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If Freemasonry had a Foxe to write for it its own Book of Martyrs the larger number of Brethren would be horrified to find that men had been tortured, blinded, mutilated, hanged & burned, sent to thegalleys, put into dungeons to starve dragged through streets, beaten by mobs, and in each instance for no other crime than that they were Free masons; they would next be astounded by the number of these martyrs, for if the latter were to be gathered together out of the past 200 years, and from each of almost fifty countries, and were to meet in a single throng, it would not number hundreds; it would not number thousands; it would number hundreds of thousands.
In 1735 a Scotsman named George Gordon fathered a Lodge in Portugal under a Charter granted by the Duke of Montage, London. For ten years the work of this and of other Lodges, purely cultural and strictly Masonic, was unmolested. Then, almost unannoun ced, and on representations (greatly falsified) of a Dominican monk named Bonnet de Meantry, the French Ambassador's confessor, the Lodge Virtud at Lisbon was raided; three of its members, Damiao de Andrade and Manoel de Revelhos, aristocrats, and a Brother named Christoph Diego were hanged, March 8, 1743. Thomas Brasle and Jacques Mouton, Frenchmen, and John Coustos, a Swiss by birth, but a British subject, were tortured again and again by the Inquisition; the French Brothers died, Coustos was sent to the galleys. This was the beginning of a long red chapter, first in Portugal, later in Spain; in Spain it came to a fiery end when Franco had hundreds of men hanged, shot, mobbed, mutilated, and burned for being Masons.
General Luigi Capello commanded an Italian army corps at Gorz in World War I. When Mussolini ordered Italy to destroy Freemasonry he gave every Italian Mason of whatever station, rank, or dignity in the country an either-or: renounce Freemasonry and embrace Fascism; renounce Fascism and remain loyal to Freemasonry on peril of life. General Capello remained loyal to Freemasonry, was accused of having given 500,000 lira to conspirators to assassinate Mussolini; after a trial which dragged on month after month to give Fascist newspapers time to scream insults and threats against the Order, was found guilty and sentenced to "thirty years imprisonment, with solitary confinement for the first six years"—a death sentence at has age.
Almost at once the secret police arrested Grand Master Torrigiani, and in two hours the Confinement Commission banished him without charge, hearing, or trial to the Lepari Islands to starve to death. How many hundreds of other Italian Brothers were dispossessed of their property, beaten and mobbed, sent to concentration camps, thrown into prison, or killed there is no way of knowing. It was however only the beginning of the slaughter of men for being Masons from 1925 until the Allied Armies liberated European countries; and from the Russian border to Ireland only Switzerland, Sweden, and Britain were exempt—and even in England it was in Mosley's plans for his Fascist party to destroy the Fraternity and to assassinate its leaders. Between the two extremes of 1925 and 1944 there was a long succession of men, in thousands which have never been counted, who suffered martyrdom for their loyalty to Freemasonry; and outside of Europe in every Latin country from Mexico south, and in Japan, China, and the Philippine Islands.
The almost complete lack of knowledge of these martyrdoms by three millions or so of American Masons is one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the whole history of the Craft. One explanation is found in "the sabotage of history." This also is almost unknown among Ameriean Masons and among American citizens at large though professional historians are familiar with it to exeess. and must everlastingly battle with it.
This "sabotage of history" consists of destroying documents, altering documents. forging documents creating false legends, the assassination of character of men long dead—as was done with Cromwell—, and the writing of books eonsisting of open and brazen lies. It was the discovery that monuments to heroes of the Revolutionary and Civil War were being systematically defaced or destroyed in order to erase the only existing proofs ol their having been Masons which started Admiral George W. Baird on his years Of research and produced Great Men Who Were Masons. Two recent attempts at nbetage were made in the eases Of Edit Carson and sViltiam E. Cody [' Buffalo Bill"], the former in the year 1943. Another explanation is the fact that American Masonry has almost no national journalism. and in consequence possesses no means to publish general information.
