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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 9 - number 11
Present Day Tendencies and Dangers in Freemasonry
By Bro. LOUIS BLOCK, P.G.M., Iowa
We are living in an age when it takes but little urging to spur a man to follow Paul's scriptural injunction to "Prove all things". In fact, there never was a time when people were so ready to submit all things "the acid test" even going so far as to jump at conclusions, and discard a thing before the test is half done.
Not only are materials, machinery and methods being tried in rapid succession, but the probe is being pushed into parties, governments, societies, institutions, churches and fraternities. Nor can the Masonic institution hope to escape trial along with the rest.
Has Masonry today any real excuse for its continued existence?
Has it any solution to offer of the trying problems that vex and harass not only the individual soul, but the soul of the world as well, till one questions whether the game is worth the candle, or life worth living at all?
Masonry can no more escape standing up to answer this question than can any of the rest of human institutions that the modern world is putting on trial.
Nothing does us quite so much good as to now and then take stock of our institutions, to find out what they mean, and what they really stand for.
To do that we must go back to first principles. We must dig down to the foundation and find out upon what the thing is bottomed. The world just now is showing a perfect passion for this sort of thing.
In the field of religion a great controversy is raging between the "modernists" and the "fundamentalists". The former are for a freer interpretation, for the loosening; of creedal chains, while the latter claim that in going back to the ancient creeds they have gone down to the foundation, although one is often tempted to wonder whether the true Foundation does not lie far deeper than all the clashing creeds in a Great Life and a Great Love that gave birth to a new Commandment, requiring not so much that we have belief, but far more that we love one another.
Let us now go down to the foundation of Masonry, and find, if we can, upon what sort of footing our building is based. We have been taught from time immemorial that the design of the Masonic Institution was to make its votaries wiser and better and consequently happier, that we should receive none knowingly into our ranks but such as were moral and upright before God and of good repute before the world. This was on the theory that such men when associated together would naturally seek each other's welfare and happiness equally with their own. In order that they might not become weary in well-doing it furnished them with a great common platform upon which they might "meet upon the level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square." It obliged them to that great "Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves; that is, to be good men and true, or men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance."
That, we must all admit, is just about the broadest creed to be found in all history, and it is upon the broad foundation of this "Ancient Charge" that our beloved Institution is based. It is upon such a foundation and in the spirit of Him, who said "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" that we are taught to labour incessantly, making a persistent and proper use of the Trowel, an Instrument used for the "noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of friends and brothers among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree".
The question is whether an institution so conceived and so founded has any part to play, any worthwhile function to perform amid the perplexities that pursue us at this present day.
Let us see.
But first let us take a look at modern life. What's the matter with it? Very, very much.
In the first place, we have allowed the plain and simple life of the pioneer days to drift into a thing so infernally intricate, so infinitely involved, so confoundedly complex, that the human mind stands appalled at the thought of it. No longer are our wants few, and plain and simple, but many and multiplex. We want so many things in such great variety and in such quick succession that half the time we don't know what we want. Our houses, our minds and our lives are so gorged with many things that we are able to digest and assimilate scarcely any of them. From the cradle to the grave it is the same. Our children have it put upon them early in life. Where once a little sister cuddled a rag-doll to her heart, she must now perforce pet a Parisian puppet festooned with fashionable furbelows. Little Bobbie must be denied his hobby-horse and must get mixed up in a meccano set. Where once the little red school house did the business we now have the kindergarten, the primary school, the secondary school and the high school, and these with all sorts of fads and frills fastened upon them. We must get into everything, and have everything, and "put on" a whole kennel full of "dog", even if we have to cheat our creditors and betray our friends to do it. A mortgage goes on the home so we can grab a graphonola, an auto, or a radio. Corned beef and cabbage have given away to camembert and caviar. Dad can no longer sit down to "supper" in his shirt sleeves, but must climb into dress clothes before he can be "served with dinner". We no longer dare to have a plain and simple bellyache, but must get along with gastritis, or colitis, or appendicitis. We dare not even go simply and: plainly crazy, but must be cursed by a "complex". And when at last it comes to the matter of making an escape from this mundane sphere we realize that the simple business of dying has become so elaborate a piece of procedure, that it were far cheaper had we kept walking around instead of trying to meet the "mortician's" bill. Once we might have been simply and plainly planted by an under taker, but "them days is gone forever!"
WE LUST FOR SPEED
In the midst of all this and making the muddle worse, we have been bitten by the speed-bug, and have fallen a victim to the skidding-sickness. We have developed a perfect passion for rapid motion. Nothing can go fast enough to suit us. Express trains rush us from Chicago to New York, ocean greyhounds scoot us from New York to London in a few short days, and high-speed cars hurl us to hell in a jiffy. We can't be patient or deliberate about anything. We are rabidly restless and can't bear to sit still. We must keep in motion. "Where do we go from here?" is the common cry. "We don't know where we are going, but we are on our way!" We want what we want when we want it. Ready-built houses and ready-to-wear clothing are the rule. We are willing to wait for nothing. Everyone is on the jump. We hurry here and there, chasing first this thing, and then that, darting about like wild water-bugs at a sewer's mouth. We are ready to "try anything once", and always crazy to try something new. When jazz fails to give us joy, then our madness manifests itself in the Marathon dance.
Realizing that something is wrong society tries to find a cure in new laws. Then we have such perfect pestilence of law-making that humanity heaves a great sigh of relief the moment Congress or the Legislature adjourns. We have too much government in business and far too little business in government. We have a cataclysm of class-legislation, each crowd crazy to hog things for its particular class, and "to hell with the other fellow". We have a whole raft of radical legislation, and less respect for law than ever before. Russia may have her Soviet slaughters, but poor America, God pity the day! has her Mer Rouge murders and her Herrin massacres. These things menace the land with dissension and disunion, disruption and disaster, with everything that divides and destroys.
And what have we as Masons to do with all this? What can we do about it?
Well, in the first place, we can awake to a realization that it is high time we no longer rested content with a mere recitation of our ritual, rules and regulations. That there is coming to us, now as never before, a clarion call to promptly and persistently put our precepts into practice. To realize again that
"A man of words and not of deeds,
Is like a garden full of weeds."
For Masonry, from time immemorial, has been ever sternly and soberly and seriously conservative and never riotously radical. Masonry has always had in her heart a withering contempt for things frantic and foolish, and has ever firmly stood for these things that make for stability and order, for strength and establishment.
WHAT DOES MASONRY STAND FOR
The trouble with far too many of us is that we don't know what our Masonry really stands for.
How many of us, I wonder, have ever truly realized that when the Master in the East has charged us saying "In the State, you are to be a quiet and peaceful subject, true to your government and just to your country. You are not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live", there was then and there laid upon our shoulders the performance of a duty as sacred, as solemn and as binding as anything contained in the obligation taken at the altar?
We cannot practice our Masonry until we have first learned to know it. Once we have learned to know it we will clearly see that there is not one of our modern perplexities but what can be solved by a faithful application of Masonic principles and precepts.
But there can be no salvation if the principles are merely preached and practised. Yet if they are practised untold good will be done.
It would simply transform the world, if, for a single year, each and every one of us would simply live up to our ancient religion "to be good Men and true - Men of Honour and Honesty."
If we are the sort of men we have prided ourselves upon being the sort who seek each other's welfare and happiness equally with our own, we will help one another to know what our Masonry means - do this by admonition, discussion, debates, study and lectures. Here is where our study clubs, our research societies and our service associations come in.
But above all else we must help each other to live the life, in the shop and the market-place, in the office and the factory, in the home and on the street, so that the blessed influence of "good men and true" may be met with everywhere.
For at the bottom the fault of the present state of things is not legal or economical, but personal and individual. It is not the system that is wrong, but the men who run it. It's high time we quit blaming a system for our own shortcomings.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
Our Republic is "one made of many" and if each one of the many does his duty then, and only then, will the "Temple of our Liberties" endure. It will not do for any one of us to wait for the other to do his duty. Each one must be up and doing, acting of his own volition, sweeping before his own door, hosing his own row. It is the old question of Hiram Abiff over again; the question of individual moral responsibility, of individual fidelity, regardless of personal loss or sacrifice.
There is no need for new laws, new systems, new forms of government. There is a crying need for plain old-fashioned individual performance of duty.
"Honour and Fame from no condition rise,
Act well your part - there all the honour lies!"
Otherwise all our preaching of precepts, all our ritualizing, will be as
"A thing full of sound and fury,
Masonry has a glorious gospel, as we her votaries well know, but glorious as that gospel may be, there is another far more vitally important and that is the gospel of the individual Mason as shown in his individual life.
"THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO YOU"
"There's a sweet old story translated for man,
But writ in the long, long ago-
The Gospel according to Mark, Luke and John-
Of Christ and His mission below.
Men read and admire the gospel of Christ,
With its love so unfailing and true;
But what do they say, and what do they think,
Of the gospel according to you?
'Tis a wonderful story, that gospel of love,
As it shines in the Christ-life divine;
And, oh, that its truth might be told again
In the story of your life and mine!
Unselfishness mirrors in every scene;
Love blossoms on every sod;
And back from its vision the heart comes to tell
The wonderful goodness of God.
You are writing each day a letter to men;
Take care that the writing is true;
'Tis the only gospel that some men will read-
The gospel according to you."
THE MENACE WITHIN
When a candidate seeks admission into our fraternity we compel him to sign a petition in which he solemnly states that "he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow citizens".
Is that pure "bunk", or does it really mean something?
We are prompted to put this question by reason of the fact that there have arisen in recent years a number of organizations pretending to be Masonic that are anything but serviceable to mankind.
They pretend to be "Masonic" by reason of the fact that they permit no one to join them who is not a Master Mason because of the fact that their membership is composed of Masons only, the thoughtless Mason and the uninformed non-Mason, alike, conclude that these societies are Masonic, despite the fact that none of them have been either recognized or ratified by any governing Masonic body.
They are thus practically parading under false pretences and practising a fraud upon the innocent and unwary, thereby putting Masonry in a false light before the world.
We say parading advisedly, for their votaries seem set upon strutting the streets clad in gay, gaudy and garish garments, flaunting flaming banners, tearing the public peace to tatters with the blare of the trombone and the boom of the bass-drum.
Seeing which the citizen on the sidewalk cries, "See, there go the Masons!" The Masons, forsooth! These devotees of dazzle and din!
And the newspapers, who hate things hidden, to whom nothing secret is sacred, who persecute privacy and pray to the god of Publicity, help him to believe that Masonry is just that!
And, my brethren, unless we are awake to the danger that threatens us, Masonry is apt to degenerate into just that.
These institutions are growing in number. The other day the writer counted up fourteen of them. Grand Masters and Grand Lodge Correspondents have assailed them in no uncertain terms, and not without reason, for they are a real menace to Masonry.
They could gain no lasting foothold among men were it not for their pretended holding of a Masonic certificate of good character. In the past, to say that a thing was "Masonic" was to certify to its high standing. The story of Masonry's devotion to the great doctrines of friendship, morality and brotherly love, of the relief of the down-trodden and distressed, and her dispelling of the darkness of ignorance by the light of truth, has placed her upon the topmost pinnacle in the esteem and respect of men. These "side organizations" well know this, and they seek to slip into places of power and influence by means of their alleged Masonic passports. But unless this menace is soon curbed, the day is not distant when a certificate of Masonic membership will have lost all its meaning and value.
These nefarious organizations are a menace to Masonry in many ways.
One of the queer things about them is that the zealots who espouse the cause of these side organizations seem to have so little respect or reverence for the very institution, membership in whose ranks they make a prerequisite for joining their own order. Their candidate chasers invade the sanctity of the lodge room, interfere with the workers, make the candidate feel that the degree work is but of passing importance, a matter of mere incident on the way to the "real thing". Treating the Blue Lodge degrees as mere stepping stones, they tread beneath ruthless feet the beautiful flowers of the ritual, in a mad effort to rush the candidate into their fold. Before the apprentice is dry behind the ears he is harangued and pestered, brow-beaten and bulldozed, into joining their gang and "having a good time". The immemorial dignity and decorum of the lodge is disturbed, its noble lessons and high doctrines are discounted and disparaged, its high ideals are trailed in the dust, and the bewildered candidate comes to think that the Order exists for frivolity and not for service.
MASONRY IS SANE, STEADY, SOBER
Now Masonry has endured down the ages, solely because of its serious and earnest character, because of the sane, steady and sober quality of its aims and ideals. These "side-orders" strive to slur over all these and to substitute in their place a silly seeking for pleasure and a light-headed lust for excitement. Their rituals far too often savour of vulgarity and their horse-play verges at times even upon the obscene.
It is upon this sort of thing that these side-orders seek to have set the stamp and seal of Masonic approval, and we seem content to stand complacently by and let them get it.
They drag their "politics", their petty piques and quarrels, their disappointed ambitions to have high-sounding titles, and wear resplendent robes, into the sacred precincts of the lodge-room, disturb the work of the builders and destroy the peace and harmony of the Craft.
The sort of men who are won to the Order by this sort of thing do it no good, for they are not worth having - are not fit material for the building "of the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens".
Time was when Masonry was known as "a system of morality veiled in allegory". If this thing is not checked, how long will it be before it comes to be called a frenzy of frivolity, fed by folly"?
These "side-orders" scatter Masonry's force. They lower its aims and purposes, destroy its ancient dignity and blur the vision of its lofty ideals. They tend inevitably to wreck its power and influence by destroying its solidarity, and threaten to take away wholly its power to serve mankind.
We are coming to have far too many "play-grounds in Masonry", too much of a rush for "refreshment" in an institution anciently dedicated to "labour". Masonry is in a mighty poor business when it feeds modern society's already overwrought passion for passing pleasures. If there ever was a day when men needed to quit dallying with delights and attended to business, it is now. For the popular call nowadays seems to be for the man who will be "a good fellow", who will forget his business, let it slide, and in the end make of himself an object of Masonic charity.
We are taking far too many men into the Order who do not know what an earnest thought means, and who care less. Far too many who have neither the brains nor the desire to seek back of the symbol to the great idea thereby symbolized. These men lie within the belly of the Order like leaden lumps that will not be digested, and they are not an asset, but a liability.
And it is these very "side-orders" that lure these light-headed liabilities within our fold-bad cess to them! and at a time when, God knows! we don't need them, but do need earnest men.
If by any chance this mushroom growth of these Masonic side-shows results in any way from a reaction against a humdrum and lifeless recital of the ritual by mechanical Masons who have no idea of the meaning of the words that glide so glibly from their lips, then the remedy is not far to seek.
For, as Brother Weston of Vermont has so clearly pointed out, all the lodges need to do is to make the ritual interesting by means of lectures, readings, discussions and debates, tending to make its meaning clear; for a man simply cannot put life and force into the words he utters unless his soul is first set all aglow with their meaning.
That immortal meaning is there, hidden, buried, concealed within the ritual, and our very salvation depends upon our working it out.
Perhaps if we will do this we will be pouring Paris-green upon these parasites.
But if that doesn't work we may need a new set of Masonic police regulations that will put these bums in the bastile where they belong.
