Masonic Research Society
How to Study Masonry
present the first installment of a symposium
intended to answer the question, so often asked by young Masons, How
man begin the study of Masonry, and where? The contributors to this
are competent Masonic students – some of them teachers of long
bring to our service their training and leadership – and it is hoped
young men will take advantage of so rare an opportunity. Several issues
Builder will be needed to complete the symposium, and we propose to
up, working out its suggestions specifically and in detail, the better
that it is practical and worthwhile. Of the various plans of study
any one of them may be adapted to local conditions or individual taste
habit, and the results obtained will depend of course, upon the
industry of the
student and the co-operation f the group engaged. Digests of particular
will be given – thanks to the Cincinnati Masonic School – in the form
questions, to provoke interest and inquiry, and at the close The
sum up the whole matter – and, if time permits, ye editor hopes to
syllabus with references and notes to guide the student and save him a
time and energy. Meantime, elsewhere in this issue, we offer certain
suggestions – speaking from long experience – as to the economy and
of time, which is a very important matter to busy men.)
The Field Of Study.
Pound, Harvard University.
knowledge seems to me to involve five points: (1)
Ritual; (2) History; (3) Philosophy; (4) Symbolism; (5) Jurisprudence.
we cannot insist too strongly that knowledge of the Ritual is the
all Masonic knowledge. The first thing which the student should do is
the work of the Craft degrees thoroughly. He will then be in a position
appreciate what he reads and to ask questions as he reads. As to
should recommend him to begin with Gould's Concise History [Lib 1904] [Lib 1951 revised]. I
of nothing so good. When he has read this, it will be time enough for
begin, if he has time, with the original sources of our information. If
more time, Gould's larger History [Lib 1882 (Jack
4] [Lib 1884 (Yorston
Edition) Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4] might be
read at the
philosophy it is quite impossible to refer to any
introduction. My suggestion would be that he read one of the ordinary
of philosophy, say, for instance, the English translation of
Windelband, [Lib 1899] and
perceive what the problems of philosophy are
with which Masonic philosophers also have been wrestling. He will then
be in a
position to read Preston's Illustrations [Lib 1867*], to
the American Fellow-Craft lecture, to read Oliver, and ultimately to
Pike's Morals and Dogma [Lib 1871]
understandingly. As to symbolism, I should recommend him to read Hutton
Webster's Primitive Secret Societies [Lib 1908], especially
those parts dealing with primitive initiatory rites and primitive
instruction; to follow that with some good modern textbook on
which he will perceive the psychological problems involved, and then to
Oliver's signs and Symbols [Lib 1837] and Pike's
Morals and Dogma for the purely Masonic side.
first edition of this book was
published in 1772. For students interested in the evolution of this
the Bibliography with eight earlier editions. - rhm
As to Masonic
Jurisprudence, I take it the first thing the
student has to do is to perceive the distinction between that
unwritten Constitution of Masonry which we call the Landmarks – an
very like the British Constitution – on the one hand, and what may be
the Common Law of Masonry – an institution very like our Anglo-American
law – and modern legislation in our several jurisdictions – an
like the legislation of the several States of the Union, on the other
he gets this notion well in mind, he can safely begin with Mackey's
Jurisprudence [Lib 1872], which he
should follow with the well-known report of the New Jersey committee on
subject of Landmarks and the admirable articles of Brother Moore in the
Age. (Vol. 15, pp 79, 177, 280, 381, 529, 622.)
student has gone as far as this, he will need no one
to tell him what more to do. He will have perceived the line in which
especially interested, and will be able to determine for himself what
do in that line. One bit of advice, however, may be given him at the
cannot do better than become a member of the correspondence circle of
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and in return he will receive the Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum which will keep him in touch with the best that is doing in
Block, Past Grand Master, Iowa.
indeed right when you say that the problem before us
is that of the Pedagogy of Masonry. That means the teaching of the
a great historical movement based upon the theory that man's real
only be secured by his meeting his fellows upon the great democratic
human brotherhood – not alone that each man should be his brother's
his defender, aider, helper, encourager, comforter, inspirer and lover
All this taught by means of the imagery and poetry of Masonry, and its
symbolism. We must not get lost in chasing some abstruse, abstract
off into the dim vistas of confusion and hazy nothingness, but must
close to the human appreciation of it all. Principles must be made to
the active life of persons, else they are but "too much of nothing."
Our study must keep step with a practice, a putting to present use,
efforts are in vain.
Nor must we
neglect to show that it is ideas that count, that
control the conduct of men; that if their ideas are not right their
cannot be. What we need is to get the right ideas clearly formulated,
heart, and deeply impressed upon the inner consciousness, so that they
inevitably find expression in our social life. That is the mission of
as I see it, – the building of these great ideas into the minds of men,
constantly holding them forth and everlastingly insisting that they
predominate, rule and prevail if men are ever to live together in peace
harmony, or enjoy real happiness.
How to do
this, that is the great question. How to make the
Craft feel that these ideas are no mere empty abstractions, but real,
living, actual realities, solid facts – that is the hard thing to do.
to get together the facts about Masonry – what it has done in the past
made it live down to this day on account of its real worth, the help it
been to man. Then we need to put them together into a story told in
such a way
that it will seize the attention and hold the interest of the student.
ability to make things interesting, to stir up a hunger for more light,
me, that is the whole secret of all education. You cannot force a
know, but you can win him to want to know for himself, and when you
that the victory is won! Just see how Lessing piques and whets this
his Ernst and Falk dialogues. He knew how. And right there is the great
power of all our secrecy and show of mystery – it makes the profane
find out. We must show the initiates how little they know, how much
mystery remains to be explored, investigated, analyzed.
Ask the Mason
why he has kept his membership. Has it helped
him? If so, just how and in what way? Fire a series of Socratic
him; make him think! If he got help in one thing, in one way, no doubt
get more. There is more there, if he will look for it - "seek
find." It is hard enough to teach men to see with the physical eye, let
alone teaching them the art of spiritual insight. But it can be taught,
developed, can be made to grow. Too much of our modern pedagogy is
than a dry, mechanical stuffing and cramming process. Children are made
memorize, to mimic, to imitate, to follow precedent and rule, and not
Whereas a real education is not pouring water into a cistern, but
opening up a
spring – educing what is in the mind, teaching it to test, build,
By Prof. F. W.
Shepardson, University of Chicago.
matter over, I believe that what is needed is a
Syllabus or outline modeled after the general style of what is called a
University Extension Syllabus. This would include a division of the
matter, say, of "The Builders: A Story and Study of Masonry," into
convenient study portions. For each of these divisions there should be
outline in Syllabus style. Then there should be references to books or
bearing on the subjects treated in that portion, and then at the end
should be perhaps a dozen questions or topics for review and discussion.
No doubt you
are familiar with the ordinary University
Extension Syllabus. These would not cost much and might be furnished to
at a reasonable price, or the Grand Lodge of Iowa might get them out
one included in each book sent out-following its arrangement of
copy of the book to each man made a Mason – or the Research Society
the Syllabus and thus meet the desires of readers at a distance. How
strike you? I think, carrying this suggestion a little further, that it
be possible to prepare a leaflet called "Suggestions to Leaders,"
designed for the guidance of the Master of a Lodge, or some individual
selected to lead. If you had these two leaflets, namely, the Syllabus
Suggestions, it would save a great amount of writing and would be quite
effective from the educational point of view. It occurs to me that
leaflets perhaps might be called Masonic Study Leaflets No. 1 and No.
the thought that other leaflets in the same style might be issued
this strikes you and I can co-operate with you in any way in getting
ready, I shall be delighted to do so.
and Well Qualified"
No. 87, of Seattle, Washington, has a custom
well worth considering by the Craft at large, its intent being to
far as possible, the internal qualifications of candidates for the
Also, it serves to induce in the mind of an applicant a sense of the
seriousness of the step he is about to take, and to obliterate every
the absurd idea that Masonry is a "goat-riding fraternity." After a
man has petitioned for the Degrees of the Lodge, the secretary sends
Preliminary statement reproduced below for his consideration. His first
knowledge of its existence is when he receives it in the mail, and
arouses some thought. If he applies, as occasionally one does, for
in formulating his reply, he is told that none can be given; that it is
to study and make his own reply, whatever that may be. After the reply
received, the petition is presented to the Lodge and follows the usual
In no case is the Statement sent to any man prior to his petitioning
as that would be regarded as an improper use of it. The statement here
expressed a wish to become a Freemason. Before going
further we deem it essential to meet you with candor and courteously
your careful consideration of this Preliminary statement and certain
Masonry is a
universal system of morality to which all good
men may subscribe. Its teachings are based upon belief in the existence
the immortality of the soul and the brotherhood of man. While
with deep reverence the eternal and all-powerful Creator, it places no
restrictions upon a man's religious or political opinions, striving to
all men as brothers and to free them from darkness and error. Indeed,
and philosophic instructions are drawn from Truth itself and harmonize
highest and best that are to be found in every religion which makes for
enlightenment of mankind.
realization of your desire to become a part of this
Fraternity will depend upon the judgment of the members as to whether
suitable material for the Order and whether the Order is suitable for
will, therefore, be their duty – in case your petition is presented to
Lodge – to institute diligent inquiries about you; after which a vote
will be taken, wherein a single negative will preclude your admission.
yourself, therefore, and see whether you can answer the expectations of
Order; and above all, endeavor to settle clearly and honestly in your
the motives which lead you to seek our society. The following will
facilitate this self-examination and to guard both you and ourselves
Do you expect
becoming a member to obtain any outward advantage relative to your
a citizen and as an individual? If so, you will be disappointed.
present convictions prevent you from disregarding distinctions which
has made between individuals, as to their station, wealth, religious
politics, etc.? If so, relinquish the idea of becoming a Freemason, as
notice is taken of those discriminations in our meetings.
believe that we advocate a civil relation that is chimerical or a
equality neither good nor practical, then you should reconsider your
to join us because with such views you would not suit our Order.
for honors, and desire to enlarge the circle of your social
not suitable motives for seeking admission into Freemasonry.
To those who
voluntary knock at its doors and whose character, motives and daily
in harmony with its high ideals, the Temples of the Order are open. To
and perpetuate its teachings, every initiate is required to make vows
most inviolable secrecy as to its rites and ceremonies. These
obligations in no
wise conflict with the duties he owes to God, humanity, the country of
is a citizen, the community in which he lives, or himself.
Order, as has already been said, consists of men of all classes and
circumstances, you might perhaps find someone among us with whom you
or are at variance. Therefore, determine to your own satisfaction,
will be strong and charitable enough to acknowledge such a man as your
attended with some necessary expense, which we require to be promptly
punctually paid, that our good works may not suffer for want thereof.
amount you can readily ascertain (by reference to our By-Laws), and you
give this due attention.
We trust you
will consider these statements in the same
spirit of honesty and friendship in which they have been presented. It
the utmost importance to you as well as to the Fraternity that the
ideals governing your daily life be in substantial accord therewith. A
and voluntary expression of your views, together with any explanations
wish to make regarding these or other matters, is desired and will
careful, sincere and conscientious attention.
this paper with your communication to the
Secretary of the Lodge on or before..........................
petitioner has been elected, the secretary of the
Lodge sends him notice to that effect, in the following letter, which
something further to think about while waiting Initiation.
It affords me
pleasure to inform you that you have been duly
elected to receive the degrees of Masonry and become a member of this
Initiation, in accordance with your petition. As soon as the exact date
been set for conferring the first, or Entered Apprentice Degree, you
will be informed.