It is in each and every Grand Jurisdiction an unwritten law, and in a number of them is a written law, that Lodge or other Masonic funds are to be expended 'ifor Masonic purposes" only. This is a Landrnark which Mackey did not include in his list (see page 560) though it indubitably is a Landmark and is as Ancient as the Craft itself. Masonic Jurisprudence continues in an inchoate, or uncompleted, condition; neither Grand Lodges nor authorities on jurisprudence have ever codified either the Statutes or the Constitutional regulations concerning money; it is for that reason impossible to define "Masonic purposes" accurately, though in practice it is almost never difficult to draw a line between Masonic and non-Masonic (or un-Masonic) purposes.
In general, statements as to what Masonic purposes are may be found in the lists of Landmarks officially adopted or approved by Grand Lodges; here and there in Codes; in established rules and practices; in the Lodge Charter, and in the Old Charges. There is to be a Lodge; it is to have a room; it is to make Masons; at stated times it is to assemble them; it is to extend relief; and it is to be expected that among themselves they will enjoy feasts and other entertainrnent which belong to good fellowship. For these purposes, money must be expended; the total cost per year is divided among members and among petitioners and candidates, who pay proportionate shares in ache form of fees, dues, and assessments. The funds which come into the Lodges are therefore, and as it were, already earmarked; it is unlawful to use them in expenditure for anything other than the purposes for which they were paid or given.
MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION.
Bro. Robert I. Clegg's paragraph on the formation of the Masonic Service Association on page 648 had to go to press before the full facts had become available to him, therefore his account calls for some amplification. It also must be revised at one point, because he leaves the impression that the Association was a continuation of the Overseas Mission of which Judge Townsend Scudder, P. G. M., of New York, had been chairman.
The account given herewith can be recommended ax completely reliable to future historians because its writer was with Grand Master George L. Schoonover, Grand Lodge of Iowa, then living at Anamosa, la., on the day when he was first inspired with the idea; discussed it with him at length a number of times during some three months before the Grand Masters' Conference convened at Cedar Rapids, la., November 26, 1918, worked with him and Bro. Scudder to lay out the blue-print for the form of organization which was adopted the next day; was author of the educational plank which was incorporated in the plan; for some four or five weeks after the formation of the Association gave his full time to working out details for the Association's educational work; and co-operated with Prof. William Russell, then of the University of Iowa, afterwards Dean of the School of Education in Columbia University, in writing the first Short Talk Bulletins.
Grand Master Schoonover's idea was not to perpetuate the Overseas Mission of the Grand Lodge of New York. It was almost the opposite of that. He believed that the Grand Lodges had not supported the Conference which had been held at New York in April, 1917, partly because the Grand Lodges had not received notice sufficiently in advance, partly because he did not believe that the forty-nine Grand Lodges would ever work through a Committee, and more largely because he believed that the War Relief plan carried out by the Committee (to which he gave his whole-hearted support) was too narrow a basis on which to build a concerted national Masonic activity
He believed that just as the Government of the United States sets up independent, staffed organizations tcr special governmental purposes which are self-managed and yet are owned and controlled by the Govermnent, so should the American Grand Lodges set up a permanent and continuously active association which though staffed by salaried men and directed by an Executive Secretary, would be owned, controlled, and used by the Grand Lodges, and used by them both individually and collectively, at any time and for any good purpose. At a period of emergency the whole of American Masonry could act as a unit, employing such an Association as its instrument. How would a salaried staff be kept busy? The writer's contribution to the theory of the proposed Association was to recommend that they be given a program of nation-wide Masonic educational services to carry on.
