Masonic Research Society
sign of the Square
and Compasses – emblems as eloquent as they are ancient – "The Builder"
takes up its labors for the advancement of Freemasonry, with malice
toward no man,
no party, no church, but with a sincere and hearty good will toward all
in the search for truth and the service of humanity. Obviously it is
this initial issue, that a statement be made as to the Society of which
is a spokesman, its purpose, its spirit, its ideals, and the designs on
enthusiastic, so remarkable
indeed has been the response from all over the country to the suggested
of a National Masonic Research Society, that there is no longer any
doubt that such
a movement is needed and that it has a fruitful and far-reaching
service to render
to the Order. Surely he is a poor prophet, and no poet at all, who does
that this Society, as now organized and working, can easily be made a
moment in the life and progress of Masonry in all its rites and
if we give ourselves to it with earnestness, the day of its founding
will be looked
back upon as one of the significant dates in the recent history of the
need to be
set down plainly, by way of preface, in behalf of a frank and full
Let it be said once for all that this movement has back of it no motive
aggrandizement, much less of pecuniary profit. Instead of trying to
make money out
of Masonry, the founders of this Society are putting time, money and
it, thinking little and caring less of any returns other than to find
and tell it. They have no axe to grind, no vanity to vent, no fad to
air. Were it
possible, they would prefer to remain unnamed, and be known only by
their work –
like the old cathedral builders, whose labors live but whose names are
solitary aim is to diffuse Masonic light and understanding, and thus to
influence and power of this the greatest order of men upon earth.
That is to
say, they refuse
to think of Masonry as a mere collection of social and faintly
and they regard such a view of it as a pitiful apostasy from the faith
of our fathers.
They believe that Masonry is a form of the Divine life upon earth, an
order of men
initiated, sworn and trained to make righteousness, sweet
reasonableness and the
will of God prevail. They see in it latent powers and possibilities as
still less realized – a great liberalizing and humanizing fraternity,
it is to soften prejudice, to refine thought and sympathy and service,
and so help
to prepare the race for a nobler manhood and a juster and more merciful
Hence their honorable ambition for its service, not only by
interpreting it to the
world at large, but by broadening and deepening the interest of Masons
in the faith, philosophy, history and practical aims of the fraternity.
a labor may well appeal to men who would fain serve their fellows, and
do a little
good before they die.
being a private
enterprise, this movement has the official sanction and blessing of the
of Iowa, and is in fact an outgrowth of the labors of that Grand body
its young men to be intelligent and capable Masons. What the
endorsement of such
a plan by the Grand Lodge of Iowa means in the Masonic world, is at
as witness these words by Sir Chetwode Crawley, of whose distinguished
to Masonic scholarship in England no student needs to be told:
"Let me begin
my deep satisfaction that the Grand Lodge of Iowa has extended its
sanction to Masonic
Research by the appointment of so influential and capable a committee
as that indicated
in your letter. The adoption of such a plan by any Grand Lodge would
warm approval from all Brethren concerned for the welfare of the Craft,
is a peculiar fitness in its adoption by the Grand Lodge of Iowa. For
a generation, we have been accustomed to see the Grand Lodge of Iowa
van in the cultivation of the literature of Freemasonry."
speak a high
and sincere tribute, but it is richly deserved and abundantly justified
by the record.
Seventy-five years ago the Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa – perhaps
of its kind in the world – was founded by the late Theodore Sutton
long and busy life was devoted, with an industry only equaled by his
to the cause of Masonic light and learning. Today that noble library
stands as his
monument and memorial, its doors open and its fabulous treasures
accessible to all
who seek further light in Masonry. Having so splendid a tradition and
an example, it is only natural that Iowa Masons should make their
library the center
of enthusiasm and activity for the education of the Craft, whereof
may be read in the proceedings of their Grand Lodge. More recently, by
necessity, new emphasis has been added to the study side of Masonry,
and the reason
is not far to seek.
Time was, and
not so long
ago, when it required courage for a man to be a Mason. Feeling against
was intense, often fanatical, and its innocent secrets were imagined by
or malicious to hide some dark design. How different it is now, when
the Order is
everywhere held in honor, and justly so, for the benignity of its
spirit and the
nobility of its principles. No wonder its temple gates are thronged
with elect young
men, eager to enter its ancient fellowship. But those young men must
know what Masonry
is, whence it came, what it cost in the sacrifice of brave men, and
what it is trying
to do in the world. Otherwise they cannot realize in what a benign
stand, much less be able to give a reason for their faith. Every
argument in favor
of any kind of education has equal force in behalf of the education of
in the truths of Masonry. So and only so can they ever hope to know
what the ritual
really means, and what high and haunting beauties lie hidden in the of
an open door of opportunity, the Grand Lodge of Iowa set about, through
on Masonic Research, to work out a well-planned practical program of
it by facts and results. By natural logic, the fruits of that labor
National movement toward the same end, which has now taken form in this
While it thus had its origin in Iowa, as the result of actual
experience, it is
no longer confined to Iowa, but invites the interest and aid of every
in the country, and of Masonic students of every rank and rite,
offering them in
this journal a medium for closer fellowship and a forum of frank, free
discussion of every possible aspect of Masonry.
There is no
need that anyone make argument to prove that such
a movement as this is Masonic; it is in accord with the oldest
traditions of the
Order we turn to the "Old Charges" – the title deeds of Masonry, and a
part of its earliest ritual – we learn that the Craft-lodges of the
olden time were
in fact schools, in which young men studied not only the technical laws
but the Seven Sciences and the history and symbolism of the Order as
were selected as much for their mental capacity as for bodily agility,
as betrayed no aptitude for the intellectual aims of the Craft were
allowed to go
back to the Guilds and work as "rough masons." No young man, during his
term as an Apprentice, was permitted to keep late hours, unless he did
so in study,
"which shall be deemed a sufficient excuse," as an old Charge relates.
tell, we have much yet to learn from the old Craft-masonry,
and especially in the matter of training young Masons. For one thing,
a brief history of the Craft to the candidate at the time of his
initiation as an
Entered Apprentice, not leaving him bewildered, as we too often do,
of a truly great and heroic history. No doubt the history so recited –
as we have
it in the "Old Charges" was sometimes fantastic and far from the fact.
None the less, the principle was right, and had that wise custom been
there would have been less occasion for Gould to say, what is only too
Masons know less about the history of their own order than the men of
fraternity. Harking back to that old and wise custom, the Grand Lodge
of Iowa has
had a brief story and interpretation of Masonry written, a copy of
which is to be
given to each of its initiates on the night of his raising.
research, as we now use the phrase, may almost be said
to have begun with Findel, albeit good work had been done before his
his "History of Masonry" [Lib 1866] [Lib
Edition: Vol 1 1861, Vol 2 1861] was one of
first books of the right kind, and it did much to put the Craft in the
path of authentic
learning. Others followed, both abroad and in this country – Pike,
Drummond, Parvin, to name but a few among us – and their work, which
met with little
response, was nobly prophetic. An example in point was the brief but
of the "American Review of Freemasonry," [Lib 1858, 1859] edited by
Mackey. It began in 1858, ran
two years, and died for lack of adequate support. In his valedictory,
"It was an
experiment, commenced with
a view of ascertaining how far a Masonic magazine of a very elevated
be sustained by the craft in this country. For two years this
experiment has been
made, and it is plain that the "Quarterly" was in advance of the
age. Doubtless it was supported better than such a work would have been
ago, but not so well as a similar one will be ten years hence, for the
character of the order is improving. The editor feels some satisfaction
that that work, during its brief existence, has done no little in
was a brave optimism, as befitted a pioneer, and its
vision has been fulfilled by the facts. By the same token, we who live
in a day
made better by the labors of such men dare not be less courageous, lest
we be found
unworthy of our fathers. The men who wrote for the "Review" have now
to where, beyond these voices, there is peace, but their work remains.
One has only
to open its yellow pages to read the articles of Pike on the Mysteries,
essays of Mackey on Symbolism – which afterwards formed the chapters of
in exposition of the "Symbolism of Freemasonry" [Lib 1869, 1882 1921] – written
in style which
may well be a model of lucidity. Those men did not fail; they were
sowers who did
their work and trusted the far off harvest of years. Remembering their
sacrifice, their high devotion, we would build on their foundations,
past with a greater tomorrow.
We inherit the past; we create
Since the days of the "Review" much has been done, especially by the
Research Lodges of England, and most of all by the Quatuor Coronati
Lodge of London,
to whose labors we owe an incalculable debt. As in religious
scholarship, so in
Masonry, the Higher Criticism has come and done its much needed work,
sifting evidence, unearthing buried treasure, and applying to Masonry
methods of historical study. Of necessity, the voluminous processes of
investigation are known only to the diligent student who has had the
time and taste
to follow its revealing labors – just as in the field of Biblical
real results achieved are locked up, for the most part, in huge volumes
only a few.
Here the National Research
Society may render
a vital service to the Order, not only by encouraging further original
but also, and not one whit less important, by interpreting to the Craft
the net results of Masonic scholarship. What Renan called "the grand
must never be allowed to sleep, and this Society will do all within its
extend the area of knowledge, bringing new facts to light wherever they
are to be
found. The field is rich. The labor is fascinating. What has been done
how much remains to be done, while it shows us how to go about it. At
the same time,
the humblest member of the craft, toiling in office and shop, at the
forge and on
the farm, is entitled to know the best that has been thought and the
discovered by the greatest Masonic scholar. Therefore, this Society
seeks to unite
the work of the investigator with that of the interpreter, and to that
end it proposes:
- First, the publication of a journal devoted to
the study and interpretation of the history, philosophy, symbolism and
purposes of the various rites, orders and degrees of Freemasonry.
- Second, the publication, from time to time, of
books, pamphlets and lectures on Masonic subjects, and the collection,
preservation and indexing of all material of value to Masonic students.
- Third, the arrangement and publication of
courses of Masonic study for lodges, or groups of students; the
promotion and supervision, when it is desired, of meetings of Masons
for Masonic study and discussion; and, ultimately, the foundation and
maintenance of a bureau of Masonic lectures.
- Fourth, the compilation of lists of names of
Masonic students interested in different lines of Masonic study or
activity, for the stimulation and guidance of Masonic intercourse –
and, it may be added, for the aid of Masonic journals when special
articles are desired.
