Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!
THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 13 - number 11
Masonic Charity in England
By BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, ENGLAND
THE subject of charity is one that should always be of perennial interest to every Freemason under whatever Constitution he may own allegiance. From the MS. Constitutions, or Old Charges, of the Operative Masons of mediaeval England we have ample evidence that the custom of granting relief to brethren, who were in want, had been in vogue for centuries before the dawn of the Grand Lodge era. Dr. Robert Plot, writing in the 17th century, alludes to this custom, as one of the predominant characteristics of the Craft at that time.
Coming to the period of Grand Lodge, in Anderson's Constitutions of 1723, we find it laid down in the Charges of a Free-Mason, under the heading Behaviour towards a strange Brother:
But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved. In the earliest lodge, and other, records in England, we find frequent testimony that the Freemasons contributed towards the "relief of indigent and decay'd Brethren." This relief, or charity, extending in scope as the organizations grew, has become systematized. in several different ways, in the United Grand Lodge of England, and in its subordinate lodges.
In 1724, a proposal was made in the premier Grand Lodge:
That in Order to promote the Charitable Disposition of the Society of ffree Masons and render it more Extensive and beneficiall to the whole Body a Monthly Colleccon be made in Each Lodge according to the Quality and Number of the said Lodge and put into a Joynt Stock.
Some years elapsed before anything materialized, but in 1729 lodges commenced making donations to Grand Lodge towards this Fund of Charity; and thus was begun, in as small and modest a manner as possible, a scheme to relieve distressed Freemasons. The Grand Lodge of the Antients, shortly after their formation in 1751, also inaugurated a Charity Fund, to which each member of every lodge had to contribute quarterly. Upon the Masonic Union of 1813 the general Funds of both Grand Lodges became united, a Board of Benevolence being constituted to dispense the Fund of Charity.
THE BENEVOLENT FUND
The Fund of Benevolence has been growing steadily throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and is augmented yearly by a contribution of four shillings ($1.00) from each subscribing member of every London lodge, and two shillings ($0.50) from each subscribing member of every Provincial and Military Lodge (1). District lodges are exempt from this payment. Each lodge makes this payment out of its general funds, and the brother's annual subscription to the lodge covers this outgoing. For the year 1926 the income of the Fund of Benevolence was 50,526 pounds ($252,631.02) and out of it, in addition to casual relief, grants were made amounting to 33,984 pounds ($169,922.50). At the beginning of 1927 the Fund stood at the sum of 257,469 pounds ($1,287,347.08).
In the next place there are the three great Masonic Charities. They comprise the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, founded through the influence of Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini in 1788; the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, founded by the exertions of members of the United Mariners Lodge in 1798; and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, which had its inception in 1835, although the Home at Croydon was not erected until 1850. The annual income of these three Charitable Institutions is derived principally from the result of their respective yearly Festivals. Once every year each Institution holds a Festival, and it is usually presided over by some distinguished brother, generally a Provincial Grand Master. This leads to a considerable amount of healthy competition, the brethren and lodges in the chairman's Province endeavoring by their donations to exceed the results achieved in previous years. This vigorous and stimulating rivalry has resulted in the augmentation of the Funds of the three Institutions to quite an appreciable extent. For each of these Festivals brethren from all over the country volunteer as Representative Stewards, and collect as large an amount as possible, both from lodges and from individual brethren, many of whom become Stewards on the lists of the Representative Stewards. As every Steward, whether a Representative Steward or not, has to contribute a sum of not less than ten guineas ($52.50) some lists assume substantial proportions, and there are generally several over 1000 pounds ($5000.00) at each Festival. It is customary, in the majority of lodges, to send up a Representative Steward yearly, each Institution being supported in turn. In such cases the Master, or some well-known brother, with especially persuasive powers, acts in that capacity. To help brethren who do not feel able to contribute, in one payment, the substantial sums required to enable them to acquire permanent voting power in the Institutions, Benevolent Associations are formed all over England, which make a regular collection from their members; and from time to time, when funds permit, ballot for the privilege of becoming a Life Governor, or Life Subscriber. In 1927 there were 19,669 Stewards for the three Festivals, and the total sum realized was 223,743 pounds ($1,118,719.25). This was exclusive of the Festival of the Mark Benevolent Fund, which resulted in a collection of 9,048 pounds ($45,244.10).
THE MASONIC HOSPITAL
Another Institution, which has the generous support of the Fraternity, is the Freemasons' Hospital and Nursing Home. This had its beginnings during the Great War, although mooted before then. Since 1919 it has, through the liberality of lodges and brethren, acquired an endowment fund of over 160,000 pounds ($800,000) besides paying its way so far as its annual income and expenditure is concerned. In connection with the Hospital there is also a Samaritan Fund, to assist necessitous brethren to defray the small hospital fees. This fund, for the year ending June 30, 1926, received by donations from the Craft the sum of 3,876 pounds ($19,380.91). Many Lodges of Instruction, for instance, have collection boxes for this Samaritan Fund, and at each meeting every brother is invited to place at least one penny in the box. It is surprising how these small, but regular, gifts mount up, besides giving each brother a really personal interest in the work of this Institution.
In addition to these Central Charities there are, of course, many others. All the largest Provinces, as well as many of the smaller ones, have their own local Institutions, most of them raised and maintained upon a most generous basis. These funds do not come into the Masonic limelight, but they nevertheless receive openhearted and liberal support, given in the true Masonic spirit; without thought of advertisement, or advancement in Masonry.
Then, one step further removed from the central organization, there is the charity provided by individual lodges. We have already seen how each lodge contributes towards the general Fund of Benevolence. In addition, annually, if its funds permit, it contributes to one or more of the great Masonic Charities already referred to, as well as endeavoring to augment its own Charity Fund, created to relieve, as far as possible, the distress of any of its members who may fall upon evil days. The amount required each year to satisfy these claims is obtained in many ways, and much depends upon the individuality of each lodge. In some cases frugal meals and simple refreshments enable substantial sums to be given to charity; in other cases the net fees from all initiates and joining members are placed in the Benevolent Fund; and in yet other cases collections are made at each lodge meeting for the same fund. This last method is almost universal, and brings nightly before the brethren the claims of charity. In some lodges this regular collection is made for some specific object, and not for the Charity Fund generally. I remember once in a lodge I visited an appeal was made for a Christmas present for the daughter of a deceased brother being educated in the Girls' School and a capital response was the result. In this way, too, local charitable objects, not Masonic, are assisted, sometimes occasionally, but often annually. From the Lodge Charity Fund any necessary casual charity can be dispensed, and it is from this fund that any deserving brother of the lodge, or his widow, or children, can be helped whilst awaiting the more permanent assistance from the Fund of Benevolence, or one of the Central Institutions, or it may be even in augmentation, if necessary, of any such assistance.
In most lodges, to assist in the proper disposal of the charitable funds, the Worshipful Master annually appoints an almoner. Besides looking after the distribution of casual charity he deals with any case of distress within the ranks of the lodge. This brother reports to the lodge his activities, and makes such appeals for help in money, or other assistance, as may be required.
Having briefly passed in review the various Charitable Institutions and Benevolent Funds organized by the United Grand Lodge of England, and its dependent lodges, which I think it will be admitted are wide reaching and ample in their scope, let us not in conclusion forget those individual brethren--the fount of these benevolent schemes--whose regular donations and subscriptions enable them to fulfill their objects. By brethren, when framing or revising lodge by-laws, making their annual lodge subscription sufficiently large to provide adequate funds for charity, by the regular contribution of brethren to the charity collection made each lodge night, and by the substantial contributions of brethren to the Central and Provincial Charity Institutions, such brethren have endeavored to carry out in practice those precepts, concerning the relief of the distressed, which are so forcibly illustrated within the lodge. These brethren have realized that what Freemasonry is to anyone depends upon what that person puts into it, whether in service or in money.
(1) Amounts given in dollars are only approximate, the English pound is figured at $5.00, the shilling at 25 cents. The shillings and pence have also been ignored. [Ed.]
The Roman Church and Marriage in Quebec
By BRO. F.G. VIAL, Canada
THE Old World tone to be found in New Orleans and in certain corners of the state of Louisiana represents a slight approximation to what is found in Quebec. Whatever of the romantic and bizarre survives on the lowest reaches of the Mississippi is overlaid by Americanism and can only be discovered by the curious in by-paths and out-of-the-way places. In Quebec, however, the life and manners of the people are obviously of a different kind from that which prevails in the rest of North America. It is a difference which, as it were, hits the traveler in the face. The inhabitants are for the most part French-speaking and very jealous for the preservation of their mother tongue, while their religion, an aggressive Romanism, is of the very texture of their individual and social life.
To appreciate this divergence from North American type it is necessary to study the history of the Province, and indeed the history of Canada. Quebec is virtually the survival of a Franco- American Empire. The sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed a great colonial expansion from Europe. Spain, France (and in a measure, Holland) struggled with England to establish their own settlement and absorb those of their rivals. The remnants of the Spanish Dominions are found in the Republics of Central and South America. The English are found north of the Rio Grande. Where are the French? The answer is, in the Province of Quebec.
OLD FRANCE IN THE NEW WORLD
During the seventeenth century through the efforts of intrepid voyageurs, coureurs du bois, and missionaries, the French Empire extended in a vast and wavering semi-circle from the rocky shores of Cape Breton to the mouth of the Mississippi. But the vital part of this immense territory was on the banks of the St. Lawrence. Here was the heart of New France; the rest were sprouting limbs.
It was New France; just as the settlements on the northern Atlantic coasts were New England. Not new in the sense of a connection with modern France but new as an extension of Old Royal France, France of the pre-Revolutionary days. Thus by a paradox New France is Old France, a survival. In Canadian history the French period is described as the Ancien Regime, and the Ancien Regime in all essentials is with us now in the Province of Quebec. And it is maintained and fostered by the Roman Church. Consequently, it has no sympathy with modern Republican France. The France of today is the enemy of much that the French Canadian holds dear--his faith, his sacred traditions, his family life. This partly explains the French Canadian reluctance to fly to the succor of France in the Great War. Even the emigres priests from Old France are not popular. A recent writer says (1): "I have heard a French Canadian priest say in broken English to a Protestant from the Province of Ontario, 'I feel that I have more in common with you than I have with the French priests who are flocking into this country.' " There is a difference of spirit and of atmosphere.
Certainly the culture of Quebec is unique. French in speech--the speech of Racine and Bossuet; Roman Catholic in faith, half-feudal in organization: all this exists in a land, British in allegiance and with the outward apparatus of twentieth century civilization. The effect is picturesque--in the extreme. And what is it which has caused the persistence of a type which otherwise flourished only in the days of Richelieu and Colbert ? It is above all the influence of the Roman Church in the Province of Quebec. Nowhere perhaps in the world is that influence either more prevalent or on the whole more beneficent than in French Canada.
THE ROMAN CHURCH ESTABLISHED
And the Roman Church maintains its influence chiefly by guarding with jealous care the home Iife of the faithful. As far as possible the French Canadian is segregated from the social life of British Canadian fellow-citizens. Association with Protestants is reduced to a minimum. Inter-marriage is strongly deprecated and when it occurs its effects, inimical to the faith, are overcome by a consistent and sedulous policy. The Church is ever vigilant in protecting its children from the poisons of heresy and secularism. This can best be done by the prevention of mixed marriage; when this is impossible, or inexpedient, by nullifying its ill effects.
For the danger is a real one. There is a powerful minority in the Province of Quebec, mainly in the south and west which is British in origin, English in speech and reformed in faith. Nor does it stand alone; it is united by kinship, faith and manners with the rest of English speaking Canada. At the time of the conquest there was a dream of converting the French Canadian to the Church of England, and if priests of that communion in sufficient numbers and with special gifts had been available, no one can say what might have been the result. But the Quebec Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1774 A.D., blasted all hopes of Anglicizing the habitants. True indeed, the British criminal law was introduced but the civil law of the Ancien Regime was left unchanged. The Bill gave the Church the same privileged position it had enjoyed under French sovereigns. The whole ecclesiastical system which had irritated Frontenac was smiled upon and strengthened by the English administration.
Thus, fortified by the civil power the Church took measures to strengthen and safeguard its authority over its children. For a considerable time these measures were defensive. Aggression was inexpedient. In the case of "mixed" marriages, i.e., marriages between Roman Catholics and those of other faiths, the Roman clergy were generally acquiescent to a "fifty-fifty" arrangement. A marriage would be solemnized according to the rites of the bride concerned, there being "a gentleman's agreement," though sometimes in writing, that the male issue of the marriage should follow the father's faith; the female the mother's faith. Among the friends of the writer's boyhood there were several who came under the operation of such an understanding and from the social point of view it seemed to work very well.
THE OBJECTION TO MIXED MARRIAGES
But it was not satisfactory to the hierarchy of the dominant Church. Part of the issue of such unions was avowedly heretical; the other part was perniciously, though subconsciously, relaxed in its allegiance to the Holy Faith. .The results of such marriages were inimical to the authority of the Church. What was to be done? The answer in effect was, let such unions be tabu. When such marriages are contemplated let the parties concerned know well that they shall not have the blessing of the Church unless the non-Roman makes his (or her) peace and becomes a convert. If still recalcitrant insist that while the marriage cannot receive the full blessing of the Mother Church it may yet be solemnized in a hole- and-corner fashion by the priest in the sacristy or vestry, on the express stipulation that the issue of the union, whether male or female, is to be brought up in the Roman Church. Should the parties to the proposed contract be so rebellious as to have their union solemnized by some non-Roman minister then shall it be null and void. The parties to it are living in mortal sin; the issue of it is illegitimate--in the view of the Roman Catholic Church.
Now this attitude, which to many seems repulsively uncompromising, is quite logical and constitutional. It is the glory of British rule to give sects, orders and communities within its sovereignty full liberty to regulate their internal affairs and maintain their own discipline. Furthermore, the Roman Church in the Province of Quebec was given special recognition by the Quebec Act, and subsequent legislation, reaching down to the Act of British North America (1867). No civil authority, no powerful and clamorous faction, can take away rights and privileges so amply guaranteed and repeatedly re-enacted.
THE LIMITS OF ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY
Yes, indeed, the Roman Church has the right to regulate and discipline the life and conduct of its own members. Nor can any pressure from without affect this right. It is inalienable. Even when the Church, to take an example germane to our subject, declares null and void in its ecclesiastical courts a marriage of one of its members to a non-Roman solemnized by a minister of another faith, can anyone legitimately protest the procedure. It may be deplored; it may be viewed as intransigent and uncharitable, but it is a matter of internal discipline. True, the rights and liberties of a non-Roman are involved in this case, but it is unnecessary for him to be affected by it. Provided he stands by his guns the ecclesiastical decision does not affect his civil status. He is still in the eyes of the state a married man. If he can secure the complacence of his partner contracted to him by a process recognized as valid by the civil authority he may live happily ever after. The hierarchy may thunder in vain. The decision of ecclesiastical courts do not affect the civil status of citizens. They may, however, and generally do, lead to domestic infelicity, the breaking up of homes and final separation.
But here's the rub! So strong is the influence of the Church in the Province that its decisions gradually came to acquire quasi-civil authority. Fortified by the Ne temere Decree, the Roman hierarchy succeeded, or almost succeeded, in converting the civil courts into a rubber stamp for the registration of ecclesiastical verdicts. The judiciary of the Province of Quebec is a body of high-minded and learned jurists but most of them belong to and are sincere supporters of the dominant faith. Those who deal with matrimonial causes are almost invariably so. Under various acts passed by the highest legislature of the Empire, the rights and privileges, somewhat indeterminate yet vast, of the Church in French Canada had been restored and confirmed (2). It would require a lengthy and expensive legal process to define and de-limit such powers even in the matrimonial field. Until such definition and de-limitation can be secured, it were wise and expedient to adjudicate according to the well-known convictions, sometimes the recorded findings, of the ecclesiastical authorities. In making this commentary the writer is not attempting to read the motives of our learned judges; he is rather recording the impression conveyed by their verdicts.
The situation has caused a general feeling of uneasiness even among enlightened French Canadians, and naturally much more among English non-Romans. It did not seem right that the civil law of any part of His Majesty's Dominions should be over-ridden by the law of a foreign power (for that is what it amounted to) no matter how august it might be. The Law of the Roman Church in the Province of Quebec is with slight local and immaterial modifications the Canon Law of that vast international polity which has its seat, not in the Parliament House of Westminster, but in the Vatican at Rome. Was it equitable that the status conferred on a citizen by the law of the land should be abrogated at the behest of an authority which claimed to be independent of, and superior to, the state? According to British jurisprudence the subject is at liberty to contract a marriage with another provided he complies with the law, which is easily ascertainable and largely tolerant. The marriage thus contracted may be annulled for certain cogent reasons. There is no marriage if it can be proved that there was not mutual consent, that it fell within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity, that it was bigamous, that there was inability to consummate the union in either party. This is annulment of marriage, not dissolution of it, not divorce. It is necessary to keep the distinction clear although the effects are practically the same. In the case of annulment the courts declare that the union does not, and never did, exist in law. There has been no marriage. In the case of divorce the courts recognize that the union did exist but on grounds which are sufficient to them they set aside the union which previously existed. In Canada, at least in Eastern Canada, there is only one ground on which divorce is granted, and that is adultery. The instrument by which a divorce may be obtained--I am speaking of Ontario and Quebec--is a Committee of the Federal Senate; the Provincial judiciaries do not deal with divorce although it is possible that Ontario will ultimately possess her own divorce courts. At present in both Provinces if relief is sought recourse must be had to this Committee of the Federal Senate, and I understand that the procedure is both awkward and expensive.
ANNULMENT FOR DIVORCE
In the civil court of the Province of Quebec appeals for divorce are never heard and therefore never granted. However, a practice has grown up of declaring marriage null and void ab initio; and that on a number of grounds other than those which are recognized in the rest of the Dominion and other parts of the Empire. These are based on Roman Canon Law and include differences of religion. Hinc illae lacrimae ! To many it seemed intolerable that in a British commonwealth a system of law should function which not only claimed independence of the civil law but on occasion controlled it.
Accordingly, some years ago a case of annulled marriage was carried from Canadian Courts to the Highest Court of Appeal in the Empire, the Privy Council. The annulment had been granted originally because the persons involved, nominally at least, Roman Catholics, had been joined together before some Protestant minister. The bond growing irksome to one of the contracting parties, conscience awoke. The claims and discipline of Mother Church, for a long time stilled, began to exercise the spirit of her erring son, and he at length took steps to terminate his life of sin. Under the influence of the ecclesiastical law above mentioned the civil courts of the Province declared the marriage null and void on the ground that, both parties being Roman Catholic, the marriage had been solemnized by other than a Roman priest. The case was clear-cut and definite in its challenge to the law of the state and, in the opinion of opponents to the growing practice of deference on the part of the Civil Courts to the ecclesiastical law, formed a proper subject of appeal. The ruling of the Privy Council, when it was finally delivered in a weighty and carefully worded report, was to the efect that a marriage solemnized before a duly appointed official and performed in a manner recognized as valid by the Civil Law was a true marriage. Its validity did not depend on the religious status of the parties contracting the union, nor of the ecclesiastical affiliations of the official performing the ceremony. Since the parties involved in the test case had complied in every way with the laws of the land, and were, under their regulation, united, theirs was a true marriage. The previous annulment was quashed.
It were interesting to follow the further development of this domestic tragedy, but the personal, the intimate human touch has been lost in the cloud of legal controversy out of which, on the farther side, has issued clearly a vindication of the civil law in its relation to one of its most important functions, that of marriage. And that was, and is, the danger point.
For although the principle of the independence and paramountcy of the Civil Law in relation to marriage has been theoretically vindicated, the courts of the Province still occasionally grant annulments of marriage for reasons other than those recognized by the state. In the background of the court's handling of such cases looms up the Canon Law of the dominant Church. However, all care is taken, since the decision of the Privy Council in the test case aforementioned, to avoid overt collision with the Civil Law. There is evasion, not open defiance. The decisions, or the influence, of the ecclesiastical courts are never in evidence. For instance, annulments of unions unsatisfactory to the Church are frequently obtained by a rigid interpretation of the regulation (in the case of minors) which calls for parental acquiescence; or by a liberal interpretation of what constitutes "undue influence," "duress," and lack of consent.