The Masonic Service Association came into existence when the Grand Masters, Conference adopted the Constitution, of which a copy is included in a booklet published by the Association entitled "The Masonic Service Association of the United States: Origin, Purpose, Activity." The Grand Lodges were divided into ten geographical Divisions; the Association was to meet annually, and each year was to elect an Executive Commission consisting of a Chairman and a member from each Division. This Committee was to administer activities; and salaried staff members were to be under its directions. Membership was by Grand Lodges, each acting to join or not join at one of its regular Grand Communications; and finances were to be pro-rated among member Grand Lodges according to their membership. In the Session held immediately after ado'ption of the Association, Bro. Schoonover was elected the first Executive Secretary.
During its formative period the Asflociation encountered two difficulties. One was the ever-lurking fear of a National Grand Lodge; this was overcome by patient correspondence and personal visits to Grand Communications The other was a prejudiced and unwarranted rumor teethe effect that the Association was created to "support" the National Masonic Research Society which Bro. Schoonover had founded in January, 1915, which published a journal called The Builder, and for which he had erected a headquarters building at Anamosa, Iowa (later he erected a second and larger one at Cedar --Rapids, Iowa, to which the Society moved its offices). The facts were the opposite of the rumor. The Research Society was in no need of support. During the first months it supported the new Aasociation, furnished it with office space, gave it the use of its mailing room and its library, gave wide publicity to it in The Builder, and its own Executive Secretary, already over-burdened, gave his time as Executive Secretary to the Association without salary.
But the rumor persisted, and to free both the Research Society and the Association from it, headquarters of the latter were set up in an office building in downtown Cedar Rapids. Bro. Schoonover resigned as Executive Secretary, and Bro. A. L. Randell, P.G.M., Texas, was employed at an adequate salary to take his place. From then on the two organizations went their own ways independently, the M.S.A. moving to Washington, D.C., which Btill is its headquarters city. M.-. W. . Carl H. Claudy succeeded Bro. Randell after the latter's death. A complete dossier of minutes, reports, and other original documents are in the vault of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.—H.L.H.
What are now called Masons' Marks were in the centuries of Operative Masonry most often called Bench, or Banker Marks, because after a stone or Xsome other piece of work waXs completed and signed, or "marked," it was placed on the "bench," or "bank," where bookkeepers could make a record of it, thereby giving each workman credit for no more and no less than he had done. (The word "bench" as then used still survives as a philological relic among the terms used in commercial green-houses, where the raised plant beds are called "benches.") Each Mason had his own mark; he was not permitted to use one like, or too much like another's; after he had completed a stone he carved, scratched, or painted his Mark on it.
The custom has Sways and everywhere been in use among builders, in China and India and the Near East as much as in Europe, in ancient times as much as in Medieval. (When the foundation stones of Solomon's Temple were excavated the painted marks on them were as unworn and as unfaded as ever.) A Mark had to be easy to chisel; it also had to be simple enough for clerks to write into their records without too much trouble. A Mason kept the same Mark throughout his career, so that it became identified with him like his name. As late as 1670 the members of Aberdeen Lodge, Operatives and non-Operatives alike, put down their Marks along with their names. (See page 626.)
Marks themselves were not symbols or emblems, and every attempt to find in them some esoteric system of teachings has failed; and though one or another type of them might have been favored in one period or country the fact has no more significance than that of any similar custom. But while the Marks failed the hopes of those who sought in them a key to symbolism and thereby ceased to be as important to Masonic symbology as was once expected, they have on the other hand become of ever-increasing importance to researchers in the history of both architecture and Freemasonry. In one instance a Mark found in a building and on the Fabric Rolls was identified with the name of a workman and a date; when the same Mark was found in fifteen or sixteen other buildings over a large area it proved conclusively that the work men had been free to move about to work in different parishes; and it also proved the dates of a number of buildings.
But while the designs of the Marks were not symbolic the general use and purpose of Marks in general was so surcharged with meaning and rich in sugges tions that the development of a general symbolism of Masons' Marks was inevitable sooner or later—if the Mark Degree had not been organized in the Eighteenth Century it would have been in the Nineteenth, and out of the Royal Arch Degree itself as it in turn had been developed out of the old Master Degree. A Masons' Mark was like his name, or like his thumbprint, both a proof and an expression of his identity, his individuality. That same idea had always been marked out and stressed by every people in history.
