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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 11 - number 7
The Design of the Masonic Institution
By BRO. LOUIS BLOCK, P. G. M., Iowa
THERE is no man who does, not now and then keenly realize how greatly he needs to know what those things really are with which he has most commonly to do.
Most of us are too often inclined to be content with the outward seeming, the mere surface of things. Or we may be satisfied to accept what someone else tells us about a thing, and to let it go at that. We are all pretty apt to take things pretty much for granted and to saunter along our easy way until some new experience strikes us wide-awake to the fact that there is something beneath and beyond, that until then we had never known was there.
The Mason who has thought the least about the matter is the one who is the readiest to tell you he knows all about what Masonry means, what it stands for, what it is really trying to do.
If old Socrates should come back to earth and go poking around among us seeking light on the question "What Is Masonry?" he would surely and quickly accumulate such a vast variety of answers as would drive him to some solitary corner in the effort to recover from his stupefaction and confusion of mind.
There be far too many Masons who have either never penetrated to the heart and core of the matter or have long ago forgotten what they found at the journey's end.
Then again all of us tend to get "rusty", not only in the Ritual, but, what is far more to be regretted, in the great themes the Ritual strives to teach.
In fact there is no one of us, from the youngest Entered Apprentice in the Northeast corner of the lodge to the grey-beard who bears the Great Lights in funeral procession, who would not be greatly helped his taking his Masonry out, now and then, dusting it off, and taking a good square look at it in the effect to learn what it really means.
Now there may be many places to which one might go for his answer to the question "What Is Masonry?" but it would seem that the obvious place to go wo be to the Institution itself. It has its own clear-cut positive, out-spoken answer to this question, an answer as ancient as the Institution itself. Listen:
"The design of the Masonic Institutivn is to make its votaries wiser and better and consequently happier."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN ?
You've heard that before ? Of course, over and o again. But just what does it mean?
Now, before we go on to try to answer this question let us recall to mind a certain curious fact about Masonry, and that is that it deals with the propound of truths of a nature so peculiar as to permit of their being promulgated only in a certain singular way. The principles of Masonry are living, breathing things, and cannot be presented with the cold, hard-worded precision of mathematical propositions. Masonry scarce ever comes directly at a subject. She travels toward her goal by indirection, suggests by symbol and propounds by parable. The teachings of Masonry are of such a nature that they can properly be presented only by what Whittier so eloquently calls
"The picture writing of the world's grey seers
The myths and parables of primal years."
The thoughtful observer soon comes to see that there is nothing obvious about the teachings of Masonry and that Albert Pike was for the most part in the right in constantly insisting that "the symbol conceals".
Nevertheless it is also true with Masonry as it is with life and religion that
"Answering unto Man's endeavor
Truth and Right are still revealed."
Is it not true that we value the treasures of Masonry all the more because they do not lie openly on the surface, and can only be acquired by earnest thought and persistent effort ?
We should rejoice and be glad to realize that real Masonic revelation comes only as the result of reflection, oft renewed, and many times repeated. It is this very fact that makes "the mystic art" worthy a man's mind.
"To make its votaries wiser and better." Even so, but how ?
Well, first by teaching them to see and to think. To see by holding before their eyes puzzling emblems and stirring within them a desire to see beneath the surface to the treasure of truth that lies hidden within. Somehow we are all so built that things that are simple and shallow don't hold us long. But face us with a puzzle, a mystery, a thing that defies our penetration and challenges our power of solution, and at once our interest is keenly aroused.
It was a crying curiosity that caused most of us to join the lodge. We were crazy to know the secrets, and in due time they were told to us.
Yet, is that true ? Were they really told to us ? Don't they still remain secrets for most of us, so far as their real worth and meaning is concerned?
DO WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT?
The while we so glibly bandy about among us sign and symbol, token and word, due guard and dialogue, do we really know what we are talking about? Sometimes I think we are like a parcel of parrots persistently pattering about our "perfect points," both pedal and pectoral, yet of whose real meaning we have no perception.
Does this proposition seem preposterous to you ? Well, the next time you foregather with a brother, dig into him, demand to know what this, that, and the other sign and symbol truly mean, and see how quickly he cries, "Oh, Min !" and hoists the grand hailing sign of distress.
Here is what actually happened not long since in a certain lodge not a thousand miles from here. The Grand Master was paying the lodge an official visit. He had been duly received and welcomed, conducted to the East, and seated beside a leading Past Master of the lodge. He returned the gavel to the Master of the lodge and the work proceeded.
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth--"
Said the G. M. in an undertone to the P. M.: "Listen to this, for I want to ask you some questions." "All right." . . . "in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble and the strong men shall bow themselves--"
G. M. to P. M. "What does that mean?" P. M. to G. M. "I don't know." . . . "and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low--" G. M. to P. M. "What does that mean?" P. M. to G. M. "I don't know." . . . "and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail." G. M. to P. M. "What does that mean?" P. M. to G. M. (irritably). "I don't know. I never did know ! I haven't the slightest idea what any of it means !"
Many, many times he had recited it--many more he had heard it recited. Yet to him it meant no more than does a Latin prayer to a worshipper who knows no tongue but English, no more than does the whirr of the Chinese prayer-wheel to the coolie who can't read.
Now, the writer has concerned himself with things Masonic from "the days of his youth" until now when for him Life's descending sun has begun to sink in the West. He has striven earnestly to realize the meaning the immortal words of that solemn recitative and believes he has some small conception of their significance. Yet he knows full well that even he has fallen far short of exhausting their meaning and feels sure the day will never come for him when he can truly say that he has sucked their sweetness dry.
Verily we need all of us to be initiated again, this time not of words, but of "water and the spirit", in order that we may realize that Masonry is after all never a thing "terrestrial", nor even yet verbal, but ever more "celestial" and eternally spiritual.
Near the close of a long and eventful Masonic life, after years of painstaking research and study, after many months of meditation, Bro. Albert Pike, of revered and sainted memory, put into these careful considered words his conclusion as to the meaning of Masonry:
"Masonry is a continuous advance by means of the instruction contained in a series of degrees, toward the Light, by the elevation of the celestial, the spiritual, and the divine, over the earthly, sensual, material and human in the nature of man."
Yea, my brother, it is that, just that, and nothing less than that, that is "the design of the Masonic institution", for only so can a man be made "wiser, better and, consequently, happier".
The Oxford University Press to Become a Publisher of Masonic Books
THE Oxford University Press, American Branch, recently announced its purpose to enter the American Masonic field with an extensive list of new books. This step was taken in the original instance upon recommendation from the National Masonic Research Society, of which THE BUILDER is the official journal; and the plans adopted by the management of the American Branch were worked out in conference with a group of the officials of the Society. By virtue of the arrangements made the Society will co-operate with the Press in the preparation of a number of books in the proposed list, and will lend its name to guarantee the authenticity of all books insofar as they deal technically with Masonry.
A brief preliminary announcement of this was made in THE BUILDER last month, page 185. The appearance of that announcement, brief as it was, immediately attracted the attention of Masonic students, a number of whom wrote letters to congratulate themselves and the Fraternity at large upon such news; one of these, a well-known Past Grand Master, described it as "the greatest event in American Masonry since the Revolutionary War; and one of the most significant things in the Craft since 1717."
The list of new titles now in prospect and in preparation is an extensive one, and not yet ready for detailed announcement. Already the American Branch has in preparation a number of editions of the Oxford Bibles for special use by Blue Lodges, Royal Arch Chapters, for the Order of De Molay, and possibly for Commanderies of the Knights Templar; one or two volumes of Masonic music; a dictionary of Masonry; a Worshipful Master's handbook; a standard monitor, etc. Among the more general titles about ready for printing are a work on Freemasonry in the Southwest, by Bro. F. T. Cheetham; a treatise on Masonic temple construction, by Bro. W. B. Bragdon; a work on the old catechisms, possibly to contain a number of facsimiles, by Bros. R. J. Meekren and A. L. Kress; an outline history of Masonry, by Bro. H. L. Haywood, etc.
The Oxford University Press itself will have full responsibility in publishing, and will accept no MSS. not in conformity with its own standards. All books will be distributed through the usual channels, and many of them will be distributed by the Branches in various parts of the world. In every case authors will receive the usual royalties. Opportunity to publish or market books will be open to any individual and to all legitimate Masonic bodies or concerns.
The Oxford University Press has a venerable history behind it. The first book was printed at Oxford in 1478. The Press that issued it came to an end soon after 1485, but a second Press was established and this lasted from 1517 to 1520; it was published some twenty-three books, mostly theological and in Latin.
In Queen Elizabeth's time a new Press was set up under the patronage of the Earl of Leicester, the Queen's favorite, who was Chancellor. In 1586 the University made a loan to an Oxford bookseller, Joseph Barnes, of 100 pounds and he was allowed one master printer and one apprentice. It was Barnes who published the first book in Greek and the first in Hebrew.
The first of the famous patrons of the Oxford University Press was Archbishop Laud. In 1636, and largely through his instrumentality, a Royal Charter was granted to the University to print "all manner of books."
A later, and equally famous patron, was Dr. John Fell, the designer of the beautiful type forms that still bear his name. It is from 1675, and during his leadership, that the history of the Oxford Bibles dates; and it was he who suggested to Archbishop Sheldon the "Theatre" that bore his name, and in which the Press was installed in 1669. Six years afterwards began the uninterrupted issuance of Oxford Bibles and Prayer Books.
Early in the eighteenth century, and after the Sheldonian Theatre had ceased to be adequate for the needs of the Press, the Clarendon Building was erected. This building has ceased to serve as a printing house but the Delegates to the Press continue to hold their sessions in it. In 1826-30 the present building in Walton Street was erected. The most notable publication of the Press in recent years has been The New English Dictionary, which began to be issued in 1884.
In the sense usually understood by the terms, the Oxford University Press is not a commercial or profit making organization; it uses the proceeds from its widely distributed books to publish works of technical scholarship that necessarily can have only a limited circulation and that, therefore, could not be published under other circumstances. One of its historians writes that "all the activities of the Press may be described as a function of the corporation known as the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Oxford, acting through the Delegates of the Press. . . . The Delegacy is now composed of the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors for the time being en officio, and (normally) of ten others, of whom five are Perpetual. Delegates are appointed for a term of years by the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors, by whom they may be re-elected: but when a vacancy occurs among the Perpetual Delegates, the Delegates as a whole are enjoined by statute to 'subrogate' one of the junior Delegates to be perpetual, ad supplendum perpetuo numerum quinque Perpetuorum Delegatorum." :
The principal officers are, at present: in Oxford, R. W. Chapman, Oriel College, Secretary; J. de M. Johnson, Exeter College, Assistant Secretary; F. J. Hall, Printer to the University; in London, Humphrey Milford, New College, Publisher to the University; in New York, W.W. McIntosh, Vice-President of the American Branch; in Toronto, S. B. Gundy, Manager of the Canadian Branch; in Bombay, G. F. J. Cumberlege, Worcester College, Manager of the Indian Branch; in Melbourne, E. R. Bartholomew, Manager of the Australian Branch.
The Press has branches throughout the world as follows: London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Copenhagen, New York, Toronto, Melbourne, Cape Town, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and Shanghai.
The American Branch was founded in 1896; a history of it is given in Some Account of the Oxford University Press, 1468-1921, from which a paragraph may be quoted:
"The foundation of the Oxford University Press American Branch, an institution which has made the name of Oxford familiar throughout the Union, was due to the foresight and enterprise of Mr. Henry Frowde. Acting on his advice the Delegates of the Press authorized the formation of a Corporation in the State of New York, and the Branch in 1896 opened premises at 91 Fifth Avenue, under the management of the late Mr. John Armstrong. In the following year Mr. Armstrong added to the Bibles and other books, previously sold by Messrs. Nelson, the Clarendon Press publications, previously sold by the Macmillan Company. The business grew rapidly in Mr. Armstrong's hands, and in 1908 moved 'up town' to the premises it now occupies at 35 West 32nd Street. Mr. Armstrong died in 1915, and was succeeded by Mr. W. W. McIntosh, one of the original members of the staff."
Freemasonry and Fascismo in Italy
By BRO. FRANK G. BELLINI, New York
BRO. BELLINI, who is Worshipful Master of Garihaldi Lodge, No. 542, New York City, has long kept in touch, by correspondence and through personal contacts, with the vicissitudes of the Craft in Italy.
AFTER the conclusion of the World War it seemed for a while as though Socialism would gain the upper hand and control everything in Italy. In that country, the official Socialists include men of different tendencies, ranging from the very temperate to the most violent, from those who have been called Reformists (Evolutionists) to those who call themselves Communists, and later even Bolshevists.
In November, 1919, the first elections since 1913 were held in Italy. In 1913 the Socialist Party had 77 deputies; in 1919 the number rose to 156. In the latter elections the Socialist formulas were: Opposition to the middle class, which had been in favor of the war; the reaffirmation of Socialism, and solidarity with the Russia of the Soviets. They drew their strength from the suffering and destruction caused by the war, from the disillusion that followed on the victory, and the rancor against the Allies, who were looked upon as ungrateful for the great sacrifice and the great contribution made by Italy to the Entente cause.
Such was the discontent at the time that, if the Socialists had won the same proportion of votes in the south as in the north, their majority would have brought them into power.
The great metallurgical strike of 1920 brought matters to a crisis. The strikers took over a number of industrial plants without violence or bloodshed, and thus started a politico-economic revolution, the illegality of which they demanded of the Parliament to ratify; but it had already been condoned by government inaction. This extraordinary "economic" experiment was tried in the Valley of the Po--the great metallurgic center of the country, which during the World War had supplied the nation with its material means of combat and which was the objective of every Austro-German offensive.
By the middle of September, 1920, all these plants had been taken over by the workers, who operated them so far as lack of raw materials, technical skill, money and business executives would permit. The works were run under established Soviets and with red flags flying over the buildings. The government had already declared its neutrality. There were many within the ranks of the Socialist Party who were opposed to the Soviet form of government, but it was those who favored it that formed the Syndicate of Metal Workers and enabled the policy of "direct action" to be carried out.
As all the world now knows, the economic experiment was not a success; the hands of the government had become weakened; respect for authority had almost died out and the country stood on the verge of falling under the dominion of mob law. Social organizations had practically broken down and the bonds of order were loosened. It was then that the Fascisti arose to save the country from ultimate ruin and solution.
The origins of this remarkable movement go back to the national revival succeeding the disaster of Caporetto and culminating in the Piave. It was the young men of that revival, again rising spontaneously throughout, Italy, that constituted themselves into the Fascisti. The inevitable reaction had come. These young, heroic men had sacrificed their all for the defense of the country and were now witnessing the approach of a national catastrophe--perhaps in imitation of Russia.
It is a curious phenomenon of this movement that its leader should have been Benito Mussolini, a former Socialist editor, who separated himself from the Socialist Party because of his advocacy of Italy's participation in the war. The Fascist groups, but loosely held together, varying according to the characteristics of their respective regions. at first consisted largely of young men of the upper middle classes, though some were of the nobility. The major groups were composed of students, ex-officers. and demobilized Arditi; but now there were among them an increasing number of workers, and of the sons of peasants and smaller shopkeepers. Doubtful elements came among them, and they became in some degree compromised by men who were more or less adventurers.
They stood to a certain degree for social reforms, and they indeed rivalled the Communists in the bitterness of their feelings against war-profiteers. While they also advocated the agrarian revolution in returning the lands to the peasants, their main purpose was directed against the Bolshevist propaganda, which they aimed either completely to suppress or convert those who harbored Bolshevik tendencies. In this object they succeeded by degrees, and thus rendered valuable service to the country.
MASONS JOINED THE EARLY MOVEMENT
The Fascisti movement, which originated in Milan, numbered among its first and most active members the brothers of the Masonic lodges of that city, especially of the Lodge, "La Ragione." Branches were formed in Bologna, Turin, Florence and Genoa, also in other parts of the Peninsula. The Masons everywhere supported and inspired the patriotic movement. Even the Grand Master of the Grand Orient, who from some quarters had been warned to forbid Masons from participating in the movement, issued a circular to the effect that he would not interfere with brothers joining a new organization of national strength with the purpose of saving the country, and those who set their political views against the interests of the country were expelled.
But now Mussolini, desiring to affirm himself, thought to utilize the great influence of the Catholic Church upon the popular soul, at his very debut in Parliament, made a speech in the Chamber of Deputies upholding the universal sovereignty of the Pontiff. After the Fascisti march on Rome and when Mussolini had gathered the reins of absolute power into his hands, he commenced a policy of surrender to the Vatican, first by imposing the teaching of the Catholic doctrine in the public schools. The Catholic Press was naturally delighted; other concessions were asked for and freely granted, while a veiled request for the suppression of Freemasonry was also formulated. The Freemasons, of course, protested strongly and a powerful stir was created in the Fascisti organization, many influential members of which were also members of the Craft.
Then commenced a violently hostile campaign against Freemasonry in the Catholic and Fascisti press, and the most ferocious but stupid attacks appeared in the Popolo d'Italia, edited by Mussolini's brother Arnaldo. It seems that four or five years ago this brother endeavored--in vain--to join the Order. As a man of superior intelligence he must surely have known its ideals and constitution, hence, how can his present unreasoning hostility be explained ?
For a long time now the Fascisti have been carrying on a campaign of violence, robbing and destroying private property, workmen's co-operative institutions, Masonic temples, etc. In vain has Grand Master Torrigiani protested openly to Mussolini; but the perpetrators of these excesses have always gone unpunished. Numbers were brutally murdered, and the world was shocked at the murder of the Hon. Matteotti, in which some of the leaders of the Fascisti were implicated.
It so happened at the Socialist Congress in Bologna in 1912 that Mussolini, then editor of their organ, L'Avanti, had persuaded the gathering to approve the resolution, "either Mason or Socialist." Soon after he had attained to his abnormal power of political control, he made the Fascisti Grand Council forget the great services rendered to the national cause by the members of the millenary Masonic Institution and passed the edict, "Either Fascist or Mason."
At one time Mussolini could not tolerate the influence of the Socialist Masons, who taught in their temples love of country and the principles of civil progress of the people by gradual evolution, because they contrasted too violently to the revolutionary movement he wanted to impose upon the party. Then he considered Freemasonry as the worst enemy of Socialism, representing the bourgeoisie and conservatism; from his point of view, Freemasonry yesterday was retrograde and had to be opposed because it retarded the Socialist revolutionary movement, and today it must be opposed because it is not retrograde.
It was at the beginning of the World War that Mussolini, disgusted at the pacific attitude of the Italian Socialists, abandoned that party with other leaders and became one of the most fervent interventionists.
SHALL SECRET SOCIETIES BE SUPPRESSED?
At present the most discussed question in Italy is the law providing for the suppression of secret societies, which is aimed directly at Freemasonry. There can be no doubt, however, but that the leaders of Fascism are thoroughly acquainted with the loyalty of the Order. To be admitted into Italian Freemasonry it is essential to swear devotion to the country to the extent of sacrificing life for it if necessary, and this obligation keeps out those of the anti-national parties, but they must also (according to Masonic law) be devoted to liberty.
The Masons have openly approved many acts of Mussolini's government, but they could never agree with his clerical policy. They could never give their assent to so false a conception of patriotism as would set the country back a thousand years; it would be an insult to the memory of so many martyrs to liberty of conscience and the civil progress of the people.
There can be no doubt but that Masons all over the world follow with deep sympathy the movement in Italy over a question of principles which are the very essence of the ideals which the Order supports and has defended throughout the world for centuries. The Italian Freemasons are defending the rights of the State and of the citizens against the excesses of the minister, and neither the Fascist clubs nor their castor oil can intimidate them, even as they were not deterred by the tortures, hangings and shootings of their brethren during the epic struggle for liberty, independence and the unity of Italy. Not even its bitterest enemies could ever belittle the patriotic spirit of Italian Freemasonry.
