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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 10 - number 9
A General Account of the Swedish Rite
By Bro. A. B. C., Michigan
By providential good fortune two studies of this important subject, so little known on this side of the world, reached us at the same time, almost in the same mail. Through permission of both authors, one of whom prefers to remain incog, they are here published together for, though they contain some details in common, they are quite different treatments of the theme, and thereby readily supplement each other. So little is known about Swedish Masonry, and so many requests for information are made, that any reader who can add to the account here given something by way of additional fact or of criticism is urged to do so.
THE history of Masonry in Scandinavia is of interest to American Masons, not so much on account of the sources from which it springs, as on account of its development under the influence of French and German philosophers in the eighteenth century, mingled with influences from mystics, such as Swedenborg, visionaries, such as von Hund, and plain imposters, such as Cagliostro and Saint Germain. In developing, it followed its own lines which were apart from those of the English-American Masonry, even if it was based on the same sources, until it blossomed in what is called the Swedish system, which at present dominates, with its more than 50,000 members, not only the three Scandinavian countries, but also, through die Grosse Landesloge van Dentschland, the greater part of Northern Germany.
There is no doubt that Scandinavian Masonry has its origin in English Masonry, but whether the customs of the existing Scandinavian Operative Mason gilds have had any direct influence in the forming of the rites of the three first degrees, is hard to tell even if it looks so. Always Masonry in Scandinavia has been surrounded by the greatest secrecy not only as to the ceremonies, the passwords and the rites, but even as to the traditions and the history. Admittance to the archives of the Grand Lodge of Sweden has been given only to a very insignificant extent and to those of the Danish Grand Lodge not at all.
In Germany the question of opening up the archives of the Grosse Landesloge to allow historians to examine its acts called forth a serious conflict which caused its Grand Master, Crown Prince Friederich III., one of the noblest princes who ever occupied the German throne, to resign from his office in 1874. In a speech given in June, 1870, at the Centenary Festival of the Lodge he seriously advised it to open up the archives to an honest and unimpeded examination, adding: "Our acts teach us that all Masonic knowledge is contained in the working plan of the first degree. Well, let us work to make this truth a reality." But later on Schiffman, a Provincial Grand Master and a Protestant pastor, whom the Crown Prince had appointed for said investigation, was excluded from his lodge, as having revealed its secrets.
Not in any way has Masonry in Denmark and Norway contributed to the development of the Masonry of the world; it has not broken any independent road to the goal but has followed lines which were laid out first by German, and later on by Swedish Masonry.
The first Danish Masonic lodge was founded in 1744, and received in 1745 its charter from the Grand Lodge in London. Later on, through the years, several lodges were founded in Denmark, mostly getting their charters from German lodges and consequently following the rites and the rules of those, and some even worked in the German language. The development does not show any clear and firm lines as Danish Masonry for some time was leaning on German Masonry, on "the Strict Observance," and later on for some time on the so-called rectified system from Lyons; but in 1853 the Swedish system was introduced into the Danish lodges, essentially through the influence of King Frederick VII., who at that time was Grand Master and very interested in Masonry. Denmark was then constituted as the eighth Masonic Province.
In Norway the first lodge was founded in 1750 and as long. as Norway was united with Denmark it followed the Danish lead; but after 1813, when it was united with Sweden, quite naturally it accepted the Swedish Rite.
FIRST SWEDISH I,ODGE WAS FOUNDED IN 1731
In Sweden the first Masonic lodge was founded in 1731. But the founder, Count Wrede-Sparre, did not have any actual patent entitling him to found it, although it looks as if he had been initiated as Master Mason at Paris. In 1737 a lodge was founded by Baron Scheffer and this lodge had a charter from Lord Derwentwater, Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge at London. Some other lodges were founded but Masonry did not find much sympathy until Count Posse, in 1751, founded the lodge St. Jean Auxiliarie, which lodge in 1752 got a patent from the Count of Clermont, the French Grand Master at Paris. The then existing lodges united with this new lodge and the King of Sweden took over the office as Grand Master thereof. The system embraced seven degrees: three St. John's degrees, two Scotch fit. Andrew's degrees, one St. John's confidential br:s degree, and as the seventh the elected br:s degree. The system was French and the rites were French and in all it had no special or peculiar character.
Meanwhile from this time on Swedish Masonry was led into a quite peculiar channel by K. F. Eckleff, a high Swedish official. He had tried to become admitted as member of the Lodge St. Jean but in vain, why is unknown. In 1756 he founded in company with six others a Scotch lodge, "Innocente," and then in 1759 he arranged a "Grand Chapter." His title for doing so was based on a patent, which meanwhile was undated, not giving any locality, nor signed, but supplied with three seals and some symbolical figures, the meaning whereof not being clear. This document was certified by F. Aescher, secretary, a person about whom nothing is known. Nevertheless the legality of this document was never contested. In 1761 this lodge was amalgamated with the existing Grand Lodge and in 1770 the lawfulness of this new Swedish Grand Lodge was acknowledged by the Grand Lodge of England in London. Baron Scheffer took over the office of Grand Master and K. F. Eckleff was elected Deputy Grand Master. Obscurity reigns as to the sources of Eckleff's system, but undoubtedly it is based on the English book of Constitution and especially on that of 1738, but these sources have been remodeled and added to. The actual development of this revision it is not possible to follow. Modern historians assert that Eckleff's patent and the rite of his chapter are based on the customs and the rites of the Operative Mason Gilds; that the rites of the first to sixth degrees are based on the tradition of a connection between the Masonic Order and the Knights of St. John; and the rites of seventh to ninth degrees on the legend of the Knights Templar.
In 1766 Eckleff sold a copy of his papers to a friend, a German doctor, named von Zinnendorf, who made use thereof in founding the Grosse Landesloge von Deutschland at Berlin; and later in 1776 he sold his position, his patent, and his papers to Karl, Duke of Soedermannland. This Duke is a very interesting personality. Addicted to mysticism and theosophic ideas he took over the leadership of Swedish Masonry and did a great work in working together the material, which he had got from Eckleff, with information and material which he collected at Geneva, in Italy, and in Bohemia. As early as 1776 he had a committee organized to revise the rites; and this work was done about the year 1800. Unhappily it is impossible to find the material from which the new rites were formed. It is said that the Duke had it burned, but whether this is true or not it is impossible to tell.
When Duke Karl took over the leadership of Swedish Masonry the management rested in the hands of a Grand Master an Over - , and an Under - , Architect, and nine other officials. As early as 1775 he had a Steward lodge arranged in accordance with the English pattern, to which lodge later on the Stuart legend was linked, for which reason the name was changed from Steward to Stuart.
HOW THE STUART LEGEND ORIGINATED
In this connection it will be necessary to mention the origin of the Stuart legend. A German nobleman, von Hund, who had been initiated in Masonry at Paris, and who was highly impressed by the myths and legends connected with the different knightly orders which took part in the crusades, had about the year 1750 formed a Masonic system called "the Strict Observance," which essentially was based on the legend of the Knights Templar, the escape of the Count of Beaujeau, nephew of Jacques De Molay, to Scotland, etc.; and in this system he put in the idea of a Grand Master, who had all the reins in his hands and who one day was going to call the Knights Templar to action and to lead them to splendid exploits. In the beginning this Grand Master was unknown, but - how it happened nobody can tell, whether it was a fancy of von Hund or an invention of one of his friends - suddenly the Stuart Pretender put up his head in the system as this unknown Grand Master and consequently his restoration to the throne of England became the goal of "the Strict Observance."
After the death of von Hund, Duke Karl tried to be elected as Grand Master of all the Orders which were following the "Rites of the Strict Observance" and he succeeded therein, being elected as such in 1776. But this event called forth a conflict among the different lodges which followed the system; several lodges withdrew from it and refused to acknowledge his authority and at last in 1781 he resigned from the office. But while the Duke was trying to get elected as Grand Master of the German lodges at the same time he tried to get in connection with the Pretender, Karl Edward, who was living at Florence. First he sent a friend and confidential of his to him and later on, when he was elected Grand Master, he wrote him a letter asking him to acknowledge the Duke's newly acquired title as Grand Master, telling him that he, the Duke, always should honor him as a father, to which letter the Pretender replied that "inasmuch as he was in the darkness as to the mentioned mysteries," he could not remark anything further. Some years later King Gustav III. of Sweden, a brother of Duke Karl, paid the Pretender a visit at Florence and moved the broken-down man to surrender his Masonic rights to Duke Karl in return for a yearly pension.
In 1781 Sweden was constituted as the ninth Masonic and the Order was firmly linked to the state power; and when Duke Karl ascended the Swedish throne as king, the ties were made still stronger. The royal princes were considered born Freemasons and the members of the Higher Degrees were considered as belonging to the Swedish nobility.
THE SYSTEM WAS AN HIERARCHY
When finally completed the system formed a real autocratic hierarchy. At the head of it stands the Vicar of the Wisest Solomon with his council, called Sanhedrin, consisting of nine secular and two ecclesiastical officials. Below this are standing the two Land Grand Masters and twelve officials, who have seats as chapter officials of the eleventh degree. The tenth degree is formed by the members of the chapter and from among them the high officials, seven in number, are taken. The members of the ninth degree are called St. Andrew's elected br :s; members of the eighth degree, St. John's elected br:s; of the seventh degree, Solomon's elected br:s; Stuart's br:s form the sixth degree; St. Andrew's Masters the fifth degree; St. Andrew's Apprentices and Fellowcrafts the fourth degree; and at last comes the three St. John's degrees.
As above remarked, a German doctor, von Zinnendorf, bought from Eckleff a copy of his papers and made use of them for founding in 1770 the Grosse Landesloge von Deutschland. At first this lodge had many troubles, but at last in 1773 it was acknowledged by the English Grand Lodge. As the system was built on Eckleff's papers and as these were not complete, the system was not quite in accordance with the Swedish system, and for this reason in 1819 a committee was sent from Berlin to Stockholm to examine the matter and then the rites of the Grosse Landesloge were made to conform with those of the Swedish system. A treaty of friendship was concluded in which it was expressed "that one doctrine, one and the same descent, on secrecy, one form and one system united with indelible ties the br:s of the Grosse Landesloge with those of the Swedish lodge." The German royal house protected the lodge and many of its members became officials of it and at present the lodge has a very prominent position among German lodges.
The Swedish Masonic system forms an imposing structure. Its strength lies in this, that it is an organic unit, as each degree is a logical consequence of the previous one, with which it is standing in intimate connection, which hardly may be said of the many High Degrees of the different other Masonic systems, as mostly they spring from the many social High Degrees, which were formed in France in the eighteenth century and are without any logical connection with the three St. John's degrees. The Swedish system is like a ladder, reaching up from the bottom of a deep well. The candidate steps from the bottom of the well upon the first rung of the ladder to climb up it to the light, which faintly he discerns at the orifice; but his climbing is slow, as he is not allowed to pass from one rung of the ladder to the next until his masters have examined his knowledge and learned whether he is worthy to reach the light. Only some few reach the uppermost rung of the ladder.
This is not the place to take up or to discuss the historical truth of the different myths and legends upon which the system is built and which are interwoven in its rites; at all events, when seen from a historical viewpoint they are no worse or better than Anderson's picture of the developing of the art of building in his Book of Constitutions, as in reality the principle "the end hallows the means," a principle which unjustly has been abused as Jesuitic, entitles any Masonic system to make use of what myths and legends it likes, if only they contribute to the aims and ends of Masonry - to make man understand the relationship of the self to the not-self, of the individual to the whole, and of his adjustments to larger ends, going beyond his own personal ends, his relationship to God and to his fellowman. It is the moral value, not the historical truth of a legend, that counts.
The system is hierarchic but not theological; it is based on the Christian faith and it had to be as a consequence of the legends upon which it is built, but it is tolerant, and practically it leaves to the members to form their own faith according to their conscience. That Jews are not admitted to the Order under the system is due to the historical fact that in the latter part of the eighteenth century Jews were not allowed to enter or to stay in Scandinavian countries.
The system is autocratic, but also this is due to the conditions existing in the Masonic world at the time when the system was formed. Strifes and conflicts were raging everywhere in Europe among Masons, in England, in France and in Germany, and the builders of the Swedish system saw that a system had to be built on authority and discipline if it Were to last. Of course it might be said that an autocratic system checks individualism; this is true, but on the other hand an extreme individualism brings with it as a logical consequence grave dangers and undoubtedly this is at present the case everywhere in the world and also in this country. Masonry cannot exist without a certain discipline and a certain restraint on individualism; our old book of the questions teaches us this, when at the question, What is a Freemason? it gives as answer, "A Freemason is a free man, who understands to master his passions and to bend his will under the laws of reason."
The New Age stands as yet
Half built, against the sky
Open to every threat
Of storms that clamor by.
Scaffolding veils the walls
And dim dust floats and falls
As moving to and fro, their
The Masons ply.
Do not expect easily to convince men of the truth or to lead them to think aright. The subtle human intellect can weave its mists over even the clearest vision.
The Degrees of the Swedish Rite
By Bro. BURTON E. BENNETT, Washington
THE Swedish Rite of Freemasonry dates from about 1775. The three first degrees is Ancient Craft Masonry and to this is added some of the "high degrees." It contains a strain from the Rite of Strict Observance in its Templarism and has elements taken from Rosicrusianism.
Gustavus III., King of Sweden, formed the Rite and the King of Sweden has ever since been the head of it. The Rite consists of twelve degrees. The King is Grand Master of the Order and is the only one who takes the twelfth degree. It is called the "Vicar of Solomon." Only high nobles take the eleventh degree, called "Dignitary of the Chapter," and only persons of great prominence can receive the tenth degree, called "Member of the Chapter." These three degrees really form a class in themselves; this class is called the "Illuminated Chapter" and the members of it "Brethren of the Red Cross."
The really working part of the Swedish Rite consists substantially, it is seen, of only nine degrees. The three Craft degrees are, of course, (1) Entered Apprentice, (2) Fellowcraft, and (3) Master Mason. The fourth degree is called the "Scottish Fellowcraft" and is preliminary to the fifth degree known as "Master of St. Andrew." This is what is known in the Modern French Rite as "Scotch Master," or Ecossais degree. The Ecossais system of degrees depicts the losing and the finding of the true word; they are what is known to us as Scottish degrees or, to be exact, "Scotts' " degrees - for they are not Scottish at all. The degree of "Select Master" of the York Rite is an Ecossais degree. It is also seen in the instruction of the Royal Arch degree. The fifth degree entitles the recipient to official rank which shows how closely Masonry in Sweden is bound up in the government.
The sixth degree is "Knight of the East." The "Knight of the East," proper, depicts the erection of the Second Temple by the Israelites at Jerusalem when they were released from captivity at Babylon by Cyrus the Great, King of Persia. This degree is the "Knight of the Red Cross," the tenth degree of the York Rite. It is one of the degrees founded on the Revelations of St. John depicting the New Jerusalem with its twelve gates. It is the fifteenth degree of the Scottish Rite and the sixth degree of the French Rite.
The seventh degree is called "Knight of the West," or "True Templar." Templarism until very recently has been hard to understand because it is based wholly on fiction. In the Templar system the origin of Freemasonry is attributed to the Templars of the Crusades. After the Moslems had conquered the Holy Land they profaned the holy places and the Crusaders that were left were at the mercy of the Saracens and were cruelly persecuted by them. The Templars built up a system of Masonry in the Temple of Solomon and through it concealed the mysteries of the Christian religion. When the Templars were completely driven out of the East some of them took refuge in Scotland where they established Masonry and from there it was carried to England and to France. The moving cause of all this fabricated nonsense was to give Masonry ("high degrees") a most commanding rank in both the political and religious world and make those who possessed these "high degrees" "high and mighty Masons" to whom the great and noble, even, must look up.
The eighth degree, "Knight of the South," is an Hermetic degree and comes from the new Gold Rosicrusians, who flourished during the last quarter of the eighteenth century, when they permeated Masonry. They claimed to be able to make gold, to prolong life, and restore youth, to summon spirits from the vasty deep and to partake of the power and knowledge of God. Outside of this mesmeric, spiritualistic and witchcraftic society, only possible (to any great extent) in a superstitious age, there was no other, or real Rosicrusian society, no matter what some Masonic writers have claimed. There were only men who believed along occult lines, and joined Masonry for the purpose of finding "lost secrets."
The ninth degree is called the "Favorite Brother of St. Andrew." This is another one of the mythical crusading degrees and was formed in France, probably, about the middle of the eighteenth century. This degree comes from one found in the Rite of Perfection. The twenty-ninth degree of the Scottish Rite comes from the same source.
Of all the Orders of Knighthood only one is confined exclusively to Freemasons.
When the Duke of Sundermanland, a zealous Freemason, ascended the Swedish throne he instituted the Order of Charles XIII., to which only Freemasons are admitted. The King of Sweden is the perpetual Grand Master and the number of Knights in it is limited to twenty-seven.
There are only five Orders of Knighthood in Sweden and one of them was founded more than six hundred years ago. They are as follows: (1) Order of the Seraphims, founded in 1285; (2) Order of the Sword, founded by Gustave I. in 1522; (3) Order of the Polar Star, created in 1748 by King Christian I.; (4) Order of Wasa, founded in 1772 by King Gustave III., and (5) Order of Charles XIII., founded by King Charles XIII. in 181.
