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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 3 - number 5
THE FAITH THAT IS IN THEM---A FRATERNAL FORUM
Edited by BRO. GEO. E. FRAZER, President, The Board of Stewards
Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut.
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois.
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
Contributions to this Monthly Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Correspondence column.
QUESTION NO. 1-- Shall Masonic Lodges encourage the formation of local Masonic social clubs and the establishment of Masonic club rooms dedicated to amusements and social meetings?
A Positive "No."
No. The stated and special communications the Lodge should meet all such demands. We need more brains and less mediocrity in candidates. Let us have less of the eternal grind in the ritual, but more study and investigation, less formality in the lodge room but more fellowship. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
The National Federation of Masonic Clubs I think has done a great work in creating more social interest. I was instrumental in founding one club in Lexington that now has more than 1,000 members and is the only one in Kentucky that belongs to the National Federation.
Also most lodges in Louisville where social clubs are attached, have made wonderful improvement in social intercourse. We need this department of Masonic of life almost more than any other, as of course, in the lodges there is little time to give to anything save conference of degrees. J. W. Norwood, Ky.
More Especially in a Smaller City or Town.
I believe that the maintenance of a Masonic club in connection with a Masonic lodge a most desirable thing, more especially in a smaller city or town where such opportunities may be limited. The spirit of comradeship which is thus developed and the opportunity which the club rooms afford for social meetings to which the wives and friends of Masons may be invited, is particularly appealing to me. I think such club rooms may be wisely conducted without the slightest suspicion of any advertising motive which might be counted directly antagonistic to all the principles of the fraternity. Francis W. Shepardson, Ill.
Yes. Masonry Must Grow as the World Grows.
My answer to your question regarding the formation of Masonic Social Clubs is emphatically Yes. If Masonry is to fill a position in the life of the World such that it is to be worth the while of any man to devote even the least iota of his time and interest to the support of Masonry then Masonry must grow as the World grows. Year by year and decade by decade, as civilization has advanced, the World has come to place a higher and yet higher value on clean social intercourse. Masonry owes it to the World and to itself to recognize and to promote this trend of public feeling. It is a trend that should be encouraged. An organization that does not fill a real world-need--that does not give of its best for the uplift of the World-- is useless, decaying, and a thing that should be eradicated to make a place for some worthwhile organization. A great need of the World today is better opportunities for the exchange of ideas--better opportunities for you to find out the other fellow's point of view and for him to find out your point of view, in order that each may see what is bad in the ideas of the other and what is good, and then mutually eliminate the bad and join forces to promote the good. The corner grocery with its cracker barrel and its redhot stove that formerly formed the rallying place for the men of the community is being eliminated. Something must take its place. Masonry has the organization. Let it do the work ! But few men will deliberately meet for the sole purpose of discussing everyday affairs--there must be a "drawing card." Let that card be the billiard table, the bowling alley, the card table, and the reading room--the interchange of ideas will come of itself. On "lodge night" in many a lodge the "lobby lodge" marshalls more members than does the lodge room lodge. Why? Because-thousands of Masons are starving for that sociability on which their lodges barely lift the veil. Masonry does not canvass for applicants. But if the institution is to survive it must add members. There very recently came to my attention the case of a fine chap, practically a total stranger in the city in which he had come to work some few months before. He decided to join either the Masons or the Odd Fellows in order (1) to identify himself with the right life of the community and (2) to put himself under good influences. So far as he could judge the two organizations were, apparently, one as good as the other in connection with the two points stated. He also wanted sociability- -a place to spend his evenings and to "get acquainted." The Odd Fellows had a Club, open every night and providing social opportunities and, on weekday nights, billiards, pool and cards. The Masons did not. He joined the Odd Fellows. Think it over! Yours fraternally, Harold A. Kingsbury, Conn.
* * *
Draw the Ties that Bind Two Million Men.
Masonry is one of the most important factors in the homogeny of our country. Nearly one-fiftieth of the entire population of the United States are members of the Order. This great Army of nearly 2,000,000 men are bound together by the most solemn ties for the development of ALL the people along lines that make for STRENGTH-- -morally, physically and spiritually--each brother working according to his opportunity and ability. Social organizations within our Lodges can but draw the ties that bind us, one to another, tighter and make it easier for us to see just where we can be of use to our brother-man. Here would be the benefit-- closer association in the various paths of life; more intimate knowledge, not only of each other's virtues, but of each other's faults; and a better chance to know where a proper application of some one or more of the "Five Points of Fellowship" can be beneficially applied. Care must be taken, of course, "Not to turn the hours of refreshment into intemperance and excess"--hence it might be well to make the Jr. W. an Ex Officio Officer of the proposed Club.
Conducted along the proper and healthy lines that are taught within the Lodge, such organizations ought to make for broader and nobler ideals in life. We cannot get into too close touch with our brethren; we cannot, without benefitting ourselves, aid them in the hours of pleasure, recreation, and pain; we cannot fail in good works when, through more intimate association, we learn to know each other's virtues, as well as faults--then we are better armed for the battle of Life --better PREPARED; and PREPAREDNESS is the note of the Hour.
"Man is a social being and was not designed to pass his life in solitude with all his thoughts concentrated upon himself; hence, in the social capacity, men should endeavor, by kind and friendly acts, to promote the happiness of one another."
This excerpt from the E. A. Charge in the Tennessee Craftsman, it seems to me, is most appropriate --and points the way. Fraternally yours, S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
* * * Favors the Club Under Lodge Control.
There is an all-too-increasing tendency nowadays among the craftsmen to forget that Masonry is a serious institution. More and more a lighter note has crept into the lodgeroom, and in the conferring of "the fourth degree" making its appeal through post-prandial platitudes, the real business of the lodge in seeing that its newly-made brethren are duly and truly prepared, is often overlooked. Many a brother comes to lodge only when he reads upon his announcement the, to him, welcome news, "The stewards will serve refreshments." In the larger lodges of the urban communities there is ordinarily quite enough of the social side of Masonic life rendering unnecessary any subsidiary lodge organization. In smaller or suburban communities, where a Lodge through purchase of property, the erection of a temple, or other contingencies has incurred an indebtedness a subsidiary social organization or club can help materially in devising entertainments and other means of lesgening lodge obligations.
For the average city one large central Masonic Club should meet every need, this too mainly for the accommodation and headquarters of visiting brethren.
In any event, the executive control of any organization attached to any particular lodge should be vested in the Master and other officers of that lodge, to assure the fact that the parasitic attachment should not eventually absorb the body upon which it had fastened. To interest the younger brethren, and afford a chance for social intercourse with the wives and sisters and daughters of Masons a Masonic club makes its appeal.
Always to my mind however with the restriction of absolute control by officers of the older and main body. The Lodge always comes first to the true Mason. Jno. Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
* * *
Club Rooms, But Not a Club for the Few.
As a means of promoting sociability, and consequently of its members finding congenial recreational pursuits, Freemasonry has been, in the past, a passive rather than an active agent. As a personal opinion I do not believe the Lodge should advocate the formation of local social clubs or establish Masonic club rooms for a particular part of the membership of the Lodge. As a. Lodge its interests are concerned in every member alike; each has the same things in common. Any attempt to bring a certain form of recreation or amusement under the protection of the Lodge might be quite consistently construed as favoritism.
We are reminded of a "Lodge Bulletin" which reads more like the baseball section of the "sporting extra" than a publication authorized and paid for by a Masonic Lodge.
There are innumerable ways in which the Lodge can promote the social life of its members which will be of benefit to all. Why try to promote a club which will be of benefit but to few?
If the Lodge desires to have "club rooms" let them be for all the members and have them equipped with adequate facilities to provide for a quite diversified t taste. The Lodge itself should have control and not delegate it to a "club."
These opinions are expressed with the most earnest desire that they be not construed as minimizing the value of the development of the social nature, of which I am an earnest advocate, but with the wish that the Fraternity strengthen its fraternal nature and carefully guard against anything which would tend to bring diverse interests within the portals of the Lodge. Silas H. Shepherd, Wis.
* * * Is the "Club Habit" Wholesome?
This is an important question and one whose importance is growing each day. It is my opinion that they should not. I believe the "club life" or the "club habit" on the whole not productive of wholesome results. A club styling itself Masonic and yet not subject to the absolute control of some regular Masonic body is liable to bring a reproach and discredit upon the Craft for which the latter is in no wise to blame and which it is powerless to prevent. If Masons desire to form clubs whose membership is restricted to members of the Craft very well, but do not allow them to appropriate the name Mason or any derivative thereof and do not give them offlcial endorsement. If then loafing and idleness and absentation from home and gambling and drinking grow up in such clubs, as they have so often done and are so likely to do, no blame or responsibility can attach to the fraternity. Suitable amusements and recreations can and should be occasionally provided by the lodge for its members and their families, but no separate organization for this purpose is necessary. Every lodge that is financially able and is so situated that it can should have a library supplied with good Masonic books and literature and an attractive, comfortable reading room, and every encouragement should be given the brethren to make full use of them. All the necessary "club life" can be obtained elsewhere. That the "Masonic Club" is pregnant with dangers must be obvious to all thinking Masons. O. D. Street, Alabama.
Where the Function of the Lodge Ends.
Masonry is a system of fraternalism in moral principles. Masonry teaches truth and exemplifies its meaning by organized rituals. It is the function of Masonry to educate its members to the highest possible standards of moral truth so that each member may contribute his share to the progress of civilization in his own day and generation. To this end it is proper that Masons should build and furnish temples in all beauty that Masonic truth may be taught efficiently. To this end it is proper that Masons should read Masonic literature and attend Masonic lectures, study clubs, schools of instruction, and governing conventions.
It is the province of Masonry to exemplify morality and truth. It is the privilege and duty of the individual Mason to carry this truth into all the phases of his life. The good Mason is a good family man, a good business man and a good citizen. So should he also be a good church man or a good club man, if he finds his place in these activities. There is a definite place for the Mason in politics, but the thought of a Masonic political party is abhorrent. There is a place for the Mason in the church of his choice, but there is no place in Masonry for the Masonic Church. What I have learned in Masonry has led me to place a high value on family protection such as is afforded by life insurance, but I, for one, have not the slightest intention of patronizing a "Masonic life insurance company." And I do not expect any Masonic lodge to serve me either as a commercial association or as a social club.
It is the right of Masons, as individuals, to organize social clubs and to restrict membership in such clubs as they see fit. The Masons comprising the membership of, say, The Craft Club, have the same right to refuse membership in their club to a brother Master Mason as members of the Knights Templar have to refuse membership in their Commandery to a Brother Mason.
- Geo. E. Frazer, Illinois.
BY BRO. W. E. ATCHISON, ASS'T SEC'Y
*Referred to Grand Secretary for confirmation but no reply received up to time of going to press.
The general rule governing the issuance of dimits is substantially as follows:
The application for a dimit must be made at a regular meeting (stated communication) of the Lodge; in some jurisdictions may be made either orally or in writings in others it must be made in writing; the applicant must be "clear of the books," i.e., he must have paid all dues and assessments against him to the date of the issuance of the dimit, and not under charges of unmasonic conduct, etc.
* * *
Mackey holds the word "dimit" to be a modern Americanism and a wholly indefensible corruption of the technical word "demit," and other authorities have written at length upon the subject; Some favoring "dimit" and others "demit." Notwithstanding Mackey's statement that "dimit" is incorrect, we find that out of the forty-nine Grand Jurisdictions in the United States but eight adopt the "e," the other forty-one spelling it "dimit."
* * *
(1) An Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft, in good standing, may be granted a "certificate of dismissal." Such certificate is in the nature of a dimit and the holder thereof may apply upon it for advancement in another Lodge.
(2) Dimit without recommendatory certificate may be issued by Secretary without action of Lodge.
(3) An Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft in good Standing, who permanently removes from the jurisdiction of his Lodge, shall he entitled to a dimit upon the terms provided for Master Masons. Provided, that if an objection has been made to the advancement of such Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft, the Lodge shall not grant him a dimit.
(4) Lockwood's "Masonic Law and Practice" adopted by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut "so far as it does not conflict with the Constitution, etc., of the Grand Lodge," contains this provision:
"Any member of a Lodge, except an installed officer and those under Masonic charges or in arrears to the Lodge, has a right to dimit, provided his withdrawal will not materially impair the efficiency of the Lodge." (Chapter XI, sec. 2.)
"Such dimission is effected by the passage of a resolution, by majority vote, granting dimission." (Chapter XI, sec. 3.)
But the Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut state that a Brother is conditionally entitled to a dimit. Hence, if a Lodge refuses the same without good reason, he can enforce his demand for a dimit through the Grand Lodge. This seems to abrogate the Lockwood provision as to "majority vote."
A Brother stricken from the roll, and under no charges, has a right to receive a certificate from the Lodge upon payment of his dues, to the effect that he was a Mason in good standing; that he was stricken from the roll for non-payment of dues, and that his dues have been paid, and he is free and clear of the books. Such a certificate answers all the purposes of a dimit. A dimit cannot be granted upon payment of dues in such case because the Brother has already ceased to be a member.
(5) A regulation permitting the issuance of dimits to Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts was rescinded at the last Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Florida in January, 1917.
(6) When an Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft removes from the jurisdiction of his Lodge he may be issued a certificate entitling him to receive the remaining degrees. The application for such certificate shall be made at a regular meeting and lie over to the next regular meeting and the certificate shall then only be granted upon an unanimous secret ballot.
(7) Every member in good standing and clear on the books is entitled to dimit upon application. A secret ballot must be had upon the request for dimit and if one or more blackballs appear the matter rests until the next meeting, when if no charges are preferred the Secretary issues the dimit without further action by the Lodge.
(8) No Lodge can grant a dimit to an Entered Apprentice; but in case of removal beyond the jurisdiction of the Lodge in which he was initiated the Lodge may furnish him a certificate setting forth the fact of his regular initiation. - G.M. Kennaly, 1873.
The word dimit simply means to send away, to let go; consequently a certificate of withdrawal, either with or without a recommendatory certificate, is a dimit. - G.M. Stevenson, 1877.
(9) An Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft, free from charges, may, upon written application and a unanimous vote, dimit from a Lodge. At the time of granting such dimit to an Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft, one-third of the total fee paid shall be returned for each degree which he has not received.
(10) Provided, that if on the presentation of such application any member shall give notice of the desire to prefer charges against the applicant action shall be deferred, not exceeding thirty days, to allow full opportunity for filing charges.
(11) Or a member may give notice at a regular meeting that at the next he shall apply for a dimit and at that time, if his dues are paid and no charges have been filed, it is the Secretary's duty to give him a certificate of honorable discharge from membership. The Lodge may also vote him such recommendation as it sees fit.
(12) A Master Mason, being square upon the books, is entitled to a dimit as a matter of right. The application is read in open Lodge for record. No one has any right to object.
(13) No member shall be permitted to dimit from his Lodge until he shall present a certificate from some Lodge that he has petitioned for membership and been elected therein. On presentation of such certificate and his own written request, the Lodge may issue a certificate of dimit, and transmit the same to the Lodge electing the Brother to membership. The dimit issued becomes operative when the Brother has consummated his membership in the other Lodge by signing the by-laws thereof.
(This refers to members affiliating with other Michigan Lodges, only. When a Brother has acquired a residence in another Grand jurisdiction he shall be granted a dimit upon application therefor.)
(14) Dimits granted to Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts only upon removal from jurisdiction of Lodge.
(15) No Master Mason who has been raised in a Missouri Lodge since 1908 and who has not passed a satisfactory examination on the lecture of the Third Degree can be granted a dimit.
(16) No member shall be permitted to dimit from the Lodge of which he is a member until he shall present a certificate from some warranted Lodge that he has petitioned for membership therein. Provided, that when any member shall be or become a resident of another Grand Lodge jurisdiction, a dimit may be granted to him direct and without a compliance with the foregoing provision.
But any member of a Lodge against whom charges are not pending, and whose dues and indebtedness to the Lodge are paid, may withdraw from membership by presenting a written application therefor at a stated communication. The Lodge shall grant the request of the Brother by dropping his name from the rolls, and his membership shall thereby be terminated, and he shall be subject to the disabilities of an unaffiliated Master Mason.
(17) Special dimits may be issued to Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts removing without the jurisdiction.
(18) Except in the case of a Brother applying to a Lodge which granted his dimit if he has not joined another Lodge within three years, when he may be reinstated by a three-fourths vote of the Lodge.
(19) A Master Mason who has not passed an examination upon his proficiency in the lecture of the Third Degree shall not be granted a dimit.
(20) Dimits shall be issued only to Master Masons, members in good standing in Lodges in this jurisdiction, who have removed from the jurisdiction.
(21) Extract from the digest of decisions of the Grand Lodge and Grand Masters, Ahiman Rezon, Pennsylvania, p. 186:
The words dimit and withdrawal card have no place in Masonic Law and practice. A dimit, strictly speaking, is a letter of dismissal from one body to another - as from one church to another church. In Freemasonry, instead of letters dismissory, dimits, or withdrawal cards, we have Lodge Certificates, which are preceded by resignations of membership. A Brother desiring to change his membership from one Lodge to another, on payment of his dues in full, may resign his membership, when the officers of the Lodge must give him a Lodge Certificate, stating that he has regularly withdrawn, and recommending him to the Fraternity. Or, if a Brother, having been suspended for non-payment of dues, should pay his dues in full and be restored to good Masonic standing, he would then be entitled to receive a similar certificate, stating that he has ceased to be a member of the Lodge, and is in good Masonic standing. It must be given to him, on his application by the Master and the officers of the Lodge. They are not privileged to refuse it.
The Lodge has nothing to do with granting a Lodge Certificate, erroneously galled a dimit. All that the Lodge has to do in the matter is to act upon the resignation. Failure to comply with the law in this respect, has been the cause of requiring Lodges to pay dues for Brethren after they had intended to resign, but had not regularly done so; the minutes of a Lodge simply showing that a dimit or withdrawal card was granted, which, as said before, is not the work of the Lodge, and has no place on its minutes.
(22) When application for dimit shall be made and dues paid, and no charges are pending, the Lodge may proceed to grant the dimit at once by ballot; and if unanimous the same shall be entered on record; but if not unanimous the application shall stand over for one month; and if no charges be preferred an order for a dimit shall be entered on record.
MASONRY AND KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
BY THE LATE BRO. WM. A. PAINE, JAMAICA
FREEMASONRY is so closely interwoven with the History of Ancient Architectural Societies that it would be almost impossible to deal fairly with the subject before us, were we to exclude the important Factor Architecture. Our Ancient Brethren considered Geometry and Masonry as synonymous terms. Without a thorough knowledge of the science of Geometry, Architectural Societies in their very perfection could not have existed. We are therefore brought face to face with the pointed and important question. Were the Jews ever promoters of Architecture or Geometry, one of the liberal arts and sciences? If it can be historically shown that they were, then the advocates of the Temple Origin might have something substantial on which to support their theory; but we have to deal with a question of fact, not one of sentiment or tradition, and therefore, under the first heading, we will consider the characteristics of the Jewish people and their legitimate connection with the First and Second Temples.
From the Scriptures and Josephus we gather that the Jews, as a nation, were pastoral in habits and inclination, warlike by force of necessity. The ruins of antiquity disclose no trace of anything that would warrant the opinion that, as a nation, they were skilled in architecture. Their sojourn in Egypt was that of bondage in some of its very worst phases; and in so far only as being labourers, had they any connection with the erection of the Temples, public works and other buildings, for which Egypt was then so renowned. No individual Jew is referred to as having excelled in the mysteries of architecture, or of having been initiated into the mysteries of Egypt; and if perchance Moses, who is said to have been learned in the wisdom of the Egyptians (and in which might have been included the knowledge of architecture, taught him by the Priests) was the exception, yet, his sojourn for so long in the plains of Midian as a shepherd, and his subsequent wanderings in the wilderness with the Israelites, could have afforded neither the opportunity for him to have instructed them, nor for them to have learned and practiced the art of building, as known by, and so thoroughly understood and practiced by the Egyptians. As therefore they could have learned nothing from Moses, by whom could they subsequently have been instructed, and presuming that they had instructors, what opportunities had they to avail of them, and benefit thereby?
Under their Judges, they had to hold their own at times by exterminating the surrounding nations and tribes, and were in turn held in subjection by others, and what could have been more demoralizing and preventative to architectural pursuits, than the wholesale slaughters recorded in the Jewish Scriptures ?
Under Saul and David they experienced somewhat a repetition of the period when Joshua ruled. Incessant warfare, resulting in such close contact with the idolatrous nations by whom, at times, they were conquered and held in subjection, afforded them many opportunities of witnessing their false worship, and thus forgetting the God of Israel. When He saw them adopting the idolatrous habits and customs of their neighbours, we would be justified in presuming that He deemed it advisable that they should have a building in which to worship Him--a building and a ceremonial which would be attractive to the senses and tend to preserve for Him that worship and adoration which, as the true God, was His due. To accomplish this, and further check their idolatry, we may further presume that He put it into the heart of David, who had a most wonderful conception of the attributes of the Most High T. G. Geometrician of the Universe to build for Him a temple, one which would be a worthy tribute from the Jewish nation, then so powerful, and as vastly superior to anything which the world had then seen, as the Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega was superior to the Gods of the Heathen--a temple whose ornate ritual and appointments should transcend those of the mysteries of Adonis, Osiris, &c., &c., as had been practiced by and amongst them. David was privileged to conceive the idea of a building to the God of Israel, but to our traditional Grand Master, Solomon, was afforded the opportunity of carrying it into execution.
