A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 14 No. 10 – October 1928
CRYPTIC DEGREES AND THE SUPREME COUNCIL
Being part of a chapter in the projected Official History of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
Bro. Chas. Sumner Lobingier, Washington, D.C.
THE degree system set forth in the Mother Supreme Council's Manifesto of 1802 will repay careful study.
Besides those degrees which are in regular succession, it reads most of the Inspectors are in possession of a number of detached degrees given in different parts of the world and which they generally communicate free of expense to those brethren who are high enough to understand them; such as Select Masons of ‘27.
Whether this last was the designation of one degree only or of more than one is not here specified. Waite, who seems to have given more attention to the proper allocation of the Cryptic degrees than any other writer, tells us  that they "are a part of Adonhiramite Masonry, being concerned with the personage in question after his arrival in Jerusalem." Of the two degrees classed as Cryptic, that of Royal Master, he continues,
... in respect of its motive is almost identical with the Grand Tyler of King Solomon. It is also an integral part of Adonhiramite Masonry, and is concerned with the attainment of the Great Secret communicated to a Master Mason... The ritual which next concerns us, being that of Select Master, takes us again to the vaults, which tradition supposes to have existed immediately beneath the site of the Holy of Holies. The degree is really a variant of Masons Elect of 27, or at least it is an offshoot from the same root .
Questions involving the origin of these degrees and their relation to the Scottish Rite and to the Mother Supreme Council have occasioned much discussion in recent years. Waite  informs us that the class to which they belong "are all prior to the year 1779 and some of them considerably earlier." The earliest date assigned for their use in this country is in connection with the Charleston Lodge of Perfection which was organized in 1783.
Alluding to the recital above quoted from the Supreme Council's Manifesto of 1802, Bro. George W. Warvelle says:
This statement is the basis of the Scottish Rite claim of dominion over the Cryptic degrees, and while it is possible that among the side degrees of which "most of the Inspectors" were in possession, there might have been that of Royal Master, yet there is no proof that such was the fact. But even conceding that it may have been known to some of the members it was nevertheless individual property and the Supreme Council never officially asserted a jurisdictional right thereto until fifty years afterwards .
Bro. Warvelle could hardly have known that
The first Council of Royal and Select Masters organized in Georgia, was Adoniram Council, No. 1, of this city, for which a Dispensation was granted by the G.C. of the 33d in Charleston, in October, 1822. That Dispensation has been lost or mislaid. In 1826, our Grand Council was first organized. I was on the Committee of Correspondence who called the Convention for the purposes. 
One of the first acts of this new body was to recognize the Supreme Council by formally voting to furnish it with a copy of the Proceedings . Surely this was not only asserting, but confirming, a jurisdictional right within twenty years after the Manifesto. Under date of Feb. 7, 1825, Grand Commander Holbrook wrote to Giles F. Yates of Schenectady:
The Royal and Select Masters, as mentioned by Cross in his Chart and in the Masonic Library, were first conferred in this city about forty years ago, and the Deputy Inspectors 25th Degree (as they were then called) were empowered to give them. Brother Myers, I think, was the person who first gave them in Baltimore, where they continued for some time to flourish, but at length they become nearly dormant, when a gentleman on his return from Europe revived them with a vigor that has caused them to spread through the Eastern States. Cross received them from that source, and then he gave an authority to confer them in South Carolina, for two dollars fee, but the Select Master was garbled, and had lost a good part of the signs and words, etc. The man who was making money by so doing was glad to pay for the knowledge of the Degrees in question. The authority for conferring these Degrees Royal and Select has always been attached to the charter for Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem. But there are several Bodies of Royal Arch Masons which are chartered for these Degrees expressly .
That the Mother Supreme Council continued to assert such right is apparent from another letter  dated March 24, 1828, written by Yates, which contained the following:
Our G. Council of P. of Jr. has no formal Charter, although our Charleston friends promised to send us one, and enquired whether we wished to have authority given in the same to confer the Degrees of Royal and Select Master. We answered in the affirmative. Subsequently, however, Bro. Holbrook wrote that no formal Charter was necessary, they having regularly recognized us and confirmed our authority as a G. Council in their official communications.
It will thus be seen that, early in the nineteenth century, the Mother Supreme Council had acted officially regarding the authorization of bodies to confer the cryptic degrees. Certificates executed a year later, but avowedly based upon statements of one or more charter members of said body, then still living, point to its working of these degrees just as it had worked the Royal Arch and just as one of its sister bodies later worked that of Mark Master. On Feb. 10, 1829, Perez Snell, who, on that day, likewise received from the Mother Supreme Council letters of credence  authorizing him "to confer or to communicate..... all the detached degrees," etc., appears to have written the following certificate:
Supreme Council Chamber
10th Feby., 1829.
I hereby certify that the "detached Degrees," called Royal and Select Master, or Select Masons of 27, were regularly given by the S. Gr. L. of P., Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection 32 (No. 2 in the U.S.A.) established by Br. Isaac Da Costa, in Charleston, in February, 1783, one of the original members of which M.I., Most Illustrious Brother Moses C. Levy, is still alive and a member of it to this day, without ceasing to be so for a day.
And further that at the first establishment of the Gr. C. of P. of J., Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem in Charleston, 20th February, 1788, by the Ill. Deputy Inspector General, Joseph Myers, B. M. Spitzer and A. Forst, Br. Myers (who succeeded Br. Da Costa after his decease) deposited a certified copy of the degrees from Berlin in Prussia to be under the guidance and fostering protection of the government of the above named Grand Council of P. of J. 33.
Br. Myers shortly after this (20th February, 1788) resided sometime in Norfolk, Richmond and Baltimore previous to his removal to Europe, and he conferred or communicated a knowledge of these degrees upon a number of brethren in those cities The original copy is still in my keeping and  ......
..... Agreeably to the obligations of the same and the Grand Constitutions governing those degrees, viz., Royal and Select Masters of 27, it is correct and lawful to give them either to Sublime Masons who have arrived to the Kt. of the 9th Arch (13th) or to Companions of the 3d Arch Royal Arch Masons. 
March 15, 1830. M. H.
The foregoing  appears in Moses Holbrook's autograph ritual of the Cryptic degrees, and is initialled in his hand writing, under date of March 15, 1830. The book has been referred to by numerous writers , is now in the Supreme Council's Library, and is under my eye as I write. It may be objected that Snell here certifies to much that could not have been personally known to him; but it must be noted that he relies on Moses C. Levy, a charter member of the Lodge of Perfection then living.
In the same year when the Snell certificate appears to have been executed the South Carolina Grand Chapter had before it a circular  from the Maryland Grand Chapter asking it, with other Grand Chapters, "to take the said degree (Select Master) under your recognizance and control." The circular was referred to a committee of which Moses Holbrook was chairman and which reported as follows "upon the propriety and expediency of the different Grand Royal Arch Chapters ... assuming jurisdiction and authority over the Royal and Select Masters Degrees."
They have ascertained that the respectable brothers and companions, Dr. F. Dalcho, Dr. Isaac Auld, Dr. James Moultrie, Sr., and Moses C. Levy, Esqr., with many others received their degrees in Charleston in February, 1783, in the Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, then established in the city (Charleston), of which body three of the above named brothers are still living, venerable for their years and warm attachment to the glorious cause of Free Masonry, and highly respected and esteemed in the community where they have so long and so honorably sojourned and they are still members of the same sublime body. Your committee have further ascertained that at the original establishment of the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem in this city, on the 20th of February, 1788, by the Illustrious Brothers Joseph Myers, Barend M. Spitzer, and A. Forst, Deputy Inspectors-General from Frederick II., King of Prussia, Brother Myers then deposited in the archives of the said Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem certified copies of the said degrees from Berlin, in Prussia, which were to be under the future guidance and fostering protection of the above named presiding body. The above named three respectable brethren and companions are, and have steadily been, members and officers of the said body of Princes of Jerusalem; their evidence, therefore, must be conclusive upon these points. Your committee are informed that the above named Brother Myers, previously to his return to Europe, while pursuing his mercantile concerns, resided some time in several of the cities of Virginia and Maryland, where he communicated a knowledge of the degrees in question.
The committee further state that the Grand officers and the Sublime Council of Inspectors-General have been since 1783 steadily in the habit of conferring the degrees in question under their authority in the Southern and Western States. Your committee have seen and perused the first copy of these degrees that ever came to America, and old copies of charters that have; been returned by Councils in States where Grand Councils have been formed, and the bodies surrendering have taken other charters for conferring the degrees from such Grand Councils of Royal and Select Masters thus formed.
From these statements the Grand Royal Arch Chapter will readily perceive that these degrees have been under a regular and independent Masonic protection and authority for more than forty-six years, and that they were thus circumstanced in the United States of America at a period long antecedent to the establishment of Grand Royal Arch Chapters, or even of Chapters of Royal Arch Masons, in any part of the world. 
Bro. George W. Warvelle in commenting on this report observes:
Now Dalcho was born in 1770 and at the date in question was therefore but thirteen years of age. Nor did he come to Charleston until 1799, when he resigned his position in the army and entered into medical practice with Auld. I cite this to show how little reliance there is to be placed on this document, which, for so many years, has been quoted as practically infallible .
What he says of Dalcho is true but it is not true of all the others mentioned in the report. Moses C. Levy, e.g., was not only living at the time but was old enough to have received the Cryptic degrees in 1783; for he was married prior to 1778 . The certificate quoted above from Holbrook's copy of the ritual mentions Levy only as one of the original members of the first Charleston Lodge of Perfection and even if he alone received the Cryptic degrees in the year of its formation, it suffices to establish their priority under the Scottish Rite. On this point Pike , a great lawyer, had said, speaking of the same South Carolina report:
If we cannot believe Masons of the loftiest character and standing testifying to facts within our own knowledge, how are we to believe tradition? Which of the legends in the York Rite has testimony as good to support it? Either this testimony is true, or all Masonry is one hideous lie.
Among the degrees which Abraham Jacobs received from Moses Cohen in Jamaica in 1790 were
Knight of the East, Prince of Jerusalem, Knight of the East and West, Select Mason of Twenty-seven, Grand Maitre Ecossai ... Knight of the Rose Croix, Grand Pontiff, Grand Master ad vitam, Prussian Knights in two degrees, Knights of the Royal Axe ... Patriarch Noachite and Sovereign Knight of the Sun .
"This," observes Drummond , "is the first mention of the Select Degree that I have seen or of which I know." But he overlooks Levy and the information l which he gave to Snell.
Bro. Warvelle  contends that "the only authentic evidence respecting the early exploitation of the Select Master's Degree comes from Baltimore," and "that the true birthplace of Cryptic Masonry in this country, if not in the world, is not Charleston but Baltimore ." A further examination of his argument reveals that this "authentic evidence" consists mainly in a blank dispensation  signed by Eckel and Niles and reciting that one Henry Wilmans
.... did by and in virtue of the powers in him legally vested establish, ordain, erect and support a Grand Council of Select Masons in the City of Baltimore.
This is said to have occurred in 1792 and on March 12 of the same year we have a record  showing Wilmans as a visitor at Baltimore Union lodge, No. 21 (chartered by the Virgina Grand Lodge), in which he is described as "P.M., No. 13, Charleston." There is no lodge of that number at Charleston (now West), Virginia; but at Charleston (originally, and at that time still, called Charlestown) South Carolina, St. John's, No. 13, was a well-known lodge to which one or more Active Members of the Mother Supreme Council belonged. Wilmans, as Grand Inspector General, established a Lodge of Perfection at Baltimore and all probabilities point to his having received his degrees and authority from Deputy Inspector General Myers at Charleston. Certainly no other authority has been found for Wilmans. Bro. Warvelle admits that "where Wilmans obtained his degrees, or from what source he derived his powers, is not known ." Yet three years later we find him stating :
The primary dissemination of the degrees, in organized bodies and under constitutional authority, must be conceded to Wilmans and Eckel at Baltimore.
The italics are ours. What "constitutional authority" can one possess if the "source" from which "he derived his powers is not known?" If Wilmans had any "constitutional authority" at all it came ultimately from the Mother Supreme Council. Moreover, Niles himself is on record as declaring at this very time (1817) that:
There is reason to believe that this degree was in use long before those of Most Excellent, or Mark Master.... We have been told that a regular Chapter of the Select was held at Charleston, S.C., many years ago; but believe it has declined .
Here is a distinct acknowledgment by one who received the degree from Wilmans that the latter did not "invent" it and a suggestion of Charleston as its probable source.
A fundamental feature of Bro. Warvelle's challenge of the Scottish Rite origin of the Cryptic degrees is the claim that each originated separately and had at first no connection with each other. "If," he says , "the Charleston body would show but a doubtful title to the Select Degree it was positively without any in respect to the Royal." But Waite, who appears to have studied them more than any other writer, tells us that the Royal Master
.... in respect of its motive is almost identical with the Grand Tyler of King Solomon. It is also an integral part of Adonhiramite Masonry, and is concerned with the attainment of the Great Secret communicated to a Master Mason. ... The ritual which next concerns us, being that of Selected Master, takes us again to the vaults, which tradition supposes to have existed immediately beneath the site of the Holy of Holies. The degree is really a variant of Masons Elect of 27, or at least it is an offshoot from the same root. 
Now it is in this last phraseology that the Supreme Council enumerated the "detached degrees" in its Manifesto of 1802. There is certainly nothing in the context indicating that only one degree is referred to. So in the earlier Jacobs' patents it is recited that
we have ... initiated him in ... the Grand and Sublime degrees of Knight of the East ... Select Mason of Twenty-seven ... and further conferred on him the Sublime degrees of Knight of the Rose Croix. etc. 
This language is not inconsistent with the supposition that this "root" degree, as Waite calls it, may have included, or at least given rise to, more than one. Moreover, the report of the South Carolina Grand Chapter Committee in 1829 invariably uses the term "degrees" and specifies them as "Royal and Select Masters' degrees." The fact that the two were "exploited" separately by those whom Bro. Warvelle terms "rival peddlers" is hardly sufficient proof of separate and independent origin in the face of the fact that they were worked as part of the same system (Adonhiramite) in France.
THE CRYPTIC DEGREES IN THE NORTH
We must now return to Abraham Jacobs whom we left at Kingston where he received various degrees, including "Select Mason of 27" in 1790. From there he returned to the United States and was active in Scottish Rite work in Georgia for more than a decade.  An entry in his diary under date of April 25, 1796, recites that he "conferred the degree of Select Masons of Twenty-seven" at Savannah on Past Master James Clarck of Solomon's Lodge . From 1804 Jacobs was in New York conferring degrees and establishing bodies  and we find the following entries in his diary :
January 19th, 1806. Received an application from Brother Thomas Lownds, a Royal Arch Mason, requesting to receive the Sublime degrees, in expectation of establishing the orders in this city, conferred on him the degrees of Secret and Perfect Master.
February 2d. Intimate Secretary and Provost and Judge Thomas Lownds.
Further entries disclose that Lownds received more degrees during August, 1808, in which year Jacobs was also conferring the degree of Select Masons of Twenty-seven , and again in October and November, 1809, and that of Knight of the Sun on the 3rd of the latter month , on which date also a Council of Princes of Jerusalem was established by the newly invested brethren, with the approval of Deputy Inspector Tardy, and notice  thereof was forwarded, under date of Nov. 14, to Grand Commander Mitchell of the Mother Supreme Council. Under date of Nov. 6, the new body issued a charter  for Aurora Grata Lodge of Perfection, a preliminary meeting for which had been held in the month previous.  In all these movements Lownds appears to have been a prominent figure, his name being first on the list of those present at the preliminary meeting. Less than two years later we find him occupying a similar position in the meeting which organized Columbian Grand Council of Royal Master Masons, and he continued to be its Master for nearly a decade.  Bro. Warvelle thinks that "in all probability it (the degree of Royal Master) was fabricated by Lownds and his associates." But why resort to the theory of fabrication when Lownds had been working for a considerable time with one who possessed, and was authorized to confer, the Companion degree of Select Master? As is well said by Past Grand High Priest Hunt , this theory of invention by Lownds
... is a mere assumption and seems unlikely in view of the fact that Lownds made no claim to exclusive control of the degree, also, while Columbian Council refused to admit those who had received the degree in a clandestine way, it from the first recognized and received several who had received it elsewhere. This would indicate that it did not claim exclusive jurisdiction over the degree and that there was a legitimate and an illegitimate way to acquire it.
Bro. Warvelle  characterizes Jeremy L. Cross as "the great Apostle of the (Cryptic) Rite" and his patent , signed by Eckel and approved by Niles, as "the first authentic grant of power in connection with this (Select) degree that has thus far been discovered." But what about the Jacobs' patent of twenty-seven years earlier which authorized its recipient "to initiate brethren and constitute lodges"? Its terms were broader and it was issued by an Inspector General of the Rite which claimed authority over this degree, while neither Eckel nor Niles produced their authority and if they had any it seems to have come through Wilmans from the Mother Supreme Council. Cross was made an Inspector General by that Council about seven years after he received the Eckel-Niles' patent, and while he claimed authority under the latter  he could have claimed it equally in the former capacity . Thus, wherever we find one of Bro. Warvelle's alleged "inventors" or "exploiters" we find also a connection, either proved or highly probable, with the Mother Supreme Council, and all signs point to it as the source of their authority. Indeed, no other Masonic body in the United States appears to have acted independently in connection with these degrees until the Maryland Grand Chapter, in 1817, declared that its subordinate chapters "shall have (sic) power to open and hold Chapters of Select Masters and confer the degree of Select Master Mason ." On the face of it this was pure usurpation; no authority was even pretended and when the question came before the General Grand Chapter it was explicitly declared that it
and the governing bodies of Royal Arch Masonry, affiliated with, and holding jurisdiction under it, had no rightful jurisdiction or control over the Degrees of Royal and Select Master .
Bro. Warvelle seems to consider that both Supreme Councils in the United States were slow and infrequent in exercising their authority over these degrees, though he refers to the Mother Supreme Council's assertion of such authority in the Manifesto which was almost coincident with its inauguration. That document, it will be remembered, refers to these "detached degrees" as those which the "Inspectors ... generally communicate." Now John Barkers whom Bro. Warvelle recognizes as active in the dissemination of Cryptic Masonry "some time during the twenties ," was an Inspector, i.e., an Active Member of the Supreme Council as early as 1823 . and Bro. Warvelle is strangely mistaken in thinking that "he had no authority from either the Southern or Northern Supreme Councils." We have a reprint  of a blank patent issued to him and signed by all the other Active Members for use in conferring degrees and while the portion specifying what the degrees were has not been preserved, we may infer that it was not less extensive than those specified in one issued under date of Feb. 10, 1829, to Perez Snell which expressly authorized him "to confer or communicate ... all the detached degrees usually given by the authority of the Supreme Council ." Barker, himself, had on May 20, 1827, granted such a document to Snell expressly authorizing him "to confer the degrees of Royal Master and Select Master," and signed it as "Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d degree and General Agent of the Supreme Council ." So on Sept. 6 of the same year Barker issued a warrant  for a Council of Royal and Select Masters at Louisville, Kentucky, signing it in the same manner and in the following month he opened such a Council at Cincinnati "agreeably to the powers vested in him by the Supreme Council ." So Mackey wrote, after he had been Secretary-General for about six years:
There are many old Masons now living in the Southern and Western, as well as the Northern, States who received them (the Cryptic Degrees) from Bro. Barker the accredited agent of the Supreme Council.
And in the same connection that eminent writer and Scottish Rite authority adds:
... And, indeed, we think we may safely say, as the report we have cited plainly implies, that the Subordinate Councils now existing in the South and West, were originally organized by Royal and Select Masons who had received their degrees from and owed their allegiance to the Supreme Council at Charleston. Much documentary evidence might be cited to prove that the original possession and jurisdiction of these degrees were wholly vested in the Supreme Council .
When that body came to establish its various Councils of Princes of Jerusalem, they were specifically empowered "to confer the degrees of Royal and Select Master," as in the charter  of the New Orleans Council in 1829, and that of Natchez, Mississippi , in 1830. Writing in 1871 Albert Pike declared:
Every Grand Council in the Union, except those of Massachusetts and Maine, owe their being, in whole or in part, and nearly all of them wholly, to the Supreme Council, and the Massachusetts Councils were either wholly illegal and illegitimate, because self-constituted, or owe their being to the Southern Supreme Council through Connecticut by the way of New York, or directly by the instrumentality of Jeremy L. Cross .
Bro. Hunt  shows that of the thirty-five Grand Councils of Royal and Select Masters now in existence, at least four-sevenths "were organized by Councils chartered, either directly or indirectly, by the Southern (Mother) Supreme Council." Moreover the Scottish Rite authorities in both jurisdictions have consistently pressed the claims of their respective Supreme Councils and especially that of the Mother Supreme Council as the source of these degrees. Following the activities of Dr. Holbrook in the third decade of the nineteenth century, Mackey  reasserted it in 1848 and 1850, and in the latter year the Northern Supreme Council formally asserted its claim to these degrees as a part of its heritage from the parent body . The latter, in its first compilation of laws, withheld from the Consistory the right to grant charters to "Councils of Royal and Select Masters, which must always receive their charters from the Supreme Council or from a Grand Council organized by consent of the Supreme Council." It also prescribed a fee of $25 for chartering a "Council of Royal and Select Masters," and a tax of fifty cents on each member thereof . In its next compilation it enacted that:
The Supreme Council shall have jurisdiction over the Councils of Royal and Select Masters in every State where no Grand Councils of those degrees has been established; and such Councils shall make their returns, and pay their tax to the Supreme Council .
When Pike took over the rituals of the Mother Supreme Council for revision he found among them, and copied , those of the Cryptic degrees; and in 1868 he wrote:
As to the Council degrees, or what is lately called "Cryptic Masonry," they are originally side degrees of our Rite which one could have or not as he pleased .
McClenachan, a distinguished member of the Northern Supreme Council, wrote in the same year:
The Royal and Select Masters' Degrees were side or detached degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In the Southern States of the Union, the Supreme Council initiated, chartered, and fostered Councils of Royal and Select Masters, and as rapidly as they were self-sustaining, they become independent .
Such likewise has been the position taken by such eminent dignitaries and writers of the Cryptic Rite as Drummond , Robertson,  Grand Recorder Davis of the South Carolina Grand Council , and Past Grand High Priest Hunt of Iowa . Meanwhile, however, in 1852, a committee of the Illinois Grand Chapter, avowedly uninformed, reported  that
...these (Cryptic) Degrees seem to be under the control of three jurisdictions —
- State Grand Councils.
- The Grand Council of the 33d.
- State Grand Chapters.
The latter acquired their always-doubtful title from the General Grand Chapter that Body repudiates them. As to the second, your committee are aware that the 33d is composed of worthy, eminent, and substantial Masons; but from whence they derive their exclusive authority, your committee do not know.
