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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 12 - number 12
Political Anti-Masonry, 1827-1843
By BRO. ERIK MCKINLEY ERIKSSON, PH. D.
WHETHER viewed in its cultural, economic, social, religious or political aspects, there is no period in American history more fascinating than is the Jacksonian period. It was an era characterized by change and controversy in every field. It was a period of triumphant democracy in which the fight for free public schools was first successfully waged. American literature reached a high plane and some of the greatest American writers of all time flourished during the epoch. Canals, roads and railroads were rapidly developed, inventions multiplied, agriculture flourished, trade and commerce rapidly expanded, and improvements on an unprecedented scale were projected, only to be stopped by the panic of 1837.
The period saw the beginning of the organized labor movement, the launching of the real movement for the abolition of slavery, the rise of the woman's rights movements, the development of an organized movement against intoxicating liquors, and progress towards abolition of imprisonment for debts. Improvement was brought about in the care of the insane and advancement was made in prison reform. The organized peace movement was definitely projected during this era. Communistic experiments were made on a large scale, though more after 1840 than before. It was a period of religious readjustment and change. Especially in the newer sections of the country the evangelical churches made great gains. Unitarianism assumed an organized form and took its stand beside Universalism in the fight between liberalism and orthodoxy in religion. The year 1830 saw the organization in New York of the Mormon Church. It was, in fact, a period of "isms"--and this should not be overlooked in explaining why it was possible to organize, during the period, such a fanatical party as was the Anti-Masonic.
Even surpassing all these things in interest was the political history of the period. Space does not permit a discussion of the heated controversies which raged over such matters as the civil service, the Second Bank of the United states, internal improvements, the removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi River, foreign relations, the specie circular and the distribution of the surplus. Rather, attention must be focused on the political party development of the period, especially on the abortive attempt to build a great national party on the basis of opposition to the Masonic Institution.
Viewed from the standpoint of national history the Anti-Masonic party would be of little importance were it not for the fact that during its short life it contributed to our national political system the national nominating convention and at least the "germ" of the national platform. From the Masonic viewpoint, the Anti-Masonic party is a subject that cannot be lightly dismissed for it developed into the most highly organized and powerful foe that Masonry has ever had in the United states. Promoted by unscrupulous opportunists seeking political power and even aiming at the presidency of the United states, it almost succeeded in exterminating Freemasonry in some of the states. In view, then, of its contributions to national political practices and its baneful influence on the Masonic Institution, it should be of greatest interest to trace the origin, development and decline of the Anti-Masonic party.
POLITICAL ORIGIN OF ANTI-MASONRY
In seeking an explanation of the origin of the Anti-Masonic party it is not enough, as Charles McCarthy, the leading historian of the party, pointed out years ago, to say that it was started by the Morgan affair. Had not the political, social and religious conditions at the time been favorable for the formation of a new party it is highly improbable that any political developments would have followed the mysterious disappearance of William Morgan. That incident was merely the match which served to ignite the combustibles already prepared.
Assuredly, the political situation, both in the country as a whole, and in New York, was ripe for the appearance of a new party. In 1816, the decadent Federalist party had for the last time participated in a presidential election, and thereafter the old Republican party was without a rival. The Federalist disintegration proceeded rapidly, so that when the Republican President, James Monroe, shortly after his inauguration, made a tour of the old Federalist stronghold of New England, he was received with such cordiality that the expression "Era of Good Feelings" was applied to his administration.
But, while the surface of the political water appeared to be calm, underneath there was a great and increasing turmoil. After Monroe's second election, various individuals openly exhibited themselves as candidates for the presidential succession. The number of aspirants, at first about a score, dwindled until the election of 1824 saw four rivals in the field, John Quincy is Adams of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, William H. Crawford of Georgia and Andrew Jackson of Tennessee. The regular election proved indecisive, though Jackson received a plurality of the electoral votes. In accordance with Constitutional provision, the election was then settled in the House of Representatives in favor of Adams.
Clay, who had run fourth in the race and was therefore eliminated from the House election, used his influence for Adams, and after the latter assumed the presidency, received the coveted office of Secretary of state. This led to the famous charge that a "corrupt bargain" had been entered into by Adams and Clay. The charge, though never satisfactorily substantiated, was believed by many, including Jackson, who was changed from an indifferent contestant to an eager aspirant for the presidency. In the fall of 1825 he was nominated for that office by the Tennessee legislature and began an aggressive campaign to defeat Adams in 1828. The bitter rivalry thus engendered between Adams and Jackson divided the Republican party into factions, which were destined to develop into new political parties. Just what the emerging parties would be called no one at that time could tell. The fact remains that both the Adams and Jackson groups claimed the name "Republican" until after the election of 1828.
CLINTON AND VAN BUREN
The political situation in New York was even more favorable to the formation of new parties. There had been a long struggle in the state over the building of the Erie Canal, and the animosities developed by this struggle did not subside when the canal was completed in 1825. De Witt Clinton had led the canal forces and Martin Van Buren, the chief of the "Bucktails," had been the leader in opposition to the building of the canal. After Adams and Jackson became avowed rival candidates for the presidency in the election of 1828, it was necessary for Clinton and Van Buren, just as it was for other politicians throughout the country, to choose between them. Van Buren, previously a Crawford supporter, early took a stand in favor of Jackson. After considerable deliberation, Clinton also announced himself as a Jackson supporter. This produced consternation among his followers, many of whom preferred Adams to Jackson.
Not least among those who were followers and admirers of Clinton was Thurlow Weed, then an aspiring newspaper editor in Rochester. He, and many other Clinton adherents, had supported Adams for the presidency in 1824 and wished to do so again. To Weed and the other Adams men who were seeking to counteract the influence of Clinton's action, the Morgan affair must have appeared as a rainbow of hope.
To one familiar with Weed's long subsequent career as a shrewd political manipulator there is danger of giving him credit for more foresight than he actually possessed. Nevertheless, retracing the development of the Anti-Masonic party from a local party in Western New York to a national party contending for the presidency of the United states, the guiding hand of Weed is clearly discernible at all stages.
WEED AND THE MORGAN COMMITTEES
Through the activities of the "Morgan committees," including that of Monroe County of which Weed was a leading member, and inspired by Weed's newly established "Anti-Masonic Enquirer" and similar newspapers which soon cropped out, there was developed in Western New York, within a short period after Morgan's disappearance, a frenzied outburst against Freemasonry. To bring about this result, charges that Masons were interfering with and hindering the investigations were coupled with appeals to the religious prejudices of the people.
The Anti-Masonic writers on the subject have been wont to say that the popular indignation of the people led to a "spontaneous" resort to the ballot to bar Masons from political offices. But viewing the evidence in hand it is apparent that the "spontaneous" outburst was in reality the result of carefully conducted manuevers on the part of Weed and his associates. Anti-Masonic tickets were placed in the field in various town elections in Genesee and Monroe Counties in the spring of 1827 with a result most encouraging to the Anti-Masons. It is significant that Weed, in his Autobiography, begins his chapter on political Anti-Masonry by relating how he and others at the time counselled against political action and then in the same paragraph says:
Rochester had already become the centre of Anti-Masonry. From that point the movements, whether of a judicial or legislative character, emanated.
As Weed was the chief of the Anti-Masons in Rochester, it is clear that he was promoting political Anti-Masonry while professing to discourage it!
Animated by the success of. their first venture into politics, the Anti-Masonic leaders threw their full energies into the work of perfecting a party organization, promoting conventions and securing suitable candidates to run in the approaching elections. They also continued their propaganda designed to win converts to their cause. The influence of the alleged finding of Morgan's body on Oct. 7, 1827, must have been great, for it supported the claims that Morgan had been drowned by the Masons. The decision that the body was Monroe's and not Morgan's was not reached until Oct. 29. As the election began on the following Monday, Nov. 5, it was too late, in view of the poor communication facilities of the time, to re-act on the voters. Therefore, the body was "a good enough Morgan until after the election", whether or not Weed actually made the remark. In disseminating their propaganda, the Anti-Masons did not omit to point out that Governor Clinton, a high Mason, had gone over to the political camp of Jackson, also a prominent Mason. (1) They also spread false reports that Clinton had approved of the Morgan abduction.
As a result, in the fall of 1827, Timothy Childs was elected to the state assembly from Monroe county on an Anti-Masonic ticket, and fourteen others claimed as Anti-Masons were also elected to the same body, much to the gratification of Weed and company. The new party was gaining momentum and numerous conventions were got up in 1828, for the purpose of further crystallizing sentiment. These included a convention of seceding Masons at Le Roy, Feb. 19 and 20, 1828, followed by a second convention of seceding Masons also at Le Roy, on July 4, 1828. This convention drew up a "Declaration of Independence" from the Masonic Institution, in imitation of the national Declaration, and the document was signed by one hundred and three seceding Masons, varying from an Entered Apprentice to the possessor of twenty-one degrees. Conspicuously heading the list is the name of Solomon Southwick. The only other persons in the list who attained any prominence as Anti-Masons were David Bernard, author of Light On Masonry, John G. stearns, Edward Giddins, Samuel D. Greene, and David C. Miller.
THE ANTI-MASONIC TICKET
Meanwhile an open Anti-Masonic convention had been held at Le Roy, March 6 and 7, with twelve counties represented. A set of twenty Anti-Masonic resolutions was drawn up and an address to the people was issued. On Aug. 4, 5 and 6, 1828, the Anti-Masons held a convention at Utica for the purpose of nominating a state ticket for the fall election. Francis Granger was nominated for governorship, but after several weeks declined the nomination, as he preferred to run for the office of Lieutenant Governor on the ticket of the Adams Republicans. Temporarily, Thurlow Weed lost control, for the radical Anti-Masons met at Le Roy, on Sept. 7, and nominated Southwick for the office of Governor. In the ensuing election, which resulted in the selection of the Jacksonian candidate, Martin Van Buren, Southwick ran a poor third. However, the Anti-Masons succeeded in electing seventeen assemblymen and four state senators, including William H. Maynard. In this election the Anti-Masons cast their votes for Adams for President since his statement had been spread abroad that he was not, never was, and never should be a Mason.
"The election of 1828," said Weed, "imparted increased confidence, vigor and strength to the Anti-Masonic party." Southwick, who had for a short time occupied a place of leadership, was pushed aside and thenceforth Thurlow Weed, aided by such lieutenants as William E. Seward, Millard Fillmore, Francis Granger, John C. Spencer, Myron Holley, Henry Dana Ward, Frederick Whittlesey, Albert H. Tracy, William H. Maynard, and others, guided the destinies of the Anti-Masonic party in New York. A state convention was convened at Albany on Feb. 19, 1829, with delegates present from forty counties. This convention, says McCarthy:
Marks a new starting point in the history of the party in New York. . . It was all the more effective because the political nature of it was concealed by an outward show of Anti-masonry with all its verbiage and proscriptive declarations.
Though Southwick was allowed to open the convention with a long address, there was no question as to the Weed faction controlling the meeting. Weed, from the state Anti-Masonic Central Committee, presented a long report on the development and progress of AntiMasonry. The most significant action taken by the convention was in regard to a national convention. A report on the subject was submitted by a committee, headed by Granger and including Seward in its membership. After hearing the report and supporting speeches, the convention resolved to call a national convention to meet at Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1830, (2) to be composed of delegates from each state equal in number to the electoral vote of the state. It was further stated:
The objects of which Convention, when assembled, shall be to adopt such measures as to them, in their deliberate wisdom, shall appear to be the most effectual to annihilate the Masonic Institution, and all other secret societies which claim to be paramount to our Laws, and are hostile to the genius and spirit of the Constitution.
In evaluating the significance of this resolution it must be remembered that the national parties styled the Democratic party and the National Republican party had not yet adopted those designations. There was an Adams party and a Jackson party but definite names were not adopted until after Jackson's inauguration as President, March 4, 1829. (3) In view of this, it is quite evident that Weed and his associates were seeking to make their party a chief national party in opposition to the Jacksonians. From 1829 until its demise in 1833, the Anti-Masonic party in New York was primarily an anti-Jackson party, and its continued attacks on Masonry were but "camouflage" for the real political motives of the opportunistic leaders.
Before adjourning, the Albany Convention memorialized the state legislature for legislation against "extra judicial oaths." It also decided that, while Morgan deserved a monument, the time was not ripe for its erection because of the doubtful "probability of its remaining undisturbed." It took action to raise a fund by subscription, to be held in trust, the income from which was to be used "for the future support of Mrs. Morgan, and the support and education of her two children." (4)
PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MASONS
After the convention, the Anti-Masons continued to use all the devices at their command to keep up an excitement against the Masons. They made liberal use of newspapers, pamphlets and "lectures." The "Morgan trials" were continued with renewed vigor and desperate attempts were made to secure convictions of accused Masons. Meanwhile, by declaring in favor of further canal building and other internal improvements, they attracted to their standard many of the old Clintonians and Adams men.
THE "TOLERATION MOVEMENT
In some of the towns of Western New York an attempt was made to stem the tide of Anti-Masonry by organizing a "Toleration and Equal Rights Party." In the local spring elections of 1829, "toleration" tickets were successful in a few towns. "The Craftsman" of April 14, 1829, which had previously exhorted the voters "to unite under the banner of Toleration and Equal Rights, and with becoming regard to their privileges, as freemen, uphold their institutions," claimed victories in seven of the sixteen towns of Monroe County, six of seven in Genesee County, four in Livingston County, and in all the towns of Cayuga and Seneca Counties. It is surprising that nothing more was heard of this "party" after these elections.
In the fall elections of 1829, the Anti-Masons showed increased strength though the Jacksonians easily controlled the state as a whole. (1830 was the year the Anti-Masons exhibited their greatest strength in New York.) On Feb. 25, 1830, a convention was held at Albany and thirty-six delegates were chosen to attend the national convention. On Aug. 11, 1830, another state Anti-Masonic convention was held at Utica with forty-five counties represented. Francis Granger was nominated for Governor and a bid for the workingmen's support was made by nominating Samuel Stevens of New York city for Lieutenant Governor. Fourteen resolutions were adopted and an address to the people was issued. In the fall election, Granger was defeated but he carried eighteen counties and received 120,361 votes as compared with 128,892 votes for Enos Throop, who was elected. It is significant that ten counties which had been Anti-Masonic in 1828 were carried by Throop, the Democrat-Republican candidate, in 1830. The Anti-Masons were admitted to have elected thirty three members of the Assembly, and they elected state senators in three districts, including Seward in the Eighth District.
In spite of the great show of strength in 1830, Weed was disappointed. In 1831 the party lost ground and in 1832 again went down to defeat, not only in New York but nationally as well. After an even more disastrous defeat in the fall elections of 1833, Weed and his colleagues were ready to give up. As Weed said in his Autobiography:
The election of 1833 demonstrated unmistakably not only that opposition to Masonry as a party in a political aspect had lost its hold upon the public mind, but that its leading object [?], namely, to awaken and perpetuate a public sentiment against secret societies, had signally failed.
A meeting of leaders of the party was held late in 1833 which "resulted in a virtual dissolution of the Anti-Masonic party" in New York.
Meanwhile, Anti-Masonry had been making headway in other states. In Pennsylvania conditions were also favorable for the introduction of Anti-Masonry. Long before the Morgan affair, as early as 1821, there had been manifested hostility on the part of some Presbyterians towards Masonry, and in 1823 the Methodists. of the state had shown an unfriendly attitude towards the Fraternity. Other religious sects in the state were also fertile ground for the seeds of Anti-Masonry brought in from New York as early as 1827. Furthermore, as in New York, there was a quarrel of long standing over internal improvements which favored the organization of a new party.
Political Anti-Masonry made its first appearance in the fall of 1828, but did not make much headway until the following year. On June 25, 1829, a convention of Anti-Masons from eleven counties met at Harrisburg and nominated Joseph Ritner for Governor. In the fall election the Anti-Masons polled a considerable vote and, while Ritner was defeated, elected fifteen members of the House and one member of the Senate of the state legislature. On Feb. 26, 1830, practically all the counties of Pennsylvania were represented in an Anti-Masonic convention at Harrisburg, called to choose delegates to the national convention. In this convention, Thaddeus Stevens began his career as the leading Anti-Mason of Pennsylvania.
In the fall elections, 1830, the Anti-Masons succeeded in electing six Congressmen, four members of the state Senate and twenty-seven members of the state House of Representatives. In May, 1831, another state convention was held to choose delegates to the Baltimore national convention, but was poorly attended. That fall the Anti-Masons elected six state senators and twenty members of the House. On Feb. 22, 1832, a fourth state convention met at Harrisburg and for a second time nominated Ritner for Governor. That fall he ran a very close second to George Wolf, the Democratic candidate. For a time thereafter Anti-Masonry declined in Pennsylvania, but was kept alive through the activity of Stevens and his chief lieutenant, Ritner. Finally, in 1835, by a coalition of Anti-Masons and Whigs, Ritner was elected Governor. During his three year regime every possible effort was made to legislate Masonry out of existence, but without success. With Ritner's defeat in 1838, political Anti-Masonry practically disappeared in Pennsylvania, though Stevens attempted to revive it as late as 1843.
THE RESULTS IN VERMONT
In no state were the Anti-Masons so completely successful as in Vermont. Political Anti-Masonry really began there in 1829, when on Aug. 5 a state convention was held at Montpelier. That fall the Anti-Masons elected thirty-three out of the two hundred and fourteen members of the state legislature. In 1830, the Anti-Masons showed increased strength. By 1831 they were strong enough to secure a plurality in the popular election for their gubernatorial candidate, William A. Palmer, and then secure his election at the hands of the legislature. They also elected one hundred and fourteen members of the state legislature. In 1832, they again elected Palmer as Governor and also elected three members of Congress. In 1833 and 1834, Palmer was re-elected but thereafter lost his popularity, and as a result of a deadlock in the legislature in 1835, Silas H. Jennison, elected by the Anti-Masons as Lieutenant Governor, became the Governor. In 1836, the Anti-Masons joined with the Whigs and disappeared as a distinct party in Vermont.
THE RESULT IN MASSACHUSETTS
The Anti-Masons made a determined but futile effort to control the political situation in Massachusetts. Political Anti-Masonry began in the state in 1828, but it was not until the notorious "Suffolk Committee" was organized at a meeting of Anti-Masons at Boston, Aug. 27, 1829, that headway was made. The first state Anti-Masonic convention met in Faneuil Hall, at Boston, on Dec. 30 and 31, 1829, and Jan. 1, 1830. Resolutions were adopted and a long address to the people of the state, drawn up by a committee headed by Moses Thacher, was issued. This convention also elected delegates to the Philadelphia national convention. The members of the "Suffolk Committee" were designated to serve as a state Anti-Masonic committee. In 1830, the Anti-Masons elected three state senators and between twenty and twenty-five members of the lower house of the legislature.
On May 19 and 20, 1831, a second state Anti-Masonic convention was held in Boston. Various reports were made and Anti-Masonic resolutions were adopted. Later in the year, the Anti-Masons nominated Samuel Lathrop for Governor but he was defeated in the election. In 1832, the Anti-Masons put an electoral as well as a state ticket in the field, the latter again headed by Lathrop, but the National Republicans won the election. The convention of that year adopted a reply to the "Declaration" of the Masons of Boston, this reply having been drawn up by the state Anti-Masonic committee and including thirty-eight "Allegations Against Freemasonry." Letters were then addressed to the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter of the state challenging them to sue the Anti-Masonic committee for libel, so that a trial could be held to determine whether the Anti-Masons were justified in their charges against Masonry, or the Masons were right in declaring the charges false. Nothing came of these challenges.
