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SLAVES, SERVANTS, ETC.
The first Lodge constituted in South Africa w as De Goede Hoop (Lodge of Good Hope), under a Dutch w arrant, in the Transvaal, 1772. The Minutes of this Lodge which was set up in a frontier country to bring a ray of light into a Dark Continent contain the most surprising set of entries ever written before or since by a Lodge Secretary; perhaps they are unique. In 1774 the Lodge rented a slave. By 1775 they had come to own a slave, named Slammat, then sold him for 170 rix dollars. In the following year the Secretary records show that the Lodge had purchased another, named September.
They sold September, and then bought two others, without names. The last slave sale was dated 1777. George, Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV, in 1787 initiated ("with his own hands"!) twenty footmen, etc., in order to have personal servants to wait on him while he sat in the East of his Prince of Wales Lodge, No. 259. Bro. George Washington inherited a slave from his mother. But no such items as these, nor any other among Masonic curzosa, can ever rob Goede Hoop of its melancholy and surprising distinction of dealing in slaves. (See The Early Histor1y of the Lodge De Goede Hoop, by O. H. Bate; Cape Town, South Africa.)
G. G. Coulton (in Art and Reformation; page 74) records one case of the selling of a Freemason into slavery. A Normandy lady was so inordinately proud of a castle a Master Freemason built for her that she had him beheaded to guarantee against his making another like it. John Coustos was sent to the galleys by the Portuguese Inquisition for being a Freemason. Kings sometimes "bonded" a favorite physician, musician, Mason, etc., for life, a status which was serfdom in effect. In Tudor times more than one king sent out sheriffs to round up Freemasons to compel them by force to work on royal buildings.
In 1907 Bro. Harry W. Gowen, of Halifax, N. C., wrote an exuberant booklet to prove that Georgia had in it the first and only Provincial Grand Master of Masons for America (1771-1776) and the only Provincial Grand Lodge for America; it was entitled The Stony of the Right TVorshipful Joseph Montfort. On page 26 is a paragraph about a slave:
"During the early years of the records a Brother died in the West Indies, and by his will, left a slave, a negro woman, to Royal White Hart Lodge. Halifax" The Lodge loaned the slave to Mrs. Taylor, a Mason's widow, and after 3 few years appointed a committee to recover the slave and her increase; but whenever the committee Vent after the woman, Mrs. Taylor would hide her. The chase was ineffectually kept up for a few years, finally abandoned and was most amusing. "
NOTE. On paze 676 of this Encoclopedia Bro. Clegg writes: 'Royal White Hart Lodge, No. 2, Halifax, North Carolina, has met in an old frame building erected in 1769 and sinee mused exclusively and continuously for Lodge purposes. ' In two details Bro. Clegg was misled by his sources of information. The lower door was made and equipped for a school room and was so used for many years. The "old frame building" suggests a poor or deerepit building whereas it was a very fine structure. "We have a description of the temple written in 1820, when it was in a perfect state of preservation: the roof was of slate color; the building white with green blinds, red brick chimney and foundation, and mahogany doors; the ceiling of the lodge room (which is arched) was blue; the woodvnork white, excepting the doors, which were mahogany." Gowen; page 26.
It is a fact of large significance that in the Minute Books of Lodges and the Proceedings of Great Lodges of the United States from 1850 neither slavery nor the Civil War is almost ever mentioned, and still less is ever discussed It was assumed tacitly, as it necessarily had to be, that the Tenets of Freemasonry are incompatible with buying, selling, or owning men and women. But the slavery issue from 1850 to 1865 was brought into the Fraternity, or made to confront it, in an indirect way, and, as it were, through the back door; because when the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the second period of the Anti-Masonic Crusade joined the Anti-Masons in their attempt to obliterate the Fraternity, one of its modes of attack was to accuse Freemasons of being abolitionists.