Meanwhile, you may reflect with much profit upon the step you are about
take, and the motives which prompt you to seek admission into an
inspired by the pure principles of Truth and Benevolence, the
allegories of which are intended as useful Moral lessons, illustrative
and Truth to the mind of him who seeks to enter – lessons to be
life's fondest memories.
The Philosophy of Masonry
Pound, Professor of Jurisprudence in Harvard
Delivered under the Auspices of the Grand
Master of Massachusetts Masonic Temple, Boston
IV – Pike
WE come now
to a radically different type of Masonic
philosophy. To Preston Masonry is a traditional system of knowledge and
is to impart knowledge. Hence he thinks of the relation of Masonry to
education. To Krause it is organized morals and its end is to put
mankind behind the universal moral ideas of humanity. Hence he thinks
relation of Masonry to law and government. To Oliver it is a mode of
to God and its end is to bring us to the Absolute by means of a pure
Hence he thinks of the relation of Masonry to religion. Pike gives us
metaphysic of Masonry. To him Masonry is a mode of studying first
and its end is to reveal and to give us possession of the universal
by which we may master the universe. Hence he thinks of the relation of
to the fundamental problems of existence. In part this view was
one who thought and wrote in a country under the influence of the
transcendental philosophy. In part also it was to be expected in a
member of a
profession whose philosophical ideas, so far as its leaders held any at
were thoroughly Hegelian. In part it grew out of Pike's wide reading in
philosophical writings of antiquity and his bent for mysticism. Thus
philosophy of Masonry is a product of the man and of the time and we
first at each of these in order to treat it intelligently.
1. The man.
was born in Boston, December 29, 1809. His
parents were poor. He was educated in the public schools in Boston and
interesting to know as a means of comparing those days with these that,
although he passed the examinations for admission to Harvard College,
unable to enter because in those days the requirement was that two
tuition be paid in advance or secured by bond. He became a school
taught in country schools in Massachusetts from 1825 to 1831. In 1831
west and joined a trading party from St. Louis to Santa Fe. Santa Fe
in Mexico and the journey at that time was a perilous one through a
inhabited only by Indians. On his, return he traversed the Staked
the Indian Territory and settled finally at Van Buren in Arkansas where
opened a school.
At that time
political feeling in Arkansas was very bitter.
The territory was divided between the Conway party who were politically
democrats and in truth were a sort of clan as well, and the Crittenden
who were Whigs politically but were in truth more a personal faction
political party. Bloodshed was frequent and in many respects there was
between the factions quite as much as a political rivalry. The early
of this era of feud and private war on the frontier is worth
connection with many things in Pike's lectures upon Masonry. Pike was a
and as such published in the Whig organ at Little Rock some articles of
force as to attract general attention. Accordingly Crittend, the Whig
sought out Pike in his country school-room and induced him to go to
as one of the editors of the party organ. This was his opportunity and
improved it to the full by studying law while, also at work upon the
1834 he was admitted to the bar and he rose rapidly to the first rank
profession in Arkansas. Among his earlier achievements was the
the first revision of the statutes of that state. The book does not
name but contemporary accounts tell us that he had the chief part in
it. By general consent it is a model of what such a work should be.
outbreak of the Mexican war Pike entered the service
and was in action at Buena Vista. His courage, proved already in the
conflicts of territorial days, was again shown in events that grew out
campaign in Mexico. Pike felt it his duty to criticize the military
Governor Roane and as a result was compelled to fight a duel. The duel
place over the line in the Indian Territory. Happily it was bloodless
in reconciliation. There is good reason to suspect that some traces of
experience are to be seen in his lectures.
From 1853 to
1857 Pike practiced law in New Orleans. Thus he
was led to make a diligent and characteristically thorough study of
the basis of the French law which obtained then, as it does now, in
In 1857 he returned to Arkansas and afterward sat upon the supreme
that state. At the outbreak of the Civil War he cast his lot with the
he had great influence with the Indians he was sent to raise a force in
Indian Territory. In this work he was vigorous and untiring. But his
could not make obedient or efficient soldiers out of the large force
was able to raise. Some of the doings of this force have left a stain
memory, which, according to the best authorities obtainable, seems to
undeserved. In truth his experience was not very different from that of
British officers during the Revolution and during the War of 1812 who
make military use of Indian allies. In any event the project failed.
experience also has left more than one trace in his Masonic lectures.
Civil War he practiced law for a time in Memphis. In 1868 he went to
Alexandria, Virginia, and in 1870 moved across the river to Washington
practiced law for twenty-one years. He died in 1891.
was a man of the widest and most varied learning.
He was a strong and successful common-law lawyer. He had studied the
to good purpose and left a manuscript of a three-volume book upon the
principles of the Roman law which is now in the library of the Supreme
the United States. But he had many scholarly interests outside of his
profession. He left among his papers a manuscript translation of the
Avesta and of the Rig Veda in twenty-two large volumes copiously
Moreover he made some mark as a poet. Some of his poems, particularly a
striking one upon the battle of Buena Vista, are still to be found in
readers and his verses were formerly much in vogue. Reviewing his
record for a moment, we see a man born and educated in New England, a
in the southwest in its frontier period, a soldier in two wars, a
lawyer under each of the two great systems of modern law, for a season
a supreme court and withal, though largely self-educated, a man of
culture who, along with a treatise upon the principles of Roman law
immediately upon his profession, could write verse of some merit and
himself in the translation of the great books of Oriental philosophy
But the field
of Pike's most fruitful labors was Masonry. His
career as a Mason is too recent and his standing as a Masonic scholar
well-known to all of you to call for any statement in this place. But I
remind you that he became Sovereign Grand Commander of the southern
jurisdiction in the Scottish Rite in 1859 and devoted the remaining
years of his life in continually increasing measure to the work of that
Excepting Krause no mind of equal caliber has been employed upon the
of Masonry. And Krause, great scholar and philosopher as he was, had
in the cultured serenity of German university towns whereas Pike had
staid Boston and turbulent territorial Arkansas, had been compelled by
public opinion to fight in a duel, had fought in two wars and had
Indians. Moreover, Krause's Masonic experience was negligible in
with that of this veteran of American Masonry. Accordingly we need not
to pronounce Albert Pike by far the best qualified by nature,
life, Masonic experience and Masonic learning of those who have thought
the problems of Masonic philosophy.
2. Now as to
earlier part of his career, Pike was brought into
contact with the eighteenth-century political philosophy which became
in American political thought because it was the philosophy of the
our constitutions and bills of rights and entered into the framework of
institutions in their formative period. Also in this part of his
career, in his
study of law, he came in contact with the eighteenth-century legal
of the American common-law lawyer. In the latter part of his career, in
wide philosophical studies, he was brought into contact with the
metaphysical method of the nineteenth century, with the conception of
Absolute, which governed in English philosophical writing, and with the
of unifying all things by reference to some basic absolute principle
prevailed down to the new century. This same period saw the general
materialism in the wake of decay of dogma and the triumphant advance of
natural sciences, and this movement so far affected his thought as to
by way of reaction, to mysticism. Indeed a mystic element is to be
uncommonly in thorough-going idealists. For example the leader of the
school that builds on Hegel's philosophy has been reproved for dragging
mysticism into so prosaic a subject as the philosophy of law. But
made by nature, and nature made Pike one of the greatest of them. Hence
be confident that reaction from materialism merely accentuated an
in any event would have been prominent in his thinking and writing.
Each of the
four points of contact with American thought in the nineteenth century
a moment's consideration.
political philosophy in the first half of the
nineteenth century was a compound of English law and French
to the Revolution in the Declaration of Rights of the Continental
colonists had relied upon the common-law rights of Englishmen as
English lawyers and English judges against the Stuart kings in the
century. But the Declaration of Independence relied instead upon the
rights of man, a supposed body of universal, eternal, inalienable
deduced by reason from the nature of man in the abstract. Under the
of English thinkers of the seventeenth century and of the Continental
philosophy of law in the period after Grotius, the French writers of
eighteenth century had developed this theory of natural rights to a
degree, and the founders of our government were deeply read in their
But they were also deeply read in Blackstone and in Coke, the oracle of
law. Naturally they combined the general theory of the French
the concrete details of the English lawyers and came to hold that the
common-law rights of Englishmen found in their law books were the
of man found in their French political philosophy. Hence in our bills
they laid down the former section by section and enacted them in fixed
precise rules on the authority of the latter. This had important
for the American legal philosophy which Pike absorbed in the formative
of his study for the bar.
contests between the English judges and the Stuart
kings the judges had claimed to stand between the rights and liberties
individual Englishman and arbitrary oppressive action on the part of
When we took over the theory of eternal, inalienable natural rights and
combined it with the theory of the English lawyers, the result was a
that law stands and must stand between the individual on the one hand
and society on the other hand and that its function is to secure the
in his natural rights against the aggressions and oppressions of
society. This idea of the mediating function of law, as a reconciling
of the individual
and the whole, which the lawyer of the last century took for the first
of his creed, is to be seen throughout Pike's lectures and lent itself
to his generalization of equilibrium or balance as the Ultimate
Reality. For if
law was a mediation, a harmonizing, a reconciling, and the universe was
governed by law, the fundamental principle of the universe was the
harmonizing which he called equilibrium.
When, in his
later studies, Pike came upon the metaphysical
method of nineteenth-century philosophers, it was easy to confirm the
which his acquaintance with the classical American political and legal
philosophy and his reading of French Masonic writers of the eighteenth
had led him. For the generation that followed Hegel sought to explain
universe as the realization of an idea. History was the unfolding of
in human experience. Philosophy was a logical unfolding of the same
the quest was for the one fundamental idea of which the seemingly
of the phenomenal world was but a manifestation. Hence the task of the
philosopher was to unite and reconcile all differences in the Absolute
reached through this idea. Traces of the transition from the legal and
political analogy to this metaphysical foundation may be seen here and
those parts of Morals and Dogma [Lib 1871] which, we
suspect, remained in their earlier forms despite his repeated and
In his later
studies Pike was also compelled to take account
of the materialism which held its head so high and with "a mouth
great things" grew so confidently dogmatic during the last third of his
life. If Pike, who was naturally a mystic, seems sometimes to rely on
more than on reason, to put faith, which is self-justifying, at the
knowledge, to find a reality in the occult, and to show a conviction of
relation of the symbol to the thing symbolized, in contrast with the
metaphysic of the lectures where he argues and demonstrates instead of
prophesying, we must consider the impatience of an idealist and a
the mechanical universe of the positivists and the economic ethics and
belly-philosophy of the materialists which a new generation was
3. Let us
turn now to Pike's
Pike did not
leave us any compendium of his philosophical
views. Hence we cannot, as in the case of Oliver, apprehend them at a
from a concise exposition. The student of Pike's Masonic philosophy
and study the teeming pages of Morals and Dogma. After reading and
the system of philosophy expounded will make itself felt. But it is
impossible for the reader to put his finger upon this sentence or that
here is Pike's philosophy in a nut-shell. For the first thing to bear
in reading Morals and Dogma is that we must discriminate closely
is really Pike and what is not.
