A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 5 No. 9 – September 1919
ACCESSION OF SOLOMON: BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM, B.C. 1017
Henry Hart Millman
After many weary years of travail and fighting in the wilderness and the land of Canaan, the Jews had at last founded their kingdom, with Jerusalem as the capital. Saul was proclaimed the first king; afterward followed David, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah." During the many wars in which the Israelites had been engaged, the Ark of the Covenant was the one thing in which their faith was bound. No undertaking could fail while they retained possession of it.
In their wanderings the tabernacle enclosing the precious ark was first erected before the dwellings for the people. It had been captured by the Philistines, then restored to the Hebrews, and became of greater veneration than before. It will be remembered that, among other things, it contained the rod of Aaron which budded and was the cause of his selection as high-priest. It also contained the tables of stone which bore the Ten Commandments.
David desired to build a fitting shrine, a temple, in which to place the Ark of the Covenant; it should be a place wherein the people could worship; a centre of religion in which the ark should have paid it the distinction due it as the seat of tremendous majesty.
But David had been a man of war; this temple was a place of peace. Blood must not stain its walls; no shedder of gore could be its architect. Yet David collected stone, timber, and precious metals for its erection; and, not being allowed to erect the temple himself, was permitted to depute that office to his son and successor, "Solomon the Wise."
At this time all the enemies of Israel had been conquered, the country was at peace; the domain of the Hebrews was greater than at any other time, before or afterward. It was the fitting time for the erection of a great shrine to enclose the sacred ark. Nobly was this done, and no human work of ancient or modern times has so impressed mankind as the building of Solomon's Temple.
SOLOMON succeeded to the Hebrew kingdom at the age of twenty. He was environed by designing, bold, and dangerous enemies. The pretensions of Adonijah still commanded a powerful party: Abiathar swayed the priesthood; Joab the army. The singular connection in public opinion between the title to the crown and the possession of the deceased monarch's harem is well understood. (1) Adonijah, in making request for Abishag, a youthful concubine taken by David in his old age, was considered as insidiously renewing his claims to the sovereignty. Solomon saw at once the wisdom of his father's dying admonition: he seized the opportunity of crushing all future opposition and all danger of a civil war. He caused Adonijah to be put to death; suspended Abiathar from his office, and banished him from Jerusalem; and though Joab fled to the altar, he commanded him to be slain for the two murders of which he had been guilty, those of Abner and Amasa. Shimei, another dangerous man, was commanded to reside in Jerusalem, on pain of death if he should quit the city. Three years afterward he was detected in a suspicious journey to Gath, on the Philistine border; and having violated the compact, he suffered the penalty.
Thus secured by the policy of his father from internal enemies, by the terror of his victories from foreign invasion, Solomon commenced his peaceful reign, during which Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his figtree, from Dan to Beersheba. This peace was broken only by a revolt of the Edomites. Hadad, of the royal race, after the exterminating war waged by David and by Joab, had fled to Egypt, where he married the sister of the king's wife. No sooner had he heard of the death of David and of Joab than he returned, and seems to have kept up a kind of predatory warfare during the reign of Solomon. Another adventurer, Rezon, a subject of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, seized on Damascus, and maintained a great part of Syria in hostility to Solomon.
Solomon's conquest of Hamath Zobah in a later part of his reign, after which he built Tadmor in the wilderness and raised a line of fortresses along his frontier to the Euphrates, is probably connected with these hostilities. (2) The justice of Solomon was proverbial. Among his first acts after his accession, it is related that when he had offered a costly sacrifice at Gibeon, the place where the Tabernacle remained, God had appeared to him in a dream, and offered him whatever gift he chose: the wise king requesting an understanding heart to judge the people. God not merely assented to his prayer, but added the gift of honor and riches. His judicial wisdom was displayed in the memorable history of the two women who contested the right to a child. Solomon, in the wild spirit of Oriental justice, commanded the infant to be divided before their faces: the heart of the real mother was struck with terror and abhorrence, while the false one consented to the horrible partition, and by this appeal to nature the cause was instantaneously decided.
The internal government of his extensive dominions next demanded the attention of Solomon. Besides the local and municipal governors, he divided the kingdom into twelve districts: over each of these he appointed a purveyor for the collection of the royal tribute, which was received in kind; and thus the growing capital and the immense establishments of Solomon were abundantly furnished with provisions. Each purveyor supplied the court for a month. The daily consumption of his household was three hundred bushels of finer flour, six hundred of a coarser sort; ten fatted, twenty other oxen; one hundred sheep; besides poultry, and various kinds of venison. Provender was furnished for forty thousand horses, and a great number of dromedaries. Yet the population of the country did not, at first at least, feel these burdens: Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.
The foreign treaties of Solomon were as wisely directed to secure the profound peace of his dominions. He entered into a matrimonial alliance with the royal family of Egypt, whose daughter he received with great magnificence; and he renewed the important alliance with the king of Tyre. (3) The friendship of this monarch was of the highest value in contributing to the great royal and national work, the building of the Temple. The cedar timber could only be obtained from the forests of Lebanon: the Sidonian artisans, celebrated in the Homeric poems, were the most skillful workmen in every kind of manufacture, particularly in the precious metals.
Solomon entered into a regular treaty, by which he bound himself to supply the Tyrians with large quantities of corn; receiving in return their timber, which was floated down to Joppa, and a large body of artificers. The timber was cut by his own subjects, of whom he raised a body of thirty thousand; ten thousand employed at a time, and relieving each other every month; so that to one month of labor they had two of rest. He raised two other corps, one of seventy thousand porters of burdens, the other of eighty thousand hewers of stone, who were employed in the quarries among the mountains. All these labors were thrown, not on the Israelites, but on the strangers who, chiefly of Canaanitish descent, had been permitted to inhabit the country.
These preparations, in addition to those of King David, being completed, the work began. The eminence of Moriah, the Mount of Vision, i.e., the height seen afar from the adjacent country, which tradition pointed out as the spot where Abraham had offered his son (where recently the plague had been stayed, by the altar built in the threshing-floor of Ornan or Araunah, the Jebusite), rose on the east side of the city. Its rugged top was levelled with immense labor; its sides, which to the east and south were precipitous, were traced with a wall of stone, built up perpendicular from the bottom of the valley, so as to appear to those who looked down of most terrific height; a work of prodigious skill and labor, as the immense stones were strongly mortised together and wedged into the rock. Around the whole area or esplanade, an irregular quadrangle, was a solid wall of considerable height and strength: within this was an open court, into which the Gentiles were either from the first, or subsequently, admitted. A second wall encompassed another quadrangle, called the court of the Israelites. Along this wall, on the inside, ran a portico or cloister, over which were chambers for different sacred purposes. Within this again another, probably a lower, wall separated the court of the priests from that of the Israelites. To each court the ascent was by steps, so that the platform of the inner court was on a higher level than that of the outer.
The Temple itself was rather a monument of the wealth than the architectural skill and science of the people. It was a wonder of the world from the splendor of its materials, more than the grace, boldness, or majesty of its height and dimensions. It had neither the colossal magnitude of the Egyptian, the simple dignity and perfect proportional harmony of the Grecian, nor perhaps the fantastic grace and lightness of later Oriental architecture. Some writers, calling to their assistance the visionary temple of Ezekiel, have erected a most superb edifice; to which there is this fatal objection, that if the dimensions of the prophet are taken as then stand in the text, the area of the Temple and its courts would not only have covered the whole of Mount Moriah. but almost all Jerusalem. In fact our accounts of the Temple of Solomon are altogether unsatisfactory. The details, as they now stand in the books of Kings and Chronicles, the only safe authorities, are unscientific, and, what is worse, contradictory.
Josephus has evidently blended together the three temples, and attributed to the earlier all the subsequent additions and alterations. The Temple, on the whole, was an enlargement of the tabernacle, built of more costly and durable materials. Like its model, it retained the ground-plan and disposition of the Egyptian, or rather of almost all the sacred edifices of antiquity: even its measurements are singularly in unison with some of the most ancient temples in Upper Egypt. It consisted of a propylaeon, a temple, and a sanctuary; called respectively the Porch, the holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. Yet in some respects, if the measurements are correct, the Temple must rather have resembled the form of a simple Gothic church.
In the front to the east stood the porch, a tall tower, rising to the height of 210 feet. Either within, or, like the Egyptian obelisks, before the porch, stood two pillars of brass; by one account 27, by another above 60 feet high, the latter statement probably including their-capitals and bases. These were called Jachin and Boaz (Durability and Strength). (4) The capitals of these were of the richest workmanship, with net-work, chain-work, and pomegranates. The porch was the same width with the Temple, 35 feet; its depth 17½. The length of the main building, including the Holy Place, 70 feet, and the Holy of Holies, 35, was in the whole 105 feet; the height 52½ feet. (5)
Josephus carries the whole building up to the height of the porch; but this is out of all creditable proportion, making the height twice the length and six times the width. Along each side, and perhaps at the back of the main building, ran an aisle, divided into three stories of small chambers: the wall of the Temple being thicker at the bottom, left a rest to support the beams of these chambers, which were not let into the wall. These aisles, the chambers of which were appropriated as vestiaries, treasuries, and for other sacred purposes, seem to have reached about half way up the main wall of what we may call the nave choir: the windows into the latter were probably above them; these were narrow, but widened inward.
If the dimensions of the Temple appear by no means imposing, it must be remembered that but a small part of the religious ceremonies took place within the walls. The Holy of Holies was entered only once a year, and that by the High-priest alone. It was the secret and unapproachable shrine of the Divinity. The Holy Place, the body of the Temple, admitted only the officiating priests. The courts, called in popular language the Temple, or rather the inner quadrangle, were in fact the great place of divine worship. Here, under the open air, were celebrated the great public and national rites, the processions, the offerings, the sacrifices; here stood the great tank for ablution, and the high altar for burnt-offerings.
But the costliness of the materials, the richness and variety of the details, amply compensated for the moderate dimensions of the building. It was such a sacred edifice as a traveller might have expected to find in El Dorado. The walls were of hewn stone, faced within with cedar which was richly carved with knops and flowers; the ceiling was of fir-tree. But in every part gold was lavished with the utmost profusion; within and without, the floor, the walls, the ceiling, in short, the whole house is described as overlaid with gold. The finest and purest that of parvaim, by some supposed to be Ceylon was reserved for the sanctuary. Here the cherubim, which stood upon the covering of the Ark, with their wings touching each wall, were entirely covered with gold.
The sumptuous veil, of the richest materials and brightest colors, which divided the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place was suspended on chains of gold. Cherubim, palm-trees, and flowers, the favorite ornaments, everywhere covered with gilding, were wrought in almost all parts. The altar within the Temple and the table of shewbread were likewise covered with the same precious metal. All the vessels, the ten candlesticks, five hundred basins, and all the rest of the sacrificial and other utensils, were of solid gold. yet the Hebrew writers seem to dwell with the greatest astonishment and admiration on the works which were founded in brass by Huram, a man of Jewish extraction, who had learned his art at Tyre.
Besides the lofty pillars above mentioned, there was a great tank, called a sea, of molten brass, supported on twelve oxen, three turned each way; this was seventeen and one-half feet in diameter. There was also a great altar, and ten large vessels for the purpose of ablution, called Wavers, standing on bases or pedestals, the rims of which were richly ornamented with a border, on which were wrought figures of lions, oxen, and cherubim. The bases below were formed of four wheels, like those of a chariot. All the works in brass were cast in a place near the Jordan, where the soil was of a stiff clay suited to the purpose.
For seven years and a half the fabric arose in silence. All the timbers, the stones, even of the most enormous size, measuring seventeen and eighteen feet, were hewn and fitted, so as to be put together without the sound of any tool whatever; as it has been expressed, with great poetical beauty:
"Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric grew."
At the end of this period, the Temple and its courts being completed, the solemn dedication took place, with the greatest magnificence which the king and the nation could display. All the chieftains of the different tribes, and all of every order who could be brought together, assembled.
David had already organized the priesthood and the Levites; and assigned to the thirty-eight thousand of the latter tribe each his particular office; twenty-four thousand were appointed for the common duties, six thousand as officers, four thousand as guards and porters, four thousand as singers and musicians. On this great occasion, the Dedication of the Temple, all the tribe of Levi, without regard to their courses, the whole priestly order of every class, attended. Around the great brazen altar, which rose in the court of the priests before the door of the Temple, stood in front the sacrificers, all around the whole choir, arrayed in white linen. One hundred and twenty of these were trumpeters, the rest had cymbals, harps, and psalteries. Solomon himself took his place on an elevated scaffold, or raised throne of brass. The whole assembled nation crowded the spacious courts beyond. The ceremony began with the preparation of burnt-offerings, so numerous that they could not be counted.
At an appointed signal commenced the more important part of the scene, the removal of the Ark, the installation of the God of Israel in his new and appropriate dwelling, to the sound of all the voices and all the instruments, chanting some of those splendid odes, the 47th, 97th, 98th, and 107th psalms. The Ark advanced, borne by the Levites, to the open portals of the Temple. It can scarcely be doubted that the 24th psalm, even if composed before, was adopted and used on this occasion. The singers, as it drew near the gate, broke out in these words: Lift up your headset O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in. It was answered from the other part of the choir, Who is the King of Glory? The whole choir responded, The Lord of Hosts, he is the King of Glory.
When the procession arrived at the Holy Place, the gates flew open; when it reached the Holy of Holies, the veil was drawn back. The Ark took its place under the extended wings of the cherubim, which might seem to fold over, and receive it under their protection. At that instant all the trumpeters and singers were at once to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanksgivings to the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice, with the trumpets, and cymbals, and instruments of music, 2nd praised the Lord, saying: For he is good, for his mercy endureth forever, the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God. Thus the Divinity took possession of his sacred edifice.
The king then rose upon the brazen scaffold, knelt down, and spreading his hands toward heaven, uttered the prayer of consecration. The prayer was of unexampled sublimity: while it implored the perpetual presence of the Almighty, as the tutelar Deity and Sovereign of the Israelites, it recognized his spiritual and illimitable nature. But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house which I have built? It then recapitulated the principles of the Hebrew theocracy, the dependence of the national prosperity and happiness on the national conformity to the civil and religious law. As the king concluded in these emphatic terms: Now, therefore, arise, O Lord God, into thy resting-place, thou and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and thy saints rejoice in goodness. O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant. The cloud which had rested over the Holy of Holies grew brighter and more dazzling; fire broke out and consumed all the sacrifices; the priests stood without, awestruck by the insupportable splendor; the whole people fell on their faces, and worshipped and praised the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy is forever.
Which was the greater, the external magnificence, or the moral sublimity of this scene? Was it the Temple, situated on its commanding eminence, with all its courts, the dazzling splendor of its materials, the int numerable multitudes, the priesthood in their gorgeous attire, the king, with all the insignia of royalty, on his throne of burnished brass, the music, the radiant cloud filling the Temple, the sudden fire flashing upon the altar, the whole nation upon their knees? Was it not rather the religious grandeur of the hymns and of the prayer: the exalted and rational views of the Divine Nature, the union of a whole people in the adoration of the one Great, Incomprehensible, Almighty, Everlasting Creator?
This extraordinary festival, which took place at the time of that of Tabernacles, lasted for two weeks, twice the usual time: during this period twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep were sacrificed (6) every individual probably contributing to this great propitiatory rite; and the whole people feasting on those parts of the sacrifices which were not set apart for holy uses.
Though the chief magnificence of Solomon was lavished on the Temple of God, yet the sumptuous palaces which he erected for his own residence display an opulence and profusion which may vie with the older monarchs of Egypt or Assyria. The great palace stood in Jerusalem; it occupied thirteen years in building. A causeway bridged the deep ravine, and leading directly to the Temple, united the part either of Acra or Sion, on which the palace stood, with Mount Moriah. In this palace was a vast hall for public business, from its cedar pillars called the House of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 175 feet long, half that measurement in width, above 50 feet high; four rows of cedar columns supported a roof made of beams of the same wood; there were three rows of windows on each side facing each other. Besides this great hall, there were two others, called porches, of smaller dimensions, in one of which the throne of justice was placed. The harem, or women's apartments, adjoined to these buildings; with other piles of vast extent for different purposes, particularly, if we may credit Josephus, a great banqueting hall.
The same author informs us that the whole was surrounded with spacious and luxuriant gardens, and adds a less credible fact, ornamented with sculptures and paintings. Another palace was built in a romantic part of the country in the valleys at the foot of Lebanon for his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt; in the luxurious gardens of which we may lay the scene of that poetical epithalamium, (7) or collection of Idyls, the Song of Solomon. (8) The splendid works of Solomon were not confined to royal magnificence and display; they condescended to usefulness. To Solomon are traced at least the first channels and courses of the natural and artificial water supply which has always enabled Jerusalem to maintain its thousands of worshippers at different periods, and to endure long and obstinate sieges. (9)
The descriptions in the Greek writers of the Persian courts in Susa and Ecbatana; the tales of the early travellers in the East about the kings of Samarcand or Cathay; and even the imagination of the Oriental romancers and poets, have scarcely conceived a more splendid pageant than Solomon, seated on his throne of ivory, receiving the homage of distant princes who came to admire his magnificence, and put to the test his noted wisdom. (10) This throne was of pure ivory, covered with gold; six steps led up to the seat, and on each side of the steps stood twelve lions.