"Let Your Loins Be Girded About, and Your Insights Burning"
By Bro. PAUL R. CLARK, New York
What does a modern business man, trained in the schools of action, and insistent on results, think about Masonry? What could he have Masonry do? How would he release and apply he forces latent in a lodge? One will find an answer to these queries in language direct and unambiguous and now and then a bit startling, in Brother Clark's paragraphs. Read and consider, and reply, too, if you wish.
THE distinguishing characteristic found in most leaders and prophets is vision. Keen students of Freemasonry recognize its great possibilities. Masonic thinkers also admit quite freely its shortcomings. They also speak quite frankly concerning the lack of imagination on the part of too many of the Masters of the Craft who have not learned to discriminate between the shell and the kernel.
People usually get what they want - at least the de-ire always precedes the attainment. We must first have the vision of Freemasonry, as it might be if the rank and file took Masonry seriously and were willing to consecrate a part of their lives to it. If the desire were strong enough, the brothers on the right and left could and could produce results which would surprise even a wooden Indian.
To most people a vocation is necessary but more and more big men are turning to an avocation for an outlet for their inborn desire to do something worth while for their fellowmen before they pass beyond. Why not try Masonry? Service in the Blue Lodge is moulding character. If you can think of anything greater than this - you will have to do some fast head-work.
When we begin to attract men "for the line" because of their Masonic perfection instead of because of their ability to excel in Masonic symbolism he shall startle the world! How can we hope to reach port when our Craft is in the hands of pilots who devote so much of their time to theoretical symbolism instead of practical Freemasonry ?
What is needed is a deep-seated conviction on the part of a few leaders in each lodge that a change is necessary; then a willingness to apply what seems to be a reasonable remedy, and the backbone and nerve to stick to it through thick and thin even though the results do not at first seem to be worth the effort. It is a long uphill pull, especially when there is precedent, prejudice and tradition to overcome.
No man can estimate with any degree of accuracy what this old world has lost by the innate tendency in human nature to reject everything that is new. After eliminating habit and prejudice, the greatest enemy of originality is fear of ridicule and contempt which the world has for those who propose something that is out of the ordinary. Past Masters frequently incarnate this resistance to so-called innovations and novelties in Masonic activities. We shall make more progress in bringing Freemasonry close to the hearts of its membership when Masters of the lodge divest themselves of this tendency to "throw a monkey-wrench into the machinery" when the proposed activity is being discussed in our lodges. New blood, the younger element in our Craft, do not continue to be interested in anything just because their fathers were. If properly directed, their longing for something more vital than they are getting can be utilized for the benefit of the Craft.
Masonic lodges, like plants, need trimming occasionally, and the trimming should not be left in the hands of inexperienced Masons. But, if the Worshipfuls and R. W's will not do the trimming the younger members of the Craft will - they will "trim" themselves. That is what has been going on for some time. Unable to get what they want in the lodge and realizing how difficult it is to change the Craft they exercise their prerogative and stay away from the meetings.
MASONIC INACTION AND RUTS
When you attempt to sell a person anything and your sales talk fails to arouse sufficient desire on the part of the prospective customer to ask questions, you've failed nine times out of ten.
Masons must be "sold" on Freemasonry. If the desire can be created it must be by different methods than we are now using. If we are so thin-skinned that we can't stand a little constructive criticism we are in a bad way. Honest criticism will never irritate a big man or a live lodge and if heeded it usually leads to progress.
Masonic inaction like still water becomes stagnant with age. It is better to be accused of Masonic indiscretion once in a while than be eternally guilty of Masonic stagnation.
"The first great care of Masons when convened" is to get out of Masonic ruts of doing nothing; and the second great care is to stay out. Masonic character, like muscles, are either flabby or sturdy, depending upon whether they are exercised.
Our leaders should strive for Masonic perfection. Dogtrot be over concerned about the possibility of failure. We shall have at least come nearer to the goal by trying and our Craft will be better for the effort. Someone has said: "If you think you are right, go ahead. If you happen to be wrong you may back down; but if you have been right and haven't started, you are in a rut and the only difference between a rut and a grave is the length and breadth of it."
MASONIC BOLL WEEVIL
Perhaps Freemasonry needs a little opposition to develop its latent powers! Too much prosperity makes men and organizations indolent and self-satisfied. The Mexican boll weevil was considered a calamity by the South a few years ago. Recently the City of Enterprise, in Coffee County, Alabama, erected a monument to this pest. Why? Because it proved to be a blessing! It taught the South that it couldn't afford to "put all its eggs in one basket" - in other words it visualized the necessity for diversified farming.
Societies, organizations, corporations and individuals are just as lazy as they dare to be. A little opposition might help rather than hinder the Craft.
Anyone can drift along with the tide of "What-Was-Done-Before." It takes a live fish to breast the current. The Master of a lodge who can buck the current of prejudice, habit and local traditions, especially when coming from the Past Masters who were willing to be "fair weather sailors", is worthy of your support - even if he does make a few mistakes.
To find one real satisfactory Masonic idea to arouse Freemasonry from its "twilight sleep" you may have to try ten - don't be afraid to fail. As Edmund Vance Cook says, "It isn't the fact that you were licked that counts; it's how did you fight - and why ?"
LANDMARKS AND TRADITIONS
Precedent and tradition are all right in their places, but too much respect for them means dry rot. It is surprising how many proposed activities which Masons think tread on the ancient landmarks, can be done with propriety in a lodge.
Some Masons think we have inherited all the traits of the present order and they blame traditions for their own lack of initiative. This is rank Masonic ignorance. The truth of the matter is that we have acquired most of our present shortcomings.
FACTS AND OPINIONS
The Masonic pessimist says, "It has always been like this." The optimist casually remarks, "We are getting along all right." The Masonic factomist says, "What are the facts ?" and then is willing to try out a reasonable solution even if it is an innovation.
Facts and figures are stubborn things. There may be some very illuminating statistics available which might tell us very interesting things and from which we might draw some startling conclusions.
Fact remains always what it is today; o pinions change with what you ate for dinner. The opinions of Masons who do not attend the lodge regularly and take little or no interest in its labor are vital facts which we must face.
There is a deplorable admission and often only too true which is made by some parents and many Masters: "Raise a child or a Mason in the way they should go and when they grow up they will do as they please."
Business experience teaches us this important lesson: it is frequently easier to reach the top rounds of the ladder than it is to stay there. Students recognize the application of this truth to Freemasonry. Master Masons need our support most after they reach the top. The reason for this is "just as clear as mud" to many Masons - but here it is anyway: the "top of the ladder" to most Masons is acquiring a smattering of Masonic symbolism!
What we fail most to realize is that every brother who is raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason has just completed an air castle - it is up to the leader of the Craft to build a foundation under it. Their dreams or air castles may not be the right ones but if they are, the disappointment to some of them must be staggering. When there is a wide margin in the hearts of Masons between their anticipations and their realizations, they are Masonically sick and need a doctor. When a brother is sick physically it is the usual custom to visit him personally; when he is sick Masonically we give him absent treatment and then wonder why he doesn't recover.
Lodges even donate money when a brother is financially in trouble, dues are deferred and every assistance is given during the financial embarrassment. There are thousands of Masons dead broke and insolvent Masonically and we never lend a hand! We ought to borrow the Salvation Army Slogan: "A Mason may be down but he is never out." But instead of getting out in the highways and the byways to preach Masonic salvation and try to reach some of our brothers who are Masonically in the gutter, "we tile the lodge" and put through a fresh batch as fast as the Ritual will permit and then wonder what the trouble is.
Master Masons who are considered as such by their brethren are not working at their trade. The chief reason for this is that what goes on in the lodge doesn't hold their interest. Most of the ritualistic work is not unlike whispering a message in a boiler shop.
Master Masons too frequently measure their progress by the degrees which they receive rather than the degree with which they throw their influence into the problem of diffusing more real light in Masonry and teaching the application of Masonic teachings.
Divide the total membership of our lodges by the number of brothers present: the result is a fairly accurate picture of whether we are alive or just think we are.
Gross profits in a Masonic lodge are its membership, but the thing that "makes the mare go" are the net profits, which are the number that attend and how they labor.
If there is a germ of Masonic ideals in the hearts of Masons who attend lodge infrequently, it is dormant and inactive. When we admit that they are beyond recall, we admit failure. These ideals can be resuscitated. The pulmotor that will start the pulsation must compete with the movies, the theatre, radio, lectures, automobiles and card playing, to say nothing of the golf links.
Nine-tenths of the ritualistic work of the average lodge fails to get under the skin of the brothers present: this is why they don’t come oftener.
There is very little doubt that many lodges are having considerable trouble getting out much more than a "baker's dozen" percentage of the total membership except on the working of the Third Degree when "eats are served".
Other organizations, many of them purely social, are attracting a larger percentage of their members than Masons. "The same old grind - nothing new vitalizing or gripping," is the comment often given when the question is put to a Mason who "hasn't time" to attend his lodge.
We have all seen the brothers on the side lines slip out before the work is half completed. That this is the rule rather than the exception doesn't seem to awaken us to the necessity of looking for the cause.
SYMBOLISM AND RITUALISTIC MASONRY
A Mason who has a high regard for the possibilities of the Craft, a man of mature judgment, a public spirited citizen and who stands high in his profession, recently made the statement that he thought more of Masonry before he joined the Order than he did afterwards!
This is the typical "cross section" of the staggering percentage of Masons who are "lost" and who need Masonic salvation.
It is a well recognized fact that too many lodges devote too large a percentage of the available time within the lodge to Symbolism and Ritualistic Masonry. Men of vision, leaders in their chosen vocation and men who are considered public-spirited, do not spend their time on forms and symbols.
Neither does the rank and file, those who do not consider themselves leaders or students take an active interest in constant repetition of creeds, dogma, symbols and prayers.
The best Masonic idealism is expressed in its works, not in its beliefs and symbolisms. Preaching Masonic service! Don't get the "cart before the horse"! Give a newly-made brother something more gripping than symbolic light in Freemasonry and you will take the "P" out of Preaching.
Symbols are something that stand for something else. Forget the thing the symbol stands for and you have an empty shell - a mummery, a jargon of words, signs and baubles. Intelligent men don't remain interested in titles, platitudes and forms.
A brother is entitled to be called a "Master Mason" after he has raised to the degree of Master Mason. this doesn't make him a Master of Masonry any more than putting long pants on a boy of fifteen makes him a man. Symbolically he has reached the top round of the ladder: actually he hasn't begun to climb. The tragedy of Masonry is that few have the ambition to climb.
Masonic vaccination "doesn't take" on the average brother when it is confined to the exposure he received during the first three degrees. If it does take then the toxin of greater or more potent forces quickly neutralize the Masonic influence and the brother is not immune to the influences against which Freemasonry teaches.
Who wouldn't rather have laughter in the home than gold plate on the side board ? "Gold plate" is a symbol of success as success is measured by some people. When we spend too much time on the symbols we lose the true meaning of the thing itself.
The solution is less emphasis on "mass or group symbolism" in the lodge and more individual work among those in the Craft who have a sincere desire for real light in Masonry.
There are as many different shades of Masonry in a lodge as there are members - every Mason has a different conception of what it means to him - but too many admit that it islet a vital part of their lives.
To many Masons, Masonic illiteracy is a crime. To such as these, Masonic education is possible through study clubs. Live men seldom become enthusiastic about something they know little about. This is the reason we should discriminate between "lip service" and real service.
A brother who is Masonically educated has a good chance of becoming a real "Master Mason", regardless of what you choose to tag him in the meantime.
Are you a Mason ? Symbolically, yes. You have received all the symbolic light that the degrees call for in our Ritual. The average brother doesn't grasp one-third of what he heard when he passed through the three degrees and has forgotten 90 per cent of what he did grasp. To get real light in Masonry one must be willing to study it. There is only one man in fifty who can study anything alone; that is why the study club movement is necessary.
Memorizing symbolic words demands so much of our time that we have little time left for getting an understanding of the meaning of the symbols. We haven't scratched the surface in most of our lodges.
CALL TO LABOR
"By their works ye shall know them," is the message that came from the lips of the greatest spiritual leader within the memory of man.
The Craft will be just as vital in the affairs of men as the rank and file of the brothers that compose it are, Masonically, "working at their trade."
From Puget- Sound to Cape Cod and from the Canadian border to the Gulf are community problems; and everywhere you place your finger on the map you will probably find a Masonic craft at work, awaiting the call of some leader who will start the leaven working. An opportunity for real service is given to every Master Mason who can get the vision for this great possibility. The solution is with you in your lodge.
The woof and warp of the Masonic fabric are the brothers on the side lines. Designs in the tapestry may be conceived by a few leaders in the Fraternity but the weaving is in the hands of the rank and file of the Craft.
The Masonic slacker is the brother who has confused `'opportunity for pleasure" with "obligation for service", and then complains about devitalized Masonry!
FRIENDS AND MASONRY
Emerson says that "the only way to have a friend is to be one". We can learn much from this. The only way to develop real, genuine Masonic friendship is to be a Mason. "Being a Mason" starts with a desire and ends with Masonic knowledge and its practical application in our very-day lives.
Unless we are willing to give something to the Craft we shall take very little out of it that will be worth while. Too many are playing the "put and take" game - with emphasis on the taking. The average lodge and an auto are alike in at least one respect - there is always work to be done around both.
If you want to have fresh milk on the table at 7 A. M. (Masonically speaking) someone has to get up at five o'clock in the morning and milk the cow. Are you willing to do your share of the lodge chores ?
Tile the lodge but don't tile your mind and park your Masonic intelligence in the ante-room. When Operative Masonry held full sway in England, Masons were known by their works in the lodge, not what they believed in.
We need something more than just routine labor - Masonry is starving for brain work - and the pitiable fact is that we don't realize there are oodles of brains and intelligence in the Craft. The problem is to get at it and use it. The old two-cylinder Packard car was an efficient machine compared with its latest twin-six sister when the latter is hitting on only four cylinders.
We talk about our progress, the phenomenal increase in our membership, etc., but the ratio of what we accomplish now with our increased possibilities is low.
Our problems have increased faster than our membership: if you are willing to acknowledge this, then we must admit we are falling behind. The call for real service through the dedication of our time and intelligence to our Craft is as patent to our leaders as two and two equal four.
OUR CIVIC PROBLEMS
I would rather be able to report to the Grand Master that every member of my lodge voted (one way or the other) at last year's elections than that we increased our membership umpty umpty per cent during the same period. The Star Spangled Banner is a symbol and it is all right to cheer and doff our hats as it passes down the avenue with the brass band playing the national anthem. Next time you do this remember these words: "Little over 48 per cent of the total votes are ever cast at a national election and the stability of our Democracy depends upon whether we intelligently exercise our rights as citizens." Let us of the Masonic Craft set the example and teach this gospel far and wide.
Graft is rampant in our Government, because you and I are indifferent. A Mason who votes regularly and attends lodge occasionally is a better Mason than one who attends lodge regularly and votes occasionally. Statistics prove few do either. If Freemasonry doesn’t teach us our obligation to our citizenship it isn't worthy of its traditions.
If the Craft could be known only by the progress it has made in getting its members to discharge their duty as citizens at the polls at election, it will have accomplished something worth while.
Our public schools, a revision of our judiciary system, the proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution relating to child labor are but a few of the problems which confront us as citizens. Groping in the dark like poor blind candidates, most of us are making no effort through our lodges to dispel this darkness and help to mold public opinion.
"LET US KEEP OUR EYE ON THE BALL"
If you know anything about baseball or golf, you know what this means. It applies equally to Freemasonry.
Freemasonry must "fish or cut bait". We can't stand still. We must keep up with the procession or step out of the line.
Keep your eye on the ball! The heart of Masonry is "The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man!" If the average Mason can grasp this in the first ten years of his Masonic life he has a brilliant mind. This is not a slam at his intelligence; it is criticism of the methods we use in our lodges.
We don't give him a chance to find out what it is all about. Until we devote more of our time and attention to watching the ball we shall miss it entirely.
If the Masonic Craft can interpret its Masonic teachings in terms of real live active Brotherhood of Man, there isn't a problem confronting us which it couldn't solve.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
WARNING! One of the dangers of identifying yourself too boldly with a progressive Masonic movement is that your friends may accuse you twenty years from now of being a reactionary.
The greatest thing any man can do in this world is to encourage another who has a real message that the world should hear. Don't be afraid of ridicule. Opposition to a new thought or a new idea has been and still is almost insane in its obstinacy.
The "standpatters" and the "reactionaries" in your lodge, in your club, in your business and in every walk of human activity are here to stay and like the "poor will always be with us". Don't under-estimate the resistance you will encounter in trying to "divest Masonry of its legion of superfluities".
The beauty and bigness of Masonic teachings will never perish as long as we keep our ears close to the ground and our hand on the pulse and are willing to maintain an open mind.
Masonry isn't thin-skinned; it can stand a little criticism and it might be necessary to clear the ground a little here and there in order to make way for a larger building so vital in the affairs of men that we can truthfully say, "A structure not made with hands eternal in the heavens.”
Freemasonry in Ontario
By Bro. JAMES B. NIXON, President Toronto Society for Masonic Research, and Bro. N. W. J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Canada
(To be concluded)
IN May, 1824, the Provincial Grand Lodge assembled at Kingston to lay a cornerstone with Masonic honors, this being the first time that ceremony was performed in this I ~ Province, and in the autumn of that year the new warrants at last arrived from England. But the clouds had begun to gather again, for R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbon and V. W. Bro. Turquand both found their Masonic duties too onerous and desired to resign. The former had appointed W. Bro. Rev. Wm. Smart of Brockville to act for him in the Eastern District, but withdrew his warrant, being advised that he had no power to issue it.
