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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 14 - number 12
Present Day Religious Questions
Does Freemasonry Help or Hinder Their Solution?
The Second of a Series of Discussions of Our Ancient Fraternity and Present Day Problems
BY BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
Author of Seeing Both Sides of Yourself
Bro. Hungerford in this series hopes to show Masons that there are two sides to the Institution to which they belong. We fully expect that the series will shock perhaps pain many good brethren, but the only way to escape judgment by the world, for men and for societies both, is to forestall it by self-criticism, and correction of that which needs amendment or modification.
THE problems of religion rightly demand first and foremost consideration in this survey, because they lie at the roots of all the other questions of the day, social, political, educational and commercial. The broad objective of religion, which is so frequently obscured by petty creeds and narrow doctrines, is to develop a common faith among mankind which will be the basis of mutual understanding, confidence and good-will. With this objective in mind, it may readily be seen why the finding of a solution for our religious problems will lead to the solving of the others which disturb men's relations, and hinder the advance of civilization.
Does any brother doubt or deny that the main motive behind most Masonic activities is, or should be, religious? Surely no one can dispute that the teachings of our ceremonials are chiefly religious. Then, it certainly is a fair question to ask to what extent and in what ways our Fraternity is cooperating with other religious institutions and agencies in solving the pressing problems of religion in the world today.
Religion is rather a ticklish topic to tackle, because it is such an intensely individual or personal proposition. Likewise, it is a somewhat difficult subject to define, because the term itself has many different meanings to different persons.
It was said above that religion should develop a common faith. We may go further and use faith as a synonym for religion, and this is the meaning we shall endeavor to maintain in the present discussion. Paul's statement to the Hebrews that "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" presents an excellent epitome of our conception of the term, religious faith. Patently, it deals with ideals, with considerations outside the purely physical realm.
Religion as the Answer to the Riddle of the Universe
In brief, I hold that man has formulated his religious faiths or beliefs in his attempts to answer these three great questions as to the meaning of life itself:
1. Is there a Divine Spirit animating the universe? Is there a Creative Power behind the laws of nature? Is there a God, with Whom man may commune and upon Whom man may depend?
2. What is man's place in this great universe? Is man a free moral agent? Is he the master of his fate? Can he make choices for which he should be held responsible, or is he "merely a puppet swayed by the chance winds of destiny?"
3. What takes place with the event called death ? Does man possess a soul that continues existence in a different realm? Is man's life immortal?
Handicapped by ignorance, shackled by superstitions, blinded by prejudices, through all the ages, man has been groping, blundering, struggling and stumbling on his way towards the light of truth on these questions.
The problems of religion are the inevitable outcome of this universal quest. For the quest is universal, even though some profess that they have found it fruitless, holding that life has no real meaning and man's faith has no real foundations.
As we briefly review three of the principal problems of religion at the present day, it will be apparent how and why these problems were developed out of the very nature of man himself during his long upward struggle towards the light.
The Use and Abuse of Religious Differences
The conflict of creeds and denominational warfare possibly, the basic problem of religion must not be regarded as an unmixed evil. With no desire to defend denominational dogmas, the fact cannot be escaped that the spread of religion has been due in a considerable measure to the spirit of competition fostered by the various religious sects. But, this is the only good word the writer cares to say regarding narrow denominationalism.
Chiefly, the results of dogmatic warfare have been a serious handicap to the progress of genuine religion and have resulted in many auxiliary problems which institutional religion is still struggling to overcome. From denominational competition have come the overchurched communities, still existing in many sections of the country, with under-paid and under-educated pastors whose bigoted behavior and ungodlike utterances often bring disrepute upon religion and subject it to the ridicule of its enemies.
Another consequence is the fact reported by many colleges and universities that the ministry is losing its appeal to educated men.
Narrow-minded creedalism, likewise, should be held chiefly responsible for the numerous fantastic religious fads and cults which have sprung up all over the world. Disgusted with dogmas and denominationalism, thousands have sought some sort of religious solace in these mystical societies of various classes and kinds, some of which, of course, are quite commendable.
Just as religious superstition is the inevitable outgrowth of ignorance, so blind adherence to dogmatic creeds breeds those twin iniquities, bigotry and intolerance. Recent events suggest that we should not boast too loudly about how far we have progressed towards religious tolerance since the days of whipping-posts and ducking-stools.
Action and Reaction Between Religion and Science
The second outstanding problem of religion is an offspring of tradition-bound and dogmatic creedalism. I refer to the foolish and futile conflict between religious superstition and the discoveries of science. There is no genuine justification for any issue being raised between science and religion, because each deals with a distinct realm of thought. The domain of science should be restricted to natural phenomena and things that can be weighed, measured and verified by facts. The realm of religion, on the contrary, is in the domain of faith, entirely outside the physical or material world.
It is just as absurd for a dogmatic scientist to profess that science can disprove the things we know by faith as it is for an unscientific man to challenge the demonstrated facts of science because some of these facts seem to bump up against some of his pet religious prejudices. On the whole, however, it seems worse for the bigoted scientist to pretend to prove something that he knows that science has never either proven or disproven. It is perfectly proper for a scientist to proclaim his personal faith or theory regarding the answers to any of the three principal questions that we hold to be the basis of religious faith. But, when any professed scientist pretends that these metaphysical questions can be proven or disproven by strictly scientific processes, we beg leave to doubt his right to the title of scientist.
God, the freedom of choice and immortality may be denied as not being capable of demonstration by scientific facts; but to pretend that this settles the case against the faith of mankind is an assumption as unfounded as it is pernicious. The scientist who attempts to maintain the position that there are no truths outside of those demonstrated by the already discovered facts of science has, to use an apt vulgarism, bitten off considerably more than he can chew.
Materialism the Triumph of Pessimism
This brings up the third and most serious problem of religion, namely, the menace of materialism. According to the writer's observation of current conditions, the conflict between sordid and, frequently morbid materialism and hopeful idealism outweighs all other problems of our times and constitutes a genuine menace to the progress of civilization. On all sides today you may hear from credulous youth and half-baked adults the parrot-like slogans of cheap cynicism coined by our professional pessimists.
Since materialism, in its final analysis, is simply the triumph of selfishness and, in our usage of the term, combines commercial policies or attitudes with its philosophic theories, we propose to give further consideration to this issue when we discuss the relation of Freemasonry to our business problems. Let it suffice, therefore, in our present discussion merely mention the matter and to state our opinion that religion seems to be making less headway in the conquest of this evil than is being made in other directions.
One thing appears quite certain in the relation of this particular problem to the attitude of modern youth; namely, that, unless institutional religion provides more substantial spiritual fodder than the petty sentimentality and wornout superstition that many so-called spiritual leaders are still peddling, the trend towards hedonism and crass materialism will not be turned back. Youth today demands a faith that does not run counter to reason and reality; even though our modern youth, like his predecessors in ages, still is a seeker after ideals. But the ideals of the intelligent youth of our times must be rooted in realities.
The Contacts Between Religion and Freemasonry
The superficial survey of our present day religious problems has given merely a fleeting glimpse of a tremendous subject. Our specific objective, however, does not require that we go deeply into this phase of the subject. All we need is a brief outline or background of the problems of organized or institutional religion to enable us to present our inquiry as to whether or not our own institution, which certainly has many religious characteristics, is doing its full share of service in cooperation with other agencies and institutions which are seeking the solution of these problems.
It may be well to remind our readers that the principal objective of this series of discussions is to raise questions rather than answer them. We are making no pretense of offering our own ready-made solutions for all the problems into which we may inquire. Rather is our intention to review all problems in the light of the challenge they present to Freemasonry. We do not intend to ignore any question that may be considered as a challenge of the times to our Fraternity simply because we are not prepared also to submit the answer to the question.
In brief, our specific aim is not to tell you something or "hand out" a few packages of information, but rather it is to challenge you, as a man and a Mason, to face the issues of the world today, from which Freemasonry cannot escape its due share of responsibility. As a world-wide fraternal institution, Freemasonry cannot avoid proper participation in all world problems.
Like the timid child who hides behind mama's skirts, many Freemasons try to escape all responsibility or even personal interest in religious problems, by pretending that the ancient landmark concerning the discussion of clearly sectarian issues might be disturbed by the participation of members of our Craft in the ways and means proposed for the solution of religious problems.
The attitude of Freemasons with regard to religious problems has been criticized, both justly and, in some ways, unjustly, from many different angles by many different religious leaders. It seems to me, however, that all the criticisms deserving of attention may be comprehended by three questions:
First, is Freemasonry antagonistic to the progress of institutional religion?
Second, is Freemasonry a competitor, attempting to provide a substitute for institutional religion?
Third, is Freemasonry in general indifferent to the welfare of institutional religion?
The criticism that Freemasonry is antagonistic to organized religion is not confined to Roman Catholics and certain division of the Lutheran denomination. I have heard ministers and religious leaders of other denominations denounce our Fraternity on this score. Likewise I have listened to the loose talk from members of our Craft which would amply justify such criticism.
Intolerance and Bigotry in the Sanctum Sanctorum
Unfortunately, it seems to me, the gates of our lodges are not barred against bigots. Nor does initiation into our Fraternity provide a remedy for intolerance. The most vociferous and pestiferous bigot I ever encountered was the Master of a lodge who was not content to practically disrupt his own lodge by his fault-finding ways and holier-than-thou behavior towards his brethren, but, as a Past Master, he managed to alienate the interests of a sufficient number of members from their lodge so that the group withdrew and formed a new lodge.
If I have rightly understood our ritual, I have never heard a better or bolder pronouncement against bigotry than the words which express the real Masonic viewpoint on religion. A bigot, I take it, is one who wants to force his particular religious viewpoints upon all others or who fails to respect the religious opinion of others.
Freemasonry should not be held accountable for the acts of some of its bigoted members. For instance, the Master of a lodge told me that I was not a good Mason because I voiced my hearty approval of the attitude taken by the Past Grand Master of New York State, Judge Arthur S. Tompkins, towards the Ku Klux Klan.
Bigotry may not be un-Masonic but it certainly is nonMasonic conduct. Surely there is nothing in the principles or teachings of Freemasonry which could possibly be regarded as antagonistic to religion in any way. But certain bigots, who have become Masons without being divested of their bigotry, have sometimes drawn this unjust criticism against the Craft.
Freemasonry Mistaken as a Substitute for Religion
Coming to our second question, we find a criticism that is not so easily defended. While I find no statistics on the subject, from my own observation and experience, I will freely admit that a very large percentage of our members apparently hold the opinion that the broad religious teachings of Freemasonry are superior to those of any church and that Masonry, therefore, provides a more than satisfactory substitute for any other religious organization.
For an excellent example to illustrate this viewpoint, you need only turn to the letter from Albert F. Block in the Question Box Department of the November number of THE BUILDER. Bro. Block very ably presents the views of one who regards the teachings of Freemasonry as the last word in religious belief. Frequently I have heard other brethren expound the same doctrines.
I doubt, therefore, if we can deny that many Masons do feel that all their religious requirements or obligations are fulfilled by their lodge membership. Whether we can justify this attitude is the real heart of the question. It seems to me that it is a question deserving of serious consideration. But, I am only asking or repeating it; not attempting to give the answer.
Perhaps the best way to present our third question is to change it a bit so that its application is personal instead of general. In brief, are you active in contributing personal endeavor as well as financial aid to the welfare of institutional religion? Certainly, many of our brethren can answer this question affirmatively. But, there are others. How many there are among the rank and file of our Fraternity who manifest no interest in any religious activity or institution would be hard to guess. But I venture the opinion that the number is by no means complimentary to our Craft.
Again let me repeat the point set forth in our initial article, namely, that the objective of this series is, first and foremost, to stimulate discussion so that we shall develop a genuine inquiry into the conditions and problems we are reviewing. Our purpose is to stir up sufficient interest so that more light will be thrown upon each subject under consideration.
Accordingly, I again urge every reader interested to contribute his views on any phase of each topic we take up. I have not made any attempt to draw conclusions or to make a complete presentation of all the issues involved in each subject we choose for consideration. My sole effort is to hit a few of the high spots and make my article suggestive rather than conclusive.
Why not make this a real Masonic forum, in which the vital problems of our world and our Fraternity are viewed from as many different angles as possible?
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
By BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN
(Continued from November)
WE have seen how Gould and Hughan had arrived at radically different interpretations of the real meaning of the terms Master and Fellow Craft in the first edition of Anderson's Constitutions. When such a difference of opinion arises it is fairly safe to conclude that other considerations, which may be entirely in the background, are the deciding factors. We will now have to consider the matter for ourselves in order to prepare the way to appreciate Gould's position, though we can do this, fortunately, by following the arguments of the latter scholar, collecting what he had to say upon the subject from different places.
He says, in regard to the Constitutions:
It is the custom of most people to consult a work of reference in its latest form. To this rule the Freemasons have not proved an exception, and the second edition of Anderson's Constitutions . . . was universally copied from and relied upon in preference to the first (1).
As was remarked above, so far as the second edition was the official code this was perfectly proper; but of course Gould has in mind its use as a source of historical information. In another place he says:
Until a few years ago this clause [of the 1723 Regulation XIII] was very erroneously interpreted, and the fundamental principle of literary criticism the principle that an author's meaning is to be read out of his words, and not into them was totally disregarded. All commentators seem to have determined what the author of the Book of Constitutions (transcribing the "General Regulations" of George Payne) ought to have said, and then they set themselves to prove that he practically said it (2).
This means that, from the time when all personal recollections of the transition period had disappeared, until Gould observed the curious discrepancies between Anderson's earlier and later statements, or at least until Findel advanced his iconoclastic theories, all Masonic authors took it for granted that there always had been three degrees, and that there was no significance in the variations of phrase in the first and second editions of the Constitutions, even if they so much as knew they existed. If anyone of them did notice it he deemed it of too little moment for mention.
Gould then went on to say that the General Regulations of 1721, as published in 1723, point "with the utmost clearness" to an arrangement
. . of two and not three degrees, the latter being the number which Dr. Anderson was supposed to have had in his mind when publishing his work of 1723. The simple fact being that the titles of Fellow Craft and Master Mason, which really meant the same thing in the phraseology of Scottish Operative Masons, were also used as words of indifferent application by the doctor in his "Book of Constitutions."
The passages in the Regulations which are here asserted to point so clearly to a system of two degrees are presumably such as the following:
Regulation XIII: The Treasurer and Secretary shall each have a Clerk, who must be a Brother and FellowCraft....
Another Brother (who must be a Fellow-Craft) . . . should be appointed to look after the door of the Grand Lodge....
Regulation XV: [The Grand Wardens being absent] the Grand Master . . . shall order private Wardens to attend as Grand Wardens pro tempore, whose places shall be supply'd by two Fellow-Crafts of the same Lodge. ......
Regulation XVIII: If the Deputy Grand Master be sick or necessarily absent, the Grand Master may chuse any Fellow-Craft he pleases to be his Deputy pro tempore.
Gould claimed "weighty authority" for this, as Payne, who compiled the Regulations in 1721, was elected Grand Master the year after the formal institution of the Grand Lodge in 1717, and he adds (3):
In my own judgment . . . it is not credible for an instant that the symbolism of Masonry was tampered with, and expanded at the only meeting of the Grand Lodge June 24, 1717 which took place before we find Grand Master Payne in the chair of that august body....
The "Charges of a Freemason" as "digested” by Anderson also contain several passages of the same character. In the fourth we read:
No Brother can be a Warden till he has pass'd the part of a Fellow-Craft; nor a Master until he has acted as a Warden, nor Grand Warden until he has been a Master of a Lodge, nor a Grand Master unless he has been a FellowCraft before his election.....
The last proviso seems to imply that in a Warden an Apprentice might be elected, and then "passed" in order to qualify him for office. If this be so it would undermine the argument based by Hughan on those minutes which record such elections of Apprentices to officer. (4)
In the fifth charge it is enacted that
The most expert of the Fellow-Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the Master, or overseer of the Lord 's Work;
When a Fellow-Craftsman is chosen Warden of the Work under the Master he shall be true to both Master and Fellows.
Though we cannot be sure that the Regulations as printed were exactly the same as Payne read them to Grand Lodge in 1721, and Gould's contention that the term Fellow-Craft was unknown in England till Anderson introduced through the medium of his work, if accepted, would point at least to verbal changes having been made, yet the main argument is a strong one, for Payne would presumably have protested in 1723 had any unwarranted modifications of the text been introduced, or for that matter anything that was not quite clear. Of course on the supposition that he was one of the inventors of new degrees the force of this argument would be materially weakened. But though this has been freely asserted in the past and was the line that Mackey, among many others, had taken, it must be remembered that it is pure supposition, without a scrap of direct evidence in its favor, while the contention made by Gould is strongly supported when we compare the above cited passages with the corresponding ones in the 1738 edition. Here we find that the term Fellow Craft has been fairly consistently changed to Master Mason. In Regulation XV latter term is added, making it read "two Fellow Crafts or Master Masons," and in XVII Fellow Craft is changed to Brother. But, as in both these cases the New Regulations which supersede the old ones are quite different, it was not practically important to make the definite change in the old ones.
In the new version of the Charges we find the same thing has been done; the Wardens must be Master Masons, instead of Fellow Crafts, and the Grand Master must have been Master of a Lodge; which of course implies his having been a Warden before that, and before that again, a Master Mason in the new sense.
Taking these facts altogether, and a more minute comparison of the two editions would strengthen the case, it is hard to avoid the conviction that some material change in the Masonic system had come about in the years between 1723 and 1738. Either the Masonic status, called Fellow-Craft in the first book, was the same as that called Master Mason in the second; or else a higher grade had been introduced in the interval, to which all the rights and privileges of the other had been transferred. Whichever way it was it does seem conclusive that there were only two degrees worked in 1723; for it would seem highly improbable that the office of Master was at that time a degree, seeing that that of Warden came in between it and the Fellow Craft; the Mastership of the lodge being reserved to those who had served in the lower office, and no one has ever suggested there were any esoteric secrets attached to the Warden's chair. Still this cannot be taken as a final argument, as there is no doubt that the Past Master and the Royal Arch degrees, when they appeared later, betrayed an origin intimately connected with the office of the Master of the lodge; so that it cannot be assumed as logically certain that this qualification had nothing to do with the addition of a third degree to the Masonic system. Nevertheless, summing up the evidence afforded by the two editions of the Book of Constitutions, it certainly seems the simplest and most obvious explanation to assume, that in 1723 the first Book presupposed a rite of two grades, and that the second one, by a few very small changes of phraseology, adapted it to fit the three degree arrangement with which we are now familiar; thus avoiding any open acknowledgment that there had been any such momentous change or development.
That to avoid any such acknowledgment was practically necessary we can easily realize by imagining some similar occurrence today. It is probable that every Grand Lodge has some skeleton that must be concealed, the existence of which has been hidden in guarded and diplomatically worded Reports and buried in printed Transactions. So we can see that any such alteration or innovation in the "manner of communicating Masonic secrets," as Gould puts it, could not possibly have been openly and plainly acknowledged at the time and the traditional cloak of Masonic secrecy was far more ample and inclusive in the eighteenth century than is regarded as necessary now.
The year 1723 is thus a critical date, and Gould evidently so regarded it. Some time after that, and before 1738, a third degree was arranged and added to the two original ones. It is immaterial for his theory when this occurred. Thus it is not a crucial point to decide whether the curious minute book of the Philo Mustcae et Architecturae Societas of 1725-1727 does or does not refer to three degrees. Gould in his History seems to accept the view that it does, referring to
. . . the evidence it affords of the Fellow Craft's and Master's "parts" having been actually wrought other than in Grand Lodge, before Feb. 18, 1726 [when old Regulation XIII was amended], is of great value, both as marking the earliest date at which such ceremonies are known to have been worked, and from the inference we are justified in drawing that at the period in question there was nothing unusual in the action of the brethren concerned in these proceedings (5).