Therefore, in spite of the Privy Council's decision, the situation is by no means clear and unequivocal. The Provincial judiciary tries to apply the law of the land with scrupulous justice but its hands are tied and its imagination hypnotized by the mighty influence of the Roman Church which by the Quebec Act secured for itself the full enjoyment of its religious law, and the privilege which had been accorded to it under the Ancien Regime. There is the dilemma. The relation of civil and canon law within the Province of Quebec has yet to be thoroughly thrashed out and until it is, the possibility of dangerous collision is never absent. The only feasible method of clearing the ground is for each aggrieved party to appeal, and yet appeal, until every debatable detail has been settled. Few aggrieved parties have the patience, the courage, the public spirit, and the financial resources for such undertakings. The Church has. So there you are!
(1) A Canadian Manor, George M. Wrong, p. 194. (2) After the conquest.
So long as the people of a country or a state are all of the same religion the distinction between civil and religious law does not become clearly apparent. The civil rulers will give religious requirements the force of law. It is not until different religions are strongly represented in the same political unit that the distinction will appear. The first method attempted is to recognize one religion and permit others under restrictions. But in the fact of the democratic ideal of freedom and self-government this position is anomalous, and eventually all religions have to be put on the same basis.
Marriage, in our present form of society, has a well defined legal aspect concerned with the rights of women and children, which is quite distinct from any religious requirements and is purely a matter of public policy. The tendency is to equate it with other forms of contract and to make it voidable by mutual consent. The churches have a perfect right to impose their own rules on their own members under the sanction of suspension or termination of membership, but such rules are additional to those of the state and not substitutes. No religious body can claim that its private rules shall have legal effect without claiming in effect a favored position. And to grant such a claim is to nullify the basis upon which democratic government rests.
Pioneer Masonry in the Northwest Territory
The Story of Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2, Cincinnati
By BRO. HENRY BAER, Ohio
WHEREAS, many good citizens of the Territory, with a design to check the incursions of hostile Indians now at war with the people of the United States, have voluntarily entered into and subscribed their names to certain articles; each name having a sum annexed thereto, and have severally bound themselves, their heirs, etc., to pay the same as in the same articles are mentioned:
We, the subscribers, therefore being nominated and appointed to superintend the business of collecting and paying the money thus subscribed, hereby give notice that the following arrangement is made for the reward to be given for Indian scalps to be taken and produced within the period of the 18th day of April last past and the 25th day of December next ensuing, and within the boundaries following, to-wit: Beginning on the Ohio, ten miles above the mouth of the Little Miami, on a direct line then northwardly, the same distance from the said Miami, until it shall extend twenty-five miles above where Harmar's trace first crosses the said Little Miami, until it shall extend ten miles west of the Great Miami, thence southwardly, keeping the distance of ten miles from the said Great Miami to the Ohio; thence up the middle of the said River Ohio to the beginning; that for every scalp, having the right ear appendant, of the first ten Indians who shall be killed within the time and limits aforesaid by those who are subscribers to the said articles, shall, whenever collected, be paid the sum of one hundred and thirty-six dollars; and for every scalp of the like number of Indians, having the right ear appendant, who shall be killed within the time and limits aforesaid, by those who are not subscribers, the Federal troops excepted, shall, whenever collected, be paid the sum of one hundred dollars, and for every scalp, having the right ear appendant, of the second ten Indians who shall be killed within the time and limits aforesaid by those who are subscribers to the said articles shall, whenever collected as aforesaid, be paid the sum of one hundred and seventeen dollars; and for every scalp, having the right ear appendant, of the second ten Indians who shall be killed within the time and limits aforesaid, by those who are not subscribers to the said articles, except before excepted, shall, whenever collected, be paid the sum of ninety-five dollars.
Cincinnati-- Levi Woodward Darius C. Orcutt James Lyons
Columbia-- William Brown Ignatius Ross John Reily
Advertisement in the Centinel of the Northwestern Territory of .... 1794 Woodward and Rose were members of Harmony Lodge.
HAD the Indians been watching the Ohio with their accustomed vigilance late in the year 1788, they would have beheld several covered flatboats descending in midstream, their sides pierced with loopholes to receive the ready rifle, bearing the first contingent of settler families to the Miami Purchase. This was a large tract of land in southwestern Ohio, purchased from our government by a group of Jerseymen headed by Judge John Cleves Symmes, a member of Congress, and was part of the great Northwest Territory.
But the savages were either in winter quarters or in a peace conference with General Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the Territory, at Fort Harmar, opposite Marietta, so this initial advance into the country was made in comparative safety. Marietta, over 250 miles upriver, had been founded on April 7, of this year, by pioneers from Massachusetts led by the redoubtable General Rufus Putnam, and was the first permanent white settlement in Ohio. The next was that on the Miami Purchase aforesaid, on Nov. 18, which was named Columbia. During the winter two other log hamlets sprang up within its limits, Losantiville and North Bend. All three fronted on the river; at their back stretched an unbroken forest, tenanted only by wild beasts and hostile Indian tribes.
Discovery of the beautiful Miami country is credited to Major Benjamin Stites, veteran frontiersman and Indian fighter of the Pennsylvania border, while leading a party of Kentuckians in chase of a band of Indian horsebhieves in 1786. This was the portion of the territory long known to the whites as the "Miami Slaughter House," by reason of their many bloody battles with the savages, following murderous raids of the latter into Kentucky. It was Stites who was instrumental in causing the purchase of this land by Symmes and who, together with Ephraim Kibby, his old trail companion, headed the first emigrant families to a settlement in southwestern Ohio. Both were early members of Nova Caesarea, or N.C. Harmony Lodge to use its abbreviated and more convenient form of title.
THE FOUNDING OF CINCINNATI
In 1789 Fort Washington was erected by soldiers at Losantiville, of which General Josiah Harmar, head of the army, assumed command. That it was here located is probably due to this point being considered the most exposed and dangerous, laying opposite the mouth ot the Licking, the favorite crossing place of Indian warbands on their way to raid the Kentucky towns. Fort Washington became the most important military post in the Northwest and was the base of all army operations for many years.
Kentucky, the "dark and bloody ground," was settled during the years of the Revolution, its occupation being attended by great loss of life, the savages resisting every step the encroachment of the whites on land that had long been their hunting grounds. Her earliest Masonic lodge, Lexington, No. 25 (now No. 1), was formed through Virginia authority, dated Nov. 17, 1788, at a time when fighting with the redskins had by no means ceased. This was the first permanently established lodge west of the Alleghenies. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky was founded in 1800, to become the mother of Freemasonry in the Mississippi valley.
To Losantiville, in January, 1790, came Governor St. Clair, arriving by boat from Marietta, to erect a county which he called Hamilton, and to locate here the seat of government for the territory. Historians relate that upon beholding from his craft the collection of rude huts and log cabins in the mud on the river bank, he queried in tones of disgust, "What in hell is the name of this place, anyway?" Being told, he promptly changed it from Losantiville to Cincinnati, after the famous society of the Cincinnati, of which he was a member, formed at the close of the Revolution by officers of Washington's staff.
All was remarkably quiet and peaceful for a year or more following settlement. Then with the movement of many of the pioneers to points far out in the wilderness, where they built their homes or else stockade stations that housed several families, the savages rose in all fury and began a war of cruelty and bloodshed which lasted for five years. Cabins were plundered and stations attacked, cattle and horses run off, scores of the settlers slain and scalped and numbers taken prisoner, until the less stout-hearted fled in terror to bhe safety of eastern homes or to large towns in Kentucky. A reprisal raid by General Harmar in 1790 was without much effect and the enemy harrassed the settlements with greater vigor than before.
One of the stations attacked was that of John Dunlap, the first afflliated member of N.C. Harmony Lodge, its handful of defenders withstanding for two days the onslaught of several hundred yelling demons under Blue Jacket and the infamous renegade white, Simon Girty. This fight, in January, 1791, was the fiercest and longest sustained in the history of Indian warfare in Hamilton county. Together with the numerous hand-to-hand encounters along the border, these were scenes that had long witnessed their counterpart in the "dark and bloody ground" of Kentucky.
THE FOUNDING OF HARMONY LODGE, NO. 2
In the midst of all, but a few months following the fight at Dunlap's station, Masonic brethren on the Purchase petitioned the Grand Lodge of New Jersey for a warrant to form a lodge at Cincinnati, then yet a tiny log village sprawled between Fort Washington and the river. Included among the signers of this petition were the distinguished soldiers, Generals St. Clair and Harmar. That such an attempt was made to erect the Great Lights of Masonry in a wilderness country, with the warwhoop of the savage resounding throughout the Ohio valley, bespeaks a love of the Order, determination and courage of the highest degree, and would almost surpass belief. This is perhaps the only, and certainly the first, instance where the formation of a Masonic lodge was attempted in the West, or anywhere, under similar conditions and circumstances.
The second expedition against the Indians was that led by Colonel James Wilkinson, an early member of the lodge. This occurred in the summer of 1791, and while far more successful than Harmar's, the enemy continued unabated their murderous attacks and forays along the border.
Sept. 8, 1791, is a date most memorable to Masonry in southwestern Ohio, for on this day the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, sitting at Trenton, acted favorably on the petition of their pioneer brethren and issued a charter under this date, which named Dr. William Burnet as Master, John Ludlow, Senior Warden, and Dr. Calvin Morrell, Junior Warden, of a lodge of Ancient York Masons ". . . in Hamilton County in the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio," to be known as Nova Caesarea (New Jersey) Lodge, No. 10. This body has since been styled Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2.
Dr. Burnet, who had made the long and dangerous journey to obtain this authority, was prevented from ever returning to the West by the death a month later of his father, Dr. William Burnet, Sr., chief physician in the Continental Army, and likewise a Mason. This unfortunate circumstance, with the Indian war, delayed the arrival of the warrant for more than three years.
Dr. Burnet, Jr., was Senior Warden of Newark Lodge, No. 2, of Newark, N.J., at the time he came to Ohio. Now resuming his place in its official line, he became Master in 1792. John Ludlow (1), named as Senior Warden in the warrant, an intrepid pioneer settler, had been a member of Royal Arch Lodge, No. 10, A.Y.M., of Baskingridge, N.J. He likewise found it impossible to serve the lodge when it was organized late in 1794, through having moved his home far out in the wilderness, an exceedingly dangerous undertaking. Of the Masonic history of Dr. Calvin Morrell, who came to the territory with Dr. Burnet, nothing is known. He was present, however, and in his station in the South as Junior Warden, at the institution of the lodge.
A TERRIBLE DISASTER
Following Harmar's ineffectual campaign, General St. Clair had assumed command of the military. With the usual complement of regulars, militia and volunteers, he started bravely forth from Fort Washington to vanquish the redskins. All went well until he reached a point about 100 miles north of Cincinnati. There his force of some 1500 was quietly surrounded by the enemy and in a battle which commenced at early dawn on Nov. 4, 1791, literally cut to pieces. The casualties exceeded 900, of which two-thirds were killed and scalped and the rest wounded. There were no prisoners, and as related in after years by Indians taking part, their arms were weary from wielding the tomahawk and scalping knife. Quoting from the graphic account of Jacob Fowler, noted hunter and a Mason, who turned for a last look as he fled from the scene of carnage: "The dead and dying laying around, their freshly scalped heads reeking with smoke in the heavy morning fog, looked like so many pumpkins through a cornfield in December."
St. Clair's was the worst disaster ever befalling the whites in the history of Indian warfare in America. Many of the Craft lost their lives on this bloody day, the list being headed by brave Major- General Richard Butler. Numbers of the settlers, who had accompanied the expedition as volunteers, were among the slain. From the fact that there were but seven brethren present at the organization of the lodge, and these not all resident on the Purchase during the years c the war, it is probable that of those killed some were Masons who had signed the petition to form a lodge; at Cincinnati.
With the situation now truly grave, General "Mad Anthony" Wayne (also a member of the Craft) succeeded St. Clair as commander. At the head of a new and carefully drilled and equipped army he started north after the savages, but, unlike his predecessor, with a band of experienced scouts in the lead. Finally coming in contact with the confederated tribes near Toledo, Ohio, on Aug. 20, 1794, in a brief but bloody battle known to history as "Fallen Timbers," he administered such a terrific beating to the redskins that the backbone and power of their confederacy was completely and forever broken.
THE INAUGURATION OF THE LODGE
Early in December of this year the charter of the lodge arrived from New Jersey and the brethren proceeded to their long delayed organization. This took place on St. John's Day, Dec. 27, 1794, when seven Master Mason pioneers made their way to the house of Jacob Lowe, who kept inn at the sign of "General Wayne." Those composing this little group were Dr. Calvin Morrell, J.W., John S. Gano, Elias Wallen, Patrick Dickey, James Brady, John Allen and Edward Day.
Wayne's victory, while decisive, had brought but a nominal peace. Danger yet lurked on the trails, with Indians who had passed the lines of his army hanging about and waylaying and murdering travelers. Conditions had become so bad in this year that there was inserted in the Centinel oJ the Northwestern Territory, the first newspaper at Cincinnati, an advertisement offering a premium for Indian scalps. Among its several conditions was the grewsome requirement that the right ear was to be appendant to each. It is interesting to note that of the six subscribers to the offer, two, Levi Woodward and Ignatius Ross, became members of N.C. Harmony Lodge. Not until August, 1795, when the famous Treaty of Greenville was consummated by Wayne, was there a reasonable assurance of safety. From this it would appear indeed likely that the seven brethren went armed to Lowe's tavern, which was situated, it is believed, in an isolated spot on the river bank west of the village.
Here the Great Lights were erected, illumined by tallow candles, which cast their flickering glow into the gloom of the wilderness, signalizing the coming of organized Masonry to a remote frontier and the beginning of a labor that has gone on unremittingly ever since. After effecting the usual temporary organization, tihe main business of the evening was the election of officers. This was held with the following result: Edward Day, Master; John S. Gano, S.W.; Dr. Calvin Morrell, J.W. (named in warrant); James Brady, Treas.; Elias Wallen, Sec'y; John Allen, S.D., and Patrick Dickey, J.D. The meeting was then closed in "good harmony."
Bro. Day, Master, was but a very recent arrival in Cincinnnati, having served until late in this year as Commissary-General under Washington in the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion. He was Past Master of Joppa Lodge, A.Y.M., of Joppa, Maryland, and a zealous and highly skilled member of the Craft. In his travels Bro. Day had gained further advancement in Masonry and came to Ohio a Knight Templar, probably the first of that rank to cross the Alleghenies.
THE PROBLEM OF INSTALLATION
Installation of officers on Jan. 7, 1795, found the lodge faced with the embarrassment of having no spare brother qualified to act as installing officer. Fortunately, however, the difficulty was bridged by the timely appearance in the meeting of Captain Isaac Guyon, commander of Fort Washington and Master of the Army Lodge. With his able assistance and that of Bros. Wallen and Allen, who were Past Masters of lodges in northern Ireland, the ceremonies were satisfactorily performed.
How the brethren managed without the services of a Tiler in their first days is not known. It was not until the initial stated communication on Jan. 21, that another member was secured and made to assume this undoubtedly cold and lonely post. This was through the admission of John Dunlap, of Ireland, a redoubtable surveyor, at whose station had occurred the desperate fight with the Indians in 1791.
On this same night the first petition was received. This was signed by Captain Ephraim Kibby, veteran of the Revolution and noted scout and Indian fighter of the early West, who won especial fame as leader of Wayne's "Forty Famous Scouts." This band was recruited from among the best Indian fighters of Ohio and Kentucky and rendered valuable service to the American army on its march to victorious Fallen Timbers.
Both Kibby and Major Stites were fine types of the borderer, being tall, lithe and active and possessed of remarkable strength and endurance. Books doubtless could be written of their many strange and thrilling adventures and exploits, if indeed they had ever made them known. A few have come to hand and the writer is tempted to recount some of them, but space and the purpose of this article forbids. This much can be said, however, the company of both was sought for years by the red enemy, who would have liked nothing better than to have effected their capture. So eagerly did they covet the person of Kibby, that he was once chased for twenty-four hours, but succeeded in making his escape. For Major Stites, whom they blamed for the loss of their land, the Indians had an especially warm reception in store intending to burn him at the stake. But the wily old borderer eluded all their attempts at capture and lived to be initiated in the lodge, which was in 1799. What Boone and Kenton and Robertson and Sevier were respectively to Kentucky and Tennessee, so equally important and valuable, if less conspicuous, can be said to have been the services of these two sterling backwoods characters in the winning and settlement of southwestern Ohio.
THE LODGE BEGINS ITS LABORS
Working meetings of N. C. Harmony Lodge commenced on March 4, 1795, with Captain Kibby as one of the first to kneel at its rude altar. Among those initiated or admitted in this year were a number who had served in the Revolution, as well as in the Indian War. Quite singular to note, the services of one of these, Captain John Whistler (2), was with the mother country. An Irishman by birth, while fighting on the side of the British, he was taken prisoner at Burgoyne's surrender in 1777 at Saratoga. After the war he came again to America and enlisted in the U. S. Army, being severely wounded at St. Clair's defeat. Captain Whistler was the progenitor of a famous line of soldiers, engineers and artists, the celebrated painter, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, being a grandson.
An initiate of especial worthy mention was Captain Robert T. Benham, an old associate of Kibby and Stites on the Pennsylvania border. While serving in the frontier militia he was a principal in one of the most strange, thrilling and terrifying experiences ever recorded in the annals of the West, the full details of which are to be found in the "National Cyclopaedia of American Biography." This took place in 1779, on the Ohio, opposite Clincinnati, when a force of some seventy whites was ambushed by an overwhelming number of savages and, with the exception of Benham and a dozen others, butchered and scalped. Captain Benham was an early arrival in the village and saw service in all the Indian campaigns, likewise being badly wounded at St. Clair's defeat.
On June 24, 1795, was held the first celebration of St. John the Baptist Day. Among those to grace the festive board as visiting brethren were Governor St. Clair, Colonel Winthrop Sargent, Territorial Secretary, and Judge John Cleves Symmes, chief promoter of the Miami purchase. During the festivities "the usual number of Masonic toasts were drank" and the members entertained by a band of music "which played at intervals grand, majestic and harmonious sounds, and the whole evening spent with hilarity, which has ever clistinguished this social band of brothers.
Dec. 27, 1795, witnessed the initial celebration of the anniversary of St. John the Evangelist. During its course the following eleven toasts were drank:
1. Our Brother George Washington, the friend of Masonry and of man. 2. The Grand Lodge of New Jersey--may they continue to he respectable. 3. To all the fraternity around the Globe. 4. May this lodge ever be distinguished for Love, Peace and Harmony. 5. To all those who steer their course by the Three Great Lights of Masonry. 6. A proper subdivision and application of the 24-inch gauge. 7. The absent brethren of the lodge. 8. Every brother who maintains a constancy in love and sincerity in friendship. 9. May no Freemason wish for more liberty than happiness, nor more freedom than tends to the public good. 10. May the hearts of Freemasons agree, though their heads may differ. 11. May every society instituted for the promotion of virtue flourish.
Occurring in those early days, it is to be imagined that an analysis of the contents of the punch bowl into which the brethren dipped, would have shown an alcoholic content greatly exceeding that allowed by law today for beverage purposes. Saints John Day celebrations, which drew the attendance of all within reach of the settlement, were events of great moment in the lives of the pioneer Masons, who, in their lonely existence on the border, eagerly looked forward to the times twice each year when they could fraternize and enjoy the fellowship of a Masonic gathering. Hence, taken together, it is not to be wondered that at these functions the members attained to a certain degree of mellowness and sentiment.
That the lodge was kept quite busy in its first year is attested by the high mark of forty-four meetings held. In this time the membership grew from seven to forty-two, comprising a conglomerate and picturesque lot, there being soldiers, scouts and Indian fighters, surveyors, traders, tavernkeepers and ferrymen, with a sprinkling of doctors and lawyers--much the usual miscellany found in lodges of the early West.
COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON
A minute of unusual note is found under date of Feb. 1, 1800, the brethren conducting a funeral ceremony for George Washington. At the head of a large procession, composed of troops from the fort, led by Captain Edward Miller, a member of the lodge and personal friend of the late President; the militia, civil authorities and citizens, they repaired to the "grave" of the deceased, conducted the ceremonies and rites of the Order in ancient form and returned to close lodge. Washington having died on Dec. 14, 1799, the holding of these obsequies more than six weeks later would strikingly illustrate the slowness of communication in those days.
Ohio was officially admitted a state in the Union early in 1803. To this time but two Masonic bodies were in operation within her confines, that at Cincinnati and American Union Lodge, of Marietta. This last was a famous traveling military organization of the Revolution, which had been reopened on Ohio soil on June 28, 1790, after having lain dormant since the war, by Captain Jonathan Heart, Master at the close of hostilities, who, again in the army, chanced to bring with him to Fort Harmar its old authority of establishment. This, in the form of a commission, under the name of John Rowe, Grand Master, was issued by Richard Gridley, Deputy Grand Master of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge (Moderns), in 1776. But one other of its original members was present, General Rufus Putnam, the balance assisting in the revival of this old army lodge being made elsewhere, but now immediately admitted to membership therein. Captain Heart, who again became Master, was so unfortunate as to be numbered among the slain at St. Clair's defeat in the following year. He was a gallant soldier, of long experience and wide learning in the Craft, and a skilled architect, as is here shown by his splendid drawing of Fort Washington, done in 1790.
FORMATION OF THE GRAND LODGE OF OHIO
From 1803 four other lodges sprang into existence in Ohio--Erie, No. 47, of Warren (G.L. of Conn.); New England, No. 48, of Worthington (G.L. of Conn.); Amity, No. 105, of Zanesville (G.L. of Penn.), and Scioto, No. 2, of Chillicothe (G.L. of Mass.). In 1807 it was proposed by Erie Lodge that a Grand Lodge be formed in the state. As a result, early in January, 1808, delegates from all six bodies met in Chillicothe, then the capital, and founded the M.W. Grand Lodge of Ohio, electing General Rufus Putnam as first Grand Master, "a fitting recognition of his services as a soldier, statesman and Freemason." He, however, was forced to decline the honor by reason of his age and infirmities. Thomas Henderson, Master of the lodge at Cincinnati, was chosen Deputy Grand Master.
When Ohio charters were issued and the lodges numerically designated in 1813, the latter body became known as Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2. The suffix "Harmony" is thought to have been acquired through adjustment by the Grand Lodge of an old difference among its members, although there is evidence of its being an unofficial designation from the beginning.
Upon American Union Lodge was bestowed the coveted Number 1. This, however, it did not receive until 1816. Immediately after helping to form the Ohio Grand Lodge, the brethren at Marietta defaulted from their agreement and operated as an independent body for a number of years. Finally, after being declared an irregular organization by the Grand Lodge in 1815, some of its members withdrew and petitioned for an Ohio charter and the formation of a new lodge. This was granted in January, 1816, in the style American Union Lodge, No. 1. There were now two lodges at Marietta bearing the same name, the majority membership, probably the army faction, continuing to labor under the original authority of 1776, which they stubbornly refused to surrender, claiming adherence to and the protection of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. This body, in 1819, after being appealed to by the latter, upon investigation were prompt to deny jurisdiction. As there is no further record that these old brethren ever ceased in their rebellious stand, in all probability they held the fort to the end.
The lodge chartered in Ohio as American Union Lodge, No. 1, was represented in Grand Lodge until 1825. For a period of nearly twenty years thereafter no delegates were in attendance at its communications. From 1830 the lodge was inactive for thirteen years, doubtless by reason of the anti-Masonic war. Then in 1843 its charter and other effects were restored by the Grand Lodge, and from 1845 American Union Lodge, No. 1, has been one of its most faithful and loyal constitutents.
From the foregoing it can readily be seen that the lodge at Cincinnati is not only the oldest body under Ohio charter, but has much the longest continuous history, being steadily in operation from the date of organization in 1794. That it rightfully should have been accorded the honored Number 1 is the opinion of the official historians of the Grand Lodge in their History of Freemasonry in Ohio. Elsewhere in this work is noted the following tribute to the Old Lodge at Cincinnati:
Loyal to Freemasonry under all the vicissitudes incident to a pioneer existence, and to the Grand Lodge while it was under the ban of fanaticism and persecution, N.C. Harmony Lodge never wavered in its fealty to or attendance upon the M.W. Grand Lodge of Ohio throughout the whole of the so-called "Morgan Excitement," from 1829 to a variable later date according to local influences prevailing at that period.
In days when duelling was a common practice, especially in the West, a land of free and independent spirits and fiery tempers, two early members of the lodge, Captain Thomas Ramsey, U.S.A., and John Sheets, became involved in disputes and sought settlement on the "field of honor." The first occurred in 1818, on Bloody Island, near St. Louis, a favorite duelling ground of the vicinity, when Captain Ramsey was shot and killed by Captain Wylie Martin, a brother officer (3). A few years later Bro. Sheets, while Grand Master of Indiana, engaged in mortal combat with another, and was so unfortunate as to take the life of his opponent. This, of course, ended his career in Grand Lodge and very likely caused his retirement from the Order.
HARMONY'S FIRST TEMPLE
For three decades N.C. Harmony Lodge met in rented quarters. Finally it was realized a dream of long standing when, on St. John's Day, Dec. 27, 1824, thirty years to the day after the lodge was organized, the brethren held their initial meeting in a temple of their own. This edifice, finished in 1823, is believed to have been the first of its kind erected west of the Alleghenies. It was situated on part of the large lot (100x200 ft.) at Third and Walnut streets, generously donated to the lodge in the will of Judge William McMillan, an esteemed early member. Built of brick, two stories in height and of the plainest design, its dimensions were about 35x70 ft., the cost of construction totaling nearly $2,500.
To Cincinnati and to the new meeting place of the lodge came, in the year 1825, the three most distinguished men and Masons of their time--General Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory," the hero of New Orleans, Past Grand Master of Tennessee and later President; Lafayette, the celebrated patriot of two countries, and the illustrious DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York and Grand Master for fourteen years. Their respective visits to the lodge were each the signal for an immense turnout of the Craft, who came for many miles around in Ohio and adjoining states to assist in extending a fitting weleome and entertaining the renowned visitors. Especially was there an overflow crowd in evidence when the beloved Frenchman arrived and was introduced from the altar to those present. As a mark of esteem and regard in which he was held, coincident with his coming, a new lodge was formed and named in his honor, Lafayette, No. 81, which is still in existence.
This was the second local offspring of the "Old Lodge," as she was by now called, her first witnessing its birth in 1817. In years following she became the parent of quite numerous progeny, which grew up in health and vigor around her. This pioneer body was not only the incubator of Masonry in Hamilton county and adjacent territory in Ohio, but a veritable breeding ground for the Craft in the West, numbers of its members being found in the tides of emigration early sweeping past the city and traced as founders of first lodges.
A COMPANION IN ARMS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON
Minutes of Nov. 26, 1833, record a most sad but nevertheless interesting event. This was the conducting of the funeral of Colonel John McKinney, an aged veteran of the Revolution and War of 1812, who in bygone days had visited in N.C. Harmony Lodge. During the services it was made known, doubtless to the surprise of many, that Bro. McKinney had been "Senior Warden under Gen'l George Washington, by Whom he was Initiated." (Underscored as in minutes.)
Research disclosed McKinney, then a Lieutenant, as a charter member of Pennsylvania Union (army) Lodge, No. 29, formed in 1780 in the Pennsylvania line. Among others enrolled are noted the names of the then colonels, Josiah Harmar and Richard Butler. Bro. McKinney served throughout the war with the Pennsylvania troops and was probably a native of that state. However, if he was there made a Mason, his name has not been found in any of its Masonic records. From this the statement as to his induction by Washington might be true, but lack of written evidence would preclude its acceptance as conclusive proof. As to his serving under the latter as Senior Warden, after the war McKinney was long a government employe at the Capitol and it is possible that at some time he paid a visit to Washington's lodge at Alexandria, Va., and there was accorded the honor of taking the West opposite his old commander.
By 1845 the first temple had so far outlived its usefulness that a second edifice was built on the lot, the other being left standing. This was likewise of brick, but much larger, measuring 115x66 ft., and was of three stories, its cost approximating $32,000. It stood but for some dozen years, when it too was forced to give way before the march of progress and constant expansion of the Fraternity, and was razed, together with all other buildings on the property. In its place was erected a monster structure covering the entire site, which at its completion, in 1860, was considered the largest and finest Masonic temple in the land, costing, with its furnishings and equipment, about $185,000.
The lodge over a period of not quite four decades had built three temples, at an aggregate cost of nearly $220,000, hardly a trifling figure for those days. This is a record probably without parallel in the history of the Craft in America. It was not until 1923 that its brethren were able to balance their ledger, having been continuously in debt for 100 years. As aptly characterized by the speaker of the evening at the meeting of celebration when the last canceled mortgage was burned, it was "a debt honorably made and honorably paid."
ILLUSTRIOUS MEMBERS OF THE LODGE
The names of many men of distinction and renown adorn the membership roll of N.C. Harmony Lodge, such as Judge William McMillan, the first to step ashore at Cincinnati, Territorial Congressman, the benefactor of Masonry in Hamilton County by his bequest of the lot at Third and Walnut streets; Major-General John S. Gano, of the War of 1812, an original pioneer settler and member, Deputy Grand Master; General James Wilkinson, Commander-in- Chief of the U. S. Army; Judge Jacob Burnet, the mightiest figure in the Northwest Territory, U. S. Senator and Deputy Grand Master; Thomas Worthington, U. S. Senator and Governor of Ohio, said to have been its most constructive statesman; Alexander A. Meek and John Sheets, who helped found the Grand Lodge of Indiana and became Grand Masters; Dr. Alexander Duncan, U. S. Congressman for several terms; Theodore Sutton Parvin, initiated in 1838, father of Masonry in Iowa and Grand Master, a nationally known member of the Craft, Grand Secretary of Iowa for nearly fifty-eight years and founder of its world's renowned Masonic library; Samuel Reed, Grand Lecturer of Ohio, foremost Masonic scholar and lecturer of his time in the West; William B. Dodds, Grand Master of the state for two terms, 1854-5; his son, Colonel Ozro J. Dodds, distinguished soldier of the Civil War and U. S. Congressman, and Elam P. Langdon, "The Temple Builder," quiet and unassuming, a factor of inestimable worth in the erection and successful operation of the first two temples constructed by the lodge, and the most zealous and hardest working member ever on its roll, skilled writer and literary genius, who knew well Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison and others of the great.
The list of visiting brethren, exclusive of those already named, presents quite a notable array, with Colonel Return J. Meigs, hero of the Revolution; his son, Judge Return J. Meigs, Jr., famous war governor of Ohio; the illustrious statesmen and cabinet officers, Thomas Corwin, John McLean, Alphonso Taft, George M. Bibb and William T. Barry; General William Lytle, daring borderer and Indian fighter of early days, and many others. In addition are found the names of numerous Grand Masters and others of high standing in the Craft of Ohio and other jurisdictions, and those of visiting brethren from virtually every state in the Union, as well as from many foreign countries, who came to "sit in the Old Lodge."
In the matter of Masonically educating its members the lodge took early steps, there being inaugurated, in 1812, the first system of lectures and instruction. As soon as the fame of the accomplished Benjamin Gleason and Jeremy L. Cross, disseminators of the Thomas Smith Webb work, reached the West, their services were sought in Cincinnati, where each in a series of meetings lectured before the brethren. Then came the celebrated John Barney, of Ohio, followed by their own Samuel Reed, and the famous Cornelius Moore, Enoch T. Carson and others distinguished for their Masonic learning or skill as ritualists.
THE EXERCISE OF CHARITY AND RELIEF
Of its record for charity and relief dispensed over its long history, N. C. Harmony Lodge can well feel proud. Strange as it may seem, in days when the country was young and quite poor, until the War of 1812 scarcely a single notation of a call for assistance is to be found on the minutes. From this time on, however, appeals were without end for several decades. Especially was this the case when emigration began pouring down the Ohio, the main gateway to the West, in a never ending stream, with many families and individuals reaching the city without means of proceeding farther, this in days before organized relief bureaus existed. Deaf ear was turned to none found worthy, and no distinctions were drawn. Such a boundless limit naturally resulted in severe drains on the lodge charity fund and other resources. Often its treasury was depleted. At these times the members would take up a collection in the lodgeroom and, if necessary, canvass the town for subscriptions from others of the Order. For a lengthy period a regular system of payroll for needy widows and orphans was maintained, some of the names remaining thereon for a number of years. Calls for relief and charity continued to mount, the peak being reached in 1840 and 1841, when a total of nearly $2,000 was expended for such purposes in these years. This is a remarkable record when it is compared the purchasing power of a dollar in those days with that in the present--probably in the ratio of four or possibly five to one. Later, at times like the terrible cholera epidemic in New Orleans of 1853, the great Chicago fire, the disastrous Johnstown flood and San Francisco earthquake, to cite but major instances, the Old Lodge of Cincinnati upheld her reputation as a ready and liberal giver and contributed with the foremost to the relief of the Masonic distressed. And thus it has ever continued.
Naturally a lodge with such a long span of existence can boast an interesting and valuable collection of relics and antiques. Listing but the principal, there is its most prized possession--the original charter from New Jersey of 1791; a personal letter written and signed by George Washington in 1789, to Chief Justice John Jay; the commission of Judge William McMillan as U.S. District Attorney for Ohio, issued and signed in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson, President, and attested by James Madison, Secretary of State; a beautiful Masonic officer's apron, presented in 1784 to Dr. William Burnet, Sr., in New Jersey; the certificate of membership in Royal Arch Lodge, No. 10, Baskingridge, N. J., of John Ludlow, dated May 6, 1786; that of Elias Wallen in Rathmelton Lodge, No. 448, Rathmelton, Ireland, granted in 1789; the first document of similar character issued by N. C. Harmony Lodge to John Allen in 1795, and an old black Masonic chair, with square and compasses inlaid in gold, which tradition says was occupied by Lafayette on the occasion of his visit in 1825. Another interesting item is a daguerreotype portrait of Griffin Yeatman, who was actually the first initiate on the rolls of the lodge, though Capt. Kibby was the first to present his petition. Bro. Yeatman remained an active member on the lodge register from 1795 till his death in 1849. In addition to these reminders of the past, the lodge is fortunate in possessing a full set of minute books from the date of organization, and virtually every other record of importance, a rare boast for a Masonic body dating its inception back to eighteenth century days.
THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF HARMONY, NO. 2
Seemingly no notice was taken of the fiftieth anniversary of the lodge. But its centennial birthday in 1891 was fittingly recognized in a monster celebration and homecoming at the old temple lasting two days, topped by an elaborate banquet on Sept. 8, attended not only by its own and the members and officers of local lodges, but Grand Lodge officers and distinguished Masons of Ohio and those of other jurisdictions throughout the country. The 125th milestone, in 1916, likewise was not permitted to pass unobserved and was quite a pretentious affair, nor did the 135th anniversary fail of fitting recognition. Not the least point of interest at these times was the display of relics, with the original charter of 1791, of course, the center of attraction. This ancient document, written on sheepskin, is still in a remarkable stage of preservation, and plainly shows the creases where it had been folded against the breast of its carrier, who rode horseback or walked the long distance from New Jersey.
Never striving for a large membership, by the close of the nineteenth century the roll of the lodge showed possibly 175 names. Conservatism in this regard, combined with its extensive property holding and a quiet existence, naturally had bred a reputation for exclusiveness and won for long the opprobrious title "Blue Stocking Lodge." However, with the new order of things of a later day and the impetus supplied by the World War, the membership has more than doubled, until now it stands at some 435, and the designation "Blue Stocking" become but a memory.
After meeting in temples on the same corner lot for exactly a century, the lodge in 1924 disposed of its third building and the ground site which it had so long possessed, for a consideration approaching a quarter of a million dollars. It still meets therein, however, and is patiently waiting the day when it can move into the mammoth new Masonic Temple, rapidly nearing completion in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, but a few squares distant from the old location. This magnificent structure, solely devoted to purposes of the Fraternity, is being erected by the various Masonic bodies and individual members of the Craft in the city, at a cost of $4,500,000. It covers a ground area greater than any other edifice of its kind in the land, and when finished promises to be the "last word" in Masonic temples of the present day, as was its predecessor in 1860.
Perhaps needless to state, in the matter of subscription to the above, N. C. Harmony Lodge widened the purse strings to their fullest extent and gave with the foremost. Some day, when the conditions of the sale of her property will have been met, she will assume rank among the wealthiest lodges of the United States. To this thanks alone are due one of her earliest members, Judge William McMillan, who, with vision to the growth and needs of the Fraternity in future years, thoughtfully bequeathed to his brethren the large lot at Third and Walnut streets, which at the time of purchase by him in 1795, for about $2, was probably used as a cow pasture. So closes the story of this pioneer Masonic organization, the first regularly chartered body through Grand Lodge authority in the Northwest Territory, but the high lights of which have been covered in the foregoing.
(1) Thanks are due Bro. David McGregor, of New Jersey, for the information concerning the Masonic connection of Dr. William Burnet, Jr., and John Ludlow.
(2) This brother was captured at the surrender of Detroit, Aug. 16, 1812. He thus had what must surely be the almost unique experience of having been taken a prisoner of war first by the Americans and then by the British, in both of whose armies he had successively fought.
(3) For the particulars of Captain Ramsey's death by duelling, the writer is indebted to Bro. Ray V. Denslow's valuable work, Territorial Masonry.
An additional note may be in order in respect to the curious "scalp" advertisement. The Centinel of the Northwestern Territory was the first newspaper to be published in the territory. It was a weekly, the first number appeared in November, 1793. The period during which the committee agreed to pay the bounty on scalps ran from April 18 of 1794, but the advertisement did not actually appear till May 17--a month later. It appeared thereafter weekly until Aug. 20 or until Wayne's victory made the settlers feel more secure. Copies of this old journal are very rare and the only complete file, so far as is known, is now in the library of the Ohio Historical Society.
The author would also like to acknowledge his indebtedness to Bro. Bratton for his helpful kindness in making the drawings from which two of the illustrations have been taken.
The following additional information has been condensed from an article by Bro. Baer in the Tri-State Mason.
It is interesting to note that although easily the oldest of the more than twenty subordinate bodies under jurisdiction of the Parent Body the numerical designation "2" was bestowed upon N.C. Harmony Lodge. This point has long been debated and conjectured by those familiar with the histories of our two earliest lodges, an impartial review rather inclining the belief that No. 1 would have been its rightful designation. In this regard the historians who so ably wrote The History of Freemasonry in Ohio have this to say:
". . . Why it (N. C. Harmony Lodge) was not designated as No. 1, as it rightfully would seem to have been entitled, was doubtless in accordance with the resolution of the convention of 1808 that lodges should be numbered in their order 'beginning with the charter of most ancient date,' no defection then being anticipated. Another reason perhaps added weight thereto that it would be an inducement to American Union Lodge to become loyal to the Grand Lodge and thereby have the distinction of being designated as No. 1 on the roster of subordinate lodges."
American Union Lodge was a traveling Army Lodge chartered by the St. John's Grand Lodge of Boston, in 1776, several months prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This St. John's Grand Lodge was really a Provincial Grand Lodge constituted by the Grand Lodge of England in 1753.
FREEMASONRY AND THE CRISIS IN CIVILIZATION
By Bro. B.L. Frank, Vienna, Austria
THIS important article by a learned and philosophical Austrian Mason deserves careful reading and consideration. The idea of two separate and antagonistic strains in our civilization explains much that otherwise is obscure and chaotic. Evolution is as possible in the sense of degeneration as in that of progress, and the unethical traditions in civilization constantly influence communities and nations to take the lower path. Freemasonry is exhibited as one of the influences tending to true progress.
We are standing at a crisis in our civilization. The fact is not only observed by the foremost intellectual men of all nations, but every educated and thinking man feels that the cultural basis upon which his life has been founded is shaking. Serious apprehensions are aroused as to the welfare, both physical and spiritual, of the next generation.