Had the Jews at that period possessed architects or Architectural Societies, surely David would have availed of them, in preference to seeking aid from the heathen ?
His correspondence, and that subsequently by Solomon with Hiram, King of Tyre, prove conclusively that, without the Tyrian's aid, nothing could have been done on the scale that was accomplished. Referring to I. Chronicles, 22nd chap., 2-4 verses, we find thus: "And David commenced to gather together Strangers that were in the Land of Israel, and he set Masons to hew wrought stones and build the House of God, also cedar trees in abundance, for the Sidonions and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David." Compare also Kings v. chapter, 6th verse.
The Tyrian architects were known as Dyonisiacs, and one of their peculiarities of construction was "to have the timber and the stones hewn and prepared in the quarries and forests, so that they could be readily fitted together when carried to the locality where the building was being erected"; and therefore, after carefully comparing the Scripture and other accounts of the building of the temple, the only correct conclusion we can arrive at is, that to Solomon, King of Israel, personally can be accorded no credit, save and except for carrying out his father's wishes, and for supplying the funds and costly jewels.
He knew no more of architecture than the meanest of his subjects, and in this respect was no wiser than his father David. We have no record of Solomon having visited Egypt, or that he had been initiated into the mysteries of that country, although, from I. Kings, 3rd chapter, 1st verse, we learn that he "took to wife the daughter of Pharoah, King of Egypt."
For him to have been conversant with architecture, and thus qualified to have been one of the Grand Masters, and one of the three only who possessed the alleged Master Mason's word, he must necessarily have been thus instructed by the Priests; but nowhere do we gather, even by inference, that he was addicted to the Egyptian superstitions--as at times he had been to those of the surrounding nations, from whom he had taken many of his wives-- therefore we may safely hold the opinion that architecture with its peculiar mysteries was a subject not included in the wisdom of Solomon.
We ask ourselves, therefore, this other equally important question: Why do the First and Second Temples form such prominent factors in the system of Freemasonry?--and why is King Solomon claimed as one of the first three Grand Masters ? Of the trio, two were Tyrians-- the one a King, the other the most skillful artist and worker in metals. They were worshippers in the rites of Bacchus or Dyonisus-- certainly not worshippers of the God of Israel.
As therefore Solomon's Temple could not have been built, but with the assistance of the Dyonisiacs, supplied by Hiram, King of Tyre, and superintended by Hiram Abiff, and as Solomon himself knew nothing of architecture, and all that the Jews had to do with the construction of the Temple was merely in the capacity of overseers or superintendents of the labourer, as labourers, for felling the trees in the forests of Lebanon, and in excavating the stones from the quarries nigh to Jerusalem--in carrying to Jerusalem the prepared materials--leaving it to the skilled Tyrian workmen to complete from the foundation to the cope stone. On what ground can Jewish Masons of today claim that from their ancestors of the temple period are to be traced the origin of speculative Freemasonry?
Did the labours of the Dyonisiacs and of Hiram Abiff cease with the completion of the temple? We know to the contrary, for from Scripture we learn that Solomon built palaces for his wives and that his reign was noted for the magnificent public buildings at Jerusalem and elsewhere, which were erected under the superintendence of Hiram Abiff, whose death did not occur until several years subsequent. Josephus refers to him as Abdemon, and tells us that he returned to Tyre, where he died at a good old age. We thus ascertain that Hiram Abiff did not die at Jerusalem--so much therefore for the legend of the 3rd degree which, to be applicable to such a system as speculative Freemasonry, and thoroughly appreciated byus, can only be accepted as a most beautiful allegory-- introduced with the view of inculcating that important Masonic doctrine, that man's body is as immortal as his soul.
At King Solomon's death, the kingdom having been split up into the contending factions led by Rehoboam and Jeroboam, we can here readily reconcile the decadence of architectural pursuits and the departure of the foreign architects and workmen from the midst of civil warfare.
The subsequent history of the Jewish people until their captivity into Babylon, was one of warfare, civil and otherwise, and even admitting that during Solomon's reign the Jews had been instructed by the Dyonisiacs in the mysteries of architecture, the wars subsequent to his death, and the period of their captivity, left them no opportunities for co-operation and keeping intact as an association, the principles which they might have learnt from those whom Hiram of Tyre had originally sent to them. To a certain extent, Scripture is silent as to their occupation when in bondage. They might, or they might not have assisted the Babylonians in the erection of the buildings and other works of that period for which that city was so famous; but, granting that they had the advantages practicing with the Babylonians that which they may have learnt from the Tyrians, they must have, at a later period felt themselves sadly deficient in essentials, and incompetent alone to undertake the erection of the Second Temple, for we learn from Ezra (chap. iii.) that Zerubbabel, the last of the kingly race, and Joshua, the Priest anno mundi 3468, before the foundations were yet laid, "gave money also unto the Masons and to the Carpenters, and meat and drink and oil unto them of Zidon, to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the Sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus, King of Persia;" and if we compare Ezra vi. chap. 3rd, and 4th verses, it will be found that to Cyrus were the Jews indebted not only for permission to build the Second Temple, not only for means to purchase materials and defray the expenses of the hired foreign labour (Tyrian), but they were indebted to him for the general plan, both as to size, and stability.
Consequent on the Samaritan's obstruction, they were compelled to cease for a time, and we note that it was not until A. M. 3484, or 16 years after, that Scripture makes any reference to the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah, therefore A. M. 3468, when the Jews had returned from Babylon, and the rubbish of the First Temple had been cleared away for the foundations of the second, we note that, as a Scriptural historical fact only, Zerubbabel and Joshua, the one the descendant from the kingly line, the other the priestly, took part, the conjoint action of four inclusive of Haggai and Zechariah (the Prophets), so that the three orders, kingly, priestly, and prophetical, should be simultaneously represented, was not, until A. M. 3484, when Darius had forbidden all opposition to them; and if we but note from II. Chron. chap. xxxiv vers. 8, 11, 14, that it was in Anno Mundi 3381 that Josiah, the King, set about repairing the First Temple, and that in so doing, Hilkiah, the priest, then found "a book of the Law of the Lord given to Moses." I would ask my Masonic brethren of a higher degree: how is the discovery of the Law at the erection of the Second Temple reconcilable with Scripture? Here we have another legend, but which I leave for the present.
I have advisedly gone somewhat lengthily into det ails connected with the First and Second Temples. The historical facts connected therewith differ so materially with the Masonic legends, is it reasonable to suppose that to the Jewish nation Freemasonry is indebted for the construction of the Craft Degrees ? Had the Jewish doctors originated the system, or anything similar thereto, for the purpose of teaching morality and inculcating certain doctrines, surely they would have perceived the gross inconsistency (1) of claiming for King Solomon and their ancestors credit for architectural qualifications, knowing full well that the history of their race, from the days of Abraham, is a direct contradiction thereto--(2) of framing a degree based on the discovery of the Sacred Law by Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Joshua, at a time when their own Scriptures disprove it in every respect by 100 years earlier.
Never have the Jews had anything to do with architecture. From the Architectural Societies of ages past have sprung up the Building Fraternities of, comparatively speaking, a later period, and the portion of Jewish history gathered from the Scriptures, with reference to the First and Second Temples and the characters connected therewith on which the speculative system is based, was availed of by the clergy, at three distinct periods, and lastly in the early part of the 18th century by means of the temple symbolism (a temporal building) they allegorized on the erection of a Spiritual Temple.
Conquered by the Romans, the Jews, as prisoners at Rome, were employed as labourers and compelled to take part in the erection of the Colosseum, and we may safely take this as an example of the occupation which the Romans put them to, in other parts of the empire. Thus employed gives them no claim as a people, or nation, for preserving the mysteries of architecture, and thus the link by which to connect and trace the origin and progress of Freemasonry. The Jewish theory is entirely contrary to history, and must be set aside. From the introduction of Christianity, all during the early history of the church, the middle ages, and even as late as 1717, known as the revival period, what status had the Jews? Unfortunately none; and thus the eternal disgrace of Christendom.
Fort, in his "Antiquities," deals lengthily with the influence exercised by the Jews at Bysantium and elsewhere in moulding the social habits and corporate associations of the Roman Empire when it officially recognized Christianity as the religion of the State: such does form a most interesting epoch in Jewish history, and the better to realize it, I deem a brief review of the Jewish question as late as the reign of Charlemagne very appropriate.
Objecting to pay taxes to the Romans brought the Jews into constant scenes of rebellion against that very power which, but comparatively speaking a short period before, as a nation, they had submitted to. During such periods of contest between the Jews and the Romans, it became a somewhat difficult matter for one to decide which of the two disclosed the worst phases of human character--the Massacres by the Jews of the inhabitants of the various cities of Egypt, Cyprus at Cyrene, and elsewhere, or the like massacres of the Jews in retaliation by the Romans, particularly under Hadrian. One naturally turns with disgust from such records of horror and persecution.
Had the Jews yielded to the temporal power of Rome their religion would have met with no persecution, their praiseworthy, although futile endeavours to throw off the Roman yoke brought on them as a people, and as a consequence on their religion, all that they suffered. Therefore with satisfaction one turns to the reign of Antonias Pius, when "the Jews were restored to their ancient privileges and were permitted to form and maintain considerable establishments both in Italy and the Provinces, to acquire the freedom of Rome and to enjoy municipal honors." With such toleration they had the privilege of erecting synagogues in the principal cities of the empire, thus enabling them to observe their fasts, Sabbaths and festivals in a public manner. At such a period in Jewish history, there is nothing to render it improbable that there did exist Jewish Building Associations attached to their Synagogues, as was also the custom with the Pagans and Christians, although nothing is known of such a state of affairs either historically or traditionally. Yet the supporters of a Jewish origin of Freemasonry might be justified in considering it as possible. The civil immunities obtained by the Jews from previous Emperors, confirmed by Severus, and enjoyed by renewed concessions from Constantine A.D., 330, were repealed by the Emperors at Bysantium commencing with Constantius and the edict of Hadrian renewed and enforced. Thus any Jewish Building Associations which might have existed during periods of toleration, must have become inoperative during periods of oppression. Massacred at Alexandria by orders of Cyril the Patriarch, massacred at Naples, Rome, Ravenna, Milan and Genoa, their synagogues levelled and destroyed during the reign of Theodisius, although not with his knowledge or consent; stripped of all their immunities by Justinian, we find the Jews for a considerable period of the Christian era socially incapable of combining for architectural pursuits. In the West we find that they were treated with great severity even as late as the reign of Charlemagne, although individuals noted for their learning and scientific abilities were availed of by that astute ruler.
Thus, briefly we have considered the status of the Jews, to the reign of Charlemagne; then, during the Middle Ages, as Christianity spread, and with it, consequent on the enthusiasm engendered by the Crusades, an unfortunate spirit of intolerance increased, only to embitter the relations between Jew and Christian; and to leave records discreditable to the professors of Christianity, viewed either as nations or as individuals.
Spain, during the Gothic period, was the stronghold of European Jews; and, having assisted the Saracens in their first invasion of Spain, as against the Goths, they were, as a people in return for such services, protected by the Saracenic Conquerors; and, thus, they had the opportunities of availing of the Educational Seminaries of the Saracens, for the study of Astronomy, Medicine, &c., &c. At that period, several of the great masters of the various sciences then known were Jews; but no trace exists of any proficiency made by them in architecture, or of a combination of individuals for that purpose, as existed elsewhere, among Christian builders.
The Mosques, Baths, and other public buildings of Cordova, were of a purely Oriental style, and constructed by the Saracenic builders, who, in their associations, professed having no secrets or mysteries to communicate. They were builders in a purely secular sense. We must recollect that the Saracenic Commander, Tarik, found in Spain a net-work of monasteries. Abolishing nearly all the places of worship he appropriated only seven of them for the Archbishop and his Monks: thus at the period of invasion, now under review, there existed Christian Building Associations attached to the monasteries, which had in time to make way for the secular Saracenic, seeing that Christianity in Spain was only barely tolerated, and that too to a very limited extent by the Saracens. This view is strongly supported by the fact that, at a later period, when one of the Emirs desired to beautify Cordova, he had to send to Bysantium for the skilled architects for which the city was then renowned. Had the Jews of Spain then boasted of any architectural skill, or had they been the conservators of ancient building art, thus connecting them with their ancestors of the Temple Period, having the advantage of being in the very stronghold of Judaism, surely it is only reasonable to suppose that they would have supplied that which was needed, instead of the necessary skill he obtained elsewhere. I consider this historical fact one of the many which suffice to refute the Jewish claim to the origin of Freemasonry and the connecting link between the builders of the Temple and the Speculative Masonry of today.
Grand in its way as was the Saracenic style of architecture, yet much grander must have been that of the early Roman Colleges of Architecture, when it called forth such an encomium as follows from Musa, the Saracenic leader, on his entering the ancient capital of Luisitania: "I should imagine that the human race must have united their art and power in the foundation of the city. Happy is the man who should become its master."
The annals of Judaism abound in eminent warriors, legislators, musicians, orators, astronomers, mathematicians and masters of other sciences, but there the long roll of renown should end. No claim to being masters of the mystic art of building can be supported--not from any fault of their own, but simply owing to force of circumstances. The Jews scattered amongst all nations, finding it impossible to withstand the cruel persecutions which have disgraced Christianity both in nations and individuals, yet preserving for centuries their religion intact, performing in secret its most solemn rites, in no land having a temple of their own, into which they could freely and publicly enter for the worship of their Creator, yet notwithstanding oppression of every kind, displaying some of the grandest instances of the beauties of domestic life and social virtue. Struggling with and beset by oppression and cruelty for close on 1700 years, what opportunity had they, even if there had existed amongst them the talent and inclination for practicing architecture, and thus preserving its mysteries? Had the link ever existed, if even as late as the destruction of the Second Temple, it certainly was severed then.
(To be continued)
HE THAT INHABITETH ETERNITY
Who does not feel how weak
Are all our words to speak
Of him, the Infinite,--
Below all depth, above all height!
Yet hath no other speech
To me such wondrous reach
As this the prophet saith: that he
We dwell in Time: our ear
Is deafened by things near;
Darkly we see, and know
Only in part, also.
From troubles that annoy
Plucking no future joy,
Sweetening failure's bitterness
With no deferred but sure success,--
As if the passing hour were all,
With it we rise and fall:
The while that he
Patient and suffering long
With man's mistakes and wrong;
Seeing how all threads come
In place in Time's vast loom,
And in the finished web fulfil
The pattern of his perfect will;
To whom as one is seen
What is, will be, hath been,--
Tranquil and lifted clear
Above our fevered atmosphere,
Forever dwelleth he
In the sure strength of his Eternity!
O Father of my life,
Give me, amid its strife,
To bear within my breast
The secret of thy rest,--
The river of thy peace within,
Whose banks are always fresh and green;
Give me, while here in Time
Also to dwell with thee in thine Eternity.
--Frederick L. Hosmer.
BY BRO. L. A. POOLER, ENGLAND
I SHALL commence my address by endeavouring to paint for you in words two oldworld pictures. I want you to visualise them for yourselves.
The first is so old a picture that no man can put a date to it. If a man attempted to do it, he would find himself dealing with hundreds of thousands of years. Yet the day of the picture was the most wonderful since the earth began to be created and star-mist began to shape itself into a star. For millions of years the earth had been cooling and preparing itself for that day. All the great ages were only leading up to it--Pleiocene, Eocene, Devonian, and all the rest. It was the day when the first man and the first woman stood upon the earth. Some think there were more than two ! There may have been, but at any rate there were two--a man and a woman !
It is bewildering to think of it. The whole future of the race depends on them, but they do not know what that means. Surrounded by savage animals--many of which have long ceased to exist, such as the sabre toothed tiger and the mammoth--they seem among the weakest of created things. But, on the other hand, they are destined to gain the mastery, because they are endowed with a superior brain. In the struggles of man against man, physical strength has sometimes made good. But in man's struggles with the animal world, and, in later centuries, with the powers of Nature, it has always been brain that has told. Morally, these first two are children. They are innocent as the wild animals are innocent. They do not yet know that there is a difference between right and wrong.
That is the first picture. It might be entitled "The Dawn of Human Life." It is astounding, bewildering to try to realize that beginning, and then to take a survey of the organized political, social, intellectual, and religious life of today.
I come now to my second picture. Thousands of years have passed. The Ice Age, which for 200,000 years had been holding Northern Europe and Asia in its grip, was beginning to pass away. Man was pushing northward after the retreating ice. This second picture is a cave picture of perhaps 100,000 years ago. Again there is a man and a woman; but there are also young men and girls and children. They wear skins. They have learned the mystery of fire. They cook their food. Fierce and wild, there are yet the beginnings of art. Rough tools, made of stone, lie on the floor of the cave. With a small flint tool a young man is doing something to a white shoulder-bone. Let us go forward and look. He is tracing the outline of a reindeer. There are other pictures on bones or mammoth ivory--the outlines of an auroch or bison, of a mammoth, of deer and goats. They are like the pictures which children draw. It is a far cry to Raphael. But the possibility of Raphael is there.
I have tried to give you a picture of the cave life of what are known as "Drift Men." Finally, the old people died, and the younger people moved away. Then an earthquake or some other cause closed the entrance to the cave, and for 70,000 years or more the place was sealed. In our own day it was opened. The bones of a man and a woman were found. The picture of the reindeer was found, and all the other pictures; and they were placed in a museum. And you can see them, for it is a true story that I have been telling you--the story of a cave in France.
THE FAMILY LIFE
These, then, are the two pictures. Wherein lies the great contrast? It is in the development of family life. There is no family life on earth except the human. With mankind everything starts from the family. It is the original unit of value--the father, the mother, the children. Sometimes--for purposes of protection--the family kept together in the second generation. Thus began the clan or tribe. Then the time came when the tribe ceased to live a wandering life. They settled in a district and took possession of it. The old nomad life ceased. Agriculture took its place. Other clans did the same thing. The quarrels between them were unceasing, but they led to alliances, and finally to the union of certain clans under a headman, or chief, or king. So, slowly and laboriously were little kingdoms built up, which in time were absorbed in greater.
There is but one tale through all the centuries-- constant and deliberate war--family wars, tribal wars, national wars. Bonds of brotherhood were sometimes formed, but such unions were for purposes of war or defense. We speak easily of the Brotherhood of Man. We do not realize how modern it is, or how impossible it seemed. In later days Hebrew prophet, and Greek philosopher, and Roman satirist alike derided its absurdity.
Yet it came ! All the while God was leading up to it. The rest of the animal world was stationary, but man was progressive. Bees, wasps, birds, insects were doing wonderful things when man was created. They are doing the same things still. They are not a bit further on. The achievements of one age are not the starting-point for the next. At the start man could not have made a honey-comb; but today he has invented the airship and controls wireless telegraphy.
So in the moral world, all through the savagery and brutalities of human history we get glimpses of the growth of better things--the virtue of self-sacrifice, and the plant of peace. At length came the great revelation. All the greatest truths come by Divine revelation. It was born into the world with Jesus of Nazareth. It was revealed in the Life of the Incarnate Christ. Thirty years after Christ, St. Paul could write: "There cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman-- but Christ is all, and in all."
Granted the Incarnation, Paul's conclusion is irresistible. But it is hard for us to realize how long it takes a new idea to germinate and grow, and fulfill itself. You plant an acorn today, but you will not have an oak tree tomorrow.
Even in the Christian Church the idea of the Brotherhood of Man had little influence until the Reformation. In the first ages the clergy did endeavour to induce men to free their slaves. If Onesimus is "a brother beloved," he cannot be the slave of Philemon. But the Church itself became monarchical. Its bishops ranked as princes, and emphasized class distinctions more than the Brotherhood of Man. But since the Reformation men have dreamed unceasingly of human brotherhood--of human life lived under happier conditions, of the filling in of the gulf that still exists between the rich and poor, and also of the realization by humanity that "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesses."
DREAMS OF BROTHERHOOD
About 400 years ago no little stir was caused in England by a little book--a published dream of the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More. It contains two pictures--England as she was, and England as he dreamed she might be ! England, where 1,500 years of so-called Christian teaching had produced social injustice, religious intolerance, and political tyranny ! And, on the other hand, the England of his dream, where men lived as brothers in a Christian commonwealth ! But More was a student of human nature, and so he dreamed of no sudden revolution in men's thoughts. Permanent things are always of slow growth. So he writes: "It is not possible for all things to be well, unless all men were good--which I think will not be yet for these many years !"