All the vessels of his palace were of pure gold, silver was thought too mean: his armory was furnished with gold; two hundred targets and three hundred shields of beaten gold were suspended in the house of Lebanon. Josephus mentions a body of archers who escorted him from the city to his country palace, clad in dresses of Tyrian purple, and their hair powdered with gold dust. But enormous as this wealth appears, the statement of his expenditure on the Temple, and of his annual revenue, so passes all credibility, that any attempt at forming a calculation on the uncertain data we possess may at once be abandoned as a hopeless task. No better proof can be given of the uncertainty of our authorities, of our imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew weights of money, and, above all, of our total ignorance of the relative value which the precious metals bore to the commodities of life, than the estimate, made by Dr. Prideaux, of the treasures left by David, amounting to eight hundred millions, nearly the capital of our national debt.
Our inquiry into the sources of the vast wealth which Solomon undoubtedly possessed may lead to more satisfactory, though still imperfect, results. The treasures of David were accumulated rather by conquest than by traffic. Some of the nations he subdued, particularly the Edomites, were wealthy. All the tribes seem to have worn a great deal of gold and silver in their ornaments and their armor; their idols were often of gold, and the treasuries of their temples perhaps contained considerable wealth. But during the reign of Solomon almost the whole commerce of the world passed into his territories. The treaty with Tyre was of the utmost importance: nor is there any instance in which two neighboring nations so clearly saw, and so steadily pursued, without jealousy or mistrust, their mutual and inseparable interests. (11)
On one occasion only, when Solomon presented to Hiram twenty inland cities which he had conquered, Hiram expressed great dissatisfaction, and called the territory by the opprobrious name of Cabul. The Tyrian had perhaps cast a wistful eye on the noble bay and harbor of Acco, or Ptolemais, which the prudent Hebrew either would not, or could not since it was part of the promised land dissever from his dominions. So strict was the confederacy, that Tyre may be considered the port of Palestine, Palestine the granary of Tyre. Tyre furnished the shipbuilders and mariners; the fruitful plains of Palestine victualled the fleets, and supplied the manufacturers and merchants of the Phoenician league with all the necessaries of life. (12)
(1) I Kings, i
(2) I Kings, xi, 23; I Chron;, viii, 3.
(3) After inserting the correspondence between King Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre, according to I Kings, v, Josephus asserts that copies of these letters were not only preserved by his countrymen, but also in the archives of Tyre. I presume that Josephus adverts to the statement of Tyrian historians, not to an actual inspection of the archives, which he seems to assert as existing and accessible.
(4) Ewald, following, he says, the Septuagint, makes these pillars not standing alone like obelisks before the porch, but as forming the front of the porch, with the capitals connected together, and supporting a kind of balcony, with ornamental work above it. The pillars measured 12 cubits (22 feet) round.
(5) Mr. Fergusson, estimating the cubit rather lower than in the text, makes the porch 30 by 15; the pronaos, or Holy Place, 60 by 30; the Holy of Holies, 30; the height 45 feet. Mr. Fergusson, following Josephus, supposes that the whole Temple had an upper story of wood, a talar, as appears in other Eastern edifices. I doubt the authority of Josephus as to the older Temple, though, as Mr. Fergusson observes, the discrepancies between the measurements in Kings and in Chronicles may be partially reconciled on this supposition. Mr. Fergusson makes the height of the eastern tower only 90 feet. The text followed 2 Chron., iii, 4, reckoning the cubit at 1 foot 9 inches.
(6) Gibbon, in one of his malicious notes, observes, "As the blood and smoke of so many hecatombs might be inconvenient, Lightfoot, the Christian Rabbi, removes them by a miracle. Le Clere (ad loc.) is bold enough to suspect the fidelity of the numbers." To this I ventured to subjoin the following illustration: "According to the historian Kotobeddyn, quoted by Burekhardt, Travels in Arabia, p. 276, the Khalif Moktader sacrificed during his pilgrimage to Mecca, in the year of the Hegira 350, forty thousand camels and cows, and fifty thousand sheep. Barthema describes thirty thousand oxen slain, and their carcasses given to the poor. Tavernier speaks of one hundred thousand victims offered by the king of Tonquin." Gibbon, E. xxiii, iv, p. 96, edit. Milman.
(7) I here assume that the Song of Solomon was an epithalamium. I enter not into the interminable controversy as to the literal or allegorical or spiritual meaning of this poem, nor into that of its age. A very particular though succinct account of all these theories, ancient and modern, may be found in a work by Dr. Ginsberg. I confess that Dr. Ginsberg's theory, which is rather tinged with the virtuous sentimentality of the modern novel, seems to me singularly out of harmony with the Oriental and ancient character of the poem. It is adopted, however, though modified, by M. Renan.
(8) According to Ewald, the ivory tower in this poem was raised in one of these beautiful "pleasances," in the Anti-Libanus, looking toward Hamath.
(9) Ewald: Geschichte, iii, pp. 62–68; a very remarkable and valuable passage.
(10) Compare the great Mogul's throne, in Tavernier; that of the King of Persia, in Morier.
(11) The very learned work of Movers, Die Phonizier (Bonn, 1841, Berlin, 1849) contains everything which true German industry and comprehensiveness can accumulate about this people. Movers, though in such an inquiry conjecture is inevitable, is neither so bold, so arbitrary, nor so dogmatic in his conjectures as many of his contemporaries See on Hiram, ii, 326 et seq. Movers is disposed to appreciate as of high value the fragments preserved in Josephus of the Phoenician histories of Menander and Dios. Mr. Kenriek's Phoenicia may also be consulted with advantage.
(12) To a late period Tyre and Sidon were mostly dependent on Palestine for their supply of grain. The inhabitants of these cities desired peace with Herod (Agrippa) because their country was nourished by the king's country (Acts xii, 20).
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THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES AND RITES
Bro. Dudley Wright, Assistant Editor "The Freemason," London
PART IV THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES INITIATORY RITES
TWO important facts must be set down with regard to the Mysteries: first, the general custom of all Athenian citizens, and afterwards of all Greeks generally and many foreigners, to seek admission in the only possible manner, viz., by initiation; and, second, the scrupulous care exercised by the Eumolpides to ensure that only persons duly qualified, of irreproachable, or at any rate, of circumspect character passed the portals. In the earlier days of the Mysteries it was a necessary condition that the candidates for initiation should be free-born Athenians, but, in course of time, this rule was relaxed, until eventually strangers and foreigners, slaves and even courtesans were admitted, on condition that they were introduced by a mystagogue, who was, of course, an Athenian. An interesting inscription was discovered a few years ago demonstrating the fact that the public slaves of the city were initiated at the public expense. Lysias was able without any difficulty to secure the initiation of his mistress Metanira, who was then in the service of the courtesan Nicareta. There always prevailed, however, the strict rule that no one could be admitted who had been guilty of murder or homicide, wilful or accidental, or who had been convicted of witchcraft, and all who had incurred the capital penalty for conspiracy or treason were also excluded. Nero sought admission into the Eleusinian Mysteries! but was rejected because of the many slaughters connected with his name Apollonius of Tyana was desirous of being admitted into the Eleusinian Mysteries, but the hierophant refused to admit him on the ground that he was a magician and had intercourse with divinities other than those of the Mysteries, declaring that he would never initiate a wizard or throw open the Mysteries to a man addicted to impure rites. Apollonius retorted: "You have not yet mentioned the chief of my offenses, which is that, knowing as I do, more about the initiatory rites than you do yourself, I have nevertheless come to you as if you were wiser than I am." The hierophant when he saw that the exclusion of Apollonius was not by any means popular with the crowd, changed his tone and said: "Be thou initiated, for thou seemest to be some wise man that has come here." But Apollonius replied: "I will be initiated at another time and it is (mentioning a name) who will initiate me." Herein, says Philostratus, he showed his gift of precision, for he glanced at the one who succeeded the hierophant he addressed and presided over the temple four years later when Apollonius was initiated.
Persons of both sexes and of all ages were initiated and neglect of the ceremony was regarded almost in the light of a crime. Socrates was reproached for being almost the only Athenian who had not applied for initiation. Persians were pointedly excluded from the ceremony. Athenians of both sexes were granted the privilege of initiation during childhood on the presentation of their father, but only the first degree of initiation was permitted. For the second and third degrees it was necessary to have arrived at full age. So great was the rush of candidates for initiation when the restrictions were relaxed that Cicero was able to write that the inhabitants of the most distant regions flocked to Eleusis in order to be initiated. Thus it became the custom with all Romans who journeyed to Athens to take advantage of the opportunity to become initiates. Even the Emperors of Rome, the official heads of the Roman religion, the masters of the world, came to the Eumolpides to proffer the request that they might receive the honour of initiation and become participants in the Sacred Mysteries revealed by the goddess.
While Augustus, who was initiated in the year B. C. 21, did not hesitate to show his antipathy towards the religion of the Egyptians, towards Judaism and Druidism, he was always scrupulous in observing the pledge of secrecy demanded of initiates into the Eleusinian Mysteries, and on one occasion, when it became necessary for some of the priests of the Eleusinian temple to proceed to Rome to plead before his tribunal on the question of privilege, and, in the course of the evidence to speak of certain ceremonial in connection with the Mysteries of which it was not lawful to speak in the presence of the uninitiated, he ordered everyone to leave the tribunal so that he and the witnesses alone remained. The Eleusinian Mysteries were not deemed inimical to the welfare of the Roman Empire as were the religions of the Egyptians, Jews, and ancient Britons.
Claudius, another imperial initiate, conceived the idea of transferring the scene of the Mysteries to Rome and, according to Suetonius, was about to put the project into execution, when it was ruled that it was obligatory that the principal scenic presentation of the Mysteries must be celebrated on the ground trodden by the feet of Demeter and where the goddess herself had ordered her temple to be erected.
The initiation of the emperor Hadrian took place in A. D. 125, when he was present at the Lesser Mysteries in the spring and at the Greater Mysteries in the following autumn. In September A. D. 129, he was again at Athens when he presented himself for the third degree, as is known from Dion Cassius, confirmed by a letter written by the Emperor himself, in which he mentions a journey from Eleusis to Ephesus made at that time. Hadrian is the only imperial initiate who persevered and passed through all three degrees. Since he remained at Eleusis as long as it was possible for him to do after the completion of his initiation it is not rash to assume that he was inspired by something more than curiosity or even a desire to show respect.
It is uncertain whether Antonin was initiated, although from an inscription it seems probable that he was and that he should be included in the list of royal initiates. Both Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, father and son, were initiated at the same time, at the Lesser Mysteries in March, A. D. 176, and at the Greater Mysteries in the following September. Septimus Severus was initiated before he ascended the throne.
There was, as stated, three degrees, and the ordinary procedure with regard to initiation was as follows:
In the flower month of spring, Anthesterion, corresponding to February-March, an applicant could, if approved, become an initiate into the first degree and participate in the Lesser Mysteries at the Eleusinion at Agra, near Athens. The ceremony of initiation into the Lesser Mysteries was much less elaborate than the ceremony of initiation into the Greater Mysteries. The candidates had to keep chaste and unpolluted for nine days prior to the ceremony, to which they came offering sacrifices and prayers and wearing crowns and garlands of flowers. Immediately prior to the celebration of the Lesser Mysteries those about to be initiated were prepared by mystagogues, the teachers selected from the families of the Eumolpides and the Keryces, and instructed in the story of Demeter and Persephone, the character of the purification necessary and the preparatory rites, the fast days, with particulars of what food could and must not be eaten, and the numerous sacrifices to be offered up under the direction of the mystagogues. Without this preparation no one could be admitted to the Mysteries. There was, however, neither secret doctrine nor dogmatic teaching in the instruction given. Revelation came through contemplation of the sacred objects displayed by the hierophant, and by the communication of mystic formulae; but the preparation demanded of the initiates, the secrecy imposed, the ceremonies at which they assisted in the dead silence of the night created a strong impression and lively hope in regard to the future life. No other cult in Greece, still less the cold Roman religion, had anything of the kind to offer. In fasting from food and drink before and after initiation the candidates attached to this voluntary privation no idea of maceration or expiation of faults: it was simply the reproduction of an event in the life of the goddess Demeter. Purity was an indispensable condition for all who would enter the temples. Bowls or vases of consecrated or holy water were placed at the entrance for the purposes of aspersion. In cases of special impurity a delay of one or more days in the preparation became necessary and unctions of oil or repeated immersions in water were administered. In the preparation of candidates for initiation, purification assumed an exceptional importance. Hence several writers have maintained that the primary aim of initiation was the acquirement of moral purity. The outward physical purity, the result of immersion prior to initiation, was but the symbol of the inward purity which should result from initiation. The duty of the mystagogues was to see that the candidates were in a state of physical cleanliness and to see that that condition was maintained throughout the ceremony. According to the inscriptions there appear to have been temples or buildings set apart for the cleansing of candidates from special impurities. After initiation into the Lesser Mysteries the neophyte was permitted to go as far as the outer vestibule of the temple. In the following autumn, if of full age, he could be initiated into the Greater Mysteries, into the second degree, that of mysta. This, however, did not entitle the recipients of that honour to join in all the acts of worship or to witness the whole of the ceremonial at Eleusis. A further year had to elapse before the third degree could be taken, before they could become epoptae, and see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears the whole of the Greater Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries were celebrated at Athens on the hill of Agra, to the right of the Stadium in a temple dedicated to Demeter and Persephone. Occasionally when the number of candidates was very large the Lesser Mysteries were celebrated twice in the year in order to give those too late for the ceremony in Anthesterion another opportunity before the Greater Mysteries were held.
At the next celebration of the Greater Mysteries, after having sacrificed to Demeter, the initiate received the second degree and became numbered among the mystae. The preliminary to this degree was bathing in the river Ilissus, after which the Daduchos instructed each candidate to place the left foot on the skin of an animal which had been sacrificed to Zeus, in which position the oath of secrecy was taken. Jevons, in his Introduction to the Study of Religion, says that no oath was demanded of the initiated but that silence was observed generally as an act of reverence rather than as an act of purposed concealment. There seems, however, to be conclusive evidence that an oath of secrecy was demanded and taken, at any rate, in the second and third degrees, if not in the first. Moreover, there are on record several prosecutions of citizens for having broken the pledge of secrecy they had given. Aeschylus was indicted for having disclosed in the theatre certain details of the Mysteries, and he only escaped punishment by proving that he had never been initiated and could not therefore have violated any obligation of secrecy. A Greek scholiast says that in five of his tragedies Aeschylus spoke of Demeter and therefore may be supposed in these cases to have touched upon subjects connected with the Mysteries; and Heraclides of Pontus says that on this account he was in danger of being killed by the populace if he had not fled for refuge to the altar of Dionysos and then begged off by the Areopagites and acquitted on the ground of his exploits at Marathon. An accusation was brought against Aristotle of having performed a funeral sacrifice in honour of his wife in imitation of the Eleusinian ceremonies. Alcibiades was charged with mimicking the sacred Mysteries in one of his drunken revels, when he represented the hierophant; Theodorus, one of his friends, represented the herald; and another, Polytion, that of the torch-bearer; the other companions attending as initiates and being addressed as Mystae. The information against him ran:
Thessalus, the son of Cimon, of the ward of Laeais, accuseth Aleibiades, the son of Clinias, of the ward of Seambonis, of sacrilegiously offending the goddess Ceres and her daughter Persephone by counterfeiting their Mysteries and shewing them to his companions in his own house, wearing such a robe as the high priest does when he shows the holy things; he called himself high priest, as did Polytion, torch-bearer; and Theodorus, of the ward of Phygea, herald; and the rest of his companions he called persons initiated and Brethren of the Secret; therein acting contrary to the rules and ceremonies established by the Eumolpides, the heralds and priests at Eleusis.