In 1833, against his wishes, John Quincy Adams was nominated by the Anti-Masonic convention for the governorship, but failed of election. In 1834 the Anti-Masons succeeded in getting the legislature to investigate Masonry but nothing came of the investigation. That year the state convention nominated John Bailey for Governor but he ran a poor third in the election. In 1835, most of the Anti-Masons of Massachusetts joined the Whigs, and the merger was completed in 1836.
RHODE ISLAND AND CONNECTICUT
Rhode Island was another of the New England states where political Anti-Masonry exhibited considerable strength. Anti-Masonry appeared in the state in 1829, and was given form by a convention held the next year. In 1831, the Anti-Masons memorialized the state legislature to investigate Freemasonry, which was done, though the investigation was "fruitless." In 1832, the legislature passed an act forbidding extra judicial oaths. A very unusual situation occurred in Rhode Island in 1832 when a coalition was formed between the Anti-Masons and the Democrats. As a result, William Sprague, an Anti-Mason, was elected Speaker of the lower house of the state legislature. Beginning with 1833, the Anti-Masons, for five successive years, elected their candidate, John Brown Francis, to the governorship. It was not until 1838 that political Anti-Masonry in Rhode Island disappeared.
In Connecticut political Anti-Masonry began late in 1828. On Feb. 11, 1829, a state convention was held at Hartford. In 1832, the Anti-Masons showed their greatest strength in Connecticut when, by a coalition with the National Republicans, they elected eight state senators, sixty-seven members of the state House of Representatives, and one United States Senator. The strength of the party soon dwindled, and in 1835 the Anti-Masons were practically absorbed by the Whigs.
Political Anti-Masonry made little headway in states other than those already mentioned. In Maine, a state convention was held at Augusta, July 4, 1832. The party had a candidate for the Governor, Thomas A. Hill, in the elections of 1832, 1833 and 1834, but his strength was negligible. At least two conventions were held in New Hampshire, one on June 1, 1831, and another on Feb. 6, 1833, but no political successes were achieved by the Anti-Masons.
THE RESULTS ELSEWHERE
In other states political Anti-Masonry was nothing more than a "local infection." It made some headway in New Jersey where at least one convention was held --that at New Brunswick on Aug. 24, 1830. In Ohio, Anti-Masonry exhibited its chief strength in the northeastern part. At least three conventions were held in this state, the first convening at Canton on July 21, 1830, with twelve counties represented, the second at Columbus on Jan. 11, 1831, and the third also at Columbus, on June 12, 1832. Anti-Masons in Indiana were a factor in only a few local elections. There is record of a convention held in the state in March, 1830. At least one Anti-Masonic convention was held in Kentucky, at Carthage, on Jan. 22, 1829. In Michigan Territory the Anti-Masons held a convention in June, 1829, and that year were strong enough to elect John Biddle as Territorial Delegate to Congress. Local outbreaks of political Anti-Masonry occurred in Marengo and Tuscaloosa Counties in Alabama, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and in Boonsboro district, Maryland. There is no other evidence available to show that political Anti-Masonry made any headway in the South. The fact that Delaware had one delegate present at each of the Anti-Masonic national conventions is evidence that that state was also slightly tainted with political Anti-Masonry.
THE COLLAPSE OF THE MOVEMENT
An account of political Anti-Masonry would not be complete without a consideration of the ephemeral career of the national Anti-Masonic party. As has been suggested, Weed and others early conceived the project of making the Anti-Masonic party a leading national party in opposition to the Jacksonians, and with this in view secured the calling of a national convention to meet at Philadelphia. At the time of the calling of the convention little was definitely known as to the actual strength of the Anti-Masons outside of New York. It must have been disappointing to the leaders when there appeared at Philadelphia, on Sept. 11, 1830, delegates from only ten of the twenty-four states and from one territory. While a total of one hundred and eleven delegates attended, it should be noted that thirty-three were from New York, twenty eight from Pennsylvania and seventeen from Massachusetts. Connecticut sent eight delegates, New Jersey seven, Ohio seven, Vermont six and Rhode Island two, while Delaware, Maryland and the Territory of Michigan each sent one delegate.
The convention organized with Francis Granger of New York as President. During the five days the convention was in session the time was spent mainly in formulating and listening to reports. On the first day fourteen different committees were appointed, to report on such matters as "the pretensions of freemasonry," "the true nature of Masonic oaths and obligations," "the truth of the disclosures" of Masonry, "the abduction and murder of William Morgan," "the effects of Freemasonry on the Christian religion," "the nature and spirit of anti-masonry," and "measures . . . to effectuate the extinction of Freemasonry." The various reports were the subject of extended debate which on occasion grew heated. It is apparent that some of the delegates were anxious to air their views and took full advantage of their opportunity to do so.
Among the matters of interest which came before the convention was the proposal of a New York delegate that a committee be appointed "to inquire into the pecuniary circumstances and situation of the family of Capt. William Morgan, and to report what measures, if any, should be adopted for their support." After some discussion the proposal was rejected. Thaddeus Stevens was most active in opposing the resolution, and, as his expressions show how little some of the leaders connected the Morgan affair with the AntiMasonic party, the record of the debates containing his objections may be quoted, as follows:
Mr. Stevens, of Pennsylvania, thought that this convention, as such, had nothing to do with the family of Capt. Morgan. The abduction and murder of that individual, did not constitute the basis of anti-masonry. That was perhaps a providential circumstance in its favour. The investigation and proceedings of the convention in regard to free-masonry should be coolly and dispassionately conducted. The resolution would be looked upon as intended to inflame the feelings and passions, rather than to appeal to the judgment; to excite the sympathies, rather than open the eyes, of the people, on the subject of masonry.
It was apparent that the time was not ripe for putting a presidential candidate in the field, but the matter was referred to a committee. After the committee's report had been debated with considerable heat, it was
Resolved, That it is recommended to the people of the United states, opposed to secret societies, to meet in convention, on Monday, the twenty-sixth day of September, 1831, at the city of Baltimore, by delegates equal in number to their representatives in both houses of congress, to make nominations of suitable candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President, to be supported at the next election; and for the transaction of such other business as the cause of Anti-Masonry may require.
A long address to the people, prepared by Myron Holley, was adopted and signed by all the delegates in attendance. It was chiefly a denunciation of Masonry and an appeal to the people to use the ballot against the Institution. This address is important since, if it was not the first national party platform, it was at least the "germ" of such a platform. If a platform is a declaration of a party's principles and policies, this address fulfilled the requirements of a platform.
SECOND NATIONAL CONVENTION
The party leaders hoped, by holding a second national convention in 1831, to have a more representative gathering, but in this they were to be disappointed. There assembled at Baltimore, on the appointed date, only one hundred and fourteen delegates from twelve states, including thirty-seven from New York, twenty eight from Pennsylvania, fourteen from Massachusetts, nine from Ohio, six from New Jersey, five from Vermont, six from Connecticut, four from Rhode Island, two from Maine, and one each from New Hampshire, Delaware and Maryland.
After the convention had been organized with John C. Spencer of New York as President, the rules and orders of the Philadelphia convention were adopted, various committees were appointed, and the work of the convention was got under way. Special reports by Henry Dana Ward for the "National Committee of Correspondence," Benjamin F. Hallett of Rhode Island "On the Construction of Masonic Penalties," and John C. Spencer "On History of Judicial Proceedings" in the "Morgan cases" regaled the convention while the matter of candidates was being considered.
Before the convention various individuals had been mentioned as possible Anti-Masonic presidential candidates. John C. Calhoun would have received favorable attention had it not been for his known connection with the movement in South Carolina to nullify the Federal tariff laws. Richard Rush of Pennsylvania had been mentioned and may have entertained hope of receiving the nomination. John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts was supported by New Englanders but had expressed himself as not wishing to be nominated. Then, too, there were many who felt that his name would not attract voters to the party. Henry Clay might easily have received the nomination, but he was a Mason and refused to renounce the Fraternity. (5) He had come dangerously close to it when he wrote, Jan. 23, 1831:
I have been urged, entreated, importuned, to make some declaration short of renunciation of Masonry, which would satisfy the Antis. But I have hitherto declined all interference on that subject. While I do not, and never did care about Masonry [?], I shall abstain from making myself any party to that strife. I tell them that Masonry and Anti-masonry has legitimately in my opinion nothing to do with politics; that I never acted, in public or private life, under any Masonic influence; that I have long since ceased to be a member of any lodge; that I voted for Mr. Adams, no Mason, against General Jackson, a Mason.
Thaddeus Stevens and perhaps other Anti-Masonic leaders went to the Baltimore convention with the intention of securing the nomination of John McLean of Ohio, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court and ex-Postmaster General of the United states. He had privately expressed a willingness to accept the nomination if it were assured that he would be the sole candidate in opposition to Jackson. But by the summer of 1831 it was very evident that the National Republicans would name a candidate of their own, and the indications were that Clay would be the candidate. In fact he had already been put forward as a candidate by various National Republican gatherings throughout the country. Therefore McLean wrote, under date of Nashville, Sept. 7, 1831, declining "to distract still more the public mind," by allowing himself to be named as an additional candidate.
WIRT AS ANTI-MASONIC CANDIDATE
Distracted by this frustration of their hopes, a delegation of Anti-Masons called on William Wirt, an ex-Attorney General of the United States, then residing in Baltimore, and persuaded him to accept the party's nomination for the presidency. Wirt, who early in life had taken the Entered Apprentice Degree, and whose conversion to Anti-Masonry coincided with the assembling of the convention, reluctantly agreed to accept the nomination. He, and probably some of the real Anti-Masonic leaders, hoped that the National Republicans would concur in the nomination when their national convention should assemble in December, 1831. Having secured at least a nominal candidate for the presidency, the Anti-Masons named Amos Ellmaker of Pennsylvania for the vice-presidency, drew up Anti-Masonic resolutions, adopted a platform in the form of an address to the people and adjourned to await the developments of the campaign.
Were it not for the fact that the address contained the usual denunciations of Masonry, it might have been a platform drawn up by a convention of National Republicans--in fact it was clearly designed to attract voters of that party. There could no longer be any doubt that the Anti-Masonic party, in spite of its pretensions, had become essentially an anti-Jackson party. The events of the campaign were ample justification for such a conclusion.
After the National Republicans, in their national convention at Baltimore, in December, 1831, formally nominated Clay, Wirt, aged and sickly, became thoroughly disheartened and, after the party leaders refused to allow him to withdraw, refused to lift a finger to promote his own election. In private correspondence he expressed the hope that Clay would win.
THE INSINCERITY OF THE LEADERS
The active Anti-Masonic leaders showed how insincere all their pratings against Masonry since 1826 had been, when they entered into coalitions with the National Republicans in various states. The Jackson official organ, the Washington "Globe," frequently called attention to these coalitions and denounced them in that vehement language which made its editor, Francis Preston Blair, the outstanding political editor of the period. It was the intention of the National Republican and Anti-Masonic leaders, especially in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, to manipulate the electoral vote so as to give it to either Clay or Wirt, whichever appeared to have the best prospect of being elected. Clay entered into the arrangement wholeheartedly, as a letter written to Weed, dated Washington, April 14, 1832, plainly indicates. He said, in part:
I received your favor of the 9th inst., as I did the previous ones, communicating the progress of measures to produce cooperation between the Anti-Masons and the National Republicans in the state of New York. I most earnestly hope that such cooperation may be cordially produced, to the satisfaction of both parties.
The cooperation referred to was brought about, for the two parties united on the same state and electoral ticket. This gave the Democrats an opportunity to ridicule their opponents as the "Siamese Twin Party."
Every possible means was employed by the coalition to defeat Jackson. The one hundred and sixty Anti-Masonic newspapers, headed by Weed's "Albany Evening Journal," were aided by numerous almanacs and tracts of various kinds in spreading the party propaganda. Jackson's staunch adherence to the Masonic Fraternity was not overlooked, nor did the Anti-Masons neglect to point out that four members of his cabinet, Edward Livingston, the Secretary of state, Lewis Cass, the Secretary of War, Levi Woodbury, the Secretary of the Navy, and William T. Barry, the Postmaster General, were prominent Masons. But all the efforts were without avail, for after the smoke of the battle had cleared away in the fall of 1832 it was found that Jackson had been easily re-elected, receiving two hundred and nineteen electoral votes. Clay received fortynine electoral votes, while the Anti-Masonic candidate, Wirt, received only the seven electoral votes of Vermont. The Anti-Masons had hoped to poll at least a half million votes but Clay and Wirt together received only 530,189 votes while Jackson received 687,502.
The overwhelming defeat of the Anti-Masons in the election of 1832 was a blow from which they never recovered. The New York leaders, who had been primarily responsible for the origin and development of the party, were convinced that they could not ride to power under the aegis of an Anti-Masonic party. After they dissolved the party in New York it was only a matter of time until the whole political Anti-Masonic movement collapsed. Though it showed strength in some states, as has been pointed out, until 1838, and even held a national convention at Philadelphia, Nov. 13, 1838-with only four states, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania represented--its doom was inevitable. The American people could not be fooled forever and when they saw that the issue of Anti-Masonry was being kept up chiefly to supply aspiring political opportunists with a vehicle in which to attempt to ride to power, they refused to lend enough support to keep the party alive. Thus there passed off the stage the first of a large number of minor parties which have afforded variety to American political campaigns.
(1) Throughout the period the Anti-Masons sought to create the impression that Masons were bound to work for each other's political advancement, but the history of the period is full of refutations of the absurd charge. It is true that Clinton became a Jackson man, but there were dozens of Masons who bitterly opposed Jackson politically. For example, Henry Clay, P. G. M. of Kentucky, and John Marshall, P.G.M. of Virginia, were most bitter opponents of Jackson. Hezekiah Niles of Baltimore, P.G.H.P. of Maryland, was editor of Niles' Register, one of the most powerful anti-Jackson newspapers in the country. William Winston Seaton of Washington, one of the editors of the National Intelligencer, the chief organ of the National Republicans and later of the Whigs, did not let his Masonry diminish the intensity of his attacks on Jackson.
(2) This date was the anniversary of the day on which Morgan had been taken from Batavia in 1826. For a time the AntiMasons sought to have the day set aside for special observance.
(3) In 1829 the Adams party began calling themselves "National Republicans" while the Jacksonians still called themselves "Republicans" or "Democratic Republicans." It was not until January, 1832, that they officially used the term "Democratic" Party--the term then being used in their call for a national convention. In applying the temlls to parties before 1829, Weed and others writing years afterwards, were in error. (See Bibliographical Notes)
(4) It is doubtful if Mrs. Morgan received much, if any benefit from this action as she married, late in 1830, a seceded Mason named George W. Harris, and evidently removed westward. Rob Morris cites evidence to show that Harris divorced her at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1856.
(5) Clay had demitted in 1824 from Lexington Lodge, No. 1, of Kentucky, but he did not renounce Masonry. He had previously served as Grand Master of Kentucky and had been chiefly instrumental in promoting, in 1822, the project for a General Supreme Grand Lodge of the United States.
The most complete and authoritative though not exhaustive work on the subject of political Anti-Masonry, the use of which is indispensable in any study of the subject, is Charles McCarthy's "The Antimasonic Party: A Study of Political Antimasonry in the United States, 1827-1840 " in the American Historical Association Annual Report for 1902, Vol. I, pp. 365-574. Though written by a Catholic it exhibits a commendable spirit of fairness.
Brief accounts of political Anti-Masonry are [Erik McKinley Eriksson's] "The Anti-Masonic Party," in Masonic Service Association Bulletin No. 10, Erik McKinley Eriksson's "The AntiMasonic Party," in THE BUILDER, Vol. 7 (March, 1921), pp. 71-77; Emery B. Gibbs' "The Anti-Masonic Movement," in THE BUILDER, Vol. 4 (December, 1918), pp. 341-348; and J. Hugo Tatsch's "An American Masonic Crisis," in Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Vol. XXXIV (1921), pp. 196-209.
A brief general treatment of Anti-Masonry in national politics is contained in the first volume of Edward Stanwood's History of the Presidency From 1788-1916' (Boston, 1916), 2v. New York politics are vividly dealt with in De Alva Stanwood Alexander's Political History of the State of New York (New York, 1906-1923), 4v., and in Jabez D. Hammond's The History of Political Parties in the State of New York . . . (Albany, 1842), 2v. It should be noted that the account of Anti-Masonry in the second volume was written by Frederick Whittlesey, an Anti-Mason.
Of great importance for the accounts of prominent AntiMasonic leaders are Thurlow Weed's Autobiography and Memoirs and William H. Seward's Autobiography. Biographies, memoirs and other works relating to such leaders as Thaddeus Stevens, John Quincy Adams, William Wirt and Millard Fillmore, not to mention a whole host of lesser leaders, have also been consulted. William L. Stone's Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry . . . (New York, 1832), gives much interesting material. The "Introductory Remarks" in [Henry Gassett's] Catalogue of Books on the Masonic Institution . . . (Boston, 1852) supply the dates for some Anti-Masonic conventions not mentioned by McCarthy.
In addition to newspapers hitherto cited, the following Washington newspapers were carefully studied: the Washington "Globe," the Jackson official organ, 1830-1837; the "National Intelligencer," the chief organ of the National Republicans and the "United States Telegraph," the ex-official organ of Jackson's administration.
The present writer has prepared a study of these journals, a small part of which has been published under the title "Official Newspaper Organs and the Campaign of 1828," in The Tennessee Historical Magazine, Vol. VIII (January, 1925), pp. 231-247. It was from this study that the information concerning party cognomens was derived. "Niles' Register," published throughout the period at Baltimore, is a mine of useful information. Its bias is decidedly anti-Jackson.
Typical of the Anti-Masonic almanacs examined were the following: Edward Giddins' The Pennsylvania Anti-Masonic Almanac . . . 1830 (Lancaster, 1830); Giddins' Anti-Masonic Almanac . . . 1831 (Utica 1831); Giddins' Anti-Masonic Almanac . . . 1832 (Utica, 1832), Avery Allyn's The Anti-Masonic Sun Almanac . . . 1832 . . . (Philadelphia, 1832); and the New England Anti-Masonic Almanac for the years 1831, 1832, 1833 and 1834 (Boston). The almanacs are of interest chiefly because of the free use they made of cartoons and caricatures, which were, generally speaking, rarely employed at that period of history.
While it has been necessary to depend on works already cited for much of the material on political Anti-Masonry, the following pamphlets containing convention proceedings have been studied at first hand: Masonic Anti-Masonic Proceedings [Le Roy, Feb. 19 and March 6, 1828], N.P., N.D., 16 pp.; Proceedings of the Anti-Masonic Convention for the State of New York Held at Utica, Aug. 11, 1830 . . . (Utica, 1830), 16 pp.; Proceedings of the Antimasonic State Convention of Connecticut Held at Hartford Feb. 3 and 4, 1830 (Hartford, 1830), 32 pp.; Brief Report of the Debates in the Anti-Masonic State Convention . . . Massachusetts . . . 1829 . . . (Boston, 1830), 48 pp.; Abstract of the Proceedings of the Anti-Masonic State Convention of Massachusetts . . . 1829 . . . (Boston 1830), 32 pp., Abstract of the Proceedings of the Antimasonic State Convention of Massachusetts . . . 1831 (Boston, 1831), 78 pp.; Anti-masonic Republican Convention of Massachusetts . . . 1832 . . . (Boston, 1832), 55 pp.; Anti-Masonic Convention of Massachusetts . . . 1833 . . . (Boston, 1833) 48 pp.; Antimasonic Republican Convention for Massachusetts . . . 1834 . . . (Boston, 1834), 40 pp.; The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Held at Philadelphia Sept. 11, 1830. Embracing the Journal of Proceedings, the Reports, the Debates and the Address to the People (Philadelphia 1830), 164 pp.; and The Proceedings of the Second United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Held at Baltimore, September, 1831; Journal and Reports . . . Resolutions, and the Address to the People (Boston, 1832), 88 pp.