The hierarchy of the Roman Church, though not always with the support of the lower clergy, and from 800 A.D. to World War II, has always been on the side of special privilege, ruling classes, slave and serf owners, etc., as against democracy, freedom, representative government, public schools, etc. Even in the North the hierarchy was outspokenly pro-slavery; in the South its hatred of Lincoln, emancipation, and abolitionism was malignant. Thus in a letter to Secretary of War Cameron in 1861, Archbishop Hughes wrote that "it should be understood that, with or without knowing it, if they [Catholics] are to fight for the abolition of slavery, then indeed they will turn away in disgust from the discharge of what would otherwise be a patriotic duty."
In a book published in 1941 the Roman Catholic historian Theodore Maynard described the Emancipation Proclamation as a "blot on Lincoln's record." (The records and documents in the case may be found in American Catholic Opinion in the Slavery Controversy, by Madeline Hooke Riee; Columbia University Press; New York; 1944. The Church did not disavow its pro-slavery after the war, but permitted the subject to die away. This book by Maynard, it is interesting to note, is one of a long series of propaganda volumes being published by Roman Catholic agencies in order to re-write American history in their own favor.)
Note. Detailed week-by-week records of Roman Catholie attacks on Freemasonry may be found in diocesan newspapers between 1848/1865, North and South.
This technical expression in American Freemasonry, but commonly confined to the Western States, and not generally used, is of comparatively recent origin; and both the action and the word probably sprang up, with a few other innovations, intended as especial methods of precaution, about the time of the anti-Masonic excitement.
There are three copies of the Old Constitutions which bear this name. All of them were found in the British Museum among the heterogeneous collection of papers which were once the property of Sir Hans Sloane.
The first Sloane Manuscript, which is known in the Museum as No. 3848, is one of the most complete of the copies extant of the Old Constitutions. At the end of it, the date is certified by the following subscription: finis p. me Eduardu Sankey decimo sexto die Octobris Anno Domini 1646. It was published for the first time, from an exact transeript of the original, by Brother Hughan in his Old Charges of the British Freemasons.
The second Sloane Manuscript is known in the British Museum as No. 3323. It is in a large folio volume of three hundred and twenty-eight leaves, on the fly-leaf of which Sir Hans Sloane has written "Loose papers of mine Coneerning Curiosities." There are many manuscripts by different hands. The Masonic one is subscribed thus with the date and name of the writer, Haec scripta fuerunt p. me Thomam Martin, 1659, and this fixes the date. It consists of three leaves of paper six inches by seven and a half, is written in a small, neat hand, and endorsed Free Masonry. It was first published, in 1871, by Brother Hughan in his Masonic Sketches and Reprints.
The Rev. Brother A. F. A. Woodford thinks this an "indifferent copy of the former one." But this seems unlikely. The entire omission of the Legend of the Craft from the time of Lamech to the building of the Temple, including the important Legend of Euclid, all of which is given in full in the other manuscript, No. 3848, together with a great many verbal discrepancies, and a total difference in the eighteenth charge, would lead one to suppose that the former manuscript never was seen; or at least copied, by the writer of the latter. On the whole, it is, from this very omission, one of the least valuable of the copies of the Old Constitutions.
The third Sloane Manuscript is really one of the most interesting and valuable of those that have beers heretofore discovered. A portion of it, a small portion, was inserted by Findel in his History of Freemasonry; but the whole has been since published in the Voice of Masonry, a periodical printed at Chicago in 1872. The number of the manuscript in the British Museum is 3329, and Brother Hughan places its date at from 1640-1700; but he says that Messrs. Bond and Sims, of the British Museum, agree in stating that it is "probably of the beginning of the eighteenth century."
But the Rev. Brother Woodford mentions great authority, Wallbran, on manuscripts who declares it to be "previous to the middle of the seventeenth century." Findel thinks it originated at the end of the seventeenth century, and "that it was found among the papers which Doctor Plot left behind him on his death, and was one of the Sources whence his communications on Freemasonry were derived." It is not a copy of the Old Constitutions, in which respect it differs from all the other manuscripts, but is a description of the ritual of the Society of Free Operative Masons at the period when it was vritten.
This it is that makes it so valuable a contribution to the history of Freemasonry, and renders t so important that its precise date should be fixed.
SMARAGDINE, TABLET OF HERMES.
The foundation of Hermetic knowledge, by an unknown author. Translated in the Oedipus Aegyptiacus.
