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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 4 - number 10
THE HOUSE OF THE TEMPLE
BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
MORE than a year has passed since I paid my first visit to the House of the Temple, headquarters for the Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction, which stands in Washington, but the impressions remain as vividly as though I had seen it yesterday. There are many remarkable buildings in our Capital City, some of them historic, a few of them beautiful; but, with the possible exception of the Capitol building itself, the House of the Temple is the most wonderful and beautiful of them all. He who has seen the building, outside and inside, will say this whether he be a Mason or not.
I shall never forget my first view of it. On a misty April morning it stood amid the fog as something almost eerie and unearthly, like that palace which Coleridge saw in his vision of Kubla Khan; there was that about it which seemed to speak of antiquity, as though the genius of the ancient East had wandered into the Capital City of the new West; it had an air of timelessness about it which made it hard to believe that it had not yet been completed five years.
In general shape it is patterned after the original Mausoleum which Queen Artemisia erected to contain the ashes of her husband three hundred and fifty-three years before the birth of Christ. The body of the building is cubical, as is appropriate in a structure which is to serve as an altar of Freemasonry. The roof is a series of stone terraces which rise to an apex. The decorative work around the cornice is as beautiful as was ever seen on a Grecian Temple.
The building is much larger than it first appears, especially when seen from a distance. One approaches it up a series of three, five, seven and nine steps; the platforms between these series are so wide that one could set a large building on each one. At either side stands a huge sphinx, dreaming and brooding with level eyes, as though it were still standing on the banks of Mother Nile.
My mind still lay under the hush of these eternal watchers when I knocked at the door and was received by a guide who is there to take care of the hundred or more visitors who enter the portals every day. He stowed my umbrella away in a safe place and told me to feel at home. But one couldn't very well feel at home home in that magnificent, but subdued, atrium in which I found myself. Far overhead was a carved and gilded ceiling, like a dream of beauty in the upper twilight; on either side was a row of giant monoliths, pillars of the house, of green Vermont granite, their sides fluted. Behind each of these stood a seat, also of granite; in the center was a table of Cavanazza marble. At the further end was the curving stairway which leads to the council chamber of the Supreme Council; to break the coldness of its white marble, John Russell Pope had set in a band of dark marble; it is one of the boldest strokes of architectural genius about the entire building. Keeping watch at the foot of this stairway were two Egyptian figures, a further reminder, were one needed, that Masonry is as old as the world.
On both sides of this atrium, or lobby, are the doors leading into the offices of Grand Commander, the Secretary General and the library; at the left side is the entrance into the executive chamber of the Supreme Council; these walnut doors are so hidden away in the shadows at the side that they do not disturb the unity or serenity of the great chamber itself.
From Secretary General Brother John H. Cowles I received a welcome as warm as the cheerful fire which blazed in the wide fireplace near his desk. He introduced me to the Librarian, Brother William L. Boyden, who "showed me around" the library. Being something of a bibliomaniac I have been privileged to see many libraries but none that I have ever entered has left quite the same impression. It is dignified but homelike and the atmosphere about it was almost as conducive to prayer as to study. The library room proper lies in a corner of the building; it opens into a semi-circular series of stack-rooms which stretch across the end of the building that lies opposite to the entrance.
The center of interest in the library (stack-rooms) is the collection of mementoes of Albert Pike. Here were several photographs, one of his body lying in a casket; here was one of the quill pens with which he wrote; the scrap of paper containing his last words before death; badges and ribbons which once decorated his breast; family albums; his family Bible, and a ritual which he wrote. There was also a collection of pipes, one of them valued at $600, a prize winner at the Paris Exposition. Brother Boyden told me that the General had used every one of them; the size of two or three gave me an added respect for the General's powers. One of them looked as though it would have held enough tobacco for a week's smoke.
The center of the Pike collection, it needs not be said, was in the cases full of his original manuscripts. He had written all of these by hand, with meticulous care, so that one might look through several pages without seeing so much as one misformed letter; the writing was not in the usual flowing script but more like a page of copperplate, the letters being shaped like print. Of these manuscripts, all of them bound like books, there were, I believe, about eighty: "Maxims of Roman Law" in thirteen volumes; "Maxims of Military Science and Art" in six volumes; "Vocabulary of Indian Language" in one volume; materials for a history of France in six volumes (part of this has been published); "Commentaries of the Kabbala" in two volumes; Masonic Rituals in twelve volumes; moreover there was also a volume of biography written by his secretary from notes dictated by Pike himself. There were many volumes of Eastern Philosophy which he had translated. These evidences of the man's titantic intellect impress one almost more than the size and grandeur of the building in which they are preserved.
In addition to all this there was a compass which he had used in the Southwest; his set of chess men; a chair which he had constructed for himself, with a patent, spring in it for raising and lowering the back; his ring for the fourteenth degree, and much of his Masonic Regalia. It may be added that the last words before mentioned were addressed to Brother Frederick Webber, Secretary General at that time, and read as follows:
"Shalom: Peace --that comes with blessing to carefretted men, when death's dreamless sleep ends all suffering and sorrow."
One of the rare mementoes in the library is a signature of Albert Mackey made in January, 1859. Among the 85,000 volumes in the library, 40,000 are on Masonic subjects. There is also a collection of rare old Scottish Rite patents and many other documents of almost priceless value. About the room stand some six busts, one of them of Pike; these faces of past leaders, and the thousands of volumes ranged about them, brought home to one's mind how vast has been the intellectual labor devoted to Masonry.
On the same floor with the library is the executive chamber of the Supreme Council. Honorary members of the Council are permitted to attend when meetings are held in the great chamber on the second floor but only "active Thirty-Thirds" are ever admitted to the executive chamber while the Supreme Council is in session there. The room is so beautiful as to defy description. It is the most beautiful room that I ever saw. An altar stands in the center; seats for the members are built against the wall, and each seat is furnished with an accoustic apparatus which enables the hard-of-hearing to catch every word that is uttered. Needless to say, there is a complete telephone service in this and in every room in the building. It would be hard to find anything that is lacking in that marvelous structure.
The floor immediately beneath this is mainly devoted to the banquet room, albeit there are a number of committee rooms around the side. In the banquet room are twelve tables which will seat ninety-six men; chairs and tables are in fumed quartered oak, ivory finish; carpets, hangings and walls would make a king proud. Behind the banquet room is a serving room, completely tiled, and furnished with every imaginable convenience.
Immediately underneath is a kitchen that would make any housewife green with envy. I shall not describe that kitchen lest every woman who chances to read this will apply for a position there the next time the Supreme Council meets. It is a dream of a-kitchen. On this same floor is a heating plant, with capacity for four hundred tons of coal; also a ventilating plant that cost $80,000.00, and actually ventilates.
Somewhere on one or the other of these two lower floors (I do not remember just where) I ran across the office of that genial and well-read Mason, Brother Horace P. McIntosh, the editor of The New Age. He told me many strange things about Masonry in foreign parts, all of which were true, for, though Brother McIntosh was once a sailor, he is also a Scotchman. He showed me a complete file of The New Age with a great deal of pride, as was fitting, because The New Age is the best Masonic magazine in the world with the exception of one; what that one is I am too modest to say.
The heart and soul of the House of the Temple is the Supreme Council Chamber which occupies the floor just above the entrance floor. The door leading into the chamber is itself a supreme work of art; it is of oak covered with leather. Just inside is a high wooden screen which shuts off the view of the interior when the door is opened; in a concealed room above this door is the pipe organ, not a sign of which is anywhere visible in the chamber itself. I shall not attempt to describe the chamber itself; I don't know how.
At the center stands an altar of black marble, round the bottom of which runs this legend:
"From the light of the Divine Word, the Logos, comes the wisdom of life and the goal of initiation."
As a frieze about the room runs another sentence, also selected by Brother George F. Moore, Grand Commander:
"Unto the Divine Light of the Holy Altar, from the outer darkness of ignorance, through the shadow of our earth life, runs the beautiful path of initiation."
Above the Grand Commander's station is a vast window, round which coils a huge serpent which symbolizes, one may suppose, wisdom. Along the two sides of the room are twenty-six desks for the active members; behind these are seats for the honorary members. There are great windows at the side hung with massive curtains, and at the top are sky-light windows, the shades over which are operated electrically. The furniture is in Circassian walnut. This sounds as if the room might appear luxurious, but it is not so; the effect is one of quiet dignity and grace, as befits the council chamber of a Scottish Rite.
At one corner of the room, behind a small door, is a spiral stairway leading down to the bottommost floor. One look down that dizzy well of space helps one to understand the total height of the building, which is more than four stories, though it does not appear so high from the street.
Everything about the building was especially designed for it; nothing was used out of stock. The entire structure, it may be said for those who are curious about such matters, cost more than two million dollars. Some fifteen or more employed in the building all of the time.
The erection of the House of the Temple was under the direction of an executive committee of five, the chairman of which was Brother Charles E. Rosenbaum, of Little Rock, Arkansas, General Pike's old home. The architect was John Ruessell Pope, whose design for the building won the national architectural prize in 1916.
The House of the Temple is the Headquarters of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite; it is also a monument to the memory of General Albert Pike whose genius made the Scottish Rite what it is. As one walks through it he feels as if the heroic, scholarly, eloquent spirit of that great character were hovering about him.
THE MASON'S HOLY HOUSE
(By Albert Pike)
We have a Holy House to build,
A Temple splendid and divine
To be with glorious memories filled;
Of Right and Truth to be the Shrine;
How shall we build it strong and fair--
This Holy House of praise and prayer
Firm set and solid, grandly great?
How shall we all its rooms prepare
For use, for ornament, for State?
Our God hath given the wood and stone
And we must fashion them aright,
Like those who toiled on Lebanon,
Making the labor their delight;
This House, this palace, this God's Home,
This Temple with its lofty dome,
Must be in all proportions fit
That heavenly messengers may come
To lodge with those who tenant it.
Build squarely upon the stately walls
The two symbolic columns raise,
And let the lofty courts and halls
With all their golden glories blaze
There, in the Kadosh Kadoshim
Between the broad-winged cherubim,
Where the Shekinah once abode
The heart shall raise its daily hymns
Of gratitude and love to God.
SPECULATIVE MASONRY IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
BY BRO. OSSIAN LANG. GRAND HISTORIAN. GRAND LODGE OF NEW YORK
CENTRAL TENETS OF THE BRETHREN OF THE ROSY CROSS
FLUDD and Frisius agree in essential points. As the "Summum Bonum" supplies all we need for our present purpose, we may gather from this work whatever information is desired for our inquiry. The central symbolism turns around the stone, Aben, (1) and the building of the House of Wisdom. There is an abundance of allegorical uses of the word stone or stones, in the Old and New Testaments, which are made use of by Frisius to justify the philosophy of the Brethren of the Rosy Cross.
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways Go up to the hill-country and bring wood and build the house." --Haggai I, 78.
"They that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord." --Zechariah VI, 15.
"Wisdom hath builded a house, She hath hewn out her seven pillars." --Proverbs IX, 1.
"Through wisdom is a house builded, "And by understanding it is established; "And by knowledge are the chambers filled "With all precious and pleasant riches." --Proverbs XXIV, 3-4.
"The wise man buildeth his house upon a rock. The rains may descend and the floods come; the winds may blow and beat upon that house: it will not fall; for it is founded upon a rock." --St. Matthew VII, 24-25.
Aben, Frisius argues, is the cabalistic stone. In it, we have the Holy Trinity. For in Hebrew, Ab means Father and Ben Son; but where the Father and the Son are present there the Holy Ghost must also be.
Aben is then explained as the foundation stone of the universe, the macrocosm. ("The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the cornerstone thereof ?"--Job XXXVIII, 1, 4, 6.)
The macrocosmic Aben, then, is the foundation stone of all and for all. It was laid in Zion, and all the prophets and apostles built upon it, though the ignorant and wicked builders rejected it as a stumbling block and stone of contention:
"Thus saith the Lord God: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, "A tried stone, a costly corner-stone of sure foundation. "He that believeth shall not make haste. "And I will make justice the line, "And righteousness the plummet." --Isaiah XXVIII, 16-17.
"According to the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise Master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.... For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." --St. Paul, 1; Cor. III, 10-11.
"The stone which the builders rejected "Is become the chief corner-stone." --Psalm CXVIII, 22.
"As it is written in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth in him shall not be confounded.
"Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient." --I Peter II, 6-7-8.
If we consider the significance of Aben for the individual man (the microcosm, or the universe on a small scale), we find we are parts of the same spiritual stone, "cut out of that catholic (universal) rock":
"Coming to Christ, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious: Ye also, as living stones, be ye built up a spiritual house." --I Peter II, 4-6.
In other words: Build yourselves upon Christ, as the foundation stone, as living stones, to a house of God.
"We are labourers together with God: Ye are God's husbandry, Ye are God's building." --I Cor. III, 9.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile this temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy which temple ye are." --I Cor. III, 16-17.
Nor are those excluded who are-not of our faith. The temple of God is built up of all men who seek Him and strive to know Him. Quoting John, the Baptist: "Say not within yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father': for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."
The plan of the building which the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross is seeking to establish is given in the words of Hebrews XIII, 1: "Let brotherly love continue."
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." --Psalm CXXXIII, 1.
An example of the mystic, allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures, met with everywhere in Rosy Cross literature, is the following:
As Christ was hidden in that Rock or Stone, before the days of Moses, since the spiritual is usually concealed in the physical, so also does Moses conceal in his writings the spiritual Aben; that is why we say he wrote under a veil, i. e. mystically. That is why the Apostle Paul says (II Cor. III, 6) "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
"The Lord said unto Moses, Behold, I will stand before thee, there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink." --Exodus XVII, 6.
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; "And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; "And did all eat the same spiritual meal; "And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that went with them: and that Rock was Christ." --I Cor. X, 1-4.
Alchemistically expressed, the water which sprang from the Rock was potable gold, the word of God, words of Wisdom.
That suggests also what we Alchemists mean when we speak of producing gold. It is not the gold the multitude hankers for. Ours is living gold, the gold of God, that which the Psalmist calls silver:
"The words of the Lord are pure words, "As silver tried in a crucible on the earth, refined seven times." --Psalm XII, 7.
The Rosy Cross alchemy in the transmutation of base metals into gold, is not that of the spurious Rosicrucians who deceive the avaricious by false promises; it takes the base, natural man and turns him by its art into a new, spiritual man, through the Word of God and the practice of charity.
In the same manner the rough ashlar is turned into a perfect ashlar.
As God has promised to dwell among men, to have his tabernacle among them, we must with all our strength and with spiritual tools strive for Aben. As the prophet Isaiah says: "Ye that seek the Lord, Look unto the rock whence ye were hewn." (Isaiah LI, 1.)
The first step toward finding this Rock (the Philosopher's Stone) is to look for it within yourself; hence begin to know thyself. If you desire help from the writings of the Alchemists, remember that these wrote them in a veiled, mystic manner. Thus Darnaeus says "Change--oh! change yourselves from dead stones into living philosophical stones !"
In order to realize the chemical steps of progression, we must first seek to discover the true sense of the Alchemists through careful insight. Then it will be found that they wrote differently and wanted to be understood differently. (Masonically speaking, one must first possess "the key of a fellowcraft" to interpret correctly.)
We summarize, as follows; always following the "Summum Bonum":
The human body is a temple. Christ is its cornerstone. When we raise this corner-stone, His temple is also raised, as was the Temple of Solomon, when his players were fulfilled and the glory of the Lord descended.
"Similarly, Kephas and Aben were at one time only dead stones, now become living stones through an actual transmutation, in that from the condition of Adam after his fall from grace they transformed themselves into Adam's original state of innocence and perfection; just as if there had been effected a transmutation from ordinary dirty lead into the purest gold. And this transmutation took place by the intermediation of that living gold as of the mystic stone of the Philosophers, which to us represents the divine emanation of wisdom. This wisdom, however, is the gift of God, and nothing else."
MORE LIGHT FROM THE "SUMMUM BONUM"
The study of true Magic, the Cabala and chemistry are the sciences called the three principal columns of the house of wisdom. By Magic is meant the art of wisdom practised by the Magi who came to worship the new born Christ. Cabala stands for mystic mathematics (or strength). Chemistry is explained as the study of nature (beauty). The true Brethren of the Rosy Cross are called architects who build the house of God, after the manner already explained.
Why did the Brethren adopt the name of the Rosy Cross? There is an order of the Holy Cross. The Knights who went to war against the Saracens bore on their cloaks the emblem of a deep red cross. The Brethren have chosen the true and living cross of Christ as the emblem of wisdom, that mystic wisdom which the Bible calls the Tree of Life whose root is the Word of Light.
The color of the cross is that of blood or as that of red roses mixed with lilies.
(We omit all mystic elaboration of the ideas here briefly indicated nor do we include other matters which have no bearing on the development of the Freemasonry of the Symbolic Lodge.)
R. C. BRETHREN AS MASTER BUILDERS AND FORM OF THE LODGE
Finally, the Brother is to labor at the perfecting of this work in the character of an architect, or master builder. (I Cor. III, 10-11).
In order that the structure may be firmly established, in order that we may arrive at the rosy blood of the cross hidden within the foundation stone, we must dig from the surface to the center, we must seek and knock; unless we pursue our work with zeal, all our efforts will be wasted. All bodies have manifest height, occult depth and intermediate breadth. From the manifest form of a body we can only conjecture what its occult form must be, when we destroy the manifest to advance to the revelation of its occult form. The truth of this is found when we contemplate the depth of the geometric cube.
The wise artist and the true religious philosopher must penetrate the earth and labor in every particle of the threefold dimension, if he wants to find the true rectangular foundation stone which God has laid in the foundation of the earth (Job 38, 4-6). Then he will know that "the love of Christ passeth knowledge, and that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph. III, 19).
Then knock and strike zealously and strenuously, for "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Heb. XII, 4). Here the Apostle teaches us occultly that a transgression here, something foreign there, not emanating from the pure truth which is Christ Jesus, is present, which must be broken off and gotten rid of, from the human or soul-endowed stone; then truth will illumine the master builder and true Brother, and it will gleam in a rose-red or blood-colored glow, and he will see in this divine light his own light and receive and enjoy at last the wages of his labors. Then he shall be justly called a Brother of the Rosy Cross and he shall be called a member of the true Fraternity.
THE ROYAL ART
Everything thus far has been gathered from the "Summum Bonum," arranged so as to serve best our present purpose and in language more suitable to our times, without however changing the essence and the spirit. I shall add no extended comment. The brethren who are at home in the language, the symbols and the spirit of Freemasonry can gather their own conclusions. What has been gleaned from the work of Frisius, together with the notes on the symbolism of the Alchemists, would seem to be quite sufficient to explain why the Brethren of the Rosy Cross should have been considered the forebears of the Accepted Free Masons. Before offering a brief concluding summary, we must give a moment's attention to the development of the idea of the Royal Art which is the true name of Freemasonry.
First let us take another word from the "Summum Bonum," which describes the Rosy Cross view of the Royal Art:
There were in antiquity, four renowned schools of natural Magic, to-wit, the Hindoo, the Persian, the Chaldaic and the Egyptian. From the Persians came those three Kings (Magi, Wise Men) who were seeking the new born "King of the Jews," to present gifts unto Him and to worship Him. The sons of Persian Kings, as Plato has related in his "Alcibiades," were initiated into Magic that they might learn from the study of the pattern of the universe how best to govern their own dominions and to preserve order and administer justice therein. Cicero, too, speaks of this, in his "De Divinatione," saying that no one was crowned among the Persians with the royal diadem until after he had been fully instructed in Magic. That is why Oriental kings were so well grounded in wisdom and coveted the name of Magi or Wise Men. Hence those who came from the far East to worship the Christ child, were called by the Holy Spirit "Magi."
Recalling that in the early days of the Grand Lodge of England we met repeatedly with the declaration, "There have been Kings that have been of this sodality," we shall have another clue to the genealogy of Freemasonry, as it was conceived by the organizers of the speculative craft.
Or take this quotation from "The Master's Song" of the premier Grand Lodge:
Thus mighty Eastern Kings, and some Of Abram's Race, and Monarchs good Of Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. True Architecture understood.
Who can unfold the ROYAL Art? Or sing its Secrets in a Song? They're safely kept in Mason's heart And to the ancient Lodge belong.
Those familiar with the Constitutions of 1723 know what changes were made to make the ancient "Charges" conform to the newly established ideals of the Fraternity. What was there said regarding the attitude toward the "old Gothic Constitutions," applies also to the religious tenets of the Brethren of the Rosy Cross. The changes gave a simplified definition of the "Royal Art," though the spirit remained what it had been in the "Summum Bonum." Indicating the new meaning in the briefest form, I would answer:
What is the Royal Art? The practice of the Royal Law. And the Royal Law?
"If ye fulfill the Royal Law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well." So wrote St. James, the first Bishop of Jerusalem, the same who declared that "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this; to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
In conclusion, I beg to submit a summary statement embodying findings based on many years of search to arrive at some sort of satisfactory solution of the puzzling question as to the derivation of the substance of Freemasonry. This summary is not complete and is intended to serve merely as a supplement to my paper on "Freemasonry and the Medieval Craft Gilds."
The establishment of Christianity was accomplished chiefly by the marvelous rise of the power of the Church and the rigid application of this power. The first need and therefore the first care was to establish catholic unity in the faith.
The disintegration of that which had been the Roman Empire had sounded the death knell for pagan civilization. An era of confusion followed. The most extravagant teachings were in circulation. Passions and vices ran riot because of the prevailing anarchy. A cult of a thousand years had been dispossessed by a young cult which had the promise of eternity but had not then been established firmly enough to compel respect. People hesitated between the creed of the yesterday and the creed of the tomorrow. There was one giant among men, who had the courage to choose, and having chosen, to battle for his creed without weakening. That was St. Augustin, the great Doctor of the Church, mystic and man of action, philosopher and master organizer and administrator. He united in himself the genius of the Semitic race with the wisdom of the Latins, the Greeks and the Alexandrians. He may well be called the establisher of the Roman Church which became, and for a thousand years thereafter remained, the supreme ruler of Western Europe. (2)
One indirect but quite logical effect of St. Augustin's war upon heresies was the suppression of every form of free speculation in philosophy. Unity of creed must be established at any cost. The apostasy of the Emperor Julian had convinced doubting ecclesiastics of the danger lurking in an unbridled freedom of study. Three years after the death of St. Augustin, the Fourth Council of Carthage (in 398) formally prohibited the reading of secular books even by the bishops. In 529, the philosophical schools were abolished by decree of Emperor Julian. (3)
Freedom of thought cannot be suppressed by decrees. But a check may be put on the expression of thought. And it was put on. Then there sprang up secret ("invisible") Colleges, Academies, Lodges, etc., for meetings of independent seekers after truth. In Italy, particularly, these secret associations-displayed great activity, hiding their real purposes under names, auspices and forms selected to mislead the watchful spies of the hierarchy. (4)
Members of the Academy of the Trowel, for example, would wear builders' aprons and display builders' tools, presenting the appearance of a gild of operative Masons. By giving mystic meanings to emblems of a seemingly operative character, they could freely discuss prohibited topics in a manner only understood by trusted initiates. If they wished to be regarded as men engaged in architectural subjects, they would try to have those present who were generally reputed to be interested in such matters. The membership was made up largely of scientists, philosophers, architects, musicians, painters, sculptors and poets.
In spite of their camouflage, the brethren of these "invisible" lodges were occasionally discovered. Yet so well were their secrets guarded that practically no first hand knowledge of them has come down to us, though we can obtain information enough from Roman Catholic sources, if we make proper allowances for always unmistakable prejudices. Thus Pastor in his famous "History of the Popes" refers to the "invisible" Roman Academy founded by Julius Pomponius Laetus, professor in the University of Rome, in the fifteenth century, as "the center of meetings for all discontented and pagan Humanists." We are told that the initiates adopted religious usages, regarded themselves as a college of priests, with Pomponius as Grand High Priest. Gregovorius who is quoted with approval, calls the Academy "a classical Freemasons Lodge."