It was, therefore, with considerable hope that responsible brethren awaited the return of R. W. Bro. McGillivray to again straighten out the tangles and the annual session of the Provincial Grand Lodge in August was adjourned to suit his arrival. However, a beginning was made towards the organization of a Masonic Home and school for the children and orphans of brethren.
R. W. Bro. McGillivray did not arrive at York until September 16, by which time all the visiting delegates had returned to their homes.
After consultation he accepted the resignation of R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbon and appointed Bro. John Beikie in his place. To meet the growing needs of the Provincial Grand Lodge he ordered that the annual meetings should alternate between Kingston and York, and approved the appointment of a Grand Visitor who should travel among the lodges solely for the purpose of Masonic instruction and as an auxiliary to the Worshipful Masters; not, as was proposed, as a censor, or as a delegate to the Provincial Grand Lodge for the lodges. A very important step forward was made by joining with the Provincial Grand Master for Lower Canada in sending a petition to the Grand Master in England praying that in the event of the death, resignation, or suspension or removal of the Provincial Grand Master the work of the Provincial Grand Lodge should not be interrupted until his successor be appointed, as was then the rule, but that the special conditions "in the Canadas" be recognized by allowing the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and other officers to carry on until a new Provincial Grand Master be regularly installed.
Another very necessary step was the formation of a register for the Provincial Grand Lodge, as it was found that lodges were using numbers given by both the first and the second Provincial Grand Lodges as well as those given by the Grand Lodge of England, while some working under dispensations granted by R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbons had not been reported and were without proper authority.
R. W. Bro. McGillivray returned to England in February, 1826, so much disappointed at the poor success of his efforts to instill regularity into the Masonic affairs of Upper Canada, that he threatened to resign. Although he did not do so, his business took him to Mexico between 1829-36, and he did not return to Canada until 1838.
The year 1826 saw three meetings of the Provincial Grand Lodge at the first of which R. W. Bro. Beikie was installed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and it was made known that the Provincial Grand Lodge was indebted to R. W. Bro. McGillivray for some hundreds of pounds advanced by him to carry various lodges over their financial depression. This was gradually repaid, and their first Constitutions were printed at a cost of 75 pounds. At the third meeting the idea of the first strictly Masonic Temple was discussed and the office of Grand Architect was created to keep it before them, there being "no funds then visible" for the project.
In October of that year R. W. Bro. Beikie wrote to R. W. Bro. McGillivray asking to be relieved of his office as the expenses connected therewith were too heavy for him. At this time the lodges at Amherstburgh and Cornwall, the extreme points of the Provincial Grand Jurisdiction, were 500 miles apart so that proper superintendence was most difficult and expensive under the conditions of the times. Sussex Lodge, Brockville, was this year the first on record to take up Masonic study, as they engaged Bro. Abraham Kingsley to deliver a series of lectures to them.
ANTI-MASONRY IS FELT IN CANADA
Some mention might be made here of the Morgan trouble, which so greatly affected the Craft in the United States that anti-Masonry became part of the platform of a presidential candidate and rendered many lodges in New England dormant for years. This man had lived at York between 1820-22, but returned to Rochester, N. Y., in 1823, and visited a lodge in Batavia, claiming to have been made in Canada, for which there is no evidence. On the same basis he was admitted to a chapter at LeRoy, N.Y., and was accepted as a charter member of another at Batavia. But his known character was the cause of so much objection that a new charter list was drawn up without his signature. This offended him sorely and he contracted with David Miller, of Batavia, to publish the so-called Illustrations of Masonry. Miller had been regularly initial but refused advancement of his bad reputation. The costs of publication were too much for the pair and Morgan was arrested for debts. One of these was paid and he was taken away, being very willing to leave his creditors and family at Batavia, and imprisoned at the fort at Niagara where he was visited by several Masons who were attending the installation there of Col. King as a Knight Templar. The story that at this installation two brethren were chosen by lot to cross the river with a parcel, which they started to do, but having "lost it overboard" returned, has never been supported; nor has the other story that he was ferried across and handed over to two Canadian Masons by whom he was taken to Hamilton to make a new start ever been proved. It is simply in keeping with his known character that he disappeared and it is equally true that the body buried as his at Batavia was identified by its clothing as that of another man, a fisherman, who had also disappeared.
From 1826 to 1834 it appears as though the indifference of the Grand Lodge of England towards its lodges in Upper Canada was only equalled by the neglect of the Provincial Grand Lodge officers of their duties, but it should be added in extenuation that such were chosen more for their social standing and their ability to carry the financial burdens of office, than for any special interest in the welfare of the Craft. The Provincial Grand Secretary, V. W. Bro. Turquand, complained bitterly of the tax on his resources; which was brought by the duties of his office, and although the Provincial Grand Lodge voted him various sums, these were never adequate. It is not surprising, then, to find in a few years an agitation for the formation of a Grand Lodge for Upper Canada.
In 1834 the town of York became incorporated as the city of Toronto and its strength as a Masonic center was such that the local brethren were desirous of its becoming the permanent seat of Masonic government, as well as of political power. It is recorded that a resolution was passed in St. Andrew's Lodge forming a committee to correspond with the Grand Lodge of England to that end. Apparently the results were unsatisfactory, and in November, 1835, a convention was held at Oxford, now Ingersol, to discuss local action, and in February, 1836, we read in the minutes of Mt. Moriah Lodge, London, that a Grand Lodge was formed with Bro. Wm. Putnam elected as Grand Master, and a full complement of officers. This effort did not endure, and in 1837 Bro. Auldjo, a friend of R. W. Bro. McGillivray and an officer of the United Grand Lodge of England, being about to leave for Canada, was appointed by the latter as his Deputy, to appoint such Provincial Grand officers as might be necessary and to report to him on conditions as he found them.
There is no record of such report having been made and from 1829 to 1845 the Provincial Grand Lodge appears to have been dormant; at all events it published no reports. Letters from W. Bro. W. J. Kerr, of Toronto, and W. Bro. T. M. Jones, of Goderich, both officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge, referring to a proposed Grand Lodge have been preserved. but it seems evident that the political troubles of the times were to engrossing, accompanied as they were by military action.
Between 1838-39 R. W. Bro. McGillivray again visited Upper Canada, and in November of the latter year reported to the Grand Master outlining a plan for another reorganization. His death, in 1840, seems to have extinguished whatever interest had been aroused in England by his work in Canada. It is impossible to account for the apathy of the Grand Lodge of England in relation to Canada. As in 1795-1800, and 1817-22, so between 1840-44, moneys sent were not acknowledged and urgent letters were left unanswered. Finally, in 1842, R. W. Bro. Ziba M. Phillips, who had been Deputy Provincial Grand Master in 1822, and was the only officer of that rank living in Upper Canada, sent out circulars from Brockville calling for a new Masonic Convention at Kingston. Four lodges only were represented, as those west of Kingston did not respond. A strong desire for independence was shown, and Bro. the Hon. R. B. Sullivan was recommended for Provincial Grand Master in "Canada West" under the Grand Lodge of England.
ANOTHER GRAND LODGE IS ORGANIZED
No answer was received to this, nor to a similar appeal sent after the next convention in 1843. A better attended convention was held the next year at Smith's Falls, R. W. Bro. Phillips presiding, at which those present constituted themselves into a Grand Lodge though still acknowledging the authority of the Grand Lodge of England. This body also was short-lived, but it had the effect of stirring the dissentient brethren in the Western District, especially those of St. Andrew's Lodge, which still held the original Provincial warrant issued by R. W. Bro. McGillivray. As a result, Bro. T. G. Ridout, Worshipful Master of this lodge, having to visit England in 1845, was authorized to see what he could effect towards reviving their warrant and connection as a Provincial Grand Lodge and requesting that he be appointed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
At this time is recorded another of the extraordinary features that marked our connections with the Mother Grand Lodge. In December, 1841, Sir Allan MacNab was initiated in St. Andrew's Lodge; in January next he was passed in Barton Lodge, Hamilton, but he was not raised until December, 1842. While still a Fellowcraft he visited Scotland, and at Edinburgh in August received from the Grand Lodge of Scotland a patent as Provincial Grand Master for Canada generally! Just why, or how, is not known, but as he was a prominent man it must have been due to social pressure. This appointment was not announced to the brethren concerned, either by him or otherwise, but it would have had little weight as such allegiance as they owned was to the Grand Lodge of England. Then, in 1844, while on a visit to England, he received by similar methods the appointment of Provincial Grand Master for Canada West, and again, no announcement of this step was made either by him or the Grand Lodge!
In May, 1845, Barton Lodge assembled to consider the proposal to send W. Bro. Ridout to England and not until then did Sir Allan announce his appointments and produce his warrants, to the very great surprise and dissatisfaction of his Masonic subordinates, who could not but then admit that he held the reins of government.
In August, 1845, the third Provincial Grand Lodge was organized at Hamilton, with the new chief presiding and twenty-seven delegates in attendance from the seven most important lodges. W. Bro. Ridout had departed on his journey, but the Provincial Grand Master recognized his value to the Craft by appointing him Deputy Provincial Grand Master as well as other necessary officers. On his return Bro. Ridout not only accepted the position and met its duties, but carried also those of his chief, for Sir Allan did not attend again until June, 1848, nor did he issue any warrants under his Scotch patent in Upper Canada. Between his appointment in 1844 and the final meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge in 1857 it is recorded that out of thirty-three meetings he attended only five!
Meantime the Provincial Grand Lodge at Brockville, headed by R. W. Bro. Phillips, continued to issue warrants and act in other ways as the Provincial Grand Master believed it had authority to, so correspondence followed in which he frankly offered to unite with the brethren at Toronto "if a union could take place on fair and just Masonic principles."
In June, 1847, the Provincial Grand Lodge at Toronto, having grown wealthy, applied to Parliament for an Act of Incorporation so that its lodges could hold property, and in August the first Board of General Purposes was formed, with W. Bro. Sir John Bonnycastle, of St. John's Lodge, of Kingston, as president. At their annual convention in this year their lodges gained permission to bring with them to Grand Lodge each its own symbolic banner, none of which were to be larger "than one yard square."
TWO IMPORTANT DECISIONS WERE MADE
In June, 1848, two decisions of importance were reached, the first, necessitated by greatly increased membership under unsettled conditions, being that "no brother can resign while under charges for unMasonic conduct." The second authorized the unification of the work, which was at this time a medley of English, Irish, Scotch and American (Webb), depending on where the officers had been taught.
In 1850 the Grand Lodge of England was petitioned to grant larger powers to the Provincial Grand Lodge as the great difficulties attendant on each lodge making its own returns direct to England resulted in their not doing so at all, whereas if these were made through the Provincial Grand Secretary, the necessary supervision could be exercised.
This was followed in 1852 by a resolution that the formation of an independent Grand Lodge in full control of its own affairs was the only way out of the many annoyances to which Canadian Masons were subjected. At this time, too, the first steps were taken towards establishing the system of benevolence now in use.
Again in 1853 this request was repeated, with the reminder that drafts sent and duly paid by the banks in London had never been acknowledged. It is recorded that the lodges in Toronto were so annoyed by the neglect of the Grand Secretary to send receipts or other documents, that money was no longer sent him except by brethren going to London, who were instructed to hold the funds until the certificates or warrants were prepared and handed over.
In 1854 the second step was taken towards the erection of a temple in Toronto by the granting of an annual sum from the Provincial Grand Lodge to that end, to be invested until sufficient was obtained to complete the project. Notice had to be taken, too, of the growing activities of lodges warranted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland. A convention of these lodges, called by King Solomon's Lodge at Toronto in November, 1853, had memoralized their Grand Lodge for power to form an independent Grand Lodge for Canada West. The reply offered them a Provincial Grand Lodge and asked them to name a Provincial Grand Master. But at their convention in May, 1855, it was decided to send delegates to the convention of the English lodges at Niagara Falls, with a view to united action, and their influence had a decisive effect.
July, 1855, saw the Provincial Grand Lodge at Niagara Falls and it was decided in view of the inattention to their requests on the part of the English authorities to send Bro. R. H. Townsend, of London, as a "special agent of this Provincial Grand Lodge" with full power to act and, further, to employ a "working brother in London, England, to act as agent of this Provincial Grand Lodge in London." One can only wonder at and admire the long-suffering loyalty to a callous parent exhibited by our Masonic ancestors.
In September, 1855, a committee of the Grand Lodge of England reported, acknowledging and regretting the causes for complaint on the part of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Canada West and recommending that the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England be: amended to permit the request of the petition concerning remittances and returns. But this was only locking the stable after the horse was gone for, at the convention at Niagara Falls, a motion was put by V. W. Bro. Wm. Mercer Wilson, G.S.W., W.M., of Norfolk Lodge, Simcoe, that "delegation from all the lodges in the Province, under all jurisdictions, be invited to meet at an early date, to take the necessary steps . . . for the purpose of forming an Independent Grand Lodge." This motion was lost, because of the report from England, but the strong influence of Norfolk Lodge, where independence had long been favored, coupled with the weight of the Irish delegates, resulted in an impromptu meeting of the Independent party at Niagra Falls, the day following the convention, when it was decided to meet at Hamilton in October and "proceed with such matters as may be deemed desirable for the benefit of Masonry in this province."
Accordingly the representatives of forty-one lodges assembled at Hamilton in October with R.W.Bro. Chas. Magill, of Barton Lodge, P.G.J.W., in the chair, and a resolution was passed detailing in courteous but unmistakable language the many grievances under which the Craft had suffered at the hands of the authorities in England, and finally that "in order to apply a remedy to the evils . . . it is expedient, right and our bounder duty to form a Grand Lodge of Canada." This passed after some discussion, with but one dissentient, who - strange to say - was R. W. Bro. Kivas Tully, representing King Solomon's Lodge, Toronto, the rallying point of the Irish section, who felt he could not act without instructions from his lodge though, personally, he heartily concurred. A constitution was adopted and the first Grand Master was Colonel Wm. M. Wilson, with R. W. Bro. G. Bernard, of St. George's Lodge, Montreal, as his Deputy, and R. W. Bros. W. C. Stephens, of Acacia Lodge, Hamilton, W. B. Simpson, of Sussex Lodge, Brockville, and W. Eadan, as the first District Deputies for the Western, Central and Eastern Districts of the newly formed Grand Lodge.
On Nov. 2, the convention met again at Hamilton and the new Grand Lodge officers were installed by M. W. Bro. the Hon. H. T. Backus, P. G. M. of the Grand Lodge of Michigan, after which an address and statement of the event and the causes antecedent was sent to all Masonic jurisdictions with a request for fraternal recognition.
As stated above, forty-one lodges organized themselves into a sovereign Grand Lodge for Canada, but there were nineteen lodges which chose to retain their allegiance to England through their Provincial Grand Lodge, and these held a convention in Toronto in October, 1855, at which twelve lodges were represented. with R. W. Bro. T. G. Ridout presiding. Despite their past experience, they decided to again Demoralize the authorities at home, expressing their loyalty and asking for suitable action. They also severed relations with the independent lodges. No reply was received and at the convention in May, next year, the loss of seven lodges was recorded. Against this they drew some comfort from a report of Bro. Townsend, their special agent to England, from which it appeared that the Mother Grand Lodge had been forced to notice at last the delinquency of its executive officers. He had appeared at the quarterly meeting in March, 1866 with the result that a resolution was passed granting practical independence, reserving only the right to appoint Provincial Grand Masters from names sub misted by the Provincial Grand Lodges and extending similar privileges to all other Provincial Grand Lodge: when request should be made. This would, probably have been satisfactory, but the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master, spoiled the good effect by making a statement of excuse for his neglect in which he voiced a pride of office which was thoroughly offensive to his Canadian brethren, as well as to many of his own Grand Lodge members, so that the matter was a cause for heated discussion at their next quarterly communications in June and September, as well as in Canada when the reports arrived there. Even the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York, who had been first asked to install M. W. Bro. Wilson and his officers, and had refused, was unwise enough to publicly criticise them for doing exactly what his own Grand Lodge had done some seventy-five years before as a result of similar treatment.
(To be concluded)
A Lodge of Instruction
By Bro. JOHN J. LANIER, Virginia
BRO. JOHN J. LANIER, Fredericksburg, Virginia, has devised a unique method of Masonic education that may be used in a lodge itself, in a Study Club, or in an informal gathering of Masonic students. The Lodge of Instruction, properly so called, deals only with the Ritual; Masonic lectures deal with all manner of subjects; Bro. Lanier has combined the two in a ritual that is entirely apart front the regular work, but at the same time interprets its deeper meanings, and is so devised that, with the addition of a few characters, it may be exemplified by the officers of a regular lodge, albeit in unofficial session. A small section of this drama of instruction is given here, with the author's permission, the whole of it being too long for inclusion. Readers interested in this new plan of Masonic education may address the author. Bro. Lanier has published a number of books, among them being The Master Mason; Masonry and Citizenship; Washington, the Great American Mason; The Daughter of Hiram Abif; Masonry and Protestantism, etc. - Editor.
(An alarm is heard at the door)
JUNIOR DEACON - Worshipful Master, I hear someone knocking for admission.
MASTER - See who presumes to disturb our solemn assembly.
JUNIOR DEACON (Goes out, returns and says) - Nine Master Masons are waiting without - a Christian Bishop, a Rabbi, a Buddhist, a Mohammedan, a Parsee, a Confucian, a Philosopher, a Scientist, and an Agnostic.
