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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 15 - number 4
Freemasonry in Business
How should it work? The Sixth of a Series of Articles on Ancient Freemasonry and Present Day Problems
By BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD Author of Seeing Both Sides of Yourself.
How far should Masonry enter into the commercial relationships of Masons between themselves, as distinct from those that are purely social? Is there a middle way between the demands only upon the Craft of the Mason who is such in name only, and who seeks to exploit his connection therewith for his selfish interest, and the reaction of those who seem to think that no consideration or favor should be shown to a brother Mason in anything relating to business?
IN A NUMBER of our preceding discussions, we have tackled some pretty ticklish topics. Some of the questions we have raised have caused a few of our timid brethren to fear that we were treading upon dangerous grounds. In fact, in one or two cases, we have actually been accused of discussing issues encroaching upon the ancient Landmarks of our Fraternity.
But we have been undisturbed by these criticisms because we have always been clearly conscious that our only objective has been to promote the welfare of the Craft by endeavoring to throw more light upon the fundamentals of Freemasonry and, as far as we possibly could do so, by trying to stimulate the study of the whys and wherefores of the relations of Freemasonry to all the various vital problems of modern life.
As these studies of our ancient order and its relations to modern problems have progressed, doubtless, those who have been following the series have observed the pertinent fact that no problem in life can be isolated. Each particular problem, in many ways, is connected with or related to all other life-problems. So, when we attempt to discuss the problems of business as though they were separate and distinct from the problems of politics, religion, education, or any other phase of life, we must draw a purely arbitrary line of differentiation which does not exist in reality. Let us bear in mind, therefore, as we attempt to consider the relations of Freemasonry to modern business problems, the fact that many of the points we have tried to bring out in discussing other problems, might be applied most aptly in our present discussion.
A Matter of Common Criticism
At any rate, we may discuss this particular problem without fear of being accused of raising a traditionally undebatable issue. Surely all observing members of our Craft will agree that there is no subject upon which Masons are criticised more freely and more frequently than the various attitudes and relations which Freemasons hold in their business dealings. There are two extremes of business behavior which draw rather severe condemnation down upon the brothers who adopt these particular attitudes.
On the one hand, we hear constant criticism concerning certain men who attempt to work their Masonic membership in every possible way in furthering their business interests. No one can deny that some men seem to have joined our Fraternity almost solely for business purposes.
On the other hand, we hear frequent complaints that many brethren seem to feel that it would be a violation of Masonic ethics to favor a fellow-member of the Fraternity in any business way.
Surely, therefore, an issue on which there are so many differences of opinion and such a variety of viewpoints is deserving of being brought out into the light for frank examination from all possible angles. We shall not pretend to settle this issue any more than we have claimed to solve the problems or answer the questions raised in our previous articles; but we shall at least lay claim to the credit of giving frank and sincere consideration to one of the most perplexing problems of our Craft.
Masonry and Business Come in Contact
The reason why this question touches most of us so closely is doubtless due to the fact that nearly all men and Masons are obliged, in these modern days, to devote most of their time and energies to the business of making a living and a little bit more, possibly. Naturally, therefore, we are vitally concerned about any association or activity which either helps or hinders our business progress.
It seems pertinent, therefore, for us to consider at least three ways in which Freemasonry might affect our business activities. So we raise three questions which may serve to clarify our understanding of what the relations of Freemasonry should be to our business problems.
First To what extent, if any, should membership in a Masonic Lodge contribute towards a man's commercial advancement?
Second To what extent, if any, should Freemasons show preference to their fellow-members in business dealings ?
Third To what extent and in what ways should Freemasonry participate in helping to solve the outstanding business problems, such as promoting harmony between employers and employee; the distribution of labor and problems of unemployment; the stimulation of pride in craftsmanship and the discouragement of slipshod and slovenly work, and similar matters to which leading thinkers in the business world today are giving serious consideration?
Raping Questions Is Our Objective
Perhaps it may become monotonous for me to remind my readers so frequently that my objective in this series of discussions is to raise questions for you to consider rather than to present my own particular notions as to what the answers should be. But I am obliged to mention this again, lest anyone should regard me as being so foolish as to attempt to present, or even suggest, solutions to all the problems of life in such a series of brief articles. Accordingly, please let it be understood that, whenever I attempt to answer any of the questions under consideration, I am merely throwing out a few personal viewpoints, without intending that anyone shall regard these as either complete or conclusive.
So when I offer you a few brief personal notions on these three pertinent questions, do not think for one moment that I am attempting in any way to emulate the example of King Solomon. Frankly, I believe that your own good judgment, my brothers, should enable each of you to formulate his own personal answers to the first two questions presented above. I do not believe that either of these questions can be answered arbitrarily, as the different circumstances and conditions will materially affect the answers.
Yet I have no hesitancy in stating that it seems to me that the affirmations in the opening and closing ceremonials of our lodges would become merely a hollow mockery or a lot of high-sounding but meaningless phrases, if we should attempt to take the position that the teachings of Freemasonry give an absolute negative answer to our first question. If Freemasonry was not designed to aid men in the business of making a living for themselves and their families, then the author of our ritual surely wasted a lot of words in affirmations and statements quite contradictory to this negative notion.
Of course, there must be limits to the extent to which Masonry should aid its members to gain success in business. Without professing the wisdom or ability to define such limitations, which are merely suggested in our second question, let me cite an illustration which came under my personal observation and which, I trust, will at least give you some hint as to my personal views on this matter.
A True Story of Masonic Dealings
There is a certain firm of brothers who constantly exploit their Masonic affiliations in seeking business for their concern. Some years ago this firm obtained an account from another Freemason. The latter experienced a series of those strange disasters, which seem so frequently to enter into the lives of men. The deaths of two members of his family, and the serious illness of another member, together with a failure of a business project with consequent losses, brought about a nervous breakdown. During this time, however, our brother, who was going through these difficulties, was paying off debts incurred by his business failure as rapidly as possible. For instance, his indebtedness to the Masonic firm first mentioned was reduced during three years at the rate of several hundred dollars a year, leaving a balance of a little over five hundred dollars due to the Masonic brothers. These brothers, in order to force settlement of the balance due them, put their claim into a lawyer's hands. When notified of this, our troubled brother advised the lawyer that he would immediately put his mortgaged home into the market, giving the lawyer definite assurance that the residue from the sale would be ample to pay all outstanding indebtedness. The only reply of the attorney for the firm of Masonic brothers was to serve our struggling brother with a summons, which our brother managed to settle by obtaining a loan from a friend. But, of course, legal fees and heavy interest charges were collected and added to the burdens our weary brother had to bear.
Now, the odd fact is that our brother had nearly a score of other creditors, to each of whom he was making payments in the same way he was settling the debt of the Masonic brothers, whose concern was the only one to try to force him to the wall.
What Does the True Masonic Spirit Mean ?
If this were merely an isolated instance of dealings between members of our Fraternity, it would not be deserving mention. But, it illustrates many similar cases that have come within my personal observation. Of course, on the grounds that "business is business" and has nothing to do with a man's fraternal affiliations, such conduct may be justified. But, if it represents the true spirit of Freemasonry, I have failed to comprehend the real meaning of such spirit.
If Freemasonry means what it clearly professes in the affirmations that every candidate must make in being initiated into any lodge; then, not only in personal business relations, such as those with which our first two questions deal, but also in the larger business problems of society as enumerated in our third question, the teachings of our great Fraternity, if actually carried out in every day practice, certainly would take away some of the avarice, greed and other selfish attributes of near human natures and so transform our characters that we would conduct all business transactions in the spirit of brotherly love.
If brotherly love actually should prevail among all Masons, regardless of the attitude or behavior of others, there would be enough of this leaven in our great Fraternity to permeate and transform all society. If brotherly love and dealing strictly on the square in all business transactions was the inevitable and inviolate practice of all Freemasons, how long do you think it would be before harmonious relations in all business dealings would be the general rule? How long would strife between employers and employees endure, if brotherly love were practiced on both sides? You know the answer to this, because there are business concerns which do practice this principle and these concerns never have had a strike or any other clash between employer and employee.
In a previous article I have stated my opinion that materialism in the great menace of our times. Of course, this sordid, selfish spirit always has been one of the dominant evil forces of frail humanity. Every motive of Masonry, it seems to me, is arrayed against this evil. When we begin to conquer the selfish side of our natures and begin to live in accord with the principles we profess in our Masonic ceremonials, there is no question in my mind that we shall arrive at the solution of every problem of business.
Again, some of my readers will accuse me of "preaching impractical idealism." I frankly admit, of course, that I am not expecting all Masons to begin immediately to practice the high ideals of our profession. But I certainly shall voice my vigorous protest at any attempt to interpret these high ideals as merely "words and phrases void of meaning."
I contend that the high idealism upon which our great Fraternity was established by its far-sighted founders accounts for the permanency and the progress of the institution. Because we have thus far failed to accomplish or realize our Masonic ideals is no excuse for ignoring them or lowering our standards. As Masons, we still must remain poor frail mortals, struggling towards the light of our high ideals. Remove that light and you deal the death blow to Freemasonry.
This, my brothers, concludes our series of discussions of the relations of our ancient Fraternity to present day problems, with the exception of a final summing up of the series which I expect to present next month under the title of "The Future of Freemasonry."
I may as well warn those of my readers, who regard me as an impractical dreamer of dreams, and an advocate of impossible idealism, to skip this next article. Frankly, I intend to present my personal prophecy as to what I believe Freemasonry could accomplish and what the Fraternity would become if the majority of our lodges should begin to place proper emphasis upon the permanent and abiding features of our program, and should, consequently, change our almost universal practice of devoting all or most of our time and effort to the trifling and incidental activities of the fraternity.
Let me again repeat our invitation to any reader who may desire to challenge, question or comment upon any point suggested or any question raised by this series of discussions. After the series is concluded, the writer expects to continue his efforts towards the objectives he has suggested in these articles by acting as the general field manager of a membership campaign for our Masonic Study Clubs. As a feature of this work, I expect to conduct The Study Club Forum as a regular department of THE BUILDER. Your questions, suggestions or comments of any sort are invited for this department. Address: Herbert Hungerford, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Some Notes on Symbolism
By BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD, Wisconsin (Concluded from March)
EVERY religious system has had a vast amount of symbolism in its forms and ceremonies. Much that was taught by this method has been lost to us. Such symbols as the lion for strength, the ox for patience, the lily for purity, the plumb for rectitude, corn for nourishment, wine for refreshment and oil for joy are easily traced to quite a distant past; but there are many very important symbols that are not so easily disposed of.
The original significance of such symbols as the Circle, Triangle, Square, Swastika, Crux Ansata, Serpent, Lotus and many others is more problematical.
Mackenzie, in his Migration of Symbols, has brought out a thought in clear outline which is well worthy our attention:
The early thinkers had formulated definite ideas regarding the world in which they lived long before they began to speculate regarding origins; and when their minds soared into space they carried into the other world the familiar objects of everyday life. They did not imagine that the sun was carried across the sky in a boat, like the Egyptian god Re, before boats were invented, or in a chariot, like the Hindu god Surya, before chariots came into use and horses were domesticated. Nor did they regard the heavens as the roof of the world-house which had been fashioned by a divine artisan before they had begun to build houses for themselves. The idea that there was a gate or door in the sky did not have origin until there were gates and doors on the earth.
It should not be assumed in this connections however, that the "world-tree" of Egyptian, Hindu, Scandinavian and other mythologies was necessarily earlier than the posts or pillars of the cardinal points. The tree did not probably come into prominence before it had been deified and connected with the sky-goddess Nut.
After the early artisans had constructed habitations for themselves, they imagined that the sky roof was supported by posts or pillars. The idea that there was but one pillar may go back to the time when the earliest tents were in use; the two pillars may have been first suggested by the fact that day has its entrance in the east and exit in the west. The four pillars were not introduced until man had discovered the four cardinal points.
In Egypt, as we have seen, natural phenomena suggested to man the idea that certain influences emanated from the cardinal points. As has been indicated, hot blistering winds blow for a period from the south, and a cool reviving wind blows for a period from the north, heralding and therefore, according to early belief, bringing the inundation which ushers in the season of coolness and fruitfulness. Certain deities were identified with these influences, and they came to be regarded as controllers of them.
The early Egyptians saw Egypt in the sky. The "Milky Way" issuing apparently from the region of the "imperishable stars" was the Celestial Nile, and the source of their own Nile. It was the river of night. The river of day flowed from east to west, and carried upon its breast the boat of the sun; before it carried this boat, it carried the earlier reed floats which were, according to Pyramid Text 1026, bound together by the "four youths" of the horizon for the sun-god Re and the dead Pharaoh.
The phenomena of nature were early associated with ideas of God and a future life. In Egypt the two most prominent forces of nature which the people observed by their beneficent effects on the crops were the sun and the Nile and these were soon personified and considered as gods. Late research seems to justify the charge that we have misinterpreted the word "gods" and that it was not intended to express the plurality of Deity. It is now thought that the original belief of those people was in a Supreme Being and intermediary beings, lesser than God, but greater than man. As lesser dignitaries, the sun, moon and other planets, and the characters of mythology which they later assumed, more nearly correspond to the saints of the church in its most critical period.
Mythology and astrology are intimately connected with the development of thought, and it is plausible to assume that much of our symbolism had its origin in astrology.
To primitive man all existence was divided into two categories, heaven over head and earth under foot, which is the foundation on which all mythology and cosmogonies are built. To the Israelite they appeared the works of Jehovah; to the Chinese they were the father and mother of all things, the Yin and Yang. To the early Greeks they were the first divine beings, Uranos and Gaea.
As man gradually advanced from his primitive condition other aspects presented themselves to his mind, and he began to regard their various aspects in more detail, heaven as functifying, lofty, male and controlling the thunder and lightning; earth as prolific, passive and female. In the old mythologies heaven and earth formed a union and the sun, moon and stars were reputed as their children. The sun soon took the place as the manifestation of the God of Day and the moon as the God of Night, and in the fantasy which symbolism and mythology built around the many diverse properties of the sun and moon their different aspects took on additional personification. The sun rising out of the ocean and again sinking into it became neptune and the invisible sun which tarries in the night in the underworld became Pluto and so with many other phases of its manifestations. The waxing, waning, rising and setting of the moon gave rise to groups of sisters; the graces, fates and furies, and to many other forms of goddesses which are sad, chaste, alluring, winsome; or the moon assumes the form of some fair daughter of man, who being loved by some god, becomes the mother of gods and heroes.
It seems most probable that a few astrological symbols, originally very simple, gradually developed into the very complex system known as Greek Mythology. As centuries passed the true sense and original meaning of these myths and symbols, transmitted from father to son, was lost, and the whole was taken to be an actual fact.
It seems probable that the earliest astrologers were shepherds, and that they discovered the most prominent phenomena of the heavenly bodies, among which was the fixed position of the pole-star and the apparent revolutions of Ursa Major around it, from which it is supposed we have one of the oldest symbols, the swastika. The "All- Seeing Eye," "The Rite of Circumambulation," the "Covering of the Lodge," and the Ladder, orientation, or the situation of lodges due east and west, and the emblems in the rods of the Deacons, and the "point within a circle" are among symbols and symbolic ceremonies which may be illustrative of the probable origin of some of the Masonic symbolism. To place a proper estimate on the significance which these and many other symbols held in the religious thought of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Phoenicians and other races it is necessary to acquire at least an elementary knowledge of their religious systems. A survey to this end would be far beyond the scope of the present outline. Reference to several Masonic writers and other generally accepted authorities will be made. There is no brief account by which we may hope to obtain a comprehensive idea of thoughts of philosophic minds from those of the earliest man who tried to realize the attributes of Deity by His physical manifestations, to the twentieth century student who expresses ideas about God in terms which clearly prove the limitations of finite minds to comprehend Deity. The pure religion which may have been the origin of the later phallic worship was quite probably an endeavor to express belief in Deity through the manifestations of the male principle of the sun and the female principle of the earth.
As society became organized religious systems were founded. All religious systems have been to a great extent agents in both the development and the transmission of symbolism; yet in some ways they have been a cause of the loss of the original meanings attached to those Symbols.
THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES
The Ancient Mysteries (1) were originally pure and taught the great basic principles of true religion, but they eventually degenerated into gross perversions of the original purpose. In their purest state the Mysteries taught by symbols and allegories (which are dramatic symbols), the great truth of the immortality of the soul and the perfectibility of man's nature by the conquest of the physical nature by the spiritual. The fragments we possess of the judgment of the soul in the Book of the Dead and the very veiled allusions to the ceremonies of initiation warrant a belief that the truths taught were of first importance to man's spiritual growth.
The Ancient Mysteries were widely diffused over Asia, Africa and Europe from the earliest known period until the fifth century of our era. They were practiced with a variation of details but with a similarity of purpose and design. The Mystery of Osiris and Isis, which is generally considered as the most ancient, was produced in Egypt as far back as we can trace authentic history, and inferentially much further. Even with this record of its very great antiquity, some oriental scholars think it had an origin in India and was borrowed by the Egyptians.
Arthur E. Waite finds that part of the Book of the Dead (the name given by Prof. Karl Richard Lepsius to a collection of 166 texts or chapters of sacred writings of the earliest Egyptian literature found on the walls or tombs and scrolls of papyrus), described ceremonies which he believes were a rite of initiation and advancement, rather than the after-death experiences of the soul in the judgment halls, an opinion held by many scholars. Albert G. Mackey divides the Egyptian Mysteries into the three degrees of Isis, Serapis and Osiris, which was the consummation. The legend of Osiris' murder and the loss of his body; the search and recovery; its final burial; and the account given of its resurrection comprise one version of an allegory which was the principal feature of all the mysteries.
Osiris, a king of Ancient Egypt, after having taught many arts and sciences to his people, resolved to extend his benefactions still further and travel in foreign countries and educate humanity. He left his kingdom in charge of his queen, Isis, and for three years devoted himself to the task he had entered. In the absence Typhon, his brother, had conspired to usurp the throne, and at a banquet given in honor of Osiris' return brought a beautiful chest which he announced would be given to the one whose body it most nearly fitted. Osiris laid down in the chest to try it and Typhon closed the lid and securely fastened it and threw it into the Nile.
The long search for the body by Isis was finally rewarded, and it was found in a tamarisk tree which had grown up and encased it after it had been washed ashore in Phoenicia. Isis returned to Egypt with the body, but before it could be buried Typhon again seized it and cut it into fourteen pieces, which he scattered in many places. Isis resumed her search and was again rewarded, but one part, the phallus, was never found. The body was embalmed and it was announced that Osiris had risen and resumed his place among the gods. (Several variations of detail are given in the many versions of this legend, but the loss, recovery and resurrection are essentially the same in all.)
The Mysteries of Mithras are supposed to have been instituted by Zarathustra (Zoroaster), but Bactrian chronology is as difficult to determine as ancient Egyptian, consequently this period may have been anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 years before the Christian era, according to the different systems of computation. The Mithraic rites, although differing in dramatic details, teach the same symbolic lessons of life and immortality as those of Osiris, and are full of astronomical allusions. Mithras was worshipped as the God of Light, and the initiation into this ancient society was accompanied with extremely severe tests through seven grades or degrees. Although originating in Persia, it was afterward extended over most of Asia and Europe, and many of its monuments are preserved in European museums.