Even before history (as is still true of our Indians) a man had a public or general name, also a secret name belonging solely to himself. In countries where each tribe had a god and yet where through wars, consolidations, or alliances one tribe became mixed with another, a tribe gave its god a secret name known only to its own members lest the god of one tribe be confused with the god of another. The story of "shibboleth" and "sibboleth" was but one of thousands of similar stories in ancient times.
There is throughout history a never-ending see-saw between the social, and the individuaL A man is both individual and social, and it is fatal to him when he cannot be both.
The insanities of "the ego and his own," of "rugged individualism," of "all-out competition," of the "lone-wolf philosophy," of egoism, Nietscheanism, and ultra-individualism together, are as deadly as totalitarianism, communism, equalitarianism, and other insanities of the sort which seek to wipe out the man as an individual. A working man, solely as such, can never be a hired hand, a mere employer, a number in a list, a "member" in an organization, and be thus reduced to a cypher, a drop of water lost in the ocean of a so-called "class"; on the other hand he cannot himself evade his responsibility by hiding out in the anonymousness of a crowed in order to do scotched work or no work—the Masons would have said that each and every workman stands separately in the All-seeing Bye of the Grand Architect. In the symbolism of the Mark the many truths of individuality and of society both are present, or are suggested, for the Mark meant that at one and the same time each Craftsman had an indefeasible identity of his own yet at the same time was a member of a Brotherhood of Craftsmen.
See chapters on Masons' Marks in English Monasteries in the Middle Apes, by R. Liddesdale Palmer; page 200; in the Histories by R. F. Gould and by Albert G. Mackey; in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum; and in Art and the Reformation, by G. G. Coulton. In a period when the whole world is shaken with wars and debates between totalitarianism and democracy, communism and individualism, the state and the citizen, the Mark Degree is no longer an interesting piece of Masonic antiquarianism, or of a symbolism more or less inert and academic, but is worth careful study by thinking men because in it are clues and ideas overlooked by the majority of arguments, and they are rich, and suggestive, and unbelievably wise.
The Minutes of the oldest Speculative Lodges consist of very brief memoranda, often of little more than a note to the effect that the Lodge had met on 3 certain date, and with the names of the Master and officers. There are three general reasons for these sketchy brevities: first, the Lodge made little use of its records; second, Secretaries were always afraid of violating the rule of secrecy; third, the Secretaries who took their Minutes hon. we were afraid lest outsiders might see them; and if they left them in the Lodge Room (records were kept in a bag in the base of a pedestal;) they were afraid that employees of the tavern might get at them. It is only by a great amount of auxiliary research in tow n histories, local papers, and biographies that an historian can make the dry bones live.
This meagreness of records is always tantalizing; it is tantalizing in the extreme on the subject of Masters' Lodges, for while such Lodges are often mentioned in Minutes almost nothing is ever told about them; the paradoxical result is that we know with certainty that Masters' Lodges were at work, and yet know very little about them—not even from their own Minutes, of which a scant amount are in existence.
It appears that after about 1725 there were a number of them, in and around London at least. Thev were separately organized, had their on n warrant, and their own officers, at least as a general rule, for in some cases the WIasters' Lodge appears to have been an adjunct to some Lodge on the Grand Lodge List.
A typical Masters' Lodge would meet on Sunday; to it would go a few members of each of a number of Lodges. For the rest, the data are confusing. In some instances they appear to have had no function except to confer the Master Mason Degree. In others they appear to have been composed of Past Masters only (in days when a Master served only six months, ten Lodges would have 200 Past Masters in ten years). In still others it appears that any Lodge member (a Fellowcraft) vfas eligible, but that he had "to pass the chair"—in the Minutes are such titles as Pass Alaster, Passed Master, Past Master. Also, there are hints that what became the Royal Arch Degree may leave been a portion of the ceremonies used in a Masters' Lodge.