MASTER - Brother Junior Deacon, you say that among the Brethren there is an Agnostic. An Agnostic is one who neither denies nor asserts there is a God and does not see how anyone can. He must be a member of a lodge with whom we are not in communion. Return and make further investigation.
JUNIOR DEACON - I have made further investigation, and find that I was not as careful as I should have been in making my first report. The Brother is a member of this lodge, and is not an Agnostic in the sense of one who is doubtful of the existence of God, but is agnostic about Masonry.
He says that Masonry is not worth while; that it has no light he cannot get elsewhere; that it has no philosophy; is nothing but a poor kind of social club whose obligations are not taken seriously.
He comes only at the earnest request of the Bishop who believes that our Lodge of Instruction will remove his agnosticism.
MASTER - Brother Junior Deacon, your explanation is satisfactory. Admit the Brethren.
(They are admitted, approach the altar and make the proper signs, after which the Master says)
TO THE GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE, THE ONLY GOD, IN WHOM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING, BE ASCRIBED ALL POWER, DOMINION, AND GLORY, NOW AND FOREVER, AMEN.
ALL - So may it be.
(And remain standing before the altar)
MASTER - Our Lodge of Instruction will continue with a short catechism of the fundamentals of Masonry.
What does our Masonic Lodge represent?
ANSWER - The universe.
MASTER - What do you see before you?
ANSWER - The holy altar of Masonry.
MASTER - What do you see on it?
ANSWER - The Great Lights of Masonry.
MASTER - What enables you to see these?
ANSWER - The Lesser Lights of Masonry.
MASTER - What do they represent?
MASTER - What does this teach you ?
ANSWER - Through nature to God.
MASTER - Why ?
ANSWER - Because without the Lesser Lights we could not see the Greater Lights.
MASTER - In ancient times men erected altars on "high places" and offered burnt sacrifices on them. Why did they do this?
ANSWER - For two reasons. They erected their altars on high places because they thought that their gods dwelt there, with whom they came into communion by sharing with them a real meal. The worshippers ate the gross forms of food, while the gods ate finer forms which went off in the gases and odors.
MASTER - You said altars were erected for two purposes to God in ancient times. You have told me only one. What is the other reason?
ANSWER - To propitiate the wrath of their gods.
MASTER - What does the altar which is placed in the center of every Masonic lodge mean?
ANSWER - It is the symbol of sacrifice.
MASTER - What is that sacrifice ?
ANSWER - We must sacrifice our lives for our families, our country, and our God, should it be necessary.
MASTER - You are right, my Brother; the altar of Masonry is the symbol of Love's sacrifice, the Brotherhood of Man.
You said that the First Great Light in Masonry is the Holy Bible. Beginning with the Rabbi, and proceeding down the line, each of you will tell me what the Holy Bible of Masonry is.
RABBI - The Old Testament.
BISHOP - The Old and New Testaments.
PARSEE - The Zend Avesta.
BUDDHIST - The Vedas.
CONFUCIAN - The writings of Confucius.
PHILOSOPHER - The Holy Bible of Masonry is written in the soul of mankind, which the greatest sages and thinkers have transcribed into the sacred books of all great civilizations. I can therefore take my obligation on any of the books the brethren have named.
SCIENTIST - I agree with the Philosopher, but in addition will add that the revelation of God is written in the constitution of the universe as well as in the souls of men; in the rocks, in every dewdrop; "in the meanest flower that grows," as Wordsworth says; and as Paul says, "The invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. even His eternal power and Godhead."
AGNOSTIC - My reason is my guide to Deity, as the Scientist has said, for when I dive into my soul I find there the name of God written on His last and greatest creation, the soul of man. I find this is taught in the sacred books of all nations.
MASTER - You are all right, and your answers show the universality of Masonry, which means that God has not left Himself without witness in any nation.
I will ask you all to answer this question together. Whom does the Great Light of Masonry teach that God is ?
ALL TOGETHER - The Father of spirits.
PHILOSOPHER - I assent to that, for as Anaxogoras ;aid: "If an ox could think, his god would be an infinite ox," which means that the First Great Cause can certainly be no less than man is. I am a person, and no less than I am can be the Author of my existence and being. Therefore I believe in the personality of God.
MASTER - Where do you find the Fatherhood of God taught ?
ALL - In the sacred books of all nations.
MASTER - Will our good Bishop give us the words in which his sacred book teaches this?
BISHOP - "God is the Father of spirits, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."
MASTER - Will the Rabbi tell us where his sacred book teaches the same truth ?
RABBI - In many passages, such for instance as these: "I will be a father to thee; Israel is my son; thou, O Jehovah, art our father ;" and in Genesis where it is said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
MASTER - What is the Second Corner Stone of Masonry ?
ALL - The Brotherhood of man.
MASTER - The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man are two Corner Stones of Masonry. What are the other Corner Stones?
ALL - The immortality of Man and Prayer.
MASTER - Where is the immortality of man taught?
ALL - In the sublime degree of a Master Mason.
AGNOSTIC - We are getting some light in this Lodge of Instruction.
BISHOP - I told you, my Brother, that your agnosticism was not well founded.
AGNOSTIC - My good Bishop, as I have often told you, I am glad to be rid of it.
ALL – Let the good work go on.
PARSEE - We have been worshipping God under the symbol of light for thousands of years.
BISHOP AND RABBI - Yes; when our Scriptures speak of God as light we borrowed that from you.
MASTER - This is certainly interesting. We are getting more light than we expected. But we must conclude our catechism with the Fourth Corner Stone of Masonry, which is Prayer. What is Prayer?
PARSEE - Prayer is communion of spirit with spirit, the finite with the infinite.
MASTER - Have you not left out of your definition of Prayer the ideas of petition and changing the will either of God or man?
PARSEE - The communion of spirit with spirit contains the idea of petition, and changing the will of man to conform to the will of God. We leave that to the individual need of the one who prays.
HINDOO - Should the Brethren desire it, we shall be glad to give them our highest idea of prayer, which your own poet Wordsworth has so beautifully and perfectly expressed.
MASTER - We shall be glad to hear it.
HINDOO - Prayer is communion of spirit, when spirit with spirit meets face to face, which Wordsworth describes in these beautiful lines:
"In such high hour
Of visitation from the living God
Thought is not, in enjoyment expires.
No thanks we breathe, we proffer no request;
Rapt into still communion that transcends
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
The mind is a thanksgiving to the power
That makes us. It is blessedness and love,
The first virgin passion of the soul
In communion with the glorious universe."
We offer it to you, Worshipful Master, for what it may be worth to the Brethren.
MASTER - Thank you, my Brother; we are sure that many will find it helpful. We highly value the great contribution the sages of India have made to our Craft, and not only to the sages of India, but the sages of all the nations here represented.
O Lord, give me the power every day
To voice some word of hope, some sign of cheer
Some happy line to buoy again a heart
That's weighted down by hopelessness and fear.
Teach me to show, in flaming words of Truth
The way to some weak Brother on the road,
Return to him the manliness of youth
To stand erect beneath his heavy load.
I would not take from him his right to show
The world that he can rise again and walk
Can conquer all his burdens and his care
And all his tempting devils gaily mock.
But let me say some heartening word to him
To strength his back and call to life his Will;
The story of Our Brother's rugged Cross
And how He bore Himself upon the hill.
- Gerald Nancarrow.
The Grand Lodge of New Brunswick
Copied by permission from ``Freemasonry in Canada";
compiled by Bro. OSBORNE SHEPPARD, Hamilton, Ontario
THE history of Freemasonry in New Brunswick may be said to have commenced the 7th of November, 1783, when Jared Betts wrote from St. Ann's, N. S., now Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, to Joseph Peters, Secretary of the Master's Lodge, No. 211, Halifax, to know if he could proceed under a warrant which he held, granted by Dermott, who is described as the Grand Master of Ireland. The authority to this warrant was denied and a dispensation was actually issued from the two warranted lodges, Nos. 155 and 211, then existing at Halifax. On August 22, 1792, a warrant was granted by the Provincial Grand Lodge at Halifax to Ephraim Betts and others, at St. Ann's, for Solomon's Lodges, No. 22 - now No. 6 - registry of New Brunswick. New Brunswick was made a separate Province in 1784, and the first lodge instituted there September 7, 1784, was Hiram Lodge. The second lodge instituted was St. George Lodge, Maugerville, 1788. The third lodge, New Brunswick, was instituted at Fredericton in 1789.
In 1795 Hiram Lodge "rebelled" against the authority of the Provincial Grand Lodge at Halifax by which it had been warranted as No. 17. On September 7, 1796, its warrant was withdrawn by the Provincial Grand Lodge, and all its members, twenty-two in number, were "expelled for apostacy," etc. There were, so far as can be ascertained, five lodges in New Brunswick contemporary with Hiram Lodge, viz.: New Brunswick, No. 541, at Fredericton; St. George, No. 19, at Maugerville, 1788; Zion, No. 29, at Kingston, Kings County New Brunswick, 1792; Solomon's, No. 22, at Fredericton, 1792; Hiram York, No. 23, at Fredericton, 1793. The first of these lodges was chartered by the Grand Lodge of England, and the others by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. All of these ceased to exist many years ago. Of the lodges existing at present in New Brunswick, St. John's Lodge, No. 2, is the oldest, and was constituted April 5, 1802, under al warrant issued by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. The ceremony was performed by the R. W. Bro. William Campbell, Deputy Grand Master at St. John.
While it is undoubtedly a fact that steps were taken toward the formation of a Grand Lodge as early as the year 1829, and the Rev. Benjamin Gerrish Gray, D. D., Rector of Trinity Church, was actually elected as Grand Master, no further proceedings were taken, and the Grand Lodge so attempted to be formed apparently died a natural death,
In the year 1867, however, after the confederation of the various Provinces of Canada. there was a meeting of the Masters and Past Masters of lodges held in the city of St. John on August 16, 1867, looking to the formation of a Grand Lodge. There were present representatives from Albion Lodge, St. John's Lodge, Carleton Union Lodge of Portland, New Brunswick Lodge, Hibernia Lodge and Leinster Lodge. It was resolved at this meeting to address a circular to all the lodges in New Brunswick under the jurisdiction of England, Ireland and Scotland, stating that this meeting deemed it desirable that a convention be held to consider the present position of Masonic affairs in the Province, and to take such action thereon as may be deemed necessary, the lodges so addressed to be requested to authorize their Masters, Past Masters and Wardens to meet in such convention. Pursuant to this resolution a meeting was held in the city of St. John on the 9th and 10th of October, 1867. There were present representatives from Albion Lodge, St. John's Lodge, Solomon's Lodge, Carleton Union Lodge, Midian Lodge, Union Lodge of Portland, Woodstock Lodge, St. George Lodge, Alley Lodge, Howard Lodge, Northumberland Lodge, Miramichi Lodge, Zetland Lodge, New Brunswick Lodge, Hibernia Lodge, Sussex Lodge, Leinster Lodge, St. Andrew's Lodge, and Lodge St. Andrew.
A GRAND LODGE IS FORMED
W. Bro. B. Lester Peters, P. M., of Albion Lodge, was called to the chair and W. Bro. Wedderburn, P. M., of St. John's Lodge, was requested to act as Secretary. At this meeting it was resolved to form a Grand Lodge of New Brunswick. The delegates from St. Andrew's Lodge asked and obtained permission to retire from the convention, and the delegates from Howard and Zetland Lodges stated that, though personally in favor of the resolution, they had no authority to record a vote for their respective lodges. The remainder of the lodges unanimously voted in favor of forming a Grand Lodge of New Brunswick. R. W. Bro. Robert T. Clinch was unanimously, and by acclamation, elected Most Worthy Grand Master. Bro. Clinch, however, while appreciating the compliment paid him, declined to accept the office on account of the official position he held as District Grand Master under the Most-Worthy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, and which he had not resigned. In consequence thereof, W. Bro. B. Lester Peters was unanimously elected in his place as the first Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick, together with the following: William Wedderburn, Deputy Grand Master; Hon. William Flewelling, Senior Grand Warden; David Brown Junior Grand Warden Rev William Donald, D. D., Grand Chaplain, and William H. A. Keans, Grand Treasurer; William F. Bunting, Grand Secretary.
On January 22, 1868, the Grand Master-elect and the other Grand Officers were duly installed "in the presence of a large and influential gathering of the Craft," of the Registries of England, Ireland and Scotland, "from all parts of the Province," by W. Bro. John Willis, Past Master of Hibernia Lodge, and the Senior Past Master of the jurisdiction. The Grand Lodge was thereupon "consecrated and dedicated."
A resolution was adopted proffering equal privileges to all outstanding lodges in the Province, which should adhere to the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick, on or before the 31st of March, following; and that any lodge not of allegiance to Grand Lodge, on or before the 31st of May, succeeding, should be dealt with by the Grand Master as he in his wisdom and discretion determine, until the next communication of Grand Lodge. Ultimately all the lodges in New Brunswick came under the authority of the Grand Lodge and received new warrants.
The Centennial of the Introduction of Freemasonry into New Brunswick was celebrated July 1, 1884, and consisted of an imposing procession formed by different Masonic bodies in the city of St. John and the Province of New Brunswick. About 500 Freemasons, accompanied by seven bands of music, appeared in the ranks. The procession marched through the principal streets and passed the location of the first lodge in the city, which was in Britain, near Charlotte, thence to the Mechanics' Institute where interesting services were held, consisting of an address by the M.W.G.M. John Valentine Ellis, in which he detailed the history of the Craft in the Province of New Brunswick up to that time.
On behalf of and of and in the name of the Centennial Committee the Grand Master invested both visitors with the medal which had been struck in commemoration of the Centennial.
New Brunswick is divided into five Masonic districts, with a District Deputy Grand Master over each, viz.: No. 1, City and County of St. John and Counties of Kings and Queens; No. 2, Counties of Westmoreland and Albert; No. 3, Counties of Kent, Northumberland, Gloucester and Restigouche; No. 4, Counties of York (except the town of McAdam), Carleton, Victoria, Madawaska and Sunbury; No. 5, County of Charlotte and the town of McAdam.
Freemasonry in Saskatchewan
By Bro. CHAS. A. COOKE, P. G. D. of C., Saskatchewan
FOUR things stand out in high relief in the history of Masonry in the Province of Saskatchewan. Of necessity, the first of these was the launching of the then baby Grand Lodge of the Dominion, this . auspicious event, fraught with high hopes that have since been amply realized, taking place on the ninth day of August, 1906.
The decision of the brethren resident in the newly organized Province - the territory which is now Saskatchewan having been given provincial status by the Dominion Government in 1905 - to spread their wings, was reached early in 1906, and on the eventful August day mentioned an enthusiastic and zealous band of brethren assembled in the city of Regina, there to erect another Grand Jurisdiction to be known henceforth as the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan. Grand Lodge officers of the Grand Jurisdiction of Manitoba, hitherto holding sway over this territory, were present in numbers to assist in the institution of the new Grand Lodge, and to demonstrate by their presence their good wishes for its future.
At this time there were comprised in the new jurisdiction some twenty-four constitutent lodges, with an enrollment of approximately 700 Masons. These lodges, in order of antiquity, were: No. 1, Kinistino (Prince Albert). 2. Wascana (Regina). 3. Moose Jaw. 4. Qu'Appelle Valley (Fort Qu'Appelle). 5. Indian Head. 6. Qu’Appelle. 7. Moosomin. 8. Ashlar (Whitewood). 9. Maple Leaf (Maple Creek). 10. Evening Star (Grenfell). 11. Northwest Mounted Police (Regina). 12. Yorkton. 13. Duck Lake. 14. Sintaluta. 15. Amity (Carnduff ) . 16. Saskatchewan (Saskatoon). 17. Carlyle. 18. Melfort. 19. Battle (Battleford). 20. Weyburn. 21. Arcola. 22. Rosthern. 23. Britannia (Lloydminster). 24. Wolseley. There were also three lodges working under dispensation.
At the time of writing, the number of lodges on the Grand Register total 177 with a combined membership of over 12,500.
Many of the brethren who played a prominent part in the organization of the new Grand Lodge are still with us.
M. Wor. Bro. W. B. Tate, Grand Master of Saskatchewan in 1910, and for the past nine years Grand Secretary of this jurisdiction, was, at the time of formation of the Grand Lodge, D. D. G. M. for District No. 8 under the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, a territory comprising the whole of the southern portion of Saskatchewan. He was among those most prominently identified with the birth of the new jurisdiction.
M. Wor. Bro. Alex. Shepphard, Grand Master in 1922, was the first Grand Treasurer of Saskatchewan, holding that office for a period of fourteen years, vacating it only when elected to the Grand West.
M. Wor. Bro. C. O. Davidson, the first Deputy Grand Master, is still an active and enthusiastic worker in the jurisdiction, as is M. Wor. Bro. H. Jagger, who was the first occupant of the Grand Senior Warden's chair.
Others who took an active part in the formation of Grand Lodge and are still adding lustre to the ranks of Masonry are: M. Wor. Bro. L. T. McDonald, Grand Master in 1914; M. Wor. Bro. W. M. Thompson (1915); M. Wor. Bro. R. Young (1918); Rt. Wor. Bro. J. N. Bayne, P. D. D. G. M., and Wor. Bro. W. M. Martin, a former premier of this Province, who was Master of Wascana Lodge, No. 2, when Grand Lodge was organized.
One of the most persistent advocates of the new jurisdiction was the late M. Wor. Bro. G. B. Murphy, who was already a P. G. M. of Manitoba, and who was made an honorary P. G. M. of Saskatchewan. He passed to the Grand Lodge above last year.