The very foundations of the complex organization of our civilization are being attacked and torn down by hostile influences. The most solid institutions appear unsteady, many are falling, abysses are opening, differences enlarge and deepen between men and nations, the sources of development and prosperity seem to be drying up, a flood of immorality, social, industrial and political, overwhelms mankind, a torrent of discontent breaks the fetters of old unbearable oppressions, but also destroys the works and values of generations, and sweeps men into new tyrannies and despotisms. And in it all we see the trouble and difficulties increased by irrationality and wrong-headedness; just as when confronted by a physical emergency, fire or earthquake, a few only possess sufficient presence of mind to overcome panic, so the majority--often guided by unscrupulous leaders--rage against each other and make the evil worse. And many of the best stand aside inactively.
In such case can Freemasonry, the upholder of work and morality, look on idle and hopeless ? An immense field of action lies open before it; not a new one. Old and familiar tasks have become more urgent; ends that it was designed to serve throughout the course of centuries are concentrated in the short space of our own lifetime. Freemasonry cannot afford to await a future reconstruction, for it is itself a part of our endangered civilization; Freemasonry must save itself by helping to uphold the organism of our culture, threatened indeed, but in great part still standing.
But one question to begin with, what is culture ? Among the many definitions that have been offered I choose that of the eminent Swiss sociologist, Forel, as suiting best my purpose. He says:
Culture is the inherited and transmitted accumulation of human performance and values.
This description is adequate also in respect to the laws of evolution by which our entire spiritual and material life is ruled. C. F. Meyer, the poet, a compatriot of Forel, has compressed it into these brief words:
The Dead rule all Life.
We are, at the same time as we possess, the inheritance of our ancestors; thus life, and consequently culture, is an inheritance.
Forel's conception also allows discrimination, relatively of course, between good and bad cultures, corresponding to the ethical and relative conceptions of good and evil. We shall here be able to distinguish the ethical, social, useful and good from the unethical, nonsocial, noxious and evil as genuine contrasts. We cannot claim cultures or civilizations as positively bad or good, but only after considering their influence and the predominating elements of which they are composed; both good and bad components affect one another within their own circle and moreover act upon other systems of culture and reciprocally are influenced by them.
THE ROOT MOTIVES OF ANTAGONISM AND WAR
Antagonism and conflict between civilizations may generally be observed in world history, but Europe, and in especial Central Europe, has for many centuries been conspicuously the field of battle between alien cultures, which there have mingled and mutually penetrated each other. My own country Austria, and Vienna in particular, being situated in the very storm center between a number of cultures bears manifest marks of this conflict and interpenetration. The mere geographical situation of Central Europe determines its character as simultaneously the suffering object and the adjusting subject between not only East and West but North and South. Touching only the most salient points we have the conflict between German barbarism and Roman paganism, Asiatic savagery and European civilization, and consecutively or simultaneously the German, Roman, Greek and Judaic-Christian cultures. The effect of the struggles between these has turned European history into a mere enumeration of wars.
To the present day there has been no final adjustment or settlement between these alien and contrasting civilizations, and this fact alone is sufficient to explain our cultural disharmony. There is no doubt, for instance, that Greco-Roman culture had much to do with the development of the German race, distinguished by poets and thinkers from barbaric tribes, a race which still fosters humanistic learning and education more than any other nation in the world, but this is accompanied by the invigoration of pagan traditions (which of course also survive elsewhere) derived from the civilizations of Greece and Rome.
This pagan influence in Europe is combatted by Judaic-Christian Ethicism. As has been said by Prof. Ellwood of the University of Columbia, "A Society in which power and pleasure are openly avowed as the ends of individual and group action is pagan." So also was Rome with its imperialism and brutal individualism, Greece with its sensuous Aestheticism developed into the Sophistic doctrine of the good being identical with pleasure, and the Germanic tribes with their joy in fighting and plunder. These individualistic principles are easily and without argument to be distinguished as anti-social, and bad or evil in a Masonic sense. They are opposed by the fundamentals of Judaic-Christian Culture based on love and mutual assistance which are social and good.
THE DUAL ASPECTS OF OCCIDENTAL CULTURE
The cultural state of Europe is thus seen to be a temporary stage of the continuous conflict between the antique pagan and the Judaic-Christian cultures. The egoistic, anti-social (and therefore bad) system has been, and will be, in unremitting conflict with the altruistic, social and good. Europe is the field, and occidental civilization the object, of this everlasting struggle.
We may now note the characteristics of what for brevity may be called the "bad" culture.
Lust of power and plunder.
Commercialism and Materialism devoted to acquiring and possessing material wealth.
Trusts and Tariffs which injure the community for the benefit of groups and individuals, enhancing the cost of necessities and lowering the standard of living.
The worship of Mammon, of outward appearance, luxury, idleness, and immorality, economic, social and private.
Revenge, dueling, drinking, disregard of the beauty of nature, cruelty to the weak and to animals.
War, the perfecting of murderous weapons and equipment, militarism and imperialism aiming at the subjugation and exploitation of weaker groups and peoples.
The joint effect of these manifest themselves in war and class conflict. They sufficiently characterize the modern barbarian.
Together they result in despite of man.
On the other hand the good culture opposes to these horrors its own acquisitions.
The Arts and Sciences, and the technics which embellish and ameliorate human life.
Peace, mutual understanding and tolerance.
Improvement of health, eugenics and care for the coming generations.
Love of nature and animals.
Social sympathy and ethics, activities useful to the whole community.
Justice, kindness, tolerance, good-will and mutual assistance.
Together these result in the love of man.
This patent contrast between the good and the evil strains in civilization as a whole reached a point of tension that arrived logically at its discharge in the great war. The evil elements, commercial jealousy, lust of power, envy and vindictiveness between the nations and their leaders drove the world into the catastrophe long dreaded and even foretold by thoughtful students of sociology and history. But the electric tension was not neutralized nor the atmosphere cleared in the outbreak--this hope, this consolation in extremis with which men of insight had taken refuge, was cruelly deceived. The treaties of so-called peace have not solved one single problem, they have replaced old injustice by new wrongs. The four war motives mentioned above have not been replaced by motives of peace, but instead have been augmented by new dangers of conflict. The masses, pacific at heart, are not yet strong enough to enforce peace. Cultural disharmony in Europe appears to be increased to such a degree that we are forced to stand in fear of a repetition of the atrocious attempt to settle the conflict between the good and the bad in our culture by violence. This uncertain, unsettled, fluctuating state of affairs, calling for clarification and decision, keeping alive the worst fears and suspicions, is what I understand as the Crisis in Civilization.
THE IMMEDIATE CAUSES OF THE CRISIS
This Crisis originates immediately in the downfall of political powers and disturbance in economics. The old authorities in the defeated countries have been abolished, the new ones have not yet found safe anchorage in the public mind. Democracy has but a limited significance as an authoritative ideal, and the worshippers of the old idols are not yet converted to the new gods. Lost ideals have not been replaced by new, and this combined with material loss has brought them to despair.
But equilibrium has been lost in the victorious countries, too, the old authorities have lost their prestige --dictatorships, parliamentary crises, radical changes of government, debased currencies and strikes mark various degrees of this far-reaching disturbance; and these internal wars are also paid for in cultural values exactly as are external ones.
Culture is menaced, too, by the economic distress of the after-war period, because it depends to such a degree on material welfare. Like its implacable adversary, war, civilization needs money, that accumulation of material wealth which we call capital. Lack of money hinders the advance of science, makes research impossible and hampers art and literature, for artist and scientist must both live. All the higher and finer values of civilization suffer from a lowering of the standard of life. Culture flourishes only on a golden ground.
To discuss the possibility of a solution of these difficulties through war is so alien to Masonic thought that it need not here be touched upon, but it is obligatory to consider all peaceful possibilities. The best statesmanship is being directed to this end. Pacifism, Pan-Europeanism, Reconstruction of Religion, Socialism, these have all been suggested as remedies, whether as a pretended privilege of one party or as the spiritual property of all the well disposed of mankind, and finally, as I firmly believe and hope, Masonry, the most important intellectual interests of which are connected with all these movements in its quality as an element in the "good" culture.
We have nothing to do with party politics as Masons, and we have nothing to say about them here. We are all living in the world, we read the newspapers, we know what is passing, and we naturally do not accept llitical speeches, articles and manoeuvers without close scrutiny and criticism. But we should acknowledge and encourage every political idea that aims at internal and external peace, and consequently at the salvation of civilization. Such as, for example, the Inter-parliamentary League of Peace, the League of Nations, and the agreements summed up in the name of "Locarno" and more recently of Thoiry.
UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES OF THE PEACE TREATY
The dictated treaties of peace broke down the protecting walls formed by the Germanic Empires against Asia, both physical and spiritual. The Bolshevism now endangering Europe sprang, as did the conflict in European civilization itself, from Asiatic culture (or un-culture?) being influenced by a doctrine alien to its find, disposition, character and racial conditions; i.e. by Marxian Socialism. Europe having, for the sake of opportunistic motives, treated Russia as Eastern Europe instead of Western Asia, is now helpless and unprotected confronted by the results of its past political attitude.
While European statesmanship is searching for preventives against revolutionary attempts from the east, America in the west has an increasing influence toward mitigating our cultural crisis, official statements of nonintervention notwithstanding. The American people feels that the politics of the victorious powers must forcibly lead to war again. It does not agree with this turn of affairs and takes ostentatious pains to make it clear that the United States does not intend to meddle with European politics, because it does not feel disposed to become an accomplice in their consequences.
But there, nevertheless, exists an effective influence exercised by America. An ethical wave originating in the United States reaches our shores. Through the means of innumerable publications, lectures and visits both of idealists and practical men, American influence is felt. The Rotary Club, the Society of Friends, the Odd Fellows and other associations are spreading their principles in Europe, and scientists and literary men, and leaders of public and industrial life communicate their notions of ethical democracy to us.
It is clearly to be observed, also, how both science and religion are at work to educate the American people to fight the evil within the individual as well as to lead the community to a better state, to solve social questions from above by incessantly accentuating the duties of men, as holding possessions, as employers and in the family; and in many notable instances success is observable. The obvious means of such endeavors is to educate the public in social insight and knowledge. We know, too, that in this American Masonry takes a leading part.
EUROPEAN OPINION OF AMERICA
I feel bound here to venture a remark that I have frequently had occasion to express in my own circle. Continental Europe is rather inclined to prejudge the Americans as hypocrites after what has happened. I strongly reject this view as superficially unjust and thoughtlessly generalizing. Men who desire to lead mankind to a better future may be idealists with human insufficiencies, but it is inadmissible to criticize them as hypocrites because their good- will cannot keep pace with the cruel emergencies of practical life. So it was with President Wilson whose idealism was not able to cope with the shrewdest and most malignantly intriguing politicians that Europe could pit against him. It must serve us, the beaten and ruined part, as a sort of comfort to have seen him forsaken as a compromising weakling by his own people, so devoted to firmness and solidity.
There is still another proof of America's intention to bring Europe to its senses. She squarely refuses, or efficaciously limits, credits to militaristic nations. We know American Masons to be proud of all the great sons of their country, beginning with George Washington, and of the Constitution devised by Masons and filled with Masonic spirit.
Thus Europe in its distress stands between eastern revolution and western evolution, between the antagonistic extremes of Bolshevism and Americanism.
The second force tending to preserve culture is Pacifism. This has followed highly theoretical and sentimental paths, as powerful antagonistic influences have made reasonable and practical action impossible. It was allowed to take its own way, it was given, conditionally, platonic sympathy, and even a Palace of Peace was erected in its honor at the Hague, but that was almost all. The Pacifists confronted by the interests of armed dynasties and their plotting diplomatists, and the violent politics of the ruling classes had to limit themselves to resolutions in favor of peace. The means available to the pacific movement were unsuitable and insufficient and consequently the result was completely negative.
THE UNITED STATES OF EUROPE
The German Naumann's idea of "Middle-Europe" was doomed by the collapse of the Central Powers, especially as it was born of war necessities. It has been replaced by Coudenhove-Kalergi's Pan- Europeanism, which while including both the objects of Pacifism and "Middle Europe" starts from another point of origin. It is not based on the sense of power, since broken down, it is not restricted to the economic field, and is based on the political facts of the actual situation. The Pan-European does not beg any longer for peace, he claims it in the name of reason. Pan- Europeanism is the first attempt to replace the theoretical pacific preaching by a practical organization of the determination or will to peace. The Pan-European idea disdains to win sentimental support by flattery, it appeals to reason by logical arguments. Coudenhove's "United States of Europe" (1) is a precursor of our Masonic dream of the United States of the globe. Based on facts he shows us that already Pan-Asia and Pan-America are not too remote consequences of the realization of PanEurope, and this would mark the last step to Universal Union. This is one side of the question- -its shell.
But Coudenhove flatly denies the possibility of solving the crisis in European civilization without combining with it the consideration of social problems. He demonstrates the impossibility of preserving our occidental culture without social justice. This is the nucleus of the question, challenging the active interest of Freemasonry.
While Pan-Europe is limited to one, though very important, section of the social question, the aspirations reaching toward a social religion touch the totality of mankind.
The existing religions and particularly their practical operation, do not appear competent to lead to the triumph of the ethical and social elements of our civilization over the pagan and individualistic components it yet contains. The search after a universal religion includes the doubt whether the Mediterranean religions are strong enough to break the power of those surviving pagan influences to which the present crisis is to be ascribed.
The world problem, ultimately leading to the great war had crystallized into rivalry between the Protestant powers of England, America and Germany. The Catholic powers, to say nothing of the Mohammedan ones, had previously lost their imperialistic impulse. We have, ourselves, witnessed the last phases of this crumbling down, the loss of the Spanish colonial dominions, the foundation of new states at the expense of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the Turkish empire. And we have witnessed also the complete failure of religious ethical influence when we had the grotesque combination presented of Protestant Germany, Catholic Austria and Mohammedan Turkey fighting against Protestant England, Catholic Belgium, Italy and Portugal, Free-thinking France, Orthodox Russia and Buddhist Japan; all of them accompanied by the official blessings of their respective priesthoods. Religion, as an element of culture uniting mankind, had abdicated in favor of Nationalism disuniting humanity, and had even suffered itself to be prostituted to nationalistic ends. The whole world is experiencing the consequences of this in the general lowering of moral standards. Advanced minds, as well as souls longing for happiness, join in an ardent wish for a new, a better and more effectual religion uniting men in their efforts to save cultural values from destruction --for a Social Religion.
NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS
West and East both, in this respect, affect Europe, situated between them. An article by the Sociologist, Dr. Ellwood, on Social Religion and Humanitarian Masonry (2) has reached us from America. He opposes the religion of Jesus and a Social Religion in harmony with science, freed from the trammels of dogmatism to the paganism of reactionary churches.
It is most striking to a European to see this Western Christian meet the Indian scholar, Santayana, in his views: "Christianity is pure Judaism reduced to its spirituality," and to note Ellwood's conclusion: "We have to resolve whether in reconstructing our future we want to follow the leadership of (ancient) Rome or that of (Christian) Judea."
While Ellwood is disseminating his ideas as an academic teacher by publications and university lectures delivered to thousands of students and scholars, information also comes, in the ancient mode of verbal tradition, of another projected world religion from the East. It has existed since 1852, and counts already a million adherents all over the world, Bahaism.
This system arrives by the oriental way of contemplation at the same conception that Ellwood does in his Social Religion by means of scientific research. It represents an extract from the teachings of all the original prophets, it proclaims no dogmas of faith and admits of no priests. It leaves the interpretation of the conception of God as an almighty universal Power or Person to the discretion of every single Bahai. Its chief principles are as follows:
1. The totality of mankind forms one unity. All prejudice against men, nations or races must be done away with.
2. All religions must be melted down to form a higher one. One God - one Religion.
3. Universal Peace must be secured by an all-comprising League of Nations and an International Court of Arbitration.
4. Every one in every country must learn a common Universal Language beside his own.
5. Every one is equitably entitled to the material and spiritual blessings of this life.
6. The Search for Truth is every man's duty. No maladjustment between true religion and true science is to be admitted.
7. The best Education adapted to individual endowments must be facilitated for both sexes.
8. Equal rights for men and women. No serfdom to be tolerated.
9. Every one to be obliged to work. People out of work and without resources to be cared for by the community.
10. The evil effects of the Capitalistic Social Order must be obviated by a wise regulation of inheritance and a well-devised socialization.
11. Every community and state to install a House of Justice as an institution of legislation, administration and public care.
12. Bahaism is the one, only, Universal Religion.
This canon characterizes Bahaism as a super-Religion. It says nothing unacceptable to the adherent of any other creeds, if he be not a dogmatist or a fanatic. But in essentials it shows again how many ideas of social and ethical value run parallel with Freemasonry, and how near the latter, truly conceived and practiced, comes to religion. Those who proclaimed two hundred years ago:
yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them [i.e. Masons] to that Religion in which all Men agree,
appear in the light of our modern search for a Universal Religion as prophets of the highest order.
SOCIALISM CRITICIZED AS A SOLUTION
Socialism strives for a more or less precipitate transformation of cultural values. As socialism itself has accumulated the human performances and values of long periods of evolution, it, too, must be considered a form of culture. It has gained a most important position by the side of Rome and Judea, from which it influences occidental civilization as a principle of "good," in the constructive, altruistic and social sense, yet at the same time as a principle of "evil" in the destructive egotistical and anti- social sense; anti-social in reference to the present organization of society, either employing capitalistic methods or fighting against Capitalism. Socialism strives to dominate our culture.
Here again it is remarkable how socialistic radicalism decreases from east to west--from Russia to America. The Asiatic form of the lust for power and plunder, and the exploitation of the weaker obviously causes quite other, ruder and more brutal counter-actions in Russia, Roumania or Hungary than do the politer European forms used by the Capitalism of the Western Industrial States. Consequently reaction against radicalism takes different forms in Hungary with its aristocratic, Germany with militaristic, and Italy with Roman-machiavellian traditions; the different cultural foundations do not admit of the same pattern of action on the same social elements in each case. The simple confrontation of representative names, Trotzki in Russia, Kun of Hungary, Adler and Bauer in Austria, Kautzky and Ebert in Germany, Jaures and Herriot in France, MacDonald in England and Gompers in the United States, shows at a glance the different results of the same socialistic impulse when applied on dissimilar levels of culture.
In stating these facts we have to remember that will combines both sentiment and reason. The further north and west we go in Europe the more reason is found predominant over sentiment. It is not by chance that we speak of western civilization standing higher, or northern nations being more energetic. And so among them the local position of socialism allows reason to overbalance feeling. The masses of England and America still find more power and usefulness in their trade unions than in politics. To be sure the capitalistic classes of these countries are more positive and less spell-bound by dogmas. And by the way, in their socialism as in so much else, the German excels in methods, the Anglo-Saxon, the American, in practice.
In fact, we see that the socialism of the north and west stands more reasonably on the basis of evolution, while that of the east and south, directed by feeling, prefers revolution. Here, where it chiefly operates by exciting the passions of the masses in order to attain political and economic power to destroy the present social order, it supposes itself to be able to abolish the fundamental principle of Evolution that governs all creation and existence. It opposes that accumulation of values in which we have seen culture subsists-- which is Civilization. It renders the crisis more acute, this belief that it is able to destroy capitalism offhand without any consideration of the fact that it is an organism, grown historically in the womb of time, through thousands of years. It aggravates the evils of the situation by refusing to see capitalism as it is, a mere transitory phase, a temporary form of economical development which goes on continually changing as long as human beings live together.
But social construction cannot be founded upon social negations. It is wrong and misleading to accentuate the social question as a class problem merely. It is much more than that, being the common problem of the human race. When party Socialism attains this conception it will be able truly to serve mankind, then only will it act constructively, for then only will it have become ethical in the widest sense. Thiers, the philosophic President of the French Republic, said sixty years ago
Socialism will be ethical or it will not be.
The changes in the production of material goods wrought by machinery, technical development and scientific knowledge created the capitalism which, united by the evil cultural components of our civilization, individualism, militarism and imperialism, led to modern industrialism. An abundance of riches amassed by individuals, classes and nations have led mankind astray. In regard to ethics, it has led to hatred and envy and to worship of material success, to contempt of altruistic ends and disregard of the spiritual. In the material sense it has led to class conflict and war.