Some time ago, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, Domizio Torrigiani, concluded thus a interview with a reporter of the "Giornale d'Italia":
"It is in Freemasonry and nowhere else that the most solemn and heroic tradition of Italian patriotism is preserved. If I may compare a minor event with a greater one, I can tell you that from the day on which, with Melchiorre Delfico, fourteen Italian patriots proposed to Napoleon at Elba the project for he unification of Italy, down to the day on which about a hundred Milanese Masons decided to join and give vitality to the very first fighting Italian Fascisti, Freemasonry was present at every patriotic movement. The Grand Orient of Italy came into being with the first Napoleonic kingdom of Italy; it dispersed later in secret societies throughout the Peninsula; reappeared at Turin in 1861, when we had a much different Kingdom of Italy; it transferred itself to and affirmed itself at Rome in 1871 under the leadership of Garibaldi. From the first unitary movement of 1848--to the annexation--to the fighting for the conquest of Venice and Rome--to the Parliament of 1870- and thence to the irredentism and interventionism--to the resistance and the national renascence, you will always find this indefatigable institution on the opre [job], surrounded by implacable aversion, ever renewed. The accusations are always the same. To read some papers today is like reading the abbate [Abbe] Barruel. We are used to it, and shall continue our work with serenity."
The Illuminati of Freemasonry
BY BRO. BURTON E. BENNETT, Washington
ILLUMINISM is dead, so far as its formal organization is concerned, so that in a certain sense it belongs now to academic interests only; but in another sense, equally defined it remains a subject of living importance, and that because the ideas behind it are still in our midst, seeking other forms and outlets. Those ideas are ancient. Some of them took root in early Zoroastrianism, exhibited themselves in Chaldean astrology passed over into Mithraism, thence to Gnosticism, Manicheism and later still into Paulinism, which became so living a thing among the Baikan peoples. Paulinism itself became a new seedsowing, from which, in after years, developed the Patari and the Waldensians, from the forces of which in due time came many influences to help give shape to the countless mystical sects that flowered so profusely during or just after the Reformation period. If one cares to trace such as they developed under a Christian aegis he will find it worth his while to read "Spiritual Reformers in the 16th and 17th Centuries" by Rufus M. Jones. Bro. Bennett has found these old inspirations at work among the Illuminati. Another student will find them animating certain religious sects now in our midst. Such as may care to follow the Rosicrucian clue will do well to consult Bro. A. E. Waite's recent book, "The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross." Bro. Bennett was former member of the Board of Park Commissioners of Seattle, former Pan-American Commissioner from the state of Washington; former United states District Attorney for Alaska; is a member of Ionic Lodge, No. 90, F. & A. M., of Seattle, etc.
THE Society of the Illuminati was one of the four great societies produced by the French Freemasonry of the eighteenth century. Of course neither this society, nor any of the other three, were real Freemasonry at all. They were produced by the peculiar conditions that existed in France at the time. These conditions finally culminated in the French Revolution, the wiping out of the last vestiges of feudalism, and the entering of the French nation into a fuller and wholly different life. The three other societies were the strict Observance, the Emperors, and the Carbonari.
The name Illuminati was not a new one. It had been used by other societies of a like tendency from as early as the fifteenth century. They all claimed to get light from a higher source as to all earthly things and, especially, as related to spiritual ones; and to possess knowledge of a purer kind than that possessed by ordinary persons. They furnished many victims for the Inquisition. They had existed in Spain and in Italy. It is even averred that Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, had Illuminati ideas and was reprimanded by the Church for them. That these ideas go back through the ages to the Gnostics is easily seen by scholars. In certain cults they even survive to our day. The Illuminists claimed to get communications from intermediate spirits and, even, from God Himself. There is a cult now in the city of Seattle whose head claims to have talked with God and at their meetings visitors are asked by his followers if they do not want to talk with a man who has talked with God. In order to understand these societies, especially of the higher intellectual kind, it is necessary to know some think of Gnosticism.
Gnosticism as a movement was practically coeval with Christianity. It was a spiritual force produced by the times. The ancient gods had lost their influence. People yearned for something purer and truer. While Mithraism, to some extent, supplied this want, still it was not sufficient. Gnosticism was largely Christian in character, and it tried to bridge the chasm between the old gods and the new Christos. Mithraism was a continuation of the ancient gods, but it contained many features similar to Christianity. It held on in the ancient world for many centuries, but it finally disappeared. Christianity at last got free from Gnosticism. Gnosticism reached its greatest height in the second century, and while branches of it continued well on into t he fifth century it was, for all practical purposes, supplanted by Manicheism before the fourth century. Streams from it have, even, come down to our day.
GNOSTICISM IS DESCRIBED
Gnosticism was what is known as a mystic religion. It was based upon revelation. All of its sects claimed to possess secret knowledge unknown to outsiders, mighty and mysterious, imparted only to initiates. They claimed that it was received from Christ Himself and His Apostles and early believers. It was their mystic writings and traditions, with others, that the Rosicrucians, the soothsayers, and the magicians claimed to possess in the eighteenth century when they commenced to bore into Freemasonry. They claimed to possess the secret word that Christ, as they averred, stole from the Temple, and with which He performed His miracles. To prove that they really possessed what they claimed they pointed to Acts VIII where Simon Magus ("the Magician"), who was converted by Philip, tried to purchase with money his miraculous power.
The Gnostics, generally, did not accept the Old Testament. As a matter of fact they went back to the old religions with their gods and goddesses. In their Ophite sect they were plainly connected not only with the old mythologies of Babylon and Egypt, but with those as well of Greece and Asia Minor. I think that we can safely say that Gnosticism was based wholly on sacramentism and superstition, accompanied by a fervid imagination. Still it was the great force that satisfied many in the Christian Church during the first hundred years of its existence. While some of the Gnostic sects, as the Valentinians, the nearest approach to the Catholic Church, were wonderfully spiritual. still their attitude was always sensual. The Gnostic confession of faith is as follows: "I baptise thee in the name of the unknown father of all, by the Aletheia the mother of all, by the name which descended upon Jesus."
The Ophite sect of the Gnostics, which existed as late as the sixth century, believed that the serpent that tempted Eve was the impersonation of divine wisdom. An Ophitic form of Gnosticism is found today in Babylonia among the Mandeans. They are sometimes known as St. John Christians. To outsiders they call themselves Sabians. Their religion is a mixture of that of the Jews, the Christians, and the heathen. While we have known about them from the seventeenth century, still that knowledge is very meager as they are careful not to talk before strangers. It is more than probable that they know very little about their religion themselves. It is, however, certain that their religion springs not from the Christian, or from the Jewish religion, or from st. John, but it comes from the older forms of Gnosticism with the symbol of the serpent.
The Docetae of the early Christian Church believed that Christ had only a phantom body, that is, He was born without material means and that all His acts and, also, His crucifixion, were not real, but only apparent. It is true that some of them did not go as far as this, but they, even, held that He had a heavenly and not really a human body. Docetism reached its highest point in Gnosticism.
HOW NEW CULTS WERE FORMED
When Christianity finally conquered the ancient world so that the ancient gods were believed in no more, there had to be some outlet for that mysticism which Christianity failed to, or could not, absorb. The sacraments had to end somewhere. This resulted in the formation of cults which continued in different forms down to the time of the Illuminati of Freemasonry, and from there down to our time. It must be remembered that when the barbarians overran the Roman Empire and destroyed it, they destroyed all science as well; all intellectual pursuits stopped except those that centered in religion. All learning was confined to the Church and all learned men were Churchmen. The only thing that was deemed of any importance was theology. The affairs of this world were of no importance; the affairs of the other world were of all importance. The wonder is that superstition was not greater, that witches and soothsayers and magicians were not more abundant, that the Inquisition was so lenient, that the imagination did not become more fervid and astounding, and that Illuminism did not make a greater impress upon Freemasonry and upon mankind. That voodooism did not show itself in a malignant form shows conclusively that the human intellect had grown during the past ages.
Illuminism has always been an attraction for men of more than. ordinary intelligence. When in it there is found such men as Valentian, the man of business, the rich ship builder of Syria; of Loyola, the man of God, the founder of the Society of Jesuits; and of Goethe, the poet, one of the greatest intellectuals of all time, it is better not to try to brush it away with scorn, or deride it with egotistical derision. Perhaps the force behind it is the intellect trying to burst its finite bonds, and reach the infinite. Perhaps this will never be done, and, again, perhaps it will be. It seems the part of wisdom, however, to consider it with care, yes, even reverently, for where is the prudent man who wishes to deny that the intellect does not reach the infinite when our finite bonds are broken by the mystery of death?
WEISHAUPT FOUNDS THE ILLUMINATI
The Society of the Illuminati of Freemasonry was founded by Doctor Adam Weishaupt of Ingoldstadt, Germany (Bavaria), on May Day, 1776. Weishaupt was professor of Natural and Canon Law in the University of Ingoldstadt. His society was not, at first connected with Freemasonry but it became so in 1780. Professor Weishaupt joined the Freemasons through the strict Observance at Munich in 1777. He was an ex-Jesuit and for the rest of his life was assailed by the Jesuits through all sources that they could reach, and by all means that they could command, ecclesiastical, civil and private. The new movement was really one of republican free thought. This movement called itself "The Order of Perfectibilists." Its members were at first young students who bound themselves to be guided wholly by their superiors. Professor Weishaupt adopted the Jesuit plan that the end justifies the means. No member knew who the other members were except, of course, his superiors, the officers. While Professor Weishaupt was educated by the Jesuits, and became one of them, his intelligence was of high order and its bent was always toward truth. Thus he grew away from them and from their Church as well. In 1784 the Society of the Illuminati was suppressed by the Bavarian Government, as well as all other Masonry, and all other secret societies. Doctor Weishaupt was deprived of his professorship and had to fly from the country.
The Rite of the Illuminati consisted of three classes, to wit: (1) Nursery, (2) Symbolic and Scots Masonry, and (3) Mysteries. The first class contained five degrees as follows: (1) Preparatory Literary Essay, (2) Novitiate, (3) Minerval, (4) Minor Illuminates, and (5) Magistratus. The second class contained, also, five degrees as follows: (6) Apprentice, (7) Fellow Craft, (8) Master Mason, (9) Major Illuminates, or Scottish Novice, and (10) Directing Illuminates, or Scottish Knight. The third class contained the following degrees: (11) Priest and Regent, and (12) Magus and King. The last degree was never perfected. The necessary qualifications of a candidate were stated by Weishaupt as follows:
"Whoever does not close his ear to the lamentations of the miserable, nor his heart to gentle pity, whoever is the friend and brother of the unfortunate; whoever has a heart capable of loving friendship; whoever is steadfast in adversity, unwearied in the carrying out of whatever has been once engaged in, undaunted in the overcoming of difficulties; whoever does not mock; and despise the weak; whose soul is susceptible of conceiving great designs, desirous of rising superior to all base motives and of distinguishing itself by deeds of benevolence; whoever shuns idleness, whoever considers no knowledge as unessential which he may have the opportunity of acquiring, regarding the knowledge of mankind as his chief study; whoever, when truth and virtue are in question, despising the approbation of the multitude, is sufficiently courageous to follow the dictates of his own heart-- such a one is a proper candidate."
THE ORDER SPREAD THROUGHOUT EUROPE
In 1780 the Order was carried into Northern Germany by the Marquis Cantanzo, a Privy Councillor of Karl, Elector of Bavaria. It has been stated that lodges were established in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Italy. This seems doubtful to me. If so, however, they were mere beginnings as not more than two thousand members, at I most, have ever been claimed for the Order. However' in Volume II, at page 141, of the Secret Memoirs of St. Cloud, limited to five hundred copies (copy 297), Edinburgh Press, I find the following which I pass on without comment:
"In the will of that great monarch (Gustavus VIII). Baron d'Armfeldt was nominated one of the guardians of his present sovereign, and governor of the capitol; but the Duke Regent, who was a weak Prince, guided by philosophical adventurers, by ILLUMINATI and FREEMASONS, most of whom had imbided French revoluntionary maxims, sent him, in a kind of honorary exile, as Ambassador to Italy * * * ."
The Society of the Illuminati was taken up with enthusiasm by Baron Knigge, a Privy Councillor of the reigning Duke of Saxe-Gotha. It was then that Goethe and Herder joined the Illuminati. Knigge had taken the Templar degrees at Cassel in 1772, and was disgusted with them. He thought that in the Illuminati he would find, at last, the truth. But Doctor Weishaupt had not even completed the rituals. However he placed his material in Knigge's hands. They quarreled over how it should be arranged and Knigge retired. The Order in Northern Germany was dead. Meanwhile some of the Masonic sects with Rosicrucian tendencies joined with the Church in fighting the Illuminati. It must be remembered that Illuminism was as much the antithesis of Rosicrucianism as it was of Jesuitism. Rosicrucianism and Jesuitism had much in common. Meanwhile the rumble of the French Revolution could be heard in Bavaria. The authorities believed that they were justified in closing the Illuminati, as well as all other secret societies. Masonic historians, including Gould, have maintained that the Illuminati possessed no revolutionary tendencies. While this is probably true, using the word "revolutionary" in its strictest sense, still its whole aim was away from existing things, and toward republican free thought. Professor Weishaupt was a reformer, a Masonic reformer. He wanted to reform religion. He wanted to reform Masonry. He believed that his desired reforms could be accomplished through reformed Masonry. But the French Masonry at that time was so steeped in kabbalism, spiritism, scepticism, and natural religion that it was past reforming. It was stuck in slimy lagoons with its back toward the East, waiting for its Scots Perfection degrees to return from the West. And so all Masonry died in Southern Germany and there it has ever since been, practically dead.
WEISHAUPT AS AN AUTHOR
Doctor Weishaupt fled to Saxe-Gotha. Duke Ernest, who was a Freemason, made him a Privy Councillor, and granted him a pension. He died there in 1830.
He published several works on Illuminism while living in Gotha. The best known are, A Picture of the Illuminati (1786); An Apology for the Illuminati (1786); A Complete History of the Persecutions of the Illuminati in Bavaria (1786); and A System of Illuminati (1887).
In commenting on the Illuminati Doctor Weishaupt said:
"My general plan is good, though in the detail there may be faults. I had myself to create. In another situation, and in an active station in life, I should have been keenly occupied, and the founding of an Order would never have come into my head. But I would have executed much better things, if the government had not always opposed my exertions, and placed others in situations which suited my talents. It was the full conviction of this, and what could be done if every man were placed in the office for which he was fitted by nature, and a proper education, which first suggested to me the plan of the Illuminati."
The Martinists were founded by Martinez Pasqualis in 1762 in a so-called Masonic Rite named "The Rite of Elected Cohens, or Priests," consisting of nine degrees. This Rite was afterwards reformed by the Marquis de St. Martin by what he called "The Rectified Rite"; and this Rite, as well as a body of Russian Martinists, of 1790, of which Professor Schwartz, of Moscow, was the head, were then called the Illuminati. The "Rectified Rite" consisted of two classes. The degrees of the first class were (1) Apprentice, (2) Fellow Craft, (3) Master Mason, (4) Past Master, (5) Elect, (6) Grand Architect, and (7) Mason of the Secret. The degrees of the second class were (8) Prince of Jerusalem, (9) Knight of Palestine and (10) Kadosh. These degrees are simply day dreams of mystics and allegorists.
Doctor Weishaupt as a reformer failed and his high type of Illuminism apparently went down with him; but Illuminism became saturated with all kinds of nonsense, resumed its course and more and more it and the "Emperors" rite drifted toward each other.
Bibliographical note by author. Consult The Gnostic Heresies of the 1st and 2nd Centuries, by H.L. Mansel; London; 1875. Articles on Gnosticism in Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition. History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, by Henry Charles Lea; III Vol.; London; 1888. History of the Inquisition of Spain, by Henry Charles Lea; five volumes, London; 1905-1908. Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, by Adolph Harnack, Eng. trans., 1904. The Church in the Roman Empire, by Sir W. M. Ramsey; 1893. Mithraic Mysteries, a translation by T. J. McCormick of the Conclusions of Cumont's great work on Mithraism; Chicago and London 1893.
Daniel Coxe and St. John's Lodge, Philadelphia
By BRO. DAVID MCGREGOR, New Jersey
In order to understand the full force of Bro. McGregor's arguments in this paper the reader should turn back to a series of articles on the same theme previously published: "The Story of Freemasonry in New Jersey," by Bro. Ernest A. Reed, November, 1923, page 329; "Concerning 'The story of Freemasonry in New Jersey,' by Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, April, 1924, page 109; "Daniel Coxe's Relations to American Freemasonry," Bro. David McGregor, November, 1924. page 328; "Daniel Coxe and the 'Henry Bell Letter,' " by Bro. Melvin M. Johnson; and the present series of Study Club articles, the first of which was printed last September.
FURTHER investigation as to the whereabouts of Col. Daniel Coxe during the year 1730 shows that he returned to New Jersey from London earlier than the date of his warrant as Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (June 5, 1730), and that instead of bringing it with him as suggested in our previous article, it must have been sent out to him later.
From the minutes of the West Jersey Board of Proprietors, to be found in their office in Burlington, N. J., we learn that he had been President of that Board for many years and continued to be re-elected annually until his death in 1739. On Aug. 6, 1729, he was "appointed and ordered" to meet the Jersey Agent in London and protest against the proposed new division line between West and East Jersey, as it would cause "great damage to the Proprietors and under purchasers of land in West Jersey." He was present at the next meeting of the Board on Nov. 4, 1729, part of the record of which is in his own handwriting. His next appearance at the Board meetings was on April 9, 1730, and he continued to preside at its meetings until Dec. 12 of that year, thus widening the period of his presence in New Jersey in 1730 to over eight months instead of four as previously estimated, and making it still more feasible for him not only to personally issue the warrant for si. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Philadelphia, but also to be present at its institution, if it took place early in December, 1730, as we are inclined to believe it did.
He must have sailed for England soon after the meeting of Dec. 12 so as to permit of his being present at a meeting of the Grand Lodge of London on Jan. 29, 1731, where and when his health was drunk as "Provincial Grand Master of North America," his ability to announce the institution of the first regularly constituted lodge of Freemasons in America doubtless giving zest to the occasion.
In pursuance of this study let us consider briefly what can be found in the oldest existing record pertaining to St. John's Lodge, the original account book known as Liber B, in support of the proposition that that lodge was in 1731 a regular and duly constituted one, receiving its warrant from R. W. Bro. Daniel Coxe of New Jersey.
From the entries on page 184 of Liber B, we learn from the Stock Account of the lodge that on June 24, 1731, it had thirteen resident members, the fourteenth, William Button, having gone to "New Foundland" in May, while one of the thirteen, Mark Joyce, had just become a member before June 1, as we learn from the charges made against the members under the head of "omitions" at sixpence per lodge day, twelve of them being charged for five days; William Button, for four days "before you sailed to New Foundland"; and Mark Joyce, one day. In addition to this, Joyce is charged 9s-2d "the remainder of his 3 pounds at entrance"; for a like reason Benjamin Franklin and Henry Pratt are charged 2-0-1, which seems to indicate that the difference between the entrance fee of 3 pounds, and the amount charged against them as a remainder, was in each case expended by them for the entertainment and "clothing" of the lodge members on the night of their initiation, as was the regular custom at that time. These charges of "omitions" were evidently the result of an agreement among the members on or before June 24, 1731, to assess each member sixpence per month, the charges to be retroactive beginning Feb. 1 of that year and applicable in each individual case according to the period of membership. These charges were continued against each member after June 24, not as "omitions", however, but as quota to stock; and in addition a fine of one shilling was imposed after that date upon each member every time he absented himself from lodge meeting. From this we may naturally infer that the lodge had been suffering from lack of attendance, and that it had resorted to the fine as a means of improving it, these fines, together with the monthly dues, to go to the establishment of a fund for carrying on the work of the lodge, but not including the feature of entertainment, which was paid for by the members participating, and averaged in all about 2 pounds per night for the years 1736-7.
