on this picture and on that, portraying from varying angles, both from
without, a House of Light at the Sign of the Square and Compasses!
modest, home-like, it is the Home of the National Masonic Research
Society; as simple
as it is elegant, as useful as it is beautiful, a temple and a
work-shop; at once
a center and a symbol of that for which it stands – and as you study it
what it means as a fact and as a prophecy. Open to all members of the
is here that a company of fellow-workers are wont to forgather betimes
to hold councils
of peace, to lay plans for the building of The Builder, and to devise
ways and means
for spreading of the kindly light of Masonry among men.
passes through three stages on its way to usefulness and permanence.
First, it is
a dream in the minds of a few men who, seeing a great need in the form
and wishing to do a little good while yet it is day, ere the night
cometh when no
man can work, set about to meet that need. Then follows a period of
experiment and the tentative trial of methods, of adventure in quest of
of contact with the problem, of alternate victory and defeat. Finally,
slowly takes tangible shape, the dream begins to come true, not in all
radiance, perhaps, but in its essential meaning and purpose; and the
faith of the
workers is justified by a new opportunity for service. It has been so
with our Research
Society. Beginning in a sincere desire to serve the great order of
it had its period of adventure and experiment, but it is now entering
of permanent establishment, having not only a name, but a habitation
spirit and purpose.
thought for a moment. Here, for the first time in the story of American
is a temple devoted exclusively to the cause of Masonic culture in all
in all its aspects of historical research, philosophical
power, and practical endeavor. Surely, if there be any virtue in
Masonry, any power
in its high and tender spirit, any worth in its teachings, or any
promise for the
good of humanity in its benign activities, every Mason must feel his
faster when he looks upon this House of Friendship and thinks of its
It is unique. It is prophetic. It is practical. Built amid the wreck
of world-war, it stands as a protest against those Ruffian forces
which, if they
have their way, will rob us of the hard-won inheritance of the ages;
and a prophecy
of that day when the gentle Spirit of Masonry will be victorious to the
of all uncleanness, all unkindness. In the winter of the world it
advent of a springtime of Brotherly Love; in the darkness it bespeaks
the dawn of
a better day.
be credit where credit is so richly due. Despite his protest we deem it
to state the simple fact that our House of Light, so beautiful in its
was erected by the munificence of our Secretary, whose enthusiasm for
of Freemasonry is only equaled by his practical capacity in working out
Ye editor and the Board of Stewards aided after a fashion, but without
his personality, his executive acumen and indomitable industry, neither
nor its Home would ever have had an existence. Believing that Masonry
has in it
hitherto unguessed powers for the enrichment and refinement of men,
which if awakened
and made effective would make it a greater instrumentality in behalf of
intelligence and goodwill, he has invested his time, money and energy
asking no dividends save the increase of Freedom, Friendship and
men. Such faith in Masonry has evoked the faith of Masons everywhere,
ten thousand loyal members of this Society, who will do their part to
add ten thousand
more to that number.
with utility, our House of Light is built of cement and steel,
to protect the records of the Society and the treasures which will
the years. Both in arrangement and equipment it is fitted for effective
containing a reception hall entered by three distinct knocks; a library
for special research – not forgetting a noble temple organ of myriad
keys and melodies;
offices, work-rooms, vaults, storage-space, all furnished from attic to
– the oldest emblems of the Order visible on every side, equally in
design and decorations.
In the work-room one finds every kind of device to facilitate labor:
connecting the different departments; Dictaphones, addressographs,
machines; a Lodge map of the United States and Canada; filing cases
up with data concerning Masonic buildings, plans for Study-clubs, lists
students and their special fields of research – with a fine printing
plant a block
or so away. The House looks like a home, surrounded by a sloping sward
and shrubbery, but it is as busy as a Bee-hive, housing a working force
people which, with ye editor added, makes the number as lucky as it is
If we have
dwelt thus briefly on the several apartments of a House made with
hands, it is because
we believe that every member of this Society will be proud of its new
Home, as they
have a right to be. Also, it will help the Brethren to fix in their
for all, that this Society is no longer an experiment, but an
to be reckoned among the permanent assets of American Masonry, and
equipped to work
out the designs outlined on its Trestle-board at the beginning. Founded
auspices of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, endorsed, unqualifiedly, by the
of Indiana, with a Home and equipment adequate to its activity, and
having no other
purpose than to promote the interests of Masonry without regard to rite
we believe that this Society will appeal to Masons as worthy of their
loyalty. No one can deny that the Society has been making good and
since the day it was founded, and if its members will bestir
themselves, as we now
most earnestly urge them to do, its membership can be doubled within
the next few
elsewhere editorially, with this issue The Builder is permanently
enlarged to thirty-two
pages, as we originally promised to do when the Society had twenty
The Masons of America having met us half way, we propose to go the
other half, despite
the added expense incurred, if only to show our faith in an enterprise
believe will mean so much for the future of Masonry in this country.
Not only as
a challenge to our Brethren, but for a number of reasons, we feel safe
First, we believe that the response
deserves it. Surely
it is remarkable that, within less than a year, a movement as novel in
as it was comprehensive in its scope should have won the allegiance of
Masons; and we can never forget that more than four thousand of them
ever a single issue of The Builder had been printed. Such loyalty and
deserve to be rewarded, and we desire to do everything within our power
to be worthy
of such confidence and encouragement.
Second, the pressure upon our pages
demands it. Equally
remarkable has been the response of the Craft in the way of
contributions of the
very highest quality, many of which have been delayed for months for
lack of space.
Therefore, in order to give our members a better balanced journal, to
add new departments
and special features, thereby adding to its interest and value, we feel
for more space.
Third, the Correspondence feature
has developed to
such proportions, and has shown itself to be so interesting and
profitable – being
a kind of free-for-all forum where many matters are discussed
informally, if sometimes
saucily – and is so altogether worthwhile that we have not had the
heart to abridge
it; and yet without increased space other features would suffer unless
we did so.
The letters that reach us are full of fruitful suggestion, and withal
are so brotherly
in their spirit and tone, as if we were sitting about the great
fire-place in the
House of Friendship, that we cannot help enlarging the circle by
passing them on
to the Craft.
Fourth, for lack of space ye editor
is far behind in
answering the many interesting questions sent to him from all sides and
on all subjects,
requiring him to answer by correspondence, lest he keep his Brethren
long; and this means an extra labor for one who has as much to do as
any man dare
undertake. The Brethren have been very patient, but we wish them to
have such answers
as we can give more promptly, so far as lies within our power.
Fifth, a number of special articles
now in preparation,
at our request, to be accompanied by many illustrations, will require
than we have now at our command. As it is, members of this Society
reading matter, and of the best sort – if we may judge from their
letters of appreciation
– than is offered anywhere else in the Masonic world for a like fee.
Sixth, the constantly increasing
demand for building
suggestions must be met, and until recently we have had to do this by
Here, also, illustrations are essential to a clear understanding of
plans, a single
floor-plan being worth more than a page of print, and we must have more
exhibit the results of the experience of the Craft to best advantage.
Seventh, with the December issue the
first volume of
The Builder will close, and that issue will carry a complete index,
making all the
material so far published instantly available for reference and use.
into the Society before that time will receive all back numbers for
long as they last, and will have their files complete from the
beginning. It will
not be possible to estimate the probable number of members at the end
year, and so we cannot guarantee to furnish all the back numbers for
For all these
reasons, to name but a few, while enlarging The Builder we urge the
pull with us, and all pull together, to reach the twenty thousand mark
in our membership
by the first of the year or soon thereafter. We have shown our faith,
we have tried
to do our part, we want to serve the great ideals and purposes of
Masonry, and we
believe our Brethren will do their part to place this Society on such a
its influence will be doubled and its labors be made more effective and
for the sublime end for which it toils. There are various schools of
and they do not always see eye to eye, but a frank and fraternal
discussion in the
House of Light at the sign of the Square and Compasses will reveal that
all aiming at the same exalted Ideal, and that each has something to
teach the other.
there is strength, in Love there is understanding, and in the sweet air
Freedom a Friendship we shall the better pursue that Research
a man finds God, and lives the Eternal Life in the midst of Time.
Brethren, is our first and chief concern, to which everything else is
and valuable only in so far as it conduces to that culture of the soul
of personality, that building of heroic and pure character without
which life loses
its rhythm, its radiance, its reason for being and its hope of going
on. Let us
give ourselves to this first task, and the last, unresting and
so our days may be strung on a golden thread of high purpose, and deal
be only a
soft, ineffable homeward sigh. To this end we consecrate our House of
the ancient prayer of the man of God in the olden time, whose words are
as the morning dew:
"Let the beauty of the Lord our
God be upon
us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of
establish Thou it."
The Apron – [A Poem]
thou this Apron even as thy soul!
High Badge it is of an undaunted band,
Which, from the dawn of dim forgotten time,
Has struggled upward in a quest of light;-
Light that is found in reverence of Self,
Unselfish Brother-love, and love of God.
This light now on thine Apron shines undimmed;
Let ne'er a shadow intercept its beams.
Thine eyes late saw the Sun burst from the East,
Marking the Morn of thy Masonic day,
Calling thee forth to labor with thy peers,
Gird then thy lambskin on; nor fail to find
In it a thought of brooks and sweet clean fields,
Haunts of this lamb through many a sunny hour.
Find in it, too, a nobler thought of Him
The Light ineffable, that Lamb of God,
Immaculate, unstained by shame or sin,
Who, dying, left ensample to all men
Who would build lives in purity and truth.
In Wisdom plan thy Apprentice task; divide
Thy time with care, thy moments spend as though
Each day were lifelong, life but as a day.
In purity of heart and sheer integrity
Use thou the gavel on each stubborn edge,
Divesting thought of aught perchance might stain,
Or scar, or tear this badge of shining white.
in the Craft's high
Gird round thy life these bands of loyal blue,
Uniting with thee all to thee akin.
Strong in a deepening knowledge, bend thy skill
To leveling false pride in place attained,
To squaring thy foundations with the truth,
setting each new stone in rectitude.
When in the West the Evening turns to gold
And beautifies what Strength and Wisdom reared,
Pause not, but search thy trestle-board, God's plan;
And ply with solemn joy thy master tools,
Earth's many cementing into heaven's one.
Full soon an unseen Hand shall gently stay
Thine arm; and on thine Apron, scutcheon bright,
Shall rest the Allseeing Eye, adjudging there
The blazoned record of thy workmanship.
Anon, thy Sun goes out and brothers lay,
With thee, thine Apron in the breast of earth,
Among the forgetful archives of the dust.
* * *
worthily this thy Masonic badge,
While still thy body toils to build thy soul
A mansion bright, beyond the gates of death,
No edifice that crumbles back to clay,
But a glorious house eternal in the skies.
These, now, be Mason's wages; when from his hands
Forever fall the working tools of life,
Arising, to ascend to loftier work; -
From out the lowly quarries to be called
To labor in the City of the King; -
Glad in the light of one long endless day,
To serve anew the Celestial Architect
And Sovereign Master of the Lodge Above.
portion, Brother, may it be to hear
These welcome words, when the great Judge shall scan
Thy work, "Well done! Thou good and faithful servant,
Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
- J. Hubert Scott, Coe College, Cedar Rapids.
The Charles Martel Legend
Bro. O.D. Street, Alabama
AS is well
known to students of Masonic history, (though not to all Masons by any
is in existence a class of MSS. known as the "Old Charges" of
but which would more appropriately be termed "Legendary Histories of
of Masonry." The known copies of these number about eighty and are to
in the possession of Lodges, individuals, libraries and museums. Until
recent date they were unpublished, but now nearly all are obtainable in
form. The earliest of them, the "Halliwell" or "Regius" MS.
dates from about 1390 A.D.; the next oldest, the "Cooke," [Lib 1400] from about 1390-1450 A.D.;
the others originated at irregular intervals extending down well into
the last century.
The extreme value of these documents in relation to the Craft is
One of the
oldest traditions of Freemasonry recorded in these MSS. histories, is
connects with the fraternity Charles Martel, who, at the battle of
Tours, in A.
D. 732, turned back the tide of Saracenic invasion of Europe. In its
it read thus: –
"And thus was that woorthy
Crafte of Massonrey
Confirmed in the Countrey of Jerusalem And in many other Kyngdomes.
Craftes men walked aboute full wyde in Dyu's Countries soome to Learne
and conning and some to teache them that had but litle conning and so
that their was on' Curious Masson that height Naymus grecus that had
byn at the
making of Sollomon's Temple and he came into ffrance and there he
taught the Science
of Massonrey to men of ffraunce And there was one of the Regall lyne of
that height Charles Martell And he was A man that Loved well suche A
Drewe to this Naymus grecus and Learned of him the Crafte And to vppon
him the Chardges
and ye mann's. And afterward by the grace of god he was elect to be
Kyng of ffraunce.
And when he was in his Estate he tooke Massons and did help to make men
yt weare none and sett them A woorke and gave them bothe the Chargs and
good paye that he had learned of other Massons And confirmed them A
yere to yeare to holde their assembly wheare they woulde, And churrishe
much And thus came the Crafte into ffraunce." (1)
seventy later versions of the "Old Charges" repeat the story in much
same language. Three, the Cooke, the William Watson, and the Henery
(one older and two later than the Grand Lodge No. 1), denominate this
patron of the Craft "Carolus Secundus." Not one mentions Charlemagne
yet in recent years the attempt has been made, with some success, to
Charlemagne for both Charles Martel and "Carolus Secundus" in this
The leading advocate of this theory is Bro. Edmund H. Dring, the
of Quaritch's famous book store in London, who in two papers read
before the Quatuor
Coronati Lodge, for which he is enargued powerfully in favor of this
publication of these papers in 1905 [Lib 1905] and 1906 [Lib 1906], Bro. Dring – and others –
apparently assumed on occasion that he had indubitably proved his
only does no copy of the "Old Charges" connect Charlemagne with
but no other Masonic document or publication of early date does so. A
surprising should certainly have something very tangible to support it.
I, for one,
do not think that Bro. Dring has by any means proved his contention. I
do not think
he has produced a single fragment of evidence to sustain it. His
is, in my judgment, essentially fallacious. It rests entirely on two
of which there is not the slightest proof.
for the introduction of the name Charles Martel into our written
legends by supposing
(not proving) two historical blunders, (1) that the author of the Cooke
a passage in Matthew Paris' Chronica Majora, wrote "Carolus Secundus"
where he should have written Charlemagne, and (2) that a later editor
of the MS., "seeing a discrepancy and not being able to reconcile it
own knowledge of history, boldly altered the word 'Secundus' to
involves several other suppositions, that the Cooke MS. is the original
of all others,
a thing by no means agreed among Masonic scholars; that the author or
the Cooke was familiar with Paris' work, of which there is no proof;
that he committed
an absurd mistake and that a later editor or copyist made a still more
skillfully prepares the way for this kind of argument by citing other
of similar alterations, not to say forgeries. By interesting facsimiles
of old documents he shows how easily an honest mistake of this sort
might be made.