The following pamphlets are useful in giving an insight to various political activities of the Anti-Masons: A Legislative Investigation Into Masonry [Rhode Island] . . . (Boston, 1832), 85 pp.; Report of the Committee Appointed by the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, to Investigate the Charges in Circulation Against Freemasonry and Masons in Said State . . . (Providence 1832), 149 pp.; An Investigation Into Free Masonry by a Joint Committee of the Legislature of Massachusetts . . . 1834 (Boston, 1834), 76 pp.; The Petition to the Legislature of the State of Connecticut, Against Extra-Judicial Oaths  . . . (Hartford, 1834), 8 pp.; Address of the Anti-Masonic State Convention Held at Augusta, July 4, 1832 . . . N. P., N. D., 8 pp., John Clarke's Address to the People of Pennsylvania Read to the Anti-Masonic Convention Held at Harrisburg, Feb. 25, 1830 . . . (Lancaster, 1830), 34 pp.; Report of a Committee to the New York Senate, Together With Extracts From Other Authentic Documents. Illustrating the Character and Principles of Free Masonry . . . (New Haven, 1829), 24 pp.; Report of the Select Committee on That Part of the Governor's Message Relating to the Abduction of William Morgan. Made to the [New York] Assembly, Feb. 16, 1829 (Albany, 1829), 68 pp.; Report of the Committee on the Abduction of William. Morgan Made to the [New York] Senate, Feb. 14, 1829 (Albany, 1829), 27 pp.; Report of the Special Counsel on the Subject of the Abduction of William Morgan to the [New York] Senate (Albany, 1830), 35 pp., Appeal to the "Original Antimasons" of New York by the Editor of the Boston Daily Advocate [Benjamin F. Hallett] (Published as "Extra" "Boston Daily Advocate," July, 1834), 32 pp., Report on Secret Societies and Monopolies by a Joint Committee of the Legislature of Massachusetts, 1836 (Boston, 1836), 48 pp.; and Resolutions Adopted by the Antimasonic Members of the Legislature of Massachusetts and Other citizens . . . Opposed to the Nomination of Martin Van Buren . . . (Boston, 1836), 24 pp.
Old Convivial Craft Customs By BRO. WILLIAM L. BOYDEN, Washington, D. C.
A PEEP into the past, disclosing from actual records many quaint and curious customs of the Fraternity in regard to refreshment. In an age when a strong head, ability to drink and not be drunken, was considered an admirable quality in a man, temperance still had its original meaning of reasonable use, without abuse of any of the pleasures of life.
CRITICISMS have often been made in times gone by, charging that the Masonic institution was responsible for a great deal of intemperance. In the olden days refreshments, both solid and liquid, were items of legitimate expense, regularly charged and regularly charged and regularly paid for at the old time inns. Although this usage has been radically changed and the bibulous features of Masonic gatherings have long since been discontinued, unwarranted conclusions are still drawn from the curiosities of the old books of account and books of record. In this particular, Masonic usages a hundred years ago cannot be fairly tested by current standards of Masonic conduct. The denominational organizations and their membership could not successfully meet a similar test. Neither the one nor the other should now be called to book upon more exacting standards of conduct than were set up by the moral sense of contemporaries. Liquors seem to have had, in former times, as respectable standing in the bill of fare at public places of entertainment, in the homes, and in public gatherings, as do coffee, tea and other beverages in the social arrangements of the present day. From the church, the lodge room and from places of social assemblages, it was viewed in the same light. The temperate use of it as a beverage was regarded as no offense against religion, morals or good manners. Considering the habits of the great mass of mankind at that period it is worthy of note and commendation that this essential Masonic duty, the restraint of improper desires and passions, was so faithfully observed by the Craft, not only in their seasons of social recreation and refreshment, but in other circumstances and relations.
The following is taken from the History of Rising Sun Lodge, Royalton, Vt., printed in 1907, which touches upon this old custom:
"Not to treat a caller or visitor, and especially the minister when he called at one's house, was deemed inhospitable and rude. Illustrating this condition, a good old Christian lady years ago related to me an experience of her own which occurred when she was a little girl. The minister of the parish called at her home. The family supplies happened to be 'shy' on rum, and her good mother, ashamed at the prospect of not being able to entertain her guest aflter the usual manner, called the little girl into another room, lifted her out of a back window and sent her post haste to a neighbor to obtain a supply of the 'ardent' wherewith to regale the parson."
And the Rev. Bro. Joshua Young, in an address before Old Colony Lodge, Massachusetts, some years agone said:
"The use of intoxicating liquors was discontinued, in more than one Masonic lodge, long before they were banished from ministerial councils, ordinations and funerals."
WHAT THEY DRANK
In addition to the liquors generally known, the brethren seemed to favor several concoctions popular at the time, such as Negus, so-called from its inventor, Colonel Negus, in the time of Queen Anne, 1702-1714, a mild, warm punch or wine, usually port or sherry, with a little lemon and not much sugar; rum punch was made from wine, rum, oranges and lemons; another favorite drink alnong those of the Craft who were seafaring men was Rumbo. Smollett, in 1751, in his "Peregrine Pickle," refers to the use of Rumbo, sometimes called bumbo. It was a strong drink made up of rum, sugar and nutmeg, a sort of sailor's grog.
Lyon, in his history of the Lodge of Edinburg, says:
As appears from occasional scraps of the treasurer's accounts, one shilling per bottle was the price of the punch that was used in the lodge, and the quantity named was no unusual allowance on festive occasions to each attending operative apprentice, to the officer, to the stewards "when making punch in the meeting," and to each visiting brother. "Cold toddy" seems at a much later period to have been the favorite lodge drink, and one of the minutes of the year 1809 is made to record the surreptitious removal of "forty-one bottles of this beverage, the property of the lodge."
That lemons formed an important part of the bibulous menu is evidenced from a minute in a lodge in Durham, England, where it is recorded under date of Aug. 21, 1787:
On the same night, Br. Robt. Darnel, made a motion that there should be lemons provided against the next and every succeeding lodge night, which was unanimously agreed to,
Here is a sample of what was paid for liquid refreshments after punches and the like passed out of fashion, taken from the records of Apollo Lodge, Troy, New York:
Apollo Lodge, to Jonth. Hatch, Dr.
to 21 lbs. cheese at 8d......... 0 14 0
1 gal. wine ........................... 0 10 0
1/2 lb. tobacco ..................... 0 1 0
6 pipes ............................…. 0 0 0
50 segars ............................. 0 1 6
1 7 6
Troy, 2d April, 1799.
Here is a typical bill for refreshments in Rising Sun Lodge, No. 7, Royalton, Vt. Note the spelling:
The Rison Son Lodge, bot of Moses Cutter-
1 qt. Gin ..............................$ .38
1 qt. W.I. Rum ...................... .38
1 qt Brandy............................ .38
3 1/2 lbs. "Cheas" ................. .35
4 doz. crackers ..................... .48
Royalton, April 19, 1826.
Frequently where lodges could afford it, they purchased their wine in large quantities, it being much cheaper that way, and stored it in the cellar below the lodge. A "pipe" was a wine measure containing about 126 wine gallons; a pipe of port contained about 138 wine gallons, Sherry 130, Madeira 110, Lisbon 140. As early as 1738 we find recorded in the Turk's Head Lodge, Wiltshire, England:
It was agreed that as fault was found with the wine, a pipe of good wine should be fixed upon by some of the brethren, and that upon their approbation, the whole should be bottled off, and the Mason's seal placed on each bottle and kept for the use of the lodge only.
In the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, Edinburgh, June 4, 1740, the Master informed the lodge
That for the benefit and use of the lodge there wa.s commissioned from London, one puncheon containing one hundred and eight English gallons of Rum, and one barrel containing two hundred and fifty-five and one-half pounds of sugar, which being arrived, Brother Thos. Trotter generously advanced the money for the same, amounting conform to the Invoice and Bro. Allan's receipt yron, to the sum of Fifty-four pounds, seventeen shillings and seven pence sterling.
In Master's Lodge, No. 2, Albany, N. Y., Nov. 21, 1786, it was resolved
That the Treasurer take order to procure for the use of the lodge, one quarter caske of Lisbon, or sherry wine, five gallons spirits, two loaves sugar and two dozen glasses.
From a minute in the Old Dundee Lodge, London, Nov. 27, 1788, it would seem that the purchase by brethren of the lodge, of the necessary "spirits," was
not at all satisfactory, for it was resolved on that date
That one of the Stewards order from some person not a member of this lodge a certain Quantity of wine and Licquors as Necessary.
In the Shakespeare Lodge, London, Feb. 24, 1803, it was
Resolved That Messrs. Dunlop and Hughes be ordered to send a Pipe of Red Port, similar to the sample now produced, for the use of the Lodge, sealed with the Seal of the Lodge, and that Brother George Harvey be requested to draw up certain regulations to be observed in future in the Cellar, respecting the same, to be submitted at the next meeting of the Lodge for their consideration.
REGULATING THE COST
Only a few years after the establishment of lodges in this country, we find the following among the regulations of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1739, relative to the use of liquors:
13. The Junior Warden is to keep an account of what liquor comes in for the use of the Lodge, which is not to exceed 2 shillings 6 pence per head, in failure of which he is to forfeit the surplusage (without a dispensation from the Master and members) the said Warden to render an account to the Secretary, who is to settle the same with the Master and Treasurer before the Lodge is closed.
Sept. 14, 1764, the Lodge of Emulation, London:
Moved and seconded, that no Liquor be made and mixed anywhere by any member of this Lodge, but in the Lodge, under the penalty of every member being at the expence of the Liquor he shall make contrary to this order, which is carried in the affirmative.
The Lodge of Unity, No. 183, London, had this among its by-laws in 1782:
Article 3rd. All liquor drank at the Lodge during Lodge hours and the beer drank at supper by the brethren not exceeding a pint each to be charged in the bill of expenses that night but no liquor called for before or after Lodge hours shall be allowed by the Lodge.
Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa., was evidently averse to keeping a charge account in the matter of refreshments, for in 1785, its fourth by-law provided "That no brother come to the lodge without money to pay the expenses of the night."
That some innkeepers encouraged the meetings of lodges at their places by giving the rent free for the sake of the trade, is evident, as we find in the history of Solomon's Lodge, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in 1787, that the paying of rent at Bro. Poole's apparently became irksome or not sufficiently "speculative," for Bro. Emott moved that the lodge fall into our former mode of buying our liquors of Bro. Poole and pay no rent."
St. John's Lodge, Leicester, England, March 5, 1794,
Resolved that every member pay on each Lodge evening, two shillings for his supper and for ale during Lodge hours. Members chusing to take Wine or Liquors to pay for them extra.
And Union Lodge, Norwich, England, passed a resolution May 25, 1810, that visiting brethren should be charged the price of a bottle of wine.
Here is an extract from the minutes of Shakespeare Lodge, London, June 23, 1831, which is very suggestive:
The Secretary stated to the Lodge that in order to prevent any errors relative to the number of bottles of wine charged in the bill, which appeared to him to have on more than one occasion exceeded the number drunk, he had with the appreciation of the W. M. provided a quantity of wine tickets.
How some of the lodges refreshed themselves, and absent one hour, and being rather intoxicated was order'd to where, is indicated in the ensuing extract from the sit as a private memberrecords of the Mariners' Lodge, England:
The Lodge to find two shillingsworth of malt Liquor and one Pint of Gin, Rum and Brandy for every Lodge night only --the Lodge not to be closed for refreshment, but the refreshment to be brought into the Room and put on a Table, any one who chooses may partake thereof, paying 6d for the same. To have no Spirits admitted into the Room during the time the Lodge is open unless paid for by the person calling for it.
The custom of treating the brethren of the lodge was quite a prevalent one, being sometimes required, but more often voluntary. One of the lodges in Norfolk, England, exacted, in 1724, that:
Every Masber on his election shall treat ye brethren with two bottles of wine and ye Wardens with one bottle each, and on their second election the Master one bottle and ye Wardens a bottle between them.
When a member was blest with a lewis or lewisa (son or daughter) he usually celebrated the event as is evidenced from the records of the Turk's Head Lodge, Wiltshire, England:
August 16, 1739. Brother Mills having been lately blessed with a lewis, was pleased to present this Lodge with a crown bowl of punch upon that happy occasion, and the young lewis' health was drunk to in form.
September 20, 1739. Our Brother Delarant presented the Lodge with a bowl of punch on his having a lewisa born, and her health was drunk in form.
The Lodge of Felicity, London, on June 21, 1748, records:
This being Election night Bro. Griffon was Elected Master and chose Bro. Harforth and Bro. Morse Wardens and Bro. Gibbs Secr., the Master paid a bottle, the Wardens and Secretary paid each one shilling for the Honour done them.
FINES AND FORFEITS
In the Turk's Head Lodge, Wiltshire, England, Dec. 21, 1738, Bro. Hetherington was called upon by the Master for his lecture, but excused himself on account of business preventing him, but promised it on the next lodge night, or the voluntary forfeiture of a gallon of wine. Caledonian Lodge, London, in 1765, had as one of its regulations:
That if any member of this Lodge come disguised in liquor, he shall be admonished by the presiding officer, for the first offense; For the second, of the same nature, he shall be fined one shiiling; And for the third, or refusing to pay his fine, he shall be excluded without any benefit from the lodge.
In Mount Vernon Lodge, Albany, N. Y., 1773, one of the articles of its regulations provided that
On lodge evening no member under a fine of one shilling shall have more drink than for six pence in the lodge room without the Master's consent.
In a lodge in wigan, England, under date of Feb. 25, 1801, "Bro. John Taylor being disguis'd in liquor he was admonished by the Worshipful and ordered home." In the early records of Jerusalem Lodge, London, the Secretary states that "Brother Perdue having drank a public Toast without his Apron, paid one shilling as a forfeit for that neglect."
The Worshipful Master himself was called to account in the Lodge of Antiquity, Bolton, England, Oct. 11, 1799:
The Worshipful was fined 2 shillings six pence fro being absent one hour, and being rather intoxicated was order'd to sit as a private member.
Many lodges, not only as a matter of economy, but realizing that refreshments were more often the means of the brethren becoming better acquainted with each other and that expensive wines and liquors were not necessary for this purpose, began to retrench and adopted such measures as a London lodge did in 1773 when it enacted a by-law:
That on account of the great expense incurr'd by allowing wine at supper and in order to prevent the bad consequences arising therefrom, no liquor shall be paid for out of the Lodge funds, which is drunk out of the Lodge room, except beer or ale drank at supper.
Temple Lodge, Albany, N. Y., April 1, 1801:
Resolved. That in future the Stewards substitute beer for brandy and spirits for the refreshments in the Lodge.
And in the same month, on the other side of the Atlantic, Royal York Lodge, London,
Resolved that the usual glass of brandy after supper be discontinued.
Altamont Lodge, Peterborough, N. H., May 7, 1816:
Voted to exclude the use of Ardent Spirit in this Lodge, and substitute therefor crackers and cheese and cider.
DECLINE OF TUE CUSTOM
The dawn of the nineteenth century saw the drinking custom on the wane, and we begin to find the minutes of lodges recording its discontinuance. In 1816 the Grand Lodge of New York enacted "That the use of distilled spirits in lodge rooms, or any adjoining room, is expressly forbidden." May 30, 1825, Altemont Lodge, Peterborough, N. H.,
"Voted that no account for spiritous liquors shall be allowed or paid for out of the funds of the Lodge after this date."
The Grand Lodge of Connecticut recommended the disuse of ardent spirits at its meeting in May, 1822, and the Grand Lodge of Vermont, Oct. 11, 1826, by a vote of 80 to 28, ruled
"That no ardent spirits or public dinner shall hereafter be furnished this Grand Lodge at any of its communications."
And on Oct. 9, 1827, the Grand Lodge recommended to all subordinate lodges to
"Dispense with the use of ardent spirits on all public occasions."
In 1842 the Grand Master of Ohio, who was a member of Lancaster Lodge, introduced a series of resolutions in that lodge which were unanimously adopted wherein the Masonic virtue of temperance was construed to mean total abstinence, and the members of the lodge drew up and subscribed to a form pledge to neither touch, taste, nor handle any ardent spirits, and
Resolved that hereafter no person shall be initiated into the mysteries of Masonry in the Lodge, or be received into fellowship with the same, who shall not previous thereto express his willingness to subscribe to this pledge.
Here is where a brother having lost money in providing refreshments on the particular evening, June 26, 1740, in the Lodge of Edinburgh, Scotland, was given a chance to recoup his losses, as appears from the minutes of that date:
And in regaird Brother Patrick Grant hath been att a considerable trouble and expence in providing liquors and other necessaries for this meeting, of which a very small part hath been disposed of, by reason of the small company that have attended the same, it was therefore likewise unanimously resolved upon that he have the benefits of furnishing liquors and other necessaries to their next quarterly meeting, preferable to any other persons whatsoever.
In Barrat and Sachse's "Freemasonry in Pennsylvania," quoting the minutes of a lodge Dec. 24, 1770, we are left to conjecture that the brethren had a special purpose in attending the meeting of the Grand Lodge, but were not given the opportunity of accomplishing their object, for it reads:
Drank 3 bowls Toddy in about 3 hours which we waited on the Grand Lodge, paid our Reckoning and went home.
And from the same source, under date of Aug. 17, 1771, we find the following amusing decision:
The Determination of this Body that Bro. Glenn and Bro. Topham should shake hands and drink to each other and forget all former Animosity.
Our predecessors were charitable in the higher sense also, and when an unfortunate brother fell through drink, they did not give him up, rather they tried to raise him up. As an illustration we quote the records of Union Band Lodge, No. 35, Saintfield, Ireland:
Saintfield, 4th Dec. 1777.
I . . . do hereby as a Mason promise before this Lodge that I will abstain from all intoxicating drinks for 12 months, with the exception of refreshments in Lodge.
Signed W. J. M.
This unfortunate brother pleaded to be allowed one bottle of porter a day, but it was denied him. They might as well have allowed him, yet they forgave him again.
If anyone fondly imagines that the following suggestion was a recent invention the records of Union Lodge, Nantucket, Mass., over a century ago, prove to the contrary, for we find, Nov. 2, 1795, a committee was appointed to confer with brother . .
respecting his misconduct in abusing himself with making use two (sic) freely of strong Drink.
At the communication of Dec. 14, the brother denied that he was intoxicated, but was "taken with cramp & could prove it."