But the idea bore fruit. A hundred years later Lord Bacon in England, and Campanella in Italy, dreamed fuller dreams of human brotherhood. Then in Paris the courtly nobleman St. Simon, and Fourier, son of a woollen-draper at Bessancon, kept the idea before men's minds. In England, during the first half of the last century, Robert Owen taught men the value of co-operation and the necessity for universal education. When he was more than eighty years of age he expressed his conviction that "the time will surely come when the population of the world will be governed solely under the influence of love and charity, and that, Divine as these principles are, they are yet principles of common-sense for governing mankind, and forming the character from birth to death."
But, you may ask: What of the present war? What of this unparalleled outburst of human hate and of insatiable ambition? What of the present war and our dreams of the Brotherhood of Man ? Ah, brethren ! Democracies do not want war, but war is less intolerable than slavery. Wars are caused mainly by the mad pride of kings and the arrogance of a governing class. In all that relates to human liberty, human brotherhood, and human culture, we are two hundred years ahead of Germany. So the Empire had to choose between war or submission to the pagan rule of a military despotism. Our victory will be the victory of the principles that underlie the true progress of humanity and the safety of all free peoples.
And now, what shall I say of our own society--our Masonic Brotherhood ? So far back as the time of the Roman Empire there were unions of craftsmen for the protection of their trade against interlopers. Later on medieval building associations were widely spread throughout Europe. In the tenth century Masonic Lodges existed in England. All the great cathedrals were built by these men. The last Grand Master of the Operative Masons of England was Sir Christopher Wren. The last great work of the Order was the building of St. Paul's Cathedral. In 1723 Wren was buried in his great church, and on his tomb we read:--
"Si monumentum quceris, circumspice."
But Masonry had done its work. The Creative Age of Gothic architecture was over. With the Renaissance classical styles had been introduced. St. Paul's Cathedral itself marks the change. But Masonry did not die. Transformed, it started on a new career of world-wide brotherhood. In 1703 the privileges of Masonry had been extended to men of various professions, provided they had been regularly approved and initiated into the Order. Twelve years later the final change came. Operative Freemasonry ceased as an Order, but it was re-born into speculative Freemasonry, and new rituals were drawn up by Dr. Anderson, a Presbyterian minister, and Dr. Desaguliers, a well known man of science.
What, then, does it all mean?
It means, firstly, the recognition of the Brotherhood of Man. There is no doubt about that. The objection is sometimes made: "The Christian religion teaches the Brotherhood of Man, but you Masons limit it to a Society." No, assuredly ! But the Brotherhood of Man is a big thing. You may theorize about it all your life, and never do a brotherly deed. So Masons say: "The world is large. There are millions of people on it. Practically, we cannot be brothers to them all. So we take a certain number, and try to act a brother's part to them. By doing so we are helped to understand the meaning of the Brotherhood of Man. We are better fitted to act a brother's part to those outside the Order." As a matter of fact, Masons not only support their own institutions, but they are in the front rank in all questions of general philanthropy.
BUILDERS OF CHARACTER
Secondly, it means the recognition that all men are builders. At any rate, we build our own character. This is each man's contribution to the unseen, the spiritual temple, which God and humanity have been building throughout the ages--a temple founded on wisdom, supported by strength, and adorned with beauty ! And some men build in marble, and some in brick, and some in "wood, hay, stubble." Hereafter each man's work shall be made manifest, for "the day shall declare it." But these will abide always: brotherly love, and charity, and truth.
Yes, we are all builders! We build as best we may. Do not be disappointed, if you seem to fail. It is greater to fall short of a high ideal than to realize a lower. "High failure overleaps the bounds of low success." God says to you as He said to David: "It was well that it was in thine heart to do great things, to build a house unto the name of the Lord." But here no man finishes his work, yet the building goes on eternally. That is the meaning of Kipling's splendid parable:
When I was a King and a Mason--a Master proved and skilled-- I cleared me ground for a palace such as a King should build, I decreed and dug down to my levels. Presently, under the silt, I came on the wreck of a palace such as a King had built.
It was all in ruin--
Masonry, brute, mishandled, but carven on every stone:
After me cometh a Builder. Tell Him I too have known.
Then gradually he learned the meaning of the older Builder's work-- "the form of the dream he had followed in the face of the thing he had planned." Finally his own summons came. His building too must be left. There is only time to do one thing, for a word has come from the darkness:
Only I cut on the timber, only I carved on the stone:
After me cometh a Builder. Tell Him, I too have known.
No man need ask a grander epitaph than that!
After me cometh a Builder. Tell Him, I too have known.
MASONRY -- ITS PATRIOTIC OPPORTUNITY
BY BRO. J. F. KIRK, NORTH CAROLINA
ADDRESS BEFORE THE 29th DISTRICT MEETING AT STATESVILLE, N. C., NOV. 17th, 1916
MASONRY, as I conceive it, stands for essential unity. It regards no man for his worldly wealth or honors, it courts no man for his position, in the lodge room all are on the same level of equality. When misfortune overtakes a brother, it stands ready to extend a helping hand; when death steps in to rob the home of its natural guardians, the father and the mother, Masonry attempts to play the role of foster parents by caring for the orphan children. It attempts to make the lot of all as nearly equal as possible, by giving to each child the opportunity of education and training, the orphan as well as the home-trained and the home-nurtured child.
But there is a larger realm in which, it seems to me, Masonry may serve, and indeed has served in the past. In the history of that dark period of our nation's history from '61 to '65, there appear little incidents that shine bright as the light of the sun against that black background of war. Men who had the misfortune to be taken prisoners found in Masonry the only effective tie that bound them to those that fought on the other side. They oftentimes found friends among those ranked as enemies.
Why, we ask, were these traditional enemies suddenly transformed into friends? The answer is to be found in the common obligation taken at our sacred altars, in the spirit of the fraternity and equality inculcated around the altar fires of Masonry. May we not cherish the hope that Masonry is yet to exemplify this spirit in a still larger way, and on a really national scale in these latter days?
There was a time in our national history when Masonry was looked upon with suspicion by a considerable body of our citizenship. After nearly a century of observation, a critical public has decided that Masonry is not only innocent of all evil designs against the republic, but public opinion now holds Masonry to be an institution founded upon correct principles, and the organization composed of that class that make up our best and most public-spirited citizens. Masonry has established itself before the sober judgment of the American people.
There is, therefore, for perhaps the first time in our history given to Masonry the opportunity to render a great and distinctly national service. The Masonic lodge-room is perhaps the greatest neutral meeting ground in America today. No suspicion of political partisanship attaches to Masonry anywhere, no distinction is possible as to religious beliefs, except the requirement of faith in a Supreme Being. The Englishman, the German, the Russian, the Frenchman, the Greek, the Armenian, the Japanese and the Chinaman, all meet around the altar of Masonry, on the plane of a simple, common manhood. Where can you find another organization that is so widely extended in its geographical sweep; where can you find one taking in so nearly all classes and conditions?
There is none other in this nation except the Christian church, and it is divided into a score of more or less hostile camps, on credal statement, or difference of polity. Here, under ideal conditions, we should find our neutral ground, but so long as denominational lines remain as closely drawn as at present, this is no universal meeting point.
Masonry ought to make of itself the intellectual clearing-house of America. It has the opportunity to fuse and weld the concomitant parts of this great mass of one hundred millions of people into a unity, into a homogeneous nation of dominant general spirit.
It has this opportunity in two main directions; in the direction of reconciling and bringing together the rich and the poor, and in the direction of bringing together and introducing the various national types making up our citizenship. In Masonry there is absolutely no distinction of rich man and poor man. In Masonry there are and can be no hyphenates. That is the theoretical position of Masonry; the practice of individual Masons is very far below the position taken by the Order. In Masonry, strictly speaking, there are no rich men and poor men; there are no English, or Germans, or Americans,--in the lodge room all are simply men, with none of these external and artificial distinctions.
These are our fundamental conceptions; they are the deepest beliefs of Masonry; upon these tenets, our whole Masonic edifice is builded. We believe these principles to be sound, we demand their acceptance at the altar of the lodge of all who become Masons; we profess that these principles are susceptible of universal application. We have gone so far as to introduce them as a working code for Masons throughout the civilized world. In England, in France and in Germany there are thousands that are not only Masons in name, but stand on the identical principles on which our own lodges stand.
We profess these principles inside the lodge room, we demand of our members that they practice them in all Masonic relations. Should we not proclaim them as of universal, and especially national, significance ? There is abundant need of such service to be rendered by some agency. From every direction there comes the cry of party strife, of class struggling against class. We are familiar enough these latter days with one section of the country decrying another section, with citizens of one group suspicious of those of another group, with one division of citizens whose ancestral home is in one part of Europe arrayed against another division whose ancestral home happened to be in another part of the same continent. Let us be one. Let Masonry preach aloud its doctrine of manhood above every consideration; it matters not where a man is born, in a hut or in a palace, whether in the north of Europe or in the south, in the east or in the west, whether in the old world or in the new; a man is a man for all that. Let it be known from the housetops that there is one organization that has existed and grown and flourished for centuries on the assumption that one honest, sincere man is as good as another, and has had its long perpetuity on the very ground that all artificial distinctions must be laid aside at the door of the lodge.
Is not this doctrine as good on the street as in the lodge ? Is it not an ideal that should be made a national ideal, and is not Masonry the agency through which this doctrine may become a national doctrine and a national realization ? There must come forth some individual, or some institution, that is willing and able to render us this national service. There is little doubt as to the ability of Masonry to render a great service along this line, were it entirely willing to do so. There is, perhaps, no organization in our midst, as respectable in numbers, that is more conservative than Masonry. Therein lies our weakness for this undertaking. We should have to be as positive for unity as other influences, now at work, are for disunity. We should be as positive in asserting our ideals in the outer world, as we are in the tiled recesses of the lodge. In other words, we now have the opportunity to make our ideals actual realizations on a national scale, if we but prove ourselves positive enough to be what we profess.
(BY GEORGE W. BAIRD, P.G.M., D. OF C.)
THE beautiful equestrian statue of Casimir Pulaski stands on a triangular reservation between Pennsylvania Avenue, E Street and 13th Street, in Washington. It was modeled by Casimir Chodzinski, a Polish Sculptor, and was presented to the Government by the Polish (R. C.) Societies.
It is on a high, granite pedestal, and may be seen from any direction. It has the merit of showing the great cavalryman as naturally riding. There is nothing strained nor unnatural about it, and the observer is at once struck with the appearance of a man actually riding.
This memorial was unveiled on the same day as that of Kosciusco, both of which were presented by the same Societies.
Pulaski was born in Poland in 1748, and was killed in battle in 1779. At the age of 20 he was concerned in a "confederation" against the Russians and, after the death of his father, he carried on a "partisan warfare." He raised the revolt in Lithunia in 1769 and forced the Russians to withdraw, at Czenstochova.
His estates were confiscated and he disappeared from Poland in 1772, when a "price was on his head," but he came to America in 1776, by the advice of Benjamin Franklin, and succeeded in securing a place in the Continental Army the next year.
He took part in the battle of Brandywine and was appointed to command the Cavalry with the rank and pay of a Brigadier General. He served, also, in the battle at Germantown.
He raised the Pulaski Legion of "68 horse and 200 foot" which soon became famous. Pulaski became dissatisfied with his rank and would have returned to Poland but for the persuasion of Washington. He was made a Mason in a Military Lodge (Gould) in Georgia shortly before his death.
He was mortally wounded, in action, near Savanah in an assault on the British forces, and was taken on board the U. S. Brig Wasp, where he died two days later, as the Brig was leaving the river.
Congress voted a memorial to his memory, which, however, was never built, but the people of Georgia raised a fund for a monument the corner stone of which was laid with Masonic services by Marquis de La Fayette, at Savanah, in 1824.
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN---No. 8
DEVOTED TO THE "STUDY SIDE OF MASONRY"
Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
(Note: The following article is one of a series prepared by Brother Robert I. Clegg for reading and discussion in Lodges and Study Clubs. This series is based upon the N. M. R. S. "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" and consists of a leading article each month by Brother Clegg to which is appended a list of references pertaining to the same subject from which the members of the Lodges and Study Clubs adopting our Course of Study may prepare additional papers for reading and discussion at the same meeting at which Brother Clegg's paper is used.
We recommend that the Lodges and Study Clubs use the current paper at their study meeting one month later than its appearance in the CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN to give their members time for the preparation of additional papers.
Members of the N. M. R. S. living in communities where the "Systematic Study of Masonry" has not been taken up either in their Lodge or in a Study Club are earnestly invited to correspond with the Secretary's office and learn how easily the plan may be put into operation in their own community.
The plan may be taken up at any stage of the Course. It is not necessary to start with the first installment of the series. The course is based upon a few books--Mackey's Encyclopedia and the Bound Volumes of THE BUILDER--in order that Lodges and Study Clubs may enter upon the work systematically, and at the least possible expense.
Interested Masons are requested to write us for information. Our "STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT" is organized for the purpose of assisting in the organization and conduct of the study of Masonry in Study Clubs or as a long-neglected but necessary feature in monthly Lodge meetings.)
CEREMONIES OF A LODGE By R. I. Clegg
A set form or system is used in the opening of a Lodge or indeed in any other of the ceremonies. Methodical in the fullest sense of the word is the manner of conducting Masonic work, and the opening of a Lodge is simple, direct and all take part. While the parts played in the opening by each of the members and officers are not the same in kind or in scope yet the fact that there is uniformity year in and year out in each jurisdiction and that all in some way participate gives the growing weight of custom and tradition that impresses every member as well as by his co-operation giving him the first principles at every communication of team work, and the latter sentiment is very important to the success of Masonry.
There is nothing unusual in a religious body having a uniform ritual for its opening or closing ceremonies. Every church service impresses the spectator. It is equally so in legislative organizations as well as in the field of business. The directors of a commercial or industrial institution meet and start their business by clearly defined means and methods because time is saved by such systematic labors and the mere formality carries into speedy and approved effect the orderly flow of events.
Law courts continue the same sequence of acts. Entrance of the judges is marked by a very serious and ceremonial reception by the minor officials. Phrases of an oldtime flavor and quaintness are employed. These are but the machinery of the work but they do indeed add to the dignity of the proceedings.
So of old it was with the followers of the ancient mysteries. Little is known of the details of the ritual. Here and there we get hints of what was done. Truly these are so suggestive in many respects that we can easily guess at the indebtedness of our fraternity to the practices of the members engaged in the mysteries.
PURGING THE LODGE
First of all we may employ the old term, "Purging the Lodge." Back still further in the ages we have the spectacle of the Herald in the mysteries announcing that all those not by right entitled to remain should go. Both in Greece and Rome a like ritualistic sentence was used. This is often found translated into English as "Depart, depart, ye profane." But the word "profane" might almost if not entirely be given as "unclean" or "unsanctified." As the preliminary act in the mysteries was to perform some ceremony of symbolic and literal or actual cleansing of the candidate, it would not be lacking in exactness to speak of the uninitiated as the "unclean."
The several steps in opening the Lodge may in brief be stated. Upon the Worshipful Master is the responsibility of starting the Lodge labors. While the by-laws of the Lodge usually state when is the precise time for the beginning of the opening ceremony, it is like most other incidents of Lodge work, entirely for the presiding officer to make the actual start. His formal announcement being made to that effect, the brethren take due notice of the instruction and assume the essential Masonic clothing with whatever jewels of office that any are entitled to wear. This done they all proceed to their several stations with due dignity and dispatch.
Now comes the purging of the Lodge, the separation from those properly entitled to remain of those not so qualified. We look to the West for care of the most stringent character in performing this duty. The wise Senior Warden will not wait idly until the moment has actually arrived for making an announcement upon this point. For some time prior to the opening of the Lodge he will circulate industriously among the assembled brethren, fully acquainting himself with all whose faces are strange to him. Nothing can be more aggravating than the mortifying experience of being at the last moment obliged to say that a certain brother is unknown and then find him perhaps to be a member of that very lodge whose attendance has been infrequent for perhaps many years.
Nor should the brethren ever "take a chance." There is the well known rule that to vouch properly for the presence of anyone you must have sat in lodge with him. This is playing safe. It will never leave you with any uneasy feeling that you have done less than your plain duty. Far better that many of the worthy are held back for a searching examination by an investigating committee than that any of the unworthy should pass by into the sacred halls. When a brother admits he thinks a brother or visitor is a Mason he should be firmly but of course courteously informed that "thinking" is not sufficient. He must know and he cannot know too positively. Satisfied that everyone has a perfect and unquestionable right to be present, there is next undertaken due inquiry of the passages to the Lodge and the manner of their protection and care. Officers are placed where all approaching persons are seen and stopped before they can gain improper sight or entrance of the Lodge. From time to time as the ceremonies require the guardians of the entrances are appropriately instructed as to the conditions prevailing in the Lodge and how and when admission may be granted by the presiding officer.
All the officers satisfy the Worshipful Master and through him all the other brethren that they are fully informed as to their duties and when the Master is thoroughly convinced that each officer is properly placed and fully instructed as to what he may be called upon to do, the presiding officer then makes due announcement of his purpose in the proceedings. Upon this he demands of the assembled brethren to join in certain ceremonies which testify to the eye of each of those present his own individual ability and that of every one of his neighbors that he has a knowledge of the degree in which the Lodge is to be opened and that he is in accord with what is being done.
At the point when all the technical essentials of secrecy are obtained for the subsequent ceremonies, when all the avenues of approach have been guarded, when critical search and inquiry have been made about the Masonic qualifications of all those present, when all the officers have been placed precisely where they belong and when they are fully made known to the assembled brethren as duly informed about their duties, and when formal statement has been given from the East, and all the brethren have combined in that ceremony that exhibits so well the unity and capability in a bit of Masonic ritual, then comes the appropriate moment for inviting the blessing. Here indeed is the beginning of an important undertaking and we all rightly hold that we ought then to reverently seek in all our doings the favor of Almighty God. To this devout and dutiful invocation the brethren respond by a common sentiment expressed in an oldtime phrase well known to all Masons.
Now the Lodge is announced as duly opened and the precise manner of the opening, whether in the one or the other of the degrees, is duly communicated to the officers charged with the care of the entrance and is by them told to the visitors who arrive after the Lodge has been opened. With this information the expert Freemason is enabled to enter with decorum and in perfect good taste and accuracy, fulfilling in every way the truly Masonic requirements.
From of old it has been the practice that the Worshipful Master in opening his Lodge shall give a lecture or a part of one. Careful observers of the ceremonies will see how closely this has been followed. It will also suggest to the attentive brother how the brethren of old employed their time when candidates were few and far between and when the ceremonies might with propriety be lengthened. Then the lectures were doubtless freely used at the opening and it is equally probable that all the brethren present took a more lively and thorough part in the proceeding than now. These are samples of the differences between the old practices and the new about which there is much room for wide variation of opinion.
Let not the thoughtful brother overlook the fact that the opening ceremony has direct reference to the particular degree which it precedes. This aptness of the introduction paves the way to a better understanding of what is to be done. It is another reminder of the coherence of Masonic labors, that each fits as the links in a chain, contributing its strength and service to bind the whole into a unity, each for all and all for each, typical of the unit part of Freemasonry, the unit being the individual Mason.
CLOSING THE LODGE
There is but one officer to determine when the Lodge shall be closed, and he is the Worshipful Master. From his action there is no appeal. He is not as the Chairman of a Committee, and indeed there is about Lodge work nothing that corresponds to the Committee of the Whole with which we are all familiar in legislative and other bodies. There is no moving of the previous question or any similar parliamentary trick to bring things to a focus. Debate ceases when the Master rises in his place. Neither is there appeal from his decisions on the floor of the Lodge. He has no peers among those present. You may impeach him but not by any appeal in the usual legislative style from the decision of the chair. All that you can do is to carry your grievance, if you have one against the Worshipful Master, to the Grand Lodge. There and there only have you redress if he prove unmindful of your demands.
Thus it comes at the moment when the lodge labors apparently ended, the Master alone determines the proper moment to act. True, he does invite as a usual thing an expression of opinion from the officers and the members as to the possibility of anything having been left undone that should be done. The officers respond, as do any of the remaining brethren who have anything to offer, and then the Master acts according to his best judgment. He neither permits nor announces anything that savors of an adjournment. When he closes the Lodge he does not reopen it in the same degree to rectify some error, a lodge opened and closed for a definite purpose is for that date permanently closed.
Having determined to close, there are like ceremonious steps to be taken in duly closing the lodge. These so closely resemble the opening that little need be said as to their order of events. There are Masters who by impatience to get things over are tempted to shorten the ceremony in one degree or another but this is usually a mistake. Particularly is it objectional to shorten any ceremony of closing or opening a degree if a young member or a candidate having but one or two of the degrees be in attendance. For his sake at least let the temptation be resisted.
For all of us the proceedings will be the better if we see the labors done fully, nothing overlooked and there will be nothing Masonically overthrown. Better save the time elsewhere by not wasting any. See that the labors do not drag, that nothing interferes or blocks, that everything moves serenely and smoothly without the slightest friction or excitement or fuss. Thus the last benediction invoked of the Great Architect upon the gathering around the altar will be indeed a fitting climax to the worthy work of the day.