It was to this passage and to the South Carolina Grand Chapter report that Albert Pike referred when, as chairman of the Arkansas Grand Chapter Committee on Masonic Law and Usage, he asked:
... that and all other Grand Chapters, whether they have any more authentic information as to any one single fact of Masonic history or tradition, than we have quoted, as to the jurisdiction over the Council degrees belonging of right to the Supreme Councils. 
- Waite: The Secret Tradition of Freemasonry, I, pp. 158, 159. In the New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. I, p. 5, he says:
Adonhiramite Masonry itself as the name of a specific system arose in France. It has been referred to Baron Tschoudy and alternatively to Louis Guillemain de SaintVictor. From the Grades of Royal and Select Master it follows as we have seen that it enters also into Cryptic Masonry, about the symbolical importance of which in connection with the Holy Royal Arch, I hold strong views and on occasion have expressed them strongly.↩
- Secret Tradition, I, pp. 163, 165. ↩
- New Encyc., II, p. 381. ↩
- Warvelle: Genesis of the Degree of Royal Master Mason, p. 6. ↩
- Letter of Wm. T. Gould, G.H.P. of Ga., reprinted, Florida Grand Chapter Proc. 1849, pp. 35, 36. ↩
- Proceedings, 1826, p. 6. ↩
- Reprinted, Off. Bull., IX, p. 252. ↩
- Reprinted Off. Bull., X, p. 212. ↩
- Reprinted Trans. 1857-1866 (reprint), pp. 19, 20. ↩
- Note by the transcriber (Bro. W. L. Boyden): "The italics and explanations in brackets are those of the transcriber." ↩
- Folger, though hostile to the Mother Supreme Council, states that the Cryptic Degrees were "conferred in Rhode Island by Myers in 1781." Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, p. 128. ↩
- For photostat copy of original see The New Age, Vol. xxxv, p. 315. ↩
- See Pike's Rep. to Ark. Gr. Chap. Proc., 1853, App. 7, where he says that G.H.P. (and Gr. Com.) John H. Honour, in his address to the S. Car. Gr. Chap. in Feb., 1853, quoted the same certificate. Robertson, The Cryptic Rite (Toronto, 1888), pp. 17, 18, also quotes from it. Other certificates of similar import are the following, copies of which have been furnished me by Bro. C. C. Hunt, Librarian of the Iowa Masonic Library:
New Orleans, La., Thursday, June 12, 1856.
To all whom it may concern: Greeting:
I hereby certify in my official capacity as Deputy Inspector General of the 33d degree for the Southern District of the United States of America, that our well beloved Companion I. E. Elliott is in possession of a literal and exact copy of the Royal and Select Masters degrees, brought from Berlin, Prussia by the Illustrious Deputy Inspector General Joseph Myers in the year A.D. 1783, and afterwards conferred in due and ancient form, by the Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, No. 2 in Charletson, S. C., United States of America, and subsequently by the legitimate Councils of Royal and Select Masters throughout the United States.
In Testimony Whereof: I hereby affix my official signature as Deputy Inspector General of the 33d Degree, on this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six and in the year of Masonry five thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
(Signature) PEREZ SNELL,
R. K∴K∴S∴P∴R∴S∴ Deputy Inspector General of 33d Degree for the Southern District of the United States of America.
I hereby certify that I am personally acquainted with Deputy Grand Inspector Snell whose signature is above written, and that the aforesaid signature is genuine and authentic having been written in my presence, this twelfth day of June A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
I further certify that I have carefully examined both the original degrees above referred to, and compared them with the copy in possession of Past Master J. E. Elliott and hereby announce the Copy perfectly in accordanee with the aforesaid degrees as brought from Berlin in Prussia in 1783 by Deputy Inspector General Jos. Myers.
(Signature) W. P. COLEMAN,
R. K∴K∴S∴P∴R∴S∴P∴ of J, Grand Commander Jacques de Molay Encampment No. 2 and W.M. of Dudley Lodge No. 66 of the City of New Orleans, La.
New Orleans La. June 12th. 1856)↩
- Maryland Grand Chapter Proc., 1827, pp. 16, 17. ↩
- S. Car. Gr. Chap. Proc., 1829, reprinted S. Car. Gr. Council Proc. 1909, p. 23. ↩
- Gr. Coun. Proc. 1901, xxv. ↩
- New Age, Vol. xxxv p. 143. ↩
- Report of the Committee on Masonic Law and Usage, Ark. Grand Chapter Proc. (Little Rock, 1853), App. 8. ↩
- Patent, reprinted by Folger, op. cit., App. p. 77. ↩
- Robertson, op. cit., p. 25. ↩
- A Review of Cryptic Masonry (Chicago, 1895). ↩
- The Cryptic Rite (Chicago, 1892), p. 10. ↩
- Schultz, History of Freemasonry in Maryland (Baltimore 1884), pp. 340-342. ↩
- Original returns, furnished by James N. Clift, Grand Sec'y, Virginia Grand Lodge. ↩
- Warvelle, op. cit., p. 10. ↩
- Review of Cryptic Masonry, p. 6. ↩
- Coil's Freemasons' Library and General Ahiman Rezon (Baltimore, 1817), p. 221, attributed to Niles. ↩
- Warvelle: Cryptic Rite, pp. 11, 12. ↩
- Waite, Secret Tradition, I, pp. 163, 165. ↩
- Reprinted in Folger, op. cit., App. 77. ↩
- Ibid, pp. 83 101. ↩
- lb., p. 89. ↩
- Ib., pp. 102 110. ↩
- Reprinted, lb., p. 102. ↩
- Ib. p. 110 ↩
- Ib. pp. 103, 106. ↩
- Ib., pp. 108 110. ↩
- Reprinted, Brockaway. One Hundred Years of Aurora Grata (Brooklyn, 1908), pp. 8, 9. ↩
- Ib., pp. 3 5 ↩
- See its records (Portland, 1876), p. 3 et seq. ↩
- Cryptic Masonry (Iowa Grand Council Proc., 1923, xliv)
Robertson says, Op. cit., p. 28:
He received the Ineffable and other degrees from Jacobs, and it is quite likely that he received from him also the Select Degree.↩
- Historical Notes, Illinois Grand Council Proc., 1901, p. 25. ↩
- Reprinted, Voice of Masonry (Chicago, 1863), I, pp. 329, 330; Schultz, Op. cit., I, p. 338; THE BUILDER Vi, p. 64. ↩
- See his Charter to the Richmond Councii. Virginia Grand Chapter Proc., 1848, p. 18. ↩
- Pike: off. Bull. I, p. 398. Mackey says, Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany:
The (Cryptic) degrees were entirely conferred by Inspectors General whose authority for so doing was derived from a patent granted by the Supreme Council of the 33d.↩
- Maryland Grand Chapter Proc., 1817, p. 5. ↩
- General Grand Chapter Proc., 1853 (reprint), p. 255. ↩
- Ill. Grand Council Proc., 1901, App. xxv. ↩
- Off. Bull., vii, p. 313. ↩
- Ib. ix, 547 ↩
- Trans., 1857 1866 (Reprint), pp. 19, 20. ↩
- Supreme Council Library, M 265, Pocket 1, Document 12. ↩
- Off. Bull. Sup. Coun., x, p. 762. ↩
- See its By-laws, 1836, p. 3. ↩
- Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany, I, p. 43. ↩
- Supreme Council Library, M-265, Pocket 1, Document 15. ↩
- Ib., M-265, Pocket 1, Document 17. ↩
- Off. Bull. Sup. Coun., 1, 399. ↩
- Ia. Grand Coun. Proc., xlv-xlvii, where the jurisdictions are set out. Cf. Lee, History of Cryptic Masonry, Conn. Gr. Coun. Proc., 1872, pp. 328-338; Hatch, Jurisdiction of Royal and Select Master's Degree, Masonic Review, Vol. v, p. 193. ↩
- Royal and Select Master's Degrees, Freemasons' Mapazine, viii, p. 9, Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany, I, p. 41. ↩
- Proc. Northern Sup. Council (reprint), Portland, 1876, pp. 45, 46, 205, 212, 214, 216; 217, where, after a recital of the history of these degrees the following appears:
This Supreme Grand Council, therefore, as in duty bound, protests against this invasion of its rights and prerogatives, and further declares and makes known, that the said degrees of Royal and Select Master, from their nature or character, the history they develop and the circumstances upon which founded, cannot, except in an anachronistic and improper manner, be conferred disconneeted from the "Ineffable degree" and "Lodge of Perfection" (fourteenth degree), and that said degrees belong not only characteristically and historically, but legitimately, to "Ineffable Masons" and "Lodges of Perfection," and do not appertain and cannot consistently and lawfully be made an aPpendage to any Masonic system except said "Sublime system," nor to any Rite except said "Ancient and Accepted Rite."
Bro. Warvelle (Genesis of the Degree of Royal Master Mason, 1893 p. 7). says of this body that "from its organization until 1844 it was practically dormant and it was not until 1860 that its present career of activity commenced." This would seem sufficient to explain any delay in assessing its authonty.↩
- Revised Statutes, 1855, Articles, vi-viii. ↩
- Grand Constitutions, 1866, Art. xxi. ↩
- MS. Ritual, p. 376. ↩
- Letter to Gouley, Trans., 1868, p. 193. ↩
- The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (N.Y. 1868), p. 21. ↩
- Robertson, Op. cit., Chap. v. ↩
- Ib., Chap. iii. ↩
- A Century of Cryptic Masonry, etc., S. Car. Gr. Chapter Proc., 1909, pp. 21-26. ↩
- Cryptic Masonry, Iowa Gr. Council Proc., 1923, pp. xxxviii xlvii. ↩
- Proc., 1852, p. 92. ↩
- Ark. Grand Chapter Proc., 1853, p. 8, App. ↩
* * *
MORE ABOUT STEPHEN MORIN
By Bro. Cyrus Field Willard, California
IT is curious how various bits of news about Stephen Morin are struggling to the surface, to show his high standing in the Grand Orient de France.
Thory, Clavel, Rebold, Gould, and Rebold's recent successor, Lantoine, seem entirely ignorant of the high rank that Stephen Morin enjoyed among the dignitaries of the Grand Orient, such as the Duc de Luxembourg, the Duc d'Orleans, Bacon de la Chevalerie, Savalette des Langes, Dr. Guillotin and many others, whose names were signed on certificates with his of which I have given photostatic copies in other publications.
This high rank he would not have enjoyed had he been a Jew, as the detractors of the Scottish Rite have always alleged he was. It is well to bear in mind that the Jews of France were not accorded full civil rights until after the Revolution of 1789 and hence a Jew could not have signed the documents he did and associated with the peoples he did.
In the March number of the Masonic Digest last year I reproduced a Masonic certificate or patent to Bro. Noel from the Grand Orient de France, which Bro. Robert I. Clegg had framed and hung over the doorway of his office, because it bore the signature of Dr. Guillotin, the originator of la guillotine, by which he did not die, according to modern historical research. On close examination it showed among the signatures of those above mentioned and in the names of the members of the Chambre de Paris, the name "Morin" signed in the same manner as he signed his name as Master of the Lodge, La Parfaite Union, at Port au Prince, San Domingo, on the patent of Ossonde Verriere, a planter of that Island, which Sachse says in his Ancient Scottish Rite Documents is now in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Sachse also said it was the oldest Scottish Rite document in America, but I have shown in another article, entitled A New Masonic Find, in the Masonic Digest for September and October, 1926, that the oldest Scottish Rite document was the certificate in French issued to Michel Morel Domeny by the Scottish Lodge La Parfaite Union, at New York in May, 1764, which document is now in the possession of Ossian Lang, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of New York. This document is signed by one who calls himself a "Past Scottish Master" and also "Knight of the East." Strange to say it also bears the signature of George Harison, the Provincial Grand Master under the Grand Lodge of England, Moderns; and this lodge was organized by him in 1760, which was considered incredible by Bro. W. Wonnacott at first, because it was not on the lists of the Grand Lodge of England and it was necessary to send on to him copies of the documents in question.
Bro. Ossian Lang is of the opinion, since my discovery, that Stephen Morin was a member of the French Protestant family of Morins that came from the Protestant city of La Rochelle in France and settled in New York in 1691 and became members of the French Protestant Church of Saint Esprit, that this French Lodge, La Parfaite Union of New York was the Mother Lodge of Stephen Morin. He said hundreds had ransacked the list of members of lodges in France without ever being able to find the Mother Lodge of Stephen Morin. It was my privilege to show, that in all probability, the Lodge La Parfaite Union of Port au Prince that gave the patent to Ossonde Verriere and which is signed by Morin, was the same Lodge La Parfaite Union of New York which Stephen Morin had carried from New York to Port au Prince as Moses M. Hays carried his lodge from New York to Newport. Especially so since in the Verriere Patent, Morin says he is acting by the powers conferred on him by Washington Shirley, Earl Ferrers, Grand Master of England, who was the superior officer under whom George Harison was acting.
It puzzled Sachse how it could be that Stephen Morin claimed to be acting under the authority of the Grand Master of England, when his well known patent, at which Lantoine sniffs in disdain, says he is only acting under the authority of the Grand Lodge of France and the Supreme Councils of Prince Masons of France.
The puzzle which Sachse could not unravel is plain, if we accept the fact which seems clear, that Stephen Morin transferred the French Lodge La Parfaite Union from New York (where George Harison, Provincial Grand Master under Earl Ferrers, had signed the Domeny certificate) to Port au Prince, with the consent and approval of the Grand Master of the Moderns, which he would have to have in order to do this, and transplant it to a jurisdiction over which France ruled. We know that the Lodge La Parfaite Harmonie, a St. John's Lodge, which Morin was authorized by his patent to organize under the authority of the Grand Lodge of France, was actually organized, for an endorsement of that Lodge is inscribed on the Verriere Patent. But Stephen Morin was also Master of the Lodge La Parfaite Union, and acting under the power and authority of the Grand Master of England, Earl Ferrers, for he so states in his patent to Verriere which is signed by himself; and this of course he would be, if he were a member of a lodge founded in New York by George Harison under Earl Ferrers, Grand Master.
Now come additional facts about Stephen Morin.
In A History of Lodge No. 61, F. & A. M., Wilkesbarre, Pa., by Oscar J. Harvey, on page 181 et seq., which was at my request loaned to me by Bro. Wm. L. Boyden, Librarian of the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, who first noticed it, we find a long account of the manner in which the author of that book discovered "An Old Masonic Charter" and which, divorced from much prolixity, is as follows:
While engaged in historical researches a few months since, I discovered an interesting document, ancient but well preserved though discolored and marked by the hand of Time.
It appears on its face to be a Warrant or Charter granted by the highest Masonic authority in France to a number of brethren in the Island of St. Domingo, constituting them a Lodge by the title of Chosen Brethren and bearing date of "the 3rd day of the 3rd week of the 5th month in the year of Light, 5774 Annoque Domini 1774." It is printed on a sheet of parchment from an elaborately and artistically engraved plate, 18x19 inches in size. It runs as follows:
A LA GLOIRE DU GRAND ARCHITECT DE L'UNIVERS.
Sous Les Auspices et Au Nom Du Serenissime Grand Maitre.
LE GRAND ORIENT DE FRANCE A Tous Les Macons Reguliers.
UNION FORCE SALUT
Sur la demande presentee le premier jour de la premiere semaine du cinquieme mois de l'An de la vraie lumiere Cinq mil Sept cent soixante et quatorze. par les freres composant la Loge des "Freres Choisis" a Orient du Fond des Negres, Isle de St. Dominique, a l'effet d'Obtenir du GRAND ORIENT DE FRANCE des Constitutions pour leur Loge sous le dit titre:
Vu la decision de la Chambre des Provinces du sixieme jour de la seconde Semaine du cinquieme mois de la presente annee,
Nous avons constituees et constituons a perpetuite par ces presentes a Orient du Fond des Negres, Isle St. Dominique, une loge de St. Jean sous le titre distinctif des Freres Choisis, pour la dite Loge... a se livrer aux travaux de l'Art Royal a la charge par ... de se conformer exactement aux Statuts et reglements faits et a faire en notre Grand Orient et etre inscritge sur le tableau des loges regulieres de France a la date du troizieme jour dela seconde Semaine du troizieme mois de l'An de la vraie lumiere Cinq mil Sept cent soixante et treize, Epoque des Constitutions que le Grand Orient ... regularisant les travaux de cette loge a l'epoque du vingt-neuvieme jour du troizieme mois, 5774.
EN FOI de quoi nous luy avons delivre ces presentes qui ont ete expediee au Grand Orient de France et scellees des Sceaux et Timbre de l'Ordre, Signees par nous et contresignere par notre Secretaire-General le troisieme jour de la troisieme Semaine du cinquieme mois de l'An de la vraie lumiere Cinq mil Sept cent soixante et quatorze.
There are three places where words have been obliterated and are shown blank accordingly. The translation following is by the present writer. It begins with the ascription:
TO THE GLORY OF THE GRAND ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE
Under the Auspices and in the Name of the Most Serene Grand Master (1).
THE GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE To All Regular Masons
Union Strength Health
Upon the request presented the first day of the first week of the fifth month (2) of the year of the True Light, Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-four by the Brothers composing the lodge of the Chosen Brethren at the Orient of Fond des Negres Island of St. Domingo, for the purpose of obtaining from the GRAND ORIENT Constitutions for their Lodge under the above-named title:
Considering the decision of the Chamber of the Provinces on the sixth day of the fifth month of the present year:
We have constituted and do constitute by these Presents unto perpetuity, at the Orient of Fond des Negres, Island of St. Domingo, a lodge of St. John under the distinctive title of Chosen Brethren for the said Lodge ... to devote himself (or itself) to the works of the Royal Art upon the condition that ... of conforming himself (or itself) exactly to the Statutes and regulations made and to be made in our GRAND ORIENT and to be inscribed upon the list of regular Lodges of France at the date of the third day of the second week of the third month of the year of the True Light, Five Thousand Seven hundred and seventy-three (3), Epoch of the Constitutions that the GRAND ORIENT ... regularizing the work of this lodge from the twenty-ninth day of the third month, 5774.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF we have delivered to him (or it (4)) the Presents which have been forwarded to the GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE to be sealed and stamped with the Seals and Stamp of the Order. Signed by us and countersigned by our SecretaryGeneral the third day of the third week of the fifth month (5), of the year of True Light Five Thousand Seven hundred and seventy-four.
The author of the History of Lodge No. 61 then goes on to say:
The Warrant is signed by Le Duc de Luxembourg Grand Master, "Le Baron de Toussaint," Secretaire General and by the members of three Boards or Councils, denominated Chambre d'Administration, Chambre de Paris and Chambre des Provinces. [Note that this was shown on the photostatic reproduction of the Noel Certificate.] Among the signatures of the last named Council is that of the celebrated Dr. Guillotin, the reputed inventor of the guillotine. The Warrant also bears a certificate of registry. En La Chambre De Paris, signed by S. Morin, Secretaire
This shows without doubt that Stephen Morin, or Etienne Morin as it would have been, had he been a Frenchman instead of an American, was the Secretary of the Chambre de Paris of the Grand Orient de France in 1774, inasmuch as we have here the testimony of a reputable witness that he had seen his signature to that effect.
There is a footnote by Bro. Harvey at the bottom of page 183 which reads:
Stephen Morin was a Jew who in 1761 was appointed by the "Grand Lodge and Sovereign Grand Council" which convened at Paris, as Grand Inspector to establish in every part of the world, the Perfect and Sublime Masonry. He proceeded to the Island of St. Domingo where he resided for a number of years and executed his delegated authority for propagating the hauts grades throughout the New World personally and by deputation Thus the island of St. Domingo is of Special interest to Free Masons as having been the first home in the Western Hemisphere of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the Source of Sublime Free Masonry in America.
The author of the History of Lodge No. 61 also gives a very long and prolix account of the capture by the U.S.S. "Trumbull" of Connecticut, during the hostilities between France and the United States (1799-1800) of the French vessel La Vengeance (6) which was taken to Norwich, Conn., Sept. 13, 1800, and sold as a prize of war on Oct. 29, 1800.
Among the prisoners sent to Norwich was a Lieutenant named Jean Pierre Boyer, a native of Port au Prince where he was born in 1776. In his possession at the time of his capture were found a complete set of regalia and jewels of a Masonic Lodge, and a variety of Masonic documents in French, such as forms for admission to the Fraternity, catechisms of the various degrees, from E.A. up to Perfect Master, communications from the Grand Orient at Paris and the Warrant or Charter above referred to, which was, at the time when the History was published, in the possession of Bro. Harvey.
He goes on to say that Jean Pierre Boyer became President of the Haytian Republic at Port au Prince in 1818 and in 1820 became President of the Republic of Hayti, which then comprised the whole island, and continued as such until 1842 when a violent insurrection overthrew his power and compelled him to fly. He died at Paris in 1850. Colonel Eliphalet Bulkeley of Norwich, and New London, Conn., retained the "Boyer" charter in his possession until a short time before his death in 1816 (after he had removed to Wilkes-Barre in 1807) when he transferred it to Hon. David Scott, P.M., of Wilkes-Barre Lodge. The Warrant remained in Bro. Scott's possession until his death in 1839, when it passed into the hands of his daughter, Mrs. Marietta Watson. With her it remained for nearly forty-four years (1883) so Bro. Harvey relates, and on her death it was presented to Bro. Oscar Jewell Harvey, the author of the History of Lodge No. 61 (7).
Bro. Harvey was Worshipful Master of this lodge in 1879 and published his book in 1897. Bro. Boyden in looking over this book for information ran across the reference to Stephen Morin which in due time came to the attention of the writer who has endeavored to ascertain by writing to the Secretary of this Lodge where the Charter is now.
The main point, however, is that this Charter or Warrant establishes the fact that Stephen Morin was not the unknown Jew that the detractors of the Scottish Rite have endeavored to prove him to be in order to create a narrow prejudice against him and the Rite.
It is strange that the French writers and especially those who have claimed to be historians, have never been able to bring out these facts. It is probably due to the fact that they did not want to do so, any more than Gould did. Gould must have known Morin's position in the Grand Orient, as will be shown by later quotations from his writings, but he allowed his prejudices to overcome his judgment.
In the Encyclopedia Britannica, under the heading "Morin" we find the following:
Jean Morin, the most learned Catholic theologian of his age and one of the founders of Biblical criticism, was born in 1591 at Blois. His History of the Deliverance of the Christian Church (1630) brought him into trouble and gave great offense at Rome while his Declaration (1654) was strictly suppressed. His great work on penance gave equal offense to the Jesuits and to Port Royal.
