Masonic Research Society
Jacques Bernard De Molai
By Bro. G. Alfred Lawrence,
JACQUES Bernard de Molai (or de Molay), a
Burgundy, was born in the year 1243, and his life and times are of deep
to Masons, and especially to Knights Templar, owing to the fact of his
last Grand Master of the Order of Templars, together with his heroic
the cause to which he had devoted practically his entire life. He was
brother of one of the most distinguished houses of the "Compté" of
his elder brother having a large property and a higher position.
Entering the Order in 1265, at the age of 22
he had passed through all the degrees and became Grand Prior (or
Preceptor) of England.
His devotion and service resulted in his acquiring an enviable
the Templar world of that strenuous period.
A man of true merit, of undaunted bravery,
of amiable disposition and pure morals, with a character beyond
and receiving the favor of his King, he was a welcome guest at the
Court of France.
In 1297 his treacherous sovereign selected him for the distinguished
honor of holding
his (the King's) fourth son, M. Robert, at the baptismal font. All this
the Fair, while pretending friendship for de Molai and the Order, with
eyes looked longingly at the rich possessions of the Templars, and was
plotting their destruction. Ignorant of the hatred of the King, the
lords of his
Court held de Molai in such high esteem that they aided in his election
Master in 1298. In 1302 de Molai, as the Head of this powerful Order,
made the last
effort – a result of the seven Crusades that had swept Europe for
– to recover Palestine from the Moslem hordes, but he and his faithful
suffered defeat at the hands of the Sultan of Egypt, with a loss of 120
and this ended their endeavors to recover the Holy Land. After that the
of this powerful Order, as a military organization, ceased.
By many grants from time to time the Templars
possessed of large estates and were very rich and prosperous. The
cupidity of the
clergy, the need of money by their avaricious King, and the decadence
of the Templars
as a military organization, were the principal factors leading to their
The first Grand Master of this famous Order of
was Hugho de Payens, elected in 1118, followed by Robert de Craon,
des Barres, 1146; Bernard deTremelay, 1151; Bertrand de Blanquefort,
of Naplous, 1167; Odo de St. Amand, 1170; Arnold de Torroge, 1180;
Gerard de Ridefort,
1185; Brother Walter, 1189; Robert de Sable, 1191; Gilbert Horal, 1195;
1201; William de Charters, (date of election unknown) who died in 1218;
Montague, 1218; Herman de Perigord, 1236; William de Sonnac, 1245;
Reginald de Vichier,
1152; Thomas Berard, 1256; William de Beaujeu, 1273; Theobald de
and finally in 1297 Jacques Bernard de Molai (or Molay), Preceptor of
elected Grand Master by a general Chapter of the Order.
It is interesting to note in this connection
John of England frequently resided at the Temple London, and it was
there that he
resigned England Ireland "to his lord Pope Innocent the Third," and
that epoch-making document "Magna Charta." [Lib 1215] This historic building,
which became Crown property upon the dissolution of the Order in 1313,
came into possession of the Knights of St. John, who in 1346 leased it
to the students
of common law, and it has served continuously since then as a law
school and today
houses the inns of court – societies for the study of law and
the privilege of calling to the bar – four in number, the Inner and
Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn.
The events that led up to the tragic death of
and the dissipation of Order and confiscation their estates, was the
Philip IV, called Phillip the Fair, the sore financial straits in which
monarchy found itself coupled with the cupidity of the clergy and the
character of Pope Clement V. Philip pretended to be anxious for a new
at his instigation Clement V called the Grand Masters of the Templars
of John to Europe. De Molai, as a true soldier of the cross, answered
and returned to France in the fall of 1306, accompanied by a chosen
band of distinguished
Knights of the Order. He repaired to Poitiers in 1307 to render
allegiance to the
Pope, and at that time nothing was said about investigating the affairs
of the Order.
Shortly thereafter Philip appeared before
preferred charges demanding the dissolution of the Order. As this was
of French or Avignon Papacy, the Pope was largely under the influence
and was finally induced to order this investigation. Instead of
awaiting this papal
investigation, however, the King immediately procured the arrest of
in France, and on October 13, 1307, de Molai was seized in the house of
and taken before special commissioners of the Inquisition.
Although the Pope was indignant at this
the part of Philip, and suspended the power of the Inquisition, yet the
was so great that he finally compelled the Pope to take part in the
action. De Molai
was thereupon examined by a Papal commission, and under torture
confessed the truth
of some of the charges. On March 11, 1314, he was condemned to
He immediately retracted all he had said while under torture, and this
the King that the latter ordered him forcibly seized and burnt at the
same evening. This occurred in front of Notre Dame, Paris, and as the
up about his body and were fast consuming his flesh, after protesting
of the Order, he called aloud to the surrounding crowd, "You who behold
perishing in the flames shall decide our innocence! I summon Pope
Clement V to appear
in forty days and Philip the Fair in twelve months before the just and
throne of the everliving God, to render an account of the blood which
unjustly and wickedly shed."
With him perished Guy, the Grand Preceptor;
Paralt (or Peraldes), the Visitor General; and Theodore Bazile de
followed swiftly; the King Philip IV dying four weeks later embittered
and deserted by his nobles. Pope Clement V, after a painful and
died one year and a month after the death of these martyred Templars;
and it is
recorded that all those others foremost in persecuting the Templars
came to an untimely
and miserable death.
King Philip had plotted to invest one of his
the title of King of Hierusalem, (Jerusalem), and hoped to procure of
V the large revenues of the Order by this dastardly act. What actually
was the confiscation of the possessions of the Templars which were
various Orders, many of the surviving Knights of the Order languished
and the remainder were compelled to leave their homes, discard their
and go forth penniless into the world.
Tradition tells us that the surviving Templars
divided into four parties: (1) Templars in Portugal and Italy, known
since as Knights
of the "Order of Christ"; (2) those who accepted Peter d'Aumont as the
successor of de Molai; (3) those who asserted that John Marc Larmenius
was his successor;
and (4) those who refused to accept either d'Aumont or Larmenius.
is supposed to be derived from the fourth class, although there are no
authentic documents to prove this contention.
Addison, on the contrary, claims that de Molai
as his successor John Marc Larmenius, of Jerusalem, and that from him a
uninterrupted line of Grand Masters succeeded, and that the Charter of
with the signatures of the various chiefs of the Temple, together with
statutes of the Order, the rituals, records, seals, standards, and the
of the Templars, are preserved at Paris. As Grand Masters were elected,
appointed, such a succession to say the least from de Molai could not
This with many other points in the history of various Orders that
were powerful factors for good during this troubled period, together
with the early
history of Knights Templarism as it exists today, are fruitful fields
research, which it is to be hoped some member of the National Masonic
can take up at an early date and prosecute to a successful issue.
The life and tragic death of Jacques Bernard de
should be an inspiration to every Mason zealously to work for the
uplifting of our beloved fraternity, and so usefully conduct his own
life that he
can in the evening of his own earthly existence lay aside his working
fall asleep to awaken in that "Celestial Temple," and greet this
Knight whose enfranchised spirit soared aloft these six centuries agone.
A City Shrine -- [A Poem]
Abram S. Isaacs, New York
saw a sparrow on
the window rest,
I caught a simple rose in blossom there;
O nerveless echo from the muffled past,
How canst thou with the living voice compare!
Ye costly shrines, in stone and splendor clad,
That stir not, tho' the stately music roll,
For me, the pulsing life, the sun, the sky,
The blessed influence of soul on soul.
Must bird and rose and sunbeam be without,
While gloom and dust and marble fill the shrine?
Let those who will all humbly bow within,
O larger, broader Father's house, be mine!
A Noble Life -- [A Poem]
Abram S. Isaacs, New York
noble life, a simple
An open heart and hand;
These are the common litanies
Which all men understand.
These are the ornaments of grace,
Tho' hidden to the view,
Like square and plumb and level,
To build the world anew.
A Friend -- [A Poem]
Edgar A. Guest
friend is one who
backs you up
When other men assail;
You'll find him near when others cheer,
And near the times you fail.
He does not ask blue skies for you
Nor leave when days are grim
Though good or bad, the luck you've had,
It's all the same to him.
A friend is first to cheer for you
The last one to desert;
For old time's sake your part he'll take
However much he's hurt.
He's by your side through thick and thin
He'll back you to the end;
And great is he whoe'er he be
Who's worthy of his friend!
The Learner -- [A Poem]
H. W. Ticknor, Florida
come I in the
pride of youth to learn
My life work: through my limbs there runs a fire,
Born of my vigor, shaped by wild desire.
Reft from the quarry of the race, I turn
To shape myself more finely, to discern
Some part of nature's harmony, aspire
To excellencies great, to powers higher,
And then, perchance, my great reward to earn.
Master gave me
tools for work, when light
Had come by which to work; a simple rule
Whereby to labor best by day and night,
An instrument to take away excess;
And, clad as learner, entered I the school
Where strength controlled at last will bring success.