Dr. William G. Hill, a member of Hiram Lodge, Raleigh, N. C., and at the time (1842) its Junior Warden, took a very active part in having the use of refreshments in a liquid form discontinued at the meetings of the Grand Lodge, it being the custom to have a banquet at the close of each session, when it is said the members had a "merry time." The Stewards provided the refreshments, and when the report of a committee on the subject came up for consideration, he used this emphatic language:
Why, Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Stewards in their extravagant expenditures furnish enough refreshment to keep themselves drunk the entire session, enough to make the whole Grand Lodge drunk on the night of the banquet and then have enough left to keep Hiram Lodge drunk the balance of the year.
The Comacines and the Traveling Gilds
By BRO. W. RAVENSCROFT, England
THE position in which the authors of the article in THE BUILDER for May courteously place me as a Comacine advocate, permits, and I think, encourages, the pleasure of some further remarks in reply to their article, relieving me also of the responsibility of apology for doing so.
It seems to me, then, if I rightly read what they have written, that the outstanding point to be dealt with is involved in the question, "What do we mean by the 'making of Masons' or rather 'builders' as applied to the Operative Masonic Gilds of the Middle Ages ?" If such was nothing more than the conferring of degrees, secrets and occult knowledge to be accompanied by festivities and other functions, religious and otherwise, then one must admit that these lodges may have been semi-permanent, ephemeral, accidental, etc. But I am going to claim that while such initiations are admitted, and I suppose nowhere denied, the Gilds of the Middle Ages were much more than that. And I make this claim upon what I regard as the surest foundation, viz.: the evidence written down in stone and wood, but, of course, more particularly the former; evidence which cannot be and is not subject to being tampered with as so much of that put down on paper may be. Permit me to note, then, the following:
First: Up to the 12th century there was from the downfall of Rome such remarkable correspondence in the development of plan, detail and ornament in work done throughout England from the North to the South with that of the Comacine builders as to make the conclusion inevitable that some rule, authority or custom controlled design and that, especially bearing in mind the difficulties of transit and other communication, nothing short thereof could produce such result and that the education which produced this must have been the principal item in the making of Masons.
And it is a remarkable confirmation of this that down to the village church, and in later days, the barn and the cottage, down to the simplest buildings which had any pretense at architecture, as well as to the cathedral, stronghold and more important buildings, an influence is so apparent that to an expert it is not difficult to discern from a single stone with any moulds or ornament upon it within almost a quarter of a century to what period it would belong. And this is the more remarkable since it does not follow that because the evidence of "style" is present the workmanship is skilled. One could give numbers of instances to show that while the design was, so to speak, authorized, the workmanship was clumsy and bad; the work, in fact, of an inadequately trained craftsman.
Second: The foregoing remarks as to some authority under heading 1, apply equally to the periods which followed, viz.: the Gothic period and that of the Renaissance and I have purposely divided them into these periods because between each there came an important revolution. I refer to the incoming of Gothic Architecture at say about the beginning of the 13th century and the "revival of learning about that of the 15th century." The change from Norman work to Gothic work during 50 years was radical in construction, design and ornament. So was that at the time of the Renaissance, but contrary to what might have been expected, there was no sudden abandonment of one style for another but periods of development during which with precision transition intervened until one style had disappeared before the incoming of the successor and all through the various changes within the Gothic time the same remark applies and at the Renaissance upheaval the old was gradually merged with the new until quite lost--witness the Elizabethan and Jacobean mansions and other structures.
Third: After the incoming of the Renaissance the whole order changed. The Reformation not only suppressed the Monasteries but also the Gilds. The former, in many instances, became the homes of the nobility, the latter the Clubs of Speculative Masons, until so far as architecture was concerned, A would build in the style of "Queen Anne" and B, next door, in that of "Mary Anne" or any other Anne.
Surely this justifies the conclusion that down to the time when the Gothic period was ended and the classic revival was in full vogue, nothing can account for the stone written history I have briefly sketched short of an organized body, or, if one prefer it, organized associations directing and controlling at least the architecture of Western Europe. And, roughly speaking, the end of the Gothic period and the decay of the Gilds synchronizes with the beginning of Speculative Masonry when good fellowship began to be the chief characteristic in evidence.
Lastly, if I may be permitted a reference to the "Master Mason" for May, 1926. I read therein an article or English Freemasonry before the year 1717 (in which Bro. F. F. Gould's views are set forth) and under the heading of "Oral Tradition" three very eminent men are quoted as having written on this very point--Sir Christopher Wren, Sir William Dugdale and Elias Ashmole. Before the year 1717, in which, under the heading, "Oral Traditions,' three very eminent men are quoted as having held this opinion. The passages are to be found in Gould's Concise' History [Revised Edition, pages 53, 99 and 100] and are discussed at length in chapter twelve of the larger work. The earliest in date is the report of Dugdale's belief by John Aubrey, which is as follows:
Sir William Dugdale told me many years since, that about Henry the Third's time, the Pope gave a bull or patent to a company of Italian Freemasons, to travel up and down all Europe to build churches. From those are derived the Fraternity of adopted Masons.
In the memoir of Elias Ashmole in the Biographia Britannica we are told by Dr. Knipe:
What from Mr. Ashmole's collection I could gather was that the report of our Society taking rise from a Bull granted by the Pope in the reign of Henry III to some Italian architects to travel all over Europe to erect chapels was ill-founded. Such a Bull there was, and those architects were masons. But this Bull, in the opinion of the learned Mr. Ashmole, was confirmative only and did not by any means create our Fraternity or even establish them in this kingdom.
The remaining quotation is from the Parentalia or Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens:
The Italians (among whom were yet some Greek Refugees), and with them French, German and Flemings, joined into a Fraternity of Architects, procuring Papal Bulls for their Encouragement and particular Privileges; they styled themselves Freemasons, and ranged from one Nation to another, as they found Churches to be built.
It seems to me that these opinions should be considered very carefully. One is inclined to wonder why, because traditions had grown up around these pronouncements which were extravagant and false, he should, therefore, have dismissed the lot. I am inclined to think that had he been acquainted more fully with the Comacine theory, and the steady development and sequence of changes in English architecture he would have concluded otherwise.
The Gild and the Lodge
By BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
IT would seem as if Bro. Ravenscroft had, in the preceding article, put his finger on the real point at issue in posing the question, "What do we mean by the making of Masons as applied to the Operative Gilds?" When, in the article in THE BUILDER for May, to which he refers, we set forth a hypothesis of the relationship of the lodge to the gild we had in view only the ritual significance of the term. If it be permitted to go so far afield for a parallel, we might adduce the puberty rites of savage races, which are known to those practicing them as "making men." The anthropological analogies to Masonry must be handled with great reserve and caution on account of the tendency there has been to build upon them hasty and ill considered speculations. But in this case we are only seeking an illustration. According to the savage the half-grown boy becomes a man by virtue of his initiation into the tribal mysteries. Yet though this is the theory, yet the savage is practical enough, too, and the boy as well as being initiated has generally to undergo a long course of training in addition before he actually takes his place in the community as a fullfledged man. On the other hand, physical strength and endurance, valor in war and skill in hunting do not alone qualify him to be regarded as a man, many instances have been reported that definitely prove this. There would thus seem to be two essential sets of qualifications, the ritual and the practical, before the youth can marry, take his place in the tribal councils, and as it were, enter into full citizenship.
Another parallel might be taken much nearer home, the rite of Baptism in the Christian Church. The individual who is baptized becomes formally, or according to high sacramental views, actually a child of God. Yet even those with the highest views on the efficacy of the sacraments admit in practice the necessity of teaching and discipline in addition. So also a man can be presented and introduced in a neat little Latin speech (which all present must at least pretend to understand) to the Chancellor of a University, who thereupon formally presents him with an imposing document on parchment, also in Latin, after all which he may write "Doctor" after his name. The degree may be either honoris causa or the result of years of hard work and the passing of examinations. Here indeed we have a very close parallel between the operative and speculative Mason. The Doctor, honoris causa, does not know anything about Civil Laws or whatever else it is that he has been made Doctor of, and no one expects that he should. Nevertheless it gives him Academic rank and standing that the 'operative' scholar, if we may so term him, has to work hard for. But there is this difference between the two, if anyone wants information they go to the one who has had the training and not to him who is only ceremonially qualified.
We venture to suggest, then, that the organization by and in which the Medieval Masons and builders became such regularly and lawfully, according to the internal economy of the crafts concerned, was the lodge. The distinction is important, the adjectives might imply regularity and legality according to municipal ordinance and the law of the land. It is the internal law of the group that is referred to; and the attitude of a present day trades union man towards a worker who does not belong is the kind of thing we mean. The apprentice had, of course, to learn his trade if he was going to work at it, and this he would learn, as he always has done, in working under the instruction of his master. But in order to be regarded as a "right" or "true" mason he had also to be initiated, and this was the concern of the loosely organized institution which emerges into the light of history under the name of the "lodge".
The gild as special form of association seems to be peculiarly a Medieval institution. We would suppose that Masons formed themselves into gilds because every one else did, and in the feudal form of society men were obliged to do so by an outer pressure. The gilds very largely passed away when the state of society in which they had their origin came to an end. As the lodge may have been much older than the gild so also it survived it, because probably it had little or nothing to do with the practical side of the craft. If we read Bro. Ravenscroft aright it would seem that he might almost be prepared to accept this suggestion, or at least that he is not concerned to dispute it. But he raises another point, and again if we rightly understand him, it is what he regards as the essence of the Comacine theory. Here we feel we can give him some of that definite denial for which his soul longs. Bro. Ravenscroft is such a genial and kindly controversialist that we know he will forgive the little joke.
The question is, though it is apart from our own theory, whether the Masonic gilds were like the other craft gilds of the time, merely local associations organized for purely local purposes and having no connection with any other like bodies except that they all had a general likeness of form and function, or whether they were only branches of one inclusive organization, closely knit together and with an effective centralized government or directing body, which was not only interested in wages, hours and conditions of working and so on, like the other gilds, but was actively concerned in planning important buildings and the details of style in architecture.
It cannot well be gainsaid that the possibility of such an organization existed, for one thing we suggest something of the same sort for the lodge, only without any central head. And besides there were the monastic and military orders, which did have chief houses and generals set over all. But these were well known to the world at large, and were the subject of jealous observation on the part both of the Papacy and secular rulers. They wanted to know who was at the head of these bodies, and were particularly anxious to put their own nominees in charge. Had there been such a centralized organization of Masons extending all over Europe, it would have had to have been in every sense of the word a secret one, or it would else have necessarily been the subject of surveillance at least of the various governments, and in this case some record would almost certainly have come down to us. It is only a negative argument, of course, and is not conclusive, but we think that under the circumstances it carries considerable weight.
Then again, if the central body was concerned with plans and architectural styles it was in this totally unlike any trade or professional organization before or since. The Medieval gilds, so far as can be gathered from their own records and external references to them, were concerned with regulating the quality of workmanship, prices, wages, number of apprentices, relations of the occupation to the community and so on, while the teaching of the craft itself was left entirely to the individual masters. It was indeed so far regulated that the master was under an obligation to teach his apprentice thoroughly and to teach him all he knew, but the teaching itself was an individual matter entirely.
The hypothesis of a central or universal gild as a sort of training college or general staff controlling all important building operations seems to us unnecessary to explain the facts so ably collected and set forth by Bro. Ravenscroft in his various works. That there was a continuity of style is undoubted, the question only is how it is to be accounted for. It may be that the advantage (or disadvantage), that by a coincidence we both possess of having had a training in the craft or profession of engineer, which in the modern world takes a similar place in the community that the Mason's craft did in the Middle Ages, may lead us to see the matter in a somewhat different light. To the trained man a casual walk through a machine shop, for example, may be quite enough to show him all he needs to know about a new way of using some tool, or a more advantageous method of handling a certain class of work. In the same way the Medieval craftsman had only to visit some recently erected building to grasp anything new in constructural methods, or in detail of design. New types of mouldings, or ornament, experiments in proportions and so on would be noted at once. Medieval architects used sketchbooks too, some of them still exist, and we think that in this way the rapid diffusion of new forms and styles are quite adequately accounted for.
It may, of course, be objected that means of communication were few and bad. Nevertheless they existed and were used. Pilgrimages were constant, it is probable that almost every one at some time or other made one. Perhaps only to some nearby shrine, but often enough, too, into foreign lands, and to Rome itself. Besides that, the mason and builder was then, as he is today, a migratory bird, and wandered far afield in the pursuit of his avocation.
Finally, and what seems to us the greatest difficulty of all, style in a building is a question of art, and no art was ever yet produced by a committee. Schools of art there have been, of course, but they imply no more than the learning by pupils a technique from a master, and carrying on a tradition with modifications resulting from individual peculiarities and genius. For all these reasons, while we willingly admit the weight of architectural evidence for the existence of a noble tradition, of a specific style diffused over certain areas, we are not able to concur in the theory that this was due to the action, conservative or constructive, of a central and authoritative organization that drew up the designs and sent them out to the local builders, or even of the existence of a central school or college in which architects were trained in certain principles and to work on specific models. If this is what Bro. Ravenscroft believes, then we must confess that we do disagree with him.
FURTHER NOTES ON THE GILD
By Bro. W. RAVENSCROFT
By the courtesy of the Editor of THE BUILDER I am permitted to see an advance proof of the foregoing article and to add a word or two in reference to it. I must not take advantage of that kindness by writing at length, but I gladly avail myself of the opportunity of just a few words.
The distinction between "lodge" and "gild" is one which perhaps I ought to have kept more carefully in view in my article as I think it helps to clear the point at issue.
Wren's Parentalia speaks of a "Fraternity of Architects" whose government was regular, but who ranged from nation to nation. Dugdale calls them a "Company of Italian Architects who traveled all over Europe and who had several Lodges in several countries." Ashmole refers to them as Italian Architects "who were Masons" traveling about and as existing before the time of Henry III.
All this looks like a widespread organization (Gild, if you like in the broader sense of the word) with a more or less permanent character, and lodges formed of members of this Association, local, and perhaps temporary in character.
I hold then that these lodges were controlled in some way by the Gild, or I would go so far as to say Gilds, since I do not identify them with Italy alone. But I do not for a moment claim a central Gild or authority drawing up plans, issuing instructions and training architects; so that when I mention "some authority", an expression which of necessity must be somewhat vague, I rather intend to convey the idea of a consensus of opinion whereby Masons worked on similar lines in matters of architectural style which developed and even changed from period to period on regular and ordered lines; as for instance the use of the pointed arch which superseded the round one. I think the absence of a central Gild dominating everything is proved by the influences of various schools, Byzantine, Ravenese and Comacine on each other, as well as by the individuality of detail which marked the work even in Great Britain alone, to say nothing of our English departure from Continental ideals.
But beneath these variations there was some fundamental unity of thought and expression common to the workers in Europe and our brethren of the British Isles, and that if Craftsmen and Apprentices were educated in lodges, as they may well have been, it was under accepted traditions that they were so trained. And I am not sure whether we concede enough to the influence of the Monastic Orders and the Episcopacy. We find the names in England, at any rate, associated with the great works of the Middle Ages to be those of ecclesiastics rather than the architects, and perhaps are inclined to think this a bit of usurpation. But let us take the case of the cistercian buildings, where we find carved ornament conspicuous by its absence although the general character of such buildings conformed to the style of the period. This was on account of the idea held by that severely ruled order that such ornament was not admissible, a kind of Puritanism inculcated by that giant of the order, St. Bernard.
Surely this peculiarity, as contrasted let us say, with buildings erected by the Benedictines, must have implied some control of design on the part of the monks, and it may be that after all they were, in some cases at least, the leading architects. If the cistercians could thus influence architectural design why should not the other Church authorities and monastic bodies do the same? Bros. Kress and Meekren seem to hold that a common tradition and technique were quite sufficient to account for the difficulty we are discussing, but I am afraid I do not feel quite satisfied as to the adequacy of this opinion, although I cannot add what I think is still wanting.
But we are not far apart, and somehow each time we write we get nearer together. A happy thing indeed if we are converging toward the truth.
The Background of Masonic History in the 18th Century
By PROF. E. E. BOOTHROYD, Canada
THIS second article by Prof. Boothroyd is even more interesting than the first one which appeared in the April number of The Builder. Masonic students are often led to misinterpret the early historical records of the Craft owing to their neglect of outside current events of the time. In this article the author gives a vivid picture of a restless and disturbed transition period.
AS an appreciation of the general aspect of the early eighteenth century supplies an answer to the questions why Masonry should have been reorganized at that particular time, and why that reorganization should have centered at London; so a knowledge of the conditions of life and thought--the atmosphere of the times-will account for the nature of that reorganization and the new direction given to the activities of the institution. The medieval craft guild was an organization developed in a particular state of society to supply the needs of, and perform certain functions necessary in, that particular condition of society. With the change from medieval to modern life those needs were no longer or were differently felt, those functions no longer necessary or transferred to other institutions. The raison d'etre of the craft-guild had therefore vanished, and the institution was faced with the alternative of itself vanishing with the conditions which had given it life, or adapting itself to its changed environment and remodelling itself to supply needs of, and perform functions requisite under the new regime.
To the outside observer, the craft-guild of the middle ages would seem to have had a four-fold function--economic, eleemosynary, religious and social. It determined the conditions of production, arranged for the support of the sick, needy and bereaved within its ranks, played its part in the all pervasive religious activity of the age by the maintenance of chantries or the care of special portions of religious edifices, catered to the gregarious instinct of humanity by its guild banquets and so forth, and, in that borderland where religious and social activities intermingle and where today the Women's Auxiliaries and Young Men's Christian Association play their parts, arranged for the production of Miracle and Mystery Plays at the great festival of Corpus Christi. Of most of these functions it had been deprived by the political, economic and religious changes which transformed medieval into modern society. The regulation of industrial conditions had been taken over by Parliament, and the relief of the indigent devolved upon the parochial system; the Reformation had swept away the chantries and simplified religious ceremonial; the birth of the true drama and the consequent rise of professional actors and permanent theatres had superseded the Miracle and Mystery and the waggon-stage or "pageant" on which they had been performed by the guilds. The social instinct, that craving of men to meet and associate with their fellows, alone remained of all those medieval needs which had been supplied by the organization of the craft-guild. This social instinct is not, however, satisfied by the mere act of assembling together except in such imaginary cases as the Hum-Drum Club described by Addison "made up of very honest gentlemen, of peaceable dispositions, that used to sit together, smoke their pipes and say nothing till midnight." There must be some definite reason for the assemblage, some common occupation for those assembled together. Moreover, if the institution is to become popular and acquire wide influence, this reason and this occupation must be in harmony with the thoughts and feelings of society as a whole. Hence the necessity, for a true understanding of the reorganization of the Masonic Craft in the eighteenth century, of a familiarity with the character of the age, a knowledge of the thoughts, feelings, ideals, and longings of the time in conformity with which the institution must have been reshaped and its activities redirected.
There is only one way in which such a knowledge and understanding of eighteenth century atmosphere can be acquired, the way pointed out by Taine in the well-known passage, "a literary work is not a mere play of the imagination, the isolated caprice of an excited brain, but a transcript of contemporary manners and customs and the sign of a particular state of intellect. The conclusion derived from this is that, through literary monuments, we can retrace the way in which men felt and thought many centuries ago." To steep oneself in eighteenth century literature, to saturate the mind and emotions with the Tatler and Spectator essays, the poems of Pope and the Beggar's Opera, with the letters of Chesterfield, the sermons of John and the hymns of Charles Wesley, with the satires of Swift and the novels of Fielding, is the only method of reaching a sympathetic comprehension of the state of mind and feeling of the men who founded the Grand Lodge and remodeled the Masonic Craft.