This shows a family eminent in the Roman Church, and also perhaps why his family later became Protestants. There was nothing Jewish about this family.
The records of baptisms, marriages and deaths in the Protestant French Church, Saint Esprit, in New York, as furnished to me by its present minister, show that the Morin who settled in New York in 1691, shortly after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes had driven the best blood of France to foreign shores, was the Son of a merchant of La Rochelle, the city that so bravely withstood the siege of the Catholic forces.
It is certain that Stephen Morin who, Rebold says in his Histoire des Trois Grandes Lopes under 1803, was an American, could not have held the position of Secretary of the Chambre de Paris of the Grand Orient of France, among so many of the nobility, had he not also been of good French family.
The French are now endeavoring to create an historical school in Masonry, but they seem to know very little about the history of the Grand Orient of France by virtue of authentic documents, nor of Stephen Morin's connection with it, which eventually led to the planting of the seed of the Scottish Rite in America, which in the United States alone has 600,000 members or more than ten times the membership of the Grand Orient of France today.
Gould, in dealing with Freemasonry in France, says in the third volume of his History (8):
Rebold suffered under the same defect [i.e. blinded by hatred of high degrees] combined with a prejudice against the Grand Orient. (p. 392).
On June 15, 1771 the Grand Master, the Count de Clermont, died. (p. 401).
In the first place it will be well to call the names of the exiled brethren, among whom are Daubertin Morin and Labady. (p. 402).
In this year  the faction (or Grand Lodge) headed by Lacorne and Jonville, held a joint meeting with the Emperors [of the East and West, governing body of the Rite of Perfection predecessor of the Scottish Rite] which resulted in the grant to Morin of his famous patent.
1765. At the next election, it would appear ... that the Emperors had secured all the offices. This gave rise to violent debates and recriminations both in Lodge and in print.... As a consequence the most violent were banished....Among the exiles may be mentioned Daubertin, the former secretary of the Emperors. (p. 400).
Daubertin signed Morin's Patent as Secretary of the Grand Lodge and as Grand Secretary also of the Sublime Council of Prince Masons in France (9).
1771. The exiles were re-admitted and received with open arms and the kiss of peace ... Oct. 17. Circular of Grand Lodge announcing past events and calling upon the Lodges in the Provinces to appoint deputies.... It gives a list of the Grand Officers [among whom were] Daubertin, Sec.Gen.Labady, Sec. for the Provinces; Maurin [or Morin] Asst. Sec. for the Provinces.... (p. 403).
A committee of definition was appointed consisting of Buzeneois, B[acon] de la Chevalerie, Chev. Champeau, R. de Begnieourt, De Bauelas, Morin, Toussainct (10), De Lalande and Bruneteau, the four latter being Paris Masters. (p. 406).
The first of the four latter is Morin, who must therefore have been the Master of a Parisian Lodge. It is well to note on this Committee the names of Counts, Barons, Chevaliers and others whose name began with "de", the mark of French nobility, and with whom Stephen Morin was associating in 1773 on terms of perfect equality, which he could not have done had he been a Jew. As Americans we care nothing about such matters except as they may be historical indices.
1773.... Buzencois being on the point of leaving Paris was replaced by Lamarque l'Americain of St. Domingo. (p. 406).
This shows there was a lodge in St. Domingo in that year, perhaps the Freres Choisis or perhaps La Parfaite Harmonie.
A commission consisting of Bacon de la Chevalerie, Count Strogonoff and Baron Toussainet was appointed to revise and examine all the high degrees. (p. 410).
The signature of Bacon de la Chevalerie is on the Clegg certificate to Noel, with that of Morin, as a member of the Chamber of Paris.
1776. The Grand Orient replaced the former committee to inquire into the high grade, by Guillotin, Savalette des Langes Morin. De la Ghaussee and De Lalande. (p. 411).
Dr. Guillotin's signature is on the Clegg certificate and also on the charter cited by Harvey in his History of Lodge No. 61. Savalette des Langes has his signature on the Clegg certificate. He was the head of the Philalethes that the Baron de Gleichen speaks of in his Souvenirs, and one of the greatest aristocrats in France. De Lalande was the founder of the celebrated "Nine Sisters" Lodge and head of the Observatory, while Brest de la Chaussee was one of those who signed Morin's Patent in 1761, fifteen years previously. Yet this shows Morin by the fact of his being appointed on this Committee to revise the high grades, as associating with the men of the nobility, which he could not have done had he been a Jew.
The Grand Master was Philip, Duke of Orleans, a close relative to the King of France, and his Deputy was the Duke of Montmorency-Luxembourg, persons with whom a Jew could not have associated at that time, as the Jews did not win full civil status until 1792, or sixteen years later. But Morin is shown as being appointed by the presiding officer, the Duke of Luxembourg, probably, as he did all the work, on the committee, to examine into and revise the higher degrees. Gould recites these facts and suspiciously remains quiet about it, although he must have known who Morin was. De Lalande as stated was the founder in 1776, the same year, of the "Nine Sisters" Lodge which became so celebrated, and among whose members were Benjamin Franklin and John Paul Jones, two celebrated Americans like Morin, Vernet and Greuze, celebrated painters, Lacepede, director of the Jardin des Plantes, Helvetius, and later, Voltaire. As a member of the same committee of the Grand Lodge with De Lalande, it is more than possible that Stephen Morin, who was an American sea-captain, sat in lodge with Benjamin Franklin and John Paul Jones, with whom he had many things in common.
Samuel Oppenheim, the very careful author of Jews and Masonry Before 1810, has assured the writer that Stephen Morin was not a Jew, but was a sea-captain who was captured on one of his voyages to the West Indies by a British vessel in 1777. This would explain why we hear nothing further about him until the American Revolution was over.
We see by the Moyer charter, as related by the author of the History of Lodge No. 61, that he, S. Morin, was the Secretary of the Chambre de Paris of the Grand Orient of France in 1774, and a man of considerable prominence in French Masonry.
Why does Gould not show this fact plainly (10)?
Gradually, piece by piece, we are beginning to learn more about him and the part he played in French and American Masonry. If we had some organized Lodge of Research in America working on this matter instead of one lone individual we would make greater progress in placing before the world the true history of Stephen Morin who was responsible for the two great organizations of the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions of the Scottish Rite in the United States, whose combined membership as previously stated is now in excess of 600,000.
It was Stephen Morin who appointed Henry Andrew Francken, who in turn appointed Moses M. Hays who appointed Isaac Da Costa, who organized the body in Charleston from which ultimately developed the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, Mother Council of the world. It is from this Mother Council that all other Supreme Councils of the world have originated.
It is for this reason that any scrap of information about Stephen Morin is of great importance.
(1) This was the Duke of Chartres, later the Duke of Orleans.
(2) March was the first month, hence this was Aug. 1, 1774.
(3) This would be May 10, 1773.
(4) Who or what lay was, was evidently told in the places obliterated.
(5) July 17, 1774.
(6) This was not the frigate La Vengeance which was defeated in an engagement with the U.S. Frigate Constellation (commanded by Commodore Truxton) in Feb. 1800. The French frigate made her escape owing to the Constellation's mainmast having been shot away. The vessel spoken of here was a trading Schooner, pierced for ten guns, but actually only carrying eight four-pounders. The Trumbull was a sloop of war of eighteen twelve pounder guns. The frigate La Vengeance carried fifty-four guns.
(7) At the time this lodge was organized, 1794, the Pennsylvania lodges were known only by their numbers, and had no distinctive names. They were all lodges of St. John.
(8) Gould; History of Freemasonry, Yorston edition, Vol. iii, chapter xxv.
(9) See the transcript given by Gould, Ibid. p. 380.
(10) His signature as Baron de Toussainct is on the Boyer Charter.
(11) [Gould does not pretend to do more than attempt to reconcile the very conflicting accounts of Thory, Von Nettlebladt Kloss, Rebold, Jouast and Daruty in a very condensed narrative. He points out the particular bias under which each of the more important of the authors labored, estimating Kloss as most trustworthy, although he followed Jouast, "the next best," because Kloss is "too detailed for his purpose." It thus seems that Gould has disclaimed having made any original research, but depended on making the best of the existing accounts of this most troubled and obscure period of the history of Freemasonry in France. See Gould. Op. cit. chapter xxv. pages 391-392. Ed.]
* * *
THE CHARITABLE WORK OF THE ORDER OF ST. JOHN
ONE of the problems of the small town is the relief of members of the community who for any reason, sickness, accident, loss of employment, etc., become a charge upon the people of the city or town. Another problem is the proper handling of similar cases who drift into the town and are found to be without means to live or to get to some other place. In these days of cheap automobiles and cross-country tourists who give free transportation to such indigent "hikers," the latter have become a real problem to many towns located upon transcontinental highways.
Most towns have all that they can do, and more, to care for their own, without the added burden of providing for the needs of transient strangers. In the case of old people the problem is simple, provided the county has a home for them, but there are many localities which have made no such provision. In some arrangements are made to board aged persons in private homes, which is seldom a satisfactory method of care. Other counties make no pretense of caring and their custom in the handling of such cases is to ship them to the nearest large city with a railroad ticket and a small amount of money. This plan of unloading these cases is entirely satisfactory to officials and tax-payers for it saves them the continued cost of care for the old.
The same method is often followed in the care of the sick, especially chronic cases like tuberculosis, or any other disease which is not acute and if the patient is able to be moved. Comparatively few localities have made any provision for hospital care of their sick, except counties which have a large city or center of population within their boundaries. Many states have no provision for the hospital care of acute cases and many lack hospitals for chronic cases, except the insane. Where provision exists for the care of the tuberculous, frequently it is limited to the first and second stages and no provision is made for the advanced cases, which from the standpoint of infection of others are the most dangerous.
So the men, women and children who become sick in any small community and whose illness lasts for some time must be cared for in their own home if they are fortunate enough to have one. If for any reason the patients are homeless then perhaps a relative, friend, or neighbor will take care of them. In any event the patients do not have the best chance because home treatment, save in exceptional cases, does not offer the same hope of recovery as hospital care. Thousands of lives have been lost in America because of the lack of hospitals in the rural communities, supported in whole, or in part, by public taxation, so that sick persons can secure care and treatment, even if financially unable to pay for same.
This is true of accident cases and their recovery in direct proportion to the promptness, intelligence and thoroughness of the care which they receive. Our large and increasing army of cripples, from which is recruited the army of beggars, is often due to the lack of adequate hospital care immediately following accidents.
What can the small town do for the survivors of the sick and injured who die as the result of lack of care? A widow with small children is in a hard way in a small town. Not that the people are unsympathetic, quite the contrary, but they as a rule can only give temporary relief with money secured by "passing a list". The help given usually consists of providing for the immediate needs of food, clothing and shelter and then sending or shipping the family to relatives, friends, or to the nearest large city where there are institutions and organizations for the care of the indigent and homeless.
This relief work is undertaken as a voluntary act by goodhearted people who have been in contact with the family. The ladies of a church, the members of a lodge, or some interested group. In comparatively few places is there an organization prepared to function with some funds on hand, and with knowledge of state, county, city, or private charitable institutions and organizations which might be able to lend a helping hand in handling each particular case according to its needs. In the larger communities there are organizations known as Associated Charities, or United Charities, which fill this need, but in few places are they adequately financed to handle all of the cases which come before them, both resident and non-resident, in the course of the year.
In the Western country, the problem of relief is far greater than in the more thickly settled parts of the country because of the migration of both sick and well. It is not unusual for a broken-down Ford to bring in a family with a number of small children, and no funds, no gas, perhaps a bad tire, or some mechanical trouble that may result in the family becoming a more or less permanent addition to the population. In such cases it is far cheaper to provide for their immediate needs, especially such as may be necessary to get them as far as the next town. But provision for the care of citizens is sadly lacking. Thousands of babies come into the world, and many mothers leave it at the same time, without the attendance of a doctor. In many parts of the country where the city, town or county cannot provide hospital care for expectant mothers it would seem to be the duty of the state to do so and since women have the ballot, it is strange they do not demand it. It is a strange fact, but true in most of America, that the unmarried mother usually receives better care in some institution than a beloved wife. why the women's organizations do not take cognizance of this and work for hospital care of all mothersto-be is also one of the strange facts of American life.
The whole problem of relief of unemployment, of poverty, sickness and distress, no matter what its cause, nor where it is met, is due to the lack of constructive institutional planning. There are many thousands of organizations in America, but comparatively few are devoted to the constructive charitable work. Healthy, prosperous people do not need such organizations and usually are little interested in them. In times of great calamity they liberally respond to any appeal, but they never think of the million or more people in this country who, at all times, need some form of assistance to tide them over an unforeseen emergency of life. There may be another million, mentally or physically sick, or crippled, who need permanent care.
There are two groups of our population to whom the foregoing does not apply in its entirety. They are our Jewish and Catholic brethren. The Jews come nearer to adequately meeting the problem of relief of their own people than any other group in America and the Catholics are next in the performance of this duty. Both groups help to some extent in caring for others in addition to their own. The Protestant group does not meet its obligations completely, though it is also true that Protestants have contributed millions of dollars for the building of Catholic institutions, and there is a vast number outside of these three groups who have no claim upon any but public charity, or the limited private charities and institutions of the larger cities and towns.
No one agency can hope to meet all the needs and it can only be met by each group doing its utmost to provide for those of its own household. Every state, city, country and town must do its full part to meet the apparently increasing burden of indigence The limitation of immigration will, in time, help to lessen the load, provided the bars are not lifted again to flood us with people who came in during the past twenty-five years, and who have cost us billions of dollars, both in care and treatment in eleemosynary institutions and in our penitentiaries, in addition to the cost of crime. The open door to Mexico is bringing in thousands of others who will be a liability for many years. The beautiful ideal of America as the "melting pot" of the nations of the world has cost Americans billions of dollars and we have found but little of value to us coming from it. Much of the poverty and crime, with the lowering of our national and American standards, is due to the unlimited immigration of the past few decades.
If the three great groups into which America has previously been divided, namely the Jews, the Catholics, and the Protestants, are to progress on anything like the same plane, then Protestantism must unite and its first duty is the care of those of its own household. We have taken much pride in our "campaigns" to save the people of other foreign countries, many of whom have no ideals, or whose ideals are in direct conflict with ours. These millions sent abroad would have built hundreds of hospitals in America and would have saved thousands of American lives, including the lives of many American mothers. This money, properly handled, would have put thousands of American families on their feet in a financial sense and made them self-sustaining. We hear much of "farm relief" during these campaign days, and much of the farmer's troubles are due to his trying to start and operate a business without sufficient capital or are due to his ignorance of handling business. There should be plenty of money available in America to supply his needs and to teach him business methods. The city man gets his benefit of every public institution supported by public taxation, if and when he needs it. The farmer gets little, or none.
The Jewish and Catholic groups render efficient service to their own because they are organized. Protestantism is not. In the very large cities a few of the great denominations have built and successfully operate denominational hospitals. In the smaller places, where no one denomination is strong enough to build and operate a hospital, attempts have been made to combine several, or all Protestant, denominations and to build a Protestant hospital, but these efforts seldom are successfully carried through. Local differences are usually responsible. The same has been found true in some cities where an effort has been made to build a Masonic hospital because of a failure upon the part of the Masonic bodies to agree on plans for financing and operation.
For these reasons the Order of St. John has come into being in the effort to provide an agency through which Protestants, and Masons, may unite for service to the sick and needy. Through the organization of Priories in the large places a hospital may be built which will serve not only Protestants, but others who may seek its doors. Such hospitals must, of course, charge for service until such time as they can give it to those in need. In the planning of the work of St. John in every state Priories must be so located as to make hospitals available for the people of every section of the state.
It is, perhaps, looking a long way into the future to be discussing the time when the Order of St. John will be maintaining hospitals of its own. It is well known that most hospitals do a great amount of charitable work. The patients who pay their way through their doors cannot be expected to yield sufficient profit to care for all of the charitable cases handled. For the surplus revenue needed these organizations depend upon endowments, charity campaigns, and like sources. A great many, perhaps all, hospitals have their financial worries. Funds are not available to take care of all the charity work that comes to their doors. There is an opportunity here for the Order of St. John. It can begin its charitable work within a comparatively short time of its conception in a community. Select some hospital, endow a bed, a ward, or a floor, if the necessary funds are forthcoming, and specify that this endowment is to be used only for the care of charity patients. Any hospital will look with favor upon such an endowment, and the small sum of $500 or $1,000 will be sufficient to enable a local Preceptory of the Order of St. John to point with pride to what it has accomplished.
St. John will also function in the care of the sick and needy of the smaller places and aid in the solution of that vexing problem. The Preceptory, organized and operating in small towns, may become the organized charity society or Community Fund of the town. Through its membership fees and dues, funds collected for special relief and through benefits, a charity fund can be built up to adequately care for legitimate cases of distress. Through the knowledge of the work of institutions and organizations in the larger cities and throughout the state, the Preceptory can secure necessary institutional care for some of its charges. By exchange of information, which will be developed in time, impostors can be detected and put to work for the county. While this, nor any other one organization, can hope to meet all calls for aid, St. John can do a great work in caring for some of its own group who may need help.
The Preceptory can also help in the establishment and operation of a St. John's Hospital in the nearest large center of population and will benefit by being able to secure hospital care for the sick of its own town in the nearest city. This should include the care of maternity cases to give both babies and mothers their best chance for survival.
Any few interested persons in any town may organize a Preceptory of the Order of St. John. It will speedily increase in numbers and influence as its objects and work become known. It will combine in one large and strong group the people who want to help the other fellow to help himself and who want to help him before he needs real help, so that a little aid given at the proper time may save a larger need at a later date.
The combination of a number of Preceptory groups will make the Priory and through their united action a hospital may be established that will serve them all at any time of need. A hospital is like the fire department. You hope that you will never need it, but when you do, you want it quick and you cannot wait for it to be built.
Correspondence is invited from those who are interested in the work of the Order of St. John as outlined by this and previous issues of THE BUILDER.
* * *
THE DEGREES OF MASONRY; THEIR ORIGIN AND HISTORY
Bros. A. L. Kress and R. J. Meekren
HUGHAN had definitely left the Scottish evidence out of consideration, though, as Speth remarks, it "would at first sight have told greatly in his favor," that is if read in the light of Lyon's interpretation of it. Without this presupposition one would be inclined to say that on their face the old Scottish records shout aloud on almost every page that two degrees existed from the first.
Speth alludes also to the "Masters Lodges" which appeared in London (and elsewhere, even in America) about 1730, and persisted, in name at least, all through the eighteenth century. Later on they consisted merely of the members of a warranted lodge assembled as a lodge of masters, but at the beginning they were separate entities, composed of the members of a number of other lodges, who were masters of course, and that such lodges worked only the master's degree, and worked for the ordinary lodges which for some reason could not, or at least did not, do it for themselves. (1)
In an Appendix to the paper some remarks are offered on the nature of this original second degree. The long note in the first Book of Constitutions on Hiram Abif is adduced, and Speth says that the first mention of a name or fact cannot be co-incident with, but must be posterior to, its introduction. Hughan of course replied that this did not affect the question, as he held that the three degrees were in existence when the Constitutions were first published. But the curious fact remains that the name in this form appeared in Coverdale's translation of the Bible, and its immediate successors, all of which were so thoroughly suppressed that they are exceedingly rare. Why should inventors of the 18th century have gone behind the Authorized Version for the name of their hero? However, this point was not raised in the discussion.
In conclusion Speth's theory may be thus summarized. In the Operative period the Apprentice was "made" a Mason by some ceremony of a secret character, and received certain signs and words and so on for recognition. At the end of his servitude, his passing into the ranks of free craftsmen, Masters of the Art and fellows of the Fraternity, was celebrated by another secret ceremony, in which further signs and words and so on were communicated, and that this ceremony contained the essentials of the present third degree. Then that during the "mainly speculative" period it became habitual to work both of the ceremonies at the same time, so that the "making" became merely an adjunct or preliminary to receiving gentlemen and others as Fellows. And that finally, owing to unknown causes and influences, the first "part" was divided and two degrees made out of it, producing our present system, the title Fellowcraft being given to this interpolated double of the first degree. Hughan's theory agreed with this origin of the second degree, though it is not made quite clear if he agreed with Mackey that this doublet was the first step, and the third a final addition, or whether (as would be equally possible on his premises) that the materials of the present Master Mason degree were ancient, or whether they were, as Oliver thought in his later years, and Pike and Mackey after him, merely manufactured out of whole cloth, in the years immediately succeeding the formation of Grand Lodge, by Desaguliers, Payne, or some other individual whose name has not come down to us.
In dealing with Speth's paper we have incidentally dealt with the objections raised in the discussion, especially by Hughan and Lane. There does not seem anything more of importance left to consider in what was said by these two eminent brothers. Some others who joined in the discussion call for remark, as though brief, fresh views were advanced. The Master of the Lodge, Sydney Klein, suggested a theory something like that of Mackey — Speth said of it that in trying to prove Hughan and himself both right he would in fact prove them both wrong. He supposed that in the 11th or 12th century, during the great period of mediaeval building, there would be a greatly increased demand for masons, and that in order to train new men, an apprentice degree was "thrown off downwards." This would be in order to bind the young men who were being taught the trade not to desert those who had taught them, i.e., their masters. Later, in the 17th century, at the time of the rebuilding of London after the "Great Fire," a great stimulation of activity in the Craft resulted, and that then, or shortly afterwards in the 18th century, the present third degree was separated, or thrown off upwards, from the one that had previously been the second, and which in the earliest times had been the only one. And so finally the Royal Arch, some twenty years or so later still, was again thrown off upward from the third degree, which till then had contained all the essentials of both. This puts a great deal on the supposed second degree of the pre-Grand Lodge era, but if there were only one ceremony of initiation at the start, this does seem to be the most plausible supposition.
J. Ramsden Riley agreed with Speth that there were two degrees before 1717, but seemed inclined to think that the second was something in the nature of a qualification for office as Warden or Master of a lodge and he added:
The third degree, as we now have it, is of sufficiently later date to be considered outside the degrees question.
This position would have been much strengthened had the Chetwode Crawley MS. then been known, for that on its face seems to describe in some detail just such a second degree as he supposes. On the other hand, Riley agrees with the "one degree" supporters, by holding the present third to have been a late invention, with little or nothing in it derived from tradition.
