Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!
MACAULAY'S THEORY OF MASONRY-
Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote a distort of England which has been read more often than any other English history, and in the United States has enjoyed a double . fame: first, as a text book or as required reading in high schools and colleges almost since its publication; second, as a masterpiece of literature which in conjunction with his Essays and his poems has been used in the English Departments of Colleges in every State of the Union, is in every public library, and once was required reading for each well-read man. His biographer says of him that he had read everything, knew more than he had read, and forgot nothing.
A carefully considered remark Macaulay once made on Freemasonry must for such reasons carry more weight than if it had been made by a man less thoroughly acquainted with England from the Norman Conquest to Queen Victoria. In a conversation with Harriet Beecher Stowe her notes show that he said: "I believe that all the cathedrals of Europe came into existence nearly contemporaneously, and were built by traveling companies of Masons under the direction of systematic organization."
Bro. David McGregor holds for the second quarter of this Century in the United States a record for the brilliancy of his coups in Masonic research, two or three of them of fundamental importance. He was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, September 7, 1864; was educated in Lisburn, Ireland; came to New York City in 1889; was for thirty years chief engineer in the Sprague Electric Company and helped set up electric street car systems in New Jersey. He was raised in Union Lodge, No. 11 (N. J.), Dec. 22, 1916; was Master in 1931; Grand Historian after 1928; Chairman of Committee on Foreign Correspondence from 1935; was 3 member of the National Masonic Research Society, and published reports of his first discoveries in The Builder.
Among his discoveries: That John Skene, who came to Jersey in 1682, was a Freemason, a member of the Aberdeen Lodge in Scotland. (See under ABERDEEN 1'e', LODGE OF; see also New York Masonic Outlook; September, 1926; page 13). That Earl Perth, Jersey Proprietor, was a Freemason; and that a number of members of Aberdeen Lodge came to Jersey at same time as Skene but did not remain. That a pre1730 Lodge met in New York in the Black Horse Tavern. That the New York WeeklyVournal announced on Jan. 24, 1737 (N. S. 1738) that Mr. Provoost, about to move away, at a Lodge on January 19, 1737, had resigned as Master, and Cap. Matthew Norris, son of Admiral Norris, had been elected in his place. That on November 26, 1737, the New York Gazette published a letter to the effect that a "new and unusual sect of society at last has extended to these parts," etc. (See GouZ's Hwtory of Freernasanry; New York; 1936; Vol. 6; page 41.)
Most important was Bro. McGregor's discovery of the records of Col. Daniel Coxe. In 1730 this eminent citizen of New Jersey was by the Grand Lodge of England appointed to be Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. But since no documents could be found to show that he had put his authority into effect, save an entry in the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of England to show that he visited it in 1731 as Prov. Grand Master, it was generally believed that he had been inactive, and had "been out of the country."
In old court and other civil records of New Jersey Bro. McGregor found abundant evidences of the presence and great activity of Coxe in America during the years in question. (See Early Freemasonry in Pennsylvania—a magnificent book—by Henry S. Borneman; Grand Lodge of Pa; Philadelphia; 1931; page 56. See Chapters in Gould's History, above cited, Vol. VI, on New York, Nevr Jersey, and Pennsylvania. History of Freemasonry in Neta Jersey, by David McGregor; cloth; 164 pages; contains chapters on Pre-Grand Lodges in N. ew Jersey; chapter on Daniel Coxe; Military Lodges; the Morristown Convention.)
MACKEY'S HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY.
In his bibliography of the principal works of Dr. Albert G. Mackey on page 608 Bro. Robert I. Clegg inadvertently omitted the work which Mackey himself would have placed at the head of the list, his seven-volume History of Freemasonry; perhaps the Freudians would have said that this was an unconscious slip of memory occasioned by a sense of humbleness, because at the time (1921) Bro. Clegg had only recently edited and revised and in some chapters wholly re-written the famous History which had long been (and continues to be) the most widely read long history of the Craft ever published. Bro. Clegg based his work of revision primarily on the edition current in 1898. He received his reward by having the new work go out with the new title Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, by Robert Ingham Clegg.
