A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 3 No. 7 – July 1917
THE FAITH THAT IS IN THEM — A FRATERNAL FORUM
Edited by Bro. Geo. E. Frazer
President, The Board of Stewards
Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri
Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia
H. D. Funk, Minnesota
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky
Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois
Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia
M.M. Johnson, Massachusetts
John Pickard, Missouri
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin
Oliver D. Street, Alabama
S. W. Williams, Tennessee
Joe L. Carson, Virginia
T. W. Hugo, Minnesota
Contributions to this Monthly Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to The Builder . Subjects for discussion are selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Correspondence column.
QUESTION NO. 3: Shall the dues in Masonic bodies be increased to cover the financial support of Masonic homes in the respective Grand Jurisdictions? If so, shall such Masonic homes be established for aged and infirm Masons only, or for Masonic widows and orphans? If not, shall members of each lodge be encouraged to contribute as individuals to a charity fund at the disposal of a charity committee regularly appointed by the W. M.?
The Future Has Heavy Burdens for Us.
Unless, as in Ohio, ample provision is made by the Grand Lodge, through its annual per capita assessment on lodges, to provide for the support of a Masonic Home, it impresses me as a bounden duty that each lodge in a jurisdiction constitute itself a unit to contribute annually according to its means to the proper financing of an institution, which should be one of the foremost of its Charities. Charity is a foremost principle of our Order, and first of all such, should come our own Masonic Charities. Masonry must take care of its own, and the calls upon Masonry in the near future, because of the parlous times in which we now live are bound to be considerable. Any necessary increase of lodge dues such as you suggest, should be met where necessary, cheerily, even though at the cost of considerable lodge embarrassment. As between the proper financing of a Masonic Home, and the luring of passive Masons to lodge by the stomachic route, there should not be a moment's hesitancy in making one's choice. Where necessary, eliminate the superfluous banquet, the entertainment, the picnic or other "side degree" and let each craftsman put his shoulder to the wheel to help assure the financial well-being of the Masonic Home.
If you refer to our obligation, it will convince you that the inchoators of the Masonic Institution held in equal esteem the Masonic widows and orphans, these being ever coupled with the Master Masons in the setting forth of the duties of the craftsmen. So in practical Masonry today, in building for the future, we should build equally for the Masonic wife, widow, mother, sister, son and daughter, as for the needy and infirm brother. The greater the hardship the better for the craft. Masons must face all conditions, and it is their privilege to serve. We cannot afford as Masons to show less regard for the well-being, spiritually and materially of our widows, and our orphans, than does another great religious world force evince for its own in this category. Ours the task to sustain the grand reputation handed down to us by our Masonic ancestors, and make Masonic Charity mean something wherever the Square and Compasses have blazed a trail. It is admirable in any lodge to encourage brothers to contribute as individuals to a Charity Fund at the disposal of a Charity Committee appointed by the W. M. Far better to my mind, however, the plan adopted by my own lodge, Excelsior No. 369 (Ohio), some fifty-one years ago, of providing for an enforced levy per capita each year from the General Fund to be added to the Charity Fund, this latter to be under control of the Trustees and dispensed at their discretion for our own lodge charities only. Starting with nothing in 1866, Excelsior soon amassed over fifteen thousand dollars for this particular fund alone, and it is still growing. That our forbears builded well, the brethren are beginning to realize, with present and presumptive calls made upon this fund.
John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
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A Home Must Have Assured Revenue.
It seems to me that the logical order of questions is this:
- Does the Jurisdiction need homes for the care of any kind of Masonic dependents?
- If yes, which need is the most acute — for aged Masons (with or without their wives), or for widows and orphans?
- How shall such a home be financed?
Questions 1 and 2 are ones of fact purely and can be decided best, in my judgment, by a careful study of the applications for charity made to the Grand Lodge and the individual Lodges over a series of years. An attempt to get the opinion of Lodges on these questions would probably have misleading results.
No home should be undertaken without assured revenue. This would ordinarily come from per capita tax under the established methods of Grand Lodge finance. It would seem to be difficult to assure revenue on any other basis.
This would probably only care for the support or possibly for supporting a sinking fund. Necessary capital to start the institution would probably have to be raised by subscription or might come from bequests.
This is not the Massachusetts method, but the financial methods of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts throughout are different from those commonly used in other Grand Lodges and therefore could not well be as suggested as models.
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
* * *
Keep the Dues Democratic.
The increasing of dues in Masonic bodies is a matter that should be studiously avoided wherever and in every way possible. It is so easy to add just a little, with the idea that the amount is so small that it will not amount to anything; not with the idea of making it hard for anyone — and yet, these small additions gradually amount to a sum that may be almost prohibitive especially to the poor Lodges, and it is among those very Lodges that we often find the finest Masonic realization of true fellowship and brotherhood. To gradually raise dues to the breaking point for any purpose is neither Masonic nor advisable — and it is a question whether the maintenance of large charitable institutions can be accomplished without the expenditure of sums of money for establishment (original cost) repairs, etc., that eventually become so large that, if invested, would produce an income sufficient to enable annuities to be granted, allowing the recipients to continue to live with relatives and friends.
If, however, such Homes ARE established, they should by all means include the Aged and Infirm brethren and their dependent Widows, as well as the Orphans.
If the Annuity system be used, it should be made available through a Committee working under authority of the Grand Lodge, and the money raised in the usual way by a per capita tax on the membership of the Lodges in the jurisdiction.
I do not wish to be understood as condemning the many magnificent Homes that have been established throughout the country, neither do I lose sight of the benefits derived from the earnest work of Christian men and women within these institutions and the great good derived from proper intensive training of youth along religious and business lines — these are, unquestionably, excellent and most desirable — but whether the aged and infirm of both sexes could not be as well, if not better cared for at less actual cost in institutions that are already established and in working order by means of the granting of suitable annuities that could be graded according to necessity, is a grave question.
From a sentimental standpoint, there is no choice. There is nothing that will conduce to the happiness and well-being of a Mason in his years of health and strength, as to know that when he is enfeebled and unable to provide for himself and those he loves, that they will be cared for within the family bosom of the Brotherhood that he loves so well — next to his OWN HOME, there is no place on earth where he will feel they are so safe from harm as in a well-appointed Home that is run under the careful supervision of the Grand Lodge — a place where the aged and infirm brother, together with his Widow and Orphan can and WILL be made as comfortable as possible by loving hands and hearts.
S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
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The President of a Home Speaks.
The expense of such Homes should come from the treasury of the Grand Body of the Jurisdiction which has authorized their establishment, and the per capita tax on each member be increased sufficiently to permit of that appropriation.
Such Homes should be for all Masonic dependents, but if possible the accommodations for the children should be separate from those of the older persons.
Members individually should not be depended on to support the Home, but there is no reason why individuals should not be urged to contribute to some funds for special objects needed at the Home.
A very important feature of the finances of a Home is to charge each Lodge sending a person to the Home a certain small weekly sum; this tends to make them a little less unnecessarily generous; 25 cents for a child, 50 cents for a woman, 75 cents for a man; the tendency is when it does not cost anything more to dump everything onto the Home, but a little sum like the above is a great economizer. I have been 13 years President of a Home and have learned a few things in connection with Masonic charity when it don't cost the dispenser anything, with Masonic sentiment in connection with the operation of a Home, and the necessity of strict business principles from the start.
T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
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Let the Dues Be Ample.
Dues should be ample for Lodge purposes without depending on fees for existence, for the obvious reason that Lodges should not have the incentive of a need for new members. Grand Lodges should levy tax sufficient to care for dependency of orphans and old Masons, preferable, I think, in private families. Masonic Homes, if decided on, should be separate institutions for the aged and children.
Each Lodge should care for its own, their means to be supplemented, when necessary, from funds of Grand Lodge in hands of a good Grand Charity Committee. Voluntary charity should be encouraged rather than relief by taxation, because that is the only real Masonic charity. Homes are, many of them, costly failures, and all expensive and difficult to manage. Bricks and salaries are only extravagant advertising at best. "Let not thy left hand know, etc."
Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia.
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Support the Homes.
The lodges should support the Masonic Homes in their jurisdictions and when necessary the dues should be increased for such purpose. Masonic homes should be established for aged and infirm Masons; also for Masonic widows and orphans when occasion demands it.
H.R. Evans, Washington. D. C.
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Missouri Cares for Her Own.
The great landmarks of Freemasonry are faith in God, hope of immortal life, and love of fellowmen. Belief in the first two can best be exemplified by practicing the third. Each Grand Jurisdiction should, it seems to me, make adequate provision, under exclusively Masonic control, for the care of its aged and infirm, its sick and suffering, its widows and orphans. Its hospitals should be models. Its Home should be all that this name implies. Its orphans should be reared and educated with the most scrupulous care. Not until they are fully prepared should they be sent out into the world, and the watchful eye of the Masonic guardian should even then see to it that they have a fair chance in the battle of life.
The Grand Jurisdiction of Missouri is demonstrating today that all this can be done and well done without an excessive tax upon the brethren. And in Missouri also the Great Order of the Eastern Star has done a magnificent work in aiding to make the Masonic Home of Missouri an institution of which every Mason and every Star in the state is justly proud.
John Pickard, Missouri.
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Favors Use of Both Plans, Jointly.
It is my opinion that neither a Home nor a Charity Fund alone is the ideal plan of caring for our dependent brethren, their widows and orphans. To be complete there should be both. Some cases can not be cared for in their own homes or among their friends and relatives. Some have no homes, some have no relatives, some have no friends, who can and will undertake the burden even for ample pay. Others have homes, friends, or relatives, where to the increased happiness of all, they could and would be lovingly cared for with the aid of a monthly or quarterly stipend from a Grand Charity Fund. In addition to an annual tax on all the Masons in the jurisdiction to support these forms of relief, there should also be Permanent Endowment Funds created and maintained by voluntary contributions and by a small percentage of the annual per capita tax set aside each year for this purpose.
Relief by the several lodges for their own dependents would be too irregular and uncertain; it should in all cases be furnished at least in the greater part by the Grand Bodies acting in unison under uniform regulations which would bear equally upon all and insure equal benefits to all according to their necessities.
Some may say I have set an impossible standard. It is not. That it is high I do not deny, but no great accomplishment was ever achieved without a high standard. Good standing of a worthy brother in a Masonic lodge should be a guaranty that neither he nor his wife and children should ever want for the necessities at least of life.
Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
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Thinks Homes Very Desirable.
The increasing of the dues in the lodges to an extent that provides an adequate per capita for the Grand Lodge "charity fund" is the most satisfactory and equitable way of providing for the ones we wish to assist and is particularly desirable in those Jurisdictions which maintain Masonic Homes. In every Jurisdiction of which I have any knowledge this per capita tax is supplemented by voluntary contributions of those who are more able to give than the average brother and these voluntary contributions are sometimes very large. The act of giving, which is, in the per capita tax plan, an act of the Fraternity as such, often creates a desire to do something as an individual.
It has been demonstrated by the different Jurisdictions which maintain Homes that they are the best method of doing our duty to our brethren who need care in old age or infirmity, and the widows and orphans. I believe that Homes should be provided for all of those who are in need of our assistance and who can be better taken care of in the home than elsewhere. However, I believe it is advisable to maintain the orphans in a separate home where practical, and at least in a separate building.
A duty correctly comprehended is a pleasure, and it is the opinion of your scribe that the added interest in others' welfare produced by being a contributor to a Masonic Home will have an uplifting influence among many brethren who would not otherwise have had it called to their attention.
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
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Is Half Charity Real Charity?
Your chairman, brethren, has the advantage of reading what you have said, before he speaks out for himself. What you have said so well above should stir up some real thinking. Here is a subject that reaches every lodge and every Mason alike. And we have now the ever increasing demands of war charities.
Shall we establish a scientific system of Masonic charity? If we support homes at all, does not each initiate come into our order with the implied understanding that we have a definite plan for his relief in the time of his need? Facts are stubborn things, at times. In many jurisdictions we commit infirm Masons to Homes which have no endowment and which depend upon periodic contributions for their meagre support. I question whether this half charity is real charity in any sense of the word. Oh, I do not mean to disparage the splendid courage and sincere devotion of the faithful who manage these institutions. But I do question the moral right of our great, universal order to establish and maintain any haphazard, sporadic and unendowed system of charity. Better by far that we send our brethren elsewhere, say to the United Charities, than that we should partly do that which many of our members think that Masonry should not do at all.
What I have written reads cold blooded. Every charitable institution challenges our sentiments. But must we not some time take the viewpoint of how we would feel, if sent by our brethren into the care of an institution that has no secure and assured support? Perhaps the time has come when we should say to the world that Masonry is not a charitable institution; that the order assumes none of the financial obligations of its members. It is not a difficult matter to state this question; it will take the best thought of all our leaders to rightly answer it.
George E. Frazer, Illinois.
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Bro. A. W. Tichnor, Michigan
I SHOULD like to derive the word Lodge from the Anglo-Saxon "lecgan," to "lay" or "lie." I like this derivation better than that from the Greek "logos," as none of the other derivatives of this word have the soft "g"; and I like it much more than that which derives it from the German "Laub," and makes it cognate with "lobby." Perhaps, however, some brother, more fortunate than myself, has access to Skeat's New Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, now being published in England, and probably the last word in etymological definition.
If Lodge is derived from "lecgan," however, we may formulate three definitions all containing the root meaning, and particularly applicable to Free Masonry.
The first definition, then, that we can give to the word Lodge is that it is a place where Free Masons "lie," or rest, during their travels in foreign parts, and is undoubtedly taken from the name given the huts that lay around the feet of the great Cathedrals on which the Craft lavished their art and skill. It was in these that the Craftsmen lay at night and spent the eight hours allotted to refreshment and sleep.
Symbolically, let us remember that. as Masons, we are, on this earth, traveling in foreign parts working at the erection of the Temple in which, when it is completed and the ledger — or cope — stone is laid, the Stone rejected by the builders, we expect to possess the Word and to receive our due wages. The place of our labors, however, is the Lodge; and this is symbolically represented as the world wherein we rest until we receive the summons to travel on to another country.
Now let us examine the symbolism that compares the Lodge to King Solomon's Temple. This edifice, and particularly the Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, was that in which the Word of God lay, and which, to the devout Jew, was the Lodge of God among men. But the Temple was but a symbol of that House not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens, and it is on this House, or Lodge, that we as Masons are laboring, preparing, by means of our working tools, the living stones. Let us notice, by the way, how the rough ashlar is taken by the cable-tow and, after the application of the point of a sharp instrument, made a perfect ashlar and set in the corner of foundation. Then again, more firmly held by the cable-tow and, having been tried by the square, it is passed to a more excellent position and caused to stand before the eye of the Supreme Architect. Finally, still more securely bound by the cable-tow, according to the plans delineated by the Compasses, it is raised, after many trials, from earth to heaven, where finally it will contain the Word. Symbolism therefore teaches us that the Lodge is where our Mysteries lie.
In the lodge of the master of the work our ancient operative brethren gathered to transact such business as might properly come before them, and to make, pass and raise Masons. So an assemblage of Masons came to be called a Lodge. But here let us remember that with such a Lodge lay the power of conferring the degrees and of regulating the Craft, and so, authority having been deposited with a proper number, they might be considered, in an especial sense, the Lodge.
There is a striking similarity between Free Masonry and the Catholic Church. Corresponding to the Worshipful Master is the Bishop and to the brethren about the Lodge the Bishop's council of presbyters. To these was committed the deposit of the faith — which is the Word of God — and the ministration of the Mysteries, by which men are introduced, passed and raised — by means of the Sacraments — into a position of unity with God. So with the Master, Wardens and Brethren is lodged the "Landmarks" — of some of which we should not speak too openly — and the power of ministering the Mysteries after the true Masonic manner, with the result of making a man ultimately the depository of the Masonic Word, which in itself is symbolic of unity with the Grand Architect of the Universe. Thus a body of men may be known as a Lodge, because of what "lies" with them.