It is certain that in the majority of Lodges members were made Apprentice and Felloweraft only; that a Worshipful Master was usually a Fellowcraft (in at least one Lodge he was an Apprentice); and that very often the two "Degrees" vere conferred in one evening (called "emergency"); it may be, though at present it is impossible to be sure, that the tri-gradal system was set up when these Alasters' Lodges were discontinued, "raising" was turned back to the Lodges, and the Royal Arch was separately organized to confer some of the ceremonies which before had been conferred in Masters' Lodges. It is almost certain that the Royal Arch (at least as old as 1744) and the Mark Degrees always were considered to belong to Ancient Craft Masonry; even as late as 1813 at the time of the Union, Ancient Craft Masonry was proclaimed to consist of the Degrees of Apprentice, Felloweraft, Master Mason and the Holy Royal Arch .
See An Old Masters' Lodge, by William James Hughan; Kenning; London; 1897; it incorporates Minutes from 1720 to 1734. Some light on Masters' Lodges is in Antiquity of the Holy Royal Arch; Lewis; London; 1927; Historical Analysis of the Holy R. A. Ritual; Lewis; London; 1929; and Organization of the Royal Arch Chapters Two Centuries Ago; Lewis; London; 1930; the three books are by the Rev. F. de. P. Castells. See also, and especially for documents, History of the Origin and Development of the Royal Arch Degrees, by Charles A. Conover; Coldwater, Mich.; 1923.
In a paper on "Masters' Lodges" read by John I,ane at a meeting of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, N o. 2076, June 25, 1888, he gives a brief sketch of each of 36 Atasters' Lodges which appeared on the Grand Lodge Engraved List from 1723 to 0813.
One of the most valuable sources of information is Chapter VIII, Olel Dundee Lodges by Arthur Heiron. Between 1754 and 1769 the Masters' Lodge which was connected with Old Dundee held about 400 meetings. Bro. Heiron describes it in terms of seven "chief characteristics":
1. The meetings were held in six winter months only, at first on Sunday, then on Monday, and finally on alternate Thursdays. but never on a stated Lodge night.
2. "An Express Vote" or "Indulgence" had to be passed by the Lodge before a Masters' Lodge could be held; Brethren attending paid one shilling for each meeting.
3. .A second "Indulgence" was needed to grant them privilege of using jewels and furniture.
4. The purpose was to "Raise Masters," but in oecasional emergencies the Lodge itself conferred three Degrees in one night, though Old Dundee did not approve such practices.
5. Only members of the Masters' Lodges were permitted to attend. The Work was conferred by Past Masters in a "Uniform with Purple Colored Ribbons"—a suggestion of the colors of the Royal Arch.
6. The Masters' Lodges' funds were kept by the Lodge Treasurer in a separate account.
7. In 1769 the Grand Chapter R.A.M. for the first time granted Warrants to 'private Chapters"—i.e., bodies separate from a Lodge.
In that same year the Lodge discontinued its Masters' Lodge, and voted that "They should have a Master's Lecture on the Publiek Nights from Micas to Ladyday."
Bro. Heiron was of the opinion that the Masters' Lodge performed the ceremony of "Passing the Chair." To "Raise a Master," the ceremony being more elaborate than one used in "Modern" Lodges at the time. During the period of the "Masters' Lodge" the regular Old Dundee continued to confer the Third Degree on any "ordinary Lodge Night." Why then a Masters' Lodge? It conferred a dram4ttzed, or acted out, fond, Bro. Eeiron believed, whereas the Lodge itself used only a Floor Cloth and a Lecture; also, the Masters' Lodge ceremony probably contained the Royal Arch ceremonies, for which reason the "Passing the Chair" ceremony was required. Lodges under the Antient Grand Lodge had no hIasters' Lodges; they did have a separate Royal Arch Degree; the fact suggests that conferring the Royal Arch was one of the principal purposes of the Moderns' Masters' Lotges. (The whole of Bro. Heiron's Chapter VIII is worth careful study.)
