Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!
THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 9 - number 5
Why The Towner-Sterling Bill Did Not Pass
BY BRO. SIMEON D. FESS, OHIO
Brother Fess was chairman of the Committee on Education of the House of Representatives of the recent Congress, and as such had very much in hand the fortunes of the Towner-Sterling Bill which provided for a Department of Education in the Federal Government. Owing to its vital bearings on the public school system, the great majority of the two and one half million Masons in this land felt such an interest in this measure that they brought pressure on many Grand Lodges to endorse the Bill. A report of such Grand Lodge action will be found in this issue on page 143. When the Bill failed of a hearing before the House in the recent Congress such regret was felt throughout the Craft, and so many brethren inquired to know the reasons for the delay, that Brother Fess was asked to make a statement concerning the matter through these pages, a thing he does herewith, and in a manner that has the weight, more or less, of an official utterance.
Brethren who are interested to read farther on the subject are recommended to secure Brother Fess' speech on the Status of Federal Legislation on Education as delivered in the House of Representatives, June 2, 1922. Also, they will find of great value a booklet on The Towner-Sterling Bill issued by The National Education Association, 1201 Sixteenth Street, Northwest, Washington, D. C., September, 1922. The August issue of THE BUILDER, 1922, was wholly devoted to the cause of the public school system, and contained an article on the Towner-Sterling Bill by Brother Horace M. Towner, United States Representative from Iowa, and sponsor for the Bill in the House.
Brother Fess was born in Ohio, December 11, 1861. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1889, to become Professor of American History there in 1889, and head of the College of Law in 1896. In 1902 he became a lecturer in the University of Chicago, after which he was made president of Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, a school established by Horace Mann. He was elected to Congress in 1913 as Representative, and will return to the Sixty-Eighth Congress as Senator. He is the author of several books on law, history, and civics, and was at one time editor of World's Events. He is a Mason.
In his article Brother Fess refers to the fact that the Committee on Reorganization was extended to July, 1924. Brethren interested to secure a copy of the joint resolution authorizing this extension of time may obtain it of Congressmen by asking for S. J. Res. 282.
EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES is primarily a state rather than a federal function. Each state has its own system. While there is some uniformity among the states, it can be said that we have as many educational systems as there are states.
We have no such thing as a national system of education although the Federal Government has strongly favored public education as the basis of popular representative government. Our forefathers called especial attention to the importance of this. George Washington was specific in his recommendations, out of which grew both the Naval Academy of Annapolis and the Military Academy of West Point. One further recommendation he made was the establishment of a National University, for which he willed a specific sum of money but this latter project was never realized.
Our system of double sovereignty, federal and state, and our peculiar domestic institutions set these two principles in such antagonism to each other that at last the conflict produced the Civil War. The states strongly maintaining state rights vigorously opposed federal control of education, but insisted in preserving that activity as a state function.
During the Civil War period or thereabouts we entered upon Federal aid to higher education in our state institutions teaching agriculture and mechanics. This was the first step in Federal aid, but was limited to particular institutions and was not extended to secondary education.
In the 1870's an effort was made to extend Federal aid to secondary education in what is known as the Blair Educational Bill, which sought to apply Federal aid in a specified amount to the states in proportion to their illiteracy. This was successfully resisted by the State's Rights communities, especially of the South. No further effort was made until a short time ago when the Agricultural Extension Act was passed by Congress, giving Federal aid to extending the Land Grant College activity to local communities under limitations.
This was followed by the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, extending Federal aid to the states for vocational training - agriculture, industrial and home economics. It provided aid to the states in proportion to the population engaged in each to the entire population of the state. When the annual appropriation reaches the maximum, the Federal Government will make an annual appropriation of $7,000,000 - $3,000,000 for agriculture, $3,000,000 for industrial subjects, twenty per cent, of which goes to home economics, and the remaining $1,000,000 for training teachers.
During the World War we enlarged the function of the Federal Vocational Board's work by the act for rehabilitation of the disabled soldier. This has now reached the peak and will discontinue within the near future. These various acts answer the constitutional objection to federal aid. This aid was extended to cripples in industry by the Fess Industrial Aid Bill.
During and immediately following the World War, a widely concerted movement was started to extend federal aid to the public school system, instead of confining it to special lines of education as already described. The draft records displayed a shocking prevalence of physical defects among our youth, which according to best authority could have been removed by timely care in school - hence the demand for federal aid in physical education in the interest of physically sound bodies. These records also disclosed a shocking amount of adult illiteracy in several parts of the country. It was found necessary immediately after enlistment to place many draftees under the simplest elemental training before they could function as soldiers, hence the claim for federal aid to remove adult illiteracy as a matter of national defense - a Federal function. The World War also disclosed a serious lack of loyalty to American institutions, and a strong demand for a better Americanization in the interest of a higher type of citizenship, hence the demand for legislation on this subject. All these items were subjects of special and separate proposals before Congress, upon which hearings were held.
It was also noted that teaching as a profession was losing its best talent because of inadequate remuneration. Training schools for teachers were abandoned for other schools devoted to other professions and activities: Many public schools were either compelled to close or to accept immature or untrained teachers, or at least of a grade inferior to that of the best teachers which our welfare demands. Conditions were becoming acute. A movement was started to create a Department of Education, and to enhance by Federal aid the salaries of the teaching profession. The situation became the subject of consideration in both state and nation. The National Association of Teachers took a definite stand and after much consultation and research, a bill was drafted and introduced in Senate and House. This bill provided for the creation of a Department of Education, and authorized an annual appropriation of $100,000,000 for the items before mentioned, $.50,000,000 of which was to be applied to the increase of salaries of teachers throughout the states.
After exhaustive hearings the bill known as the Smith-Towner was considered and favorably reported by the House Committee on Education at the close of the 66th Congress. In spite of the strong propaganda behind it, some of which came from sources other than teachers' organizations, including many and various groups both of men and women' we failed to secure consideration in either branch of Congress.
At the opening of the 67th Congress the bill was re-introduced as the Towner-Sterling Bill, and referred to the Committee on Education of the House. At the same time the Kenyon-Fess Public Welfare bill was introduced in conformity to the pledge made by the President in the campaign of 1920. This bill provided for a Department of Public Welfare with Cabinet rank, headed by a Secretary of Public Welfare and four Assistant Secretaries, as follows: first, Assistant Secretary of Education; second, Assistant Secretary of Public Health; third, Assistant Secretary of Social Service, and fourth, Assistant Secretary of Veteran Service. At the hearings on this bill opposition was voiced by the teachers' legislative representative located here at Washington who placed in the record many protests against being "submerged" in a Welfare Department.
Congress authorized the appointment of a Committee on Re-organization of the Executive Departments as one of the earliest acts of the 67th Congress. This Committee had as a part of its function the recommendation of such new departments as it thought wise. It was deemed best by the President and by the Steering and Rules Committees of the House that while this Re-organization Committee was at work it was illogical to consider the creation of new departments before the Re-organization Committee had reported. In this the leaders in both Senate and House agreed. The chairman of the Committee on Re‑organization laid the plan before the President and in January of this year the President referred it to the Committee. Congress by resolution continued the life of this Committee until July 1st, 1924, by which time the plan will have been fully discussed and a decision reached.
The Kenyon‑Fess Bill was laid aside when it was decided to await the report on re‑organization. This plan provides for a Department of Education and Public Welfare, a compromise between the two departments. If it is accepted by Congress, we shall have taken a long step toward the goal of those interested in advancing educational interests to Federal recognition, and the way will be open for the legislation so ardently urged on Physical Education, Americanization, Adult Illiteracy, and, most likely, increased salaries of teachers. The strength back of the two proposals when united will be sufficient to insure the creation of the new department early in the next Congress, or soon after it is laid before the Congress.
There will be strong opposition to the expansion of Federal influence in education, but the importance and necessity of advancement are so apparent, and the tardiness of states is so well understood that the argument in favor of the movement will prove much stronger than that against it, and the new Department of Education and Public Welfare will doubtless become law. It does not appear that either the plan for a Department of Education or the plan for a Department of Public Welfare will receive separate and favorable action. They will either be combined or both will lose; at least so it now appears when viewed from the angle of legislation.
THE STORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF FREEMASONRY IN TEXAS
BY BRO. GEORGE W. TYLER, P. G. M., TEXAS
Brother George W. Tyler, Past Grand Master and Past Grand Chaplain, is one of the most respected and beloved of the Masons of Texas. For many years he has devoted much of his best energies to the Great Cause in that great state, and always he has had a heartfelt interest in its welfare, a thing that is very evident in the earnest paragraphs of the article printed below. It is our hope to publish such an article about every state in the nation as time goes on, and to collect them all into book form when the series is completed. Masonic History in New Mexico, by Brother Paul A. F. Walter, was published as the first of such contributions in THE BUILDER, July 1922, page 211.
It seems to us that such an attempt as this is one that challenges the attention of the best minds in our Fraternity. Few Masons - very few indeed - have an adequate conception of the part taken by Freemasonry in building up this nation. Usually Masons are content to say that many of the prominent leaders of the Revolution were Craftsmen and that Masonic lodges were centers of Americanism at a time when America was being built: this is true enough but it is so inadequate that to stop short with that is to suppose that Masonry folded its hands in 1800 and has since done nothing, an assumption that is wildly wide of the mark. From the time that a Federal Government was organized until the last state was admitted to the Union our fraternity had a part in the life of every American commonwealth. Would it not be a good thing to have competent brethren in every state make themselves responsible for setting before the Craft the complete history of Freemasonry, state by state? We believe it would be, and here recommend Brother Tyler's article as an example of what is possible in that line.
TEXAS, A FRONTIER province of Mexico, was under the dominion of Spain until 1821, when Mexico, under Augustine de Iturbide, threw off the Spanish yoke. In 1836 Texas revolted from Mexico and established an independent republic. By annexation, in 1845, she became a state in the American Union.
Happily, the early history of Freemasonry in Texas is not apocryphal. Though meager in details, its essential phases are preserved in the printed annals and literature of the Craft.
Under Spanish and Mexican rule, with Roman Catholicism as the official state religion, Texas was not a propitious soil for the propagation of Masonry even had there been a population here in those times sufficient to nourish it. There were faint efforts to plant Scottish Rite Masonry in Mexico from Spain or elsewhere during the last decade of the Spanish dominion, and likewise to introduce York Rite Masonry during the first decade of the Mexican regime, but these two groups developed into rival political parties, utilized by ambitious military chieftains, and both of them were suppressed by a national decree in 1830.
The oldest Masonic landmark in Texas is a monument (still standing) in a cemetery at Richmond, erected by Brother William Morton "in memory of Robert Gilespie, a native of Scotland, about 40 years of age who, a stranger in this land, travelled to the mansions of eternity the 7th day of November, 1825. May he rest in peace." Thus reads the crude inscription on a clay tablet, built into a column of brick and mortar, some seven or eight feet in height. Tradition tells that Brother Gilespie, in search of health, wandered to the wilderness home of Brother William Morton, who nursed and cared for him as a brother Mason till he died and then (in the winter of 1825-6) built this memorial over his lonely resting place. It was assaulted by the Mexican soldier's who passed that way in 1836, partly demolished and left about one foot out of plumb.
As early as February 11, 1828, a few Masons met at San Felipe de Austin, intending to apply to the York Grand Lodge of Mexico for a charter for the "Lodge of Union," and chose by ballot Brother Stephen F. Austin for Worshipful Master; Brother Ira Ingram for Senior Warden; and Brother H.H. League for Junior Warden. Others present were Brothers Eli Mitchell, Joseph White, G.B. Hall, and Thomas M. Duke. On account of long delay in all communications with the City of Mexico, twelve hundred miles away, and because of the distracted political conditions fast developing at the capital, followed by the anti-Masonic decree already mentioned, this enterprise came to naught. It is of interest to state here that Brother Stephen F. Austin, "the Father of Texas," was a member of Louisiana Lodge No. 109, located at St. Genevieve, Missouri, and holding a charter from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Missouri being unoccupied Masonic territory when that lodge was constituted there.
HOLLAND LODGE NO. 1, IS ORGANIZED IN 1835
The next attempt to plant Masonry in Texas was made in troublous times and the "light" was dimmed and almost obscured by the lowering clouds of war. Six brethren, known to each other as Master Masons, assembled quietly in a secluded laurel grove in the out-skirts of Brazoria one morning in March, 1835. They were Brother Anson Jones, John A. Wharton, Asa Brigham, James A. E. Phelps, Alexander Russell, and J.P. Caldwell. The relations between the Texas colonists and the Mexican authorities had already become strained and tense. The land was full of Mexican spies, suspicious of an uprising of the colonists. The priest and his minions, maintained by the Mexican government, were an all-pervading power inspired by jealous hatred of protestant Americans. Leading colonists had been secretly denounced to the government as traitors and had been singled out as victims of its despotic vengeance for daring to resent openly the petty tyranny put upon the country. Notwithstanding the menacing portents of those troublous times, there were brave spirits of the Craft who were willing to chance the danger of defying those conditions in order to gratify their yearning for the fraternal embrace of Masonry. But it was needful to exercise caution and circumspection, to avoid the ubiquitous spies and other "cowans and eavesdroppers," and this sequestered spot was therefore chosen. There they agreed, after due consideration, to establish a lodge, and to that end chose Brother Anson Jones for Worshipful Master, Brother Asa Brigham for Senior Warden, and Brother J.P. Caldwell for Junior Warden. A petition was prepared and signed by these brethren, with the addition of Brother Warren D. C. Hall and, perhaps, one or two others, and this, with the requisite fee, was forwarded to Grand Master John H. Holland, of Louisiana, in whose honour the lodge was named. Communication was slow but after a long time the dispensation came and Holland Lodge No. 36 U.D. was opened in Brazoria on December 27th, (St. John's Day) 1835.
Several meetings were held, extending into February, 1836, though the armed conflict between Mexico and the Texas colonists was becoming daily more acute. At the last meeting in Brazoria Col. James W. Fannin attended the lodge and acted as Senior Deacon. He was then on his way to his command in the West and one month later (March 27th), having been forced to surrender to superior numbers at Goliad, he and his command of over four hundred men (with a few exceptions) were, by order of Gen. Santa Anna, marched out of their prison and murderously shot down in cold blood. The Alamo, at San Antonio, had fallen on March 6th, after its baptism in the heroic blood of Travis, Bowie, Crockett, Bonham, and one hundred and seventy-eight other Texans, of whom not a man survived.
Meantime Brazoria had been abandoned by its people, the men to join General Sam Houston's little army then retreating before General Santa Anna, the women and children to seek safety in the general exodus of all Texas toward the United States border on the Sabine. A detachment of the Mexican army, under General Jose Urrea, destroyed the village of Brazoria, and the dispensation, records, jewels and paraphernalia of Holland Lodge were vengefully committed to the flames.
Pending these events the Grand Lodge of Louisiana had, in regular routine, granted a charter to this lodge and the Grand Secretary had placed it, with a letter of instruction, in the hand of Brother John M. Allen, at New Orleans, for delivery to Brother Anson Jones, the Worshipful Master. As the latter was marching on the prairie in General Houston's army between Groce's Ferry and Harrisburg, Brother Allen handed him the charter and letter which Brother Jones placed in his baggage. A few days later (April 21, 1836) the battle of San Jacinto was fought, in which Brother Jones participated gallantly. On that day General Houston surprised, routed and overwhelmed, the Mexican army of double his strength, killed several hundred of the enemy and captured nearly all the others, including General Santa Anna, then President of Mexico, in command of the army of invasion in Texas. The war was thus ended and Texas became free and independent. In the march thither and at camp during the eventful battle the charter of Holland Lodge silently reposed in the baggage of Brother Anson Jones. It was thus christened amid the din and carnage of a sanguinary conflict. Brother Jones did not reassemble his lodge at Brazoria, as the members were dispersed, but he did reopen it, under its charter, at Houston, within its territorial limits, in October, 1837, and there it stands to this day as Holland Lodge No. 1 on the roster of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
After the revolution the Grand Lodge of Louisiana chartered two other lodges in Texas. They were Milam No. 40, at Nacogdoches and McFarland, No. 41, at Sani Augustine. On the call of Holland Lodge delegates from the three lodges assembled in a sovereign Masonic Convention at Houston, then the capital Texas, on December 20, 1837. The convention met at 3 P. M., in the Senate Chamber. By election General Sam Houston, then President of the Republic of Texas, presided and Brother Anson Jones was secretary. "The Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas" was then and there organized in the usual way, over which Brother Anson Jones, later President of the Republic was installed as the first Grand Master with a full corps of officers. When annexation came the name was changed to "The Grand Lodge of Texas." It now comprises nearly one thousand lodges and about one hundred and twenty-five thousand members.
TEXAS IS A MASONIC STATE
The Lone Star of Texas, the state emblem, is the five pointed star familiar to all Master Masons throughout the world, and it could be shown, did space permit, how Masonry in its best form and in its highest ideals has been a paramount force in moulding and developing the social, moral and civic affairs of the state. Two out of three of the Presidents of the Republic of Texas, twenty-one of the twenty-seven Governors of Texas, and a very large majority of the United States Senators and Congressmen from Texas, as well as of state officers, legislators and local officials, have been Masons. Yet Masonry was not even remotely considered in the selection of these public men.
Among hundreds of corner stones laid by the Craft are those of the first and second state capitol buildings, at Austin, and nearly all of the court houses throughout the state.