Captain George Smith was a Freemason of some distinction during the latter part of the eighteenth century. Although born in England, he at an early age entered the military service of Prussia, being connected with noble families of that kingdom. During his residence on the continent it appears that he was initiated in one of the German Lodges.
On his return to England he was appointed Inspector of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, and published, in 1779, a Universal Military Dictionary, and, in 1783, a Bibliotheca Militaris. Brother Smith devoted much attention to Masonic studies, and is said to have been a good workman in the Royal Military Lodge at Woolwich, of which he was for four years the Master. During his Mastership the Lodge had on one occasion, been opened in the King's Bench prison, and some persons who were confined there were initiated. For this the Master and Brethren were censured, and the Grand Lodge declared that "it is inconsistent with the principles of Masonry for any Freemason's Lodge to be held, for the purpose of making, passing, or raising Masons, in any prison or place of confinernent'' (see Constitutions, 1784, page 349).
Brother Smith was appointed by the Duke of Manchester, in 1778, Provincial Grand Master of Kent, and on that occasion de livered his Inaugural Charge before the Lodge of Friendship at Dover. He also drew up a Code of Laws for the government of the Province, which was published in 1781.
In 1780 he was appointed Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge; but objections having been made by Heseltine, the Grand Secretary, between whom and himself there was no very kind feeling, on the ground that no one could hold two offices in the Grand Lodge, Smith resigned at the next Quarterly Communication. As at the time of this appointment there was really no law forbidding the holding of two offices, its impropriety was so manifest, that the Grand Lodge adopted a regulation (Constitutions, 1784, page 336) that "it is incompatible with the laws of this society for any Brother to hold more than one office in the Grand Lodge at the same time. "
Captain Smith, in 1783, published a work entitled The Use and Abuse of Freemasonry: a work of the greatest utility to the Brethren of the Society, to Mankind in general, and to the Ladies in particular. The interest to the ladies consists in some twenty pages, in which he gives the "Ancient and Modern reasons why the ladies have never been ae itted into the Society of Freemasons," a section the omission of which would scarcely have diminished the value of the work or the reputation of the author.
The work of Brother Smith would not at the present day, in the advanced progress of Masonic knowledge, enhance the reputation of its writer. But at the time when it appeared, there was a great dearth of Masonic literature—Anderson, Calcott, Hutchinson, and Preston being the only authors of any repute that had as yet written on the subject of Freemasonry. There was much historical information contained within its pages, and some few suggestive thoughts on the symbolism and philosophy of the Order. To the Craft of that day the book was therefore necessary and useful. Nothing, indeed, proves the necessity of such a work more than the fact that the Grand Lodge refused its sanction to the publication on the general ground of opposition to Masonic literature.
Noorthouck (Constitutions, 1784, page 347), in commenting on the refusal of a sanction, says:
No particular objection being stated against the abovementioned work, the natural conclusion is, that a sanction was refused on the general principle that, considering the flourishing state of our Lodges, where regular instruction and suitable exercises are ever ready for all Brethern who zealously aspire to improve in masonieal knowledge new publications are unnecessary on a subject which books cannot teach. Indeed, the temptations to authorship have effected a strange revolution of sentiments sinee the year 1720, when even antient manuscripts were destroyed, to prevent their appearance in a printed Book of Constitutions! for the principal materials in this very work, then so much dreaded, have since been retailed in a variety of forms, to give consequence to fanciful produetions that might have been safely withheld, without sensible injury, either to the Fraternity or to the literary reputation of the writers.
To dispel such darkness almost any sort of book should have been acceptable. The work was published without the sanction, and the Craft being wiser than their representatives in the Grand Lodge, the edition was speedily exhausted. In 1785 Captain Smith was expelled from the Society for "uttering an instrument purporting to be a certificate of the Grand Lodge recommending two distressed Brethren."
Doctor Oliver (Revelations of a Square, page 215) describes Captain Smith as a man "plain in speech and manners, but honourable and upright in his dealings, and an active and zealous Mason." It is probable that he died about the end of the eighteenth or the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Brother Smith published The Freemasons Pocket Companion, 1736, at London, England.