Alcibiades did not appear in answer to the charge, was condemned in his absence and his goods were confiscated. There was quite a panic about this time B. C. 415. Many prominent citizens, Andocides included, were prosecuted. He was included in the indictment against Alcibiades. "This man," said his accuser, "vested in the same costume as a hierophant, has shown the sacred objects to men who were not initiated and has uttered words it is not permissible to repeat." Andocides admitted the charge, turned king's evidence, and named himself and certain others as the culprits. He was rewarded with a free pardon under a decree which Isotmides had issued but those whom he named were put to death or outlawed and their goods confiscated. Andocides afterwards entered the temple and was charged with breaking the law in so doing. He defended himself before a court of heliasts, all of whom had been initiated into the Mysteries, the president of the Court being the Archon Basileus. The indictment was lodged by Cephisius, the chief prosecutor, with the Archon Basileus during the celebration of the Greater Mysteries, when Andocides was at Eleusis. He was acquitted and it is asserted that Cephisius failed to obtain one-fifth of the votes of the Court, the consequence being that he had to pay a fine of 1,000 drachmae and to suffer permanent exclusion from the Eleusinian shrine.
Diagiras was accused of railing at the sanctity of the Mysteries of Eleusis in such a manner as to deter persons from seeking initiation and a reward of one talent was offered to any one who should kill him or two talents to anyone who should bring him alive.
An ancient theme of oratorical composition and one set even in the sixth century of the Christian era was:
The law punishes with death whoever has disclosed the Mysteries: some one to whom the initiation has been revealed in a dream asks one of the initiated if what he has seen is in conformity with reality: the initiate acquiesces by a movement of the head: and for that he is accused of impiety.
Every care, therefore, was taken to prevent the secrecy of the Mysteries from becoming known to all save initiates. They have, however, come to light in a great measure through the ancient writings and inscriptions. Step by step and piece by piece the diligent researcher has been rewarded by the discovery of disconnected and isolated fragments which, by themselves, supply no precise information, but, taken in the aggregate, form a perfect mosaic. Though it was strictly forbidden to reveal what took place within the sacred enclosure and in the Hall of Initiation it was permissible to state clearly the object of initiation and the advantages to be derived from the act. Not only was the breaking of the pledge of secrecy given by an initiate visited with severe, sometimes even capital, punishment, but the forcing of the temple enclosure by the uninitiated, as happened sometimes, was an offence of equally heinous character. By virtue of the unwritten laws and customs dating back to the most remote periods the penalty of death was frequently pronounced for faults not grave in themselves, but solely because they concerned religion. It was probably by virtue of those unwritten laws that the priests ordered the death of two young Arcanians who had penetrated, through ignorance, into the sacred precincts. This was in B. C. 200 and Rome made war upon Philip V of Macedonia on the complaint of the government of Athens against that king who wished to punish them for having rigorously applied the ancient laws to those two offenders, who were found guilty of entering the sanctuary at Eleusis, they not having been initiated. No judicial penalty, however, was meted out to the fanatical Epicurean eunuch, who, with the object of proving that the gods had no existence forced himself blaspheming into that part of the sanctuary into which the hierophant and hierophantide alone had the right of entry. Aelianus states that a divine punishment in the form of a disease alone overtook him. Horace declared that he would not risk his life by going on the water with a companion who had revealed the secret of the Mysteries.
One of the essential preliminaries to initiation into each degree was fasting. Two days prior to initiation into the second and third degrees were spent by the candidate in solitary retirement when a strict fast was observed. It was a "retreat" in the strictest sense of the word. Fasting was practised, not only in imitation of the sufferings of Demeter when searching for Persephone, but because of the danger of the contact of holy things with unholy, the clean with the unclean. Thus it was held that even to speak of the Mysteries to the uninitiated would be as dangerous as to allow such unclean persons to take part in the ceremonies. Hence the punishment meted out by the State was in lieu of, or to avert, the divine wrath which such pollution might bring on the community at large. At the entrance to the temple tablets were placed containing a list of forbidden foods. The list included several kinds of fish, including the whistle-fish, gurnet, crab and mullet. The whistle-fish and crab were held to be impure, the first because it laid its eggs through the mouth and the second because it ate filth which other fish rejected. The gurnet was rejected because of its fecundity as witnessed in its annual triple laying of eggs, but, according to some writers, it was rejected because it ate a fish which was poisonous to mankind. It is believed that other fish were forbidden but Prophyry was probably exaggerating when he says that all fish were interdicted. Birds bred at home, such as chickens and pigeons, were also on the banned list as were beans and certain vegetables which were forbidden for a mystic reason which Pausanias said he dared not reveal save to the initiated. The probable reason was that they were connected in some way with the wanderings of Demeter. Pomegranates were, of course, forbidden from the incident of the eating of the pomegranate seeds by Persephone.
The candidates were carefully instructed in these rules beforehand. Originally the instruction of the candidates was in the hands of the hierophant, who, following the example of his ancestor, Eumolpus, claimed the privilege of preparing the candidates as well as that of communicating to them the divine Mysteries. But the constantly increasing number of applicants made it necessary to employ auxiliary instructors, and this work was given over to the charge of the mystagogues, who prepared either one individual or a group of candidates, the hierophant reserving to himself the general direction of the instruction. In the course of the initiation ceremony certain words had to be spoken by the candidates and these were made known to them in advance, although, of course, apart from their context.
Admission to the second degree took place during the night between the sixth and seventh days of the celebration of the Mysteries, when they were led into the temple precincts and the second Archon opened the ceremony with prayers and sacrifices. The candidates were crowned with myrtle and on entering the building an edifice so vast and capacious as to exceed in area the largest theatre of the period they purified themselves by immersing their hands in the consecrated water. The priests, vested in their sacerdotal garments, then came forward. During the first part of the ceremony the candidates were assembled in the outer hall of the temple, the temple proper being closed. Then a herald came forth and proclaimed: "Away from here all ye that are not purified, and whose souls have not been freed from sin." If any who were not votaries had by chance entered the precincts they now left for if discovered afterwards the punishment was death. In order to make certain that no intruders remained behind all who were present had to answer certain specified questions. Then all again immersed their hands in the consecrated water and renewed the pledge of secrecy. Next they took off their ordinary garments, and girded themselves with the skins of young does, whereupon the priests wished them joy of all the happiness their initiation would bring them and then went away. Within a few minutes the building was plunged in total darkness. Suddenly terrific peals of thunder resounded, shaking the very foundations of the temple; vivid flashes of lightning lit up the darkness and displayed fearful forms, while dreadful sighs, groans, and cries of pain resounded on all sides, like the shrieks of the condemned in Tartarus. The novices were taken hold of by invisible hands, their hair was torn, and they were beaten and thrown to the ground. At last a faint light became visible in the distance and a fearful scene appeared before their eyes. The gates of Tartarus were opened and the abode of the condemned lay before them. They could hear the cries of anguish and the vain regrets of those to whom Paradise was lost forever and could, moreover, witness their hopeless remorse. They saw, as well as heard, all the tortures of the condemned. The Furies, armed with relentless scourges and flaming torches, drove the unhappy victims incessantly to and fro, never letting them rest for a moment. Meanwhile the loud voices of the hierophant, who represented the judge of the world, was heard expounding the meaning of what was passing before them and warning and threatening the initiates. It may well be imagined that all these fearful scenes were so terrifying that very frequently beads of anguish appeared on the brows of the novices. At length the gates of Tartarus closed and the innermost sanctuary of the temple lay open before the initiates in dazzling light. In the midst stood the statue of the goddess Demeter brilliantly decked and gleaming with precious stones; heavenly music entranced their souls; a cloudless sky overshadowed them; fragrant perfumes arose; and in the distance the privileged spectators beheld flowering meads, where the blessed danced and amused themselves with innocent games and pastimes. Among others writers the scene is described by Aristophanes in The Frogs:
Heracles: The voyage is a long one. For you will come directly to a very big lake of abysmal depth.
Dionysos: Then how shall I get taken across it?
Heracles: In a little boat just so big; an old man who plies the boat will take you across for a fee of two oboles.
Dionysos: Oh dear! How very powerful those two oboles are all over the world. How did they manage to get here?
Heracles: Theseus brought them. After this you will see serpents and wild beasts in countless numbers and very terrible. Then a great slough and over-flowing dung; and in this you'll see lying anyone who ever yet at any place wronged his guest or beat his mother, or smote his father's jaw, or swore an oath and foreswore himself.... And next a breathing of flutes shall be wafted around you, and you shall see a very beautiful light, even as in this world, and myrtle groves, and happy choirs of men and women, and a loud clapping of hands.
Dionysos: And who are these people, pray?
Heracles: The initiated.
It was regarded as permissible to describe the scenes of the initiation, and this has been done by many writers, but a complete silence was demanded as to the means employed to realize the end, the rites and ceremonies in which the initiate took part, the emblems which were displayed, and the actual words uttered and the slightest divergence rendered the offender liable to the strongest possible condemnation and chastisement.
In the course of the ceremony the hierophant asked a series of questions to which written answers had been prepared and committed to memory by the candidates. Holy Mysteries were revealed to the initiates from a book called Petroma, a word derived from petra, a stone, and so called because the writings were kept enclosed between two cemented stones. The garments worn by the candidates during the initiation ceremony were accounted sacred, and equal with incantations and consecrated charms in their power to avert evils. Consequently, they were never cast off until torn and tattered. Nor was it usual, even then, to throw them away but it was customary to make them into twaddling clothes for children or to consecrate them to Demeter and Persephone.
Admission to the third degree took place during the night between the seventh and eighth days of the celebration of the Mysteries. This, the final degree with the exception of those called to be hierophants, was known as the degree of epoptie. Exactly in what the ceremonial consisted, save in one particular presently to be described, little is known. Hippolytus is practically the only authority for the main incident of the degree. Certain words and signs were communicated to the initiated which, when pronounced after death, were held to ensure the eternal happiness of the soul.
The most solemn part of the ceremony was that which has been described by some writers as the hierogamy or sacred marriage of Zeus and Demeter, although some have mistakenly referred to it as the marriage of Pluto and Proserphine. During the celebration of the Mysteries the hierophant and the hierophantide descended into a cave or deep recess and, after remaining there for a time, returned to the assembly, surrounded seemingly by flames, the hierophant displaying to the gaze of the initiated an ear of corn and exclaiming in a loud voice: "The divine Brimo has Wiven birth to the holy child Brimos: the strong has Drought forth strength."
"The Athenians," says Hippolytus, "in the initiation of Eleusis show to the epoptes the great, admirable, and most perfect mystery of the epoptie: an ear of corn gathered in silence." The statement is so clear as to leave no doubt whatever on the subject; indeed, it has never been called into question. The presentation of the ear of corn was part of the Mysteries of Eleusis and it was reserved for the epoptes.
Much has been made of this incident by many who can see no beauty in pre-Christian or non-Christian forms of religion, their comments being based mainly on a statement of St. Gregory Nazianus, who stands alone in discerning lewdness in the Eleusinian ceremonial. He says:
It is not in our religion that you will find a seduced Cora, a wandering Demeter, a Keleos, and a Triptolemos appearing with serpents; that Demeter is capable of certain acts and that she permits others. I am really ashamed to throw light on the nocturnal orgies of the initiations. Eleusis knows as well as the witnesses the secret of this spectacle, which is with reason kept so profound.
Apart from this isolated statement the Eleusinian Mysteries have not been charged as many ancient rites were with promoting immorality. In his account of the doings of the false prophet Alexander of Abountichos, Lucian describes how the impostor instituted rites which were a close parody of those at Eleusis and he narrates the details of the travesty. Among the mimetic performances were not only the Epiphany and birth of a god but the enactment of a sacred marriage. All preliminaries were gone through and Lucian says that but for the abundance of lighted torches the marriage would actually have been consummated. The part of the hierophant was taken-by the false prophet himself. From the travesty it is evident that in the genuine Mysteries in silence, in darkness, and in perfect chastity the sacred marriage was enacted and that immediately afterwards the hierophant came forth and standing in a blaze of torchlight made the announcement to the initiates. 'When came the words from the hierophant:
I have tasted, I have drunk "cyceon." I have taken from the cystus and after having tasted of it I placed it in the calathos. I again took it from the calathos and put it back in the cistus.
This formula, notwithstanding its length, became the "pass word" of the perfect initiate.
Dr. Jevons maintains that this ear of corn was the totem of Eleusis and this view has been adopted by M. Reinach who says:
We find in the texts a certain trace not only of the cult but of the adoration and the exaltation (in the Christian meaning of the word) of the ear of corn.
But he has omitted to quote the texts on which he relies for this assertion. It would be interesting to know why among all the plants which die and revive in the course of a year, wheat was chosen for preference, why the ear more than the grain, why it should be emphasized that it was gathered, for what reason the spectacle was reserved for the epoptae and in what manner it secures or ensures for the individual a blissful existence after death. The demonstration presupposes that the preceding rites and ceremonies were leading up to this supreme display. This practically ended the third degree save that then the epoptae were placed upon exalted seats around which the priests circled in mystic dances. The day succeeding admission into the final degree was regarded as a rigorous fast at the conclusion of which the epoptae also drank of the mystic kukeon and ate of the sacred cakes.
The Greeks laid great stress upon the advantages to be derived from initiation. Not only were the initiates under the protection of the State but the very act of initiation was said to assist in the spreading of good will among men, keep the soul free from sin and crime, place men under the special protection of the gods, and provide them with the means of attaining perfect virtue, the power of living a spotless life, and assure them of a peaceful death and everlasting bliss hereafter. The priests assured all who participated in the Mysteries that they would have a higher place in Elysium, a clearer understanding, and a more intimate intercourse with the gods, whereas the uninitiated would always remain in outer darkness. Indeed, in the final degree the epoptae were said to be admitted to the presence of and converse with the goddesses Demeter and Persephone. Initiates were placed under the immediate care and protection of the goddess Demeter. Initiation was referred to frequently as a guarantee of salvation conferred by outward and visible signs and by sacred formulae.
According to Theo of Smyrna the full or complete initiation consisted of five steps or degrees:
Again, philosophy may be called the initiation into true sacred ceremonies, and the tradition of genuine mysteries; for there are five parts of initiation; the first of which is previous purgation; for neither are the Mysteries communicated to all who are willing to receive them, but there are certain characters who are prevented by the voice of the crier, such as those who possess impure hands and an articulate voice, since it is necessary that such as are not expelled from the Mysteries should first be refined by certain purgations, hut after purgation the tradition of the sacred rite succeeds. The third part is denominated inspection. And the fourth which is the end and design of inspection is the binding of the head and fixing the crown: so that the initiated may, by this means, he enabled to communicate to others the sacred rites in which he has been instructed; whether after this he becomes a torchbearer, or an interpreter of the Mysteries, or sustains some other part of the sacerdotal office. But the fifth which is produced from all these, is friendship with divinity, and the enjoyment of that felicity which arises from intimate converse with the gods. According to Plato purification is to be derived from the five mathematical disciplines, viz., arithmetic, geometry, steretometry, music, and astronomy.
The fee for initiation was a minimum sum of fifteen drachmas, in addition to which there were the usual honoraria to be bestowed towards the various officiating ministers to which reference has already been made. Presumably, also, gifts in kind were made annually to the principal clergy for an inscription of the fifth century B. C. found at Eleusis reads:
Let the hierophant and the torch-bearer command that at the mysteries the Hellenes shall offer first-fruits of their crops in accordance with ancestral usage.... To those who do these things there shall be many good things, both good and abundant crops, whoever of them do not injure the Athenians, nor the city of Athens, nor the two goddesses.
The Telestrion or Hall of Initiation, sometimes called "The Mystic Temple," was a large, covered building, about 170 feet square. It was surrounded on all sides by steps which presumably served as seats for the initiated while the sacred dramas and processions took place on the floor of the hall. These steps were partly built up and partly cut in the solid rock: in latter times they appear to have been covered with marble. There were two doors on each side of the hall with the exception of the north-west where the entrance was cut out of the solid rock, a rock terrace at a higher level adjoining it. This was probably the station of those not yet admitted to full initiation. The roof of the hall was carried by rows of columns which were more than once renewed. The Hall itself did not accommodate more than 4,000 people. The building was, perhaps, more accurately designed by Aristophanes as "The house that welcomed the mystae." Strabo's phrase for it was "The holy enclosure of the mystae" and he carefully distinguishes it from the temple of Demeter. It was not the dwelling place of any god and, therefore, contained no holy image. It was built for the celebration of a definite ritual and the Eleusinian Hall of Initiation was therefore the only known church of antiquity if by that term we understand the meeting place of the congregation.
* * *
In the west at set of sun,
When the craftsmen's work is done
In the lodge;
To the westward, one by one,
Unworthy there are none
In the lodge;
And the warden pays the sum
That is due to ev'ry one,
In the lodge.
By the level, plumb and square,
And the aprons that we wear
When we meet,
On the level each will share
In the ancient lodgeroom there
As we act
By the plumb, you are aware
We are all upon the square,
When we part.
May heaven's blessings rest
On the hearts that are opprest,
Here and there;
May brotherly love prevail,
May our efforts never fail,
Is our prayer.
And in that lodge above,
Where joy and peace and love
We shall see,
The world's Redeemer there —
Our Master in the chair —
So mote it be.