That such things have been done through inadvertence and by design is
Considerations like these force us to admit the possibility of Bro.
but are mere possibilities to outweigh the positive statements of
documents of respectable
age, to say the least, although it is not yet known precisely what
degree of credit
these documents are entitled to? That an error has been made in one
case or in many
cases, or that forgeries are committed does not prove or have any
to prove either in a court or in the domain of history that a
particular case is
an error or a forgery. While it shows the possibility and hence
prepares the way
for less evidence to produce conviction than would otherwise be
requisite, it does
not dispense with the necessity of producing some evidence of a
a legitimate and direct tendency to prove that in fact there was an
error or a forgery.
Cooke MS., (supposed to date from about A. D. 1150), says "Carolus
Bro. Dring holds it as entitled to more weight than the numerous later
have it "Charles Martel," and as therefore proving that Charles Martel
could not have been the person referred to. If we knew (as Bro. Dring
seems to assume)
that all later versions of the "Old Charges" were derived from the
this would be a logical conclusion. But we do not know this; Masonic
by no means agreed that this is a fact. On the contrary, it is just as
some, if not all, of our later versions are derived from a MS. or MSS.
as old or
older than the Cooke. But having used the Cooke MSS. to discredit the
theory, Bro. Dring with strange inconsistency immediately proceeds to
the Cooke in saying "Carolus Secundus" is itself in error. In fact, it
was pointed out at the time by the Worshipful Master of the Lodge
before which Bro.
Dring's theory was advanced that a remarkable feature of his argument
was that "Charles
the Second was not Charles the Second, that Charles Martel was not
that Naimus was not Naimus, and Grecus not Grecus."
is the genealogies or origins of these MSS. have not been traced, if in
ever can be. But until this is done, it is folly to talk of their
values. Bro. Robert F. Gould devised a classification by which he
thought this might
be determined, but a no less distinguished authority – Bro. William J.
in a letter to the writer, pronounces Bro. Gould's scheme as "not
and "useless for practical purposes." In such a state, we can do no
than to regard the general consensus of the evidences afforded by these
The fact stands out that three of them say "Carolus Secundus," more
seventy say "Charles Martel," not one says "Charlemagne." It
is to say the least a remarkable result when from the MSS. themselves
is deduced that Charlemagne is meant. If such an error as Bro. Dring
produce such an abundant crop of "Martels," is it not remarkable, yea
incredible, that not a single example of the correct reading has been
of argument advanced by Bro. Dring is to show that Charlemagne was a
patron of architecture
and building. I do not question that he was as much so as Charles
he was more so. But it could be shown that many monarchs, both before
Charlemagne, were likewise patrons of this art. That all of them were
such is no
proof that Charles Martel was not.
Dring first propounded his theory of the identity of the "Carolus
and "Charles Martel" of our MSS. with Charlemagne so eminent authority
as Bro. W. Begemann, of Germany, promptly and powerfully dissented, (3)
that the evidence was stronger that the personage meant was the Emperor
II, surnamed the Bald, who was certainly one of the earliest Royal
patrons of architecture
and building in Germany. (4)
we learn from about sixty copies of the "Old Charges" accessible to us
that Charles Martel (or Secundus (5) was of the regular, (6) regal, (7)
(8) line of France; or that he was of the King's blood royal, (9) or of
lineage, (10) or that he was a worthy King, (11) (or merely a King
(12)) of France,
or that he was a worthy Knight, (13) or simply that he was a man in
(14) or of (15)
France. At the same time we are assured that he was no Frenchman. (16)
also that he was a Mason before he was King; (17) that he loved well
(18) learned it of Naymus Grecus, (19) took uhimself the charges and
of Masons, became one of the Fraternity; (21) that afterwards he was
of France but whether by the Grace (22) or Providence (23) of God, or
(24) or by fortune only seems to have been a disputed question. (25) It
denied that he was of the blood royal.
became king he cherished the Masons, confirmed them a charter to hold
from year to year, set them to work on great works, and ordained for
them good pay.
Thus we see
that the Charles referred to was one of whose royal blood there was
who was nevertheless in fact of the regal line of France; that he was
of France, but that there was dispute whether his election was due to
blood or to the fortune he had achieved for himself; finally that he
was no Frenchman.
describes Charles Martel, certainly as much so as it does Charlemagne.
was the illegitimate son of Pepin d'Heristal, Duke of Austrasia and
Mayor of the
Palace of the King of France, and was upon the death of his father
any share in the government and thrown into prison. The Austrasians,
the rule of a woman and a child, to whom Pepin had left the government,
Charles made his escape, was elected Duke of the Austrasians and soon
master of Neustria also.
We have here
narrated just such a condition of affairs as would beget the doubt and
which seem to have troubled our Masonic chroniclers.
On the other
hand, Charlemagne's title to his kingdom partly by descent from his
the Short, A. D. 768, and partly by death of his brother Karloman, A.
D. 771, was
never doubted, and while Charlemagne too was born out of wedlock, he
was fully recognized
and legitimated by the subsequent marriage of his mother and father.
There was never
the least question as to his ancestry or as to his being of the royal
made by Bro. Dring to the Charles Martel theory (26) that he was not in
the royal or regal line of France is more specious than sound. It is
true that neither
he nor his father was ever formally crowned king, but his son, Pepin
father of Charlemagne, was. It is true that Charles Martel never
assumed the title
of King; during his entire reign his official title continued to be
of the Palace." The nominal kings of the French had, however, at this
long ceased to be king in fact; they are known to us as the "puppet
to the French as "les rois
(the lazy kings). The real ruler had long
been the Mayor of the Palace, an official who began as a sort of
or, as we might now say, Private Secretary to the great old Clovis, but
with usurping all the kingly authority and finally in deposing the king
him in a monastery. This shadowy line of royalty came to an end with
the death of
Thierry IV in A. D. 737; Charles neglected to place another on the
throne and from
then until his own death in 741, though retaining the old title of
Mayor of the
Palace, Charles Martel wielded an authority which even in theory was
any other. The transparent fiction of governing in the name of a king
who had no
existence should certainly deceive no one of this day; doubtless most
of his own
generation recognized in him the real king. In the annals of the year
A. D. 717
it is written "Carolus regnare coepit." So very obvious is this that at
least two recent encyclopedic works of high authority denominate him
of the Franks." (27)
I do not
mean to imply that these works are technically accurate in denominating
but admitting that the encyclopedic writers in question are uncritical,
I ask might
not the same facts that lead uncritical writers of the XXth Century to
"King of the Franks" have led the same class of writers, (such as the
compilers of our "Old Charges" undoubtedly were), to do the same thing,
say, in the Xth, or XIth, or XIIth, or XVIth Century? The mere fact
that the personage
(whoever he be) that is referred to in our manuscripts, is called "King
the Franks" does not prove that Martel is not that personage, because
while practically, he was never technically their king.
In a very
real sense Charles Martel was of the "Regal" or "Royal" line
of France, though his illegitimacy and apparent repudiation by his
naturally give rise to the charge by the adherents of his stepmother
(to whom Pepin had left the Kingdom), that he was not of the royal
blood at all,
thus rationally accounting for just such discrepancies all
contradictions as we
find in our Masonic MSS.
Charles Martel with doings of Charlemagne is quite unlikely for two
is a tendency of the human mind to ascribe an act (1) to a later rather
earlier hero and (2) to the more noted rather than the less noted
every age since his day, Charlemagne has been a better known personage
Martel. We should, therefore, rather expect deeds of Charles Martel to
to Charlemagne than the converse. And are not those who advocate Bro.
doing this very thing?
It has never
been satisfactorily shown, so far as I am aware, whence or how Charles
his cognomen of Martel (the hammer). Our legends say he was a Mason
before he was
King, a thing which, owing to his early precarious fortunes, was far
with him than with Charlemagne. As a Mason he would, of course, wield
when he was become king some reminiscence of his old Craft would
to him; history affords many such instances. The idea that his name was
because he beat the Saracens so unmercifully, as with a hammer, sounds
more likely it was but a new application of a name by which he had been
was first a man of or in France, though not a Frenchman; he was elected
the French, if not by a regular show of hands, by the silent suffrage
of his people;
his elevation he achieved by his own fortune, powerfully aided, no
doubt, by the
fact that he was a son (though only natural) of Pepin d'Heristal;
hence, of the
lineage of the real king; so that it may then have well been, as it is
now, a matter
of doubt which contributed the more to his success. These well
facts fulfill every requirement of our MS. traditions, except that
was a Mason before he was king. But on this point history is not so
silent in his
case as in that of Charlemagne. On the other hand, his name, Martel,
lends, as we
have seen, some corroboration, which is wholly lacking in the name of
While it must be confessed that the evidence outside of our MSS. is
what there is and all that there is tends to support the Martel theory.
Nor is there
anything inherently improbable in it; it is a mistake to suppose that
was unknown during and before Charles Martel's day. Omitting all
the classic architecture of Greece and Rome, for nearly two centuries
prior to his
birth, the Magistri Comacini, the famous brotherhood or guild of
their center at Como, in Northern Italy, (and hence not remote from
under the patronage of the Lombard Kings (and even before their time)
in the erection of splendid churches and palaces, remains of which
exhibit a high
degree of skill. Evidences are not wanting of the very early
introduction of Comacine
architecture into France. Bro. Gould says that at the present day
dating long before the invasion of the barbarians still testify to the
of the French people. History vol. 1, p. 179. [Lib 1884, Vol
the battle of Tours in A. D. 732, freed Europe from the threatened
the Saracens and thus become the recognized defender of Christianity
Infidel, nothing is more natural than that Charles Martel should have
his piety and gratitude by the erection of churches. It was a common
the days of the earliest Christian kings thus to give expression to
enthusiasm and it should excite no surprise if Charles Martel followed
All the probabilities are on the side of the conclusion that he, like
so many of
his predecessors and successors, was a church builder. Indeed, it need
wonder if Martel, as our MSS. declare, himself became a member of and
the Craft, an example which finds imitation in Peter the Great becoming
If, as therefore
appears probable, Charles Martel was either a member or a patron of the
Masonry, he might reasonably be expected to grant them privileges not
upon the other crafts generally. Our MSS. say that he did; likewise in
to Boileau's Code of the usages and customs of the Masons, the Stone
Plasterers, and the Mortarers, compiled about A. D. 1260, "All Stone
are free of watch duty since the time of Charles Martel, as the wardens
tell from father to son." Commenting upon this, Bro. Gould, in his
of Freemasonry (vol. I, p. 200) says "The Prud'hommes (wardens) inform
that it has been traditional from father to son that they (stone
masons) have been
exempt ever since the time of Charles Martel. We thus see that as early
as the thirteenth
century, a tradition was current in France that Charles Martel had
favors upon the stonemasons, and that this tradition was sufficiently
to ensure very valuable privileges to the craftsmen claiming under it.
one (28) exception, all the Old Charges of British Freemasons also
to the same distinguished soldier as a great patron and protector of
This "community of tradition," as Bro. Gould calls it, "which pervaded
the minds of the medieval Masons in Gaul and Britain," and which is one
the greatest obstacles in the way of the Charlemagne theory, Bro. Dring
so much as allude to, much less attempt to reconcile. It is thus
that the Charles Martel tradition was thoroughly established in France
a hundred and fifty years before the Cooke MS. had any existence and
its author could have made his supposed mistake, and a much longer
Bro. Dring's supposed editor or copyist could have made his supposed
or mis-correction, if the term may be allowed. By Bro. Dring's rule
that, when a
document does not accord with one's theory, one has only to suppose
that its author
or editor had mistakenly or deliberately made it read differently from
the way it
should read, anything can be either proved or disproved. If two
in the way, it is only necessary to suppose that the writer of one had
before him, and thus any number of authorities may be gotten rid of. In
Bro. Dring has brushed aside more than seventy documents.
of Charles Martel first appears in our known MSS. in Grand Lodge No. 1,
1583, or as we have seen, more than three hundred years after a similar
concerning him was current among the French Stonemasons. Those who
this consensus of Masonic tradition both in France and England and
Charles Martel from the proud position he occupies in our legendary
put in his place the greater Charles, must produce evidence more
any yet brought forward. Until stronger evidence is adduced, Charles
Martel is quite
good enough a hero for us.
from the Grand Lodge MS. No. 1 of the "old charges." This
MS. bears date A.D. 1583 and is printed in Hughan's "Old Charges"
p. 41, Sadler's "Masonic Facts and Fictions" [Lib*] (1887), p. 199;
Coronati Antigrapha, Vol. [Lib*]
vol. XVIII, p. 179 [Lib 1905]; Ib. vol. XIX [Lib 1906], p. 45.
vol. XIX [Lib*], p. 55.
Holy Roman Empire; A.Q.C. vol. III [Lib 1890], p. 166.
William Watson, Henery Heade MSS [Lib*]. The Stanley MS. says he was
named "Charles" simply.
MS. Levander-York MS. [Lib*] says "regulator of France."
Lodge No. 1, Phillipps No. 1, Phillipps No. 2, Bain, Dowland, Col.