The first fraternal recognition of our Grand Lodge came from the Grand Lodges of New York, Maryland, Mississippi and Hamburg (Germany) in 1840: England followed in 1842,, and Maine in 1844. In due time all English speaking jurisdictions and some others extended us recognition.
In May, 1841, the Grand Master of Texas issued to nine Master Masons a dispensation for a Lodge at Santa Fe, in the present State of New Mexico, which became Santa Fe Lodge No. 15 on our roll. The dispensation was extended by the ensuing Grand Lodge but was revoked in January, 1844. It will be remembered that until the boundary line compromise with the United States was made in the early fifties, the State of Texas claimed all the territory east of the Rio Grande river to the forty-second parallel of north latitude, including the old city of Santa Fe, and thus our Grand Lodge, in setting up a lodge there in 1841, was clearly within its rights. It is beyond question that Texas planted the first Masonry in the State of New Mexico.
In 1850 Union Lodge No. 82 opened with a Texas dispensation in the city of Panama, New Grenade, now the Republic of Panama. The lodge was subsequently chartered in 1852 but ceased to exist in 1854. It is said that it was a "good Samaritan" to many distressed brethren who were stranded there and many of whom were stricken with poverty, disease and death in the great rush to California during the "gold fever" of 1849 and subsequent years.
On June 22, 1922, on proper petition, the Grand Master of Texas issued a dispensation for Lahneek Lodge at Coblenz on the Rhine. The petitioners were all soldiers of the American Army of Occupation and its initiates were restricted to men of that service. Brother John P. Greibel, Past Master, of Independence, Missouri, under special deputation of our Grand Master, set this lodge to work on July 4, 1922, in the presence of Brother John H. Cowles, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and Past Grand Master Edward C. Day, of Montana. A charter was duly granted in this lodge on December, 1922. Their lodge room is within a stone's throw of the ruins of the ancient Castle Lahneck where the last stand is said to have been made by twelve Knights Templar of old against the villainous orders of Philip and the Pope, and there died beneath their shields in defending their innocence and their faith. From the ruins of this old castle the lodge took its name. Its functions cease, of course, with the withdrawal of our Army of Occupation.
HOW TEXAS IS RELATED TO MEXICAN MASONRY
In 1890, during the era of Mexico's greatest progress under the administration of President Porfirio Diaz, a notable step was taken to unify the Masonic interests of that Republic. The Grand Symbolic Diet of the United States of Mexico was formed with President Diaz as the (nominal) Grand Master and with Dr. Ermilo G. Canton, a scholarly and accomplished Mason, as Grand Secretary and the real executive head. Practically all preexisting lodges and Grand Lodges, local, state and national, and of all rites, were brought together in this general body, whose constitution was broad, liberal and constructive and whose leaders were the most prominent, enlightened and trusted men, native and foreign, in the Republic. Its clearly expressed purpose was to unify and strengthen the Grand Lodges of the several states until they could stand alone at which time the Grand Diet should voluntarily dissolve and retire in favour of an autonomous state Grand Lodge system like that of the United States. By the "Treaty of Monterey," negotiated in 1891, Texas recognized the Grand Diet, and many other jurisdictions did the same.
After a successful career of ten years the Grand Diet voluntarily dissolved in 1900 and Masonry in Mexico was re-committed to the respective state Grand Lodges, but, unfortunately, most of these lapsed back into the troubled sea of their former conflicts. Texas continued in fraternal relations with the Grand Lodges "Valley of Mexico," in the Federal District, and "Benito Juarez," in the State of Coahuila. From the latter we parted company in 1909 because of its attempted invasion of our territorial rights. And when the "split" came in the Grand Lodge "Valley of Mexico" in 1910, we adhered to the majority body, composed mostly of Americans residing in that country, who later changed its name to "York Grand Lodge of Mexico" for the purpose of identification, inasmuch as the seceding minority had set up a rival body with the old name, "Valley of Mexico."
Thus continued our status until 1920 when we withdrew our recognition and our then Grand Master, Brother Andrew L. Randell, at the request of our Grand Lodge, visited Mexico with a commission of able associates and in conjunction with representatives of some other Grand Lodges bordering on Mexico for the purpose of investigation and, if possible, of harmonizing their differences. Upon the advice of this commission our Grand Lodge, in 1921, recognized the Grand Lodge "Valley of Mexico" - the rival of the "York Grand Lodge" - and thus the matter now stands. The details are too numerous and involved for discussion here.
VARIOUS NOTES ABOUT TEXAS MASONRY
The Grand Lodge for several years met at the seat of state government; then it was "on wheels," meeting at different places, but finally settled down in 1860 at Houston and there remained until 1903, when it removed to Waco where its headquarters have since remained.
In 1856 a permanent constitution, prepared by Brother Peter W. Gray, was adopted, which with occasional amendments controlled the Craft until 1920, when a new and more workable one was substituted.
Our Ritual, perfected and exemplified by Brother Wm. M. Taylor, P.G.M., in 1858, has undergone but a few minor changes. It is a composite system, drawn from many other jurisdictions but based principally upon the old work of Preston and Webb. For one week each year after the close of the Grand Lodge the Committee on Work holds a school of instruction for Masters, Wardens and others, and proficient brethren, after examination, are granted certificates authorizing them to teach the "Work" in their respective localities. Nearly forty years of experience with this system has demonstrated its advantages over the Grand Lecturer and other methods of instruction, some of which had been thoroughly tried out here. Uniformity in the work throughout the jurisdiction has been attained as nearly as is humanly possible and it is beyond question that Texas has relatively more "bright" ritualists than almost any other jurisdiction.
Texas requires of candidates a belief in a Supreme Being and in the inspiration of Scripture but not in the inspiration of any particular canonical books thereof, thus opening the door to the Jew as well as to the Gentile.
Opposition to anything like a General Grand Lodge is unalterable.
No brother is allowed to use the word "Masonic" or other terminology of the Fraternity for business purposes, nor to seek business or secular preferment directly or indirectly on the faith and credit of Masonry.
We formerly adhered strictly and literally to the "perfect man" theory of physical qualification of candidates - the "finger and toe" rule - but some years ago this was greatly relaxed and Texas is now about as liberal as most of the Jurisdictions on that question.
MASONRY HAS BEEN THE PIONEER IN EDUCATION AND CIVIC DEVELOPMENT
In the early days - before the inauguration of the public free schools - nearly every important town and community had a Masonic academy institute or college promoted and supported by the local lodge and often chartered by the state. These were the foundations of our educational efforts and were later absorbed into the public school system. Everywhere in city, town, village, hamlet and grove Masonry has been the handmaid of our civilization and good men have found in the precincts of their lodges the palladium of all things best calculated to promote good morals, good citizenship and good government. Our people of today can never know how much they are indebted to the sweet but penetrating force and influence of the Fraternity in the achievement of their present progress in the affairs of communities and in the high standard of civic virtue and patriotism in the commonwealth.
TEXAS FREEMASONRY IS ACTIVE IN CHARITY
The Grand Lodge of Texas, after accumulating an endowment fund of one hundred thousand dollars established and opened at Fort Worth in 1899, the Masonic Home and School in which are nicely and comfortably housed, clothed, fed, reared, and educated the children of deceased Master Masons not otherwise provided for in life. Here they receive a full course of high school education - the same as in the best high schools of the state - and in addition each boy and girl receives a vocational training to fit and prepare him or her for earning a living after graduation. Some ten to twenty graduates go out from the school each year and all have thus far made good in the business world. The present investment represents something near three quarters of a million dollars and the attendance is over three hundred. Steps are being taken to enlarge the dormitory accommodations in order to provide for a large number of pupils now on the waiting list. This Home is a success in every way, is challenging and unifying our Masonic endeavors and is the pride and glory of the Fraternity in Texas.
In addition, the Grand Lodge maintains at the Home for Aged Masons some thirty or forty widows of Master Masons and is preparing for the normal increase that may be expected.
The Home for Aged Masons, at Arlington, established some twelve years ago by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas, cared for about one hundred and sixteen guests during the past year and is now preparing for forty more, who are in waiting. Barring the companionship of their own families (and them have none) these old people could not be more ably and happily situated. The investment value of this institution is nearly $300,000.
The Scottish Rite bodies in Texas, combining the financial resources, have just completed and opened at Austin a most complete and beautiful dormitory for the daughters Masons attending the University of Texas. Here they are maintained at actual cost and under the supervision of a corps of splendid matrons. This dormitory represents a cash investment of nearly one million dollars and provides a home now fully occupied for over three hundred young ladies during their university course. The plans of these bodies contemplate similar provision in the near future for the student sons of Masons.
Hella Temple (Shrine) at Dallas is establishing a fully equipped hospital for crippled children which will be open for the free treatment of afflicted children of Masons and others. It is to cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
The Grand Lodge of Texas participated in the organization of the Masonic Service Association of the United States and is giving a hearty support to that splendid effort to mobilize the strength and influence of the aggregated Masonic membership of our country for service in peace and war.
Texas Masonry, it is thus seen, is lined up for great things in the splendid work of providing for our unfortunate brother, his widow and orphan, and is coming nearer, year by year, the realization in practical every day life of the great lessons and lofty ideals taught by the Operative Mason's symbols the quaint and seemingly inspired old Ritual of the Craft.
HOW AMERICAN AND FRENCH MASONS FRATERNIZED
BY BRO.CHARLES F. IRWIN, OHIO
IT IS MY PURPOSE to discuss the social intercourse enjoyed by the American Masons with their French brethren. I do not intend to touch upon the academic questions of recognition or of landmarks.
Doubtless most Overseas Masons have been interrogated by brothers as to the French Masons and their hospitality. Many of us were very fortunate in forming close friendships with the French brethren. These happy ties endure. And correspondence keeps alive the recollections of days already dissolving into-the borderland of the unreal.
At the basis of the French nation is the spirit of hospitality. This is carried over into our Fraternity there, and to a very surprising degree the French Masons opened wide their doors to us.
In the early days of our stay in France we were a little skeptical as to whether or not some concealed interest was prompting these brethren to such a cordial display of welcome. Time removed this doubt. We learned the national characteristic. The French brethren really wanted to welcome us, not for any sordid purpose of gain, but because they craved our personal friendship.
I was deeply impressed with their whole-hearted trust in our genuineness. They took us on our word as Masons. Many of our American Masons failed to carry any credentials abroad, yet I have to learn of the first one who was challenged by the French Masons for proof. Their trust begot trust. We could not but open our hearts to a body of brothers who thus exemplified our great principle of Brotherly Love.
The French Masons are the intellectual power of France. Having shaken off the dead weight of ecclesiastical domination, they have produced a trained mentality which guides and holds France today. When you consider how few are their numbers as compared with the population this fact is significant.
French lodges are regarded as political hot-beds. This is inaccurate. They do admit into their meetings the discussion of political measures: but their procedure is orderly and intensely patriotic. There attitude is not partisan in the American sense. They scrutinize every proposed piece of legislation in the light of its effect on the liberty, and happiness, and welfare of their beloved native land. The average American spends his days untroubled by the menace that stalks abroad in every European nation - ecclesiastical ambition for control of governments. In France, as everywhere in Europe, constant vigilance is needed to check this menace- - a menace as deadly as Prussianism ever was.
When we were in France that country had during the war fallen as a government into the hands of churchmen. Untrammeled thought in army and government had been driven into' obscurity or completely out. Foch had replaced Joffre in the army. Clemenceau had begun to fight with his back to the wall. Since, he has been driven into private life. The French government is dominated by the church; and the Fraternity is feeling the depressing effect on French life.
Jesuitism was supposed to have been expelled from France fifteen years ago; yet in 1918, an American chaplain, a Jesuit priest of my personal acquaintance, always stayed overnight with Jesuit priests (French) when away from his post, or on a tour of duty. This he told me a number of times after his return to our post. These French Jesuit priests were evidently residing in France under false colors.
Our French brethren seemed to draw courage. hope, enthusiasm from our fellowship. Our bold, frank acknowledgement of identity with the Craft, and our display of insignia, such as rings and fobs, created an atmosphere in which their courage took new hold on them. Repeatedly in our intercourse they spoke of what this open allegiance of American Masons to the Fraternity meant to the French Craft.
Our French brethren had the same social instinct as Americans, and arranged banquets, balls, and receptions very similar to ours. At these events they prepared favors of singular beauty. I treasure the silk tri-color flag, on which clasped hands in gold together with appropriate wording reveal the warm regard existing between us. They brought their families to these social gatherings. And here we came in contact with French womanhood at its best. The grace and charm of matrons and maids brought to our brothers a breath of the very life they so keenly missed away from the home land. The Frenchmen rarely had courage to engage our American women in the dances. I presume the dissimilarity between American and French methods of dancing would account for this. Their women and girls speedily adapted themselves to the American style and were as successful as our American girls in obtaining partners.
FRENCH MASONS ARE INTERESTED IN THE UNITED STATES
The French Masons were very willing to discuss national movements with American brothers. They seemed to hold, almost to a man, the idea that the future of France, of Europe, and of the world rested on the United States. They rapidly comprehended the wonders of our land. Its vast extent constantly amazed them. To be in company with a Californian, a Louisianian, a Michigander, and a Bostonian and hear practically an identical tongue - American - from all four was recognized at its significant worth. Scarcely a nation in Europe can bring its peoples from all quarters together with one dialect. The French Masons commented on this fact and drew a very shrewd conclusion that an essential unity dominates the American people.
I discovered that French Masonry is all-pervasive. For example - I found at Napoleon's tomb and on the paintings depicting Napoleon with the French people, that Masonic emblems had been incorporated in the ensemble. In cathedral and public building alike the symbols of the Craft can be noted
We found in our French brethren a passion for truth. Boldly, gallantly, they are attacking sham, and ignorance, and superstition in existing orders, as well as delving down into the depths of nature. Unimpeded by the bonds of conventionality they are seeking "truth" and their labors are blessing their beloved land.
French Masons are overwhelmingly religious. This may sound strange to the average American Mason "fed up" on propaganda of another vintage. Yet I found on every hand a reverence for the things of the Spirit; for the moral law, for the lofty flights of Bible writers. They can be deeply moved by the real religious appeal. In thousands of their homes the Word of God holds an honored place. Prayer is recognized at its true worth: and there is a dependence on the Unseen One.
In their war with an ecclesiasticism which is and has been France's dark fate, they have had bitter experiences which have produced a repugnance for human forms and ceremonies. But flown in the soul of French Masonry is an abiding Faith. Some flay broad-minded American Masonry, not enslaved to ritualism find absolute form, will open up warm, sympathetic relations with our brethren across the seas. We shall discover in them workmen in the quarries faithfully and efficiently producing specimens of their skill, such as to entitle them to wages.
Such an attitude of friendliness will go very far to open ~ he way for an understanding between France and America, and a new era in Masonic life will be ushered in.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - JOSIAH HAYDEN DRUMMOND
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
BROTHER JOSIAH HAYDEN DRUMMOND was born in the town of Winslow, County of Kennebec, Maine, August 20, 1827. He was educated at Vassalboro Academy and Waterville College: from the latter he graduated with honor in 1846. He took up law as a profession and soon, despite his youth, won a place among the brainy men of his profession, and at the height of his powers was known as one of the leaders in legal circles. He served in the legislature of his state for several sessions, both as representative and as senator. He was Speaker of the House and also Attorney General of the state. He was so popular with the people of Maine that they were always asking him to accept new responsibilities and honors. He had the reputation of not accepting law cases of immoral or seditious nature. Oftentimes he gave his services gratuitously. He specialized in corporation cases and in life insurance law. Men of higher character may have lived but I have never met one.
Brother Drummond was descended from Revolutionary ancestry, his insignia in the Sons of the American Revolution being 6304. His ancestors Micau Blackwell and Thos. Burgess were members of Freeman's Massachusetts Regiment. He was an active member of the New England Historical Society and was one of the founders of the Maine society of the Sons of the American Revolution. It was to these patriotic organizations and to Freemasonry that he devoted most of his time and energy from his profession.
The most condensed account of Brother Drummond's Masonic career is that contributed by Brother Robert F. Gould to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, volume X, page 167, and I can do no better than to quote the entire passage:
"Our Brother was initiated, passed, and raised in Waterville Lodge No. 33, on three successive Wednesday evenings, the first ceremony of all occurring on New Year's Day, 1849. 'Whether we made suitable proficiency or not,' he remarks in later years, when criticizing the decision of a Grand Master not to shorten the time between the degrees, 'our greatest difficulty ever since in giving the work has been to avoid giving it as we then learned it.' In 1856 and 1857 he filled the chair of his Mother Lodge, and has continued a member of it to the present day. From 1858 to 1860 he served as Deputy, and from the latter year to 1863, as Grand Master, of the Grand Lodge of Maine.
"For two years he presided over the Grand Chapter and Grand Commandery, and for one year over the Grand Council, of Maine. In 1871, he was elected from the floor to the leading office in the General Grand Chapter, and in 1880 to that of the General Grand Council, of the United States. Each of these positions he retained for three years. On the establishment of a Provincial Grand Lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland, in the U. S. A., he was appointed 'Deputy,' under the illustrious Albert Pike, at whose death he succeeded to the Provincial Grand Mastership.