There is another sense in which Masons use the word Lodge, and that is in connection with a piece of furniture seen only, as a rule, at the consecration of new lodges. It is used there as a symbol of the Lodge, and it may also be taken to be a symbol of the Ark of the Covenant — which was made, by the way, of the wood of the acacia — which was the place of deposit of the Testimony of God (Ex. xxv., 16). I think that the Ark of the Lodge should be that which conceals what is revealed at the illumination of a Mason, the Word of God, and the Urim and Thummim of Direction and Truth, the Great Lights of Masonry. (cf. Hasting's "Dictionary of the Bible," and Pike's "Morals and Dogma" sub voce.)
It must be remembered that the Ark of the Covenant was the primary symbol of the Presence of God in the revelation of Religion under the older order. It lay first in the Tabernacle and afterwards in the Temple, and was that for which the Temple was built to contain. At the destruction of the Temple it disappeared — "Arca Testamenti nostri direpta est, 4 Esdras x. 22, ad Vulgatam — and it, and the cavern in which it was hidden were objects of search to the pious Jew. (cf. Jerem. iii. 16, and 2 Macc. ii. 4, et seq.) Some scholars state that the Ark was destroyed; but certain traditions indicate otherwise.
We may further notice that, according to the Old Testament, it was not God's purpose to take Himself away absolutely from His people, but only to retire from them for a while as a punishment for their sins. It became necessary for Him to remove from them the abiding presence of His Word, because the people had profaned it by their misconduct, because they looked on the Mystery of godliness with less than that reverential awe due it, and had made it common among them. Therefore the Ark was taken from them, the Word was lost, but not forever. And so the Lodge of Consecration could well remain as the symbol of the resting place of the Word, and the abiding principle of Free Masonry.
Now all of this may be taken as a study in etymology, and some of the symbolism contained therein. And it is concerned here more with the objective philosophy of Free Masonry than the subjective, which seems to be the trend of Masonic study of today. But still we have seen that the Lodge, in all senses of the word, represents the Deposit of the Word of God, where it "lies," or is "lodged," for the benefit of the Craft, to be given each one at the completion of the Temple, if found worthy. Some of us, it is true, believe that the Word is to be found in Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, whom we call Emmanuel, God with us, the Tabernacle of God with men, the Temple destroyed and rebuilt in three days. So we strive to defend the Christian religion and spread the genuine cement of brotherly love and friendship, that we all may be "builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephes. ii. 22.)
* * *
Nothing is worth doing
That does not eventually send a man
On a higher and wider quest.
All labours that narrow,
All toils that deaden,
All pursuits that enslave,
Are enemies to be fought
With the sword of enterprise
And the arrow of adventure.
Therefore, at any moment
Of this eventful or uneventful life,
It behooves a man to ask himself
What he is doing,
And whither his work is leading him.
If it is leading him to prison,
To lethargy, or to mutilation,
To dishonour, or to death,
Let him arise and take ship
To the furthest port he can reach,
Or let him wander among the mountains
Making new observations,
And finding nobler labours.
— Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne.
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THE PILLARS OF THE PORCH
Bro. John W. Barry. P.S.G.W., Iowa
Nor was Solomon without examples in the Holy Land, for according to I. Samuel, III., 3-15, the Ark was housed in a temple at Shilo. The Canaanites had large temples in the time of the Judges. The Temple of El-Berith, at Shechem, was a place of refuge for a thousand men. (See Judges IX., 46.) There was a large temple of Dagon at Gaza, supported on pillars, for which see Judges XVI., 23:29, and one at Asdod (I. Sam. V., 5:6, and I. Chron. X., 10.) In the land of Hiram were many temples, as related by Josephus. A single illustration will suffice. On page 257 of Antiquities of the Jews is the following: "Meander, also, who translated the Tyrian archives out of the dialect of the Phoenicians into the Greek language, makes mention of these two kings, where he says thus: 'When Abibalus was dead, his son Hiram received the kingdom from him. He raised a bank in the large palace, and dedicated the golden pillar which is in Jupiter's Temple. He also went and cut down materials of timber out of the mountain called Libanus for the roof of temples, and when he had pulled down the ancient temples he both built the temples of Hercules and that of Astarte.'" And why, it may be asked, are there few or no remains of those temples as compared with temples built long before on the Nile? Largely because they were of wood construction. The columns were wood, covered with metal or wound with hemp, and coated with stucco. Layard's men, at Nineva, during his digging there, found sufficient of such encased wood columns to make their camp fires. And such, with few exceptions, was the construction in the Holy Land before Solomon. But as to foundations of heavy masonry there are early Hebrew remains at Baalbec, Palmyra, and other places. Solomon's Temple was, therefore, new and exceptional in its construction only in the extreme richness of its decorations and in making Jachin and Boaz wholly of brass, and its perpetuation in the memory of men is due principally to the fact that it was the first great temple erected to the Living God. As such it has and will endure in the minds of men.
For four hundred and nineteen years it stood a marked building. Because of its fine workmanship, because of its lavish wealth of decoration, and because it was the Temple of the God of Abraham, it became well known not alone to priests, princes and kings, but to builders throughout the world as well. Naturally such a building would be imitated and duplicated by other kings thirsting for glory. Josephus says it was duplicated on Mt. Gerizim and also in Egypt by Onian. Wilkins in his learned treatise, "The Temple of Jerusalem the Type of Grecian Architecture," shows that Grecian temples, built while Solomon's Temple was still standing, are duplicates of that famous structure. This view is held by a number of careful investigators, who after long years of study of the Temple of Solomon, have come to be regarded as almost final authorities. Among this number is Edward Charles Hakewill, an architect, who has published a work called "The Temple." In this he submits scale drawings of Solomon's Temple, and says that the plans and elevations apply accurately to existing temples that were built while Solomon's Temple yet stood. It occurred to me that a photograph of the ruins of those old temples, together with Hakewill's scale drawings, would give the best possible idea of the actual appearance of Solomon's Temple.
The general outline of adjoining buildings, together with its courts, may be seen in cut No. 13, from Pain's Temple of Solomon.
Cut No. 14 is the ground plan of Solomon's Temple, and is duplicated in the temple at Paestum and in the Theseum. The dark circles represent Jachin and Boaz standing in the porch. In the next cut will be seen a front view and then a sectional view on the line A-B, showing Jachin and Boaz in elevation. Cut No. 15 is the front view, and in the massive, well-proportioned structure we can see why it stood four hundred and nineteen years. In cut No. 16 is seen the sectional view, showing the pillars in the porch, drawn to scale, eighteen cubits high.
In cut No. 17 is seen a general view of the ruins at Paestum, a long since abandoned Grecian city. The building at the left is the Temple of Neptune, and the other the Temple of Ceres, dating from the early part of the sixth century B.C., and, therefore, contemporaneous with Solomon's Temple. Jachin and Boaz stand within the porch, and are architecturally known as "columns in antis." Returning now to cut No. 14, note how accurately the Temple of Neptune corresponds. Returning to Paestum, cut No. 18 is a rear view, looking from within. The pillars, including the chapiters, are twenty-nine feet high, or less than half the height assigned to Jachin and Boaz, when we say they were forty cubits, or sixty feet high.
The Theseum, the other temple to which the scale drawings apply, is at Athens, and is seen in cut No. 19. It was contemporaneous with the Temple of Solomon, and, like the temple at Paestum, is remarkably well preserved. In size it is 45x104, with pillars nineteen feet high. Cut No. 20 is a near view of the front. The pillars corresponding to Jachin and Boaz are seen within the porch at the middle.
Neither do the other temples at Athens furnish the remotest suggestion of such an anomaly as a building with its porch higher than the main structure. The world renowned Parthenon is shown in cut No. 21, as it now appears. The portion here shown dates 450 B. C., but it stands on a foundation containing sections of columns from a temple erected in the prehistoric past. This part of the foundation is seen in cut No. 22.
The Erectheum, at Athens, is an Ionic structure dating from the fifth century B. C. In cut No. 23 is a view of the north porch, famed for its excellence. Its pillars are twenty feet. In cut No. 23a is a view of the Erectheum from the south, showing the east and west porches. In cut 23b is seen the porch of the Caryatids at the west entrance to the Erectheum, the most famous porch of which there are any remains. Though contemporaneous with the Temple of Solomon, and odd to the verge of a dream, it yet adheres to the principles of reasonable construction, and its renowned female columns are not reaching over the top of the temple.
In cut No. 24 is shown a porch from the Temple of Castor and Pollux, at Girgenti. The four pillars shown are all that remain standing of the temple. This temple was 51x111, with pillars twenty-one feet high, and dates from the fifth century B.C.
Think of it, here are the ruins of grand temples contemporaneous with that of Solomon, and how high are their pillars? At Paestum twenty nine feet, including the chapiters; of the Theseum, nineteen feet; of Castor and Pollux, twenty-one feet; of the Erectheum, twenty feet, while the Parthenon, over one hundred feet wide, has pillars but thirty-three feet high. Compare with our second degree work, wherein Jachin and Boaz are said to have been forty cubits, or sixty feet high, in a building only forty-five feet wide, a height out of proportion, and, indeed, inconsistent with the architecture of Solomon's time, or for that matter the architecture of any other time.
ROMAN BUILDINGS ON HEBREW FOUNDATIONS
As was said previously, there are no remains in the Holy Land dating back far enough to be of service for the purpose in hand. Yet Baalbec and Palmyra are noted for the ruins of temples dating from later Roman times. As nearly all of them stand on Tyrian or Hebrew foundations, they may be of interest in showing that though built upon and in the midst of the ruins of buildings dating from Hiram and Solomon, no one of them even suggests a porch higher than the temple. In cuts No. 25, 26, and 27 is shown views of the ruins of the Temple of Baalbec, which was a magnificent structure 370x440 feet.
The Temple of the Sun was 130x200 feet, with pillars forty-five feet high (shown in cut No. 28)
Palmyra or Tadmour was built by Solomon. In cuts No. 29 and 30 are views of its ruins, but there is no suggestion even here of a building with its porch higher than the main structure.
Tyre, next after Jerusalem, is the most interesting spot to Masons, but nothing in point could be secured. However, the tomb of Hiram will interest Masons. Six miles outside the present town is the tomb, shown in cut No. 31, and so far as can be learned it is the real thing, the actual resting place of Hiram, King of Tyre. To the right will he noticed a square and compass cut in the rock, but by whom and when are questions that cannot be answered. In the same way the southeast corner of the original wall of Solomon is of interest(shown in cut No. 32). At this point the wall stands 60 feet above the ground. In 1862 Captain Warren dug down to the beginning of this wall, which he found eighty feet below the surface, and showed that the portion below grade was part of the original wall made in preparing the temple site. On the under side of the stones were numerous red marks or signs, which he could not explain.
The principal buildings now on the temple areas are the Mosque of Omar, known as the Dome of Rock, which Ferguson says dates from the first century of our era, and the Mosque el Aksa, built about five hundred years later. Though interesting, they are only of negative value to the purpose in hand, for though built on the very site of Solomon's Temple and amid its ruins, they give no hint of such a building as is now described when the second degree is conferred. In cut No. 33 is shown one of the four porches of The Dome of Rock. This building is an octagon, measuring one hundred and fifty feet in diameter and sixty-six feet on a side. The dome is sixty-five feet in diameter and ninety-seven feet high.
Here, then, is a building two thousand years old, standing on the very site of Solomon's Temple, and indeed it is believed to contain material once a part of Solomon's Temple — yet take note that the pillars are proportioned to the main building and support the facade.
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Mad wars destroy in one year the works of many years of peace.
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MASONIC HISTORY — SUGGESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
Bro. John T. Thorp, England
MASONIC students — the majority of them — are agreed that this Craft of Masonry to which we belong was originally, and for many centuries, almost exclusively operative, and that it is to our forefathers in the craft that we are indebted for those magnificent structures, temples, cathedrals, palaces, and abbeys, which are spread more or less all over Europe, and which are at once our wonder, our admiration, and our pride. Now, just when and just where this brotherhood of Masons originated we do not know. Indeed, we may never know; it is so old, it goes so far back into the mists of antiquity, that its beginnings are lost. But this we know, that, like many other things, it began somewhere in the East, and advanced, travelling by slow steps in the trail of the sun, towards the West. Some are of the opinion that it originated in India, one of the oldest civilizations that is known, the land of golden sunshine, of marvelous temples. It may be so. Others, again, think they can trace its origin to the land of Egypt — a land which is still full of wonder and full of mystery. But whenever and wherever this brotherhood originated, students today have come to the conclusion that its establishment was due primarily to two causes. First, that it was due to the dangerous character of the employment. Of all the occupations to which men in the early days applied themselves, the Mason's was, and is still, one of the most dangerous. He had to work with sharp-edged tools, he had to deal with huge masses of material, he had to convey these materials from the places where they were prepared to where the building was being erected, and he had to raise these materials to considerable heights from the ground — all of this probably with very imperfect and unsuitable tools. It is fair to assume that no large building was erected in olden times without considerable loss of life and injury to limb. Now we believe that this dangerous character of their common employment drew together the various members of the building craft into a brotherhood, bound and banded together for mutual assistance, protection, and support. If you come to think about it you must see that it is very probable to have been the case. What brings people together? A common danger, a common experience, does it not? I once knew two men who were as unlike as two men could possibly be; no one could understand what made them fast and firm friends. What was it'! They had each lost their father when they were young, and a common sorrow brought them together, and bound them together in an almost life-long friendship. And so we can understand that the dangerous character of a common employment would bind the Masons together into a brotherhood. A second cause seems also to have operated in a similar direction. It is this: While most of the early craftsmen were occupied, as I have said, with simple work, work that required little skill, making what was for temporary use, as, for instance, the manufacture of clothing, or the materials for clothing, furniture and utensils for the household, implements for agriculture, weapons for the chase, or for war, all more or less for temporary use, excellence of work, however desirable, was not absolutely necessary. But the masons did not build for today nor for tomorrow; they built for the ages to come. And how well they built we know, for many remains are still there to prove it. And so, in order to ensure that none but suitable men should get admission into their brotherhood, the Masons probably bound themselves together, in order that they might prevent anyone joining their brotherhood, except those whom they were perfectly certain would be a strength to their community and an ornament to their craft. This is a subject I recommend to your study. We have not by any means yet got to the bottom of all this. I am giving you the results of our latest investigations, but we have still much to learn. There are still many things to discover, and I recommend this subject to you as a study and for your research. What was at the back and the beginning of this establishment of Freemasonry is a study well worth all the time you can spare to devote to it.
Starting, then, somewhere in the East — we do not know where — our brethren travelled slowly westward, through Phoenicia and Palestine, where they built the temple of Jerusalem, much of which is mythical, though in connection therewith we have the first historical account of the division of Masons into classes — on through Asia Minor, entering Europe by way of Byzantium, the present Constantinople, through Greece to Rome, where, already, several centuries before the Christian era, we find the Masons strongly established, firmly bound together, and working diligently in the erection of "stately and superb edifices," under the name of Collegia. One would fain use an English word, but I do not know that there is one that exactly translates it. Collegia were corporations of persons associated together in pursuit of a common object — rather a long phrase, but that is what it means. Well, no doubt, many of the members of these Collegia were neither more nor less than trade unionists. The Collegia, however, were not all of them composed of workmen, but they were established and continued for many and very varied purposes and objects. For instance, not only were there collegia of masons, but there were collegia of architects, collegia of artists, collegia of painters, collegia of musicians, collegia of civil servants, collegia of those who were learned in the law, collegia of those who practiced medicine and surgery, collegia also of those who occupied themselves in the sacred ministry of religion; but still no doubt a great many were purely trade organizations. Now these collegia are an exceedingly interesting study. Bro. Ravenscroft has written a book dealing with this subject, in which he gives an interesting insight into it. But he has not completed it yet. There is still much more to discover, and again I recommend this subject to your study. These collegia were an exceedingly interesting body of men, and in many respects they resembled the Freemasons' Lodges of today, as, for example, their brotherhood being divided into three classes, as with us. Their first class they called learners; we call them apprentices. I need scarcely remind you that the word apprentice means a learner. Their second class they called colleagues or companions; we call them fellows of the craft. Fellows are companions, are they not? A school-fellow is your school companion. See how similar, even in terms, these classes were. The third class they called magistri or masters. The duty of the masters was not only to prepare plans and designs, and to superintend the erection of the building in hand, but also to teach the learners. You will remember that when you were invested with the badge of a master mason, you were told, among other things, it would be your duty to afford instruction and assistance to the brethren in the inferior degrees. So the brethren of today in this twentieth century can clasp hands with the brethren of the old collegia of Rome, over two thousand years of time.