SMITH, WM.; HIS CONSTITUTIONS.
When the Modern (first) Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania dedicated its Lodge house (Americans first Masonie building), and called "The Freemasons' Lodge," the dedication sermon was preached by William Smith, D. D., a member of Lodge No. 2, famous for his learning throughout the Colony. In 1781, the year that Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, the Grand Lodge decided to reissue its Shiman Rezon, or Book of Constitutions, and appointed Bro. Smith to revise and to abridge it. He was to become Grand Secretary in 1783.
In 1782 he was Provost of the College of Philadelphia—now the University of Pennsylvania. He had the revision ready in 1781, and on November 22 of that year it was approved by Grand Lodge. But the printing was delayed. In 1782 Smith wrote a dedication to George Washington; in 1783 the Book was published. Though its editor could not know of it at the time, it was a book destined to be carried far, because it was to become the sanction and guide for Lodges in Tennessee, Kentucky, the West Indies Louisiana, Mexico, etc., and to be a model for later editors in other and future Grand Lodges.
Since the volume is now listed as a rare book, collectors may find useful its full title page: "Ahiman Rezon Abridged and Digested; as a Help to all that are. or would be Free and Accepted Masons, to which is added a Sermon, Preached at Christ-Church, Philadelphia, at a General Communication, Celebrated, Agreeable to the Constitutions, Monday, December 28, 1778, at the Anniversary of St. John the Evangelist, Published by Order of The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvanh, by XVilliam Smith, D. D., Philadelphia; Printed by Hall and Sellers, M,Dcc, LXXXIII."
The 1778 London Edition of the Ahiman Rezon which presumably Bro. Smith had before him, has as its title: "Ahiman Rezon: or a Help to all that are, or vould be Free and Accepted Masons." It mas the Third Edition.
The first paragraph of Bro. Smith's Chapter I appears to have been of his om n composition, and mav be guessed to have been a device for condensing into one sentence a series of exhortations which in the original version Laurence Dermott had spread over a number of pages. In this paragraph and in the chapter sub-head Bro. Smith uses a phrase which is peculiar, so peculiar that it is difficult to know why it has thus far escaped attention.
In the sub-head he says: "for the use of Operatitwe Masons, in the American Lodges . . ."; in the first line of the paragraph he says: "Before we enter upon the duties of the operative Mason," ete. (Italics ours.) Why did he say "Operative" instead of Speculative? (Two or three other Books of Constitutions afterwards repeated these phrases, Massachusetts being one of them.) one can only surmise that he took "operative" to mean Masons who operate a Lodge, the officers, tiler, janitor, etc.; this surmise has a support in his describing the duties of the "Operative Mason," "in the various offices and stations to which he may be called in the Lodge...." In any event this misreading of the meaning of "Operative" supports a statement made elsewhere in this Supplement to the effect that the first American Masons were often themselves uninstructed on Craft practices, and in the dark about its customs and Landmarks.
Note. The Book of Constitutions prepared by Thaddeus Mason Harris for the new Unsted Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. and which he printed in 1798, was a revision of an earlier Book; Harris also uses the phrase "for Operative Masons. '
The old lectures used to say "The veil of the Temple is rent, the builder is smitten, and we are raised from the tomb of transgression." Brother Hutchinson, and after him Doctor Oliver, apply the expression, The smitten builder, to the crucified Savior, and define it as a symbol of His divine mediation; but the general interpretation of the symbol is, that it refers to death as the necessary precursor of immortality. In this sense, the smitten builder presents, like every other part of the Third Degree, the symbolic instruction of eternal life.
A distinguished lecturer on Freemasonry, who was principally instrumental in introducing the system of Webb, of whom he was a pupil, into the Lodges of the Western States. He was also a Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and was the founder and first Grand Commander of the first Grand Encampment of Knights Templar in the same State. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, February 25, 1780; was initiated into Freemasonry in Mount Vernon Lodge, of Providence, in 1809, and died May 16,1852, at Worthington, Ohio.
SOANE, GEO., HIS ROSICRUCIAN THEORY.
