A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 1 No. 6 – June 1915
ROBERT FREKE GOULD
SOLDIER, BARRISTER, FREEMASON
Editor of The Builder: — With deep regret I have to announce the death on March 26th, of our veteran Brother Robert Freke Gould. As a reliable Masonic historian he occupied a high place in the affection and esteem of all Masonic students. His works remain with us as Masonic classics for all time. His influence in Masonic literature was incalculable and will never die.
John T. Thorp, Lodge of Research, Leicester, England.
MAN AND MASON
John C. Yorston, Philadelphia
THE sad news of the death of this renowned, honorable and worthy brother, of International fame, will be received by the Craft at large with more than ordinary regret. He died at his residence, Kingsfield Green, Woking, England, March 26th, at the age of 78 years. How much we may regret his decease is not a subject for words, for in him was recognized the closest and most considerate of friends, one who knew the difficulties of authorship and journalism, and was ever ready to help and take pleasure in doing so, and also to make allowances where many would have showered unjust criticism.
The great loss to Masonry will be acknowledged wherever the Masonic symbol is known and recognized, for, although an English author, his Masonic works have been translated into several European languages, and his shorter writings and studies have been translated into many more tongues, and read throughout the World.
His first published work on Freemasonry, entitled "The First Four Old Lodges," was succeeded by "The Athol Lodges," but the work which has secured for him his position and lasting fame as a Masonic Author, is his complete and exhaustive work of research, "The History of Freemasonry," a magnum opus. For years it has held, and still holds, the field, and is recognized as the only work of authority and the most reliable one on the history of the Craft, yielding to him the honor of being the greatest Masonic Historian the World has yet produced.
He also published a smaller work, "The Concise History of Freemasonry," summarized without much detail. Many of his contributions to the Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge are works of skill, erudition, and patient research. Many of these are out of print, but the best of them, together with articles from various Masonic journals, are reprinted in a volume entitled "Brother Gould's Collected Essays and Papers," published in 1913. Bro. Gould's contributions to Masonic literature are not numerous. Many writers have given us more in quantity of matter and number of volumes, but none have achieved so much success in face of so many difficulties. He began his work when all matters of Masonic history were hopelessly mixed. All kinds of false traditions hovered around the name of Freemasonry, and countless rites and sects claimed association with the Order. His work consisted in clearing the way and breaking down barriers. He truly laid the tracks upon which his successors found it easy to travel. His standard was high, both as to literary accomplishment and to statement of fact. Guesswork and imagination had no part or lot in his researches. The truth was supreme, and all that possessed not its hall-mark was rejected or laid aside for further evidence. The work he accomplished will remain for many generations as a monument to his love of the Craft and his genius as a painstaking and truthful historian.
It might truly be said that his life was made up of the mystic number Three — for he was essentially a Soldier, Barrister and Freemason. These three separate characteristics were the predominant factors of his most useful life, and though he had for many years ceased activity as a Barrister, and took only a passing interest in military matters after his retirement from the Army, he devoted the rest of his life with a burning zeal and constant activity with his pen in behalf of Freemasonry until a short time before his death. His final letter, dated 22nd February, showed a mental and literary activity of the keenest nature, and introduced references to friendships in England, Gibraltar, and America. Bro. Gould was a son of the Rev. Robert Freke Gould, Rector of Stoke Pearo, Somerset, and was born at Ilfracombe, Devon, England, in 1836. At the age of nineteen he entered the Army as Ensign in the 86th Royal County Down Regiment of Foort, and later in the same year was initiated in the Royal Naval Lodge, No. 429, Ramsgate, and also received his commission as a Lieutenant, and was transferred to the 31st Regiment. In the following year his Regiment was ordered to Malta, where he was exalted in the Melita Chapter, No. 349, and also installed a Knight Templar in the Melita Encampment. In 1858 he found himself at Gibraltar, where he was installed Master of the Inhabitants' Lodge, No. 153, E. C. The Lodge roll for the present year shows him as the senior living Past Master at the time of its issue, and designates him an honorary member.
His year in the chair was interrupted by a removal to the Cape of Good Hope, and later in the same year to India. Here he became Founder and first Master of the Meridian Lodge, No. 743, of the 1st East Surrey Regiment, then stationed at Poona. In 1860 he took command of a Company at Sinho, in the North China Campaign, and took part in the action at that place, and in the storming of Tangku. For the taking of the latter forts he received a medal and clasp. In 1862 he served on the staff of General Staveley in subduing the Taeping Rebellion. The operations in the district of Shanghai resulted in the taking of the stockade of Nanhsiang, the capture by escalade of the walled cities of Kadin, Tsinpoo, Tsolin, and the fortified town of Najow, and the success of the operations at Nanhsiang. Afterwards he was appointed by General Stavele to drill, discipline, and organize a battalion of Manchu soldiers at Tien Tsin. Continuing his stay in China, he was elected Master of the Northern China Lodge, No. 570, Shanghai, in 1864, and in the following year was installed First Principal of the Zion Chapter, No. 570, and was a founder of the Tuscan Lodge, No. 1027, in the same city.
His departure from China would appear to have terminated his military career, for in 1870 we find him settled at Russell Square, London, in close proximity to the law centers of the Metropolis. This center was most favorable for the continuance of his legal work and for paying frequent visits to the Grand Lodge Library and to the British Museum. It was these later visits which enabled him to lay the foundation upon which so much valuable material was afterwards to be erected in the way of contributions to the literature of Freemasonry. What Bro. Gould himself described as the "distractions" of these two Libraries caused him to suspend his legal studies, and in 1877, he went on Circuit (the Western) for the last time, and a few years afterwards gave up his chambers in the Temple, and thus ceased to be even a nominal practitioner at the Bar.
Having thus closed his activities as Soldier and Barrister, his whole time was available for his chief "recreation" — Freemasonry. In 1875 he was installed Master of the Moira Lodge, No. 92, London, and was re-elected for the following year, being also installed First Principal of the Moira Chapter. In 1875 he also served as a Grand Steward, and in that capacity took part in the installation of the Prince of Wales as Grand Master of England at the Royal Albert Hall, which is described by himself in 1911 as "the most remarkable spectacle I have ever witnessed during the half-century and more that I have been a Freemason."
Having served for several terms on the Board of General Purposes of Grand Lodge, and on the Colonial Committee, it was generally hoped by his friends that his services would secure him the coveted honor of Grand Rank. This, however, was not realized until 1880, when he was invested as one of the two Senior Grand Deacons. It may be as well to state here that this honor was not awarded for his literary services, for the first volume of his "History of Freemasonry was not published until two years later. This fact also emphasizes the neglect of the Grand Lodge of England to reward the literary efforts of its members; for although Bro. Gould's monumental work was known and appreciated all the world over, Grand Lodge failed to recognize the merits of the author until December 1913, when, in honor of the Centenary of the Union of the Grand Lodges of England, he was made a Past Grand Warden.
The researches into Masonic archaeology and history on the part of a small circle of Brethren at this time entailed considerable correspondence by those who were exchanging ideas and discoveries, and the question of founding a special lodge for Brethren interested in research was mooted. After a few preliminary difficulties the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, was consecrated in 1884, and the desire for the literature of the Craft was at once given a great stimulus, for those who were associated in the work of this Lodge were keen upon their task, and in a very short time gave the Craft a literature which has never been surpassed. In this work Bro. Gould was a leading spirit and became a Founder of the Lodge. In 1887 he was installed Master, an honor which is the coveted "blue-ribbon of Masonry" amongst literary members of the Craft. In 1901 the "Inhabitants" Lodge, at Gibraltar, having become too large, a sister Lodge was formed, and in honor of Bro. Gould, who had been the first Master at the resuscitation in 1858, the new Lodge was named the Robt. Freke Gould Lodge, No. 2874.
Bro. Gould's associations with other Lodges may be briefly touched upon. Founder of the King Solomon's Temple Lodge, No. 3464, of which he was the first Master. Joining member of the Royal Lodge of Friendship, No. 278, Gibraltar; St. Andrew's in the East, No. 343, S.C., Poona; Orion in the West, No. 415, Poona; Royal Sussex Lodge No. 501, Shanghai; and several Royal Arch Chapters. His literary services to the Craft have been recognized by several Grand Lodges in his election to honorary membership with rank of Past Grand Warden, including Iowa, Ohio, District of Columbia, Kansas, South Dakota, British Columbia, and New Zealand.
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Prof. Roscoe Pound, Harvard University
If James Anderson has a prescriptive right to be styled the father of Masonic history, Robert Freke Gould has a much better title upon the merits to be styled its second father. Indeed Anderson owes his position in Masonic history simply to the accident of time and place which makes him our only authority for the most interesting period in the history of the Craft. Brother Gould, on the other hand, taught us how to write Masonic history and founded a school of Masonic historians which has put the history of the Craft upon a modern and scientific basis where it may take its place with the history of other human institutions.
Prior to the writings of Brother Gould the profane might well smile when it was said that Masonic history was to some extent a subject by itself and that it must have its own methods and its own standards. For unhappily it was formerly but too true that Masonic history was wholly unique among branches of knowledge that went by the name of history and that it had methods and standards not tolerated, much less admitted, anywhere else. Even in the eighteenth century, when men were willing to believe much of antiquity which they would not have believed of their own day, when, for example, the legendary history of the Roman kings remain unquestioned, solemn narratives that made every great personage from Adam to Solomon a Mason in the modern sense, that made Nebuchadnezzar and Caesar Augustus Grand Masters of the Craft, that brought Masonry into Britain with a Trojan king, and into Ireland with the prophet Jeremiah, ought to have been impossible. What shall we say then of enlightened men and learned Masons who repeated and affected to believe them in the nineteenth century and of the pomp and circumstance of Masonic oratory which rehearses them or their like today? Such things as Oliver's "Five grand periods of Masonry from the creation of the world to the dedication of King Solomon's temple" have not been merely harmless. Dr. Oliver was an antiquary of high and deserved reputation. Moreover, he was one of the few really great Masonic scholars of the nineteenth century. It is no exaggeration in Mackey to style him "the father of Anglo-Saxon Masonic literature. His generous enthusiasm, undoubted archeological learning and wide reading enabled him to give to English Masonic writings a literary and philosophical turn that might have done much toward creating a scholarly interest in Masonry. But when such a man was found setting forth soberly in print that Masonry (presumably such as we know it) was to be found from the beginnings of history, that it was taught by Seth to his descendants and was in their hands pure or primitive Masonry, that with the dispersion of mankind after Noah it divided into pure Masonry and spurious Masonry, that the former passed through the patriarchs to Solomon and thence to the Masonry of today, while the latter, a corruption in the hands of the pagans, was to be seen in the mysteries and initiatory rites of antiquity — when this sort of history could be set forth gravely by one of the lights of Masonic scholarship two results were to be expected. One, the rank and file of the Craft accepted it and no speculation of the sort became too wild for Masonic post-prandial and grand lodge oratory. Two, the scholar within and without the Craft was led to think that if this was all that such a man as Oliver could say there was in reality nothing to say. Hence scholars within the Craft turned to philosophy and symbolism. But these suffered from lack of proper historical foundation. Those without the Craft simply laughed to the injury of all serious Masonic study. If the proposition that Masonic history is in some sort a subject by itself, that from the nature of the subject it has its own methods and its own criteria meant or threatened any recrudescence of this pseudo-history among Masonic scholars, it should be rejected at once.