A SPLENDID RECORD OF BENEVOLENCE
Second, perhaps, among the notable milestones in the history of the jurisdiction, is the splendid record of Benevolence. At the institution of the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan the nucleus of a Benevolent Fund was established as the result of a grant of $1,000 from the Grand Jurisdiction of Manitoba. In 1910 M. Wor. Bro. Tate, Grand Master, advocated the formation of a governing body of trustees to take in hand all matters pertaining to Benevolence, and this was done, when, in 1913, a special convocation of Grand Lodge assembled to compile and adopt a revised constitution.
Little progress was made until the prospective heavy demands on the fund, resultant on the great war, inspired an appeal from M. Wor. Bro. J. McCauley, sitting Grand Master, for assistance. Contributions on a basis of $10 per member have built up the fund until today it stands at over $150,000 invested in Government bonds and other approved securities. The principle of the fund must forever remain intact, only the interest accruing therefrom, together with an annual per capita assessment of forty cents being applied to relieve cases of need. The growth and administration of the Grand Lodge Benevolent Fund makes a thrilling story of which every member in the jurisdiction is justly proud.
Another notable achievement that marks the growth of this Grand Lodge in recent years was the Masonic Scholarship Scheme evolved and brought to a successful issue by M. Wor. Bro. G. M. Weir in 1921. Upwards of $20,000 was contributed to this scheme by the brethren of the jurisdiction to be used for purposes of Scholarship Endowment for teachers. The cost of Normal School training in the case of approved candidates was defrayed by the fund, conditional on the candidates undertaking to teach for a period of not less than one year at schools, selected by the governing committee, in outlying rural districts. In all, fifty scholarships have been awarded.
DISTRICT MEETINGS ARE A MARKED SUCCESS
Last, but, as has been proven in actual practice, by no means least effulgent of the high lights of Saskatchewan Masonry, is the system of annual district meetings inaugurated in 1916 by M. Wor. Bro. W. M. Thompson. For purposes of efficient administration the jurisdiction is divided into sixteen districts, in each of which once a year a joint assembly of the constitutent lodges is called together. The meetings are presided over by the D.D.G.M. for the respective districts and are honored by the presence of the Grand Master, the Grand Secretary and such other officers of Grand Lodge as can conveniently attend. Degree work is exemplified under the direction of the Grand Secretary, with a view to complete uniformity throughout the jurisdiction, and invariably several excellent addresses on the symbolic teachings of the work are contributed by brethren of the district in addition to the messages brought by the Grand Lodge officers.. Having been privileged to be present at many of these gatherings in various parts of the jurisdiction, I can testify to their extreme value and importance to the Craft. Nothing, thus far, has approached the district meeting in educative potentiality, and we know of no more effective or powerful means of developing the true spirit of Masonry.
Recently Grand Lodge has set up a permanent committee on Masonic Education and Research, whose function it is to initiate and direct constituent lodges in matters relating to the study of Masonic subjects. Much is expected of this committee. Already it is at work and we look for an increasing breadth of vision coupled with a fuller and more virile conception of Masonry to develop throughout the jurisdiction as time goes on.
The Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan is full of vigor and hope, animated by a lofty vision and filled with true optimism for the future. Though now only in its eighteenth year, it has set up a record of which every Craftsman in the jurisdiction is justly proud, and to the maintenance of which each one of us is cheerfully yet sacredly pledged.
SCOTTISH RITE RINGS
Please tell me what is the law about the wearing of Scottish Rite rings for this jurisdiction.
S. L. A., Alabama.
The whole law on the subject of wearing rings in the Southern Jurisdiction is contained in Article XIII, 1923 Statutes of the Supreme Council:
Sec. 13. The ring of the Thirty-third Degree, for all Inspectors General, Active, Emeriti or Honorary, is a triple one of gold, like three small rings side by side, having on it no advertisement by any device, figure or mark whatever, and should be worn on the little finger of the left hand.
Sec. 14. Perfect Elus of this Jurisdiction should wear the ring of the Degree on the third finger of the left hand (not counting the thumb); it should be a flat gold band without any mark or device on It.
"He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the trust of pure women and the love of children, who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it, who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had, whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”
AN ADDRESS TO CANDIDATE ABOUT TO RECEIVE THE APPRENTICE DEGREE
Feeling that no man should seek admittance into the membership of a Masonic lodge without first being made acquainted with its general spirit and purposes, the Study Club of the correspondents of the Masonic News, Detroit, Mich., prepared at one of their sessions the address printed below, and here published by permission. Any Masonic lodge may feel free to use it.
MY FRIENDS -
It is essential that you have a proper conception of Freemasonry. You may have assumed or been informed that it is a purely social or benevolent institution or a religious order all of which would be wrong and misleading. It cannot be made too plain that Masonry is not in any sense a religion, nor in any sense allied to, or opposed to any church, although it teaches the service of God and Brotherhood of man. If you have any bitterness, hatred or intolerance towards any faith you are making a grave mistake in seeking admission to Masonry, and you should stop now and postpone your initiation until your mind is free from all prejudice and passion.
What then is Freemasonry? Shortly defined it is essentially a Society of men co-operating as brothers in the work of building. Prior to the year 1717 - when the first Grand Lodge was formed in England, the work of the Order was largely operative. Since that time the work has been called speculative meaning-philosophical - watchful - contemplative, but the work of modern speculative Masonry is more beneficial to humanity and requires more individual loyalty and sacrifice than the work of our ancient operative brethren, important as it was at that time.
From its citadel of Brotherhood modern Masonry looks out on a world, torn and bleeding from continuous conflict with the destructive forces of greed and lust and crime. Although the world is big enough and rich enough to house and feed and clothe all mankind, it sees nations preying on nations and man on man like the beasts of the jungle.
The work of Masonry is to better these unhappy conditions of life, by establishing in the midst of life an organization of faithful men pledged and trained to the principles of Brotherhood, justice and toleration, whose first duty is to broadcast the influence of the Order and press forward to the ultimate goal of universal Brotherhood, and to that end build and develop the character of its members, so that by precept and example they will radiate and reflect these benign and constructive virtues.
Surely here is work, and enough, for every right-thinking man who seeks enrollment in the cause of human service.
Turning now to your Petition for initiation.
Each of you declared in your Petition, not only that you were unbiased by the solicitation of friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, but were prompted to solicit the privilege by
A favorable opinion of the institution,
A desire for knowledge, and
A sincere wish to be serviceable to your fellowmen.
The sincerity of this declaration is your first qualification for admission.
We acquit you of any intentional falsehood or equivocation in making these statements, but in case you signed the Petition hurriedly, or with an imperfect understanding of its meaning and significance, it is expedient that it be explained to you and that you be given an opportunity of withdrawing before assuming the serious obligations of Masonry.
With such lofty aims and purposes, you will readily understand that Masonry must have only earnest workmen in its ranks. The solicitation of friends and mercenary motives might undermine its undertaking, and hinder its advancement by the enlistment of the weak and selfish, who would be unfit as workers in a world campaign against force and greed.
It may be assumed that you have a favorable opinion of the institution, otherwise it would be foolish and useless to seek admission.
Your desire for knowledge means the knowledge obtained from Masonic reading and contemplation and for instruction in Masonic philosophy, history and teaching, as well as from the practice of its precepts.
The most important statement in your Petition, however, is your avowed wish to be serviceable to your fellowmen. By this declaration you have expressed a desire to personally cooperate with your brothers in the speculative work of the Order. To be of service you must work diligently. This does not mean lip service. Masonry demands sacrifice and genuine co-operation. It means you must control your passions and avoid all dissensions that may be subversive of harmony. That you refrain from lewd conversation and blasphemous language which are a reproach to the Craft. That you practice morality, for brotherly love can only be founded on respect and affection. That you conform to the Masonic virtues of truth, temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice, for they cement Brotherhood and support society. That you will always be willing to help a deserving brother in distress, and preserve the honor and reputation of Masonry unsullied. Unless you are equipped with the armor of character, you will be a listless and indifferent soldier in the ranks.
The first degree in Masonry may be said to be the dividing line between the thoughtlessness of youth and the obligations of manhood.
After hearing this explanation and admonition are you individually willing to proceed with your initiation?
(If the answer is affirmative.).
I am indeed glad to hear you say so.
It is only necessary to point out that these lessons will be impressed upon you in the first degree by a series of instructive symbols, and that you should give strict attention to all that will be said to you within.
Above all things, my friends, put away all fear and nervousness. There is no jesting or horseplay in the Lodge Room, and nothing to fear or anticipate in the degree work, no matter what any of your Masonic friends may have thoughtlessly hinted to the contrary.
You will now answer the constitutional questions that will be put to you, and submit to your preparation by the Stewards.
Those who move about much in the Fraternity, or are familiar with the Masonic press and with the Fraternal Correspondence Reports of Grand Lodges, know how persistent has grown the cry, "We are making Masons too rapidly! Let us apply the brakes, or put up the bars, and learn to go slow." But alas! the degree-mill evil is an old one, and dates back, if one may trust reports made at the time, to the days of good old Dr. Stukeley, who, as compared with ourselves, was almost an ancient. In the 1850's, even, and long after Dr. Stukeley, when the anti-Mason propaganda had by no means as yet subsided, men thronged the doors of Masonry as now, appealing for entrance, and they were admitted in too large numbers to suit the judicious. In 1858 the writer of the Fraternal Correspondence Report of the Grand Lodge of Illinois voiced his fears lest the Order overthrow itself and break down of its own weight, like Fulton's famous steamboat. To this the author of the Fraternal Correspondence Report of the Grand Lodge of Texas gave echo in vigorous language. The Masonic philosophers of today will find the paragraphs, one of which follows, worthy their perusal:
"The evil of opening the doors of the temple too wide is a manifest one. We have often thought that many of our Grand Lodges, by fixing the initiation fee too low, as for instance in Illinois, at $15, were doing themselves a fearful injury. The prosperity of Masonry is not to be measured by the number of its initiates, nor by the amount of the increase of its lodges. Oftentimes the profane, looking with curiosity upon the Fraternity, have an itching to know its secrets and are willing to invest a trifling amount to satisfy their curiosity, when they might be deterred if the cost were greater. Lodges, too, when as numerous as are those in Illinois, often cherish too strong a desire to increase their membership for the pecuniary prosperity such increase promises, and are not sufficiently guarded in their investigations into character. We confess we are of those who believe that the Institution would grow more rapidly in prosperity in one year if no new lodges were created, nor any applicant admitted, than it now does in five, with the hundreds of shingle palaces that are erected, and the tens of thousands of half-baked bricks that are worked, or rather chucked, into its walls. We can but think that the admitting of 'inchoates' into the footing of regular lodges, which had showed so great a want of circumspection as did those referred to by the above committee, was also opening the door too wide to them. Yet we are glad to see that the attention of the leading Masons of that jurisdiction, like Grand Master Dills, is being turned to the matter, and hope that not the least of the benefits that will result from it will be the making of Masons there, who can prove themselves such after they get outside the home range - a thing which two out of every five your committee have met within 'private practice' hailing from that jurisdiction have not been able to do. Hedge up the way, brethren, and let no man come in whom you can find any reasonable excuse to keep out, and when you take a man in, work him up so that ever after he will not know himself, except as a Mason."
Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.
Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them. - Holmes
Great Men Who Were Masons
By Bro. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
DANIEL CARROLL was a member of Maryland Lodge, No. 16, being initiated May 9, 1780, passed July 11 of the same year, and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason May 8, 1781.
This lodge was chartered September 21, 1770, with Thomas Russell as its first W. M. From its roster of members, between 1773 and 1781, it is evident that General Mordecai Gist, William Pinkney, General Smallwood, O. H. Williams, Archie Anderson, Captain James Nicholson and a number of other revolutionary notables were in its membership.
Daniel Carroll was born in Prince George County, Maryland, in 1756, and died in Paris in 1846. His remains were brought home and interred in the Georgetown University burying ground in 1849, in the Carroll lot, and a memorial was erected; but in 1858, when Mount Olivet Cemetery was opened, the Carrolls were removed to it. The memorial illustrated on this page gives the year of Carroll's death as 1849, but an inscription on a slab alongside correctly gives the date as 1846, confirmed by church records.
Daniel, who was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Carrolltown, received a classic education, but his taste led him to agriculture, and he was probably one of the first scientific farmers in the Republic. His estate was very large, with hundreds of acres, and that part of Maryland which became the District of Columbia included much of Carroll's land. It was called Duddington, and a few acres which he reserved in the city of Washington retained that name. That which he used as a residence covered a "square" of ground and was surrounded by a high brick wall; his trees were part of the original forest, and the great spring in it was preserved just as the Indians had left it. This estate, though dismal and forbidding in aspect, was, nevertheless, one of the show places of early Washington. The triangular lot on the hill, immediately in front of Duddington, was known as Carroll's Hill, and it was said after his death that he had bequeathed it to the Government
as a site for the United States Mint, but it was made into Garfield Park instead.
Carroll was elected to Congress from Maryland in 1781, and served until 1784, during which time he presented to Congress the Act of the Legislature of his state assenting to the Articles of Confederation. He was also one of the five Maryland delegates to the Convention which framed the Federal Constitution, a great governmental instrument that he very strongly advocated. He was again elected to Congress in 1789, and served during both sessions.
He was appointed by Washington, along with Thomas Johnson and Dr.David Stuart, as a commissioner to lay out the District of Columbia; this commission also gave the city its name. As a commissioner, Carroll participated in the ceremony of fixing the first cornerstone, with Masonic ceremonies, of the Federal District on April 21, 1791. Carroll was also one of the commissioners to superintend the building of the Capitol at Washington, and was present at the laying of the cornerstone in September, 1793, by the Grand Lodge of Maryland. President Washington participated in this ceremony.
Daniel Carroll died when the present writer was three years of age, but the writer's father (who was a member of Naval Lodge) knew Daniel Carroll personally and often talked to him about Freemasonry, in which Carroll was always interested. Carroll was born of Roman Catholic parents and also buried in Mount Olivet, a Roman Catholic cemetery.
His portrait, which hung in the hall at Duddington, showed him as a heavy-set man, with handsome smooth face, an abundance of hair and kindly expression. He was dignified but easily approached, and was fond of talking about his experiments with plants and the wonderful results obtained. Though possessing a university education, he was simple in his speech, was not at all eloquent, and always was very industrious. It was said that his popularity and integrity rather than his tastes led him into politics. He was a near relative of Bishon Carroll who inaugurated the Jesuit College, now known as the Georgetown University.
Studies of Masonry in the United States
By Bro. H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor
PART I. THE EARLY TRADITIONS
A New Study Club Series
WITH this present article begins a new series of Study Club installments, the general subject for which is the history of Freemasonry in America. The limitations of space forbid making this a detailed or exhaustive account, the purpose rather is to present such of the more important events and developments of the American Craft as the average Mason is most interested to know. Although the narrative will be carried forward month by month each article will be complete in itself. Corrections, criticisms, or suggestions will always be thankfully received. A booklet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be furnished free upon request.
IN ye goode old dates Masonic scribes vied with each other in an attempt to give Freemasonry the greatest possible antiquity; some made it to begin, full formed and completely panoplied, with King Solomon; others, more ambitious, gave credit for inventing it to Euclid, "that good clerk," or to Noah (one of Dr. Oliver's favorite characters), or even to Adam, the father of us all; while one theorist, with whom be eternal peace, declared that Freemasonry had existed throughout the "empyrean" before the creation of this unhappy earth!
Such enthusiasm was not monopolized by brethren across the sea; American idealists became drunken with the same heady wine until their debauched imaginations threw out theories of Masonic origins on this continent as wild as any that ever originated in the caverns of European fancy. Witness the case of Augustus Le Plongeon. In 1886 he published to the startled American public his Sacred Mysteries Among the Mayas and the Quiches, 11,500 Years Ago: Their Relation to the Sacred Mysteries of Egypt, Greece, Chaldea, and India: Freemasonry in Times Anterior to the Temple of Solomon, in which he declared:
"I will endeavor to show you that the ancient sacred mysteries, the origin of Freemasonry consequently date back from a period far more remote than the most sangmne students of its history ever imagined. I will try to trace their origin, step by step, to this continent which we inhabit - to America - from where Maya colonists transported their ancient religious rites and ceremonies, not only to the banks of the Nile, but to those of the Euphrates, and the shores of the Indian Ocean, not less than 11,500 years ago."
Unfortunately for the good Le Plongeon subsequent archeologists (real scientists, and not enthusiastic amateurs) learned that his relics were not 11,500 years old, but something less than 1,000, so that his grandiose dream has evaporated into the thin air from which he drew it.
A solider head but equally imaginative was our brother Charles W. Moore, one time Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, authority on jurisprudence, and editor of The Freemason’s Magazine, the first journal ever published in this land exclusively devoted to affairs of the Craft, to own a complete set of which is now a privilege coveted by every student. In his issue No. 10, Vol. II, under date of Aug. 1, 1843, Bro. Moore presented a learned disquisition to show that perhaps America had been originally populated by settlers from "the Carthagenian Empire," or else from the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, and that from either 0or both of these sources came the initiatory mysteries which, so he alleged, were everywhere practiced in the Western Hemisphere, the forerunner and perhaps progenitor of American Masonry. "From all these circumstances," he wrote, "it has been conjectured that Freemasonry existed on this continent prior to its discovery by Columbus." After making such hints he concludes with a word of sanity: "These speculations will probably be regarded by a majority of our readers as rather matters of curiosity than of real importance." In this last he proved himself a prophet, save that one might add that his conjectures have even ceased to be matters of curiosity; nevertheless his essay has value here as indicating the currents of theory which ran strong in the Craft of this nation in its formative periods.
