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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 3 - number 3
MASONIC DEGREES IN ENGLAND
BY BRO. C. C. ADAMS, CANADA
EVERYTHING that Masonry has to teach is to be found in the three Symbolic Degrees, and it is generally recognized that the Grades and Orders which have grown up around Craft Masonry are not positively essential, but are useful insofar as they shed further light on the fundamental teachings. Most of these degrees are of modern origin, and their number is legion. Many have been organized and placed on the Masonic market by some enterprising Brother, who has made-them popular for a time, but when they were found to have no real value they quickly disappeared into that oblivion from which they had come.
There is no need to consider these Masonic mushrooms further, but there are a number of degrees outside the pale of the Symbolic Lodge which have a real utility, have spread over most of the civilized world, and have had an uninterrupted existence long enough to prove their real value.
At the present time, there are probably more of these degrees to be found in England than in any other English speaking country, and their organization and arrangement is very different to that in America, so that a short description of the systems of degrees in England may be of interest.
The York Rite of the United States and Canada, and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, cover almost all the degrees now actively worked in North America, but in England the York Rite is unknown. All the thirteen degrees, with the exception of the Degree of Past Master, are worked in England, but they come under six different governing bodies, and are not organized into one system.
The Craft is governed by the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England, which came into existence at the Union of the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges in 1813, and according to the Constitutions of this body "pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz.: those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch." Consequently, outside St. John's Masonry, the only recognized Degree or Order is that of the Royal Arch.
The Grand Lodge holds communications every three months, the Officers being appointed annually. The jurisdiction is divided into Provinces and Districts, the former in England and Wales and the latter in other parts of the Empire. Each Province is ruled by a Provincial Grand Master who is appointed by the Grand Master. He selects his own Officers in his Provincial Grand Lodge, which usually meets annually. The government of a District is carried out in the same way by a District Grand Master. The boundaries of the majority of the Provinces coincide with those of the English counties; Lodges, however, in the city of London are not governed in this way, but are directly under the rule of the Grand Lodge. This system of government also obtains in the majority of other degrees.
Under this Constitution, the Apprentice is considered as a Mason and as well entitled to have a voice and to vote in the Lodge as any other member. For this reason, all routine work and general business is carried out in the First Degree. Lodges are opened first in the First Degree and then in the Second and Third Degrees successively, if required for ceremonial work.
The Master, Treasurer and Tyler of each Private Lodge are elected annually by the members. The Master appoints his Wardens and all the remaining officers.
The ceremonial work is, of course, essentially the same as that found in America. An interesting point in English Lodges is that the American form of Altar is unknown. The Greater Lights are placed on the pedestal in front of the Master.
The Holy Royal Arch is governed by the Supreme Grand Chapter which works in conjunction with the United Grand Lodge. Each Private Chapter must be attached to a Craft Lodge and carries the same number on the Register. The First Principal of the Chapter represents Z, the Second, H, and the Third, J. In the Ritual, the sequence of events is slightly different to that of America and the ceremony of "Passing the Veils" is omitted except in a few Chapters.
The Degree of Grand High Priest is not very widely known in Great Britain; it is conferred on installed Third Principals in the Order of the Holy Royal Arch, and is under the jurisdiction of the Grand Council of the Allied Degrees, and will be further considered in relation to that body.
The Mark Master's Degree is conferred on Master Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. This degree may be taken either before or after the Royal Arch. The Degree of Royal Ark Mariner is governed by the Grand Master of Mark Master Masons assisted by the Royal Ark Council, and is conferred only on Mark Masters. It appears to have had its origin in England about the end of the eighteenth century, and is little known outside that country. The time is symbolically that of the Deluge, and certain moral truths are inculcated.
Some years ago a proposition was made in the United Grand Lodge of England to recognize the degree of Mark Master. This was carried, but a great number of opposers to this innovation attended the following Quarterly Communication, with the result that the minutes of the previous meeting were not confirmed. Since then the question has not again been raised.
The Degree of Most Excellent Master is conferred by Councils of Royal and Select Masters, which also give the Degrees of Royal, Select and Super-Excellent Master. These degrees are conferred on members of the Order of the Holy Royal Arch who are also Mark Master Masons.
The Order of the Temple in England is governed by the Great Priory assisted by Provincial Priories. The bodies conferring the Order are entitled Preceptories, the ruler of each being a Preceptor. Although essentially the same as the American work, the English Ritual is not so elaborate and the clothing is simpler. The frock coat and hat are unknown in the British Isles, and members of the Order on all ceremonial occasions wear the white tunic and mantle and a crimson velvet cap. The Orders of the Temple and Malta can be conferred on Royal Arch Masons whether they have taken any other degrees or not. The candidate is first installed a Knight of the Temple and the Mediterranean Pass is conferred as a preliminary degree to the Order of Malta.
The Red Cross Degree is unknown by that name but is substantially the same as the Red Cross of Babylon, which is under the jurisdiction of the Grand Council of the Allied Degrees.
This completes the list of degrees of what is known as the York Rite in America. The next series for consideration is the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or, as it is known in England, the Ancient and Accepted Rite, the title "Scottish" having been dropped by the Supreme Council some years ago. This system is very different to that under the two jurisdictions of the United States. Only five of the thirty-three degrees are conferred ceremonially, namely the 18th, 30th, 31st, 32d and 33d degrees. Chapters of Princes Rose Croix are chartered by the Supreme Council, and these bodies have power to confer the degrees from the 4d to the 17d in a short form, and the Degree of Sovereign Prince Rose Croix in full. This is the only degree conferred ceremonially by Rose Croix Chapters. There are no Consistories in this jurisdiction and the higher degrees are only conferred by the Supreme Council. Applicants for the 30d, which is the next conferred in full after the 18d, must have been members of the Order for three years at least, and installed as Most Wise Sovereign in the Chair of a Rose Croix Chapter. The degrees from the 19d to the 29d are conferred in short form on Candidates for the 30d. The Supreme Council select all members for the higher degrees, and the numbers are limited in the case of the 31d to 99 members, and in the case of the 32d to 63 members. The 33d is limited in a similar way and nine members of that degree constitute the Supreme Council.
The Degrees of Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine, Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and Knight of St. John the Evangelist are conferred in Conclaves of the Masonic and Military Order. Candidates for admission must be Master Masons and in the case of the two latter degrees, Royal Arch Masons. The supreme authority for this series is the Grand Imperial Conclave of England.
There is one other Masonic governing body of importance in England, namely, the Grand Council of the Allied Degrees, which has under its jurisdiction a very large number of side degrees. As in every country where the Craft has made great progress, a large number of honorary and side degrees have appeared in England from time to time. Some of these have been conferred in Lodges having no central authority, while others were communicated by one Mason to another. To give these degrees a common form of government this Grand Council was formed. It has under its jurisdiction over forty distinct degrees many of which are not now worked. Every Council under this obedience has authority to work the degrees of St. Lawrence the Martyr, Grand Tyler of King Solomon, Knights of Constantinople, the Red Cross of Babylon, Grand High Priest and Secret Monitor. The two former of these are, I believe, unknown in America, while the third is slightly known. The Degree of Grand Tyler of King Solomon is very similar to that of Select Master in the York Rite. The Red Cross of Babylon is substantially the same as the Red Cross Degree conferred as a preliminary to the Order of the Temple in American Commanderies. The Degree of Grand High Priest which is conferred on installed Third Principals of Royal Arch Chapters probably came from the United States, and the Rituals in the two countries are almost identical. The Degree of Secret Monitor is well known as a side degree in some parts of America. In addition to being conferred by Councils of the Allied Degrees in England, it is worked in more extensive form in Conclaves under the jurisdiction of the Grand Conclave of the Order of the Secret Monitor, which is a body quite distinct from the Grand Council of the Allied Degrees. Of the remaining degrees, under the obedience of the Grand Council, some are conferred by the Royal Kent Tabernacle and Council at Newcastle-on-Tyne, while the remainder are not now actively worked.
In England, there are now five Provincial Grand Lodges of the Royal Order of Scotland. The oldest of these is the Provincial Grand Lodge of London and the Metropolitan Counties and this only confers the Order and Knighthood on Masons of the 30d:
An article on this subject would not be complete without mentioning the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia which was put into form in 1866 by Robert Wentworth Little. This organization is not Masonic in its nature but requires Candidates to be Master Masons. Its ceremonies are hermetic in origin, and its object is purely literary.
Of the hundreds of Masonic degrees which have been found in England at different times, very many have fallen into disuse. There still exist, however, a great number, and it has been no easy problem to make sufficient mention of the more worthy ones and yet to keep this article within reasonable bounds. All over the world it is the same; the Craft is the immovable basis on which a superstructure of explanatory degrees is being built. Some of these are useful and take a firm hold, but others have no sufficient reason for their existence. They last for a time and then fall into the abyss and are forgotten.
BY BRO. J.N. SAUNDERS, G.M., KENTUCKY
The old Patriarch of Israel, as evidence of fatherly preference, clothed the son of his old age in a coat of many colors, but this token of his love for Joseph did but kindle the envious hatred of his brethren who tended Jacob's flocks.
You are now to be clothed, not in a coat of many colors--typical of life's changing fortunes, the bright spots and the dark emblematic of paternal love and fraternal hate; but you are to be clothed with the spotless lamb-skin, the emblem of innocence, the badge of purity, the Mason's distinctive garb.
Let its pure white fold be to you an incentive to purity of life. Let its strong, but pliant, texture encourage you in strength of manly character, and stimulate within you a ready willingness to conform your acts and desires to the good of our order, and the harmonious concurrence of the Craft.
The valiant Knight, that forth to battle rode, was clad in iron armor and bore a deadly lance, from the visor of his helmet he looked out upon a hostile throng, his sole endeavor to take that which no man can give.
As an Entered Apprentice you stand not among contending foes, but in the midst of brothers, firm, tried and true. The Mason's armor is the breast plate of righteousness, his weapon, offensive and defensive, the sword of truth; his helmet, virtue's crown. From his waist swings not the warrior's bloody sash, but the white leather apron, as pure and soft as a woman's cheek.
You'll be judged by the way you wear it,
You'll be measured by your life,
You'll be watched as you do battle
In life's ever-changing strife.
Bear you well the-part assigned you,
Keep your heart attune to love,
Let sweet Charity control you,
Lift your prayers to God, above.
Keep this lamb-skin pure and spotless,
Let your life be free from stain,
Let your hand be ever ready
To relieve a brother's pain.
God, our Father, will reward you
As you keep this garment clean,
Your brothers here will emulate
All your manly virtues seen.
Then let this lamb-skin, soft and white,
Entrusted to your keeping,
Be monitor to moral life
In wakeful hour, or sleeping.
In your full Masonic triumph
You will wear it with delight--
We'll wrap it round your lifeless form
When you're buried from our sight.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.
The appelation “Worshipful” Master is misleading in the minds of many. In fact the time was when the writer questioned very seriously whether such an appellation should ever be made to any man. It had the sound of irreverance and therefore sacrilegious and blasphemous. We thought it meant to say that the Worshipful Master of a lodge was equal with and deserving of holy reverence as his maker - God Almighty; that he was a creature to be worshipped by others. But we found out that we were mistaken in the plain, simple meaning of the term “Worshipful.” Our little dictionary says the term means “venerable.”
Following our former opinions one would sometimes become sadly disappointed in a “Worshipful Master” who would always remove his hat in calling the name of the Deity in the lodge room, but would “cuss like a sailor” at other times. Most of them are of the highest type of manhood. - Kansas City of Freemason.
In completed man begins anew a tendency to God. Prognostics told man’s near approach; so in man’s self arise august anticipations, symbols, types of a dim splendor ever on before in that eternal cycle life pursues. - Browning
BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
"Edina, Scotia's darling seat--
All hail thy palaces and towers,
Where once beneath a monarch's feet
Sat Legislation's sovereign powers."
NO sooner had the editor arrived in Edinburgh than he was arrested, in due and ancient form. Why it came about, and for what, and how he made his peace with the powers that be, such questions are irrelevant, immaterial, if not impertinent -- or words to that effect. His friends do not ask any explanation; his enemies, if he has any, would not accept any--and there you are. Therefore he adopts the wise policy of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, when they decided that "Mum" was the right word in such cases.
Anyway, it was late at night, which is a suspicious circumstance, and the streets were dim, as all city streets are in Briton in war-time. Lamps were shaded or turned low, and shadowy figures moved to and fro, each finding his way as best he could. Above, giant search-lights scanned the sky, darting like shining swords through the clouds, as if stabbing at airy enemies that drop death-dealing bombs on sleeping cities. Occasionally, there was a rift in the veil of cloud and the moonlight shimmered down over the old city like a fairy mist, soft as the summer air, filling the valleys with silvery light. It was an hour of enchantment.
From whatever side Edinburgh is approached, it is singularly picturesque, combining so happy a blend of hills and castles, of rocky peaks and lofty spires, as to command admiration. It is the most beautiful city that I ever saw. Whatever opinions may be held respecting its antiquity, all agree that its Castle Rock was fortified before the land fell under the sway of the Romans. It derived its name from King Edwin of Northumbria, whose name the Celtic residents moulded to fit their tongue as Dun-Edin--"the face of a hill." Where now one walks in Princess Street Gardens was once a bed of a lake, known as Nor' Loch. To describe the panoramic scene which displays itself from the summit of Arthur's Seat, or Castle Hills, baffles any words I have so far tamed or trained for use.
Everywhere one sees the name of Sir Walter Scott, whose life and genius are no small part of the tradition of the city he so much loved. His monument, on Princess street--designed by a young artist named Kemp, who died before he saw his dream realized in stone, as so many mortals do--is one of the most graceful memorials on earth. It is a cruciform Gothic spire, two hundred feet high, supported by four arches, beneath which is a statue of the gentle Wizard, with his favorite dog at his feet. Statuettes of the best known characters from his works adorn the buttresses of the monument, adding to its beauty and interest--all the dream of a self-taught genius who graduated from a country shop to design a memorial to match the fame of the man who vies with Burns as the greatest name of Scotland.
First we went to see the Castle, which took us-- "us," that is my dear, dear friend who journeyed with me as companion and guide--into the older part of town, with its lofty houses and numerous closes and pends, where dire poverty mixes with historical associations. Up High Street we climbed, alongside the Cathedral, and the old Parliament buildings, to the Esplanade where soldiers were drilling--as, later, we saw them practicing trench warfare and the use of the bayonet below the Holyrood Palace. The Esplanade was once a place of public execution; and here Lord Forbes, Lady Glammis, and some of the Reformers, as well as several persons accused of witchcraft, suffered death. At the Castle Moat, we found a guide, portly, rotund, with ponderous oratorical powers--until my friend asked to reign his eloquence a bit, and not to address us as if we two were an audience. He took it in good part, and for that relief we expressed much thanks in our tips.
All the while we wandered in that grim, gray fortress, with its battery, its armory, its ancient postern, its crown-room and royal apartments whose walls could tell tales to break the heart, I seemed to be walking in the far past. It was a unique sensation, so little was there to suggest the modern world, save a soldier now and then and the busy arts of war. No, we walked under the shadow of history. How remote from our time, how pathetic withal, the tiny Chapel of St. Margaret, the oldest building in Edinburgh, a gem of Norman architecture. The Castle is a fortress of the past, defending the history and tradition of a noble people whose vicissitudes have more than once touched the depths of tragedy.
"There, watching high the least alarms,
Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar,
Like some bold vet'ran, grey in arms,
And marked with many a seamy scar."
From the Castle it is only a little way down High Street to St. Giles Cathedral, the first parish in the city, standing on a site dedicated to religion since the ninth century. How long that Tower has stood, through what "changes and chances," one of the glories of the old Town! What stormy scenes it has witnessed ! It is a Gothic pile, its windows rich in colored recital of sacred scenes; two row-s of pillars separating the nave from the aisles--the capitals of those at the east end being beautifully foliated, while the others are severely plain. Attached to the pillars in the nave are some of the old colors of the principal Scottish regiments. Above the arcades are two lines of clerestory windows, the glass of which contains representations of the city arms and those of the incorporated craftsmen of Edinburgh. The pulpit, of Caen stone, is carved with symbols of the six cardinal virtues, and the Font is a replica of that at Copenhagen by Thorwalden--an angel, holding a large shell. Noble of form, mellow with age, rich in associations pious and patriotic, it is a monument to the mighty faith of Scotland !
Further down High Street we paused at the home of John Knox, and then went on our winding way to Holyrood Palace where we wandered for an hour. Of course, we saw the birth place of Stevenson and-Scott, the University--now a vast hospital--and then back to the Old Waverley for lunch in time to catch the train for London, going down the East Coast via the cathedral towns, chief among them York, known and beloved by Masons as one of the capital cities of the Craft in the olden time.
BY BRO. H.A. KINGSBURY, CONNECTICUT
BUT few, if any, of the various symbols regarding which the Masonic candidate is instructed carry with them a wealth of symbolic significance and interesting suggestion equal to that borne by that symbol which the candidate is given, and concerning which he is instructed, in his first degree--the Masonic Apron. The briefest study of its origin, its color, its material, and its shape, and of the various positions in which it is worn, cannot fail to give the student a better realization of the wonderful completeness and perfection of Masonic Symbolism.
The rite of investiture, and the significance of that rite, i.e., the appropriate preparation of the candidate for the ceremonies in which he is about to engage, come to us from far back in the world's history and they come "well recommended." The priests of the Israelites wore a linen apron. In the Persian Mysteries the candidate was invested with an apron. The Essenes always provided their novices with robes. And in the Scandinavian Rites the candidate received a shield.
In each of these instances the color of the investiture was, like that of the Masonic apron, white. The significance of that color has always been the same-- purity. That white is the symbol of purity could be illustrated by ,almost innumerable examples. Throughout the Scriptures are many illustrative references. The Egyptians decorated the head of their principal deity, Osiris, with a white tiara. The disciples of Pythagoras, in attendance at his school, wore garments of white when chanting the sacred hymns. In the early ages of the Christian Church a white garment was placed upon the recently baptised convert to denote that he had been cleansed of his former sins. Portal in his "Treatise on Symbolic Colors" refers to white as "a characteristic sign of purity."