It was a service of the first magnitude when Brother Gould, the undoubted leader of modern Masonic historians, took for his guide a standard more strict than the principles by which historians without the Craft were guided in their search for the truth. Since his great work in which the most rigorous tests were applied to every hypothesis, to every tradition, and to every assertion of fact, no one who makes any pretensions to scholarship would think of return to what a profane critic justly styled "the sprightly and vivacious accounts of the . . . Masonic annalists who display in their histories a haughty independence of facts and make up for the scarcity of facts by a surprising fecundity of invention." A great clearing away was necessary in order to put Masonic history upon a proper foundation. This clearing away Brother Gould achieved almost at one stroke. If we may think today that the circumstances of Masonic history call for less rigorous criteria in some connections, we are enabled to say so confidently because he has established the subject in a position where one may proclaim himself a Masonic historian without shame. If James Anderson in some sense is the Herodotus of Masonic history, Brother Gould is emphatically our Thucydides. It is not merely that he has written what is likely to remain the standard history of Masonry. Much more than that, he has taught us how to write Masonic history. For this service to the Craft, if there were nothing else, he would always have to be reckoned among the very first of our scholars.
LOGICIAN AND CRITIC
R. J. Lemert, Montana
It is with the deepest sorrow and regret that I learn of the death of Brother Robert F. Gould. Thus passes, after a long and useful life, one who has in his own chosen field done more toward setting the history of Freemasonry upon a solid basis than any other man who has ever lived. So long as our institution shall endure — and that, I feel assured, will be until mankind shall have reached a state of perfection inconceivable at the present (May — the name of Brother Gould will live, and his writings will constitute for him a monument more lasting than can be built above his grave in stone or brick.
Brother Gould's writings are essentially those of the practical man, the logician, the severe critic of mere theory. Some of us may have been at times a trifle impatient of his ruthless demolition of our dream palaces; some of us may not, even today, be content to accept his dicta as to certain mooted questions which he dismisses as not proven, and therefore not to be taken seriously; but those matters of history upon which Brother Gould has set the seal of his approval may be accepted with assurance by all who write upon the subject of the Craft, as sure foundations upon which to build. His Concise History, as well as his more pretentious work, published in this country in four volumes, are the constant companions of those who write upon Masonic topics, and the more they are studied, the more they reveal the amazing industry and erudition of him who has now penned his last line.
He was one of the nine earnest students and lovers of Freemasonry who founded Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076 — a nucleus about which has gathered a great student body of more than three thousand members. Of these nine founders, five have now passed behind the veil — the Rev. Adolphus F.A. Woodford, G. Speth, Sir Walter Besant, William J. Hughan, and now him whom all of these acknowledged as the greatest of them all. The work they set their hands to do, they did well; and we may be assured that when they stand before the Great White Throne, it shall be their lot to hear from Him who sitteth as the Judge Supreme the welcome words, "Well done, good and faithful servants; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
THE PYTHAGORAS OF OUR TIMES
R. I. Clegg
Bro. Gould's death is a grievous loss to me and doubtless to many others who were favored by correspondence. He never lost his keen interest. His industry failed not. Years passed, age crept upon him, the seasons ran their cycles, but he kept his poise, preserved his faith, and has now gone on to his reward. To have established a high standard of Masonic research and to have bestowed a noble example of such work is to have left at the portals of the Temple two great pillars to adorn and support the structure. That distinction was his. No greater monument is in store for any Mason however eminent he be. In the death of Robert Freke Gould there passes an accurate author, a painstaking student, a scholar of excellence, a courtly controversialist, the Pythagoras of our times among Masons.
HOW TO STUDY MASONRY
(For this last installment of our Symposium we are indebted to the Masonic Study School of Cincinnati, Ohio, and to the kindness of Dr. Stewart and other members. This School was organized in 1910, and adopted a constitution and by-laws identical with those used by the Fargo, North Dakota, Masonic Study School organized in October, 1908. A copy of the constitution and by-laws may be found in Dr. Stewart's interesting and valuable book, "Symbolic Teaching, or Masonry and its Message," chapter four. In the following letters we learn, first, from Dr. Stewart, what methods of study have been tried by the Cincinnati Masonic School, and with what results, as well as the plan finally adopted as most profitable and workable. Second, a committee from the Society of Past Masters of Cincinnati and vicinity tell of the efforts of that body to extend the influence of the School, and to deepen the interest of Masons in the deeper aspects and purposes of Masonry. Here we have the results, not of theoretical suggestion, but of practical experience in a company of busy men and Masons who undertook the study of Masonry; and we believe it reveals a point of contact with the problem, and also a method of beginning, which will be found useful to other groups who may wish to make a start. Elsewhere in this issue we sum up the findings of this symposium with certain reflections suggested by each contributor.)
Dr. T. M. Stewart Cincinnati, Ohio
Not until the Masonic Study School came into the field in February, 1910, was any definite effort made systematically to try out different plans of work. These plans were as follows:
- Question and answer meetings. They were not satisfactory and therefore not continued, because very few had read enough to make it interesting.
- Essays written by students and read to a general meeting of Masons. This plan also failed be cause the students were too few and the audience seemed to desire a variety of topics as well as of speakers.
- The reading, and discussing as read, of one or more books during the season. A splendid plan, but only reaching a few, because in this city, with thirty-one Lodges scattered over a wide territory — not counting the Lodges across the Ohio in Kentucky — it is quite a task for members to get home and later return to the city for study. To meet in any one suburb does not change the condition, as regular attendance at the meetings is necessary or the thread of thought is lost. The problem, so far as the Masonic Study School has been able to formulate it, is as follows:
- The need of Masons, and especially of the younger men, for a more general knowledge of the origin, nature and genius of our ancient and honorable fraternity. To meet this need a book was selected and questions on its contents were prepared by the Study School. Following each question was the number of the page of the book — in many instances of the paragraph — where the answer may be found. The best results are obtained by the student writing the answer thereto in a small blank book, and meeting with others doing the same work at stated intervals, so that the questions and answers may be read — fixing the answers in the mind. Notes are taken of questions in regard to matters on which the student desires further light, and these are the basis of work after the School has finished with that particular book. The personal effort required in such a method is the secret of its success.
- To enlighten the Craft generally with regard to what Masonry has done for the world, for this country, and for this city; and thus to formulate the basis of what Masonry can and should do for coming generations. To this end several lecturers should talk on the same topic, handled much in the same manner, to several Lodges in a jurisdiction. In this way all the Lodges are reached in a much shorter time, than where one lecturer tries to fill dates with many Lodges. This plan will be elucidated by its originator, Brother P. J. Cadwalader, who has gladly agreed to outline the plan for this Symposium.
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The Past Master's Society
The Society of Past Masters of this vicinity have undertaken to do some work to try and bring to the minds of the Craft at large some matters which every Mason ought to know, and thus lead up to the work which Dr. Stewart and the Masonic Study School are interested in. With this idea in view, the Society has undertaken to make Masons realize that there is a greater work for the Fraternity than has been accomplished in the past.
The better to assist in this work, it has been deemed advisable to have addresses made by selected speakers to the members at large, and to the different Lodges at such times as may be convenient, and to try to bring home to each Mason the tremendous work we awaiting us, if the Fraternity is to retain its present high standing in this country. A committee has been appointed systematically to take up this work. For the first general meeting April 13th, 1915, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, the following live subjects have been selected:
First — "The Position of Masonry in this Country, Past and Today, What has been accomplished? Looking Backward," by Dr. J. D. Buck, 33rd degree.
Second — "The Position of Masonry in this Country, Tomorrow and the Future, What can be Accomplished? Looking Forward," by Brother Rev. A. B. Beresford, 32nd degree.
The first subject selected to be presented to all the Lodges by different speakers is: — "After the Petition, then what?" The idea being that the speaker should try to address himself to the character of the candidate before and at the time of asking the "recommendation of a friend." That is, the care which the investigating committee should take, whether or not their report should simply be "favorable" or "unfavorable," or whether the committee should try, in its report, to picture to the Lodge the character of the candidate as he has impressed himself upon them; keeping in mind all the time that our object is "the Universal Brotherhood of Man."
Other subjects to be presented in the same way to the individual Lodges, and which have been favorably considered, are: — "After Raising, Whither Bound?" and "Our Duty to Unfortunate Members," that is, how long and how far shall we protect them, not financially, but as to moral character. These subjects will cover three months of work, and will reach forty-four Lodges, with a membership of fifteen thousand.
The committee feel that all these subjects are very broad, and that properly treated, as we hope to have them treated, they will reach the heart of the Craft, and perhaps start the fire burning which will make the individual feel that there is something in Masonry more than making candidates and seeking office.
Fifteen thousand Masons in a community like ours, if they exert their influence for the highest and best things, can do much. The fraternity must stand for the highest morals, not only as a fraternity, but as individuals; so much so, that while it does not as an order enter politics, its influence may be so felt that politicians will have regard for the better interests of the city.
While this condition is being brought about by the Craft as a unit, each individual member should feel and know of his interests therein, and begin to learn that "the house not made with hands" is his own spiritual individuality, and that perhaps the "lost word" may be found in himself by a proper exercise and the guidance of others who may be able to point out the way, to which he must apply his efforts and make out of himself the real and true Mason which our fraternity demands.
Committee of Past Master's Society.
- John H. Dickerson
- James N. Ramsey
- Orin N. Littell
- Chas. A. Stevens
- Pierce J. Cadwalader
"THE BUILDERS: A Story and Study of Masonry."
Joseph Fort Newton
Questions Compiled by the Cincinnati Masonic Study School
(Experience has shown that one of the most effective ways of awakening interest in the study of Masonry is a series of questions analyzing some book dealing with the history and teaching of the Craft. "The Builders" is selected as the first book to be so studied, for the reason that it is the only book of its kind ever adopted by a Grand Lodge for the instruction of young Masons. It was adopted by the Grand Lodge of Iowa as its text-book June 10th, 1914. Other books will be analyzed in like manner, in the hope of tempting young Masons to study the story and teachings of the Order by showing how many interesting questions are involved in the research.)
- What two arts have altered the face of the earth and given shape to life and thought of many Page 5-1.
- What two fundamental factors do we find when we inquire into origins, which carry art forward? Page 5-2.
- What was the first great impulse of all architecture and what did it include? Page 5-2.
- What are the laws of architecture? Page7-2.
- What will the violation of moral laws do to architecture? Page 8-2.
- What are the secrets of man's success and what are the two great intellectual lamps of architecture? Page 8-2.
- Where does it seem that the art of building first seemed to have gathered power, and where are its remains best preserved? Page 9-2.
- What emblems of architecture show that they are the laws of the eternal? Page 11.
- Do buildings which Man may build refer to his religion or character? Page 7-1.
- Where was the square building invented? Page 10-1.
- What was it the early builders sought above all things? Page 12-2.
- What were the two ideals of the early builders in their work? Page 12-2.
- What is beauty? Page 8-2.
- What are the ideas that glowed in the heart of the builder and guided his arm from the start? Page 9-1.
- What does true building teach and open? Page 8-2.
- What is said of the "Builders of buildings?" Page 34.
- What ideals of the early builders are most clearly expressed? Page 12.
- What is said of the way the Temples of Egypt were built in early times? Page 11-2.
- What is said of cube and square? Page 25-26
- What is said of the Cross? Page 24-25.
- What was thought to be the shape of the world by Egyptians in the early ages? Page 11-2.
- What is said of eternity as an ideal of the early Egyptians? Page 12-2.
- What was the attitude of the learned ancient philosophers in regard to the Egyptian teaching? Page 46.
- What was the central theme of the Egyptian faith? Page 46.
- Give an outline of the Egyptian teachings Page 39-42.
- How were the secrets of the Allegoni form or faith transmitted? Page 31.
- What are the real foundations of Masonry? Page 15.
- What did Goethe write? Page 19.
- What does the phrase "told in song what ha been taught in sorrow" mean to you? Page 61.
- Did Jesus teach a Secret Doctrine? Page 57-58.