In the early years of the Christian era, Rome, the seat of the principal of these collegia, was mistress of the world. Her frontiers, as you know, from history, extended far and wide, and in all the outlying portions of the huge Roman Empire colonies had been established, guarded, and protected by legions of Roman soldiers. In these colonies, at any rate in the Roman colonies in England, there have been discovered traces of collegia of masons as early as the reign of the Emperor Claudius, Anno Domini 50. So, in the first century of this era, there were in England organized bodies of masons banded together for the erection especially of "stately and superb edifices," some of which ornament and adorn this land at the present day.
But after two or three centuries of almost worldwide domination, the great Roman Empire was invaded by the Goths and Huns, semi-civilized warriors from the north, and to resist the invasion and to protect the Imperial city, the Roman legions were summoned hastily back to Rome. They went, and along with them there went many members of the collegia, for the Roman soldier was not only a soldier, he was also a workman. And how well he worked, and what excellent roads he made, we all know. Resistance was all in vain. Rome was taken and sacked, the collegia of masons were dispersed, and a small remnant of the members, according to the accounts that are left to us, fled northwards. There, on the little island of Comacina, in Lake Como, they secluded themselves, and through two centuries they remained there, sharing with one another the secrets and mysteries of their craft, emerging now and again from their hiding places to do a little work in their immediate neighborhood, anxiously waiting and watching for the time to come when they could set themselves more publicly to work at their craft.
Two centuries passed — we call them the Dark Ages, for they were dark — but at length the time came when the forces of misrule and disorder had spent themselves, and the masons once more emerged from their hiding places and set themselves diligently to work. Their first duty was to restore in a measure the ravages of the Goths, and, having accomplished this, they set out once more on their journey towards the golden West; through Lombardy, Switzerland, Germany, and Gaul they travelled, and thence on to England, where, by the time of Ethelstan, A. D. 926-940, we find them strongly established under the name of Gilds.
Now of these gilds we know a great deal; but we do not know everything. Mr. J. Toulmin Smith and others have written very learnedly about the gilds. There was a great deal about the Gild of Corpus Christi that we do not know yet, and if any of you have begun the study of early English gilds, you will, I am sure, have found it a very fascinating one, and I recommend you to proceed with it. These gilds seem to have been similar in some respects to the collegia, and it is quite possible, they were established on the ruins of the old Roman collegia.
I have just mentioned Ethelstan. Now Ethelstan was a wonderful man. We do not know one-half we as masons owe to Ethelstan. He was the grandson of Alfred the Great, and the first to call himself King of England. He was a wise and pacific prince, and he gave the land just and wise laws. He cultivated the arts of peace, and, as one of the records says of him, "He brought the land to rest and peace, and builded great buildings of abbeys and castles, for he loved masons well." We cannot wonder that gilds flourished during Ethelstan's time, that they spread themselves all over the nation, becoming exceedingly powerful, and doing exceedingly good work. They flourished for several centuries, and were only finally suppressed in the reign of Edward VI., about the middle of the sixteenth century. These gilds we are now coming a little more to modern times — were exceedingly powerful. It is an astonishing thing that all through the ages the masons have been an exceedingly powerful body. The reasons for it you will probably ascertain if you read the early records diligently. These gilds had special privileges. For instance, they were allowed to frame their own rules and regulations, and to enforce obedience to them. Indeed, in some towns the records tell us that the municipal authorities themselves assisted the gild of masons to enforce obedience. How great a privilege that was I need scarcely remind you; ordinary working men then had no power, for it was the King, the barons, and the Church that usurped it all. Ordinary common folk, like you and me, had no power, but the masons, banded together, were sufficiently powerful to say to the authorities of a town, "These are our rules and we want you to assist us to enforce obedience to them"; and they did. Another privilege they possessed was the great power they had in controlling any branches of business, trade or manufacture. Thus, no one could follow the trade of a mason in any town unless he was a member of the local masons' gild — so that practically they had the control of our craft of masonry in any particular town. It is a common and trite saying, that for every privilege you get, you get a responsibility; and I believe you do. A man is wealthy, and he has the responsibility of his wealth. He does not always recognize it, but I firmly believe that with every privilege there is given a responsibility along with it.
Now these old gild masons of five hundred years ago had responsibilities and restrictions over against their privileges. And what were they? Inasmuch as municipal authorities granted them extensive jurisdiction, they, on their part, promised to stand by the authorities. And members of masons' gilds were not allowed to accept work outside the town in which the gild was established. They were to remain there, and constantly to be in readiness in case the authorities required their assistance for the repairs or extension of the castle or the town walls. You will easily see how necessary it was, in those troublous times of five hundred years ago, when every man was against his neighbor, the King was against everybody, and the barons spent most of their time in quarrelling — you can understand how necessary it was in those times that there should be a strong and competent body of masons to see that the defense of the town was properly secured.
I now ask you to consider a very important date in the history of this fraternity of ours. This date was 1376, for in the records of the City of London of that year we first meet with the word "Freemason." It is quite possible it may have been in much earlier use, but that is the earliest date at which we find it. Inasmuch as the word "Freemason" is used in connection with, and in contradistinction to the word "Mason," it is clear that there was some difference between the two.
Who, and what were the Freemasons of the fourteenth century? It is a fascinating study, and it has fascinated scores of us. We do not yet know the truth of the matter. Many suggestions have been made from time to time. Many have thought the word "free" had reference to the material in which the mason worked. The "free" mason was said to be the man who worked the "free" stone, the squared stone, whereas the ordinary mason was the rough-stone worker. Others, again, were inclined to believe that a Freemason was a man who was "free of his gild." Many students, however, are now accepting the theory which was propounded some years ago by a very prominent Freemason, alas, no longer with us, our late Bro. Speth. Briefly, it is this: — After the Norman Conquest in 1066 a great many ecclesiastics flocked over from the Continent to England, and a whole host of cathedrals, churches, abbeys, priories, and monasteries were established all over the country. Now, in order to erect buildings of that character, experienced masons were necessary. When these buildings were being erected in towns, the gild would be able to supply sufficient skilled labor. But it was the case often with abbeys, that they were built far from any populous center, and the ecclesiastical authorities found it exceedingly difficult to get the amount of skilled labor that was necessary to erect these buildings. Now it is believed that they succeeded, by bribes or by promises of higher wages, or better conditions of work, in detaching a great many of the skilled gild masons from their allegiance to the gilds, and making them free — not free of the gild, they were free of the gild before, but free from all the limitations, restrictions, and responsibilities which attachment to the rules of the gild imposed upon them — free to travel here and there whenever they liked, free from all those restrictions and bonds which had been usual with them. Thus there were at the same time two distinct bodies of masons working in England, the gild masons and the church-building Freemasons, and it is from this latter body that we believe the Freemasons of today are descended.
Now, I will try if I can to show you some of the distinctions between the two bodies of masons. In the Middle Ages, to which period I am now coming, nearly all the architects were ecclesiastics; bishops, abbots, and priors. I won't say exclusively, but a great many of them were architects; thus from their association with these ecclesiastics, and from the fact that they were occupied in the erection of ecclesiastical edifices and church building, the Freemasons became an exceedingly religious body. They were permeated with religious ideas and religious symbolism, and their work was done in a great measure as a religious duty, and, I think, that fact accounts in a great measure for the splendid beauty and excellence of the cathedrals in this land. That work was done as a religious duty, and I believe these beautiful piles of architecture are a consequence and a result of that fact. Now, we know that many of these old bishops were architects. We know, for example, that Bishop Hugh, of Lincoln, not only prepared plans and designs, but worked with the workmen. He himself squared the stones, carried them with his own hands to the ladder, and along the scaffolding, and placed them in their position in the building. And we are told that all such master masons 'were teachers of apprentices of architecture — this ecclesiastical architecture; they instructed them, and, we believe that when they instructed the apprentices in the use of the square, the level, the plumbrule, the compasses, the mallet, and the chisel, as working tools, at the same time they instructed them in the symbolism of those tools. Then I would remind you that the verbiage of our Masonic ceremonial is comparatively modern. All our three degrees, certainly are not more than 200 to 220 years old, if as much, but our symbolism is exceedingly old. Some of it goes back even prior to the time of Christ, so it is quite possible that the apprentices of olden times, while they were instructed in the operative part of their craft, were also taught by their ecclesiastical teachers the symbolic meaning of the working tools which they were using with their hands. We believe, many of us, that this accounts to some extent for the religious character of our ceremonials of today. It has come along through the ages that are past, right down to the present; and that our ceremonial will always remain a religious ceremonial is our hope and prayer.
These church-building masons then were an exceeding religious body. The gild masons were not so eminently religious. It is true they had their Saint's days, and they went most religiously to church, but the records tell us that those days frequently ended in scenes of drunkenness and rioting. Again, the gild masons were strictly local bodies. Their operations were restricted to the area within the town walls, and if a mason wished to leave his employer and take service with another, all that he had to do was to refer the new prospective employer to the gild books for his character and qualifications. The church-building Freemasons, on the contrary, were by no means a local body. They traveled hither and thither throughout the land, and settled wherever they could find work suitable for them. They had, therefore, no books and no employers, except at long distances, to whom they could refer their new masters for their character and qualifications. So they took with them something else; they took with them "a sign, token, and word." By that means they could prove that they were what they professed to be, and that they occupied certain positions in the craft which they professed to occupy. That was the proof they took, and that was sufficient for their employers.
So our brethren traveled throughout the length and breadth of the land, through several centuries, beautifying and adorning it with "stately and superb edifices," which are at once our joy, and our pride, and which constitutes a grand and glorious heritage to us, today, from times that are past. Then you may ask me, what was this sign, token, and word? Ah, we should like to know — very much like to know.
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Now, whence came this "sign, token, and word"? We read a good deal about a certain meeting or convention being held in the city of York, in 926, and we are told that the rules and regulations of the masons were framed at that meeting, and that the "sign, token, and word" were established there, and carried from that meeting throughout the land. There is no proof of it, but at the same time there must have been a meeting somewhere, where these rules and regulations were adopted, and it is quite possible it was held in the City of York, but we do not know. We still seek more light, and every few years a little ray of light comes to us out of the darkness. Now, of the rules and regulations framed during the period to which I have been referring, many copies are in existence — about seventy — and they are very interesting documents. Of the seventy, not two are exactly alike; yet there is such a similarity between them, that we are quite justified in believing that they originated from one far-off long lost original. They commence with an invocation to the Trinity, which we believe is the original of our opening prayer in the First Degree. There follows the traditional history, introducing men such as Lamech, Noah, Hermes, Euclid, Tubal Cain, David, King Solomon, coming down to Naymus Graecus, Charles Martel, and ending with Ethelstan. Inasmuch as the traditional history ends with Ethelstan, we are justified in believing that it was about that time that these rules were arranged and coded.
With regard to these rules, I want to say a word or two. Although we are of the opinion that the bishops not only taught the use of the working tools, but also their symbolic meanings, still one would naturally expect that the rules and regulations of an operatives' society would, at any rate, give prominence to operative rules. Strange to say, they do not. A great many of the rules — the majority of them — regulate conduct between employed and employers, the conduct of the employer towards the workman, and the conduct of the workmen towards one another. You would naturally expect that; but right in front of these rules and regulations are three which are not operative, but dealing with faith and conduct. Let me read from a manuscript of the fourteenth century, one of the very earliest we have: —
(1) That whoso will con this craft and come to estate (position) He must love well God and holy church algate.
(2) And to his liege Lord the King To be true to Him over alle thing.
(3) And thy fellows thou love also For that the craft will that thou do.
Is it not significant that right in the front of these rules — operative rules and regulations which bound them together as an operative society of working men, there should be these three rules for faith and conduct? It seems to me to be exceedingly significant. These same rules I could trace for you in documents of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, until we come to our books of Constitutions, and there we get the same thing only in modern phraseology, right through the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. So long as these rules and regulations have existed, never mind how they changed in course of years, there always stood, right in front of them, these three — love of God, fidelity to the King, and assistance and loyalty to one another.
The golden age of operative Freemasonry was the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, for during that period the whole of our grand and glorious English cathedrals were erected. Then came the decline — due probably to three causes, first, the long-continued war — civil war — Masonry is an art of peace — war destroys and Masonry erects, and Masonry never did flourish in times of war. Freemasonry today, alas, is under a cloud, and there are brethren whom we cannot meet. I think it is sad that it should be so. God grant that the cloud may soon pass away, and that Masons the world over may be brothers once again.
The first cause of this decline, as I have said, was the long-continued wars, which impoverished the country. The second cause was the dissolution of the monasteries. The monasteries had been great supporters of the operative masons. The third cause was the advent of Puritanism. The people had always desired that their temples for worship should be the most beautiful and magnificent that man could devise, and skill could accomplish. But when Puritanism came in, they were content with temples of worship which were small in size, with little or no ornamentation, and easy to erect. In their dilemma the masons turned from what had been the wealthiest portion of the community — the Church — to the next wealthiest portion — the landowners, the nobility, and the gentry of the land, and for one or two centuries they appear to have occupied themselves in the erection of "the stately homes of England," many of which still remain through the length and breadth of the land. This brought our ancient brethren into association with a different class of people altogether from that with which they had associated hitherto. Their previous associates had been ecclesiastics, and they had imbibed very much from that association, but now they became associated with men of a different class altogether — men of education, men of leisure, men of wealth. You can understand this would have an effect upon the society, and it had this effect, that many of these landowners were attracted by Freemasonry. They were struck with its antiquity, and they were struck with the many curious claims which were made on its behalf by those who belonged to it. And they were struck, in a measure, by the mystery which surrounded it. There is nothing like mystery to attract people, and so these landowners said, "Can we be masons?" They were attracted all over the country, the men whose mansions were built by the masons, and they began to inquire what it meant. And so they sought admission, and the masons said, "You know we cannot admit you as masons, because you are not masons; but, although you are not, we will accept you as though you were," and that was the origin of the word "accepted" mason. These men were not masons, but they accepted them as brothers, as though they were masons; and so at that time — about the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries — the society was composed of free and accepted masons. In the early part of the eighteenth century the society had again got down to a very low ebb, and the members of four lodges in London decided to make an effort to revive it, and to bring it back to its old position of importance and splendor. These four lodges, therefore, met to see what could be done. There was the lodge at the Goose and Gridiron ale-house, St. Paul's Churchyard, the lodge at the Crown ale-house, the lodge at the Apple Tree Tavern, in Covent Garden, and the lodge at the Rummer and Grapes, Westminster. They met in June, 1717, and established a Grand Lodge, the original of our Grand Lodge of today. They had three principal officers, their Grand Master and Two Grand Wardens. One was speculative and two were operative, showing that the operative element was still the dominating one. Three years later we find that the proportion changes — there were two speculative and only one operative. Six years later we find that the operatives had disappeared. Their three principal officers — the Grand Master and the two Wardens — were all speculative, and from that time our society has been gradually losing its operative character, and for the last century or so we have been practically an exclusively speculative and philosophical society.