The Rev. Canon Horsley supported Speth's supposition of the amalgamation of the original two operative degrees in the early English lodges of Mainly Speculative membership, by an analogy drawn from the Catholic Church, in the sense, of course, in which that is understood by the Church of England. His illustration was drawn from the two traditional ceremonies of Baptism and Confirmation. The first of which is an initiation into membership, the second an entering into all the privileges of communion. These ceremonies are now, in the Anglican Communion at least, generally widely separated — Baptism being usual in infancy, and Confirmation delayed till years of something like discretion. But there have been times when both were performed at the same time, and there is nothing to prevent this being done in the Anglican Communion in the case of one baptised in later life. He might also have added another example from ordination. It is true that in the English Church a Candidate for Holy Orders is made to serve as a deacon for a short time before being made a priest, but in effect the order of deacons does not exist, any more than does the degree of Entered Apprentice in Masonry, for the Candidate normally remains such for the shortest possible period. In the Eastern Church the diaconate is a permanent order, as every church has to have a deacon to serve it as well as a priest; it is not merely a step to the higher order.
Edward Conder, Jr., the author of the well-known work on the Mason's Company of London, agreed with Speth that master meant, or could mean, master of the craft, and not necessarily an employer or master of the work, and that only such masters (of the craft) could become fellows, and he quoted as example the following from the records of the London Company:
Reed of Thomas Taylor ye late Apprentice of Thomas Stanley, made free ye third day of July 1634 by way of gratuitie to this house XXs. for his admission then to be a Master IIIs. IIId. for his entrance VId.
Total XXIIIs. Xd.
But he said he was unable to accept the theory that any great secrets of the Craft, beyond the necessary sign and perhaps word, were impacted to the newly passed master.
He went on to say that it was only in there being two forms of the Mason Word in use that a Fellow could be certainly distinguished from a runaway Apprentice, but that he could not agree to there being "an extra ceremony for those who joined the fellowship," and that he thought the conditions of the period of the opening of the 18th century, the prevalence of Clubs of all kinds, the need to interest men of higher intellectual attainments, accounted for a complete transformation of the character of the traditional ceremonies, and the addition of such features as made them real initiations, and that
... as time went on the protaplasmic germ of mysticism which is in every society where secrecy is observed gradually developed and became a real factor under the guidance of such men as Anderson, Desaguliers and Martin ffolkes.
It would almost appear that he had misunderstood Speth to suppose one form or ceremony for the mastership, followed by another for the fellowship; but this impression is probably due to an unfortunate choice of expression. In any case it would seem, though he said he held to the two degree theory, that he was nearer Hughan than Speth. For he scarcely allows the possibility of sufficient ceremonial to be called an initiation to the second grade, while Hughan was willing to grant not only the possibility but even the probability of the private communication of a pass word to the newly admitted fellow.
John Yarker, the author of Arcane Schools, also supported Speth on the point that master originally meant master of the craft, and was what the apprentice became after serving his time. He made another remark which is very much to the point in considering the arguments on the other side.
The fact is we know nothing of ceremonies from minutes either Scotch or English, and we have no right to expect to know anything
Dr. Chetwode Crawley, while professing to be unable to make up his mind, quoted the historian Hallam; who said of a certain question, "A strong conviction either way is not attainable on the evidence."
But though he could not make up his mind, yet he delivered a shrewd blow at the whole structure of Hughan's argument. He said that the latter might seem to be capable of being reduced to syllogistic form, such as this;
There is direct evidence of a Degree (or secret ceremony)
There is no direct evidence of a second Degree (or secret ceremony)
There never was more than one Degree.
This as he said is obviously not a syllogism but a sophism, it requires some other premises, such as:
The only evidence to be admitted is direct evidence or
The indirect evidence adduced is irrevelant or insufficient or
No Degree (or secret ceremony) can have existed unless we have direct evidence of it.
Really, as has been pointed out, the direct evidence for any secret ceremony is scanty and ambiguous. But on this question of evidence, and the proper limits of hypothesis and the employment of assumptions and inferences, something more will have to be said later.
One American brother, W. H. Upton, intervened in the discussion in a letter that was almost an article in itself. He valiantly espoused the traditional belief in the antiquity of three degrees as separate and distinct entities. First stating his conviction that the Haughfoot minute alone established the fact that in Scotland in 1702, there was a plurality of ceremonies with corresponding secrets, he sets out to state his own theory. This is that the apprentice received a charge, he quotes the Alnwick rule that has been already referred to [Ante, page 174] that any Mason who took an apprentice was to enter him within one year and give him his charge, and this charge he believes was not the series of articles preceded by the "Legend of the Craft" contained in the old Constitutions, but the set of articles that appears only in a few of the latest copies of these MSS., and is there called the Apprentice Charges. This he thinks would have been suitable to his years and situation. But at Alnwick, where working stone-masons "entered" their apprentices long after the Grand Lodge had been formed, the copy of the charges used — it was used, for it was written into the first pages of the record book — has not got the Apprentice charges. Nevertheless, it is possible that in some places the apprentice was informed of the "history" of the Craft, and then caused to promise to observe the "charges general," and, where they had been adopted, the Apprentice Charges also. And that at the end of his time on being made free, he received once more the "Charges General" and the "Charges Singular" for Masters and Fellows. The repetition causes no difficulty, for they are addressed not only to the entrants but to all present.
Upton then went on to say that after seven years the
.... Apprentice was released from his indentures whether a good workman or not. If unskillful he probably nevertheless called himself a master of his trade, but became a layer or rough mason and perhaps joined the guild masons.
This antithesis between the Freemason and Gild Masons is one of those elusive fancies that cannot be exploded because there is never any tangible evidence offered in support of it. The Freemasons were Gild Masons where there was a gild. In Scotland many of the old lodges exercised all the functions of a gild. There was no difference in Craftsmanship between the two, and though in the 16th century (and still more in the 17th) we may assume the existence of working Masons, members of gilds or companies, who were not Freemasons, that was only due to the decay of the Operative Fraternity. The suggestion, too, that only a comparatively small group of apprentices became skilled Craftsmen seems very strange. It is as a matter of fact impossible for the average youth to work continuously for seven years at a handicraft and not be proficient at the end. If he was too incapable for this, he would have been so obviously deficient that he would never have been accepted in the first place. However this is not an essential feature of Upton's theory. He supposes, in agreement with Lyon and Hughan, that apprentices were present during the "passing" of the Fellowcraft, but that the latter received certain reserved secrets, such as a word whispered in the ear, or something of that sort. At this time he supposes the Legend of the Craft was read and the oath taken to keep the articles of the Charges. Here there seems a curious inconsistency; it was inappropriate that the apprentice should receive this charge when entered, as being beyond his capacity, yet he had to be present when the fellow received it! The Third Degree he considers to have been the same thing as the installation of the Master of the lodge, which has persisted in America as the Past Master's Degree. This installation ceremony appeared as a "Postscript" in the first Book of Constitutions, and, though only guardedly hinted at, there was obviously some secret ceremonial attached to it. Though, on the other hand, there is nothing to show that this was something restricted only to installed Masters. Still it is possible that there is more in this suggestion than might at first appear.
Upton expressed belief, however, in the antiquity of the Legend of the Builder. He had just referred to the passage in the Cooke MS. referring to the charge to be given to those "tht be mad masters" and their examination in the "articuls aftr writen," and says:
Whether it was on this occasion, or what I have called the second degree, that the lesson connected with the widow's son was unfolded I do not venture to say.
And he sums up as follows:
When our "work" was revised, about 1723, in my opinion the Apprentice Charge was eliminated; a large part of what had been the second degree was thrown into the first; an operative lecture was put in the second degree as a graceful tribute to the past; the legend of the builder either remained in, or was transferred from the second to the third degree; and as all Fellows were henceforth to be "virtual" and not "actual" masters the "secrets of the chair" were detached from the third ceremony and reserved, as before, for actual Masters, in the old sense of that term [i.e., Masters of the lodges]; and finally, that nothing essential was taken from or added to "the body of Masonry" at that time.
This is very ingenious, but it seems very complicated, and it presupposes conscious, deliberate "ritual tinkering" on the lines of an American Grand Lodge Committee on Work, with all the modern American conception of the supreme authority of such bodies to do whatever they may choose. It is not a process that could have come about naturally, by development; it implies a thorough shuffling of the pack and a new deal! Finally the Grand Lodge, in 1722, when it authorized the new Constitutions, did not supersede the old custom of reading the Charges to the Apprentice, for it was directed that the new version of them in the printed Constitutions was "to be read at the making of new Brethren," which at that time certainly meant initiating "Entered Apprentices."
(1) Lane, A.Q.C. I, 167.
* * *
We build no Pyramid to lift its height
In futile pride above the bones of Kings,
To publish some great Pharaoh's martial might,
Or shame the vanity of earthly things.
We raise no Monument of graven stones
To mark the spot where some great Battle raged,
Where Nation spoke to Nation in the tones
Of iron hate by crimson hate assuaged.
No pillared Hall of Justice build we here,
Nor Marble Fane, nor House of Narrow Faith;
But firm and strong these Fortress walls we rear
To buttress out the ghastly Hordes of Death,
The Death that rides triumphant on the breeze,
That taints the crystal goblet ere we drink,
That brings the strong man trembling to his knees,
And hurls its gasping victim oer the brink.
We build a Knightly Hold along whose halls
The white-clad Hosts of Healing come and go;
And from the crest of battlemented walls,
Where struggling Science marks her ancient foe.
We give our Red Cross banner to the breeze,
Where all the stricken myriads can see;
And in the face of many-fanged Disease
We hurl the gauntlet of the strong and free.
We ask not much; if in the passing throng
There be a few that bless our labor, then
We'll thank our God that we have builded strong
And sent them forth as better, nobler men.
If we be judged as we have lived and wrought,
We'll ask no grudging praise, nor sordid gold.
But only to fulfill the lesson taught
By Him who healed the suffering ones of old.
— Edward A. Mount, Jr., '94 (The Alcalde).
* * *
NOTES ON FREEMASONRY IN EUROPE
Communicated by Bro. E. Rammelmeyer, Utah
AT present the state of affairs in Germany remind one almost of the Anti-Masonic period in America; Masons are dragged into politics, although through no desire of their own. There are abnormal conditions, with many people out of work, and the political parties are looking for a scape-goat for all these ills.
The "Center" (Catholic) party, the largest bloc in the Reichstag, together with the so-called Völkisch parties are accusing the Freemasons of an international compact with the former enemies of Germany, preaching reproach and calumny of the worst kind against German Freemasonry, which forces the latter to defend themselves with the truth.
These political parties cite the irregular Grand Lodge, "The Rising Sun," the Grand Master of which met the representatives of the French Grand Lodges at Bale, Switzerland, at a Masonic gathering, supposedly as representing German Freemasonry; but without any shadow of right to do so, as all the regular German Grand Lodges had forbidden their members to attend.
Die Deutsche Adels Genossenschaft, an association of the German nobility, in their official organ, the Deutsche Adels Blatt, assail the German Grand Lodges as a medium of international Judaism, and it forbids all its members to join the Masonic Order. It seems strange to note that since the war this society of the Prussian and German nobility in all its branches has a predominating membership of Catholics and their affiliated Jesuits. They inaugurated an intensive propaganda against Masonry, chiefly in pamphlet form for popular consumption, seeking to make it appear contemptible. The official organ of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes (the oldest, and largest in membership) replied to these venomous defamations as follows:
German Freemasonry stands aloof from confessional contention. At the cradle of Freemasonry stood the thought of Tolerance, and to this thought the Germanic lodge life, and German Freemasonry has been sincere up to the present time. The three old Prussian Grand Lodges, with their more than 57,000 members, represent the Christian principle, and take as members Christians only we admit that the other German Grand Lodges, with about 23,500 members, have indeed some non-Christians among them, but their numbers in these so-called humanitarism lodges are insignificant; and if they put Humanism in the foreground, they do it nevertheless with an enlightened Christian perception. Who is it disturbs, under these conditions, the harmony of the creeds? German Freemasonry unites and takes into its fold Christians of all confessions, who by the understanding of the religious opinion of others bring themselves closer together, and encourage Tolerance towards their fellow menall of which is contrary to the desires of the leaders of the Catholic Church, and of the Jesuits, who are perverting and opposing the thought of Tolerance completely, by striving everywhere to separate their adherents from other denominations; and always with the deliberate aim to strengthen the power of the Catholic Church. Which is working more for the betterment of the country? German Freemasonry, seeking for unity and harmony, or the Catholic Church with its policy of division and strife?
General Ludendorff, Chief of the Staff during the war, is also very antagonistic, with the vituperation, and the silliness and absurdities in his recent pamphlet, Annihilation of Freemasonry Through Disclosures of Their Secrets. This eighty-two page production is read extensively by the gullible members of the public, chiefly because it is written and published by a distinguished man.
Some of the assertions of this pathological individual are mentioned here briefly:
- That Freemasonry is a cosmopolitan society controlled by Jews.
- That the Jewish order B'nai Brith was acknowledged by the German Grand Lodges as a regularly accepted and constituted Grand Lodge.
- That Freemasonry is the avant garde to bring all nations under the yoke of the Jews, depriving the people of their liberties.
- That a Cabalistic Rabbi is a lecturer in the German Christian Grand Lodges in the higher degrees.
- That the Thirty-third degree system is flourishing among the German Freemasons, but more especially the Cabalistic Order of the Kadosh, etc.
- That Emperor William and Nicolas of Russia lost their thrones because they did not belong to the Order.
Although he is bitter against the Jesuits he nevertheless makes use of their writings against Masonry. The Grand Masters of the nine Grand Lodges have taken concerted action to counteract this insidious affront.
Besides these attacks to which German Freemasonry under the present condition is subjected, another is to be noted which comes from a very unusual direction. Two Presbyters (D.D.) of the Protestant Synod have been assailing the Craft in lectures and in Church periodicals, stating among other things that Masonic tenets would lead men away from the Church, and that it was a serious question whether Masons would be able to stand before the tribunal of Christ without fault, and so on. To this the Right Honorable National Grand Master of the largest and oldest Grand Lodge made reply, writing to both of them, saying among other things:
That in Berlin there are over forty Protestant ministers who are officers in their respective lodges, and many others throughout Germany, who are either Masters or officers in their respective lodges and are also Protestant ministers, from all the various theological and Church political strata. They certainly do not deny Christianity in the lodge room, which is entirely of Christian character.
Then he went on to say:
In no wise do we feel that we are put before the tribunal of Christ — but only before the tribunal of misinformed ministers and we deny to them the right to pass judgment upon us. The verdict thereon and how we will appear before the tribunal of Christ is not of your choosing, but of Christ himself, and this is a matter we, as Freemasons, have to settle solely with our Christian consciousness.
Both ministers replied in a conciliatory manner to the Grand Master, who happens to be a dignitary in the church, and pastor of one of the prominent churches in Berlin. To this we may well apply as an addendum the pithy words of Bacon:
It is certain that heresies and Schisms are of all others, the great Scandals. Nothing doth so much keep men out of the Church, and drive men out of the Church, as breach of unity.
Against which we have the Masonic doctrine wherein all good, unprejudiced men can agree.
There is also some contention between the Christian and the so-called Humanitarian Grand Lodges. The latter are mixed in respect to the religion of their membership. There is dispute also concerning the application of this or that ritual, which at times rises to the surface with some ebullition in the various Masonic publications of the two systems; but this is only a matter of local opinion, and both systems follow the old landmarks with heart and mind.
The German Masonic publications are full of articles treating of philosophic, historic and religious issues and questions. They are written chiefly by brethren with an academic education, who are an important factor in all the St. John's lodges. Besides this Masonic events from other countries are recorded for the benefit of the inquisitive brother. The many books and pamphlets published yearly by individual brethren treating various Masonic topics may be mentioned here also, many of them are distinguished by intellectual depth and are of great value and interest.
The rapprochment between the German Grand Lodges and the Grand Orient of France and the Grand Lodge of France at Paris for an agreement and reconciliation has not made much headway, as is disclosed by the correspondence. The following is a summary, taken from the Mitteilungen, the official monthly journal of the Grand Lodge of Saxony, with a circular letter to the Saxon lodges, dated
Dresden, March 10, 1927.
With reference to the correspondence of Feb. 16, 1927, between the French Grand Masters, Messrs. Brenier and Doignon, and Br. Ries, the Grand Master of the Eclectic Grand Lodge at Frankfurt, the following statement came to me for your information.
G. Anders, Grand Master.
The statement mentioned is translated as follows:
The authorized representatives of the French Freemason organizations, the Grand Orient of France and the Grand Lodge of France, expressed a desire for a conference in regard to Masonic questions with a representative of a German Grand Lodge. They addressed a communication for this end to the Grand Master of the Eclectic Grand Lodge at Frankfurt — that Grand Lodge which in the years 1905-1908 had made the proposition to the German Lodge Union to take up the question of entering into Masonic intercourse with the French Grand Lodges.
The Grand Master of the Eclectic Grand Lodge welcomed this proposal for a meeting, and subsequently informed the German Grand Masters of its contents by letter, and left it to their discretion to be present at the discussions. On Feb. 16. 1927, Bro. Brenier, President of the Council of the Order for the Grand Orient, and Bro. Diognon, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, went into conference with Bro. Ries, the Grand Master of the Eclectic Grand Lodge. After greeting the representatives of the French Grand Lodges, Bro. Ries gave a brief resume of the character and condition of the German Grand Lodges. The French Grand Masters replied that they would completely forget the past in an endeavor to accomplish a rapprochment, for which the French Grand Lodges have repeatedly expressed their desire in various resolutions.
Bro. Ries asked the following questions:
Q. Does French Freemasonry recognize all the rights which are inherent in and incumbent on all free people, for the German people as well as others; and if so, whether the German people have the right to work in a peaceful way for a revision of S. 231 of the Versailles Treaty, in which Germany is charged with the sole guilt and being the instigator of the World War?
A. This question being of a political nature has never been considered by French Freemasonry. We will gladly submit it to our associate councellors; but the answer remains with our Convents. the Grand Lodge Parliaments.
Q. Is French Freemasonry of the opinion that there will be difficulty in a rapprochment should the French troops occupy German territory for years to come?
A. We work daily to have the French troops withdrawn from German territory. We support, in this, the policy of Briand.
Q. Are the French Grand Lodges prepared to prove their brotherly disposition by obtaining the return of Masonic property, such as libraries, matriculations, archives, souvenirs, pictures, furniture, etc., which belonged to the German lodges in Alsace-Lorraine, and which should be given back to the respective lodges?
A. We beg to receive a list of these lodges and of the desired articles. The French Grand Lodges will take an interest in this and do whatever can be done.
The Mitteilungen says in regard to the above:
In the Eclectic Journal (Bundesblatt) the Grand Master of the Eclectic Grand Lodge, Bro. Ludwig Ries, gives an explanation in reference to the meeting between Brethren of his Grand Lodge and the Grand Masters of the French Grand Lodges. The question, "What is to be done now?" Bro Ries answers as follows: we will have to await the final reply to the question through the respective Convents of the French Grand Lodges. When this answer is received, I shall send them to the other Grand Lodges and submit to their judgment whether to seek for further propositions by the Frenchmen. The attitude of my Grand Lodge to the French Grand Lodges did not change through our discussion, nor was it binding in any way whatsoever. Nor have I any idea of giving the world a fraternization Scene. But what I aimed to do was Masonic Service for our country and for humanity.
To which Bro. Gottschall, the Editor of the Mitteilungen, remarks:
Nobody will doubt the best intentions of the Grand Master of the Eclectic Grand Lodge. But it would have been more prudent to have obtained the opinions of the other Grand Lodges before entering into the discussion.
In the Bundesblatt of the Drei Weltkügeln (the Three Globes), the oldest and largest Grand Lodge in Germany, we take the following:
In regard to the movement of the French Grand Lodges for a French-German Union, we cite a communication of Bro Wertheim, a German Freemason living in Paris, to his Grand Lodge, to the effect that politicians are numerous in the French Grand Lodges and subordinate lodges, and that according to their views the future development of Europe depends solely on the cordial relations between France and Germany, and they therefore have come to a determination to seek for an international Masonic union between the two countries, for the furtherance of an international spirit and popular sentiment. Such a union would clarify the work in the task of informing the French of what happens in the German press and vice versa. and by carefully sifting the material thus obtained for mutual understanding. But such international union has been made impossible from the moment the German Freemasons declined to entertain the proposition. Whether, or to what extent, the Eclectic Grand Lodge has come to an agreement upon the extract of the statement cited above, the Eclectic Bundesblatt is silent.
We were very anxious to hear something definite on this topic, especially since the most Hon. Grand Master, Bro. Ries, at the quarterly Grand Lodge meeting, gave out that the Eclectic Grand Lodge would not repulse such an approach, but that it must be in harmony with the dignity of the Grand Lodge and with German honor. Upon which the Bundesblatt of the Three Globes comments:
But we are, from our position hitherto enunciated opposed to any deviation, and we will not allow the pure ideal striving of our Union to be overlaid with politic, economic, or social interests.
The seventeen German Freemason lodges in German Poland, which was reunited to the resuscitated Republic of Poland by the Versailles Treaty, and which were formerly daughter lodges of different German Grand Lodges, founded a Grand Lodge of their own, under the name, Grand Lodge of German Freemason Lodges in Poland.
The Bundesblatt informs its readers of the seventh Annual Catholic Reunion in that part of Poland, at which, besides the Archbishop and several Bishops, the apostolic Primate of Poland was in attendance; information which was taken from the Posmer Tageblatt. This dwelt first on the crisis of the Polish soul, and secondly that the Holy Father inducted the festival of the Christ-King for the Polish soul. Christ in all His glory remains today, with the demand that Poland's existence must safeguard its rights, and the question arises how Poland can be saved. It must counteract the wave of revolution which undermines the religious life. Before all things it must break with Freemasonry, which aims to suppress the Christian spirit among the nations. And so much the more should Poland break with them, because Freemasonry represents the conspiracy in favor of foreign ways and of foreigners.
Of Mussolini's efforts against the Freemasons, the Bundesblatt says:
The Navy Department demands that all officers in the Navy and Marine must make known to the Government their affiliation with secret societies, especially with the Freemasons. Men who belonged to the Order must give date of initiation and when they took their dimit, they also must make declaration not to affiliate again.
The Hamburger Logenblatt (Grand Lodge of Hamburg) in 1927, June number, writes as follows:
The profane press brings news of all sorts and kinds about Freemasonry in Italy on the occasion of the judicial procedure against Zaniboni.
The Duce put his declaration of May, 1925, into action: "I will contest Freemasonry to the utmost, first I will break their bones in two, and then make them prisoners."
The sixty-eight-year old General Bro. Capello was condemned to thirty years in prison, and the first six years of it was to be in solitary confinement. The Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, Bro. Torrigiani, was two hours after his arrest, without any court proceedings, exiled to the Liparian Islands for five years. Altogether, forty-five Italian brethren have been exiled for the crime of being members of the Masonic Order; some of these leaving wife and children behind in dire distress. For the crime of which Capello was charged, and the verdict rendered, two newspapers comment and they truly are not friendly towards Freemasonry. The Boersen-Courier said:
What really, as it appears to German comprehension, is charged against Capello, is that he belonged to an organization forbidden in Italy. But with the General, Italian Freemasonry was to be destroyed, although the most presumptuous logic failed to show actual connection with Zaniboni, and the evidence was incredible.