THE CURE OF BOLSHEVISM
Everyone who wishes to help in saving our civilization must do his best to remove the fundamental motives of class conflict. Coudenhove in his Pan-Europe shows most convincingly that an auspicious solution of the present crisis is only to be hoped for by digging away the fostering soil in which Bolshevism grows by social improvement, for Bolshevism is nothing but the radical extreme of Socialism.
Of course social questions cannot be solved without an opening of money bags; but unfortunately the possessing, and especially the ruling, classes do not want to do so, of their own free will. England has practiced this method for a long time, opening the safety-valve instead of sitting down on it, as other nations did. She has understood that class contrasts must be bridged before they lead to an explosion of open fighting between the possessors and the non-possessors, the costs of which would have to be borne by the whole community. Thus it is that centuries have passed since England has had a revolution. We here get a little insight into British character and culture, which otherwise are rather enigmatical to the rest of the world: conservatism not rendering progress impossible, no class has been inclined to sudden passionate eruption. The British could only be driven into the great war because their conservatism had been urged to a pace of progress and business competition too sensibly-opposed to their conditions and habits. The attitude of wide circles among them against socialism may be characterized best by the description, Social-Liberalism.
Many years back, in 1874, when Socialism was first entering the realm of practical politics, the philosopher and sociologist, Friedrich Albert Lang, said:
I take it as certain that the new age will not triumph except under the flags of a great idea, which wipes out egotism and replaces restless work for mere individual success by the new goal of human perfection in human society.
I have had to consider Socialism at such length because it is that "great idea," or more exactly, will be, when it no longer applies to one class only, driving it into conflict with all others. Simply to replace the advantage of one group by that of another, and thus merely transferring advantage and success, cannot, from a social point of view, be considered as increasing cultural values or as enriching or improving civilization.
THE UNITY OF CIVILIZATION AS AN ORGANISM
Post-war events are hammering with painful blows into the minds of the thinking part of mankind the recognition of the fact that national welfare depends upon that of the whole of mankind; it makes no difference that gold, for instance, has passed from England to America, or Alsatian potash or Lorraine ore to France, or Silesian iron and coal to Poland, in all cases both winners and losers are suffering. Injury to social justice, to the supreme principle of "good" in our culture, has been perpetuated by employment of the means of the "bad" strain or element in civilization.
But it is natural that social injustice can create only an unjust social order, and vice versa. Every injustice is untenable in the long run; the question is, how long will it last ? To abruptly shorten this period is the aim and intention of revolution, and its essence is a sudden, violent and passionate action against a social order that grows unendurable. Its contrary, evolution, seeks the same end considerately and deliberately, by slow steps, supported by reason.
There is scarcely more left of the results of the great French Revolution than "Human Rights" (more or less theoretical) and the many other revolutions, small and great, witnessed by our grandfathers, fathers and ourselves have left scarcely any ethical gain to us worth mentioning. It is the ethical element only, that serving the community, augments cultural values, and consequently raises the level of civilization. The abolition of torture and servitude, the emancipation of the Jews, the general public school system, and universal suffrage will serve as proofs of the fact that lasting cultural values are not due to violent outbreaks but to reasonable evolution.
A second most important fact is also to be noted. The lasting results of revolution are never such as are aimed at by the revolting group itself for group-egotism, but only those of benefit to the whole community, that is to say, those of altruistic and consequently ethical value.
THE INFLUENCE OF FREEMASONRY
There thus seems to prevail an intrinsic law which allows us to predict that of the subversive movements of today, whether arising from the right or left [as Bolshevism and Fascism], nothing will remain that is not of benefit to the whole of mankind. And assuredly the cultural crisis which we are discussing will not be resolved by revolution but only by evolution. A characteristic principle of evolution is adaptation, and applied to the whole of human society this means coordination; or in practice the adjustment of contrasts. Envy and hatred are not qualified to serve this end, and so we may hope they will weaken, and finally be discarded as unsuitable means. And then the question of whether and in what way the situation of the proletarian and working classes is to be improved would disappear, and we should approach the question of questions, how to better Human Society as a unit. Then the weapons, too, will be ennobled, and the movement, social in a higher and wider sense, will take another path, that of enlightenment and veracity, of honest leadership, and most important of all, fighting the "evil" in our own breasts by a truly ethical education.
We must see clearly that truly conceived, Socialism is nothing else but Brotherhood. Socialism embracing mankind is the conception of the unity in all human society; the very same ideal that is represented by Masonry, which regards all men as potentially brothers whom it seeks to unite in the fraternal bond.
A further result arises from this discussion by way of corollary, and that is the conviction that Freemasonry has nothing in common with revolution and that its contribution to the preservation of the highest culture values of our civilization must be in the line of evolution.
Consideration of the topic of Culture in its general sense shows that there is no single field of ethical or material action that is apart from Masonic work; thus the very existence of Masonry forms a contribution to the reconstruction of civilization. There is no ethical advance, no spiritual movement, and generally, no development of mankind without the cooperation of the "good," because every thought embracing mankind, and consequently Masonry rightly understood, issues out of the good and ultimately is rooted in the sentiment common to all men, the vision of a better world yet to come. From all other associations and societies embodying the principle of "good" we differ externally, or in form, only by the G. S. and W. Internally, and this is the decisive factor, by the three doctrines of the Masonic Creed, Self Knowledge, Self Control, and Self Improvement. The primary forms to which all Masonry may be reduced, however far they may reach, however deep they may penetrate into the depths, however they may aspire to the height, run as follows:
For motive, the human longing for happiness For object, the fraternal union of mankind For path, the advance of Ethics, the fight against evil and the practice of good And finally, for means, that which constitutes the very content of Masonry and is the final conclusion of Masonic wisdom, Work.
(1) Pan-Europe by Richard M. Coudenhove-Kalergi, with a foreword by Nicholas Butler. Published by Alfred H. Knopf, New York. (2) The Reconstruction of Religion, a Sociological View, by Charles A. Ellwood, Ph. D., Professor of Sociology in the University of Missouri. Published by the Macmillan Co., New York.
Admission to the Light of Masonry should be more than an incident in a man's life story: it should be a new, and a dominating, factor of the first magnitude. It cannot take the place of a new birth; but it may, and ought to, be an apprenticeship in the workshop of life. There is nothing about the symbol and sign of Masonry that does not derive its chief, and often its only, meaning from the fact that it represents the labor ideal of the petitioner, and also of the brother who has had experience of the wonders of the sunlit way in which is perfect light. If men do not want to become perfect builders, let them eschew Masonry; for all Masons are, or should be, builders first and foremost. Freemasonry represents the ethical and practical side of religion. It stands for the whole duty of man. It is a constant reminder of the brothers of the lodge that they must fear God and keep His Commandments. [London Freemason.]
R.J. MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
E.E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor
BOARD OF EDITORS
LOUIS BLOCK, Iowa
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
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, Pennsylvania
A. L. KRESS, Pennsylvania
F. H. LITTLEFIELD, Missouri
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
J. HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
JESSE M. WHITED, California
DAVID E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
THE STUDY CLUB
AS our readers have doubtless observed the character of the Study Club Department has been changed on its resumption last month. This step has been taken after much consideration. Originally it began with detailed courses of work which clubs could follow, but after the ground had been covered for elementary work the articles naturally took on a more advanced character. But though this change came about quite naturally, there really seemed to be 'no distinction between Study Club articles and those in the body of the magazine.
Our present plan is to devote two or three pages each month to such material as may prove of use to those in charge of Study Groups or who seek to form them. We ask the cooperation of our members in this. That they will use these pages to give the benefit of their experience, or to pose the problems they have met. What we are doing is frankly an experiment, and only if it seems to fill a real need will it be continued.
* * *
A CRITICAL ERA
THE article by Bro. Frank on the Crisis in Civilization may not prove altogether easy reading, for two chief reasons. One that the author is expressing himself in what to him is a foreign tongue, the other because he has so much to say, in small compass. The hasty reader may easily miss much of what is intended. For this reason a few reflections and comments may not be amiss.
The basic idea of the article is that in our civilization, our culture as a whole, there are two antagonistic strains, good and evil. The one, so far as we occidentals are concerned, derived from Judeo-Christian ethical And altruistic teaching, the other from Paganism. It is an arresting conception and even if we do not agree with it, it is stimulating to constructive thought. At bottom, however, it seems as if the two tendencies have their source in the good and evil to be found in each one of us.
Western civilization is nominally Christian, though the old term Christendom is now little used. But organized Christianity from the time, roughly, that it became a religion recognized and favored by the Roman Empire suffered from the intrusion of the worldly minded and self-seeking. Most heresies and schisms have been due either to attempts at reformation, or to struggles for worldly ends under cover of religion and often to both. For as soon as a reformation becomes a going concern it, too, begins to attract the self-seeking.
Bro. Frank's argument also demands the conception of the unity of history. History, it must be remembered, runs into the present, and the present leads us moment by moment and day by day into the unknown future. There is no break in the chain of events, the news of today becomes the history of tomorrow, unless we know the history of yesterday we cannot understand the news of today, and unless we rightly apprehend that we cannot forecast the future, or what is practically important direct our present action. Nations, like individuals, and because composed of individuals, seek incompatible ends. They do not want to be grasping or unjust, but they want material advantages which are not to be obtained except by a disregard of the rights of other peoples. The fact is, that as yet social groups, whether classes or nations, have not yet attained the ethical plane, they still function on the non-moral level of animal groups, of the herd and the wolf-pack. This is only beginning to be realized, because these classes and states and nations are composed mainly of individuals who are moral beings, and who naturally take for granted that they collectively act according to moral standards. The English speaking peoples are perhaps most prone to this self-deception, which makes them seem hypocritical to the rest of the world. But the stark realism of the Imperial German government which openly proclaimed non-moral motives, and the logical cynicism (as it appears to us) of French statesmen had its good side. The open expression of the real motives of state - craft and diplomacy, shocking as it is to the individual, is a diagnosis of the disease. To know the disease is the first step to a cure. But on the other hand our hypocrisy shows a desire, feeble perhaps, but still a real one, to raise the group relations of mankind to a higher level. Put the desire and the knowledge together and something may be accomplished.
Again, it is hard for us to feel that there is a crisis. It is never the prosperous who see anything to criticize in the social economy, and this is as true between nations as between classes. There are a hundred-odd million people in America who are phenomenally prosperous as a result of the war - in Europe there are some three or four hundred million who are desperately struggling to keep afloat. There is never any catastrophe that does not benefit somebody, and as Bro. Frank says, to shift the burden from one group to another is no solution of the problem, whether it is a class struggle or a conflict between nations. Science and mechanism has in effect made the world smaller, civilization is so complex that nation depends on nation as the hand does on the foot.
A word of explanation may be advisable in regard to two terms used by Bro. Frank, pacifism and socialism. In this country they are to a large majority of people in very bad odor, because they have become labels for groups propounding extreme doctrines. Unfortunately there are no other words for the larger tendencies. Obviously the pacifism referred to in the article is not that of the peace at any price people, but that of those who think war is a great evil and that it is worth some thought and perhaps some sacrifice to avoid it. So, too, in the case of socialism. It here refers to the whole group of political reformers who seek in some way to improve the distribution of the wealth produced by human effort. That it is not fairly distributed, that is, distributed in accordance with higher ethical ideals, will be admitted by anyone who has reflected on the inequalities to be found in every community.
Finally Bro. Frank, from the standpoint of European Freemasonry, believes that the Craft has its part to take in seeking a solution of present day problems. Here is perhaps the most debatable point in the whole article, for English speaking Masonry has habits and traditions totally diverse from any such conceptions. We have been content to exhort our members to be "good citizens" and to let it go at that. Is it possible that this also is an extreme view? Is there not perhaps some mean, some attitude which would definitely aid in the achievement of social ideals without entanglement in party politics? This is one of the questions raised, and one which may be worthy of consideration.
* * *
AN English writer, Sir John Fraser, has been contributing a series of articles to the Sunday Times of London on conditions in Italy. In these he has had occasion to touch on the official account of the repressive measures taken against Freemasonry in that country. Excerpts from his second-hand statements (for he is not a Mason) are beginning to appear in the Masonic press of the United States. One of these gems of misstatement is the following:
In France Masonry is distinctly anti-Jewish, whilst in Italy most Jews belong to Masonic Lodges.
Sir John may be a very eminent journalist but he seems to have allowed his Fascist informants to pull the wool over his eyes completely in regard to Freemasonry in Italy. This might lead to doubts as to the accuracy of his information on other matters, but with that we are not concerned. Just what the object of the precious bit of propaganda above quoted may be is not apparent, but doubtless there is one. It hardly seems necessary to point out to readers of THE BUILDER that whatever sins of omission and commission French Freemasonry may be guilty of in our eyes, racial prejudice is not one of them. It is to be doubted if a group of men freer from this than French Masons are could be found anywhere. While on the other hand the sweeping generalization of the second statement, that "in Italy most Jews" are Masons, carries its own refutation on its face. There are, or were, approximately 25,000 Masons in Italy, which even supposing them to be all Jews would make the Hebrew population of the Peninsula absurdly small. We suggest that any opinion or statement offered on the authority of Sir John Fraser on the subject of Freemasonry be regarded with the gravest suspicion, unless and until it is fully confirmed from more trustworthy sources of information.
* * *
WE have to justify ourselves in the use of this word in the editorial comment on persecution in Italy, in the September number, to be precise in the last paragraph on page 279.
A brother writes, "No one is ever justified in doing wrong," a statement with which everyone will heartily agree. But when he proceeds to deduce from this that we were wrong in saying that dictators and other despots, including Mussolini, are justified in seeking to destroy Freemasonry, we beg leave to demur. The writer chose his words in that passage with great care, and "justification" seemed to convey the precise meaning intended.
The trouble seems to be that some of our readers (there was more than one who seem to have mistaken the meaning of what we said) assume that there is only one meaning to the words "justify" and "justification," that is, the absolute ethical one. But this is not so. The printer, for one, "justifies" the lines of type when making up the forms. But disregarding technical use let us take an illustration from daily life. The street is very muddy, but fifty yards away is a clean paved crossing. From the point of view of keeping his shoes clean a man is justified in going down to the crossing and coming back on the other side. But suppose he has to catch a train and has only just time to do so, then he is justified in disregarding the mud and dashing straight across.
But it may be said that it is rather a heavy word to use in such a trivial matter, which may be granted. But it would not be too heavy for such matters as business decisions, investments and the like, in which no moral element appears. Yet we may go further and admit that though the word can be used in a neutral sense from the ethical point of view, that nevertheless the word does have an aura or penumbra of ethical associations, which was precisely why it was chosen in the passage criticized. There was an ethical background in this case, and while no one can ever be "justified in doing wrong," questions of what is wrong and what is right, under given circumstances, are often the most difficult and puzzling life has to offer. We, most of us, can judge offhand whether a thing is right in our own case, but it is often hard to be sure how close that judgment coincides with an absolute moral standard.
We are all normally moved by mixed motives in our actions, and for the larger number of people those motives are quite respectable. Some good, some noble, some indifferent morally speaking, and generally a few that it would make us feel rather naked and ashamed to express fully in plain language. For it is quite possible to be moved to an action by some mean and unworthy consideration, at the very same time that we are inspired to it by honorable and unselfish ones - so complex are our minds! In fact, not only is it possible, it is quite common, perhaps even normal.
The result is that our instinctive reaction when we meet opposition is to see only bad motives in those on the other side, just as when someone disagrees with us we easily think him a dumbell or a silly ass, if not a congenital idiot. Though we ignore the seamy side of our own motives, we are quick to divine that side of the motives of our opponents. The trouble being, that in proportion as we do not reflect, and seek and ensue justice, we see only the good on our side and the bad on the other. Justice requires that we take everything into consideration.
This habit of mind is not easy to acquire, rather it is very difficult, yet it is certainly a Masonic ideal and one greatly stressed in the lecture of the First Degree. It does not follow, because we learn to see that our enemies have justification from their point of view, and in their circumstances, for what they are attempting against us, that we must allow that justification to be absolute, or that we are not justified in opposing them. The Roman Church is not a synagogue of Satan and Mussolini is, we quite believe, a sincere patriot. He may be this, and yet be vain and theatrical and a much smaller man than his followers take him to be; just as the Papacy may be worldly wise and tyrannical in its policy. In short, we are never justified in refusing to give the devil his due.
FURTHER NOTES ON THE ROBERTS CONSTITUTIONS OF 1722
By BRO. J. HUGO TATSCH, Associate Editor, Iowa
Masonic students are very much indebted to Bro. W. J. Williams, of England, for his article in the recently issued Part I, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. XXXVIII, entitled "The Roberts Constitutions of 1722 and the Work of Brother J. Harris." It adds some interesting facts to the knowledge we possess of the two existing copies of the very rare Roberts Constitutions.
This little book has been the subject of two articles from my pen. The first appeared in "The Master Mason," Washington, D. 1C., (March, 1924) under the pseudonym "The Bookworm," graciously bestowed upon ine by Bro. Joseph Fort Newton during my connection with "The Master Mason." The second was published in THE BUILDER (May, 1926) under my correct name. Craftsmen interested in the subject are referred to these articles.
Until 1923 the, copy in the Iowa Masonic Library, purchased at the Spencer Sale of 1875 in London for Bro. Robert F. Bower, of Keokuk, was thought to be unique, There is no question as to its genuineness; the copy is in its original state other than the restored lower half of page 23 (which should really be page 25, having been incorrectly numbered by the printer). A comparison of the Iowa copy with the reproduction in the volume of A.Q.C. cited, indicates very clearly that Bro. J. Harris, who made the restoration of the page in the Iowa copy, did not have another copy to work from. This is to be seen clearly when on perceives the difference in the opening line of the Old English text of the obligation on page 23, for Bro. Harris inserted the word "here" therein. Also, the initial "I" in the original has a depth of two lines, whereas in the restored text it has only one. The second to eighth lines also differ as a natural result of the variations introduced in the very beginning. Reference to the two illustrations accompanying this article will make this clearer. It is rather remarkable that Bro. Harris should have come out so closely in the ninth and final line, yet which also has a variation in that the word "the" of the original was inserted as "these." Of course, he would end his restoration with the word "Councils," for the text on top of page 24 would indicate where to stop.
Those who have copies of the N.M.R.S. facsimile reprint will find on page 18 the text of the obligation used by Harris when he made his restoration. This, coupled with the original text remaining on page 24, would give him a guide for his lettering. Why he did not finish the ornament on page 24 of the Iowa copy cannot be conjectured; for, as the English specimen shows, the cuts on pages 19 and 24 are identical. I am inclined to suspect that the work was interrupted, for not only is the ornament incomplete, but Bro. Harris also omitted the signature letter "D" at the foot of page 23, as is pointed out by Bro. W. J. Williams. Bro. Lionel Vibert also mentioned this in his learned comment in Miscellanea Latomorum, October, 1923.
PRIESTS AS FREEMASONS
L'Acacia, the French journal of Masonic, social study and action, has, on page 540, June, 1927, a contribution by "C. B." in which be makes curious reference to a Roman Catholic priest.
"Referring to the (Roman Catholic) priests in Freemasonry, I had a friend in childhood who became a pastor. After losing sight of him for a long time, I discovered him some thirty years later, more priest than ever and even more surprising a Freemason, authentic and certified. He said his Mass regularly, had several times been a missionary, had some mistresses, gave me the consecrated host or communion, and breakfasted with we on Good Friday. He was no fool, quite the opposite. He has now been dead for three years; was always Priest, Monk, Reverend Father Dom X. . . . asleep in the peace of the Lord and armed with the Sacraments of the Church, said the announcement. I will tell you all about it some time or another, because it is as interesting as the movies, the venomous offense came coursing through his existence pledged to God or devil. What did he deceive? The Church? So much is certain. Us? And why? That will be for us to examine together being aware that it only proves once more that the heart of a priest is unfathomable."