- Fifth, the collection and circulation of data
bearing upon distinct Masonic activities, such as plans and
specifications for different kinds of Masonic buildings; systems for
financing of Masonic projects; the results of practical experience upon
various phases of Masonic charity, and the like.
the foundation and management of funds
for the financial aid of Masonic students in special fields of Masonic
research; in the form of a Fellowship, it may be, whereby a young man –
say, of the Acacia Fraternity – trained for such studies in a
university, may be set at work on some period or problem in Masonic
history, and thus render a permanent service to the Craft. By endowing
a Fellowship in the Society, a man of wealth, who has long had it in
mind to do something for Masonry, can leave a living legacy which will
go on doing good after he has passed away.
what ways the Society seeks to serve Freemasonry, it may not be amiss
to point out
how the Order can make the Society effective for the high end for which
it was founded.
First of all, every Mason who becomes a member of the Society adds, by
to its usefulness and power. The time has come when every Grand Lodge
a Committee on Masonic Research – or Masonic Education, if they choose
so to name
it – and such committees, by co-operating with this Society, may have
every resource at its command. Also, the various groups of Masonic
which there are many in different parts of the country, aught by all
means to work
with the Society, making use of its journal not only for mutual
inspiration, but the better to share the results of their researches
with all the
Such is the
ideal of this Society, and if to realize it all at once is denied us,
means much to set it before us, working the while to make it come true.
here is a practical program which, if worked out, will mean a new era
in the history
of Freemasonry, opening avenues of opportunity and enterprise to which
no one can
set a limit. It differs from other undertakings of a like kind chiefly
instead of being confined to a few, it seeks to enlist the whole
scattered efforts in behalf of Masonic education into a magnificent
the advance of the Order which has no other purpose than the present
upbuilding of humanity.
for ye editor to state, from his point of view, what the spirit and
policy of "The
Builder" should be. As its name indicates, this journal for the Masonic
– like the Society which it represents – is by its very genius
in no sense iconoclastic, its sole object being to build up, never to
Anybody can destroy. Even a cow can trample a lily which the warm
earth, the fertilizing
sun, and the soft witchery of summer air have united to grow. Speaking
the editor holds it to be self-evident that the only way to overthrow
unreason is to tell the simple truth – tell it simply, vividly, without
without resting, in love of God and love of man. Other way to victory
there is none,
and there never will be.
and if its benign influence is to prevail upon earth, it must labor in
of will toward all men, seeking not to destroy its enemies, but to win
them to the
light and dignity of the truth. Nothing is gained by denunciation.
ruined by hate. Love is the one mighty Builder, and they toil in vain
upon any other foundation. Our task is to let in the light, let in all
let the light all the way in, assured that when the light of Truth
will disappear – and with it, all the vile and slimy things that hide
shadows. There is no might like the might of Truth, and once the temple
is made to stand in the sunlight where all men can see its beauty, it
the homage of all who love their race. Therefore, "The Builder" will be
positive, but not dogmatic; open minded, but never indifferent;
considerate of all,
but absolutely uncompromising in respect of the principles of
Freemasonry – seeking
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Critical it must
criticism, as Arnold defined it, is appreciation, estimate,
the search for truth." Those who write for these pages may expect to
theories put to the test of reason and fact in the open forum of
debate, which is
what the seeker after truth most desires. Let the discussion be frank,
thorough; all that the editor asks is that it be fraternal in spirit,
each one keeping
an open mind and a kind heart toward all his comrades in the great
For the rest,
asks pardon for having taken so much time and space, but it seemed
exhibit in some detail the designs of the Society, the faith in which
it is founded,
and the spirit in which it works. Hereafter, his duty will be much like
a toastmaster – presiding over the feast, introducing the speakers,
interludes of comment- his one desire being to encourage a spirit of
and intellectual hospitality, of genial, joyous good will which, since
the far off
days of the old "Regius Poem," [Lib 1390]
has been the reigning genius wherever Masons meet.
– [A Poem]
John the Divine and Notre Dame de Rheims.
May Preston Slosson.
watch the patient masons in the sun
Building a House to God upon the hill
That overhangs the city; just begun
The toil of years – the care – the loving skill.
Another minster lifted arch and spire
By patient builders wrought in futile trust.
The Iron Eagle dropt a plume of fire –
And all its beauty is a heap of dust
The Philosophy of
Five Lectures Delivered
under the Auspices of the Grand Master of Massachusetts, Masonic
Pound, Professor of Jurisprudence in Harvard
are by no
means agreed with respect to the scope and subject matter of
philosophy. Nor are
Masonic scholars at one with respect to the scope and purpose of
one may not expect to define and delimit Masonic philosophy according
to the easy
method of Dickens' editor who wrote upon Chinese metaphysics by reading
in the Encyclopedia
upon China and upon metaphysics and combining his information. It is
enough to say
at the outset that in the sense in which philosophers of Masonry have
used the term,
philosophy is the science of fundamentals. Possibly it would be more
think of the philosophy of Masonry as organized Masonic knowledge – as
of Masonic knowledge. But there has come to be a well-defined branch of
learning which has to do with certain fundamental questions; and these
questions may be called the problems of Masonic philosophy, since that
Masonic learning which treats of them has been called commonly the
Masonry. These fundamental questions are three:
What is the
nature and purpose of Masonry as an institution?
For what does it exist? What does it seek to do? Of course for the
involves also and chiefly the questions, what ought Masonry to be? For
it to exist? What ought it to seek as its end?
What is- and
this involves what should be-the relation of Masonry
to other human institutions, especially to those directed toward
similar ends? What
is its place in a rational scheme of human activities?
What are the
fundamental principles by which Masonry is governed
in attaining the end it seeks? This again, to the philosopher, involves
what those principles ought to be.
have essayed to answer these questions and in so doing have given us
of Masonic philosophy, namely, William Preston, Karl Christian
George Oliver and Albert Pike. Of these four systems of Masonic
if I may put it so, are intellectual systems. They appeal to and are
reason only. These two are the system of Preston and that of Krause.
The other two
are, if I may put it that way, spiritual systems. They do not flow from
of the eighteenth century but spring instead from a reaction toward the
of the hermetic philosophers in the seventeenth century. As I shall try
here-after, this is characteristic of each, though much more marked in
then, we have
four systems of Masonic philosophy. Two are intellectual systems: First
Preston, whose key word is Knowledge; second, that of Krause, whose key
Morals. Two are spiritual systems: First that of Oliver, whose key word
and second, that of Pike, whose key word is Symbolism.
systems of Masonic philosophy, the intrinsic importance of Preston's is
than that of Krause's. Krause's philosophy of Masonry has a very high
value in and
of itself. On the other hand the chief interest in Preston's philosophy
apart from his historical position among Masonic philosophers, is to be
the circumstance that his philosophy is the philosophy of our American
and hence is the only one with which the average American Mason
acquires any familiarity.
not, like Krause,
a man in advance of his time who taught his own time and the future. He
a child of his time. Hence to understand his writings we must know the
man and the
time. Accordingly I shall divide this discourse into three parts: (1)
The man, (2)
the time, (3) Preston's philosophy of Masonry as a product of the two.
then, the man.
William Preston was born at Edinburgh on August 7, 1742. His father was
to the signet or solicitor – the lower branch of the legal profession –
to have been a man of some education and ability. At any rate he sent
the high school at Edinburgh, the caliber of which in those days may be
the circumstance that the boy entered it at six – though he was thought
At school he made some progress in Latin and even began Greek. But all
at an early age. His father died while William was a mere boy and he
was taken out
of school, apparently before he was twelve years old. His father had
left him to
the care of Thomas Ruddiman, a well-known linguist and he became the
Later Ruddiman apprenticed William to his brother who was a printer, so
learned the printer's trade as a boy of fourteen or fifteen. On the
death of his
patron (apparently having nothing by inheritance from his father)
Preston went into
the printing shop as an apprentice and worked there as a journeyman
In that year, with the consent of the master to whom he had been
went to London. He was only eighteen years old, but carried a letter to
printer, and so found employment at once. He remained in the employ of
during substantially the whole remaining period of his life.
themselves in the printing shop from the beginning. He not merely set
up the matter
at which he worked but he contrived in some way to read it and to think
From setting up the great variety of matter which came to the king's
acquired a notable literary style and became known to the authors whose
writings he helped to set up as a judge of style and as a critic.
was made proof reader and corrector for the press and worked as such
greater part of his career. He did work of this sort on the writings of
Hume, Robertson and authors of that rank, and presentation copies of
the works of
these authors, which were found among Preston's effects at his death,
value which they put upon the labors of the printer.
no more than
come of age when he was made a Mason in a lodge of Scotchmen in London.
had attempted to get a warrant from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, but
that body very
properly refused to invade London, and the Scotch petitioners turned to
Lodge of Ancients, by whom they were chartered. Thus Preston was made
in the system
of his great rival, Dermott, just as the latter was at first affiliated
with a regular
or modern lodge. According to the English usage, which permits
in several lodges, Preston presently became a member of a lodge
subordinate to the
older Grand Lodge. Something here converted him, and he persuaded the
lodge in which
he had been raised to secede from the Ancients and to be reconstituted
by the so-called
Moderns. Thus he cast his lot definitely with the latter and soon
became their most
redoubtable champion. Be it remembered that the Preston who did all
this was a young
man of twenty-three and a journeyman printer.
At the age of
he became master of the newly constituted lodge, and as such conceived
it his duty
to make a thorough study of the Masonic institution. His own words are
I first had the honor to be elected master of a lodge, I thought it
proper to inform
myself fully of the general rules of the society, that I might be able
my own duty and officially enforce obedience in others. The methods
which I adopted
with this view excited in some of superficial knowledge an absolute
dislike of what
they considered as innovations, and in others, who were better
informed, a jealousy
of preeminence which the principles of Masonry ought have checked.
these discouragements, however, I persevered in my intention."
that the pretenses of this journeyman printer of twenty-five were
scouted by older
Masons. But for the present Preston had to contend with nothing more
of the head. Unlike the scholarly, philosophical, imperturbable,
Preston was a fighter. Probably his confident dogmatism, which shows
his lectures, his aggressiveness and his ambition made more enemies
than the supposed
innovations involved in his Masonic research. Moreover we must not
forget that he
had to overcome three very serious obstacles namely, dependence for his
upon a trade at which he worked twelve hours a day, youth, and recent
with the fraternity. That Preston was not persecuted at this stage of
and that he succeeded in taking the lead as he did is a complete
testimony to his
qualifications for the work he undertook:
diligence, whereby he found time and means to read
everything that bore on Masonry after twelve hours of work at his trade
days in the week;
memory, which no detail of his reading ever escaped;
a great power
of making friends and of enlisting their enthusiastic
co-operation. He utilized this last resource abundantly, corresponding
all with well-informed Masons abroad and taking advantage of every
interview Masons at home. The results of this communication with all
Masons of his time are to be seen in his lectures.