While Germania (the organ of the Catholic Clergy, Berlin) commented thus:
From what one heard in the corridors of the Halls of Justice, the verdict was not surprising. To an outsider, the trial has not brought out any satisfactory reason for the severity of the verdict against Capello. But at the trial it was really Freemasonry that was at the bar of judgment, and Capello was only its representative the same verdict that fell upon the guilty Zaniboni had to strike him also.
In ancient Rome the word was coined "Fiat Justitia, pereat mundus!" Today in the fascistic Rome it is forgotten.
* * *
HISTORY OF NORTH DAKOTA MILITARY LODGE, No. 2, U. D.
Bro. Charles F. Irwin, Associate Editor
Connected with the 164th U. S. Infantry
THE dispensation for this lodge was granted in October, 1917, to a large group of North Dakota Masons who were officers and soldiers in the 164th Infantry, U.S.A. The commanding officer of this regiment, Colonel John H. Fraine, was the first Master of the lodge.
Grand Secretary Stockwell, in commenting on this lodge, writes as follows:
I do not recall that he (Col. Fraine) made any formal report in turning over the papers and dispensation in connection with this lodge. The paraphernalia of the lodge which was largely made by the brethren overseas has been returned to our Grand Lodge Museum and is one of the most interesting collections which we have there.
Our lodge, connected with the 164th Infantry, U.S.A., held one or two meetings in Charlotte, North Carolina, before going overseas. One meeting was held on board the transport, and I am inclined to believe the meetings in France did not exceed eight or ten.
A number of candidates were elected and received their degrees in France. We limited the right of this lodge to receive petitions from North Dakota men only. We do not care to infringe upon the jurisdiction of any other Grand Lodge and more than that, in order to be absolutely certain, we made it necessary for the name of every petitioner to be submitted to the lodge in whose jurisdiction the petitioner resided when in North Dakota.
Our further source of information of this military lodge is confined to printed reports and references found in various Grand Lodge Proceedings of the years 1918, 1919 and 1920. For example:
Proceedings of Missouri, 1919, correspondence: "Three lodges were created (by North Dakota) by Dispensation in casual form and are Military Lodges. [Note This is inaccurate. Only one was Military C.F.] The Grand Master explains at length and was doubtless supported by the council of wise members but the great majority of our Grand Lodges have refused to take such an action." This was a review of the North Dakota Proceedings of 1918.
Proceedings of Indiana, 1919, p. 98, correspondence, reviewing North Dakota,1918: "Three new lodges were instituted and ONE MILITARY LODGE was granted a Dispensation."
In the Proceedings of 1918, North Dakota, the Grand Master in his address at the annual communication referred to this military lodge in the following language:
On Oct. 30, 1917, we issued our Dispensation to the above lodge (No. Dak. Mil. L. No. 2, U.D.) upon Petition of some 45 Master Masons in the Military Service of the U.S.A., with the 164th Infantry, at Camp Greene, North Carolina. These brethren had originally been in the 1st and 2nd North Dakota Infantry, National Guard. We carefully considered the petition, weighing any objections which might be urged against Military Lodges, and decided that in the light of our previous experience (namely, the No. Dak. Mil. Lodge No. 1, which went to the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American War in 1899) the advantages far outweighed the objections. This Dispensation was a lengthy one in which we endeavored to cover any possible contingency which might arise. We trust our action in this particular will have your approval. While the exigencies of the military service, particularly in things war, have prevented as frequent meetings as might be desired, still enough information has reached us to justify in our own mind the organization of this lodge.
The officers designated in the Dispensation are as follows:
- Bro. John H. Fraine, W.M.;
- Bro. Gilbert C. Grafton, S.W.
- Bro. Frank S. Henry, J.W.
- Bro. Louis L. Eckman, Treasurer
- Bro. Chris J. Kunz, Secretary
We gather from the 1920 Proceedings of North Dakota Grand Lodge the following (p. 519):
The First North Dakota Regiment arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 1, 1917, the first mobilization point on its way to France. As soon as the regiment was formed, the men of the Masonic Fraternity at once began to talk of the possibility of forming a Military Lodge, such as North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 1, U.D., which went to the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American War. A petition was signed and sent to the Grand Lodge requesting a Dispensation to work as a lodge during military Service. About the 1st of November, 1917, Colonel John H. Fraine received the Dispensation, which gave North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D., power to work the degrees and receive candidates subject to the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota.
Sunday, Nov. 4, 1917, the first preliminary meeting of the lodge was held in the Masonic Temple at Charlotte, North Carolina. Colonel John H. Fraine was elected Worshipful Master; Lieutenant Colonel G. C. Grafton, Senior Warden; Major Frank S. Henry, Junior Warden; Capt. Louis Eckman, Treasurer; and Lieutenant C. J. Kunz, Secretary. As the regiment was liable to be called at any time, the meeting adjourned subject to the call of the Master.
Nov. 16, 1917, the regiment left for Camp Mills, Long Island N.Y., and the following month was so taken up with plans for embarkation for France, that there was very little opportunity for any meetings of the lodge. The regiment embarked on Dec. 12, 1917. on what had been the German Vaterland, then renamed the U.S.S. Leviathan.
During the passage a stated meeting was held in Col. Fraine's stateroom, where as many as could be crowded in attended. One of the ship's officers loaned an electric candlestick with three lights which originally had been part of the equipment of the Kaiser's suite of rooms always reserved for him on this boat. A week was spent in England, and France was reached on the first day of January, 1918, when the regiment was immediately split up and scattered.
From the standpoint of Masonic activity the next three months were without interest. Finally enough of the officers (of the lodge) met at Gondrecourt so that Sunday, March 3 (1918), a preliminary meeting of the lodge could be held in an old hall loaned by the Y.M.C.A., which had at one time been the dining room of an old hotel. At this meeting 36 different states Canada, England and Australia, were represented. Plans were made for active work.
March 16, 1918, a meeting was called for work in the Entered Apprentice Degree, at which Louis M. Thune, who later gave his life, received his first degree. Col. Fraine acted as Master. The altar consisted of a hotel table with two cases of condensed milk, covered with a gunny sack, as kneeling benches.
At the first meetings each man used his own handkerchief for an apron, and French girls were hired to sew on tapes, so that thereafter there was a regular supply of aprons. The three lesser lights at this first meeting were candles fastened to a triangular piece of wood nailed to a tent pole, sawed off to the proper length.
Later Capt. Grant secured a candlestick with three lesser lights from the ruins of a Roman Catholic Cathedral in the front line trenches at Xivry. The altar jewels, the officers' jewels, and the trowel were cut from the tops of men's kits by means of a pair of tinner's shears, an old pocket-knife and a three cornered file which Lieut. Hill happened to have in his possession. He and Capt. Grant first drew the outlines on the aluminum pans, and then cut them out, the task requiring most of their leisure time for more than a week. The trowel was provided with a fork handle. The letter "G" was cut from pine and covered with the lining of a bacon-tin.
The officers' jewels were fitted with blue ribbon bought at a French store and fastened with ordinary safety pins. The setting maul was a stuffed canvas canteen cover. The chimes for High Twelve were made by Capt. Grant from two 75 mm. French shell cases which were the FIRST SHOTS FIRED by one of the American batteries and which produced a tone very pleasing to the ear. The first Tyler's sword was a rusty jack-knife which he happened to have in his pocket later a U.S. bayonet was used, and still later a German bayonet was secured.
The ballot box was made from some bits of pine, and the ballots were white navy beans and cubes of pine dipped in ink. The gavel and other implements were made from various bits of wood procured from the remains of an American gun carriage which had been hit by a German shell, and the handles of two of them from the spokes of the same shattered carriage.
One of the first gavels used was one which had been brought from New York by a brother who attended the Ziegfield Follies there. Capt. Grant provided the means of having the columns and the three, five and seven stairs by having a sign painter paint them upon the reverse side of an old black poncho.
From the Proceedings of 1920, Grand Lodge of North Dakota, we gather quite a few references to this Military Lodge, as follows (p. 521):
Regular meetings were held between March 16 (1918) and the latter part of June, at about which time the regimental headquarters were moved to Langres, where meetings were resumed and continued until Col. Fraine left the regiment. There was also a two-day session, Aug. 10-11, 1918, at Gondrecourt, at which the First, Second and Third Degrees were worked on unfinished material left over from the earlier meetings held at Gondrecourt. Col. Fraine and LieutCol. Grafton came from Langres to Gondrecourt for this purpose of holding these meetings, during which eleven received the E.A., four the F.C. and seven the M.M. Degree. Complete details of these meetings are on file in the Grand Secretary's office.
In all, meetings in France were held at Gondrecourt and Turanne Barracks, Langres. Degrees were conferred at all these meetings with the exception of one. Much of this work was done at the request of various lodges in North Dakota and other jurisdictions, including Ohio, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, South Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan and Idaho.
One of the very interesting facts about this lodge is that its three principal officers had been members of the old North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 1, U.D., at Manila, during the Spanish-American War.
In the Proceedings of 1919, p. 270, the Grand Secretary has the following to add to this fine story:
Late in March there was received at the Grand Secretary's office the paraphernalia and funds of this lodge. The paraphernalia we have brought with us for exhibition at this Grand Communication. The funds ($666.66) came to us in seven money orders, and are deposited in the Northern Savings Bank of Fargo. in a savings account in the name of North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, awaiting disposition by the Grand Lodge.
While we have not given the matter careful consideration, we are convinced that this money ought not to be carried into our General Fund, but rather set apart for some specific purpose having relation to the Great World War.
Acting on the advice of the Grand Master and the Jurisprudence Committee, we have issued a certificate giving the status of those elected in this lodge, and waiving jurisdiction over them in favor of any lodge in whose jurisdiction they reside, or may establish a residence. A copy of this certificate is attached for the use of any committee to which this may be referred.
On page 254 of the same Proceedings we come upon this reference:
The paraphernalia of North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2 U.D., has been returned to the Grand Lodge and return of the Minutes and Records is expected at any time. Owing to the fact that this lodge was restricted to candidates who were bona fide residents of North Dakota, and owing to the transfer of many men and officers there were many difficulties encountered. In spite of all these handicaps this Military Lodge held about a dozen meetings and conferred all three degrees. Some thirty candidates were elected and a number of degrees were conferred by courtesy for other lodges. At one meeting more than 100 Masons met, and nearly thirty different jurisdictions were represented. Very few Grand Jurisdictions had Military Lodges in this war, but we are confident that our Military Lodge served a useful purpose. The Dispensation will now be surrendered and the candidates who received degrees will receive certificates similar to those issued twenty years ago in the case of our first Military Lodge.
On page 511 in the 1920 Proceedings, the Grand Secretary speaks concerning these certificates:
Last year the Grand Lodge instructed the Grand Secretary to issue a certificate of membership for those brethren who constituted North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D. We prepared copy for the same and forwarded it to Bro. J. H. Fraine, W. M., for his approval. The letter containing the copy for the certificate never reached him. We had retained no copy and hence, thinking that the original might appear, we have delayed preparing a new copy. However it is our intention to prepare this copy without further delay and have the same printed. The money in the North Dakota Military Lodge Fund is still in the Northern Savings Bank, Fargo, N.D. We have returned to Plain City Lodge, No. 449, Paducah, Ky., $30.00, fees paid by R. L. Boone for degrees conferred as courtesy by N. D. Mil. L., No. 2, U.D. Interest amounting to $35.07 has been added so the Fund now totals $671.33.
P. 516, ibid. Grand Lodge Library Report.
The Library has received ...... (names) in North Dakota Registration Book for the returning men from service who visited the North Dakota section of the Hall of States, New York City, which we received through the courtesy of Miss Harriet Wenburg.
Ibid, p. 519-21. Of outstanding importance among the additions which we received during this year are the N.D. Mil. L., No. 2, equipment .... The lodge equipment made by certain members of the N.D. Mil. L., No. 2, U.D., was brought back to Fargo and placed in the Museum by Lieut. Ernest Hill. It was displayed during the Grand Lodge Sessions of 1919 at Grand Forks and later organized into an exhibit in our Museum. The official records of the lodge contain no references to this interesting collection, hence it has seemed advisable to make a statement concerning it; a matter of record by means of this report. With the collaboration of Capt. R. F. E. Colley and Lieut. Ernest Hill, this brief sketch has been prepared.
In the Proceedings of 1919, p. 362, we come upon the list of brothers who entered this Military Lodge, as follows:
The following brothers, residents of North Dakota serving in the A.E.F., received one or more degrees in the North Dakota Military Lodge, U.D., No. 2:
Brocopp, Herman A. Carlson, Earl O. W. Drowley, George Harold Ellis, Walter Goerner, Werner C. Gram, Bristol F. (Elected) Hanson, Earl E. (Pet. Reed.) Heaton. Vinton P Moore, Cuthbert B. Moon, Glen W. Mosted, Alfred Omlie, Myron W. Oster, Hyman L. Rifleman, Perry N. (Elected) Scharnowski, Adolph H. Skinner, Forrest F. Skogmo, Harold E. South, Earl W. Stillings, Harlow C. Stillings, Raymond Stillings, Roy V. Stokke, Elmer A.
The days of the Military Lodge were now fast running to a close, and we come upon the records of its closing in the Proceedings of 1919 and 1920, as follows:
1919, Page 307 —
The Report of the Committee on North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D. Presented by W. Bro. Theodore S. Henry who had been a Capt. and a member of the Lodge overseas. He moved its adoption. It was adopted as follows:
To the Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of North Dakota:
Your Committee on North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D., begs leave to report as follows: A careful examination of the letters and other papers received of this lodge, records the fact that this Military Lodge, No. 2, performed much labor while in existence, but papers are lacking which would give us complete records of the many men who joined this Order by initiation.
Owing to the non-appearance at this time of the minutes and other vital records, the conferring of degrees, it is not possible to give complete information concerning this lodge. However, we recommend that the Grand Master be authorized to issue certificates, showing the name of the brother who received his degrees in the North Dakota Military Lodge to be in good standing in the degree which he attained, and waiving and releasing all and every jurisdictional right which said North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D., may possess over said brother. Attached hereto is a form of the certificate....
There has been turned into the Grand Lodge Treasury the sum of $666.66 by North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D., being proceeds received for degrees conferred. We recommend that this Grand Lodge issue to each charter member and each person receiving one or more degrees in North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2. U. D., a suitably worded and engrossed Certificate of Membership, the expense of which will be deducted from the proceeds turned in to the Grand Lodge by said Military Lodge.
We further recommend that the balance of the money remaining from these proceeds form a nucleus for a Military Relief Fund, which fund shall be used for the relief of members or their families of the North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U. D. This fund shall be under the control of the Committee on Masonic Relief, and be kept separate from all other funds of the Grand Lodge. We further recommend that the Dispensation of North Dakota Military Lodge, No. 2, U.D., be discontinued. Fraternally submitted,
Theodore S. Henry
James M. Cubbison
Thaddeus C. Michael
Elmer W. Witherbee
Proceedings 1920 Grand Masters Address, P. 511.
Before commencing the review of the Proceedings of North Carolina, your correspondent wishes to acknowledge the great kindness and unbounded hospitality extended by the people of Charlotte to the officers and men of the 1st North Dakota Regiment, later the 164th U. S. Infantry, during their stay at Camp Greene. Its Colonel, Hon. John H. Fraine, and most of the field and line officers were Masons. They have written home concerning the kindness of the brethren of North Carolina in general, and the citizens of Charlotte in particular.
Our thanks are extended to the loyal Americans who opened their hearts and homes to our North Dakota boys. Col. Fraine and two companies of the regiment came from Grafton, the home of your Correspondent, and we of this city as well as the people of the whole state, feel deeply grateful for the kindness and courtesy shown these brave men who are now in the trenches of France, fighting for liberty and democracy. Nothing proves more fully that we of the North and you of the South are a United Nation, with the bitterness and misunderstanding of the past forever buried, than the spontaneous and openhearted hospitality shown by the people of Charlotte, North Carolina, to the soldiers of North Dakota. God bless you all for your goodness, and may Providence keep our boys and your boys from the supreme sacrifice that they may return to us and live and labor for a more splendid realization of the institutions of Freedom, Liberty and Justice established by the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
And now may I offer the following toast which is a sentiment unquestionably dear to the heart of all Americans, North, South, East and West:
Here's to the blue of the wind-swept North
As it meets on the fields of France.
May the spirit of Grant be over them all
As the Sons of the North advance!
Here's to the grey of the sun-kissed South
As it meets on the fields of France.
May the spirit of Lee be over them all
As the Sons of the South advance!
Here's to the Blue and the Grey as one
As they meet on the fields of France
May the spirit of God be over them all
As the Sons of the Flag advance!
And with this beautiful sentiment expressed more than eight years ago by the Correspondent of North Dakota Grand Lodge toward our splendid brethren of the southland the story so far as we possess it is told. There are many additional experiences that might be added to it and the hope lies in our hearts that some son of that Grand Lodge will take upon himself to tell the complete story as known only to those who went through the whole moving picture of the Lodge Life can tell it. It is one more chapter of the brilliant Masonic history written during the days when the cannon's roar shook the nation. And in these days of peace the principles tested by the fire of battle are proving themselves and we confidently believe that Masonry has a vital place in the life of our nation and, God helping us, we shall ever do our utmost that the Brotherhood of the World may become not only a hope but also a fact.
The following is the text of the certificate granted to members of Military Lodge, No. 2;
(Square and Compasses) GRAND LODGE A. F. & A. M. Of North Dakota.
(Flag) FOR GOD AND COUNTRY
This is to certify That Brother ......... was identified either as an officer, member or candidate for degrees with NORTH DAKOTA MILITARY LODGE, No. 2, UNDER DISPENSATION.
This lodge was granted a Dispensation on October 30th, 1917 and was attached to the 164th U. S. Infantry, originally composed of the First North Dakota Infantry and parts of the Second North Dakota Infantry. The 164th was commanded by COL. JOHN H. FRAINE, who was the Worshipful Master of said lodge.
Meetings were held in Camp Sevier at Charlotte, North Carolina, on board the transport LEVIATHAN, and at various points in France. A number of candidates were elected and received their Masonic degrees in this lodge.
This Certificate is given as a testimonial of our high regard for the valor and patriotic devotion which prompted these, our brethren, to respond to the call of their Country in time of national peril; and whose attachment for our Order caused them to associate themselves together in a Masonic Lodge that true Masonic light and fellowship might be known amid the storm and stress of war.
Given under our handles and the seal of the Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of North Dakota, this ...... day of ....... A. D. 19...., A. L. 59.....
Attest: .............................. Grand Master.
.............................. Grand Secretary.
Within a pocket in a small lambskin apron, the flap of which was buttoned, and with blue tapes, was the following Certificate:
Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. Of North Dakota United States of America. (Square and Compasses) presents and vouches for
............ as a worthy Master Mason, a member of ....... Lodge No ..... at ......... , North Dakota, U.S.A. and so commends him for brotherly care and lawful aid to any Mason who may find him in distress or need, incident to his Service as a soldier of the United States of America, with the assurance that all courtesies extended will be deeply appreciated.
La Grande Loge A. F. & A. M. presente et reponde pour
....... comme etant un digne maltre macon, membre de la Loge maconnique, numero ..... , situee a ...... , de North Dakota, U.S.A. La Loge ci-dessus le reccommande a le soin Fraternel et l'aide legitime d'aueun francmacon qui le trouve dans le besoin ou la misere, a l'effet de son service comme soldat des Stats Unis d'Amerique, avee l'assurance que toutes courtoises montrees seront profondement appreciees.
Die Grosse Loge A. F. & A. M. stellt vor und steht Burge fur
.................... dass er ein wurdiger Meistermaurer ist ein Mitglied der Loge Nr ....... in ....... , North Dakota U. S. A., und empflehlt ihn jedem Freimaurer der ihn in der Not finden moge, als Folge seiner Pfliehten eines Soldaten der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, fur Bruderliche Pflege and gesetzmassige Hilfe, mit der Versicherungw dass alle Gunstbezeigungen, die man ihm ziegen mag, hochst gesehatzt werden.
Dated Fargo, N. D........................................
...................... , Grand Master.
.......... , Grand Secretary.
* * *
LUDENDORFF WRITES; MUSSOLINI ACTS
(Translated by E. Rammelmeyer from Die Bauhütte.)
Garibaldi who unified the Italian provinces into a centralized government and nation was an ardent enthusiastic Freemason and Grand Master of "The Grand Orient of Italy." He also had a plan worked out for the unification of all European nations, which in later years was painfully set up on legalized principles and paleontologic injustice. The respect paid to this man by the Italian people by external actions can be seen by the statues erected to him conspicuously in every city.
Before the edict to exterminate the Masonic Fraternity by Mussolini, wreaths were placed by the Craft at the foot of these monuments on July 2, the day of his death, especially by the Lodge "Cavour" in Turin.
Now it happened that some thirty odd years ago, at the solemn dedication of the great magnificent Garibaldi Monument in Rome, the Italian Freemasons had set at the pedestal a beautiful durable wreath of bronze. This was embellished with our symbols.
On a November night of last year this wreath was chiseled out and removed. By this we consider that the monument was dishonored; and more, through Facistic illogic and narrowness more infamy was brought to desecrate this wreath, the same as was done at the Masonic Temple of the Grand Orient of Italy by Facistic mob power. For in the place of the Square and Compasses were placed bound Lictor rods acrimoniously, inserted as a sign of senseless Facistic Might.
To these ancient Roman war symbols, skipping the many magnificent symbols which later centuries produced in Italian deeds of culture, an army rifle was wrought in beside the fasces; also a Bronze Book, which possibly represents the Italian Constitution, which the Duce trampled under foot.
The flare of torches of a festive nocturnal procession illuminated this vulgar, bold exploit at the pedestal, dishonoring the memory of Garibaldi whose Masonic doctrines were deeply rooted in him as a precept and creed, leading him to his great patriotic deeds and achievements.
* * *
R. J. Meekren, Editor-in-Chief
E. E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor
BOARD OF EDITORS
Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
R. V. Harris, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
F. H. Littlefield, Missouri
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Arthur C. Parker, New York
J. Hugo Tatsch, Iowa
Jesse M. Whited, California
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
* * *
OPTIMISM OR PESSIMISM
THERE has been some comment about the pessimistic attitude adopted by the Masonic press.