In many of the jurisdictions there is a neatly appropriate allusion in the closing of the duties of a Mason as symbolized by the jewels worn in the East, West and South. Here too is an appropriate bit of symbolism that might well be universal. The way that we should meet each other and act toward each other and how we should part from our brethren are lessons that cannot be impressed too vividly and thoroughly upon our minds. No criticism is intended of those who do not use this symbolic teaching and it is only here alluded to because of the effective manner that it has been seen to impress most Masons who have witnessed it. The action is so suited to the word that it is difficult for a brother accustomed to the ceremony to avoid giving it in full even when in Lodges that do not employ the ceremony.
CALLING OFF AND ON
"Calling off the Lodge" is a phrase, and a very old one, that broadly speaking refers to the announcement of a recess. Of old it was not at all rare to halt the proceedings at any opportune moment and in the lodge room or any convenient place enjoy refreshment or the greater formality of a banquet as the case might be. An old author familiar with the work of a hundred or more years ago says of the custom: "At a certain hour of the evening, with certain ceremonies, the lodge was called from labor to refreshment, when the brethren enjoyed themselves with decent merriment." With us the custom prevails of ending the work of the day with the banquet though it is not rare to find a city Lodge in these days of high pressure in ritualistic labors to call a communication early in the afternoon, have dinner about six o'clock and then continue the work of conferring degrees.
Grand Lodges are different from other Lodges in that the method of calling on and off from day to day is not uncommon. Neither is it rare for Grand Lodges to adjourn from day to day or for even longer periods. It is therefore not wise to assume that the rules governing the one class of bodies apply equally in detail to the others.
There are at the stations of the Senior and Junior Wardens certain columns. These have a particular usefulness when the lodge is called from labor to refreshment or from refreshment to labor. The brethren are familiar with their use and it need not be detailed. There is a strong likelihood that these columns have had of old a somewhat different appearance and usefulness than at present. Now they are columns symbolic of the qualities represented by the respective officers before whom they stand. They have also the designation of one or other of the orders of architecture. All this is as explained in the lectures and monitorial instruction.
It is also probable that the columns are a survival of the gnomens of primitive sun-dials such as would, be prepared by the brother thrusting a stick into the ground and relying upon its shadow to tell the time and the duties therefor of the day. Again it is well to suggest to the thoughtful brother that he attend to the ritual of the respective officers in the recital of their proper province and then determine for himself what were all the functions of the columns in the West and South in the days of yore.
It is proper to state that while the current phrases are "Called Off" or "Called On" as the case may be, yet the sentences of which these should be parts are frequently heard as "Called from," etc.
"Due" simply means what should be done. Lodges are opened in due form when the proper ceremonies are performed by at least the requisite number of qualified Freemasons. Due form means that the right thing has been done in the right way by the right persons. It is in brief a Masonic expression of legal fitness. Truly in Masonry we do stand for having all things done at least decently and in order. Then they are done in due form.
The rite of dedication is of the utmost antiquity. Ceremonials of dedications have been performed by all peoples on such occasions as putting altars or temples or other places to sacred uses. The tabernacle was consecrated and dedicated by Moses. So also did Solomon with the first Temple. When the returning exiles came out of their captivity and rebuilt the Temple of the Lord the memories of Babylon quenched not their love for a profound gift of the fruit of their labor to the exclusive service of their God.
So therefore is a Masonic Temple by mystic rites, in serious imitation of these pious and ancient examples earnestly and religiously consecrated to the sacred purposes for which it has been constructed and completed by its builders. Thus it is set apart for a holy object, the vigorous and thorough cultivation of the several tenets of a Mason's profession. Hereby does it therefore become to the conscientious Mason invested with a peculiar reverence, a place to be trod as holy ground.
At the ceremony it is planned to conduct the proceedings in ample form, all the ritualistic positions of the officers being filled by the persons elected to them or such others of the fraternity as may be appointed. The ancient sacrifice of the poured oil, corn and wine is performed. The entire ceremonial differs but slightly in the various jurisdictions so far as the present writer has had an opportunity to examine the methods.
In connection with the dedication of Masonic Halls it is proper here to state that the authorities do not usually favor the joint use of the rooms with any other body not recognized as Masonic or closely affiliated with Masonry. The complete details of this rule are not uniform in all jurisdictions and have been changed even in the same jurisdiction. It has happened that for some reason or another, as in the case of a Masonic Temple being destroyed by fire, there has been no other local opportunity to meet for the brethren unless they occupied a room temporarily that was also used by the members of some other organization. In such case the method is to secure an emergency order from the Grand Master or his representative, this waiver of the law's strict provisions being known as a "dispensation." Such release is void as soon as conditions change and the lodge is enabled to again comply with the letter of the law.
The installation of the officers of a lodge is required to be performed within a certain time after election. This period is a matter of Grand Lodge enactment. One code of laws stipulates that the installation shall take place not more than sixty days after election. Sometimes it is made a public ceremony. In such cases the lodge is opened and closed in ritualistic form in an adjacent room, or before the audience arrives the lodge is opened and closed after the visitors depart.
An old custom that is still retained is that the retiring Master installs his successor and then the installed Master in turn installs his officers. It has happened that the retiring Master installs all the officers but this only occurs where the installed Master waives his right to install his own officers.
In many jurisdictions, prior to the installation of the Master, it is necessary that he shall have been invested with the Past Master's degree which can only be conferred by not less than three Past Masters.
"Installed" has the same significance as to be seated; placed in the chair of authority.
Of the order of public processions it is evident that roughly the order of the brethren is for the Tyler and Stewards to head the line in that way and then come the Master Masons followed by the rest of the officers according to their place in the list and concluding with the Past Masters and then the Master. Of course if the ceremony is a cornerstone laying, then the Grand Lodge officers follow the Lodge officers but adopt the same order of rotation in office, the lowest in rank coming first.
The word "refreshment" does not to a Mason have the same meaning as to those outside the fraternity. When the labor of the lodge halts by order, the lodge is at refreshment. Usually the stop is short, merely as a rule for the purpose of taking up a different line of work. Sometimes as already intimated a banquet may intervene between the opening and closing of a lodge and the call to refreshment then probably becomes what it may have actually been to our ancient brethren of the operative craft, a time for food and drink, the hour of rest and repast.
"Stated" or "regular" meetings, or communications, are those specified by the laws of the governing body as the minimum. It is sometimes required that a lodge shall hold no fewer than twelve meetings a year. Most lodges meet by their rules twice that number. Whatever the number specified may be are the "Stated" meetings. "Special" or "called" meetings are additional meetings to the "Stated." These may be called for the purposes of conducting funerals or conferring degrees. Nothing but the object for which the meeting was originally called is permitted to be done at the "Special" communication of a lodge.
In addition to the topics suggested in the sub-heads in the above article, see the following--all in Mackey's Encyclopedia:
Adjournment Adoption, Masonic Ample form Annual Communication Baptism, Masonic Burial Center, Opening on the Chair, Passing the Communication Cornerstone Dedication of a Lodge Eulogy Labor Meet on the Level Public Ceremonies Quarterly Communication
WHAT WILL MAKE A GREAT LODGE?
A Master and officers who can confer the degrees with all the power and nobility which is inherent in them. Who can so inspire the candidate with the fundamental truths underlying the ritualistic work that he will apply them to himself in all his human relations. A more practical application and use of those principles upon which our Fraternity is founded, Brotherly Love and Charity, by the Lodge itself in its relation to its members.
A proper course of Masonic Education upon which the newly raised and enthused Brother may start at once, easily accessible and comprehensive so that he may become well acquainted with Masonic traditions, symbolism and history. If these things are done in a thoroughly efficient way then we may know that we are being successful in the building of Masonic character, which is the real and final aim of our Fraternity Paul P. Doddridge, Grand Lecturer, Indiana
MASONIC STUDY AND RESEARCH BY BRO. ANDREW L. RANDALL, TEXAS
(An address delivered before the Grand Lodge of Texas on December 5th, 1916)
It was my intention to use this opportunity to address my brethren on the subject of the "Master and Past Master: Their Prerogatives, Duties and Responsibilities in Early, In Later and In Modern Times." But I was not quite able to satisfactorily complete my studies upon that subject, which can be made one of great interest and profit to us all, and at the last moment I have discarded it for the present purpose, and have concluded to offer some plain and simple observations upon another subject which lies very near to my heart--that of the vital necessity for Masonic study and research-- if we would hope to do our full duty to Masonry, to society and to ourselves. The fact that we have neglected its proper consideration in the past, and that this Grand Lodge has recently shown a disposition to provide for and foster this most important element of our labor and refreshment, has encouraged me to believe that my brief remarks may be neither untimely nor unwelcome.
We all remember when we finally stood in the presence of the Master and were made to realize that our Lodge had granted to us that peculiar mark of its favor because of our evident zeal for our Institution, the progress we had made in its mysteries, and our steady conformity to its useful regulations. From that memorable hour we have continued, to a degree, to have zeal for our Institution, and, in a measure, to conform to its useful regulations. But how many of us have continued to make progress in our mysteries, to study, and to grow in the knowledge of what Masonry really is; whence it came and by what way whither it leads, and how shall it reach to its ultimate destiny? How many of us have been content merely to believe that it is an ancient and honorable institution, having a history luminous with achievement for the progress of the human race? How many of us have been content merely to proclaim in general terms its possession of a beautiful symbolism, a splendid literature, a wonderful philosophy of life and conduct, a God-given mission to humanity? How many of us, oh, how many, have been satisfied with knowing only its signs, grips and passwords, added to a somewhat imperfect knowledge of its esoteric work? I, for one, must confess to my own shortcomings in this regard.
Yet neither you nor I would waste our time with Masonry if it were but a secret order with a sign, a grip, a password and an emblem. We give cheerfully of our time and money to our Lodges, and to this Grand Lodge, without hope of fee or reward; because we feel in our hearts that it is all worth while; but we are not able to tell why and wherein Masonry is a living and essential instrument of God for good. To the large majority of Masons, especially in this Grand Jurisdiction, the great book of Masonry, with all the riches of its lore, cannot be opened because it is not even available, and they could not turn its precious pages if they would. Yet turn them they must, my brethren, if they would give to Masonry that zeal and conformity to its laws which Masonry demands of them. For there can be no real zeal for an institution whose history and mission we only vaguely comprehend, no real conformity to regulations, expressed and implied, whose precepts and requirements we only vaguely understand. Knowledge of great principles and great deeds is the foundation of true zeal; only knowledge of laws and regulations will bring about true conformity to them.
We have dotted the hills and valleys of this State and Nation with innumerable schoolhouses, colleges, and universities. We have sacrificed ease and comfort that they might be erected and maintained, that our children might attend them and enjoy their benefits and blessings. Of the splendid courses of instruction offered our children in these institutions we would sacrifice all before we would permit them to give up the history and literature of their own people. These are the important studies of the children of each generation, far more so than arithmetic or geography or physics. Because the history and literature of any Nation are expressive of its life, its genius, its ideals; and their study the sole foundation of its present patriotism and its future progress. No generation can find the solution of its own problems without a knowledge of the problems of the generations gone, nor will it have the courage and self-sacrifice to grapple with these problems and overcome them unless inspired by the example of the fathers before it. If I had to make the choice, I would rather that my children would know the inspiring story of the wise courage and heroic piety of their forefathers and foremothers and be unable to write their own names, than that they should speak the fluent tongue of a dozen languages and hear not in their hearts the patient prayers of Valley Forge; see not, with dimmed eyes, the ever living spirit of self sacrificing service which brooded, smiling, over the dead giants of the Alamo.
Oh, with infinite pains we study the history of the human race from the earliest day, throughout all the ages of its vicissitudes, its sorrows, its struggles, its progress, finding not only the records of the rise and fall of the nations, but the reasons, purposes, and policies that brought them all about--finding in the last analysis that the divine desire in the human heart for higher things is the moving finger which writes every line of every page of that wonderful history. We thrill our hearts and feast our souls upon the song and story which compose the literature and portray the life of our people, from the saga of yesterday to the epic of today, and draw from them that reverence for the old and that devotion to the new out of which along can come the spirit of service which makes each generation forge its way to higher ground. Without these, this history and this literature, the citizen is an aimless, purposeless, useless being to his State and race, unable to serve because unable to render intelligent service. With them, he becomes the trained soldier of humanity, armed with the experience of the ages, inspired by an indomitable purpose to render, as his fathers before him, his full share of consecrated service to his God, his country, his neighbor and himself. Yes, we, as citizens, study the history of the world and the story of the progress of its people, and we constantly and carefully teach them to our children. But we, as Masons, do not study the history of Masonry, the record of its achievements--from the early times of its wandering master architects and builders down through the centuries, as it has lived and spread and grown in its power and influence throughout the earth. Nor to the newly-made Mason do we over the slightest opportunity or material for study and instruction. Yet, next to religion, there has been no influence so potent in the shaping of history as the influence of Masonry and of Masons.
In this land of liberty, which has become the hope of the world, we celebrate the settlement of Jamestown and the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, but we do not investigate to learn what part Masonry played in those events so auspicious for civilization and freedom, nor inquire upon what rock or shore, upon what highest hill, or in what lowest vale, was first opened the Book of the Law, were first erected the pillars of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. We follow with wonder those pioneers of this great State in their journeys of hardship, suffering and endurance from the East to the West; we read with reverential awe of their heroic sacrifices at the Alamo, at Goliad, at San Jacinto; we look back with gratitude to their labors in that early capital at "Old Washington on the Brazos." But we do not seek to find the sustaining power of Masonry in their weary hearts, its unyielding strength in their valorous arms, the glint of its eternal truths upon their flashing blades. We attend in patriotic spirit the first meeting of the little Congress of the New Republic. But we do not go with Anson Jones and his five brethren to that hallowed spot behind Brazoria, in the little thicket of wild laurel; nor, meet with them, the brethren of old Milam and McFarlane, to follow the birth of the new Republic with the birth of a new Grand Jurisdiction. We glory in the courage of each forward step of those great men of early days, and apply our hearts unto the far-sighted wisdom of their laws and policies. But we do not even attempt to trace through their statesmanship down into the blessings of our present development, that Masonry which has played so momentous and so conspicuous a part in it all.
We only know in some vague way, because we have heard it so, that in almost every age and every clime the onward-struggling race has found Masonry a place of refuge in hours of darkness, a tower of strength in days of conflict; that always and everywhere it has laid upon the hearts of men the responsibility of unselfish service to the cause of humanity and the glory of the ever-living God. If these things were not so there would be no Masonry tonight. It would never have been able to survive the persecution or escape the cunning of its enemies--enemies to it because enemies to those principles of Freedom and Truth for which it stands. It survived with the survival of the fittest, because it is one of the instruments chosen of God to direct the onward march toward the perfect civilization and the Ultimate Day, an essential guide of the happiness and advancement of mankind. If it is necessary to good citizenship that we study the history, read the literature, and comprehend the policies and ideals of the Nation, is it not equally necessary that we, as Masons, should know the history, literature, symbolism and philosophy of that Institution which, more than any other except the Church, has contributed and will contribute to the attainments of our National aims and ideals? There is but one answer. We must not only be zealous and law abiding Masons, but we must, I repeat, in duty to the Craft, to society and to ourselves, become informed and learned Masons, also. It is our duty not alone because of an obligation taken, but because we cannot otherwise become proficient in the use of the weapons of Masonry against evil, or skilled in the exercise of its arts and practices to promote the general good.
I say to you again, my brethren, that as Masonry has exerted a more powerful influence upon the lives of nations in the past than any instrumentality or institution except the Church, so it is now more essential to the forward-looking life of this Nation than any other institution or instrumentality except the Church. History proves that it is essential. Washington found it so. In the long hours and longer years of his problems and perplexities he clothed himself in the Apron as in the armor of righteousness against trials and temptations, and struck down with the Mallet the evils of avarice and ambition. And when he had devoted his great mind and greater heart to years of the study of Masonry, he declared it to be an ever-living institution for the promotion of the happiness of humanity. Anson Jones and his confreres found it essential. Neither the lurking foes of the forest nor the craftier enemies of another and abler race, neither the countless privations, the manifold hardships nor the innumerable duties of the time, could retard their Masonic labors or quench their Masonic spirit.
If Masonry was essential to the earlier generation of pioneers of the State and Nation, it is equally so to this generation. If the world has needed it heretofore, its need for Masonry is even greater now. If it pointed the paths of progress to the pioneers of another day, it will point them just as certainly to us. For every generation is one of pioneers. One may have to overcome the forces of death and destruction that lurk in the wilderness; another, the subtler and more insidious forces of corruption and decay that linger incitadels and capitals. But all must do battle with one or another, and each must fight its way to a higher plane of living and of citizenship; and Masonry has been, is, can always be, the Great Pioneer of Civilization--moulding the character, directing the thought, and guiding the footsteps of the advancing forces of humanity.
In our analysis of its record, we apply to every age a descriptive name, the dark ages, the golden age, the barbaric, the philosophic, the heroic. I hope and pray that history may nominate ours the Age of Service. We have learned as never before to apply a test unto all things--whether material, political or spiritual; to science, to literature, to religion--the test of utility, the test of service. Whether you be lawyer or laborer, merchant or mechanic, the world of today asks, "What can you do?" And the service demanded is intelligent, trained, consecrated service.
The lesson we have learned from the lives of the Fathers is the lesson of service; we have realized that the moving purpose of their heroic deeds was solely the purpose of service; we have come to understand that their sustaining and uplifting spirit in patient endurance was the Spirit of Service.
It is that spirit and that purpose which is expressive of the genius to America--the capacity of this government and its people to serve humanity, to promulgate, dispense and protect the sacred principles of Freedom, Justice, and Right. It is because of that spirit and that capacity that America is the hope of the world. And now, more than ever, is her mission amplified and intensified; because when the horror of the present conflagration of human lives is over, the people of the old world, arising from the ashes in which have been burned away the shackles of ignorance and the fetters of tradition, will turn with outstretched hands and pleading hearts to this government of liberty and law, and pray that it may lead them all into the paths of righteousness and peace. This country needs intelligent and unselfish service now as never before in its history. New conditions have arisen, new problems, both internal and external, present themselves for solution. The call has come to America now ---the- call to stand up to the test of her right to live, her right to lead, her right to set Democracy upon the throne of Monarchy, the God of Justice upon the throne of the God of Might.
My brethren, where shall the Nation turn in the hour of its trial and its opportunity if not to Masonry ? Who shall deny that to Masonry the Fathers turned, and not in vain? Who shall deny that in every age our Institution has answered to every call, whether to forum, field, or fireside? What Mason will deny that in its tenets and philosophies there may be found a panacea for all civic ills? What Mason doubts that Masonry will stand the test of consecrated service? Yet Masonry will stand the test of the world only if we can stand the test of Masonry. Are we, as Masons, prepared to do so? How shall we look to an unlearned and untutored Masonic membership to help, aid and assist in the application of Masonic remedies to the national and international diseases which threaten the present stage of the life of the world? How shall we call upon the wisdom of its precepts if we know them not? How shall we unfurl its flag if we see not its wonderful combination of colors? How shall we use its weapons if we are not taught their mechanism and construction ? How shall we invoke its strategy if those great battlefields upon which that strategy has been developed remains unexplored? Without study, training, discipline, instruction, we are as helpless to lead its forces of civic righteousness as a new-sworn private to lead the victorious armies of a great war.
The only avenue to light, more light, and further light, in Masonry is that found in the thoughtful study of its history--in painstaking research into its voluminous records. They are as if they do not exist, for him who may not search them out. Like the laws and commandments of God, they are given only to those who seek to find them. Like the natural resources of wealth which God has provided for men, they are nonproductive and valueless unless cultivated and utilized.
We glory in our natural resources, the fertility of the soil, the sweet waters of the earth, which make it blossom and produce, the wealth of mine, of forest and of field. We boast of bursting granaries, rejoice in the song of whirring spindles, follow with prideful eye the stately ships that sail the charted highways of commercial seas. We think and speak of those things which make up the wealth of the world as if they were riches in themselves, forgetting that they become riches only when the masterful touch of men has awakened or re-created them into wealth. To the savage of the Western wilds the mountains of iron were but skulking places, whose moulten crevices were merely caves of refuge; the forests but shade from summer suns or trapping grounds for winter game; the valleys of plenty, which feed and clothe the world, but grazing places for his wild horses and wilder herds. Those mountains, forests, and plains were the same then as now, wonderful storehouses of material wealth; but they brought forth no iron or gold, no timber or wheat, because the savage neither delved, nor tilled, nor felled; sought not to find their hidden treasures, brought no intelligent, creative genius to their development, dreamed not of world-markets of exchange. Another race came, one which from the inspiration of the centuries gone caught a far vision of those that were to come; one, therefore, mighty in its ambition, its desire to know, to understand, to utilize, to build. They observed the seasons, turned the soil, dug deep into the hillsides, felled the mighty timbers of the forest. To the learning and example of the past they added study, investigation, experiment, determination. Today that race finds shelter in the happy homes and worships in the stately temples of the richest and most enlightened nation of the earth.