Standing for Definite Things
By Bro. GEORGE H. DERN, P. G. M., Utah
Bro. Dern, a Nebraskan by birth, was made a Mason at Salt Lake City, in Utah, in 1897, and received the high honour of the Grand Mastership in that jurisdiction in 1913. Readers will recall a memorable article of his in THE BUILDER, December, 1921, on "Monitorial Symbolism of the Third Degree and its Application to Every Day Life"; a comparison of that fine piece of interpretation with the discussion below will show how full-orbed is his comprehension of Freemasonry. An explanation of why the Towner-Sterling Bill did not pass was contributed to THE BUILDER, May, 1923, by Bro. Senator Simeon D. Fess; in the same number appeared a report of the attitude of Grand Lodges toward that bill. In connection with these studies the reader should review the special Public School Number of August, 1922.
Doubtless it has occurred to many Masons as somewhat strange that Masonry generally throughout the United States has until lately been advocating a specific piece of legislation, namely the Towner-Sterling Bill. Perhaps some good brethren may think this a violation of the section in most if not all Masonic codes which provides that "the discussion of political, sectarian or other subjects not strictly of a Masonic character is prohibited in every lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction." In the hope of clearing up any such doubts or misgivings the following observations are presented:
It sometimes happens in the lives of men that they are in the midst of a great change or evolution without realizing it. They are so engrossed with their immediate personal affairs, so bound by custom and established routine, or regard their old views and opinions as so obvious, that they do not see or comprehend the big movements that are carrying mankind along with them. When such tendencies become perceptible they may be deplored by persons of a conservative cast of mind who venerate the past as the repository of all wisdom and are shocked when "God lets loose a thinker in the world" who proposes something new to meet new conditions. But progress is the law of all nature, and the world moves forward, not backward, despite our puny efforts to check it.
There are signs of a change in the attitude of Freemasonry. Those of us who have been Masons long enough to have become thoroughly indoctrinated know that it has always been deemed improper to commit Masonry to any specific program except the program of brotherly love. It has been the rule that in all public matters Masons, though imbued with and guided by Masonic precepts and ideals, should act as individuals, each according to his own judgment, and never as a united organization.
MASONRY SHOULD STAND FOR DEFINITE THINGS
During the past few years, however, many Masonic leaders have been laying particular stress upon the necessity of Masonry standing for definite things, and presenting a united front in advancing those things. Very many Masons who do not pretend to be leaders in the Craft complain that it is hard for one who is not an officer to keep up an active interest in Masonry because we do not stand for anything concrete. They say that merely coming to lodge and seeing the same old degrees conferred over and over and over again be comes tiresome to a man with an active intellect; that for gathering in social functions to reiterate what fine thing Masonry is and what fine fellows Masons are does not result in any real accomplishment, and that we ought to be more than a mere mutual admiration society; that Masonry is a great, big, clumsy animal that does not know what to do with itself nor how to use its strength.
The average Mason will readily agree with these sentiments; but as for having Masonry stand for definite things, that is a delicate matter and must be handled discreetly. The oldtimers who put in our codes the provision that political, sectarian or other subjects not strictly of a Masonic character should not be discussed in lodge were very wise, and assuredly it is not proposed by anybody to abandon that time honoured policy, upon which our fellowship rests, and which is our strength and support.
About strictly Masonic principles there can be no difference of opinion among us, and they may be safely discussed with the utmost freedom, as well as their application to our every day problems. But when we get into public questions we at once plunge into controversial matters, about which Masons will differ as widely and as violently as outsiders. I cannot attack a man's pet opinions without hurting his self-esteem, and when I do that I make him angry. If I assail his political or religious beliefs he gets just as angry as he does when I make slighting remarks about his children or his automobile. Our opinions are our property, and the most natural thing in the world is to defend what belongs to us, and to resent any attempt to destroy or belittle it. For example, suppose someone in a Masonic meeting should undertake to make a speech against the protective tariff, which many good Masons sincerely consider as sacred as the holy Grail. Immediately peace and harmony would beat a hasty retreat, and the meeting would blow up with a loud report. Suppose we should declare against the right of working men to strike. Many good, sincere Masons might think such a declaration right and proper, whilst many other equally good and sincere Masons would regard it as a vital blow at their fundamental human rights. And so our unanimity and concord would vanish, and we should speedily be divided into wrangling, jangling cliques and factions. Clearly we must be careful to do nothing that might destroy us from within.
WE DON'T WANT MASONRY TO RUN THE COUNTRY
But the danger of disintegrating Masonry itself is not the only objection. We do not want to see Masonry, as an organized body, undertake to run the whole country, any more than we want to see the Roman Catholic Church or the Ku Klux Klan run the country, because it would be unamerican. In a democracy all the people should rule, not a select class or sect, even though that class be so high-minded a body of men as the Masons. Furthermore, no organization whose sessions and deliberations are secret, as ours are, has any right to try to dominate public affairs, because "popular government moves in the light of day, not in dark and secret places; it appeals to the whole mass of people for support, not merely to the members of a particular society; and it values power only for public ends, not for the aggrandizement and glorification of any single institution." And so it would be a gross perversion of our lofty pretensions as upright, liberty-loving Americans if we were to organize as a national body for the purpose of dictating or controlling the affairs of the nation, no matter how pure our intentions might be.
However, it is a proper function of Masonry to fight against other organizations doing this very thing, and that is one of the reasons why Masons are always interested in progressive educational legislation; but let us be very careful about building up a powerful machine that would be certain sooner or later to abuse its power.
And so this suggestion of standing for something definite has its pitfalls, and we cannot afford to be too definite. Or perhaps it would be better to say we ought to be very definite in limiting the scope of our united action. But there are plenty of things in the fundamental Masonic principles that have a direct and broad public significance, and in the support of which all Masons can afford to unite and battle side by side.
As Masons we are seekers after Light-that is, knowledge, wisdom, enlightenment. If Light is good for us it is good for everybody, and we can engage in no greater work than the diffusion of Light amongst all the people - that is, public education. So when Masonry interests itself in education it is interesting itself in a subject that is not and should not be political in the sense of being controversial; a subject that is not and should not be sectarian, and never will be so long as Masons can prevent it; a subject strictly of a Masonic character, since it is of the very essence of Masonry.
Moreover, one of the primary teachings of Freemasonry is good citizenship, and we have not only a right but a duty to be interested in anything that promotes good citizenship. What is the real purpose of our free public school system but to train the children for citizenship? What other justification is there for taxing me to educate my neighbor's children?
So there you have the syllogism:
Masonry stands for good citizenship.
Education promotes good citizenship.
Therefore, Masonry stands for education.
He would be a captious critic indeed who would deny a Masonic lodge the right to discuss public education, or even a single concrete phase of it, as expressed in a specific piece of legislation.
The Story of Freemasonry in New Jersey
By Bro. ERNEST A. REED, P. G. M., New Jersey
To tell the story of Masonry in the State of New Jersey one must go back to the beginning of duly constituted Masonry in the New World. All available records seem to show that modern Freemasonry was formally introduced into the American colonies by Daniel Cox, or Coxe, who on June 5, in the year 1730, received a deputation from the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons of England, appointing him Provincial Grand Master of the Provinces of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in America.
The original deputation, which is on file in the archives of the Grand Lodge of England, gives Brother Coxes residence as New Jersey; and of this there can be no doubt for the histories and records of our state also bear witness of this fact. Moreover, Provincial Grand Master Coxe was an important personage in the province. He was the son of Dr. Coxe of London, one of the great proprietors. He was a member of the old New Jersey assembly and at one time its speaker. He served for many years as Chief Magistrate and upon his death was buried at Burlington, New Jersey.
Just what steps Coxe took to establish lodges in America is not very clear. The records of the Grand Lodge of England do not show the appointment of any Deputy Grand Master or other officers of a Provincial Grand Lodge, nor the congregating of Masons into lodges; but records were not very well kept in those days, nor was it the custom to report all proceedings to the Grand Lodge, and it is possible that some of the old lodges in Pennsylvania were instituted by him. Perhaps his failure to establish lodges in the province of New Jersey may have been due in a measure to the Provincial Governor, Lord Cornbury, whose unpopularity in America led to his recall. Yet Coxe was known throughout the province as an eminent lawyer and upon his return to England in 1731 he was received in the Grand Lodge of England as "The Right Worshipful Grand Master of North America."
English records show in addition to Coxes appointment as Provincial Grand Master in 1730, Richard Riggs appointed in 1737 and Francis Goelet in 1751. There were other Grand Lodges in England at this time and other Provincial Grand Masters were sent by them to America. In 1753 George Harrison became Provincial Grand Master of New York and from him the first lodge in New Jersey got its charter. In May, 1761, an application for a lodge was made to Provincial Grand Master Harrison by a number of Masons residing in what was then the town of Newark. William Tukey, Esq., was appointed the first Worshipful Master and the lodge was to meet at the Rising Sun tavern, a tiny inn near what is now the heart of a great city.
The original minutes of this famous lodge for the years from its institution are still in existence in the archives of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Newark. From 1764 till 1768 the minutes were suspended. In 1769 they were reopened again, continuing till 1772. During the darkness of the Revolution they ceased altogether. When the Grand Lodge of New Jersey was formed St. John's Lodge was represented and a warrant was given to it which was numbered 2 on the New Jersey register, a lodge at Bedminster which had been warranted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1767 being given No. 1. The lodge at Bedminster became extinct, however, and St. John's Lodge was allowed to assume its number. St. John's Lodge is still active and known throughout the length and breadth of the land as the oldest lodge in New Jersey and one of the oldest in America. In 1762 the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts gave a warrant for a lodge in Elizabeth Towne, New Jersey (now Elizabeth) and in 1763 a warrant was given by the same Grand Lodge for a lodge at Prince Towne (now Princeton), but both of these lodges have become extinct and their records lost.
MANY MILITARY LODGES EXISTED
Many lodges were in existence in the armed forces of the Revolution. New Jersey lying as it did between two greater fields of operation, New York and Philadelphia, became a concourse across which the contending armies marched, sometimes in victory, often in retreat. The Lecestershire Regiment, or the British 17th Regiment of Foot, as it was commonly called, had a famous lodge known as Unity Lodge. During Washington's hasty retreat across New Jersey following the abandonment of Fort Lee on the Hudson River he was closely followed by the British, and this regiment was a part of the pursuing force. Washington's march led through Newark, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Princeton to Trenton, where he crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. The British 17th Regiment stopped at Princeton, occupying the college town. The rest of the British Army, including Rall's regiment of Hessians, marched on to Trenton.
Washington's recrossing of the Delaware on Christmas night and his thrilling victory over the Hessians at Trenton needs no recital here; nor does that other exploit when, the British believing they had him cornered, rested for the night, and awoke to the sound of cannon and musket fire at Princeton, twelve miles away, and realized that Washington had escaped.
The British had waited the arrival of reinforcements. These included in part the 17th Regiment of Foot, which had received orders to march from Princeton to Trenton at dawn. As they filed out of town over a little bridge, they saw Mercer's Division of Washington's army moving up the opposite bank of the stream. Both forces tried to reach and hold the top of a small hill nearby, which became the scene of the battle. The advance was led by General Hugh Mercer, a member of Washington's own lodge, Fredericksburg Lodge, No. 4, of Fredericksburg, Va. In the fighting General Mercer was knocked from his horse by a blow from the butt of a British musket; but he defended himself until mortally wounded. He died in a farm house near by.
In the confusion of the fighting and British retreat an American soldier, one of four men left of Major Haslett's command from Delaware, picked up on the battlefield the warrant which had been granted to Unity Lodge in the British 176 Regiment of Foot by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The warrant was carried back to Delaware and reposes in the archives of Union Lodge of Middletown. In this engagement the gallant captain of the 17th Regiment, Brother William Leslie, was wounded. By order of Washington he was cared for by the American surgeons and placed with the American wounded in the farm wagons which served for ambulances in those days. As the little army after its victory wound its way through the hills of western New Jersey, Leslie died and was buried with military honours, and, as tradition tells us, with Masonic ceremonies in the graveyard in the little town of Pluckamin.
A new warrant to replace the one lost in battle was later given the British regiment by a Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and this in turn fell into the hands of the forces of General Wayne, "Mad Anthony," at the time of the surprise and capture of Stony Point, New York, the British regiment at that time forming a part of the garrison; but the warrant was courteously returned by General Samuel H. Parsons, a member of American Union Lodge of the Connecticut Line.
There were lodges among the American troops and three at least among the forces that made up the New Jersey line. Perhaps the best known military lodge on the American side was American Union Lodge of the Connecticut Line, as its name indicates, a lodge formed among the troops from Connecticut. The warrant and minutes of this lodge are preserved among the records of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut; but at the time this lodge came into being there was no Grand Lodge of Connecticut and the warrant was granted by Deputy Grand Master Gridley of Massachusetts, the same Gridley who laid out the breastworks at Bunker Hill and who was acting Grand Master on account of the death in battle of Grand Master Joseph Warren. The minutes are well kept and show every location of the Connecticut troops.
LAFAYETTE VISITS A LODGE
This lodge is referred to here because of its famous session of Dec. 27, 1779, while the American Army lay in winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey. It was a celebration of the old Masonic festival, the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. The minutes of the lodge give every detail of this meeting. The records show sixty-nine persons present, one of whom was Washington, the Commander-in-Chief. There was a procession, banquet, addresses and a general good time. Some of the lodge paraphernalia used on this occasion was borrowed from St. John's Lodge of Newark, and the old minute book of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, has a record of the fact that "Sundrie articles were taken out of the lodge chest and lent to Brother Thomas Kinney and Brother Jerry Brewin to carry as far as Morris Towne, etc." There has always been a tradition that Lafayette was made a Mason on this occasion and a well-known history of New Jersey as well as a recently published and popular work on Masonry state this as a fact. There is no record to substantiate it, however, and the list of those present, while including the names of many prominent persons in the armed forces of the Revolution, does not include the name of the distinguished Frenchman; moreover, the statement made by Lafayette himself on the occasion of his visit to the Grand Lodge of Delaware as related in the memoirs of the beloved Dr. Chaytor, who was present on that occasion, seems to prove beyond question that Lafayette was made a Mason in a military lodge in the American Army at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, many of the old lodge records have been lost, but those that remain reveal interesting details of Colonial life. The old minute book of Burlington Lodge shows that the Masons of Burlington paid the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for the warrant of Burlington Lodge a fee of "2,160 Doll's Cn'l Curr'y", which seems an enormous sum to pay for a warrant; but when we note it is to be paid in Continental currency we realize that this is simply an evidence of the extraordinary depreciation of the currency of the time. Later on we find that the lodge reimbursed the members for the amount advanced to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and an appropriation of six pounds was sufficient to meet the need.
On Dec 18, 1796, a convention was called at New Brunswick for the purpose of establishing a Grand Lodge in the state of New Jersey. The officers selected on that occasion included the following, whose names and titles are given as they appear on the old record:
"The Hon. David Brearly, Esq., Chief Justice of New Jersey: Right Worshipful Grand Master.
"The Hon. Robert Lettis Hooper, Vice-President of New Jersey: Deputy Grand Master.
"William Leedle, Esq., late High Sheriff of Morris: Senior Grand Warden.
"Daniel Marsh, Esq., Representative in the Assembly of New Jersey: Junior Grand Warden.
"John Noble Cumming, Esq., late Colonel in the Army of the United States: Grand Secretary.
"Maskell Ewing, Jun., Esq., Clerk of the General Assembly of New Jersey: Deputy Grand Secretary.
"Joshua Corshon, Esq., High Sheriff of Hunterdon: Grand Treasurer."