When Mackey began a work the scope of which for a man of less learning would have meant a life-work, he had little to go on; Findel was not suited to American readers, and already was obsolete in part; Fort's Anturuittes dealt too much with antiquities; Oliver's "historical" works were better entitled romances; Gould's History had not yet been published; except for his own private library, his years of hard study and his erudition (of which there was much more than his readers may guess), and the assistance of a few friends like T. 9. Parvin, Mackey had to blaze a new road through the wilderness. He succeeded in blazing it; and while some hundreds of students and scholars have, as a body, blazed a better one since, no one man has ever approached the measure of his achievement.
His principal weakness (and granting that he did not possess data not discovered until afterwards) was a certain lack of reality, so that his book becomes at times too smooth, too static, with pages here and there like a drowsy serrnon. This may be because he habitually thought of Freemasonry as an "institution" (one of his favorite words), a system, a collection of generalities and abstractions; and did not sufficiently see that there never had been such a thing as abstract Freemasonry, a thing separate and apart, but always that it had consisted of smen, actual, in flesh and blood, and that Freemasonry never had been anything more than a name for certain of the things those men were doing.
How does Mackey's History compare with Gould's Many Masons, and even many beginning students, can read one long History but they haven't the time to read two; which is the better for them? The question is therefore not an academic one; nor is it, at least on this page, a national one, as if one were to choose a national champion. As for this last point, a large fact stands out in full view, before which the point is lost: there is no such thing as English Freemasonry nor American Freemasonry; it is only Freemasonry, and belongs to no country; there is Freemasonry as it is in England and the same Freemasonry asitisin America.
The Grand Lodge of 1717, though it was erected in London, is as much the Mother Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in America as it is of Freemasonry in England; and until about 1800, and which means for two generations, Lodges and Pronncial Grand Lodges here belonged as much to its Jurisdiction as any Lodge or Provincial Grand Lodge in England; when we American Masons study the history of that Grand Lodge, or of Freemasonry in Eighteenth Century England, or the history of Freemasonry prior to 1717, we are studying our own Masonic history, and it matters not if the settings of any of those chapters of it were in other lands or not.
St. Paul's remark about two stars differing in glory applies here. Mackey was far more erudite than Gould; had not only studied more, and read more, but had studied and read more widely. His knowledge was his own; overflowed; and he did not have to "get it up" for any subject. He had a sense for literature, and was master of a literary style, whereas Gould had neither.
Mackey had a grasp of the whole of Freemasonry, including the four modern Rites, and this unity was ever in his mind; there is a continuity from chapter to chapter; his history is a work of art in the true and original sense which has been lost to present-day literary cynicism. And since he knew that no one work (nor any thousand volumes) could contain each and every fact in one history, he had to select; and while selecting he knew from first-hand knowledge of rehem what his American readers wished most to learn.
Gould, and other things being equal, had the advantage of being at the headquarters of Masonic research; had access to Grand Lodge archives; could visit old Lodges; could use the British Museum, and a half hundred other collections of original sources; and had about him a circle of learned Masons to collaborate with him. His History has an effect of massiveness and power; is full of courage; and he had in him the new spirit of Masonic research—was himself one of its originators, and felt no reverence for any book merely because it was old, nor for any belief merely because generations of Masons had held it.
His literary faults were a lack of a sense of proportion—as when, though he had only one of his six volumes for a history of general Freemasonry properly so called, he used up fifty pages of it arguing over Sir Christopher Wren; and he was given to harsh, unjust judgments, as in his caricatures of Anderson and Preston. Also, he come. mitted himself to the dogma that the Antients had been a "schisInatic" Grand Lodge, and refused to surrender it when it was proved that they had not In the plan of his history he gave a disproportionate amount of space and attention to the Grand Lodge of 1717 as if it, and not hundreds of Lodges and tens of thousands of Masons, had made Speculative Masonry prosper around the world. AB against Mackey, he is preferred by students and researchers; and, as is natural, by Brethren in Great Britain.
As against both of them Begemann is of more massive technical erudition, but of narrower scope, and was guilty of ignoring Freemasonry in North America, where it has had as large a history as England had; and, if the four modern Rites be included, a larger one. Crawley stands apart, for his Cemenkria Hibernico is more than one half composed of documents, but he was, it is agreed, the most brilliant prose writer of any. There is a possibility that the writing of general, or "complete" histories is at an end and is to be replaced by books on single subjects or by special treatises, unless they may be written to serve as a framework or outline, or as a guide to special fields.