My brethren, the riches of Masonry lie dormant beneath the careless feet of the untutored and uninspired Mason content to exist upon the crusts of Masonry; always concealing, never revealing, their fabulous wealth. The golden nuggets of its principles, the shining silver of its philosophy, the glistening diamonds of its everlasting truths enrich him not; he builds no house of refuge from its Cedars of Lebanon; he may not transport its life-sustaining treasures to alleviate the wants of his struggling brother man. I want this Grand Lodge in its wisdom to find some way to enable us to gather the riches of Masonic History, Symbolism and Philosophy--to become learned in those eternal principles and wise precepts that have for centuries promoted, and will for centuries to come promote, the reign of Happiness, Righteousness and Freedom. For thus only may we be trained for an inspired, consecrated service to Masonry; and Masonry, through us, continue to lead mankind up the shining pathway which reaches to the gates of the Eternal City, into the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Everlasting Temple.
THE MASTER'S HAT
During the Middle Ages, when a traveling Fellow approached a lodge of Masons in prescribed form, he first exclaimed: "May God bless, direct, and prosper you, Master, Pallirer (wardens), and dear Fellows!" Whereupon the Master, or in his absence the Pallirer, was instructed by the ordinance of Torgau to thank him in reply, in order that the visiting brother might see who was custodian of the lodge. And having obtained suitable assistance, the wandering craftsman removed his hat and thanked the brethren with an established formula. From the preceding ceremony, it is evident that neither the Master nor the Wardens of a medieval German lodge were distinguishable by distinctive tokens while at mechanical labor; otherwise, no regulation was essential or obligatory upon the officers to make proper response to a visitor for the purpose of determining the Master.
Curiously enough, the implication is direct and clear that the Masons of ancient times, when regularly convened for work, and during the formal reception of a traveler, pursued their daily avocation and attended to usual Masonic demands, within closed portals, with covered heads. At the present day the custom has materially changed, and, with one exception, the members of a lodge at labor noticeably divest themselves of their hats. This is unquestionably a transformation of recent origin, and with it the instruction usually incident to the distinction has been adapted to the innovation.
When the initiatory rites in a medieval lodge were performed, the Master was not thus prominently contrasted with his brethren. I speak with especial emphasis upon this point, because the esoteric and sublime signification involved in the Master's hat has been recklessly perverted and destroyed. It was typical, during the Middle Ages, of superiority, and was so interpreted in the ceremonies of initiation by the Masons of France at the termination of the eighteenth century, all of whom sat in open lodge with covered heads. (1) Among the Germans, this article was used as a symbol of transfer of chattels, and landed property. The judge held a hat in his hands; the purchase must receive it from him, and with it the title passed. Frequently the ceremony perfecting a sale was performed by the contract parties thrusting their hands into a hat, and upon withdrawing them the estate changed owners.
By the expression "putting hands in a hat," was also meant a mutual oath between persons to a confederation or conspiracy. But the most important signification of this covering for the head was its use as a symbol of power and authority, and in such sense it was oftentimes set up as a signal of compulsory assemblage. When thus elevated or fixed upon a pedestal, it convened the people of the neighborhood. Gessler's well-known emblem of subjection and superiority, was a hat erected on a pole or column. Ancient Germans shared the symbolism of this article with the Romans, who also regarded it as a type of freedom or as a release from servitude. (2) Upon the death of Nero, so much joy was manifested by the populace, that, in the excess of their delight, they rushed about the eternal city with hats on.
Gothic justices wore a cap or suitable head-dress when presiding over court, as emblematic of authority, and manifestly the people wore their hats while attending the tribunal as symbols of personal liberty. (3) And with this typical allusion general acquiescence originally harmonized; but the distinctive and exceptional feature of a Master's head-dress contains the secret symbolism of authority at the present day, while medieval Masons worked with covered heads as a sign of freedom. Both customs, descended from a remote Teutonic antiquity, have long since dissipated their vital forces, while the ordinary interpretation possesses less significance than a dilapidated mile-post!
--Fort--Antiquities of Freemasonry.
(1) At the conclusion of the rites in French lodges, the Master handed the candidate his hat, and said: "For the future, you shall be covered in a Master's lodge." This very ancient usage is a sign of liberty and superiority.
(2) It was thus symbolized by the Gallic craftsmen of the 18th century, when the initiate was covered with his hat.
(3) In an engraving, dating from the 15th century, given in Lacroix, op. cit. p. 379, all persons attendant upon court are presented with heads covered.
THE THREE STATIONS
The Master's chair is approached by three steps or grades--an arrangement apparently descended, with numerous appointments, from Scandinavian antiquity. In the Upsala temple the Norse gods--Odin, Thor, and Frey--were presented sometimes as enthroned on high seats, one elevated above the other. Thor was placed on a throne to the left of the principal divinity, while Frey sat on the right side. These thrones upon which the deities were seated, according to the prose Edda were graduated by an intervening step. Odin's stood highest, on three grades; Thor's next, on two; and Frey's seat was the lowest, and numbered one. --Fort--Antiquities of Freemasonry.
MEXICO -- A REPLY TO A REPLY
BY BRO. EBER COLE BYAM, ILLINOIS
IN replying to the article of Bro. John Lewin McLeish, published in the November, 1916, issue of THE BUILDER, under the title "Masonic Light upon Mexico--A Reply," I find myself compelled to question the authorities cited therein.
As prefacing his article, Bro. McLeish says: "Bro. Byam presents so strong a brief against the Mexican revolution, which he characterizes as an I.W.W. Revolution, incidentally condemning Mexican Masonry and condoning Mexican Catholicism, that I am sorely tempted to plain speaking. Realizing fully our Masonic Doctrine of Tolerance, I shall stress the fact that any allusions herein made apply strictly to Catholicism in Mexico, and I shall support my arraignment by references easily obtainable to those seeking More Masonic Light upon Mexico."
I am sorry that Bro. McLeish did not yield to the temptation to speak plainly; I assure him he would have been listened to with all due respect. I am glad Bro. McLeish mentions our "Masonic Doctrines of Tolerance," and I am prompted to remark that, if Bro. McLeish desires, I will furnish him with a list of recognized authorities on Mexican history and of original documents supporting them.
Bro. McLeish "quotes" Clavigero in his "History of Mexico," as saying: "The Spaniards, in one year of merciless massacre, sacrificed more victims to avarice and ambition, than the Indians during the existence of their empire, devoted in chaste worship to their native gods."
The foregoing words do not appear in the history written by Clavigero. Bro. McLeish found this quotation in "Mexico in Transition from the Power of Political Romanism to Civil and Religious Liberty," by William Butler; and Butler, in turn, refers to Clavigero. This "Clavigero" is the English translation by Charles Cullen, printed in London in 1787, and in the translation by this Englishman we find one of those numerous sources of misrepresentation so productive of injustice and misunderstanding. Cullen could not let pass the tempting opportunity to calumniate the Spaniard, and deliberately interpolated a whole paragraph which does not appear in the original Italian text of Clavigero in the Cesena edition of 1780.
Bro. McLeish, in quoting again from Butler, in reference to the "Laws of Reform," mentions six classes of laws as being the Laws of Reform objected to by the Pope. Reference to page 159 of Butler's work discloses the fact that Butler refers to Austria and not to Mexico; and the quoted "laws" bear no relation to the "Laws of Reform." either in phrasc or intent.
Bro. McLeish quotes from Gutierrez de Lara--a Mexican socialist writer: "In Mexico, on the other hand, the invading Spaniards found not barbarism, but a feudal civilization, private ownership of land in place of communal ownership, and serfdom in place of nomadic liberty."
A. F. Bandelier, a recognized authority, made an exhaustive study of this subject, which warranted him in declaring that: "The notion of abstract ownership of the soil, either by a nation or state, or by the head of its government, or by individuals, was unknown to the ancient Mexicans. Definite possessory right was vested in the kinship composing the tribe; but the idea of sale, barter, conveyance or alienation of such by the kin had not been conceived."
In other words, the system of land tenure was communal. He furthermore finds that "the principle and institution of feudality did not exist in aboriginal Mexico."
As regards the ethics of the Spanish Conquest, when compared with those of present day war methods --Carranza's murderous activities for examplc I refrain from comment; but if the conduct of the conquerors be compared with the ethics and practices of military operations of contemporaneous Europe, they will not suffer materially. The reference to the branding of prisoners of war, as quoted by Bro. McLeish, would appear as though this practice became an established custom after the Conquest was affected and continued to the time of independence. Here again Bro. McLeish has relied upon Butler and been led astray. The words quoted by Bro. McLeish occur on page 16 of Butler's work and he, in turn, refers to "Wilson's Mexico," page 209, where we find that Butler has not used the words of Wilson at all. Wilson, in turn, quotes from the Lockhart translation of Bernal Diaz (1844). Lockhart uses a Spanish text which in itself is not always in agreement with the original manuscript of Bernal Diaz.
The practice of branding prisoners of war as slaves after the Conquest met with the vigorous protests of the Churchmen and resulted in its early suppression. The practice admits of no defense, but it must be remembered that to the Indians it was a gentle substitute for their own practice of human sacrifice and cannibal feast. The enslaving of the female members of the conquered tribes was also common practice, and these unfortunates were often destined to the altar and the stewpot. One has but to read Sahagun, Duran, Motolinia, The Anonymous Conqueror, The Letters of Cortes, the several native writers with unpronounceable names--Ixtlilxochitl, Tezozomoc, Chimalpain, etc.--and the surviving fragments of Aztec picture writings, to discover the exaggerated hideousness of the Mexican Indian's mixture of war and religion with its attendant human sacrifice and cannibalism. According to their own accounts the Aztecs sacrificed twenty thousand men at the dedication of their temple in 1487, and nine hundred at the dedication of the Great Sun Stones in 1481. Wherever the Spaniards went in their explorations of this land of blood they found ample evidences in sight and smell of this horrible practice. To speak of these tribes, with their straw thatched temples and grotesque images, their one-story houses and primitive surroundings, as possessing a civilization in any respect superior to the Spaniards is the height of the ridiculous.
Bro. McLeish quotes de Lara as saying: "The ignorant priests burned to ashes the invaluable library in the Imperial Palace of the Aztecs." According to the accepted authorities there was no "Aztec Empire," no "Aztec emperor," and, consequently, no "Imperial Palace." Furthermore, Ahuitzotl, who was elected War Chief in 1487 and died in 1502, is claimed by Indian tradition to have destroyed all the picture writings then existing, so that the "invaluable library" must have been created within the twenty years just preceding the Conquest. Personally, I suspect that Ahuitzotl has been maligned and that there were never many more picture writings than what the Spaniards found and preserved. The aboriginal Mexicans, other than signs for names, possessed no means of record beyond drawing a crude picture to illustrate the event. And the native traditions have been voluminously recorded by Mexican Indians who learned to use the Spanish letters, immediately following the Conquest.
Bro. McLeish quotes from his article published in LIGHT for June 15th, 1916, as follows: "Mexico seemed hopelessly enslaved * * * for three hundred years this sad condition had persisted in Mexico * * * in consequence the clergy were stupendously rich * * * for the native born was abject misery, slavery, dire poverty * * * through the country the Dread Inquisition flourished * * * victims filled to overflowing the great military prisons * * * so unutterably cruel were the penalties attached by the Inquisitors to failure to pay the clerical tithes * * * however much the native born contributed to their task masters it was never enough."
Bro. McLeish then says: "A Roman Catholic Bishop, Las Casas, protested strenuously against the Spanish cruelties, crossing the Atlantic twice to show convincing evidence that a continuation of the policy inaugurated by Cortes could only result in utter extermination of the Aztecs as a race and nation."
Cortes issued a decree prohibiting the employment of those under twelve; limiting hours of labor to "from sun up to one hour before sun down, with an hour for rest at midday," which in that latitude means practically ten hours; Indians could be employed for a period not exceeding twenty days, and could not be re-ernployed until thirty days had passed; certain rations were prescribed, and a minimum wage specified. Cortes was some hundreds of years ahead of his time in welfare legislation. The enemies of Cortes gained the upper hand for a time. and made a mess of everything, and it was against these that the complaints were raised.
If the protests of Las Casas were justified they must have been effective, because of the self evident fact that the natives not only were not exterminated, but today form a considerable portion of the population. But Las Casas was not the only one to complain. Practically all of the clergy of that period added their protests to those of Las Casas, and the result was the reorganization of the Colonial government, the appointment of the Viceroy Mendoza, and the issuance of the justly famed Code of Laws for the protection of the Indians.
Las Casas finally became so extreme in his charges that he aroused strong opposition and severe criticism because of his self evident exaggerations, but the King of Spain persisted in his determination to have the Indians treated humanely, and it was the Viceroy Luis de Velasco who in 1551 completed the work of freeing the Indians. To some mine owners who complained of the injury they might suffer and the consequent loss of revenue to the Crown, Velasco said: "The liberty of the Indians is more important than all the mines in the world, and the revenues from them are not of such nature that they should override both divine and human laws." The truth is that the clergy, the Spanish Kings, and the Colonial government all worked together to protect the Indians and to enable them to live as they pleased. These well intentioned gentlemen seemed to have assumed that the Indians knew better than they the mode of life best suited to their comfort, and they were left free to follow the ways of their fathers.
The tribal wars were stopped, along with the old religion with its human sacrifice and cannibalism. The Indians were permitted to live in their villages which the Spaniards were not permitted to occupy. They were confirmed in the possession of their communal fields, which they were prohibited from selling, and were allowed to appoint or elect their own tribal offlcials. They were exempt from all charges for attorney's fees and court costs, and were not obliged to pay any fees for religious services. Much to the disgust of the Spanish colonists, the natives formed a self governing privileged class. It is for this reason that thc Indian lives as he does today; he is following the mode of life to which his ancestors were accustomed centuries before the white man came. That which appears as "abject misery and dire poverty" to the uninformed American is a perfectly satisfactory state of existence to the Indian, which he is stubbornly averse to changing.
The Indians were specifically excepted from the operations of the "Dread Inquisition," which, in turn, never concerned itself with the collection of the tithes, from which the Indians were also exempt. It may be well to remark in passing that the Inquisition in Mexico, during nearly three hundred years, executed only fifty-one individuals, (one authority says forty-one), most of whom were Portuguese Jews who had accepted Christianity and then apostatized. This number is indeed greater than the twenty-four victims of witch hunting that were hanged in New England by our Puritan ancestors. It would be as just to condemn the Congregational Church of today for the witch hanging as to condemn the Catholic Church for the operations of the Inquisition. Furthermore, the punishments inflicted by the civil power for the Inquisition were those commonly practiced by the civil tribunals of the day for the most trifling offenses.
When it comes to commenting on the statement of Bro. McLeish that "in consequence the clergy were stupendously rich * * * however much the native born contributed to their task masters it was never enough," I will begin by quoting Humboldt, who, in his edition of 1822, (vol. 3, page 102,) says: * * * few estates belong to the Mexican clergy, and their real wealth, as we have already stated, consists in tithes and capitals laid out on farms of small cultivators. These capitals are usefully directed and increase the productive power of the national labor." According to Humboldt, the sum total of the capitals amounted to $44,500,000. This money was loaned by the clergy at a uniform rate of five per cent. and accomplished, to the extent of the capital invested, the very thing that the American Congress has only recently granted the American farmer, namely, "Farm Credits."
The real purpose of the Mexican "Liberals?' is illustrated by the fact that these loans were seized and the sums owing extracted by foreclosure from the unfortunate "small cultivators," who were thus left ruined by the very "Liberal" agencies that had been clamoring a regard for their welfare. As a consequence, the "small cultivator," instead of getting a loan from the Bishop at five per cent., had to apply to some loan shark where he was robbed accordingly.
The interest earned on these funds was devoted to the upkeep of a large number of educational and charitable institutions maintained by the clergy. Scattered through the pages of Mexican history are incidental references to different hospitals, orphanages, homes for old people, night schools, colleges and universities, to an extent that evidences a large number of these institutions. And the important fact must be mentioned that all this education was furnished free. The only charges levied by the clergy were for room and board where these accommodations were furnished. But, even at that, the prices were ridiculously cheap and numerous students were given free room and board when unable to pay.
The curriculum was the equal of that of any educational institution in the world at the time. The "colleges" included a large part of what would today be taught in the primary school, and the standard for entrance was very moderate. Primary education was left to the parents and the parish priest who hardly had to do more than teach the children to read and write. Spanish orthography is phonetic, thus making the process of learning it very easy and dispensing with the enormous waste of time and energy required of the unfortunate Anglo Saxon children in learning to read, write and spell the difficult English language.
Matias Romero, in "Mexico and the United States," page 101, says: * * * in the first sixty-five years of Spain's control in Mexico no less than seven seats of the higher learning had been established on secure foundations." These were in the capital, while throughout the country every city of importance had one or more such institutions and even such out of the way places as Patzcuaro, Guayangereo, Huisquilucan, Tirepetio, and Tepotzotlan, possessed flourishing colleges. There must have been a large amount of primary education to have furnished these institutions with the thousands that attended them.
Justo Sierra, in "Mexico, Its Social Evolution," vol. 2, page 479, says: * * * "Bishop Zumarraga founded in the villages schools for girls like that of Tezcoco and wrote to the emperor 'the thing that most occupies my mind and exerts my little forces is that in this town and in every bishopric there should be a college of Indian boys learning grammar at least!' Thus in 1536 he created near the convent the Franciscans had at Tlalteloloc, the famous college of the Holy Cross." This same author says that "the missionary teachers secured the passage of laws compelling attendance at school." Probably the first compulsory education laws in the world's history and that was nearly four hundred years ago.
The great University of Mexico occupied the monastery of St. Francis and was formally opened in 1553, eighty-three years before Harvard was opened. In 1578 a chair of medicine was established, two hundred and four years before a like study was begun in Harvard, and in 1661 the study of anatomy and surgery was begun and dissection practiced, eighty-six years before William Hunter opened the first school of dissection in England. Matias Romero, on page 104, quotes Humboldt, who visited Mexico in 1803, as saying: "No city of the New Continent, not excepting those of the United States, presents scientific establishments so great and solid as those of the capital of Mexico."
The result of "independence" is partly illustrated by Poinsett, who, in his "Notes on Mexico," London 1825, p. 95, says, speaking of the School of Mines: "The funds of the institution have been devoted to other uses and the lectures and studies have ceased." Poinsett visited the University, and says, on page 112: "* * * besides this university there are inferior colleges (High Schools) and several large schools under the direction of the regular clergy. Most of the people in the cities can read and write." (The italics are mine.)
The "Laws of Reform" closed practically all the institutions of higher learning in Mexico, and while the so-called "Liberals" expressed a regard for education the practical results of their activities were the general discouragement of education and a tremendous increase in illiteracy. Justo Sierra, in "Mexico--Its social Evolution," Vol. 2, page 548, says: "The laws of December 12th and 14th, 1872, completed the confiscation of the endowment funds which had been created to support the educational institutions of the republic. The great private foundations which had accumulated during three centuries were then swept away and no others were created to replace them. The wealthy Spaniards had been one of the greatest sources of these endowment funds and as the Spaniards were expelled in 1828 that fount was definitely closed. The attacks upon wealth, and particularly upon the clergy, completed the work of preventing any further donations for the support of educational institutions and as the government itself was penniless the consequent result is obvious."
The only available statistics on the wealth of the Catholic Church in Mexico are from sources antagonistic to that institution and intended to show how great the wealth has been. One "authority" makes a guess as to how much each pastor might have received during the year in fees for marriages, baptisms and burials (all of which items are never reported in any church). He then multiplies this sum by twenty and charges it up to the Church as "capital." He also places an exaggerated valuation on the conventual establishments (mostly used as schools) and assumes a 5 per cent. interest on this "capital," as being an income which they "ought to earn." By thus padding both "income" and "capital," he arrives at a total income of $7,456,593, and a total capital of $179,163,754. The figures just quoted are from a report rendered by the Mexican Minister of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs, made in 1833.
In 1833 a political group of York Rite and Scottish Rite Masons, consisting, among others, of Dr. Mora, Gomez Farias, Fagoaga, Gorostiza y Couto, Espinoza de los Monteros, and Lorenzo de Savala, formulated a plan to take over the Church property and with it pay the foreign debt of Mexico. These "Masons" proposed to possess themselves of the Church patronage, i. e. to appoint the bishops, define the dioceses and make new ones; to handle all the Church funds and property, and to obey the Church laws regarding dogma, but none others. To induce the Pope to agree to this arrangement they offered to pay him $100,000 a year.
And yet Bro. McLeish and the "Liberals" of Mexico call this "religious liberty," and these laws "good laws !" As regards the practical operation of the "Laws of Reform" by Juarez, one instance will suffice. In 1859 Jose Ives Limantour (father of Diaz' minister of finance) purchased a lot of condemned Church property which the government assessed at $587,419, being the capital which the government calculated from the rentals on a basis of 6 per cent. For this property the government received exactly $1,832.40 in cash. The balance was paid in custom house certificates and other paper which had cost Limantour $40,006.50.