- As to death what may be said of the value other universal intuition as to eternal life? Page 39,
- What has the Keystone, Compasses and Cubes to do with buildings? Page 11-1.
- Is there any such thing as Liberty? Page 7-2.
- What has obedience and loyalty to do with a man's liberty? Page 8-1.
- What is the difference between the mystery of the ancients and mystification? Page 59.
- Outline the main tenets of the lesser and greater mysteries of the ancients? Page 47-51.
- What does Maspero tell us of the temples of Egypt? Page 11.
- What did the spiritual instinct in seeking to recreate types lead to? What has Man always been? Page 6-2.
- What is an Obelisk? Page 13-1.
- What is obedience in life? Page 7-2.
- What is said of Cleopatra's needle? Page 33-34.
- What is said of the Pyramids as to their age and durability? Page 13-1.
- What discovery was of great importance to the primitive Egyptians? Page 10.
- What were the columns of the first European Age? Page 9-1.
- What is said of the Pyramid Builders and with what amount of ease did they work? Page 10-1.
- Relate some ideas in regard to pyramid and obelisk? Page 13.
- What is stated of the Pillar as an ancient symbol? Page 28-29.
- What are the two sets of realities? Page 7-2.
- What is the thesis which Ruskin expounds in his Seven lamps of architecture? Page 7.
- What is said of the old light religion of humanity? Page 14.
- What is said of the Shrines of the Old Solar Religions? Page 12-1.
- What sort of Emblem did the square become at its discovery? Page 10-2, 11-1.
- Why was Secrecy necessary in the ancient mysteries? Page 59, 62.
- Give the Egyptian Secret Sermon on the Mountain as transmitted to the Greeks? Page 47.
- Of what is the square an emblem? Page 10.
- What was the form of the earliest known structure? Page 10.
- What was the symbol of the earth? Page 13.
- Give symbolic idea of temple, pyramid and cathedral. Page 15.
- Give some idea of tools symbolizing a builder's thought. Page 15.
- What was the symbol of the heavens? Page 13.
- What is said of Symbols? Page 20.
- What are some of Socrates' ideas in regard to man? Page 21.
- What is the Swastika symbol? Page 23, 24.
- What is said of the Square and Cube? Page 25, 26.
- Where do we find the crumbling ruins of towns, temples and tombs? Page 7-1.
- What is the basis of initiation into eternal truth? Page 61.
- What is the relation of the seeker after truth to the object of his search? 57.
- What historical evidence can be cited as to the use of the mason's working tools? Page 29-30.
- Give the idea of the Trinity and its emblem Page 22-23.
- Contrast the unity of the human mind and the reason for a secret Doctrine. Page 22, 59, 61.
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A SIGN AND A SUMMONS
During the last summer an explosion occurred in the trenches of one of the gas companies of Columbus which was caused by the stupid action of one of the laborers, a foreigner, in lighting a match near the escaping gas. In this frightful explosion the clothes of the workmen in the trench caught fire, and it was evident that they would all be burned to death. Chas Sumner Potter, a member of Magnolia Lodge, No. 20 the foreman in charge of these men, was slightly burned, but in a position of safety, when he heard the screams of these unfortunate men; and without a thought for his personal safety, and with his own clothes still burning, he rushed into the ditch and rescued three or four of the victims. Although he could have removed his burning clothing and escaped with very slight injuries, he continued in this work of rescue until his clothes were practically burned from his body; and in this condition he went to a telephone stationed some distance away to call for help. He was so weak that he could scarcely stand, and when he left the station there were pools of blood on the floor which flowed from the wounds on his hands and arms. He was carried away in an ambulance, and when asked as to his condition said that he wished none of the others were burned any worse than he was. He was taken to the hospital, where he lingered and suffered for several weeks, and died. He was buried from the Masonic Temple at Columbus, Ohio, and a great number of these foreign laborers attended his funeral; they could not understand the language of the ceremony, but they knew and appreciated the unselfishness and heroic devotion which they had witnessed.
Everything that Masons could do has been done. His body rests in Green Lawn Cemetery, and the grass is green on his grave. He carried out the great lesson taught in the second section of our Third Degree. He performed his duty at the cost of his life, and gave it up that those men, who were not his Brothers or even his countrymen, might live. I have considered it altogether fitting and proper to make a memorial of his noble sacrifice. When we teach men this higher duty and see our teachings exemplified in this way, we honor the Fraternity as well as the man in making a perpetual memorial of his sacrifice.
— Proceedings Grand Lodge of Ohio.
OUR "MACHINERY OF ORGANIZATION"
Geo. L. Schoonover, Secretary
WITHOUT doubt the greatest impression, received by the average layman, of the entry of a new dreadnaught into the American navy, comes with the published reports of her christening. The picture of the uncompleted hull sliding into the water arouses his sense of proprietorship. And probably he takes as much pride in the photograph of the beautiful Daughter of the Republic who breaks the bottle of grapejuice over the bow of the vessel, as he does in the outlines of the fourteen-inch guns which will ultimately peer out from her turrets. The preliminary labors of designing, milling, testing and assembling, the engineering problems involved in making of this inert hull a living power for his benefit and protection — all these are symbolized in the one ceremony of giving the ship a name. And, for the future, that name shall stand for the dignity and power of his Government. With the flag of his country flying at her masthead, with his countrymen acting as captain, helmsman, stoker and gunner, she becomes the visible emblem of organized efficiency. Efficiency means that results desired are accomplished. Without accomplishment, confidence and pride will vanish, proprietorship will be regretted, the labors will be counted as lost — the symbol of efficiency loses all its magic, and the vessel soon becomes junk.
So it is with all human institutions.
The National Masonic Research Society is a human institution. It has certain objects, known to all of you who have joined us in this work. It may seem to some of you that we advance very slowly toward the accomplishment of these objects. Much thought and labor have been devoted to the designs upon our trestleboard. Almost unanimously those designs have been approved by you. Now you are making it your Society. Day by day an increasing mass of evidence proves it. Let us rejoice that it is so. In the preliminary literature sent out by the Research Committee of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, Masonry in Iowa pledged itself to provide "the machinery of organization." Machinery which is not used, rusts. And upon your use of this machine which has been created to serve the Masonic Fraternity, depends its efficiency.
The purpose of this article is to give you a better picture of the "machine." To do this I must tell you the chief parts of which it is composed, what its limitations are, how it works, and some of its possibilities.
In the first place, it is a "wireless." This does not mean that there are no live wires in its construction. There are. But it means that there are no wires to pull. The Brethren who compose the Board of Stewards have kept in the background, for they take no false pride in their positions. They are organized on the basis of "who best can work and best agree." They are Stewards, in the full definition of the term.
Constructed strictly in accordance with Masonic usage, this "machine" has seven parts. The parts are George E. Frazer, N.R. Parvin, Joseph Fort Newton, Louis Block, John W. Barry, C. C. Hunt and George L. Schoonover. Every one of them is an American citizen — though the blood streams of both the Allies and the Germans course through their veins. All of them are busy men. All are active Masons. Their conception of a Research Society for American Masons was born of service in the ranks of American Masonry, which had disclosed a great need. The invitation of the Grand Lodge of Iowa to the Brethren of our sister Jurisdictions was an attempt to satisfy that need.
These seven Brethren assembled in their first 1915 quarterly meeting as a Board of Stewards in April, at the newly-completed home of the Society in Anamosa. A brief description of that meeting will show you how the "machine" works. Incidentally, it may give to our members a better insight into the problems which have been involved in the organization and development of this Society, thus far, than could be done in any other way. At any event, the Board has a firm determination that the important questions brought before them shall be fully discussed by the Members of the Society, in order that its policies may represent the best judgment of the majority.
The Committee appointed to draw up Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws made their report. They submitted a copy of Articles prepared in accordance with Chap. 2, Title IX of the Iowa Code, providing for corporations not for pecuniary profit, reported their adoption and execution, and showed that they had been filed of record according to law. They recommended that as soon as possible every member receive a copy of the By-Laws which have been adopted, and this recommendation was approved, and the Committee discharged.
Brother Newton presented the report of the Committee on Publications. It was full of good things which are promised for future numbers of "The Builder." The Committee are deeply gratified at the manner in which brethren are contributing the results of researches already made by them; and reported that the great number of splendid articles already submitted from all over the world is an absolute guaranty of the high standard of the magazine until such time as the growth of the Society shall justify the financial expense of making special original researches, which to some extent, are already planned. The Committee presented a letter from Brother Roscoe Pound, tendering to the Society the copyright on his lectures on the Philosophy of Masonry, and stating that when put into book form he would add a preface, a dedication, and a bibliography. With the utmost gratification the Board unanimously accepted this generous offer, ordered the publication of a first edition of 500 copies, and instructed the Secretary to convey to Brother Pound not only the feelings of the Board but the hundreds of the commendatory expressions received from the Brethren, regarding these lectures. The announcement of the Committee that Bro. Pound will also give to our membership, as soon as his time will permit, a series of papers on Masonic Symbolism, should be received with universal acclaim. The Chapters on "The Establishment and Early Days of Masonry in America," by Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master of Massachusetts, the second of which appears in our next issue, will throw much light upon a subject concerning which there is little in literature accessible to the Craft. That brethren from Pennsylvania and Virginia will contest Brother Johnson's claim of earliest establishment of Masonry in Massachusetts is certain. Thus will "The Builder" fulfill its prophecy, expressed in Brother Newton's "Foreword," as a "forum of frank, free and fraternal discussion of every possible aspect of Masonry," from the historical standpoint.
Masonic experience has demonstrated that the study club idea is practical. The Symposium on "How to Study Masonry" has been an illuminating one, and the practical workings of the Cincinnati Masonic School, as partially outlined in this number, show that, as a beginning in Masonic study, some sort of a textbook is necessary. The series of questions, arranged by this school, with Brother Newton's book, "The Builders, A Story and Study of Masonry," as a basis, will be the first installment of the recommendations of the founders of the Society. The book referred to was therefore adopted by the Board as the official textbook of the Society; other books will be recommended later.
Much time in investigation of the proper form of study clubs has been spent by the Board. Many groups of students, all over the country, have asked us whether we would charter subordinate groups of the Society, and just how the Society proposed to make its investigations of real working value to its widely separated membership. The Board takes the position, unanimously, that the Society will not charter any study clubs or subordinate groups of students anywhere. Its reasons for so doing are three-fold; in the first place it is impossible for the Board to provide a way to accommodate all groups (each with its own conception of the organization which it needs) under a single, simple plan; secondly, they believe that the Society, a purely voluntary association with only one object — the advancement of the understanding of the members constituting it — should involve itself in no questions of jurisprudence, as an organization; and thirdly, because the brethren who desire to get together, in any community or Masonic group, are themselves best fitted by location and knowledge of their needs, to provide themselves with whatever machinery of organization is necessary for the promotion of their work. The Board appointed Brother Block as a Committee, however, to draw up a form of By-Laws adaptable to general conditions only, which could be used as a model, so far as considered of value. This simple form of organization, as soon as completed, will be published in "The Builder," as a suggestion only. No matter what form of organization the Brethren in any place finally determine upon as best adapted to their needs, the Society, insofar as it is represented by its Board of Stewards, will tender every possible aid, and give all possible suggestions which will promote the Cause. And as it stands ready to help, so it will appreciate co-operation in return, on the part of study clubs, by sending us their courses of study, as they may outline them for themselves, and telling their Brethren, through the columns of "The Builder," the methods which bring success.
