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THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
volume 14 - number 11
WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH FREEMASONRY?
The First of a Series of Outspoken Articles of Critical Analysis and Constructive Suggestion on Present Day Problems of Our Ancient Fraternity
By BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
Bro. Hungerford, the author of a striking and provactive book, “Seeing Both Sides of Yourself,” in the present series hopes to show Masons that there are two sides to the Institution by to which they belong. We fully expect that these articles will shock, perhaps pain many good brethren, but the only way to escape judgment by the world, for men and for societies both, is to forestall it by selfcriticism, and correction of that which needs amendment or modification.
HOW does this question strike you? Does the implication that there may possibly be something the matter with Masonry instinctively arouse an attitude of resentment? Do you feel that our beloved Fraternity, like Caesar's wife, must surely be "above suspicion and beyond reproach ?" Do you cherish any sort of subconscious notion that there is something disloyal about an inquiry as to whether or not Freemasonry is meeting the challenge of our times and living up to the principles it professes?
Instead of resenting the implication of our question, you may take just the opposite attitude. Possibly, you may belong to the "anvil chorus" of your lodge and, accordingly, our question inspires you with sort of an unholy hope that somebody is about to give the Fraternity a good "ripping up the back."
Or, you may pass over our question with the indifference that seems to characterize the great majority of those who have been enrolled in our Fraternity, with the remark: "What difference does it make anyway?" Since less than 20 per cent of our members regularly attend their lodges, and a disproportionately large number show no sign that their membership in the Fraternity has made any real impression upon their lives, it must be expected that these inactive brethren are apt to be indifferent regarding any question reflecting either credit or discredit upon Freemasonry.
On the other hand, our question may not arouse you, personally, to any of the attitudes just mentioned; yet I am sure you will admit that many of your brethren will look upon our question in one of these three ways. You may be alive to the fact that we are living in a challenging age, in which every social agency or institution, no matter how ancient its origin or honorable its history, is now being subjected to a critical analysis to determine whether or not it is keeping pace with progress and doing its full share in serving the needs of our times. Surely, a society which so emphatically advocates the seeking for light, more light, and still further light, should not shun the searching rays of a critical survey turned upon its own aims, activities and achievements. Surely, as every student of its teaching knows, the secrecy of Freemasonry was not intended, and should never be used, to hide anything discreditable to the Craft.
Yet, you will not deny that the mere suggestion of a critical study of Freemasonry will be received by many of our brethren in at least one of the three ways outlined above. This fact alone, I believe, would fully justify our series of studies, even though there were not so many additional objectives to be gained.
For example, when I mentioned the mere possibility of this undertaking to one of the members of my lodge, he immediately began to raise objections before I had a chance to explain anything further about my intentions than the fact that a critical survey of the Fraternity was contemplated. This cautious brother counseled: "Leave all the criticism of our Fraternity to outsiders. Masonry always has had plenty of enemies to point out its faults and shortcomings, and to throw brickbats at it, without any need for its own members doing any inside knocking. You ought to remember the old saying that 'It's a bad bird that befouls its own nest' and so you ought to lay off doing anything but boosting for your own Fraternity."
Now, I contend, that this "sacred cow" attitude is one of the outstanding faults of the Craft in America. Probably it is an inherent shortcoming of all secret societies. The impressive ceremonies of initiation, possibly, may suggest that there is something sacrosanct or superhuman about such a fraternity that no ordinary mortal should dare to question, much less criticise.
Should we Ostrich-like Bury Our Heads in the Sand?
In reality, Freemasonry is a gloriously human institution, and actually lays emphasis upon the facts of the frailty and weakness of the mortals who comprise its membership. Yet, if we should heed the warnings of some misguided Masonic "boosters," no one would ever venture the suggestion that anything about our Institution might possibly be improved. According to the views of these blind devotees to tradition, the Fraternity was so perfectly and divinely devised originally that it is now beyond the power of any human agency to improve its plans or programs. The real facts are that, while the roots of Freemasonry are grounded in antiquity, the body and branches of the Fraternity always have been alive and vigorous, and, consequently, always growing. Our ever green emblem, the sprig of Acacia, is not merely a symbol of individual immortality, it also suggests the immortality of our always-living and ever-growing Institution itself.
In the same way that too much self-esteem stunts the spiritual growth of any individual, so too much pride in its own superiority, with consequent resentment of criticism, hinders the growth of any society. Constructive criticism always has been the great stimulus for progress and growth of all institutions. So, in undertaking a series of investigations of the present relationships of Freemasonry with its contemporary institutions and their problems, I am breaking no precedents. Fortunately, Freemasonry has been freely criticized in the past, from the inside, as well as by its so-called enemies without its walls of secrecy.
This introductory outline of the objective of our series is not submitted as an apology but simply to clear up my readers' understanding as to my motives and to explain the means I propose to employ in conducting my investigations. In particular, I hope to make clear the cooperative character of my studies and to urge you, as a real "booster" for your Fraternity, to join with us to the end that our combined endeavors may foster the continued growth and further extend the beneficent influence of our beloved brotherhood.
During the course of this series, I propose considering every criticism that has been directed against the present day activities of our Craft, including the slurs and slams of careless or uninformed outside critics as well as the more serious observation of shortcomings by those within the walls of our fraternal fold.
Naturally, such an inquiry should start with the question as to what extent the Fraternity is living up to its own ideals and accomplishing its stated purpose. Consequently, I propose frankly to face our first question:
To What Extent is Membership Today Improving, Morals: Unbuilding Character
Surely this is a fair question, since it is in no sense a secret that the chief objective of Freemasonry is characterbuilding.
That it is a question frequently raised by outsiders, a few recent incidents will illustrate. At the annual smoker of a club composed mainly of Masons, Will Rogers, the principal entertainer for the occasion, told this story, which I am relating, without attempting to reproduce the inimitable drawl of the world-famous comedian.
"Back home in Oklahoma, when I was a boy," said Will, "there used to be an old character living in our town who made his living shooting oil wells. He used to go clattering about the country driving an old pair of mules and a rattling old buckboard which was loaded with several cans of nitroglycerine while the old well-shooter himself always was loaded with bad liquor. Nobody in our town could ever remember seeing him completely sober and, naturally, everybody expected that some day there would be an accident and he would be blown to kingdom come. But, no matter how tight the old boy got, he always appeared to be able to attend to his business. Of course, lots of folks tried to warn him of his danger and to reform his wicked ways. I remember one day my dad got to talking with this old fellow. "Jim," says dad, "are you a Shriner ? " "Nope," answered Jim. "Are you a Knight Templar?" dad inquired next. "Nope," was Jim's reply. "Well, you surely must be a Mason, aren't you ? " dad persisted. "No sir'ee, Mr. Rogers," Jim answered cheerfully. "I ain't no Mason, nor an Oddfellow, nor an Elk; I'm jest an ordinary drunkard."
This sly dig at shortcomings very generally sups posed to be typical of certain fraternal activities, which our famous comedian put over so cleverly, was recently expressed more unpleasantly, with evident intent of "getting a rise” out of our good friend Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, in a letter which recently appeared in his column in "The New York Tribune." This critic's letter to Dr. Cadman, who is one of the Grand Chaplains of New York state, asked the doctor to explain why so many Freemasons of the letter-writer's acquaintance were such "intemperate and dissolute characters," whereas it was generally understood that every Masonic Lodge is supposed to inculcate and uphold high moral principles and practices among its members. Dr. Cadman answered this critic by asserting that those Masons who are guilty of such conduct are the rare exceptions and, therefore, must not be regarded as representative of the general moral attitude and behavior upheld by the Fraternity as a whole.
Nevertheless, this criticism of the misbehavior of certain bibulous brethren seems to me quite common and I am not so sure that it is not fairly well justified. While I would by no means admit that Masons are less temperate than other men outside the Craft, still I think that the Fraternity falls far short of living up to one of the principal tenets that it professes to inculcate and practice.
However, the question as to whether by joining a Masonic Lodge a man may learn the better to subdue his appetites and improve his behavior is not the main issue of this particular inquiry. Surely it must be admitted that our ceremonials of initiation do not transform weak, frail mortals into angels of light. Likewise, it does not seem quite fair to expect Masonic behavior to rank very much above that of average human beings.
But, before passing on to another phase of this inquiry, I desire to register my protest against the common practice of meeting every criticism of Masonic morality with the threadbare retort that "Masonry is not a reform school." No one pretends that it is, because it is an open secret that lodges attempt to guard their portals by making fairly strict inquiries into the past behavior and moral character of everyone seeking admission into the Fraternity.
On the other hand, if the answer to one of the first questions put up to each candidate does not clearly state the moral objective of all Masonic activities; in fact, if the entire Masonic ritual does not instill plain principles of morality and impress the fact that Masonry is a cultural agency, definitely aiming at the betterment its members and the advancement of all humanity, then I have been sadly mistaught as to the meaning of the English language.
However, let us view this matter from another angle by considering a psychological criticism of ritualism. This particular criticism, of course, is not confined to our Craft, but is directed against all secret societies or institutions in which symbolical ceremonials constitute a principal factor. The question is:
Does Ritualism Menace Morality by Substituting Emotion for Effort?
The scientific principle involved in this criticism, which many prominent psychologists have directed against the performing of ceremonials or the reciting of creeds, is the same as the idea expressed by the Great Teacher who said, "Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only."
In brief, students of psychology argue that persons addicted to creeds and ceremonials frequently fail to make correct distinctions between words and deeds. By reciting a ritual, the individual is apt to feel that he has actually accomplished a worthy work, therefore his real deeds or doings may not square up with his moral professions.
I doubt if any unprejudiced observer will deny that this danger exists, although I believe that one psychologist has carried this criticism too far when he claims that "Freemasons are our modern Pharisees who 'love the uppermost rooms at feasts and the chief seats at the synagogue, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.' "
While, as I have stated, this seems a bit thick, still I believe it would not be a bad idea for every Freemason, particularly Masters of lodges, to read the twenty-third chapter of St. Matthew and, thereby, learn something about the shortcomings of those ancient addicts of ritualism, the Pharisees.
Perhaps you may never have heard any person bragging that he was "a good Mason." Possibly, you have never met a brother Mason who could recite the ritual backwards, yet has never begun to put into practice the real principles of our profession.
Anyway, even though you may never have heard this effect of too much ritualism upon the individual morality of members, surely you have heard another phase of this criticism expressed by the following question:
Is the Average Lodge of Thy Twentieth Century Merely a Decree Mill?
In metropolitan districts, this certainly is the most frequent inside complaint against the present-day activities of our order. The claim is made that most city lodges are compelled to devote their chief attention to the business of putting candidates through the mill, in order to provide necessary funds for Grand Lodge assessments and other steadily increasing expenses all down the line. In many lodges, each successive Master endeavors to break the membership and money-raising records of preceding administrations.
In a personal canvass of as many absentee members of my lodge as I could reach during my term as Master, the most frequent excuse given for not attending lodge was that the constant repetition of degree ceremonials was tiresome and boring. For instance, a certain exceptionally intelligent member, a professional man of considerable prominence, told me frankly "I would just as soon attend the sessions of a Chinese school as to sit in lodge and hear nothing but that same old stuff droned over and over again until it sounds like a mere rigmarole to most of the men on the benches."
Another frequent excuse for non-attendance was the objection to the frequent drives for funds at meetings. "Why should I come to lodge and be held up for some fund or another, when it is easier and less expensive to go out in the street and be held up by a panhandler ?"
This protest by one of our brothers, of course, is not in keeping with the spirit of Freemasonry; nevertheless, it represents a real criticism and, possibly, explains to some extent why some members seldom attend their lodge meetings. Furthermore, I am not so sure that the complaint against commercialized charity is not more or less justified by the way some of the fundraising campaigns are conducted in many lodges. It seems to me that some of our Masonic fund-raising drives contain more of the "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal" element than they do of the real spirit of charity which "vaunteth not itself" and "is not puffed up.”
Do "Button" and "Knife and Fork" Members Dominate Numerically ?
In all cases where the modern competitive spirit enters into our fraternal activities and whenever lodges strive after quantity rather than quality records of membership, this criticism against making a degree mill out of the lodge seems justified. Likewise, it doubtless accounts for another common criticism of our order, represented by the following question:
Based upon the truth of the old maxim that "There must be fire where there is so much smoke," it surely must be admitted that this particular criticism is prevalent. You hear the characterization of "button Masons" and "belly Masons" everywhere you may go. Surely you have met many whose main activities in Masonry consists of buying a pin nearly as big as a fireman's badge which they display as conspicuously as possible everywhere they go. Likewise, you will probably have to admit that there are a good many members of your own lodge who never come out to any meetings excepting the ones which provide a free feed. The popularity of the "Fourth Degree" in Freemasonry is comparable to the popularity of the "Nineteenth Hole" in golf. Some of our brethren appear to be deaf to nearly everything excepting the call "from labor to refreshment."
While this, of course, merely represents a common weakness of frail humanity; nevertheless it also indicates a shortcoming and handicap to the progress of the more desirable and praiseworthy practices in our Craft. Surely, we have "missed the mark of our high calling," if we have failed to impress our candidates with the fact that Freemasonry means far more than either social or business intercourse.
However, it can not be denied that this particular criticism is based upon fairly universal faults of human beings rather than any serious shortcoming of our Institution. Let us, therefore, as our final question, consider a criticism which is directly and definitely concerned with our customary lodge activities.
Are Masonic Meetings Devoted Mainly to "Backpatting, Blah and Bunk" ?!
Here is a criticism that comes from a representative of our rather boisterous and somewhat obstreperous "younger generation," a young man of my own profession who has achieved quite a brilliant reputation in the magazine field. If you find the language rather loose and the criticism somewhat extravagant, please bear in mind that I am attempting to give it to you as I received it. Likewise, pray do not overlook the fact that this criticism represents a fairly common point of view among many of our younger brothers.
"I quit coming to lodge because I found that most Masonic meetings are devoted mainly to backpatting, blah and bunk. Every lodge night I used to go home with a pain in the neck from listening to some pompous old windbag spouting a lot of stewed bologna about the grand and glorious deeds of some other old windbag. Then, after the first hot-air artist ran out of gas, the old bird who had been all puffed up at hearing himself lied about so fluently would have to get up and hand back a big line of blah-blah to the big banana oil merchant who began the palaver."
If any of our older readers are unable to understand the above, get one of the younger members of your lodge to translate it. Incidentally your younger brother may give you an "earful" of information as to the attitude of the Masons upon whom the destinies of the Craft will depend tomorrow.
You will note that I have made little attempt to elaborate or comment upon the criticisms raised in the questions which have been presented. My hope has been to arouse your interest in these problems and to obtain your observations or views regarding these matters.
You may deny that any or all of these criticisms are in any degree justified. You may pass lightly over them as minor matters, deserving of little or no consideration. You may hold that these affairs should be kept under cover and never discussed in any such a public forum as the pages of a magazine. But, I contend, that if you are a true friend of our Fraternity you will frankly face these issues, and try to find out to what extent they are operative in our lodges. Likewise, if you are able to contribute your bit or observation or experience towards the solution of these problems, or in answering the questions that have been raised in this article, you will be rendering a real service to the Craft by participating in this discussion. Address your letters of comment, criticism or suggestion to the Editor of THE BUILDER.
ST. JOHN'S PUBLIC HEALTH WORK
IN the purposes of the Order of the Hospital of St John it is declared that the Order will work for "The instruction of the public in the elementary principles and practice of nursing and hygiene, especially of the sick room. To do all things which will promote the public health and well-being of our home communities and of members of the Order and such other persons as may need or desire its services." It is also stated that the Order will work for "The securing of Special Schools for the care and education of physically defective children," and for "The establishment and operation of Training Camps for the physical education of men and women, boys and girls."
It may well be said that sickness is fast becoming a prohibitive luxury in America. Those who are unfortunate enough to have had any experience with the payment of hospital bills will readily agree with this statement:
If the patient is very ill and requires a day and night nurse then the cost may be from $20 to $25 a day, plus the doctors’ fees. A week or more of this and the average family sees bankruptcy ahead. Present day hospitals seem to provide for the needs of two classes of our population, the well-to-do and the poor. The first class can afford to pay hospital bills, while the poor secure some form of free treatment. The great middle class, without sufficient income to finance a hospital illness and too self-respecting to accept charity, are compelled to care for their sick in their homes.
It is the plan of the Order of St. John to provide hospital accommodations at reasonable prices for this class of our population.
The necessity for caring for the sick in the home finds the average family woefully unable to do so, no matter how willing. It may be possible to pay the bills but nursing knowledge is lacking. Neighbors and friends help out, and perhaps a "practical nurse," a partially trained woman, may be secured. There is a real need for instruction of women and girls in the "elementary principles and practices of nursing and hygiene, especially of the sick room." The public schools can and should provide such instruction. The hospitals could organize classes for the purpose. The Order of St. John will advocate that such provision for nursing education be made throughout the country, and until it is done Priories and Preceptories of the Order may provide for the organization of classes in nursing and form a staff of physicians for this purpose. This can easily be made a part of the course in first aid work which it is also proposed to organize.
A fraternal organization with a social welfare purpose may be able to render great service to the public along these and other lines. It is a project in which many Masons will be glad to assist.
American Army Lodges in the World War
BY BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor, Pennsylvania
ONE of the most hotly debated questions before the Grand Lodges during the War was the advisability of issuing either Dispensations or Charters to Military Lodges. A few only of the Jurisdictions gave affirmative consideration while the rest viewed with disfavor the entire matter. I am presenting in this issue of THE BUILDER the Military Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Indiana as a fine example of a conservative course pursued by that Grand body to show how both elements of the discussion were met in a broad and open-minded way by the brethren of that Grand Lodge. The work accomplished by this Emergency Lodge U. D. for the brief time it was in existence cannot be measured by the number of degrees conferred but by the spirit of fellowship that was cultivated in the Masonic members belonging to these state troops during the long and grilling days down in the southland. While this lodge did not get across to France, but demised upon the removal of the Indiana troops into foreign service, yet it displays for the thoughtful Mason one viewpoint in the problem of caring for members of the Craft in times of National Emergency. Though limited in its scope the experiment may be regarded as a success.
Emergency Lodge, U. D., of the Grand Lodge of Indiana
Located at Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi from May 29, 1918, to Selot. 16, 1918
THE steps taken in the inception, formation, labor and demise of this lodge are displayed here in rotation from the official papers now resting in the Archives of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, in its Masonic Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The first paper we reproduce is the Report of the Committee on Jurisprudence of the Grand Lodge Communication of 1918 as read by its chairman, M.W. Bro. P. G. M. Harry B. Tuthill, as published in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge for 1918.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON JURISPRUDENCE
M. W. Harry B. Tuthill Past Grand Master, presents the following:
On-Organization of Lodge at Camp Shelby.
To the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana:
A petition having been heretofore presented to this Grand Body signed by O.O. Dunbar, a member of Logan Lodge, No. 575, Indianapolis, Indiana, and three hundred other Master Masons, members of Masonic Lodges in the State of Indiana all under this Grand Jurisdiction, who are now in the army of the United States and sojourning at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, praying that they be permitted to organize, open lodge, hold meetings at suitable times and in a proper place at or near said Camp Shelby, and there under the authority of this Grand Lodge initiate, pass and raise candidates;
And said petition having been referred to Honorable W. Laurence Wilson, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of the State of Mississippi, for his suggestions and approval, which approval has been given, all of which appear by letters now on file in the office of Calvin W. Prather, Grand Secretary of this Grand Lodge;
Which petition and correspondence have received the attention and consideration of your Committee on Jurisprudence;
Said Committee now reports as follows:
That all bona fide residents of the State of Indiana who possess all of the qualifications required for membership in subordinate Lodges within this Grand Jurisdiction in the army of the United States and located at Camp Shelby in the State of Mississippi, and none others, be, and they and each of them are hereby authorized to petition the Lodge having jurisdiction over the territory in which they now reside, and if two or more Lodges have concurrent jurisdiction over said territory, then to petition any one of said Lodges with such concurrent jurisdiction, and upon payment to said Lodge of the fee required by the by-laws thereof, said Lodge shall be and is hereby permitted to receive said petition, ballot upon, elect or reject said applicant, in all things according to the Regulations of this Grand Lodge.
If said candidate be rejected, the whole of said fee shall be immediately returned to said petitioner. If said candidate be elected, said Lodge shall forthwith transmit under the hand of the Secretary and seal thereof of said Lodge under Dispensation at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, a request that it proceed to confer upon said candidate the several degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason in full form, in all things according to the Regulations of this Grand Jurisdiction; and therewith said Lodge shall also enclose to said Lodge, under Dispensation, the sum of five dollars to compensate it for the expense incurred in the performance of said work. Forthwith after said degrees have been conferred upon said candidate, said Lodge under Dispensation shall certify that fact to said Lodge so requesting, which Lodge shall enroll the name of said candidate on its records as a member thereof.