"The degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite were conferred upon him in 1859 and 1862. In the latter year he received the Thirty-third Degree, and was elected Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council (Northern Jurisdiction) of the United States. This compliment was repeated in 1863, and again in 1866. In the following year, on the amalgamation of the two Supreme Councils (N. J.), he was elected Grand Commander of the United Body, and reelected in 1870, 1873, and 1876, but declined further service in 1879.
"The services of our distinguished brother in these spheres of labour were indeed very arduous and protracted, yet they have been surpassed by others which he has rendered in the capacity of Chairman of the Committees on Masonic Jurisprudence and Foreign Correspondence in the various Grand Bodies of his native State. In his own Grand Lodge (succeeding the late Bro. Cyril Pearl) he has performed, since 1865, the duty of reviewing the Proceedings of other Grand Lodges, and his report thereon for 1896, embracing all events of note in the current history of sixty-six of the Masonic Powers (fifty-six of which are in North America), extends to no less than two hundred and seventy-four printed pages. A similar labour has also devolved upon him, continuously from 1866, in the case of the Grand Chapter; from 1865 to 1894 in that of the Grand Council; and for a smaller period - apparently about nine years - in connection with the Grand Commandery, of which Stephen Berry has been the Reporter since 1876. The review of Royal Arch Masonry presented by Bro. Drummond in 1895, was the one hundredth report which he had made to Grand Bodies in Maine.
"In these reports, each of which makes a volume of fair size, octave, and an addition of four must now be made to the century accomplished in 1895, questions extending over the whole range of Masonic law, usage, and polity are examined and discussed. The work performed by Past Grand Master Drummond in this field of labour has brought him a world-wide reputation. As a commentator upon the Jurisprudence of the Craft, he has no rival. His annual Reports are extensively quoted, and generally accepted as decisive on points of Masonic Law, throughout the American Continent. Yet, as the writer somewhat plaintively puts on record, and doubtless the description given of one of these reviews would equally apply to the remainder, 'It,' (the Report of 1869) 'has been written after the labours of the day of the most exacting of professions have been ended. As it has come from the pen, so it has gone to the printer. It was impossible to rewrite or even revise it."'
Brother Drummond's last appearance in Washington, D. C., was in 1891, when he unveiled a monument to Albert Pike. He said the event was one of great joy to him and that he was glad his life had been spared to take part in the dedication of the monument to that great and good Mason.
His name was celebrated-by many eulogies after his death, which occurred October 25, 1902. It was said of him that the most beautiful thing in his life was his loyalty to his family and that it was his practice on various family anniversaries to spend the entire day at home during which time he denied himself to callers and to business engagements.
His Sovereign Grand Commander said of him, after death: "We may say to the world that Brother Drummond lived a true, just, affectionate, self-faithful life, from the motive of a good man. As a citizen, a statesman, a Christian, a Freemason, and a lover of his country, he faithfully and conscientiously performed every duty incumbent upon him, and this solely because it was a duty. By his life he honored his state, his profession and his Fraternity. By it he completed for himself a monument more lasting than brass, more sublime than the regal elevation of the Pyramids, which neither the wasting shower, the unavailing north winds and the flight of seasons shall be able to demolish."
THE DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE AND WHENCE IT CAME
BY BRO. ARTHUR C. PARKER, NEW YORK
Here is the type of article that makes glad the heart of an editor. With its lack of guesswork and with its wide-sweeping learning, it may well serve as a model and an inspiration to budding students. Brother Parker has recently completed an eight hundred page work on archaeology; when it is published we shall hope to review it in THE BUILDER. For some strange reason the two-headed eagle, for all its symbolical appeal, has seldomly attracted the attention of Masonic scholars. The most able treatment of it thus far has been the chapter in The Migration of Symbols by Count Goblet d'Alviela of Belgium; Brother Parker's own article loses nothing by comparison with that chapter. Indeed, it carries the symbolism back to a far earlier time, and embodies more recent information. A student who may care to launch out upon researches of his own will find, along with the present article, that the references in the Encyclopedia Britannica, are valuable; consult the index volume under Double-headed Eagle; also see the articles on Heraldry and Hittites. For a reliable but rapid survey of what is known of the Hittites see Jastrow's chapter on the subject in Exploration in Bible Lands, by Hilprecht (1903). See also Mackey's Encyclopedia, Vol. I., page 225; and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. III, page 104.
THERE IS SCARCELY a symbol in any of the philosophical or chivalric degrees of the Scottish Rite so striking in design and import as that of the double-headed eagle.
The tau cross and serpent of the Twenty-fifth Degree, the sun of the Twenty-eighth Degree, and the cross of St. Andrew in the Twenty-ninth Degree are indeed fraught with deep meaning, both historic and esoteric, but none can claim a more romantic or significant history than that of the Thirtieth Degree, that of the Grand Elect Knight Kadosh, or Knight of the Black and White Eagle. As an emblem this eagle is the epitome of religious and symbolic history, and to trace the winding flight of the double-headed bird is to survey the whole course of civilization, from its grey dawn north of the Persian gulf to this modern World. Its flight from the plains of Sumeria marks the rise and fall of the great mother religions of the world, and it was well on its journey, by some fifteen hundred years, when Moses found a name for the God of Israel.
When our ancient brethren, the holy Crusaders, passed through Byzantium on their way to the tomb of the Saviour, the double-headed eagle which they saw embroidered in gold on heavy banners of silk, borne aloft by the Seljuk Turks, had been four thousand years on its way. To these same Crusaders this emblem was an honoured one, and though the enemy displayed it, yet they would fight to death for its possession and in triumph bear it, dripping with blood, to their encampments on the Levantine shore. It was from this Eastern Empire that the knights took this banner to adorn the courts of Charlemagne, and as a sacred relic hung it in the great cathedrals, whose architects and masons had so often been honoured by this Emperor of the West.
From whence came this two-headed eagle, and how came it to be associated with Scottish Rite Masonry? The last part of this question is easier to answer than the first, for there is direct testimony that Frederick of Prussia supplied this crest during the formative stages of the Rite, but neither Frederick nor indeed Prussia could claim the exclusive right the use or to bestow it. It is the imperial emblem of Russia, Austria, Serbia and other portions of the disrupted Holy Roman Empire, and Prussia adopted the emblem long after it had flown over Byzantium as the royal arms of the "Emperors of the East and West."
The emblem soon spread throughout all Europe, an inheritance from the knight Crusaders. In England we find it used upon knightly arms. Robert George Gentleman displayed it upon his shield, with the motto, "Truth, Honour and Courtesy." In France we find it used by Count de Montamajeur, and associated with the motto, "I shall hold myself erect and not blink." We find it upon the arms of the Duke of Modena, (1628) with the legend, "No age can destroy it." It appears upon the shield of Swabia in 1551, in Russia in 1505, and as the crest of the city of Vienna in 1461.
IT HAD MANY ANCIENT USES
Let us venture still further back into antiquity and view the double-headed eagle upon the royal arms of King Sigismund of the Roman-German empire, in 1335, upon the coinage of Malek el Salah in 1217, and upon a Moorish drachma under the, Orthogide of Kaifaacar, Edm Mahmud, of the same date. Indeed the Turkiman princes used it all through the twelfth century, but it proudly floated upon Byzantine banners as early as the year 1100 and we know not how long before.
In Germany we find the double-headed eagle used as the seal of the Count of Wurzburg in 1202; it was the coat of arms of Henricus de Rode in 1276; while Philip of Saxony bore it upon his shield in 1278. It was also the seal of the Bishop of Cologne, who no doubt adopted it from the city arms.
As the arms of towns and cities in England, this emblem appears upon the official seals of Salisbury, Perth, (Perthshire), Airedale and Lamark. In Holland and France there are also numerous instances of its use.
As the badge of royal orders we find the two-headed bird upon the emblems of the Austrian Order of the Iron Crown; in Russia upon the emblems of the Order of St. Andrew, founded by Peter the Great in 1689; in Poland upon the emblem of the Order of Military Merit, (founded May 24, 1792). As late as 1883, the King of Serbia adopted it as the emblem of the Order of the Double-Headed Eagle, commemorative of the restoration of the Serbian kingdom.
The Russian Order of St. Andrew uses the breast of the eagle upon which to display the X cross with St Andrew, crucified upon it. Each eagle head is crowned and crossed swords rest upon the crowns with a larger crown above them. The Polish Order of Military Merit has a white eagle displayed upon a Maltese cross which rests upon the breast of a double-headed eagle, each of whose heads is crowned.
But the double-headed eagle is not European in origin for its use depends upon the contact of Europe with Asia Minor, and indeed with trade or warfare with the Turks.
The Turkish name for this conspicuous emblem is HAMCA, and by this name they call it when they see it carved upon the walls of ancient castles, upon time worn coins or emblazoned upon frayed silken banners in ancient palaces.
Travellers in Asia Minor, indeed, are surprised by the frequency of the double-headed eagle sculptures upon the castles of the Seljukian Turks, and upon the more ancient monuments of the Hittites, whose civilization was at its height when the Hebrews were wild tribesmen upon the Arabian plains. Among the Hittite ruins in Cappadocia there are several of these notable ruins, an example being described by Perrot and Chipiez, who write:
"Sculpture, whereby the peculiarities which permit Pterian monuments to be classed in one distinct group, yields richer material to the student. Many are the characteristic details which distinguish it; but none, we venture to say, can vie with the double-headed eagle at Iasill Kaia, a type which we feel justified in ranging among those proper to Cappadocia, since it was unknown to Assyria, Egypt or Phoenicia. Its position is always a conspicuous one, - about a great sanctuary, the principal doorway of a palace, a castle wall, etc., rendering the suggestion that the Pterians used the symbol as a coat of arms plausible if not certain. It has been further urged that the city was symbolized by it, that the palace called by the Greeks Pteris (Pteron, wing) was the literal translation it bore with the Aborigines, that in a comprehensive sense it came to symbolize the whole district, the country of wings, i. e., numerous eagles, double-headed eagles with wings outstretched."
The great city of Pteria, as Herodotus calls this unique dwelling place, was destroyed by Croesus. The ruins and walls of this city, now known as Boghaz Keui, (meaning Valley Village or Village in the Pass) have been examined with particular interest by archaeologists, but principally by Perrot and Guillaume. At the entrance of a palace these investigators found numerous rock sculptures, mostly picturing the processions of certain royal or priestly personages. Egyptian and Assyrian art motives predominate, but pure Hittite art is shown in the sculpture of the double headed eagle, upon whose displayed wings two priestly figures stand.
At Eyuk, a similar eagle with two heads facing opposite directions clutches a large hare with either foot. J. Garstang in his notable work, The Land of the Hittites, mentions there bicephalous eagles and gives two plates illustrating the rock carvings upon which they appear.
THE REMARKABLE SCULPTURES OF BOGHAZ KEUI
In his description of the Sculptures of Boghaz Keui, Garstang gives an analysis of the procession of priests, kings and gods shown on the rock carving alluded to above. This great bas-relief is upon the sanctuary passage way of the temple of Iasily Kaya. Concerning these images Garstang writes: "The significance of the double headed eagle is unknown. But that there was a local worship associated with the eagle is indicated by the discovery at Boghaz Keui of a sculptured head of this bird in black stone, larger than natural size, and by a newly deciphered cuneiform fragment from the same site, on which mention is made .... of the house or temple of the eagle. That the cult was general within the circuit of the Halys is suggested by the great monument which now lies prone .... near Yamoola. At Eyuk, also, there is a conspicuous though partly defaced representation of a priest of the Double-Eagle on a sphynx-jam of a palace gateway, a symbolism that we read to imply that the occupant of the palace was a chief priest of the cult..... Hence, we conclude that following the images of the national deities .... there came the images of the local cult of this part of Cappadocia, namely, the twin goddesses of the Double Eagle."
Thus, in the ancient Kingdom of the Hittites, there was an actual temple devoted to the ceremonies of a priesthood dedicated to the cult of the two-headed eagle. While we may be sure that nothing in Scottish Rite Masonry is touched by direct Hittite influences, yet this emblem of the Thirty-second Degree must trace its history back to the ceremonies and beliefs of the Cappadocian eagle cult. We may with good reason conjecture that this strange bird painted or embroidered on banners was carried in many a strange rite and honoured in the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple itself.
But, let us go still further back into the ages of Asia Minor. Let us view the remains of Tello, the mound covering the site of the ancient Babylonian city of Lagash which flourished three thousand years B. C. Here M. de Sarzec, according to the great Assyriologist, M. Thureau Dangin, found the ruins of a temple and among other things in the rubbish he discovered two cylindrical seals. One of these has upon it the recitation of a King, who says:
"The waters of the Tigris fell low and the store of provender ran short in this my city." He goes on to tell that this was a visitation of the gods. He, therefore, submitted his case to the divinities of the land. He dreamed, as a result, a holy dream in which there came to him a divine man whose stature towered, (as that of a mighty god in Babylonia should) from earth to heaven and whose head was crowned with the coronet of a god surmounted by the Storm Bird, "that extended its wings over Lagash and the land thereof."
What, then, is this "storm bird," this mysterious symbol that bedecks the brow of a god, and,what does it betoken?
Our first inquiry is to ascertain who was the patron deity of Lagash. It is easily determined that it was Ningersu, who with his wife, Bau, presided over the destinies of the city, and particularly that part known as Gersu. The divine man who rescues the world from the flood is this same Ningersu, the solar deity, who is always at odds with, yet always in full harmony with, the storm god Enlil, who was the patron deity of Nippur. Now the emblem always associated with Ningersu was an eagle, generally lion headed, called Imgig. Imgig seems always given the difficult task of clutching two beasts of a kind, one in either talon. In one instance these are lions, in another long-tailed oryxes, and still in another two serpents.
Many are the inscriptions depicting the image of Imgig looking perplexed, yet stolid, as he holds fast to the beasts beneath him. A beautiful silver vase, designed as a votive offering by Entemena, Patesi of Lagash, has etched upon it a central design of four lion-headed eagles, of which two seize a lion in each talon, a third a couple of deer and a fourth a couple of ibexes. This vase with its pictured symbols dates back to the year 2850 B.C. It rests in the Louvre today as a prized specimen of Babylonian art. Jastrow figures it in his work on Religious Beliefs in Babylonia and Assyria.
But Imgig, despite his peculiarities, might escape special notice were it not for the fact that in one or two instances he appears with two heads. It is in this wise that the bird appears in an old Babylonian cylinder seal once belonging to a priest of Ningersu. Upon this seal a priest or priestess presents a naked candidate or novitiate before an altar before which sits the goddess Bau, the Ishtar of Lagash. Behind the goddess is an inscription supported upon the two heads of a bicephalous eagle, which, of course is none other than the symbol of Ningersu and his city, Lagash. This is the oldest known representation of the double-headed eagle.
THE SYMBOL AS FOUND AMONG THE CHALDEES
M. Heuzey, in his Discouvertes en Chaldee page 261, says: 'It may, I think, be presumed that the double-headed eagle, and the lion-headed eagle, and also the eagle with two heads, have the same significance when figured in front view with wings spread on each side. Unlike the griffon dragon, it is a beneficent emblem representing a protecting power. We find it in the earlier Chaldean period, but in the middle and latter part it quite disappears, although it is retained in the art of the Hittites to the region north and east of Assyria."
Ward, in his Cylinder Seals of Western Asia, tells us that from this eagle in its heraldic attitude necessitated by, its attack on the two animals, was derived the double-headed eagle, in the effort to complete the bilateral symmetry of the bird when represented with an eagle head, turned to one side like the double face of human bifrons. An examination of the lion-headed eagle facing front shows characteristics that would easily suggest two eagle heads, but this is a matter of design, rather than symbolism.
The Babylonian custom of merging gods together have some bearing on this design. The double-headed bird may represent Ningersu and Enlil, the union of the Sun god and the Storm god, or it may represent the union of Ningersu and Bau.
As an emblem of Ningersu and of Enlil (the god to whom the Tower of Babel was erected) the eagle represents the union of the two greatest gods of Mesopotamia. Indeed, in the later years of Babylonia, either of these gods might be called by the name of other, and to worship one was to pay equal tribute the other.
In later centuries, when the Hebrews had been under more or less Babylonian influence, all the characteristics of Enlil and indeed, Ningersu, were ascribed to a new and rising deity whose home was reputed to be in the land of the Kennites and upon the lofty, smoking peak of Horeb-Sinai. He manifested himself exactly as Ningersu did, by earthquakes, fiery clouds and mighty hurricanes, as for example, is described in the 29th Psalm. This god had his seat on mountain top, from whence he blessed the grazing lands and the vegetation of the Kennites. It was this God that Moses found after instruction by his father-in-law, the Midianite. Like Enlil, this god had a consort who seems to have been Yerahme'el. His other co-equals we cannot easily recognize, because the scribes have only written or allowed to remain what they desired after their theological education in Babylon during the captivity. Nevertheless, they allow many a tell-tale clue to remain, and in the original Hebrew we may still read, "And the Gods (Els or Al-him) said, 'Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.'"
But long before Moses found Yahwe and declared him the God of Isra-El (the God who Strives), and before this god absorbed all his predecessors and forbade their recognition, a similar duad had arisen among the Hittites, whose storm god Teshup was represented two gods, and whose symbol was a double-headed eagle. Thereafter no Hittite temple or palace was complete without a conspicuous carving of the doubly potent bicephalous bird.