MAYAS, THE, AND MASONRY.
At a time when little or nothing was known about the Mayas, and to take advantage of that general ignorance while he could, LePlongeon wrote a book to prove that the Mayas (or Quiches) had invented Freemasonry "20,000.years ago." Now that the veil has been lifted from that great and fine people, LePlongeon's book is exposed as either a hoax or as one of the most exquisite masterpieces of ignorance ever penned. A curator of the Maya Museum at San Diego made a special study of two or three details in the replicas of Maya monuments exhibited there from which the dreamful Le Plongeon had woven his fantasy; not one had even a remote connection with Freemasonry.
Thus, to mention only one of them, the bas-relief figure of a Maya chieftain of ceremony is wearing a garment faintly resembling an apron; even if it were an apron the fact would signify nothing because liturgists in thousands of cults and religions have worn aprons; none of the emblems on it was Masonic.
The Mayas were an American Indian people, who centered in what is now Yucatan and Guatemala. They built large cities, had schools, hospitals, doctors, the arts and sciences (very little engineering), mathematics, astronomy; a few of their descendants continue to speak the Maya tongue. They reached their heyday about the same century as Charlemagne. From their center went out waves of civilizations, the Aztecs, Peruvians, Mexicans, and, finally, the Pueblo Indians who still live in Arizona and New Mexico.
It is believed that each and every North American Indian tribe or people descended from the Mayas; the symbol of the plumed serpent which had so prominent a place among Maya emblems and symbols (representing a river, clouds, rain) is still in use, though altered almost out of recognition, among Indians in America and in Northern Canada. (See History of Mayas, by Gann and Thompson. People of the Serpent, by Thompson. The largest and safest source of materials for a student are in the reports of archet ologists and of the special societies, bureaus, and institutions devoted to Indian history. Except for what they obtained from American Lodges, no trace of Speculative Freemasonry has ever been found among Indians in general; still less, among the Mayas.)
See Kukulcan; The Bearded Conqueror (New Mayan discoveries), by T. A. Willard; Murray and Lee; Hollywood; 1941. This book by a Maya enthusiast who quit the manufacture of electric storage batteries to live in Yucatan and join Moler and Thompson in the recovery of Maya ruins admittedly is by an amateur of archeology who writes for laymen; for all that, he writes no dreams of his own like Le Plongeon but relates for the non-technical what the specialists have found. What the specialists have found is that the Maya sculptures, so mysterious in appearance, are no more mysterious than a daily paper.
The Mayas are not vanished but live still in Yucatan, talking Maya; until 619 A.D. there were two peoples in Yucatan, the Itzaes and the Chicans—hence Chichen-Itza—vixen they were conquered; in 1027 A.D. they founded their capital of Mayapan—hence "Maya"; in that gear a Toltec named Eukulcan came down out of Mexico and conquered thetn—"a white man with a beard"- the Spaniards first arrived in 1520, and conquered the Mayas in 1541, whereupon—in 1549—a Franciscan friar named Landa, afterwards bishop, began to de stroy their books, religion, science, schools, art. The famous quetzal bird is not extinct, but flourishing; the sculptures and writings are little more than a chronicle of Mayan history. Of "secrets," and esoteric knowledge, and above all of Freemasonry, there is nowhere a trace. They got the great stones up to the top of their temples and pyramids by pulling them on rollers up temporary dirt ramps. The earliest authentic, recorded Maya date is 179 A.D.
MEDALS, MASONIC, IN U. S. MINT.