Indeed he has
told us this himself.
this work, the Grand Commander has been
about equally Author and Compiler; since he has extracted quite half
contents from the works of the best writers and most philosophic or
thinkers. Perhaps it would have been better and more acceptable, if he
extracted more and written less.
perhaps half of it is his own; and, in
incorporating here the thoughts and words of others, he has continually
and added to the language, often intermingling, in the same sentences,
his own words
measure the author is unjust to himself in this
statement. In a sense the book is all his own. He read and digested
He assimilated it. He made it part of himself and worked it into his
But for this very reason texts from Pike and excerpts from Morals and
more than usually deceptive. We may fasten almost any philosophical
him if we proceed in this way. We may refute almost any page by any
if we look simply at the surface and do not distinguish matter which he
adapting or is making use of to illustrate the development of thought
subject from dogmatic statements of his philosophy. Morals and Dogma
read and interpreted as a unit. As Immanuel Kant said of his own
is a book to think through not merely to read through.
contributions of the first moment to Masonic science
deserve to be noted before taking up Pike's philosophy of Masonry in
the first place Pike was the apostle of liberty of interpretation. He
in season and out of season that no infallible authority speaking ex
could bind the individual Mason to this or that interpretation of the
traditional symbols of the Craft. He taught that the individual Mason
receiving a pre-digested Masonry ladled out to him by another should
own Masonry for himself by study and reflection upon the work and the
Thus he stood for thorough going individual Masonic development. He
stood for a
Masonry built up within each Mason by himself and for himself on the
foundation of internal conviction. This Masonic Protestantism, as it
be called, is especially interesting in one who was so thoroughly
French writings upon Masonry. Secondly he gave us a genuine
the symbols which came into Masonry through the hermetic philosophers.
Hutchinson and Preston and even Oliver in many cases did not understand
symbols at all. Indeed Preston was much less interested in what they
were than in how they might be made instruments of education in his
place. Accordingly Preston and Oliver gave currency to inadequate and
ignorant explanations of ancient symbols. Pike studied their history
development. He mastered their spirit and perceived their place in the
evolution of human thinking. Hence he was able to replace the crude
of the end of the eighteenth century by a real science of Masonic
the third place not only did he interpret our symbols but he enriched
symbolism of the Craft from a profound acquaintance with the ancient
literature of symbolism and mysticism. Thus he made us aware that the
of Masonic symbols is but part of a much wider subject, that it is not
and that the serious Masonic Student has much more to study than he can
within the covers of an exclusively Masonic library.
I can do no
more than give you a key to what I conceive to be
Pike's philosophy of Masonry. Perhaps the first point to make is that
nineteenth-century America philosophy was regarded, under the influence
Herbert Spencer, as the unification of knowledge. Moreover the
method of the first half of the nineteenth century, when Pike's ideas
formative, was to endeavor to explain everything in a "speculative,
metaphysical way by a spiritual, logical principle." But it so happened
that all antiquity had been making a like search for the One but for a
different sort of One. The earlier Greek philosophers sought a single
to which the whole universe might be reduced. The Ionian philosophers
find such elements in air or fire or water or, as one of them put it,
primordial slime." Oriental thinkers had usually sought an absolute
which was to be the key of all things. Others among the ancients had
absolute principle. With vast labor Pike brings together all that
Oriental peoples thought and wrote and all that mystics have since
written with the ideas of the Orient and of antiquity as a basis and
foundation he sets forth to work out a system of his own.
with a triad. This is suggested by the ancient
conception of the number three as the symbol of completion or
singular, the dual and the plural, the odd and even added, was thought
of as a
complete system of numbers. Hence the number three was perfection in
simplest form; it was the type or the symbol of perfection. He finds a
everywhere in ancient thought and in every system of the occult and in
mystic philosophy. He finds it also in all Masonic symbolism and from
end in our lectures. Accordingly he seeks to show that in its
triad is at all times and in all its forms the same triad. Wisdom,
beauty; intelligence, force, harmony; reason, will, action; morals,
order; faith, hope, charity; equality, liberty, fraternity – all these
are the same triad in various forms. There is a fruitful passive
which is energized and made productive by an active, creative principle
there is a product. As he shows, Osiris, Isis and Horus symbolize this
Egyptians and he traces the same reduction of the universe to these
through every type of ancient mystery and all mystic speculation. In
Dogma he makes all manner of application of this idea to politics, to
and to religion. He carries it into every type of human spiritual
gives the most copious and learned illustrations.
But this of
itself would be barren and would end in
pluralism. Accordingly he conceives that these three things are
better, are manifestations of the Absolute. This idea again he subjects
test of application to all that has been thought and written by mystics
his time. We find a unity in the Absolute. But how do we unify the
the infinite manifestations of the Absolute in our experience? Is there
some one principle? Pike says there is and that this unifying principle
equilibrium or balance. The result of the action of creative, active
productive, passive receptivity is in the end a harmony, a balance, an
equilibrium. He then applies this idea of equilibrium to every field of
thought. One example will suffice.
"It is the
Secret of the Universal Equilibrium: – "Of
that Equilibrium in the Deity, between the Infinite Divine Wisdom and
Infinite Divine Power, from which result the Stability of the Universe,
unchangeableness of the Divine Law, and the Principles of Truth,
Right which are a part of it; …
Equilibrium also, between the Infinite Divine
Justice and the Infinite Divine Mercy, the result of which is the
Divine Equity, and the Moral Harmony or Beauty of the Universe. By it
endurance of created and imperfect natures in the presence of a Perfect
is made possible;
Equilibrium between Necessity and Liberty,
between the action of the Divine Omnipotence and the Free-will of man,
vices and base actions, and ungenerous thoughts and words are crimes
wrongs, justly punished by the law of cause and consequence, though
the Universe can happen or be done contrary to the will of God; and
which co-existence of Liberty and Necessity, of Freewill in the
Omnipotence in the Creator, there could be no religion, nor any law of
and wrong, or merit and demerit, nor any justice in human punishments
Equilibrium between Good and Evil, and Light
and Darkness in the world, which assures us that all is the work of the
Infinite Wisdom and of an Infinite Love; and that there is no
of Evil, or Principle of Darkness co-existent and in eternal
God, or the Principle of Light and of Good: by attaining to the
which equilibrium we can, through Faith, see that the existence of
Suffering, and Sorrow in the world, is consistent with the Infinite
well as with the Infinite Wisdom of the Almighty.
Antipathy, Attraction and Repulsion, each
a Force of nature, are contraries, in the souls of men and in the
spheres and worlds; and from the action and opposition of each against
other, result Harmony, and that movement which is the Life of the
the Soul alike...
Equilibrium between Authority and Individual
Action which constitutes Free Government, by settling on immutable
Liberty with Obedience to Law, Equality with Subjection to Authority,
Fraternity with Subordination to the wisest and the Best: and of that
Equilibrium between the Active Energy of the Will of the Present,
the Vote of the People, and the Passive Stability and Permanence of the
the Past, expressed in constitutions of government, written or
in the laws and customs, gray with age and sanctified by time, as
finally, of that Equilibrium, possible in
ourselves, and which Masonry incessantly labors to accomplish in its
and demands of its Adepts and Princes (else unworthy of their titles),
the Spiritual and Divine and the Material and Human in man; between the
Intellect, Reason, and Moral Sense on one side, and the Appetites and
on the other, from which result the Harmony and Beauty of a
Well, we have
got our idea of equilibrium and the profane
will say: What of it? Pike would answer that this universal unifying
is the light of which all men in all ages have been in search, the
we seek as Masons. Hence we get our answers to the fundamental problems
What is the
end of Masonry?
What is the
purpose for which it exists? Pike would answer:
the immediate end is the pursuit of light. But light means here
the fundamental principle of the universe and bringing of ourselves
harmony, the ultimate unity which alone is real. Hence the ultimate end
lead us to the Absolute – interpreted by our individual creed if we
recognized as the final unity into which all things merge and with
which in the
end all things must accord. You will see here at once a purely
version of what, with Oliver, was purely religious.
What is the
relation of Masonry to other human
institutions and particularly to the state and to religion?
answer it seeks to interpret them to us, to make
them more vital for us, to make them more efficacious for their
showing the ultimate reality of which they are manifestations. It
that there is but one Absolute and that everything short of that
relative; is but a manifestation, so that creeds and dogmas, political
religious, are but interpretations. It teaches us to make our own
interpretation for ourselves. It teaches us to save ourselves by
ourselves the ultimate principle by which we shall come to the real. In
words, it is the universal institution of which other spiritual, moral
social institutions are local and temporary phases.
Masonry seek to reach these ends?
He would say
by a system of allegories and of symbols handed
down from antiquity which we are to study and upon which we are to
until they reveal the light to each of us individually. Masonry
symbols and acts out these allegories for us. But the responsibility of
reaching the real through them is upon each of us. Each of us has the
using this wonderful heritage from antiquity for himself. Masonry in
view does not offer us predigested food. It offers us a wholesome fare
must digest for ourselves. But what a feast! It is nothing less than
history of human search for reality. And through it he conceives,
mastery of it, we shall master the universe.
Charge Given to the Candidate by His
Candidate Had Received the "Third
MY SON –
Tonight you become a member of an order – not only
of friends but of brothers. In your after-life as you master its
experience its good influences, you will have a great mental growth.
fosters only the right doers; its principles, its
teachings, its mysteries – all tend to the elevation of man.
maturity to the good character, and character
may be likened to a universal bank; The deposits that are made in the
character bear an eternal interest; no thief can steal them, no panic
The life of
him who is pure, just, honorable and noble, finds
within the tenets of Masonry loyal protection "from the evil intentions
that you will be true and faithful to the
teachings of Masonry, and we trust that you will so live that your
your actions will be such as to brighten the memory of all the good men
have stood where you and I now stand – amid friends and amid brothers.
You are the
son of a Mason who reveres Masonry's teachings
and stands uncovered in the presence of its sublime mysteries.
If you will
have your conduct in harmony with the principles
of Masonry, you will aid my remaining years, to pass in peaceful
You are not
only my SON but you are also my BROTHER; and
believing that you will always prove yourself as being worthy of having
this evening, "raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason," I
hope to be steadied by your arm as my SON and as my BROTHER when I
the journey whose goal is the realm of silence.
Lyons Lodge, Number Ninety-Three, Lyons, Iowa
Pike, the Patriot
following extracts from
the unpublished writings of Albert Pike, made by his daughter, are
timely in view of the growing agitation in behalf of a more adequate
defense. It is one thing to prepare for war, and another and wiser
prepare for peace, and it was the latter which Pike had in mind. His
reveal a noble patriotic faith in the future of the Republic, with
united a like vivid faith in the world-conquering spirit of Masonry.)
whether we have an adequate national defense has
been answered in the negative by those best qualified to speak with
the highest officers of the army and navy; and their dictum has not
disputed by any military expert. When they assert that we have no
defense, they mean, not only great lack of soldiers, but of nearly all
munitions such as are in use now by other nations, and more especially
craft, whether sea craft or airships.
If the allies
all combined are scarcely able to withstand the
impact of the Germans and their allies, how could we cope with even one
those nations? Yet we, who are said to be the richest nation in the
haggling over appropriations for a much smaller force and very much
supplies of armaments and munitions than even one of the smaller
I cannot understand is, how an American can say
that all wars are wicked, since we exist as a free nation only by
virtue of the
War of the Revolution: nor indeed, how he can condemn any war that ever
been waged by the United States.
greatest inspiration was derived from my father, I
bring to my support some utterances which I have culled from his
which show very plainly what his views would be in this present crisis,
were alive today. His words would appeal to all patriots, therefore
to appeal to all true Masons.
