A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 3 No. 10 – October 1917
SCALD MISERABLE MASONS
ALWAYS Freemasonry has had its enemies, seeking by every means to discredit its labors in behalf of a saner, sweeter humanity, of free thought, free speech and true reverence for the Father of All. During this year we have discussed in THE BUILDER many phases of Anti-Masonry, none perhaps, of greater interest than the paper presented in this issue by Brother Keplinger upon "Scald Miserable Masons " Brother Keplinger (p. 294) gives us the account of one of these caricature processions as described in Hone's Every Day Book, and we reproduce the plate which accompanied it, in the body of his article.
He also mentions the "Geometrical View of the Procession of Scald Miserable Masons, designed by A. Benoist," which we use as a frontispiece because it is the most elaborate of all the prints that have come down to us. These caricature processions were inaugurated as a take-off on the old "Processions of the Craft" which have been long since abandoned.
The Grand Lodge first appeared in a "Foot procession," in 1721. Upon the selection of the Duke of Wharton as Grand Master, in 1723, "this Foot procession was improved into a carriage parade. The following year, 1724, saw a further aggrandizement of the procession to Taylor's-Hall, where the Feast was held." Dr. Chetwode Crawley, whose words we have quoted, further says "The Procession of March continued for nearly twenty years longer to form the most conspicuous outside function of the Freemasons. The promiscuous display of Masonic symbols and insignia invited caricature, and the discontinuance of the cavalcade after 1745 was partly due, no doubt, to the travesties which form the subject of this article." (A.Q.C. XVIII, 130.)
Speaking of the effect of such processions, Dr. Crawley says:
"Public Processions form no part of the Ritual of Freemasonry. At best, they can only be described as functions conducted by Freemasons under the sanction of the Craft. Strictly speaking, the Ceremonies of Freemasonry are confined to the Lodge-room. But the Lodge-room has an external wall, and Freemasonry has an external side. It would be held absurd to deny to the outer wall the architectural embellishment, which formed the glory of our Operative forefathers. Similarly, it would be absurd to proscribe the use of all Masonic adjuncts in our legitimate external functions. The danger is that the symbols, which have meaning for the initiated, may be mistaken by outsiders for the gewgaws of personal vanity. The mummery of the Scald Miserables was engendered by the Procession of March." (A.Q.C. XVIII, 146.)
G.W. Speth, in A.Q.C., Vol. V, p. 236, says that the excitement due to the regular public Masonic processions "may have led to the formation of the Society of Scald Miserable Masons, whose only purpose seems to have been to travesty the solemn procession of the Freemasons, and who do not appear to have met on any other occasion but the annual feasts, or to have had any other bond of union. It is known that amongst the practical and empty-headed jokers who were the moving spirits in the business, were some masons, and it is now impossible to conceive how they could have allowed their appreciation of very poor fun to have over-ridden their sense of the respect due the Fraternity, of which they were members. Money must also have been plentiful among the leaders, for these mock processions must have cost a large amount. * * * For a series of years these ludicrous processions assembled, and mockingly did reverence to the real procession on its way to the feast, until at length the Craft authorities resolved to dispense in the future with any outdoor display, and the processions have since ceased."
Brother R. F. Gould, reviewing the subject in A.Q.C. XVI, p. 50, says of the cost of these caricatures that "there is room for speculation whether there was any organized body by whom the expense was defrayed. The Duke of Wharton and the Gormogons who sought to undermine the authority of the Grand Lodge in 1724, were of the Jacobite faction, and so may have been the Scald Miserables of 1742."
* * *
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
Silas H. Sheperd, Wisconsin
Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia
M. M. Johnson, Massachusetts
John Pickard, Missouri
Oliver D. Street, Alabama
S. W. Williams, Tennessee
Joe L. Carson, Virginia
T. W. Hugo, Minnesota
F. B. Gault, Washington
C. M. Schenck, Colorado
H. L. Haywood, Iowa
Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin
Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois
H. W. Ticknor, Maryland
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. 6: To what extent should the Grand Master in each jurisdiction, either himself or by authorized deputy, inspect annually the work of the officers of each lodge? (a) Should such inspection be limited to the ritual work of the lodge? (b) Should such inspection include investigation of the instruction in Masonic history and philosophy offered by the lodge officers to new members? (c) May such inspection properly include an audit of the business transactions of the lodge?
For the Good of the Order.
The Grand Master personally, so far as he is able, the Deputy Grand Master, and the Grand Wardens, should visit and inspect as many Lodges as possible during the year; and every Lodge should be visited by a district deputy at least once a year, or more frequently.
The inspection should be for the Good of the Order, wherever that may lie. This, of course, would not limit it to the ritual and ceremonial of the work, and could include an investigation of the teaching of the history and philosophy of the Order to its members- -but would hardly be practicable until the principles of the N.M.R.S. are thoroughly inculcated throughout the jurisdiction.
So far as an audit of the finances of the particular Lodge is concerned, I regard Freemasonry as being too uncentralized an institution to warrant such a course by Grand Lodge Authorities. The Grand Lodge should ordain, however, that the books of each Lodge be audited annually, and that the report of the committee which should include both temporalities and "spiritualities" — spread upon the minutes after adequate publication to the members of the Lodge.
In passing, I might say that these questions put me very much in mind of the "Articles of Visitation" issued by Bishops in the best practice of the Church.
H. W. Ticknor, Maryland.
* * *
Efficiently Informed Grand Officers.
In my opinion the Grand Master or his Deputy should annually inspect the work of each lodge as thoroughly as inspections are made in military and business circles — that is, not the least thing left undone or uninspected that might make for the utmost efficiency. This would involve, (a) that the inspection not be limited to mere ritual work; (b) that it should include investigation of instruction in Masonic history and philosophy by lodge officers to new members, and not only this but such study of history and philosophy should be encouraged among the officers and old members who need it as badly as the new ones, for particular emphasis should be placed upon the necessity for practice of what is studied; (c) certainly an audit of the business transactions should be included.
If we are to make our Masonic organization thoroughly efficient we should first have our Grand Officers thoroughly informed as to all the activities of Masons under the jurisdictions so that they may advise them. Next there should be more co-operation between the various jurisdictions, not only of our own country, but of the rest of the world. THE BUILDER has been doing a great service in correlating the Masonic usages of different Grand Lodges. May I suggest that it follow up by reporting on what I may call the percentage of Masonic illiteracy and also present statistics on international recognition in order that our leaders may have a comprehensive view of the present status of world Masonry.
J. W. Norwood, Kentucky.
* * *
Keep Lodges Up to High Standards.
An inspection such as you outline in your Department of Opinion this month would be exceedingly beneficial, and must of necessity be exhaustive if at all. For obvious reasons therefore this inspection must be performed by the Grand Master's authorized Deputy. Suppose we call him a Grand Inspector.
The Grand Jurisdiction should be divided amongst a number of such capable Grand Lodge Inspectors, invested with ample powers.
It would be advisable that these Inspectors visit officially every Lodge under their care at least once each year.
They should have the regular officers of the Lodge exemplify the ritual in full, and report to the Grand Master on same.
They should examine the Lodge premises, see they are suitable for all Masonic purposes, or demand such alterations as will make them so, if they are not up to the necessary requirements.
They most assuredly should audit the business transactions of the Lodge and report even the most trifling irregularity, a matter entirely too long neglected by the Grand Lodges, and of the most vital importance to the welfare of the Craft.
As few if any Lodges give instruction in Masonic History, Symbolism or Philosophy to either their old or new members, it would be of immense benefit to our order if these Grand Inspectors would make it a part of their duties to offer such instruction. So that this essential portion of Masonic Instruction may not be entirely neglected, as it is in the great majority of our Lodges today.
For eight years I filled the office of Provincial Grand Inspector. I know the importance of the necessity of such inspection; and am of opinion that this is the most important suggestion yet brought before the readers of THE BUILDER in the Department of Opinion.
Joe L. Carson, Virginia.
* * *
Let the Grand Master Expound Masonry.
It is impossible for a Grand Master to visit all Lodges in his Jurisdiction, but all the Lodges should have a visitation from some authorized person. While some Grand Masters are such, merely in name, yet he should not be required to pay any attention to the ritualistic or business part of a Lodge; he should have more than "ritualistic" or "accountant" brains, but he should prepare (or steal) an address on the history and philosophy of Freemasonry, then visit as many Lodges as possible, and give the Craft the benefit of his study, research and advice.
The duties enumerated (A) (B) (C) are admirably covered by the system used in Missouri, viz.: the state is divided into districts comprising ten to twenty lodges in each district, over which is placed a District Deputy Grand Master and a District Deputy Grand Lecturer; in a few districts these two offices are combined in one. The District Deputy Grand Lecturer, under the Grand Lecturer, has charge of the ritualistic work in his district, and not only visits the Lodges, but he must hold a district school of instruction under the direction of the District Deputy Grand Master.
The Law governing the District Deputy Grand Master who is appointed by the Grand Master is as follows:
(b) He may preside in each Lodge upon the occasion of his official visit, after it is opened; shall examine its books and records; and see if they are properly kept; inform himself of the number of members and the punctuality and regularity of their attendance; ascertain the state and condition of the Lodges in all respects; point out any errors he may ascertain in their conduct and mode of working; instruct them in every particular wherein he shall find they may require or desire any information; particularly recommend attention to the normal and benevolent principles of Masonry, and the exercise of caution in the admission of candidates; and if he discover in his District any Masonic error or evil, endeavor to immediately arrest the same by Masonic means, and, if he judge it expedient, report the same to the Grand Master.
(e) He shall call a Lodge of Instruction at least once a year, if deemed expedient, at such time and place as may be most convenient for the Craft, and notify the officers of the various Lodges in his District to appear at such Lodge of Instruction to receive the work and Lectures from the District Lecturer.
It will be noted that his duties cover in detail all the points in (A) (B) (C). This system has been very effective and its results excellent.
Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
* * *
A Century of Inspection.
I suppose that everyone is attached to the procedure of his own Grand Lodge. Perhaps for that reason I should like to answer your question of August 6th by a statement of the Massachusetts procedure which has worked well for over a century and not yet been found defective at any point.
M. W. Samuel Dunn (1800-1802) introduced the system of District Deputies. The entire jurisdiction is divided into districts. Our largest district contains eleven Lodges, but this we consider too many. The District Deputy makes a formal visitation of every Lodge in his district every year. At this visitation he examines the Minutes, Visitor's Book, and other records of the Lodge, collects the moneys due the Grand Lodge, and witnesses a portion of the degree work. The work to be presented is usually determined by the Worshipful Master, but the District Deputy may demand any portion of the work or the whole work of one or more degrees. At some time during his visitation he addresses the Lodge conveying to it such messages as the Grand Master may desire and adding any personal advice, commendation or criticism which occurs to him.
Visits of inspection are not made by the Grand Master in person.
In addition to the official visitation the District Deputy keeps in touch with all the Lodges in his district, consults with and advises the Masters, and acts as a medium of communication between the Grand Master and the Lodges.
It seems to me that he should not formally investigate or instruct concerning the Masonic history and philosophy offered by the Lodge officers to any new members. Neither do I think that this visitation should include an audit of the business transactions of the Lodge.
Should the Grand Lodge legislate requiring instruction in Masonic history and philosophy it would properly become the duty of the District Deputy to see that this legislation like other Grand Lodge legislation is properly enforced. The business affairs of the Lodge are its own concern. They do not become the concern of the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge unless irregularities occur so serious as to involve scandal to the Fraternity. In that case there would always be abundant redress.
While I do not believe that the functions of the District Deputy should extend officially to these matters, a very great regulating and upholding influence may be, and in this jurisdiction is exercised, by the District Deputy with regard to both instruction and the conduct of business. The District Deputy may and does encourage, and in some cases procure the proper instruction of young Masons, and he may and does jointly and unofficially exercise a directing influence where the business transactions of the Lodge appear to be carelessly or improperly conducted.
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
* * *
Emphasizes Inspection of Study Side.
In my judgment this question touches upon some of the most important problems before the lodges of our country. My observation has been that too many of the Masonic organizations (of this jurisdiction at least), and particularly those in small towns, do their work in a perfunctory way. If each lodge within the Grand Master's jurisdiction knew that at least once a year either the Grand Master himself or some authorized deputy would visit the lodge I am sure the officers would attend to their duties with greater punctuality and precision. But lamentable as is the slip shod way in which the ritualistic part of the work is done, the ignorance of many Masons relative to the historic and philosophical fundamental principles of their Fraternity is much worse. I believe the crying need among our lodges is an intelligent understanding of the origin and purpose of Masonry, and therefore it seems to me a Grand Master who has not provided further light in Masonry to the lodges within his jurisdiction has failed to realize his opportunity, not to say that he has been derelict in the performance of his duty. In my judgment the matter of inspecting the business transactions of the lodges is of secondary importance. I am not sure to what extent the law of the state would recognize the right of the Grand Lodge to look into the affairs of a local body. The law of the state would have to be considered in answering that question.
Henry D. Funk, Minnesota.
* * *
Real Deputy Grand Masters.
Each lodge should be visited officially at least once a year by the Grand Master or his personal representative who should be a District Deputy Grand Master, appointed by and responsible to his Grand Master. This Deputy should carry to the lodges of his District official messages and should address the Brethren along the lines of the Masonic policies of his chief. He should inspect the original charter and see that it be carefully preserved. He should see that the By-laws bear the proper approval. He should examine the minutes to some extent. He should audit the books so far and (except in case of some special exigency) only so far as is necessary to ascertain the amount due the Grand Lodge which he should then and there collect and promptly turn over to the Grand Lodge.
He should also call for an exhibition of some ritualistic work but he should not be expected to be letter perfect in the ritual. That is to say, the District Deputy should be an executive officer and not a pedagogue. The expert and exact teaching of the ritual should be in the hands of Grand Lecturers or similar officers who can make a business of it and should be paid for their services like any teacher whether they give the whole of their time to the work or do it aside from their regular vocations.
One entire issue of "THE BUILDER" could be filled with a recitation of the advantages of this system and it has no disadvantages. If those jurisdictions where the District Deputy is merely an honorary official with perfunctory duties, could only know how valuable he could be made, they would instantly make this officer a real Deputy — a representative of the Grand Master de facto as well as de jure — and they would not overload him with many lodges. No business or professional man can properly attend to the official and social duties devolving upon the Deputyship in a district of more than a dozen lodges without unreasonably neglecting his family, or his business affairs, or both. From long personal experience and observation, I believe that the ideal district is composed of eight lodges which, in the country, should be arranged for convenience of inter-communication and not by distance as the crow flies or even by boundaries established by civil government.
It will interest some jurisdictions to know that because of the successful working out of this system where it originated, for more than a generation that Grand Lodge has been able to close its books each year with every return in, every cent of dues in hand, and not a single lodge in default for a penny of its constitutional payments to Grand Lodge.
When Grand Master Dunn of Massachusetts found in 1800 that his particular lodges were too numerous for him to visit each year in person, he specially commissioned competent Brethren to do the visiting for him. His scheme was so successful that it has ever since been followed and in 1811 the District Deputy was made a constitutional officer, but not an elective one. That is to say, the Deputy in that state is not the representative of his lodge or of his District to the Grand Lodge. He is a real deputy — the representative of his Grand Master to those lodges specially assigned to his care and supervision. To those who fear that this introduces "politics," let it be said that as a matter of fact and experience for over a hundred years there has been vastly less of politics than in the jurisdictions where the Deputy is chosen by election. A Grand Master who is big enough for the job will select the best available past Master in the district. It may not be the man who can muster the most votes.
The question as to an audit suggests one further observation. Except so far as is necessary for the support of the Grand Lodge in the maintenance of general principles, and to the prevention of unmasonic acts, the Grand Lodge and its officers should leave the lodges alone to conduct their business affairs to suit themselves. Compulsory adoption of standard by-laws, for instance, is as absurd as it is unnecessary. And it is none of the Grand Lodge's business whether a particular lodge serves to its members and guests a state banquet, or cheese and crackers, or nothing.
Melvin M. Johnson, Massachusetts.
* * *
Build Up Morale Rather Than Ritual.
If in your questions you refer to Degree work, or other routine work, I have such a slight estimate of the sanctity and value of parrot proficiency in such cases, such a dislike to Grand Lodge interference in the local affairs or business of the Lodge, placing greater value on the morale of a lodge than its ability to work a degree with all the T's crossed and all the steps made at the right angle that after this clearing away of my defences I will say:
I prefer that the Grand Master considers himself the Commander-in-Chief and stays at Headquarters to direct the subordinate Grand Officers where to visit and what to do; if they cannot find time nor have the ability nor desire to make good officers under instruction they will not make good officers to give instructions themselves. The Grand Master should attend to the greater functions and semi-public engagements, or take a hand in the critical episodes of his Grand Mastership; he should be the Grand Master, not a visiting flunkey. There is another feature of these incessant minor calls on the time and endurance of a Grand Master; such work costs the Jurisdiction money; as soon as he has made his Annual report to the Grand Lodge and received his jewel, or whatnot, that costly information is of no account any further to the Grand Lodge, and the next man goes over the same route; whereas, when the other officers in line each make some visitations they have years, more or less, in which to use their information and when they come to be Grand Masters they can be such and direct the future generations intelligently. This plan also tests out the coming Grand officers, costs less money and is an approach to a business administration which will be efficient; I have tried out both plans and for every desirable result the Commander-in-Chief idea possesses all the aces in the pack. I therefore answer your first question, by an officer in line properly deputized.
(a) The inspection should not be limited to the ritual work, but more to the morale and general get up of the brethren; of course they ought to know enough to confer a degree reasonably correctly, but if some parts have to be neglected the "perfect points and parts of entrance, etc.," can stand the neglect better than any other.
(b) Such inspection should include the knowledge of the officers in Masonic accepted history, not myth history, in order that not only new members but old members may be given an opportunity to know something about their antecedents as Masons, and their landing place in Masonic philosophy, not the nondescript Religious or Occult "stuff," as the printers term it, which seek to masquerade as Masonic, not regular addresses, or off hand talks by those who know something, ought to be the rule in every Lodge.
(c) Audits should not be made unless requested by the Lodge and, in that case, not by the Grand Master, or his authorized Deputy, who should not lower himself to the position of a traveling auditor, which while an honorable job is not one to be attached to the dignity of a Grand Master. If I were Master of a Lodge I would contest any undue interference with my business, unless I asked for it.
T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
* * *
SCALD MISERABLE MASONS
Bro. John G. Keplinger, Illinois
Keplinger, John G., born at Millersville, Penn., May 21st, 1877; jeweler's apprentice at 14; author of Jewelry Repairers' Handbook at 25; in succession advertising manager of York Silk Mfg. Co., York, Penn., chief correspondent National Cloak Co., New York, and past six years advertising manager Illinois Watch Co., Springfield, Ill. Entered, passed and raised in Central Lodge, No. 71, Springfield, in 1912; Chaplain since 1913. Member of Springfield Consistory.
In going through Vol. 2 of Hone's Everyday Book — published in London in 1827 — I found a very interesting account of the procession of "scald miserable masons," which took place in London in 1741 or 42. This demonstration on the part of the enemies of the Craft was, in a measure, responsible for the later discontinuance of the freemasons' processions which were held annually on June 24th since the year 1721.
R. F. Gould, in his History of Freemasonry, Vol. 3, opposite page 146, gives a full page illustration of the "scald miserables" procession which he states was copied from the very rare original print by A. Benoist, published in 1771. This illustration is entirely different from that which accompanies Hone's account.
Mackey and Singleton, in their History of Freemasonry, Vol. 2, opposite page 432, also show an illustration of this or another "scald miserable" procession but it is not at all like the ones reproduced by Gould or Hone.
While Mackey does not give an illustration of this procession in his encyclopedia he has a full page article on the subject. In this he quotes from Sir John Hawkin's Life of Johnson; the London Daily Post of March 20, 1741; Smith's "Use and Abuse of Fremas."; the London Freemason of 1858; and Hone's Ancient Mysteries, page 242. He, however, does not give us the vivid word picture we obtain from Hone's account in the Everyday Book.
"April 18. On this day, in the year 17—, there was a solemn mock procession, according to the fashion of the times, in ridicule of freemasonry, by an assemblage of humorists and rabble, which strongly characterises the manners of the period. Without further preface, a large broadside publication, published at the time, is introduced to the reader's attention, as an article of great rarity and singular curiosity.
"The year wherein this procession took place, is not ascertainable from the broadside; but, from the mode of printing and other appearances, it seems to have been some years before that which is represented in a large two sheet 'Geometrical View of the Grand Procession of Scald Miserable Masons, designed as they were drawn up over against Somerset-house, in the Strand on the 27th of April, 1742. Invented, and engraved by A. Benoist.' (Frontispiece, this issue.)
"It should be further observed, that the editor of the Every Day Book is not a mason; but he disclaims any intention to discredit an order which appears to him to be founded on principles of good will and kind affection. The broadside is simply introduced on account of its scarcity, and to exemplify the rudeness of former manners. It is headed by a spirited engraving on wood, of which a reduced copy is placed below, with the title that preceded the original print subjoined.
The Solemn and Stately Procession OF THE SCALD MISERABLE MASONS as it was martiall'd, on Thursday, the 18th of this Instant, April.