And to carry out the terms hereof, your Committee recommends that there issue to Brother O. O. Dunbar and the other signers of said petition, residents of Indiana, under the hand of the proper officers of this Grand Lodge and the seal thereof, a dispensation enabling and empowering them to assemble at some convenient and proper place in Camp Shelby, or in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and there organize a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons with Brother Lieutenant C. C. Brautigam, Past Master of Capital City Lodge, No. 312, Indianapolis, as Worshipful Master; with Brother Major Raymond C. Chambers, Past Master Excelsior Lodge, No. 41, La Porte, as Senior Warden; and Brother Captain C. R. Dunn, Past Master of Decatur Lodge, No. 571, Decatur, as Junior Warden; and that the other officers thereof be selected and appointed by said Master and Wardens; that said Master and Wardens have full power by selection and appointment to fill any office of said Lodge under dispensation except that of Master and Wardens made vacant by death, inability to act, detailed to other posts or cantonments, resignation, or by reason of such officer being sent across the seas; any vacancy in the offices of Master and Wardens shall be filled by the Grand Master of Indiana; that said Lodge be governed, and work in all things according to the Regulations of this Grand Lodge.
The existence of said Lodge under dispensation shall cease and determine when said cantonment at Camp Shelby is abandoned; and at the close of the war; or at such time as this Grand Lodge may determine, or the Grand Master be authorized to withdraw this dispensation and permission.
All of which is respectfully submitted,
Harry B. Tuthill
Lincoln V. Cravens,
Martin A. Morrison,
Orlando W. Brownback
John W. Hanan
Charles P. Benedict,
Wm. H. Swintz,
Olin E. Holloway,
Wm. E. English
Which report was adopted.
This report of the Committee on Jurisprudence was based on the reception by the Grand Lodge of the following Petition for a Dispensation to open and conduct a Military Lodge at Camp Shelby, Mississippi:
PETITION FOR DISPENSATION
To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Indiana:
We, the undersigned members of various Lodges in Indiana who are now located at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, fraternally request that we be granted a dispensation or permission by the Grand Lodge of Indiana to organize and open Lodge and hold meetings in a suitable place near our cantonment, for the purpose of conferring the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason degrees upon men who are in the United States Service and whose residence is in the State of Indiana, and none other. This Lodge under dispensation or permission to be immediately advised of the election or rejection of men in the U. S. Service located in the cantonment, city or vicinity of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, whose bona fide residence is in the State of Indiana; if elected, five dollars ($5.00) of the fee to accompany the certificate of the Lodge in Indiana electing him, to cover the necessary expenses of conferring all the degrees upon the petitioner for his home Lodge in Indiana. If the petitioner is rejected, the entire fee to be returned to the rejected petitioner. Immediately upon the degrees having been conferred upon the petitioner elected by his home Lodge, a certified notice will be at once forwarded to the Lodge electing him to be enrolled as a member of said Lodge. If there is any excess of money accumulated in this Special Lodge from the amount suggested to cover expenses, when the Lodge is dissolved it will be donated to the Indiana Masonic Home.
We promise and agree as Master Masons, members of Masonic Lodges of Indiana to conform Strictly to all the rules, regulations and requirements of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. The existence of this Lodge to terminate when this cantonment is abandoned or at the close of the war or at such other time as the Grand Lodge may determine or the Grand Master be authorized to withdraw the dispensation or permission.
If this petition and request meets the approval of Grand Lodge for which we earnestly pray, we recommend for the first Worshipful Master, Lieutenant C.C. Brautigam, Past Master Capital City Lodge, No. 312, of Indianapolis for the first Senior Warden, Major R. C. Chambers, Past Master Excelsior Lodge, No. 41, of La Porte; for the first Junior Warden. Captain C. R. Dunn, Past Master Decatur Lodge, No. 571, Decatur. The other Officers to be appointed by the first Master and first Wardens. We further recommend that authority be given to the first Worshipful Master and first Wardens to fill by selection and appointment any office vacated by virtue of the first officers named being detailed to other posts or sent across the seas.
Your petitioners further promise to obtain for themselves or to rent from Hattiesburg Lodge, suitable quarters in which to meet and necessary paraphernalia to confer the degrees in accordance with the ritualistic requirements of Indiana.
Accompanying this Petition for a Dispensation were the names and lodges of the Master Masons who signed it.
Upon the favorable reception of the report of the Committee on Jurisprudence the following Dispensation was issued by the Grand Lodge:
EMERGENCY LODGE U.D. at CAMP SHELBY, MISSISSIPPI.
FAITH HOPE AND CHARITY
To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting:
WHEREAS, It has been represented to us that in a cantonment near the city of Hattiesburg, State of Mississippi, there are a large number of soldiers who are Free and Accepted Masons, who are desirous of associating together agreeably to the Constitution of Ancient Crafts Masonry, and for the purpose of Entering Apprentices, Passing Fellow Crafts and Raising Master Masons according to the known and established customs of Ancient Crafts Masonry and not otherwise.
It is ordained that no petitions can be received or acted upon from any Source whatever under this dispensation. It is further ordained that the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason can be conferred on persons who are in the service of the United States and no others. It is further ordained that the aforesaid degrees of Entered Apprentice Fellow Craft and Master Mason can be conferred only upon persons who are bona fide residents of the State of Indiana and who have been elected by the Lodge in Indiana in whose jurisdiction they reside, to receive the degrees as above indicated. Under this dispensation, the brethren aforesaid, whose petition is on file in the office of the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, are permitted to associate themselves together as a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the purpose as indicated in the foregoingall these persons to adopt such by-laws for the government and regulation of the Lodge as may appear necessary for the proper transaction of any business coming before said Lodgesaid by-laws to be submitted to the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi for his approval; and while conforming to the General Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, no authority is granted whatever to do any work, transact any business or commit any act that would be in conflict and contrary to the Grand Lodge or Grand Master of the State of Mississippi.
THEREFORE, I, Thomas B. Bohon, Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, in the State of Indiana, by and with the consent of the Grand Lodge, and by their Regulations and Special Edict, do hereby constitute and appoint for the first Worshipful Master Brother C. C. Brautigam; for the first Senior Warden, Brother R. C. Chambers; and for the first Junior Warden, Brother C. R. Dunn; the remaining officers to be selected in accordance with the report of the Committee on Jurisprudence, copy of which is hereto unattached and becomes a part of this dispensation.
For the more effectual preservation of these presents, the same is hereby ordered to be recorded in the Record Book of the Lodge.
GIVEN UNDER THE HAND OF Thomas B. Bohon Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Indiana, and the seal of said Grand Lodge, this 29th day of May, Anno Domini, 1918, Anno Lucis, 5918
(Seal) (Signed) Thomas B. Bohon, Grand Master. Attest: Calvin W. Prather
With the Dispensation now a fact, upon its arrival in Camp Shelby, the first problem to be considered was where to meet and what furniture to secure. I take from the "Reminiscences of the first Worshipful Master of Emergency Lodge, U.D.", W. Bro. C. C. Brautigam, the following history:
"One of the peculiar things that did happen occurred when we found that we could not use the lodge at Hattiesburg. We were told of a lodge at McLaurin, Mississippi (McLaurin was a lumber camp of twenty-five inhabitants). We followed up this information to find that the hall had been blown down three years previous, and the debris was piled up back of the railroad station. We were then compelled to find out where the McLaurin Lodge was meeting. We were told that the Worshipful Master of McLaurin Lodge was a brother by name of White. He operated a general store and Post Office, in fact about everything in town. Of him we inquired as to the possibility of meeting at the school where the McLaurin Lodge met. He referred us to the Board of Trustees from whom we gained permission. We did not have any equipment, so we inquired of Bro. White as to the equipment they were using. He escorted us to an old ware-room in the rear of his store. In an old barrel were twelve aprons, two deacons tops, two steward rods, a plumb, square and level. We shall never forget this peculiar incident. One of the boys who had ridden over to McLaurin on a mule, volunteered to take the equipment over to the school house. When he arrived at the school he had but five aprons left, for the mule had run away with him on his way over and scattered equipment throughout the entire distance.
"We were compelled to move all the seats in the school room to one side in order to give us ample room to confer degrees, as McLaurin Lodge had not conferred a degree in three years and had not required any floor space. We used the piano stool for the altar, the strips torn from an old curtain for cable-tow. When lodge was taken up, we locked the doors downstairs, and when the brethren wanted to gain admission they would throw rocks at the window on the second floor and the Tyler would go down and admit them provided they were properly vouched for. We were compelled to confer all degrees in the daytime as there were no lights in the building."
This Emergency Lodge having been primarily formed to care for the degree work upon Indiana material within the Cantonment of Camp Shelby, its powers were strictly limited and its labors confined within strait lines. I here attach a brief summary of this Indiana Field Lodge as it comes to me from the pen of its former Master, Bro. Lieut. C.C. Brautigam:
"On Sept. 22, 1917, the remainder of the Indiana troops stationed at Ft. Benjamin Harrison were ordered to Camp Shelby, Miss., and was formed into the 76th Brigade of the 38th Division. It was while the Hoosier Troops were in this camp that the petitions for Masonry began to pile up in the lodges at home from soldier Candidates. The lodge at Hattiesburg, Miss., was overtaxed with work, and was compelled to work four nights a week. As many as twenty degrees were conferred on Candidates each Wednesday and Saturday by the soldier Masons of Camp Shelby, which continued throughout the fall and winter of 1917 and 1918.
"In the spring of 1918 the Masons of Camp Shelby set about to have a Field Lodge in order to facilitate the work of Hattiesburg Lodge. This could not be accomplished by correspondence, which, however, did not discourage our efforts.
"Petitions were circulated throughout the Camp for signatures of Indiana soldier Masons, to present to the Grand Lodge of Indiana for a dispensation to confer degrees in the Grand Jurisdiction of Mississippi. It required about four weeks to obtain 380 signatures, which were presented to Bro. Calvin W. Prather, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. A dispensation was granted to the soldier Masons of the Camp in May, 1918, which was forwarded to us immediately after the Grand Lodge Session, but we were not able to confer degrees until June 29, 1918. This was due to the fact that the Grand Jurisdiction of Mississippi was slow in giving consent in the matter.
"Having secured the dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Indiana, it then became necessary for us to find a place to confer the degrees. The lodge in Hattiesburg, Miss., agreed to the use of their rooms, but on account of the vast amount of work which had piled up on them, we were compelled to look elsewhere. Finally we secured the High School at McLaurin, Miss., a small town about two and one-half miles from the Camp.
"On Saturday, June 29, 1918, the Emergency Lodge held its first meeting for the purpose of conferring the E. A. Degree on Mr. Harry Morganthaler, Capital City, No. 312, Indianapolis; Capt. Humphrey S. Evans, Southport Lodge, No. 270, Southport; Paul L. Myers, Samaritan Lodge, No. 105, Marion, Indiana.
"On July 13, 1918, we held our second meeting for the purpose of conferring degrees and conferred the F. C. and M. M. Degrees on Bros. Morganthaler, Evans and Myers.
"July 26, 1918, was our third meeting for the purpose of conferring the E.A. Degree on nine candidates:
Walter Good, Prince Lodge, No. 231, Princeton, Ind. Russel H. Davis, Samaritan Lodge, No. 105, Marion, Ind. Nathan Allen Cooper, Ancient Landmarks, No. 319, Indianapolis, Ind.; Emory Neal Cook, Ancient Landmarks, No. 319, Indianapolis, Ind. William R. Simmons, Terre Haute, No. 19, Terre Haute, Ind.: Howard M. Baldwin, Samaritan, No. 105, Marion, Ind. Albert L. Lockwood, Peru-Miami, No. 67, Peru Ind. E. F. Minch, Samaritan, No. 105, Marion, Ind.; and Roland B. Cooper, Mystic Tie, No. 398, Indianapolis, Ind.
"The next meeting was held on Aug. 3, 1918. The F. C. and M. M. Degrees were conferred on Bros. Good, Davis, N. A. Cooper, Cook, Simmons, Baldwin, Lockwood, Minch and R. B. Cooper.
"About Aug. 1, 1918, a request came to us to confer the F. C. and M. M. Degrees on Col. Healey of Prairie Lodge, No. 125, Rensseler. He was in command of the 151st Infantry and also the 76th Brigade. A meeting was called for the evening of Aug. 3, 1918, and I am proud to say that we had a great many of the brethren present to confer the F. C. Degrees.
"On Aug. 10, 1918, a meeting was called to confer the M. M. Degree on Col. Healey. This meeting was a grand success. All of the machines and trucks that were available were mustered into service to carry the brethren over to the little school house. After arriving, there were so many present that we were dubious as to where to put them all. However, everyone was satisfied, although a number were compelled to find seats on the floor.
"The great amount of military work that was going on in Camp about this time made it rather late for us to get started and as our Temple (or I should have said, school house) was not equipped with lights, it was necessary for us to muster in every light available, which constituted every kind, from candles to automobile lamps, which made the meeting very unique.
"On Aug. 18, 1918, the lodge met again for the purpose of conferring the E. A., F. C. and M. M. on Bros. Albert E. Mills and Walter Dodson of Shelburn, No. 369, Shelburn, Ind.
"On Sept. 7, 1918, the last meeting of our lodge was held, and the E.A., F.C. and M.M. Degrees were conferred on Bros. Thomas E. Kinnerman, of Samaritan, No. 105, Marion, Ind., and John Frank Snyder, of St. Johns, No. 20, Columbus, Ind.
"It will be noted that we have mentioned above our last meeting. We were then under orders for the great task, about to be undertaken on the other side. That task which thousands of Masons gallantly and bravely faced. Hundreds of our brave brethren are now sleeping in the Fields of Honor in France.
"In closing the history of the Emergency Lodge we wish to submit a few figures. Our receipts were $85.00 for fees and our expenditures were $29.50, which included the Secretary's fees, truck hire, postage, telegrams and incidentals, which left a balance of $55.50 which sum was turned over to the Masonic Home Fund.
"Although greatly handicapped in our efforts, every soldier brother took great pride in the acknowledgment of having received the degrees in the Emergency Lodge,
"Now that the brethren are all practically back home where they have magnificent Temples in which to meet I am positive that the respective lodges of which these brethren are members will be proud of them.
(signed) C. C. Brautigam, Worshipful Master.
When the orders moving the 38th Division from Camp Shelby came and the troops began to travel toward the coast, the Emergency Lodge Dispensation was returned as of date Sept. 16, 1918. Upon the Dispensation appears this brief notation;
Emergency Lodge Dispensation Returned September 16, 1918, when our boys went overseas from Hattiesburg, Miss.
Charles Brautigam, W. M.
Arthur Robinson, Secretary of Camp Shelby Emergency Lodge, U. D. This brief recital of the inception and activities of a prescribed Field Lodge on American soil, working busily to convey to comrades in the service some of benefits and enjoyments of the Craft and all this with the full consent and brotherly cooperation of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, seems to refute the prognostications of those brothers throughout many jurisdictions who shook their heads whenever the matter of Field Lodges was broached.
This broad view taken by the Grand Lodge of Indiana carried into practical life the principle that "everyone shall bear his own burdens." From the record as given above we find the Hattiesburg Lodge overtaxed in the midst of most strenuous days by the courtesy work furnished them by many of those very jurisdictions that themselves refused to relieve the pressure. But Indiana by her commonsense provision of this Emergency Lodge by means of which much of the pressure was taken from the local lodge at Hattiesburg, have established a precedent upon which American Masonry in future days may wisely build.
In closing this history of Emergency Lodge, U. D., of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, I wish to bear testimony to the unfailing good will and active interest of Worshipful Grand Secretary Calvin W. Prather now gone to the lodge above, who at all times gave me the information I desired. Also to W. Bro. William Swintz, Grand Secretary, and to W. Bro. C. C. Brautigam, who gave unreservedly of the facts on file in the archives of the Grand Lodge. And I take this opportunity to say to them, in behalf of all the Craft who value the preservation of such records, "My brothers, I thank you."
Cryptic Degrees and the Supreme Council
Being part of a chapter in the projected Official History of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
BY BRO. CHAS. SUMNER LOBINGIER, Washington, D. C. (Concluded from October)
THE question of the origin of the Cryptic Degrees has thus far been considered mainly from the standpoint of external evidence. Our late Companion William F. Kuhn contended, however, that:
If the solution of the riddle of the origin of the Cryptic Degrees is ever found, it can never be obtained simply by investigating by whom and where the degrees were first conferred, but its solution rests on the relation of these degrees to existing degrees (73).
Those who regard the Scottish Rite as the source of the Cryptic Degrees need not hesitate to apply such a test. But it is obvious that it can be successfully employed only by a comparative study of the rituals and here we are confronted with the fact, or at least probability, that the Cryptic rituals of the present day are not the same as the original ones. We have seen that as early as 1825 Holbrook pointed out that in the Jeremy Cross Ritual, "the Select Master was garbled and had lost a good part of the signs and words, etc. (74)." Bro. Hunt (75), a very fair and impartial writer, on this Subject, says:
Brothers Eekel and Niles were ardent Royal Arch Masons and very anxious to have the Grand Chapter take over the control of the Select Master's degree. It is, therefore, probable that they remodeled the degree so as to make it conform to the Royal Arch as then worked in America . . . That there have been changes made in the degrees we know from several sources. For instance, we know that the Grand Bodies who have control of the degrees have frequently revised the ritual and it is fair to assume that when controlled by individuals, each would make such changes as he desired, to make them conform to his purposes. Possibly Wilmans, Eekel and Cross each made some changes. At any rate, the ritual has been changed.
Referring to another phase he adds:
It would be very easy for a Royal Arch Mason to take this part of the degree and remodel it to fill the gap in the Royal Arch Degree of the York Rite.
Bro. Warvelle, who claims (76) that "our inception may be traced by internal evidence to the Ancient York Rite," does not specify what this internal evidence is but does admit elsewhere (77) that the degree of Select Master can be made to synchronize with the 14th degree of the latter (Scottish) rite, while the scene of action in both degrees is identical, to-wit: the S. V.
Bro. Hunt (78) points out that in spite of the changes in the rituals to which he refers
there are internal evidences to support the claim that these degrees originated from the same source as those of the Scottish Rite.
He then proceeds to marshal certain items of this internal evidence as follows:
1. In the present Select Master's degree and in the old Royal Arch of Solomon reference is made to 27 workmen the number of whom could not be increased. In both degrees also there is a reference to nine arches and there is no such reference in the Royal Arch of Zerubbabel.
2. In some of the old forms of the two degrees there is a reference to some valuable secrets deposited by the Patriarch Enoch in two pillars, one of which was destroyed by the flood, and the other discovered by Noah after the water subsided. These secrets were afterward placed in the Ark of the Covenant. Webb, in the first edition of his Monitor, printed in 1797, describes the Royal Arch Degree of the Scottish Rite and in this description gives incidents which show a close association of this degree with those of the Cryptic Rite.
3. A prominent character in both the Royal and Select Master's degrees is Adoniram, an official of the time of David. Solomon and Rehoboam . . . Adoniram appears frequently in Scottish Rite Masonry but is found in York Rite Masonry only in the Council Degrees.
This last point is especially significant for we have seen that Waite (79) makes these Cryptic degrees "a part of Adonhiramite Masonry." Bro. Hunt also points out that the following aspirant's description, written in 1817, "refers to the Royal Arch of Solomon rather than the Royal Arch of Zerubbabel":
Still pressing forward for the prize, I obtained the beautiful and interesting degree of the "select mason," in which I received a golden chain of traditional knowledge extending from Enoch to H.A. (80)
These are a few of the signs which point unmistakably to Scottish Rite origin. Doubtless an accomplished ritualist, familiar with all three rituals Scottish Rite, Capitular and modern Cryptic could find many more, while none have been cited to show such similarity between the two last named. As to the first named we have seen that both the Snell certificate and the Holbrook report say that the Myers' ritual was deposited in 1788 with the Charleston Council of Princes of Jerusalem. J. Ross Robertson says: It is claimed (81) that in 1803 a copy of this ritual was made by J. Billeaud, and that it is a verbatim copy of the Myers' ritual which, in 1788, was deposited by Myers in the archives of the Council at Charleston.
In his earlier work (82), the same author had said:
There is extant a ritual of the Select Degree purporting to be made in 1803 by J. Billeaud. Bro. Drummond has examined it, had it copied, and has no doubt of its genuineness, and that it is the copy of a ritual then in use. It came to him from Companion Wilmot G. DeSaussure, of South Carolina, who had it from Bro. John H. Honour, for a long time Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, to whom it came from his predecessor in that office, among the archives of that Supreme Council. He says:
"There is no reference in this ritual to any governing authority whatever, nor to any degree of Masonry save the third degree. It recognized no permanent body whatever, but it is a ritual of a 'detached' or 'side' degree in every respect."
This last feature is a convincing mark of genuineness and not even Bro. Warvelle questions it; indeed, he admits it by implication when he says (83) :
There is not a ritual in existence, as far as I am aware, which antedates the year 1800.