The material of the apron--lambskin--is also of symbolic significance. The ritual states that the lamb has been, in all ages, an emblem of innocence. Examples of the truth of this statement are too common to call for notice here.
The significance of the shape of the apron can be, perhaps, best seen when this symbol is spread to its greatest extent, as illustrated in solid lines in the figure. In this position it leads to the contemplation of the Triangle, the Square, the Nine Significant Numbers, the Broached Thurnel, and the obelisks of Egypt. That it, by its flap, presents the Triangle, and, by its body, presents the Square, is obvious.
It presents one large figure, composed of two smaller figures, one having three sides and the other four sides; it is bounded by five lines and has six lines in all; the square has four angles and the triangle has three, making seven in all; it may be considered as a full front view of a solid (a side and a top face of which are indicated by dotted lines in the figure) composed of a cube surmounted by a rectangular pyramid, and this solid, as it stands on a support and with its bottom face concealed, presents eight faces and, as lifted from the support to expose all its faces, presents nine faces. Thus does the apron call attention to the Nine Significant Numbers, and hence, to the various philosophies of numbers.
Again, the solid suggested by the apron is the thurnel. The Broached Thurnel is, it is to be regretted, growing unfamiliar to many present-day Masons though it still appears upon the trestle board of the French Entered Apprentice. It is for the Entered Apprentice to try his Working Tools upon. Among English speaking Masons it has given place to the Perfect Ashlar.
Because of its shape--that of a rectangular parallelepiped surmounted by a rectangular pyramid - the solid suggested by the apron brings to mind the obelisks of Egypt. Thus the apron, by indirection, refers to the Pillars of the Porch, it being hardly open to question that those pillars found their suggestion in the obelisks erected, one at each side of the entrance, before Egyptian temples to symbolize the Northern and the Southern limit of the travel of the sun. From this point the student is led by an almost inappreciable step, to the consideration of Sun Worship, Circumambulation, the Egyptian Mysteries, the story of Osiris and his murder by Typhon, and kindred matters.
The positions in which the apron is worn are also significant. Considering its position as a whole, it is worthy of notice that that position is about the waist. Being so placed the apron not only divides the human body into two distinct parts--the upper intellectual portion and the baser lower portion--but also, and what is of more importance, it conceals the lower portion. So, symbolically, it reveals the nobler qualities of Man and conceals the baser, always doing in theory that which it ought always to do in practice.
Considering the apron with regard to the varied positioning of the flap and the body in the first, the second, and the third degree, it is plan to be seen that the symbolism in this connection is identical with that of the Square and Compasses. That is, there is here symbolically presented the gradual domination of the Material represented by the Square, by the Spiritual, represented by the Triangle.
This final lesson--that Masonry inculcates the overcoming of the Material by the Spiritual--is the greatest teaching of the apron. Indeed, in giving us this crowning symbolism, does not this simple, white lambskin apron, presented to each of us in the period of our first gropings for Masonic Light, give us the summation of all the Teachings of Masonry?
GEOMETRY OF GOD: A MASONIC SERMON
BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
"According to the measure of man, that is of the angel." Rev. 21:17
FEW realize the service of the science of numbers to the faith of man in the morning of the world. It was almost his first hint of law and order in life when he sought to find some kind of key to the mighty maze of things. Living in the midst of change and seeming chance, he found in the laws of numbers a path by which to escape the awful sense of life as a series of accidents in the hands of a capricious Power. Surely it was not unnatural that a science whereby men obtained such glimpses of unity and order in the world should be sacred among them, imparting its form to their faith. Having revealed so much, numbers came to wear mystical meanings in a way quite alien to our prosaic habit of thinking-- faith in our day having betaken itself to other symbols.
One of the first men to follow this hint was Pythagoras, of whom we know so little and would like to know so much. He was a lofty and noble figure, albeit half-hidden in myth, and only a few of his words have floated down to us. He saw in all the multiplicity of experience, to which Heraclitus had borne witness, a rhythmic march--a movement, but with disciplined step and the reasonable soul of music in it. One of his few sayings that remain sums up his vision: "All things are in numbers, the world is a living arithmetic in its development--a realized geometry in its repose." Take a snowflake and look at it under a glass, and you will see what filled that ancient thinker with wonder. It is an exquisite example of the geometry of God--squares, circles, triangles, pentagons, hexagons, parallelograms, more exact and delicate than the deftest hand could trace. Throw a stone into a still sheet of water, and immediately there arises an ever-widening series of concentric circles. The mountains in their strength stand fast forever, held in their places by a parallelogram of forces, and the stars swing round their vast orbits as noiselessly as a dewdrop is poised on a flower.
Such is the structure of the universe, and it is no wonder that Pythagoras saw in these signs and designs, everywhere present, the thought-forms of the Eternal Mind; else they would not be the natural, selfsought forms of matter. Nature is a realm of numbers, and the frolic architecture of a snowflake is a lesson in geometry. Music moves with measured step, using geometrical figures, and cannot free itself from numbers without dying away into discord. From Pythagoras this insight passed to Plato, whose opulent genius gave eloquent exposition to the Doctrine of Numbers. When asked by a pupil what God does, he replied, "God geometrizes continually," and he was often wont to say that Geometry, rightfully understood, is the knowledge of the Eternal. Over the porch of his Academy at Athens he inscribed the words, "Let no one who is ignorant of Geometry enter my doors," meaning that his teaching rested upon the science of numbers. What Plato and Pythagoras saw modern science confirms in myriad ways, as we may read, for example, in the researches of Henri Fabre. In the last chapter of his book on "The Cufic of the Spider," he wrote:
"Geometry, that is to say, the science of harmony in space, presides over everything. We find it in the arrangement of a fir-cone, as in the arrangement of an Epeira's living web; we find it in the spiral of a snail shell, in the chaplet of a spider's thread, and in the orbit of a planet; it is everywhere, as perfect in the world of atoms as in the world of immensities. And this universal geometry tells us of a Universal Geometrician, whose divine compass has measured all things."
How interesting it is, revealing the infinite ingenuity of the Divine imagination and the measured movements of its labors. Naturally we find hints of this science in the Bible, in which certain sacred numbers recur, indicating words, suggesting thoughts, and revealing truths. Nowhere is this more manifest than in the book of the Apocalypse, which, instead of being a series of clouded and confused visions, is a work of spiritual mathematics. In that book Three is the signature of Deity. Four indicates the world of created things. Seven denotes peace and covenant, while Ten is the symbol of completeness. Even numbers symbolize earthly things, odd numbers heavenly things, and the odd and even added unite the two. With this ancient science in mind, the vision of the City of God, with its geometrical design, takes a new meaning, albeit we should add to it the vision in the prophecy of Zachariah in which the young man is told that the holy city is not to be measured in cubits of human reckoning. Some hint of the paradox of the measurable and the immeasurable must have been in the mind of the Seer of Patmos, as if some one had asked him how our earthly cubits can form a calculus for that which knows not the gauge of time or space. Hence his parenthesis, to resolve the doubt, "according to the measure of man, that is, of the angel."
Man is a citizen of two worlds, but he has no skill to realize the world of spirit apart from the aid of the world of sense. If he asks, wistfully, about the life to come, the only answer is one expressed in the images and colors of the life that now is. As often as he tries to ponder, reverently, what is the essential nature of God, he finds himself thinking of the Eternal in terms of those moral qualities which he sees, dimly enough, in the noblest men. He cannot help himself; there is no other way for him to think. Truth, justice, mercy, goodness in man must be of the same nature as truth, justice and goodness in God, however they may differ in degree, else they mean nothing to us. Long ago Ovid said that "our measure is in our immortal souls," and our faith not less than our philosophy rest upon the fact that there is an angel in man, something akin to the Eternal, making our highest thought and vision valid. No doubt that was what Plato meant when he said that by the art of measurement the soul is saved-- that is, by measuring up to the Angel within us we attain to the truth; by reading the reality of life through the highest, we learn its meaning and value. If so, we have our marching orders and the path of attainment is made plain even to the humblest, and no one need err therein or lose his way.
Just as in nature, from snowflake to star certain designs are found everywhere--circles, cubes, triangles --so, among all races and in all ages, certain ideas, ideals, faiths and hopes are held and trusted. Socrates made the discovery--one of the greatest ever made--that humanity is universal. By asking questions. which was the business of his life, he found that when men, whether they be artists or artisans, think round a problem and go to the bottom of it, they disclose a common nature and a common system of truth. After this manner the concensus of human insight, thought and experience confirms the fundamental truths of faith, like a problem of geometry, and we are justified in taking these basic ideas as the thought-forms of the Eternal Mind reflected in the mind of man. There is also a moral geometry which works itself out in the same way, tested by age-long and sorrowful human experience. Every evil way has been so often tried, that when we see a lad start along a dark path of evil doing we know what the result will be. No prophet is needed to predict the final issue; it is a problem in geometry. As David Swing said, in his noble sermon on "The Idealist," writing in his calm and simple manner:
"Some speak of ideals as if they were mere dreams. On the opposite all high ideals are only life-like portraits seen in advance. It would be much more true to affirm that ideals are the most accurate results reached by the most painstaking calculations. It stands much in their favor that they have come not from the brains of the wicked, but from the intellects that were the greatest. The greatest men of each age have pleaded for Liberty, because only the greatest minds can paint in advance the picture of a free people. Many nations are in the dust and mire today, because they have no minds great enough to grasp a divine ideal. Instead of being a romance, a noble ideal is often the long mathematical calculation of a mind as logical as Euclid. Idealism is not the musings of a visionary; it is the calm geometry of life."
For the rest, let us consider in a practical way the geometry of manhood, its proportions and dimensions. Like the Holy City, which the Seer saw descending from heaven, its length and breadth and height must be equal, as Phillips Brooks taught in his great sermon on "The Symmetry of Life,"--which his church asked him to repeat ever so often. The basis of the triangle of character--that is to say, the length of a man, the extent of his influence and power, is a matter of morality. Purity is the first measure of a man. Lacking a certain simple, sturdy, homely moral quality, he is a man only by the accident of his shape, though he have the learning of Bacon, the grace of Chesterfield, and the eloquence of Webster. Morals are ever the boundaries of liberty and the primary dimensions of manhood. Honesty, purity, truthfulness--nothing can take their place, and without them religion is either a superstitution or a sham. A pure heart may sanctify a creed, but a creed, however true it may be, must bear moral fruit before it can sanctify a life. To give morality any other than the first place is to invert the order of life and upset all its values. It is the foundation of character and of society.
But a man may be moral, and yet mean. He may be clean, but cruel; righteous, but uncharitable; truthful, and yet narrow, bigoted and hard. He may throw a poor family out of his house for lack of rent, and in so doing be honest--and inhuman! If there is anything worse than the wrongs wrought by wicked men, it is the evil done by good men. That which gives beauty, breadth and mellowness to life, melting our morality into goodness, is sympathy. And so to purity we must add pity. Justice runs lengthwise of life, but mercy is width, and is an evidence of nobility, of refinement, of graciousness of spirit. Lacking it, we have a Calvin in the church consenting to the death of Servetus because of a difference of dogma, and a Jaubert in fiction pursuing like a sleuth hound the weary, tangled and sorrowful steps of Jean Valjean. Man is akin to the animal, but God put into his heart an alabaster box of pity out of which, when once it is opened, come the amenities of life, its courtesies, its graces, and those extensions of sympathy which it is the mission of culture, not less than of religion, to promote. And tolerance, too, since heaven is only a village if it is made of only those thinkers who come always to the truth. Blessed be this broad and sunny sympathy in which bigotry and cynicism melt away and reveal to us the measure of man, that is of the angel that is in him.
There is yet another measure of manhood, what William James called "that altogether other dimension of existence," so often forgotten in our day. Some, to be sure, regard it as a kind of fourth dimension, a thing which you may argue exists, but which we can never realize. Not so. No Mason, at least, can think so. It is a natural, normal development of man, without which his life lacks symmetry and is a thing unfinished and imperfect. Call it a mystical faith, if you will, from it we derive most of our ideal impulses, our aspirations that transcend the merely sensible and understandable world. From beyond ourselves comes that ray of white light which can brighten the pale moonlight into a glowing sunlight, give to the light of the sun a sevenfold brightness, and glorify all common things--as De Hooge lets the sunlight fall on the rubbish of a back yard and wakens in us a thrill of joy and wonder.
Men must seek the heights of being, must be tall of soul as well as broad, if they are to see life in the large. Altitude of mind gives new proportions and perspectives, and shows that many things of which men are wont to make much are insignificant, and that other things, like a cup of cool water offered a Brother, are of eternal moment. It is when we add this third dimension that we see that men, when measured by the Angel in him, is immeasurable. Man is the measure of all things, said an ancient sage; but man himself, in the higher reaches of his being, cannot be measured. He is like an inlet of the sea. Looking landward, it is limited; looking seaward, it is linked with the infinite. "I think God's thoughts after him," said Kepler, as he looked through his glass into the sky, which is true of all high human thinking, all noble living, all upwardleaping aspiration. Truly, He that made us hath set eternity in our hearts, and restless we are until we find our rest in reunion with His will in which is our peace.
Let us strive, then, to unite purity, pity and prayer in our lives, revealing the length and breadth and height of life. Also, let us judge life and our fellows by the Ideal of the Angel, that so, at last, when we are tested by the measure of the Angel--that is, by the Angel of Death--we may be found to have attained, in some degree, to the measure of the stature of true manhood. And by as much as we have failed, by so much let us trust the mercy of God which is without measure and knows no end--
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man's mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
PEACE AND WAR
Both peace and war are noble or ignoble according to their kind and occasion. No man has a profounder sense of the horror and guilt of ignoble war than I have. I have personally seen its effects, upon nations, of unmitigated evil, on soul and body, with perhaps as much pity, and as much bitterness of indignation, as any of those whom you will hear continually declaiming in the cause of peace. But peace may be sought in two ways. That is, you may either win your peace, or buy it--win it, by resistance to evil--buy it, by compromise with evil. You may buy your peace with silenced consciences. You may buy it with broken vows--buy it, with lying words--buy it, with base connivances--buy it, with the blood of the slain, and the cry of the captive, and the silence of lost souls-- over hemispheres of the earth, while you sit smiling at your serene hearths, lisping comfortable prayers evening and morning, and muttering continually to yourselves, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace; but only captivity and death, for you, as well as for those you leave unsaved--and yours darker than theirs.
I cannot utter to you what I would in this matter; we all see too dimly, as yet, what our great world-duties are, to allow any of us to try to outline their enlarging shadows. But think over what I have said, and in your quiet homes reflect that their peace was not won for you by your own hands; but by theirs who long ago jeoparded their lives for you, their children; and remember that neither this inherited peace, nor any other, can be kept, but through the same jeopardy. No peace was ever won from Fate by subterfuge or agreement; no peace is ever in store for any of us, but that which we shall win by victory over shame or sin--victory over the sin that oppresses, as well as over that which corrupts. For many a year to come, the sword of every righteous nation must be whetted to save or to subdue; nor will it be by patience of others' suffering, but by the offering of your own, that you will ever draw nearer to the time when the great change shall pass upon the iron of the earth--when men shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; neither shall they learn war any more. --Ruskin.
"FOR THE GOOD OF THE ORDER"
By Bro. E.R. Burkhalter, Iowa
(Brother Dr. Burkhalter was born in New York City, Dec. 21st, 1844; was graduated with the degree of A. B., from Princeton University in 1862; studied in the universities of Berlin and Heidelberg, 1864-5; and in the Union Theological Seminary, 1867-70; received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Lenox College, 1884, and from Princeton in 1895; the degree of Doctor of Laws from Coe College, in 1906, of whose Board of Trustees he has for many years been President; was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 1876 until 1914, and since that time has been pastor emeritus. He is a member of all the bodies of "York" Rite Masonry, in whose fellowship he is at once an inspiration and a benediction.
Every man finds in Freemasonry what he brings to it, and no one ever brought to its altar a clearer mind or a purer heart than this honored and beloved Pastor. His initiation was a notable event never to be forgotten, and the following testimony, recorded at our request, is as sincere as it is eloquent, and is an honor alike to its author and to the Order in whose fellowship he has found so much joy in the evening of his life. Ripe of mind, rich in character, radiant in faith, his alert and beautiful intellect saw the far-echoing meanings of Masonic symbolisms, and his genius for friendship responded devoutly to its appeal of Brotherly Love.
Such a testimony, we believe, will do much to melt such prejudice as may still exist against a Fraternity so benign in its teachings, so beneficent in its influence, and especially among men of the pulpit who too often look upon it with disfavor. Among young men, too, such words should mean much, coming from a man of consummate scholarship and exalted character; and to the whole fraternity it is a tribute as memorable as it is gracious. If these noble words touch the heart of the Craft, renewing its faith and rekindling its love, it will be joy enough for ye editor, to whom their author is both a father and a friend, whose love and fellowship are among the rarest gifts of the mercy of God. )
The Editor of The Builder has asked me to prepare for its columns an article along the lines of a contribution to a Masonic Experience Meeting. In good old days of yore it was the custom of the brethren in certain church gatherings to relate their experience for the comfort and edification of those present. As I have enjoyed a recent and to me at least, and also to my friend, the Editor of this periodical, a very interesting and marked Masonic Experience, I have been asked by him to tell it. I may say in passing, that whenever he makes of me any request, I am eager to fulfill it, for he is to me a friend more dearly beloved than he would perhaps dare to believe, though I should tell him most earnestly, and now especially that he is alas so soon to leave us, and go across the sea, and occupy and, as I believe, adorn the pulpit of City Temple, London, the foremost non conformist pulpit of the British Empire.
But I am glad also to tell my simple story for the benefit of Masonry, hoping that it may bring gladness and cheer, warmth and fraternal love, into many a heart that may chance to read it.