— O. B. Slane, Illinois.
* * *
This earth would be changed into a paradise if, instead of hating, human beings loved; if, instead of speaking evil of one another, they spoke only good; if, instead of grasping and holding, they gave away.
— James Stalker
* * *
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. George W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia
MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE B. McCLELLAN
THE minutes of Willamette Lodge No. 2, of Portland, Oregon, of the date of December 9th, 1853, show that Captain George B. McClellan, U.S.A., Second Lieutenant Henry C. Hodges, U.S.A., and Mr. J. F. Winter, a Civil Engineer in government employ, were initiated, passed and raised in that lodge under a dispensation issued by the Grand Master, John Elliott.
McClellan was a Captain of Engineers and prepared plans for most of the fortifications in that region. His work was so deeply appreciated that he was detailed to examine and report on the fortification of important parts of Europe, which work he amplified and which appeared in two volumes entitled "The Art of War in Europe," published by the government about 1860. As an engineer McClelland was at that time almost without a peer.
The equestrian memorial of the General, and its pedestal, are in bronze. It is situated at the intersection of Connecticut and California Avenues in Washington, D. C. The statue was modeled by Fred Monnies and is a most beautiful and splendid piece of work. It was built by authority of Congress at a cost of $50,000. The memorial was unveiled in 1906 without any ceremony whatever.
General McClellan commanded the Second Army Corps (the Army of the Potomac) which he organized and disciplined and which was the largest Army ever assembled up to that time. Its numbers were greatly increased, however, after General Grant had relieved General McClellan of the command.
General McClellan was popular not only in the Army but amongst the general public until he was nominated for the Presidency, when, as might be expected, political opponents availed themselves of the privilege of abuse. But, after nearly half a century had passed, when history had been revised and time had softened the invectives of his former opponents, Congress, in its wisdom, authorized the erection of this beautiful memorial to our modest soldier-brother, Major General McClellan.
* * *
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
Now fall the evening shadows round about the trees,
And filter like a mist upon the solemn stream;
The solid rocks are touched with eerie mysteries;
The ground beneath my feet begin to sigh and dream;
The ground beneath my feet is fluttering like wings
For some unearthly touch is on these common things;
Is on the shrubs and grasses and on the rippled sands,
Is in the air about me and on the faded hill;
Ah, whence can be the coming of all those ghostly hands,
Which evening's twilight shadows with subtle magic fill?
Ah, whose can be those fountains behind the shadow's screen
From which is poured the glamour upon this common scene?
'Tis vain to ask the "whither," 'tis vain to ask the "why";
No mortal ever guessed it, no mortal ever can;
Our lives are sunk in wonder and always will there ply
This subtle sense of magic about the soul of man.
For man hath never yet discovered once the key
Which opens to himself his own self's mystery.
We are compound of marbles and angels never knew
The reason for our being, the secret of our ways;
No angel ever guessed it nor ever mortal drew
From out the depths of being the reason for our days;
We are compound of shadow, of half lights, and of change,
And life is half a dreaming and wholly is it strange.
* * *
Nothing can work me damage, except myself. The harm that I sustain I carry about me, and never am a real sufferer but by my own fault.
— St. Bernard.
* * *
MASONRY IN GENERAL
Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
Masonry, in general, is qualified in size,
It builds its Temples round the world where glow the kindly skies;
Where governments set boundaries, therein the Craftsman go
And rear the mystic canopies that shelter those who "know."
Masonry, in general, is qualified in kind
As something that is leading to and helping men to find
The Brother way that "carries on" to others yet the cheer
Who, by free will may in due form within its courts appear.
Masonry, in general, is qualified in soul,
Its spirit, all the world around pleads for a common goal,—
The time when nothing can divide save that which stains the heart .
When men can find each one his way, but all, within its Art.
Masonry, in general, is qualified in grace,
'Twould give to those who would be true their ever rightful place;
It would be tolerant to all upon the moral plane
That looks beyond and on and on to greater heights attain.
Masonry, in general, is qualified in heart,
It holds within its throb the key that opens to its Art,
'Tis qualified in every way, and that is saying trite
What otherwise somehow is hard to put in "black and white."
* * *
Honest good humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting and there is no jovial companionship equal to that where the jokes are rather small and the laughter abundant.
— Washington Irving.
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 30
Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with the paper by Brother Haywood.
The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
- The Work of a Lodge.
- The Lodge and the Candidate.
- First Steps.
- Second Steps
- Third Steps.
- Working Tools.
- Religious Aspect.
- The Quest.
- The Secret Doctrine.
- The Grand Lodge.
- Ancient Constitutions.
- Codes of Law.
- Grand Lodge Practices.
- Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
- Official Duties and Prerogatives.
- The Constituent Lodge.
- Qualifications of Candidates.
- Initiation, Passing and Raising.
- Change of Membership.
- The Mysteries — Earliest Masonic Light.
- Study of Rites — Masonry in the Making.
- Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
- National Masonry.
- Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
- Feminine Masonry.
- Masonic Alphabets.
- Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
- Biographical Masonry.
- Philological Masonry — Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in "Second Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately following each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" 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 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 should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
- Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood'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 Haywood'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.
The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.
QUESTIONS ON "THE MIDDLE CHAMBER IN SPECULATIVE MASONRY"
I. In what light have you heretofore interpreted the existence of the "Middle Chamber" of Solomon's Temple as a literal fact or simply as a symbol? What is Sir Charles Warren's opinion? What is Mackey's opinion regarding it? Do you agree with them? If not, what reasons have you for disagreeing with them?
II. What is the modern biblical interpretation of the term "chamber" as used in the present connection? How many such chambers were there in the Temple, and what were their uses? Were they used as "paymaster's offices," or as chambers of instruction?
What is a "myth"? Were our ceremonies contrived as vehicles for the conveyance of historical facts to candidates? What thought should we continually bear in mind while pursuing our Masonic studies?
III. Of what is the Middle Chamber a symbol? What does it represent in the Second degree ritualism? How are we benefited by "learning" or education?
What part does the Second degree occupy in Ancient Craft Masonry? Would the system have been complete without it? Have you gained a new conception of the Second degree from this section of Brother Haywood's present study paper from that which you formerly held of it?
IV. How were builders organized in medieval times, and for what purpose? Why were they intrusted with signs, words and grips? Why were they called "operative" Masons?
Why were persons who had no connection with the building trades admitted into the Order prior to 1717? What attracted them to it? What was the result of their admittance?
V. How does Brother MacBride describe the transition from operative to speculative Masonry?
What influence had the speculative element on the operative organization?
What did the non-operative element undertake to do after their acceptance into the organization, according to Brother Waite? How were Kabalistic and Rosicrucian ideas and symbolisms introduced into the Order?
VI. What did Speculative Masonry inherit from the operatives? Was all of our philosophy and mysticism handed down from the operatives?
What was the work of the operative Mason, and what were his wages? What is the work of the speculative Mason, and what are his wages?
Do you believe with those who claim that the race cannot be improved; that because evils of one kind and another have always existed, that they are always to remain with us? What is the mission of Masonry?
Middle Chamber, p. 483.
Vol. IV. What a Fellow Craft Ought to Know, p. 178; Symbolism of the Three Degrees, p. 267.
Bro. H. L. Haywood
PART V — THE MIDDLE CHAMBER IN SPECULATIVE MASONRY
THAT the Middle Chamber is a symbol, and not a bit of history, there is every evidence to show. Sir Charles Warren, while Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, gave expression to the opinion of the best modern scholars in saying that "There was never a Middle Chamber in the Temple. . . As the Fellow Crafts were only employed during the building of the Temple, they could not have used this chamber for the service mentioned (you will recall, reader, what this service is supposed to have been) even if it had existed.... Even if this chamber had existed they would not have been allowed to desecrate it by use as a pay office."
Albert Mackey, who was one of the most conservative of men, and who wrote his "Symbolism of Freemasonry" some twenty years before Brother Warren delivered his speech, took the same position. As we may read in that work, "The whole legend is, in fact, an historical myth, in which the mystical number of the steps, the process of passing to the chamber, and the wages there received, are inventions added to or ingrafted on the fundamental history contained in the sixth chapter of Kings, to inculcate important symbolic instruction relative to the principle of the Order."
The passage in the book of Kings to which Mackey here refers, is in the authorized version of the bible as follows: "They went up with winding stairs into the Middle Chamber." Modern biblical scholarship has shown that the term here translated "chamber" really means a "story" and that there were three such stories on one side of the Temple composed of small rooms in which the priests kept their vestments, utensils, etc. That workmen were paid their wages in this middle story, or that Fellow Crafts were there prepared for a higher grade, there is not a hint in the record to show. This account of the matter, as Mackey has said, is "an historical myth."
But what of it? A myth has been defined as "philosophy in the making." It is an allegorical piece of fiction designed to convey some abstract teaching. The purpose of our ceremonies is not to furnish history but truth, and that truth is nowise affected by the accuracy or inaccuracy of the narrative behind which it is veiled. To remember this in all connections will save one from those pitfalls of literalism into which so many earlier Masonic students fell.
When understood simply as a symbol, the Middle Chamber stands for that place in life in which we receive the rewards of our endeavors. This is the broadest sense of it; its narrower sense, as found in the Second degree lecture, is that it represents the wages of education, of mental culture, for learning is described as the peculiar work of the Fellow Craft. Learning stores the mind with facts, preserves one from bigotry and superstition, offers to one the fellowships of great minds, quickens perception, strengthens the faculties, gives one, in short, a masterful intellect. It is into the possession of such riches as these that the Winding Stairs of the Liberal Arts and Sciences brings a man at last.
We may rejoice that William Preston gave this teaching so large a place in our lectures, for without it Masonry would have been wholly inadequate as a complete system of life. Ignorance is a sin, in most cases at least, and the sooner we thus regard it the better it will be for all of us, Masons and profane. In olden days when men had so few opportunities for learning it was inevitable that the common man should be ignorant; but in these days with public schools, correspondence schools, cheap books and periodicals, and free libraries, a man who remains content with not possessing the best that has been thought and said in the world is wholly without excuse. Always and everywhere men should have in the house of life a winding stair of art and science up which to climb into a middle chamber wherein to hold converse with the good and great of all ages!
In medieval times the builders were organized into a secret fraternity composed of separate lodges for the purpose of self-protection and for preserving the secrets of the trade, and men were given words, grips and tokens on their admittance to a lodge. This fraternity had an ancient traditional history and it used its tools and trade processes as emblems and symbols whereby to teach a code of morality far above the average ethical standards of the time. This was called operative Masonry because its followers were engaged in the work of actual building.
At the time of the Reformation ecclesiastical building, in which the Freemasons were mostly engaged, fell into a decline and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the operative lodges began to receive a large number of members who had no intention of engaging in practical building, but were attracted by the history and symbolism of the Order. In course of time this speculative element outnumbered the operative so that, at the Revival of 1717, Masonry became a wholly speculative body.
The details of this picture may be filled out by a remarkable paragraph in Brother MacBride's "Speculative Masonry" (page 124):
"The view we wish to consider is, that down through the Roman Collegia and the medieval craft gilds, along with certain traditions, there was probably transmitted some of the symbolism of the Ancient Mysteries, and that the great quickening of intellectual life in the sixteenth century, resulting from the social and political upheaval of the Reformation, gave new life and a more developed form to the symbolic speculative element within the old craft lodges. The mental activities of men had so long been 'dribbed, cabined and confined' under ecclesiastical rule that, having burst its bonds, it fairly revelled and rioted in all sorts of ways. Hence we find Cabalism, Theosophy, Alchemy and Astrology receiving attention and support from the learned scholars of the age.... The spirit of enquiry was rampant, and ill-directed as it was in many respects, it had on the whole a wonderfully stimulating effect.. Science, in all its branches, expanded and developed; literature, art, and social and political life acquired fresh vigor. It is from this period we can mark the presence of the speculative element in the old craft lodges. Our view is, that the seed of our present speculative system, lying latent in these old lodges, was quickened into life through the influence of the Reformation period and, later on, in 1717, developed into the present organized form."
On another page of the same work Brother MacBride gives a more specific description of the moral and symbolic germ in the craft gilds which later expanded into speculative Masonry:
"Taking the Old Charges and reading them over one cannot fail to be impressed with the moral precepts they contain, and how the speculative bulks over the purely operative parts. In every case the Mason is charged first of all to be true to God, the king and to his fellows. Stealing and vice are explicitly named to be avoided. Falsehood and deceit are condemned and the general impression left after reading these ancient documents is that they are not those of a mere trades union or operative gild. There is an element in them, apart from and above the operative work, that refers to conduct and morals, and it is in this, more than anything else, that their relationship with modern Masonry shows itself. After all, what is the purpose of our speculative system but to shape life and conduct to noble ends."
In the foregoing passages Brother MacBride takes the position that speculative Masonry is the expansion of a germ that lay in operative Masonry. Other writers, while holding to this, also believe that the non-operatives, accepted during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, brought with them an entirely new element. Brother Arthur Edward Waite speaks for these writers in his little booklet "Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism":
"The interest in operative Masonry and its records, though historically it is of course important, has preceded from the beginning on a misconception as to the aims and Symbolism of speculative Masonry. It was and it remains natural, and it has not been without its results. but it is a confusion of the chief issues. It should be recognized henceforth that the sole connection between the two arts and crafts rests on the fact that the one has undertaken to uplift the other from the material plane to that of morals on the surface, and of spirituality in the real intention.... My position is that the traces of symbolism which may in a sense be inherent in operative Masonry did not produce; by a natural development, the speculative art and craft, though they helped undoubtedly to make a possible and partially prepared field for the great adventure and experiment."
On another page of the same book Brother Waite contends that among the men who were accepted into the operative lodges were many "Latin-writing" scholars who brought with them ideas and symbolisms from Kabalism and Rosicrucianism. With this position Albert Pike and many other authorities are agreed.
Brother Waite's argument, it seems to me, does not contradict, but rather supplements Brother MacBride's position. If this be the case we may say that from operative Masonry our speculative system has received an organization, a moral element, and certain emblems and symbols derived from the building art; but there is an element of philosophy and mysticism in our ritual, in the Third degree more especially, derived from other sources.
Leaving for future articles a discussion of the mystical and philosophical element, we may examine here only the elements inherited from the operative gilds. The operative Mason used actual tools to erect structures of wood and stone; for this he received material wages. The speculative Mason uses moral, mental and spiritual forces to erect himself into a nobler manhood and society into a nobler Brotherhood; his wages consist in the enrichment of his own and his race's life.
These words are familiar enough to every Mason, indeed, they have become almost hackneyed and threadbare, but familiarity must not be permitted to blind us to the radical (I had almost said the revolutionary) character of this teaching. For it implies that human nature may be modified, reformed, regenerated; and the world, likewise.
The cry of the reactionary, the obstructionist, the ultra-conservative, has ever been, "As the world is, so it has always been, so it will ever be. Poverty, vice, ignorance these are fated things, built into the nature of the race, and can in no wise be improved." Against this position Masonry throws itself with all its weight, and contends that out of the stuff of the Present a nobler Future can be made; that a man's nature is plastic material out of which a better man can be fashioned; that the world of today is a rough quarry out of which may be hewn the stones for a Temple of Tomorrow, in which a God may be found to dwell. If this philosophy of Masonry be true; as we Masons are most profoundly convinced that it is, it gives us the one Great Hope of Man, the one certain pledge of Progress.
* * *
A CATHOLIC TREATISE ON MASONRY
FROM THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
PART III - OUTER WORK OF FREEMASONRY: ITS ACHIEVEMENTS, PURPOSES AND METHODS (CONTINUED)
THE chief organization which in France secured the success of Freemasonry was the famous "League of instruction" founded in 1867 by Bro. F. Mace, later a member of the Senate. This league affiliated and imbued with its spirit many other associations. French Masonry and above all the Grand Orient of France has displayed the most systematic activity as the dominating political element in the French "Kulturkampf" since 1877 (see also Chr.,1889, I, 81 sq.). From the official documents of French Masonry contained principally in the official "Bulletin" and "Compte-rendu" of the Grand Orient it has been proved that all the anticlerical measures passed in the French Parliament were decreed beforehand in the Masonic lodges and executed under the direction of the Grand Orient, whose avowed aim is to control everything and everybody in France ("que personne ne bougera plus en Frence en dehors de nous," "Bull. Gr. Or.," 1890, 500 sq.). "I said in the assembly of 1898," states the deputy Masse, the official orator of the Assembly of 1903, "that it is the supreme duty of Freemasonry to interfere each day more and more in political and profane struggles." "Success (in the anti-clerical combat) is in a large measure due to Freemasonry; for it is its spirit, its programme, its methods, that have triumphed." "If the Bloc has been established, this is owing to Freemasonry and to the discipline learned in the lodges. The measures we have now to urge are the separation of Church and State and a law concerning instruction. Let us put our trust in the word of our Bro. Combes." "For a long time Freemasonry has been simply the republic in disguise," i. e., the secret parliament and government of Freemasonry in reality rule France; the profane State, Parliament, and Government merely execute its decrees. "We are the conscience of the country"; "we are each year the funeral bell announcing the death of a cabinet that has not done its duty but has betrayed the Republic; or we are its support, encouraging it by saying in a solemn hour: I present you the word of the country . . . its satisfecit which is wanted by you, or its reproach that to-morrow will be sealed by your fall." "We need vigilance and above all mutual confidence, if we are to accomplish our work, as yet unfinished. This work, you know . . . the anti-clerical combat, is going on. The Republic must rid itself of the religious congregations, sweeping them off by a vigorous stroke. The system of half measures is everywhere dangerous; the adversary must be crushed with a single blow" (Compte-rendu Gr. Or., 1903, Nourrisson, "Les Jacobins," 266–271). "It is beyond doubt," declared the President of the Assembly of 1902, Bro. Blatin, with respect to the French elections of 1902, "that we would have been defeated by our well-organized opponents, if Freemasonry had not spread over the whole country" (Compte-rendu, 1902, 153).