Robert Macoy was born in Ireland, October 4, 1816, but from the time he was four years old lived in New York City, where, at an early age, he apprenticed himself in the printing and publishing business, and continued in it for nearly forty years, first as printer and bookseller, and then as a Masonic publisher. During his generation he made a large place for himself in the American Craft, along with Mackey, McClenachan, Drummond, Morris, etc., with whom he was closely associated He won a success in four separate spheres of Masonic labors:
1. In the Order of the Eastern Star. Rob Morris had conceived the idea of it, had written rituals, had filled it with his inspiration, but was a failure at the work of organization. ". . . Upon his departure for the Holy Land, in 1868, Brother Morris transferred to Brother Macoy all the authority he had assumed and exercised in regard to the Order. Bro. Macoy immediately set about arranging the work more systematically.... Under his guiding hand the Supreme Grand Chapter. a selfeonstituted body, was organized in December, 1868. . ."
2. In the work of Grand Bodies of Masonry. He held the high office of Deputy Grand Master of New York, and was Grand Recorder of the Grant CommanderY, E. T.
3. AB author. He wrote an unknown number of articles for the Masonic press; wrote much in a number of Monitors and Manuals- and was author of The Worshipful Masters' Assistant which for half a century was to the office of Master what Mackey's Eneydopedia was to the whole of the Craft.
4. AB a publisher. He published (and oftentimes either edited or helped to write) a long list of Masonie books, among them The Master Workmen, 1849- The Masonic Manual 1852; The Book of the Lodge, 1855, a work of immense national influence which American Masonie historians have overlooked- Vocal Manual, 1853- Masonic Minstrel, 1857; Worshipful Master Assistant, i885; Rise of Adoption, 1868, and in 1890- and the General History, Cyclopedia, and Dictionary of Freemasonery which is described under ENCYCLOPEDIA, Mackey's etc., elswhere in this Supplement.
During the productive period of Bro. Macoy's publishung and writing the one demand everywhere was for Monitors and Hand-books, and Macoy wae but one of a number who supplied them, from Webb to Mackey A detailed, exhaustive bibliography of Macoy by an expert would open up a path for historians into one of the most important fields of either Amerr ican Masonic history or American Masonic Jurisprudence~ Grand Lodges (and other Grand Bodies) now prepare and publish their own Monitors. In the period, of almost three-quarters of a century, when it was left to private members to prepare and publish Monitors not a few of them (as was inevitable, and it is not to their discredit) insinuated into Craft practice more than one element of the Exoteric work which represented nobody's idea but their own, and in some instances was a mistaken idea. Certain of the small discrepancies, anomalies, inconsistencies which Grand Lodges find in the Monitorial sections of their Uniform Work, and sometimes in Lodge practice, could be traced back to a private Monitorialist.
Maimonides has been described "as the greatest Jewish figure since Old Testament times." Measured by any standard, and whether by a Jewish or a Gentile one, he was one of the towering men of the Middle Ages; in manhood, in learning, in power of mind, in his accomplishments for good, he was a greater man than Charlemagne, Thomas Aquinas, or Pope Gregory because he accomplished as much as any one of them did, but did it solely by means of his own greatness, and had no vast machinery of government, or church, or armies to make use of. The whole Jewish people of his time were not only widely separated but were bewildered, and often in despair; the final bitterness of the Diaspora had become almost too great for them to endure.
It was to them as well as for them that he wrote "their Bible next to the Bible," The Guide for the Perple2:ed. In it he advised them to discard ancient superstitions; to cease to attempt to carry out into minute detail regulations originally designed for Palestine; to cease to bewail and to lament a past which now was too far in the past to keep alive; and since they were excluded from the land, church, government, and army to turn to and to make their own the countries of the mind, to become scholars, artists, physicians (as he was himself), linguists, scientists, philosophers, because these torms of work were owned by neither pope nor king and knew of no difference between Jew and Gentile— "is geometry," he asked, "Jew or Gentile? is scholarship? is medicine?"