I was raised to the Master's Degree in Crescent Lodge, Cedar Rapids, on the evening of December 14th, 1915. I was at that time just seventy-one years old, and had been for more than forty-five years a minister of the Presbyterian Church. For more than forty years I had been the minister of the same pastoral charge in this city of Cedar Rapids, and I had just been released from the active duties and responsibilities of that charge to become Pastor Emeritus. My relations to all the churches of my home city during the forty years of my ministry had been of unbroken and increasing joy and brotherly love, the most perfect unity and catholicity, so that I was prepared by my release from one particular charge to enter into relations of identification with all the Brethren.
I mention this simply because I believe it helps greatly to explain the full dimension of the experience which is now to be told. I may also, I trust, be permitted to say that another preparation for my entrance into the Lodge was brought about by a yearning for companionship caused by a deep bereavement which had recently fallen to my lot: the departure from earthly life of my beloved wife, my comrade for fortyseven years. I was lonely, and my whole soul was a-hungered. I entered the Masonic Lodge and found what I was longing for, but in a measure far beyond what I had imagined.
The abundant and significant use that is perpetually made in Masonry of parable and symbolism especially appealed to me and fascinated me. The Lodge seemed to be full of voices, telling me profoundly the greatest mysteries of life. As often as I returned to its convocations, and I came to be habitually there, I saw and I heard something new--something that had escaped me before. I simply sat in my place as chaplain, and I saw new meanings, or deeper ones, in every item of the Ritual, so that I marveled greatly.
But my chief experience was gathered at taking the first degree. First impressions are apt to be the most striking and most enduring. I was most profoundly moved by what was taught me concerning my poverty, my helplessness, my absolute need, and the propriety and well-foundedness of my trust in God. But I believe the great moment came to me when a hand was given me from one who called me "my brother." That moment marked an epoch in my life. I had often heard that word, "Brother," before. I had often had it applied to me; but never under similar circumstances, and I am sure that many who may read these words will understand me perfectly when I say that sometimes in life a word expressive of a relationship will come to present for some reason a meaning it was never dreamed to have before. The word was there before, the relationship it expressed was there before; but as we look back from the new experience it seems to us that neither the word nor the relationship had ever before been conceived. At that moment an overwhelming and overflowing sympathy possessed me. I felt rising within me, as it were, an ocean of fraternal love, which, as it rose, washed away one by one all lines and marks of subdivision, until they had all gone and for me forever passed away from sight and even from existence. As this ocean of brotherly love arose within me, it submerged one by one all the little lagoons made by sand or stones, until all was merged into one everlasting unity. At that solemn moment God and Humanity were seen in one, and to them I was asked to pledge my troth. I went forth that night from the lodge room, and discovered that I had had a new experience. I was not surprised to observe that the world now wore a new smile. The world of humanity now assumed a new aspect. It was simply the answer from without to what had been put within me.
But it may well be asked, Was there anything really new in this? Had I not known all this before? Yes, in a very important sense, yes. I had learned it all when a child at my mother's knee, where from a babe I had been taught the sacred writings. I had professed it from my first Christian discipleship. I had preached it thousands of times from the same pulpit, from my young manhood. I had seen it illustrated in many beautiful instances in lives around me. I may, I trust, be permitted to hope that I had been illustrating it in some small measure in my own life. But I am only telling the truth when I say, that from that moment of experience which I am now recording, I realized what the word "Brother" meant as I never realized it before. I saw man himself beneath all integuments, beneath all local, racial, national or other, distinctions, separated from all class differences and diversities of social condition. I saw man as man, and in every man, another child of my Father. Every man seemed to me as only my other self, as dear to me as myself could ever be.
All this I saw and felt as I had never seen and felt it before, and when I make this known, can any one be surprised that I feel a solemn and grateful zeal in telling it as having come to me on the occasion of my taking my obligation in the first degree of Masonry?
And with this experience there comes to my mind the natural enquiry, May it not be the purpose of the Author and Builder of the universe to make use of the order of Freemasonry as a great factor in promotion of His evident Desire to realize and complete the Brotherhood of man? What more simple, natural, and efficient method could be devised, to bring about this consummation so devoutly to be wished for?
Is not this a question for every Mason solemnly to consider? Is it not every Mason's prerogative and privilege to lay to heart the hope that he and his brethren throughout the whole world may contribute, "each his bit," to the construction of that temple of Humanity, which, inasmuch as it is the building of God, is the surest thing to come of all the buildings that are in process ?
And now as I look about the room in this experience meeting, I think I can observe a pardonable smile on the faces of not a few of my elder brethren at the enthusiasm of this youthful novice who has just been presented to them. But perhaps it may be possible that I, their youngest brother, may be employed to bring back again to my seniors in Masonry some of that strange ineffable Light which is so apt to fall back again into the Common day. I have seen that light. It is a part of that primeval ray which came into being with the first fiat of Creative will. He who in the beginning caused the Light to shine out of the Darkness hath shined into every true Mason's heart. Every true Mason has seen the glory. He who knows its precious value, will never willingly allow it to fade; but will diffuse it everywhere, and will thus have more of it within himself.
And now before I take my seat, being properly called to order as having consumed all the time becomingly alloted me in an experience meeting, let me record with extreme thankfulness the pleasure and profit I am continually receiving from the use of the working tools of a Master Mason, in their spiritual and symbolic sense. Every day does each one of these tools come into my hands for needful and useful employment, but especially do I enjoy the use of three of them: first, the Gavel to knock away the protruberances of the rough ashlar, and fit it to become a valuable constituent of that living Temple in process of erection for the Indwelling of Deity; secondly, the twenty-four inch Gauge, regulating the systematic use of the sacred time of which life is made; but principally the trowel, which one buries in that boundless cement of Love, made of the very substance of God Himself and to be applied to every piece of his work, to unite it in one indestructible wholeness with the labors of all his Brothers.
Who can think of such symbols and metaphors, without being conscious that he is being taught a method of living by the Great Master and Teacher of us all? Who can come in perpetual contact with such an atmosphere as belongs to a real Masonic Lodge, without feeling prompted to make use of its obligations and opportunities to the highest possible advantage to his Brethren and himself? The present writer is glad to testify that he has never in his life realized the power of the Beatitude, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after Righteousness," as he has realized it in a Masonic Lodge Room, while he has witnessed, and participated in, the Solemn Ritual.
The world is crying out at this tragical time for "Brotherhood." No word in our language strikes the ear and the heart with such sense of need and of desire. And the world is crying out for "Character" in each individual man. There is an imperative call for worth, for value, for merit. The demand-is for the real thing, not for any cheap imitation thereof.
I am persuaded that Masonry is marvelously fitted to realize individual character and universal world-wide Brotherhood. I do not argue for Masonry as against any other Institution. I would decline to enter into any discussion concerning it. I have only a zeal, and it is a fervent zeal, to say what I have said, in the way of positive and constructive testimony. And I send it forth in the confident hope that it will awaken echoes in other human hearts, which have known what I now know, and will call up voices which will not cease again to speak, until they have brought a conscious blessing to many lives, which love to feel the possession and the opportunity of our Common humanity.
ARE YOU A MASON?
What ho, adventurous pilgrim, you who knocketh at our door
And fain would have a footing on our tesselated floor!
Now stand ye there, bold traveler, and with patience rest a while.
For before your journey's ended you'll go many a weary mile
The Master of the lodge must know and answer your request,
And from the East he'll duly send his message to the West.
So fear not, anxious pilgrim, as you stand waiting there--
For wee meet upon the level and we part upon the square.
And, Tyler, bare thy burnished blade; watch well the outer gate!
Beyond our guarded portal shall no cowan penetrate;
No scoffer and no renegade may hope to look within;
Our sacred rites and mysteries, there's just one way to win.
So, Tyler, stand with ready hand; the lodge well tyled must be;
The candidate must there await the Master's due decree.
But, Tyler, with thy guarding all, be this thy greatest care--
That we meet upon the level and we part upon the square.
Oh, Master we call Worshipful, in the station of the sun
God help thee finish well this day the work thou hast begun!
Lead thou the craftsmen faithfully. Thy compasses fail not.
Instruct us in the ancient arts the kings of old have taught.
But, Master, while the brethren in their lessons thou dost guide,
One master word must e'er be heard above all else beside
This, brethren, the commandment from the Master's sovereign chair--
That we meet upon the level and we part upon the square.
Are you a Mason, brother, are you true to every vow?
Then let's recall them, one by one, and let's renew them now.
To walk in paths of righteousness, erect and unafraid;
No brother wrong, and if we're strong, the weaker one to aid;
Rejoicing in our cable and delighting in its length
And, as God has made us able, exulting in our strength.
Then, brethren, are we Masons? Yes, we are if everywhere
We shall meet upon the level and shall part upon the square.
Are you a Mason, brother, a Mason blue and true
And do you by your brother as you'd have him do by you?
The world is full of Philistines and dealers in deceit;
Rogues, small and great, don't hesitate their brother man to cheat;
Are you a Mason, frater, and never such as these?
Aye, let us both repeat the oath we took upon our knees.
Are you a Mason, brother? Then together let us swear
That we'll meet upon the level and we'll part upon the square!
Ha, ye Hittites and Amalekites, who forever rail and mock
Shall ye triumph over Brotherhood, or shall it stand the shock?
Shall Love and Kindness rule the world or crooked courses lead?
Shall Scorn and ruthless Hate prevail, or Fraternity succeed?
My brethren, oh, my brethren, how shall we win our fight,
And how the sons of Darkness shall we vanquish with the Light?
By this sign we shall conquer--that we only shall be fair
And shall meet upon the level and shall part upon the square.
Are you a Mason? What reply, my brother, can you make?
Sincerely can you answer and no obligation break?
Yes, can you answer joyously and serenely hold your head
No rancor for the living and without remorse for dead?
Away with hollow platitudes! Off, every pretense strip!
And, brethren, let us give again the honest Mason's grip,
"I am, I am a Mason," with all loyalty declare,
As we meet upon the level and we part upon the square!
--Harry E. Andrews.
Written for and read to Eastgate Lodge of Los Angeles,
August 3, 1916.
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN---No. 6
Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Caxton Building, Cleveland Ohio
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY
Division I. Ceremonial Masonry.
A. Lodge Foundations and Fundamentals.
B. The Lodge and the Candidate.
C. First steps.
D. Second steps.
E. Third steps.
Division II. Symbolical Masonry.
B. Working Tools.
Division III. Philosophical Masonry.
D. Religious Aspect.
E. The Quest.
G. The Secret Doctrine.
Division IV. Legislative Masonry.
A. The Grand Lodge.
1. Ancient Constitutions.
2. Codes of Law.
3. Grand Lodge Practices.
4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
5. Official Duties and Prerogatives.
B. The Constituent Lodge.
2. Qualifications of Candidates.
3. Initiation, Passing and Raising.
5. Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical Masonry.
A. The Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
B. Study of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
D. National Masonry.
E. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
F. Feminine Masonry.
G. Masonic Alphabets.
H. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
I. Biographical Masonry.
J. Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
AN EXTENSION OF THE FIRST TWO SUBDIVISIONS OF CEREMONIAL MASONRY.
(This detailed subdivision is presented in order that Study Clubs and Lodges undertaking to follow the "Bulletin Course" may see how we have the subject mapped out in advance. As the work progresses the remainder of the Outline will be similarly divided into groups of subjects, and, as in this instance, some of the references to Mackey's Encyclopedia will be included in the Outline itself. In many cases these topics will not be directly discussed in any of the articles presented; they are arranged for the convenience of those who wish to prepare additional papers.)
A. The Work of a Lodge.
1. The Lodge--Foundations and Fundamentals.
a. Masonic Halls, and Temples.
b. Lodge Rooms.
2. "Laws, Rules and Regulations." (Being only a brief summary of the authority which a Lodge has for being in existence, the conferring of degrees, etc.)
a. Grand Lodge Constitutions and By-Laws.
b. Lodge By-Laws.
c. Codified Law.
3. The Officers of a Lodge, and their Duties.
a. The Worshipful Master and his prerogatives.
b. The Senior and Junior Wardens.
c. The Secretary and Treasurer.
d. The Appointive Officers.
e. Past Masters, and other Past Officers.
4. Ceremonies of a Lodge.
c. Calling Off.
d. Calling On.
e. Due Form.
j. Lodge Meetings.
(1) "Regular" -- "Stated."
(2) "Called" --"Special."
5. Recognition and Instruction.
a. "Esoteric" Masonry.
b. "Exoteric" Masonry.
c. Oral Instruction.
d. Modes of Recognition.
e. Tests and Test Oath.
h. Grand Honors.
B. The Lodge and the Candidate.
1. Proposing and Recommending.
a. Petition for the Mysteries.
b. Presentation of the Petition.
c. Committee of Investigation.
d. Residence of the Candidate.
2. Election of a Candidate.
a. When it may be had.
b. The Ballot.
c. Black Balls, (cubes), and white balls.
d. The Lodge record of the ballot.
3. The Degrees.
a. Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.
b. Initiation, in general.
(1) Uniformity of.
(2) The "Webb-Preston Work" in America.
(A brief summary of the authority which a Lodge has for being in existence, the conferring of degrees, etc. )
BY BROS. G.L,. SCHOONOVER AND R.I. CLEGG
WE have discussed the Lodge, from both the physical and spiritual standpoints, and have traced a few of its roots down into the barbaric human past, where fact loses itself in fiction, and only here and there is a vestige of evidence left to guide us. We turn now to a more practical phase of Masonic study-- a discussion of the authority, precedent and custom which go to make up the present-day procedure of the Masonic Lodge in its internal workings.
It was Albert Pike who said "It is the Dead that govern. The Living only obey. And if the soul sees, after death, what passes on this earth, and watches over the welfare of those it loves, then must its greatest happiness consist in seeing the current of its beneficent influences widening out from age to age, as rivulets widen into rivers, and aiding to shape the destinies of individuals, families, states, the World; and its bitterest punishment in seeing its evil influences causing mischief and misery, and cursing and afflicting men, long after the frame it dwelt in has become dust, and when both name and memory are forgotten. We know not who among the Dead control our destinies. What other men in the past have done, said, thought, makes the great iron network of circumstance that environs and controls us all. We would make or annul a particular contract; but the thoughts of the dead Judges of England, living when their ashes have been cold for centuries, stand between us and that which we would do, and utterly forbid it. We would settle our estate in a particular way; but the prohibition of an English Parliament, its uttered thought when the first or second Edward reigned, comes echoing down the long avenues of time, and tells us we shall not exercise the power of disposition as we wish. We would gain a particular advantage of another; and the thought of the old Roman lawyer who died before Justinian annihilates the act, or makes the intention ineffectual. This act, Moses forbids; that, Alfred. We would sell our lands; but certain marks on perishable paper tells us that our father or a remote ancestor ordered otherwise; and the arm of the dead, emerging from the grave, with peremptory gesture prohibits the alienation. . ." (1)
Thus it is in Masonry; the fundamentals of Masonic government have been determined, the principles laid down. And by these fundamentals the youngest Entered Apprentice, equally with the oldest Nestor of the Fraternity, is and must be governed. It is therefore needful, at the beginning of any Masonic study, that we should briefly summarize the laws, rules and regulations which are responsible for bringing a Lodge into existence, and to which it looks for the authority to do its work.
We have, in the first instance, the Grand Lodge Constitutions, (2) of each Grand Jurisdiction in the world. Elsewhere in this Course of Study we shall consider the "Old Charges and Constitutions" (3) upon which all Grand Lodge Constitutions are based. Each Grand Jurisdiction, however, has its own fundamental Law, its Constitution, in which its powers and limitations are clearly defined, just as each state or Nation has its organic law in a Constitution, or in declarations of governmental principles occupying the same relation. As in most cases the Grand Lodges, in publishing their Constitutions, (4) include the "Old Charges" therewith, the student will have no difficulty in obtaining access. to them. Almost without exception these volumes are supplied to all Lodges. A single reading of them, in connection with the points brought out in this paper, will suffice for the present.
In some Jurisdictions, Grand Lodge By-Laws have also been adopted, and there are still other cases where the Decisions of Grand Masters are published separately, and are available. Quite generally, also, there is a Code of Law, which goes into details regarding all the functions of both the Grand Lodge and the Constituent Lodges. In some cases the decisions of Grand Masters are periodically entered in these Codes as annotations, or comments upon the particular sections of the Codified Law to which they refer. The student must of necessity familiarize himself with the particular manner in which his own Jurisdiction deals with these problems, and as the work of investigation on his part proceeds, he will find much of the underlying reason fol this or that law of edict--a process involving much time and careful study. The series of "Jurisprudence Studies" (5) appearing in THE BUILDER is directed toward a comparative study of the various Jurisdictions, and he who is interested in this sort of study will find a wealth of material digested there.
The purpose of this paper, however, is to bring to the beginner merely a statement of these fundamental laws, to the end that he may better understand the functions of his Masonic government, of which he is himself an integral part.
Of course each Lodge has its own methods of procedure, dictated by a set of By-Laws adopted for the regulation of its particular and private affairs, usually in strict conformity with the basic laws laid down by the Grand Lodge for the sake of uniformity. These By-Laws of the Lodge should be studied in detail, in order that each Member may know for himself the routine of affairs, and conform thereto with an understanding of the common need.
We come now to a mention of a much-discussed feature of Masonic fundamentals, known to us as "Landmarks." Definitions of a Landmark have been widely divergent. (6) Probably no two writers have agreed entirely. Mackey defines Landmarks (7) as "those ancient, and therefore universal, customs of the Order, which either gradually grew into operation as rules of action, or, if at once enacted by any competent authority, were enacted at a period so remote, that no account of their origin is to be found in the records of history. Both the enactors and the time of the enactment have passed away from the record, and the landmarks are therefore 'of higher antiquity than memory or history can reach.'" Antiquity is its essential element, and this, coupled with the belief that no group of Masons, however eminent, or by whatever authority clothed, could repeal it, gives to the term a very definite quality. In spite of this, however, the authorities are not agreed upon any definite list of the Landmarks of Masonry. (8) Mackey has enumerated twenty-five, (9) and his list has the sanction of a number of Grand Lodges, (10) yet other authorities consider that many of those enumerated in his list lack the fundamental quality which they consider essential, and restrict the list Still further. The Landmarks, in spite of the haziness surrounding their definition and authority, play an important part in Masonic government, and will explain to the student as no other source of authority will, the origin of and foundation for many of our modern Masonic customs.