It is of the original Myers' ritual that he observes:
This ritual no one now living has ever seen. Therefore it exists only by faith. The late Comp. Pierson, of St. Paul elaimed to have seen and perused same but admits that it eontained a vow of fealty to the Supreme Council thirtythird degree which, as a matter of historic fact, was not organized until nearly twenty years afterwards. It is not unlikely that the document seen by Comp. Pierson was what purported to be a copy.
But in reality he seems to have here had in mind the Holbrook ritual, which, as we have seen, is now in the Supreme Council's Library and of which
Bro. Drummond says that "the ritual annexed is certainly not a copy of the one deposited in the archives in 1783, for the ritual of the Select Degree refers to the Royal Degree, and moreover both of them recognize the Supreme Council as the governing authority of the degrees, and that body did not exist till 1801. A comparison of this ritual with that of 1803 shows that the former is a revision of the latter with only verbal changes, and the addition of declaring allegiance to the Supreme Council and the prohibition of conferring the Select Degree on any one below the degree of a Royal Arch Mason. The introduction says the Select Degree follows the Royal Master's Degree; but the ritual is inconsistent with that. And the allusions to the Royal Arch Degree, to the Royal Master's Degree and to the Supreme Council, are evident interpolations. This seems to sustain the assertion of Companion Stapleton, of Maryland, that the allusion to the Royal Arch Degree was first interpolated by Cross for mercenary purposes (84).
Upon this, Hunt comments as follows:
It is possible that these rituals were copied from the one deposited at Charleston with the exception of the interpolations referred to by Drummond. It has sometimes been asked why if Myers actually deposited these rituals, they have never been produced. The answer given to this is that they had been destroyed in the conflagration at Charleston during the Civil War and it was not until several years after their destruction that their existence was questioned (85).
But if the Myers' ritual existed as late as the beginning of the Civil War, we may fairly assume that we have it in all essential respects in Pike's MS. copy, now in the Supreme Council's Library, of all the Charleston rituals. In the title page of those relating to the degrees of Royal and Select Master, we find the notation in Pike's handwriting "as furnished by the Sec. Gen'l. of the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree at Charleston, So. Carolina, in May, 1853." This copy, like Holbrook's and that mentioned by Pierson, does contain an allusion to the Supreme Council, which, as above suggested, is an "evident interpolation"; but it contains no allusion to the Royal Arch (of Zerubbabel) and is clearly much closer to the original Cryptic rituals than those in use by present day Councils which have come down to us with "the allusions to the Royal Arch degree . . . first interpolated by Cross." It is to the Holbrook and Pike copies both extant then, that we must resort for the internal evidence of the origin of the Cryptic degrees; and those copies, even with the interpolation as to the Supreme Council eliminated, confirm its claims to jurisdiction over them and support the conclusion stated two generations ago that
"The Degrees of Royal and Select Masters came from France prior to 1783, as detached Degrees of the Seoteh Rite, the latter being, in point of fact, the Ecossais or 5th Degree of the French Rite, and a Degree of the Rite of Perfection, conferred in the Scotch Rite as an Auxiliary Degree, and that from 1783, if not from 1766, they were conferred by Lodges of Perfection and Councils of Princes of Jerusalem (86).
THE SUPREME COUNCIL'S RELINQUISHMENT OF JURISDICTION
But while the Mother Supreme Council never wavered in its claim to confer these Cryptic degrees as a matter of right and as a part of its heritage from the older world, still the situation produced as a result of the work of the "rival peddlers" was such as to cause grave concern to all who placed Masonic harmony in the United States above personal aggrandizement. It is to the lasting credit of the Supreme Council and the Scottish Rite leaders that they initiated the plans which ultimately brought order out of chaos and that they were willing to sacrifice their Masonic rights and prerogatives in the interest of that harmony. As early as 1848, Secretary-General Mackey, writing in one of the leading Masonic periodicals of the time, after reviewing the history of the degrees and reasserting the Supreme Council's claim said:
The matter, however, has now become inextricably confused and I know of but one method of getting out of the difficulty.. Although the Supreme Councils of the 33d, are not willing to have their authority and rights wrested from them vi et armis I have no doubt (but I do not speak officially) that for the good of Masonry, they would willingly enter into any compromise. Let a Convention of Royal and Select Masters be held at some central point. To this convention let the most intelligent Companions, legitimately possessing the degrees, whether from Councils of R. and S. M., as in most of the States; from R. A. Chapters, as in Virginia; or from Councils of Princes of Jerusalem, or Grand Inspectors General, as in South Carolina and Mississippi. Let the wisdom there congregated be directed to the amicable settlement of this dispute. The important point is not to have these degrees placed in any particular order, but to make the mode and manner of conferring them, whether it be before or after the Royal Arch, uniform throughout the country
Commenting on this proposal Bro. Warvelle (98) says:
An attempt was made to have this convention held at Boston in 1850 during the convocation of the General Grand Chapter but it does not appear that sufficient interest in the subject could be created at that time to insure an attendance and no call was issued. With this exception, however, no one seemed prepared with a remedy, and no matters remained until 1867.
Undaunted by his first failure, Mackey came forward with a new plan. Two years later, in his own magazine (89), he contributed an illuminating and convincing article on the Supreme Council's prerogatives and their infringement, in closing which he wrote:
There is but one method of cure which we can conscientiously recommend with any hope of success, and we think it has the advantage of being a course that will do justice to all parties while it restores to these degrees their ancient landmarks. We propose then that the State Grand Councils shall retain their control over their respective subordinate councils, but that they in turn shall acknowledge the Supreme Councils of the 33d at Charleston and New York to be the chiefs of Royal and Select Masonry, with power to determine a uniform mode of work, to establish general laws for the government of the degrees, to decide all disputed points between contending Grand Councils in the respective jurisdictions of each Supreme Council, and, in one word, to exercise all the prerogatives over these degrees which are now possessed over Royal Arch Masonry by the General Grand Chapter. The objection that according to the present organization of the Supreme Councils of the 33rd, the State Grand Councils would not be represented, might be obviated by some arrangement for the establishment, under the authority of the Supreme Grand Council, of a Chamber of Deliberation, to be composed of representatives from each State Grand Council who should assist the Inspectors in all their consultations for the general good of the order. As these degrees are detached from the regular order of the Scotch Rite degrees, such an arrangement might be made by the Supreme Councils, without any infringement upon, or interference with their inalienable prerogatives as "Sovereigns of Scotch Masonry."
Mutual concessions of this kind, would, we believe, be eminently productive of unanimity, harmony and prosperity, and without some compromse of the kind, we do not see how light and peace can be produced out of the chaos and confusion in which the Royal and Select Masters' degrees are now involved.
In the same year the Northern Supreme Council, after protesting against the "invasion of its rights and prerogatives" regarding the Cryptic degrees, announced (90):
This Supreme Grand Council, for the sake of harmony, is willing to confer and advise with our Illustrious Brethren the Southern Supreme Grand Council at Charleston, S. C., and act in concert with them in adopting such measures in reference to those degrees as may be mutually adjudged most feasible and proper, without infringing in any way whatever upon our supremaey over the said degrees.
Nothing tangible followed immediately from any of these proposals, although the Illinois Grand Chapter (91) which, as we have seen, was among the first to question the Supreme Council's "exclusive authority," adopted, two years after the announcement just mentioned, a report which contained the following:
Nothing is more to be deprecated in Masonry than conflict of jurisdictions. There ought to be one common level. It is plain to see, that the State Grand Councils are fast acquiring this jurisdiction, and your committee believe that they are the source of authority, and ought to be, until they surrender, of their own act, a portion of their power, to a Representative head of their own Creation.
Nothing further seems to have been done for a long time by anybody outside the Scottish Rite regarding this matter. In his Allocution (92) of 1861, however, Pike devoted nearly two pages to the Royal and Select Degrees, reporting that he had invited the five Councils of Arkansas, which he had established to form a Grand Council for that state. He then proceeded to say:
It is desirable, I think that we should as soon as possible rid ourselves of all control over those degrees everywhere. Our administration of them is an anomaly; since it may very well be that more than one of our number are not in possession of them. I think it bad policy for the authorities of a Rite to administer any side or auxiliary degrees; and we, at least, have enough in our regular scale to engage our attention and task our energies. . . It seems to me that our wisest course would be, by Special Statute, to relinquish all control over them to the Grand Councils already established in the several states. Then those bodies could grant charters for subordinates in the unoccupied States, and that branch of Masonry which has had a separate and independent organization for so many years in several of the States, would be recognized as independent and distinct, as Royal Arch Masonry is, and as it, I think, has an equal right to be.
The Supreme Council approved this recommendation (93) but the Civil War came on and any attempt which might have been made to put these views into effect was rendered futile. Soon after its close, however, a statute (94) was enacted which, while recognizing the Supreme Council's continued jurisdiction over Cryptic Councils "in every state where no Grand Council of those degrees has been established," further provided:
But so soon as there are three such Councils in any such State, the Supreme Council recommend to such Councils to establish a Grand Council, and, upon the establishment of the same, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council over such Councils shall cease.
Then at the Supreme Council session of 1870, Inspector Todd of Louisiana offered the following resolution (95), which was unanimously adopted:
Whereas, in the opinion of this Supreme Council, the time has arrived when the Degrees of Royal and Select Master are entitled to be considered as a separate and distinct organization in Masonry; there being now twenty-eight Grand Councils of Royal and Select Masters in the United States, and this Supreme Council being desirous to cede and transfer to the said Grand Councils all its rightful jurisdiction over the said degrees, and to sever its connection with the same; Therefore,
Resolved, That this Supreme Council does now relinquish all control over the Degrees of Royal and Select Masters, and leaves all Councils now under its jurisdiction, at liberty to attach themselves to the obedience of such Grand Council as they may select; and does hereby remit and release to all such Councils, all their dues to this Supreme Council; and all sections and provisions of the Statutes which refer to said Degrees, are hereby repealed.
Thus the long controversy came to an end so far as the actual conflict of jurisdiction was concerned. As an academic discussion of historical origins, it has continued, as we have seen, to the present hour. But whatever one's conclusion may be as to the merits of that discussion, it will hardly be denied that the amicable termination of the conflict and the avoidance of a perpetual feud in American Cryptic Masonry was due to the forebearance and magnanimity of the Mother Supreme Council. Following closely upon its action a national convention of Cryptic Masons was held in New York City in 1872, and after a series of other meetings a General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of the United States was finally organized (96) in 1880.
(1) Waite: The Secret Tradition of Freemasonry, I, pp. 158, 159. In the New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. I, p. 5, he says:
Adonhiramite Masonry itself as the name of a specific system arose in France. It has been referred to Baron Tschoudy and alternatively to Louis Guillemain de SaintVictor. From the Grades of Royal and Select Master it follows as we have seen that it enters also into Cryptic Masonry, about the symbolical importance of which in connection with the Holy Royal Arch, I hold strong views and on occasion have expressed them strongly.
(2) Secret Tradition, I, pp. 163, 165.
(3) New Encyc., II, p. 381.
(4) Warvelle: Genesis of the Degree of Royal Master Mason, p. 6.
(5) Letter of Wm. T. Gould, G. H. P. of Ga., reprinted, Florida Grand Chapter Proc. 1849, pp. 35, 36.
(6) Proceedings, 1826, p. 6.
(7) Reprinted, Off. Bull., IX, p. 252.
(8) Reprinted off. Bull., X, p. 212.
(9) Reprinted Trans. 1857-1866 (reprint), pp. 19, 20.
(10) Note by the transcriber (Bro. W. L. Boyden): "The italics and explanations in brackets are those of the transcriber."
(11) Folger, though hostile to the Mother Supreme Council, states that the Cryptic Degrees were "conferred in Rhode Island by Myers in 1781." Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, p. 128.
(12) For photostat copy of original see The New Age, Vol. xxxv, p. 315.
(13) See Pike's Rep. to Ark. Gr. Chap. Proc., 1853, App. 7, where he says that G.H.P. (and Gr. Com.) John H. Honour, in his address to the S. Car. Gr. Chap. in Feb., 1853, quoted the same certificate. Robertson, The Cryptic Rite (Toronto, 1888), pp. 17, 18, also quotes from it. Other certificates of similar import are the following, copies of which have been furnished me by Bro. C. C. Hunt, Librarian of the Iowa Masonic Library:
New Orleans, La., Thursday, June 12, 1856.
To all whom it may concern: Greeting:
I hereby certify in my official capacity as Deputy Inspector General of the 33d degree for the Southern District of the United States of America, that our well beloved Companion I. E. Elliott is in possession of a literal and exact copy of the Royal and Select Masters degrees, brought from Berlin, Prussia by the Illustrious Deputy Inspector General Joseph Myers in the year A.D. 1783, and afterwards conferred in due and ancient form, by the Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection, No. 2 in Charletson, S. C., United States of America, and subsequently by the legitimate Councils of Royal and Select Masters throughout the United States.
In Testimony Whereof: I hereby affix my official signature as Deputy Inspector General of the 33d Degree, on this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six and in the year of Masonry five thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
(Signature) PEREZ SNELL,
R. K.’.K.’. S.’.P.’.R.’.S.’. Deputy Inspector General of 33d Degree for the Southern District of the United States of America.
I hereby certify that I am personally acquainted with Deputy Grand Inspector Snell whose signature is above written, and that the aforesaid signature is genuine and authentic having been written in my presence, this twelfth day of June A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
I further certify that I have carefully examined both the original degrees above referred to, and compared them with the copy in possession of Past Master J. E. Elliott and hereby announce the Copy perfectly in accordanee with the aforesaid degrees as brought from Berlin in Prussia in 1783 by Deputy Inspector General Jos. Myers.
(Signature) W. P. COLEMAN,
R. K.’.K.’. S.’.P.’.R.’.S.’. P.’. of J, Grand Commander Jacques de Molay Encampment No. 2 and W. M. of Dudley Lodge No. 66 of the City of New Orleans, La.
New Orleans La. June 12th. 1856)
(14) Maryland Grand Chapter Proc., 1827, pp. 16, 17.
(15) S. Car. Gr. Chap. Proc., 1829, reprinted S. Car. Gr. Council Proc. 1909, p. 23.
(16) Gr. Coun. Proc. 1901, xxv.
(17) New Age, Vol. xxxv p. 143.
(18) Report of the Committee on Masonic Law and Usage, Ark. Grand Chapter Proc. (Little Rock, 1853), App. 8.
(19) Patent, reprinted by Folger, op. cit., App. p. 77.
(20) Robertson, op. cit., p. 25.
(21) A Review of Cryptic Masonry (Chicago, 1895).
(22) The Cryptic Rite (Chicago, 1892), p. 10.
(23) Schultz, History of Freemasonry in Maryland (Baltimore 1884), pp. 340-342.
(24 )Original returns, furnished by James N. Clift, Grand Sec'y, Virginia Grand Lodge.
(25) Warvelle, op. cit., p. 10.
(26) Review of Cryptic Masonry, p. 6.
(27) CoIes Freemasons' Library and General Ahiman Rezon (Baltimore, 1817), p. 221, attributed to Niles.
(28) Warvelle: Cryptic Rite, pp. 11, 12.
(29) Waite, Secret Tradition, I, pp. 163, 165.
(30) Reprinted in Folger, op. cit., App. 77.
(31) Ibid, pp. 83 101.
(32) lb., p. 89.
(33) Ib., pp. 102 110.
(34) Reprinted, lb., p. 102.
(35) Ib. p. 110
(36) Ib. pp. 103, 106.
(37) Ib., pp. 108 110.
(38) Reprinted, Brockaway. One Hundred Years of Aurora Grata (Brooklyn, 1908), pp. 8, 9.
(39) Ib., pp. 3 5
(40) See its records (Portland, 1876), p. 3 et seq.
(41) Cryptic Masonry (Iowa Grand Council Proc., 1923, xliv).
Robertson says, Op. cit., p. 28:
He received the Ineffable and other degrees from Jacobs, and it is quite likely that he received from him also the Select Degree.
(42) Historical Notes, Illinois Grand Council Proc., 1901, p. 25.
(43) Reprinted, Voice of Masonry (Chicago, 1863), I, pp. 329, 330; Schultz, Op. cit., I, p. 338; THE BUILDER Vi, p. 64.
(44) See his Charter to the Richmond Councii. Virginia Grand Chapter Proc., 1848, p. 18.
(45) Pike: off. Bull. I, p. 398. Mackey says, Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany:
The (Cryptic) degrees were entirely conferred by Inspectors General whose authority for so doing was derived from a patent granted by the Supreme Council of the 33d.
(46) Maryland Grand Chapter Proc., 1817, p. 5.
(47) General Grand Chapter Proc., 1853 (reprint), p. 255.
(48) Ill. Grand Council Proc., 1901, App. xxv.
(49) 0ff. Bull., vii, p. 313.
(50) Ib. ix, 547
(51) Trans., 1857 1866 (Reprint), pp. 19, 20.
(52) Supreme Council Library, M 265, Pocket 1, Document 12.
(53) 0ff. Bull. Sup. Coun., x, p. 762.
(54) See its By-laws, 1836, p. 3.
(55) Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany, I, p. 43.
(56) Supreme Council Library, M-265, Pocket 1, Document 15.
(57) Ib., M-265, Pocket 1, Document 17.
(58) 0ff. Bull. Sup. Coun., 1, 399.
(59) Ia. Grand Coun. Proc., xlv-xlvii, where the jurisdictions are set out. Cf. Lee, History of Cryptic Masonry, Conn. Gr. Coun. Proc., 1872, pp. 328-338; Hatch, Jurisdiction of Royal and Select Master's Degree, Masonic Review, Vol. v, p. 193.
(60) Royal and Select Master's Degrees, Freemasons' Mapazine, viii, p. 9, Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany, I, p. 41.
(61) Proc Northern Sup. Council (reprint), Portland, 1876, pp. 45, 46, 205, 212, 214, 216; 217, where, after a recital of the history of these degrees the following appears:
This Supreme Grand Council, therefore, as in duty bound, protests against this invasion of its rights and prerogatives, and further declares and makes known, that the said degrees of Royal and Select Master, from their nature or character, the history they develop and the circumstances upon which founded, cannot, except in an anachronistic and improper manner, be conferred disconneeted from the "Ineffable degree" and "Lodge of Perfection" (fourteenth degree), and that said degrees belong not only characteristically and historically, but legitimately, to "Ineffable Masons" and "Lodges of Perfection," and do not appertain and cannot consistently and lawfully be made an aPpendage to any Masonic system except said "Sublime system," nor to any Rite except said "Ancient and Accepted Rite."
Bro. Warvelle (Genesis of the Degree of Royal Master Mason, 1893 P. 7). says of this body that "from its organization until 1844 it was practically dormant and it was not until 1860 that its present career of activity commenced." This would seem sufficient to explain any delay in assessing its authonty.
(62) Revised Statutes, 1855, Articles, vi-viii.
(63) Grand Constitutions, 1866, Art. xxi.
(64) MS. Ritual, p. 376.
(65) Letter to Gouley, Trans., 1868, p. 193.
(66) The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (N. Y. 1868), p. 21.
(67) Robertson, Op. cit., Chap. v.
(68) Ib., Chap. iii.
(69) A Century of Cryptic Masonry, etc., S. Car. Gr. Chapter Proc., 1909, pp. 21-26.
(70) Cryntic Masonry, Iowa Gr. Council Proc., 1923, pp. xxxviii xlvii.
(71) Proc., 1852, p. 92.
(72) Ark. Grand Chapter Proc., 1853, p. 8, App.
(73) Gen. Grand Coun. Proc., 1921, p. 53.
(74) Off. Bull., p. 252.
(75) Cryptic Masonry, la. Grand Coun. Proc., 1923, pp. 39, 40. (76) Warvelle: Cryptic Rite, p. 15.
(77) lb., p. 5.
(78) Iowa Gr. Coun. Proc., 1923, xxxvii.
(79) Waite: Secret Tradition, I, pp. 158, 159.
(80) Cole, Op. cit., Vol. ii.
(81) The Freemason (Toronto, 1900), xix, pp. 8, 10.
(82) Robertson, Op. cit., p. 18.
(83) Historical Notes, Ill. Gr. Coun. Proc., 1901, xxiv.
(84) Robertson, Op. cit., p. 18.
(85) Cryptic Masonry, Iowa Grand Coun. Proc., 1923, xxxvii.
(86) Mellen, Ordo ab Chao, Masonic Review, xii, p. 239. Cf. Mitchell, History of Freemasonry (1858), I, p. 707.
(87) Freemasons' Magazine, viii, p. 10.
(88) Warvelle: Review of Cryptic Masonry, P 9
(89) The Southern & Western Masonic Miscellany (Charleston, 1850), I, pp. 41-47.
(90) Proceedings (reprint), 1850, pp. 206, 207.
(91) Proc., 1852, p. 93
(92) Trans., 1857 1866 (Reprint), pp. 200, 202.
(93) Ib., (Original), 1861, p. 17.
(94) Gr. Constitutions, 1865, Art. xxi, p. 1.
(95) Trans. 1870, pp. 88, 89.