Whatever the Weather -- [A Poem]
James Whitcomb Riley
weather may be," says he –
"Whatever the weather may be,
It's the songs ye sing, an' the smiles ye wear,
That's a-makin' the sun shine everywhere;
An' the world of gloom is a world of glee,
Wid the bird in the bush, an' the bud in the tree,
An' the fruit on the stim o' the bough," says he,
"Whatever the weather may be," says he –
"Whatever the weather may be!"
weather may be," says he –
"Whatever the weather may be,
Ye can bring the Spring, wid its green an' gold,
An' the grass in the grove where the snow lies cold;
An' ye'll warm yer back, wid a smiling face,
As ye sit at yer heart, like an owld fireplace,
An' toast the toes o' yer sowl," says he,
"Whatever the weather may be," says he –
"Whatever the weather may be!"
The Webb Ritual in the United
By Bro. Silas H. Shepherd,
1717 will ever stand out as a prominent date in the history of
then we have voluminous written and printed records; before then we had
a hundred old manuscript charges, a few mentions of Freemasonry in
laws, and a very few lodge minutes.
Previous to 1717, the rituals, or forms and ceremonies of reception of
and other work of the lodge, were most probably given in the language
the presiding officer chose. It may have been in a "set form of words,"
which form was transmitted orally from one generation to another.
Soon after the "revival," or the organization of the Grand Lodge in
Rev. James Anderson, the author of the "Book of Constitutions" [Lib 1723]
of 1723, and Dr. John T. Desaguliers,
the master mind of the organization, arranged the lectures into the
form of questions
and answers for the first time, and this was adopted by the Grand Lodge
as the authentic
See Mackey's Encyclopedia [Lib 1914 or Text
only], Article Lectures, for
simple questions and answers.
In 1732, Martin Clare revised the lectures and
a few Christian applications which were not in strict conformity to the
character of the fraternity. Dr. Thos. Manningham and Thos. Dunckerley
next to "improve the work" and Dr. Manningham's prayer is still used,
with slight modifications in opening a lodge and at the reception of
Thos. Dunckerley is said to have given the theological ladder its three
rounds. In 1763, Wm. Hutchinson again revised and "improved" the
and gave more Christian applications to their rites and ceremonies. (2)
Hutchinson's "Spirit of Masonry." [Lib 1795]
The greatest of all ritualists, however, was
Preston who was made a Mason in a lodge of "Antients," in 1763, and
after induced that lodge to be reconstituted by the "Moderns." In 1767
he became master of his lodge. He believed that Freemasonry should not
only be a
progressive moral science, but that it should have an educational value
its votaries more knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences. His "Illustrations of Masonry"
[Lib 1772] was the
result, and no book having more influence has ever been written on
Masonry. He was
the father of the monitor. By 1774 [Lib 1775 (for later
editions see Bibliography)] he had
completed his system of "work" and established a school of instruction,
and from that time to the present the Preston "work" has been, and
far into the future it will continue to be, one of the most potent
the ritual. Preston's "work" continued to be the standard work for the
Grand Lodge of England until 1813, when the "United Grand Lodge"
the Hemming lectures. The Hemming lectures differ in many particulars
from the Preston.
The Preston lectures are still given once a year in England under the
a foundation made for that purpose.
When Freemasonry was first established in
an open question. We are not quite sure that the stone with the date
1606 is really
a Masonic stone of that date, or that Mordecai Campanell and his
the degrees of Masonry in 1656 at Newport, R. I. (3) Neither are we
certain as to
where Freemasonry was first practiced in this country by authority of
Lodge of England after 1717. It is, however, well known that lodges
in the colonies and that Daniel Coxe, Henry Price and James Graeme were
as Provincial Grand Masters.
(3) History of
Freemasonry and Concordant Orders [Lib 1891], by Hughan,
The ritual of the English lodges would
been the one used in the English colonies, and in this connection it is
call attention to the fact that the "Grand Lodge of England according
old Institutions," or "Ancients," was established in 1751, and from
that time until 1813 chartered lodges in all the colonies. In many of
there were two conflicting Provincial Grand Lodges.
In the establishment of the "Ancient" Grand
Lodge changes were made which were of considerable importance. (4)
not accomplished in England until 1813, and it has not yet been
attained, and probably
never will be attained, in America. Pennsylvania still retains the
considerable difference of opinion exists as to what was done. See
"Hughan's English Royal Arch." [Lib*] "Sadler's Reprints and
After the Colonies had declared their
Great Britain, the Provincial Grand Lodges naturally declared their
of the Grand Lodges to which they owed their origin. Each was then a
To return to the lectures; they took the form
place whence they came, and were quite probably not transmitted with a
of accuracy, and were not very uniform in the United States at the
close of the
Thos. Smith Webb was born in Boston, Mass.,
13, 1771, and became a printer or book binder. Early in life he became
a Mason and
a teacher of Masonry. In 1797 he published the "Freemason's Monitor."
1859] He subsequently did
more for Masonry than almost anyone else in his day, and was probably
instrumental in founding the "American Rite," or system of degrees of
Royal Arch, Council and Commandery. What we are particularly interested
is his connection with ancient craft Masonry.
About the close of the eighteenth century a
named Hanmer came to America and brought the Preston work. He
communicated it to
Webb. Soon afterward Webb abridged it, arranged it differently, as to
and taught this revision to Benjamin Gleason, Henry Fowle, Bro. Snow,
In 1806 a joint committee of six, of which Bros. Gleason and Fowle were
met and agreed upon the Webb work as the standard work of Massachusetts
Hampshire. Bro. Jeremy Cross claimed to have received his work from
(5) In an address before the Grand Lodge of Vermont in 1859 G. M.
gave much valuable information from which we excerpt the following:
"About the year 1800 – twelve years after the
of Preston's Illustrations an English brother, whose name I have been
obtain, came to Boston and taught the English Lectures as they had been
by Preston. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts approved them and they
by Thomas S. Webb and Henry Fowle, of Boston, and Brother Snow, of
About the year 1801, Brother Benjamin Gleason, who was a student of
Bro. Webb, received
them from him, and embodied them in a private key of his own. About the
Bro. Gleason was employed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to teach
all the Subordinate
Lodges of that jurisdiction, and was paid for that service, fifteen
To those lectures the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts still adheres, with
a very slight
variation in the Fellow Craft and Master's Degree. Bro. Snow afterwards
and modified the Lectures he had received – mingling with them some
other sources – so that the system of lectures descending through him,
is not reliable.
"Bro. Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1805, and that Grand Lodge appointed no
Lecturer until 1842. He was a liberally educated man; graduated at
in 1802, and was a public lecturer on geography and astronomy. He was a
Mount Lebanon Lodge, in Massachusetts, in 1807, and died in Concord in
in 1847, at the age of 70. He visited England and exemplified the
as he had received them from Bro. Webb, before the Grand Lodge of
England, and the
Masonic authorities of that Grand Body pronounced them correct. In the
Bro. John Barney, formerly of Charlotte, Vermont, went to Boston and
Preston Lectures there as taught by Gleason, and as they were approved
by the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts.
"I am unable to say whether he received them
Bro. Gleason himself, or from Bro. Henry Fowle. My impression is that
them from Bro. Fowle. In possession of these Lectures he returned to
at the Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge in October, 1817,
visited that Grand
Body and made known the fact. The subject was submitted to a committee
which reported that these Lectures were according to the most approved
Work in the United States, and proposed to give Bro. Barney letters of
to all Lodges and brethren, wherever he may wish to travel, as a
brother well qualified
to give useful Masonic information to anyone who may wish his services.
"The Grand Lodge accepted and adopted the
of its committee, and Bro. Barney, under the recommendation thus given,
many of the then existing Lodges of this State, and imparted to them a
of these Lectures. Among others, in the year 1818, he visited
in Vergennes, and imparted full instructions in them to Right
Wilson, now and for several years past, Grand Lecturer of this State.
occasion Bro. Barney wrote out a portion of them in private key, and
wrote out the remainder. Both were written in the same book, and that
by Bro. Wilson was examined carefully and approved by Bro. Barney. That
manuscript is still in existence, and is now in possession of my son,
C. Tucker, Jr., of Galveston, Texas, to whom Bro. Wilson presented it a
ago. Bro. Wilson has a perfect copy of it, and refers to it as
authority in all
cases of doubt. Bro. Gallup, of Liberty Lodge, at Franklin, was one of
Grand Lodge committee, and is still living to attest the correctness
of these Lectures as taught by Barney, in 1817.
"These are the only Lectures which have been
in this jurisdiction, from October, 1817, to the present day. The Grand
sanctioned no others. My predecessors, Grand Masters Robinson, Whitney,
Haswell, sustained them against all innovations, and to the extent of
my power I
have done the same. I think upon these facts I am justified in saying
that the Lectures
we use are the true Lectures of Preston.
"Webb changed the arrangement of the sections
fixed by Preston, for one which he thought more simple and convenient,
but, as I
understand, he left the body of the Lectures themselves as Preston had
them. Subsequently to 1818, Bro. Barney went to the western and
he was a man in feeble health at the time, and pursued Masonic
lecturing as a means
of subsistence. Upon his return to this State, a few years afterwards.
to his brethren here – as I have been credibly informed and believe –
that he found
different systems of lecturing prevailing at the west and south-west,
upon presenting the Lectures he had been taught at Boston in 1817, to
Grand Masters, they were objected to, and that various Grand Masters
would not sanction
his lecturing in their jurisdictions, unless he would teach the
Lectures then existing
among them, that desiring to pursue his occultation, he did learn the
systems of lecturing then existing in the different States, and taught
them in the
different State jurisdictions, as desired by the different Grand
Masters in each.