Landmarks are the characteristics of the Craft, those limits or boundaries that make Masonry significant and different. Every Mason is duly circumscribed by landmarks; directed by duty, warned by law, guided by precept toward that haven of his hopes wherein the weary find eternal rest. His conscience a continual spur to an enlightened integrity he avoids vicious practices and pursues right living, a citizen free to support all or any party or pal ties that aim at beneficent public service. Instructed in the moral law, bound rigidly by weighty claims to walk uprightly before God and man, the true Mason labors zealously for these objects that unite his brethren and will not willingly nor hastily, introduce among them whatever may savor of strife. While he will urge liberty and charity in all things doubtful or essential, yet first and last the Freemason is for unity among the brethren in all things.
Customs, however, Masonically speaking, derive their authority from other sources than the Landmarks. We shall find the roots of many customs buried deep in symbolism, (11) and older by centuries than any of the historical laws or regulations. And on the other hand, comparative study of symbols and of rituals, too, so far as any such have descended to us, show that the entire Masonic system is a growth, having borrowed from the customs of successive generations throughout its history. (12)
Initiation into all secret societies, ancient and modern, has commonly been accompanied by ceremonies of impressive type. From all times and from all peoples we draw most interesting particulars. Curious as are the customs of the past they are paralleled by the present. Compare the reception of the adult male into the full measure of tribal life, and that of the grown girl into society. The two have much in common. Ritual marks both. After the ceremonial a stage is reached of most distinct nature, one not again to be attained. Students consider it as having reference to being born again; at the first birth to enter the world, at the second to be born into full tribal or society activity. The "Coming Out" as it is today known in certain social strata when young women make their "debut" into society, is a survival of very old methods. It marks the step by which transit is suddenly made from girlhood's early youthful standing to the place of acknowledged maturity among women. In the older countries she is presented at court and kisses her sovereign's hand, her dresses are lengthened, her hair is put up in a special style, jewelry is more freely worn, an entertainment of some sort, a dance for example, is given in her honor, and thus at a bound she passes the line of separation from schoolroom restraint to whatever social distinction her especial opportunities may afford.
So it is in all lands that a ceremonial has bounded as a landmark the passage between ignorance, darkness and immaturity, and that of enlightenment of the intellect, illumination and acceptance among the elect. Think of the ceremony of Baptism and Confirmation among modern churches. Consider the Rite of Circumcision among the Jews. Read over the several references to the ancient mysteries to be found in Mackey's Encyclopedia--a list is to be found on page 4 of Part 3 of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin.
This also is worth careful study: Among some tribes of Southeastern Australia, when the boys are assembled for their formal initiation into manly positions and responsibilities, there is presented to them an old man dressed in bark fiber and who lies down in a place representing an open grave. He is then covered with earth and twigs or branches, lightly but freely, and effectually concealing him from the spectators. The person so buried holds in his hand a small bush which extends upward and projects through and above the loose mass of earth lying upon the body. Other similar bushes are stuck into the ground round about. The candidates are then brought to the edge of the grave and a song is sung. As the singing continues, the bush held by the buried man begins to quiver and gradually is shaken the more vigorously, freeing the man bit by bit. At last he frees himself, starts up and springs forth from the grave.
Organization of the first Grand Lodge of which we possess the particulars, the one Grand Lodge dating back a couple of centuries this very year, was a union of operative and speculative lodges, the Grand Master selected from the one type of lodge and the Grand Wardens chosen from the other. A study of the earlier Grand Masters shows one obvious fact: the brethren soon became accustomed to the election of the most prominent persons obtainable. Titled personages are freely found in the list of Grand Masters of the two Grand Lodges which early in the last century became the United Grand Lodge of England. If the circumstance proved the readiness of the fraternity to prefer men of rank for official distinction it also demonstrates that such men found something worth while within the Craft to attract them.
Peculiarly illuminating is a study of the prerogative of the Grand Master. (13) Although listed by Mackey as one of the Landmarks of Masonry, it is so skilfully and at the same time definitely interwoven with the Masonic system, as to make any summary of the "laws, rules and regulations" of the Fraternity incomplete without giving it special mention. Take for example the dissemination of Masonry. It is accomplished by the formation, in one locality after another, of new Lodges. And when a new Lodge is to be formed, it is peculiarly the province of the then Grand Master of the particular Jurisdiction in which the ambitious group of Masons reside, to inquire into the conditions of the community, the character of the Brethren desiring to form the new Lodge, and the probabilities of its ultimate success. Convinced of the favorableness of the surroundings, he issues a Dispensation (14) to the Brethren, by name, (they having previously signified their choice of working officers) and empowers them to meet as a Lodge, confer degrees, etc., performing all the functions of a Lodge as such. By this, and by no other means, has the dissemination of Masonry throughout the greater portion of the world progressed. And not until the Lodge has gone to work, and has proven its devotion to the cause of Masonry, and laid the foundation for substantial success, is the Grand Lodge consulted in the matter. Having proven itself worthy, the Lodge is then, after a proper accounting of its doings, granted a Charter, is so that it becomes entitled to a name and number, and a place on the roll of "regular and well governed Lodges" of that Jurisdiction. It, in turn, becomes amenable to the Grand Lodge Constitution (with all the inherent powers of a Constituent Lodge to participate in changing that Constitution within the limits prescribed by the "Landmarks"), subjects itself to the Codified Law and the Customs of Masonry, and sets up its altar of devotion to our principles.
Such, in brief, are the salient features of the relationship of a Lodge to the other Lodges of the world. By these general rules we determine the "regularity" of a Lodge, wherever it may be located: its allegiance to the Grand Master and Grand Lodge which gave it birth, and the regular ancestors of that Grand Lodge, being the distinguishing characteristics which entitle its members to recognition by other Masons who trace their origin along similar paths to the same source.
1. Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, P.
2. Usually published with the Code.
3. If not found in your Grand Lodge Code, consult some of the Reprints of the Old Charges of 1723. Also N. M. R. S. Reproduction of the Roberts Constitutions of 1722 introduction by J. F. Newton being a discussion of the Old Charges as a whole.
4. See above under 2.
5. Commencing in the January, 1917, issue of THE BUILDER.
6. For list of Landmarks, see Shepherd Article, Vol. I, pp. 183 and 187, THE BUILDER.
7. Mackey's Encyclopedia, P. 421 et seq.
8. Findel's List, Vol. I, THE BUILDER, P. 40.
T.S. Parvin's List, Vol. I, THE BUILDER, P.38.
Chetwode Crawley's List, Vol. II, THE BUILDER, P. 217.
9. Encyclopedia, P. 422 et seq.
10. See 6 above.
11. Correspondence Circle Bulletin No. 2, accompanying Nov., 1916, BUILDER.
13. Prerogatives -- L.A. McConnell, Vol. II THE BUILDER,
14. Mackey's Encyclopedia.
PARTICULAR REFERENCES ON LANDMARKS.
Adherence of the Irish Craft and the "Ancients" to:--J. L. Carson.
Vol. II, THE BUILDER, P. 7.
With respect to Physical Qualifications--Geo. W. Warvelle.
Vol. II, THE BUILDER, P. 17.
Making a Mason at Sight--Wildey E. Atchison.
Vol. II, THE BUILDER, P. 47.
The, Spirit of the Landmarks--H. R. Evans.
Vol. II, THE BUILDER, P. 207.
Also "The Mother Lodge" (poem)--Kipling.
Non-Christian Candidates--Roscoe Pound and Massachusetts Committee.
Vol. II, THE BUILDER, P. 302.
Belief in a Supreme Being--Melvin M. Johnson.
Vol. II, THE BUILDER, P. 368.
References to "Laws, Rules and Regulations" found in Mackey's
a. Grand Lodge Constitutions and By-Laws.
b. Lodge By-Laws.
c. Codified Law.
Laws of Masonry.
Constitution of a Lodge.
"And I, if I be lifted up . . will draw all men unto me."
The day was done, the work complete,
When he gathered the well used tools,
And rapidly walked down Nazareth's street,
Toward Kishon's gleaming pools.
"What Apprentice passed," a Pharisee asked.
"What, know you not," spake one
Who had watched the youth as he passed,--
"Why, 'twas Jesus, the Carpenter's Son."
On another day down the street he fared
Past Jerusalem's turrets and towers,
The work was leveled and plumbed and squared,
Brim-full were the shining hours.
"What Craftsman passed," asked a Sadducee
Who stood in a wayside khan.
A beggar replied, "Can you not see ?
Why, 'twas Christ, the Son of Man."
Stately and spacious in every part
Soared the Temple toward the sun,--
The columned temple of perfect art,
Of a life that was finished and run.
A Cross stood darkly against the sky,
Like a stain it shadowed the sod.
"What Master passed," asked one standing by,
"Why, 'twas Christ, the Son of God."
F. S. Thompson, Past Grand Orator,
Grand Lodge of Washington.
More sufferings have been inflicted by good men, from good motives, than by all the tyrants that have ever lived.--Lord Macaulay.
THE FOUR HIRAMS OF TYRE
BY BRO. A.S. MACBRIDE, SCOTLAND
It will, no doubt, surprise many Masons, as well as non-Masons, to be told that there are four Hirams of Tyre mentioned in the scripture narrative of the building of King Solomon's Temple of Jerusalem. Recently the Revd. Br. Morris Rosenbaum, P. P. G. Chaplain, Northumberland; Hollier-Hebrew Scholar, University of London; called the attention of the Masonic fraternity to the views of Meir Lob Malbim, the famous Rabbi of Kempen, as shown in his Commentary on the books of Kings and Chronicles. The learned Rabbi maintains, that these books refer to two Hirams who were employed at the building of the Temple, and that many passages in these books are only reconcilable on that supposition. While considering this proposition and searching for information regarding it, some interesting indications became apparent, leading to the conclusion, that there are two Kings of Tyre, as well as two Artisans of Tyre, mentioned in the sacred narrative; and all called by the name of Hiram. Following up these indications and reviewing the whole subject, at full length, this article on "The Four Hirams of Tyre" is the result.
Let us then consider the two propositions indicated, viz : First, that in the narration of the building of King Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem, as given in the books of Kings and of Chronicles, two kings of Tyre, called Hiram, are mentioned. Second, that in the narration above referred to, two artisans of Tyre, called Hiram, are also mentioned.
I. THE TWO KINGS CALLED HIRAM
The first mention in the Bible of the name of Hiram is in II Samuel V. 2, where we read: "And Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons, and they built David an house." Referring to the same circumstance, we read in I Chronicles XIV. 1: "Now, Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, and masons, and carpenters, to build him an house." In I Kings V. 1 we are informed: "And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; (for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father:) for Hiram was ever a lover of David." In II Chronicles 11. 3, it is recorded: "And Solomon sent to Hiram the king of Tyre, saying, as thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me." After the Temple had been built, as we learn from I Kings IX. 10: "It came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord, and the King's house, . . that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not. And he said: What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day." (This word "Cabul" expresses contempt. According to Josephus, it means, "that which does not please.")
Let us try to arrange the circumstances here mentioned in chronological order. From II Samuel V. 5, and I Kings II. 11, we learn that David reigned thirtythree years in Jerusalem. It was in the early years of his reign there, that David received from Hiram, cedar trees, masons and carpenters to build his house. This was, in all probability, thirty years before the death of David and the crowning of Solomon. In the fourth year of Solomon's reign the building of the Temple was begun and Hiram, king of Tyre, sent his servants to assist in the work. Twenty years afterwards, Solomon gave Hiram, twenty cities in the land of Galilee. Such is an outline of the events connected with Hiram king of Tyre, as related in the Hebrew scriptures, and if we closely examine them the question will naturally arise: was the Hiram who sent cedar-trees, and masons and carpenters to David the Hiram of the twenty cities? If so, then when Solomon gave him the twenty cities, he must have reigned in Tyre for fifty-four or more, years; an almost incredulous length of reign in those days in the east. (This figure is arrived at as follows: from the building of King David's house to the crowning of King Solomon, 30 years: from the latter event to the beginning of the building of the Temple, 4 years: from the beginning of the Temple to the giving of the twenty cities, 20 years: In all 54 years.)
Considering the conditions of royal government prevalent in the eastern world in the days of Solomon and David, we are surely entitled to assume that Hiram would be at least twenty years of age when he sent his carpenters and masons to build a house for David his friend. If this is right, Hiram must have been at least seventy-four years old when he "came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him." For an aged eastern monarch to undertake a journey through a rough and barren country, such as Galilee, seems not at all natural. One can hardly suppose, also, that after his long intimacy with David and Solomon he would be without a fairly accurate knowledge of the cities adjacent to his own kingdom, and that he would have needed to undergo the toil of such a journey in order to know what they were like. This journey indicates more the curiosity of an active, young, monarch, than the careful action of one approaching, if not actually the octogenarian stage. The phrase, also, in Kings V. I: "for Hiram was ever a lover of David," scarcely accords with the idea of an old friend. It seems more to indicate a youthful admirer whose father, or near relative, had long been a friend of David.
The only known source of information on this subject, outside of the Hebrew scriptures, are the two Hellenistic historians: Menander of Ephesus, and Dius; the latter being largely dependent on the former. The statements of these historians have been preserved by the Jewish writer Josephus, and from these we learn that Hiram I, son of Abi-baal, reigned in Tyre from 970 to 936 B. C. and that the building of Solomon's Temple dates from the eleventh year of Hiram. If this is correct, he could not be the Hiram who sent masons and carpenters to build an house to David, according to the sacred narrative, at least thirty-four years before the building of the Temple. If Hiram, son of Abi-baal, was the first of the name, then who was the Hiram of David's house referred to in II Samuel, V. 2? This difficulty is explained by some writers, by suggesting that Abi-baal was a distinctive, or honorary name; and that his proper name was Hiram: and this, according to Kitto's Cyclopedia, "is rendered probable by the fact that other persons of the name of Hiram occur in the series of kings of Tyre." On the whole, taking everything into account, the natural and probable conclusion seems unavoidable, viz: that the Hiram of the building of David's house and the Hiram of the twenty cities were two distinct persons. If we assume that they were one and the same, we are faced with the following improbabilities.
(1) That David must have built his house shortly before his death, after reigning in Jerusalem for about thirty years; which does not agree with the sacred narrative.
(2) That his intrigue with Bethsheba, the mother of Solomon, must also have occurred in his old age, which is not quite likely.
(3) That the various campaigns, detailed in the narrative, after the building of his house, must also have taken place in his advanced years, viz: the Philistine war at Baal-perazim, and the war in the valley of Rephaim; the conquests of Moab, of Zobah, of Syria, of Edom and of Ammon; the revolt of Absolom, various insurrections, another Philistine war, in which David waxed faint in battle; and the battles of Gob and Gath, et cetera.
(4) That Solomon must have been a child when he was crowned king of Israel, and when he began to build the Temple; also, when he married Pharaoh's daughter, and gave his famous judgment in the case of the two women who claimed each to be the mother of the same child; and further, when he had established a fame for wisdom and learning that had spread over many lands; all of which is very improbable.
Reading the Hebrew scriptures in a common sense way, there seems no reasonable doubt that none of these improbabilities occurred. David built his house previous to the Bethsheba incident, and the various wars referred to. Wars were protracted and trying in his day, and we can scarcely imagine those mentioned as being carried on by an old monarch of seventy years, nor in less than twelve to fifteen years. Add to this the intervals of peace, in which the Ark was taken to Zion, and in which preparations were made for the building of the Temple, the three years of famine, and other things mentioned in the sacred narrative; and we may safely say that, at least, thirty years intervened between the building of David's house and his death.
In contrast to this contradictory and unsatisfactory theory, that there is only one Hiram, king of Tyre referred to, in the sacred history of the building of the Temple; the assumption that two kings of Tyre, called Hiram are therein mentioned, at once solves our doubts and difficulties, and makes the narrative plain and natural.
The course of events seems to have been as follows: David of Israel and Hiram of Tyre were great friends and, probably, about the same age. After David captured Jerusalem, his friend in Tyre sent him masons and carpenters to build an house for him. War had for years devasted Judea, causing the arts and manufactures to be neglected. The peaceful occupations of the builder and the artist had been abandoned for that of the warrior, and hence David had to obtain those from Tyre; which was then famous all the world over for its arts and manufactures. Time passed and age began to steal over the hardy shepherd, warrior and poet king. Twenty-six years after the building of his house his friend Hiram dies, and is succeeded by his son Hiram; and, seven years afterwards, David himself is gathered to his fathers and Solomon, then thirty years of age, ascended the throne. In the fourth year of his reign Solomon began to build the Temple, with the assistance of Hiram, king of Tyre, the successor of Hiram the friend of David. In furtherance of this view of the subject we find in the letter sent by Hiram to Solomon, agreeing to the request for assistance in the building of the Temple, the following words: "And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding of Huram my fathers." Here we have, surely in the light of common sense, a clear indication that the predecessor of Hiram on the Tyrian throne was also called Hiram.
Reviewing all the circumstances as related in the sacred narrative, and taking into account the testimony of Menander that the building of the Temple was begun in the eleventh year of the reign of Hiram; there appears only one conclusion open to us, viz: that the Hiram who sent masons and carpenters to build a house for David, and the Hiram who, fifty-four years after that event, refused the twenty cities offered to him by king Solomon; were not the same but were both kings of Tyre; of the same name, and, probably, father and son.
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent. --Emerson.
DR. ELISHA K. KANE: ARTIC EXPLORER
BY BRO. J.W. EGGLESTON, P.G.M., VIRGINIA
I WISH to bring to the notice of the Masons of the 20th century one who lived his Masonry and, actuated by Masonic impulse, not only did things but set a high example under great difficulties.