The engraving is succeeded by a serio-comic Address, commencing thus:
The REMONSTRANCE of the Right Worshipful the GRAND MASTER, &c. of the SCALD MISERABLE MASONS.
WIHEREAS by our Manifesto some time past, dated from our Lodge in Brick-street, We did, in the most explicite manner, vindicate the ancient rights and privileges of this society, and by incontestable arguments evince our superior dignity and seniority to all other institutions, whether Grand-Volgi, Gregorians, Hurlothrumbians, Ubiquarians, Hiccubites, Lumber-Troopers, or Free-Masons; yet, nevertheless, a few persons under the last denomination, still arrogate to themselves the usurped titles of Most Ancient and Honorable, in open violations of truth and justice; still endeavour to impose their false mysteries (for a premium) on the credulous and unwary, under pretence of being part of our brotherhood; and still are determin'd with drums, trumpets, gilt chariots, and other unconstitutional finery, to cast a reflection on the primitive simplicity and decent economy of our ancient and annual peregrination. We ourselves think proper, in justification of Ourselves, publicly to disclaim all relation or alliance whatsoever, with the said society of Free-Masons, as the same must manifestly tend to the sacrifice of our dignity, the impeachment of our understanding, and the disgrace of our solemn mysteries: AND FURTHER, to convince the public of our candour and openness of our proceedings, We here present them with a key to our procession; and that the rather, as it consists of many things emblematical, mystical, hieroglyphical, comical, satirical, political, &c.
AND WHEREAS many, persuaded by the purity of our constitution, the nice morality of our brethren, and peculiar decency of our rites and ceremonies, have lately forsook the gross errors and follies of the Free-Masonry, and are now become true Scald Miserables; It cannot but afford a pleasing satisfaction to all who have any regard to truth and decency, to see our procession increased with such a number of proselytes; and behold those whose vanity, but the last year, exalted them into a borrowed equipage, now condescend to become the humble cargo of a sand cart."
"(Then follows the following)
A KEY OR EXPLANATION of the Solemn and Stately Procession of the Scald Miserable Masons. Two Tylers, or Guarders In yellow Cockades and Liveries, being the Colour ordained for the Sword Bearer of State. They, as youngest enter'd 'Prentices, are to guard the Lodge, with a drawn Sword, from all Cowens and Eves-droppers, that is Listeners, lest they should discover the incomprehensible Mysteries of Masonry.
A Grand Chorus of Instruments,
To wit: Four Sackbutts, or Cow's Horns; Six Hottentot Hautboys; four.tinkling Cymbals, or Tea Canisters, with broken Glass in them; four Shovels and Brushes; two Double Bass Dripping pans; a Tenor Frying-pan; a Salt-box in Dclasol; and a pair of Tubs.
Ragged enter'd 'Prentices
Properly cloathed, giving the above token, and the Word, which is Jachin.
The Funeral of Hyram
Six stately unfledg'd Horses with Funeral Habilaments and Caparisons, carrying Escutcheons of the arms of Hyram Abiff, viz. a Master's lodge, drawing, in a limping halting posture, with Solemn Pomp, a superb open hearse, nine Foot long, four Foot wide, and having a clouded Canopy, Inches and Feet innumerable in perpendicular Height, very nearly resembling a Brick Waggon: In the midst, upon a Throne of Tubs raised for that Purpose, lays the Corps in a Coffin cut out of one entire Ruby; but for Decency's sake, is covered with a Chimney-sweeper's Stop-cloth, at the head of a memorable Sprig of Cassia. Around in mournful Order placed, the loving, weeping, drunken Brethren sit with their Aprons, their Gloves they have put in their Pockets; at Top and at Bottom, on every side and everywhere, all round about, this open hearse is bestuck with Escutcheons and Streamers, some bearing the Arms, some his Crest, being the Sprig of Cassia, and some his Motto, viz. Macbenah.
Grand band of Musick as before Two Trophies
Of arms or achievements, properly quarter'd and emblazon'd, as allow'd by the college of arms, showing the family descents, with some particular marks of distinction, showing in what part of the administration that family has excelled. That on the right the achievement of the right worshipful Poney, being Parte Perpale, Glim, and Leather-dresser, viz. the Utensils of a Link and Black-shoe-Boy: That on the left the trophy of his excellency, — Jack, Grand-master elect, and Chimney-sweeper.
Of the Grand-master, being neatly nasty, delicately squaled, and magnificently ridiculous, beyond all human bounds and conceivings. On the right the Grandmaster Poney, with the Compasses for his Jewel, appendant to a blue Ribband round his neck: On the left his excellency — Jack, with a Square hanging to a white Ribband, as Grand-master elect: The Honourable Nic. Baboon, Esq.; senior grand Warden, with his Jewel, being the Level, all of solid gold, and blue Ribband: Mr. Balaam van Assinman, Junior Warden, his Jewel the Plumb-Rule.
Attendants of Honour
The Grand Sword Bearer, carrying the Sword of State. It is worth observing, This Sword was sent as a Present by Ishmael Abiff (a relative in direct Descent to poor old Hyram) King of the Saracens, to his grace of Wattin, Grand-Master of the Holy-Lodge of St. John of Jerusalem in Clerkenwell, who stands upon our list of Grand-masters for the very same year. The Grand Secretary, with his Insignia & Probationists and Candidates close the Procession. Tickets to be had, for three Megs a carcass to scran their Pannum-Boxes, at the Lodge in Brick-Street, near Hide-Park Corner; at the Barley-Broth Womens at St. Paul's Church-Yard, and the Hospital Gate in Smithfield; at Nan Duck's in Black-Boy-Ailey, Chick Lane, & & &. Note. No Gentlemen's Coaches, or whole Garments, are admitted in our Procession, or at the Feast."
* * *
AMERICA IN THE WORLD'S WAR
'Tis not for love of gain we go
To war upon a foreign shore;
'Tis not to force submission to
A tyrant's will of murderous gore;
But rather 'tis an act to point
The way to heights yet unattained,
That unborn nations yet to come
May ne'er by bloody war be stained;
That justice, truth and liberty
Shall guide, direct and triumph in
Each nation's act on land or sea,
To hush the deafening battle's din;
That true regard for human rights
Vouchsafe to all shall ever be,
And disenthralled from wrong and greed
Each nation's conduct shall be free.
Though we descend from realms of peace
Into the fiery war cloud's smoke;
'Tis not to win the victor's crown
Or deal a foe a deadly stroke;
But that with loving hands we reach
Into the nation's boiling pot;
The crucible of cruel war
Where struggling empires cast their lot
And help refine and elevate
Each noble sentiment inspired;
To break oppression's galling yoke
Where millions have expired.
That true democracy shall be
The light and guide to liberty
And noble heritage bequeathed
To countless millions yet to be.
— W. S. Vawter, Texas.
* * *
Pray which died first, and was buried
Thy heart or thy hand the last?
Was unspent love thy last passion, —
A sword in thy hand held fast?
No gem or gold of thy treasure
Held close to thy heart in death
Excels in value the message
That died on thy parting breath.
Was Justice swift or too tardy,
Did Virtue or Vanity gain,
Was Duty joyous or irksome,
Did Wisdom or Folly reign?
To live, to love, and to languish
With visions of Truth replete, —
To dare to dream unto dying,
Perchance was thy life complete?
Perchance some stream that is hidden
May burst from a blasted stone,
Here lost, dissolved through the ages,
May flow from thy source unknown.
Of Truth, like rain from the heavens,
Like snow on the mountain sheer,
No drop, distilled through the sages,
Is lost, but will reappear.
For God's footrule is a million,
And ours is the inch and ell.
The weave and woof of thy merit
His measure alone may tell.
— James T. Duncan.
* * *
THE RECEPTION OF THE FLAGS
Bro. Louis Block, P. G. M., Iowa
At the public ceremonies preliminary to the opening of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, the British, French and American flags were each presented by a girl dressed in the white nurses uniform of the Red Cross. When the British flag was borne down the aisle to the stage the quartet sang "Rule Britannia" and the flag was received and welcomed by the speaker with these words:
THE UNION JACK
MOST Worshipful Grand Master, Mr. Chairman, my Brethren, Ladies and Gentlemen: As Masons we have often been taught that Masonry is the science of symbols. Flags are either intensely symbolical or they have no significance at all. It is natural therefore that Masons should take a keen interest in flags.
This is the flag that is best known as the "Union Jack." It is called this because it symbolizes the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland. As you will see, it consists of a blue field across which there are laid three crosses, a red one running straight across and up and down, and a white one and a red one which run crossways from corner to corner. These are the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick, St. George being the patron saint of England, St. Andrew the tutelary saint of Scotland, and St. Patrick the well beloved saint of Ireland.
The banner of St. George was a red cross laid perpendicularly across a white field. We can all recall the famous legend of St. George and the dragon, how the beautiful daughter of the King of On was rescued from the flaming jaws of the dragon who threatened to devour her. Today in France the sons of St. George are freely offering up their lives to rescue God's beautiful daughter Liberty from the all-devouring jaws of the dragon of militarism.
The banner of St. Andrew consisted of a white cross laid diagonally upon a blue field. It has a special meaning for Masons, for in the early days it was the banner of the craftsmen and King James the Sixth was heard to say, that whenever he attempted to impose upon these sturdy workmen the smallest burden, they arose in their wrath and hoisted "their bloody blue blanket" and resisted him. This banner had painted upon it a thistle and round about it the motto, "Nemo me impune lacessit." This, my brethren, is a latin phrase which being interpreted meaneth, "Nobody monkeys with me without getting stung," and the sons of Scotland fighting today Somewhere In France are proving to the enemy how sharply this thistle can sting.
The banner of St. Patrick consisted of a red cross stretched diagonally across a white field. We are told that St. Patrick was especially beloved because he drove the snakes out of Ireland. I sometimes suspect, however, that their real reason for leaving was that they could hardly stomach the music by the Kilkenny cats of whom the poet tells us,
"There were two cats of Kilkenny,
They fought and they fit,
They scratched and they bit,
Until instead of two cabs of Kilkenny
There wasn't any."
Be this as it may, it is nevertheless sure that the sons of the old sod are today proving to the Prussians that the Kilkenny cats could take lessons from their Irish masters when it comes to fighting.
Taken all together, the three crosses go to make up the Union Jack, the banner of our ancient enemy, John Bull. You know that in the old days we were forced to teach him a couple of lessons in human liberty, forced to make him understand that we would neither endure taxation without representation, nor permit him to impress free-born American seamen upon the high seas, and to make him learn this lesson we had to larrup him twice, once by land and once by sea. But that was a long time ago and for over a hundred years now he has been our good neighbor on the North and we have lived side by side with him for over a century with never a soldier or a fort needed to maintain peace between us.
This is the flag of the land which gave Masonry her birth. It is the banner of the country which produced the greatest system of human law known to man — at once the wisest and fairest, the safest and squarest system of free self control that has ever blessed a troubled world. This is the national emblem of the people who speak our mother tongue and for that reason we can know and understand them a little bit better than any other people on the earth.
We used to think and feel that while England loved liberty for herself she was not quite so ready to grant it to others. But we have seen her heart undergo a wonderful change — have seen the soul of the great Britain people rise and shake off its selfishness and offer itself as a sacrifice for the suffering and the oppressed of the world. If Britain was ever beset with the greed of conquest she surely has shriven her soul by the great sacrifice made by her sons in behalf of poor, broken, bleeding Belgium and we are now ready to believe that with her whole heart and soul she loves liberty for her own sweet sake, and that when she proudly declares that "Britons never, never, never will be slaves" she means that slavery shall exist nowhere in the world and so we are glad to welcome here today the proud banner of Britain, fold it to our hearts, and wave it aloft alongside the Stars and Stripes.
(Then the National flag of France was borne to the stage and the quartet sang the Marseillaise and the speaker welcomed it by saying:)
This, my brethren, is the tri-color, the tried colors of the sunny land of France. It is the flag of our sister Republic, the standard of a great, cheery, laughing, sunny-souled and happy-hearted people, and if there is a flag on the face of the earth to which the American soul is irresistibly drawn with a tingling thrill, it is this beautiful banner of France. How well our own song of the Red, White and Blue would fit this fine flag. Let us give three cheers for this Red, White and Blue!
(Whereupon the great audience arose to their feet and roared out a cheer that seemed to rock the building on its foundations.)
This is the banner that has proved to the world that a people can be free and still not lose its power of fighting. Just think of the magnificent resistance that this free people has made against the most powerful, most magnificently organized and perfectly operating Or as it fighting machine the world has ever seen. Under the leadership of old Papa Joffre, the General Grant of France, they have fought this military machine to a stand-still and are making its wheels grind backward. At last, my brethren, we have an opportunity of paying the debt we have so long owed to Rochambeau and Lafayette and we were sodden ingrates indeed did we not respond to the call of our ancient friends who have so freely poured out floods of their patriotic blood upon the sacred altar of liberty. Verily, it takes a free people to know the heart of a free people, and if there is a land in the world to which our hearts go out in its hour of trial, it is this dearly beloved land of France, the land that was so true and helpful to us in our own hour of crying need.
The other day in addressing the Chamber of Deputies, Monsieur Ribot, the President of the Council, speaking of us to his people, said that by taking part in this war for human liberty we had proven ourselves faithful to the traditions of the founders of our independence and had demonstrated that the enormous rise of our industrial strength and economic and financial power had not weakened in us that need for an ideal without which there could be no great nation. He further declared that the powerful and decisive aid which the United States had thus brought to France was not only a material aid but was more than all else a moral aid and a real consolation in their hour of heavy affliction. Let us here highly resolve that we will prove ourselves true to the faith our French brothers have in us.
(Then the Stars and Stripes were carried to the stage, the audience standing upon their feet and singing the "Star Spangled Banner." When the flag was placed in the hands of the speaker, he said:)
This is Old Glory, my flag and your flag. If there ever was a flag about which an American ought to be able to speak freely, fluently, and with great force, it surely is the Stars and Stripes. But alas, on this occasion I feel as though human speech were far too frail, poor and weak a thing to tell of the thoughts that fill the mind and the feelings that thrill the soul. This is one of the times when words seem absolutely worthless. This is the flag which the poet spoke of when he sang:
"When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there!
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies
And striped its pure celestial white
With streakings of the morning light.
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle bearer down,
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land."
Unequal as I am to the occasion I yet must try to tell what this banner means for us as
"Blue and crimson and white it shines
Over the steel-tipped ordered lines "
Or as it
"Catches the gleam of the morning's first beam
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream"
even if I call to my help the words of others to tell the story. This is the flag that speaks to us of
"Sea fights and land fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the state,
Weary marches and sinking ships,
Cheers of victory from dying lips.
Days of plenty and days of peace,
March of strong lands swift increase,
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe.
Sign of a nation great and strong,
To guard her people from foreign wrong,
Glory, pride and honor all
Live in the flag to stand or fall."
Even though I had the skill of the sculptor that fits him to carve the cold rock into a living semblance of life, or the inspiration of a painter who dips his brush in the colors of the sunset to make the glowing landscape quiver with life upon the canvas before him, or the exaltation of the singer who caught the high note of the music of the spheres when the morning stars sang together, — even then I could not begin to picture the power, the glory, the majesty, the dignity, and the sanctity of the love of the free patriot for his flag.
"I am unworthy.
Should strike the chords
And fill the lands
From sea to sea with melody
All reverent yet with harmony,
Majestic, jubilant to tell,
How love must love
If love loves well."
Think of the sacred love of a mother for her little child — of the cradle
"Gently rocking, rocking,
Silent, peaceful, to and fro,
Of the mother's sweet looks dropping
On the little face below,"
think of the love of a fine strong man as he clasps to his breast his blushing bride, think of the sacred affection linking together the lives of an old couple who have journeyed far along life's road side by side into the sunset, think of the love and the pride and the joy that flames back and forth between a staunch and sturdy son and his silver-hail ed sire — think of all these and roll and blend them into one and you cannot begin to tell of the love of the freeman for his flag! Surely then we are ready to say:
"This is my flag. For it will give
All that I have, even as they gave —
They who dyed those blood-red bands —
Their lives that it might wave.
This is my flag. I am prepared
To answer now its first clear call,
And with Thy help, Oh God,
Strive that it may not fall.
This is my flag. Dark days seem near.
O Lord, let me not fail.
Always my flag has led the right,
O Lord, let it not fail."
Some of us can fight, others can work, others still can pay, each in his place can do his duty and be worthy of the honor of being an American citizen and enjoying the blessings of liberty. Each one of us can do his bit and remember that
"Honor and fame from no condition rise,
Act well thy part, there all the honor lies."
The poorest citizen in the land can buy at least one Liberty Bond, and every dollar spent for a Liberty Bond is a bullet blown into the bowels of the enemy. Let us here today in overwhelming gratitude for the blessings that we have enjoyed under this banner of the free, consecrate our souls anew to its service.
THE MISSING FLAG
But there is another banner which is not here with us today, a flag which for the present at least we are forced to shut out of our sacred circle. I speak of it with pain and regret, with heart-ache and with a great sense of deep pity, for it is the flag of my ancestors and my own father's ashes now lie buried beneath the soil over which it waves. It is needless to say that I speak of the German flag. This flag once flew over the heads of a great people, a people that stood high in the ranks of world achievement, a people who were masters of the world, both in medicine and in music, a people who love liberty, a people who produced Martin Luther, who was the foremost champion of religious liberty in the world. There is one curious thing about the colors of these flags which I am not sure that you have noticed. Is it by mere chance that it happens that the colors of all of the flags of freedom are red, white and blue, while those of the banner of Prussian despotism are red, white and black? Was it a matter of mere accident that this dark streak and sinister stripe appears in this flag which now stands for the outlaw among the nations? Is not this dark stripe symbolical of the darkness of the mind, the military madness that holds a great people in bonds and is fast driving it on to ruin? Surely. the black must be a symbol of the madness of militarism.
When a storm gathers in the heavens black clouds shut out from sight the face of the sun. But when the age and madness of the elements has worn itself out and the roll of the thunder has died away in the distance, then slowly but surely the blackness fades to blue and the earth is bright and happy once more. Let us hope that so it will be in this awful world war and that, when the storm of rage and madness has been swept from out the hearts of our German brethren, that the blackness which now blinds their sight will clear away, and be supplanted by the pure blue of the unclouded sky of freedom and that peace and happiness will once more prevail among all the peoples of the earth.
THE FLAG OF FRATERNITY
But there is another banner here today, although we cannot see it with our mortal eyes. It is the unseen flag of Fraternity that floats above the dome of that great "house not made with hands," that temple of liberty which stands forever eternal in the heavens. Its colors are all the colors of the rainbow and it spreads its flaming folds across the world from sunrise to sunset. It is a flag that shall fall upon the world as a reward for the awful sacrifice it is now being called upon to make. In all of the history of this old earth never has there been a sacrifice so awful, so bitter, so heart-rending, so soul-terrifying, so overwhelming, as that which we are making today for the sake of human liberty, and just so surely as we believe that there is a God of Justice, just so certain must be the reward that will bless humanity for this mighty manifestation of divine devotion to a most holy cause. Out of it all there must come a world-wide unity and friendship, and a fraternity that shall reach wide-swept to the uttermost corners of the globe. There must be a union of the states, not of Europe alone, but of the whole world, and Masonry which has been never the destroyer but always The Builder, must play a mighty part in erecting this world-wide temple of humanity. Even now Masons everywhere are praying for the dawn of that day so beautifully pictured by Albert Pike:
"When all mankind shall be one great lodge of brethren, And wars of fear and persecution shall be known no more forever."
When that day comes we shall behold with our spiritual eyes the mighty Temple of Human Liberty made more magnificent than ever, and over its shining portal we shall read in letters of living light the words, "Liberty and union, freedom and fraternity, now and forever, one and inseparable, world without end."
* * *
THE TRUE JOY OF LIFE
This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized as yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown into the scrap heap; the being a force in nature instead of a selfish little clod complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
— G. B. Shaw.
* * *
There are three qualities which will enable a man to endure all hardships — unquestioning faith in a beneficent God, an absorbing love for an individual, or a burning enthusiasm for a cause.
— Salome Hocking.
* * *
ALBERT PIKE: A MASTER GENIUS OF MASONRY
Bro. J. Fort Newton, England
MR. TOASTMASTER: It is the privilege of the living to strive, as occasion may of offer, to preserve the image of the great and good men of former times. Not less is it our duty to do so, that as little as possible may be lost of the precious heritage of our race. Fewer names would fade from their rightful place in human memory if we, who enter into their labors and reap what they have sown, were duly mindful of our obligation to the dead and to the advancing generation.
In this the centennial year of his birth it is doubly fitting that we recall the name of Albert Pike — the master genius of Masonry, its most accomplished scholar, its noblest orator, and by far the greatest artist who has adorned its temple in these latter days. No more beautiful spirit than Albert Pike ever lived with us or died among us, and tonight his words are fulfilled before our eyes, when he said: "I wish my monument to be builded only in the hearts and memories of my brethren of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite." He himself fulfilled those words by the beauty of his genius, the splendor of his character, and the high quality of his service to our order;
"For naught endures unless it stands
Linked with a deathless poet's name."