The second session of this body convened at New Brunswick on Jan. 30, 1787, and at this time the present Grand Lodge of New Jersey came into being. Hon. David Brearly was elected Grand Master, an office to which he was re-elected for three successive years. At the session of July, 1787, the Grand Master was absent; but a letter from him was read which shows that he was at the time representing New Jersey in the Federal Convention at Philadelphia. Brearly had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the army of the Revolution and was a warm personal friend of Washington. He was a member of the state and federal conventions, and his signature appears on the Constitution of the United States. For nine years he was Chief Justice of New Jersey.
The history of Masonry in New Jersey under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey has been devoid of events of unusual interest; peace and harmony have prevailed. Masonry has grown numerically till the Grand Master of New Jersey presides today over nearly 75,000 members of our Craft congregated into some 240 lodges. A number of years ago the Grand Lodge purchased a handsome estate near Burlington for the purpose of providing a home for feeble and indigent Masons and their wives, or their widows or orphans. The buildings have been added to from time to time, and at present extensive alterations and additions are in progress which will add greatly to the comfort and convenience of our aged and youthful guests. Our present family consists of about 130 persons, one-third of whom are boys and girls. Additional property has been purchased from time to time and today the home includes a farm of 150 acres, all under cultivation.
Masons in New Jersey are deeply interested in all activities of the Craft throughout the land, and have entered wholeheartedly and substantially into the great national Masonic movements; the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association, the National Masonic Research Society, and the Masonic Service Association.
The Lost Word
By Bro. ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
There are many who can kindle the emotions, and more still who can arouse the passions, but few who know how to set the mind aglow. Brother Parker, who contributed a memorable article to THE BUILDER last May, is one of these. The present article is one of a series of three bearing the general title "Secrets of the Temple," and is here printed by permission of Brother George K. Staples, 33 degree, Commander of Buffalo Consistory, who arranged to publish the series in book form. The same series has been translated into Italian and is now appearing under the imprint of the Grand Lodge of Italy. The two companion studies will appear in these pages in due time, and will be followed by a discussion of the Swastika, now being written especially for THE BUILDER. The Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction, has signalized its appreciation of Brother Parker's services in leading his brethren to think Masonically by electing him to receive the 33 degree next September. Brother Parker is now an associate editor of THE BUILDER.
UPON a clay tablet found amid the ruins of an ancient city upon the Euphrates was found the words of a hymn - a hymn about a Word. The song is old, five thousand years old, and perhaps twenty-five centuries older than any Hebrew scripture, and, in any event, it antedates the final development of those writings. Shall we pause to listen?
The Word that causes the heavens on high to tremble,
The Word that makes the world below to quake,
The Word that bringeth destruction to the Annunakis,
His Word is beyond the diviner, beyond the seer!
His Word is a tempest without a rival.
The Word of the Lord the heavens cannot endure,
The Word of Enlil the earth cannot endure,
The heavens cannot endure the stretching forth of His hand,
The earth cannot endure the setting forth of His foot!
Here we have an ancient hymn of Babylon in which the wise priesthood of a great religion sang praises to a word. But what this word is we are not told, yet the word is mighty. The adjustment and the readjustment of the Babylonian pantheon was nothing else than an effort to discover the key-word of the world. Nor was the effort of Egypt with its grotesque procession of zoomorphic deities anything less.
And so religions have come and gone, through darkness, superstition and ignorance, striving to find the great secret of welfare and the magical potence that once possessed should be the secret that would unlock the doors of the invisible.
The mystic's search for the great name that shall open all things is as old as man. The mystic still believes that there is a divine mystery concealed in some word, and all through the ages he has thought that he should discover that name. The Hindoo sage pronounces the word AUM, and in it feels that he has a key-word to paradise. Even when, by revelation, the gods tell their names, man has believed that the real name was concealed either totally or within the enigma of the name or in its numerical value. Thus within the name Elohina (Elhim) the mystic finds the number 3.1415, and asserts that Elhim is the master word by which the circle of eternity may be measured.
All ancient names are studied by the Kabbalists for their esoteric numerical value. The letters of the alphabet are also given values in other terms. Thus the sacred word spelled Aleph-Vau-Mem (AUM) would mean: A = Man + Power; U = Creation + Passage; M = Woman + Mother. This word is a mystic triad by which creative energy is invoked, but in a spiritual sense.
The mystic name makers, therefore, in making names sought to choose letters that had certain values and certain numbers. Now the numbers of a name might be added so as to produce another number, for example: Solomon would in Graeco-Egyptian have the literal value of S-L-M-N. S=60; L=30; M=40; N=50. These numbers added give 180. This reduced becomes a series of 20 nines. Nine is the perfect number and is three times three. "The sound of the voice" - such is the meaning of 180, but nine means "My shield and protection". Again let us interpret each letter of this word S-L-M-N. S=60, means a circle commenced. L=30, means the expansion of the circle. M=40, means an uninterrupted continuation (feminine passivity). N-50, means a final extension, a conclusion.
Let us still further examine this mystical name of Solomon. The word plainly says, I am a circular line, extended, continued and concluded. It says, moreover, that it consists of four parts, of the following measures: 60, 30, 40, 50. These total 180, or the number of degrees in a half circle. Therefore, the circle is divided into the number of degrees indicated; i.e., 60+30=90; 40+50=90. Whether this is geometrical or astronomical matters little, for from a study of these angles we can work out, if we have the taste, a whole scheme of Solomonic wisdom. The best interpretation is that the word represents the rising of the sun in the east (Sol), that it passes the morning of S and L and arrives at zenith between L and M (OM), and sets in the west beyond M and N, or ON, and ON is the city or abode of the Sun, the Egyptian name for Heliopolis.
This example is not introduced to mystify or to create the idea that some mysterious doctrine lies behind every name, for most names are so corrupted from the original forms that they cannot easily be analyzed Kabbalistically now. We merely introduce this name to emphasize that the ancients had meanings back of names, and that these meanings might often be discovered. Yet, if a mystical name of a god did conceal a secret, it was so devised that a key-name was used before the real name could be discovered. Thus a man named Solomon might have hidden his name under a substitute word and called himself Davidson, Wiseman, or Jedidiah or some similar name, by which it might be harder to divine the mystery of his "Word" or to "get his number".
Masons are given a new name at the beginning of their initiation into the mysteries, but this name only suggests the real new name that they are to have. The real name comes only to him who overcometh and who hath eaten of the hidden manna. It is then that he receives a white stone and in the stone a "new name" written. (Rev. ii, 17.) Nor must it be thought that there are not those who have eaten of the "hidden manna" and who know their new names.
Veneration of names has not entirely ceased even in civilization. Each of us desires to keep his name "good", for "a good name is rather chosen than fine ointment", "but the name of the wicked shall rot".
Many men labour "to make their names known". Men are willing to expend millions of dollars to spread their names over the face of the globe, as advertisers do, while others by doing great deeds are pleased to see their names become household words.
Our names are a art of our personality, and this extends even to our signatures. This is true to such an extent that there are those who pretend to read the character of a man by his handwriting.
But, how vain it is to strive for the immortality of our names to the neglect of the immortality of our souls.
And still the search for the unknown Word goes on, and man seeks to discover his Deity by name. How easily the truth might be known if we would but interpret aright the text: IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD. The nations of the earth since the first awakening of man's religious instinct have turned their minds toward heaven and inquired, "Who is it that has made the earth and all things thereon?" And likewise men have inquired, "Who shall protect me and give me power, who shall deliver me, and whom shall I call upon for favour?"
To answer this men evolved names of spirits, of gods, of duads and triads, and sought by means of these names to discover Deity. Thus it is that man's great quest is to find God and to know Him. To depict this quest is a task that tempts the author's pen, for it is a subject of thrilling interest.
Before going far afield, let us look toward the Hebrew Bible, to see how these scriptures depict the search. Let us scan the first line of Genesis and read from the Hebrew, itself, "In the beginning Gods created-". But let us be more specific; the word translated here "gods" is the Hebrew plural word Elohim (Alohim). Let us pause; why should the scriptures say "gods"? The answer is not afar off; the ancient Hebrews had more than one god!
Every critical scholar admits this and seeks to enlighten us upon the ancient Hebrew pantheon. But we need not go afar to see that even the scriptures as we have them also admit this.
But in this word El (o) him we have the root Al, El, Il, and in that word we have the whole religious history of Babylon and Semitic Asia Minor of antiquity.
This word al means "turning toward" and further elucidation, as suggested by Professor Delitzch, shows that it means "that which a man, turns toward as a goal."
The ancient thought of their gods as dwelling up above in the place toward which man turns his eyes in and above the sky. A Babylonian hymn calls the sun-god "the goal toward which all the eyes of the inhabitants are turned". (Cf. Job xxxvi, 25.) So, following this idea, the oldest of Semites gave to the God-one who dwelt above and ruled the sky world the name il or el. It was He to whom they looked.
The worship of Il or El by the early North Semitic tribes as well as to the south was an established fact as early as 2500 B.C., 1300 years before the rise of the religion of Yahwe [Jehovah].
In later times these Els or Elohim were conceived as plural beings, duads and triads and more. Suffice to relate that the names of the early Hebrew gods were many and all of the local gods or baals, and particularly Ashtar and Yerahme'el. These to the Hebrews were all Elohim, just as to the northern Semites of Palestine they were Baalhim or baals. The word El, or Al, was a far-spread name and from it the Arabians took the name of their Deities, and later the Mohammedans used it in constructing their word for God - Allah.
Cheyne points out an interesting origin for the name El and ascribes it to the Phoenician alm. This word was used as the title of the chief god of the Phoenician trinity who was Yerahme'el. The title may have been thus applied but as a word it was used far earlier than this special application of it.
In the historical fragments that we have given we have only indicated the world search, age-long, for the "lost word". In the new dispensation we are given a clear vision of how we may discover that word and apply it. Lost? Why should it ever have been lost? In all ages there have been those who possessed that word, but these have been the few who had paid the price of learn. It was folly, to think that this "word" could ever be communicated by word of mouth or by outward sign, for it can be known only from one source and by one means.
In ancient Freemasonry under the old operative system there were three masters sitting in the west, "thereby better enabling them to observe the rising of the sun in the east". Each master bore a rod as the symbol of his office. Each rod was of different length, as follows: Solomon's rod was five units in length, Hiram of Tyre's four units, and Hiram Abiff's three units.
According to Masonic tradition upon each rod was a name, just such sort of names as Chapter Masons use, though not the same names by any means.
By the use of the rods, placed end to end, a right angle triangle can be formed. For example, rods of three inches, four inches and five inches placed end to end in the form of a triangle will form a perfect right angle at the point where rod 4 meets rod 3. Rod 5 makes the hypotenuse.
Now according to our ancient traditions upon the slain Hiram's rod was the full name of Deity, or perhaps the first and most important syllable. His rod was essential not only in forming the ineffable word but in completing the right angle.
It was Hiram Abiff's rod for which the Craftsmen were instructed to search, and not a square. The early ritual makers have erred, I think, in making a square the implement discovered.
Thus is explained the calamity that is depicted in our third degree, but the ritual as evolved since 1717 has obscured and even mutilated the secrets as well as the meanings of more ancient rites.
An actual word was lost and with it one of the three standards of Solomon's system of mensuration. Little wonder that Andonairarn received a place of honour succeeding Hiram, for only Adonairam could make another metal rod equal to that which was lost, but oven he could not engrave upon it the lost syllable Yah or word Yabweh.
It is the philosopher who points the way by which we may recover that word, for it is the real word and not any substitute that makes men and Masons good men and true. And when we have given ourselves as the price, the name enters our hearts; and when it so enters it becomes an impulse that translates itself in the expression of a life.
The Grand Master of England
By Bro. DUDLEY WRIGHT, England
The Grand Master of England, reigning as he does over the United Grand Lodge and all its dependencies, is the most widely known and influential individual, no doubt, in the Masonic world, a brother of whom Masons everywhere delight to hear and to honor, as much for his record as statesman and soldier as for the high place he holds in the Craft. Thinking that readers of THE BUILDER would be interested to see a biographical sketch of England's Grand Master, we asked Bro. Wright to contribute the article given herewith.
It is in order in this same connection to say that Bro. Wright himself is becoming more and more taxed to respond to the demands being made on his pen. His name appears in journals here, there and everywhere over the English speaking world with amazing frequency, and always in connection with a solid contribution to Masonic literature. How he manages to do it all is a mystery to his fellow scribes. May he be spared to keep at it for many a year to come!
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Earl of Sussex in the Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was born at Buckingham Palace, London, on the 1st of May, 1850.
He entered the Army in 1868, was promoted Captain in 1871, Major in 1875, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1876, Colonel in 1880, Major-General in the same year, Lieutenant-General in 1889, General in 1893, and Field-Marshal in 1902. He is Colonel-in-Chief of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, the Highland Light Infantry, the Rifle Brigade, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and the Supply and Transport Corps. He is also Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and the Army Service Corps, Honorary Colonel of the South Irish Horse, the Royal East Kent Yeomanry, the Duke of Connaught's Own Sligo Royal Field Reserve Artillery, 6th Battalion Hampshire Regiment, 3rd Battalion the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 3rd and 4th Battalions Highland Light Infantry, the 18th County of London Battalion, and the London Regiment (London Irish Rifles). His Royal Highness is also Colonel-in-Chief of the following regiments of the Indian Army: The 13th Duke of Connaught's Lancers, the 31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers, the 7th Duke of Connaught's Own Rajputs, and the 129th Duke of Connaught's Own Baluchis. He was Brigade-Major at Aldershot in 1873-4; Brigade-Major, Cavalry Brigade, Aldershot, 1875; Assistant Adjutant-General, Gibraltar, 1875-6; Brigadier-General, Aldershot, 1883; Major-General Bengal, 1883 to 1886; Lieutenant-General, Bombay, 1886-1890; Lieutenant-General, Southern District, 1890-1896; Lieutenant-General Commanding in Troops at Aldershot, 1893-1896; General Commanding the Forces in Ireland, 1900-1904; General Commanding the 3rd Army Corps, 1901-1904; Inspector General of the Forces and President of the Selection Board, 1904-1907; Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief and High Commissioner in the Mediterranean, 1907-1909, and was appointed Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada in 1911, which position he held until 1916.
The Duke of Connaught saw service in Canada during the Fenian Raid in 1870 and received the Medal and Clasp. He commanded the Brigade of Guards in the Egyptian War of 1882, and was present at the battles of Mahuta and Tel-el-Kebir, when he was mentioned in dispatches and was thanked by both Houses of Parliament, receiving the Medal with Clasp, the Bronze Star, Second Class Order and the Medjidie, and the C. B. He had the Royal Victorian Chain and is a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, of the Most Noble Order of the Thistle, of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick, Grand Master and Principal Knight of the Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. He is also a Knight of the Golden Fleece of Spain, Knight of Saint Andrew of Russia, of the Annunciata of Italy, of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Legion of Honor of France, of the Chrysanthemum of Japan, of the Seraphim of Sweden, of the Tower and Sword of Portugal and of the Spanish Military Order of Merit.
Oxford has conferred upon him the Doctorate of Civil Law, while Cambridge and the Cape Universities gave him the degree of Doctor of Laws, and the Punjab University gave him the Doctorate of Literature.