In this view apparently most other students have agreed with him; but he later changed his opinion, and in a very complex argument sought to show that actually only two degrees were really known to the members of the Society, and that they, like Drake, Pennell and Prichard, were the victims of Dr. Anderson's ambiguity (6).
We will now try to come to grips with this hypothesis that the innovation was founded in the first place upon misconception. But even yet something more has to be premised first. That Dr. Anderson was a Presbyterian minister is well known, as also that he was a Scotchman. In a brief biographical sketch Gould says:
There seems however some ground for supposing Dr. James Anderson was born at Aberdeen, or its vicinity, and it appears to me not improbable, that the records of the Aberdeen Lodge might reveal the fact of his having been either an initiate or affiliate of that body (7).
In the first Book of Constitutions, at page 74, there is a list of names of Grand officers, and officers of lodges, subscribed to a formal "approbation" of the work. In this we find the Masters and Wardens of each lodge in numerical order. As Master of Lodge No. 17, appears the name, "James Anderson, A.M.," and on the next line, in different type, "The Author of this Book." Now there is here a very curious coincidence. In the "Mark Book" of the Lodge of Aberdeen, a book bound with clasps that could be fastened with a small padlock, we find it recorded that it was written by a James Anderson, Glazier and Mason, and Clerk to the "Honourable Lodge" in the year 1670. Following the introductory title in which this statement occurs, is a list of the members of the lodge with their marks. This is prefaced by the following heading:
THE NAMES OF Us all who Are the Authoires of and Subscryuers of this Book In order as Followeth.
In this list the name of James Anderson appears again, thus:
James: Anderson: Glassier: and: Meaasson: and: Wreatter: of: this: book: 1. 6. 7. 0.
and Maister of our lodge in the year of God 1688 and 1694,
the last evidently being written in at a later date. Gould says, in reference to this:
In a list before me of "Clerks of the Aberdeen Lodge," but which unfortunately only commences in 1709, the first name on the roll is that of J. Anderson, which is repeated year by year till 1725. At the time, therefore, when James Anderson, the Presbyterian Minister, published the English Book of Constitutions (1723) a J. Anderson presumably the glazier of 1670 was the lodge clerk at Aberdeen. Now if the author of one Masonic book, and the writer of the other, were both native of Aberdeen, the similarity of name will imply relationship, and in this view of the facts, it would seem only natural that the younger historian should have benefited by the research of his senior (8).
He adds that of course the J. Anderson may not have been James Anderson, the glazier, and that Dr. Anderson may not have had anything to do with Aberdeen, but he adds that in extended researches directed to this end he had found nothing which would conflict with the supposition that the doctor was an Aberdonian. Gould's guess here has been since very considerably confirmed. Bros. Thorpe and Dr. Chetwode Crawley produced evidence a good many years ago which showed beyond doubt that Dr: Anderson claimed to be a fellow "townsman" with the Rev. William Lorimer, who he also said was a native of Aberdeen; and further that he was a graduate of Marischal College of the same place.
Quite recently, Bro. A. L. Miller, author of The Lodge of Aberdeen, No. 13, published an article in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (9) in which he has been able to go a great deal further in regard to the antecedents of the "father of Masonic history." Indeed he has established a high degree of probability that the author of the Constitutions was not only a relative of James Anderson the glazier (and burgess of Aberdeen) but was actually his son. We cannot here discuss the evidence discovered and so skilfully presented by Bro. Miller, but we fancy it would produce conviction to most minds, although it unfortunately falls short of absolute demonstration. The records of the lodge are not complete, and though James Anderson the junior may have been made a Mason at Aberdeen, yet his name is not found in any list now remaining.
In view of this, the curious note of authorship in the Book of Constitutions of 1723 might certainly seem to be inspired by that in the Mark Book of Aberdeen. But, on the other hand, if Dr. Anderson were not a member of the Aberdeen lodge it is practically certain that he would never have even seen the book, much less known anything of its contents, as it was strictly provided in the Statutes of the lodge that it should be . . . kept in our Box fast locked, except at such times it is to be taken out and carried to the place appointed when there is an Entered Prentice to be received, and we ordain all our after comers and successors in the Mason Craft to have a special care of this Book . . . neither let the Clerk keep it any longer nor he is a writing on it; neither let him write upon it but when the three masters of the keys shall be present. (10)
The Lodge of Aberdeen like all the other old Scottish Lodges used the term "Fellow Craft" and Master as synonymous terms. The ampler phrase, however, "Fellow of Craft," which appears so frequently in the other Scottish records, does not seem to have been used, so far as the published excerpts show at least. This may be taken as an added item of confirmation, seeing Anderson never uses it either.
Now at last we come to what Gould evidently regarded as of the greatest importance to his theory, possibly as its keystone. This may be baldly stated thus: Dr. Anderson, through the medium of the Book of Constitutions assuredly, and through revision of the ritual probably (or possibly?), introduced (and, one would almost judge, deliberately and of set intention) the terminology of the Scottish lodges into English Masonry; and thus so confused the minds of the brethren that they supposed there were three degrees instead of two. We give a number of typical quotations to illustrate for similar passages are to be found all through his work wherever he approached this subject.
Dr. Anderson was certainly a Scotsman, and to this circumstance must be attributed his introduction of many operative terms from the vocabulary of the sister kingdom into his "Book of Constitutions." Of these, one of the most common is the compound word Fellow-Craft, which is plainly of Scottish derivation. Enter'd Prentice also occurs . . .
The word cowan, however, is reserved for the second edition.....
Although it is tolerably clear that degrees as we now have them were grafted upon Scottish Masonry in the eighteenth century [i.e. from England], a puzzle in connection with their English derivation still awaits solution. It is this. The degrees in question . . . viz., those of Master Mason, Fellow Craft and Entered Apprentice, bear titles which are evidently borrowed from the vocabulary of Scotland. Master Mason, it is true, was a term common to both kingdoms, but viewed in conjunction with the others the three expressions may be regarded as having been taken en bloc from the operative terminology of the northern kingdom.
The terms or expressions, Master Mason, Fellow Craft, Entered Apprentice and Cowan appear, from documentary evidence to have been in common use in Scotland, from the 1598 down to our own timed.
In the introductory article on Catechisms and Revelations in the Collected Essays, written some twenty-seven years later, he returns to the same idea.
It is common knowledge that Dr. Anderson was the author of the English Books of Constitutions, 1723 and 1738 and that in the first of these publications he introduced into Old Regulation XIII some Scottish terms, the appearance of which in the volume led to singular confusion and gave general offense. (12)
In the paper on the "Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism," we find the following:
The next question for our consideration is, did Dr. Anderson remodel the ancient ritual as well as the ancient laws of the Freemason? . . . It is probable that he did, and that we owe to him the introduction of the Scottish operative titles, and the expansion of the system of degrees though it is quite possible that the third degree, by which I do not mean a new ceremony but an alteration in the method of imparting the old ones, was the work of other hands. (13)
Here we have the quite definite expression of opinion that Anderson was a "ritual tinker" as well as a codifier of laws. Gould goes on in the next paragraph to repeat that in 1723 only two grades are mentioned, as in the Lodge of Aberdeen, and adds:
But about 1725 the titles of Fellow Craft and Master became disjoined, and as Dr. Anderson was absent from the deliberations of the Grand Lodge of England between June, 1725, and June, 1731, it is perhaps a fair inference that he was not concerned in the alteration.
We see that the imported phrases mentioned come down to three. "Cowan" is too late to affect the argument, not appearing till 1738, and as Master Mason admittedly was not new there are really only two left. Though we may give some weight to the argument that the three terms were introduced en bloc, as Gould puts it, nevertheless the fact remains that there was actually only two new ones. Rather a slight innovation to create such "general offense" as to cause Anderson's retirement from Grand Lodge for six years. There must have been more than this, and it seems far more probable that the offense was given, as we have previously suggested, first by the printing and publishing the Constitutions, and second by the wholesale way in which they had been edited, digested and altered.
(1) Gould, Essays, p. 223, reprinted from A.Q.C., Vol. xvi, p. 48.
(2)Concise History, p. 395
(3) Ibid, p. 396.
(4) THE BUILDER (1928), p. 197.
(5) Gould, History, Vol. iii, p. 133.
(6) A.Q.C., Vol. xvi, pp. 37 and 112. Reprinted in the Collected Essays, pp. 214, 235
(7) 0p. cit., Vol. iii, p. 44.
(8) Ibid, Vol. iii, p. 45.
(9) A.Q.C., Vol. xxxvi, p. 86.
(10) Miller, Notes on the Early History and Records of the Lodge, Aberdeen, p. 18.
(11) Op. cat., Vol. iii, pp. 45, 69, 71.
(12) Gould, Essays, p. xx.
(13) Ibid, p. 139.
American Army Lodges in the World War
By BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor
Lahneck Lodge No. 1186, of Texas, Stationed at Coblentz, Germany in the Army of Occupation
THE city of Coblentz, Germany, will forever be closely associated with the history of the American Forces that aided in the winning of the World War for the Allied Nations. This same city will be forever associated also in the most intimate manner in the Masonic History of the World War. For within Coblentz and its area flourished many Masonic Clubs and at least three American Military Lodges, each of which will be represented in this series of studies.
Lahneck Lodge is the third and last of these American Military Lodges within the Army of Occupation. The story of its inception, life and demise is told in the official records of the various proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Texas as well as in incidental references to the same on the part of other Grand Lodge reviewers.
APPLICATION FOR DISPENSATION TO FORM A LODGE AT COBLENTZ
We will begin with the following, taken from the Address of M.W. Bro. D.F. Johnson to the Grand Lodge of Texas at the Annual Communication in 1922. Bro. Johnson has since then passed to the Grand Lodge Above, to the deep regret of all who knew him. The following is his account of the circumstances leading to the formation of Lahneck Lodge:
In January I received the application of forty-one Master Masons, also accompanied by the demit of each of them for a dispensation to form a Lodge at Coblentz, Germany. This application was accompanied by a certificate from the Grand Lodge having jurisdiction over the Masonic territory in which Coblentz is located, certifying that they did not claim exclusive jurisdiction. I, therefore, granted their application and issued a dispensation. As reference is also made to this under the heading of "Application for Dispensation to Form a Lodge at Coblentz, Germany," in which a more complete description of all the proceedings is given, I will not burden the record with a further description under this section.
The more extended account to which M. W. Bro. Johnson here refers comes at a later page of the report.
"Shortly after my installation as Grand Master, I received an application from American Soldiers of the Army of Occupation, located at and near Coblentz. Germany, asking for the right of forming a Lodge at that place. This petition was signed by eleven brothers, holding membership in Texas, and by seventy-nine Masons holding membership in various Lodges scattered over the United States.
"After many days and nights of consideration and taking counsel from some of the best informed Masons in Texas, I wrote to the Masonic Club at Coblentz, the I would grant them a Dispensation when they had conformed to certain formalities required by the Constitution and Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
"On Feb. 22 these brethren wrote me as follows:
To tell you that your letter of Jan. 16 brought joy and happiness to the hearts of all American Masons on the Rhine is expressing it mildly. When Bro. Forbes presented your letter to the Club on the 3rd of February, it marked a turning point in our history, and the enthusiastic, appreciative manner of its reception by the American Masonic Club would have brought tears into your eyes, when a result that we have hoped for, worked for, and prayed for seemed to be at last realized, the singing of the Doxology seemed to be the only thing that answered. We hope the notes someway reached across the ocean to you.
"Before writing them that I would grant a dispensation I wrote to United States Senator Bro. Morris Sheppard and secured through him a statement from the War Department at Washington that the Army of Occupation would remain on the Rhine for almost a indefinite period and would probably be several thousand in number.
"These matters had scarcely been adjusted, and the details of the matter worked out, when it was announced through the press the the entire Army of Occupation would be returned to the Unite States at once.
"The news also reached the brethren at Coblenz, who immediately sent a cablegram notifying me of this fact, and asking me to hold up the granting of the dispensation, which I did, for several months, during which time there was sent to me from all over the United States demits from various Lodges, and finally on June 22 (1922) I mailed a Dispensation to the following named brothers, whose demits had been received:
John F. Griebel, a Past Master and life member of Independence, Mo., as special representative of the Grand Master, with powers coequal to that of a District Deputy Grand Master; C.O. Bailey, First Worshipful Master; H.B. Jordan, First Senior Warden; H.L. Kingston, First Junior Warden, and the following named brothers: Melvin G. Brownston, Gottfried Buettschle, T.H. Burwell, Barney Forbes, Roy M. Hare, W.H. Saddler, John Sasser, Wm. L. Wylie, Paul Audus, Walter S. Bennett, F.W. Brown, F.O. Bryson, Paul J. Casey, E.E. Cole, D.H. Finley, Andres Florin, J.E. Grimes, G.F. Hobson, L.W. Hulet, J.H. Johnson, Aaron Kapler, E.E. Lockhart, W.A. Lowenburg, J.H. McFall, J.W. McKeesver, C.E. Macey, J.W. Marshall, V.E. Miltonberg, J.H. Cross, J.A. Dolan, J.T. Priestly, H.S. Purnell, J.H. Walton, R.J. Pahnke, J.S. Patrick, H.H. Siff, J.M. Yallor, W.B. Wisely.
"This Dispensation was received in due time and on July 4 (1922) the American Lodge, working under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Texas, was set to work in the presence of two of the most distinguished Masons of the United States, Bro. John H. Cowles, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction (Scottish Rite Masons), and Past Grand Commander Edward C. Day, of Montana, who were sojourning in Germany.
"And though I had understood from the first report that still another distinguished Mason and statesman, former VicePresident Thomas R. Marshall, was also present, a later letter informs me that Bro. Marshall was one day late in reaching Coblentz, and failed to witness the establishment of the Texas American Lodge in Germany on the historic day of the birth of the nation.
NAME OF THE LODGE AT COBLENTZ
"At the request of the petitioners for the dispensation, the Lodge was christened 'Lahneck Lodge, U. D.,' the petition reciting the following reason for naming it 'Lahneck Lodge':
We desire to have the Lodge named Lahneck Lodge, in commemoration of those sterling Masons (Knights Templar), twelve in number, who made the last sacrifice in defense of their beliefs. It is fit and right that on these historic grounds our Lodge should perpetuate the memory of the last of the Noble Order of Knights Templar, for it is within a stone's throw almost of our meeting place, that the last of the Knights Templar laid down their lives in the defense of those principles which we hold dear.
Phillip and the Pope conspired to destroy the organization in order that they might share between them the property which had belonged to the Knights for centuries. The Grand Master and fifty of his followers were burned at the stake by those whose chief motive was rather a desire to confiscate the possessions of the Templars, than any religious war against heretics and sinners.
The Archbishop of Maine had long cast covetous eyes on Castle Lahneck (whose ruined precincts are now hallowed by martyr blood), which shielded twelve Knights Templar, and their retainers, and armed with papal authority he proceeded down the Rhine, with many vassals and mercenary soldiefs, and reaching Castle Lahneck commanded the defenders to yield or die a shameful death on the gallows. Well aware that this would be their fate in any case the oldest Templar cried out in a loud voice that they were all prepared to suffer, like their brethren in France, and were resolved to fight to the last drop of their blood.
Against overwhelming numbers they fought, day after day, and right being on their side destroyed great numbers of their attackers, their own ranks suffered severely.
Prominent in all the hand-to-hand struggles were the heroic figures of the twelve Templars, in their white mantles adorned with the blood-red Cross. At last, overwhelmed by superior numbers, one by one they fell beneath their shattered shields and bleeding from many wounds, closed their eyes in death. Finally, only one veteran stood, with blood-flecked sword, among the dead bodies of his valiant comrades, the last survivor.
He was called upon to surrender but knowing that such enemies could not be trusted, he called down the curse of heaven on worldly priests and their greed for land, and lifted on high his sword, rushed upon his foes, and fighting heroically, fell to earth never to rise again. Thus perished the last of the Noble Order of Knights Templar. But their story is remembered by the faithful to this day. Could any more suitable or appropriate name for our Lodge be possible?
"So in acknowledgment of the wishes of our soldier Masons the name 'Lahneck Lodge' was granted them in the Dispensation.
"Immediately following the setting to work of Lahneck Lodge the members and distinguished brothers present, the Lodge was called from labor and repaired to the historic Castle, where the Lodge was called to labor, and the officers duly placed in charge.
"Doubting the authority of the Grand Master to form a new district I gave no specific territory for this new Lodge, and am referring that point to the Grand Lodge, should it approve my action in granting the dispensation to form the Lodge.
ELIGIBILITY TO MEMBERSHIP
"In order to clarify this point until the Grand Lodge could make further investigation, I ruled that any American citizen who had been on duty in Germany with the American Army, or who had lived in Coblentz district for more than six months after his discharge from the American Army, or any soldier or sailor who is an American citizen without a fixed place of residence, and who was located in an area not nearer to any working Lodge under any Grand Jurisdiction of the United States would be eligible, I also cautioned the brothers to carefully guard the latter clause, in order to prevent conflicts with friendly sister jurisdictions.
NO INVASION OF TERRITORIAL RIGHTS
"Before granting this dispensation to form Lahneck Lodge at Coblentz, I received the following certificate from the German Masonic Lodge located at Coblentz:
Coblentz, Germany, Feb. 14,1922. Friederich zur Vaterlandsliebe Lodge
To the American Masonic Club Coblentz
Dear Brethren: In the name of St. John's Lodge, Friederich Zur Vaterlandsliebe, at Coblentz, under the jurisdiction of the Grand National Mother Lodge in the Prussian States called "Three Globes" at Berlin, we hereby certify that we have no objections to the establishment of an American Lodge, which is legally under the jurisdiction of a recognized Grand Lodge in America, and will only work among Americans, resident in the Rhineland.
The newly established American Lodge will also be permitted to work in our Temple, in accordance with terms to be agreed upon later.
We would further state that our Grand Lodge has no exclusive rights to erect subordinate Lodges in this territory, and that all Grand Lodges in Germany are independent of each other, as far as the establishment of subordinate Lodges is concerned, and have the right to install subordinate Lodges in the entire German territory, even at such places where subordinate Lodges under the jurisdiction of other Grand Lodges already exist.
For the Council of the Friederich Zur Vaterlandsliebe Lodge, (seal) (signed) A. Duckwitz, Wor. Master
"At the request of the brethren who petitioned for the dispensation, I appointed Bro. John P. Griebel, a Past Master of Independence Lodge, No. 76, Mo., as a special representative of the Grand Master with powers co-equal to that of a District Deputy, sufficient evidence having been furnished me to show his knowledge of the Arts of Ancient Craft Masonry as well as a knowledge of the Masonic Laws, and on my direction the Grand Secretary furnished the Lodge with a dozen copies of the 1921 Constitution and By-laws, together with sufficient number of the new Monitor.
"Practically all officers of the Lodge at Coblentz are officers in the American Army of Occupation, ranking from Colonel down, and all are genuine American citizens with American ideals and American training.
"These brethren were so very anxious to establish the Lodge that they notified me that they would pay as much as $2000.00 of the necessary expenses to send a representative there to set the lodge to work, and though I had planned to have some distinguished Mason of the Grand Lodge of Texas do this, developments described, necessitating the long delay, made it advisable when the decision was finally made to keep the Army of Occupation in Germany, to act promptly and with the assurance that those on the ground were possessed of the proper knowledge of the laws and the ritualistic work, I dispatched the dispensation by mail without sending the delegate from Texas.