Clerke, Wood, Melrose, York No. 6, Dumfries-Kilwinning No. 1,
No. 4 MSS., Papworth MS. says a "regalion of France." John T. Thorp MS.
says "reall Lyne of France." The Stanley MS. says "of Regalme in
Lansdowne, Antiquity, York No. 1, York No. 2, York
No. 4, York No. 5, Harris No. 2, Probity, Hope, Alnwick, Wren,
Waistell, John Strachan,
New Castle College, Scarborough MSS. Dumfries-Kilwinning No. 3 calls
prince of the Royal line of France." [Lib*]
William Watson, Henery Heade, Carmick MSS. [Lib*]
Encyclopaedia; Encyclopaedia Americana; The Encyclopaedia Brittanica
(11th ed.) with a nicer discrimination denominates him a "Frankish
between which and "King of the Franks" it must be admitted there is
Cooke MS. Two others have since been
discovered, William Watson and Henery
Continuation of Questions
on "The Builders"
By "The Cincinnati Masonic
should a young Mason feel toward Masonry? Why? What will be the result?
every Mason were to more earnestly strive to be a Mason, not merely in
form, but in faith, in spirit, and still more in character, what would
are the real foundations of Masonry both material and moral? Page
constitutes the true greatness and majesty of Freemasonry? Page 18.
is said of man from the beginning as to his purpose of finding out
meanings beyond mere facts? Page 19.
what does the value of man consist? Page 56.
position does Masonry hold in the world today? Page 52-53.
is said of the Comacine Guild 712 A. D. as compared with Masonic work
of today? Page 90.
did the order of Freemasons decline, and when was it revived and what
resulted? Page 90-124-186.
is it impossible to gain much knowledge from the history of
is said of the simple eloquent emblems of Freemasonry being older than
all religions? Page 97.
was the difference between Freemasons and Guild Masons and from which
is it thought Masonry of today descended? Page 98.
is said of how the Masons taught the Monks in early Christian days?
is the chief glory of Masonry? Page 101-102-124-128-172-252.
was the motto of Freemasonry during the Middle Ages? Page 121.
evidence exists as to more than one degree during the Middle Ages? Page
did soldiers, scholars, clergymen, lawyers, and even members of the
ask to be accepted as members of the order of Freemasons through all
the past ages?
an incident showing one way the enemies of Freemasonry may work. Page
does the real power of Freemasonry lie? Page 212-214 Note.
did the numerous so-called "exposes" of Masonry affect the
order? Page 209-212.
what years were many so-called exposures of Freemasonry given, with
result and why was Masonry not affected by them? Page 212-213.
does it come that the headquarters of the Revolution and that of Paul
Revere, Hancock, and others used a Masonic Hall for their meeting
place? Page 221.
was an Anti-Masonic party formed in the United States? Who was its
for President and what success did they have? Page 228.
was the status of Masonry during the Civil War? Page 229.
must we as Masons be ever alert and vigilant even today in America?
what countries does Masonry exist? Page 231.
Name some soldiers, philosophers, patriots,
writers, poets, musicians, editors,
ministers of religions, statesmen, philanthropists, educators, jurists,
of drama who were Freemasons. Page 232.
is said of the various definitions of Freemasonry? Page 239-241.
sort of a system is Freemasonry? Page 239.
is Masonry declared to be according to one of the "Old Charges?"
do some people say that "Masonry is a science" which is engaged
in a search after divine truth? Does a candidate increase in the
knowledge of truth
as he progresses in the study of the symbolic teachings? Page 240.
proof have we that Masonry can do more for mankind than to extend
Love and integrity? Page 240, 241.
are the words of the German Handbook in regard to the activity of
what is Masonry linked which makes it so strong that no weapon formed
against it can prosper? Page 242.
is the mission of Freemasonry among mankind? Page 242-244-247.
do the many schemes for the "betterment" of mankind fail? Page
causes Masonry to best serve the society and state? Page 248.
praise Masonry? Page 252.
is Freemasonry the greatest organization for the preservation of Peace
in the world? Page 249.
is greater than all books? Page 252 Note.
does the foundation of Masonry rest upon? Page 260.
what quest does Freemasonry invite all men to unite, and what do
thinkers proclaim? Page 263-264.
is classed as the greatest modern book? Page 265.
does it mean to say that this mighty soul of man is akin to the Eternal
Soul of all things? Page 270.
is it Masonic to be friends of all men, regardless of different
Why is it we can hate what a man may do but still love the, man as a
man? Page 284.
will result if we cultivate the spirit of Love? Page 222.
the Masonic altar how do men meet? Page 288.
does Masonry endeavor to accomplish for man? Page 226-289 and 289 note
is the Spirit of Masonry? Page 127, 179-180, 258, 283, 289-290.
will become of industry, education and religion when real Masonry
upon earth? Page 290.
of the vision which Masonry gives to its votaries? Page 295-296.
will Masonry do for any man who will lay its truths to heart? Page
is a man a Mason? Page 297.
is the Great Masonic Secret? What is the real Masonic Secret? Page 293,
many orders were there of the mysteries as practiced at Memphis and of
what did they consist? What were the requirements to membership? Page
is supposed to have been taught by the Grecian or Eleusinian Mysteries
1800 B. C.? Page 49.
the various mysteries (similar to the Egyptian) passing to other
countries? Page 48, 52.
influence had the ancient mysteries upon the ritual of the Christian
Church? Page 50.
did St. Paul view the mysteries? Why? Page 50.
is said of the final condition of the mysteries and are such things
possible in other works, the church included? Page 51.
is said of The Mysteries at their highest and best? Page 51.
the Mysteries of early ages sectarian and what is said of their
do the Mysteries of today compare to those of the early ages? Page 52.
the ancient Mysteries exist prior to any religion? Page 53.
does Masonry stand in relation to the ancient Mysteries? Page 53.
what did the right to admission into the Grecian Mysteries depend? Page
wish did the aspirant have who was granted the introduction into the
so-called Grecian Mysteries? Page 59.
did the Mysteries accept a student and were they always ready to accept
one who knocked on the door for admission? Page 59.
did the teachings of the ancient world known as the Systems of esoteric
and exoteric instruction differ from the hints the novice received by
sayings and dramatic ritual and why? Page 63.
mysteries ruled the Roman world by turns? Page 82, 83.
drama did the Mysteries of Isis and Mithra teach? Page 83.
the ancient Mysteries teach the belief of any one sect or did they
them all? Page 196.
is the result of the contemplation of our mortal lot? Page 8.
is said of man as a builder, both material and spiritual? Page 6.
induced man to attach moral and spiritual meanings to the tools, laws
and materials of building? Page 26.
is man's last and highest thought, relative to all his building? Page
has man divined from the beginning, of how many worlds has he ever been
a citizen, and of what did he hope? Page 19.
did Mencius teach? Page 29
The Sadness of Art – [A Poem]
By S.O. Sheel.
we harbor most at heart
Never finds a word to hold it;
Melodies that could unfold it
Still elude our utmost art;
we put in paint and granite
Doing so our noblest duty,
Tells the world of wondrous beauty
While we weep to see and scan it.
is why we go despairing
In a world of love and laughter,
Heed no past and no hereafter,
Find no rest in all our faring;
is why we are the sad;
How can hearts of ours help breaking?
Still unmade for all our making!
Naught to tell the dream we had!
tie is no mere idle fancy. It is a real life which binds men to mankind
and gives them an interest in the larger hopes for coming generations.
war for peace.
The Establishment and Early
Days of Masonry in America
Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, G.M. of
Masons in Mass.
Chapter II – Part II
Deputation arrived on Aug. 21, 1755, and he was installed "Provincial
Master of Masons in North America" by Henry Price on October 1. Again
year Price was elected Master of the Masters' Lodge in Boston. The Earl
was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England in 1736, and was present
at the celebration
in Boston of the Feast of St. John the Evangelist on Jan. 31, 1757.
This was a gala
day, with many of the most prominent Brethren present. Closely in touch
England and America again, for in 1757 Brother Franklin went to England
years. He was able to bear testimony to the Grand Lodge of England, for
he was present
at its meeting on Nov. 7, 1760. On Sept. 10, 1767, Gridley died, and
Price was recalled
to the East of the Grand Lodge on Oct. 2.
issued a Charter to North Carolina, date unknown, and on Dec. 30, 1767,
a Deputy Grand Master for that Province. During this period Charters
were also granted
from Boston to Lodges in Rhode Island, Jan. 18, 1757; again, March 20,
Guiana, April 8, 1761; Connecticut, April 9, 1762; again, July 26,
1765, and Oct.
24, 1766; New Jersey, July 28, 1762; again, Oct. 25, 1765; Quebec, Oct.
West Indies, Oct. 24, 1766; Virginia, Oct. 24, 1766; and to Army Lodges
in New York,
May 13, 1756; April 13, 1759, and March 20, 1762; and in Nova Scotia,
Nov. 13, 1758.
On Jan. 22,
1768, John Rowe was nominated as Provincial Grand Master of North
America and on
Jan. 25, 1768, a petition was drawn up to the Grand Master of England
for his appointment.
In that, we again find the customary prayer that "Whereas Masonry in
originated in this Place (Boston) Anno 5733, and in the Year following
Grand Master Price received Orders from Grand Master Crauford to
in all North America, in Pursuance of which the several Lodges
have received Constitutions from us; We therefore claim due Precedency,
in Order thereunto, Our Grand Master Elect may in his Deputation be
Master of all North America." Accompanying this petition was a letter
Henry Price to the Grand Master of England, dated at Boston, New
England, Jan. 27,
1768. This holographic letter is an important one, and I beg leave to
quote it here:
New England, Jan. 27, 1768.
Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens and Brethren, in Grand
now sent to you is for the Constitution of four Lodges in America,
which I pray
may be Registered in the Grand Lodge Books; the Money would have been
before, but some unforeseen Accidents prevented, therefore, I hope the
will not be denied their Rank among the Lodges, according to the Time
of their Constitution,
notwithstanding the above Omission. For the particulars concerning
them, I must
refer you to the Letter from the Grand Committee of the Grand Lodge
goes by the same hand that presents this to You: Several other Lodges
Constituted by the Grand Lodge here, in different parts of America, who
yet Transmitted to us the Stated Fees for their Constitution, but as
soon as it
comes to hand, it shall be remitted to You, hoping at the same Time
that they will
likewise be Registered among other Regular Constituted Lodges.
Brothers. I had the Honour to be appointed Provincial Grand Master of
by the Rt. Honble and Rt. Worshipful Lord, Anthony Brown, Viscount
the Year 1733, and in the Year 1735, said Commission to me was extended
North America, by the Rt. Honble and Rt. Worshipful John Lindsay Earl
then Grand Master of Masons; but upon enquiry, I find that said
never Registered, though I myself paid three Guineas therefor, to
Esqr., then Deputy Grand Master, who with the Grand Wardens then in
my said Deputation.
Deputation was the first that the Grand Lodge ever issued to any part
and stands so now in all Lodges on the Continent. Other Deputations
have since been
given to different Provinces, but they cannot according to Rule take
Rank of mine.
So, would submit it to your Wisdom and Justice, whether said
not be Registered in their proper Place, without any further
and the Grand Lodge here have Rank according to Date, as it has (by
Virtue of said
Deputation) been the foundation of Masonry in America, and I the
Rt. Worshipful Brethren, I beg that enquiry may be made into the
Premises, and that
Things may be set right, is the earnest Request of your much honored,
Brother and very humble Servant Henry Price.
Worshipful. I herewith send you an attested Copy of my said Deputation,
in the Grand Lodge Book of this Place, under the Hand of our Grand
signature you may depend upon as Genuine. H. P."
the clerical errors in spelling Montague's name and in stating the year
of 1734, see full explanation 1871 Massachusetts printed proceedings
page 330; and
also Report of Committee, M. W. John T. Heard, Chairman, 1870
proceedings pages 238-330.
was committed to the care of Bro. William Jackson, who took it to
England and presented
it to the Grand Lodge there. This is another express petition addressed
to the Grand
Lodge of England directly involving the precedency of Henry Price and
Lodge founded by him in Massachusetts. The Body to which it was
addressed, the Grand
Lodge of England, was the only body in the world having authority to
this question. It was the court of last resort. It had before it all
It had the full opportunity of investigating the facts, not only from
between England and America and from documents on its own files, but
any further information it sought to obtain. The whole Masonic world
was open to
it. Many men were living who knew of the incidents concerned. And the
of England then proceeded to make a final adjudication upon the matter.
in reply addressed to Henry Price by Thomas French, the Grand Secretary
exhibits the carelessness in Keeping and preserving records and in the
of details both in England and America. It shows that Henry Price had
neglectful in keeping up a regular correspondence, and it also shows
with which such letters as he did send were treated in England. The
Secretary refers to having found an important document among what he
papers" in his possession.
between Price and England is to be found in 1 Mass. Printed
Proceedings, 407 et
seq (See 1871 Mass. Printed Proceedings, 362 et seq.) In this
is expressly recognized as Grand Master of all North America, except
Carolina and South Carolina. These very exceptions show that England
his authority over Pennsylvania. The Deputation to Rowe was dated May
In this is an express adjudication that Price had been "Constituted
Grand Master for North America." It was received in Boston Sept. 30,
and on Nov. 23 Rowe was installed Grand Master by Henry Price with
It was on
May 30, 1769, that Gen. Joseph Warren was appointed a Provincial Grand
Boston and its environs by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. That Grand
the right to jurisdiction here because this was a Province, and
therefore open to
any Grand Lodge. Whether or not the claim was sound is immaterial to
because his Grand Lodge has since been merged with the Grand Lodge
headed by Henry
Price and his successors. In the Massachusetts archives are to be found
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of England for Feb. 7, 1770, Feb. 6,
26, 1771, Nov. 29, 1771, and Nov. 4, 1772. All of these bear the
of Rowland Berkeley, Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of England, and
to Henry Price with titles in recognition of his standing. For
instance; The Proceedings
for Feb. 6, 1771, are addressed as follows:
the R. W. Henry Price, Esqr. Provl. G. M. of Free Masons for North
America at Boston,
30, 1773, Henry Price presided over the Grand Lodge for the last time,
and on Jan.
28, 1774, he attended the Grand Lodge for the last time.
8, 1777, the independence of Freemasonry in America from foreign
dictation was first
declared by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
It has been
asserted that the Grand Lodge of which Henry Price and his successors
were the head
suspended operations from 1775 until 1787. This, however, is not
the official records are missing. The diary of Grand Master Rowe states
dined with Freemasons March 28, 1776; speaks also of "The Lodges under
with Our Proper Jewells and Clothing" and of the "handsome Procession
of the Craft" April 8, 1776; and adds that he celebrated the Feast of
the Baptist in 1776 with the Brethren of the Lodges under his
direction. That diary
is authentic evidence, as are diplomas now extant which were issued
during the period
named; notably the diploma of Commodore Samuel Tucker who was made a
Mason in St.
John's Lodge of Boston in January, 1779. Reports were given in the
meetings of Lodges in 1780. March 23, 1780, Union Lodge of Danbury,
from Boston. St. John's Lodge (which was formerly the First Lodge in
one time held a Charter issued by authority of John Rowe, Grand Master,
date Feb. 7, 1783. On this date the First and Second Lodges in Boston
subsequent records are complete. "Fleet's Pocket Almanac" published in
Boston for 1784, shows that Lodges were then active. On page 42 of this
of the first Grand Lodge in Boston, (Right Worshipful John Rowe, Efq;
Master) being carried away by the Secretary, at the time the British
the Town in 1776, a particular Lift of the several Lodges in North
America who received
Deputations from, and are under its Jurisdiction, cannot at prefent be
– They are in Number about Thirty. Those in Boston are,
or 1st Lodge, 2d Lodge,
the records of Feb. 17, and March 2, 1787, contain inherent evidence of
and activity, although there be a hiatus in the formal record.
times account for the non-existence or loss of formal records. Probably
no one will
ever be able to explain exactly what has become of them. The Grand
1776 was a Tory and fled Boston never to return taking the books with
would be more humanly probable than that his successor for a time would
the records upon loose sheets intending to transcribe them in the
when returned. The writer personally knows of two cases recently where
have died leaving years of records upon loose sheets only except as
some had been
printed therefrom without being written into the official record books.
we have not found the formal record, yet we have found, as indicated,
evidence that the Fraternity was active and the authority of the Grand
being exercised during this period between 1775 and 1787, and has
continuous from 1733 to date.