There is no discoverable connection in history between Maimonides and Freemasonry at any point, yet, paradoxically, he is one of the subjects Masonic students must study. A school of Masonic writers, small but influential, has for half a century been trying to show that one of the roots or sources of Freemasonry was in the Kabbala In his great History of Jews, and speaking as a representative of a large school of Jewish historians, Graetz sets forth at length evidence to prove:
(1) that the Kabbala consisted of three or four books written by Spanish Jews in the Thirteenth Century;
(2) that the rationalism (used in no sectarian sense) of Maimonides had won over the Jews of Spain;
(3) that the Kabbala was a reaction to it;
(4) that the occultisms, mysticisms, and supposedly secret sciences in the Kabbalistic books concealed a superficial kind of thinking, not as profound as it may appear to be;
(5) that the claims made in them for the antiquity of their jargon and their doctrines were groundless, and in some instances were consciously false;
(6) and finally that there was no unity of thought among the Kabbalists themselves, and that if they had written their books in intelligible language, as they easily could have done, they had little to say. To do justice to himself a Masonic student must therefore study Maimonides and the Eabbala together, because the former is the key to the latter.
Maimonides was a Spanish Jew, of immense learning in many fields; he was born in 1135, died in 1204.
When in the Thirteenth Century Thomas Aquinas wrote his Summa, afterwards declared to be the orthodox Roman Catholic theology, his purpose at the time was to make a reply for his Church as against the science and philosophy coming out of Spain, the one European country in which learning flourished; it is significant that he selected as his adversaries Avicenna and the Arab philosophers; he probably was afraid to attempt to encompass Maimonides because his own learning was too meager, too wholly local and theological, to cope with the encyclopedic learning of the great Jew. It was for this reason that while Thomas found the machinery of argument by which to incorporate the Arabic scholars' Greek learning (what of it he knew) into his Summa he left out of it the whole scope of Jewish learning, though his own Church had officially declared the Old Testament to be infallibly inspired. This failure, or lack, on the part of Thomas was not the least of the ultimate sources of much antiSemitism centuries later.
MAKING AT SIGHT.
With the publication of the Minutes and histories of early Eighteenth Century Lodges of England, Canada, and the United States the widely discussed question of "making a Mason at Sight" has been set in a new frame-work of facts, and given a new meaning (See page 941.)
More data will be discovered but in the light of present knowledge it appears that while the phrase is apparently of American origin, and perhaps came first into use in Pennsylvania, the conferring of the Three Degrees in a condensed form on a Candidate in one evening (consisting, therefore, of little more than the OB's and the Modes of Recognition) was not only permitted among early English Lodges, but was in universal practice among them, and they considered it a Lodge prerogative. It continued in some American Lodges as late as 1860. A meeting for "making at sight" was called an "Emergency Meeting" (or Communication); during it a Candidate was Entered, Passed, Raised, and elected to membership in about two hound of time. Records of these Emergency Meetings stud the Minutes of at least 200 Eighteenth Century English and American Lodges.
It has been an accepted theory that Making at Sight was a prerogative seized or created by Grand Masters in order to enlarge the powers of their office; it is now plain that the-opposite-occurred; that so many Lodges took to "Emergent Makings" that Grand Masters were forced to reserve the right of such makings to their own office in order to put a stop to what had become an evil.
These facts are fraternally called to the attention of those British Brethren who have criticized and even satirized "Making at Sight" as an "Americanism"; except that it is now (fortunately) reserved to Grand Masters it is a Briticism, and one in practice since the first half of the Eighteenth Century among nearly all English Lodges. Moreover, English Masons continue even now a constituted custom of "making at sight" in principle though it refers to Lodges rather than to Masons; for it is considered that to "make" a new Lodge is the Grand Master's prerogative. In the beginning Grand Masters first consented to the forming of a new Lodge and then appeared in person to constitute it, or else sent a personal deputy; what were called Warrants were not legal documents but personal communications which gave Grand Master's consent.
In the United States a Grand Master can issue a temporary Dispensation to form a Lodge, in order that for a period the Lodge can work on probation; a Charter can be issued only by a Grand Lodge at its Regular Annual Communication. In constitutional principle the making of Lodges by the Grand Master's personal act vg ould be identical with making a Mason "at sight" by his own personal act. If English Brethren reply that we are inconsistent in recognizing the Grand Master's prerogative to make Masons while refusing him the prerogatives to make Lodges, many American authorities on jurisprudence will agree with them. Even so, there is something to be said in favor of Making at Sight, regardless of how inconsistent it may be, be cause once in a long while a Petitioner finds himself in circumstances where he must receive in one night the Degrees he has been elected to, or can receive none of them.