There is much more I could say, but I have given you, I think, a good deal to study, much food for thought, and many subjects which I recommend to your attention. But bear this in mind, that amid all the changes that took place in the rules and regulations which bound them together, in the conditions under which they worked, and in the work on which they were employed, the brethren never lost sight of their allegiance to those three rules to which I specially draw your attention. They were the foundation upon which they built the structure, the edifice of Freemasonry. And I am firmly convinced that as long as we Freemasons of today are firm and faithful in our allegiance to our Masonic principles, which are similar, we need never fear but that our society will go on progressing and flourishing. We may rest assured that throughout the ages to come it will weather all storms, it will withstand all shocks of revolution, surviving perhaps the wreck of many empires, and even, let us hope, resist the destroying hand of time.
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Emblem more ancient,
Than order is old,
Whose story, fancy
Has never, all, told.
Culled from the innocent
Protype of Christ,
Worn in Fulfillment
To circumscribe vice.
Presented on entrance,
In "Temples of Light," To Entered Apprentices,
Whose trust is placed right.
Worn on his journey,
From threshhold to Sanctum;
Heart filled with yearning,
Worn by him proud
Through life as a token,
Of acts unallowed,
And secrets unspoken;
Placed on the coffin
Of his last remains,
An emblem to soften
Our loss, of its pains.
— O. E. Looney, M. D.
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THE MEN'S HOUSE
(This address, first given in the form of a sermon to a company of Masons, is published in response to many requests, Brethren wishing to go further in the study of The Men's House may find it scientifically presented by Prof. Hutton Webster, in his "Primitive Secret Societies," especially chapters 1-4 and 10-11.)
Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, England
AFTER all, the great secret of Masonry is that it has no secret, and might better be called the Open Secret of the World. If it retires into the tyled recesses of the lodge and works in the quiet and privacy thereof, it is the better to teach in parable, symbol, emblem and drama those great and simple truths which are to our human world what light and air are to the natural world. When a young man enters a Masonic lodge he is asked whence he came, and what he has come to do. Today let us reverse that order of inquiry and ask of Masonry the question which she asks of all who bow at her altar: Whence it has come, and what service it has to render to humanity? Time does not allow us to answer such questions in detail, but perhaps a brief sketch may provoke others to pursue the study, and thus learn how far back the story of Masonry goes, and how deeply it is rooted in the nature, need and aspiration of the race.
In primitive society there were four institutions, with three of which we are familiar, but the fourth is not so well known. There was, first of all, the most fundamental, the Home the cornerstone of society and civilization. It was crude, as all things were in the morning of the world, yet it had in it the prophecy of that enshrinement of beauty and tenderness into which we were born, and the memory of which remains to consecrate us. There was the Temple of Prayer — not a temple at first, but only a rough altar of uncut stone — uplifted by the same instinct for the Eternal which built the great cathedrals. Its rites were rude, often grotesque and horrible, yet even in the darkness of a great Fear there were gleams of "that light that never was on sea or land" by which we are guided through the labyrinth of the world. Then there was the state, beginning in patriarchal rule, merging thence into the tribe and the nation, and at last we see many nations fused into huge empires which met in the clash of conflict. The state, too, was rude, but it had in it the rudiments of our patriotic devotion to our Republic.
EARLY SOCIETY SECRET
But there was another institution, quite as old as the other three and hardly less important, to which we are more indebted than we realize. Of this hidden institution let me speak more in detail, not only for its human interest, but also for the fact that Masonry perpetuates it among us today. It was called the Men's House, a secret lodge in which every young man, when he came to maturity, was initiated into the law, legend, tradition and religion of his people. Recent research has brought to light this long hidden institution, showing that it was really the center of early tribal life, the council chamber, the guest house, and the meeting place of men where laws were made and courts were held, and where the trophies of war were treasured. Indeed, early society was really a secret society, and unless we keep this fact in mind we can hardly understand it at all. It is the key to the interpretation of the evolution of primitive social life, and without it one can scarcely know the process of human development.
When tribal solidarity was more important than tribal expansion it is hard to exaggerate the value of these lodges as providing bonds based upon feelings of kinship, and as promoting a sense of social unity and loyalty which lies at the root of law, order and religion. Methods of initiation differed in different times and places, but they had, nevertheless, a certain likeness, as they had always the same purpose. Ordeals often severe and sometimes frightful were required — exposing the initiate not only to physical torture, but also the peril of unseen spirits — as tests to prove youth worthy, by reason of virtue and valor, to be entrusted with the secret lore o his people. The ceremonies included vows of chastity, of courage, of secrecy and loyalty, and, almost always, a drama representing the advent of the novice into a new life. Moreover, the new life to which he awoke after his "initiation into manhood," for such it truly was, included a new name, a new language or signs, grips and tokens, and new privileges and responsibilities. If a youth failed to endure the tests, and proved to be a coward or a weakling, he became the scorn of every man of his tribe.
No doubt it was the antiquity of the idea and necessity of initiation which our Masonic fathers had in mind when they said that Masonry began with the beginning of history — and they were not so far wrong as certain smart folk think they were. At any rate, they saw clearly the service of secret societies in the development of civilization, and that, like the home and the temple, the Men's House was one of the great institutions of humanity. When the tribes ceased to be the unit of society, giving place to the nation, the secret training place for men became at once a school and temple, preserving and transmitting the truths of religion, the rudiments of science, and the laws of art, all of which were universally held as sacred secrets to be known only to the initiated. By a certain wise instinct men felt that everything must not be told to everybody, but that men must approve themselves as worthy to receive truths which had cost so much; and that instinct was wise and true. Even the gentle Teacher of Galilee would not cast His pearls before swine, and it was therefore that He taught in parables, cryptic and dim. Hence the great ancient orders called the Mysteries, which ruled the world for ages before our era, and he who would estimate the spiritual possessions of humanity must take account of their influence and power. Thus the Mysteries of Mithra in the East, of Isis in Egypt, and the Eleusian Mysteries of Greece swayed mankind, using every device of art to teach the truths of faith and hope and righteousness. In the temple of the Mysteries, which contained the tradition and ministry of the Men's House, the greatest men of antiquity received initiation — such men as Pythagoras, Plato, Plutarch, to name no others, and Cicero tells us that the truths taught in the house of the hidden place made men love virtue and gave them happy thoughts for the hour of death. Those temples of the Mysteries were shrines where art, philosophy, science and religion had their home, and from which, as time passed, they spread out fanwise along the avenue of human culture.
THE TEMPLE BUILDERS
History is no older than architecture. Man could not become a civilized being until he had learned to build a settled habitation, a Home for his family, a Temple for his faith, a Memorial for his dead. So, and naturally so, the Men's House came at last to be associated with the art of building, with the constructive genius of the race, using the laws and tools of the builder as emblems to teach the truths of faith and morality. Long before our era we find an order of Builders called the Dionysian Artificers, working in Asia Minor, where they erected temples, theatres and palaces — a secret order whose ceremonies perpetuated the ancient drama of the Mysteries — and they were almost certainly the builders of the Temple of Solomon. Thence we trace them eastward into India, and westward into Rome, where they were identified with the Roman College of Architects whose emblems have come down to us.
When Rome fell a band of artists took refuge on a fortified island in Lake Como, in Northern Italy, where ' for a period they lived, offering an asylum to their persecuted fellows, and where they preserved the traditions of classic art. From them descended the great order of Comacine Masters — the Cathedral Builders — whom we can trace through the middle ages, and who early became known as Freemasons — free, because they were exempt from many restraints, and unlike Gild Masons, were permitted to travel at liberty wherever their work required. They were great artists, commanding the service of the finest intellects of the age, yet so bound together that, as Hallam said, no cathedral can be traced to any one artist. For the cathedrals were not the work of any one man, but the creation of a fraternity who so united the spirit of fraternity with a sense of the sanctity of art as to obliterate individual aggrandizement and personal ambition.
Thus the Freemasons traveled through the years, building those monuments of beauty and prayer which still consecrate the earth, until the decline of Gothic architecture, when the order of Cathedral Builders began to decline. As early as 1600, scholars and students of mysticism began to ask to be accepted as members of lodges of Freemasons, the better to study their symbolism and teachings — as, for example, Ashmole, who founded the museum which bears his name at Oxford. These men though not actual architects, were accepted as members of the order, hence Free and Accepted Masons. From earliest time, as we may learn from our own Bible — as well as from many ancient writings, such as the Chinese classics and the Egyptian Book of the Dead — the tools and laws of building had been used as symbols of moral and spiritual truth; and when the work of practical architecture became so changed as no longer to require the service of a fraternal order, the Freemasons ceased to be builders of temples of brick and stone, but retained their organization and traditions — builders not less than before, but using their tools as symbols of the truths and principles with which they sought to build a Temple of Righteousness and Friendship upon earth.
FREEDOM, FRIENDSHIP, FRATERNITY
This newer Masonry, as it has been called, took form in the organization of the Grand Lodge of England, in 1717, from which it has descended to us having spread all over the civilized world. Forming one great society of devout and free men, it toils in every land in behalf of Freedom, Friendship and Fraternity among men, seeking to establish government without tyranny and religion without superstition; seeking, that is, to refine and exalt the lives of men, to purify their thought and ennoble their faith; teaching them to live and let live, to think and let think, to love peace and pursue it. Truly, the very existence of such an order of men, initiated, sworn and trained to uphold all the redeeming ideals of humanity, is an eloquent and far-shining fact. It does not solicit members, save in so far as its influence in a community may invite the cooperation of right-thinking men who wish to foster what is noblest in humanity, toiling the while to strengthen that social and moral sentiment which gives to law its authority and to the gospel its sovereign opportunity.
What, then, is Masonry? For one thing, let it be said with all emphasis that it is in no sense a political society, and its historic Constitutions — called Old Charges — forbid the discussion of political issues in its lodges "as what never yet conduced to the welfare of the lodge, nor never will." Individual Masons, like others, have their political opinions; but as Masons, and certainly as a lodge of Masons, we never take part in political disputes. There was once an anti-Masonic political party in this country, born of falsehood and fed on fanaticism, which defeated Henry Clay for the presidency because he was a Mason; but, without intending to do so, it elected Jackson, who was also a Mason. While Masonry is not a political order — for politics divides men, and it is the mission of Masonry to unite them — it does train men for citizenship, and it is a fact that it did in this way write its basic principles of civil and religious liberty into the organic law of this Republic. Our first President was a Master Mason, and was sworn into office on an open Bible taken from a Masonic altar.
Having presided over the birth of this Republic, the Masonic order has stood guard all down the years of its history, its altar lights along the heights of liberty; and so it will be to the end. Let it never be forgotten that, in an evil hour, when States were torn apart and churches were rent in two, the fellowship of Masonry remained unbroken, true and tender amidst the mad passion of civil war. If it was unable to prevent the strife, it did mitigate the horrors of it, building rainbow bridges from battle line to battle line. When this period of Masonic history is told, as it is my purpose sometime to tell it, men will see what Masonry meant in those awful years, and how nobly it labored against untold odds, in behalf of friendship; even as it labors today, without resting and without lasting, for freedom, gentleness and justice between men and nations.
Nor is Masonry a church, unless we use the word church as Ruskin used it when he said, "There is a true church wherever one hand meets another helpfully, the only holy or mother church that ever was or ever shall be." But if we use the word in its specific sense, Masonry is not a church, nor is it the enemy of any church of any name, seeking instead, to bring men of every faith together the better to teach them to love and honor one another. To that end it invites them to an altar of prayer, laying emphasis only upon that which underlies all creeds and over-arches all sects, while laboring in behalf of that love without which St. Paul said truly that the most perfect theology is nothing. It holds that all true-hearted men are everywhere of one religion, and that when they come to know what they have in common they will discover that they are brethren. Today the religious world, by reason of closer fellowship and a finer courtesy, is moving rapidly toward the Masonic position as set forth in the Constitutions of 1717, and when it arrives Masonry will rejoice in a scene which she has prophesied for ages.
WHAT, THEN, IS MASONRY?
If Masonry is neither a political party nor a religious cult, what, then, is it? It is a world-wide fraternity of God-fearing men, founded upon spiritual faith and moral truth, using the symbols of architecture to teach men the art of building character; a historic fellowship in the search for truth and the service of the ideal, whose sacramental mission is to make men friends and train them in righteousness and liberty. It is, therefore, that it wins the confidence of young men, teaches them to pray to the God whom their fathers trusted, and upon the open Bible which their mothers read asks them to take solemn vows to be good men and true, chaste of heart and charitable of mind, and to build the edifice of their faith and hope and conduct upon the homely old moralities, and to estimate the worth of life by its service and its sanctity. By as much as this spirit prevails, by so much will this sad earth be healed of the wounds of war, the shame of greed and lust and all injustice and unkindness!
Come, clear the way, then, clear the way;
Blind creeds and kings have had their day;
Break the dead branches from the path:
Our hope is in the aftermath —
Our hope is in heroic men,
Star-led to build the world again.
To this event the ages ran —
Make way for Brotherhood — make way for Man!
* * *
Bro. Roscoe Pound
Dean, Harvard College of Law
I. THE LANDMARKS
By landmarks in Freemasonry we are generally supposed to mean certain universal, unalterable and unrepealable fundamentals which have existed from time immemorial and are so thoroughly a part of Masonry that no Masonic authority may derogate from them or do aught but maintain them. Using constitution in the American political sense, as I said in the first lecture, they may be said to be the prescriptive constitution of Freemasonry.
Not long ago it was a general article of Masonic belief that there were such landmarks. The charge to the Master Mason taken by our American monitors from Preston's Illustrations, seemed to say so. The first and second charges to the master in the installation service (numbered 10 and 11 in Webb's version) — also taken from Preston's Illustrations — seemed to say so. The books on Masonic jurisprudence in ordinary use and Masonic cyclopedias told us not only that there were landmarks but exactly what the landmarks were in great detail. Probably any master of an American lodge of a generation ago, who was reasonably well posted would have acquiesced in the confident dogmatism of Kipling's Junior Deacon, who "knowed the ancient landmarks" and "kep' 'em to a hair." Hence it may well shock many even now, to tell them that it is by no means certain that there are any landmarks at all — at least in the sense above defined. For myself, I think there are such landmarks. But I must confess the question is not so clear as to go without argument in view of the case which has been made to the contrary. Accordingly I conceive that there are two questions which the student of Masonic jurisprudence must investigate and determine: (1) Are there landmarks at all; (2) if so, what are the landmarks of the Craft? And in this investigation, as I conceive, he will find his path made more straight if he attends carefully to the distinction between the landmarks and the common law of Masonry, which I attempted to explain in my former lecture.
It is well to approach the question whether there are landmarks historically. The first use of the term appears to have been in Payne's "General Regulations," published with Anderson's Constitutions of 1723. Payne was the second Grand Master after the revival of 1717. If entirely authentic, these regulations, coming from one who took a prominent part in the revival, would be entitled to the very highest weight. But many believe that Anderson took some liberties with them, and if he did, of course to that extent the weight of the evidence is impaired. There is no proof of such interpolation or tampering — only a suspicion of it. Hence in accord with what seem to me valid principles of criticism, I must decline to follow those who will never accept a statement of Anderson's, creditable in itself, without some corroboration, and shall accept Anderson's Constitutions on this point at their face value.
How then does Payne (or Anderson) use the term "landmark"? He says: "The Grand Lodge may make or alter regulations, provided the old landmarks be carefully preserved." It must be confessed this is not clear. Nearly all who have commented on the use of the term in Payne's Regulations, as reported by Anderson, have succeeded in so interpreting the text as to sustain their own views. Perhaps there could be no better proof that the text is thoroughly ambiguous. Three views as to what is meant seem to have support from the text.