The Mason's Holy House – [A Poem]
By Albert Pike.
have a holy house to build,
A temple splendid and divine,
To be with glorious memories filled,
Of right and truth, to be the shrine.
How shall we build it, strong and fair,
This holy house of praise and prayer,
Firm set and solid, grandly great?
How shall we all its rooms prepare
For use, for ornament, for state?
Our God hath given the wood and stone,
And we must fashion them aright,
Like those who toiled on Lebanon,
Making the labor their delight;
This house, this place, this God's home,
This temple with a holy dome,
Must be in all proportions fit,
That heavenly messengers may come
To dwell with those who meet in it.
Build squarely up the stately walls,
The two symbolic columns raise;
But let the lofty courts and halls,
With all their golden glories blaze –
There in the Kadosh-Kadoshim,
Between the broad-winged cherubim,
Where the shekinah once abode,
The heart shall raise its daily hymn
Of gratitude and love to God.
My Way – [A Poem]
By Sam Walter Foss.
it stretches very far,
Mayhap it winds from star to star;
Mayhap through worlds as yet unformed
Its never-ending journey runs,
Through worlds that now are whirling wraiths
Of formless mists between the suns.
I go – beyond my widest ken -
But shall not pass this way again.
So, as I go and can not stay,
And never more shall pass this way,
I hope to sow the way with deeds
Whose seed shall bloom like May-time meads,
And flood my onward path with words
That thrill the day like singing birds;
That other travelers following on
May find a gleam and not a gloom,
May find their path in pleasant way,
A trail of music and of bloom.
Gather Us In – [A Poem]
By John Oxenham.
us in, Thou Love that fillest all!
Gather our rival faiths within Thy fold!
Rend each man's temple veil and bid it fall,
That they may know that Thou hast been of old;
Gather us in!
Gather us in! we worship only Thee;
In varied names we stretch a common hand;
In diverse forms a common soul we see;
In many ships we see one spirit-land;
Gather us in!
Each sees one color of Thy rainbow light,
Each looks upon one tint and calls it heaven;
Thou art the fullness of our partial sight;
We are not perfect till we find the seven;
Gather us in!
Thine is the mystic light great India craves,
Thine is the Parsee's sin-destroying beam,
Thine is the Buddhist's rest from tossing waves,
Thine is the empire of vast China's dream;
Gather us in!
Thine is the Roman's strength without his pride,
Thine is the Greek's glad world without its graves,
Thine is Judea's law with love beside,
The truth that centers and the grace that saves;
Gather us in!
Some seek a Father in the heavens above,
Some ask a human image to adore,
Some crave a spirit vast as life and love:
Within Thy mansions we have all and more:
Gather us in!
The Kindly Light – [A Poem]
By John Oxenham.
for one single day
Can I discern my way,
But this I surely know -
Who gives the day
Will show the way
So I securely go.
of my religion. It is known to my God and myself alone. If my life has
and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a
Memorials to Great Men Who
Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P. G. M., District
a very handsome marble statue, at the intersection of Pennsylvania
street and D street, in Washington, of this great man and Mason. It was
erected at the expense of the Government, nor the Craft nor any
but by a Printer, Mr. Stilson Hutchins, editor and proprietor of the
Post. There are three statues of Signers of the Declaration of
the City, but neither of them built at public expense.
On the front
of Franklin's memorial is the word PRINTER. And it appears he is more
his trade than for his patriotism.
was one of the five men who drafted the Declaration of Independence: he
is one of
the few self-made men of his day on whom the Colleges conferred
degrees: he was
one of the very few Americans who were ever made fellows in the Royal
England. He was an LLD and a PhD, and also a diplomat of a high order.
One of the
few self-made men who was not superficial. He discovered the origin of
Stream, that great river in the sea which tempers the climate of
and which gives such substantial aid to Navigation.
He was our
first Commissioner to a foreign Nation, (France) our first Minister to
the intimate friend of Washington, of Louis XIV, of the great
Houdon and John Paul Jones. The first to explain the cause of
electricity in the
clouds: the inventor of the printing press and other useful devices.
The exact date
of Franklin's initiation into Masonry is not known: this is another
the remissness in keeping records at that time, or the loss of records.
was Master of that famous lodge in Paris, Neuf Soeurs, famous for its
membership and for the bravery of its members in the defense of the
rights of man,
previous to and during the French Revolution: he was Grand Master of
the Grand Lodge
of Pennsylvania afterwards.
of Franklin, which was, unfortunately, mislaid and was never engraved
on his tomb,
Wm. F. Kuhn, P.G.M., Missouri
IN the onward
march of civilization, in the upward trend toward a higher standard of
and ethics for the enlightenment, of humanity, I see a greater and more
future for Freemasonry than at any period of the past. The Freemason of
less, far less, for the non-essentials, but more for the essentials.
of steps, grips and words is rapidly disappearing, but the student of
the life and
spirit of Freemasonry is increasing. The Freemason of the future will
for idle speculation. He will believe and practice that humanity needs
less of abstract
philosophical cob-webs, but more of cheer; less of Egyptian rites, now
but more of good will; less of imaginary symbolism, but more of love.
He will pay
less "tithes of mint and anise and cumin," but more attention to the
matters; mercy, faith and charity. He will recognize more fully the
of Him who was set as a "Plumb line in the midst of my people Israel."
of hearts made lighter and lives made brighter, will outlive all
all official distinctions, all self-aggrandizement. The Freemason of
will worry and write less over what may constitute the "Ancient
but he will believe that the three essential landmarks, of faith in
God, hope in
immortality and the daily application of the Golden Rule, are more
He will know that: -
"God is a Father,
Man is a Brother,
The earth is our Mother,
Life is a mission and not a
Knighthood is service,
His scepter is gladness,
The Least is the Greatest,
Saving is dying -
Giving is living -
Life is eternal and Love is its
player on the golden harp of Freemasonry has touched a sweeter chord;
speak of love, of joy, of gladness, whose harmonies will touch the
heart of this
cold selfish world. Its seraphic sweetness will be carried, as on the
wings of the
morning to the uttermost parts of the earth, to hamlet and palace, to
rich and to
the poor, that it will roll back in a mighty chorus from royal men,
angelic song of Bethlehem's plains: – "Glory to God in the Highest
Earth and Good-Will to men."
We are all
like children playing on the seashore, picking up here a pebble and
there a stone,
with the whole ocean of truth unexplored before us.
- Sir Isaac
Symbolism of the First Degree
Bro. Asahel W. Gage, Illinois
IN the beginning,
the seeker for truth must be duly and truly prepared. In the usually
this talk is unprepared. And yet, I spent five years in the "line" of
the lodge observing, thinking about and studying Masonry. It is this
study and my
later contemplations that are my preparation to speak on the symbolism
of the first
to me that the essence of every Masonic lesson is presented in the
the first degree. An entered apprentice is a Mason. The second, third,
higher degrees are elaborations. All Masonic business was formerly
a lodge opened only on the first degree.
lessons are practical lessons. They have a dollar and cents value. The
tells us that he became a Mason in order that he might receive
master's, or larger
wages. That there may be no misunderstanding as to his meaning monetary
further says, in order to "better support himself and family." If we
look honestly into our own hearts, we will see that we paid the price
for the Masonic
degrees because we hoped to receive the equivalent or a greater return.
If we have
not received a return equal to our original and annual investment, it
we have not applied ourselves to the study of Masonry with freedom,
But let us
understand each other. There is little chance of our making much
we agree on a clear and definite meaning of the terms we use. It is not
and pleasant, but it is necessary for us to dwell together in unity of
if we would arrive at a harmonious conclusion. We should therefore
endeavor to clearly
define our subject.
"symbol" is derived from the Greek, meaning "to compare." A
symbol is the expression of an idea by comparison. Often, an abstract
idea may be
best conveyed by a comparison with a concrete object. A dictionary
a symbol would be, a sign or representation which suggests something
therefore, is the science of symbols or signs, the philosophy or art of
abstract truths and ideas by concrete things. Symbolism is suggestion;
and painting by form and color, in language by words, in music by
sounds. What allegory
and parable are in literature; what figurative speaking is in language;
of the first degree is for the apprentice. An apprentice Mason is one
who has begun
the study of Masonry. Certain qualifications are necessary for every
The qualifications of a Masonic apprentice are a belief in a God, a
desire for knowledge,
and a sincere wish to be of service to his fellow creatures. Possessing
the candidate must follow a course of ancient hieroglyphic moral
agreeably to ancient usages, by types, emblems and allegorical figures.
symbolism, and symbolism is universal language. It is the language in
reveals himself to man. The manifestations of nature are only symbolic
learn best from symbols. Blocks and toys are crude symbolic
representations of the
more complicated things of life. Most of us learned our alphabet and
else by the relationship or correspondence to things with which we were
We are only children after all. Older children call themselves
scientists and make
their experiments in their laboratories. Each experiment is a symbol of
taking place in the real world outside.
in the moral science should give up the rags of his own righteousness
and also all
precious metals, symbolical of worldly wealth and distinction, and all
symbolical of offense and defense, in order that he may realize his
moral forces only. He should be clad in a garment signifying that he
pure intentions to learn the noble art and profit by its lessons, not
among others, but to develop and improve himself. He is carefully
examined to ascertain
whether he is worthy and well qualified to receive and use the rights
of Masonry. Being satisfied that he is worthy and well qualified, he is
and is immediately impressed with the fact that he must undergo
sacrifice and suffering
if he would attain the end he seeks. Realizing that the good intentions
of the candidate,
his own righteousness or even the lodge organization, are not
sufficient, we invoke
the blessing and aid of God upon our search for knowledge and truth.
the system of symbolism. When we would know the truth in regard to
things too great
for our minds to comprehend, we take as a symbol that which is within
grasp. We know that the truth about the things we cannot comprehend, is
with the truth in relation to the symbol which we do comprehend.
in his search for Light must start from the North with the Easter Sun
in the East,
and travel by way of the South to the West, and back into darkness. He
out of the North in the East and passes through the same course again
in his development. Obstacles are met by the apprentice in his
progress, so similar
that they seem identical. The little occurrences-of life may seem
they determine whether we will be permitted to advance. The apprentice
be worthy and well qualified.
must advance on the square by regular upright steps. The symbolism is
and universal that it is used in the slang of the street. Obligations
assumed. We must assume them if we would advance and having assumed
them we are
bound by them whether we will or not. Then the light breaks and we
begin to see.
We find that others, even the most learned, stand like the beginners.
is on a level with the apprentice, and extends a hand which is grasped
and the candidate is raised. There is the key to the Masters Word – an
but he may never find the word itself.
before, the apprentice must follow the course of the Sun. As is the
is the smallest. In the drop of water are all the laws of the universe.
If we study
carefully, we will find in the dew drop the particles revolving and
their little circles the same as we find the heavenly bodies revolving
in their great orbits, circle within circle and circle upon circle. The
Light always emerges from the North in the East and passes by way of
the South to
the West and again into darkness, with full faith and perfect
confidence that day
will follow night. He is continually subjected to tests and trials and
responsible for what he has learned and for that which has gone before.
Book, His revelation to us, is the guide in our search for light. To
the Jew this
Holy Book is the history of Israel, substantially the Old Testament. To
it is the Old and New Testament. To the Mohammedan, it is the Koran; to
the Veda. But whatever book it is, it is the Holy Book of the seeker
for Light and
that which he believes to be the word of God. The Holy Book together
with the square
and the compasses are the great lights of Masonry.
lights are the Sun, Moon and Master of the Lodge. The Sun symbolizes
the great active
principle, the Moon the great passive principle. This symbolism is so
that even the uninitiated refer to the Sun as masculine and the Moon as
The Master is symbolical of the offspring of the great Active and
He is the mediator, the child of the two great forces. He sets the
craft to work
upon their symbolic studies, which is no light responsibility to be
assumed by the
uninformed. Only chaos and disaster can overtake him who attempts the
work he is
not qualified to perform. When the apprentice has received his degree
he is given
his working tools and the primary or elementary instructions as to how
to go to
tools of an apprentice are the 24 inch gauge and the common gavel. The
strength or force. Force undirected is the flood devastating all in its
the idle puff of the unconfined powder which accomplishes nothing.
is the gavel without the rule. But intelligently controlled, and
a proper line by the rule of intellect, the force of the torrent grinds
and does the work of many men. The force of the exploding powder prys
the rock loose
so that the work of months is accomplished in a moment.
of universal laws in the moral world is just as ascertainable and
as in the physical world. Morals are as susceptible of scientific study
apron, a most ancient symbol, signifies that it is only by honest
toil that the moral laws can be learned and applied, and that this toil
done in purity and innocence.
In the lectures
which follow the ceremony of the first degree, the apprentice is given
information. It would be too tedious to analyze these lectures at this
it to say they are very superficial and of little worth in themselves.
be understood and felt, if they are to be of any value. Briefly we may
a Lodge as a place to work, a place to study, analyze, and master the
so that we may make use of the moral laws and principles in our
Symbolically, it is representative of the world, our daily working
of the Lodge and its teaching is squareness. It is, however, supported
pillars; Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. From which we may learn that in
when intelligence or wisdom directs, and strength or power works, then
is covered with the blue vault of Heaven. Blue is the symbol of
equality, it is
a proper mingling of all colors, it is perfect concord. It is also
the universality of that charity, which should be as expansive as the
of Heaven itself. Charity is not the giving of money alone. It is also
to have charity toward the weaknesses and mistakes of others.
is a checkered pavement of good and evil, but in the center is the
which is the seed and the source of all life and eternal life.
lines have a symbolism analogous to that of the two pillars, Jachin and
is more fully developed in other degrees. The point in the center of
between the parallels is sometimes compared to the individual member
to God who is the center of all things. The circumference may suggest
of man's conduct, or God's creatures, all equally distant and all
equally near to
Him. Sometimes the circumference is used to depict the endless course
of God's power,
and His existence without end. This is all speculation, it is
symbolism, the contemplation
of which will develop the individual.
If the apprentice
pursues his studies in the moral art with freedom, fervency and zeal,
he will receive
Master's, or larger wages, and be thereby the better enabled to support
and family and to contribute the relief of the distressed.