In his Curiosities of Literature; and Book of the Months (London; 1849), Vol. II., page 35, George Soane, a non-Mason, published one of the earliest essays in the attempt to prove that Freemasonry originated in Rosicrucianism.
It is written by an intelligent, uellread antiquarian vwho vBas neither a fool nor a fanatic; it is therefore the more useful as a specimen of the kind of theories which even the well-informed entertained before much was known about Masonic history. Soane takes it for granted that Freemasonry was invented in 1717 by a few gentlemen inspired by antiquarian curiosity; the symbols and ceremonies and their attribution by the Masons to the old builders he dismisses as "trash." (There were some Masons in 1849 who held a similar theory.) Those ceremonies and symbols had a queer and occult look to him (it did not occur to him that as a non-Mason he could have no knows ledge of them), therefore he cast about among the "queer fish" of occult and pseudo-occult "societies" current in 1717 to see if he could find one "sirnilar" to the Craft, and at the same time "older." Rosicrucian~ ism appeared to him to fill the bill.
His history of Rosicrucianism is not mide of the facts as now known. He traced it to a pamphlet written by John Valentine Andrea, and more especially to a second edition of 1617 entitled Fama Frater witatis (published by Cassel). He took it that in consequence of this putative "revelation" an organized fraternity ensued; and that this fraternity emerged in 1717 under the disguise of Freemasonry. These notions have gone the way of all flesh. Rosicrucianisna was never anything more than a book, a name, a rumor, a nickname for anything queer, archaic, oeeult until in the Nineteenth Century a small group of English Masons organized a side order under that label. Andrea could not have fathered Masonry in l717 because there had been Speculative Lodges before that date, and there had been Operative Lodges many centuries before.
The discovery of the Regius and Cooke MSS. destroyed the last vestige of any feasibility Soane's theory may ever have had. That theory would be no longer of any importance were it not that a Masonic writer or lecturer now and then repeats Soane's argument, a thing possible only to those w ho have never read an authentic historic of the Fraternity.
SOCIAL CHARACTER OF FREEMASONRY.
Freemasonry attracts our attention as a great social Institution. Laying aside for the time those artificial distinctions of rank and wealth, which, however, are necessary in the world to the regular progression of society, its members meet in their Lodges on one common level of brotherhood and equality. There virtue and talent alone claim and receive pre-eminence, and the great object of all is to see who can best work and best agree. There friendship and fraternal affection are strenuously inculcated and assiduously cultivated, and that great mystic tie is established which peculiarly distinguishes the society. Hence is it that Whashington has declared that the benevolent purpose of the Masonic Institution is to enlarge the sphere of social happiness, and its grand object to promote the happiness of the human race.
SOCIAL STATUS OF MASONS.
The damage done by the barbarians when they devastated France and Italy in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries was in the long run not as great as was the consequence of the caste system which they rooted so deeply in Europe that it has not yet been eradicated. At the top were the kings, nobles, and the prelates; next afterwards came patricians and knights and later, squires; at the bottom were slaves (slavery was still in practice in Britain in the Eighteenth Century); next above the slaves were the cotters, next above them were the villeins, and next above the villeins were working men, consisting of craftsmen and farmers. According to the dogma of the original barbarism God Himself had created these castes or classes, and it was not only illegal but impious for a man to presume to climb up and out "of the station in which God has seen fit to place him."
Where did the Medieval Masons stand in this hierarchy of castes? The majority of the pages in the histories of the Fraternity now extant ask the question, What were the Masons? The question raised here is, Who were the Masons? The who is of equal importance to the what for the solution of the probelems of Masonic history.
The data as we now possess them, only half discovered and seldom thoroughly examined, give a confusing answer. On the whole, they give the impression that here, as on other counts, we shall find that Operative Freemasonry as regards social classes was in a peculiar sense an exception; that impression is of a piece w ith bodies of data of other kinds which show that in the first period the Fraternity was as "peculiar," as "unique" in many other w ays also.
During the century prior to the discovery of Gothic architecture in and around Paris, there had been developed to a high degree of perfection the art of the miniature painter, the master who ornamented vellum manuscript books with tiny miracles of almost perfect paintings. and who made most of the discoveries of form, composition, and perspective which made possible the "great painting" in Italy during the Renaissance—Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" is a masterly reproduction in the large of a miniature subject that had been perfected two centuries before his time.