The first impression derived from contact with the writers of the period is one of a predominant materialism. The men and women of the time seem wrapped up in the things of this world, dead to all calls and interests of a higher nature. Drunkenness and sensuality are rampant. Gin has recently been discovered and the inn-keepers inform the public that one can "get drunk for a penny, dead-drunk for two-pence;" while the story that George II's daughter remarked, when his dapper majesty's immediate fancy appeared to be losing the royal favour, that she hoped he would soon take another mistress, so that things would be easier for her mother, throws a glaring light on the moral sensibility of society. And, work of genius though it is, there is a strain of coarseness and brutality in Tom Jones that makes the modern reader feel the need of a moral and social wash and brush-up after the perusal of Fielding's masterpiece. Nor does the political life of the day afford a more edifying spectacle. Walpole has systematized the parliamentary bribery and corruption begun in the reign of Charles II., and can say of a noisy group of Opposition members, "Each of those men has his price;" while the ministers of the Hanoverian sovereign are corresponding with the Pretender at st. Germains and assuring him of their devotion to his interests, with a cynical disregard of their oaths of office and allegiance. In religious affairs the spectacle of a Dean of St. Patrick's basing his opposition to the abolition of Christianity on the argument that it "might have a detrimental effect on the emoluments of the Anglican clergy," is not suggestive of a high level of religious thought and feeling. Such a period of materialism and coarse pleasure-seeking is, however, what the student of history would expect at this stage in view of the natural reactions of human character and of society. After a prolonged period of religious and idealistic activity, of political and ecclesiastical strife, such as that of the Reformation and the religious and constitutional struggles of the seventeenth century, it was almost inevitable that men should relax their moral and emotional tension and abandon themselves to the business and pleasure of the world. This reaction had begun at the Restoration, as those familiar with Pepys' Diary will realize as they recall the passages in which the distinguished Admiralty official relates how, feeling something hard in an envelope handed him by one to whom he had done an official favour, he shut his eyes while he shook out the coins, that he might swear he saw no money in the letter when he opened it; or how he desisted from his attempt to hold a strange, but apparently attractive, lady's hand in church when "I did perceive that she took a pin out of her pocket to prick me if I did persist." And the materialistic reaction thus begun continued well into the eighteenth century.
But a wider and deeper acquaintance with the literature of the time will show that this condition of materialism, sensuality and disregard of religion and honour is not the only aspect of the age. Under the stagnant and noisome surface of the water there is movement and life of a very different character, germinating and developing, awaiting the time when the natural tendency to reaction should bring it in its turn to the top, to dissipate the accumulated scum of moral and emotional sluggishness, and stir the waters to new life and energy. The degradation into which the reaction against the narrow Puritan morality of the kingless decade had plunged society under Charles II. had produced a natural revulsion of feeling. Even at the height of Caroline license we find Pepys recording his wish that Charles would leave his mistresses and devote himself to the business of the nation, and his disgust at the venality and pleasure-seeking of high officials; and at the close of the century Jeremy Collier publishes his rebuke of the grossness of the Restoration drama in the famous "Short view of the Profaneness and Immorality of the English stage." With the beginning of the eighteenth century we can note the strengthening of the moral reaction in the work of nearly every writer of importance. The satires of Swift may have been, nay, they almost certainly were, merely the expression of the author's savage scorn of the pettiness of human nature; but in the pages of Addison and Steele, of Richardson and Fielding, may be traced a profound belief in the real soundness of mankind, and a desire to promote the triumph of morality and common sense over the evil and folly into which the Caroline reaction had led. Addison, Steele and Richardson wrote with a purpose, and if Fielding was drawn into novel writing merely by the desire of a robust human being to mock at the anemic sensibility of his predecessor Richardson, it is easy to discern beneath his superficial coarseness a sane healthy view of life and character. The creator of Parson Adams and Amelia was no Caroline reprobate or approver of the Rochesters and Sedleys of life.
The general aspect of the early eighteenth century as revealed in its literary record is thus of a two-fold character. On the one hand is a dominant materialism and somewhat cynical immorality; on the other, a clearly-marked moral and social revulsion against the evil tendencies of the age. By one or other of these characteristics the reorganization of Masonry must surely have been influenced. The Institution must have been regarded by those who were remodeling its form and reshaping its activities, either as a means of securing the cakes and ale of life, or of subserving the higher aims of man. But the general condition of the age could only affect the general tone of the Craft; the details of the reorganization must have been influenced by the particular currents, tendencies and activities of the time.
On these contemporary interests and activities few works of the period throw a greater light than those daily essays which Addison, Steele and Budgell published as the reflections of Mr. Spectator and the real or fictitious letters of his correspondents. Dependent on their sales to meet the expenses of publication and provide remuneration for their literary labours, the essayists must have sought to appeal to the interests of as wide a clientele as possible, and the immediate and extensive popularity of the paper testifies to the success which attended their efforts. A leisurely perusal, then, of the eight volumes into which the daily Spectator essays were finally collected--"leisurely," for that was the character of the age--will serve as a substitute for Mr. H. G. Wells' Time-Machine, transport the reader two centuries back into the past, and enable him to breathe the atmosphere of the eighteenth century; while an examination of the topics discussed and the method in which they are handled will afford a clue to those public tastes and interests to which the Masonic reformers must, in their sphere, have conformed.
Perhaps the first characteristic that will attract such a reader's attention will be the social aspect of the age. It was during this epoch that "Society" was born in England. Now "Society" is one of those nebulous words the exact meaning of which it is not easy to realize, still less easy to express. Included in the content of the meaning is, however, a centripetal tendency on the part of the individual members of the community, a tendency to gather together, especially in the leisure moments of life--which aspect of the meaning will explain how the term "Society" comes to be applied to that section of the community which is not under the necessity of daily toil to secure the means of subsistence; the prominence of the fair sex in this "Society ;" and, incidentally, why lodge meetings are generally held in the evening, when "man resteth from his labours." Further, the idea of "Society" implies the formulation of rules and regulations for behaviour and even for costume at these social gatherings, and eventually on all occasions. This course of action is the proper one, the other thing "isn't done." It is "correct" to wear a black tie with evening dress on this occasion, a white tie on that. In the little matter of expectoration, I have somewhere read that Queen Elizabeth expressed her annoyance with a certain gentleman in biblical fashion by spitting upon his richly embroidered costume (corroboration may be afforded by a well-known passage in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice). In the reign of Charles II. Samuel Pepys records in his diary the fact that entering the playhouse late and sitting in a back and dark seat, a "lady" did spit upon him over her shoulder, which action, the lady proving well-favoured, he seems to have taken in good part and made use of as a sort of introduction. Today Society proclaims the impropriety of the public performance of this ancient rite in neatly printed injunctions in street cars and railway carriages. The regulation and organization of social conduct and social activities in the eighteenth century is humorously brought out in those Spectator essays which deal with fashions of dress, coiffure and facial decoration, with the habit of "staring" and the Masquerade, and the suggestion that tatting might form a suitable occupation for idle young "men about town." This rise of "Society," with its regulation of costumes, behaviour and taste on this, that, and the other occasion, was an all-pervasive condition of the time which must have been in the thoughts and influenced the actions of the gentlemen of the Goose and Gridiron.
Connected with this general development of society and social life, and the organization of the leisure activities of the individual is the rise, within society at large, of particular groupings for particular purposes, the formation of numerous clubs on which Addison dilates in Number 9 of the Spectator. "Man," says the essayist, "is said to be a social animal, and, as an instance of it, we may observe, that we take all occasions and pretenses of forming ourselves into those little nocturnal assemblies, which are commonly known by the name of clubs." The evolution of the club at this time in London from the gathering of men with common interests at particular taverns and coffeehouses is one of the most interesting features of the time, and its novelty and importance are attested, not only by its treatment in this particular essay, and in countless contemporary references, but also by the fact that the authors founded a fictitious "Spectator Club" to direct the publication and discuss the topics to be treated and the method in which they should be handled.
Originating in London, the institution spread throughout the land, a fact which bears witness to another prominent feature of the period, the change in the position of the capital city, and the growth of the conception of London, not as A town, or even THE town, but as TOWN; as something distinct from other urban aggregations not merely in size, but in character. With the development of organic nationality the need of a brain and heart to direct national action and pump the blood of life to all parts of the trunk and limbs of the body national was supplied by this change in the view of London which was held by Londoner and provincial alike, and in the relation of the city to the rest of the country. Society needed a central seat, an arbiter elegantiaium or dictator of form and fashion; a critic of life in all its varied activities; and this London now supplied. What was worn in "town" was the question in the minds and on the lips of-all; how the day was spent; what London thought of this or that. And as one realizes this fact one appreciates how the formation of a Grand Lodge at London--the center of the national nervous system would be felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, and the fashions and activities of that central body adopted and copied by gatherings in provincial centers.
Into the life of this newly-realized "society" had come an interest which, as a source of social grouping and social activity, a topic of meal-time and salon conversation, had, perhaps, lain dormant since the decline of Athenian democracy--the interest of politics. Political activity, the determination of policy and the conduct of government, had not, of course, ceased from the fall of the violet-crowned queen of the Aegean to the times of Anne and George I; but at Rome and during the middle ages the tendency had been for government to be left in the hands of a small number of sovereigns, nobles and officials, and, except when conditions became intolerable, ignored by the mass of the population as something outside their sphere and perhaps beyond their comprehension. When Edward III asked the advice of Parliament on a matter of foreign politics the Commons humbly begged to be excused from speaking on "matters too great for their poor wits", and when the Lower House did presume to offer advice on foreign policy under James I the king angrily forbade them to "meddle with mysteries of state too high for them." With the triumph of Parliament over the Crown and the rise of the party-system in the reign of Charles II, a change came over the scene and politics, in the modern meaning of the term, were born. Questions of war, peace and alliance, the actions of foreign rulers and ministers, and matters of domestic policy became staples of conversation. The Spectator tells of the coffee-house Solons who knew and canvassed the minds and aims of foreign statesmen, and of ladies who showed their party leanings by the side of the face on which they wore their patches; while the rise of Addison himself from poverty and obscurity to the position of Secretary of state through his ability as a party-pamphleteer bears witness to the rise of that public opinion on matters political and the importance to the politician of securing its favor which gave us the daily press. Here was a condition of affairs which must have entered into the minds and calculations of the Masonic reformers. Just when those religious differences which had sharply divided Englishmen in the seventeenth century had been composed by the Toleration Act, a new element of division had arisen in politics, as the breach in the lifelong friendship of Addison and Steel over the Peerage Bill shows. For this new interest allowance must be made. Politics must be one of the activities of the Order, or the notice "No Admission for Politics" must be inscribed over the entrance to the Masonic Lodge.
The earlier part of the seventeenth century had been a period of emotional activity. Men had felt strongly and deeply, as the character of contemporary literature shows. The Caroline Age is the great lyric epoch of English literary history, the time of Herbert and Herrick, Suckling, Lovelace and Carew, and song is an appeal to the emotions; while even the prose of the period assumes a semi-poetic form, appealing to the heart rather than to the brain, as a hundred ringing phrases from Milton's prose-works in the vein of the oft-quoted lines from the Areopagitica, "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue," or "There be delights, there be recreations and jolly pastimes that will fetch the day about from sun to sun, and rock the tedious year as in a delightful dream," will testify. Cromwell, the heroic character of the age, was a man of deep feeling, revealed in passionate championship of the poor and oppressed, the ever-recurring outburst in his letters to the Speaker, "sir, this was none other than the hand of God," and the fact that his own death was hastened at the loss of his daughter. With the reign of Charles II the brain begins to take precedence of the heart. Men begin to think rather than to feel. And, in spite of such outbursts of popular passion as those which marked the Popish Plot and the Sacheverell Trial, the emotional fires die down. The new age is characterized by great critical and speculative activity. The founding of the Royal Society in the reign of Charles II, and the part played therein by men who were not professed or professional savants, by admiralty officials like Pepys and country gentlemen like Evelyn, each of whom became its President, reveal the intellectual curiosity which was one of the dominant notes of the time, and which is summed up in the life and work of Sir Isaac Newton. It was at this epoch, as Professor Bury points out in his "Idea of Progress," that the all-important conception of the onward and upward movement of mankind was fully grasped; that men began to think of Paradise, not as in Milton's epic as in the remote past, but in the remote future; of the changes in human conditions as development along a line, an undulating line, maybe, leading into valleys as well as on to heights, but not the round and round a circle process, from Golden Age to Golden Age and then round once more, which it had appeared to the ancient Greek. How widely and strongly this critical and speculative interest was felt is demonstrated by the nature of those Spectator essays which were designed as their authors stated, not for the philosopher's closet and the schools, but to form a part of the tea-equipage of every well-appointed table. The daily sheets of Addison and Steele provide for the entertainment of that social hour a critical survey of life in all its varied aspects and activities; their readers are invited to reflect upon dress and superstition, upon the character of the Italian Opera and its suitability to English taste, on grinning, staring, the use of cosmetics, the construction of an epic and the character of the ballad. The essays on True and False Wit, on Chevy Chase and Paradise Lost carry on that English literary criticism which, in any real sense, was born in the Prefaces of Dryden. Masons may find something suggestive in the constant description of their writings by the essayists as "Speculations". The same phenomenon of the critical and speculative occupation of social leisure meets us at a little later date in the pages of Boswell's Johnson, in the constant series of questions which elicited the sage's dicta on a hundred and one subjects from the winter habitat of swallows to the credibility of Christian evidence.
As the subject-matter of contemporary literature reveals the interests and activities of an age, so do its form and style reflect its general character and attitude to life. Now it has been held, and in the main truly held, of the writers of this age, that the matter of their works was subordinated to the form, that what was said mattered less than how it was said, and that their creed was accurately stated in Pope's well-known lines:
True art is nature to advantage dressed, What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed.
The inference is that the age of Anne and the early Georges was a formal age in which attention was directed chiefly to externals, and the inference is borne out by the very suggestive letters of Lord Chesterfield to his son, directing the latter's attention to details of dress and behavior and reminding him that his dancing-master was the most important personage in the formative period of his life. Consideration of form and ceremonial, of the correct way of doing things, must therefore have occupied much of the thought of the men and women of the eighteenth century. And this was natural in view of the material and social aspect of the age. But as in the case of the dominant materialism and pleasure-seeking of the period allowance had to be made for a contradictory current of moral feeling, so this view of the formalism and objectivity of eighteenth century literature requires some qualification. In his "Beginnings of the English Romantic Movement" Professor Phelps has drawn attention to the existence from the earliest years of the century of a sub-current of romantic thought and writing flowing against the main stream of classical "Augustan" literature, and revealed in the work of such writers as Croxall, Lady Winchelsea, Parnell, Ramsay and Thomson. Here, then, is a minor subjective and mystic phase of life and thought, to some extent qualifying the dominant externalism and objectivity, and perhaps revealed in even so classical an artist as Addison in those Oriental tales and allegories which were so popular with the readers of the Spectator.
Such, in very brief and imperfect outline, were the character, the interests and activities of the early eighteenth century as revealed in the literature of the age. In such an atmosphere of materialism and sensuality tempered by the rise of a moral feeling, of social and political life organized in clubs and parties, of formalism and ceremonial slightly tinctured With mysticism, of intense intellectual, critical and speculative activity, with their minds and feelings permeated and their actions predetermined by some at least of these interests and characteristics, the fathers of modern Freemasonry met at the Goose and Gridiron in London, that "town" which had become the center of the national nervous system, to inaugurate the first Grand Lodge.
R. J. MEEKREN Editor‑in‑Charge
BOARD OF EDITORS
LOUIS BLOCK, Iowa
ROBERT L. CLEGG, Ohio
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
RAY V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
R.V. Harris, Canada
C. C. HUNT, Iowa
CHARLES F. IRWIN. Ohio
A.L. KRESS, Pennsylvania
F.H. LITTKLEFIELD, Missouri
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
JOSEPH FORT NEWTON, New York
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
JESSE M. WHITED, California
DAVID E. W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
THERE are some people ‑ we have all met them, who seem to be perpetually mistaking, or taking amiss, the meaning or intentions of what others say or do, or write. As the phrase goes "they take things the wrong way." Beyond such standardized utterances as "Dinner is ready"; "It is time to go"; or "Please remit at your earliest convenience"; they seem ‑ to their victims ‑ to take a positively perverse delight in hunting up some interpretation that not only had never occurred to the speaker, but is the furthest possible from his meaning.
Naturally, in any given case, the reason is not necessarily the same. Some are hasty, they catch at a word or two which calls up for them certain associations and without paying attention further jump to d conclusion. Others are superficial and never look beneath the surface, and if what is being said goes below the surface banalities current in social intercourse they cannot fathom it ‑ they do not try indeed, but give the utterance a surface meaning. A certain writer was dealing once with a very profound subject, the relationship of God to man, and he made the statement that though He was Our Father, He was not a fond parent. The phrase disturbed a lot of good people and they wrote letters about it, angry, caustic, critical and reproachful. They had all jumped to the conclusion that instead of having chosen his adjective with the greatest care to express exactly what he meant, he had taken it at random, as presumably they would have done, and meant merely that God was to us unsympathetic, hard, unpitying ‑ nothing was further from his thought, as the rest of the article made perfectly clear.
In other cases pre-occupation with another subject, temporary or habitual, leads to misapprehension. Make a passing allusion to the Constitution to an ardent prohibitionist, and a certain amendment comes to his mind. Speak of law and its enforcement and he goes off at a tangent into the subject of bootlegging and its prevention. Yet again the reason for misunderstanding may lie deeper and be more obscure still, it may be rooted in the subconscious working of personal antagonisms, of jealousy, envy or fear. And more confusing still any and all of these and like causes may function together, mixed in any proportion. Two people personally antagonistic cannot agree even about the weather, anything whatever will serve as a cause for dispute.
Leaving that aside as rather hopeless, and confining ourselves to the mistakes that can be explained and cleared away, some more examples may be given that have recently come to our notice. There is much said today, this thought is parenthetical, about education; we are supposed, and doubtless have, made great advances, nevertheless it would seem as if the great ideal of what used to be called a "liberal education" in "arts and humanities" has been lost sight of in the mass of new special aims and methods. That ideal was simple, so simple that no one ever formulated it; it was to enable a man to read and understand, not one thing but anything. A mind so trained is a very great asset to the body social even if its possessor is not an expert on something or other and even if he would not shine in firing off answers to a newspaper general-knowledge questionnaire.
A month or two ago, in a journal of considerable literary pretensions, was an article on things in general, the author of which took the standpoint of that cynicism which is supposed to be the very latest thing and which is as old as the book of Ecclesiasticus, or older. He quoted and enlarged upon a very well-known verse from Pippa Passes, to-wit:
"God's in His heaven, all's right with the world."
He introduced it with the remark that it was doubtless after partaking of a good breakfast that Browning was moved thus to sing.