The Presentation of the
Bro. John W. Wells, Iowa
the Apron to a Brother, we say that it is more ancient than the Golden
the Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter, or any other
might be conferred, etc.
claims true? We shall examine them severally.
The Golden Fleece.
tradition, the fleece of the Ram Chrysomallus, the recovery of which
was the object
of the Argonautic expedition.
Golden Fleece" has given its name to a celebrated Order of Knighthood
and Spain, founded by Philip III. Duke of Burgundy and the Netherlands,
on the tenth of January, 1429, on the occasion of his marriage with
of King John I. of Portugal.
was instituted for the protection of the Roman Catholic Church, and the
assumed for its emblem, from being a staple commodity of the low
founder made himself Grand Master of the Order, a dignity appointed to
his successors; and the number of knights, at first limited to
arose between Spain and Austria as to the possession of this Order of
which were finally adjusted by introducing the Order into both
countries. In Austria
the Emperor may now create any number of Knights of the Golden Fleece
from the nobility.
If Protestants, the consent of the Pope is required. In Spain, Princes,
and personages of peculiar merit are alone eligible to membership in
of the Golden Fleece, for which the Argonauts searched, is like the
story of Masonry,
a search for that which was lost. It is familiar to most readers of
poetry and myths,
and is interesting as being among the first known voyages of discovery.
The Roman Eagle.
as adopted by the Romans upon their banners, signified magnanimity and
or as in the ancient Sacred Writings, swiftness and courage. The Romans
the first to display the Eagle upon their banners, for the Persians,
the Younger, had borne the Eagle upon their standards.
times France, Russia, Prussia, and the United States have adopted the
Eagle as a
National military symbol.
of the Black Eagle, in Prussia, was instituted in 1701, on the occasion
of the coronation
of the King. The number of Knights was first limited to thirty, in
addition to the
princes of the Royal family; but now the number is unlimited. They must
be at least
thirty years of age, and must prove noble descent through both parents
for at least
four generations. Chapters of the Order of the Black Eagle are held
twice a year.
It is the highest Order in Prussia. No member is allowed to travel from
than twenty miles without permission or giving notice.
of the Red Eagle, founded in 1734, was afterwards made a subordinate
degree to the
Order of the Black Eagle, and those received into the Black, must now
the Order of the Red Eagle.
are outgrowths of the original symbol of the Roman Eagle.
The Star and the Garter.
of the Star originated in France, and was founded by John II. in 1350
of the recently instituted Order of the Garter in England. The name of
has allusion to the Star of Bethlehem, or the Star of the Magi.
A star of
some design, from five to sixteen points, forms a part of the symbolism
Order of Knighthood.
of the Garter dates from about 1344. Its origin is not certain. Edward
III. is said
by some to have instituted it. Others say Richard I. at the siege of
he is said to have caused 26 Knights to wear thongs of blue leather
is, that the Countess of Salisbury happened at a ball to drop her
garter, and the
King picking it up, presented it to her. Some of the company smiled,
King exclaimed "Honi Soit Qui Mal y pense" (Evil to him who evil
Immediately after this circumstance this Order of the Garter was
founded. It was
founded in honor of the Holy Trinity – The Virgin Mary, St. Edward the
and St. George. The last, who had become the tutelary saint of England,
its special patron. It is known as the Order of St. George, as well as
of the Garter.
Its members are also known as Knights of St. George.
of Knights was originally twenty-six, including the Sovereign, who is
of the Order; but in 1786 an order was passed increasing the number to
the princes of the Royal family, and illustrious foreigners on whom the
is a dark blue ribbon, edged with gold, bearing the motto, "Honi Soit
y pense" (Evil to him who evil thinks) in gold letters, mounted with a
buckle, and worn on the left leg below the knee. The mantle is of blue
the left breast is a star. The hood is of crimson velvet lined with
white The hat
is of black velvet with a plume of white ostrich feathers, in the
center of which
is a tuft of black heron's feathers, all fastened by a band of
diamonds. The "George"
is a figure of St. George encountering a dragon, and is worn on the
a lesser "George" pendant to a dark blue ribbon, is worn over the left
is perhaps the best known of any except the Order of Knights Templar.
In many respects
The Garter and the Order of the Temple resemble each other.
all these orders, The Golden Fleece, The Roman Eagle, and the other
of the Eagle, The Star and the Garter, Freemasonry may well claim to be
than any or all of them; for in some form, well-nigh akin to its
present form, Masonry
has existed for many centuries.
Fraternity – [A Poem]
By David E. Guyton.
build us temples tall and grand,
With gifts we heap our altars high,
Unheeding how, on every hand,
The hungry and the naked cry.
We sound our creeds in trumpet tone,
With zeal we compass land and sea,
Unmindful of the sob and moan
Of souls that yearn for sympathy.
We hurl to hell, we bear above,
With equal ease we loose or bind,
Forgetful quite that God is Love,
And Love is large and broad and kind.
O Thou Eternal Largeness, teach
Our petty, shrivelled souls to swell
Till Thou, within their ampler reach,
In every human heart may dwell;
Till Love alone becomes the creed
Of every nation, tribe and clan,
The Fatherhood of God, indeed,
The blessed Brotherhood of Man.
The Freeman's Oath
I do solemnly
bind myself that I will give my vote and suffrage as I shall judge in
my own conscience
may best conduce to the public weal. So help me God!.
Let There Be Light – [A Poem]
By Wm. M. Shaver.
the mighty mandate pealing;
Let there be light!
See the waste of waters reeling -
Let there be light!
Light thro' heaven's arches ringing,
All the darkness backward flinging,
Set the morning star a singing -
Let there be light!
Here, O Father, see one pleading;
Let there be light!
For the New Light interceding;
Let there be light!
Now continue Thy creating,
All the chains of darkness breaking,
And a Son of Light awaking!
Let there be light!
is a real thing and words are only its raiment, but a thought is as shy
as a virgin;
unless it is fittingly appareled we may not look on its shadowy
nakedness: it will
fly from us and only return in the darkness which we cannot comprehend
aching minds, listening and divining, we at last fashion for it those
are its protection and its banner.
- James Stephens.
II. The Temple Of Kenwood
Lodge, Milwaukee, Wis.
HOW to build
an exclusive Masonic Temple sufficiently commodious to house a Lodge of
numbers, for the sum of $50,000.00, is a question frequently asked of
in these days. The problem becomes difficult only when the social
demands of some
of our Lodges are put forward. Space for dancing and banquets, for the
of the ladies on festive occasions, and for real fraternity among the
they desire to make of the temple a "Men's House" in fact, is at a
in such a building. And the answer to our question becomes indeed
the Brethren who have the enthusiasm to demand all these things for the
of themselves and their families, are equally earnest in making careful
provision for the perpetuation of the real Masonry, by a proper
in this number of The Builder will inform the members of the Society
how the question
was answered by Kenwood Lodge No. 303, practically the youngest
in Wisconsin. The ground occupied by the building is 55x115 feet. The
design, adopted to blend with a very promising residential district, is
pleasing to the eye. Carried into the interior, it seems to afford that
and sensitive atmosphere which is best calculated to inspire reverence
in the participants
in the work of the Lodge, and to banish all thought of mirth. That such
will help to make a candidate's introduction into Masonry a
consecration in fact,
will be conceded at a glance.
but admire the economy of space in this Temple. The high basement
banquet hall with a seating capacity of 400, an ample kitchen, and,
withal, a complete
heating and ventilating apparatus. On the first floor is arranged a
or Dance Hall, with commodious anterooms, reception hall, Ladies'
Parlor and tiled
Loggia. On the second floor is the Lodge Room proper (its high ceiling
up into the third story) with a large and commodious Lobby, Anteroom,
Room, Property Rooms, Pipe Organ, Stage, and Corridor for a Commandery,
splendid arrangement for locker space.) The third floor, besides
upper part of the Lodge Room, will have an upper Commandery Room, and a
Hall, with an open fireplace.
this Temple a Milwaukee Brother says: "It is the purpose of the
make Kenwood Lodge not alone a live Masonic institution, but a home or
the Masonic Brethren living in the upper 18th ward affiliated with the
of the City of Milwaukee." No doubt the complete equipment of this
in order to accommodate the desires of the Brethren in these various
add a number of thousands of dollars to the bare cost of the building.
are many communities in America where a great part of the entire social
the community, broadly speaking, has for its hub the Masonic Temple.
For such a
condition, there are a goodly number of notable features of this Temple
well worthwhile. Tastes in architecture may differ; decorative effects
schemes may or may not receive the same attention, in one community as
But for economic arrangement of space without materially affecting
use of a Chapter or Commandery, and with everything that a Blue Lodge
for the portrayal of its degrees, this Temple is a splendid example.
have been intelligently planned, heating and ventilation are carefully
for, and the comforts for the handling of a reasonable audience are all
have not been cramped. Officers are provided with a room in which to
Fire-proof vaults will house and protect the records of the Lodge. No
made of more than one preparation room, but it is evident that this
could easily be provided, if necessary. All in all, an examination of
reveals intelligent foresight and knowledge of the Masonic
requirements, and, as
we believe, they are well worth presentation in a series of studies of
efforts of American Freemasons.
By Arthur Edward Waite, England
does not disguise an honorable pride in the following appreciation of
book, The Builders: a Story and Study of Masonry [Lib 1914], published by Brother Arthur
Waite in the Occult Review, August, 1915. There is no man living whose
values more highly than that of the distinguished author of "The Secret
in Freemasonry" [Lib 1911; Vol
1, Vol 2] – to name only one of his
and scholarly works – and for this reason he appreciates such praise of
but still more the fine tribute to the Grand Lodge of Iowa for its
in having the book written and in putting its official sanction upon
it. The review
by Brother Waite is brief but it says everything, as he knows so well
how to do,
recognizing the necessity for such an introduction to the study of
Masonry as well
as the value of the particular book under review.)
I have before
me a book which is described by its publishers in exceedingly striking
is explained that the work has been written as a commission from the
of Iowa, U.S.A., that it was approved by that Body on June 10, 1914,
and that henceforward
a copy will be "presented to every man upon whom the degree of Master
is conferred in the Grand Jurisdiction of Iowa." The zeal and activity
American Lodge has been mentioned more than once in the Occult Review,
with a National Lodge of Masonic Research, founded recently, and in
official organ, some issues of which have reached us. That is a
worthy of the highest praise and beginning to deserve it in the best
sense of these
words. Under the simple but pregnant title of The Builders, the volume
notice is, however, an individual effort – though bearing an important
– and there are two ways in which it marks an epoch. They are the
of its production, as stated, and the value of its contents.
When a man
enters Freemasonry it is customary to present him with the Book of
and the By-laws of that Lodge by which he has been received into the
These things are provided so that he may live in conformity with
Masonic rule in
things which concern the Brotherhood, and they are therefore put into
by an act of necessity, not by an act of grace. During a period of
over two hundred years, there may have been rare cases in which other
has been furnished, but they have not come under my notice. The new
member has therefore
very little knowledge of the organization into which he has come, its
or its history. The mystery of speculative building, of temples
Symbols and Rites of the Order, their developments and transformations
– of all
these things he who would learn must seek – and it might happen that
of the Lodge would prove, not only the last person who could guide him,
last person to instruct, but even the first to feel confused and
astonished at direction
being sought on such subjects. I am not wishing to suggest that there
is no guidance
possible. In this as in all things else, a man who wants to learn will
to find his teachers, while for the Mason also as for others there is a
of instructors, each at his own value, in books and even in
periodicals. There are
also a few Lodges which pass as learned and issue transactions that
those who wish
may see, without very grave difficulty. Of course in the multitude of
there is the confusion to be expected, and the most natural question
have the Masonic headships to say upon the subject of Masonry?
there has been so far no answer whatever, and when I come to the real
is likely to be unexpected by some at least of my readers. Individual
may write of that and this, but only in their private capacity, for –
as a matter
of fact – any teaching body of the kind implied by the question is not
in Masonry. It is on the surface a "system of morality, veiled in
and illustrated by symbols." The morality is perfectly clear, and calls
no exposition, while up to a certain point the Rituals exist to explain
and symbols. The essence and spirit of Masonry are not contained,
the terms of the definition which I have quoted. Rather they escape
of that which lies beyond no governing body in Masonry has the power to
authority, such bodies being custodians of the surface meaning only and
is involved thereby. Omnia exeunt in mysterium,
and if it should profit little to consult the Master of a Lodge, in the
of cases, the profit might be less than nothing to consult the Grand
would exceed their province by speaking. If some time or other in the
Masonry – whether operative, speculative, or both – there grew up or
within it that strange ceremonial mystery which constitutes the Third
if it contains within it as a summary all the instituted Mysteries, the
the soul and the doctrine of Christ-Life on earth, the Grand Lodges
us when and how it was imparted, whence it came, or alternatively how
it grew up
within the four walls of the Universal Lodge. They cannot unveil the
if this be their inward aspect, nor can they illustrate the symbols. It
province to maintain landmarks and constitutions without innovations
is that every man who becomes a Mason thinks what he pleases to think
on all sides
of the Masonic subject. He may regard it as a benefit society, a social
method of bringing people together, a concern which provides status, or
from the purpose than one or all of these. He may believe alternatively
is a great instrument of moral and social amelioration, or an aspect of
that it is the wisdom of Egypt projected through the centuries for ever
that-its first traces are in Aztec or even in Atlantis; that it is
popularized in moving ceremonies; and so forward, without stint or
is a perfectly open position, leaving every one rather helpless, but
in the nature of things.
And now what
has happened during these last days? An important Grand Lodge – as we
– having otherwise many titles to influence and distinction, has set
itself to remedy
that portion of the difficulty which may be called remediable within
the best and
only measures that it is free to act. It has assumed no seat of
authority in teaching;
it has sought to arrogate to itself no artificial orthodoxy of opinion
of speculation; but it has resolved that the new Mason coming under its
shall know what there is to be known, outside controversial regions, on
of Masonry, on general symbolism in its connection with particular
in the great Craft, on the region of Masonic legend which goes before
on the unquestioned historical data, on the history of the Grand Lodge
which is in one sense or another the Mother-Lodge of the whole Masonic
the story in brief of her children in other countries, long since grown
up and working
out their own destiny, and on that which – apart from all dogma – may
and held about the deeper meaning of Masonry, its philosophy and its
this end the Grand Lodge has chosen Brother Joseph Fort Newton, a
doctor of literature,
who has prepared the designed memorial; and so it comes about that we
"story and study of Masonry" which is called The Builders; and I know
in my heart that every thinking Mason into whose hands it comes will
that it could have been presented to him when he was first made a Mason
generously envy those who are destined now to receive it under the
auspices of the
Grand Lodge of Iowa. Dr. Newton is known to us otherwise as author of
Christ, a series of studies in "the life of vision and service," and as
a preacher who on many occasions has proved to have a mouth of gold. In
words concerning Emerson, he is one of the seers of this day who have
the Kingdom of the Spirit something more than a visionary scene
suspended in the
sky." Because of what he is in these respects and, for the rest,
his Masonic scholarship, he has written a book which is not only the
to the study of Masonry that I have met with in my whole experience –
English or another language – but is something also that belongs to the
literature. He has gifts therefore which have been wanting but too
often in the
generality of Masonic writers. Finally, he has accomplished a most
without once imperiling the Grand Lodge of which he is the spokesman by
of extravagance in theory or grave mistake in fact.
of things as they are within Masonic measures is much too wide for me
to dream that
other Grand Lodges will adopt The Builders as their textbook, but I am
hope that the high interest and importance which attaches to this
will bring it into general demand and that these words may help in that
The Proof of God
It is a sufficient
argument with which to refute those who think they believe in no God,
that it is
simply impossible that the Moral Sense could originate in or be
produced by any
combination of material atoms, or by the action or interaction of any
forces of matter. To create a Moral Law, or a single tenet of it, there
a superior Will to enact it.