Those who have sought in times immemorial for some origin or authorization for the Grand Master's prerogative to Make at Sight need never have looked BO far afield, because it was recognized as legal by the Antient Grand Lodge of 1751, from vhich so much of our Work and 80 many of our practices are derived. In the Records of that Grand Lodge, under date of April 16, 1777, a Minute shows that Dermott dis cussed the subject, admitted the Grand Mashr's right, but expressed it as his opinion that a Grand Masher ought not to Make at Sight except when he can make a sufficient number to form a Lodge. (The Minute is quoted in full in Gould's History of Freezemasonry; Scribner's; 1936; page 176.)
A paragraph may be quoted as one specimen from many others in Lodge histories to show that for years after the date of the Dermott Minute the Lodge custom continued; it is from Some Memorials of the Globe Lodge, No. if; by Henry Sadler; London; Spencer & Company; 1904; page 45: "The 3rd of May, 1810, was the last occasion in this Lodge when the three degrees were conferred on candidates on the same evening, but it was only in case of emergency that the three degrees were given ...."
MALTA, KNIGHTS OF.
The history of the Knights of Malta (nee Knights of Hospital, Knights of St. John, etc.) was until recent years written by itself, that is, from its own records and reports of itself; or else by its enemies, who have not always been scrupulous; it is now possible to re-wrih its whole history in terms of modern, impartial scholarship. One of the results of that scholarship has been to break the one history of this Order into four or five almost separate histories, because the Order transformed, or at least transmogrified itself that many times.
As regards Freemasonry it may be said in general that the Knights were antipathetic to it, or to any such teachings or truths as Masons held at any period. In particular, the Order was twice used in attempts to destroy Freemasonry, and it therefore has at one time or another belonged to that long chapter of the history of the Fraternity which is called Anti Masonry.
It had become an open and confessed military arm of the Vatican before the Popes issued their first Bull against Freemasonry in 1738, and it was ordered to oppose Freemasonry wherever it could. In about 1800 it was instrumental in thriving Freemasonry out of Russia. When Metternich after 1815 and the Congress of Vienna became the dictator of Europe he made the complete elimination of the Fraternity one of his open and principal aims; and to a large extent he succeeded for some years, and may be described as the most powerful Anti-Mason of the Nineteenth Century.
The Knights of Malta were one of the agencies employed by him. (See page 539.) (Complete, detailed, fair, modern histories of the Order are On the Trail of the Eight-Pointed Cross 1G. P. Putman's; View York; 1940]; and Malta of the Knights, by E. W. Schermerhorn; Houghton, Mifflin; New York 1929; full bibliographies in both. For a more condensed account see House of the Temple; Study of Malta and its Knights in the French Revolution, by Frederick W. Ryan; Burns Oates and Washburn; London; 1930;
bibliographies. Fifty Years in the Malts Order, by R. E. A. Land; two volumes; Toronto; Can.; 1928; contains also a detailed account of the Masonic Knights of Malta.)
After the first dissolution of the Order in Malta, an attempt was made to revive it in France to help the Greeks in their war with the Turks, after the latter had shocked Europe by a massacre of Christians on the Island of Scio; and they appealed to such Knights as were in England to assist them.
In consequence, the English branch of the Order was re established -it and in this action English members were permitted to be members of the Anglican Church. The English Knights based their rights on a Charter which had been granted by Queen Mary, but on grounds that were legally insecure. To remove this uncertainty Queen Victoria granted a new Charter in 1888. After this reincorporation, "the method of government of the Order was framed, as far as possible, on the precedents of the old Order.... The Sovereign of the Realm is the Sovereign Head and Patron, and no admission can be made to the Order except with his Majesty's sanction." From 1910 until his death the Duke of Connaught (Grand Master, the United Grand Lodge of England at the time) was Grand Prior.
The Order organized and maintained the St. John Ambulance Association and St. John Ambulance Brigade, with a highly efficient and very large membership of members expertly trained in First Aid. "In June, 1912, as a special mark of their appreciation of the work of the Brigade, the King and Queen inspected in Windsor Great Park, 11,000 men and 3,000 N. ursing Sisters, including many representatives from Overseas." It furnished over 17,000 Hospital Orderlies in World War I; maintains a hospital; carries on relief work abroad; and carried on very extensive relief work in World War II.