HIS MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
On the 13th of March, 1879, His Royal Highness married Princess Louise Margaret Alexandra Victoria Agnes of Prussia, third daughter of the late Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia, and brethren will remember his grief at her death on 14th March, 1917. There were three children of the marriage, the eldest, Brother Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert, K.G., K.T., P.C., who was appointed Past Grand Warden in 1914, was born on the 13th of January, 1883. He married the Princess Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise, Duchess of Fife, on 15th October, 1913. The elder of the two daughters, Princess Margaret Victoria Augusta Charlotte Norah, married in 1905 H. R. H. Prince Gustavus Adolphus, Crown Prince of Sweden, and her sudden death, on the seventieth anniversary of her father's birth, came as a terrible blow to the Grand Master. The marriage of the younger daughter to Commander Ramsay, in the spring of 1919, when, of her own free will, she abandoned the rank and title of Princess, preferring to be known as Lady Patricia Ramsay, is well within the memory of all.
The occurrence of the seventieth anniversary of the birth of the Duke of Connaught gave an opportunity for a display on the part of the press, all over the world, as the representative of public opinion, to bear testimony, not only to his popularity, but also to the eminent services he had rendered to the nation throughout the whole of this public career. A writer in The Times said:
"The Duke of Connaught was born on May Day, 1850, seventy years ago. Not only in the United Kingdom, but in many distant parts of the Empire, large numbers of the King's subjects will join this morning with real sincerity in the good wishes of his family and near kinsmen. For longer than most of us can remember, during the reigns of his mother, his brother and his nephew, the Duke has been a well-known and most popular figure in the life of the country, and both as a man and a soldier has won for himself an abiding place in its affections.
"The great interest of his life has always been the Army. From its guns to its gaiter-buttons, from the standpoint of a Woolwich cadet to that of a Field-Marshal, he knows it through and through. He has served in turn as engineer, gunner, rifleman, Dragoon and Hussar. At Tel-el-Kebir he commanded the Brigade of Guards, and during the campaign was three times mentioned in despatches; in 1886 he was appointed to the post of Commander-in-Chief at Bombay, and afterwards commanded the troops at Aldershot, in Ireland, and in the Mediterranean, where he was also High Commissioner; from 1904 to 1907 he held the post of Inspector-General of the Forces, and during the war was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Volunteers and Inspector of Oversea Troops. He would certainly have succeeded the Duke of Cambridge as Commander-in-Chief if that dignified office had not been abolished. As it is, he remains a Field-Marshal, a real friend to the Army, and a practical and devoted soldier who for fifty-two years has worthily upheld the military - but never militarist - traditions of his godfather, the great Duke of Wellington.
“That, however, is only one side of his life and character. He is deeply interested in the social welfare of the! people, as well as of the Army, and is a generous supporter of charitable and benevolent schemes for the benefit of his fellow citizens in the Home Country. As for the Empire, he has always shown himself its loyal and hard-working servant, more especially in South Africa and Canada. His work in Canada as Governor-General was of particular value, and the fruits of it were plainly visible during the Prince of Wales' tour in the Dominion. When he went there, fears were expressed in certain quarters as to the wisdom of the appointment of a Royal Duke. It was felt that some independent spirits might regard the establishment of a reign of Court etiquette as an unwelcome innovation. But when the Royal Duke was found to be human, Canada took him and his family to her heart, and his unfailing tact and tireless interest in all the problems and activities of the Dominion soon made him a general favorite. In consenting to an extension of his term of office during the war, when his experience as a soldier was of so much service to those who were engaged in the enrollment and training of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, he put his own feelings in the background, in spite of his consideration for the delicate health of the Duchess, and so added to the debt which the Dominion as well as the Mother Country already owed him.
"He is, above all, a man of unfailing energy, who always must be doing something. No sooner has one appointment or one journey come to an end than he has embarked on another. Not only during the war, when, like the whole of the Royal Family, from King and Queen downwards, he set a fine example of unswerving and unselfish devotion to duty, but throughout his life he has constantly been at the disposal of his country. He has still, we may hope, in all human probability, many years of happy and useful life in front of him, and he is today what he has always been, a fine pattern of an upright and honourable English gentleman, who has well earned the feelings of respect and affection with which his fellow-countrymen regard him."
On the same day many other tributes appeared in the daily press all over the world. The Westminster Gazette wrote:
"All good wishes will go with the Duke of Connaught today on the attainment of his seventieth birthday. In the Army, in public life, as Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, and still more in his later period as Governor-General of Canada, the Duke has done whatever duty has fallen to him with a zeal and thoroughness that have won him a place in the affection of the people of the Empire. Quietly and efficiently he has illustrated the real service that can be given to the State by a member of the Royal Family not in the direct line of succession who brings brains and good will to his tasks. His career in the Army was fruitful of much good, but we think today less of the soldier than of the great gentleman whose whole life has been one of devoted service. It was a happy chance that the Duke of Connaught was Governor-General of Canada when war broke out. The Dominion required no stimulus to exertion, but was much in need of the expert guidance that the Duke could give from his long experience in the Army, and that he placed at the disposition of the Canadian Government whole-heartedly."
HIS INTEREST IN FREEMASONRY
Those who have been privileged to attend any of the many Masonic gatherings at which the Grand Master was present can bear willing witness to his deep interest in all Craft doings, over whose affairs in England he has presided with such distinction for so many years, but the Grand Master was at his best, perhaps, when presiding over one of the lodges of which he was the permanent Master. An incident of a very homely character took place a few years since, on the occasion of the installation of the Duke of Connaught as Worshipful Master of the Royal Colonial Institute Lodge, No. 3556, at Freemasons' Hall. He not only invested his Deputy Master, to whom it was thought he would delegate the investiture of the other officers, but insisted on his right to invest all his officers, Tyler included, to their great pride and delight.
Right from the time of his initiation the Duke of Connaught has taker the keenest interest in all matters appertaining to the Craft. His initiation took place in the Prince of Wales Lodge, No. 259, on 24th March, 1874, the ceremony being performed by his royal brother, H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, then Worshipful Master of the lodge, afterwards King Edward VII. He passed on to the next degree on 22nd June, 1874, and completed the steps of his admission into the Craft on 27th April of the following year, the day immediately preceding that on which the Prince of Wales was installed as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, at which ceremony the Duke of Connaught had the honor and privilege of being present. He became an active member of other lodges, notably the Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16, of which he was Master in 1881; the Aldershot Army and Navy Lodge, No. 1971; the Navy Lodge, No. 2612; the Jubilee Masters' Lodge, No. 2712; the Nil Sine Labore Lodge, No. 2736; the Old Wellingtonian Lodge, No. 3404, and the Royal Colonial Institute Lodge, already mentioned, of most of which he is the permanent Master.
In 1877 the Duke was invested Senior Grand Warden of England, and his younger brother, the late Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was at the same time appointed Junior Grand Warden, but the only occasion on which the three royal brothers were present at the same time at a communication of the Grand Lodge was at an Emergency Meeting held on 15th March, 1882, to congratulate H. M. Queen Victoria on her escape from the hands of the assassin. The next important- event in the Duke's career was his appointment, in 1878, to the office - which he still holds - of Great Prior of the Order of the Temple in Ireland, and then, after the lapse of a few years, he was, in 1886, appointed and installed Provincial Grand Master of Sussex. The installation ceremony took place on 22nd June of that year, in the Dome of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, in the presence of one of the largest gatherings of Freemasons ever held in Sussex. The Installing Master was again the Prince of Wales, who was assisted by the late Lords Herschell and Beresford.
HE LEAVES FOR INDIA
Not long afterwards the Duke of Connaught left England for India, where he had previously been in command of the Meerut District, to take over the command of the forces in the Presidency of Bombay, but he was fortunately able to return to England to take part in the state functions connected with the celebration of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria as Sovereign of the British Dominions. He was among the Masonic dignitaries of the Order who attended the memorable meeting in the Royal Albert Hall, under the auspices of his brother, the Prince of Wales, Grand Master, on 13th June, 1887, when an Address of Congratulation was voted to Queen Victoria. Meanwhile the Duke of Connaught had been appointed to the vacant position of District Grand Master of Bombay, and had graciously taken charge of the dutiful Address of Congratulation to the Queen on the attainment of her Jubilee, voted by the Bombay District Grand Lodge, and he personally presented it to Her Majesty, it being the only Address, save that voted by Grand Lodge, which was thus honored.
Since 1901 the Duke of Connaught has held the appointment of First Grand Principal of Royal Arch Masonry and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown. He is Permanent Soverign of the Connaught Chapter of the Antient and Accepted Rite, meeting at Aldershot, as well as a member of the 33rd degree of that body, of which he is also the Grand Patron. In Knight Templary he was installed in the Duke of Connaught and Strathern Preceptory, No. 153, in the United Provinces, India, and in 1901 he became affiliated with the Connaught Preceptory, No. 172, meeting at the Officers' Club House, Aldershot, of which he is the permanent Preceptor. He is also Grand Master of the United Orders of the Temple and Hospital.
His interest in the various Masonic Institutions is no less keen. In 1878 he presided at the eighteenth anniversary Festival of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys; in 1892 he acted in the same capacity for the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls at the 104th anniversary Festival, while in 1897 he was pleased to preside at the annual Festival of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. He is Patron of all three Institutions. He has taken a very deep interest in the formation of the Freemasons' War Hospital, and when this Institution reverted to its original purpose of a Masonic Hospital and Nursing Home, in 1920, he was the first to welcome the patients and to express a hope and desire for their well-being.
His first and only personal appeal to the Craft as Grand Master was on the occasion of the memorable Masonic Peace Celebration, in the Royal Albert Hall, in 1919, when he originated the appeal for funds to raise a Central Home for Freemasonry in the metropolis, which should be worthy not only of the Craft in England, as the Mother Grand Lodge, but be a fitting memorial to the many hundreds of brethren who gave their lives as a sacrifice in the Great War.
In 1920 the Duke of Connaught took the place of his nephew, Bro. H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, and went to India as the representative of his King and country. While there he found time to grant audience to the brethren of the several District Grand Lodges in India, and thus cemented bonds in the world-wide fraternity. On his return to England he lost no time in paying a visit to they communication of the United Grand Lodge of England, when he gave an exceedingly interesting account of his travels. In the course of his remarks he said:
"I had the very greatest pleasure in visiting the District Grand Lodge of Madras, of Bengal, of the Punjab and of Bombay and I am sure you would all have felt very proud and very much touched with the splendid welcome they gave me in each of those cities. The Masons there were very keen and alert. They were doing their duty, and were following the great precepts of our Craft. Besides that, they were steadily increasing in numbers. I know of no part of the British Empire where Masonry can be of greater use in cementing these good feelings which should exist among the different nationalities, castes and creeds than the great Empire of India. I am certain, from all I saw, and you may be gratified to learn it, that everything was in good working order, and everywhere I found zealousness and keenness. I found that charity was ever thought of, and that the great precepts of Freemasonry were understood and carried out in the best possible manner. It was a great satisfaction to me as Grand Master, to meet the brethren of India again. You will remember that I was District Grand Master of Bombay for five years, and I found that they had never forgotten me. They had remembered the different occasions on which I had been with them, and I can assure you that I was very much touched by the warmth of their reception. Each lodge insisted on presenting me with a highly valued memento of my visit to their respective District Grand Lodges.”
Great Men Who Were Masons
By Bro. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
LUJOS, or Louis, Kossuth, the celebrated Hungarian patriot and liberator, was born in Monok, Hungary, in 1802, being Slavic in decent and Lutheran in religion. Through his father, a lawyer, he obtained a good education, including classic instruction in the Piarists school at Ujhely, followed by a course at Eperies, completing with a legal and philosophical training at the college of Patak, in the last named of which he was fostered in a spirit of hatred for Austria.
Kossuth became well read in history and also in language, knowing the various Magyar dialects well, and Slovak, German, French and Latin; in later life he became very proficient in English. After leaving college he rose from one position to another, early becoming noted as a liberal, was popular with the middle class and was, for a period, manager of the large estates of the Countess Szapary in Zemplein. In the diet of 1832-6 he was proxy for a member in the upper house, possessing in that capacity a voice but no vote. This experience was of some importance in his career because the diet ranked among the more important assemblies of modern Hungary; and its debates, following close upon the Polish tragedy of 1831, were watched with great interest by the populace, especially by patriots, although any publication of them was hindered by severe restrictions. The liberals, the party in opposition, were persuaded by Kossuth to resort to the extraordinary means of a lithographed newspaper which they called Orszaggyalesi tudosositasoz, meaning Parliamentary Communications. Extracts and communications were dictated by Kossuth to a number of copyists who lithographed the same, and this crude sheet obtained no little circulation. Kossuth later became connected with another organ, but this venture fell through when the government prohibited its publication, whereupon he had it placed under the protection of the County of Pesth; but even so the government again prohibited it. On May 2, 1837, Kossuth was tried for treason and sentenced to four years in prison. On account of this move, great agitation developed among the populace so that the liberals carried the elections for the next diet of 1839-40. Because of this rise in power they were able to secure the release of Kossuth and some of his fellow prisoners, a victory for liberal principles which met with many popular demonstrations and rejoicings.
Kossuth was invited to use the columns of the Pesth-Hirlap (Pesth Journal), a liberal venture started in January, 1841, with fewer than one hundred subscribers. Within a very short time he had made this paper so popular that its circulation increased by thousands and that in spite of the opposition of the aristocracy and the clergy.
Count Stephen Szechenyi, of an old and aristocratic family, denounced Kossuth as a dangerous agrarian and demagogue, in a book called Relet Nepe (The Prople of the East). This Count, who was a kind of half liberal, wished to give the people their liberty as a gift from above; Kossuth demanded it as an inherent right and threatened to extort it by force if necessary. With public opinion behind him, and encouragement from some powerful newspapers, Kossuth was able to swing the election of 1843; but trouble developed in connection with his own paper, the result of which was his removal from the editor's chair, and the paper was transformed into an organ of the opposition. The affair was what we would now call a "double cross."
Hungary was exhausted by a tariff cunningly devised to keep it dependent on various German provinces; this was one of the principal grievances of the mass of the people. Assisted by some of the nobility who for family or other reasons were opposed to the Germans, Kossuth formed the Vedegylet (a protective union) the members of which (both men and women) bound themselves to use only home-made products when possible. Other societies took a hand in it, and soon a general boycott was declared against German goods.
When the influences set loose by the French Revolution of 1848 were at their height, Kossuth proposed an address to the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria urging the restoration of Hungary to its former independence. The move was at last successful and Kossuth was received in the capital with the honors of a liberator. Ferdinand entrusted Louis Batthyanyi with the forming of an independent Hungarian Ministry in which Kossuth was made minister of finance. To this office he directed all his energies, created a treasury, organized a militia, formed many new battalions of-national soldiery, established armories and generally aroused the spirit of the nation by proclamations, speeches and articles, many of which he published in a new organ called Kossuth Hirlapja. But dangers lay ahead. The south of Hungary was torn by racial struggles, also by religious. As a result of these internal dissensions, the nation became engaged in a quarrel with Italy, and Jellachich, with a large army, crossed the River Drave with intent to subdue the country. Many members of the Hungarian ministry resigned and others fled as the enemy approached the capital.
Russia and Austria joined in so that their combined forces swept all resistance before them, although Kossuth created an army, raised money and called upon the people to rally to the defense of their homes. On August 11, 1849, Kossuth resigned his powers in favor of Gorgey, who surrendered to Russia two days afterward. Kossuth sought refuge in Turkey from which Austria and Russia sought to capture him by means of extradition. Turkey, however, encouraged by England and France, resisted the Russian and Italian threats. After his wife and children had managed to join Kossuth he was able to get aboard the U. S. Frigate Mississippi at Trieste Sept. 1, 1851, a vessel sent there by the United States to bring him to this country. He visited Washington, D. C., in 1852, where he was introduced on the floor of the Senate. He gave speeches in many cities, including Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland. He was made a Mason in Cincinnati Lodge, No. 133, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852. His admirers have raised a beautiful monument to his memory in Cleveland, Ohio, and this has become a shrine for a large number of Hungarians and their descendants and also for patriotic Americans who know his story and love him for hip principles.