This circumstance accounts for the strange disagreement between the
east and west
and south-west as to what are the true Barney Lectures. They meant one
New England and another in the west."
Again, in 1861, he says:
"Bro. Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of
in 1805 and no other Grand Lecturer was appointed by that Grand Lodge
During all this time Bro. Fowle was a member, sometimes a subordinate
occasionally Master of St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, one of the oldest
informed Lodges in the world. For most of this time, also, Bro. Gleason
was at home
in Massachusetts, and holding his office of Grand Lecturer of his
State. Is it not
a very violent presumption to assume that he did not know what Lectures
kind of Work were taught in one of the strongest Lodges of Boston.
"I knew Bro. Henry Fowle from my boyhood. My
was one of his intimate friends, and they were members and officers of
Charter. Bro. Fowle was a man of far more mind and attainments than are
found among men of his sphere of life. His was not a mind to forget
was too tenacious a Mason to make changes without authority. But
setting all inferences
from such considerations aside, I remark, that I was present at St.
in 1823 or 1824. AND SAW THE WORK DONE, BRO. FOWLE TAKING PART IN IT
AS A SUBORDINATE OFFICER, AND THE WORK WAS IDENTICALLY THAT WHICH HAS
IN THIS JURISDICTION FROM 1818 TO THIS DAY. AS EXEMPLIFIED IN THE
TO WILSON BY BARNEY. I add also, that I was subjected, upon another
a thorough examination, in an ante-room of the same Masonic hall, upon
a visit to
St. Andrew's Chapter, by a strong examining committee, which, finding
that I answered
readily, ran through the Lectures ENTIRE from entered apprentice to
and that the whole of them were IDENTICAL with those in use in the
Lodges and Chapters
of Vermont. There can be no doubt, then, that the Lectures communicated
to Barney were the genuine Lectures taught by Webb and Gleason, the
same which Gleason
received from Webb in 1801 or 1802; the same which he taught as Grand
Massachusetts, from 1805; the same that I found among the Boston
Masons, in 1823
or 1824 and the very same which are taught there now.
"Was there any opportunity for them to be
in their translation from Barney to Wilson? Barney received them in
1817 and made
private notes of them; in October of that year, he submitted them to
the Grand Lodge
of Vermont, and got its permission to teach them in this jurisdiction:
he was well
known here, was a man of integrity and had every motive of interest and
preserve them in their purity. In 1818 – and before he had gone from
the State to
teach elsewhere at all – he imparted them to Bro. Wilson, having his
before him, and aiding that Brother in making a correct copy of them
and when they
came into use practically, they were found to exactly agree with those
used in the
jurisdiction from which Bro. Barney received them. There seems no room
or mistake here. The link in the chain of transmission is not broken at
The work of Webb was evidently well done, and
life time there existed a fairly uniform method where he or his
He died in 1819. Jeremy L. Cross published his "True Masonic chart" in
1819. It was the Webb monitor with the addition of a series of
the emblems. This feature has been copied in most monitors since.
The "Morgan excitement" in 1826 put Masonic
activity to a disadvantage, and there was little done from 1826 to 1839
Then there was a revival of interest and an agitation for uniform work
in the Baltimore Convention of 1843, at which the delegates adopted the
John Barney, of whom Philip Tucker speaks, was
a Mason in Friendship Lodge No. 20, at Charlotte, Vt., in 1811. After
Webb work in Vermont he went west. He was Grand Lecturer in Ohio from
1836 to 1843,
and Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1846 and 1847. He
died at Peoria,
Ill., June 22, 1847. He was the most influential ritualist of Vermont,
Illinois. Michigan and Wisconsin, and the states which have since
Masonically, derived their work from these, and follow the Barney work
to the best
of their knowledge.
John Barney was the delegate from Ohio to the
Convention of 1843. Charles W. Moore of Massachusetts, was also a
delegate. In a
letter written in 1863 he says:
"The work and lectures of the first three
as adopted and authorized by the Baltimore Convention, in 1843, were,
with a few
unimportant verbal exceptions, literally as they were originally
compiled by Bro.
Thos. S. Webb, about the close of the last century, and as they were
taught by him during his lifetime, and also by his early and favorite
Benjamin Gleason, from the years 1801-2 until his death in 1847. In a
note to me,
under date of NOV. 25, 1843, Bro. Gleason says: 'It was my privilege
while at Brown
University, Providence, R.I., (1801-2) to acquire a complete knowledge
of the lectures
in the first three degrees of Masonry, directly from our late much
Thos. S. Webb.' In 1805 Bro. Gleason was commissioned by the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts
as its Grand Lecturer and empowered to visit and instruct the Lodges in
as he had received it from Bro. Webb. This duty he performed with great
and to the entire satisfaction of the Grand Lodge; and this ritual is
in use in
the lodges of Massachusetts at the present time. There may be some
from the original, but no material change has been made in it. In
1823-4 Bro. Gleason
was my Masonic teacher. I learned the work and lectures of him. We were
by family ties, and close Masonic relations continued to exist between
his death in 1847. I was associated with him in all the various
branches of Masonry
for nearly a quarter of a century, and enjoyed all the rare advantages
of his extensive
and accurate knowledge of the various rituals of the different grades
of the Order.
In 1843 I was appointed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts a delegate
to the Baltimore
Masonic Convention, called for the purpose of revising the various
modes of work
then in use, and agreeing upon a uniform system for the country. Before
home, and as a preparation for the better discharge of the duties of
I availed myself of the assistance of Bro. Gleason, in a thorough and
of the lectures, which I had originally received from him and which, on
occasions, I had been called to deliver and work with him, both in-and
out of the
Lodge. I was, therefore, qualified to report them to the convention,
committee on the work, in their purity and integrity, and, beyond all
as they originally came from the hand of the late Bro. Webb. I had the
be a member of the committee, and to report the amendments, and the
amended, to the convention. This I did without notes, but subsequently
precaution-to minute down the alterations from the original; and these
are now in
my possession. They are mostly verbal, few in number, and not material
results. The only change of consequence was in the due guards of the
third degrees, which were changed and made to conform to that of the
in position and explanation. This was analogically correct."
At this Baltimore Convention sixteen of the
then existing Grand Lodges of the United States were represented, and
adopted was called the "National" or "Barney" work. No opposition
of consequence to this work occurred until 1860, when Robert Morris
tried to have
a "Webb-Preston work as taught by Robert Morris" adopted through the
of a Conservator's Association. This Conservator's Association gained
and many brethren lent it their support. The plan was to have a
conservator in each
lodge who was to use his best efforts to promulgate the "Webb-Preston
as taught by Robert Morris." Each conservator was provided with a copy
which Robert Morris claimed was the true work.
The Grand Lodges, however, became alarmed and
condemned the Conservators; in the early 60's most of them passed
the work as handed down through Gleason, Barney, Wilson, Wadsworth,
Cross and others,
and as approved and recommended by the Baltimore Convention. Robert
to have received the work from Bro. Wilson of Vermont; but Bro. Wilson
"In 1857 Robert Morris visited Vermont for the
purpose of ascertaining what were the true Webb lectures. P. C. Tucker
Morris to me for the purpose, and I loaned him a copy (not my original)
of my cipher,
and which unfortunately had several omissions through mistake. In
Morris made several mistakes and misread many passages. In fact he
could never read
it at all until I met him in Chicago in 1860, and I think he cannot
read it all
now. This copy, with its blunders and omissions, is the text from which
you refer to (Mnemonics) was made."
If we are correct in judging the condition
from 1843, when the Baltimore Convention was held, until the time of
Association, we would conclude that there was a difference in the work
in the different
Jurisdictions which made a Conservator movement possible. (6)
Robert Morris may have been sincerely desirous
a uniform work and believed he could accomplish it; He probably could
if he had
possessed either the Preston work or the Webb work, but he had neither.
a Morris work, and there had been too many changes to suit the
Brethren, and from
then until now the work adopted and maintained in the East and
Northwest (7) has
been as near the Webb work as our ritualists could ascertain, with the
of Pennsylvania which still adheres to the "Ancient" work.
(1) See Mackey's Enc., Article
questions and answers.
(2) See Hutchinson's "Spirit of Masonry."
(3) History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan, page 250.
(4) A considerable difference of opinion exists as to what was done.
English Royal Arch." "Sadler's Reprints and Revelations."
(5) We think this a rather improbable claim, as Bro. Cross was not made
(6) "Two text books, differing materially were issued, each claiming to
the work adopted. ( By the Baltimore convention). I have heard a dozen
of the lectures, each declared to be such as were agreed upon at
A. T. C. Pierson, G. M., Minn., 1858.
(7) I am uninformed as to the South and Southwest.
Our country! In her intercourse with foreign
may she always be in the right; but our country right or wrong!
There Dawns A Day -- [A Poem]
know there shall
dawn a day
– Is it
here on homely earth?
Is it yonder, worlds away,
Where the strange and new have birth,
That Power comes full in play?
Then life is – to wake not sleep,
Rise and not rest, but press
From earth's level where blindly creep
Things perfected, more or less,
To the heaven's height, far and steep.
Where, amid what strifes and storms
May wait the adventurous quest,
Power is Love – transports, transforms
Who aspired from worst to best,
Sought the soul's world, spurned the worms'.
I have faith such end shall be:
From the first, Power was – I knew.