"In granting this dispensation I realized that it was fraught with many dangerous possibilities. I found no law to authorize it, but I also found that there were no laws preventing it. I, along with thousands of other Masons, had felt incensed that Masons were unable to send their delegates into Europe during the War, and work for the common cause of humanity; I had felt that Masonry had been done an injustice when Masons were denied the privilege of working in the army training camps, while thousands upon thousands of the young manhood of America were mobilized to fight for the cause which Masonry has always held as one of its cardinal virtues. I recalled that it was Masons who had founded the American Government and had written the principles of Masonry into the organic laws of the land; I thought of the stories and traditions of the traveling masons of medieval times, who had lived in huts around the buildings under construction, the cathedrals and castles on the Rhine, and the historic cities of middle Europe, who had taught and guarded the secrets of Architecture from the vulgar stone cutters and wall builders, the cowans and rough masons, and had given aught of their earnings to a worthy brother in time of distress, and I was unable to understand why our own gallant American and Texan soldier boys should not be able to teach and to guard our modern lessons of Architecture in Character Building, in benevolence and civil liberty, even when clothed in the khaki, and under the tents of the American soldier, and while located in the same old cities and towns of the ancient days.
"So, my brothers, I had this wonderful opportunity presented to me, to afford our soldier boys the privilege of forming this Lodge, and I would forever afterward have closed my lips against further criticism and bowed my head in everlasting shame had I refused this wonderful chance which has come to but few Masons, and no matter what may be the decision of the Grand Lodge as to the wisdom and advisability of establishing the Lodge at Coblentz, it will always stand out in my mind as the crowning event of my Masonic experience and the year it has been my privilege to serve the Craft as Grand Master.
"A report under date of Aug. 21 (1922) shows that the Lodge is going along in fine shape, and to that date had conferred twelve E.A. Degrees, with two more elected to receive the same, and had affiliated three more, and had several more applications on file."
The Grand Lodge received the Grand Master's account of what he had done in the matter with approbation. The Committee on Grand Officers' Reports commented as follows:
"Since the M.W. Grand Master has himself so amplified the subject of the granting of a dispensation for the instituting of Lahneck Lodge at Coblentz, Germany, we would refrain from a restating of the facts and circumstances, save that in addition to the offering of our findings we crave the privilege of mingling the truest sentiments of our hearts with those of his own in this splendid exhibition of patriotic love for country and loyalty to duty as a man and a Mason.
"We most heartily join with him in the sentiment that seldom, if ever, has so marked a privilege come to one in his position as that of providing Masonic Lodge privileges to our brethren of the Army of Occupation during their enforced stay at Coblentz, Germany.
"It is also gratifying to your Committee that the first Master of the new Lodge is Major C.O. Bailey of Quinlan, Texas, who is now in attendance on this Grand Lodge.
"We would approve the granting of this dispensation as being amply justified in policy and having the necessary constitutional warrant, feeling that this Lodge U.D. has been formed for the convenience of our American Army of Occupation, and others in the service of this country. We offer the following, viz.:
" 'Resolved, That the act of the Most Worshipful Grand Master in granting dispensation for the instituting of Lahneck Lodge at Coblentz, Germany, is hereby approved; and be it further Resolved, That the personal jurisdiction of Lahneck Lodge No. 1186, shall be confined exclusively to the soldiers, sailors and marines, and other citizens of the United States of America, who may be sojourning in Germany as attaches of the said Army of Occupation, or as representatives or employes of the government of the United States of America.' "
The Committee on Lodges under Dispensation presented a report also in which it was stated that:
The Committee has carefully examined the minutes, records and returns of Lahneck Lodge, U. D., located at Coblentz, Germany.
We find all records to be in excellent condition and books have been neatly kept. They have been very active in their work, having initiated twenty-four, passed sixteen, and raised twelve from July 4, 1922, to Oct. 23, 1922.
We therefore recommend that a Charter be granted Lahneck Lodges No. __, located at Coblentz, Germany, with the following officers: Harry L. Kingston, Worshipful Master; Matthew A Reasoner, Senior Warden; and Wm. L. Wylie, Junior Warden.
Following the reading of this portion of the report of the Committee on Lodges under Dispensation the strand Master said:
My brethren, this is the Lodge that I referred to you in my annual address, and which was also discussed briefly with you yesterday, in which I stated that I had granted a dispensation to this Lodge. This Lodge does not at this time have the original officers to whom the dispensation was granted, for the simple reason that some of them have been called back to the United States.
Now, brethren, I have recited the facts in the case, and I realize that the establishment of the Lodge U. D. in a foreign country, possibly, has only one or two previous cases of like nature in the Grand Lodge of Texas. This dispensation was granted to the American soldier boys, many of them from our own great State of Texas, and if there is no objection, or do vou wish to discuss this in any manner? The motion is now made that we grant them a charter at this time. Are you ready for the question?
Whereupon the recommendation of the Committee was unanimously adopted by the Grand Lodge, and this portion of the report, together with that read previously, ordered printed in the proceedings, after which the Grand Master made the following announcement:
Brethren, it has been unanimously adopted, and I shall now call upon the first Master of Lahneck Lodge, if he is in the room. I would like to introduce Major C.S. Bailey to this Grand Lodge (extended applause). Bro. Bailey, and members of the Grand Lodge of Texas, I now take great pleasure in introducing to you a native of Texas, the first Worshipful Master of Lahneck Lodge, U.D., Coblentz, Germany (much applause) .
Whereupon Major C.S. Bailey, the first Worshipful Master of Lahneck Lodge, No. 1186, Coblentz, Germany, made the following Address to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas:
"Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Grand Senior and Junior Wardens, Worshipful Members of the Grand Lodge: It is difficult indeed for me, after listening to the beautiful speeches that I have heard since I have been in this Grand Lodge, to make a response before this body, but it is an opportunity that I have never dreamed, in my fondest ambitions, would come to me, to stand before this great assembly.
"I want to thank you, and I want to thank you on behalf of Lahneck Lodge, to whom you have granted this charter, and for the boon that you have given us. We are on the Rhine five thousand miles from here, but we are Masons (applause). As members of the American Masonic Club we could meet and have our social pleasures, but we missed one thing, and there it is, that altar of Freemasonry to which every Mason loves to get down and bow and worship before, and now that you have given it to us and our Grand Master has given it to us before you did, under dispensation, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and assure you at this time that if the Masons in Coblentz knew of your action there would be crowds and it would spread at once throughout the camp, and the men would try to express in every way they know how their appreciation of this grand thing which you have done for them. I want to assure you today that as the American Army is guarding the Rhine and guiding those native people's feet into the ways of self-government, which is the only way to help them, there are Texas Masons there who are wearing the uniform and performing that duty and fulfilling their obligations to the flag, and today, just as the organic laws of our country were written into our Constitution, the same is being written into the laws of that Province. Surely if Charlemagne returned to earth today and saw that things are not as they were when he was there, when his loyal subjects were indeed loyal, but now their descendants are being governed by those Freemasons whom he suppressed as they worked along the Rhine and built those beautiful castles, I am sure that he would feel that that great Master above, whom we all serve so loyally, had at last come into his own, and he would feel that he had certainly lost some of his prestige, and that the Masons of the world are now reaping results from the fruits of their labor begun years ago in the Rhine Province.
"I thank you again, brethren, and will not take up more of your time now, but I shall go at once to the telegraph office and send a cablegram to Lahneck Lodge telling them of the good news." (Applause.)
Later in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge, W Bro. Bailey, the first Master of Lahneck Lodge, presented to the Grand Master, on behalf of the lodge, a beautifully engraved watch charm as a token of their gratitude and appreciation of all he had done for them. Bro. Bailey spoke as follows:
"Most Worshipful Grand Master, Grand Wardens and Brethren of the Grand Lodge of Texas: As I said today, in the few minutes I had before its closing, it is an exceptional opportunity to be presented to the Most Worshipful Grand Body, and I would that I had the power of oratory to express these emotions which stir the soul upon an occasion like this, but, being a soldier, I have been taught that in the presence of my superiors to remain just as silent as possible and many of you have had the same lesson. (Applause.)
"However, I cannot refrain from making a few remarks concerning this occasion. Four years ago the United States Army had just finished up the biggest task ever assigned to an army since the dawn of history (applause). They had just gotten their breath and stretched their legs, so to speak, and the THIRD AMERICAN ARMY, under Dickman, was marching to the Rhine, to put the finishing touches upon this task. (Applause.) In this organization were some Army Masonic Lodges, and during the time that the Third Army was on the Rhine, there was Masonic Light, at Coblentz, and in the American area. But upon the withdrawal of the Third Army, and the organization of the American Army of Occupation, all of the Masonic Bodies returned to the United States. Immediately thereupon a Club known as the American Masonic Club of Coblentz was organized. At that time it held its weekly meetings in the German Masonic Temple, through a purely business arrangement with the German brethren in Coblentz.
"At each meeting of this Club the Chaplain of this Club would always in offering his devotionals to the Supreme Grand Architect of the Universe mention the fact, and offered a prayer that at some time in the future a charter would be granted to us that we might hold a Lodge in Coblentz, Germany. (Applause.) At our banquets, which we held every month, a moment of silent prayer was always offered and in that moment and in every heart present, there was always that feeling and desire that some way, some day, we will have Masonic Light in American Army of Occupation. As to the effect of these prayers I leave that to our theological brethren, but the prayer was answer just the same, and it came from Texas the answer did (applause), and every Texan in the American Army of Occupation at last swelled with pride that Texas should come and bring us Masonic Light. (Applause.)
"In our correspondence with the M.W.G.M. of the G.L. of Texas, in his first letter to us, was wrought a lively admiration for him, and for the principles for which he stood, and for his courage and the willingless to step out into the unknown territory and take the responsibility of giving a dispensation to the soldiers at Coblentz. There were tears of joy shed upon the reading of his letter, and my brethren, it would have done your hearts good to have been at that meeting. (Applause.) In all our correspondence with him we found him to be a man who would inspire the love and affection and trust of anybody on earth, and we were more than gratified that this Grand Lodge should have such a man at its head.
"Without creating precedent, or without conceding anything for the future, upon my departure from Coblentz, Lahneck Lodge asked me as a special favor to them, and as a mark of appreciation and affection for our Grand Master, to present him with a small token, representing the great affection for him which is represented by a watch charm which has upon its unfolding the working tools of a Master Mason, all of them. (Applause.)
"It is our trust and prayer that you, Most W.G.M., will wear this and ever remember and ever feel in your heart that in Coblentz, Germany, there are loyal hearts beating for you, and whatever may arise in the future we know that your Masonic Work is just beginning and we know that you will carry on, and we trust that the working tools depicted herein will assist you more and more as you go onward and upward. (Much applause.)
"Now, Most Worshipful Sir, representing Lahneck Lodge our prayer is that God's choicest blessings may rest upon you in your future life." (Much applause.)
To this presentation speech Most Worshipful Grand Master Johnson made the following reply:
"Major Bailey and Brethren: I recall reading a wonderful letter from Coblentz, telling me that when they received my letter advising them that I would grant them a dispensation, that the only fitting tribute that seemed appropriate at that time was the closing heir meeting with the Doxology; they told me in that wonderful letter that they hoped that somehow it would get across the way to me, into my humble home in Brownwood. I thought of that night and in my wn heart there came an echo of that song: 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow.' If nothing else had ever happened in my life to make me feel glad of the opportunity I had to grant this dispensation, it was somehow a feeling in my heart that I could feel the echo of that song and sing with them: 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow' and so, tonight, Major Bailey, I want you to feel that I hope, somehow over here in Coblentz, those brethren who are remainng there could get the echo of a prayer, as it ascends on high, and know that my heart shall allways be with them. I thank you, my brother." (Applause.)
We now come to the Annual Communication of 1923, and in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Texas for that vear we come upon another reference to Lahneck Lodge. It has to do with the termination of this historic Lodge.
LAHNECK, NO. 1186, DEMISED
"By reason of the fact that the U. S. Government withdrew its Army of Occupation from Germany early in the year and all of the members of the above Lodge being with the forces, this Lodge automatically demised at that time. In contemplation of this demise, Bro. J. P. Griebel wrote me on Jan. 27, requesting a ruling upon the status of the members in the event of a demise, it being necessary that they know in advance of the Evacuation from Germany just what their standing would be, as the members would be scattered all over the United States upon their return to this country.
"This was clearly defined by law which was quoted. He also desired to know what would be the status of those who had applied to their Lodge, their fees accepted, elected, but had not received the degrees.
"To this I replied that in as much as these applicants had been legally elected by a Lodge duly constituted by the Grand Lodge of Texas, that they were entitled to receive the degrees and that their names should be made known to our Grand Secretary, who would upon further information make arrangements with a Lodge of the locality where the elected applicant was situated to have the first degree conferred, as a courtesy to this Grand Lodge, after which because of the demise of their Lodge they would be in the position of dimitted Masons as is provided for by our laws.
"This was a ruling without precedent so far as I could tell, being what I considered an emergency ruling to cover an emergency which could hardly be avoided as the soldiers who composed the Lodge had no voice in the date of their removal from Germany.
"I was advised that the belongings and funds of the Lodge would be shipped to the Grand Secretary Pearson, at the proper time. The belongings were few as the Lodge Room occupied and furnishings used were not of their own. I was advised that it was the wish of the Lodge that whatever funds it had on hand at the time of demise be reverted to the Masonic Home. However, from the date of Bro. Griebel's letter mentioned above, I have heard nothing further from any of the brethren, and never having been advised further nor have I ever had the American addresses of any of the members so that I could make inquiry of the final outcome, do not positively know, although all troops were withdrawn, if the Lodge actually demised.
"This suggestion of doubt is expressed because of a statement by Bro. Griebel that 'there will be a number of us here for some time to come and we are going ahead and work as long as we can.' This was shortly after the order of withdrawal from Washington."
The final notice we have is found in this same volume of Proceedings. Under the head of "Charters to New Lodges" we are informed that "the fifteen charters granted to new lodges at our last Annual Communication were all issued promptly and sent out upon instructions from the Grand Master." In the list is the entry:
Lahneck, No. 1186, Coblentz, Germany.
Next, under the heading of "Donations" we are informed that the sum of one hundred dollars had been received from the lodge as "Campaign Subscription," and finally in the list of demised lodges the following entry:
Lahneck Lodge, No. 1186, Coblentz, Germany. Charter 1922. Demised 1923.
In closing this remarkable record which in its way stands unique in the history of American Military Lodges, I wish to give full acknowledgment to the unfailing courtesy and genuine cooperation of Grand Secretary W. B. Pearson; of the kindness of W. Bro. District Dep. Grand Master L. B. Russel, of Comanche, Texas, for his interest in and practical advice in gathering this material for the history; and P. G. M. Andrew L. Randell of the Masonic Service Association. It is my hope that this record may arouse in brothers who belonged to either Masonic Lodges or Masonic Clubs during the time our American Forces were in France and other countries to get into communication with me and furnish me with a copy of whatever Magonic material they may have in order that I may give other papers as complete as the present one.
Moreover if perchance this story falls under the notice of any of the former members of Lahneck Lodge who were present at the last meetings, we shall regard it as a real contribution of Masonic value to write me so that we may aid the Grand Lodge of Texas in closing up its record of this Lodge. We have tried to obtain contact with Bro. Griebel. Does any reader know where we may locate him?
DISPENSATION TO FORM A NEW LODGE (Emblem)
In the Name and by the Authority of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F.&A.M.
WHEREAS, a petition has been presented to me by sundry brethren, to-wit:
Brothers C.C. Bailey, Melvin G. Brownson, T. H. Burwell, Gottfried Buettschle, Barney Forbes Roy M. Hare, W.H. Saddler, John Sasser, Wm. L. Wylie, Paul Audus, Walter S. Bennett, F.W. Brown, F.C. Bryson, Paul J. Casey, E.E. Cole, J.H. Cross, J.A. Dolan, D.H. Finley, Andres Florin, J.E. Grimes G.F. Hobson, L.W. Hulett, J.M. Johnson, H.B. Jordan, Aaron Kapler, H.L. Kingston, E.E. Lockhart, M.A. Lowenberg, J.H. McFall, J.W. McKeesver, C.E. Macey, J.W. Marshall, V.E. Miltenberger, R.J. Pahnke, J.S. Patrick, J.T. Priestly, H.H. Siff, H.S. Purnell, J.M. Taylor, J.H. Walton, W.B. Wiseley,
Residing at Colbentz, Germany, in the Army of Occupation, and praying to be congregated and form a Lodge, promising to render obedience to the Ancient Usages and Landmarks of the Fraternity and the Laws of the Grand Lodge; and,
WHEREAS, said petitioners have been recommended to me as Master Masons in good standing by the Master, Wardens and Brethren of St. Johns "Three Globes" Lodge of Germany, under our...
Therefore, I, D. F. Johnson, Grand Master of the M. W. Grand Lodge of the State of Texas, reposing full confidence in the recommendation aforesaid and in the Masonic integrity and ability of the petitioners, do, by virtue of the authority in me vested, hereby grant this Dispensation, empowering and authorizing our trusty and well beloved Brethren aforesaid to open and form a Lodge, after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and therein to admit and make Freemasons, according to the ancient custom, and not otherwise.
THIS DISPENSATION is to continue in full force until the next Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge aforesaid unless sooner revoked by Constitutional authority. And I do hereby appoint Brother C.C. Bailey to be the first W. Master Brother H.B. Jordan, to be the first Senior Warden and Brother H.L. Kongston, to be the first Junior Warden of said new Lodge. And it shall be their duty, and they are hereby required to return this DISPENSATION, with the original record of all proceedings had under the authority of the same, together with their returns of work, members and contributions, and an attested copy of the By-Laws adopted, to our Grand Lodge aforesaid, at the expiration of the time herein specified, and for such further action in the premises as shall then be deemed wise and proper.
GIVEN UNDER MY HAND under the authority of the Grand Lodge at Brownwood, Texas, this the 12th day of June, A. D. 1922, A. L. 5922.
(signed) D. F. Johnson, Grand Master.
Item: Notation on the back of this Dispensation: Lahneck Lodge, U.D. 6-14-1922 Pd 25.00 (copy)
LAHNECK LODGE U.D., A.F.&A.M. OF TEX.A.S
W. M., C. C. Bailey. Secy., H. H. Siff.
Coblentz, Germany, Oct. 20. 1922.
To the Grand Lodge of Texas A.F.&A.M.
Lahneck Lodge U.D., A.F.&A.M., working since July 4, 1922, under a Dispensation granted by the Most Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas, most respectfully pray and petition the Grand Lodge of Texas to grant us a Charter empowering us to meet at Coblentz, Germany, in the Area of the American Army of Occupation, on the first and third Fridays of every month and thus permit us to continue to promise and diffuse the genuine principles of Freemasonry and to enjoy that fraternal fellowship to which, as members of the Craft, we believe we are entitled.
And we have nominated and do reeommend Brother H. L. Kingston to be the First Master, Brother M. A. Reasoner to be the first Senior Warden and Brother Wm. L. Wylie to be the first Junior Warden of said Lodge.