The spirit of the above paragraph applies equally to the attitude of the Board upon the subject of the promotion of the Research idea, everywhere. The Society has a Committee for the purpose of urging the co-operation of Grand Lodges, through Committees on Research, or in whatever manner may seem best to any particular Jurisdiction. The getting together into a Society of nearly ten thousand Masons in a few short months, for the purpose of a study of Masonic principles and facts, should be in itself a notice to all Grand Lodges that there is an interest in the "study side of Masonry." Elsewhere a table of our membership is published. As an index of the real status of interest in this subject in any state it is valueless, because of the difficulty we have had in getting in touch with Masons who are interested. But as showing that we are finding students all over the world who are anxious to co-operate in a course of study — call it a kindergarten system, or a correspondence school system, or what you will — the table is illuminating. The splendid showing already made in the State of Iowa confirms our preliminary promise of a "substantial sustaining membership," and affords tangible evidence of the progress of Masonic study in the state as well as a complimentary evidence of the standing of the men behind the movement; but what is most significant in these figures is their affirmative testimony concerning the possible growth of the Society in other States, once the good faith, aims and purposes of the organization are generally understood.
In the opinion of your Secretary, the most important question considered at this meeting was the determination as to the future methods of promoting the work which we have undertaken. Manifestly, it was necessary at first that those who stood as sponsors for the organization should outline their conception of its plans and purposes, and to a large degree, direct its activities. It was the original intention of the Board that after the lapse of a sufficient time to discover the enthusiastic Brethren over the country, who could be depended upon to further its purposes, the Board of Stewards should be enlarged to say, twenty-five members. With the experience of the past few months, it seems as if the great distances in this country, involving extreme difficulty in ever getting even a majority of such a body together for a meeting, would make such an arrangement impossible. Meetings must occur at least four times a year, in order to make them of any value to the Society. Even as it is, we have already found that many questions must be decided by a mail vote.
To meet this contingency, the Board have decided that a much wiser and more practical plan is to leave the Board of Stewards as they are, at least for a while, and to create an Advisory Committee, as representative of the students of the country as possible, who should be invited to give us the benefit of their experience, and send any and all their suggestions in to the Secretary's office. All questions of policy to be submitted to them, in order that, so far as possible, every State may feel that through one or more members of this Committee, it can aid in shaping the destiny of the Society. By this means, suggestions regarding the direction which the research should take, as well as explanations of this or that live Masonic question which are desired, might all be sent in to the Secretary. From this office, submission of these various topics could be promptly made to all members of the Committee, and the problems before us can be more efficiently solved, as we think, than by being compelled to wait the convenience of a moderately small quorum of an enlarged Board.
It is not to be expected that such a Committee would agree, perhaps, upon all of the questions submitted to it. Nor would it be even possible that each member of such a Committee would approach every problem from the same viewpoint. Such a condition, indeed, ought to be viewed with alarm, as it would mean Masonic stagnation. Nor would the announcement of such a Committee preclude any member of the Society from sending in his opinion at any time — on the contrary, as we have already demonstrated, every member helps the Society by joining in this "frank, free and fraternal" search for Truth, and the more varied the expressions of views, the more successful and the more interesting, as well as profitable, will be the result. Expansion of the Society's activities will by this method mean an increase in the number of shoulders at the wheel — and the more rapid will be our progress.
And perhaps the greatest advantage of all in this plan, will be the manner in which members of the Society will be able to feel one another's pulse, as it were, and thereby bring that active co-operation which alone can make this organization the great means of understanding and fellowship which was and is the dream of its founders.
As this is written, it seems not too much to expect that the month of June will witness the expansion of the Society to 10,000 members. The tabulation herewith was prepared on May the first. Believing that a campaign for members during the hot months would be of little avail, we have determined that after June only necessary correspondence will be carried on until September. As much time as possible will be devoted to the preparation for definite expansion of the Society's activities in the autumn. In the meantime, every member has been provided with blank applications, and all that are sent in will be taken care of, promptly. The real problem, from the financial standpoint, is to let ten thousand more Brethren who have not yet heard of the Society, know about it. Our canvass has reached, directly, less than four per cent of the Masons in the United States! And you Brethren who have come to know us are the only ones through whom we can get in touch with the other 96 per cent.
It needs no artificial stimulant to make optimists of the founders of the Society. Industrious advertising on our part brought us over four thousand charter members, before ever an intimation of what "The Builder" would be like was revealed to the Craft. That, surely, was remarkable. And thereby was proven the need for closer fellowship in behalf of authentic, systematic, effective Masonic education. As we have progressed, the Craft have caught the spirit of the enterprise, and have stamped the aims, purposes and methods of the Society as truly Masonic. Since January first a steady growth of more than a thousand a month attests the respect won and the co-operation extended by the Brethren, and warrants the statement that the Society is "delivering the goods." And the tone of recent letters shows that Masons are beginning to see that what has been done shows what ought to be done, and, better still, points out the way to do it.
In bringing this little survey of our work to a close I can do no better than to quote a recent paragraph penned by Brother Newton: "For the many words of appreciation and co-operation, so spontaneous and enthusiastic, the founders of this Society are deeply grateful. They are doubly sure that they have not misread the needs of the Fraternity or the signs of the times; and they wish to urge every member of the Society to renewed efforts to enlist the interest of the Craft in a movement which means so much for the present influence and future glory of Freemasonry. The need is great. The opportunity is in our hands. The need is great. The opportunity is in our hands. done for the joy of doing it, uniting our efforts to make the Masonry of tomorrow greater than the Masonry of today — greater in thought, sweeter in spirit, and more effective for the sublime end for which it labors."
IMMORTALITY — THE CIRCLE
S. W. Williams G.H.P., Tennessee
"In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth — and the Earth was without form and void.
AT some point of time in the vast Eternity that is gone, when an unknown Planet was at its perihelion, there was thrown from its surface, whirling into Space, a single Atom of Matter that, guided by the Limitless One, started on its course and forged out of the Ether a place for itself — a home among the Stars — where it could fulfill its destiny of gradually perfecting a place whereon Man could dwell and work out his mysterious mission.
Such was the "BEGINNING" — the birth of this World of ours; and, as the Great Creator looked He saw that "It was good" — and "God said Let there be Light and there was Light." Then, throughout another myriad of years, by the same mysterious power, Vegetable Life appeared and "It was good" — only to be followed by Animal Life — and "It was good" — and then, the CLIMAX — God's crowning Work, MAN — "Male and female created He them."
All things come of God — and all return unto the Great Giver. "Cast thy bread upon the waters and it shall return unto thee "after many days." As we do, so shall we be done by. Darkness and Light shall be meted out in strict measure. Like begets like — an Acorn never produced a Violet any more than Hate can yield Happiness. All things pass from Eternity into Eternity. There never was a beginning to Time, and there can be no ending. The Light that WAS, is that which IS and IS TO BE — only as we grow more and more like Him from whence we came, we shall be more and more in the Light, and the Light shall drive out the DARKNESS; then we shall become the Children of Light — SONS OF GOD — because He is "Our Father." This is the demonstration of the CIRCLE.
There is a ONENESS in all things. Nothing is complete in itself — but everything bears some relation to all else in Creation, without which kinship nothing would be complete and all things would be destroyed. This mysterious relationship ends not with this World — for Earth is simply a small part of the Boundless Universe wherein there are millions of Worlds, each of which came into existence just as this one did — because God willed it, and it was a part of His GREAT PLAN. What that "PLAN" is, it is not given us to fathom — but we know this — we are Children of Light and Light is of and from God — and HE is "Our Father." As a Father counselleth his children so speaketh He unto us, and we are told to speak unto HIM; for does He not say: — "Seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
An Eternity of Love, Light and Life constitutes the Immortality which is promised us of God. But Immortality is for Eternity, and Eternity is a Circle, without beginning or ending. This body which we see with our physical eyes is not truly US — it is but the covering which conceals our true self — a sort of Cloak with which we are provided, and which we wear while sojourning on this Planet. We put it on when we enter the World and discard it upon leaving it — what, then, is MAN? He cometh, he knoweth not whence, and he goeth, when summoned, into the vast Eternity of Time and Space to do the Will of the Father in other Spheres.
Children of Life — "The Life Which is the Light of Men."
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
"The same was in the Beginning with God."
"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."
"In Him was Life; and the Life, was the Light of Men. And the Light shineth in the Darkness; and the Darkness comprehendeth it not."
Bro. G. Alfred Lawrence
SUDDENLY in the full flower of vigorous manhood, at the very zenith of his distinguished Templar activities, Most Eminent Arthur MacArthur, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America, was called from this terrestrial Temple into the glorious presence of the Great Captain of our salvation in that celestial Temple, not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens.
To know him was but to love him and deep grief for their fallen leader pervades the hearts of each of the 225,000 Sir Knights in that vast Templar, but his acts of charity and pure beneficence have spread their fame both far and wide to the uttermost parts of this broad land. No less sincerely is he mourned by his Brethren in various other Masonic bodies, especially by every member of the Acacia Fraternity, in which latter body he had held Honorary Membership for several years. As one of its most distinguished members, Brother MacArthur, although his activities were multitudinous and exacting, yet found time to attend its functions and was deeply interested in all that pertained to Acacia Fraternity.
Quick to realize the unlimited possibilities of educated Masonic effort, as a college man, he gladly accepted Honorary Membership in Tradhi Chapter of Acacia Fraternity at Columbia University in the first year of the Chapter's existence. In the spring of 1910 on April 4th at Earl Hall, Columbia University, and in the presence of another of its distinguished Honorary Members, Most Illustrious Wm. Homan, 33d Deputy of the Supreme Council, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction for the State of New York, and a large number of other members, Arthur MacArthur was duly initiated into Tradhi Chapter and presented by the Chapter with a jewelled pin of the Fraternity, Brother Homan participating in the ceremonies. A banquet followed at the Faculty Club at which he was the honored guest, and where he spoke of how deeply impressed he had been with the ritual and the work and of the great possibilities of such an intellectual Masonic movement. At a special reception given to him by Tradhi Chapter on March 15th, 1914, at the residence of one of the members, Bro. MacArthur insisted upon having his Acacia pin placed upon his coat lapel and entertained the members in a most delightfully informal way, recounting his experiences in constituting and dedicating the first Commandery of Knights Templar in the Canal Zone at the Isthmus of Panama, his personal interview with Pancho Villa at Jaurez across the Mexican border about a year ago, and various other topics — among them the recent constituting of a Commandery of Knights Templar in Alaska. At this meeting he was full of youthful buoyancy and enthusiasm and impressed all present as but in the midway of active and distinguished services to his fellow men.
Unexpectedly about 1 P.M. on Sunday, Dec. 27th, 1914, at his home, 226 West 3rd St., Troy, N. Y., while his only daughter was at church the summons came, and as a true soldier of the Cross, Arthur MacArthur answered the last call. Shortly thereafter Miss Susan C. MacArthur returned, and finding her father reclining on a couch in the library and not responding, called her brother, Capt. Charles A. MacArthur, who hastily summoned physicians and upon their arrival an exammatlon revealed that Col. MacArthur had died suddenly of valvular heart disease.
Thus passed away a loving father, a true friend, an upright citizen, a fearless editor, a loyal patriot, and a great and noble Mason. Col. MacArthur was a Trojan by birth and ancestry. He was the son of the late Col. Chas. Lafayette MacArthur and Susan Colgrove MacArthur and was born in Troy, N.Y., on July 24th, 1850, and passed his entire life excepting for periods of study and travel, among his fellow citizens as an active participant in all that was best in their various organizations.
He received his early education at St. Paul's Parish School and the Troy Academy, graduating from the latter. He devoted the next two years to the study of engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Schenectady, N.Y. He then desired to join a South American expedition, but being dissuaded he next turned his thoughts to the study of medicine and began reading medical works in the office of Dr. C. E. Nichols of Troy, N.Y. Finding this not to his taste he finally entered the newspaper office of his father, who was at this time proprietor and editor of the Troy Northern Budget.