The Cable Tow
By Bro. HENRY TAYLOR, Missouri
IN the far off days before what we call civilization began to be man had to combat the forces of nature with a slender outfit of tools, instruments, and weapons. Each and every one of the few things he had wherewith to work meant more to him, far more, than any tool or implement can possibly mean to us. That may be one of the reasons for the symbolical meaning which came to be attached to so many of the familiar every-day things used by primitive man. It may be the explanation of the fact that the fibre or leather rope which was used for countless purposes came to have so great a significance. Some anthropologists believe that in the long period during which man was gradually learning to domesticate animals the rope was almost the only means whereby he was able to control them; accordingly that rope became for him the very symbol of his mastery of brute nature, and often it stood between him and starvation. Be this as it may - the theory is reasonable enough - the rope, or cable, or thong, very early came to have symbolic and mystical meanings, proving that men could use it with their imagination as well as with their hands.
Ropes, cords, halters, etc., meant many things in ancient religions and secret cults. In several of the religious cults of Nearer Asia, the region from which radiated so many of the religious forces that profoundly influenced our own religion, the center of the cult was a god, usually the sun under a thin disguise, who was once a year hanged to a tree, there to die for the sake of his people; for that reason the hanging rope became a sacred thing. When a candidate was initiated in several of the mystery secret cults he was led into the temple, often a dark cave, with a rope, and, in case he fainted away from fright, as frequently happened, was dragged out by it. Druid priests often wore a chain about the neck. Among some Brahmin cults members wore a cord, either about the waist or the neck, to symbolize their spiritual rebirth. In some of the medieval courts it was the custom to place a rope about the neck or middle of an accused person to make him realize that he was at the mercy of the court.
It is probable, judging from the very slender array of facts available, that in nearly all the secret religions and fraternities of the ancient and medieval world the rope was used for a more or less practical purpose, though that practical use inevitably came to be associated with symbolical meanings. Initiation has always been an ordeal, and must be, and consequently it has usually been necessary to keep the candidate under absolute control.
There has been much dispute among our scholars as to the origin of the word "Cable Tow." Some trace it to a German root, others to Dutch, a few to French and a few to a Hebrew term. Thus far there has been no general agreement among them except that the term means some kind of a rope that is used for drawing something, as when a scow is drawn along behind a tug, or a canal boat is dragged by a horse. It is a cable by which a thing is towed along.
There has been an equal division of opinion as to the meaning and use of the Cable Tow in Freemasonry. (It never appeared in any dictionary until the Standard was issued, where it is given as a Masonic term, and even so is erroneously described.) Albert Pike saw in it nothing but a physical device for managing the candidate. Dr. Mackey seems to have agreed with Pike. Lawrence saw in it a symbol of the Mystic Tie. Rowbottom made it to mean Masonic duty, which is the moral tie. Others give it a quite geometrical meaning and there are others still, as one would guess, who find in it a thousand occult meanings.
The safest way to work one's self into the meaning of a Masonic symbol is to trace the history of its use by the fraternity. I believe it is a safe canon of Masonic interpretation that every symbol is interpreted by its use. In English Masonry of two hundred years ago the Cable Tow appeared only in the First Degree and then with no symbolical meaning at all. This would indicate that in the older system of Operative Masonry it had nothing more than a physical use. This surmise is strengthened by the fact that in English Speculative Masonry of today the rope appears only in the Entered Apprentice Degree, and is there explained as being a means for controlling the body of the candidate.
When we pass over to our American system we discover a significant fact. In the First Degree the Cable Tow is described in the same way as in the corresponding section of that degree as worked by our English brethren; but, and this is the significant matter, it also appears in the Second and Third Degrees, in both of which it is given a quite symbolical meaning. This appears to prove that the symbolical use of the Cable Tow grew up among American lodges. Why it grew up there it is probably impossible to discover, seeing that no records are made of such things, but we may guess that our brethren added the Cable Tow to the two latter degrees in order to make the work more symmetrical; that they gave to it such a symbolical meaning as most naturally occurred to them, and that they let it remain in the First Degree as it had been in order not to change things more than necessary.
What our brethren had in mind when they gave the Cable Tow a place in our system of symbols is made perfectly clear, it seems to me, by the few words of interpretation which are given in each of the two latter degrees. The Cable Tow is the symbol of all those forces and compulsions which regulate a man's conduct from without; it is not removed until the man is able to control and govern himself from within. As a physical thing it is set over in opposition to that Mystic Tie which isn't a physical thing at all, but inward disposition of the mind and heart. This, if we will consider it aright, is a summons to examine into certain truths which it is of the utmost importance to us that we clearly understand.
It is self-evident that men, being as they are, cannot be held together in an orderly society without the systematic use of force, understanding by force those secular methods whereby the law enforces itself - police, courts, penitentiaries, fines and the military system. It is an unfortunate thing that this should be so, for it is the most barbarous side of social life, but it seems unavoidable, for there are so many men and women of an unsocial nature who, without the restraint of force, would soon throw the whole social system into anarchy.
Tolstoy held this to be a fallacy. He believed that if we would do away with policemen, constables, marshals, courts, armies and navies there might ensue, a period of disorder but that after a while the normal commonsense of the majority would reassert itself to restore peace and order. Force degrades our nature. The law's methods make more criminals than they cure. Armies lead to war. Not to fight the devil with fire, not to return blow for blow, but to practice non-resistance, that, so it seemed to him, would lead us all after a time to live a more neighbourly existence. Many agree with Tolstoy, and more agree with him up to a point, the pacifists for example; and there is no question but that force does, in a certain way, degrade our nature, but it must be remembered that social force exists not only to punish crime but also to regulate the actions of men in a world which is so complicated that no individual can find his way about in it undirected. Tax laws, for example, are not penal in their nature but they are necessary, and the great majority would pay no taxes were they not compelled; and as much may be said of many other matters. Furthermore, if laws were laid aside, and policemen dismissed, it would not be long before men, women and children would be kept in control by some other similar social force so that in the long run little would be gained.
Men must wear the Cable Tow.
But it is all-important in this connection to note that the uses of external force, though necessary, are very limited, and that because it has no method whatever for penetrating into the hidden springs of human conduct. It can't get at our motives. It has no way of controlling our private characters, or of moving the heart. A man may keep the public laws, at least he may very successfully escape all punishments by law and yet know nothing of those other laws which wield a different kind of compulsion and have no power of inflicting punishment of a physical character - the law of kindliness, of brotherliness, of forgiveness, of love, of purity and righteousness. The whole system of social force is at best a cumbersome thing which touches life at few points. It is easily evaded and avoided, and there are whole regions of life where it cannot come at all.
The man who knows no other law of conduct than that which backs the policeman and the penitentiary is an inferior man. In the eyes of Freemasonry he is a profane, one who has never been initiated into the secrets of manhood. Those secrets are in the heart. They belong to thoughts, ideals, feelings, motives, impulses, aspirations, hopes and all that world which is hidden away in the soul from which a man's walk and character are determined. If a man is controlled from without, and doesn't steal from us merely because the law watches, how are we to know that he will not break into the house when he thinks the law does not see him? If he tells the truth only to escape losing his business or his reputation, how are we to believe him when these things are absent? If his conduct is regulated by forces outside himself, will he be or do, how are we to know what he will be or do, when he chances to come into some place, those external forces are not operative? Such a man is one who is led about by a Cable Tow. But the Master Man, as Freemasonry depicts him, is one whose conduct is regulated from within. He has the law in his heart. There is a court in his conscience, a government in his soul. Wherever he is, and under what ever circumstances, he will remain an upright man because his rectitude is a thing of his nature. The Cable Tow which binds him to the social and moral order, and which holds him to his duty, has passed inward and become a mystical thing of the spirit.
So also with his love. Many there are who know how to be very brotherly and sociable when they find themselves in a brotherly atmosphere, but whose kindliness withers up outside that air; he who is truly a Master Mason will have love in his heart, and from his heart it will flow to his brethren wherever and whatever they may be. A Cable Tow of affection reaches to them, nothing can break it, nothing can loosen its, hold.
What is the length of this Cable Tow? It is as long as the arm that stretches out a helping hand. It reaches as far as a brother's cheering voice. It goes as far as charity's dollar can go. It can travel as far as good will can travel. Wherever the mails can carry a letter it can be carried. The length of a Master Mason's Cable Tow is precisely equal to the extent of his influences.
THE STUDY CLUB
Chapters of Masonic History
By Bro. H.L. HAYWOOD, Editor THE BUILDER
PART VII. FREEMASONRY AND THE GILD SYSTEM
1. THE GILD SYSTEM IN GENERAL
WHEN the Angles and Saxons settled in ancient England (Britain it was then called) they at first maintained their military form of organization, so that each settlement was a kind of camp; but as time went on and villages became permanent, a civil form of social order began slowly to evolve. The first step in this was the institution of the kin-bond, wherein blood relatives stood together for support and protection, the individual and his family being mutually responsible. This gave way in the course of time to voluntary associations founded not on blood relationship but on community ties, existing to protect the individual against the group, to preserve order in the settlement, and for a variety of similar purposes. These associations, described as "artificial" in contrast to the "natural" bond of blood, were the first gilds in England, in virtue of which fact it cannot be said that anybody ever "discovered" or "invented" gilds; they grew out of natural conditions in response to social necessity, just as they had come into existence among the Greeks and Romans centuries before, the former calling them "thiassoi", etc., the latter, "collegia". It is generally believed by the more dependable authorities that it is very possible that there may have been some historical continuity between the gilds of early England and the Roman collegia, but the historical remains of the period are too scanty to enable us to make sure on that point. If such a continuity ever existed it was more probable in Italy, where the collegia longest endured, and which, like most other European countries, had a gild system of its own.
The word "gild" (sometimes spelled "guild") continues to be a puzzle so far as its etymology is concerned. The North Germans had "geld", meaning money; the Danish, "gilde", a religious feast in honour of the god Odin; the Anglo-Saxons, "gild", from same root as "yield", and meaning a fixed payment of money; the Bretons "gouil", a feast or holiday; the Welsh "gmylad", a festival. In later times, when gilds became everywhere common, the North Germans used the word "gild"; the South Germans, "zunft"; the French, "metier"; and the Italians, "arte". In the sixteenth century England the word was generally superseded by "company", "corporation" or "mystery", the last name derived from the Latin "ministerium", or trade, and having no reference to anything mysterious, being preserved in our usage to this day, as when we speak of the arts, parts and mysteries of Freemasonry.
The first gilds, as it is believed, were organized in Italy. In France they were very common before Charlemagne, and are first mentioned in the Carolingian Capitularies of 779 and 789. Commercial and craft gilds began to become common in France, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden in the eleventh century. The oldest known ordinances, as the written laws for the government of a gild were called, occur in England in the eleventh century. The gild principle proved so successful and was applied to so many uses that by the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it became the outstanding feature of the social and economic life of Europe.
One of the commonest early uses of that principle was in the "frith", or peace, gilds, which became very popular in North Europe in the sixth century - the Vikings organized then to suppress piracy - and in England the century later, where they were referred to in the Laws of Ine. These were voluntary associations of men organized for mutual defense, to supplement defective laws, and to police the community in a period when national governments were not known and when the authority of the town was very weak. We saw this system at work in our own land under pioneer conditions, as in the case of the Vigilantes, and even today, in spite of our elaborate machinery for the enforcement of law and the protection of citizens, impatient men in some communities strive to make or enforce law by similar methods.
In the course of time gilds multiplied until they came to be used for every conceivable purpose, for good-fellowship, for drinking, for insuring a decent burial, for worship, for hunting, travel, art and for banking; priests and friars organized, sailors, travelers, woodsmen and shepherds; there were gilds for men, women, children, for rich and for poor, in the country and in the town. Functions now performed by government, armies, schools, stores, factories, hospitals, trade unions, and most of the other innumerable forms into which social organization has differentiated itself, were then held in keeping by gilds.
The typical gild had prayers for the dead; a common chest for incidental upkeep and for the relief of the widows and orphans of deceased members; periodical meetings, with banquets; admitted members on an oath, sometimes two; administered fines; adopted ordinances for the regulation of its own activities; punished members for improper conduct, and co-operated in many ways with the town or national governments. Most of these societies were small, the largest on record being the Corpus Christi gild at York, which once boasted of 15,000 members. Sometimes many gilds in a community consolidated, but there was never a country-wide merger. Of the city of London there is record of one gild in 1130; of eighteen in 1180, and of 110 in 1422. In the time of Edward III there were listed more than 40,000 religious and trade gilds in England; the census of 1389 showed 909 in Norfolk alone. This proliferation received its first serious set-back during the Reformation when Henry VIII despoiled all religious gilds; it died down rapidly with the advent of the capitalist system, and came to a dead stop, except in a few unimportant instances, in the last century. France prohibited them in 1789-91; Spain and Portugal, 1833-40; Austria and Germany, 1859-60; Italy, 1864; Scotland, where the development had followed Continental lines, in 1846, and England in 1835.
In its heyday the gild system was very closely connected with the church, so closely that some writers credit the church with its origin; almost every gild had its patron saint, before whose image it kept a candle burning, and many set aside sums of money for the sustenation of a priest, the maintenance of a chapel and for masses, chantries, church charities and church schools. Oftentimes a gild had its own chaplain, and a very large number, as already noted, were devoted exclusively to religious purposes; these religious fraternities were suppressed in England in 1547, and other gilds were at the same time forbidden to give money to churches. A number of the Roman Catholic fraternities now existing are lineal descendants of the old religious gilds.
Partly as a result of their alliance with the church many gilds, otherwise devoted to purely secular pursuits, participated in pageants and in mystery, morality and miracle plays, the forerunners of our modern drama. These plays were staged on wagons drawn in a "procession" from one exhibition point to another across the town, and always it was a day of excitement when they were shown, and vast crowds gathered. Expenses were divided among the gilds and parts allotted, as at Norwich, where the mercers, drapers and haberdashers presented the creation of the world; the grocers, Paradise; the smiths, the fight between David and Goliath; or as at Hereford, the glovers gave Adam and Eve; the carpenters, Noah's ship; the tailors, the three kings, etc. It is of record that on a few instances parts were taken by gilds of Masons. I am of the opinion that the drama of our Third Degree may very probably have been originally an old mystery play, which may have found its way to us through some Masons' gild that participated in it.
It used to be the fashion to say that the gild corporation and the town corporation were identical, or that the former gradually metamorphosed into the latter, a view given a very wide circulation by Brentano; this idea has been abandoned. There was always a close connection between town government and gild government, but the two were always distinct, except possibly in two or three negligible instances. In many cases a man had to be a gild member before he could become a citizen, but the gild ordinances were always subordinate to the town authority. The manner in which the gilds governed themselves will be described later.