The prayer of this petition being granted, we promise strict obedience to the Commands of the Grand Master and the laws and regulations of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
MEMBERS OF LAHNECK LODGE RESIDENT IN COBLENTZ
Q.J. Barker, F.W. Brown, R.J. Casey, J.H. Cross, J.A. Dolan, A. Florin, J.P. Griebel, J.E. Grimes, R.M. Hare, H.M. Herff, H.L. Kingston, J.A. Lackey, E.E. Lockhard, C.E. Macey, M.A.S. Ming, R.J. Pahnke, J.T. Priestley, M.A. Reasoner, F.H. Rivers, W.H. Sadler, W.B. Shutt, H.H. Siff, J.A. Sprenger, J.T. Steffen, J.H. Walton, E.B. Whisner, M.H. Wilson, W.B. Wiseley, Wm. L. Wylie, T.F. Fieker, W.W. Sidwell, T.J. Davis, H.M. Pinkerton, C.W. White, E.E. Hagan, A.R. Crooks. Willem B. Wilton, C.O. Bailey.
The following lists of names were also appended:
FELLOWCRAFTS OF LAHNECK LODGE
Lawrence A. Deitz, Noah G. Halfton, Charles H. Voight, George J. Winters.
ENTERED APPRENTICE OF LAHNECK LODGE
Thomas J. McGrath, Tom Randel, Wm. G. Schoenwald, John F. Stever, Edward Theurich, Stewart R. Trout, Chas. H. Tooze, Russell C. Woethington.
MEMBERS OF LAHNECK LODGE RETURNED TO UNITED STATES
Paul Audus, C.O. Bailey, W.S. Bennett, M.C. Brownson, F.O. Bryson, G. Buettschle, T.H. Burwell, D.H. Finley, B. Forbes, G.F. Hobson, W.L. Hulett, B.W. James, H.B. Jordan, J.J. Johnson, A. Kaplan, W.K. Lloyd, M.A. Lowenberg, J.W. Marshall, J.H. McFall, J.W. McKeever, V.E. Miltenierger, F.E. Cole. J.S. Patrick, H.S. Purnell, J. Sasser.
Lahneck Lodge U. D., Original Petition for the Lodge received June 14, 1922. Waco, Texas. Petition granted at Brownwood, Texas, June 12, 1922, by M. W. D. F. Johnson, Grand Master.
Report of Committee No. 1, Lodges U. D. Grand Lodge 1922.
Your Committee has carefully examined the minutes, records and returns of Lahneck U. D., located at Coblentz, Germany.
We find all records to be in excellent condition, and books have been neatly kept. They have been very active in their work having initiated twenty-four (24), passed sixteen (16) and raised twelve (12) from July 4, 1922, to Oct. 23, 1922.
We therefore recommend that a Charter be granted Lahneck Lodge No. located at Coblentz, Germany, with the following officers.
W. M., Harry L. Kingston; S. W., Matthew A. Reasoner; J. W., Wm. L. Wylie.
Respectfully submitted, (Signed) W. S. Cooke, E. W. Feierabend, J M Ranth
The following news item appeared in the press on Jan. 26, 1923, with the Coblentz, Germany, heading: "Coblentz is a city of sadness; we are lonesome because the Americans have gone," which was the declaration of Lord Mayor Russell today. "Everyone was sorry to see them depart." Only General Henry T. Allen, commander of the departed American Army, and a handful of officers and men remained behind to clean up pending business. They probably will leave in a fortnight.
Three Pioneer Masons
BY BRO. HENRY BAER, Ohio
(Concluded from November)
A FEW months after the raising of Captain Kibby, came the induction into N.C. Harmony Lodge of another hero of the early West Captain Robert Benham. Like the first named, he was born in New Jersey, about 1750, from whence, as a young man of twenty-two, he removed to southwestern Pennsylvania, and eventually settled on Ten-Mile Creek. During the Revolution he served as captain in the backwoods militia; those hardy whites who guarded well our frontiers against the incursions of the savage, throughout this struggle. In such capacity Benham underwent one of the most strange, thrilling and terrifying experiences ever recorded in the annals of border warfare in America.
Early in October, 1779, a party of about seventy westerners under Major David Rogers, with Captain Benham as second in command, were ascending the Ohio River in keel boats with a large quantity of ammunition and other supplies for use of the Continental army that had been brought up from New Orleans. After a rather uneventful journey, as they were passing the mouth of the Licking, opposite to where Cincinnati now stands, their attention was drawn to a small group of Indians landing from a canoe on a sandbar some distance ahead on the Kentucky side, who apparently had not noted their approach. Immediately there was a cry for an Indian hunt, and to satisfy the craving of his men for excitement and action Rogers ordered the boats landed.
Leaving about a dozen men in charge, he rushed with the rest of his force, all well armed, up the shore and into the forest where they had seen their quarry disappear. Spreading out to surround the place, and never dreaming of encountering more than 15 or 20 of the enemy, they were thunderstruck to see an overwhelming number of redskins, dressed and painted for the warpath, springing up on all sides in their rear. Pouring in a close discharge of rifles, the savages with horrid yells sprang upon the survivors with the tomahawk. The surprise was complete and the slaughter prodigious, the commander and 45 of his men being killed and scalped in but the shortest time. In desperation the remain fought their way toward the boats, but to their dismay found that all save one were in possession of the Indians, with most of the occupants slain. The one which got away they saw with sinking hearts pulling for midstream, manned by a crew five, to head for Louisville, over 100 miles down river. Turning furiously on the red foe and fighting for their lives, the little handful of borderers, aided by the approach of darkness, finally succeeded in breaking through the lines, with the loss of several severely wounded. Those who were able fled to the nearest Kentucky settlement, Harrodsburg, scores of miles distant, while the injured ones were run down and promptly dispatched. One of the wounded, however Captain Benham, was saved from slaughter in an almost miraculous manner.
In the last few minutes of the fighting he had been shot through both hips, and the bullet breaking bone, he fell to the ground. From the many instances noted in accounts of battles with the savages in those days, it seemed the favorite practice on both sides to aim for the middle of an opponent's body, a hit of this nature not only completely crippling an adversary but producing a greater agony and suffering. Such a shot had brought Benham low. Fortunately, in the fast descending gloom he perceived a large tree that lately had become uprooted in a storm. A man of powerful strength, he, with much pain, dragged himself into the top and lay concealed in the leafy branches. The redskins, eager in pursuit of the others, passed him without notice, and by midnight all was quiet.
On the morning following they returned to the battle ground to strip the dead and confiscate the boats and their valuable cargo. Benham, though in danger of famishing, permitted them to pass without making known his condition, knowing he would be tomahawked on the spot. He lay close, therefore, until evening when seeing a raccoon descending a tree near him, and wisely having held on to his rifle, he shot it, hoping to devise some means of bringing it within reach, when he could kindle a fire and make a meal.
With the crack of his gun the captain heard a human cry. Believing it to be an Indian he hastily reloaded his rifle and silently awaited his approach. Presently the voice was heard again, but much nearer. Still Benham made no reply, and with weapon cocked sat ready to fire should it prove to be an enemy. Then a third halloo came and with it the entreaty, "Whoever you are, for God's sake answer me." Satisfied now that it was one of his own party, the captain answered and soon they were together. It proved to be a border youth named Basil Brown of Pennsylvania, who was shot through both arms. Truly an oddly assorted and luckless pair, with Benham deprived of the use of his legs and unable to move, while his companion could walk, but with two broken arms was equally helpless.
However, it developed that each could supply what the other wanted, the captain being able to load his gun and kill game with great readiness, and young Brown, having perfect use of his legs, could kick the game to where his commander lay or sat. Raking up brush with his feet the latter also propelled this within his superior's reach and together they managed to start their fires. Water was secured by the captain placing the brim of his hat firmly in Brown's teeth and having him wade into the Ohio up to his neck. Bending his head, he would fill the hat and return to the stricken Benham. Then, their single-course, and saltless meal, ready, the latter would feed his young friend. He also dressed his wounds with slippery elm bark, as well as his own, tearing up both of their shirts for that purpose. In this strange fashion the hapless twain subsisted for several weeks, in the midst of the mutilated and decaying remains of their comrades, suffering greatly from exposure and the lack of proper medical attention.
At last, their wounds having healed sufficiently, they made their way slowly down river to the mouth of the Licking, with Captain Benham dragging along painfully on rude crutches. Here they put up a rough shelter and lay encamped until late in November. Finally, after six weeks in the wilderness, a boat hove in sight on their side, headed down the Ohio. Hoisting his hat on a stick, Benham hallooed loudly for help. The crew, however, with one look, pulled hastily for midstream, believing them to be Indians in disguise or else white prisoners placed there as decoys, a trick successfully worked at times by the wily foe. The two were now in the deepest despair, for the vicinity was one much frequented by war parties from the North on their raids into Kentucky, and besides the coming of winter threatened them with destruction unless they were speedily relieved.
After the boat had passed down nearly half a mile, their hopes again rose as they saw a canoe put forth from the stern. This approached cautiously along the shore and reconnoitered them with great suspicion. Benham now called to its occupants, telling who he was and making known his own and his companion's condition. The boatmen, though, were still doubtful and refused to come closer. Finally it was arranged that young Brown approach the water's edge, within gunshot, and tell their story, his life to be immediate forfeit should any suspicious move be made. Only then, and with the crew not yet wholly convinced, was the canoe landed and they were assisted aboard.
A close-up of the scarecrow pair scarcely conduced to a lulling of suspicions, for both were almost entirely naked, dirty and unkempt, their faces garnished with six weeks' growth of beard. The one, Benham, was yet barely able to hobble on crutches, though Brown, by now, could manage to feed himself with one hand. Their stories at last believed, they were taken to Louisville, where Colonel George Rogers Clark and his heroic frontiersmen were camped, freshly returned from their conquest of the Illinois country. Here their baggage, carried off in the boat which had gotten away, was restored to them. A man of iron constitution, following a few weeks' confinement in recuperating from his terrible injury, the captain fully recovered his former health and condition. Then at the first; opportunity he returned to his home and family, whom he had not seen for more than eighteen months, and who doubtless were mourning him as lost. Poor Brown, however, a lad of but sixteen, was left a cripple to the end of his days, which were many, he surviving until 1837, being pensioned by the government shortly after the Revolution.
The ill-fated ending of Rogers' journey, and the loss of the boats and their sorely needed contents, were severe blows to the American cause and brought great; gloom and dejection along the border. While making their way in boats down the Mississippi, after having left Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) in June, 1788, at the trading post on the Arkansas River, the commander learned that the supplies already had been convoyed to St. Louis from New Orleans. However, an order being necessary from the Spanish authorities at the latter place, Rogers, together with Benham and five other picked men, proceeded ahead in a canoe to procure the same and complete other arrangements. On this trip they had the experience of nearly being captured, when in the dead of night they passed the British fort at Manchac.
At New Orleans, in the spring of 1779, the reliable Benham was chosen by Rogers to carry dispatches and letters to Louisville, probably for Clark, General Edward Hand, commander of the western forces, and Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, all vitally interested in the safe delivery of the supplies and return of the party of volunteers. This was a most dangerous and trying undertaking, entailing travel of hundreds of miles through a wilderness country infested with hostile savages, with the captain subsisting principally on Indian corn boiled in lye to preserve it from the weevil. Shortly after his arrival Rogers and his men came with the boats from St. Louis. Strengthened by a score of more of Clark's borderers, the entire party, now swelled to the number of some seventy, started up-river for Fort Pitt, and in a few days ran into the massacre narrated in the foregoing.
Captain Benham afterwards became one of the earliest settlers at Cincinnati, where he is said to have built the first hewed log house in 1789. He saw service throughout the Indian war in the Northwest (1790-95), accompanying the expeditions of Harmar and Wilkinson, shared in the disaster of St. Clair (1791), in which campaign he served as commissary-general, and wound up his lengthy career of Indian fighting as a member of Wayne's victorious army. In the terrible defeat of St. Clair, after the savages had completely surrounded his force of 1,500 and were engaging in wholesale slaughter, Benham at the general's request mounted his horse and was among the foremost in leading the bloody charge which broke through the enemy's lines and saved the remnant of the American troops. He was at this time again severely wounded .
For a time the captain lived in northern Kentucky, on the same ground where had occurred the butchery of the whites in 1779, from which fight he had so miraculously escaped with his life. Later he removed to a farm at Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, from where in 1799 he was elected to the first territorial legislature. This brave old pioneer and Mason, a man of great muscular strength and activity, died in 1809, the same year witnessing the passing of Captain Kibby.
MAJOR BENJAMIN STITES
The third and last of the famous early Indian fighters and settlers to become members of N.C. Harmony Lodge was Major Benjamin Stites, descendant of one of America's oldest families. John Stites, the founder was born in England in 1595, lived in three centuries and died in 1717, at the astounding age of 122. Benjamin Stites, of the fifth generation in this country, was born in New Jersey in 1747. When still a young man he removed in 1772 to the backwoods of Virginia, in Berkeley County (now W. Va.). The beginning of the Revolution found him living on Ten-Mile Creek in extreme southwestern Pennsylvania, the outskirts of civilization, where also resided Robert Benhan and later, very likely, Ephraim Kibby.
Already of experience and prominent in actions against the troublesome Indians, Stites became captain and then major of a company of frontier militia during this struggle, with headquarters at Jackson's Fort, near the present Waynesburg, in Green County. So remotely situated was this point, in reality but a log stockade enclosing cabin homes, to which settlers fled at times of Indian alarm, that but scant reference to it is to be found in history. Laying close to the home land of the tribes in Ohio, Ten-Mile Creek was the region where Logan, the celebrated chieftain and friend of the whites, aided by his Mingoes, first glutted his vengeance following the murder in cold blood of his entire family and relatives in 1774, by a band of border roughs.
Many adventures and narrow escapes befell the lot of the intrepid Stites during his long years in the West, but, as in the cases of Kibby and Benham, only a scattering few of his experiences have come to hand, and they likewise disappointing in their want of details. In a fight with the redskins at Jackson's Fort in 1778, following their killing and scalping one of the settlers, Stites was shot in his side by a savage, but the ball luckily was stopped by his powder-horn and bullet-pouch and he was left with but a severe shock. The remarks of the major at this, directed at the particular Indian who had centered his aim upon him, have not been preserved, and perhaps all for the best.
Two years later the enemy came on a plundering raid down the Ten-Mile, driving the settler families to shelter within the fort. So soon as they were assembled, Stites set off with his men in hot but unsuccessful pursuit and was gone for three days. Leaving in too great a hurry to take along any provisions, the party had nothing to eat on the way save roots. On another occasion, but this time coming to grips with the foe, the redoubtable leader, who apparently needed no introduction to the savages and seemed their especial target, received bullets through both his hat and clothing.
Following the Revolution the major engaged in the business of trader. While he was at Washington, Kentucky, in 1786, a band of Indians marauded in the neighborhood and ran off a large number of horses, an unpardonable sin on the border. Furious at their loss, the Kentuckians hastily raised a force of mounted volunteers and started in pursuit, with Stites, a man of courage and of known reputation in trailing redskins, one of their number and the chosen leader.
The chase led hotly along northern Kentucky to the mouth of the Little Miami River, when, after crossing the Ohio on rafts as had the Indians with the stolen horses, it was continued for 70 miles up the Little Miami Valley, until within sight of their big town near where is now Xenia. Being of insufficient strength to advance farther, the whites wheeled to the left and after a cross-country ride of some length, returned to the Ohio down the valley of the Great Miami. The homeward trip, being more leisurely, gave Stites a better opportunity of making an examination of the land. Struck with its wild beauty and fertility, the idea of founding a settlement became fixed in his mind.
Closing out his business, he hurried to far-off New Jersey, walking most of the distance, it is said, and succeeded in interesting Judge John Cleves Symmes, then an influential member of Congress. As a result the East Jersey Company was formed, which in 1787 secured by purchase from the government several hundred thousand acres fronting on the Ohio and stretching northward between the two Miamis. This tract henceforth was called the Symmes or Miami Purchase. To the Kentuckians it long had been known as the "Miami Slaughter House," from their many years of bloody battle with the red enemy, for this reason being considered by them too dangerous for settlement. However, through the efforts of Major Stites and Judge Symmes and his associates, steps toward this end were now soon taken.
By the summer of 1788 several contingents of immigrant families had been assembled at Limestone (now Maysville), Ky., where they awaited a favorable opportunity for their advance down the Ohio to found their wilderness homes. This at last arrived cold weather and with the Indians hibernating in their towns to the North or otherwise absent from their beloved "Beautiful River." During the ensuing winter, beginning with November, three separate detachments of the pioneers made their way cautiously downstream and effected as many settlements on the riverfront of the Purchase, in turn Columbia, Cincinnati and North Bend. The first, comprising some score men, women and children led by Major Stites, was made in the face of reports from hunters that 500 Indians awaited their coming at the mouth of the Little Miami, where they intended founding their village. Holding the boats to the Kentucky shore, Stites, Ephraim Kibby and two others crossed in a canoe to reconnoiter the neighborhood. A close examination proved the report unfounded and the little party was signaled to come over. Evidence was discovered later where a band of about fifty redskins had but very recently been camped a half-mile away. Columbia, the first white settlement in southwestern Ohio and the second in the state, being but seven months younger than Marietta, nearly 300 miles up-river. In after decades it was absorbed in the steady growth of Cincinnati, first settled in December, 1788.
From the beginning Major Stites, as leader, was kept busy with the defense and other affairs of his village, which until the placing of Fort Washington at Cincinnati gave promise of blossoming into a sizable town. Thus he found it impossible to take any active part in the various campaigns against the Indians from 1790 to 1795, as had his old trail companions Kibby and Benham. Notwithstanding, this veteran borderer had his share of adventures, in common with others, in the settlement of Ohio. Perhaps more so if all were known, as the savages, with ample cause to remember him from Virginia and Pennsylvania days, had nursed a hatred of many years. This feeling was intensified by his settling on their home land, the Indians' hitherto exclusive domain. They now promised him the warmest reception within their powerburning at the stake should he ever be caught. However, the wily old major was able to thumb his nose in derision at all their attempts to capture him, and "kept his hair" to the end.
At least two such attempts on his person are known to have been made, following his leaving Pennsylvania. The first was in the summer of 1791, when a group of warriors fired upon a canoe bound up-river for Columbia and killed, wounded or captured all the occupants save a lone woman passenger, Mrs. Coleman, who escaped under circumstances that, while fortunate, certainly were not without their aspect of comedy. In the confusion and excitement of the moment the craft overturned and all were thrown into the water. Mrs. Coleman, a person large and of most generous proportions, would appear to have turned a complete somersault as she went over the side, for she landed feet first at her immersion. Immediately she set off afloat on the broad bosom of the Ohio, buoyed up by her voluminous skirts, which ballooned on the surface and bore her away from the scene. Great must have been the wonderment of the savages at such a strange spectacle, as they stood on the bank with hands shading their eyes from the glare of the afternoon sun, and with open mouths watched the fat lady making her comfortable descent down "LaBelle Riviere." Shortly arriving at Cincinnati, Mrs. Coleman began to yell lustily for help and gallant rescuers were prompt at hand to pull her from the water. Had Major Stites been on board, these lines concerning him in all probability would never have been written.
The second attempt, recorded in brief backwoods fashion in the Centinel of the Northwestern Territory, took place in 1794, when he and a settler named Reeder set off on their horses for Cincinnati. As they rode along, keeping careful watch as usual, they suddenly were beset by half a dozen Indians, who had lain in wait along the trail. At the first intimation of danger Stites, with his border training, was over like a flash on the far side of his horse, by the narrowest margins escaping several bullets fired at him. Seemingly the major bore a charmed life. Reeder, however, was not so fortunate, being wounded in his leg and suffering a broken right arm. Seeing his friend was hard hit, the brave old pioneer swung his horse around that of the former's and kicking him in the flanks to a greater speed, rode in between as a shield against the red devils. These, their guns empty, now rushed upon the whites with a brandishing of tomahawks and uttering fierce yells, intent on taking them prisoner. But being on foot they soon were left behind, and what proved to be their last chance at the major's capture was gone glimmering, peace being brought about by the victory of Wayne in this year.