(96) Warveile, Op. cit., pp. 13 15; Williams, Sketch of the General Gr. Coun., Ohio Gr. Coun. Proc., 1895, App.
The Degrees of Masonry: Their Origin and History
By BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from October)
SO far as we have yet gone in our account of the different hypotheses advanced regarding Masonic degrees, it will be noticed that one aspect of the problem has hardly emerged, and it is really by no means an unimportant one. Practically all the scholars whose views we have considered were agreed on one point; that there had been a great expansion in the initiatory rites of the Craft. The controversy really was only about the amount of the additional matter, and whether it was pure innovation and invention, or based upon genuine tradition. The question, that so far no one had raised, was how and why this expansion came about.
We say it is not important, and for this reason. The various solutions offered for the main problem rest on a nice discrimination of the value and implications of scattered references and fragmentary and ambiguous records. Every possible interpretation must of necessity be mainly a structure of inferences based on the scanty facts; and what these inferences are will depend almost entirely on a more or less conscious preconception, or pattern, in the mind. It is obvious that to be able to show that a given explanation demands unusual and improbable motives on the part of the actors in the process is to present a very formidable argument against it, no matter how logical and self consistent it may be in itself. Conversely, if it can be shown that each step in the development was a natural one, following lines that can be observed in any human society, it will be a very strong confirmation of the theory advanced.
It seemed to be taken for granted that the great change from the ceremonial, simple, bare and crude (as it is variously said to be) of the operative Masons, to the elaborate and ornate ritual of the speculatives, was so natural and inevitable that no explanation was necessary on this point. It was casually assumed that part of it was due to the fashion of the period which expressed itself in the formation of all kinds of eccentric clubs and societies with bizarre ceremonials, and also in part due to a desire or a necessity to dress up the alleged "crude" and "imperfect" initiations practiced by "rough and ignorant workmen" so they would have an appeal for "educated and cultured gentlemen."
But as we have said, this was only assumed, and was merely referred to in passing allusions. The value of an answer to this question as an additional test of the validity of the inferences based on the evidence had not been seen. We are not at all sure even that Robert Freke Gould, to whom we now come, definitely realized this point; though he did advance a general explanation of the way in which an additional degree was inserted in the original two degree system. His theory is that it was due almost entirely to a misunderstanding of one or two sentences in the first edition of Anderson's Constitutions. At first glance it looks very inadequate, but on closer examination there is not a little to be said in its favor. It can be shown that other "expansions" of the ritual are due to mistakes and misconceptions (1), so that the supposition is not at all improbable in itself.
GOULD’S THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF DEGREES
An attempt to present a coherent account of Gould's position is, however, singularly difficult, except in the broadest outline. His style is discursive to extreme; he constantly interrupts the course of his argument to explore each bypath as he comes to it, and it is necessary to read him with the closest attention to avoid losing the thread of the discourse and getting lost in a maze of apparently disconnected facts. Although it would not be quite fair, without qualification, he might be described as essentially a man of strong prejudices who had painstakingly cultivated the method of impartiality. At least his prejudice on the subject of the Grand Lodge of the Ancients crops out in almost every reference to it. Legalism has had a great deal to do with the development of Masonic orthodoxies (as it has, indeed, in every traditional system) and Gould had the typically legalistic type of mind, one would judge, quite apart from his training, to which a form of law means more than the human needs and motives in which it is rooted. To him the premier Grand Lodge was legitimate; and consequently, by exclusion, that of the Ancients was illegitimate, heretical and schismatic.
This is all quite outside our subject of course, but it has a bearing upon a proper appreciation of Gould's arguments, for it certainly seems that it caused a bias in his judgment which led him to summarily reject certain statements made by Dermott in Ahiman Rezon, which if admitted as evidence would have militated against some of his conclusions, or at least would have modified them in some important details.
Another difficulty in presenting his views lies in the fact that it would almost seem as if he had to some degree progressively changed them. Of this, though, we are by no means certain; in the preface to the Concise History he expresses himself in such a way as to imply that he held the same views then, on the subject of Masonic Degrees, as he did when he wrote his large history in 1882. Yet it must be said, that were a reader to have no other source of information than the latter work he would come to the conclusion either that the author had been unable to definitely make up his mind on the subject, or even that he favored the hypothesis advanced by Findel and supported by Hughan and Mackey. He accepts and insists upon Lyon's view that the "mason word" was the only secret communicated in early Scottish lodges, even indeed going beyond him, in throwing doubt on the latter's admission that this may have implied something more than its literal meaning (2); he equally insists that in the old lodge at York intrants were merely "admitted and sworn," and gives the impression that there is no probability of there being anything more than this in other parts of England in the seventeenth century (3). Yet as we shall see he later protested against this very argument.
In a paper read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 1886, On Some Old Scottish Customs (4) he emphasized the comparative poverty of the ritual employed in North Britain, stating that
. . . as a simple matter of fact the only degree (of a speculative or symbolic character) known in the early Masonry of Scotland was that in which the legend of the Craft was read and the benefit of the Mason word conferred.
This belief in a material difference between the two countries is an important factor in the development of his views. Whether he regarded the Scottish Craft as being degenerate, or as having been defective from its origin, is nowhere really made quite clear. (5) But as we are not concerned to follow out the development of his thought it will be more direct to consider his later and more mature pronouncements. These will be found chiefly in the "Digression on Degrees" in the Concise History and the paper entitled The Degrees of Pure and Ancient Freemasonry (6).
In the latter he states his purpose as being to sum up.
. . . the conclusions that seem to be deducible from the evidence, with respect to the existence of Masonic Degrees in 1717 1738, and presumably from a time far more remote,
and then he goes on to say:
If we begin with the three Craft . . . degrees of today, their devolution can be traced with sufficient exactitude from the year 1723, nor is it reasonable . . . to believe that any change in the method of imparting the secrets of Masonry could possibly have been carried out by the Grand Lodge of England between 1717 and 1723. But during the period immediately preceding the era of Grand Lodges there is much darkness and uncertainty. To a necessarily great extent therefore, all speculations with regard to the more remote past of the sodality must repose on inference or conjecture; and deductions which are accepted with easy faith by some, will be rejected as irrational by others. The boundaries of legitimate conjecture cannot indeed be defined ex cathedra by anyone and the utmost we can do is to pursue our researches according to the evidential methods which have received the approval of the best authorities.
We have quoted this passage at length because while in the first part he expresses an opinion that Hughan, for one, regarded as "irrational"; in the latter part he lays down the limits of the degree of certainty we may hope to reach in this investigation in a most admirable manner, and which gives others full warrant to disagree with him!
He then proceeds to refer his readers to a paper read some years before, On the Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism (7). In this he deals with much the same subject but holds that the term symbolism is more inclusive than Degrees. He evidently used it in rather a peculiar sense, and we may take it broadly that by it he understands all the esoteric secrets of Masonry, signs, words, ritual, ceremony, as well as the symbols and emblems as usually understood. Each of these essays is along quite different lines and to adequately summarize them would take altogether too much space. We shall, therefore, adopt a shorter way, that we hope will be even more satisfactory than to follow his arguments step by step. With most of the actual evidence he builds on we have already become familiar and in consequence there is no need to take it in detail. What we propose to do is to pick out what appear to be the distinguishing features of his theories, and the arguments by which he supports them.
We have already seen one general argument by which he supports the main contention which he held in common with Speth, the inherent improbability of radical innovations being introduced in the six years between 1717 and 1723. And it would seem that this, for him, was the real starting point, when he discovered the significant differences between the first and second editions of the Constitutions in regard to Old Regulation XIII, and compared them with the entry in the minutes of the Grand Lodge of Nov. 27, 1725, repealing the clause in question and authorizing the lodges "to make Masters at their discretion."
In regard to this we have a case, not of the "easy faith" of one being "rejected as irrational" by another, but of the same thing being interpreted in diametrically opposing fashion by two such keen minds as Hughan and Gould. If we wish for an authority we can take our choice, but it will hardly be a wholly satisfactory position to depend on authority alone in such a case.
AN ESTIMATE OF DR. ANDERSON
Hughan definitely took the stand that, in the first edition of the Constitutions, the clause, "Apprentices and must be admitted Masters and Fellowcraft only here" (that is in the Grand Lodge) must be interpreted by the amendment that appeared in the second edition of 1738. He says:
At all events Dr. Anderson ought to know what he meant by Masters and Fellowcraft in 1723, and that he intended the words to refer to two distinct degrees appears to me conclusive by the editorial remarks in 1738, under the year 1725 (8).
Just what Hughan meant by the last remark we are not quite clear. In the account of the progress of the Craft up to the year 1738, that was added to the second edition, Anderson makes no reference to this amendment in the brief notice of the meeting of the Grand Lodge on Nov. 27, 1725. The note to Old Regulation XIII on page 160 of the work hardly seems to be properly called an editorial remark, as it appears in the form of an extract from the minutes of Grand Lodge. But assuming, by elimination, that this is what Hughan referred to, it may certainly be admitted as every one has done that Anderson did here intend two distinct degrees by the terms Master and Fellowcraft. It may also be admitted that Dr. Anderson knew in 1738 what he meant in 1723; but it does not at all necessarily follow from that that in the later edition he intended to let his readers into the secret. Anderson has been very freely accused of literary dishonesty as well as inaccuracy, but it seems to us not entirely with justice. His work we must remember was official, for though the publication was his own private venture apparently, he depended on the approbation of the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge. Before we cast our stone at him let us ask ourselves if no other official works are similarly inaccurate and evasive in regard to awkward facts. We all know that often enough to speak of an explanation of some occurrence as "official" is as good as to say it is to be received with caution, or even that it is to be highly suspected. But we do not have to go to such pronouncements made on behalf of governments and churches, there are a sufficient number concerned with the Craft to give the Masonic historian constant trouble. We do not accuse those responsible of dishonesty, because we realize that such statements are expressions of practical compromises, or are ex parte justifications for action taken. If Anderson is to be held guilty, we must condemn also the Grand Lodge, which was equally conversant with whatever was concealed, and which doubtless would have rejected and condemned a full and plain statement of the case.
But this is somewhat of a digression. Gould and Hughan drew directly opposite conclusions from the same passages. As was intimated above, the facts may be fitted into a number of different patterns. We may liken Anderson's account to those curious perspective diagrams which alternately seem to represent a cavity and then a solid; or to one of the puzzle pictures that may sometimes be found in old print shops, where a study of "still life," or a landscape, resolves itself into a grinning skull when looked at from another point of view. The point of view in this case will probably be determined by some latent bias or prejudice in the student's mind. To illustrate we may quote Gould himself:
It has been too much the habit especially in America [this was written in 1893, and presumably Gould had Mackey and perhaps Pike in mind] to assume that Masonry was Scottish before 1717, and English afterwards. Thus it is contended (with regard to the former period) that as there was only one degree in Scotland, a plurality of degrees was unknown in Universal Masonry the English evidence being coolly and quietly ignored. But the tables are turned, with a vengeance, in 1723, when the Old Manuscript Constitutions "digested" by Anderson for the Grand Lodge of England, are assumed from thenceforth to govern every Mason under the sun (9).
The last statement is a little irrelevant, but it states very well that legalistic attitude, of which Gould was not himself always guiltless, which has done so much to obscure the real truth of the history and development of the Craft. But we see here one of the reasons why Gould was always so strenuously insisting on the gulf fixed between Scottish and English Masonry before 1717. The English evidence, that he says is ignored, is very scanty, and so disconnected as to be very difficult to bring it all into a coherent system, at least one that will command assent. As a matter of fact, Gould himself in the discussion of it in his History failed to definitely point out its implication. On the other hand the Scottish evidence is most abundant, comparatively speaking; and as Speth put it, it was "laid down by a consensus of authorities" that it proves that apprentices when "entered" received all the secrets known to the Craft in that country (10). It was very natural to interpret the English remains in the light of this accepted conclusion, and this we may suppose was the unconscious influence that prevented Hughan from seeing the discrepancy between the first and second editions of the Constitutions or appreciating its real significance.
Though we quoted Anderson's version in dealing with Mackey (11) it may be better to cite the crucial passages again. In Regulation XIII, on page 61 of 1723 edition, the second clause runs;
Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellowcraft only here, unless by a Dispensation.
As the regulation is dealing with the Quarterly Communications the words "only here" mean "only in Grand Lodge."
It has previously been pointed out that we are not sure whether this is the actual wording of the Regulation as read over by Payne on St. John the Baptist’s Day in 1721, as recorded by Stukeley in his Diary (12), but it is all that is otherwise known about them.
In the 1738 edition the Regulations (distinguished as the Old Regulations) are printed in parallel columns with a set of New Regulations that supersede them. First there is a change in the wording of the Old Regulation XIII which the reader would naturally take to be an exact reproduction of the original. It now runs:
Apprentices must be admitted Fellow Crafts and Masters only here, unless by a Dispensation from the Grand Master.
Not only have the words "from the Grand Master” been added, which is unimportant, but the order of the terms "Master" and "Fellow Craft" has been reversed. This may have a good deal of significance. The old Scottish minutes very frequently spoke of "maister" or "mester" and "fallow of craft" but rarely or never, at least we have not noticed any instance, of "fellow of craft and master." In the old Operative sense of the terms the first was the correct sequence. The apprentice having become master of his craft was eligible, or became, a fellow of the fraternity; or in other crafts, of the gild or company. But when the interpolated degree had been given the name "Fellow Craft" it was naturally less appropriate to follow the old sequence.
Against this "corrected" version of the Old Regulation appears in the second column the note:
On 22 Nov. 1725. The Master of a Lodge with his Wardens and a competent Number of the Lodge assembled in due Form can make Masters and Fellows at Discretion.
It must be admitted that in going back here to the MasterFellow sequence the note rather disturbs the argument drawn above from the misquotation of the original clause. Perhaps it was nothing but carelessness and general inaccuracy. Anderson may have been muddled between a new phrase that he used more or less consciously, and an old one that came by habit. It is hard to say. In any case we may charitably suppose that the note of the repeal of the clause was not intended to be misunderstood as an accurate transcript of the actual resolution, for it is evident from the remainder of the notes and amendments that complete accuracy was not proffered, nor, presumably, expected. The very next item, for example, begins:
On 25 Nov. 1723. It was agreed (though forgotten to be recorded in the Grand Lodge Book) . . .
With records kept in this way a paraphrase might seem as good as the actual text! It may be as well to recall that this forgotten resolution was passed at the second meeting recorded in the Minute Book. We now come to the amendment as it appears in the latter under date of Nov. 27, not Nov. 22, as Anderson, or the printer, gave it.
A Motion being made that Such part of the 13th Article of the Genll Regulations relating to the Making of Mars only at a Quarterly Communication may be repealed. And that the Mars of Each Lodge, with the Consent of his Wardens and the Majority of the Brethren being Mars may make Mars at their discretion.
Now, here we see that Anderson's paraphrase differs quite a little from the record. Not only has he inserted the words Fellows, but "a competent number of the lodge assembled in due form" is not by any means the same thing as "the Majority of the brethren being Masters." This latter is not very likely however to have been what was intended, and it might be taken that Anderson's version confirms this, for we must keep in mind that the Book of Constitutions was prepared and revised and adopted not as a history, still less a source book for history, but as a legal code. It would seem, therefore, that we can assume that what appears therein was in accordance with what was understood to be the law of 1738. Of course it does not necessarily follow that this was the same in 1725, though it may give a certain presumption that this was so.
Incidentally we may note that Hughan made a very strange slip in this place (13). He asks:
Does not the qualification, "being Masters" so late as 1738 suggest that the Degree was not then generally worked, though it was gradually becoming better known?
The "qualification" of course was made in 1725, not 1738. The error is all the stranger in that he had quoted Anderson's 1738 paraphrase just a few lines above, in which this proviso does not appear, as we have seen; even should the suggestion be accepted that it implies that the number of Masters was very limited. As we showed above, the resolution was so loosely drawn that it is hard to say definitely what it did mean exactly, though the general intention is clear enough. Hughan would appear to have been somewhat inconsistent in advancing this particular argument seeing that he held that our present three degrees were being worked in 1723, and that Regulation XIII in speaking of Masters and Fellowcraft meant just what we would mean by the terms today. For it would follow that these new degrees had lain almost dormant in the fifteen years that had elapsed. It would almost seem as if any stick were good enough to beat the dog !
(1) We may be permitted to refer to the series of articles, "The Precious Jewels," which appeared in THE BUILDER in 1926 and 1927, for an example of this kind of thing. It is there shown how the furniture, ornaments and jewels of the lodge all sprang by a series of misunderstandings from a common root.
(2) Gould, History, Vol. iii, p. 62 (Yorston Edition).
(3) Ibid, Vol. iii, p. 116. Chapters xvi to xviii should be read to fully appreciate the statement made in the article.
(4) A.Q.C., Vol. i, p. 10. Cf., also Gould Op. cit., Vol. iii, pp. 55 70, and elsewhere.
(5) 0p. cit., Vol. iii, p. 64. In this passage Gould seems even to doubt whether there was any connection at all between the Masonry of Scotland and that of England in matters esoteric.
(6) A.Q.C., Vol. xvi, p. 28. Reprinted in the Collected Essays.
(7) Ibid., Vol. iii, p. 7. Also reprinted in the Collected Essays.
(8) Ib., Vol. x, p. 132.
(9) lb., Vol. vi, p. 76. Review of Vernon's History of Freemasonry in the Province of Rowburgh, Peebles and Selkirkshire.
(10) Ib., Vol. i, p. 143.
(11) THE BUILDER, P. 199, July, 1928.
(12) Gould, Concise History, p. 392 (Macoy Edition) also A.Q.C. Vol. vi, p. 130
(13) A.Q.C., Vol. x, p. 132.
Three Pioneer Masons of the Early West
Members of Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2
By BRO. HENRY BAER, Ohio)
ON a bleak November morning of 1794, a stalwart figure in backwoodsman's garb stepped with soft and noiseless tread on to the porch of a tavern in Cincinnati, being probably of a mind to indulge in something designed to warm and cheer the inner man before proceeding to the business which had brought him to town. Hilarious sounds and loud talking reaching his ears convinced the traveler that "first drink time" already was part of the history for that particular day and establishment, with indications that some had negotiated a point rather removed from their "eye-opener." About to enter, above the roistering voices he heard the boastful proclamation, "I am the best man in Ohio!" Before anyone inside could take issue with the speaker, if indeed any were so inclined, the door whipped open and the newcomer in ringing tones demanded to know what was said and who said it. “Captain Kibby !" went up a shout in recognition, then silence.
From among the mixed crowd representative of a border town that filled the place, there stepped forth a tall English officer, evidently a stranger in the vicinity, who proceeded to a cool inspection of him who dared challenge his claim to the aforesaid title. He faced a man of forty, inch for inch his equal in height, dressed in picturesque fringed deerskin, splendidly proportioned, keen-eyed, with features bronzed to the color of an Indian from a life in the wilderness, an ideal type of the American frontiersman, Captain Ephraim Kibby, leader of Wayne's scouts in the campaign against the savages then recently closed.
"I say I am the best man in Ohio," repeated the Englishman, undaunted by his survey.
"If you had said you were as good a man as there is in Ohio, there would be no room for dispute, but as it is I dispute it," was the response of the American.
"Captain Kibby, step into the room," suggested the other, and opened a door which led into the long room of the tavern. This the captain was prompt to do, being followed inside by his opponent and all the onlookers, intent on seeing the "fun."
The Britisher, undoubtedly a man of experience and reputation in duelling, had things all prepared, for on the table lay two long flintlock pistols, primed and ready for use. Pointing, he ordered, "Captain Kibby, take one of them." At the latter's ready compliance he picked up the other with the words, "Name your time and distance."
Removing the handkerchief from his neck, the American held to one corner with his left hand and cocking the weapon in his right, reached the other end for the Englishman to take and likewise prepare, at the same moment exclaiming, "Here is the distance and now is the time!" Completely taken aback at such unusual, if not positively unheard of, conditions, his rival wilted, whereupon Kibby reversed his pistol and with the butt knocked him to the floor, while the house rang with shouts of "Hurrah for Captain Kibby!"
Little, perhaps, when making his challenging boast did the Britisher figure on the possibility of catching a Tartar, even in a rough frontier town as Cincinnati then was, where, as in all places of such character, trouble could be had for less than the asking. However, that he backed down before his American antagonist need not necessarily stamp him as being deficient in courage. Rather would it prove an unacquaintance with the ways of the West, where the favorite method of settling disputes and questions of supremacy was to engage at close quarters. Some of the more fierce among the backwoodsmen are said to have even gone to the extreme of tying their left hands together and fighting it out to the death with knives.
About a month later, on Dec. 27, 1794, there was instituted in Cincinnati the Masonic body known today as Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2, under its warrant of 1791, granted by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, the delay in organizing being due to the protraction of the Indian war raging in the Northwestern Territory. The first petition for the degrees of Masonry was received on Jan. 21, 1795, signed by Captain Ephraim Kibby, hero of the foregoing near duel. Following investigation and favorable report, on March 4 he formed one of a class of three candidates who were the first to kneel at the altar of this frontier lodge likely nothing better than a wood packing box, or a stool. In due time he was passed as a Fellowcraft and raised to the degree of Master Mason.