Now dismissing as quite irrelevant the fact that this writer may have justification in accusing us of mistaking him in the very way that we have been pointing out, by criticizing a non-essential remark casually made; and merely noting, that though in most people a warm, albeit temporary, feeling of optimism is induced by the absorption of a good meal, yet very few can do their best work in such a state, whether writing poems or digging ditches; we will draw attention to the fact that the point of the refrain quoted from this poem has been quite missed. It is not Browning's song, but Pippa's. This is important; for the tale tells how the determined will of a poor little, half-starved, ill-paid, over-worked factory girl to be happy and to make the best of things in spite of everything, entered into and profoundly affected the lives of others. Browning was an optimist, but not of the after-dinner, wine-and-walnut type. It was apparently his object to set forth the very worst aspect of things, of men and circumstances, and the inevitable tragedies of life, and yet leave his reader able to infer that in spite of all there was room to believe in God, and the good and the beautiful and the true.
In another periodical, devoted to the interests of a certain church, there was at about the same time an article on missionary work in India, and the writer quoted another, and today even better known refrain:
"Oh, the East is East and the West is West
And never the twain shall meet."
and then proceeded to intimate that Kipling was quite and absolutely wrong, that under the influence of the labors of the apostles of a certain denomination at least, the East not only could but did meet the West. Kipling, of course, is particularly liable to such misuse, for, apart from the fact that he never explains, he writes lines and coins phrases so striking, and so "eminently quotable", that they claim the attention and abide in the memories of the dullest. Doubtless hundreds are familiar with these lines who never read the poem in which they occur.
In reality no writer in English since Shakespeare is so impersonal as Kipling. He tells us nothing of himself, it is not what he says but what the people say of whom he speaks, and they are obviously real people and could only have spoken or acted thus, even if they never "dwelt on sea or shore", or had their being in any time or space known to philosophers, even the followers of Einstein.
It is quite possible ‑ there are tricks in all trades - that in both these cases the writers were familiar with their respective quotations but not with their context. Had the second gone on to the succeeding lines‑
"There is neither East nor West
Nor border breed or birth"‑
there would have been something to give him pause, and had he considered the whole ballad he would have seen that Kipling had merely said in his way what he was trying to say in matter‑of‑fact prose.
Some may remember - it is ages ago now - the wave of wrath and indignation that ran through Canada when the poem Our Lady of the Snows was first published, a poem which embodied in beautiful and moving verse a very gracious compliment to the country and its people. But the latter, at least the newspaper writers who undertook to speak for them, flared out at the title. Canadians had then recently become very sensitive about the climate of their country; they had begun to feel that they were too well renowned for exceedingly low temperatures. It had come to be regarded as very bad advertising to even mention "winter." If Winter Comes had not then been written, but if it had the book would doubtless have been put under ban. The words "snow" and "ice" were to be removed entirely from Canadian editions of standard dictionaries. And then to have their country personified under the name of Our Lady of the Snows - it was too much. All the nice things said of them in the poem counted for nothing, they but added to the insult.
The Bible is another book that has suffered greatly in this way. Had it not there would perhaps have been fewer warring sects calling and professing themselves Christians. But perhaps the thing was the other way round, had there been fewer sects there would have been less misinterpretation. For centuries people have been wresting scripture to their own damnation probably we are misusing the quotation here, but never mind, it will serve. Passages from the Bible have been torn from their context, and pieced together to support dreadful doctrines - we are not going to specify what doctrines - but most will agree that there have been dreadful doctrines thus defended. St. Paul has been set against St. James because one stresses faith and the other works, yet St. Paul said also exactly what St. James did, had men only been looking to find out what he meant and not seeking to use him as authority for their own opinions.
Needless to say, Freemasonry, too, has suffered the same way. The misconceptions of opponents we may leave out of consideration, but those of Masons are important. Again we have no intention of going into detail; but the very different opinions that every thoughtful member of the Craft will have come across will make it unnecessary. The most widely varying ideas as to the real purpose and function of the Institution are to be found, but perhaps should be put in a different category. But when it comes to the elementary and fundamental duties and responsibilities laid on members and lodges it is another matter. They should be, one would think, clear enough. Yet they seem, like the law of Moses, to be voided of all real meaning, and a pharisaical system of tithing mint, anise and cummin (or its modern equivalents we hasten to add, lest we, too, be misunderstood) put in the place of the plain meaning of the precepts of the Royal Art. Masonry suffers, as all big things do, for its size, the wood is not seen because the trees hide it.
"Go round about Zion," said the Psalmist, "tell the towers thereof; mark well her bulwarks, consider her palaces." To one who approached by the Joppa gate, and went no further, the Joppa gate would thenceforth be for him Jerusalem. Those who would understand a thing must be prepared to go round about and enter in and see from every point‑and even then they will probably not agree.
* * *
WALTER CLIFFORD BURRELL
On Oct. 1, Bro. Walter Clifford Burrell died at the Henrotin Hospital, Chicago, following a serious operation.
Bro. Burrell's Masonic affiliations were in Iowa and New York, but he will be best known as President of the Masonic History Company, which has for many years published revisions of Mackey's works.
He was an enthusiastic supporter of the National Masonic Research Society from its inception. He was also a member of the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
Those who knew him intimately know well his keen desire for progress of Masonic scholarship. He loved the Craft and his pleasure was in its advancement. He took all his obligations seriously. No worthy cause found him lacking in sympathy. His hand ever ready to aid, his tongue to speak the kindly word. American Masonry in him has suffered a very great loss.
THE NORTHEAST CORNER
Bulletin of the
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F. & A.M.
MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
HERBERT B. HOLT, Grand Master, President
JAFFA MILLER, Vice-President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
FRANCIS E LESTER, Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico
JOHN W. TURNER, Treasurer
ARIZONA - Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS - Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
CONNECTICUT - Fred A. Borland, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.
FLORIDA - Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.
IDAHO - Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.
KENTUCKY - G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.
MINNESOTA - Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis,
MISSISSIPPI - John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.
MISSOURI - Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Daniphan
NEW JERSEY - Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.
NEW MEXICO - Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.
NORTH CAROLINA - Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.
OKLAHOMA - Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.
RHODE ISLAND - Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.
SOUTH CAROLINA - Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning
SOUTH DAKOTA - L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.
TENNESSEE - Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.
TEXAS - Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.
UTAH - Fred M. Nye, Ogden.
VERMONT - Christie B. Crowell, Grand Master, Brattleboro.
NORTH DAKOTA - Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.
WASHINGTON - Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Masonic Temple, Tacoma.
WlSCONSIN - Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING - Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER - Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.
ROBERT J NEWTON Editor Publicity Director N. M, T. S. A. Las Cruces New Mexico.
THE CHICAGO TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIA MEETING
THAT every Grand Lodge should take care of its own tuberculous Masons in its own state and that the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association should attempt to provide relief and hospitalization for the sick and wandering brethren in the Southwest, is the doctrine enunciated by the Board of Governors of the Sanatoria Association at their meeting in Chicago on Nov. 19.
That the cause of Masonic tuberculosis relief is one that is of vital interest to the leaders of the Craft was proved by the fact that there was a large attendance at the meeting, although it was the fourth day of Masonic meetings for some of those present. Some of them had sat through the Grand Masters' Conference on Tuesday, two days of the Masonic Service Association meeting and remained for the one day Sanatoria Board meeting.
Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master of New Mexico and President of the Sanatoria Association, called the meeting to order and in his presidential address covered the history of the movement, proof of the need for relief and some suggestions for action, without making any definite recommendations.
Francis E. Lester, Past Grand Master of New Mexico and the Executive Secretary, made a report of the organization and publicity work, and Alpheus A. Keen, ,Secretary of the Association and Grand Secretary of New Mexico, presented the financial report showing an expenditure of approximately $10,000 in more than one year of operation.
Full and complete discussion followed during the morning session and was continued in the afternoon. Out of this developed the plan of action. It was determined that the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association should continue its campaign of education with the double purpose of informing the Craft as to the cause, nature and prevention of tuberculosis and also to secure action by all Grand Lodges for relief and hospitalization. Freemasons of every state will be urged to provide funds for relief in homes, to care for sick Masons and members of their families in existing tuberculosis sanatoria, and in some state to build a State Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium, or to build a Masonic hospital building in connection with the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium or some other tuberculosis institution.
Close cooperation between Grand Lodges and State and local Tuberculosis Societies, hospitals, clinics an other agencies will be urged, to secure their services in the examination and treatment of tuberculous Masons and families, the services of home visiting nurses and the benefit of such cooperation in every line of anti-tuberculosis activity by the organizations and institutions which specialize in this problem.
Examination and treatment of all members of the patients' families, especially the children, to secure necessary care and treatment to guard against the development of additional cases in the family, will also be urged.
The National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association will act as the agency to provide home relief and hospital care for sick Masons who wander away from the home jurisdiction seeking arrest of their disease in milder climates. The executive officers of the Association were directed to secure all facts and figures as to the cost of hospital construction and to present them to a later meeting.
An appeal for funds for immediate relief was authorized and will be made. All Masonic bodies and Masons will be asked to contribute to the relief of those who stand in the Northeast Corner of the Southwest, so that they may be cared for at once. Life saving work will be initiated with the first funds available. All contributions for this purpose should be sent to Alpheus A. Keen, Secretary, Grand Secretary of New Mexico at the Masonic Temple, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A GIFT THAT COUNTS
Masonic veterans, inmates of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, at Danville, Ill., recently sent a contribution to the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association for Masonic tubercular relief with the message, "May the Heavenly Father bless you all."
It was a "widow's mite" in the sense !that it was not a large contribution, but coming from these disabled soldiers and accompanied by such a message, it is one of the greatest offerings yet made for the care of Masonic sick.
WHAT THE MODERN WOODMAN ORGANIZATION HAS DONE
The Woodmen's Sanatorium was established in 1909 twelve miles from Colorado Springs for the treatment of tuberculous members, and since then over 6500 cases have been cared for. In percentage of lives saved through arrest of tuberculosis, cured cases and improvement in health of thousands of afflicted members, this sanatorium holds and maintains the best record of any similar institution in the world. The cost of maintaining this sanatorium is close to $40,000 a month.
FROM GEN. PERSHING
I hope you will pardon this very tardy acknowledgment of your note of July 20, with reference to the national movement initiated by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A. F. & A. M., for the relief and hospitalization of consumptive Masons. An extended absence in Europe and numerous engagements since my return to the city have resulted in an accumulation of correspondence, and I regret that your communication has not received earlier attention.
The plan initiated by the Masons of New Mexico, so familiar with the urgent and immediate need for action in behalf of their tuberculous brethren seeking the climatic conditions of the Southwest, is one that should appeal to all Freemasons. I heartily indorse this national movement to provide aid and comfort to the unfortunate sufferers of this dread disease, and trust that your campaign may meet with complete success.
(Signed) JOHN J. PERSHING.
LONG, HARD FIGHT, RESULT YET DOUBTFUL
Brother No. 109. Grand Lodge of Illinois. This brother tells his own story in three letters. His story needs no comment. Note the dates of same:
"El Paso, Texas, May 16, 1922.
"An article in the Masonic Chronicler of Chicago, entitled 'The Grand Lodge of Sorrow', has just come to my attention. I happen to be one of the large number of Masons who have been initiated into this 'Lodge of Sorrow', not of my own free will and accord. I have laid down my working tools nearly two years ago. For the first six months I remained at home' but as it became evident that the fight to regain my health would be a long one, it became necessary to break up our home, sell the furniture and my good wife went to work, while I went to a hospital in Chicago.
"Here I remained six months, during which time I made no improvement whatever; pneumothorax was tried, but on account of many adhesions, I could not take the treatment. The doctor then told me I had just one more card to play, and that was a change of climate. It was then that I was somewhat disappointed when I learned that the great Masonic Fraternity had no sanatorium in the West or Southwest, where the tubercular's progress is much faster and recovery more certain.
"I decided to come to El Paso. My condition made it necessary for me to have a compartment so I could remain in bed all the way. The railroad fare and these accommodations required more money than I could afford, so my brethren of Bohemia Lodge, No. 943, furnished me the transportation.
"My last card so far seems to be a winning one, as I have made considerable improvement in the eight months that I have been here. If I continue to improve, in another year or so, I ought to have an arrested case, and once more be able to earn my living.
"I am citing my case merely because I think it is not very different from the cases of thousands of other Masons similarly afflicted. I am sure if there was a Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium in this part of the country, that the lives of a great many Masons could be saved, and surely a live Mason is a greater asset to a community than a dead one.
"As most cases of tuberculosis in the advanced stages require from one to three years to recover and the expenses of sanatorium treatment amount to a thousand dollars or more a year, it is safe to say that many a brother who is not financially able to meet this expense is prevented from taking advantage of probably the one and only chance of saving his life. Freedom from worry and a contented mind are essential to a complete recovery.
"A Masonic Sanatorium where a sick brother could stay until he was able to go out and earn a living, would assure these to him. There is no question as to the necessity of such a sanatorium and a start should be made towards its establishment at the earliest possible moment. Every Mason in the country should contribute towards its support. It might be possible to purchase one of the many sanatoria now operating in the Southwest, and the work of saving the lives of our brethren, who are sick and in distress, could be begun in a short time.
"By all means, let us build a Temple for our 'Grand Lodge of Sorrow' where the degrees of Improved Health will be conferred"
Following is a report of a public health worker who visited Mr. ____ by request:
"Nov. 13, 1925.
"He seems to feel that his case has been at a standstill for some time and is afraid he has even been slipping backward since September.
"As to finances, he says that they are at present nil, though he has spent $8,000 in chasing the cure ‑ $200 of that being supplied by his home lodge.
"He was very much interested in the present movement to establish a Sanatorium in the West. . . . You will, I am sure, receive further details from him. He has not had a complete chest examination for a year."
"El Paso, Texas, Nov. 14, 1925.
"Will write just a few lines this time to inform you that Mrs. Thrasher called on me at your request and asked me to write you.
"I am certainly glad that the movement started a few years ago to build a Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium is still alive and gaining impetus. Since I wrote you my letter on the Lodge of Sorrow in 1922, my condition has remained practically the same. On the 8th of last September I had a hemorrhage from which, it seems, I cannot fully recover, as I raise a little blood every few days. My sputum has been clear as long as a week at a time, only to find a little blood in my sputum the next day and so it has been since my hemorrhage.
"While my progress cannot be considered satisfactory it must be remembered that I was a hopeless case to start with. A very far advanced case over five years ago, when I had to stop working and it was very doubtful at that time whether I would live one month. I am, however, still living, and while not able to follow any regular occupation I have been at times fairly active. My diseased lung has been from the start and is today, rotten, that is about the only word that will properly describe it. It also has a large cavity near the apex.
"I am giving serious consideration to the thoro‑coplasty operation, which probably will be the only one thing left for me to do if I should not stop raising blood, or it may even be worth trying if I do stop raising blood.
"After these five years of fighting, my financial condition is very nearly like that of a bankrupt, but have been able to get by fairly well, when not confronted by many bills for medical attention. Since my hemorrhage in September, have had to have more medical attention than usual, and of course this proves a hardship to me.
"I will try to write an article in the near future and probably there will be some ideas or suggestions in it that may be helpful to you in your efforts to make our dream become a reality. If I can help the good work along in any way, let me know, I will gladly do whatever I can."
"April 10, 1926, El Paso, Texas.
"I have started to write several times but have been so uncertain and undecided about many things concerning my future, that I was at a loss as to what to write, and the beginning of the letter was also its finish.
"I have been feeling unusually good since I wrote you last and have been taking some exercise and am holding up well under it.
"Have been deliberating about the operation and decided to postpone it indefinitely.
"If I should continue to feel as well as now and improve, I may give up the idea, but should there be another set‑back like last September then I would go ahead with it.
"Whether this is a wise decision, I do not know, but I am not anxious to get cut up unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
"I very much appreciate your offer to make arrangements with El Paso physicians to take care of me, but I will give myself one more chance to get by without the operation and should future developments make it necessary for me to resort to it, I will at once communicate with you."
The Precious Jewels
By BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
THE consideration of the tracing or trestle board, and its conjectural forerunner, the square pavement, or floor prepared for making working drawings on, led us last month rather far afield into a discussion of the technical methods of the Operative Freemasons. Some reasons were given, and more might be found, to make us think that the medieval Craftsman could not have had the profusion of plans that present day builders are accustomed to because, for one reason, of the practical difficulty of obtaining material to make them on, and that he would not have bothered with them in any case because he did not need them. And, further than this, a Freemason, was expected to be able to make whatever drawings he needed for himself to carry out his own job. Some men would make them more fully and accurately t h a n others. Some doubtless could visualize their work without them. It would depend entirely on the type of a man's mind and the extent of his experience. Besides this it must be remembered that marking out the work on the rough stone is essentially the same thing as making a full-size detail drawing. Under present day conditions the workman in doing this merely copies the drawing made by someone else; then he was himself the designer and artist, and was given as free a hand in the matter as his skill warranted. No one yet had dreamed of a state of affairs where specialization should produce men capable of doing only one thing or the other.
Now the simplest way of reproducing a drawing or a plan is by measured offsets from a center line. To use a base line as well makes for greater convenience and accuracy. This is the general method employed by all draughtsmen. Where however the design is complex and irregular, such as figure groups, landscapes, maps and so on, the method of squares is more convenient. Essentially it is the same thing in principle, the whole area being measured out beforehand. In theory any set of crossing lines would serve-straight, curved or crooked--and it would make no difference however irregularly they were spaced; but for obvious practical reasons straight parallel lines at equal intervals, intersecting at right angles, are most convenient in every way, as we saw in the discussion of the diamond and equilateral triangle as the base of measurement and design. That this convenience and practicability is a real one, and does not depend on being a convention to which modern draughtsmen are accustomed (as, for example, the system of coinage used in England, which only use and wont could make endurable) is proved by the fact of its universality. It is not only employed by draughtsmen, engineers and architects today, but it was used by ancient Egyptian artists and painters. Bro. C. Purdon Clarke is authority for its use by Persian builders in a very important paper on the subject read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge in the early days of its existence, and he also reproduced architectural sketches drawn on squared paper in 1541, and some plates from the 1621 edition of the vitruvius showing this method exemplified for drawing the human figure and for setting out a capital of the Ionic order.
The Persian technique, which is presumably still in use, is very interesting from our point of view. The drawings having been made on squared paper are reproduced full size on a specially prepared floor made of plaster of Paris carefully leveled. The point is not specifically mentioned, but the modus operandi of the technique would seem naturally to call for the marking out of this floor into squares corresponding to those on the paper.
MEDIEVAL WORKING DRAWINGS
Let us now consider what the requirements of the medieval Freemason would have been. Sketches, done more or less by freehand, would have been made by the Master called in by those who were having the building erected--the "lords" spoken of in the Old Charges--and agreed upon between them. There is no need to suppose they were drawn strictly to scale, the trained hand and eye of the artist needs only the barest minimum of measurement, and the Master Masons of Gothic work must have been as much artists as craftsmen. The chief measurements of the building may have been recorded in a memorandum or contract similar to the one quoted last month. Taking a church as the most typical structure, after the chief dimensions of length, width and height had been determined, there would be the question of the number of bays there were to be in chancel and nave, whether there were to be towers, transepts, chapels and so on; and the contract already quoted shows how other buildings might be referred to as models in place of precise descriptions or drawings. In a large building, where (as was done most frequently) part was to be completed first, it is probable a plan would be drawn, but it would be more of the nature of a dimensioned diagram or sketch, than a drawing done accurately to scale. Every bay in the structure was a complete unit in itself, structurally speaking, the chevet, or head, at the east end, whether apsidal or square (as was most usual in England) would need to be drawn more fully, as also the west end with the facade and main entrances, and the ends of the transepts if there were any. But all these parts and their arrangement were as well known to all the masons as the parts of an old frame building were to the pioneer carpenters who put them up. The difference between one church and another was in its proportions. The relation of height to breadth and length, the size of the windows, of the lower arches to those of the triforium and clerestory, and so on. In these there was room for infinite variety, but the essential skeleton was always the same, that is, for the same type of church. A small parish church with a timber roof would not have the flying buttresses that were necessary to maintain the soaring vaults of a cathedral; yet even here the flying buttress was only an elaboration of the simpler solid form used in the smaller building.