Notes. The above is in correetion of one or two sts ments made in last paragraph on page 541.
The indispensable reference work on the modern Order is The Order of the Hospital of St. John and its Grand Priory of England, by H. W. Fincham; W. H. ,& L. Collingridge; 148 Oldersgate St., E. C., London; 1915. Beginning on page 78 it gives a list of the Grand Priors of England from Walter, 1143, to William Weston, who was Prior when Henry VIII dissolved the Order in 1540, and Thomas Tresham who held office of the revived Priory under Queen Mary in 1557; and for the period when English Priors were stationed in Malta under Richard Shelley, in 1566, to Girolamo Layarelli in 1806; and from Sir Robert Peat, first Prior after revival of Order in England, in 1831, to the Duke of Connaught, in 1910.
MS. ILLUSTRATIONS. The original of the hundred or so copies of the Old Charges (Old MSS, Old Constitutions, etc.) must have been written in the Fourteenth Century, perhaps about 1350 At.D. Each and every Masonic student would desire above almost anything else to have a detailed knowledge of Freemasonry as it then was; who and what men the Masons were; how they dressed; their manner of work; in what houses they lived, and how much they earned; and so on forth. To arrive at even an approximation of that picture he must collect small bits of fact from here and there, a short reference, a line in a book, a history of the building art, a study of contemporary laws, etc.
Among these sources is one which as yet has not been utilized by any Masonic scholar, at least if it has his book has not reached America: it consists of those small pictures which the writers of the MSS., Masonic and otherwise, often used to draw or paint into some small space in their parchment (or vellum) left by the text vignettes often of cunning workmanship and masterly composition. The large number of these MSS. are in Britain or Europe; a number of them however can be seen in American private collections, such as Morgan's in New York City, and Huntington~s in California, or in any one of the large universities; also, they may be found reproduced in books or photographs in any of the better metropolitan Libraries. A Masonic student looking out for a path of his own in research, and if he have aceess to the materials, can be promised that he will find out something new, and in time may be able to publish a Masonic book of a novel kind.
A small specimen list is not interesting to read; it may, however, serve as an illustration of what is said above, and at the same time give a beginning student sufficient guidance for making a start:
The earliest Speculative Lodges at the time of the first Grand Lodge met in public rooms in taverns, and each tavern was named after its sign, which hung in front in the form of a picture. Operative Masons four centuries before doubtless gathered in the evenings for ale or beer and for talk in taverns of the same type. Two of them are pictured in the Bodleian Library (Oxford) MSS., No.264, which like each title in the list, is of the Fourteenth Century Among five pictures in Brit. Mus. 2 B. VII are: a suit of everyday clothes worn by craftsmen; a straw bee-skelp (or bee-hive).
Brit. Mus. Roy. 20. C. VII contains detailed picture of a burning at the stake, the method being the same as that of the Pps; another of a beheading; and in Brit. Mus. Roy. E. IV is a seene showing a criminal being drawn.
Brit. Mus. Fasc. 175; Masons building a tower, using a windlass. B. M. Roy. 15. D. III- Mason using stone axle shows how ramp was used to carry stones up to top of high walls. In another MS. not named, the King—or some other crowned noble or prince—looks on while a Mason uses a plumb-line; in this operation a wooden inclined plane with cleats is used instead of a ladder.
A MS. in Brit. Nat., Paris; a building scene, showing use of ladder.
B. M. MS, Roy. 10 E. IV; sawmills were run by man powers and sawyers did not belong to same gild as carpenters
B. M. MS. Harl. 6563: a smith wears leather apron
B. M. MS. Roy. 2. B. VII; stone carver, sitting on bench ("bank"), using gavel.
B. M. Addl. MS. 10292; stone carving by method of incising.
B. M. MS. Roy. 2. B. VII; four stone-cutters- one is Master of Masons; shape of gavel is very clearly shown (In very few instances are Masons shown wearing Aprons Smiths always wear leather aprons.)
B. M. MS. Egeston 1894- Mason on back, inside altar canopy, while carving above his head.
B. M. My. Luttrell Psalter. Building walls was a specialty.
Such Masons were "wailers" and had own gild. This is a picture of their work; a city wall, towers gates, ete.