Ephraim Kibby was born in New Jersey in the year 1754. As a seasoned veteran of the Revolution, in which he was sergeant, he emigrated after the close of actual hostilities in 1781 to the Southwestern Pennsylvania border, where resided others from his native state. This region was constantly exposed to Indian attacks and forays, and it was here that Kibby acquired his knowledge of woodcraft and developed the skill in Indian fighting that afterwards made him famous along the Ohio. Strangely, however, not many of his adventures and exploits have come down to us, but it will be here recounted the few that are known, although they are unfortunately in but the briefest outline.
After assisting Major Benjamin Stites, a noted frontiersman of Pennsylvania, in founding Columbia, the first settlement in Southwestern Ohio, late in 1788, and having a similar part in the erection of Cincinnati a month later, Kibby became one of a number of hunters employed by contract to furnish buffalo, deer and hear meat for the sustenance of the soldiers at Fort Washington. This post was constructed at the latter place in the year following, lying about five miles down river from Columbia. Once, of a party of six hunting in the forest north of Cincinnati, all were killed in battle with the Indians with the single exception of Kibby. Another time, when traveling alone, this redoubtable adventurer, whose person apparently was greatly coveted by the red enemy, was chased for twenty-four hours through the wilderness. However, being in prime condition and exceedingly fleet of foot, he finally succeeded in shaking off the relentless pursuit and safely reached his home at Columbia.
As an officer in the frontier militia, Kibby was kept fully employed in the years of the Indian war which raged for five years from 1790 and included campaigns by Harmar, Wilkinson, St. Clair and "Mad Anthony" Wayne. In that of the overconfident St. Clair he served as a spy, and doubtless was one of those to "warn him of approaching danger," but whose reports were heeded not, to the consequent slaughter of the American army. When Wayne was organizing his force in 1792, in careful preparation for what was hoped to be the final action against the troublesome tribes of the North, a first thought of this sagacious soldier was the formation of a band of frontier scouts and spies to lead the way through the wilderness. To this end Ephraim Kibby was named leader, with the rank of captain, and doubtless to him was left the selection of personnel. Its members, to the number of twoscore, were chosen from among the best and most experienced Indian fighters of the Northwest, and henceforth were known as Wayne's "forty famous scouts."
Roosevelt, in his Winning of the West, has this to say regarding the employment of these rangers:
It was on these fierce backwoods riflemen that Wayne chiefly relied for news of the Indians, and they served him well. In small parties, or singly, they threaded the forest scores of miles in advance or to one side of the marching army, and kept close watch on the Indians' movements. As skillful and hardy as the red wariors, much better marksmen, and even more daring, they took many scalps, harrying the hunting parties and hanging on the outskirts of the big wigwam villages. They captured and brought in Indian after Indian, from whom Wayne got valuable information.... Among these wilderness warriors were some . . . known far and wide along the border for their feats of reckless personal prowess and their strange adventures. They were of course all men of remarkable bodily strength, with almost unlimited powers of endurance, and the keenest eyesight; and they were masters in the use of their weapons.
When figures with the widespread fame of Neal Washburn, Robert McClellan, Andrew and Adam Poe, Ellis Palmer, "the Injun Killer," and ferocious Lewis Wetzel, were numbered among these scouts, the choice of Kibby as leader at once would establish his superior knowledge of the Western Ohio country and testify to his great all-around skill and reputation in Indian warfare. Furthermore, it points to qualifications peculiarly essential in the command of hardened half-wild borderers, men who in their pronounced spirit of independence found it ever irksome to work under orders, and who followed a chosen leader only so long as it suited their convenience or inclinations. Unquestionably Kibby's rangers were the greatest and most daring and desperate band ever assembled on the American continent.
During the winter of 1793-4, while out on Wayne's campaign, he was scouting with the famous McClellan in a howling blizzard and zero weather. The latter after a time began to show signs of distress. Alone in a great snow covered forest and unable at the moment to build a fire, Captain Kibby, with border resourcefulness, killed one of the horses and slitting it open with his knife made a large opening in the carcass. Then gathering up the benumbed and stiffening McClellan, he placed him in the gory, but warm, aperture and in this manner succeeded in saving him from being frozen to death.
When Wayne was gradually cornering the Indian tribes in Northwestern Ohio, Kibby, in the spring of 1794, had opportunities to make several flying trips to his home at Columbia; it probably was on one of these excursions that occurred the marathon chase by the savages already mentioned. In March the captain set out with a small party of settlers and killed two Indians who had committed depredations in that vicinity. For this he was publicly congratulated by Territorial Judge, George Turner, in a letter which was copied in the Centinel of the Northwestern Territory, the earliest newspaper. A month later the same publication notices that Kibby and ten men trailed a body redskins who had stolen four horses from their settlement, and that following a pursuit of many miles and his force overtook and defeated the enemy in battle and returned in triumph with the purloined equines.
In August, 1794, occurred the fast flying action of "Fallen Timbers," near Toledo, Ohio, when the perfectly trained and disciplined troops of Wayne smashed their way through the Indian lines in record time and put the savages to complete rout, never again to be a serious menace to the peace and safety of the white settlements of the Ohio. Although official accounts fail to note the participation of Kibby's scouts in this battle, it is inconceivable that men of their intrepid and warlike natures, after having been so conspicuously employed, would be content to remain inactive when once the firing commenced. Indeed, more than likely they were in the thick of the fighting on this glorious occasion and added materially to their collection of scalps. Their services after a time no longer required, this fierce and heroic band, whose employment had proven of such value to Wayne, returned to Fort Washington, where they were disbanded
The next known incident in the life of Kibby was the abortive duel already related, with its unusual, and, to the onlookers, disappointing climax. This occurred in the same year. It was shortly afterward that he was initiated in N.C. Harmony Lodge. Just what prompted his action in petitioning so soon after this body was organized, raises interesting conjecture. The answer, however, is believed to lay in his undoubted close association with the officers and soldiers of Wayne's army, in which a traveling military lodge was at work. This was Lodge No. 28, under the registry of Pennsylvania, formed in the spring of 1793, with Captain Robert Mis Campbell as Worshipful Master. Brother Campbell was so unfortunate as to lose his life while leading a charge early in the battle of Fallen Timbers. Numbers of Wayne's force were included among the members enrolled in N.C. Harmony Lodge during its first year, an illustration of the rush to the altar of Freemasonry that has obtained throughout all the wars of this country.
The last adventure of Captain Kibby of which there is record occurred in 1797, when he undertook the herculean task of cutting a road from Vincennes, Indiana, to Cincinnati, a distance of more than 155 miles. After completing the first 70 miles he in some manner became separated from his men in the almost impenetrable wild. After a vain search of several days the undaunted leader continued onward, blazing a path through the wilderness with no other guide save the sun, moon and stars. Being left without his rifle, he was forced to subsist almost wholly upon roots on his long and trying journey. At last Brother Kibby broke through at Cincinnati, greatly worn from hardships and exposure and reduced nearly to a skeleton from his exertions.
Not long hereafter he removed to the adjoining county of Warren, being one of its early settlers. To this time he had shown quite versatile ability on the border, having been hunter, Indian fighter and scout leader, surveyor, township clerk and road builder. Now followed his election to the Territorial and also the State legislature. After serving as inspector of Ohio militia with the rank of major, this sterling character of the backwoods, unsung in history except in one work as a "brave and intrepid soldier," passed away at Deerfield, Warren County, Ohio, in 1809, at the comparatively early age of fifty-four. Hardship and privation had their effect on the pioneers, even when they escaped the perils of the wilderness.
(To be continued)
Study of Lecture Courses in Masonic Education
By BRO. CHARLES S. PLUMB, Ohio
THE subject of Masonic education has been receiving special attention in recent years. The writer does not mean to imply that educational work has not had a place in the fraternity before that. The word special in this case, however, applies to a rather modern phase of education. At the conferences held at Detroit in 1927, and Cedar Rapids in 1928, the question was raised as to what Masonic education really is. The opinion seemed to prevail with many present, that anything whereby the Craft were benefited intellectually covered Masonic education. One definition given at Detroit that seems rational is the following: A method by which Masons will have a more intelligent comprehension of the Craft.
At the Cedar Rapids conference, Brother R. I. Clegg led with a paper on the "Purpose of Masonic Education." He emphasized the fact that Freemasonry especially relates to character, or a system of morals in action. This system he thought worthy of study. He thought this a good time to lay stress on education, following as we are a great period of extravagance. Brother R. J. Meekren was inclined to begin with the study of history in its Masonic application, and especially emphasized the study of the ritual. He referred to the operative masons and their premium on morality and the symbols emblematic of it. He thought we were really starting nothing new in modern Masonic education.
The writer has been especially interested in the various means of promoting education within the Masonic group. This has been expressed in several ways outside of the influence of the customary contact within the lodge during stated or ritualistic work. No doubt the oldest and most common method has been from special lectures. The use of Masonic books among English speaking people has played its part since the day of the first edition of Anderson's Constitution in 1723. During the course of two centuries Masonic literature has grown into great volume. Masonic study clubs are of more recent birth, and we learn of their organization in Iowa as recently as 1902 at Cedar Rapids. These clubs have not in general proven a success. At the 1928 conference at Cedar Rapids, where study clubs received much attention, it was agreed that they could not expect to be successes, unless under inspired leadership. If that was lacking, such clubs soon passed out of existence.
Masonic journals have been published many years in America, but they vary greatly in purpose and merit, and have not thus far been used as special mediums for educational work within lodges. Some of them have played a most useful part in lodge uplift, but the influence has been more specifically on the individual. Some lodges print monthly bulletins that are a credit to the Craft, which, in their limited spheres, render good service.
A careful consideration of the lecture system might impress one with the superior advantage of this method of Masonic education, whereby considerable groups should be reached. The lecture method has been made use of in several ways. It has long been an essential factor in the degree work. Occasional lectures not related to the degrees, yet bearing on the Craft, have been given. Many lectures on the general beauties and inspirations of Freemasonry have come from silver-tongued brethren, such as usually have a wide application, and are prepared on short notice. Popular lectures have had a place in the lodge room, whereby the brethren would be both entertained and instructed, but not on things Masonic.
In his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. 1, 1919 edition, the late Bro. Albert G. Mackey discusses at some length the subject of Masonic lectures. From this the writer offers some abstracts that are pertinent to the subject here under discussion.
Each degree of Masonry [he states] contains a course of instruction, in which the ceremonies, traditions, and moral instruction appertaining to the degree are set forth. This arrangement is called a lecture. Each lecture, for the sake of convenience, and for the purpose of conforming to certain divisions in the ceremonies, is divided into sections, the number of which has varied at different periods, although the substance remains the same.
The application of the lecture to the three symbolic degrees is then briefly explained, and Bro. Mackey continues:
It must be confessed that many of the interpretations given in these lectures are unsatisfactory to the cultivated mind, and seem to have been adopted on the principle of the old Egyptians, who made use of symbols to conceal, rather than to express their thoughts. Learned Masons have been, therefore, always disposed to go beyond the mere technicalities and stereotyped phrases of the lecture, and look into the history and the philosophy of the ancient religions, and the organization of the ancient mysteries for a true explanation of most of the symbols of Masonry, and there they have always been enabled to find this true interpretation. The lectures, however, serve as an introduction or preliminary essay, enabling the student, as he advances in his initiation, to become acquainted with the symbolic character of the institution. But if he ever expects to become a learned Mason, he must seek in other sources for the true development of Masonic symbolism. The lectures alone are but the primer of the science.
In a rather extended consideration of the "History of the Lectures," Bro. Mackey offers the following interesting opening paragraph, which is very pertinent to the subject of Masonic education:
To each of the degrees of Symbolic Masonry a catechetical instruction is appended, in which the ceremonies, traditions, and other esoteric instructions of the degree are contained. A knowledge of these lectures which must, of course, be communicated by oral teaching constitutes a very important part of Masonic education and until the great progress made, within the present century in Masonic literature, many 'bright Masons,' as they are technically styled, could claim no other foundation than such a knowledge for their high Masonic reputation. But some share of learning more difficult to attain, and more sublime in its character than anything to be found in these oral catechisms is now considered necessary to form a Masonic scholar. Still, as the best commentary on the ritual observances is to be found in the lectures, and as they also furnish a large portion of that secret mode of recognition, or that universal language, which has always been the boast of the institution, not only is a knowledge of them absolutely necessary to every practical Freemason, but a history of the changes which they have from time to time undergone, constitutes an interesting part of the literature of the Order.
The writer has been especially interested in a scheme for Masonic education that might be consistently planned, which should not cover the ordinary processes of the lodge, and that would appeal to a fairly representative group of the Craft. With such a thought in mind, a lecture course seemed the only feasible means of successfully carrying out the plans. Consequently, in October, 1923, at a stated meeting of University Lodge, No. 631, of Columbus, Ohio, a motion was adopted that a course of lectures in Masonic education be conducted under the auspices of this lodge. A committee of three, consisting of Bros. C.S. Plumb, L.E. Wolfe and B.A. Eisenlohr, was appointed to arrange for such a course. This leads me to a rather systematic consideration of a series of lectures on Masonic education. University Lodge occupies rooms in York Temple in Columbus, the property of York Lodge, 563. Capital City Lodge, 656, also uses the same temple. Following the first course, it was thought desirable for the three lodges jointly to promote a lecture course in York Temple.
THE COLUMBUS LECTURE COURSE
A lecture committee was authorized to arrange for and supervise the conduct of such a lecture course. The original committee of University Lodge was three. The second course was supervised by three representatives from each lodge, or nine in all. With the third course each lodge committee was reduced to two, and again with the next course but one representative was appointed from each lodge. The idea prevailed that appointments to this committee should represent men who were interested in this special kind of work, and would give it their best service. While different men have served on these committees, the writer has from the beginning represented University Lodge, and served as Chairman. Each committee man, I desire to say, rendered very worthy service, and reflected credit upon his lodge.
The primary motive of each course was to present for the consideration of the brethren, useful talks on Masonic topics that in general were not a part of the ritual, and would give them a clearer knowledge of Freemasonry in general. As the courses progressed, the endeavor was made to furnish better arranged programs. Most of the invitations extended to lecturers were accompanied with suggested topics. Each speaker was given to understand that the motive behind the course was instruction, rather than entertainment. Six courses have been conducted between 1923 and 1928.
The character of the lectures given is indicated by the following subjects, not all, but most of which were suggested by the various committees. Forty-seven lectures in all were scheduled, but seven of these were in fact more or less short talks on special subjects. The following are the subjects, under the dates given:
January 2, 1923 to June 5, 1924
Important Factors in Masonic Education, by C. S. Plumb, 32d, K.T.
Masonic Jurisprudence, by Ill. Bro. C. J. Pretzman, 33d, K.T., P.G.M. Ohio. This was unavoidably postponed until the second course.
The Grand Lodge and Its Work, by Ill. Bro. C. M. Vorhees 33d, K.T., P.G.C., P.G.M. Ohio.
Masonry and Citizenship, by Ill. Bro. J. P. McCune, 33d, K.T., P.G.C. Ohio
Masonic Architecture, by Bro. Howard Dwight Smith, 32d.
Masonic Symbolism and the Ritual, by Ill. Bro. W. L. Van Sickle, 33d
Cerneauism, by Bro. F. H. Howe, 32d, K.T.
November 15, 1923 to May 15, 1924
Masonic Jurisprudence. (Held over from first course.)
The Old Constitutions, by Ill. Bro. J. E. Sater, 33d, K.T.
Albert Pike and His Work, by Bro. Henry P. Howe, 32d, K.T.
The Ancient Landmarks, by Bro. J.A. Bauer, K.T.
Negro Masonry, by Bro. R. C. Wolcott, 32d, K.T.
Solomon's Temple, by Rev. Bro. J.J. Tisdale, 32d.
Washington, the Mason, by Bro. G.E. Wood, 32d, K.T.
The Two Hirams, by Rev. Bro. W. R. Walker, K.T.
Masonic Journalism, by Bro. Bert Brown, 32d, K.T.
My Masonic Library, by Ill. Bro. F. H. Marquis, 33d, K.T., P.G.M. Ohio
The Story of Freemasonry, by Bro. H. L. Haywood, then Editor "The Builder."
November 7, 1924 to April 17, 1925
Freemasonry in Foreign Lands, by Ill. Bro. Robert I. Clegg, 33d, K.T.
The Founding of Templar Masonry, by Ill. Bro. F.O. Schoedinger, 33d, K.T., P.G.C. Ohio. (Carried over from the third course.)
The Cathedral Builders, by Rev. Bro. M. H. Lichliter, 32d,
Our Greatest Light: The Book on the Altar, by Rev. Bro. A. H. Limouze, 32d
The Faith of Ancient Craft Masonry, by Bro. C.H. Merz, K.T.
The Story of Freemasonry in America, by Bro. H. L. Haywood.
December 21, 1925 to April 30, 1926
The Seeds of Freemasonry, by Bro. W.G. Sibley, 32d, K.T.
A Night of Masonic Poetry and Song, Supervised by Bro. Grant Connell
Immortality; by Rev. Bro. A. H. Limouze, 32d, K.T.
Lodge Characteristics and Methods, by Bro. O.C. Riddle, 32d, K.T.
The Roman Church and Freemasonry, by Bro. David B. Sharp, 32d, K.T.
November 18, 1926 to April 15, 1927
Some Reference to Masonic Education in Ohio, by Bro. C. S. Plumb, 32d, K.T.
Freemasonry and the Church, by Rev. Bro. E. A. Krapp, K.T.
Tuberculosis and Masonic Obligation in Support of Treatment, by Bro. C.L. Minor, 33d, K.T., G.M. G.L., Ohio.
Benjamin Franklin, M.W. Grand Master, by Bro. C. H. Valentine, 32d
Conferring the Entered Apprentice Degree at Bayreuth, Germany, by Ill. Rev. Bro. H. G. Eisenlohr, 33d, K.T.
William Preston and the Masonic Ritual, by Bro. E.W. McCormick, 32.
The Temple Builders, by Bro. C.C. Hunt, 32d, G.Sec. G. L. Iowa.
November 22, 1927 to May 17, 1928
Mediaeval Operative Masonry, by Bro. C.T. Warner, 32d, K.T.
Rufus Putnam, by Bro. H. H. Maynard.
Masonic Traditions, by Ill. Bro. J. P. Kuhns, 33d, K.T., P.G.C. Ohio
Chester Griswold, by Bro. R.W. Taylor, 32d, K.T.
The Masonic Ritual, by Ill. Bro. H. S. Johnson, 33d, K.T., P.G.M., Gr. Sec. Ohio.
John Snow, by Bro. J.E. Frahm, 32d.
Washington, the Man and Mason, by Bro. J.J. Tyler, P.M.
William B. Hubbard, by Bro. Simeon Nash, 32d, K.T., J.G.W. G.L. Ohio
Designs on the Trestle Board, by Ill. Bro. T. M. Stewart, 33d
Thomas Sparrow, by Bro. C.M. Vorhees, 33d, K.T., P.G.C., P.G.M. Ohio.
Masonic Philosophy, by Bro. H.C. Ramsower, K.T.
David N. Kinsman, 33d, by Ill. Bro. W. L. Van Sickle, 33d
To Set the Craft at Work and Give Them Proper Instruction, by Bro. the Rev. Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, 32d. K.T.
There are some very interesting phases to these subjects and the speakers. Certain subjects, essentially religious, were presented by clergymen. Those relative to lodge administration were discussed by Past Grand Masters of Ohio. A number of biographical studies, especially in this last course, were handled by local Masons interested in a study of noted Ohio Masons of other days. The Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio and four M.W. Past Grand Masters of Ohio; one Past Grand High Priest, and three Past Grand Commanders were among the list of speakers. After the first course it essentially became a policy of the Committee to secure a distinguished Craftsman from without Ohio, notable in the educational work of Freemasonry, to act as the last speaker of the course. Twice Brother Haywood, then Editor of "THE BUILDER," was the speaker, and he was followed by Bro. C.C. Hunt, Grand Secretary and Librarian of the Iowa Grand Lodge, and by Bro. Rev. Dr. Joseph Fort Newton of Philadelphia, Editor of the "Master Mason." Both Bros. Newton and Haywood are noted authors of Masonic literature. Bro. Robert I. Clegg of Chicago, on his return from Europe, in November, 1924, gave a talk on "Freemasonry in Foreign Lands," and Bros. Marquis of Mansfield, Merz of Sandusky, Sibley of Gallipolis, Johnson and Eisenlohr of Cincinnati, and Tyler of Warren, gave valuable service as speakers.