United states has by express grant the power to
declare and wage war and to make peace, I find no difficulty in holding
may by treaty of peace extend its frontier by the acquisition of new
in order to protect itself by a line more easily defended; or may
islands in the ocean to serve it as outposts and fortresses. If, in
it finds within its territorial limits large masses of people unfit for
self-government, I think it perfectly competent for it to govern them
legislate for them as provincials. I should have thought that nothing
more clearly within its powers than the acquisition of Louisiana and of
mouth of the Mississippi, or the purchase of California and the Pacific
I see no objection to the purchase of the Isthmus between the two
and of any or all of the West India islands, and no reason why it may
colonies as well as any other nation. All such powers were certainly
by each state, and as certainly they do not possess them now, and they
reserved to the people.
"So, again, I
think that it has the power to impose a
tariff on particular articles of manufacture or production, when a
home supply of those articles is necessary to our safety and success in
war; and that it may do this in peace, in order to provide for a state
just as it may raise, equip, arm, and keep on foot an army and navy in
peace, in order to be at all times prepared for war."
"By way of
provision for the national defense in case of
war, I do not doubt it may in time of peace build military roads for
conveyance of troops and munitions of war, as well across as outside of
states, and even beyond its own territory, nor that it may, to secure
speed of movement, and facility and cheapness of transportation, lay
of iron upon the road so constructed. I do not see why it may not as
that as build a frigate in advance.
"When it was
reported that British vessels had fired
upon and insulted our flag in the Gulf of Mexico, it was seen how
the nation had but one heart and one soul, notwithstanding its petty
and squabbles. None anywhere paused to ask from what ports, north or
vessels sailed, but one outcry of indignation was heard, from the
the Sabine, at the insult and indignity offered our flag, * * * but
hostile hand approaches that flag to desecrate it, every heart in the
will rally to it, and every hand be raised to defend it."
Fathers did not mean that we should be one
nation, they should never have adopted a national flag, for, I think,
served under that flag in the sunny land of Mexico, or on the ocean,
not feel with a conviction more potent than all the arguments and logic
statesmen could produce, that we are one nation, in name, fame and
did not feel that our national motto: 'E Pluribus Unum' – ONE, made up
– was a true definition of the nature of our government: the manifold
into one – Oneness grown out of the manifold: who did not proudly exult
greatness and glory of that one country, and answer cheerily to the
Yankee, in whatever corner of the Republic he had chanced to be born.
American, I think, ever saw that glorious flag in a foreign port,
the masthead of even the most insignificant vessel, without a thrill of
excitement and exultation and gladness at the sight – without stepping
more haughtily and firmly at the thought of his country across the
flag makes us one nation. No matter whether it was so intended or not;
inevitably it is felt to be so, and every war we pass through renders
feeling more irresistible.
is fast arriving at colossal greatness,
and the shadow of her power already reaches the shores of Europe, of
steam and the Telegraph are fast making her a part. We are beginning to
our right, while denying our inclination, to interfere in the affairs
Continent: and there are many possible contingencies in which we might
compelled to do so. In a long continued conflict among the great Powers
Europe, such as seems now approaching, we shall find it difficult to
States considers as settled, so far as it is
concerned, certain principles as to neutrality, claimed by it to form a
the international law, which the greatest Maritime Powers of Europe
of itself, would soon push us into a war, perhaps with two or three
should not recede from the positions we have
deliberately assumed in the face of the world. Having announced those
principles as, in our judgment, settled, we should not yield them up to
On that there would not be a dissenting vote in America. To recede is
dishonored, and to invite new aggression. And, if these principles can
other way be written on the pages of the great book of the law of
must be written there in blood, amid the thunder of Republican guns.
sounds strangely now, I know; but once it
was held to be the noblest fortune that could befall a man, to die for
country; and then were men capable of great and lofty deeds. Once the
sentiment, 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori,' was not bombast, but
expression of a living truth.
"To toil, to
incur hazard, to die, for one's country,
without hope of pay or reward, is the noblest aspiration and ambition
grateful to those who have served it, ought to
see to it that they or their widows and children do not languish and
penury and destitution."
"So may our
Order grow and expand, till many a nation stands within the great
circle of its
we are gathered to our fathers, and our
names have ceased to be remembered on this earth and our bones have
a little dust, and the flowers have bloomed and faded upon our graves
thousand years, will come the noonday of our Order.
Union of these states still unbroken, and as
dear to our descendants as it now is to us – no column of the great
Liberty fallen to decay or shattered by the rude hand of violence or
flag of the Union, 'one and indivisible,' floating over a nation
Imperial Rome – then will our Order have made the circle of the Globe
planted her Colonies in every country and on all the islands of the
will her tents whiten ten thousand plains, gleam on the green shoulders
hills, and cast down their peaceful shadows upon the clear running
then will millions of Brothers, speaking many a tongue, meet and
peace and harmony, and the Destiny of the Order be fulfilled: and then,
the people of the Great Republic have added many a new star to the
flag that ever flew with or against the wind, and the millions of its
are counted not by scores, but by hundreds, then shall our remote
gazing back through the long aisles of the receding years, thank us,
forefathers, first and chiefly of all, that when the storm roared and
blew, and the temple of our freedom and our Union quivered to its deep
foundations, we shrank not from the bitter anger of the elements, but
for them, and handed down unimpaired, the blessings of that freedom and
Union, God's inestimable gift to our forefathers: and next, that we
instrumental in enlarging the bonds and perpetuating the existence of
which, gaining strength by time, will have proved a blessing to the
second only to the truths of religion and the rich inheritance of
Hysteria in Freemasonry
Bro. Wm. F.
Kuhn, P. G. H. P. (Missouri)
THERE is a
certain mental condition, as set forth frequently
in our Masonic literature, especially in that great forum, the Masonic
that gives strong evidence of what may be termed Hysteria. It has not
to that solidarity that we can characterize it as hysterical
has such a spasmodic, fantastic and grotesque manifestation, that the
hysteria in Freemasonry is more suggestive, and at the same time
fraternity of the onus of the disease and places it on the individual.
must not be held responsible for it, either by
heredity or by environment; it is purely an exotic growth. Hysteria has
defined as, "Repressed Desire"; hence it is purely a mental state. We
find hysteria in medicine, in religion, in law, in Pedagogics, in
in fact it abounds in all systems of thought. It should not, therefore,
thought strange that this mental quirk, this cerebration cut on the
should manifest itself in Freemasonry. The disease is not contagious in
accepted sense of the word, but it is transmitted by mimicry. If a
to town and the boys succeed in attending it, the barns and woodsheds
filled for months, thereafter, by embryo rope walkers, contortionists
back riders. A transmission by imitation. It is equally true in
let someone expound something that looks, tastes, smells and sounds
imitators will spring up from all quarters. The more incomprehensible
seeming profundity, the greater the number of gymnasts in the Masonic
woodsheds. I have always believed that Freemasonry was a very practical
a something that manifests itself, chiefly, in a man's life; that it is
and not a theory; practical living and doing, not dreaming and
That it was a beautiful, everyday, practical system of morality veiled
allegory, and illustrated by symbols; not veiled to confuse or hide,
make plain; not buried in symbols to obscure, but to fix indelibly some
possibly homely, truth. I have believed that the allegory and the
Freemasonry stood in the same relation to the candidate that the
the "Great Teacher" stood in relation to the multitudes who heard
Him. The allegory, the symbol and the parable are but different modes
expression to make clear the thought. But now comes the Masonic
the Masonic Symbologist with eyes in fiery frenzy rolling, actuated and
influenced by this "Repressed desire" and says: "It is all a
mistake, Freemasonry is not such a simple thing, as everyday living and
no it is a sublime, profound system of metaphysics, that only the
Ancient wise men
understood and could explain; a philosophy so obtuse that the average
and, possible, a Past Grand Master, is a mere babe and suckling in the
comprehension of it. I once met a man in a lunatic asylum, who came to
crude geometrical figures of a sphere, a cube, an equilateral triangle,
right angle triangle, drawn on the bottom of a paste board box. He
me that the three sides of the equilateral triangle represented the
forces of Nature, namely, the upsideness, the downsideness and the
downupsideness or the upsidedownness; as long as the upsideness and
downsideness maintain their proper relation and were greater in power
third side represented by the downupsideness or the upsidedownness,
would be harmonious; but should these three great forces ever become
so as to form a right angle triangle, so that the square of the
or the upsidedownness becomes equal to the sum of the squares of the
and downsideness, then chaos and evil would reign, and as the cube,
representing the universe, consists of many right angle triangles,
be an endless disturbance in the cosmogony of the world. I admired his
learning and profundity, and I was mere suckling to his theme and
advised him to write it out in full and that I would give him the names
several Masonic papers which would be more than delighted to publish
man had been judged insane, he was not a hysteric.
hysteric is a man with a wild imagination plus a
symbol. The beauty about a symbol, is its flexibility; you can see more
in it and through it than were ever dreamed of by mortal man, and no
say to you, nay. It is said that a Masonic hysteric one day saw some
tracks in the snow and he immediately began to demonstrate the fact
rabbit had a working knowledge of the Omniscience, Omnipresence and
of Deity, because the tracks were triangular in outline.
What I may
have said may sound jestingly, but we need not go
far to see the convulsions of these hysterics. I quote one from a
Masonic Journal; listen to its profundity: – "Therefore when we
the profound truths, marvelous philosophy, and exact sciences upon
Freemasonry is founded, and which bear the ear marks of centuries of
research, such as the careful observer must admit is contained in the
must banish for all time the thought that the Craft was founded by any
than Masters of the Great School of Natural Science and Philosophy who
permitted it to be known to the profane that the Guild or Craft was one
operative Masons, for the purpose only to hide the real truths and its
object from those hostile to the institution. This object was and has
been for centuries
to give to the human race TRUTH concerning the creation of the universe
continuity of life after death, the immortality of the soul, and the
which exists between this planet and the inhabitants of the whole
These truths are founded upon exact science, demonstrable by the Master
possession of the knowledge, the whole being figured out on geometrical
Naturally this truth would come in conflict with orthodox and dogmatic
claim is, that Freemasonry did not spring from the
operative Mason and the history of such an ancestry was used merely as
behind which the Masters of the Great School of Natural Science and
hid themselves from hostile foes. No one will deny that the so called
philosophy was engrafted into Masonry with the evolution of the Royal
Many of the symbols and emblems in the Lodge Ritual were added during
period of Ritualistic development by Clare, Dunkerly, Hutchinson and
but to claim that the Great Masters stole the livery of the Operative
a mask through fear of hostility is absurd and unworthy of
it is to be regretted that the simple philosophy of right living should
perverted into an occult science and paraded as Masonic.