The Brethren of the Academy of Pomponius were accused, under Pope Paul II (1464-1471), as having conspired to kill the Holy Father, that they were pagans and materialists, etc. Imprisonment and death threatened the Brethren. "Safety first" in those days meant punishing the accused first and investigating afterward. Most of the Academicians fled. Ultimately all were, on the principle of Scotch verdict, absolved from the charge of heresy. Owing to the intervention of the scholarly and liberal Cardinal Bessarion, Pomponius and the others were allowed the freedom of the city, under close surveillance.
The Academicians were predominantly Platonists. So were the members of most of the other forbidden secret societies (or occasional gatherings), while the Church officially upheld Aristotle and for a long time sought to suppress Plato to whom religion consisted essentially in the practice of justice.
In the Teutonic countries, speculative philosophers were to be found largely among the mystic Alchemists who are often spoken of as "Hermetic Philosophers," in Masonic writings. They had no central organization. Wherever two or three of them met together, they formed a lodge for mutual intercourse and the initiation of worthy candidates who, after a period of probation more or less extended, would be put in possession of the secret symbols and traditions whereby they might obtain a key to the literature of all the mystics.
In Great Britain, the Rosicrucian Alchemists were, as has been indicated, essentially Christian theosophists. They studied nature, but not for purely scientific purposes; they sought rather to discover in nature the traces of the mystic Supreme Architect of the Universe, revealed as well as concealed in and by the visible and discoverable phenomena.
The predominance of religious speculation led to the separation from the mystic Alchemists of those who preferred to specialize in the experimental study of nature. The philosophical reform work of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was probably the chief cause of the change.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, through the influence of Robert Fludd (1574-1671), the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross arose in Great Britain. This Fraternity represented the mystic portion of the Alchemists whose practices they followed. "Heresy" had been no safer under the Protestant "Bloody Bess" than it had been in Pre-Reformation times; the only difference being in the kind of "heresy" for which men were hanged or burned by the executioner of the power which happened to be in control at the time. That, together with the predilection for symbols having to do with house and temple building, no doubt accounts for the appearance of the names of reputed Rosicrucianism the membership lists of the operative gild of Masons. The Alchemists of an earlier day are supposed also to have been identified with this particular gild. The inference is that they formed occasional lodges of their own and were the "secret brotherhood" in the bosom of the Masons Company referred to in the records of that Company. This would account for the presence among the "Accepted" Masons of Elias Ashmole, Sir Robert Moray, Dr. Thomas Wharton, Sir George Wharton, William Oughtred, Dr. John Hewitt, the astronomer and astrologist, William Lily and Sir Christopher Wren, all of them distinguished scientists interested in the Rosy Cross program.
And now a word to account for the statement in the Constitutions of 1738, at a time when there were many alive who would have objected to it if it had not been true, that the decay of the lodges of Accepted Freemasons, shortly after 1708, was due to Sir Christopher Wren's neglect of the office of Grand Master. Gould's insistence that Wren was not a Freemason and never could have been Grand Master, in spite of trustworthy evidence which should have caused him not to be so positive, is easily explained. Gould is usually very careful, content with nothing but the original sources but it is quite evident here that he had never given serious consideration to the possibility of Rosy Cross relationships.
Sir Christopher Wren was a speculative Mason, nevertheless, and may have been known as Grand Master of the "Accepted" circle. His "neglect of the office" shortly after 1708 appears quite natural to me. That which had attracted him into the "Acceptation" was no doubt the calibre of the men who were associated with it and who were active in it. But, in 1662, there had been incorporated in London the Royal Society, which as time went on, absorbed more and more the spare time of the men more directly interested in scientific progress. After the close of the seventeenth century, "acceptation" of men of this stamp in the Masonic fraternity ceased altogether. The lodges became mere convivial clubs and for these Sir Christopher had no time.
This leads me to advance a conclusion for which I hope to have prepared the ground. I believe that the Royal Society and Freemasonry both sprang from the same original source or sources.
"Alchemy" which comprised in Pre-Reformation days all pursuits in science and philosophy had passed into Rosicrucianism. Bacon's "Novum Organum," in 1620, having established the necessity for specialization in experimental science, Rosicrucianism was doomed to final extinction. Bacon's "New Atlantis" (1624) set up a new ideal for men eager to enlist in the service of mankind by the advancement of civilization. (5)
"The New Atlantis" was written, as Diderot pointed out in the prospectus of the French Encyclopedistes, "at a time when, so to say, neither sciences nor arts existed." The twilight efforts of the Alchemists no longer sufficed. More light was wanted. Day was at hand. "Solomon's House, that beautiful dream of the philosopher, began to be realized less than forty years after his death." (6) The picture of Solomon's House drawn by Bacon in "The New Atlantis" was the model from which the Royal Society was built. (7) The historian of this Society, Dr. Thomas Sprat (1636-1713) Bishop of Rochester, made acknowledgment of this when he wrote: "I shall only mention one great man who had the true imagination of the whole extent of this enterprise, as it is now set on foot, and that is Lord Bacon." (8)
Professor Nichol sums up the established testimony of all authorities on the subject, in these words: (9) "It is admitted that the suggestion of the College of Philosophy instituted in London (1645) and after the Restoration extended into the Royal Society (1662) was due to the prophetic scheme of Solomon's House in the New Atlantis. Wallis, one of the founders of the Society, exalts him by name, along with Galileo, as heir master. Sprat says "It was a work becoming the largeness of Bacon's wit to devise and the greatness of Clarendon's prudence to establish." Boyle invokes for its inauguration "that profound naturalist * * * one great Verulam."
The spirit that animated the whole conception of Solomon's House was "the love of man and the honoring of God." The Royal Society limited its membership quite naturally to men considered capable of rendering eminent service to the advancement of scientific discovery. Thereby it assured the progress of the great work it had undertaken, but it limited, at the same time, the realization of the ideal pictured in the "New Atlantis." The consciousness of this fact, together with the remembrances of the derivation from the true seekers after truth among the earlier Alchemists, were, I am persuaded, the chief reasons which prompted many of the members of the Royal Society to join the "revived" Society of Freemasons, shortly after the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England. In Freemasonry they hoped for the complete and universal realization of the whole ideal of the "New Atlantis," with the Royal Society as the scientific center of Solomon's House.
This is, briefly and summarily told, my conclusion regarding the evolution of "Speculative" Freemasonry, more particularly during the seventeenth century, for "the love of man and the honoring of God." Imperfectly as the result of my researches is placed before you, my brethren, I hope to have at least suggested where to look for traces of the origins of our beloved Fraternity founded upon the Fatherhood of God, the mystic foundation stone of the universe, and the practice of the Royal Art which is the fulfilment of the Royal Law according to the Scripture: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'
I trust I have not given the impression that the substance of modern Freemasonry was derived from the Rosicrucians. An organized Fraternity of the Rosy Cross probably never existed outside of books. The writings of Fludd and Frisius formulated for Great Britain a body of Rosy Cross tenets differing in essential points from the teachings of the Rosicrucians of Continental Europe. English and Scottish Alchemists followed Fludd and Frisius. Their attempts to translate the plans of these leaders into practice, appears to have induced some of them to form occasional lodges, either independently under the designation of Freemasons--the name of Rosicrucian having fallen into disrepute--or in the bosom of Masonic craft gilds, as a separate "secret brotherhood" of Accepted Freemasons. Read in connection with "Freemasonry and the Medieval Craft Gilds," the suggestion will be clearly understood.
Freemasonry, as established by the Constitutions of 1722-3, represents the confluence of two streams, each having many tributaries: The sources of the one stream must be looked for in the Anglo-Saxon gyld, and its name is democracy; the sources of the other must be looked for in the earliest academies of philosophers searching for the One Living God, Father of all men, and its name is liberty of conscience.
(1) Aben or Eben (as in Ebenezar) is Hebrew for stone.
(2) For a vivid picture of life in the fourth century, the period so trying for men's souls, I refer those who read French to the charming, wonderful book of Louis Bertrand on "St. Augustin."
(3) See Laurie's "Rise of Universities," first two chapters.
(4) Especially from the fourteenth century onward.
(5) "Doubtless it was one of Bacon's highest hopes that from the growth of true knowledge would follow in surprising ways the relief of man's estate; this, as an end, runs through all his yearning after a fuller and surer method of interpreting nature." --Dean Church.
(6) M.C. Adam's "Philosophie de F. Bacon," Paris, 1890, p. 328. Bacon died on April 9th, 1626. The London "College of Philosophy" which became the Royal Society, was instituted in 1645.
(7) G.C. Moorr Smith, in his edition of "The New Atlantis,' (Pitt Press Series) Cambridge, 1900, page 28.
(8) "History of the Royal Society," edition of 1667, page 35.
(9) "Francis Bacon; His life and Philosophy," (Blackwood's Phil. Classics) 1889, vol. II, p. 136.
SYMBOLISM OF THE THREE DEGREES
BY BRO. OLIVER DAY STREET, ALABAMA
PART III THE SYMBOLISM OF THE MASTER MASON DEGREE
MANY of the lessons of the third degree are obvious to the most superficial mind, but others (and these the most important) are grasped only after long and patient study. I shall not attempt anything original, but only lay before you in an imperfect way a few of the reflections and conclusions of some of our most trustworthy Masonic scholars.
I believe it susceptible of the clearest proof that Freemasonry, viewed in the aggregate, is an elaborate allegory of human life, that the three degrees considered collectively, symbolically epitomize man's existence both here and in the hereafter. My excuse for recurring to this idea is that in my judgment Speculative Masonry can not be otherwise adequately explained. The lodge is emblematical of the world; initiation, of birth; the Entered Apprentice, of the preparatory stage of life, or youth; the Fellow Craft, of the construction stage, or manhood; the Master Mason, of the reflective stage, or old age, death, the resurrection, and the everlasting life. This explanation of the three degrees is briefly given in our lecture on the "Three Steps" delineated on the Master's Carpet. Any symbol or any meaning attributed to a symbol which does not legitimately contribute to this allegory may be discarded as nonMasonic.
THE ANTIQUITY OF MASONIC SYMBOLISM
The age of our symbolism is an important question in this connection, because upon it to a great extent depend the meanings that must be assigned to our symbols. While some of them may be of comparatively modern origin, many of them are older than the oldest written language.
Says Brother Robert Freke Gould, one of the most cautious of our historians:
"The symbolism of Masonry, or at all events a material part of it, is of very great antiquity, and in substance the system of Masonry we now possess, including the three degrees of the Craft, has come down to us in all its essentials from times remote to our own." (1)
Another of our historians of the most exacting school, Brother William J. Hughan, declares that "symbolism in connection with Freemasonry antedates our oldest records."
Even this cautious statement would date our symbolism back more than five hundred years, and Brother Gould is on record as declaring that, if it can be put back that far, there is practically no limit backward to which its beginning must be assigned. (2)
Another distinguished Masonic scholar, Brother George William Speth, records his belief that "the greater part of our symbolism (including all essentials) is undoubtedly medieval at least, and probably centuries older than that." (3)
Still another, Brother William Simpson, distinguished as an orientalist, says:
"The more important Masonic symbols are ancient and their true meanings can only be found by tracing them back into the past. This will be found to be particularly the case with the third degree; its true meaning can only be realized by the study of similar rites which appear to go far back into the history of our race." (4)
These are the opinions of men who, noted for their scholarship, have disregarded our Masonic traditions and studied the question from the purely historical viewpoint.
Following them, (and if they cannot be followed there are none who can be,) our symbolism has come down to us from ancient times.
Of some of these symbols we know a part at least of their meanings, but of some we know nothing at all. We get a hint from Brother Pike that much of our symbolism has been forgotten, and Brother Gould asserts the same and declares that "to a considerable portion of the symbolism of Freemasonry, even at this day, no meaning can be assigned which is entirely satisfactory to the intelligent mind." (5)
Heckethorn, a non-Mason, says that many of the mystical figures and schemes of very ancient times are preserved in Masonry though their meaning is no longer understood by the Fraternity. (6)
It should therefore be obvious that if we are ever to reacquire this lost knowledge, we must have recourse to the records and institutions of ancient times.
THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES
Do we find any institutions in ancient times similar to our own and employing our symbols for like purposes? I answer at once that we do.
In all periods from the dawn of history till about the fifth century, A. D., there is recorded the existence in nearly every known country of secret societies which, so far as our knowledge of them enables us to judge, were strikingly like Freemasonry in all except name. Our foremost Masonic historian, Brother Gould, says that they taught precisely the same doctrines in precisely the same way. These ancient societies bearing different names in different countries, yet appearing everywhere to have been the same thing, are generally termed "The Ancient Mysteries."
In Egypt they were known as the Mysteries of Osiris and Isis, and these appear to have been the model for all others. They prevailed in Egypt, India, Persia, Phoenicia, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, and many other countries. The most ancient of these were certainly in existence as early as 3000 B. C., and some of them were still flourishing in Western Europe, in a corrupted state, it is true, as late as the fourth century of the Christian era.
Notwithstanding their differences in name, it does not admit of a doubt that they were all substantially the same; "so much so," it has been said by high Masonic authority, "that we may conclude either that they were all independent copies from a great original or that they were propagated one from another." Brother Gould, than whom no more judicious historian has ever written on any subject, thinks they were only differentiated types of one original form of worship, the object of which was in every instance the God of Light and of Truth and of Beneficence. The Osiris of Egypt, the Brahma of India, the Mithras of Persia, the Bacchus (or Dionysius) of Greece, the Bel (or Baal) of the Chaldeans, the Belenus of Gaul, the Baldur of Scandanavia, the Adonis of Phoenicia, and the Adonai of the Jews were all the same god; each, to his own people, was the Supreme One, the Creator, the Enlightener, Lord and Master. All the mysteries taught a more or less pure system of monotheism, though coupled with the idea of a Trinity, or one God in three persons. Their Trinity differed from ours, however, in that they conceived it to be a male, female and off'spring, or Father, Mother and Son. They taught also the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead and the immortality of the soul. (7)
Cicero tells us that in the Elusinian Mysteries they were taught to live virtuously and happily and to die in the hope of a blessed futurity. (8)
"The great doctrine of immortality of the soul," says Brother Gould, "and the teachings of the two lives, the present and the future, are to be found in the Ancient Mysteries, where precisely the same doctrines were taught in precisely the same way" that they are now taught by the Freemasons.
It seems that among pagan people of ancient times a few superior minds and spirits were found who did not accept the idolatrous notions of the populace as an adequate conception of the Deity and who searched constantly in the great book of nature in the effort to find out and understand him aright. To have openly proclaimed their beliefs and their rejection of the popular gods and popular religion would have but called down upon themselves contempt and ridicule and doubtless persecutions. They, therefore, chose to drift along with the common herd to all outward appearances, reserving the contemplation and discussion of their cherished beliefs for secret communication with those of kindred mind in societies where they were secure from observation and the interference of the outside world. Such seems to have been the occasion of the origin of these ancient fraternities.
These societies were characterized by fixed forms of initiation, successive steps or degrees, oaths of secrecy, a symbolical system of teaching, and the possession of emblems and perhaps of grips, signs and words of recognition. (9) Their rites were usually celebrated at night in chambers securely guarded against intrusion and arranged similarly to our lodges, often with the three chief officers seated in the South, West and East.
With all of them the East was an object of peculiar veneration as the source of light and knowledge.
Initiation was an allegorical search for light and knowledge and consisted of prescribed physical and moral preparations of the candidate, lustrations, purifications and the administrations of oaths of secrecy; the ushering from darkness to light symbolizing a transformation from ignorance to knowledge, from corruption to moral and spiritual purity; the investiture with an emblem of this purity consisting sometimes of a white apron, sometimes of a white sash or robe; the encountering of trials and dangers sometimes mock and sometimes real. In the Mithraic Mysteries the candidate was received into the place of initiation upon the point of a sword piercing his naked left breast. Many of their symbols were identical with those that can now be seen in any Masonic lodge.
To each of the Ancient Mysteries pertained a characteristic legend, which w as made the instrumentality of teaching with great impressiveness the doctrines of the resurrection and immortality.
The legend of Osiris, probably the oldest and the model for all the others was as follows:
Osiris, meaning the soul of the Universe, the Governor of nature, was at once king and god of the Egyptians. The name appears as far back as 3000 B. C. Having taught civilization, the arts and agriculture to his own people, he magnanimously resolved to spread in person their benign influence throughout the world. Leaving his kingdom in charge of his wife, Isis, he departed upon his beneficent mission. After an absence of three years he returned, but meanwhile his brother Typhon had organized a conspiracy to murder him and seize the throne. At a grand banquet given in honor of his return, Typhon provided a magnificent chest which exactly fitted the body of Osiris. All the other guests being in the conspiracy, they feigned great admiration of the chest and finally Typhon announced that he would give it to the one whose body it would most neatly contain. Osiris, trying the box, was no sooner in it than the lid was clapped down and securely fastened and the whole thrown into the river Nile. It was borne out to sea by the current and in course of time was cast ashore at Byblos, in Phoenicia, at the foot of an acacia tree. The tree grew up rapidly and completely encased the chest containing the body of Osiris.
No sooner had Isis learned of the fate of her husband than, weeping, she set out in search of his body and on her way interrogated every one she met for information concerning its whereabouts. Virgins accompanied her who dressed and combed her hair.
She finally discovered the body in the acacia tree, but the king of that country, struck with the tree's beauty caused it to be cut down and a column made of it for his palace. Isis thereupon engaged herself to the king as a nurse for his children and asked and received for her pay this column. The column was broken and the body released and at once borne back to Egypt, but before it could be properly interred it was again seized by Typhon and cut into fourteen pieces and these hidden in as many places. After long search Isis succeeded in finding and bringing together all the parts except the phallus, and the body was embalmed and buried in due form. It will be borne in mind that according to ancient Egyptian ideas there could be no resurrection in the absence of the body; hence, the great care with which they embalmed their dead. As soon as the body of Osiris had been recovered and buried, it was announced that he had risen from the dead and had resumed his place among the gods.
The ceremonies of initiation into the Egyptian Mysteries dramatically represented the death of Osiris, the search for his body, its discovery in the acacia tree, and its burial and resurrection, the murdered god being personated by the candidate.
Pertaining to each of the Mysteries was a counterpart of this legend. In Greece, Osiris becomes Bacchus, (not the drunken Bacchus of later ages,) who is slain by the Titans and his limbs torn asunder. Isis becomes Rhea, who after long and bitter search finds and inters his body, and in due course he takes his place among the gods. In the Dionysian Mysteries celebrated in his honor an effigy was stretched upon a couch, as if dead, while his votaries bitterly bewailed his decease. After a proper time the figure was quickly removed and the announcement made that the god had risen from the dead. Likewise in some of the Mysteries of India the candidate underwent an allegorical death, burial and resurrection. Those celebrated in Phoenicia during the time of Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre and Hiram Abif were obvious copies of those of Egypt. Adonis and Venus became substitutes in the legend for Osiris and Isis. During the course of these Mysteries, with which our three ancient Grand Masters must have been familiar, an image was laid upon a bier as if it were a dead body. During a momentary darkness the figure was invisibly removed, after which it was announced that the god had risen from the dead. The substantial identity with each other of all these Mysteries and doctrines they were intended to inculcate is obvious.
It is claimed by students of ancient mythology, that this legend of the Mysteries and the ceremonies based on it were all prophetic of the coming of a Messiah, who should triumph over death and the grave, and thereby demonstrate to mankind for a certainty that there is a life after death. That this was common belief, not merely among the Jews, but the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Chaldeans, Hindus, Greeks and Romans is now generally conceded.
The teachings of the Mysteries have been thus summarized:
"They diffused a spirit of unity and humanity, purified the soul from ignorance and pollution; secured the peculiar aid of the gods; the means of arriving at the perfection of virtue; the serene happiness of a holy life; the hope of a peaceful death and endless felicity in the Elysian fields; whilst those not initiated therein should dwell after death in places of darkness and horror."
Thus did these ancient societies seek by means of the dramatic presentation of a legend to teach the great Masonic doctrines of the resurrection and the life after death.
There were lectures explanatory of the Mysteries but the crowning ceremony of initiation was the communication to the candidate of an ineffable name which it was lawful to speak only on certain occasions and in a certain manner. Among the Egyptians, Persians and Hindus, notwithstanding their pride separation, this was the mysterious AUM, pronounced OM. I have purposely mingled things dissimilar with things similar to Freemasonry but the intelligent Master Mason will be able to detect the points of resemblance.
Brother Robert F. Gould, whom I have already several times quoted, without venturing to pronounce Freemasonry and the Ancient Mysteries identical, says:
"It is a well known fact that these Mysteries offer striking analogies with much that is found in Freemasonry; their celebration in grottoes or covered halls, which symbolized the Universe, and which in disposition and decoration presented a distinct counterpart to our lodge; their division into degrees conferred by the initiatory rites wonderfully like our own; their method of teaching through the same astronomic symbolism the highest truths then known in Philosophy and Morals; their mystic bond of secrecy, toleration, equality and brotherly love."
He intimates strongly his belief that Freemasonry is a development out of the Mysteries of Mithras, which, originating in Persia, spread to Greece, Rome and Western Europe and lingered there until the fourth or fifth century, A. D.
Enough has been said on this point to make it plain that anyone who would understand our Masonic symbolism must at least make a study of what these same symbols meant to these ancient societies.
THIRD DEGREE SYMBOLS
I shall not lengthen this paper and tax your patience by repeating explanations laid down in our monitors and lectures. I shall for the most part confine myself to things that are not explained at all, or that are explained inadequately.
Many of the symbols of the Master's degree are common to the preceding degrees and these I shall touch upon very briefly. There is, however, discoverable in their use as the degrees progress, an increasing seriousness and depth of meaning.
For instance, in the first two degrees, the lodge symbolizes the world, the place where all workmen labor at useful avocations and in the acquisition of human knowledge and virtue. But in the Master's degree it represents the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies of King Solomon's Temple, which was itself a symbol of Heaven, or the abode of Deity. It was there that nothing earthly or unclean was allowed to enter; it was there that the visible presence of the Deity was said to dwell between the Cherubim. In the Master's lodge, therefore, we are symbolically brought into the awful presence of the Deity. The reference here to death and the future life is obvious and is a further evidence that this degree typifies old age and death.
But there is even a deeper symbolism in the Master's lodge. The allusion is not only to the sacred chamber of Solomon's physical temple, it alludes also to the sacred chamber of that spiritual temple we all are, or should he, namely, a pure heart, and admonishes us to make of it a place fit for Deity himself to dwell.
The likening of the human body to a temple of the Deity is an ancient metaphor. Jesus said, in speaking of the temple of his body, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." Again, Paul says, "Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, and such arc ye." I quote these passages, not as a Christian doctrine, but as a beautiful expression of Jewish thought far older than Christianity. We can with difficulty conceive the extreme sacredness of the Temple in the eyes of the Jew. It far exceeded the veneration with which we now regard our churches and synagogues. This idea once comprehended shows how greatly this figure of speech ennobles the human body. It declares it a fit dwelling place for Deity himself.
In the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft degrees, Light typifies the acquisition of human knowledge and virtue; in the Masters degree it typifies the revelation of divine truth in the life that is to come.
In the first two degrees the square and compasses denote the earth and inculcate and impress upon us the desirability of curbing our passions; in the third degree the compasses symbolize what is heavenly, because to our ancient brethren the visible heavens bore the aspect of circles and arches, geometrical figures produced with the compasses.
In some of the monitors we are told that "the compasses are peculiarly consecrated to this degree," but the reasons there given are not satisfying. In ancient symbolism the square signified the earth, while the circle, a figure produced with the compasses, signified the sun or the heavens. The square therefore symbolized what is earthly and material while the compasses signified the heavenly and the spiritual. It is not without significance, therefore, that in the Entered Apprentice degree, both points of the compasses are beneath the square; that in the Fellow Craft degree one point is above the square, while in the Master's degree both points are above, signifying that in the true Master, the spiritual has obtained full mastery and control over the earthly and the material. (10)
Discalceation, or the plucking off of one's shoes, was in the Entered Apprentice degree, as we there learned, a symbol of fidelity to our fellow man. In this degree, however, it alludes to an ancient act of homage paid by man to Deity, namely, the Eastern custom that prevailed among both Jews and Gentiles of entering only barefooted into any sacred place or upon any holy ground. In the one case, this practice was a testimony of man to man; in the other, it is a testimony of man to his Creator.