THERE WERE THIRTEEN MEMBERS
From this account we learn that the membership on Feb. 1, 1731, was thirteen, two of whom, Franklin and Pratt, had just been admitted, or a total of eleven prior to that event; a number more in harmony with the thought of a newly organized lodge than one of long standing, as some would have us believe.
The initiation of Franklin and Pratt on Feb. 1 implies the existence of a constituted lodge before that date in order that their application for membership could be received and acted upon in due form. Franklin was not legally eligible for membership until after his twenty-fifth birthday, which occurred on Jan. 6, 1731; and judging from his publication of an alleged expose of Masonry in the issue of Dec. 8, 1730, in the Pennsylvania Gazette, it must have been some time between those two dates when he made application for membership.
The fact that he had on three previous occasions during the year 1730 published items of news pertaining to the Masons shows that he knew that some of his subscribers were interested in such items; and although not a Mason himself his business acumen led him to cater to their tastes, as well as to the amusement of those not in sympathy with the Order.
Dependent entirely upon the public prints and on hearsay for what he published, we are not required to accept what he said about Masonry as official. Especially does this apply to the oft quoted statement in the Dec. 8 issue, that "there are several Lodges of Free Masons in the Province of Pennsylvania," in which he refers no doubt to the occasional meetings of the brethren, which we have every reason to believe occurred not only in Pennsylvania but in other Provinces on this Continent.
WHY DID FRANKLIN DELAY?
It is rather interesting to note that an average of eleven weeks elapsed between the publication of the items of Masonic news in the London papers and their re-publication on July 9, Aug. 13, and Aug. 20, 1730; whereas seventeen weeks elapsed in the case of the extensive article in the Dec. 8 issue. We are led to inquire, Why did he delay the publication of that expose and why did he print it when he did? May it be that his sense nf fairness and editorial propriety prevented him from hastily publishing something, the truthfulness of which was questionable, knowing that the men associated with the organization were of excellent character and high social standing, as shown by the items he had already published, and which he might never have published, had not some local event created a special interest in the Fraternity, arousing the curiosity of many of his readers and causing them to be much amused, or exercised, with conjectures concerning them? Nothing had appeared in the public prints for four months that could have aroused such interest, hence the cause must have been local. What was more likely to have later amused, or interested, the people of Philadelphia than the institution of a regular Masonic lodge in their midst?
In addition to publishing something that "might not be unacceptable" to his subscribers, Franklin's object was apparently to get at the truth in regard to the many conjectures concerning the Masons, which was no doubt promptly explained to him to his entire satisfaction, as he shortly afterwards made application for membership and proved to be one of the lodge's strongest pillars.
These considerations, along with the proven presence of Coxe in America at that time, seem to point to the month of November, 1730, as the date of the institution of St. John's Lodge; and short of an unquestionably accepted actual record to that effect, we feel that there is no just reason why this should not be looked upon as the approximate date of its institution as a regular and duly constituted Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.
FURTHER CHANGES ARE NOTED
Turning again to Liber B there is evidence of still further changes in the regulation and management of the lodge on or before June 24, 1731. Under that date we find William Allen referred to as Grand Master; William Pringle, Deputy Master; William Button, late Master; and Thomas Hart, late Warden; the two late offices pertaining to a subordinate lodge and the two active offices to a Grand Lodge, indicating a transition from a subordinate to a Grand Lodge; or shall we say the super-imposing of Grand Lodge officers on the body of a subordinate lodge?
This dual character of St. John's Lodge is very apparent from the fact that all the brethren elected to Grand Lodge offices for years to come were members of the subordinate Lodge of St. John, while there are no records of any subordinate officers being elected during that period; and conclusive evidence of it is to be found in the issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette of June 16, 1737, in the form of a public declaration disowning any connection with, and deeply deploring a dastardly fake initiation performed on a simple fellow in Philadelphia which resulted in his death, and with which the enemies of Freemasonry were endeavoring to discredit the Fraternity, as in the Morgan affair of about a century later; the declaration being signed "In behalf of all the members of St. John's Lodge at Philadelphia," by Thomas Hopkinson, Grand Master; William Plumsted, Deputy Grand Master; Joseph Shippen and Henry Pratt, Grand Wardens; while no mention is made of subordinate lodge officers.
For a subordinate lodge thus to assume to itself, or have super-imposed upon it, the title and functions of a Grand Lodge may appear irregular and unconstitutional, but the Philadelphia brethren had at least one precedent in the Grand Lodge of Munster, Ireland, the records of which began Dec. 27, 1726, and in reference to which Gould says: "With the proceedings of a private Lodge those of the Grand Lodge of Munster are intermixed, but it seemed on the whole highly probable that the only distinction was in name, and that the membership was one and the same." So it was with St. John's Lodge.
THE SITUATION IS DESCRIBED
Let us consider the situation of affairs immediately preceding the month of June, 1731. The subordinate lodge, with about a dozen members, was in a rather precarious predicament, having lost its Worshipful Master, and only one Warden left. The Grand Lodge was evidently in a similar situation. Grand Master Coxe was unable through enforced absences to devote much of his time to the office, leaving the actual work in the hands of his Deputy, as did the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, the office of Grand Master being then largely an honorary one. Who was more likely to have been Coxe's choice for Deputy Grand Master than the brother whose name appears in Liber B as the succeeding Grand Master, viz, William Allen, a young man of proven ability and energy, a lawyer by profession, who had studied law in London while Coxe, also a lawyer, was a resident there; and both being identified with Philadelphia, one by birth and upbringing, the other by business relations and marriage, and who were doubtless well acquainted with each other before the deputation was granted.
The Deputy Grand Master had no organization to preside over or support him, while the subordinate lodge was without its proper officers. In such a predicament it was but natural that an attempt be made to save the situation by combining, which they evidently did, and in doing so they anticipated the rights granted them by Coxe's deputation to select their own Grand Master and Wardens, this right not actually going into effect until a year later.
Allen showed his appreciation of the dignified honor thus bestowed upon him by consistently absenting himself from the regular meetings of the lodge, with one exception, until the time came around for his reelection, leaving the management of the affairs of the lodge to Deputy Master Pringle, who attended the meetings regularly.
It is interesting to note that in thus making the best of it, they abstained from giving any publicity to their doings, not a word appearing in the public print in regard to it. Not so a year hence when with the authority of the Grand Lodge of England's deputation to Coxe back of them they elected Allen and Pringle to the same Grand offices. The event was published in Franklin's Gazette, but not as a re-election. They felt, no doubt, that however they may have been forced to overstep their authority the year previous, they were now acting in a perfectly legitimate and constitutional manner, as Daniel Coxe's deputation had expired.
A peculiar and unusual authority was granted them by this deputation to Coxe in that they were permitted to elect their own Provincial Grand Master without requiring them to submit their action for the approval of the Grand Master of England and secure a deputation direct from him, as in most all other cases of Provincial Grand Masterships. In thus granting them an independent self-perpetuating right, the Grand officers elected were without any documentary evidence to prove their authority as derived from the Grand Lodge of England, Coxe's deputation being the only thing they could refer to, which he no doubt refused to surrender as it was his own personal property.
IT WAS TO THIS THAT FRANKLIN REFERRED
Doubtless this is the situation which Franklin referred to in his letter to Henry Price, Provincial Grand Master of New England, on Oct. 23, 1734, wherein he said that Masonry in Pennsylvania "seems to want the sanction of some authority derived from home, to give the proceedings and determinations of our Lodge their due weight"; and of which so much has been made in the endeavor to prove that the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was not a regular lodge at that time.
Franklin had been regularly elected Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania on St. John's Day June 24, of that year, and it appears that his authority had been challenged by some false and rebel brethren who were about to set up a distinct lodge in Philadelphia in opposition to the old and true brethren there; and he was unable to produce any documentary evidence to prove that his authority was derived directly or indirectly from the parent Grand Lodge; therefore in order "to promote and strengthen the interest of Masonry in the Province," he promptly took advantage of what appeared to him to be a fortuitous circumstance, viz., the reported appointment of Henry Price as Grand Master of All America, and applied to him, not for admission to the regular body of Masonry, as has been suggested, but that if Price could by properly attested documentary evidence prove himself to be the regularly appointed Grand Master of all America, that he should promptly confirm them by a deputation or charter in the privileges they then enjoyed of holding annually their Grand Lodge, choosing their Grand Master, Wardens and other officers, who might manage all affairs relating to the brethren there, with full power and authority according to customs and usages of Masons. This was not the language of one seeking to "humble himself" before the regularly constituted Masonic authority, as required of all irregular Masons or body of Masons before being admitted as regular brethren; but of one that knew himself to be a true and regular Mason, requesting that they be "countenanced and distinguished by some special authority as herein desired", in order to protect the good name of the Fraternity against the actions of false and rebel brethren.
THE CARMICK MS.
BY BRO. A.L. KRESS, Associate Editor, Pennsylvania
ON page 343, of The Builder, November, 1924, Bro. Haywood discussed the Carmick MS. in connection with the records of early Pennsylvania Masonry. His conclusion was "If this MS. be accepted as genuine it proves that a lodge, or lodges, must have been active in Pennsylvania three years and more before Franklin's item in his Gazette." Bro. M.M. Johnson referred to the MS. on page 369 of The Builder, December, 1924. Prompted by Bro. Haywood's statement that the case for the Carmick MS. needs a thorough overhauling, my own opinion of it is embodied in the following impartial analysis. ---A. L. K.
THE Carmick MS. was found about the year 1907 (we judge) in the possession of Bro. Persifor Fraser Smith of Pittsburgh, Pa. It was reprinted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, edited by Bro. Julius Sachse, in 1908. The original is now in the Grand Lodge Library at Philadelphia. The work was published under the title The Constitutions of St. John's Lodge. Bro. Sachse wrote a brief foreword saying in part:
"The finding of a MS. copy of the Constitutions of St. John's Lodge bearing the date of 1727, however, seems to give a positive proof of the antiquity of the old Philadelphia Lodge...
"This venerable document . . . is dated 1727, and is signed by Bro. Thomas Carmick, a connection of the Frazer family [the italics are mine, A. L. K.], whose name also appears upon one of its pages. Of Bro. Carmick, the scribe of the old Constitutions, we have thus far been unable to obtain any documentary information.
"The Carmick MS. unquestionably is not alone the oldest Masonic MS. in America, but it was also probably the first to be used by the scattered brethren in Philadelphia, who at that early date assembled, and erected St. John's Lodge in Philadelphia, the first Masonic Lodge on the Western continent."
The last page of the MS. was reproduced in THE BUILDER, page 344, November, 1924. It shows the signature of Thomas Carmick and the date 1727. Page 20 of the MS. carries these words: "Persr. Frazer's Book 5756." Sachse tells us Persifor Frazer was born Aug. 10, 1735, and died April 24, 1792. He belonged to a lodge of Masons at Philadelphia. He would then have been twenty-one years of age when the MS. came into his possession. This Persifor Frazer was an ancestor of Persifor Frazer Smith, among whose possessions the MS. was found at Pittsburgh about 1907.
So much for the MS. itself and Sachse's claims. Now what are the actual facts which we may justifiably accept, after examining the MS. itself? In the absence of any external evidence, we must depend entirely on the document itself.
NO REASON TO DOUBT GENUINENESS
First, there is no reason to doubt that the MS. is a genuine copy of the "Old Charges"; that it was transcribed either from memory or from another copy by one Thomas Carmick, apparently in the year 1727; that it came into the possession of Persifor Frazer in 1756.
Second, there is no direct evidence whatsoever, that this document was used by a lodge in Philadelphia in 1727, nor even that the MS. was in America at that date. This claim advanced by Sachse rests wholly upon his assertion which I italicized above that Thomas Carmick was "a connection of the Frazer family." Sachse was unable then and no one since has produced any documentary evidence as to Thomas Carmick. Before any impartial observer can accept the statement that this MS. was used in Philadelphia in 1727, one must know at least something about Carmick. Where was he born? Where and when did, he die? Was he in 1727-1730, or at any other time even, in America ? What was the nature of his "connection" with the Frazer family? Nearly thirty years elapsed between 1727 and 1756 when the document came into Persifor Frazer's hands.
The only basis the document itself affords, for the assumption that it may have been used by a lodge in Philadelphia circa 1727-1730, consists in the heading carried on each page, "The Constitutions of St. John's Lodge." There was such a lodge in Philadelphia in 1731 calling itself a "St. John's Lodge." One might therefore infer as Sachse did, that Carmick actually transcribed this MS. for the use of this particular lodge at Philadelphia. We are not warranted in accepting such an opinion in the complete absence of any evidence as to Carmick himself, since all lodges then termed themselves "St. John's Lodges."
The headings on the various pages of the MS. vary. There are several headed "The [or ye] Constitutions of the Holy Lodge of St. John." At that time, "St. John's Lodge" was a generic term applied with no specific or distinctive designation in mind. There was a St. John's Lodge at Boston. A lodge at Portsmouth, N. H., in 1735, styled itself the "Holy and exquisite lodge of St. John." The idea has been preserved till this day in our ritual, in reply to the question "From whence came you?" Therefore, the use of this term in itself is not sufficient to prove a connection between the MS. and the early lodge at Philadelphia.
The conclusions then I should draw are:
1. The MS. is genuine but its genuineness has nothing to do with the existence of a lodge at Philadelphia in 1727.
2. It is possible that it could have been used by such a lodge at that time but in the absence of further evidence, we cannot accept the statement as fact.
3. Should evidence ever be produced that Thomas Carmick was in America and Philadelphia between the years 1727-1730, then it would be reasonably safe to conclude that he did prepare it for and it was used by a lodge at Philadelphia at that time.
We know the lodge at Portsmouth, N. H., claimed to possess a MS. copy of the "Old Constitutions" or charges since they so stated in their petition to Henry Price at Boston, for a charter in 1735. This copy, by the way, I would suggest Bro. Vibert, Baxter, Poole and Rosedale ought to list in their tables of "Missing MSS." As the case for the Carmick MS. now stands, it would be no less plausible to claim it as the missing "Portsmouth MS." as that it was used in Philadelphia in 1727.
It is only fair to add that, though residing in Pennsylvania, I am not a member of this Jurisdiction. I am sure we should all be glad to see evidence produced which would sustain the opinion that this curious and valuable old Masonic document does date back to Philadelphia and 1727.
SIR ALFRED ROBBINS COMMENTS ON "MAKING A MASON AT SIGHT"
IN a recent letter to THE BUlLDER Sir Alfred Robbins, President of the Board of General Purposes, The United Grand Lodge of England, made a number of valuable comments on the symposium dealing with the subject "On Making a Mason at Sight," published in THE BUILDER, February, 1925, page 33. "I note that you quote our late Bro. John T. Lawrence's By-Ways of Freemasonry on the subject; but I should deprecate your accepting the ipse digit of our late Bro. W. J. Hughan [Hughan's statements were published as a part of the quotation from Lawrence's essay], admirable historian as he was, as in any way indicating that English Freemasonry, as it exists under the United Grand Lodge of England, accepts the idea that the process of Making Masons on Sight by the Grand Master is inherent."
Bro. Robbins then called attention to a paragraph included in the first report he presented to Grand Lodge as the President of the Board of General Purposes, the only official English pronouncement on the matter. This paragraph is as follows:
“An apparently authoritative statement having been made to an American Grand Lodge, and, as a consequence, extensively circulated in the United States and Canada that the M. W. Grand Master not only authorized but himself she red in the practice of making Masons 'at sight,' thus passing candidates by special dispensation through all the degrees at the same lodge meeting, the Grand Secretary has been directed to communicate to all Grand Lodges in the United States and Canada in Masonic association with the United Grand Lodge of England, a statement of our precise position in this regard. Rule 195 of the Book of Constitutions expressly provides that 'No Lodge shall confer more than one degree on any Brother on the same day, nor shall a higher degree be conferred on any Brother at a less interval than four weeks from his receiving a previous degree.' The M. W. Grand Master has no power, except in the case of Lodges abroad in defined conditions, to grant a dispensation to permit degrees to be conferred at shorter intervals, and then, by Rule 115, only by substituting an interval of one week for four, and the Board trusts l hat this explanation of the English practice in this particular which has always been rigidly adhered to, will prevent the further circulation of a misapprehension that, if unchecked, may have serious Masonic consequences."
Regarding the subject Bro. Robbins goes on to we ire further in his letter:
"In fact, as I then made a point of discovering, the United Grand Lodge of England, as it has existed since 1813, has not recognized the existence of such a practice, and, in my own time in Masonry, so far from its having been exercised I have myself seen the M. W. the Grand Master initiate R. W. Bro. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, while in the same year, 1919, I was present at the initiation, also in full form, of R. W. Bro. H. R. H. the duke of York.
"Both these illustrious Brethren took their degrees in precisely the circumstances laid down in our Book of Constitutions, though, in order to satisfy its provisions, one of them had to remain in England at distinct personal inconvenience two days longer than he had intended to do when having to go abroad on some important mission. In the same way, each served his full year as Warden of a regular Lodge before being installed in the Master's Chair. In every possible way, therefore, we have indicated as English Freemasons that everything in reference to entrance into, or progress in, Freemasonry should be conducted with the strictest regard to Masonic line and rule. As I believe the historic facts I have mentioned have not yet been incorporated in any history of recent developments in Freemasonry, I send them to you thus for your consideration. "
THE LITTLE LODGE OF LONG AGO
The little lodge of long ago -
It wasn't very much for show:
Men met above the village store
And cotton more than satin wore,
And sometimes stumbled on a word,
But no one cared, or no one heard.
Then tin reflectors threw the light
Of kerosene across the night
And down the highway served to call
The faithful to Masonic Hall.
It wasn't very much, I know,
The little lodge of long ago.
But, men who meet in finer halls,
Forgive me if the mind recalls
With love, not laughter, doors of pine
And smoky lamps that dimly shine
Regalia tarnished, garments frayed,
Or cheaply bought or simply made
And floors uncarpeted, and men
Whose grammar falters now and then -
For Craft, or Creed, or God Himself,
Is not a book upon a shelf:
They have a splendor that will touch
A lodge that isn't very much.
It wasn't very much - and yet
This made it great: there Masons met,
And, if a handful or a host
That always matters, matters most.
The beauty of the meeting hour
Is not a thing of robe or flow'r,:
However beautiful they seem:
The greatest beauty is the gleam
Of sympathy in honest eyes.
A lodge is not a thing of size,
It is a thing of brotherhood
And that alone can make it good.
- Douglas Malloch in Masonic News
Great Men Who Were Masons
By BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
CAPTAIN ABRAHAM WHIPPLE'S fame has been somewhat overshadowed by that of his brother William Whipple, who was one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence; this is unfortunate because Captain Abraham Whipple was one of the true heroes of the Revolutionary period. We Masons may find an additional inspiration from his heroic career by virtue of the fact that he was a member of the famous old St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Providence, Rhode Island. This was the second lodge to be established in that Colony and its was one of the sixteen charters that were granted by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The charter was signed by Jeremy Gridley, Provincial Grand Master of North America at the time. St. John's Lodge in Providence and King David's Lodge in Newport were the only two active lodges in the state at the close of the Revolutionary War.
Abraham Whipple was the third captain to be appointed in the original (Colonial) Navy of the United States. He was born in Providence, Sept. 16, 1733, and began his life on the sea when only a boy. In those days the colonial merchant marine was the largest producer of revenue for the Colonies and it was so extensive that it was said that American vessels were seen on every sea.
During the French and Indian War (the war which had so much to do with establishing our civil and religious liberties) Captain Whipple was in command of the Game Cock, which in a single cruise captured twenty-six French vessels.
When the War of the Revolution was in its incipiency, and when the provisions of the Stamp Act prevented the movement of vessels, England began to mobilize vessels in the harbors of Rhode Island, a thing that brought the people to a high pitch of excitement. Captain Whipple first became noted as the result of his part in the famous Gaspee episode. When this armed schooner came into Providence, Captain Whipple led a squad of volunteers in small boats, who boarded and destroyed her on June 17, 1772. The British Government offered a reward of 1,000 pounds for the apprehension of the leader because war had not yet been declared and Whipple's act was regarded as piracy.