The Cabiric Mysteries were first practiced on the island of Samothrace, and are sometimes called the Samothracian Mysteries. Little is known about them, but they are generally supposed to have been instituted in honor of Atys, a form of the sun god. The principal feasts and rites were held at the vernal equinox and it is probable that the legend of death and immortality was taught by an astronomical allegory.
The Mysteries of Adonis were practiced at Byblos, the home of the Giblites, who were the supposed "stone-squarers" at the building of King Solomon's Temple; and if any historical importance may be attached to traditions relating to the building of that Temple there may be found in this connection a source of a well known Masonic legend.
The Dionysian Mysteries, instituted in honor of Dionysius, who is more usually called Bacchus, gave an allegory of immortality in a varied form. The rites of Dionysius are supposed by scholars to have given rise to the Greek drama.
The Eleusinian Mysteries, celebrated at Eleusis, a village near Athens, were probably conducted on a larger scale than any of the others and have become the most widely known of all. They are divided into the lesser and the greater, requiring a probationary period of one year before the candidate could advance. In the Greater Mysteries an elaborate procession was made in the day time, and the initiations were conducted at night. The legend of the abduction of Pereephone by Pluto, and the search and recovery for half of each year by Demeter, her mother, was exemplified in dramatic manner and is supposed to have an astronomical origin.
Much that is excellent and divine does Athens seem to me to have produced and added to our life, but nothing better than those Mysteries by which we are formed and moulded from a rude and savage state of humanity; and indeed, in the Mysteries we perceive the real principles of life, and learn not only to live happily, but to die with a fairer hope.
Bro. Oliver Day Street, after treating of the Mysteries, says: Thus did ancient societies seek by means of dramatic presentation of a legend to teach the great Masonic doctrine of the resurrection and the life after death.
The Scandinavian and Druidical Mysteries are only variations of the others and have the same objects. Very little is known about them, though traces of initiatory rites are to be discovered in the Younger Edda.
The Ancient Mysteries are fascinating to those who delight in the obscure and complex portions of history; but, notwithstanding what many Masonic authors have written about the subject, they should be studied with great care and discrimination. What it is possible to verify of the belief and thought and the rites and ceremonies of those ancient societies is pieced together from fragments. These fragments are sufficient, however, to justify conceding that the Ancient Mysteries taught moral instruction by symbolic methods. Many of the forms and ceremonies and signs and symbols seem to have been either transmitted to Freemasonry or borrowed from them. It is impossible to find any direct chain of transmission, and it is also impossible to find any authentic account of such symbolic teaching being incorporated into the Masonic system at airy given period. Many writers on Freemasonry have compared the symbolism of Freemasonry with what is known of the Ancient Mysteries. Every one admits the similarity, but some doubt any transmission from them to Freemasonry as we know it.
The conclusions reached by some of the greatest students are that the most important lesson of the Mysteries was the Osirian legend. Mackey says in his Manual of the Lodge:
It was the single object of all the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the very bosom of pagan darkness, shining as a solitary beacon in all the surrounding gloom, and cheering the philosopher in his weary pilgrimage of life, to teach the immortality of the soul. This is still the great design of the Third Degree of Masonry.
While Albert Pike expressed the opinion in regard to Freemasonry, that
. . . those who framed its degrees adopted the most sacred and Significant symbols of a very remote antiquity used many centuries before Solomon built the Temple, to express to those who understood them and to conceal from the profane, the most recondite doctrines in regard to God, the universe and man.
Let us, however, carefully consider whether the degrees of Freemasonry were framed, and whether men of a comparatively recent date adopted some of its most significant symbols. The brethren of the period of the formation of the Grand Lodge of England did not have access to the records of Ancient Egypt. Champollion announced his discovery of the inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone as the key to reading Egyptian hieroglyphics in 1822, and any knowledge Freemasons had of the Ancient Mysteries must have been through some transmission.
The Mysteries of Osiris-and Isis are known to have been celebrated on the island of Philae as late as 453 A. D., and the most prominent of the Mysteries that influenced European thought at the commencement of the Christian era were those of Mithras.
The study of the deeper significance of Masonic symbolism will be greatly helped by the realization that most of the symbolism used at present has been transmitted through channels which sometimes perverted the original meaning, or at least obscured it; and if the student begins at the basic principle he must consider the most probable origin and original meaning of symbols. We believe that the important symbols are but few and simple, but their migrations and interfusion has brought them down to us so that we must trace them back to origins as far as possible.
It will be impossible to limit a study of symbolism to strictly historical or archaeological lines, although we must use them both as far as they can give us facts before entering upon speculation. The records we possess clearly show that the first serious contemplations which man indulged in regarding things not pertaining to his immediate physical necessities, were regarding Light and Life. The East as a place from which the orb of light appeared to come was one of the first things that started the human mind on its endless journey of inquiry into the reasons thereof, and eventually developed the present knowledge of the universe and its laws which still remains one of the profoundest subjects we may study. Life, or the reproductive principle, was also a cause of making man think and reason.
We must bear in mind that before the primitive man could develop, he must have experiences and that it was only such things as he experienced that could influence his mental Process.
(1) By mysteries the educated reader will not understand merely doctrines or symbols, or even secrets as such, but a system of discipline and instruction in esoteric learning which was deemed too sacred and recondite for those who had not complied with the essential conditions. Every ancient country had its sacerdotal order, the members of which had been initiated into the mysteries- and even Jesus defended His practice of discoursing in parables or allegories, because that only to His disciples was it given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God, whereas to the multitude it was not given. The priests of Egypt, the Magians of the ancient countries beyond the river Euphrates, the priests of Phoenicia and the other countries of Western Asia, were all members of sacerdotal colleges that might not divulge the esoteric knowledge to the uninitiated. Even the Brahmins of India are said to have also their mysteries at the present time; and the late Godfrey Higgins relates that a Mr. Ellis was enabled, by aid of the Masonic tokens, to enter the penetralia of a temple in the presidency of Madras. That there is some such "freemasonry" existing in many of the countries which we denominate uncivilized and pagan, is probable. The early Christians and heretical sects had also their signs of recognition, and were distinguished like the initiates of the older worships, according to their grade, as neophytes (1 Timothy, iii, 6), spiritual, and perfect. The mysteries most familiar to classical readers are the Eleusinia, which appear to have descended from the prehistoric periods. Pocoeke declares them to have been of Tartar origin, which is certainly plausible, and to have combined Brahminical and Buddhistical ideas. Those admitted only to the Lesser Mysteries were denominated Mystae, or veiled- those initiated into the Greater Mysteries were epoptai, or seers. Socrates was not initiated, yet after drinking the hemlock he addresses Crito: "We owe a cock to Aeseulapius." This was the peculiar offering made by initiates on the eve of the last day, and he thus sublimely asserted that he was about to receive the great apocalypse.
By BRO. C.H. BRIGGS, P. G. M., Missouri
EACH petitioner for the Mysteries of Freemasonry must declare that he is "a firm believer in the one living and true God." He is told that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. He is taught the importance of prayer. He is told that "the Holy Bible is given us as the rule and guide of our faith and practice." He is taught man's immortality.
Lo! Judah's Lion stoops to save
His strong right hand
Is reading downward to the grave
The dead shall stand.
A grip, a word, he springs upright
The shadows fly
He basks in heaven's eternal light
No more to die.
The Freemason who rejects these great principles outlaws himself. Forty years ago a "progressive" Freemason who had outgrown his belief in these verities was expelled from a Missouri Lodge. The Grand Lodge by a unanimous vote sustained the action of the Lodge in expelling him and said in the report as adopted: "The 'Book of the Law' is that volume which by the religion of the country is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe." The Jew and the Christian meet in the lodge. Each finds in the "Book of the Law" the revealed will of God, but each is left free to find his own interpretation of it.
The efforts which many critics and some preachers are making to discredit the Old Testament need not disturb intelligent Freemasons. Fifty years ago they told us the art of writing was not sufficiently advanced in the time of Moses to warrant us in believing he could have written the Pentateuch. Since the Code of Hammurabi was discovered such critics are dumb. They told us Luke was an ignoramus because in the seventeenth chapter of Acts he used the word "Politarchs" in writing of the rulers of Thessalonica. The critics said the word was not found in Greek literature. Thirty years ago I saw in the British Museum a marble slab dug up at Thessalonica which uses that very word. It is an unusual word and Luke uses it nowhere else.
Those who wish to read a sane book on the Old Testament can find it in Professor James Orr's "Problem of the Old Testament." Robert Dick Wilson of Princeton, who knows twenty-six languages and is probably the best American authority on Oriental literature, says: "There is no book in the world which has been handed down as the Bible. There are twenty-nine Kings of Egypt: Israel, Judah, Moab, Damascus, Tyre, Babylon, Assyria, Persia; ten different countries mentioned among these twenty-nine, both in the Bible and on the monuments, so far as we can trace them. Every one of these is mentioned in the Bible as King of the right country. Every one of the twenty-nine is mentioned in the correct chronological and synchronous order. Remember, some of these kings reigned like Rameses II for sixty-two years, some for two months.
If you were going to write the history of this century, and had to get those little kings in the Balkans and Germany and Austria and Italy down right in the synchronism and in their relativity, you would find a big problem. But the Bible has its kings right."
It is the best Ancient History the world has. Dr. John Lord commences his "Beacon Lights of History" with Moses of whom he says: "I begin my review of the great actors in the world's history with the man who gave the first recorded impulse to civilization, and who is the most august character of all antiquity." He stands out in clear historic light and we know the names of Amram, his father; Jochebed, his mother; Miriam, his sister, and his brother Aaron. That he wrote the Pentateuch is far more probable than any of the guesses with which the critics have sought to discrown him. Those common sense considerations are all we need to urge as reasons for believing that the Hebrews did not blunder in regarding him as their Lawgiver.
1. Jerusalem is not named in the Pentateuch.
2. Music, instrumental or vocal, formed no part of the Mosaic Ritual.
3. The term "Lord of Hosts" is not in the Pentateuch.
David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it the capital of his kingdom. From his day dates its glory among the cities of the world. From his day music became prominent in Hebrew worship.
The critics ask us to believe that centuries after David's day, when Jerusalem had become the center of their national life, when music, both instrumental and vocal, was so prominent in their worship and when their literature named the Lord of Hosts, the most skillful literary forgers the world ever knew fabricated the Pentateuch, ascribed it to Moses, and to give it an antique cast, kept out of it the name of Jerusalem, any reference to music in worship, and the term "Lord of Hosts." My answer is, "Tell that to the marines."
The first chapter of Genesis gives the order of the creation of earth as geology unfolds it. How came Moses to be a geologist thousands of years in advance of his day? Had the tallest archangel who flames before the throne and who saw fire mist-taking form until man stood in Eden the climax of the creative work undertaken to reveal the story of what he saw he could not have put in the same space a better account than Moses has given us.
Take his statement concerning marriage: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh." Jesus of Nazareth had nothing to add to that. Shallow critics have sneered at the account of the first human sin. It may be poetic in its form, but no theologian or philosopher has ever been able to give a better explanation. It shows that sin is the assertion of self-will against God. In passing we may say that there are only three perfect pictures of the Devil in the world's literature. One is in the third chapter of Genesis, one in the second chapter of Job and the third in the Gospel narrative of Christ's temptation. The essential difference between human life and all other forms of terrestrial life is not only clearly marked in the account of the Creation which Genesis gives, but is emphasized in God's words to Noah recorded in the ninth chapter. Flesh is given man for food. This gives him the right to take animal life to meet his needs. But human life is sacred. God gives it and God can take it away. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man." Here is the Divine warrant for Capital Punishment, for murder. What does the Evolutionist do when he comes to this? What did the old bell cow do when she came to the fence? Went right over it. Joseph's answer to his tempters "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God ?" shows as clear a conception of the double nature of sin as the New Testament unfolds. He shrank from its impurity and feared to sin against God.
The Ten Commandments given on Sinai and deposited in the Ark of the Covenant constitute the one and only moral code given to man. Jesus was not a Lawgiver. Grace and Truth came by him but the Law had already been given by Moses. Jesus interpreted it and applied it, but did not re-enact it for it had not run out and is the basis of the jurisprudence of civilized lands today. Where did Moses get that law?
The Hebrew people did not give Monotheism to the world. Their mission was to preserve a faith which had been man's heritage from the beginning, but was dying out. Abraham had as friends and associates Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God, and Abimelech, King of Gerar to whom God appeared. But when Moses has led the Children of Israel through the wilderness and they are about ready to enter the Land of Promise no successors of Melchizedek or Abimelech are found who shared their faith in God. All we see is a torch going out in the darkness Balaam, a back- sliding prophet, who loved the wages of unrighteousness and who was slain in the war against Midian.
Your theories of Evolution break down when you come to deal with the world's Religions. Every great religion the world has known was loftier intellectually and nobler morally in its earlier stages than in its later history. The suggestion of a recent Masonic writer that the bones of Joseph were in the Ark of the Covenant and he became their god, is absurd. Joseph's body was embalmed and an ark three feet nine inches long was not its coffin. There are many mummies in the British Museum, but I saw none stuffed into boxes three feet and nine inches long.
THE BUILDER APRIL 1929
American Army Lodges in the World War
Sea and Field Lodge No. 3, at Le Mans, France By BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor
IN our studies thus far into the American Field Lodges that were active during the World War we have covered considerable space and have already brought to the student Masons the realization that our Fraternity had a vital place in the life of the soldiers who constituted the American Forces.
Last month we had presented to us the record of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2, which was stationed at Paris. New York in like manner has the credit of placing one of her Overseas Field Lodges at the center of the A. E. F. Forwarding activities.
To understand why Le Mans was selected -as a point of strategic importance it is necessary for you to look carefully at the war map of the A. E. F. You will there discover that of the many ports of debarkation whereby our American Forces were landed in France and distributed throughout that country, the Harbor of Brest was the one through which the largest number of our forces passed. Now it is not only important to have a Port of Entry but the constant stream of Americans who were entering France daily had to be distributed in such manner that congestion at the coast might be avoided. The ships were arriving in such numbers that thousands of men and huge quantities of supplies were daily entering France and disembarking at its forts.
Nature and man's application of modes of transportation have made of Brittany a region especially fitted for the handling of such problems as transportation, housing, and training. It is a rugged, hilly section of France. Large sections are heavily wooded and towns are often at considerable distances from each other. Consequently it is an ideal location for the training of artillery. Thus large numbers of our Artillery Brigades were moved from Brest to camps in Brittany where they completed their preliminary practice prior to the passing up into the Battle Zones. The Infantry were moved more quickly to regions south and southeast of Paris.
Le Mans is on the main line of the railroad running from Brest to Tours and Paris. It became naturally the center around which many of the American Divisions found temporary quarters before being broken up and scattered throughout the country. The Eighty third Division for example became a Replacement Division and was practically a permanent resident of the Le Mans region. Its artillery was detached and sent forward and attached to other divisions.
Consequently, both prior to the Armistice and afterwards, hundreds of thousands of our soldiers were stationed in the Le Mans district. The welfare activities of all the accredited civilian organizations set up shop within Brittany and ministered to our men. Especially was this true of the Y. M. C. A. which established a complete organization throughout the Brittany borders and especially at Le Mans. Among the secretaries that were stationed at Le Mans was Brother Harry B. Mook, member of Excelsior Springs Lodge, No. 195, New York City. His position was one of responsibility and he threw himself into the welfare work with great zeal. He tells me that very early in the life of the Le Mans American Occupation the Masons got together. In a letter he puts it this way: several months previous to the entry of Masonry into France, a number of Y. M. C. A. Secretaries being Masons organized the AMERICAN MASONIC CLUB and honored me with the Presidency. Our Club house was situated at 45 rue Chanzy, quite a pretentious building. The American Officers and Doughboys joined in large numbers making the undertaking a financial and social success. Here we billeted both officers and doughboys under the same roof and here they met upon a common level. A request to the Commanding Officers of the different camps brought Military Bands and Jazz Orchestras from the different units. The female element was supplied by girls from the Y. M. C. A., Red Cross, and English "Waes." The conditions in the area at that time were very depressing. Morale was at a very low ebb. The description given by Miss Katherine Mayo which was quoted in the account of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2, last month did not overstate matters. If anything the reverse for no one who was not in it could ever fully appreciate it.
. . . the big nervous effort that had preceded the Armistice had stopped short. The excitement was over. A dull long pause had ensued. Men had begun to fret and fear about their jobs at home; to ponder at leisure the possible personal cost of their war period. Mail service had been exceedingly defective. For many months in many eases home news had been entirely cut off. Meantime in America the influenza had slain its thousands, and every man who had failed to hear from his family dreaded the possible truth....
It is little wonder that men felt as they did under such conditions, which were generally true all over France, but especially in this center through which were to flow for months the returning millions of Americans when the Overseas Masonic Commission began to study the Situation of France, from a Masonic standpoint.
The New York Mission went down from Paris to Le Mans and were conducted over the Le Mans Area. They saw the preparations that had been made to accommodate thousands upon thousands of Americans eastward moving. They saw these same thousands re-appearing westward into the Le Mans Area until over 300,000 men were billeted within the area at one time. Situations were constantly arising that demanded the wisest and most intensively directed activities to bulwark the morale of these men.
SEA AND FIELD LODGE, NO. 3, CONSTITUTED
No condition could be more challenging to a group of experienced Freemasons than this. Their problem resolved itself into a very clear proposition. Had Masonry within it upon such a condition and work out plans whereby men could be held to the highest ideals of their kind? The Masonic Overseas Mission were convinced that it did, Bro. Scudder took action. In his Report to the Grand Lodge of New York in 1920, he says:
I also instituted Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, at Le Mans, the great Embarkation Center, with R. W. Harry B. Mook, of New York, as Wor. Master, which sat 12 times at the Temple of the Lodge Les Amis du Progres of Grand Orient, No. 3 rue Gastelier, and conferred the degrees on 203 Candidates, which included 14 Candidates accommodated by courtesy for other Lodges. Its first session was April 9, 1919, and its last June 21, 1919.
In the same volume of Proceedings, we find also the report Brother Mook made to the Masonic Mission:
M. W. Townsend Scudder, Past Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York, Chairman. Masonic Overseas Mission.
Dear Sir and M. W. Brother:
Herewith I submit a report of the activities of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, located at Le Mans, France.
From Aug 26, 1918 I was stationed at Le Mans, France as Regional Director of the A. E. F.-Y. M. C. A. in that area. Le Mans is approximately 240 kilometers (130 miles) in a general southerly direction from Paris, and had been early in 1918 established as a camp for the American forces, with a quota of approximately 4,000 men.
THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE AMERICAN TROOPS
Soon after the Armistice, the necessity of withdrawing the American troops from the front and from their several billets was presented to the Commander-in-Chief, and pending the determination by the Government to return the troops to America, and the method of such return it was planned that the Le Mans area, comprising roughly the territory centering about Le Mans with a diameter of 100 miles, should be expanded as a so-called embarkation camp to a capacity of approximately 325,000 men, for the purpose of providing accommodations for the men thus necessarily transferred, and for whom accommodations elsewhere, and particularly at the seaboard were entirely lacking.
The enterprise was speedily undertaken and promptly carried out, and January and February, 1919, saw a sudden, continuous and incredible increase both in the number of men stationed in that area and also in the accommodation for them.