Bringing the wounded Reeder to Cincinnati, after seeing to his proper care, the indomitable Stites that night rode alone over the same trail to his home at Columbia. Evidently he took this experience to be all in a day's journey. In this connection it is perhaps in order to quote from the excellent work, Western Pioneer Biographies, by John McDonald, one of Kibby's men:
History in no age furnishes so many instances of repeated acts of bravery as were performed by the frontiermen of western Pennsylvania, western Virginia and Kentucky; yet these acts of apparent desperation were so frequently repeated by numbers that they were scarcely noticed at the time as being any other than the common occurrence of the day.
Bro. Stites lived to enjoy the benefits of his Masonic membership for but comparatively a few years, passing away at Columbia in 1804, after a life of the greatest activity and usefulness, at the age of fifty-seven. In this village which he founded he was the first justice of the peace, and other ways was engaged in the leadership from the beginning. From a note in a small manuscript book on the Stites family, now in the possession of the Ohio Historical and Philosophical Society at Cincinnati, the major died a violent death in the aforesaid year when returning to his home from Fort Washington. However, further than this meager statement the record does not show.
In Bros. Stites, Benham and Kibby, N. C. Harmony Lodge had as members the three most noted characters in southwestern Ohio, a trio who were of the breed of hard-fighting backwoodsmen, long known to and feared by the Indians as the "Long Knives," celebrated in all works on the early West. From their many years of activity in its affairs, it is most probable that they became well acquainted with those other leading figures on the frontier Colonels George Rogers Clark, Daniel Broadhead and William Crawford, the latter of whom was burned at the stake by the savages in 1782; dashing Major Samuel McCollogh, killed in the same year and whose heart was torn out and eaten by the enemy, "to make them bold, like him;" Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, Captains William and James Harrod and others of like renown.
Though greatly experienced and of widespread reputation in woodcraft and border warfare, they yet did not take up the business of pathfinder, hunter and scout in a professional capacity, as did Washburn, McClellan and Wetzel. Rather were they of the true type of pioneer, homeseekers who were forced through necessity to learn the ways of the redman and match savage skill and cunning in defense of their firesides and families. The moment that this danger was removed, they laid down the rifle and scalping knife and turned to the more peaceful pursuit, and their natural vocation of tilling the soil.
During their lengthy residence on the rim of settlement, Stites and his two associates responded to numerous alarms of Indian attacks and raids and had many encounters with the dusky foe. With what keen and thrilling interest one would read a full account of their adventures and exploits ! Unfortunately, their isolation kept them out of touch with civilized communities, and so, having no contemporary biographers, as had Boone in Filson, the complete stories of these Masonic pioneers are lost. The same reason of remoteness explains their tardy knocking at the door of Freemasonry, a step taken by many of their time before they left the East, the homes of this trio laying hundreds of miles removed from the nearest Masonic lodge.
All three were fine types of the frontiersman tall, extremely active, and possessed of almost unlimited strength and endurance. That they passed away in their fifties and did not reach the great age attained by some of those who came later, is undoubted testimony of the fearfully hard life of danger, exposure and harrowing experiences they were forced to undergo in the winning of the West. In remarking on the heroism, sufferings and sacrifices and accomplishments of America's backwoodsmen, Mann Butler, in his History of Kentucky, says in partial tribute,
But few have braved more, and endured more, and contributed more in the exploration, conquest and settlement of the western country than these adventurous pioneers.
To this nothing can be added.
The Beloved Community
By BRO. LORNE PIERCE, Canada
WHAT is the greatest thing in all the world?" asks the Master Builder, and Hilda replies, "Castles in the air, of course." Man forever builds his world of dreams, some ideal Republic, Utopia, New Atlantis, or some mythical yet perfect state upon Mars. Thither he transports himself and other kindred spirits, for in that fanciful commonwealth it will at last be less difficult to follow truth, find justice, experience beauty, and love to the utmost. Back through mystics and metaphysicians one may go to the beginning of time, yet always will one find the dream of some kingdom of heaven, some beloved community, where perfection has not only become desirable but also possible.
Benjamin Kidd's The Science of Power has been followed by a strange horde of books boasting the omnipotence of the new psychology. The junior clerk, dreaming of a chief executive's mahogany desk, has only to hypnotize himself with a magic formula, and the thing is done. There is nothing in common between The Science of Power and such books as You Can, but Will You? except that both make dreams and desires the antidote to the rather deadening prospect of the infinitely slow and tedious reform of the evolutionist. Many a man having read Kidd has turned a new leaf in his diary, and written Anno Lux 1. This thing is true: the kingdom comes along the highway of expectancy.
Take an outstanding illustration. We are told that there was an expectation in Israel. For ages the wistful dream of all the tribes had been that war and strife should give way to peace and compassionate understanding. Prophets declared that the Crowned One, who would be lord of the new day, would be a man of marked insight, a see-er, who would establish new standards of world values. Priests assured the people that he would institute the sacrament of a vastly more vital experience of God. Psalmists sang of the advent of one who would be sensitive to all beauty, divinely aware of true loveliness in nature and in the heart of man. The multitude of common men desired that in him they would find an advocate, who would see that justice was done to all, justice tempered with mercy and loving kindness.
Generations came and went, the torch of hope being flung from the expiring hands of the last to the newest. Finally the time was fulfilled, the world was ripe, and he came! He entered into his kingdom along the highway of expectancy, of wistful desire, of great and anguished longing. All that was best in the ideas of kingship accumulating through the ages was crowned in him. All that was divinest in the notions of chief prophets and high priests was fulfilled in him. Justice too lofty for purchase, truth too high for compromise, met at last in him. The humble citizen looked up and found in him a man, all that a man could be when he desired and dared the best. A thrill ran through the old world. The gods were dead, Marduk, Osiri Zeus and the rest. Beauty had withered. Justice and love were lifeless. Then the miracle happened. All that was best of what had survived the winnowing of time was preserved in the new Master Builder. As for the rest they yielded up their spark of life and expired. A new era had begun. Some declared that the time was so great with change that the heavens opened, that the stars moved in new orbits, that the graves were opened and death cheated, that there was music in the air. Others, sensing the fact that the dream of the ages was at last consummated, ran and shouted joyfully: "It is he! It is he!"
The chief thing to be remembered is, that the king came riding into his own upon the wings of expectancy. All that was willed and hoped and dreamed of good, to paraphrase Robert Browning, all that was divinely longed for through the generations, did at last exist.
What was possible then is equally possible now. Let a community earnestly and continuously desire and prepare for a fresh revelation of the best, and as surely as the stars obey the urge of the central sun, so shall the dream come true, "not its semblance but itself." In this all men have an important part. The new heavens and the new earth depend not so much upon parties and philosophies, upon armies arguments, as upon the earnest desire of the “chosen people." This is where Freemasonry came in.
While Masonry is, in a sense, open to the world, not all men may join its brotherhood. There are no barriers of creed, color or caste, but only those should join who are able to grasp its hidden significance. For this reason our lodges must ever remain close tyled. The process of selection must be still more perfect. The temple we would raise is based on justice, justice operative in the daily lives of men. Our walls are built of that material out of which Parsifal, Sir Galahad, Prince Muishkin and the Carpenter were conceived, plain and substantial goodness. Broad avenues lead up to it from North, East, South and West, significant of hospitality and expectancy to universal truth. Beauty is the "dome of many colored glass” which roofs it in. And the banner over it is brotherhood.
Either we mean this, or our ceremonies are a mockery, and our obligations a farce. But we do mean it, and therefore counsel our initiates that they make a daily advancement in these truths. Daily, yet even eternity will be required to exhaust all their implications. Less time at our regular convocations should be occupied with initiatory work and business routine, and more opportunity allowed for working around the trestle-board of our ancient and divine science. Our new brethren must be received with that impressiveness for which our ceremonies are universally known. Their instruction may begin in degree work, and be continued by coaches, but it should be enhanced by the earnest questing of the whole lodge. The beginning and the end of many a lodge is degree work and the conviviality of the midnight cold lunch. What began as a community force dare not end there! What originated as a science and an art, discovering truth and erecting dreams in marble, must not deteriorate into any such insipid thing. Lodge attendance will increase in proportion as the designs of the master gain in interest and imperativeness.
The chief thing about Masonry is that it contains not so much a system of morality or ethical philosophy, as that it offers a challenge by many means to the attainment of its age-old dream the dream of a masterbuilder in a company of brothers, in other words a beloved community. Blind Homer saw more clearly than anyone else an ideal Greek. So he hung Achilles in the heavens above his people, not an argument, not a syllogism, not a creed, but a living symbol. That dream became effective in all the Greek states bordering the Aegean. Now Masonry's glory is just that. It offers no organized religious, social, ethical or other system, but it does present something much more vital and important. It consists of a beloved community held together for generations, not by an elaborate symbolism and a lofty ritual, by secret signs and words, but by an eager expectancy.
This community of desire creates an atmosphere in which the high hopes of men can reasonably be achieved. Water lilies do not flourish in the desert. Neither do truth, beauty and love blossom in uncongenial conditions. It is for this purpose we are pledged. We obligate ourselves to think truth, and thereby create an atmosphere friendly to the great teacher, when at last he shall have appeared. We bind ourselves to think beauty, and thus prepare the highway for the radiant feet of the poet and artist when finally they come with fresh surprises of loveliness. We solemnly swear to think love, and thereby cast up bridges to span the hearts of men, so that when the king comes he may find the world on the tip-toe of expectancy to receive the newest law of brotherhood.
And who shall say that the need of Masonry has been exhausted? It does not pretend to compete with select clubs and insurance societies. It offers no rivalry to the church. Although many of its ideas and symbols may be familiar to the religious denominations, it has wisely reserved for religion the most sacred characters, symbols and names known to men. On a lower plane however, and only a little lower, it carries on its supplementary enterprise. Where as religion requires confessions of faith, and subscription to clearly defined creeds, Masonry allows no such barriers. It says to all men: "Your complexion is not mine. Your language is strange. Your garments are different. But you desire truth, beauty and love; then hand to hand I greet you as a brother."
This, then, is the Beloved Community. It is the trystingplace of the best of the nations. It is a communion of likeminded people who perpetuate the dream of the ages for the best of all possible men, in the best of all possible worlds. It believes that this dream is not a mockery planted in the hearts of succeeding generations of men, but, on the contrary, it is a promise and pledge that these things shall be. It understands that society progresses only along those highways prepared in the minds of hopeful men. It is convinced that its duty is not merely to announce the coming advent, but to build a throne in the east for the worshipful master when at last he appears. He comes, the supreme artist! Can his beauty blossom in this atmosphere? He comes, the master teacher! Will his new and startling truths have half a chance in this soil? Shall he be welcomed home, or shall he be greeted with the old cries of "Heretic!" "Traitor!" and the other trite phrases of intolerance? He comes, the guileless one! Will the newest word from the Father on the value and destiny of man be heard gladly?
That is the final test. Men are still intolerant, obstinate and jealous. They do unlovely things. They fail to love to the limit. But if Masons, in the smallest lodge as well as in the most beautiful temple, would but establish the Beloved Community, this league of friendly minds, our portals would become increasingly the gateway of the elect. When the son of the highest arrives he will most surely come to his own. Some of the most eminent master builders the world has known, in art, literature, science, philosophy and religion, have possessed the passwords of our lodges. Others are on their way, each with a fragment of that truth which was lost and which we desire. Eager expectancy in the North, reverent inquiry in the East, loving solicitude in the South, beautiful tolerance in the West, desire at the Gates then a challenge ! Who knocks? A Presence crowned with beauty, robed with light! We have held fast the dream and lo! "It is he! It is he!"
R.J. MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
E.E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor
BOARD OF EDITORS
LOUIS BLOCK, Iowa
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
RAY V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
R.V. HARRIS, Canada
C. C. HUNT, Iowa
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
A. L. KRESS, Pennsylvania
F. H. LITTLEFIELD, Missouri
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
J. HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
JESSE M. WHITED, California
DAVID E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
OUR LITTLE FAMILY QUARREL
THE Editor is making plans to gloat and if polite he would like to be able to say "I told you so."
Members of the Society are informed of the difference of opinion between the Executive Secretary and himself, for the matter was submitted to them individually in a recent circular letter. They are now engaged in determining whether the Editor's contention was well-founded. One brother only, so far, has cast his vote on the contrary side. He sent in a brief note inviting us to fight all we wanted to and stop sending him THE BUILDER. It takes all kinds of people to make a world! This particular letter was the cause of much innocent merriment and we are thinking of having it framed.
But the campaign is by no means yet won. It is still possible that the hope of the Editor for triumph is premature, for those who have responded are far from forming a majority. If every member would only regard himself as a missionary, if he would undertake to try and get one new member at least every year, difficulties that hamper the work of the Society would be overcome. For example, the consolidated index to THE BUILDER could be printed. And there are a number of other matters of real importance that are being held up.
We might make another suggestion. This is the season of gifts - a subscription to THE BUILDER would in many cases be much appreciated as a Christmas present, and perhaps those brethren thus receiving it would become interested members of the Society. We are sure that there are thousands of Masons in America who would be glad to belong if they only knew about it.
We frequently get letters telling us that by such and such an accident the writers had seen a copy of THE BUILDER, or heard of it. It is only through the missionary activities of the present members that these potential members can be reached.
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THE BICENTENNIAL OF AMERICAN MASONRY
THREE years ago, Bro. Robert J. Newton, of Texas, suggested that the year 1930 should be chosen to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the Craft in America. The letter in which he made this proposal was published in THE BUILDER for July, 1925. Five years was probably too far in the future for the idea to take root, but now it is only twelve months or so away, it should be considered if any adequate celebration is to take place, or whether 1930 would be the fitting date.
There are probably other reasons for Bro. Newton's suggestion having met with no response. The apparent difficulty of deciding upon any year in view of some controversy as to where Freemasonry was first organized in this country, intensified by the amour propre of two of our elder jurisdictions, each naturally interested in the matter. Into that controversy we do not now propose to enter, though we should like later to present the respective cases in the pages of THE BUILDER, if competent brethren can be prevailed upon to prepare them. The date Bro. Newton suggested is frankly a compromise one. It is that of the granting of a deputation to Daniel Cox as Provincial Grand Master for the colonies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This deputation was for the period of two years, and apparently Bro. Cox was in England most of this time, so that apparently the authorization was without any result, so far as we know. But the point lies in the fact that in this document the Grand Lodge of England officially recognized, for the first time, the existence of Freemasonry in America.
It is obvious upon reflection that no man could then, any more than now, be deputed to go to any place and there plant Masonry all by himself. Such deputations to individuals as we find mentioned by Anderson and others, or recorded in the minutes of the Grand Lodge, always imply the presence of other Masons in the city or country for which authority is granted. But in this case the fact is explicitly stated - in three several places - that there were brethren resident in the American Colonies.
That there were Masons in the Colonies before this date we know more or less certainly from a number of indications, and even that in some places they had formed lodges and made new brethren. Benjamin Franklin was initiated in a lodge meeting by "inherent right," though it has been claimed that this lodge was constituted under the authority of the deputation of Daniel Cox. As a matter of fact it is quite possible and even probable, merely on the basis of the mathematical laws of chance, that Freemasons were among the emigrants to America in the seventeenth century, and if so it is also probable that they here and there formed "occasional" lodges, if not bodies of a more permanent character. In every country we find there is a period before definite history begins - not only in the British Isles, but in France and the Netherlands, as well as America.
The Bicentennial of Modern Freemasonry, Masonry organized under the Grand Lodge system, was celebrated in 1917, so far as the World War, then raging, permitted. But that was a compromise date. It was certainly not the date of the establishment of Masonry, it was not even the date of the momentous decision to organize anew, for that was taken not in 1717 but in 1716. But 1717 was the date of the election (if we may believe Dr. Anderson) of the first Grand Master of Masons, Anthony Sayer. It thus seems that this date of 1730 is equally significant to American Masonry. Without prejudice to investigations into the previous manifestations of Masonic activities, or the later "regular" constitution of lodges, June, 1730, is definitely the date when the first Grand Lodge specifically recognized that Masonry existed also in the American Colonies, and took action to take it under its wing.
The specific suggestion made by Bro. Newton in regard to such a celebration may be best stated in his own words:
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.
The five years is now reduced to one. But that will be time enough if action be taken without undue delay. The 1917 celebrations in Europe might be taken as a starting point in arranging plans. In London a huge meeting of the Craft was held in the Albert Hall, accounts of which will be found in the third volume of THE BUILDER. There was another celebration held under the auspices of the International Bureau of Masonic Affairs and the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland. A tangible result of this was the publication of Two Centuries of Freemasonry, a collection of essays and statistics both valuable and interesting. In England Bro. Calvert published The Grand Lodge of England, 1717-1917, in commemoration of the same event.
The initiative should properly come from one of the older of our Jurisdictions, and it might possibly come from the Grand Master of either New York or New Jersey, seeing they are neutral in the friendly dispute as to where Masonry was first established in America. Perhaps better yet, if it could be arranged between them, would be to have the call come from the Grand Masters of three states mentioned in the Deputation of Daniel Cox together with Massachusetts. We submit the proposal to the Craft.
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THE ORDER OF ST. JOHN NOT MASONIC
HASTY readers often jump to erroneous conclusions. It has been very definitely stated in the articles that have appeared in our pages about the Order of St. John that it was not an organization requiring Masonic affiliation as a qualification for membership. The fact that it accepts women as members implies so much to begin with. It happens that, all its members, so far, with almost no exceptions, are either Masons or the near female relatives of Masons,. but this is accidental. There is no limit in its Constitution but that of good character and interest in the work.
We have gathered that its founders would have preferred to have made it Masonic in the same sense that the Order of the Eastern Star is Masonic, but any idea of such limitation was given up for very good practical reasons, one of the principal of these being that the Masonic Fraternity is overloaded with appendant. organizations.
As we understand the sentiment of those active in this new organization, they feel that at the present juncture there is little likelihood of any general action. on the part of the Fraternity as a whole, looking toward the solution of the tuberculosis problem. Those who, have worked for this have decided to take a new and. independent line; and in order to be independent it was necessary to cut loose entirely from any formal connection with the Craft. We have given it space in our pages not because it is a Masonic organization, but because it had its origin in a movement that was Masonic, and because many of our readers are interested. in the problem and desire to see it solved. They, with us, are very sorry, and perhaps depressed, to find that nothing could be done within the Craft; but, accepting this state of affairs, they will be glad to know that there is still the hope of doing something outside and apart from it. Though studiously avoiding any formal and technical connection with Freemasonry, it is undoubtedly inspired by Masonic ideals and teachings.
We therefore beg all our readers, and especially those. in important official positions, to take due notice that the Order of St. John is entirely independent and is. open to all men and women of good will.
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“EARLY and accurate information is the secret of success in war," said Napoleon or Frederick or Julius Caesar or some other great captain. He (whoever it was) might have gone further and said it was the secret of success in any undertaking. For this reason we are seeking information, for we really do want our work to be successful.
So at the end of another year, before plans for the. new one are fully completed, we want to make a very definite appeal to members of the Society. Most of them seem to take THE BUILDER as part of the fixed order of nature, that it will come out every month just as there will be a new moon. Or as city dwellers have pretty well forgotten what the moon is, we may use the electric lights in the streets as a simile. Perhaps a better one, because there is a lot of hard work, thought and constant attention behind the regular appearance of the electric lights - so also there is behind the publication of THE BUILDER.