One view is that Payne used the word landmark in the sense in which we now commonly understand it. This is consistent with the text and has in its favor the uniform belief of Masons of the last generation, the Prestonian charge to the Master Mason and the Prestonian installation ceremony. I should have added tradition, were I sure that the tradition could be shown to antedate the end of the eighteenth century, or indeed to be more than a result of the writings of Dr. Mackey, in combination with the charges just referred to. A second view is that Payne used the word landmark in the sense of the old traditional secrets of the operative Craft and hence that for use today the term can mean no more than a fundamental idea of secrecy. This interpretation is urged very plausibly by Bro. Hextall, P. Prov. G. M. of Derbyshire, in an excellent paper on the landmarks — entitled "The Old Landmarks of the Craft" — in the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, vol. 25, p. 91.
A third view is that Anderson, finding the term in Payne's Regulations, where the word was used in an operative sense — for Payne undoubtedly used operative manuscripts — used it without inquiry into its exact meaning, and without troubling himself as to how far it had a concrete meaning, and so made it available as a convenient and euphonious term to which others might attach a meaning subsequently as Masonic law developed. This last view, which eminent authorities now urge, is a fair specimen of the uncharitable manner in which it is fashionable among Masonic scholars to treat the father of Masonic history. But it should be said that such a phenomenon would have an exact counterpart in the law of the land under which we live. Historians are now telling us of the "myth of Magna Carta," and it is undoubtedly true that the immemorial rights and privileges of Englishmen which our fathers asserted at the Revolution were at least chiefly the work of Sir Edward Coke in the seventeenth century and that he succeeded in finding warrant therefor in what we have since regarded as the charters of civil liberty. Nevertheless Coke was right in finding in these charters the basis for a fundamental scheme of individual rights. And may we not say that Mackey was equally right in insisting upon a scheme of Masonic jural fundamentals and finding warrant therefor in his books in the references to the landmarks, even if Payne and Anderson were not very clear what they meant by that word?
Next we may inquire how the term has been used since Anderson's Constitutions .
In 1775 Preston, in his Illustrations of Masonry, clearly uses the word landmarks as synonymous with established usages and customs of the Craft — in other words as meaning what I have called Masonic common law. This is indicated by the context in several places. But it is shown conclusively by two passages in which he expressly brackets "ancient landmarks" with "established usages and customs of the order" as being synonymous. He does this in referring to the ritual of the Master Mason's degree, which in each case he says preserves these ancient landmarks. Preston's Illustrations of Masonry was expressly sanctioned by the Grand Lodge of England. Hence we have eighteenth-century warrant for contending that every thing which is enjoined in the Master Mason's obligation is a landmark. But, if this means landmark in the sense of merely an established custom, we are no better off.
Perhaps one might argue that the Grand Lodge of England was more concerned with sanctioning the proposition that the Master's degree preserved ancient landmarks than with Preston's definition of a landmark! However this may be, it is manifest that here, as in the case of Anderson, there is very little basis for satisfactory argument.
Some further light is thrown on Preston's views by the charge to the Master Mason and the charges propounded to the Master at installation, as set forth in the Illustrations of Masonry . The former may well refer to the landmarks contained in the Master Mason's obligation. The proposition in the latter, however, suggests the idea of an unalterable prescriptive fundamental law. The Master elect is required to promise to "strictly conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge or General Assembly of Masons that is not subversive of the principles and groundwork of Masonry." Also he is required to testify "that it is not in the power of any man or body of men to make alterations or innovation in the body of Masonry." These principles, this groundwork, this body of Masonry, whether we use the term landmarks or not, convey the very idea which has become familiar to us by that name.
The next mention of landmarks is in Ashe's Masonic Manual, published in 1813. But Ashe simply copies from Preston.
In 1819 the Duke of Suffolk, G. M. of England, issued a circular in which he said: "It was his opinion that so long as the Master of the lodge observed exactly the landmarks of the Craft he was at liberty to give the lectures in the language best suited to the character of the lodge over which he presided." The context here indicates clearly that he meant simply the authorized ritual.
Next we find the term used by Dr. George Oliver in a sermon before the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lincolnshire in 1820. In this sermon Oliver tells us that our "ancient landmarks" have been handed down by oral tradition. But he does not suggest what they are nor does he tell us the nature of a landmark. Afterwards in 1846 Oliver published his well-known work in two large volumes entitled Historical Landmarks of Freemasonry . One will look in vain to this book, however, for any suggestion of Dr. Oliver's views on the matter we are now discussing. The book is an account of the history of the Craft, and the word landmark in the title is obviously used only in the figurative sense of important occurrences — as the phrase "beacon light," for example, is used in Lord's "Beacon Lights of History." Oliver does not use the term again till his Symbol of Glory, in 1850. In that book he asks the question: "What are the landmarks of Masonry, and to what do they refer" — in other words, the very thing we are now discussing. His answer is most disappointing. He begins by telling us that what landmarks are and what are landmarks "has never been clearly defined." He then explains that in his book, Historical Landmarks, just spoken of, he is speaking only of "the landmarks of the lectures," and adds — obviously referring to the sense in which we are now using the term — that there are other landmarks in the ancient institution of Freemasonry which have remained untouched in that publication, and it is not unanimously agreed to what they may be confined.
Next (1856) occurred the publication of Dr. Mackey's epoch-making exposition of the term and his well-known formulation of twenty-five landmarks. I shall return to these in another connection. But it is interesting to see the effect of this upon Oliver. In 1863, in his Freemason's Treasury, Oliver classifies the "Genuine landmarks of Freemasonry" into twelve classes, of which he enumerates some forty existing, and about a dozen others as obsolete ( nota bene ) or as spurious. But he admits that we "are grovelling in darkness" on the whole subject, and that "we have no actual criterion by which we may determine what is a landmark and what not." Nevertheless, Oliver's ideas were beginning to be fixed, as a result of Mackey's exposition, and it is significant that in 1862, Stephen Barton Wilson, a well-known English Masonic preceptor of that time, published an article in the Freemason's Magazine entitled "The Necessity of Maintaining the Ancient Landmarks of the Order" in which he takes landmarks to mean those laws of the Craft which are universal and irrevocable — the very sense which Mackey had adopted. After this, Mackey's definition of a landmark, his criteria of a landmark, and his exposition of the twenty-five landmarks obtained for a time universal acceptance. The whole was reprinted without comment in England in 1877 in Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia . In 1878, Rev. Bro. Woodford, one of the best of the Masonic scholars of the time, questioned the details of Mackey's list, but without questioning his definition or his criteria. In the same way Lockwood, accepting the definition and the criteria, reduced Mackey's list of twenty-five to nineteen.
Presently Masonic scholars reopened the whole subject. Today three radically different views obtain. The first I should call the legal theory, the second the historical theory, the third the philosophical theory. The legal theory accepts Mackey's idea of a body of universal unalterable fundamental principles which are at the foundation of all Masonic law. But the tendency has been to reduce Mackey's list very considerably, although two of our jurisdictions greatly extend it. Nine American Grand Lodges tell us that the old charges contain the ancient landmarks. Six Grand Lodges have adopted statements of their own, varying from the seven of West Virginia and the noteworthy ten of New Jersey to the thirty-nine of Nevada and fifty-four of Kentucky. These declaratory enactments — exactly analogous to the attempts to reduce the fundamental rights of man to chapter and verse in the bills of rights in American constitutions — are highly significant for the study of Masonic common law, and deserve to be examined critically by one who would know the received doctrines of the traditional element in the Masonic legal system. But since the admirable report in New Jersey in 1903 and the careful examination of Mackey's list by Bro. George F. Moore in his paper in the New Age in 1911, it is quite futile to contend for the elaborate formations which are still so common. If, however, we distinguish between the landmarks and the common law, we may still believe that there are landmarks in Mackey's sense and may hope to formulate them so far as fundamental principles may be formulated in any organic institution.
The historical theory, proceeding upon the use of the word landmarks in our books, denies that there is such a thing as the legal theory assumes. The skeptic says, first, that down to the appearance of Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence "landmark" was a term floating about in Masonic writing without any definite meaning. It had come down from the operative Craft where it had meant trade secrets, and had been used loosely for "traditions" or for "authorized ritual" or for "significant historical occurrences," and Oliver had even talked of "obsolete landmarks." Second, he says, the definition of a landmark, the criteria of a landmark, and the fixed landmarks generally received in England and America from 1860 on, come from Mackey. Bro. Hextall says: "It was more because Mackey's list purported to fill an obvious gap than from any signal claims it possessed that it obtained a rapid circulation and found a ready acceptance." Perhaps this is too strong. But it must be admitted that dogmatism with respect to the landmarks cannot be found anywhere in Masonic writings prior to Mackey and that our present views have very largely been formed — even if not wholly formed — by the influence of his writings.
Granting the force of the skeptic's argument, however, it does not seem to me that the essential achievement of Mackey's book is overthrown. I have already shown that a notion of unalterable, fundamental principles and groundwork and of a "body of Masonry" beyond the reach of innovation can be traced from the revival to the present. This is the important point. To seize upon the term landmark, floating about in Masonic literature, and apply it to this fundamental law was a happy stroke. Even if landmark had meant many other things, there was warrant for this use in Payne's Regulations, the name was an apt one, and the institution was a reality in Masonry, whatever its name. The second theory seems to me to go too much upon the use of the word landmark and not enough upon the thing itself.
Under the influence of the second theory, and in a laudable desire to save a useful word, a philosophical theory has been urged which applies the term to a few fundamental ethical or philosophical or religious tenets which may be put at the basis of the Masonic institution. Thus, Bro. Newton in a note to thevaluable paperof Bro. Shepherd in Volume One of The Builder, proposes as a statement of the landmarks: "The fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, the moral law, the Golden Rule, and the hope of a life everlasting." This is admirable of its kind. The Masonic lawyer, however, must call for some legal propositions. Either we have a fundamental law or we have not. If we have, whether it be called the landmarks or something else is no great matter. But the settled usage of England and America since Mackey wrote ought to be decisive so long as no other meaning of the term can make a better title.
Next then, let us take up Mackey's theory of the landmarks, and first his definition. He says the landmarks are "those ancient and universal customs of the order, which either gradually grew into operation as rules of action, or if at once enacted by any competent authority, were enacted at a period so remote that no account of their origin is to be found in the records of history. Both the enactors and the time of the enactment have passed away from the record, and the landmarks are therefore of higher authority than memory or history can reach." In reading this we must bear in mind that it was written in 1856, before the rise of modern Masonic history and before the rise of modern ideas in legal science in the United States. Hence it is influenced by certain uncritical ideas of Masonic history and by some ideas as to the making of customary law reminiscent of Hale's History of the Common Law, to which some lawyer may have directly or indirectly referred him. But we may reject these incidental points and the essential theory will remain unaffected — the theory of a body of immemorially recognized fundamentals which give to the Masonic order, if one may say so, its Masonic character, and may not be altered without taking away that character. It is true Mackey's list of landmarks goes beyond this. But it goes beyond his definition as he puts it; and the reason is to be found in his failure to distinguish between the landmarks and the common law.
Next Mackey lays down three requisites or characteristics of a landmark — (1) immemorial antiquity; (2) universality; (3) absolute irrevocability and immutability. He says:
"It must have existed from time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Its antiquity is an essential element. Were it possible for all the Masonic authorities at the present day to unite in one universal congress and with the most perfect unanimity to adopt any new regulation, although such regulation would while it remained unrepealed be obligatory on the whole Craft, yet it would not be a landmark. It would have the character of universality, it is true, but it would be wanting in that of antiquity." As to the third point, he says:
"As the congress to which I have just alluded would not have the power to enact a landmark, so neither would it have the prerogative of abolishing one. The landmarks of the order, like the laws of the Medes and the Persians, can suffer no change. What they were centuries ago, they still remain and must so continue in force till Masonry itself shall cease to exist."
Let me pause here to suggest a point to the skeptics — for though I am not one of them, I think we must recognize the full force of their case. The point as to the regulation unanimously adopted by the universal Masonic congress is palpably taken from one of the stock illustrations of American law books. The legal futility of a petition of all the electors unanimously praying for a law counter to the constitution or of a resolution of a meeting of all the electors unanimously proclaiming such a law is a familiar proposition to the American constitutional lawyer. One cannot doubt that Mackey had in mind the analogy of our American legal and political institutions. Yet to show this by no means refutes Mackey's theory of a fundamental Masonic law. The idea of an unwritten fundamental law existing from time immemorial is characteristic of the Middle Ages and in another form prevailed in English thought at the time of the Masonic revival. To the Germanic peoples who came into western Europe and founded our modern states, the Roman idea of law as the will of the sovereign was wholly alien. They thought of law as something above human control, and of law-making as a search for the justice and truth of the Creator. In the words of Bracton, the king ruled under God and the law. To Coke in the seventeenth century even Parliament was under the law so that if it were to enact a statute "against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed" the common law would hold that statute void. In the reign of Henry VIII the English Court of Common Pleas actually did hold a statute void which attempted to make the king a parson without the consent of the head of the church and thus interfered with the fundamental distinction between the spiritual and the temporal. In 1701, Lord Holt, Lord Chief Justice of England, repeated Coke's doctrine and asserted that there were limitations upon the power of Parliament founded on natural principles of right and justice. This idea took form in America in our bills of rights and our constitutional law. But it is not at all distinctively American. On the contrary the accidents of legal history preserved and developed the English medieval idea with us although it died in the eighteenth century at home. In the whole period of Masonry in England prior to the revival and in the formative period after the revival, this idea of an unwritten, immemorial fundamental law would have been accepted in any connection in which men spoke or thought of law at all.
When presently I come to the subject of Masonic common law I shall have to take up Mackey's twenty-five landmarks in detail. For I take it his list may I still stand in its main lines as an exposition of our common law. But are there any of his twenty-five which we may fairly accept as landmarks? Perhaps it is presumptuous, after the labors of Lockwood, of Robbins, of the New Jersey committee, and of Moore to venture a formulation of the landmarks simply on my own authority. But the matter is too important to be allowed to rest in its present condition without some attempt to set off what is fundamental on the one hand and what is but established custom on the other hand. Moreover there is less disagreement at bottom than appears upon the surface. To a large extent the difficulties besetting this subject are due to reluctance on the one hand to reject established usages and on the other hand to admit those usages to the position of universality and unalterability involved in putting them in the category of landmarks. When, therefore, we recognize an important category of established customary law, not indeed wholly unalterable, but entitled to the highest respect and standing for the traditional element of our Masonic legal system, we are able at once to dispose of many subjects of controversy and to reduce the matter to a footing that eliminates the most serious features of disagreement. For myself, I should recognize seven landmarks, which might be put summarily as follows: (1) Belief in God; (2) belief in the persistence of personality; (3) a "book of the law" as an indispensable part of the furniture of every lodge; (4) the legend of the third degree; (5) secrecy; (6) the symbolism of the operative art; and (7) that a Mason must be a man, free born, and of age. Two more might be added, namely, the government of the lodge by master and wardens and the right of a Mason in good standing to visit. But these seem doubtful to me, and doubt is a sufficient warrant for referring them to the category of common law.
"Belief in God, the G.A.O.T.U.," says Bro. Moore, "is the first landmark of Freemasonry." Doubtless Mackey would have agreed, though in his list it bears the number nineteen. For this landmark we may vouch:
- The testimony of the old charges in which invariably and from the very beginning there is the injunction to be true to God and holy church. Anderson's change, which produced so much dispute, was directed to the latter clause. As the medieval church was taken to be universal, the addition was natural. In eighteenth-century England there was a manifest difficulty. But the idea of God is universal and there seems no warrant for rejecting the whole of the ancient injunction.