The resources of the Welfare Workers, and particularly the A.E. F.- Y. M. C. A. were sorely taxed. Officers and men situated thus, heartsick for home, uncertain when they could be embarked, with nothing to do and little or nothing to occupy their minds, were in a moral and mental plight which can only be imagined. Naturally, coincidentally with the expansion of the area, and the congregation of large numbers of men thereat, the civilian population increased correspondingly, and among them were a large number of dissolute women from the larger cities, and particularly from Paris, seeking to prey upon our troops.
I was personally in the most intimate association with the conditions. I know whereof I speak. When I learned early in February, 1919, of the advent of the Masonic Overseas Mission it seemed to me as though a veritable gift of God was at our door. I promptly applied to you and to the Mission for assistance in the financial support of a Masonic Club at Le Mans, which you graciously and immediately granted without stint. That is another story, however, save that the Club, thoroughly established in ample and unusually comfortable and appropriate quarters, with a permanent membership of 903 men, and a roving attendance of at least 5000 additional, proved wholly inadequate for the purpose. The association of Masons which the Club afforded, and the comfortable opportunity for recreation and social enjoyment was most important, but the need for more intimate and a more genuine Masonic relation afforded was observed by their non-Masonic buddies and intimate friends, and both for nonMasons and Masons the request for lodge activities was insistent.
I presented the matter to you. The Mission investigated the situation, and you graciously issued the warrant of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, overseas, signed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of New York, and appointed me Master thereof with authority to designate the other necessary officers..
THE COOPERATION OF FRENCH MASONS
The French Masons of Le Mans, owing obedience to the Grand Orient of France, most cordially welcomed us and our Masonic activities, and tendered to us, free of charge, the use of their lodge room, 3 rue Gastelier, and here Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, was instituted April 9, 1919, by the Masonic Mission.
As Master of the lodge I did my utmost to impress upon the candidates from the A. E. F., as well as upon the Frenchmen's minds, the dignity and character of our institution, and hope with some measure of success.
The quarters of the French Lodge being inadequate, I secured the use of the Opera House, which was employed on May 2, 1919, the attendance outside the candidates testing the seating capacity of the house, about 1500.
At the request of the Mayor of Le Mans, M. Buon, who is not a Mason, I called upon him, and was pleased to learn that he was desirous of doing something for the American Mason, because he had learned the difference between American and French Freemasons in respect of their belief in God. It was through him that I secured the use of the conference room in the Municipal Dessin and found it to be what was needed, holding from three to four hundred with ample floor space, and with adequate security. Our paraphernalia was crude, but served the purpose. Our ballot box was made of a cigar box, the ballots marbles painted with white enamel, the cubes pieces of ebony ruler, the gavels potato mashers varnished, the jewels of the officers, made from brass linings of shells at the machine shop in Camp Hospital No. 52. For cabletows, we used upholstery cord, for staves we used flag poles, for canvas sheet an army blanket; for the representatives of the three lesser lights, candles bought in the department store- the altar was a table properly draped, the square and compasses came from the Engineering Corps, 83rd Division, and the Bible was one which I had in my trunk and took from my rooms at Cavanaugh's, the largest Bible available, and which bore the name in gilt letters on the cover, "Cavanaugh," who, I understood, is a member of the K. of C. and on this Bible were raised the Candidates of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, overseas.
The ceremonies of the lodge were marked by dignity and order. It sat April 9, 17, 24, May 2, 8, 16, 23, 29, June 6, 13, 20 and 21, and each of its sessions was very largely attended. The ceremonial and ritual were the standard of the Grand Lodge of New York, which the personnel of the lodge, hailing from all over the United States, zealously applied themselves to and mastered with singular success.
Its service was indeed a holy service and its influence benign.
In closing, I wish to express to you my thanks and the appreciation for the many kind acts extended to me by you on the occasion of our numerous meetings at Paris, and for your helpful assistance, encouragement and advice which did much toward making our efforts so successful in Le Mans.
Fraternally, HARRY B. MOOK
Thus the account of Bro. Mook in his report em bodied in the Proceedings of New York Grand Lodge of 1920. In a letter to me Bro. Mook covers much the same ground but with some further details.
Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, was instituted in the French Masonic Lodge Room in Le Mans, they having kindly offered the free use of the quarters. The following officers were duly installed by the Masonic Mission.
Master R. W. Harry B. Mook, New York.
Sen. Warden Wor. Wm. Higgins, New York State.
Jun. Warden Lieut. Hyson, Arkansas.
S. D Wor. Capt. Wilson, Mass.
J. D Wm. Sampson, Texas.
S. M. C. Capt. Ehrenwerth, Montana.
J. M. C Harry Young, Conn.
S. S Rev. J. C. Black, Texas.
J. S. Capt. Peterson, Ohio.
Tiler Sergt. Gilmore, California.
Treas Lieut. Taylor, Colorado.
Secy Lieut. Ross, Kentucky.
Finding the French Masonic lodge room too small to accommodate the many hundreds who tried to attend, and having the First, Second and Third Degrees to confer on 84 candidates in waiting, I hired the Opera House, seating capacity about 2,000. The lodge was set upon the stage, with scenery representing King Solomon's Temple (used by the Paris Opera co. that came here at certain seasons of the year); thrones for the Master and Wardens; a Fellowcraft team made up of soldier boys, the costumes furnished by Moran, who had his factory in Le Mans and was the costumer for the opera company. I had a special dispensation from the Grand Master of New York permitting me to confer all three degrees one night, and the number unlimited. This I found to be necessary owing to the constant shifting of the troops. Upon this occasion all three degrees were conferred in full, with just the descriptive lectures of the First and Second. We started at seven o'clock and finished at twelve.
Our Senior Deacon was the Town Major. He started out to find a larger room where we could hold our weekly meetings. He called upon the Mayor, M. Buon, who sent for me and between my bad French and his bad English, we made ourselves understood. The Mayor, a staunch Catholic, said he had heard of the American Masons and had formed a good opinion of them. He said the French Masons are a political body that threw their influence against the Church. They were mostly Atheists, which accounted for our nonaffiliation with them. He took me by the arm and led me to the Municipal De Dessin (a large hall where the public assembled to make their complaints) a place seating about 400. Upon assuring him that it would be an ideal place for us to meet, he gave his consent and furnished me with an autographed letter, giving the American Masonic Lodge the free use of the room as long as the American Army was in France. Pretty fine conduct from a Catholic to a Mason.
This courtesy on the part of one undoubtedly brought up to believe everything evil of Freemasons was certainly very remarkable. Bro. Mook went on in his letter to describe the paraphernalia used, which, as it has already been described in the report quoted above may be omitted here. He adds one detail that may be of interest, the "setting maul" was "an ordinary hammer, with a boxing glove attached," and he then goes on to describe the borrowing of the Bible more fully:
. . . and now comes a secret. Before leaving for the other side I was quartered at the home of a friend who is a member of the Knights of Columbus. In my room on the table was a large handsome Bible. Realizing I was going over to do service for the Y.M.C.A. as a Financial Secretary, I thought this might be useful, so I borrowed it. When we looked around for the Great Light, we had nothing larger than a Testament. I thought of the Bible and during the four months that we held our weekly meetings, I raised 288 Masons on a Knight of Columbus Bible.
In the proceedings of various Grand Lodges I have come across a number of references to the military lodges with New York Warrants. Some of them have queen favorable, and some otherwise. Among the latter I found in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tenessee for 1921 the following paragraph in the Grand Master's address:
The following were healed: Marcus Elmo Nellum, who had received the F. C. and M. M. Degrees in Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, New York, he having received the E. A. Degree in Corinthian Lodge, March 26....
The Grand Master also referred in his address to the opinion expressed by the Grand Master of Kentucky the previous year:
He (Ky GM) criticised the reported initiation, passing and raising all in one night the ceremony of a class of over fifty men by the Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, at Le Mans, France, under a Special dispensation of the Grand Lodge of New York under which said S&F Lodge was working in France in 1919.
This expression of opinion naturally roused curiosity. The Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky for 1919, in which the following letter was found, which speaks for itself:
Le Mans, France, May 3, 1919.
Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.
My Dear Brother:
From across the seas I send greetings and salutations to the Craft of Kentucky. The purpose of this letter I consider for the good of Masonic Lodges throughout our State.
It was my lot the other afternoon to visit Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, which is located here, and I believe is working under the authority granted by the Grand Lodge of New York. Special dispensations having been granted by the Grand Lodge of New York, there was a class of over fifty men initiated passed and raised that night. Aside from the obligations of the first two degrees, there was nothing further of the ritual used. All those beautiful lessons were ignored. In the Third Degree the candidates took only the obligation and were given seats where they saw the remainder of the work "staged." This solemn degree work was put on the stage while all the candidates witnessed it as they would the season's latest hit in shows. Not a single one of the class was raised, and if the duties which accompany that act were performed I did not see them. The Master announced that he would make it his duty to see that each candidate was raised at a later date.
Having been reared in a country lodge where we know no more than to do things as prescribed in the rites and ceremonies of the fraternity, I cannot endorse this work. I would fear for my good standing if any member of Franklin Lodge, No. 28, Danville, Ky., were to find me endorsing this Masonic butchering by even my presence.
So I take this means to warn you and ask that the Craft be warned about giving their consent to waiver (sic) jurisdiction. Hoping that this year may find the Fraternity in its best condition for years and hoping soon to mingle with the Craft of Kentucky, and with highest personal regards, I beg to remain, Fraternally thine,
Allen C. Terhune.
Lt. M. G. U. S. A. Spur Camp, Le Mans, France, A. P. O. 762.
The Grand Master of Kentucky commented as follows:
I am not familiar by mouth-to-ear information, or by reading just how much seriousness or extent of thoroughness is practiced in conference of degrees of Symbolic Masonry in France, or even in our New York jurisdiction, but wherever such procedure is staged or such a large class "put through" in sieve-like fashion within a few hours, in the same breath as it were, I can see scant impression, no solemnity and but little good derived, from the standpoint of the candidate receiving "light."
When I came upon these items I copied them carefully and forwarded them to Bro. Harry B. Mook, of New York, with the request that he give me an answer to use when this account was published. In his reply to me Bro. Mook says:
On May 2d, 1919, we were compelled to hire the Opera House, seating more than 2000. On that evening we conferred the First, Second and Third Degrees on 84 candidates. The Lodge WAS SEATED ON THE STAGE (the critic failed to get this fact), with appropriate scenery, resembling King Solomon's Palace, with thrones for the Master and Wardens. The FC Team were Doughboys from our Army. We worked the three degrees in full (a flat denial to the criticism quoted by the Grand Master in his address) with the EXPLANATION OF EXPLANATORY REMARKS as the First Degree and the Middle Chamber Lectures.
It appears to us in view of the recent creation "At Sight" in the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania of three men in one and the same day from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason, without any tests or lectures being required that the criticism of the late Grand Master of the Kentucky Grand Lodge was not warranted by the facts. I fear that much of the argumentation against the creation of Army Lodges during the War was due to the prejudice already embedded in many Grand Masters who were in position to nullify any movements that might arise within their own jurisdictions looking to the formation of such lodges. The taking of other Masons' words without due testing of them and using them to frustrate the desires of large bodies of Masons under their obedience did not, to say the least, manifest that urge that the Craft are supposed to have toward the Truth whatever way it tend.
I want to put over against all criticisms that may have found lodgement concerning the work of these Sea and Field lodges of New York Grand Lodge this letter that came to me from Hawaii some years ago:
Feb. 14, 1923. N.M.R.S. Sir:
As an explanation of my petition for membership (in the N. M. R. S.) I enclose the following data. Degrees taken at Le Mans, France, June 13, 1919. Secretary, H. W. Ross. Lodge Charter under Grand Lodge of New York. Present Headquarters, c/o Grand Lodge State of New York. Present station, Temporary. KAUAI MASONIC CLUB.
Sincerely yours, Lester W. Alexander, U. S. Engineers,
Lihue Kauai, T. H.
In other words here is one of our Army brothers who might never have had opportunity to secure the Masonic degrees had he not been in Le Mans at that time and found the New York Field Lodge there and at work. Here he is four years later still active in his attachment to the Craft far out in the Pacific.
And so the record keeps growing. The Field Lodge at Le Mans touched thousands of the Craft at a time when they were under terrific mental strain due to that terrible period of waiting that followed the Armistice. It reached beyond the Craft itself and made its impress upon native Frenchmen both Masonic and anti-Masonic, and it was a beneficent influence. It touched non-Masonic material in our A. E. F., who observed the effects of the fellowship of the members of the Craft and it awakened within many scores of them an attraction toward Freemasonry that produced in them a desire to secure light either overseas or upon their return home.
I give below a copy of the Warrant delivered to
Bro. Mook by the Overseas Masonic Mission and also a table of the work done by this lodge:
Upon the surrender of the Warrant of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, its books, records, furniture and all effects were collected together by the Overseas Masonic Mission and conveyed to the Grand Lodge Temple of New York where they are at present deposited. Many of the members of the lodge were transferred and consolidated with the membership of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, of New York City. Part of them took their demits and joined other lodges, some of them are still carried on the roll of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, but the lodge itself has been perpetuated, and located at Auburn, N. Y., with the permanent number, 974.
SIT LUX ET LUX FUIT William S. Farmer, Grand Master
I, William S. Farmer, Grand Master of Masons, in the State of New York, do, by these presents, appoint, authorize and empower our
Worthy Brother Harry B. Mook, New York, to be the Master, our
Worthy Brother Wm. D. Higgins, New York, to be the Senior Warden, our
Worthy Brother R. J. Hinson, Arkansas, to be the Junior Warden, our
Worthy Brother A. E. Taylor, Colorado, to be the Treasurer, our
Worthy Brother H. W. Ross, Kentucky, to be the Secretary, our
Worthy Brother P. J. Wilson, Massachusetts, to be the Senior Deacon, our
Worthy Brother W. H. Sampson, Texas, to be the Junior Deacon,
of a Sea and Field Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be by virtue hereof, constituted, formed and held at Le Mans, France, and elsewhere overseas as may be convenient and necessary, which Lodge shall be distinguished and known by the name and style of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, at Le Mans, France.
The said Master is hereby authorized to appoint subordinate officers of said Lodge, and said Lodge is authorized to adopt all such by-laws and regulations for the governance of its proceedings and labor as may be necessary and requisite, subject to my approval and subject as hereinafter set forth.
And further, the said Lodge is hereby invested with full power and authority to assemble on all proper and lawful occasions and to elect and confer the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry or any or either thereof, upon candidates who have actually enlisted or been drafted or commissioned officers in the United States Forces in the present great war, on payment of Twenty Dollars; conforming in all respects and at all times to the provisions of the Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York and to the standard ritual prescribed thereby, as also to do and perform all and every such acts and things appertaining to the Craft as have been and ought to be done for the honor and advantage thereof.
Membership or officership in said Lodge shall in nowise impair or affect existing membership or officership in a regular chartered or warranted Lodge.
Said Lodge shall have a seal and shall have and keep all books required to be kept by regular Lodges in the State of New York, the same and all records to be surrendered to the Grand Lodge on the termination of this Warrant.
This Warrant shall terminate at the pleasure of the Grand Master.
Given under my hand and Private Seal at the City of New York in the United States of America, this 9th day of April in the year of our Lord, One thousand nine hundred and nineteen, and in the year of Masonry, Five thousand nine hundred and nineteen.
William S. Farmer. Grand Master.
COMMUNICATIONS OF S. & F. LODGE, NO. 3
Demitted in 1919 - 33, in 1920 - 23 Total - 56
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
By BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from March)
HAVING freely criticized the work of others it is now our turn to present our own conclusions, to be the prey and sport of others. Doubtless our readers have gathered much of our views on the negative side, and perhaps something on the positive side also. But it may be well to briefly recapitulate the different types of theory that have emerged. The naive theory that three degrees, essentially as they exist today, were part of the original system is certainly untenable, and we doubt if anyone in the least familiar with the evidence would support it. But in a modified form it still seems to persist. Bro. Tuckett's two degrees and a ceremony-with-secrets is a triple arrangement, and so in truth is Bro. Vibert's theory of two grades preceded by the formalities of swearing in the Apprentice, for the latter seems to be not much more empty of content, considered as a "degree," than the single ceremony, "crude" and "simple," of Hughan, Lyon and others.
The single initiation theory has taken different forms; all the way from the bare "entry," and the communication of a password, asserted by Gould, up to the inclusion in it of all the essentials of the present first and second degrees, and even to embodying those of the third degree as well.
The two degree theory has still more variants. It can be taken as comprising the elements of our first and third, of our first and second, and also of a bare entry as a first step, with the combined elements of our two first degrees for the second one. And still other combinations are possible. How is anything like order to be evolved out of such chaos ?
It does seem to emerge, however, that many of these conclusions have been reached, not on the implications of the evidence as it stands, but on the latter as viewed in the light of various prepossessions, themselves based on quite other considerations which do not appear in the argument, or at least not explicitly; in many cases, indeed, without any clear realization on the part of the individual that they are there, and perhaps sometimes wholly unconscious. For example, it certainly seems as if the well known American students, Mackey and Pike, eagerly accepted the single initiation theory when it was first propounded by Findel, because of their interest in the Scottish Rite. As scholars they were obliged to admit the eighteenth century origin of the "high" grades out of which that Rite was formed, and this put it into an inferior position in regard to the venerability that is conferred by antiquity. But if the significant and fundamental part of "Craft" Masonry, the Third Degree, were also an eighteenth century invention, then it would, at best, have but a few years seniority over the "Scottish" grades. This is merely one case, for such prepossessions may be observed or suspected in perhaps most of the brethren who have sought to explain the confusing records, as indeed is in the nature of things practically inevitable. We are, therefore, going to begin by as full confession as we can make of our own prepossessions, and thus have all the cards on the table. These may be taken as postulates for the ensuing argument. Their truth is a separate question, to be argued separately. But we shall put our case thus: if they are true, then the acknowledged facts can be explained thus and thus. The conclusions reached can then be criticized in two ways; directly, on the ground whether they do or do not follow from the evidence in the light of the postulates: or else indirectly, by attacking the postulates. But the defense of the latter is outside our present limits. We can only state them here, not explain or substantiate them.
So much turns upon the question of ritual that it is necessary to make some general observations upon the subject, for strange as it may seem, there appears to be no little uncertainty in its meaning as used by Masonic writers. A great deal has been learned since our earlier scholars did their work, and there is now little excuse for haziness or confusion. Yet, even now, it seems as if most of those who touch upon the subject do implicitly regard the Masonic ritual as something that was at some time, by some one, deliberately and consciously devised, invented and propagated. That whether it is supposed that it was Desaguliers, Anderson or Payne, or whether it was some unknown personage of the Stuart or the Reformation period or in the Middle Ages, it is unconsciously assumed that the motives and objects were of a practical, didactic or ethical character, and would appeal as such to our civilized mentality. But the great mass of material now available, collected by anthropologists and students of folklore and similar subjects, presents too many parallels to Masonic ritual for such an uncritical assumption to be longer tenable. We know now how extremely tenacious folk or group memory is. How resistant it is to innovation, even though subject often enough to decay and atrophy; sometimes followed by revival. It is not an isolated phenomenon that we are investigating, as to earlier scholars it inevitably appeared to be.