THE ABORIGINES OF THE NILE
It was no doubt through the prevalence of this double-headed eagle among the Hittite ruins that the Turks found a reiterated motif for their own banners, emblazoning the magical Hamea, this bird of double power, upon them.
But long before the Hittite kingdom was founded, and centuries before the rise of Babylon and Assyria, and five full millenniums before the rise of the Hebrew tribes as a nation, the double-headed bird was known. Before any of the pharaohs ruled the valley of the Nile and before the pyramids had been erected, the pre-dynastic aborigines of the Nileland had carved upon trowel-like pieces of stone, a two-headed bird. These double-headed birds were prized enough to be buried with the dead, in whose tombs the archaeologist of to-day finds them as mysterious emblems of a long forgotten past. So old are these tombs containing the trowel blade with the two-headed bird upon its shoulders, that competent Egyptologists estimate an age of no less than 7,000 years before Christ.
Of interest, also is the fact that in America the double-headed eagle is found on a crest of the native priesthood. The Hida Indians today have a double-headed eagle which is displayed as a mysterious and honoured emblem, and just as this bird among the Hittites, the Babylonians and the temple worshippers of Lagash was a storm bird, so, likewise to the Hida Indians of our North West coast the double-headed eagle is their Thunderbird.
In our Christian architecture the two-headed bird has sometimes been employed, particularly as a window ornament. For example, we find it upon a church window in England, where an eagle with two heads perched upon the shoulder of Elijah symbolizes the double portion of grace with which the prophet was endowed.
Professor Albert Grundwell of Berlin, who led an archaeological expedition into central Asia, found these double-headed eagles in ancient eaves. In Vol. XXIII of The Open Court is some mention of his discoveries. He there states that to the Hindoos the bird is known as Garuda and that the particular specimen that he illustrates was found on the ceiling of a cave near Qzyl, near the city of Kutcha. Its age he cannot guess, but he intimates that the painting is very old. Like Babylonian and Hittite eagles of this class, the Garuda grasps identical animals, in this case two serpents.
The double-headed eagle, thus appears to be Asiatic and to have been originated in the lands where the greatest temples have been erected, and where religious cults have been strongest.
To recapitulate: This bird appears in Lygash under the name of Imgig, and apparently is emblematic of the union of Enlil and Ningersu; it appears among the Hittites as Teshup; it appears among the Hindoos as Garuda; it is called Hamca by the Seliuk Turks; and among the Hida Indians of America it appears as the Thunder Bird or Helinga. Among the Zuni Indians in another form it appears as a highly conventionalized design, but still as a double-headed thunder bird, the Sikyatki.
The two-headed eagle was adopted by the Turks, and by the Arabians it was known as the Roc. From the Turks it passed into use by the Crusaders, was employed as an imperial emblem by the Holy Roman Empire, adopted by the Russians, Poles, Serbians, Prussians, Austrians and Saxons. It was used as a private seal and as arms in Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, England, and Russia.
Thus has the eagle with one body, one heart and two heads, flown afar from its natal home. We may only conjecture the varied uses to which it was put, the names by which it was called and, the things or principles it typified. Of these things where there has been reasonable assurance of certainty we have written. We are certain that the emblem is one of the oldest in the world, and from its nature we are justified in believing that it symbolizes a duality of power, a blending of two names, two functions and two dominions in one body. As Enlil or as Ningersu, it stood for a union of solar and celestial forces; as a royal crest it has stood for power and dominion, and as a religious seal it stands for truth and justice.
As a Masonic symbol this device is time honoured and appropriate. It is no less the badge of the Grand Inspector and Sublime Prince than that of the Grand Elect Knight. As the symbol of the Inspector it suggests an equal contemplation of both sides of a question-and thus, judicial balance. It is seen as the fitting emblem of an elect knight in ancient religious engravings, and to the exclusion of the cross itself, it appears upon the banners of the knight and prince who behold the apparition of the virgin and child of the rosary. And, as in ancient Mesopotamia, the double eagle is here associated with the sun symbol in the form of the Chaldean Elu, which the knight and prince wear, evidently with the same ancient meaning: "The light toward which my eyes are turned."
Thus does the double-headed eagle stand today for that which it stood in ancient days, its two heads, facing the Ultimate Sun, reminding men and Masons that there is yet even "more light" for the pilgrim who travels East, and in whose heart is the motto,
"SPES MEA IN DEO EST."
PROCEEDINGS OF GRAND LODGES AND OTHER GRANI, BODIES NOW AVAILABLE
A constantly increasing appreciation of the general value of Grand Lodge Proceedings is being manifested by Masonic libraries and individual collectors. Publications of the various Grand Bodies reflect the Masonic thought and activities of the periods which they cover, and are valuable sources of information for the Masonic student desirous of tracing movements that have engaged the attention of the Craft. History; biography; jurisprudence; evolution of the ritual; Masonry and public education - these are but a few of the engaging subjects which the Masonic student will find awaiting him in the files of Proceedings.
Proceedings of Masonic bodies are of value also as contributions to national and state history. While rarely containing subject matter of political interest - the one important exception being the Proceedings of the jurisdictions which felt the force of the Anti-Masonic excitement of 1826-1840 - collectors of Americana seek for those reporting the organization and the activities of the various bodies during the early years of their existence. These contain information of much value to historians and biographers, who do not necessarily interpret the Proceedings from a Masonic standpoint only, but discern facts from other angles which have a vital bearing upon the studies they are making. It is not an uncommon thing to find old Masonic Proceedings treasured as valuable items in the collections of county or state historical societies. They are silent reminders of the romance permeating the story of this nation's founding.
The Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society has recently purchased several hundred volumes of Proceedings for redistribution to interested parties. The issues range in date from 1820 up to the current year, and represent Grand Lodges, Grand Chapters, Grand Councils and Grand Commanderies of American, Canadian and foreign jurisdictions. Many volumes of the General Grand Chapter, General Grand Council and General Grand Commandery are also available, as well the Proceedings and Bulletins of Scottish Rite Supreme Councils.
These Proceedings are offered at reasonable prices, and are sold by way of service rather than for pecuniary gain. The Society is incorporated on a non-commercial basis: it pays no dividends and returns any profits accruing from the Book Department to its treasury for further Masonic work.
Libraries and collectors are requested to submit their want lists. Prices will be quoted on volumes now available through the Society. A record will be kept of any not obtainable for the moment, as we are in correspondence with other institutions through whom missing numbers may be obtained. We shall also be glad to hear from brethren who have old Proceedings which they wish to dispose of through us.
All correspondence on this subject should be addressed to the Book Department, National Masonic Research Society, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
HOW GRAND LODGES VIEW TOWNER-STERLING BILL
REPORTED BY GRAND SECRETARIES
Early in the winter we sent a letter to all Grand Secretaries with the request that they inform us what action their Grand Lodges had taken with regard to the Towner-Sterling Bill. A compend of the replies received is given herewith in order that brethren may see how the matter stands so far as the Fraternity is concerned officially. This report should be read in conjunction with the article by Brother Senator S. D. Fess, published elsewhere in this issue. Except in a few negligible details the replies have been left in the language of the Grand Secretaries, to whom we extend our thanks for furnishing information of such worth.
ALABAMA. Endorsed by Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, and Grand Council.
CALIFORNIA. No action taken.
COLORADO. No action taken.
CONNECTICUT. No mention made of Towner-Sterling Bill at last session of Grand Lodge. I might add that personally such resolutions impress me as being puerile and futile and that a Grand Lodge had better not waste its time in considering such matters however meritorious they may be. Resolutions of this kind certainly cannot bind the individual brother and, passed as they are by a small delegation of a Grand Jurisdiction, I consider them by no means authoritative.
I am happy to state that I do not remember of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut passing any such resolutions except on one occasion years ago, when it endorsed the work of a state tuberculosis commission. While it may be said that such action did no harm it was, as I say, entirely futile. I believe in leaving the religious and political activities to the individual Masons who on an average never fail to come out on the right side.
DELAWARE. No action taken.
FLORIDA. Endorsed and recommended by the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Florida, and also by the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar.
GEORGIA. Did not commit itself.
ILLINOIS. Has never had this bill before it for consideration.
INDIANA. Has never taken any action directly in regard to this bill .
KANSAS. None of our Grand Bodies except the Grand Lodge took any action in regard to the so-called bill, and it was endorsed by our Grand Lodge last February.
I desire, however, to add a word so that you and any others interested may understand the true condition. The proposition of endorsing this bill was not presented to the Grand Lodge until more than seventy-five per cent of the members had left and Grand Lodge was about to close. None of the brethren had any information on which to discuss the matter and it was one of those things that went through in a hurry without proper consideration, and it has caused a great deal of feeling among many of our members and I fear that the question will again come up before our Grand Lodge next February. However, the answer to your question is that none of our Grand Bodies, except the Grand Lodge, has endorsed this bill.
LOUISIANA. Resolution adopted at February, 1922, session of Grand Lodge: "Be it resolved, That the Grand Lodge proclaims its support to the cause of education in general and to our free public schools in particular, and in the name of 29,506 Masons in this state that the Senators and Representatives from Louisiana to our National Congress be requested to vote and work for the Towner-Sterling Bill H. R. 7 and S. 1252, Sixty-seventh Congress.
"Be it further resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the Chairman of Committees on Education of the House and Senate, the members of the Reorganziation Committee, [see page 132 in Fess article] and the Senators and Representatives to Congress from Louisiana.”
MAINE. Grand Lodge of Maine has taken no action on Towner-Sterling Bill and it is doubtful if a resolution endorsing it would receive a passage.
MARYLAND. No action taken.
MASSACHUSETTS. I take this occasion to say that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts believes that it is un-Masonic and improper for Masonic Grand Bodies or subordinate bodies to take official action with regard to any pending legislation.
MICHIGAN. No action taken whatsoever.
MINNESOTA. This Grand Lodge has taken no action in the matter.
MISSISSIPPI. The Grand Lodge of Mississippi, F. & A. M, indorsed the Towner-Sterling Bill at its annual communication in 1921.
The Grand Commandery of Mississippi, Knights Templar, passed a resolution at its annual convocation in May, 1922, favoring this bill.
MISSOURI. In answer to your question as to the various Grand Lodges which have passed resolutions in favor of the Towner-Sterling Bill, I will say that resolutions have been passed by the Grand Lodge of Missouri, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, the Scottish Rite Bodies for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States and I am informed all Scottish Rite Bodies for the Northern Jurisdiction will be asked to pass such resolutions at their earliest meeting. Further than this, I cannot answer, as we have no way of finding out this information.
NEBRASKA. Matter has never come before the Grand Body.
NEVADA. Grand Orator and Grand Secretary commended it in address and report and speakers to lodges have urged that brethren write congressmen and senators favoring passage.
NEW HAMPSHIRE. None of our Masonic Grand Bodies in New Hampshire have taken any action on the Towner-Sterling Bill.
NEW JERSEY. No action.
NEW MEXICO. The following resolution was presented by Worshipful Brother John Milne at the 1922 Grand Lodge Proceedings: "Be it Resolved, That our Senators and Representatives in the Congress of the United States, be reminded that the Masons of New Mexico, urge the speedy passage of the Towner-Sterling Bill providing for a Department of Education."
NORTH CAROLINA. At its annual session the Grand Lodge of North Carolina adopted the following resolution: "That the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, A. F. & A. M., approves the purpose of this legislation to become active and diligent supporters of every effort to improve the mental standards of our people through the improvement of free public schools."
NEW YORK. No action with reference to the matter taken. No resolution on the subject has been presented or suggested. The Grand Master, however, in his annual message to the Lodge in May, 1922, made a very clear-cut statement in favor of the bill.
The Grand High Priest issued a somewhat similar appeal calling for the cooperation of the chapters.
A number of lodges passed resolutions commendatory of the bill although that was not expected or desired by the Grand Master, and numerous petitions were circulated by the members of the lodges in their private capacity as citizens, a plan with which the Grand Master was, I think, in thorough sympathy.
NORTH DAKOTA. Replying to your inquiry of August 28, 1922, with reference to the attitude of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota on the Towner-Sterling Bill, I beg to say that the Grand Lodge of North Dakota has been on record for some time with reference to this measure. I am enclosing herewith a copy of our Program of Masonic Service which we adopted last year and which includes endorsement of the Towner-Sterling Bill. I am enclosing also a copy of our report on Patriotic Service for this year, which goes a step further. [Copies furnished on request. Ed.]
I beg to say that the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of this Jurisdiction has also endorsed the Towner-Sterling Bill. I do not believe that the matter has ever been presented to our Grand Council or our Grand Chapter. If it had been they would have endorsed it without reservation. We are going to put on in this Jurisdiction a systematic campaign to create sentiment for this and other measures of a similar nature. Our Grand Master expects to -proclaim a "Public School Week," and we intend to make every Masonic lodge in this jurisdiction a center from which shall radiate a wholesome influence in favor of public education. We do not, as you will probably note, favor the extreme measures recommended by the Supreme Council. The prohibition of any elementary school except the public school we do not believe to be feasible or constitutional.
OKLAHOMA. At its Annual Communication in 1922 Grand Lodge re-affirmed its endorsement of the Towner-Sterling Bill made at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge at Oklahoma City in 1921.
It urged upon the members of Congress from Oklahoma that they give their cordial support to this bill, and especially that they use their influence to have same reported out of the committee so that it may be considered and voted upon in Congress.
OREGON. Resolution adopted at the 1921 Session of the Grand Lodge of Oregon: "Therefore, Be it Further Resolved, That this Grand Lodge endorses the efforts of those who seek to create a National Department of Education with a Secretary of Education in the President's Cabinet as its head, along lines set forth in the Towner-Sterling Bill, the several states to have absolute and exclusive organization, supervision and administration by the legally constituted state and local educational authorities."
PENNSYLVANIA. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania does not itself discuss, or permit its subordinate lodges to discuss or advocate, any political questions which come before United States Congress, State Legislature or City Council. Freemasonry is not for such purposes. Did you ever hear of the anti-Masonic period, what caused it, and what Thaddeus S. Stevens, the man (physically disqualified in Pennsylvania) with the club foot did ? He was also the strong advocate of free schools and won.
SOUTH CAROLINA. The following resolution was adopted by the South Carolina Grand Lodge:
"We approve and assert our belief in the free and compulsory education of the children of our nation in public primary schools, supported by public taxation, at which all children shall attend and be instructed in the English language only, without regard to race or creed, and we pledge the efforts of the membership of the Grand Lodge to promote by all lawful means the organization, extension and development to the highest degree of such schools, and to continually oppose the efforts of any and all who seek to limit, curtail, hinder or destroy the public school system of our land."
This, of course, is not exactly an endorsement of the Towner-Sterling Bill but is an open wedge for same. Some of our leading Past Grand Masters are opposed to the adoption of this bill but the matter was not brought to an issue.
At the last Convocation of our Grand Chapter the Grand High Priest favorably recommended the Smith-Towner Bill [predecessor to Towner - Sterling Bill] and it was made a Special Order, but we got into a very spirited argument over the Ritual question and the bill was lost in the shuffle.
SOUTH DAKOTA. The following resolution we: adopted by the Grand Lodge Jun' 14, 1922: "Resolved, That since the training of the youth of the land to be loyal and intelligent citizens is the most important business of our national life, and since more money is spent for education than for all other uplift activities combined, there should be a Department of our Government devoted to education and to directing the public system, and we favor and urge the passage of the Towner-Sterling Bill now before Congress."
TENNESSEE. The following was introduced and adopted at the 1921 Grand Lodge session: "Resolved: That the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, recommend that the Masters and Brethren under its jurisdiction immediately urge upon their Representatives in Congress the immediate passage of the Smith-Towner, Bill, a purely educational bill."
TEXAS. No action taken.
UTAH. No adoption touching this particular measure made. However, at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held January 18-19, 1921, Grand Lodge did adopt, practically without change, the paragraph relating to compulsory education adopted by the Supreme Council, A. & A. S. Rite at its Special Meeting held in May 1920, at Colorado Springs Colorado. I might add that the Scottish Rite Bodies through their Educational Committee have sent out to every member of the symbolic lodges in this jurisdiction an analysis of the Towner-Sterling Bill together with a letter suggesting that each Mason should endeavor to place his candidate for Congress on record with reference to this particular bill."
VIRGINIA. No action taken.
VERMONT. No action.
WEST VIRGINIA. The Grand Lodge of West Virginia has taken no action whatever, by resolution or otherwise, on the Towner-Sterling Bill. I am of the opinion that Wheeling Consistory No. 1, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, at Wheeling, West Virginia, has adopted resolutions of some kind favoring the Towner-Sterling Bill.
WISCONSIN. The Grand Lodge took no action as same did not come before the meeting.
WYOMING. Wyoming passed a resolution endorsing this bill.
CHAPTERS OF MASONIC HISTORY
BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD
EDITOR THE BUILDER
PART III - MITHRAISM: FREEMASONRY AND THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES
THE THEORY that modern Freemasonry is m some sense a direct descendant from the ancient Mysteries has held a peculiar attraction for Masonic writers this long time, and the end is not yet, for the world is rife with men who argue about the matter up and down endless pages of print. It is a most difficult subject to write about, so that the more one learns about it the less he is inclined to ventilate any opinions of his own. The subject covers so much ground and in such tangled jungles that almost any grand generalization is pretty sure to be either wrong or useless. Even Gould, who is usually one of the soundest and carefullest of generalizers, gets pretty badly mixed up on the subject.