Among the medals preserved in the old United States mint in Philadelphia are six of Masonic subjects, or struck to commemorate Masonic events. Two of these are of George Washington. For data about these, and for other medals with Masonic connections of one sort or another, see Catalogue of Coins, Tokens, and Medais in the Numismatic collection of the Mint of the United States at Philadelphia, Pa.; Government Printing Office; Washington, D. C.; 1914.
MEEKEREN AND BRESS.
Bro. R. J. Meekren, Stanstead, Quebec, and A. L. Kress, McKeesport, Pa., contributed to The Builder, of which Bro. Meekren was editor at the time, a series of articles between May, 1928 and October, 1929 in which they developed sith skill and thoroughness a theory of the Ritual which they have a right to call their own, and which has been receiving a sympathetic consideration by Masonic scholars.
The theory cannot be bracketed or labelled because it stands in a unique position. It is concerned largely with the Third Degree, and more particularly with the Legend of HA.-. On the one side they refuse to agree with the more timid investigators that the Third Degree was concocted out of nothing, or next to nothing ("the Mason Word," etc.), after 1725, by the "new men" who had come into the Craft, and who, as old Minutes so abundantly show, knew very little about Freema60nry's past; and they refuse partly because they do not believe that the old Lodges in control of the Grand Lodge would have accepted any artificially constructed novelty into the structure of the Ritual, and partly because the internal evidence of the Third Degree indicates that it is at least in substance far older than the Eighteenth Century.
On the other side, they refuse to agree with the extremists of the so-called "anthropologic school" (Ward, Cock burn, etc.) that our ceremonies ever were handed over to us by African savages, or any other savages. They believe however, and in so believing have the backing of the whole science of anthropology, that there are in modern civilization some "culture survivals"; that these originated, many of them, in ancient times, and that they have persisted because for generation after generation men have found in them something worth preserving.
In their articles they carry out a series of studies of such rites and symbols as Form of the Lodge, the Precious Jewels, HA.-. etc., in the light of their being possible culture survivals, and in 60 doing bring to them a fresh interpretation, and extract from them new meanings, and as always, when that is done, receiving grateful thanks from other students. Their interpretation is being criticized at two points. First, have they not narrowed too much the scope of Medieval architecture, ignoring the fact that it was a world in itself in which the construction and engineering of buildings was only a part, and in which there was in every period a rich, interior culture? If they have, they have weakened their argument for carrying back the origin of the (admittedly) oldest stratum of Masonic rites and symbols to ages preceding Medieval architecture.
Second, andon the contrary, they could in part strengthen their theory if it could be shown, as is possible, that the whole use of the ideas of Degrees, or separately organized ceremonies, has no meaning prior to about 1600. It is reasonable to think that Operative Masons had not fewer ceremonies (rites, symbols) than Speculative, but had more; but that they used them here and there, now and then, for many purposes, and were never concerned to organize them into independent Degrees. If this is true the problem of HA.-. can be detached from any problem about the Third Degree (as a Degree) for it is possible that it is one of many ceremonies, or rites, or symbolic actions of which there were probably a large number in the earliest Medieval Masonry.
MEMBERSHIP, IN MASONIC JURISPRUDENCE.
Ancient Craft Masonry ("Blue Lodge"), the Royal Arch, Cryptic Rite, Knight Templarism, and the Scottish Rite have each one its own laws, rules, and regulations,|written and unwritten; thewhole of these, taken as a single subject, comprise Masonic Jurisprudence. As in civil jurisprudence where Federal laws are not the same as State laws, where the laws of one State are not the same as the laws of another, and the municipal law of cities inside the same State differ from one to another, so in Freemasonry each Rite has its own jurisprudence, and inside each Rite its local or constituent bodies have their by-laws. Nevertheless, and as in civil law, Masonic jurisprudence is in substance the same throughout; the differences are differences of wording, of construction, of "place" (i.e., what is a Grand Lodge statute in one Grand Jurisdiction is a by-law in ansther), of application, and of the amount of written law (the Grand Lodge of Connecticut has a minimum of written rules, California has a maximum), but these are differences in the same set of fundamental laws.