AN ANALYSIS OF RITUAL
Following the general results of the anthropological sciences ritual generally may be thus analyzed. There are two obvious elements the things said and the things done. Each of these is again naturally divisible into what is essential to the purpose of the rite, and what is merely supplemental. The supplementary may be also subdivided, but it is not necessary to do so here. The two essential elements in any rite are always closely and vitally related, the thing said is the verbal counterpart of the thing done; in the supplementals, spoken and performed, this is not necessarily so, things may be done that have no spoken formula as counterpart, things may be said, exhortations and explanations for example, unaccompanied by any action. For illustration let us take the Christian rite of Baptism. It is of the simplest possible character, there is one thing done, aspersion with, or dipping into water, with its necessary accompanying verbal formula. All beyond this in Church services is supplementary. The proof is that it can in emergency be omitted. The Eucharist is slightly more complex; it contains several essential actions, manipulation of the elements, and administration, each with its accompanying spoken counterpart. When we come to a rite like Coronation we come to something that is really complex, and primitive too, there is much more to it than merely putting on a crown. But it would take us too far afield to go into that now (1). But when we analyze the Masonic ritual from this point of view we find that it is essentially complex. There are a number of things that are absolutely necessary to be done, each with a corresponding verbal formula that is entirely apart from any explanation or exhortation, and which is quite separable from the ceremonial that inevitably grows up about the essentials of a rite when it is performed at regular intervals in a place especially set aside for the purpose. But the essentials remain, complex as they may be, entirely between the neophyte and the officiant. The latter may of course depute others to do certain things, but however customary such deputation may become the fact remains that, setting aside all questions of validity and regularity, it is still possible for one individual to do everything that is really necessary and essential in initiation. This probably will sound very startling, but we believe that upon reflection upon the things that are essential the truth of the statement will become obvious. The importance of this will appear later. It nullifies any argument from the casual methods that seem to have been by no means rare in Scotland; that the initiation of a candidate was sometimes performed by two or three Masons, or even apparently by one alone in some instances, proves nothing in regard to the character of the forms that were used.
Much of the complexity of the ritual is quite obscured in modern recensions, in which the hortatory and didactic is so preponderant in mass. Yet all this, genetically considered, consists of accretions about the primitive essentials. Viewed as consciously devised for didactic, ethical or mystical objects, the earliest ritual forms do naturally seem "simple" or "crude," but that this was their origin and first purpose it is difficult, in the light of present knowledge, to believe. In our opinion, "archaic" and "primitive" are far more accurate adjectives than "simple" or "crude," though crude they are in one sense, and from the civilized standpoint. But the earliest vestiges of Masonic ritual remaining to us could no more have been invented de novo by medieval Operatives than they could have been by eighteenth century Speculative Masons. Their object, to our mental outlook, had originally nothing practical in them at all, they were purely magical. We do not mean that there was nothing more in the system of the medieval Masons, or more probably, of the builders' crafts; undoubtedly the old usages were adapted to the practical needs of the period, just as they have been continuously subject to adaptation ever since; and even at the beginning of the Grand Lodge era, the primitive elements had become very much what the coccyx and the vermiform appendix are in the human anatomy, i.e., residual vestiges of organs atrophied by disuse. They may (or may not) be of little importance in their later stages, but they cannot be ignored in an investigation into the history of the organism or organization.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PRIMITIVE MASONRY
The original "ceremony-with-secrets" or "narrative ceremony," that was in some way connected with the mastership, appears in its earliest known form as complex and primitive. We must insist on the complexity. It is plainly closely connected in origin (in a remote and indefinite past) with the many religio-magical folk customs that still survive in various places. The ritual dance of the Mummers or Guisers is an excellent parallel. We know, from recent collections of variations of this dance (2) that the vague plot of the drama enacted remains the same, with a significant persistence of what at first glance seem most trivial details; while the characters, on the other hand, change their names like patterns in a kaleidoscope. The earliest form of the Mason's drama, or play, or dance, has only two named characters, and the selection of these names seems quite secondary and non-essential. But we have in it a curious insistence on the numbers three and fifteen and on the points of the compass. There is a ritual death, a green bush or tree growing out of a grave, which in primitive ideas is, not a resurrection exactly, but a continuance of life; and then a real resurrection through a word of power, or evocation by a mystery name. (3)
There are, also, equally magical elements in the preliminary initiation or "making"; and it would be possible to reconstruct hypothetically a primitive original ceremony on those lines alone, without any trace of symbolic or moral teaching. There is the tabs on metals, the deisul, or sunwise circumambulation, the sacred enclosure, the contact with fetich objects, merely to mention some of the more obvious of these survivals. How these things got into the Masonic system, and what their line of transmission, is yet another question. All that is necessary to say here is, that in our opinion, they are discoverable, and that, too, not as incidental borrowings or conveyances, but as part of the very warp of the relics of operative ritual still extant.
Irrelevant as this may perhaps seem, we do think that it will help to clarify the situation. The evidence with which we are dealing is not sufficient in itself to lead to any determinate conclusion, it must be interpreted on the basis of some hypothesis. Instead of leaving others to guess at our conceptions, and preconceptions, in respect to the question, we are making them explicit. And we trust that if we draw conclusions differing from those reached by others from the same evidence, we will not be regarded as illogical or perverse, but that it will be recognized that we are looking at the facts in a different light and from another point of view.
THE DEFINITION OF TERMS
There is another source of misunderstanding, and that is the undefined and fluid terms that occur in the discussion. The meaning or meanings of the distinctive names Master, Fellow, Mason, and their variants and combinations, are really part of the problem to be solved. The term degree, also, has varying meanings; and we may here add to what has already been said about it by giving a definition of our own. It would be preferable to use some other word if there were one available, but there does not seem to be. What we desire to express by it is the concept of a ceremony in and through which certain secrets are communicated to an individual, by others who have already received them in the same way. Or it might be better to put it even more generally; a secret ceremony by which an individual enters into a special relationship to a group of others who have already passed through it.
This is a good deal more comprehensive than the ordinary Masonic sense of the word as it is now used. It is also more indefinite. This should be borne in mind in order to obviate any risk of transferring characteristics common to present day degrees to the ritual forms of the past.
THE CRITICISM OF EVIDENCE
The next thing that needs preliminary discussion is the general question of evidence. By what canons is it to be criticized, accepted or rejected, and what rules are to be observed in its use?
It may perhaps appear that this is a rather unnecessary digression, seeing that the canons of historical criticism are well established, and very generally known. While this is perfectly true, yet there are certain features in our present problem which seem to call for some reference to first principles. As we have seen in tracing the discussion of the origin of degrees from its beginning, there has not been entire agreement as to what evidence should be received and what rejected; or how to interpret what was received and how its weight was to be estimated. Hughan, for example, practically rejected the ritual documents. These do present a difficult question, and there might be a plausible case made out for their rejection as evidence. But further than this, Hughan, and Gould also, were inclined to minimize or ignore certain other documents, such as the Haughfoot and Dunblane minutes, which are undoubtedly authentic in that they are what they profess to be, records of Masonic lodges. We are, therefore, obliged to ask if evidence may be rejected because it will not fit into a certain scheme or theory ? Doubtless, put generally, every one would say no. But this is not final. Suppose that we have pieced together a perfectly logical and selfconsistent pattern out of many scattered fragments, and there are one or two left over that will not fit in, we are almost obliged to give some added weight to the pieces that fit and deduct some from those that will not.
Gould touched upon this subject in his commentary on the Regius MS. where he says, referring specially to the old Charges (4);
The value of the evidence . . . depends upon the channels through which it has descended.... Therefore leaving undecided all minor questions relating to [the particular documents under consideration] I think their inclusion among the "records of the Craft" is of itself sufficient to demonstrate the necessity of a legal system of classification being used concurrently with the philological and other methods that may be called into requisition.
We have italicised the word legal, as it is significant of the general trend of his position. He continues:
When in a court of law, ancient documents are tendered in support of ancient possession, care is especially taken to ascertain the genuineness of the documents produced and this may in general be shown, prima facie, by proof that they come from the proper custody It is not however necessary that they should be found in the best and most proper place of deposit, but it must appear that the instrument comes from such custody, as though not strictly proper in point of law, is sufficient to afford a reasonable presumption in favor of its genuineness; and that it is otherwise free from just grounds of suspicion. Where old deeds have been produced as evidences in eases of title, from collections of manuscripts made for antiquarian purposes, they have been rejected. They must be produced from the custody of persons interested in the estate.
The italics in the last passage are Gould's own. We see here quite plainly the position he was inclined to take. "Proper custody" in the case of Masonic documents would imply that a document was found in the possession of a Masonic Lodge, and also that it had always been in its archives, and further that the lodge was older than the document. A strict application of this rule would bar out all but some half dozen or so of the copies of the Old Charges. Gould was even inclined to insist, at least in 1884, that the Antiquity Roll No. 2, which had been in the possession from time immemorial of the oldest lodge in England, could not be accepted unreservedly. His reason being that it was dated 1686, while the engraved list of 1729, "the only official publication in which the dates of origin" are given of the oldest lodges, gives the Lodge of Antiquity as founded in 1691. Therefore, he argued, the MS. was older than the lodge, and we do not know how it came into its possession. (5)
In the later pronouncement he did make the following admission:
It is true, no doubt, that the historian has no rules as to exclusion of evidence or incompetency of witnesses. In his court every document may be read, every statement may be heard. But in proportion as he admits all evidence indiscriminately, he must exercise discrimination in judging of its effect..
With which caution every critically minded student must wholeheartedly agree. But we do not think so much weight can be given to his earlier purely legalistic contention, and it is necessary to explain why.
There is a constant tendency to take laws and legal rules as things or rather objects in themselves, and to neglect the reason for their existence or for the particular form in which they are cast. We cannot blame lawyers for this attitude of mind, for it is forced upon them by their profession, they have to interpret and apply the law as it actually is. For others, philosophers or historians let us say, and pre-eminently legislators of course (who ideally should be both) the purpose of law should be paramount, and that it is a means to an end, and not an end in itself, should never be forgotten. Consider then the circumstances of a court of law. The questions that come before it affect the property, the rights and liberties, and even the lives of individuals. We must remember also that normally, behind every suit or trial, there exists a state of hostility, strife, anger or resentment between individuals. Every condition is present to induce concealment or misrepresentation of facts by the parties concerned. The legal rules of evidence, as they have been evolved under the influence of English Common Law, are eminently sound, practical and just for the special purposes in view. But when the purposes or circumstances are changed they may no longer apply. They may become absurdly restrictive, and hamper instead of aiding the search for truth.
THE VALIDITY OF THE DOCUMENTS
Let us return to Gould's illustration. We can see why it should be required that documents upon which the ownership of property depends must be in the custody of those who are interested, in the eyes of the law; or else that it can be shown how they were removed from the proper custody, as for example, by theft. A deed is a unique document, it represents the property, there cannot be more than one. There may be copies, but each legally authenticated copy is also unique in a secondary sense. To be of any weight legally, a copy like the original must also have been made by the proper persons, attested in the proper manner, and in the custody of parties interested in the eyes of the law. Copies made for curiosity or as an exercise in writing would be of no effect no matter how accurate or exact. To take a very obvious and common example; a check has a certain value under the proper conditions; that is when it is drawn by one with sufficient funds to his credit, and that it is presented by the person named therein. A duplicate is valueless except under specific conditions, in which it replaces the original, and the latter (if in existence) becomes valueless in consequence. Photographs, drawings or other facsimiles or copies are useless for the proper purpose of checks.
The principle that seems to underlie the uniqueness of such documents is that they represent property, and for that reason cannot be multiplied; secondly, being unique they pertain to certain specified individuals who alone have interest in them, or right to them, in the legal sense. But historical documents are not unique in this way at all, while the interest is not restricted but general. Copies are as good as the originals, if exact and complete, and anyone has a right to intervene.
Gould by implication equated the Old Charges with deeds and similar legal instruments. The analogy is a misleading one. They should be likened rather to statute books and legal digests. A lawyer may cite Blackstone in an argument (we believe even yet this might be done) but the court will not ask him from what custody he produced his copy of this author. Of course this parallel is merely approximate, as Blackstone, who was the last of a series of exponents of English Law which began with Glanville in the 12th century, built upon court records which, if not often consulted, were in existence and could be adduced in evidence.
We may however examine more closely the specific case mentioned above. In the first place Gould seemed to think that the discrepancies and contradictions between certain copies or families of the Old Charges carried the implication that some of them were faulty, inaccurate and untrustworthy. But this depends on the purpose of our search. If we are seeking the original form, then we will naturally prefer the older documents, and have a prejudice in favor of any particular item found in them. If however we are tracing the evolution of Masonic law, then the later MSS. are as important as the earlier; nor can we summarily reject one of two of the same age because they are inconsistent. Only on the supposition that there was one, central, supreme, legislative organ in the Craft could we do this. And there is not the least indication that any such a thing existed in the past any more than in the historic period, with the exception of the superficial, if natural, presumption based on the references in the different versions of the Old Charges, that the Assembly spoken of in them was an Assembly for the whole kingdom. An assumption inherently improbable, not to say impossible. Different rules could well exist contemporaneously in a number of centers, each independent, and capable of modifying old laws to fit changed circumstances.
Whether Robert Padgett copied the Antiquity Roll No. 2 in 1686, or whether there ever was such a person, is really irrelevant. Nor is it of consequence if the lodge is junior to the manuscript as Gould seemed to think, any more than it is through what channel such lodge became possessed of it whether by inheritance, in this case, of the records and archives of the Acception of the Mason's Company, or whether through some individual. Because, not only were lodges properly "interested" parties, but individual Masons were equally so. The real question is really whether or not the lodge received this particular document as an archeological curiosity, or as a valid copy of the traditional law as it then stood. The former alternative is highly improbable.
Now in the investigation that we have in hand this particular question discussed by Gould is of no consequence. So far as the evidence of the Old Charges bears upon our problem they are practically in accord. The important point is the principle involved. If we are to reject evidence on such narrow and legalistic grounds we will deny ourselves the right to consider the highly important ritual documents, which are known as the Old Catechisms, which all, with one exception, come to us from unknown, and in most cases highly suspicious sources. We, therefore, insist that the criticism of the evidence is not to be exclusively based on the ascertained history of the documents themselves, but on their contents. Naturally, we may gladly receive any confirmation that can be drawn from the legal rules of evidence, but these are not our only means of investigation nor even the most important.
Thus, just as anybody might be interested in a sonnet of Petrarch, or a folk legend, and write it down, just as any early Christian might have been interested in a letter from the Apostle Paul, just so any Mason would be interested in a copy of the Charges or notes of a (Catechism, and this interest is strictly analogous in its own field to the legal interest the inheritor of a piece of land has in the deed transferring it to his father or grandfather; though of course with much greater generality, and indefiniteness, as it would make no difference by whom, when, where or how the copies were made or acquired; neglecting here of course questions of accuracy.
There is a class of Masonic documents to which legal rules should be strictly applied, and those are Charters and Warrants, precisely because they are legal instruments. The discovery of an ancient charter of transmission or one empowering some person to propagate a rite or degree, in a museum or second-hand book shop gives no right to the discoverer or purchaser to transmit or propagate anything; and so of such documents we may demand that they be found in proper custody, or that it be shown, without any breaks in the chain of evidence, how they came to be elsewhere. But with these we have nothing to do fortunately.
(1) Those who wish to follow this further may be referred to A.M. Hocart's work Kingship, in which Coronation, Installation and Consecration are shown to be closely related. and also that marriage ceremonials are largely adaptations of those of coronation.
(2) Tiddy, The Mummers Play; Chambers, The Medieval Stage.
(3) We may refer for a more detailed, though only preliminary expression of this view to the articles in THE BUILDER, Vol. ix, page 177, "The Origin of the Legend of the Third Degree," and Vol. x, page 67, "Mythology and Masonry."
(4) Q.C.A. Vol. i, page 11; Reprinted in the Essays, p. 11.
(5) A.Q.C. Vol. i, page 53.
(To be Continued)
Freemasonry in Czechoslovakia
By BRO. JOSEPH S. ROUCEK, New York (Concluded from March)
WHEN it was evident that Austria would fall, fifteen Czech Masons met in a private house in Prague, No. 23 Kralodvorska ul., on Oct. 26, 1918, and at this meeting it was decided to form a Czech Lodge. This happened just two days before the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which came sooner even than had been expected. Thus Czechoslovak independence was proclaimed two days after this decision to create an independent Czechoslovak Masonry.
One of the principal reasons for the founding of a new Lodge was precisely to create a Masonic center which would not be dependent on the Grand Lodge of Hungary. In this there is evident a semi- political, or at least a national, tendency, which is easily explicable if we recall the difficulties that Czechoslovaks experienced with the Hungarians before and after the war. Besides this, there was a sincere desire to have a closer Masonic relation with the Yugoslavs and the Poles. Thus, first of all, there was a need to establish a lodge under the auspices of a Grand Lodge situated in a friendly country.
The majority of the brothers who met on Oct. 26, eleven to be exact, belonged to Hiram Zu Den Drei Sternen Lodge, Orient of Pressburg; two belonged to the French jurisdiction, viz., to Les Inseparables du Progress Lodge and La Justice Lodge, both of the Grand Orient of France. Among them were members who in 1927 had worn the Masonic Apron for thirty years, and one even for thirty- five years.
The necessary preparations and the work on rituals took several months. It was not until on May 12, 1919, that seven Master Masons of Hiram Zu Den Drei Sternen Lodge voted unanimously to create a temporary Czechoslovak Lodge, named Jan Amos Komensky, under the protection of the Grand Orient of France. The light was brought to the Lodge on Sept. 28, 1919, from the Grand Orient of France by Bro. Besnard, 33d.
Italian Masons also showed their interest in Czechoslovakia. Their emissaries founded meanwhile the Lodge Narod [Nation] on June 20, 1920, the "28 Rijen" [28th of October] Lodge on Oct. 20, 1920, and Dilo [Work] Lodge on Nov. 5, 1920.
Thus it is evident that the evolution of Czechoslovak Masonry took two independent roads. One of them was represented by Jan Amos Komensky Lodge, which was under French jurisdiction, and the other by the group formed by Narod Lodge together with "28 Rijen" and Dilo, under Italian jurisdiction. Between these two jurisdictions there was no organic connection, and it is pretty safe to say that some mistrust and prejudice existed between them. However, the efforts of individuals working for a rapprochement were successful. The greatest part of the credit goes probably to Bro. Alfons Mucha. A great impetus to the project was given when the news leaked out that German Masons in Czechoslovak territory were ready to form a German Grand Lodge. The consideration of this information led to a lengthy debate in Komensky Lodge on Nov. 21, 1922. The discussion lasted far into the night, and finally it was decided to allow three brothers to visit "28 Rijen" Lodge. The visit took place on Nov. 22, 1922. The three ambassadors received a very cordial welcome and the speeches that followed foreshadowed the desired agreement. The result was the union of French and Italian rites into one Czechoslovak organization.
Meanwhile it was felt to be important to create a Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the country. When Czechoslovak Masons discovered that the Grand Orient of France was not of the Scottish Rite, they asked to be released from its jurisdiction, and succeeded in obtaining this demission. On May 16, 1922, Jan Amos Komensky Lodge declared itself independent and on June 14, 1922, it was officially released from French jurisdiction. The Supreme Council of Switzerland received favorably the petition for a new authority of the Scottish Rite, and sanctioned the formation of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in Czechoslovakia on May 8, 1922, which action was officially approved by the Scottish Rite Congress at Lausanne on June 8, 1922.