In the summer of 1775, and after the Battle of Lexington, Captain Whipple was made commander of two armed vessels, though his commission as Captain was not dated until Dec. 22 of the same year. A few days after he assumed command he chased and captured the Rose, which was the very first sea-fight in the war. Captain Whipple was later given command of the Providence, a larger vessel, which took more prizes than did any other American vessel. When this vessel was captured by the enemy Captain Whipple was assigned to a new frigate bearing the same name and carrying twenty-eight guns. He was blockaded in Narragansett Bay by a fleet, but succeeded in running the blockade and escaping. This escape enabled him to reach France with very important messages relating to the first treaty with that country, for which service General George Washington wrote Captain Whipple a particularly complimentary letter.
He returned to Boston in July, 1779, bringing with him two merchant vessels he had captured. He had taken eight other vessels besides, which he had sent on to Boston, and the value of which was estimated at $1,000,000.
In 1780 Captain Whipple sailed to Charleston, in order to help relieve that city then being besieged by the enemy, but was met by Sir Henry Clinton with a larger and better armed fleet, who captured Whipple's vessels and held that good sailor prisoner until the end of the war.
In 1784 Captain Whipple commanded the first vessel to unfurl the American Flag in the River Thames. In 1788 he joined the famous Ohio Company and settled in Marietta, where he died May 29, 1819. He was tired of the sea and like so many retired sailors got as far away from it as he could. He is interred in the cemetery at Marietta with many of his pioneer brethren, and a bronze tablet at the entrance records their names; but as far as I have been able to discover no memorial has ever been erected to Whipple himself.
It is a pity that we know so little of the Masonic activities of Abraham Whipple and of other famous patriots of the time. Surely there must be in existence many old records, diaries, local histories and correspondence, in which some grains of Masonic information might be found. Let us dig!
Andrew Jackson, the Man and Mason
By BRO. ERIK MCKINLEY ERIKSSON, Professor of History, Lombard College, Illinois (Concluded from last month.)
UP to the time he was about forty-five years old, Jackson had done little to attract attention outside the boundaries of his own state. During the years between 1804 and the beginning of the War of 1812 he refrained from office holding, and devoted his attention to an unsuccessful mercantile enterprise at Clover Blossom, and more successfully to the pursuits of a planter.
The outbreak of the War of 1812 was his golden opportunity and he was ready to embrace it. In 1802 he had been elected Major General of the Tennessee militia and so had kept in touch with military affairs. In 1812 he was commissioned a Major General of United States volunteers and took charge of the military operations in the southwest. His first great success came with the crushing of the Creek Indians at the battle of Horse-Shoe, or Tohopeka, in the spring of 1814. This removed a serious menace on the frontier, for these Indians had been incited by the British to hostilities.
HE WINS THE GREAT BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS
He next turned his attention to the British expedition designed to over-run the southwest. Against them he achieved the crowning victory of his career, when, on the 8th of January, 1815, he defeated the British at New Orleans. With a small force of frontiersmen sheltered behind a rude barricade, Jackson annihilated the attacking force of 5,000 picked British soldiers. While the Americans lost seventy-one men in the day's fighting the British lost 2,137, including their commander, Sir Edward Pakenham.
After the close of this war, Jackson remained in the military service, but it was not until 1817 that he again saw active service. The Seminole Indians of Florida were continually causing trouble on the frontier, and finally Jackson was ordered to proceed against them. The Indians avoided fighting and sought shelter in the Spanish territory of Florida. Without hesitation, Jackson pursued them across the boundary, captured the Spanish city of Pensacola, and executed two captured British subjects, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert Ambrister, who had been inciting the Indians. These acts involved our government in diplomatic difficulties, but indirectly Jackson's action was the means of forcing Spain to sell Florida to the United States. Furthermore, he secured peace on the frontier.
From henceforth Jackson was to be prominent in politics rather than in war. Though he retained his army commission until 1821, he did no more fighting. He had shown himself to be a great general, one who was later described by one of his bitterest political opponents, Daniel Webster, as the greatest American general, next to George Washington. Certainly he was an excellent fighter, and though lacking in a knowledge of military science, he achieved results-- and that is the true test of greatness.
After the Seminole affair, Jackson returned to Tennessee, but in 1821 went to Florida to serve as the first Governor of the newly acquired territory. After a turbulent period of a few months in that office, he resigned Dec. 1, 1821.
Again freed from official cares he returned to his beloved "Hermitage," his home, near Nashville. It was now that the Masons conferred on him the highest honor within their power. On Oct. 7, 1822, the "Annual Communication" of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee began at Nashville, and Andrew Jackson was seated as a Past Master of a subordinate lodge. On the same day he was elected Grand Master and installed in the office. In 1823 he was elected to serve for another year. He performed his duties in an able and efficient manner. His sincere interest in Masonry was shown when he called the Grand Lodge into special session for one week for the purpose of standardizing the work of the three degrees.
But the Hero of New Orleans, popularly called "Old Hickory," was not allowed to remain in retirement from public cares. In 1823 he was elected to the United States Senate, but he had already been put before the country as a candidate for the Presidency. At the time there was only one political party, the old Republican, and the four candidates, Andrew Jackson, John Q. Adams, Henry Clay, and William H. Crawford, were all members of it. The popular election in November, 1824, proved indecisive. Though Jackson received the largest vote, his electoral vote was only ninety-nine to eighty-four for Adams, fortyone for Crawford, and thirty-seven for Clay.
HE WAS DEFEATED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
The election was now carried to the House of Representatives, as provided by the Constitution. When the vote was taken on Feb. 9, 1825, Adams received the vote of thirteen states and thus was elected, while seven states voted for Jackson, and four for Crawford. Clay had thrown his influence to Adams, and when he became Secretary of State in the new cabinet, Jackson and his followers became convinced that a "corrupt bargain" had been made between Clay and Adams.
Inspired by this belief and feeling that the true will of the people had been thwarted, Jackson resigned from the Senate and threw his energies into the campaign for the Presidency at the next election. Backed by an efficient organization which effectively used the press as well as other agencies of propaganda, and after a bitterly fought campaign lasting almost four years, Jackson was elected over John Q. Adams, and was inaugurated on March 4, 1829, as seventh President of the United States.
The turbulent events of the following eight years cannot be understood without a comprehension of people who put Jackson into office. Among the supporters of the new President were included three classes: the southern aristocratic planters who were imbued with the Jeffersonian ideas of democracy; the laboring classes of the north; and the frontiersmen of the region west of the Appalachians. The last named group was easily the dominant one and gave its character to the Jacksonian Democracy. It was this group which Andrew Jackson truly represented.
The outstanding characteristic of this pioneer frontier democracy was its devotion to the idea of equality of opportunity. To these people, social antecedents counted for little. They did not ask a man from whence he came but they expected him to play a man's part. Everyone had his opportunity to achieve success; he who failed received scant consideration, while the man who showed the qualities of leadership was soon accorded fitting recognition.
The frontier idea of equality was not a theory which would make everyone alike. There was nothing of the communistic idea in it. Each man had an equal opportunity to gain wealth and distinction. Property was acquired by hard toil under the most discouraging conditions. There was no thought of equal distribution whereby the shiftless and indolent would benefit by the exertions of the ambitious.
The frontiersman was ever ready to co-operate with his neighbors when there was need, he was hospitable and helpful, but was far from being communistic in his conception of society. The democracy of the frontier well illustrated the idea that brotherhood means not literal economic, social and political equality, but equality of opportunity, and is to be attained by justice and not by communism.
The equalitarian ideas of the frontier were well illustrated in politics. The man who was a successful Indian fighter was expected to make the best Judge or Congressman. It was thought that any upstanding man was qualified for any office, and consequently these western Democrats opposed the idea of a permanent office-holding class. They believed ardently in political democracy, equality of economic opportunity, and just as ardently opposed monopolies and special privilege.
Of this class Jackson was the typical and outstanding representative. Because he interpreted their will so accurately, the era in which he occupied the presidential chair has been called the period of "Jacksonian Democracy."
No President of the United States has more truly represented the people who elected him than did Andrew Jackson, and this is one of his chief claims to greatness. When he performed the acts which marked his Presidency he was but carrying out the will of the new democracy. It has been said that Jefferson inaugurated "government of the people, for the people," but that it remained for Jackson to add "by the people."
"TO THE VICTOR BELONG THE SPOILS!"
This explains why President Jackson allowed the "spoils system," the idea of "to the victors belong the spoils," to be applied to the national civil service. The new democracy were ardent believers in the idea of rotation in office; the spoils system had long been practiced in the states; and it was inevitable that it should now be applied to those holding office under the national administration. If Jackson had not introduced it some other President would have done so. He did not apply the system as extensively as later Presidents for, during his eight years in the Presidency, only about one-fifth, or 2,000 out of approximately 11,000 holding office under the Federal Government, were removed.
Likewise, his refusal, in 1832, to sign the bill rechartering the Second Bank of the United States was due largely to the belief of himself and his constituency that it was aristocratic and monopolistic in character and dangerous in a democratic government. That he truly interpreted the will of the people was shown by his re-election in 1832 with the question of the bank re-charter as the chief issue. Jackson has been severely denounced for his lack of knowledge concerning finances, but history has vindicated him in this matter. The United States has never gone back to the plan of having its finances handled by a single privately controlled corporation. Could he have had his way "hard money" would have taken the place of the paper money which flooded the country. Furthermore, he opposed, though he could not prevent, the passage of the bill in 1836 providing for the distribution among the states of the surplus money which had accumulated in the Treasury since the national debt was paid on Jan. 1, 1835. This distribution, which was sponsored chiefly by John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay, encouraged reckless expenditures and was a material factor in bringing on the panic of 1837. In this matter Jackson deserves credit which biographers and historians generally have failed to give him.
And so in all the other political controversies of his two turbulent administrations, he acted as he thought the people wished. In suppressing the nullification movement in South Carolina he lost the support of the southern aristocracy but retained the adherence of the chief elements of his following who were intensely nationalistic. When he refused to enforce the Supreme Court decision protecting the Cherokee Indians from the State of Georgia he acted in accordance with his own feeling and that of the frontiersmen, that the best thing for the Indians was removal beyond the Mississippi River. He did not oppose internal improvements of a national character, but stopped the drain from the national treasury to pay for local improvements within the states.
HE WON AMAZING DIPLOMATIC VICTORIES
In diplomacy he achieved a record which surpassed that of such statesmen as John Q. Adams and Henry Clay. Besides negotiating numerous commercial treaties, he secured the opening of the West Indies trade by negotiations with England. This matter had been pending since the Revolution and all previous attempts to settle it had failed. Likewise, Jackson secured a settlement of the indemnity claims against the French Government growing out of the Napoleonic wars, which his predecessors had tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to settle.
All of Jackson's policies were most bitterly assailed by his political opponents and have been severely criticized since. But throughout the eight years of his Presidency he met and consistently overcame all opposition. The final triumph of his career came in 1836, when, by his personal support, Martin Van Buren, who was pledged to carry on his policies, was elected as his successor.
While Masons may differ in their opinions concerning the political questions of the Jackson administration, they all should honor and respect him for the open stand he took for the Masonic Order during the Anti-Masonic movement. When thousands of Masons, if they did not openly renounce the Order, at least were afraid to defend it, Jackson boldly proclaimed his attachment to the fraternity. Even when the Anti-Masonic party, in 1832, placed William Wirt [see note] in the field as a candidate for the Presidency against him, he refused to equivocate. During his residence in Washington he was an honorary member of Federal Lodge, No. 1. When his duties permitted he did not hesitate to attend lodge functions and otherwise openly show his loyalty to the Order. As an illustration of this he wrote a letter to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, during the heat of the Anti-Masonic excitement, declaring that "the Masonic Society was an institution calculated to benefit mankind and trusted it would continue to prosper."
After his second term as President expired in 1837, Jackson retired to his home, the "Hermitage," near Nashville, Tenn. While he continued until his death to maintain a keen interest in politics, he was not able to actively participate. During his whole Presidency his health had been bad and during his closing years his physical condition was feeble.
Much has been said about Jackson's violent qualities but little about the gentler side of his life. His wife had died late in 1828, and from then to the end of his life he worshipped her memory. In his room he kept her picture constantly before him, and each day he would read from her Bible--something which probably most of his detractors did not do. In 1839 he joined the Presbyterian church and from then to the close of his life was a professing Christian. At the "Hermitage" he was very affectionate in his relations with the family of his adopted son who lived with him. Towards his servants he showed kindness and consideration.
The disease which had for so long been undermining his constitution finally overcame him, and he died on June 8, 1845. The cause of his death was announced as dropsy and consumption. When the news spread over the country there was almost universal mourning. So bitterly had he been hated by political enemies that these showed little regret at his passing. But the great majority of people sincerely grieved at his demise. Throughout the country eulogistic addresses were delivered, and in the larger cities, such as New York and Washington, funeral processions were held, in which the Masonic bodies occupied prominent positions.
The feelings of his Masonic brethren were shown in the tribute prepared by the Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, who said:
"The hand of the spoiler has been among us. His grasp has been laid upon the pillars of our edifice, and one of its stately columns lies in the dust * * The life of Andrew Jackson was a beautiful illustration of Masonic Benevolence. In him it was an expansive, a diffusive principle * * * The grave holds this noble jewel of Masonry. In republican simplicity, he reposes * * * Disturb not his slumbers, by party execrations. Let us give his foibles to oblivion, and enshrine his virtues in our 'heart of hearts'. Whilst a grateful people award to him their need of praise, be it ours so to pass the level of time, as that we may greet him in the 'Holy of Holies above."
Of the many biographies of Andrew Jackson the best is Bassett, John Spencer, The Life of Andrew Jackson, II vols. Doubleday, Page and Co., New York, 1911. Parton, James, Life of Andrew Jackson, III vols., Houghton, Mifflin & Co., New York, 1888, is interesting but often not reliable. Parton accepted hearsay as fact and lacked in critical discrimination. Other useful biographies are Brady, Cyrus Townsend, The True Andrew Jackson, J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1906; Brown, William Garrott, Andrew Jackson (The Riverside Biographical Series, No. I), Houghton, Mifflin Co., New York, 1900, and Buell, Augustus C., History of Andrew Jackson. Pioneei, Patriot, Soldier, Politician, President, II vols., Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1904. There are others but those named are best.
For general information concerning the Jackson period and Jackson democracy there are numerous books available. Schlesinger, A. M., New Viewpoints in American History, The MacMillan Co., New York, 1922, contains an excellent chapter on "Jacksonian Democracy." Other interesting books are MacDonald, William, Jacksonian Democracy (Albert Bushnell Hart ed., The American Nation; a History, Vol. XV), Harper and Bros., New York, 1906; Ogg, Frederic Austin, The Reign of Andrew Jackson (Allen Johnson, ed., The Chronicles of America Series, Vol. XX), Yale University Press, New Haven 1919; Peck, Charles Henry, The Jacksonian Epoch, Harper and Bros., New York, 1899; and Turner, Frederick Jackson, Rise of the New West, 1819-1829 (Albert Bushnell Hart, ed.. The American Nation: A History, Vol. XIV), Harper and Bros. New York, 1906.
Much information on the period 1825 to 1845 was obtained from political newspapers of the time: the National Intelligencer, the National Journal, the United States Telegraph; the Washington Globe; and the Washington Union. Information concerning the Anti-Masonic Party is contained in the Masonic Service Association Bulletin, No. 10, and THE BUILDER March, 1921.
Information concerning Jackson's Masonic record was obtained from The Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. IV (1845), p. 349, A. B. Andrews, "Andrew Jackson the Freemason," The New Age Magazine, Vol. XXIX, pp. 3-6; William L. Boyden, "Andrew Jackson, Grand Master of Masons," The New Age, June, 1904, pp. 71-73; and the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee 1813-1847, pp. 77, 375, 578-579.
NOTE BY EDITOR--According to Dr. Albert G. Mackey, Mystic Tie, New York, 1856, William Wirt, Anti-Masonic candidate for President, had been an Entered Apprentice, and did not renounce the Order until his nomination, even then his renouncement was equivocal and half-hearted and, as he himself frankly acknowledged, based on hearsay only.
St. Louis Unit Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children
THIS is one of eleven hospital units now organized, all of them financed and managed by the Shrine.
The St. Louis or base unit, which receives patients from the St. Louis area and to which the other units will forward especially difficult cases, was formally opened April 13, 1924, at which time fifteen patients were already being cared for. The building is a truncated "L" in shape, and stands at the corner of Kingshighway and Clayton avenue; the entire plant, including lot, building and equipment, represents a cash outlay estimated at from $800,000 to $900,000. It stands opposite Forest Park, of which it commands an unobstructed view. The lot itself cost $150,000. Moolah Temple, St. Louis, provided the entire equipment at a cost of $25,000. From the kitchen in the basement to the commodious operating room on the top floor everything is as complete as modern scientific skill can make it; throughout there has been an unstinted effort to provide the children patients with every possible comfort.
Children of every color, creed, and nationality are welcome. A child to be accepted must be a cripple, not over fourteen years of age, of sound mind, and his condition must admit of being so corrected as to render him self-supporting in after life. No child whose parents are able to pay for treatment is admissible.
Herewith is given a complete list of Shriners' Hospitals as now organized, their staffs and board of governors, and the general board of trustees. It will be observed that there are eleven of these, including the unit at Honolulu, which has no plant of its own, but uses Kaukeolani Hospital.
THE ELEVEN UNITS
Board of Trustees
Sam P. Cochran - Chairman
W. Freeland Kendrick – Vice-Chairman
Forrest Adair - Secretary
Jas. R. Watt, Albany, N.Y.
Dr. Oscar M. Lanstrum, Helena, Mont.
John D. McGilvray, San Francisco, Cal.
Arthur W. Chapman, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Jas. E. Chandler - Imperial Potentate
Kansas City, Mo.
Jas. C. Burger - Imperial Deputy Potentate
David W. Crosland - Imperial Chief Rabban
Clarence M. Dunbar - Imperial Ash. Rabban
Providence, R. I.
Advisory Board of Orthopedic Surgeons
Dr. Robert B. Osgood, Chairman, Boston, Mass
Dr. Michael Hoke, Secretary, Atlanta, Ga.
Dr. W. Edward Gallie, Toronto, Can.
Dr. Edwin W. Byerson, Chicago, III.
Dr. John C. Wilson, Los Angeles, Cal.
Chief Surgeon - Dr. Herbert A. Durham
Superintendent - Miss Byrd Boehringer
Opened - September, 1922
Capacity - 50 Beds
Board of Governors - J. H. Rowland, Chairman: L. E. Thomas, H. S. Weston, Secretary, W. B. Farrar, Shreveport; J. P. Haller, New Orleans, La.
St. Louis Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. LeRoy C. Abbott
Superintendent - Miss Estelle D. Claiborne
Opened - April 8, 1924
Capacity - 110 Beds
Board of Governors - Henry F. Niedringhaus, Chairman; P. S. Kaull. J. W. Alcorn, J. E. Bishop, Secretary; I. L. Hedges, Wm. J. Kennedy, Geo. T. Matthews, Walter Wimmer.
Twin Cities' Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. Wallace H. Cole
Superintendent - Miss Caroline B. Hallberg
Opened - April 14, 1923
Capacity - 60 Beds
Board of Governors - C. E. Ovenshire, Chairman; Geo. K, Belden, A. B. Chamberlin, Minneapolis: Wm. K. Gill, Duluth; J. Harry Lewis, Secretary; Oscar Hallam, Rev. J. W. Holland, Wm. Aull, St. Paul, Minn.
San Francisco Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. Walter I. Baldwin
Superintendent - Mrs. Gertrude R. Folendorf
Opened - May 26, 1923
Capacity - 50 Beds
Board of Governors - John D. McGilvray, Chairman; Earnest C. Hueter, Chas. G. Gebherdt, Jos. Heineberg. Arthur Joel, Frank Kessling, Wm. H. Worden, Secretary.