For present purposes it has seemed to me wise to attention to one only of the Mysteries, letting it stand as a type of the rest, and I have chosen for that purpose MITHRAISM, one of the greatest and one of most interesting, as well as one possessing as many parallelisms with Freemasonry as any of the others.
I - HOW MITHRA CAME TO BE A FIRST-CLASS GOD
Way back in the beginning of things, so we may learn from the Avesta, Mithra was the young god of the sky lights that appeared just before sunrise and lingered after the sun had set. To him was attributed patronship of the virtues of truth, life-giving, and youthful strength and joy. Such qualities attracted many worshippers in whose eyes Mithra grew from more to more until finally he became a great god in his own right and almost equal to the sun god himself. "Youth will be served," even a youthful god; and Zoroastrianism, which began by giving Mithra a very subordinate place, came at last to exalt him to the right hand of the awful Ormuzd, who had rolled up within himself all the attributes of all gods whatsoever.
When the Persians conquered the Babylonians, who worshipped the stars in a most thoroughgoing manner, Mithra got himself placed at the very center of star worshipping cults, and won such strength for himself that when the Persian Empire went to pieces and everything fell into the melting pot with it, Mithra was able to hold his own identity, and emerged from the struggle at the head of a religion of his own. He was a young god full of vigour and overflowing with spirits, capable of teaching his followers the arts of victory, and such things appealed mightily to the bellicose Iranian tribesmen who never ceased to worship him in one form or another until they became so soundly converted to Mohammedanism centuries afterwards. Even then they did not abandon him altogether but after the inevitable manner of converts rebuilt him into Allah and into Mohammed, so that even today one will find pieces of Mithra scattered about here and there in what the Mohammedans call their theology.
After the collapse of the Persian Empire, Phrygia, where so many religions were manufactured at one time or another, took Mithra up and built a cult about him. They gave him his Phrygian cap which one always sees on his statues, and they incorporated in his rites the use of the dreadful "taurobolium," which was a baptism in the blood of a healthy young bull. In the course of time this gory ceremony became the very center and climax of the Mithraic ritual, and made a profound impression on the hordes of poor slaves and ignorant men who flocked into the mithrea, as the Mithraic houses of worship were called.
Mithra was never able to make his way into Greece (the same thing could be said of Egypt, where the competition among religions was very severe) but it happened that he borrowed something from Greek art. Some unknown Greek sculptor, one of the shining geniuses of his nation, made a statue of Mithra that served ever afterwards as the orthodox likeness of the god, who was depicted as a youth of overflowing vitality, his mantle thrown back, a Phrygian cap on his head, and slaying a bull. For hundreds of years this statue was to all devout Mithraists what the crucifix now is to Roman Catholics. This likeness did much to open Mithra's path toward the west, for until this his images had been hideous in the distorted and repellant manner so characteristic of Oriental religious sculpture. The Oriental people, among whom Mithra was born, were always capable of gloomy grandeur and of religious terror, but of beauty they had scarcely a touch; it remained for the Greeks to recommend Mithra to men of good taste.
After the Macedonian conquests, so it is believed, the cult of Mithra became crystallized; it got its orthodox theology, its church system, its philosophy, its dramas and rites, its picture of the universe and of the grand cataclysmic end of all things in a terrific day of judgment. Many things had been built into it. There were exciting ceremonies for the multitudes; much mysticism for the devout; a great machinery of salvation for the timid; a program of militant activity for men of valour; and a lofty ethic for the superior classes. Mithraism had a history, traditions, sacred books, and a vast momentum from the worship of millions and millions among remote and scattered tribes. Thus accoutered and equipped, the young god and his religion were prepared to enter the more complex and sophisticated world known as the Roman Empire.
II - HOW MITHRA FOUND HIS WAY TO ROME
When Mithridates Eupator - he who hated the Romans with a virulency like that of Hannibal, and who waged war on them three or four times - was utterly destroyed in 66 B.C. and his kingdom of Pontus was given over to the dogs, the scattered fragments of his armies took refuge among the outlaws and pirates of Cilicia and carried with them everywhere the rites and doctrines of Mithraism. Afterwards the soldiers of the Republic of Tarsus, which these outlaws organized, went pillaging and fighting all round the Mediterranean, and carried the cult with them everywhere. It was in this unpromising manner that Mithra made his entrance into the Roman world. The most ancient of all inscriptions is one made by a freedman of the Flavians at about this time.
In the course of time Mithra won to his service a very different and much more efficient army of missionaries. Syrian merchants went back and forth across the Roman world like shuttles in a loom, and carried the new cult with them wherever they went. Slaves and freedmen became addicts and loyal supporters. Government officials, especially those belonging to the lowlier ranks, set up altars at every opportunity. But the greatest of all the propagandists were the soldiers of the various Roman armies. Mithra, who was believed to love the sight of glittering swords and flying banners, appealed irresistibly to soldiers, and they in turn were as loyal to him as to any commander on the field. The time came when almost every Roman camp possessed its mithreum.
Mithra began down next to the ground but the time came when he gathered behind him the great ones of the earth. Antoninus Pius, father-in-law of Marcus Aurelius, erected a Mithraic temple at Ostia, seaport of the city of Rome. With the exception of Marcus Aurelius and possibly one or two others all the pagan emperors after Antaninus were devotees of the god, especially Julian, who was more or less addle-pated and willing to take up with anything to stave off the growing power of Christianity. The early Church Fathers nicknamed Julian "The Apostate"; the slur was not altogether just because the young man had never been a Christian under his skin.
Why did all these great fellows, along with the philosophers and literary men who obediently followed suit, take up the worship of a foreign god, imported from amidst the much hated Syrians, when there were so many other gods of home manufacture so close at hand? Why did they take to a religion that had been made fashionable by slaves and cutthroats? The answer is easy to discover. Mithra was peculiarly fond of rulers and of the mighty of the earth. His priests declared that the god himself stood at the right hand of emperors both on and off the throne. It was these priests who invented the good old doctrine of the divine right of kings. The more Mithra was worshipped by the masses, the more complete was the imperial control of those masses, therefore it was good business policy for the emperors to give Mithra all the assistance they could. There came a time when every Emperor was pictured by the artists with a halo about his head; that halo had originally belonged to Mithra. It represented the outstanding splendour of the young and vigorous sun. After the Roman emperors passed away the popes and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church took up the custom; they are still in the habit of showing their saints be-haloed.
Mithraism spread up and down the world with amazing rapidity. All along the coast of northern Africa and even in the recesses of the Sahara; through the Pillars of Hercules to England and up into Scotland; across the channel into Germany and the north countries; and down into the great lands along the Danube, he everywhere made his way. London was at one time a great center of his worship. The greatest number of mithrea were built in Germany. Ernest Renan once said that if ever Christianity had become smitten by a fatal malady Mithraism might very easily: have become the established and official religion of the whole Western World. Men might now be saying prayers to Mithra, and have their children baptised in bull's blood.
There is not here space to describe in what manner the cult became modified, by its successful spread across the Roman Empire. It was modified, of course, and in many ways profoundly, and it in turn modified everything with which it came into contact.
Here is a brief epitome of the evolution of this Mystery. It began at a remote time among primitive Iranian tribesmen. It picked up a body of doctrine from the Babylonian star worshippers, who created that strange thing known as astrology. It became a mystery, equipped with powerful rites, in the Asia Minor countries. It received a decent outward appearance at the hand of Greek artists and philosophers; and it finally became a world religion among the Romans. Mithraism reached its apogee in the second century; it went the way of all flesh in the fourth century; and flickered out entirely in the fifth century, except that bits of its wreckage were salvaged and used by a few new cults, such as those of the various forms of Manicheeism.
III - THE MITHRAIC THEORY OF THINGS
After overthrowing its hated rival, the early Christian Church so completely destroyed everything having to do with Mithraism that there have remained behind but few fragments to bear witness to a once victorious religion. What little is accurately known will be found all duly set down and correctly interpreted in the works of the learned Dr. Franz Cumont, whose books on the subject so aroused the ire of the present Roman Catholic Hierarchy that they placed them on the Index, and warned the faithful away from his chapters of history. Today, as in Mithra's time, superstitions and empty doctrines have a sorry time when confronted with known facts.
The pious Mithraist believed that back of the stupendous scheme of things was a great and unknowable deity, Ozmiuzd by name, and that Mithra was his son. A soul destined for its prison house of flesh left the presence of Ormuzd, descended by the gates of Cancer, passed through the spheres of the seven planets and in each of these picked up some function or faculty for use on the earth. After its term here the soul was prepared by sacraments and discipline for its re-ascent after death. Upon its return journey it underwent a great ordeal of judgment before Mithra. Leaving something behind it in each of the planetary spheres it finally passed back through the gates of Capricorn to ecstatic union with the great Source of all. Also there was an eternal hell, and those who had proved unfaithful to Mithra were sent there. Countless deons, devils and other invisible monsters raged about everywhere over the earth tempting souls, and presided over the tortures in the pit. Through it all the planets continued to exercise good or evil influence over the human being, according as his fates might chance to fall out on high, a thing imbedded in the cult from its old Babylonian days.
The life of a Mithraist was understood as a long battle in which, with Mithra's help, he did war against the principles and powers of evil. In the beginning of his life of faith he was purified by baptism, and through all his days received strength through sacraments and sacred meals. Sunday was set aside as a holy day, and the twenty-fifth of December began a season of jubilant celebration. Mithraic priests were organized in orders, and were deemed to have supernatural power to some extent or other.
It was believed that Mithra had once come to earth in order to organize the faithful into the army of Ormuzd. He did battle with the Spirit of all Evil in a cave, the Evil taking the form of a bull. Mithra overcame his adversary and then returned to his place on high as the leader of the forces of righteousness, and the judge of all the dead. All Mithraic ceremonies centered about the bull slaying episode.
The ancient Church Fathers saw so many points of resemblance between this cult and Christianity that many of them accepted the theory that Mithraism was a counterfeit religion devised by Satan to lead souls astray. Time has proved them to be wrong in this because at bottom Mithraism was as different from Christianity as night from day.
IV - IN WHAT WAY MITHRAISM WAS LIKE FREEMASONRY
Masonic writers have often professed to see many points of resemblance between Mithraism and Freemasonry. Albert Pike once declared that Freemasonry is the modern heir of the Ancient Mysteries. It is a dictum with which I have never been able to agree. There are similarities between our Fraternity and the old Mystery Cults, but most of them are of a superficial character, and have to do with externals of rite or, organization, and not with inward content. When Sir Samuel Dill described Mithraism as "a sacred Freemasonry" he used that name in a very loose sense.
Nevertheless, the resemblances are often startling. Men only were admitted to membership in the cult. "Among the hundreds of inscriptions that have come down to us, not one mentions either a priestess, a woman initiate, or even a donatress." In this the mithrea differed from the collegia, which latter, though they almost never admitted women as members, never hesitated to accept help or money from them. Membership in Mithraism was as democratic as it is with us, perhaps more so; slaves were freely admitted and often held positions of trust, as also did the freedmen of whom there were such multitudes in the latter centuries of the empire.
Membership was usually divided into seven grades, each of which had its own appropriate symbolical ceremonies. Initiation was the crowning experience of every worshipper. He was attired symbolically, took vows, passed through many baptisms, and in the higher grades ate sacred meals with his fellows. The great event of the initiate's experiences was the taurobolium, already described. It was deemed very efficacious, and was supposed to unite the worshipper with Mithra himself. A dramatic representation of a dying and a rising again was at the head of all these ceremonies. A tablet showing in bas relief Mithra's killing of the bull stood at the end of every mithreum.
This, mithreum, as the meeting place, or lodge, was called, was usually cavern shaped, to represent the cave in which the god had his struggle. There were benches or shelves along the side, and on these side lines the members sat. Each mithreum had its own officers, its president, trustees, standing committees, treasurer, and so forth, and there were higher degrees granting special privileges to the few. Charity and Relief were universally practised and one Mithraist hailed another as "brother." The Mithraic "lodge" was kept small, and new lodges were developed as a result of "swarming off" when membership grew too large.
Manicheeism, as I have already said, sprang fr the ashes of Mithraism, and St. Augustine, who did so much to give shape to the Roman Catholic church and theology was for many years an ardent Manichee, an through him many traces of the old Persian creed found their way into Christianity. Out of Manicheeism, or out of what was finally left of it, came Paulicianism, and out of Paulicianism came many strong medieval cults - the Patari, the Waldenses, the Hugenots, and countless other such developments. Through these various channels echoes of the old Mithraism persisted over Europe, and it may very well be, as has often been alleged, that there are faint traces of the ancient cult to be found here and there in our own ceremonies or symbolisms. Such theories are necessarily vague and hard to prove, and anyway the thing is not of sufficient importance to argue about. If we have three or four symbols that originated in the worship of Mithra, so much the better for Mithra!
After all is said and done the Ancient Mysteries were among the finest things developed in the Roman world. They stood for equality in a savagely aristocratic and class-riddled society; they offered centers of refuge to the poor and the despised among a people little given to charity and who didn't believe a man should love his neighbour; and in a large historical way they left behind them methods of human organization, ideals and principles and hopes which yet remain in the world for our use and profit. It a man wishes to do so, he may say that what Freemasonry is among us, the Ancient Mysteries were to the people of the Roman world, but it would be a difficult thing for any man to establish the fact that Freemasonry has directly descended from those great cults.
[Note: Kipling, who has never wearied of handling themes concerned with Freemasonry, often writes of Mithraism. See in especial his Puck of Pook's Hill, page 173 of the 1911 edition, for the stirring Song to Mithras.]
WORKS CONSULTED IN PREPARING THIS ARTICLE
The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, Vol. II, Waite. The Book of Acts, Expositor's Bible. Mystery Religions and the New Testament, Sheldon. Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, Sir Samuel Dill. The Works of Franz Cumont. Le Culte de Mithra, Gasquet. On Isis and Osiris, Plutarch. Life of Pompey, Plutarch. Annals, Tacitus. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. Mythrasliturgie, Dielitch. De Corona, Tertullion. History of France, Vol. V, Vol. VI, Vol. VII, Duruy. Neoplatonism, Bigg. Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire, Sir Samuel Dill. Menippus, Lucian. Thebaid, Statius. See bibliography in Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VIII, p. 752. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. III, p. 109; Vol. IV, p. 32; Vol. XIII, p. 90. The History of Freemasonry, Vol. I, Gould.
Mackey's Encyclopedia-(Revised Edition):
Allah, 46, Babylon, 89. Egyptian Mysteries, 232-233. Egyptian Priests, Initiations of the, 234. Gnostics, 300-301. Legend, 433. Manichaeans, 462. Mithras, Mysteries of, 485-487. Mohammed, 488. Mysteries, Ancient, 497-500. Mystery, 500. Myth, 501. Myth, Historical, 501. Mythical History, 501. Mythology, 501. Myth, Philosophical, 501. Ormuzd, 539. Persia, 558 Pike, Albert, 563. Roman Colleges of Artificers, 630-634.
Vol. 1, 1915. - Symbolism, The Hiramic Legend, and the Master's Word, p. 285; Symbolism in Mythology, p. 296.
Vol. II, 1916. - Masonry and the Mysteries, p. 19; The Mysteries of Mithra, p. 94; The Dionysiacs, p. 220; The Mithra Again, p. 254; The Ritual of Ancient Egypt, p. 285; The Dionysiaes, p. 287.
Vol. III, 1917. - The Secret Key, p. 158; Mithraism, p. 252; Vol. IV, 1918. - The Ancient Mysteries, p. 223.
Vol. V, 1919. - The Ancient Mysteries Again, p. 25; The Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites, pp. 143, 172; The Mystery of Masonry, p. 189; The Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites, pp. 218, 240.
Vol. VI, 1920. - A Bird's-Eye View of Masonic History, p. 236.
Vol. VII, 1921. - Whence Came Freemasonry, p. 90; Books on the Mysteries of Isis, Mithras and Eleusis, p. 205.
Vol. VIII, 1922. - A Mediating Theory, p. 318; Christianity and the Mystery Religions, p. 322.
"WHAT CAME YE HERE TO DO?"
MASONIC periodical recently took up the cause of one of the modern healing cults, and was exhibited before the United States Public Health Service to prove that the Masonic Fraternity is opposed to vaccination. This departure from the ancient landmarks by an otherwise esteemed contemporary is not as singular as it may appear. Another Masonic periodical is almost completely given over to fighting Roman Catholicism. A third champions the Ku Klux Klan. A fourth preaches a sectarian religion. A fifth advocates trades unionism. And so forth and so on.
Except in a very few instances all Masonic periodicals are privately owned and quite unofficial so that they express no opinions other than such as their owners or editors may privately hold. A Grand Body alone has power to give official expression to Masonic opinion, and then only for such subordinate bodies as may come within its jurisdiction and on such questions as its landmarks or constitution may prescribe: any other expression of opinion or policy is wholly private, and carries only such weight as the influence of the individuals concerned may contribute to it. All the periodicals in the world together could not render Freemasonry’s verdict on any subject, except in a rough and unofficial way. They might advocate free trade, or war with Great Britain, or Zionism, or prohibition, or Socialism, or any other of ten thousand things with an absolutely unanimous voice but that would not commit the Masonic institution to any of these things. It would everywhere clear the air of most of misunderstandings if this fact were better understood.