The formation of the Czechoslovak Grand Lodge came about as a result of the discussion in Jan Amos Komensky Lodge on Nov. 14, 1922. The Supreme Council paved the way for its formation which was realized on Feb. 25, 1923. The "Light was brought" from the Grand Orient of Jugoslavia on May 18, the following year. The Grand Lodge, however, is entirely independent of the Supreme Council, and has complete control of the symbolic degrees
Czechoslovak Masonic literature is so far very scarce, which is only natural under the circumstances. The first book to be published was The Masonic Symbols by R. J. Vonka. In this the author proves that all Masonic symbols can be found in the philosophy of Comenius, who belongs among the spiritual fathers of Freemasonry. Other works are in preparation; Comedies as a Founder of Modern Masonry, by the same author, and A History o f Bohemian Masonry, by Dr. Joseph Volf, Past Master of Jan Amos Komensky Lodge at Prague. A regular Czech Masonic magazine is published, as well as a German Masonic magazine ( Quatuor Coronati. Coetus Pragense)
SOME PROMINENT CZECHOSLOVAK MASONS
The popular prejudice against Freemasonry, which has been previously spoken of, does not permit me to write about every prominent Czechoslovak Mason. The second strongest political group in Czechoslovakia is the Catholic party. With all the advantages of property, prestige, press and church organization it can readily be realized that Roman Catholicism still exercises a wide influence over the life of the nation. It must not be forgotten that it was the only church having the official right of entry into all the schools, which are public institutions, and it had its religious teachers paid, not out of the funds of the Roman Catholic Church, but from those of the state. Also every parish had, and still has, its Roman Catholic spiritual administrators supported by the state. The enormous wealth of the church makes it possible for the Roman Catholics to maintain their many-sided press and to publish a number of papers journals and books for propaganda purposes. Besides their clergy they support a number of agitators, whose activity ranges over political rather than purely religious questions. And this activity is decidedly antiMasonic. Hence it is only natural that various prominent men in public life might be seriously embarrassed should their names be revealed publicly as members of the Fraternity.
Among those who founded the first Czechoslovak Lodge on Oct. 26, 1918 was a member of the National Revolutionary Committee which proclaimed Czechoslovak independence and created the Czechoslovak State, the eminent writer, poet, and dramatist, Jaroslav Kvapil. He was elected to be the first Master of the Lodge. Kvapil was a member of a German Lodge in Prague whose members before the revolution traveled to Bratislava to attend the ritual work of the Magyar Lodge there.
Dr. Rasin became the first Czechoslovak Minister of Finance. He was also a member of the National Revolutionary Committee. His financial genius enabled him to stabilize the Czechoslovak currency, the first state of Central Europe to do so; his accomplishment has been imitated by all Central European States. His book on the subject, Financial Policy of Czechoslovakia During the First Year of Its History has been recently published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
One of the eminent Masons, and the present Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Masons of Czechoslovakia, is the great artist, possibly the greatest living Slavic artist, M. W. Alfons Mucha, 33d, renowned the world over, and especially known in America for his decoration of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. He has recently added to his fame by the completion of his great life work, "The Epic of Slavic History," a series of twenty enormous paintings in which are depicted the most decisive events in the history of the Slavs. This great artistic achievement was made possible by Charles R. Crane, whose son was the first American minister to Czechoslovakia, and whose daughter is married to a son of President Masaryk, Bro. John Masaryk, now Czechoslovak Minister to England.
Mucha was initiated in Paris. His fame was made when Sara Bernhardt noticed his work. Mucha's Slavonic Epopejs are his gift to the city of Prague and to Czechoslovakia, with the wish that they be held in trust for all nations of Slavic blood. Not only the outstanding incidents in the history of his native land have been depicted by the artist, but also important moments in the life story of other Slavic lands, such as Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Poland. For this reason it is expected that the paintings, after they have been hung in some permanent place of exhibition at Prague, the Czechoslovak capital, will attract thousands of visitors from the Slavic countries of Eastern and Southern Europe, for whom such a visit will be in the nature of a pilgrimage to a sacred historical shrine.
There are other, equally, if not more famous men, who are Masons, among them one of the makers of Czechoslovakia, whose names cannot be mentioned without trespassing beyond the limits of discretion. However, to enable visiting Masons to get in touch with these men, and the lodges, the address of the Foreign Secretary is: Mr. L. Schwarz, Vinohradska 24, Prague XVI, Czechoslovakia.
MASONIC PROBLEMS IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA
The greatest problem of the Czechoslovak Masons is to get their own temples. The difficulty lies in the fact that the Czechoslovak crown is depreciated to one-sixth of the value of the Austrian crown before the War. But conditions have improved, and international relations are amicable with all nations except, probably, Hungary. At the present scale of prices it would be necessary for every Czechoslovak-speaking brother to pay 5,000 crowns (about $152.00) in cash, should they decide to build their own temple. This sum represents the monthly salary of a Czechoslovak cabinet minister. The lodge rooms should inspire one as "Masonic Temples." The Temple is a sacred enclosure, a plot of ground marked off to be a holy place. I have visited all the Czechoslovak Lodges and I am very sorry to say that their places of meeting do not represent the ordinary requirements, with the exception of the Bratislava Temple. But this is not due to the negligence of the brothers. It is due to the general economic situation which does not permit the spending of the money that would be necessary for such a purpose. When I compared the huge sums spent in America by lodges and Grand Lodges and the comparatively insignificant sum needed to build a Masonic Temple in Czechoslovakia, I felt that a great could be done if only in the form of a loan.
Personally speaking, it seems to me that the problem before the Czechoslovakian Masons is not peculiar to them but applies to the Masonry in Continental Europe in general. The membership is made up largely of intellectuals, men of scholastic and artistic castes, who have very limited, if any, social contacts with the ordinary man. Farmers, small shopkeepers, clerks and day laborers either are not wanted, or when admitted find themselves ill at ease in the lodges. Professional men, artists, men of social idealism, find in the lodge, recreation, comfort, inspiration, and an outlet for their philanthropic zeal. All this is good. But something is lacking. And that lack keeps Masonry from realizing its full purpose. This can be accomplished only where sincere men of all walks of life can meet together and work together as a band of brothers and carry with them, each into his own social circle outside of the lodge, the moral and philanthropic impressions received within the lodge.
When it comes to seriousness of purpose, solicitude for the reputation of the Craft, willingness to serve the brotherhood, and a firm insistence that every man shall exemplify in his life the virtues that mark a true Mason, we have much to learn from the lodges over there. When it comes to making that which Masonry has to offer accessible to all men who, with moral worth, sincerity, kindness of heart and a tolerant spirit, combine willingness and capacity to serve their fellowmen, the lodges over there have much to learn of us.
The outside public can know but little, if anything, of the workings of our lodges. But all can form an opinion from the exemplars of Freemasonry, the men whom they know to be Masons and whose conduct they can observe. Where opportunities of contact and experience in dealing with Masons are scanty or lacking altogether, mendacious trouble-makers have no difficulty in propagating suspicion and hostility against the brotherhood. On the other hand, it is a question whether the Czechoslovak Masons can combat this situation, especially when we realize that the Roman Church is still very strong in Czechoslovakia. According to the first religious census of 1921, about 71 per cent of the population still describe themselves as Roman Catholics. Hence this problem will remain for many years to come, if there is any solution to it at all, as far as Czechoslovakia is concerned.
There are three things which are emphasized in America as essential in Masonry, according to Ossian Lang, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of New York. In his recent report, "Freemasonry Under Fire in Continental Europe," he makes the following statements:
1. Freemasonry teaches and seeks to realize the Brotherhood of Man on the firm foundation of belief in the Universal Fatherhood of God.
2. In every country Freemasons are required to be loyal to the government by law established, true to their nation and helpful to the common good.
3. Freemasonry will not tolerate religious disputes and is resolved against all polities, as was never yet conducive to the welfare of the lodge, nor ever will.
The Czechoslovak Mason may be credited with the first and the third points, though I have a suspicion that "all politics" are not entirely excluded. However, this doubt applies to all Continental Masonry, as I know from personal experience.
Regarding the second point, much more can be said on the positive side. To my mind the observance of the rule brought the greatest gain and good to the country as well as to Masonry. A little discussion of it may well serve as a concluding chapter.
THE GREATEST ASSETS OF CZECHOSLOVAK MASONRY
In order to understand this discussion it is necessary to recall briefly the history of that "coat of many colors," the Austro- Hungarian Empire. What is now Czechoslovakia was included before the War in the international political system based on the suppression of nations or on the method of ruling over small nations by a few big nations. From the earliest times the Czechoslovaks had to struggle for their life against their neighbors, especially against the Germans and the Magyars. Today the Germans and the Hungarians represent the minorities of Czechoslovakia. One would expect that the day of reckoning would repeat the old hatreds and increase the acts of revenge. On the other hand, the same old spirit never expected to accept the new political and national situation. It is one of the greatest international problems that problem of minorities, which the League of Nations was charged to cope with, if possible (2). In other words, there are a number of legal provisions which are supposed to take care of the situation. Unfortunately, the problem is primarily psychological and social, and not legal. Its solution depends more upon the behavior and psychology of each individual rather than on legal forms.
The behavior of the Czechoslovak Masonic Lodges happily presents a solution. Here is a splendid spirit of cooperation among the lodges. The German and Czech Lodges visit one another and exchange speakers. The Czechs speak German in German Lodges and the Germans speak Czech in the Czech Lodges. In Bratislava the Slovak Lodge is the regular guest of the Magyar Temple. I am lucky to say that I visited one meeting in Plzen when all the Czechoslovak and German Lodges met and the spirit of brotherhood was most touching. Here is a spirit and an influence of vital moment in Masonry, as well as in international political relations, a factor which may yet play a very important part in the solving of problems of international importance in Europe. Here the ideals of international brotherhood, tried out on a small scale, are making good.
In conclusion I should like to mention that every Czechoslovak Mason seems to be vitally and intensely interested in American Masonry. Just the opposite is the fact as far as the American Mason is concerned. My lectures and visits to many lodges of this land convince me of this fact. But the Czechoslovak Mason convinced me of his sincere interest and desire to receive the attention of American Masonry. The reason for interest my be easily deducted from what has been said earlier.
I was the recipient of a great number of requests for literature and personal advice of how American Masons might be approached. I approached many of them without getting any response at all. But we as Masons should realize that over there are our Brother Masons, not only Czechoslovaks but also others of other nationalities, who are most anxious to strengthen the fraternal ties between the Masonry of their country and that of America. It is up to the brethren here to respond.
(1) The Czechoslovak National Grand Lodge was organized as a separate and sovereign body entirely free from any dependence on any other organization. It adheres to the Ancient Landmarks, requires a belief in God from its members and the Holy Bible is one of its three Great Lights.
There is also a Grand Lodge with concurrent jurisdiction so far as territory is concerned, working in the German language. This is also sovereign and independent and professes the same principles and conforms to the same customs as all regular Grand Lodges. Its official title is Gross Lodge "Lessing zu den drei Ringen."
(2) Those desiring to know more of these difficult problems may be referred to the author's works: The Minority Principle as a Problem of Political Science and The Working of the Minorities Treaties Within the League of Nations, both published by the Orbis Publishing co.
Freemasonry in Afghanistan
By BRO. N. W. J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Canada
MANY readers of THE BUILDER will have read with appreciation that remarkable story of Bro. Rudyard Kipling entitled The Man Who Would Be King and have perhaps wondered how much of it was drawn from his own experience, e.g., meeting with the two wandering brethren, Peachey Carnehad and Daniel Dravot, and how much was built thereon from tribal legends to show their tragic end and the heroic loyalty of "Billy Fish."
Recently, while indexing a series of volumes of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the Transactions of the Lodge Quatuor Coronati, I came across the following account in Volume xxii, pages 223-4, and, struck by its coincidence with the background of Bro. Kipling's story, sent him a copy and asked for his opinion. Bro. Kipling was good enough to reply that he had frequently heard of this legend and had talked with Afghans about traces of Masonic ritual in their country. He does not have sufficient information to come to any definite opinion, but believes it is generally accepted that there is evidence of Masonic influence in that country.
The following is the transcript from A. Q. C.:
FREEMASONRY AMONG THE AFGHANS
As a support to the theory that the Pathan tribes of the frontier are descended from some portion of the lost ten tribes of Israel, it has been urged that in appearance and characteristics they are typically Semitic. This is very true, and the rapacity and greed of the Cabuli money-lenders, who have drifted southward to prey on less warlike and more simple creditors, is notorious throughout India and Burma. Bloodthirsty, and intensely cruel, yet possessed of an independence and frankness of manner which hides treachery and duplicity, very Ishmaelites in their dealings with others, the Pathan tribesmen often seem to have been modelled on the strictest form of Old Testament morals though their standard of morality is low and their practices are incredibly bestial.
It is said that a casual romance of King David's period of wandering resulted in the birth of one Afghana, who later became captain of King Solomon's Archer Guard, and a personage of high standing, filling among other notable offices one of trust in the building of the Temple. On Solomon's death the jealousy of Rehoboam caused him to fly for his life, accompanied by the faithful of his archers, and his wives and family. After a period spent in mercenary service, drifting ever eastward, he at last crossed the mountains and entered the service of the ruler of the trans- Himalayan tracts. Here on the death by accident or design of his master, Afghana became chief and, extending his dominions towards India, created for his sons, Isa (Isaac) and Yussuf (Joseph), satrapies on the frontier. To this day, the Isazai (people or sons of Isaac) and the Yusufzai (people of Joseph) are powerful tribes, many being enlisted in our Indian army.
The legend states that he called his land after his own name the land of Afghana, i. e., Afghanistan, and his capital and personally directed province Kabul. In I Kings ix, 13, we find that King Solomon gave to Hiram, King of Tyre, ten cities of Benjamin as a reward "And they are called Kabul unto this day." This is the legend and it is noteworthy that, some years back, an Afghan Sirdar demanded admission to a lodge in India, proved himself and was admitted. To the interpreter who was put at his service, he expressed surprise at the accuracy of the working and wondered how Masonry had spread to England. He seemed to consider the proceedings somewhat tame, a fact those who know trans-frontier tribesmen will not wonder at, for unless all blood-feuds are provisionally laid aside and the tribesmen disarm before meeting, it is difficult to understand how a Pathan lodge could meet at all, at all events how they ever part without open bloodshed, or frequent ambushes later on. The Sirdar was uncommunicative and would say practically nothing as to Tribal Masonry, but if they have a Grand Master we may well wonder who he is. Is he the Sultan of Turkey, who claims the powers of Sulieman and the Kalifat of the Mussulman world, or is he the Amir? If the latter, was the ceremony of initiation of the present Amir while visiting India a piece of characteristic Afghan bluff at which the potentate was laughing up his sleeve, or behind his apron? We know that it caused offense to his subjects. Was this the reason?
It is interesting that when the Pelly Expedition, of which my father, Commander Dawes, late Indian Navy (a member of Lodge 355, S. C.), was second in command, visited El Rindh, the capital of Central Arabia, the Emir Fazl ben Saoud responded to a Masonic grip and, later, not only warned them of danger but facilitated their escape. He was blind and losing his authority, and the Expedition were practically prisoners so investigation was hopeless. Fazl ben Saoud had been in Alexandria in his youth and may have been initiated there, but it is possible that there may be something in the tradition that the ancient Sheba was in Arabia and that the old legend of Solomon's son by Sheba's queen may have a basis of truth. All this would point, if true, to the existence of a Masonry far older and possibly more accurate in its workings than our own, and I should be very much interested to know if any authentic writings exist bearing on the Subject.
This communication was from Bro. A. J. Dawes of Peace and Harmony Lodge, No. 834, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. At the June meeting of Quatuor Coronati Lodge the same year, Bro., the Rev. W. K. Firminger, of Calcutta, presented a photograph of the Certificate from the Grand Lodge of England issued to Habibullah Khan, Amir of Afghanistan, dated Oct. 11, 1907. The Amir received the three degrees on Feb. 7, 1907, in Concordia Lodge, No. 3102, Calcuttas by special dispensation of the Grand Master.
There is, as has been stated, another side to this question and I offer the following transcription from Tales of Travel, by the Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, pages 72-74, in which he describes a visit of two weeks that he paid to the court of the Amir of Afghanistan, being the only unofficial Englishman to receive that privilege. I do not know whether the late Lord Curzon was a Brother of our Order but, in view of the verdict of his careful judgment, it would certainly appear that we must look elsewhere for the source of any Masonic resemblances that may be found in their ceremonial usages.
One of the subjects that interested the Amir most was his claim, on behalf of himself and of his people, to a descent from the lost Tribes of Israel. I had heard of this theory, and I had noted the distinct resemblances of many Afghan features to the Semitie type. But when I interrogated him about it he unhesitatingly proclaimed his acceptance of the legend. He declared that the Afghans took their name from Afghana, who was Commander-in-chief to King Solomon- some were descended from him, and others from Jeremiah the son of Saul. This is the conventional account given in the best- known Pushtu history, called Tazkirat-ul-Muluk, which was composed in the time of the early Duranis, who probably invented the legend.
On another occasion the Amir's eldest son, Habibulla, whose ethnology was a little hazy, told me that the Afghans were Jews, who had been conquered by Babu-Nassan (i. e., Nebuehadnezzar) in the time of Yezdigird, and deported to Persia where they lived a long time. Later on they migrated to Afghanistan, where they settled in the region of the Sulieman ( Solomon ) Mountains, to which, in reference to their origin, they gave that name.
As a matter of fact the Hebrew descent of the Afghans has been the subject of prolonged dispute, great authorities having argued on either side. The champions of the theory point to the marked Jewish features of so many Afghans, to the great number of Jewish Christian names (e. g., Ibrahim=Abraham Ayub = Job, Ismail = Ishmael, Ishak = Isaac, Yahia = John, Yakub = Jacob, Yusuf = Joseph, Isa = Jesus, Daoud = David, and many others), to the fact that the Feast of the Passover is still observed by the Pathan border tribe of the Yusufzai; and to the occurrence of the name Kabul in the Old Testament (e. g., 1 Kings ix, 13) where Solomon, having given King Hiram twenty cities of Galilee in return for the timber and gold presented to him for the Temple, Hiram went out to see them and was very much disgusted, "calling them the land of Kabul (i. e., dirty or disgusting) unto this day."
I believe that this reasoning is quite fallacious, the biblical names employed by the Afghans being all in their Arabic form i.e., post-Mahommedan in origin and the Hebrew word Kabui in the Old Testament having no connection, except in spelling with the Afghan Kabul. The theory of a Semitic origin is now generally discredited, but there is nothing inherently improbable in the belief that some of the Afghan tribes may have entered the country from Persia (of which language they speak a patois) and may have come at an earlier date into Persia from Syria or Assyria, the land of the Captivity. There I will leave the matter, to which I have alluded here only in order to record the opinions of the Amir.
For further data on this subject, I am indebted to W. Bro. Wm England, of Rotorua, New Zealand, in whose lodge is a brother who went to Afghanistan during the war in connection with the Secret Service in India.