- The resolution of the Grand Lodge of England that the Master Mason's obligation contains the ancient landmarks.
- The religious character of primitive secret societies and all societies and fraternities founded thereon.
- The consensus of Masonic philosophers as to the objects and purposes of the fraternity.
- The consensus of Anglo-American Masons, in the wake of the Grand Lodge of England, in ceasing to recognize the Grand Orient of France after the change in its constitutions made in 1877.
The second landmark, as I have put them, is number twenty in Mackey's list. He says:
"Subsidiary to this belief in God, as a landmark of the order, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life. This landmark is not so positively impressed on the candidate by exact words as the preceding; but the doctrine is taught by very plain implication, and runs through the whole symbolism of the order. To believe in Masonry and not to believe in a resurrection would be an absurd anomaly, which could only be excused by the reflection that he who thus confounded his skepticism was so ignorant of the meaning of both theories as to have no foundation for his knowledge of either."
Perhaps Mackey's meaning here is less dogmatic than his words. Perhaps any religious doctrine of persistence of personality after death would satisfy his true meaning, so that the Buddhist doctrine of transmigration and ultimate Nirvana would meet Masonic requirements. Certainly it is true that our whole symbolism from the entrance naked and defenseless to the legend of the third degree is based on this idea of persistence of personality. Moreover this same symbolism is universal in ancient rites and primitive secret societies. True in the most primitive ones it signifies only the passing of the child and the birth of the man. Yet even here the symbolism is significant. I see no reason to reject this landmark.
We come now to an alleged landmark about which a great controversy still rages. I have put it third. In Mackey's list it is number twenty-one. I will first give Mackey's own words:
"It is a landmark that a 'book of the law' shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every lodge. I say advisedly book of the law because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testaments shall be used. The book of the law is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Hence in all lodges in Christian countries, the book of the law is composed of the Old and New Testaments. In a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the old testament alone would be sufficient; and in Mohammedan countries and among Mohammedan Masons, the Koran might be substituted."
Perhaps the point most open to criticism here is that it must be the book accepted as the word of God by the religion of the country. For example, in India, lodges in which Englishmen sit with Hindus and Mohammedans, keep the Bible, the Koran and the Shasters among the lodge furniture, and obligate the initiate upon the book of his faith.
The essential idea here seems to be that Masonry is, if not a religious institution, at least an institution which recognizes religion and seeks to be a co-worker with it toward moral progress of mankind. Hence it keeps as a part of its furniture the book of the law which is the visible and tangible evidence of the Mason's adherence to religion. In so doing we are confirmed by the evidence of primitive secret societies; for religion, morals, law, church, public opinion, government were all united in these societies at first and gradually differentiated. The relation of Masonry with religion, in its origin, in its whole history, and in its purposes, is so close that there is a heavy burden of proof on those who seek to reject this tangible sign of the relation, which stood unchallenged in universal Masonic usage till the Grand Orient of France in 1877 substituted the book of Masonic constitutions. In view of the universal protest which that action brought forth, of the manifest impossibility of accepting the French resolution as fixing the ends of the order, of the uniform practice of obligating Masons on the book of the law, as far back as we know Masonry, and as shown uniformly in the old charges, it seems impossible not to accept Mackey's twenty-first landmark in the sense of having a recognized book or books of religion among the furniture of the lodge and obligating candidates thereon. Indeed the English Grand Lodge resolution that the Master Mason's obligation includes the landmarks of Masonry, seems fairly to include the taking of that obligation upon the book of the law, as it was then taken.
Fourth I have put the legend of the third degree. This is Mackey's third landmark. "Any rite," he says, "which should exclude it or materially alter it, would at once by that exclusion or alteration cease to be a Masonic rite." Here certainly we have something that meets the criteria of immemorial antiquity and of universality. The symbolism of resurrection is to be found in all primitive secret rites and in all the rites of antiquity and the ceremony of death and re-birth is one of the oldest of human institutions.
Fifth I have put secrecy. Mackey develops this in his eleventh and twenty-third landmarks. The exact limits must be discussed in another connection. But if anything in Masonry is immemorial and universal and if the testimony of ancient and primitive rites counts for anything at all, we may at least set up the equipment of secrecy as an unquestioned landmark.
Sixth I should recognize as a landmark employment of the symbolism of the operative art. This is Mackey's twenty-fourth landmark. Perhaps one might say that it is a fundamental tenet of Masonry that we are Masons! But it is worthy of notice that this symbolism is significantly general in ancient and primitive teaching through secret rites.
Finally I should put it as a landmark that the Mason must be a man, free born, and full age according to the law or custom of the time and place. This is in part Mackey's eighteenth landmark, though he goes further and requires that the man be whole. I shall discuss the latter requirement in connection with Masonic common law. As to the form for which I contend, perhaps I need only vouch (1) the vote of the Grand Lodge of England that the Master Mason's obligation contains the landmarks; (2) universal, immemorial and unquestioned usage; and (3) the men's house of primitive society and its derivatives.
A special question may possibly arise in connection with the proposition that it is a landmark that no woman shall be made a Mason. No doubt all of you have heard of the famous case of Miss St. Leger, or as she afterwards became, the Hon. Mrs. Aldworth, the so called woman Mason. Pictures of this eminent sister in Masonic costume, labelled "The Woman Mason" are not uncommon in our books. The initiating of Mrs. Aldworth is alleged to have taken place in 1735 in lodge No. 44 at Donraile in Ireland. She was the sister, of Viscount Doneraile who was Master, and as the lodge met usually at his residence, Doneraile House, the story is she made a hole in the brick wall of the room with scissors and so watched the first and second degrees from an adjoining room. At this point she fell from her perch and so was discovered. After much debate, so the story goes, the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft obligations were given her. This translation was first made known in a memoir published in 1807 — seventy-two years afterwards. Modern English Masonic historians have examined the story critically and have proved beyond question that it must be put among the Masonic apocrypha. The proof is too long to go into here, where in any event it is a digression. But I may refer you to Gould's larger work where you will find it in full.
Of course the action of a single lodge in 1735 would not be conclusive — against (1) the terms of the Master Mason's obligation; (2) the resolution of the Grand Lodge of England in the eighteenth century; (3) the weighty circumstance that all secret societies of primitive man and the societies among all peoples in all times that continue the tradition of the men's house were exclusively societies of men. But it is after all a relief in these days of militant feminism, to know that we are not embarrassed by any precedent.
Such are the landmarks as I conceive them. But much remains to be said about other institutions or doctrines which have some claim to stand in this category when we come next to consider Masonic common law.
* * *
MASONIC SERVICE IN WAR TIME
THE dream of Masonic World Unity is not yet at hand. I recently saw the Union Jack of England, the Tricolor of France and the Stars and Stripes received in a Lodge of Masons. Almost it seemed as if Robert Freke Gould, Oswald Wirth of Earls, and our own Albert Pike bore them in. For the inspiration of the hour seemed to be drawn from the intellectual giants whose spirits were approving a Democratic and a Masonic international Patriotism.
Yet a thought of sadness was also there. Had it been possible for a German Flag to have been brought in, borne by Wilhelm Begemann, the spirit of the hour would have been sweet indeed. Honorably borne into that Lodge Room, perhaps with some other flags which have been held aloft by other intellectual Masons, World Unity in a Masonic sense would have been truly typified. But, alas, it could not be so. The chasms are too great, in this dark hour.
Can the rainbow bridges of our Masonic idealism span these awful chasms? Would that it were so. Would that Masons the world over might accept each other's pledges in war time, following the precedents of our Civil War. Would that the good faith of Masonry had not been challenged along with the motives of the War Powers. But it is not so. The fact is before us, it is not so.
Looking a little way into the future, Faith and Hope plead that our American Lodges will not sit in judgment upon the motives of their far distant Brethen. Perhaps, among us, Masons born in enemy countries will all remain calm and fraternal. Perhaps they will refrain from bringing discussions of the motives of the war into our Lodges - and will so conduct themselves in the outside world that none of our American Brethren will feel the necessity of bringing them in, of drawing lines. Let us hope that it will be so.
There may be those who will deny that it is the great, underlying, fundamental principles upon which Masonry is based that are at stake in this war. America is not yet awake. Masonry, let us pray, will awaken quickly. SHE MUST WAKEN - she must come to see clearly how vital is the battle now being fought in behalf of her ideals. And though she may remain charitable when she wakens, she cannot forget that the monarchies and dynasties and militarists against which our Nation now wars have ever placed upon Freemasonry the heel of contempt. Mark well the remembrance. Charity will remind us that neither the People near the Masons of the Nations against whom America fights are responsible for that heel. BUT MASONRY WILL NOT FORGET THE HEEL.
WHAT OF THE PRESENT HOUR?
As Masons, "true to their government and just to their country," we have a right to believe that every other Mason is a PATRIOT. We have a right to assume, in our conversations within and without the Lodge, that every Mason believes in those great principles of Democracy which Masonry teaches. We have a right to consider each and every Brother loyal to the great promise of Universal Brotherhood which each and every Lodge typifies, on a small scale. . . That promise can never be fulfilled under a selfish Despotism ambitious to rule the world. No matter what strains of blood may be mingled in his veins, no matter in what church he may pray, no matter what political party may claim his affiliation, if he believes in True Brotherhood, then he as a Mason, his Lodge as a Lodge, and his Grand Lodge as a Grand Lodge of Masons, should so conduct themselves as to make it plain that of the liberty-loving people of this great Republic, no class, no party, no religion, no birth-land clan is more loyal to the things America fights for, than we of the Mystic Tie.
To our civic and moral conscience this War is a Challenge. To our individual and collective sense of Brotherhood this War is likewise a Challenge. The days are not far distant when many of our Brethren will start for the front. To their eternal glory let it be here set down that thousands of them have come forward prepared to make the supreme sacrifice, to pay the last full measure of devotion. Even before they shall hear the rumble of the cannon, our duty to those whom they leave behind will have begun. Presently thereafter will come the anxious days of scanning the casualty lists. And in but a little while the cots and ambulances will come, bringing our loved ones back to us, crippled and maimed and crushed, unable longer to perform their life-duties. As Brothers we do not need to be reminded of our duty. Rather will there be a glorious opportunity for us all.
Meanwhile there is a challenge, also, to our pocketbooks. There will be taxes and more taxes and again taxes. Pay them! Pay them cheerfully! Do not complain if a human Congress makes some errors, and the adjustment of the financial burden is apparently not altogether fair. Pay your taxes! Least of all, let wealth complain. Do not pay because someone sounds the alarm of a great indemnity in the event of failure. Do not let the word "failure" remain in your American dictionary. Pay because Almighty God and the blessed freedom which under this great flag of ours you have been privileged to enjoy have made it possible for you to save some money. Pay because you want your children to live in a world of Democracy and opportunity. And thank God that you can pay!
LET EFFICIENCY ANSWER THE CHALLENGE
How can Masons best help their Country? "By meeting fairly the challenge with which we are met" would seem to be the only answer. Shall Masons, as Masons, duplicate the functions of the Red Cross, by raising funds with which to care for our own wounded, and the indigent families of those who are at the front? A practical answer would seem to be the affirmative, where the solace and the help can be efficiently administered within our own jurisdictions.
But to duplicate the overseas activities of the Red Cross in establishing foreign hospitals, etc., and to espouse activities akin to the Y.M.C.A. Camps, on an independent basis of our own, would seem to be folly. How far we should go in extending to our enlisted Brethren the privileges of formal Masonic meetings, in Army Lodges. and what rules should properly apply thereto, we shall presently discuss in our Department of Opinion.
As practical and efficient means of helping all of our Brethren as they face the dangers to come, it would seem that first of all we should everywhere lend substantial aid to these two great official organizations, thy Red Cross and the Y.M.C.A. The one minister efficiently to the sick and the wounded, and if we add the touch of fraternal brotherhood to that organization many a Brother in the trenches will come to know it as akin to the ministry of a far off Mother. The Y.M.C.A. Camps help to keep the army clean, and help give by us to promote them will be a welcome index of out Masonic patriotism, and a living testimonial of our de sire to make those memorable words "to be Good Men and True, or men of Honor and Honesty" mean some thing.
SO LET IT BE DONE, TOGETHER, BRETHREN.
* * *
Editor's Note: - The purpose of this department has ever been to acquaint our readers, as well as our small space would permit, with the books of the day which have light to throw upon our Masonic mysteries, or contain some message of help or interest for our members. But there are other books, many of them a long time written, with which every intelligent Mason should be familiar. It is these that may well be described as the classics of the Craft. Thinking we would be performing a real service by acquainting our readers with these (though you may already be familiar with some of them), we have undertaken a series of studies of this great Masonic literature and will deal with the books or sets of books as listed herewith. We might say, by the way, that this list would form an ideal Masonic library, either for the private individual or for a Lodge.
- "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum."
- Conder's "Hole Craft in Masonry."
- Finders "History of Masonry."
- Fort's "Antiquities of Freemasonry."
- Gould's "History of Freemasonry."
- Hughan's "Old Charges."
- Hutchinson's "Spirit of Masonry."
- Mackey's "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry."
- Pike's "Lectures on Symbolism."
- Plutarch's " On the Mysteries."
- Preston's "Illustrations of Masonry."
- Leader Scott's "Cathedral Builders."
- Toulmin Smith's "The Guilds."
- Vibert's "Freemasonry Before the Grand Lodge Era."
- Waite's "Studies in Mysticism."
- Webster's "Primitive Secret Societies."
H. L. HAYWOOD.
"ARS QUATUOR CORONATORUM"
IN 1844, Dr. Kloss, a German Masonic scholar, published a "Bibliography of Masonic Literature" which contained more than 5,000 titles. Forty years later, T.S. Parvin, the then librarian of the Grand Lodge Library of Iowa, was able to boast that he had a majority of these volumes on his shelves. There they may still be found, as the, present writer can testify, for it has of late been his task to go through these books. What a dreary, juiceless waste they are, most of them, as ancient, seemingly, and as much out of touch with the modern spirit, as the Egyptian "Book of the Dead"! Preston, Oliver and Mackey may still be read with profit, and even with interest, but for the most part these discussions of "Spurious Masonry," of "The Noachites," etc., speak in a language that falls strangely on living ears.
The one radical defect of these treatises is their almost utter lack of the historical sense and of critical judgment. Fables, legends, myths, poems, and rumors were accepted on the same terms as the soberest facts of history, their writers wandering through the past as if hypnotized by an inability to discern between dreams and realities. Lost in the mazes of their fancy they almost deserved Hume's sarcastic fling about the mendacity of Masonic historians. Fortunately, the Craft is in nowise dependent for its existence on its literature else it had long ago fallen into sleep except for men of untrained minds.
Feeling that Masonic scholarship might well be placed on a sounder basis a number of English scholars determined to organize a Lodge of Research, the purpose of which would be to apply to the history of Masonry those same principles of historical criticism that had so revolutionized the study of the past in other fields. On November 28, 1884, they were granted a charter and thereby authorized to establish the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 2076. Bro. Sir Charles Warren was duly made Worshipful Master and George W. Speth was elected secretary. Thus was launched, and successfully from the first, the most magnificent adventure in Masonic scholarship in the long history of the Craft.
The scholars who undertook this labor of love have now become names to conjure with. Fred J.W. Crowe, whose own name belongs to the inner circle, believes "that the nestorship of the group belongs to William James Hughan, because without his work as pioneer in the authentic school (observe the adjective) of Masonic history, and the ever-ready assistance and advice he has so freely given, the work of those who followed in his footsteps would have been impossible." Others would grant the premiership to George W. Speth who combined a marvelous intuitive power with the erudition of an antiquarian, but there is no need to grade the ranks. Robert Freke Gould, the Craft's great historian; Henry Sadler, who punctured the old myth concerning the "Antient and Modern controversy"; Chetwode Crawley, the historian of Irish Masonry; David Murray Lyon; W. H. Rylands; these and many others won for themselves as secure a position in the annals of Masonic scholarship as it will ever be possible for men to attain. Pioneers working through an almost uncharted wilderness, their task was almost superhumanly difficult, but many of their verdicts will surely bear the acid test of time, while the data which they were enabled to unearth will keep the smaller fry busy for years to come.