It is noteworthy that of this long list of speakers, over a period of six years, not one failed to keep his appointment. Two unexpectedly were unable to be present as scheduled, but met every obligation in the course following. Many of the speakers used manuscript from which they spoke, while others presented their subjects informally. The method of presentation seemed to make no material difference in the interest of the audience. Emphasis, however, might be made of the fact that the committee arranging these programs was fully advised that each speaker possessed a personality and ability to address an audience that should guarantee his success as a speaker. The speakers were therefore secured with the knowledge of their fitness for the purposes contemplated.
Each lecture was free. The first and last one of the course we planned to hold on nights when no other Masonic function took place in York Temple. The other lectures, as a rule, followed a stated meeting of one of the lodges, which closed as near 8 p. m. as possible.
ANALYSIS OF TIME ATTENDANCE
The attendance at these lectures was made a special study. This was quite overlooked in the first course. In the second and other courses, we recorded attendance at some of the lectures. On Feb. 12, 1924, when Bro. Wood spoke on "Washington, the Mason," 221 brethren were present, representing 49 lodges, seven states and the District of Columbia. The maximum attendance in this second course was 300, about the capacity of York Temple, when Bro. Haywood, in brilliant style told "The Story of Freemasonry." In the third course, on Dec. 16, 1924, there were 165 present, with 36 lodges represented. On Jan. 14 in this course, 202 were present, with 39 lodges represented. Again on April 17, 1925, there were 198 present, with 48 lodges represented. On April 15, 1927. at the lecture of Bro. Hunt, 219 were present. Of these 179 were from Columbus and vicinity, and 40 from outside this jurisdiction. 45 lodges were recorded, of which 13 were of Columbus, 28 of other parts of Ohio, and 4 from without the state.
When we first began recording the attendance, we passed slips about among the brethren, on which they were requested to write name, home address, and name and lodge membership. This system was not most convenient, so we adopted a plan to give each brother before the lecture began, a small blank voting slip, on which he was requested to give this desired information. These slips were very soon written and collected, and easily classified by lodges and states.
Prior to the 1927-1928 series, we had not kept a complete record of attendance at any one course. Beginning with the sixth, we kept a careful record through to the end. This involved much work, but furnished interesting and useful information, which herewith follows. Attention here should be called to the fact that in order to obtain more room for the lecture of Bro. Newton, by a joint arrangement with the Blue Lodge Officers' Association of Columbus, and the Temple trustees, the Scottish Rite auditorium in the Main Masonic Temple in Columbus was used.
Attendance for 1927-1928 Series of Lectures
Date of Lecture No. Present Columbus Ohio Other States Total
Nov. 22, 1927 109 11 19 7 37
Dec. 15 100 12 12 9 33
Jan. 19, 1928 192 15 26 9 50
Feb. 22 131 14 14 2 30
March 15 94 13 11 3 27
April 13 74 13 9 2 24
May 17 160 20 38 14 72
Average 165.7 14 18.5 6.5 39
The above tabular statement gives one the more important figures representing attendance. It will be noted that the attendance ranged from 74 to 460, with 165 the average. This course gives a high average because of Brother Joseph Fort Newton, on May 17. Aside from this we have had other courses that no doubt showed a higher average attendance. The record of lodges represented is a most interesting one, with a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 72. Certain factors will very readily explain the cause for the large number of lodges represented. There are perhaps 15,000 Masons living in and about Columbus. The Ohio State University has several hundred Masons, many of whom, living in and about Columbus, have never dimited from the home lodge, and in reporting, specify such membership. There are 28 lodges in the 14th Masonic District of Ohio, and the attendance from these has varied. York Lodge, No. 563, with about 2200 members, has invariably led in attendance at the lectures. On April 13 there were present 28 men from York, and on May 17 there were 90. At Bro. Newton's lecture on May 17, there were 7 lodges from this Jurisdiction represented with 23 or more members, with Humboldt, No. 476, showing 66, and Magnolia, No. 20, 46. The number of Ohio lodges represented, outside of the 14th District, ranged from 9 to 38. Brethren also drove in from approximately fifty miles away to hear some of the addresses.
During the entire course, eighteen states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Scotland were represented at our gatherings. Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Canada and Scotland show this wide distribution.
A careful study was made of the records of each person in attendance at this 1927-1928 course of lectures. In checking up each person was placed in the list in alphabetical order, with number of times at lectures placed against his name. The total number of persons recorded as present was 721. A large percentage of these had but one lecture to their credit. It is interesting to note that 11 of the brethren attended each lecture of the course, 9 were at six, 16 at five, 30 at four and 43 at three lectures. This comprises a list of 109 different persons, who attended from three to seven lectures in this course, which one might regard as a very satisfactory showing. It is especially gratifying that 20 of the brethren were present at either six or seven of the lectures.
THE RESULTS ATTAINED
The beneficial effects of these lectures is rather difficult to determine. The members of the Craft understood that they were purely educational, and if they attended they were to listen to serious presentations of important subjects. There were no entrance requirements, other than that one should be a Mason in good standing. From three view points it is my opinion that these lectures bore good fruit. The brethren took a keen interest in the subjects presented, and after the meeting closed, in quite a number of instances, gathered about the speaker and questioned him for more light. A number of the local speakers engaged in considerable research in the preparation of their lectures, and became much interested in their subjects. Some of these brethren, on request, have delivered their addresses to Masons elsewhere, and so have carried forward an important purpose in this work. Lastly, within the past two years at least, it is notable that similar courses in Masonry are being introduced in other communities in Ohio. Bro. Merz of Sandusky has promoted a valuable course with Science, No. 50, and Perseverance, No. 329. At Warren, Bro. Tyler has done a similar good work with Old Erie, No. 3. Some of the Cincinnati lodges have conducted lecture courses for several years with real success. Humboldt, No. 476, under the leadership of Bro. Meyer, the Secretary, has made a notable record in holding special lectures, only partly Masonic, however, during the past several years. Just how much influence the courses held in York Temple may have had elsewhere, no one knows, but one is safe in saying any credit is surely on the right side of the ledger.
EXPENSES INCIDENTAL TO THE COURSE
The expense attending these lectures has not been a serious one. No charge is made for the use of the lodge room for this purpose. None of the local speakers charged for services rendered. Brethren from other parts of Ohio who participate have never asked more than their expenses. Only under certain special conditions have more than expenses been allowed, and this in the case of two speakers from other states, who were given slight honorariums above their expenses. During the first two years of the courses we repaired to the banquet hall after the lecture, and the brethren were given a light supper. The third year this plan was abolished, without material injury to the attendance. However, the last lecture of this and the other bourses was by a distinguished brother from out of Ohio, on which occasion a complimentary dinner was served. Brief advertising is given in the city daily papers for one or two days prior to each lecture, and The Ohio Mason publishes a similar one, and gives generous reading notices, both before and after each lecture, and frequently publishes the address in full. The nature of the lecture course is set forth in a four page leaflet about six by three and one-half inches in size. Made of this size it easily fits in the pocket or in a standard small envelope. The first is a title page; the second a brief historical resume of the course; the third and fourth pages the program, with information regarding each subject and speaker; and finally the names of the committee in charge. The items of importance in expense have here been set forth. Anything else has been of very minor importance.
Each of the three lodges conducting this course, bears one third of the cost of the same. The course for the year 1924-25 cost each lodge $133.72; that for 1925-26, $91.00; that for 1926-27, $93.28; and for 1927-28, $107.07. In the last item of expense, however, the Blue Lodge Officers' Association of Columbus, very generously cared for the expenses of Joseph Fort Newton, but to make the item of expense uniform, it is made a part of the average for each lodge.
I should not close this rather lengthy communication without an expression of appreciation of the cordial sympathy expressed by several Most Worshipful Grand Masters of Ohio, over the lecture course at York Temple. They have shown a most kindly and sympathetic interest. Here in the city of Columbus brethren of Masonic distinction, of whom there are many, have rendered much valuable service, and contributed whenever possible to a promotion of the cause of Masonic education. We also feel a deep debt of gratitude to quite a number of our Ohio brethren in various parts of the state, who have generously and graciously played important parts in our programs.
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
TEN years ago there was a war. It had nearly come to an end, but those in the thick of it did not know that. Those years before. were a world nightmare. Sometimes, to those who lived through it, the ten years since seem to have gone by like a dream. Which was the dream and which the reality? Or is all our life here a phantasmagoria of unreality?
It is in answer to that question that religions have been taught. Masonry follows at a respectful distance, with the teaching that to do right, to be just and upright, is what alone will give permanent satisfaction to a man.
The termite, the so-called white ant of the tropics, is an industrious creature, and collectively achieves wonderful things in the way of destruction - from the human point of view - from the termite's side it is but the seeking of the collective livelihood. The curious trait of this creature is that it will not work in the open. Not that its operations are concealed exactly, but like men in the trenches it advances by sap and tunnel. It will build a covered road of mud when an open space has to be crossed. We are something like the white ant in intellectual and spiritual matters. Between our naked souls and the vast questioning abysses of the universe, the fundamental mystery of things, we erect a shelter of conventions and conventional attitudes - the mental bases of what we call our civilization.
But where are we going and what is it all about? Apparently the present generation does not care - it is enough that it is "on the way." It is doubtful if the younger generation has ever really at heart had any very different attitude; but that is not saying it is wise not to care. A man running amuck in a car in a city street is wise and prudent compared to a community following its own momentary fancies and fashions as to what is desirable for it - intensive production and "progressive obsolescence" - oil concessions - large navies and the like. The present generation has partly forgotten the war, in another decade there will be another that has no remembrance. It is well perhaps to think sometimes what it was all about - especially as so many now speak as if it might have been avoided, was not necessary, and accomplished nothing.
On the contrary, it accomplished a great deal, and the price, though heavy, was not too great. In America the watchword was to make the world safe for Democracy. Pessimism has arisen because, so far from the world following the democratic rule, it has outside of Anglo-Saxon countries turned towards dictatorships. But here we must remember that Democracy as we understand it is not fool-proof. It is a complex machine that needs skillful manipulation. It only works among people who by hereditary experience have learned in some degree to handle it. Underneath Democracy lies a wider and deeper ideal, one that might quite well be attained in other ways than the cumbersome one of counting votes and listening to political speeches.
It is the fashion to gibe at the efforts that have been made towards putting the civilized world upon a peace basis. But one thing alone should give food for thought. Before the war, war was not only one instrument of national policy, it is not too much to say it was the instrument of national policy. Now when the tenth anniversary of the Armistice comes round, those who returned can feel that they did not serve for nothing, nor that their friends and comrades who did not come back died in vain. The nations have formally and solemnly agreed to renounce war as a means of furthering national aims and desires. It is easy to say it is merely a pious hope, that such professions do not bind, and mean nothing. It is not quite the same world as it was in 1913. Such an undertaking would then have seemed madly impossible. Performance always lags behind profession, but it yet follows. That such professions have been made means at least that the peoples have at last come to suspect that war is not inevitable in the nature of things, but that it is due chiefly to collective stupidity. As a recent writer said, "There is wisdom enough in the world; what the world needs is some machinery to apply it to its problems." In proposing the recent Peace Pact the United States has once more thrown its influence on the side of that ideal that underlies Democracy.
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BADGES AND BUTTONS
WE observe with - how shall we put it - with regret, tempered with amusement, that our highly esteemed contemporary, the London Freemason, does not seem to approve of the answer to a query published in the September number of THE BUILDER.
The anonymous conductor of "The Question Box" in The Builder, St. Louis, U.S.A., answering a question as to whether a woman (wife, mother or daughter of a Mason) is entitled to wear the Masonic emblem, says that the wearing of emblems by anyone is to be regarded as a purely personal matter, and that if there be no regulation for the Mason, it is obvious that still less can there be for one who is not. "The propriety of the practice is another matter. It would seem that while 'entitled' is hardly the right word to use, a woman is at liberty to wear Masonic emblems and that there is no reason to object to it. In any case we do not see how it can be prevented." The truth of the last sentence is obvious; but that there is no reason to object to women wearing Masonic emblems shows how far our brothers in America have gone.
It had really never occurred to us that the Question Box was conducted anonymously. It has always been the editor's task, from the beginning of THE BUILDER; though after the fashion of editors, the several incumbents of that none too comfortable chair have as far as possible used the brains of brethren with special knowledge to obtain answers. In this particular instance, however, whatever of guilt and blame has been incurred must fall upon the editor's own head.
We should hardly have noticed this comment here, only that it seems that our confrere of the Freemason has got a somewhat distorted impression of what was said, and seems to think it is an indication that American Masons have diverged dangerously from the path marked out by the Ancient Landmarks. Let us hasten to reassure him, and the English brethren who gain their information of Masonic events from his pages. The opinion expressed in THE BUILDER was a personal one, not in any way official, or representing any large body of American Masonic opinion. To speak sooth we fully expected to hear about it before this.
As a matter of fact the Square and Compasses, in the "familiar arrangement," have been made much more of a sacred device in America than anywhere else in the world. It is a tendency that we feel calls for protest, though doubtless it will be of little use to make it. As we noted in the answer referred to, the only devices or designs that peculiarly belong to the organized fraternity, are first the armorial bearings granted to the Mason's Company by Edward IV in 1473, and the various arms and seals officially adopted by the various sovereign Grand Lodges - we confine ourselves strictly to the Craft. It is true that various jewels and decorations have also been formally adopted, but so far as we have been able to find out, no Grand Lodge has ever officially adopted the square and compasses, with or without the letter G, as a personal badge or mark for its members to wear, in the way that has been done in other orders and societies in regard to their emblems.
While it is quite true that a number of American Grand Lodges have been interested in, or availed themselves of, state laws forbidding, under penalties, anyone not a Mason wearing a button, pin or charm with the square and compasses upon it - for the information of our English brethren we may interject here that we believe that in some states, by the strict letter of the law, a woman could be imprisoned for wearing a "Masonic" pin - yet we repeat that so far as our information goes, no Grand Lodge has ever formally, by resolution, adopted the square and compasses. It has merely been taken for granted that it was peculiar to Masonry.
But this is simply not so. Every one of the crafts and trades that employ the square and compass as working tools, and there are several besides the masons, used this design in the past, and still use it, in some places, in the present. The "familiar arrangement," for example, is frequently found in Germany, on houses, on tombstones and elsewhere. It may be a token of carpenters, bricklayers, stonemasons - as well as of Freemasons.
Furthermore, in regard to women wearing such ornaments, we believe it was much more common fifty or seventy-five years ago than it is today - and for reasons we indicated in the place referred to. It was done for a purpose, and a purpose to which it would seem no Mason could see objection. Doubtless it is done with the same purpose occasionally now, though the Eastern Star pin is so well known that it has largely removed any occasion for such use.
And finally is there any reason to object? As things are American Masons depend altogether too much upon badges and buttons. Instead of making themselves known to the Fraternity by the four perfect points, and to the world by the four cardinal virtues to which they refer, they put on a button or charm that anyone can buy in any jeweler's or pawnshop, and expect others to accept them as Masons on the strength of it. If our contemporary had animadverted upon this tendency of the American Craft we should have felt it to be fully justified.
But it all lies in the sense of the word "object." Can we object, properly speaking - we may dislike, be annoyed with, wish to prevent - but can we object to a thing being done that other people have a right to do? We leave aside the special cases where the law, mistakenly and improperly as we believe, has made it a misdemeanor, but in general there is no such right, and historically we have no grounds for claiming it. And besides this, unless we regard the device as a sacred, tabu object, a fetich, is there any practical reason to be annoyed or resentful? In the case of a man there is perhaps - if not a Mason the presumption is that he is sailing under false colors. But in the case of a woman there obviously cannot be any intention to deceive.
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"ON OUR WAY"
SPEAKING of the distance Masons in America have gone, we note another item, although it again would not be fair to regard it as characteristic of American Masonry as a whole. It is difficult for our brethren in other countries to realize that there are not only forty-nine sovereign and independent Grand Lodges in the United States, but also (without any great exaggeration) forty-nine separate and distinct brands of Masonry. At least the different Grand Lodges vary quite as much, and often much more, in legislation, ritual and local traditions and usages, as do the three Grand Lodges of the British Isles. Having thus prepared the way and warned our English readers it is not to be taken as typical of American Masonry, we will relate the story that appears in another of our contemporaries. According to this a lady approached the Master of a lodge with a request for a petition blank, as she said she was very anxious for her husband to become a Mason. She undertook to see that the petition was duly sent in accompanied by the fee. This was sufficiently unusual, but more extraordinary still, the Master of this lodge - instead of explaining to the lady that applicants have to come entirely of their own voluntary motion and desire, and not influenced by any other person, and that therefore it would be impossible to comply with her request instead of explaining this he gave her a form, which was subsequently sent in as she had promised. What action, if any, the lodge took in regard to the matter does not appear. All that can be said is that the Master exhibited a painful lack of the most elementary knowledge of Masonic fundamental law, and no matter how expert he may be in reciting the ritual he has never begun to appreciate its significance.
There does seem to be an idea growing up among the younger generation of Masons in this country that the questions asked of the candidate are formal only, and that they should be interpreted as narrowly as possible so that their intention may be evaded by answers only formally true. Instead of being a real test to weed out applicants, who though they may be good men will not make good Masons, and there are many such, the desire is to open the gates as wide as possible, and indirectly, "to compel them to come in."
It is supposed, for instance, that "improper solicitation" is restricted to solicitation of friends who are Masons. There is no such restriction. The influence or solicitation of a wife or mother or sister is just as improper as that of a member of the Craft. We believe that many lodges are suffering from a mass of undigested and indigestible material. It is not enough that a man should be moral, just and upright, honest and under the tongue of good report. He must want to belong to the Fraternity, he must have that element in his make-up which is lacking in a great many men, that which finds an appeal in ritualism, symbolism, and the whole idea of a universal brotherhood. Without this disposition it will be better for him, and certainly much better for Masonry, if he stay out.
This is elementary; every Entered Apprentice should know it, but apparently there is one Worshipful Master of a regular lodge who does not.
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A NEW MASONIC BIBLIOGRAPHY
WHEN anyone first begins to acquire the habit of reading books, a habit that like some others is easier to make than to break, the first stage is naturally to think only of their contents. There are some people, of course, who take to book collecting, as others take to collecting stamps, coins or old china. With these we need not here concern themselves, except as they come under our first classification as readers also.
The reader of books, at first, takes them as they come. The binding, the place and date of printing, even the author possibly, are quite ignored as insignificant details. This is quite natural, for after all it is the primary purpose of books to say something of interest to the reader. But after a time it is found that these apparently extraneous facts may be of importance in more ways than at first would seem possible. When the reader begins to specialize, as sooner or later he must to some extent if he keeps on reading, he finds that in order to judge the contents of a book it is sometimes necessary to know whether it or another was first written, and so questions of editions and date arise. Incidentally it is a bibliographical crime to publish a book without a date, and something oriental with boiling oil in it, ought to be done about it.
Anyone who uses a library of any size, public or private, finds at once the necessity of a catalog. A catalog is like a telephone or city directory, it tells us whether such a book is there, and if so where to find it. But we find that, useful and indispensable as directories are, they do not give the information we would frequently like to have, and that it will save us time and trouble to have condensed and in easily available form; and thus biographical dictionaries of one kind or another have been prepared. Their practical value is proved by the fact that not only are they to be found in every reference library, but that many individuals find them indispensable, in spite of the fact that they are all very expensive. A bibliography performs the same service in respect to books that the Biographical Dictionary does for persons. The latter is a "Who's Who," the former a "What's What."
The field of books is so enormous that bibliographies have to be departmentalized. Doubtless many educated people would be surprised to find out how many there are. There are bibliographies of the sciences, of the arts, of history, of archaeology and so on; and a good deal of work has been done in the field of Masonic literature. The descriptive catalog of Bro. Carson's library was a valuable bit of work. Wolfstieg's general Bibliography is invaluable so far as it goes. The Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is preparing for publication a full catalog of its treasures; while Bro. Quint is taking up the task in Germany, and with true Teutonic thoroughness is proposing to devote the rest of his life to it. In order to assist him we make an appeal to all Masonic authors and publishers to send him copies of their works, large or small, which will ensure their mention, and will greatly assist a project that will be of incalculable value to the Craft in time to come.
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THE EFFECTS OF TUBERCULOSIS
The following item of news about the Missouri Masonic Home, published recently in the MISSOURI FREEMASON confirms the numerous statements published in THE BUILDER in the last few years about tuberculosis. The second paragraph is of special interest. If the parents had been cared for, in time, perhaps they would have been saved to rear their children. If they had been placed in a tuberculosis hospital, in time, perhaps the children would never have been infected. Freemasonry will now spend far more, in the effort to save these children, and later to rear and educate them, than it would have cost to save the father and mother. Whose the fault and whose the blame? Can those who have opposed the effort to establish and operate Masonic Tuberculosis Hospitals be free of guilt? Perhaps this tragic story of one Masonic family may stir the Craft to action:
A novel charge, has been on the hands of the Masonic Home of Missouri for about four months, one that was not welcomed yet could not be avoided, and one upon which is being expended every facility and care that can be commanded. The charge is a boy, between two and three years old, in whom tuberculosis had obtained more or less footing. Of course, the infant has been kept as isolated as practicable and given the utmost care in the way of diet, etc., along with every possible benefit from outdoor exposure to sunshine, and President Waggoner notes with keenest satisfaction that traces of color are being brought to its cheeks. The Masonic Home is not equipped for that sort of demand, however, is strongly mindful of its obligation to protect members of the family from contact with that or any similar dangerous malady, and probably will place the child with the State sanitarium at Mt. Vernon as soon as it reaches the age when it can be received there, now only a few months ahead.