In the 1850's Dr. Kane was America's hero and perhaps the world's most conspicuous man, Kings, Princes and Potentates not excepted. He was born Feb. 20, 1820, in Philadelphia, and from childhood, brilliant in brain and of dauntless courage, but of feeble frame and all but deformed. Old saws, reverenced as they are, sometimes prove untrue in individual cases, even those coming down from the classics. "Sano mens in corpore sano" was one to which Doctor, or better still, Brother Kane, was a striking exception. He was so unprepossessing in appearance that once he and a friend were struck by the contrast presented by a splendidly formed and handsome emigrant woman and her pitiful looking little husband. The friend said, "What do you suppose are that woman's thoughts when she contemplates that as her lord and master?" Kane sadly replied, "to save some lady similar emotions I long ago resolved never to marry."
To the writer he was the one boyhood's hero. I pored over his works and read all the current literature regarding his wonderful career, and in 1857, in the midst of the great blizzard of that year had the melancholy satisfaction of standing on the bank of the Ohio river, shivering in the high snow-laden wind, and seeing the steamer Telegraph, draped in black, bear his remains up the river. Great as was his well earned fame in the '50s, as a scientist, explorer and a Mason after whom many Lodges were named, the awful events of the 60s, overshadowed him and he has been almost forgotten. In early manhood he decided to complete his education at the University of Virginia because that Institution permitted an elective course. He afterward studied medicine and was assigned first to the navy and later to the army. He pursued his scientific investigations in South America, Ceylon, China and the Philippines and was the first white man to cross the Island of Luzon from Manila to the Pacific Ocean. He traveled in India and became a favorite of one of the chiefs under whose auspices he explored the Himalayah Mountains. He penetrated equatorial Africa before Livingstone or Stanley were known to fame. Lady Franklin's piteous appeals to the world, to try to find and rescue Sir John Franklin, then with his expedition, lost in the Arctic, aroused him greatly. He announced that Sir John, like himself being a Mason, and his ties being few, it was his duty to try to find him. In the first expedition he went as a subordinate in his medical and scientific capacity. Returning he devoted all he possessed, and all he could earn by lecturing, to helping to finance the second Grinnel expedition, Still endeavoring to relieve his distressed brother Mason. This should be called the Kane expedition, which he commanded. It would have been so called but for his own modesty. We all know, of course, that his Masonic object entirely failed, but it was through no fault of his great heart. He discovered and mapped Grinnel Land, discovered and described the open polar sea, and went nearer the pole than had any living man, and that record stood for many years. While he did not reach the pole he taught how, only, it might be done, and the great marvel now is, how he did so well with his meager equipment, with which few navigators would today attempt to explore even Greenland's western coast.
The above condensed sketch gives a very slight glimpse of his marvelous exploits. From early life, in addition to a slight frame, he suffered greatly with organic heart disease. He stated that medical men of high rank had warned him that he must never undergo great physical exertion or great mental excitement, or he would risk sudden death. And yet in his latest years he said that he had never for a moment heeded the advice and had never been free from pain save when under great excitement or great physical strain. His works, on the two expeditions, are classics and read like novels. Having done, perhaps, as much for science as any predecessor had done even in a long life, he died in Havana at 37. So great was his fame that he was honored by monarchs and scientific societies all over the world. His funeral was the greatest America has yet known. His remains were taken from Havana to New Orleans where they laid in state and the Grand Lodge, City and State governments, paid all possible honor to his memory. Thence up to Memphis, where like ceremonies were held. At Louisville the civic and Masonic organizations of both Kentucky and Indiana joined in doing him honor as was true at Cincinnati, Columbus, Baltimore, and Philadelphia where his body was finally laid to rest. It is in print that every station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was draped in mourning and many of them were thronged with sorrowing people as his funeral train passed. Great as he was, he was a simple Master Mason, actuated all his life by Masonic impulses and devoted to its principles. Who can measure or imagine his sorrow at not being able to find and relieve his brother Mason who perished miserably of cold or starvation in the Arctic? He did his very best and his example of heroic devotion, like that of our exemplar of old, should stimulate all to do what lies near their hand to do, be it little or much.
SECRET SOCIETIES OF ISLAM
BY BRO. H. BEDFORD-JONES, CALIFORNIA
The secret societies of the Islamic world-- which no longer includes the Turks, these having recently been expelled en masse from the ranks of Muslim, or "enlightened"--is a topic on which no white man, I believe, can speak with any authority. Their relation to Freemasonry is also hypothetical. There are, however, certain facts which we do know.
Africa is the great home of these societies, the greatest of which is the Senussiyeh, or Beni S'nouss. These sons of S'nouss have an order, monastic and missionary, tremendously powerful in its secrecy, scope, and influence. Many travelers have heard of their Grand Master and other officials, and have confused this society with Freemasonry.
Here, as it happens, I can speak with some authority. A member of the Senussiyeh once told me of their "lodges" and "initiations"; these have nothing to do with Freemasonry, being devoted to the propagation of the pure religion of Muhammad, and nothing else. Let this dispose of the Senussiyeh, and the random theories regarding it.
Lesser societies are many. They may be centered about the teachings of some Muslim saint; they may be a gild, such as the sorcerers' gild of the Aissaouas; or, like the Anjuman Hidayat al-Islam, they may be purely missionary in character.
An English army officer told me the following, which I believe true. On his first trip across the Sahara--and he has made many--a native friend gave him a strip of sheep-skin on which was written a 'word" in Arbi. He could never get this "word" translated, but it carried him safely through many difficult places. He believed this to be an evidence of native Freemasonry.
Here is an excellent sample of how anything may be twisted to suit one's fancy. What this "word" was, I do not know, but it was probably a password of the Senussiyeh. That it had any connection with Freemasonry, is improbable rather than otherwise.
Thus far, it would appear that I am unduly severe in condemnation of such theories. But why should we stretch the meaning of things to serve our own ends? When we find the Cross a tribal emblem of the Berbers, when we find the Cross upon the weapons of the ultrafanatical Touaregs--why distort these things ? The Berbers are the descendants of the ancient African Christians and have held to that sign; indeed, we should not forget that Islam reveres Christ and his teachings. The Touaregs found the Cross a powerful talisman of the French and Norman crusaders, and borrowed it to lend their weapons power. That is all.
Is there, then, nothing of Freemasonry in the Muslim world, and particularly in northern Africa? Beyond all question--there is, and a great deal of it !
Astronomy, which doubtless entered more into ancient than into modern Masonic practice, was the base of much of Muhammad's teaching. This is probably coincidence. The society of Assassins sprang from a society formed to embrace all religions, creeds and peoples, and which was ruthlessly stamped out by the Arabs. The Assassins carried on sufficient of its teachings to quite astonish the crusaders.
That Freemasonry should exist in some form among the Muslims of north Africa is not at all astonishing. It attained great growth in France under Napoleon, and was carried to Egypt by the French. The Barbary coast pirates took great numbers of prisoners from all Christian countries, and these captives frequently became renegades. There we have the genesis from which sprang a good deal of debased and irregular Masonic knowledge among the Arabs. Further, the Arabs were keen students, and the Moors of Spain delved in all the mysteries of Christendom.
This is enough of generalities. I need only add that the educated Muslim finds Freemasonry in astonishing accord with the teachings of Muhammad, and there is absolutely no reason why a good Muslim should not be a good Blue Lodge Mason.
Legitimate lodges have been established in Muslim countries, and these we need not consider. That there is a primitive Freemasonry in the Hejaz, in the sacred Meccan territories where no Europeans have openly entered, and that this exists both among the Turks and Arabs, has very recently been established by A. S. B. Wavell, who went through all this country in Muslim disguise, shortly before the Great War.
Unfortunately, he was not a Mason himself. He found, however, that the existant hatred between Arabs and Turks barred them from each other's lodges, and that the Arab lodges possibly had political aims. This has developed, I believe, in the new Kingdom of Arabia.
In the Dutch island of Ceram, in the south seas, we find a society called the Kakehan. It is a secret society of males only, grouped around three chiefs whom they must obey blindly. Their object is the maintenance of old usages against foreign influence, and mutual aid and succor among the members. All affairs of religion and society are discussed by the society in general assembly, the three chiefs presiding. These meetings are held in the communal house of the society, which no woman may enter.
Is this, then, Masonic? There we find the same temptation to say "yes." It is very possible that cast aways from wrecked ships founded this society; it may have been founded by the English three centuries ago, during the Dutch wars in that part of the world. Yet we have no definite basis for such an opinion. The outward resemblance only is known.
So it is with the secret societies of Islam, and we come back to the opening statement--that no white man can speak with authority upon this. By collecting a story here, an experience there, we may form conclusions on the subject; but to get actual cold facts on this topic is a task which for long is destined to remain next to impossible.
THE CHAPTER: WHAT IT STANDS FOR
BY BRO. ASAHEL W. GAGE, ILLINOIS
(DELIVERED AT THE INSTALLATION OF EVANSTON CHAPTER'S OFFICERS FOR 1917)
BROTHER Robert Burns in an epistle to a friend wrote:
"Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon."
To be real frank, I am a little worried as to just how my talk will be looked upon by you. The Chapter means so much to me that I feel deeply the responsibility of trying to show what it stands for. I will, however, do my best.
It must be remembered that what I say is only my own conviction. I speak with no official tongue. I am confident, however, that where I fall short or err,-- there you will exercise that great Masonic virtue, Charity.
Does the Chapter stand for higher wages, larger salaries, more prosperous business, for a better and greater service to our fellows? In other words, for a more complete knowledge and fuller practice of Masonry ? Let us see:
"Masonry is a progressive, moral science."
Anything which is progressive, cannot be fixed, it must change, and this change must be for the better, it must grow.
Morality cannot be confined to questions of sex. A thing is moral or immoral as it agrees with or violates the experience of the past as to what is good for an efficient human society. The term moral differs from "ethical," "religious" and similar terms, in that it refers to truths gathered from the experiences of life.
A science is a system or regular arrangement of the elements of knowledge relating to some subject.
Masonry then is a growing system of the knowledge of the experiences of life.
The value of this study cannot be over estimated for as we understand these experiences and- learn their causes, we are able to control the forces that bring them about. If we have this control, we can regulate the experiences of life. With this control our lives are a succession of events of our own choice. That is, we are able by Masonic knowledge to control the circumstances in which we live.
Let us look for a moment at some of these forces. In a community where there is much poverty and want, ignorance and superstition abound. Vice and crime we see are the necessary results. Thus we learn the worth of wealth and prosperity, and rejoice in, and work for their possession by others as well as by ourselves.
Where there is abundant employment and much well compensated hard work, we always find a clean, strong moral people.
Think about these things, brethren, and you will not wonder at the great emphasis that Masonry places upon work. You will not wonder that Masonry has selected the working tools of the laborer for jewels and symbols. You will understand why Masonry makes a Master Workman, the companion and intimate associate of a King.
I might dwell upon and develop the meanings of this symbolism, if I did not realize that by doing it for yourself, you will get a result both more profitable and more satisfactory,--to yourself.
I am reminded of an incident related in "The Builder," the Journal of the National Masonic Research ,Society, for this December.
King James I, of England, desiring to play a trick on the Spanish Ambassador, a man of great learning, but with a crotchet in his head for symbolism, informed the Ambassador that there was a distinguished professor of the science of sign language in the University of Aberdeen. The Ambassador set out for Aberdeen, preceded by a letter from the King, and in compliance with this letter, one Geordy, a butcher, blind of one eye, but a fellow of much wit and drollery, was gowned and wigged as a professor and placed in a chair of the University. Geordy was instructed to play the part of a professor with the warning not to speak a word. The Ambassador was shown into his presence and they were left alone. Very shortly the Ambassador came out, greatly pleased with the experiment claiming that his theory was demonstrated. He said: "When I entered the room I raised one finger to signify there is one God. He replied by raising two fingers to signify that this Being ruled over two worlds, the material and the spiritual. Then I raised three fingers, to say there are three persons in the Godhead. Then he closed his fingers evidently to say these three are one." The butcher was then sent for and asked what took place in the room. He was very angry and said, "When the crazy man entered the room, where I was, he raised one finger as much as to say I had but one eye, and I raised two fingers to signify that I could see out of my one eye as well as he could out of both of his. Then he raised three fingers as much as to say there were but three eyes between us. I doubled up my fist, and if he had not gone out of the room in a hurry, I would have knocked him down."
Whether that incident ever happened or not, it is true, in that it illustrates how you can get from the occurrences of this life just what you are looking for, either God and his attributes or an abuse of yourself and trouble.
But let us get back to Masonry, for the Chapter stands solely for a fuller understanding and practice of Masonry.
In addition to its teaching of the respectability, dignity and necessity of labor, both mental and physical, Masonry has another characteristic distinguishing it from other societies:
This second characteristic is illustrated by a Talmudic legend which I again quote from "The Builder":
Enoch, fearful that the Name of God would be lost in the impending world deluge, caused it to be inscribed upon a triangular plate of gold and placed in a secret vault for safe keeping. The flood, however, completely obliterated this vault with mud and silt so that it could not be located.
There is also another legend that Hiram, a builder, in order that the Master's word might not be lost, wore it engraved on a triangular plate of gold suspended around his neck. Upon his death ardent search was made and great anxiety felt lest the word should be forever lost.
The word itself every Mason knows to be of little importance, but every Mason also feels the power of the knowledge of which that word is but a symbol.
Labor, the loss and the search are peculiar Masonic precepts, which can best be understood by a careful study of the Blue Lodge degrees by the aid of the peculiar light of the Chapter.
As to the significance of a mere name or word, I would quote from one of our patrons, St. John the Evangelist: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD." My brethren, the great mystery of Masonry is the lost word and in the Lodge it is not found; we are there required to be content with a substitute. The Lodge stands for an earnest, honest search which may never be successful. The Chapter stands for a more intelligent continuation of this search which must lead to success.
Perhaps I can illustrate and make you see what I mean by the old symbolism of the Name of God:
Among the ancients to call by name signified to know the quality. By the name was understood the essence of a thing. Names were given having a peculiarity similar to and designating the thing named.
How a name referred to qualities or characteristics is illustrated by the instances of changing the name when the character was changed. For instance, in the great light, we learn how Abram was changed to Abraham, and of particular interest to Masons as well as the descendants of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel, is the change of Jacob's name to Israel. Jacob meant "Supplanter" and you will remember how he supplanted his brother Esau, but when Jacob abandoned his mean characteristics and wrestled with the Spirit of God and conquered, his name was changed to Israel, meaning "Soldier of God."
The Name of God is but a symbol of the acts, or expressions, of God which are in the world around us. Remember, to know the name is to know the nature.
To the Orthodox Jew, the Name of God included all things. It governed the world by its power. Other names and surnames ranged about it like officers and soldiers about their sovereign. The Christian will realize the importance of this Name when he reflects upon the benefit to humanity accomplished by the Galilean "in the Name of the Father." He healed the sick, multiplied food and administered charity, in the Name of the Father.
The Name of God is symbolized by a word. Masonry is not interested in ancient superstitions or idle speculations in reference to this Name or word, but grasps every thought that may assist and help us to acquire a broad knowledge and understanding of that which is symbolized by THIS "WORD."
The Chapter stands for the key to Masonic Knowledge and Understanding. It would unlock the symbolism of the Blue Lodge. It would show the Craftsman, how by honestly working for his fellow men, he himself profits. How the little task, conscientiously and apparently unobservedly done is not in vain. How the moral quality apparently destroyed with its possessor, is not lost. How the kindness done or service rendered apparently unnoticed or forgotten is sacredly preserved. How the hard labor, performed apparently without fee or reward, must inevitably be fully compensated. The Chapter stands for an ample wage for an honest service. It stands for a knowledge of the Master Mason's Word that will enable us to travel in foreign countries, work and receive Master's wages.
A TOAST TO LAUGHTER
Here's to laughter, the sunshine of the soul, the happiness of the heart, the leaven of youth, the privilege of purity, the echo of innocence, the treasure of the humble, the wealth of the poor, the head of the cup of pleasure; it dispels dejection, banishes blues, and mangles melancholy, for it is the foe of woe, the destroyer of depression, the enemy of grief; it is what kings envy of the peasants, plutocrats envy the poor, the guilty envy the innocent; it's the sheen on the silver of smiles, the ripple on the water's delight, the glint of the gold of gladness; without it humor would be dumb, wit would wither, dimples would disappear, and smiles would shrivel, for it is the glow of a clean conscience, the voice of a pure soul, the birth-cry of mirth, the swan-song of sadness.
MASONIC WORLD UNITY
WHAT can Masonry do to help to hold the world together in these stupendous days, when one after another so many ties are being broken ? What design has Masonry on its Tracing-Board for the reconstruction of civilization after this human earthquake has passed by, leaving its heap of blackened ruins - and the unnumbered graves where sleep the fathers of dream-children never to be born! Such questions must be much in the minds of thoughtful Masons, as they look out upon the wide stretching desolation and consider the future of the race. If Masons must sometimes take the Sword, as they did in behalf of the liberty of America and the unity of Italy, it is always as a dire necessity, and in defense of the fundamental rights of man. Their best-loved weapon is the Trowel, by which they repair the ravages of war, building on the ruins of hate, and cementing the scattered stones into one common mass.
What can Masonry do now in respect of the better day that will surely come at last when the thunder of great guns is hushed ? One thing is clear: if Masonry is to have any real and far-reaching influence in behalf of the wider and closer unity of the world in the future, it must itself be united. Alas! how far we are from it, divided almost as sadly as the Church, the Masons of one land refusing to recognize their Brethren of another on the ground that they have disregarded some technicality of law or procedure - quite as bigoted in the sectarianism as the theologians! Surely it is not an edifying spectacle when American Masons accuse their Brethren abroad - in France, for instance - of having departed from the ancient Landmarks of Masonry, when we have not yet defined what a Landmark is! Instead, we take some Tradition, Custom or Usage, of comparatively recent date, and erect it as a barrier with which to exclude our Brethren - forgetting, apparently, that a Landmark is one thing and a high board fence is another.