Pythagoras taught his disciples in these words, "offer sacrifice and worship with thy shoes off." Adam Clarke includes the universality of this custom among his thirteen proofs that all mankind has descended from common ancesters. A Master Mason's lodge represents, as we have seen, the Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple into which the High Priest alone entered only once yearly, and then with bare feet. The lodge in some of the old rituals is said to stand on holy ground. God said to Moses at the burning bush: "Put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." (11)
Note also the deeper significance of the shock of reception as the degrees progress. In the first, the appeal is to the sense of fear, in other words, purely physical. In the second, appeal is made to the moral sense and inculcates fair dealing with men, but in the third it is not merely to our sense of justice towards our fellow man, but to our brotherly love for him and to those higher reflective elements of our nature whose proverbial seat is the breasts.
It is a mistake to limit the "Brotherly Love" of this degree to members of the Masonic fraternity. If the lodge symbolizes the world, as it undoubtly does, so should its members symbolize all the inhabitants thereof. The love that should prevail among the members of the lodge, therefore, typifies the love that should prevail among all mankind. In the highest sense all men are our brothers precisely as we are so strikingly taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan that all men are our neighbors.
Circumambulation, from the Latin word "circumambulare," to walk around, is a very ancient rite, one common to all the Ancient Mysteries. The sun, the fructifier and giver of life, in his daily course across the heavens, appears to those living in the Northern Hemisphere, where the ancient world dwelt, to proceed from the East by the way of the South to the West, and thence through the darkness of the night via the North back to the East again. Vegetation was seen to spring up, animal life to be aroused from slumber and take on increased energy, as the King of Day moved with dignity across the heavens. To the untutored mind of primeval man it is not strange that the sun should appear to be the giver of life, the very Creator himself. His apparent course, therefore, from East through the South to the West and back to the East by way of the North became the "course of life", as the ancients expressed it.
The ancients in their ceremonies when representing life pursued this course, and we Masons follow their example. To proceed in the reverse direction typified death, and as every Master Mason knows at one important point in our ceremonies we take this reverse course. At the grave of a deceased brother, however, contrary to what might be expected, we still follow the course of life as a token of our belief in the life that follows death. (11)
THE WORKING TOOLS
With us in America the especial working tool of a Master Mason is said to be the Trowel. In England, this symbol is almost obsolete, and they employ the Skirrit, Pencil and Compasses.
Of the Trowel, Dr. Oliver, a noted but somewhat discredited Masonic authority, says:
"The triangle, now called the Trowel, was an emblem of very extensive application and was much revered by ancient nations as containing the greatest and most abstruse mysteries that it signified equally Deity, Creation and Fire." (12)
We will learn directly something more of the symbolical signification of the triangle.
The Skirrit, the Pencil and the Compasses are not enumerated in America among the working tools of a Master Mason. The Skirrit is an instrument working on a center pin and used by the Operative Mason to mark out on the ground the foundation of the intended structure. The Pencil is employed in drafting the plans and the Compasses in determining the limit and proportions of its several parts. Symbolically they are explained in English (Emulation) working in the following words:
"The Skirrit points out to us that straight and undeviating line of conduct laid down for our guidance in the volume of the sacred law. The Pencil teaches us that all our words and actions are not only observed, but are recorded by the Most High, to whom we must render an account of our conduct through life. The Compasses reminds us of his unerring and impartial justice, which having defined for our instruction the limits of good and evil will either reward or punish us, as we have obeyed or disregarded his divine commands." (13)
We must admit that the trowel would seem more properly to belong to the Fellow Craft, who in Operative Masonry puts the stones in place, rather than to the designer and overseer who corresponds to our Master Mason.
Brother John Yarker in his Arcane Schools says that the Skirrit as a hieroglyphic signifies the origin of things. (14)
DEITY AND IMMORTALITY
There are a few who feign that they believe nothing that cannot be experienced through the five senses of the body. Wonderful as are these faculties, I am persuaded that we are possessed of a sixth sense which is higher and finer even than those of the body. By this sense we perceive though we see not; we feel though we touch not; we understand though we hear not; we know though we neither taste nor smell. By it, also, we are aware of all the higher aspirations of the mind and soul; by it alone are we conscious of our own existence. Seeing is not thinking. Nor is hearing, or feeling, or tasting, or smelling. These five senses are but ministers to this sixth sense. The five senses of human nature we were concerned with in a former degree, but we are here concerned with something far superior to them, whatever we call it, whether consciousness, faith, mind, soul or spirit. Are the testimonies of this sixth sense any less real or any less reliable than those of the five senses of the body? By it mankind has always, in every age and in every condition, felt intuitively that there was a God and that we shall live again. These beliefs are so strong and so ever present with us that we never doubt them until we begin to argue about them.
There is nothing in Masonry so constantly pressed upon our thoughts as these two great doctrines. Signs, symbols, and legends are all repeatedly employed to emphasize them.
In the Master's degree, the Pot of Incense, the All-Seeing Eye, the Three Grand Masters, the Triangle, and the legends of the Temple and of Hiram Abif are all employed for this purpose, as I shall attempt to show.
We read with incredulity that men could ever bow down to, and worship, idols. Doubtless the thoughtful and intelligent ones have never done so even in pagan countries. They looked beyond and viewed the idol as merely a symbol. As the idol among pagan people usually assumed a human form, the Jews as well as other believers in monotheism of ancient times, forbade the employment of the human effigy as a symbol of Deity. To supply the need so keenly felt by the ancients of a symbol to represent every idea, conventional figures such as squares, circles, triangles, etc., were adopted by the ancient monotheists to symbolize the Deity. Thus perhaps it is that the being which alone is said to have been made in the image of his Creator is nowhere employed in our symbolism to represent the G. A. O. T. U.
THE HIRAMIC LEGEND
The most important series of symbols in Freemasonry is the legend concerning Hiram Abif and the other symbolic allusions connected therewith. For obvious reasons, I do not attempt to narrate the story of this legend. Nor shall I undertake to make any systematic or exhaustive study of it, but only to discuss in a disconnected way those symbols associated with it that are most important or whose meaning is least obvious.
As we have already seen, the Ancient Mysteries employed a legend dramatically presented to teach the great doctrines of the existence of Deity, the resurrection of the body, and the immortality of the soul. Among Freemasons, the legend of Hiram, the builder, is employed in a strikingly similar way to teach the same truths. It is not permissible, even if it were necessary, to enter further into details in order to demonstrate this parallel, but the points of resemblance will be sufficiently obvious to the intelligent Mason.
A few observations upon the name Hiram Abif will not be out of place. Abif is certainly not a surname as our use of it would seem to indicate. It is translated in the English Bibles "Hiram, my father's" and "Hiram, his father." This scarcely makes sense; and hence the general consensus of opinion among Masonic scholars is that "Abif" is a Hebrew idiom indicating superiority in his Craft and may therefore, in a general sense, be said to be synonymous with "Master." (15)
The name "Hiram" itself has been supposed by many to bear a symbolic meaning. In Kings it is written "Hiram" but in Chronicles it is written "Huram." Brother Albert Pike contends that the proper form is "Khirum" or "Khurum." The former Khirum is from the Hebrew word "Khi" meaning "living", and "ram" meaning "was or shall be raised or lifted up." Hence Khirum means "was raised or lifted up to life." The other form, Khurum, means nearly the same, "raised up noble or free." Brother Pike shows this name to be synonymous with the Egyptian Her-ra, and the Phoenician Heracles, the personification of Light and the sun, the Mediator, the Redeemer and the Savior.
But do not be mislead into supposing that the reference is here Christian. The idea of a Mediator, Redeemer or Savior is far older than Christianity and by no means confined to the Jews. It is a concept that seems to have been almost universal in the ancient world.
Again, it is said that Hiram, in its pure and original form, literally meant Light or the sun. His murder by the three ruffians is by many scholars believed to have symbolic reference to the declension of the sun towards the south during the three winter months with its accompanying temporary death of many forms of vegetable and animal life; the discovery and raising of his body, to the return of spring with its manifestations of newness of life in its thousands of forms. There is no doubt that this astronomical phenomenon, so typical of both death and a new life, was extensively employed by the ancients to teach the doctrines of resurrection and immortality.
Those who attach an astronomical signification to this legend of Hiram Abif believe the fifteen Fellow Craft to be a faulty symbol; that the true number is twelve, corresponding to the twelve signs of the Zodiac through which the sun apparently passes every year; that the number of those who conspired and the number who recanted have been confused; that name, typifying those who recanted, fill the spring, summer and autumn with their seasons of planting, growth and harvest, while the three who persisted typify winter, when all nature, if not dead, appears to be dormant. It has been pointed out as corroborating this interpretation of this legend that our two festival seasons, June 24th and December 27th, the birthdays respectively of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, very nearly coincide respectively with the summer and winter solstices; that is to say that when the sun is at its greatest intensity, and, when in the dead of winter, having reached his furthermost limit to the South, he begins his fructifying and vivifying journey towards the North again.
I can but touch upon this abstruse symbolism, and invite the serious student of Freemasonry to its study. It cannot be covered in an evening; volumes have been and may still be written upon the subject without exhausting it. (16)
In nearly all the ancient systems of religion, Deity was regarded as a triad or trinity, by whom, acting conjointly only, could anything be done that was done. Our own doctrine of the Trinity is but a mere spiritualized modification of this ancient trinitarian conception. The secrets known only to our Three Grand Masters typify divine truth known only to this trinitarian Deity, and which is not to be communicated and made known to man, the Fellow Craft, the workman, until he has completed his spiritual temple. Then, according to divine promise, if found worthy, if this temple he nobly and worthily built and made a fit dwelling place for divine truth, these secrets will be communicated to him. He can then travel into that foreign country whither we all are bound and there obtain the wages of the master, that is to say, the reward of a righteous and well spent life. But he who would force or steal this knowledge or obtain it other than by faithful labor and effort to prepare himself for its understanding and enjoyment is no better than a murderer and robber. It is the same allegory as that of Adam eating of the tree of knowledge. For a like offense, stealing the sacred fire of the gods and bestowing it upon man, was Prometheus bound to the rock, his body torn open and his liver fed upon by the vultures of the air.
THE THREE RUFFIANS
One having the least familiarity with the religions of the East cannot fail to recognize in the names of the three ruffians the name of the gods of Palestine, Phoenicia and Egypt, Jah, Bel and Om, spelled AUM. This will be even more striking to the Royal Arch Mason. Whether this is a mere coincidence or the result of design, or if designed, what is the significance, are unknown. (17)
LOW TWELVE In ancient symbolism, the number twelve denoted completion. Whether this meaning arose from the fact that twelve months completed the year, or twelve signs of the Zodiac, or whether from the fact that what was regarded as the most stable geometrical figure known, the cube, is marked by twelve edges, opinions differ. At any rate, it denoted a thing fulfilled. It was, therefore, an emblem of a human life. Death followed immediately after life; the number thirteen immediately after twelve; it is for this reason that thirteen has long been regarded as an unlucky number. With us the solemn stroke of twelve marks the completion of human existence in this life.
THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH
The Lion from most ancient times has been a symbol of might or royalty. It was blazoned upon the standard of the tribe of Judah, because it was the royal tribe. The kings of Judah were, therefore, called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and such was one of the titles of Solomon. Remembrance of this fact gives appropriateness to an expression employed at one point in our ceremonies which is otherwise obscure, not to say absurd. Such is the literal meaning of this phrase, but it also has a symbolical one.
The Jewish idea of a Messiah was of a mighty temporal king. He was also designated as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; in fact this title was regarded as peculiarly belonging to him. The expression does not, as many Masons suppose necessarily have reference to Jesus of Nazareth. The Christian Mason is privileged to so interpret it, if he so likes, but the Jew has equal right to understand it as meaning his Messiah. Indeed, every great religion of the world has contained the conception in some form, of a Mediator between God and man, a Redeemer who would raise mankind from the death of this life and the grave, to an everlasting existence with God hereafter. The Mason who is a devotee of one of these religions, say Buddhism, Brahmanism or Mohammedanism, is likewise entitled to construe this expression as referring to his own Mediator.
In an ancient Egyptian inscription is depicted a lion seizing by the wrist a man lying in front of an altar, prostrate upon his back as if dead. The lion seems to be raising the man up and to symbolize that power by which the dead are brought to newness of life. Near the altar stands a man with his left arm elevated in the form of a square.
(To be continued)
(1) Ars Quatuor Coronatorum vol. III, p. 10.
(2) Idem, p. 24.
(3) Idem, p. 27.
(4) Idem, p. 26.
(5) Idem, p. 23.
(6) Idem, p. 24.
(7) Gould's Concise History, pp. 24, 25
(8) Mackey's Symbolism, p. 36.
(9) Yarker's Arcane Schools 113.
(10) Morals and Dogma. pp. 850, 854.
(11) Mackey's Symbolism, pp. 124, 129.
(12) Oliver's Signs and Symbols, p 10; Universal Masonic Library, p. 14; Transactions Lodge of Research 1909-10, p. 42.
(13) Aiken, p. 80.
(14) Yarker's Arcane Schools, pp. 33, 220.
(15) Mackey's Encyclopedia, p. 3: Morals and Dogma, p. 81.
(16) Festival of Mal-Karth, Morals and Dogma, p. 78.
(17) Morals and Dogma, pp. 80, 82, 448, 488: Tyler Keystone, Aug. 20, 1908, pp. 77, 78.
(18) Portal, p. 30; Masonic Magazine, p. 328: Morals and Dogma, pp. 79, 254, 461.
READY TO BE TRIED AGAIN
'Tis no matter how much work we have done ere dawned today
'Tis no matter how we've striven on an upward, onward way;
There are duties ever new falling due each day to men,
And the one who does them best waits but to be tried again.
Though we have been tried as came duties new upon the way,
Though the storm obscured the sun that was bright as dawned the
Though the yesterdays are past 'tis no matter what they've been,
'Tis today that we must be ready to be tried again.
There's no wage can come to us only as our work is done,
There's no premium to life save as are its triumphs won;
Recompense comes with the toil e'en as we the task begin,
E'en as we report to self, ready to be tried again.
And as Masons we are taught that while we've been often tried
We are never by the Craft of the privilege denied
Of the trying for the work that it makes so clear and plain,
And for which we all should be ready to be tried again.
And the fact that we're in wait may unlock the mystic door
To the findings in the Art that may prove a golden store;
'Tis an inspiration e'en if there's not a moment when
We're not in the firing line, ready to be tried again.
And by trial comes the glow of a brighter, keener joy--
That real something that we know in the mystic Arts employ;
Tis the thought unfolding to the ideal it gives to men
That the trial is in being ready to be tried again.
And the thought is larger still, 'tis a trial now and here
For and in and as the task as each day's new claims appear,
Trial measured by the TRUTH as it may respond amen
As we ever DO and DARE, READY TO BE TRIED AGAIN.
--Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
BY BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
THERE is a bronze statue of Dr. Rush in front of the United States Naval Hospital, in Washington, not erected by a grateful Republic, to a famous patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, but by the Medical Societies of the United States, more than a century after the War of the Revolution.
Out of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration there are but three memorialized in the Capital City; not one by the Government, but all by private subscription. To Medical Director A.L. Gihon, U.S.N., more than to any other one man, the subscription for this monument and its location are due. Unfortunately it is in a part of the city not frequently visited by tourists.
Dr. Rush, a signer of the Declaration, was born in Philadelphia in 1746, and died there in 1813. He was the first American Alienist; the first Surgeon-General of the U.S. Army; a Member of Congress, and the author of a number of books on medical subjects. He was descended from one of Cromwell's officers. An orphan at the age of six years he was educated by his uncle, the Rev. Dr. Finley, and was graduated at Princeton College. Dr. Rush kept a diary, which proved to be of great use to his successors in the medical profession, particularly in his notes on the yellow fever epidemic in 1762.
Dr. Rush was ever warmly patriotic, but he disliked politics. He was a quick and ready debater, which led his friends to put him forward in politics. He was a consistent and conscientious Christian, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and though a Freemason, was probably never active in it. Records, however, in his day, were not carefully kept nor preserved, which may have obscured his activity. In the Masonic History, Vol. IV, he is recorded by that Prince of Masonry, Gould.
The statue shown in the cut was modeled by R. Hinton Perry and Lewis R. Metcalf, and was unveiled on the 11th day of June, 1904, with all the eclat, eulogy and honor the American Medical Association could give it, and but for the presence of the uniformed medical officers of the Navy and the Army there would have been an absence of Nationalism. The Government authorized the placing of the statue on the lawn, in front of the buildings of the Navy Medical School and Hospital. It is a beautiful piece of work.
Dr. Rush left one son who was held in high esteem, and a grandson, a Commander in the Navy, whom the writer has ever held in close friendship and memory.
The American people, so full of patriotic oratory, have sadly lacked a practical proof of that highly commendable quality.
Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us. - Sir Thomas Browne.
The fearful Unbelief is unbelief in yourself. - Carlyle.
FOR THE MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN--NO. 21 DEVOTED TO ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with the papers by Brother Haywood.
The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial Masonry.
A. The Work of a Lodge.
B. The Lodge and the Candidate.
C. First Steps.
D. Second Steps.
E. Third Steps.
Division II. Symbolical Masonry.
B. Working Tools.
Division III. Philosophical Masonry.
D. Religious Aspect.
E. The Quest.
G. The Secret Doctrine.
Division IV. Legislative Masonry.
A. The Grand Lodge.
1. Ancient Constitutions.
2. Codes of Law.
3. Grand Lodge Practices.
4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
5. Official Duties and Prerogatives.
B. The Constituent Lodge.
2. Qualifications of Candidates.
3. Initiation, Passing and Raising.
5. Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical Masonry.
A. The Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
B. Studies of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
D. National Masonry.
E. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
F. Feminine Masonry.
G. Masonic Alphabets.
H. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
I. Biographical Masonry.
J. Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood, who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. On page two, preceding each installment, will be given a list of questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committee will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately preceding each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given to the study period.
After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
1. Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers thereto.
(Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
2. Discussion of the above.
3. The subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
4. Question Box.
MAKE THE "QUESTION BOX" THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society.
The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.
QUESTIONS ON "SIGNS, TOKENS, WORDS, AND THE RITE OF SALUTATION"
I Give examples of the use of secret modes of recognition in past times. What does Gould say about the use of signs, grips, etc? Why, do you suppose, are these "common features" of all secret societies? In what way do they protect secrecy? Why should secrecy be protected? Can you name any political, social, religious, or literary clubs which employ secret modes of recognition? If so, why do they use them? If not, why do they not use them? Chemists and druggists employ arbitrary signs to stand for various formulae and these are understood only by themselves. Are such signs analogous to our own ?
II What evidence is there to show that Freemasons used signs in old times ? Why is the evidence so slender? Why were not these signs published and explained ? What is the point of the quotation from Ferguson ? Even if the early Operative Masons had been able to read and write, could they have dispensed with their signs and grips? We can all read and write: why have we not dispensed with them ?
III Can you guess what the Scotch "Mason Word" may have been ? What was the significance of "words" among Masons in other countries at that time? How, and for what purpose, do we use words? Can you define a "password"? What are its usages and advantages ? Does the army employ passwords ? Why ? What other organizations do so ? In what way is "Word" used in the third degree ? What is the meaning of "The Lost Word" ?
What is the "due-guard" ? Why was it invented and taken up by American lodges ? What is the meaning of "an Americanism" as Mackey employs the term?
In what way are grips and tokens different from pass words? Can you give any examples of your own use of these outside the lodge room? When we say we have given a friend "a token of our esteem" do we use the word in its Masonic sense? Why are Masons entitled to use secret modes of recognition? Can you give reasons not given in this paper ?
VI What is the meaning of "salutation"? How is it used in general society? Is tipping your hat to a lady a salutation? Why does a private salute an officer in the army? Give all the reasons you can think of to explain why the candidate should salute the Wardens. In what way do they represent the law and authority of the lodge?
VII What is there in the principles of Masonry that has ever caused it to be the champion of liberty ? Can you offer examples not given in the paper? Can you tell the story of Masonry's part in the Revolutionary War ? What great leaders in that day were Masons? Was LaFayette a Mason? Washington? Franklin ? Where was the Bible obtained on which Washington took his oath of office ? Can liberty exist in a monarchy as well as in a democracy ? What is the difference between "freedom" and "liberty"? Between "liberty" and "independence"? Can a nation be independent without enjoying liberty? Did Italy secure liberty when she gained independence from Austria and France? What is a "free thinker"? Are Masons "free thinkers" ? Why is law necessary to liberty ? What would become of liberty if laws were destroyed ?
VIII What does law do for us in our daily life ? Why should a man desire to be free? What are the advantages of freedom? What are the relations between liberty and authority ? Are they opposed to each other? Why are Masons bound to uphold the dignity of law and order? What is meant by "civil skepticism"? Does the habit of speaking sarcastically of law and of courts help to uphold men's respect for social order ? What should be a Mason's attitude toward the laws of his own community? Suppose, as was the case in Italy, that Masonry itself were declared unlawful, should a Mason under such circumstances oppose the law ? If so, why ? In what way should such opposition be different from lawlessness ? Is the desire to substitute a good law for a bad law, lawlessness? How were the laws of Masonry instituted ? How are they enforced? In what way do they protect the liberty of each member? Would you say that the Masonic organization is a constitutionalism or a democracy? What is the difference?
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Sign, p. 690; Significant Word, p. 691; Sign of Distress, p. 691; Token, p. 789; Word p. 856. THE BUILDER; Vol. I--Shibboleth, p. 43; The Master's Word, p. 285. Vol. II.--A Grip, p. 57; Masonic Signs, p. 253; Masonry and The Mysteries, p. 19; The Three Grips, p. 30. Vol. III--Aboriginal Races and Freemasonry, p. 96; Masonry Among Primitive Peoples, p.39; Modes of recognition, June C.C.B., p. 2; Secret Societies of Islam, p; 84; Sign, Token and Word, p. 207. Vol. IV.--Voice of the Sign in this issue.
FIRST STEPS BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
PART IX--SIGNS, TOKENS, WORDS, AND THE RITE OF SALUTATION
I THE USE of signs, grips, words, tokens, etc., is very ancient and universal. Some historians believe that a sign language was in use before oral words were invented; whether that be true or not it is certain that long after language was spoken and written these secret methods of communication were in common use. The Spartans always preferred gestures to words; the initiates of the Mysteries were given a very elaborate system of passwords and grips; the custom is even referred to in the Bible, as in the case where Ben-Hadad saved his life by making a sign. Both the Essenes and Pythagoreans communicated with each other by signs. In Rome whole dramas were produced on the stage by gesture alone by the Pantomimi, who anticipated the art of the movies. In medieval monastelies the Monks were frequently taught a sign language "like the alphabet." Brother R. F. Gould, whose essay on "The Voice of the Sign" is a repository of such examples, writes that "signs and passwords, I think, we may confidently assume, were common features of all or clearly all secret societies from the earliest times to our own."
Strangely enough there is no documentary evidence to prove that Freemasons used signs earlier than the seventeenth century but all analogy and all indirect evidence goes to show, of course, that in common with other secret societies they employed that familiar means of identification and recognition. Ferguson, in his "History of Architecture," explains why we may be morally certain that the medieval founders of our fraternity did make use of words, grips and passwords just as we continue to do today:
"At a time when writing was unknown among the laity, and not one Mason in a thousand could either read or write, it was evidently essential that some expedient should be hit upon, by which a Mason traveling to his work might claim the assistance and hospitality of his brother Masons on the road, and by means of which he might take his rank at once, on reaching the lodge, without going through the tedious examinations or giving practical proof of his skill."
At one time in Scotland a man was made a Mason by merely having conferred upon him the "Mason Word": what that word was we know not, but it was probably something more than a "password"; among Operative Masons in other countries "the word" seems always to have been used in the last named sense. We continue to use passwords in our speculative lodges and also, it should be noted, we have given it a high symbolic meaning, as may be clearly seen in the legend of the "Lost Word" in the third degree.
IV "Due Guard," it is probable, was never used in English lodges but came into use in this country. Mackey calls it "an Americanism." It is a perpetual reminder of the obligation and is always used in entering or retiring from a lodge.