Along with this political activity Freemasonry employed against its adversaries, whether real or supposed, a system of spying and false accusation, the exposure of which brought about the downfall of the Masonic cabinet of Combes. In truth all the "anti-clerical" Masonic reforms carried out in France since 1877, such as the secularization of education, measures against private Christian schools and charitable establishments, the suppression of the religious orders and the spoliation of the Church, professedly culminate in an anti-Christian and irreligious reorganization of human society, not only in France but throughout the world. Thus French Freemasonry, as the standard-bearer of all Freemasonry, pretends to inaugurate the golden era of the Masonic universal republic, comprising in Masonic brotherhood all men and all nations. "The triumph of the Galilean," said the president of the Grand Orient, Senator Delpech, on 20 September, 1902, "has lasted twenty centuries. But now he dies in his turn. The mysterious voice, announcing (to Julian the Apostate) the death of Pan, today announces the death of the impostor God who promised an era of justice and peace to those who believe in him. The illusion has lasted a long time. The mendacious God is now disappearing in his turn; he passes away to join in the dust of ages the other divinities of India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, who saw so many deceived creatures prostrate before their altars. Bro. Masons, we rejoice to state that we are not without our share in this overthrow of the false prophets. The Romish Church, founded on the Galilean myth, began to decay rapidly from the very day on which the Masonic Association was established" (Compte-rendu Gr. Or. de France, 1902, 381).
The assertion of the French Masons: "We are the conscience of the country," was not true. By the official statistics it was ascertained, that in all elections till 1906 the majority of the votes were against the Masonic Bloc, and even the result in 1906 does not prove that the Bloc, or Masonry, in its anti-clerical measures and purposes represents the will of the nation, since the contrary is evident from many other facts. Much less does it represent the "conscience" of the nation. The fact is, that the Bloc in 1906 secured a majority only because the greater part of this majority voted against their "conscience." No doubt the claims of Freemasonry in France are highly exaggerated, and such success as they have had is due chiefly to the lowering of the moral tone in private and public life, facilitated by the disunion existing among Catholics and by the serious political blunders which they committed. Quite similar is the outer work of the Grand Orient of Italy which likewise pretends to be the standard-bearer of Freemasonry in the secular struggle of Masonic light and freedom against the powers of "spiritual darkness and bondage," alluding of course to the papacy, and dreams of the establishment of a new and universal republican empire with a Masonic Rome, supplanting the papal and Caesarean as metropolis. The Grand Orient of Italy has often declared that it is enthusiastically followed in this struggle by the Freemasonry of the entire world and especially by the Masonic centres at Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid, Calcutta, Washington ("Riv.," 1892, 219; Gruber, "Mazzini," 215 sqq. and passim). It has not been contradicted by a single Grand Lodge in any country, nor did the German and other Grand Lodges break off their relations with it on account of its shameful political and anti-religious activity. But though the aims of Italian Masons are perhaps more radical and their methods more cunning than those of the French, their political influence, owing to the difference of the surrounding social conditions, is less powerful. The same is to be said of the Belgian and the Hungarian Grand Lodges, which also consider the Grand Orient of France as their political model.
Since 1889, the date of the international Masonic congress, assembled at Paris, 16 and 17 July, 1889, by the Grand Orient of France, systematic and incessant efforts have been made to bring about a closer union of universal Freemasonry in order to realize efficaciously and rapidly the Masonic ideals. The special allies of the Grand Orient in this undertaking are: the Supreme Council and the Symbolical Grand Lodge of France and the Masonic Grand Lodges of Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Greece; the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts and of Brazil were also represented at the congress. The programme pursued by the Grand Orient of France, in its main lines, runs thus: "Masonry, which prepared the Revolution of 1789, has the duty to continue its work" (circular of the G. O. of France, 2 April, 1889). This task is to be accomplished by the thoroughly and rigidly consistent application of the principles of the Revolution to all the departments of the religious, moral, judicial, legal, political, and social order. The necessary political reforms being realized in most of their essential points, henceforth the consistent application of the revolutionary principles to the social conditions of mankind is the main task of Masonry. The universal social republic, in which, after the overthrow of every kind of spiritual and political tyranny," of "theocratical" and dynastical powers and class privileges, reigns the greatest possible individual liberty and social and economical equality conformably to French Masonic ideals, is the real ultimate aim of this social work.
The following are deemed the principal means: (1) To destroy radically by open persecution of the Church or by a hypocritical fraudulent system of separation between State and Church, all social influence of the Church and of religion, insidiously called "clericalism," and, as far as possible, to destroy the Church and all true, i. e., superhuman religion, which is more than a vague cult of fatherland and of humanity; (2) To laicize, or secularize, by a likewise hypocritical fraudulent system of "unsectarianism," all public and private life and, above all, popular instruction and education. "Unsectarianism" as understood by the Grand Orient party is anti-Catholic and even anti-Christian, atheistic, positivistic, or agnostic sectarianism in the garb of unsectarianism. Freedom of thought and conscience of the children has to be developed systematically in the child at school and protected, as far as possible, against all disturbing influences, not only of the Church and priests, but also of the children's own parents, if necessary, even by means of moral and physical compulsion. The Grand Orient party considers it indispensable and an infallibly sure way to the final establishment of the universal social republic and of the pretended world peace, as they fancy them, and of the glorious era of human solidarity and of unsurpassable human happiness in the reign of liberty and justice (see "Chaine d'Union," 1889, 134, 212 sqq., 248 seq., 291 seq.; the official comptes rendus of the International Masonic Congress of Paris, 16–17 July, 1889, and 31 August, 1 and 2 September, 1900, published by the Grand Orient of France, and the regular official "Comptes rendus des travaux" of this Grand Orient, 1896–1910, and the "Rivista massonica," 1880–1910).
The efforts to bring about a closer union with Anglo-American and German Freemasonry were made principally by the Symbolical Grand Lodge of France and the "International Masonic Agency" at Neuchatel (directed by the Swiss Past Grand Master Quartier La Tente), attached to the little Grand Lodge "Alpina" of Switzerland. These two Grand Lodges, as disguised agents of the Grand Orient of France, act as mediators between this and the Masonic bodies of English-speaking and German countries. With English and American Grand Lodges their efforts till now have had but little success (see Internat. Bulletin, 1908, 119, 127, 133, 149, 156; 1909, 186). Only the Grand Lodge of Iowa seems to have recognized the Grand Lodge of France (Chr. 1905, II, 58, 108, 235). The English Grand Lodge not only declined the offers, but, on 23 September, 1907, through its registrar even declared: "We feel, that we in England are better apart from such people. Indeed, Freemasonry is in such bad odour on the Continent of Europe, by reason of its being exploited by Socialists and Anarchists, that we may have to break off relations with more of the Grand Bodies who have forsaken our Landmarks" (from a letter of the Registrator J. Strahan, in London, to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts: see "The New Age," New York, 1909, I, 177). The American Grand Lodges (Massachusetts, Missouri, etc.), in general, seem to be resolved to follow the example of the English Grand Lodges.
The German Grand Lodges, on the contrary, at least most of them, yielded to the pressure exercised on them by a great many German brothers. Captivated by the Grand Orient party on 3, June, 1906, the Federation of the eight German Grand Lodges, by 6 votes to 2, decreed to establish official friendly relations with the Grand Lodge, and on 27 May, 1909, by 5 votes to 3, to restore the same relations with the Grand Orient of France. This latter decree excited the greatest manifestations of joy, triumph and jubilation in the Grand Orient party, which considered it as an event of great historic import. But in the meantime a public press discussion was brought about by some incisive articles of the "Germania" (Berlin, 10 May, 1908; 9 June, 12 November, 1909; 5, 19 February, 1910) with the result, that the three old Prussian Grand Lodges, comprising 37,198 brothers controlled by the protectorate, abandoned their ambiguous attitude and energetically condemned the decree of 27 May, 1909, and the attitude of the 5 other so-called "humanitarian" German Grand Lodges, which comprise but 16,448 brothers. It was hoped, that the British and American Grand Lodges, enticed by the example of the German Grand Lodges, would, in the face of the common secular enemy in the Vatican, join the Grand Orient party before the great universal Masonic congress, to be held in Rome in 1911. But instead of this closer union of universal Freemasonry dreamt of by the Grand Orient party, the only result was a split between the German Grand Lodges by which their federation itself was momentarily shaken to its foundation.
But in spite of the failure of the official transactions, there are a great many German and not a few American Masons, who evidently favour at least the chief anti-clerical aims of the Grand Orient party. Startling evidence thereof was the recent violent worldwide agitation, which, on occasion of the execution of the anarchist, Bro. Ferrer, 31, an active member of the Grand Orient of France (Barcelona, 13 October, 1909), was set at work by the Grand Orient of France (Circular of 14 October, 1909; "Franc-Mac. dem." 1906, 230 sqq.; 1907, 42, 176; 1909, 310, 337 sqq.; 1910, an "International Masonic Bulletin," Berne, 1909, 204 sq.), and of Italy (Rivista massonica, 1909, 337 sqq., 423), in order to provoke the organization of an international Kulturkampf after the French pattern. In nearly all countries of Europe the separation between State and Church and the laicization or neutralization of the popular instruction and education, were and are still demanded by all parties of the Left with redoubled impetuosity.
The fact that there are also American Masons, who evidently advocate the Kulturkampf in America and stir up the international Kulturkampf, is attested by the example of Bros. J. D. Buck, 33°, and A. Pike, 33°. Buck published a book, "The Genius of Freemasonry," in which he advocates most energetically a Kulturkampf for the United States. This book, which in 1907, was in its 3rd edition, is recommended ardently to all American Masons by Masonic journals. A. Pike, as the Grand Commander of the Mother Supreme Council of the World (Charleston, South Carolina) lost no opportunity in his letters to excite the anti-clerical spirit of his colleagues. In a long letter of 28 December, 1886, for instance, he conjures the Italian Grand Commander, Timoteo Riboli, 33°, the intimate friend of Garibaldi, to do all in his power, in order to unite Italian Masonry against the Vatican. He writes: "The Papacy . . . has been for a thousand years the torturer and curse of Humanity, the most shameless imposture, in its pretence to spiritual power of all ages. With its robes wet and reeking with the blood of half a million of human beings, with the grateful odour of roasted human flesh always in its nostrils, it is exulting over the prospect of renewed dominion. It has sent all over the world its anathemas against Constitutional government and the right of men to freedom of thought and conscience." Again, "In presence of this spiritual 'Cobra di capello,' this deadly, treacherous, murderous enemy, the most formidable power in the world, the unity of Italian Masonry is of absolute and supreme necessity; and to this paramount and omnipotent necessity all minor considerations ought to yield; dissensions and disunion, in presence of this enemy of the human race are criminal." "There must be no unyielding, uncompromising insistence upon particular opinions, theories, prejudices, professions: but, on the contrary, mutual concessions and harmonious co-operation." "The Freemasonry of the world will rejoice to see accomplished and consummated the Unity of the Italian Freemasonry" (Official Bulletin, September, 1887, 173 sqq.). Important Masonic journals, for instance, "The American Tyler-Keystone" (Ann Arbor), openly patronize the efforts of the French Grand Orient Party. "The absolute oneness of the Craft," says the Past Grand Master Clifford P. MacCalla (Pennsylvania), "is a glorious thought." "Neither boundaries of States nor vast oceans separate the Masonic Fraternity. Everywhere it is one." "There is no universal church, no universal body of politic; but there is an universal Fraternity, that Freemasonry; and every Brother who is a worthy member, may feel proud of it" (Chr., 1906, II, 132). Owing to the solidarity existing between all Masonic bodies and individual Masons, they are all jointly responsible for the evil doings of their fellow-members.
Representative Masons, however, extol the pretended salutary influence of their order on human culture and progress. "Masonry," says Frater, Grand Orator, Washington, "is the shrine of grand thoughts of beautiful sentiments, the seminary for the improvement of the moral and the mental standard of its members. As a storehouse of morality it rains benign influence on the mind and heart" (Chr., 1897, II, 148). "Modern Freemasonry," according to other Masons, "is a social and moral reformer" (Chr., 1888, II, 99). "No one," says the "Keystone" of Chicago, "has estimated or can estimate the far reaching character of the influence of Masonry in the world. It by no means is limited to the bodies of the Craft. Every initiate is a light bearer. a center of light" (Chr., 1889, II, 146). "In Germany — as in the United States and Great Britain those who have been leaders of men in intellectual, moral and social life, have been Freemasons. Eminent examples in the past are the Brothers Fichte, Herder, Wieland, Lessing, Goethe. Greatest of them all was I. W. von Goethe. Well may we be proud of such a man" ("Keystone," quoted in Chr., 18, 1I, 355), etc. German Masons (see Boos, 304–63) claim for Freemasonry a considerable part in the splendid development or German literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These claims, however, when critically examined, prove to be either groundless or exaggerated. English freemasonry, being then at a low intellectual and moral level and retrograding towards orthodoxy, was not quantified to be the originator or a leading factor in the freethinking "Culture or Enlightenment." German Masonry, then dominated by the Swedish system and the Strict Observance and intellectually and morally degenerated, as Masonic historians themselves avow, was in no better plight. In truth the leading literary men of the epoch, Lessing, Goethe, Herder, etc., were cruelly disabused and disappointed by what they saw and experienced in their lodge life (Gruber , 141–236). Lessing spoke with contempt of the lodge life; Goethe characterized the Masonic associations and doings as "fools and rogues"; Herder wrote, 9 January 1786, to the celebrated philologist Bro. Heyne: "I beat a deadly hatred to all secret societies and, as a result of my experience, both within their innermost circles and outside, I wish them all to the devil. For persistent domineering intrigues and the spirit of cabal creep beneath the cover" (Boos, 326).
Freemasonry, far from contributing to the literary greatness of these or other leading men, profited by the external splendour which their membership reflected on it. But the advantage was by no means deserved, for even at the height of their literary fame, not they, but common swindlers, like Johnson, Cagliostro, etc., were the centres round which the Masonic world gravitated. All the superior men belonging to Freemasonry: Fichte, Fessler, Krause, Schroder, Mossdorf, Schiffman, Findel, etc., so far as they strove to purge lodge life from humbug, were treated ignominiously by the bulk of the average Masons and even by lodge authorities. Men of similar turn of mind are stigmatized by English and American Masonic devotees as "materialists" and "iconoclasts" (Chr., 1885, I, 85;1900, II, 71). But true it is that the lodges work silently and effectually for the propagation and application of "unsectarian" Masonic principles in human society and life. The Masonic magazines abound in passages to this effect. Thus Bro. Richardson of Tennessee avers: "Freemasonry does its work silently, but it is the work of a deep river, that silently pushes on towards the ocean, etc." (Chr., 1889, I, 308). "The abandonment of old themes and the formation of new ones," explained Grand High Priest, J. W. Taylor (Georgia), "do not always arise from the immediately perceptible cause which the world assigns, but are the culmination of principles which have been working in the minds of men for many years, until at last the proper time and propitious surroundings kindle the latent truth into life, and, as the light of reason flows from mind to mind and the unity of purpose from heart to heart, enthusing all with a mighty common cause and moving nations as one man to the accomplishment of great ends. On this principle does the institution of Freemasonry diffuse its influence to the world of mankind. It works quietly and secretly, but penetrates through all the interstices of society in its many relations, and the recipients of its many favors are awed by its grand achievements, but cannot tell whence it came" (Chr., 1897, II, 303). The "Voice" (Chicago) writes: "Never before in the history of ages has Freemasonry occupied so important a position, as at the present time. Never was its influence so marked, its membership so extensive, its teaching so revered." "There are more Masons outside the great Brotherhood than within it." Through its "pure morality" with which pure Freemasonry is synonymous, it "influences society, and, unperceived, sows the seed that brings forth fruit in wholesome laws and righteous enactments. It upholds the right, relieves the distressed, defends the weak and raises the fallen (of course, all understood in the Masonic sense above explained). so, silently but surely and continually, it builds into the great fabric of human society" (Chr., 1889, II, 257 sq.).