Nay, more; we actually take some detail of organization, of whose antiquity no one dare make claim, and use it in the same way. What a queer outcome of the gracious and free spirit of Masonry whose genius it is, or should be, to unite men and make them friends and fellow-workers! What a commentary on the universality of Masonry, when we are all the while devising ways and means - often petty ways and unMasonic means - of limiting the fellowship of a fraternity whose ties of friendship and service should encircle the earth like a belt of warm and life-giving air! For years our Brethren in Europe have appealed to us to extend them the hand of brotherly love and co-operation, as in these memorable and haunting words from Switzerland, setting forth the truly Masonic aims and aspirations of the International Bureau of Masonic Relations:l
"We do not ask our American Brethren to relinquish their opinions or their Landmarks; all that we wish them to do is to recognize us as good Freemasons, faithful to the traditions laid down by the Grand Lodge of London in the year 1717. We desire them to enter into fraternal relations with us, to inquire, in a benevolent spirit, into our History, our leading Principles, our Activity, and our Deeds, and to convince themselves that we have the same right to be acknowledged as good and true Freemasons, as they claim for themselves."
How can American Masons forever resist such an appeal, so open and fair, so fraternal and true-hearted, asking for tolerance of differences as to minor matters in the interest of unity and fellowship in the great essentials of Masonry? How could we better celebrate the bicentennial of the founding of the mother Grand Lodge, in June, 1917, than by a united effort to make an end of Masonic sectarianism, and bring to the service of humanity in one of the darkest days of its history a united Masonry! Henceforth we must rise above race, rank, religion and technicality and think in world-terms, drawing a vaster design on our Tracing-Board, the while we renew our vows to the profound, far-shining, universal principles of the greatest order of men on earth.
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As all study, all discussion, must begin with some conception of what it is we are studying, we suggest the following survey of the whole question of Masonry to be pondered and kept in mind by those who take up the study of it. Not only will it make for a clearer understanding of just what it is that we are to study, but also how the study of Masonry is related, vitally and vividly, to the still more important matter of living the Masonic life. "All truth is for life," is a maxim of the wisest thinkers of our time; it must be put to the uses of everyday, not as a mere theory or a collection of facts, which may be as dry as a basket of chips. Now, consider:
I. - What is Masonry? It is first a Spirit and then an Institution which seeks to embody that Spirit, to promote its spread and practice among men, and to make it prevail in the individual, in the fraternity, and in society.
1. The Spirit of Masonry, like all the high and beautiful things of life, eludes words. Of course it is akin to the finer, diviner spirit of humanity in all its forms and manifestations, and yet it is unique. Perhaps we can get at it by asking ourselves such questions as these: How does Masonic fellowship differ from other fellowships which we enjoy in the home, in the church, in the club, in business? What is there about it unique? What do we get from Masonry that we do not get elsewhere? Why are we drawn to it, held by it? How much would we miss if we should let go of it? In some such way as this a man may make vivid to himself what he finds it hard to define in exact words, and it will heighten his appreciation of the Order to do it.
2. Masonry as an Institution may be quite clearly defined. Among many definitions - and it is worth while to collect and compare as many as we can get, none is better, simpler, or more complete than that given in the old German Handbook, quoted by ye editor in "The Builders." It not only defines Masonry, but describes it in its uniqueness, and the definite and beautiful form which it gives to the common aspiration of humanity for the higher life. Therein it succeeds where so many other definitions fail. Here lies one of the chief values of the lectures of Brother Pound on "The Philosophy of Masonry," in that they show the place of Masonry among the institutions of the race and the movements making for the noblest life its relation to education, to morals and law, to religion, to metaphysics, and to the thought and life of our time.
II. - Why is Masonry? Why should such a unique institution ever have come into existence? What necessity in human life, what instinct in human nature, gave it birth? What are the real foundations of Masonry in the heart of man? Why did the Men's House stand alongside the home, the temple, and the state in primitive society? A great social and intellectual fellowship, rooted in spiritual faith and moral principle, found almost everywhere upon earth - surely the very fact of its existence is a challenge to thought. What purpose does it serve which other fellowships do not fulfill? What can it do for a man which other institutions do not do? Rising above party, above sect, above race, uniting men of every type, temperament and training, what is the meaning of such a fellowship? What is it worth to the world in behalf of private nobility and public welfare?
III. - What does Masonry teach, and how? As in the olden time every Lodge was a school of the seven sciences and the art of architecture, so today every Lodge is a school of morals and faith and the art of brotherhood. What has Masonry to teach men today, and by what method does it teach ?
1. Masonry teaches the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, the Moral Law, the Golden Rule, and the reality of the Life Eternal; truths from which spring the dignities, the sanctities, the obligations and the aspirations of human life. Do such truths need to be taught in our day? What are they worth to man in his thinking and living?
2. How does Masonry teach? Has it a peculiar method of teaching? What is that method? Is it sound and valid ? What are its principles ?
(1) It teaches secretly. Why? What is the psychology of it? What advantage does it offer? Has it any disadvantages? If so, what are they? Is the truth which Masonry teaches secret, or only its method of teaching?
(2) It teaches symbolically. Why? What is a symbol? What is its purpose? What can be taught by symbols that cannot be taught otherwise? What demand does such teaching make upon the student? Do other teachers than Masonry use symbols? Does Nature teach by symbols? What kind of symbols does Masonry employ? Why? What is there unique about the symbolism of Masonry?
(3) Masonry teaches by allegories and dramas. What is an allegory? Give examples from literature or life. Why does Masonry make use of the drama? What is the worth of the dramatic instinct? What is its service in the portrayal of truth? Is Masonry wise in making use of it?
(4) Masonry teaches by fellowship. What does a man learn from fellowship with his Brethren that he cannot learn from books, symbols, or dramas? Fellowship is at once a revelation of the reality of truth and an opportunity for the practice of it. Truly did Robert Browning write,
"For I, as man with men am linked,
And not a stone with stone; no gain
That I experience must remain
Such are some of the thoughts and questions that come to mind as one takes up the study of Masonry, and they may well claim our attention both theoretically and practically. They err who imagine that the study of Masonry is of interest only to antiquarians and seekers after curious lore, as if our symbolism were simply an old curiosity shop. Not so. It is the keeper of good and wise and beautiful truth, and he, who learns to make use of it in his life will be a wiser, freer, happier, more fruitful man.
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THE ETERNAL WILL
Often during the last two years and a half we have read the profound "Meditation on the Divine Will," by Abraham Lincoln, and because it has been a help amid the vast tragedy of world-war in which we live we beg to suggest it to others. Nothing is more awe-inspiring than a great mind pondering over a great problem; and here we see a great and simple mind brooding wistfully over the mystery of the tragedy in which he stood. Without envy, without hate, without selfishness, he sought to know the will of the Eternal, and he was wise enough to see that the Divine will rules even when he could not find out its ways. He was more anxious to be on the side of that Eternal Will than to have it on his side, and so he set down these grave and austere words:
"The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present Civil War it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party; and yet human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true; that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By His great power on the minds of the now contestants, He could either have saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And having begun, He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds."
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Many, many thanks to the many Brethren who have written ye editor such gracious letters about his invitation to the City Temple, too many to be answered personally. For the benefit of the large number who wish to follow him in his work in that historic pulpit, he suggests that they may do so through the pages of the Christian Commonwealth, which is the brightest and sanest journal of non-sectarian religious thought published in the world. The sermons of the editor preached in the City Temple will appear in it each week, as they have appeared for the last year or more. It is published at 133 Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London, E.C. England, and its subscription price is $2.15 per year. So much in answer to many requests.
* * *
In the London Freemason, Jan. 20th, Brother Dudley Wright, whose articles our Members have enjoyed, began a series of articles on "Robert Burns as a Freemason," which promise to be the completest account so far published of the Masonic life of the first poet laureate of the Order. They have been running as a serial for some time in the Masonic Standard, of New York, and are now revised and enlarged - and the author invites suggestions and corrections from his readers. We sincerely hope that these articles will finally be gathered into a little book, as they deserve to be, which would surely have a wide reading among Masons in all lands. We congratulate Brother Wright upon this fine piece of work, which is of real and permanent value to the literature of the Craft.
Father, my eyes are dim - my tired hands
Drop my dulled tools; while yet before me stands
The rugged Ashlar - Rough as though my pain,
My grievous labor, had been all in vain.
Despite my toil, my struggles and my tears,
No Perfect Cube in the dull stone appears.
But do thou, Father, only grant to me
The steadfast courage of Gethsemane;
Then though I faint, and weary of the strife
To smooth this Rugged Ashlar of my life.
Some day, perchance, upon some higher sphere,
The Perfect Cube! wrought by me, may appear.
- E.P. King, Georgia.
* * *
JOHN Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Scotland, where he was educated, where he received his college degrees (D.D. an LL. D.) and where he was ordained a Minister in the Presbyterian Church.
He came to America in 1768, and soon became President of the University at Princeton, N. J.
He was a forceful and eloquent speaker and took a genuine interest in the cares and troubles of the colonists, who elected him to the Continental Congress, where he served with distinction. His writings, however, were not much on political affairs, but almost wholly on religious subjects.
The bronze statue of Witherspoon stands on a triangular lot of ground, at the juncture of Connecticut Avenue, Eighteenth Street and N Street, in the Capital City, near the Church of the Covenant, and was paid for by subscription (mostly by Presbyterians) and presented to the National Capital.
It was modeled by William Couper, and is much praised as a work of art.
It is worthy of remark that there are but three memorials of Signers of the Declaration in the Capital City, and all of them paid for by subscription. One would think that the Nation would be careful to honor these men in preference to all others.
Though a Freemason there are no records of his activity nor prominence in the Order. His record is in Vol. IV of the Library of Masonic History.
- Geo. W. Baird, P.G.M., Dist, Columbia,
LOVE is the root of everything that is eternal, put it into practice; be unwearying workers in the construction of the Temple, and dedicate the building to the happiness of the future races. As a Freemason thou art a citizen of the universe." - Henry Lavater.
"Freemasonry raises men above everything that has been invented by human reason and passion or the necessities of civil life, above rank and social position, the accidents of vocation and birth, the differences of churches and political interests, and assembles mortals in the Lodges, but only as men united by fraternal feeling to all men of each zone." - Zschokke.
"Let us abjure all political activity; let us repel every attempt to win over for one party our society and our Lodges. No interference either in the domain of religion! Our business concerns humanity, and humanity is the art of being a man! Masonry, which is to teach us this art, exists for all." - Hottinger.
"Masons must display their activity in behalf of the general well-being. Is not this, moreover, the mission of every honest man? It is eternal. Its form only is changeable. Formerly, endeavors were made first to combat distress. Help was given to the hungry, to the sick, to the homeless. Gradually, however, the notion of rational and permanent help was attained. Masonry championed education." - Perrelet.
Such is the spirit, and such are the eloquent principles of "Swiss Freemasonry," of which we may read in a historical sketch of its organization, principles, activity and constitution, by Dr. Bernard Perrelet, of Neuchatel; and seldom have we seen a little book more aglow and athrob with the heroic and beautiful spirit of the Order. Moreover, it is exceedingly well-written, and hardly a page but has a phrase that flashes like a gem of purest ray in the sunlight. We doubt if anywhere on earth Masonry has attained to a finer development, at once idealistic and cosmopolitan, than in the little land of Switzerland, and we on this side ought to be more familiar with its story and its labors.
Masonry was introduced into Switzerland as early as 1736, by a few Englishmen who founded at Geneva, the old home of Calvin, the Society of Freemasons of Perfect Consent; and the history of its development resembles that of the country in the richness of its dramatic episodes. Nor could it be otherwise. The principles of Masonry, codified by Anderson, were in glaring contrast with the temper and bearing of the oligarchical rule of the old Confederation of the Thirteen Cantons. Law was an arsenal built against innovation, and liberty, Its edicts regulated even the secret mysteries of toilet! And the Freemasons - what business had they in such a land !
Naturally, the Genevan Lodge was soon attacked by the Councils and the clergy who, knowing nothing about Masonry, were sure it was a peril and a plague. In these despites, in 1768 nine Lodges formed a National Grand Lodge, and the Order flourished to the alarm of the rulers at Berne. Through various vicissitudes of interdiction and revival, attack and defense, the Fraternity fought its way until rumblings of revolution were heard in France. Those were hard times - a period, as our historian says, of formation, reconstruction, and incoherence. Lodges sprung up quickly and faded like flowers. Sometimes only one member would be left as sole owner of the furniture. Such constancy in the midst of confusion, such persistence in the face of persecution continued until Hottinger became Grand Master in 1844.
At last the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland was duly born, and appropriately christened; and what was needed in efforts, self-denial, perseverance, sequence of thought, generosity, and greatness of soul to make it victorious, is recorded in its annals. In 1879, by a revision of its Constitution, the Alpine entered upon a new era of quietness and activity - for Masonry in Switzerland is as practical as it is idealistic, not only in ministries to "those Brethren of whom the most necessitous are the nearest," but in educational endeavors looking to the overthrow of poverty. The Constitution of the Alpina permits the widest liberty on the part of the local Lodges as to constitutions, rituals and their own administration generally, each Lodge being a little democracy like the Cantons in the Swiss state.
Of the details of its organization and operations anyone may read in the little book under review, in which he will find not only facts of great interest, but some of the finest and most nobly expressed Masonic sentiments which it has ever been our joy to read. Not often does one find the spirit, purpose and aspiration of Masonry set forth in nobler words than these, by Grand Master Zschokke:
"A prolific science, a work of art of an elevated character, an invention which increases the material power of peoples, an intelligence which learns how to make wise use of this material power, to keep it within normal limits, self-sacrifice, devotion to duty, the abolition of poverty, such is the work which constitutes the practical side of human life, which exists for all, which is not, nor can be attacked by anyone, for it sheds abroad on all sides light, warmth, and concord. It is the only ground upon which believers and doubters can meet, who otherwise would always remain apart."
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HOW TO READ
Reader, do you really know how to read ? Excuse the question. Of course you know the alphabet, and can put salt on the tail of an idea as it hides in the crooked lines on the printed page. But is that all there is in knowing how to read? Not much. If you think so, read that delightful and sparkling book called "How to Read," by Kerfoot, one of the editors of Life - that journal which shoots folly on the fly, and mixes wit and wisdom in a confection of joy. "Reading is a form of living"; it is comradeship, fellowship, in which an author bids us sit down by his side and join with him in telling a story, singing a song, or untwisting a knot of philosophy.
Charles Lamb loved "books about books," and so do we, certain owl-eyed professors to the contrary notwithstanding - friendly, chatty, companionable books that talk about other books and how they were made. But Kerfoot has written a book on how to read books, the best, the brightest, the most enchanting book of its kind that we have ever seen - and that is saying a good deal. Why do folks read, anyway? For two reasons, he tells us: first, to lose themselves; and second, to find themselves. How could it be better stated, if one tried for a thousand years! When we are weary, care-ridden, all the strings of the mind sagging, we take upon a kindly book - and lo! we are lifted into another world, and soon forget our care in a new and sweet anxiety as to whether the hero will win the heroine or the mystery of the plot will be untangled. What an emancipation! God be thanked for these dear enchanters who can woo us from fret and fume and the litter of our labor! They never intrude. Unlike some of our friends, they will shut up when we wish them to. They respond to our mood, as an organ to the touch of a musician who meditates in melodies.
By the same token, when we are restless, aware that life is more than it seems, but unable to get hold of it with larger, firmer grasp; when we want something and hardly know what it is; when some great truth seems hovering over us trying to make itself real - we take up a book, and find ourselves! It may be Dickens - the greatest American ever born in England - or Emerson, or Eliot, or some others of the later seers and singers and tellers of tales, but we find ourselves, our nobler, truer, blither selves. Well, such is the thesis of this book by Kerfoot, but this bare statement of it gives no inkling of the bright, happy, hearty, wholesome way in which he works it out, beginning by "Muckraking the Dictionary" and ending by serving "The Cosmos A La Carte," with due attention to "Intellectual Digestion."
Dry? Dull? Land sakes! one has to go at high speed to keep up with him, and on every third page there is a new stunt equal to a three-ringed circus. He can take the English language and make it crack like a whip, the while our old elephantine ideas stand on their heads, or eat peanuts out of his hand. Buy a copy and give it to some old dry-as-dust - a theologian, for example - and hear him laugh till his ribs rattle. Withal, it is wise as well as witty, human and real, as instructive as it is entertaining.
* * *
THE HUNGRY STONES
For example, if one wishes to go on a long journey, into a land very far away, among a people who think from an angle unlike our own, let him take up "The Hungry Stones and Other Stories," by Rabindranath Tagore. He will find himself sitting on a mat on the floor beside a man clad in a long silken robe, his beard falling in waves upon his breast, his thin artist hands clasped, and his great dark eyes full of benign light - like a sage of old India stepped out of the world of ancient dream. In a low, sweet voice he tells us stories of the life and love and legend of his land, and one knows not which is best, but it would surely be hard to find one to surpass the story of "My Lord, the Baby," unless it is the one entitled "The Victory." The Victory is a story of two poets, one majestic, thunderous, learned, sweeping all before him, winning tumultous applause, the other quiet, deep, with a song so sweet that it stilled the hearts of men so that they forgot to applaud. They make contest before the king, and of course, when judged by the applause, the gentle singer is defeated and falls into despair. But not so when judged by the beatings of human hearts and the quieter, profounder judgment - which, alas, he did not hear or know till it was too late. Such is the rude way of the world estimating things by noise and numbers, and forgetting to honor the deeper voices till they are hushed and cannot hear. It is a story to make one sit and think a long time after the book is laid aside, as to what are the most fruitful influences in life, and his meditation will end in a new sense of the value of the quiet, deep influences which, like sunlight, work their marvels without bells.