It is a remarkable fact, and one worthy of especial remark to us Masons, that many gilds accepted men not at all engaged in the craft as patrons or as a means of bestowing an honour or some special privilege. "Indeed," writes one of the best authorities, E. Lipson, "the members of many London companies frequently came to have only a very faint connection with the business of the company to which they were attached," a fact that makes it easier for us to understand how non-operatives came to be admitted into the old Masonic gilds, or lodges. "They included in their membership," writes another authority, "most of the wealthy men of the nation, and the great [gild] halls now standing in the city of London testify to the proud names with which they are so generously decorated that the men who made England what she was, the men who built her commerce, won her wealth and risked their lives and fortunes in extending England's commercial supremacy, were mighty in the gilds." Henry IV, Henry VI and Henry VIII were gild members, so also Edward III, who belonged to a gild of armourers. There is therefore nothing extraordinary in the fact that Elias Ashmole and other worthies of his time sought membership among the operative masons.
II. THE MERCHANT GILDS
The gild system in general had two grand periods of development, the first of which culminated in the merchant gilds, as were called those associations formed in all the towns (save a few, among which was London) for the purpose of managing and controlling trading and commerce. Such a gild included all engaged in a given kind of commerce, including wage-earners as well as proprietors, and the object was to enable the merchants to maintain a monopoly of, and an efficient organization of, all the merchandising in a given community. These organizations grew apace and waxed powerful and became in time the foster parents of English commerce; more than 100 towns in England and seventy in Ireland and Wales had them. They reached their zenith in the twelfth century, began to disappear in the fourteenth century and were almost completely superseded by craft gilds in the fifteenth century.
Merchant gilds engaged in so many activities, some private, some public, that it is impossible to describe them in full; among the most important of their functions was the control of import and export of wares; the limiting of the number permitted in any trade; the regulation of wages and prices, and the inspection and standardization of goods. Every member had to pay "scot" and "lot", as the general taxes were called, and take oath to obey the rulers and ordinances, as well as contribute his annual dues. As a reward for his membership he was privileged to share in business transactions and in bargains, and was given a "status" in the community very much coveted. If he fell ill he was cared for; his family was looked after in case of his death; in unemployment he was helped to find a position, and he was protected against quarrels and unjust dealings. The gild was governed by an alderman ("elder man") and his associates, two or four in number; it had its own treasury; passed its own ordinances; could fine or otherwise punish its members; and in some instances had its own court. At periodical meetings - called "morning speeches" - the brethren passed or revised ordinances, admitted new members, feasted and elected officers.
As industry developed in scope and complexity it became increasingly difficult for these gilds merchant to retain their monopolies; gradually there grew up a new system to supersede the old, known as craft gilds, in which not commerce but a handicraft was the unit; there was a struggle between the new system and the old, but the old at last gave way and in the fifteenth century ceased to be. Craft gilds were not, as has often been alleged, the offspring of the merchant gilds, for there was no organic connection between them; they were variously two similar but quite distinct and separate developments of the gild principle due to economic changes.
III. CRAFT GUILDS
"The primary purpose of the craft gild was to establish a complete system of industrial control over all who were associated together in the pursuit of a common calling." The merchant gild, working usually in the smaller towns, organized a whole industry; the craft gilds, springing up everywhere, from London to almost every hamlet, organized each separate part of every industry, or vocation, as an independent entity. For example, where the merchant gild had organized the leather business as a whole, craft gilds broke it up into specialties, so that tanners, saddle makers, harness makers, bridle makers, shoe makers, slipper makers, boot makers, etc., had each their own fraternity. This high degree of specialization was extended to the arts, to social interests, amusements and education; it was even extended to religion, so that in one church might be a gild of priests, of musicians, of singers, of actors in the mystery play, and a gild to look after the altar besides to see that it was properly dressed with rich cloths and its candles always burning.
The gilds devoted wholly to some one handicraft performed an astonishing number of functions and became a little family world to each member in which he found his social fellowship, his school, his business, his hospital, his sick, health and life insurance, protection against enemies, employment bureau, a court to which to be responsible for his conduct and laws and ordinances for controlling his conduct. The old debate among Masonic writers as to whether the medieval operative Masonic gilds possessed any "speculative" elements would seem to be singularly beside the point; every gild was full of "speculative" elements, even the pig drivers and sheep herders, who, like the rest had their patron saints, their religious festivals and burned a candle at the altar.
"Many free grammar schools were founded and maintained by the gilds," writes Lipson, in his excellent Economic History, "which formed one of the main sources of education in the Middle Ages; and one gild, that of Corpus Christi, Cambridge, perpetuated its memory by founding the famous college that still bears its name. In this way the gilds contributed to the spread of learning, and the voluntary efforts of artisans helped to keep burning the lamp of knowledge." He could have added many more examples. Dean Colet turned over to a gild the management of his St. Paul's school. William Shakespeare secured his "little Latin and less Greek" at a gild school in Stratford-on-Avon.
Many writers have described craft gilds as "the trade unions of the Middle Ages", but this is most inaccurate. As Sidney and Beatrice Webb have stated so clearly in their magnificent History of Trade Unions there was no connection whatever between the two, and only a superficial resemblance. The craft gild was a quasi-public body, often so interwoven with municipal government that learned writers have confused the two; it controlled trade not in the interests of workmen merely but of all, the public included; membership in it was compulsory, and so recognized by local and national laws; its ranks included employers as well as employed, and these two groups did not come into conflict until later, with the rise of journeymen's gilds; it accepted into membership only trained men, all others, servants, etc., being left outside and considered as "cowans"; it was a purely local institution, with a territory limited by the community boundaries; and in addition to the regulation of wages, hours and general trade conditions, it was also engaged, as described above, in many activities of a purely social character, and unrelated to the trade itself.
At the head of the typical gild were the wardens, two or four, usually elected by the assembly but sometimes appointed by the mayor, holding office for one year, whose duty it was to supervise the work turned out by the craft and to see that certain standards were maintained. The assembly usually met once a year, but sometimes four times, and at stated intervals. The gild often had its own court and members were admitted on oath. The general membership was divided into the three grades of masters, journeymen (fellow crafts) and apprentices, but any journeyman might become a master so that, so far as skill was concerned, there were only two classes. Women were admitted into many gilds and were permitted to take apprentices and to hire journeymen.
The most admirable feature in the whole gild system was the institution called apprenticeship, which was a method for training youths in their vocation never since surpassed and not often equalled. A boy was "indentured", or contracted, to some master for a term of years, which in earlier times might last from one to ten years, but in 1563 was everywhere (in England) fixed at seven years. The master furnished bed and board, technical training, sometimes a small salary, sometimes schooling, supervised his conduct, and generally stood to the boy in loco parentis; the boy in his turn was obliged to be no bondsman, of good physique, a faithful workman and alive to his master's welfare. The beginnings of this system have been traced to 1260; it became a vital part of the whole economic system in the thirteenth century. Apprentices were usually registered with the town authorities and otherwise given a recognized status in the community. The terms and experiences of his position passed into popular speech, remaining in use until the present day, coloured all social thinking, and often was celebrated in literature, as in Goethe's Wilhelm Maister.
The apprentice custom, as the reader will already have discerned, remains imbedded in our own Masonic system to remind us that a candidate for our "mystery" stands as much in need of training as the youth of old times who knocked at the door of a gild; if our statesmen and rulers ever come to understand Masonry as they should, and its possibilities in the world, the reconstitution of the apprentice system in our Fraternity, and a more thorough and intelligent use of it, will be one of their first concerns. To expect a man to be able to understand or practice Freemasonry without adequate preparation is a ridiculous now as it was when Masonic gilds were devoted to architecture and the building crafts. We are not called on to raise fabrics of wood and stone into the sky, but ours is an even more difficult task, for it is our duty to build manhood and to reorganize the whole world into the forms of brotherhood, surely a high calling, and demanding skilled workmen!
The time of his indenture completed, the apprentice graduated into the ranks of the journeymen, becoming thereby a fellow of the craft, i.e., entitled to its liberties and privileges on equal terms with all others. This passing to a higher grade was signalized by some proof of his skill a "masterpiece" in many cases or an examination before the wardens. (Wardens were known as "deacons" in Scotland, whence some of our Masonic nomenclature was derived.) In Europe the young journeyman went out on a "wander tour" in order to see something of the world and of the practices of his craft in other places, but this custom never secured a foothold in England; usually (in some cases compulsorily) a journeyman (sometimes called yoeman, "young man") hired himself out to some master for two or three years at wages and then, with a little money of his own, set up in his own shop, hired journeymen, indentured apprentices and became a master.
In the course of time the masters, being the moneyed class, tended to arrogate to themselves more and more power and to adopt legislation in their own interests, and the journeymen, as their numbers increased, learned to combine to secure their own interests, especially after a permanently wage earning class was developed. Upon this journeymen began to form gilds of their own, often in despite of the authorities, a thing that became quite common by the fifteenth century. On the continent, especially in the industrial centers and in Germany, this conflict between masters and men often broke out into pitched battles with much shedding of blood (the Medici family emerged from such a welter to the control of Florence), but in England the struggle was more quiet. By the sixteen seventeenth century journeymen gilds were quite subdued and content to remain subordinate to the masters who grew more and more oligarchical. In many of the large cities the masters secured all control in their own hands, and gradually, with the coming of modern capitalism and manufacturing and the whole gild system gradually rise of nationalism the whole gild system broke up and quietly passed away. Some of the craft societies still survived so late as the latter half of the eighteenth century, but their privileges were formally and finally abolished by parliament in 1835.
The study of the medieval Masonic gilds from which Freemasonry evolved, or at least with which it has at least a certain amount of historical continuity, must be reserved for another chapter, as demanding more space reserved than is here available. In the present connection it is not necessary to call a Masonic reader's attention to the fact that whatever that historical connection may have been and to what extent our modern craft is indebted to the old gild system, Freemasonry was in its beginning of a piece with that system and inherited many things from it, so that it is quite impossible to understand our Fraternity today apart from the craft gilds of old in which apprentices, fellow crafts and masters united in the one hand, toiled and lived together in brotherhood to the end that the word might be served and themselves enabled to earn masters' wages and to perfect themselves in their mystery.
WORKS CONSULTED IN PREPARING THIS ARTICLE
A. Abram, English Life and Manners in Later Middle Ages. J. DeW. Addison. Arts and Crafts in Middle Ages. Ars. Quatuor Coronatorum, II, 159; II, 165; V, 125; IX, 28; XV, 153; XV, 197. F. Armitage, The Guilds of England. W. J. Ashley, An Introduction to English Economic History. E. Bain, Merchant and Craft Gilds. L. Brentano On the History and Development of Gilds. H.M. Chadwick, Studies of Anglo-Saxon Institutions. E.K. Chambers. The Medieval Stage. Jas. Coiston, Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh. H.C. Coote, The Romance of Britain. W. Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce. W.Denton, England in the Fifteenth Century. O.J. Dunlap, English Apprenticeship and Child Labour. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol XII, 14. E.A. Freeman, History of the Norman Conquest of Freemasonry; R.F.Gould, Concise History of Freemasonry; History of Freemasonry. N.S.B. Gras, Introduction to Economic History. A.S. Green, Town Life in the Fifteenth Century J.R. Green, Short History of the English People. C. Gross, Bibliography of British Municipal History; Gild Merchant. J.L. and B. Hammond, The Village Laborer. M.D. Harris, Story of Coventry. James Hasting, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VI. W.C. Hazlitt, Livery Companies of City of London. K. Hegel, Stadte und Gilden. F.A. Hibbert, Influence and Development of English Gilds. A. Jessop, Coming of the Friars. J.J. Jugseiand, English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages. S. Kramer, English Craft Gilds and the Government. J.M. Lambert, Two Thousand Years of Gild Life. Lethaby, Medieval Art. E. Lipson, Economic History of England. A.S. McBride, Speculative Masonry. Machiavelli. Florentine History. Mackey, Revised History of Freemasonry. A.L. Miller, Notes on the Early History and Records of the Lodge, Aberdeen 1 ter. H.B. Morse, Gilds of China. A.W. Pollard, English Miracle Plays. M.B. Reekitt, Meaning of National Guilds. George Renard, Guilds in the Middle Ages. J.E.T. Rogers, Economic Interpretation of History. H.G. Selfridge, Romance of Commerce. L.T. Smith, York Mystery Plays. T. Smith, English Gilds. Edgcumb Staley, The Guilds of Florence, J. Thomson, An Essay on English Municipal History. G. Unwin, Gilds and Companies of England. L.Vibert, Story of the Craft. P. Vinagradoff, Edtr., Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History. A.E. Waite, New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods. S. and B. Webb, History of Trade Unionism. H. Zimmern, The Hansa Towns.
FREEMASONRY AND THE GILD SYSTEM
Mackey's Encyclopedia (Revised Edition)
Adoptive Masonry, 24-30; Apprentice, 70-72; Architecture, 75; Assembly, 83; Cowans, 183; Craft, 184; Craftsman, 184; Deacon, 197-198; Fellow Crafts, 261-262; Female Masons, 262; Foreign Country, 269; Gilds,. 296-297; Journey, 373; Journeyman, 373; Master, 473-476; Mysteries, 497-500; Roman Colleges of Artificers, 630-634; Wages, 834.
A NOTE ON THE COMACINES
I have recently encountered a note on the Comacine Masters which should be included with the chapter on that subject published in this department last month. It was contributed by A. L. Frothingham to "Dictionary of Architecture and Building", edited by Russell Sturgis; the article is headed "Guilds" and is, so far as I could discover, the solitary reference in that work to Freemasonry. Having no competence in etymology I am unable to pass judgment on Mr. Frothingham's theory, but am under the impression that etymologists in general would not agree with him. Further light on the point will be appreciated. Students will do well to read the article in its entirety; in the present connection there is space for only one paragraph:
"A great deal of grave nonsense has been written by grave authorities on these magistri commacini; chapters and even volumes have been based on the supposition that Commacine means 'a native of Como,' and that this region was so specifically the center of the revival of architecture under the Lombards as to give its name to the profession of architect; master from Como = architect. Such a fact would be without a parallel and is, besides, an etymological blunder. The word com-macinus is from the same stem as macio, the common Latin word for stonemason, with the addition of the collective prefix, and may also be connected with the current Byzantine word for practical architect, mechanicos." - H.L.H.
IN WHAT SENSE INFALLIBILITY IS CLAIMED
FOR THE POPE
I have often wondered if Roman Catholics have the same idea about the infallibility of the pope that outsiders have. Where can one find the Roman Church's own official definition of papal infallibility ?
The dogma of papal infallibility was defined by the Vatican Council held in Rome 1869-1870, and reads in this fashion: "Therefore faithfully adhering to the traditions of the Christian faith, which has come down to us from the beginning …. we teach and define it to be a doctrine divinely revealed, that the Roman Pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when he in the exercise of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians' by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised him in Blessed Peter, possesses that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in the definition of a doctrine regarding faith or morals."
This means that he is infallible only when he speaks as pope, and not as a private individual when as pope he gives the official definition of a doctrine; when he treats of faith and morals or matters vitally related thereto; and when he makes it clearly understood that he is promulgating a decision binding "on the universal church." What this amounts to is that he acts as the register or mouth-piece of the church, in its official capacity, and that, according to the idea, the church itself is infallible. The infallibility of the pope developed out of the infallibility of the church, the former dogma was not officially accepted until 1870, the latter has been held in Roman communion for many centuries.