It was a bold
timely step when this youthful master of a new lodge determined to
rewrite or rather
to write the lectures of Craft Masonry. The old charges had been read
to the initiate
originally, and from this there had grown up a practice of orally
contents and commenting upon the important points. To turn this into a
fixed lectures and give them a definite place in the ritual was a
in the development of the work. But it was so distinctly a step that
the ease with
which it was achieved is quite as striking as the result itself.
composition of his lectures, he organized a sort of club, composed of
for the purpose of listening to him and criticizing him. This club was
wont to meet
twice a week in order to pass on, criticize and learn the lecture as
it. Finally in 1772, after seven years, he interested the grand lodge
his work and delivered an oration, which appears in the first edition
of his Illustrations
of Masonry [Lib 1772], before a
meeting of eminent Masons including the principal
grand officers. After delivery of the oration, he expounded his system
to the meeting.
His hearers approved the lectures, and, though official sanction was
not given immediately,
the result was to give them a standing which insured their ultimate
disciples began now to go about from lodge to lodge delivering his
to come back to the weekly meetings with criticisms and suggestions.
Thus by 1774
his system was complete. He then instituted a regular school of
obtained the sanction of the Grand Lodge and thus diffused his lectures
England. This made him the most prominent Mason of the time, so that he
to the famous Lodge of Antiquity, one of the four old lodges of 1717,
and the one
which claimed Sir Christopher Wren for a past master. He was soon
of this lodge and continued such for many years, giving the lodge a
place in English Masonry which it has kept ever since.
however, was not one of unbroken triumph. In 1779 his views as to
and Masonic jurisprudence brought him into conflict with the Grand
Lodge. It is
hard to get at the exact facts in the mass of controversial writing
which this dispute
brought forth. Fairly stated, they seem to have been about as follows:
Lodge had a rule
against lodges going in public processions. The Lodge of Antiquity
St. John's Day, 1777, to go in a body to St. Dunstan's church, a few
from the lodge room. Some of the members protested against this as
being in conflict
with the rule of the Grand Lodge, and in consequence only ten attended.
clothed themselves in the vestry of the church, sat in the same pew
during the service
and sermon, and then walked across the street to the lodge room in
and aprons. This action gave rise to a debate in the lodge at its next
and in the debate Preston expressed the opinion that the Lodge of
was older than the Grand Lodge and had participated in its formation,
inherent privileges, and that it had never lost its right to go in
it had done in 1694 before there was any Grand Lodge. Thus far the
remind us of the recent differences between Bro. Pitts and the Grand
in Michigan. But the authority of Grand Lodges was too recent at that
time to make
it expedient to overlook such doctrine when announced by the first
of the day. Hence, for maintaining this opinion, Preston was expelled
by the Grand
Lodge, and in consequence the Lodge of Antiquity severed its connection
Grand Lodge of Moderns and entered into relations with the revived
Grand Lodge at
York. The breach was not healed till 1787.
settlement of the
controversy with the Grand Lodge of Moderns, Preston, restored to all
and dignities, at once resumed his Masonic activities. Among other
things, he organized
a society of Masonic scholars, the first of its kind. It was known as
of the Harodim and included the most distinguished Masons of the time.
his lectures in this society, and through it they came to America,
where they are
the foundation of our Craft lectures. Unhappily at the Union in England
his lectures were displaced by those of Hemming, which critics concur
much inferior. But Preston was ill at the time and seems to have taken
no part whatever
in the negotiations that led to the Union nor in the Union itself. He
died in 1818,
at the age of 76, after a lingering illness. A diligent and frugal life
him to lay by some money and he was able to leave 800 pounds for
Masonic uses, 500
pounds to the Freemason's charity for orphans – for which, left an
before the age of twelve, he had a natural sympathy – and 300 pounds to
so-called Prestonian lecture – an annual lecture in Preston's words
a lecturer appointed by the Grand Lodge. This lecture is still kept up
to remind us that Preston was the first to insist on the minute verbal
which is now a feature of our lectures. It should be noted also that in
to his lectures, Preston's book, Illustrations of Masonry, has had
It went through some twenty editions in England, four or five in
America, and two
So much for
Now as to the
of the first three quarters of the eighteenth century in England are of
for an understanding of Preston's philosophy of Masonry:
was a period of mental
in England and elsewhere
it was a period
of formal over-refinement;
was the so-called age of
the intellect was taken to be self-sufficient and men were sure that
1. – In contrast with the
the eighteenth century was a period of quiescence. Society had ceased
to be in a
state of furious ebullition, nor was there a conflict of manifestly
ideas as in the time just gone by. On the surface there was harmony.
True, as the
events of the end of the century showed, it was a harmony of compromise
of reconciliation – a truce, not a peace. But men ceased for a time to
fundamentals and turned their attention to details and to form. A
philosophy was accepted by men who denounced each other heartily for
trivial differences of opinion. In politics, Whig and Tory had become
than names, and both parties agreed to accept, with little
modification, the body
of doctrine afterwards known as the principles of the English
ideas were fixed. Men conceived of a social compact from which every
detail of social
and political rights and duties might be deduced by abstract reasoning
that it was possible in this way to work out a model code for the
touchstone of sound law for the judge and an infallible guide to
for the individual. In literature and in art there was a like
acquiescence in accepted
canons. A certain supposed classical style was assumed to be the final
and the only
permissible mode of expression. In other words acquiescence was the
and finality was the dominant idea. For example, Blackstone, a true
of the century, thought complacently of the legal system of his time,
with its heavy
load of archaisms, almost ripe for the legislative reform movement of
the next generation,
as substantially perfect. Nothing, so he thought, was left for the
five hundred years of legal development but to patch up a few trivial
the same spirit of finality the framers of our bills of rights
undertook to lay
out legal and political charts for all time. Indeed the absolute legal
of our text books which has made so much trouble for the social
reformers of yesterday
and of today, speaks from the eighteenth century. In this spirit of
this same confidence that his time had the key to reason and could
for all for every time, for every place and for every people, Preston
dogmatic discourses which we are content to take as the lectures of
2. – For the modern world, the
century was par excellence the period of formalism. It was the period
over-refinement in every department of human activity. It was the age
verse and heroic diction, of a classical school in art which lost sight
of the spirit
in reproducing the forms of antiquity, of elaborate and involved court
of formal diplomacy, of the Red Tape and Circumlocution Office in every
of administration, of formal military tactics in which efficiency in
the field yielded
to the exigencies of parade and soldiers went into the field dressed
for the ball
room. Our insistence upon letter perfect, phonographic reproduction of
comes from this period, and Preston fastened that idea upon our
for all time.
3. – The third circumstance
that the eighteenth
century was the era of purely intellectualist philosophy naturally
philosophy of Masonry. At that time reason was the central idea of all
thought. Knowledge was regarded as the universal solvent. Hence when
in his old lectures that among other things Masonry was a body of
discovered in the old charges a history of knowledge and of its
antiquity, it was inevitable that he make knowledge the central point
of his system.
How thoroughly he did this is apparent today in our American
which, with all the abridgments to which it has been subjected, is
Prestonian. Time does not suffice to read Preston in his original
But a few examples from Webb's version, which at these points is only
will serve to make the point. The quotations are from a Webb monitor,
but have been
compared in each case with an authentic version of Preston.
Globes are two artificial spherical bodies, on the convex surface of
which are represented
the countries, seas, and various parts of the earth, the face of the
planetary revolutions, and other particulars.
sphere, with the parts of the earth delineated on its surface, is
called the Terrestrial
Globe; and that with the constellations, and other heavenly bodies, the
principal use of the Globes, besides serving as maps to distinguish the
parts of the earth, and the situation of the fixed stars, is to
illustrate and explain
the phenomena arising from the annual revolution and the diurnal
rotation of the
earth around its own axis. They are the noblest instruments for
improving the mind,
and giving it the most distinct idea of any problem or proposition, as
well as enabling
it to solve the same."
It has often
out that these globe on the pillars are pure anachronisms. They are due
desire to make the Masonic lectures teach astronomy, which just then
was the dominant
particularly the purpose,
as the lecture sets it forth expressly: "for improving the mind and for
it the most distinct idea of any problem or proposition as well as
enabling it to
solve the same."
words, these globes
are not symbolic, they are not designed for moral improvement. They
rest upon the
pillars, grotesquely out of place, simply and solely to teach the lodge
of geography and astronomy.
remember that Preston,
who worked twelve hours a day setting type or reading proof, would look
very differently from the Mason of today. What are commonplaces of
science now were
by no means general property then. To him the teaching of the globes
was a perfectly
Turn to the
on architecture in our Fellowcraft lecture. As we give it, it is
but happily it is often much abridged. You know how it runs, how it
order in detail, gives the proportions, tells what was the model,
appends an artistic
critique, and sets forth the legend of the invention of the Corinthian
Callimachus. The foundation for all this is in the old charges. But in
hands it has become simply a treatise on architecture. The Mason who
it repeatedly would become a learned man. He would know what an
educated man ought
to know about the orders of architecture.