Our magazine differs from the great majority of periodicals, in that it is not only a "class" journal, but is definitely the organ of a Society, the main link between its individual members. But it must be confessed that we are very much in the position of the officers of a lodge which has a very large membership upon its roll of whom only a handful ever attend the meetings. We are not gifted with second sight, or prophetic power of correctly interpreting what may lie beyond a dead silence. Unless members of the Society will communicate with us, we cannot tell what they think or what they would like.
THE BUILDER belongs to the Society; each member has a share in it, but like the indifferent voter at an election, if he stays away from the poll he will have no representation. What we are especially desirous of knowing is whether lack of communication means tacit approval.
It is a well known fact of human nature taken in mass, that objection, and criticism in the adverse sense, are far more quickly and fully voiced than satisfaction or approbation, but it would be of very great assistance indeed to the editorial staff to know more definitely. Have our fellow members interest enough in the work of the Society to let us know?
We would like those who are moved to respond to this request, which is not, we think, at all unreasonable, to be as specific as they can. We would like to know, for example, how the Study Club Department meets the needs of those actively engaged in that work. We know it has been of value to many, and only one brother has criticised it in any way. But we would like to know more.
Then there is the Library. Are enough of our members sufficiently interested in new books to make it worth while to continue to publish reviews; not only works of a strictly Masonic character, but others dealing with subjects more or less connected with it, or even merely of general interest? Again, we know that some brethren greatly appreciate the work of our reviewers, but we would like to know more about the attitude of the silent majority.
Then in regard to the general articles - do the members find these of a type they appreciate? It must be understood that here we have not so much scope to make changes. Our contributors are voluntary, the Society has no funds to pay for articles, and consequently we have to do the best we can with what is submitted, with very little opportunity to get specially written articles. Still if we knew how to classify our readers we could make some charges if they were desirable. For instance, a certain number of Masons are interested in the occult and mystical, others in history, others in present day problems, and so on. We try to provide matter for all tastes, no one can reasonably expect everything in THE BUILDER to be always what he is interested in; but he is entitled to find something, and to an extent commensurate with the number of others of similar tastes. But how can we decide unless we know?
It is perhaps a bad time to ask our brethren to write to us, when everyone is overwhelmed with the task of sending Christmas letters and greetings to friends. But it would not take much effort to send a postcard to say which number of THE BUILDER in the year 1928 appeared to be the most interesting. Even so much as that would be of great help if a really substantial number of our readers would do it. May we ask you to do this at least, and more if you can?
THE DEPUTATION TO DANIEL COX
On another page there is a reference to the "Deputation" granted in 1730 by the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of London in 1730, to Daniel Cox. As it is not generally accessible we reproduce it here. The original document has long since vanished, but it was transcribed in full on the pages of the minute book of the Grand Lodge.
It must be remembered that the procedure at that time was totally different from what it is today. Dispensations to form lodges had not yet been considered necessary, and "warrants" or "charters" were still unknown. In other words the lodges in America would be recognized as "just and perfect" and their members received as lawfully made. "Regularity" was in effect the adhesion of independent lodges to the obedience of the Grand Lodge in London. To interpret the records of the early eighteenth century in the light of our Constitutional and Statute law is misleading to the point of falsification.
To all and every our Right Worshipful, Worshipful and loving Brethren now residing or who may hereafter reside in the Provinces of New York, New Jersey and Pensilvania. His Grace Thomas Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, etc., etc. . . . Grand Master of the ffree and accepted Masons of England Sendeth Greeting.
Whereas application has been made unto us by our Rt. Worshipful and welbeloved Brother Daniel Cox of New Jersey Esqr. and by several other Brethren ffree and accepted Masons residing and about to reside in the said Provinces of New York New Jersey & Pensilvania that We would be pleased to nominate and appoint a Provincial Grand Master of the said Provinces Now Know yee That We Have nominated Ordained Constituted and appointed and Do by these Presents nominate ordain constitute and appoint our Right Worshipful and welbeloved Brother the said Daniel Cox Provincial Grand Master of the said Provinces of New York New Jersey and Pensilvania with full Power and Authority to nominate and appoint his Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens for the Space of two years from the Feast of St. John the Baptist now next ensuing after which time It is Our Will and Pleasure and We Do hereby ordain that the Brethren who do now reside or may hereafter reside in all or any of the said Provinces, Shall and they are hereby Impowered every other year on the ffeast of St. John the Baptist to elect a Provincial Grand Master who shall have the power of nominating and appointing his Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens. And We do hereby Impower our said Provincial Grand Master and the Grand Master Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens for the time being for Us and in our place & Stead to Constitute the Brethren (ffree and Accepted Masons) now residing or who shall hereafter reside in those parts into one or more regular Lodge or Lodges as he shall think fit, and as often as occasion shall require He the said Daniel Cox and the Provincial Grand Master Depy. Grand Master and Grand Wardens for the time being taking Special Care that all and every Member of any Lodge or Lodges so to be constituted have been or shall be made regular Masons And that they do cause all & every the Regulations contained in the printed Book of Constitutions, except so far as they have been altered by the Grand Lodge at their Quarterly Meetings to be kept and observed and also all such other Rules and Instructions as shall from time to time be transmitted to him or them by us, or Nathl. Blackerby Esqr. our Deputy Grand Master or the Grand Master or his Deputy for the time being And that he the said Daniel Cox our Provincial Grand Master of the said Provinces and the Provincial Grand Master for the time being or his Deputy Do. send to us or our Deputy Grand Master and to the Grand Master of England or his Deputy for the time being annually an Account in Writing of the Number of Lodges so Constituted with the names of the several members of each particular Lodge together with such other matters and things as he or they shall think fit to be communicated for the Prosperity of the Craft And Lastly We will and require that our said Provincial Grand Master and the Grand Master for the time being or his Deputy do annually cause the Brethren to keep the ffeast of St. John the Evangelist and Dine together on that day or (in case any accident should happen to prevent their dining together on that day) on any other day near that time, as the Provincial Grand Master for the time being shall Judge most fit, as is done here and at that time more particularly and at all Quarterly Communications he do recommend a General Chrity to be established for the Reliefe of poor Brethren of the said Provinces Given under our hand and Seal of Office at London this fifth day of June 1730 and of Masonry 5730.
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THE FASCIST DICTATORSHIP
[The following article has been translated and somewhat condensed from L'Acacia for September last. It was occasioned apparently by a recent book by Gaetano Salveminii, at one time Professor of History in the University of Florence, and now apparently a refugee in England.]
When any one speaks of the Fascist Dictatorship and its shameful and criminal proceedings in Italy, there are very few bourgeois, even those of liberal inclinations, who will not reply:
"Mussolini? Certainly - his police are rather rough; his methods are not ours; but what a man! Italy in 1922 was the prey of anarchy and Communism. He subdued the subversive elements, he has been the savior of order. It is to his vigorous fist that the country, since the march to Rome, owes its tranquility and prosperity.”
If things had really happened thus we would be able to understand the admiration and gratitude of the conservative world for the soldier of fortune who rendered it such services. But the astonishing thing is that there is nothing, or practically nothing, in the myth of Mussolini as the restorer of order that is in accord with the actual facts.
It is entirely false, for one thing, that in 1922, on the eve of the March on Rome, Italy was in the grip of anarchy and bolshevism. At this time the middle-class reaction had for some time had the upper hand of communism. The morbid troubles of the after war period had run their course. There was no problem of revolutionary strikes or the forcible occupation of factories. The country would have been absolutely quiet except for the bands of fascists, which in order to turn the trick, were organizing punitive expeditions, and, with the benevolent neutrality of the government, were raiding editorial offices, burning cooperative institutions, both socialist and Christian, beating to death with clubs the followers both of Turate and of Dom Sturzo.
In reality it was two or three years before this (1919-1920) that the alleged troubles had occurred; that the communist menace, which in any case was very greatly exaggerated, had spread panic; that the workers, on strike or locked out, were occupying the factories.
At this time where was Mussolini, and what was he doing?
Expelled from the Socialist party, exasperated against his old friends, resolved to bring upon them (his own expression) "an implacable vengeance," he had set up against them his "fighting fascist organizations." But these organizations were chiefly composed of ex-socialists, old communists and anarchists, still asserting themselves to be revolutionaries, openly proclaiming a policy of taking the side of the highest bidder, and participating with other troublous elements in all the most insolent manifestations and aggressions against the "established order."
For example, when the anarchist Malatesta arrived from England, Dec. 25, 1919, Mussolini welcomed him in the warmest terms, in opposing these "imbecile and infamous socialists."
In January, 1920, the Popolo d’Italia [the newspaper of which Mussolini was editor] gave its full approval to the general railway strike. In March, 1919, when two thousand workmen at Dalmino near Bergams [in Lombardy] occupied the factories of the firms Franchi and Gregorini (it was the first case of this kind), Mussolini went there himself to felicitate the strikers.
The Popolo d’Italia on the first of April following said:
"The experiment at Dalmino is of the greatest importance, in that it shows the potential capacity of the proletariat to manage factories for themselves."
These facts, among hundreds of others, are given in order by Salvemini. His proof is decisive. In 1919-1920 Mussolini was still on the other side of the fence.
Also it is hardly necessary to be astonished that when, by this most sudden and impudent change of front, he would become a game-keeper after being a poacher, the reactionary element received him with some reserve and some distrust.
Salvemini also shows that before the occurrence of the "March on Rome" Mussolini only played a secondary part. He was put in the forefront. His popularity in certain quarters was weighed, and it was reluctantly decided that it was a necessary condition for the success of the enterprise. But what in fact was planned, with the imbecile complicity of the last bourgeois cabinet, disturbed at the growth of socialism, was a military coup d'etat on behalf of the financial interests, of which Mussolini, encompassed by generals, was to be the instrument. Thus it is explained how, by renouncing his republican inclinations, he was content to become leader of the forces of the reactionary government.
But after the victory, those who had hoped by a single blow to save the monarchy, serve the capitalist interests and crush the insurgent fascists, discovered that they had reckoned without their host.
This successful military adventure appeared under its true colors. Supported by his subsidized militia Mussolini more and more took the tone of master, and thus inaugurated a new "subbonapartist" regime.
Trains today leave on time; this is understood. Fascist Italy wherever possible is following, at great cost, a policy of "prestige." Exchange has been bolstered. The "black shirts" keep order in Rome as the Cossacks did in Warsaw. But underneath what is there? Behind this "facade" what is really occurring? Salvemini tells us; backed by the fullest evidence. It is the "reign of the club" - the "right to kill” - the murder of Matteotti.
Perhaps, after reading these proofs, we may understand better that there are still those who are not prepared to see in Mussolini a statesman like others; or in the regime he has instituted one of those "free governments" which alone the pact of 1919 desired to enter the League of Nations.
A pamphlet by Madame Maria Rygier recently published in Brussels was also noticed in the same issue of L'Acacia. Madam Rygier apparently had a part in the "campaign for intervention," as a result of which Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies. She now reveals the "occult reasons" which explain why Mussolini so suddenly abjured the "neutralist principles" that he had been publishing in the Avanti during the first months of the conflict, and became, as editor of the Popolo d’Italia, an "agent of interventionism." It seems that the "Duce" had yielded, in this performance, to pressure from the French government; a pressure that was possible owing to painful episodes in his past. It seems, according to Madame Rygier, that Mussolini left Italy in 1904 to escape conscription. Later he was expelled from Switzerland on account of having falsified his passport. He then took refuge in Savoy, where he became a fervent socialist revolutionary with the functions - of a police spy.
Threatened in 1914 with the exposure of his traitorous infamy he found it advisable to accept the offers of the government of Bordeaux; and pretending a sudden conversion to patriotic sentiment, he threw himself desperately into the propaganda in favor of war. He also found means to obtain generous payment from France for this amazing change of front, which has since proved to be the turning point of his career and which has led him finally to power as dictator of his native country.
[This is all very surprising and it is presented here with all due reserve. Not having seen Madam Rygier's pamphlet we are unable to judge how credible her story may be. We hope to obtain further information on the subject. Ed.]
It was long ago said that "the price of liberty was constant watchfulness," and also "none are free who do not deserve freedom," and to deserve freedom is to set it above price, above wealth and honors or ease. The Great War was fought to preserve the liberties of the world. Prussian militarism is dead, but its spirit has entered into all our free governments and will transform them if we do not heed.
Papers of the Cedar Rapids Conference
The next three papers dealt with the management and problems of Masonic Libraries. The first of these was by Bro. William L. Boyden, Librarian and Curator of the Scottish Rite Library at Washington, which is one of the two or three largest in the world. His special subject was
THE OPERATION OF A MASONIC LIBRARY BY BRO. WILLIAM L. BOYDEN
THE subject assigned me for discussion is that of "The Operation of a Masonic Library," with particular reference to the larger one; and with this idea in view I must necessarily deal with it from the standpoint of my own experience in the latter class.
The past forty years have witnessed a most marvelous growth in the literature of Freemasonry, each succeeding year eclipsing the preceding one, until today we stand amazed, as it were, at its prolificacy. Every phase of Masonic thought has its students, its scholars and its writers. Books and pamphlets are flowing from the presses in an ever increasing stream; and as to Masonic magazines a few years ago they could be counted on one's fingers; today their number is legion, and the multitude of bulletins and similar monthly publications, of both a general and a local nature, is astounding. What might be termed learned or literary lodges have sprung into being throughout the world, and the papers and proceedings issued by them are among the most important and valuable assets of any library.
In the Bible (Ecclesiastes Xll) we read that "of making many books there is no end." If this were true in the olden times, how much more so is it true of the present, when the printing art, so wonderfully developed, has traveled to the uttermost parts of the world, and where, too, Freemasonry has spread its benign influence and its literature.
To gather and to care for the vast literary accumulations of Freemasonry of more remote times, and to collect the teeming output of the present and of the future, is the province of the larger Masonic library.
To do this, it must have means, facilities and accommodations. Where the smaller library confines itself to the more important items and those most in demand, the larger library must have everything possible; for there is no telling into what ramifications a line of research will lead the student, and he naturally expects the larger library to furnish whatever he calls for.
In my opinion the larger Masonic library should use its utmost endeavors to obtain a copy of everything printed or produced. I do not except anything, no matter how seemingly trivial from the ordinary standpoint. Of course the limitations of the finances and the capacity of the library will govern just how far this can be carried out; but what a wonderful thing it would be, could we point to some library and say that it has all the known Masonic literature of the universe within its walls.
The day is not yet however when this vision can be fully realized, but some time perhaps, when the nations of the world have been brought closer together, and Freemasonry, to use a radio expression, "hooked up" with all the Masonic stations of the world, represented by the Grand Lodges and other governing bodies, we may unite in providing at some determined point, a great International Masonic Library, supported by the Masonic Grand bodies of every country, all of them interested in seeing that everything Masonic from their own jurisdictions is fully represented. You may say that this idea is utterly impracticable and beyond all hope and reasoning. Possibly so, but great things are being done these days.
Granting, however, that this possibly wild thought is too remote for realization in the next fifty years or so, is there anyone so void of vision as to argue against the possibility and practicability of a great National Masonic Library in our own country, and that library possibly located at our national capital? Surely, if the National Grand Lodge idea, which has been before this country since George Washington's time, is not feasible, at least at present, it cannot be called an impossibility this idea of a National Masonic Library.
But I am perhaps digressing from my subject, and will abandon fancies for facts.
In addition to the many general works on Freemasonry, and the vast amount of proceedings or transactions of Masonic bodies throughout the world, an important and highly interesting branch of Masonic literature which only the larger library would be justified in collecting is that of the local histories of lodges and other Masonic bodies. Subordinate to these are the too often despised by-laws, of which there are, of course, thousands upon thousands, the accumulation of nearly two centuries. I say "too often despised" because they are generally looked upon as of practically no importance; but let me say that probably twothirds of all the by-laws that have been printed contain either a short sketch of the lodge, a roster of its officers and members, or both, and quite often other Masonic matters of interest and importance. In my own researches along historical and biographical lines some of these early bylaws have disclosed information of value and the names of world-famous people in their rosters.
Manuscripts, of which there are many, are to be reckoned with in a large library. They are usually of the various rites and degrees; some of them embracing an entire series; others, of only one or more degrees, dating generally from the latter part of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth. Sometimes these manuscripts are works of art, being beautifully written, embellished with illustrations, some plain and often some colored, and handsomely bound.
The literature of anti-Masonry we must also collect, for it is important in many ways. Its items are numbered by the thousands and include in addition to the general elusions, fraudulent manuals or rituals, so-called exposes dating from about 1724, productions of spurious and clandestine organizations, defensive and controversial works, political and sectarian emanations, novels, and many other miscellaneous topics.
Many books, non-Masonic in character, contain references to Freemasonry, sometimes slight, often at length, and of importance. The discriminating librarian will endeavor to get those worth while. Robert Plot's The National History of Staffordshire, printed at Oxford in 1686, contains the first known reference to Freemasonry and several pages are devoted to the subject. Aside from its desirability as a Mason item it is a rarity of the English press.
It is gratifying to note the trend of present-day biographers, who are incorporating in their histories of great men some account of their Masonic connections when they happen to be of the Craft. I think I can safely say that it is of much more importance to tell us something about their Masonic lives than to impart the information that they liked a good cigar or pipe, or preferred ham and cabbage to ice cream and cake. Sawyer's Washington; Russel's John Paul Jones, Man of Action, and Winston's Andrew Johnson, Plebeian and Patriot, are recent biographies which do not hesitate to give us the information about these men as Freemasons. In the first-named book about fifteen pages are devoted to Freemasonry.
Quite naturally the large library in time becomes the possessor of many curiosities and antiques of Masonic import, as well as aprons, collars, caps, handkerchiefs or scarfs, swords, gavels, bottles, flasks, glasses, mugs, pitchers, much of which is very suggestive of the older customs of the Craft.
Then, too, there are numerous Masonic engravings, pictures, photographs and the like, patents, diplomas, certificates of all kinds. Many of these are required or presented in a framed condition, and were one to keep them in this shape, the walls could not accommodate them, and if they did, exposure to the light would ruin them.
Let us not forget that with all these mentioned matters we also have to deal with countless thousands of Masonic medals, chapter pennies, badges and souvenirs of every description.
One of the important functions particularly in the large library is to answer correspondence from all over the country on questions Masonic and quite frequent non-Masonic. These inquiries are as varied as it is possible to imagine. Most of them are sane, others saner and still others saneless. But they all have to be answered and many of them require hours of research.
The problems which confront the librarian in the care and disposition of all these diversified contents of the library, are many and unusual, and it would reach far beyond the limits of this paper to discuss them here. I have endeavored not to worry you with details, but only to touch briefly upon the high spots, so to speak, of the subject assigned me, leaving these matters for consideration on our program as the opportunity and necessity present themselves. Throughout I have stressed the vastness of the Masonic literary field, for it is vast, and the uninitiated has but to browse a while among the books and pamphlets of a large library to realize this fact. Could we have all this literature garnered into a great library, it would be numbered in volumes by the tens of thousands.
In closing permit me to relate just one amusing incident which happened years ago in our library while cataloging some nonMasonic books. Among them was one entitled Letters from Hell. In just what class to place this book was rather perplexing. As we use the Dewey Decimal Classification for our general works, it occurred to me to look through some of the sub-headings under Religion, and there we found the very thing, namely: "Future Life."