Certain details, however, would need some elaboration in design as, for example, the mouldings, one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Gothic style of building. Let us suppose that an arch was to be constructed; it does not matter whether for door or window or for one of the bays, all were designed on the same principles. Today it would be very carefully drawn to scale, then some junior draughtsman in the architect's office would make large size detail drawings for the different parts, and from blue prints of these the stone cutters would work. All this needs a very high degree of accuracy in the drawing because the workman follows it blindly, he has no say in the design and no discretion. The medieval craftsman on the other hand was told there was to be an arch, and how high and wide it was to be, and duly instructed to "go to it," in whatever was the slang of the day.
CHARACTER OF GOTHIC ARCHES
Norman and Romanesque arches were semicircular, those of the Gothic style were formed, as is well known, on the intersecting arcs of two circles. A great practical advantage of the circle over any other curve is that every radius is normal to the circumference, and the angle that the joint must make with the curve of the arch is easily found by drawing any line from the center to the circumference. In Fig. 1 is shown a diagram of a typical Gothic arch with a simple moulding of two "orders." It will be seen that it really consists of two separate arches, the outer one deeper than the inner. It was usual to cut each prominent member of the moulding on a separate range of stones, so that an elaborate doorway might consist of three or four "shells" built one outside the other. In the Norman arch these stones were often Cut square. An example is to be found in THE BUILDER for August last year [page 231, No. 6. In No. 5 the upper part of a moulded Gothic arch is shown]. A first step toward elaboration was to cut off the corners, thus making a chamber, such as is shown in the two small windows of the north transept of St. Etienne at Beauvais, reproduced in the Study Club article last December, page 378. A later and more elaborate form of decoration is to be seen at page 366, but from the section shown at the right it can be seen that the square outline of the stones was retained, the ornamentation being chiefly on the face. The Gothic form was evolved quite naturally, out of its forerunner, and needed very little change in methods of working, but the effect produced was changed entirely from the step-like form of the earlier style to a splayed form giving the general appearance of sloping outward, though basically it was worked out of the square step form, the design requiring the minimum amount of stone to be cut away, as may be seen by reference to the sections in Fig. 1. Another economy in stone was the indifference to the size of the voussoirs, which were long or short as the blocks happened to come, there being no attempt to make them equal, or to use the joints as ornaments as was done in Renaissance work. The effect was all gained by the rounds and hollows of the moulding.
It will be seen also that the voussoirs were interchangeable; it made no difference how they came so long as together they filled up the space between the spring of the arch at a and the keystone at d, as shown in the figure. It will be noticed also that the centers, marked C, fall within the arch. If the arch were truly equilateral they would be at the intersections of the arcs with the base line. In lancets they fall outside, producing a very acute form. Whatever type it was, the width and the height would be determined by the general design. When it came to laying them out, the centers could be found by a simple geometrical construction. It would make no difference whether working from inside or outside measurements. The height being set out on the line h d, perpendicular to the base a b, and with a and d as centers two intersecting arcs are drawn, shown in dotted lines, and the straight line joining the intersections will cut the base line at the required point. It is very probable though that in many cases the centers were found by simple guess and trial, which with a little practice can be very easily done quite accurately enough.
Now from what has been said it can be seen that all that is necessary to work the stones (aside from the moulding) is to get the proper curve and the correct angles, the length of the stone being indifferent.
It would be worked first of all for the two faces, which would have to be parallel. Then, if a templet were used, the curve and the line of the joint at each end could be easily marked off. Such a templet is to be found among the Masonic emblems in the window from Chartres Cathedral, a drawing of which was given in THE BUILDER last January, and which, for convenience, is reproduced here [Fig. 2]. There would have to be one for each order or range of stones in the arch; and in order to make them full sized arcs would have to be drawn on the floor long enough to get the curve. A reference to Fig. 4 will make it clear. The stock, or butt, of the implement is straight and coincides with the radius of the circle, the other limb is shaped to fit the curve. The tool thus made would be used exactly like a square, both for marking out and testing the angles of the joints. The dotted lines give other radii of the circle to show the constancy of the angle.
In order to make it, only short arcs would need to be drawn, but in order to get the length of the curves, the arch, or at least one side of it, would have to be drawn in full. The length of course could be calculated, but it is doubtful if there were any mathematicians in the Middle Ages able to do so; it is quite certain in any case that the simplest and most direct way is the graphic method of drawing the full arc and taking measurements from it.
THE COMMON SQUARE
While we are on the subject of implements it may be remarked incidentally that the squares, like the levels and plumb rules used by the medieval craftsmen, were undoubtedly made of wood. There is a widespread theory among Freemasons, in America at least, that there is a difference between the mason's and the carpenter's squares. The former is supposed to have limbs of equal length, the latter to be unequal and to be graduated in inches and fractions of inches. The currency of this hypothesis appears to be chiefly due to the authority of Mackey, who, in his Encyclopedia, says under this head:
The French Masons have almost universally given it [the Square] one leg longer than the other, thus making it a carpenter's square. The American Masons, following the incorrect delineations of Jeremy L. Cross, have, while generally preserving the equality of length in the legs, unnecessarily marked its surface with inches, thus making it an instrument for measuring length and breadth, which it is not. It is simply the trying: square of a stone-mason.
We do not know if this opinion was original with Mackey or not; it is quite likely it was not, but the facts do not agree with it at all. At the present time joiners use a try-square, with a steel blade and a wooden stock. Carpenters use a steel square, graduated, the long arm being two feet long, the shorter twelve inches. Precisely the same square is used by stonecutters and other workmen, blacksmiths for instance. It is peculiarly an American tool. In Europe the old home-made wooden squares are still in use both by carpenters and masons, and are exactly like those we find in medieval representations, a number of examples of which have appeared in THE BUILDER, as at pages 229 and 230 last year, and page 24 in the present volume. These are merely samples, in fact we do not recall any old representation of mason's tools in which the limbs of the square are shown of equal length. In many cases the stock is very short in comparison to the length of the blade. There is a good reason for this in a wooden implement. The shorter the stock the less strain there is on the joint, and the less likely is it to be knocked out of truth by an unlucky fall or accidental blow. The French masons therefore have adhered faithfully to the original tradition in this. But so also did the English, throughout the eighteenth century at least. The squares shown at pages 312 and 313 last month are examples of many that might easily be found. Probably the real reason for making the square equal limbed in Masonic designs and jewels was merely a desire for symmetry. The actual shape of the working tool would not balance well as a collar jewel, nor does it combine so well with the compasses. It is another case of an imaginary technicality, which has not even the excuse of having some special symbolism attached to it.
1. The reference is given in Gould's Concise History, p. 226 it is given also in the larger work.
2. What may be intended for a template for mouldings more on the principle of a T square, is to be found in the curious engraving from a 1547 edition of vitruvius reproduced in THE BUILDER for December, 1924, page 384. It is on the left immediately above a common square and just under a narrow bladed saw. But the curves shown are not those of Gothic mouldings, which however would hardly be expected in the sixteenth century.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Under what conditions did the round arch develop into -the pointed form? Was it borrowed from the Saracens or developed independently ?
2. Could any symbolic teaching be drawn from carvings and mouldings either in contrast, or additional to that of square work ?
3. Could any significance be attached to the form of the mason's square ?
THE WOMEN ARE INTERESTED
Women are quick to realize that hospitalization of consumptive Masons will safeguard wives and children from infection and may save Masonic fathers to resume the task of family support. They want to help save Masonic homes from ship-wreck.
The Most Worthy Grand Matron of the General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, Mrs. Clara Henrich, of Newport, Ky., is ready to lend the services of her organization to the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association. She writes:
"I will be only too glad to add a leaflet in my many letters and commend you for your wonderful work."
Mrs. Minnie Evans Keyes, Grand Secretary, writes:
"I can think of no greater plan to promote than the one you are seeking to put through in the hospitalization of the Master Masons who seek the healing qualities of your climate."
The Most Worthy Grand Matron has written the Grand Matrons of every state, urging their co-operation with the Grand Masters in every way they may be permitted to serve in this movement. As a further evidence of her interest and desire to help, the Most Worthy Grand Matron has accepted a place on the National Board of Governors of the Sanatoria Association.
"HOW SOON CAN I BE GIVEN TREATMENT?"
Masons suffering from tuberculosis are beginning to ask when they can be cared for in the Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium which has been the subject of discussion for over four years. Many have died while Masonic bodies talked about doing something. Many more will doubtless die before something is actually done. One of them writes:
"I have just learned that there may be some chance of my receiving treatment ‑ I have just recently had a set-back, having a light hemorrhage and feel that it is absolutely necessary to enter some institution as soon as possible. I am no longer able financially to take care of myself, having been sick for quite a while, and the members of my lodge have been very nice to me. They took care of me in a convalescent home here in El Paso for two months, March and April. During that time I made such good improvement I tried to go back to work, but had to go back East to find work. Went back and rested a month and started to work and only worked ten days and started a hemorrhage. The doctor there advised me to return at once to this country and go into a hospital as soon as possible. I must do something. I am running very short of funds and realize that I must save as much time as possible. How soon can I be given consideration, or treatment, should my lodge sanction or recommend same?"
THE LIFE OF HENRY HOWARD MOLYNEUX HERBERT, FOURTH EARL OF CARNARVON, 1831-1890. By the Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Hardinge. Edited by Elizabeth, Countess of Carnarvon. Published by the Oxford Press. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Three vols., cloth, illustrated, maps, tables of contents, index. 391, 400 and 383 pages. Price, postpaid, $21.75.
INTERESTING to the general reader from the character of the statesman whose career it records and the importance of the movements and events with which it deals, Sir Arthur Hardinge's Life of the Fourth Earl of Carnarvon should have a special appeal to the Mason. "Freemasonry," as the biographer reminds us, "attracted Lord Carnarvon - its ancient rites, its mystical significance, its world-wide activities and brotherhood appealed to him, and the condition in which he actually found Grand Lodge, its want of life and liberty, spurred him to a vehement effort at reform." Freemasons the world over will naturally be interested in the man who secured "the supremacy of Grand Lodge as against the crippling decisions of the Grand Master and the Dais or Board," in England; who did much to foster the development of Masonry in the Overseas Dominions of the British Empire; and who, as Pro-Grand Master, was called upon to deal with the critical situations arising from the elimination from its principles of belief in God and the immortality of the soul by the Grand Orient of France in 1877 and the condemnation of Freemasonry by the encyclical of Leo XIII in 1884.
Sprung from a family of which Isaak Walton had written in the 17th century that it was "blessed with men of remarkable wisdom, and a willingness to serve their country, and indeed to do good to all mankind," Lord Carnarvon was naturally led to enter political life and devote himself to the public service; and the times in which he lived afforded a wonderful field for the exercise of his natural talents and the display of the family characteristics. There is a tendency to regard the latter half of the 19th century as a somewhat drab and uninteresting page in the record of history; but the period which witnessed the consolidation of the United States by the War of North and South, the creation of the Kingdom of Italy and the German Empire, the completion of English democracy, the rise to nationhood of the Overseas Dominions of the British Empire, and the spread of Occidental ideas and interests over the surface of the globe, was undoubtedly one of the most striking and important epochs in human development. In all these movements Lord Carnarvon was keenly interested, and in many of them he played an important, often a determinative, part. Sir Arthur Hardinge leads us behind the scenes and enables us to appreciate the springs of action, to gather the impression made by leading personalities on one of the foremost actors in the drama, and feel the actual movement of the times.
The real charm of the book lies, however, in the gradual unfolding, as his life-story is told, of the character of its hero. Sir Arthur wisely refrains from attempting any set character sketch, and allows us to form our own picture of the man from the record of his interests and activities. This is the way in which we form our impressions of the men and women we meet in actual life, and with whom we proceed from mere acquaintance to real appreciation, intimacy, and friendship; and its employment by the biographer transforms his subject from a figure painted on canvas to a living, breathing man, and enables us to grasp the nobility and charm of his personality in a way we should never do from a string of adjectival platitudes. The wide range of Lord Carnarvon's interests, from the price of sheep to the confederation of Canada and from the translation of Homer to the humanitarian regulation of vivisection, the courtesy and tact which made such a deep impression alike on colonial statesmen and Irish Home-Rulers, his devotion to duty and sturdy independence of thought and action, combined with his high standard of personal and political honor to form a singularly complete and well-rounded character. Indeed, as we read steadily through the three blue-clad volumes, we feel in contact with an almost superhuman perfection, and look for the glitter of a halo around the noble earl's head, or begin to suspect that Sir Arthur has fallen a victim to that lues Boswelliana described in Macaulay's Essay on Chatham. But the last chapter, devoted to social life, in which we see Lord Carnarvon throwing off the cares of office and delighting in a well-planned and executed practical joke, restores the human touch, and completes the charm of the character.
That Freemasonry should have appealed so strongly to a man of this stamp, and that he should have been led to devote so much of the scanty leisure of an extraordinarily busy life to Masonic activities and the furtherance of Masonic interests, is another, if unnecessary, testimonial to the appeal of the Ancient Craft
* * *
DEBITS AND CREDITS. By Rudyard Kipling. Published by Doubleday Page & Co. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Bldg., St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, table of cotents, 354 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.15.
T must be confessed that the reviewer came to this latest volume of Bro. Kipling's with something like apprehension. He had seen sundry rather unfavorable notices here and there, both out of and within the circle of the Craft, and all seemed to complain of a lamentable falling away and loss of power. One critic excuses it definitely on the ground that he is growing old, while others seem to have this idea at the back of their minds. Frankly, on reading the book itself-some of the stories are already well known - there was a feeling of wonder bow these writers came to their conclusions. Age as a rule, an almost universal rule, makes no difference in literary work. An old man sees things differently from a younger man, some things seem smaller to him, others greater - the surface becomes less important. But Kipling, as writers go, is not old.
There is only one story that we would be inclined to judge as not being quite so good, and that suffers from the excellencies that have gone before. The United Idolaters, which tells us more of Stalky and the "egregious Beetle." It seems as if this, and possibly The Propagation of Knowledge, suffer from a didactic aim. This however is only impression as the stories are too skillfully told to let one be sure, and on second reading one is even less so than at first.
Half of the stories are more or less connected with the war; some immediately, as the Sea Constables and The Janeites, others less directly. That this should be so was only to be expected, and not really in any way to be regretted. It would have been unnatural had they not been, written as most of them were either during or soon after. Those who are still war-sick will not like them, but a subjective feeling of that kind does not affect their merit. It was very long ago that the writer came to the conclusion that there was no learning to like Kipling's work, as is possible with other writers who in the first place repel. One either likes him - or dislikes him at the first introduction and usually very decidedly. Unfortunately many have pretended they like him, or at least are interested, when they are in the other class; and many judge him on very slight acquaintance. Above all things, to read him one must not fear in any way the naked facts of life, those which convention hides so carefully that many people hate to acknowledge their existence.
The volume has little concerning America, and that little will doubtless be deemed too much by American readers. The Vine-yard has been published and criticised in the newspapers and enough said about it to make it unnecessary to say more here. The English language is the inheritance of the United States, and it seems as if, quite naturally (though of course illogically), everyone who writes English should write from the American standpoint; is a sort of traitor and renegade if 'he does not. Had he been a Frenchman or a Spaniard no one in this country would expect him to look at things otherwise than from his own national standpoint, it would be allowed for. But being an Englishman he sees things as an Englishman; and as he himself said years ago, it is in some ways harder for the people of the two countries to understand each other precisely because, speaking a common language, they expect too much of each other. And the poem We and They puts the matter into a nutshell, even where the differences are not so great as those enumerated. As the last stanza says:
All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And everyone else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They.
Having more or less disposed of this we may pass on. The wonderful story, In the Interests of the Brethren, is included. It is a wartime story, but has little to do with the war and a good deal with Masonry. We understand that official opinion in England would have been decidedly against any such extension of lodge activities as is there suggested, though to the ignorance of the unofficial mind it is not easy to see any real objection. Three other stories are connected with this dream lodge, Faith and Works, No. 5837, but only as affording a jumping-off place for them. One, The Janeites, which is about the war, tells us of a new and wonderful secret society that will be incomprehensible to the uninitiated, those who know not Jane. To those who do nothing more need be said, there is only one Jane, and they will not wonder why the Sister in charge said she was going to get Humberstall on the hospital train, even if she had to kill a Brigadier to make room for him.
"Banquet Night" is a purely Masonic Poem; it is a poem and it is Masonic, a combination which, judging by its extreme scarcity, is a most difficult accomplishment. In this we can only say that the hand of the master has lost none of its cunning. We quote the first and last stanzas:
"Once in so often," King Solomon said,
Watching his quarrymen drill the stone,
"We will club our garlic and wine and bread,
And banquet together beneath my Throne.
And all the Brethren shall come to that mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.
So it was ordered, and so it was done,
And the hewers of wood and the Masons of Mark,
With foc'sle hands of the Sidon run
And Navy Lords from the Royal Ark,
Came and sat down and were merry at mess
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.
The Quarries are hotter than Hiram's forge,
No one is safe from the dog-whips' reach.
It's mostly snowing up Lebanon gorge,
And it's always blowing off Joppa beach;
But once in so often, the messenger brings
Solomon's mandate: "Forget these things!
Brother to Beggars and Fellow to Kings,
Companion of Princes-forget these things!
Fellow-Craftsman, forget these things!"
A volume could easily be collected of the stories and poems from Kipling's different works that have a Masonic connection. In fact it might be difficult to know what to leave out, for hidden allusions are to be found in many places, some where they seem to have almost entirely escaped notice.
One marked feature of Kipling's art, due doubtless to his type of mind, is his power of vividly personifying things, and a man who can make a ship or an engine an individuality can make animals alive. The Bull That Thought is every bit as good as the Maltese Cat and Rikki Tikki, and for those who know the latter no more need be said. In The Eye of Allah the past has been brought to light even as it was in Puck of Pook's Hill,. though the tale is not so pleasant. But many of his stories have been unpleasant, some there are that one would not read a second time-willingly, The Children of the Zodiac for one, the Head' of the District for another-to each his own perhaps. There is. nothing quite like that in these last tales, it would seem as if they were inspired with a deeper insight, a larger hope, a realization that if the world passes and the glory thereof it does not matter so much. Look well to the end. The end of the last tale is a wonderful thing, though one critic at least seems to have missed the point of what went before.
When Helen left the cemetery she turned for a last look. In the distance she saw the man bending over his young plants; and she went away, supposing him to be the gardener.
So did Mary Magdalene.
* * *
THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS. By Bruce Barton. Published by the Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis. Cloth, table of contents, 220 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.65.
THE BOOK NOBODY KNOWS. By Bruce Barton. Published by the Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis. May be purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Cloth. table of contents. Price, postpaid, $2.65.