Chief Surgeon - Dr. R. B. Dillehunt
Superintendent - Miss Letha Humphrey
Opened - Dec. 9, 1923
Capacity - 50 Beds
Board of Governors - Geo. L. Baker, Chairman; Geo. W. Stapleton, D. G. Tomasini, W. J. Hofmann, Secretary: Frank Grant, H. J. Blaesing, Carl Tipton.
Springfield. Mass.. Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. R. N. Hatt
Superintendent - Miss Harriett McCollum
Opened - Feb. 21, 1926
Capacity - 60 Beds
Board of Governors - George M. Hendee, H. H. Caswell, Chas. A. Fraser, A. H. Phillips, Henry O. Olds. F. C. Smith, Fred R. Brown and Chas. H. Beckwith.
Chief Surgeon - Dr. A. McKenzie Forbes
Superintendent - Miss Louise M. Dickson
Opened - Feb. 9, 1925
Capacity - 50 Beds
Board of Governors – A.A. Bittues, H.J. Elliott, Walter G. Hager, William Maclaier, Walter Taylor, Thomas Currie and W. Williamson.
Honolulu - Hawaii
Ward Space Rented from - Kaukeolani Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. Jas. Warren White
Superintendent - Miss Sarah Bloom
Opened - Dec. 19, 1922
Capacity - 30 Beds
Board of Governors - Harry N. Denison, Chairman, Guy H. Buttolph, Kirk B. Porter, Hugh C. Spencer, Secretary; Chas. G. Heiser, Harry S. Hayward, Frank E. Thompson, John A. Young, Honolulu, H.I.
Ward Space Rented from - St. Luke's Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. Charles F. Eikenbary
Superintendent - Miss Grace Bratton
Opened - Nov. 15, 1924
Capacity - 20 Beds
Board of Governors – Henry A. Pierce, Chairman; Hugo E. Oswald, Sam Kimbrough, Will Murgittroyd, Glen Pattee, Harry A. Garrett, C. Bert Clausin
Salt Lake City, Utah
Ward Space Rented from - St. Mark's Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. L. Huether
Opened - Jan. 15, 1925
Capacity - 20 Beds
Board of Governors - F.C. Schramm, Chairman: C. H. Fischer, M. E. Lipman, Leon Sweet, W. J. Lynch, James W. Cherry, Salt Lake City; John E. Carver, P. F. Kirkendall, Ogden, Utah.
Ward Space Rented from - The Children's Hospital
Chief Surgeon - Dr. A. A. Murray
Opened - Jan. 16, 1926
Capacity - 20 Beds
Board of Governors - A.W. Chapman, Chairman; W. A. McKay, Vice-Chairman; Alex Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer; W.F. Taylor, James Mackie, H.T. Hazelton, Clarence C. Field, W.H. Carter, Winnipeg, Man
A Masonic Hospital for Crippled Children for the Philippines
By BRO. LEO Fischer, Philippine Islands
AS editor of The Far Eastern Freemason and as associate editor of The Cabletow, the two Masonic journals of the Philippine Islands, and as a leader in Masonic activities in the Far East, Bro. Fischer is peculiarly well qualified to write on this subject. Our thanks are extended to him for this good word from the Philippines. May T.S.G.A.O.T.U. grant that our far-away brethren be successful in their magnificent charity.
IT is a far cry from the vast domain of the continental United States to the palmfringed shores of the Philippines and a comparison of the scant resources available to the small body of Masons in these Islands with the enormous wealth at the command of the great army of Masonry in the United States is out of the question. Yet the Craft in this Far Eastern Archipelago is constantly giving evidence of a noble ambition, an ardent desire, not to remain behind its brethren in the United States in Masonic work, and every great movement in American Masonry finds an echo in the Philippines.
Although the Masons of these Islands are putting forth every effort to maintain their young Grand Lodge, give the largest sum of Masonic education possible to the Craft, support the various charitable enterprises they have initiated, and hold their own against numerous hostile elements and influences of which our brethren in America have no idea, yet they have for some time past been contemplating the taking up of one form of Masonic charity that has but recently been given attention in the United States: a l Masonic Hospital for Crippled Children.
As early as 1923, a number of enthusiastic Scottish Rite Masons who meet every Tuesday at a luncheon in the Masonic Temple on the Escolta, Manila, under the leadership of the Deputy for the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, M. W. Bro. Frederic H. Stevens (then Grand Master of Masons of the Philippine Islands), discussed plans to found a hospital for crippled children in Manila. The establishment of an orthopedic ward at the Mary Chiles Hospital was contemplated. But illness compelled Bro. Waldo N. Lemmon, the director of this hospital, who had considerable experience in that line and to whom the brethren interested in the plan had assigned a prominent part in the work, to return to the homeland. It was then considered best to start the movement as a general Masonic venture, and on July 29, 1924, a number of the most active Master Masons of the Islands met in the Masonic Temple and organized a corporation for the purpose of building, equipping and maintaining in the City of Manila a Masonic Hospital for Crippled Children.
The list of incorporators was headed by Wenceslao Trinidad, the M. W. Grand Master of the M. W. Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands; Frederic H. Stevens. Ill. Deputy of the Supreme Council, A. & A. S. R. of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, and the representatives of various other Masonic bodies.
It included Americans, Chinese, and Filipinos, and the fair sex was represented by the wife of the Deputy for the Supreme Council, Mrs. Frederic H. Stevens. The M. W. Grand Master was chosen honorary president and the Ill. Deputy for the Supreme Council and Governor-General Leonard Wood honorary vice-presidents of the corporation. The officers elected were W. W. Larkin, president; Teodoro M. Kalaw, first vice-president; Major-General James H. McRae, second vice president; F. E. Hedrick, treasurer; and Joseph H. Schmidt, secretary. Much enthusiasm was shown and the newly elected officers entered upon their duties with great vim and vigor and have been performing them with constancy and zeal ever since.
A membership campaign was the first move undertaken, of course. Membership in the corporation is limited to regular Master Masons; the wives, daughters, sisters, mothers and widows of regular Master Masons; and such organizations and associations the membership of which is composed of these eligibles, as the Board of Directors may from time to time determine.
There are several classes of membership. Life membership may be secured by the payment of an entrance fee of $250, there being no annual dues for this class. Sustaining membership requires no entrance fee, but the payment of $50 per annum for dues for five years. Regular membership may be obtained by paying an entrance fee of $5.00 and $1.00 per annum for dues.
THE BRETHREN RESPONDED
The response was very satisfactory. At last Philippine Masonry seemed to have found that worthy object of a concerted effort for constructive work in general charity, as distinguished from that extensive to Masons and their wards alone, for which it had been looking for years. The Scottish Rite bodies and a number of Blue Lodges and individual Masons subscribed as life or sustaining members, and applications for regular membership kept pouring in. And we venture to say that the response would have been more general were it not for a few factors militating against it; the drive for the Masonic Home, school and dormitory; the unsatisfactory condition of business; the poor means of communication with the provincial lodges scattered throughout the large group of Islands; and others. Enthusiastic workers have been lecturing and canvassing for the hospital, and others have wielded their pens for it until at present the corporation has fifteen life members, thirty-three sustaining members, and 525 regular members.
Last January Mrs. W. J. Williams, the wife of a brother who hails from Australia, organized a dancing recital for the benefit of the Masonic Hospital for Crippled Children, and on two successive nights she and seventy of her pupils, mostly American children, delighted appreciative audiences at the Grand Opera House of Manila. The net proceeds of the noble work so performed by Mrs. Williams and her pupils totalled $2,200.00. The performances were well patronized by the general public and a considerable number of broad-minded Catholics gave their assistance towards the success of the good work.
THE FUNDS ARE NOW IN SIGHT
The funds on hand are almost sufficient to establish a ward for crippled children in one of the local hospitals. Bishop C. B. Mitchell, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a very enthusiastic Mason, has offered the use free of charge of the staff and facilities of the Mary Johnston Hospital, in the district of Tondo, Manila, an excellent location for a charitable institution of any kind. We expect soon to hear of the materialization of the plan cherished by the Masons of the Islands. In the meantime, the drive for members and funds continues. "The Cabletow" and the "Far Eastern Freemason," official organs of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands and the Scottish Rite bodies of the Valley of Manila, respectively, which reach practically every regular Mason in the Philippine Islands, are constantly active in behalf of the Hospital and a number of the enthusiastic workers of the corporation never miss an opportunity to make propaganda for it.
The success of the Masonic Hospital for Crippled Children will show to the Masonic world that the seven thousand regular Masons of the Philippine Islands are capable of conceiving great things and carrying them to a successful conclusion.
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DESCRIPTION OF THE HEADQUARTERS BUILDING FOR THE THIRTY-SIXTH TRIENNIAL CONCLAVE, KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
WHEN Sir Knights from all over the United States assemble in Seattle for their Thirty-sixth Triennial during the 28th to 30th of this month, they will find themselves in one of the most unique structures that has ever been erected in the country. The perspective of it, published in THE BUILDER on page 100 of April last, furnishes but a slight conception of it. The designs were made in the offices of Sir Knight Herbert Ainsworth Blogg, A. I. A., Seattle, to whom THE BUILDER is indebted for the description of the building embodied in the paragraphs below.
Sir Knight Blogg is a member of Bethlehem Commandery, No. 10, and an Institute Member of the Washington State Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Mr. Henry H. Hodgson, Associate of the Washington State Chapter, A. I. A., who was designer in Mr. Blogg’s office at the time the designs were made, is responsible for much of the success of the design and its development. Sir Knight Henry Bittman was the structural engineer. Sir Knight Ludwig Livergreen was the general contractor; and the electric work was done by Bro. Evans of the City Electric & Fixture Company, of Seattle.
The exterior design is that of a feudal castle of the time of the crusades. The mass of the plan consists of two buildings with a court between. The entrance is from the south, and leads over a drawbridge into the large court which is 23 feet wide by 94 feet long. From this court entrances lead into the Washington State headquarters on the west. At the north end of the court is the keep, or main tower. The ground floor of this keep contains the executive offices for the control of the building. Adjoining the keep is the north entrance with massive gates. All approaches from the court to the buildings are by inclines.
The national colors will fly from the staff on the keep and the Beauseant, battle flag of the Templars, will fly from a turret at the southwest angle of the west building.
The Washington State headquarters building is 57 feet wide and 118 feet long and contains a balcony 23 feet wide around three sides. In this building are quartered the twenty-four subordinate commanderies of the State of Washington and space for information, registration, hotel, and transportation services. Thirteen commanderies have quarters on the main floor and eleven in the balcony.
The northwest headquarters building, which is 63 feet wide and 92 feet long, besides containing quarters for the state headquarters of Oregon, Montana and Idaho, has a ladies' bower. In this building will also be found telephone, telegraph and stenographic service. Direct telephone connection will be in service to all the principal hotels and to the central executive office. Each commandery will have a telephone through a private branch exchange. The exterior of the buildings is painted to represent the stone work of the feudal period.
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AN EARLY USE OF "CHAPTER"
THE word "lodge" has become so completely identified with the Blue Lodge body, and "chapter" has become so generally linked with the local body of Royal Arch Masons, that any divergence from this custom arouses curiosity. A case of this kind is met with in the Beteilhe MS. account of the founding of the First Lodge of Boston, at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, July 30, 1733. That account begins with the following heading: "At a Special Chapter of Free & Accepted Masons." Did this use of the word have any special significance? The question was submitted to Bro. Gilbert Daynes, Associate Editor, England, whose reply, given in full immediately below, indicates that "chapter" and "lodge" were once used interchangeably:
The word "Chapiter" or "Chapter" appears in two of the Statutes of Labourers. First, in 1360, when the Statute of Labourers received Parliamentary confirmation, and its observance was enforced under strong penalties. The reference is "that all alliances and Bovines of masons and carpenters, and congregations, chapters, ordinances and oaths betwixt them made, or to be made, shall be from henceforth void and wholly annulled." (Gould, History I. 340.)
In 3 Henry VI. c. 1., A.D. 1425, we read "whereas by the yearly congregations and Confederacies made by the Masons in their general Chapiters assembled," etc., and also "Our said Lord the King.... bath ordained and established, that such Chapiters and Congregations shall not be hereafter holder." (Gould, I. 351-357).
The word "Chapters" is met with in all the editions of the Constitutions up to and including the edition of 1784. In the 1723 edition the second regulation runs as follows:
"II. The Master of a particular Lodge has the Right and Authority of congregating the Members of his Lodge into a Chapter at pleasure, upon any Emergency or Occurrence, as well as to appoint the time and place of their usual forming."
There is no definition of either the word "Lodge" or "Chapter" given by Anderson, nor is the difference between them, if there was any difference, anywhere indicated by Anderson. In the 1738 edition, the old regulation, as above quoted, is given, but the words "at pleasure" are omitted. The New Regulations, also given in that edition do not touch upon that part of the Old Regulation No. II which is under discussion. The editions of 1756, 1767 and 1784 have similar references to "Chapters" in the Regulations.
In the history given by Anderson in the 1723 edition of the Constitutions, he mentions on page 35 "and because such Agreements were suppos'd to be made at the General Lodges, call'd in the Act CHAPTERS AND CONGREGATIONS of MASONS it was then thought expedient, etc." This refers to the Statute of Henry VI, part of which Anderson gives in a note o i the same page, to which he gives the title, "Masons shall not confederate themselves in Chapters and Congregations." In the second edition, on pages 73 and 74, Anderson again sets out the Statute of Henry VI using the word "Chapters."
In the General Laws of the Old Lodge, held at the Saracen's Head, Lincoln, and founded 7th of September, 1730, the third of its By-Laws reads as follows:
"3. Upon emergent occasions such as the proposed Brothers going out of Town or the like the Mar may convene the lodge for that purpose and hold a Chapter for the Election and Institution of such Members if he see good." (A. Q. C. Vol. IV, p. 101.)
In a letter by M. Broughton (not a Mason) from the Duke of Montagu's, at Ditton, to the Duke of Rickmond, dated New Year's Day, 1734-5, the following sentence occurs:
"On Sunday Night at a Lodge in the Library, St. John Albemarle and Russell made chapters: and Bob [Robert Webber] admitted apprentice; the Dr. [Dr. J. T. Desaguliers] being very hardly persuaded to the Latter, by reason of Bob's tender years and want of Aprons." (A. Q. C., Vol. XXX, p. 190.)
A considerable amount of the discussion upon this paper in Quatuor Coronati Lodge was as to what was meant by the word "Chapters."
It is interesting to note that in the earliest Minutes of R. A. contained in the Minute Book of a Bristol Lodge, 1758, the word "lodge" is used. The last actual Royal Arch meeting recorded is that on Sunday, May 6, 1759, when "a Royal Arch Lodge" was held. In A. Q. C. Vols. XXX and XXXII there are papers with reference to Royal Arch Masonry, which might help you in coming to some definite conclusion as to whether Anderson, or others, during the period 1723 to 1743, used the word "chapter" as referring to something different from the ordinary "lodge."
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THE LOUISIANA RELIEF LODGE
By BRO. JOHN A. DAVILLA, Grand Secretary, Louisiana
EIGHT Masonic lodges of the City of New Orleans united in forming a Relief Board on the 28th of April, 1851. This Board continued to operate for three years, when the following resolution was presented to the Grand Lodge and adopted:
"Whereas, the Masonic Board of Relief, established in the City of New Orleans, has proved itself entitled to the confidence of this Grand Lodge therefore, Be it resolved, That the said Board of Relief be and is hereby constituted into a regular lodge, for the special purpose of its creation, and the Grand Master is hereby authorized and empowered to grant a Charter or Warrant of Constitution to them, under the title they now hold or such other as they may select."
On the first day of July, 1851, this charter was granted, under the title and designation of Louisiana Relief Lodge, No. 1.
The Grand Lodge law governing this matter states:
"The members of said lodge shall consist of its ofl6eers, who may be selected from its constituents at large, Past Masters and the Masters and Wardens in office (or their proxies), of such lodges as shall hold membership in the same."
"Said lodge shall have no power to confer degrees nor to send representatives to the Grand Lodge, nor shall it be required to pay any dues, fees or charges to this Grand Lodge."
The proceedings of this Grand Lodge are replete with praises for the services of the Relief Lodge during the years when the yellow fever scourge paid practically an annual visit to the cities of the South.
The work is still continued and we have the unique honor of having the only lodge restricted to relief work in the world. The work of the lodge is limited to the care of sojourning Masons and is the same class of work done by the Relief Boards of the country; but we have the advantage, we believe, in that the Master and Secretary handle all the affairs of the lodge between meetings and pass upon all cases presented.
The lodge meets quarterly and is never closed, but is called from refreshment to labor and vice versa and is therefore always ready for an emergency. Any two of the constituent lodges constitute a quorum.
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THE REASON FOR POOR BOOKS
CRITICS of Masonic literature, outside as well as inside the Craft, often charge us Masons with encouraging the circulation of books of such poor quality as would make impossible their use by any other class of readers. There is a certain amount of truth in this indictment, for it would be easy to name certain Masonic "histories" that no competent historian would deign to read; works on symbolism that draw scorn from symbologists, properly so-called; treatises on the "Ancient Mysteries" - more especially of Egypt - too puerile for any use except by the waste basket; and various other writings, callow, uninformed, dull.
There is a reason for this, such a reason as reflects no discredit on the average intelligence of the Craft. There are many subjects in Masonry itself, essential to a knowledge of it, to understand which such knowledge is needed as outside the Craft usually falls only within the province of specialists. A reading about King Solomon's Temple calls for some dealings with archeology; the "Liberal Arts and Sciences" of the Second Degree carry one back into Medieval history; the H. A. Legend has connections with ancient myths and forgotten astrologies. And so on. The member of a lodge who may become interested enough in such subjects to seek literature on them naturally cannot be expected to possess the special knowledge that would enable him to read with critical discernment. "The more excellent way" for such a reader is to seek counsel of those who, by virtue of some special knowledge, may be able to give him a just appraisal of any book he may be tempted to read.
BOARD OF EDITORS
Editor‑in‑Chief - H.L. HAYWOOD
LOUIS BLOCK, Iowa
ROBERT L. CLEGG, Ohio
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
RAY V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
C. C. HUNT, Iowa
CHARLES F. IRWIN. Ohio
A.L. KRESS, Pennsylvania
R. J. MEEKREN, Canada
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
JOSEPH FORT NEWTON, New York
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
JESSE M. WHITED, California
DAVID E. W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
Time to Prepare for the Celebration of the Bicentennial of American Masonry
IN the Question Box and Correspondence Department of this issue the reader will find a communication from Bro. Robert J. Newton in which that brother, who has long had at heart so sincerely the high purposes of the Craft, urges that it is now time for American Masonry as a whole to make plans to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of American Freemasonry. His suggestion is timely and his proposal is wise. Surely the founding of our Fraternity on these shores was an event of such far-reaching consequences, not alone to Masonry here and abroad but to our nation as well, that some suitable celebration thereof is morally binding on US all.
There may be a possible disagreement as to the date. Pennsylvania may wish it to be held in 1930 in remembrance of the St. John's Lodge that was evidently at work in that city in 1730 - the first American lodge of which we have records. Massachusetts may desire to set the date in 1933, to recall the founding of the First Lodge at Boston in 1733. But there cannot be any serious difficulties on this score when the fact itself, and as a whole, is such as to make details a matter of inconsequence.
There is a real sense in which this bicentennial is a date for Freemasonry throughout the whole world. The Craft did not begin here. It is not as ancient as it is in England and in Europe. Like our population and our culture it was in its beginnings an importation from abroad. Nevertheless it has had here a development so unique, and because of its size and social activities it has come to wield an influence so wide that American Freemasonry has come to be something more than a fraternity, something more than a secret society, but has grown to be one of the public institutions like the school and the home, with ramifications extending everywhere.