In the same
way he gives
us an abridgment of Euclid:
treats of the powers and properties of magnitudes in general, where
and thickness are considered, from a point to a line, from a line to a
and from a superficies to a solid. A point is a dimensionless figure,
or an indivisible
part of space. A line is a point continued, and a figure of one
length. A superficies is a figure of two dimensions, namely, length and
A solid is a figure of three dimensions, namely, length, breadth and
But enough of
see the design. By making the lectures epitomes of all the great
branches of learning,
the Masonic Lodge may be made a school in which all men, before the
days of public
schools and wide-open universities, might acquire knowledge, by which
could achieve all things. If all men had knowledge, so Preston thought,
all social problems would be solved. With knowledge on which to proceed
human reason would obviate the need of government and of force and an
era of perfection
would be at hand. But those were the days of endowed schools which were
the many. The priceless solvent, knowledge, was out of reach of the
common run of
men who most needed it. Hence to Preston, first and above all else the
existed to propagate and diffuse knowledge. To this end, therefore, he
the opportunity afforded by the lectures and sought by means of them to
in an intelligent whole all the knowledge of his day.
become too vast to be comprised in any one scheme and too protean to be
as to any of its details even for the brief life of a modern text, the
such a scheme are obvious enough. That this was Preston's conception,
may be shown
abundantly from his lectures. For instance:
is that sense by which we distinguish odors, the various kinds of which
opinions to the mind. Animal and vegetable bodies, and, indeed, most
while exposed to the air, continually send forth effluvia of vast
subtlety, as well
in the state of life and growth, as in the state of fermentation and
These effluvia, being drawn into the nostrils along with the air, are
by which all bodies are smelled."
This bit of
physics, which makes us smile today, is still gravely recited in many
of our lodges
as if it had some real or some symbolic importance. It means simply
was endeavoring to write a primer of physiology and of physics.
He states his
in these words:
the mind all our knowledge must depend; What, therefore, can be a more
for the investigation of Masons? By anatomical dissection and
observation we become
acquainted with the body; but it is by the anatomy of the mind alone we
its powers and principles."
That is: All
depends upon the mind. Hence the Mason should study the mind as the
acquiring knowledge, the one thing needful.
seems a narrow
and inadequate conception. But the basis of such a philosophy of
Masonry is perfectly
clear if we remember the man and the time. We must think of these
lectures as the
work of a printer, the son of an educated father, but taken from school
was twelve and condemned to pick up what he could from the manuscripts
he set up
in the shop or by tireless labor at night after a full day's work. We
of them as the work of a laborer, chiefly self-educated, associated
with the great
literati of the time whom he came to know through preparing their
the press and reading their proofs, and so filled with their enthusiasm
in what men thought the age of reason. We must think of them as the
work of one
imbued with the cardinal notions of the time – intellectualism, the
of reason, the absolute need of knowledge as the basis on which reason
answer the three problems of Masonic philosophy?
For what does
Masonry exist? What is the end and purpose of the
order? Preston would answer: To diffuse light, that is, to spread
men. This, he might say, is the proximate end. He might agree with
Krause that the
ultimate purpose is to perfect men – to make them better, wiser and
happier. But the means of achieving this perfection, he would say, is
of knowledge. Hence, he would say, above all things Masonry exists to
the Mason ought first of all to cultivate his mind, he ought to study
arts and sciences; he ought to become a learned man.
What is the
relation of Masonry to other human activities ? Preston
does not answer this question directly anywhere in his writings. But we
that he would have said something like this: The state seeks to make
and happier by preserving order. The church seeks this end by
cultivating the moral
person and by holding in the background supernatural sanctions. Masonry
to make men better and happier by teaching them and by diffusing
them. This, bear in mind, was before education of the masses had become
of the state.
Masonry seek to achieve its purposes? What are the principles
by which it is governed in attaining its end?
answers that both
by symbols and by lectures the Mason is (first) admonished to study and
learning and (second) actually taught a complete system of organized
We have his own words for both of these ideas. As to the first, in his
lectures and charges reiterate it. For example: "The study of the
that valuable branch of education which tends so effectually to polish
the mind is earnestly recommended to your consideration." Again, notice
he dwells upon the advantages of each art as he expounds it:
proper arrangement of words according to the idiom or dialect of any
people, and that excellency of pronunciation which enables us to speak
a language with accuracy, agreeably to reason and correct usage.
us to speak copiously and fluently on any subject, not merely with
but with all the advantages of force and elegance, wisely contriving to
the hearer by strength of argument and beauty of expression, whether it
be to entreat
and exhort, to admonish or applaud."
As to the
one example will suffice:
and implements of architecture are selected by the fraternity to
imprint on the
memory wise and serious truths."
words the purpose
even of the symbols is to teach wise and serious truths. The word
serious here is
significant. It is palpably a hit at those of his brethren who were
be mystics and to dabble in what Preston regarded as the empty jargon
of the hermetic
show his estimate
of what he was doing and hence what, in his view, Masonic lectures
should be, he
says himself of his Fellowcraft lecture: "This lecture contains a
of science [note that science then meant knowledge] demonstrated on the
principles and established on the firmest foundation."
One need not
say that we
cannot accept the Prestonian philosophy of Masonry as sufficient for
of today. Much less can we accept the details or even the general
framework of his
ambitious scheme to expound all knowledge and set forth a complete
outline of a
liberal education in three lectures. We need not wonder that Masonic
has made so little headway in Anglo-American Masonry when we reflect
that this is
what we have been brought up on and that it is all that most Masons
ever hear of.
It comes with an official sanction that seems to preclude inquiry, and
the purpose of it in its obsolete details. But I suspect we do Preston
a great injustice
in thus preserving the literal terms of the lectures at the expense of
idea. In his day they did teach – today they do not. Suppose today a
man of Preston's
tireless diligence attempted a new set of lectures which should unify
and present its essentials so that the ordinary man could comprehend
them. To use
Preston's words, suppose lectures were written, as a result of seven
years of labor,
and the co-operation of a society of critics, which set forth a regular
modern knowledge demonstrated on the clearest principles and
established on the
firmest foundation. Suppose, if you will, that this were confined
simply to knowledge
of Masonry. Would not Preston's real idea (in an age of public schools)
truly carried than by our present lip service, and would not his
of the lodge as a center of light vindicate itself by its results?
Let me give
In Preston's day, there was a general need, from which Preston had
popular education – of providing the means whereby the common man could
knowledge in general. Today there is no less general need of a special
kind of knowledge.
Society is divided sharply into classes that understand each other none
and hence are getting wholly out of sympathy. What nobler Masonic
there be than one which took up the fundaments of social science and
spread a sound knowledge of it among all Masons? Suppose such a lecture
as Preston's lectures were, was tried on by delivery in lodge after
lodge, as his
were, and after criticism and recasting as a result of years of labor,
to all our masters. Would not our lodges diffuse a real light in the
take a great step forward in their work of making for human perfection?
spite of what
is happening for the moment upon the Continent, this is an era of
internationality. The thinking world is tending strongly to insist upon
over narrow local boundaries and upon looking at things from a
of view. Art, science, economics, labor and fraternal organizations,
and even sport
are tending to become international. The growing frequency of
and conferences upon all manner of subjects emphasizes this breaking of
bonds. The sociological movement, the world over, is causing men to
take a broader
and more humane view, is causing them to think more of society and
hence more of
the world-society, is causing them to focus their vision less upon the
and hence less upon the individual locality.
toward universality Masons ought to take the lead. But how much does
the busy Mason
know, much less think, of the movement for internationality or even the
movement which has been going forward all about him? Yet every Mason
ought to know
these things and ought to take them to heart. Every lodge ought to be a
light from which men go forth filled with new ideas of social justice,
justice and internationality.
course was wrong
– knowledge is not the sole end of Masonry. But in another way Preston
Knowledge is one end – at least one proximate end – and it is not the
least of those
by which human perfection shall be attained. Preston's mistakes were
of his century – the mistake of faith in the finality of what was known
era, and the mistake of regarding correct formal presentation as the
one sound method
of instruction. But what shall be said of the greater mistake we make
we go on reciting his lectures – shorn and abridged till they mean
nothing to the
hearer – and gravely presenting them as a system of Masonic knowledge?
Bear in mind,
he thought of them as presenting a general scheme of knowledge, not as
of purely Masonic information. If we were governed by his spirit,
root idea of his philosophy and had but half his zeal and diligence,
surely we could
make our lectures and through them our lodges a real force in society.
we should encounter the precisians and formalists of whom lodges have
full, and should be charged with innovation. But Preston was called an
And he was one in the sense that he put new lectures in the place of
the old reading
of the Gothic constitutions. Preston encountered the same precisians
and the same
formalists and wrote our lectures in their despite. I hate to think
that all initiative
is gone from our order and that no new Preston will arise to take up
of Knowledge as an end of the fraternity and present to the Masons of
knowledge which they ought to possess.
By The Author of "Poems
of the Temple." – [A Poem]
I was a king and a mason –
A mason proved and skilled,
I cleared me ground for a palace
Such as a king should build.
I decreed and dug down to my levels;
Presently, under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a palace
Such as a king had built.
By Lewis A. McConnell.
part of a builder's profession
Is digging in ruins of old,
And his findings, in rapid succession,
Equip him with merits untold,
For the builder who never uncovers
The work of the centuries past
Is the builder who never discovers
Construction most certain to last.
Far back before history's pages
Did ever their stories relate
Or the sayings of eminent sages
Their quota of learning donate,
We find over lands without number
Where human achievements were felt,
Their ruins profusely encumber
The sites where the race had long dwelt.
And the study of long hidden symbols
Induces the mind to concede
That their mystical system resembles
Our own very closely indeed.
And the builders of old, laid foundations
Of ethical value so rare
That their teaching of mystic creations
With Masonry closely compare.
And we find them in cities long buried
When civilization's decay
O'er the work of the builder fast hurried
With ruthless demolishing sway.
In the temples of Indian ages
And far on the banks of the Nile
Where the work and the study of sages
Their wonderful stories compile.
And remote from all eastern persuasions
Of all known connection devoid,
In old Mexico's ancient creations
They find the same symbols employed.
'Tis the soul of the Master revolving
All lands in the universe through,
With His children of nature evolving
From light of the old to the new.
The Acacia Fraternity and Masonic Research
Shepardson, Former Grand President.
a society of college men who are Master Masons. It is not a Masonic
body in the
ordinary acceptation of that expression. It is not a side degree. It
claims no antiquity.
It seeks no recognition to which its inherent worth does not entitle
it. It is exactly
like any one of the thirty odd Greek letter fraternities which flourish
colleges, except for the fundamental requirement for membership that
one who is
considered must be a member in good standing in some regularly
of Master Masons. Membership comes from within by invitation.