But the sum
and substance of this "Repressed
desire" is, that Freemasonry is a science plus a philosophy, which,
applied along "Geometrical lines," we may know the truth that will
reveal to us immortality, the continuity of life after death, and the
that exists between us and the inhabitants of Mars, Venus and Saturn
and we may
even greet the Jupiterites. But he confesses that this wonderful
geometrical lines, "Would come in conflict with orthodox and dogmatic
religion." It is painful to think how many of us have been groping
and in darkness for many years under the delusion that the "Great
Light" on our Altar reveal to us a merciful Father, the hope of
life and our duty to God and our neighbor, and have overlooked the
of Truth revealed along Geometrical lines. Possibly we ought to replace
Holy Bible on our Altar with a copy of Euclid. But the author leaves a
hole for our escape by saying farther along in his article: – "This is
plain enough to one who is sufficiently interested and intelligent." I
plead guilty to the last charge. These citations are given merely as an
illustration of the kind of hysterical literature that is being written
the guise of Freemasonry.
is protean in its nature; it appears suddenly in
unexpected quarters and under various disguises. Several years ago it
in the etymological field when a new prophet arose who contended that
"Free Mason" are derived from the Egypto-Coptic language, and mean
"Children of Light." This was a brand new discovery and from an
unlooked-for source. Immediately the Masonic barns and woodsheds were
with etymological gymnasts but they have merely rehearsed the old stunt
any additional thrills. Listen: "If we are to believe that our words,
'Free Mason' are derived from the ancient Egypto-Coptic language in
'Phree' means light, knowledge, wisdom, or intelligence, while 'Messem'
plural of 'Mes,' signifying children; hence we were originally known as
children or son of light, wisdom and intelligence. Then, considering
true conception of the word 'Free Mason,' it will be seen that
is consistent, placing in evidence not only the spiritual and
teachings of the Craft, but also showing the oriental origin and great
antiquity of our beloved Order."
indeed a beautiful conception and we can only wish
that Masons were children of the light, even if the etymology is very
The assertion that the words, Free Mason, are derived from the
language is another figment of fancy thrown out by "Repressed
desire;" an effort to bolster up the flimsy claim that Freemasonry is
founded upon the Egyptian mysteries. The facts are, there never was an
Egypto-Coptic language. The Coptic language was spoken by the people of
Nile, until the Saracen conquest; it lives to-day only in Biblical
enriched with Greek and Hebrew words and embellished with a Greek
the Alexandrian School. The Egyptian language for the last twelve
has been Arabic, and if there is or ever was a language known as
it is a mongrel and not recognized by the best authorities.
language is made up of words derived from the
divisions and subdivisions of the great Aryan Race whose root language
Sanskrit. Upon this derivation, the etymology of the English language
The word "Free" can be traced back through the six or seven different
languages to the Sanskrit root word, "Priya," the original meaning
being beloved or dear. Through the different languages in which it can
traced it has its present meaning, "Free."
"Light," comes from the Sanskrit word,
"Ruch," meaning brightness. The root of this word is found in the
language of all Nations, and means brightness or to shine. In the
these two words can anyone discover any relation whatever between the
"Priya" and the word "Ruch?" The wildest stretch of the
imagination cannot make them synonymous.
that "Messem" is the plural of
"Mes" will not bear investigation because in the Coptic Language the
plural of a word ending in a consonant was formed by adding the letter
"I," hence if the derivation were true it should be "Mesi,"
not "Messem." Judging from the spelling of the word Mason in the
several centuries, the Egypto-Coptic word "Mes" had a difficult
course to travel to find its imaginary plural. In the 16th Century the
spelled "Maisson," "Masones" and "Maison." In
1611 we find the expression "Frie men of Maissones;" in 1634 it
appears as "Frie Masones;" in 1636 it was written "Frie
Mason." But not until 1725 was the Fraternity known as a "Society of
If the word
Mason and the word Children, were ever synonymous
we ought to be able to trace the root of these words. The word Child
the Sanskrit word Ga or Gan meaning "to beget." From this root word
up through all the languages the word means child.
Mason can be traced back through all the prominent
languages to the Sanscrit root, "Mit," which means to cut. Can anyone
find even a possible relation between the words meaning to be born, and
Will any one claim that they are synonymous? Unfortunately for this
"Repressed Desire," the lexicographers and etymologists are all on
the other side of the question.
spiritual and philosophical teachings of the
Craft and the oriental origin and great antiquity of our beloved Order"
on such flimsy and untenable arguments or hypotheses, then the Craft is
danger, both as to its teachings and its origin.
If any Mason
wishes to draw geometrical figures and lines,
and evolve from them that life continues beyond the grave, and to
the relation between the planets and the inhabitants thereof, no one
deprive him of the pleasure; but the Book on our Altar declared many
ago that: "The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament
His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night
knowledge." If any Mason wishes to amuse himself with the sacred
of Pythagoras, to demonstrate the unity of the world and the existence
Deity, well and good; but Freemasonry postulates the existence of God.
If any Mason
enjoys himself by delving into the mysteries of
Egypt and the Kabalah, no one will gainsay his zeal in his efforts to
immortal life, the evidence of the spiritual world and the perfection
Divine nature. It is well; but, Freemasonry accepts all this as
concerning which there can be no denial.
is not a science of mental gyrations and
abstractions, but it is the science of utilitarian thinking; it is not
philosophy of speculation, but it is the philosophy of doing; it is not
symbolism of Occult Sciences, but it is the mystery of the unfolding of
larger life; it is not so much as to origin, as it is to destiny; it is
much as to the certainty of the past, as it is to the certainty and
in the future.
arts and sciences are worthy of every Mason's
time and zeal, but these do not constitute Freemasonry. The ancestry of
Freemasonry through the operative Craft is noble, the teachings of
are sublime. Strained symbolism, abstract philosophy and etymological
hypotheses add nothing to its luster, but rather dim its radiance in
field of practical morality.
the greatest thing in the world. Freemasonry is
sentiment in action.
On his last
bed, when unable any longer to speak, Albert Pike
beckoned for a pencil and paper, with which he wrote his last words.
paper are framed and preserved in the House of the Temple at
he wrote was as follows:
Peace – that
comes with blessing to care-fretted, weary men when death's dreamless
ends all suffering and sorrow."
neither a Tempest
nor a Midsummer Night's Dream. More
often it is a Comedy of Errors. You
may take it As You Like It, or make
Much Ado About Nothing,
and declare that
Love's Labor's Lost. But
will teach you, if you be wise, that All's
Well that Ends Well, and that in the end every man receives Measure for Measure.
Problems in Masonic Charity
Bro. Geo. E.
Frazer. Grand President Acacia Fraternity
agree with me that Freemasonry is not, in itself, a
charitable organization. That is to say, the primary purpose of the
not charitable relief to its members. The fundamental creed of Masonry
must ever be, the study of Masonic philosophy. As Masons come together
lodge room and outside of it for the discussion of Masonic truth, a
feeling of companionship and brotherhood naturally results. The
formed in Masonic work and study carry in themselves a desire to
necessities of unfortunate brothers. Masonic charity is a great fact;
it is an
inherent part of the Masonic system; but it is not, of course, in
purpose nor function of Masonry.
Masonic assistance that is afforded by one Brother
to another is assistance in the learning and understanding of Masonic
American Freemasonry is very careful strictly to limit its field to
of brotherly assistance. Our order does not teach us, it does not
expect of us,
that we shall afford one another political assistance. I am under no
whatsoever to vote or to exercise my influence in favor of a candidate
he is a member of the Masonic order. Likewise, I am under no obligation
favor Masonic brethren in any of my business relations. Nothing in the
philosophy, or ritual, or practices of Masonry obligates me to assist a
brother in his endeavors towards social distinction. The lodges of
are not political organizations; they are not business syndicates; they
social cliques. There is something in the essential equality of Masons
their fellows that is, in itself, an effective barrier towards the use
Masonry by politicians, by captains of finance, and by social leaders.
perhaps safe to say that the average Mason looks askance at the brother
seems to seek assistance of this sort, and is inclined to afford such a
self-seeking brother much less than the usual amount of sympathy and
co-operation that he would give if Masonic influence had been
attempted. It is,
of course, not to be denied that the strong and enduring friendships
the Masonic lodge are a real assistance to a man in all of his
endeavors. But we must not forget that if we assist a brother Mason in
endeavors, we assist him as a friend and not because there is anything
Masonry that teaches us to discriminate in favor of Masons in the
relationships of life. True Masonic charity comes naturally from a
Masonic fundamentals. For the great lesson of Masonry is human welfare,
which there is no truer form of charity. Masonry fights for freedom,
speech, for free schools, for freedom in religious belief, for law and
such as will protect the laborer in his hire.
the individual member is but an incident in the
great work of Freemasonry. That great work is to stand for the
rights of free men. These rights are only partly won; they are always
jeopardy. Unceasing must be the vigil of the master workman who seeks
democracy that was forever lost, and that is forever to be won. Speech,
is free in America, and yet our brothers are constantly losing place
because of their courage in speaking freely against religious
Schools are free, we say, yet a powerful enemy insidiously and
attacks the public schools of America. The right to work is
say, and yet tyrannical labor organizations and grasping capitalists
each other in restricting the laborer in his hire. I need not go on. It
enough if you understand that the larger ideals of Masonry mean
therefore, average prosperity of soul, and mind, and body to its
must not forget that the fundamentals of Masonry, the simple and
things, are the makers of welfare – the truest and surest expression of
charity. These simple things were fought for by our fathers in Masonry
all the centuries; these things we must fight for if we would have
charity among men; these things our children's children must fight for.
great problem in Masonic charity is, then, this:
Shall we throw all of our resources into the ceaseless struggle which
general welfare? As an organization, can we afford to set aside the
fraction of our funds for the aid of individuals, when so great is the
resources in the fight for great principles that mean general welfare?
answered that problem, it seems to me, to some extent in the
lodge building, every lodge meeting and ceremony, every lodge club room
is an expression of Masonic principles. As an order, we have given the
part of our strength everywhere to the expression of great principles,
than to the temporary assistance of individuals. A fraction of our
we have given to charity in the restricted sense of that term. This
annually amounts in volume to many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
practical charity is administered in many different ways, under many
methods, to many different ends. Here, in America, we have administered
charity for many decades. What does our experience show?
have proven unfortunate in their results? What
methods have succeeded in distributing charitable funds to the greatest
possible advantage? It seems to me that the practical men in our
who have with such splendid self-sacrifice ably administered Masonic
should give us from the wisdom of their experience. Of late, I have
thinking about Masonic charity, and many questions have presented
me. As a young man, and especially as a young man who now represents a
considerable number of other young Masons, I want to present these
the men of experience in Masonry. Let us suppose, in the first place,
lodge finds itself able to spend one thousand dollars each year in
relief in the town in which it is located. Shall the lodge contribute
to the Associated Charities, or to the Salvation Army, or to some other
organized body for the administration of charities? Shall the lodge
its own funds, and make its own distribution of relief?
If a lodge
decides to give its charity funds over to, let us
say, the Associated Charities of the town in which it is located, shall
lodge rely entirely upon the efficiency of the organization to which
are contributed; or shall the lodge demand and secure representation
officers of the charitable organization, or on its executive committee?
lodge decides to administer its own relief fund, shall it entrust the
the master of the lodge; or shall it set up a standing relief
the master, or the relief committee, give direct aid to unfortunate
their families in the name of the lodge and on the behalf of the lodge?
shall the officers of the lodge aid their unfortunate brethren through
channels, so that relief may be given, but so, also, that the left hand
not know what the right hand is doing?
How shall the
lodge care for the aged Mason who is without
material resources? How shall the lodge care for widows and orphans of
Shall the Grand Lodge of the State or Province erect a Masonic home for
care of these dependents; or, shall such dependents be aided with money
other resources, so that they may continue to live in their own homes
their own friends and associates? If the "home" plan is followed,
shall the home be supported in the name of some particular order of
such as the Grand Chapter, or the Scottish Rite, or the Shrine; or,
home be supported by all of the Masonic orders located within the
served by the home? How shall the home be governed? Shall the home be
by voluntary contributions, or by an enforced per capita tax? Shall
contributing to the support of the home have the right to send such
to the home as the lodge sees fit to send; or, shall the officers of
receive or reject applicants for admission?