Almost twenty years have now come and gone since the great figure of Albert Pike disappeared from the walks of men. Other men and other scenes have come upon the stage and many changes have been wrought upon the earth. Even in the city where he was for so long a chief ornament and distinction a generation has arisen to whom it is necessary to describe Albert Pike. And that no one may ever hope to do. One may recall the majestic figure, the noble head, the great and beautiful eyes that were the homes of genius and power, the face so full of benign wisdom, and the fine spirit that forever animated and refined a form at once colossal and symbolic. But no one can reproduce the personal and intellectual charm, the stately grace and rich humanity of that wonderful man.
Albert Pike has long been known to me as a poet of daring and eloquent melodies. In days that come not back it was my joy to read "Hymns to the Gods," in which as a youth he visited the altars of Greece, the holy land of the artist, and learned the holiness of beauty. We of the south recall his poems of "The Mocking Bird," the mystic queen of southern woodland song, along with his ringing lines proposing "The Magnolia" as the emblem of the south. Nor can any one forget those tender verses which set to music the loneliness and pathos of old age, as colors grew dimmer and the life grows heavier "Every Year." But more melting than all is his little song to "A Dead Child," which brought a ray of light into one of the darkest days of my life.
But this week [The address was delivered at a banquet following the reunion of Iowa Consistory, No. 2, at which the speaker received the degrees of the Scottish Rite, in 1909] it has been given me to see another Albert Pike — a great artist of spiritual truth, a magician of form and color and words — the Michael Angelo of moral architecture. It is beautiful beyond all words. No one can imagine a more magnificent portrayal of the meaning of life and of what it is to be a man and a Mason. In token of this honor let me ask you indulge me in a recital of the story of Albert Pike, his personal history and his career as a Mason, with a brief sketch of his achievements as a scholar, his character as a man, and his genius as a poet.
Albert Pike was born in Boston, Mass., December 29th, 1809 — the same day that brought Gladstone into the world, and like Gladstone he came of a stock noted for its strength and longevity. The Pikes came to this country from Devonshire, England, as early as 1635, and the family has given us many poets, patriots, scholars, ministers and jurists. Such was Nicholas Pike, author of the first arithmetic in America, the friend of Washington, and the planter of the liberty tree in front of his house in 1775, the branches of which arch State street to this day. Such was Zebulon Pike, the explorer, who gave his name to Pike's Peak, and died in battle in the war of 1812.
The father of Albert Pike, so he tells us, was a journeyman shoemaker, "who worked hard, paid his taxes, and gave all his children the benefit of an education." His mother was a woman of great beauty, though somewhat austere in her ideas of training a boy. As a child he saw the festivities at the close of the war with Great Britain, in 1815. His father removed to Newburyport, in the same state, when Albert was four years of age, and remained there until his death; and it was there that the boy was reared. He attended the schools of the town, and also an academy at Farmingham, and at fourteen was ready for the freshman class at Harvard. Being informed that he must pay the tuition fees for two years in advance, he declined to do so, and proceeded to educate himself, following the junior and senior classes while teaching school. He taught at Fairhaven and later in his home town, first as assistant, then as principal, and afterwards in a private school until March, 1831.
By nature Pike was a thinker and by genius a poet — large-minded, sensitive, high-strung; conscious of his power, yet diffident; easily depressed by unkind words, but resolved to be a force in the world. When life with its nameless hopes began to stir within him, he felt the austere restraint of his Puritan environment where poetry was scorned as "flowery talk," and where all wings were clipped. He began to long for freer air and a wider life, and in 1831 set out for the west, by way of Niagara, thence to Cincinnati and down the Ohio, much of the way on foot, to St. Louis. He went as far as Santa Fe, the scenery of the country giving color to the poems he wrote along the way. At Taos he joined a trapping party, and after going down the Pecos, he traveled around the head waters of the Brazos to the sources of Red river. This took him across the Staked Plains, and he was so worn by hunger and hardships that he was glad to turn east. After walking five hundred miles he reached Fort Smith, Arkansas, "without a rag of clothing, a dollar of money, or a single friend in the territory."
In Arkansas Pike cast his lot, teaching school in a tiny log cabin near Van Buren. While thus engaged he wrote some verses for the Little Rock "Advocate," and they captured attention at once. These were followed by a series of articles on political topics, under the pen name of "Casa," which attracted so much notice that Greeley used them in his paper. The editor of the "Advocate" sent for Pike, offering him a place on his paper. This offer was gladly accepted and in 1833 he crossed the river and landed-in Little Rock, paying his last cent for the ferriage of an old man who had known his father in New England. Here began a new day in the life of Albert Pike. He learned to set type and to edit a paper, reading Blackstone at night, and never sleeping more than five hours a day. By 1835 he owned the "Advocate," but soon sold it, and after trying for a year to collect what was due him, he one day settled his accounts by putting his books in the stove. His own teacher in law, he delved deep into the volumes of Duranton, Pothier and Marcade, translating the Pandects of Justinian with the comments upon them of the French courts. After such studies, once admitted to the bar his path to success was an open road.
A tender little poem "To Mary" about this time told of other thoughts busy in his mind. He was married in 1834, and the same year appeared his "Prose Sketches and Poems," followed by "Ariel,"- -a longer poem, bold, spirited, scholarly, though marred somewhat by double rhymes. In 1830 he revised his "Hymns to the Gods" — written when he was a boy — and sent them to "Blackwood's Magazine." The editor, "Christopher North," not only accepted the hymns, but wrote a letter to Pike saying that his songs gave him first place among the singers of the day and that his genius marked him out to be a poet of the Titans. And yet Pike cared little for fame as a poet. His poet-soul was a well-spring of delight, and he seems to have cared only for the joy, and sometimes the pain, of writing. Most of his poems were printed privately for his friends, as though he were deaf to the tormenting whispers of the siren of ambition. Outside his inner circle he is known only by fugitive pieces which escaped from the cage and flew into the upper air.
In the war with Mexico, Pike won fame for his valor on the field of Buena Vista, and he has enshrined that awful scene in a stirring poem. After the war he took up the cause of the Indians, whose language he knew, and whom he felt were being robbed of their rights. He carried his case to the supreme court, to whose bar he was admitted in 1849, along with Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin. His speech in the case of the Senate Award to the Choctaws is famous in our annals, the supreme court adjourning to hear it, one of his auditors being Daniel Webster, who passed high eulogy upon his effort. Judged by any test, Albert Pike was a great orator — massive as Hercules, graceful as Apollo, a lawyer ranking with Grimes, Prentiss and Pettigrew, at once a poet and a man of action, uniting the learning of a scholar with the practicalness and bright eyed sagacity of a man of affairs, and above all gifted with the imperious magnetism which only genius may wear. By mistake he was reported dead in 1859, to the great distress of his friends, and he had the opportunity, not often enjoyed by any one, of reading the eulogies and laments written in his memory. When he was known to be in life and good heart, his friends celebrated his return from Hades by a social festival entitled, "The Life-Wake of the Fine Arkansaw Gentleman Who Died Before His Time." This event was duly recorded in an exquisite volume printed in August, 1859.
And then came blood and fire and the measureless woe of civil war. Albert Pike, though a lover of peace and a hater of slavery, cast his lot with the South and was a great soldier on its red fields. His lines written and sung to the tune of "Dixie" kindled all Southern hearts with fiery and passionate enthusiasm. He became brigadier general and was placed in command of the Indian Territory. Against his protest, the Indian regiments were ordered from the territory into Arkansas, and took part in the battle of Elkhorn under his command. This battle, fought against his advice, was a disaster, and he resigned from the army and returned to the law. To the end he regretted the war, so terrible in its human harvest, the result of an immemorial misunderstanding, and which stained with blood and tears a land where heroes sleep together.
It was in 1850 that Albert Pike entered the Masonic order, and rapidly advanced to its highest honors. Some have expressed wonder that a man of such rich and beautiful genius should have devoted so much of his life to a secret order. But those who thus speak know as little of the man as they know of the great order which he loved and honored. Happy the day when this master artist entered our temple, for it was as a great artist that he conceived of Masonry, even as it was as a great artist that he conceived of God, of man, of the kingdom of heaven, and of our pathetic human life.
One may almost say that Pike found Masonry in a log cabin and left it in a temple. In his life as a pioneer he saw the Masonic lodge as a silent partner of the home, the church, and the school, toiling in behalf of law, society and good order among men, and he perceived its possibilities as a field in which to use his varied gifts for the good of his fellow man. No one ever discerned the mission of Masonry more clearly, no one ever toiled for its advancement more tirelessly. If he had done nothing more than write "Morals and Dogma," his name would be entitled to our lasting and grateful remembrance. That is an amazing book — amazing alike for the wealth of its learning, the breadth and sanity of its teachings, and the lucidity and beauty of its style which not even Ruskin could excel. Its style, indeed, cast in the mold of classic simplicity, rivals in its grace and ease the noblest pages of man. No one can lay aside that book without feeling that he has visited the high places of wisdom and of truth, led by a master of those who know.
But "Morals and Dogma," noble as it is, was only a small part of the service of Albert Pike to our order. When he came to his throne in 1859 he found the Scottish Rite little more than a series of crude, incoherent, disconnected degrees, and six or seven of them consisted of the words and signs alone. At once he set about to recast the Rite and put it upon a higher level, writing those rituals and lectures which are so much admired, and which have been translated into so many tongues. Such a task gave free play to the artist-soul within him, from which his life and thought took form and color — his poetic genius, his sense of the fitness of things, his mastery of language, his faith, his hope and his dream. So he wrought, as Angelo wrought in the Sistine Chapel, giving to moral truth a form worthy of its beauty and meaning, and the imprint of his genius will never fade from the temples of this order. Nature, genius and culture had fitted Pike for such a labor. The note of his intellect was beauty; its depths were the depths of beauty; and to the soul of an artist he joined a rich and warm humanity, which made him an ideal priest in the temple of fraternity. To his skill as an architect he added a parallel genius as a scholar, and to the altar of his rite he brought the lore of all the ages, the myth and legend, the sacrificial rites and sacred ceremonials of all the races. He was of those who believe in the utility of the ideal, in the spiritual meaning of life, in the moral influence of beauty, and in the efficacy of art to surprise and embody the elusive Spirit of Truth which visits this earth with inconstant wing and fleeting shape —
"Like hues and harmonies of evening,
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like memory of music fled.
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, yet dearer for its mystery."
Such an artist, poet, Mason was Albert Pike. As Grand Commander he ruled not less by the divine right of genius and character than by the love of the bodies of his obedience — ruled with a stately and affable grace, wise in council, skilled in healing schism, fertile of inspiration, his one passion aside from the good of the craft being that he should never work injustice. Unforgettable are alike his dignity and his humility, the unpretentiousness of his mental and moral bigness, and the kindness that softened even the sternness of his discipline, when that sternness seemed like to vent itself upon the wrong doer rather than upon the wrong. Memorable were his encyclicals and allocutions, and his tributes to his friends — such as those to Robert Toombs and James A. Garfield — written with the lucidity of Thucydides and the charm of Cicero. Urbane always, he was, at times, a master of invective and satire, as witness his papers and letters in the "Cerneau" debate, and his famous reply to the bull of Pope Leo against Masonry.
Companionable he was supremely, abounding in friendship, glorious in conversation, simple, frank, and lovable. His laughter, rich and ringing, none might resist, and his humor gave an added grace to his intellectual magnificence. For the frills and fritiniances of life he had a fine, a copious, yet withal, an amused scorn, and every form of pretense or meanness shriveled in his presence. He kept ever, until toward the end, his youthful verve, and there was a freshness of sympathy in him that was essential democracy.
As a poet Albert Pike had the authentic fire, the vision and the dream, and he would be more widely known had not he-had such scorn of fame. In "Fantasma," a poem in which he shadows forth his life history, he speaks of one who was young and did not know his soul, until the mighty spell of Coleridge woke his hidden powers. Coleridge was his master, as Shelley was his ideal, and while we may not say that he was of equal genius with those masters, it is to that order of singers that he rightly belongs. In later life heavy cares and sorrows muffled his song and his harp lay idle for many years. Near the end he took up his harp once more and sought relief from loneliness, in a poem entitled "Every Year," which for a blend of a pathos that is almost bitter and a hope that is undefeated has none to surpass it in our speech.
"Life is a count of losses,
For the weak are heavier crosses,
Lost Springs with sobs replying
Unto weary Autumns sighing,
While those we love are dying,
"To the past go more dead faces,
As the loved leave vacant places,
Everywhere the sad eyes meet us,
In the evening's dusk they greet us,
And to come to them entreat us,
In his lonesome later years Pike betook himself more and more to "that city of the mind, built against outward distraction for inward consolation and shelter." Then it was that he mastered many languages — Sanskrit, Hebrew, old Samaritan, Chaldean and Persian — in quest of what each had to tell of beauty and of truth. By these he was led on to a study of Parsee and Hindoo beliefs and traditions, and he left, in the Temple Library, his fifteen large manuscript volumes, translations of the Rig-Veda and the Zend-Avesta — a feat to rival Max Muller. And there it may be seen to this day, all written with an old fashioned quill, in a tiny flowing hand, without blot or erasure. In the House of the Temple he lived attended by his daughter, and it was here that he held his court and received his friends, amid the birds and flowers that he loved so well. Old age came on with many infirmities, but he was ever the courtly and gracious man until April, 1891, when death touched him and he fell asleep without fear and without regret.
So passed Albert Pike. No purer, nobler man has stood at our altar or left his story in our traditions. He was the most eminent Mason in the world, not only by virtue of his high rank, but by the qualities of his genius, the richness of his culture, and the enduring glory of his service. Nor will our order ever permit to grow dim the memory of that stately, grave and gentle soul — a Mason to whom the world was a temple, a poet to whom the world was a song.
* * *
There are some thoughts too sad to put in words.
There are some joys too deep for accents gay.
I think that that is why God makes the birds,
Such things to say.
There are some moments full of melodies
Too sweet fol harps or any human thing.
I think that that is why God makes the trees,
Such songs to sing.
There are some souls that down life's highway pass
Too fair to last in hope's bright diadem.
I think that that is why God makes the grass,
To shelter them.
There are some hours too lonely for the light,
When shining rays but rude intruders seem.
I think that that is why God makes the night,
To sleep, and dream.
— American Lumberman.
* * *
Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask — thou smilest and art still,
Out topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,
Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,
Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place,
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foiled searching of mortality;
And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self-schooled, self-scanned, self-honored, self-secure,
Didst tread on earth unguessed at — Better so!
All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.
— Matthew Arnold.
* * *
A LAST FAREWELL
Albert Pike's Letter to a Dying Friend
(From the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Tribune)
(This letter of Albert Pike to a dying friend is worthy of preservation and forms a beautiful companion piece to his poem, "Every Hour.")
We gladly give place to the following beautifully worded letter from Gen. Albert Pike to Dr. Thurston, of Van Buren, and received by the latter the day before he died
Washington, September 3, 1885.
My Dearest and Best and Truest Old Friend: —
I have just received your loving message sent to me by Mr. Sandels. I had already two days ago learned from our old friend Cush, who had the information from James Stewart, that you were about to go away from us. In a little while I shall follow you; and it will be well for me if I can look forward to the departure, inevitable for all, with the same patience and equanimity with which you are waiting for it.
I do not believe that our intellect and individuality cease to be when the vitality of the body ends. I have a profound conviction, the only real revelation, which to me makes absolute certainty, that there is a Supreme Deity, the Intelligence and Soul of the Universe, to Whom it is not folly to pray; that our convictions come from Him, and in them He does not lie to, nor deceive us; and that there is to be for my very self another, a continued life, in which this life will not be as if it had never been, but I shall see and know again those whom I have loved and lost here.
You have led an upright, harmless, and blameless life, always doing good, and not wrong and evil. You have enjoyed the harmless pleasures of life, and have never wearied of it, nor thought it had not been a life worth living. Therefore you need not fear to meet whatever lies beyond the veil.
Either there is no God, or there is a just and merciful God, who will deal gently and tenderly with the human creatures whom He has made so weak and so imperfect.
There is nothing in the future for you to fear, as there is nothing in the past to be ashamed of. Since I have been compelled by the lengthening of the evening shadows to look forward to my own near approaching departure, I do not feel that I lose the friends who go before me. It is as if they had set sail across the Atlantic Sea to land in an unknown country beyond, hither I soon shall follow to meet them again.
But, dear old friend, I shall feel very lonely after you are gone. We have been friends so long, without a moment's intermission, without even one little cloud or shadow of unkindness or suspicion coming between us that I shall miss you terribly. I shall never have the heart to visit Van Buren again. There are others whom I like there but none so dear to me as you — none there or anywhere else. As long as I live I shall remember with loving affection your ways and looks and words, our glad days passed together in the woods, your many acts of kindness, the old home and the shade of the mulberries, and our intimate communion and intercourse during more than forty-five years.
I hoped to be with you once more in the woods, but now I shall never be in camp in the woods again. The old friends are nearly all gone; you are going sooner than I to meet them. I shall live a little longer, with little left to live for, loving your memory, and loving the wife and daughter who have been so dear to you. Dear, dear old friend, good bye! May our Father who is in heaven have you in His holy keeping and give you eternal rest!
Devotedly your friend,
* * *
To make knowledge valuable you must have the cheerfulness of wisdom.
* * *
We are born to search for Truth; to possess it belongs to a Higher Power.
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — No. 11
DEVOTED TO THE "STUDY SIDE OF MASONRY"
Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
THE LODGE AND THE CANDIDATE
Part II. Election of a Candidate
(Note. The following article is one of a series prepared by the Editor for reading and discussion in Lodges and Study Clubs. This series is based upon the Society's "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." Each month we present a leading article supplemented by a list of references on the same subject. In each month's issue, we also append a column of "Helpful Hints to Study Club Leaders," which we hope will assist those already doing this work, and inspire others to do likewise. This development is in line with the Society's policy of stimulating active Masonic study.
We recommend that Lodges and Study Clubs use the current paper at their meeting one month after it is received. This gives time for careful study by the members; it also permits the preparation of additional papers from the references. In the original presentation of this paper, if it is read a paragraph at a time, and fully discussed as you proceed, you will find that each member will get more out of it. By this plan, the leader can bring out the important points listed under "Helpful Hints," as you go along, and the discussion will perhaps be more to the point than otherwise.
The Bulletin Course may be taken up at this point as profitably as elsewhere. The previous lessons may be considered renew work. Mackey's Encyclopedia and the bound volumes of THE BUILDER remain the necessary references; others will from time to time be given; rare references will be reprinted in THE BULLETIN. YOUR LODGE can undertake systematic Masonic study with small expense in dollars, but large returns to your membership, if you will let us assist you. Our "STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT" is organized for that purpose.
Address: Geo. L. Schoonover, Secretary, Anamosa, Iowa
ASSUMING that the Investigating Committee has with every possible care and skill arrived at a definite and final decision upon the application of the "stranger" to receive the Masonic degrees, and that his actual conditions and career as well as his claims to favor have been closely and thoroughly determined, then a report is submitted to the lodge.
WHEN IT MAY BE HAD
This is done at a stated communication. It is usually in writing, the back of the blank used for the application for the degrees having as a rule provision made for the signatures of the members of the Committee below a brief statement that the report is favorable or unfavorable as the case may be. The method of procedure is the same in the case of an application for affiliation as for initiation.
The length of time that a Committee of Investigation may take for its labors must be determined by the needs of each case. Personal acquaintance with the candidate is an effective method of settling the first questions that will occur to an alert and reliable Committee, and of course none other is deserving of appointment — the responsibility is too great for the idle and the indifferent.
But to get into personal touch with the applicant and with those that he or his sponsors — those whose names are upon his petition — suggest for the purpose of reference requires time and opportunity. No lodge will grudge the gift of ample time for the purpose. Providing that the time is not frittered away aimlessly or in sheer neglect, all reasonable time will be allowed.
Granted, on the other hand, that the applicant is well known to the Committee or that he is readily accessible and that all the inquiries are speedily and satisfactorily answered. There is the. no necessity for delaying the report beyond what may be demanded by the Masonic law governing the case. The custom in the majority of Grand Jurisdictions is for the petition to lie over one lunar month, in a few from one stated meeting to another, the Committee reporting at a later stated meeting than the one at which it was appointed.
Another practice of very general acceptance is that the petition cannot be withdrawn after the report of the Committee has been presented to the lodge. Under any circumstances the withdrawal of the application is only permitted by formal action of the lodge as provided by the regulations of the Grand Lodge.
Still another custom has been adopted and that is to have the applicant present himself at the lodge apartments on a specified date and hour while his application is in the hands of the Committee. He is then in a position to meet the brethren personally and as many of them as desire that privilege can do so conveniently. There is nothing novel about this idea. It is merely a revival of a very old method and dates back to the earlier part of the eighteenth century if indeed it is not of very much greater age than the lodge records to which reference is now directed.
Due report having been made by the Investigating Committee and the same read in open lodge at a stated meeting, and no objection being raised by any other lodge or any member thereof which might under the law delay action, the application is subjected to a ballot.
Balloting in a Masonic lodge is a casting of a vote, Aye or Nay, in secrecy. Our commonly adopted method is based upon the General Regulations of nearly two centuries ago. These provided that "no man can be entered a Brother in any particular Lodge, or admitted a member thereof, without the unanimous consent of all members of the Lodge then present when the candidate is proposed, and their consent is formally asked by the Master."
Just how this was to be done was not then explained so that we may read it in the record. But we are told that the members are to "signify their consent or dissent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with unanimity."