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PROGRESS IN MASONIC EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA
The article referred to in the following letter was published in March of this year. It seems that to some extent the writer of the following document misconstrued the purpose of our previous mention of the situation in California. It was our intention to point to the new policy in California as a departure from the normal lines in Masonic education. There was no thought of being critical. Certainly the experiment of introducing subjects dealing with modern life into the educational program of the lodge was an interesting one. We said in the course of our previous notice that we would be glad to see the effect of this departure from the customary practice. It is because the following letter gives us the first information along this line that it is published in its entirety:
Under the heading of Masonic Education THE BUILDER published an article classing the Masonic educational program of the California jurisdiction as outlined by the M. W. Grand Master, Will H. Fischer, as "something of a radical departure from the practice which has been in vogue for a number of years." If the writer of the above article had waited to ascertain the effects as well as the results of this program, I am sure he would have been convinced that the Grand Master had the sole object in view of stimulating and promoting the interest in Masonic education among the Craft in California, for as a result the Masonic Educational Nights, as we term them, have had a much larger attendance than at any time before.
Those who have closely identified themselves with Masonic education and with the furthering thereof in California are well pleased with the results obtained, and for myself I can safely say that the general interest displayed by the members is far greater than at any previous meeting for that purpose, and while during former years "only" Masonic subjects would be given by the speakers at those meetings, this year the various others interspersed have created a double interest, at the end of which a desire has evolved among the members present to ask pertinent questions of the speaker, these being answered in a most enlightening manner, so that questions are put by the members at the end of each Masonic talk as well.
The result of the interest manifested by the membership at large can be seen through the greater demand of books on Masonic history, symbolism, ritual and jurisprudence, from the Masonic library of Southern California in Los Angeles, as well as from libraries in other centers where Masonic books can be obtained, and as a representative of my lodge to the Los Angeles library, I can state that it has become necessary to furnish a greater supply of books on Masonry, and steps are now taken for the enlargement of this library which may result in the erection of a suitable structure to lodge the already overcrowded quarters.
Although the article above mentioned was published as early as March, I have withheld the comment for the reason that I was waiting to see the actual effects, thereby satisfying myself of the results. The Grand Master is indeed worthy of a vote of thanks.
Masonic education has always been of first consideration not only with those who are furthering it in California but with the Craft as a whole, and the fact that "special mention" was given to the California jurisdiction at the last conference of Secretaries of Masonic education at Detroit, Mich., is ample proof that it has played an important part in our jurisdiction, and I am satisfied that it is still on a higher level than ever before.
I am taking my own lodge (West Lake, No. 392) as an illustration, and the following examples speak for themselves: According to the program arranged by the Grand Master, on Jan. 16, we had the honor and privilege of receiving him on an official visit. He outlined to us his entire program for the year, stressing particularly the educational part which, as he expressed it, is so necessary to the dissemination of knowledge and light to the young Mason, in particular, and to the Craft in general. During the month of February we had a discussion of the first subject, "The Automobile in American Life," given by one of our own members, a brother who was well qualified to speak on the motor car. His talk was a treat to the audience. We also listened to a talk on "Masonry as a Religion," delivered in a most forceful manner by Hon. Leo. R. Yankwich, Judge of the Superior Court. In March we listened to a talk on "Aviation, Its History and Romance," given in a masterly way by one who has been flying since 1908, and was awarded the first $10,000 prize for distance, as well as endurance record.. Needless to say his talk was very interesting. For April, a scholarly address on "Masonic History in California" was very eloquently delivered by Hon. Chas. E. Haas, Judge of the Municipal Court. During May, the subject of "Crime" was assigned to our own good Bro. Eugene Biscailuz, Undersheriff of Los Angeles county, and he acquitted himself in a way befitting to the position which he has occupied for a number of years, greatly beloved by his constituents in general and by his brethren in particular. For the month of June the subject of "Radium and Rays, the Miracle of Modern Science," was well received, same being followed by an address on "The Lambskin Apron," delivered to us by our own P. M., Lee T. Mullen, Inspector of the 73rd Masonic district, in his usual eloquent and enlightening way. For July a patriotic subject was given to us by Lt.-Col. Bro. Le Roy Smith, on "The Better America Federation; Its Aims and Accomplishments," with which the audience was thrilled. For August we had another treat, the address being ably delivered by Mr. Carl Albert, of Alabama, the youthful winner of the recent National Oratorical Contest, his subject being the same by which he won his fame, "The Constitution of the United States," and to top the climax this was followed by two well prepared papers on "The Character of Washington" and "When Is a Man a Mason," read by, two of our brothers. For September, a very interesting talk on "Insurance, the Safeguard for the Future," was very attentively listened to, and for the month of October another treat is in store for us, it being an address which will be given by Bro. Reynold E. Blight, the well‑known Masonic student and author, on "Masonic Costums and Etiquette." And for the month of November the program calls for the subject of "California Courts," which will undoubtedly be assigned to the most prominent jurists of the Fraternity in California.
In conclusion I might say that as a member of the educational committee of my lodge, I was enabled to closely observe the interest manifested by the members and the results accomplished by the above program, and what is true of my own lodge is equally true of the other lodges in Los Angeles, and from the reports gathered by those in close touch and vitally interested in Masonic education the outcome of the above program throughout the entire state is not only encouraging, but most satisfactory as well. "Masonic Education" is not only "here to stay," but is making wonderful progress, thanks to live interest and foresight of the Grand Master and his well chosen committee on Masonic education of the Grand Lodge of California, the Executive Director of which is Bro. Reynold E. Blight, internationally known as a Masonic scholar.
Herman Bauling, California.
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EDUCATION AND METHODS
Referring to page 313 of THE BUILDER for October, which carries a letter, or part of a letter, from a D.D.G.M. who "has resigned on account of infirmities of age," but who nevertheless, in spite of those infirmities can find time to discredit and ridicule the efforts of those many good brethren who are willing to devote some of their time and efforts toward study and disseminating the results of that study to their various lodges, I can only say that it is possibly a good thing for the Craft in general that a D.D.G.M. should resign when he arrives at that stage of mental condition where he can make light of any sort of effort tending toward education along any Masonic end.
I speak from experience when I testify to the undeniable fact that in my lodge (during two years we were having these short talks by various brethren) the attendance on the nights we had them was much better than on any other night, excepting of course the evenings when there was work in the Master Mason Degree, and of course that means a supper.
There were never any less than six and at times as many as ten brethren who would ask questions after the brother had delivered his "short talk," and at times the discussion ensuing would be of the utmost interest and value. I find, however, that in few lodges this can be kept up for long, because succeeding Masters do not care to foster or encourage anything that was begun by a preceding Master, as they seem to fear they may not be thought able to think up anything new. The distinguished D.D.G.M. (resigned) also says that a "little horse play is much more attractive to the average business man who must be serious during business hours." All I have to say in reply to that is that we have already enough circus clowns in official positions without encouraging any more, and the more of them that decide to resign from their places, the better off the Craft will find itself.
A. Wagenknecht, Ohio.
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WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH MASONRY?
Being a member of the Consistory and Junior Warden of my Lodge, I thoroughly appreciate Bro. Hungerford's article. I, too, have met with the same excuses that Bro. Hungerford enumerated in his article, of some for not wanting to attend lodge. Several used the excuse that they did not like to sit in the "side lines" all the time, so why don't the older members of the Craft give the youngsters a chance at performing the ritual, who will indeed put more "pep" into it. Why do so many brothers get up and leave when the Master starts to deliver the lecture, and usually all these brethren will be found in the ante-room waiting for the "Fourth Degree." I visited a lodge here in San Diego the other night, and if all the Fraternity could only have heard Worshipful Bro. Belding deliver the Third Degree lecture they would never leave a lodge before it is closed again; of course they say all those who are privileged to deliver the lecture are not Beldings. Maybe not, but let "him with no sin among you cast the first stone."
The lodge of which I am happy to be a member and Junior Warden only puts on the so-called "Fourth Degree" when the Grand Master visits and the Master is installed; our seats are always full of seeking brethren who are seeking for more light and not more eats.
Recently a brother told me that he was on an examining committee on a man who should be rejected for good reasons, but he was afraid to report "not favorable" because he would be practically ostracized out of his lodge for turning down that certain unworthy candidate whom several wished to be elected. I have not heard the outcome yet. What is the matter with that brother's lodge ?
I remember one time when I was on an examining committee on five candidates, all of whom several of the Craft hoped would become Masons, I found one had been "kidding" the public into believing he was a Mason for years; another told me (not knowing I was examining him), "Well, if you want to get by in this world you got to belong to something, so I am going to be a Mason first and something later." Rather frank about it, don't you think, brothers? And I must say the others were equally as bad; anyway all five were rejected. (Remember there are always three or more on all examining committees and I am not disclosing my report.) Since this happened I have read in the newspapers that one is serving a sentence in a federal prison. I have lost account of the others, but just let us suppose the examining committee had been less hard-hearted. Terrible to think of, isn't it? And this probably happens once a day.
I say let each member of an examining committee practice the surgeon's law, "When in doubt, operate." Let us say, "When in doubt, reject," and be safe. I think that there should be a ruling when balloting on a candidate that all Master Masons present, whether of that lodge or not, should be allowed to ballot.
In regards to the "button and ring" Masons that Bro. Hungerford spoke about in his article, I say that it is the coach's fault that the newly raised brother puts on a ring or button that is large enough to grace the radiator of an automobile. The "youngest Master Mason" does not know what it is all about at first, and is then likened to soft cement, he can be molded into a "Trestle Board" or a drone. He should be properly instructed in the commonplace phrases and words that he can use should he desire to know if another is a member of our Fraternity without allowing the "secrets of Freemasonry to become unlawfully obtained," without having to wear a button or ring. I think the practice of wearing a button or ring should be discouraged because he who wears a square and compass is "selling" the Fraternity in that light, that he or his pin silently says, "I (the wearer of this emblem) am a member of the greatest and strongest Fraternity on earth, and you, wishing to be above approach, must follow in my footsteps in doing the thing I do and saying the things I say," and some of the brethren are very poor salesmen.
I treat all people courteously, but when I see a Masonic emblem the adage pops into my mind, "Forewarned is forearmed," and I govern myself accordingly until I find him to be a member of the Fraternity. Usually you will find a button or ring wearer, when you ask him to visit your lodge, has for an excuse that he is afraid that he can't pass the examinations, and always wants you to visit his lodge first so you can vouch for him in yours. I don't think any man can live up to Masonry if he has forgotten so much that he can't pass an examination for admission. So I say let the women folk wear the emblems, if they are wife, daughter, mother, sister or widow of a Mason, and then they (button wearers) are not kidding anyone, for everyone knows that a woman can not be a Mason.
I hope THE BUILDER Will find space to publish this comment, and I would like to hear from Bro. Hungerford and other brothers if they have met with the same obstacles I have here enumerated in their "search for light."
W. W. W., California.
The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.
A HALF CENTURY OF FREEMASONRY. Being Historical Notes on Mimico Lodge, A. F. & A. M. No. 369, G. R. C. Compiled by Austin Evans, M. D. Privately printed. Paper, illustrated, appendix, 98 pages.
A LOCAL history is always of interest to those who know the locality, or have connections with it or its inhabitants, but unless unusual literary ability is employed it is apt to be dull to those without the personal tie. This is of course true of the histories of lodges. It is one of the conditions of such works, and should never discourage their preparation and publication. Even if the circle of readers is restricted their value as a record of facts that might well otherwise pass into oblivion is very hard to estimate too highly.
But there are exceptions to every rule, and partly due to the circumstances, but much more to the style of presentation, and the acumen displayed in selecting material, Bro. Evans has succeeded in producing a history of a lodge, not so old but that brethren still living might have been present at its formation, yet that has seen a frontier settlement grown into a part of a large modern city.
The lodge met at first in a tavern, the proprietor of the house being the tyler. Very soon however it decided to build a ball for itself, one of the members giving the land for a site. An old photograph or daguerrotype of the first place of meeting, and a drawing of the first building erected, are included among the illustrations.
Bro. Evans adopted a rather novel method of relating the main thread of the lodge's history. For many years it was usual for the D.D.G.M's of the Grand Lodge of Canada (which by the way is not the Grand Lodge of the Dominion of Canada, but of the old Province of Upper Canada, now known as Ontario) to report on each lodge separately. Bro. Evans takes the reports on Mimico Lodge year by year, adding his own comments, and thus has made the narrative of what otherwise would sometimes be rather dull events very readable, and sometimes even amusing.
We congratulate the lodge on having such a capable historian. Bro. Evans is President of the Toronto Society for Masonic Study and Research, a body that has done very valuable work in Toronto for the dissemination of Masonic knowledge.
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TRESTLEBOARD SKETCHES OF OLD AND NEW WORLD MASONRY. By Denman S. Wagstaff. Published by the Masonic Periodicals Corporation, San Francisco. Paper, illustrated, 40 pages. Price 35 cents.
IN this pamphlet the author treats the history of Masonry in what he calls "pocket reference style." Naturally such treatment calls for brevity, condensation and selection. The author must perforce be dogmatic also. In respect to the history of the Craft in America Bro. Wagstaff has presented the salient facts in a way with which few will quarrel, though naturally there are disputable details. We note that he still holds the theory that the Chevalier Ramsay was responsible for the invention of Masonic degrees and rites, for which there is no proof, and from what is definitely known of him, exceedingly little likelihood. In regard to "Old World" Masonry there are some statements to which objection must be raised. The Grand Lodge of England (of 1717) did not charter the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, or for that matter anywhere else in the world. Neither did it charter any of the lodges in Ireland or Scotland which formed the Grand Lodges of those countries. Those lodges had existed from time immemorial just as the four in London had which formed the premier Grand Lodge. Consequently it is not accurate to say that Freemasonry derives from England. The Freemasonry of Scotland, and still more of Ireland, has had a very large share in propagating the Craft throughout the world.
Another slip may be noticed; Antiquity Lodge, No. 2, has no charter, or rather warrant (which is not quite the same thing), and would resent bitterly any suggestion that it needed one.
The printer is doubtless responsible for labeling the cut of "Lodge Candlesticks" as of the Thirteenth Century. They are of course obviously Eighteenth Century work. On page 11 is another matter that escaped proof-reading. In two consecutive paragraphs we are told that "Knight Templary" was first exemplified in Stirling in 1743, and then that it originated in Ireland in 1742.
The chief purpose for such pamphlets as this is to rouse curiosity and lead the uninformed Mason to seek further light in regard to the historic past of the Order, and this we may hope Bro. Wagstaff's effort will help to accomplish.
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MASKS IN A PAGEANT. By William Allen White. Published by the Macmillan Company. Cloth, illustrated, table of contents, index, 506 pages. Price $5.25.
AGAIN comes the voice from the wilderness and anyone who has been in the town of Emporia, Kansas, will agree that the voice does come from the wilderness. It has been a few years since I spent "a month one Sunday" in the town whose chief claim to fame is the Gazette and its editor, who is the author of the book under discussion.
Mr. Haldeman-Julius and the companionate marriage of his daughter threatened for a time to usurp the fame of Emporia and carry it a bit south to Girard, a wilder and more "wildernessy" place than William Allen White's home. In fact, if we carried out the quip, one could spend a month in Girard during one hour of any day in the year. However, it is books and not localities that we seek to discuss.
Mr. White is so well known as a writer, particularly as a political reporter, that he needs no introduction. He has been intimately associated with national political tendencies for nearly half a century. He is, therefore, well qualified to speak on the subject of politics. For the most part this small town editor has been severely partisan in his pronouncements. In the present volume, however, he attempts an impartial judgment of the great politicians he has known. To his credit it must be said that he succeeds admirably except in one instance. Perhaps, and Mr. White confesses the fault, his intimate friendship for Theodore Roosevelt has unbalanced his better judgment. One can hardly be blamed for overlooking weaknesses in a close friend, but one should be criticized for emphasizing them. That too is one of the penalties of having friends. In making any estimate of them we are so afraid that we might over-value their strong points that we over-emphasize their weaknesses. On the whole, however, Mr. White has succeeded in conveying to his readers the idea that he wants to convey, namely, that the work is unbiased.
Anyone who is acquainted with Mr. White's work would expect to find unusual expressions and humorous phrases in places where one is least prepared for them. This book is a typical example of the style of the author. And no more need be said.
There is no need to go into detail about the context. It is politics from Harrison to Coolidge, with an excursus on Tammany, Al Smith and "Big Bill" Thompson thrown in for good measure. The main theory that stands out is that the Presidents of these United States are usually men of the hour and the best men in their time. If the order had been changed it would have made a mess of things. Right or wrong, it is a thought worth contemplating.
Those who like Mr. White's work will not have to be encouraged to read Masks in a Pageant. Whether we agree or disagree with what is said, we cannot fail to enjoy Mr. White's book.
E. E. T.
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THE GRAND CHAPTER OF ROYAL ARCH MASONS OF CANADA. By Henry T. Smith. Paper, 24 pages. Privately printed.
CONTRIBUTIONS to the collection of modern Masonic histories are becoming more and more numerous. The present pamphlet belongs to this class and will be undoubtedly of no little interest to the members of the body whose story it tells, though it may not be of any great interest to the general Masonic reader. This statement should not be taken as being in any way a depreciation of the effort expended or the value of the result. It is merely a truth that applies to the histories of nearly all modern bodies. The importance of such contributions to the bulk of Masonic literature lies not in their present usefulness, but in the aid they will doubtless give to scholars who will be working in years to come. No one will doubt for a moment that histories of the lodges in existence some two hundred to two hundred fifty years ago would have been invaluable to those of us who are doing our best to piece out the history of the Masonic fraternity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The National Masonic Research Society and its official organ THE BUILDER would be the last to discourage the practice of publishing lodge histories. We congratulate Bro. Smith upon his industry and trust that others will follow in his footsteps.
E. E. T.
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FEAR: The Autobiography of James Edwards. By John Rathbone Oliver. Published by the Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth., Frontispiece, Table of Contents, Bibliography, 366 pages. Price, $2.65.
IN the eighteenth verse of the fourth chapter of the First Epistle General of St. John we read that
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
If we adopt this as a text we must define three of the terms. It is to such a definition that the major portion of this discussion will be devoted. The primary need is pure definition; the secondary aim is application of the meanings to every day life.
The first word in need of clarifying is fear, but we are not going to take them in order - for reasons that will become obvious as we proceed. Love is the next term and that one we will discuss briefly, very briefly, at the present moment. The question is not what we mean when we use the word love, but what St. John meant when he said that "There is no fear in love." Very little earlier in the same book and chapter, the 15th and 16th verses of I John, to be exact, we are told that
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
We see something of what St. John has in mind when he refers to love. It is not what we humans generally mean by the word. There is none of the love of a man for his wife, nor the love of work, nor the love of fellow creatures; it would be better to say that there is some of all of these loves implied in the words of St. John. We read that God is love. The two words are synonymous. We are taught that we are the sons of God, therefore are we the sons of love. Let us call this Divine Love and spell it with capitals to distinguish it from the more worldly things we call love.
We cannot define the intangible with precision. We Pan illustrate what we mean by examples of its effects, or we can hint at the definition, but we cannot point to any one thing that we recognize and say "This is what I mean."
The nearest to a definition of Divine Love that I know is to be found in the Songs of David, that one that we commonly call the 23rd Psalm. Everyone knows it or at least knows the sense of it, but I wish to impress it upon you and will repeat it here:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
In our references we have gone from the New Testament of the Christian to the Old Testament of the Hebrews, we must therefore draw some analogies if we are to be clear in meaning. The Lord of the Hebrew psalm is the God of the New Testament. That statement is open to severe criticism, I know, and it must be taken in a charitable way. The Lord of the Hebrew and the God of the Christian are not the same but they are both supreme beings. The difference between the two major divisions of the Bible lies primarily in the fact that the Jehovah of the Jews is a Lord to be feared while the God of the Christian is to be loved. I am somewhat ahead of myself, but an explanation was necessary. Now if we grant the sameness of Lord and God as used above, we must also grant their unity with love, the love that St. John meant. Substitute love for the Lord in the Psalm of David and the result is surprising. "Love (Divine Love) is my shepherd, I shall not want." Do you see what St. John meant by love? It is that all protecting something which gives us confidence and that enables us to carry on, "Yea, though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death."