V Grips and tokens are signs of fellowship and recognition which may be used both within and without the lodge room. How long they have been employed among Masons it is impossible to know for manifestly their nature and purpose has been such as to make written records or explanations impossible; but we may feel sure that they have been used ever since Masonry has been a secret society.
This custom of having secret modes of recognition among Masons has often been misunderstood among the profane and sometimes derided, as when a friend remarked to the present writer, "Masons are like little children with their signs, grips and such nonsense." Had this man understood the nature and purpose of the fraternity he would have spoken differently. Words and grips are as necessary as secrecy, and for the same reasons. Masonry is a world within itself, and Masons are as a hidden race among men, so that there is nothing more natural than that they should have a language of their own. Moreover, modes of secret recognition are always on the side of gentleness and charity for they often enable one brother to assist another without the injury of self-respect through publicity.
VI After having taken the obligation and received the words and grips the candidate is a real member of the lodge according to the corresponding degree. The lodge formally recognizes this fact by having the candidate conducted to the Wardens and Master who so greet him; at the same time he is given a drill, as it were, in the use of the modes of recognition he has just received.
But we are entitled to see more in the ceremony than this. Like every other act of the candidate it has a symbolic meaning of great value, if only we look beneath the surface. Salutation is a two-sided act. The Wardens recognize the candidate as a brother, the candidate recognizes the Wardens as the authorized representatives and spokesmen for the lodge. He has now the freedom of the lodge, but he is not free from the lodge; he holds his rights as a member only under the Jurisdiction of the laws and masters of the organization of which he has become a member. Are we not privileged to see in this a fact of large significance, a fact that helps us to understand the Masonic principles of liberty?
VII Masonry has never given anything to the world more precious than its influences toward liberty, not only the liberty of thought and faith, but actual political and social liberty. It worked like a leaven in France at the time of the Revolution; it was one of the underground forces which made for independence and nationality in Italy during the times of Mazzini and Cavour; and, as we all know, it was a prime factor in our own Revolution. Albert Pike was but giving voice to the Fraternity's achievements in actual history when he wrote that Masonry "is devoted to the cause of Toleration and Liberality against Fanaticism and Persecution, political and religious, and to that of Education, Instruction and Enlightenment against Error, Barbarism and Ignorance.
VIII But to Masonry, and to all who understand its true nature, liberty
is never freedom from but freedom in the law. This is nature's way, and law is never saying else, if it really be law and not mere custom, than e open path along which life walks to ample power. He that keeps the laws of hygiene enjoys the vigor and liberty of health; he that keeps step with the seasons and observes the ritualism of seed-time and harvest will reap the usufruct of the fields; he that thinks in the rhythm of the fact and evidence is made free of the truth. It is our loyalty to just laws, whether they be natural, social or political, that sets us free; it is our keeping the rules of the game that yields us the joy and spontaneity of the game.
All just civil laws partake of the same character, for their purpose is to release us from the bondage of caprice, the dominance of the brutal, and all tyranny, whether it be the tyranny of a monarch or the majority; it is law that makes it safe for women and children to go about the streets unprotected; law is the friend and protector of the human race and guards our property, arbitrates our quarrels, secures us the fruit of our toil, and, night and day, stands watch above our lives. Always the best country is that where the head is held high, the heart is open, the mind free, and men walk in that true liberty which is "inbound in law."
If there is any danger lurking in our midst today it is that subtle and insidious civil skepticism which flouts authority and makes light of order. If these skeptics be rich they will seek to prostitute the statutes of the land in support of ill-gotten gains; if they be poor they will seek to fashion laws in order to wrest that which they desire from those that have; and the anarchists, of whom there are more in fact than in name, whisper that law is itself is bondage and every authority a tyrant. Masonry teaches that whatever evils there may be in present laws can only be remedied by making laws more wise and just, not by denying the necessity and beneficence of law itself, and that the cure for bad authority is good authority. It is a significant fact in our ritualism that the candidate is no sooner released from the cable tow, which is the symbol of bondage, than he is required to salute the Wardens in recognition of their authority.
THE VOICE OF THE SIGN BY BRO. ROBERT FREKE GOULD, ENGLAND
IN the "Naturall Historie of Wiltshire," of which the last chapter was written in 1686, John Aubrey informs us that the Freemasons were then "known to one another by certayn Signes and watchwords," and Dr. Plot--writing in the same year-- mentions their "Secret Signes" as being endowed with so singular an efficacy, that on the communition of any one of them to a Fellow of the Society, he would be compelled to come at once "from what company or place soever he was in; nay, tho' from the top of the Steeple," to know the pleasure of, and to assist his summoner. This whimsical conceit is thus pleasantly alluded to in a pamphlet of 1723:
"When once a man his arm forth stretches, It Masons round some distance fetches; Altho' one be on Paul's great steeple, He strait comes down amongst the people."
In the year last named (1723) there appeared the first of the long series of Masonic catechisms, or (so-called) exposures of Masonry, which has come down to us. It is almost certain that there were earlier versions, but those of 1723 and 1724 styled respectively "A Mason's Examination" and "The Grand Mystery of Freemasons Discover'd," both of which are given at length in my history of our Society, will amply serve to illustrate my purpose, which is to establish that, in the popular estimation, at least, the gesture language of the Freemasons constituted no mean portion of the learning of that Fraternity. Of this, indeed, many other proofs might be afforded, though I cannot pause to cite them, as I must pass on to my general subject, to which the preceding observations must be regarded as merely preliminary.
Krause was of the opinion that the Masons derived their custom of having signs of recognition from the usage of the Monastic orders, but in truth, the existence of signs can be traced back to the remotest antiquity, or, in other words, so far into the past as there is either written history or evidence to guide us.
It is laid down by Warburton in his famous "Divine Legation," that "in the first ages of the world mutual converse was upheld by a mixed discourse of words and actions; hence the Eastern phase of 'The Voice of the Sign,' and use and custom, as in most other affairs in life, improving what had arisen out of necessity, into ornament, this practice subsisted long after the necessity was over; especially amongst the Eastern people, whose natural temperament inclined them to a mode of conversation, which so well exercised their vivacity, by motion; and so much gratified it, by a perpetual representation of material images." Of this, innumerable instances are afforded in the sacred writings, from which we learn that the prophets of old, by certain actions instructed the people in the will of God, and conversed with them in signs.
As speech became more cultivated, this rude manner of speaking by action was smoothed and polished into an apologue or fable. We have a noble example of this form of instruction in the speech of Jonathan to the men of Shechem, in which he upbraids their folly, and foretells their ruin, in choosing Abimelech for their King. This is not only the oldest, but, according to Warburton, the most beautiful apologue of antiquity, and the same writer then proceeds to show how nearly the apologue and instruction by action are related, which he does by instancing the account of Jeremiah's adventure with the Rechabites--an instruction partaking of the joint nature of action and apologue.
But it is not only in Biblical history that we meet with the mode of speaking by action. "Profane antiquity," says Warburton, "is full of these examples; the early oracles in particular frequently employed it, as we learn from an old saying of Heraclitus--that the King, whose oracle is at Delphi, neither speaks nor keeps silent, but reveals by signs."
The Pythagoreans used certain conventional symbols, by which members of the Fraternity could recognize each other, even if they had never met before, and that, in all the Ancient Mysteries the initiated possessed secret signs of recognition is free from doubt. In the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius, Lucius, the hero of the story is initiated into the mysteries of Isis, but finds that it is also expected of him to be instructed in those "of the Great God, and Supreme Father of Gods, the invincible Osiris." In a dream he perceives one of the officiating priests, of whom he thus speaks, "He also walked gently with limping step, the ankle bone of his left foot being a little bent, in order that he might afford me some sign by which I might know him." In another work (Apologia), the author of the "Metamorphosis" says:
"If anyone happens to be present who has been initiated into the same rites as myself, if he will give me the sign, he shall then be at liberty to hear what it is that I keep with so much care."
Plautus, too, alludes to this custom in one of his plays when he says: "Give me the sign, if you are one of these votaries."
Chironomia, or the art of gesticulating, or talking with the hands and by gestures, with or without the assistance of the voice, was one of very great antiquity, and much practiced by the Greeks and Romans, both on the stage and in the tribune, induced by their habit of addressing large assemblies in the open air, where it would have been impossible for the majority to comprehend what w as said without the assistance of some conventional signs, which enabled the speaker to address himself to the eye as well as to the ear of his audience. These were chiefly made by certain positions of the hands and fingers, the meaning of which was universally recognized and familiar to all classes, and the practice itself reduced to a regular system, as it remains at the present time amongst the populace of Naples, who will carry on a long conversation between themselves by mere gesticulation, and without pronouncing a word. It is difficult to illustrate such a matter in an article like this; but the act is frequently represented on the Greek vases, and other works of ancient art, by signs so clearly expressed, and so similar in their character to those still employed at Naples, that a common lazzaroni, when shown one of these compositions, will at once explain the purport of the action, which a scholar with all his learning can not divine.
"The Pantomimi of the Romans combined with the arts of gesture, music and dances of the most impressive character. Their silent language often drew tears by the pathetic emotions which they excited: 'their very nod speaks, their hands talk, and their fingers have a voice,' says one of their admirers. Montfaucon (L'Antiq. Exp., v. 63) conjectures that they formed a select fraternity."
To judge by two familiar anecdotes, the old mimes had brought their art to great perfection. Macrobius says it was a well-known fact that Cicero used to try with Roscius, the actor, which of them could express a sentiment in the greatest variety of ways, the player by mimicry or the orator by speech, and that these experiments gave Roscius such confidence in his art that he wrote a book comparing oratory with acting. Warburton tells a story of a certain Asiatic Prince, entertained at Rome by Augustus, being, among other shows and festivities, amused with a famous pantomime, whose actions were so expressive that the barbarian begged him of the Emperor for his interpreter between himself and several neighboring nations, whose languages were unknown to one another.
The Spartans, indeed, (as we are told by Herodotus) preferred converse by action to converse by speech, believing that action had all the clearness of speech, and was free from all the abuses of it. This historian, in his Thalia, informs us that when the Samians sent to Lacedemon for succor in distress, their orators made a long and laboured speech. When it was ended the Spartans told them that the former part of it they had forgotten, and could not comprehend the latter. Whereupon the Samian orators produced their empty bread-baskets and said they wanted bread. "What need of words," replied the Spartans; "do not your empty bread baskets sufficiently declare your meaning ? "
Of the Essenes, we are told by Porphyry, that "though meeting for the first time, the members of this sect at once salute each other as intimate friends"; and Matter informs us that the Gnostics communicated by means of emblems and symbols.
A symbolic language appears to have existed in the old monasteries, the signs not being optional, but transmitted from antiquity, and taught like the alphabet. The Cistercian monks held speech, except in religious exercises, to be sinful, but for certain purposes communication among the brethren was necessary, so that the difficulty was met by the use of pantomimic signs. Two of their written lists or dictionaries are printed in the collected edition of Liebnitz's works; they are not identical, but appear to be mostly or altogether derived from a list drawn up by authority. Disraeli tells us:
"That the Monks had not in high veneration the profane authors appears by a facetious anecdote. To read the classics was considered as a very idle recreation, and some held them in great horror. To distinguish them from other books they invented a disgraceful sign; when a Monk asked for a pagan author, after making the general sign they used in their manual and silent language when they wanted a book, he added a particular one, which consisted in scratching under his ear, as a dog, which feels an itching, scratches himself in that place with his paw--because, said they, an unbeliever is compared to a dog. In this manner they expressed an itching for those dogs Virgil or Horace."
A curious method of recognition, also relating to the monastic orders, is thus pleasantly narrated by the same ingenious author: "By the Monks it was imagined that Holiness was often proportioned to a Saint's filthiness, and one of these heroes declares that the purest souls are in the dirtiest bodies. On this they tell a story of a Brother Juniper, who was a gentleman perfectly pious on this principle. Indeed, so great was his merit in this species of mortification, that a brother declared that he could always nose Brother Juniper when within a mile of the monastery provided the wind was at the due point."
Much to the same point are the remarks of a modern writer in his reference to the habits of the priests of Diana, who were forbidden to enter the baths, and he observes, "that in all religions emanating from the East, personal dirtiness has ever been the recognized outward and visible sign of inward purity--fully exemplified in fakirs, dervishes, and medieval saints."
I shall next allude to a semi-monastical Association, the Komoso, which, according to Japanese tradition, first came into prominent notice at the time of the rise of the last or Tokugawa dynasty of Shoguns--i. e., in the year 1603. Its history prior to that date is unknown, but from then down to the year 1868, its existence was fully recognized.
The Society (or Fraternity) was filled from the ranks of the Samurai class alone, and entrance into it proved a means of refuge for any person who had committed a deed of bloodshed, etc., which rendered it necessary for him to flee away from the territory of his feudal chieftain. Thus its numbers were recruited chiefly from among those who had, under the influence of intoxication, or in some other way than of malice aforethought, killed or wounded a fellow clansman, a friend, or other person. None, however, was admitted who had been guilty of any disgraceful crime held to be unworthy of a Samurai--as, for instance, adultery, burglary, or theft.
The chief lands of the Society were situated in the province of Owari, a little to the east of the castle town of Wagoya, and slightly removed from the high road (Tokaido). Here was the Honji, or chief temple of the society, but there were also Matsuji, or branch temples, in different parts of the country. Meetings were held in these branch temples at various intervals, and troops of Komoso were often to be seen entering some remote town or village in different localities; but where or when they met was a profound mystery, and the morrow's dawn saw them leaving the place as silently as they entered it.
The Society was under the command of a Chief, elected by the general votes of the members. Under him were the Assistant Chief, Treasurer, and other officers; all chosen in a similar manner. The Chief usually resided at the principle temple, and was invested with wide powers. His style of living and general position are said to have been equal to those of any Daimio. He had power of life and death over all his fellows, and was only required to make a report to the Government in the event of any Komoso being put to death by his orders. The Assistant Chief might act in his stead whenever such necessity arose.
Anyone desirous of entering the Society, used to go to the chief temple stating his case, and giving the reason why he had left his feudal lord's domain. He was then lodged in the temple while private inquiries were set on foot to ascertain the truth of his statement; if it was discovered that he had committed some unworthy deed, he was rejected and dismissed, but if it appeared that his offence of bloodshed was not premeditated, he was admitted into the Society with all due rites and ceremonies. What these rites were is unknown, but it is allowed that every candidate was bound by solemn oath to conceal them.
The distinctive dress of the Komoso was white, consisting of the loose Japanese Kimono and tight fitting trousers. The wide trousers and upper mantle usually worn by the samurai class were never used. They carried but one long sword. The hat was of bamboo, in shape resembling a large inverted basket of circular form, with a small aperture to enable the wearer to see freely. This hat was never removed during a journey; it was worn, too, in lodging houses, and even at meals. When sleeping, however, the Komoso might take it off, and in the temples of the Society it could be laid aside at will. A long staff and a flute completed their equipment, and certain notes blown on the latter formed one of the signs by which the members could make themselves known to their fellows.
The lands granted to the Society enabled its members to obtain sufficient means of maintenance. On a journey they were assisted by other Komoso, and often by outsiders also. If a Komoso met another person similarly attired, he at once challenged him by signs, etc., to ascertain if he were a true member of the Society. In case of failure to respond, such person was deemed to have assumed the garb merely as a disguise (as was, indeed, often the case), and the true Komoso was then held to be justified in seizing and confiscating the clothing of the pretender. The white clothing was in the first instance given to each man by the superior officers of the Society. The Chief, when traveling, was always attended by a select band of his followers and their journeys were performed on foot.
No women were admitted into the Society, and a man desirous of entering it used therefore to leave his wife and family in the charge of relatives or friends. A son was often admitted with his father, but boys of tender age were on no account received. Communication with the outer world was discountenanced, and it was an exceedingly difficult matter for any uninitiated person to gain access to a friend who had entered the Society. He was always subjected to rigid examination at the temple, before various members, ere he could be allowed to see his friend, and even then the interview was but brief.
Those members who died were buried in the temple enclosures, whenever this was practicable. The tombstones, so tradition has it, always bore the true name of the deceased, and thus, in death, were at last known the actual appellations of those who during their lifetime, had wandered to and fro, homeless and unknown men. One of the principal Komoso cemeteries is said to exist even now in the neighborhood of Nagoya, and another to the east of Kioyoto; the very site, however, of the latter is well nigh unknown, and it is probable that the former has shared the fate of the chief temple to which it was originally attached.
I pass over the shadowy and half-mythical Rosicruicans, the Steinmetzen, the Companionage, and other Secret Societies and fraternities, all of which may have and probably had their special signs and modes of salutation and recognition, though we can only speculate upon their possible existence, without getting much nearer to what they really were. In a manuscript of the Order of Gregorians, written in the last century, I find the following:
"The Sign Manual being given by the Grand, he shall give in charge to the new Brother, that in all these cases (for fear of discovery) he shd chuse rather to receive than give the Sign."
Signs and passwords, I think we may confidently assume, were common features of all or nearly all secret societies from the earliest times down to our own.
Boswell tells us:
"The inhabitants of Corsica, like the Italians, express themselves much by signs. When I asked one of them if there had been many instances of the General (Paoli) foreseeing future events, he grasped a large bunch of hair, and replied, 'Tante Signore' (so many sir)."
Among the aborigines of North America the language of signs has attained a very high degree of development. Sir Richard Burton says:
"A remarkable characteristic of the Prairie Indian is his habit of speaking, like the deaf and dumb, with his fingers. The pantomime is a system of signs, some conventional, others instinctive or imitative, which enables tribes who have no acquaintance with each other's customs and tongues to hold limited but sufficient communication. An interpreter who knows all the signs which, however, are so numerous and complicated, that to acquire them is a labour of years, is preferred by the whites even to a good speaker. Some writers, as Captain Stansbury, consider the system purely Arbitrary: others, Captain Marcy, for instance, hold it to be a natural language similar to the gestures which surd-mutes use spontaneously. Both views are true, but not wholly true."
It is, however, among the Prairie Indians alone that gesture: speech has arrived at such perfection, that it may properly be called a language, and this--as we learn from Colonel Dodge-- for the very sufficient reason that these tribes use it not only in intercourse with people whose oral language they neither speak nor understand, but for everyday intercourse among themselves. In their own camps and families, this language is used so constantly that it becomes a natural and instinctive habit; almost every man, even when using oral language, accompanying his words by sign-pictures conveying the same meaning. In this way wonderful facility and accuracy of expression by signs is attained. Of this "Indian pantomime," Tylor observes:
"Captain Burton considers it to be a mixture of natural and conventional signs, but so far as I can judge from the one hundred and fifty or so which he describes, and those I find mentioned elsewhere. I do not believe that there is a really arbitrary sign among them. There are only about half a dozen of which the meaning is not at once evident, and even these appear on close inspection to be natural signs, perhaps a little abbreviated or conventionalized. I am sure that a skilled deaf and dumb talker would understand an Indian interpreter, and be himself understood at first sight, with scarcely any difficulty. The Indian pantomime and the gesture language of the deaf and dumb are but different dialects of the same language of nature."
Within comparatively a few years the attention of philologists has been particularly directed to the sign language. Some authorities assert that "all the tribes of North American Indians have had, and still use, a common and identical sign language of ancient origin," which serves as a medium of converse from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Others deny this. To learn it sufficiently well for ordinary intercourse is no more difficult than to learn any foreign language; to master it, one must have been born in a lodge of Prairie Indians, and have been accustomed to its daily and hourly use from his earliest to mature years.
Two expert sign talkers engaged in conversation will make every sign with one hand so distinctly as to be understood. Two Indians, each wrapped up in a blanket tightly held with the left hand, will thrust the right from under its folds and engage in animated conversation. So also when on horseback, though the left hand is holding the reins, the conversation will not flag nor be misunderstood.
On the other hand, however, a slight unintentional gesture may entirely alter the meaning that an amateur sign talker is desirous of conveying. Thus Baillie Grohman undertook to say to an Arapahoe: "How has it come to pass that the bravest of the brave, the man of all men, the dearest friend I have among the Arapahoes, has grown such a flowing beard?" but only succeeded in informing the gentle savage "that his face was like a young maiden's, and his heart that of an old squaw."
The Arapahoes, who possess a very scanty vocabulary, can hardly converse with one another in the dark, and like the Bushmen of South Africa--who intersperse their language with so many signs that they are only intelligible during daylight---when they want to converse at night are compelled to collect round their camp fires.
A story is told by Burton of a man who, being sent among the Cheyennes to qualify himself for interpreting, returned in a week and proved his competence. All that he did, however, was to go through the usual pantomime with a running accompaniment of grunts.
The first lesson is to distinguish the signs of the different tribes, each of which has not only its distinctive name, but also its sign, by which it is known and designated by all other Indians. "It will be observed," says Burton, "that the French voyageurs and traders have often named the Indian natives from their totemic or Masonic gestures.
"The Pawnees (Les Loups) imitate a wolf's ears with the two forefingers; the right hand is always understood unless otherwise specified.
"The Arapahoes, or Dirty Noses, rub the right side of that organ with the forefinger. Some, however, call this bad tribe the Smellers, and make their sign to consist of seizing the nose with the thumb and forefinger.
"The Comanches (Les Serpents) imitate by the waving of the hand or forefinger the forward crawling motion of a snake.
"The Cheyennes, Paikanavos, or Cut Wrists, draw the edge of the hand across the left arm, as if gashing it with a knife.
"The Sioux (Les Coupes-gorges) by drawing the lower edge of the hand across the throat. It is a gesture not unknown to us, but forms a truly ominous salutation, considering those by whom it is practiced: hence the Sioux are called by the Yutas, Pampe Chyimina, or Hand-Cutters.
"The Hapsaroke (Les Cerbeaux), by imitating the flapping of the bird's wings with the two hands--palms downward---brought close to the shoulders.
"The Kiowas, or Prairie-Men, make the sign of the prairie and of drinking water.
"The Yutas, 'they who live on the mountains,' have a complicated sign which denotes living in the mountains.
"The Blackfeet, called by the Yutas, Paike or Goers, pass the right hand bent-spoon fashion, from the heel to the little toe of the right foot.
Further tribal signs are given by Dodge, from whose description I take the following:
"The Northern Arapahoes join the fingers and thumb of the right hand, and strike the points on the left breast several times.
"The Apaches move the right hand in much the same way as a barber strops a razor."
Among the miscellaneous signs may be cited those of "Hat Wearer," by which with apt gestures, the White Man is referred to, "Beard Wearer," in like manner applied to Mexican, and "Black White Man" to the Negro.
The sign of love is made by folding the hands crosswise over the breast, as if embracing the object, assuming at the same time a look expressing a desire to carry out the operation. This gesture, Sir Richard Burton assures us, will be understood by the dullest squaw.
The Indians, observes the same careful writer, like the Bedouin and North African Moslems, do honour to strangers and guests by putting their horses to speed, couching their lances, and other peculiarities, which would readily be dispensed with by gentlemen of peaceful pursuits and shaky nerves. If friendly, the band will halt when the hint is given, and return the salute; if not, they will disregard the order to stop, and probably will make the sign of danger. Then--ware scalp!
"It is asserted by squaw men and others, in a position to know that almost every tribe of Indians has its secret societies, which have passwords, grips, and signs, as the Masons. Odd - Fellows. etc. I have never been able positively to ascertain the truth or falsity of this statement. Most of the Indians deny it, but from the grim silence that falls upon an occasional old head-man, when asked about it, I suspect it may be true."
The existence, among the Aborigines of North America, of Fraternities bound by mystic ties; and claiming, like the Freemasons, to possess an esoteric knowledge, is, I believe, fairly well attested. DeWitt Clinton relates, on the authority of a respectable native minister, who had received the signs, the existence of-such a society among the Iroquois. The number of the members was limited to fifteen, of whom six were to be of the Seneca tribe, five of the Oneidas, two of the Cayugas, and two of the St. Regis. They claim that this institution has existed from the era of creation. The late Giles Fonda Yates, in his work on the ceremonies of the Indian tribes, sought ingeniously, if not satisfactorily, to discover a Masonic meaning in the Indian mystic rites.
The experiment of bringing Indians and deaf mutes together has often been tried during visits of Indians to the East, and they always communicate readily, the signs being, of course, ideographic. A very wonderful demonstration of the extent of natural meaning in signs and expression was a test exhibition by President Gallaudet, of the National Deaf Mute College, at Washington, in which he related intelligibly to a pupil the story of Brutus ordering the execution of his two sons for disobedience, without making a motion with hand or arms, or using any previously determined sign or other communication, but simply by facial expression and motion of the head.