About this time he was married to Miss Ella Elizabeth Griffen, daughter of Abner J. Griffen of Cohoes, N. Y., in 1877, and two children were born of this union, a son, Chas. A. MacArthur, and a daughter, Susan C. MacArthur. Mrs. MacArthur died in 1907 after thirty years of ideal married life.
The office of the Troy Northern Budget where Col. MacArthur now entered upon his life work was situated directly opposite the Masonic Temple and for over forty-two years he was a familiar and conspicuous figure in both places. Later his father took him into the firm which then became known as C. L. MacArthur & Son. Upon the death of his father a few years ago, Col. MacArthur continued the business with ever increasing success and recently in turn took his own son, Capt. Chas. A. MacArthur, into the firm.
Among the vivid incidents of his busy life was one that occurred when he was but fourteen years of age — that of the battle between the Merrimac and Monitor — which he witnessed at Fortress Monroe. His father, then a Captain, was connected with the commissary station at that point and Arthur MacArthur and his mother had been living at Newport News in order to be near Capt. MacArthur, and it so happened that he was visiting his father upon that memorable day. This event made a most vivid impression upon his mind and he could describe every detail of this great naval engagement in a most dramatic manner up to the very time of his death. He took an additional interest in the momentous event, owing to the fact that the plates for the Monitor were made in his home town, Troy, N. Y.
His father retired from the United States Army at the end of the Civil War, with the rank of Colonel and returned to his home in Troy, where he again took up his newspaper, becoming finally editor and proprietor of the Troy Northern Budget and maintained the same with the aid of his son up to the time of his death.
In his own life work as a newspaper man, Col. MacArthur maintained the high standard set by his father in adopting a policy of printing nothing which would offend the most conservative reader. No scandal found a place in the columns of his paper, and they were always open to the cause of the poor and the unfortunate and for all charitable effort. During the holiday season each year an appeal for food and clothing was made for the needy at his direction through the columns of the Budget, and distributed on New Years Eve by means of the Salvation Army, in which Col. MacArthur had faith that his charity would be ably carried out. This year the annual plea was made by Col. MacArthur, but upon the night of the distribution only the spirit of the giver was there, all that was mortal of their benefactor having been consigned to the earth from whence it came.
Col. MacArthur early became interested in Masonry and shortly after reaching his majority on Nov. 22nd, 1872, was raised a Mason in Mt. Zion Lodge, No. 311, F. & A. M. of Troy. He soon became actively engaged in its work and was elected Junior Warden in 1881, Senior Warden in 1882, and Worshipful Master in 1883, serving one year as Master. He became a life member, was a frequent attendant, and evinced a deep interest in all its activities up to the time of his death. He was happily enabled to raise his only son, Capt. Chas. A. MacArthur, in his own lodge and the latter has just closed his administration as Worshipful Master of the same. In the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, Col. MacArthur was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the 17th Masonic District in 1883, and served with distinction.
In 1890 he was appointed a member of the Advisory Committee of the Trustees of the Masonic Hall and Asylum Fund, and in 1910 a Trustee of the Masonic Hall Board. A year ago he resigned from this Board, owing to his many other Masonic duties. At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, in May, 1914, he was made a permanent member of the Grand Lodge.
In the Chapter he was equally active, being exalted in Apollo Chapter No. 48, R.A.M., Feb. 18th, 1874, and became a life member. He had the distinction of being elected High Priest from the floor in 1883 and was the dean of the High Priests of his Chapter at the time of his death. From 1890 to 1910 he served as Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of Colorado near the Grand Chapter of New York. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Apollo Chapter for many years, and to him was entrusted the investments of its funds. So successfully did he carry out this duty that Apollo Chapter enjoys the distinction of being probably the wealthiest Chapter in the State although sixth in number of members.
In Cryptic Rite Masonry he was received and greeted in Bloss Council No. 14, R. & S. M., the largest Council in this State at present, and one of the largest in the United States, on March 5th, 1880. He was soon appointed to office and after passing through the several stations was elected Thrice Illustrious Master in 1891, serving one term. In 1908 he was appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Council of England and Wales near the Grand Council of New York. Becoming personally acquainted with many of the officers of the Grand Council of England, he did much to bring about the present close, cordial relations which exist between these Grand Councils.
In the Commandery he reached the very zenith of pre-eminence; the crowning glory of his Masonic career coming at the triennial election of the Grand Encampment Knights Templar in August, 1913, when he became the Grand Master of the mighty Templar host of the United States, consisting of over 225,000 Knights.
He was knighted in Apollo Commandery No. 15, Jan. 9th, 1880, and became an officer almost immediately thereafter, advancing through the various stations until he was elected Eminent Commander in 1887, serving two years. He scarcely ever missed a conclave of his own Commandery when at home.
In the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America he entered the official line by appointment to the position of Grand Sword Bearer at the 27th triennial Conclave held at Pittsburgh, in 1898. At the 28th Triennial Conclave held in the City of Louisville, Ky., in 1901, he was appointed Grand Junior Warden, and in 1904 in San Francisco at the 29th Triennial Conclave he was further advanced by appointment to Grand Senior Warden. Owing to the death of the Grand Captain General prior to the 30th Triennial Conclave, Col. MacArthur became acting Captain General, and was elected as Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements upon whom befell the innumerable details connected with the gathering of the Knights Templar host from all parts of the world at Saratoga Springs in 1907. At this the 30th Triennial Conclave he was advanced two stations, from Grand Senior Warden to Grand Generalissimo, and three years later, in 1910, at the 31st Triennial Conclave held in Chicago,
'he was elected Deputy Grand Master. Finally upon August 14, 1913, at Denver, Colo., his ambition was realized and at this the 32nd Triennial Conclave he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Ens ampment Knights Templar of the United States of America, the greatest Templar organization in the world. Shortly thereafter in the fall of 1913 he visited the Canal Zone and constituted and installed the first Commandery ever established in that part of the world. He also visited many of the Commanderies throughout the State of New York, attended the annual Conclave of many of the Grand Commanderies of the various states, visited the Pacific Coast in order to arrange for the 33d Triennial Conclave to be held at Los Angeles, Calif., in 1915, and at which he would have presided had he lived, and had accepted an invitation to visit the Panama-Pacific Exposition during 1915 as the official guest of Golden Gate Commandery of San Francisco.
His last public appearance as Grand Master was at the Christmas exercises of his own home Commandery, Apollo No. 15, Dec. 25th, 1914, two days before his death, at which time he delivered an eloquent and interesting address responding to the Christmas sentiment prepared by the Committee on Christmas Observance of the Grand Encampment. One of the first acts after his election as Grand Master was to appoint his intimate friend of many years (who assisted at the funeral services), the Rev. Henry R. Freeman, rector of St. Johns Episcopal Church of Troy, N.Y., as Grand Prelate of the Grand Encampment. At the time of his death, Most Em. Arthur MacArthur was the Grand Representative of the Grand Priory of Scotland near the Grand Encampment of the United States of America, materially assisting in bringing these bodies into close fraternal bonds.
Although his interest was deep and his activities numerous in York Rite Masonry he was no less deeply interested and zealous in Scottish Rite Masonry. He was a life member of Delta Lodge of Perfection of Troy, N.Y., receiving the 4th to the 14th degrees inclusive on April 28th, 1884, and became Deputy Master on Jan 18th, 1889, and was elected Thrice Potent Master Jan 19th, 1900, serving in the latter office for four consecutive years. He was also a life member of Delta Council Princes of Jerusalem, receiving the 15th and 16th degrees on April 28th, 1884. Also a life member of Delta Chapter, Rose Croix, receiving the 17th and 18th degrees on the same night of April 28th, 1884 upon which he completed his membership in the two subordinate bodies. The Albany Sovereign Consistor of Albany, N. Y., conferred the 19th to the 32nd degrees inclusive upon him on April 22nd, 1886. In this body he served as Second Lieutenant Commander from 1897, to 1900; First Lieutenant Commander from 1900 to 1903, and Commander-in-Chief from 1903 to 1906. He was crowned an Honorary 33d Grand Inspector General Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction by the Supreme Council at Cleveland Ohio, on Sept. 16th, 1890. Upon Sept. 20th, 1906, he was crowned an Active 33d member from the state of New York and at the time of his death was one of the three active thirty-third degree Masons of the State of New York. For several years he had been Chairman of the Committee on Deceased Members of the Special Committee on Charitable Foundation in the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. He was the Representative of the Supreme Council 33d for the Ottoman Empire. He was also Chairman of the Important Committees at the Annual Proceedings of the Council of Deliberation of the State of New York Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, U. S. A., and performed the various duties assigned to him in Scottish Rite Masonry with the same zeal and fidelity as in other fields of activity.
In addition to his membership in the above Masonic bodies, he was also a member of the Past Masters' Association of the 17th Masonic District, a member of the Past High Priests' Association of Apollo Chapter a Charter Member of the Past Commanders' Association, organized Oct. 11th, 1911, a member of the Templar Knight Commanders' Association, of the Royal Order of Scotland, the Masonic Veterans' Association of Troy and vicinity, and was Most Venerable President of the latter in 1902, a Charter Member of the Troy Masonic Club, a member of the Masonic Club of New York City, a member of the Troy Masonic Hall Association, a Trustee of Mt. Zion Lodge No. 311. He was a life member of Oriental Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Of Revolutionary stock, Col. MacArthur early became interested in military affairs, additional zest being given by his father's active participation in the Civil War in which the latter was a member of the famous Second New York Regiment attaining to the rank of Colonel in the same. His witnessing the spectacular and epoch-making naval engagement between the Monitor and Merrimac, previously mentioned, was not only an event that made a life long impression upon his vivid imagination, but equally increased his interest in military and naval affairs.
He early joined the Troy Citizen's Corps and maintained his interest in the same to the end. He served on the staid of the late Maj. General Jos. B. Carr, and placed a wreath upon the General's grave every Memorial Day. He served upon the Military Staff of General Levi P. Newton and Governor Frank S. Black of New York State and by the latter was appointed Assistant Paymaster General with the rank of Colonel (thus obtaining his military title), serving as such during the Spanish-American war and going to Tampa, Fla., when the New York troops were mustered out and paying them off. About two weeks prior to his death he appeared before the Troy Chamber of Commerce to urge upon business men the patriotic duty of facilitating the enlistment of their male employees in the National Guard in conformity with a movement to that effect started some time ago by the Merchant's Association of New York. It was a source of personal pride to him that his only son joined the militia and recently was elected to the Captaincy of Company A.
Col. MacArthur was the President of the Association that secured the funds for the erection of the huge shaft of the Soldier's and Sailor's Monument erected in Monument Square, Troy, the idea having been first conceived by his father. He was a member of the Wm. Floyd Chapter Sons of the Revolution, the Society of the Second War with Great Britain, and of the Army and Navy Club of New York City.
Col. MacArthur was a prominent member of the First Presbyterian Church of Troy, N. Y., and held office as an elder and regularly occupied his family pew when at home. He took an active interest in the Brotherhood of his Church, giving much counsel and kindly advice to all that came to him. He was also an active member of Young Men's Christian Association.
Politically, Col. MacArthur was a Republican and served his party as Treasurer of Rensselaer County for two terms, being retired in 1912. He insisted upon clean politics both in the columns of his paper and in official life, and would stoop to nothing of an underhand nature, even at the cost of the loss of a re-nomination. The candidate who supplanted him in 1912 was defeated at the polls.
Col. MacArthur had various other affiliations to which he devoted his time and influence. During the Hudson-Fulton Celebration he was Chairman of the Upper Hudson Commission.
Probably no Mason in the United States ever had a more imposing and impressive funeral service.