Bro. McLeish denies my statement that the "Laws of Reform" were "not aimed to secure freedem of worship but at the spoliation of the Catholic Church," and yet, in reference to the "stripping" of the Church, he says in capitals, "WHY NOT?" He quotes Bro. Wagstaff as saying: "Masonry does not fight Catholicism," and yet intimates that Porfirio Diaz violated his "Masonic Vows," when he neglected to apply the full rigor of the Laws of Reform, saying: "He lifted the barriers and allowed the Catholic clergy * * * etc."
Bro. McLeish quotes Tourbillon as saying: "The Catholics knew that with the late President Madero in power they could not dominate * * * the principles of the Madero government were based on Masonic ideas * * * put into practice even in the machinery of the government, practical Masonry * * * with absolute faith in his brethren to carry out the principles contained in the Masonic Code."
Are we to understand from the foregoing that "Masonic Vows," or a "Masonic Code," exists in Mexico, requiring "Masons" to engage in politico-revolutionary activity and to make bitter war on the differing faith of their neighbors? Bro. McLeish takes exception to my statement that "Latin-American Masonry is atheistic, revolutionary and contentious, and in Mexico it has become anarchistic and murderous." Yet he agrees that it was atheistic under the mastership of General Reyes.
Bro. McLeish himself relates enough of the revolutionary activities of Mexican Masonry to prove that it is "revolutionary," and his casual mention of the strife between the "York Rite" and the "Scottish Rite" branches in Mexico proves that Mexican Masonry is contentious. Not only did these two branches of "Masonic Brethren" battle viciously for the supremacy, but they gave birth to a third "body," called the "National Rite," which added fuel to the fires of revolution. The present deplorable condition of Mexico proves that Mexican "Masonry" is "anarchistic," because the Mexican "Masons" claim the "credit" for having brought this condition about. That Mexican Masonry is "murderous" is amply evidenced by the countless executions that have been carried out without other reasons than the murderous spite of these Mexican "Masons." During the rule of Iturbide it was reported that the "Masons" had plotted his assassination in their "lodges." The plot failed, and, as a consequence, the "Masons" charged one of their number who had been favored by Iturbide with having "betrayed the secrets of the order," and hounded him out of the country.
One had only to read Mexican history to become sickened with Mexican "Masonry" and Mexican "Masons." Bro. McLeish speaks of the priest Hidalgo being made a Mason in 1806. Be this as it may, we find Hidalgo in 1810 running a short few months career of wanton riot and needless butchery. On September 16th he released the prisoners (not political prisoners) from the jail in Dolores, securing thereby eighty recruits. He jailed the Spanish residents and permitted the mob to sack their homes. In San Miguel this was repeated, and here Hidalgo stood on the balcony of the house of one of his victims and tossed the stolen silver dollars to the roaring mob on the street. The utterly inexcusable massacre in Guanajuato and the sack of the city was by Hidalgo's order. In his progress of destruction Hidalgo had carried with him some eightynine Spaniards, unarmed civilians, all of whom were beheaded after the battle of Aculco. In Guadalajara he ordered some seven hundred unarmed civilians to be beheaded.
In his declaration before the military court he admitted that these victims of his fury had been murdered without reason "well knowing that they were innocent." The war for "independence" in Mexico was but a repetition of the foregoing and some of the participants reverted to cannibalism.
A common practice of these "Masonic" Mexican revolutionaries is to mutilate prisoners. Do American Masons know what this means?
And Bro. McLeish did not forget to quote from the Abbe Domenech. "This very reverend Father," as Bro. McLeish calls him, was Maximilian's "press agent" for a time in Mexico and was then sent to France to continue in that capacity there. In Mexico the Abbe was denied admittance to social and ecclesiastical circles and vented his spite in a manner permitting succeeding generations to perpetuate his name as has been done by Bro. McLeish. The Abbe never hesitated to mention names and places except in his charges against the clergy, and then he became dumb. His calumnies aroused a storm of demands for proof, but he remained discreetly silent.
Bro. McLeish takes emphatic exceptions to my statement that the Mexican Revolution is an I.W.W. revolution. The I.W.W. held a convention in Chicago last Fall, and the Daily News of November 21st quotes the delegate from Yucatan as saying: "In Yucatan wonderful progress has been made * * * and here the I. W. W. has had a chance to get in its licks." I know, and I think Bro. McLeish knows what that has meant to Yucatan.
Bro. McLeish "again quotes from The New Age," etc., etc., in support of Jose Castellot. This is not the point. So again I ask "Will Bro. McLeish vouch for this 'Brother ?' "
I do not intend this article as a defense of anything or anybody, but I do intend it as an exposition of the TRUTH. I would further like it to be a warning to the Masonic fraternity in the United States against permitting the organization again to be used to pull political chestnuts out of the Mexican fire.
THE KNIGHTHOOD OF FREEMASONRY
BY BRO. J.H. MORROW, CALIFORNIA
The persistence of the idea of knighthood in so many of the degrees of the Scottish Rite appeals to thought. It weaves in and out of the fabric like a beautiful thread from a weaver's shuttle, disappearing only to reappear the next moment in all its lustre. Or, perhaps, it may more properly be likened to a golden cord, describing wonderful arabesque patterns on a robe of heraldic splendor. However pictured, it is there, riveting attention. It finds expression in Knights Elect of the Nine, Knights Elect of the Fifteen, Sublime Knights Elected, Knights of the Ninth Arch, Knights of the East or Sword, Knights of the East and West, Knights of the Rose Croix, Noachite or Prussian Knights, Knights of the Royal Axe, Knights of the Brazen Serpent, Knight Commanders of the Temple, Knights of the Sun, Knights of St. Andrew, and Knights Kadosh--appellations as bewildering in number as sometimes seemingly fantastic to the novice.
Uplifting, inspiring as are the teachings of Masonry, they embody but the simple principles of human conduct learned at a mother's knee, and voiced and revoiced by sages, philosophers and teachers of the world throughout the ages for the guidance of mankind on the journey of life, until summed up in the supreme dual commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Purity of body and of heart, meekness, gentleness, courtesy, probity, patience, justice, charity, forgiveness, courage in its noblest sense--these are the things for which Masonry stands, and which its knighthood represents. Always old, these things become equally and beautifully new in the kaleidoscope of human experience.
The mind cannot but be arrested by the definition of the term knighthood in its shades of meaning. Reflect! (1) The rank or dignity of a knight; (2) the body of knights; (3) knightly character; (4) knightly deeds--in other words the honor of having been raised to the rank or dignity of a Masonic knight; the splendid moral tone and intellectual quality of the body conferring the honor; worthiness both to receive the distinction and to retain it--these are the things which reflection must turn into searching introspection in the breast of a Masonic knight. With this definition, King Arthur's injunction in Tennyson's "Holy Grail" appeals with added force:
"'God make thee good as thou art beautiful,' Said Arthur, when he dubb'd him knight."
Generically the term knight conveys the significance of youth and of service--youth in its capacity for development; youth in its impressibility; youth in its purity and vigor; youth in its ardor and ambition--all directed toward one end, and that end service. The thought is the same as in the passage from Ecclesiastes chanted in one of the degrees, beginning, "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them"--in other words, before the natural responsiveness of the heart to the finer things of life may be deadened.
The knighthood of medieval times dealt with matters which demanded a sound body, a brave heart, an unswerving loyalty to the principles set forth in its vows. Therefore its material must be taken at a time when such material was capable of being molded, shaped, impressed. And so it began with the infant of noble birth-- training him as he grew up, first to become a page, and then a squire to the sovereign, or to some earl, baron or other superior lord to whom he attached himself and was bound to follow. At the age of twenty-one he was eligible to knighthood, and, if deemed worthy and proficient, was advanced to the dignity with ceremonies both military and religious. He bound himself by solemn vows to chivalrous conduct, as for example to bravery, courtesy and the defense of the distressed, especially women, and in those vows he paid reverence to God. Nor was he permitted to overlook allegiance to his country in his obligations. Then and there he became ordained, as it were, to the larger service to God and to humanity, for which foundation had been laid in the humbler duties he had performed, first as page, and then as squire, to the overlord to whose person he had been attached throughout his years of preparatory training.
What wonder that Masonry has idealized the institution of knighthood by incorporating it into its own organic life not for the purpose of war, but for the purpose of that peace which the practice of knightly virtue shall insure by making truth and justice, toleration and liberty, the priceless property of mankind.
If Masonry in itself lacks the means of moulding and developing the material from which to choose its knights, it finds a trustworthy substitute in the State through the moral and mental training which the latter affords to the youth of the land. And no longer is knighthood dependent upon royal or lordly birth. The humblest in social standing may aspire to the honors of Masonry, and the only credential demanded is the charter of manhood--clean, wholesome, God-fearing manhood. Accepted, dubbed, he becomes the peer of all men thus vowed to knightly service, and stands with them on an equal footing. None will tower above him, save him who makes his life of greater benefit to mankind in influence and in service.
"A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might--
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that;
Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith of sense, and pride o' worth,
Are higher ranks than a' that."
Our knightly vows as Masons--how shall we keep them; how are we keeping them? It is for conscience to answer.
America - materialistic, but not to the core; incurably idealistic, religious in its perpetual self-criticism, sordid, but struggling against it; and never more than today, where it is almost engulfed in Wealth and in danger of dying of fatty degeneration of the pocket-book. Intolerant still, but striving to be tolerant; narrow, but yearning for breadth of sympathy; nationalistic but travailing in pain to give birth to something greater than itself
- Edward A. Steiner.
TO THE RED CROSS NURSE
Thou radiant angel
From elysian fields,
Whose touch is balm, whose look brings joy
To the heart and brain
That's steeped in misery deep
Of the sick or wounded, soldier boy.
Ever there, where duty calls,
Though danger lurks,
With untiring zeal you ever work;
Though deepest shades of
Sorrow cross your path,
With willing heart you toil, and never shirk.
Oft from the dying lips
Your ear receives
The message of the parting soul,
So dear to loving friends
On distant shores,
That they think you're one of heavenly mould.
All through the weary
Day or lonesome night,
Close, where the reaper, death, doth mow,
'Tis there where suffering is
And human woe,
With willing heart and hands you go.
Oft by your tender touch,
Or, by your gentle look
Bestowed on some dear mother's boy,
You have struck the chord
Which deep emotion brings,
And fills the universe with joy.
Think not your sacrifice
Shall unrewarded be;
Where'er love, honor and truth shall go,
With willing hands,
Upon your honored brow,
A DIADEM, they will bestow.
Thou art the noblest
Soul of all our race;
Thy fame shall shine with lustre bright
When valorous deeds, for
Honor's sake, by men performed,
Shall be obscured by shades of night.
- W.S. Vawter
It is impossible to estimate the influence Iowa has wielded and is destined to wield upon Masonic thought of the world through her splendid Library and well directed efforts in Masonic study. The Quatuor Coronati Lodge, of London, England, and the National Masonic Research Society, of Iowa, are easily the two foremost centers of Masonic learning and study in the world, and each of them is wisely planned not to duplicate the work of the other. Every Mason should belong to both.
- Grand Lodge Proceedings, Ala., 1916, p. 162.
A MASONIC TRADITION
BY BRO. JOSEPH BARNETT, CALIFORNIA
FREEMASONRY has its traditions as well as its symbolism. What is our attitude toward the traditions? In this eminently practical age, the world proclaims a passion for facts. We demand evidence. We quote history with assurance as something definitely proven, and look askance at tradition, legend, myth and folklore.
What is the characteristic difference between ancient history and tradition? The former was put into written form in remote times, and appeals to us because it was thought worthy to be written. The latter appeals to us because in spite of not being written it still has been remembered.
We read in history of the Swiss hero, William Tell, and of the dramatic story of his prowess in archery. There is no reasonable doubt but that he is a historical person. Yet Max Muller and other eminent authorities in such matters point out that the same legend occurs in the folklore of many of the Aryan races; and the story, associated with other names, is told in homes where the name of Switzerland has never been heard. The episode of the valiant archer is doubtless a sun myth whose essential features are thousands of years older than the man with whom we associate it. In time, the spoken word is associated with some definite person and becomes the written word, and we call it history.
We are familiar with such traditions as the Garden of Eden, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. They are mentioned in history, and are pretty generally accredited as history; but they seem to have been traditions long before they were first written down and classed as history. In fact, it is not always easy to distinguish between tradition and history.
After all, to a practical people who look on knowledge as but a means to some practical end, one chief element of importance in history, as in tradition, is that we may in some way profit by the story of the past. It may be serviceable to learn what ideals of life and what special activities led to progress, and what led to disaster. Thus enlightened, we may either emulate or avoid.
Whatever the statements of history or tradition, however the outline of fact may be hidden under a vesture of legend, the real importance is to be found in the essential meaning or teaching of the story.
The importance of Masonic traditions consists largely in their record of men's ideals of life. We can see in them something of the same ethical speculations that we have today. We can see the same effort to grasp real knowledge, the same looking upward, the same evidence that man does not consider himself as one with the beasts of the field. In the past, whence these traditions have come, he evidently held, as he now holds, his future broader and its consummation more glorious.
One of our mysteries is the tradition of something of great importance that has been lost. It is the climax of Symbolic Masonry. Now, the idea of something lost, of some valuable thing missing, is not normally a satisfying idea as a climax. To some few this Masonic climax may be disappointing; but to most of us it does not seem abnormal, nor is there at the time any conscious sense of dissatisfaction.
What is the reason for this attitude of ours ? Why should a factor that might well be unsatisfactory give the impression of appropriateness ?
In the traditions of all peoples there is invariably a myth or legend of some inestimable thing lost: In Egypt, Isis seeking the world over for the lost Osiris; in Phoenicia, the women of Tyre, at a certain season of the year, lamenting over and searching for the lost Tammuz; in the Middle Ages, the romantic quest of the Holy Grail.
Some priceless treasure has been lost. And no effort is too laborious, no price is too high, no sacrifice is too great, for even the chance to recover that which was lost. The human interest centers in the undeservedness of the loss, and the attitude which prompts the search. It is curious that the chief interest does not lie in the finding. It is not like the prospector's search for gold in the veins of the mountains, but is a quest whose reward is in the quest itself.
It is not our attitude only in a particular case, but a general human attitude, and may have had its origin in a far distant time when the forces of nature were all mysteries, and men looked daily for the token of the dawn, after the sun had been lost in the West, and yearly sought anxiously for some sign of the return of Spring after the foliage of the earth had been buried under the snows of Winter. And to such natural influences, many would preface an intuitive sense of a greater loss, and the finding of a fairer heritage beyond the stars. Since both are from the same source, why should not the book of nature be a symbol for the spiritual word?
Our Masonic mystery is the Masonic response to a psychic attitude toward life that is and has been common to all mankind. The heart of Freemasonry beats in unison with the great heart of humanity. The appeal in our tradition is that the ruffians of darkness, ignorance and vice have robbed us of our heritage. The sense of deficiency and the desire for completeness more than the consummation itself, is the urge of the higher manhood. It is the aspiration to be worthy of the finding that counts.
THE GREAT SYMBOL
BEHOLD, my Brother, an old and familiar Symbol rising anew into public regard and private reverence. The most sacred symbol of any people is its Flag, and in an hour of crisis and destiny the old emblem is instinct with all lofty and holy meanings. A transubstantiation is proved, not by the magic of a priest, but by the priestly power resident in every loyal heart. Here, in truth, is the Soul of the Nation, the outward and visible sign of its invisible and invincible Spirit. Suddenly the fabric is transformed, and its threads become the principles, the persons, the passions which make a nation great and noble. It is not the nation as such alone, but the aims that have distinguished it, the men and women who have made it, and the hopes which have sustained it. Here is expressed before us what men have lived to maintain and died to protect. The very body and blood of a free people are in the folds of its Flag, and when it is unfurled the soul of the nation stands erect. Patriotism seems a poor word - Poetry and Religion are here, and when the Flag is endangered, and its ideals flouted, men and women will vow their lives in its defense, not to keep a mere sign, but to preserve in form and spirit the very life of the Republic.
For what does our great Republic exist, what is its purpose, what dream gave it birth, what ideal has lighted its history? If the Eternal has a plan for our nation, a purpose to fulfil in this new world, loyalty to that purpose is the only true patriotism, that through our Republic we may the better serve universal humanity. For what does our nation exist if it be not to build a Beloved Community in which "government of the People, by the People, for the People" may be shown to be the wisest, the freest, and the best form of human society; a Community united, just and free, where men of every race and every creed may live and live well. For this our fathers broke new roads and kept old faiths; of this all our mountains are monuments and all our sunsets banners! For this the whole world waits, arid one after another the old, effete autocracies crumble and fall and the peoples, set free from ancient tyranny, join the ranks of free nations. Slowly our great Symbol marches on; slowly the flags of the nations become one in arts and arms and ideals, and the dawn will uncurtain a new world wherein dwelleth liberty and truth !
* * *
From time to time we receive letters from Brethren who are perplexed to know how far they may go in speaking of Masonry without violating their obligations. Some have even feared that we go too far in these pages, revealing what it is not proper to discuss. While we respect the conscientiousness of our Brethren, we think they are laboring under a misunderstanding. The truths and principles of Masonry are not secret, but only its signs, grips, tokens, ballots and ceremonies; not the meaning of the ceremonies, but the details of the rites. The following report of the Publicity Committee of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, ordered read by that Grand Body in all its Lodges, is so clear, so wise, so pertinent, that we wish it to be more widely read. It would be difficult to state the case more simply or more completely:
The committee is of opinion that, within proper bounds, Masons may and should welcome publicity. A secret society is one which seeks to conceal its existence and its objects. Freemasonry is not such a society, and is secret only as to the obligations, means of recognition, ballots upon candidates, and forms and ceremonies observed in conferring the degrees.
With the exception of those particulars, Masonry has no reservation from the public. As to everything else, - its designs, its moral and religious tenets, and the doctrines taught by it, the time and place of its meetings, the names of the officers of a lodge and those belonging to it, - are all in no way secret and may be known by any one. The fact that a man has been made a Mason is not a secret to be concealed from the public, nor is it anything of which he need be ashamed.
The public notices of the time and place of holding Masonic lodges, the name of the degree to be worked, as seen in many of the papers published in the larger towns and cities under the heading "Fraternal News," is useful to members of the craft, and particularly those temporarily stopping in that locality, in affording them information as to the opening of the lodge and the nature of the work to be performed. The names of officers elected, their installation, and social occasions following lodge meetings, which are usually joint affairs gotten up by the lodge and local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, are all matters in no way secret, and public knowledge regarding them can do no harm. All unnecessary secrecy tends to narrow rather than to broaden. There can be no reason why we should undertake to keep secret and cast a veil of mystery around that which is not secret and which the public are at liberty to know.
The disclosure of a ballot rejecting a candidate to any person other than such candidate, or a Mason, is made an offense by Masonic law, written and unwritten. Your committee are of the opinion that the name of a candidate for any degree is, and should be, a part of the secret work, and the publication of the name of such a candidate and that he is to receive any of the degrees of Masonry, should not be permitted. No Mason should disclose to any person not a Mason the name of any candidate or the degree he is to take.
In connection with the general subject of this report, it may be appropriate to draw attention to the growing tendency to the indiscriminate use of the word "Masonic." A Masonic club is a proper, useful, and valuable association. It emphasizes the social side of fraternal life and fills a real need. But, in its conduct and in its agtivities, good judgment is necessary. A million men in this country have a vital interest in the word "Masonic." Any man or body of men who make use of it in connection with private or quasipublic activity, owe it to their brethren to see that it is put to a proper and dignified use. Cheap dances and boxing bouts advertised publicly as Masoric and under the auspices of Masonic clubs wound the sensibilities of most Masons. To some, the advertisement of a Masonic baseball league, pool match, or bowling contest is objectionable. Your committee do not find such advertisement within the purview of the Grand Lodge prohibition, but is of the opinion that in the use of the word "Masonic" consideration is due to the dignity associated with this word for centuries.
* * *
Why do Masons speak of those outside the Order as Profane? Such is the question of a young Mason who does not like to have it implied that he is sacred and his father "profane," as this manner of speech seems to say. The answer is that a Mason, by his initiation, is set apart, symbolically, to a dedicated life, devoted to moral truth, spiritual faith and human service. If he is a Mason in spirit, in fact, he is committed to a life that is sacred in its purpose and ideal, and while he should not regard others as "profane," in the ordinary use of that word, he must regard himself as obligated to a life of chastity, charity, and goodwill. The word has also a further allusion.
Why do we regard the street as profane and the Lodge-room as sacred? Because anything may go on in the street cat, a cow, a dog may litter it, fight in it, defile it. Not so a Lodge-room. There such things are excluded, and the place is set apart to high axed beautiful uses. Just so, a man who is really a Mason will regard his mind as a sanctuary from which unclean thoughts, dirty motives, unjust suspicions, unworthy ambitions are excluded. Some thoughts cannot gain admission, no matter how many knocks they give at the door. The filthy jest, the irreverent oath, the slimy slander against his fellow will be regarded as a Cowall, an eavesdropper, and will be treated accordingly. Truly, this matter of being a Mason is something more than ritual and the wearing of a pin.