The best evidence of the unity of the gesture language (to quote the words of Mr. Tylor), is the ease and certainty with which any savage from any country can understand and be understood in a Deaf and Dumb school. A native of Hawaii is taken to an American institution, and begins at once to talk in signs with the children, and to tell about his voyage and the country he came from. A Chinese, who had fallen into a state of melancholy from long want of society, is quite revived by being taken to the same place, where he can talk in gestures to his heart's content.
Alexander von Humboldt has left on record his experiences of the gesture language among the Indians of the Orinoco:
"'After you leave my mission,' said the good monk of Uruana, 'you will travel like mutes.' This prediction was almost accomplished, and not to lose all the advantage that is to be had from intercourse even with the brutalized Indians, we have sometimes preferred the language of signs."
Describing the Puris and Coroados of Brazil, Spix and Martius, having remarked that different tribes converse in signs, and explained the difficulty they found in making them understand by signs the objects or ideas for which they wanted the native names, go on to say how imperfect and devoid of inflection or construction these languages are. Signs with hand or mouth, they say, are required to make them intelligible. To say, "I will go into the wood," the Indian uses the words "wood-go,' and points his mouth like a snout in the direction he means.
Gesture-signs are mentioned by Captain Cook as forming an accompaniment to spoken language among the Tahitians, who, he says, "joined signs to their words, which were so impressive that a stranger might easily apprehend their meaning.
Mr. W. Simson, in his "History of the Gipsies," says: "Not only have they had a language peculiar to themselves, but signs as exclusively theirs as are those of the Freemasons. The distinction consists in this people having blood, language, a cast of mind, and signs, peculiar to itself."
Mr. Laurence Oliphant tells us, "The Druses have secret signs of recognition, and are in fact organized as a powerful political, as well as secret society," and the same writer goes on to say, "among the Ansariyeh there are two classes, as among the Druses--the initiated and uninitiated,"--but the curious reader who may wish to pursue the inquiry is referred to the account of the "Ansaireeh or Nusairis of Syria," given in the "Asian Mystery," by the Rev. Samuel Lyde.
Of the Todas of the Neilgherries, Sir Richard Burton says, "A Brother Mason informs us that the Todas use a sign of recognition similar to ours, and they have discovered that Europeans have an institution corresponding with their own." Yet as the great traveler goes on to say, "but in our humble opinion, next to the antiquary in simplicity of mind, capacity of belief; and capability of assertion, ranks the Freemason - it will but, perhaps, not to lay too much stress on the alleged similarity between customs that after all may, and probably do not, possess a single feature in common."
Mr. Wilfrid Powell, who passed three years of his life among the Cannibals of New Britain, thus describes the Duk-duk Society of that island: "The Duk-duk is both a curse and a blessing his people; he certainly keeps order and makes the natives raid to commit any flagrant act of felony, but at the same time it encourages cannibalism and terrorism
"There are secret signs between the initiated by which they know each other from outsiders. It is curious how widely distributed is this Duk-duk system in the north peninsula of New Britain. It is in nearly every district, also in New Ireland, from the west coast lying south of the Rossel mountains to Cape St. George, and how far it may spread on the other side I cannot tell."
Dr. Milligan, speaking of the language of Tasmania, the habit of gesticulation, and the use of signs to eke out monosyllabic expressions, says that the Aborigines conveyed in a supplementary fashion by tone, manner and gesture, many modifications of meaning, which are otherwise expressed by ourselves.
With regard to the practice of uncovering the feet, Tylor says, when we find the Damaras, in South Africa, taking off their sandals before entering a stranger's house, the idea of conducting the practice with the Ancient Egyptian custom, or of ascribing it to Moslem influence, at once suggests itself, but the king off the sandals as a sign of respect seems to have prevailed in Peru. No common Indian, it is said, dared go shod along the Street of the Sun, nor might anyone, however great lord he might be, enter the house of the Sun with his shoes on, and even the Inca himself went barefoot into the Temple of the Sun.
The custom (or as called by some Masonic authors, the rite) of discalceation--i. e., the act of putting off the shoes as a sign reverence, is frequently referred to in the sacred writings, and Dr. Adam Clarke considered the custom of worshipping the Deity barfooted to have been so general among all nations of antiquity, that in his commentary on Exodus he assigns it as one of his thirteen proofs that the whole human race have been derived from one family.
The lowest class of salutation, says Tyler, which merely aim at giving pleasant bodily sensations, merge into the civilities which we see exchanged among the lower animals. Such are patting, stroking, kissing, pressing noses, blowing, sniffing, and so forth. The often-described sign of pleasure or greeting of the Indians of North America, by rubbing each other's arms, breasts and stomachs, and their own, is similar to the Central African custom of two men clasping each other's arms with both hands, and rubbing them up and down, and that of stroking one's own face with another's hand or foot, in Polynesia; and the pattings and slappings of the Fuegians belong to the same class. Darwin describes the way in which noses are pressed in New Zealand, with details which have escaped less accurate observers. It is curious that the Linnaeus found the salutation by touching loses in the Lapland Alps. People did not kiss, but put noses together. The Andaman Islanders salute by blowing into another's hand with a cooing murmer. Charlevoix speaks of an Indian tribe in the Gulf of Mexico who blew into one another's ears; and Du Chaillu describes himself as having been blown upon in Africa. Natural experiences of joy, such as clapping hands in Africa, and jumping up and down in Tierra del Fuego, are made do duty as signs of friendship or greeting.
There are a number of well known gestures which are hard to explain. Such are various signs of hatred and contempt--for example, lolling out the tongue, which is a universal sign, though it is not clear why it should be so, biting the thumb, making the sign of the stork's bill behind another's back (ciconiam facere), and the sign known as "taking a sight," which was as common at the time of Rabelais as it is now.
Shaking hands, it may be observed, is not a custom which belongs naturally to all mankind, and we may sometimes trace its introduction into countries where it was before unknown. The Fijians, for instance, who used to salute by smelling or sniffing at one another, have learned to shake hands from the missionaries. The Wa-nika, near Mombaz, grasp hands, but they use the Moslem variety of the gesture, which is to press the thumbs against one another as well, and this makes it all but certain that the practice is one of the many effects of Moslem influence in East Africa.
Tylor lays down that gesture-language is a natural mode of expression common to mankind in general and also that it is the same in principle and similar in its details all over the world. "It is true," he remarks, "that the signs used in different places and by different persons are only partially the same; but it must be remembered that the same idea may be expressed in signs in very many ways, and that it is not necessary that all should choose the same."
The "universelle longage of Maconnes" is named in the Leland-Locke MS. as being among those secrets which "the Maconnes concele aud hyde." This document has of late years been given up as apocryphal, though it exercised no slight influence in its time. The original was said to have been in the handwriting of King Henry VI., the copy to have been made by John Leland, the antiquary, and the annotations to have been the work of John Locke the philosopher.
In his alleged commentary Locke is made to say: "An Universal language has been much desired by the learned of many ages. It is a thing rather to be wished than hoped for." It is evident, however, says Mackey, "that such a substitute for a universal language has always existed among mankind. There are certain expressions of ideas which, by an implied common consent, are familiar even to the most barbarous tribes. An extension forward of the open hands will be understood at once by an Australian savage or an American Indian as a gesture betokening peace, while the idea of war or dislike would be as readily conveyed to either of them by a repulsive gesture of the same hands." "These are not, however," continues the same careful writer, "what constitute the signs of Masonry." The words last cited are worthy of remembrance, and may aid in dispelling many an illusion. The crop of "traveller's tales" increases year by year, wherein as a common feature, appear either the manifestation of the recognition of Masonic signs by Arabs of the desert, native Australians, Bushmen, Afghans, and the like. In the expressive pantomime of the gesture language an Indian, it has been said, will by his signs, "talk all over," his whole body being made use of to convey a message, but in all cases of the kind whatever resemblances may appear to exist with our Masonic customs, will, in the vast majority of cases, be fortuitous only, and fall within the doctrine of "chance coincidences" a phrase very happily coined by Mr. Hyde Clarke in 1864.
THE TRIANGLE OF THE WORLD
MASONRY--the thread of finest, purest gold
That is woven from the loom of ages old
Has lived to see its principles unfold.
FRATERNITY--the Truth worked out in man,
The only thing that has or ever can
Bring to him peace and wars forever ban.
DEMOCRACY--with love upon its throne--
The fruitage of the seed that has been sown
Will make the world a sweeter, better home.
--Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan.
By wisdom wealth is won!
But riches purchased wisdom yet for none.
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
A word hurts more than a wound.
BY BRO. DR. G. ALFRED LAWRENCE, NEW YORK
"Neither in ancient nor in modern time, has the schoolmaster made single step of progress, except by holding on to the skirts of the soldier's coat. Regular armies gave the first check to the barbarism of the Middle Ages, and it was under their protection alone that arts, science, commerce and industry grew up and extended in Europe." --Major Gen. J. Mitchell.
THE above statement of Major Gen. Mitchell we believe is applicable to the role of Military Lodges in the general diffusion of Masonry throughout the world. No other single factor has been so potent and far-reaching. The flower of royalty, nobility, members of the military and naval establishment, statesmen, men of letters and of the liberal arts and professions of practically every civilized nation of the earth have identified themselves with Masonry and many although not by profession military or naval officers have at some period been identified with the service and gained their first knowledge of the craft through Military Lodges. A mere enumeration of the host of distinguished Masons in this class would occupy many pages. Such men as Lord Nelson of Trafalgar, our own immortal Commander-in-Chief, George Washington (and practically all of his generals), Field Marshals Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener, and Sir Charles Warren (first Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of London), are striking examples.
There were no less than sixteen Military officers upon the membership roll of Lodge No. 4, which with numbers 1, 2 and 3 founded the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Shortly after this, in 1728, the first purely Military Lodge (of which there is any distinct record) was established at Gibraltar and originally numbered 57 on the lists. This was constituted by the Duke of Wharton while engaged in the Spanish service and was thus also the first lodge in foreign parts to obtain a place in the Grand Lodge of England.
In 1734 another Duke, (Richmond), a gallant soldier and former Grand Master of England, assisted by Baron de Montesquieu and others, at Paris, admitted many distinguished persons into the Society of Freemasons and in the following year (1735) Desaguliers, formerly Grand Master of England, while at the Hotel Bussy in Paris, admitted into Masonry the Second Duke of Kingston (also a general) assisted by Lord Dursley (afterwards Fourth Earl of Berkeley and a General in the Army.)
The Grand Lodge of York (established in 1725, reconstructed in 1761, and expiring about 1792) issued a Military Warrant to the Sixth Inniskilling Regiment of Dragoons in 1770.
The junior Grand Lodge of England (established in 1751) which arrogated to itself the title "Ancients" established many Military Lodges and was even more active in this respect, especially in regions beyond the seas, than the parent Grand Lodge of England established in 1717 and anomalously styled "Moderns" by these self-designated "Ancients." This junior Grand Lodge of England was also designated as the "Atholl Grand Lodge" from the Fourth Duke of Atholl who was Grand Master of same from 1775 to 1781 and Grand Master of Scotland during 1778 and 1779.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland established in 1731 was also very active in establishing Military Lodges and always worked according to the system in vogue among the so-called "Ancients." The first warrant creating a travelling lodge of Freemasons by this Grand Lodge--to which No. 11 was subsequently assigned--was issued to the First Foot (then the "Royal Regiment" and now the "Royal Scots") a British Regiment, in the year 1732.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland, established in 1736, did not erect a Military Lodge until 1743 when William, the Fourth Earl of Kilmarnook, was Grand Master. The petitioners were some sergeants and sentinels belonging to Col. Lee's (afterwards the 55th) Regiment of Foot. This lodge had no place accorded to it in the official roll however so that the following lodge in another regiment of infantry is recorded as the earliest Military Lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This latter was "The Duke of Norfolk's" in the 12th Foot and was placed on the Scottish roll as No. 58 in 1747 and in their petition they averred that "The Duke of Norfolk's Masons Lodge" had been "erected into a Mason body bearing the title aforesaid, as far back as 1685."
It is a matter of interest to note here that John Young, Deputy Grand Master of Scotland and a Lieutenant Colonel at the capitulation and massacre at Fort William Henry in 1757 was in this latter year appointed Provincial Grand Master of all the Scottish lodges (mostly of a Military character) in America and the West Indies.
In addition to Military Lodges established by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, "Mother Kilwinning" issued warrants directly to many Military Lodges and was recognized as their superior and entirely independent of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. In 1747 there was a Military Lodge in the 2nd Dragoons (now the Royal Scots Grays), the exact date of its constitution is uncertain but the interesting point is that it obtained its warrant from Kilwinning through the influence of the Earl of Eglinton.
All these bodies issued many other warrants in addition to the above. The Grand Lodge of Ireland shortly after 1732 issued warrants to Military Lodges in four other British Regiments, then bearing the names of their Colonels but which afterwards became the 33rd, 27th, 21st and 28th Foot--making a total of five at work under this jurisdiction in 1734 and this number had increased to eight when the first Military Warrant was issued by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1743. Two of these eight, dated 1732 and 1734 and bearing the numbers 11 and 33 were attached to the 1st and 21st Foot respectively--both Scottish Regiments. There were other Military Lodges in existence in Scotland other than those above enumerated as early as 1744 as the minutes of "St. John's Old Kilwinning" at Inverness records the visit of "David Holland, Master of the Lodge of Freemasons in Brigadier Guize's Regiment," afterwards the 6th Foot, then "lying at Fort George." This lodge seems to have been without any charter or warrant but the lost archives of the Grand Lodge of Ireland might have supplied a key to the mystery and undoubtedly there must have been many Irish Military Lodges in the British Army and elsewhere of which all traces have been lost. There were actually 39 Military Lodges on the registry of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and 5 on that of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, so far as the records show, when the earliest Military Lodges were established by the rival Grand Bodies of England.
A Military Lodge was established in the 8th Foot by the "Moderns" in February, 1755, and one in the 57th Foot of the "Ancients" in September of the same year and as many more constituted by both Bodies from this time forward.
Abraham Savage who was authorized by the Provincial Grand Master of North America under the "Moderns" "to congregate all Free and Accepted Masons in the Expedition against Canada into one or more lodges" admitted into Masonry at Crown Point (after the surrender of that fortified place) twelve officers of the 1st Foot in a lodge he had established there and of which he was Master in 1759.
Later in the same year at Quebec "the Anniversary of St. John the Evangelist was duly observed by the several lodges of Freemasons in the garrison."
On October 1st, 1766, the 14th, 29th and part of the 69th Regiments arrived at Boston, Mass., and a little later the 64th and 65th Foot direct from Ireland and the three Military Lodges in the above all worked under the "Ancient system"--No. 58 in the 14th Foot, No. 322 in the 29th Foot and No. 106 in the 64th Foot--holding under the Grand Lodges of England ("Ancients"), Ireland and Scotland respectively. The members of St. Andrews, a Scottish lodge at Boston, fraternized with these visiting Military brethren and endeavored through this means to form a Grand Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. It is interesting to note that none of these Army lodges were represented at the installation of the Provincial Grand Master under England ("Moderns") in November, 1768, but all joined in a petition to the Grand Lodge of Scotland requesting the appointment of a "Grand Master of 'Ancient' Masons in America." In 1769 Dr. Joseph Warren was appointed "Grand Master of Masons in Boston and within 100 miles of the same." The 64th regiment having removed from this station in the meantime, the Grand Lodge was formerly inaugurated by St. Andrew's Lodge, Lodge No. 58 ("Ancients") in the 14th Foot and Lodge No. 322 (Ireland) in the 29th Foot. By a further Scottish patent in 1772 Dr. Joseph Warren (afterwards killed at the battle of Bunker Hill, where although holding a commission as Major-General he fought as a volunteer) was appointed Grand Master for the Continent of America--this patent being granted by the Fifth Earl of Dumfries, Grand Master of Scotland, 1771-1772 and a Colonel of the Foot Guards. It is of interest to note here that of the 27 Grand Masters of Scotland prior to 1769, 14 held commissions in the army.
Under General Oughton in 1770 the Lodge "Scots Grays of Kilwinning" in the 2nd or Royal North British Dragoons, having lost their charter and all their records in the wars, petitioned for a warrant from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, which was granted, and the lodge reconstituted March 12th, 1770, as "St. Andrew's Royal Arch" having as its Master Colonel William (afterwards Sixth Lord) Napier, then in command of the 2nd Dragoons.
The Earl of Ancrum, afterwards Fifth Marquis of Lothian and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1794-95 served for many years in his father's regiment (the 11th Dragoons) in which a lodge was established by the Grand Lodge of England ("Moderns") "in Captain Bell's troop." In this troop he held a commission as Lieutenant in 1756 and attained the rank of General in the army in 1796.
Of great interest is the fact that the "Ancients" and field lodges in New York met as a Grand Lodge and elected Grand Officers on January 23, 1781, and a warrant for a Provincial Grand Lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of England ("Ancients") September 5th, 1781. This Provincial Grand Lodge was duly inaugurated by three stationary and six ambulatory lodges in December, 1782. The stationary lodges were numbers 169, 210 and 212 on the rolls of the "Ancients"--the first acknowledged as the leading authority by the various Army lodges and the latter two were also to a great extent Military Bodies. Of the six Travelling or Military Lodges, No. 52 was attached to the 37th Foot, No. 213 to the 4th Battalion Royal Artillery and No. 215 to the Anspach-Bayrueth Regiment--all three English ("Ancient"); No 132 attached to the 22nd Foot, Scottish- No. 441 to the 38th Foot, Irish; and Sions Lodge in the 57th Regiment holding under a dispensation granted by Lodge No. 210 ("Ancients") with the consent and approval of No. 132 "Moriah" in the 22nd Foot and No. 134 Eskdale Kilwinning at Langholm in Dumfriesshire. In the following year (1783) a majority of the Grand Officers left New York with the British Army and by that date lodges had been formed by this Provincial Grand Lodge in New Jersey Volunteers, the Regiment of Knyphansen, the 57th Foot and the Loyal American Regiment. During this same period two Irish Lodges, Nos. 478 in the 17th Dragoons and No. 90 in the 30th Foot, arrayed themselves under its banner. After the Revolutionary War this Grand Body thus established by British Military Lodges abandoned its provincial character and assumed the title of the Grand Lodge of New York. The above mentioned No. 132, "Moriah" in the 22nd Foot originally received an Irish warrant which it "lost in the Mississippi" about the year 1759 and next applied for this Scottish warrant No. 132. This latter was granted in 1769. After taking part in the formation of the Grand Lodge of New York as just described, it experienced a most remarkable incident if the following statement which appeared in the "Newcastle Courant" of January 4th, 1770, can be credited: "This is to acquaint the public that on Monday, the first inst., being the lodge (or monthly meeting) night of the Free and Accepted Masons of the 22nd Regiment, held at the Crown near Newgate (Newcastle) Mrs. Bell, the landlady of the house, broke open a door (with a poker) that had not been opened for some years past, by which means she got into an adjacent room, made two holes through the wall, and by that stratagem discovered the secrets of Masonry; and she knowing herself to be the first woman in the world who ever found out that secret is willing to make it known to all her sex. So any lady who is desirous of learning the secrets of Masonry by applying to that well-learned woman (Mrs. Bell, that lived fifteen years in and about Newgate) may be instructed in the secrets of Masonry."
Military Lodges continued to increase in number and importance so that up to 1790 one hundred are recorded as having been established by the Grand Lodge of Ireland (and doubtless many others of which the records are now lost), twenty-one by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and fortynine directly by the "Ancients," in addition to a large number of subsidiary lodges chartered by the provincial authorities under this "Ancient" system in America, Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, Gibraltar and Jamaica, including various Regimental lodges. To a more restricted extent the "Moderns" also issued local warrants in foreign districts and up to the above date fourteen Regimental lodges were listed. There were also about fourteen Army lodges attached to various brigades in Bengal in addition to many other stationary lodges of a Military character in all three of the Indian Presidencies, especially on the coast of Coromandel. In addition to the above there were "Royal Navy" Lodges at Deal, Gosport, London, and Halifax; a Marine Lodge at Plymouth; "The Royal Military" at Woolwich; "Lodge of Mars" at Yassy in Russia (established by the "Moderns" in 1784); "Carnatic Military Lodge" constituted at Arcot in 1784; and "St. John's Lodge of Secrecy and Harmony" (in the Order of Knights of St. John) at Malta, established in 1789. Two years later in 1792 there were eleven Military Lodges at Gibraltar, one Scottish, six Irish and three English ("Ancients") and one Provincial--in as many different regiments then stationed there.
On St. John's Day, 1813, the "Ancients" and "Moderns" united to form the "United Grand Lodge of England," of which the Duke of Sussex became the first Grand Master and by this action the 116 Military Lodges established by the "Ancients" and the 25 established by the "Moderns" came under the allegiance of this newly formed Grand Body. The number of Irish lodges had increased to 190 and the Scottish to 21 making a grand total of 352 Military or Regimental lodges created to this date. Many of these had become dormant however so that only 219 were actually carrying on work.
After the battle of Waterloo (1815) the decline in Military Lodges owing to the reduction of the British Army to a peace footing was very rapid so that in 1822 only about thirty Irish, 25 English and 2 Scottish lodges were chartered--57 in all-- thus making a total of 409 Ambulatory lodges known to have been constituted by the Grand Lodges of the British Isles. In addition to the above there were no less than forty "Regimental," "Military," or "Army" lodges and several bearing the title of "Royal Navy" or "Marine" warranted by the English provincial authorities abroad and which were never registered in the books of any of the Grand Lodges. The last Travelling (Military) lodge in the Scottish Roll was "cut off" in 1860. In 1886 there were only fifteen such bodies working under the Grand Lodges of England and Ireland and by 1889 these were still further reduced to eight of which six were Irish and two English. It is of interest to note here that the famous English Masonic Historian, Robert Freke Gould, was the first Master of the Military Lodge, established in 1858 in the 31st Foot and which continued in existence for over thirty years. Among others who made Masonic History prior to this may be mentioned Edward Augustus, Duke of York, and brother of King George III, who was the first member of the English Royal family in the Naval service to become a Mason. He was initiated in 1765 at Berlin in a lodge, which as a result of this event, assumed the title "Royal York of Friendship" and is now the Grand Lodge of that name. Three years prior to this Washington Shirley, Earl Ferrers, became Grand Master of England, 1762-1763, while a Captain in the Naval service (promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1775.)
The Lord High Admiral, the Duke of Clarence, afterwards King William IV of Great Britain; Sir John Ross, the famous Arctic Navigator; Sir William Sidney Smith, who vainly endeavored to effect a reunion of the Knights of all the European Orders and succeeded to the Regency of the Knights Templar of France in 1838- General Sir James Outram (the Bayard of India), Sir Henry Keppel, Senior Admiral of the Fleet, and several of the Dukes of Wellington were famous in Naval and Military Masonry.
It is not generally known that the celebrated Roman Historian, Edward Gibbon, was at one time a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army and made a Mason in the "Lodge of Friendship" in 1775 and Sir Walter Scott held a commission in the Royal Midlothian Cavalry in 1797 and became a member of the "Lodge of St. David" Edinburgh in 1801.
Lieutenant-General Thomas Desaguliers, son of the famous Grand Master of that name, joined a Military Lodge in the Royal Artillery and to his influence and example is attributed the extraordinary prevalence of Military Lodges in this branch of the service during the latter half of the eighteenth century.
Our own famous naval hero, Paul Jones, our ambassador to France at a critical Military period, Benjamin Franklin (also Colonel of a regiment in 1755), the famous Voltaire, and many other Military and Naval brethren were members of the "Lodge of the Nine Muses" at Paris.
Field Marshal Viscount Wolseley was initiated in Military Lodge No. 728, Dublin, in 1851, served as its Master, and with Field Marshals, Earl, Roberts and Kitchener was one of the Past Grand Wardens of the Grand Lodge of England.