If it is best
to have homes for the care of dependents, shall
we have a Masonic home in each state and Province; or, shall we have a
of national homes set up for the special care of particular classes of
dependents, such as, for example, a national home for the care of
patients? If it is best to care for dependents in their own homes, or
in private homes in their own localities, shall the care afforded by
take the form of a monthly payment, or pension system? Or, shall the
extended by the lodge be such as necessity may occasion from week to
from month to month? If it is desirable to have a pension system for
of dependents, shall each Grand Lodge create a pension fund, to which
contributions shall be made for subordinate lodges on a per capita
shall we expect each lodge to meet its own pensions from its own
are to be cared for in their own homes, or at
least in their own localities, shall the lodge become legally
them, and thereby secure legal control over them, as, for example, in
of an infant orphan, or aged insane brother? Or, shall we leave legal
in the hands of relatives, who may, or may not be, in sympathy with
Masonic influences? What shall be the limits of practical Masonic
Shall it be permissible for the lodge at Jonesville to give pensions to
dependent aged brethren, while the lodge at Smithtown, twelve miles
refuses to aid its members under any circumstances? What attitude are
take as Masons towards insurance companies bearing Masonic names, and
their clientele to members of Masonic orders? What attitude, as Masons,
to take to mutual accident and sickness societies organized under
titles and restricted to membership on the Masonic basis? What attitude
to take towards Masonic clubs organized for the mutual relief and
their members? Shall we have laws as to these things; or, shall we
as accessories to the great fight that we are waging for fundamental
and leave them, as accessories, to stand or fall on their own merits?
I have named
but a few of the problems of Masonic charity.
Problems I have touched upon are problems of today that have come to us
yesterday. The solution of these problems that we are working out today
more or less determine the status of the Masonry of the future. Our
its great membership and great age, has great experience in the
these matters. The administration of Masonic charity is a great field
Masonic research, a field of tremendous importance about which little
written. What is your experience in these matters, my brother in
have served for many years on the relief committee of your lodge. What
principles has your experience formulated for you? What is your
these matters, my brother in New York? You were on the building
your Masonic home. To what decisions have you arrived as to any or all
questions about Masonic charity that the young men in Masonry are
opinions, my brothers in Honolulu and in London, will be most valuable
will support them in these pages with facts and figures, and evidence
specific character. Perhaps this is all old ground to you, but to many
thousands of young Masons the administration of Masonic charity is a
field for research.
Reaping – [A Poem]
E. E. Hale
The ploughing of the Lord is
On ocean and on land;
His furrows cross the mountain steep,
They cross the sea-washed sand.
Wise men and prophets know not how,
But do their Master's will;
The kings and nations drag the plough,
His purpose to fulfill.
They work His will because they must,
On hillside or on plain;
The clods are broken into dust,
And ready for the grain.
Then comes the planting of the Lord,
His kingdom cometh now;
The ocean's deepest depths are stirred,
And all their secrets show.
Where prophets trod His deserts broad,
Where monarchs dragged the plough,
Behold the seedtime of His word:
The Sower comes to sow.
The Presence – [A Poem]
We falter on
Through storm and mire:
Above, beside, around us, there is One
Will never tire.
What though we fall and bruised and wounded lies
Our lips in dust!
God's arm shall lift us up to victory!
In Him we trust.
For neither life, nor death, nor things below,
Nor things above,
Can ever sever us, that we should go
From His great love
accountable for the uprightness of his doctrine, not
for the rightness of it.
man over man is a law of nature, and the
conquest of mind over mind is the only conquest worthwhile.
country in which intellect and genius rule, will
endure. Where they serve, and other influences govern, the national
thinkers for legislators; avoid gabblers. Wisdom is
greater than words. They have a life, mute, but
undeniable; and they grow. They people the vacuity of Time, and make it
really small. Every bird that flies carries a
thread of the infinite in its claws.
Life has its
ills, but is not all evil. If life is worthless,
so is immortality.
– Morals and Dogma.
are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a
Man is the
only animal that blushes - or needs to.
April 1st -
this is the day upon which we are reminded of of
what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four days.
One of the
most striking differences between a cat and a lie
is that a cat has only nine lives.
everything. A cauliflower is nothing but a
cabbage with a college education.
doubt, tell the truth. Tell the truth or trump – but
get the trick.
– Pudd'nhead Wilson's
There Is No
Unbelief Peace – [A Poem]
Mrs. Lizzie Y. Case
poem has been ascribed to Bulwer – "Owen
Meredith" – but that is to err – the error being due to an oversight of
Burton Stevenson, as he has confessed. It was written by Mrs. Lizzie Y.
and has the following history. In answer to the question of a young
as to her religious belief, the author told him that she was of the
her fathers – the Friends. "Then," said the young zealot, "you
are an unbeliever, and will be damned." She answered: "Never! If there
were no true God to trust in, I should still believe in the gods of the
and the streams. In fact, I believe in everything – in God, man, nature
is no unbelief." Hence the lines:-
There is no unbelief!
Whoever plants a seed beneath the sod
And waits to see it push away the clod,
Trusts he in God.
There is no unbelief!
Whoever says, when clouds are in the sky,
Be patient, heart, light breaketh by and by,
Trusts the most High.
There is no unbelief!
Whoever sees heath winter's field of snow
The silent harvest of the future grow,
God's power must know.
There is no unbelief!
Whoever lies down on his couch to sleep
Content to lock his sense in slumber deep,
Knows God will keep.
There is no unbelief!
Whoever says tomorrow, the unknown,
The future, trusts that power alone,
Nor dares disown.
There is no unbelief!
The heart that looks on when dear eyelids close
And dares to live when life has only woes,
God's comfort knows.
There is no unbelief!
For thus by day and night, unconsciously,
The heart lives by that faith the lips deny,
God knoweth why.
– [A Poem]
Were half the power that
fills the world with terror,
Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts
Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals nor forts.
– [A Poem]
"Some of your grief's
you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived;
But what torments of pain you endured
From evils that never arrived."
Peace – [A Poem]
Arthur B. Rugg, Minneapolis,
Peace on earth good will
I wish the Lord would tell us when,
For all the records of our life
Only tell of constant strife.
Perhaps great hope may lie in this;
That those who have attained to bliss,
Have found inside the life that mocks,
A subtle, mystic paradox.
The Lord gives light, but light makes shade;
By this great law all worlds are made.
The Lord sends peace, but peace makes strife;
This is the paradox of life.
If all our light be darkness yet;
How great that darkness seems to get.
Give us "more light," then we are Seers
And all our darkness disappears.
If all the shadows are from light
Of course there, really, is no night.
If strife is swallowed up in peace,
Then all our conflict can but cease.
When by the light of peace arrayed
No longer is the struggle made.
The laws of being understood
Turns all our evil into good.
No power of evil will we find,
Except that given by the mind.
Let's strive for peace within the Soul
And know One's Self to be the goal.
The Mystic Art – [A Poem]
The world may rail at
And scoff at Square and Line,
We'll follow with complacency
The Master's great Design.
A King can make a gartered Knight,
And breathe away another;
But he, with all his skill and might,
Can never make a Brother.
This power alone, thou Mystic Art,
Freemasonry, is thine:
The power to tame the savage heart
With brother-love divine!
The Church – [A Poem]
With reverent feet the earth
Nor banished Nature from his plan,
But studied still with deep research
To build a universal church,
Lofty as the love of God,
And ample as the wants of man.
borne on that tide of Eternity which men call
Time, we have come to the great day of Memory and Hope. That a day in
should be set apart to commemorate the ever-renewed evidence of the
Everlasting is in accord with the fitness of things, as if the seasons
soul were attuned to the seasons of the year. It is more than
unites faith with life, linking the fresh buds of returning spring with
ancient poetries and pieties of the human heart. It finds in Nature,
woven hymns of night and day, of winter and summer, a ritual of
A breath we
are, servile to all skyey influences, said the
prince of poets; and something in the stir of life in the reviving
the springtime overflowing the world like a heavenly Nile, in the
of the tender race of flowers, begets an unconscious, involuntary
the faith of man, refreshing his hope and quickening his passion for
we look into the face of the new spring and our hearts are strangely
strangely sad also - touched by dim, wistful memories of springs agone
life was new and we were young; melted by "the song of those who answer
not, however we may call." So run the records of all the times, since
Time began, and so it will be until the last man lifts his trembling
prayer on this dying earth. Nor is it a mere fancy that has thus
humanity to greet the coming of spring with feast and festival, as
the victory of life over the white winter of death - for in Nature
there is no
death, but only living and living again.
Easter is an old sun-feast, a spring frolic, or
whatever else wise men may dig up from the folklore of olden time, it
is for us
the Feast of Christ none the less, and there is in it that touch of
in joy which all lovers of the Christ feel is the note of His life as
in the story of pilgrimage, in the tone of His words, and in the pathos
passion. Think as we may of that tragic and heroic Figure, this is the
Jesus, whose Life of Love is the one everlasting romance in this
world, and whose ineffable tenderness seems to blend naturally with the
of springtime when the finger of God is pointing the new birth of the
Our little passions are as naught in face of that mighty Passion; our
fade before that solemn trial of Love and Death; and we are subdued
sense of something as far beyond our useful tasks or transient joys, as
awakening of Nature is beyond our waking from slumber.
No other day
touches us more deeply, more tenderly, more
joyously, and none so stirs the spirit of hope and courage in the heart
Hope and courage we have for the affairs of daily life - albeit a
is often faint, and a hope that is not hopeless, but unhopeful; but
here is a
Hope that leaps beyond the borders of the world, and a Courage that
Eternity! For that Easter stands; in its history, its music, its
earth, its prophecy of renewal for the putting off of the tyranny of
terror of the Grave, and the triumph of the Flesh, and the putting on
Immortality. It is thus that Easter gives us the hint, if not the key,
higher heroism and cheer - that which Tennyson meant when he wrote that
than the glory of warrior, the glory of orator, the glory of song,
me the glory of going on and still to be" - a glory which puts a new
meaning and value on life with its efforts, so sadly baffled; its
so incomplete; its achievements, so transient and so quickly forgotten.
can work with brave hearts, and endure with serenity, and delight
alloy, if the good we aim at here, and never quite attain, is an
earnest of the
Good we shall win otherwhere.
It profits us
little to argue amid music and flowers, or at
any other time in respect of this high confidence. The faith of Easter
home in the deep heart of man - for the Heart hath its reasons which
knows not of - and it is older than all arguments, which are only so
efforts of logic to justify to the reason the faith of the soul. No man
ever argued into this Faith, or out of it. Its roots go deeper than
deeper than dogma, deeper than reason - ay, as deep as the home and the
as deep as infancy and old age, as deep as love and death! As we do not
logic to prove the coming of Spring, so there is no need that any one
behalf of the faith - older than history - that the mysterious Power
weaves in silence robes of white for the lily, of red for the rose,
much more clothe our winged spirits with a moral beauty that shall
"What to you
to Him is Day,
And the end He knoweth;
And not on a blind and aimless way
Thy spirit goeth.
The steps of Faith
Fall on a seeming void, and find
A Rock beneath."
doubt who will, it is still true that the Spirit of
Christ does live in the hearts of a multitude, some of them all
deeds of love and pity all the world over. And His great and simple
those of no other, do uplift and fortify the soul against the fear of
Shadow that waits for every man. The only things worth our while are
thought and felt and done in accord with His spirit and example, in
with His life so serene, so radiant, so triumphant. The sorrow is that
we for whom
He lived and died, by our misdeeds, by our falling away from His ideal,
the Man we ought to be many times again. Yet is there hope, though we
fallen far and fallen low - hope in God whom He revealed as our Father,
love hath in it the secret of unknown redemptions. Sorrows come, and
grief, and loneliness unutterable, when those whom we love fall into
white sleep; but the Easter Lily will grow in our hearts if we
watering it the while with our tears - and at last it will bloom, and
beauty will be the fairest thing in the house of our pilgrimage.