Candidates do not
petition. Those students who have the good fortune to be offered
themselves on the triple selection thus indicated, the selection from
mass of high school students for the privilege of college education,
from the citizenship of their home communities for the rights and
benefits of Masonry,
and the selection for the social and intellectual joys of Acacia
fraternity was founded
at the University of Michigan, being incorporated on May 12, 1904. It
was the outgrowth
of a Masonic club at the University which had existed since 1894. It
now has twenty-four
Chapters, well distributed over the country. They are necessarily in
institutions where the number of Master Masons in attendance furnishes
material for energetic existence. Most of these Chapters maintain
in which the members make their home, several of these houses being
owned by the
local organization, but the majority being rented. The fraternity has
standing among similar college societies. It is a recognized member of
Inter-Fraternity Conference. It shares generally the privileges of
of representatives of like organizations. During its ten years of life
it has won
much approval from college authorities because of its high average
ranking in scholarship.
As a member must be at least twenty-one years of age, and as, in many
who wear its badge are advanced students, there is a realization of the
scholarship and right conduct which the younger members of other
lack. The result has been that Acacia is highly regarded by the college
wherever it has a Chapter.
stress has been laid upon the social life in the Chapter home. Much has
to cement college friendships, stronger than the ordinary, perhaps,
because of the
Masonic tie. The Chapter houses breathe the atmosphere of sentimental
Group pictures of the members are found on the walls. Pennants tell of
institutions where the fraternity has its branches. Individual
some one of exceptional interest or influence. Through Acacia, then,
many a college
Mason has had his years of study made happier because of close
fraternal ties. After
ten years of life Acacia is marked by many of the sentimental
have made college fraternity Chapters powerful organizations.
But there has
a time when through the Acacia fraternity membership there was not a
to be of some service to the mother institution out of which it sprung.
periodical, the Journal of Acacia, has been a helpful influence. It has
many articles on Masonic history and philosophy for the enlightenment
of members. It has printed bibliographies and suggestions for Masonic
has urged members constantly to maintain their lively interest in the
the immediate and pressing demands of the class-room and tine
allurements of library
and laboratory. Two or three definite results of such a sustained
campaign of Masonic
education are apparent.
some splendid degree teams. The Acacia members comprising these have
to be letter perfect in the rendition of the ritual. In a good many
aid in degree work has been received with enthusiastic praise. They
mass visitation of neighboring lodges and so the college boys have been
into closer relationship with local craftsmen and have had their circle
much enlarged Naturally they have been careful watchers of the
and have profited by the errors made by less eager officers. If Acacia
nothing more, it has greatly stimulated the Masonic interest of its own
sequence of this
feature of the fraternity's activity has been that Acacians generally
themselves on the side of those reformers who desire to remove from the
work those errors in grammar and faulty constructions in English which
upon the ears of one who has had the benefit of a training of the
have attempted nothing iconoclastic, but in quiet ways have given their
in favor of revisions certain to bring improvement to a time-honored
in seeking for the reasons for familiar shortcomings in the accepted
have been led into the attractive field of Masonic research.
this direction has been exerted by Professor Roscoe Pound of Harvard
He became a member of Acacia at the University of Nebraska. For a time
he was a
member of the faculty of law in the University of Chicago. He was one
of the first
to recognize the possibilities for Masonry in this organization of
eager and enthusiastic
college men. He has devoted much time and attention to a series of
lectures on Masonic
history and philosophy which he has given freely, with great sacrifice
hours, before Acacia Chapters and college Masonic clubs. His marvelous
for research and his exceptional ability in instruction has made of
each of these
lectures a wonderful stimulus to his hearers. He has planted the desire
research in many a student. He has guided the first readings of those
from him the way to the truth. His earnest pupils are found in more
than one Acacia
In a narrower
work has been done by professors Chester N. Gould and Charles Chandler
of the University
of Chicago. Teachers in an institution which maintains a large summer
have exerted a stimulating influence upon college Masons from many
parts of the
country. Each is a keen student and lover of deep research and they
have given to
the fraternity the full benefit of their rich resources of mind
obtained by thorough
investigation of the hidden things of Masonry.
in other parts
of the country have had the advantage of like encouragement from Masons
who have been elected to honorary membership, or who, as faculty
members, have been
impressed with the opportunity of lecturing to such exceptional
audiences as are
furnished by college men, to whom the habit of research becomes almost
nature. Without attempting to discriminate among members of this type,
be made especially perhaps of the late Lewis Cass Goodrich of Michigan,
Wilson of Pennsylvania, William Homan of New York, and A. K. Wilson of
mature men, well known Masonic workers, gave Acacia an impetus in the
of Masonic research whose full effect cannot be realized for years to
it is enough to say that their helpful influence has been a powerful
force in the
first decade of the history of this college fraternity.
I look to
Acacia for some
splendid Masonic workers in the higher ranks of the great mother order.
to see the history and philosophy of Masonry made far more familiar in
because of the inspiration given by those who have shared the
privileges of Acacia
Chapter life. The fraternity is young as yet. It is now in its eleventh
has just elected as its Grand President an enthusiastic Mason, Mr.
George E. Frazer,
of the administrative staff of the University Illinois. He is deeply
in Masonic research. He has done much to stimulate support of the
by this journal. I firmly believe that the Masonic order is to be
by this fraternity, not only in the quickening of the life of local
the United States, but, notably, in the years to come, through the
men of fine educational training who will find delight in delving into
past that they may interpret to others the beauties and the strength of
F.R.N.S., President of the Magian Society,
reference to all those
things which come within the various provinces of the seven liberal
arts and sciences,
Masonry occupies an extremely anomalous position. The theory of the
Craft we all
know. From one degree to another, we have paraded before us,
assumptions of all
knowledge, human and Divine. We are supposed to be the custodians of a
arcana descended to us from remote ages, which must be hedged about
and pledges, which could not be more exacting, if they constituted a
system of defense
for the fabled treasures of Golconda, actually materialized.
Yet there is
not a Masonic
student, among those hold enough to proclaim that there is at least a
of truth at the bottom of these pretensions, who does not find himself
in the minority, among a vast army of brethren, who refuse to
in the ritual of Masonry, transcending an agreeable series of moral
collated within a comparatively modern period for the unmixed purpose
of the Craft
are, in this respect, very much like those honorary titles conferred by
upon benefactors, who, had they actually elected to shine in the
domains of Law,
Arts, Letters or Sciences, suggested by their alphabetical dignities,
Coal, Iron or Commerce would never have figured in the history of
patrons of learning.
consideration of the
hugely preponderating part played by at least the presumption of
Science in its
construction, one might imagine that Masonry would have long since
to itself an unusual quota of scientific men, men of the schools,
predilection and training to give extension to the manifold hints of
But with notable exceptions, this has not proven the case.
students, whose reputations for more or less scientific research into
meanings of Masonic allusions, have become classic in the Craft, have
amateurs, who have no reputation outside of our exclusive ranks. Such
has been brought to the support of Masonry has been purely accidental.
the nature of our institution, we are unable to turn for guidance to
the very men
who could most and best enlighten us. We may take no, however learned,
into Masonic confidence and invite him to diagnose a landmark, having a
scientific application, for the benefit of the craft, unless he is a
and the conflict between Science and Religion has, since the
organization of the
modern speculative craft, given rise to a special reason which has
closed its doors
to many of the very men who could have been most depended on to
For these and
Masonic symbolism has remained for several centuries in the hands of
however lovable and amiable their personal characters, or however they
the Craft by their personal virtues, have been the last men in the
world to perceive
either its origin or its tendencies on the purely intellectual plane.
of true Masonic enlightenment has therefore been slower than that of
of human contemplation open to examination, dissection and suggestion
the many scholarly Protestant Divines who have given luster to Masonry
high qualities as men and Masons, the majority of these have been
content to regard
the numerous scriptural allusions and parallels introduced to
attention, from the
literal and unquestioning attitude of sectarian orthodoxy. Thus it has
for a future age to reveal many things, which might have been
discovered and brought
to light years ago, if there had been systematic search. The true story
struggle toward the light during the past twenty centuries of the
has yet to be written. It involves elements which numerous historians
closely enough, but which they have never been able to grasp, because
error in view point.
For nigh upon
years, the true nature and meanings of the ancient mysteries upon which
has erected her symbolic Temple, have remained in the grasp and custody
of an institution,
equally founded upon them, which has employed every artifice of
sophistry to conceal
and every instrument of physical repression to guard from the assaults
of the curious.
The history of this conflict is the history of "Heresy," concerning
we will sum the whole in one all-embracing statement.
the various historical heresies which are recorded as having been
subdued at one
and another age of the Church, have been simply outcroppings of one and
original gnosis, under different names, until the translations of the
vulgar tongues, produced a new variety of schism, shifting the
from the original ground, which dealt with the Mysteries alone, to
historicity and literal interpretations of an unassailable Scripture,
of the cabalistic character of which had been hopelessly lost.
The battle of
two centuries has raged altogether around questions affecting the total
authenticity of the Biblical narrative taken as a record of human
infallible by Divine interference. Its uncompromising literal
strict Puritan sense, have given rise to a long line of splendidly
but less misguided than unguided materialists, whose violent attitudes,
to so called "revealed" religion, were provoked by the stubborn and
defense of sticklers for the historical veracity of a thousand
and completely unnatural narratives. That these narratives might have a
sense and convey the spiritual lessons of the "ancient mysteries" of
derivation, no more flashed across the minds of men like Voltaire,
or to come down to our own day, Robert G. Ingersoll, than over those of
or John Calvin.
recapitulate the influences
which have resulted in the gradual readjustment of the situation,
rescuing us from
the danger of a sullen and uncompromising conflict between the grossest
blasphemous negation of Divinity and a blind Credence, in the exercise
man must stand ready to surrender every prompting of reason or
sense, would be to largely recapitulate the work which has been slowly
accomplished within the ranks of the Masonic craft since the emergency
Masonry from its underground crypt, under the liberal institutions of
England, Germany, and later, of Republican France.
Masons, who are
duly qualified, did fail to recognize likenesses between Masonic
traditions of the Ancient Mysteries preserved in the Greek classics and
in the allusions
of early alchemistic and "magical" writings. This led to an examination
of innumerable hints contained in the homilies of the early fathers,
the mysteries, both Pagan and Christian, of the early days of the
Church. Like putting
together, bit by bit, the pieces of an enormous "cut out" puzzle,
after fragment has been brought together and joined to the main body
The labors of
Constant, known best by his pen name of Eliphaz Levi, did more than
to acquaint the western mind with the precise nature of spiritual
ancient methods of concealment, in his exposition of the long,
Jewish Kabbalah. Upon this imperfect beginning have been based the
of the venerable Albert Pike and from the same inspiration and greatly
by independent research, the published works of Helena Petrovna
whose theosophical conclusions we shall not, however, concern
ourselves. They have,
however, had great influence over subsequent Masonic writers, like Dr.
the Rev. Charles H. Vail.