Fortunately or unfortunately, as each must judge from his own watch-tower, these students confined themselves almost exclusively to the historical problems, leaving that symbolism which Pike described as the soul of Masonry to await its Hughans and Goulds among "those who come after." This is not said in criticism of these men, for humans cannot do everything, but offered as a suggestion to young Masonic students who may feel that nothing has been left for them to do. Truly, if a group of men would undertake the study of our symbolics as the Coronati men studied our history, they would at least be permitted to sit opposite in the Senior Warden's station of Masonic scholarship. So mote it be!
From the first the Quatuor Coronatorum printed its essays and lectures in its Transactions, now gone into almost thirty volumes. Sad is the fate of the Masonic student who has not access to this golden mine! As the most notable among these published papers one might hazard to mention Gould's series on "Masonic Worthies," one of which was his now famous essay on Pike; also, the same author's miscellaneous series since issued in book form under the title of "Essays on Free Masonry"; the Hughan and Speth debates on the degrees theory; the Crawley papers on Irish Masonry; and Sidney Klein's essay on "The Great Symbol," one of the best brief studies of Geometry and its interactions with our Craft development that has ever been written. But these are only those which loom large on the mental horizon of the present writer; others would choose differently.
In connection with its Transactions the Quatuor Lodge issued a series of "Antigrapha," being reprints of all the old manuscripts which link us up to Operative Masonry, and to that dim transitional period where-through Operative Masonry passed into Speculative Masonry.
Perhaps all this labor would have been impossible from lack of support, as had happened before to Research Lodges, had not the secretary, George W. Speth, by one of the inspirations of genius, conceived the happy idea of a Correspondence Circle. This was made up of men not members of the Quatuor Lodge itself but who desired to keep in constant touch with its work. In 1909 this circle comprised more than 3,000 members; what is its membership now we have no means of knowing. The reader who may desire to link himself with this Circle may file an application through the Grand Secretary of his Grand Lodge. Membership fee is 10s 6d; annual dues are the same.
The National Masonic Research Society is fortunate enough to possess a complete set of the Transactions, entitled "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," which it is glad to make available to any Brother in any manner possible.
Aside from its concrete achievements the Lodge Coronati has had much to do in clearing the air, so to speak, about Masonic study. Many of the Brethren, exercised by an admirable reverence for all things Masonic, were long suspicious of the "innovations" of Masonic scholars, feeling toward them as the old-time lovers of the Bible were wont to think of the "Higher Critics." So long as this mood prevailed it was almost impossible to work through the mists of tradition, and wholly impossible to acquaint the Craft at large with the real facts of its past. That time has now gone by, fortunately, but there is still much work to be done in making effective that spirit of Masonic Protestantism, which Brother Roscoe Pound has recently defined for us as "that insistence that Masons think for themselves, and that matters of interpretation are not to be disposed of authoritatively, but by every man thinking down into the subject individually."
* * *
"THE LIFE OF THE CATERPILLAR"
Reader, have you ever wandered in bug-land? We, ourselves, were born with an aversion to insects of all kinds, caterpillars especially, these last having about as much attraction as snakes themselves, and that is saying much. But now, along comes John Henri Fabre, that wizard if ever there was one, and shows that all our aversions were baseless, gratuitous, childish, puerile, and any other adjective you may have at hand. Truly, the caterpillar is wonderfully and fearfully made, and very human too, especially the "Processionary," which holds the place of honor in the volume the title of which heads these paragraphs. This book is one of the last of the series published in this country by Dodd, Mead and Company, and translated by the same Alexander Teixeira de Mattos who gave us so many of Maeterlinck's works in English dress.
Space does not permit us to tell what we think of Fabre as scientist, philosopher and writer, the last not the least of his wonderful accomplishments; nor is there any need to particularize about this present volume, except to say that it is on a par with the previous treatises, and more than that it would be impossible to say, for of all men who have naturalized Fabre is easily chief, having at his disposal one of the rarest of all human intellects, as well as one of the sweetest of human spirits. He was one of the dearest, grandest old men that ever lived.
While one reads his many volumes, many of them almost written with his blood, one is often wishing that Fabre had given us an essay on the Masonry of the insect world. For if geometry is the science on which Masonry is established, then there is much of it among the insect peoples, for, as Fabre is always telling us, they are forever geometrizing. Here is a paragraph in point chosen from among the rich pages of the work in hand:
"He will admire as much as we do geometry the eternal balancer of space. There is a severe beauty, belonging to the domain of reason, the same in every world, the same under every sun, whether the suns be single or many, white or red, blue or yellow. The universal beauty is order. Everything is done by weight and measure, a great statement whose truth breaks upon us all the more vividly as we probe more deeply into the mystery of things. Is this order upon which the equilibrium of the universe is based, the pre-destined result of a blind mechanism? Does it enter into the plans of an Eternal Geometer, as Plato had it? Is it the ideal of a supreme lover of beauty, which would explain everything?
"Why all this regularity in the curve of the petals of a flower, why all this elegance in the chasings of a beetle's wing-cases? Is that infinite grace, even in the tiniest details, compatible with the brutality of uncontrolled forces? One might as well attribute the artist's exquisite medallion to the steam-hammer which makes the slag sweat in the melting."
* * *
Brother Arthur M. Millard, President of the Masonic Employment Bureau of Chicago, was kind enough to let us see the following letter, which explains itself:
GOLDEN RULE LODGE
No. 726, A.F. & A.M.
May 7th, 1917.
It is the desire of Golden Rule Lodge members to, so far as possible, maintain a fraternal interest in the welfare of the widows and families of our departed brethren, and particularly from the standpoint of being of service and usefulness, in the many problems and difficulties confronting so many of us at this time.
Of course you understand that Masonry is not a beneficial organization in a financial sense, nor in any way similar to the many insurance fraternal institutions; at the same time there are so many cases where a brother's counsel and advice, or his efforts, may be of benefit, that we are taking the liberty of bringing ourselves to your attention with the thought that possibly we may, in some manner, be of service to you.
It may be that there is a boy or girl, or both, in your family who would be glad to have a big brother interested in their present lives and interests, as well as in their future welfare and development; it may be that there are some problems or difficulties confronting you which might be better solved or overcome by a brother's aid and advice; in either, or both cases, we want you to feel yourself a part of our family and trust that you will have no hesitancy in communicating with us fully, for we assure you we shall consider it a benefit, as well as a privilege, if we can be of service, and will be glad to call and consult with you if you will permit us to do so.
It is our aim to have, in the near future, a field day at some convenient place for our boys and girls, and a get-together gathering for our members and families. You will be notified of both events, and we express the hope that you will personally aid us in making them a decided success.
At this time, let us also call your attention to our Masonic Employment Bureau at 1900 Masonic Temple, the service of which is available at no cost to any of the members of your individual family.
Extending to you the brotherly greetings, kindest regards and best wishes of all of our members, we are
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
GOLDEN RULE LODGE COMMITTEE,
1900 Masonic Temple.
It is one of Masonry's rightful boasts that it practices charity whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself; but there is charity and charity, and oftentimes, it may be feared, the results of philanthropy are not as fine as the motives that prompt it. Indeed, expert charity workers are convinced that mere miscellaneous, unorganized, uninformed giving very often does more harm than good. Besides, where relief is sporadic and unsystematized many of the most deserving ones are overlooked precisely because the most deserving often scruple to make known their wants.
Here is a method of the right kind. It is systematic, it is well informed, in other words, efficient, yet without losing the personal touch without which it so often becomes "organized charity, scrimped and iced, in the name of a cautious, statistical Christ." We heartily recommend to Masonic workers, as well as to Masonic Lodges, both the method and the spirit of our Chicago brethren. We have reason to believe that any applicant for information as to "how they do it" will receive courteous and prompt response from Brother Millard.
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"RUSSIA IN 1916"
In his introduction to this book, its author, Stephen Graham, writes: "I was in Russia when the war broke out in 1914. I spent 1915 in Egypt, the Balkans, Russia, and England, and again I spent the summer of 1915 in Russia. I have, therefore, been in touch with the Russians all the time of the war." It is these facts that give to this volume its value. Now that we are ourselves an ally of this great Slav people, such studies are not only timely but interesting. But Russia is far off, not only geographically but culturally, and it is safe to say that few of us know anything about the Russians except those vague scraps of information which have filtered to us through newspapers and magazines. Stephen Graham has traveled much in all parts of the Empire, speaks the language, understands the people, and knows how to tell his story, therefore this book, and more especially his former volumes which are of much greater importance than this, should receive a welcome among us. Many of us may feel that he is too prone to laud the people, forgetting that there is another side to the story, but the reader who knows how to make his own deductions, will find much of profit as well as of pleasure in these seventeen chapters.
Although the best description of Masonry to be found in the world's fiction was written by the Russian Tolstoy in his "War and Peace," it is a well-known fact that Masonry, because of the Czarish prejudice against secret societies, has been unable to get a foot-hold in the country. We wish that some well-informed writer would let us know what prospects the Revolution has opened up for the organization of Masonic Lodges there.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
LEDGE GRANTS "MARK" CARD TO MEMBER'S WIFE
Dear Brother: For some months I have been planning to write to you, and to the members of the Society through you, regarding a subject which I will proceed to explain. Some time back, in going through some old letters and papers belonging to my grandmother, I discovered the enclosed card which, from its character, seems to bear some close relationship to the Masonic fraternity and I have thus far been unable to find anyone who can throw any light on what it represents. You will note it was issued at Antwerp, New York, by Antwerp Lodge 226; and bears the following inscriptions:
A Worthy Brother's Wife, Annah M.
Hopper, Given in 1864.
This is her Mark among Free and Accepted
Masons around the Globe.
It is countersigned by my grandmother, Annah M. Hopper, and signed by J. B. Harris, A. Z. Turnbull, and her husband and Mr. Geo. H. Hopper. Printed in the center of the card is a flight of three, five and seven steps, at the top of which is an arch supported by four pillars (two on each side) and on the top step, under the arch is a figure of a man clothed Masonically. On the top of the third step is the signature of Annah M. Hopper.
On the reverse side of the card are various letters and symbols of the craft which, so far, I have been unable to transcribe.
I have thought this card was possibly given during the Civil War as a means of identification or card of recognition but doubtless through the large membership of the Society you are able to reach through THE BUILDER, I hope it can be learned what brought about its issuance and to what use it was put.
Would appreciate its return when it has served your purpose. Sincerely and fraternally yours, Geo. Hopper Smith, Ohio.
Perhaps some member of the Society in touch with the Lodge in question may be able to furnish the desired particulars. Meantime it also revives an old curiosity regarding the extent to which Masonic bodies have ever issued identification cards to the families of their members. Today it is by no means uncommon to find the wives and the children of Masons wearing some badge significant of the fraternity in one branch or another. Just how far this should be allowed, or whether it ought to be permitted at all, we will not attempt to say. It is a convenient method of commending those we love to those we trust. Doubtless the desire to do this has persisted since Masonry came into being, and a careful search would probably discover many other specimens as quaint in their way as the curious example now under consideration.
Talking of identification cards for women also reminds us that on one of the visits of Brother Gilbert Parker's play, "The Garden of Allah," to the editor's town, an Arab passing a local Mason had his attention attracted by the charm worn by the latter. He stopped abruptly, looked around warily, took something out of his pocket, and then holding it half hidden between his two cupped hands held it up for only the Mason to see. For but an instant could it be seen and then with a mutual smile of understanding they parted. It told much nevertheless because that medal frequently found outside the United States where Lodges distribute them among their members as Chapters do Marks with us, bore the Compasses and Square, a large paragraph indeed from the language universal among Masons.
* * *
LARGE CLAIMS DEMAND COMPLETE PROOFS
Dear Brother:- I have heard it claimed several times that there is an Austria-German-Catholic alliance in the World War now in progress. That through the Catholics the spy system has been perfected, and at present their spies are stenographers clerks and secretaries of the government officials. Do you know if this is true? Yours sincerely, R. R. Leech, Idaho.
We have seen no attempt to prove these claims. Any Masons possessing evidence of acts injurious to this country will be seriously remiss in their duty if they fail to furnish the facts forthwith to the nearest Federal authorities. But great care must be exercised. Mere gossip is no proof of guilt. Treason is detestable and so is unjust suspicion; the true Mason will expose the one as freely as he will scorn the other.
* * *
MACKEY'S MASONIC LANDMARKS UNDER CRITICISM
Dear Brother Editor: - Mackey has enumerated the Masonic landmarks as being twenty-five in number. Two have attracted my special interest.
1. Number two: "The division of symbolic Masonry into three degrees is a landmark that has been better preserved than almost any other; although even here the mischievous spirit of innovation has left its traces, and by the disruption of its concluding portion from the Third degree, a want of uniformity has been created in respect to the final teaching of the Master's Order; and the Royal Arch of England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, and the 'high degrees' of France and Germany, are all made to differ in the mode in which they lead the neophyte to the great consummation of all symbolic Masonry. In 1813, the Grand Lodge of England indicated the ancient landmark, by solemnly enacting that ancient Craft Masonry consisted of the three degrees of Entered Apprentice Fellow-Craft and Master Mason including the Holy Royal Arch. But the disruption has never been healed, and the landmark, although acknowledged in its integrity by all, still continues to be violated."
There is much of truth in his contention and I cannot but wonder why this has obtained. Has this landmark in its essential feature been violated, to use his word, through any feeling on the part of the Scottish Rite that the thirteenth degree in that body might thereby be depleted of its force, or has the omission been due to the antipathy of the capitular bodies? Or, is this not truly a landmark, merely one which Mackey has brought into being by preferment? And, in consequence of either or both, has the landmark, therefore, been ignored with the ultimate aim of denying and eventually forgetting it? If it be a landmark, why this violation? I would have more light.
2. The other landmark is his number twenty-two. "The equality of all Masons is another landmark of the Order. This equality has no reference to any subversion of those gradations of rank which have been instituted by the usages of society. The monarch, the nobleman, or the gentleman is entitled to all the influence, and receives all the respect, which rightly belong to his position. But the doctrine of Masonic equality implies that, as children of one great Father, we meet in the Lodge upon the level - that on that level we are all traveling to one predestined goal - that in the Lodge genuine merit shall receive more respect than boundless wealth, and that virtue and knowledge alone should be the basis of all Masonic honors, and be rewarded with preferment. When the labors of the Lodge are over, and the brethren have retired from their peaceful retreat to mingle once more with the world, each will then again resume that social position, and exercise the privileges of that rank, to which the customs of society entitle him."
If I misinterpret his meaning, and I hope I do, all well and good. That, I ask of you. To me, however, "in the Lodge" sticks out too prominently. I would surmise from this that Masonry, to Mackey, was brotherhood "in the Lodge"; outside, autocracy. And surely, if this be true, we of the present day and generation know that Masonry is not of such as this. For past times and in other countries this idea of Masonry may have held sway. But today, surely, we know that Masonry is only Masonry as we exemplify its teaching in every walk of life and apply to our life outside the lodge the beautiful truths and fellowship and brotherly love we have come to acknowledge through and in the lodge. And only as we live it are we Masons.
If my conception of his rendering of the landmark be such as Mackey intended, then surely we need a revised set of landmarks. If both of these are "out of date" then truly they should not obtain today. And as "The Builder" makes for progress, may I, as one of your earnest students, suggest this held for your attention? Sincerely yours, M. E. B., Illinois.