Nowhere has the above stipulation been held more tenaciously than with our American lodges, Grand and subordinate. While in England as well as in Germany a single black ball has not the certainty of exclusion, that is not the case with us. True, a second ballot may be ordered when the Master discovers that but one black ball has been deposited in the box. The second ballot is in that respect only to check the first result and to prevent mistakes, as by the error of dropping a ball of the wrong color.
BLACK BALLS (CUBES) AND WHITE BALLS
Cubes are quite frequently employed as well as balls, the cubes being black and the balls white. There is thus a ready assurance to the voter up to the very last instant that the ballot is deposited. By sense of touch as well as by the previous glance at the color, feeling and sight assure the voter that he is correctly recording his intentions.
Convenience and secrecy are the especial merits of a ballot box. Large enough it should be to contain a supply of ballots for the use of all those brethren in attendance. No one can be excused from exercising the right to cast a ballot, therefore each is entitled to have one.
A ballot box must be so designed as to thoroughly conceal the deposit as well as the choice of the ballot. There could otherwise be no secrecy in the act. For this purpose the box is divided into two compartments, both arranged for easy examination before and after the balloting. A partition between the compartments is made with an opening large enough for the passage of the ballot but not for the insertion of the hand itself. Thus during the act of balloting no discovery by accident or design can be made of the ballots previously cast. A cover fits securely over the two compartments hiding the result of the balloting and also affording proper privacy while the voter selects his ballot.
METHODS OF BALLOTING
Methods of recording the individual expressions of opinion may have been varied enough in the past but are now of very general accord. One plan deserves mention though it may be deemed only because of rarity is allusion made to it. All the brethren are first given an opportunity to select their ballots and then in turn they deposit them. Possibility of an exposure of the ballot before it is cast is, it would seem, more likely under this method than with the others now to be described.
Announcement being made of the investigating committee's report by the presiding officer, the proper person is directed to prepare the ballot box. This is done by opening the box, lifting or removing the partition, placing all the balls and cubes indiscriminately in the outer compartment, then replacing the partition and the cover. The box in this correct condition is now presented to the three principal officers in turn, the junior in rank coming first. Each examines it and thus there can be officially determined that there are no ballots left in the inner chamber. However, this custom is not universal. The other method is to limit the inspection to the presiding officer before the ballot is "passed."
Another variation is in the method employed for depositing the ballots, in the one practice the ballot box is placed upon the altar and the brethren advance in order as their names are called — though this too is not the invariable case as they may present themselves without waiting for the call; the other plan is for the ballot box to be taken to every brother in the room qualified to cast a ballot. As the more formal and elaborate process really covers the others a description of its essentials will suffice even in the case of these exceptions already noted.
The ballot box being ready for use and so found upon inspection by the proper officer or officers, the Senior Deacon is directed to place it upon the altar. A roll call is now taken of the officers and members present and as each name is called the brother advances to the box and casts his ballot. The roll call concludes with the name of the Tyler who is temporarily relieved while he deposits a ballot in the box.
Demand is now made if all present have voted who are entitled to do so. No other conclusion being evident the ballot is formally declared closed and the Senior Deacon takes charge of the box. He carries it to the junior officer designated for that duty and the latter examines it and then again closes the box in exactly the manner he found it. Inquiry is made of him by the Master as to the condition of the box. To this question suitable reply is made, and then the Senior Deacon proceeds to the next officer higher in station. The same question and answer are in order at this station.
Should all the ballots be white the box is clear. Then the Master also announces that the candidate has been duly elected. Accordingly the Secretary makes due record of the fact and notifies the applicant of the next step to be taken by him.
But should any of the ballots be black the box is not clear, it is foul. At each station that fact would be announced as the box was examined and as the question was put by the Master to the officer making the inspection. On the box reaching the Master he would discover immediately whether one or more ballots were black. If there were two or more the candidate is declared rejected and is so notified by the Secretary.
Wherever two or more lodges are near enough in the same locality to have concurrent jurisdiction it is the usual custom for them to notify each other of rejected candidates as well as of those elected and of applications received. In many States rejections are also announced to the Gland Secretary.
If, however, there is but one black ball found in the box a second ballot is at once ordered. This second ballot is taken under exactly the same conditions as before and the finding is final. A repetition of the former "foul" condition and the candidate is declared rejected.
Long established and universal custom does not allow the making of any remarks at the balloting — either during its progress, immediately before it begins, or directly afterwards. Especially is it considered in the poorest taste to attempt the discussion of a rejection. For a visitor to indulge in the discussion of the result of a ballot, favorable or unfavorable as the case may be, is deemed highly improper and a grave reflection upon the hospitality he had enjoyed.
Doubtless there have been instances where the ballot has been abused. Every Mason has some example actually known in his personal experience or reported to him on excellent authority. There is much to be said truly on this side of the subject. It is the one aspect that receives most attention and therefore little or nothing need be said of it here.
The single ballot protects any member from having a candidate forced upon him. That is the purpose of the present law. Well indeed was it so said in the old Constitution, "nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation; because the members of a particular Lodge are the best judges of it; and if a fractious member should be imposed on them, it might spoil their harmony, or hinder their freedom or even break and disperse the Lodge, which ought to be avoided by all good and true brethren."
One plan that has found popularity on the continent of Europe is worth noting though it offends against the secrecy so much favored by ourselves. If but a single black ball is deposited, the Master does not declare the applicant rejected at that meeting. He passes the matter for the time being. Between that meeting and the succeeding one he makes some personal inquiries of his own. It is also considered proper for the brother who cast the black ball to wait upon the Master and confidentially acquaint him with the facts warranting the rejection of the candidate. At the next meeting the Master announces his decision and there the matter ends. While this procedure does not prevent an outbreak of mere personal spite on the part of but the one person it is nevertheless an invasion of the individual rights that have for these many years been adopted in our lodges.
Whatever the plan in vogue it is certain that it cannot be too seriously and systematically conducted. The candidate may make or mar the institution. Would he be welcome in our homes? Is he duly and in all things fully qualified? Will he be firebrand or foundation? Is he to be a help or a hindrance? Will he wear well or ill? Upon our sober judgment rests the responsibility when we face the ballot box. Therefore the process should become a solemn ceremony, every step taken with care, weighty and thorough. The task is most important and far-reaching. As the sword of the efficient Tyler protects his lodge, so does the ballot in a discriminating hand guard the entire fraternity of the Craft.
THE LODGE RECORD OF THE BALLOT
On this subject little need be said. A quotation from a typical Masonic Code reveals the fact that after the report of the Committee of Investigation, whether favorable or unfavorable, is presented to the Lodge, "the character of the committee report shall be announced, but not entered of record." Thus, while the Lodge must protect itself, and preserve a record which shall be available to all future members, the Committee, the agents of the Lodge for the purpose of gathering information, are likewise protected, insofar as the nature of their report is concerned. Courtesy and good sense seem to have joined in such a provision, for, as is well known, the Lodge records sometimes become accessible to the profane, through accident or otherwise; knowledge of the action of the Lodge as a whole must be kept, regardless of such an emergency, but the details of the investigation are not revealed by the record.
Ballot; Black Balls; Candidate; Riding the Goat; Minutes.
- The Ballot, in this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin
- Ballot for The Degrees, vol. III, p. 70.
- The Ballot, Ethics of, vol. II, pp. 27 (Lib.), 160 (Cor.), 254, 287, 317 (Q. B.), 348.
- The Secret Ballot, vol. II, p. 383 (Cor.)
- Candidates, Selection of, vol. I, p. 4, vol. II, pp. 27, 274, 287 (Cor.), 317 (Q. B.)
- Candidate, Rejection of, vol. II, p. 348 (Q. B.)
- Endorser, Candidate's Obligation to, vol. II, p. 190.
- Initiation and Preparation, vol. II, p. 107.
- "Worthy and Well Qualified," vol. III, p. 28.
HELPFUL HINTS TO STUDY CLUB LEADERS
ELECTION OF A CANDIDATE
The petition of the candidate has now passed out of his control, and under this head we discuss the various processes through which it passes as it is formally dealt with in the Lodge. The following points should be thoroughly brought out in the Club discussion. It is well to realize that there is a profound political significance to these processes; that they symbolize many duties which we owe in the outside world, as well as within the Lodge. In the supplemental questions this fact has been elaborated with the distinct purpose in view of calling attention to an important, but seldom thought-of, angle of a man's Masonic life.
- When does the Examining Committee report upon an applicant's petition? When must it report? In case a minority of the Committee disagrees with the report of the majority, should a minority report be submitted to the Lodge?
- The report having been presented, what steps are taken to secure the judgment of the Lodge upon the application? What precautions are taken to secure the secrecy of the ballot? When may the ballot be had? How long may it be postponed, and for what reasons?
- Do you consider that one black ball should reject? Why? Discuss the various points brought out in the article on "The Ballot" in this Bulletin. To what extent do you consider the conclusions of the writer justified? Have you ever really given serious thought to your own responsibility in connection with the ballot?
- Some Lodges require that candidates who have petitioned the Lodge shall visit the Temple on one or two evenings, in order that the Brethren may have opportunity to "size them up." Discuss the advisability of such a plan.
- In some Jurisdictions "Vigilance Committees" are appointed by the Lodge, whose duty it is, in cases where a Brother commencing to tread in byways which are in bad repute, morally, financially or otherwise, to whisper words of good counsel in the ear of such Brother. If the warning is heeded, the matter is dropped. Persistence in the conduct which has been advised against results in discipline by the Lodge. Do you approve of such a plan? Does the appointment of such a standing committee displace the obligation of each member of the Lodge in this respect? Does appointment and service of such a committee meet modern conditions in the spirit of the "Old Charges"? Why? How far, in your opinion, may a Brother legitimately go in this matter? When a member is guilty of conduct which would have resulted in rejection before the ballot, what is the duty of other members toward him, when such conduct does not constitute a serious Masonic offense? Should we vote against an applicant who for any reason would not be a welcome visitor in our own home?
- This lesson has to do with activities within the Lodge which are essentially political in their nature: define politics. What do you mean by politics? Would you consider it opposed to Masonic ethics for a man to use political methods to secure a Masonic office? Does your Grand Lodge regulate this matter by law? Can you think of a condition in your Lodge in which a conscientious Brother would be justified in electioneering for an office? Can you imagine politics being at work in churches, clubs, similar organizations outside of political parties? Should attempts ever be made to persuade an efficient but unwilling Brother to accept an office? Should office-holding in a Lodge be considered a Masonic duty?
- What are the qualities that make a man efficient as a candidate; as an office holder? Describe the methods and principles of the Civil Service. Do you believe that the principle embodied in the Civil Service can be applied to the selection of Lodge Officers? What is the principle of "rotation in office"? Do you believe that it should be used in a Masonic Lodge?
- Can you give the story of the use of the ballot box? Was it used by any nation in ancient times? In what way is the Masonic ballot similar to the Australian Ballot? Is it a member's duty to vote upon a petition for the mysteries of Masonry in the Lodge? Should a member consider it a part of his Masonic duty as a citizen to be interested in politics outside the Lodge? Would the Masonic system of electing and holding office be an improvement on that which prevails in the State?
- Do you consider a Lodge Officer as a servant of the Lodge? What are the qualities of a good servant? Has the Lodge the same right to expect efficiency in its officers that a railroad corporation has? If the "rotation in office" system is used in your Lodge, what do you do with an incompetent officer? If a man has been incompetent as a Junior Steward, should he be passed on through to the Worshipful Master's chair? What qualities are necessary to make an efficient W. M. or Steward?
- Are the principles that should guide us in the selection of our officers applicable to our selection of members? If so, why?
Bro. Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut
The Masonic Ballot is a subject approached with much diffidence by most writers on Masonic subjects. At the risk of writing that which is old to many this subject has been taken up with the hope that some of the younger Masons will get further light.
That the ballot is inviolably secret is recognized probably the world over. Some even claim this as a landmark. What, then, does inviolable secrecy mean? Right here a little law may not be amiss. Lockwood in his "Masonic Law and Practice (the standard for Connecticut) says (Chapt. VI. par. 20): "No Mason is permitted, directly or indirectly, to disclose how he voted, nor divulge how any other member voted," and again (Chapt. VI, par. 19): "The rejection of a candidate shall not be made known to the uninitiated other than the rejected candidate."
Many Masons consider that if they do not divulge the fact they "blacked" they are covering the law. Not so. If this were allowed it would be easy by the process of elimination of those who voted white to demonstrate that the remaining brother is the one who voted black and the inviolable secrecy is null. It cannot be too strongly impressed on the brethren that if they divulge either way they are guilty of unmasonic conduct and can be so disciplined.
No Mason should be elected to the East in any of the bodies more especially the Blue Lodge who is not thoroughly conversant with the above. Yet nearly every one can recall some instance where the Master or other presiding officer has either made some remark from the chair, or allowed to pass unrebuked remarks from the floor which would tend to reveal the brother who cast the blackball and, although perhaps a little far-fetched, the one condemning another (even though unknown) is admitting that he voted white and is revealing his own ballot.
"WHO CAST THE BLACKBALL?"
Any attempt to discover who cast the black-ball cannot be too strongly condemned as it is evident that this is an influence to make the rejector break the law and lay him open, theoretically at least, to trial and expulsion and it seems as though such an attempt should indirectly be considered an accessory before the deed and in a way make the inquirer as guilty as the one doing the deed.
There are many by-paths which open up when the subject of why he rejects and by what means can we prevent him from rejecting is brought up. There is much trickery resorted to which is absolutely unmasonic and condemnable. Several years' observation in several lodges only makes more apparent the desire of some, perhaps a majority, to get in members willy-nilly — quantity, not quality, being the slogan.
Sometimes when it is suspected that an application will be rejected and the brother objecting is supposedly identified, the Master will hold off presenting the application for ballot until some such time as the suspected brother is absent and then, in the minds of some, sneak in the application, ballot on it, hustle out and get the candidate and work one degree on him, thus capturing the candidate, for of course it is something decidedly bad before one will call for a new ballot after one degree has been worked. Such happenings do no good to the fraternity, neither doing credit to the lodge nor reflecting any glory on the Master.
One other condemnable practice is that of holding an application over until the suspected rejector presents one signed by himself and then stating for his benefit that should the first application be rejected the suspected rejector's would also be rejected. This brother is doubly guilty because he is trying to foist an unwelcome man on another brother and also is rejecting a petitioner without any legitimate cause.
Now let another phase be presented, that of the personal qualifications together with the right of the individual brother to judge as to the qualifications of a candidate. It must be admitted that in some cases vindictiveness either toward the applicant or, as was shown above, toward the applicant's recommender, will be the ruling cause. This is indeed much to be regretted and some attention will be paid to this class of brothers later.
Allied with the first section of the above paragraph is the absurd question as to the right of an interested brother to question the motives of another in rejecting. A brother has absolutely no right to question publicly, i.e., before the Masonic public, such motives so long as the rejector keeps them in the "safe repository of the faithful breast," and if he does not he is again breaking the law by revealing his ballot. In fact when the ballot has been declared in the East and so recorded the incident should be considered closed until the applicant can by law apply again. Without going into the question of qualifications of character in detail the statement of the general rule will help at this point. We receive none knowingly into our ranks except such as are moral and upright before God and of good repute before the world. This is a fairly large contract to fill and sets a high ideal.
WHO REALLY KNOWS?
We often hear a brother, on presenting a petition, state that he is absolutely certain that there is nothing against the applicant. How much do we absolutely know about another man? Nearly every man will admit that no one, two, or three men know all there is to be known about a fourth or of each other. It is a common occurrence to hear of a person who has for ten, twenty or forty years been a model of uprightness as far as outward appearances go, getting caught in some shady deal and then it will come out that he has been doing this for many years yet during this period of time many persons would have been willing to stake their honor on his probity. Indeed he is brave who dares say he knows all about himself.
One other stock remark along this line is that the applicant is Brother So and So's son and that the father says he is O. K. It does not seem as though this should have great weight. Parentage and early training have much to do with character, doubtless, but it is a daily happening to see bad sons of good parents and good sons of bad parents. And who is more prejudiced than a parent? A father should and would be the last one to derogate the character of a son. In addition to that, friends will generally keep wrong-doing from the parents, and the father will honestly believe the son better than the average.
There are five brothers on an application — recommender, avoucher and three investigators. If it be so that these five brethren know absolutely that there cannot possibly be anything against an applicant how is it that nearly every lodge has those on its list whom they would gladly eliminate if it could be done and be as though they had been rejected when their names were first proposed? And among these are those who reject for personal spite. All of these have passed the board of censors of five and pronounced fit. When a person says he has known the applicant a number of years under varied conditions and as far as he knows he is all right, worthy and well qualified, that is as far as he can go.
HOW MUCH HELP FOR THE COMMITTEE?
Still another phase of the matter is the complaint made by sensitive committeemen that a brother knowing anything about a candidate adversely should report to the committee. Some even take the stand that if the committee have found nothing wrong with the applicant and report favorably no brother should vote negatively. It must be admitted by all that what is crime to one is playfulness or ebullition of spirits to another; one view-point differing from another. And it must also be admitted that a brother casting a blackball for what he considers justifiable cause is well within his rights and should be commended for his conscientiousness even though he does tread on some brother's corn in so doing and his cause seems of minor importance to others.
All this being admitted, suppose a brother should report to a member of the committee or to the committee as a whole something which he considers wrong. Suppose the committee does not "see it." Suppose then the brother objecting is present at the balloting, the committee reports favorably, the ballot is declared not clear and by being twice passed shows that only one black-ball was cast. Who cast the black-ball? Do not at least three members present suspect the objector and probably more suspect him because it is natural to say when investigating that Brother Jenks said so and so and it is desired to find out of this be so and to what extent? What becomes of the inviolable secrecy of the ballot in a case like this? The office of an investigating committee is not confined to going about among the brethren of the lodge who have the power of the ballot but also to investigate in the outside world and among brothers who have not the rejecting power. A brother who has the power of the ballot does not need to go to the committee. A rejection seems to be a matter which should be kept as quiet as possible and for the reason that the less advertising it gets, the better.
WHO HAS THE STRONGER CLAIM?
Take another viewpoint of the attitude toward the rejector that there could not possibly be anything against the applicant and consequently the rejector has no right to cast a black-ball and if by any means fair or foul his vote can be changed it should be done and the applicant sneaked in over his objections. Who has the stronger claim on the members of the lodge? Has a petitioner or has an individual member — brother he is called? Who has the stronger claim from the lodge or Masonic standpoint on the individual brother presenting the application? Is it the applicant or a brother? Every Mason well knows the answer. Yet reading reports and comments from various wide-spread sources would impress upon the mind of the reader that the great desideratum of Masonry was to get in members who had strong friends regardless of the desires of some individual brother. No one will deny that many applicants are rejected for good cause. Yet there were or should have been two brothers who thought enough of the petitioner to sign his application and who had a perfect right to be as much "peeved" at the rejection as some of those who had signed for the absolutely undeniably acceptable kind. The point that is being brought out is that Masonic equality is lost sight of on the question of ballot. Much stress is laid on the fact that Brother Pastmaster-this or Brother District-deputy-that signed such an application while the fact that Brother Member-for-many-years-but-not-very-prominent signed such another one carries no weight at all and while it is lese majeste to black-ball the former petition it is of no consequence what is done to the latter. In such cases do we meet upon the level?
Now about the brother who rejects vindictively or spitefully. He is un-worthy to be a Mason. How did he get in? He must have had two signers and a committee of three to investigate. Who would have felt hurt had he been rejected when he applied? Yet such a disposition is not acquired. It must have been in the man at the time of his election. This is a trait of character bad enough to justify rejection without a doubt. Is it not a warning not to be too sure that there can be nothing against a man whom the large majority think all right? Perhaps there is some hidden fault that some individual brother may know that the crowd does not know.
Let us be particularly careful then, first to obey the law by keeping the ballot inviolably secret by not revealing either directly or indirectly our individual vote, black or white; secondly, by not attempting to discover who blacked and indirectly cause a brother to break the law; third by not resorting to trickery to put through an application over a suspected brother's objection; fourth by not feeling hurt (if a member of a committee) when an applicant is rejected over our favorable report; lastly, not to be too sure that someone does not know something against our candidate even if we ourselves are unaware of it, remembering to spread the broad mantle of Masonic Charity over the mistakes (?) of a brother even though it should happen to hit us personally.
A MESSAGE TO OUR MEMBERS. WILL YOU BE A REPRESENTATIVE?
To afford our members some idea of the interest that is being manifested in the Study Side of Masonry throughout the various Grand Jurisdictions of the United States and Canada we are quoting below a few recommendations of Grand Masters and others. We could fill several pages of THE BUILDER with similar recommendations of the Society and the Study Club movement did space permit. If your Lodge is not profiting by this movement it is only because the members do not realize what they are missing, or that the members of the N.M.R.S. have been too occupied with other matters to bring this matter to the attention of their Lodge officers and fellow-members. We wish we were in a position to send out a representative from headquarters to visit every Lodge in the country to give them a practical exemplification of the methods of conducting the study of Masonry in their monthly Lodge meetings. But as we are not in such position at this time, we can only ask each one of our members to consider himself an official representative of the Society for his district and to take it upon himself to see that the article, "Organized Masonic Study in Monthly Lodge Meetings," next following, is read to the members at the next meeting of his Lodge. Also read to them some of the following recommendations:
Alabama. I am convinced that there is a continued growth in the study of the principles of the Order, and the meanings of the symbols, and, I hope, in the endeavor to live Masonry as well as to study it. * * * No one believes more thoroughly than I, the desirability and necessity of a thorough knowledge of our ritual, but while we strive to reach perfection in that ritual, let us also remember that beneath that ritual is concealed the more important truths of our Fraternity.
