A," through the Grand Secretary, instructs Lodge "B" to confer the Fellowcraft on before named E.A. as a courtesy to Lodge "A."
Now the question rises, is Lodge "B" required to examine the candidate and satisfy themselves that he has made "suitable proficiency in the preceding degree? " Or may they without examination confer the F.C. Degree on the order of the Grand Secretary (no mention of examination being made in the Grand Secretary's letter)?
My personal view is, that having the order from the Grand Secretary, Lodge "B" is perfectly in order to confer the F.C. Degree on the before mentioned E.A. without any examination; but should Lodge "A," through the Grand Secretary, instruct Lodge "B" to confer both F.C. and M.M. Degrees, I claim that Lodge "B" may go ahead and confer the F.C. Degree on the E.A., but before conferring the M.M. Degree, the usual time should elapse and the F.C. brother should satisfy Lodge "B" that he has made "suitable proficiency" in the F.C. Degree before the lodge will confer the M.M. Degree. Am I right or am I wrong?
Your opinion on these questions will be very much appreciated.
S. H. T., Canada.
A general authoritative answer to a question in regard to procedure is impossible. Brethren are obviously bound by the particular rulings and precedents of their own jurisdiction. We may, however, offer some general reflections on the principles that should govern any decision that may be made.
In the first place the regulation of courtesy work of one lodge for another by Grand Lodge officials is a new thing. It may have grown up partly by the tendency of all governing bodies to continuously enlarge the scope of their powers; and it is quite possible that the general deterioration of self-governing ability in our lodges has made some regulation necessary. That there has been such a deterioration is hardly open to doubt, and it is largely due to the "degree mill." This has gradually changed the conception of Masonic work in the minds of the great majority of Masons on this continent. The Master of a lodge is regarded merely as a "foreman" in charge of the "mill." His function is to know the ritual, and any questions of procedure, of Masonic law or Masonic instruction are out of his province, and must be referred to Grand Lodge experts. Did the lodges arrange such matters as these between themselves directly, as they used to do, such questions as the one under consideration could hardly arise. It would be settled by correspondence simply and naturally.
The principle on which the question should be answered seems quite clear. Examination of proficiency in the formal instructions of one grade is really an integral part of advancement, and always has been. The candidate must be examined if all requirements are to be filled. But there are variations in usage as to the time and place of examination. The standard rule has always been, and still is in many jurisdictions, that examination should be in open lodge, immediately before the conferring of the next step. Where this is the rule, there really seems to be no question. The examination is to all intent a part of the following degree. Thus it would appear, that unless it be expressly stated and certified that the candidate has been examined and found proficient, that the Lodge "B" should examine him as a matter of course.
Another point arises subsidiary to this, and pointing to the same conclusion. Unless the candidate is vouched for personally, he must be examined to discover whether he be the person to whom the documents refer.
Further than this, examination is nothing that can be objected to by anyone. It is no hardship, if the Mason, of whatever degree, is proficient. And (it is another of the things that have been largely forgotten) it is the duty of the Master (in principle, though now, alas, honored chiefly in the breach of the rule) not only to assure himself of the proficiency of candidates, but of the members of his lodge also, at any and all times.
If the Lodge "B" is under another jurisdiction and there are variations in ritual, there might be some practical difficulties. But these would be no greater than in examining a visitor. The Master and Wardens, and consequently the Past Masters, of any lodge, ought to be sufficiently conversant with ritual variations to be able to conduct such an examination, and to judge whether the visitor or candidate knew what he had been taught.
It follows from the consideration of the first question, that the second question should also be answered in the affirmative.. Both on the general grounds here advanced and the particular reasons advanced by our correspondent.
* * *
THE DIONYSIAN ARCHITECTS
Who were the Dionysian Architects, where and when did they live? Is there any book on the subject?
For the usually accepted ideas about this ancient corporation or gild the article on the subject in Mackey's Encyclopedia may be consulted. For a full discussion of the value and truth of these views the article by Bro. D. E. W. Williamson in THE BUILDER for March, 1928, should be read. Bro. Williamson shows conclusively that the often repeated accounts are a tissue of errors and fabrications. The Greek title is generally mistranslated. It should be Dionysian Artificers, or better, Dionysian Artists, and better still Dionysian "Artistes," for it was a gild or association of actors and musicians, dancers, jugglers, acrobats and the like. However, this does not prove that there were no gilds of builders. It is quite likely there were, but we know nothing about then.
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THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX: A CORRECTION
How did you let Burton E. Bennett's mistake get by in the April issue, wherein he writes: "... the island of St. Croix, of the now Danish West Indies....?" In 1917 the American Government purchased the three islands comprising the Danish West Indies, St. Croix being one of them. Probably at one time this island contained a population of 25,000, but at present the combined population of these islands would not greatly exceed 20,000.
If I am not mistaken, the governments of Denmark and France had an agreement whereby the island of St. Croix could undergo no change of sovereignty unless the Knights of Malta were consulted; which agreement was adhered to in the transfer of 1917.
Donald Lightbourn, New York.