Whether or not there is justification for the remarks is a debatable question. The criticism of the Fraternity, in which Masonic journals have participated, has been severe in the past few years. Many defects in the organization have been called to the attention of those in official circles, but as yet we have seen little inclination to remedy the trouble. One critic of the press some time ago asserted that editors should adopt an optimistic attitude. Unfortunately no definition of his meaning was given.
Let us for the moment grant that we have been pessimists; that we are continually looking on the dark side of the situation. Suppose we adopt the other attitude and praise the present state of affairs as predicting a rosy future. Will we get anywhere? We might, but on the other hand at least one person is inclined to believe that Grand Lodge officials will rest on their haunches and allow things to drift along without any constructive effort on their part.
Suppose for the moment that the Masonic Fraternity is as perfect as it is possible to make it. Can we keep it that way? More than once has it been said that nothing can stand still; everything must progress or else it goes backwards. The world is full of illustrations of this point. No city which is not constantly widening its streets, improving its lighting facilities, and more recently, constructing airports, can hope to compete with its more progressive neighbors. Unless the improvements are made the city does not grow. New industries pass it by and its population fails to increase. It has reached its peak. Will it stay the same size, support the same industries, and have as many inhabitants for very long? The answer is obvious. Business enterprises begin to seek more progressive homes. They must keep abreast of the times. When they leave a city their employes leave, too. There is a little town not very far from St. Louis that is a typical illustration. A score of years ago it was the home of a huge glass plant. The city failed to see the advantage of electrical power. Another town five miles away seized the opportunity. The glass plant moved and now the original town is a collection of boarded houses. The Masonic Fraternity, in spite of its age-old ritual and love of tradition, must progress or follow the backward path.
It can't possibly progress with Grand Lodges content to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers. Would any Mason consent to have his home lit with gas or kerosene lamps simply because his father or grandfather had this form of illumination? The Fraternity failed miserably on the tuberculosis campaign because there were a number of objections raised, most of which could be simmered down to the f act that such a plan was a new innovation. The Order of St. John has taken the idea in hand and the Masonic Fraternity has lost an opportunity to grow.
The Craft is not perfect, it makes errors. Such mistakes should be discussed openly. There are many of them, but this is not the time to enumerate them. The optimistic note in editorial writing is splendid. No one will find an editor who is not willing to praise any undertaking which reflects favorably upon the Craft, but the Masonic editor is in a peculiar position. He is in touch, directly or indirectly, with every Grand Lodge. He sees all the errors and all the good. The evidence is all marshalled before him. A Grand Lodge errs. The editor can see the error because he sees the effect on the Craft as a whole, whereas the Grand Lodge either does not see, or does not want to see, the effect outside its own border.
It is only through the Masonic press that such errors or criticisms can be brought to the attention of the Craft. It is hard to tell how much influence the editorial columns do have. Sometimes we are inclined to think that it is very little. The organization of Masonry is such that the pulse is not easily taken. The fact that the Grand Master is an absolute monarch during the interval between Grand Lodge meetings makes it necessary to impress one particular man or the whole thing fails. He may say no, with no reason whatever, as more than one G. M. has done, and his actions are subject to review only by the Grand Lodge. By the time this body meets the whole plan may have collapsed, whereas his support may have given the impetus necessary to put it over. As a result we stand still, we don't progress, and we will eventually retrograde.
There has been very little severe criticism of the Craft in America, except on one point. The press generally has condemned the utter failure of official Masonry to support charitable undertakings. We say that charity lies at the foundation of Freemasonry, but there is nothing on which the securing of favorable action is more difficult than a charitable undertaking. We have our homes, it is true, but Masonry will never attain the satisfaction of Masonic charitable aims until no worthy appeal for aid by a Mason goes unanswered, whether it be for financial aid, medical attention, care in old age, or what not.
We cannot be optimistic about the future of the Craft until such time as this aim is realized. We can pat ourselves on the back and say we are getting along, but we cannot follow in the footsteps of Voltaire's Candide until the outlook is vastly improved.
When one sees the failure of an organization like the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, can he help but be pessimistic? When one sees a Grand Lodge of 116,000 members (and that only one of many) unable to take care of its tuberculous, cancerous, insane and incurables, can he be optimistic? Not unless he sees some steps being taken to attain the desired end, and when those steps are taken, and not until then will optimism take the place of pessimism in Masonic journalism.
* * *
REGARDLESS of how thoroughly the subject is treated, either editorially or in articles, at regular intervals it becomes necessary to mention the practice of Masonic scholars relative to the publication of the so-called secrets of Freemasonry. The present discussion is inspired by a pronouncement appearing recently in one of our contemporaries and which objects rather strenuously to the plain speaking of most or, at least, many Masonic writers. The writer recalls the feeling of surprise that came over him when he read his first Masonic book. To see in cold black and white things that had previously been considered almost sacred was a severe blow. THE BUILDER frequently received requests for information on the subject which show that there are those who are equally shocked. There is no need of going into detail about the situation; it is sufficiently well known as it is.
The point of view of the lay brother, if we may be so bold as to separate the Fraternity into two classes, the scholars and the others, and call one the inner circle and the other the outer circle, is easily understood. In many respects we can sympathize with them, but we suggest that they try their hand at writing on Masonic symbolism, or on the history of the ritual, and see how far they can go without speaking freely.
There are certain things which must be discussed if we are to progress. These matters cannot be brought to the attention of the reading public without verging on the ritualistic work of the Order. How are we to accomplish the desired end? Two methods seem open, one of them to fill in with dots or some other sign which says to every reader, "This is a secret, I dare not say more." The other is to adopt the practice which has come into common use and about which so much talking is done.
The merits of one plan over the other are not immediately obvious, but at the present stage of development one has very decided advantages. Suppose that scholars universally adopt the first alternative. In this case, where is freedom of speech to stop? If, for your own amusement, you make a collection of monitors from various jurisdictions and compare them you would have a difficult time in deciding where secret work begins and exoteric matter ends. The secrets of one jurisdiction are public property in another. There are the code monitors of some Grand Lodges which do not stop short of anything, and which any person with average intelligence could figure out if he so desired. That is one difficulty in the way of closing the tongues of the writing Mason, but it is, to our mind, not as serious as the second one. As soon as blank spaces are left, the non-Masonic reader is aware of the fact that secret work is the object of reference. He will, consciously or unconsciously, remember these blanks. In some other work he may find the blank filled in and immediately decides that he has learned one of Masonry's secrets.
It seems almost childish to have to draw diagrams in defense of what is going on, but that seems to be the only way that the desired result can be accomplished. The other side of the picture is a study in psychology. When the scholar speaks freely the average Mason is astonished. He readily recognizes the allusions and jumps to the conclusion that others will do the same. Therein he is wrong. Non-Masonic readers are confused by free speaking. They are unable to sift the esoteric from the exoteric. There are certain limits beyond which even the scholar will not go. There is no reason for being specific on this point.
Technically you may perhaps say that scholars are violating their obligations in this point, but practically speaking, are there any secrets in Freemasonry? There is nothing in the ritual which does not appear in other places. The mere fact that the phraseology is a bit different does not constitute a secret. The Mason does not know any more about many of the subjects to which reference is made in the ritual than the ordinary individual. The thought may be conveyed to the Mason in a way intended to make him think, but that makes no difference.
The secrets of Freemasonry are the secrets of individual thought. Some people are unable to create for themselves the thought channels which would enable them to discover those secrets for themselves. They must be helped along the road. Whatever the student writes he cannot do a man's thinking for him, he can only endeavor to assist his reader to think for himself. It is not the hearing of a wordy ritual that makes a Mason, though we accept as a Mason any man who has heard this ceremony. A Mason is not really a Craftsman until he learns to put the words into deeds. Judging from the deeds of many who are members of the Fraternity, and from the attitude of many who are in official circles in the Craft, there are few indeed who are Masons. That, however, is another story. The student who could put the real secret of Masonry into words would indeed deserve to be classed as rara avis, so much so that the publication of his work would be a priceless gift to mankind.
We do not sponsor nor permit the unlimited divulgence of the so-called ritual secrets of Freemasonry. THE BUILDER is careful to exercise many of the subterfuges known to students to avoid pointing out the secrets, if you care to call them that, but we emphatically cannot conscientiously take part in any effort to stifle the work of students who are striving to improve our knowledge of Freemasonry.
May we close with just one question, which is worse, the student who cloaks the secrets, generally accepted as such, in a maze that is unintelligible to the profane, or the person who calls himself a Mason and yet refuses to aid a worthy brother in need of assistance?
To make the meaning absolutely clear, we refer to the lack of support accorded to the tuberculosis relief movement.
* * *
BANNERS OF MEDIAEVAL CRAFTSMEN
Communicated by Bro. N. W. J. Haydon, Associate Editor, Can.
ONE of the important features of the 14th century was the struggle between the towns and cities and their feudal overlords. Feudalism was based upon agricultural land tenure, and grew up when such land was practically the only source of wealth. The growth of manufacture and commerce had no place in it. The feudal lords sought, naturally enough, to treat the burghers as they did the peasants, but it was found that the inhabitants of populous towns had an advantage, in certain respects, over even the knights and men-at-arms. This was due to the fact that they were always concentrated and could more easily organize. One of the chief difficulties of kings and princes in prosecuting war in those days was to keep an army together for more than a few weeks.
The burghers, as their towns grew up, organized themselves everywhere, by their crafts and trades, into guilds and fraternities, and many of the towns of that period exhibit a stronger resemblance (on a very small scale) to a confederated republic than to a modern municipality, and private wars between guilds in the same city were by no means unknown. In war the guild became a military unit, and the men of a city marched under their craft banners.
This struggle of the cities for freedom went on more or less everywhere, but during the 14th century it was especially notable in the low countries. Had the great towns of Flanders only been able to have whole-heartedly sunk their jealousies and rivalries, had they only been able to have realized that the growth and wealth of a neighbor could, in the long run, only react favorably on themselves, they would have been invincible. But this they could no more see, than their overlords could understand that unreasonable demands and exactions would slowly strangle for them the goose that laid the golden eggs.
In the long struggle between the men of Ghent and Louis de Male, earl of Flanders, the former took the offensive, and, in alliance with those of Ypres, besieged the town of Oudenarde which took the earl's part. The earl advanced from Lille to Dendremonde against them, and the Flemings hearing of this, planned to make a surprise attack upon him. The illustration is taken from a 15th century MS. of the Chronicles of Froissart and represents this attack. Froissart says that the attacking detachment halted at a village a short distance from Dendremonde, intending to attack the following morning. Unfortunately for their purpose some of the country people carried word of their presence to the earl; and the garrison was on its guard. Froissart describes the attack thus:
Immediately on the break of day, the Flemings advanced by land and in their boats, well prepared for an instant attack. When those in the castle and town saw them approach they sounded their trumpets, the greater part of the knights and squires being already armed. The earl of Flanders, who slept in the castle, heard of the march of the Flemings, and that they had commenced the attack; on which he instantly arose, armed himself, and sallied forth from his castle, his banner displayed before him. At this time there were in the town, Sir Gossuin de Wrle, great bailiff of Flanders [and others mentioned by name]. All these knights advanced to meet the banner of the earl, and then they marched under it to the assault, which was already begun in a severe and horrible manner; for these Flemings had brought in their boats, cannons and crossbows, which shot such large and heavy bolts that when any one was struck by them there was no escape from death. Against these bolts were strongly shielded; and the earl had with him some excellent cross-bows, who by their shooting gave the Flemings enough to do.
The conflict was indecisive, but as the only hope of taking the castle by such a small force was by surprise, and that having failed, the Flemings withdrew, and returned to Oudenarde in the afternoon after having fought all the morning.
The militant party in Ghent were distinguished by wearing white hoods, and were spoken of as the "white hoods." Froissart gives the impression that practically all of the men of what he calls the "small crafts" had assumed this badge. The chief industry of Flanders was cloth making. This was subdivided into many minor occupations, such as fullers and dyers and shearers and so on. Of the five banners displayed in the boat, the middle one shows the lion of Flanders. The two to the right each bear a pair of shears extended, showing that they belonged to some cloth working guild. The one to the left of the lion banner has an engrailed chevron, a very common heraldic "charge," below which is a small square and a large pair of compasses arranged in Masonic fashion. Above are two carpenter's axes. It is therefore not the banner of a mason's guild. To the left of that again is the fifth banner, which also bears a chevron with a level below it and two mallets above. This if not a mason's guild was probably of some closely allied craft; bricklayers perhaps.
As has been said, the chevron was a common heraldic device, and was employed with other "charges" in a great many coats of arms. It is however found so frequently as a component part of the banners and seals of guilds of the building crafts that it raises the question whether it was taken to represent a square. Against this it must be admitted that it is never depicted with a right angle, and was frequently given a wavy outline (engrailed) as in the later form of the arms of the Mason's Company in England. It would be very interesting to make a complete, or at least fully representative collection of the devices of the building guilds throughout Europe, and it is to be hoped that some day it may be done, as it may reveal some important facts.
* * *
MICHIGAN'S UNIQUE EXPERIMENT IN MASONIC EDUCATION
The Michigan experiment seems of sufficient importance to warrant an interruption of the series of articles scheduled to appear in this Department. The N.M.R.S. heartily endorses the idea and will willingly cooperate in any way possible with other Grand Jurisdictions interested.
WHILE Masonic education has made great strides in a number of our American jurisdictions during the past half dozen years, it is useless to deny that the average blue lodge Mason has yet to read his first Masonic book. He is perfectly willing to give the time and study necessary to master the three degrees in the hope of donning his apron, but beyond that, he wants any further information pertaining to Masonic history, symbolism, philosophy, ethics, jurisprudence, etc., handed to him in concise form by able speakers. He simply cannot be induced, and I refer to the great rank and file who enter the Order and not those few who are natural scholars to dig out for himself the many fascinating facts concerning the Craft with which every intelligent Mason should be conversant, and which, of necessity, are not included in his ritualistic training.
It is the same the world over; it is those in the minority who must do the research, the digging, the polishing, if the overwhelming majority are ever to have an inkling of what it is all about. And then twenty to thirty minutes is about the longest period the average Mason will listen. Since we find ourselves in a restless, hurried age, we must face conditions as they exist and make allowance for the terrific pressure under which most Americans live, move and have their being. If Masonry has something really vital to tell a Mason over and above the regular work presented in the tiled lodge, then it must put its appeal, its instruction into the most condensed form possible. Fifty per cent or more of the pamphlets and other printed matter sent to educational chairmen and officers of blue lodges, finds its way into the wastebasket unread, because it requires putting one's eye glance to paper. We grasp and hold an idea more readily when the ear, and not the eye, is the medium.
The result? That any blue lodge educational committee which attempts to function without an adequate Masonic Speakers' Bureau is pretty much of a total loss. Summing up the situation as it existed in Michigan, it was discovered that eighty per cent of all demands made upon the Grand Lodge Educational Commission for service the past two years, has been to supply speakers for individual, group, county and district meetings. The remaining twenty per cent of the calls has been for various other forms, including illustrated lectures, reference work, the loan of Masonic books, pamphlets, etc. With its limited number of speakers, the Commission often experienced great embarrassment and delay in trying to meet the incoming calls. In addition, the necessity of sending speakers throughout the length and breadth of the state considerably increased the cost of furnishing this line of Service.
Past Grand Master Frank T. Lodge, Chairman of the Michigan Educational Commission, together with the other four members of his committee, gave the matter serious thought. It was evident what the Commission needed most was speakers in every part of the state; speakers prepared to talk on topics of vital interest to Masons; speakers willing to give two or three evenings a year, without fee or reward, to diffuse light and information. Thus was born the idea that a state-wide Masonic Speakers' Contest might help, in a measure, to solve the problem. The results were amazing, as the contest proved to be the greatest impetus yet given the educational program. From the first, the foremost thought was not only the marshalling of talent already available, but the discovery and development of new speaking talent in all quarters.
Work on the Speakers' Contest was initiated by a series of organization meetings. The state was divided into nine districts As rapidly as arrangements could be made, a meeting was held in each district, with one of the Commissioners in charge of the evening; Worshipful Masters, heads of educational committees and all other brothers who wished to attend being invited. In addition to the consideration and discussion of established lines of service, attention was especially called to this new feature. A district chairman, who was to take active charge of the contest in his district, was elected in each instance.
The contest contemplated Lodge, County, District and State Contests, the winner in each of the three classes being eligible to compete in the next higher class. The contest was open to all Michigan Master Masons. In order to insure as great a uniformity as possible, a list of subjects, printed in bold type on large blue posters, was mailed to each lodge, each contestant being left free to choose any subject he preferred. As an incentive and to stimulate interest, prizes were offered to the winners in each class; a suitable Masonic book for the winner of lodge contests; a bronze medal for the winner of county contests; a silver medal for the winner of the district contests; and in the state contest, a diamond-studded gold medal was awarded as first prize and a plain gold medal as second prize.
The state finals in which all nine districts participated were held at the new Masonic Temple, Detroit, the night preceding Grand Lodge Annual Communication. Each talk in the finals, as in the lodge; county and district contests, was limited to twenty minutes. The speakers were permitted to use an outline of their talks, during the contests, if they so desired. The winner of the first state honor was Rev. James J. DeKraker, of Grand Haven, who gave a masterly handling of "The Apron." Second state honors went to Rev. Joseph L. Kennedy, of Rogers City, who spoke on "The Mason and His Church." The judges in all cases based their decisions on 60 per cent subject matter and 40 per cent delivery; this in the hope of encouraging non-professionals. In this first state contest, no distinction was made between professional and non-professional speakers. Michigan's experience would seem to demonstrate that such contests should be divided into two classes, one for the professional and another for the non-professional. For the non-professional, the plan pursued of lodge, county, district and state contests seemed to answer all requirements. No doubt the professional class would be better confined to two contests, district and state finals.
During the four months while the contest was under way, from January to May, the office of the Michigan Grand Lodge Commission was deluged with requests for the loan of books and reference material of all kinds. A number of the regular Traveling Library Sets were necessarily called in and redistributed in single book shipments. Throughout the state, keen interest was kept alive by the frequent visits to lodges of the nine district chairmen and the fifty sub-chairmen. Enthusiasm spread in direct ratio to their efforts. The country lodges were rather of the opinion that it was their own particular proposition and that the larger cities would have few entries; they met with a surprise, however, when twenty-six of Detroit's fifty lodges took hold in an aggressive manner and entered contestants. One of the finest of all the talks developed by this speakers' contest was that of a Doctor of Dental Surgery, a member of Palestine Lodge of Detroit, which boasts 5000 members, the largest in existence. His talk, "What Came ye Here to Do," indicated great care had been given to the preparation of every sentence.
It is satisfying to note that this experimental contest proved to be neither a small-town nor a big-city proposition. There is no longer any question as to its general appeal. Leaders in Masonic thought, many of them state and national figures in their chosen professions, caught the vision and did their best to inspire younger men with whom they came in contact, to take advantage of this opportunity for self-development. Many contestants were put in direct correspondence with older Masons who have made a specialty of some particular phase of Masonry, and were thus in a position to give them considerable help.
Of the subjects chosen, the two which proved to be most popular were drawn from the realm of applied Masonry; one, "A Mason in His Community and Government," the other, "Masonry's Contribution to America." More than forty of the two hundred and twenty-five contestants chose the former and twenty-five the latter subject. Following is the complete list of subjects entered:
- Altar, The
- Archives, The
- Approach to the East, The
- Apron, The
- Ballot, The
- Beehive, The
- Brotherly Love
- Builders and Building Tools
- Due Guard
- Five Points, The
- Forty-seventh Problem of Euclid
- Great Light in Masonry, The
- Great Teachings of Masonry, The
- Hiramic Legend
- Landmarks, The
- Legend of the Third Degree
- Lessons From the Ritual
- Level and the Plumb
- Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Lost Word, The
- Mason in His Church, The
- Mason in His Community and Government, The
- Mason in His Home, The
- Mason in His Lodge, The
- Masonic Charity
- Masonic Foundations
- Masonic Law in Michigan
- Masonry and Business
- Masonry and the Law
- Masonry's Contribution to America
- Michigan Grand Lodge, History of
- Middle Chamber, The
- My Contract With Masonry
- Northeast Corner, The
- Obligations, Masonic
- Our Duty as Masons
- Plumbline, The
- Practice and Tolerance
- Second Degree, Symbolism of
- Square and Compass
- Three, Five and Seven
- Three Steps, The
- Trestleboard of Friendship
- Trowel, The
- Two Pillars, The
- "What Came ye Here to Do?"
- Winding Stairs, The
- Working Tools
Each week during the contest brought packages of books and clippings from the great Masonic library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. all of which were loaned without charge. It is safe to state that at no one period in the history of Michigan's Grand Lodge has so much earnest study and reading been stimulated as during the four months of the contest. The very comprehensive "Syllabus of Masonic Study" as prepared by the National Masonic Research Society of St. Louis, Mo., was put to daily use. It proved to be a very distinct help to speakers who were not accustomed to research work, but who were desirous of getting all obtainable data on any given subject before putting the talk into their own words. For instance, one Detroiter worked up a remarkably interesting and instructive twenty-minute talk which he has since given in a number of lodges; it is entitled "Approaching the East." By the use of the Syllabus, he was quickly able to run down all references and get his material in chronological order. Into it, he injected his own interpretation and "a wonderful job he made of it," according to his Worshipful Master's comment, the week following.
Almost without exception, if reports of those who listened in on the two hundred and twenty-five talks which were finally given are true, the winners in ninety percent of the contests were those who had not depended on their wits or fluency of speech to help them out at the eleventh hour, but rather the honors went to those who had taken the time and pains to go after the proposition in a thoroughly systematic manner, and do the necessary amount of preparatory work to make a meaty, to-the-point, twenty-minute talk.
The strongest statement that can be advanced as to whether or not Michigan considers such a contest worth while, is that a similar Masonic Speakers' Contest will be staged by the Grand Lodge Commission beginning Jan. 1, 1929.
* * *
EDUCATION AND METHODS
The following is part of a letter from a Mason of many years' experience, not only in the Craft, but in life. There is always the danger of carrying a good thing too far, and the still graver though more subtle danger of fettering the spirit of a movement with machinery and smothering it with red tape. The whole object of education is to stimulate interest. It begins and should remain individual. The Research Society, composed of individuals and working through individuals, stands upon that principle. There is much to learn in and about Masonry, but not every Mason wants to learn about it. If he doesn't it is no use to try and force him. Here the old proverb is most certainly true, the horse can be taken to the water, but he cannot be forced to drink. It will be seen that we have here an expression of the reverse side of official educational methods. Not for a moment would we discourage such efforts, but little will be accomplished so long as they are merely official, and applied mechanically from the outside.