THE NOVA SCOTIA STONE
Of a more modest but less intangible character is the case of the Nova Scotia stone of 1606. In a letter to Mr. J. W. Thornton the discoverer of this decayed relic gives an account of how he came upon it, his communication being in part as follows:
"June 2nd, 1856.
"Dear sir: When Francis Alger and myself made a mineralogical survey of Nova Scotia in 1827, we discovered upon the shore of Goat Island, in Annapolis Basin, a gravestone, partly covered with sand and lying on the shore. It bore the Masonic emblems, square and compass, and had the figures 1606 cut in it. The rock was a flat slab of trap rock, common in the vicinity.
"The slab, bearing the date 1606, I had brought over by the ferryman to Annapolis, and ordered it to be packed up in a box, to be sent to the O. C. Pilgrim Soc'y (of Plymouth, Mass.) but Judge Haliburton, then Thomas Haliburton, Esq., prevailed on me to abandon it to him, and he now has it carefully preserved. On a late visit to Nova Scotia I found that the Judge had forgotten how he came by it, and so I told him all about it.
"J. W. Thornton,
C. T. Jackson."
On or about 1887 Judge Haliburton's son, Robert Grand Haliburton, gave this stone to the Canadian Institute of Toronto for insertion in one of the walls of a building then being erected, the inscription to face the interior of one of the rooms; but unfortunately a plasterer stupidly covered it over with plaster, so that all trace of it has ever since been lost.
Does this stone indicate that Freemasonry was known in Nova Scotia in 1606 ? Bro. Reginald V. Harris, Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, disposes of any such theory: "The theory that the stone might commemorate the establishment of a Lodge of Freemasons has virtually nothing to support it." After examining various explanations he concludes:
"Let us summarize our theories: First, the stone was a grave stone; Secondly, it marked the last resting place of a French settler who died in 1606; Thirdly, this settler was probably a workman and may have been an operative mason or stone cutter; Fourthly, speculative Masonry unknown in France in 1606 was not practiced by the French colonists, Lastly, the emblem of square and compasses, would seem to be a trade mark or emblem undoubtedly used by operative masons as their emblem, and possibly by carpenters as well. In a word the stone marked the grave of either a mason or stone cutter or possibly a carpenter who died Nov. 14,1606, and not that of a speculative Mason."
Nova Scotia has yet another connection with the prehistoric period of American Masonry. In 1621 King James of Scotland made a grant of that whole territory (formerly occupied by the, French), under the title of Nova Scotia, or New Scotland, to Sir William Alexander, later on entitled Earl Stirling and Viscount Canada. His son, also named Sir William, but afterwards known by the courtesy title of Lord Alexander, resided in the colony four years and then returned to Scotland, where, on July 3, 1634, he was made a member of Mary's Chapel Lodge, at Edinburgh. Since the records showed that Lord Alexander was "admitted a Fellow of the Craft" (spelling modernized) Sereno Nickerson assumed that he must have been initiated an Apprentice while in Nova Scotia, in which case Freemasonry would have been in existence in that territory three-quarters of a century before the organization of the first Grand Lodge in London. This is so improbable that John Ross Robertson, the historian of Canadian Masonry, dismisses it as "mythical."
MASONRY IN RHODE ISLAND IN 1658?
Equally mythical, one may judge, is the story of how certain Jews brought Masonry with them to Newport, Rhode Island, in 1656 or 1658. Weefen's Economic and Social History of New England (as quoted by John Ross Robertson) states, while speaking of the year 1658, that, "It is said that fifteen families came in from Holland this year, bringing with their goods and mercantile skill the first three degrees of Freemasonry." Weefen does not stop to explain how this could have been possible seventy-five years before the Craft had three degrees!
Some color was lent to this fable by the Reverend F. Peterson's now discredited History of Rhode Island and Newport in the Past. On page 101 of the 1853 edition that gentleman says:
"In the spring of 1658, Mordecai Campannall, Moses Packeckoe, Levi and others, in all fifteen families, arrived at Newport from Holland. They brought with them the three first degrees of Masonry and worked them in the house of Campannall, and continued to do so they and their successors to the year 1742."
Peterson stated that this was "Taken from documents now in possession of N.H. Gould, Esq." This aroused the curiosity of Bro. William S. Gardner, Grand Master of Massachusetts in 1870, who in that year asked of Bro. Gould, a W. M. of Newport at one time, for some details. Gould replied that the document in question contained the following:
"Ths ye [day and month obliterated] 1656 or 8 [not certain` which, as the place was stained and broken, the first three figures were plain] Wee mett att y House off Mordecai Campunnall and affter Synagog Wee gave Abm Moses the degrees of Maconrie."
Gould then stated that while he had nicely tucked the document away in an envelope he could not at the time lay his hand on it.
When Gould's letter to Gardner was sent to Bro. Thomas A. Doyle, Grand Master of Rhode Island from 1865 to 1871, inclusive, he replied that he had "made many enquiries about these documents of brethren ill Newport, members of Grand Lodge and others, and do not find that any one has ever seen them." He gives no credence to the story. Bro. Henry Rugg, author of History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island (1895), agreed with Bro. Doyle. "Evidently no great reliance could be given," he wrote, page 33, "to such a scrap of paper even were its genuineness assured. It lacks the support of corroborative evidence."
Samuel Oppenheim (not a Mason) made issue with this conclusion, after an exhaustive examination of all the facts, and took the ground in his The Jews and Masonry in the United States before 1810, originally printed in the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, later in book form, that there may have been something in the Gould contention. He was able to locate the name "Campannall" in the archives of Rhode Island of the latter part of the seventeenth century, and believed that Gould (a tailor by profession) was a credible witness. Subsequently, however. and in a private conversation with the present writer. he has expressed himself as being more than dubious about the whole matter.
Dubiousness is what every man must feel after examining the case. There were no three degrees ill 1658; nobody, except Gould, saw the alleged document; according to his own report it was almost illegible, with the date mutilated; and the story that he had misplaced the document is more than hard to believe, because it is difficult to understand how any man, with such a find, would not immediately have turned it over, to experts or to some historical association. Nobody in his right mind is in the habit of tucking such precious discoveries away and then forgetting where. Another item of tradition, similarly difficult to verify and of equally uncertain authenticity so far as its Masonic connections are concerned, may be here mentioned as belonging substantially to the same period of time. According to the records of the Plymouth Colony that colony at New Haven received from Cooper's Hall, London, in 1654, a package of goods (sent separately from others in the same consignment). It was consigned to John Eliot, the famous "Apostle to the Indians", and was accompanied by a letter to John Eliot to which was appended a peculiar hieroglyphic, an integral part of which was the square and compasses, or at least what appeared to be such. Whether it was the Masonic emblem it is impossible to know.
With the next item of tradition of substance enough to attract attention but of no authenticity, the scene shifts to Philadelphia, upon which spot our attention will be many times focused in succeeding chapters. Bro. Charles E. Meyer, writing in History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan and Stillson, page 219, states:
"In 1680 there came to South Carolina one John Moore, a native of New England, who before the close of the century removed to Philadelphia, and in 1703 was commissioned by the king as Collector of the Port. In a letter written by him in 1715, he mentions having 'spent a few evenings in festivity with my Masonic brethren.' This is the earliest mention we have of there being members of the Craft residing in Pennsylvania or elsewhere."
Meyer added in a footnote: "This letter is in the possession of Horace W. Smith, of Philadelphia."
Alas for Mr. Smith! if ever he possessed such a document he was not able to show it to anybody. When Bro. Robert I. Clegg asked of Bro. Julius F. Sachse what evidence might be obtained for this tale the scholarly historian of Pennsylvania replied: "There is no proof whatever of this statement. I have never been able to get on the track of any such letter." (In Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry.)
With the Sachse dictum Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, in his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America (published this year), to which writers in this field must be indebted for all time to come, expresses emphatic agreement:
"This letter was for a time exploited as evidence of meetings of the Fraternity in Philadelphia during the year. This letter, however, never existed. Careful inquiry discloses repeated but unsuccessful attempts by the acquaintances of Mr. Smith to see the letter. If he ever had such a letter he could have produced it or accounted for its absence, but he never did so. No one among his contemporaries or among those having had the best opportunity to talk with him and to see the document if it existed can be found who believes there ever was such a letter."
THE KING'S CHAPEL TRADITION
Of a somewhat more definite character but yet lacking proof, and therefore belonging to the prehistoric period, is the tradition of a lodge held in King's Chapel, Boston, 1720, based on a statement by Charles W. Moore. On page 163, Vol. III, of his The Freemason's Monthly Magazine (already referred to), he wrote:
“Dispensations and charters were, therefore, issued by the Grand Lodge at London, for the holding of lodges in all parts of the world. The first, for this country, was received about the year 1720. It was a Dispensation authorizing the opening of a Lodge in this city "Boston]. We have the fact from a clergyman of the Church of England, Rev. Mr. Montague, once of Dedham who found it stated in an old document in the archives of King's Chapel [Boston]. The Lodge was regularly organized, but was soon after discontinued."
It was under date of April 1, 1844, that Moore wrote this; in the Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, of which he had previously been editor, and under date of Jan. 27, 1827, he had made a similar statement, to wit:
"A year or two since, a clergyman of the Church of England, who is probably more conversant with the church in America than any other individual living, politely furnished us with a document wherein it appeared that the first regular Lodge of Freemasons in America was holden in King's Chapel, Boston, by a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of England, somewhere about the year 1720. It produced great excitement at the time [i.e., the creation of this lodge], and the Brethren considered it prudent to discontinue these meetings."
Inasmuch as there are no existing minutes of the Grand Lodge of England prior to Nov. 25, 1723, and no list of lodges prior to that date, it is impossible to verify this statement from records, so that it rests entirely on the statement made by Moore. He was a man of integrity, and familiar with Masonry, but there is no telling into what errors either he or his informant may have fallen. The status of this story has been succinctly set forth by Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, in his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America: "The evidence, therefore, neither rises to the grade of unquestioned proof nor falls to the level of tradition."
There are other hints and rumors of the Craft prior to 1730 (such as the coming to Boston of a ship Free Mason), but none others of sufficient importance to be noted here; and such as have already received attention have been mentioned more as matters for curiosity than as having had any influence on the development of American Masonry. Any one of them, or all of them together, might be dropped out of sight without affecting the picture of the American Craft as it developed from 1730 on, after which date evidences accumulated with an ever increasing crescendo, both as to number and importance, the more important of which, as well as such as have the most enduring and vital interest, will appear for study in future issues of this department.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
On the Le Plongeon "theory" see his book as quoted, also THE BUILDER, Jan. 1924, page 7.
On the Nova Scotia Stone. Bro. R.V. Harris' study of this relic will be published in THE BUILDER in full, next month or the month after. See also The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Melvin M. Johnson, New York: 1924, page 43. The History of Freemasonry in Canada, J. Ross Robertson: Toronto: 1900: Vol. I, page 136. History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island, Henry W. Rugg: Providence: 1895: page 17. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, R. I. Clegg: Chicago: 1921: Vol. IV, Page 1314. Transactions Nova Scotia Lodge of Research, Vol. I, No. 2, pp. 20-39. Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia: 1829: Vol. II, pp. 155-157.
On Lord Alexander. Robertson, I: 138. Rugg, 19. The History of Freemasonry, R. F. Gould: Yorston Edition: 1889: Vol. IV: p. 229 (contains slight error). Clegg, p. 1318.
On Jews at Newport. Johnson, 44. History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, and Concordant Orders, Stillson and Hughan: Boston and New York: 1891: page 250. Robertson, I, 138. Rugg, 31. Clegg, 1320, 1606. The Jew and Masonry in the United States Before 1810, Samuel Oppenheim: published in Publications of the Jewish Historical Society; also in book form by Bloch Publishing Company: New York. Proceedings Grand Lodge of Massachusetts: 1870: page 357; 1891: page 32. THE BUILDER, May, 1915, page 111.
Hieroglyph on Eliot package. Robertson, I, 139. Clegg, 1318. Johnson, 47.
On the John Moore letter. Johnson, 60. The Builders, Joseph Fort Newton: New York: 1924: page 206. Clegg, 1518. Stillson and Hughan, 218.
On King's Chapel. Johnson, 61. History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, Ossian Lang: New York: 1922: p. 9. Stillson and Hughan, 239. Robertson, I, 140. Rugg, 21. Clegg, 1565. Gould IV, 229. Proceedings Grand Lodge of Massachusetts: 1883: p. 155. Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha Vol. X: W. J. Songhurst, editor: London: 1913: p. 3.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
What is the difference between legend and tradition ? Between tradition and history? What is meant by "historical proof " ?
Name some of the unhistorical theories concerning the origin of Freemasonry. Who was Le Plongeon? What book did he publish? What was his theory about the beginnings of American Masonry? Who was Charles W. Moore? What magazine did he edit? What was his conjecture concerning the antiquity of American Masonry?
When and by whom was the Nova Scotia Stone discovered? Describe this stone. Why has it been supposed that it had some relation to Freemasonry? What is Bro. Reginald V. Harris' theory concerning it? What is your own theory?
Who was Lord Alexander? When and where was he made a Mason?
Give in your own words the story of the Jews at Newport, Rhode Island? Why was it impossible for them to have the "three degrees of Freemasonry" at that time? Why cannot historians accept this tradition? What was Samuel Oppenheim's opinion of this tradition? Who was John Eliot? Was there any Freemasonry in England in 1654? If so, what kind was it?
Who was John Moore? What did he say in his letter in 1715? Would you accept as historical his story about his letter? What is Bro. Johnson's estimate of it?
Tell what you know about King's Chapel of Boston. What is the tradition about Masonry in that chapel? When was the Grand Lodge of England organized? At what date do its records begin? When does the historical period of Freemasonry begin ?
What is the practical advantage to an American Mason of a knowledge of the history of American Masonry? In what way is the Masonry of today governed by the Masonry of yesterday?
SAID BY LINCOLN
The plainest print can not be read through a gold eagle. - Speech at Springfield, Ill., June 26, 1857.
Wanting to work is so rare an event that it should be encouraged. - Note to Major Ramsey, Oct. 17, 1861.
Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them. - Letter to Thurlow Weed, March 16, 1865.
The better part of one's life consists of his friendships. - Letter to Joseph Gillespie, July 13, 1849.
I want in all cases to do right and most particularly so in al] cases with women. - Letter to Miss Mary Owens, Aug. 16, 1837
There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law. - Lyceum address, Jan. 27, 1837.
The severest justice may not always be the best policy. - Message to Congress, July 17, 1862.
If in your own judgment you can not be an honest lawyer resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. - Notes for a law lecture, July 1, 1850.
I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by and if it be the pleasure of Almighty God, to die by, - Address in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Feb. 22, 1861.
On the Interpretation of Masonic Symbols
IF Albert Pike was right in saying that "it seems to me that the symbolism of Masonry is the soul of it, and constitutes its highest title to our veneration," the beginning student of this symbolism always encounters a great difficulty in arriving at Masonry's soul. Upon his first step toward a study and understanding of symbols he is immediately confronted by a babel-like discord, so that the house of the interpreter, where he goes to hear what Masonic expounders and teachers have to say, seems filled with the confusion of tongues. In countless cases he loses courage, abandons any hope of learning what it is all about, and relapses into indifference, or else grows cynical, and takes the familiar position that Masonry's symbols are a mystery, and that nobody knows anything about them. In such instances the individual himself misses the opportunity to become possessed of a great wealth of wisdom, and the Craft loses the living support of one of its own members, at least so far as such things are concerned.
Is there a way out? There is, and it is exceedingly simple in principle, even if a thoroughgoing application of it may be a task as arduous as it is necessary. The way out may be stated in few and simple words: - Every symbol in Masonry should receive a Masonic interpretation.
By this may be meant any one of at least three things. First, it may mean that a symbol is to be explained in the light of the history of the Craft; if for centuries the Craft has made use of it for certain purposes then that is its Masonic meaning. Secondly, it may be that in the Ritual the Craft has already given the symbol an authoritative explanation; if so, that settles the matter. Thirdly, it may mean that a symbol is to be interpreted in the light of the teachings of Masonry. If therefore any given symbol is used, or has been used, outside of Freemasonry, as has been the case with so many of them, and if it has thereby come to have a hundred meanings, the one Masonic meaning out of the hundred is that which conforms to the above tests. How is the symbol to be interpreted in relation to our history, ritual, and teachings, that is the question; how it has been explained in other circles is not our affair, except as general students.
A thoroughgoing scientifically accurate working out of Masonic symbolism by means of this canon of interpretation is the work of hundreds of men and many generations, and has never been completed, so that it is impossible to show in any one example just what the results would be, but it may be possible to cite one case for the purposes of illustration.
Consider in this light and as the case in point, the Apron. Aprons have been used symbolically from time immemorial, by Egyptian priests, Maya sages, shamans among savages, and by nobody knows how many besides; when thus used it has been made to symbolize all manner of things, priestly authority, magical powers, celibacy, what not, and it has been employed in every manner of shape, size, color, sometimes covered with emblems, sometimes not, and made of a great variety of materials.
Why is it that interpretations of the Masonic apron have been so confused and so confusing? Largely because men have brought to its interpretation ideas borrowed from all these sources just referred to, and have assumed that because an Apron meant a certain thing to a Brahman priest therefore it means the same in Freemasonry; and because such interpreters have each arbitrarily chosen his own non-Masonic source of interpretation there has been little agreement among them.