The infant is one of four children of parents who died of tuberculosis within a short while of each other. They were Missourians, but went to Arizona in search of health, without avail. The four children were brought to the Masonic Home, being eligible by reason of the father's membership in the Order. All of them bore traces of the malady that had orphaned them, but the three older ones were removed to the Mt. Vernon sanitarium, where they are reported to be doing well.
ALBERT K. WILSON
Bro. Wilson has been Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Kansas for thirty-five years. He has concurrently held the offices of Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter, Grand Recorder of the Grand Council of the same state for the last twenty-one years and Grand Recorder of the Grand Commandery for eighteen years. Recently re-elected, unanimously, in all these bodies, he asked to be allowed to retire, not so much on account of age, but that he might be able to devote all his time to the completion of a History of Freemasonry in Kansas, a work for which he has been collecting material for a long time.
With deep regret this permission was granted in each case, and it does great credit to the generosity of Kansas Masons that his salary and honorarium is to be continued.
Bro. Wilson has always been most helpful and ready to cooperate in any way possible with the Research Society, and we are very pleased to learn that he will now be enabled to carry out a work that should be a, valuable addition to the literature of the Craft.
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STEPHEN YOUNG TAYLOR
We have received an In Memoriam booklet prepared for the Grand Lodge of Alberta, A. F. and A. M. in honor of their late Grand Secretary, Bro. Stephen Young Taylor, who died rather suddenly last March. Bro. Taylor was an active friend of the N.M.R.S., which indeed has a larger number of members in Alberta than in any other Canadian Province.
Bro. Taylor was born in August, 1866, in Huron County, Ontario. He entered the teaching profession, and held various principalships in his native Province. In 1906 he removed to Calgary, Alberta, and became principal of the Alexandria Public School. Later he was on the Board of Trustees of the Calgary School District. He was Grand Master of Alberta for the years 1915-16, and the following year was elected Grand Treasurer, and the year after that, Grand Secretary, to which office he was continually re-elected until his death.
Alberta recognizes two rituals, the so-called "York" or "Webb" work, and the Canadian, which is based on that of England. Bro. Taylor was custodian of the Canadian rite in Alberta and was very active in bringing the lodges that follow this usage to a very high level of proficiency. Naturally, as a teacher, he was not satisfied with mere parrot repetition of the words, but used his position of influence to set a higher standard of understanding and appreciation of ritual forms and symbolism.
On behalf of the members of the Research Society, we desire to extend our sympathy to our brethren of Alberta for the great loss they have sustained.
THE STUDY CLUB
Papers of the Cedar Rapids Conference
We begin this month the publication of the papers read before the conference of Librarians held in Cedar Rapids last May. The first of these documents is that read by Bro. Robert L. Clegg, Associate Editor of THE BUILDER, and was the opening address of the conference. The full report of the proceedings of the meeting which was published in the September number of THE BUILDER makes it unnecessary for us to go into detail regarding the purposes of the meeting. Without further introduction we present Bro. Clegg's paper on
PURPOSES OF MASONIC EDUCATION
The very word initiation if it means anything means education. By initiation we learn. By education we are also instructed. Initiation indicates individual training. There is no initiation by proxy among Freemasons. We get it ourselves or we don't get it at all. We have it conferred or communicated. We follow guides. But we are not initiated by merely seeing or hearing or feeling even if the eye, the ear, the hand, are intimately concerned with Freemasons and Freemasonry.
Brain and heart are the principal elements in Masonic education. Knowledge deeply founded in the heart and wisdom exhibited by the mind are essentials to the Freemason. Without these he falters and falls in his Freemasonry, with them he soars in the spiritual realm.
Well, what is Freemasonry ? What has Freemasonry to teach? How may Freemasonry be taught? These questions are always suitable for Masonic discussion. No attempt will be made by me to answer them at length. At the very most all that may be undertaken will be such comments as may, it is hoped, bring forth further light.
Freemasonry refers to character. Over ten years ago, in THE BUlLDER, my definition of Freemasonry was venturesome perhaps, but it is still my opinion. Freemasonry is a system of moral knowledge in action. An older brother long ago, Bro. A. T. Pierson, said it was the Science of Sciences because it comprehends within itself that of all others. This was indeed all-inclusive but did not give that touch of human warmth that we usually ascribe to Freemasonry. Probably Bro. Gilbert Parker, the celebrated author, gets more brotherliness into it. He says Masonry is not the exposition of a manufactured article, nor is it a relevation. It expresses the underlying principles which govern all the religions which the race has loved, and it is founded upon the accumulated traditions which are necessities to humanity. May we not truly and conscientiously ask ourselves are these things not worth sincere study? Do they not deserve expression and circulation? Of course we are all well aware of the various other definitions that may be given of Freemasonry. It is indeed a system of morals explained principally by symbols pertaining to the art and science of the building trade, and impressed upon the mind chiefly by an allegory in dramatic form.
Of these most important elementary principles in Masonic ethics are, first, reverence for God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, second, love for our brethren; third, loyalty to the government of our country, and patriotism for all our country's flag represents. With faith triumphant in God, mutually encouraging hope in our cause, and abiding charity for all mankind we shall fulfill the Masonic duties of brotherly love, relief and truth.
There are other basic principles of the Masonic Institution. Of these we may here mention toleration, justice, sincerity moral rectitude. These are logical outgrowths of our first step in Freemasonry the Entered Apprentice Degree where we are taught such wise and useful lessons as prepare the mind for a regular advance in the principles of knowledge and philosophy. These are in our Masonic Institution imprinted in the memory by lively and sensible images well calculated to influence our conduct in the proper discharge of the duties of an honest, able, God-fearing life.
We may therefore not regard Freemasonry merely as a memorial, but as an example, not simply to commemorate, but to inspire. This Freemasonry of ours is not just another secret Order in which to claim membership and accumulate degrees. None other compares with it. The history of its progress, the caliber of its real initiates past and present, the peculiar and significant methods of its operation, and its universal exposition through the centuries in all the four corners of the globe, are abundant and convincing testimonies to its unique and surpassing worth among all human agencies for good. Next to the Church of God it stands secure.
For those anxious ever to put upon us in any particular the customs and trappings of any other organization there is but one thing to say: Hands off! Initiation to the negligent may become but a dim memory, the solemn obligations feebly remembered as to substance, but may we not hope for recollection enough to maintain a fervent respect, a heartwarming love, and some pride of possession for every brother in the enjoyment of his affiliation. We all need at least to be reminded. Such is Masonic education.
To promote such a competent sentiment for proficiency, to advance with emphasis the serious claims of the Craft, and to increase the sterling pleasure and the just pride in the search for more Masonic light is for me the purpose of Masonic education.
We are builders carrying forward the designs of the Grand Architect. Our houses are not made materially to last for a few years but for many, yes, eternally in the heavens. And is there a better time to consider this education carefully than now when the rush of successive ceremonies has somewhat abated and we now face not the flood tide but rather an ebb in our rate of numerical growth? At all events we can in this breathing spell the more fittingly urge our brethren to join with us in unearthing and applying all that our Masonic Institution has to teach.
Much of this instruction is especially individual. Man is ordinarily too much a crowd. A man is often not enough of himself. Our eyes too frequently are seldom raised from the heels of the fellow in front. The Golden Rule applies to the individual. Each of us is responsible. It is a personal matter. We are not expected to wait for some magical elevation of everybody at once. Assuredly we all get raised to loftier heights by the efforts of the enthusiastic and the stalwart who advance themselves and so lift the general average. Yet the path for each is marked out by Masonic precepts. The heights are within the range of Masonic Craftsmanship. The means to attain the goal are by the quiet study of Masonic fundamentals, the ritual, the symbolism, the regulations, the history and the objectives of its leaders.
May we not in our patient, helpful deliberation, one with another, also do something to aid each and all of us to stem the stream of so much modern reactionary movement at all events to re-direct and control the rising flood in the world of rubbish? Are we not in our civilization altogether too apt to overvalue the material and undervalue the spiritual, to overvalue knowledge and undervalue wisdom, to overvalue quantity and undervalue quality, to overvalue the body and undervalue the soul ? We often insist upon rights but usually neglect duties. In every direction there are to be seen flagrantly mistaken values for comparing play against work, standardization against originality, state against individual, noise against silence. Let us not overvalue the temporal and undervalue the eternal.
Of these preferable things is the substance of Masonic education. And the essence of it all is individual.
Right here in Cedar Rapids were held conferences of honored Masonic brethren in authority to deal with wartime problems. Here was the inception of the National Masonic Research Society with which most of us have been for years actively identified. In my mind and heart this present meeting appears as another promising step in Masonic service having the active support of these our Freemason brothers of Iowa and it is a happy omen of success that we have their cordial encouragement and hospitable reception.
At the conclusion of Bro. Clegg's address the program called for a discussion of Masonic Education by Bro. F. H. Littlefield Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the National Masonic Research Society. Bro. Littlefield was detained unavoidably and Bro. R. J. Meekren, Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER, was called upon to fill his place. His address follows:
I am inclined to believe that in the consideration of the subject before us we may find it useful, as in so many other things, to approach it from the historical side. And as an aside, may I be pardoned for saying that I hold that in a country with a democratic form of government, history is the most important subject the schools can teach. The children of today choose the government of tomorrow, and they need a grounding in accurate history to enable them to function intelligently as citizens. I mean history, of course, not mythology or propaganda, which is too often, in all countries, supplied in its place.
History is popularly supposed to be the very ultimate the last word in things dry, uninteresting and useless. But it is not. Everyone finds history the most interesting and entertaining of subjects; it is in regard to historical matters that everyone has the most lively curiosity only they do not know it by that name. They have in their school days been introduced to some dry bones, and told that that was the Muse of History. No one can love a skeleton; it is flesh and blood and the "skin you love to touch" that excites admiration and affection. To prove what I say, it is only necessary to call attention to the fact, which I am sure has been equally your experience as it has been ours in the Research Society, that there are no subjects on which more inquiries are received than whether such and such a prominent man was a Mason, or what influence Masons have had in the making of the Nation, in fighting its battles or administering its affairs. And what is this but history?
To return from this digression, however. I said that I believed the historical approach might enable us to see the question of Masonic education in a new perspective. It is generally agreed that our Speculative Institution was evolved out of a Fraternity of actual working stonemasons of Operative Craftsmen. To modern ears, the terms "workmen," "artisans," "mechanics," have a smack of inferiority if not social inferiority at least intellectual and cultural. It is therefore necessary to remember that a mediaeval craft was differently organized and recruited than equivalent occupations today. Now we have horizontal classification workers, superintendents, directors. Then, roughly speaking, it w as perpendicular the employer designer, administrators all began with the training and status of the worker. Mediaeval Freemasons should not be spoken of as "mere artisans," with the present day implications of the term. This point I regard as of great importance in any attempt to evaluate the state of affairs in the original Operative organization in which our modern Freemasonry has its roots.
It would be entirely aside from the present subject to go into the probable character of Operative Masonry on its Speculative side. We know practically nothing about it directly, and it is impossible to speak of it with any assurance. But there is some evidence, aside from general considerations, that makes it quite probable that the Mediaeval Freemasons moralized upon their working tools a simple and obvious symbolism of ethical character. To some the evidence may seem conclusive. I prefer however, to distinguish always between the three levels of opinion, the possible, the probable and the certain. There has been so much loose assertion in regard to Masonic origins that it is better to be cautious.
It is also probable, perhaps highly probable, that there were ceremonies of a primitive religious and magical nature of the type with which modern anthropology and folklore have made us so familiar. These ceremonies could not have been properly placed and understood in the eighteenth century, yet they would inevitably have intrigued the curiosity of the educated men who joined the Fraternity at the time it emerges into the light of history. With the prepossessions and mental patterns of the period it was again inevitable that this ritual should have been taken as the vehicle of some great and occult secret, and that attempts should be made to interpret it in this sense. Thus we have the multitude of high degrees which all professed to give the key to unlock the mystery. The most significant and meritorious of these degrees have been collected, with many modifications, into the various rites that still exist, as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the so-called York Rite. Some of these degrees gave an occultist interpretation, others related the symbolism to alchemy, others were theosophical others mystical, others metaphysical. All were alike in that they assumed that Freemasonry enshrined a great mystery, and in claiming to reveal it more fully.
Thus from the first, Speculative Masonry was what we should call educational. It claimed to illuminate its initiates, to put them in possession of hidden knowledge. And it will hardly be necessary to point out that our modern rituals assume the same viewpoint at every step. The candidate comes with a "desire for knowledge." It is through "the secrets of our art" that he is expected to exhibit to the world an estimable and virtuous character; while the central point of the initiation is the revelation of light, illumination.
In our modern programs we are, therefore, making no innovation, or breaking fresh ground, except possibly in the methods adopted; and even these are by no means wholly new. Naturally, in our rather materialistic and practical age, we are inclined more to a purely scientific treatment, yet the occult and mythical schools still flourish among us. There is no orthodox doctrine in Freemasonry and consequently there is no heresy. The brethren of mystical leanings, and those who seek occult knowledge, have an equal right with the utilitarian and historically minded. There has been, and still is, however, a tendency to belittle one aspect of Freemasonry, and that even by some brethren of the greatest eminence and authority. Just as the "mere artisan" of the Middle Ages has been despised so also have the "trite moralities" of the symbolical degrees been held up to scorn by those who sought "some great thing.” This attitude has led to theories which assume that the Speculative side of Freemasonry did not belong to the Operative Masons, but that their fraternity was used as a veil or a disguise by some school of mystical or occult philosophers, or by some noble and chivalric order suppressed and persecuted. Anything, indeed, rather than admit a real fellowship with "common workmen."
Now it must be admitted that there is a difficulty here. We cannot possibly claim that any new moral teaching is given the initiate. Indeed we will not accept a candidate unless we suppose him not only to be acquainted with ethical rules, but also esteemed to be moral and virtuous in his life and conduct. At least that is the theory. What then does it mean ? Are unnecessarily and foolishly putting him into the kindergarten again when he comes to us with a graduate's diploma? It seems that it has been some such idea as this that has led to the belittling of the moral teaching of the first three degrees. But this is all a mistake. The symbolical teaching is not directed to teaching a higher, and as yet unknown morality; but to the practical end of putting what is known and understood into effect. Simple and obvious as these moral teachings may be, they are yet fundamental, and they are most hard to put into practice. We have to consider our symbolism as a whole. Masons are builders. They do not build wholly for themselves, but for the community. There is no need for every man to be able to cut stone or lay brick, a comparatively few specialists can do all that is needed in that way. This is the reason for the exclusive character of our Institution. It is a body (supposedly) of picked men, who are trained to serve society at large. For this end we are taught to labor first to improve our own characters, not for purely self-centered reasons, but that we may build speculatively, morally, for other people to make the world a better, happier and more beautiful place to live in.
Once this practical side of Masonic teaching is grasped no one will be tempted to sneer at its being a set of obvious platitudes. Furthermore, everything else falls into its proper place about this central motive. We must improve not only our characters, but also our minds, in order to better carry out our fundamental purpose. All the various departments of Masonic study and research are subordinate to this. To some they are of interest in themselves. That is perfectly proper and natural. But they also have their place in the functioning of Freemasonry as a whole, if it is to be what Freemasons have supposed it to be from the beginning: an institution that through the co-operation of its members tends to the general betterment of all mankind.
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 LAW AND CUSTOM OF FREEMASONRY. By Lewis Edwards. Published by A. Lewis, London. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index, 253 pages. Price, $4.00.
To begin a discussion of Masonic Jurisprudence leads into complications without number. For this reason no attempt will be made to discuss the subject matter of the volume under consideration lest we use as much space as the book consumes.
If someone would attempt such a discussion of Masonic Law for each Masonic Jurisdiction in this country the task of comparison would be made less difficult than it is at present and there might come out of such works a uniform code for all of our Grand Lodges. Such a consummation is devoutly to be wished, but we fear impossible of realization.
The present work deals solely with the Grand Lodge of England. It is divided into six sections and two appendices. The titles will serve as a means of estimating their content.
Part I - Sources of the Law.
Part II - The Freemason.
Part III - Private Lodges.
Part IV - Provincial and District Grand Lodges; London and Overseas Rank.
Part V - Grand Lodge and Its Boards and Committees.
Part VI - Masonic Tribunals and Their Powers.
Appendix I - Decisions of Grand Lodge and Its Committees.
Appendix II - Recent Changes in the Book of Constitutions.
The work seems thoroughly authentic. The discussion is free from technical language and is easily readable. There have been few enough contributions to the subject of Masonic Jurisprudence and such a work as this is a most welcome addition.
E. E. T.
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THE NEW MORALITY. By Durant Drake. Published by The Macmillan Company. Cloth, Table of Contents, 359 pages. Price $2.65.
THE morals of the world today, both individual, national, and international, have taken their place in the sun of comment. At various times during the past several years there have been magazine articles, and not a few books, published which professed to show us what was wrong with the world in which we live. Doubtless there will be more of this to come. Whether our morals at the present time are any better or any worse than they have been in times past is a question which might be interminably argued. It is difficult to make comparisons on anything like an intelligent basis. Morals, like everything else, are constantly changing. They must change to meet new conditions - it makes no difference whether the new requirements have to do with business, with national politics, with international affairs, or with individual conduct - the times are changing, there is no doubt about that, and changes in environment mean new problems which must be solved upon the basis of a moral code.
The real question is what shall our moral code be? Shall it consist in merely following the dictates of our own consciences? Shall it consist in following a set of laws laid down for the guidance of conduct under an environment entirely different from our own? The real problem is, shall there be such a thing as a definite, prescribed list of laws, carefully tabulated and enumerated, or shall our moral code be a basic principle subject to application to every possible contingency, and by which we can rightly judge between exemplary conduct and wrong doing ?
A code of laws has been the standard of Christian morality for almost two thousand years. Before that the same code was the standard of moral behavior among the Hebrews for unknown centuries. This list is known as the Ten Commandments. Is it, as it stands, applicable to all of the phases of life today? Or is this code obsolete? Does it cover every possible contingency that may arise in the complicated life of the present time?
These are just a few questions which arise in connection with any discussion of ethics. Let us look backward for a few moments and endeavor to analyze the origin of morality. There are, perhaps, three definite branches to the root. One of them will not fit in with the beliefs of the dogmatic members of the churches known as fundamentalist. This is what we might call the Animal Origin of Morality. Relative to this phase of the subject Mr. Drake says in The New Morality.
Human morality has its roots far back in the lives of our prehuman ancestors. It is the product of millions of years of natural selection. Since this stern process results, in general, in the survival of the fittest structures, we may be pretty sure that morality has survived, persisted, developed because of its usefulness.
The conclusion he reaches in regard to the animal origin of morality is summed up in a very few words:
Morality is, in its early stages, as natural and unconscious a development as any other sort of animal behavior.
The origin of morality which characterizes the fundamentalist and which to a large extent differentiates him from the modernist in matters of religion is too complicated a subject to be discussed in any adequate way in a review. Briefly the "supernatural" morality owes its origin to religious development, but the result as we see it reflected in present conditions is that
By theological exposition and ecclesiastical edict, morality is stamped as, in its origin and sanctions, the expression of His [God's] will. Thus a contemporary churchman writes "God does not require actions because they are right, but they are right because He requires them, just as others are evil because He forbids them."
The dangers of the acceptance of such a moral code may be summed up in the following:
No voice from without, even of a Creator and Ruler of the Universe, could alter the duties that inhere in the very nature and conditions of human life now that it exists; such a command could not make right other than right, or wrong other than wrong. If God is a conscious Being, aware of and interested in our fortunes, he does no doubt wish us to do right; but the rightness or wrongness of an act is independent of his desire, and just as real if there be no such Being interested in it. [Durant Drake, Problems of Religion, p. 321, quoted from The New Morality.]
The ascription of morality to supernatural sources is not only irrelevant, it is dangerous. A supposedly supernatural morality is above criticism and resists improvement.
The other possible origin of morality is a kind of consolidation of the two sources already discussed and there is no need for mentioning it in any detail at the present time.
No doubt we are in a position to answer some of the questions asked in regard to the Ten Commandments a bit earlier in the discussion. First let it be made quite plain that the reviewer does not consider it in any sense necessary to discard the Laws of Moses. They are a wonderful moral guide, but is that all there is in them? These laws were written before the day of radio, telephone, telegraph, newspapers, big business, international politics, and countless other things that might be mentioned. They can be made to fit all walks in life it is true, but there is something lacking - they must be interpreted in order to fit the needs of the present day. That is fairly obvious. Then they are not literally applicable to all phases of modern life. Since, however, they can be made to conform to modern life, they are not what might be termed obsolete. There are certainly things that are not covered by this moral code of centuries ago. What are the moral duties of a newspaper toward the national government? What is the duty of the employer toward the employee? The Ten Commandments made no specific mention of these things.