Coincidentally with the discovery of the Gothic, miniature painting escaped from the monasteries, which were always tending to lapse into decay from sloth and ignorance (sloth itself was defined as "the idleness of the illiterate"), into the hands of lay artists, and almost immediately it was carried on and up into its own dazzling, great age in the reign of Philip Augustus, in which appeared those supreme artists, Honorc, Jean Pucelle, Forrequet, Paul, Hermann Male-wel, etc.
These miniaturists were not, as the cant of barbarian usage had it, laborers; they did not work in soil, stone, clay, bricks, wood, or the malodorous leather; they were pure artists in the most absolute sense of the word "pure"; and they were great artists —more than one of their masterpieces has actually been used to "ransom a kingdom." It is a revelation, therefore, to see where and how these artists stood in the social scheme.
First, they were personally so ignored that they were not suffered to sign their work (occasionally one of them slipped his first name, very small, into an end device), and their works were called not by the name of the artist but by the names of their owners. Second, they formed a gild, had a master and wardens, apprenticeships, fixed hours and wages, and thereby became established solidly in the same social bracket as brick-layers, paviors, cloth weavers, and leather workers, well down among the lower orders, so that if one of them was invited to dine in a patrician's home he ate at table mith the servants. Though a craft of pure artists, the miniaturists were thus nevertheless a gild, and their station was that assigned to every other gild of craftsmen in the caste system of the times. The Freemasons' gild was like their gild, and yet m as unlike it.
The Masons went through a long hard apprenticeship; they had much schooling beside; they became in adult manhood the superior of any of their contemporaries in knowledge, intelligence, independenee, skill, and they also were pure artists; and vet, because they were workmen, they were frozen tnto the "lower classes." Also, like the miniaturists, thev were compelled to work, at least in theory, anonymously; Masters of Masons like William of Sens and Arnolfo, alongside their fellows, not only arected but also conceived, designed, and ornamented the cathedrals, yet the chroniclers of the time, monks most of them, and snobs to their marrow, give no credit to any Master of Masons for any cathedral, but tell us that Bishop Walter Montague "built" the cathedral at Laon, Bishop Maurice de Sully "built" Notre Dame, and so on, though no one of those bishops could have read a plan or calculated the scale of an arch if his life had depended upon it.
Yet on the other hand these Master Masons received oftentimes a princely wage, and consorted with gentlemen and high lords; Martin de Lonay, only one elf hundreds of others, when he was building the Abbey at St. Gilles, ate at the Abbots' table, stabled his horse in the Abbots' stalls, and received gifts of robes of state, collars, and had an honored place in solemn pageants, etc. At one end of it the Craft was solidly imbedded in the lowly craft gild and belonged to the lower orders; at the other end of it, it was embedded with equal solidity in the highest class of all; and as in France, so in England, where apprentices, usually of country stock, were taught the etiquette of the hall and the courtly manners of milord.
This meeting and mixture of social extremes inside the Crafts' own circle explains what, as against the known facts of the Middle Ages, would otherwise be inexplicable: the consorting of men of title with working men, the comingling of stone-masonry and pure art, the possession by handworkers of a better education than bishops had, the admittance of non-Operatives into some such status as Honorary membership, the freedom of Masons to work some years in one town and then move to another; their occupancy of a position at the very center of church life and yet their independence from church rule; their having their roots in the very soil of Medievalism and yet their finding out of truths so modern that even yet modern men have not caught up with them.
SOCIETAS ROSICRUCIANA IN ANGLIA.
SOCIETAS ROSICRUCIANA IN SCOTIA.
SOCIETY OF THE CHAIN.
See Chain, Society of the.
The Sixth Degree of the Order of Strict Observance.
SOCIOLOGY AND FREEMASONRY.