My experience leads me to believe that we have too many expert moralists in the field. This Education Committee, with its "short talks" pushed on the lodges, with insistence that some brother read them at every meeting, and its various and numerous official calls on the lodges to instruct them in this, that and the other, I think puts the fraternity in the position of being "fed up" on that kind of dope. There is, it seems to me, a tremendous amount of claptrap and "bull" being disseminated among the Craft. It is destroying interest rather than cultivating it. One has seen lodges talked to death by some good old brother who was always ready with forty reasons why he loves Masonry. My opinion is that the continuous forcing of all these "short talks, leaflets, pamphlets, et hoc genus omne", on the Craft is doing no good, and much harm. The average Mason is an average good citizen, and if the members of lodge have not violated their obligations, he is not a fool. He doesn't need to be told every meeting, under rhetorical forms, that lying is lying, stealing is stealing and all that kind of preachments. The truth is, a little horse play is much more attractive to the average business man who has to be serious during business hours than so much serious homily and commonplace moralizing. Arid while I have now resigned my office as D.D.G.M., because of the infirmity of age, I have tried, in my visits to the lodges, as far as possible to combine a little variety with the official lectures imposed upon me by law.
We publish this by permission though it was written as a private and personal letter. But as our correspondent does not wish to be identified we suppress even the customary initials and the name of his state.
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The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.
* * *
MASONIC BOOKPLATES. Supplemented by a Descriptive Check List of 586 Masonic Ex Libris. By J. Hugo Tatsch and Winward Prescott. Published by the Masonic Bibliophiles, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Buckram, profusely illustrated, 158 pages. $10.00 net.
THE first impression the reviewer has on taking up this book is that it is a fine specimen of the printing art. Its very appearance and "feel" attract one to it, and when the pages are opened, and the steel plate frontispiece, two color title page and the one hundred and more full size reproductions carefully examined, no further incentive is required to read the text. The type and format are calculated to attract the reader. All in all, Masonic Bookplates is a volume which the fortunate possessors will cherish as one of the choicest works in their libraries.
The book is written for both the novice and the experienced collector. A chapter entitled "Concerning Bookplates in General" informs the reader why and how bookplates first came into existence. They were the logical accompaniment of fifteenth century books circulated when few could read. Some distinguishing mark was needed to identify books; very naturally, as a result, heraldic emblems were utilized. Their evolution through the various forms of art and ornamentation is related in just sufficient detail to satisfy the needs of the beginner. The text is of practical worth for it also tells the booklover how to go about to get a bookplate to suit his individual tastes.
The opening chapter is followed by a discussion of "Masonic Bookplates in Particular" and "Bookplates of Masonic Bodies." Herein are set forth, for the first time, the fine points which distinguish Masonic bookplates from the many other styles and varieties. These chapters are original and distinctive contributions to the literature of bookplates, and reveal a thorough knowledge of the subject. Following these chapters is one on "Masonic Engravers of the Eighteenth Century," in which sketches are presented of well known artists of their times, such as John Pine, William Hogarth, the Cole family, Bartolozzi, Cipriani, Paul Revere and Goethe the poet — all Masons, by the way — together with citations of their Masonic engravings. A large bibliography of bookplate literature, printed in many languages, shows somewhat the great amount of research the authors must have engaged in during the preparation of this work.
Of greatest value to the collector, however, is the descriptive check list of 586 bookplates. In this are given details of all known Masonic bookplates, together with biographical notes of the owners wherever this information could be ascertained. This feature also represents a vast amount of research work and correspondence which can only be appreciated by those who have attempted a similar undertaking.
The authors of the volume need no introduction to their respective groups. Bro. Tatsch is widely known as a Masonic scholar who has added to his reputation by the publication of several other books since assuming his present duties with the Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids, as Curator and Associate Editor. Short Readings in Masonic History and High Lights of Crescent History have been reviewed in these pages, Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies is now in the printer's hands for immediate publication.
Bro. Prescott is Assistant Professor of English at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has made voluminous contributions to the literature of bookplates. Among them are Canadian Bookplates (Boston and Toronto, 1919); Masonic Bookplates (Boston, 1918), a brochure of twenty-nine pages which evidently brought the authors of the present volume together as collaborators; "Bookplate Extra Illustrating" and "The Modern Trend in Some Continental Ex Libris," two articles published in the Year Book of the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers. He also wrote the foreword to Verna B. Grimm's A Bibliography of Bookplate Literature (Cedar Rapids, 1926).
It is hoped that The Masonic Bibliophiles will bring out further artistic productions of this kind. The initial undertaking, though delayed a year, has been well worth waiting for.
E. M. E.
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THE LEGACY OF ISRAEL. Edited by Edwyn R. Bevan and Charles Singer. Planned by the late I. Abrahams. Published by the Oxford University Press, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index, Illustrated. 552 pages. Price, $4.25.
THIS remarkable book, sumptuously illustrated, is a companion volume to The Legacy of Greece and The Legacy of Rome. In some respects, however, it presents a subject which is more baffling than those contained in what we may call the rival books, because Judaism is a living force in the world today, whereas the contributions of Greece and Rome, in the sense in which they are treated in this series, have ceased. It is easier to gauge the waters of a reservoir, or a silent pool, even with its inlets and outlets, than it is to estimate the force and depth of a moving stream.
To some the title may be misleading. The term, Israel, has many meanings. To one it calls up the picture of the patriarch Jacob, in his great spiritual struggle at Peniel when he received the designation Israel; to another the tribes as described in the Pentateuch, wandering from oasis to oasis as they took their tortuous and much interrupted journey towards Canaan; to another, it connotes the kingdom of Israel as distinct from Judah. Indeed, this volume might easily at the first glance be regarded as a rather elaborate apology for that modern aberration, British-Israelism. A second glance would restore confidence since the book is published by the University of Oxford Press and has among its contributors Sir George Adam Smith, Professor Burkitt and Canon Box.
Israel is used in this book as a sort of synonym for Judaism. But it is more than a synonym. It is adopted as involving a continuity of culture, not necessarily of race, with the dim, patriarchal age, the Mosaic system, the teaching of the prophets, the period of Ezra, the traditions of the Rabbis whether contemporary with Christ or with St. Francis of Assisi. In fact this age-long culture is undeniable; it has its roots in the hoary past and in a simple faith directed towards one Deity whose character and attributes were growingly apprehended and finally has become established so firmly that the vicissitudes of time and experience alters it not. Unlike other cultures of the past which enrich their successors and pass away, this one exists today. The volume under review attempts to estimate the contribution of this culture to the rest of mankind.
Most appropriately the series of essays begins with a consideration of the Hebrew Genius as exhibited in the Old Testament from the eloquent pen of George Adam Smith. Nothing could be better than this overture. It is a graceful and lucid presentation of the sources of Hebrew influence and prepares one for what follows. To this succeeds an admirable sketch of Judaism in its Graeco-Roman environment from Professor Bevan. The debt of Christianity to Judaism is also briefly but succinctly treated by Professor Burkitt. To the casual reader it may appear that more should have been said upon these subjects, especially upon the latter. But when we consider that every serious work dealing with the history of religious development emphasizes the Jewish-Hellenic interaction, and that no author engaged in the study of Christian origins has failed to recognize how much in its first stages Christianity owes to Judaism, such criticism loses much of its force. Its force disappears altogether when the scope of the whole work is under review. Discursiveness here would upset the balance and destroy the symmetry of that which, as it stands, is a very fine literary achievement. When Dr. Burkitt says, "It is easy to enumerate the Jewish elements in Christianity, they are two: Jesus and the Bible," he has said everything. Dwell upon that brief statement and you will see how pregnant it is.
Dr. Herford has become familiar to many from his fruitful investigations of the Judaism contemporary with our Lord and his essay on the influence of Judaism upon Jews exhibits a sympathy with a knowledge of the people and its genius throughout the many centuries succeeding the commencement of the Christian Era. Professor Guillaume shows the immensity of the debt Islam owes to Judaism, a debt which includes not the essentials of religion alone — the monotheism common to both — but the ceremonial minutiae of the Talmud. Mohammedanism reveals Jewish influence even in its reactions. The whole presentation is full of interest but — what does Professor Guillaume mean by "tendencious traditions?" (p. 158.) It is perhaps a misprint.
The next essay by Dr. Singer and Miss Singer will be read with eagerness by all who are interested in the development of Mediaeval thought. Moreover, what Professor Guillaume says in regard to Rabbinic influence in the codifying of the tenets of Islam is seen to be true in a large degree also in later times and in a larger theatre — in the widely extended Islamic dominions and in Western Christendom alike. The Jews were the carriers to the thirteenth centuries "the Islamic world developed its great intellectual system" which was based upon Aristotle and largely mediated through Syrians, Persians and above all Jews, who were the heirs of the old Graeco-Roman civilization. Something of Plato was also known, the Tirnaens being widely studied, while the speculations of the Neoplatonists were eagerly devoured. In fact someone has said that the philosophy of this period was "Aristotle seen through Neoplatonic spectacles" — a truth but not the whole truth. The positive sciences were stressed even to greater degree and in all this intellectual activity the Jew was the interpreter of Greece to Arab and to Persian and the link between the latter to the fresh vigorous minds of Western Europe. Many of the greatest scholars also of this period were of Hebrew stock or faith, Avicelron, Abraham Ben Ezra, Averroes, Maimonides, were all Jews of Spain. Indeed the Jew may be regarded as the pioneer of the earlier Renaissance, that of the thirteenth century. One has not in this book to complain of redundancies but — might not the maps (pp. 203 and 225 respectively) have been combined? The second would seem to be superfluous.
Although the Jew was the object of much suspicion and contempt which manifested themselves occasionally in popular massacre and later on, as in Spain, employed the quasi-legal processes of the Inquisition to satisfy their malice and mistrust, many of the best men of the Western World deprecated the persecution of the Jews. The great bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, "by his eloquent protests and vigorous action saved groups of Jews from massacre in England." This prelate was the teacher of Roger Bacon who also entered a noble plea for tolerance towards the Jew. Far in advance of his age as he was in the scientific method of research he was yet its child theologically as the following extract discloses: "Adam, Solomon and others testified to the truth of the faith not only in Holy Writ but also in books of philosophy long before there were any philosophers so-called." [The italics are the reviewer's.]
In the Renaissance period many of the leading Humanists, as they were called, received their impulse from the Synagogue. This is true of the Renaissance itself but even more true of the parallel movement, the Reformation. Mirandola and Reuchlin were undoubtedly, on the scholarly side of the latter movement, amongst its precursors. Erasmus more interested in Hellenic and New Testament studies as he was, did not hesitate to pay a high tribute to the value of Hebrew. Luther studied Hebrew, and Calvin was more or less a master of the language.
Among the later essays in this volume perhaps the most important is that which deals with the contribution Judaism has made to the Western Law. It is customary to regard the legal system of Western Europe (and America) as being merely an adaptation of the Old Roman Law which it received through the Christianized Roman Empire. Others claim that the basis of English Law is largely Teutonic. How many consider the contribution the Hebrew bad made to the jurisprudence of Western civilization? Quite apart from the Christianizing of the pagan system which took place between Constantine and Justinian and which was necessarily Hebrew in its origin, being based upon Mosaic principles, there has always been, especially during austere and Puritanic reactions, "a harking back" to Hebrew procedure, softened sometimes, it is true, by evangelic interpretation and the Sermon on the Mount. Then, again, the presence of large Jewish communities in the midst of our Western civilization has perforce modified the law.
Dr. Selbie contributes a fascinating chapter on the Influence of the Old Testament on Puritanism. Within the Christian Church two principles are present, apparently antagonistic, but, as the reviewer believes, truly complementary. There is the warm, genial, social principle, the principle of fellowship, humanity, and good cheer representing the best in paganism and present in a very large degree in Catholic Christianity (in the true sense of the word Catholic) and there is the stern, individualistic ethical side which is the legacy of Israel and manifests itself in the ever-recurrent reforming movements of the church from the days of Tertullian till modern times. As is most justly due Spinoza wins his meed of praise and sympathetic appreciation in M. Leon Roth's article on "Jewish Thought in the Modern World."
A brief but attractive essay concerning the influence of the Hebrew Bible on European languages is contributed by M. Meillet, while the legacy of Israel to the literature of modern Europe is dealt with most competently by Professor Magnos. The volume is fittingly concluded in the epilogue from the pen of Dr. Montefiore.
A valuable glossary and sufficient index complete a book which is a marvel of condensation and the only criticism of a general character which can be levelled against it is that too much is compressed into one volume.
F. G. V.
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GOVERNOR SMITH'S AMERICAN CATHOLICISM. By Charles C. Marshall. Published by Dodd, Mead & Company. Cloth, 84 pages.
THE talented author of "An Open Letter to the Honorable Alfred E. Smith" has just published a further comment upon the relation of the Roman Catholic Church and the secular state as it applies to the Democratic nominee for the Presidency of the United States. Those who read the controversy between Mr. Marshall and Governor Smith as it appeared this spring, will not need assurance that there is none of the flamboyant diatribe that has become popular in some circles in reference to Roman Catholicism. Mr. Marshall presents his evidence in a cold, dispassionate manner, and he argues with the genius of the talented lawyer. It has frequently been said that the legal method of argument makes for dryness and difficulty of reading. Perhaps Mr. Marshall's arguments would have more of an appeal if they were accompanied by some of the prejudice that makes for impassioned statements. There is always an emotional appeal to that sort of pronouncement, but it is questionable whether it has the lasting effect of the mere presentation of cold facts. So far as the present writer is concerned the emotional appeal is always felt, but it happens that as soon as the senses have cooled down there is frequently no weight to the argument presented. On the other hand the presentation in an intelligent manner of mere facts has the effect of cumulation; in other words, the more thought that is given to the subject the weightier the evidence seems, if it is only factual evidence.
Enough for Mr. Marshall's method of presenting his subject. Our readers will be interested in knowing something of the line of thought that he pursues. It is generally recognized that the reply of Governor Smith to the "Open Letter" departed radically from the opinion commonly held regarding the relations between the church and state. The accepted view is that the Roman Church holds itself above the law of the land. Mr. Smith stated that he knew of no power in the church sufficient to influence him in matters of government. These are not his exact words, and are merely stated to give the general trend of Mr. Smith's reply. This pronouncement was hailed everywhere as being the first statement of a new Catholicism. It has been termed in the press of this country as well as abroad "American Catholicism." The real question is whether or not this new found Americanism in Catholic circles is legitimate. Mr. Marshall, by citing appropriate passages from the law of the Catholic Church, very convincingly shows that it is not legitimate and that no Catholic can abide by the laws and edicts of his church and still follow the dictates of his conscience as Mr. Smith indicates he will do.
The case is plainly made and no amount of denial upon the part of Catholics can prove it otherwise. The letter and the intent of the Catholic law is clear and no one but the Pope has the power to interpret it. The generally accepted interpretation of the Roman Catholic law as relates to church and state was confirmed during the past year by an additional letter coming from Rome. To be fully acquainted with the subject one needs only to read this book by Mr. Marshall and his previous one The Roman Catholic Church in the Modern State.
E. E. T.
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THE GRAPHIC BIBLE. By Lewis Browne. Published by the Macmillan Co., New York. Cloth, Illustrated, Table of Contents, Index. 160 pages. Price, $2.65.
ONCE more has Lewis Browne, with the keen understanding of an experienced teacher, delved into the minds of the proletariat and produced a book which simplifies the very complicated subject of religion. This Believing World was an outline of the religions of the world. In scholarly, yet readable, style the author treated the customs and beliefs of all major religious beliefs. A vide gap in the religious education of most people was filled by that work. With the accuracy of the compass in seeking the North Pole, Mr. Browne has found another of the wide open places and filled it as only he can do.
We all know the Bible as the text book of the Christian religion. The Old Testament, of course, is the guide to Judaism, and since Christianity is an outgrowth or a development from the older religion, the books of the Hebrew Scriptures, together with the New Testament, comprise the Christian Bible. Unless one has no little patience and a great amount of time to devote to the study of this volume of Sacred Law he is likely to find himself lost in a maze. The story is hardly sequential, and there seems to be no real continuity. Is it any wonder that the Sunday-school pupil finds himself facing the task of reading it with dread? Indeed it would be strange if the child of fourteen or fifteen, to say nothing of those younger, could really make anything of it. Most of the philosophy of the Holy Bible is beyond their conception unless it is put into language of one syllable, if we may use that term.
All of this need, and more too, has been felt by Mr. Browne. A part of it has come through his long experience as a Sunday school teacher. More came through his role as an uncle. The idea of The Graphic Bible found its beginnings in the following dialogue and Mr. Browne's gift for drawing.
"Whew, Uncle!" jeered Arnold almost rudely. "You ought to read Treasure Island!"
"But I have read it," I replied. "Tell me, Arnold, why do you find Treasure Island more exciting? Do you think it is truer than the Bible?"
"No, not exactly truer, Uncle. But somehow it seems more real."
"Why?" I asked. "Doesn't it tell about a place quite as foreign to you as Palestine?"
"No," the lad replied with assurance.
"Well, I suppose it's because I know my way around on Treasure Island. You see, Uncle, there's a map inside the cover of the book!"
Mr. Browne continues the story in his introduction:
The idea for this Graphic Bible did not first come to me as a result of that remark of my nephew. I rather think it came to me much earlier, and as a result not of a single bright remark but of a series of trying experiences. It came to me when I myself was a Sunday-school teacher and had to contend week after week with a roomful of children who did not even pretend to be interested in what I sought to teach them. They were frankly bored... .
And then, almost by accident, I hit on the idea of drawing crude maps on the blackboard. They were exceedingly crude, especially in the beginning. I used to scrawl them hurriedly while I talked to the class, cluttering them up with little hills and trees and forts and ricocheting arrows as the lesson progressed. But their grotesque inaccuracy seemed to make them only the more interesting to the children. At times I did not use the board at all, but instead made a sort of relief map on the floor. The desk over here became Mt. Gilboa, the chairs over there represented the hills on which the Philistines were encamped, and the chasm in between we called the Valley of Jesreel. And with the topography thus indicated, the class and I proceeded to fight out the battle between Saul and the enemy.
Originally, it was intended that the book should consist merely of maps, but as the plan grew into reality it seemed necessary to add some descriptive text. The text is meagre, only one hundred sixty pages in the whole book, and nearly one hundred fifty of them are broken by animated maps of Palestine. The story is simply told in language as animated as the maps. There is no attempt to follow the dictates of higher criticism. The story is the story of the Bible and not that of more modern critics. Those who believe the Bible to be absolute truth will find this appealing. To those who are not so literal in their conception of the Holy Scriptures it will be invaluable as a guide to what the Bible does say. Naturally the story has been cut to the bare bones; it is only a skeleton, but such a skeleton that it is fascinating to behold. The philosophy has been omitted, the long descriptions and lists of descendants are cut from the text. There is nothing to detract from the continuity of the story and it is virtually a brief history of the Jews with maps to show where and how the events took place.
The style of the maps is interesting. The sea is peopled with ships and dolphins and all of the queer monsters that were pictured in the maps of ancient cartographers. The land is dotted with trees, fortresses, camels, and the prophet and warrior. Of course, this is not accidental. Anyone who had seen any of Mr. Browne's illustrations would immediately recognize the style of drawing. A glance through the pages of the book will convince one that the maps gain much in interest by the conscious adaptation of ancient cartographic style. They are not the flat colored splotches that have no more life than the paper upon which they are printed and which so often bedeck the walls of Sunday-school classrooms. They are illustrative of places in which people might live and breathe and have their being. Such maps make us realize that the Bible tells us of real men and real women who lived in real places and thus is the story made a true one.
At no time would such a book have been more welcome, and at no period less so. Whenever it was published it would have filled a long felt need. Parents will find it interesting and will not put it down until they have read it from cover to cover. Perhaps some are sufficiently familiar with the story to scan it hastily, but even these will find it both interesting and entertaining, as well as instructive, to people the maps with imaginary bands of pilgrims coming out of Egypt, with farmers striving to gain a living from the none too fertile soil, or with armies that cross and recross the plains, hills and valleys, occasionally fighting a pitched battle. To follow the more peaceful expeditions of the Great Teacher through Galilee and Samaria and on to Jerusalem.
No home will be complete without a copy of this latest work from the pen of Mr. Browne, and no Sunday-school teacher will find himself properly equipped unless he possesses The Graphic Bible. But aside from its purely utilitarian purposes, one who misses reading it for the mere enjoyment of doing will be depriving himself of a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
E. E. T.
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LAWRENCE AND THE ARABS. By Robert Graves. Published by Jonathan Cape. Cloth, illustrated, appendix, index, 54 pages. Price, $2.90.
THERE are few people who have not at least seen newspaper references to Lawrence, and his almost mythical exploits during the war; there are many doubtless who would like to know more of the matter. It cannot be said that present work is wholly satisfying — it is like certain kinds of liquid refreshment — to imbibe simply creates a thirst for more.
The author does, however, make clear a number of things — surface mysteries — but only to reveal further depths beyond for which apparently no plummet is available.
Lawrence himself published a book, Revolt in the Desert, some two years ago. When it came out the world at large learned that it was an abridgement of another and much larger and more comprehensive work, bearing the appropriately oriental sounding title The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which according to Mr. Graves, and undoubtedly he is right, bears an obscure reference (obscure to the ordinary occidental mind certainly) to that apostrophe to Wisdom which is to be found in the ninth chapter of the Book of Proverbs, which begins:
Wisdom bath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars. She hath killed her beasts, she hath migled her wine, she hath also furnished her table.
Of this work only a hundred and fifty copies were printed, one hundred went to subscribers at roughly $150 each, the other fifty were given away; this, though the cost of the illustrations alone came to more than $15,000. These facts alone are sufficient to intrigue curiosity. What was in this mysterious book, produced at so great cost by a man without money — who had to write the second book to pay for printing the first? It is a question that is not fully answered by Mr. Graves, though some information is given from which the reader may divine or construct an answer to suit himself. It is apparently as unsparing an account of men and motives and actions as a human being could write. That is one thing. But that is not all; and one gathers that it was not fear of libel actions that was the motive for its private distribution. Lawrence would seem not to be the kind of man to let such trifles stand in his way did he deem it right. It is intimated, Mr. Graves' own words may be quoted, that
... the censor might ban as obscene some of the more painfully accurate accounts of Turkish methods of warfare, and he tells us that
A simple member of the public was shown the most painful chapter …. Then he could do no work for a week, but walked up and down …. unable to rid his mind of the horror of it.
One begins to see a glimmer of light — both for the writing and for the refusal to publish. To those with the gift of expression — in words or plastic art — the best way to forget is to record. That is as good a guess as any. If the record thus affected a reader, the writer would need to forget the reality if he wished to keep his sanity.