SCHILLEIR AS A FREEMASON
For a long time any proof of Schiller's affiliation with Freemasonry has been lacking. Only in 1911 the Masonic press published a letter of Sept. 9, 1829, in which two members of the Lodge in Rudolstadt regret the discontinuation of their lodge, which has been honored by Schiller's membership in it. However, the records of this lodge do not show anything in regard to Schiller's initiation, yet this cannot be taken as denial. But Franz Luedke in the "Literary Echo" furnishes a new proof of Schiller's Masonic affiliation. It is a poem, which the poet Anton V. Klein, born 1746, published on the occasion of Schiller's death, and which in its caption refers to the passing away of the Masonic Brother Schiller. Klein, who met Schiller in Mannheim, was business manager of the palatinate "German Society," with which Schiller affiliated in 1784. He induced Schiller to write "Don Carlos" in Iambic meter, and may have interested him for Freemasonry, because Schiller's "Letters About Don Carlos" show that the poet was much occupied reflectively with the ideas of Freemasonry. In Rudolstadt he strengthened the connections with Freemasons and must have affiliated with the Rudolstadt Lodge from Jena or Weimar.
(Translated from Auf der Warte by Bro. R. I. Clegg, Ill.)
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, Past Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
JAFFA MILLER, Vice-President
FRANCIS E. LESTER, Vice-President
WILBUR L. ELSER, Executive Secretary
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
JOHN W. BOWMAN, Treasurer
ROBERT J. NEWTON, Editor, Manager N.M.T.S.A.. Las Cruces, New Mexico
Masonic Tubercular Relief
[An address by Herbert B. Holt, P.G.M., President of the N.M.T.S.A., prepared for the Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada at its recent meeting at Denver, Col. Owing to Bro. Holt's unavoidable absence it was not delivered.
This is an important document, as it resumes the history of the movement from its inception to its present status, dealing to some extent with the opposition that it has met. Unfortunately the exigencies of space have made it necessary to present it in two installments.]
IT is peculiarly fitting that the members of the Masonic Relief Association should meet in the beautiful city of Denver to consider, among other subjects, this great problem.
Denver is one of the numerous communities of the West and Southwest, upon which is imposed a great and increasing burden incident to the relief and care of tuberculars, who come from every part of the United States seeking climatic advantages.
In an article appearing in the September number of the "Journal of Out-door Life," Bro. Robert J. Newton pointed out that Denver is the apex of the "Tuberculosis Triangle" of the United States. He shows that a line drawn upon the map of the Southwest, from Denver to San Antonio, Texas; thence to Los Angeles and back to Denver, would enclose therein a vast triangle having an area of approximately 3,500,000 square miles. All of this territory is famous throughout the world as having a climate that combined with proper care and treatment, is best calculated to arrest the progress of tuberculosis in practically all except the most advanced cases.
For more than a generation, and in fact for over one hundred years, consumptives have been migrating to the Southwest, seeking. alleviation of their suffering and a longer lease on life. Because of this migration there has developed one of the greatest and most tragic problems of relief, calling for united and concerted action, similar to that which was carried out for the relief of war sufferers in Europe when all of America joined in contributing for the relief of the homeless, sick and destitute.
Few realize the magnitude of the problem of relief for tuberculars sojourning in the Southwest. Although the subject has been investigated by the United States Public Health Service and the National Tuberculosis Association, and the results of the surveys published by the Federal Government, as "Public Health Reports," nothing has been accomplished, and no concerted plan has been adopted for the relief of these unfortunates.
In 1913 and 1914 the first survey of the Southwest was made by the Public Health Service, as the result of an incomplete survey of the situation by the "Southwest Conference on Tuberculosis." It was estimated that there were probably 30,000 consumptives in West Texas, 27,000 in New Mexico and 20,000 in Southern California. No estimate was made for Arizona and Colorado. Shortly before this, the National Tuberculosis Association officially stated, "It is probable that not less than 10 per cent of the people in this territory have tuberculosis themselves, or have come to the West because some member of their family has had it."
The present population of the "Tuberculosis Triangle" is estimated to be three million people, and if the aforesaid percentage applies today it enables us to realize that the Southwest is called upon to solve a tremendous problem in the care of those who are indigent.
The Public Health Survey also revealed that migration was apparently increasing at the time of the survey.
In 1920, the National Tuberculosis Association sent an investigator to six cities of the Southwest - Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Los Angeles, El Paso and San Antonio. In these six cities it was found that within a period of one year some assistance had been given, through some charitable agency, to 7,319 tubercular indigents. With those sick there were 9,315 others, members of their families, who were also objects of charity, making a total of indigent, or partial indigents, of 16,734, supported wholly or in part by public charity. Included in the group there were 5,347, under sixteen years of age, living under conditions most conducive to infection because of their tender years, when danger of infection is greatest. That this danger is real is shown by the fact that one-tenth of the sick were children under four years of age.
In 1920 there were 1,635 tubercular recipients of aid in the city of Denver, one to every 156 inhabitants. A total of $129,00.0 was expended for relief, equivalent to a per capita tax of over fifty cents on each inhabitant of the city.
In that year, in Colorado Springs, there was one indigent tubercular to every 78 of the population, and the cost for their care represented a per capita tax of $1.00.
Conditions were similar in the other cities mentioned, with Phoenix bearing the heaviest burden, having one indigent to every 58 of the population, and spending $1.75 per capita for their care.
Surely no other part of the country bears a similar burden for the care of sick who are non-residents, non-tax payers and who have not previously contributed to the upbuilding of the community which cares for them.
Is it fair or just to the communities of the Southwest to impose this burden upon them without aid from some source?
In 1925 the same investigator was again sent by the National Tuberculosis Association to several of the cities mentioned, to check up the Findings of the 1920 survey.
The result of the second study revealed that migration had increased during the four or five intervening years.
In the 1920 report, the following statement appears: "None of these cities has anything like adequate provision - medical, relief, or institutional - for caring for the tuberculous persons, whether resident or non-resident. From what can be learned from the records it would seem that there is no attempt at a coordinated policy or program of rehabilitation of the tuberculous anywhere."
In 1925 the investigator said: "After four years, that statement is still true."
THE MASONIC ASPECT OF THE SITUATION
At the last Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, there was adopted an amendment to the By-Laws, providing for the creation of a standing "Committee on Masonic Boards of Relief" charged with the duty, among other things, of corresponding with this great Association, and with other similar Associations, with a view to evolving the best methods for dispensing Masonic relief.
The subject of Masonic Tubercular Relief, upon a broad National scale, has been given intensive study by the New Mexico Grand Lodge for a number of years.
It was first considered by the Grand Lodge of Texas, at the December, 1921, Annual Communication, when a committee of three was appointed to study the subject, in cooperation with suggested similar committees to be appointed by the Grand Lodges of New Mexico and Arizona; with a view to evolving a comprehensive program, upon a national scale, for the relief and hospitalization of Masons and members of their families, afflicted with tuberculosis.
At the February, 1922, Communications of Arizona and New Mexico such committees were appointed, and the three committees thus named organized as the "Tuberculosis Sanatoria Commission" of the three Grand Lodges.
A report, with recommendations, was submitted to the three Grand Lodges involved at their next Annual Communications.
The basis of the report was an estimate made by the National Tuberculosis Association, that at that time, with an estimated Masonic population of 2,500,000, there were probably 4,700 deaths from tuberculosis annually, and approximately 42,400 living cases.
In 1926, it was estimated by the same Association, that from the cause mentioned, any group of 3,250,000 American males, over twenty years of age, will sustain an approximate annual loss of 4,309 lives, and the approved ratio of nine living cases, for each death, shows approximately 38,681 living cases among adult males alone.
There are approximately 3,250,000 Masons in the United States. Applying the multiple of 5 indicates a total Masonic population of over 16,000,000.
The Texas Grand Lodge Committee was discontinued after the 1924 meeting; but it is reliably reported that another committee appointed at the 1926 Annual Communication will submit a report in December next, recommending that Texas take care of its own in existing hospitals. Although San Antonio, El Paso and some of the smaller communities of the state have many sojourning sick Masons, Texas has evolved no plan for aiding them.
Arizona has a Convalescent Camp at Oracle, about forty-five miles from the railroad, where it has cared for a very limited number of ambulatory cases, but does not always have a resident physician or nurse. The Grand Lodge of Arizona deserves great credit for doing its utmost to care for its own afflicted members and for sojourners.
Profoundly impressed with the solemn obligation devolving upon American Freemasons to provide organized relief for its tuberculars, and realizing the imperative necessity for action, in 1925 the New Mexico Grand Lodge took the initiative, and through a duly authorized committee chartered the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, and inaugurated an intensive publicity campaign to acquaint American Grand Lodges and American Freemasonry with the purposes of the organization and the needs, with a view to securing cooperation and financial assistance from all Masonic organizations and Masons, regardless of jurisdictional lines.
In addition to the publicity campaign a survey was instituted to ascertain, if possible, the number of Freemasons and members of Masons' families afflicted with tuberculosis who were sojourning in the Southwest.
The report submitted at the Chicago meeting of the Association, disclosed a record of 1,693 Freemasons and 321 members of their families in the Southwest; and, in addition, there were found 532 Masons and 493 relatives of Masons sick in hospitals in other states; a total of 2,225 Masons and 814 relatives of Masons, or a grand total of 3,039.
It is certain that those figures would not begin to represent the real total number of cases, either in the Southwest or in the remainder of the country.
What percentage of those cases were indigent is unknown.
The Association has received many letters from all parts of the country, seeking admission to our "Masonic Sanatorium," which is still non-existent.
The Grand Lodge of New Mexico is proud of the fact that when its annual $1.00 per capita assessment for tuberculosis relief has been paid in, on the first of the coming year, the next annual report to be submitted at the Annual Communication in February next will show that the Masons of New Mexico have paid practically ALL of the overhead expense of the Association and the effort to induce American Freemasons to join in the movement. Surely no one can justly criticize the New Mexico brethren for spending their own money in the effort to perfect the organization of the Association by inducing other Masonic bodies to cooperate in the accomplishment of the great humanitarian objects contemplated by the Association.
New Mexico thus took the leadership and the initiative in Masonic Tubercular work, actuated by a sincere belief in the ideals and teachings of the Order, confident that the Craft would rise to the great opportunity for real service and a practical application of Masonic principles. The writer of the Missouri Review of the "Proceedings of Grand Lodges," appropriately summarized the situation in the following words appearing upon Page 149 of the Appendix to the 1926 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, to-wit, "The Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association of New Mexico is perhaps the most significant movement before the Masonic public, and unless we are very much mistaken this enterprise will soon capture the imagination of the entire Fraternity. If it succeeds in doing this we may look for the largest outburst of philanthropy the world has ever known in this or any other country."
Thus we initiated the movement which at its inception was largely financed by the local [New Mexico] Grand Lodge.
In the first year of operation twenty-six Grand Masters were persuaded that the obligation existed and that the efficient handling of the problem demanded comprehensive organization of effort, and they evinced their interest and approval by accepting service on the Board of Governors, or by appointing some interested brother for such service. At the Annual Meeting in Chicago, last November, the Association had reached the high tide or peak of the organization work designated to create an Association, to be governed by leading Masons from each and every Grand Jurisdiction, the scope of the activities of which would be national in fact as well as in name.
Some Masonic leaders have criticized the plans for the government of the Association, claiming that its affairs would not be under direct Masonic control. It is difficult to understand how the enterprise could be more directly or effectually under Masonic control than through the medium of a Board of Governors consisting of one duly appointed and authorized representative from each and every Grand Jurisdiction. Others have decried the magnitude of the enterprise and expressed the fear that it could not be successfully handled.
The problem, the solution of which is involved, is of such vast magnitude, both from the humanitarian and the economic standpoints, as to call for and demand an organization of the magnitude and scope called for by the plans of the Association. If the leaders of Masonic thought and action in the various Grand Jurisdictions would forget jurisdictional lines, if the scales would fall from their eyes and enable them to envisage the project, and if they would permit the rank and file of Masonry to be circularized in their respective Jurisdictions the financial aspects of the problem would be speedily solved.
(To be continued)
THE STUDY CLUB
A pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on request, in quantities to fifty
A Rural Lodge and Its Study Club
THE following letters tell in detail of the organization of a Study Group in a small lodge. The N.M.R.S. was not the direct agent through which the club was formed, but the correspondence is so interesting, and depicts so clearly the results to be obtained through a study of Masonry, that we are very glad to bring it to the attention of our members and the Craft generally. We shall welcome any similar accounts of efforts in this field.
December 1, 1926
Dear Brother _________
A certain question has been puzzling me for some time and seems to require help from "higher up," so I turn to you as one who best knows the limitations, disappointments and handicaps of the rural lodges for an answer.
How may we, of the rural lodges, learn more about Freemasonry? True, we have our D.D.G.M's who, once or twice a year, visit us and exemplify a degree or two, and go away. Surely there's more to Masonry than that. We pay our money, we take our degrees, and we have a word and a pin in common with our brothers, and that's nearly all. There must be more to Masonry than that.
Of the hidden meaning that enshrines our signs, tokens or words, we know nothing. Surely an institution as old as ours must have had an historical past, with its own allotment of hopes and fears, of traditions and folklore. It does not require an active imagination to believe that an institution so impressive and honored must have influenced the contemporary life of both initiate and profane, have moulded the politics of the state and left its imprint upon contemporary Christianity.
We know that it holds within its embrace the tenets of a multitude, upon its rolls are the names of nation-wide significance, of poet and philosopher, sage and seer, but of their Masonry we know nothing.
Then, too, our interest need not stop short at that invisible political line that marks the limit of this Grand Jurisdiction. When we cross that line we should not step out into a place of utter darkness carrying only a word and a button to light the way.
Unfortunately the income of most of us is limited. We pr ably have not the cash wherewith to travel extensively and visit freely.
Neither have we ready access to a convenient Masonic library and the books published are not available to many who must count their pennies to meet the annual dues.
I saw the dedication of the new Masonic Temple at St. Louis, and as I stood looking up at that huge pile of steel and stone, I contrasted it with the humble lodge hall at ____ or the one here in ____; I marveled at the prodigious power of many united brethren working for a single cause.
The ponderous stateliness of that Greek Ionic edifice impressed me with the fact that while races, creeds and language may change, and the original medium may crumble into dust, the beauty of the design remains and that which is fundamentally right will endure.
So will Freemasonry endure. But the perfect execution of the design depends upon the perfection of the unit. So won't you tell me how we can become more polished, and by so doing receive and in turn reflect and give "still more light?"
This letter has run on to an unprecedented length. But on reading it over there is much that I am unwilling to leave out. So I'm sending it all.
December 3, 1926.
Dear Brother _____:
Your very interesting letter of Dec. 1 came this morning, and I was glad to receive it for several reasons and particularly because you thought I would have a sympathetic viewpoint on the problems before you.
Your letter puts the same inquiry that I have received in various other forms from different lodges and members of lodges, and an attempt to find out how universal is this same longing that you so well express is one of the purposes of ____
Now the problem of knowing more about Freemasonry depends upon three things:
1st. A willingness on the part of the members to devote some time to a conscientious study of Freemasonry.
2nd. A willingness to approach Freemasonry with an open heart to love the Institution.
3rd. A willingness to make an honest endeavor to live and practice among our fellow men the principles which we have learned to love from our study of the Institution.
All of this sounds easy and I can dash the thing off in a letter with very little effort, but the great problem is to get the other fellow to see this viewpoint and endeavor to practice it.
I have in my own mind a great many things, ____, but since you have written me such a frank appeal, and as I feel in my own heart that there are many lodges and many Freemasons who feel exactly as you do, I am going to make a personal suggestion in which I will be very glad to cooperate.
In the first place there must be a disposition upon part of the individual brother to want to know, and a willingness to make the effort to find out. If you with four or five or six other brethren of like inclination would be willing to make the experiment I will use every endeavor to aid you.
This is my concrete suggestion for a beginning: That you four or five brethren agree among yourselves to attend the meetings of your lodge every time possible on your regular meeting nights. After the lodge has closed, or during a session of it, if no objection is made, you will agree to read a chapter in a book on _____ and then discuss it among yourselves, each attempting to answer the questions that arise in his own mind and giving his viewpoint to a fellow member. Allow the other brethren who desire to remain and join in the discussion to take part.
If any question arises on which you desire additional information, if you will write me I will endeavor to answer your questions or let someone else answer them, as I happen to be in touch with other agencies better informed than I.
If you four or five or six brethren will agree to try this experiment during the coming winter I will make a present of the book to your lodge and forward it to you as soon as I have your reply.
The reason I am willing to undertake all of this is that I would like to use your lodge as an experiment to show what can be done by brethren who will consecrate themselves to the task of becoming intelligent, loving and living Freemasons. I know that this study and thought and discussion has bad a wonderful influence on my own life and I believe thoroughly that if conscientiously tried it will have a similar influence on the lives of others.
This is all I have to offer as a solution to your inquiry at the present time because other things I have in view not only for your lodge but for others will take too long to develop for your immediate benefit, but they will come in due time.
Let me hear from you and your brethren at your earliest convenience because there is no time to start like the present and I assure you and the brethren of _____ Lodge, No. __, that I will do everything in my power to assist them in any way I can. I hope that you and the other brethren will feel as free to write me as frankly and as freely as you have, and that together we may work out something to your good.
December 8, 1926.
Dear Brother ________:
Your suggestion for _____ Lodge, No. __, in the matter of obtaining more knowledge of the symbolism of Freemasonry found a hearty welcome not only from me but from a number of the Craft whom I consulted upon the question.
I have found six or eight of the "old guard" who can be depended upon to come to lodge regularly, anyway they have promised their cooperation in giving the Study Club idea a thorough try-out, and I will hold myself personally responsible to report to you the progress, together with such other features as you wish to know.
Personally, I believe that anything that will work here ought to work anywhere, and I am very eager to start, for I too expect to see results.
If you will be kind enough to send the text we will try to "start the new year right." Many thanks for your offer. Fraternally,
December 17, 1926.
Dear Brother _____:
Today I received the book that I thought would be best for you and the brethren to start with, and under separate cover I am forwarding it to you.
I hope that it will prove interesting and that in addition to what the book says, each of you will think about the questions it raises and discuss them with the other fellows.
As I said before, if any questions come up about which you would like to make further inquiry I will try to answer them; in the event I cannot or do not know, I will seek the information from others.
Please make it clear to the brethren that I am more than interested in this matter and will do anything that I can to aid in your efforts. Fraternally yours,
April 19, 1927.
Your valued letter of last Friday reached me this morning and, on preparing to answer it, I find that I am out of stationery. Rather than face the mud and rain to go to town for a fresh supply, I have improvised this which I hope you will pardon.
We find here that spring, summer and fall are much like other seasons in lodge work, especially in visiting neighboring lodges, for ice, snow and bottomless roads rather work against us when we attempt to go by auto. Also at home the boys out in the country come to lodge much more regularly in the summer when roads are good and stay as long even if the nights are short. During winter the whole countryside "holes up" and goes into semi-hibernation, only to come forth with the spring violets and the customary Easter flood.
With us, at ____, the petitions coming in promise degree work on every meeting night until July at least, so we shall probably follow our old custom and steam right along through the hot months. Besides, it isn't so hard then to get them started next fall.
In January we went to __, meeting the Grand Master, Grand Lecturer and our own D. D. G. M. for a very profitable district meeting.
____ had invited the rest of the county as their guests to a district meeting April 12, but the meeting had to be postponed because of the incessant rain. On their last meeting night two carloads of men from here visited ____ and assisted in the raising of Bro. ___ to the sublime degree of Master Mason. ____ Lodge, of __, furnished Bro. ______ to confer the degree and Bro. to deliver the lecture. The candidate's brother, Bro. _____, acted as Junior Warden and your humble servant, Senior Warden. ____ was in high good humor, and consented to deliver the charge. ____ made a good candidate, and a good time was had by all.
I've been rambling on without much reference to the main point at issue, but before I address myself to it, allow me to digress enough to say that a new attitude seems to prevade the Society out here in the "mail order belt” ____ I refer to the increasing number of young men, 21 to 25 years old, who are coming in. There was a time when it seemed to me that Masonry was an older men's lodge, and the average age of the Shriner was about fifty; now most of our petitioners are less than thirty and many are less than twenty-five. I do not know whether this applies in the larger towns or not but it seems general in the rural districts.
During the past year our local lodge took a new "lease on life," so to speak. We got a few young members interested, and whenever occasion permitted and the roads were passable, a car or two would visit our neighboring lodges, and when we got back we always allowed news of the trip to reach the editor of the local paper, who was glad to mention it, since news is sometimes scarce, thus we allowed the community at large to know the lodge still lived.