Christ is a
And only a man - I say
That of all mankind I cleave to Him,
And to Him I cleave alway.
If Jesus Christ is a God -
And the only God - I swear
I will follow Him through heaven and hell,
The earth, the sea, and the air."
Study and Research Club was organized by the
professors and students of the State University of Oklahoma, Thursday
Feb. 25th. It was an enthusiastic gathering, and the Club started with
membership of sixty. It is the intention of the Club to affiliate with
Acacia Fraternity. The Builder rejoices in the organization of this
and invites its co-operation with the National Research Society.
great interest to all Masonic students are
constantly appearing in all our Masonic journals - and, just now, in
not Masonic - of which The Builder is anxious to make note, if the
be good enough to let us see them. For example, take the following few
The Man and Mason, by R. I. Clegg: Masonic
George Washington, the Mason, by J. W. Carter: Masonic Observer, Feb.
The Sacred Number Seven, by J. E. Morcombe: American Freemason,
The True Thomas Paine: Texas Freemason, February.
Pre-Grand-Lodge Lodges of Virginia, by J. F. Carson: Virginia Home
Masonic Record of Joseph Warren: Christian Science Monitor, February
Masonic Record of John Paul Jones: Seattle Times, February 28th.
is eager to gather all available information
about financing Masonic projects, especially Masonic Temples; and if
in any city or community where a Temple has been recently built will
what plan they used, and how it worked - giving us the benefit of their
experience - The Builder will be glad to put it in a form that will be
accessible and useful to the Craft at large. Your response to this
Brethren, will be a very real service to your fellow-workers
Furthermore, we are planning to devote an entire issue of The Builder
Masonic buildings, their design, arrangement, expense, and decoration,
discussing the while what features should be included in every Lodge
Masons meet - taking up different styles and types of buildings, all
from the village Lodge which meets in an Upper Room to the Grand Lodge
P. Freeman, Grand Master of Masons in Oklahoma,
in an address to his Grand Lodge, reviewed the history of the founding,
purpose, and development of this Society, pointing out that it was
by the Grand Lodge of Iowa, its mission being to diffuse the light of
knowledge and understanding; that it is incorporated under the laws of
providing that it shall not be operated for the financial advantage of
and then he added: "Having carefully read the first issue of its
The Builder, I unhesitatingly give it my approval." Such words are not
only gratifying but appropriate, since this Society is really an
from the Grand Lodge of Iowa to her sister Grand Jurisdictions to join
in promoting Masonic learning and the education of young Masons.
Dear Sir: -
In the February issue of The Builder is published
an article by Brother S. W. Williams, under the title "Two Paths."
The writer uses the very old figure of two highways, one narrow,
tedious, adverse and forlorn; the other the primrose way, broad, easy,
embroidered: the first leading through great tribulation to ultimate
beyond the portals of the grave, the other through pleasure to the
and death of the soul. I have always believed the figure unfortunate
to the realities of life. In the first place, most men who are living a
rational, normal life are more concerned with this world than with the
best fit ourselves for the life eternal by making the most of the life
temporal. Moreover, the way of clean, honest decent living is the
It is the way wherein friends walk by our side. There are built the
where peace and contentment and love abide. There grow the flouters of
There is to be heard the music of children's laughter. There material
advantages and worldly blessings are to be found, and glory awaits
persevere. There are, of course, grave questions to be faced,
be overcome, grief and suffering to be borne but in infinitely less
on the other road. It leads away from temptations and dangers, and
follow it are strong to resist evil.
way," says Brother Williams, "is a
broad highway, easy to travel, with delightful groves and a plentitude
sunshine, music, and flowers." Evidently he has not traveled that way,
else would he know that there are hunger, want, and weariness,
mental, spiritual; traps and pitfalls are in the way. The sunshine
blisters; the flowers are weeds; the music without harmony; the groves
wild beasts seeking whom they may devour. Along this way are neither
friendship, material advantage, or worldly honor. It is the way of the
fool and the harlot. Why will men persist in
picturing the way of righteousness as dark, gloomy, and hedged about
What a mistaken idea to implant in the minds of the young. No! The way
Godliness is the way of happiness, here now, in this mortal life. Go,
out among the nations!
Herbert N. Laflin, Milwaukee.
Brother: - In your editorial
comments touching the war you say: "Indeed, a page from the story of
war reads like an excerpt from the Chronicles of Hell, as witness these
from a war-lord to his men: 'Cause the greatest amount of suffering,
non-combatants nothing but their eyes to weep with. The law of
charity has no bearing on the relation of nation to nation.'
indeed, and terrible, if true. You do not mention which war-lord you
since the English-made news so generally disseminated in this country
one "war-lord," may I infer that you refer to Emperor William II? If
so, have you any authentic information as to when and where he made
statement? Or, have you obtained it merely from the day's news?
you will refer
to the English edition of Busch's "Bismarck," (Vol. I, p
128) [Lib 1884 Vol 1,
you may read Phil Sheridan's advice in 1870 to the Germans (he was
our military observer with their forces) as follows: "The proper
consists, in the first place, in inflicting as telling blows as
the enemy's army, and then in causing the inhabitants so much suffering
they must long for peace and force their government to demand it. The
must be left nothing but their eyes to weep with over the war."
will find a similar quotation from
Sheridan in Charles Francis Adams' "Studies, Military and
Diplomatic," [Lib 1911],
page 287. As Americans, nay, as Freemasons, we should be careful not
to bear witness against anyone unless we have positive evidence.
J. T. Hosbach, Philadelphia.
Brother: - Allow me to call your
attention to an article ‘Concerning Hiram ("Huram-abi") the
Phoenician Craftsman’, by Charles C. Torrey, Ph. D. D. D. Professor of
Languages, Yale University, in the "Journal of Biblical Literature."
(Vol. 31, part 4, 1912, pp 151, 152). [Lib 1912]
Although not so fruitful as
its title might indicate, the article is nevertheless of some interest
A brief summary of it follows: In I Kings the name of the craftsman
sent by the
King of Tyre to King Solomon has the form Hiram, as does also the name
Tyrian King, whereas in II Chronicles both names have the form of
is certainly no good reason to prefer the latter form, although it is
present the well-nigh universally accepted view that it is the
word "ibi" does not appear in connection with the name given in I
Kings. In II Chronicles the name of the craftsman is thrice mentioned.
first instance (II Chron. 2:11) it is Huram-abi, in the second, (II
4:11) it is merely Huram, while in the third, (II Chron. 4:16) it is
Huram-abiu. The conclusion is that abi is not a part of the proper
name, but is
the noun meaning "right-hand-man," or trusted counsellor"
Paul R. Rider. New Haven
Brother: – Will you not favor us
with an editorial, if possible, relative to the teaching of The
Inch Gauge, and the reason why a more united effort is not made to
practically? I am a member of organized labor, personally favored with
hour work day, although seven days per week, and know we have met
opposition from superior officers in our daily duties to such an extent
give the impression that the teachings of the Twenty-four Inch Gauge
the Lodge room only. Cannot something be done to encourage the
practical use of
these teachings and not leave the impression that when business and
conflict, business must lead? I appreciate the position of an officer
corporation, but feel certain they could materially assist were they
approached and all sides of the question talked over.
Wm. Mason, Stamford, Conn.
Brother: - I think it may interest
you to know that in England the old Operative Guild of Free Masons
exists, and meets under the authority of the Athelstan Charter granted
Masons in 926, and this Society is getting all its old records looked
put together ready for the Special Grand Assembly which will be held in
England, in 1926, when we shall have been working under that Charter
years. We have documents that go back for hundreds of years, and there
no doubt that Speculative Masonry was in 1717 derived from the
Clement E. Stretton,
Operative General Secretary.
Why Study Masonry?
Brother: - Any Mason who will take
the time to study will soon find that, instead of labor, he has found a
field of enjoyment from which he will derive a benefit which will prove
material gain in many respects. It will expand his God-given reason.
of Masonry will open up new vistas of which he has never dreamed, will
his horizon, and new paths will be found which will eventually lead to
that open up the beauties of Nature now hidden to his non-observant
Politics and Religion, History, sacred and profane, will assume new
will compel him to become a student, and before he knows it, he will
education not to be compared with the broadest of University readings.
A. L. Metz,
Tulane University, New Orleans.
"In A Nook with a
a number of Brethren have written
to say that they would be very glad to take up the study of Masonry,
they are too busy and have not the time to do it. Perhaps so, but it is
question whether any one of them has more to do than the writer of
who must needs make use of odd hours and the fag ends of days – and,
the wee hours of the night – to edit The Builder. Truth to tell, all of
all the time there is, but we waste much of it, forgetting the words of
wise old Bible which tells us to "redeem the time;" that is,
literally, to buy it up, get a corner on it.
are conditions of life, to be
sure, in which it is not easy to do much in the way of study, but most
waste enough time to make us master of any field of research we might
conquer. Without any boast, ye humble scribe believes that he has
right to speak in behalf of the economy and right use of time, and he
earnestly lays this matter upon the hearts of his readers, especially
young men. Long ago he learned the value of odd moments, and somewhat
art of using them to advantage - thanks to the dilatory habits of a
teacher. Nearly always that good man was ten minutes late to his
two lads conceived the idea of keeping a book in the desk to read while
waited. If the actual facts were here set down as to the number and
books read in that way during a series of years in college, using only
minutes a day, they would hardly be believed.
days were those, and how can ye
scribe ever forget the impressions made on his mind by great books in
fugitive moments stolen from the routine of toil. There was the ode of
a Grecian Urn - a miracle of art; and bonnie Kilmeny as she went up the
and was carried away by angels; and Sir Galahad seeking and finding the
Grail; and Elaine, lying on her bed in the black boat, steered by the
servitor - so sweet and fresh and lovely that "she did not seem as
but fast asleep, and lay as though she smiled. Ay, then it was that we
know the stately, grave and noble genius of George Eliot, and better
serene and radiant spirit of Emerson - a man whose mind was a city of
upon a hill. Frankly, if put to it, ye scribe would have to admit that
more from those moments of waiting for the lecture than ever he did
lectures for which he waited.
thus began as a device for killing
time became an art of using it and a habit of reading for the joy of
reading outside the path of regular work - a habit which Gibbon said he
not exchange for all the wealth of the Indies. During all the years it
a way of escape from the fret and jar of things, a resource in dull and
hours, a joy in health a belief in illness, and a solace in sorrow.
with brave and noble souls is an inspiration and a benediction, and
much to teach us for our health of heart and fortitude of spirit - for
helped most in this world by the example of one who passed before us
difficulties like our own. Even the grim old Sphinx is not so enduring
great book, written in the heart book of a man or woman who has sounded
depths of sorrow only to rise up full of courage and faith in God and
for so many years preached the
gospel of good books, and the duty of taking time to know them, ye
rejoices to find his wisdom confirmed by George H. Fitch, who writes so
graciously of "Comfort Found in Good Old Books." [Lib 1911]
Elder & Co.) Who does not feel something tighten about his
heart as he
reads this dedication: "To the memory of my son Harold, my best critic,
other self, whose death has taken the light out of my life." In the
solitude of a great sorrow the author found help in his habit of
reading, and a
refuge in great books - each one giving him a ray of light wherewith to
torch to light him along a dark way. If any one wishes to know what
read, and how, and why, and what healing they brought to a heart
wounded by the
deep stab of death - let him forthwith make friends with this golden
book, so wisely written and so beautifully printed.