Moreover, the American Craft has achievements to its credit other than its mere size. To organize forty-nine Grand Lodges within the borders of one country, and to so link them together without violating the sovereignty of any one of them as to leave each state free but all states united is in itself a thing to be proud of. Of the same case is the fact that here the Higher Grades have grown to a position of power and prestige not everywhere found, and yet at the same time exist in harmony along with the Grand bodies practising the Craft degrees; so also is the fact that along with these specifically Masonic organizations are a number of Side Orders, many of them national in scope, which, though they are not strictly speaking in the Masonic family, are related to it. The co-existence of so many governing bodies in one great family exhibits the vitality and the unity of the American Craft, and is a culmination of two hundred years of activity of which each American Mason may legitimately feel proud.
It would be most appropriate for all Grand bodies to unite in celebration at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial when the time comes. That Memorial was brought into existence as a monument to the unity of American Masonry, and the mere fact that a celebration would be held within its walls would in itself help to make that unity more close and enduring.
Held under such auspices a celebration would familiarize all American Masons with the early history of the Craft in America; would make clear the contributions of Masonry to American civilization; would set free from local obscurities the grand ideals that have actuated it from the beginning and continue to inspire it; and would be a powerful stimulus to all wise and worthy activities in which it is now engaged.
It would be best of all if these good results could lie embodied and made permanent by means of a national Masonic museum and library, which perhaps might lie given a home in the Washington Memorial itself. At the present time books, documents, and mementoes are scattered throughout the states, separated oftentimes by thousands of miles, so that any investigator into the original records must either leave many of them untouched or else must spend a small fortune in traveling expenses. Could the proper foundation for a strictly national collection be laid the time might come, after a generation of development, when a student could find almost anything needful at Alexandria, and at the same time such a foundation could be made, by means of cross reference systems and other familiar devices, an approach to the contents of all state libraries and museums and thereby bring into focus the total wealth of all American Masonic resources of this kind.
Freemasonry and the Egyptian Mystery Religions
THE SECRET OF ANCIENT EGYPT. By Ernest G. Palmer. Published by William Rider & Son, London. May be purchased through National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, illustrated, 108 pages with index. Price, postpaid, $1.35.
THIS is a magnificent little book. "The author follows and amplifies the theory advanced by the late Mr. Marsham Adams that the Great Pyramid was an ancient temple of Initiation, and that it was constructed in such a manner as to constitute a symbolic monument of the secrets contained in the so-called Book of the Dead. The Book and the Pyramid are thus held to be mutually explanatory, and to enshrine the esoteric truths taught by the Hierophants of Ancient Egypt."
The disadvantage with many books on Egypt, more especially on Ancient Egypt with its confused history and its strange religions and philosophies, is that they are either written for specialists or else are priced at a figure that puts them out of reach of the majority of readers; The Secret of Ancient Egypt is a welcome exception to this rule. The author has his own share of erudition but has not permitted this to overburden his mind or his book. With a great deal of skill he has disentangled from an immense number of facts such as are of most interest to a modern man, especially to a Mason. The author himself is evidently a member of the Craft, for one of his chapters is devoted to "Masonic Traces."
He says that the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt continue to hold the center of interest among Egyptologists and that we may expect in the future to continue to learn more of the inner meaning of the ancient hieroglyphics and symbolism. "It is admitted; however, that more has been done in this field by actual excavation and translation than by interpretation of the symbolism which veiled the deeper meanings of the ancient Wisdom Religion, whence Masonry itself derives much of its meaning and ritual. Hence this little book may find a place in the literature of a vast subject, not so much as an expression of finality, but as a contribution to that symbolic interpretation, which, it is hoped, may be greatly extended in future."
Marsham Adams' famous theory stands at the center of Mr. Palmer's book. The Adams' theory is that The Book of the Dead was in reality the script of an initiation ceremony and that the Great Pyramid was not the tomb of some dead King, but a temple, like one of our own Masonic Temples, in which a few selected men and women were initiated into the Egyptian Mysteries.
"In the ancient world," writes our author, "to be unacquainted with the Mysteries was to be considered one of the 'uninitiate vulgar'. In our day the word 'mystery' conveys something vague and indefinite or uncertain. Not so in the old times, when it was a very definite instruction in the meaning of life, its origin and its immortal nature. It comprehended in its lower degrees or lesser mysteries a teaching of all that stood for culture in those days: letters (in Egypt the hieroglyphs and hieratic scripts), chemistry, history, mathematics, physics, etc."
The author makes it clear that the center of the initiatory ceremonies was a drama strikingly like that of H. A. in our own Third Degree. The analogy is so close that Mr. Palmer is of the opinion that the very ancient ceremony employed in Egypt may have descended to the Masonic Fraternity of today. On this subject he quotes Mr. James Bonwick:
"The theory of Hiram Abiff may suggest itself to the members of the Mystic Craft. It will be instructive for them to compare the story of Osiris with the story of Hiram, his death, interment, and raising. Perhaps the Orient Freemasons may be disposed to go further back than Solomon's Temple and insert the name of Osiris as at first in their Mysteries."
In support of this theory Mr. Palmer points to a number of items in the Masonic ceremonies identical or nearly identical with the same kind of things in the old Egyptian rituals.
In this same connection the author's note on "The Origin of Freemasonry" (page 101) is good to be quoted in full:
"There appear to be only three theories to account for the resemblances in Masonry to the Egyptian Mysteries - resemblances which are too numerous to be accidental.
"1. The Mysteries of Egypt must have been in continuous operation through the ages and have later been reconstituted in Masonry.
"2. Masonry deliberately borrowed much of its workings from Ancient Egypt without any continuous lineal descent.
"3. The Egyptian Mysteries, after having formed the basis of the Eleusinia of Greece and probably of the Roman Collegia, having ceased to be represented, have continued to inform or inspire secret societies, which have transmitted some of the ancient workings to the Masonry of today.
"With regard to the first of these theories, it is known that the Egyptian Mysteries ceased to be celebrated. When they were definitely abandoned is doubtful. The Edict of the Emperor Theodosius, A. D. 373, abrogating all other religions but Christianity, was opposed by the wealthy and powerful Sacred College of Philae, and it is known that the Mysteries of Osiris and Isis were celebrated on that island as late as A. D. 453. The votive inscriptions on the walls of the temple prove it. So we can definitely affirm that the old workings were in existence at that date, if not afterwards.
"With respect to the second theory, it is sufficient to say that Masonry is known to be of ancient derivation, and some of the resemblances are such that they would not suggest themselves for adaptation: some of them being too trifling, while others imply a knowledge of Egyptology which has only been obtained recently, and long since the Masonic Fraternity has been formed.
"Champollion deciphered the Rosetta Stone about the year 1820, and the first Lodge of Speculative Freemasonry is stated to have been founded about A. D. 1700.
"The third theory is the one which commands the support of all the best authorities. Herodotus states the Grecian Mysteries were derived from the Egyptian. In a similar way other and later bodies received the tradition, and a study of the various occult societies of the Middle Ages might show the line of descent. Some of the Hierophants, after accepting Christianity, still acted as Stewards of the Mysteries, and, with some of the arcane knowledge, passed on, perhaps unconsciously, some of the forms which had their origin in Ancient Egypt. In the lapse of ages, however, much has been lost and much has been added. The Masonic tradition of some connection with King Solomon is very definite. It should be remembered that Moses was a priest of Heliopolis, one of the most ancient centres of the celebrations of the Mysteries in Egypt and he is stated in the Scriptures to have been instructed in ail the Wisdom of the Egyptians. Solomon also was probably an Egyptian initiate, as he married a daughter of the Pharaoh of his day. It is possible, therefore, that some of the Egyptian modes may have been indirectly transmitted by this line, through various other societies. The Keepers of the Mysteries, as St. Paul called them, would build new organizations, which they would inspire with the ancient ideals, involving the inclusion of some of the old forms and methods, to suit the needs of a new day. This implies, however, not adaptation or deliberate borrowing of the outer forms, but a transmission of some of the ancient workings to new foundations by the Custodians of the Ancient Mysteries."
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TRANSACTIONS OF THE SOMERSET MASTER'S LODGE, No. 3746. 1924
THE 1924 transactions of this research body are chiefly taken up by an article on the Royal Cumberland Lodge, No. 53, at Bath, much of which consists of excerpts from Minute Book No. VIII, running from October, 1818, to December, the very interesting period immediately following the union of the two rival Grand Lodges in England. There are some interesting illustrations of the Masonic Hall at Bath including a plan of the arrangement of the lodge room at its dedication. This shows the "lodge" in the middle (where the altar would be in an American lodge room) covered with white satin. By this "lodge" we are probably to understand the chart, or diagram, placed on a low stand, as is yet to be found at Bristol.
There is also an interesting account of an installation in 1827, when the Master elect was taken by the Master and Past Masters to an ante-room, where "a Lodge of Installed Masters having been opened in due Masonic Form....The accustomed ceremonies took place." After which "The Board of Installed Masters was closed, and the Brethren in Procession returned to the Lodge room" where the new Master was invested and installed. The noteworthy point is the hesitation between the phrase a "Lodge of Installed Masters," which was the earlier form, and a "Board" which is the present description in England and the British Empire generally. The real reason for changing the name was doubtless to discourage the idea that the "secrets of the chair" formed a degree, as the articles of Union had so specifically stated that pure ancient Masonry consisted only of three.
There is an exceedingly interesting account of some old MS. Royal Arch rituals belonging to Sincerity Chapter, No. 261, of Taunton, in Devonshire, by Comp. H. H. Hallett, the Scribe E. of the chapter. These show a form of work variant from the modern English arrangement, though much closer to that than to the American ritual.
Bro. J. W. Hobbs has collected into one place under the heading "Our Mediaeval Brethren" most if not all the principal and significant allusions to mediaeval architects and Master Masons. Much of this of course has been published many times before but it is a very useful article. We may remark the use of the word Ashlar, under the form "asselars" as apparently meaning, without qualification, stones squared and ready for the builder's use.
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WHY THE MASONIC LODGE?
GREAT TEACHINGS OF MASONRY. By H. L. Haywood editor of THE BUILDER. Published by George H. Doran, New York, as Vol. 11, M.S.A. National Masonic Library. For sale by National Masonic Research Society. Blue cloth, index, bibliography, 187 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.15.
AN observer of an inquiring turn of mind looking down from a circling airplane upon Main Street, anywhere in America, might reasonably ask himself, Why all this apparently aimless hurrying to and fro ? At intervals the streets are full of people madly dashing about. Presto! They become empty again. Everybody has disappeared somewhither. What has become of them? What objective induces folk thus to hurry from hither to yon ?
If our fancied observer seriously desired an answer to his question he would do well to come down to earth, take note of the place, time, and manner in which people assemble in groups and inquire under what leadership and for what purposes they come together. A community may best be judged by its groupments, its homes, churches, schools, places of business and amusement - in a word, its institutions - and by the manner and extent to which they are frequented; an individual, by the way, divides his time and thought among them. To make the point clear, one may ask oneself, What would Main Street be like if its schools, its churches or its lodges were incontinently sponged out of existence ? How would the lives of Dr. and Mrs. Kennicut and their neighbors be affected? Which brings us to our question, Why the Masonic Lodge?
One has only to walk with a limp to discover how many people have a touch of rheumatism now and again, and the fact that Freemasonry is the thing uppermost in my own mind may account for the number of questions that come to me, directly or indirectly, as to the worth-whileness of the Masonic Lodge.
I don't know how many Masons of more or less prominence in public life, whom I have approached to act as speakers or in connection with civic work, have admitted that they rarely enter a Masonic Lodge unless invited to make an address. One of my oldest friends, a man active in affairs, was made a Mason at the same time as myself. I venture to guess that he does not attend lodge once a year. Another, the president of a thriving business enterprise, now in his second year as a Mason, tells me that he does not yet see what inducement there is to attend lodge at all!
All of these men value their membership in the Fraternity very highly. They pay their dues. They could in no wise be indeed to dimit. Yet they do not appreciate the activities of the lodge enough to attend its meetings. Nor is their attitude different to that of three-quarters or more of the Fraternity For lodge attendance continues to hover around 20 per cent And the number of unaffiliates grows apace.
Doubtless the World War, or its aftermath, has called into question the worth-whileness of Freemasonry along with that of every other human institution. Perhaps the many hundreds of thousands of men who have been made Masons during and since the war are voicing this query. Maybe the great Masonic temples and memorials that are rising upon every hand art provoking inquiries. Possibly our feasting, dancing and gratulation are attracting a dubious attention. At all events, unless I am the more mistaken, the number of persons is increasing both within and without the Fraternity whose attitude toward the Craft has in it an element of dubiety, if not of challenge.
As to the public, possibly the traditional attitude of silence and secrecy is still justifiable. Possibly not. Opinions will differ on that question. As to all who are entitled to Masonic light, there can be no two opinions. Every Master Mason should be able intelligently to state the reasons for the faith that is in him. All should receive enlightenment to the uttermost degree.
The need of the hour and the man of the. hour have happily met in the publication by the editor of THE BUILDER of the most recent, the most acceptable and, one is tempted to say, the only adequate answer to challenging inquirers, The Great Teachings of Freemasonry, which appeared as a volume of the National Masonic Library.
The joyous and refreshing appeal of this particular volume is not merely its newness. A number of Masonic books of exceptional merit have recently appeared. The extraordinary virtue of this book is its modern-mindedness. Here at last is a book on Masonry that a business man, a mechanic, a school teacher, a society woman, can read with pleasure and understanding. This book any ordinary person would be disposed to leave lying about the living room or take upon a journey, or recommend casually to a friend, and could do so without suspicion of being a propagandist. Haywood's Great Teachings, in short, is a plain, simple, straightforward contribution to current literature. The subject is one in which the general public is, and has a right to be, genuinely interested. The style is pitched upon a literary plane distinctly above the ordinary, but is withal so simple that a child can understand it. Here is a book equally as interesting to a profane as to a member of the Craft.
Bro. Haywood faces squarely the question: "Why the Masonic Lodge?" or, in his phrase; "What is it all about ? " He ! explains with sweet reasonableness and engaging candor why Masonry employs ritual and symbolism, the meaning of initiation and secrecy, and the Masonic theory of the good life. The fact that Masons meet upon the level leads him naturally to show why Freemasonry is the champion of liberty and democracy. He makes clear how the brotherhood of man, as understood by Freemasons, underlies their attitude toward religion and gives the Craft its universality as a world-wide institution. He points out that belief in the brotherhood of man implies faith in the Fatherhood of God and in the endless life, and shows how naturally brotherly love expresses itself in brotherly aid and charity. The Masonic conception of human nature as educable finds expression in the motto of the Fraternity, “Let there be light.” This affords a firm basis for the comprehensive interest of the Craft in all means and agencies for education, especially the American free public school system. The lodge itself is depicted as a school for the inculcation of the "Great Teachings" of the Fraternity. Thus the very table of contents of this noteworthy addition to our literature lends itself to simplicity of exposition and comes home, in the phrase of Bacon, to men's business and bosoms.
Liberty, democracy, industry, religion, brotherhood, charity, education - what more significant or more timely watchwords could be selected for an institution which numbers millions of members in its world-wide distribution and takes rank with the home, school and the church as among the most universally present and active institutions in American life! Each peals out like a bugle call a challenge to worthwhile service. Each is eloquent, not only of individual self-expression and self-development - character building - but also of social and civic cooperation for the common weal.
The question whether the Craft is discharging its full responsibilities to its members, to community, state and nation, and to mankind, has been generally agitated during and since the World War, and there has arisen in certain quarters a strong demand for "direct action." Attention is called to the prestige, number, wealth and potential influence of the Craft, and it is argued that steps should be taken to line up on a united front, bring about effective mass action in favor of those things for which Freemasons traditionally stand - such, for example, as the improvement of the public schools - and bear down opposition. Conservative brethren, on the other hand, call to mind the landmarks prohibiting political and sectarian discussion under lodge auspices and deprecate departure from the time-honored routine of the standard work.
Nothing could be more timely, or helpful, to progressives and conservatives alike, than a fresh analysis and interpretation of Masonic fundamentals in the light of modern scholarship and present day conditions. The most extreme schools of Masonic opinion can find common ground in Bro. Haywood's presentation of the great teachings of the Craft. Each will be helped to see the other's point of view. All will be enabled to stand together on his broad platform and continue working in fraternal harmony and brotherly love for the common weal.
The educational programs of the National Masonic Research Society and the Masonic Service Association, and of the various Grand Lodge Bureaus organized under their inspiration or auspices, have enormously increased the demand among lodges for Masonic speakers. One of the most serious problems in connection with this effort is that of supplying in sufficient number speakers who can be relied upon to keep their remarks within due compass and square them by the ancient landmarks. No book yet published could be more helpful in clarifying the mind of a- speaker, or more useful in the preparation of Masonic addresses, than Haywood’s Great Teachings. May it find its way into the hands of all who have occasion to counsel and direct the Craft.
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THE FAMOUS CALIPH
THE CALIPH OF BAGDAD. By Sylvanus Cobb, Jr. Published by The Masonic News, Detroit, Mich. May be purchased through National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. 8 vo., 224 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.15.
THE keen interest with which this story was read as it appeared serially in The Masonic News clearly demonstrated that it should be issued in book form. The Caliph of Bagdad was originally published in serial form in the New York Ledger, in 1868, under the title of The Mystic Tie of the Temple, and created a demand which justified the publishers in putting out a large edition in book form. Although there were several subsequent reprints it eventually became out of print and very hard to procure, and the present republication in The Masonic News and in book form has again offered an opportunity to read one of the best works of fiction by this popular writer.
The scene is laid in Bagdad in the ninth century, and like all the stories of Bro. Cobb, the plot is exceedingly strong.
Dagon, the hero, returning to Bagdad, his native city, impelled by a desire to relieve the distress which has been caused by the tyrannical Caliph. He comes from Jerusalem, where he has been a Brother of the Mystic Tie, but in Bagdad he finds the conditions have made it necessary for the Brotherhood to use the fraternal principles and practices to an extent he had not conceived. The adventures and thrilling incidents which Dagon and his associates undergo before the story reaches the satisfactory climax make it a fascinating and most delightful tale.
To all this is added a thread of Masonic interest, bringing out the true spirit of fraternity and making it not only splendid fiction, but also one of the best Masonic stories that has been written.
After finishing the work for humanity they were engaged on in Bagdad, we became curious as to what became of them.
"Do you ask what became of the Brotherhood of the Cryptic Temple? Their institution was founded upon the eternal principles of Brotherly Love and Truth; and it found a support in the hearts of men which neither the lapse of time nor the hand of adversity could overcome. It lives today, as it lived then; and were Gedaliah of the olden time to drop this evening into our Temple, he would find his work well carried on. He could meet us on the Level, and he could leave us on the Square."
Silas H. Shepherd.
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MYSTICISM IN MATHEMATICS
MYSTICISM IN MODERN MATHEMATICS. By Hastings Berkeley. Published by Oxford University Press: New York, 1910. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Blue cloth, index, 264 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.95.
FREEMASONRY was traditionally said not only to be founded upon, but synonymous with geometry. Geometry was the branch of mathematics first to be at all fully investigated. Not until comparatively modern times was algebra evolved from arithmetic; but its development has been so far reaching that now geometry takes a subordinate place; its propositions become but special cases of algebraic formulae. It is refreshing to those who have struggled in school and college to grasp what it was all about to come across a serious criticism of the fundamental positions of mathematicians.
What the author would have us understand by mysticism is the apparent tendency of mathematical writers to suppose that their symbolic conventions really lead to new conceptions of quantity and space, wider and more general than those of common sense. This he insists is pure illusion. He shows to begin with that the term "algebraic quantity" gives us no wider idea of what "quantity" means but is simply shorthand for two separate conceptions, quantity proper and the direction in which it is measured. In the same way he criticises, in the most illuminating manner, imaginary roots to equations; imaginary quantities; imaginary points; points at infinity; and finally the non-euclidean systems of geometry which lead to suppositions and wonderful properties of space that cause parallel lines to meet, and straight lines to return upon themselves like circles if carried far enough. The book, however, though clearly written, and not requiring any more than an elementary acquaintance with the subject, will be of interest chiefly to those who have studied the subject and have felt like a friend of the author, who told him that he had abandoned the study “because," as he expressed it (with an obviously intentional touch of humor), he found that "it required a kind of low cunning which he was destitute of."