Freemasonry is an institution capable of wielding an immeasurable influence in the world. It is natural that many brethren should covet the use of that influence for their own favorite reforms. In their zeal for the betterment of the world it appears to them that the Fraternity is standing still or merely marking time: they demand that Freemasonry give an account of itself in the arena of reform.
One sympathizes with these brethren in their eagerness to see conditions improved. But alas! the task of straightening out the world is endless. There are countless things to be done, and there are countless; worthy reformers trying to do them. If our Craft its to lend its aid to one, why not to all? If not to all who will select the few'? If we admit the right of one brother to harness Freemasonry to his own project, why not grant the same right to every other brother who demands it?
For us Masons the question comes back to the familiar "What came ye here to do?" To answer that question is not as difficult as might at first appear. The work of Masonry in the world is already defined for it by its own history, its ritual, its philosophy, its constitutions, and its landmarks. It cannot cease to be itself in order to become something else.
Will it not be disastrous to introduce controversies into the life of our lodges, especially if they are of a political or religious nature? Long ago our Masonic forefathers learned a bitter lesson in that connection. What need is there to learn that lesson over again? If bigotry, passion and prejudice are turned loose, who can foretell what direction they will take? It sometimes happens that a man who sets fire to his neighbor's fields has his own burned over before the file dies down.
* * *
BRIGHTENING UP THE SECOND DEGREE
The Second Degree does not receive anything like the attention accorded to the First or to the Third, especially the latter. It is a fact that challenges examination. The candidate himself does not often seem so much impressed by it, the side lines-are seldomly so well filled, and the brethren in the chairs do not always appear to put into its exemplification the earnestness which they devote to the others.
There are reasons for this. One of several that might be named is the fact that few lodges are properly equipped to render the Second Degree as it deserves, especially so far as symbolical paraphernalia is concerned, which is sometimes of a kind as causes one to bluish, it is so dilapidated. This is in itself all the more unfortunate in view of the fact that the equipment required is so very simple that a lodge unable to purchase the same ready made might very easily have the items manufactured by local members.
Also it is to be confessed that in many jurisdictions the Second Degree is not the equal of its sister Degrees for flair and dramatic color. The Middle Chamber lectures are often long and tedious, and such other parts as should most stir the mind are mutilated or misinterpreted and made unintelligible. THE BUILDER is conservative as regards the Ritual, and it looks with suspicion upon most attempts to tamper with it, but it frankly agrees with those who believe that certain portions of the Second Degree might very well be reconstructed, especially those that deal with architecture and the five senses.
But after all, and over and above this, the largest cause of the slack working of the Degree is the general misunderstanding of its meaning and purpose. As Brother Roscoe Pound pointed out in a lecture on Preston published in one of the first issues of this journal, the Fellow Craft portion of the work is very largely the production of William Preston, whose plan was to make the lodge a kind of school. There were no public schools in the England of his period so that the Craft suffered, as did other public institutions, from the illiteracy of its members, and Preston undertook to remedy this unfortunate condition by composing lectures that would offer the candidate the essentials of a liberal education. The Second Degree is the embodiment of this purpose. It is the rite of education. That character lies all over it.
For this reason the Degree deserves an amount of attention and of loving care that it has never received. If there is anything that Freemasonry stands for it is LIGHT. If it has any mission it is to see that all of the children in the land receive a schooling. If it has any enemies it is such forces as, for one cause or another, would cripple or hamper or prevent the public sources of enlightenment. If only all Masons could see that this is the message of the Second Degree and if the brethren who occupy the chairs could discover in it the symbolical representation of all this, any possible indifference, half-heartedness or carelessness would instantly vanish.
* * *
"IN WHICH ALL GOOD MEN AGREE"
William Penn once expressed the fervent hope that in the life that is to come death would remove from us all masks, differences, and illusions so that we men might find ourselves of one religion, and live in one faith. It may be that the universe does not have on its trestle board any consummation so devoutly to be wished; for reasons unknown to us it may be better that we travel several paths. Be that as it may, there is a sense in which it can be said that Penn's hope is already realized. There is a religion that embraces all the creeds and spans all the churches. It is that religion in which all good men agree. It is not something they have devised or invented, but something they have found out, as scientists discover a natural law. Perhaps it would be better to say that ! it has found them out.
Consider the Golden Rule. It is the most precious thing within the entire orbit of Christian morality; it is the high water mark of human ethics. "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." If all men everywhere could live by such a rule, if the spirit of it could suffuse their lives, there would be no more quarrels or war or bitterness between peoples; the sun would look down upon a happy race.
Is it an illusion? Is it as unsubstantial as a rainbow in the clouds? Not so. It is a law of human life. and as inviolable as any law of physics. The great and wise in almost every land have at some time or another come upon it, and found it as benign as it is true. The Buddhists have a saying like this: "One should seek for others the happiness one desires for himself." Is not that beautifully put? It can be matched by a saying current among the Roman Stoics: "The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves." Centuries before the Stoics the wise men of Greece had discerned the truth: "Do not that to a neighbor which you would take ill from him." The Chinese sages have it in another fashion, but it means the same thing: "What you would not wish done to yourself, do not unto others."
The Persians have had it in a more laconic form: "De as you would be done by." And here is a Hindu saying: "The true rule of life is to guard and do the things of others as one would do to his own."
MASONRY IS A PART OF "THE DIVINE MYSTERY"
THE DIVINE MYSTERY, by Allen Upward, published by Houghton Mifflin and Company, 16 East 40th Street, New York.
ALLEN UPWARD sprang into fame with his The New Word, a volume that won the Nobel Prize and much admiration beside, for it was a rare combination of erudition and vitality. Upward traced the word "ideal" through several languages, and through the arts, sciences, philosophies, and theologies until at last he ran it to cover in a brand new philosophy of his own which was so refreshing that scores of readers found it as delightful as it was impossible.
The Divine Mystery, published by Houghton Mifflin and Company in 1915, is not so filled with surprises, nor does it move in so untrammeled a field, but it is a larger book: and it is one that Freemasons will find peculiarly interesting, not only because it has something to say about the Craft itself, but also because it deals with matters that lie closely adjacent to our mysteries, and in many cases are introductory thereto. Those who are initiated in such matters will immediately recognize the book's purpose and position by the very fetching sub-title: "A Reading of the History of Christianity Down to the Time of Christ."
Instead of attempting a catalog of the volume's contents, I shall serve the reader better by three longish extracts. They can stand as samples of the whole, and will at the same time suggest new ideas to the Masonic student.
It is interesting to observe that Mr. Upward's hint as to the origin of the Legend of the Third Degree is not altogether unknown to Masonic scholars. George William Speth held to a like theory and very ably propounded the same in a little volume called Ancient Builders' Rites. Also, a Mason will be interested to know that Brother Dudley Wright assisted Mr. Upward in various and sundry manners by his erudition, his knowledge of the publishing business, and his never failing good natured kindliness.
"Of old the assurance of everlasting life was imparted to men in Mysteries, wherein the things unseen were set forth in parable, or drama, under types and symbols. So the Christian Fathers interpreted the sacred history of Israel as a Divine Mystery, played out by the Creator upon the stage of the Holy Land, and intended to educate mankind for a fuller revelation to come.
“To the thoughtful mind all history is sacred, and the whole world is a holy land in which man walks as in a garden planted by the hand of his Creator. Mystery encompasses his steps on every side; a divine voice breathes in the rustling of the trees at eventide and in the songs of birds at sunrise; he reads the nightly scripture of the stars, and his heart accompanies the solemn chorus of the sea. There is a universe within him as without; the network of his frame is a battle ground wherein unseen and uncalculated forces meet end struggle for the mastery; his very thoughts are not his own, but the reincarnations of ancestral spirits, or else the angels of heavenly and hellish powers. So, moving from deep unto deep, he plays his part in some degree like a somnambulist plays in a miracle play of which he feels himself to be the hero, yet cannot altogether seize the plot, nor tell what are the true surroundings of his little stage, nor guess what may await him when he shall pass behind the scenes ….. (Page 14.)
"Magic is but a name for the first groping efforts of man to learn the nature of the world in which he lived, and turn his knowledge into power. To the first wanderers of the wild all science was occult, all art miraculous, and every craft a mystery. The first flint arrowhead was chipped to music; the shaft was winged with prayers. The spear-handle of the Pacific islander is carved with magic symbols; the musket of the Black Moor is still hung with sacred shells. With what tremendous incantations did the half-naked Prometheus of the foreworld guard the gift of fire; what mystic vigils did the first vestal virgins keep about the sacred coals! The smith toiled out of sight to forge his runic sword; the masons taught the secrets of their craft with oaths and hidden rites. Every new art gave birth to a new religion. The sword was worshipped by the Scythian tribes of old; and in the twentieth century, in a land where steel was never yet made, beside the river of the Blacks, I swore the witnesses in my Court upon a bayonet ….. (Page 34.)
"A development from idolatry is the consecration of a building by means of a human victim. The first temple was a tomb, and in architecture as in other arts religion led the way. The virtue of the ghost extended from the grave stone to pervade the sacred fabric, and in imitation a single victim buried under the foundation gave magical strength to a whole building or to the whole circuit of a city wall. The custom can hardly be said to have died out yet among the savages and there are many traces of it in our midst. The most remarkable is the ceremony of admission to the Degree of Master Mason. The original meaning of their Ritual has been lost by modern Freemasons, the liturgy now used by them being a medieval allegory, but an anthropologist can hardly fail to see that the candidate who goes through a pantomime of death, burial and resurrection, is personating the ancient foundation victim. We may even see in the extreme jealousy with which uneducated members of the Society guard their Mystery a souvenir of days when the practice of human sacrifice had fallen into discredit, and the craft which still kept it up has some reason to be afraid of eavesdroppers.
"To trace a Mystery to its barbaric seed is not to discredit the spiritual interpretations that have since been found in it: on the contrary, I hope this whole work will convince the reader that it is to refresh them. Of old the chosen victim of the Mason was often his own child as in the ease of him who laid the foundation of Jericho in Abiram his first-born, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest, Segub. In the masonic Mystery we seem to catch a hint of a time when the Architect himself laid down his life to guard the building he had reared. The Masons of the spirit do so still when, separating themselves for the sake of their art from friends and family and the common joys of mankind, they breathe their life into their creation, and die that it may live. The Freemasons teach well if they teach us that nothing is well built that is not built with Life" ….. (Page 56.)
* * *
"THE VISITANT" APPEARS IN BOOK FORM
THE VISITANT, by H.L. Haywood, Editor of THE BUILDER; in art form, paper covers, and envelope for mailing. Fifty cents. Order from National Masonic Research Society.
In November, 1922, Ye Editor put his bashfulness into his pocket and caused to be published in THE BUILDER a series of poems under the title of The Visitant. Brother Harold Marshall, of Boston, an idealist, philanthropist, and publisher, asked and received permission to issue the collection in book form. The outcome was a rare little gem of the printer's art which is offered to those who may care for such things, and in such wise as to pay nobody any profits. The poems themselves have been by some indulgent friends likened to The Gitanjali of Tagore, but that is to do injustice to the great Bengalese, for these pieces were composed without any reference whatever to his beautiful pages. The Visitant poems are an expression in vers libre form of a mood of ecstasy and wonder in the language of religion.
* * *
THE CLASSIC OF OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS
THE BOOK OF JOB, by Morris Jastrow, Jr., Ph.D., LL.D. Published by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, Pa.
According to the suffrages of a large majority of competent Biblical critics the Book of Job is, from a literary point of view, the classic of the Old Testament. In the originality of its language, in the sublimity of its range of thought, and in the universality of its am peal it has ever held with ease a secure place among world books such as Homer's Iliad, Dante's Divine Comedy, and Shakespeare. But unlike most works of its class Job has been an exceedingly difficult book to read, even for scholars, and that because of its antiquity, its involved structure and the corruption of its text. No other great work more cries out for intelligent interpretation and thorough translation. The Book of Job, by Morris Jastrow, is an attempt, and a very successful attempt, to make Job available to those of us who cannot boast of much Hebrew erudition.
Professor Jastrow made his mark first of all in the field of Babylonian and Assyrian research as those will recall who have read his very learned but quite fascinating work called The Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria. His first essay in the field of Hebrew research was a study, most learned and complete, of the book known as Eccelesiastes, in a work entitled The Gentle Cynic. Because of its wise and gentle spirit, and its power to throw so much light on obscure pages, that essay has made its way everywhere. The Book of Job is a well qualified successor, and it is promised that Professor Jastrow will soon issue a further study in the same vein and along the same lines on the Song of Songs, which, because of its very puzzling contents, may well be described as the mystery book of the Bible.
In The Book of Job Professor Jastrow has brought within the compass of 369 pages almost everything that anybody needs to know about the great poem. Part I consists of a series of forty chapters in which is told the history of the book itself, which explains the structure and assembles various theories of interpretation. PART II consists of a new and quite original translation accompanied by foot-notes after the fashion of the familiar Biblical commentaries. In this translation Professor Jastrow has aimed at a literal rendering of the text so as to make the meaning clear to a modern reader; those who care more for literary style are referred to the Authorized Version, than which nothing can ever be more beautiful.
The modern conception of authorship was unknown to antiquity; indeed, in our sense of the word, there were no authors then. A great theme came into existence as a tradition and passed to its literary form through countless repetitions at the hands of story tellers. The work was no man's possession, therefore anybody felt at liberty to manipulate it for himself and in fashion with the spirit of his own time and place, so that nearly all books (this applies especially to the ancient Hebrews) were the products of many anonymous minds working through long periods of time. In this wise it often happened that many inconsistencies crept into a work, and in some cases the whole work was recast in order to meet the requirements of orthodox schools of thought.
The Book of Job came into existence in that manner. At the center of it lay the original nucleus, which was a very bold religious idea: about this nucleus gradually assembled, as by some process of natural growth, a mass of relevant material: the work was Liven its final form by a group of redactors who reshaped it to teach the same lessons as their official religious doctrines. Professor Jastrow has laid bare all this evolution and editing, and made accessible to us the original plan of the story.
There is nothing in Job of peculiar interest to Freemasons, nevertheless it is a part of one of the Great Lights, and is consequently a living portion of the Craft's own traditions. It is not for that reason only that a Freemason will care to read Professor Jastrow's work: he will find that so thorough a study in Hebrew antiquity will throw a flood of light on the people who built Solomon's Temple, and who developer! the traditions that mean so much to us.
* * *
THE LITTLE BOOKS OF THE ROSEMARY PRESS
The good and sapient Andrew Lang of fragrant memory, author of learned books and an orthodox member in good standing of the Oman Khayyam Club of America, once uttered the prayer that he might have for his own "a house full of books and a garden of flowers." This wise and pious wish was in keeping with the eternal fitness of things. Good books in the house and a garden of flowers - these are what all rich souls will long for. Flowers and books go together, or ought; there should be something knowing in a flower, there should be something shy and scented in a book.
I don't know why I have written down these indisputable sentiments in this place, unless it be that they were suggested by the sight and feel of the little books which Brother Charles D. Burrage, a Past Grand High Priest of Massachusetts, sent to ye scribe, the series of which have been named, appropriately enough, Rosemary Brochures. Brother Burrage's son Robert set up a little printing press of his own, and set his father a good example, which is what a wise son will always do. The "Rosemary Press" was the outcome, and some fifteen or so brochures have been printed.
Of the various titles one is of peculiar interest to members of the Craft. Masonic Anecdotes from Id Records is a compilation of interesting bits of Masonic lore, dedicated to Edwin Sanford Crandon, consecrated to the memory of Edward Palmer Hatch, and issued for the use of the members of the Capitular Rite of Massachusetts. Among the deeds and tales recorded in celebration of the Masonic Spirit is a little gem of sincere eloquence, which may here serve by way of example. It is a paragraph from a speech made by Brother Alex. W. Dockerty, when Grand Master of Missouri, in honor of Freemasonry.
"She is that imperial Institution which carries lessons of true manhood, devotion to women, loyalty to truth into every hamlet within our borders; She is that permanent Institution whose example has actually called into being almost every other benevolent order which exists today; She is that imperishable Institution which takes by the hand the Brother who has fallen in the battle of life, that kindly raises him to his feet again, that gently brushes from his brow the dust of defeat, and encourages him to go forth again to the conflict with renewed strength and a firmer determination to accomplish something in life; that noble Institution, which, in the silent watches, unobserved carries joy and gladness to the lonely and desolate of earth; that immovable Institution, which, by her tenets and cordial virtues, draws, unbidden, to her sanctum sanctorum the high, the low, the rich, the poor, numbers them all alike, her own plighted sons and workmen; that imperious Institution, which, by her sublime principles, unswerving faith and noble deeds, challenges the admiration of all men."
Bibliophiles of high and low degree, well read in the golden writings of Saint Omar Khayyam, and who know to speak the secret name of Allah, will want to have in their own "house full of books" the Rosemary Brochures. Let them write their wishes to Brother Charles Dana Burrage, 85 Ames Building, Boston! Mass.
* * *
A DAIRY RELIGION
THE TODAS, by W.H.R. Rivers. Published by MacMillan & Co., New York, 1906.