Men and Money
its acquisition and its dispersion is the outward and visible sign of
or presence of so many inward and spiritual graces. The most important
part of a
man's private conduct, after that which concerns his relations with
women and his
family, is generally that which concerns his way of dealing with money.
and wisdom never thrust themselves gratuitously upon any man. Sometime,
he has paid the full price in Personal Effort; and they have come to
him only as
compensation for the energy he has spent in his struggle upward into
the light of
Truth. There is no achievement in the realm of the soul without
– From "The Great Work."
A Plea for Peace
plea for peace by Grand Master Freifeld, which serves as a preface to
of the Grand Lodge of New York, is timely and truly Masonic. No doubt
it will fall
on deaf ears abroad, and it may even be resented, as seems to have been
the words of Brother Block, but it will find response at home. Without
pacifists, our people are profoundly averse to war, and never more so
in view of the red horror which they behold in Europe. There is truth
in the words
of Alfred Noyes about the censor who sends our news:
It comes along a little wire
Sunk in a deep sea;
It thins in a club to a little smoke
Between one joke and another joke,
For a city in flames is less than the fire
That comforts you and me.
we know of what is actually transpiring in Europe, but so far from
we are subdued, sorrowful, horrified, and every man of us wears a badge
on his heart. At any rate, we know too much for a few men with high
hats and black
coattails to plunge us blindly into a universal hell. The words of
recall the resolution offered by ye editor at the last session of the
of Iowa, which was unanimously adopted and a copy of it telegraphed to
We reproduce it here, in response to many requests, as expressing the
only of that Grand Body, but of the vast majority of the citizens of
To the grief and horror of all right-thinking men and Masons, the
nations of Europe
have been plunged into the maelstrom of world-war, setting man against
against nation, in bloody, cruel butchery, filling the earth with
and bitterness, and threatening the very existence of civilization; and
Whereas, In the course of tragic
events our Republic
has become involved in a controversy which may drag it into this
with all the woes of war and its entail of sorrow and hate and the
spirit of destruction;
Whereas, Masonry is an ancient and
whose mission is to teach men to love one another, and to promote peace
and goodwill among races and nations, that truth and justice and
freedom may grow
and be glorified; therefore be it -
Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of Iowa
itself to the cause of peace among nations and brotherly love among
men, that it
commend the President of the United States for his patient, patriotic,
labors in behalf of neutrality, and beseech him to do everything
to keep our Republic from being drawn into the tragedy of world-war;
but if this
is impossible, we pledge ourselves as men and Masons to stand behind
"Duly and Truly Prepared"
many who think that we are making Masons too fast, without due regard
as to the
quality of the men who seek the fellowship of our Fraternity, and that
for numbers may easily result in permanent injury to the Order. No
be appointed by a Lodge whose action is more vital to the interests of
than a committee investigating a petitioner for the Degrees. Such a
with the sources of the stream from which our Masonic life flows, and
if they permit
that stream to be polluted the results are far-reaching and hard to
undo. The feeling
grows that we do not make the investigation thorough enough, and that
appointed to this task are not sufficiently instructed as to their
duties and responsibilities
– especially so in larger cities where intimate knowledge of men is
than it is in the smaller communities.
are signs of an awakening to the seriousness of this matter, and a
tendency to make
the investigation more thorough, while furnishing more specific
guidance to committees.
For example, the Grand Lodge of New Jersey has formulated a "Statement
Petitioner" to accompany his petition to the Lodge, giving, first, as a
of simple identification, his name, residence, business, date and place
name of parents and brothers and sisters, how long he has lived in the
in the State, and in the city. Then follow certain other questions, as
Where did you attend school? At what age did you leave school? Give
names and addresses
of your employers for the past ten years, and the periods and nature of
employments. Are you married? How long? Have you any children? How
many? If married,
are you living with your wife? If not living with your wife, state
reasons for separation?
What provision have you made for yourself or your family in case of
death? Have you ever been a defendant in a criminal case; if so state
and result? Do you contribute to charity so far as your circumstances
How long have you been acquainted with your proposers, personally? Give
addresses of three responsible persons, Masons preferred, who have
known you the
most intimately for the longest time.
Some of these
questions may seem strange at first sight, but a little reflection will
they are not only pertinent but important. While lack of education may
be no bar
to living the Masonic life, nor an education, however extended, be a
a man is leading or will lead such a life, none the less it is a matter
well be taken into account. Nor will any man whose record is good
object to giving
a full account of his employment – he will rather be glad to do so –
and at the
same time the Lodge ought to know whether he can afford the necessary
in joining a Masonic Lodge, without using funds needed for himself or
case of illness or misfortune. In the same way, the query about his
lack of it, allows a man not living with his wife an opportunity to
reasons with more fairness and justice than if the Lodge, or some
member of it,
merely knew the fact; and the same argument applies with equal force to
of criminal action. Often enough, as we all know, there is a natural
explanation for what looks bad on the surface. Similarly, if a man is
able to practice
charity, and refuses or neglects to do so, we may well hesitate to
admit him to
the fellowship of an Order one of whose corner stones is Charity. The
are also important, and if a man is his own employer he will surely not
if he be worthy, to giving the names of men who have known him a long
time who can
vouch for his character and good report. Some of these questions will
not seem necessary
in all cases, yet they can do no harm, and may be of advantage in
helping the Lodge
to determine whether a man is "duly and truly prepared."
inquiries assume, and rightly so, that Masonry is not a reformatory or
a moral infirmary,
nor yet a distinctively charitable Order – albeit practicing charity in
– but a Fraternity mobilizing men of character, intelligence and
goodwill for the
service of humanity; and as such it must guard itself, so far as is
alike from moral unworthiness and mere prying curiosity. It does not
save in so far as the quality of its men and its influence in a
community may invite
the cooperation of men of like sort, who wish to foster what is noblest
Therefore, if it is to fulfill its mission, it must have a care for
quality as well
as for quantity, the more so in a day when it is highly esteemed, and
when men throng
its temple gates seeking its ancient and honorable fellowship.
The House Made With Hands
month of October, with its crisp sunlight shimmering through the
feathery gold of
maple leaves, the new House of the Temple will be dedicated with
in the capital city of the Republic. Such an event, memorable in the
annals of Freemasonry,
must not be allowed to pass without due appreciation of its
significance as a fact
of history and a symbol of the mission and progress of Masonry. A
miracle of architectural
art, uniting grandeur and simplicity with stateliness of outline, that
stand for ages in the chief city of the first and freest of nations,
the part which Masonry has had, and yet has, in the making of the
noblest of Republics,
her eternal fidelity to the most hallowed of all liberties, and her
service to universal
men see after death what passes here below, there will be two audiences
on that day of dedication and re-consecration – for such it must be,
its solemnity and joy. Our fathers, where are they? Aye, they are with
their words are they; their acts are they; and were these forgotten the
their heroic and dedicated lives persists; none of them more surely and
than the stately, grave and noble genius of Albert Pike – who on that
day will preside
over a scene which even his prophetic soul hardly dared to fore-dream.
man, a great scholar, a philosopher with the heart of a poet, and
withal a wise
and tried leader of his Brethren, he embodied, as perhaps no other in
the mighty and tender spirit of Freemasonry; and today we enjoy that
comity of Rites
for which he made plea in his address to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana
in 1858 –
the greatest single Masonic address ever delivered, in which may be
found the seed
which bore such rich flower and fruit in Morals and Dogma and in the
which his artist-soul was revealed.
is beautiful and benign, but the Scottish Rite – in which art comes to
of philosophy, and symbol and drama help men to utter what else would
– is a Masonic university; and it should be the goal of every Mason
an elaboration and exposition of what is hinted and hidden in the great
symbols of universal Masonry. Masons of every rite and rank will
rejoice in a festival
dedicating a Temple which will stand amidst the passing generations as
prophecy of religion without superstition, of government without
tyranny, and of
the adventure of the soul in free and happy quest of that Truth by
which no man
was ever injured.
The Greater Builder
few men who saw a great need in Masonry, and who have labored to found
Masonic Research Society, putting time, money and hard work into it,
what a joy it is to announce that The Builder will be enlarged to
beginning with the present issue. This expansion is made possible by
and enthusiastic response of the Fraternity, as it is made necessary by
pressure upon our pages of articles of the very highest quality. The
growth of the
Society has been truly remarkable, surpassing all our calculations, and
it has only
begun. Though not yet a year old, this Society is already the largest
body of Masonic students in the world, and it is possible for it to
double its membership
within the next six months. Everyone must now see that it is no mere
the floating of a journal, much less for the exploitation of
by the Grand Lodge of Iowa, endorsed by the Grand Lodge of Indiana, it
has no other
purpose but to deepen the interest of Masons in Masonry, seeking to be
conservative, practical and popular, nor forgetting the spiritual
mission of our
Order while grubbing for the facts of its history. Once more we urge
to bestir themselves, that we may the better reach the Brethren of
who will join with us in doing the greatest work yet done in the
history of American
Those of us who differ with you in our opinions as to the Great Work,
best follow the TK's method of making some pertinent admissions of the
justice of some of the charges, so as to clear the way for the more
1. The Great
Work may "lack the artist stroke."
The TK may
not be a maker of phrases that appeal to the literary critics. We who
are not of
established reputation may as well pass that. But in matters of
call attention to the fact that there may be gems of truth, philosophy,
even a real charm in a book that does not charm by well-rounded
phrases may present a most diabolical thought. Wouldn't it be nice if a
the flashing wit of ye scribe would present TK's point with the charm
for a very limited group of readers; and those outside that group when
hold of the book, are bored and often sarcastic even as ye scribe. In
place the TK limits his main appeal to those who are in search of a
and understand the limitations of physical science in the consideration
In the second
place TK himself admits the handicap of the "idea that he is the keeper
a wonderful treasure of truth which must be carefully guarded" etc. It
be a very real handicap to making an occasional "artist stroke." But
can say that he is wrong? Is anyone prepared to catalog the things the
to know, but does not know? And who is prepared to decide whether a
truth should be guarded except the men who have the treasure? You, Sir,
show such conceit as to infer that you know TK's limitations, or that
you know all
that can be known of truth treasures.
2. Let us
agree that the Great Work is not a Masonic book, if that makes any
admissions past, it may be suggested that there is a thread of
the Great Work and Masonry, which I have not seen clearly stated in The
and which may warrant another reference to it in your columns. The
is not the historical one of the Lineal Key, but rather more related to
remarks on the Proof of Faith.
to the Lineal Key, then, let us devote to it just this paragraph. Call
of the readers of The Builder to the contrast in the statements of two
The TK says, "In truth the chain (of records) is complete to a time
Egypt had become a center of civilization." Ye scribe replies, "Of a
it is an interesting romance." "For not one of the statements made
is there the slightest shred of evidence, not even the shadow of a
basis in fact."
Each prefaces his statement with an appeal to truth. Let the careful
between the man who states a fact as an item of experience, (Life
Vol. 4, page 232) and another who says there is no evidence and no
basis in fact
for the statement of the first; clearly implying that every fact along
in order to be a fact, must be known to him. This dogmatic statement of
facts, where facts are simply undiscovered by the one who writes, is
not going to
create an atmosphere favorable to any kind of research.
Now, ye scribe,
wisely separating the two parts of his discussion, assumes two very
toward facts. In one he calls for evidence and insists on proofs,
citations before the Lineal Key will be acceptable. In the other
article he is quite
content to rest his faith on confirmations found in thought, conscience
He even goes so far as to state on his own responsibility that some
things are facts,
for which he has no other confirmation – not feeling the need of a
as TK does. Well, Sir, we are not all built alike, and some of us
to base our statements of at least the more important facts on some
you refer to it as unfortunate that TK suggests going farther than is
in the "proof of faith." But here you make an inference that does not
seem warranted by a careful reading. Where does TK "recommend" that a
man induce a state "wherein the mind leaves the body" etc.? The other
volumes of the series state clearly that this particular feat is not
the purposes of a practical human life; that it is dangerous; and that
be attempted only by such as expect to devote their lives to
being the case, the demonstration the TK seems more to favor is simple
and it is hard to find the "unfortunate" part of it. It may be
as the growth of spiritual consciousness. Distinguish carefully. It may
not be so
very different from the certainty of eternal things which comes to ye
to all who have lived up to their high ideals.
to many of us, the emphasis of this suggestion of the TK, seems to be
put in an
entirely different place. Where does TK recommend this process as a
proof of faith?