"Read for today, read for tomorrow, but - today and tomorrow - to develop the habit of keeping in touch with what the world is thinking and doing, lest that day come which finds us marooned, isolated, side-tracked, dead but not buried.” – John Adams Love.
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A NEW BOOK BY DUDLEY WRIGHT
DRUIDISM, THE ANCIENT FAITH OF BRITAIN. By Dudley Wright. Published by E. J. Burrows & Co., London, England. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Green cloth, 7 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches. Illustrated, index, 192 pages. Price, postpaid, $9.20.
THIS deals with Druidism under the following heads: origin and creed; initiatory ceremonies and priesthood; the bards; magic; monuments, festivals; and finally its relationship to other religions. The work is very largely a collection of facts, statements and opinions drawn from all quarters. Viewed in this light it is of very considerable value, though the student will find the lack of exact references very annoying. The reader, however, who is only seeking a general impression will find a very full account of most of what is known, and also a great deal that has been conjectured, about the religion of the Ancient Britons, set out in a clear and readable narrative.
As a matter of fact there is really very little certainly known about the Druids. It is very probable that such brief accounts as we have of them in the classical authors are not very much more to be relied on than eighteenth century allusions to the "Brachmans" of India and the Sages of Persia. They were made under quite analogous circumstances, by highly cultured writers theoretically admiring the simple life without attempting to live it. But if the classical accounts must be received with caution, later accounts can hardly be accepted as of any value at all.
Modern research following the comparative method, and using critically such records as have come down to us in conjunction with surviving folk customs, and parallel material from elsewhere, would lead us to a very different picture of the Druid religion than the traditional one. The Druids and Bards were probably more like "medicine men," "Shamans" and "witch doctors" than the venerable philosophic priesthood that we have had pictured in the past. It is not at all likely that Druidism was a monotheism; it is far more likely that it was a fertility cult, holding in veneration a form of the universal earth mother, with a masculine satellite as husband or lover. Much of the religion was doubtless pure primitive magic. A special characteristic of the cult was the close organization of the Druids into a great gild or society - if one may trust the older accounts. Into this society the chiefs or rulers of the various tribes seem to have been incorporated. One is much struck by the parallelism that appears between this and some of the inter-tribal secret societies of West Africa.
It was a favorite hypothesis of earlier generations of Masonic students to suppose that Druidism was the original of Speculative Masonry. Fellows, who published his ''Mysteries of Freemasonry" in the first half of the nineteenth century, elaborated this theory in great detail and with considerable learning, though he was by no means the originator of it. He supposed that, after the suppression of the Druid organization by the Romans, a remnant of the survivors continued it in secret under various disguises, the later one being that of a craft gild or society. He assumes that the Royal Arch was the culminating revelation in which a few well tested initiates had the true purpose and meaning of the society revealed to them. Unfortunately for this supposition, though Fellows is not to be blamed for ignorance at the time he wrote, the system of seven degrees (the Blue Lodge and Chapter), which he fitted into a Druidic dress, was very far from ancient, was not indeed when he wrote a century old. Even the three Symbolic Degrees in their present arrangement do not go further back than 1730.
Nevertheless, there may be a kernel of feet under all this speculation. Druidism was the indigenous cult of the original people of Britain and Western France, and indigenous religions have a way of leaving traces in all sorts of unexpected quarters. Speculative Freemasonry certainly originated in Britiain whatever relation its mediaeval forerunner may have had with similar organizations in France and Germany. And finally there is much in Druid rites and ideas that has a direct counterpart in the archaic survivals of Masonic ritual. While there is not the slightest reason for supposing that the craft organization was a lineal descendant of the Druid gild, yet it is by no means impossible that certain traditions may have come down front Druid times and been incorporated into Masonic forms, not consciously or deliberately; but as part of the mental furniture and cultural atmosphere of the social strata from which the early Operative Masons were drawn. At least the Masonic reader of Dudley Wright's book will find many curious coincidences. It is a great pity that such a book could not have been made more useful by the addition of references and authorities and a little more critical discrimination in presenting the material
R. J. Meekren.
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CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON, A STUDY OF SEMITIC CULTURE. By Phillips Endecott Osgood. Published by the Open Court Publishing Company: Chicago: 1910. A limited number may be purchased from the National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Paper, illustrated, 69 pages. Price, postpaid, 75 cents.
THIS monograph contains a most interesting re-construction of Solomon's Temple, together with a discussion at the reason for, and meaning of, its various parts.
The author is very modest in his estimate of his attempts. "I do not claim," he says (p. 30), "to have found a solution which will set the discussion at rest," but only "to add to the collection a reconstruction I have not been able to find, but which seems just as probable as any. Certainty is happily beyond the reach of any man." (One must suppose here that he meant "unhappily" and not "happily" as he is made to say by the printer.)
His method of approach is first to consider the character of the Hebrew religion at the time of King Solomon. He takes the widely accepted theory of the gradual evolution from a primitive form of worship in patriarchal times to the lofts monotheism of the prophets and post-Exilic writers, and notes that Solomon's time stands between the two. Then he collects; all available information regarding the temple types of early eastern Mediterranean civilizations, and of the later and derived forms in Phoenicia. Then he glances briefly at the temple construction of Egypt and its essential features, and then comes to a consideration of the actual descriptions and measurements of the temple as given in the Old Testament and in Josephus.
The outstanding feature of his reconstruction is that the Middle Chamber was really a small open court with a peristyle running around it. One is naturally inclined to dissent from this at once; but after reading the arguments in favor of it, it is difficult to maintain that the author may not be right.
He then discusses the ornamental features, and their origin and significance, their connection with very primitive religious ideas, and their possible idealization at Jerusalem. With respect to this part of his work it is possible to think that the author has not allowed sufficient weight to the early Mediterranean cultures, Mycenaean and Minoan, which the most recent discoveries show to be almost certainly a continuous development from neolithic times, and possibly quite as old, if not older than the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. And this civilization had always precisely the same type of religion that is found in Asia Minor and Palestine as far back as we can go; and which survived in Greece, amid other and alien deities and ideas of worship, right up to Roman times. But into this one can hardly go further here. The book, though small, is a most valuable one. The argument is clear, is well supported by evidence so carefully and critically employed that it is hard to find a doubtful point that is not noted by the author himself. The references are fully given, and a good working bibliography is appended. The only fault one can find is with the proof reading. One probable error has already been pointed out. There is an unnecessary "e" in "peristylar" on page 19, while on page 13 "stone" is turned into "store" in two consecutive sentences. But these are trifling blemishes in a monograph that should be of great interest to Masonic readers.
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"WHAT SHALL I READ?"
ON "CULTURE" AND "A LIBERAL EDUCATION." By Jesse Lee Bennett. The Arnold Company: Baltimore. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Board, 92 pages. Price postpaid, $1.60.
WHAT shall I read? It is not difficult to answer that question if one reads for amusement, merely to pass the time. But what of the man who is conscious of leaving a mind in his head and wished to bring that mind under the influence of the best minds of the race, and of "the best that has been thought and said in the world?" The selection of books then becomes a more difficult task.
Mr. Bennett has undertaken, and that with brilliant success, to act as father and guide for such as these, who seek for culture as well as amusement when they read. Not that culture is a stiff forbidding thing to be done under compulsion! Far from it! Mr. Bennett makes it plain by every artifice of emphasis that nothing is more delightful, or even more exciting.
But he has done more than that. Under the general heads of history, science, philosophy, belles-lettres, travel, archaeology, poetry, polities, the fine arts, etc., he has laid out a series of lists, mostly of new books, reinforced by a battery of sparkling comment and such advice as only a man can give who knows what he is talking about. The reader who follows him will have his exceeding great reward: he also will come to know what he is talking about on almost every subject about which one may care to talk.
What to Read in Masonry
ON MASONIC PHILOSOPHY
ON the opening page of his Lectures or) the Philosophy of Masonry, Bro. Roscoe Pound briefly defines Masonic philosophy as "the science of fundamentals," also as "organized Masonic knowledge," and then throws the problem of that branch of Masonic learning into the form of three questions: "What is the nature and purpose of Masonry as an institution?" "What is - and this involves what should be - the relation of Masonry to other human institutions, especially to those directed toward similar ends?" "What are the fundamental principles by which Masonry is governed in attaining the end it seeks?"
Bro. Pound approaches these questions indirectly by means of a critique of four eminent Masonic teachers - William Preston, Karl Christian Friedrich Krause, Dr. George Oliver, and Albert Pike - and concludes with a contribution of his own in the shape of a chapter on "A Twentieth-Century Masonic Philosophy: The Relation of Masonry to Civilization." In prosecuting these designs he shows Wm. Preston to have held that knowledge is the aim of the Masonic life: "By making the lectures epitomes of all the great branches of learning, the Masonic lodge may be made a school in which all men, before the days of public schools and wide-open universities, might acquire knowledge, by which alone they could achieve all things." Krause looked upon the Fraternity as a social institution, like government, church, and school, the aim of which is to secure and preserve social order: "Thus, he conceives that Masonry is working hand in hand with church and state, in organizing the conditions of social progress: . ." To Oliver the great end of Masonry was religion: "What is the end of Masonry, for what does the institution exist? Oliver would answer, it is one in its end with religion and with science. Each of these are means through which we are brought into relation with the absolute." Albert Pike made a metaphysical approach: "To him Masonry is a mode of studying first principles and its end is to reveal and to give us possession of the universal principle by which we may master the universe."
In Ye Editor's own little book entitled The Great Teachings of Masonry an elementary approach to a philosophy of Masonry was made by a different method. The fundamentals and principles of the Craft were released from their context in ritual, law and custom and expounded as separate ideas, from a modern point of view, in non-technical language. The fundamental idea underlying the eighteen chapters in that volume was that Freemasonry is an actually existing institution, now at work in a world fundamentally changed from that world of the eighteenth or earlier centuries when it came into existence in its present form; and that the task of Masonic thought now is, What is the aim of Masonry in modern society ? What does it mean, or what may it be made to mean according to present modes of thinking? The presupposition behind this study was that Freemasonry is a vital organism, not a stereotyped mechanism, and like all living things must adjust itself to changed and changing conditions, else it perish.
Upon considering such matters, how important they are, and how necessary it is that they be understood lest the Fraternity go off on false tracks and waste its energies, it is occasion for surprise that there is not a larger literature in the English language on Masonic philosophy. Such, however, is the melancholy fact. One may comb through all the lists now extant but will find no more than a handful of works dealing with Masonic philosophy per se. This feet is recommended to the attention of reflective Craftsmen, more especially to such-as have some literary ability; opportunity calls loudly to authors in this field.
But while there are few books that deal with Masonic philosophy properly so-called, as does Bro. Pound's own memorable work, there are a number that treat of it incidentally, or from special points of view. To this group belong those studies that interpret Freemasonry as a form of mysticism, occultism, or Rosicrucianism; and those collections of essays - such as were written by Bro. J. T. Lawrence in which Masonic principles are expounded separately. A number of these - and some of very doubtful value - have been included in the list below.
A review of all such books, in addition to the periodical literature on the same general theme, will disclose the fact that thus far almost no writer has attempted a sociological study of Masonry. This hiatus is difficult to account for, all the more so in view of the current interest in sociology. Surely there is need for such a work! Freemasonry is a public institution; it has influenced the social order in which it exists, and in turn has been influenced by that milieu; it is therefore a proper theme for sociology, the science that deals with all forms of social organization.
American interpreters of Masonry usually take their point of departure from history and jurisprudence; as a result they arrive at conclusions, often, that appear to leave Masonry in a social vacuum, as if it were a thing unrelated to other social organizations in its own world; and as if it could live and work untouched by the influences of its environment. This partial, and even parochial, philosophy of the nature and purposes of Masonry would receive a needed correction frame thoroughgoing and scientific Masonic sociology. Such a study should appeal to professional sociologists themselves, most of whom habitually overlook the fraternal institutions in American life.
Ancient Freemasonry, Frank C. Higgins.
Ancient Mystic Oriental Masonry, Dr. R. S. Clymer.
Arcana of Freemasonry, Dr. Albert Churchward.
Brothers and Builders, Joseph Fort Newton.
Builders of Man, J. G. Gibson.
Builders, The, Joseph Fort Newton.
Ethics of Freemasonry, The (Little Masonic Library), Dudley Wright.
Ex Oriente Lux, Alfred H. Henry.
Freemasonry, Its Aims and Ideals, J. S. M. Ward.
Freemasonry. Its Symbolism, Religious Nature and Law of Perfection, Chalmers I. Paton.
Freemasonry: What, Whence, Why, Whither, Sir John A. Cockburn.
Genius of Freemasonry, J. D. Buck.
Golden Remains of Early Masonic Writers, George Oliver.
Gospel of Freemasonry, Bascom B. Clarke.
Great Teachings of Masonry, H. L. Haywood.
Historical Landmarks and Other Evidences of Masonry Explained, George Oliver.
Illustrations of Masonry, William Preston.
Keystone, The, John T. Lawrence.
Lectures on the Philosophy of Freemasonry, Roscoe Pound.
Masonic Initiation, W. L. Wilmshurst.
Masonic Problems, The, J. G. Gibson.
Masonry and Society, J. G. Gibson.
Master's Lectures, The, Worshipful Master of Evans Lodge, No. 524, Illinois.
Master's Wages, A (Little Masonic Library), Carl H. Claudy.
Meaning of Masonry, W. L. Wilmshurst.
Meaning of Masonry, The (Little Masonic Library), Albert Pike.
Men's House The, Joseph Fort Newton. Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike.
Mystic Masonry, J. D. Buck.
Old Past Master, The (Little Masonic Library), Carl H. Claudy.
Origin and Antiquity of Freemasonry, Albert Churchward.
Origin and Evolution of Freemasonry, Albert Churchward.
Perfect Ashlar, The, John T. Lawrence.
Philosophical History of Freemasonry, Augustus C. L. Arnold.
Rationale and Ethics of Freemasonry, Augustus C. L. Arnold
Religion of Freemasonry, Henry J. Whymper.
Science and the Infinite, Sidney T. Klein.
Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, A. E. Waite.
Speculative Masonry, A. S. MacBride.
Spirit of Masonry, William Hutchinson.
Star in the East, The, George Oliver.
Symbol of Glory, The, George Oliver.
Symbolic Teaching, Thomas M. Stewart.
Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry, George Oliver.
True Principles of Freemasonry, M.R. Grant
What is Freemasonry? Fred J.W. Crowe
THE QUESTION BOX
WANTED: COPY OF "THE CLIQUE"
We have had an urgent request from the library of the U. T. Grant Company, New York City, for a copy of the poem entitled "The Clique." This is believed to be a Masonic poem; the author is unknown. Information will be appreciated. Write to THE BUILDER.
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A SET OF MACKEY'S ENCYCLOPEDIA FOR SALE
I have for sale a set in perfect condition of The Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Albert C. Mackey, 1921 edition. Will be pleased to communicate with any brother who may be interested.
J. P. St. Clair, Belen, N. Mex.
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ANOTHER EMPLOYMENT BUREAU
Please add to the list of Employment Bureaus published on page 127 of THE BUILDER for April the following:
Masonic Free Employment and Service Bureau of Brooklyn and Long Island, Inc.; office, Brooklyn Masonic Temple, 317 Clermont Ave., Brooklyn; Secretary, Ralph E. Moore, same address.
Henry D. Cotter, Brooklyn, N. Y.
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ROBERT COMYNS AS A PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER
May I suggest that you insert on page 87 of THE BUILDER for March last the following addition to Bro. Haywood's list of Provincial Grand Masters:
In 1737 the Earl of Darnley appointed Captain Robert Comyns as Provincial Grand Master for Cape Breton and Louisburg and renewed his appointment under date of 1738 with the words "excepting such places where a Provincial Grand Master is already appointed." The appointment was revived by Lord Cranstoun in 1745.
Reginald V. Harris, Halifax, Canada.
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WANTED: INFORMATION ABOUT THE GAVEL
I am desirous of learning when the gavel was first introduced into an American legislative gathering, to be used by the presiding officer. Tradition and the information I have gathered seem to indicate that the gavel was brought in by one of our presiding officers from his Masonic Lodge. I shall greatly appreciate any information that a reader can furnish me on the subject.
William Wright, care Yale University Press,
522 Fifth avenue, New York, N. Y.
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COMPLETE SET OF "THE SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST" FOR SALE
For sale a complete set of The Sacred Books of the East published by the Oxford University Press. This set is bound in three-quarter morocco, gilt top, and is really a most exceptional buy for anybody who is interested. Ten of the volumes are entirely out of print, and if they can be obtained at all. command high premiums. Will furnish price and all other particulars on request. Address
H.V.C., c/o THE BUILDER
1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo.
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MASONIC RELIEF AND EMPLOYMENT BOARD, WICHITA, KANSAS
In the list of Masonic Relief and Employment Bureaus published in THE BUILDER, April, 1925, page 127, I do not find mention of our own Relief and Masonic Board of Wichita, Kans. Up to the end of last February our Board had placed in various positions 682 brethren, during March it placed 112. Our secretary is Bro. Joseph L. Kirk: the manager of our Employment Department is Bro. Frank W. Brown.
Carl Klein, Wichita, Kans.
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WANTS INFORMATION ABOUT "THE ORDER OF TRUE KINDRED"
I am searching for some data regarding the history and origin of "The Order of True Kindred." I have been connected with this Order and have been trying to learn something about its beginnings, but thus far my information has proved indefinite. I have searched the library but at this time have not been able to learn anything except that which is said in Mackey's Encyclopedia under "Heroine of Jericho" and "Good Samaritan," which are degrees in the Order, but the Order itself is not dealt with so far as I can learn. Any information about this subject will be most welcome.
Albert W. Trippensee, 2041 Atkinson Ave., Detroit, Mich.
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MORE ABOUT DANIEL BOONE AS A MASON
I can add another item to the discussion of Daniel Boone as a Mason published by you on page 190 of THE BUlLDER for June last. In digging among old Kentucky archives in search for materials for a story of Masonry in Kentucky I came across an interesting record. On page 32 of Allen's History of Kentucky (1872) appears this: "The procession was accompanied by several military companies and the Masonic and Odd Fellow Fraternities in rich regalia." This excerpt is from a description of the ceremonies attending the re-interment of Boone's remains on Sept. 13, 1845, in Frankfort, Kentucky, following their removal from Missouri. The account also says that the funeral oration was delivered by Honorable John J. Crittenden, who will be remembered as a Mason and as a Governor of Kentucky. I think we are safe in claiming Boone to have been a Mason in view of all that has come to light so far, although not of a definite nature.
Henry Baer, Ohio.
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ON DISCLOSING THE BALLOT
If in the ballot on an application to join the lodge a black ball is found, and a brother afterwards says that he east it, is he liable to have proceedings taken against him for violating the secrecy of the ballot?
A. H. T., Georgia.
This depends entirely on whether there is any specific law on the point in the jurisdiction concerned. But though in some jurisdictions it is definitely held to be an offense this would seem to be a real reductio ad absurdum. There is always a tendency for a law or regulation to become an end in itself quite regardless of its purpose, and this is a ease in point. The common law, as one may term it, of Masonry, is that the members of a lodge should be agreed before a candidate can be admitted. There are many ways in which agreement can be reached, and the simplest is for the presiding officer to ask for any objections. The indications are that this method was often employed in the early days. But for obvious reasons a secret method of expressing opinion would in many eases be found advisable, and the simplest mechanism for this was the ballot box. But though this means of reaching a decision came to be practically universal, and was gradually made a matter of legislation and minute regulation, it was all in the interests of the brother who was adverse to the proposal, but who for personal reasons, good, bad or indifferent, did not want it to be known. It was with this in view that Mackey, Morris and other writers on Masonic jurisprudence laid down the canon that no one has a right to say he did not east a black ball; for if all who were favorable thus revealed how they voted, the objecting brother would be discovered by a process of elimination, and the purpose of the ballot, which is to protect him, nullified. That is to say the whole paraphernalia of the ballot box and the rules and regulations concerning it serve no other purpose than the protecting of a brother Mason's personal secret. But it remains his secret, and not that of the lodge or the Craft, and if he chooses to reveal it, that is his own affair entirely, and except where Grand Lodges have legislated to the contrary, he is at perfect liberty to do so, and even there it is his right to do so though his Masonic rulers have mistakenly it from him.