But apply to this problem the canon described in the second paragraph of this editorial. Immediately it will be seen that we Masons are interested in the Apron as it is used in Freemasonry; and that our task as interpreters of it is to answer the questions, What does Masonic history show to have been the use and meaning of the Apron? What does the Ritual have to say about it ? What teaching or principle of the Craft does it represent? If when these questions are answered it is found that in Masonry the Apron has a meaning different to that employed in other quarters, that is neither here nor there, for as MASONIC interpreters we are concerned only with its Masonic meanings.
From this it follows that the explanation of Masonic symbols (what has been said of the Apron may be said of all others) can be neither private nor arbitrary but must rest on facts - the facts of Masonic history, Ritual and teachings, a thing which bears out the great dictum of Gould, that the study of Masonic history and of Masonic symbolism must be proceeded with conjointly; which will enable us, if we apply the canon rigorously, to avoid meriting the rebuke of Rylands, when he- said that "on very few questions has more rubbish been written than that of symbols and symbolism ;" and it will also enable us to fulfill the requirements laid down by Pike, who is always so well worth quoting on this subject: "The first requisite of a symbol is that it shall really mean something; and the second is that this something shall be worth knowing and remembering.”
THE LODGE AS A COMMUNITY CENTER
Ye Scribe was walking down Main Street (now become a famous American institution, thanks to Sinclair Lewis) with a friend of the cloth. It was in a village of some five hundred souls, somewhere in the Middle West - just where it is not necessary to state, seeing that it might have happened in any one of thousands of villages in this broad land. "Do you people here have any place for a get-together ? any community center?" asked Ye Scribe. Before Friend Pastor had opportunity to reply another clergyman was met, immediately upon which Friend Pastor sharply turned his head, to stare in the opposite direction, the while his passing colleague did the same. "There is no need now that you reply," said Ye Scribe, "it is plain that you have not. Let us hurry on to the funeral." (Appropriately enough, such was the destination.)
Since which, Ye Scribe has many times pondered this matter. Why should the two pastors of a small town not speak to each other? Why should its two banks fight each other? Why should its school board be split into factions ? Why should its two Sunday Schools be unable to hold a picnic together? Why should the proprietors of its two general stores glower at each other across the street? Why should the life of such a quiet community be made uneasy by quarrels and feuds, so that neighbors will not greet each other of a morning across the lawn ?
The answer to the "Why" is contained in the remedy for such a situation. What such a town needs is a Social Center, a place where the community can act as a unit, and as a community. Unfortunately most small towns have no such thing, and under existing circumstances cannot have it, for the churches, which usually possess the only public buildings suitable for such purposes, are too often divided by differences of creed and dogma, so that what one undertakes the other will oppose.
Is not such a condition an opportunity for the Masonic Lodge ? It is by its nature non-sectarian, nonpolitical, and non-racial, upholding the ideals of brotherhood, and striving to spread among men the cement of friendly affection, and therefore is ideally fitted to serve as a rallying point for the community spirit. It could not bring any kind of local public activity into its own sessions, or under official auspices, but that would not hinder it from serving unofficially, and by way of community service. Why should it not make its own auditorium available for general public purposes? plan lecture and entertainment courses through the winter? install in one of its rooms a little public library? equip a room which, under certain rules and conditions, might be generally used as a club by local men and boys? And why could not its membership, acting as citizens rather than officially as Masons, plan among themselves such other enterprises as would help unify the life and spirit of the village?
It is of record that a few lodges have already carried through some such program; there is no reason why others could not follow suit, especially since the lodge itself would receive in return the great reward of stimulated interest in its own proper activities, increased attendance, and a deeper appreciation of the value of Masonry in human life. To say that such a service would not work would condemn Masonry itself as impracticable, for it would be useless to expect great things from the Craft in the world at large if its ideal of life cannot be carried out in a small community.
IT IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE
"Down our way," said the veteran from the Ozarks (this was at a Grand Lodge session), "we folks take our Masonry what you might call seriously. It ain't nothin' 'tall to see fellers ride a horse-back fer miles to 'tend lodge and then ride back to home after dark, at two in the mornin'. 'Nd we ain't got no what you might call fancy lodges, neither, for we've got morels one lodge thet meets in log cabins."
"Up our way," replied the brother from Kansas City. "we folks also take our Masonry seriously. I work all day in an office almost as high in the air as one of your hills. Everyone of us there is screwed up to a tension every minute of the day. After five o'clock I drive my car for one hour and fifteen minutes to get home, swallow my dinner in a hurry, change to my tuxedo, and then drive back down town again to attend lodge. My lodge meets about twice a week and I an1 always there, for I am in the line. That isn't all of it, either, for I am in three other bodies, and they also meet more than once a month. I guess it is about the same everywhere, isn't it?"
KEEP MASONRY CLEAR FROM ALL FORMS OF GAMBLING
There is a matter of which I feel constrained to speak in no uncertain tones. I refer to the practice of raising money for Masonic purposes by means of lotteries, raffling, or games of chance, which practice, I am sorry to say, has been called tie my attention as having come into vogue somewhat in this state.
Such practices are improper, unworthy of the dignity of a Mason, and in the main are a direct violation of the laws of this commonwealth, which every Mason has sworn to obey. A! the best they constitute a studied attempt to evade the law, and no Mason should put himself in the position of seeking a way to evade the law of his state and thus bring reproach upon himself and the great Order to which he belongs.
Masonry has ever stood for the highest standard of moral ethics and if it is to continue the real moral force which it has been throughout the ages it must not at any time, anywhere. place the stamp of its approval upon anything that is even questionable.
I know that the tendency of the present day is to look lightly upon the practices of which I speak. "Everybody is doing its is ofttimes the excuse offered when a brother thoughtlessly has allowed himself to be led into the sanction of that which in his own heart he knows to be wrong. Masonry should stand firm against the present day tendency to drift away from oldfashioned standards of right and honesty. My brothers, we cannot afford to raise funds for Masonic purposes by selling to him who will buy the chance to obtain something of value for a sum much less than that something is worth, or by am other gambling pretense or device. All such is inherently dishonest. Let us as a Grand Lodge place the seal of our disapproval upon it. – Arthur M. Brown
(From his Grand Master’s Address, February 6, 1924)
Art of the Egyptians
EGYPTIAN ART: INTRODUCTORY STUDIES, by Professor Jean Capart, translated from the French by Warren R. Dawson. Published by Frederick A. Stokes; may be purchased through National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Dark red cloth, index, extensive bibliographies, 179 pages. $5.20 postpaid.
THE deathless spell of Egypt is due to its art. Except for the light it throws on the evolution of Judaism, Egyptian history carries little interest to most readers; its theology and philosophy did not enter, except indirectly and in a remote way, into the main current of European thought; its forms and practices in government did little to shape law in the Western world; and its religion, while it played a part in the Greco-Roman world, and therefore left traces of itself in the cult life of early Western peoples, left no deep impress on the theologies with which we Occidentals are familiar. It is the art of Egypt, its pyramids, its temples, its mighty pillars, its strangely conventionalized pictures, and its mysterious hieroglyphics, that has always appealed to the instinct for the exotic every one of us feels in some degree or other. And it is this same art, especially its symbols and emblems, that has interested Masons for many years, especially those who believe in the Egyptian origin of some parts of the ritual; therefore Professor Capart's magnificent book will probably enjoy a wider hearing among Masonic students than books dealing more largely with Egyptian history.
The present volume is a translation of the introductory chapters of Capart's Lepons sur l'Art egyptien, published at Liege, Belgium, 1920. Its materials originally formed the basis of a course of lectures delivered by the author, beginning with 1903, when he was made professor of Ancient Art and Archeology at Brussels and at the University of Liege, his long established reputation as an Orientalist being responsible for his appointment at both places. The uniqueness of his method of treatment as compared with other attempts in the same field is best described by his translator, who, on page 6, says:
"On studying the Lepons I was immediately struck by a conspicuous difference in plan between them and the existing works on Egyptian art. The latter, many of them excellent books, are really little more than catalogues of known works of art arranged in chronological order, or disconnected studies of special points. No other work known to me has ever probed so deeply into the question of origins and of motives, or has been based upon such evolutional lines as Monsieur Capart's book."
The word "evolutional" deserves emphasis, not as having anything to do with the Theory of Evolution but as indicating one of the prime services rendered by the book. Among many popular writers, including a few Masonic scribes, things Egyptian are often explained by reference to THE Egyptian religion, or theology, or philosophy, or what not, as if all through its history Egypt clung to one set of dogmas about such matters; whereas the fact is that among the Egyptians, as among all other peoples, everything changed from place to place and from century to century, so that there were many Egyptian religions, many theologies, many sciences. This fact, so abundantly set forth in Professor Capart's work, destroys at one stroke a deal of theorizing among Masonic writers, and especially such as essay the tremendously difficult task of explaining Egyptian symbols.
Egyptian Art should be read by those undertaking that task. It sets in a new and revealing light many things often dealt with by symbologists, such as pillars, columns, arches, amulets, emblems and the like, and in a manner easy to understand.
The Egyptian builders usually, like ourselves, dedicated a new public structure with ceremonies:
"The texts and bas-reliefs afford numerous details as to foundation ceremonies of the Ancient Egyptians. The king, accompanied by priests and priestesses who impersonated divinities laid the first stone, made an offering to the gods of specimens of the building materials, and consecrated under the angles foundation deposits consisting of pottery, model tools, amulets, and tablets bearing commemorative inscriptions."
Students of our own Great Pillars will be interested in this passage concerning obelisks:
"Obelisks are not mere ornaments; they were considered as divinities 'of flesh and bone' who needed food offerings which the religious texts meticulously prescribed The erection of an obelisk constituted a cult ceremony of which representations may be found in the bas-reliefs of the temples."
Readers who have sought for the origin of the lily work on the chapiters of our Masonic pillars among the Egyptians will be interested to learn that Egyptian architects made use of a number of plants for decorative and symbolical purposes: the lotus, of which two species were widely used, and which gives its name to the lotiform column; the papyrus (from which we have "paper"), used in two fundamentally different manners, giving its name to the papyriform column; the palm, used without many changes throughout all Egyptian history, giving its name to the palmiform column; the lily, sometimes identified as a variation of the palm, used on the liliform column; and a number of combinations and other varieties of these, some of which are observable in the accompanying illustration of the Temple of Isis at Philae.
The Egyptians were as human as we are. They had in their blood a genius all their own, a racial genius, which set them apart from other peoples; but aside from that there is nothing strange or occult in their architecture, their symbolism, or their art in general. The things that strike us as strange and often as weird were natural to them, and usually due to the peculiarities of their geography and climate; to the desert that stretched in a vast purple mystery under their lonely stars; to the Nile that wound through their midst, a liquid avenue into the unknown outer world, and to the overhanging cliffs under the shadow of which they built so many of their cities, and out of which carved so many of their temples and their monuments. Once the mind has become familiarized with these external influences it finds under the Egyptian skin the same human flesh out of which we are all molded. It is even refreshing, at times, to find them up to our modern tricks of manufacture and trade, as when their workmen learned to make columns of wood camouflaged as marble, or as when their cabinet workers turned out pieces of furniture very carefully veneered and dyed in imitation of costly woods.
THE MASTER'S LECTURES: A PERSONAL REVIEW
THE MASTER'S LECTURES, AS DELIVERED IN EVANS LODGE, No. 524, ANCIENT FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, U. S. A., by the W. M. of Evans Lodge. De Luxe fabrikoid binding, 96 pages, edition limited to 461 copies: privately printed. May be purchased through National Masonic Research Society. $5.15 postpaid.
My only quarrel with this book is that it does not reveal the name of its author; and the author himself, though he has been importuned without stint, refuses to acknowledge his paternity; therefore one of the most Masonic of all Masonic books must go out into the world without a pilot. But that will not matter so far as the book is concerned; it is quite able to go it alone.
I can say this much about the author. I once gave him the soundest beating at billiards anyone ever heard of. Nevertheless (I say it with all modesty) he can play billiards, and that is the surprising thing about it, for before I met him I had pictured him as a man of many years, with a bald pate, a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles, and helplessly absent-minded. What else should one expect of a man who has read everything, quotes Greek and Latin, and writes like a philosopher! These are strange times!
Bro. So-and-So is a business man, full of Rotary Club and pep, and is not bald, or disgracefully aged, or dyspeptic, or scholarly behaved, or bookwormish in his talk. He uses the most amazing line of slang ever heard outside of Chicago.
There is point to all this. Next to a book itself the most important thing is the man behind the book. Any man of grammar school education can read a list of volumes on Masonry and then re-write what he has read, feeding out to a bookworm audience a lot of stuff at second-hand; but it is different if one is out in the world, helping operate the machinery of business, subjected to the wear and tear of competition, busy day and night, and then grow so interested in Masonry that he must write a book about it, a book out of his own soul, inspired by a vision of Masonry's great contribution to daily life, and based on a first-hand experience of its unsearchable riches.
"Freemasonry has no place for the little selfish side of man. Its secrets are as the dead to him who looks at life in that way It looks for the man with the bigger soul, with the more universal spirit; it stops and stays with him only who sees man's mission in the betterment of the human race who can take by the hand the fellow who is down and out, and put him on his feet, and send him on his way a better man. Its teachings are wonderfully practical and godlike when once we recognize them."
Thus he writes. The Master's Lectures is a volume of twelve chapters, one for each month of the year, each one prefaced by a bit of lore about the month itself, and garnished with many quotations from hither and yon. The subjects are as old as the world, and as new - Initiation, Fraternity, Toleration, Faith, Truth, Charity, Morality, Patriotism [published in THE BUILDER, December, 1923], Symbolism, Philosophy, Happiness, Immortality. The writer is like one apart, withdrawn from the racket about him, soliloquizing on life, his eyes turned toward the faces of wisdom and truth; now and then a passage becomes poetical with a falling cadence, a note of musing melancholy, as if the author sees that for many men the Word has been lost as they rush about, smitten with the superstition of toeing. In this transfigurating atmosphere Masonry becomes a thing of beauty, timeless, eternal, the everlasting philosophy of life for them that have eyes to see, hearts to feel, minds to know. The book is a revelation of the inner heart of the modern business man who, behind his boy-like activity and all his rushing about in the marts, knows an inner secret and is sustained and upheld thereby. That secret is his own real religion, innocent of dogma and creed, the hidden life of his life, the Masonry of his soul.
These lectures were delivered once a month by the Worshipful Master to his lodge, and each was printed in pamphlet form for such as could not attend; at the end of the year the lodge's educational committee gathered them into book form, beautifully printed and bound, for use by brothers elsewhere. Whatever profit may accrue is returned to the lodge, for further work of the same character. A highly Masonic procedure, and one to be recommended to lodges everywhere! - H. L. H.
THE INTERPLAY OF GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION
CHRlSTIANITY AND THE STATE, by S. Parkes Cadman. Published by The Macmillan company. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research society. Cloth. index. exhaustive bibliographies; 370 pages. $2.65 postpaid.
The many readers who enjoyed Bro. Dr. Cadman's "Freemasonry and the Demands of the Times," in the May issue of THE BUILDER, will be happy to know that he has added another new book to the ever growing list of volumes that have given him a name as author equal to that he has long enjoyed as a preacher. He is an amazing phenomenon, Bro. Cadman is; how he manages to speak night after night to great audiences in all parts of the land, look after the interests of Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn, and then on top of it all do so much reading and writing is a mystery. But the mystery is a fact, and one line of endeavor does not seem to interfere with the others.
Although Christianity and the. State is saturated with erudition and filled with history it is not an academic treatise for closest scholars alone but a tract of the times, having as its motive and purpose the answering of a question that is today bothering every man who tries to hold to the ethics and principles of the religion of the Western World: How can a Christian man adjust his religious loyalties to the often conflicting political loyalties demanded of him by modern states and governments? May such a man become a political opportunist, or must he become a political revolutionary ? This is the present day form of the old, old problem as to the relation between religion and politics. Bro. Cadman arrives at his solution of this enigma through history, and by an examination of the interplay between Christianity and political governments from the beginnings of that Faith until now. What that solution is one must learn from the book; it cannot be stated in a few words.
The book does not deal specifically with Freemasonry at any point, yet there are some chapters in it that Masons will find peculiarly interesting, especially such as deal with the Holy Roman Empire and its collapse. That Empire no longer exists as a political or ecclesiastical entity, but its spirit and ideals are imbedded in the imperialism of some governments and in the world plans of the Roman Catholic Church; and it is through such instrumentalities that medievalism lives on, seeking to shape the world to itself. Dr. Cadman's manner of taking hold of this thorny problem might serve as a model. Instead of attacking it as a partisan, bent on defending or destroying, he appraises medievalism from the standpoint of world religion; and instead of lumping all things medieval together as belonging in that general discard known as "The Dark Ages," he releases from it those things that have timeless and universal validity and insists that such things be preserved. This is a sound attitude. It is the attitude of Freemasonry which holds evermore to an ideal of universality in time as well as of place, and "seeks the truth wherever found, on Christian or on heathen ground."
THE QUESTION BOX
G. L. PROCEEDINGS FOR SALE
Oregon, 1852-63, and all through the "eighties"; Louisiana, 1883; Indiana, 1888; Kentucky, 1889; Illinois, 1887-8; Vermont. 1884-5-6-8; Missouri, 1887-8, etc.; History of Maryland, A. F. & A. M.; Grand Chapter, Oregon, 1868-75, etc. Address inquiries to National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis.