He calls attention to that proof and makes it seem very wonderful but
seems to have a better reason for recommending it. Instead of being
taught in the
Great Work to desire a consciousness of future life as a proof of
faith, are we
not rather taught that the development of spiritual consciousness and
evidence that the code of morals therein outlined is scientifically
exact and really
constructive in its results? This is a very vital point. There are
many, many codes
of morals – more by far than there are sects and denominations. How can
a man judge
the right except by constructive results?
student of philosophy may find it best to do "justly for sheer love of
and love mercy because it is lovely, and all the other worthy things
ye scribe; but many of us are not that far along, and we have looked in
some firm ground to stand on. There are undoubtedly some, who
the right and wrong, and feel perfectly sure of their proof of faith.
they select their course of action through life with few mistakes.
intuitions are not infallible and many who have felt just as sure they
have later had to admit they were wrong. We do not, all of us,
invariably and just
naturally love justice and see the loveliness of mercy. Perhaps if we
we would; but here comes the TK, with a code clearly stated and an
can at least partly understand as to why he recommends it. We reach out
like a hungry man.
code, as far as we can see, is not at all opposed to good Masonic
teaching. If followed,
it might lead many a Mason to a more satisfactory "proof of faith"
incidental to his main object in life. And, Mr. Editor, from your wider
tell us, what other code has been put up for our edification with equal
that it has constructive results? If there is any better way to judge a
any other code equally good for the love of Humanity, let us have it.
the points of this letter have been covered in our pages, except,
which we may refer to briefly – the more so because one of them has
forward by several Brethren.
does TK 'recommend' that
a man induce a state 'wherein the mind leaves the body' etc.?" More
Brother has accused us of careless reading – not to say murder – for
statement. Well, we beg to refer them to "The Great Work" [Lib 1913] (pp 441-442), where we are
that the Third Degree – the Master's Degree – of the Great School
includes the power
to leave the physical body and travel at will in the realms of
Spiritual Life and
Nature. We leave it to the readers of The Builder to judge who has been
Brother takes issue with our distinction
between historical truth proved by facts and moral or spiritual truth
by spiritual experience. Yet this distinction is self-evident. No
amount of spiritual
experience could ever prove that Washington was President of this
Republic. No more
can spiritual experience substantiate the statements made in the
chapter of the
"Great Work" on the Lineal Key. They belong to the domain of history
must abide by the facts – and we are asking for the facts, nothing else.
for the last paragraph of the above
letter, we remind our Brother of that Great Light in Masonry, always
open on its
altar, which contains a code of morals and a method of spiritual
for depth, sanity and constructive results, tested by ages of noble and
is supreme above all others. More than the marvels of Greece or the
more hoary antiquities
of Egypt or India, more than the accuracies of modern science or the
of modern industry, are the messages that speak to us out of the old
to every man who wishes to think truly and to live nobly. – The Editor.)
* * *
The Claims of Tk
To the Editor
of The Builder: – Much wisdom as well as sentimentality and lack of
been shown in the interesting discussion which has taken place in The
the fourth number in which appeared the article, "Hysteria in
To quote Mark Twain: "Judging by the squeals," the writer "must have
advanced by TK for himself and his school, are nothing new. Anyone who
a study of classical Greek and Latin literature, the writings of the
the history of the Gnostic, and Heretical Christian Sects, cannot help
there was a faith in an inner world which was ever striving to manifest
the outer world. In the Dark Ages, in the writings of the Church
Fathers and ecclesiastics,
are found traces of this same teaching.
its way into Europe at the time of the Crusades. The Literature of this
science will show belief in the influence of an inner world through its
the "Princes of the Royal Secret." A study of the revolutionary period
in Europe will show any impartial observer the influence of secret
schools and their
representatives. The lives and actions of such men as the Count St.
Mesmer and DePotet show us that the claims advanced by TK are no new
thing in the
history of Free Masonry.
until her death Mme. H. P. Blavatsky publicly advanced claims similar
to those of
TK. At present the same claims are made by perhaps a half dozen of her
who claim each one to be the only true representative of the One Great
We ask TK,
and his followers, what better reason we have to believe his claims and
yoga practices than those of any of the rival Theosophical claimants,
or of any
of the Rosicrucian Schools which exist in different lands? Personally I
from the study of history and the result of my own experience that the
guided from within, and that there is an almost unthinkable possibility
perfectibility of man through his own efforts and an inner guidance.
No one, however,
who has not made a careful study of the history of such claims during
Era as those advanced by TK and others, and who has not investigated
and the modern psychological discoveries of hypnotism and occultism is
able to judge
wisely either for or against such claims. Among such a host of
where shall we find the truth? We see Dr. Buck, who is now one of the
followers of TK, at different times appearing as the follower of H. P.
W.Q. Judge, K.A. Tingley, Blue Star, and now of TK. How are we to know
last of these is the one true representative of the "Great School" and
not one of the others? If he was mistaken once he may be mistaken now.
a way out of these seeming difficulties of the inner life. He who
studies and puts
in practice the philosophies of the East such as are given us in the
the Taoists, the Confucians, the Vedantines, the Zoroastrians and the
will see that the true school of the Spirits of Just Men Made Perfect
as shown us
in our Great Light, has no outer representatives confers no favors has
system of initiation. Life itself is the True Great School, death
itself the true
initiation. Whether this be physical death or the mystical death of the
of our being it is for each one of us to decide.
and fraternally yours
Weed Flint, New York.
* * *
That Lincoln Quotation
Newton: – In "The Builder" for August a subscriber who signs himself
inquires regarding the authenticity of an alleged statement of Abraham
views regarding the Roman Church and its influence in Americas which I
cite in my
little pamphlet, "Catholicism and Freemasonry," page 14. The quotation
is taken from Chiniquy's "Fifty Years in the Church of Rome," [Lib 1886] edition of 1892. The first
of it will be found on page 714, and the last sentence at the top of
page 715. Mr.
Chiniquy claims to have been well acquainted with President Lincoln,
who on more
than one occasion, before he rose to political prominences acted as
Chiniquy, as most of your readers perhaps know, was a former priest of
church, but severed his connection with it following certain
difficulties with his
ecclesiastical superiors, and was thereafter the outspoken opponent of
I do not know, of course, whether Lincoln is quoted correctly. Chiniquy
purports to be his recollection of a conversation, and he states
frankly that Lincoln
talked more freely with him on these matters than with anyone else,
because of their
previous relations of lawyer and client. Lincoln's outburst on the
occasion in question
appears to have resulted from his indignation over the action of Pope
Pius IX in
extending encouragement to the Southern Confederacy. If F.W.T. will
58 to 61, inclusive, of Chiniquy's book, he will find a large number of
utterances attributed to Lincoln, and he will be in position to judge
whether or not they truly represent that great man's sentiments.
and sincerely yours,
R. J. Lemert,
* * *
– With the hope of provoking discussion I wish to say something about
and Definitions. Albert Pike's definition, given in the February number
of The Builder,
beginning, "Freemasonry is the subjugation of the Human that is in Man,
the Divine," etc., seems to me to be too general. The other attributed
"Freemasonry is a system of morality veiled in allegory, and
symbols," is beautiful – but there is no "punch" in it. I suggest
the following as a Motto of Freemasonry: "Be clean; extend justice;
steps!" And as a definition of Masonry, the following: "Masonry is that
system of the Brotherhood of Men and ethical laws, teaching by daily
Lodge traditions the sovereignty of God; instilling the desire to be
all God's creatures, commending its members to extend justice to all
compelling respect for the rights of a Brother." How can that
bettered and shortened, and yet keep everything already in it?
What is the
geometry of Masons? Here is my answer: - "Masonic Geometry is a code of
laws and revelations impressing all peoples with its candor, justice
instructing its students in an open mind, strength in the right, and
heart and body; and forever inculcating love of God, home and country,
and the reproof
and forgiveness of a Brother's
Ray W. Abbott,
* * *
The Mother Grand Lodge
The Builder: – In your August number Brother Eggleston, Past Grand
Master of Virginia,
says: – "Our (i.e. Virginia’s) seniority as a Sovereign Grand Lodge is
that we see no sense in controversy. Ours began its existence in 1778 –
we cannot well reason with one who does not care to discuss a subject
admits himself that he is right. Nevertheless, to correct any erroneous
which others might gain from his letter, may I call attention to the
fact that Massachusetts
Grand Lodge terminated its character as a Provincial Grand Lodge and
a Sovereign Grand Lodge on March 8th, 1777, since which day it has
continuous existence as such? For proof of which see
Proceedings, 1733-1792, page 259
Mass. Printed Proceedings, 1870, page 27.
Mass. Printed Proceedings, 1877, pages 1, 6, 20, 24
Virginia Printed Proceedings, 1778 1822, page VII of Intro.
Gould's History (Am. Ed.) Vol. IV, page 348.
organized as a Sovereign Grand Lodge on October 13th, 1778. The
meetings of May
and June were merely preliminary. For proof see
Printed Proceedings, 1778-1822, page 6.
Gould's History (Am. Ed.) Vol. IV, page 382.
Mackey's History, Vol. V, page 1420.
Dove's History Grand Lodge of Virginia, page 64.
Mass. Printed Proceedings, 1877, page 2
It may be
interesting to add the dates of the formation of those Sovereign and
Grand Lodges in the United States organized as such during the
March 8th, 1777.
Virginia, October 13th, 1778.
Maryland, July 31st, 1783.
Pennsylvania, Sept. 26th, 1786.
Georgia, Dec. 16th, 1786.
New Jersey, Dec. 18th, 1786.
New York, June 6th, 1787.
North Carolina, Dec. 9th, 1787.
South Carolina, March 24th, 1787. (Old Style)
Connecticut, July 8th, 1789.
New Hampshire, July 8th, 1789.
Rhode Island, June 25th, 1791.
Vermont, October 15th, 1794.
Kentucky, October 16th, 1800.
Melvin M. Johnson, Boston.
* * *
Masonry in the Trenches
(The following letter was
received by Brother
Sylvester, of Crescent Lodge, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from a young man who
a Mason in that Lodge, but is now in the Austrian army. Shortly before
the war broke
out he went home to assist his father in business, and was pressed into
service. Naturally, he takes the pro-Teutonic attitude out of loyalty
to his home
and native land for which he fights. Though an educated young man, he
mastered our English idiom, as his letter shows; but we give it as he
believing that his quaint way of saying things adds to its charm. The
course, had to pass the censor, and due allowance must be made for that
My dear Brother
Sylvester: - About four months ago I have written you a long letter,
and have still
not received an answer. I believe it must get lost somehow, because I
otherwise you would not keep me waiting so long. I might go out now in
a few weeks
on the battlefield with a machine-gun detachment. So now I say, my
bye to you and all my brothers of whom I think always with love. And
how often do
I think back now of dear old Cedar Rapids and of our meetings. Only God
can tell whether I get back there some day, and still I am willing to
go to the
battlefield, just like all my countrymen, because we know why we do
fight. We have
good crops, plenty food here, and positively no epidemics. The spirit
people of Austria and Germany, and among us soldiers, is the finest and
number of the enemy's soldiers is nearly twice times as much as ours,
not only that they can't best us, but we have occupied nearly twice
times as much
land from their country as they from ours, not mentioning the large
number of prisoners.
We have still no pleasure in the war, nor in the victory. We are
entitled to hollow
the same way our enemies do that Justice is ours, or that we fight for
of this world, or that we fight in the name of God, etc., etc. Every
its motto and believes it is in the right, so it is with us. We hated
to have a
war, we never wanted to have any, and though the victory is in our
we all (Germans, Austrians, Hungarians) like one wish to see the end of
war. Why is this war? Only because England is jealous of Germany's
see it now – this is the only reason why so many lives are being lost,
up, and a vast army of widows and orphans. And think how it is to bring
to the European
battlefield the colored men of Africa and the Hindus, is this Justice!
Let us hope
that this for us so glorious war will come soon to an end, and that
after that God
Almighty will grant us to have power to uplift the poor and help aid
and orphans. After the war will come the time for us Freemasons and let
that time is not far. After the war, when the good gray years come, we
whose sin is this terrible war and then we'll see not only the Masonic
but the whole
world how the German and Hungarian Masons were trying to keep back the
this war. I leave the judgment of the French English and Italian Masons
because you must know more about their agitation for the war than we
here. I guess
you must read some terrible news about the war and the situation in
Austria. I hope that you don't believe the same. Life everywhere in the
just like it is in peacetime. Theaters are all open, and the food
prices are regulated
by the Government. The Freemason's Lodges hold their meetings every two
do very much charity. One hospital for wounded soldiers kept up at the
Freemasons takes care of one thousand men. Besides, the Freemasons
bread for the poor, and everywhere I go I hear the people speak only
I can't send
my Lodge dues on account of the war. It is impossible, but will send
them just as
soon that conditions change. I have not received the last edition of
the Iowa Masonic
Bulletin, please let me have one, because this and the lecture book of
degrees are my only pleasure when I have a little free time. Before I
the army I gave my Apron to the Grand Lodge of Hungary to keep it until
of the war. Well, my dear brother, I must bring to an end my letter.
Let us hope
that by the time you receive this letter everlasting peace has returned
world. With best regards and brotherly love to all the brothers.
A Nook with a Book"
Love and the Freemason
years ago there appeared a story entitled "When it is Dark," [Lib 1906] by Guy Thorne, portraying in
manner the moral and social collapse which would follow the discovery
of proof positive
that Jesus did not rise from the dead. It was a picturesque story, but
for the moral life was nobly lived long before Jesus was born, and as
for the downfall
of social order – well, the spectacle now seen upon the earth of the
of civilization is quite as bad as that depicted in the story. Indeed,
in some respects
it is worse, and the end is not yet. At any rate, we have learned to
sensational from Guy Thorne, and his latest story of "Love and the
does not disappoint us. It is located in one of the English cathedral
concerns the fortunes – or misfortunes – of a well-to-do solicitor,
Severn, who has a good deal of trouble about a book revealing the
secrets of Masonry
– really written by a decadent brother, and his name, strangely enough,
C. Severn. Of course there is a woman in the story, a remarkable woman,
by the brother, who runs a successful hotel and who, having been
present at a meeting
of Masons, has to be made an "entered apprentice." The story, despite
the laudable efforts of the author, does not bear the length to which
he has driven
it. Making use of an old and oft-told story, it is not a very great
there are good passages to be found here and there.
* * *
First Three Steps
interesting and suggestive is a little booklet entitled "First Three
an Introduction to the Study of Masonic Symbolism and Philosophy," by
John L. Travis, of Savannah, Ga. It is made up of three introductory
talks on What
is Masonry, The Apron, and the Winding Stair, and the talks are very
worthwhile – yet we find Brother Travis repeating the TK fiction that
one of the efforts of an alleged Great School to educate the human
race, as if it
were an established fact of history. Indeed, the "Great Work" is quoted
more often, we believe, than the Great Light in Masonry. Nevertheless,
will do any young Mason good, in proof of which we venture to quote
some of its
has no monopoly of the truth, nor of the wisdom of the ancient sages –
could it or any other organization truly claim a monopoly of these
This wisdom and the great truths of life are concealed all about us; in
these truths are hidden in his heart, so that when he sees one of them,
he is not
surprised, for he seems to recognize an old acquaintance. But men
cannot see these
truths when they live by false standards or darken their judgment by
errors or vices.
These truths are hidden in the allegories of the world, even in the
that are told to children. But men cannot hear the spiritual meaning so
the adept until their ears are tuned to the harmony of the spiritual;
fault, vice, or folly clogs the musical strings of the soul so that it
to its true harmonic, but produces discord instead."
is another meaning of the Apron, which I will also explain to you. The
used to symbolize the receiving faculties, and the triangle the giving
this Apron, therefore, you see your life-history, in that heretofore
you have received
more than you have given. Masonry has long ago discovered that
in giving not less than we receive. Heretofore you have received more
you have conferred, but by this symbol you are told that you cannot
keep this up.