The labor of
has thrown open to the world the treasure houses of ancient Zend,
Sanskrit and Arabic
literature, which have supplied the connecting links in the great story
of the inception
of an age old scientific gnosis, materially set forth to the western
world in the
philosophies of the ancient students of Eastern lore, Aristotle, Plato
The work of the Assyrologists and Egyptologists has furnished other
links to the
chain, extending our vision and broadening its range, until we are
to face with a wonderful, new and magnificently supported conclusion –
significant symbolism of this great institution of ours, was indeed
some remote period of human history and handed down for the express
purpose of discovering
to us the origin of man's highest spiritual contemplations, and to
enable us like
the fathers of our race to climb otherwise inaccessible heights and
view our Creator
"face to face."
of all that
has been discovered in this respect develops the fact that, way back in
of history, probably long before it, there originated at some point on
(indications which point to Northern India are not lacking) a curiously
geometrical, mathematical and astronomical gnosis. From purely natural
was derived a conception of the three hundred and sixty degrees of the
and quadrangular equations, by means of squares (the Mosaic pavement)
and the equilateral
triangle, the Alphabet and the Decimal system. Adding the factors of
phenomena of the Universe, the mutual relations of divers geometrical
equal quantities and the elements of organic generation, mainly as
great system, intended to account for the wonders of Nature, was
to the One; Absolute Mind ruling the Universe and placed under the
the College of primitive scientists, to which later ages gave the name
of the Magi.
elementary Masonry and Theosophy, is the assumption by the latter that
spiritual of those men achieved successive reincarnations on increasing
Divine inspiration and possession, which led them, in the course of
time, to become
the founders of the world's greatest religions, and has perpetuated
personalities, even to our own day, under the generic title of "the
Both are children of the legendary "Secret Doctrine."
As a point of
for the assumption of a special science of Masonic Archaeology, we are,
to allow the most complete liberty of thought with regard to historic
anthropomorphic conceptions, compelled to assume that wherever the
attributes of God have been demonstrated by means of the Square and
the purpose of awakening the spiritual sense latent in all mankind,
Masonry. With this single proposition in view, there is not an acre of
at one time or another trodden by the foot of intelligent man, which
does not furnish
its countless mute testimonies to the existence and cultivation of the
gnosis, of which we speak, passed from race to race and land to land.
It does not
structural architectural remains alone, but in geometrical symbolisms
ornaments, in which the proportions of edifices, the shape and
dimensions of stones,
the decorative features of Temples and supposed Idols, especially the
forms of Egypt and America, are made, by the translations of their
and proportions into mathematical quantities, to give the precise
length of the
Solar year, the period of the precession of the Equinoxes, the period
of human gestation,
important planetary cycles and other great natural facts. The
expression of these
same quantities and formulae in the letters of the ancient alphabets,
by their numbers, compose the various sacred names of diverse
scriptures of humanity,
so that we rest stupefied before the astounding fact, that the greatest
of our own Great light has yet to be read through Masonic eyes, by the
the Ages past.
no chimera, nor product of an exalted imagination. It can be read,
character, on countless objects in the Museums of every country in the
such, on the facades of and in the proportions of ancient Temples, from
Delhi, from Athens to Angkor Wat. The ancient monuments of Mexico are
with it and the evidences that this gnosis was the faith and practice
of the ancient,
aboriginal inhabitants of these United States are incontrovertible.
It stares the
the face from every corner of lodge and Chapter, and every word,
and character thereof is stamped with God's own signature, the
times, in its
issue of October 30th, has a most interesting sketch and appreciation
Joffre, the Commander-in-Chief of the French armies – a simple man,
who does his duty and does not talk about it. Incidentally, the writer
that General Joffree is an enthusiastic Freemason – a fact which will
give an added
interest to his achievements as a soldier of the republic
G. W. Baird,
P.G.M., District of Columbia
It was the
of the writer to see the great obelisk called Cleopatra's needle, as it
Alexandria and also to witness the "opening of a house" in Pompeii. The
two Monoliths known as Cleopatra's needles had been brought to
Alexandria in the
time of the Caesars. They were originally in front of the University at
that great school where Moses, the law giver, was once a student. How
were in Heliopolis no one knows, nor is it known when they were carved
One of these
monuments was given to England, and the other to the United States. The
brought to this country by Brother Lieutenant Commander H. H. Gorringe,
U. S. N.,
the entire expense of which was borne by the late Mr. William H.
monument, for the purpose of shipping it, he was surprised to find,
under its base,
so many symbols which seemed clearly Masonic. The Grand Lodge of Masons
among whom there was a number of Egyptologists and Archaeologists, sent
of its best men, at the request of Gorringe, to examine these emblems
and give an
opinion. They were unanimous in the opinion that the emblems were
Masonic, and gave
the following definitions. Gorringe had a drawing made, not only to
show the emblems
and their relative positions, but for use in replacing them when the
be erected at New York.
cube, of syenite.
square, of syenite.
irregular block of syenite.
stone with trowel cemented to its surface.
stone, very white and entirely from spots.
found under east angle of lower steps.
The block C
to be the rough ashler; A the perfect ashler; the square B is very
has been so identified with Masonry, in all ages, that its presence
stone, with figures, resembling snakes, was emblematic of Wisdom. They
"axis stone" represented the trestle-board and the marked stone bore
mark of a Mark Master. The two implements, the trowel and the lead
emblematic of Freemasonry; the white stone is the symbol of purity, as
we have always
in New York, was the only person to question the opinion of the
as he was not a Mason, Gorringe thought he was not competent to be a
to New York and erected in Central Park, where it now stands. The
corner stone was
laid with Masonic ceremonies on the 2d of October, 1880, and the
emblems were replaced
exactly as they had been found at Alexandria.
at Naples, there is an equally remarkable evidence, which was
discovered in the
ruins of Pompeii, in 1896. The writer is indebted to the late Brother
S. G. Hilborn,
then a member of Congress from California, for a picture of this "find"
which is here reproduced in a photograph.
It is a
mosaic table top,
or altar top, which was situated in the center of a rectangular room,
Masonic Altars have ever been erected in lodge rooms. The workmanship
and the coloring, when the discovery was made, was bright and fresh,
but has probably
faded some, as all the Pompeii colors have done. Mural paintings, so
many of which
have been found in those ruins, have all suffered the same fate.
which is believed to be the top of the altar, shows a large square,
head, with a plumb line from the angle of the square to the middle
point of the
crown of the head. From each arm of the square there is suspended a
robe; one was
scarlet, the other purple, which are distinctive colors used in the
Royal Arch degree.
Below the chin of the head is a butterfly, beautifully colored, and
under the butterfly
is a circle, that Masonic emblem of Diety, without beginning or end.
to this there
were found, in the same room, several articles inherent in Blue and in
Masonry, a little urn, which is believed to be the pot of manna, a
a trowel, a spade, a small chest, thought to be an imitation of the ark
of the covenant,
and small staff, thought to be phallus. These evidences, potent as they
confirmed by the inscription over the door of the house, which is
DIOGENE SEN, which
means Diogenes the Mason.
facts as to the Pompeii find, as he received them from Brother Hilborn.
not been in Pompeii since 1878, when with General Grant, but the
existence of the
altar top may be verified by a visit to the museum at Naples.
to an enthusiast,
is convincing; to the writer they seem every bit as good, maybe better,
evidence which Rome has accepted and propagated as to the Apostolic
NOTE – (See Vibert's
"Freemasonry before the existence
of Grand Lodges" [Lib 2010] for a
different viewpoint regarding the Pompeii Mosaic.)
from the German of G.E. Lessing (1778)
Past Grand Master of Masons in Iowa
the father of German literature – "the forerunner of the philosophers,
whose criticisms supplied the place of poetry" – was born at Kamenz, in
Lusatia, in 1729, and died in 1781, at Wolfenbüttel, where he
was librarian to the Duke of Brunswick. He was a great
genius, and like so many of his kind suffered poverty and hardship, but
his ideal to the end. He was initiated in a Lodge at Hamburg, and found
the breadth and beauty which his mind craved, as well as the
consolation he needed
after the death of his wife and child. Up to that time, 1777, he had
chiefly to drama and criticism, and his "Laocoon" [Lib 1887] remains to
this day the classic protest against the confusion
of the arts. (See "The New Laokoon," [Lib 1910]
by Irving Babbitt) But his great sorrow remade the man, and turned his
to the deeper problems of life and its meaning. While these questions
at his soul, he wrote "Nathan the Wise" [Lib 1779]
– a poem worthy of such a tragic birth, and probably impossible without
it – in
which much of his deepest thought is set to music. In "The Education of
Human Race" [Lib 1780] he stated
his final faith, and the spiritual process by which
he was led to it. It was during his last years that he wrote "Ernst and
Five conversations for Freemasons" – a gem of purest ray, and a
to the Order which he loved. Lessing loved Masonry for its tolerance –
not the easy
tolerance which lets error be as good as truth, because it is
indifferent; but such
tolerance as he taught in "Nathan the Wise," which sees that truth is
greater than all creeds, deeper than all dogmas, and that in its
presence we are
all one in our littleness. "Ernst and Falk" has been twice translated
into English, but never with more insight and feeling than by Brother
version will give a new interest to one of the rarest and finest little
of Freemasonry. – The Editor]
are you thinking about,
you are so quiet.
that reason, who thinks
while he enjoys? And I am enjoying this refreshing morning.
are right, and you would
have been justified in asking me my own question.
had been thinking about
something I would have spoken about it. There is nothing about which
one cannot think aloud with a friend.
you enjoyed enough this
lovely morning – if anything occurs to you, speak. Nothing comes to me.
good! It occurs to me
that I have long wanted to ask you about something.
true, friend, that you
are a Freemason!
question is one that is
Yet give me a straighter
answer. Are you a Freemason?
believe I am.
answer is one that is not
quite sure of its subject.
yes! I am fairly certain
about my subject.
you must well know why and
when and where and by whom you were accepted.