In a pamphlet entitled "Ancient, no Doubt," Bro. England refers to this visit, which he had from the brother concerned, direct, and an accompanying letter describes it as a "thrilling incident," and a "weird experience" which he is awaiting permission to publish in full.
In this pamphlet he says:
The Afghans are not builders, nor possess edifices of such intricate structure as to dub them architects. Yet you all know how Bro. McDonald, of this very lodge, owes his life to the fact that an old chief acknowledged the sign of G. and D. when our brother stood, bound at the stake, awaiting torture and death.
Are we to suppose that Freemasons have gone into the homes of the Afzhans and acted as missionaries in spreading the tenets of our Order among these fierce people? It would have taken ages to insure that anyone of them would give the sign its full value, as was done in the ease I have submitted, especially when it had been given by an alien and a supposed spy.
Bro. England also refers to a statement by John Yarker (in "Arcane Schools," page 183) that amongst the Moslems is the oldest secret society in the world, and, further, quotes from a letter sent him by Bro. Willard, of California, who said that he
. . . had heard an address by Rev. Stone, a U. S. Army Chaplain, in which he recalled a visit to a Mohammedan Lodge near Cairo. The members could not, at first, believe he was a Mason because he was a Christian.
In W. Bro. B. H. Springett's Secret Sects of Syria and the Lebanon there is much evidence to connect the source of the Afghan people with the inhabitants of Palestine and archaeology appears to have proved that all the country between the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and western limits of India were comprised within the Babylonian Empire. In his Who Was Hirarez Abiff? W. Bro. J. S. M. Ward shows many ceremonial links that carry weight where documentary and inscriptional evidence is non-existent.
While no reasonable member will suggest that the two, simple degrees inherited from Operative Masons, so much elaborated in our present ceremonials, have any connection with a fraternity of undoubted antiquity, yet the hypothesis of Bro. J.S.M. Ward unites a mass of evidence from most diverse sources, in both space and time, and gives our Third Degree, curtailed as it is, a place in human effort that nothing else can hope to occupy. While, therefore, there may be no counterpart in these countries to our ceremonies born of operative usage, it does seem that the mysterious Third Degree, whose time and point of juncture with us is still to be discovered, is the real tie that binds us to a vast antiquity and a world-wide fraternity.
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. LlTTLEFIELD, Missouri
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
J. HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
JESSE M. WHTED, California
DAVID E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
THE STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT
MORE than a year ago, in the autumn of 1927 to be precise, a change was made in the conduct of the Study Club Department of THE BUILDER. The new policy, which was more an attempt to return to the original one than entirely new, naturally received a certain amount of criticism, but results have shown that it was along the right lines. There has been a considerable increase in the number of study groups, and we have been able to keep in closer touch with them than ever before.
As a result of this development further changes are contemplated. Changes chiefly in the internal economy of the organization, however, and not in the general scheme. We have long felt that the personal link was needed in this work; but seeing the need and being able to meet it were two very different things. Now we are hoping to have Bro. Hungerford take over the executive part of the work. He is very enthusiastic about it, and it is hoped will be able to bring about more personal contact. The details are not yet fully worked out, but we expect they soon will be. As a first step, he will take over the Study Club Department of THE BUILDER, for a time at least, which will release Bro. Thiemeyer for other things that urgently need doing.
This new arrangement will be more in the nature of a division of labor than anything else. The preparation of courses, the providing information, answering questions and so on will be done as before at headquarters. It is the organization work, and what may be called propaganda for Masonic study, that Bro. Hungerford is to take over. For this kind of work he has both exceptional ability and wide experience. We are, therefore, looking forward with confidence to a great increase in Study Club activity throughout the country. Every such group becomes a center of light and instruction, and its influence is out of all proportion to the member actively engaged, so we trust that members of the Research Society will do all they can to help the movement along in their own Masonic circle.
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JUST what is education? Etymologically it means "to lead out," but it is to be feared most people conceive it as "cramming in." To have a wrong conception of a thing almost necessarily implies using it wrongly or at least not to the best advantage.
Most thinking Masons have an interest in the educational system of the country, and besides this there are strong efforts being made to interest them collectively. Whether such efforts are or are not likely to lead away from the Ancient Landmarks we do not wish at this time to express any opinion, but only to offer some reflections upon the subject as a whole which may (we hope) be a point of departure for review of old ideas upon the subject.
The fact seems to be, looked at dispassionately and objectively, that there is a growing apprehension or suspicion that our modern educational institutions and systems are not functioning so well as was confidently expected. We have no comparative statistics at hand, but it is probable that not only is more money being spent in gross, in the United States for education than in any other country, but also that much more is spent per capita on each pupil, and much more paid by each tax payer in proportion than elsewhere. Undoubtedly much the same disappointment in result is discoverable in other countries, yet the naive confidence with which it was assumed that to spend more money on education was to automatically improve results has been checked. Mere spending of money is no guarantee whatever for efficiency or results, and the recent fashion of assuming that the educational status of a community is to be determined by the amount of money allotted for this purpose is inherently vicious. The schools are not bottomless pits with an infinite capacity to absorb wealth. There must be some point where no more is needed. That amount, whatever it is, should be given of course; but concurrently care should be taken that it is used efficiently.
The problem is a complex of difficulties in every direction. Education depends on the teacher, not on the machine. It always has and always will. The teacher should in justice be amply paid. But to pay teachers adequately is to attract people unfit for the work. And mechanical screens for sifting them out, diplomas, examinations, questionnaires, psychological tests, will never be wholly successful in eliminating the unfit. Precisely, because they are mechanical, and education is a life-process if it is anything.
This is only one facet of the complexity. There are many others. What for instance is the aim of education? Doubtless it sounds a rather silly question, but most people who have not reflected upon the matter will find that their conceptions are vague, confused and inconsistent. Is education proposed to fit the child for successfully making a living? That seems to be one component of the general conception. Undoubtedly, "education" is needed for "success." The college graduate has better chances than those who have only been to high school, and they again better than those who have only been through the elementary grade. That is, judged by averages. The temptation is strong to take this as cause and effect. Whereas it is just as possible, and we suspect more probable, that the supposed cause is merely a parallel phenomenon. It is not the going through college that increases the income index, in and by itself, but that those who are so situated that they are likely to have better chances in later life, are also given better chances in youth. And those who have ability and ambition enough to make their own way, will probably use that same energy and ability to get more education.
A prominent criminologist has recently stated that eighty per cent of convicts in his experience had never been trained to earn an honest livelihood. He thinks, and certainly it looks probable on the face of the facts, that there is something lacking in the education given in the public schools. The question posed is this: if a child is taught to earn a living, and is trained in morality and virtue will he be likely to turn to crime in later life. It is not likely; but does it follow that anything is lacking in the schools ? To put it more explicitly; a thing can only be said to be lacking or deficient in matters which properly belong to it. An animal is not deficient in not having wings, a cart is not lacking because it has no engine. Can the schools properly be expected either to teach children how to work or to develop their characters? Or to put it less sweepingly, can they alone accomplish this? It is very much to be doubted. Work is a matter of habit, and character building is certainly not a process of cramming or pouring information into empty receptacles.
The average man has very much forgotten his childhood. He remembers incidents of course, but like St. Paul, he has "put away childish things," and finds it very hard to recover the youthful point of view. But it will be very helpful in clarifying one's conceptions of what schools can be expected to do and what we have no right to expect of them, to try and recover some of the earlier viewpoint, which for most has been covered up by later opinions, accepted largely uncritically because current and popular. What is the attitude of the child in the school? How much does it bulk in his life, in his interests? The wisest teachers know that in most things that count in after life, children educate themselves; just as physicians know that the body cures itself of disease. All the physician does, all the teacher can do, is to remove or check unfavorable influences, and encourage favorable ones. A great deal, truly, but it is all indirect.
Perhaps a little personal reminiscence may make the point clearer. The writer in childhood and youth came under some twenty‑odd teachers in some half dozen different schools. Most of these teachers are but the vaguest figures in memory. Five stand out very vividly. One for his utter incompetence, another as a brutal bully, a third for his gift of cutting sarcasm which hurt far more than a thrashing. Of the other two, one is remembered because of his being in every good sense of the word a gentleman, and the other for his scrupulous fairness and justice. Out of the whole group these two men undoubtedly did influence, and educate, all who came in contact with them. But it was due to nothing that would be discoverable in examinations, and the effect was not due to their teaching but their living.
The writer feels sure that if anyone will try and recall his own childhood that he will be surprised at the astuteness and adequacy of his youthful judgments of the characters of his various teachers. In many ways children do judge character more correctly, because they are more direct, and they have not learned the formulas and conventions in which we mask our real selves. But even granting the tremendous and widespread influence of the right kind of teacher - who is seldom among the highest paid - yet it is only part and a small part of the child's life. Loose statements are frequently made about the child spending most of his time at school. It is curious no one thinks of doing a little arithmetic on the subject. Leaving out Sundays and holidays, his school day is six hours let us say. Suppose nine hours are spent in sleep, there are still nine hours left when he is not at school. It is at home and in play that the child chiefly receives his character training - whether for good or evil.
There are many other ways in which it appears probable that more has been expected of the schools than they can in the nature of things supply. These cannot be touched on here, but two points may be pressed. If the schools are to be used as a means of shirking of responsibilities on the part of parents, they cannot be wholly successful. The more they are expected to do that is outside their proper scope the greater that failure will appear. The second is that the efficiency of the schools cannot be judged merely by the amount of money spent upon them, and the sooner the financial standard of judgment is discarded the better.
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J. WALTER HOBBS
IT is with very deep regret that we have learned of the death of W. Bro. J. Walter Hobbs, which occurred on Feb. 25. News of this loss to Masonic scholarship did not reach us till after THE BUILDER for March was issued. While Bro. Hobbs was not so well known to American Masons as some other English students, yet his work, The Masonic Ritual Compared, Described and Explained, has helped a considerable number of Masons on this side of the Atlantic to get some idea of the forms and ceremonies used in England. His two compact books on Masonic speaking have also proved very useful. Lodge and After Dinner Speaking, and the more recent Masonic Speech Making, reviewed in the January number of THE BUILDER.
Bro. Hobbs was Literary Editor of our able contemporary The Masonic Record, and we understand that he was one of those chiefly instrumental in founding this most interesting and valuable of the English Masonic periodicals. THE BUILDER has had only one contribution from his pen, the article on "Royalty and Their Patronage of the Craft" which appeared in May, 1925. He was a member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge and this year, we believe, occupied the position of Senior Deacon. He has also been a member of the Research Society for a number of years.
He is survived by his wife and son, who is also a Mason. To them we extend on behalf of the Society our respectful sympathy.
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We have lost by death another brother and fellow-member of the Research Society. Bro. Clarke, under the pseudonym of "Uncle Silas," was the author of The Gospel of Freemasonry, one of the best books of its kind, and one that has had a deservedly wide circulation. He was also editor of The American Thresherman, published at Madison, wis.
The present writer never met Bro. Clarke, but he has heard of him, and how all who knew him loved him for his kindly wisdom and keen sense of humor.
Bro. Clarke was born in Lexington, Va., June 24, 1851, and would have been seventy-eight years old at his next birthday. He had an attack of influenza early in the year which affected his heart. While he seemed to recover, the after-effects remained, and resulted in a severe attack on March 11, while in his office. He recovered somewhat during the week, but on Saturday, March 16, another attack seized him from which he was unable to rally.
We have no definite information as to his Masonic affiliations, except that he had received the thirty-third and last degree of the Scottish Rite. An honor in this case to those who conferred it as well as to him who received it. To his widow and other surviving relatives we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
THE STUDY CLUB
A pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on request, in quantities to fifty
Informal Conference of Masonic Librarians and Educational Workers
FOLLOWING a good example of the last two years the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin has extended an invitation for a conference of Masonic educators and librarians to be present at Milwaukee, Wis., on May 2nd, 3rd and 4th of this year. The meetings to be held in the Egyptian Room of the Scottish Rite Cathedral. This will be the third such conference, the first having been held as an experiment two years ago under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Michigan, in Detroit. This was so successful that a second was called last year at the invitation of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, in Cedar Rapids. Those who have attended these two gatherings have gone away much enthused and prepared to enter into their work with renewed vigor.
It must be understood at the outset that there is no formal organization of any kind, though it naturally happens that the majority of those who will be in attendance have been present at the previous meetings. This is only natural, considering the nature of the subjects brought up for discussion. Only a few Masons, comparatively speaking, are actively engaged either in library work or in the promotion of Masonic Education, and it necessarily follows that the list of those invited to each meeting will be very largely the same on each occasion.
One thing of the utmost importance to all who attend, is the opportunity to exchange new ideas and views upon subjects of interest. It so frequently happens that one person constantly engaged in the sort of activity which forms the main portion of the discussion at these meetings falls into a rut. There seems to be something in the human brain which works against new ideas. One plan of action is adopted and if it works no attempt is made to better it or to try something different. It is precisely this rut that must be avoided in educational activity. These meetings by their interchange of views keep everyone keyed up and prepared to work out new plans. The ideas advanced by one man are not necessarily adopted in their entirety, but new adaptations are found for them.
We are reprinting below the tentative program of the conference. It is easy to see the value of the meeting when the diversity of subjects to be discussed is considered. Bro. Henry A. Crosby will be Chairman of the Conference.
Thursday at 9:00 A. M.
Address of Welcome - M.W. Fred L. Wright, Grand Master
The Purpose of the Conference - Herbert N. Laflin
Opening of the Conference - Henry A. Crosby
What Is Masonic Education - What Is There to Teach – What Can Be Taught and How? Robert I. Clegg
The Purpose and Possibility of Masonic Education - A paper by Prof. Roscoe Pound
The Place a Library Occupies in Masonic Education. - C. C. Hunt
Thursday at 2:00 P. M.
The Small Masonic Library - A paper by J. H. Tatsch
The Possibility of Cooperation With the American Library Association - John T. Jenkins
The New York Grand Lodge Library - A paper by H. L. Haywood
Masonic Research; Its Methods and Possibilities - R. J. Meekren
Friday at 9:00 A. M.
The Masonic Library and Its Relation to the Social Welfare of the Community - Clara A. Richards
Study Clubs and Cooperative Effort in Masonic Education - E. E. Thiemeyer
Speakers' Contests - Frank T. Lodge
Speakers' Bureaus - Frank S. Moses
Friday at 2:00 P. M.
Education of a Corps of Masonic Speakers - W. C. Wicker
Grand Lodge Publications - Byrne E. Bigger
Masonic Journalism - F.H. Littlefield
Recapitulation of Successful Methods - Oliver Day Street
A thirty-minute period will be provided for a general discussion of each of the topics and this program is subject to additional numbers.
Future numbers of THE BUILDER will carry an account of the proceedings of this meeting. We shall endeavor to publish at least some of the papers given for the benefit of members of the Society, and possibly all of them, as we have done for the meeting held at Cedar Rapids, Ia., last year.
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THE STUDY CLUB FORUM
On another page of this issue of THE BUILDER there is a brief announcement that a new departure in our Study Club Department is about to take place. Bro. Herbert A. Hungerford of Harrisonburg, Virginia, will undertake to conduct a Study Club Forum for us. Bro. Hungerford is already well known to readers of THE BUILDER for his series of articles on Freemasonry and Present Day Problems. Those who have any questions to ask relative to the organization of Study Clubs, or their management, will find Bro. Hungerford's advice most welcome. Communications for his department may be addressed either to him in care of the National Masonie Research Society, or directly to the address given above.
There will be a corps of field directors under Bro. Hungerford and in many instances these men will be able to personally cooperate with the Study Clubs seeking information and advice.
This is another direction in which the work of the National Masonic Research Society is being broadened in an effort to spread the light of Masonic knowledge over the whole of the United States.
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STUDY CLUBS AND GRAND LODGES
Study Clubs as a means of acquainting the individual Mason with the history, symbolism, etc., of the Order are doubtless a good thing, but it impresses me that they are only local in influence and probably can be nothing else. Is there any way in which the Grand Lodges might be interested in a comprehensive scheme to establish Study Clubs in their jurisdictions under direct control and sanction of the Grand Lodge? It occurs to me that through some such organization more Study Clubs coupled be developed and further that a great many of our Masons who are not interested in reading Masonic books could be made to appreciate the value of them. - S.G.M., Maine.
There is no doubt but what a plan such as is suggested in the above inquiry can be made to work. It has been done and is still being done in the ease of at least one jurisdiction in this country. The Society is cooperating in this effort and thus we are familiar with the results. For some eighteen months now the work has been going forward, showing more and more forcibly that such a plan can be effective when the proper methods are followed. The brother who has propounded this query has anticipated us by a few months. In a forthcoming number of THE BUILDER the work which has been done will be discussed in detail. The story is too long to be told here, but a few facts might be given. The Grand Master of this jurisdiction asked the Society to help in his educational problem and naturally we agreed to do all that we possibly could. Thorough organization within the jurisdiction, a centralized control was effected and it was hoped that a Study Club would be organized in every lodge, or at least in every locality. Where there was more than one lodge in a community it was thought that they might combine to form a Study Club. The scheme of organizing was suggested by us and followed by the Grand Lodge authorities. We then undertook the task of building Study Clubs and working with them in such a way that they would secure the maximum benefit from the work done. To date, Study Clubs have been organized in nearly eighty per cent of the lodges and we are now prepared to suggest a means for increasing the interest in them and carrying the work to even more fruitful conclusions. As soon as the necessary data can be secured so that we have absolutely accurate information we intend to publish a comprehensive account of the work done.
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MASONRY A PROGRESSIVE SCIENCE
The very first duty that an E. A. acknowledges is to improve himself in Masonry. How many truly and sincerely attempt to discharge that duty? What would be the success of a lawyer who never looked into a law book after his admission to the Bar; a Minister of the Gospel who never read the Bible after his ordination; a doctor who never took a medical work after securing his sheepskin, or that of any other professional who does not take up postgraduate studies? And yet you find Freemasons all about you pretending to be Masonic lights who never read. Some of them, perhaps, can glibly repeat portions of the ritual, but could not give an intelligent interpretation of the same to save their lives. Masonic reading is an essential part of the education of a Freemason, and it is never too late to begin; but always better to begin early; it is the duty of the Master to impress this fact upon newly-made Masons, but if they themselves are in the class of non-reading Masons, how can we expect from them wholesome advice?
[South Australian Freemason.]
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THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA IN AMERICA
The Order of Malta at one time owned possessions in America. How great they were can only be determined by a study of its archives. It was once one of the richest Orders in the world. It is the oldest. Its members are high nobles to whom the doors of kings and princes swing open as if by magic. Now that it has been reintroduced into America and some of our richest and most influential men have been admitted to its ranks, it is interesting to know when it first came to the New World and the reason for its coming.
In 1651 the island of St. Croix, of the now Danish West Indies, was acquired by France. It is the largest of these islands, is 65 miles southeast of the island of Porto Rico, which belongs to the United States, and has an area of 84 square miles. Its population is now about 25,000. It was discovered by Columbus in 1493.
In 1653 Louis the XIV, King of France, gave St. Croix to the Knights of Malta. It was then a sovereign power with headquarters in the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1733 St. Croix was purchased by the Kingdom of Denmark.