Illustrative of the many ramifications of the Military Lodge system a zealous Master of Royal Military Lodge No. 371, Captain George Smith, while Inspector of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and Provincial Grand Master for Kent, found some Master Masons confined in the Kings Bench Prison. He adjourned his lodge, with the Constitution, to said prison and there held a meeting and made Masons. This was brought to the attention of the Grand Lodge which very properly ruled "that in the opinion of the Grand Lodge it is inconsistent with the principles of Masonry that any Freemasons lodge can be regularly held for the purpose of making, passing, or raising Masons in any prison or place of confinement." Whereupon this Royal Military Lodge No. 371 was erased from the list and still later this Capt. Smith, who had committed a still graver misdemeanor, was expelled from the Society.
A still more unique experience was that of the American adventurer, General William Augustus Bowles, who joined the British Army in 1776 and in 1791 was initiated in the "Prince of Wales Lodge" and subsequently made "Provincial Grand Master" of the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians under the Grand Lodge of England.
These Military Lodges wherever located, as a rule, worked harmoniously with, and exchanged Masonic courtesies with the stationary lodges of the vicinity and of interest in this connection is the fact that in 1759 when members of Lodge No. 74 in the 2nd Battalion of the First Foot left Albany, N. Y., they granted an exact copy of their Irish warrant to some influential citizens of that city, who in 1765 changed it for a Provincial charter and this lodge, "Mount Vernon," now holds the third place on the roll in New York State. A still earlier patent--in fact the first Military Warrant ever issued--had been previously granted to the First Battalion of this same regiment and the lodge (Irish) never took a name and was only known by its number (No. 11). In 1814 this latter Battalion together with the Fourth Battalion having "Royal Thistle Lodge No. 289" (Scottish) was stationed at Quebec. A third lodge "Unity, Peace and Concord, No. 316" was established in this same First Foot (now Royal Scots) and in the 2nd Battalion. This latter lodge attained the longest span of uninterrupted existence of any Army lodge, receiving its warrant in 1798 and renewed in 1808 when this Battalion was serving on the Coast of Coromandal "to some 'privates' stationed at Wallahjabad." These petitioners, however, were not all private soldiers but included a large number of non-commissioned officers. In the following year (1809) the officers of this 2nd Battalion asked permission to form a second lodge in the same corps to be styled "The Officers Lodge." The result of this petition was not recorded but there are numerous examples in India and elsewhere of lodges formed in Regiments, the membership of which was restricted to commissioned officers. This lodge "Unity, Peace and Concord No. 316" undoubtedly was No. 74 originally granted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1737 and although cancelled in 1801 would almost certainly have been renewed. This famous lodge is working today in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots on the western battle front in France under the designation "Unity, Peace and Concord, No. 316."
"The Military Lodge of the Duke of Norfolk" in the 12th Foot was among those that walked in the procession at the laying of the Foundation Stone of the North Bridge with Masonic honors at Edinburgh in 1762.
A Military Lodge in the 25th, now the "King's Own Borderers" obtained an Irish warrant in 1749 and the minutes of an existing "Border Lodge" (which they evidently visited) is the only record that the lodge chest of this regiment was lost at Munster, Germany, and a new one was "consecrated" at Berwick in December, 1763.
At the first recorded meeting of the Royal Arch Lodge "St. Andrews" in Boston in the month of August 1769, foreign soldiers were chosen as the first officers of the lodge and William Davis of No. 68 ("Ancients") in the 14th Foot received "four steps" described as those of "Excellent, Super-Excellent, Royal Arch and Knight Templar."
About this same time "Royal Arch Lodge No. 3" of Philadelphia was in close communication with No. 351 (Irish) in the 18th Regiment and these two bodies were in the habit of lending their Royal Arch furniture to one another.
Some of these Military Lodges later became stationary as "Fuzilier Lodge No. 33" originally chartered 1734, later lapsed and their warrant renewed in 1817 in the Royal North British Fuziliers and accompanied that regiment to Tasmania, where it was granted a civil warrant with the old name and number and became the first stationary lodge in that Colony in 1823.
There was much rivalry at times between the "Ancients" and "Moderns." At Gibraltar, for instance, there were various Military Lodges and No. 148 in the Royal Artillery wrote to the Junior Grand Lodge of England "Ancients" stating "that a set of people who had their authority from the 'Modern' Grand Lodge thought proper to dispute the legality of said warrant, No. 148; that in the said garrison there were also held Lodges 11, 244, 290, 359, 420 and 466 (in 1st, 2nd, 39th, 56th, 76th, and 58th Foot respectively) on the registry of Ireland and No. 58 (12th Regiment) in the Registry of Scotland." Captain Murray, R. N. for services rendered to No. 148 "in proving the authenticity of their warrant" was awarded a gold medal by the "Ancient" Grand Lodge in 1777. Later in 1786 the Provincial Grand Lodge of Andalusia which had been under the jurisdiction of the "Moderns" for over twenty years applied for a warrant under the "Ancients" and refused to act any longer under the former, although the Duke of Cumberland was said to be Grand Master of the "Moderns."
There was a similar rivalry between the "Ancients and Moderns" on the coast of Coromandal, India, in 1786. Intimate social relations, however, were often maintained by these Military Lodges with the stationary lodges in the community where they might be stationed and it is recorded that members of No. 960 in the 2nd Dragoon Guards "in token of respect for their uniform Masonic conduct during their stay in Norwich were fraternally entertained by the Lodge of Eleusinian Mysteries at that city in 1825." On St. John's Day (winter of 1838) a Masonic ball was given by the "Cameronian Lodge" No. 26 at Calcutta to which visiting (Military) brethren were freely invited. In the same year at a meeting of No. 7 in the 7th Dragoon Guards, then stationed at Edinburgh, deputations from nearly all the lodges in that Metropolis were present. Later in July, 1844, No. 26 returned from India and while quartered in Edinburgh assisted in laying a foundation stone, officially recorded as follows: "Amongst the numerous lodges in attendance was that of the 26th or Cameronian Regiment, in the Registry of Ireland, which being a visiting stranger lodge, under the rule of a Sister Grand Lodge was placed near the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
Coming to the period of the Seven Years War (1756-1763) by Frederick the Great in alliance with England against France, Austria, Russia, Sweden, Saxony and most of the smaller German States, at the famous battle of Minden, fought on August 1st, 1759, so numerous had become Military Lodges that every regiment of English Infantry engaged (with the possible exception of the 51st) had one or more Military Lodges in the same. These were the 12th, 20th, 23rd, 25th and 37th and lodges were known to have also been attached to the troops of the other countries engaged.
About this time on the Continent the Rite or System called the "Strict Observance" was in vogue based on the fiction that at the time of the destruction of the Templars a certain number of the Knights took refuge in Scotland and thus preserved the due succession of the order by the election of Pierre d'Aumont as Grand Master of the Templars in Scotland in 1313. For various reasons these Knights were said to have joined the Gilds of Masons in the Kingdom and thus arose the Society of Freemasons. The great doctrine laid down for the followers of this Rite was "that every true Mason is a Knight Templar." Thus lodges in British Regiments constantly worked side by side with lodges under the Strict Observance which for twenty years at least pervaded all Continental Europe. The many Masons taken by both sides fraternized with their captors and thus lodges composed of such prisoners of war sprang into existence and the degree of Knight Templar became a favorite one in the lodges of the British Army. They must have derived their knowledge of this degree from associating with lodges and brethren under the "Strict Observance" and thereby finally introduced the same into England and America. It was due to intercourse with brethren belonging to regiments that served in Ireland toward the end of the eighteenth century that Scottish lodges actually owed their acquaintance with Knight Templarism. It was known as "Black Masonry" and was propagated to a large extent through charters issued by a lodge of Freemasons at Dublin, which had been constituted by "Mother Kilwinning" for the practice of Craft degrees. This action of the daughter lodge led to the belief in Kilwinning being a centre of so-called "High Degrees" and in 1813 application was made to Kilwinning Lodge requesting it to authorize the transfer of a "Black Warrant" from the Knights of the Temple and of Malta in the Westmeath Militia (holding Irish warrant No. 791 cancelled in 1826) to brethren-of the same degree serving in the Shropshire Militia (holding an English warrant and made civil and stationary in 1820 and now authorized to assemble as Masons of the "Salopian Lodge of Charity" at Shrewsbury). Kilwinning Lodge in reply to the Sir Knights of this Shropshire regiment, however, repudiated the existence of any maternal tie between herself and any Society of Masonic Knighthood and expressed her inability-to regard anything as Masonry beyond the three regular steps. It is thus probable that all degrees above the first three obtained a footing in the British Islands through the medium of Army lodges. In Scotland these additional degrees were first conferred by the lodges and afterwards more often in Encampments. A Lodge "Aboyne" was formed in the Aberdeen Militia in 1799 and an Encampment in 1812 and moved with the regiment to Dover in 1812, Liverpool 1813, London 1814 and returned to Aberdeen in 1815. In this latter year the degrees practiced in this "St. George Aboyne Enampment" were arranged in seven groups: 1. Master past the Chair, Excellent and Super-Excellent, Royal Arch; 2. Ark, Black Mark, Link and Chain; 3. Knight Templar, Knight of St. John of Jerusalem, Mediterranean Pass, Knight of Malta; 4. Jordan Pass, Babylon Pass; 5. Knight of the Red Cross, 6. High Priest; and 7. Prussian Blue. Both Master Masons and Royal Arch Masons were received as candidates and if former they began with Group 1 and if latter with Group 2. When the degrees of Group 1 were conferred the meeting was called a Chapter and for the remainder an Encampment. In the "Moderns" the only degrees worked (with official sanction) down to 1813 were the first three but by the "Union of 1813" the Royal Arch and Installed Master's degrees were accepted as additions to "pure and ancient Masonry bequeathed to them in 1717." In the "Ancients," however, prior to 1813, both the Royal Arch and installed Master's degrees were essential features of their system. The practice of conferring the higher degrees under warrant for the first three degrees is shown by the following letter received from the Deputy Grand Secretary by the Irish lodge "No. 441" in the 38th Foot in 1822: "There is not any warrant issued by any Grand Lodge of Ireland other than that you hold; it has therefore always been the practice of Irish lodges to confer the Higher Degrees under that authority." "Minden Lodge No. 63" of the 20th Regiment continued the work of the Royal Arch under its original (Craft) warrant until 1838 when a separate charter was issued by the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
This Irish lodge "No. 63" just mentioned, took the additional name of "Minden" owing to the Regiment (20th Foot) greatly distinguishing itself in the battle of Minden and celebrated the century of its warrant in 1848--having received its warrant of constitution "No. 63" in December 1748 from the Grand Lodge of Ireland and its first Colonel (afterwards Lord) George Sackville was appointed its first Master. This practice of appointing the Colonel (or commanding officer) of a regiment the first Master was by no means unusual.
Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, who commanded the allied forces at this battle of Minden and served in several campaigns under Frederick the Great, was initiated in December, 1740 in the "Lodge of the Three Globes" at Berlin and in 1770 was appointed English Provincial Master for the Duchy of Brunswick but in 1771 "he forsook pure and ancient Freemasonry" and was admitted into the "Strict Observance."
Sir David Baird, Colonel of both the 24th Foot, and the Westminster Militia stationed at Harwich, was ordered with the former for service in the Baltic. So great was their affection for their Colonel and Masonic brother that the members of the Militia offered to a man to volunteer but it could not be done until the Military transfer Bill was passed whereupon 223 of the 228 men enrolled themselves with the 24th Foot. Military Lodge No. 426 of the English List for 1768 was in this 24th Foot and lodge "Westminster Militia" in this Militia establishment.
(To be continued)
If you quaff each joy
With its alloy;
If you heed no warning fears,
Deep in the heart
Is set apart
The pearl of tears.
If, crushed alone
'Neath sorrow's stone,
If your soul no fires destroy,
Deep in the heart
Is set apart
The diamond - Joy.
James T. Duncan.
There is nothing so powerful as truth; and often nothing so
BY BRO. CHARLES SUMNER LOBINGER, CHINA
The number of communications which THE BUILDER has printed on Zionism proves that to many of our readers this is a timely subject. The following article, written by a Mason, should prove interesting to Zionists and students of the movement. -EDITOR.
SUCH was the title which Tasso, the Italian poet of the late Middle Ages, chose for the epic in which he sang the glories of the First Crusade. It and its seven successors fill a notable page in human history, but it seems to have been reserved for our day to realize the age long dream of the Crusaders.
Jerusalem was indeed "delivered" by Godfrey de Bouillon and his army of Christian knights in 1099; but the deliverance did not long continue, for the strength of the Seljukian Turks was too great.
"The Christian throne of Jerusalem fell in the dust. The Mosque of Omar still occupies the site of the Holy Temple. The Crusades, with all their pomp and pageantry of war and romance, went by, and have long since faded away in the dim past. A new age has succeeded, with new ideas, new institutions, new aims; and if the Holy Sepulchre is again to be the heritage of a Christian power, and the appanage of a Christian Throne, that will be brought about by peaceful negotiation, or as the result of a war between great nations, in God's good time, and not by a new Crusade."
Do these predictions written many years ago, find fulfillment in the present mighty conflict? They would certainly seem to in the light of recent events. The British army which, under Sir Archibald Murray, started from Egypt a year and a half ago or more, has been moving slowly but surely northward, not far from the traditional pathway of the wandering Israelites. On December 10 last, Jerusalem was taken and on the following day the commanding general entered the city and the British, French and Italian flags were raised.
Thus for the first time in seven hundred and thirty years the Holy City is once more in the hands of "a Christian power" and it is not strange if some with historic vision see in this the completion of the work of England's crusader king, Richard Coeur de Lion. One such wrote even before the entry:
"Again the Briton nears the ancient gates! The city of the Holy Sepulchre Sits in its Eastern calm and dumbly waits The coming of the legions from afar.
They're dust a thousand years, the knightly train That followed Richard's leopard-blazoned shield Down the long road that valor pointed plain-- The path of honor to the stricken field.
Now men as bold as they, their sires' sons, Toil through the sands where centuries ago Their forebears fought - awake with roaring guns The dead who heard crusading trumpets blow.
Perchance the ghost of grim old Saladin A scimitar across their path may fling. Yet shall one wave them onward till they win-- The wraith of England's Lion-hearted King!" (1)
The taking of Jerusalem -- the most spectacular event of the present stupendous conflict -- has riveted the attention of three worlds--Christendom, Islam and Israel--and for the moment, at least, places the question of Palestine's future in the foreground of discussion. On one point there is a singular unanimity. All of Christendom and nearly all of Islam and of Israel will approve the position taken by the head of the Roman church, and implied in both President Wilson's and Premier Lloyd George's recent statements of the allied war aims, that the Turk must not be allowed to reconquer the Holy Land.
It is not so long since the Turk had his apologists. Lord Beaconsfield's party e. g. not only helped the Sultan to keep his terrorized realm but actually defended his policy. "Oh," they would say, "the Turk is not so bad. Those Armenians are terrible fellows and had to be punished for their crimes." Today this reminds one of a defense of the Belgian atrocities. And even above the wretched babble of that day rose the accusing voice of Gladstone, characterizing the Sultan as "The Great Assassin." And such is the verdict of posterity. No one now speaks of the Turk's right to rule. In the eyes of both Moslem and Christian he has long since forfeited any claim to such right. This cruel barbarian from the steppes of Central Asia, this abductor of children, defiler of women, murderer of millions of his subjects and oppressor of all others, must no longer be allowed to pollute earth's fairest and most historic regions. If the present war ends without eliminating the Turk it will fail in one of its most beneficent possibilities.
But when the selection of a successor to the Turk is mentioned, unanimity is not so pronounced. Palestine is the Holy Land not of one faith only but of many -- of all indeed who profess to revere the God of the Old Testament and who venerate its heroes.
"Whatever is done there," says a recent writer, (2) "must be a setting aside of all places holy to others. The Russians make pilgrimages to the Holy Sepulchre. The Crusades were fought for it. Jerusalem stands next to Mekka in the Moslem mind."
Godfrey de Bouillon, indeed, founded his Latin kingdom of Jerusalem on the cornerstone of religious intolerance, marking his entry of the Holy City by the massacre, it is recorded, of 70,000 Moslems, and the burning of the Jews in their Synagogue. One who reads that ghastly story can scarcely regret or wonder that the Latin kingdom was so short-lived, lasting barely two generations.
But how refreshing by way of contrast is the account of the latest occupation. The allied forces (for there were French as well as British) carefully planned and deferred their attack so as to avoid a bombardment and to save the holy places. The Latin Patriarch reports to the Vatican that there was no firing or damage in the city. And the allied commander, Sir Edmund Allenby, entered Jerusalem on foot and was greeted by the Sheiks at the Mosque of Omar (over which, with other places sacred to Islam, he placed Moslem guards) and by the Patriarchs of the Eastern churches.
The entry on foot was to demonstrate, no doubt, that the allied commander came not as a conqueror but as a deliverer. So the avoidance of damage and the detail of guards appear to have been Britain's public redemption of a pledge made early in the war to her Moslem subjects (of which she has more than any other power) that their holy places would be respected and preserved.
In March, 1917, Sir Archibald Murray, then commanding these new crusaders, issued a proclamation stating his views, and presumably that of his government, regarding the future of Palestine.
"There can be little doubt," he said, "that we should revive the Jewish Palestine of old, and allow the Jews to realize their dreams of Zion in their homeland. Not all the Jews will return to Palestine, but many will. The new Jewish State, under British or French aegis, would become the spiritual and cultural centre of Jewry throughout the world. The Jews would at least have homeland and a nationality of their own. The national dream that has sustained them for a score of centuries and more will have been fulfilled."
On November 2 last, Mr. Balfour, British Foreign Minister, wrote to Sir Lionel Rothschild, Vice President of the English Zionist organization:
"His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use its best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which will prejudice the civil and religious right of existing nonJewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." (3)
For of all the aspirants the claim of the Jews far antedates any other. They may not, indeed, have been the aborigines of Palestine but they were at least the kinsfolk and successors, even if dispossessors, of the latter. And of the long list of usurpers who followed them--Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Crusaders, and Turks--the Jews alone have sufficiently preserved their identity to be able now to occupy the Holy Land. Well may the Jew ask with Byron,
"Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, where are they?"
And the ghosts of those vanished nations must answer with Kipling,
"Lo all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre."
But the Jew may invoke the later lines of the same bard,
"The tumult and the shouting dies, The captains and the kings depart, Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, An humble and a contrite heart."
After 2000 years of exile the Jew still looks to the land of his fathers and is prepared to enter it once more -- yea has already entered it in part, as will presently appear.
The land of his fathers; there is another prop to the Jew's claim. For to no other claimant is Palestine his ancestral home; it is merely a shrine--a repository of sacred and historic remains. But Canaan is inseparable from Israel--the background of its history, the scene of its Golden Age, the stage on which its national tragedy was enacted.
Finally the Jew needs Palestine. I am well aware that there are large and fortunate sections of the Jewish race notably those of England and America-- whose own surroundings are so favorable that they have no desire to return to Palestine and who even oppose a movement to that end. But that should not obscure the obvious fact that there are other larger and less fortunate sections, like those of Russia, Rumania and Austria which have long needed and, despite impending political changes, are still likely to need, an asylum. Have their coreligionists forgotten Kishnieff, or the Rumanian persecutions of barely four years ago ?
I repeat, therefore, that the Jew needs Palestine, meaning, of course, the oppressed and persecuted Jew. And one of the best expressions of that need is the movement known as Zionism. That movement really began with the operations of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in 1860. But organized Zionism, formally inaugurated in the closing decade of the last century by the late Theodore Herzl, merely gave organized expression to Israel's age long dream of repatriation. At its first Congress in Basel in 1897 it formulated a program for "the establishment of a publicly recognized, legally secured, homeland for the Jews in Palestine."
That program has finally won the adherence of some of the most representative Jews--Israel Zangwill, Jacob H. Schiff, Adolph Lewisohn and Mr. Justice Brandeis of our Federal Supreme Court. Last spring a resolution expressing confidence that the allies would use their best efforts toward its realization was adopted by an organization representing some 2,000,000 Jews of the United States. Last month a conference of Orthodox Jews, representing widely scattered constituencies in America, assembled at New York to organize for practical work in Palestine; and about the same time a mass meeting of Jews was held in London, under the presidency of Lord Rothschild, at which resolutions were unanimously adopted thanking the government for its Palestine declaration and pledging its wholehearted support to the Zionist cause. And later in the same month (Dec. 29) it was announced that even the German Zionist Association had adopted similar resolves. The claim that the Jews as a whole do not want Palestine meets almost daily refutation.
Nor does this need rest solely upon the desire for an asylum of refuge. Says Dr. Harry Friedenwald, a leading American Zionist:
"It is only in a great re-settlement of Palestine, in the normal development of our people that it can again rise to real greatness. The lioness of the forest does not bear young in captivity, even well-fed and surrounded by comfort, and the lion of Judah has failed to bring forth prophets and great men in 2,000 years of captivity and dispersion."
So Mr. Justice Brandeis recently wrote:
"The Zionists seek to establish this home in Palestine because they are convinced that the undying longing of Jews for Palestine is a fact of deepest significance; that it is a manifestation in the struggle for existence by an ancient people which had established its right to live--a people whose three thousand years of civilization has produced a faith, culture, and individuality which enable them to contribute largely in the future, as they had in the past, to the advance of civilization; and that it is not a right merely, but a duty of the Jewish nationality to survive and develop. They believe that there only can Jewish life be fully protected from the forces of disintegration; that there alone can the Jewish spirit reach its full and natural development; and that by securing for those Jews who wish to settle in Palestine the opportunity to do so, not only those Jews but all other Jews will be benefited and that the long perplexing Jewish Problem will, at last, find solution." (4)
I have said that the Jew has already returned to Palestine in part. For that statement I need only refer to the Jewish colonies which were planted and flourished there before the war. An English writer (5) of the past year declares that
"the number of colonies has risen to about forty, with 16,000 inhabitants in all and 110,000 acres of land, and these figures do not do full justice to the importance of the colonising movement. The 15,000 Jewish agriculturists are only 12 1/2 per cent of the Jewish population in Palestine, and 2 per cent of the total population of the country; but they are the most active, intelligent element, and the only element which is rapidly increasing. * * * Under this new Jewish husbandry Palestine has begun to recover its ancient prosperity. The Jews have sunk artesian wells, built dams for water storage, fought down malaria by drainage and eucalyptus planting, and laid out many miles of roads. In 1890 an acre of irrigable land at Petach-Tikweh, the earliest colony, was worth 3.12s., in 1914 36 pounds; and the annual trade of Jaffa rose from 760,000 pounds to 2,080,000 pounds between 1904 and 1912."
Nor is this development solely on the material side. Schools were long since established in which the medium of instruction is the ancient Hebrew tongue.
"The foundation of a national university in Jerusalem is as ultimate a goal for them as the economic development of the land, and their greatest achievement has been the revival of Hebrew as the living language of the Palestine Jews." (6)
Funds for such a University were being raised years ago and included in the plan was a provision for scholarships for advanced research. (7) Indeed we might expect such an institution to occupy a place superior even to that of the University of Athens which in recent years has attracted so many classical students from foreign lands. What possibilities are here of research and discovery by Jewish scholars working on their own ground in the tempting fields of Semitic archaeology, history, philology and jurisprudence!
The aspirations of the Jew as the restorer of Canaan need not conflict with the interests which any other race or religion may have in Palestine. It is estimated (8) that the country will easily support 3,000,000 people, or more than four (and some say ten) times its present number. And that the Jew's presence has already benefited the native, Arabic speaking population we have evidence from a source which cannot be suspected of bias toward that side. In 1912 the German Vice Consul at Jaffa (Joppa) reported:
"The impetus to agriculture is benefiting the whole economic life of the country." (9)
Herbert Samuel, speaking at the mass meeting in London last month, emphasized the thought that "in any new development of Palestine there must be full recognition of Arab rights and reverent respect for the Christian and Mohammedan holy places."
As to the Christian (and in the main the Moslem) world at large, it has no desire for Palestine as a place of residence. Its longings are satisfied if the ancient land is made safe and inviting as a place of pilgrimage. The lack of that, you remember,--the inability of pilgrims to visit the Holy Land in safety--was the immediate cause of the First Crusade.