1. You have opened one of the most hotly contested of all Masonic problems, the matter of Landmarks. Since the word first appeared in the General Constitution of 1721, in Section 39, all manner of Masonic scholars have discussed the question, "What is a landmark," but it is safe to say that no two have thus far wholly agreed. Lenning's, published in Leipzig, 1824, one of the oldest of Masonic "Encyclopedias," does not mention the word, though Mackey modeled his own work upon it; nor does the French "Dictionary of Masonry," published in Paris the following year, hazard on the question. In the early editions of his "Encyclopedia" Mackey printed only twenty-four lines on the subject but in his 1858 edition he gave us his now famous list of twenty-five. Perhaps Mackey himself was satisfied with this catalog but no other authority has been, with very few exceptions. In an article published in the Iowa Grand Lodge Proceedings of 1888 (p. 157), Pike demolishes the whole list seriatum in his most Pikeish manner. Although Oliver refused to commit himself in 1853 in his "Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry," he afterwards joined the list-makers with twelve Landmarks. Horsley names five "as indispensable"; Woodford's "Encyclopedia" gives eighteen; J. T. Lawrence risks five; Findel gives us four in his "Spirit and Form of Masonry"; Crawley names three; John W. Simons, fifteen; Rob Morris, seventeen; the Grand Lodge of New York found 31, while the Grand Lodge of Kentucky raised the number to 54; T.S. Parvin, who, being a master in Masonic jurisprudence, spoke with some authority, refused to name a single one. From this data you can now answer your own question, "Is this not truly a landmark?"
If one of the characteristics of a Landmark be "antiquity," and on this most authorities are agreed, then "the division of symbolic Masonry into three degrees" cannot properly be classed as a Landmark because the third degree was not fashioned until after the revival of 1717; how many degrees obtained prior to that time is still under debate; some, following Hughan, asserting there was but one; while others follow Speth in believing there had been two.
We do not believe that the Scottish Rite had anything to do with the division into three degrees. Suppose you make a little study on the influence of the Scottish Rite in degree making and send us a paper on it.
2. We believe you to have misunderstood Mackey here. He is endeavoring to make it clear that Masonry does not demand a revolution in social forms or customs in order to its establishment in a community. If that were the case it could only move behind a propaganda of social or political revolution. But in your contention that Masonic brotherhood should exist outside as well as inside the Lodge you are most certainly right.
H. L. H.
Our own interpretation is that Brother Mackey was convinced that to the Third Degree belonged something now found in Royal Arch ceremonies. Holding as he did that to other branches had been given what formerly was a part of the Blue Lodge "work," he felt constrained in laying out his specifications of Masonic structure to define the old boundaries and to show what innovation has done to them. He was also but repeating what had been agreed upon at the organization of the United Grand Lodge of England. The protest he voiced was just but we know of none who would favor the taking away of anything from the splendid Capitular Masonry of America. Scotland confers the Mark under Lodge auspices, England includes it in an organization that does not work the Royal Arch, while the latter is conferred where they do not give the Most Excellent, and so it goes. With us the Chapter has a scope and dignity all its own, second in elaboration and impressiveness to no other of its sister bodies.
Within the rich stores of the Grand Lodge Library at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there is a very valuable ritual that was formerly the property of that steadfast student of Masonry, George Oliver. Among other rare matter it contains a transcription of what may have been the Third Degree in 1740 or earlier. So much of it suggests the ideal that Brother Mackey must have had in mind that we cannot but wish that a rendition of this old ceremony might be given where studious brethren throughout the country could see it.
As to the second question we can only see the recognition of an equality in the Lodge room that cannot be shown elsewhere. Brother Kipling in his "Mother Lodge" shows Masons meeting as Craftsmen in a tyled chamber who could not even assemble at the banquet table. Well known is it that Brother George Washington, when a general of the army, attended Lodge communications over which presided an officer of much lower rank. To our way of thinking, Brother Mackey was emphasizing that equality where each is best taught, where all are absolutely on the level of standing, where there are no differences under tuition, and where none have preference save that conferred by knowledge of the work Masonic. Outside the hall of Masonic labor the initiate must remember that which he was taught. He cannot be a Mason and be heedless of the teachings of Masonry. It is obviously true that he cannot in the social world be at once captain and private and this is a distinction that Masons as citizens or soldiers will acknowledge though it is quite true that Masonry recognizes neither worldly wealth nor honors. Masons have the same duties but not always have they the same rights.
R. I. C.
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THE PALM AND SHELL DEGREES
Brethren: Referring to the inquiry of O. B. S. in the May BUILDER for information relative to Palm and Shell Degrees. On the evening of April 17th a Bro. A. E. Myers gave a lecture before Bradentown Lodge No. 99 of this city. In the course of his lecturer he spoke of receiving "The Palm and Shell Degree" while on a trip to the Holy Land, but at this time do not recall whether it was in Palestine or in Egypt, but believe it was in or near Jerusalem.
This Bro. Myers was one of that party of some 500 or 600 Masons who made an exploration and research tour to the Holy Land 35 years ago, being gomposed according to his statements of something like 200 from North and South America and the remainder being from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and some of the Scandinavian countries. I believe this party he said were finally assembled together in Copenhagen and from there they went together in a body to the Holy Land and were gone altogether about nine months. He spoke of Brother Robert Morris being one of the party. Personally I did not get his address and it does not appear to be recorded in the Lodge records here. Am trying to get some further information and may be able to do so before mailing this.
Do not believe he intimated that he had the ritual, but am quite sure he could give much more information about that degree than he gave before the Lodge. In the course of my conversation with Bro. Myers he mentioned that at one time he lived in Kansas City, and in connection with some Royal Arch Chapter talk he spoke of being personally acquainted with Past Grand High Priest Wm. F. Kuhn. So if am not able to get any further definite information concerning the present address of Bro. Myers, and O.B. S. is interested believe he might get more definite information from Comp. Kuhn, or if he cares to write me will tell him whatever else he cares to know that I may recall.
E. P. Hubbell, Florida.
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Brother O. B. S. asked a question in regard to Palm and Shell ritual. There is one in Dublin, Ga. In 1913 Brother Coalteman organized a Chapter of the Palm and Shell there, but have forgotten the name of the Grand. Bro. W. B. Adkinson of Dublin, was one of the officers. There were about twenty members. I myself think it very appropriate for a lecture, and study of the Shell from the Coast of Joppa is very interesting. I had the misfortune to lose my ritual shortly after taking the degree but have found several of Bro. Morris' members in Florida who joined in 1880. Most of them are very old men. I left Dublin shortly after taking the Degree and have not seen any of the members since. I kept up a correspondence with Bro W. B. Adkinson two years but have now dropped that.
The Oriental lectures are very good and the temple lesson was grand. There is much good to be derived from the lecturer if given as Bro. Rob. C. explained them. While I can not remember all, yet the Entered Apprentice is taught a lesson not to be forgotten; the Fellow Craft is taught better; the Master Degree is fully exemplified and the Knights is grand. Nothing would please me better than to hear the Eastern Lectures giver again.
In passing along the beach and picking up shell one is often reminded of the fact that all Masonry is inscribed in different characters "Ancient Free." Geometrical lines on certain shell gives some idea of the Grand Artist Power in showing things, but I can not explain them as they have been explainer to me.
J. E. S., Georgia.
These details of a little known "side" degree are very welcome and we invite all further particulars that may be in the possession of any of our readers. The subject of "side" degrees is alluring to the student of secret societies and we shall be glad to receive all the information that we can get along this line.
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TITLE OF MAJOR GENERAL USED BY GRAND MASTER
Dear Brother: - At the first Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, held in December, 1821, it was
Resolved that the words "Major General" used in the charters and dispensations, preceding the name of the W. G. Master, be stricken out, and that they be not used in any transaction of the Grand Lodge.
And it was ordered that all subordinate lodges strike those words from their charters.
We are puzzled when, where, and under what circumstances did such a custom originate as that of dubbing the Grand Master a "Major General," and in what Grand Bodies has such a custom ever prevailed? O. D. Street, Alabama.
We can recall no parallel case. But has the title not been borrowed from the army career of the Grand Master of Alabama of the year 1821? It is perhaps not unreasonable to suppose that the good brother used a military title of rank, and when this was brought up before the Grand Lodge the innovation was not acceptable. This solution of the problem is submitted with diffidence and in the hope thereby that search might be blade as to the army record of the brother. If he really was a Major General or if at any time he had had the right to use the title he may have carried that privilege into all formal documents as a matter of custom or Bride.
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LOCATION OF THE PYRAMID
Brother Editor: - May a brother unversed in the "Secret Doctrine" (which is the subject of Bro. Greene's correspondence in the May, 1917, "Builder") make a correction to his verb excellent article? He states that the Great Pyramid Cheops of Egypt "stands as near as may be, on the above mentioned tropical Line" or about 23 1/2 degrees north latitude. After some lengthy study of this wonderful structure, I cannot accept Bro. Greene's theory, particularly as the best evidence at hand indicates that the Pyramid is not located at the tropical line, but precisely on the thirtieth parallel. It is like the Temple, "located so far north of the ecliptic" that the sun can cast no ray of light in a possible north window. For evidence as to the location of this building, see Piazi Smyth's monumental work, or even consult a reliable map.
Some years of study on the subject of this wonderful monument have caused me gradually to form a theory which would be shocking to good orthodox Masons. I would recommend the reading of the above reference as well as Bro. McCarty's later work, to all who are studying Masonry, as being the most interesting matter that can be obtained.
G.A. Crayton, Ohio.
Editor The Builder : - In Bro. George F. Greene's letter, explaining the celebrated Pillars - Jachin and Boaz - he says that " 'Boaz' was used to mark the sun's highest ascension to the North of the Tropic of Cancer, and the longest day of the year. The Great Pyramid of Cheops of Egypt is the Boaz of the ancient priesthood and stands, as near as may be, on the above mentioned Tropic Line."
Regarding the position of the Great Pyramid, Bro. Greene is somewhat mistaken. As a matter of fact, the mistake amounts to the respectable difference of 447 miles, 861 yards.
The Great Pyramid was placed by its builders as near to the thirtieth degree of North latitude as their observational methods could determine; the actual position being one mile, 568 yards south of that parallel. This corresponds to latitude North 29d 58' 51".
The angles of the sides have been estimated from one of the casing stones. The measurements of this stone vary from 51d 50' to 51d 52.25' giving a mean of approximately 51d 51'. This means that the sun shone on the North side of the Pyramid from February to October, a period apparently without any special significance.
Nevertheless, l believe that Bro. Greene is on the right track, and that corrections in detail will serve not only to determine more clearly the astronomical basis of what he is seeking, but as well to increase the antiquity of man's knowledge of geometry.
According to Proclus the Pyramids "terminated above in a platform from which the priests made their celestial observations." That these platforms were not intended as contributions to science is evidenced by their elimination through the completion of the pyramidal forms. Astrology appears to supply the only "key," because astrology was a part of the ancient priesthood's stock in trade by which they endeavored to foretell the future. The ancients were not interested in the science of astronomy as such, but they were profoundly interested, and as firmly believed, in the influence of the sun, moon and stars upon their lives, whose future they sought to penetrate by a study of the celestial bodies.
Proctor has placed the construction of the pyramids at about 3400 B. C. and it is quite clear that their builders were not only clever mathematicians but expert workmen as well. When all the possible attendant circumstances are considered, it becomes evident that in the construction of the Pyramids there is afforded the logical opportunity for the crystallization of that Philosophy which has endured through the Ages.
Eber Cole Byam, Ill.
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THE SKELETON OF LIFE
Fate and luck are but the bare skeleton upon which each man builds his life. The result depends entirely upon himself.
The Scotch have a story of a boating party that was caught in a storm.
"Let us pray," suggested some one.
"Ah," cried the boatman; "let the little mon over there do the praying, but let all the strong men take an oar."
There was no impiety in this. Prayer cannot bring strength or succor to those who do not use the strength and means at hand.
Fate is treacherous and soonest betrays those who depend most upon it. It helps only those determined to help themselves. Luck, too, is faithless and laughs at the man who too strongly puts his trust in it. It generously spreads a golden glow upon the accomplishment of the man who does for himself, but for the man who does not strive it has only mockery.
There is no worse belief than that in fate and luck to make you a failure.
It puts you in a wholly wrong attitude toward life.
It deadens your incentive and your power to employ your own resources.
It destroys fixed and wholesome aspirations.
It paralyzes your energies.
It renders organized and spirited effort impossible.
Don't believe that there is any fate for you except that which you make yourself.
Hope for no luck that you are not worthy of and have not earned. - Danville (III.) Press.
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AN EXPLANATION - On the tenth day of January, 1914, I visited the old historic house at No. 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, where, in 1776, Betsy Ross made and presented to General George Washington the first official American Flag in the presence of Honorable George Ross and Robert Morris, constituting a committee to receive the same. On the fourteenth day of June, 1777, that flag was adopted by Congress as our National Emblem. I tarried in the little room where that event took place for more than fifteen minutes, entertaining emotions which cannot be described.
I therefore trust you will appreciate the following lines, most of which I composed February first, 1914, in an effort to corral some of the many thoughts that cluster around "Old Glory" and to marshal them in rhythmic form.
From the canopy of Heaven
Was the darker hue first brought;
And a glorious constellation
On that hallowed color wrought;
While a thousand gorgeous sunsets
Lent their crimson for the bars,
And the peace-doves of our Nation
Spread their white wings 'neath this stars.
Though the form of that blest emblem
Was by God himself thus planned;
It was reverently fashioned
By a matron's skillful hand;
And the "Father of His Country," In that awful, solemn hour,
Took it, like Elijah's mantle
Vested with prophetic power.
Then unfurled in mighty splendor,
Round its standard flocked the throngs,
Buckling swords and grasping weapons,
To redress impending wrongs!
Long the struggle, great the conflict;
But above the din and roar
Waved aloft that glorious banner,
Wafting freedom to each shore.
But again in smoke of battle,
O'er a soil that should be free;
Out of chaos, blood and carnage,
Came a two-fold liberty -
Came a prestige, love, devotion,
Freedom, and a Union strong;
For beneath its mighty standard
Right had triumphed over wrong!
Yet that flag did droop midst sorrows
As 'twas folded o'er the bier
Of the loved and martyred hero,
For whom fell a Nation's tear.
But from dirge and muffled drum-beat,
From a country's mourning throng;
Like the Phoenix from its ashes,
Rose and swelled a world-wide song.
Song that touched the hearts of nations
And brought myriads to our shore,
While beneath the starry wavelets
Rest the oppressed forever more.
Yes, we love that cherished emblem,
For its mission is divine;
May its bars increase in splendor
And its stars forever shine!
It is floating from the mast head
Of our vessels in all ports -
O'er the islands of the sea unfurled -
Guardian of our forts.
In the cities of the Old World
It is held - an honored guest
And the sun doth never set upon That "Spangled Banner" blest.
Though the red may mean the life-blood
Shed for it in conflicts past;
Yet the white doth prophesy that peace
Shall rule the world at last.
While the stars upon the blue
Direct our thought to Him above
Till the nations of the whole earth
Shall be govern'd by God's love.
— Henry Lincoln Redfield.
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WAR AND THE UN-NAMED
FROM AN ANCIENT CHINESE POEM
In all that ever was
Or ever yet will be,
There is that shapes the sun and stars
And makes the land and sea.
In man its Spirit; but unnamed
In earth and sea and air,
Below us, and above, around
Behold it's everywhere.
And though in harmony and peace
It's not perceived by men,
When storm and stress the nation shake
We all can see it then.
— Wen-Tien Hsiang.
From Giles' "Chinese Literature."
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Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land;
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well,
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,
Despite those titles, power and pelf,
The wretch, concentered all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored and unsung.
— Sir Walter Scott