In the eyes of sociology a people consists of institutions, cultural agencies, established groups, organized societies, living traditions, mores, etc. These the sociologists study, classify, and describe as a botanist describes and classifies plants, impersonally, impartially, and without moral judgments. In sociology Freemasonry is classified as belonging to the group of cultural agencies, within the sub-classification of fraternities; the sociologist then attempts to discover the "sociologic laws" of fraternities; that is, principles, forms of organizations, and purposes common to them.
Except indirectly, or in passing, sociologists have never made a special study of Freemasonry according to their own categories and canons, but there have been signs lately to indicate that they are about to do so. Secret Societies; a Study of Fraternalism in the United States, by Noel P. Gist, Ph.D., Columbia University; New York; 1940; and "Sociology of Secret Societies" in the American Journal of Sociology; Vol. XI; 1906; p. 441, are together a fairly complete portrait of the Craft as it appears to the eyes of sociologists. Studies of a similar kind, though not technically sociologic, are:
Secret Societies Old and New, by Herbert Vivian; London; 1927 (the author does not possess sufficient knowledge for his task, and on some pages writes in a style that is either crude or sarcastic, it is impossible to say which). Hutton Webster's famous Secret Societies is sociologic but is not concerned with modern fraternities. Three of G. G. Coulton's works are histories, but they contain chapters which are in effect sociologic studies of Medieval Freemasonry: Medieval Panorama. Social Life in Britain; From the Conquest to the Reformation (Cambridge; 1919). Life in the Middle Ages; Macmillan; New York; 1930.
It is probable that only sociology itself will gain much from these researches, because its data long have been familiar to Masonic scholars to whom it is a commonplace that Freemasonry is a fraternity, and nas secrets, and has only fraternal purposes, is a free association, etc. It is however possible that from sociology Masons will gain a somewhat clearer knowl edge of the Fraternity's place among other cultural agencies in modern society.
Not long after the beginning of this century sociology came suddenly into a general popularity. Ward, Giddings, Veblen, Ross, etc., were suddenly catapulted into a place among best-sellers alongside popular novelists; even practical politicians began to study these volumes in the hopes of finding a magic key to their own problems; a few adventurers made fortunes out of exploiting the half-conscious fears of the populace, and a cheap and trashy book, called The Rising Tide of Color, foretold a global war between the White race and the Yellowr, or even the Black, and this was viewed with huge alarms because it was assumed that the White race was "so vastly superior" to either of the other two that if it "fell" it would take civilization with it! These apocalyptic vaticinations had a reincarnation in the "ideologies" of Fascism and Naziism under the label of "racism," though confusion became confounded when the Teutonic champion of the White race discovered to their delighted military surprise that the Japanese are "White Aryans."
This episode of lunacy was a debacle for sociology, from which it has not recovered, and will not until it ceases to consider itself a "science" and becomes in name as well as in fact, what Boas affirmed it to be: a series of non-scientific studies of, and of thought about, the subject of race, and of such subjects as are auxiliary to it. Like psychology, sociology had become maddened by too many theories, has fallen from popular interest, and been dropped out of a large number of colleges; even sociologists themselves, some of them, have lost confidence in their own subject.
In spite of its thus having been temporarily derailed, sociology has established one truth, and there is no possibility of its being questioned again: it has discovered that men are not born as individuals, separate and mutually-repellent atoms, which can be brought into groups only by preaching idealism, or by force, or by "moral suasion," as the orthodox sociologic theory of the Nineteenth Century had said they were. Men are in groups before they are born, because to be so is in their anatomy, their physiology, is the way they are made. A baby already is a member of a family, belongs to a society of blood relatives, is in a community, is a member of a people, is predestined to attend school, and to be a citizen, and to enter free associations—he cannot evade or avoid these "sociologic" engagements any more than he can avoid eating or sleeping.
Society itself, as sociology emplovs the term, consists not of separate, atomistic individuals (still less of "rugged" individuals), but to begin with consists of institutions, groups, and associations; they are the units by which it is comprised. It is at this point, and in these terms, that Freemasonry is in the field of sociology, and may be sociologically studied. Its regalia, its charity, its Ritual and symbols, these are of no concern of sociology; on the other hand free associations do belong to sociology, and a Lodge therefore, as a Lodge, belongs to it because it is one of many forms of free associations.
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