The real force of Freemasonry in its outer work is indeed, that there are more Masons and oftentimes better qualified for the performance of Masonic work, outside the brotherhood than within it. Freemasonry itself in Europe and in America founds societies and institutions of similar form and scope for all classes of society and infuses into them its spirit. Thus according to Gould (Concise History, 2) Freemasonry since about 1750 "has exercised a remarkable influence over all other oath-bound societies." The same is stated by Bro. L. Blanc, Deschamps, etc., for Germany and other countries. In the United States, according to the "Cyclopedia of Fraternities," there exist more than 600 secret societies, working more or less under the veil of forms patterned on Masonic symbolism and for the larger part notably influenced by Freemasonry, so that every third male adult in the United States is a member of one or more of such secret societies. "Freemasonry," says the "Cyclopedia," p. v, "of course, is shown to be the mother— Fraternity in fact as well as in name." "Few who are well informed on the subject, will deny that the Masonic Fraternity is directly or indirectly the parent organization of all modern secret societies, good, bad and indifferent" (ibid., p. xv).
Many Anglo-American Freemasons are wont to protest strongly against all charges accusing Freemasonry of interfering with political or religious affairs or of hostility to the Church or disloyalty to the public authorities. They even praise Freemasonry as "one of the strongest bulwards of religion" (Chr., 1887, II, 340), "the handmaid of the church" (Chr., -1885, II, 355) "the handmaid of religion" (Chr., 1887, I, 119). "There is nothing in the nature of the Society," says the "Royal Craftsman," New York, "that necessitates the renunciation of a single sentence of any creed, the discontinuance of any religious customs or the obliteration of a dogma of belief. No one is asked to deny the Bible, to change his Church relations or to be less attentive to the teaching of his spiritual instructors and counsellors" (Chr., 1887, II, 49). "Masonry indeed contains the pith of Christianity" (Chr., 1875, I, 113). "It is a great mistake to suppose it an enemy of the Church." "It does not offer itself as a substitute of that divinely ordained institution." "It offers itself as an adjunct, as an ally, as a helper in the great work of the regeneration of the race, of the uplifting of man" (Chr., 1890, II, 101). Hence, "we deny the right of the Romish Church to exclude from its communion those of its flock who have assumed the responsibility of the Order of Freemasonry" (Chr., 1875, I, 113). Though such protestations seem to be sincere and to reveal even a praiseworthy desire in their authors not to conflict with religion and the Church, they are contradicted by notorious facts. Certainly Freemasonry and "Christian" or "Catholic" religion are not opposed to each other, when Masons, some erroneously and others hypocritically understand "Christian" or "Catholic" in the above described Masonic sense, or when Masonry itself is mistakenly conceived as an orthodox Christian institution. But between "Masonry" and "Christian" or "Catholic" religion, conceived as they really are: between "unsectarian" Freemasonry and "dogmatic, orthodox" Christianity or Catholicism, there is a radical opposition. It is vain to say: though Masonry is officially "unsectarian," it does not prevent individual Masons from being "sectarian" in their non-Masonic relations; for in its official "unsectarianism" Freemasonry necessarily combats all that Christianity contains beyond the "universal religion in which all men agree," consequently all that is characteristic of the Christian and Catholic religion. These characteristic features Freemasonry combats not only as superfluous and merely subjective, but also as spurious additions disfiguring the objective universal truth, which it professes. To ignore Christ and Christianity, is practically to reject them as unessential framework.
But Freemasonry goes farther and attacks Catholicism openly. The "Voice" (Chicago), for instance, in an article which begins: "There is nothing in the Catholic religion which is adverse to Masonry," continues, "for the truth is, that Masonry embodies that religion in which all men agree This is as true as that all veritable religion, wherever found, is in substance the same. Neither is it in the power of any man or body of men to make it otherwise. Doctrines and forms of observance conformable to piety, imposed by spiritual overseers, may be as various as the courses of wind; and like the latter may war with each other upon the face of the whole earth, but they are not religion. Bigotry and zeal, the assumptions of the priestcraft, with all its countless inventions to magnify and impress the world . . . are ever the mainsprings of strife, hatred and revenge, which defame and banish religion and its inseparable virtues, and work unspeakable mischief, wherever mankind are found upon the earth. Popery and priestcraft are so allied, that they may be called the same; the truth being, that the former is nothing more nor less than a special case of the latter, being a particular form of a vicious principle, which itself is but the offspring of a conceit of self sufficiency and the lust of dominion. Nothing which can be named, is more repugnant to the spirit of Masonry, nothing to be more carefully guarded against, and this has been always well understood by all skillful masters, and it must in truth be said, that such is the wisdom of the lessons, i. e. of Masonic instruction in Lodges, etc." (Chr., 1887, I, 35). In similar discussions, containing in almost every word a hidden or open attack on Christianity, the truly Masonic magazines and books of all countries abound. Past Grand Deacon J. C. Parkinson, an illustrious English Mason, frankly avows: "The two systems of Romanism and Freemasonry are not only incompatible, but they are radically opposed to each other" (Chr., 1884, II, 17): and American Masons say: "We won't make a man a Freemason, until we know that he isn't a Catholic." (Chr., 1890, II, 347: see also 1898, I, 83).
With respect to loyalty towards "lawful government" American Masons pretend that "everywhere Freemasons, individually and collectively, are loyal and active supporters of republican or constitutional governments" ("Voice" quoted in Chr., 1890, I, 98). "Our principles are all republican" ("Voice" in Chr., 1893, I, 130). "Fidelity and Loyalty, and peace and order, and subordination to lawful authorities are household gods of Freemasonry" ("Voice" in Chr., 1890, I, 98); and English Freemasons declare, that, "the loyalty of English Masons is proverbial" (Chr., 1899, I, 301). These protestations of English and American Freemasons in general may be deemed sincere, as far as their own countries and actual governments are concerned. Not even the revolutionary Grand Orient of France thinks of overthrowing the actual political order in France, which is in entire conformity with its wishes. The question is, whether Freemasons respect a lawful Government in their own and other countries, when it is not inspired by Masonic principles. In this respect both English and American Freemasons, by their principles and conduct provoke the condemnatory verdict of enlightened and impartial public opinion. We have already above hinted at the whimsical Article II of the "Old Charges," calculated to encourage rebellion against governments which are nor according lo who wishes of Freemasonry. The "Freemason's Chronicle" but faithfully expresses the sentiments of Anglo American Freemasonry, when it writes: "If we were to assert that under no circumstances had a Mason been found willing to take arms against a bad government, we should only be declaring that, in trying moments, when duty, in the Masonic sense, to state means antagonism to the Government, they had failed in the highest and most sacred duty of a citizen. Rebellion in some cases is a sacred duty, and none, but a bigot or a fool, will say, that our countrymen were in the wrong, when they took arms against King James II. Loyalty to freedom in a case of this kind overrides all other considerations, and when to rebel means to be free or to perish, it would be idle to urge that a man must remember obligations which were never intended to rob him of his status of a human being and a citizen" (Chr., 1875, I, 81).
Such language would equally suit every anarchistic movement. The utterances quoted were made in defence of plotting Spanish Masons. Only a page further the same English Masonic magazine writes: "Assuredly Italian Masonry, which has rendered such invaluable service in the regeneration of that magnificent country," "is worthy of the highest praise" (Chr., 1875, I, 82). "A Freemason, moved by lofty principles," says the "Voice" (Chicago), "may rightly strike a blow at tyranny and may consort with others to bring about needed relief, in ways that are not ordinarily justifiable. History affords numerous instances of acts which have been justified by subsequent events, and none of us, whether Masons or not, are inclined to condemn the plots hatched between Paul Revere, Dr. J. Warren and others, in the old Green Dragon Tavern, the headquarters of Colonial Freemasonry in New England, because these plots were inspired by lofty purposes and the result not only justified them, but crowned these heroes with glory" (Chr., 1889, I, 178). "No Freemason," said Right Rev. H. C. Potter on the centenary of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch, New York, "may honourably bend the knee to any foreign potentate (not even to King Edward VII of England, civil or ecclesiastical (the Pope), or yield allegiance to any alien sovereignty, temporal or spiritual" (Chr., 1889, II, 94). From this utterance it is evident that according to Potter no Catholic can be a Mason. In conformity with these principles American and English Freemasons supported the leaders of the revolutionary movement on the European continent. Kossuth, who "had been leader in the rebellion against Austrian tyranny," was enthusiastically received by American Masons, solemnly initiated into Freemasonry at Cincinnati, 21 April, 1852, and presented with a generous gift as a proof "that on the altar of St. John's Lodge the fire of love burnt so brightly, as to flash its light even into the deep recesses and mountain fastnesses of Hungary" ("Keyotone" of Philadelphia quoted by Chr., 1881, I, 414; the '-Voice" of Chicago, ibid., 277). Garibaldi, "the greatest Freemason of Italy" ("Intern. Bull.," Berne, 1907, 98) and Mazzini were also encouraged by Anglo-American Freemasons in their revolutionary enterprises (Chr., 1882, I, 410; 1893, I, 185; 1899, II, 34). "The consistent Mason," says the "Voice" (Chicago), "will never be found engaged in conspiracies or plots for the purpose of overturning and subverting a government based upon the Masonic principles of liberty and equal rights" (Chr., 1892, I, 259). "But," declares Pike, "with tongue and pen, with all our open and secret influences, with the purse, and if need be, with the sword, we will advance the cause of human progress and labour to enfranchise human thought, to give freedom to the human conscience (above all from papal 'usurpations') and equal rights to the people everywhere. Wherever a nation struggles to gain or regain its freedom, wherever the human mind asserts its independence and the people demand their inalienable rights, there shall go our warmest sympathies" (Pike , IV, 547).
(To be concluded)
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SCHENECTADY'S OLDEST MASONIC LODGE PLANS
HIGHER EDUCATION FOR BOYS IN UTICA HOME
Following the report rendered by its representative to the recent meeting of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York and the visit paid by several members of the lodge to Utica early this week, a resolution was adopted by St. George's Lodge, No. 6, F. and A. M., at its stated communication last night, providing for a scholarship at Union College, to be known as the "St. George's Lodge, No. 6, F. and A. M. Scholarship."
This scholarship is for a full four years' course leading to any of the degrees conferred in course at Union College and is available during any of the years, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922 or 1923, for any boy of the Masonic Home at Utica, having the necessary qualifications for matriculation at the college during any one of the years specified.
The amount of the scholarship is dependent upon the academic standing maintained by the student to whom the scholarship is awarded, as follows: For an average minimum standing in all subjects for any one year, $200 annually; for an average grade of 85 per cent in all subjects, $250 annually; for an average grade of 90 per cent, $300 annually.
This scholarship may be renewed from time to time as occasion may demand.
There are at present at the Home in Utica about 200 boys, all of whom attend the public schools at Utica, as well as a similar number of girls. The standing maintained by these children in the public schools is above that of the average student.
St. George's and Union College are among the two oldest and historic institutions of their kind in the nation, the birth of both dating back to Colonial times. The lodge was established in 1774, getting its charter from the Grand Lodge of England and the college was founded but a few years later, in 1795, so that the personnel of the two institutions have played a large part in the life of the community. President Charles A. Richmond of the college has expressed his delight at this manifestation of co-operation in this education work.
— Schenectady (N.Y.) Union Star.
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Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
Sweet Masonry, earth's precious best to your own heart and mine,
The trysting place of happy cheer, the sacred mystic shrine
Where we may on the Level meet and close the door to care
And just forget for one sweet while all else save heart repair.
Sweet Masonry, a world its own where flowers ever bloom,
Perennials through storm and shine for every day of gloom.
Its orbit swings around the Light in such peculiar way
That there is naught but fragrance in the dawning of its day.
Sweet Masonry, built into form by altruistic Art
It is a Temple gracious to the pleadings of the heart;
The Middle Chamber of its soul clean-swept and garnished glows
And in its light no hurtful thing may dare to seek repose.
Sweet Masonry, just Masonry, the undiluted kind,
Unknown as ventures of the world, is what we love to find,
And pray that ne'er to it may come, though spacious be the plea
That which at last may break the heart of true Fraternity.
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A PRACTICAL MASONRY FOR A PRACTICAL WORLD
THROUGH the advent of the Masonic Service Association of the United States it may be said that Masonry of America is launching out on a new venture. What is in store depends largely upon the co-operative spirit among the Craft manifesting itself in such a manner as will warrant that whatsoever it undertakes to do will be done successfully.
The war, as no other agency, brought home the Institution's limitations in doing efficient work in a time of national emergency. We are now assured that in the future the benevolent and fraternal enterprises of the Craft will not be of a sectional character. United in body as well as in spirit, the co-ordinated effort of concentrative genius is to save us from the embarrassment of helplessness when we are conscious of national duties to be performed, and never again are we to find ourselves inadequately equipped or prepared to face them.
Masonry in the future therefore will be avowedly more closely identified with whatever work there is to be done that will be of national scope and character. The rapidity of the growth of the Fraternity is making demand that the mission and purpose of Freemasonry be restated in no uncertain terms. This has become provokingly imperative, probably owing to the fact that in the making of many Masons Masonic principle, aspiration and effort has too frequently been obscured by aesthetic enjoyment of the ceremonials. As an illustration of this we may simply say that in passing through a forest we fail to observe the strength and beauty of the various trees of which the forest is composed. Doubtless many varieties of impressions have been left upon the new Mason, and on his part there has likely been a reasonable appreciation Df the lectures in which the great fundamentals of right living have been dwelt upon. But there is need of more than the assent of the intellect to certain stated principles. There must be such apprehension of their necessity for life in all its phases that the initiate will feel the compunction of translating them into his own life and conduct. Hence the demand for stating clearly the Masonic principles and testing its adequacy for meeting the new problems of life with which the world revolution has brought us face to face.
That the Masonic Service Association of the United States is a move in the right direction we confidently believe. For the first time in the history of American Masonry we witness an attempt to abolish the provincialisms hitherto known among us as the chief promoters of jurisdictional jealousies, and the militant deniers of the necessity of practicing on a large scale that which is declared among us theoretically as being a world necessity.
From now on a solidarity of interests will be championed by a solidarity of effort. Our immediate program then demands that we enlighten ourselves and instruct carefully those who come within our gates on the social and individual determinative power of Masonry. We must demonstrate the reasonableness of its philosophy, the claim of its ethical principles upon the conscience and the practicability of obedience to its principles in the common affairs that minister to the good of mankind. Such a task as that which confronts us is, no doubt, much beyond the conceptions of many Masons who are in our midst, and whose measure of the significance of Masonry is epitomized in the joy of seeing yet another Mason made.
Let us repudiate the lethargy that too often characterizes us in the realm of the intellect and the spirit. Let us know and realize for ourselves the nature and purpose of this great Institution of which we are a part. We are not prophets, but we say with confidence that unless once more the Spirit of the Craft grips us and proves itself to be indispensable to our happiness and welfare Masonry, as an institution, is doomed. Its glory will depart, and over our portals we may well write "Ichabod." We are in the throes of the revaluation of things and Masonry with everything else will be subjected to the analysis and judgment of those who are to be the re-makers of this old broken world. That they will find much in Masonry of the necessary material for the erection of the Temple of Humanity, who of those that have delved into Masonic philosophy, history and achievement, will deny? If the potency of the Craft for the reconstruction period is to be discovered through us, what serious and weighty obligations are indeed ours! A practical Masonry for a practical world is the urgent need. We must relegate to where he belongs the dogmatic speculator and consign to keep him company those whose chief joy seems to consist in quarreling about the millinery and the genesis of the Craft. If to be a Mason is indeed to be a Builder, no time like our own has challenged his skill, zeal and ingenuity. Surely the vision is such among all the brethren as to warrant our day being the greatest ever known in service to humanity.