* * *
With deep regret ye editor makes note of the death of his old friend, F.B. Sanborn, of Concord, Mass. He was the "last leaf" of that group of men who made New England so illustrious in our literature, the friend of Emerson, Holmes, Thoreau, Hawthorne and the rest. He it was who entrusted ye editor with the letter of Herndon and Theodore Parker, at that time unpublished, which we made the basis of our study of "Lincoln and Herndon." He was by nature a radical, by spirit a humanitarian, a great scholar, a memorable and heroic figure in American life and literature. While not a member of the Craft, he was a noble craftsman in all good causes, a friend of liberty and a servant of the Eternal.
* * *
LODGE OPEN 52 YEARS
By the kindness of Brother James Marshall, of California, we have the following clipping from the Mt. Airy News, North Carolina, which relates a most interesting incident which we believe our readers will wish to know.
Raleigh, N. C., Jan. 15.,The regular communication of Hiram Lodge No. 40, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of this city, opened on the evening of April 17, 1865, the date upon which the news of the assassination of President Lincoln was received in Raleigh, will be formally closed tonight with imposing ceremonies.
United States Commissioner John Nicholas, 83 years old, of Raleigh, former Representative in Congress from North Carolina and who was master of and opened the memorable session of the lodge more than half a century ago, was to act as master tonight. The event, declared to be one of the most unique in the Masonic history of the country, will precede the opening here tomorrow of the One Hundred and Thirtieth annual communication of the Masonic Grand Lodge of North Carolina.
Raleigh, on April 17, 1865, was occupied by Kilpatrick's division of Sherman's army, the town having been surrendered to the federal forces several days previously. Wire communication between Washington and Raleigh was interrupted and news of the shooting of the President did not reach here until that date. Federal officers received the report in messages during the afternoon, it was said, but the contents of the dispatches did not become known generally among the troops encamped upon the outskirts of the town until evening.
When the soldiers learned of the assassination retaliatory measures toward the town and citizens immediately were augmented, it was said. Officers at once began preparations to cope with the situation and all efforts were made to quiet the men and hold them in check.
The civilian population of Raleigh was unaware of the stirring events which had occurred in Washington, and of the excitement among the troops here, and Hiram Lodge, one of the oldest in the United States, was opened in stated communication on Monday evening as usual.
Captain W. S. Whitten, of the 9th Maine regiment, detailed as provost officer, passed the Masonic hall while on a tour of inspection and noticing that it was lighted, inquired of a sentry the nature of the gathering. Himself a Mason, Captain Whitten went to the door of the lodge room, called for the master, informed Mr. Nichols of the shooting of the President, explained to him the situation at the camp, and advised that "the brethren be sent home in order that no gathering might add to the confusion."
Mr. Nichols merely related what the officer had told him and the members dispersed immediately without the formality of closing the lodge. In examining the records of the lodge for the last fifty or more years, officials recently discovered that the session never had been officially closed and the ceremony tonight was planned.
Governor Thos. W. Bickett, Chief Justice Walter Clark, of the State Supreme Court, and former Governor W. W. Kitchen will be among the speakers.
Chas. D. Christopher, of Raleigh, who with Col. Nichols is the only other living member of Hiram Lodge who was present at the meeting in 1865, also will be present tonight.
THE FUTURE ALLIANCE
The Masonic Brotherhood, considered as the starting point for the future alliance of humanity cannot, nor must not, remain stationary, nor retrograde, but it can and must, by conforming the whole of its life to the main idea, be on an equal footing with humanity in its increasing development on the earth. - Krause.
This war may prove a blessing, if our people learn through it, that the State is not something from which we are all to get as much as we can grasp through the unscrupulous use of our votes; but represents, rather, ideals for which we are ready, if need be, to sacrifice our very lives. - Lord Roberts.
AMONG the many happy memories of our visit to England last summer was the pleasure of meeting Brother Albert F. Calvert, of Author's Lodge, one of the most accomplished Masonic students now living as he is one of the most indefatigable. Knowing the man, so brotherly and so brilliant, it is an added joy to announce three notable forthcoming books each of which bears his name. The first is entitled "The Bi-Centenary of Grand Lodge," published by Kenning and Son, Great Queen's Street, London. ($1.25.) After Gould, Hughan, and the Illustrations of Preston, not to name the Songhurst edition of the Minutes, it may be felt by some that a new work dealing with that period of "half-light and much mystery" is not needed. But that is to err, because not many have access to such large volumes, and fewer still have the leisure to read them. If for no other reason, the work of Brother Calvert should have a warm welcome and a wide reading, for that he sets in vivid relief every aspect and activity of the formation and development of the mother Grand Lodge since that St. John's Day, June, 1717, when the little band of Masons held their Assembly and Feast at the Goose & Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul's church-yard, and elected Anthony Sayer, Gentleman, Grand Master of Masons. Brother Calvert does not appear as a discoverer, but as a biographer of the Grand Lodge officers and a recorder of Grand Lodge events, sifting all available information and setting forth the actual facts, so far as they are known. Uniting a thorough knowledge and a fine sense of Masonic values, he is the master of a graphic narrative style which makes his work as delightful as it is instructive. No man could be better fitted for such a task, alike for his insight and his austere accuracy of fact; and we bespeak for his little volume the hearty response which it deserves.
* * *
RED APRON LODGES
As has been said, much remains hidden as to the founding and early years of the mother Grand Lodge, and there is little hope that the details will ever be revealed. Three names only have come down to us of those who assisted at that historic Constitution, and identity of the first Stewards who prepared the Feast will probably never be known. Documentary records are scant and sketchy, and the story, such as it is, must be traced through many scattered sources - a task asking for patience and perseverence, as well as an abundance of time. For twenty years Brother Calvert has been studying that period, with special reference to the activity of the "Grand Stewards and Red Apron Lodges," and the results of his researches are now gathered into a stately volume. (Kenning and Son, London, $5.50.) It is a notable achievement, both in form and contents, and if the author is too modest to claim that it is the final work on the subject, he has nevertheless laid the foundations upon which all other students must build.
Such an undertaking required an unflagging and long-continued industry, and meant picking up here a fact and there an item in a mountainous accumulation of tradition. Much as we owe to Anderson, it is now known that his "almost appalling industry" played sad tricks with his sense of accuracy, while Dermott wrote more as an advocate than as an historian. There were envies and suspicions then, and they so distorted the facts, if they did not actually disfigure the documents, that it is difficult to arrive at the truth. Here again the patient and careful work of Brother Calvert entitle him to the perpetual obligations of the Craft, the more because others have abandoned the enterprise as beyond their powers of endurance. Wariness and discretion were needed, and a student less sure-footed would have fallen into many errors, but the result is one of the finest examples of Masonic research so far issued in our time.
The work falls into three parts: first, a concise account of Stewardship from the formation of the Grand Lodge until the present time - itself a narrative of great value and interest, as showing how from the first the Grand Stewards exercised, as was thought, an undue influence and authority in Grand Lodge. Second, a series of astonishingly complete tables of the men, and the Lodges they represented, who have served the office of Steward since Josiah Villeneau "undertook the whole management of the Feast" in 1721; and, third, a brief and authentic history of each of the Lodges that is or has been entitled to the distinction of the Red Apron. If, as the author feels, he has little to show for his long labor, it is a substantial deposit of hard-won fact with which all future historians must reckon.
Unfortunately, we cannot review the work in detail, as we hope to do when the first copies reach this country; but set down so much, largely from memory, as the author confided to us his plans on a summer day in a garden where we talked the hours away.
* * *
THE AUTHOR’S LODGE
The second volume of the Transactions of the Author's Lodge, of London, of which Brother Calvert is the editor, is a distinct advance over the first, good as that volume was. For one thing it is twice as large, containing 250 illustrations, as well as a greater variety of topics discussed. If America is not represented in this volume, it is because pressure of duties and lack of time prevented ye editor from responding to the invitation - for which he hopes to make amends in the third volume. It is made up, as before, of essays read before the Lodge by its members and distinguished guests, and includes such names as Garvice, Parker, Rose, Cockburn, Horsley, Thorp, Armitage, Conder, Klein, Carr, and contributions from South Africa and South America. More emphasis, we are glad to note, is laid on matters of symbolism, in which our Brethren on the other side think we go too far. Perhaps so, but we are quite as sure that they do not go far enough, and so the honors are even. It is hard to specify where there is so much that is good, but we are sure the essay on Masonry in South America will attract attention, as that is almost an unknown quality in contemporary Masonic affairs. The paper by Edmund Heisch, of the National Grand Lodge of France, is also of unusual interest, as is the survey of Dutch Masonry in South Africa. We shall return to this volume from time to time on this page, wishing now simply to call attention to it before it is too late to secure copies. For we predict that the second volume will be as instant a success as the first, which shows that the Craft is eager for real work well done in a popular and engaging style. (Kenning and Son, London, $3.75.)
* * *
THE GREAT ROMANCE
Some people read fiction and find it fascinating, as indeed much of it is. But the greatest of all romances is the story of man and his development which it is the genius of History to recite. There are villians enough, and heroes, tragedies and comedies, and through it all one may trace now dimly, now more clearly, the vague outline of a vast Purpose. Not to know history, said Cicero, is to be a child. It is to think without a background, and to judge without precedent. Seldom, if ever, have we read a romance more engaging than "Ancient Times, A History of the Early World," by J. H. Breasted, and we fain would pass the cup of joy along the line. Most histories deal with the rise and fall of dynasties, the movements of armies, and the shuffling feet of great migrations. All this is here, with much else more human. Indeed, the bulk of the space has been devoted to the life of man in all its manifestations - society, industry, commerce, religion, art, literature. And these are so presented as to show how each age grows out of another, and one civilization profits by what has preceded it. It is all so simply told, without labored effort, and in a style as clear as skylight, with glow and color and a sense of human realities. If you have two coats, sell one and get this book and you will not regret it. (Ginn & Co., $1.50.)
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MAKERS OF AMERICA
Always timely, but never more so than today when our Republic is involved in the world-tragedy, is the little book by Brother Madison C. Peters, of New York, entitled, "Masons as Makers of America." It tells no very new or unknown fact - unless it be the Masonic career of Benedict Arnold - but presents in a vivid and striking manner the relation of our Fraternity to the origin and early development of the Republic; how its fundamental principles were woven into the organic law of the nation over whose birth it presided and whose fortunes it has followed with solicitude adown the years. Brother Peters presents whatever he has to say in a picturesque manner, as readers of his many books will testify, and he has rendered a useful service in this story of Masonry in the making of America. (Patriotic League, Brooklyn, N. Y., $1.00.)
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Great Companions, by E. F. Wyatt. Appleton Co., New York. $1.50.
Jesus in the Light of Psychology, by Stanley Hall. Doubleday, Page Co. $7.50.
The Spiritual Interpretation of History, by S. Matthews. Harvard Press. $1.50.
Masonic Witness and Service, by John Boden, Grand Orator Minnesota.
Response to James E. Coyle, by O. T. Dozier, Birmingham, Ala. 25 cents.
Chips and Whetstones, by O. T. Dozier, Birmingham, Ala.
Peace Songs, by G. D. Rogers, Clinton, Iowa. 35 cents.
Freemasonry in Syracuse, by H. W. Greenland.
Masons as Makers of America, by Madison C. Peters, New York. $1.00.
The Struggle for Justice, by Louis Wallis. University Chicago Press. 25 cents.
WHAT A MASONIC LODGE SHOULD BE
First, the Master, there presiding,
Should be Dignified, Discreet,
Just, Impartial, ever Courteous,
Void of Guile, without Deceit,
Well informed in works Masonic,
Well instructed in our Laws.
Zealous to promote the welfare,
Of our grand Fraternal cause; -
Next the Wardens, and the Deacons,
Should with promptness, and good will
Each in his respective Station,
Strive all duties to fulfill.
Masters, Wardens, Deacons, Stewards.
Brothers: - All of each degree,
The rich, the poor, the high, the lowly.
Whate'er his rank or station be,
All should be a band of Brothers,
All united, and agreed,
Watchful of each other's welfare,
Helpful, in each Brother's need;
Guarded in their words, and actions.
Temperate, Prudent, Firm and Just
Honest, Square in all transactions,
Faithful to their every trust.
In their ranks, and in their councils.
No contention, should there be.
Save that noble emulation,
Best to work, and best agree; -
Their Charity, the world embracing.
Striving to promote God's plan.
The Fatherhood of GOD confessing,
And the Brotherhood of man.
THE QUESTION BOX
MORALS AND DOGMA
Brother Editor: - About time for you to "put up or shut up," is it not? You have been saying that Morals and Dogma needed revision, and that you could point out why, and we are waiting to be shown. - G. F. K.
There it is again. They keep on shooting paper wads at us, while we are busy studying the lesson. But some one will do it once too often, and future history will record how we "jes naturally riz up and fit about it," and how the ground was littered with the mangled bodies of the dead and wounded. Fact is, the thing is already done, and it will appear in these pages in due and proper form. Now, be good a little bit, please.
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In an article in the February Builder on "Masonry Among Primitive Peoples," by Brother Norwood, Chinese Masons are said to give Masonic signs with both hands. In this case are the hands used alternately, or both at once, in giving the signs? - J. B.
Both at once, as we understand it. Perhaps some Member will take up the question of Chinese Masonry - or supposed Masonry - and discuss it thoroughly, giving what is known of its origin, its rites, and its resemblances to our Masonry.
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THE MESSAGE OF MAN
Brother Editor: - In one of your books you once expressed a wish that some one would make an up-to-date book after the style of The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. Has such a thing ever been done; if so where can I get it? - J.H.F.
Nothing, unless it is "The Message of Man," arranged by Stanton Coit, published by the Macmillan Co., New York. (50 cents.) The author, with no idea except to be faithful to his own personal want and sense of truth, compiled this little hand-book of the higher life, weaving together the moral wisdom of the ages. It is a golden little companion, pocket size, and a wise friendito have along the way. Not for a great deal would we be without it.
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Brother Newton: - I have heard that Jack London's story of "The Call of the Wild" was stolen from a pamphlet by a Canadian missionary, and that all that London did was to elaborate it in a better literary style. Is it so? - J.D.S.
Perhaps so, but what of it? Shakespeare took the old Kyd play called Hamlet and told it in "a better literary style," but how world-far the two are apart. Dickens borrowed from Smollett. Browning found an old pamphlet telling of a murder trial, and wrote "The Ring and the Book," as Howells reshaped a forgotten pamphlet into "The Leatherwood God." There is nothing new under the sun, except when genius touches it and makes it live.
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THE RED CROSS
Dear Brother: - Where can I find a brief history of the origin and development of the Red Cross, and what it is doing today? - H.H.N.
"Under the Red Crosss Flag," by Mable F. Boardman Lippincott Co., Philadelphia. It is a book to stir your heart and make it throb with the red blood of pity. By the way, here is a cause unsectarian nonpartisans humanet laboring both in peace and war, which Masonry ought to befriend in every possible way; the more so now that its services are taxed to the utmost. Japan, with a population of forty millions, has a Red Cross membership of 1,800,000. Even Russia, with a host of one hundred and seventy-one millions, has a membership of 1,200,000, while the United States, out of its 100,000,000 has only 250,000 Red Cross members. This is nothing short of a shame. Masonry can render a real service to humanity by taking hold, to the utmost of its power, of a work so benign and so sadly needed every day in the year, and every year of the world. Brethren, take notice and govern yourselves accordingly. American Red Cross Headquarters, Washington, D. C., furnishes information.
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PALM AND SHELL
Brother Editor: - Can you tell me where and from whom the ritual of the Degrees of the "Palm and Shell" can be obtained? This was a degree brought from the Holy Land by Brother Bob Morris, and should not be lost. There are a few men still living who received the degrees from Brother Morris. Brother H. R. Coleman, in his "Light From The East," mentions the degree many times; and from what he says, the degree would be of much value to those who are interested in Masonic research. I have no doubt but that this degree would be of service to the Study Clubs, if their members would only interest themselves in the matter. I have long thought that Study Clubs should have some ceremony of initiation, and from what I have heard and read of this degree nothing would be more fitting for the purpose. - O.B.S.
(1) The ritual of the degree of "The Palm and Shell," as Morris used it, was very slight, and whether it is anywhere preserved we do not know. Brother Coleman, to whom Brother Slane refers, wrote a pamphlet about it, entitled "The Pilgrim Knight, a Guide to the Ceremonies and Lectures of the Oriental Order of the Palm and Shell," published at Louisville, Ky., in 1879. Perhaps this note may fall under the eye of some one who received the degree, or who can locate the ritual.
(2) This Society has discouraged all suggestions of initiation ceremonies in connection with Study Clubs, and we think wisely,on the ground that it would only add another degree, whereas we already have enough, and men would be attracted by the degree rather than by the study of the degrees as they are. Moreover, it would involve questions of jurisdiction and jurisprudence which we desire to avoid, because they would divert attention from the main purpose in view.
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THE EARLIEST LODGE
Dear Sir and Brother: - Have been interested in the controversy which has been going on in several numbers of The Builder in regard as to which is, or was, the oldest Blue Lodge in the U. S., and the contention has been between Massachusetts and South Carolina.
I am informed by a prominent Mason here that the first Masonic Lodge in this country was organized at Providence, R. I., by 15 Jewish Hollanders in 1658 and he says that can be substantiated by Peterson's History of Early Rhode Island, or it may be "History of Rhode Island." At any rate it deals with the earliest history of that state. I will be glad to have you investigate if you consider it worth while. I believe no reading matter comes to my house that is more appreciated than The Builder. It is doing a great work, and certainly has a great field in which to operate.
E. E. Zimmerman, Nebraska.
(This Rhode Island legend has been often investigated, and as often found to be without foundation. The Builders, p. 206.)
Unless further evidence is forthcoming, it must be discarded as unauthentic. There were doubtless scattered Masons in America from an early time - the Rhode Island legend is dated 1656 - and perhaps some lodges; but Henry Price, as the facts now stand, was the founder of regular Masonry in America. The Rhode Island legend is self-contradictory and without basis. (The Builder, Vol. 1, pp. 111, 112.)
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STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS, MASON
Dear Brother Newton:- While in Springfield the other day, I made a substantial copy of the petition of S.A. Douglas for the degrees in Masonry, a copy of which is enclosed herewith. The words perhaps are not misspelled just as they were in the original, but they give the idea, particularly that at the close which refers to the appreciation, in those days, that Masonry was a place to get knowledge, which would render one more valuable to his fellows. This thought of knowledge making the individual valuable and the desire and the appreciation thereof, seem to me worthy of a little editorial note. Fraternally yours,
Asahel W. Gage.
Springfield, April 21st, A. L. 5840, A. D. 1840.
To the W. Master, Wardens and brethren of Springfield Lodge No. 26 of Free and Accepted Masons.
The subscriber residing in the City of Springfield, State of Illinois, of lawful age and by occupation a Lawyer, begs leave to state that unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives he freely and voluntarily offers himself as a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry, and that he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, a desire of knowledge and a sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow creatures. Should his petition be granted he will cheerfully conform to all the antient established wages and customs of the fraternity.
(Signed) S. A. DOUGLAS.
(Signed) L.S. Cornwell.
(Signed) J. S. Roberts.
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THE LODGE OF THE WORLD
Dear Sir: - As a constant reader of "The Builder" since its first number, have enjoyed the many good articles that have been printed therein. Last week there appeared in a Toronto, Ont., Weekly, "SATURDAY NIGHT," the fgllowing verses, by Mr. John R. Lumby, of Fort William, Ont., which in view of the impending relations of the U. S. with Germany, in which the United States evidently seems to be ready to join with us, I thought might be of interest to you. The lines are as follows:
THE LODGE OF EUROPE, 1917.
(To the Brethren of the Craft on all the Fronts.)
ITALY, What of the South? What are your duties there?
The sun in the south at noontide, is the glory of the day,
And Italy stands on the South, that none may pass that way,
Who have turned the purpose of God, who fashioned the world so fair,
Into a madman's orgy, drunken with lust to slay.
Why are ye in the West, O Guardian Nations twain,
BRITAIN and FRANCE. The West is the place where the Sun shall set,
When the battle fury is over - but the end of it is not yet -
Then will we settle the wages, neither in oil nor grain,
For death is the wage of sin, and we are to pay the debt.
RUSSIA, what is your duty? Why do you rise in the East?
As the sun shall rise in the east, till the sands of time are run,
So rise I in the east, till the vengeance of God is won,
And the lust for blood has been sated at Baal-zebub's feast;
Then can I govern my people, free in the light of the sun.
South, and West and East! Seek ye that which was lost?
Yea, and until we find it, never our quest shall cease,
Not though the toll of sorrow and burden of death increase!
We have put our hands to the task, and we dare not reckon the cost,
Till the world has balanced its debit and paid the price of peace.
I trust the above may be of interest to you, and remain
Oscar L. Morrow, Canada.