— Walter Smith, Grand Master.
Arizona. From my visits to the different Lodges I am of the opinion that more time should be given to the study of the design and Philosophy of Freemasonry.
— A. W. Holmes, Grand Master.
Manitoba. As the least expensive means of inviting attention to the utility of Masonic instruction hope is herein expressed that the Worshipful Master of every Lodge resolve its members into a Study Club. Its activities would be almost limitless, and embrace every branch of wholesome, useful learning. Study, by bringing the student into close communion with the best thought of the present and the past, quickens and broadens his sympathies and humanities, and inspires within his breast a deeper and nobler conception of life and duty — a sense of citizenship beyond the inspiration or understanding of the illiterate. If in this respect alone the aspirations of Freemasonry were brought to their fruition, and humanity had acquired a fair fund of wholesome, useful knowledge, and further, were quickened by the Grace of God, there would be a condition, social and economic, in its humanity and beauty transcending the best that the world has known. * * * Study Clubs would deepen the tone of discussion, and create a strong friendly rivalry among Lodges. Besides, well informed Brethren should know best how to reflect the lofty teachings of the Order, widen the sphere of its influence, and help to further the common weal.
In these Clubs the Masonic Journal, THE BUILDER, published monthly by the National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa, would be very helpful.
— Committee on Masonic Research and Education.
Minnesota. From an examination of the reports of the Past Grand Masters it would seem that there are constant requests for subscriptions, as well as recognition for Masonic journals. I hesitate to give my approval to any of these without careful examination. There are, however, several very deserving and meritorious societies worthy of recognition. It ought to be the desire of every Mason to inform himself upon the origin and history of matters Masonic, in short to become a student of Masonry, past and present. I refer to the Masonic lecture bureau, the National Masonic Research Society. I heartily endorse any movement that tends to stimulate Masonic thought and to broaden and deepen the great stream of Masonic influence in America.
— R. E. Denfield, Grand Master.
North Dakota. Whereas, the Committee on Grand Lodge Library has recommended that this Grand Lodge encourage the establishment of Study Clubs to further the general use of the Library, and Whereas, The National Masonic Research Society, organized under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, has undoubtedly accomplished great good in the promotion of Masonic Study, Be It Resolved: That this Grand Lodge endorse The National Masonic Research Society and its work, and recommend membership in this organization to the members of this grand jurisdiction.
— Adopted by the Grand Lodge.
Ohio. Of recent years the study side of Freemasonry has made vigorous strides. Abroad and at home there has been turned upon our beloved fraternity the far-reaching eye of devoted research. Our sister jurisdiction, the Grand Lodge of Iowa, has planned and set to work the National Masonic Research Society with which some fourteen thousand Masons are now affiliated. Other jurisdictions in this United States are alive to the situation and have special committees busy.
I earnestly urge that all our members heartily support the National Masonic Research Society of Anamosa, Iowa, and all such agencies for better knowledge of our traditions, our history, our jurisprudence, our symbolism, and all indeed that for us is bound up in the honored name and purpose of the Craft.
That every Mason should have his own library of reliable Masonic books is, I hold, most desirable. In his possession should be the Ohio History, Code, and Monitor, at least. Lodge libraries are too seldom used, and the personal collection may be no better employed. With care, and every Mason can and should secure all possible assistance from well informed brethren in his Masonic book buying, every home should be properly supplied with excellent and attractive Masonic Literature.
That any Mason should be uninformed upon the facts of Freemasonry in all its latest developments is a condition not to be tolerated if we, by whatever permissible means, may prevent its occurrence.
— Frank H. Marquis, Grand Master.
Oklahoma. I would recommend some provision in our Lodge work to set aside two hours of, say six, of the regular communications of constituent Lodges during the year, for study and lectures, a kind of "round table" talk by well-informed Brethren of their own or neighboring Lodges. Take up some single part of Masonry, history, symbolism, signs, etc., study it well and then discuss same in the Lodge room. The interest and increased attendance will amply repay the Brethren giving some proposition on this order a trial. * * * Good papers and periodicals are published throughout the United States on Masonic research and information, notably THE BUILDER, at Anamosa, Iowa, is a splendid one.
— Almer E. Monroney, Grand Master.
Texas. The organization, purposes and progress of the National Masonic Research Society, located at Anamosa, Iowa, is fully set forth in the Report of our Committee on Foreign Correspondence for 1915, under the heading of "Iowa — 1914" and "Iowa — 1915" and need not be repeated here. WE URGE EVERY BROTHER TO EXAMINE THESE REFERENCES CAREFULLY. The Grand Lodge of Iowa, under the leadership of its able Committee on Masonic Research, found out what to do and they are doing it. The membership of the Society is increasing rapidly, and THE BUILDER, its monthly magazine, devoted exclusively to Masonry, and entitled by that brilliant scholar, writer and speaker, Brother Joseph Fort Newton, is coming up to a high standard, and the work of the Society as laid out is certainly great and promises to move the boundaries of Masonic Research in this country up to higher ground.
Every Mason, wherever he resides, is welcome to become a member of the Society at a nominal cost for annual dues, and the magazine is sent free. It is not operated for profit, but all revenues are used in extending and improving the work of the Society. It has the full sanction of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, one of the most conservative and yet one of the most progressive of our affiliated Grand Bodies. Its great Masonic Library, at Cedar Rapids, is the admiration of the whole country.
— Committee on Masonic Research
— G. L. of Texas.
ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY IN MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS
We wish every member of the Society would take this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin with him and read it to the members of his Lodge at the next regular meeting. Try to get a "Research Committee" appointed and put the plan into effect. If you need any further assistance in getting properly started write us and we will help you. Tell us what your brother officers and members think of the plan.
FOUNDATION OF THE "BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY"
This course is founded upon two sources of Masonic information:
(1) Past and current issues of THE BUILDER, the official Journal of the National Masonic Research Society, now in its third year of publication, and in which have been published hundreds of authentic and instructive articles on many Masonic subjects.
(2) Mackey's Encyclopedia, conceded to be the most comprehensive and exhaustive work of its kind ever written.
OUTLINE OF THE COURSE
The course has been divided into five principal divisions, Ceremonial, Symbolical, Philosophical, Legislative and Historical Masonry. These are further subdivided into sections, there being six subdivisions of Ceremonial Masonry, eight of Symbolical, seven of Philosophical, two of Legislative, and ten of Historical Masonry. These sections are further subdivided and each of these further subdivisions form the subject of a study paper for reading and discussion, by our Study Club Editor, Brother Robert I. Clegg. The papers for October and November are:
Election of a Candidate.
- When it may be had.
- The Ballot.
- Black balls (cubes), and white balls.
- The Lodge record of the Ballot.
- Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.
- Initiation, in general.
- Uniformity of.
- The "Webb Preston work" in America.
- Side Degrees.
"HELPFUL HINTS TO STUDY MEETING LEADERS"
Profiting by experience gained from visits to several "live" Study Clubs in Iowa during the past few months, we now publish in each issue of the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin" a list of "Helpful Hints" by which the study leaders may be enabled to bring out all of the important points in the paper under discussion. These suggestions will make it a very simple matter to successfully conduct the study meetings of the Lodge or Study Club.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
We shall continue to print a list of references to Mackey's Encyclopedia and previous issues of THE BUILDER pertaining to the subject treated in Brother Clegg's paper. By the assignment of these references to different members of the Lodge supplemental papers of great value may be thus worked up. Each month there will be a new paper by Brother Clegg and new references.
HOW TO CONDUCT THE "STUDY MEETINGS"
The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three members. The "study meetings" should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be transacted — all possible time to be given over to the "study period."
After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned shall be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Clegg's paper.
- Reading of the first section of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers thereto:
(Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
- Discussion of the above.
- The subsequent sections of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
- Question Box. Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society.
COST OF THE COURSE
If there are several members of the Lodge who are members of the National Masonic Research Society, these Brethren will have access to Brother Clegg's papers, the "Hints to Study Leaders" and the list of references for supplemental papers, in their copies of THE BUILDER.
The Lodge or Study Club not having the 1915 and 1916 bound volumes of THE BUILDER for reference purposes, may easily obtain them without expense, through our "Special Offer."
THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY, Anamosa, Iowa.
* * *
Twofold is the life we live in — Fate and will together run: — Two wheels bear life's chariot onward. Will it move on only one?
— From the Sanskrit.
* * *
Deliver not your words by number but by weight.
* * *
FREEMASONRY IN THE FAR EAST
Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, Massachusetts
Excerpt from Address of Grand Master Johnson of Massachusetts at the 1915 Communication of its Grand Lodge.
In July last I received a petition from thirteen Master Masons, including three Chinese Brethren who were raised in Washington, D.C., for the establishment of a Lodge under our Constitution at Peking, China, to be known as International Lodge, accompanied by the approval of R. W. Stacy A. Ransom, District Grand Master, and also of Ancient Landmark, Shanghai, and Sinim Lodges of Shanghai, China. The petition did not come as a surprise, as I had previously discussed the matter at some length with R. W. Brother Ransom while he was on a visit to Boston.
This petition presented five principal subjects for serious consideration. First, the Personnel of the Applicants; Second, the Field of Usefulness; Third, the Relations of the Lodge to Civil Government; Fourth, Eligibility of Candidates who Subscribe to Prevailing Oriental Religions; Fifth, Adaptability of our Rites to the Working of such Material.
None of these subjects present considerations which are esoteric in principle. They may and should be freely discussed. Minor matters of form and language only need be reserved for secret conclave.
First: the Personnel of the Applicants. The petitioners are Brethren of the highest standing in the community. Two of the petitioners, R. W. Brothers Derby and Hykes, are Past District Grand Masters for the China District. The former is also Secretary of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Bodies, and the latter is the agent for China of the American Bible Society. The Brother recommended for Master is an American practising dentistry, and is a Past Senior Warden of Sinim Lodge. The proposed Senior Warden is the Peking Manager of one of the largest enterprises in China in which Chinese and foreign capital is jointly invested and is a member of Coronation Lodge, No. 2931, under the English Constitution. The proposed Junior Warden, a Chinaman, is a member of Washington Lodge, No. 21, of New York City, a graduate of Columbia College and at present English Secretary to the Department of Commerce and Agriculture in Peking. Of the other two Chinese Brethren who have signed the petition, one is the present Minister of Commerce and Agriculture of the Republic of China and a member of Federal Lodge No. 1, Washington, D. C.; the other is a member of the same Lodge and a graduate of Rensselaer, was lately Consul General at Manila and Batavia, and is now in Peking expecting transfer. Among the other signers are Past Masters of Lodges under the English Constitution, one of them having been a Grand Officer of the District Grand Lodge for Northern China. Hon. Charles S. Lobingier, United States Judge for China, and Deputy for China of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, whose see includes China, writes a strong endorsement, in the course of which he comments upon the intent expressed by the petitioners to admit the Educated English-speaking Chinese, in part as follows:
"I am especially interested in any effort to diffuse the principles of Masonry among the educated Chinese. If there is one need greater than another in China's present formative and transitional state it is the need of learning to work together, and the Masonic Lodge will help to instill that lesson. The presence of worthy foreigners in such a Lodge should afford an example and stimulus to the Chinese members, and the mingling of the two in the same organization should serve both to test and to illustrate the reality of Masonic brotherhood, which, we are often told, knows neither nationality nor creed. I am informed that several of the Chinese Masons who sign the petition are members of American lodges and this alone should afford a sufficient guaranty that the chartering of the Lodge petitioned for would constitute no departure.
"As to the religious feature it is well known that British Lodges in India and elsewhere in the East freely admit Parsee, Hindu, Sikh, and Mohammedan members. (See Kipling's poem, 'My Mother Lodge.') Masonry is not a sect and its only dogmatic requirements of the initiate are belief in Deity and immortality, which are shared by most faiths.
"I know that the Grand Commander of our jurisdiction heartily approves the idea of enlisting the best of the Chinese in Masonry and I have no hesitation in saying that, in my judgment, the denial, or even delay, of the petition for authority to establish International Lodge at Peking would be a calamity to Freemasonry in the Far East."
Other recommendations were also received, among them being one from a Brother who was formerly first Secretary to the American Legation at Peking and for a time Acting Minister of the United States, who had consented to take the Chair to organize the Lodge but was transferred to the State Department in Washington before the petition was put in final form.
Second: the Field of Usefulness. We have three Lodges in Shanghai, but there is no Lodge in Peking holding under an American constitution. Many Americans, however, are located in Peking. There are many Chinamen who have been educated in America and have returned to Peking to live. A large number of them occupy responsible positions in the Government of China. It is believed also that there are many Chinamen of high standing in the community who would be glad to affiliate with our Fraternity if they felt that they would be welcome. It is the purpose of the Lodge cordially to accept such applications, applying to men of all nationalities the same test, namely, belief in a Supreme Being, ability to understand and speak the English language fluently, and that the applicants be good men and true, worthy of receiving the honors of Freemasonry because of their morality and integrity.
Third: the Relation of the Lodge to Civil Government. It is well known that secret organizations in China have frequently degenerated into purely political organizations, if indeed they were not so conceived. We well know that the so-called Freemasonry of many Latin countries partakes largely of a political nature. This, however, is alien to the genius of Freemasonry as we understand it. Under our Constitution, political discussions are forbidden. We have never permitted and shall never permit our Lodges to be turned into political clubs, or to be used as a mask for political purposes. The personnel of the petitioners of itself warrants the conviction that their purposes are Masonic and not political and, moreover, that they will not permit the slightest deviation from our usages in this regard. Moreover, the Lodge undoubtedly will always he dominated by a numerical superiority of Brethren of American blood, though it by no means follows that were a majority of the members of the Lodge in the future to be of Chinese blood we should expect any deviation from the principles inculcated by the teachings of our Order. Moreover, there is always the safeguard that the Charter of the Lodge may be suspended or revoked at any time, and should there ever be the slightest effort to prostitute the Charter of the Lodge, our District Grand Master for China has ample authority to deal immediately with the situation. For these reasons I have resolved this consideration in favor of the petitioners.
Fourth: Eligibility of Candidates who Subscribe to Prevailing Oriental Religions.
The Ancient Landmarks are certain fundamental principles which have never yet been successfully and exclusively defined. They are something like the Constitution of England, partly written and partly unwritten. The principal sources thereof are: (a) Ancient Masonic Manuscripts, sometimes known as the "Old Constitutions"; (b) Ancient usages and customs; (c) Esoteric rites handed down by tradition.
It is an unchangeable Ancient Landmark of the Fraternity that there is but one Masonic dogma. We construct a universal religious philosophy thereupon, as a part of which we teach belief in immortality and endeavor to inculcate other tenets of our profession, but our sole dogma is the Landmark of belief in a Supreme Being, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, the creating and superintending Power of all things. No man may be a Freemason unless he is a believer in monotheism. No neophyte ever has been or ever shall be permitted vision of our mysteries or reception of our obligations until he has openly, unequivocally, and solemnly asserted this belief. Beyond that we inquire and require nothing of sectarianism or religious belief.
Masonry is cultivating and disseminating the union of mankind upon this common bond to which all may agree, leaving the particular opinions of individuals and their methods of sectarian worship to themselves and to their own consciences, but to be proclaimed and exercised outside of the Lodge-room. Proselyting has its place in the world, but not in the halls of Masonry.
Sectarian missionary spirit and its exercise have been of incalculable value to the human race. However much it may be our duty to give it our encouragement and support as individuals or as members of other organizations it is our duty within the Fraternity to see to it that no man may truthfully accuse us of bigotry and in our Lodge-room upon this single bond of belief in Deity to conciliate true friendship among men of every country, sect, and opinion.
By reason of the nature of our population and membership in Massachusetts we are accustomed to recognize the applicability of this principle to Trinitarian and to Unitarian, to Christian and Hebrew, but now that it is in a practical manner called to our attention, we should not be startled when we recognize that it applies alike to other Deists who gain their inspiration from other books than that open before you upon the altar. We may find Monotheism proclaimed not only in the New Testament of the Christian, but also in the Koran of the Islamite, in the Avestas of the Magians of Persia, in the Book of Kings of the Chinese, in the Sutras of the Buddhist, yea, even in the Vedas of the Hindu.
"There is a principle implanted in the heart of man, which prompts him to the belief and acknowledgment of a superior and superintending power, under whatever name he may have been personified; endowed with attributes of infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom. Sophism cannot overwhelm it; philosophy cannot succeed in erasing it from the heart; it is engraven there in characters broad and deep, and spake the same language to the ignorant savage amidst trackless woods and barren wastes, and to the proud philosopher of antiquity, as it did to the learned Jew or the enlightened Christian. It displays a God of nature who loves virtue and abhors vice; and teaches man the doctrine of personal responsibility."
The particular letters by which the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe is spelled or the peculiar way in which His name may be pronounced are as utterly immaterial as to prayers to "Our God" in English, to "Unser Gott" in German, or to "Notre Dieu" in French.
Our attitude is somewhat analogous to these words of the Proclamation of Queen Victoria in Council to the Princes, Chiefs, and People of India (published November 1, 1858):
"Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity, and acknowledging with gratitude the solace of Religion, we disclaim alike the Right and the Desire to impose our Convictions on any of Our Subjects. We declare it to be Our Royal Will and Pleasure that none be in any wise favoured, none molested or disquieted by reason of their Religious Faith or Observances; but that all shall alike enjoy the equal and impartial protection of the Law; and We do strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be in authority under Us, that they abstain from all interference with the Religious Belief or Worship of any of Our Subjects, on pain of Our highest Displeasure.
"And it is Our further Will that, so far as may be, Our Subjects, of whatever Race or Creed, be freely and impartially admitted to Offices in our Service, the Duties of which they may be qualified by their education, ability, and integrity, duly to discharge."
To those of our friends in China who of their own free will and accord may seek Masonic light, whatever their religious belief so long as it includes our single dogma, if they be worthy and well qualified, men freeborn, of good report, and properly vouched for, Freemasonry extends her hand in greeting.
Fifth: Adaptability of our Rites to the Working of such Material.
Since, then, Freemasonry welcomes to her Fellowship Deists of varying faiths, it is incredible that she should unyieldingly present to such neophytes rites incompatible with their several religious opinions. Necessarily our ceremonies must be sufficiently flexible to yield to the unchangeable Landmark of universality. Otherwise there is presented a problem analogous to the historical inquiry in physics of what will happen when an irresistible force meets an immovable body. When in a given case an Ancient Landmark and a ceremony of the Order are found to be incompatible, something must give way and that something must not be the Ancient Landmark. The ceremony must bend, if necessary. In considering the Dispensation in question and the opportunity offered and likely to be availed of for the reception of candidates who, although Deists, do not adhere to the Holy Bible as the Volume of the Sacred Law, we must now determine whether an obligation may be administered upon any other book and the language thereof adapted to the religion of the candidate. Precedents, however, are at hand. Many of us are aware of occasions within this very building when strictly Orthodox Hebrews have been obligated upon what is known to them as the "Book of the Law," that is to say upon the Pentateuch, and indeed it was determined as early as the year 1806, under the Grandmastership of Most Worshipful Timothy Bigelow, that Quakers could be permitted to affirm.
I know of no Landmark that the Holy Bible is one of the essential furnishings of a Lodge. As I understand the Ancient Landmark in this regard it is simply that the Volume of the Sacred Law is an indispensable part of the furniture of each Lodge, as necessary to the conduct of Masonic work or business by the Lodge as the Charter itself, indeed more essential, if such could be the case, for the Landmark requiring the presence of the Volume of the Sacred Law was established years, if not centuries, before such a thing as a Chartered Lodge was known to the Fraternity. I quote from Mackey's Text-book of Masonic Jurisprudence, (Edition of 1859, page 33), being a part of his chapter entitled "The Landmarks of the Unwritten Law":
"It is a Landmark, that a 'Book of the Law' shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge. I say advisedly, a 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. Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the peculiar religious faith of its disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what necessarily results from that belief. The Book of the Law is to the speculative Mason his spiritual TrestleBoard; without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the revealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him this spiritual Trestle-Board, and must ever be before him in his hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct. The Landmark, therefore, requires that a Book of the Law, a religious code of some kind, purporting to be an exemplar of the revealed will of God, shall form an essential part of the furniture of every Lodge."
I am thoroughly in accord with Mackey upon this question. I cannot conceive how otherwise we may follow the words of the old charge: "Though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation whatever it was; yet it is now thought expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree leaving their particular opinions to themselves."
To the Christian, the Volume of the Sacred Law is the Holy Bible, and upon it he should be obligated. The Christian religion is the prevailing religion of our Lodges and, therefore, the Holy Bible, as the Volume of the Sacred Law, is and must always be part of the furniture of each Lodge. Its sanctity, however, does not appeal to the Islamite, and the ceremony of initiation would lose much to him in binding effect if his obligation should be taken thereon. While the Holy Bible should not be removed from the Lodge, the conscientious Islamite who so desires may be permitted to take his obligation upon the Koran; the Hindu, otherwise qualified and accepted, may be permitted to have the Vedas spread open before him; and the rite of initiation may be so far adapted to the conscience and religious belief of a candidate as to permit his taking the obligation in a manner and form regarded. by him as sacred and binding, and upon that work which to him is the Volume of the Sacred Law, providing always that such Volume of the Sacred Law teach Monotheism.