The Knights of Malta, also known as the Hospitallers, Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and Knights of Rhodes, ceased to exist as a sovereign power in 1798, when the great Napoleon annexed it to the French Republic. One branch of this Order continued under the patronage of the Pope of Rome, another under the King of Prussia and still another under the King of England. The one that has been reintroduced into America is protected by the head of the Western Church and guided here by the princes of that church. Burton E. Bennett. Washington
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 precautions 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.
SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE. By R. W. William M. Stuart, District Deputy Grand Master, Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of New York. Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., New York; cloth, 12 mot, 276 pages; index; portrait Price, $2.15.
BY means of the present volume, the author has placed in enduring form a series of worth while biographical sketches of valiant men who were Masons. While there are a few brethren included who are well known as figures of history - John Paul Jones, Marquis de Lafayette, and the like, who could not be very well omitted - Bro. Stuart is to be commended for the able selections he made. So many of our prominent men have been "biographer" to death, so to speak; but the reader of the book before us will find names mentioned which are unknown to the average brother. Richard Montgomery, Baron von Steuben, Hugh Mercer, Joseph Brant, Thaddeus Kosciusko, Casimir Pulaski, Baron de Kalb strike a familiar chord; but who readily recalls John Whistler, David Gouverneur Burnet, John Anthony Quitman, William Eaton and Charles Williamson? Sketches of General Leonard Wood and Emilio Aguinaldo bring the stories down to the present day.
An item of particular interest is the proof that General Horatio Gates was a Mason. This fact, though reported in a Masonic periodical two years ago, is buried with many others like it in the pages of unindexed publications. The valuable service of Bro. Reginald V. Harris, Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, in bringing to light an obscure reference is thus placed on ready record. The Masonic student seriously pursuing his study of men and Masonry cannot afford to be without this volume. In sharp distinction with biographical sketches that have appeared in the past, the present may be relied upon as being historically and Masonically accurate. Though the chapters are designed largely to meet the demand for light and entertaining reading, the author has made excellent use of his opportunity to give permanence to his work by careful selection and accurate rendition. Books such as these are a credit to the literature of the Craft as well as to the brethren who write them. Every lodge library and every Mason interested in a collection of choice Masonic literature will do well to add this volume to their shelves. The Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids has ordered twenty-five for its Traveling Library section, knowing from the reception given Bro. Stuart’s Hand to Back (see review in THE BUILDER for February, 1927) that the new book will also have a heavy circulation.
The value of the new volume is greatly enhanced by an index of names and places, making this a ready reference feature which will be frequently consulted by those interested in the Masonic connections of Revolutionary characters.
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A GLIMPSE OF GREECE. By Edward Hutton. Published by the Macmillan Co. Cloth, table of contents, fully illustrated, map and index of places. xii and 823 pages. Price $6.25.
JUST as the Bible has made Palestine a land of pilgrimage, so also will Greek literature keep alive an interest in the land whence it sprang, even when the noble monuments created by the same genius have finally crumbled to dust. Greece is a mountain land, and like most such countries, is largely sterile. Wherefore its people became travelers and traffickers in other countries, longing always to return home - for that is the magic of mountains and hills.
It is a little curious that scarcely any explicit appreciation of the beauty of the natural landscape occurs in ancient literature; or mediaeval literature, either, for that matter. This aesthetic development would seem to be quite modern, so far as its conscious expression goes. Yet it is as hard to believe that the ancient Greeks, at least, did not appreciate the natural beauty of their mountains and valleys, as to accept recent theories that they did not appreciate the exquisite proportions of their architecture, or the perfection of their sculpture. It is quite possible they did not speak of them because these things were taken for granted, because they had no knowledge and no experience of the ugly and the mean.
Mr. Hutton, and his friend Norman Douglas, made the pilgrimage together; and their conversations do indeed, as the dedication says, greatly enliven pages that are quite full of interest otherwise.
They sailed from Italy, as tourists do, and like Ulysses crossed the Ionian sea; but unlike him did not land on Ithaca. Up the Gulf of Corinth and through the "cut," the canal through the Isthmus, into the Gulf of Aegina and so to Athens. From Athens they came back by land, through Eleusis and north to Chalkis, and then west to Delphi, and so back to Megara and west again to the Isthmus and Corinth, and into Argolis and Arcadia; visiting Mycenae and Tiryns, on the way. And then still further south into Sparta. Then they went northwest to Megalopolis and Olympia, and finally north to Patras at the entrance of the `Gulf of Corinth, where they got newspapers and whisky - the last first - from a steward on a ship in port - the ship on which they said goodbye to Greece.
A bare itinerary - but to those who have known anything at all of ancient history or literature, every name is full of associations. Such a reader can only envy, and wish he could go and do likewise.
Mr. Hutton Is exceedingly severe on Lord Elgin, who "removed" the famous sculptures now in the British Museum. But a Fan must be judged by the standards of his time. Undoubtedly such collecting has done much, in the museums of newer countries, to produce the very feeling that inspires the author; that such things Should be preserved in the land of their creation. There seems little difference between Elgin and American millionaires who buy up the art treasures of impoverished European countries. Possibly this is Nemesis; and may in time produce its perfect work by causing a revulsion of feeling among millionaires. Improbable doubtless - but who knows?
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THE NEW QUEST. By Prof. Rufus M. Jones. Published by The Macmillan Company, 1928. Cloth, 202 pages. Price $1.85.
HERE is a book among many which will rejoice the heart of the spiritual-minded. It is not a treatise. It is a string of pearls, each independent of all the rest, polished up after the author's ideals and making a unified ornament without detracting from the intrinsic value of itself or of its companions.
Such a volume does not admit of a consecutive review of its contents as "firstly" and "lastly." It is a collection of essays - we might say, lay sermons, only the author is the bearer, among other college degrees, of a "D.D." The first essay is brief, under the same caption as the title of the volume - "The New Quest," in which he gives us a kind of foreword. "The 'seeker'," he says, "is not a new phenomenon, though the type of quest alters from age to age. . . . Man by his fundamental nature is a 'seeker.' He goes out like Abraham from Ur, not knowing whither he is bound - looking eagerly for a city with God-built foundations.... The variety of 'seekers' today is very great and diverse. For the most part, however, they are persons who have outgrown ancient formulations and become dissabisfied with crystallized institutions and inelastic systems, and who are eager for fresh and vital ways of life and thought. In a word, they are seekers for reality.... These essays that follow no doubt fall far short of the ideal as interpretations of reality and of fragrance. But they are honest attempts to 'speak to the condition' of the time. They seek to bolster up no sacred scheme or system. They defend no status quo, nor any pet theory."
The author draws heavily, but always appropriately, from the Bible. Mount Sinai is taken as the symbol of formal, external righteousness, quoting St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians, "for the bondwoman, Hagar, stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia, bearing children for servitude.... It has taken thousands of years and countless sacrifices to pass from Sinai to the freedom of Sons of God. We passed Sinai in a few hours by ship, but it has taken the slow process of the ages to leave behind the external forms - 'the yoke of bondage' - and to learn how to live by inward insight and experience." . . . "The pure in heart see God, not through favoritism or special privilege but because it is an eternal law of spiritual cause and effect. God is spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him spiritually and with a sense of reality. It cannot be done by prayer wheels, or mummery or jargon."
There are ten main divisions of the book, including the first, or introduction. Each except the first is divided into a few subdivisions with ,sub-bitles. The main titles are "The Heights and the Depths," in which Mount Shasta rising abruptly from an extended plain without any companion peak or range is used as a figure to represent those great characters in history who have risen above the extended plains of humanity, like Lincoln, and supremely above all, Christ. Mount Sinai and its significance have already been noted. The oil fields of California, under the head of "Submerged Energies," with the refined product, gasolene, and its driving power, is compared to the deep, mysterious urges and driving forces that control the destiny of individuals. The rest are "The New Smell," "Singular Lives," "Experiments in Heroic Love," "The Soul's East Window," "Finding the Whole of One's Self," "Going on and Still to Be," "I Believe in God," and "Complete Spiritual Health."
The intelligent fundamentalist, the liberal Christian and the moderative conservative will all find this one of the most inspiring books of the day, but the rank materialist and the atheist will get no comfort from it - not that it is in the least controversial further than to stand squarely upon the spiritual truths of the Bible divested of literalism, and to deny that religion is or can be developed in the individual soul from without; in other words, the author presents the age-old truth of regeneration and salvation in scientifically philosophic statements, but in language so simple and illustrations so plain that he who runs may read and understand. It is one of those books that should be placed in the hands of every young person for the upbuilding of character and citizenship. L.B.R.
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THE PYTHAGOREAN PROPOSITION: Its Proofs Analyzed and Classified. By Elisha S. Loomis. Privately printed by the Masters' and Wardens' Association of Cleveland, Ohio. Cloth, table of contents, frontispiece, fully illustrated by diagrams, bibliography, index of names, 215 pages.
IT is very curious, that in spite of the attention that Masons are supposed, in theory, to give to the chief of the Liberal - Arts and Sciences, Geometry, which the old MS. Constitutions so carefully endeavor to explain as the basis of all arts and crafts and scientific knowledge, there has been so much real ignorance of the subject in the Craft that the proper distinction between a Problem and a Theorem has been consistently confused. This distinction is clear and not unimportant, and is one that even the most elementary acquaintance with the subject should make perfectly clear. Yet without exception our Monitors persist in speaking of the 47th problem of the first Book of Euclid.
The Elements of Geometry, compiled by the Greek Mathematician Euclid three hundred years before Christ, probably at Alexandria in Egypt, served as a textbook till almost the present time, and it is to be doubted if modern works are really an improvement from the purely educative point of view; that of training the mind to appreciate rigid demonstration and the power to detect fallacies in argument.
The method necessarily adopted is that of considering definite propositions. In Euclid's system the Problems are very few. A problem is something to be done; as to construct a triangle equal to another, to describe a circle of given radius that will touch another circle, to draw a tangent to a circle through a given point and so on. In a theorem nothing has to be constructed (except it may be incidentally for the purpose of analysis and proof) but in a given figure certain relations, ratios and proportions are pointed out and demonstrated. The 47th Proposition is a Theorem. A right-angled triangle is given, squares are supposed to be drawn upon each and the Hypothesis is propounded that the square on the hypotenuse is equal in area to the other two squares together, and this being stated, the demonstration follows.
This proposition, it is hardly needful to say, is really of the highest practical importance. The whole science of Trigonometry is founded on it. Navigation, surveying, engineering, all absolutely depend on it. In fact, could we imagine its being untrue, or unknown, our civilized life would come to a standstill. It might be made the subject of a most interesting study to show how, without realizing it, we depend upon the truth of this Theorem.
Its importance has naturally led to a close examination of its special features; and mathematicians, professional and amateur alike, have exercised their ingenuity from the earliest times in finding new ways of proving it. Many Masonic writers, with an interest in symbolism uppermost in their minds, seem to have misunderstood the discovery of Pythagoras in a very curious way. To them the special case of a triangle with sides in the ratio of 3:4:5 appeared the most susceptible to symbolic treatment, and so they assume that it was this that Pythagoras celebrated so elaborately and at such great cost. But special cases are often obvious and easy to prove. Science advances by transcending the particular in a general rule or law. Anyone who had to do with laying square tiles or tessarae for pavements, could hardly help finding it out. It was undoubtedly known thousands of years before Pythagoras lived. But to prove that this relationship between the squares was true of all right-angled triangles was an achievement to gladden any seeker's heart.
Bro. Loomis' study will interest only those who know or remember enough mathematics to understand it. But it is of more general interest to learn that the theoretical number of possible ways of proving the theorem is without limit. There are four typical ways of demonstrating it. The Algebraic, based on linear relationships; the Geometric (the Euclidean demonstration is the most elegant of these) which involve comparison of areas; the Quaternionic, based on vector operations; and finally the Dynamic, derived from the concepts of mass and velocity.
The number of proofs possible is really doubly infinite; for there is no limit in either of the first two classes; though Bro. Loomis has discovered that only ten types of geometrical figures can be employed in the second group of proofs.
Of proofs actually given there are fifty-eight algebraic, and a hundred and sixty-seven geometrical ones. Of the latter, one of the most interesting is that numbered 154, which was invented by the Hindu mathematician Bhaskara. There have been some who have supposed this proof to have been the one invented by Pythagoras. It is said that Bhaskara simply drew the two diagrams required and wrote under them the single word "Behold." But of course the sceptical are inclined to question this as they do all dramatic historical tales. M.
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FREEMASONRY: ITS VISION AND CALL. By the Rev. Joseph Johnson, with a Foreword by Sir Alfred Bobbins. Published by the Masonic Record, Ltd. Cloth, table of contents, 166 pages. Price $2.15.
BRO. JOHNSON is a Past Assistant Grand Chaplain of the United Grand Lodge of England. Being a clergyman his outlook leads him to the more serious aspects of Masonry, and especially in those directions where it borders on religion. To those who feel that Masonry is, or ought to be, something more than a social organization his work should have a strong appeal. But the problem of combining the ideals and aspirations of the Craft with the peculiar restrictions and limitations that its character and organization lay upon it is not easy to solve. In the following passage Bro. Johnson gives his answer to this question:
The real mission of Masonry is to build in human life an ideal Temple. Masonry provides a plan for the guidance and instruction of each workman. He has to build the Temple in his own life, and in doing this serious and earnestly, he contributes to the building of humanity as a dwelling place for the Divine Spirit. Masonry recognizes no obligation to provide solutions for the economic and political problems of society, but it does acknowledge that, if men will act upon the square with their neighbors, many of these problems will be solved.
This, except for the form, is hardly original. It might almost be described as orthodox Masonic doctrines - so far as Masonry can be said to have any orthodoxy. Yet it is a difficult position to hold, both intellectually and practically. A via media is often enough, perhaps generally, the hardest way, it is so much easier to go to extremes. The probability, based on human experience, is that the "middle way" is wisest and most expedient. But there is no certainty that a course is right merely because it lies between extremes.
In the Masonic Fraternity there are two extreme tendencies - those who would reduce its scope to a minimum, who add provisos and conditions until "the law is made of none effect." The other tendency is that of the idealists and enthusiasts who say Masonry teaches and inculcates this and this; let us "get busy" and put it into effect. It is not easy to hold to the distinction, even academically, between corporate action of the group, and corporate incitement to each member to act individually. It is difficult indeed in specific cases. We may say that this median attitude is held, not as a train is held to one direction by the rails, but as a compass needle points to the north. The one is rigid and undeviating, the other is constantly fluctuating between the magnetic attraction of the pole and extraneous impulses.
The theoretical position of Masonry in regard to religion and religious belief is a still more difficult problem than that of ethical ideals. The present reviewer is of the opinion, for whatever it may be worth, that this has never yet been fully thought out. We have got along with compromises, the intellectual weakness of which has been concealed by bold statements of antinomies. First it is this, which makes it equivalent to a religion, and then it is that, which evacuates it of all religious character.
There is nothing strange in this state of affairs, it is only an aspect of the problem of religion generally. Rigid and sharply defined creeds have been common enough, they are too natural and human not to be constantly reappearing. Freemasonry may have had its part in breaking down these "walls of partition." As the author says:
No other human order or institution has ever brought together men of such wide diversities of types, temper, training, interest and achievement and succeeded in uniting them in service for mankind and unfaltering faith in God.
If we regard it from the point of view of process, we can be patient with the confusions of thought, and the unreconciled contradictions that may exist. Masonry may be regarded thus as a leaven of tolerance and understanding; and of a leaven we cannot demand fixity and definite form. In the builder's workshop we have no right to demand that order and beauty that we hope the finished Temple will possess. Nevertheless it would be well if the more serious and religiously minded Mason would see the difficulties involved and endeavor to work them out. Progress can hardly be hoped for until the problem is fairly and definitely stated.
To take, what is a typical example, not by any means peculiar to Bro. Johnson, but so common as to be almost a matter of Anglo-Saxon Masonic creed. The fourth chapter is devoted to the Book of Freemasonry. We may quote two passages:
…. the V. of the S. L. is so interwoven into our Order so ingrained in its fiber, that we have come to feel that there can be no real Freemasonry apart from it.
This is literally true historically and ritually, but when it is added that
The absence of prejudice, superstition and intolerance from Freemasonry may be traced to the teachings of the V. of the S. L.
a question is raised. How comes it about that so many intolerant, and some superstitious, religious creeds have been based on a fervent and literal following of that same Volume of Sacred Law ? Are we not entitled to ask, is not the tolerance of Masonry derived from some other source? On its face the Bible is not a tolerant book, and few who take it liberally have shown themselves tolerant in creed - or action, when they had the power.
The second of the two passages above referred to is this:
The V. of the S. L. permeates Freemasonry with its teachings that those who come under its spell are conscious of the Divine Presence whenever they meet in the lodge.
So far as this is true, and it is true of many Masons, is there not in this ground for the complaint made by all intolerant forms of Christianity against Masonry; that it is a religion, or a substitute for religion?
While it is possible, for example, that a Mohammedan may have as adequate and true a conception of God as a Christian, yet it is certain that he drives it from a different source and clothes it in different mental imagery. Freemasonry accepts the Mohammedan, as it does any other theist, and thereby acquires an intellectual, a logical, difficulty. A difficulty which, it must be repeated, is not solved either by ignoring it, or by first stating absolutely one side of the contradiction and then equally insisting on the other. The book on the theory of Masonic relationship to religion has yet to be written.
This is not to say that the work under consideration is to he considered inadequate. It is not. The author has evidently a practical purpose in view, and for that purpose it is adapted. Logical consistency is not a characteristic of AngloSaxon thinking. Bro. Johnson has sounded a call to a greater effort, a higher ideal among Masons. His arguments are powerful; they are calculated to appeal to the great majority and from this point of view it is to be judged. It is a welcome addition to the serious literature of the Craft and it is to be hoped it may be as widely read and deeply considered as it undoubtedly deserves to be. M.
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MASONIC CODE OF IOWA, 1928. (n. p.). Cloth, 363 pages including copious index. Published by the Grand Lodge of Iowa, A. F. & A. M., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. $1.50, postpaid.
THE publication of the eighth edition of the Masonic Code of Iowa adds another substantial volume to the commendable books already issued by the Iowa Craft. What William Henry Upton was to the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Washington, whose Code of 1897 was so highly praised by the eminent English Masonic historian, Robert Freke Gould, so was Charles Trumbull Granger to the Grand Lodge of Iowa. Prior to the adoption of the Granger Code in 1888, the jurisdiction had no properly defined system of law - all that existed was a Code with some digests of decisions. To really get at all the regulations underlying an activity, it was necessary to scan the proceedings carefully for some unknown or vaguely remembered action or decision, and as the pioneers passed from the scene, their memories were no longer available as a source of reference. It was this state of affairs, among others, which Bro. Granger corrected; in doing so, he placed Iowa Masonry under perpetual obligation for his able efforts. He lived to see his Code pass through six editions, all of which were edited by him. As stated by Bro. Charles Clyde Hunt, the editor of the new edition, the seventh (Craig) and eighth editions "have been based on the work of Brother Granger, who still, in spirit, mingles in our councils and inspires our work."