Then we got a building suitable for the purpose at a price we could afford to pay and converted it into a hall of our own. This, together with its subsequent alteration, was a seven days' wonder, and our little community seethed with excitement for weeks. Then I wrote you, you suggested a study course, sent the book and we agreed to try it.
There's only one point that you failed to cover, the idea started out a frail weakling, struggling for recognition, but it caught on and grew and spread like an epidemic of measles in a district school. You may have pictured some zealous brother leading it along like teaching an infant to walk, but it didn't go that way.
About eight of us sat around the stove and discussed the first chapter, then gave the book to the Secretary to keep for us until our next meeting. The next meeting night we didn’t get farther than "firstly," for one brother had a copy of “Morals and Dogma," another had "High Twelve" and "Low Twelve,” and still another had something else, and when we adjourned, at 1 a.m., one man who had missed the first lesson requested that he be allowed to borrow the text so he could catch up.
There's where the Study Club idea began to get out of bounds. When that book showed up two weeks later it was thumb-worn from Alpha to Omega, and copies of the Grand Lodge Proceedings that hadn't been dusted since the dry year, 1901, were hauled down and read over and over. The text book had, I found on diligent inquiry, been read completely in those two weeks by no less than seven men, and was still going strong. School books, classics, histories, all available literature that might have a bearing on the Craft, guild and origin of Masonry was at a premium.
Then, and coincidentally occurred the discussion of the phenomena uncovered. In the lumber-yard the manager and a half dozen Masons held forth around his little stove, while at the depot the sounder begged frantically for attention while the agent and some four or five other Master Masons argued the architectural details of the original Temple.
Out on the street any day could be seen groups of two or three Master Masons close together talking earnestly in low tones and glancing furtively up and down the street. The deadly thirst for knowledge was bearing fruit.
Then came petitions! More than we had had for years. Every meeting saw us with work on hand. No longer was it possible for us to read and discuss, even if the discussion could have been confined to the beaten track.
But the book had been read and discussed much more thoroughly in their leisure hours than would have been possible in the lodge. I know that, because from the most diverse corners comes the suggestion that our working tools are not right, the working tool of the first degree ought to have a sharp edge like a poll-axe. That the globes on the pillars do not conform exactly with what they should be.
Yes, the changes, when warranted, are being made to conform with the strictest requirements, and each day I am surprised to find how far the ramifications of Masonic knowledge extend through and pervade all other things.
The petitions still come in, the reading still goes on, and the lodge plans to buy, from money on hand, a few good books to keep the interest alive.
The members are eagerly behind the plan, so you can begin to see why we think it best to go right ahead through the summer. We can't wait until next winter - couldn't stop now if we wanted to.
I don't know whether this lodge is an exception to the general rule or not, but the plan certainly has worked like magic for us. It might not do so well everywhere, but our present plan is to buy more books from lodge funds, make the Tiler into an ex-officio librarian and see what comes out of the mill when the grist is ground.
Also, I was very much interested in the copy of the ____ you sent me. Do you think such a bulletin or news-letter would be practical in the ____ District, comprising the ____ lodges in ____? How about trying it with a mimeograph for a starter?
I see I'm about out of wrapping paper so I will just use the rest to thank you once more for the idea, the book and the suggestion, and add my firm belief that the plan will do a lot to help any lodge that will consent to try it.
TEMPLE COMMITTEES TAKE NOTICE
It is with no little pleasure that THE BUILDER is permitted to announce the latest developments in connection with the Study Club whose correspondence with the National Masonic Research Society was published in the Study Club Department last month. The Club adopted the name of the Glendale Masonic Research Club and is located in Glendale, California. The correspondent for this organization advises that a new Masonic Temple is to be erected in Glendale and that provision has been made by the building committee for a room to be used by the Research Club. This action can be taken as conclusive evidence of the fact that the recently organized club is, doing good work and that there is a decided need for such organizations in Masonic circles. We are pleased to make this announcement and to recommend the practice to other committees who have charge of building operations. Later we hope to give the constitution and rules adopted by this Club.
The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.
THE MENACE OF FREEMASONRY TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. By Rev. C. Penney Hunt, B. A. Published by the Freedom Press, Nottingham, England. Paper, 12 mo., 64 pp. (no date; probably 1926). Price, 40 cents.
IT is very refreshing to read what non-Masons think of the Fraternity, especially such views as emanate from the Protestant "antis." The opinions expressed are not only amusing at times, but also very amazing, and very aptly illustrate the old adage, "A little learning is a dangerous thing."
Our poor Masonic Fraternity! By certain Protestant ministers it has been called the "handmaid of religion"; the author of the volume before us takes the other extreme and calls the attention of "the Christian public to a menace which, if not checked, may imperil the very existence of the Church. In recent years Freemasonry has so entwined its tentacles around the official section of the Church that only the rank and file, taking the trouble to understand the teaching of Masonry, can save the situation."
It is futile to attempt replies to such attacks upon the Masonic institution. Intelligent brethren who are Masons at heart are not concerned with the sophistries of our antagonists; such members as are influenced by them are not interfered with in any way if they wish to withdraw from the Craft. Somehow or other, Freemasonry manages to survive.
It is a noteworthy fact that our bitterest foes are those who have pledged allegiance to a dogmatic institution. It is their failure to grasp Freemasonry's non-dogmatic attitude which makes them such ridiculous opponents. It is pathetic to see them pore zealously over Masonic literature, pick out a phrase here or another there, and then hold it up to the world as evidence of what Freemasonry is. To show their imagined fairness, they point out the fact that the sources cited are "official" or have been approved by Masons somewhere.
These self-appointed critics are utterly incapable of understanding that Freemasonry has no creed, no dogma, and imposes no arbitrary rules, regulations or practices upon its members. They cannot realize that Freemasonry leaves it to each individual to make his own interpretation of the symbols and allegories of the Craft, and does not require him to subscribe to any restrictive set of regulations, other than those which sound morals and proper ethics impose. Any Mason well read in our literature can cite "authorities" who disagree among themselves on subjects ranging from matter-of-fact history to the most intangible philosophy, yet this does not mar the relations among them as Masons or in any way affect the work of the Fraternity.
The little book before us runs true to the form followed by all ecclesiastical opponents. Their religion or their creed is the only one; therefore, anything not conforming to it is anathema. Rev. Hunt says, "Freemasonry is the worship of God. . . . Such worship is other than 'through the name of Jesus Christ.' No Mason can or wishes to deny that." Rev. Hunt will find many who deny it, and can deny it; and these very brethren taking sides against the Rev. Hunt would be surprised to find that there are Masons who agree with the dominie. More confusion!
Another basis for misunderstanding - both on the part of non-Masons and Masons - is a failure to understand that the Freemasonry is not an organization for mass action. Freemasonry as an institution does not endorse any movement, support any party or uphold any particular creed. It does its work through the individual member as such, and teaches him to exemplify the principles of the Craft in his personal life and in his associations with his fellowmen. He can do this as a Rotarian or as a member of a labor union; he can perform his Masonic duties of citizenship as a Republican or as a Democrat; he can demonstrate fraternity and exemplify charity as a sectarian adherent of any of the great world religions, Jewish; Buddhist, Christian, Mohammedan and the like. It is these things which our opponents simply cannot understand. Owing to the futility of their efforts in attacking an institution impregnable to such assaults, it is to be regretted that the zeal, energy and time thus wasted are not used to constructive purposes in furthering the interests of the organizations to which they are devoted.
Masons should not hesitate to read anti-Masonic literature. It gives us concepts otherwise undreamed of; it points out avenues for study which are not encountered in our usual walks of Masonic life. Above all, such books and pamphlets strengthen our faith in Masonry, and the necessity for the Institution when such crass ignorance and intolerance exist.
J. H. T.
* * *
THE DOLLAR MASONIC LIBRARY. Published jointly by the Commission on Masonic Education of Michigan and the Bureau of Social and Educational Service, New York. Ten volumes, paper. Price, $1.10.
THERE is no doubt that in recent years a great change of heart has come over those who officially guide and control the destinies of the Craft in the United States, at least in respect to "Masonic Education." The original attitude, many years ago, of officers of lodges and Grand Lodges towards the Masonic press and Masonic literature was suspicion and distrust. This was followed by indifference and neglect, amounting in many cases, apparently, to absolute ignorance that such a thing as a Masonic book or a Masonic magazine existed or could exist. Now the pendulum has swung right over and there is hardly a Grand Lodge in the country which has not its Committee on the subject, and scarcely a Committee that is not publishing pamphlets, courses and suggestions for the improvement of Masons in Masonry and encouragements and inducements to get the habit of reading about it. This is all very much to the good. There is not yet very much fruit to show, but there is no reason for impatience - the seed must germinate, then will follow the shoot, in due time the bud and the blossom, there being no frosts or droughts or other mischances in the meantime.
The present collection is really a quite ambitious effort. In these days of high cost, printing is not done for nothing, and from the lowest point of view the set is a good dollar's worth.
In detail, the first volume is an Introduction to Freemasonry (79 pages), by Bro. H. L. Haywood, former editor of THE BUILDER, and one of the best known and most popular Masonic authors in America. This gives a brief but admirable account of what Speculative Masonry is, how it functions, and how it came to be.
The second volume is a collection of Masonic verse, Songs of the Craft, by Bros. Nesbit, Malloch and others. Masonic "poetry" is a delicate subject. On the whole it is exceedingly bad, and much of it is not even verse let alone poetry in any but a courtesy sense of the words. This selection, perhaps because it is no more than forty-eight pages, is on a remarkably high level.
In the third volume, Freemasonry and the Drums of 'Seventy-Five (95 pages), Bro. Sidney Morse has written a stirring patriotic tract telling of the influence of Masons in the War of Independence.
Volumes four and five are sketches and essays, humorous and serious. Our Lodge Portrait Gallery (63 pages), by Bro. Roe Fulkerson, and Twice Two Is Four (80 pages), by Bro. Malcolm Bingay and others. These have previously appeared in The New York Masonic Outlook and doubtless many will be glad to have them in more permanent form.
Volume six is a reprint of Bro. Rudyard Kipling's well-known story, The Man Who Would Be King (63 pages). Volume seven, Facts and Fables of the Craft (32 pages), by Bro. Haywood. Volume eight is a selection from the writings of Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, whose popularity is perhaps even greater than that of Bro. Haywood, who is also responsible for the ninth volume, The Walrus and the Carpenter (63 pages), which again is reprinted from The New York Masonic Outlook, consisting of olla podrida of information and comment, serious and not so serious.
The tenth and last volume is The Little Masonic Dictionary, by Bro. W. L. Boyden, Librarian of the Scottish Rite Library at Washington, D. C., which ranks with that at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is one known to Masonic students the world over. The Dictionary, small as it is, seems to be a most accurate little work, and should be of very great value to the young Craftsman, until he graduates, and gets himself something larger and more comprehensive.
Those responsible for this collection are to be congratulated on their work, and we are sure that no one who gets a set will ever regret the dollar he spent in doing so.
* * *
HISTORY OF NEWARK LODGE, No. 7, F. & A. M., 1827-1927.
No place, no date. Cloth, 254 pages; illustrated.
THIS is a volume which the critical collector of books will approach with interest, for it has the outward appearance of being a fine piece of work. The book is substantially bound in blue cloth, with a die stamped title in gold and white. Opening the cover, we are met with a peculiarly composed title page, but which gives no hint as to the location of the lodge, the author of the book or the place and date where it was printed. From a preface, following a picture of the author, we learn that he is the historian of the lodge, R. W. Bro. J. Edward Blackmore; but we are still in darkness as to the location of the lodge itself. Mention in the preface of the name of Bro. Isaac Cherry, Grand Secretary, strengthens one's impression that Newark Lodge must be in New Jersey, but not until we turn several more pages is this confirmed by the appearance of the jurisdiction's name. Finally, after turning through the entire volume, the name of the printer and his location is found on the very last page.
As is the case with many local lodge histories, the volume before us is the output of a house which very apparently does not print many books. It lacks the distinguishing marks that a real book should possess. There is no proper title page, no table of contents, no index; in addition, chapter headings are also lacking.
The author, however, has made excellent use of the material available in the form of original records and minute books which were lost for many years. He has presented a chronological account, and has illustrated it profusely with reproductions of documents, portraits and pictures. Brief biographical sketches are given of the Masters for the various years, and generous excerpts from the original records are presented where such action is advisable. The Morgan Affair, the Anti-Masonic excitement, and the proposed formation of a General Grand Lodge in 1847 are some of the larger movements touched upon in the decades prior to the Civil War.
The Civil War period, 1861-65, is well reflected in the pages of this volume. The lodge gave of its membership to the martial forces; the chaplain, Rev. Bro. John L. Lenhart, lost his life on board the "Cumberland" in its encounter with the "Merrimac," and a most interesting letter of his is reproduced in the volume; in 1865, the lodge participated in the funeral obsequies of Abraham Lincoln; a reception to Albert G. Mackey, "who had remained loyal to the Union during the rebellion and had especially endeared himself to the fraternity in alleviating the suffering of prisoners of war at Charleston, many of whom were members of the Order," is recorded. Thirteen hundred Masons were present, at whose hands Mackey was presented with a purse of $2,000 and Mrs. Mackey with silverware.
Post-war activities include donations to brethren by Portland, Maine, who had been rendered homeless by a disastrous conflagration on July 4, 1866; Southern brethren in Rome, Georgia, so recently "enemy territory," were sent $50 in 1867. In 1878, Worshipful Master Edwin A. Waterbury (the oldest living Past Master of the lodge) introduced the custom of presenting a lambskin apron "to every candidate, for him to take home as his property."
The volume closes with a folding plate showing all of the officers for one hundred years, and a list presenting the name of all brethren who were members, with the dates of admission and cessation. A statistical table indicates the growth year by year, beginning with twenty-two charter members in 1827, and showing a roster of 542 in 1927. An analysis of the figures in the light of contemporaneous events is most interesting.
Such books as these should encourage other lodges to preserve their history in readable form. They are of great value to the general Masonic historian, for with their aid he can draw conclusions and read the trend of the various periods with greater accuracy.
J. H. T.
* * *
THE RISE OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION. By Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York, 1927. Cloth, table of contents, index, illustrated. Vol. 1, 824 Pages; Vol. 11, 828 pages. Price, $12.50.
THIS work might well have been styled The Economic Interpretation of American History because of the emphasis it places on the influence of economic forces. Even the sub-titles of the two volumes, which are labeled The Agricultural Era and The Industrial Era, respectively, reflect the viewpoint of the authors. The titles of many of the chapters such as "Agricultural Imperialism and the Balance of Power," "New Agricultural States," "The Sweep of Economic Forces," "The Politics of the Economic Drift," "The Triumph of Business Enterprise ... .. Imperial America," and "The Machine Age," also reflect the general tone of the account.
It is well that such an interpretation should be presented and it is fitting that Dr. and Mrs. Beard should be the authors. In these two writers we find the very unusual combination of a man and wife both of whom appear in Who's Who in America because of their individual work as writers. Dr. Beard, an exprofessor at Columbia University, has published no less than seventeen books, including a college text-book entitled American Government and Politics and which has gone through four editions, and a Contemporary American History, published in 1914.
However, Dr. Beard's most distinctive contributions to the field of American historical literature have been his Economic Interpretation of the Constitution published in 1913, his Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy, which appeared two years later, and his Economic Basis of Politics, which came forth from the press in 1922.
Mrs. Beard is the author of an excellent Short History of the American Labor Movement, first published in 1920 and revised in 1925. With her husband she has previously collaborated in publishing two books for use in secondary schools, their titles being History of the United States and American Citizenship. It is evident that the authors are eminently qualified to essay an economic interpretation of the history of the United States.
The authors provide no preface to explain their viewpoint or to offer acknowledgments of any kind, but the publishers in their announcement assert that the work "offers for the first time in brief compass a complete and rounded interpretation of American history and American life." This statement might challenged rather easily on the ground that the interpretation is neither "complete" nor "rounded." It would take by far more space than has been used and would call for treatment of many phases "of American history and American life," which are mentioned little or not at all. For instance, it might be asked why the authors should omit mention of the Anti-Masonic movement or why they should neglect the significance of the widespread fraternal movement which directly affects at least 25 per cent of our population. Why neglect practically altogether military events if the interpretation is to be "complete and rounded?"
It is evident that the authors have desired to produce a synthesis of various viewpoints, for early in the work (I, 124) they say, "In reality the heritage, economics, politics, culture, and international filiations of any civilization are so closely woven by fate into one fabric that no human eye can discern the beginnings of its warp or woof. And any economic interpretation, any political theory, any literary criticism, any aesthetic appreciation, which ignores this perplexing fact, is of necessity superficial." In spite of this statement, the reader comes away from a reading of the books with a definite impression that the complete synthesis has not yet been written.
There are chapters in which the authors have painted vivid pictures of American cultural life, but even here they find the economic influence paramount. One of the best chapters is the final one in the first volume. It deals with the period of about three decades before the Civil War and is titled "Democracy: Romantic and Realistic." Here we read of "imported thought-patterns," the "boisterous religious revivals," the development of science, the movement for women's rights, and the rise of cities. We see the famous writers of the period - Emerson, Cooper, Holmes, Lowell, Hawthorne, Whitman and others - classified as being on the "left" or "right," according to whether they were radical or conservative in their economic and political views. The theater and the field of music come in for attention as do painting, sculpture and drawing. The multiplication of newspapers, the increased facility of communication, the establishment of the public school system, and the spread of higher education are other phases of the period treated in this very interesting chapter. In a similar manner the period of the eighties and nineties is treated under the title of "The Gilded Age.”
It is interesting to note the modern terminology which the authors have applied to early periods of American history. What is generally styled "The Critical Period," together with the period of the drawing up and putting into effect of the Constitution, receives the title, "Populism and Reaction." The period inaugurated by Andrew Jackson's accession to the presidency is labeled "Jacksonian Democracy - a Triumphant Farmer Labor Party."
The authors have dealt with the period of the Civil War under the unique title "The Second American Revolution." The armed conflict, as they see it (II, 53), was merely "a transitory phase" of the Civil War, for "at bottom" it "was a social war, ending in the unquestioned establishment of a new power in the government, making vast changes in the arrangement of classes, in the accumulation and distribution of wealth, in the course of industrial development, and in the Constitution inherited from the Fathers. Merely by the accident of climate, soil, and geography was it a sectional struggle."
Taken altogether, these volumes are very much worth while. As the publishers say, "To read it may be to agree or to disagree, but the book cannot be ignored." Some will find more than others with which to disagree but no person who pretends to keep informed on developments in American history can afford to neglect this work. The cynical attitude towards what are commonly regarded as American ideals will probably arouse the ire of some. Especially is this cynical attitude apparent in the treatment of the World War and foreign relations in general.
It is doubtful whether a reader would gain much from a reading of this work unless he was first fairly well grounded in American history. Such a work as Hockett and Schlesinger's Political and Social History of the United States or Muzzey's The United States of America, might first be read with profit to fix in mind the chronology and systematic arrangement of the facts of our history. Certainly, unless one has so grounded himself, he would have difficulty in following the account by the Beards, who, while presenting many facts, generally in a painstaking manner, have made little or no attempt to follow the commonly accepted arrangement.
The printing has been excellently done and errors are hard to find. Obviously, in mentioning the new states added to the original thirteen (I, 507), Vermont is meant instead of New Hampshire. It is regrettable that footnotes and bibliographical references were not employed. The ordinary reader will not miss them but some students would like to know the basis for numerous statements. To mention a writer occasionally in the body of the books seems hardly adequate for it is certain that the works of others were drawn on. To give a few individuals credit and omit mention of others hardly seems fair.
The style is interesting throughout and there can be no hesitation in pronouncing the volumes very readable. The fact that the books have already gone through several printings is further testimony that there is a considerable element of people in the United States who will read thought provoking literature if it is written in an interesting manner.
E. M. E.
* * *
A HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD. Vols. I and II. By M. Rostovtzeff. Published by the Oxford University Press. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, index. Volume I, The Orient and Greece, 418 pages. Volume II, Rome, 387 pages. Price, $10.50 to the set or $5.25 per single volume.