All the pomp and splendor of that impressive pageant, the wealth of beautiful flowers, the words of well merited praise, the sounds of the funeral dirge; are now but a memory; but the spirit of this lovable, noble Masonic brother yet lives and permeates and uplifts all with whom he came in contact during the many years of his useful and distinguished career.
"Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime And departing, leave behind us Footprints, on the sands of time."
* * *
I cannot say, and will not say
That he is dead. He is just away!
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you — O you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return —
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here;
Mild and gentle, as he was brave —
When the sweetest love of life he gave
To simple things: — Where the violets grew
Pure as the eyes they were likened to.
The touches of his hands have strayed
As reverently as his lips have prayed:
Think of him still as the same, I say:
He is not dead, he is just away!
- James Whitcomb Riley.
* * *
DOWN AMONG MEN
"The parish priest of austerity
Climbed up in a high church steeple,
To be nearer God so that he might hand
His word down to the people.
And in sermon and script he daily wrote
What he thought was sent from heaven,
And he dropped it down on the people's heads
Two times one day in seven.
In his age God said, Come down and die.
And he cried out from the steeple,
Where art Thou, Lord? And the Lord replied,
Down here among my people!"
* * *
Morality is the established harmonic relation which Man, as an individual intelligence, sustains to the constructive principle of the universe.
- The Great Work.
WHEN THE ALMOND TREE BLOSSOMS
Bro. Wm. F. Kuhn, P.G.H.P., Missouri
THE Scripture Reading in the Master's Degree belongs to the best productions of Hebrew literature. In all literature, there are few that excel it. It is full of imagery, eloquence and beauty. In outward form it is poetic; a prose poem. It is a beautiful example of balanced phrases, gnomic in expression abounding in metaphor, and Semitic parallelism. An intense and graphic description of old age. It is to be regretted that the literary excellency of the Old Testament is so often overlooked and metaphors not understood. It is indeed true, that to the Gentile Church and to Masonry has fallen the honor of perpetuating the rare beauty of the literary art and the deep religious thought and feeling of the Heb. Prophets, Poets, Priests and Sages.
The arrangement of the Discourse into verses, often mars the connection and continuity of the thought. The Revised Translation of this Reading is herewith given, and while it may destroy the beauty of some of metaphors and take away some old familiar friends, yet the Discourse, as a whole, is much improved, is bet connected in thought and more clearly stated. It will be noted that the future tense of the old, gives place to aphoristic mode of expression in using the present tense.
The gloomy picture of old age, as delineated by Ecclesiastes is from the human side and as a result of disobedience to the injunction: "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the sad days come."
KING JAMES VERSIONRemember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say: — "I have no pleasure in them."
- While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain.
- In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened.
- And the doors shall be shut in the Streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;
- Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the street:
- Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain or the wheel broken at the cistern.
- Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth before the sad days come, and the years draw nigh when Thou shalt say: — "I have no pleasure in them;" before the sun, the light, the moon and the stars, be darkened and the clouds return after the rain; when the house guards tremble, and the strong men bow; when the maidens grinding corn cease because they are few, and those who look out of the windows are darkened, and the street-doors are shut; when the sound of the grinding is low, when one starts up from sleep at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music are brought low, and one is afraid of that which is high, and terrors are in the way; when the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is a burden, and all stimulants fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets; before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern, and the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit return to God who gave it.
In this vivid imagery of old age, we have a minor chord, a note of sadness.
Has old age no recompense, no paean of victory, no laurel wreath of race well run? Is there no sunlight in the realm of three score years and ten?
Let us not mistake Ecclesiastes; The Preacher has not drawn aside the veil, that hides the Holy of Holies of the spiritual nature of man, but he has with the brush of experience, placed upon the canvas, mortal man, nature's child, unadorned and human.
It is old age with its mental enfeeblement, with its physical decay, bringing to you and to me, the Master, man, two great lessons: — That youth is the vigorous season of life; youth the seed time; youth with its possibilities, prophetic of the future; a harbinger of sunshine, when the almond tree blossoms: — and to remember our Creator in the days of our youth before the sad days come.
The Preacher graphically refers, in verses one and two, to the mental attitudes of old age toward the Past and to the Present. The recollection of the former brings no joy, in the latter he feels like "one who treads along some banquet hall deserted, whose lights are fled whose garlands dead and all but he departed." The cup of life is nearly drained; the joys of youth but annoy and irritate; nothing satisfies him; he is querulous and fretful. The years have drawn nigh, in which he can say, "I have no pleasure in them."
He is a wanderer in a strange land, speaking in sadness: — Remember, before the sun of Ambition, the light of Hope, the silver sheen of the moon of Happiness, and the stars of Faith, be darkened, or the clouds of unrest and of disappointment play like a weaver's shuttle over the sky, obscuring the light and shutting out the rainbow of promise.
Verses three and four represent the cessation of the activities of life, the decay of the natural powers of man and his failing physical structure.
The comparison is to that of a great house falling into ruin, while the activities of the inhabitants there are gradually ceasing.
How startling, in its naturalness, is the description of the old man with trembling arms and hands, — "the keepers of the house" as he slowly moves along, while the legs, — "the strong men" — are like the columns of the building, tottering under the weight of years; bent (flexed), at the knees, like a bow, through weakness and decrepitude. The maidens — the teeth — have ceased grinding the corn, because they are few. Failing sight has dimmed the "windows of the soul," the eyes are darkened. His wants are few, the avenues to the senses are slowly closing; visitors to his mind and heart are diminishing; it is seldom that any one knocks; "the street doors are shut." The sound of the grinding is low, feeble, almost pulseless; the machinery of life no longer throbs with the force of its former power.
He is "Worn out with age, yet majestic in decay."
Sleep, "Tired Nature's sweet restorer," is fitful and restless, even the voice of the bird as it chants its early matin disturbs his uneasy slumbers. In vain would he say:
"For I am weary, and am overwrought With too much toil, with too much care distraught; And with the iron crown of anguish crowned, Lay thy soft hand upon my brow and cheek, O peaceful Sleep."
"All the daughters of music are brought low," because the avenues of all enjoyment are dulled, insensible and clouded. The daughters of music, attending angels, tender, solicitous and loving, have ceased their ministrations. Music, the universal language of the world, finds no responsive chord. The memory of a mother's voice, a father's council, of friends of long ago; the laughter and melodies of the Past, quicken not the pulse beat, stir not the harmonies of the soul. The lute of life is broken.
The first portion of the fifth verse delineates more literally the waning powers. With all the senses dulled, the muscular powers weakened, the nervous system unresponsive, he totters on his uneasy, uneven way, fearing lest he stumble:
"The pavement stones resound, As he totters o'er the ground, with his cane."
Truly, he is afraid of that which is high and fear is in the way. The blossom of the almond tree, as it bursts into bloom, is of a delicate pink color and unfolds its tinted petals before the leaf appears; when therefore seen from a distance the tree seems to wear a crest of white.
The striking appearance of the dead branches covered with a burst of silver, to that of old age with its crown of white hair, has given us one of the most beautiful metaphors: "The almond tree blossoms."
This metaphor as expressed in the revised version is far more appropriate and impressive than: "The almond tree shall flourish."
The grasshopper (locust) is a burden, because the lightest weight is onerous; every effort is oppressive; the smallest task is irksome; little things worry and annoy until they appear as a cloud of locusts devouring and devastating everything pleasurable and gratifying in life.
All stimulants (desires) fail. The end is at hand. The roads to further activity bring no response. The race is run. There is in life nothing that longer charms. The armor will soon fall from the trembling body. The summons comes: "Because man goeth to his long home and the mourners go about the streets." He is borne to the grave and the funeral college is seen upon the streets.
In the sixth verse, the Preacher refers again to the admonition of the first clause of the first verse, which, when placed with its context, will read: "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the silver chord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern, and the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit return to God who gave it."
Here again is an impressive metaphor of man's final dissolution; more graphic, more poetical and the most beautiful trope ever penned by mortal man.
The silver cord refers to the spinal cord or marrow, from its silvery appearance. The golden bowl to the brain, the seat of man's intelligence. The pitcher broken at the fountain refers to the circulation of the blood, dipping the vital fluid with a pitcher from the fountain. The wheel refers to the heart, the force pump, the wheel that draws the water from the cistern. These four physiological conditions are essential to health, and man dies when one or more are broken.
The fountains of life have ceased to flow. The dust or physical body shall be resolved into its original elements. Earth to Earth; Ashes to Ashes. But the spirit of man shall return unto God who gave it.
Immortality is the great doctrine of Masonry. Without this doctrine, there is no Masonry. Immortality, Man's inheritance from the Father.
"It must be so, Thou reasonest well; —
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the Soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
'Tis heaven itself, that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man."
* * *
We dwell on this earth for a purpose —
That purpose may not be clear,
But the Father of Love, in His kingdom above,
Well knoweth why we are here.
Have we given this thought our attention,
Or are we drifting along,
Content the while, our days to beguile,
With meaningless chatter and song?
Then let us awaken in earnest,
And seek what our duty may be;
Let us work to fulfill God's purpose and will,
'Til our innermost soul shall be free.
— U. G. Herrick, Minneapolis.
(The Builder is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.)
HOW TO STUDY MASONRY
IN summing up the Symposium on How to Study Masonry, let us keep clearly in mind the purpose in view and the problem with which we have to do. No doubt a club of University professors would undertake such a study in a systematic manner and work it out thoroughly, following many a sidelight and by-path. But we have in mind the great mass of Masons, more especially the young men just entering the Order, who are busy with the affairs of life and have neither time nor the training, perhaps, to follow in detail an extensive and varied curriculum of Masonic study. As Prof. Pickard points out, such a course would tend to repel rather than attract and be more discouraging than inspiring.
For that reason, we have sought the counsel of experience rather than of theory, and we believe that the results of the efforts of the Cincinnati Masonic School, as reported in this issue, reveal the point of contact with the problem, and a well-tried method of beginning. There we find a company of busy men, typical of Masons generally, who, under the leadership of one or two veteran Masonic students, have for years been doing good work in the study of Masonry. After trying many methods, they found it best to select some book and master it by means of a series of questions so arranged as to bring out its message and teaching, and then taking up for more detailed study particular points of philosophy or periods of history as interest and inclination suggested.
Meanwhile, the Grand Lodge of Iowa had been making trial of the best method of inducing Masons to study Masonry, and the result of its experience was much the same as that of the Cincinnati School. Therefore its request that ye editor write his little story and study of Masonry, called The Builders, which it adopted, not as an authoritative and final statement of Masonic history and philosophy, but to be used as a kind of text-book to pilot the way for the student of Masonry. Every line of the book was written in that spirit and for that purpose, and its arrangement was determined by the desire to provoke interest in the study of Masonry and to direct it into authentic paths. Written with that specific end in view, it is the only book ever adopted by any Grand Lodge for that purpose, and for that reason the Research Society has adopted it, suggesting that it be used as a basis or guide in beginning the study of Masonry.
Individual students will follow each his own method and plan, but it is believed that the Study-Club or School, formed within a Lodge or group of Lodges, is the nucleus around which the study of Masonry may be organized and carried on to best advantage. Such a Club or School, by co-operating with the Research Society, can make use of any or all of the methods suggested in the Symposium, following the scheme of study outlined by Prof. Pound as interest and development justify. Brother Parvin has told how the Grand Lodge of Iowa keeps its members in touch with Masonic literature, by means of traveling libraries. Other Grand Lodges can do the same thing, or individual Lodges can begin the formation of libraries, adding to them as need requires. In the same way, any Lodge or Club can make use of the Masonic Lecture Bureau, whose lectures are interesting and instructive, more suggestive than exhaustive, and intended to deepen interest and provoke inquiry. The Society has in mind a series of Leaflets, such as Prof. Shepardson suggested, and hopes to have them ready by the time they are needed.