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THE SYSTEM OF SWEDENBORG
Will you please give me a short sketch of the system of Swedenborg ?
C. J. M., Philippine Islands.
Swedenborg was a mystic whose logical and scientific mind led to the clothing of his visions in an extraordinarily complex, but on the whole consistent, material symbolism. The keynote of it all is that God is infinite love, and that only in love do his Creatures find their highest welfare and the true end of their being. There is little to be wondered at that in the period (1730-1780 roughly speaking) when Masons all over Europe were seeking to amplify and explain Masonry as an ancient system of occult wisdom, his doctrine should have been seized upon as material for the fabrication of "high" degrees. S. Beswick, in his work The Swedenborg Rite and the Great Masonic Leaders of the Eighteenth Century, gives an account of the rite in America in 1870, which he says consists of six degrees, comprising E. A., F. C. and the M. M., and three additional ones named Enlightened Freemasons, or Green Brother; Sublime Freemasons, or Blue Brother, and Perfect Freemason, or Red Brother. This work may be consulted but the historical assertions of the author must be used with great caution.
enable them to be easily turned. Their appearance on the Pillars seems to be due to a confusion with the ornamental curved capitals of the two Pillars of the Porch, as described in the Old Testament. The original speaks of a "crown" on the "chapiters," and the Rabbis explained this by a Hebrew word meaning "pommel," but which might also be translated "ball" or "globe." From this it was generally understood, until modern times, that the Pillars were of one of the Five Orders of Architecture, which as they were detached, bore on their capitals ornamental balls to finish them off. Actually it was the capitals themselves that are said to be curved or globular, being possibly on the model of the lotus columns of ancient Egyptian temples.
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POINT WITHIN A CIRCLE AND THE PARALLEL LINES
We have a Study Club in our lodge. At the last meeting a question was asked about the Point Within a Circle and the Two Parallel Lines and there was quite a discussion about it. Could you tell me in the Q.B. what is authoritatively known about this symbol, its origin and real meaning?
There was a discussion of this question in THE BUILDER in 1918 (Vol. IV, p. 206) and again in 1921 (Vol. VII, p. 172, and p. 367), but it can hardly be said that the matter was finally disposed of. The greatest number of those who have sought to elucidate the mystery have turned either to the occult or to druidical circles, sun worship and phallicism. One great advantage of symbols is that every man can extract his own meaning from them. In this ease there is undoubtedly a coincidence. The two pillars and stone circle, or similar emblem of primitive sex worship, is curiously parallel to the Masonic symbol; but there is no reason for believing that there is any connection between them. As a matter of fact there is no definite reference to it in the Masonic Rituals before the latter part of the eighteenth century. Preston speaks of the Two Parallel Lines; Browne of the Point Within a Circle; while Hutchinson may be referring to it when he derives the word "Mason" from the Greek mesouraneo, "I am in the midst of the heavens;" and adds, "which conjecture is strengthened by our symbols."
These authorities represent more or less independent lines of tradition, and this would throw the origin back several years at least. On the other hand there is no mention of it in the Ritual evidence of 1760, nor was it known at all in Europe if one may judge from negative evidence.
One possible hypothesis is that it is an abbreviated form of the diagram of the lodge. An early account describes this as a sort of ring containing a representation of K.S.T. and on the outside two pillars were drawn. The more likely explanation is simpler still. From the beginning of the eighteenth century at least Masons had referred to the “principles” of geometry, as a point, a line, a superfine and a solid, and this was doubtless not new. In early Masonic designs geometric diagrams appear evidently intended to represent these four, as also the angles, squares, horizontals, and perpendiculars referred to in the catechism. In one of these designs at least the figure representing the surface is a circle. What probably happened, when the elaborate moralizations of Masonic emblems came into vogue, was that a selection was made of these diagrams, and a "beautiful illustration" attached to them (as the stock phrase went) about the Sts. John and the Master Mason, while the rest went into the discard with much else that had survived from the seventeenth century.
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WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MASONRY?
Our first Grand Master, the wise King Solomon, said that “of the making of books there is no end." I have been reading a number about Masonry and I also see several Masonic magazines and I would like to ask a question, "Has Masonry any object or ideal?"
The question is a short one but it would require another book to give anything like an adequate answer, if an answer that would be accepted by all could be given. The most that we can do here is to give some indications as to how an answer might be found.
Just as a system of symbols, such as that employed by the Craft, may have certain quite obvious and simple and perhaps even superficial meaning while yet capable of more recondite significance and of combination in many different ways, so that each individual can find what he needs, so Freemasonry has certain simple and patent objects in view, and ideals to follow. In the first place it is a brotherhood; its members are bound to certain reciprocal duties and obligations. It is true that these are such as any just and upright man would carry out to all mankind, but as charity begins at home, so the lodge is a seed plot for benevolence and morality - or should be. It is something to be bound by a special obligation to perform our general duties towards some men, as the beginning thus made may lead, and in many if not most cases certainly does lead, to a more sensitive realization of our obligations to all men.
But again, Speculative Freemasonry is based on an Operative craft. The original organization was in the first place for the mutual benefit and protection of its members, as it is today in changed circumstances, but secondarily, and no less essentially, for the service of society in the building of houses for the dwelling of men and the erection of temples for the worship of God. Freemasons should still be builders in a Speculative sense. They should be always ready to discharge public and social duties, and to individually use their influence for the good of the community - and as a matter of fact to a very large extent they do.
This of course is all sufficiently obvious, and is probably not in the least the sort of thing the question refers to, which we suppose is rather directed to possible collective objects of the Craft as an institution. It is possible that any organization must have some kind of objective, conscious or unconscious, just as every living organism has. And just as the individual organism reacts and adapts itself to its environment, so Freemasonry being very much alive adapts itself to the social environment in which it is found. Every lodge in this sense, and every jurisdiction, may have its own objects or ideals, more or less variant from those of its fellows; and still more will they vary in different countries and among different races. In the British Isles the ideal would seem to be intimate personal friendship; and the object, active benevolence. In Europe it would seem that a definite action on society to realize the ideals of personal liberty, education, freedom of thought and speech were more the objective; and when an organization of men have such aims they will almost inevitably tend towards political action, even if the border line be not overstepped. What are the present characteristics of American Masonry it may be safer to let readers decide for themselves.
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ADD "MASONIC PROFICIENCY" TO OUR VOCABULARY
I note the difficulty you have expressed in the paragraph at the foot of page 51 of your February issue entitled, "A Vocabulary Wanted." I can with your desires because there are times when we all have trouble in fitting our stock of words to what we are trying to name.
The question which you raise is one that we have discussed at this office [The Masonic History Company]. I have never found the objection myself that some of my brethren have expressed as to the words "study" and "education." Both have deserved and occupy respectable places in Masonic literature but I have been somewhat surprised that a greater use is not made of the words "Masonic proficiency." This is the desired end of Masonic training and Masonic education and to me it has a somewhat better significance and has not the unpleasant connections that you have set forth in regard to the other two words mentioned in your article.
Our English brethren impress upon every candidate the necessity of making a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge, and I rather like this expression. The whole sentence sounds, as indeed it is, ritualistic, but many of my brethren might think it not sufficiently brief, and somewhat pedantic in style, at that.
However, "the progress in Masonic proficiency" is a fair substitute for it and "proficiency" is not a bad word to indicate what we are all aiming at.
I suggest that we make a larger use of it because it has, I dare say, been somewhat neglected in comparison with the two words that you have criticised and which have been, I am frank to admit, over-worked.
Robt. I. Clegg, Illinois.
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TWO LETTERS CONCERNING "ALLGEMEINES HANDBUCH"
I was very much interested in the article on "Prince Charles Edward Stuart, G. M.," written by W. Bro. J. E. Shum Tuckett of England for the May issue.
Regarding the Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei, which neither Bro. Tuckett nor Bro. Dring could find, I am pleased to identify this as Wolfstieg No. 1302. The work is fully described in the text of the first column, page 92, and in the notes practically filling the second column. The Handbuch is really a third edition of Lenning's Encyclopaedie der Freimaurerei, which appeared at Leipzig 1822-1828. The first edition contains nothing on the subject; the second edition, published 1863-1879 - and the one which Gould used - contains an article that was revised for the third and latest edition of 1900-1901.
Brethren able to use a German Masonic Encyclopedia will find the Allgemeines Handbuch a most excellent reference volume. I consider it an indispensable work, it contains articles on subjects not to be found in any other Masonic encyclopedia. A further reference to German works can be found in my article on pages 94-95 of the March, 1923, issue of THE BUILDER, entitled "German Masonic Writers."
J. Hugo Tatsch, Iowa.
May 18, 1925.
On page 146 of the May issue (1925) of THE BUILDER, in the article "Prince Charles Edward Stuart, G. M.", is a statement which one reads with surprise. It runs as follows: "Gould's authority is Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei, s. v. Stuart, Karl Edward, but neither Bro. Dring nor I can find it, and it is not in Wolfstieg's Bibliography."
The Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei is probably the best known, certainly the most scholarly Masonic encyclopedia in existence. It is listed in Wolistieg's Bibliographie der freimaurerischen Litteratur in Volume I, page 92, number 1302. The most recent (third) edition of the Handbuch began to appear in 1900, so R. F. Gould, writing in 1882, must have used the second edition (1863-1879), in which the articles on Charles Edward Stuart appear under Karl Eduard Stuart, Volume II, page 99, and following (here the v. Wachter matter), and under Stuart III and Stuart (Karl Eduard ), really two articles, in Volume III, page 336, and following, where the charter of the Arras chapter is given and much other information.
The unreliability of the character of v. Wachter is beyond all doubt, but one should also consider the fact, referred to in the last mentioned article in the Handbuch, that Charles Edward Stuart, the Pretender, was in later life a weak drunkard and financially dependent on an enemy of Masonry, the pope, and financially dependent on an enemy of Masonry, the pope, and may well have denied the Order.
Chester Nathan Gould, Illinois
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ON REGULATING ADVANCEMENT TO THE HIGHER DEGREES
Below are two letters that arrived too late to be included in the symposium "Should a Grand Lodge Regulate Advancement to the Higher Degrees?" published in THE BUILDER last month, on page 261:
At the Communication of the Grand Lodge of Utah held on Jan. 17 and 18, 1922, the following standing resolution was adopted:
RESOLUTION - SOLICITATION FOR HIGHER DEGREES
"No member of the Craft, within this Jurisdiction shall apply for or receive any Scottish Rite or Royal Arch degree until at least one year has elapsed since taking the third degree and before and until he shall have qualified himself in the catechism of the Master Mason's degree, provided that this section shall not apply to Masons who have received the third degree prior to Jan. 1, 1921. No Master Mason shall solicit for said higher degrees from any Mason who has not been a Master Mason in good standing for at least one year prior to such solicitation." ( Proc. 1922, page 46.)
This resolution was introduced by concerted action of the Masters of all the Salt Lake City lodges and I do not recall that there was any lengthy debate or discussion. Conditions in this Jurisdiction seemed to call for such regulation, and in my opinion the operation of the resolution has been beneficial both to the Blue Lodges and to the Royal Arch and the Scottish Rite bodies.
It is my personal opinion that it is both the inherent right and the duty of Grand Lodge to protect newly-made Master Masons from ill-advised importunities to hasten into the so-called "higher degrees," thereby often depriving such newlymade Master Masons of the opportunity and the desire to assimilate the teachings of the Blue Lodge.
B. R. Howell, Grand Master, Utah.
I wish to state that the Grand Lodge of New Mexico has never taken any action in regard to this. In my opinion a year's time should elapse between a candidate's receiving his Third Degree and his petitioning to a membership in Royal Arch or Scottish Rite bodies, but I think this action should be taken by these bodies in preference to the Grand Lodge.
Jaffa Miller, Grand Master, New Mexico.
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FOR A MASONIC BICENTENNIAL
The year 1930 will be the two hundredth anniversary of the establishment of Freemasonry in the territory which is now the United States of America. I assume that this is also the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Masonic Order in the New World, but shall ask some historian to verify that fact.
The credit for the introduction of Freemasonry in America is given to Daniel Coxe, of New Jersey, who was deputized by the newly organized Grand Lodge of England to organize the Craft in the Colonies. From this humble beginning the Order has now grown to a total strength of three million men.
The leaders of American Freemasonry should now begin, if they have not already done so, to plan for a fitting national or international celebration of this important bicentenary. A national committee, with representatives from every Grand Lodge, and from the York and Scottish Rite bodies should be formed to organize this celebration.
A Masonic World Congress should be held at some central point, or perhaps at the National Capital, with a Masonic exhibition or exposition in connection, showing the work of Freemasonry throughout the world.
We have five years to make this a worthwhile exhibition, five years to finish up work now under way, and five years in which to begin and carry through a program of constructive work which we shall be proud to exhibit to the world.
Every Grand Lodge should complete its orphanages, homes and schools and its institutions for the aged, and all other projects now under way or contemplated.
Most important of all, we should begin and carry to completion in the next five years, the plans for a chain of Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria, located to serve all parts of the country, built and maintained for the care of American Freemasons suffering with consumption. As pointed out in THE BUILDER of last December are 40,000 cases needing hospital treatment at all times and 5,000 deaths a year from this infectious disease.
Within five years we could raise the money needed, $12 500,000, to build ten hospitals with five thousand beds. We could build and equip them and open them to our suffering brethren. What better exhibition of practical Masonry could we show to the world ?
Nineteen-thirty should be a year of dedication. In that year we should dedicate a large number of new Masonic institutions to the service of Freemasons. And in that year we should dedicate American Freemasonry to a larger measure of service to the Craft, to each other, to mankind, and to God.
Robert J. Newton, Texas.
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WHO ARE CLANDESTINE?
Bro. Rowan tells us on page 88 of THE BUlLDER for March that a Mason is clandestine unless a believer in both God and the Bible. How then is it that New York maintains fraternal relations with Massachusetts? Bro. Hamilton on page 2 of THE BUILDER for January, 1925, tells us that while "every applicant must profess his belief in a Supreme Being . . . he may be obligated upon the sacred writings of his own religion. We hold that this meets the requirements regarding the Volume of the Sacred Law."
After all, is the requirement of a belief in God more than merely formal? Philosophers have agreed for years - and in the light of modern theological upheaval even the man in the street realizes - that the term "God" defies definition. Nor does Freemasonry dogmatically define any concept of T.G.A.O.T.U. Surely Emerson's pantheism is as acceptable to Masonry as the monotheistic Yaweh of Judaism. or the Trinity of the Episcopal Church. Just suppose for the purposes of argument that such a thing as an atheist could possibly exist, and further that such an intellectual monstrosity knocked at the door of the lodge. If this supposed candidate were actually an atheist it is quite probable that the answers to the constitutional interrogatories would be satisfactory but untrue. Who ever heard of a candidate denying a belief in God?
This talk of God and the Holy Bible confuses the issue! How simply Bro. Scudder puts it on page 99 of the April BUILDER when he says: "The conflict is not over God and the Holy Bible!" Bro. Scudder delineates the position of the Latin Freemason with such sweeping force that to paraphrase the Biblical passage I say: "Brother, brother, almost thou persuadeth me to become a Latin Freemason!"
We must face the gross, bald feet that Grand Lodges have not been actuated by spiritual motives to any great extent in determining questions of "regularity"; that the real question is one of territory and material is too well known to need discussion. In discussing this question Grand Masters are wont to express themselves in no uncertain terms. Witness the words of Bro. Beach recorded on page 9 of the 1923 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. In his report as Grand Master after touching upon the dissolution of the Spanish Grand Orient into seven regional Grand Lodges he goes on to say: "The moral influence of the Grand Lodge of Illinois and all other regular Grand Lodges should be exerted against the outrageous and impudent assumptions of this spurious spawn of the illegitimate Spanish Grand Orient." In the light of present usages of the Grand Lodge of Illinois the attitude of Bro. Beach is absolutely above criticism. The only comment on the matter appears in the Report of the Committee on Grand Master's Report at page 53, where it is said that the "portion of the Grand Master's Report pertaining to the Spanish Grand Orient is of no small moment and will require considerable serious thought and attention. This matter, therefore, is referred to the Committee on Jurisprudence." The Committee on Jurisprudence indorsed the sentiments of the Grand Master in their report at page 142, without comment. In the face of this there can be no doubt that Masons owing allegiance to the Grand Orient of Spain or any of its numerous progeny are clandestine.
As an Illinois Mason loyal to my Grand Lodge I not only admit the legal right of Grand Lodge to declare Masons clandestine but am jealous of that right. But as a Speculative Mason I am confused by having my right to hold Masonic fellowship with thousands of earnest Masons abolished, revived and abolished again for reasons little more than economic by a few brethren composing Grand Lodge committees.
Grand Lodge, the creature of the several lodges of Freemasons, has no purpose to exist other than to aid the lodge in its Masonic labors. The function of a Masonic lodge is not to confer degrees for a consideration, but is to furnish the Craftsmen with what is necessary to enable them to fit their minds as living stones for that spiritual temple, that honest not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. In the light of this it behooves Grand Lodges to devote more attention to spreading the cement of brotherly love and less to squabbles about what subordinate lodges shall be permitted to make Masons in a given territory and incidently collect the fees. This is a duty owed both to the great body of Masons and the innocent candidate seeking light at their hands.
Perhaps it is presumptuous on my part to comment in this decided fashion upon a question so adequately dealt with by such eminent brethren and W. A. Rowan and Townsend Scudder. Yet somehow I feel that as it is good for statesmen to get the sense of the people so it is wholesome for those high in the Fraternity to know the attitude of the humble Craftsman who sits on the side lines. Why not decide questions of recognition, which concern the rights of every Mason in both jurisdictions concerned, by the referendum? It was not so long ago in the history of the Fraternity when each Mason decided this question for himself. It would not be inconsistent with the theory of Grand Lodge Masonry nor with the Ancient Landmarks to refer these problems to the brethren laboring in the several lodges for decision. It would serve to clarify the whole situation, educate the average side liner and hasten the day when Masonic Universality will be realized in fact. God speed that day!
Roy W. Johns, Chicago, Ill.
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
The May number of THE BUILDER, devoted to English Masonry, brought forth more letters of congratulation than any number published during the past five years. All credit for this belongs to Bro. Gilbert W. Daynes, Associate Editor for England, who had the entire number in charge. We hope that Brow Daynes can find it possible to prepare another special number to cover English Masonry from 1813 to the present time.
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Bro. Sidney Morse has given us for free distribution a supply of his "The Golden Hour in Freemasonry." It is one of the most useful and interesting things of its kind that has ever been prepared. Write your name and address plainly and send along a two-cent stamp.
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Winter is our busiest season. It was so busy this year that Ye Ed. more than once felt like the rabbit, famous in song and story. Here is the latest version of the story:
Sambo: "The dogs and me almost got one old rabbit, but at the last moment he went and climbed a tree."
Sam: "But rabbits never climb trees."
Sambo: "By George, this one had to!''
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To which the following bit of homespun philosophy, taken with thanks from the cover of the May issue of the Virginia Masonic Journal, may be apropos:
What We Need!
A little more Kindness, and a little less Creed
A little more Giving, and a little less Greed,
A little more Laugh, and a little less Frown,
And a little more Helping a man when he's Down.
A little more "WE" and a little less I
A little more Laugh, and a little less Cry,
A few more Flowers along our pathways of Life
Instead of on our Graves at the end of the Stife.
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