ONE of Jane Austen's characters sums up a discussion of a new acquaintance with the remark that he is also handsome, which young men ought, if possible, to be. To be handsome, if possible, is an obligation on books no less than on young men, and the authorities of the Clarendon Press have spared no pains to enable Dr. Rostovtzeff's History of the Ancient World to meet this obligation. Strongly, yet sedately bound, as befits a learned work; printed in large clear type on pages with sufficient marginal space for the pencilled comment of the enthusiastic or dissentient reader, and lavishly provided with beautiful plates illustrative of ancient life and art, the two volumes are a delight to the eye. Indeed, so beautiful and interesting are the illustrations that no one into whose hands the work falls will be likely to turn to the perusal of the text until each has been carefully examined, and many studied a second and third time.
But when the reader does turn to the text, he will find that the form of the book, excellent though it is, does not outweigh or dwarf the matter. Based on courses of lectures delivered at Wisconsin University and Yale, the work has a two-fold object, "to collect those fundamental ideas and views, concerning the main problems of ancient history . . . gained from long years spent in the study of the subject," and to serve the needs of those who, either as part of their college course, or for their private interest, "wish to acquaint themselves with the general course of development in the ancient world." It has, therefore, a two-fold appeal, to the specialist interested in learning Dr. Rostovtzeff's views on, and solutions of problems he has encountered in his own studies, and to the general reader seeking to acquire some knowledge of that ancient world in which our modern civilization originated.
In a work with a two-fold object, unity can only be secured by subordinating one aim to the other; and Dr. Rostovtzeff has sought primarily to sketch the rise and decline of ancient civilization for the general reader; avoiding the "strictly scientific form" and omitting the "scientific apparatus" which would have been natural had he been writing chiefly for the specialist. He has thus produced a most readable book, in which one may follow the course of development, political, social, religious, economic and cultural, from the first dawn of organized life in Sumer, Akkad and Egypt, to the decline and fall of the outworn Roman Empire in the fifth and sixth centuries A. D. On this side, perhaps the most delightful and valuable aspect of the work is the feeling of life it gives to the history of the ancient world. As Dr. Rostovtzeff traces, for example, the varied activity of the Hellenistic Age, and notes its similarity to the world of today, the reader can feel the restless movement of the time, and lose that sense of something dead and buried which so often oppresses the student of the past.
For the specialist, the chief interest of the book will naturally lie in the fundamental ideas on the main problems of ancient history at which Dr. Rostovtzeff has arrived; such, for instance, as the view that the decline of ancient civilization was due to a psychological cause. "What lies at the root of this steady reversion of civilized man to the primitive state of barbarism? Wherever we observe this process, we note also a psychological change in those classes of society which have been up till then the creators of culture. Their creative power and creative energy dry up; men grow weary and lose interest in creation and cease to value it; they are disenchanted; their life is no longer an effort towards a creative ideal for the benefit of humanity; their minds are occupied either with material interests or with ideals unconnected with life on earth and realized elsewhere. In this latter case the centre of attraction shifts from earth to heaven, or from earth to a world beyond the grave." A view which, it may be noted, explains the marvellous attraction of Christianity for the men and women of this time.
It is not, of course, to be expected that all of Dr. Rostovtzeff's opinions will win unqualified assent. Many students, to take a couple of examples from the survey of the Greek States, will be inclined to doubt the statements that "the real power belonged to the apella or popular assembly" at Sparta, and that the Cleisthenic Council of Five Hundred at Athens was "an endeavor to govern by means of a House of Representatives." Granting, in the first case, that the apella elected the Ephors, this does not seem enough to offset the facts that the assembly only voted on measures submitted by the magistrates after discussion by the Council; that the officials could break up any meeting before a measure was formally adopted if the decision were unpleasing to them, and that the habits of discipline ingrained in the Spartiatae by the Lycurgan system would render them subservient to control, thus making the power of the apella more nominal than "real." In the second case, it seems more than doubtful that any idea of "representative government," as we understand the term, occurred to the ancients, and surely, if the Council had been intended to act in a "representative" capacity, the monthly committees, which practically transacted the Council business, would have been composed of five members from each of the ten tribes instead of the fifty members of a single tribe, by which fact nine-tenths of the tribes were not really "represented" in any given month. Such disagreements on the interpretation of our scanty information are, however, inevitable, and will add to, rather than detract from, the interest of the book.
One feature of the work which is especially notable is the way in which the author keeps before his readers the interrelation and inter-action of the different sides of ancient life, and the light thrown on the course of development in one sphere of human activity by contemporary conditions in other aspects of life. How the economic situation, for example, will provide a solution for perplexing problems of politics, while for the general reader Dr. Rostovtzeff has provided a book which triumphantly meets the two all-decisive texts, that it should hold the interest and attention from start to finish, and that on reaching the conclusion the reader should not be satisfied with a single perusal, but should desire to re-read the whole work and linger here and there over specialty attractive chapters.
E. E. B.
* * *
IN SAVAGE AUSTRALIA. By Knut Dahl. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Co. Cloth, table of contents, index, illustrated, 320 pages. Price, $6.25.
THERE is a school of Masonic students who are convinced that the origins of our institution are to be found in the remote past - more remote than conservative scholars are willing to admit. This group is interested in savage ceremonials, many of which show remarkable resemblances to the ritual of Modern Freemasonry. The Australian bushmen in particular have initiatory rites which parallel those of our Fraternity and as a result they have come in for a large share of investigation. Resulting from this attitude on the part of certain students is an interest in any book dealing with Australia.
When the present work was announced it seemed that it might throw some new light upon this phase of research. The reader is, however, doomed to disappointment. The surprising thing is that a man whose powers of observation are as keen as those of Mr. Dahl has spent several years in the Australian bush and succeeded in acquiring only the most superficial knowledge of the initiation ceremonies. This shows quite clearly the secrecy which the native is capable of maintaining, and makes our debt to Howitt, Spencer and Gillen, and others even greater than has heretofore been admitted. These men succeeded in gaining the confidence of the natives and learning much of their inner life. Dahl, on the other hand, has learned little or nothing.
There is no intention to detract from the value of this book, but it is necessary to point out that so far as Masonic study is concerned the work is useless. Mr. Dahl is a naturalist and his observations deal primarily with the fauna of the country. His adventures are interesting, and told in an entertaining manner. The drawings which illustrate the work were made by the author, and they are most commendable. It goes almost without saying that they add materially to the interest of the work. The book is one that may be read with profit by anyone and it is a very valuable contribution to the knowledge we possess of Australia.
E. E. T.
* * *
WHAT CHRIST MEANS TO ME. By Wilfred T. Grenfell. Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Cloth, 82 pages. Price, $1.35.
THAT Jesus of Nazareth has had a very great influence upon the life of every Christian will be denied by no one, I believe. It is nevertheless true, that very few of us have tried to picture the exact part that Christ has played in moulding our lives. When we come to discuss concrete illustrations of the Christian influence it is frequently found that we have to do some rapid thinking before the precise example comes to mind. This state of affairs may be due to the fact that we have lived in a Christian environment, and that we accept Christ and His teachings in much the same unconscious manner that we accept green as the name of a color commonly found in the leaves of trees. The average human does not stop to ask why leaves are green. Our acceptance of Christianity (and this implies the acceptance of Christ) is, at the present time, of the same sort. We do not ask why we do believe as we do, it is sufficient for our every day needs to accept what has been accepted for centuries.
Dr. Grenfell has asked himself what Christ has meant to him and the book under discussion is his answer to that question. It is interesting to read simply because the author has ventured into a field that is rarely touched. There are, however, other reasons for reading the work. It is not a philosophical treatise. It is easily read and as easily understood. There is entertainment on every page for those who seek that form of reading. But above all Dr. Grenfell has told us what Christ has meant to him during the years he has served in Labrador as a medical missionary. The man is unique and so is the book, and this should be enough to arouse anyone's interest.
* * *
NEW BOOKS RECEIVED
A Concise History of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in the U. S. A. By John F. Furness. Privately printed.
Loge Liebe Leben, ein Buch der Weihe. By Reinhold Braun, published by the Verein deutscher Freimaurer, Leipzig.
Hindu Mysticism. By S. N. Dasgupta, published by The Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago. Price, $2.15.
The Message of the Poets. By John J. Lanier, published by the author, Norton, Kansas.
The Quest of the Golden Stairs. By Arthur Edward Waite, published :by the Theosophical Publishing House, London. Price, $4.00.
THE QUESTION BOX
THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES
Space will not permit enlargement upon the following thoughts provoked by reading Bro. Carter's article in THE BUILDER for August under the above beading. But as one who has arrived at a satisfactory (to himself) solution of the great problem of all the ages, I submit the following brief remarks:
1. In the sense of time, or duration, there can be neither a First nor a Final Cause.
2. I believe that Life is eternal; that there was never any time when it began; that there will never be a time when it does not exist.
3. Wherever finite Life exists, it is struggling for more life, higher life, or, as the Scriptures express it, "more abundant life."
4. I believe in the Oneness, the unity of the cosmos. Therefore, I believe in the ultimate (in the sense of supreme) unity of life, from which all individual life emanates.
5. The tyro in mathematics learns that infinity is not measurable quantity. And so, analogically, but none the less certainly, when we speak of life and mind, the finite cannot group and comprehend the infinite.
6. We can only apprehend (as distinguished from comprehending) the infinite, either quantitatively or qualitatively. This faculty of apprehension is called in common language, Faith.
7. Faith begins where logic, by its finiteness ends. Every scientific conclusion, whether by induction or deduction, is based upon taking for granted certain fundamentals, which we call axioms.
8. Life and mind are apprehended by the movements and physical results which we attribute to them as the moving cause. We cannot see life and mind, or sense them in any other way.
9. Logical processes are not only finite in their foundation, but there is a limit at the top, just as there is a limit to which sky-scrapers can be erected. Here, again, we walk by faith, the foundation of all our logical expectations and the conviction of all future aspirations.
10. Through faith, I believe that the Oneness of mind and life as stated in No. 4, above, is what we call God.
11. I cannot conceive of mind and life, either as the One, or as the Many, without purposiveness; hence I attribute to the One a purpose in distributing itself among the Many. If this seems illogical and inconsistent with the Infinite and Absolute, my answer is, that the purposiveness of the Infinite is in itself infinite and eternal, and in that respect differs from the purposiveness of finite minds just as the infinite differs from the finite.
12. I believe in the benevolence of the laws which govern the lives of the Many; my limited knowledge of those laws teaches me that they favor the enlargement of life within limitations, as to the individual; but, so far as I can see, without limitation, or at least, only within the limits of tremendous expansion, as to the development of the genus or the race.
13. As life in all its endless forms as we know it is, generally speaking, striving for higher, greater, more abundant life, I take it that it is right for the individual to aspire to higher and more abundant life. To assert that it is wrong is the acme of pessimistic philosophy.
14. Speaking again generally, death is a transitional process from life in an old form to life in a newer, and if the environment is favorable, the latter form will enjoy a higher degree of life than was enjoyed by the old. The stalk and the blades of the corn of this year die and rot; but the seed, when planted under favorable conditions, will spring forth in an improved form, with a greater yield than the old.
15. But the life of the individual, taking life as a whole, has a higher purpose than merely the perpetuation of its own life. That purpose is the perpetuation of its species. This purpose may, or may not be, in all cases, a conscious idea, but the impulse is there, everywhere where life exists.
16. My conclusion, therefore, is that the individual lives for the species, and not the species for the individual.
17. Believing that Life is right, I derive the ground upon which I build my system of ethics and morality; whatever conduces toward a higher and more abundant life for the species is the duty of the individual, and hence it becomes the duty of the individual, if occasion demands it, to sacrifice itself for the species or the race.
18. "What are we here for?" The very asking of the question implies an apriori conception of purposiveness; and therefore I cannot escape the conviction that the One has an infinite purpose in distributing itself among the Many in all the innumerable forms of life. What that purpose is, cannot be better answered than in the old catechism: that God created man for His own glory. And my trust in Him, or It, is as implicit as that which the child places in its earthly father. "I know not what awaits me," but "He knows." And whatever that purpose is, it is right.
L. B. Russell, Texas.
* * *
I have been interested in the articles in THE BUILDER relating to anti-Masonry. Was there anything in the practice of Masonry or the conduct of its members, prior to the Morgan Episode, that made a more fertile field for anti-Masonry? Was Masonry, or were Masons as such, engaged in any political activity that invited attack?
A. W. Gage, Florida.
Your question has been covered in Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch's article, The Rise and Development of Anti-Masonry in America, 1737-1826, published in THE BUILDER for August, 1926. Briefly, the ground for the Morgan excitement and its aftermath was really broken during the first quarter of the nineteenth century through continued confusion of Freemasonry with the Illuminati of Europe, through the opposition of religious zealots and the misconduct of Masons themselves. There is no question that the Masons held high political offices, and that this fact aroused jealousy and emnity. Perhaps this feeling was aggravated by a spirit of braggadocio on the part of some Masons.
E. M. E.
* * *
THE STYLE OF A KNIGHT TEMPLAR
There is a proposal being discussed in Canada to change the form of address in the Order of the Temple. The present style has always seemed to me to be incorrect and entirely at variance with proper usage. As I understand it the proper form of address or reference to a Knight is to use the title Sir with his Christian name, as Sir John or Sir William. But I am not sure how a group of Knights should be addressed. Have you any information as to this? What, for instance, is the present usage in England when any of the existing Orders of Knighthood are convened, as the Bath or the Garter? I do not like the form that is being proposed here, Brother Knights, and if any change is to be made it seems as if it would be better to find out what is the correct form and adopt that rather than invent a new one.
A. J. W., Canada.
We are very much interested to hear that in Canada there is talk of changing the style of address in the Masonic Order of the Temple, and we quite agree with our correspondent that the phraseology now employed is not in accordance with general usage. It is really a source of wonder that such solecisms as "Sir Knight John J. Jones" or "the Sir Knights of Jerusalem Commandery" ever came into existence. The Order has of course an undoubted right to use any language it may choose, but seeing that there is manifest in its ceremonies a desire to reproduce as far as possible the forms of the original Order it is strange that a detail that could have been so easily corrected as this should have been allowed to pass.
For the individual the correct address, as our correspondent says, would be Sir John, and if necessary to distinguish between two of the same Christian name, then Sir John Jones would be proper. Originally a Knight was distinguished by the name of the land he held or the place where he was born, as Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, or Sir John of Hainault, though very early a surname (which was often a nickname) was sometimes used. Indeed our modern surnames are mostly derived from the place of birth or habitation, the occupation or a descriptive nickname of some ancestor.
By the middle of the fifteenth century the use of the surname in speaking of a Knight seems to have been usual, as Sir Thomas Howes and Sir John Tatteshall, two Knights mentioned in the Paston letters. Both these surnames however were undoubtedly place names in the first place, and would have been "of the Howes" (or the Hollows) and "of Tatteshall." At this period it had become usual to use the style "Sir Thomas Howes, Knight," in addressing letters, or in deeds and other legal documents, while as a signature the title was omitted, and the form would be John Paston, Knight. This addition was necessary in the first case because the title (Sir was not exclusive. It was proper also in addressing those who were not Knights, as for example, priests. Even now in England it is necessary to use this form in description as the title belongs equally to baronets, so that we find such forms still in full use as Sir John Smith, Kt., and Sir Thomas Jones, Bart.
In the middle ages it was proper to address a stranger, who was wearing the dress and ornaments of Knighthood, as Sir Knight, just as a strange cleric would be addressed as Sir Priest. Officials also were addressed by the title of their office as Sir Steward, or Sir Seneschal. But Sir Knight would not have been used when the proper name was known except perhaps in contempt. It was in fact just about equivalent to the vulgarism sometimes heard, "Mister Man."
A group of Knights could not possibly have been addressed as :Sir Knights. Sir is not an adjective and Sir Knight is not a compound word. Sirs Knights is awkward and redundant. The terms actually used. judging from mediaeval literature, were either "Sirs" or simply "Knights," both of which would still be correct. Very often the adjective "gentle" or "fair" was used also, as "gentle Knight, I pray your favor," or "fair Knights, let us ride forth."
Knights who belonged to an Order may however have been addressed by their fellow members by some other title. It must be remembered that most Orders were originally associations of Knights in the same sense as Freemasonry is a fraternity of freemen, that is, Knighthood was a qualification of entrance. The Order of the Bath was an exception to this, but it originally seems rather to have consisted of Knights created by the King of England in full form and ceremony, instead of being "dubbed" on the battlefield, which was the most usual practice. Thus, until modern times at least, it would not have been properly an order at all, but more like the whole body of the graduates of a university. In lay Orders of Knighthood, the term Companion may have been used, though we have found no definite information on the point. But the title of the lowest rank in such orders actually is Knight Companion as distinguished from Knight Commander. Originally the distinction was Knight Bachelor and Knight Banneret. The former having only his personal attendants, the latter being leader of a troop.
In the monastic orders, such as that of the Temple, or the Hospitallers, it seems that "Brother" or "Brethren" was used between the members themselves, but they most certainly would not have used Brother Knight, nor in the lay orders, Companion Knight. It would be either Brother, or Companion, or else Sir, with or without the personal name or title of office. In Latin the Knights Templar were called Fratres milites Templi, and though miles was used in mediaeval Latin as an equivalent for Knight, it properly means soldier. In any case as far as can be judged the phrase was only used as descriptive of class or grade, there being the Fratres milites, the Fratres capellani, or chaplains, and Fratres servientes; so far as can be judged they addressed each other as brother, or its equivalent in the language spoken. Brother or brethren would thus seem to be historically most correct; but Sir or Sirs, or Knights would also seem to be proper, but not any of the combinations now being proposed or which are now in use.
* * *
FOURTEEN OR FIFTEEN DAYS
I have your letter in reply to mine in which you state that in your opinion it should be fifteen days in the second section of the Third Degree. As I said I had read some time ago that it should be fourteen days, but I could not remember the book.
I have now rediscovered the source of my information. It is in the Revised Mackey's Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and reads in part as follows:
Fourteen. It is only necessary to remind the well-informed Mason of the fourteen days of burial mentioned in t legend of the Third Degree.
The article then goes on and gives several symbolical meanings attached to this period.
This is not written in a spirit of controversy, but simply to give the other side of the story. The second section of the Third is so full of symbolism of the most importance that it has always been my special study.
L. B. R., Idaho.
This matter of the period of time is one of the details of the legend of the Third Degree on which there is much variation. The opinion given to which our correspondent refers did not, however, concern what should be "correct," but what was related in the oldest versions known to us. In the first place the rituals of several jurisdictions of the United States certainly say fifteen days. From such indications as exist it would appear that Webb and Jeremy Cross also so taught their pupils.
In England, however, no definite period is given. It is merely stated to have been a considerable time; but in Browne's Master Key, a ritual in cipher published towards the end of the 18th century, stress is laid on the time when H.A.B. was first missed, and generally missed. In old French rituals the time before his absence was realized is said to have been seven days.
But the very first witness we have, Prichard, in 1730 distinctly says fifteen days, and this really, in our opinion, was the original tradition, for no early evidence that we are acquainted with contradicts it. The "Modern" version, which is the basis of the present English ritual, simply omits to say anything definite. That of the "Ancients," which underlies American rituals with one or two exceptions, generally retained the statement; until the ritual revisers of the period of revival after the depression of the Craft due to Anti-Masonry got in their work. This "correction" has never become universal fortunately.
It is very probable that Mackey was right in supposing the time to have an astronomical reference, that is to the lunar period between the full moon and the next new moon. Each phase is very nearly seven days, and a lunar month for practical purposes is twenty-eight days. But the period between the full and the new moon may very properly be said to be fifteen days, in the same way that "Monday week," for example, is the eighth day from Monday, not the seventh. The fifteenth day is the first day of the new moon, which would appear to be the point of the symbolic connection.
And in reference to the interpretation of the ritual it may be said that in the past altogether too many alterations have been made in the interests of schemes of interpretation, and superficial consistency. The thing that should be done is to find out so far as it may be possible what the original phraseology, or at least the oldest available phraseology, actually was, and then if possible assign a meaning to it. If that cannot be done it is no reason for removing a ritual landmark. Someone may come after us who can solve the riddle; our first duty in regard to the ritual is to preserve the old tradition.
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014