When enough Clubs have been organized, and have gotten far enough along in their studies, they might meet in larger groups or Schools of Instruction, either in connection with their Grand Lodges or in district gatherings, as Prof. Pickard intimates. Such a gathering would be at once unique and inspiring. A program of well-written papers, topics for discussion, question for debate, would bring together a company of enthusiastic Masons and promote good fellowship as well a instruction. All this and much more is within the reach of possibility, but we must first make a beginning, and that is what we have now in mind. After all, the best way to do a thing is to do it. In this Symposium we have brought the best wisdom of the Craft to the service of our members, and it only remains for thee to make a wise use of it.
For the rest, we beg to suggest that those who study Masonry should begin at the beginning, master the facts about it, and work slowly toward its greater and deeper problems. A young man will write an essay on Virtue, but a philosopher will take one aspect of it some one Virtue, for his theme. Just so, often a young Mason will plunge headlong into the mysticism of Geometry, and get so tangled up amid lines, angles and curves that he loses his way, and turns out a hobbyist instead of a student. Approach the study of Masonry as you would the study of anything else, taking first things first, and the vista will unfold as you go on, tempting you step by step along a shining way, deepening your faith, broadening your outlook, and leading you in the path of good and wise and beautiful truth.
* * *
A MASTER OF MASONRY
There are classic men, as there are classic books, and it was the rare distinction of Robert Freke Gould to have become a classic while yet he lived among us. Wherever Masonic literature and journalism has journeyed, he is known and honored as the foremost historian of Freemasonry; and his passing leaves vacant a place which no one else may ever hope to occupy. Others have written voluminously, and some have entered fields into which he did not venture, but he it was who applied the principles of scientific historical research to the annals of Masonry. If Pike found the Scottish Rite in a log cabin and left it in a temple, restored and decorated by the magic of his art, Gould found Masonic history a jumble of fact, fable, fancy and legend, and reduced its chaos to order, transforming a romance into a science.
For this service, which will be forever memorable in our traditions, he was almost ideally fitted by temperament, training, industry and genius. His work never had the artist touch and power of Pike, the winning clarity of Hughan, nor the literary grace of Crawley; but in minute accuracy of painstaking labor he overtopped all others, save only perhaps the astute and deep-seeing Begemann. Nor should we forget Speth, one of the most sure-footed and clear-headed of all the Masonic students who have left record of their labors in our time, and whose essays should be gathered and made accessible to the Fraternity. Yet in his own distinction and power, in the resoluteness with which he made certified truth his standard and weighed every statement in its exacting scale, in the judicial care and skill with which he sifted and tested the records of Masonry, as the Higher Critics tested the documents of religious faith, there was no one like Gould, no one near him.
Howbeit, his work was done, and to those of us who have known something of the infirmities and anxieties which had beset him in recent years, there is little sadness in the news that one who had wrought so faithfully and so fruitfully had passed to where, beyond these voices, there is peace. The death of the old is natural; it means rest and reunion. Workmen grow weary and fall asleep, but the work goes on, building and built upon, as the years take their flight into the past. Courteous always, a courtly and gracious gentleman, a devoted friend, a noble Mason — such a life sets one thinking as to the investment of his own power of light and leading here among men.
* * *
HYSTERIA AND HYSTERICSSome few Brethren seem to have lost their poise in their protest against the article in the April issue on Hysteria in Freemasonry, and there have been one or two acute cases of hysterics. To be sure, Brother Kuhn stated his case in a forthright and picturesque manner, as is his habit, but nothing was further from his mind than to belittle real Masonic scholarship, much less to depreciate the great and simple symbolism of Masonry. Indeed, the sharp point of his satire was in behalf of real scholarship and authentic symbolism as over against those who have so often made Masonry ridiculous by exploiting pseudo-learning and every kind of eccentric absurdity in its name. For too long the field of Masonic research has been a happy hunting-ground for the faddist, the hobbyist, the half-baked mystic, not to mention the inveterate crank who seems to think that Masonry is a mathematical puzzle instead of human fraternity founded upon spiritual reality. Against this sort of thing the keen thrust of Dr. Kuhn was timely and well-aimed, and it went to the mark. Judging from a number of letters in criticism of the review of The Great Work, the editor himself is in need of a thorough trouncing. Well, if Brother Kuhn and the editor have both earned a good thrashing, as some seem to think, by all means let us have it, and the pages of The Builderare open for that purpose. Neither of us, however, can be convinced by the man who takes refuge in the queer conceit of intellectual superiority and ponderous learning, the better to dodge the issue; we know the difference between argument and putting on airs. Face the issues squarely, bring forward the facts, flay us right heartily and in good spirit, nor forget the words of Carlyle describing a walk and talk with Sterling: — "We walked westward in company, choosing whatever lanes or quieter streets there were, as far as Knightsbridge where our roads parted; talking of moralities and theological philosophies; arguing copiously, but except in opinion not disagreeing "
* * *
More than one of our contributors have made complaint that other Masonic journals have used their articles without credit to The Builder, and sometimes in a mutilated form. This is a violation not only of the copyright by which the contents of The Builder is protected, but also, and far worse, of the amenities that should obtain among Masonic editors. Any one is at liberty to use anything he may wish from our pages, but he should give The Builder due credit for it, and it would be only courtesy to ask permission to use it.
* * *
Several requests have come for a brief introduction to the philosophy of Rudolf Eucken, to whom Prof. Pound made several references in his closing lecture. Eucken is a prolific writer, not infrequently prolix, but there are several good expositions of his system of thought, among them a tiny book entitled "Rudolf Eucken, A Philosophy of Life," by A. J. Jones, in the series of People's Books, published by the Dodge Co., New York. If one wishes to read Eucken himself, he had better begin with "The Meaning and Value of Life, or with "Life's Basis and Life's Ideal." He will find them richly rewarding in many ways.
Innumerable articles, poems, questions, as well as many letters full of wise suggestion for the correspondence column, have reached us. For every one of them we are grateful, but it will take time to arrange, select and publish all of them, and we beg the Brethren to be patient. With the growth of the Society no doubt The Builder will be enlarged, but at present we have a limited space. In this respect, as in so many others, the response of the Craft is most gratifying, and it increases every day.
* * *
Dear Brother: — Masonic jurisprudence has always interested me, and I like to compare the different laws of the various jurisdictions. I think it would do good to have more of this. Now if the powers that be in one jurisdiction had to decide upon a certain point of law or practice would it not be of some value to them to know the ideas and rules of all the other jurisdictions? They could then more intelligently decide the questions before them. Of course I presume that Masonic law is like our American law, too much of it, but if there was a more widespread knowledge of what there is, it seems to me that it would condense the principles and thereby make less. Now, my idea is this: — Every jurisdiction, or at least most of them, have a book of their laws, together with the Grand Master's decisions that have been approved. Take these books, together with the general books on Masonic jurisprudence by well-known authorities, and trace out a certain subject of law common to all the jurisdictions and work it up into a readable article for The Builder. For instance, take the very first subject mentioned by Brother Clegg in his recent article, that of physical perfection, and do you not think that the comparisons would be of interest to most readers of Masonic literature? Then in another issue take up something else, and so on down the line. To my mind it would be not only of interest generally, but also of educational value. It would be a long and hard task. But could we not induce some one to tackle the job? Yours fraternally,
Lloyd C. Henningt Holbrook, Ariz.
(It would indeed be a long and hard task, but such a service would be of great value to the Craft. Perhaps it is too great an undertaking for one man, involving much time and labor, but why cannot a number of our readers "tackle the job?" Suppose we let Brother Henning take the subject of physical perfection, another Brother another subject, all intent to reduce the chaos to order, why can we not do it in that way? The Research Society has had this in mind, and, in fact, has for some time been at work on the subjects of visitation and transfer of membership, and the bewildering confusion discovered emphasizes what Brother Henning says about the difficulty of the task. We also believe that such a study of comparative jurisprudence would promote a better understanding and closer co-operation between all jurisdictions. — The Editor.)
* * *
Dear Brother: — It is my opinion that we can all do more than we are doing for the advancement of Masonry, if we only will. I am sure that I could have done more for the order than I have done, though it has appeared at times that I have given much of my time to it in a local way. There seems to be a disposition among about ninety per cent. of the membership of our Lodges to be willing to allow the remaining ten per cent. of the membership to take all the responsibility and work of the Lodge on themselves. While practically all the membership are good and true Masons, and do not intend to hamper the work of the Lodge in any way, yet they do it by their absence from its meetings. Too many Masons are apt to remain away unless there is work in the Third Degree, and that being the case, they are unable to be of much assistance when they are present. This is a condition that should be corrected, and I should think it might come into the scope of our Society to suggest some means by which we can create more enthusiasm and have a better attendance at Lodge meetings. I like the contents of The Builder very much and think it is on correct lines, for anything that will bring out the usages of our ancient Brethren and show the antiquity of the fraternity, will be helpful as well as instructive. What we want is to have our membership growing in knowledge as well as in right living, not only toward the Brethren, but toward all mankind. I am sure the study of the history and meaning of Masonry, what it has done and what it can dot will no a long wav toward deepening interest and creating enthusiasm.
W. J. Wroughton, Greeley, Iowa.
* * *
A BEAUTIFUL LEGEND
Dear Brother: — Forty years ago Theodore Tilton in a public lecture delivered in the old Methodist church of this city, told this beautiful legend as to how King Solomon selected a location for the Temple. Two brothers were left an estate to be divide equally between them. One was married and had a family of children, the other was unmarried and a cripple. After the estate, which consisted principally of grain and live stock, had been equally divided, the married brother decided that his brother who was a cripple ought to have the largest share; and the brother who was a cripple came to a like conclusion, thinking that his brother who had a family ought to have the larger part. Under cover of night they both planned to carry out their purpose of giving a share to the other. It so happened that they fixed upon the same hour and place, and where these two brothers met, each seeking to convey to the other a part of his inheritance, King Solomon built the Temple for the worship of God. Yours fraternally,
S. H. Bauman,
Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
* * *
A PRAYER FOR PEACE
Dear Sir: — Perhaps you would be interested in the following prayer for peace, uttered long before our era. It is found in the "Pax" of Aristophanes (lines 991 ff), the Greek writer of comedies. I give this translation which, though somewhat free, is I believe true to the spirit and intent of the original:
"O Thou that makest wars to cease in all the world, in accordance with Thine ancient name, we beseech Thee, make war and tumult to cease. From the murmur and the subtlety of suspicion with which we vex one another, give us rest. Make a new beginning, and mingle again the kindred of the nations in the alchemy of Love. And with some finer essence of forbearance and forgiveness, temper our mind."
Alas, that such a prayer should have remained unanswered; but can we find words more noble wherewith to express our aspiration in a time of world-war?
Theodore Liggin, St. Louis.
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MORE THAN AN ORDER
Dear Brother: — I want to suggest this thought, not in criticism but in entire kindness, that our Masonic Fraternity should not be referred to as an Order, which term you frequently use in your excellent editorials. Our Brotherhood, as you know, is more than an Order, it is an Institution of traditional science, a Fraternity broader than an Order, with all the initiative rites, of antiquity instituted before Orders of any character existed; and it strikes me that it dignifies our Society deservedly to call it an Institution rather than an Order. I am a Pennsylvania Mason — temporarily residing in Kansas — and during all my Masonic instruction we were taught, in Pennsylvania, not to refer to Masonry as an Order. I am greatly interested in the Research Society and believe a great work is mapped out for it, through your leadership, and that much instruction and interest will result.
Edgar A. Tennis, Salina, Kan.
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WISDOM OF MEREDITH
Take the matter into the heart; try the case there.