Life has made clear to me
That, strive but for closer view,
Love were as plain to see.
When see? When there dawns a day,
If not on the homely earth,
Then yonder, worlds away,
Where the strange and new have birth,
And power comes full in play.
Victor Hugo's Prophecy
(In His Presidential
Address at the Peace Congress in 1849.) A day will come when
you, France – you, Russia – you, Italy – you, England – you, Germany –
all of you
nations of the continent – shall, without losing your distinctive
your glorious individuality, blend in a higher unity and form a
even as Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, Lorraine, Alsace, all the French
have become blended.
A day will come when war shall seem as absurd
between Paris and London, between St. Petersburg and Berlin, as between
Amiens, between Boston and Philadelphia. A day will come when bullets
shall be replaced by ballots by the universal suffrage of the people,
by the sacred
arbitrament of a great sovereign senate, which shall be to Europe what
is to England, what the diet is to Germany, what the legislative
assembly is to
A day will come when a cannon ball shall be
in our museums as an instrument of torture is now, and men shall marvel
things could be. A day will come when shall be seen those two immense
United States of America and the United States of Europe, in face of
extending hand to hand over the ocean, exchanging their products, their
their industry, their arts, their genius – clearing the earth,
and ameliorating creation, under the eye of the Creator.
Where Is God? -- [A Poem]
M. J. Savage
the sea?" the fishes cried
As they swam the crystal clearness through;
"We've heard from of old of the ocean's tide
And we long to look on the waters blue.
The wise ones speak of an infinite sea;
Oh, who can tell us if such there be?"
The lark flew up in the morning bright
And sang and balanced on sunny wings,
And this was its song: "I see the light;
I look on a world of beautiful things;
And flying and singing everywhere
In vain have I sought to find the air."
War -- [A Poem]
Poverty, Peace –
Peace begets Riches,
Fate will not cease –
Riches beget Pride,
Pride is war's ground –
War begets Poverty,
So the world goes round.
Glimpses of a Pre Revolutionary
By Bro. J. Edward Allen,
The diary of old Samuel Sewall of Massachusetts
been called "a window in old Boston," and in the same way the early
records may be called "colonial views." It is from this point of view
that the writer has been greatly interested in the early records of
lodge of Masons, of Bute County, North Carolina. The early North
an interesting people. That polished gentlemen, William Byrd, of
after appointing a line of division between these and his people,
speaks of them,
in his "History of the Dividing Line," as "mere Adamites," forgetting
that a large part of the Carolinians were Virginians.
We are interested to know that many of these
Masons, and in particular, a number of those who came to Bute County.
we find that on the twenty-ninth of April, 1766, these Bute County
Masons had already
organized a Lodge, and were on that date actually initiating
Buffaloe," and were resolving to call their lodge "Blandford-Bute,"
probably in honor of the old Blandford Lodge, near Petersburg, Va.,
1756, and in honor of their new home-county. They came down the trail
became the Petersburg-Raleigh – Charleston stage road, passing through
and by Buffalo. Aaron Burr later took this route on one of his
a night in Warrenton.
We do not know what the status of these Masons
April, 1766. They seem not to have been completely organized, for at
the next meeting
resolutions were passed as follows:
"Resolved, that the Quarterly Meetings shall be
held regularly at Bute court on the first day thereof –
Resolved, that every member shall duly attend
in course or give a sufficient reason for his absence or pay the sum of
sixpence for each nonperformance.
Secondly, shall prophanely Swear in the Lodge
no less penalty than two shillings and six pence for the first offense
shillings for each after.
Thirdly, that there shall no member Indecently
such as whispering or Laughing in the lodge under the above penalty.
Fourthly, that no member shall disclose the
of the lodge to any but Masons, and not to them without they intend to
or should give such reasons as they should think they would.
Fifthly, that no member shall speake in the
rising and addressing himself to the Master.
Sixthly, that Every Member shall pay for his
Payment Six Shillings and Eight Pence Proct. money to the treasurer
that shall be
appointed by the lodge.
Seventhly, that no member shall reflect, or
any Rules proposed by any member without, in the lodge, and there to
objections in a manner becoming any Mason.
Resolved, that no person be initiated in this
except he pay the money down for his initiation, or give one of the
members of the
lodge for his security, to-wit 4-4sh. Virga. currency –
Resolved, that Jethro Sumner Treasurer of this
bring his account of the expenses of the same –
Resolved, that the treasurer Prepare a Striped
and a Pair of Trousers for the use of the Lodge."
This curious commingling of trivial incidentals
important matters was evidently regarded as the fundamental law for the
of the lodge, for it is signed by the thirteen members, and is then
the statement "Then the lodge adjourned till the Lodge in course."
Just a word personal here about these men will
out of order. We must understand that the English language was not then
firmly fixed in its forms and usages as now; and that therefore what
us to be bad grammar would not have then been scorned. We must remember
these men all lived hard outdoor lives, many of them traveling long
find a lodge or a church, and that therefore schools were almost
the most of these settlers and education was within reach only of a
who could employ private tutors. And did not that notorious governor of
state, Sir William Berkeley, write concerning the condition of his
thank God there are no free schools, nor printing, and I hope we shall
these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience and heresy,
into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the
God keep us from both." But in spite of unfavorable conditions many of
members of this old lodge were men whose names appear on the pages of
those of heroes of a great faith or magnificent champions of liberty.
an officer of the lodge, was one of the great generals of the
Revolution. It is
said that his name was seriously considered when a Commander-in-chief
of the American
armies was to be chosen. Green Hill, another of the members of the
lodge at this
time, was the man in whose house was held the first conference of the
Episcopal Church in America. One part of this one county furnished at
later, both U. S. senators, the congressman, the Governor, and a judge
of the State
court of appeals. Here was born and raised Nathaniel Macon, the
greatest North Carolinian,
long Speaker of the National House of Representatives. And, by
contrast, hence came
Beau Hickman, the greatest deadbeat, immortalized by G. A. Townsend as
in "Crutch, the Page."
The business of these old lodges was almost
in the first degree. Hence the charge for initiation was four pounds
Virginia currency, equivalent to about fourteen dollars. This is
when we think of the fact that the average fee for the three degrees in
today is less than twenty dollars. But when he was initiated, the Mason
by-laws and became an active member. Relatively a small part of the
all the three degrees, and the Master Mason's lodge was not opened "on
oftener than three or four times each year. The Royal Arch work seems
to have been
done by the same organization, for we read about twice in each year's
"at a lodge of Arch and Royal Arch Masons," somebody was advanced to
"exalted Arch degree," or to the "superexalted Royal Arch degree."
At times the lodge met when court was in
at night, actually in the court house. Bute court house was ten or
from the nearest town, and when it was afterward removed to Warrenton,
the old records
were lost. They were found more than seventy-five years later, by a
excellent gentleman, who is said to have sat up all night reading them,
and it is
charged that on the following morning his first question was, "What did
old fellows do with that pair of drawers that the Lodge bought?" No one
able to advise him.
Quite plainly there has been a change of
many things somewhere in the decades. We read that often this lodge
to brother So-andso's tavern, where a sumptuous repast was enjoyed."
usually paid for by the candidate of the day, but sometimes there is an
the minutes of the next meeting to the effect that "the secretary read
for two gallons of rum, which on motion was ordered paid." It is
this may have been intended for use as medicine, but we may safely
such was not the case. It is a matter of common knowledge that many of
gatherings of the day in this and other sections were composed to a
extent of men who each and all were unwilling to leave home without
"demijohns," or even "runlets" of the liquor that cheers and
then does some more. The truth is, the history of Masonry is the
history of the
morals of its devotees, and as surely as we can read the signs of the
so surely can we see that the morals of the country are being elevated.
on drunkards today and deal stringently with them.
Do not think, however, that twentieth-century
have a monopoly of the duty of dealing with violators of the Masonic
law. Our eighteenth-century
brethren, too, had troubles in that line. At a meeting of Blandford
Bute lodge held
on November 20, 1767, the members seem to have been uproariously
was coming, and they may have been either glad with its spirit or
spirits, or mad
with its prospects of paying the bills, for at this season "everybody
father." Whatever may have been the trouble, we find that in this
Duncan misbehaved three times and was fined two shillings sixpence each
was a Fellowcraft’s lodge, and the brother who had just been passed was
2s.6d. for "a breach of behaviour." He must have had something more
nerve! Brother William Tabb next was discovered laughing and received
the same dose.
Tabb was next soaked 2s.6d. for going out, and lastly Arch Campbell
uniform penalty for misbehaving. At this point it seems that the
have outnumbered the more sedate brethren, for we read that at the end
of the meeting
all the fines were remitted, as well as the fines of the members who
had been absent
without excuse at the last meeting. What a deal of relief there would
be to the
Master of many a lodge today if he could by fines force his members to
meetings! It was in the previous August that one brother was fined for
another for getting drunk, and two for no less grave an offense against
of the lodge than singing. This reminds us of the case of the lady who
sang so atrociously
in the Methodist church of the nearby town of Warrenton about a hundred
that she was excluded from fellowship. The case was carried to the
State court of
appeals, which restored her to her former rights and privileges.