Edwin Markham was born in Oregon but went soon to California. He was made a Afason in Acacia Lodge, No. 92, Coloma, Calif. When he published his "Man With a Hoe," President Theodore Roosevelt's acclaim of it made Markham's name familiar throughout America almost overnight Another Masonic poet, Rudyard Kipling, also had in his poem "Recessional" ("Lest we forget") an equally universal, immediate reception, and each poem was an answer to the other; Kipling's theme was "We must have rulership"; Markham's was, "Yes, but the rulership must be by ourselves."
The body of Markham's poetry as a whole has been very slow in winning a way into popular use, perhaps because two World Wars turned the attention of men away from poetry, but the Masonic Fraternity need not wait upon the general public; for Markham is America's laureate of Masonry, as Burns was Scotland's; and as he said when he presented a holograph copy of his "Man With a Hoe" to the Grand Lodge of New York, everything of his was in the Spirit of Masonry. (Like a number of other world-famous poems, that poem was never completed; Markham kept experimenting with small revisions of it as long as he lived.)
Louis Claude de Saint-Martin was born in Amboise, France, January 18, 1743; he was therefore fifty-six years of age in the Revolution year of 1799; and since he was in ill health much of the time he was unable to take any active part in the French Revolution during the four years he continued to live (he died in 1803) except in private circles; and it is certain that he did not have any part in planning or preparing for it. He was sensitive, aristocratic, a warm friend to a chosen few, a mystic. (See page 901.)
It is probable that Martin would have played no part in Freemasonry had it not been for Martines de Pasqually, his early teacher and for many years his friend and colleague. Pasqually was a Rosicrucian, though it is impossible to use that adjective as in any sense a descriptive one because it was so loosely employed in France, and often had no connection with Rosicrucianism properly so called—indeed Rosicrucianism properly so called w'as little understood at any time and ever will be because there is in the Pama Fraternitatu, its bible, no clear, consistent system of teachings but only a congeries of visions, legends, cloudy pictures which can easily accept what meanings an occultist chooses to attribute to them. In his capacity as a Rosicrucian, Pasqually compiled a Degree, or Rite, which he called Elect Cohens ("cohen" meaning priest); and it is believed that Pasqually had some connection with the founding of the Rite of Swedenborg but not that he was in any sense its creator.
In Martin's eyes, and after Pasqually had died, his old teacher's Pite had been conceived as a ritualistic mystery of a mystical Christianity but being such it had, he felt, certain defects and lacks; therefore he contrived a Rite of his own, which he called the Rectified Rite.
Both St. Martin and Pasqually, as well as the author (or authors) of the Swedenborgian Rite, are typical of the Frenchmen, of whom over a century there may have been a hundred or so, who were Masons in their own special sense only; which was a sense the true and ancient Fraternity could not have recognized as even remotely like itself;
they swept six or seven centuries of Masonic history aside, cutting their own "Masonry" off from its roots, acknowledged no Ancient Landmarks, concocted private "Rites" out of their private theories, used them as a vehicle for teachings which often regular Freemasonry would have wholly repudiated, constructing them eclectically out of scraps of text, or symbolism, or legend to which they had taken a fancy in various obscure works of occultism, metaphysics, and theology. Pasqually's Rite and Martin's Rectified Rite are interesting for themselves, as a book by either of them might be interesting (they were in essence little more than books in the form of ceremonies), but they have no discoverable connection with Freemasonry, which never was a cult of aristocracy, or of occultism, or of mysticism.
Martin signed a few of his small books by the pseudonym Philosophe Inconnu, the Unknown Philosopher. Because of this, because his Rite has in it certain references to or traces of Kabbalism and other little-known sources, and because no biography was written in English, he was for American Masons a vague, mysterious figure, and a number of American writers have placed him somewhere back in the late Middle Ages, along with Raymund Lully.
Martin was on the contrary a modern man; younger than Benjamin Franklin, whom he could have known; and moved in a circle about whom whole libraries of memoirs have been written. The achievement by which he is better known is not his Rite (in which he himself took little interest) but a number of slender books or treatises in which he set forth his own difficult and private version of religious mysticism, and which was, though such a generalization is hazardous, an attempt to describe the universe from within; seen, as it were, through the eyes of God. An account of this work, and a portrait of the man, by an author who admired him much and who, in part and at a distance, was his disciple, is The Life of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin: The Unknown Philospher, by Arthur Edward Waite; William Rider 45c Sons; London.
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014