Briefly, the main part of the new Code concerns itself with "The Charges of a Freemason," taken from Anderson's Book of Constitutions, 1723; the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and two lengthy divisions on "General Laws" and "Trials and Punishments." There is also a collection of authorized forms. (Let it be said at this point that Bro. Hunt is also the author-compiler of an Iowa Trial Manual, a work which has been of inestimable benefit in the distasteful but sometimes necessary procedure of a Masonic trial.)
In the features so far mentioned, the new Code does not differ from the many others published throughout the Masonic world; but it is outstanding in the fact that it has a most comprehensive and detailed index. This may not mean much to the average reader, but to the diligent user of a book, it is worth its weight in gold many times over - providing the book is worth anything. It was Lord Campbell who proposed that an author be deprived of the privilege of copyright for publishing a book without an index, and that he be penalized by a pecuniary fine. Those who enjoy the personal acquaintance of Bro. Hunt know that he is a diligent indexer, a fact which in itself speaks for the excellence of the 158 pages of index to the 182 pages of related matter. His work makes the new Code a really useful volume, and should aid materially in holding to a minimum the useless and unnecessary questions which a Grand Master perennially receives from Worshipful Masters too indifferent or too ignorant to use a Code intelligently.
The topical index is in alphabetical order throughout. Even the subdivisions, which might be preferred by some in logical sequence according to importance, are consistently alphabetical, and in this manner are also of value for academic reading. Iowa Study Circle readers will find the Index a great convenience in obtaining topics for discussion - the references are very handy, and reduce searching to a minimum. It is to be hoped that Code compilers everywhere will profit by the Iowa Code and prepare indexes accordingly.
The volume has two serious defects, or omission, which the critical user of books will observe immediately. First, there is nothing on the title page, or elsewhere in the volume to indicate where the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Iowa are maintained; hence any non-Iowa brother desiring to get a copy of the book would not know where to inquire for it. The words "Cedar Rapids, Iowa," should have appeared at the bottom of the title page, where now only the date "1928" appears. Second - and this is really vital - there is no table of contents, although there are forty-four chapters in the book which rightfully should be listed as such by number and title before the reading text. It would not only give a general idea of the book's contents, but would also facilitate reference when a major theme is under consideration.
Fortunately, insofar as Iowa use is concerned, the defects will not detract from the ready use of the book, for the meat of the text can be reached through the copious index which has been so laboriously and so meticulously prepared. The Iowa Mason will find the new book far superior to anything hitherto available in the Iowa jurisdiction, and he will not hesitate to give Grand Secretary Hunt, and his associates, Bro. Charles C. Clark, P. G. M., and Bro. Louis Block, P. G. M., the credit due them for their contributions to the work. Bro. Hunt modestly disclaims the credit for his efforts, but those who have been associated with him know what an effective and painstaking worker he is. The Iowa Craft are under lasting obligations to Bro. Hunt for giving them this comprehensive and usable volume for their guidance through the maze of Masonic jurisprudence. J.H.T.
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THE MASONIC RECORD (London). Vol. viii, 1928. - Cloth, 306 pages; index. Price nineteen shillings, six pence.
WITH all due respect to my colleagues in the editorial field, and with full consideration of the particular phases of Masonic activities covered by them, it must be granted that there are few Craft periodicals which are worth preserving permanently. Most of them are ephemeral publications, for their contents have no enduring worth when the next issue appears. Some there are which carry learned and well written contributions on topics of historical, biographical and symbolical interest; yet as a whole my comment will hold.
European Masonic magazines, outside of the learned Transactions of the various research societies, are generally printed on medium grade paper or news print, and as such do not lend themselves to fine illustrations. A noteworthy English exception is "The Masonic Record," of London, now in its ninth successful year. It is printed on calendered paper capable of taking a 150-screen halftone, is well arranged and carries its advertisements on pages which can be removed when binding the issues, thus leaving a volume given entirely to reading matter. The news items which it carries are concise, and cover only outstanding events, such as the Masonic historian must needs observe when tracing the development of the Fraternity through succeeding years.
The important feature insofar as the American reader is concerned, is the fine articles written on a pleasing variety of subjects by capable Masons. Readers of THE BUILDER will recognize among the contributors the names of Sir Alfred Robbins, P. S. G. W.; Lt. Col. Gilbert W. Daynes, P. M.; Bro. Boris Telepneff, the authority on Russian Masonry; and C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa; while brethren conversant with British Masonic affairs will readily recognize names of other prominent Masons.
Interested as we may be in the literary contributions, we also give praise to the beautiful illustrations so generously lavished upon us. Each issue has a double page inside section depicting Masonic rarefies appealing to the collector and antiquarian. Rare furniture, pottery, glassware, curios, medals, badges, aprons - all such are shown in wondrous detail, sometimes printed over a delicate tint of pea-green, lavender, light blue, etc., enhancing the inherent excellence of the cuts. Consequently a bound volume of "The Masonic Record" is not only a desirable collection of Masonic literature, but also a reference work of rare subjects. Portraits of prominent Masons also appear in large number, and are interesting to us on this side of the Atlantic because the regalia shown and the jewels worn intimate very clearly that Craft customs differ in various parts of the world.
Unfortunately, complete files of the publication are no longer available, but the Masonic booklover who would add representative works to his collection should start now on a file of "The Masonic Record." Having access to the monthly issues as they appear by consulting files at a Masonic Library, I do not have my volume sent until the end of the year. Thus a uniform binding at very reasonable cost can be had.
J. H. T.
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THE AMERICAN PARTY BATTLE. By Charles C. Beard. Published by The Macmillan Co., New York. Cloth, table of contents, bibliography, 150 pages. Price $1.65.
THIS book, the latest title to be added to a series entitled "The World Today Bookshelf," is by the general editor of the series. The name of Charles A. Beard has become very well known in the field of American History. Mr. Beard was a co-author of The Rise of American Civilization. It is sufficient recommendation to state that the same high standards are maintained in this latest product of his pen as in the earlier and larger work.
The title of the volume does not seem quite appropriate, to the reviewer at least, although in a sense it does fit the contents. But it is to some extent misleading. The reader is naturally led to expect that the book deals with party struggles in politics today. In its scope, however, the book is broader than that, and we really have a brief history of the rise of American political parities. It is easy to read and for this reason should have much influence.
The man on the streets is prone to lose sight of the issues that are inherent in either Republican or Democratic party, and of which little mention is made in party platforms. Those points stressed in the platforms for national campaigns become paramount. There is some merit in such reasoning, but the broader party principles should always be considered; and modern, or at least, the pressing questions of the day should be viewed in the light of the main party principles. The effect of these basic ideals upon modern life should receive the utmost consideration.
There are some faults in Mr. Beard's book, but that is only natural. Any brief discussion of American politics must have its omissions. The main trend of thought is skillfully and accurately traced, and more than that, it is accomplished in an intensely interesting way. E.E.T.
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THINGS TO COME. By J. Middleton Murry. Published by The Macmillan Company. Cloth, Table of Contents, 318 pages. 6 x 8 3/4. inches. Price $2.65.
"The Christian perspective is precious to me, and I am not gain" to surrender my right to use and profit by it simply because I am told by the party of orthodoxy that it is the only perspective, and by the party of rationalism that it does not exist. I claim to be, in my own peculiar way, a Christian. I am as fully entitled to my share of the Christian heritage as any believer. On the other hand, I am not a heretic, nor even a Pantheist, but simply a believer in humanity in its priest manifestations. In other words, I am a great believer in Heroes and the greatest of my heroes is Jesus."
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JEFFERSON, FRIEND OF FRANCE 1793. By Meade Minnigerode. Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. Cloth, Illustrated, Table of Contents, Index, Bibliography, 447 pages. 6 x 9 1/2 inches. Price $5.25.
The subject of this book is Citizen Genet and his relations with Jefferson. The sources are private papers of the Citizen which have been handed down in his family until the present day. The book is interesting reading and contains much hitherto unpublished material.
THE QUESTION BOX
BARON FRIEDRICH VON HUMBOLDT
We have a lodge here - Humboldt, No. 47 - and the secretary, who is a very personal friend of mine, wishes to learn what lodge Baron von Humboldt belonged to in Germany. I find there were two Barons - brothers, Friedrich and Karl - both eminent in German history a century and more ago. I have hunted among the pages in my library, but can learn of no Humboldt, a Mason. I have gone through my indexes in file of THE BUILDER and A. Q. C. and get absolutely nothing.
Humboldt Lodge here is the largest one in Ohio, and very active. Years ago a picture of Humboldt was brought from Germany and presented to the lodge. Now they wish to learn the name of the lodge he belonged to and its location. Could you, without much trouble, advise me in this matter?
C. S. P., Ohio.
It seems most probable that Humboldt Lodge, No. 476, would be named after Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, and not his elder brother Karl Wilhelm. The latter, though a most talented man and well known in his own country, never attained the fame that the travels and scientific researches gave to the younger brother.
Apparently neither of the brothers was a Mason, though their father was a member of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes of Berlin, and receives mention in the history of that body. In the well known German Masonic periodical, Die Banhuette, for January, 1870, there is a contribution on Friedrich von Humboldt by H. Kunzel in which the subject of the article is described, by a phrase not unusual in Germany, as "a Mason without the apron." By this it is intended to express that an individual was in character and life all that. the ideal Mason should be. To illustrate by an American instance, we could say that Abraham Lincoln was a "Mason without the apron."
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LIGHTING THE CANDLES
A question has been raised in our lodge as to the proper order in lighting and extinguishing the tapers or candles in opening a Blue Lodge.
It has been my practice to light the taper representing the W. M. first, then the one representing the J.W., and last the one representing the Senior Warden and extinguish them in the reverse order of Senior, Junior and Master.
My method of lighting seems to me about half logical and that is the sun rises in the East, reaches its meridian height in the South and sets in the West, but as to rank of officers, the Senior Warden outranks the Junior and in the opening rises before the Junior Warden. My method of extinguishing doesn't seem very logical either as the sun should set first in the East, then in the South and then the West, but this would be somewhat contrary to rank of officers and all are on their feet when the lodge is declared closed.
I presume this is a matter of no great moment, sort of a tweedle-dee or a tweedle-dum proposition, and I probably should not be taking up your valuable time with it. But as I am appointed to the office of Senior Deacon for the coming year, and will quite likely be performing this duty several times, I will appreciate it if you will give me your ideas in regard to the same.
I am informed that the tapers are to be lighted first and extinguished last, that is the first Great Light is not to be opened or closed during a period of darkness. This I presume is correct. G. M. C., Montana.
This is a very interesting question, even if it concerns only a minor detail of lodge ceremonial. It would be very useful if we could have definite information as to the rule (if any) followed in other lodges in different jurisdictions.
The rule suggested by our correspondent seems very appropriate from one point of view, that of the symbolism of the cardinal points and the solar significance of the stations of the three principal officers of the lodge. Unfortunately, as is pointed out, this symbolism does not agree with the precedence of these officers, and consequently it is necessary to make a choice of one or the other, as they are too inconsistent to be combined.
The use of electric substitutes for candles, which is becoming so general as to be almost universal in some parts of the country, makes any formal lighting impossible, which is a real loss from both the ceremonial and symbolic point of view.
The rule that the lights should be extinguished in the reverse order to that in which they were lighted seems appropriate and is in accordance with ecclesiastical usage, if that may be taken as a precedent. Also, that the "lesser lights" should be presented before the greater ones, and extinguished after the latter have been closed.
So far as our information goes the ceremonial connected with the lesser lights has been very much neglected in the United States and we hope that this latter may be a stimulus to others to let us know and put on record, which is actually customary in different places, and what is supposed to be correct even if neglected in practice.
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SCOTTISH DEGREES IN GERMANY
Is it a fact that there is no Scottish Rite in Germany as stated in this month's "New Age" (February) ? If I remember right I had a grand uncle who wore a charm similar to certain 32d emblems, and I have a hazy idea that I was told he was a 32d. H.K., Missouri.
There is no organization of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Germany, and never has been. In the eighteenth century various degrees and rites were introduced into that country that were the forerunners of the Scottish Rite, but they seem to have had a very precarious existence. Certain of the German Grand Lodges seem to possess and confer upon a very select circle a number of high grades, but much secrecy envelops the whole subject so that it is most difficult to obtain any definite information. It is possible that these high grades pertain rather to the Rite of the Strict Observance and Knight Templar Orders rather than to the groups classed as Scottish or Ecossais. It is quite possible that some of the emblems and symbols used in these grades are the same or similar to those familiar in the Scottish Rite. This would be accounted for by derivation from the same general sources which were used as material in the construction of all the high grades supposed to be superior to Craft Masonry.
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SOME MASONIC PARALLELS
I am enclosing my subscription for next year to the National Masonic Research Society. The first three issues of the year have passed through my hands since reaching here and everybody has commented favorably. The articles, "The Shadow of the Vatican," applies here as much as to the U. S. A.; the Colony is bigoted Catholic to the backbone. The humorous part is that their local cathedral had its cornerstone laid Masonically by the then Grand Master of India, Lord Moira, and his Mark Mason's mark is on the altar steps. At a recent committee for the renovation of the structure the point was brought up whether this could not be obliterated; after much discussion it was decided to leave it!
The Sub-dean of the Anglican Cathedral drew my attention today to the account in chapter four of the second book of Kings to the restoration to life by the Prophet Elisha of the son of the woman of Shunem. It is remarkable and even without drawing the long bow, the Masonic parallel is very striking. And why did the child sneeze seven times, and why that before he received L by opening his eyes? Is it only coincidence that the story is told in this order? If no more, it is interesting and "gives one to think."
In my anthropological wanderings here I have come across another interesting point, only indirectly Masonic, it is true, but the connection is there. In certain Chinese shops are exposed for sale what at a quick glance appear to be small figurines of the Virgin and Child. But they are not, although the female is crowned. She is Yang Hin, the queen of Heaven, and she is never complete without the child and the tiger. One knows of course that where the lion does not exist, the puma, tiger, etc., are synonymous. One at once thinks of the old Egyptian Trinity with all its related early cults and myths.
I enclose a rubbing of a "Chakri" presented to me by a Hindoo Society here in appreciation of some work I have done for them. It is their particular one and stands to them very much as does the crucifix of the good Catholic. You will notice the ten rays from the Point at the Centre; then between three circles series of ten triangles. They explain it to me thus, that only by the practice of the five spiritual virtues and their five bodily counterpart can you advance from the outer circle of the body through that of the soul to that of the spirit and that even when this is reached there is yet a long way to go before attaining to the Centre. The ten virtues cannot be practiced except with the help of the Deity hence the virtues are represented as triangles but even as man and the Deity are one so the outer circle connected through the other two is one also. They stress the feet of the Centre being an empty point as the Centre cannot be realized by the human mind. The philosophy and the expression hereof is extraordinarily like that of the Three Degrees and Holy Royal Arch.
You remember the Temple I wrote you about in which I obtained admission by means of Masonic signs; I have been there again and was enabled to spend a much longer time and to study it more closely. This time I was struck by another aspect. The priest kept on emphasizing the fact that Shiva was the god-aspect of transformation. He destroyed only to build up again or as he put it in his faulty English, he was the Lord of the Down and Up. He directed my attention to the many times repeated carving all over the structure of the god in a seated position with his wrists together over his navel, one hand bent to point upwards, the other downwards. I remember having come across the same sign with the same meaning in the myth of Quetzalocoatl when I was in Mexico. Of course this is not Masonic, but here is another sign at different ends of the earth meaning the same thing.
D. D. Anderson, Mauritius.
This letter from Bro. Anderson is as interesting as the first, that appeared on page 383 of THE: BUILDER last year. It has taken nearly three months to reach us from Mauritius and evidently it takes THE BUILDER a long time to reach Bro. Anderson. We hope to be able to reproduce a drawing of the "Chakri" in a later issue. The rubbing, though perfectly clear, is not suitable for photographic reproduction.
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AN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
I am going to lay before you a new proposition, and that is to organize an international school in world politics in Washington, D. C., for the training of boys and girls not over twenty-one years of age, and who have already attained a certain standard of education, and who know the American language. Let us say ten or twenty pupils from each nation per year. The school, transportation board and room must be free. The students should all live and dine on the campus in order that they may become thoroughly familiar with each other's peculiarities. This would encourage a merging together of different peoples into one common brotherhood of man. Transportation could be given on a United States vessel. This would create an opportunity for Uncle Sam to visit every nation once a year, bringing graduates back to their native countries, and transporting members for a new glass to the United States. Such visits could be held annually on the same date. That day could become a U. S. day of celebration in every country in the world. The favorable effect of such a plan for the United States cannot be over-estimated.
I think that this scheme could be most easily carried out by the United States, provided that it could avoid political obstacles. The expenses would return to the United States many fold, I believe, but the underlying principle of the U. S. would be to lay the foundation for "Peace on Earth and good win among men."
I believe however that the Masons of the country could take the proposition, carry it on their own expenses, and handle it in their own way. I believe that every Mason in the United States would be willing to pay fifty cents per year for the support of such an international school. The United States government would undoubtedly be willing to donate the use of a war vessel for the transportation of the students. Masonry would acquire influence and respect beyond our imagination in every corner of the world, because the students would in the course of time become educators and officers in their respective countries. It works like magic to deal with the younger generations in our age. They are naturally communistically inclined; they are intellectual, and of an altruistic nature, but our old selfish economic and social system makes criminals out of some of them. Let us try to make Masons out of them instead.
We have arrived at a milestone in our development where it is demanded of us that we take a firm stand for the enlightenment, and the liberation of mankind. God or Nature never bee stows endless favors on anyone, sooner or later Nature demands pay, and in no uncertain terms. During the World War we could not send a man nor a dollar across the ocean. That reveals the influence we have earned among mankind. Unselfish and altruistic service to all is the true way to show mankind that we are our brother's keeper. That is the pay Nature demands.
The most of us take Masonry only like light entertainment, but the fact is that nature demands of us that we carry the heavy burden of the world's development. If we fail in this stewardship the blessings which have since 1717 been so bounteously bestowed upon us will in the future be withheld. Then we can again prepare for the stake.
Stay firm on watch all through this terror season It is slow, but sure, man will develop reason.
L. L., California.
We fear that this proposal win be considered too idealistic, not to say quixotic, to most of our readers, but it is submitted to their consideration without prejudice.
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My lodge has quite a few relics and curiosities that have been given by different brethren in the past. Among them is a Masonic chart that is printed on some fine material, cotton or linen. In the center is a perspective view of a mosaic pavement, with three steps up to it, and two pillars surmounted by an arch. At the far end of the pavement is a second arch, leading into an inner chamber, or temple. About this central design are disposed various emblems and symbols, which seem to include not only those of Craft Masonry, but also the Royal Arch, Knights Templar, and I think the Red Cross also. This is all very much like other designs I have seen, but there is something more that I have not seen anywhere else. Arranged round the top and two sides are the collars of the different officers of the lodge, each with its jewel; that of the Master being in the middle at the top with those of the Wardens on each side.
The design is supposed to have been an apron, but it seems to me much too large, and not the right shape. It is square, and about thirty inches along the side. It is said to be more than a hundred years old. I do not know much about such things, but I should think it might date back to 1810 or 1820.
What I am particularly anxious to know more about is the presence of the collars. Was there at one time any symbolism attached to them? If so, what did they signify? Or was it merely the natural and obvious way to carry the jewels of office? If any members of the Research Society know anything about this I would be very glad if they would discuss the subject in THE BUILDER.
H. H. D., Canada.
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