Such are the views of your Grand Master upon this serious and important matter. I regard it as such a momentous question, however, that I prefer to take the judgment and advice of this Grand Lodge thereon and, therefore, raise a special committee consisting of Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes, Senior Past Grand Master, Right Worshipful Roscoe Pound, LL. D., Deputy Grand Master and Professor of Jurisprudence in the Harvard University Law School, Right Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Past Senior Grand Warden, Right Worshipful and Rev. Frederick W. Hamilton, D. D., LL. D., Grand Secretary and Past Deputy Grand Master, and Worshipful and Rev. R. Perry Bush, D. D., Grand Chaplain, to take under consideration the fourth and fifth questions above presented, and to report to Grand Lodge for such action thereon as may seem advisable. Definite and final determination of these questions should now be recorded and promulgated for future guidance.
* * *
No preacher is listened to but Time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that elder people have in vain tried to put into our heads before.
— Dean Swift.
* * *
THE ORANGE INSTITUTION
Bro. J. L. Carson, Virginia
The history of Ireland since the days when King John of England (1199 to 1216) "built several forts and settled the English Colony and Civil Government" there, has been one of turmoil and trouble. Always the Celt against the Saxon, the Roman Catholic against his Protestant fellow countryman.
From 1150 to 1550 no Irish were admitted subjects of, or received benefit of, the English Colony or Courts, "Because!" says Butler in his history of Ireland, "upon all occasions they declared their malice and hatred against the English Colonists . . . whom they mortally hated."
During the reign of Edward III it was declared high treason for any of the English colonists to intermarry with the Irish, or to have any dealings with them.
Thus for four centuries until the reign of Queen Elizabeth, "Ireland had perpetual trouble and was overrun with misery," Protestant and Roman Catholic suffering alike. The rebellion headed by the Earl of Tyrone was only subdued after the expenditure of "nearly a million of money and much bloodshed" as also was the second rebellion of the same Earl, during the reign of James I. After these rebellions English and Scotch families settled on the confiscated lands in Ulster, where they "Built good towns, cultivated the land, and the country began to flourish." The very Irish seemed to be satisfied. Roman Catholics and Protestants alike enjoyed the free exercise of their rights, their religious convictions and observances.
Unfortunately, this tranquility was not to last forever; in 1641 the Irish Roman Catholics suddenly rose in rebellion again; this rising was "accompanied by horrid cruelties and abominable murders," so much so that "three hundred thousand Protestants were destroyed," sparing "neither sex, age or condition."
Oliver Cromwell with a firm and heavy hand crushed out this rebellion, twenty-seven thousand Roman Catholics departed from the shores of Ireland, and a new plantation of Scotch and English families arrived in Ulster. These planters and their descendants prospered exceedingly.
Although the conditions of peace seemed once again established, the feeling between these Protestant and Roman Catholic peoples was bitter in the extreme; therefore when the Earl of Tyrconnell became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, reinstated Roman Catholics, evicting the Protestants from the holdings they had received by grant or purchase, things were ripe for a great upheaval. Led by that notorious Jesuit Priest, Father Peters, the Roman Catholics declared for James II. King of England, who had openly espoused the Catholic Faith, and made treaties with the Pope and the King of France.
The various histories of England tell of the events leading up to the establishment of William III and Mary on the throne. The final struggle for the crown took place on Irish soil. The Protestants of the Ulster Plantation flocked to the standard of William, whose party represented all we as Protestants hold sacred — Civil and Religious Liberty.
With the closing of the gates of Derry in the face of the Jacobite army by the small Protestant garrison, who held the city under the most trying conditions until relieved by the Williamite forces, with the defeat of James' Army at Enniskillen and the Boyne, the aspirations of the Jacobite party were forever overthrown.
The effect of these battles fought on the shores of the Erne, the banks of the Boyne, and in the village of Aughrum, will be felt for all time: representing the eternal struggle between Liberty and Tyranny, the closing of the Gates of Derry by the Apprentice Boys of the city, when the older inhabitants feared to take the initiative, meant the closing forever in Great Britain of the possibilities of Papal Supremacy in that Kingdom.
The Williamite triumph proclaimed to the world the principles of Liberty in the life of a nation rather than the supremacy of Protestantism, and the battle cry NO SURRENDER, raised in 1688 by our loyal forbears, will ring throughout eternity.
For a hundred years the old feeling between the two religions remained deep and bitter, as indeed it does today. They feel that "Home Rule" means "Rome Rule," and Ulster that has always been England's best friend and most loyal possession, refuses to be alienated from the Empire, and handed over to an Irish majority, dominated by Rome and governed by her prelates. "Rome never forgives, never forgets." It was therefore felt by the Protestants of Ireland that it was necessary to band themselves together for "Mutual defence and safety." The organization of the ORANGE INSTITUTION in the year 1795 was the result.
The name was selected in memory of "The glorious, pious and immortal memory of William the Third, Prince of Orange" and the motto of the war was significant of its purpose. "The Liberty of England we will maintain; the Bible and the Crown we will support."
In this exceedingly short resume of the history of Ireland I have tried to show the causes leading up to the establishment of the Orange Institution. Now a few words about the Institution itself.
The internal construction of the Institution leads us to accept for a fact the claim made that Thomas Wilson the founder was a Freemason. I know the methods of recognition by signs, grips and words, the system of Lodge Government, the vouching for visitors, and a hundred and one other little details could only have been introduced by a Mason. Tradition in the North of Ireland says he was a renegade Freemason. Little, however, is now known of him.
The first Lodge was opened at Dyan, a very small village in the County Tyrone, Ireland, and a Grand Lodge was immediately constituted in Armagh in 1795, which soon afterwards removed to Dublin. Lodges and Grand Lodges have been established all over the English speaking world, and the Institution has done and is doing a great work in a perfectly legal and constitutional manner. It is keeping strict tab on the social and political encroachments of Rome, stands for undenominational education and the freedom from clerical domination of "The Little Red Schoolhouse." It is a bulwark of English speaking Protestantism, the eternal enemy of Romanism and Priestcraft. The membership today exceeds one million five hundred thousand.
When the Institution first started there was but one degree, The Orange; in 1796 The Royal Arch Purple degree was added; later under what is known as The Royal Black Preceptory or Knights of Malta, the higher degrees-of the order, were introduced, of which there are quite a number. The Black Preceptory or Black Knights as they are sometimes called resembles in formation the Knights Templar Order in Freemasonry, and contains many of the elements of the Masonic Knights of Malta.
Strange as it may appear, amongst many Masonic Knights Templar and Orange Black Knights, there is a growing conviction that their origin was a bid of the Roman Catholic Church to use these orders for the purpose of overthrowing Protestantism in Great Britain. Had the Church not fallen down on its propaganda results would have been very different in the attitude of the Papacy to Freemasonry today. Fortunately things turned out for the best. Papish in origin the evolution of both these institutions has been helpful to the Reformed Faith, so we as Masonic Knights Templar or Orange Black Knights have cause to rejoice.
The Irish Black Knights grasped the Chivalric idea and incorporated it into the Orange system, instead of Christ and His twelve apostles using Joseph and his Brethren, ringing in Elijah and Baal to offset Papal idolatry. The belief remains that these orders sprung from a common origin. In the early days of the Institution undoubtedly most Freemasons were Orangemen and many Orangemen were Freemasons. This is a fact today in Ireland. But at the present time the line of cleavage between the two orders is distinctly marked and carefully maintained.
The Loyal Orange Institution is recognized as a purely political Society, to which only Protestants are admitted, by ballot, and into which all Protestants in good standing are welcome.
* * *
THE THREE SUPPORTING PILLARS OF A LODGE
Bro. H. A. Kingsbury, Connecticut
ALTHOUGH it is probably true that there is no Mason, be he ever so unskilled in his Art, who is so ill informed that if he were asked, "What are the symbolical Supports of your Blue Lodge?" would not be able to give the information, "The Three Pillars, Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty," it is to be feared that there is many a Mason who, when he has given the information that the Three Pillars are the Supports of his Lodge and has given those Supports their respective names, has told absolutely all he knows concerning the Three Pillars. He knows nothing of their antecedents and their history; nothing of their symbolic significance. This is decidedly not as it should be. It is, then, worth the time and effort of every Mason who would possess even the elements of a proper knowledge of his Art, and especially is it worth the time and effort of every Mason who would call himself a student of his Art, to make an investigation, if only one of the utmost brevity, of the antecedents, the history, and the symbolism, of pillars and, more particularly, of the Three Pillars.
To an investigation, such as suggested, the brief review below can serve as scarcely more than a synopsis. It is no more than a start in the right direction — merely the sketching in of some of the more important features of a field of investigation which no Mason can afford neglecting to explore.
Probably pillars have been used for commemorative, monumental and symbolistic purposes since the beginnings of civilization in the world. For example, among the Egyptians many extraordinary events, singular or noteworthy transactions, and new inventions were commemorated, and their histories preserved, by records carved upon pillars of stone. According to tradition, Osiris, that Egyptian hero and god of such peculiar and especial interest to the Mason, set up pillars in commemoration of his conquests; the pillars bore hieroglyphical inscriptions recording certain interesting facts and details relative to those conquests. This reputed example of Osiris was followed by the kings of ancient Egypt for many centuries, for those kings had, in many instances, records of their conquests, triumphs, power, and magnificence, engraved on pillars or obelisks. And, if we are to believe the Greek legends having to do with the legendary world — conquering Egyptian king Sesostris who in those legends carries the burdens and the glories of many of the deeds of Rameses II., Rameses II during his military progress through the various nations which he conquered caused pillars to be erected bearing inscriptions and emblematic devices making known to posterity certain features of, and facts relating to, his conquests.
By the biblical peoples pillars were used in ways similar to those in which they were used by the Egyptians. Thus, Hiram King of Tyre, upon the forming of his grand junction between Eurichorus and Tyre, dedicated a pillar to Jupiter in commemoration of the event. Enoch erected two pillars — the Pillars of Enoch of which Masonry has its symbolic legend — the one of brass to resist water and the other of stone to resist fire upon which he inscribed information calculated to preserve his knowledge to posterity in the case of the destruction of the world. Jacob's Pillar at Bethel was erected to commemorate his extraordinary vision; his Pillar at Galeed was raised in commemoration of his treaty with his uncle, Laban. Joshua raised a pillar at Gilgal to perpetuate the fact of the miraculous passage of the River Jordan. And Absalom erected a pillar in honor of himself.
Leaving, now, the consideration of pillars as merely individual units and turning to the consideration of grouped pillars, each group consisting of three units, one realizes at the outset that the conception of a symbolic group of three pillars is not by any means one confined exclusively to Masonry; in not a few of the ancient mysteries and religious systems some symbolic meaning was assigned to a group comprised of three pillars.
The symbolistic conception of three grouped pillars was contained in the Druidical Mysteries, indeed, in those mysteries, in some instances, the adytum, or sanctuary, was actually supported on three stones or pillars. In the mythology of India the conception of three pillars was present, the pillars being considered as located in the East, West, and South and as bearing the names Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. In also the mysteries of India the three qualities, Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, were treated of, being there considered as represented by three hierophants, one in the East, one in the West, and one in the South.
The three-pillar-group, in every ancient mystery or religious system where it occurred as such, was the presentation, symbolically, of a triad. Therefore, a consideration of the Three Pillars of the Lodge brings before the student, for his contemplation, the curious fact that nearly every mystery practiced by the ancient peoples of the world contained its reference, and that an important reference, to a triad. In the mysteries of India the triad was Brahma, Vishnu, Siva; in the Grecian Mysteries the triad was Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto; in the Persian, Ormazad, Mithra, Mithras; in the Gothic, Woden, Friga, Thor; in the Mexican, Tloquenahuaque, Huitzilopochtli, Mictlanteuctli; and so on through the various systems practiced by the ancients.
So, in carrying forward what was best in the conceptions and the teachings of the peoples of antiquity, Masonry, too, has its pillars of peculiar significance; places one in East, one in the West, and one in the South; considers each one symbolically significant as a unit, calling one Wisdom, one Strength, and one Beauty, as did the Hindus; and, finally, Masonry considers those Pillars as a group, unitary in character and in itself a symbol, indeed a symbol of the very highest type, for: —
The Mason is informed that the Three Supporting Pillars of the Lodge are Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty "because it is necessary that there should be wisdom to contrive, strength to support, and beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings": he cannot but gather from the lectures and the work, particularly of the First Degree, that the Lodge is the symbol of the World: therefore, when he combines these two conceptions and draws the necessarily resulting conclusion, he arrives at the same understanding of the ultimate symbolic significance of the Three Pillars as did the ancient Hindus — the Three Supporting Pillars of the Lodge are, considered as a group, the symbol of Him Whose Wisdom contrived the World, Whose Strength supports the World, Whose Beauty adorns the World — Deity.
* * *
PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS OF A CANDIDATE
Bro. O.D. Street, Alabama
The question of Physical Qualification of candidates continues to provoke much discussion, many decisions and some legislation. As a rule the test applied is, that the candidate must without artificial aid be able to teach and practice in all its parts our esoteric ritual. The antiquity of this requirement is undenied and undeniable. Our oldest Code of Masonic Law, (the Regius MS., cir. A. D. 1390), in its quaint language declares:
The mayster shal not, for no vantage,
Make no prentes that ys outrage;
Hyt ys to mene, as ye mowe here,
That he have hys lymes hole alle y-fere;
To the craft hyt were gret schame,
To make an halt mon and a lame,
For an unperfyct mon of such blod
Schulde do the craft but lytul good.
Thus ye mowe knowe everychon,
The craft wolde have a mighty mon;
A maymed mon he hath no myght,
Ye mowe hyt knowe long yer nyght.
— 11. 119-160.
Anderson's Book of Constitutions, (1723), the first book of the kind ever published and still regarded the world over as a standard authority, thus states the law:
No Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Employment for him, and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his Body that may render him incapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master's Lord, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow-Craft in due time.
It is argued now in certain quarters that this requirement arose out of the necessities of a society of operative workmen, and is unsuited to our present Speculative Masonry. The contention is that the utilitarian purpose of the regulation having ceased, the regulation itself is no longer binding. They forget that many things, once serving purely practical purposes in our fraternity, but now entirely useless from that viewpoint, were for symbolic reasons brought over from Operative into Speculative Masonry. Of what utility in the lodge, we may ask, are now the square, the level, the plumb, the compasses, the 24-inch gauge, the chisel, the trowel, the spade? None whatever. This line of reasoning would therefore dispense with them also. They are retained and cherished solely because they symbolize certain virtues or truths. So it is with man. The most fundamental symbolism in Masonry is that man is a piece of flawless material to be chiseled and polished into a perfect stone to be used in the erection of a moral and spiritual temple. It is an ancient metaphor, older than the Christian era, that man symbolizes the temple or abiding place of Deity himself. A perfect specimen of physical manhood is an admirable and a marvelous piece of work. regardless of the mind or the character housed in it. — According to our conceit, it is made in the very image of God. — Gen. i, 26. In other words, the human body typifies Deity. Carlyle in Sartor Resartus exclaims, "What is man himself but a symbol of God!" An imperfect, a crippled, a maimed body is an unworthy type in such a sublime symbolism. Surely nothing less than a "perfect youth having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art, of serving his Master's Lord, and of being made a brother, and then a Fellow-Craft in due time" is a fit symbol of Deity, or of his perfect abiding place, or of a perfect stone in a perfect temple. However pure the material, who would think of putting a broken stone in a fine edifice? And what would one think of a temple splendidly furnished inside, built of the finest marble, but with a broken column, a cracked frieze or a shattered dome?
The argument, sometimes made, that Freemasonry should not be so exacting as to physical perfection while we admit those possessed of less than moral perfection proceeds on a false assumption. Freemasonry has never declared any lower standard of moral qualification for its initiates than that they shall be "good men and true, or men of honor and honesty." If less than these find their way into our lodges, the fault is not with Freemasonry or its laws, but with us whose duty it is to guard our portals against the unworthy. Because we are careless or sometimes deceived at one point is no reason why we should obliterate a "landmark" elsewhere.
The utilitarian spirit which would knock off a mark of antiquity here and another yonder, because they are no longer serviceable, would soon strip our fraternity completely of that delightful flavor of age which is one of its chief charms.
Our operative brethren required of their initiates just such degree of "physical perfection" as enabled them to perform the work of the operative lodge. We should likewise require just such degree of "physical perfection ' as will enable our initiates to perform the ' work" of the Speculative lodge.
At the same time we do not think it necessary to the preservation of this symbolism that an E. A. should be denied advancement because of a maim suffered after initiation. The idea of man as a symbol of a perfect stone in a temple is taught chiefly in the first degree, "living stones for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands eternal in the heavens." So it is of the symbolism of the Rough Ashlar and the Perfect Ashlar. Many considerations operate in favor of the advancement of the E. A. or F.C., notwithstanding a maim after initiation which do not apply to the profane.
We have gotten along very well with this restriction of "physical perfection." Many think the increase in membership has been too rapid. There is at least no necessity to open the door any wider to the profane. When we open it to the worthy maimed, we also open it to the unworthy maimed. Let us adhere to the "landmarks" bequeathed to us by the fathers.
Finally, there is a very practical side to this question. It can not be denied that as a class the maimed are more liable to become charges upon the Craft than are the physically whole. It is an erroneous idea, but one widely prevalent, that Freemasonry is a benefit society; that persons join it that they may be cared for in their periods of adversity. Nothing could be further from the truth; at least theoretically, one unites with our Fraternity that he may serve and minister unto the needs of others; from a "sincere desire to be serviceable to his fellow men." For this work prudence dictates that we do not accept those whose physical defects render it likely that they themselves will become a charge. Those of our charitable activities, whose benefits we restrict to our members, their widows, and orphans, are the narrowest form of true Masonic charity. Masons should be leaders in every form of charity "to all mankind." Masonry rightly understood is a work of service to others just as is the Red Cross. Though one of the most splendid forms of charity this world has ever seen, the Red Cross does not seek as its members those in need of relief or whose physical condition does or will likely add to its already tremendous burdens.
* * *
Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, England
SINCE my last report I have been on a journey along the Western Front of the world war, as a guest of the British Foreign Office. The invitation was the fruit of a policy which deems it wise for men who speak and write to see what the war is like, that they may tell the folks at home. Under such auspices I had opportunity to see the war at first hand and vividly, as the fighting men themselves do not see it, since they see only the part of the line where they are located.
Not much can be told on one page, only a few of the bewildering impressions of a scene strange, terrible, and fascinating. As I write now, it all seems like a horrible dream — if only it were a dream! — which one would give much to forget, and cannot. No wonder the men who return from the trenches are so dumb and uncommunicative when asked about the war. It is unspeakable! No words are equal to it. They speak of it as the "grand show," or "the big row," after the English manner of speaking lightly of the more serious things.
My first impression was of the vastness of the war, which makes all other wars a mere street brawl beside it. It is simply stupendous in its effort, its organization, its waste, its sacrifice, its horror. A one line news item tells of an attack, but how few know or can realize what lies back of that bare line! Still less can they make real to themselves what it costs in labor and life. No one can walk amid the Ruins without a sense of dismay at the waste of life, waste of brains, waste of treasure — whole cities mere piles of blasted brick, lovely landscapes mere heaps of junk or mazes of trenches and shell-holes. Everywhere ruin, everywhere desolation. It seems that the arts which have made most progress are the arts of destruction.
Never has there been a day when I did not hate war, but I hate it now with a indignation that baffles words to tell. Its cruelty, its stupidity, its terror — who can utter it! By the same token, who can measure the guilt of the clique of criminals in central Europe who plunged the world into this woe. They deserve, and will receive, the deep damnation of humanity to the latest day. Lust of power, lust of rule, swollen vanity, unscrupulous intrigue, strutting blasphemy, sure signs of moral insanity, ended in a tragedy that beshadows the earth like a pall. It is in accord with the eternal justice of things that the men, — if men they be, and not fiends — who plotted this crime should drink the dregs of the cup they have pressed to the lips of the race.
Yet when one has seen war at its worst — its blood and fire and tears, its mud and slush and ruin — one stands in awe of that in our humanity which will face it in behalf of an ideal, a sense of right, and the future which those who fight may never see upon earth. And the more one sees, the more that wonder gathers and grows. Never can I forget those fine, healthy, upstanding fellows whom I met in the trenches, their careless strength, their genial friendly spirit, their jolly goodwill — ready to give their lives, if need be, that liberty, mercy and decency may not perish from the earth. Such men are incomparable. Such a spirit is unconquerable.
Not yet have our people realized what it means for us to be in the war. Perhaps they cannot fully realize it until they begin to read the long lists of the dead, following the first great battle in which our army takes part. After that it will not be safe for those who lend sympathy to an enemy whose brutality is only equalled by its efficiency. Americans are a kindly and tolerant folk, willing to err on the side of gentleness rather than be harsh; but it must not be imagined that we have no iron in our blood. At least they will not allow their boys to be shot in the back. Those who are wise enough to take a friendly warning, will beware of the wrath of a patient and generous people.