You must confer at least as much as you receive, as Emerson taught in
essay on Compensation."
"Now remember what I told you
Masonry is never dogmatic. You are at liberty, if you choose, to reject
interpretations I have given you of the Masonic symbols, and to adopt
in their place
your own interpretations; or you may accept part of what I have given
you and take
your own opinions for the rest. I have no right to criticize you for
nor have you the right to fall out with me if I do not believe as you
do. It is
not what we believe that counts in estimating character, it is what we
Master said: 'Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in
heaven, the same
is my brother, my sister, my mother.' "
* * *
The Church and the Lodge
are sermons and sermons – some of them wise, some otherwise – but we
beg to call
special attention to a notable sermon by Brother E. A. Coil, of
who is Worshipful Master of the American Union Lodge No. 1, delivered
on June 27th,
and now published in a neat pamphlet. It is entitled "The Church and
and, if we mistake not, will do much to clear up the confusion which
in many minds as to the real relation between these two great
making for righteousness. Happily, much of the old absurd prejudice of
against the Lodge has vanished, or is vanishing, but not a little of it
for the reason, as Brother Coil points out, that "the church itself is
in transit from old positions, long maintained, to new ones not, in all
defined." This general condition involves both Churchmen and Masons in
responsibility to do some straight thinking, which they dare not shirk,
the issue depends much in the way of righteousness, peace and happiness
world. If we are to do any clear thinking there must be a clearer
what we mean by religion as the life of God in the soul of man, taking
including all the activities of the higher human life, and of such
far-reaching significance that no one will any longer try to limit it.
With a clearer
conception of what religion is will come a better understanding of the
of both the Church and the Lodge; and to that end we believe the sermon
Coil is of more than usual importance, as it is certainly timely and to
* * *
Spoon River Anthology
[Lib 1915] Imagine a lonely, wind-swept
cemetery, ill-kept, its stones tumbled down, or hidden by weeds, such
as we too
often see by the roadside. Then suppose each of the sleepers there
should rise up
and tell, not in ghostly whispers, but in human tones, what of sorrow
or of joy
was most significant in their lives; each writing his own epitaph, so
and all together reviving the life of a long vanished community. Well,
that is the
"Spoon River Anthology," by Edgar Lee Masters, and we know of nothing
in the whole range of recent poetry to equal it in uniqueness of
withal in its wise and kindly philosophy, as of one who would read life
in the sweet
and tender sadness of the tomb. Some of the epitaphs are quite unlike
by sorrowing friends, and now and then we hear the rattle of a skeleton
– not in
the grave, but in some old closet of village gossip – but he who reads
book will have a new charity for his fellows, a keener insight into
and a new pity. Among the sleepers in that old cemetery at Salem is
the sweetheart whom Lincoln loved and lost, whose epitaph strikes a
deep and haunting
Out of me unworthy and unknown
The vibrations of deathless music;
"With malice toward none, with charity for all."
Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions,
And the beneficent face of a nation
Shining with justice and truth.
I am Anne Rutledge who sleeps beneath these weeds,
Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,
Wedded to him, not through union,
But through separation.
Bloom forever, O Republic,
From the dust of my bosom!
In a letter
of singular sweetness of spirit a Brother from Chicago writes to assure
if we could bring ourselves to accept the truth of reincarnation, our
would be complete; at present it needs that key-stone. Perhaps he is
we are suspicious of a "complete philosophy" – a neatly wrought theory
of this vast universe, with all the gaps closed, must of necessity shut
truth than it contains. There was once a man who wrote a Philosophy of
but a few years later he added a supplement on A Philosophy of a Few
No, keep the windows open, Brother, and let in the light. Our little
their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of a Truth in the
of which we are all one in our littleness.
* * *
In the article
on Immortality, by Brother Williams, he quotes the sentence, "God
Heaven and the Earth, and the Earth was without form and void." What is
difference between heaven and earth? Is the earth not a part of heaven?
recalls a remark by Sir Oliver Lodge, in his "Substance of Faith" [Lib
– a book that would interest you, by the way, if you have not seen it,
being a catechism
of faith written by a great scientist – when he says that it is
to remember that the Earth, with all its sins and woes and tragedies,
is also one
of the heavenly bodies. It must be that heaven, in the spiritual sense,
is a state
of purity of heart, without which no man can find heaven anywhere in
* * *
the Mark Master degree the other night, it seems to me that its main
lesson is the
philosophy of the Transmigration of the Soul. Will you kindly tell me
if, in your
opinion, my idea is correct? – J.G.
see anything resembling the dogma of Transmigration in that Degree
which, for simplicity
and beauty, is hardly surpassed even in Masonry. The Degree of Mark
Master is an
acted poem, woven about one of the great haunting, prophetic passages
of the Bible,
and it seems strange to us that our Brother could miss its deep and
while trying to read into it something of which it does not dream.
Why, yes, all human life is a transmigration of soul from one outworn
form to another
– as Tennyson said, each man "rising on stepping-stones" of his dead
to higher things. But this is very different from the Eastern dogma of
with its weary round of life that is not hopeless, perhaps, but
unhopeful. It seems
to us a pity that Brethren should be so eager for the occult, that they
see what is taught so impressively in a Degree that moves with the
footstep of a
poem and the gesture of a prophet.
* * *
to the question as to what Presidents were Masons, Past Grand Master
Baird, of the
District of Columbia, writes: "My records show that the following
were Masons – Washington, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, Polk,
Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft. Grant was
reported as a
Fellow Craft, but I have not been able to verify it."
is about time for some Brother to take this question up and go into it
– dig up the records, and find out the facts. For example, what basis
is there in
the oft repeated tradition that Jefferson was made a Mason in France?
Also why the
persistent tradition that Fillmore was a Mason, and recanted during the
There must be some basis for it, else Masons would not have affirmed
it. Here is
an interesting field for some Brother to work, and the Craft will be
glad to know
* * *
of the Grand Lodges of the American Union have definite rulings
regarding the non-acceptance
of applications for membership from men who are in any way engaged in
Traffic? – A. J. H.
Parvin, of Iowa, to whom we referred this inquiry, replies as follows:
personal recollection and knowledge of the matter, we would say that
our Grand Bodies are opposed to receiving such petitions. The Codes
issued by the
different Grand Bodies do not always mention the subject but by
reference to our
collection, we find specific mention made in the Codes of the following
which said Grand Bodies oppose membership of such parties, to wit:
Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Iowa, and
In the Code of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, we find the law to be that
from such parties are accepted and no legislation made against
receiving them into
membership. The Code of Kentucky and New Mexico, while frowning on such
yet leave it entirely optional with the subordinate Lodge. However, our
of Codes is incomplete, so the above information is not to be
considered final and
* * *
the way, I have been wondering if I may not have struck a clue to the
regarding physical perfection which appear to have existed in
Freemasonry for so
long a time that no man's mind runneth to the contrary. It has always
of a puzzle to me why these requirements should have been so stringent,
they are really unreasonable from the standpoint of a mere workman. But
day while reading the Bible – for, though I am no churchman, the good
lies on my desk – I chanced upon the 21st chapter of Leviticus, wherein
down the most rigid standard of perfection for the priests. Now the
I understand it, had a similar code of requirements which was applied
to those who
sought admission into the higher grades of the Mysteries; and in the
of India the same thread may be traced. In all these religions, of
course the priests
were permitted – even, I think, almost required – to marry. Wasn't it
the idea to
establish a system of eugenics, for the purpose of producing a superior
class? And since there are excellent grounds for suspecting (I put my
mildly) that the temples of Egypt not only generated the Hebrew
religion, but also
the cult of the Dionysiacs, is it not almost certain that the same
for the same reasons, existed among them and their successors? I have a
idea that a thread of light may be found, running down from the ancient
the old Levitical and pre-Levitical system of eugenics with the
which later got themselves tangled up with the mediaeval builders; and
it has occurred
to me to ask if you have ever seen the theory advanced or developed." –
We have never
seen such a theory advanced, and we hope that our Brother – who is one
of the best
students of Masonry in America – will develop it further. Meantime we
words of the late Brother Gould, in an essay on "The Mission of the
Press" – included in his collected "Essays on Freemasonry" – to the
effect that "The dogmas of perpetual jurisdiction, physical perfection,
exclusive territorial jurisdiction, have been evolved since the
Masonry into what has become the United States, from England, during
the first or
second quarters of the eighteenth century." (p 300). Some of us have a
hope that our American Grand Lodges will someday so modify their dogma
apparently, has as little basis in reason as in ancient Masonic usage –
as to permit
a man with a wooden leg, equally with a man with a wooden head – if
such there be
– to enter the Masonic Order.
* * *
any published history of the Morgan excitement? Seeing so many
references to it
– as in your answer to a question about Presidents who were Masons – I
to read an account of it. – R.L.B.
there are many accounts of the Morgan frenzy. The anti-Masonic fanatics
were a prolific
set, fertile of lies; but the facts have been sifted by Masonic
is a very good review of the matter in the "History of Masonry and
Orders," [Lib 1891] by Hughan and Stillson, and a
discussion in the "American Addenda" to Gould's massive and magnificent
"History of Freemasonry," [Lib 1884] (Vol. IV) as well as many
sketches – for example, "The Builders," [Lib 1914] pp 226-228
* * *
of Brethren have raised questions with regard to asceticism, as
suggested by the
discussion of the method of spiritual culture recommended by TK. They
ask, (1) what
is the relation, if any, between the method of TK and that of the Hindu
and (2) have we not something very like the same method in the lives of
mystics, as expounded by Evelyn Underhill in her "Practical Mysticism"
– a copy of which a Brother has been good enough to send us, albeit he
found it listed among books received in the March issue of The Builder.
such large questions cannot be discussed in detail in a brief note,
except to say
that the way of the soul of man in its quest of union with God is much
in every age and every land. There is, therefore, an underlying harmony
to be found
in the teachings of all great mystics, but the difference between
Eastern and Western
mysticism lies, chiefly, in the difference in the conception of God by
and Western mind. Eastern thought is pantheistic – often, it would seem
– while the Western mind, for the most part, holds to the personalness
of God. Thus
the one seeks absorption in the Divine – as a dew drop sinks into the
sea – and
the other union or fellowship with God. Keeping this distinction in
mind, we may
suggest, (1), that the Great Work, by TK, is tinged with Eastern
thought, and his
method of spiritual culture resembles in some respects the Yoga system
– at its
best, however, not in its cruder forms, when its object seems to be to
vacuity of mind. For the Yoga, founded by Patanjali and regarded as a
the Sankhya system, was less a philosophy than a means by which the
soul may attain
to union with the Supreme Soul. Thus it was a system of austere
discipline of body
and soul in behalf of a clearer vision of truth, and such is also the
TK, for whose religious experience we have the utmost respect. (2) As
mysticism as expounded be Evelyn Underhill – and we like her larger
and "The Mystic Way," [Lib 1913] much better than her briefer
– it has not been untouched by Eastern thought and method, but at its
best and highest
it offers, it seems to us, a better way to the same goal – whereof we
in two little books "The Eternal Christ" [Lib 1912] and "What Have the Saints to
Teach Us?” [Lib*] Miss Underhill uses too many metaphysical
abstractions in her
descriptions of what is, after all, more simple, natural and happy than
would lead one to think. Space does not allow a longer discussion, but
be glad to return to it if the Brethren are sufficiently interested.
know ye that no man wins the highest truth without being what the earls
called themselves – "spiritual athletes" – nor is he worthy of it
by renunciation of evil and the forging of passion into power, he has
strength and purity of heart. Here lies the difference, as we see it,
and occultism, and in his distinction between the two, and in his
the spiritual refinement that comes of the actual practice of virtue,
TK is eternally
Articles of Interest
An Open Letter to
American Masons, by Jose
Castellot. The New Age.
"Free Mason" About
1700, by W.
B. Hextall. Transactions Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
Qualifications, as Well as Mental,
by G. F. Wahle. Masonic Standard.
Why Acacia? by
Frank C. Higgins. Masonic
Masonry in the
Midst of War. Masonic Home
Scottish Rite Masonry, by Josiah
Gross. Square and Compasses.
The Legend of the
Widow's Son, by F. H. Mead.
The Secrets of
Masonry, by R. J. Lemert.
The Masonic Sun
Sweden, by S.H.B. Svenson.
Adept or Imposter, by J. E. Morcombe. American Freemason.
* * *
First Three Steps
in Masonry [Lib*], by J.
L. Travis, Savannah, Ga.
The Church and the
Lodge [Lib*], by E. A.
Coil, Marietta Ohio.
The Story of Irish
Freemasonry [Lib*], by
J. H. Edge. University Press, Dublin.
Some of Our
Ancestors [Lib*], by R. J. Lemert,
Confessions of a
Clergyman [Lib 1915],
Anonymous. McBride, Nast & Co., New York
Revisions [Lib 1915],
by J. C. Powys. G. Arnold Shaw, New York.
Crack O’Dawn [Lib 1915],
by Fannie S. Davis. Macmillan
Co., New York.
The New Infinite
and the Old Theology [Lib
by C. J. Keyser Yale University Press.
by ye Editor. Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A Poem of
Reg90 / auth. Regius Manuscript. - [s.l.] : Unknown, 1390. - p. 70. -
AQC Transactions Vol 003 - 1890
Ars90 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Speth G. W.. - London : AQC,
1890. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 277. - 23.5 MB.
AQC Transactions Vol 018 - 1905
Ars05 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Rylands W. H.. - London : AQC,
1905. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 256. - 15.0 MB.
AQC Transactions Vol 019 - 1906
Ars06 / auth. Ars Quatuor Coronati / ed. Rylands W. H.. - Margate : H.
Keble, 1906. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 429. - 37.0 MB.
Confessions of a Clergyman
Ano15 / auth. Anonymous. - New York : McBride, Nast & Co.,
1915. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 350. - 16.5 MB.
Dav15 / auth. Davis Fannie S. - New York : The Macmillan Company, 1915.
- Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 128. - 2.8 MB.
Fifty Years in the Church of
Chi86 / auth. Chiniquy Father Charles P. - New York : Fleming H. Revell
Company, 1886. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 857. - 42.7 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.
History of Masonry and
Hug91 / auth. Hughan William J. / ed. Hughan William J. and Stillson
Henry L.. - New York : The Fraternity Publishing Co., 1891. - Vol. 1 :
1 : p. 863. - 63.4 MB.
Old Charges of British
Hug72 / auth. Hughan William J. - London : Simpkins, Marshall &
Co., 1872. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 113. - 8.2 MB.