In these old records we find only one allusion
Montfort, of Halifax, "Grand Master of and for America," as he was
in his commission from the Duke of Beaufort. On August third, 1767,
is recorded as one of the visitors. There is no record of any
recognition of his
standing, except in the fact that at this meeting there was a larger
than at any other which Blandford-Bute ever held. His commission was
Trouble between the adherents and supporters of
mistaken policy of the reigning house in the mother country, and those
uncompromisingly for their liberty, early became acute in North
Carolina. In several
sections of the state there were many Scotch Highlanders and others who
to England to the last stand. Governor Tryon defeated the ill-trained
in the battle of Alamance about 1771, and only made these seekers for
determined. The call of military duty suspended temporary interest in
else, probably including Masonic lodge work. If Blandford-Bute was
active from 1768
to 1782, it left no records.
It is probable that many of the Masonic lodges
hotbeds of Revolutionary spirit. Almost every one of the leaders of the
in North Carolina was an active Mason, and there is good reason to
many of the Masonic lodges were closely in touch with the machinery
used at this
time to ascertain the spirit and temper of the various sections and
concerning the war. This was probably the case with Blandford-Bute, for
it was a
household saying around here that there were "no Tories in Bute." It is
probable that there was a close relation between the lodges and the
Safety, or the Committees of Correspondence. If the lodges were
they met informally and left no records. One might wonder whether such
could have suggested the general plan of the Ku Klux Klan to the sorely
Southern men of Reconstruction days. Do the words which the writer has
in the quotations below possibly suggest some sort of unrecorded,
The secretary of post-bellum days, in
records, possibly for Grand lodge inspection when the North Carolina
given, says of what he gives up to 1768:
are all the proceedings that can be had from the lodge while it was
held at Buffaloe
which is transcribed from part of the original by J. Macon, Secretary."
Fortunately, we have both the original up to
the copy. The reorganization meeting is discussed in the records as
"AT A LODGE OF ROYAL ARCH AND MASTER MASONS
and held in due form the 6th of April, 5782, at High Twelve.
Resolved, that a due record be kept from and
date of this lodge together with the reasons it has not been kept up
the Constitutions and Rules of the Craft.
TO THIS AND ALL SUCCEEDING LODGES
Be it known unto you
That from the unavoidable necessity of entering
a Cruel and Unnatural War, with the parent State, the Numerous Calls,
of our fellow Citizens and Brethren Be it not Dismay'd, therefore, that
of this as well as many other Lodges have been greatly disturbed
thereby, and only
to be restored but by Unanimity and an unshaken hand of Fidelity which
we owe to
each other. So that under these deplorable circumstances we consider it
Vindication for our neglect in meeting. Particularly when we may Justly
many Battles, Skirmishes, Massacres, Robberies, Murders, Conflagrations
other Hostile and inhuman acts which this present unnatural war hath
so destructive to Mankind in general and Obnoxious to us, and the
Harmony of Masonry
in particularly. But, arriving at a period which gives some respite,
us from the rest of mankind, then who is the Mason that will not meet
the hand that denies his brother?
RESOLVED that a summons be issued to all the
of our lodge to repair to our room at this place the first Saturday in
by ten o'clock.
And the remnant of the once flourishing lodge
came, true to that Masonry which had made its place in their lives in
times of peace,
and which had helped make life worth living in time of war. Only six
veterans were left. But, strange to say, we find among them a number of
whose names we have never seen before. They must have been doing some
the war sub rosa, without keeping any records of meetings. Their
sources of income,
their relatives, their homes, their health, all sacrificed for freedom,
these old men in tears rekindled the fires on the altars of their homes
the Rule and Guide to Faith on the altar of their Lodge. It is
interesting to note
that the Masonic soldier thought of Masonry as having a definite place
in the protection
of his home. The wife left behind was sometimes placed in possession of
of secret by imparting which she might, and sometimes did, invoke the
aid of Masons.
The writer does not know what this was, but many of us have heard
stories of the
preservation of a home by means of this kind. It was afterwards done
again in 1861-65.
All the old Masons "on Buffaloe" were dead,
and the remnants voted to move the lodge to Warrenton. At the first
the Secretary read an address one sentence of which was as follows:
"Whereas our ancient lodge room has lately been
brought to ruin by the soldiary, and therefore rendered unfit for our
meeting, So that under these circumstances we are exposed to much
our new designs, … I recommend that a plot of ground be purchased in
“The plot of ground thus purchased adjoined the
of Emmanuel Episcopal church, within whose walls Horace Greeley was
is interesting to note in passing that near the scene of the lodge's
was kept later one of the most famous pleasure resorts in the country,
Shocco Springs, which had its thousands of guests each season, and near
within calling distance of the old lodge, were laid away the remains of
Lee, beloved daughter of the great Hero of the Lost Cause, "there to
the Resurrection Morn."
Peaceful and uneventful was the later history
old lodge, for after the storm of war always peace is most beautiful.
In quiet did
the old fellows meet and confer the degrees or dispense sweet charity,
having a little celebration all their own. In the minutes of June
we notice that the secretary presented a bill for supplies, and it was
that the treasurer pay Wm. Campbell 29s.4d (about five dollars) for a
loaf of sugar."
For what could this have been bought, unless because there was here and
of their members who "took sugar in his'n" when the drinks were passed?
Rarely did they in this period digress from the
tenor of their way, but once or twice we find them coming in contact
outside before the Grand Lodge of North Carolina was formed. Once we
find that Jethro
Sumner moved, "that inquiry should be made respecting the appointment
Grand Master for the United States." Sumner and Jos. Montfort had been
friends, and by this motion we understand that Sumner acknowledged the
of the old Montfort commission and was looking to having his place
his death. Nothing came of this, as of similar moves in present times.
And this resolution, poorly written and almost
though it is, at length explains to us darkly the source from which
lodge had for these many years derived its authority to work:
"Resolved, that if the State of Virginia has
choice of a Grand Master, that the proceedings of Blandford lodge of 23
for a copy of the Deputation given this lodge in order that a charter
be had from
It would appear from that crude and badly
that Blandford lodge, near Petersburg, Va., on December 23, 1766, gave
some sort of dispensation under which to work. It is probable that this
for before April of that year.
Here let us leave the old lodge. Its hundred
odd years of further history have not been without interest, but, the
past, by degrees it approaches our modern system.
The writer hopes in concluding, that he and the
may imitate the example of these good brethren, of whom their faithful
records that they "PARTED LOVINGLY ON THE SQUARE."
Discussing the Previous
By Bro. R.I. Clegg, Ohio
That is an oblong square? These things make me
"And no wonder, for as the old farmer said when he saw a giraff for the
time, 'There ain't no such animals.' Such errors no doubt crept in by
the law of exaggeration for the sake of emphasis, and may easily be
This is the sort of question and answer the
ritual and monitor must withstand. These comments are typical. How far
At the outset I confess to a very cordial
both the inquiry and the response. Much may be said by way of excuse
for them. In
fact the position of inquiry and of wonderment is an excellent
foundation for research.
Granted a respectful persistence in regard to the subject and starting
a point of departure, the inquirer can unearth material of great
But that happy outlook is not always the
do I recall a very industrious effort made by an esteemed co-worker of
mine to obtain
the approval of one Grand Lodge Committee for certain drastic changes
in our ceremonies.
It took long argument before it was at all possible to make him see any
sundry expressions. His was essentially the modern iconoclastic view,
of retaining whatever could be justified by ancient or present day
My plea was and is for the retention of
unless it could be shown that in the olden days it was as incongruous
as it may
seem to be in the light of today. Now as it is obvious that this
for ample and exceedingly difficult investigation, there would be few
the attitude were universally adopted. To say the least, it is
one prescribed by the charge to every Master Mason.
Let it not be understood that in all respects I
"Standpatter." Whenever a change is universally approved is ample time
for its adoption, and when conservatives like myself cannot show some
reason for stemming the tide of innovation, perhaps we ought not to
at the laying of hands upon the structure of ceremonial formulas. We
hope that even in such cases the alterations be made in none but a
rather as a repair for some ageworn weakness than as a movement of
If alteration be done at all let it be done tenderly and with affection.
But returning to our topic, what do we find?
is this particular expression a mere exaggeration? To the offhand
glance there is
probably a contradiction in the terms. A four-sided figure having its
in length and all its angles of ninety degrees is commonly called a
such a figure cannot be oblong. Manifestly we must seek in some other
for an explanation of the phrase "oblong square."
Mathematically the word "oblong" can be applied
to intersecting axes of unequal length. For the same reason it may
properly be also
descriptive of the working tool known as a square when the latter has
arms of unequal
length. Is there any other brief phrase that could so well be employed
for the purpose?
And to what else could the term be so pertinently applied as to the
tool familiar to every workman in all lines of industry? Mention the
word to any
workman and his mind at once visualizes the same thing in every case,
and that not
an enclosed figure.
While it is true that the square with us is
with arms of equal length, and as far back as the painting of "Night"
by Hogarth, Grand Steward in the early part of the eighteenth century,
square was so represented, yet there are as in the familiar "gallow's"
square and in the square adopted by the Continental brethren an oblong
form to be
found. This is very probably selected from the operative form.