I know above all, but that
is not saying so much.
does not accept and who is
believe I am a Freemason; not
so much because I was accepted by older Masons in a lawful lodge, but
because I see and know what and why Mason is, when and where it has
been, how and by what it is furthered or hindered.
yet you express yourself
doubtfully – I believe I am one!
this expression I am now
accustomed. Not indeed because I lack personal conviction but because I
do not care to place myself squarely in another's way.
answer me like a stranger!
have been accepted, you
know all –
have been also accepted,
and believe they know.
you then have been
accepted without knowing what you know?
many who accept do not
know themselves and the few who know cannot tell it.
could you then know what
you know, without having been accepted?
not? Freemasonry is nothing
arbitrary, nothing dispensable, but something necessary that is
grounded in man's being and in human society. Consequently one would
come to it as well by his own reflection as by being led to it by
arbitrary? Has it not words and signs and customs which might all be
otherwise and consequently are arbitrary?
it has. But these words
and these signs and these customs are not Freemasonry.
dispensable. What then did men do before Freemasonry ever was?
what is it then, this
necessary, this indispensable Freemasonry?
have already given you to
understand – something that even those who know it cannot tell.
not overstep yourself.
of which I have an idea,
that I can also express in words.
always and least often so
that others get from my words the same idea that I have of it.
if not wholly the same,
then still one nearly like it.
near idea would here be
useless or dangerous. Useless if it did not hold enough, and dangerous
if it held the least bit too much.
Seeing that the
Freemasons themselves who know the secret of their order cannot tell it
in words, how then do they make the order grow?
deeds. They allow such
youths and men as they deem worthy of their society to surmise and
conjecture their deeds – to see them as far as they can be seen; these
find a zest in them and do like deeds.
Deeds of the Freemasons?
I know none other than their speeches and songs which are usually
better printed than thought or spoken.
they have in common with
many other speeches and songs.
shall I take as their deeds
those of which they boast in these speeches and songs?
they do not alone boast
what do they then boast
about? Only those things that one expects from every good man – from
every upright citizen. They are so friendly, so benevolent, so
obedient, so full of patriotism!
that then nothing?
– to set them apart
from other men! Who ought not to be these?
has not motive and
opportunity enough aside from Freemasonry to be these?
who in it and through it
has one motive more.
not to me of the number of
motives! 'Twere better to give one single motive all possible intensive
power! The number of such motives is like the number of wheels in a
machine. The more wheels the more unreliable.
cannot deny that.
what kind of a one motive
more! One that disparages and makes suspicious all others in order to
hold out itself as the strongest and best!
be fair! Hyperbole the
quid-pro-qua of those empty speeches and songs! Pattern-work!
is to say: Brother Orator
is a chatterer.
is but to say: The things
that Brother Orator prizes in Freemasonry are clearly not in deeds. For
Brother Orator is at least no babbler, and deeds speak for themselves.
see at what you're
aiming. Why didn't they occur to me at once, these deeds, these
eloquent deeds? Almost I might call them screaming deeds. Not enough,
that the Freemasons should support one another, support one another
most powerfully, for that would be but the essential peculiarity of
every band. What do they not do for the whole people of every state to
which they belong?
example? That I may know
whether you are on the right track.
example, the Freemasons in
Stockholm: Did they not erect a great foundling hospital?
only the Freemasons in
Stockholm have shown themselves active in another opportunity.
some other I mean.
the Freemasons in Dresden
who furnished poor young girls with work, gave them lace and embroidery
to make, so that the foundling hospital might be smaller.
You know better when I
remind you of your name.
all seriousness then. And
the Freemasons in Braunschweig, who gave poor, capable boys lessons in
the Freemasons in Berlin
who supported Basedow's Philanthropic Institute.
that you're saying? The
Philanthropic Institute! The Freemasons supported it? Who foisted that
newspapers trumpeted about
newspapers! For that I must
have Basedow's own written statement, and I must be sure that such
statement was not directed against the Freemasons in Berlin, but was
directed against Freemasons in general.
that? Don't you approve
of Basedow's institution?
not? Who can approve of it
you would not begrudge him
Who could wish him
more of all good than I?
then, you are
incomprehensible to me.
well believe it. In that I am
wrong. For even the Freemasons can do a thing, and yet not do it as
is that true of all their
other good deeds?
Perhaps all of these
good deeds you have recited to me are (to serve myself with a
scholastic expression for brevity's sake) only their deeds ad extra.
do you mean?
their deeds that come
before the eyes of the people – only deeds that are done so that they
may come before the popular eye.
order to enjoy attention and
might well be.
what of their real deeds
then? You are silent?
tho' I had not already
answered you? Their real deeds are their secret.
Therefore also not to be
told in words?
so. Only this much can and
dare I tell you: The real deeds of Freemasonry are so great, so far
reaching, that many centuries may go by before one can say: That is
what they did! At the same time they have done all the good that is in
the world, mark well, in the world. And they go forth to work at all
the good that will yet be in the world.
to! You are hoaxing me.
not. But see, there goes
a butterfly I must have. It is from the wolf's-milk caterpillar –
Briefly I will tell you yet this much: The real effort of Freemasonry
is toward making unnecessary in a large measure, all that we are
commonly accustomed to call good deeds.
are still also good deeds?
are no better. Think over
it for a while will be back shortly.
deeds that aim to make
good deeds unnecessary? That is a puzzle. And I'll not trouble self
over a puzzle. Rather will I lie meanwhile under a tree and watch the
A Nook with a Book"
life on many sides, and has journeyed so far adown the years –
gathering stones from many fields go wherewith
to build its House of Truth – it has an interest in many kinds of
from time to time we shall make note of such books as have to do
directly or indirectly
with the history and aims of the order, and occasionally with those
which should be the concern of all who love mankind.
is the word to describe "The Golden Bough,"
[Lib 1922]; [Lib 1925 Abridged] by
J.C. Frazer, begun some thirty
years ago and now completed in ten large volumes. (Macmillan Co., New
this is one of the great literary achievements of the race. There is
compare with it, except, perhaps, the "Decline and Fall of Rome," [Lib
6] by Gibbon, or the colossal
output of Voltaire. It is a study of the origin of religion carried on
the world, through the literature of all the centuries, through the
customs, rites and folklore of the ages found in books or in aboriginal
It is hardly too much to say that these volumes contain the largest
amount of widespread
learning of any work produced in the English-speaking world, and it
will be difficult
to find in any language a study which can vie with it in thoroughness
and skill of presentation.
enough, this monumental work began with a study of
what seems, at first sight, only a curiosity of custom – the custom,
that is, whereby
the ancient Priest of Aricia, near Lake Alba, held his office on
he would fight any competitor for it to the death who succeeded in
a sacred oak in the Grove of Nemi a golden bough. Macaulay speaks of
in one of his "Lays of Rome," and the problems suggested by it to Dr.
Frazer were: Why did the old priest have to be slain by the new one
before he could
be inducted into office; why was he called the King of the Grove; why
need he be
slain at all; and above all, why did his successor have to pluck the
Such inquiries led the searcher far afield, and the result is a mass of
will have to be reckoned with in the future, and may upset theology
quite as radically
as "The Origin of Species" [Lib 1909] did biology
book, this, which properly reviewed would easily
make a volume. What a picture we have here of that strange, weird
terrible in his heights and depths, blend of dirt and deity; so
so pathetic-in his facing of the mystery of life and the world; yet
in his superstitions. It takes us back into the old dim abysm of time
to the very
origin of thinking, and the birth of music, worship and art. We visit
of the gods in the morning of time. Religion has its beginning, so this
in what we stall magic. Man found himself here, and he could only live
but things happened to make his efforts go awry. Animals escaped from
waves swamped his boats, winds toppled trees on him, enemies ravaged
Thinking that wind and wave and fire were manifestations of invisible
set about to conciliate, to propitiate those powers-hence his religion
nothing wrong with magic save that it reasoned wrongly
from insufficient facts. Something happened, and then another thing
good or evil
followed, and man connected the two, trying the while to do the things
the good sequences and to avoid the things which brought the bad ones.
a time, Frazer thinks, when man did not even trace the cause of birth
to the relation
between the sexes. Similarly, if a rabbit crossed his path when he went
and he had no luck, he blamed it on the rabbit. If someone glared at
him when he
was cutting a tree and the tree fell and hurt him, he remembered the
evil eye. After
this manner there grew up customs arid superstitions now almost
for example, cannibalism. None the less, cannibalism had a reason, if
so it may
be called, which was that, if one ate a powerful enemy he had slain, he
the power and courage of his enemy and became, by so much, a stronger,
Numberless glimpses of this kind we get of-the early, groping, timid,
of man, half-beast and half-child – stories beautiful in their horror,
even in their beauty.
need not accept the theory of Frazer to enjoy this
journey back into a time so far gone that only fragments of its thought
and fear remain, like fossils in a rock. He holds, what some of us do
that man was ever a materialist. Far from it. Instead, we see even at
much that is not of dead matter; much not of the brute. We see man
looking out and
up, as if called to do so by something not himself; something within
with another whose call he heard in the voices of the winds. Indeed,
Frazer in his
mighty labor has builded more wisely, more spiritually than he knew;
and by showing
the old backward and abysm of time out of which man has climbed, he
reveals to what
heights we have attained. Looking at his facts from a point of view
other than his
own, we the more appreciate the grave and haunting eloquence of his
temple of the sylvan goddess, indeed, has vanished, and the King of the
longer stands sentinel over the Golden Bough. But Nemi's woods are
and as the sunset fades above them in the west there comes to us, borne
on the swell
of the wind, the sound of the church bells of Aricia ringing the
Angelus. Ave Maria!
Sweet and solemn the chime from out the distant town and die
lingeringly away across
the wide Campagnan marshes. Ave Maria!”
* * *
tell, even while
Frazer was writing his wonderful book, his theory was being assailed –
of us think, successfully – by Lyall, Jevons, Andrew Lang and others.
defect was that it found the origin of religion in the reasoning
apparently, the deeper region of the emotions. Most certainly the true
things was and is, first, Reality, then Feeling, and finally an effort
the contents of reality as revealed in feeling. Magic was logic, albeit
yet logic trying to connect cause and result. No one faculty or set of
must be credited with the creation of religion; it is the response of
of man to the total appeal of life
Such is the
of E. S. Hartland in his most delightful
and valuable work, "Ritual and Belief" [Lib 1914]
– a work of peculiar interest to Masons, if for no other reason, for
of the origin and uses of Ritual. (Scribner's Sons, New York.)