* * *
The Hungry Stones, by R. Tagore. Macmillan Co., New York. $1.50
The Psychology of Religion, by Coe. University Chicago Press. $1.50
Swiss Freemasonry, by Bernard Perrelet. Berne, Switzerland.
California Lodge No. 1, by J. M. Whited.
Masonic Code of Ohio, 1914
Mind Versus Millions, by R.E. Hughes, St. Louis. $2.00.
The Gift of Immortality, by Slattery. Houghton Mifflin Co. $1.25
The Ultimate Belief, by Clutton-Brock. E. P. Dutton Co., $1.00
Real action is in silent moments. The epochs of our life are not in the visible facts of our choice of a calling, our marriage, our acquisition of an office, and the like; but in the silent thought by the wayside as we walk; in a thought which revises our entire manner of life, and says, "Thus hast thou done, but it were better thus." - Emerson.
THE QUESTION BOX
THE MOTHER LODGE
Three Brethren have asked recently for a kind of key to the famous Kipling poem, "The Mother Lodge," confessing that some of its allusions are occult to them. For answer we give the following which appeared in the Theosophic Messenger, by C. Jinarajadasa, with which may be compared the explanation in the "Handbook of Kipling's Poetry," by Durand, which explains, not always clearly, the Masonic references in his poems. Both the explanation and the poem are subjoined, as they belong of right together:
To appreciate fully Kipling's stories of India one must have an intimate knowledge of India and Indian peoples. Every phrase contains some pointed remark about Indian life that is occult to all except those that have the key. Very typical of this is his poem, "The Mother-Lodge," that describes a certain Masonic lodge in India. No doubt many a Mason has read it, but its significance is more than seems at first sight.
The narrator is an ordinary English soldier of the lower classes, vulgar, dropping his h's and g's, but good-hearted at bottom and with a certain dim ideal dawning upon his consciousness. In his Mother-Lodge, there were first several English, himself as Junior Deacon, and then two employees of the Government Railway, another from the army commissariat, a jail inspector, and Conductor-Sergeant Blake, who was the Master. All these were Christians and, though then in India, of the Established Church of England.
There were, however, other nationalities and religions represented. Old Framjee Eduljee, who dealt in goods imported from Europe in his "Europe-shop," is a Parsee by race and a Zoroastrian by religion; Bola Nath, accolmtant, is an orthodox Hindu, belonging to the writer sub-caste of the third great caste. Then there was the Hebrew, Saul, from Aden, and Din Mohammed, follower of the Prophet of Islam. Babu Chuckerbutty (a Bengalee form of the Sanskrit Chakravarti) is of course a Brahmin and a Hindu of the Hindus; but Amir Singh, though Hindu, follows the Sikh faith, one of the many semi-orthodox off-shoots of Hinduism, and Castro, an Eurasian "half-caste," is a Roman Catholic.
After labor they could not eat or drink, "lest a brother's caste were broke!" but they could smoke, and smoke they did, "trichies" - cheroots made in Trichinopoly in South India, with the cigar lighter (hog-darn) passing from one to another. And while the butler (khansamah) snored without on the "bottlekhana" floor (pantry), the talk would veer to religion, "every man comparin' of the God 'e knew the best." Comparative Religion was no doubt studied in a lame fashion, but still they found it was "ighly curious." and when they went home to bed it was with "Mo'ammed, God, an' Shiva changin' pickets in our 'ead."
In the outer world salutation was according to the world's obligations and conventions - "Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!" but once inside the lodge it was "brother!" And proud-of-race, uncultured Tommy Atkins realized that there was a view of the world wherein there was neither white nor black, Jew nor Gentile but only brothers.
THE MOTHER LODGE
There was Rundle, Station Master,
An' Beazeley of the Rail
An' 'Ackman, Commissariat,
An' Donkin' o' the Jail;
An' Blake, Conductor Sergeant,
Our Master twice was 'e,
With 'im that kept the Europe-shop
Old Framjee Eduljee.
Outside - "Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!"
Inside - "Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there.
We'd Bola Nath, accountant,
An' Saul, the Aden Jew,
An' Din Mohammed, draughtsman
Of the Survey Office, too;
There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
An' Amir Singh, the Sikh,
An' Castro from the fittin'-sheds,
The Roman Catholic!
We 'adn't good regalia,
An' our Lodge was old an' bare,
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks,
An' we kep' 'em to a hair;
An' lookin' on it backwards
It often strikes me thus
There ain't such things as infidels,
Excep', per'aps, it's us.
For monthly, after Labor,
We'd all sit down and smoke
(We dursn't give no banquits
Lest a Brother's caste were broke),
An' man on man got talkin'
Religion an' the rest,
An' every man comparin'
Of the God 'e knew the best.
So man on man got talking
An' not a Brother stirred
Till mornin' waked the parrots
An' that dam' brain-fever-bird;
We'd say t'was 'ighly curious
An' we'd all ride 'ome to bed,
With Mo'ammed, God an' Shiva
Changin' pickets in our 'ead.
Full oft on Guv'ment service
This rovin' foot 'ath pressed
An' bore fraternal greetin's
To the Lodges east an' west
Accordin' as commanded
From Kohat to Singapore,
But I wish that I might see them
In my Mother-Lodge once more!
I wish that I might see them
My Brethren, black an' brown,
With the trichies smellin' pleasant
An' the hog-darn passin' down;
An' the old khansamah snoring
On the bottle-khana floor,
Like a Master in good standing
With my Mother-Lodge once more!
- Rudyard Kipling.
* * *
Several Members have asked about the fraternity of Stonemen which has made quite an ado in Philadelphia and other eastern cities, as to whether it is another imitation of Masonry. Unfortunately, we do not belong to the Stonemen, and know only what others have read of the organization; from which we infer that it resembles Masonry only in that it has three degrees. From what we can make out it is a purely Christian order - the Lodge idea taken over by the churches, or rather Men's Club, of churches turned into a Lodge - and while it may have been suggested by the Masonic Lodge, it is in nowise related to it. An article on "The Stonemen's Fellowship," by its founder, Rev. Dr. H.C. Stone, in a recent issue of the Homiletic Review states the spirit and purpose of the order as follows:
"The Stonemen's Fellowship is an organization formed for the purpose of presenting to men an opportunity for their moral uplift, based upon the idea of church unity among the Protestant churches; an opportunity for men to get back to primitive times and present to the world at large the Church of God, inclusive of all who profess Jesus Christ and believe in the religion which He came to earth to establish - a religion which too often in the past has been obscured by man-made traditions and cluttered by man-made ambitions for personal advancement."
From which it will be seen that it is simply an unsectarian Christian secret fellowship, meant to bring men of various sects together for the cultivation of the religious life and the organized doing of good. It takes its name from its founder, but this has a further allusion - to the text in which the Master said to Peter, "Upon this rock I will build my church," etc. (Matt. 16:18.) Perhaps some of our Members belong to the Stonemen Fellowship, and will give us further information - such as it is proper for them to reveal.
* * *
THE SPIRIT OF MASONRY
Dear Brother: - Being a young Mason, and one whose loved ones are much opposed to Masonry, there are a great many things they spring on me that I do not understand, and I do not know how to govern myself accordingly. Will you please explain the enclosed declaration made by a Masonic Lodge in this Jurisdiction, taken from a Masonic journal. The Builder is a wonderful help and inspiration to me, as I am unable to get to Lodge but seldom. Sincerely and fraternally, - O.I.P., Wisconsin.
The declaration referred to is as follows, to which is added a comment from an editorial in a Masonic journal:
"Every ancient landmark of Free Masonry, every sign and symbol known by us and between us as brethren indicates that we cannot as a body recognize Jesus, Buddha, Mahomet, or Moses, or any of the denominational churches of either. All prayers or speeches that recognize or appeal to any deity or prophet save to God alone, are out of place in a Masonic Lodge."
This is followed by an editorial comment in the same paper as follows: "Sometimes a minister, in offering prayer in a Masonic meeting, inadvertently uses the name of Jesus, but in all cases in our opinion it is the force of habit, and never done intentionally."
(It is easy to understand how a young Brother, new to the ways of Masonry, would be puzzled by a declaration of this kind, the more so when it was urged upon him by members of his family who are unfriendly to the Order. And yet if he will think a little, he will see that the declaration is absolutely sound, and that Masonry could not long exist upon any other basis. If it were to recognize Jesus as the only teacher and become distinctly Christian, it would be excluding men of Hebrew or Hindu faith, and thus become a sect, dividing men instead of uniting them - one more sect in a world of sects, some of which are small enough to be called insects. If it acknowledged Moses or Buddha as the one true teacher, it would be none the less a sect, losing all its glory ab a meeting place for men of all sects and men of no sect. As it is, Masonry honors all great teachers seeking the truth which each has to tell - as our Brother will learn when he goes further into the degrees of the Scottish Rite - the while it brings men together upon those truths which underlie all religions and all sects, in that spirit of charity without which no theology is of any worth to anybody.
And the same is true in the matter of prayer, to which the editorial refers. The old familiar words, "For Jesus sake," at the end of a prayer may mean much or little, according to the spirit and meaning in which they are used. They may mean nothing more than a "Yours truly" at the end of a letter, a mere matter of form - nothing more. But a letter is a letter even when those words are not used; and so is a prayer. Men prayed long before Jesus was born, and there are few who would say that their prayers were not valid and rewarding. Moreover, in the brief, grand prayer which Jesus himself taught us to pray, "after this manner," His name is not used, any more than in His own prayer of which we have record. Our Brother will learn, as he studies Masonry more deeply, what is meant by the word "name." In Masonry, as in the Bible, the name of a person stands for the person himself, in a way not realized by people of our western world. Masons are ever seeking a lost, ineffable Name - what does it mean? It means that they are seeking God Himself - not a mere word, but that knowledge of the Eternal and fellowship with Him which is the goal and crown of life. Therefore, those who truly pray "in the name of Jesus" are not always those who use His name, and think no prayer valid without it - no, but those who pray in His spirit, as He would pray, asking for the things He would ask for, and with His great and simple faith.
A Christian may be a true Mason, bring all his faith and hope into our ancient fellowship; but he is not a true Christian - much less a sensible man - if he has not a sincere respect for the faiths of other men, and rejoices to join with them in the common prayer at our universal altar. No part of the mission of Masonry is grander, or more needed, than its consistent emphasis upon the things that belong to all and which may be shared by all, cultivating a spirit in which petty sectarianism can not grow, and teaching men the truths that make for character and conduct. We hope that by his dignity of life, his tolerance and goodwill, as well as by his graciousness of spirit, our Brother will show his loved ones that they are mistaken about Masonry, and bring them to a better conception of its spirit and its principles. - The Editor.)
* * *
A LADY FREEMASON
Dear Brother: - I send herewith an extract from a letter written by Dr. J. M. Buckley, in regard to the first (and supposedly only) woman Mason, as it may interest some of our Members. I have heard of a similar case in the United States, and would like to know if you or any of our Members can give me information about it.
Fraternally, W. A. Coflield,
Buffalo Gap, South Dakota.
The following is an extract from a letter written by Rev. James M. Buckley, Editor of the Christian Advocate, published in that paper January 5, 1911. Writing from Cork, Ireland, Dr. Buckley says:
"The handsomest building in Cork is the Cathedral of Saint Finbar (Church of Ireland). The first church on this site was founded more than 1,200 years ago, but this cathedral was begun in 1862 and completed in 1879.
The custodian was very intelligent and from him I drew much information. He showed us the spot where lies the only woman who, he said, was ever regularly initiated into the order of Free Masons. A meeting of the order had taken place at her husband's residence, and she overheard all that was said. So the only thing the Masons could do was to initiate her and make her take the appalling oath of secrecy which such orders are supposed to require of their members."
From the stone I copied the following inscription:
In Pious Memory of
of Newmarket, County Cork
Arthur, First Viscount Doneraile.
Her remains lie close
to this spot.
Born 1695, Died 1775
Initiated into Freemasonry in
Lodge No. 44 at
In this County.
* * *
LINCOLN AND MASONRY
By the kindness of Brother C. H. Ketridge, of Evanston, Ill., we have a copy of a letter written to J. H. Benton, under date of Dec. 28th, 1878, by Robert T. Lincoln, published some time ago in the Chicago Daily News, as follows:
"I never heard that my father was a Mason until after his death. A great many resolutions from Masonic bodies, especially in France, were then received and caused me to make some inquiry, but I do not remember that any one could tell me anything on the subject. It is possible that when a young man he may have joined a lodge in Springfield in this state, but I feel very sure that within the time of my memory (I was born in 1843) he had no active relations with any lodge."
Having been a student of the life of Lincoln for years, and unable to find any trace of his membership in the Masonic fraternity, we wished, however, to make sure before answering the inquiry suggested above. So we sent the letter of Robert Lincoln to Mr. Henry B. Rankin, of Springfield, Ill., whose volume of "Personal Recollections of Lincoln" we edited last year, and received the following reply:
"Several years ago I made a diligent inquiry about whether Lincoln belonged to the Masonic order. I found no record in Petersburg or this city that he was ever a member, nor any of the older citizens who knew or believed that he was a Mason. There was never a Lodge at New Salem. There was, and is, a Lodge at Petersburg, Ill., of which my father was a member in 1840, and remained such until his death. My brother and his oldest son are now members of the same Lodge."
We think it quite certain that Lincoln was never a member of the fraternity - though, by his spirit, he was a great uninitiated Mason - and he is known to have expressed a wish to join the order after he became president. Prejudice against the order was intense during his early manhood, and, probably remembering how membership in the order was used against Henry Clay, politically, he deemed it wise not to become a Mason. So at least the matter must stand - unless some unknown record should leap to light.
* * *
Dear Brother: - I note in the December issue of The Builder that Detroit, Michigan, then a part of Lower Canada, claims the existence of a Masonic Lodge as early as 1799. I do not think there is any doubt about this, as I have in my possession a Freemason's Monitor, dated 1815, by Thomas Smith Webb - published by John D. Cushing, Salem, Mass., 1821 - in which I note Zion Lodge, No. 10, Detroit, then Lower Canada, accounted for, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Lower Canada, with Most Worshipful, His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Grand Master. Fraternally, S. E. Ferguson.
Dear Sir and Brother: I had a Masonic experience last summer which I believe will interest you and the readers of "The Builder." I was traveling from Spokane to Denver, and the evening before arriving at the latter place I ate something at dinner which gave me ptomaine poisoning. I suffered greatly all night and when we reached Denver next morning I was in a helpless condition and among strangers. I therefore inquired of the Station Master if he knew of a Knights Templar in the building and he took me to the office of the Superintendent of the Union Pacific Railway who at once put me in charge of the Head Surgeon of his road who took me in his machine to the Mercy Hospital where I was given immediate treatment, and in a few days the worst was over.
Now comes the part of my experience that will be the most interesting to Masons. I found that I was in a Catholic Hospital conducted by the Sisters of Mercy, and the room I was in was one that had been endowed and furnished by South Denver Lodge No. 93, A. F. & A. M., for the use of its members and stray crippled brethren like myself. On the corridor side of the door of this room was a brass plate with the square and compasses thereon, and as I discovered this familiar emblem of our noble Order it was as a "Shock of Enlightenment" to me, for it was the last thing I expected to see in a Catholic Institution. Nevertheless I glorified in the broad-minded spirit and action of my Masonic brethren in Denver and it gave me a new view of the beauty and glory of the Spirit of Masonry, for never in all my 46 years of Masonic experience have I seen anything of the kind. I understand, however, that every Masonic Lodge in Denver maintains a room in the Hospitals there.
I was so impressed with this experience of mine that since my return I have related it to the brethren here in Evanston, and a movement has been started for the purpose of the maintenance of a room in one of the local hospitals. The idea is universally favored and I have no doubt but it will be consumated in the near future. We all agree that it is the right thing to do, and the right way can be found to do it. Every member of the Order, I believe, wants to do something for "Brotherly Relief" and in this collective way he is given the opportunity to do what he cannot do individually. Our Masonic Lodges should be something other than mere Social Clubs and Degree factories. The Spirit of Masonry is not only Fraternal but Helpful. The one is negative, the other is positive and means something more than the collective selfishness which characterizes the average Masonic Lodge.
Another word in closing. I cannot say too much of the kindly, generous treatment accorded me by the brethren in Denver. I never think of it but a lump comes in my throat. They went to the extreme of friendship in even cashing my check. They put me in special charge of the train officials and this care was given till I got to my room in Evanston.
One incident on the train greatly impressed me. The colored porter, in an aside, said to me, "We've got our orders to take care of you," and in saying this he showed me a Knights Templar charm, remarking, "There's four of us on this train and we don't need no orders to take care of you." There are some things the human heart knows no exceptions, and as a smile is the same in all languages, so is a kind word and deed, no matter of what color, race or creed is the giver.
Thanking you for the privilege of this opportunity and wishing you all that is best for you, I am
C. H. Ketridge, Ill.
* * *
For what purpose were the two celebrated pillars, Boaz and Jachin, placed at the entrance to the porch of King Solomon's Temple ? Was it for strength, beauty, or to commemorate a moral or historical event?
In the first Book of Kings 7:15, we read "For he cast two pillars of brass of eighteen cubits high apiece, and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about," and in verse 46, we read, "In the plains of Jordan did the King cast them in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan." In Second Chronicles 4:17-18, we read, "In the plains of Jordan did the King cast them in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah. Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance, for the weight of the brass could not be found out."
Lieutenant Lynch of the United States Navy, with his party in the year 1847, made surveys of the Valley of the Jordan from the Dead Sea North to the South end of the Lake Galilee. Nowhere could any such clay grounds be found. Nor could he find any trace where a furnace or smelting works ever existed; they must have been swallowed up in the north end of the Dead Sea. For about a mile around the Dead Sea, the surface of the ground he found to be of an alkaline nature about the color of wood ashes. Not a sprig of any plant or shrub found growing. His report was made to the Secretary of the U. S. Navy and placed in the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, D.C.