much of our reading is slovenly, lacking
plan, system and aim, that it comes to nothing, when it is not
bizarre, and utterly misdirected - to say nothing of the time wasted on
and magazines. What we need is a habit of reading and a course of
what is more worthwhile than to look into the depths of Masonry which
from afar the high and simple wisdom of humanity - a wisdom tried by
tested by experience, and found to be valid for the illumination of
a young man may learn how the wisest thought of the race has solved the
of life, and the old may gather up their deepest thoughts which, in the
mid-years of life, are too often left scattered in the disarray of a
unbuilt, and build a House of Faith - a Home of the Soul. Of a truth,
has something to tell us for our help in life and our hope in death,
and it is
a man is young he may think he
knows Hamlet. After twenty years, however, he is not so sure: new doors
long vistas unfold; and at length old familiar lines "come home to him,
when he has had experience of life, and pierce him as if he had never
them, with their sad earnestness and vivid exactness." So it is with
Masonry. At first it may seem simple - as indeed it is, like all things
and enduring - but when he has looked into it more carefully, in the
what life has taught him by its struggle and sorrow, he finds that it
allegory of the mysterious life of man, wide and deep and wonderful. If
he is a
thoughtful man, subdued by the mystery of "these strange souls that
in clay," slowly a sense of wonder will gather and grow, and he will
discover in its simple symbols meanings hitherto unguessed - hints of
words may utter, suggestions of a beauty so elusive that a glimpse of
one wistful, and, by no means least, a brotherly comradeship in the
service of the Moral Ideal worth more than gold can buy.
ye scribe urges his young
Brethren to lay this little homily to heart, and act upon it. Study
Even if you are busy, use your odd hours wisely and your research will
you richly. If you will do so, content to take first things first, and,
all, persevere in your study, every year will make you more grateful
suggestion. Studying Masonry is like looking at a sunrise; there is a
wealth of beauty for all, yet the wonder is not diminished.
I not ask you if the
"Crucifixion by an Eyewitness" is authentic? The story is supposed to
be a translation of an original manuscript which is said to be in the
possession of German Masons. What about it?
the manuscript, if it
exists, is a fiction, and the story is so regarded in the world of
Like the "Unknown Life of Jesus," [Lib 1916]
it is one of many efforts to
fill out what is lacking in the Gospel narrative of the life and
death of the Great Teacher.
accept such records as authentic,
and of course there is no law against doing so – nor is there any fact
you tell me of a book discussing
the relation of Masonry to Religion, with special reference to the Old
This is a question in which I am just now much interested.
– H. P. D.
book you are seeking is "The
Religion of Freemasonry," [Lib*] by H. J. Whymper, with an introduction
W. J. Hughan, edited by G. W. Speth. (Published by George Kenning, 16
Queen St., Lincoln's Fields, London.) This admirable work has two
dealing with the Old Charges and their religious instructions. For more
researches, see the brilliant article in the last number of the
the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, by Sir Chetwode Crawley, referred to in the
issue of The Builder.
your book "The Builders"
you make frequent reference to the Regius Poem as the oldest document
Freemasonry. Where can I find a fuller account of that Ms. and a more
explanation of it? Also, has the essay of Brother Gould on "The
of Masonic Symbolism" ever been printed anywhere else except in the
Proceedings of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge?
– D. G. L.
the answer to both of
these inquiries may be found in a recently published volume of
Essays and Papers Relating to Freemasonry," [Lib 1913]
by R. F. Gould, which
contains, among many other good things, a "Commentary on the Regius
Ms.," and the essay on The Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism. [Lib 1890]
by Wm. Tait, Inniskeen, Marlborough Park North, Belfast, Ireland.) The
Society will be very glad to secure this book for you, if you so desire.
your recent address in our city you
spoke of a book telling of "The Men's House," and the initiatory
rites of primitive tribal society. Will you be kind enough to give in
Builder the name of that book and its publisher?
– H. H. D.
book referred to was
"Primitive Secret Societies: A Study in Early Politics and Religion,"
by Hutton Webster, professor of Sociology and Anthropology in the
University of Nebraska. Published by the Macmillan Co., New York. It is
brilliant book, and worth your while - Prof. Pound recommends it
is a puzzle. In your short history
of Masonry – "The Builders" – you name Millard Fillmore among other
Presidents who were Masons. Whereas I find in the new life of Fillmore,
E. Griffin, that he took part in the anti-Masonic crusade at the time
Morgan raid. Which is right?
– J. L. G.
are in a sense right, but we are
disposed to think that Dr. Griffin has the best of it – in this way.
seems to be that Fillmore received the degrees of Masonry, but recanted
Masonry at the time of the Morgan fanaticism. That is to say, like too
others he received the degrees of Masonry, but was not really a Mason -
would not have recanted at the behest of a pack of pusillanimous
and religious bigots.
do you think of advertising in
Masonic Bulletins? I am not speaking of papers published by a
individuals and sold to Masons, but of Lodge organs. There are factions
against carrying ads in our little sheet.
The Builder carries no advertising,
it may not be qualified to answer such a question. It is largely a
taste. While there may be good reasons advanced in favor of admitting
would advise against it as being more in keeping with the wisdom of
the idea of gain. However, we would not be dogmatic, and with due care
the nature and number of ads used, no harm would come of it.
scribe has been amazed at the number
of letters thanking him for calling attention to "Jean Christophe,"
1910 Vol 1,
1911 Vol 2,
1913 Vol 3]
by Romain Rolland, and a still larger number asking for the name of
the publisher. It is published by the Henry Holt Co., New York.
Death the End? [Lib 1915]
by J. H. Holmes. Putnam Sons, New York.
to Life, [Lib 1914]
by Frank Crane. John Lane Co., Boston.
[Lib*] by M. L. Wagner. F.
J. Heer Co., Columbus, Ohio.
B. C. of Masonry, [Lib*] by D. D.
Darrah, Bloomington, Ill.
Voice of Fate, [Lib*] by Henry De
LaVaseur, Waterloo, Iowa.
as Mystical Fact and the
Mysteries of Antiquity. [Lib
R. Steiner. Putnam Sons. New
W. J. Dawson
at most was she,
Never were hands so slight,
Never so tender.
I saw in sunset clouds
Robes to beseem her;
She, with a clearer eye,
Saw her Redeemer.
One day she went from me;
Then fell the Shadow,
Mournful the sun appeared,
Dreary the meadow.
Next day the sun came back,
Dearer and clearer;
Since then it seems to me
God has drawn nearer.
Concise History of Freemasonry
Gou04 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : Macoy Publisher and Masonic
Supply Co., 1904. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 594. - 24.5 MB.
A Concise History of
Gou51 / auth. Gould Robert F / ed. Crowe Frederick J. W.. - London :
Gale & Polden Limited, 1951. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 401. - 10.3 MB.
A History of Philosophy
Win99 / auth. Windelband
W / trans. Cushman Herbert E.. - New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 411. - 12.5 MB.
A Textbook of Masonic
Mac721 / auth. Mackey Albert G. - New York : Clark, Maynard,
Publishers, 1872. - 7th Edition : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 571. - 28.1 MB.
Bismarck Vol 1
Bus98 / auth. Busch Moritz. - New York : The Macmillan Company, 1898. -
Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 525. - 11.4 MB.
Bismarck Vol 2
Bus981 / auth. Busch Moritz. - New York : The Macmillan Company, 1898.
- Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 598. - 14.5 MB.
Christianity as Mystical Fact
Ste14 / auth. Steiner Rudolf. - New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1914. -
2nd Edition : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 254. - 7.8 MB.
Collected Essays &
Papers Related to Freemasonry
Gou131 / auth. Gould Robert F. - Belfast : William Tait, 1913. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 313. - 14.3 MB.
Comfort Found in Good Old Books
Fit11 / auth. Fitch George H. - [s.l.] : Project Gutenberg, 1911. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 122. - 3.6 MB.
Footnotes to Life
Cra14 / auth. Crane Frank. - New York : WM. H. Wise & Co. Inc.,
1914. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 317. - 4.6 MB.
History of Freemasonry (Jack)
Gou82Jack1 / auth. Gould Robert F. - London : Thomas C. Jack, 1882. -
Vol. 1 : 4 : p. 258. - 13.9 MB.
History of Freemasonry (Jack)
Gou83Jack2 / auth. Gould Robert F. - London : Thomas C. Jack, 1883. -
Vol. 2 : 4 : p. 264. - 13.9 MB.
History of Freemasonry (Jack)
Gou84Jack3 / auth. Gould Robert F. - London : Thomas C. Jack, 1884. -
Vol. 3 : 4 : p. 258. - 14.4 MB.
History of Freemasonry (Jack)
Gou85Jack4 / auth. Gould Robert F. - London : Thomas C. Jack, 1885. -
Vol. 4 : 4 : p. 263. - 14.8 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 1
Gou84Yorston1 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 1 : 4 : p. 412. - 32.8 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 2
Gou84Yorston2 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 2 : 4 : p. 404. - 31.5 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 3
Gou84Yorston3 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co., 1884. - Vol. 3 : 4 : p. 492. - 38.7 MB.
History of Freemasonry
(Yorston) Vol 4
Gou84Yorston4 / auth. Gould Robert F. - New York : John C. Yorston
& Co, 1884. - Vol. 4 : 4 : p. 748. - 59.0 MB.
Illustrations of Masonry
Pre67 / auth. Preston William and Oliver George. - New York : Masonic
Publishing and Manufacturing, 1867. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 404. - 25.3 MB.
Is Death the End
Hol15 / auth. Holmes John H.. - New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1915. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 402. - 19.9 MB.
Jean-Christophe Vol 1
Rol10 / auth. Rolland Romain / trans. Cannan Gilbert. - [s.l.] :
Project Gutenberg, 1910. - Vol. 1 : 3 : p. 437. - 1.6 MB.
Jean-Christophe Vol 2 In Paris
Rol11 / auth. Rolland Romain / trans. Cannan Gilbert. - [s.l.] :
Project Gutenberg, 1911. - Vol. 2 : 3 : p. 314. - 1.3 MB.
Jean-Christophe Vol 3 Journey's
Rol13 / auth. Rolland Romain / trans. Cannan Gilbert. - [s.l.] :
Project Gutenberg, 1913. - Vol. 3 : 3 : p. 367. - 1.4 MB.
Journal of Biblical Literature
Var12 / auth. Various. - Boston : The Society of Biblical Literature
and Exegis, 1912. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 231. - 12.1 MB.
Morals and Dogma
Pik71 / auth. Pike Albert. - Charleston : Supreme Council AASR, 1871. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 895. - Formatted & Indexed by rhm - 7.6 MB.
On the Antiquity of Masonic
Gou90 / auth. Gould Robert F. - [s.l.] : Ars Quatuor Coronati, 1890. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 24. - 0.2 MB.
Primitive Secret Societies
Web08 / auth. Webster Hutton. - New York : The Macmillan Company, 1908.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 241. - 7.0 MB.
Signs and Symbols Illustrated
Oli37 / auth. Oliver George. - London : Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper,
1837. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 289. - 9.2 MB.
Studies Military and Diplomatic
Ada11 / auth. Adams Charles F. - New York : MacMillan Co., 1911. - Vol.
1 : 1 : p. 438. - 21.3 MB.
The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
Not16 / auth. Notovitch Nicolas / trans. Loranger Alexina. - Chicago
Ill. : Indo American Book Company, 1916. - 4th Edition : Vol. 1 : 1 :
p. 203. - 9.7 MB.