According to this
admirable scholar and psychologist, ritual had its origin in the
craving for movement
and dramatic excitement – perhaps in play, as when the Hottentots
danced all night
in the moonlight, invoking her aid with wild gesture and song. Born of
to action, it liberated emotion; the emotion, in its turn, was
intensified by its
collective expression; and so the action became a custom, and gathered
Later, it would serve also for the expression of ideas, one of which
was that just
as dramatic action influenced human relations, so, somehow, it might
nature – hence magic. Long eras of evolution passed before belief
there is much
else in this brilliant book, but this point is indicated for the reason
needs to be considered by the members of an order in which Ritual has
so large a
part. First, it shows that ritual is native to man, and a necessity of
liberating emotions unutterable in words. Second, that ritual comes,
if not inevitably, to have magical meaning and power, and leads to the
that when a sentiment has been expressed dramatically, that is enough.
No one need
be told that this has all along been the danger – aye, the curse – of
religion, in that too many men think that when they have observed
they have fulfilled their moral obligations, the religious emotion
in ritual rather than in character and the doing of good. It is hardly
less a danger
of Masonry, against which we must be always on guard, lest the very
purpose of the
order be made of no effect. Third, as thought deepens and broadens,
receive the re-consecration of nobler ideas, and become the medium
those ideas are expressed. Ritual, if not thus enriched by growing
thought, is apt
to become an empty routine bereft alike of beauty and power.
* * *
Cheetham published his Hulsean Lectures on "The Mysteries, Pagan and
[Lib 1897] and they
had a wide reading. Since that time – or, to be more
accurate, very recently – the debate has become more acute as to how
far, and what
ways, St. Paul was influenced by the Mystery cults, and the results of
course of research, led by Cumont and Reitzenstein, are summed up by
Dr. A. A. Kennedy
in his "St. Paul and the Mystery Religions." [Lib 1913] It is a
timely book and an able one, having a fine precision
of scholarship, a conscience for facts, and a wholesome skepticism of
In a field where similarities of language and affinities of thought
have been pushed
too far, such a sane and critical work is welcome. St. Paul knew of the
he uses some of their technical terms, but that he was greatly
influenced by them
in his thinking, is not true. Of late an attempt has been made to show
only the theology of St. Paul, but the whole primitive Christian creed
was simply the old Mystery religion revamped, but the effort fails. The
this volume to Masons is that it states briefly and lucidly what is
known of the
Mysteries which our order perpetuates, in some fashion, today.
boast, it is believed that this initial issue of
"The Builder" will commend itself to the intelligent confidence of the
Order, as showing the high level on which the Research Society begins
Nor will that level be lowered by one jot or tittle, its effort being
to unite liberty
of thought and scholarly accuracy with simplicity and lucidity of
style, the better
to serve the Craft for whom it labors.
lectures by Prof. Pound on "The Philosophy of
Masonry" are memorable in many ways, furnishing leadership and
for those who seek to think things through in quest of the reason for
faith, and its ideals. The remaining lectures in the series have to do
Oliver and Pike, with a final study of Masonry in the light of
entitled "A Twentieth Century Masonic Philosophy." These lectures will
be widely read, as they should be, alike for their own merit and for
of their author; and we are happy to announce that they will be issued
form as the first book put forth by the Society.
forward, we are soon to present a very valuable article
on Masonry as interpreted by Goethe and Lessing, by Dr. Paul Carus,
editor of "The
Open Court" and the "Monist," which will serve as an admirable
to the translation of "Ernst and Falk," by Brother Block. Going farther
back, we have in hand the "Regensburg Stonemasons' Regulations,"
date of 1459, which will throw new light on certain aspects of ancient
in Germany. Among other articles of unusual interest will be an essay
on the founding
of Masonry in America, by Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master of
Masons in Massachusetts,
which will contain new material of great value.
editor hopes, in the not distant future, to begin a
series of papers which he ventures to present as chapters of a possible
and study of Albert Pike. It is indeed strange that there is no
of that master genius of Masonry, who found the Scottish Rite in a log
left it in a temple. Scholar, jurist, orator, thinker, citizen, he was
a Mason to
whom the world was a temple, a poet to whom the world was a song. These
been in mind for years, and not a little material has been gathered,
but the editor
will welcome reminiscences, letters, incidents, documents of any kind
Pike; and, after using them, will carefully return them, when so
desired, to those
who send them.
Pike, recalls Mackey, Fort, Drummond, and other pioneers
in the field of Masonic Research, sketches of whom, at once sympathetic
will be welcomed by "The Builder." Gould rendered a real service to the
Order with his series of essays on "Masonic Celebrities" years ago, and
we need a similar record of great Masons in America, especially those
to advance Masonic learning. If some brother in South Carolina will
recall Dr. Mackey,
and show him to us in habit as he lived, with an estimate of his labors
of the Order, the whole Fraternity will be grateful. So also George F.
"Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry" is one of the most
books in our literature.
Once more let
it be said that the pages of "The Builder"
are open to the Craft, of every rite and jurisdiction, inviting
discussion of every
aspect of Masonry – its history, philosophy, symbolism, ritual, and
Lectures, old documents, study programs, biographical sketches, any
kind of information
of value to the Craft in any of its activities, will be welcomed. No
one need hesitate
to offer any suggestion, for "The Builder" exists only to serve
and should there be any Brother who imagines that it has any other
motive than that
confessed in the Foreword, well, we have a sure way of dealing with
never to fail:
drew a circle that shut me out –
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in."
there was unveiled
in New York City a statue of Edwin Booth, erected in Gramercy Park,
near The Players,
the famous club founded by Booth. It was designed by E. T. Quinn – who
the bust of Edgar Allan Poe, in Poe Park – and shows the great actor in
attitude as Hamlet; the part which he was born to play, and in which
personality and art so blended that he did not merely act Hamlet, but
He revealed once more that great gentleman doing his gentlest, bravest
with a sad smile and a gay humor in a world not simply complicated,
and tiresome, but also ghostly. Booth was an ardent Mason, and he it
was who said
that of all great tragedies, the drama of the Third Degree of Masonry
in his mind as the simplest and most profound. His brethren everywhere
in this memorial, the more so for that the art of an actor dies with
A Poem of Moral Duties
Reg90 / auth. Regius Manuscript. - [s.l.] : Unknown, 1390. - p. 70. -
American Quarterly Review of
Freemasonry Vol. 1
Mac58 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : Robt. Macoy, 1858. - Vol. 1
: 2 : p. 605. - 4 Issues in one Volume - 44.0 MB.
American Quarterly Review of
Freemasonry Vol. 2
Mac59 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : Robt. Macoy, 1859. - Vol. 2
: 2 : p. 579. - 4 Issues in 1 Volume - 41.4 MB.
Freemasonry Before the
Existence of Grand Lodges
Vib10 / auth. Vibert Lionel. - London : Spencer & Co., 2010. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 163. - 0.5 MB.
Geschichte der Freimaurerei Vol 1
Fin61 / auth. Findel Joseph G. - Leipzig : Herman Luppe, 1861. - Vol. 1
: 2 : p. 465. - German - 20.7 MB.
Geschichte der Freimaurerei Vol 2
Fin611 / auth. Findel Joseph G. - Leipzig : Herman Luppe, 1861. - Vol.
2 : 2 : p. 391. - German - 20.8 MB.
History of Freemasonry
Fin66 / auth. Findel Joseph G. - London : Asher & Co., 1866. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 742. - Translated from the German - 17.8 MB.
Illustrations of Masonry
Pre72 / auth. Preston William. - London : Eidographic Reproduction
Publishing Co. 1887, 1772. - First Edition Facsimile : Vol. 1 : 1 : p.
295. - 5.2 MB.
Les87 / auth. Lessing Gotthold E / trans. Frothingham Ellen. - Boston :
Roberts Brothers, 1887. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 268. - 8.3 MB.
Nathan the Wise
Les79 / auth. Lessing Gotthold E / trans. Taylor William of Norwich. -
1779. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 195. - Formatted and Indexed from Project
Gutenberg File by rhm - 0.7 MB.
Ritual and Belief
Har14 / auth. Hartland Edwin S. - London : Williams and Norgate, 1914.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 365. - 16.4 MB.
St Paul and the Mystery
Ken13 / auth. Kennedy Harry A A. - New York : Hodder &
Stoughton, 1913. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 329. - 13.6 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 1
Gib13 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 1 : 6 : p.
373. - 2.8 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 2
Gib131 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 2 : 6 :
p. 395. - 2.9 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 3
Gib132 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 3 : 6 :
p. 339. - 2.5 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 4
Gib133 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 4 : 6 :
p. 364. - 2.7 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 5
Gib134 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 5 : 6 :
p. 350. - 2.6 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 6
Gib135 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 6 : 6 :
p. 324. - 2.5 MB.
The Education of the Human Race
Les80 / auth. Lessing Gotthold E. - London : Smith, Elder, and Co.,
1780. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 96. - 1.8 MB.
The Golden Bough
Fra221 / auth. Frazer James G. - [s.l.] : Project Gutenberg, 1922. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 664. - Formatted and Indexed from Project Gutenberg
File by rhm - 2.6 MB.
The Golden Bough Abridged
Fra25 / auth. Frazer James G. - New York : Macmillan Company, 1925. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 767. - 24.2 MB.
The Mysteries Pagen and
Che97 / auth. Cheetham Samuel. - London : MacMillan & Co., Ltd,
1897. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 204. - 4.3 MB.
The New Laokoon
Bab10 / auth. Babbitt Irving. - New York : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1910.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 271. - 8.5 MB.
The Origin of Species
Dar09 / auth. Darwin Charles. - New York : P. F. Collier & Son,
1909. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 561. - 20.9 MB.
The Symbolism of Freemasonry
Mac691 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : Clark and Maynard, 1869. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 372. - 14.2 MB.
The Symbolism of Freemasonry
Mac82 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : Clark and Maynard, 1882. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 365. - 18.2 MB.
The Symbolism of Freemasonry
Mac21 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - Chicaco Ill. : The Masonic History
Company, 1921. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 386. - Revised by Robert I. Clegg.