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ANOTHER WOMAN MASON
Brother J. G. Hankins, of the Virginia Masonic Journal, is kind enough to send a reply to the question of Brother Collield, of Dakota, regarding a lady Freemason in this country. He has known the story, he says, for several years, and some time ago came into possession of a pamphlet concerning it. He has little faith in the facts related in the pamphlet, first, because the story follows too closely the records of Mrs. Aldworth's initiation, and, second, because it adds incidents impractical, if not impossible--as when it is said that the lady made the sign of distress which was recognized by a captain of a boat on the Ohio river two miles off, who came to her relief and took her aboard. The title and synopsis of the pamphlet furnished by Brother Hankins, are as follows:
BIOGRAPHY OF MRS. CATHERINE BABINGTON The Only Woman Mason in the World And How She Became a Blue Lodge Mason. By J. P. BABINGTON. Third Edition. 1912
Published and Sold by J. P. Babington, Taylorsville, N. C.
The above is the title cover page of a pamphlet of 48 pages from which we collate the following story.
The author was the son of the subject, and prints a certificate dated November 29, 1906, from A. C. Payne, Secretary, stating that he was a member of Lee Lodge No. 253, at Taylorsville, N.C., at that time, and who claims that his mother "was a Mason and knew all of the Masonry that could be obtained in the Blue Lodge." (That's more than the men ever know.).
Mrs. Babington was the only daughter of Charles and Margaret Sweet, born near Princess Furnace, Boyd (at that time Greenup) county, Ky., December 28th, 1815.
Near her grandfather's house the Masons are said to have met in the upper story of a building in a room designed for a church, in the corner of which an old-fashioned pulpit had been erected; and under which it is also said she concealed herself from time to time, during a period of a year and a half, and where she frequently saw and heard the three Degrees, witnessing the raising of "John Williams"--name adopted because real one not known--when she was only 16 years old.
Finally, the story goes on, one of her uncles (named Ulen) who had left his rifle in the ante-room, went back to get it, and Kate, as she was called, emerging from her place of concealment; and when they got home he and brothers (Ulens) summoned her before them to find out what she had learned about Masonry, when they say she even revealed to them the first words spoken by the Master to the newly-raised Mason. (Now, how could this be possible, when the average man rarely gets it?)
Then came the question, What was to be done? And the story says: "Accordingly, a suitable uniform was made of red flannel (why red?) and she was taken to the Lodge where she was obligated as a regular Mason; but not admitted to member ship." (Italics ours.)
"The day she took the obligation was the first and last time she was ever inside a Masonic Lodge (where she could be seen) while it was at work. She knew Masonry and kept herself posted up until a short time before her death; but never attempted to visit a Lodge "
On one occasion, it is related, while they were considering her case in the Lodge, she was met on the outside by a party of masked men who demanded that she tell them what she knew about Masonry; and relating the incident to her uncle, she is reported to have said:--"They might kill me, but they could never make me tell anything about Masonry."
Many incidents are told of her use of Masonic signs and words in her travels through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and other States; but most of them seemingly improbable, even if not quite impossible.
Mrs. Babington died in Shelby, N. C., and is buried there; and the Shelby Aurora, published at that time by William H. Miller, an old soldier and a Mason, said:--"At her death she was the only Female Mason in the United States, and was well versed in the workings of the Blue Lodge."
She advocated keeping up the old custom of refreshments, and invariably encouraged Masons to take and read good Masonic Journals; and whether Mason or not, she gave them this good advice:
"Some men never learn anything about Masonry except in the Lodge. They never see a Masonic book, magazine, or paper; and therefore never knew what the order was doing. Have some good paper, devoted to its interest circulated among your members, and you will soon see its good effects."
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THE SPIRIT OF '76
Several Brethren of German birth have written us telling of their agony of soul in prospect of war between this republic and their Fatherland. We respect both their confidence and their sorrow; but when they ask us what to do - as man to man and Mason to Mason - we have no hesitation in telling them to answer in the spirit of 1776. Hear now a great American thinker, himself a man of foreign birth but of unswerving loyalty, who states the situation as it was and as it is.
Whom did the Colonists fight? Their kindred, their fathers, their brothers, those who were bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. It was Englishman against Englishman, Scot against Scot, and Irishman against Irishman. It was a war between kindred and between kinsmen who twenty years before had been profound and happy friends! Kinsmen, with the same language, with the same religion, with the same literature, with the same traditions of freedom and power and manhood, went forth to meet each other in battle. There is nothing like so tragic a situation in the America of to-day as we confront the possibilities of the future as there was when the Tea Party took place at the hands of those who gathered in the Old South Meetinghouse; or when Washington took command of the Continental Army under the old tree in Cambridge. What was their argument, conclusion, motive? It was that every tie must be like tow in the fire when it comes to the question of the existence of freedom among men born for freedom !
I commend this example to my fellow adopted citizens of other blood than my own, and I know if the case were reversed I should take the lesson to myself. What did I mean when I took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and foreswore specially and specifically all allegiance to the Queen of Great Britain ? Preparation for any emergency and readiness to count freedom, American freedom, first, last, and all the time above every other interest.
One lesson more from the Revolution. The revolutionists made a distinction clear and deep between the government of Great Britain and the people, between King George III and his lackeys and blind servants and tyrants, and the whole people. They knew that Chatham was with them, that the greatest political genius of the English race was with them, - Edmund Burke; they knew or might have known that the poet Burns was with them, who after the war wrote a great "Ode to Washington," who after the War sacrificed all possibility of a pension from the Government by writing "A Dream" to George III, which I beg you to read. Let our Teutonic citizens, who are among the most substantial and the ablest and the worthiest of the adopted sons of America, - let them draw the distinction which your fathers drew in the day of their distress; let them draw the distinction between the Teutonic peoples and the Teutonic government. And remember that if he were free to speak, the true Teuton would say that no nation has a right to limit the just freedom of the United States; subject it to indignity; to murder its women and children on the high seas, or to confine its industry and influence within its own bounds.
We are one today, one in our belief in free institutions, one in our sense of obligation to the American Republic, and all ties even of the most sacred character must be, as I have said, like tow in the fire when it comes to the question whether America shall be first or the country of our descent or our birth.
The President of the United States has been patient, patient to the utmost limit, so patient that the world has been in danger of misunderstanding him. Let us thank God today for his patience, for his clearness, for his solemn decision, and for his hope that war may yet be averted. Let us be ready, with our faith, our prayer, our manhood, and all our resources to stand behind the Government that guards the heritage of the American people.
THE SECRET KEY
Brothers:--In the March issue of "The Builder," Brother J. G. Anderson of California, requests information regarding the ancient uses of the two celebrated Pillars, "Jachin and Boaz."
He comes very near the "Key" of the whole situation when he does so.
In reply to him I will first state that in prehistoric times, men formulated a "Secret Doctrine" of procedure whereby their kind should always profit by a certain wisdom, so called, that others of their kind did not possess.
It is still called "The Secret Doctrine" and still exists.
The coming "New Religion" will be an explanation of the "Dark Sayings" of the Old ones.
It seems strange that a body of men should have been able, for thousands of years, to guide those who did not understand their system, into the paths and ways of those who did. But it has been done and is being done today.
We are all naturally afraid of that seeming danger which we do not readily understand. It is this tendency in our nature that has been taken advantage of, and mysteries created out of common things, until our fear and superstition has been fully developed.
It should, I think, be the work of our modern Freemasonry to break down and destroy this false condition by explaining the seeming "Mysteries" which exist in the mind only, and relate entirely to Education.
The ancient system is based upon the divine plan, furnished by the apparent daily path of the Sun around the earth, and its annual journey between the two Tropics. Broadly speaking, every religion that ever existed, Freemasonry included, knowingly or unknowingly, has been based upon this natural phenomena; the governing law of which no human force can change, but can try to explain; and this is what they attempted to do.
To carry out this idea they drew a Circle and divided it into zones, after the manner in which the Sun naturally divided the earth.
Today every school boy knows what these divisions represent, but not so in those days; for it meant death to reveal this concealed wisdom.
This plan of the earth was the "Key" used to unravel the balance of the Mysteries; and should, I think, be the starting point of all research societies today, who are trying to unfold the ancient meanings.
The Wisdom which the ancients obtained was kept strictly among themselves and this naturally made them mysterious. New members were admitted, or initiated, and this constituted the priesthood.
It is upon their discovered Wisdom that Modern Freemasonry is founded. And this is one of the reasons why the Orthodox Church is as a general thing so bitter against the Order.
"Boaz" was used to mark the Sun's Highest point of ascension to the North, or the Tropic of Cancer, and the longest day of the year.
The Great Pyramid Cheops of Egypt is the Boaz of the ancient priesthood, and stands as near as may be, on the above mentioned Tropical line.
Naturally divided by the Sun, because at "High Twelve" on the longest day of the year, it casts no shadow. Any building to the North of it does.
"Jachin" was used to mark the Sun's Lowest point of declination to the South, or the Tropic of Capricorn, and the shortest day of the year, at "Low Twelve."
The Torid Zone was called "The Ground Floor Plan of King Solomon's Temple" which was the World. The Floor was said to be Checkered and twice as long as it was broad. At the entrance stood "Jachin" on the Right and "Boaz" on the Left. (See I. Kings, chapt. 7, v. 21.) The front of the Temples being always left open for the Sun to enter, while the worshipers entered from the West and always faced the East during the services.
In front of all of these Temples were to be found "Boaz and Jachin." And here they were used to locate the Spring and Fall equinoxes. On the morning of March twenty-first, for instance, at Sunrise, the Sun shone past Jachin, over the Checkered Floor, and rested on the "Blazing Star" at the center. On the morning of the Fall equinox, at Sunrise, the Bays of the Sun shone past Boaz, and again rested on the Blazing Star. In this manner the Equinoxes were located; no other method ever being used, so far as I have been able to learn.
Thus the Pillars, together with the Checkered Floor, were used as a Calendar, a clock, and a compass; and, so far as known, was the only compass they ever devised.
These are not conjectures remember, but are actual working facts, as set forth in the Bible.
Masonry is a gold mine studded with diamonds, so far as this ancient method of obtaining and recording knowledge is concerned, and will well repay for the time spent for its search.
Hoping this will help along the study of the ancient system, I remain,
Yours fraternally, Geo. F. Greene, 65 Myrtle St., Detroit, Mich.
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MASONIC TRAINING OF THE YOUNG
Brother Editor: - It would be of interest to many members if you would publish in The Builder an article which appeared in one of our Masonic journals, I do not remember which, on "The Masonic Training of the Young." I recall reading it, and would like to have it spread far and near. - H.J.L., Canada.
The article referred to was written by Brother Albert G. McChesney, Master of St. John's Lodge, No. 11, Washington, D. C., and appeared in the New Age in 1915. We are glad to comply with the request of our Canadian Brother, because the article is interesting and instructive. It is as follows:
For some years I have been deeply impressed with the possibility and the desirability of our Masonic fraternity taking some steps looking directly toward the care and welfare of our sons in their youth.
If we could devise some method of assisting our boys that they may be trained up in such a life, such morals, such instruction, such oversight and direction, as will cultivate their Masonic manhood and naturally lead them, under appropriate and helpful supervision, into a full and regular Masonic status on arriving at proper age, we should be helping the boys who have been born and brought up in Masonic homes. We should be helping one another, and at the same time be developing a great field and feeder for material for our historic fraternity in the coming years.
The value of some such organization or Masonic auxiliary can hardly be overestimated, to my mind. If we want a larger future, we must be sowing the seed in the present rising generation; for our boys of today will be the men of tomorrow, and if we train the boys we shall have the men.
The ceremony of baptism may be performed by any Masonic body whatever. Under certain conditions and restrictions a child of either sex may be baptized, - if a boy, when he has attained the age of 12 years, or, if a girl, when she has reached that of 18. A boy over the age of 12 can be baptized only when he has received a Louveteau or when he is to be afterward adopted. The ceremony is intended particularly, however, for infants. It secures to a child of either sex the protection and assistance of the Lodge or other body performing the ceremony, and to a boy the right to be received a Louveteau at the age of 12 years. Either the father of the child must be a Mason, or its mother the daughter or granddaughter of a Mason. The father or grandfather, as the case may be, must, if living be a Mason in good standing; if dead, he must have been so at the time of his death. If long unaffiliated, without reasonable excuse, he ought not to be deemed in good standing.
In performing this baptism, or washing by water, it is done as a symbol of purification and consecration to duty. In it Masonry does not imitate a religious rite of any church, or imagine that its ceremony, more ancient than the churches, has any sacramental efficacy, or sanctification, as when used in the proper manner by the ministers of religion; for Masonry does not pretend to be a religion. But Masonry is not irreligious or irreverent; it does not assume to take the place of any religion or claim to make religion unnecessary. To charge it with this is to libel it. Every Masonic body should cheerfully accept the protectorate of the children of a brother, especially if, being orphans, and therefore God's wards, the Lodge is deemed worthy also to become their guardian.
This ceremony of Masonic baptism includes dipping the left hand of the child into a basin of perfumed oil, putting salt on its lips, and investing it with apron and jewel, with attendant ceremonies, instruction, obligations, and prayers.
A Louveteau is the son of a Mason. To be received as a Louveteau the boy must be 12 years of age or over. The Lodge is not obliged to support or educate him, but only to watch over and protect him and give him counsel and advice. This ceremony can be performed by a Symbolic Lodge only. It entitles the Louveteau to be received an Apprentice at the age of 21 years, if he be found worthy and intelligent. If the candidate has not been previously baptized Masonically, that baptism is included with his reception as a Louveteau.
The ceremony of the reception of a Louveteau includes, among its many splendid teachings and impressive ritual, the following:
Obedient to the mandate of duty and the obligations of Masonry, we are now about to receive this youth as a pupil of the Lodge, or, according to the ancient term, which Masonry has preserved, as a Louveteau, or child of the Light, and thereby entitle him to become a Freemason at the age of 21, if he be found worthy and well Qualified..
The address to the candidate includes these words:
When you become a man we wish you also to be a Freemason, and still more that you should deserve to become one. We wish to assist you to become so by watching over you, and advising you what is best and wisest and noblest for you to do, how to govern your passions and resist temptations.
In the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Mackey we are given the following facts as to the term Lewis:
1. An instrument in Operative Masonry. It is an iron cramp which is inserted in a cavity prepared for that purpose in any large stone, so as to give attachment to a pulley and hook whereby the stone may be conveniently raised to any height and deposited in its proper position.
2. In the English system the Lewis is found on the tracing board of the Entered Apprentice, where it is used as a symbol of strength, because, by its assistance, the Operative Mason is enabled to lift the heaviest stones with a comparatively trifling exercise of physical power. It has not been adopted as a symbol by the American Masons, except in Pennsylvania, where, of course, it receives the English interpretation.
3. The son of a Mason is, in England, called a Lewis, because it is his duty to support the sinking powers and aid the failing strength of his father; or, as Oliver has expressed it, "to bear the burden and heat of the day, that his parents may rest in their old age; thus rendering the evening of their lives peaceful and happy."
The words lufton and louffton are also applied in the same way. The French employ the word Louveteau in the same manner.
In Brown's Master Key, which is supposed to represent the Prestonian lecture, we find the following definition:
What do we call the son of a Freemason?
What does that denote?
How is the Lewis depicted in a Mason's Lodge?
As a cramp of metal, by which, when fixed into a stone, great and ponderous weights are raised to a certain height and fixed upon their proper basis, without which Operative Masons could not conveniently do.
What is the duty of a Lewis, the son of a Mason, to his aged parents ?
To bear the heavy burden in the heat of the day and help them in time of need, which, by reason of their great age, they ought to be exempted from so as to render the close of their days happy and comfortable.
His privilege for so doing?
To be made a Mason before any other person, however dignified by birth, rank, or riches, unless he, through complaisance, waives this privilege.
This lecture does not state, in exact terms, the whole nature of the privilege of a Lewis. Not only has he, in an initiation, the precedence of all other candidates, but, in England and France, the right to be initiated at an earlier age; for, while a general law in both these countries required a candidate to have reached the age of 21, a Lewis can be received when only 18. No such regulation is, it is true, to be found in the English Constitution, but, as Oliver says, it is a "traditional custom," and a provision seems to have been made for it by allowing the prerogative of dispensing with the usual requirement of age in certain cases. In this country, where the symbolism of the Lewis is unknown, no such right is now recognized. It is, however, probable that the custom existed formerly, derived from England, and it has thus been attempted, I think reasonably enough, to explain the fact that Washington was initiated when he was only 20 years and 8 months old.
I believe that we, as a Masonic fraternity, could take up something of this character - the reception of the Louveteau - and carry it still further. The Lewis organizations of France and England received and recognized the candidates as sons of Masons, with gertain privileges of preferred candidacy for regular membership in the Blue Lodge upon reaching the required age; but there was nothing further to be done, no further steps to be taken, no meetings to attend, no particular obligations in one sense: the introduction of reception as a Lewis or Louveteau was at the same time the beginning and the end of his career, as such.
I suggest, for the consideration of those more competent than myself, an auxiliary organization for the sons and grandsons (on the paternal and maternal lines) of Masons,and perhaps, under certain restrictions, other young men as well,with a membership composed of those whose ages range at least from 16 to 21 years, having an organization separate and distinct from the subordinate Lodge, but under the direct oversight of the Grand Lodge; with a constitution, laws, regulations, secret obligations, and ritual.
I am not proposing that any of the secrets, strictly speaking, of the Blue Lodge should be communicated to the members of the junior organization, but that they might be a body literally at work and in training, looking forward, on arriving at sufficient age, to membership in the Masonic Lodge, if found worthy and qualified. Only such Masonic instruction should be imparted as is now available through official Masonic publications.
The subject, as an entirety and in its details, is one that I think will commend, as it deserves, most serious thought and serious consideration; for I feel that it presents a possibility of vast usefulness and helpfulness to our sons and to our fraternity alike.
(Note: The by-laws of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota, Sec. 23 (1), make the following provision in the case of a "Lewis":
Any Lodge in this grand jurisdiction may lawfully receive and ballot upon a petition for degrees of a son or nephew of an affiliated Master Mason within the last six months of such petitioner's twenty-first year; however, if elected, he shall not be initiated an Entered Apprentice until he has attained the age of twenty-one.)
* * *
LEST WE FORGET
Masons are popularly believed to espouse certain moral principles, but the practical demonstration of these principles is not always apparent in their daily lives. Masons challenge their fellowmen by their membership in the Order, to try them by the square.
How many realize that they are being so tried day by day, by their fellowmen?
How many so discharge their personal responsibility that their lives may be claimed by Masonry to its credit ?
How many of the brothers have made the principles of Masonry a living power in their lives ?
How many realize that society has been given a right to expect and require more from them as Masons, than from one who has not, of his own free will and accord, professed to align his life in harmony with the precepts of moral conduct?
How many have lost touch of the elbow, and ceased to feel the compelling influence of comradeship and brotherhood, that began with the handclasp in the mother lodge ?
Would it not be a wonderful inspiration if a day were set aside upon which Masons everywhere might proclaim their allegiance anew to the world and to one another?
If every lodge would have a home-coming for all of its brothers during the week, and every Mason, on the selected day, should wear a little blue button with a square and compass upon his lapel, would not fresh inspiration be gathered from the light in the eye of a brother met upon the highway, and courage and firm resolve follow a realization that we are indeed members of no mean Order, and all begin anew to so live that each day of our lives shall be such that men seeing our good works, may say in explanation: "That man is a Mason"?
LeRoy T. Steward,
Covenant 526, 111.
TO RUDYARD KIPLING TODAY
In the 'Nineties you awoke us with your ringing, swinging song,
When you set our youth a-dreaming golden dreams of gallant deeds -
When you won your heady laurels and you swept the World along
With your realistic stories and your sturdy modern creeds.
We read you and we worshipped you with laughter and with joy -
Your Soldiers Three, your Maltese Cat, your dreaming Brushwood Boy!
You sang of British Tommy - made us laugh and made us cry -
You sang a song of Derelicts, you sang of Seven Seas:
You sang delicious nonsense little songs that you or I
Could murmur in the gloaming to the kiddy on our knees:
You thrilled us by your daring, by your vision, by your youth,
And now and then you struck the chord of God's eternal Truth!
Right down the years you rode your steed - and Pegasus was he!
Right well you rode and far you rode ... but Youth may never stay....
And so you faced disaster and you faced it gallantly,
For out of it your genius wrought the loveliness of "They,''
And every father who has wrought and every lover too
Doth owe a debt, perchance unpaid . . I pay mine now to you!
In later years the sad old World has come at last to This . . .
To War and Death . . the sacrifice of "all we have and are....”
In other days you struck your note of jarring emphasis,
The grim, relentless Truth you told . . it echoed wide and far;
But if today you sing no song, yours still "the true romance,"
Yours still the greatest gift there be.... to England, Belgium, France,
You've staked your all, whate'er befall, the great war lost or won
For once you gave your land a song ....but now you give your son...
- Elizabeth Newport Hepburn.
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