The present work is a connected account of the Arabian campaign; Revolt in the Desert was not. In that Lawrence minimized his part, although, amazing as it seems, that part was so extraordinary that certain reviewers accused him of an exaggerated ego in writing it. General Allenby is quoted as having the opinion that Lawrence could handle any kind of campaign as Commander-in-Chief, but that he would have to be perfectly free from control; while Marshal Foch is reported to have said, in jest it is true, when there seemed danger of war between the French and the Arabs, that he had no intention of risking his fame in Syria if Lawrence fought on the other side. The latter story may be apochryphal, but Mr. Graves quotes General Allenby's opinion as given to him personally in answer to a question.
Anyone who wants to know what really happened in Arabia and Syria in the years of the war must read the book. It would be impossible to even give an outline in a review. It is an absorbing story in itself, the reader finds it difficult to lay the book aside till it is finished. But a number of questions are raised. One is, what is the object of war — any war? Fashion, it would seem, is as autocratic and all powerful in military affairs as in anything else. Germany had set that fashion for many years. It was at bottom as unintelligent as the mediaeval battles of massed armoured horsemen charging each other according to the rules of chivalry; as unintelligent as the fighting of two bulls. The complexity of modern armies, and their weapons throws a veil of illusion over the fact that modern war, especially as exemplified in the last one, is a mere stupid collision of brute force with brute force. The complicated organization, and the technical skill required of the individuals engaged who compose the war machine, are to be compared to the complicated organism of the living animal, the organs of which are also highly specialized and work together in a marvelous fashion had we eyes to see it. But the German theory of war was the bull's theory, seek out the mass of the enemy and destroy it. But this is offered merely because Lawrence, an amateur, whose knowledge had been gained chiefly in historical reading, considered and rejected this theory of making war; and while lying sick in an Arab tent thought out a plan of campaign, adapting means to ends, with the idea of economizing as much as possible the material and lives available. First of all he knew what he wanted to do. The war as a whole was fought by people who had no clear idea of their objects, or their value if and when attained. Lawrence's object was independence for the Arabs. He wanted to gain this with as little sacrifice of life, either of the Arabs or their enemies, as might be possible. That plan he carried out. He had to keep it to himself, however. Not only had the Turks to be deceived as to his ultimate object, but to some extent his own nominal superiors in the British forces in Egypt and Palestine had also to be kept in the dark. He had to use the objectives they thought important as bait to gain his own end. Besides this he had to preach revolution to the Arabs themselves. But again, for all this the book must be referred to.
Another question that is raised, it is perhaps a variant of the one about war, what is the object of imperialism — ever, at any time. And one might add, of civilization, at least such a civilization as ours. The Arabs live as hardly as the Apaches of the Southwest did, as fond of fighting as they, but without their cruelty. One gets glimpses of their lives, their interests, ambitions, pleasures. Our culture tends to progressively make us more and more dependent on things. The machinery we build becomes our master, as unintelligent at bottom as war. The body is indefinitely adaptable. If we live softly and at ease, then hardship and exertion become painful evils. What is really gained in the end? We have radio, and newspapers — the Arab has his story telling and poetical contests. We have competition in business, and elections — the Arab has blood feuds and tribal raids. These things are pretty well on a level, when all is said and done, for the good they do, or the harm they bring about. Incidentally one sees here and there why the Englishman is so hated in certain places and by various people. It is not what he does, but the way he does it. It is not only the alien who feels this, but his own blood often enough. One thing seems certain, that the working of what may be called the group nervous system has not yet been sufficiently studied. Why should French and British officials, army officers, diplomats, governments, have sought, perhaps still seek, imperial ends? It is of no value to the people of their countries, and the aim is impersonal to themselves. National vanity may be the explanation, but it seems inadequate.
But beyond all these questions, incidental really to the story, yet not unimportant in themselves, is the problem of Lawrence. Mr. Graves gives the impression that he cannot explain him, though they are friends. He presents him as without beliefs, without desires, without ambitions, without object in life. Is his present suppression of himself as a private soldier to be accounted for as reaction? Ten years is a long time for such reaction to persist. There was a division of loyalties, it would seem, during the war and after. There was his loyalty to his country, which was a matter of accident of birth and upbringing, and the loyalty to the weaker people whom he had helped so much in their fight for racial freedom. It was as dramatically difficult a position as an intelligent sensitive mind could be put into. A harder and coarser make-up would not have felt it perhaps; a less keen mind might not have seen it. He fought first against the Turk, and for his country as well as the Arab, yet clearly seeing that he would have later to fight, with different arms of course, his country also if the Arab was to get his right. Both fights he won, and both at the minimum cost. And now what is there for him to do — like Alexander he finds no further world to conquer. Greater than Alexander in this, that he has not advantaged himself by the value of a penny in what he has done. Even his pay as an officer in the British Army was used only as expense money.
It is possible that Mr. Graves is not entirely on the right track about what is at the back of his hero's mind. One incident he relates gives rise to speculation. It must have made a peculiar impression on Lawrence or he would not have related it, or so we might think. It happened at Rumm, a place east of Akaba, a town at the head of the eastern horn of the Red Sea. Lawrence was bathing in a pool, his clothes lying on a rock ledge.
An old grey-bearded ragged man suddenly appeared, with a face of great power and weariness, and sat down upon Lawrence's clothes, not seeming to notice them or him. At last he spoke and said: "The love is from God; and of God; and towards God."
Lawrence later tried to get some explanation of this. All he could find out was that the old man had always been mad and ... never answered a word or talked aloud except when out by himself or alone among the sheep and goats.
This curious occurrence may or may not be significant, but in the face of the mystery presented to us in Lawrence himself it seems as likely to be a clue as anything else.
* * *
ANNUAIRE DE LA MACONNERIE UNIVERSELLE. Published by the International Masonic Association. Stiff paper, 418 pages. Price —
IT is now five years since the last issue of this exceedingly useful reference book was published. This has been due to lack of financial support in conjunction with increase in prices during the post-war period. Those who were familiar with the Annual in the past will be glad to know that it has now been brought up to date.
The book contains statistical and other information about every Grand Lodge or Orient in the world, with lists of lodges, and in many cases addresses of secretaries. In addition the Supreme Council and other bodies controlling "higher" or "philosophical" degrees are given with the names of their officers. Besides this there is a list, divided by countries, of Masonic periodicals, and other like information. The general matter is given in three languages, French, German and English.
We note in the English sections, American especially, a considerable number of errors. Unfortunately the official representatives of too many English speaking jurisdictions refuse to cooperate in any way, thus forcing the compilers to obtain their information indirectly, or from out-of-date proceedings and the like. For what reason this attitude is taken is hard to say. Even if Anglo-Saxon Masonry generally refuses recognition to some members of the International Masonic Association, almost all of its members are recognized by some English speaking Grand Lodges. An American Grand Lodge, let us say for example, denies recognition to the Grand Lodge of Switzerland on the sole ground that it recognizes the Freemasonry of France, but it does not sever connections with a neighboring American Grand Lodge that also recognizes French Masonry. The position is absurdly illogical. Under the circumstances the I.M.A. is to be congratulated on having done the work of collection and editing as well as they have. For American users it will be the foreign information that will be most valuable, and this so far as we have been able to test it can be relied upon.
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UNIVERSAL LEAGUE OF FREEMASONS
(Universala Framasona Ligo)
THE aim and desire of all beneficent and true Freemasons, is the pacification of the world and the universal brotherhood of mankind. Unfortunately it is more difficult than ever to attain this object, but for this very reason, it is all the more necessary to spare no efforts. Only a united and universal Freemasonry can undertake such an enormously difficult task; especially after the sad experiences of the late war and its subsequent period of depression and soreness. Unless strengthened by the bonds of brotherhood, it would be presumptuous to talk further of these aims In fact it would render us the laughing-stock of all clear-minded men. In addition to the various circumstances which separated the warring nations, must be added the many obstacles to be found, in our own Freemasonry — the diverging forms of instruction, the varying systems and the attitudes regarding certain venerable and symbolic Masonic tokens. The removal of the latter is the object of the "Association Maconnique Internationale" (A. M. I.).
We, the great mass of brothers from all countries, do not wish to remain remote from such a splendid movement. We are striving for the same ideals, even though our methods be different. Our aim is the international union of man and man. We do not turn to the Lodges and Grand Lodges, but appeal to the individual brother. We extend a brother's hand to him and shall feel more than compensated if he will grasp it in mutual trust, fired with the desire for peace and harmony.
We, therefore, make a call to all brethren of all lands. We will not longer remain inactive, when the nations, themselves, are drawing nearer to each other, a circumstance which has become happily conspicuous during the past years. We cordially welcome these initial steps to conciliation, even although they be hesitating ones and mainly dictated by economic pressure, and would gladly participate in their efforts for Peace.
- Bro. Dr. Uhlmann, Basle, President;
- Bro. Dr. Kurt von Sury, Basle, Vice-President;
- Bro. Eugen Lennhoff, Vienna (Austria), Director of the International Board:
- Bro. Dr. Ch. Rothenberger, Basle, Secretary.
The following are the three first paragraphs of the Statutes of the Universal League of Freemasons:
- The Universal League of Freemasons (Universala Framasona Ligo) is an association of freemasons from regular rites. Its object is the improvement of relations among the brothers of the whole world. It strives to promote a unanimous movement for the common ideals of the brotherhood of nations and men. This aim shall be accomplished by:
- Written and personal exchange of ideas.
- The publication of a general gazette or journal.
- The arrangement of meetings.
- The systematic encouragement of everything that may foster unity and the brotherhood of men.
- The publication of explanatory pamphlets and writings.
- The arrangement of lectures in the several countries.
- The engagement of itinerant speakers.
- Supporting and cooperating with all Masonic institutions having similar aims.
- The League shall abstain from every interference connected with the various Grand Lodges and keep out of politics and religious questions.
- Membership shall be obtained by means of a written entrance declaration, which grants complete freedom in everything not appertaining to the program of the League.
All those brothers, whose feelings have been aroused by the principles engendered in the foregoing Manifesto and who have the desire to cooperate in the endeavours of the League, are invited to communicate with the International Board, under Bro. Eugen Lennhoff, Bocklinstrasse 53, Vienna (Austria), and at the same time report their wish for membership. The statutes, etc., are gladly placed at your disposal. The annual membership fee is 4 s. or 1 dollar.
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
J. Coombes, of France, in the August number of THE BUILDER, says:
- The Grande Loge Nationale, which is recognized by the Grand Lodge of England, insists on having the V.S.L. open at all meetings and obligations taken thereon.
- The Grand Lodge of France, which is not recognized by the Grand Lodge of England, says that lodges in their jurisdiction may use the V.S.L.
- The Grand Orient forbids the use of the V.S.L.
A good many worthy Masons in the United States, on reading this, doubtless consider the condition in the Grand Lodge of France and the Grand Orient of that country as quite shocking and look upon the custom of the G. L. National as very virtuous. But the real question is, "What V.S.L. is referred to?" If it is, as I am pretty sure it is, the Douay version of the Bible, these brethren should be told this and also that it is the Roman Catholic Bible. The Douay Bible is very correctly referred to as a "version" for it certainly is not a true "translation" of the original text. It was because this version is not a true translation that this V.S.L. was removed from the altars of lodges of the G.L. of France and upon the action of a Protestant minister. Would American Protestant minister Masons like to be obligated upon the Roman Catholic Bible? Is it the Book of their faith? Is it the book of the faith of any Protestant?
When this Douay version of the Bible was removed from the altars of the G. L. of France, the G. L. of England severed connections with them. Now we are told that they have recognized the Grande Loge Nationale because they have the V.S.L. on the altar. Just what Bible does the Grande Loge Nationale place on their altar and obligate their members on? I, for one, would very much like to know. My sympathy and admiration is for the members of the Grand Lodge of France.
Ernest E. Murray, Montana.
Bro. Murray's letter raises a number of interesting questions, but as the matter appears to this writer, they all simmer down to the age old question in Freemasonry — "What is the Volume of Sacred Law?"
Modern Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry is pretty generally agreed that the V.S.L. is the Book of Faith of the initiate. Many, in fact most, of the Grand Lodges will not permit a divergence in the V.S.L. within its own jurisdiction. All subordinate lodges must use the same V.S.L. Perhaps the Grand Lodge of England is the most notable exception to this practice. Lodges working under that jurisdiction in India are known to use Sacred Books other than the Holy Bible. Still, no Grand Lodge thinks of severing relations with the Mother Grand Lodge of the world.
It has always been the contention of this writer that it is perfectly permissible for any lodge to have on its altar the volume that is sacred to the candidate. For the Hebrew the Old Testament might be used, for the Mohammedan, the Koran, and for other religious faiths their particular V.S.L. There is no reason, historical, traditional, or otherwise, which would prevent such a practice, but Grand Lodges have seen fit to settle the question either by direct legislation, or by precedent. Another of those instances where the Grand Lodges have taken unto themselves powers that do not and never have belonged to them. After all, the powers of the governing body come by consent of the governed so it may be all right.
It seems to be splitting hairs to the nth degree to argue about which version of the Holy Bible should appear upon the altar. Especially is this true in view of the divergence of practice within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England. If a man does not want to be obligated upon the King James version why shouldn't he be obligated upon the Moffat Bible in modern English, or the Douay version if he prefers ?
It is the desire of Masonry to make its obligations binding, and to make them as sacred as possible. If it were not for the fact that an oath taken upon a sacred volume is believed to be more binding or more sacred than a mere promise there would be no need for any argument. If we follow the same line of reasoning an obligation taken upon the Holy Bible is more binding to the Christian than one taken upon the Koran for example. And one taken on the King James version would be more sacred to the man who believed in that translation than one taken upon a more modern version. It works both ways.
This is advanced not as an authoritative pronouncement, because there is and can be no authority which will be binding upon the whole fraternity. It is advanced merely as a personal opinion. Other comments will be welcomed.
[The following brief reply to the letter in the August BUILDER on the subject of the Grande Loge Nationale from Bro. Coombes, has been received from Bro. A. Lantoine, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of France and member of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for France. The letter as received is in French, which we translate. — Ed.]
I do not wish to begin a controversy about the Grand Lodge, entitled "National." Such a controversy would serve only to change divergences of opinion into feelings that would be very regrettable. I believe that the Masonry of England and that of Latin countries are too different to be mutually understandable; they do not speak the same language; and it will be better not to attempt an interpenetration that I judge to be (for the moment) undesirable.
I will permit myself only the remark, which confirms what I said; the defence, or rather the panegyric, of the Grande Loge National de France which appeared in the August number of THE BUILDER is signed "W. J. Coombes, France," and Mr. W. J. Coombes is English.
Albert Lantoine, France.
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THE PAST MASTER
Through one of my good friends in Batesburg, S.C., one H. L. Fulmer, I am now a member of the N.M.R.S., and one of those fortunate to receive THE BUILDER.
To the interested Mason there are thousands of questions that might be asked, however, I have one at this time upon which I would appreciate some illumination. It is, When is a man a Past Master?
I do not recall ever having heard this question answered before, and it has come up for discussion several times. I have the honor of being Past Master of my lodge, Columbia, No. 326, Columbia, S.C. Personally, I would say that when the Past Master's Degree is conferred, the man is then a Past Master, others say that when he has finished his term of office, but in many places they serve for more than one year or term. I would like to know what you think.
H.G.W., South Carolina.
There is not only a good deal of looseness in using the term "Past Master," but there is in it not a little ambiguity. In the Masonry of the British Empire generally this is eliminated almost entirely by using an additional term. The Master-elect is installed and becomes an "Installed Master," sometimes also spoken of as "Master in the Chair." So long as he is in office he remains an Installed Master, but as soon as he installs his successor, personally or by proxy, be becomes a Past Master.
The word "Past" may be taken in two senses, that of being passed (as in an examination) to the chair, that is the office of Master of the lodge, or on the other hand, of having held that office in the past.
Most of the British Grand Lodges insist very strongly that the secret part of installation is not a degree, which in truth seems a mere quibble with the object of not contravening the famous declaration made in the Articles of Union in 1813 between the rival Grand Lodges of Ancients and Moderns, where it was stated that "Pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more; viz., those of the Entered Apprentice. the Fellowcraft and the Master Mason (including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch)." In accordance with this pronouncement the Royal Arch in England is regarded as if it were a separated part of the Third Degree, and the "Installed Master" is refused the name altogether, in spite of the fact that it contains every essential of a Masonic degree, including even an embryo legend. The objection to giving it the status of a degree has been so strong that the whole weight of official influence has been used to suppress the old forms of opening and closing a "lodge" of "Past Masters" and to insist that it is not a lodge but a "Board." Incidentally it may be said that recently the old lodges in England, which in spite of official opposition had retained their old ceremonies, have definitely won their fight, and are now legally permitted to continue them.
It would seem, returning to the question of the propriety of nomenclature, that if the "Past Master" be allowed the status of a degree, and aside from the English articles of Union (which were merely a compromise) there is no good reason for not doing so, and if this degree be named "Past Master," then everyone receiving it becomes a Past Master in that sense. On the other hand he is not a Past Master of his lodge until he has handed over the gavel to his successor in office.
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"AT EASE" AND "AT REFRESHMENT"
Will you please explain the difference between a lodge being "At Refreshment" and being "At Ease"?
I have always been taught that a lodge was either "At Labor" or "At Refreshment," and when "At Refreshment" the lodge was in charge of the Junior Warden until such time as called to order again by the Worshipful Master.
I understand in some lodges the W.M. will declare the lodge "At Ease" and then call them to order later. Is this correct? If so, in whose charge is the lodge when "At Ease"?
S.H.T., Novia Scotia.
Only infrequently is the term "At Ease" heard in a Masonic sense. Our rituals, so far as the writer has been able to discover, make no mention of this term. Still it is a practice in quite general use and does differ materially from the lodge being "At Refreshment."
In many jurisdictions, more particularly those outside the boundaries of the United States, it is customary for absolute silence to be maintained by the brethren not taking part in the work, during the conferring of a degree. Perhaps this is where the idea of a lodge being declared "At Ease" arose. The records are strangely silent on the subject.
In practice it works out as follows: during a lull in the work (the interval between candidates, or possibly between items of regular business) the W.M. will frequently declare the lodge "At Ease." This simply means that the brethren are free to converse among themselves and make themselves generally comfortable. The doors remain closed and the lodge remains tiled. It is under the care of the W.M. and not the Junior Warden. In short the practice is merely a means of relieving the tension of a long formal meeting, without making it necessary to purge the lodge, as should be done whenever the lodge is called from "Refreshment."
This latter term implies freedom from all restraint. The lodge doors may be left open and as is frequently the case the meeting adjourns to another room for actual refreshment. Because of the absolute freedom of movement in and out of the lodge room, it is essential to purge the lodge when calling to Labor again.
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THE OLDEST MASONIC BUILDING
The letter of Bro. Wood in the August number on "The Oldest Masonic Building" is inaccurate about the first Masonic hall in Philadelphia.
According to Johnson's Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, page 382, "The first record of the construction of a Masonic hall in the western hemisphere is dated April 4, 1744, and concerns the lodge room of 'The Great Lodge at St. John's in Antiqua'," and from another part of the same work we learn the lodge room was 60 feet long and 30 feet wide.
The first Masonic building erected on western mainland was the Freemasons' Hall, Philadelphia, dedicated on St. John's Day, June 24, 1755, which stood on Norris, afterward Lodge Alley, west of Second street. The building was torn down in 1801, when the Bank of Pennsylvania was built on its site. The site is now within the U.S. Appraiser's Store, and the Alley is now Sansom Street. A plate of part of the original subscription list for this hall, dated March 13, 1754, is on page 46, Vol. II, Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania, "Moderns" and "Ancients.' The diagram showing its site is on page 46, Vol. I, Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907. It was sold by the extinct "Modern' Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at auction, Oct. 1, 1785, and on July 23, 1793, one-third of the proceeds, viz., $1,533.57, turned over to the Mayor and Council of Philadelphia for a fuel fund, and was known as the Freemasons' Fund, but is now merged in the report with other similar fuel funds; this was the first o the City Trusts. See page 99, Vol. 11, Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907.
The cornerstone of the first Masonic Hall, on Chestnut Hill between Seventh and Eighth Streets, was laid in 1809, and the dedication was on St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, 1811 and it was destroyed by fire in 1819.
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"SACRIFICED A HECATOMB"
I have often given the lectures in my lodge, and it shows how a person can go on repeating things without thinking of what they mean. Recently a Fellowcraft asked me after lodge was over, what was meant by Pythagoras "sacrificing a hecatomb." I had to admit I did not know, but said I would try and find out. It is probably a very foolish question, but I expect many other Masons know no more about it than I do. What is the answer?
The word is a compound Greek word derived from hecaton, a hundred and bous, an ox, and means simply "a hundred oxen." It is to be found in most dictionaries, and we sometimes wonder why brethren who are puzzled by obsolete or unusual words in the ritual do not think of consulting a dictionary; it would help greatly to their appreciation of passages that are, we fear, hopelessly obscure to many Masons.
When this passage of the Fellowcraft lecture was composed probably by William Preston, classical references were familiar to most people who were not entirely illiterate, for they were constantly used by all the writers and speakers of the period The "hekatomb" sacrifice was seldom made, except by kings and rulers, and then only on great state occasions. Indeed the word was often used hyperbolically, not of a full hundred but for a considerable number. Such sacrifices were really feasts, parts of the animals only being burned in honor of the deity to whom it was offered. They were, in fact, very much to the ancients what a combined camp revival meeting and barbecue on a large scale would be to us.
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WHY NOT A MASONIC NATIONAL FOUNDATION?
The daily press recently carried a news story with the Miami Fla., date line, announcing that the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, in their annual convention, have approved a proposal to establish a National Foundation Fund for Charity totaling $20,000,000, and that this fund will supplement the charity work of local and state bodies of the Order. No detail are given as to how this fund will be expended.
This action by the Elks raises the question why a similar fund cannot be raised by the Masonic Fraternity to provide for the care of Masonic tuberculars and other sick and unfortunate brethren. It could be done if one outstanding leader of the Craft would take the initiative and propose it. We have funds to send boys and girls to college, and for other similar and worthy efforts, but the one great principle of the Craft, Charity, remains unsupported by any Masonic Body or leader.
The Shrine has given an example of what Freemasons will do if given the opportunity. Their charity, however, is not for members of the Craft. What we need is an effort to adequately provide for those of our own household, who may for any reason need a helping hand.
The approaching Two Hundreth Anniversary of the Craft in America gives us an opportunity to demonstrate in a big way what Freemasonry can do. Let us not attempt to commemorate this important milestone by the erection of a useless monument of brick, stone and marble. Rather let us see to it that when the time comes, no sick or suffering Freemason, or member of a Freemason's family, nor any who for any reason are in need, shall be found waiting the assistance of the Craft.