Speaking of America and the war, apparently the great speech of General Pershing at the tomb of LaFayette on the 4th of July is not known on this side as it should be. He went with his staff to that tomb to pay a tribute to the great Frenchman who came to the aid of Washington and helped to lift our flag to the winds. His speech was brief, noble, immortal, the speech of a soldier, as follows: "Lafayette, here we are." Exactly, here we are in the greatest of all wars, fighting the old battle of liberty, as our fathers fought before us; trying to keep the good ship, the Earth, from being torpedoed and sunk in brutality. Let us have no illusions about the matter. It will be a hard fight, perhaps a long fight, asking for heroism, sacrifice, fortitude, and the spirit of the days that tried the souls of men.
When will the war end? No one knows. Anything may happen. I went to the Front a super-optimist, but I came back feeling that, unless there is some internal explosion in Germany — and I hardly expect anything of the kind, remembering how with them discipline is drawn out to the thinnest docility — we are now about the middle of the war. This means that America will be in the war up to the hilt before the close, and that the full strength of the nation will have to be put forth. Having seen the war at first hand, and knowing what our boys will have to face, my heart is sick and sore. Yet I am solemnly proud that our Republic will have a part in the salvation of civilization and the making of a better world!
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right; let us go on to finish the work we are in."
* * *
YOU AND WE
TOO many of the brethren view the National Masonic Research Society as a publisher. In the sense of making known by publication the Society is indeed very thoroughly a publishing body and by virtue of THE BUILDER is actively circulating Masonic information periodically — all of which is truly the task and purpose of a publishing organization.
But this is only a part of the Society's activities. At Anamosa, Iowa, there is a fast-growing collection of Masonic publications elaborately indexed. Constant and energetic labor bestowed freely upon this material has now grown into rich fruitage. On very few if any angles of Masonic literature is there lacking the most interesting resources at the National Masonic Research Society's House of Light.
A few miles from headquarters is the great literary lore in the Grand Lodge repository at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Here under the continual care and skill of Grand Secretary Parvin and Curator Hunt are the rarest treasures, all in orderly arrangement, cheerfully and quickly available for the service of our Society.
All these data are at the disposal of any member of the Society. He can be informed of what there is to be obtained on any topic, advised of the collateral references, guided in all his researches, and in short put in possession of privileges beyond price; nay, given benefits no money can otherwise obtain.
There is also in the Society a means of mutual acquaintance that is fast coming into free use. Two brethren recently met at Chicago who had had long in mind the plan of a meeting at headquarters of themselves and others. They were joined by a few more. What had begun as almost a chance meeting of but two became a group affair. Some day that little gathering, the forerunner of many we may hope, will be the beginning of still larger and perhaps more effective congregations of kindred souls vitally interested in the advancement of Masonic research and each willing and anxious to do his full share toward the progress of the National Masonic Research Society.
Let us all do more than hope for the attainment of this most desirable project. How can we best combine our efforts to bringing about this result? The main primary object is of course to enlarge the personal acquaintance between our members. In this direction we at headquarters can help you materially.
For example, in your own localities, or wherever any of you may be visiting, we will gladly furnish you with a few names of our members. These you can call upon. You will find them companionable Masons of the liveliest type, studious and progressive, as willing to thankfully receive as to generously give information.
Out of the many thousands of members on the American continent you will meet several within easy distance almost anywhere you may happen to be. You will discover, as has been our personal experience, that these brethren are the most delightful of associates. They are fellow students in the great university of Masonry, pupils in daily pilgrimage among Masonic duties, partakers of the same fraternal pleasures, bound together with you by common desires and headed in the same direction.
Not only can you converse with them on Masonic topics in general, but there is a long and prolific list of subjects and of authors suggested by the reading of THE BUILDER. There can be no lack of profitable discussion when Masons meet under the conditions we have described. Think this over. Write us for the names you require. We will do the rest.
One thing only do we beg of you in return. This you need not give but it will add very much indeed to the vigor of our efforts and we would remind you that these exercises for the common good will in turn benefit every one of us in the Society, and help many beyond the confines of our research organization.
Please keep us in touch with these congenial occasions, these meetings of our goodly fellowship. Many times we thus learn of a subject under examination by a brother to whom we may be able to introduce other brethren having precisely the selfsame studious interests. Sometimes we can suggest additional sources of information. All these things, because of what they do for the members, increase the powers of the Society for good.
No necessity, either, for you to restrict the advantages of such gatherings to members of the Society. Take along one who is not a member. Let him hear and take part in the proceedings.
He is indeed a rare specimen if he be not inoculated by you with the microbe of Masonic investigation. If he does not indeed show an inclination to take the matter of membership up with us, a judicious hint from you will help the cause.
But the best way of handling all cases is to get an application in his hands and it being a fact beyond dispute that none but highly desirable candidates would be taken along by you to meetings of the membership of the National Masonic Research Society, you would not be inclined to withhold your name from a cordial endorsement of him.
In this way the purpose of Masonic study is made aggressive and the work of the Society surely and rapidly advanced toward maximum usefulness. This is a co-operation that costs you nothing and profits much for all of us. Please take hold and lift your share.
R. I. C.
* * *
Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood
(The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not aways familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library editor will be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges, either through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish to learn something concerning any book — what is its nature, what is its value, or how it may be obtained — be free to ask him. If you have read a book which you think is worth a revi write us about it; if you desire to purchase a book — any book — we will help you get it, with no charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary Consultation.)
"FREEMASONRY BEFORE THE EXISTENCE OF GRAND LODGES"
HISTORY is a story based on evidence, documentary or otherwise; tradition is a story based on hearsay, or inference. If these familiar definitions be true, we may place the historical period of Freemasonry as beginning roughly in 1600. We have minutes of the Scotch Lodge of Edinburgh dated 1599, and we have the record of the initiation of Elias Ashmole at Warrington in 1646; and from these dates to the present the development of Freemasonry may be traced through dependable records, Masonic and profane. But prior to 1600 our story is largely traditional and must be pieced together from scattered fragments of facts, from analogy, inference, and probability.
Being a region so vaguely defined, and so poorly marked out with paths and guide-boards, the long traditional period of our Masonic story has ever been a happy-hunting-ground for theorists and visionaries, with almost every writer chasing a favorite phantom, and hardly any two agreeing. This was especially the case before the advent of modern critical scholarship into Masonic literature, for in those days enthusiasts traced the origin of our Fraternity to the Culdees, the Druids, the Gypsies, the Ancient Mysteries, the Ancient Egyptians, and almost every ancient something or other. Preston, to whose genius for ritual we owe so much, but to whose talent for history we owe so little, was led to declare that "from the commencement of the world we may trace the foundations of Freemasonry." Not to be outdone by this, Rev. George Oliver went on to contend that "our science existed before the creation of this globe, and was diffused among the various systems" in space. With Preston and Oliver, and similar "historians," however, we must not grow impatient, for they were only doing in the fields of Masonic origin what other scholars were similarly doing in the fields of religion, politics, literature, etc. Their visionary schemes were not born of any love for the fabulous but were simply due to the fact that there was not yet any science, or apparatus of history ready to their hands.
The first of our Masonic writers to recast the whole story of our traditional period in the light of genuine history, and by means of accredited scientific methods, was Robert Freke Gould. His four volume History is, and will ever remain, a miracle of scholarship, a horde of fact and doctrine that over-tops its fellows, as the pyramid of Gizeh towers above the Sahara. But it is this very size, this opulence of materials and ideas, that has been the work's greatest drawback, for non-scholars and common busy men such as most of us are, have neither the equipment nor the time to work their way through so vast a forest of literature as is found in his 1900 pages. Accordingly, the publishing of Gould's History immediately created the need for some work of smaller compass, and simpler style, that would give us the results of Gould's researches without confusing us by the laborious processes by means of which those results were achieved.
Such a book, happily, we have in "Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges," a little volume of 164 pages, written by Brother Lionel Vibert, I.C.S. Local Secretary for Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076, E.C. for S. India, and published by Spencer and Co., of London. In this brief work we have a compact study of our origin and development done in lucid English and so arranged that he who runs may read. But compact as it is, the study covers a vast ground, as may be seen by the list of chapter headings which are as follows: The Internal Indications of Our Antiquity; Collegia and Gilds; Early Conditions; Our Legendary History; Our Oldest Documents; The Operative Masons (in two Chapters); Allied Craft Associations; The Mystics (Hermeticists, Kabbalists, etc.); Legends, Symbols, and Ritual (two chapters); and The Seventeenth Century, and the Formation of Grand Lodges (in one chapter.)
Manifestly it would be quite impossible to offer a resume of a study of such content, but it may prove richly worth our while to note how Bro. Vibert answers the one question, Did Freemasonry originate from some other secret society?
Did it spring from the Roman Collegia? Our author answers, No. "There was no exclusive College of Masons (among the Collegia). The craftsmen — as in India — were hereditary. But the point with which we are most directly concerned is that they were associations either purely social or disciplinary for the purpose of the administration of the concerns or commerce in one particular town. . . There is no ground for attributing to them any esotericism or secret ceremonies, or the possession of any legends. . . The Roman Collegia do not in fact present any remarkable analogy with our craft."
How about the Druids? "That the Druids — that terrible sect, as Gould calls them — were Freemasons was a theory devoutly believed in by numerous writers not so many years ago. It need hardly be said, however, that the idea is not merely devoid of the remotest historical probability, but can not even be justified by the usually adaptable argument of analogy."
He will not agree that our Order sprang from the Vehmgerichte either. "The Vehmgerichte were essentially courts of justice. . . They had nothing in the nature of secret teachings or mysteries."
Brother Ravenscroft in his interesting little book, "The Comacines," has elaborated the argument that one or two of the Roman Colleges of Architects settled on the Isle of Comacini in Lake Como, and that through these Comacines Freemasonry connects up with the Collegia. To this Bro. Vibert replies: "In the first place, there is absolutely no ground for attributing to any Collegia traditions of King Solomon; in the second, the exodus of a Collegium to Como is a hypothesis only, and Ravenscroft's authority is Findel, whose statements are unsupported; in the third, even assuming that the Masons imported to Saxon England were in fact Comacines, this merely means that their knowledge of building was derived from Ancient Rome, not that they brought us any esotericism. . . Finally, the legend of our Craft connects us not with Rome but with Euclid and Egypt."
Similarly, Bro. Vibert rejects the Templar hypothesis: "In any case, there is no evidence to connect Masonry with Palestine by this channel through the Templars, whose supposed-connection with our craft in medieval days is not now believed in."
Nor will he admit that Freemasonry sprang from the Steinmetzen, as has been so often alleged. "They had an absolutely independent origin and existence, and such legends as they possessed are distinct from ours. When modern Masonry was introduced into Germany in the eighteenth century, at a time when Steinmetzen still existed, no one recognized the two societies as having any connection."
The theory that our Order was founded by the Kabbalists and the Rosicrucians he also throws aside. "The doctrines of Kabbala . . are not found in Masonry." "Clearly, the absence of any organized society is fatal to the Rosicrucian theory of our origin; or at all events reduces it to this, that we have been influenced by individual Rosicrucians in our ranks. This may very well be."
On the question of our derivation from the Ancient Mysteries, the Druses, the French Gilds, the Companionage, etc., he returns a like negative answer. What he does believe is, that Freemasonry began with the medieval builder's gilds, more especially the Church builders; that their building secrets may have come through roundabout channels from the Egypt of Pythagoras' day but that their peculiar form of organization and use of building tools as emblems was all their own; that the Speculative Masons who were Accepted, especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, brought new myths, legends and symbols with them; and that the mixture of operative and speculative systems thus made was distilled off into a purely Speculative Order in the first year of the eighteenth century, after which many modifications were made to give the Freemasonry of today.
What Bro. Joseph Fort Newton says of his own book, "The Builders," in a notable passage, may be equally applied to the theory of our origins developed by Bro. Vibert:
"For, since what was evolved from Masonry must always have been involved in it . . we need not go outside the order itself to learn what Masonry is, certainly not to discover its motif and its genius; its later and more elaborate form being only an expansion and exposition of its inherent nature and teaching. Upon this fact the present study insists with all emphasis, as over against those who go hunting in every odd nook and corner to find whence Masonry came and where got its symbols and degrees."
* * *
THE HISTORY OF MAGIC
"Eliphas Levi's" (his real name was Alphonse Louis Constant) History of Magic, while not a new book, is worthy of attention in this Department on many counts. For one thing it was translated from the French by Brother Arthur Edward Waite who is, many of us believe, the greatest living writer on the inner side of Freemasonry. Waite's Preface is a model after its kind, and gives, in no uncertain terms, a great scholar's estimate of that system called "Magic," telling us that this form of occultism "has no ground in the truth of things, and is of the region of delusion only." These pages are heartily recommended to the brother who is tempted to dabble in the occult of any form.
For another thing, the volume now at hand will be of interest to the fraternity because it gives, or purports to give, in one chapter a study of the connections between Masonry and Magic. As may be expected Levi traces the origins of the Craft to Kabbalism and Hermeticism, etc., a theory not without familiarity to the reader of our Lodge memorials. Needless to say this theory is built on sand and possesses almost no validity at all. It is true, as Pike, Woodford, and others have already pointed out, that many of Masonry's symbols were in use by the occult fraternities of the Middle Ages, but that gives no warrant for the assumption that it was from these strange houses of sleep that Masonry derived.
Not the least claim that the History of Magic can lay on our attention is that it was from this book that Albert Pike drew a modicum of the materials for his "Morals and Dogma." "He accepted," says Mr. Waite, in the latter pages of his "Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbalah," "without due caution, the construction placed on Kabbalism by the most unsafe of all its expounders, Eliphas Levi, from whom he translated verbatim at great length, and, following his professed habit, with no specific acknowledgement." This does not, however, necessarily discredit the Morals and Dogma, for much that Levi says is true; it only serves to indicate that the teachings of the History of Magic are closer to us, Masonically, than might at first appear. The readers of Morals and Dogma, and may their number increase, will do well to read the two books together.
Levi, as we may continue to call him, was born in Paris in 1810. He was educated for the priesthood at the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice. After having been made a deacon, for some reason not yet determined, he withdrew from holy orders to engage in literary work. The publication of his "Doctrine of Transcendental Magic" attracted attention in 1855 and soon won for him a place as spokesman of the votaries of that style of esotericism. In this he developed his thesis that there has existed from a time when the memory of man runneth not to the contrary a Secret Doctrine, known only to the elect, preserved behind veils of one kind or another, which confers upon the adept almost unlimited powers over nature and over man. After passing from one refuge to another this Secret Doctrine, so Levi contended, found a home at last behind the official doctrines of Roman Catholicism. It appears that this position was abandoned in the History of Magic, though many of his followers will not admit as much; however that may be, he died in 1875, "fortified by the last rites of the Catholic Church."
"There is no question," says Mr. Waite, "that for Eliphas Levi his secret doctrine of occult science is contained in a hypothesis concerning an universal medium denominated the Astral Light." By this he seems to have meant an imponderable fluid, or a hidden force, lying behind all phenomena, and amenable to control for good or for evil by the adept. "I have deemed it my duty to pick up the key," he says, referring to the secret of control of this medium, "and I offer it to him who can take it; in his turn he will be doctor of the nations and liberator of the world."
Those who have a stomach for such things will find the History worth reading; while those to whom it is the ultimate folly will nevertheless not go unrewarded, for there are many stray gems of beauty and truth scattered through the book. Beginning with an account of "the derivations of magic" Levi goes on to interpret its dogmas; thereafter he tries to prove that Christianity itself was secretly a magi cult; from this he passes to deal with the influences of the art over the first movements of civilization; this is followed by a discussion of magic and the priesthood; and then by two parts, the first devoted to the role played by it in the French Revolution; the latter, to the place of magic in the 19th Century.
There are many of us who believe that magic has no place in either the 19th or in the 20th Century, or in any other besides; least of all has it a place in Masonry which, with its sanity and its love of the light, can no more be assimilated to the doctrines of magic than to any other form of occultism. It will be an auspicious day when Masons, one and all, have done with these back-washes of human superstition; above all, when they have learned to discriminate between that occultism which is always false and that mysticism which is always true.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
(The Builder is an open forum for free and maternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.)
MASONRY IN RUSSIA
Some of the fellows in our lodge have been arguing about Masonry in Russia; some say there are Masonic lodges there, others say not; can you help us out?
— D. F. B., Nebraska.
Masonry was forbidden in Russia under the old regime, because it was a secret order: whether it is now permitted we do not know but would be glad to learn. A young Y.M.C.A. secretary recently applied for a position in Y.M.C.A. work in Russia but was refused because he was a Mason. The people are evidently still bitterly prejudiced against the Order. If you can get at Leo Tolstoy's great story, "War and Peace," read the famous chapter on Masonry; it suggests that there was some Masonry in Russia even in the days before the Revolution. If some reader has a word to say on this please send it to us.
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: — The following clipping may be of interest to you and your readers:
New Liberties for Russia.
Petrograd, July 6 (by mail). — Under the regime of the czar no secret societies of any sort were permitted to exist and lodge night was a pleasure unknown to Russian males. It has developed there are some 10,000 Masons in Russia, who held lodge meetings behind guarded doors. Steps are being taken to form a national organization.
The assumption has been made, in all references that I have seen, that Freemasonry was practically non-existent in Russia under the old regime. It would be most interesting to have some light on the proposed national Masonic organization from any of the members of our Society who may be informed thereon. Fraternally yours,
Francis H. Coffin, Pennsylvania.
* * *
THE CROSS AND THE SWASTIKA
Dear Brother Editor: — Information is requested as to correctness according to present-day scholars of the two following related ideas, and it is requested that, if practicable, you put me in touch with any information that may be available upon the subject.
That both the cross and the swastika are efforts to represent in one plane the figure of the cube. That these two ancient and widely known figures are the sign-manuals therefore for perfection invented before the use of perspective was known. Further that the Cross within the Circle was a combination of two ideas, Eternity and Perfection, and intended to represent Eternal Perfection or the sign-manual of God.
So far as I can find record these ideas have been expressed in nothing that I have the opportunity to read, and in the latter case I have a recollection of reading that the Cross was developed from the Circle and could have no meaning apart from the Circle.
If this subject has been developed by any author I would like to be informed of the name of the work wherein the matter was discussed.
Charles Kimball, Washington, D. C.
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: — I am not a member of your Society but a brother Mason told me to write to you for some information, anyway. I have often wondered why the candidate is taken around the lodge room; it don't seem to mean anything to me. What does it mean?
J. M. K., Rhode Island.
Convey our thanks to the brother you mention; he evidently understands the spirit of the Society.
The ceremony to which you doubtless refer is called the Rite of Circumambulation. It was a custom already ancient in the time of Christ yet is still practiced in some parts of the world. According to archeologists and anthropologists the Rite had its origin in the savage's child-like belief that if he would only imitate the actions of a god or of some process of nature he would thereby be enabled to control the god or the natural process. Thus, in a number of African tribes of this day a priest, or a medicine man, or some other functionary, will act out wind, and thunder and rain, supposing that this imitation of a storm will really cause a storm. The Rite of Circumambulation was originally such a piece of magic for it was used by primitive man to control the sun by imitating the sun's motions. In Greek and Roman history, of course, after men had grown more sophisticated they gave other reasons; but even so the older idea of acting in harmony with the sun remained in the Rite. For this let us be glad, because it is one of the most fruitful of all ideas, even if we cannot hold it in quite the same form as primitive man. All our most splendid modern achievements have been wrought through careful co-operation with nature and her processes. When man is in harmony with the laws of the world, when he is in "tune with the Infinite" he is really living the truth suggested: by Circumambulation.
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: — I am a member of a study club, and I have been asked to give a paper on "Orientation"; will you tell me something about it; will you tell me of a book I can get?
— A. A. S., Iowa
The word itself literally means, "toward the east." In early times many temples were so placed that the rays of the morning sun on certain days of the year would pass between the pillars at the entrance and fall upon the altar; other temples were similarly oriented toward some star, or toward the moon in one of its phases. Orientation is therefore a far-off reminder of the ancient light religion. You will find a valuable chapter in Mackey's "Symbolism." The best treatment, both from the scientific and historical points of view, is given in Norman Lockyer's "Dawn of Astronomy," one of the noblest books we have ever read, as rich in materials as it is beautiful in style, and always composed in a spirit appropriate to that light worship which is its theme. Two or three of its chapters would furnish you with an abundance of materials for the historical background of your paper, while Mackey's study will suggest the symbolic import of it. You should be able to find Lockyer's book in any public library.
* * *
HOW TO INCREASE THE ATTENDANCE
Dear Brother Editor: — Can you tell me how to wake up our lodge members? I am the master of a lodge of more than three hundred members but we often can't get the chairs filled on a regular meeting night. — M. P. J
., South Carolina.
Many other Masters can sympathize with you, brother, nor can any man give you a panacea for the disease which you describe. It is the conviction of the Research Society that Masonic Study will do more to awaken men's interest in Masonry than anything else; the experience of a number of lodges last year proves that our conviction is not wholly baseless. Masonry is one of the most fascinating subjects in the world, even as it one of the oldest and noblest. If you can only get your members to peek beneath the surface a little it will prove such a revelation to them that they will attend Lodge for the fun of it.