* * *
The greatest need of the Masonic Fraternity today is co-ordination or unity of effort and purpose. The war is over, and we are rapidly returning to a pre-war basis. As the confusion and turmoil subsides we are being given to sober consideration, and are confronted with the fact that much of the effort of Masonry that would have been of real service during the war, failed because of lack of co-ordination. Instead of Freemasonry becoming a factor in war activity, we had in the United States, forty-nine separate groups, each posing as Freemasonry and endeavoring to gain recognition in war service. Much criticism has been directed against the War Department and the authorities in Washington, because of the fact that Freemasonry was not permitted to construct buildings in cantonments, and to become otherwise recognized among the great institutions which sought to render service to our soldiers. It has been contended that the refusal to permit Freemasonry to participate in these enterprises was due to sinister influences in Washington. The state authorities, however, declare that Freemasonry had not presented itself in organized form, and that instead, forty-nine groups of individuals, each posing as representatives of Freemasonry, sought to engage in war activity and that it was quite impossible for the Government to recognize one of these groups without recognizing all. The truth about the matter is that Freemasonry failed in a way, because it lacked central organization. Each group devised plans all of its own and sought to carry them out without regard to other Masonic interests. A fair example of this is shown in a friendly controversy which arose between the Supreme Council of the Southern jurisdiction and the Grand Lodge of New York. Each organization sought to go overseas in the interest of our soldiers, and each set up the claim of recognizing the Masons of the country. It was only when these two great institutions joined their interests, that they were enabled to accomplish their mission.
The time has arrived in our Masonic evolution, when Freemasonry can no longer be considered as bound by state rights, or limited to groups of individuals. To secure proper recognition of the institution as a vital factor in human activity, there must be organization and co-ordination of effort.
In the period of reconstruction and readjustment which is taking place, Freemasonry should divorce itself from the old idea of state rights and commence to plan for a unity of purpose. This can only be accomplished through some sort of central organization; call it whatever you may. Before Freemasonry is going to gain recognition as a world force, it must break down the barriers of jurisdiction which envelope each Grand Lodge and must subscribe to a general platform of basic principles. This does not mean the formation of any National Grand Lodge, but it does mean that there is needed a National Council of Administration which shall formulate a plan to which all the Grand Lodges of the United States may subscribe, and along which they may work for the best interests of Freemasonry.
Forty-nine groups of Masons each raised monies for war purposes, and each group made expenditures which were, no doubt, beneficial and helpful to those reached, but how much greater would have been the benefit had all these diversified efforts been merged into one direct purpose? Not only would there have hoon finsMeial saving but the fraternity would have been enabled to secure that recognition which was denied it because of its disorganized condition.
Dr. Ralph H. Wheeler, of Chicago, had this idea in mind when he organized the Illinois Masonic Council of Defense, and suggested at that time the necessity of a National Organization along similar lines. He had no more than made the suggestion, until a lot of Masons commenced to get out their sledge hammers and vigorously knock the enterprise, charging that it was merely a scheme of the promoter to exploit himself into a National Presidency — a charge which bears close kin to much of the argument against a National Grand Lodge.
George L. Schoonover, Grand Master of Iowa, is another man who has lifted himself out of the Masonic rut, and last Fall called a meeting of Grand Masters in his State to consider ways and means of establishing a National Council of Administration. Brother Schoonover has seen the necessity of unified Masonic effort.
There is today a tremendous effort among the Christian churches of the world to merge into one great Church of Christ with a central organization and a singleness of purpose. Peter Ainslee, one of the leaders of this movement, said in this city last Sunday, that within five years this great movement will have born fruition, and that there will be in this country but one Church devoid of denominationalism and sectarianism. This enterprise, when presented to the Pope of Rome, was flatly turned down because the Catholic church has today one of the most thoroughly organized systems of co-ordinated effort which the world knows anything about.
It is now time for the Freemasonry of the United States to lay aside its prejudice, to forget narrow traditions of the past, and commence to lay a foundation for a great organized effort which will make the fraternity a potent factor in the affairs of the world.
Delmar D. Darrah, in The Illinois Freemason.
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THE YOUNGER BROTHER
Bro. Gerald A. Nancarrow, Indiana
When we have a younger brother
Who is learning his new part,
Let us, as we prompt and question,
Teach him also from the heart;
As he learns his new-found science
Let us teach him, too, the art.
Let us aid him in the shaping
And the smoothing of his block;
Let us spread a binding mortar
And thus add a firmer rock
To our structure: Make him granite
By the knowledge we unlock.
Show him more than words and phrases,
More than empty form and shell,
Let him see the wealth of beauty
In the lessons which we tell;
Help him move toward strength and service
And to meet his trials well.
* * *
Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And hope without an object cannot live.
* * *
Edited By Bro. H. L. Haywood
The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not always 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 review 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.
A VANISHING RACE
"The American Indians" by William Harvey Miner can be obtained from the author, 3518 Franklin Ave., St. Louis. Published by Cambridge University Press.
THE present writer knows nothing about Indians. Few men do. Two or three of Coopers' tales, a calendar, a movie picture now and then, some traditions, and a parade on circus day, such are the sources of information available to most persons. Needless to say, the popular idea of the red man is nothing but a travesty. The American Indian, before the white man came with his new devices, his strange customs, and social order so different, was a real man, as much a man in his own way as any white man. He had his own peculiar civilization and he was seemingly happy.
The Indian is today being preyed upon by every imaginable variety of human harpy; he is child-like, easily deceived by a white man's wiles and all that; he needs friends. He does not need charity. Least of all should he be treated like an inferior being. He has a right to a country of his own, to a social order in which he can be happy, and to an industrial system which accords with his own nature.
Such of our readers as are interested in these strange brethren of ours will read with profit the little treatise, beautifully written and tastefully printed, which has been written by Mr. Miner. If the writer knew Indians as well as he knows the author of this book he himself could write such a treatise; it would not, however, be so scholarly, so comprehensive. How my friend managed to compress so much information into 150 pages is still a mystery to me. It is there: that I know: chapters on Indian sociology, tribes, mythology, and all that. There is a list of books on the subject so complete that Methusaleh himself would be kept reading all his days. And there is a complete index, a thing to delight a student. The chapter on mythology will most interest a Mason. As to Indian Masonry there never was, of course, any such impossible thing.
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THE WAR IN THE HEART
"Soul Crises" by James William Robinson. Published by The Gorham Press, 194–200 Boylston St., Boston, Mass., at $1.25.
The author of this volume is a Mason and a preacher, which means that he is doubly serious concerning the great matters which alone count. He understands, as does every teacher of morals or religion, that the war is not over and will not be over for generations to come. The military crisis is past; the political crisis is now being faced; the soul crisis will be with us for many years to come.
What is a "soul crisis"? The term is awkward but it means something. It means that a man may call into question his own ideals, that he may find his most deeply rooted convictions crumbling, that he may pass through some cataclysmic physical or spiritual change, or is conscious of the possibility of such an experience. Needless to say, the war has precipitated such a critical experience in many a soul, as well as in the world as a whole. This war is nothing to boast about; it is nothing to gloat over; it is nothing to be proud of; it was the most terrible catastrophe that ever befell the earth; the mere magnitude of it does not redeem it. It was totally unnecessary; ten million young men are dead who might and should now be alive. A group of mad imperialists, leading a weak world to the brink, shoved it over; the world may hate those men but it must now face the fact that it is a far from perfect world.
To be alive in such a world; to find the ancient laws and the old order going to pieces, calls into question many former convictions in an honest mind. The author of this book has tried to face this predicament and to answer the agonized questions called forth by such a situation. He has not answered all the questions, nor even some of the more pressing ones, but he has made a manly attempt and the book is worth reading.
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ATHEISM AND THE WAR
"Religion and the War," edited by E. Hershey Sneath, and written by members of the Faculty of the School of Religion, Yale University. Published by the Yale University Press, 120 College Street, New Haven, Conn. Price $1.00.
Now that the war is over, organized religion is on the defensive. Why didn't Christianity stop the war? Why was a war necessary in a Christian world? Such questions as these are being bruited about, much to the discomfiture of many persons. Those who believe in Christianity are trying to show that it has never broken down; those who believe in atheism are trying to show that Christianity has gone to pieces permanently. The members of the Faculty of the School of Religion of Yale University are interested in such matters. They have said something worth reading.
The volume, described at the head of this little review, contains ten essays written by ten different men, among them being Charles Reynolds Brown, B. W. Bacon, Harlan P. Beach, and Williston Walker. These men, none of them, have any very flaming thing to say; they are all a bit confused; they offer no one;single profound truth as a relief for the mind-ache of those countless thinkers who have been so perturbed by the world catastrophe: but they offer many suggestions and hints which men will find useful, interesting and helpful.
What can be said about religion and the war that is of much permanent value? Little can be said just now while our minds are so upset; a little later we shall all come back again to our own self-possession of thought and life, and then we may begin to read rightly the lessons of the war. Religion could not prevent the war as things were, that goes without saying: it means that we have never yet found a religion that is strong or true enough to govern the hearts of men, which is only another way of saying, the world. But such a religion is coming; God is; truth is; spiritual power is; when we become clean and courageous enough we shall live a religion that is true. There will be no wars then.
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THE SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF UNIVERSALISM
"The Social Implications of Universalism," by Clarence R. Skinner. Published by the Murray Press, Boylston Street, Boston, Mass.
This little book, written by a friend of the present writer, is worth many times more than its modest price of fifty cents, for it presents in simple language an ideal of religion which is actually workable. It is high time that religion were becoming lowly enough to give an account of itself in dollars and cents. By that, one may mean in a broad way, it should be known by its present results more than by its hopes and dreams. Professor Skinner is a theological teacher of a new order, one who understands that religion is life, a life seeking freedom from poverty, disease, and superstition. The lover of a fixed Deed will quarrel with the author but the sooner such a quarrel is started, the better for the world, because there is literally not one hard and fast creed in existence that does not shut out some light from the searching soul. Moreover creeds are often unnecessary. To know God as a Friend, to know your neighbor as a brother, to have a great self-respect for yourself, this is religion, and this religion, simple as it is, is the everlasting religion. This little volume is one syllable in a new bible which is being written now by all sincere and earnest religious teachers. Mr. Skinner does not use "Universalism" in any sectarian sense but merely as a symbol of the largest possible hopes for our whole human family here and hereafter.
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SEPTEMBER BOOK LIST
It is becoming more and more difficult each year to procure standard and authentic books on Masonic subjects for the reason that many of the earlier works are out of print and second-hand copies are in many instances unobtainable. Many individual Masons, as well as lodges and study groups, are constantly asking us to recommend suitable publications for the foundation of Masonic libraries or additions to those already started. To accommodate these brethren and other members of the Society who are in search of such material we shall publish in this department each month a list of such books as we have in stock. The prices quoted include postage.
- 1915 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.00
- 1916 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.00
- 1917 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.00
- 1918 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.50
- Mackey's Encyclopaedia, 1918 edition, two volumes, black Fabrikoid binding. $15.00
- The Builders, a story and study of Masonry, by Brother Joseph Fort Newton. $1.50
- Philosophy of Masonry, by Bro. Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard Law School. $1.25
- Symbolism of Freemasonry, Mackey.$3.15
- True Principles of Freemasonry, Grant. $2.00
- Speculative Masonry, MacBride. $2.00
- Early History and Antiquities of Masonry, Fort. $7.50
- Concise History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould, English Edition. $4.50
- 1722 Constitutions (reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids.) Edition limited to 1,000 copies. $2.00
- "The Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," by P.G.M. Barry, Iowa, red buffing binding, gilt lettering, illustrated.$1.25
- "The Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," paper covers. 50¢
- Further Notes on the Comacine Masters, Ravenscroft, illustrated. 50¢
- Symbolism of the Three Degrees, Street, (pamphlet). 35¢
- Symbolism of the First Degree, Gage, (pamphlet). 15¢
- Symbolism of the Third Degree, Ball, (pamphlet). 15¢
- Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, Waite, (pamphlet). 15¢
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TRITE AND SLY
What is Masonry to us if 'tis not abounding cheer
All the blessed year around in the precious now and here?
It should be to consciousness Love's sweet rippling undertone
Ringing right into our lives nature's best, her very own.
It will be all this and more if we truly qualify,
For the Art just waits on us, faithful, gentle, true and sly.
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THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
INTRODUCTION OF MASONRY INTO ARIZONA, IDAHO
NEW MEXICO, OKLAHOMA AND WASHINGTON
I am making a study of Masonic history and would like the following information: From what jurisdictions was Masonry introduced into the States or Territories of Washington, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma?
The first lodge in Arizona was "Aztlan Lodge" located at Prescott, chartered by the Grand Lodge of California, October 11, 1866. The Grand Lodge of California later chartered "Arizona Lodge No. 257" at Phoenix, October 16, 1879, and "Tucson Lodge No. 263" at Tucson, on October 15, 1881. The Grand Lodge of New Mexico chartered "White Mountain Lodge No. 5" at Globe, on January 18, 1881.
The first lodges in Idaho were constituted under warrants issued by the Grand Lodges of Oregon and Washington.
The Grand Lodge of Missouri chartered the first three lodges organized in New Mexico.
The first lodges in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) were chartered by the Grand Lodges of Arkansas and Kansas.
The first lodges in Washington were chartered by the Grant Lodges of Missouri and Oregon.
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INTERESTED IN THE CATHOLIC ARTICLE ON MASONRY
I have been reading with much interest and profit (as I always do each issue) the July number of THE BUILDER, just received. The idea to print in full the article on Masonry from the Catholic Encyclopedia is a splendid one; it bristles with points of interest for a Masonic student to investigate and probably report upon.
Will you please give in the next instalment the exact reference of this Encyclopedia — title, date of publication, edition etc.? This would help in determining if this is an up-to-date Catholic opinion or not. It probably is recent, as they refer to literature of 1906 and 1907, etc.
The interesting account by Brother Bingham of his visit to the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge No. 2, Edinburgh, brings back to me the memories of a visit to this same lodge in 1910 when I had the privilege of seeing the work in the First degree.
The title of the work referred to is "The Catholic Encyclopedia, Special Edition under the auspices of the Knights of Columbus Catholic Truth Committee," published by "The Encyclopedia Press, Inc.," New York City. Copyrighted in 1912 and 1913. This is probably the latest edition as our set was purchased about two years ago. The work comprises fifteen volumes.
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THE GROWTH OF THE OBLIGATlONS
Is there any information to be obtained which accounts for the growth of the obligations on the Third degree to their present forms, and describing their origins?
Possibly so, but we have never seen anything written on the subject. A very logical reason for such growth has been advanced by Brother Haywood in his article on "The Obligation" in the June, 1918, issue of THE BUILDER wherein he states that "as the Institution grew in numbers new duties would arise, new conditions would have to he met, and the candidate would be required to obligate himself accordingly." There is one section in the obligation which the writer took in another State that is not in the Iowa obligation but which might very well be inserted, in his opinion. It is easy to see how the obligations might have been added to as new Grand Lodges were organized from time to time, and new rituals adopted. Where a number of men from different States were assigned the task of compiling a new ritual for a new Grand Lodge each would undoubtedly have his own ideas as to the composition of the obligations and a discussion of the various sections would lead to the incorporation in the new work of the best features of the old work to which they had been individually accustomed and at the same time one or more of the committee might have one or two new ideas which they believed should be adopted and thus the new obligation would contain something that the old ones lacked.
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THE QUESTION OF ISSUING THE "CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN" SEPARATE FROM "THE BUILDER"
I am deeply interested in the articles by Brother Haywood and such other matter as appears in each issue of the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin" section of THE BUILDER, and would like to know when the "Bulletins" will be issued in book form for Masonic libraries. While I have every one of them so far issued in THE BUILDER yet it is difficult at times to readily find a particular article on a certain topic.
We have had in contemplation for a long time the question of issuing the Correspondence Circle Bulletin separate from the regular issues of THE BUILDER but the continual rising costs of printing material and labor have interfered with our plans in this connection. Brother Burleson has also boosted our postage rates again effective July first. For these reasons our plans must of necessity be deferred for the present. The subjects of the articles appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin may be easily found by a reference to the yearly bound volume indexes.
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THE OBLONG SQUARE
The many and various statements appearing in THE BUILDER from time to time on the subject of the "Oblong Square," as well as the variety of the opinions expressed, lead me to think that the subject is one of general interest and that a few additional words may not be out of place. I must take issue with the statement of Brother Charles H. Fisk of Kentucky in the July issue of THE BUILDER. He says the proper wording, geometrically and scientifically correct, is "the angle of an oblong." This expression is more objectionable than the one it seeks to replace. It implies that an oblong has only one angle and it does not have the sanction of usage as does the term which he criticizes. Then too the great English mathematician, Todhunter, says the word "oblong" is not now used in Geometry, and that the word "rectangle" has taken its place. Therefore if we must bring our terminology down to present day usage and change with every breath that blows, to be "geometrically and scientifically correct" we should say "an angle of a rectangle." A rectangle has four right angles, and the step of the Apprentice and that of the Fellow Craft each form one of these angles.