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LINCOLN, AND MASONIC PRESIDENTS
Would you please give me the following information: Was Abraham Lincoln a Mason? And also the names of the Presidents who have been Masons.
F. R., Wisconsin.
There is no evidence whatever to show that Lincoln was in any manner connected with the Craft, though he might well have been, seeing that no other institution in existence more nearly-embodies his views, at least of his later life. It is of record that the following Presidents have been Masons: Washington, Monroe, Polk, Jackson, Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft and Harding. This comprises eleven names. an addition of one to the list as usually given.
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DR. BENJAMIN RUSH A MASON ?
Was Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, a member of our Order?
F. D. B., Louisiana.
In a "Memorial" published in TEJE BUILDER, October, 1918, page 296, Bro. George W. Baird listed him as a member, but since that writing Bro. Baird has found reason to believe himself in error on the point. Dr. Julius Sachse, who made diligent search, came to the conclusion that Rush was never a Mason; others believe that he may have been once a member but later recanted. In any event it is a point that needs to be cleared up.
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BOOKS ABOUT THE CRUSADES
My whole family enjoyed looking at the interesting pictures of the Crusades you printed in the June BUILDER. We should like to read something on the subject. Won't you name a few books?
D. L., Montana.
The Crusades, by M. M. C. Calthrop, a title in The People's Books series, is a good brief introduction; so also is the older book, The Crusades, by Sir George W. Cox, though it is more technical, and devotes more space to names and dates. The illustrations to which you refer were taken from an edition of Michaud's History of the Crusades, published in the middle of the past century, the most popular and readable of all the larger general works. See also The Crusaders, by Archer and Kingsford; and The Crusaders in the East, by W. B. Stevenson, one of the few works in English giving an account of the great movements from the point of view of Moslem. Consult the article in Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition); and the Publications of the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, 14 volumes, 1887-1897: in the former you will find a complete bibliography, and in the latter the best modern authorities concerning the Holy Places, which were the objectives of the Crusaders. For the Masonic point of view see Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, by Robert Ingham Clegg; and The Knights Templar History, by C. G. Addison. Good luck to you in your reading. You will find yourself in a realm of endless wonder and all primed, once you have negotiated the difficult curves of a vast subject, to turn for increased enjoyment to the tales of Bro. Sir Walter Scott. to whose high genius for romance the spirit of modern Knight Templarism may be more indebted than has often been realized.
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MORE WOMEN MASONS?
I am desirous of getting light on the following item, clipped from the Idaho Statesman of about two months ago: Mrs. Caroline Eliza Gray died at the home of her daughter in this city last Thursday at the age of 91 years. She had the distinction of being the last member of the original party which was the forerunner of the Eastern Star. In the summer of 1863 the Masons of Knox county, Missouri, took their wives and daughters over 16 years old to the lodge room at Edina, Missouri, and conferred the First Degree of the Masons upon them, for protection. Mrs. Gray was one of the girls who received this degree, and was the last remaining member of the original party. This act was the forerunner of the Eastern Star which was organized in 1869, and was for the same purpose, protection.
S. G. D., Idaho.
Your clipping was referred to Bros. Ray V. Denslow, C. H. Briggs and R. J. Johnston, the last named the present Secretary of Edina Lodge, No. 291. Bros. Denslow and Briggs report no information obtainable; Bro. Johnston writes that his lodge has no records of the period, and says that their present charter dates from Oct. 15, 1886, though there had been granted a previous charter shortly after the Civil War, now lost. The story is no doubt a fairy tale, like so many other marvels attributed to early Masonry of the Middle West, but it is possible that some reader may throw light on the subject; if so a word from him will be appreciated.
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THE AHIMAN REZON IN AMERICA
Can you give me some information on the Ahiman Rezon as it is used in this country? South Carolina uses it, of course modified to suit our needs, and does this signify that our work is modeled more after the Ancients than the Moderns as the two once existed in England? I have been thinking along this line and I would like to have a little light on the matter as to whether my own Grand Lodge's work is derived more from the Ancients than the Moderns. Is Dermott's work, or rather his influence as author of the Ahiman Rezon, observed in many of the Grand Lodges of our country?
H. L. F., South Carolina.
You must not confuse the Ritual with the Constitution and Regulations of a Grand Lodge. They are two distinct matters. There is no relation between the Ritual a Grand Lodge might adopt and the Constitution it may use. If you will turn to THE BUILDER for October, 1923, and read my article on "The Masonic Ritual in the U. S." it will help you to get a better understanding of where we got the Ritual in this country. In the fall will appear three more articles developing this in further detail.
To answer your questions: "Can you give me some information on the Ahiman Rezon as it is used in this country?" I may say that in the ease of South Carolina you have preserved nothing but the title. All matter found in Dermott's original copy has been expurgated. There really is no reason why your state should perpetuate the title. At one time Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and New York either officially or unofficially put out a book of constitutions called "Ahiman Rezon." Some followed Dermott and some did not. I believe Pennsylvania, South Carolina and possibly Maryland are the only states today preserving this title I am not sure about Maryland. Pennsylvania is the only state which seems entitled to call its Constitutions by that name.
"Does this signify our work is modeled more after the Ancients than the Moderns as the two once existed in England?
Not necessarily, though it happens that our Ritual does follow that of the Ancients in every state in the United States. As I said, a Grand Lodge might adopt either Anderson's or Dermott's Constitutions regardless of Ritual. Most states based their jurisprudence on Anderson and used the Ritual of the Ancients.
"Is Dermott's work or rather his influence as author of the Ahiman Rezon observed in many of the Grand Lodges in this country ?"
I should say, no. Just what effect the Ahiman Rezon has had on our jurisprudence is a special study in itself, which a brother is now working on. If you have in mind the Ritual I would still say no, as there is no reason to presume Dermott invented the Ritual of the Antients. Undoubtedly it existed long before he was made a Mason.
"Is the South Carolina Ritual derived more from the Ancients than the Moderns?"
Yes, as in every Grand Lodge in the United States. The only portions taken from the Moderns consist of slight additions made by Thomas Smith Webb in 1802-1805, which were generally adopted over here by every state but Pennsylvania.
A. L. Kress.
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FREEMASONRY AND THE FOUNDING OF THE U. S. GOVERNMENT
How can one go about it to make a study of the influence Freemasonry had in organizing our government? It is a subject I like to study. My chief interest in reading for several years has been our history, and I am trying to learn what part our Order has had in it all.
R. P. O., Pennsylvania.
A special research group is now working under the auspices of this Society on that subject. Why not join it? It will give you the best opportunity possible in your chosen field. Address a letter to THE BUILDER. TWO paragraphs from the last pages of Bro. Melvin M. Johnson's The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America will suggest how large a field it is, and how much we Masons can expect to gain from its study:
"We have now learned how the seeds were sown in America for the birth and growth of Freemasonry. Its influence upon the establishment and development of the institutions of the United States does not so powerfully appear during the period treated by this book as it will when the Masonic history of the last half of the 18th century is adequately presented. A study of the tremendous influence which Freemasonry had in the pre-Revolutionary days, in the years of that war, and throughout the formative period of American institutions, will demonstrate that Freemasonry has exercised a greater influence upon the establishment and development of American civilization and the fundamentals of this Government than any other single institution.
"Neither general historians nor the members of the Fraternity since the days of the first Constitutional Conventions have ever realized how much the United States of America 'owes to Freemasonry, and how great a part it played in the birth of the nation and the establishment of the Landmarks of that civilization which has given to the citizens of this great land the liberty which they enjoy, and by indirection has guided the development of all civilization of the world in those countries where the accomplishments of war are not the ultima thule of human endeavour."
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MEANING OF "WORSHIPFUL"
Will you explain through the Question Box the meaning of "worshipful" as used by us in "Worshipful Master"?
W.Y.T., New York.
This word comes from the Anglo-Saxon weordh, meaning worthy, honorable. Shakespeare speaks of "That good man of worship, Anthony Woodville." (Richard Ill., I, 1.). As originally used, "worshipful" meant that a thing was worthy of being honored because of its character or nature; it came in time to be especially applied to magistrates and incorporated bodies, and was sometimes used as a term of ironical respect. Skeats (Etymological Dictionary) defines "worshipful" as coming from "worship," and says that "worship" stands for "worthship." The "th" was not dropped until the fourteenth century. The idea at the bottom of "worship" is "worth," which derived from an ancient root wer, meaning to guard, or keep. Our word "ware" is from the same root. "Worshipful" as used by us is a term of respect, and means in a general way "worthy."
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WAS JEFFERSON DAVIS A MASON?
As a member of your Society, I am writing to ask you to supply some information to Polar Star Lodge, No. 154, of Handsboro, Miss., regarding Jefferson Davis. Some of the older Masons claim that Davis at least attended it, but there is some doubt in their minds about his being a member. The Secretary informs me that he has searched all the records in his possession but does not find any light on this subject. Polar Star Lodge No. 154, was chartered in 1854.
Nathaniel H. Walker, Gulfport, Miss.
We have no records in our own files to show that Mr. Davis was ever a member of the Fraternity. Bro. E. L. Faucette, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Mississippi, writes: "We have never been able to find in our records that Mr. Jefferson Davis was a Mason. Of course, if he visited Polar Star Lodge, No. 154, at Handsboro, he must have been, but we have not been able to ascertain from our own records that he was." Can any reader furnish additional information?
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EDWARD GIBBON WAS A MASON
I have just read for the second time Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is one of my favorite works. It has occurred to me to ask if Edward Gibbon was a Mason; in view of the feet that he was something of a skeptic I should suppose he was not, but I am curious to make sure.
L. P. G., Massachusetts.
Gibbon was an earnest Mason. In the British Museum (Add. MSS. 34887) are two certificates, one issued by the Grand Lodge of England (Modern), the other by his lodge; both were printed in full in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, XVII., page 22. The G. L. document certified that Edward Gibbon was a Mason in good standing, as appeared on the Register of the Lodge of Friendship, No. 3, then held at the Star and Garter Tavern, New Bond street, London, and bore date of December 19, 1774. The lodge document, certified to the same effect, was dated March 8, 1775, and was described as having been "given in open lodge." A.Q.C. gives another Gibbon item on page 162, Vol. X., over signature of E. J. Barron, in which that writer quotes from Historic Studies in Vaud, Berne, and Savoy, From Roman Times to Voltaire, Rousseau and Gibbon, by General Meredith Read, "for many years United States Minister at Athens, and Consul-General at Paris during the Franco-German War, who died shortly after the publication of his work."
"M. de Boehat was a fervent Freemason, and I found in la Grotte [the house in which Gibbon lived at Lausanne] a fragment of a discourse by him in defence of that body. George Deyverdun and Gibbon followed in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessor, both being earnest Masons. The Masonic body in Switzerland was then under the direction of the English Masonic authorities, and had no political affiliations." Vol. 2, page 297.
"The Gibbon manuscripts at Sheffield Place are preserved in a large tin box, on the under side of the lid of which are two black silhouettes of Gibbon engaged in taking snuff and in taking tea. The first document which I noticed lying on the top of the others was Gibbon's diploma as a Master Mason." - Vol. 2, page 367.
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ARE CLASS LODGES PERMITTED ?
What is meant by "class lodges" ? Are they permitted in this country? If so, will you give me a few examples?
D. S. A., California.
A "class lodge" is one that limits its membership to men of some one type, or profession, or race, and does so deliberately, with by-laws to that effect.. In this strict sense there are no class lodges in this country, at least we have no records of such and have heard of none, except in one solitary instance. But in England class lodges are more or less common, though they were not regarded with much favor in early days, for it was believed that in Masonry all should meet upon the level, regardless of class or professional distinctions. There are army Iodges, navy lodges, lodges composed of lawyers, journalists, and in some instances lodges of members of some one church, or graduates from some school. While, as said above, lodges thus strictly and formally limited in membership are not permitted under American Grand Lodges here, there are in eject class lodges, for their members tacitly agree among themselves to exclude members of some race, or to include within themselves members of only one race; or else their fees and expenses are such as automatically to exclude men of certain financial (or lack of financial) standing. The present scribe has given addresses in lodges composed wholly of Jews, or that admitted to membership no Jews; lodges that were made up entirely of professional men, or laborers; and in one instance, a lodge wholly composed of Bohemians. In all these instances exclusiveness was based on a "gentleman's agreement." Of a similar character are lodges connected colleges and universities. The idea behind the class lodge is the same as that behind a club, and the theory is that social life will be more agreeable among men of the same walk of life, or of the same race. Whether this idea will ever take general root in American Masonry, and ultimately secure official sanction, remains for the future to decide; there are some developments to indicate that this may become one of the burning questions of the future, along with the move toward plural membership. What do you think about it?
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THE DOCTRINE OF SELECTIVENESS
If Freemasonry is intended to be universal, as all of us Masons boast, why do we persist in drawing the color line, and the race line, and the poverty line, and the line at the physically unfit, and all the rest of these lines and fences? Why shouldn't our Order be as broad as the race, big as the world? We should be absolutely democratic, it seems to me.
H. L. K., Pennsylvania.
Whoa, there! You are going pretty fast! Why shouldn't you go on to ask why we have any Fraternity at all, seeing that we already have a human race to which every human being belongs? You make altogether too long a jump from your premise to your conclusion. Who has ever claimed for Freemasonry that it is universal in the physical sense that you have in mind? It is its principles that are universal, not its membership. Brotherly love, relief, and truth are as sound and necessary among the Hottentots as in New York, but that does not imply that every Hottentot would enjoy membership in a lodge. Such membership carries with itself certain obligations, duties, and privileges, and all these predicate a member capable of meeting and understanding them. One of the evils of the present day is that we have let down the bars too easily, so that thousands have accepted membership who do not possess the necessary qualifications, and become a burden on the Order, complicating its problems without adding to its strength. In principle, Masonry must be kept universal, yes; but in actual membership, no; like every other organized society it must carefully select its members. You may call this the Doctrine of Selectiveness, if you wish. It is a doctrine that should be brought to the front, expounded, applied, and enforced; and that because, through a peculiar paradox inherent in the facts of the ease, the true and possible and desirable universality of Freemasonry can never become possible without the rigid enforcement of a carefully defined principle of selection in its membership.
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NO "WIVES' AND DAUGHTERS' DEGREES" IN FLORIDA
An item has been going the rounds of the Masonic press of late to the effect that a so-called "Wives and Daughters' Degree" was being conferred in open lodge in the state of Florida; somewhat exercised by this a number of readers have written to ask if such a thing is possible. The ensuing reply to a letter sent to the Grand Master of Florida shows that, of course, it is not:
Years ago, before the Eastern Star was instituted in Florida, some of our lodges made a gala day of December 27, especially in the rural districts where they met early in the day and after disposing of regular business called the lodge from labor to refreshment, invited the members of their families into the lodge room where speeches were delivered and various methods of entertainment employed, luncheon served and a general good time enjoyed.
It was during this interim that the "degree" known as the "Wives' and Daughters' Degree" was conferred, but it was not done while the lodge was opened but as part of the entertainment for the families of the members and probably there was no more harm in it than there would have been in a regular chapter of Eastern Stars. M. W. Bro. Long was one of the old school who was ever watchful lest our established rules and customs be infringed, so that any brother may calm himself of any uneasiness he may have felt regarding any un-Masonic practice supposed to have been committed or sanctioned by this venerable old patriarch.
T. T. Todd, G. M., Florida.
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MORE CHINESE WORSHIPFUL MASTERS
I was interested in a note in the latest number of THE BUILDER (June) to the effect that a Chinese brother had been installed Worshipful Master of one of the lodges of California constitution in the Territory of Hawaii. I am very glad to know that our California brethren are taking this ground. It may interest your readers to know that a Chinese gentleman, Bro. Paonan Miensang Whang, was Worshipful Master of International Lodge in Peking, Massachusetts constitution, in 1917 and 1918; and that another, Dr. Ssu Pang Chen, is the present presiding Master of that lodge.
Frederick W. Hamilton, G. S., Boston, Mass.
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
When planning a trip through St. Louis arrange to stop off for a visit with us. We are easy to find. The Railway Exchange stands up out of the center of the city like a monument. It is said to be one of the largest office buildings in the world.
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We have for free distribution a limited number of copies of "Secrets of the Temple," a booklet by Bro. Arthur C. Parker "Symbols of Masonry," by Bro. George H. Imbrie; and two issues of the Missouri Grand Lodge Bulletin, one of which is largely devoted to Kit Carson as a Mason, the other to Mark Twain, ditto. First come, first served.
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I am happy to pass on a request being sent out by the librarian of the Supreme Council, S. J.:
To build up this great Masonic Library at the Capital of the Nation, we want everything Masonic:
Masonic books, pamphlets, proceedings - Lodge, Chapter Council, Commandery, Scottish Rite, etc., histories, by-laws, circulars, etc. - Masonic magazines - Masonic medals and souvenirs - Masonic relies of all kinds.
Can you help us by sending anything along these lines? We will be glad to pay the expense of shipment when necessary.
Wm. L. Boyden, 33d, Hon.,
* * *
A 'PHONY TENNYSON
Break, break, break
My 'phone connections - See ?
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
O well for the telephone girl
That she's only in reach of my shout!
O well for the manager, too
That his lies cannot be found out.
And the horrible breaks go on,
To the ruin of business hopes;
But O for a chance to revenue myself
On the telephone central dopes!
Break, break, break
And I rave most bootlesslee!
But the tender grace of a placid mind
Will never come back to me.
- New York Mail
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Last modified: March 22, 2014