Here is a book to please the soul of an ethnologist. Its 750 pages comprise a rigorously scientific account of a quaint and unknown people, whose customs and rites show us in their simplest forms the beginnings of societies and religions. There are thirty chapters in the volume: seventy-six illustrations; glossaries; indexes; genealogical tables; and every other kind of formulated information a student may wish for. It would be an excellent volume to study along with Lowie's Primitive Society, already reviewed in this department. Other books have been written about the Todas: An Account of the Primitive Tribes and Monuments of the Nilagiris, by W. J. Breeks; A Phrenologist Among the Todas, by W. E. Marshall; and A Description of a Singular Aboriginal Race, by H. Harkness; but this is the most complete and the best.
The Todas are a people of about 700 souls living among the Nilgiri hills on a plateau in Southern India: they are an exclusively pastoral people and live in a very simple but rigidly organized society. They depend almost entirely upon the milk, flesh and hides of buffaloes, hence the all-important role played by that animal in their daily lives. The people as a whole are organized into two main divisions, and these in turn are sub-divided into clans, and other still smaller groups. They live in tiny villages scattered among the hills, and their poor little huts and dairies look like old-fashioned bee-hives laid on their sides. A few buffaloes, a dairy, a buffalo-pen, and a handful of brown people - such is a village.
The Todas worship an indefinite number of gods, spirits, etc., among which two deities hold a supreme place. Of these On is a male deity and presides over the world of the dead and is believed to have created the people: the other is a female deity, Teitirzi, who once - so it is taught - lived among the Todas, at which time she gave them the rites and ceremonies they now practice.
The dairy is at the center of the Toda world; about it has grown up an (comparatively) elaborate religion, with a ritual, priesthood, and all else that belongs to such. Mr. Rivers has given a condensed account of this strange faith in an article he has contributed to Hasting's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Volume XII, just published, page 354:
"The ritual of the Toda religion is concerned almost exclusively with the buffaloes and the treatment of their milk. The dairies are the temples; the dairymen are the priests; and various incidents in the lives of the buffaloes, such as their movements from one grazing ground to another, the first milking, and the giving of salt, have become the occasion of ceremonial which has a religious character. This ritual stands in a definite relation to the gods, for these things are mentioned in the formulas of the dairy ritual, the general character of which indicates that they must be regarded as prayers. The names used for the deities in these prayers differ from those in ordinary speech, and form part of a series of expressions called Kwarzam, in which special names of deities, buffaloes, dairy utensils, and other objects are uttered, preceded by the word idith, said to mean 'for the sake of.' The dairies and the buffalo-herds form a somewhat complicated organization, especially among the Tartharol. Every village has a number of buffaloes devoid of any element of sanctity, and their milk is churned in a lairy, also devoid of sanctity, with no special ritual. Most of the buffaloes, however, belong to herds with special names with varying degrees of sanctity, and in correspondence with these there are great differences In the elaborateness of the ritual with which the milk is treated and in the ceremonial regulations of the lives of the dairy-priests."
The Todas use sacrifices and offerings; they practice divination and sorcery; and they have many taboos, sacred days, and sacred numbers. Mr. Rivers has an interesting word to say about the sacred numbers:
"Sacred numbers are very prominent in the ritual, three and seven being the most important. Many ritual acts are performed three times, a threefold rite being usually associated in this dairy ceremonial with tile utterance of the sacred syllable On; (this is not Om). This number is also prominent in the funeral rites, especially in connection with the ceremonial throwing of earth and the swinging of the body over the pyre before it is burned. The sevenfold performance of ceremonial acts only occurs in the dairy ritual and is especially prominent in the ordination ceremonies. Several of the most ancient lamps of the dairy are said to have had seven cavities or seven wicks."
While studying the history and customs of these far off folk one can see religion, ethics and ritual in the making down about the roots of human experience; and he can discover how that ritual and symbolism grow up inevitably out of the very stub of which man is made.
THE QUESTION BOX:
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes over 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.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our Study Club course. The Society is now receiving from fifty to one hundred inquiries each week: it is manifestly impossible to publish many of them in this Department.
WHY MASSACHUSETTS LODGES ARE NOT NUMBERED
While on tour about the country last year, during which I visited many lodges, I discovered that every state except our own numbers its lodges. This arouses my curiosity. Why do we not have the same system as others? M. L. K. Massachusetts.
Your inquiry may be answered by quoting an explanation made by Brother Melvin Johnson during his term of office as Grand Master of Massachusetts:
“In 1792 there were two Grand Lodges in Massachusetts. One of them, known as Saint John’s Grand Lodge, was the one founded as a Provincial Grand Lodge by Henry Price on July 30, 1733 The other, known as Massachusetts Grand Lodge, was founded by Joseph Warren on December 27, 1769, under a Commission from the Right Honorable and Most Worshipful George, Earl of Dalhousie, Grand Master of Masons in Scotland, bearing date May 30, 1769. Each of these Grand Lodges had its roll of particular lodges duly numbered. The two Grand Lodges united on March 19, 1792, but no lodge at the time was required to give up its number. For several years, there was consequently great confusion because of the duplication of numbers. It came to a head on December 12, 1803, when Tyrian Lodge of Gloucester asked the Grand Lodge to determine its grade in the lodges, and accordingly a committee of five was then appointed, to take up the subject of the numbers and grade of lodges of the jurisdiction. The committee reported on March 12, 1804, but the Fraternity desired further time for consideration of the matter and referred the report to the next meeting of the Grand Lodge. On June 11, 1804, the report of the Committee was called up, read, and debated, with the result that two of the most prominent brethren of the Fraternity were added to the committee, and the report referred to the next Quarterly Communication. On September 10, 1804, the committee reported in part as follows:
"'That they have ascertained the dates of the charters of all the lodges and are fully of opinion, that justice and equity require that they take rank in Grand Lodge agreeably to the seniority of the dates of their charters, in conformity to the schedule that accompanies this report.....
"'And whereas great inconveniences have arisen on account of the numerical arrangement of some lodges, your committee are further of opinion, that all numbers, now existing in the designation of lodges, shall be abolished.'
"Massachusetts has never restored the system of numbering lodges which was abolished in accordance with this action taken on September 10, 1804.
"The report was considered with care, discussed and finally these recommendations were unanimously adopted by the Grand Lodge."
* * *
TWENTY-SIX JURISDICTIONS USE THE DISTRICT DEPUTY SYSTEM
Is it possible for you to furnish me a list of states using the district deputy lecturer system? It is a subject in which I am deeply interested. F. O. G., Michigan.
A survey of existing Grand Lodge Codes reveals twenty-six states as using the system: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia. To these may be added Canada, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
* * *
THE MORGAN AFFAIR
I have been asked to give a little talk about the supposed murder of William Morgan. Can you tell me, or give me, a brief account of the matter? I do not have time to read a long book. (G.N.B, Wyoming.
William Morgan was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, in 1774 - some say in 1775. A stonemason by trade, he was a wandering, dissolute fellow who was liked well enough when not in his cups; but he couldn't be depended upon. When about forty-four years of age (1819) he married a girl of sixteen. They moved to Canada, where for a few years Morgan engaged in the brewery business. That failing through a fire, he moved to Rochester, New York, (1823) and thence to Batavia, in Genesee County.
It appears that he was a Mason - though nobody has ever been able to verify his membership - and as such he enjoyed the freedom of the Genesee lodge. He was not, however, the kind of man the brethren desired to have in their midst, and when a petition went in for a Royal Arch charter his name was deliberately omitted. This so incensed him that he determined to have revenge by publishing to the world the "secrets" of Freemasonry.
There was living in Batavia one David C. Miller, a printer of the same ilk as Morgan, who took readily enough to the latter's scheme of running the so-called expose in instalments in Miller's paper. When word leaked out of what was pending, non-Masons were stirred to action as well as Masons: it was seen that such a procedure would bring disgrace upon the town.
A crowd of forty or fifty men undertook one night to secure Morgan's manuscript, but could not find it in Miller's place of business. Two or three nights later the building was fired, but was not destroyed.
Morgan was arrested in Batavia, New York, on the morning of September 11, 1826, on a charge of petit larceny, and taken to the jail at Canandaigua. Released after trial upon the Batavia charge he was immediately re-arrested on another. The story goes - all is confusion from this point onward - that, at a time when the jailer was absent, the amount of execution was paid to the jailer's wife, who released Morgan. The latter was taken in hand by a group of men who put him into a carriage and took him to Fort Niagara, on Niagara River, at which point all trace of the man was permanently lost.
The word went around like wildfire that Morgan had been abducted by the Masons and killed. Public meetings were held, rewards were posted, and many men were arrested, some of them receiving heavy sentences. But nothing of a definite character could be learned. It was not known even that Morgan was dead; many believed that the man had jumped at a good opportunity to abandon his family and fly from his debts, for he had been as lose about the latter as he had been indifferent to the former.
On October 7, 1827, a body was discovered forty miles east of Fort Niagara. (This, you will note, was one year after Morgan had disappeared.) Somebody started the report that it was Morgan's. His wife and a number of his old-time neighbours were taken to view the remains - the Jury's inquest had declared the man unknown - and though the corpse was so badly decomposed that scarcely a feature was distinguishable and though the contents of the coat pockets were clearly not Morgan's and other signs pointed the same way, a second jury declared the corpse to be the remains of William Morgan.
In great state the body was carried back to Batavia where an immense public funeral was held. One Cochran, a dissolute individual, who preached now and then, and also served as a kind of assistant to David C. Miller, delivered an oration, in which he painted the Masonic Fraternity as a secret cabal of thieves and murderers. The body was buried.
But it chanced that one Timothy Monro was drowned in Lake Ontario, September 26th of that same year, and a couple of weeks before the discovery of the so-called Morgan. Hearing of the general description of the Morgan corpse, the widow and family insisted on seeing the remains, and these accordingly were disinterred. They positively identified it as Monro. It was so declared by another jury.
Some forty trials were held altogether in connection with the Morgan affair. The most exciting of these was that of one Hill, who confessed to having murdered Morgan. But this Hill was declared insane, and that ruined the value of his "confession."
What became of Morgan nobody knows unto this day. It is a mystery, in all probability, that will never be solved. Major Benjamin Perly Poore testified that he saw Morgan alive in 1839, and so did others. Others were equally certain that Morgan was dead.
Now it is usually supposed that the Anti-Masonic Party had its rise from this Morgan affair, but that is hardly the case, because Anti-Masonry was already in the field and waxing stronger every year. The period between 1820 and 1840 was one of extraordinary religious fanaticism; multitudes were carried away by all manner of strange new teachings, some of them, such as the Millerite movement, taking captive many whole states. The sparsely settled country was alive with revivals which were usually conducted by revivalists who were so ignorant that they declared education to be a sin. Similar revivals, though under better auspices, swept through the city churches, and these carried with them a vast amount of fanaticism. At bottom the whole movement was sound and sane, but on the surface and about the edges was a great mass of froth.
One tangent taken was to make war upon "secret" societies. Among these the most prominent, of course, was Freemasonry. In 1821, five years before the Morgan affair, the Presbyterian church denounced Masonry. The Congregationalists of England followed suit. In 1826 the Methodist Episcopal Church joined in, and forbade any of its clergy membership in Order. The Quakers, Lutherans, the members of the Red Church, and scores of others took the infection and began to make war on Masonry, which was described as a rival religion of Christianity, a counterfeit faith, a device of the devil and what not.
In the Morgan affair this thing first broke into flame. The hundreds of thousands who were already taught to hold Masonry in suspicion, at once believed in the whole story of the murder and considered that it was a clear proof of the culpability of the Masons.
Opposition to Masonry was immediately organized in Genesee County from which it spread to adjoining counties and then over the entire state. An Anti-Masonic Party was organized on a strictly political basis. In 1828 this party polled 33,345 votes in the state of New York: by 1832 this number grew to 156,672. In 1830 it became christened "The Christian Party in Politics," and displaced the old National Republican organization in that state. The same thing occurred in Vermont and Pennsylvania, and it almost occurred in Ohio, Massachusetts, and a number of other states. In 1831 the party held a national nominating convention (the first in our history) and placed on the presidential ticket the name of William Wirt of Maryland and, for vice-president, Amos Ellmaker of Pennsylvania. Thirteen states were represented.
By a sarcastic turn of affairs the National Republicans placed in nomination Henry Clay, a nominal Mason, and the democrats nominated, and later elected, Andrew Jackson, who was an active Mason. The Anti-Masonic party did not last long. In 1836 its exciting political career came to an end. But it had made a show of strength. At one time it had as many as one hundred and forty periodicals in the field, and sustained a very large corps of itinerant lecturers who went over the land telling the public what monsters of iniquity the Masons were.
It was a period of unrest and change. Cities were for the first time beginning to take control of public affairs, and this alarmed the country population. The old parties were decadent, or passing through profound metamorphoses. The wild strain which ran through the religion of the period induced many to believe exaggerations. The greatest factor in the whole situation was Thurlow Weed, New York's famous political boss: he, with William H. Seward, nominally of the National Republican Party, both believed that party to be doomed, and, to save their own political fortunes, they immediately laid hold of the opportunity furnished by the Morgan affair. The political genius of these men, in conjunction with the posture of affairs, accounts for the rise of Anti-Masonry.
The Fraternity was shaken by this tempest of attack. In some of the New England states Grand Lodges entirely discontinued. Vermont, in 1834, had but seven lodges in attendance. The Grand Lodge of Maine did not meet at all for several years. New Jersey Masonry was reduced two-thirds. In the state of New York, which was Masonry's stronghold in 1825, the Order was so depleted that the number of lodges represented in Grand Lodge fell from four hundred and eighty in 1826 to seventy-five in 1835. By 1840 this had fallen to a still lower figure. In that period of fiery trial it was, in many communities, worth a man's reputation to be known as a Mason, but in hundreds of instances brethren stood firm at any cost. One might fill a book with accounts of how, through social and religious ostracism, men remained at their posts, loyal to the Fraternity. It was so then: it would be so now: it will be so in the future.
The best history of this whole movement is The Anti-Masonic Party: A Study of Political Anti-Masonry in the United States, 1827-1840, by Charles McCarthy: this scholarly work will be found in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1902, Volume I, page 865. Consult also: Autobiography by Thurlow Weed: Autobiography by William H. Seward; Stanwood's History of the Presidency; The Jacksonian Democracy, by MacDonald; Hammond's Political History of New York, Volume II; Diary by John Quincy Adams; Harvey's History of Lodge No. 61, of Wilkesbarre, Pa.; Letters on the, Masonic Institution, by John Quincy Adams; Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry by William L. Stone; Mackey's Encyclopedia is of Masonry; and Stevens' Cyclopaedia of Fraternities. In December, 1918, THE BUILDER published a comprehensive study of "The Anti-Masonic Movement" by E.B. Gibbs.
* * *
INFORMATION ABOUT PLURAL MEMBERSHIP
In our state there are a number of us interested in the project of permitting a man to belong to more than one lodge at once. Will you please tell me where I can find information on this subject? F. L. Michigan.
Here are two excerpts from Grand Lodge Proceedings that will give you your desired information. The first passage is taken from page 593, Proceedings of Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (it has permitted dual membership for several years), for 1916.
"Questions are often asked regarding dual, or more correctly, plural membership in other jurisdictions. I have had the matter investigated so far as the Grand Lodges in North America are concerned, with the following result:
"Virginia and Massachusetts permit plural membership. No other Grand Jurisdictions in the United States permit plural membership with the following exceptions: Delaware, Wyoming and Tennessee permit members of their lodges to be members of other lodges outside of the jurisdiction, but do not permit plural membership within the jurisdiction. North Dakota does not permit plural membership within the jurisdiction but is undecided in its position with regard to membership both in and out of the jurisdiction. Texas forbids plural membership except that a life member of a lodge outside of Texas may join a Texas lodge.
"The practice in Canada is much more varied. Plural membership both within and without the jurisdiction is permitted in British Columbia, Canada (Ontario), and Manitoba. Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Saskatchewan forbid plural membership within the jurisdiction but allow simultaneous membership within and without the jurisdiction. Price Edward Island and New Brunswick forbid plural membership either within or without the jurisdiction.
"The practical conclusion so far as our lodges are concerned is that without causing any conflict of jurisdiction they may affiliate brethren who hold membership in Virginia, Delaware, Wyoming, Tennessee, and any of the Canadian Grand Lodges except Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick."
Additional information is found in the following, here reprinted from Grand Lodge Proceedings of Washington, Vol. XXII, 1922, Correspondence Report, p. 12.
"The question of permitting a brother to hold membership in more than one lodge has been raised in one or two jurisdictions. English and other foreign jurisdictions have long permitted this, but American lodges have almost invariably held against it. The Correspondence writer of Alabama says:
"'Many Grand Lodges allow this and the only practical difficulty or objection we have ever seen to it is that it renders statistics as to membership inaccurate. But that is certainly of minor importance, and some way might be devised to get over that difficulty.'
"The Grand Master of New Hampshire said:
"'I desire to call your attention to the consideration of dual membership, which you will find has been recommended by me. The time is at hand when we should do all in our power to promote the interests of Freemasonry.
"'I am convinced that dual membership is a step in the right direction, and am unable to understand where there can be serious bad results from adopting the same. I am aware that the best versed Mason in New Hampshire is not in accord with my views upon the subject; I refer to M. W. Brother Cheney, [Grand Secretary,] but he has not been able to convince me that it is not a desirable amendment to our Constitution. Brothers from our state go abroad in the world. Brothers from other jurisdictions come to use. They settle in our state and desire to take part in our proceedings. Their home lodge is dear to them with its associations, and they will not give up their affiliation therein. They do desire to be helpful in the community where they reside Masonically, but not being members of the lodge, hesitate to be active as they might were they members of a particular lodge. They are an aid both morally and financially, and I am sincere in my belief that general dual membership between all lodges would be of great Masonic advantage. The reverse situation applies to our Brethren taking up their residence in other states. I do not believe in the dual idea by members within the state, that is, permitting a member to belong to more than one lodge within our state.'