INTRODUCING BROTHER F. H. LITTLEFIELD
At an annual meeting of the National Masonic Re. search Society held at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Oct. 4, 1923, the Board of Stewards, after a minute and comprehensive canvass of all our activities, decided that it would be wise to so reorganize our machinery of management as to make for increased efficiency and economy, as well as to guarantee t h a t the future of the Society be absolutely secure. To that end it was arranged that the general offices of the Society be retained at Cedar Rapids, with Brother C. C. Hunt as General Secretary, and that the publication office of THE BUILDER, membership offices, financial offices, and all other activities appertaining to the business management of the Society's affairs be removed to St. Louis to be under the care of Brother F. H. Littlefield, who at that meeting was chosen executive head.
The duties devolving on the executive head of this Society require that he possess a combination of qualifications not often found. He must have managerial and business ability, experience with publishing, a first‑hand knowledge of Masonry in its many aspects, and a heartfelt dedication to a task that entails a considerable amount of financial and moral responsibility, without hope of fee or reward. In Brother F. H. Littlefield, our Board of Stewards found these qualifications very fully developed, and were fortunate in being able to secure his services. As president of the STANDARD MASONIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, editor and proprietor of THE MISSOURI FREEMASON, and for many years intensely active in all the Masonic bodies in Missouri, as well as several important business concerns. he possesses the ideal experience and equipment for the managing head of this Society. It is an honor to introduce him to our members and readers, a pleasure to be associated with him, and it is safe to predict for him a successful outcome of his labors, now already begun, in the development and expansion of our work.
H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor.
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Having been commissioned by the National Masonic Research Society to assume a large portion of the practical executive duties in connection with this Society and in the publication of THE BUILDER, I feel that a brief statement of our present plans and hopes for the future should be given to our membership.
The National Masonic Research Society is a corporate body (not for pecuniary profit) existing solely for the purpose of fostering Masonic education, research, thought and expression. We desire that each member and reader should be fully informed as to the democratic character of its organization, and in a succeeding number we propose to publish its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws for your information.
From its inception, nearly nine years ago, one of its principal operations has been the editing and publishing of THE BUILDER as the official journal of the Society. It has made a splendid reputation in the world of Masonic thought and literature, attracting contributions from the ablest Masonic thinkers and writers of the time.
THE BUILDER, and the business offices of the Society, are now removed from Cedar Rapids to St. Louis, with all the collected manuscripts, library and equipment intact. Ample provision is made for its valuable reference library and its editorial and research departments. Its new offices are in the Railway Exchange, the largest office building in the world. The material resources and conveniences are in no way impaired, and we expect them to develop improvement in the future.
More important is the continuation of the high standard of Masonic journalism that THE BUILDER has established. To this we pledge our most sincere efforts. Everything will carry on as before. There will be no diminution in our various services to the Craft. Brother H. L. Haywood is here with us as Editor-in-chief and will enlarge the staff of our associate editors with talent from all parts of the Masonic world.
THE BUILDER will continue to function as the official journal of the Society. It will not enter the field of competitive or commercial journalism, or lend itself to any personal or political propaganda. It can exist on our present membership through an indefinite future, and as that membership increases it will augment its services to the Craft and improve its editorial, artistic and typographical qualities in every way possible.
In removing our headquarters to St. Louis the Society will not lose its contact with the many faithful brethren of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, the parent of Masonic research in the United States. Brothers Parvin, Hunt, Block and Moses continue their connection with our Society and THE BUILDER, and through their kind co-operation we are assured full use of the matchless resources of that very valuable institution, the Iowa Masonic Library.
I am frank to say, and I say it with all sincerity, that though I had long been a member and somewhat familiar with its activities, I have been agreeably surprised to discover just how extensive the work of the Society is, how far its influence reaches, how many brethren are engaged in special work under its direction; this, coupled with the fact that the membership is so loyal, inspires me to believe that we have a great future before us. There is a family feeling among us all, a feeling that THE BUILDER belongs to each and every one, and that each member is in a sense an editor and contributor; I shall hope to see that spirit continue, deepen and grow.
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A TEMPLE OF LIGHT
By the time these words are in print the cornerstone of the George Washington National Memorial will have been laid, surely, if one will consider it all around, the most notable cornerstone laying since American Masonry began to be, and the most impressive, both for the brilliancy of the assembly of Masons in attendance and for the abiding significance of the structure itself. Like one of the great towers that stood at the harbors of old Greece and Rome to guide the sea-weary ships to their goal, it will lift its galleries far above Alexandria, where Washington lived, and above the proud capital also called after his name, a striking testimony before millions of eyes to the presence of Freemasonry in the nation’s midst, itself a house of memory, a temple of light.
Inside the memorial will be rooms for lodges, chapters, commanderies and consistories, offices for the Memorial Association, libraries, museums, an art gallery, an auditorium, and a replica of the Alexandria lodge room of 1802 to contain the Masonic mementoes of Washington, as precious as they are priceless. The exterior will express the spirit of these activities, and the whole together will stand a monument of national unity in memory of him who made the nation.
By the same token it will visibly embody Masonic unity also, a proof that if the Craft is divided by its jurisdictional machinery into forty-nine Grand Lodges, it is united into one jurisdiction by the indivisibility of its spirit, everywhere the same, and growing more and more self-conscious. There is no need for a national Grand Lodge; we are already a national Grand Lodge, albeit, like the Grand Lodge above, "it has to be seen in a certain way, under certain conditions. Some people never see it at all. You must understand, this is no dead pile of stones and unmeaning timber. It is a living thing"; living and life-giving.
Everywhere in the land, on every night, Masons meet, of all creeds and classes, from the youngest Entered Apprentice, talking about the Shrine, to the whitest veteran discussing Morals and Dogma; in little brick buildings, on the coast of Maine; in the rocky valleys of Massachusetts; on the sand stretches of Florida; along the maple shaded streets of Indiana villages; in windy towns on the wheat lands of the Dakotas; in sparse little settlements of the intermountain countries; in the new cities and old villages of California; in adobe towns on the red deserts of the Southwest; in the old cities of Louisiana; here, there, everywhere, up and down a great land, these companies of chosen men are building a brotherhood on the mother rock far underneath the jealousies that make war on the surface. What a quiet, unobtrusive, gentle brotherhood it is, silently weaving the nation together, helping to create the American soul! Its moral idealism filters into every nook and corner, softens men's hearts even when they are least aware, and helps to hold the world together. It is this spirit brooding in the heart of the Craft that is uttering itself in the great Memorial now building, and makes it a shaft of unity, a temple of light, more than any mere pile of steel and marble could ever be.
A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO MASONIC HISTORY
NOTES ON EARLY HISTORY AND RECORDS OF THE LODGE, ABERDEEN, by A. L. Miller, P. M. May be purchased through the publisher, Aberdeen University Press, Ltd. 6 Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen, Scotland. Price, 5/.
THOUGH it contains only 74 pages, this little book, printed beautifully on fine paper and bound in Quaker gray cloth, is more justly entitled to a place on the Masonic student's five-foot shelf of books than many a more ambitious volume that is often found there, and that because it is solid substance all through, which is more than can be said of so many Masonic volumes, often built on hearsay and padded out with windy rhetoric. R. F. Gould said of the records of Aberdeen Lodge that "some are unsurpassed by any others of a similar character in interest and value." The first known record of any kind of Mason in the old Scotch city is of date 1264. It is said that St. John's Masonry was introduced in 1357. The old memorials of the burgh, beginning in 1398, refer to many Masons. "Lodge" (spelled "loge") is first mentioned in 1483, the earliest record of the word in the Scottish Craft.
The magistrates of the town issued to the lodge a Seal of Cause, or charter, in 1521, thus incorporating it. There is a record of a warden being appointed with jurisdiction over three counties in 1590. From 1587 on the other crafts federated and worked under one set of officers with a convener’s court, but the "Mason Lodge" remained apart and maintained a jurisdiction over its own affairs. This fact is worthy of note as being one of many similar instances where the Operative Masons maintained a stubborn independence as regards other gilds and sometimes, it appeared, as regards town authorities; in some cases there seems to have been some friction engendered and town authorities forbade the organization of a Mason gild. The Aberdeen Lodge had active enemies, certain clergy among them, a fact, it is possible, that explains why it two or three times lost its own building by fire.
The Aberdeen Masons had a building of their own, other than their temporary work huts, as early as 1483 and it is believed by some authorities that the lodge of that date never ceased to exist so that Aberdeen Lodge of today may boast of a great antiquity. W. J. Hughan, the most cautious of Masonic historians, held it to be of a date not later than 1570 at least.
The present lodge's most precious possession is the old Mark Book, begun in 1670, and containing a list of members with their marks, laws and statutes, and a version of the Old Charges, given in full in an Appendix, which was published by Hughan and listed by him as No. 22 among extant copies of the Old Charges.
From the records contained in the old Mark Book one learns some interesting things. It proves that in the old days Fellowcraft and Master Mason were one and the same as far as rank is concerned, so that there were only two grades of membership, Entered Apprentice and Fellow, or Master. The apprentice took an oath and had the Old Charges read to him, comprising his initiation ceremony, but there is nothing to show that any ceremony attended his passing to the higher rank, save that he was usually required to produce a masterpiece. In 1670, forty-seven years before the founding of the first Grand Lodge (London), non-operatives outnumbered operatives in the lodge membership four to ones and contained in their list many notable and some aristocratic names, including four noblemen, a professor of mathematics, three ministers, two surgeons, four carpenters and several men of other trades. It will be seen that the lodge was a real society, not a mere trade union, keeping its feasts on St. John in December, looking after its poor, and once a month holding its regular meetings at which time there was much good fellowship but no disorder. Nearly all the Scotch lodges of the time admitted "speculative" members, many of whom were very active and held office.. This is one of a thousand similar facts to prove that our modern Freemasonry was a gradual evolution out of medieval Operative Masonry. The minutes of Aberdeen Lodge are the oldest known to have been preserved; for some strange reason no minutes of an English lodge prior to 1717 are in existence.
There has been much speculation, most of it worthless, about the mysterious "Mason word" often encountered in the records of Scotch Masonry. Brother Miller, basing his statement on the memorials of his own ancient lodge, has something interesting to say on the subject:
"The term was common in the Scottish lodges in the early days, but what the old Scottish Mason Word was remains unknown. The conclusion has been come to that this formed the only degree in the early Masonry of Scotland, and consisted in the reading to the candidate for apprenticeship the legend of the Craft and the communication of the Mason Word. In the Aberdeen rules reference is also made to 'the oaths we received at our entry to the benefit of the Mason Word.' So far as is known, there was no ceremony in connection with advancement to the rank of Fellowcraft, or Master."
A Worshipful Master was chosen each year, but the Warden held office indefinitely; besides these were a Clerk, an Officer (his functions are not described): and a Boxmaster.
"The Boxmaster was chosen annually. He was selected 'only from among the company because the Master keeps one key and the Warden another.' At that time, accordingly, the Keymasters appear to have been the Master, Warden and Boxmaster. but in 1696. which is the date of the first minute recording an election, two Keymasters were appointed, in addition to the ordinary office-bearers, to act along with the Boxmaster. In the Mason Box were kept the Mark Book and the money of the lodge. The box had three locks, one of the keys being in the custody of each Keymaster. Their presence was therefore obligatory at any meeting at which it was necessary to open the Mason Box; we have seen from a previously quoted regulation that the clerk was not to write in the Mark Book unless the three Keymasters were present."
The rules governing dues payable by non-operatives opens a little window into the life of the lodge. Says one author:
"The following are the provisions for the dues payable by the non-operative, or, as they are termed in the rules, the gentlemen Masons. The apprentice contributed four rix dollars of composition, a lion apron and a pair of good gloves to every person concerned in the lodge, 'or if the entering Prentice have not whereupon to furnish aprons and gloves, he must pay two rix dollars for them, which makes up six in all, with one dinner, one speaking pint and his contribution to the Box, as we have paid before him, with one merk piece for his Mason mark, one merk piece to our officer for calling a lodge; this is the least we take for Entered Prentices.' Of the entry money of apprentices, one-half was paid into the Mason Box, and the other half spent as the will of the company thought fit. When advanced to Fellowcraft, the new member of the lodge had to provide a dinner and a pint of wine, or what the will of the company pleased. There is also provision for making strangers who had been entered in another lodge, Master Masons of the Lodge of Aberdeen."
One of the most interesting pages in the book, and recommended as throwing light on certain obscure passages in our present ritual, is this:
"Probably the most important provision in the Laws and Statutes, from the Masonic point of view, is in the third rule, which ordains that 'no lodge be holden within a dwelling house where there is people living in it but in the open fields, except it be ill weather, and then let there be a house chosen that no person shall hear nor see us.' Compare with this the words of the fifth rule: 'We ordain likewise that all entering Prentices be entered in our ancient outfield lodge in the Mearns in the parish of Nigg at the scounces at the point of the Ness.' Gould makes the following reference to these entries in the rules: 'We meet with, in the Laws and Statutes of the Aberdeen Lodge in 1'670, the only allusion - antedating the era of Grand Lodges - to the practice of lodges being held and apprentices entered in the open fields.' These two regulations seem to indicate that it had long been the practice of the members of the lodge to hold their meetings in the open air in some secluded spot which would ensure privacy for their proceedings; they also seem to infer a greater regard for secrecy in their initiations than would have been necessary for the mere reading over of the Mason Charter and the communication of the Mason Word. They accord with the Masonic tradition that, in the old days, lodges were enjoined to assemble on the highest hills or in the lowest valleys. According to a tradition of the lodge, the Masons were accustomed to hold their meetings at Carden's Haugh, Rubislaw, and in the hollow at Cunningar Hill."
Operative Masons were called "domatic," non-operatives were known as "gentlemen," or "geomatic." In 1781 the Operatives seceded and formed a lodge of their own, still existing as Operative Lodge, No. 150. The Grand Lodge of Scotland was organized in 1736, but it was long in enforcing its authority over Scotch lodges. Many "irregular" lodges flourished in or about Aberdeen in 1752. The "New Constitutions" enforced by Grand Lodge wrought many changes.
"The constitution of the lodge remained much the same until 1736 when the effect of the foundation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland began to show itself. In that year the minutes first refer to candidates being entered, passed and raised, and the members appear then to have given their simple ceremony of admission and adopted the three degrees of modern Masonry. In 1737 a Senior and Junior Warden were appointed. In 1739 the Master was first styled Right Worshipful Master. In 1740 two Deacons, and in 1754 three Stewards were added. In 1757 a Depute Master was appointed. In 1776 a clergyman was admitted a member and made Chaplain to the lodge. In respect of his being a clergyman he was admitted free of all dues, a custom known in other Scottish lodges of the time. The use of the interesting word Keymaster was maintained until 1756, after which year no further appointments to that office were made."
One of the most interesting pages in this book is that which refers to Dr. James Anderson, author, or at least compiler, of the Book of Constitutions of 1723, almost universally employed as the foundation of Masonic laws. Dr. Anderson was an alumnus of Marischal College, Aberdeen, and it is considered most probable that he was a member of the Aberdeen Lodge, though the minutes of the period are unfortunately lost. Gould was of the opinion that Anderson very probably introduced into English Masonry some of the terms then used in Scotch Masonry.
It will be profitable to read in conjunction with Bro. Miller's substantial little book other writings on the subject, all available: Notes on the History of Masonry In Aberdeen, A. M. Murero; Merchant and Craft Guilds (of Aberdeen), E. Bain; Collected Essays and Papers Relating to Freemasonry, p. 105, R. F. Gould; Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. II, pp. 159, 165. These studies, if read together, will furnish one with a more accurate and vivid conception of what Masonry was like before 1717 than many long histories.