But now even the medieval pilgrimage is largely obsolete. For during the centuries which have intervened since the Crusades, Christendom has been slowly coming to realize the conception of its Founder as expressed in that illuminating conversation (10) at the Shechem well where one said:
"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain and ye say that Jerusalem is the place to worship."
And the Other replied:
"The hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father."
Our own Whittier echoes the same thought when he sees
"That all the good the old hath had, Remains to make our own time glad; Our common, daily life, divine, And every land a Palestine"
Christians will be satisfied if Palestine is made comfortable and attractive for travel and (since I have heard Professor Sayce feel bound to add) excavation. They would like its repulsive sights removed,--the noisy beggars who infest almost every scene and mar its hallowed or historic association; the horrible incongruity of Turkish soldiers guarding the Holy Sepulchre; the wailing of the wretched folk at the temple enclosure. They would have the beggars and the wailers transformed into an industrious yeomanry and the Turkish soldiers banished altogether.
And after all most of us find no great enjoyment in visiting a mere ruin. We would like to see Palestine restored as nearly as possible--its historic scenes reproduced--its ancient prosperity revived. And who is more likely to accomplish that result than the Jew? For him all this would be a labor of love. There he would find a most congenial field for his thrift, for his enterprise and industry and above all for his idealism. The Jew is best fitted to be Christendom's trustee and caretaker of Palestine !
But it is recognized that the trusteeship will need a protector at least for a time. General Murray's announcement, it will be remembered, mentioned a protectorate under Britain or France. Our own nation has been suggested. Norman Hapgood wrote long since: "The position of the Jews in all countries will be improved if America can be brought to accept a protectorate over Palestine. America is better situated to conduct diplomatic negotiations fol a Jewish Commonwealth than any other power because we are not the rivals of any other in the near East."
Doubtless the protector will be one of these three powers. But the selection should afford no occasion for rivalry or competition. It should offer no occasion for territorial expansion but only one for humanitarian service, and the sole question should be, What nation can best discharge the trust?
The deliverance of Jerusalem, then, makes possible the realization of two age long dreams--that of the Jews for repatriation and that of the crusaders for the possession of the Holy Sepulchre. And each may be realized without hindering the other, indeed each may greatly assist the other. Jewish genius devoted to the restoration of Palestine and the good faith of Christendom, acting through a leading power pledged to its protection, may together enable that ancient land once more to assume a pivotal place in the world. Certainly there could be no more effective object lesson in religious tolerance than the making of Palestine a place where Christian, Jew and Moslem may meet on common ground in peace and safety, reverently visiting the same shrines and acknowledging the same Deity, each loyal to his own ideals yet respecting those of his neighbors and considerate of their sentiments and convictions. And when that is made possible by the generous policy of Christian powers it will be a long step toward the brotherhood of man.
(1) O. C. A. Child in the New York Times.
(2) Lit. Dig., Vol. 54, p. 710 (Mch. 17, 1917).
(3) See The Nation (New York) Vol. 105, p. 690.
(4) See The Nation (New York) Vol. 105, p. 692.
(5) Turkey, A Past and a Future, The Round Table, June, 1917, 60, 61. Cf. Zionism and the Jewish Future (London, 1916) 138 et seq.
(6) Id. p. 64.
(7) The Nation (New York) Vol. 93, p. 472.
(8) Id. Vol. 105, P. 555-
(9) Turkey, A Past and a Future, The Round Table, June, 1917, p. 61
(10) John, IV, 20, 21.
THOMAS SMITH WEBB -- MASONIC RITUALIST
BY BRO. R. M. C. CONDON, MICHIGAN
IN many cases the life story of our Masonic forefathers is buried in a fog of tradition, not always trustworthy, but not so in the case of Thomas Smith Webb. Fortunately he was one of those rare men who kept a diary--it is still in possession his descendants--and from this we can learn not only the events of his own private career but many facts of wide interest concerning the Masonic Fraternity at large, which is indebted to Webb as to few others. Brother Webb, who was born in the time-hallowed city of Boston on October 30th, 1771, was the son of Samuel and Margaret Webb who had migrated from Northern England some few years previously, hoping to make their fortune in New England. As a child Webb was unusually precocious, morally and temperamentally as well as mentally; even while only three years of age his family and friends predicted great things for him, he was so winning in spirit, so bright, so talented.
At an early age he entered a public school, after which he made his way to a Latin school, from which he graduated with highest honors. From boyhood he found his chief pleasure in books, and, like many another boy book-lover, aspired to publish something of his own, and, again like most young literary enthusiasts, he first attempted poetry. Poetry is the most difficult of all literary forms but young Webb became so proficient in it that his effusions attracted the attention of a Boston editor who afterwards took the young man into a partnership which enabled him to learn the printing business. Despite the drudgery of this work he loved it, and persevered the while with his poetry, one of his songs, "Companions Assemble on this Joyful Day," coming to have a wide popularity.
From Boston he moved to Keene, New Hampshire, where he was initiated into Masonry, becoming a member of Rising Sun Lodge. Later on he moved to Albany, New York, at that time one of the principal centers of American Masonry. Here he opened a book store, one of the most regular customers of which was himself, for he had grown in his fondness for books. It was at this time, and while studying the old Preston lectures, that he saw the need for a revision of the ritual for American use. Thus it was that he came to publish in 1797, the now famous "Webb Freemason Monitor," in which he re-systematized, and often re-wrote, the entire Blue Lodge Ritual, adding some new material to it.
Needless to say, Brother Webb became one of the most influential Masons in Albany; he was elected Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge and took a prominent part in organizing a Royal Arch Chapter and an encampment of Knights Templar.
From Albany Brother Webb moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where he became a member of St. John's Lodge in 1801. So zealous in the work of Masonry, so earnest to have it grow and flourish, and so efficient in all its various forms of activities, he was soon prominent throughout the jurisdiction, so prominent that in 1813 he was elected Grand Master, and then re-elected in the following year. During this time he was successful in business, as might have been expected in one whose talents were so various and yet so symmetrical.
It is believed by some that the plan of organizing the first Grand Encampment of the United States was originated by his brain; however that may be, it is certain that he played a conspicuous part in the project. A measure of his popularity is indicated by the fact that he was elected the first Grand Commander.
From Providence Brother Webb moved to Walpole, Massachusetts, where he established a cotton factory which was one of the first in the country to employ safety devices to protect the life and limbs of employees.. In 1817 he moved this factory to Worthington, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, and put his associate Brother John Snow, in charge.
During February of the following year Brother Webb granted a dispensation to Brother Snow to form an encampment in Worthington; at first the plan was to hold meetings for six months in Columbus, but this plan was later changed, and all the meetings were held in Columbus: thus was begun the famous Mt. Vernon Commandery which recently celebrated its one hundredth anniversary with fitting ceremonies.
In 1819 Brother Webb started on a business trip to Columbus, but while in Cleveland, Ohio, making preparations to continue his journey, he was stricken down with apoplexy. This was on June 6th. He died during the evening of the same day. The body was interred in Cleveland but was later removed to Providence in November, at which time the Masonic Bodies of the nation paid a solemn tribute to his memory.
Before Philosophy can teach by Experience, the Philosophy has to be
in readiness, the Experience must be gathered and intelligibly
Philosophy is nothing but Discretion.
The greatest trust between man and man is the trust of giving
What do American Masons really believe is the proper attitude for our Fraternity to adopt in the present world crisis? How far do they appreciate how vitally Masonic principles are involved in the tremendous struggle across the seas? We have taken a little space in these columns to speak our convictions that this Fraternity of ours, so all-embracing in its American personnel, has not measured up to its opportunities because it has as yet failed to consider the problems from a national viewpoint. Optimistic to the core on the general subject of the Masonic efficiency of the future, we do not despair. But we are still waiting to discover the 1918 reincarnations of the Masonic Patriots of 1776. Where are the General Warrens, the Paul Reveres and the Benjamin Franklins of today? The historic personages who wove into the woof of this Republic the principles of Freemasonry would not remain silent in these days when those principles are attacked by the viper of Autocracy! To us it seems as if the voices of thousands of Masonic Patriots are in the air, calling on us to defend the priceless jewel of Freedom for which they gave their utmost energy!
And so, when Brother Greenfield, our esteemed contributing editor from Georgia, voices the thought which to us seems a dynamic force like the echoes which haunt Independence Hall, we wonder if others would hear them if a convention of Masons were assembled to consider Masonry's duty in wartime? Likewise there comes to us a voice from across the seas - the voice of an American soldier who sees the vision of what an American Masonic dynamo could accomplish in Europe today. It too, is an editorial. Typical of hundreds that have come to us, it perhaps best epitomizes a crying need of the hour as we see it.
Why can we not heed these clarion calls? Do we not sleep too long? Is our sleep an indefinite sleep? Or is it a form of hypnotism? Are we listening to soft voices which are false? Are our eyes blinded to all but the routine duties concerning which we debate so much? Do we know, or are we refusing to admit, that insiduous forces are at work among us which would stifle our every effort to be "just to our Government and true to our Country?" in the highest and most practical sense?
Pause and reflect, brethren. Let us TRUST ONE ANOTHER! Editor
STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN!
THESE four simple words are being placed at every railroad crossing in the United States. They are words of tremendous import. They are a warning to the wayfarer that here danger is always present and that.upon obedience to that warning may depend human life.
This same command is worthy of regard elsewhere than on the great highways of the continent. The young man enjoying the many pleasures of life should stop, take counsel with himself, look forward to where his mode of conduct is tending, and listen to the promptings of his better judgment. The man of mature age engaged in the eternal fight for financial independence, should stop, look into his own being, see if his higher nature and nobler impulses are being warped and contracted, and listen to those finer instincts that would mellow his life and make him a potent factor in every forward movement. And the man whose life's sands are running low should stop in his self-satisfied journey, look back over the road he has traveled, and listen to the voice of the soul that asks, "Have you done all your abilities and opportunities would have enabled you to do, for the benefit of mankind and the glory of God?"
As with individuals, so with Fraternities, which are made up of individuals, and as with Fraternities in general, so with the Masonic Fraternity in particular. I single it out because it is the one we are interested in, and because it is confessedly the greatest, the most philosophic, the most universal (in a territorial sense) and the most influential of all; Would it not be well if the Royal Craft would stop, look and listen?
We live in the greatest age of all centuries. We annihilate distance, and talk through space without physical connections. We create enormous waterways between oceans, defying in their construction, pestilence, earthquakes and landslides. We abolish deserts; converting them into fruitful fields and smiling gardens. We cast down the gauntlet to disease, summon science to our aid, and cure deformities that a few years ago seemed impossible of correction. We live on a high, although an exhaustive plane; but we have bettered sanitary conditions, improved modes of living; ameliorated labor annoyances, and have begun to pay some attention to our neighbors' needs and woes.
The Masonic Fraternity is in the heyday of its glory. It numbers it votaries by the million. Today it is quite the respectable thing to be a Free and Accepted Mason. The masculine world is knocking at theTyler's door, the membership is growing by leaps and bounds. All over this broad land we hear of special functions of one sort and another. The newspapers teem with notices of Communications, Conclaves, Reunions and Ceremonials. All kinds of expedients are used to catch the attention. One lodge announces a meeting on a mountain top, another in the dark recesses of a canyon. Still another holds out as an inducement that a degree will be conferred by a team of Past Masters, and so on.
Suppose we, too, stop, look and listen. Stop for a season the work of doing nothing but making more Masons; look the tendency of the drift of the Craft squarely in the face, and listen to what our reason and our love for the Order tells us what we ought to do. And then above all things let us do it.
We should stop in the mad rush for new members, and the wild desire to add to our numbers. A healthy growth is both desirable and necessary. It is needed to repair defections from death, dimit, loss of interest and other reasonable causes. But is the present growth a healthy one? The great desire of the average presiding officer is to add more to the roster than his predecessor. He has ceased to be an instructor, a leader in actual performance. His boast is the amount of "work” he has done and in time he turns over his lodge to the Senior Warden, who, by virtue of the rotation system now so largely in evidence, becomes the Master and who, as a rule, keeps up the same old grind. The result is a relaxing of that strict inquiry into fitness and character that once prevailed.
The effect of this is now too apparent. No one who thinks, and is observant, can deny the fact that the morale of the Craft is not as high as it used to be, and that it is not held in as high esteem, by the profane world as formerly.
Why is it that few of the leaders of thought in the land take an active part in the work of the Order? Masonic historians tell us, and Masonic orators are fond of repeating the statement, that Washington, and John Hancock, and Paul Revere, and Joseph Warren, and Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Clay, and many others of that type, were proud to be Masters of lodges and Grand Masters of their respective States. Today, hardly a figure of national prominence is engaged actively in Masonic work. They hold membership, it is true, but we only know it when one of them is a candidate for an office.. Then the degrees he has taken are exploited in full in his press announcements. Very often he becomes a regular attendant at the meetings until balloting day is over, when he promptly drops out of sight until the time comes for reselection. Such a member is not an asset to the Craft. More than that, any member that fails to assume his share of the responsibilities, and does nothing but pay his dues, is almost a distinct liability. He is not actuated by the proper motives, and his object in retaining his membership is generally a venial one.
We should listen to the criticisms of those outside the Temple; listen to the murmerings of the Craftsmen themselves; listen to the call for aid in combating the evils of our complex civilization; prepare to face the problems of post-war conditions.
We often speak of the wasted talents of an individual, but what of the wasted potentialities of Freemasonry? The failure to use the powers and influences for good, of nearly two million selected men, men of strong moral character, of keen business acumen, and presumably of high ideals, is a reflection on the intelligence and leadership of those who are directing the destinies of the Craft.
What can they do? Anything they win to do! I have great faith in mankind and the potency of his determined will. They can cure defects in the national moral spirit; they can elevate the "submerged tenth" of our population; they can mould public opinion; they can control and dictate the course of empire. I go further - there is not any great evil known to mankind, no matter how strongly entrenched, that could not be stamped out of existence by the intelligently directed power of the Masons of America. The liquor traffic, the white slave trade, the sweat shop, child labor - all would vanish like snow on a summer's day before the onslaught of such an army.
What stands in the way of such achievement? Principally vanity, jealousy, the question of prerogatives, of precedence. Some time ago I participated in an informal conference. There were all kinds of high sounding titles present. There were Most Worshipfuls, Right Eminents, and Very Excellents, and Most Puissant Companions. Even Inspectors General were not missing. In the absence of something else to talk about, the subject of the war came up. The argument was advanced, and eloquently supported, that some united (mark the word "united") action should be taken by the Craft to minister to the needs of our brethren with the Colors, while at Camp, in the trenches and after the war is over. What was the result of that discussion? One or two exalted brethren said their Grand Bodies had contributed to the Red Cross and the Y.M.C.A. funds and they thought they had done their duty. In other words, it was so much easier to let some one else do it. Others thought it was a question for each particular jurisdiction. This meant they were only interested in those that belonged to their own household of faith. Many sat glum and noncommittal. Finally, as usual, nothing was done, and a magnificent opportunity was lost to do something for God, for humanity, and for the brethren.
When the boys in khaki have done their duty at the front and come back to civil life, what are you going to do for them? Are you going to prepare in advance, meet them more than half way and help them to reestablish themselves, or are you going to wait until they come knocking like beggars at the doors of Masonic Relief Boards, and then salve your conscience by handing them out a dole?
There ought to be started a great National Masonic movement utilizing all Masonic activities, including the General Grand Bodies. They ought to strip their treasuries to the last cent; co-operate with the Government Industrial Vocation plan; sink petty jealousies; forget the question of precedents, prerogatives and personalities; and act as a united body of consecrated men, fired with the spirit of Masonic love, and governed by that high sense of duty, that spirit of self-abnegation that is willing to crucify itself on the altar of obligation. '
The great need of the Craft today is unity, unity of purpose, unity of method, unity of action. We also need some sort of a directing head. We now have forty-nine Grand Lodges pulling in forty-nine different ways. Suppose our Nation was run in the same fashion. How much help could we give towards winning the war ?
One of the ambitions of the Fraternity seems to be building of Temples. They are good things; and after other more pressing claims have been satisfied, it may be agreed that the dignity and grandeur of the order demand them. But I would rather stand before the final judgment bar, and proffer as my passport for admission into the Celestial Lodge, a crippled child made whole, or a maimed soldier made self-sustaining, than all the offerings of "frozen-music" that can be erected from now until the end of time.
We all have visions of the future, and I sometimes picture to myself what Masonry will be, when all its various elements are banded together in a common cause, and each indiidvual is doing his part. There is a building in India called the Taj Mahal. It is said to be the most beautiful structure in the world, but it is the tomb of a woman. The Pyramids are the most stupendous example of the builder's art ever erected, but they are the tombs of a vanished civilization. St. Peter's at Rome is the grandest religious temple now in existence, but it is the tomb of a dying hierarchy. Westminister Abbey is the pride of the Anglo Saxon race, but its glory is in its memorials of the dead.
Freemasonry in the future will not be like these. It will be a living, sentient, dominant force; a world power; one of the instruments of Almighty God, moving forward to its appointed task, catching the music of the spheres and joining in the anthem of the Universe; leading the onward march of human progress entering the lists full panoplied against the forces of evil, and fighting ever and always for the final triumph of all that makes men pure and true and noble. It will be the incarnate spirit of Brotherhood; the spirit of the Man of Galilee; the spirit of triumphant hosts of heaven as they sing their hallelujahs around the threat White Throne.
And He who sitteth as the Judge Supreme looking on the army of the Compasses and Square will smile with approbation, and from His lips will come the blessed approval: "These are my beloved children," while the glory of a constructive, character building Craft will rest like a benison on the hearts of men.
May we all work together to hasten the coming of that day.
Joseph C. Greenfield.
Since coming to France I have missed the Fraternal affiliation so prevalent in my home State and especially those splendid Masonic gatherings. While in the interior I had very little time to devote to things of that kind, and while I am not much better fixed as regards time than I was then, yet the opportunity here is pressing and should have attention.
In this vicinity is situated Base Section No. 1 for the United States troops and while numerous changes are being constantly made, yet a large number are here constantly and in this number I believe I am conservative when I estimate the number of Master Masons as being 500 at all times. I was assigned to duty here about seven weeks ago and as soon as I got my work in hand, began to investigate the situation and could find no traces of any Masonic organization. I gathered five congenial spirits into my room and we went to work on a club proposition with the expectation of other things later. An informal banquet was held at which we had an attendance of ninety-one and on last Tuesday evening we held a meeting for business at the Y.M.C.A. with over 100 present. At this meeting I learned that three other attempts had been made to start something but for one reason or another the attempt ended with the election of officers. After the debris of the former attempts had been cleared away we elected officers for Base Masonic Club No. 1, together with several committees. Since then we have rented a nice hall that we can use temporarily at least for a meeting place to transact business and furnish as a sort of club. We meet again tomorrow night and I expect to see at least two hundred present.
A telegram was sent you a short time ago asking advice as to the proper methods of going after a dispensation for the Order here where only a few members of each jurisdiction were stationed and we would be grateful, indeed, if the matter could be arranged. We have a crying need for a Masonic organization here. In the first place we miss the fellowship and naturally many of the opportunities for carrying out the responsibilities which our obligation entails. Rapid means of communication is necessary for the greatest good and this can be had only through organization. The club will help in a great measure, but more is needed. I am sorry to state that I am informed that several brothers, some of whom are wounded soldiers returned from the front, have crossed the Great Divide right here without the consolation of knowing that a brother has in charge their last messages to friends and loved ones at home, or were ever visited by a brother Mason during their stay here in the hospital. We have a sick committee now and will attend to these cases so far as possible in the future. This will be a base for troops until long after the war and it should be arranged in some way to have a working Masonic body here. I personally know of a number of officers and men who were able to get only the first degree before they left the States who are more than anxious to complete the work. It is true that some officers might change, but an emergency exists that should be met in some way. So far as I can learn there are no Masonic lodges in France with which we can affiliate.
Here is a chance for the Masons of America to do something really worth while, and I face the future with confidence that a way will be provided for the relief of the present situation here.
An Army Captain in France.
Have I knowledge? Confound it shrivels at Wisdom laid bare.
Have I forethought? How purblind, how blank to the Infinites Care!
Do I task any faculty highest, to image success?
I but open my eyes - and perfection, no more and no less,
In the kind I imagined, full-fronts me, and God is seen God
In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul and in the clod.
And thus looking within and around me, I ever renew
(With that stoop of the soul which in bending upraises it too)
The submission of man's nothing-perfect to God's all-complete,
And by each new obeisance in spirit, I climb to His feet.
- Robert Browning.
Life is not measured by the time we live. - Crabbe.
Dost thou love life ? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. - Benj. Franklin.
A small degree of wit, accompanied by good sense, is less tiresome in the long run than a great amount of wit without it. - La Rochefoucauld.
Where Liberty dwells, there is a country. - Benj. Franklin.
EDITED BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library Editor will be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to Study Clubs and Lodges, either through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish to learn something concerning any book - what is its nature, what is its value, or how it may be obtained - be free to ask him. If you have read a book which you think is worth a review write us about it; if you desire to purchase a book - any book - we will help you get it, with no charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary Consultation.
POETRY OF THE DAY
WE ARE in the midst of a renaissance of poetry; not since Browning, Tennyson, Swinburne and Wadsworth were in full song has the world been blessed with such a choir of singers as today. John Masefield, Alfred Noyes, Edwin Markham, Edwin Arlington Robinson and a few others are known on both sides of the Atlantic: alongside of these are a host of lesser lights, some of whom seem destined, it seems, to write great poetry.
For the most part these poets are content to use the old meters and the old themes; certain of them, however, have struck out on new paths. Impatient of what they believe to be the restraints of regular rhyme schemes and weary of time-worn vocabulary of previous singers they have fashioned a new style of verse and adapted to their uses such words as Tennyson would have scorned to use. Whether or not imagism, verse libre, Vorticism, Neopaganism, etc., are to win a permanent place in the future classifications of poetry remains to be seen; meanwhile all lovers of the art welcome the innovators for bringing a fresh stream of influence into a very ancient craft.
Edward J. O'Brien, himself a poet of the new schools, has recently edited an anthology of this "New Poetry" under the not very descriptive title of "The Masque of Poets." It is published by Dodd, Mead and Co., at $1.25. The half hundred poems in this volume were originally published anonymously in The Bookman, and the fact that they were well received by a public ignorant of their authorship indicates that they possess intrinsic value. Nevertheless one reads the slender anthology with disappointment. The poems are over-sophisticated too subtle, too much in the way of an appeal to an esoteric circle of satiated readers. In many cases the meaning escapes one entirely, in other cases one feels that whatever meaning was intended might better have been expressed in a less recondite manner. Edwin Arlington Robinson's Browningesque dialogue is solid. Maxwell Bodenheim contributes a few lines very much like Edgar Lee Master's "Spoon River Anthology." Amy Lowell supplies one or two pieces of distinction. Vincent O'Sullivan undertakes to infuse "magic" into his verse, after the manner of Walter de la Mare. John Gould Feltcher displays a mind at work in his verse, a mind of penetrative power; but for the most part there is not a page in this volume that a reader will long remember. There is not a poem that contains the bread of life.
The unsophisticated reader will find more to his taste in the two volumes of present day poetry edited by Mrs. Waldo Richards: "The Melody of Earth," ($1.50) and "High Tide," ($1.25), both published by Houghton Miflin and Co., contain some four or five hundred poems, all written in recent years. The "New Poetry" is well represented but the majority of the pieces are such as one has been wont to find in the old familiar 'Standard Authors."
The "Melody of Earth" is an anthology of garden and nature poems. T.A. Daly's two poems in Italian dialect are alone worth the price of the volume. "High Tide" is a collection of poems "selected chiefly because they strike the vital spark of inspiration and enthusiasm." The latter volume contains Richard Le Galliene's great poem, "To a Bud at Dawn," and also two poems by Alice Mynell, who is unquestionably one of the noblest of living poets. It also contains the following poem by James Stephens, the Irish mystic who wrote that delectable story, "The Crock of Gold." We believe these verses will strike a responsive chord in the breats of all Masons.
Because our lives are so cowardly and sly,
Because we do not dare to take or give.
Because we scowl and pass each other by
We do not live: we do not dare to live.
We dive, each man, into his secret house,
And bolt the door, and listen in affright.
Each timid man beside a timid spouse,
With timid children huddled out of sight.