There is more in men and women than the stuff they utter.
There is nothing the body suffers that the soul may not profit by.
Who rises from prayer a better man, his pray is answered.
Into the breast that gives the rose shall I shuddering fall?
Oratory is the more impressive for the spice that makes it untrustworthy.
Keep the young generation in hail, bequeathed them no tumbled house.
Life is a little-holding, lent to do a mighty labor.
— The Meredith Pocket Book
"IN A NOOK WITH A BOOK"
THE GREAT WORK
RETURNING to "The Great Work," as promised in our last issue, let it be said that it is in some ways a very thoughtful and suggestive treatise, albeit more curious than great. Lucid and forthright in style, often ingenious in advocacy of its scheme of thought, it lacks the artist stroke. There is hardly a page which holds one by the charm of a flashing phrase, and the quotation from Emerson is like an oasis. The writer is all the while handicapped by the idea that he is the keeper of a wonderful treasure of truth, which must be carefully guarded from the eyes of the profane, lest it be betrayed into the hands of those who are not worthy or well-qualified to receive it.
With some, no doubt, this air of mystery lends enchantment, but with others it excites misgivings as to the alleged high wisdom hinted at but kept hidden. Indeed, one has a right to be suspicious of a book which makes claim of knowing what is unknown to all the world and the rest of mankind, and which leaves the inference that the noblest and most reverent scholars of the world are not worthy to receive its revelation. Surely the time for that sort of thing has long passed away. When a man imagines that he has a great truth to tell, and yet mistrusts the purest-minded men of his day and race, it is safe to assume that what he has to tell is of no great value or importance.
Strictly speaking, "The Great Work" is not a Masonic book at all, but an effort to show, or rather to assert, that Masonry — along with Buddhism, primitive Christianity and Protestantism — is, or was, an attempt of a certain secret Cult or School of Natural Science to teach the world its saving wisdom. Unfortunately, the attempt has been largely abortive, and these various worthy efforts of the Hidden Masters to instruct our race have been perverted, if not corrupted. Those Hidden Teachers, it would seem, look upon our eager, aspiring humanity much like the patient masters of an idiot school, letting us have such tiny bits of truth as we are able to grasp in our feeble way, while they sit in seclusion keeping the keys to what is beyond us. How gracious of them to allow us to pick up the crumbs that fall from such a banquet table of the gods!
All of which is very wonderful, if true. But when we begin to inquire as to this great and famous School, its local habitation and name, all is vague, dreamy and remote, its headquarters being located, indefinitely enough, "in far away India." If that be so, why did not the great School begin its work at home, and lift India out of the shadow of superstition and the paralysis of pessimism? Concerning this alleged Great School — whose real name, even, is not vouchsafed — the most astonishing statements are made. For example, with regard to the records of the School we are solemnly told:
"These cover a consecutive and unbroken chain backward from the immediate present to a time many thousands of years before the Mosaic period. In truth, the chain is complete to a time before Egypt had become a center of civilization, of learning, or power. This fact alone is sufficient to suggest the futility of any attempt to cover the subject in detail."
Manifestly, it is out of the question to ask for details, and the writer admits that he could not give details if we desired him to do so. Did he ever see those records of immemorial time, reaching thousands of years back of Moses? Did he ever see anyone who did see them? If so, how does he know that they are authentic? By what science for the testing of documents did he determine their authenticity? Alas, details of this kind are matters of small import, for he goes on to say:
"The most ancient records at this time known to man, are those of the Great School. There can be little doubt, however that the School, in some form, long antedated its most ancient authentic records. This would seem to be true because the great fundamental principles of individual life, liberty and happiness for which it has stood throughout the ages, and for which it stands today, go back to the very infancy of the human race."
But why stop with the infancy of the human race? Those principles existed before there was any human race, and so it would seem to be true that the Great School must have existed from all eternity, since such a School was needed to guard those principles and keep them safely hidden. Which reminds one of the older Masonic writers who argued that Masonry existed before ever the world began, and that Adam was its first Grand Master on earth. Well, as Lincoln would say, if men like that sort of thing, then that is the sort of thing they like.
Down through the ages, we are told, the Great School has presided over the education of the human race; a hidden fraternity of initiates, adepts in esoteric lore, known to themselves but not to the world, who have had in their keeping the high truths which they permit to be adumbrated, dimly, in the popular faiths and philosophies, but which most of us, even yet, are too obtuse to grasp save in a most imperfect manner. Nearly all the master thinkers of the race have been members of this School in disguise, and naturally so, for, since the School enjoyed a monopoly of all wisdom, whoso would be wise must needs go to that School to learn. Of course, not only Buddha, but Jesus Christ was an initiate of the Great School and learned all He knew from its teachers, as Yogi Ramacharaka and others would also have us know.
In the same way, Operative Masonry was another disguise made use of by this same ubiquitous School in its heroic effort to elevate humanity and teach it some sense. Alas, however, the old Craft Masons proved false to their high opportunity and calling, and hence the advent of Speculative Masonry. But Speculative Masonry was only a substitute for what was originally planned by the Masters of the Great School, a kind of imitation or counterfeit, so to name it, lacking the long lost Word which the said Masters took care to put away in a safe place against discovery. Sometime, it may be, if we prove ourselves to be worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared, we Masons may perchance be permitted to learn what Masonry is.
Such is the substance of the chapter on the Lineal Key to the ancestry and history of Freemasonry. Of a truth, it is an interesting romance — only, strange to say, not a few accept its fiction for fact, its bare statement for authentic history, and its imaginary knowledge for the actual story of Masonry. Ye scribe has dealt with this whole matter in the chapter on The Secret Doctrine in his brief story of Masonry, and for so doing he has been called a materialist, a Gradgrind, and a blind leader of the blind; as if to be a mystic, one must throw history to the winds and revel in romance. For not one of the statements made above is there the slightest shred of evidence, not even a shadow of a basis in fact. Until some semblance of evidence is offered, some fact cited, thinking men will continue to regard the whole scheme as visionary and absurd.
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Will you tell me of some book in which I may find, in brief form, the substance of the teachings of the Theosophists?
— J. J. K.
Perhaps you cannot do better than to read the little essay entitled "Theosophy," by Annie Besant, President of Theosophical Society. It is one number in an admirable series called The People's Books, published in this country by Dodge Co., 220 East 23rd St., New York. 25 cents.
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Kindly tell me how I may become a member of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, or at least how I can get its Transactions, and greatly oblige.
— P. J. L.
File your application through the Grand Secretary of your Grand Lodge, giving the name and number of your Lodge, and he will send your application to the Coronati Lodge. Membership fee is 10s 6d, annual dues also 10s 6d, entitling you to receive the Transactionspreviously issued during the same year.
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Please recommend me to a short history of architecture, not overloaded with technicalities, such as a busy man can find time to read.
— J. D. H.
Try the brief introduction to the history and art of "Architecture," by W. R. Lethaby, in the Home University Library, published by Henry Holt Co., New York, each volume 50 cents. It is a very remarkable series of books, each one written by an authority in the field covered, and delightful to read.
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Are you asleep or am I dreaming? In a reference to Plato's Phaedrusin the Library you spoke of it as a great argument for immortality, but I can find nothing in it touching on immortality at all. Let in the light.
— H. L. D.
Wake up! Of course Phaedrusis a study of love as one of the many kinds of madness, and as such the cause of the greatest happiness to mankind. To prove this, it was necessary to examine into the nature of the soul, both human and divine. The soul is held to be immortal, because it contains the principle of motion within itself — a subtle and profound argument not found even in Phaedo. And, when all is said, of love is born the hope of immortality. Wake up, rub your eyes, and read again. How readest thou?
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On a train the other day some one was telling about the talking horses of Elberfeld — I believe that was the place — their ability to spell, cipher, and almost talk. Where can I find an account of them?
— F. G. S.
There is a chapter, and a most interesting one, descriptive of the Elberfeld mares in "The Unknown Guest," by Maurice Maeterlink. (Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.) Let us hope that they talk horse sense!
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Our Lodge has appropriated $100 with which to lay the foundation of a Lodge library. Will you not suggest a list of books with which we may start?
— F. E. C.
The following list is worthy of consideration: —Concise History of Masonry, by Gould, also his Collected Essays;History of Masonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan and Stillson;Encyclopedia of Masonry, by Mackey, last edition;Book of Constitutions, by Anderson;The Old Charges, by Hughan;Primitive Secret Societies, by Webster;Antiquities of Masonry, by Fort;Symbolism of Masonry, by Mackey;Things a Freemason Ought to Know, by Crowe;Masonic Facts and Fictions, by Sadler;The Spirit of Masonry, by Hutchinson;The Comacines, by Ravenscroft;The Veil of Isis, by Reade;Cyclopedia of Fraternities, by Stevens, last edition;Seven Lamps of Architecture, by Ruskin;Poems and Stories of Kipling;Low Twelve, by Ellis;Religion and Thought in Egypt, by Breasted;Kings and Gods of Egypt, by Moret;Pythagoras, by Schure, also his Hermes and Plato;Washington the Man and Mason, by Callahan;Franklin as a Mason, by Sachse;Indian Masonry, by Wright;Freemasonry Before the Grand Lodges, by Vibert,Morals and Dogma, by Pike;The Master's Assistant, by Darrah;Manual of the Lodge, by Mackey;Masonic Jurisprudence, by Mackey;Mystic Masonry, by J. D. Buck;The Philosophy of Masonry, by Pound, soon to be issued by the Research Society; and, if you can find nothing better,The Builders, by the editor of this journal. There are many other books of great value but before you have reached the end of this list your money will have melted away.
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While the following questions are not related to Masonry, answers to them will be appreciated, if it is not too much trouble: (1) As a student of Lincoln, what do you regard as the best address in estimate of him? (2) Refer me to a brief account of pantheism. (3) Is there any short exposition of mysticism? (4) Was John Wesley a Freemason?
— J. D. J.
(1) We like best of all the remarkable address by F. W. Lehmann, published in a pamphlet by Wm. M. Reedy, St. Louis Mirror. (2) "Pantheism, its Story and Significance," by J. A. Picton, himself a pantheist, published by Open Court Co., Chicago. (3) "Mysticism in English Literature," by G. F. E. Spurgeon, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, is simple and illuminating. (4) No, Wesley was not a Mason, but he often preached in Masonic halls, as we learn from his journal.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
- The Character of Albert Pike as Gleaned from his Correspondence, by W. L. Boyden.The New Age.
- The Story of the Craft as Told in the Gentlemen's Magazine. Fred Armitage.Transactions of the Lodge Quatuor Coronati.
- Is Masonry a Religion? By A. Churchyard.London Freemason.
- The Sublime Degree, by Robert Meekren.Tyler-Keystone.
- Girard's Masonic History.Masonic Monthly.
- Freemasonry in Literature.Illinois Freemason.
- Mental Qualifications, Not Physical, a Test for Membership.Virginia Masonic Journal, April 15.
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- The Master's Assistant, by D. D. Darrah, Bloomington, Ill
- The Confessions of a Master Mason, by C. F. Whaley, Seattle, Wash.
- Masonic Jingles, by James T. Wray, Evanston, Ill.
- Great Stone Monuments, by J. W. Fewkes, Smithsonian Institute.
- Philosophy, What is It?by F. B. Jevons, Putnam's Sons, New York.
- The Mystery of Art, by R. A. Cram, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.
- Works of Luther, Vol. 1., A. J. Holman Co., Philadelphia.
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Son, thou oughtest diligently to attend to this: that in every place, every action or outward circumstance, thou be inwardly free and mighty in thyself, and all things be under thee, and thou not under them; that thou be lord and governor of thy deeds, not servant.
— The Imitation of Christ.