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A BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM
THE LODGE AND THE CRAFT, A PRACTICAL EXPI,ANATION OF THE WORK OF FREEMASONRY, by Rollin C. Blackmer, C. M., M. D., LLD., Past Master, Past High Priest, Past Commander. Published by The Standard Masonic Publishing Company, St. Louis, Me. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Black cloth, 297 pages, with portrait. Price, $3.00 postpaid.
WHEN George Washington was initiated at Fredericksburg, Va., there stood in the anteroom two demijohns of rum, facetiously called J and B. The thing was typical of the customs of the day, which was a time of hard living and much drinking everywhere. The festive board was the center of attraction in many lodges and the fraternity itself, though there were many good men and great in its membership, was usually looked upon as a kind of social order, an institution devoted to good fellowship, rare sport and hilarity.
A change came over the fraternity during the Revolution. Bro. George Washington himself had much to do with it for he was an active Mason and through his devotion to the Order led many of the outstanding patriots to unite with the Craft, so that gradually it increased in responsibility and dignity until at last, owing to the pressure of the times and the solemn, serious crises of the war, it was welded and unified into a solid brotherhood filled with a new national consciousness and a devout sense of the leadership of God.
This period was followed, as by a kind of reaction, by the anti-Masonic crusade. The fury and devastation it suffered from its enemies left the Craft dazed and prostrated, so weakened in influence and decimated in numbers that Jeremiahs everywhere predicted its speedy extinction. In one way that terrible grilling wrought good for Freemasonry; it proved how unwise a thing it is for lodges to meddle in party politics, and how wicked a thing it is for Masonic leaders to use the name of Masonry to ballast their political kites. After the bitter lessons learned between 1820 and 1840, he would be a foolish counsellor indeed who would recommend that Freemasonry employ itself in such affairs.
Before the fraternity had recovered from this prostration the Civil War came upon it so that once again it found itself passing through a furnace of fire. The record of the Craft during that time of fraternal strife is a glorious one and somebody should embody it in a history, lest the men of future generations forget how at one time Masonry proved itself strong in the ordeal of battle.
During the period of slow growth which lasted from about 1870 until 1900 or thereabouts, solemnized by that four-year period which had cast a dark gloom over the entire country, the Masonic membership was filled with a serious religious consciousness and a very sensitive fear lest the Order become too popular or its secrets be made too easy of access.
After the beginning of the present century a new mood came over the Order coincidentally with the beginning of the era of expansion which continues even now. Freemasonry has grown to the largest fraternity in the world, an organization in this land of nearly three million brethren, solidified by an acute national consciousness, and dedicated to all manner of public service. Everywhere is activity, growth, enlargement, ramification and an almost nervous zeal; lodges increase with an amazing rapidity. The Order has grown Wore complicated and its problems have been multiplied and intensified. The time has arrived when the individual Mason is so bewildered in trying to find his way about among the Rites and auxiliary organizations that some kind of guidance for him in the shape of Masonic literature and education is a necessity, while those carrying the responsibility of managing such a huge institution would soon find themselves helpless to handle the situation without the help of Masonic literature. Books and journals, once looked upon with a certain degree of suspicion as being in danger of revealing the "secrets" of the Craft, are now encouraged and sought after as being a practical necessity.
Mr. Blackmer's The Lodge and the Craft is one of a score of volumes that have come into existence during the past few years as a result of the evolution above described; it is intended to assist the brethren in their understanding of their work and of the institutional mechanism through which it is necessary that Freemasonry carry on its activities. It is a volume in which masses of solid information are closely crowded together and so organized and arranged that a newly made brother can follow it through with understanding. It covers the work of the three degrees, explains the forms of Masonic organization, deals with the ancient landmarks, symbols and emblems, and in its last chapters contains some excellently wise advice concerning the management of the lodge and the practice of Masonic jurisprudence. Brother Blackmer has for many years been an active worker in several of the Rites, thereby discovering what it is that Masons most need to know; this experience of practical affairs has enabled him to make a judicious selection out of a store of knowledge that is often astonishing in its extent. The book is especially valuable to beginning students and to Study Clubs. It was originally composed with an eye to the needs of the Grand Jurisdiction of Missouri, but such local references as it contains are of so slight a character as not to affect its use by members of the Craft in all jurisdictions.
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes over his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our Study Club course. The Society is now receiving from fifty to one hundred inquiries each week; it is manifestly impossible to publish many of them in this Department.
MASONRY'S OLDEST RECORDED DATE
While listening to a Masonic orator who claimed f or our fraternity a very great antiquity it occurred to me to learn what is the oldest recorded date actually connected with our institution. Can you tell me, please? The orator could not but he kindly referred me to you.
Y. W. L., Ohio.
Our oldest Masonic MS., the Regius, is usually dated at 1390 A. D. but it is evident from a study of this aged document that the Craft was of hoar age even then. There is a yet older memorial in the form of an entry in the Corporation Records at Guildhall, London, which proves that as early as 1356 rules for the regulation of the Masons of London were passed before the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs of the city. No other fraternity in existence can prove by written records such an antiquity.
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LUTHER BURBANK A MASON
I write to inquire if Luther Burbank, the great plant wizard of California, is a Mason. He is one of my heroes whom I should like to think of as a brother in our ancient mystical science.
B. W. M., North Carolina.
Bro. Luther Burbank was raised in Santa Rosa Lodge, California, Aug. 13, 1921. It was a memorable event which the then Grand Master George F. Rodden, a gracious and eloquent leader who will live long in the memories of the Craft of California, afterwards described in a paragraph of beautiful prose: "Because the roster of Masonry is replete with the names of famous men, it might be assumed, logically, that to add another would occasion but little comment. Familiarity often engenders indifference. But try as we will to hold steadfast to the principle of democracy and to the landmark that in Masonry all men are upon a level plane, we cannot avoid being a bit jubilant and proud when a man, who, by his virtues and ability, has won for himself universal respect, admiration and international fame, evidences his faith in us by desiring affiliation. On Saturday evening, Aug. 13, a great body of Masons (many coming from distant places) assembled at Santa Rosa, there to witness or participate in the raising of Luther Burbank. Seer and wizard, with a life of achievement, foremost of his craft in all the world, he that night gave us a lesson in those qualities of modesty and humility which distinguish the truly great, and which should be of much splendid value to all who profit thereby. The Grand Master was honored with an invitation which he was more than pleased to accept."
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GRAND LODGE STATISTICS
I understand that Masonic membership in United States now runs to more than three million. Can you give me the exact figures ?
Your information is somewhat in error, but not far off. According to a compilation made by Bro. C. C. Hunt on July 1, 1923, our national membership totals 2,850,910. Arranged alphabetically Grand Lodges run as follows:
With these figures may be compared the findings for foreign Grand Lodges as prepared by Bro. C. C. Woods, Fraternal Correspondent, Grand Lodge of Missouri:
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THE DEMOCRACY OF DEATH
Years ago I read a beautiful piece of eloquence about death. Some lines keep running through my head, like these:
"Death is a democracy in which all men lie at last on an equality. There is no rank or honor in the grave." Do you chance to recognize the lines? If so, who was the author?
S. W. A., North Carolina.
The passage is doubtless J. J. Ingall's apostrophe to the grave. It is worth printing.
"In the democracy of the dead, all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave. At this fatal threshold the philosopher ceases to be wise, and the song of the poet is silent. Dives relinquishes his millions, and Lazarus his rags. The poor man is as rich as the richest and the rich man is as poor as the pauper. The creditor loses his usury and the debtor is acquitted of his obligation. There the proud man surrenders his dignities, the politician his honors, the worldling his pleasures, the invalid needs no physician and the laborer rests from unrequited toil.
"Here at last is nature's final decree in equity. The wrongs of time are redressed, injustice is expiated, the irony of fate is refuted, the unequal distribution of wealth, honor, capacity, pleasure and opportunity which makes life so cruel and inexplicable ceases in the realm of death. The mightiest captain succumbs to that invincible adversary, who disarms alike the victor and vanquished."
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"IF WITHIN THE FIRST SQUARE OR ANGLE OF MY WORK"
Our Study Club committee has been asked the following question: what is the meaning of "If within the first square or angle of my work?" We should greatly appreciate any light you may be able to shed upon the subject.
L. C. H., Arizona.
The expression, "If within the first square or angle of my work," is found in a certain part of the work of some states. Back in the early days of the society, a brother from Idaho requested an explanation of this phrase, I noted as I was reading over some of the old files of THE BUILDER; apparently, no one could then shed any light on it. I hope he will see this also.
In the oldest American ritual known to me, which I believe to date back to 1805 or 1808, I find the following notation which sets forth the explanation that was offered by whoever inserted the phrase in the ritual:
"At the building of King Solomon's Temple, the Fellowcrafts had certain angles or squares marked out for them to work in and they were under no obligation to attend any sign or token given them beyond that angle or square."
In other words, they were assigned certain sections of the work and had no responsibilities outside of these sections. You will see that the phrase corresponds to the other one, "if within the length of my cabletow." It has that same significance.
I would hesitate to even guess as to how this phrase came to be included. It might be simply a fanciful invention and then again, the idea might be found in Josephus or some other early Jewish writer. The most interesting feature is how this phrase came to be handed down from perhaps 1808 and included in the work in some of the Western States while generally discarded in the East.
A. L. KRESS.
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SECRECY AS REGARDS LODGE BUSINESS
Is a Mason obligated to keep the business and financial affairs of his lodge locked up in a faithful breast or is secrecy binding only on the ritualistic part? Some things have leaked out of our own lodge recently that have brought the subject to the fore, so that your opinion will be appreciated.
A. R. W., Ohio.
Your Grand Master for 1921, Bro. John R. Flotron, expressed an opinion on that subject that is to be recommended to brethren everywhere. Read and consider it as good gospel. "I find a general laxity throughout this Grand Jurisdiction in the matter of the business concerns of the lodge. A large portion of our members do not seem to be aware of the fact that the buisness of a lodge is just as secret as ritualistic work, especially so with reference to the ballot, which is one of its most sacred institutions It is not given to all men to be honored by becoming members, but Masonry does not contemplate placing upon such men a mark of character in the community in which they live.
MUSICAL SETTING FOR "EVERY YEAR"
In the September BUILDER you refer to the poem "Every Year" by Albert Pike and how he came to rewrite it.
In this connection it may be interesting to know that there are those now alive who recite the fact that General Pike visited San Diego some time after the Civil War. My informant is Arthur M. Ellis, of Los Angeles, authority on early Masonry in California.
But the fact I desired to call to your attention is that the organist of the San Diego Lodge of Perfection has and plays the music to which this poem was set, by Col. E. T. Blackmer, who was the Venerable Master of this Lodge of Perfection for years and the one mainly responsible for the vigorous Scottish Rite Consistory now existing in this city.
He was a very dear friend of mine and shortly after he composed the music to accompany "Every Year" he played it on the piano to me and sang the song softly over to it.
As it is not generally known that the poem has been set to music by Col. Blackmer (after whom Blackmer Lodge is named) and the music can probably be obtained by writing the organist of the Lodge of Perfection I thought it best to advise you of these facts.
C. F. Willard, San Diego, Calif.
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THE SCOTTISH RITE IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
The writer was born in Bedford, Iowa, and was "raised" in that town by Taylor Lodge, No. 156, immediately after returning from the Philippines with his regiment, the 51st Iowa Vol.
I have been active in Masonic work in this territory since that time, more particularly in Scottish Rite; and for some years have been compiling data for the archives of our bodies.
The oldest original letter we have is dated Nov. 20, 1873, from Pitkin C. Wright, of DeWitt, Iowa, addressed to Governor John Owen Dominis (the Consort of Queen Liliuokalani) in which he writes that "he has been commissioned by Or. Comd. Albert Pike as General Deputy of the Supreme Council and to organize, establish and install bodies in the Sandwich Islands." Wright signs his name as P. Gr. Com. Kt. T. of Iowa.
Further records show that Wright did come to the Islands in 1874 and installed the bodies up to and including the 18th in that year.
We are most fortunate in having twenty-two original letters from Albert Pike himself addressed to either Governor Dominis or King David Kalakaua, both of whom were-crowned thirty-thirds for their active work in Masonry. We have had eleven thirty-thirds in these Islands and our present membership is now over 700.
Walter R. Coombs, Honolulu.
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MAGNUS JOHNSON NOT A MASON
I have had some inquiry as to whether or not Magnus Johnson, the newly elected Senator of Minnesota, is a Mason.
In order to assure myself, I talked with him about it and will say he is not. Nor does he belong to any other fraternal society.
He did at one time bung to The Court of Honor but dropped it a few years ago.
He is not opposed to secret fraternal orders and in his talk with me said he knew that they were for and accomplish a great deal of good.
I write this thinking that you also may have inquiries regarding him. I have known him for about sixteen years and he lives within the Jurisdiction of Plumb Line Lodge. A. F. & A.M., No. 173, Kimball, Minn.
A.C. Douglass, Kimball, Minn.
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SECRETARY FOR FIFTY-TWO YEARS
On looking over THE BUILDER for March, 1923, I came across "Forty-fifth Term as Secretary."
We can beat that record in South Carolina. Bro. Tillman Faulkner was elected Secretary of Star Lodge, No. 99, of Graniteville, S. C., on Dec. 3, 1868, and served continuously till his death in 1920. In all that long period he missed only four communications of his lodge, and those were missed during the last two or three years of his life through sickness.
On April 10, 1916, Comp. Charles Frank Jackson was called Home after serving our Grand Royal Arch Chapter as Grand Treasurer for fifty-eight years. Perhaps the foregoing will interest your readers.
J. L. Michie, South Carolina.
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SCOTTISH RITE FEES IN CHINA
In THE BUILDER last December appeared a letter from Bro. William Moister in which he relates how certain brothers had to pay in the neighborhood of $500.00 for the Scottish Rite Degrees taken somewhere in the East, probably in China. I wonder if it will be too late for me to offer a suggestion to explain these probably exorbitant prices ? It is possible that the brethren in question were talking in terms of local money which, in our case, is the Mexican dollar. The fees here in Shanghai for the Scottish Rite are $340.00 Mexican. If to this was added the cost of a journey from Japan and return it is probable that it did cost these brethren about $500.00 to get the Rite. If they had to stay a week here the total cost to them would probably have been not less than $600.00 Mexican. Bro. Moister does not mention the time when these degrees were taken. If it was two years ago the Mexican dollar was then worth $1.11 in United States currency. The brethren therefore were not so far out after all in what they told Bro. Moister.
E. J. Hudson, District Grand Secretary,
District Grand Lodge of China,
71 Szechneu, Shanghai, China.
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
It is better to surpass one's self than one's fellows.
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It is said that Roy Chapman Andrews has discovered a nest of petrified dinosaur eggs somewhere in Mongolia. Amateur symbologists, please copy. Doesn't this prove that Freemasonry existed among the dinosaurs? Referred to the shade of Le Plongeon.
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The late Sir John Robertson Ross, historian of the Craft in Canada, bequeathed his fine Masonic library to the Grand Lodge of Canada. It has been housed in the Yonge Street Temple, Toronto.
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Bro. Dr. Joseph Fort Newton has recently accepted the post of Educational Director in the Masonic Service Association; he will have his office in New York where he is pastor of the Church of the Divine Paternity.
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Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular the laws of the country and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of Seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property and his sacred honor.
Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in the schools, the seminaries and in the colleges, let it be written in primers, in spelling books and almanacs, let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in the legislative halls of justice. In short, let it become the political religion of the nation.
- Abraham Lincoln.
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