Brother Fisk says, "A square is a square, an oblong is an oblong; each has angles and all of them right angles, but there never has been known an oblong square or a square oblong." If there were no other definition of oblong but the restricted one of a right-angled figure, longer in one direction than the other, and no definition of a square but that of a figure with four sides all equal and all its angles right angles, no one would take issue with this statement, but this is not the case, and if Brother Fisk holds that, Masonically or otherwise, the term "oblong square" never had a legitimate meaning, he is certainly far from the right track. We find the expression in the earliest rituals of Masonry and continued down to the present day. We also find it in well recognized literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. An expression so commonly used must have had a well understood meaning to those who so used it and we have no right to assume that they were ignorant of the proper use of the words they used. The very fact that they so used it is evidence that such use was proper, and it should be our purpose to ascertain the meaning of the term as so used.
To the man who says that a horse is a four-footed animal and a saw is an instrument for cutting and who refuses to recognize any other definition, it is useless to try to explain the meaning of the word "saw-horse." He will probably say that "a saw is a saw and a horse is a horse, but there has never been known a saw-horse or a horse-saw."
What are the facts? we find the term "oblong square" actually used by recognized Masonic authorities and in literature, and this fact demands an explanation and justifies an attempt to ascertain what was meant by the term. It is found more than once in the literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. One illustration, easily accessible to the general reader is found in Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, second or third pages of chapter seven (according to the edition consulted). He describes the court enclosed for the tournament as "forming a space of a quarter of a mile in length and about half as broad. The form of the enclosure was an oblong square." Sir Walter Scott used the term here to describe a field whose length was twice the breadth. Unless the expression had a definite, well understood meaning at that time it is not likely that he would have so used it.
In Masonry it is frequently found in the old rituals and the early Masonic writers recognize it as a term well understood in the same sense that it is used by Sir Walter Scott quoted above.
Note the following quotations from rituals of the eighteenth century. Here is one dated 1730: "The form of a lodge is a long square." This would imply that the word "square" at that time did not necessarily mean "having equal sides." Slight differences in the wording of the ritual caused some sharp disputes between the Ancients and Moderns of this period, but they both agree in giving the form of a lodge as an "oblong square." (Rituals of 1740, 1760 and 1767 have been consulted on this point.) The old rituals also describe the drawing of "the lodge" on the floor of the room where the communication was held. This drawing was done with chalk, charcoal or clay, and after the degree was conferred the newly admitted brother was required to wash it out and mop it up. The drawing is always described as an "oblong square." It had three steps at the west end, the first called the Entered Apprentice step, the second the Fellow Craft step and the third the Master's step. Each was called the step of an oblong square. The candidate was taught to approach the East on the first, second or third step of an "oblong square" according to the degree which he was receiving.
In the April BUILDER for 1916, I advanced the opinion that at one time the word "square" meant "right-angled" and the term "a square" referred to a four-sided figure having four right angles, without regard to the proportionate length of adjacent sides. This being so it would be necessary to distinguish between a square having equal sides and one whose sides were greater than its breadth; hence the introduction of the prefixes "oblong" and "perfect." This is merely an opinion and I give it for what it is worth. In support of it I again call attention to the references given above. It is also supported by Jonson's Dictionary, published in 1765, in which the leading definition of a square is "having right angles" and he gives a quotation in which a rectangle is referred to as a "square." Take the following quotation from the King James version of the Bible: "All the doors and posts were square with the windows" (I Kings, 7:5). The word "square" here evidently means rectangular. (I use the word "rectangular" in the modern sense of having four right angles and longer in one direction than the other. The original meaning of rectangle was "having one or more right angles.")
Perhaps the derivation of the words we are considering will help us to arrive at their meaning. The word "oblong" is from "ob" meaning "before" or "facing," and "longus," meaning "long," and the original meaning of the word "oblong" was "longer than broad" and had no reference to right angles. This is still the principle definition given in the dictionary. Another definition still found in the modern dictionary is "elliptical." Neither of these definitions imply a right angle. The term "oblong," though now used to define what is commonly called a rectangle, is also frequently used to define a symmetrical figure having one principal axis longer than the others as the leaf of a tree.
The word "square" is from the Latin "ex" meaning "from" or "out of," and "quadrus," meaning "one fourth part." The original meaning of "square" was "the fourth part of a circle," as it is even now used in Masonry, or, as it is sometimes stated, "an angle of ninety degrees." Thus the word "square" would mean as Jonson defines it, "having right angles." That the word is still used in that sense, note the following definitions found in a modern unabridged dictionary: 1. A quadrilateral space marked out on a board, paper or the like. 2. A pane of glass. 3. The part of a book cover that projects beyond the edges. 4. A quadrilateral area bounded by streets. 5. An open place or area formed by the meeting of streets. 6. A park. None of these definitions necessarily imply a figure having equal sides. In fact most of these so-called squares do not have equal sides. A pane of glass called a square is usually oblong, though occasionally it is a perfect square in shape. Thus it would be perfectly proper to say of one square of glass that it is an oblong square, and of another that it is a perfect square. The squares of our cities are usually oblong Since they are longer in one direction than another. Still they are called squares, and it is perfectly proper to say "Madison is an oblong square, but Greene's is a perfect square." The intersection of streets are called squares, but occasionally one of the streets so intersecting is narrower than the other, thus making the square formed by the intersection an oblong one.
From the foregoing definitions and from the derivation of both words it would seem that these two words originally had other meanings than the ones now commonly given to them; but even if the principle meanings were unchanged, it is a fact that there have been and still are other meanings which justify the term "oblong square." It is usage that determines the meaning of words, and Masons, as part of their vocabulary, have used and still use the term "oblong square." Trades and other organizations frequently make use of a term in a sense peculiar to that trade or organization and different from the commonly accepted definition of the term. Therefore even if the term "oblong square" had no other Sanction than Masonic usage, it would be perfectly proper for Masons to use it in their own way as a Masonic term. We have many terms used in a sense peculiar to Masonry, such as "hele," "cable-tow," "Cowan." To my mind the retention of these old terms in our ritual is a proof of the antiquity of the order and illustrates how knowledge is preserved from generation in our ceremonies.
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
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A STUDY CLUB IN NEW ZEALAND
As a fellow worker in the same quarries you will be pleased to learn that I have been successful in getting the Lodge of Instruction, attached to Dunedin Lodge No. 931, E. C., established on a sounder basis. Instead of being a mere rehearsal of ceremonial it is now a study club as well, and from the enthusiasm already displayed by the members it promises to be a successful one. I have been elected Preceptor and shall do my best to inculcate the study of Freemasonry, which has to some extent been neglected in the past.
In addition to the lectures given in the Lodge of Instruction it will, I think, be possible to have lectures in the lodge itself and a Question Box is already spoken of.
Although possibly more adapted to American Masonry, I find THE BUILDER a real help in my studies of Freemasonry, and I congratulate the Society on producing a journal of such excellence and trust that nothing may interfere with the good work which is appreciated not only at home but abroad.
A. W. Oxley, New Zealand
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REVEAL MASONRY TO MASONS
Dear Brother Schoonover:
Your editorial in THE BUILDER for July must awaken a train of thought that has been slumbering in the minds of many Masons for a considerable period of time. The great question confronting the younger Masons of today is whether Masonry consists of reciting a ritual by rote or living a life guided by Masonic light. If our work is no greater than initiating candidates who shall memorize the ritual that they in turn may assist in initiations, passings and raisings, then Masonry has become a husk. If, on the other hand, our work and first thought is to make Masonic principles dynamic then Masonry becomes the golden grain. But to the greater number of Masons whom I know the work of the lodge leaves a ritualistic impression rather than an impression that stimulates moral impulses.
My own conception of Masonry is that the ritualistic teachings provide the individual Mason with a key that he is to use in opening the door of a Masonic life and practise. Yet most Masons seem to spend their lives in doing two things; first in letting their key corrode, second in polishing their key. One is the rusty Mason, the other the bright Mason. Only a few Masons ever think of using the key; yet what a wonderful door is opened and how vast the vaults of wisdom, truth and beauty that are revealed!
The exceptional Mason discovers these things by the use of the Masonic key, but how few there are who sit in the lodge and recite the ritual who realize what the use of the key has revealed to the perhaps unknown "exceptional" brother who sits with them.
It would seem to me that Masonry lost its greatest opportunity to serve humanity in the fighting period of the World War, not because any person or hostile element prevented, but because Masonry for so many years had been gilding its scabbard that, when the world's greatest need for militant Masonry came, Masonry found its blade rusted in its burnished sheath.
Masonry is still great and still capable of serving the world but until Masons know more about what Masonry really is the greatest strength will not come. The duty of all Grand Masters and of all Masters of lodges is to reveal Masonry to Masons. Failure to do so means that Masonry will lose vitality. You, sir, and other noble men have warned Masonry and challenged Masonic leadership. There are thousands of Masons who will look for the quickening of the Craft, because you and others have broken the silence and spoken for them. With You and all who would have Masonry live as a vitalizing, impulse-directing element in the lives of men, I have a great longing to see Masonry rise to an institution greater than its mechanism.
I thank you for your editorial and for the vigor with which you penned it.
Arthur C. Parker, New York.
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REVIVAL OF A DORMANT LODGE IN CHINA
The following account of the revival of a lodge in China which has been dormant for a period of forty-five years shoul be of interest to THE BUILDER readers:
RESUSCITATION OF LODGE
"ST. ANDREW IN THE FAR EAST"
With the restoration of peace and the return to normal conditions, Freemasonry in the Far East, and especially in Shang-hai, is likely to witness considerable development. There has been a movement in one or two directions for the creation of new lodges, and one of these came to fruition last night in the resuscitation of Lodge St. Andrew in the Far East, No. 493 S.C. A rule in the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland provides that a dormant lodge can be resuscitated, in the discretion of the Grand Lodge, on the application of one member.
Although Lodge St. Andrew in the Far East has been dormant for forty-five years, one original member, and a P.M., is still fortunately left in Shanghai in the person of Wor. Bro Brodie A. Clarke. About a year ago an application, backed by a petition of some twenty other brethren, for the reopening of Lodge St. Andrew in the Far East was made by Bro. Clark, and after due consideration this request was granted by the Grand Lodge and in November last a duplicate of the original charter was given into the care of Wor. Bro. J. E. Inch, who was then in Edinburgh and had had an interview with the heads of the Grand Lodge, for conveyance to Shanghai.
At a meeting of the signatories to the petition yesterday afternoon Bro. Inch handed the duplicate charter to Bro. Clarke, who then formed a lodge, which immediately proceeded to the election of officers and the arrangement of other necessary details. With the installation of the newly-elected R.W.M. and the investiture of officers, which took place in the Masonic Hall in the evening in the presence of about a hundred brethren representing all the constitutions working in Shanghai, the lodge formally came to life again. The Master-elect was Wor. Bro. J. E. Inch, and the installation ceremony was most impressively performed by Wor. Bro. S. C. Young, P.M. of Lodge Saltoun, assisted by the Past Masters of Lodges Cosmopolitan and Saltoun, the other Scottish lodges in Shanghai, the R.W.M. of Lodge Cosmopolitan, Wor. Bro. Chisholm, afterwards investing the junior officers.
Interesting speeches were delivered after the ceremony, in the course of which it was mentioned that Lodge St. Andrew in the Far East had been founded in 1869, that its original members included several of the most honoured names in the history of Shanghai, all now deceased except Wor. Bro. Brodie Clarke, and that the resuscitation of the lodge would probably soon be followed by a further development of Scottish Freemasonry in North China.
There are now three lodges working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Shanghai — Lodges Cosmopolitan, St. Andrew in the Far East, and Saltoun, with one in Chefoo, St. Andrew.
Charles S. Lobingier, China.
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THE REAL SECRET OF MASONRY MUST BE LEARNED BY INITIATION
I believe that the real secret of the Fraternity is to be found in the vital elements of the lessons of each degree, and the relations which the lessons of the different degrees bear to one another.
It must be obvious to every brother, that there is one part of each ceremony which is essentially secret, and no good can come from any discussion round this point; I mean, the methods of recognition. In every secret society there are means by which one member may know another of the same degree or grade, and these secrets are held by obligation. This, however, is far from the real secret of Freemasonry.
Apart from this, there are three really good reasons for keeping the rituals and legends of any arcane society as secret possessions. These reasons are as follows:
- The knowledge might be dangerous to an uninitiated public.
- Secrecy has been the custom and tradition from former times.
- By having some previous knowledge of the ceremony, the effect of initiation on the candidate might be reduced.
Let us consider each of these in turn. The first manifestly does not apply to any Masonic organization. In the case of a society, possessing powerful magical formulae, which would be dangerous to those who had not been taught how to use them, we can see an excellent reason for secrecy, but in Masonry, there is, happily, no ceremonial magic (notwithstanding the declamations of certain anti-Masonic publications). Our secrets are of a mystical nature, and although it may be possible to trace hermetic references in some of our ceremonies, Masonry and Magic are as poles apart.
The second reason carries, however, a great deal of weight. We are proud that our society has come dozen to us as a secret organization from the most remote antiquity. Although there may be parts and points which we are not debarred from exposing to the profane, sentimental reasons cause the proud member of a society older than the Golden Fleece or the Roman Eagle or the Order of the Garter, or, in fact any other Order in existence, to keep secret every jot and tittle by which a hint of our teachings may reach uninitiated ears. This will appeal to some, more than to others; the majority will probably hold that, as Masonry has ever been a secret science, it is our duty, as the present custodians, to hand it on as we have received it. To my mind, this is one of the strongest arguments in favour of absolute secrecy. I believe that I am right in saying that the Grand Lodge of Ireland allows none of its rituals to be printed, in cypher or otherwise, and I can only deplore the fact that the same state of affairs does not exist elsewhere. This does not, however, show us where the true secret of Freemasonry is to be found.
In my opinion, the key to the real secret of the Order is the third reason given above; that is to say, the effect on the candidate. The work of the Order is to make better men. We do this by giving them a graduated system of learning, and here I think we find the real secret. It is not the tokens or signs; it is not the positions of the officers of the lodge; it is not the thousand and one points which may arise in the wording of the ritual; but it is the lessons of the degrees in relation to each other and the method by which those lessons are conveyed to the mind of the candidate.
It is of the utmost importance that the candidate for initiation should have no previous knowledge of the lessons of the degrees; otherwise, when his time comes, he will fail to learn aright those of the Apprentice. The Entered Apprentice should have time and opportunity to learn the lessons of that degree before proceeding onwards; similarly in the case of the candidate for higher degrees. The necessity for a period for study is realized by the Grand Lodge of Italy, under whose jurisdiction an Entered Apprentice must wait for three years before passing to the Second degree, when there is a further wait of at least two years before he can be raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason.
The real secret of Masonry cannot be disclosed; it is incommunicable and can only be learned by actual initiation. I think that there is no harm in outlining some of the tenets of the Craft to the profane, neither do I consider the interpretation of Masonic symbols in the press as harmful, provided that both are done with due caution.
C. C. Adams. England.
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MASONIC TEACHINGS IN THE WORKS OF GREAT AUTHORS
Your correspondent, W.L.F., Ohio, in the July issue of THE BUILDER, asks if certain writers, among them Carlyle, were Freemasons. The following poem by Goethe is translated by Carlyle and is to be found in "Past and Present," book iii, chapter 15. From it I should judge that it is probable, very probable, that our author, as well as Goethe, was a brother. The original author calls it "Mason Lodge."
"The Mason's ways are
A type of existence,
And his persistence
Is as the days are
Of men in this world.
The future hides in it
Gladness and sorrow;
We press still thorowe,
Naught that abides is
Daunting us,— onward.
And solemn before us,
Veiled, the dark Portal,
Goal of all Mortal:
Stars silent rest o'er
Graves under us silent!
While earnest thou gazest,
Comes boding of terror,
Comes Phantasm and error,
Perplexes the bravest
With doubt and misgiving.
But heard are the Voices,—
Heard are the sages,
The world and the ages:
Choose well: your choice is
Brief and yet endless.
Here eyes do regard you
In Eternity's stillness;
Here is all fulness,
Ye brave to reward you;
Work and despair not."
E.W. Pickford, Ontario.
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522,733 ROYAL ARCH MASONS IN THE UNITED STATES
The statistics of Royal Arch Masonry as given on page 198 of the July number of THE BUILDER are incorrect as the number of Royal Arch Masons in Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania are not included; besides the statistics given are nearly two years old.
The number of Royal Arch Masons in the United States, according to the compilation of Albert K. Wilson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter of Kansas, for the year ending December 31, 1918, is 522,773.
Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
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OUR SELF-MADE WORLD
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
Whose heart is gray with dust and rue
Sees everywhere his own mildew;
That one whom selfishness hath bound
Is by that self hedged all around;
And he whom pride has overthrown
Will find his pride o'er all is grown;
While he whom sin hath claimed within,
Will see his earth rot down with sin.
By equal token, virtues eyes
Sees its own self in earth and skies.
Unto the pure all things are pure,
And to the joyful joy is sure;
Where'er we look ourselves we see,
Such is the fixed fatality;
No truth beneath this saying delves;
Our world is molded by ourselves.