But above everything else the Hebraic laws are supernatural morality. They are God's gift to the people. They must, therefore, be infallible. They must not be changed. Still, they are being changed. We believe in them as rules for the guidance of personal conduct, but we do not believe in them as rules for the guidance of nations, newspapers, or international councils. At least they do not appear upon the statute books.
If a supernaturally inspired moral code is not acceptable to modern religion what sort of a code shall we establish? Frequently mention is made of the Golden Rule. That truly seems to be the sum and substance of the whole matter. It has been said that philosophers took volumes to prove their contentions and their followers used sentences to describe their theories. This is perfectly true, even in the case at hand. Mr. Drake has taken a whole volume to say no more than that our modern moral code should be to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But, and here is the advantage of the philosophical mind, Mr. Drake says this in such a way that the average person can see its application to every phase of modern life. The new morality of which he speaks, to use his own words, can be summed up as follows:
The morality which, basing itself solidly upon observation of the results of conduct, consciously aims to secure the maximum of attainable happiness for mankind.
Let us follow this line a little farther and see where it leads.
If conscious beings had no capacity for pain or pleasure, for sorrow or joy, there would be no sense in preferring one act to another, no meaning to morality, no possibility of any sort of evaluation (of actions) at all... Yet it is not widely recognized, at least with any clearness, that morality actually serves to foster human happiness or lessen human suffering... It is easy enough to see that most of our accepted moral ideals do serve that purpose. But what needs clearer recognition is the fact that if any one of these accepted ideals does not make for the greatest attainable human happiness, it is a cruel ideal, not deserving of our allegiance, and in need of emphatic repudiation.
What is of prime importance is to see clearly that if an act has no tendency to lessen the amount of happiness in the world, it is not wrong, and no prohibition by man or God or conscience could make it wrong.
The way to secure human happiness is to be moral; not, necessarily, to follow the code accepted by the majority in a given community, for that may be a distorted or inadequate code, but to be really moral.
Objects are not good because desired, but because, whether desired or not, they are actually means toward the enhancement of happiness.
These are just a few random thoughts gleaned from different parts of the author's discussion which help to clarify the definition of the new morality which he gives in the first sentence of his preface.
The first part of the work is devoted entirely to establishing the necessity for this definition of morality and to showing that it does fit the case. It is easily seen that the author's plan does not encompass any aim to set a definite set of rules for guidance, but to give one general rule which will enable any intelligent person to weigh his actions and determine whether they are moral or immoral.
With the arguments in favor of this view well in hand Mr. Drake launches upon a discussion of many of the important problems which confront the world today. The problems brought to the attention of the reader are treated with respect to America, but they are applicable to other nations as well. The presentation is masterly and scholarly. The following are some of the phases of modern life to which attention is called, at this time:
Self-Indulgence and Luxury. Lawlessness and Crime. Intoxication. and Bootlegging. Marital Failures. Irresponsible Parenthood. Corrupt Politics. Selfish Business. Privilege. Suppression of Opinion. Poisoned Journalism. Demoralizing Art and Literature. Dogmatism and Indoctrination. Race Prejudice. War. Isolationism.
With such an array of topics one would hardly think that a brief three hundred sixty pages would be sufficient. The real defect of the whole book is that it is too short. Mr. Drake has succeeded in writing a splendidly constructed outline for a library of modern philosophy, or better, the philosophy of modern problems. He has crammed so much into so little space that every sentence is important, not one phrase or one word can be left unread else something really worth while will be missed.
Perhaps, to many readers of this review, the subject will seem dull and uninteresting. Usually philosophical discussions do fall into this category, but there is one that is an exception to the rule. The reviewer knows one professor of philosophy who has written more than one interesting novel. Mr. Drake is not that man, but he has the knack, lacking in so many scholars, of treating serious subjects in a vein that detracts not one whit from their seriousness, but which adds a great deal to their readability and their "understandability."
E. E. T.
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LENIN. By Valeriu Marcu. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, Illustrated, Index, 412 pages. Price $5.65.
TWO methods of biographical writing which are antithetical appear to comprise about all that can be said for difference in treatment. Of course there is every gradation between the two poles and these might, perhaps, be termed other styles. Really, they are only variations. In one of the two major methods a great deal of knowledge upon the part of the reader is presumed. For example, in treating the life of a character prominent in history it frequently happens that little or no description of the events surrounding his life is included in the discussion. It is presumed by the author that the state of society which makes for the development of the character described is quite generally known by the readers. A life of Lincoln might perhaps be written which made no mention of the battles of the Civil War, because the history of this struggle is fairly well understood by most Americans. The other treatment does not presume any knowledge of current conditions upon the part of the reader and endeavors to show how closely the life of the man is enmeshed in the history of his country.
It is this latter style that Mr. Mareu has chosen to follow in Lenin. The advisability of such a practice is immediately apparent. There are few persons who know very much about the progress of the Russian Revolution. The newspaper reports of the time were garbled and, at least to me, were very confusing. Things were changing so rapidly that it was very difficult indeed to keep track of all of the developments in the new Russian Government. Baron Wrangel wrote a book some time ago which was reviewed in the pages of THE BUILDER called From Serfdom to Bolshevism. The book did not purport to be a history of the past sixty or seventy years in Russia, but contained merely personal recollections of the events which took place. Naturally the conclusions were tinged with aristocratic bias. The reign of terror centering around the transition from the second to the third decade of the twentieth century was pictured in all of its gruesome horror. This was the Russia seen by the aristocrat.
In Lenin we see, so to speak, the power behind the throne. We are shown the reasons for such actions on the part of the new government and there is painted for us the portrait of a man who was possessed of an all consuming purpose. The years of his struggle to bring this aim before the populace of his native land to endeavor to practice the theories that he had been preaching for years, sometimes in Russia, again in Siberia, not unfrequently in prison, and in more than one country in Europe as an exile from his native country. In this frank discussion of the man nothing is lost except the horror that most Westerners feel for the leader of the Bolshevist party.
Whether Lenin, whose real name was Vladimir Ilyitch Uhanov, was the tartar he has so often been pictured, whether he was a menace to modern civilization does not enter into our estimate of the man. Right or wrong in his theories one cannot help but be convinced of his morality, if we may define morality as doing the right thing according to his estimate of right or wrong. He was sincere in his opinion that Socialism was the remedy for the ills that beset the world. He worked with that aim in view. His every action was tinctured with a real desire to be of service not only to the Russians, but to the world at large. At one stage in his career he attempted to broaden the scope of his activities. The failure of the campaign led him to the conclusion that the world was not yet ready for the doctrine he was prepared to preach and he turned all of his attention to solving the problems which confronted him in his own land.
Lenin was always ready to listen to the voice of the people. He encouraged them to speak, but - strange paradox - he encouraged them to talk along lines that be dictated. Constantly in touch with the peasant he had the ability to analyze their ideas and often promulgated doctrines or policies that they wanted before they really knew that they wanted them. His analysis of popular opinion was accurate and forehanded. His ideas were always subject to change. One minute he was advocating capital punishment and terrorism because it seemed to him that that was what the people wanted. This was not in accord with his previous teachings, but when the wave of popular opinion changed Lenin changed with it and reverted to his former viewpoint. His aim was to crush opposition because it was only by full control that he could give his theories a chance.
Later in his experience he found that the absolutely socialistic state was not practicable at that time. He accordingly modified his views to some extent. The impression is given in Mr. Marcu's book that Lenin was very much an opportunist. He kept the higher aim constantly in view, but was willing to adopt any means at hand if it seemed that through this adoption his ultimate goal was going to be better served in time. In this one characteristic Lenin differed materially from the fanatic who sees only one all consuming purpose and sees no possibility of modifying his views on unimportant points. Before his death Lenin had succeeded in bringing some measure of order out of the chaos. This in spite of opposition not only from within, but from the other nations as well.
Whether or not we agree with the teachings of Lenin, we cannot help but admire him for his fervent devotion to an ideal, his earnest desire to serve the people, and his willingness to sacrifice personal gain for the common good. It is said that even after his advent to power he refused to purchase a new pair of trousers, though the ones he was wearing were old, ragged, and perhaps even grimy. For years he had belonged to the poorest of the poor, and he continued to be a member of this group even during his days of realization.
To read Lenin is to revaluate the man. To study Lenin is to gain a new estimate of revolutionary Russia. To do either needs some patience as the style of the book is somewhat labored and the task of reading it is not as easy as it might at first seem. The early days of his life are, or at least were to this reader, dull, drab reading, but the days of power, the history of the Russian Revolution was as fascinating as any story it has been my pleasure to read. Unfortunately the publishers have not been too careful of misprints. There are a few rather annoying ones that have remained in spite of the vigilance of the proof readers. These do not materially detract from the book, but they do mar its readability.
E. E. T.
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ALTAR STAIRS. By Joseph Fort Newton. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, 203 pages. Price $1.90.
BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON is perhaps best known in Masonic circles as the author of The Builders, but he has written and published numerous other works not pertaining to Masonry. This is one of his works on religion - a book of prayers that may be used either by laymen or in the pulpit. All of them express a beautiful philosophy and a goodly number would be suitable for Masonic use, though they make no pretense of being Masonic prayers. Many of the readers of THE BUILDER who are interested in securing prayers for different functions will find in Altar Stairs a book of no little value. That it is of pocket size will undoubtedly add to its usefulness.
E. E. T.
THE QUESTION BOX
WHY IS A MASONIC LODGE?
The letter under this head that we published in the September number did not bring out as much comment as might have been expected. The challenge of F. V. J. can hardly be regarded as unimportant. Is it that our readers so completely agree with what he says that there was nothing more to say, or is it that the difficulties presented were too great? For a number of years now Freemasonry in America has been in a state of rapid expansion, on the material side, in numbers and wealth. The moral and spiritual side have become obscured. There are definite signs that a period of slackness, if not of depression, is setting in and it is time for us to return to first principles. The following three letters are of interest. Bro. Feige points out what might be done, Bro. Murray and Bro. Block each tell what they have themselves found as an answer to the question.
After reading the September issue I laid it on the desk so that I would not forget to write you, there having been several articles which I wished to mention.
I shall take the last one in the number first, viz., "Why Is a Masonic Lodge?"
In my opinion a good deal of benefit might accrue were this question to be discussed quite thoroughly. I was formerly a member of the lodge in Woonsocket, S. D., and both in that lodge and in this I have on several occasions in speaking to the lodge said that if all they cared to do was to meet to transact their business and to make new members it might be as well to disband, and I can see it no other way. It seems that there are a great many things that might be accomplished by the large number of Masons if they would only get the idea and work toward those ends, and once they were well started along these lines the idea would grow and there is no telling how far they would go and what a vast amount of good they would accomplish. Incidentally, there can be little doubt but what the average lodge attendance would be immensely increased and all who attended would be benefited more than ever before.
You have made a good attempt to get lodges generally started in work which would be of great benefit to all who participated, but it seems that in this, as in almost everything else, it is extremely hard to do the right thing and I presume that it will be a long time before it will be done.
I have every issue of "The New Age," except one number, bound up to and including 1915. I have every issue of THE BUILDER and some day when money is more plentiful I expect to have all of them bound. Then some day it will be up to me to decide how to dispose of them all in the best way. Maybe you could offer a good suggestion along that line.
E. W. Feige, South Dakota.
The letter from your correspondent F. V. J. of Kansas in the September number demands answer. As you say in the footnote to his letter, it does not seem at all easy to answer his questions generally and fully, but I would like to set forth some aspects as they appear to me.
To begin with, just what does Masonry (in the Blue Lodge) "teach"? It has no dogma whatever; that which it "teaches" is revealed only by the study of its symbols and these are interpreted differently by different people. No, Masonry has no dogma and in this respect it differs from the churches. The only thing that Masonry "teaches" is that it teaches you to think. The first thing that it asks you to give thought to is a knowledge of yourself, and where can you find a more difficult task than that? Next, you are given to understand that you have a quest imposed upon you to determine the true name or nature of the G.A.O.T.U.; in that it differs from the churches - in what way is a matter we will not enter into here, for it is a big subject; that also is quite a task, but you are greatly aided by studying the symbols. One thing you are taught, and that is that you should educate yourself to study the arts and sciences and thus improve your mind. Only by improving your mind can you arrive at a knowledge of yourself and the true name of Deity. All churches have a different creed and each has certain tenets; these you must subscribe to in order to obtain membership therein; Masonry has no tenets and only one broad creed. Other associations of men such as the Rotary Clubs, which your correspondent refers to, have a written code of ethics. Masonry requires none such, as ethics come spontaneously as you educate and improve your mind.
As to charity. Masonry is not a "charitable organization" in the generally accepted meaning of the words. Masonic charity is charity of the mind and not confined to charity of the heart. It is not the giving of alms. As your correspondent points out, all cities have charitable organizations to that end, and therefore Masonry is not required for that purpose. Our charity is charity for the opinion of others, charity for them in their wrongful acts. Maybe the churches are too hard in this latter respect; if so then we differ from them. No, you will not find many edifices of stone and brick, you will not find drinking fountains and signs for "Quiet" in hospitals districts, with a statement that they have been erected or donated by Masons, and I do not want to see any. But we give sums of money to charitable and benevolent institutions nevertheless. In my city the Masonic bodies gave $20,000 to the hospital but you will not find any tablets or cots dedicated, recording the fact. We don't want them. The Scottish Rite gives away from $600 to $800 annually to the poor and destitute of the city. And there is no song about it. During the 35 years I have been a Mason, during which time I have belonged to six Blue Lodges, I could tell you all sorts of good deeds done by Blue Lodges; not just to brethren of the Order but to outsiders.
Masonry is not a benefit society; if it were, there would be no virtue in the benefits to its members; such benefits would be rights.
Our Kansas brother refers to Rotary and the "fellowship" therein. Now I happen to be a Rotarian and an enthusiastic one. But I have to admit that much of the fellowship lasts but an hour or so a week; we call each other by our given names for that space; it is one of the rules to do so. But in the Masonic lodge there is no rule or ordinance to this effect, but we do it. In the lodge we refer to each other as Brother Jones or Brother Smith, but it is no uncommon thing for us to refer to Bill Jones instead of Brother Jones. We just can't help it. We call each other by given names because we have an affection for each other; there is a tie that binds. If this condition does not exist in your lodge, my Kansas Brother, there is something wrong. If we could get down to the bottom of it, we would probably find that it is due to shyness. The poorer brethren hesitate to get close to the brethren who are more successful in a monetary sense. You are a Rotarian and therefore the recognized head of your classification in your city; you have a fine opportunity to put Masonry and Rotary into practice. Get acquainted; call some of the "lesser" brethren by their first names; give them a smile, a handshake that has a real grasp of friendship in it; start a topic in lodge; give them an inspiring or humorous talk; break the ice; start some social affair this winter; by spring you will be a popular brother and have some fine friends and be a good one yourself; you will get real joy out of life and find that there is a "Why" for a Masonic lodge.
E. E. M., Montana.
"Why is a Masonic Lodge?" You will have a lot of answers to that but I want to include mine. If my language seems to be too violent, you tell the brother that it is that way for one purpose - to get itself remembered. Not to offend anyone, because I love the brother just the same and maybe a little more so for giving me this opportunity.
He says "the teachings of the Craft are the same as the teachings of the church." Are they? Does his church teach "Forget yourself, forget your desire for preservation of species, forget your immortality? Travel the middle way as hard and as straight as you can to the land of contentment?" If he has a church like that - oh, brother - congratulate him. I can't find one.
Except where I can go and here the Master say, "I give it you strictly in charge ever to walk and act as such."
No church to which I have access teaches my religion. If I want further exposition of its precepts I can get it only from constant repetition of that ritual which puts thoughts in a man's mouth so tremendous that he cannot even know of their presence.
I want to hear the doctrine expounded that "God is God and He has many prophets." Where can I hear it except in a Masonic lodge room?
The Christians teach "It is more blessed to give than to receive." That is only an infinitesimal fraction of the truth which is that positively anything is more blessed than to receive for what you take will be taken from you and what you give you keep forever. Has the brother found these teachings in lodge? If not, let him stay there until he does, for I am not the only one who has found them there.
And - does the brother contend that the teachings of the church which he finds duplicated by the lodge are sufficiently well and widely taught by the church? Then every mortal knows them and neither church nor lodge need teach further. No teachings are to be taught. No teacher needs any excuse for so doing.
But as for his "real purpose" - to inquire why Freemasonry has nothing to which to point with pride - let me doubt that this is the fact and conclude by saying that if it is so it is because the Institution is innoculated with the germ of selfishness so that it is so jealous of its Grand Lodge Sovereignty - its wooden leg - that the Grand Lodges cannot surrender this insular idea and get together for the good of the Order.
Albert F. Block, Iowa.
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A MASONIC BIBLIOGRAPHY
For your brotherly letter of July 26 my sincere thanks. I also thank you very much for the pamphlets. Not one of them was previously known here, even by name. You may realize how happy I was to get them. It is the American Masonic literature which is so hard to obtain and I am therefore very much pleased to have found someone who is interested in our laborious bibliographical work.
A still greater pleasure you have given me in promising to give this work in the future too your brotherly attention. It is such interest and assistance which is necessary if the work is to be complete. For a single individual working alone, such a task is impossible. Only with the support of the whole brethren can it be carried out as we want to do it. I personally have taken it up as a voluntary and gratuitous labor, because there was no one else to do it. Now I acknowledge and see in this work my Masonic life - object to which I shall devote every free hour and week, every free day and month, because I am convinced of its necessity, and the labor is a great pleasure to me.
In my dear Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch, I have found a true supporter of my undertaking and a rarely brilliant man. To him I am indebted for much valuable assistance. He has sent me The Bulletin of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, which enables me to work upon this one American periodical. I would like to work on other periodicals too, but unfortunately I cannot afford to subscribe to them as I do not have the money to spare, and no financial aid from any other source is available.
Therefore, my dear brother, I shall be very thankful to you for every little contribution and I beg you now to be so kind and give my work your brotherly attention in the future. Everything you may send will be very welcome and each new item will bring us nearer to our goal.
Hans Quint, Germany.
[Some years ago, a German Mason, Dr. Wolfstieg, compiled in two large volumes the most comprehensive bibliography of Masonic literature that had hitherto been published. He endeavored to make it exhaustive for the eighteenth century, and for the nineteenth and twentieth he aimed at listing all important works and everything published in German. The work was greatly needed and has proved invaluable to students. But it is obvious that bibliographies can never be absolutely complete. Bro. Hans Quint has taken up the task as a contribution to Masonic scholarship, and be is desirous to fill up the gaps in his predecessor's work and to bring it up to date. He also desires to include periodicals. We strongly urge that every Mason publishing a pamphlet, or book, should send him a copy for inclusion. He would be glad also to receive the pamphlets and booklets that so many Grand Lodges are now having printed and distributed. We suggest also that editors and publishers of Masonic journals would be helping a really useful work if they sent him copies of their publications, or even put him on their exchange lists.
We will be glad to forward any material to him, but it would probably be better to send it direct. His address is Dr. Hans Quint, 10 Mosenstrasse, Falkenstein i. V., Germany.]
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ROB MORRIS ON ARABIC MASONRY
I have read with much interest the article "The Degrees of Masonry," which has been published in the last three numbers of THE BUILDER. The question is raised as to the number of degrees in the original rite.
I think it was in the early part of the year 1882, that I listened to a lecture delivered by the venerable Bro. Rob Morris of Kentucky, who is remembered as the founder of the Order of the Eastern Star, also author of several books, including Freemasonry in the Holy Land. In his lecture he told that one night he went out of the city of Jerusalem, down into the valley where in a tent he was given the Arabic form of the Masonic Order by several Arabs themselves, the oldest one being then about ninety years of age. After the ceremony which was only one degree Bro. Morris explained the ceremony used in this country, for the three degrees, and the aged Arab brother said, "Masonry is a mass of gold, we keep it all in one piece, while you divide it into three parts, it is all the same." When Bro. Morris offered him pay for the work, the old Arab put his hands behind him and said, "We don't sell this Holy Rite for money," or words to that effect.
I have never seen this peculiar and interesting, as well as instructive, Arabic ceremony in print, but I have told it in a Master Masons Lodge a number of times. I am an old man, now about seventy-seven years of age, but perhaps there are some other Masons living who may have heard the same lecture by Bro. Morris delivered at about the date mentioned. That Arabic Masonic ceremony, like certain religious creeds, seems to indicate a handing down for antiquity some ideas pertaining to the Astrological signs of Aries and others. The question comes, From whence did the Arabs get their Masonic degree? Perhaps some of our research brethren have delved in on that line and may be able to answer.
If desired, I can send in another well authenticated story of a Masonic nature pertaining to the American Indians at the Northwest of the United States.
A.O. Robinson, Mass.
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