It is needed that these facts be remembered when the rules and regulations governing the individual Lodge member are in consideration. In the jurisprudence of a Master Mason what is his capacity as member of a Lodge? On few other subjects do Grand Lodges and Lodges (and Bodies of the other Rites) appear to differ more, nevertheless their laws are everywhere the same in purpose and intent. Individual membership is a Lodge office; the member has his own place to sit, his own time to act or speak, his own duties to perform, his own rights and privileges, his own regalia, his own responsibility; he even has his own title of "Brother" which is as much a title as "Secretary," "Senior Warden," or "Worshipful Master."
Unlike the member of a club or a society there is nothing fluid or uncertain in his activities; he is not foot-loose, cannot go or come or act as his whim might lead him to, but belongs to an Order, and in his capacity as member of a Masonic Lodge he is ordered— hang his own place, time, etiquette, rank, title, In Book III, Chapter 3, The Jurisprudence of Freemosonry, by Albert G. Mackey, the office of membership is described under the heads of nine uprights."
The Master Mason as member of a Lodge has the Right of Membership, the Right of Affiliation, of Visit, of Avouchment, of Relief, of Demission, of Appeal, of Burial, of Trial. But if he has Rights he also has Duties, for if there be no Duties there is no means to satisfy Rights; as, in example, if A has the Right to ask for Relief it is the Duty of B. or W. or Z to give it to him else the Right is useless. It is a member's Duty to attend Lodge, to pay dues, to vote, to take part in Lodge discussion, to obey when instructed or ordered by the Master, to give relief, to visit the sick, to answer the Sign of Distress, and to hold office if in his Brethrens' judgment he ought to do so; unless he has the qualification and willingness to perform these Duties he does not possess the qualificatlons for membership.
During the first century of Speculative Freemasonry Lodges in every country took the ground that this is what was meant by the Doctrine of Qualification and they "excluded" a man who lacked them, and fined members for non-attendance, or for not responding to the Master's summons, or for refusing to vote or to accept office. Also, a member has Prerogatives: the prerogative of seeking to visit, of making himself known to other Masons, of the privilege of the floor, of introducing resolutions, of entering and retiring, of being addressed by his title of "Brother," etc.
A member, and solely in his capacity as member, also has his own designated right of power which once was described as his rights to sovereignty, and which in a literal sense is sovereignty within its own limits. The laws, rules, and regulations by which he is governed and ordered appear on the surface to be little more than restrictions and restraints, as if in the eyes of the Fraternity he were "merely a member," and as such has little voice in things; but if those rules and regulations are analyzed, and if they are observed in action, it will be found that one of their grand purposes is to guarantee that no officer, custom, or set of circumstances shall interfere with a member's freedom—his freedom to act, his rights, or duties, or his power.
MEN'S HOUSE, THE.
Anthropologists have been impressed with the similarity between a Lodge, composed of men only, admitting members by initiation and as apprentices, with ceremonies of their own, and the Men's House of a number of uncivilized peoples. In their campaigns in World War II among island peoples in the South Pacific and the Southwest Pacific American soldiers reported the finding of these Men's Houses in a number of islands—among the Marianas they were called All Men's House. A Men's House is the largest building of a community, stands well apart and by itself; in it unmarried men have their quarters; to it boys of twelve are taken when they are initiated into the tribe and are to live apart from women until marriage.
The analogy between the House and a Lodge is interesting; both are instances, or forms, of free associations; but it is impossible to push the analogy beyond that point without turning it into an absurdity. (Studies of the Men's House and its ceremonies are common in general anthropological and ethnological literature; and there are special, detailed studies in the works of Hutton Webster, J. G. Fraser, and Margaret Mead. See also The Mends House, by Joseph Fort Newton, a collection of Masonic essays of which the first gives its title to the booked
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Last modified: March 22, 2014