"Grand Lodge went far enough to appoint a committee to consider the matter for a year and report, when, we opine, they will agree with Bro. Cheney. Any of those who really desire, as the Grand Master said, to 'be helpful in the community where they reside Masonically,' will do so. In our experience it is the new lodge which is 'dear' to them, a matter of from two to four dollars a year, and they 'will not give up their affiliations' on that account. In the city of Seattle, in our opinion, there are not less than a thousand Masons today, who, if confronted with the possibility of dual membership and the sharing of the work of the lodges here, would practically cease their Masonic relations. They do not want to share the responsibility. They are willing to contribute small annual dues to a distant lodge to retain membership, but the real workers either affiliate or take hold and contribute anyway.
"The Grand Master, if he has any argument in favor of dual membership, should favor it among his own lodges. If a brother of character and energy should feel inclined to devote of his time, energy, and money to severe! lodges, which he may occasionally attend and to which he may be able to add much of help and personality, that would be the place it seems to us for dual membership to come in play. The Grand Master of Virginia ruled:
"'That as North Carolina does not allow dual membership, a member of a North Carolina cannot be elected a member of a Virginia lodge, without first withdrawing his membership from the North Carolina lodge. Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Virginia are the only Grand Jurisdictions allowing multiple membership.'"
* * *
CONCERNING THE RELIGION OF THE GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE
Can you tell me if it is true that no French Mason can become a member of the Council of the Grand Orient until after he has affirmed in writing that neither he nor his children will practice the ceremonies of any religion?
L. T. B. Ontario, Canada.
Your inquiry was transmitted direct to the Secretary General of the Grand Orient, whose reply is here given in full:
I hasten to reply to your favor asking us on the part of a Brother of Canada if it is true that since 1903 no Mason can be elected member of the Council of the Order unless he binds himself in writing that neither himself nor his children will practice any religious ceremony.
This information is completely inexact, and it is sufficient in order to convince himself of it, to read the first article of the Constitution of the Grand Orient of France, which is as follows:
"Freemasonry, an institution essentially philanthropic, philosophical and progressive, has for its object the search for Truth, the study of morality and the practice of Solidarity; it works for the material and moral amelioration and for the intellectual and social perfectioning of Humanity.
"It has for its principles, mutual tolerance, the respect of others and of one's self, and absolute liberty of conscience.
"Considering metaphysical conceptions as being in the exclusive domain of the individual appreciation of its members, it refuses [to commit] itself to any dogmatic affirmation.
"It has for its device, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."
The only condition demanded by Article 28 of our Constitution in order to be eligible to the Council of the Order are to take part in the General Assembly and to possess the degree of Master for at least seven years.
It is plain from all the evidence that an engagement like that indicated by your correspondent would go against the doctrine of Toleration which is the basis of Universal Masonry and against the principle of absolute liberty of conscience, inscribed in the Constitution of the Grand Orient of France.
Be kind enough to accept, Very Dear Brother, the assurance of my best fraternal sentiments.
THE SECRETARY GENERAL.
* * *
WHY DO MASONS COMPUTE TIME A. L.
At what time and by whom was the custom adopted of adding 4000 years to the Christian era by Master Masons, and why 4000 years when the "year of light" is shown by Egyptian records to have been long before that?
J. H. L., California.
Masonic lodges have followed Dr. James Anderson in this. The title page of his Constitutions of 1723 is dated in this fashion:
In the year of Masonry - 5723
Anno Domini - 1723
An explanation of this is furnished in a footnote in the 1738 edition of his Constitutions, page 2, here literally reproduced:
"The first Christians computed their Times as the Nations did among whom They lived till A. D. 532, when Dionysius Exiguus, a Roman Abbot, taught them first to compute from the Birth of Christ; but He lost 4 Years or began the Christian Era 4 Years later than just. Therefore, tho' according to the Hebrew Chronology of the old Testament and other good vouchers, CHRIST was truly born in some Month of the Year of the World or A. M. 4000. yet these 4 Years added make 4004 Not before the Birth of Christ, but before the Christian Era, viz. 1737 For the true Anno Domini or Year after Christ's birth is 1740 But the Masons being used to compute by the Vulgar Anno Domini or Christian Era 1737 and adding to it not 4004, as it ought, but the strict Years before Christ's birth, viz., 4000 They usually call this the Year of Masonry 5737 Instead of the accurate Year 5740 and we must keep to the Vulgar Computation.
"The A. M. or Anno Mundi is the same followed by Usher and Prideaux, etc., and so these letters A. M. signify Anno Mundi or Year of the World: and here B. C. is not Before Christ but Before the Christian Era."
* * *
A MASONIC COLLEGE OF THE CIVIL WAR PERIOD
The discussion about Freemasonry in the public schools in your number for last August reminded me that I once read about a college in Tennessee called Jackson College, that was owned by Masonic lodges. It might be interesting to learn something more about that school. M. K. T., Georgia.
Jackson College was located in Columbia, Tennessee, and was one of many such schools founded and supported by Masons. Two brethren now residing in that community have communicated to us such history of the college as they have been able to unearth:
Jackson College belonged to Columbia Lodge Number 31, and some of the stock was owned by one or two other lodges in the county, though Columbia Lodge owned by far the greater portion of the stock, and it was under the control of the Board of Five Trustees, elected annually except that for the last three or four years no trustees have been elected, the old ones holding over; W. B. Greenlaw, attorney of this town is one, W. W. Dyer is another, and the rest I do not know, but the minutes of the lodge would show.
During the Civil War Jackson College was burned by Federal soldiers and was never rebuilt, and the property was subdivided and is now owned entirely by various purchasers from the lodge. A claim was filed many years ago in Washington seeking to collect from the Government for the damage done by the destruction of this property, and some proof was taken, but investigation which I made some time back, shows that the proof was improperly taken and left the impression with the claim Department that the building was burned by some irresponsible soldier and not by direct order of any officer, and, therefore, Government has refused to consider the matter and I think that it will never be paid, though it ought to be. I know that Professors Mitchell and Bennett were two of the teachers of the institution, but that is all that I do know about that part of it.
W. S. Fleming, Jr.
Jackson College was an incorporated institution of learning Unmanaged and controlled by trustees elected by the various Masonic Bodies of Maury County, Tennessee, to-wit: Lafayette Chapter No. 4, R. A. M., Columbia Lodge No. 31, St. James lodge No. 105, Benton Lodge No. 111, Spring Hill Lodge No. 124, Pleasant Grove Lodge No. 138, Euphemia Lodge No. 195 and Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 610. We know that it was an incorporated institution in 1835 and that it was burned by the Federal troops in 1862 and that all the records of said Jackson College, including the minute books and records of the trustees, the library and all the chemical laboratory and astronomical outfits, were destroyed in this fire. The building stood in a large grove and was made of brick with stone trimmings and was three stories in height. The library was said to have been one of the best in the South and previous to the Civil War this college stood very high and had a large attendance, not only local hut throughout the South.
The Masonic bodies of Maury County have a claim pending in the United States Courts for the value of this property, but it seems that on account of the lapse of time we cannot show conclusively that an officer ordered it burned.
It appears that during the Civil War both sides used this building as a hospital with the consent of the Masonic bodies or the board of trustees and when the Federal forces evacuated this town and retreated toward Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, a general order was issued by the Federal general to destroy all property that might be of use to the Confederate forces and Jackson College was burned the night the Federal authorities left town and before the Confederate forces took possession.
W. C. Whitthorne.
GRAND MASTER OF NEVADA WRITES ABOUT MASONIC EDUCATION
(Brother Peterson's letter arrived too late to be included in Grand Masters' Symposium of the April issue.)
Your question, "How best to teach Masonry in Masonic Lodges" is a big one that many or possibly all Grand Lodges are trying to find an answer for.
About ten years ago, in my own Carson Lodge No. 1, we organized a Study Club, naming it "The Eighteenth Century Lodge" after Brother Morcombe's play of that name. A Master, two Wardens, a Secretary, and a Boxmaster were the officers and we met once a month. In September a program for the year was arranged and subjects assigned to members to be given at a certain meeting. The club flourished for several years or until war activities claimed our time. Since then we have not been able to get started again, but I hope to get it started before long.
Our program for an evening would be a paper on some Masonic subject, followed by an earnest discussion. We then would take up Masonic Law and devote perhaps half an hour to it. After that came refreshments. In this manner the Masons who attended learned something on two important subjects. All Master Masons were welcome and we most always had a good attendance.
I shall recommend this plan to the lodges when I make my visitations. It is the best that I know of.
We are at present having the Masonic Service Association bulletins read at our stated meetings, and they take well.
I hope that this plan may be of some use to you. At any rate it worked while it worked, and I am sorry that it is not still working. E. C. Peterson, Nevada.
* * *
WAS JOHN JAY A MASON?
Recently in reading the Life of John Jay by George Pellew, I came across the following letter written by Jay to Washington April 21,1779. Unfortunately, the letter is not given in its entirety and I do not have access to any other biography of Jay. I do not know whether the letter is generally known but in any case I believe it worth preserving in the files of THE BUILDER. The letter follows:
"Calm repose and the sweets of undisturbed retirement appear more distant than a peace with Britain. It gives me pleasure, however, to reflect that the period is approaching when we shall be citizens of a better ordered state, and the spending of a few troublesome years of our eternity in doing good to this and future generations is not to be avoided or regretted. Things will come right and these States will be great and flourishing. The dissolution of our government threw us into a political chaos. Time, wisdom and perseverance will reduce it into form ….. In this work you are, in the style of one of your professions, a master-builder, and God grant that you may ever continue a free and accepted mason."
I commend to any brother a careful reading of any biography of John Jay. I should like to send you several more extracts from his letters, thoughts which are particularly applicable to conditions confronting the nation to-day, but I know space in THE BUILDER is at a premium.
Can you tell us whether John Jay was a Mason?
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania.
* * *
WHEN AND WHERE; CANADIAN MASONRY WAS FOUNDED
The inquiry about Canadian Masonry on page 94 of your March issue has led me to ask you to publish two excerpts from Robertson's History of Freemasonry in Canada, Vol. I. I believe it may prove interesting to such of our members as, like myself, had the good fortune to be raised in a Canadian lodge.
Carlos B. Whitely, Indiana.
"One cannot venture with absolute exactness to give the day and date of the issue of the first Craft warrant in Canada. Yet it is well that in the endeavor to trace early organizations we should briefly refer to those of which we have knowledge, prior to the year 1800, for after that period, crude as many records are, there exist minutes and memoranda that make, as far as genealogical sequence is concerned, the task less intricate than it otherwise might have been.....
"Canadian Masonry was first founded in Nova Scotia between the years 1737 and 1749. There is no documentary evidence in existence which affords the slightest proof of the exercise of Masonic authority in that province prior to 1749. Much discussion has arisen in connection with the antiquity of the Craft in Nova Scotia, when it was 'Acadia,' but all records have disappeared and surmise has to fill the part which should be taken by authentic documents. The well-known name of Ensign Erasmus James Phillips has been connected with the Craft in Nova Scotia from the earliest days.
"The question more pertinent to this history is as to the institution of Freemasonry in Canada, or rather in what is now the Dominion of Canada.
"There is reasonable evidence that a lodge of Freemasons was instituted under a Boston warrant at Annapolis Royal in Acadia, now Nova Scotia, and that this warrant was extant in 1749, followed by the organization of a lodge in 1749 at Halifax or rather Chebucto - for Halifax was not named until 1750 and that this lodge was the primal one, which with others eventually formed the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
"Annapolis, founded by the French in 1604, is the oldest settlement in that part of North America known as Nova Scotia. It was occupied by the British in the reign of Queen Anne, and was called Annapolis or 'The City of Anne.' It was the seat of government down to 1749. In 1726, thirteen years after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, we find in the garrison of Annapolis the founder of Masonry in Nova Scotia, Erasmus James Phillips, an officer in the British Army.
"It is claimed, and it can be readily believed that he received a warrant as Provincial Grand Master of Acadia in 1740 from Henry Price, Provincial Grand Master, of New England. There is, however, no record of this being granted in the books of the Grand Lodge at London, but there is an entry of such action in the books of St. John's Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, under date 24th December, 1740, which reads:
"'Omitted in place That Our Rt. Worshtl Grand Master Mr. Price Granted a Deputation at ye Petition of sundry Brethren, at Annapolis, in Nova Scotia, to hold a Lodge there, and Appointed Maj'r Erasm's Jas. Phillips, D. G. M., who has since, at ye Request of sundry Brethren at Halifax, Granted a Constitution to hold a Lodge there, and appointed The Rt. Worsh'l His Excellency Edw'd Corwallis, Esqr., their First Master."'
* * *
RAGON'S "RITUEL" DEFINES MASONIC SECRECY
One of the most interesting things that I have ever studied is Ragon's "Rituel" of the French Rite. The last answer to the M.M. catechism is worth recording here.
"Can you tell me the secret of Freemasonry?"
"The secret of Masonry is, from its very nature, inviolable, for the Mason who knows it can only himself have ascertained it. He has discovered it through frequenting well informed lodges, through observing, comparing, judging. Once arriving at this discovery he will unfailingly preserve it for himself and he will not even communicate it to those brethren in whom he has the utmost confidence; for since they were incapable of discovering it for themselves, they are likewise incapable of making use of the secret should they receive it orally."
My translation is rough but it delivers the sense, I think, and that is of interest. The folks in Europe who shiver whenever they hear mentioned "the secrets of the Freemasons" should ponder the question and its reply. Ragon says that these words were written by Casanova, who was initiated in 1757. The French Rite makes very much of an appeal to the intellect. In the E.A. ceremony are such questions as, What is Vice ? Barbarism ? Honor ? Virtue ? Morality ? Natural Law ? Prejudice? I believe it is good for men to study these things. A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania.
* * *
CAN YOU GIVE US THIS INFORMATION?
Here are four inquiries that we pass on to you. Can you answer them ? Send your replies to this Society. The questions are typical of a grist being received constantly, and they show how various are the interests and needs of Masons.
What Do These Numbers Mean?
The third section of the lectures in the Third Degree states that Solomon's Temple was supported by 1453 columns and 2906 pilasters. There is no authority for this statement that I can find anywhere, but that is immaterial. The more I study Masonry, particularly that feature of it which relates to numbers, the more I have been impressed with the thought that these two numbers have some important symbolical meaning. I have endeavored to work something out of it by the Kabbalah but have failed to find any solution, though I have tried several combinations. The digits of 1453, which is a prime number, add up to 13, and that stands for "man." The "1" might signify God, or unity. The "4," "5," and "3" are the sides of the familiar Forty-Seventh Proposition, one of the great symbols of Masonry. The "2906" is double the "1453"; if the "14" of this is divided bv 2 we have 7, and that, with the other numbers, gives us the “7,” “5,” and “3” of the Second Degree, but all this seems to me to be very far fetched and means nothing. Can anybody throw light on this?
E. A. Russell, Minnesota.
About Booth, Guitenu, and Czolgosz
Did John Wilkes Booth, Charles J. Guiteau, or Leon Czolgosz profess any religion, or belong to any orders or secret societies? Giles McKinney, Indiana.
Information Wanted About Masonry Among Greeks
Owing to the advent into this country of thousands of Greeks, the question has been suggested as to what is the official attitude of the Greek church toward Masonry. Please send information to me in care of THE BUILDER.
E. Coblentz, Ohio.
Do You Belong to a Masonic Country Club?
Brethren have written at various times to inquire about Masonic Country Clubs, in order to learn where they are organized and how they are conducted. If you chance to belong to one, or to know about one, kindly send the information to THE BUILDER.
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
Be sure to read the inside front cover! ! !
* * *
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" More beautiful words were never written or uttered. Let's learn to Coue-ize them.
* * *
H. L. Mencken's Ame1ican Language is a book well worth owning. Its great heaps of learning are lighted up by a chapter which gives us the Declaration of Independence done into the "American Vulgate." What is this "Vulgate"? I give an example, done on the spot: "I don't know how it is where you live but here in Iowa its darned cold, do you get me?" Can you English brethren translate that into English ?
* * *
Brother Charles E. Whelan has sent us a beautiful little booklet, The Essential Truth in Religion. Also, we have on hand a supply of a booklet, The Scottish Rite Educational Association of Texas, sent by Brother Sam P. Cochran. If you wish a copy of each send me your name.
* * *
Brother Worshipful Master, have you been making things hum in your lodge? Tell us what you have been doing by way of work, programs, and all that.
* * *
Can you give us information about dual (or plural) membership? We are needing something on that subject.
* * *
Why not give your boy a membership in this Society when he is raised? Or the son of some friend?
* * *
We can now supply you Masonic music books if you need them.
* * *
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all."
* * *
If you chance to bump into any old Masonic book let us hear about it. A few of such volumes are of great value.
* * *
For a time, and owing to peculiar circumstances, we were obliged to use a single sheet wrapper for THE BUILDER, and some copies suffered in going through the mails. If you will send your mutilated copy to us we shall exchange for a good one.
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014