Rev. Dr. Ridgeway and his party toured the Holy Land in 1874. In his book, "Ridgeway in the Holy Land," he reports having visited most of the important places, and saw many things of guriosity and interest. They inspected both sides of the River Jordan. They crossed the river just east of Bethany. The water was clear and cold and about knee deep to their horses. The bed of the river he found to be chert gravel and cobble stones. On the east side of the river they found a few pieces of broken crockery ware, but nowhere could they find any such clay grounds as recorded in the books of Kings and Chronicles. He gives it as his opinion that the report made by Lieutenant Lynch is the most accurate statement of the physical features of the Valley of the Jordan that had up to that date ever been printed in the English language.
Bishop Marvin of St. Louis, Mo., at a later date visited the Palestine lands. In his book, "East by Way of the West," he says that he did not see nor could find any such place as the clay grounds of the Jordan. Nor could there be any surface indications found showing where any furnace or smelting works had ever existed. Who will give us more light on this subject? J. G. Anderson, California.
* * *
JOHN AND JONATHAN
Dear Sir and Brother: - Anent your gloomy impressions of the feelings of the British against America, which you received on your late trip to England, I wrote my esteemed English Masonic Brother, Sir Gilbert Parker, and the following is his reply.
A. E. Bacherk, Pennsylvania.
"20, Carlton House Terrace,
London S.W., 18th Dec., 1916.
"My Dear Mr. Bachert: - I am concerned to hear of Mr. Joseph Fort Newton's pessimistic impressions of the feeling in Great Britain towards the United States. I am concerned because I know these impressions are really contrary to the fgcts. The British people realize more and more every month of the war how much they owe materially to the American people, who have virtually put their resources at our disposal. What is more important still, we realize your moral sympathy and support, and understand that you and we have a common idea of democracy and humanity, which is at stake for both of us in this struggle.
"No, I can assure you Mr. Newton has been misled by an irresponsible minority of the press, and by isolated voices of individuals who do not represent public opinion. These were vociferous before public opinion had formed itself. When the real opinion of this country finds expression, you will have more cheering impressions to record.
"I am certain myself that this war will lead to an immense strengthening of the bonds between the two English-speaking countries, and that this will be one of the most far-reaching results it will have.
Yours very truly, Gilbert Parker."
(The reference is to certain observations made by ye editor in the second of his Travel Sketches, which appeared in the issue of November last. Of course, questions of politics, whether local, national or international, are as out of place in a Masonic journal as in a Masonic Lodge; and we give place to this letter from Sir Gilbert Parker - by the kindness of Brother Bachert - only because he is distinguished alike in English literature and in English Freemasonry. It is the good word of a Brother Mason to his brothers and fellows in America, and we rejoice to know that our impressions were wrong, or at least to be so assured by so gracious a man. Howbeit, we are not entirely convinced by such an assurance, and we mention the matter here because the relations between these two great peoples which have so many ties to bind them - not least among them a common and great Freemasonry - is a question in which Masonry should have to do, not politically but spiritually and humanly. Close up to each other, bound in a common destiny, painfully aware of each other's faults and a little too shrill in announcing them - their present irritation is the discordant intimacy of business partners and family ties. Both know that they cannot live apart, but they have not yet learned to live together without friction. So the matter stands, and Masonry should be an influence making for closer fellowship and mutual understanding between the great Empire and the great Republic - and, indeed, between all races and peoples within the length of its cable-tow.)
* * *
REASONS FOR RESEARCH
Dear Brother: - I have been engaged in Masonic Research since 1895, and expect soon to publish a work entitled, "The Secret Doctrine," of the Priesthood.
I find that back of all the ancient religions there existed a "Base" upon which the priesthood have ever founded their different Creeds. That two systems were used, one for the Initiated and the other for the Uninitiated, an exoteric and an esoteric; or one for the multitude and one for the priesthood, well understood by the Ancient Initiated, and should be by the Modern.
Many people of today, even the Initiated, accept the different religious terms in common, every day use, such as God, Heaven, Devil, Hell, etc., without ever stopping to consider that they are priest-created; and that they must have once had a definite meaning to the ancient Initiated priest.
Free Masonry has all the ancient symbols used by this ancient Craft, but not the same explanations; and this is what our Research Society is founded for, if I understand it right, - to obtain the ancient understanding of Religious terms and their true meanings, to be used for the benefit of the world at large, and not Free Masonry in particular. Is this right?
Wishing you all the compliments of the season, and again thanking you, I remain, yours etc.,
Geo. F. Greene, Michigan.
(Assuredly our Brother is right as to one of the great objects of the Research Society, and perhaps he will be good enough to give us some of the results of his studies to that end. The distinction between the exoteric and the esoteric is ancient; and runs with one degree or another of distinctness through all the old systems - albeit Buddha denied any such distinction in his case, describing himself as a teacher who taught all alike, and not veiling anything from anyone. Nor does initiation admit one to the hidden meanings of things. It is not necessarily insight, but only a birth into a world of truth and beauty, the beginning to be followed by growth and study - which is the ghief reason for the existence of our Society, that it may bring to the uses of modern life the high and beautiful truth that makes men free from fear and the folly that makes them mad.)
* * *
During my travels through several states it occurred to me, what a nice remembrance it would be for each lodge to keep a souvenir postal card album wherein could be posted pictures of Masonic temples visited by the traveling brethren.
In this way lodges can keep track of their absentee members and in time would have a fine collection of some beautiful Masonic temples throughout the world.
I wish you would advocate such an innovation through your Journal. Yours truly,
Gavel Lodge F. & A. M., N. Y.
* * *
THE RIGHT OF EACH RITE
My Dear Sir and Brother: - I hand you herewith a communication published in the October number of the Texas Freemason, written by Judge W. S. Fly, Chief Justice of the Court of Civil Appeals, at San Antonio, and headed "The Two Rites." Judge Fly is one of the best known and best loved men and Masons in the State, and is a Past Grand Master of Masons in Texas. I think the article is well worthy of more extended circulation, and I submit it to you for your consideration that you may publish it in The Builder should you care to do so.
I have written to Judge Fly, advising him that I would send the paper to you.
Truly and fraternally yours,
John L. Terrell, Past Grand Master.
THE TWO RITES
No institution, it seems, can be organized in this world but that schisms and disagreements will, in process of time, arise, which, in many instances, become quite antagonistic to each other, resulting in rival organizations. This is exemplified in the Christian church, which many of us believe to be of divine origin, and the pages of history teem with accounts of the terrible conflicts between those claiming to be the followers of the meek and lowly Nazarene, who made love the pivotal doctrine of His church on earth.
This spirit of dissension and strife is no less evident in other religions, but all have to a greater or less extent their divisions and rival organizations.
Freemasonry? the great brotherhood of the world; the universal teacher of liberty, equality and fraternity, has not escaped the human weakness, which causes strife and trouble in all organizations, and dissensions have at times cropped out in the body of Masonry. So we see different rites, organized at different times, which were not only rivals, but veritable antagonists of one another.
here have been nearly forty of these different rites, some living only a fitful period; some for longer times, and others, being permanent institutions, such as the York rite, and the Scottish rite.
There can be no doubt that the York rite is the oldest of all rites, and consisted for many years of only the three first degrees. According to Dr. Albert G. Mackey, the Master Mason's degree, prior to the latter part of the 18th century, that is, between 1750 and 1790, included much of what is now found in the royal arch degree, and was practically a finished and satisfactory degree. About that time Thomas Dunckerly, an English Mason, who wielded almost unbounded influence among the Masons of England, separated from the master's degree much that necessarily belonged to it. The third degree as curtailed and robbed of parts of its wonderful wealth and power, has since been conferred in the York rite. Of course it is known that the name of the rite was taken from the city of York, in the north of England, in which it is said the first general assembly of Masons was organized by Athelston, grandson of Alfred the Great, and king of England from A. D. 924 to 940.
The three degrees comprised all of York rite Masonry proper, and contained in their pristine state all the essentials of ancient craft Masonry, upon which foundation has been builded the great superstructure of Masonry of all rites. All other defenslble degrees are but the consistent amplification; the arraying in beautiful raiment; the sublime dramatization; the elucidation and exposition of the rugged truths imperfectly presented in the three degrees as they stood prior to being dispossessed of some of their beauties and powers.
The degrees in the chapter serve to throw light in a beautiful manner upon the truths contained in the three degrees of the ancient York rite.
Those three degrees, tho, like a mighty oak stripped of its leaves, dreary but firm; rugged, but fitted to stand the storm of the centuries, have been clothed with evergreen foliage and golden fruitage by the magnificent degrees of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
The three degrees as now given portray all the great truths of life, but they are so veiled in allegory, symbol and mystery that the ordinary average mind fails to grasp their significance, beauty and sublimity, and the mind is not brought into the full effulgence of the light of truth. They are conferred under no pretense of bringing the candidate into the full light, for he is reminded first and last that they do not give a full comprehension of the truths symbolized by them. It is the Masonry of the people, which, while veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols, not always comprehensible, leads men to higher and better lives, but cannot satisfy the minds and hearts of those who would commune with the truth, and ascend into the realms where men can more clearly comprehend their relations with their fellows and their duties to God.
There is and should be nothing but harmony existing between the York and Scottish rites. They seek the same ends; they have the same foundation, and teach the same essential truths. In the United States, Great Britain and its colonies, the three degrees are common to and form a part of both. In the countries enumerated the Scottish rite has relinquished the right of authority to confer the first three degrees, and begins its ceremony at the fourth degree, thereby evincing its desire and intent to interfere in no manner with the progress of the ancient York rite. Nor does Scottish rite Masonry desire to interfere with any one in his progress through the Royal Arch Chapter, with its sublime degrees, to the culmination and desire of every Christian, the Order of the Temple and appendant orders. It may be stated that every Christian Mason will find comfort, pleasure, and the highest advancement in learning the truths of his religion, as so forcibly and beautifully illustrated in Commanderies of Knights Templar.
In Scottish Rite Masonry no creed is recognized; no religion is condemned; but any clean man who is a Master Mason, who places his trust in God, the Father, and who has by his labors in the three degrees shown his zeal and devotion to the principles of the ancient brotherhood, is given a welcome hand.
No man can understandingly receive those degrees without becoming a better member of any church with which he may be connected; no patriot but will love his country with more earnestness; no husband or father but what will view his family ties as of more binding effect than ever before; no man but will be more conservative and charitable to his fellow men, and have a higher conception of the duties resting upon him in all the relations of life.
No true Scottish Rite Mason will lend himself to criticism of the York Rite, which was formerly included in the three degrees of the blue lodges, but now contained in the degrees of lodge and royal arch chapter, and no one can reasonably question the fact that the great charities of Freemasonry emanate from those who wear the simple white apron, that badge of innocence to which nothing of honor can be added by any order conferred by human hands but he does claim that no Mason can ever obtain a full knowledge of the beauty, truth and glory of the ancient fraternity until he has taken the magnificent degrees of the Scottish Rite. He does claim that in building up Scottish Rite Masonry, the eternal principles of the ancient craft will be appreciated as they can never be understood without its influence; he does claim that in being educated in Masonry, he will not lose his interest in the York Rite, but will be a more devoted worker therein than ever before, and that his love for the brotherhood will be sanctified by greater light, and ennobled by higher knowledge.
There should be no jealousy, no antagonism, between the two Rites. A large proportion of the members of either Rite belong to both, and the few who do not so belong, and who may be so inclined, should not be permitted to foment strife, or stir up ill will. Hand to hand the great brotherhood should go forward in the great work of spreading the doctrine of liberty, equality and fraternity. With malice and enmity towards none, but filled with an absorbing love for humanity and adoration of God, we should combine and work together in spreading our teachings.
Let our united aspiration be to make better citizens, better fathers, better men in all the walks of life. - Bro. W.S. Fly 33d I.G.H., Past Grand Master of Texas, San Antonio.
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ABORlGlNAL RACES AND FREEMASONRY
Brethren: - At one of our recent communications, I was talking with a visiting Brother who repeated to me an experience which he heard given in open Lodge by a missionary to Africa.
The missionary said he was much discouraged by his inability to accomplish any results or to make himself felt among the natives. Inquiring into the cause, he was told that if he would command any attention from the natives, he must join a society known as the Blood Brothers. This he did.
The ceremony consisted of lacerating the hands of the candidate, also the hands of another person. (I did not understand whether another candidate or a Brother.) Their hands were then bound together so that an infusion of blood from each would result. After this, the candidate was knocked senseless by a blow on the head. He did not know how long he remained in that condition, but after he came to, he was raised on the five points of fellowship and with the grand Masonic word. He further stated that having been made a blood Brother, he was more graciously received everywhere he went than he could have been among civilized people.
Can you tell me, or advise me, where I can get any further information about this order. The missionary related the incident in order to show that when we search for the origin of Masonry, we search in vain for here were two persons, as widely separated in every walk of life as possible in this world, yet each having received the same word, which had been handed down from time immemorial.
C. Harris Scofield.
Anent the same matter we reproduce the following article from the South Australian Freemason, which is worthy of notice for the incidents it relates. Certain signs are well nigh universal, not because they are tokens of membership of one secret order, but because they are natural, having much the same meaning everywhere. Because they are natural gestures of greeting, of goodwill, or of distress, they have become signs used in secret orders, whether those orders be savage or civilized. However explained, the incidents are interesting and suggestive. The article is as follows:
The Masonic Craft in Australia should be greatly indebted to Wor. Bro. Dr. Albert Churchward, M. A., for the light he has thrown upon the question I raised in the columns of The South Australian Freemason last September, regarding Masonic Signs among the Australian blacks. Dr. Churchward connects the original of Masonic signs among our native races, given to the explorer, John McDouall Stuart, more than fifty years ago, with the Hero-cult natives. Apparently he bases his conclusion regarding the McDouall Stuart incident largely upon my statement that the blacks in the region visited by Stuart "had features resembling those of the Malay." Our aborigines, we are told, are descendants of the Nilotic negro of the Nile Valley - The Herocults, who employ "many signs and symbols that have been handed down through the ages since they left Africa, and many of their sacred signs and symbols are identical with those in use amongst the Masonic Brotherhood at the present day." The thanks of the Craft are also due to The South Australian Freemason for being the medium for elucidating this most interesting subject.
The Bishop of Marlborough, at a meeting of Bishopsgate Lodge, No. 2396, (England) some years ago, related a story concerning Australian blacks, and illustrating the usefulness of our Craft. His Lordship said that he was attending the British Association meeting at Bath in 1803, and that in the geographical section a paper was read by a Brother Mason, named Graham, who had made this statement: - He was with a party of explorers who tried to pass from the extreme South of Australia to the North. It was the third time Graham found himself in about the center of Australia; the carriers were nearly dying for want of water; there was no forage and no food; and, just as they were about to return exhausted they came upon a small band of aborigines, naked and savage, no word known to them to convey the notion that the party wanted bread. This tribe possessed Masonic signs and words, and became the faithful servants of Graham's party, and it was owing to the tribe's assistance that the explorers obtained roots and water, and reached the Northern shores of Australia in safety. These aboriginal tribes, who knew nothing of civilization, continued the Bishop through Freemasonry, rendered this great service to Graham and his companions. Conceive the mystery, the antiquity, the usefulness of an institution such as ours. It was strange how, in the very center of Australia with its peculiar relation to the rest of the world, such a thing could have possibly existed; but it did, and the consequence was that these white men, assisted by the blacks, who had passed Masonic signs and words, were able to achieve a very difflcult task, and were saved from certain destruction.
Taking the date of the British Association meeting mentioned by the Bishop of Marlborough, Graham's party must have undertaken their travels across Australia not long after McDouall Stuart accomplished his great achievement of crossing the Continent, and the ill-fated Burke and Wills got almost in sight of the waters of the Gulf of Carpentania.
A medical man on one occasion journeyed further into the Australian bush than he had previously ventured. Captured by a native tribe, he was forthwith condemned to death, and the sentence would have been executed had not the doctor used certain Masonic Signs which apparently were recognized by the chief, and had he not complied with the conditon to marry a lubra.
In each of these instances the tribes were absolutely distinct. Their happy hunting grounds were separated by thousands of miles of territory, at least, so far as two of the tribes were concerned, and they had never previously seen white men.
What I am about to record I had from the lips of a Brother on the evening on which we together were raised to the Third Degree. Our Brother was a member of the Tietkins Expedition to Central Australia many years ago. The country explored was between Fowler's Bay and the Musgrave Ranges, much further west than McDouall Stuart's route. The members of the expedition were accompanied a part of their journey by a number of semi-civilized blacks, and among the number was Ningman, chief of the then Fowler's Bay tribe. One afternoon, as the explorers were proceeding on their course, a small party of blacks made their appearance in the distance. They were camped on a hilltop, and were beckoning to the natives with the expedition. A black boy accompanying the explorers was too frightened to approach and hid himself in the trees. The inference was that the natives ahead were determined to fight. Ningman stripped himself of his clothing, and armed with a womera, went forth to meet the gallant savage, the leader of the oncoming blacks, whom he had never seen before. The other warrior chief advanced as for battle. As they approached one another the scene rapidly changed. One saluted the other, and the other acknowledged the salutation; they dropped their native weapons, and went through a performance which my informant described as closely resembling the F.P.O.F. And what, at the outset, looked like hostility and battle array, gave way to a declaration of friendship, and the blacks on both sides thereafter mingled in the most friendly fashion. The explorers were understood to be the first white men to visit the region of the far interior. My informant was not a Mason when he witnessed the scene referred to, but the extraordinary conduct of these aborigines impressed him so much that he carefully noted it in his diary, and the scene vividly returned to his recollection on the occasion of his taking the Third Degree some years afterwards. I remember his remarking at the conclusion of the Masonic ceremony that he had some years before seen signs much resembling those that had been communicated to us by the Worshipful Master. In proof of his statement he brought in his diary the following week to show me.
What is the object of Freemasonry? To edify humanity. All the preoccupations of humanity must turn towards this invisible institution which thinks for it and watches over it. - Lessing.
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