TO call an author popular in this day of commercial literature and best sellers seems to imply a certain depreciation of his effort. It is unfortunate, but when art becomes art for money's sake, and success is judged solely upon the basis of copies sold, it is no wonder that an author of real merit dislikes to be termed popular. The true meaning of the term should carry with it, nothing more than a distinction between words intended for the scholar and those for the general reader. It is with some hesitation that the term is applied to Bruce Barton. His literary output is not of the prolific type which characterizes the money-maker writer. The reviewer must plead ignorance of Barton's work in general, in fact it must be admitted that he has read no more than some of the current magazine interviews which have added so much to his position in the literary field. But on the basis of this and the two books herein reviewed it can be said that Barton does not belong to the class to which the term popular would be applied in a depreciatory sense. That he is popular cannot be denied, his work has a widespread appeal, though it possesses literary merit which lifts him above, the average author in the best seller class.
In reviewing books of the type of The Man Nobody Knows and The Book Nobody Knows, it is very difficult to avoid entering into the field of religious controversy. Either the reader approves, in which case he allies himself with the so-called Modernists, or he must disapprove and join the Fundamentalists. In either case he at once places himself in a position exposed to the missiles of the opposing faction. It is only by ignoring one group that one can hope to accomplish anything. And at this point it may as well be said that those who tend to traditional views had better refrain from reading either of these books unless they are willing to have their orthodoxy severely criticised. So far as the reviewer is concerned he does not wish to enter into any controversy on religion, and his opinions of the author's treatment are advanced merely as his opinions and in no wise as a statement of his religious tendencies. Such a warning, it seems, should not be necessary, but experience has taught that an inadvertent statement often rouses the ire of those on the other side of the question.
With this brief preamble let us view Jesus of Nazareth as Bruce Barton presents him, perhaps it would be better to say, as the reviewer sees him through Barton's pages. It is an original and stimulating picture that has been given us. Barton's Jesus is not the inaccessible character hedged in by the terrors of divinity, and so far beyond the average man 'chat by no effort can he hope to approach his level, but rather an intensely human and lovable personality, who, if he lived in the world today, would find his name on the calling list of each of us. If we needed him we might even call on him to complete our Sunday morning foursome. It would not be more shocking than his eating on fast days was to the Pharisees, or defending his disciples in plucking corn on the Sabbath.
This is rather a different picture from that many of us received from kindly old ladies who were constantly looking for spectacles and telling us that we must love Jesus, all the while they were putting him in such a disagreeable light that we had no desire to know anything about him. Sunday was his day, and a deadly dull one. If rough and tumble games were indulged in, we belonged to the race of lost souls; Jesus wouldn't love us and we were headed for perdition by the most direct route. What healthy youngster could possibly like or be interested in such a person? No wonder our ideas of religion were of something to be avoided rather than to be sought. This is not Barton's Jesus, and it is not the Jesus that religion today is trying to recover. Surely the God of us all, the Father of the human race, was not such a stickler for "piosity" that his children could not enjoy themselves in harmless pastimes, even on Sunday. It is said that God himself felt the need of rest, hence the consecration of the seventh day of the week. If our rest is made better by the enjoyment of life, then 'chat must be the way in which he intended us to make use of it. Certainly the God, whom Christ called his and our Father, had no intention of making a painful duty of our respect and worship of Him. Yet too often religion amounts to more than this. The old picture of Christ is, to a large extent, responsible for this attitude. No human being, man, woman or child, has any use for such an effeminate un-human figure as many religious teachers have made of Christ. If the idea can once be conveyed to the. people in general that Jesus was an intensely interesting character, thoroughly human whatever more he might be; if from the pulpits of our churches such a character as The Man Nobody Knows were to be set forth, and if our laymen would read the Bible as they read a historical novel, a tale of adventure, or a story of success, then there would be created a solid background against which to set the ethical teachings of the Carpenter of Nazareth.
It is just such a foundation as this that Barton gives us. This is no kindergarten story, but a tale written for the man who has never received a really human conception of the Founder of Christianity. It does more than make religion a beautiful theory, it makes Christianity an intensely interesting practice, and pictures Christ as a good, all-around fellow, successful, sociable, a lover of the innocent pleasures of life; the kind of a man you want for a friend.
Everyone is interested in reading about the success of others. The adventures of the poor boy who arose to a position of prominence in the affairs of the world will always find readers. But these ordinary successes often leave nothing behind them. In the life of Jesus we have one of the most thrilling of successes, one which death saw only in its beginning. We see a great executive starting out as a poor lad, spending his early years in a carpenter shop in a small village of Galilee. At his death we see a small organization of eleven men who had been picked from lowly stations in life and who came to be the leaders in an organization embracing half a billion people. Surely no modern enterprise can boast of such a record. This man should be invited to every business conference. True it is that great undertakings have been launched without his aid, but modern business is being built more and more along the lines of his organization. Service is coming to be the keynote of commerce as it was of Christ's teachings.
Such is the work-a-day feature of Christianity; but we all like to play. There is no more popular place for recreation than the great out-of-doors. Jesus, according to the old idea of him had no place therein; he was a weakling, a fine companion such a man would make on a camping trip! But he could teach you some things about the camping life that you don't know. There is little said about such things in the Gospel, but can one imagine a man who for three years tramped over the territory surrounding Jerusalem knowing nothing about outdoor life? I was nothing unusual for him to spend the night under the stars. He must have been tanned like the old-time cowboy and had muscles like iron. This man was -no weakling.
But there are seasons of the year in most countries where out-of-door activities are reduced to a minimum, and indoor social gatherings are the order of the day. Who would invite his childhood Jesus to such a function? Yet the man was invited to attend a bridal party, and when the wine ran out, instead of letting the people go home dissatisfied, he changed the water to wine, the first of his miracles. Doubt the miracle if you like, it is sufficient for our purpose that he was invited to the hilarious wedding party, and Oriental weddings are very hilarious, and instead of putting a damper on the amusement, he helped it along. There was hardly a house in which he was not a welcome guest. He numbered among his friends not only those of high social standing, but the publicans and sinners as well. He must have loved companionship, and if invited to a modern social function doubtless he would be the "life of the party."
Following Barton from The Man Nobody Knows to The Book Nobody Knows is a natural transition. The nature of the author's treatment of the Bible as a whole is not essentially different from that of the period of Jesus.
The Bible is actually the world's best seller. The demand is continuous and an enormous number of copies are sold each year. Even so, there are very many people who really know little or nothing of what it contains. As an illustration, Barton cites the following illuminating incident:
Not long ago I met a man who wanted to know which of the Old Testament books contained the verse: "Thus saith the Lord, Every tub shall stand upon its own bottom."
If we see the Bible as Barton tries to make us to see it, as containing an outline of history, a collection of wisdom, literature and numerous biographies, all of which are as interesting and as readable as any modern work. Some portions are, of course, dull enough, but they are of little value, and one can skip them without losing much.
There is nothing unusual in a man's reading a history of Europe or America, and no one thinks him foolish for so doing. Why should the attitude be different because he chooses to read a history of the Jews? Were it Klausner's History of Israel, no one would comment, but because it happens that one interested in the Jews chooses to read the historical book of the Bible there is an inclination among many men to believe him either a religious fanatic, or else that something is amiss in his general makeup.
Maybe you are not interested in history. Philosophy may be more to your liking. In this event, you can find much to entertain in Proverbs, Psalms and the Prophets. This material is not the hashed over conclusions of pseudo-scholars, but the source material upon which you can form your own conclusions unhampered by the fetters of scientific minds. A philosophy of life can be gleamed from its pages, and it will either be a philosophy based entirely on what you find therein, or one modified according to your own interpretations. In either case you are ahead of the game for the reading.
We all like biographies of great men, and possibly you may prefer such reading to all others. There is no better place to find it than between the covers of The Book Nobody Knows. The life of Christ, Solomon, David, Noah, Adam, the prophets and countless others-a great mass of material for your entertainment, and he who reads may learn.
THE QUESTION BOX and CORRESPONDENCE
THE YOUNG MAN WITH GREAT POSSESSIONS
In the May issue, page 149, you say, "the young man who came by night to Jesus did not like the advice to sell all he had and give to the poor; neither did he understand how he could be born again."
This is decidedly interesting to me.
Must I sell all that I have and give it to the poor in order to be "born again"? I have heard that phrase before: is that what it means? I wish that you would write me fully as to what being "born again" means and what it involves. Since we are told that we are ALL the children of God, where is there any need for being born again, and besides, how can a man be born again when he is old?
A young man, who had read and traveled extensively, told me that Adam had two sons, and these two sons represented two great religious truths. The oldest son was called Cain (or Cane) and he was (religiously) the father of Freemasonry because he was the first city-builder, and moreover of his seed there came the Masonic Jubal and Tubal-cain as mentioned in the lodge lectures. Moreover, this young man said that this Cain's brother represented the great religious truth of the Christians and that only by a blood sacrifice which he brought could a person become a Christian and that therefore the Freemasons are not advocates of that great religious truth.
Will you please advise as to the reliability of this man's information? Where can I find the matter in detail from some one of our reliable scholars? I am very much interested in the “mysteries."
Now I have asked you enough to cause you to write a book, I will close for the present, thanking you for the courtesy of a reply to my many tedious questions.
L. B. M., California.
In one respect we fully agree with our correspondent, to fully discuss the questions he raises would make a book.
To take the last first; a reference to the Bible (Gen. IV, 25) will show that Adam is said to have had three sons, and the geneological line in which the chief interest centers is the third one, Seth. He was the ancestor of Noah. At its face value we would have to conclude from the narrative that all the descendants of Cain perished in the deluge. It is possible that the informant of whom our correspondent speaks had some acquaintance with the "Legend of the Craft" as related in the old charges in which the three children of the earlier Lamech are mentioned, and that he combined this with the old allegorical interpretation of Abel as a “type" of Christ, just as the flood and the Ark, and the passage of the Red Sea were taken as types of baptism. But that such ideas as this had anything to do with the relationship of Freemasonry to religion is not borne out by the facts. It comes into the light of history as a distinctly Christian institution. It remains a Christian institution in Northern Europe. It has in different countries moved a greater or less distance along the path of removing all qualifications based on religious doctrine. [There is much information on this subject in the Meaning of Masonry by Wilmshurst, The Men's House by Newton, Great Teachings of Masonry by Haywood, Speculative Masonry by MacBride, and Builders of Man by Gibson.]
In regard to the first question, it may be better to refer to the passages alluded to, they were not quoted. The first three gospels tell us of a man who had great possessions, Luke tells us he was a ruler, and asked the Lord what he had to do to be saved; he claimed to have kept all the commandments from his youth up, and so, he was told to sell all he had and give it to the poor. It has generally been supposed that this was the same Nicodemus who, according to John, came and was told that be must be born again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It would seem therefore that giving away all one has and being born again are not contingent on each other necessarily. Nicodemus seems to have understood the phrase literally, but it is obvious that what Jesus meant was an initiation (in the general sense) into a new life, and in the early church this initiation was supposed to be fulfilled in baptism. And the church put a very exclusive construction on this-only those who had been baptized could be regarded as "children of God." And if the whole passage where this phrase occurs (Gal. 111, 26) is taken as a whole, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Paul taught the same thing. Only those who had voluntarily accepted the faith and had received the initiation of baptism were of the children of God. The rest of mankind were children of wrath, of disobedience and not "heirs of the kingdom."
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MORGAN AND THE OBLIGATION
In THE BUILDER of November, 1924, there is a very interesting account of the Morgan Affair in Western New York in 1826. 1 was born in 1950, not far from Canandaigua, and in my younger days heard a great deal about the "Morgan Killers." Now it so happens that I am very intimately acquainted with a prominent Mason who is a grandson of one of the two men who made the final disposal of Mr. Morgan in 1826; from him I learned the details of the whole affair as he got them from his father and grandfather. The kidnappers were Canadians and the place where they lived can be seen from near Bock's Monument.
Was there ever a time in America when Masons were obligated by their oaths to inflict a penalty on those who betrayed their secrets as was alleged in the ease of William Morgan in 1826 ?
H. G. HUBBARD, Pennsylvania.
The story traditional in your family is certainly very interesting, though it is not easy to reconcile it with the few definite facts that have been fully ascertained. Publicly the faithful brethren of the, period seem to have generally insisted that Morgan was taken to Canada, and that he went thence on his own motion to parts unknown. Privately, many Masons undoubtedly believed or suspected that he had been made away with. Whether they actually knew more than the general public seems very doubtful, excepting, of course, the very few individuals who were actively concerned in the affair.
The question you raise is one that can be emphatically answered in the negative. Never, in any country, has any Masonic promise or obligation been demanded of initiates to take any action, individually or collectively, in such a case; not even the perfectly proper and lawful penalty of suspending or expelling an unworthy member. There has been apparently a continuous evolution in this matter of Masonic penalty. Before the modern period there was apparently a tradition of a death penalty for the revelation of Masonic secrets. The newly made Masons were probably informed of this, though there is absolutely nothing either in the Old Charges and regulations on the subject. In the seventeenth century and up to the Grand Lodge period this had most likely become only a ritual method of emphasizing the binding character of the oath sworn by the initiate. In the modified and revised forms of a later date, after 1723 perhaps, this was made explicit by adding it to the formal promise made by the candidate, so that instead of being informed that it was a traditional law, he imprecated the penalty upon himself, saying, in effect, "rather than do this I would suffer that," or, "Should I do this I deserve that." But this compromise between the conservative desire to retain an ancient form, that was also felt to be symbolic, has undergone still further modifications. In many places, after reciting the traditional penalty, some such clause as this is added: "Or the equally effective one of incurring the contempt and detestation of all honorable men." And in some European rituals the process has gone further still and the traditional clause has been entirely eliminated.
In the period between 1730 and the end of the eighteenth century another step in this evolution was taken, in the addition of a general statement that the promise required contained nothing contrary to religion, morality or statute law. After the anti-Masonic excitement in this country this statement was minutely particularized and put in the form of a solemn declaration or pledge to the candidate, which in legal effect makes any possible interpretation of the promise null and void that could be considered illegal, or that was against the individual's conscience, while the forms of promise have also been modified to absolutely rule out the possibility of any such interpretation.
However, if there was any truth at all in the respective "relations" of Edward Giddins and Samuel D. Greene, both of whom by their own account were in the thick of the trouble, we might judge that a number, and possibly many, of the simple-minded and comparatively uneducated Masons of Western New York in 1826 did suppose, in spite of the intentions of those who had revised the rituals, understand that they were bound to assist in punishing traitors. Of course this was the very point that the anti-Masons sought to make, and these two men are by no means reliable witnesses; but even if it were so it was not the fault of the fraternity but the ignorance of individuals that was to blame.
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THE ORDER OF ST. JOHN AT JERUSALEM
I have recently seen a paragraph in a Masonic magazine, under the heading "English Mason's Acquire Old Jerusalem Site," which states that the English Grand Priory of the Knights of St. John have bought a part of the 'historic site connected with their order in Jerusalem. I should like to know more about this.
J. S. L., Connecticut.
The statement is, we believe, quite correct, but then the heading appears to be an error. The close connection now existing between the modern Masonic Order of Templars and Knights of Malta, has led to quite general misconceptions on the subject. The connection, by the way, is historically rather ridiculous as the two Orders were bitter enemies, and their intestine feuds had much to do with the loss of Palestine to the Saracens.
It must be remembered that the Order of St. John, commonly called Hospitallers and later first Knights and Rhodes' and then Knights of Malta, continued their existence all through the Middle Ages down to the present time. Much of the property of the suppressed Templar Order was transferred to them.
The Hospitallers were organized by Languages-each Language had its own headquarters, but the general government was in the Grand Master, who resided at Malta, from the time the Turks drove the Knights out of Rhodes till Napoleon took the Island from them, after which they retired to Trieste where they still exist.
At the Reformation the English "Language" broke away from the main body and its members adhered to the Church of England. They have had a continuous separate existence since then. They retain all their original exclusive and aristocratic -features, and they also carry out their original object of aiding and assisting the sick through hospitals. They have never had the remotest connection with Freemasonry, except the borrowing of their name by the latter.
The Order last year made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, at which time we believe the purchase referred to was made. A very interesting account of the pilgrimage has recently been published.
* * *
Can you give me any information relative to the symbolism ,of the Compasses? It is said that they belong to the Grand Master. Is there any reason for this statement?
W. N. Tucker, Saskatchewan.
If any attempt were made to furnish the details of all theories relative to the significance of the compasses, one would soon find himself the author of a volume of unusual size. In the study of symbolism individual thought plays a most important part. It is impossible to say that any interpretation is the correct one and all others are wrong. Every one is privileged to draw his own conclusions, and one theory is just as correct as -another. One explanation that has received widespread recognition is that the compasses represent the God in man. The evolution of this idea is a process which if we endeavor to trace its beginning takes us back to the times of the ancients. Early in the development of religion the sun was represented by a circle. At a later stage arcs came to represent the planets and their paths. A semicircle was frequently used as a symbol of the celestial hemisphere. Because the compasses were the only instruments which would inscribe circular lines they gradually assumed the symbolism of the results of their work, in much the same way that the square came to be a symbol of earthly things. In the course of religious evolution the heavens came to be looked upon as the source of good and consequently this idea was incorporated in the significance of the compasses. As a consequence the compasses have come to represent those heavenly qualifications which are interpreted as the characteristics of a really good man.
These seems to be a general acceptance of the compasses as the property of the Grand Master, but no reason is generally accepted for this practice. A possible explanation would be that the compasses are primarily an instrument of design and would not be used in the practical work of quarrying and squaring stones, nor in setting them. These are the duties of the Craft in general. Designing belongs only to those who have attained proficiency in the other branches of the trade and who have come to be called Masters. It would follow that the Grand Master, as chief architect and designer, would have his office designated by that instrument which was particularly suited to his occupation.
E. E. T.
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THE POSITION OF THE LESSER LIGHTS
Noticing that the Grand Jurisdiction of Oklahoma placed their Lesser Lights in the same position as Wyoming, I wrote to the Grand Secretary who, in turn, referred me to you.
Please give me, if you can, some reference as to which is the proper way to place the lights.
J. M. LOWNDES, Wyoming.
The question raised by Bro. Lowndes is of no little interest. There are several variant methods which have been in use in various sections and all of which seem to be equally "proper."
In England it is generally conceded that the proper distribution is one at the station of each of the principal officers. In some American jurisdictions they are closely grouped and placed at the South of the altar, one to the East, one South and one West. Another variant is formed by enlarging the triangle thus formed so that one light is East of the altar, another South and the third West, all being so placed that they do no interfere with the ceremonial. All of these may be no more than compact variants which have evolved from the English form.
A form which may have been in general use throughout the northeastern section of this country is a radical departure from anything thus far explained. The lights are grouped one to the East, one Southeast and one West, the East and West tapers being parallel to a line drawn longitudinally through the lodge and the East and Southeast parallel to a North and South one. They were in close proximity and were we to bisect the lodge with an East and West line and then quarter it by one drawn North and South, the situation of this triangle would be about the center of the northeast quarter.
The old French charts show the lights placed as you do, one in the Northeast corner, one in the Southeast and the third in the Southwest, although even they seem to have no uniformity. Generally it would seem that one light was added for each degree so that in the third degree instead of there being only one light in each corner there were three.
The possible evolution of these variants would be a subject for interesting speculation, but it would probably be no more than speculation. Ritualistic evidence is strangely lacking on this point. One seems as correct as another, and at least the Wyoming practice has the approval of age.
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