Kissing in secret, fighting secretly!
We crawl and hide like vermin in a hole
Under the bravery of the sky,
We flash on meannesses of face and soul.
Let us go out and walk up the road
And quit forevermore the brick-built den
The lock and key, the hidden, shy abode,
That separates us from our fellow-men.
And by contagion of the sun we may
Catch at a spark from that primeval fire
And learn that we are better than our clay.
And equal to the peaks our desire.
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits
MASONIC SYMBOLISM IN THE FORTY-SEVENTH PROBLEM OF EUCLID
It has been stated that the Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid contains the entire symbolism of Masonry. I am unable to find even all the implements of Masonry revealed therein. Can someone explain, or what is better, submit drawings to illustrate ? O. B. S., Illinois.
By the statement that the Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid contains the entire symbolism of Masonry is meant that the symbolic lessons taught by Masonry are also taught by the symbolism of the Forty-Seventh Problem. It was used by the ancient Egyptians to measure and lay out the ground on which they were to build their temples, as we use the twenty-four-inch gauge to measure and lay out the time we are to spend on each part of the work. The very word Geometry means measurement of the earth and the Operative Mason measures his work by the twenty-four-inch gauge as the ancient Egyptians measured theirs by the principle of the Forty-Seventh Problem. By the common gavel, he breaks off the uneven surfaces which prevent the stones from fitting squarely into the building. So it teaches us as Speculative Masons to divest ourselves of all the vices which prevent us from living on the square so that we can fit as living stones into that spiritual building - the house not made with hands.
The plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly, representative of the perpendicular. The horizontal reminds us of the level, these two are at right angles to each other and represent the square. The hypothenuse of the right-angled triangle which binds the two sides together and keeps them square, represents the cement of brotherly love and affection which is spread by the trowel. These are but hints of the resemblance between the working tools and the Forty-Seventh Problem and may be carried further if you wish.
The ancient Egyptians in measuring out the ground for their temples could determine the north and south line from the stars; but the east and the west line was found by means of the Forty-Seventh Problem. On the north and south line, as ascertained by the stars, a string or cord was laid. (See diagram.) Let N S be the north and south line, A B C D the cord. On this cord they took a rod of any convenient length and laid off three lengths of the rod from A to B. four lengths from B to C, and five lengths from C to D. The cord was then fastened by pegs or pins at B and C, and then A to D were brought together at the same point as A prime D prime. A right triangle would thus be formed with sides 3, 4 and 5 with the right-triangle at B. and the east and west line of the building would be found in AB.
Anderson, in his Constitutions of 1723, page 21, says "The Forty-Seventh Problem is the foundation of all Masonry, sacred, civil and military." In his edition of 1738, page 26, he calls it "That amazing proposition which is the foundation of all Masonry of whatever materials or dimensions." The high regard in which the ancients, as well as the earliest Masons, held this proposition has doubtless lead to the claim to which you refer. Strictly speaking, it may not be true, and yet hints of the lessons taught in each of the emblems of Masonry can be found in some application of the Forty-seventh Problem. C.C.H.
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"OFTEN TRIED, NEVER DENIED, AND WILLING TO BE TRIED AGAIN"
The following question was recently brought up in one of our study meetings and the Research Committee of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 69 found themselves unable to give a satisfactory answer to it. Can you answer it for us ?
"What must be the condition of a brother to say he has been often tried, never denied, and willing to be tried again?"
- J.I.R., Louisana.
This question has a two-fold application - the literal and the symbolic. In the literal sense it means that the brother has so posted himself that he is able to prove himself to be a Mason whenever tested. He was tried when he presented himself for advancement; he was not denied when the brethren voted him proficient. No well-informed brother after trying him has ever denied that he was a Mason. Having thus been tried and accepted in the past, he feels confident of his ability to prove himself a Mason and is willing to be tried again.
In the symbolic sense, Life is a trial - a continual trial. Each of us are moral builders for eternity. The Master has never denied us as being unfit material to be worked into the spiritual temple, and if we are true Masons, endeavoring to do our part, we are not only willing, but desirous of continuing in the work, or in other words, willing to be tried again.
* * *
THE UNKNOWN LIFE OF CHRIST
Has there ever been any systematic research work relative to what transpired in the life of Jesus Christ between the time he is recorded as having been found by Joseph and Mary in the Temple "sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them and asking them questions," and his baptism by John?
The accepted belief is that this intervening time was spent by him in Galilee as a carpenter. But, so far as the writer knows, there is no positive proof that this is, or is not, a fact. Also there are other theories, including that of being a member of the "Great School," but these are apparently without authenticity.
I have oftened wondered why, if there has been no such research work, that students have not considered it a subject worthy of investigation.
This query is not prompted by any disposition to be irreverent or to create discussion, but by a real desire for information. E.P.H., Florida.
Ever since the canon of the New Testament was closed this interval of time in the life of Jesus about which you inquire has occasioned a vast deal of speculation and controversy. Some would have it (Theosophists, for example,) that Jesus spent this period in Egypt or India; others, that he lived in a circle of occulists somewhere - the so-called "Great School" - and recently George Moore, in his "Brook Kedron" disinters the old notion that Jesus was an Essene and spent those years in one of their monasteries; unfortunately these theories, one and all, like the dome seen by Coleridge in his dream, hang in the air.
Thus far not one single item of tangible evidence has been brought forward to substantiate any one of these theories. It is easy to make assertions, difficult to offer proof. On the other hand, the New Testament discloses a number of facts which give much weight to the traditional view that Jesus passed the interim in Palestine, presumably at Nazareth; how otherwise would he have become as familiar with the ideas, institutions and customs of his people, intimate with the slight details of his daily life, a turn of phrase, a touch of nature, a private gesture. His solidarity with his people implies that he had spent years among them.
You ask if any systematic research has been devoted to this. Such research as the paucity of data makes possible has been carried on, and that exhaustively, ever since the Renaissance times; those who waive the "traditional views" aside so airily would do well to familiarize themselves with the solid scholarship on which it rests. If you have not time or inclination to read many books you will find an epitome of the various arguments in the introductbry chapters of Moffat's "Introduction to the New Testament," and in "The Jesus of History," by T. R. Glover. The latter work is scholarly and intensely interesting, a book worth going twenty miles to read.
PERTINENT COMMENT ON THE JUNE ISSUE OF THE BUILDER
NAMES OF CANDIDATES IN LODGE NOTICES
While enjoying the contents of the June BUILDER, I noticed some items on which a few words from me might seem interesting.
To begin at the end, I notice a brother is condemning the practice of publishing names of candidates in lodge notices. It is possible, of course, that harm might occasionally be done a candidate in this way, but on the other hand, the safety and well being of the lodge is so much advanced thereby that in the Grand Lodge of Canada, in this Province, such publication is required by the Constitution. Then, too, although this method works Bell enough for small communities where there are say a half dozen lodges, it has been found necessary to go still further in the larger cities. Here in Toronto there are thirty-six blue lodges, and up to about five years ago there had been found cases of unscrupulous men so determined to penetrate our ranks that they applied to two lodges at once, and were sometimes initiated in one before the news of their rejection in another could get around. Or they would re-apply shortly after rejection, instead of waiting twelve months as required, and get in because our very numbers made the old system too cumbersome. Also there were other causes for Masonic scandal in the growth of our membership, which needed to be prevented.
Out of these condition arose the formation of a Central Masonic Bureau, with which at first the lodges affiliated voluntarily at their discretion. To the Secretary of this Bureau (I was Secretary for three years) all names of candidates were sent, together with the dates of their initiation or rejection. These names were card indexed and all new names were compared with those on file, and if it were found, for instance, that John Smith had previously applied to A Lodge, or had been rejected in B Lodge, this information with dates and names was at once sent to the Secretary of C Lodge so that they might know how to deal with his application.
This system worked out so well that after some four years' trial it was adopted into our constitutional machinery by our Grand Lodge, and I may add that it has saved our lodges and also our Secretaries a vast deal of labor and other trouble. Similar bureaus can be found in any town where there are two or more lodges having concurrent jurisdiction, and the system also keeps a watch for those men who try to slip in under the dual residence plan. I hope that eventually the Bureau will become provincial rather than municipal, somewhat like that obtaining in the Grand Lodge of Ireland in Antrim, when it will be about as good as we can make it.
ASSISTANCE FROM ENEMY MASONS
C.V.H. asks as to "enemy Masons having aided each other" in the present war.
One of our brethren, who went over with the ranks and returned a Lieutenant, told me this incident, which he had from one of those who benefited by it.
It occurred at the second battle of Ypres. A little group of English prisoners were being marched to the rear, when our fire became so heavy that they and their captors had to seek shelter. During this interval the "non-com." in charge of the English prisoners went through the pockets of some of them and came across one of those certificates of membership in three languages, which have been used quite extensively. It was a question whether the party could proceed further without being destroyed as a party, so the "non-com." handed back the card to its owner and told him he could go where he liked with his prisoners.
I was also told by the editor of our "Masonic Sun" that he knew a lady in this city who had been helped out of Germany, and through Holland, by a German officer because he found her wearing a Masonic charm.
THE CABLE TOW
Brother Haywood says, on page four of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin, that "before the obligation the candidate is held by compulsion," and cites the cable-tow as the symbol thereof.
I do not think this is well founded at all. I have always understood that candidates expressly stated they were in that position of their own free will and accord, and that it was unMasonic even to solicit their applications.
In more primitive times the cable-tow served as a guide wherewith to draw the man along an unknown path, and, insofar as initiation represents a new birth, the cable-tow can very properly be arranged to represent the umbilical cord and its special uses. This would apply especially to those States where the work acknowledges the particular relationship of the J. D. to the candidate during his initiation.
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A DISCUSSION OF THE DISCREPANCIES IN THE FLAG NUMBER OF THE GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE
Editor THE BUILDER:
I am returning the letter of Gilbert L. Grosvenor together with my comments on same.
It seems to me that THE BUILDER is to be congratulated on the very timely publication of the flag article. There is hardly any subject on which there is greater interest than the flag.
I have been more than anxious that there should be no error in that and I was equally more than anxious that there should be no error in my reply to the Geographical Magazine. I have carefully looked up the matter and I am fully convinced that we have made no error in any particular, but I am more fully convinced than ever that the Geographic Magazine did make a most serious error in omitting the flag of 1812. This in addition to the outright blunders of history seems to me to make it more than reasonable that the Geographic Magazine would make some corrections.
However, I am not so interested in w hat the Geographic Magazine does as I am that THE BUILDER is put absolutely right.
John W. Barry, P.G.M., Iowa.
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR OF THE GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE
Editor THE BUILDER:
I have your favor of recent date with respect to the criticisms of the Flag Number of the National Geographic Magazine by Mr. John W. Barry, published in the April number of THE BUILDER. It is not my purpose to engage in any controversy with Mr. Barry, but I am sure you will be glad to publish the answer as you published the charge, as a matter of fairness as well as of courtesy.
Mr. Barry states that the Geographic is in error in saying that the Union flag was raised first on January 2nd. Admiral Prebble investigated that matter and fixed the date as January 2nd. He cites the letter to the Philadelphia Gazette reporting the activities of the army on that day, in which it is stated that the flag "was raised on the 2nd in compliment to the United Colonies." He also cites other letters to the same effect. General Washington's Orderly Book does not say when the flag was raised.
It is asserted by Mr. Barry that there was no such thing as a Colonial standard, yet he says that the contemporaneous writings of General Schuyler and the drawing in colors of the flag of the Royal Savage showed definitely a Union flag. General Washington says in his letter to Joseph Reed that "We hoisted the Union flag in compliment to the United Colonies.”
Mr. Barry then goes on to assert that this flag was promptly abandoned, being an English flag. The record shows beyond question that he is in error in that conclusion. First there is Major Samuel Seldon's powder horn, dated March 9th, 1776, showing the ship Amaraca flying the striped flag with the British crosses. That was the date when the British were forced to agree to evacuate Boston. Again, under authority of Congress, North Carolina issued paper money dated April 2, 1776. Thereon appears a perfect representation of the Continental flag with the union crosses and the thirteen stripes. Still further, under date of May 13, 1776, a writer from New Providence to the London Ladies' Magazine, states "that the colors of the American fleet were striped under the Union with thirteen stripes." Still further yet, we find a report of the Virginia convention read to the army at Williamsburg, May 16, 1776, in which it is stated, "The Union Flag of the American States waved upon the Capitol during the whole of this ceremony."
These citations certainly prove that the Union flag was in general use before the Declaration of Independence.
That this "Union Flag" was also in general use after the Declaration of Independence is shown with equal clearness. On July 30, 1776, Captain Chapman, of H.M.S. "Shark" wrote to Vice-Admiral Young saying, "I saw a sail in the offing with colors which I was unacquainted with (being red and white striped, with a Union next the staff) found to be an American armed ship, mounting 18 guns, 6 pounders, and wears a Jack, Ensign and Pendant. I have since learned her name to be the Reprisal, Capt. Weeckes." Here we have an American naval vessel flying the Union flag after July 4th, 1776, and the records show that she sailed from America after that date. Again, sometime after July 12, 1776, Ambrose Searle, confidential secretary to Admiral Lord Howe, wrote to the Earl of Dartmouth describing the colors used by the American troops as follows: "Their colors are thirteen stripes of red and white alternately with the English Union in the corner." Again, we find the Royal Savage, as cited by Mr. Barry, flying the Union flag, yet Wyncoop (whose schooner Schuyler says she was, and the notation on the water color painting showing her flying this flag) did not take command until some time after May 2, 1776, and Arnold did not supersede him until August. The ship was run aground October 11th, 1776. Still again, under orders dated October 17, 1776, the Andrew Doria, Captain Isaiah Robinson, sailed for the Dutch island of St. Eustatius, more than three months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On November 16th, 1776, she was saluted by the Dutch Governor of the island. Great Britain protested the salute and submitted two affidavits showing that the Andrew Doria flew "the flag of the Continental Congress." Again, under date of November 19th, 1776, we find a report to the Maryland Council of Safety, from St. Eustatia, "All American vessels here now wear the Congress colors." These citations show beyond controversy that the Union flag was flown by Government vessels long after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and leave no ground whatever for the statement that the Union flag was "promptly abandoned" because it was an English flag. They also show that there was a "colonial standard," recognized as the flag of the Continental Congress. Having direct, official, sworn testimony that the official ships of the United States were flying the Union flag as late as November, 1776, testimony borne out by ship masters and civilian observers, it were a waste of time to discuss the contention that this flag was abandoned after July 4, 1776, or that Betsy Ross designed a flag that superseded the Union flag on that date. After July 4, 1776, the American Army was using the Union flag and so was the American navy.
As to the evidence upon which the Betsy Ross legend is hung a passing notice is sufficient. Aside from the hearsay evidence of her descendents, there is offered the fact that regiments were allowed money after July 4, 1776, for altering their colors, that certain Indians petitioned for a "flag of the United States" eleven days before June 14, 1777, and that Captain Montgomery is alleged to have flown "the Stars and Stripes," on the Nancy. This last allegation is based on the statement of his daughter that he received the news of the Declaration of Independence before sailing from St. Thomas and a description of the new flag, from which he promptly had one made and unfurled. Yet the records show that the Nancy was blown up off Cape May June 29th, 1776, five days before the Declaration of Independence, and that she had left St. Thomas before Betsy Ross is alleged to have designed the Stars and Stripes.
Again Mr. Barry says that General Washington was interested in having Betsy Ross make the flag, and in proof thereof cites a letter to General Putnam, written May 28th, asking him to speak to the several Colonels and hurry them to get their colors done. But how could these colors be the Betsy Ross colors, if Mrs. Ross designed the flag in June, as her descendants allege?
Again, Mr. Barry says that the Union flag was the flag of India, yet we have the statements of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams that the ideas represented in the flag were borrowed from the Dutch.
Clearly the statement that the picture of Washington Crossing the Delaware was painted by Peale was a slip of the pen. The writer of those lines has seen the original hundreds of times and knows well it was by Leutze.
With reference to the statement that the Geographic had erroneously substituted another flag for the one adopted in 1818, it needs only to be said that the arrangements of the stars was not specified by Congress. The navy always used the parallel lines of stars, and the Army finally adopted the Navy arrangement. The flag as the world knows it through the Navy must be the flag and that in 1818 had the stars in parallel rows as it has always had since. Very truly yours,
Gilbert H. Grosvenor, Director and Editor.
* * *
PAST GRAND MASTER BARRY'S REPLY TO MR.GROSVENOR'S LETTER
I thank you for the opportunity to see and comment on the letter from Gilbert H. Grosvenor, Editor of the Geographic Magazine, referring to my article as published in the April BUILDER.
Now it is clearly apparent that what he or I may say of events before our time is trustworthy only insofar as we may quote from records of the time under consideration or from later but accredited historians. The absence of authorities is the great defect in the flag article in the October, 1917, number of the Geographic Magazine and from the letter just handed me.
January 1, 1776 - True Date of Grand Union Flag
The Orderly Book of George Washington is in the Pension Division of the War Department according to last report. George Canby in his "Evolution of the American Flag ' says on page 31, that he personally copied therefrom the quotation given in my BUILDER article establishing the date of January 1, 1776, as the date of first hoisting the Grand Union Flag. My reference was: "American Archives, 4th Series, vol. IV, p. 568." Also "Avery, vol. V, p. 307." Instead of saying the above is not true, it would be more convincing to investigate - even photograph the page of the Orderly Book. True, he cites Prebble, but he is on both sides, for on page 223, 4th edition, he gives a picture of the "Grand Union" Flag with the date Jan. 1, 1776, while in the text he says Jan. 2.
George Bancroft is generally recognized as an authority on American history. In vol. IV, chapter XX, p. 322, he gives the date of the Grand Union Flag as January 1, 1776. There is, therefore, no room to doubt the correctness of THE BUILDER on this point. See also Joumal of American History vol. I, p. 15.
Mr. Grosvenor holds me in error for saying there was no Colonial flag and that many flags were in use. Yet pages 338-9 of the Flag number of the Geographic show some of the many Colonial flags in use - fully bearing out my statement. Further, previous to June 14, 1777, no flag of any kind had been established by law, though various flags were in more or less general use including the stars and stripes.
Grand Union Flag Abandoned Seven Months Before Stars and Stripes Adopted
I quoted from that eminent historian, Avery, thus: "After the Declaration of Independence the British Union was removed from the colors of the new nation." For so doing, Mr. Grosvenor takes me to task very severely - using a whole page of citations but without giving specific references. However, they prove just what was said in THE BUILDER. The last use of the Grand Union Flag was in November, 1776. No reference to any later use has ever been found though careful search has been made, yet this was nearly seven months before the formal adoption of the Stars and Stripes, June 14, 1777. Evidently Avery and THE BUILDER are right on that point.
Grand Union "A Signal of Surrender" Because Flay of India
That the Grand Union Flag was the counterpart of the flag of the East India Company is shown by Prebble, p. 221. Many of the troops in Boston had seen service in India and when Washington raised this flag Jan. 1, 1776, naturally they took it, to use the words of Washington, "as a signal of surrender." "Thus," he says, "We gave great joy to them (the Red Coats, I mean) without knowing or attending it." See Washington's letter to Reid.
Betsy Ross Made, and Washington Designed, the Stars and Stripes
Mr. Grosvenor says that it is "a waste of time to discuss the contention that Betsy Ross designed a flag." Now no one has ever contended that Betsy Ross designed the flag, but that she did make the flag - that is all. Washington is generally given credit for the design and may have been assisted by Francis Hopkinson who rendered bills to Congress for such service. His bills were not paid because he was already in government service, and further, others had been consulted, but Betsy Ross was paid for making flags about that time and continued many years at the same job and in the same little house in Philadelphia. See also Journal American History, vol. I, p. 13.
The Geographic Wrong as to Trumbull and Peale
Mr. Grosvenor is not very discriminating. He refers to the sketch on Major Samuel Sheldon's powder horn as perfectly good evidence, yet I am unable to find the name of this Major in any reference book available, though I have access to a fair reference library. On the other hand, he gives no credit to John Trumbuil, one of Washington's noted commanders, who in a painting commemorating the battle of Princeton, Jan. 3,1777, shows the Stars and Stripes in use six months before their formal adoption by Congress. How does Grosvenor treat such a witness, who actually participated in that battle? He says he left the country while Washington was before Boston nearly a year previous and was away seven years. This must be another slip of the pen for he was active in the U.S. until 1780 and later Congress provided by resolution to pay Trumbull $32,000 to paint the events he had witnessed - the four large pictures now in the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington.
Mr. Grosvenor makes only one admission in this almost "Comedy of Errors," thus: "Clearly the statement that the picture of Washington crossing the Delaware was painted by Peale was a slip of the pen. The writer of those lines has seen the original hundreds of times and knows it was by Leutze" - many thanks, but the Leutze picture is not in point. What about Peale's picture of Washington at Trenton bought by Congress because of its fidelity to fact and now hanging in a glass case in the Capitol at Washington at the head of the grand staircase, Senate Wing? Has he seen this once? It is the real thing. It shows the Stars and Stripes in use about seven months before their formal adoption by Congress June 14, 1777. Peale was one of Washington's commanders there and even Mr. Grosvenor should give him at least as much credit as he does the unknown author of a sketch on a powder horn. Neither was Trumbull in anyway related to Betsy Ross, as might be assumed from Mr. Grosvenor's statement because their graphic records tend to sustain her claims as the maker of the first "Old Glory." Mr. Grosvenor confuses "colors" with flags - two very differed things. Even now the company colors often have but little semblance to the flag. Washington's letter to Putnam was mentioned to show that Washington had the matter of flags and colors on his mind. No one conversant with the terms can misunderstand.
Mr. Grosvenor says "We have the statements of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams that the ideas represented in the flag were borrowed from the Dutch." Well, Ben and John have written much and I have read some of it. But just what are the "statements" and where may they be found? Please be a little more specific. Give book and page.
Admits Suppression of a Well Known Flag
Mr. Grosvenor justifies the suppression of the flag adopted by Congress in 1818 because the law did not specify the arrangement of the stars. The same reason would justify omitting the flag of 1895. The original flag law of June, 1777, said nothing about the arrangement of either stars or bars, because in all probability, Washington had laid before them the flag he had Betsy Ross make for him. Now if in practice the bars had come to be vertical as in some flags, the historian, in fidelity to facts, should show the flag adopted. In 1818 the flag then adopted was very different from the one now shown in the Geographic Magazine. It is true the one shown is authorized because the law did not specify the arrangement of the stars. But here again, in 1777, Congress was adopting a design actually before the House and any attempt to excuse the historian from showing just what that design really was is mere camouflage.
The records of Congress show, and so far as I can find no one claims any different, that the flag adopted had its twenty stars arranged in the form of one great star. The flag was made by Mrs. Samuel Chester Reid, according to her husband’s design as adopted by Congress April 4, 1818. The flag was ready April 13, and at once hoisted over the Capitol as shown by my quotation from James Schouler in THE BUILDER.
Further, this form of the flag was in general use for years - a fact shown by Rear Admiral George Henry Prebble whose testimony is competent because he was many times an eye witness of that flag. In his history of the flag first published in 1872, he devotes twelve pages to the flag law of 1818. Just to show the flag suppressed by the Geographic Magazine is in point of fact a serious omission from the flag story, let Prebble testify. On page 348 of 4th edition he says:
"This, the first flag of the kind put together or hoisted, was made at New York by Mrs. S.C. Reid, under the direction of her gallant husband, and the twenty stars on its union, representing as many states were arranged to form one great star.” See No. 22 in THE BUILDER. Continuing, Prebble says:
"The unions of the flags which wave over our Fortresses, and in use by the Military Department of the Government are generally if not always, so arranged. In the navy flags, the stars have always been set in parallel lines."
Now, Mr. Grosvenor, inasmuch as the Geographic Magazine purports to give the military and land flags as well as the flags of the navy, the suppression of this Reid flag actually adopted by Congress in 1818 and used so generally, as Prebble shows, can in no way be justified because of changes made by executive direction in later years. You have omitted an important flag, long the only one known to the interior of this country. You are not to blame for all these errors; they are almost inherent in such a work. But I cannot see how you can be held blameless unless you correct them, particularly this last one - the omitted flag.
John W. Barry, P.G.M., Iowa.
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