If you are willing to make a little experiment try this recipe for a few nights this winter. Take one of Brother Clegg's papers with you into lodge; after the business is over turn the meeting into a little study club; read the paper; discuss it; ask questions; see if that doesn't "start something." If your Grand Lodge laws make that impossible try it out on a little group of Masonic friends privately. This is not written to boost our own goods; if you can find some other way of getting men to start an acquaintance with Masonry tell us about it; whatever you do, tell us about it. Remember, the while, that the Society is always at your service, whatever be your plans, or whatever your text.
* * *
BIBLE SIDE OF MASONRY
Dear Brother Editor: — Two or three of us have been studying the Bible side of Masonry and would like you to recommend one or two good books that would tell us about the Bible lands and customs.
— R. H. A., Ind.
Good for you; you have struck an interesting and fruitful vein; stick to it and you will find much more light in Masonry, as well as in the V. S. L. Thomson's "Land and the Book," a 600 page volume published by Harpers, is the old stand-by on life in Palestine. A more recent study is that written by a Syrian now living in this country: "The Syrian Christ," by Abraham M. Rihbany, and published by Houghton, Mifflin Co., at $1.50. It is a delightful and instructive book, more fascinating than many novels, and full of fresh light on life in Bible lands.
* * *
"THE LODGE" — A CORRECTION
Dear Brother Editor: — I regret to intrude my personality too much on the brethren of the Society, but I always did dislike to have my name misspelled, and when I saw the heading to the article on "The Lodge" in the July BUILDER read "A.W. TICHNOR, MICHIGAN, I thought I might request that it be corrected to H.W. TICKNOR, MARYLAND.
But, really, that wasn't the worst. The compositor printed the Anglo-Saxon word in the beginning, "lecgan," and thus endangered my reputation with philologists. It should have been "licgan."
I wish to say how much I have appreciated the articles, "The Pillars of the Porch," and "The Gild and York Rites" that have recently appeared. They are, I think, epochal in the constructive study of Freemasonry. The latter, in particular, has given me an insight into certain matters that were dark to me before, and I believe that it shows the beginning point for the study of the mediaeval history of the Order. I hope it will be followed up by scholarly men who have access to books.
H.W. Ticknor, Maryland.
* * *
UNIVERSAL MODE OF RECOGNITION
Dear Brother Editor: — An evening spent with the August number of The Builder arouses us from that feeling of dullness incident to the scorching weather. What a splendid number it is! Brother Merz's article alone is worth more than a year's dues — much more. I am particularly pleased by the apparent trend of Masonic thought in favor of a broader conception of our Fraternity, as expressed in the "Fraternal Forum." If the Fraternal Forum does nothing more than inform the brethren that there are dissenting brethren from certain theories that have been advocated as "landmarks" and that our American Grand Lodges haste been inclined to try and force dogmatic theories of jurisprudence down the throats of others, it will fulfill a meritorious mission. With the helpfulness of Bro. Pound's SPLENDID articles on jurisprudence the average brother may in time see the inconsistency of the present requirements of regularity demanded by most of our American Grand Lodges.
I hope to see the day when a Mason who was given great assistance in having his letters of credit honored (at a time when they were being refused to ordinary travelers) by a brother Mason who recognized one of our brethren as such, and who holds his membership in a Grand Orient that is not recognized as regular by us, will be able to be received by us as a Mason.
Each Jurisdiction should be sovereign, but it should be Masonic — never dogmatic. I see dogmatism in the doctrine that a Masonic body to be deemed regular, must trace its origin to the Grand Lodge of 1717 which "Constituted themselves a Grand Lodge," etc.
If it was legal for them to constitute themselves, why illegal in others?
Again; the two Grand Lodges of England found ways and means to compromise their differences in 1813 and it resulted in the general good of the Fraternity. The Union necessitated more changes of consequence than would be necessary for a full fraternal recognition of the Grand Lodges of the world today.
I feel very optimistic this 1st of August, 1917. Fraternally thine,
S.H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: — Replying to Bro. Jos. Hollrigl's request for information of ritual of the "Swedenborgian's Rite," I am unable to say that there is one, but it's fair to presume that there must be. The only light that I can give on the Rite is George Wingate Chase's Masonic Dictionary, published in Boston, Mass., 1865, by A.W. Pollard & Co., in which he said, "Swedenborgian, Rite of. A rite of six degrees instituted in 1783 by the Marquis de Thome, and is still practised in some Lodges in the north of Europe." In the same book it speaks of a Swedish Rite, as follows: "A rite of twelve degrees, practised by the Grand Lodge of Sweden."
David M. Drury, New York.
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: — I have received the August number of The Builder and tonight after having looked it over was about to file it away with my other copies, with the thought of how glad I would be to stop it when the year was up, when I happened to see the little letter on page 232 by George E. Frazer, entitled "Let this War Free Masonry." I was both surprised and delighted to find that you had even one contributor who has discovered that the Last Word will never be found among the bones and dust of mouldy tombs. Won't you please convey to Brother Frazer my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation of his having discovered that Masonry is a thing to be lived and that he has the courage and ability to tell that fact so concisely and so completely?
I try to practice tolerance toward all men and toward their acts and opinions; but when I read in a journal purporting to be Masonic, articles or letters opposing fraternal recognition of each other, by Masons who are voluntarily offering their lives that ALL Men may be Free, because "The Grand Lodge of Missouri does not recognize the Grand Orient of France, the Grand Lodge of France or the Grand Orient of Belgium," then it is that I think of how glad I will be when my year is up.
What a splendid thing it would be if Masons and Masonry everywhere, more particularly American Masons, could see and arise to the great opportunity that is now knocking at our outer door. What is the matter with a Masonry that it fails to teach even its dullest member that The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, means that ALL MEN are brethren. Wouldn't our teaching be more acceptable and more lasting if we could first show, not only our newly made brothers but the world at large, that all Masons were our Brethren, regardless of whether or not they conducted their affairs as we do ours. Has it ever occurred to you, Brother Schoonover, that it is this very desire to arrange and control the affairs of others that is at the very foundation of all this World chastisement? What business is it of ours, how our distant brethren arrange their Lodge Furniture or what they believe? Suppose we should ask them what they know and what have they done, and then compare their answer with what we know and what we have done for humanity's progress. Let us wage vigorous warfare on the Kaiser that is enthroned in our own hearts. After conquering this enemy, it may seem to be a matter of little or no importance what our distant Brothers believe or how they conduct their own affairs so long as they concede to us the same rights of thinking and doing they ask for themselves. I am,
Truly and fraternally yours,
Ambrose Hemingway, Wyoming.
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: — After reading over the several letters in the last Builder anent the granting of permits to the Brothers across the water to have Military Lodges, it is rather a ticklish question to say just what is best to do, for the reason that warfare as now carried on is so very different than it was during our Civil War. However, I do think that there must be many places where such lodges ought to be allowed to exist and to do the work, and that the Grand Lodges or Grand Masters should grant permits after due investigation, because I am sure and believe in my heart that by so doing it will cement the brothers now there (and the brothers they may make) into a closer BROTHERHOOD.
I had predicted before this war started that some day the time was coming when our order of Masons would have to step in and save the world from the ruthless hands that would not hesitate to destroy, and I say now that it is up to us Masons, in all countries, to show what we are on this earth for. It means work, work, and then some more work, by every one of us; by granting permits not too promiscuously; it will certainly be very consoling to our brothers to know or feel at least that should they die in action there are other brothers to give them a Masonic burial, and also the mothers will bless us, when they say, "Well, the Masons looked after my boy."
A.C. Osborn, K.C.C.H., Minn.
* * *
Dear Brother: — I have just had brought to my attention an article in the October issue of your magazine for 1916, signed "Henry H. Andrews, Nebraska," which seems to invite discussion as to the attitude Masons should assume towards the action of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Nebraska concerning Masons who join societies or organizations, membership in which is restricted to Masons in good and lawful standing.
The article purports to quote certain "interpretations" given by the Nebraska Grand Lodge and certain amendments to "Masonic Offenses" and "the law."
It is a long time since the article was published, and comment based upon it may seem somewhat out of date, but the principles involved seem to me to be of such vital importance to Masons everywhere that I may be pardoned for "butting in" upon the serenity of Nebraska Freemasonry eight months after and even in hot weather.
The Masonic standing of your magazine gives me confidence in the belief that you would not have published the resolutions and quoted amendments which are said to have been adopted by the Grand Lodge of Masons of Nebraska unless they had first been fully verified and were correct. What I write now, therefore, is based solely upon this assumption.
Frankly, I believe the Grand Lodge of Nebraska has been led into error by misguided and injudicious friends and that it has exceeded its jurisdiction. A Grand Lodge of Masons in America has no more right to prescribe what an American freeman under its jurisdiction shall join in the way of societies, not inconsistent with the principles and teaching of Freemasonry, than it has to say what church he shall or shall not affiliate with. I had supposed that the assumption of the right to arbitrarily control the actions of a man because he was one of its members was restricted alone to the Roman Catholic Church. Such action seems to be without other precedent in my observation at least and it smacks of an audaciousness that is as autocratic as it is unjust and discriminatory.
Grand Lodge has a right to prescribe the qualifications essential to lawful Masonry, but it must restrain itself within Masonic bounds. If a man be a Mason in good and lawful standing when measured by Masonic requirements, which are prescribed in the ancient landmarks that even Grand Lodge has not the right to modify, Grand Lodge may not by by-law or resolution make him otherwise because he chooses to affiliate with a body of fellow Masons in a lawful and harmless enterprise.
It is a great mistake to assume that the Grand Lodge of a state may make a code of morals of its own to hamper Freemasonry. Grand Lodges have their limitations even as subordinate lodges have theirs, and nowhere in the history of Freemasonry do we find authority given it to restrict the liberty and the rights of a citizen when exercised within the code of moral and religious Freemasonry. And I seriously question its right to trench far into the religious domain lest it become infected with the taint of Romanism, which does not breathe the spirit of pure Freemasonry.
Certainly it should not be done in this country, at least. America is now sending the flower of her manhood to foreign shores to fight for Democracy for the world. Will the Grand Lodge of Masons of the great State of Nebraska subject her to the sneer that she had better first crush out Autocracy at home?
I have been informed that the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Nebraska was directed against the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, commonly called "the Grotto." I hope this is not true, because I recall that some years ago here in Washington there was much opposition to the Grotto on the part of many prominent members of the advanced bodies and the Mystic Shrine, who took the narrow — the selfish — view that the Grotto was inimical to the so-called higher bodies, especially to the Shrine.
Today, however, the Shrine and the Grotto stand side by side in the National Capital as exemplars of real, honorable, upright Freemasonry. I belong to both bodies. Scores of Veiled Prophets of the highest prominence are members of Almas Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Washington. And Kallipolis Grotto of the Veiled Prophets numbers in her ranks some of the most distinguished Masons in America, including Illustrious Potentate L. Whiting Estes, of Almas Temple, several of his predecessors and quite a number of other nobles. Kallipolis Grotto also numbers in her ranks Sovereign Grand Commander George Fleming Moore, of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States; Past Grand Masters J. Henry Small, Jr., Alexander Grant, William W. Jermane, and Ben W. Murch, of our District of Columbia Grand Lodge; Grand Secretary Arvine W. Johnston, Grand Chaplain Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, J. H. Milans, Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star for the District, since the recent death of James D. Rowen, and a host of prominent men who represent the real spirit of Freemasonry at the National Capital.
There is no rivalry between the Shrine and the Grotto here. On the contrary, the Grotto has been found to be a most fertile field for proselyting for the higher bodies of Freemasonry, and strangest of all for the Shrine as well. Men who formerly decried the Grotto as a pernicious drawback to the advanced bodies are now its most ardent champions. Nobles or Prophets, both honorable Masons of good and lawful standing, "Are they not all ministering angels" for good, — worthy, well qualified and properly vouched for? Why should one be accepted and the other rejected? Are we not reminded of the words, "Among whom no contentions should ever exist save that contention, or rather emulation as to who can best serve and best agree"?
Last year, base ball teams from the Shrine and the Grotto, for the Association of Worshipful Masters of the District of Columbia, played a ball game that netted the Masonic and Eastern Star Home in Washington nearly $5,000. Just a few weeks ago, this game was repeated and thousands of dollars more were realized for this splendid Masonic and Eastern Star charity. The misjudgment and misunderstanding that years ago undid the Grotto in the District of Columbia has been cleared away by the light of truth and justice and Masonic brotherhood to the great and lasting benefit of Freemasonry at the National Capital and that means to the benefit of all mankind, more especially our brother Masons.
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
W. H. Landvoigt, Washington, D. C.
* * *
DISPENSATION FOR MILITARY LODGE REFUSED
(The following opinion by Grand Master Keesling of California has a very pertinent bearing upon our recent discussion in the Opinion Department on the subject of Military Lodges. The opinion was delivered by the Grand Master in consequence of a request from 124 Masons, constituting "The Masonic Ambulance Corps of California" for a dispensation empowering these brethren to meet as a lodge, but without the privilege of conferring degrees. Not only does Brother Keesling discuss the subject from the standpoint of Masonic policy, but he gives us some very pertinent facts regarding the situation during our own Civil War.)
Mr. John Whicher, Grand Seeretary,
San Francisco, California.
Very Worshipful Brother:
I have before me the request for a dispensation empowering the brethren who will have entered the service of the United States in the Ambulance Corps to meet in a lodge capacity within camp or post, there to perform all functions of a regular lodge of Masons, except conferring degrees.
I have given the matter careful consideration and regretfully must decline to issue the dispensation for many reasons:
First — I believe there is no power vested in the Grand Master to issue dispensations for so-called traveling lodges;
Second — Rigid observation of the limits of, and diligence in avoiding intrusion upon, the jurisdiction of other Grand Lodges;
Third — Safeguards provided for the formation of regular lodges would to some extent be slighted, namely: the recommendation of a nearest lodge as contemplated by the Constitution, near in the sense of being neighbors; the provision of a safe and suitable lodge-room; the certificate of an inspector based upon investigation among, and the good report of, neighbors, among other things; and thereafter the requisite supervision;
Fourth — The question of the propriety of so-called army lodges of any kind which seems to me to be as important a factor as any stated. Without question a man who thoroughly understands the objects and purposes of Masonry should make an ideal soldier, and, viewed from the position of one who understands, it would seem that nothing but benefit should be derived from such an institution. One of the important elements in military training is thorough appreciation of lack of distinction, except such as is due to rank which experience has demonstrated to be necessary for the system. While the attempt to make use of membership in the institution and, as well, the results of any such attempt, may readily be disregarded as negligible, yet there must be taken into consideration the point of view of non-members of the Fraternity who are comprised in the same military establishment and the dissatisfaction which might be occasioned by the existence of such a lodge.
It seems self-evident, even were there authority to grant such a dispensation, that there is possibility of greater detriment than benefit. One of the lessons most thoroughly impressed upon a Mason is that of loyalty and it should at once be apparent that he should pursue such a course as will contribute most to the welfare of his country. A citizen in the exercise of an unquestioned prerogative becomes a Mason, — as a soldier he will recognize the limitations peculiar to the establishment and be concerned in the proper discharge of his duties as such. The establishment of a military lodge is unnecessary for the exemplification of fraternity and even more important Masonic precepts, or for instruction and even some ceremonials. It has been said that California is a conservative jurisdiction. It would be better to say that true to tradition the Masonic system is recognized as a finished product.
In connection with the subject matter it is interesting to note the position of our own Grand Lodge in the Sixties at which time the question was under consideration.
The Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence of the Grand Lodge for the year 1863 was Bro. Gilbert B. Claiborne, Grand Master in 1865-66, and an eminent Masonic authority.
The following is from the report of the Committee on Correspondence of 1863:
"New Jersey: — The report on Correspondence is from the familiar pen of Bro. Joseph H. Hough, Grand Secretary, reviewing proceedings of twenty-seven Grand Bodies in an interesting manner. Ours is very fully noticed. He takes occasion, in considering the report of Rhode Island for the year ending June, 1861, to express an opinion concerning traveling lodges in connection with the army now in the field; and as there is already developed a difference of opinion, we present his view of the subject. He says: -
'The address of the Grand Master (i.e. of Rhode Island) reports having granted an application for a dispensation for a traveling Lodge to be attached to the Rhode Island Regiment, to be styled "American Union Lodge"; having authorized the applicants to hold such a Lodge, and to do all Masonic business except the making of Masons, and to make returns of their meetings to the Grand Lodge with their records. He states that the action has met the unqualified approbation of the Grand Master of the District of Columbia. This is a subject of some considerable moment. The regiment with their traveling Lodge may go or be ordered to Virginia, or some other State. To hold a Lodge in the territory or jurisdiction of another State, we believe to be unmasonic; as between Masons there are no difficulties in this Union, and we as such must treat them as brothers, by not doing what they would not do under similar circumstances. Have we not all acknowledged that State lines are the territory exclusively belonging to the Grand Lodge of the States; and do we not expect that they on their part will be true to their vows? But if we encroach upon them by founding Lodges, traveling or otherwise, we violate a principle which has never been questioned. The Grand Lodge of Hamburg granted a warrant to Pythagoras Lodge located in the City of New York, which has been universally condemned by all the American Grand Lodges, and very properly so; and we can not but see that this matter of making traveling Lodges to meet on the territory of another is of very doubtful propriety.'
"The Grand Lodge concurred in the opinion of the Grand Master and the committee, for we find that it refused to adopt the report of the committee on Jurisprudence and Charity, to whom had been referred that portion of the Grand Master's Address, in which the latter committee recommended that dispensations be granted upon conditions, to-wit: that the application be made in proper form, and proof to the satisfaction of the Grand Master that the granting of the warrants will not tend to damage the interest of the Grand Lodge.
"We choose to express an opinion concerning the propriety, rather than the legality, at this time. Sad experience in the past has taught us that 'Masonry hath always been injured by war, bloodshed, and confusion,' and we believe that any act of a Grand Lodge which can be construed by another as an evidence of unkind feeling, will now inflict a corroding wound which years of nursing will not heal if we should commit an error. The history of our Order on this continent will never probably present an occasion which will require a greater exercise of wisdom to preserve harmony than the present; and as we have been in our intercourse honest and true in respect for the jurisdiction rights of another's, we will not be consistent, at least, if we do I agree that there is impolicy — saying nothing of the legality — permitting brethren, by the authority of our seal, to hold a Lodge within the recognized limits of a sister jurisdiction of an American State. We believe that such an act would damage the interest and reputation of our Grand Lodge, and accomplish no good which can not be done by individual Masons who are lovers of our whole Fraternity wheresoever dispersed. In expressing our opinion we do so tolerantly, especially when there is such contrariety of sentiment, finding ourselves differing from some of the ablest and most distinguished Grand Lodges in America: we may mention New York and Massachusetts."
Bro. Claiborne continued as Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence for the year 1864, and the following is quoted from the report of that Committee submitted to the Grand Lodge in that year:
"Maine: — The Address sustains the reputation its author (M.W. Josiah H. Drummond) has acquired by three years of active and steady devotion to the duties of his office. He issued dispensations to form five new Lodges. Consequent upon grave doubts expressed last year by him concerning the propriety of granting dispensations for traveling Lodges with the army, he denied an application in the preceding August, made by certain Masons of the Ninth Maine Regiment, and in bringing the mater forward he says: -
'This Grand Lodge has always held that the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge should never be invaded under any pretext or for any cause whatever. She has taken that position in regard to herself in her contest with the Grand Lodge of England, and has called upon her sister Grand Lodges to sustain her in it. They have with one voice responded to her call. She must be the last to depart from the policy she has done so much to establish.'
"In addition to this legal objection, he entertains doubts respecting the policy, even if there was no legal barrier, because the regiments are made up of men coming together from different sections of the State, having little or no acquaintance with or knowledge of each other, and because the knowledge which they acquire of each other in camp is not sufficient to enable them to determine whether the applicant would be an ornament or a disgrace to us. He gave permission to his Craftsmen in the armies to assemble in safe places for mutual instruction and rehearsal of the lectures and exemplification of the Work, for exchange of fraternal greetings and the performance of ceremonial rites at the funeral of a brother. The Grand Lodge approved his reasons for declining to grant a dispensation."
The value of this opinion is appreciated by all who know the eminence obtained by M.W. Josiah H. Drummond in the ranks of Masonry.
In the case of application for a dispensation for a Lodge with full powers and prerogatives two additional objections may be made:
First — Possible conflict arising from residence of those who night be admitted into such a Lodge;
Second — Confusion relative to membership upon surrender of the charter of such a Lodge.
Francis V. Keesling, Grand Master
* * *
LORD BYRON, THE POET, NOT GRAND MASTER
Dear Brother Editor: — In the statement made in the Question Box Department of the August number that "William Lord Byron" was elected Grand Master of Masons in England in 1747, I venture to suggest that the information that this was not the poet, should have been added.
When we speak of Lord Byron, we naturally think of the man who made that title famous. His father was a Captain Byron, a younger son in the noble family, his mother a Miss Cordon prior to her marriage and in order to secure an inheritance the son was given the family name of the mother and christened George Gordon. He succeeded to the title of Lord Byron through the failure of the older branch of the Byron Emily, but certainly was not the William, Lord Byron who was Grand Master of Masons.
E. H. Addington, Louisiana.