A plain square having its arms measured off as
quantities and in units well known to a special class of workmen would
have an extraordinary
significance. Some studious brethren, Lawrence for example, have
attacked the custom
of placing graduations of length upon the arms of the square. To my
mind this suggests
the foundation of the forty-seventh proposition. Given the graduations
on the square
blades and then with the help of another rule across the hypotenuse you
measurements of a right-angled triangle, and on multiplying these by
any one number
you possess the direct dimensions of a large figure; the larger the
course the less likelihood of inaccuracy creeping into the fundamental
There are those who hold that the oblong square
the early civilized world, when as in the case of the Roman Empire it
due East and West to about twice its Northern and Southern limits. This
to me more fanciful than demonstrative. It might as easily be supposed
the famous double cube, that puzzle of the centuries. I refer of course
to the ancient
problem requiring the determination of the size when the cubical altar
was to be made with twice the former volume.
But let us not get too far from the Lodge room.
the occasion when the term oblong square is used. Consider the
and following locations and positions. Do not forget the peculiar
features of the
ceremony of laying a cornerstone of any building when performed with
and in connection therewith compare the ceremonial associated with the
corner. Now let us go a step further, and I use this expression
Having the above in mind, think of the bonding
wall as it would be thought of by an operative Mason. The simplest and
of rough walling would be to throw the squared stones rudely together
hit or miss.
Probably the inexpert would lay them end to end and side by side as the
quickest way of getting over the ground. Does this suggest anything to
as being comparable with the progress made at the entrance and until
has been properly taught? More I cannot say of that particular feature,
but to the
discerning enough has probably been submitted.
Let us pass on our way. The bonding of a wall
for the placing of certain bricks or stones at an angle to the rest,
a right angle as a matter of efficiency and for compactness; the
several parts then
lending each other their maximum co-operation and being more uniformly
by the mortar or cement. In this position they better resist the load
that may be
placed upon them. Their individual and complete strength is firmly a
stand together in cohesive compactness. Thus should we Masons stand and
so are we
Stones or bricks are seldom cubes for building
They are oblongs preferably, and invariably squared. The tools to test
all the better for having their axes of different lengths, and
especially is this
true if the oblong square contains the ready means of setting up the
proposition. Then the workman is not only equipped to carve the stone
but to lay
out the area for the completed walls.
The Masonic student wishing to go further into
of the square by the old workmen may well consider the painted and
of the tool itself. He may also examine the working methods of such as
Vasari, Vitruvious, etc., in the proportional uses of such implements
as the square
in highly skilled masons' work, they being architects of antiquity of
whom the oblong
square is a fitting symbol.
The Purpose of Masonry
"There comes from time to time, with what would
seem increasing frequency, a cry for leadership by Freemasonry and its
but when these cries are analyzed they seem to suggest an abandonment
of the most
sacred of our principles and to call for a will-o'-the-wisp guidance
into the Sorbonian
bogs of politics or down the Gadarenian cliffs of religious controversy.
"Of all those who so insistently demand that
shall take up all the latest fads as they catch the wind of popular
favor, or that
we shall zealously attempt to divide the citizens of our nation into
camps, that the sacred walls of our asylums may resound only with the
'hatred, uncharitableness and intolerance,' we may wisely ask, 'Whither
What is the way you ask us to travel, and where is the end of the
journey upon which
you would have us enter with light hearts?'
"It is true that an order without a purpose
be like a body without a soul, but that purpose certainly need not be
or dictate the daily life, the politics, or the religious affiliations
of our fellow
"Primarily, the great purpose of Freemasonry is
the teaching, by and through its organized forces and its symbolism, of
truths which lie at the foundation of human society. So far as it
performs its great
duty to humanity, Freemasonry selects those men, and those men only,
and intelligence fit them for its teachings; and those men, by most
solemn and sacred
appeals to their minds, their hearts and their emotions, it knits into
union of friends and brothers and sustains, supports and encourages
them in all
that goes to make up true manliness. To those so selected and so
trained we may
safely leave the performance of their duties to God, their country, and
"It is still true that charity and toleration
cardinal principles of Freemasonry, and we may proclaim in all honesty
that we practice here and everywhere, to the utmost extent, the great,
tolerant, liberal doctrines of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite."
The Sweetness of a Friend
Be sure there is some one to whom you can open
to whom you can tell everything, and who will be willing to confide
Deserve such companionship, and, where it exists. do not let it die
away. On such
intimacy somewhere, all social life depends. – E. E. Eale.
Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic
By Bro. Arthur Edward Waite,
RECURRING to the Legend of the Third Degree,
upon which it revolves is the existence of a building secret,
represented as a Master-Word,
which the Builder died to preserve. Owing to his untimely death, the
Word was lost,
and it has always been recognized in Masonry that the Temple,
unfinished at the
moment of the untoward event, remained with its operations suspended
and was completed
later on by those who obviously did not possess the Word or key. The
descended to us and, as I have said, we are still on the quest.
Now what does all this mean? We have no concern
present day, except in archaeology and history, with King Solomon's
is meant by this Temple and what is the Lost Word? These things have a
or our system is stultified. Well, here are burning questions, and the
in which we can look for an answer is that which is their source. As to
must remember that the Legend of the Master Degree is a Legend of
the aegis of the Old Covenant, and though it has no warrants in the
Holy Writ which
constitutes the Old Testament, it is not antecedently improbable that
to our purpose may be found elsewhere in the literature of Jewry.
I do not of course mean that we shall meet with
Legend itself; it would be interesting if we did but not per se
helpful, apart from
explanation. I believe in my heart that I have found what is much more
and this is the root-matter of that which is shadowed forth in the
Legend, as regards
the meaning of the Temple and the search for the Lost Word. There are
texts which are known to scholars under the generic name of Kabbalah, a
meaning reception, or doctrinal teaching passed on from one to another
communication. According to its own hypothesis, it entered into written
during the Christian era, but hostile criticism has been disposed to
as invented at the period when it was written. The question does not
our purpose, as the closing of the 13th century is the latest date that
drastic view – now generally abandoned – has proposed for the most
We find therein after what manner, according to
Israel, Solomon's Temple was spiritualized; we find deep meanings
attached to the
two pillars J. and B.; we find how the word was lost and under what
the chosen people were to look for its recovery. It is an expectation
theosophy, as it is for the Craft Mason. It was lost owing to an
and although the time and circumstances of its recovery have been
certain texts of the Kabbalah, there has been something wrong with the
The keepers of the tradition died with their faces toward Jerusalem,
that time; but for Jewry at large the question has passed from the
field of view,
much as the quest is continued by us in virtue of a ceremonial formula
be said to mean anything for those who undertake and pursue it. It was
to the unworthiness of Israel, and the destruction of the First Temple
was one consequence
thereof. By the waters of Babylon, in their exile, the Jews are said to
Zion, but the word did not come back into their hearts; and when Divine
inspired Cyrus to bring about the building of the Second Temple and the
Israel into their own land, they went back empty of all recollection in
The Divine Name
I am putting things in a summary fashion that
up and down the vast text with which I am dealing – that is to say,
Sepher Ha Zohar,
The Book of Splendor. The word to which reference is made is the Divine
of the consonants of which, He, Vau, He, Yod, we have formed Jehovah,
or more accurately
Yahve. When Israel fell into a state which is termed impenitence it is
said in the
Zoharic Symbolism that the Vau and the He final were separated. The
name was dismembered,
and this is the first sense of loss which is registered concerning it.
is that it has no proper vowel points, those of the Name Elohim being
or alternatively the Name Adonai. It is said, for example: "My Name is
YHVH and read Adonai." The epoch of restoration and completion is
indifferently, that of resurrection, the world to come, and the advent
of the Messiah.
In such day the present imperfect separation between the letters will
be put an
end to, once and forever. If it be asked: What is the connection
between the loss
and dismemberment which befell the Divine Name Jehovah and the Lost
Word in Masonry,
I cannot answer too plainly; but every Royal Arch Mason knows that
which is communicated
to him in that Supreme Degree, and in the light of the present
explanation he will
see that the "great" and "incomprehensible" thing so imparted
comes to him from the Secret Tradition of Israel.
It is also to this Kabalistic source, rather
the variant accounts in the first book of Kings and in Chronicles, that
have recourse for the important Masonic Symbolism concerning the
Pillars J. and
B. There is very little in Holy Scripture which would justify a choice
objects as particular representatives of our art of building
in later Kabalism, in the texts called "The Garden of Pomegranates" and
in "The Gates of Light," there is a very full and complicated
of the strength which is attributed to B., the left-hand Pillar, and of
is established in and by the right-hand Pillar, called J.
As regards the Temple itself, I have explained
elsewhere after what manner it is spiritualized in various Kabalistic
texts, so that it appears ever as "the proportion of the height, the
of the depth, and the lateral proportions" of the created universe, and
as a part of the transcendental mystery of law which is at the root of
tradition in Israel. This is outside our subject, not indeed by its
nature but owing
to limitations of opportunity. I will say only that it offers another
a fatal loss in Israel and the world – which is commented on in the
which the Temple symbolized above all things was, however, a House of
and as on the one hand the Zohar shows us how a loss and substitution
through centuries, owing to the idolatry of Israel at the foot of Mount
the wilderness of Sinai, and illustrated by the breaking of the Tables
on which the Law was inscribed; so does Speculative Masonry intimate
that the Holy
House, which was planned and begun after one manner, was completed
and a word of death was substituted for a word of life.