We may not know precisely what St. John meant by love, but we do have a better conception of the meaning than we had at the beginning. He says next, "but perfect love casteth out fear:" As before we will pass the only undefined term in this clause. He continues, "because fear hath torment." Torment is new to us, we must stop and investigate further. Now the word that is translated "torment" in the English is a Greek word, kolasis, and it usually means chastisement or correction. It also means the pruning of a tree, the checking of its growth. It is evident then that St. John meant something that is not accurately conveyed by the words of the King James Version. The torment of St. John is really punishment and the clause should read "because fear hath punishment."
To define fear is not so easy. It may be almost anything. Who has not crawled into his mother's arms because he was afraid of a bad dream? Many people refuse to drink coffee at night because they fear it will keep them awake. Others, but more likely the same ones, will not light a cigar or cigarette, three on one match, because of fear of some dreadful calamity to come. There are countless other illustrations that might be cited, but these will serve to show that an analysis of our every day actions will unearth some secret fear or superstition based on fear that is responsible for a part of our deeds.
This is only a natural result of our inheritance. Fear is one of the products of evolution. There are really two major features contributing to our physical make up. One, the well-knows doctrine of the survival of the fittest; the other, not so well known, might be termed the survival of the fearful. To illustrate: The clam was once an animal capable of sustaining himself without a protective shell. He was suited to his environment and was the fittest of his time. But other creatures came into being - the environment was changed. These new animals were more powerful than the clam, they may have even been meat eaters and thus enemies of the primitive mollusk. Without a shell he was not fitted to survive. He feared for his life, and because he was fearful he grew a shell to protect him. Thus was a fear responsible for his becoming fit and capable of continued existence.
Another example, closer to our every day life, would be the rabbit. He has a burrow, but he must go out for food. On one of his expeditions he sees a dog or smells one. In the open he is no match for his enemy. The rabbit becomes frightened and scurries for his hole. He survives because he was afraid, but not only through fear, but because he was fearful in time.
We could carry on down through the apes and earliest man. Even today man is fearful. He fears snakes of all kinds, perhaps, because he knows some to be poisonous. He fears disease and he fears death, or most men do.
St. John said that "fear hath torment." We have already seen that this should read fear hath punishment. What is meant by that? In Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Bible Commentary we find the following statements regarding this passage:
Fear is always revolving in the mind the punishment deserved. Fear, by anticipating punishment (through consciousness of deserving it), has it even now, i. e., the foretaste of it.
That seems reasonably clear, but it can be made more so. The whole of Dr. Oliver's book Fear is devoted to the explanation of this one passage. It is not a direct explanation that can be read between the lines. Fear through this anticipated punishment becomes a disease, one that preys upon the mind and unless it is "cast out" it causes real physical disease.
Let us paraphrase the whole of the verse we took for a text in the light of what we have now seen.
There is no fear in Divine Love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath punishment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
The span of human life is limited, we all know we must pass from this earthly sphere at some time. Some of us fear death, some of us fear incapacitation as a result of illness. Why do we fear these things? The worry about them, the fear of them brings its own punishment. As long as we are well or think we are in good health, we never think to notice whether our heart is still beating or our other vital organs functioning. Let us be placed under some tension that increases our blood pressure, or gives us an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach and immediately we wonder what is wrong. Whether consciously or unconsciously we wonder whether this organ or that one is functioning properly. We worry about our physical condition, weare fearful lest we be ill. It is a vicious circle. We "fear" ourselves into being ill; and the sicker we feel the more we "fear"; the more we fear the worse we feel. You say, "That is all bunk, I know when I'm sick." Sure you do. You have had a shock, you eat something that doesn't agree with you and you have an upset stomach. You know your stomach is upset, naturally, it hurts.
Have you ever had an experience like this? If you are one of those who won't drink coffee in the evening because it keeps you awake, have you ever imbibed unthinkingly and wakened the next morning to remember it and wonder why you slept? In my own case I'll drink coffee whenever I choose, morning, noon, or midnight, and I'll sleep too. It doesn't affect me as it does you perhaps not. But, if I drink coffee in company with someone who fears it will keep them awake and I let myself wonder whether I'll be awake, too, I'll bet, and I'm no gambler, odds of 100 to 1 that I'll be awake, too. The thought arouses the fear and fear hath punishment. That may be a little thing, but psychiatry tells us that the effects are equally noticeable in more serious matters of life. Fear lowers the level of consciousness, and because of fear vital functions which were formerly in the realm of the unconscious come into the realm of the conscious. Keep yourself unconscious of bodily functions, keep yourself unafraid and you will stand a better chance of being a healthier individual.
How are we going to prevent fear from coming over us? Remember that St. John says "Perfect love casteth out fear." Acquire that Divine Love, the Love that may be substituted for Lord in the 23rd Psalm and believe that "Divine Love is my shepherd, I shall not want" and fear will have no place in your mental make up.
This is, after all, a feeble attempt to convey the message that Dr. Oliver does convey in his book Fear. I don't know that I have succeeded in defining it precisely, but to describe briefly the remedy for fear that he suggests is not easy. If you read his book thoughtfully you will see it.
From this description you may think the book a dull treatise you are wrong, as wrong as you can be. The publishers boas that if you read the first ten pages you will finish the book I'll go them one better. If you read the first ten pages you will finish the book at one sitting. But please don't stop there Finish it, think about it, read it again. Then put it by for ready reference when fear and superstition begin to come back into your life. Read it as you would take medicine, study it as you would a sermon, but don't lend it to your friends unless you are sure they will return it, or unless you wish to make a donation to a good cause. This book should take the place of all of the old time home books of medicine.
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TASCHENBUCH, mit Kalendar. Published by the Verein Deutscher Freimauer, Leipsig. Leather, 3x4 1/2 ins. 272 pages. Price Mks: 1.75.
THE Verein Deutscher Freimaurer (Association of German Freemasons) has published annually a pocket book for the past five years, this being the fifth edition. Besides a diary and blank pages for notes and memoranda, it contains the list of German Grand Lodges, with the names and addresses of the Grand Masters and the address of the Grand Secretaries or Grand Lodge offices, followed by the lodges with the names and addresses of their Masters, date of constitution, regular meetings and so on. The lodges are arranged alphabetically by location and not grouped under their Grand Lodges. As exclusive territorial jurisdiction (which in its rigid form is purely an American development) is unknown in Europe, this is the only practicable method of arrangement.
In addition are lists of German lodges, or lodges using the German language outside of Germany, which includes Switzerland, Bohemia, Africa and America. There is a list of Grand Lodges of the world recognized by the German lodges; it is regrettable to note with how many of these fraternal relations are still suspended. It is surely time that Masonry officially shook itself free of war psychoses.
The book can be recommended as being within its limits, a valuable work of reference.
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GENTLEMEN UNAFRAID. By Barrett Willoughby. Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. Cloth, illustrated, Table of Contents, 285 pages. Price $3.65.
IN rapidly increasing numbers there are appearing from the presses of the country books which are teaching us to know Alaska as it really is instead of as a land of continual ice and snow. Barrett Willoughby, who has lived in this country all of her life, tells us, in this her latest book, something of the men that it has developed. In the publisher's catalogue it is listed among the new biographies. This is, in reality, a mistake. It is neither a biography nor a group of biographies, but a series of sketches of the lives and characters of six of the most prominent men in Alaska. None of these sketches follow the lines of biography, but it may well be that this fact accounts for their ready readability and their constant interest. There is not a dull moment in the whole of Miss Willoughby's book.
It seems that most of the stories are reproduced from magazine articles and are now making their formal appearance in book form. I have seen one or two of them in the pages of current magazines and perhaps the others have also appeared. This does not detract from the general interest of the book. Miss Willoughby has a facility of expression that makes for interesting reading and a smooth, easily flowing style that entices one to keep the book before him until he has finished it.
E. E. T.
THE QUESTION BOX
WHY A MASONIC LODGE?
I note in the September issue of THE BUILDER that Bro. F. V. J. asks the question, why is a Masonic Lodge?
In my mind and in my experience it is a very great thing. But probably I get more out of it than he does, because I belong to the one lodge and no other. I attend every meeting and take part in the work, which interests me very much. In the third place it gives me an opportunity to visit sick brethren here at Olive View. There are eleven of them who are T. B. cases. In fact I get a "real kick" out of this. They are all fine men and look forward to these visits. In the fourth place I help the younger brethren to learn the work, and finally through the lodge I meet many fine men whom I otherwise would never have known, more especially as I am very slow to make new acquaintances.
In regard to my experience I feel very strongly that we should have one large T. B. Sanatorium for Masons, and that at once. There are over three million Masons in the country, and right here there are eleven brethren who being destitute have had to find refuge in a county institution. Practically every Mason could give a dollar a year. With that such a place could be built in a year, and I believe would soon become self-supporting. Many would be more than willing to give five dollars instead of one, or even more. Let us hear from some of the other brothers on the subject. I am not a business man, but it makes me feel very bad to see our brethren sick and dependent upon others when so small a sum from each one of us would take care of them.
Arthur W. Green, California.
[Bro. Green is a recent reader of THE BUILDER and so does not know what has appeared in its columns upon this very point. We believe that the Masons of the country as a whole would gladly support such a project, if they could be reached. But they cannot be reached through official channels.]
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THE BUILDER IN CHILE
I read with great interest the article on the formation of the Military Lodge of Montana, No. 1, in the last issue of THE BUILDER which I received. Adverting to another article, or notice rather, in a former issue, in which you recommended the joining of all brethren interested in Research work, or interested in reading the proceedings of Research Societies, such as the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, of London, I find in their proceedings, the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, a paper by Bro. Lepper, read in 1925, on Ambulatory Lodges, and entitled "The Poor Common Soldier." This paper went into the formation of Military Lodges, and it was interesting and enlightening to learn that most of these old Military Lodges were chartered by the Grand Lodge of Ireland. As a contrast to the formation of lodges in the late war, the methods pursued over a hundred years ago, in the formation of Regimental Lodges, are very interesting, and I would suggest that if it is in line with the policy of THE BUILDER, that some extracts from that article might be reproduced. I think that as your intention is to devote a part of THE BUILDER to the history of the formation of the Military Lodges during the late war, that it would also be of great interest to your readers if extracts from the transactions I refer to could be also inserted. These warranted Ambulatory Lodges, authorized by the Grand Lodge of Ireland, had a great deal to do with the implanting of Masonry in the United States, and for that reason should be especially interesting to your readers.
Another matter I would like to consult you on is the formation of a Study Club. I have your leaflet before me, and am taking advantage to ask you to kindly give me all the information possible which would make a Study Club attractive under conditions at this place.
You had a copy of my article on the founding of Montandon Lodge here in Potrerillos, which was published in the Masonic Digest last year, and you will see therefrom that although we have about sixty brethren at this place, they belong to jurisdictions all over the United States. Our trouble, as I have already explained, with this lodge, was in the first place caused by the fact that the Grand Lodge of Chile was not recognized by many of the Grand jurisdictions of the United States, and the consequence was that we founded the lodge with only nineteen charter members. A better understanding is now showing up, and I have every reason to believe that in the course of the next few months all doubts as to the standing of the Grand Lodge of Chile will be removed and we shall have the benefit of all the brethren visiting us, although not able to join, owing to the ban on dual membership outside a few jurisdictions in the United States, such as the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and recently New York.
We have a properly constituted lodge and we have also a Masonic Club at Potrerillos, and my intention is to establish a Study Club to act in conjunction with the lodge, that is, after we have held our regular meeting (we work with the ritual of the United Grand Lodge of England), to close the lodge and then go on with study, which will be quite regular as we are properly constituted and warranted.
The difficulty is that our Masonic community is drawn from so many jurisdictions, and for that reason I shall esteem it a favor if you will kindly advise me as to what in your opinion would be the best course to pursue in the formation of a Study Club, having regard to the conditions of a number of brethren, amounting to about sixty, and isolated in a foreign country. And also the best method in starting with subjects which will give the attraction much more necessary in isolated regions than would of course be required in a city under more congenial conditions.
R. Gordon-Greer, Chile.
[There have been quite a number of articles, at different times, in THE BUILDER on the subject of the Military Lodges of a period anterior to the great war and their influence in the foundation and spread of Masonry in America, and elsewhere throughout the world; but as most of these are not of recent date it would seem that this suggestion is a very good one. However the present series will be running for quite a time yet, and it will probably be better to defer this until it is concluded.
The situation that our correspondent describes is very interesting, and evidently not without its difficulties. It shows how a too rigid theory of recognition leads to a reductio ad absurdum in many cases. But we do not see how it can possibly affect the formation of a Study Club. Such an organization does not need to be sponsored by a lodge. Any group of Master Masons, who have satisfied themselves of each other's regularity, can form a Club or Circle, or whatever they may choose to call it, for the purpose of improving and increasing their knowledge of and about the Fraternity. We rather suspect too, that such an isolated group will not be less keen, but rather very much more so, than the brethren in most of our cities. At least, as a matter of fact, the most useful and active Study Clubs are not found as a rule, in large centers of population. "Pity 'tis," but true it is.]
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FREEMASONRY IN HINDOO SHRINES
I was very pleased to receive your letter of the 29th of May, to which I hasten to respond. Enclosed is the application for membership properly made out; you will see that I have given both my Mother Lodge in Mexico and my home lodge in England.
I agree with you in the necessity of taking with caution all the "travelers' tales" which one hears in connection with the non-Christian religious past and present and their relationship to Freemasonry. In my opinion (for what it is worth) there is none on the level of, let us say, father and son, or brother and brother, but rather on that of cousins; that is a common ancestry but so far back that although the genealogies converge the point of meeting is still over the horizon of scientific history. I had read in Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, by Bro. J. S. M. Ward, of the admission of Royal Arch Masons to the Holy of Holies of an Indian Temple. There is outside the chief town, Port Louis, of this Colony, a temple which is referred to as the Madrassee Temple. This is probably due to the fact that almost all the odd 300,000 persons who form the Indian population came from (or their ancestors did) the Madras Presidency or the United Provinces. This temple seems to be the peculiar property of the former people in contrast to another in Port Louis belonging to the latter. The temple is a large ornate building standing in its own grounds consisting of the garden and an inner court which contains the temple proper and the priest's house or rather rooms.
One afternoon I was anxious to see as much of it as possible and presented myself at the open unguarded gate of the inner court. The priest and his family, who were in front of their rooms, received me with black looks; it was unmistakable that I was regarded as an intruder. Then it was that I remembered Bro. Ward's book in which he emphasizes the 3rd P. S. and the 2nd (English) threefold S. I tried the latter without much success, then switched to the former. At once the atmosphere cleared, and the priest approached and asked to show me over the building and to explain the questions I put. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, also known here as Mahe (pronounced Mahay) and in the temple itself were many holy or allegorical pictures of this Being. I can only compare them to similar ones met with in Roman Catholic churches. In several of these pictures Mahe is represented in the position which had gained me admission.
Among other things the priest showed me on what I can only describe as an altar, a small copper plate, about one and a half by three inches in size, on which was inscribed two interlaced equilateral triangles surrounded with a circle at the center of which was a point. To him this was very much what the crucifix is to the Roman priest. I need hardly point out to Royal Arch Masons that the symbol which was first used for Osiris is the equivalent with that from which a Master Mason cannot err. I cannot press home what I am leading up to without transgressing the Ob., but most Master Masons will understand.
The information which I have about the Triple Esperence Lodge was supplied by a brother who is a member of the English Constitution Lodge here, but before it went dormant had been Master of the French ten times. They claimed to be the only lodge working under the French Grand Orient which had retained the old landmarks. Both he and I would, therefore, be very grateful if you could supply us with the details of the other similar lodges which you say exist and the circumstances under which they came to retain their original working.
The ritual of the Triple Esperence has been lent to me by the brother I refer to above, and, with the help of a friend of mine who is a Past Provincial Grand Chaplain of Aldernay and Guernsey, I am translating it into English. The title page states it to be that recommended by the Grand Orient and it is dated 1858. It bears a striking resemblance to that in use in the South African Lodges under the Netherlandic Constitution which work in English.
This friend read a paper a few weeks ago before the Mauritius branch of the Masonic Study Society of London on the connection between mediaeval witchcraft and Freemasonry. In it he showed the various figures ornamented with "names of power" at the center of which the person invoking the devil stood. His actual position was on the sacred symbol denoting Jesus Christ the Son of God Most High. There is in Port Louis a Hindu philanthropic religious society in connection with which I run a tuberculosis clinic for Indians; in the society's reading room is a framed picture of a double five‑pointed star surrounded by a circle. Each of the points is labelled with a virtue such as faith, honesty, continence, etc., near the center is a further circle of red and white balls inside which at the center is a word AUM. In Hindu sacred literature this is generally written . . . but in this case it is exactly the same as the European fourteenth century equivalent. . . . The whole picture is entitled "the way," the parti-colored balls . . . the ups and downs of life.
Further, the servant of the Hindu gods, Rama by name, generally depicted with the monkey head, usually assumes the position of the (English) 2nd degree S., when sculptured or painted. In the same position the wizard of the dark ages stood upon his sacred symbol above described when desiring supernatural help. I draw my own inference but the whole matter is so hedged about with conjecture that I leave other brethren to do the same wherever they may lead them.
You may make use of any of the above in THE BUILDER as you may think fit, but if you do I hope that it will be understood that it is only the fruits of exploration undertaken with very little Masonic knowledge behind it and that except for the facts for which I can stand surety as their being the truth, the more the inferences drawn from them, are subjected to discussion the better will everyone be served in their attempt "to make a daily advance in knowledge." The more you ask me questions, the better I shall be pleased.
D. Drysdale Anderson, Mauritius.
It has often been asserted in communications to the Masonic press, and repeated in works of a less ephermal character, that here and there throughout the world the Masonic signs were known to and understood by members of non-Christian religious or of cryptic organizations of a mystical or religious character. The Editor has tried for many years, as a matter of personal curiosity, to obtain some first-hand evidence of anything of this nature, till the present without success. The following most interesting letter from one of our members, a physician in the Island of Mauritius, contains the account of an experience that definitely supports the stories above mentioned.
Unfortunately it has not been possible to reproduce the diagrams mentioned in the eighth paragraph of the letter, their position has been marked by periods.
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THE MASTER'S AND PAST MASTER'S DEGREES
In reference to the articles on the development of Masonic degrees, can you tell me when the Master's Degree was used simply as an order of Past Masters, and how long was it thus used ?
H. J. K., Minn.
The authors of the articles referred to expect to discuss this point in due course. Here it may be said that the suggestion has been made by various writers that our Third Degree originated in this way, though on very slight grounds as we think. If so, it could not have been so used after (approximately) the year 1730, when we find the three degrees, much as we know them now, being worked in the same way.
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THE AGE OF FREEMASONRY
I have been a Mason since 1883 and have been very much interested in the Question Box of THE BUILDER. I was always under the impression that Masonry could be traced back to the building of King Solomon's Temple, but it seems this is not so.
H. J. K., Minn.
We are afraid that this is true. It would be very gratifying to be able to show that the Craft really could be derived from the builders of the Temple; but it is better to adhere to facts and learn to distinguish between history and legend. On the other hand, we have a very respectable antiquity assured to us by documentary proof, and the probability of an immemorial existence before that.
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