I shall not need to tell you that beneath such
of allegory and amidst such illustrations of symbolism, the
a principle and not a person, historical or otherwise. He signifies
than a single principle, for in the world of mystic intimations through
are now moving, the question, "Who is the Master?" would be answered by
many voices. But generically, he is the imputed life of the
lay beyond the letter of the Written Law, which "the stiff-necked and
of the patriarchal, sacerdotal and prophetical dispensations contrived
According to the Secret Tradition of Israel, the whole creation was
for the manifestation of this life, which became manifested actually in
aspect when the spiritual Eve was drawn from the side of the spiritual
placed over against him, in the condition of face o face. The intent of
was made void in the event which is called the Fall of Man, though the
expression is unknown in Scripture. By the hypothesis, the "fatal
which followed would have reached their time on Mount Sinai, but the
when left to themselves in the wilderness, "sat down to eat and rose up
play." That which is concealed in the evasion of the last words
the state of Eve in Paradise, when she had become affected by the
To sum up as regards the sources, the Lost Word
is derived from a Kabalistic thesis of imperfection in the Divine Name
by which the true pronunciation – that is to say, the true meaning – is
was the life of the House of Doctrine, represented by the Temple
planned of old
in Israel. The Master-Builder is the Spirit, Secret or Life of the
it is the quest of this that every Mason takes upon himself in the
ceremony of the
Third Degree, so that the House, which in the words of another Masonic
now, for want of territory, built only in the heart, "a superstructure
in its parts and honorable to the builder."
But if these are the sources of Craft Masonry,
at its culmination in the Sublime Degree, what manner of people were
those who grafted
so strange a speculation and symbolism on the Operative procedure of a
The answer is that all about that period which represents what is
called the transition,
or during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Latin writing scholars were
with zeal for the exposition of the tradition in Israel, with the
result that many
memorable and even great books were produced on the subject. Among
were many great names, and they provided the materials ready to the
hands of the
symbolists. What purpose had the latter in view? The answer is that in
Italy, France and England, the Zeal for Kabalistic literature among the
scholars had not merely a scholastic basis. They believed that the
texts of the
Secret Tradition showed plainly, out of the mouth of Israel itself,
that the Messiah
had come. This is the first fact. The second I have mentioned already,
although the central event of the Third Degree is the Candidate's
Raising, it is
not said in the Legend that the Master-Builder rose, thus suggesting
remains to come after, which might at once complete the legend and
quest. The third fact is that in a rather early and important High
Degree of the
philosophical kind, now almost unknown, the Master-Builder of the Third
as Christ, and so completes the dismembered Divine Name, by insertion
of the Hebrew
letter Shin, this producing Yeheshua – the restoration of the Lost Word
in the Christian
Degrees of Masonry.
Of course, I am putting this point only as a
of fact in the development of symbolism. Meanwhile, I trust that,
amidst many imperfections,
I have done something to indicate a new ground for our consideration,
and to show
that the speaking mystery of the Opening and Closing of the Third
Degree and the
Legend of the Master-Builder come from what may seem to us very far
away, but yet
not so distant that it is impossible to trace them to their source.
The Holy Earth
There is something beyond the philosophies in
in the grass blades, the leaf, the sparrow on the wall. Some day the
great and beautiful
thought which hovers on the confines of the mind will at last alight.
In that hope
The Orderly Life
By Bro. Charles Sumner Lobingier,
It is almost commonplace to observe that one –
the most important – of the secrets of success in any career is a
the value of time. "Dost thou live thy life?" asks Poor Richard; "then
value thy time, for time is the stuff life is made of." It is often
"time is money." But the phrase is inaccurate for time is much more
money. It is true that time may usually be converted into money but it
is by no
means as easy to reverse the process. Has not the quest of the ages
been for an
elixir that would prolong life? And what fabulous fortunes would a
like the late J. P. Morgan, have given for only one additional year!
The brevity of life and the elusiveness of time
afforded a favorite theme for the poets from Homer down. Chaucer sang of
"The lyfe so short,
The craft so long to lerne."
Longfellow elaborates the same thought in his
"Art is long and
time is fleeting,
hearts though stout and brave
muffled drums, are beating
marches to the grave."
And the greatest dramatist of
all time said:
"We are such stuff
as dreams are made of
And our little life is rounded with a
Of course, too, the hymn
writers have taken up
in somber strains like these:
"Swift to its
close ebbs forth life's little day."
* * *
To our eternal home.
Life is but a winter's day
A journey to the tomb."
The Waste of Time
Notwithstanding the paucity of time and its
value nothing is more common than the waste of it.
"Life we are told is a bubble, a shifting
evanescent as the morning mists, uncertain as a young maid's promise,
a reed. And yet men proceed to deal with it as if it were as
inexhaustible as the
widow's cruise." (1)
(1) Adams, W.
H. Davenport, The Secret of Success. [Lib 1879]
To every serious individual, however, sooner or
there comes a profound recognition of this truth and a painful
"We think at the age of twenty," said one
(2) who later became an octogenarian, "that life is much too long for
which we have to learn and do; and that there is an almost fabulous
our age and that of our grandfather. But when, at the age of sixty, if
we are fortunate
enough to reach it, or unfortunate enough, as the case may be, and
we have profitably invested or wasted our time, we halt, and look back
way we have come, and cast up and endeavor to balance our accounts with
opportunity, we find that we have made life much too short, and thrown
away a huge
portion of our time. Then we, in our mind, deduct from the sum total of
the hours that we have needlessly passed in sleep; the working-hours
each day, during
which the surface of the mind's sluggish pool has not been stirred or
a single thought; the days that we have gladly got rid of, to attain
some real or
fancied object that lay beyond, in the way between us and which stood
the intervening days; the hours worse than wasted in follies and
misspent in useless and unprofitable studies; and we acknowledge, with
a sigh, that
we could have learned and done, in half a score of years well spent,
more than we
have done in all our forty years of manhood."
Pike, Morals and Dogma [Lib 1871], 115.
Here is another lament:
"Lost! yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and
sunset, three golden hours, each worth sixty diamond minutes. No reward
for they are gone forever. Gone forever! In those bitter words lies the
the moralist." (3)
But mere remorse and repining will do little to
this unpleasant situation. They are helpful only as they arouse us to
practical view is better expressed in such homely maxims as these:
"Don't cry over spilt milk."
"Never too late to mend."
And the practical question is, What can be done
Now the first step toward curing an evil is to
its cause. And when we seek the causes of our waste of time we will
among them the lack of system. We have not put our lives in-order. We
time in a haphazard fashion. We have no fixed method of utilizing it.
Hence we undertake
enterprises which we never finish because we find ere long that they
have been begun. If we read it is for amusement and recreation rather
than for inspiration
or instruction. All this necessarily involves waste of time and the
be sought in the adoption of the orderly life. For an essential feature
of any scheme
of economy is method, order, system. Well did Pope say
"Order is heaven's
first law." –
And one of the first applications of method is
and survey of our resources. If, as Franklin says, "time is the stuff
is made of" our days are the basic elements of the stuff.
"For the structure
that we raise
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build." (4)
The Builders. [Lib
Vol 1 1857] (see page 327)
Our days then are the units of our lives and it
our days that we must apply any workable scheme for improving time.
"Oh," said Thomas A. Kempis, "Oh that
I had lived one day thoroughly well." And the psalmist prayed "So teach
us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
"Perdidi diem" (I have lost a day) was the
lament of Rome's imperial philosopher, Marcus Aurelius. Carpe diem!
(seize the day)
was the more practical thought of the modern-minded, Horace.
But the day which we must seize is not some
day – not even to-morrow – but to-day.
"To-day is king" says Emerson.
And here we must face the truth that
is the thief of time." Too many of us have planned great deeds "when we
Plan the Day
Given to-day as the unit of our life, how shall
it and stay the waste? Well in the first place we must plan it. Just as
workshop has "a place for everything and everything in its place," so
the fruitful day has "a time for everything and everything in its time."
"A time for everything;" ay there's the rub!
It cannot be found, you say. Well it will surprise you to find how much
can be done
by trying. The idler has the least time. And here we reach a second
step in the
process – selection. For since we have not time or all we must be
content to exclude
some. At least we must select the most essential things. Do not fail to
health, character, the moral, spiritual, and intellectual life, as well
as for business
and pleasure. Without these first the day is barren.
"We live in deeds not years; in thoughts not
in feelings not in figures on a dial." Someone said of a certain
that in all his four score years he had never really lived fifteen
It is only when we are trying to find a place
crowded day for even the most essential things that we come to
appreciate the value
of its fragments. For just as the day is the unit of life, so the hour
is the unit
of the day and the minute of the hour.
Strive as we may to make our working plan
the most successful of us will always find moments, and even hours,
which have not
been provided for. Here is the chance for economy. The old adage "save
pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves," may be adapted to
situation. "Save the moments and the days will take care of themselves."
Save some less important tasks for rainy days.
Have a good book ready for that wait at the
Set aside the next lull for reflection on some
It has been said of the late Grant Allen – who
in early middle life after having written voluminously and much that
will live –
“Like all men who do much in this world, he had a genius for using up
time. He had, too, an almost Gladstonian power of concentration." (5)
Gallienne, Attitudes and Avowals, 205. [Lib 1910]
Make the Plan Comprehensive
But while our days, hours and minutes deserve
attention we shall fail to make the most of them unless they are
considered as parts
of a whole to which each is essential. Our work of to-day is most
it supplements that of yesterday and prepares that of to-morrow. Happy
is the man
who finds a life – work – one to which he can devote his best energies
his active years. One of the sagest remarks of Theodore Roosevelt was,
best fate is to be able to work hard at something worthwhile:"
But to do this effectively we must look a long
and plan for the far future. And here we encounter a paradox. Just as
we begin to
realize at once the brevity and the uncertainty of life, we must
prepare to live
long. For consider the consequences of any other course! If every man
to-day was his last, the world would cease to move. Then
"Live as though
you are to die to-morrow; work as though you are to live forever."
Let us try to find our vocation; let us
discover a task
worth while; and then let us take a lifetime to accomplish it.
Another source of leakage in our time is
sloth. We will not force ourselves to do what is necessary to improve
it is so easy to drift and dawdle. And here the orderly life requires
of industry and diligence for idleness. One of the most pregnant of the
sayings of Jesus is the injunction, "Work while the day lasts; for the
cometh when no man can work."
"Not many lives
but only one have we;
One, only one.
How sacred should
one life ever be
Day after day
up with blessed toil,
Hour after hour still
bringing in new spoil!"
Execute The Plan
However complete our working plan it will avail
unless we are prepared to carry it out. "Hell is paved with good
The shores of time are strewn with the wrecks of beautiful theories
had not the strength of character to venture out upon the real ocean of
The execution of a matured plan is merely the
form of what we call diligence or industry which is the handmaid of
economy in enabling
us to make the most of our time.
But these virtues require an exercise of the
that dynamo of the human spirit. And it has been well said that
is perfectly educated will." Hence our quest for a means of utilizing
and stopping its waste ends in finding that it depends in the last
the education of the will – i. e., the development of character. This
then is the
key to the orderly life and this alone will enable us, in Charles
"Do noble things
Not dream them all
And so make life,
and the vast forever
One grand sweet song!"
(1) Adams (W. H. Davenport), The
(2) Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 115.
(3) Adams, ubi supra.
(4) Longfellow, The Builders.
(5) Le Galleinne, Attitudes and Avowals, 205.
Square and Compasses
By Bro. Walter Russell Reed,
CRAFTSMEN, it is truly a matter of rejoicing to
my journeyings have brought me near your Lodge of Operative Cathedral
so that I may again greet you, and know of your welfare. And it is a
to me, a Speculative Mason, to note the progress you have made in the
of this noble and beautiful building. Its growth has no doubt seemed to
but to me the advance you have made is most evident, and the
development has been
rapid toward that completed structure which our Master Architect has
will be truly a poem and a prayer in stone, and each of you may well be
have had a part in so noble and glorious an undertaking as the erection
cathedral which overshadows your lodge.
You remember, possibly, that on the occasion of
visit to you, I held familiar discourse with you here on the likeness
of such a
work to the growth of human character. Again when I was with you a
brief time last
year, I drew from the same source some lessons on the strength of
Even as I walked about the building today, I noticed in the work-yard
many of the
stones which had been brought from the quarries, and were lying there
should be needed. Beautifully finished some of them were, and much
labor had already
been expended on each one, yet as they lay here and there without order
no beauty in the assemblage. One, which seemed to be the key for an
at even a less advantage than its fellows, and I thought of our old
legend of that
"Stone which the builders rejected." Yet, united according to the
of our Master Architect, these same stones will combine to form the
and beauty which is produced only by harmony. If it has chanced that
you have pondered
on my words, Craftsmen, as you have day by day spread the cement which
these stones to one purpose, so that now you are grown to a higher
regard for the
craft, a greater loyalty to the state, and a deeper respect for law,
then my words
have not been in vain. For verily I would urge upon you that by
true co-operation, even the rough stones of Failure may be builded into
temple of Success.
And now I might tell you of my travels in
or speak of some of the ancient legends of the craft. But rather would
I talk of
the familiar things around you, so that with new eyes you may look on
objects of everyday life. Would I could leave with some of you that
Stone of thought and observation which turns each common thing to gold,
to him who possesses it the true title of Master.
Brother Warden, I notice that you have, with a
which is no doubt a habit to you, brought your working tools with you
into the lodge.
Lend me for a moment your square. And a right good one it seems to be,
and I doubt
not the angle is true and the blades straight. How then, craftsman, do
you use this
tool? To try your work. Ay, and how often it tells you that your work
is not yet
perfect, does it not? The surface of the stone may be chiseled ever so
if, when the square is applied, the angle proves to be untrue, all must
again, or the stone will be rejected by the overseers, and it may be
that he who
has shaped it will be humiliated by seeing it heaved over among the
square work only is what is required of us. Some may bring up stones
of a pattern we know not, and which the square will not justify. Yet be
hasty to condemn or criticize them, my Brother. Such stones may yet be
the building. Genius is not always to be fettered by the common
standard. But as
for us, we know that we must apply the square to every angle of our
work ere we
pronounce it good.
Let us now name this working tool with a new
we call it Duty. As we day by day shape the rough ashlar of our rude
selves into the perfect ashlar of virtuous character, let the Square of
our unerring standard. Swerve not from those principles of honor and
truth and right, which are expressed by this symbol. Stand erect, and
let your feet
form its angle. In your walk of life pursue no crooked and devious way,
only on the angle of the square. Let Duty be with you always,
craftsmen. Do that
thing which is right; because you would, if that be possible; but even
if you would
not, do it because you should. Only thus may your work be approved by
But the Square of Duty is an inflexible and
thing. I would fain leave with you some more inspiring thought, which
may make duty
easier, though not less imperative. Worthy Master, in your work at the
you often make use of the Compasses. Lend me, I beg of you, those
useful and valuable
Ah, here we find no fixed and arbitrary angle,
which may be varied from the closest contact to the widest circle of
us give to the compasses, also, a new name. We shall call them Love.
And a great
name it is; perhaps that Most Great Name which gives to its possessor
over things of darkness and evil. Duty often drives unwilling feet,
which with Love
go gladly. Duty alone could not bring us Goodness, or Devotion, or
Charity, or Heroism.
Truly, we must place Love above Duty, for Duty speaks to us from the
Love comes down from God. Let Love guide you in your dealings with your
and Duty will be easy.
See, brethren, we have by thus placing the
on the square formed the six pointed star, the Seal of Solomon, with
which you are
familiar in ecclesiastical architecture. You already know some of its
possibly now you have learned another. Let us lay these tools, so
placed, here upon
the open Book of the Law, that like a Blazing Star the Square of Duty
and the Compasses
of Love may be as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
A Mason's Prayer
Oh! Unseen Power that rules and controls the
of the children of earth: teach me the symphony of life so that my
nature may be
in tune with thine. Reveal to me the joy of being loving,
self-sacrificing and charitable.
Teach me to know and play life's game with courage, fortitude and
me with wisdom to guard my tongue and temper, and learn with patience
the art of
ruling my own life for its highest good, with due regard for the
and limitations of other lives. Help me to strive for the highest
of merit, ambition, and opportunity in my activities, ever ready to
extend a kindly
helping hand to those who need encouragement and succor in the
me to give a smile instead of a frown, a cheerful kindly word instead
and bitterness. Make me sympathetic in sorrow, realizing that there are
in every life no matter how exalted or lowly. If in life's battle I am
tottering, pour into my wounds the balm of hope, and imbue me with
to arise and continue the strife. Keep me humble in every relation of
unduly egotistical, nor liable to the serious sin of self-depreciation.
keep me meek. In sorrow, may my soul be uplifted by the thought that if
no shadow, there would be no sunshine, and that everything in life must
antithesis. Grant that I may be a true, loyal friend, a genial
companion with the
broad, honest charity born of an intimate knowledge of my own
shortcomings. If I
win, crown me with the laurels fitting to be worn by a victor, and if I
it be with my face to the foe, fighting manfully, "and falling fling to
host behind, – play up, play up, and play the game."
– William J. Robinson.
The Motive of Masonry
The cardinal doctrine, the underlying motive of
is service. There is not a degree in the elaboration of its teachings
the inspiration of this thought – service to our fellow men, regardless
creed or color; service to our country; service to God. In the
of the Scottish Rite the teaching is emphasized that "Unconsciously we
the dead; and the living, when we are dead, will obey us." Life is
in all its aspects if it be made worthy by doing. The waves of human
on and on in every widening circles until they beat upon the shores of
with resistless energy. The impulses of Masonry – ah, who can foresee
You, and I, my brother, have it within our power to contribute to those
shall make others obey us long after we are dead and forgotten. Shall
it be for
weal or for woe? It must be for weal if we walk uprightly in the sight
of God and
of men, discharging our obligations with Masonic fidelity.
– J. H. Marrow, Cal.
Founders or Finders?
People talk sometimes of the "founders" of
religion. But did ever a man in all the history of the world found a
Franklin found electricity? Did Newton found gravitation? Both forces
before these men were born. They were the finders, and not the
founders. It is so
with religion. Neither Moses, nor Buddha, nor Zoroaster, nor Jesus,
a religion. Religion was founded in the primitive constitution of
things, and these
men were the finders of it instead of being its founders. They are gone
traditions have followed them. The original order of things remains.
Let us study
religion at its primal sources. Let us seek as they sought, and we
shall find as
they found. They will help us to find. But not one of them ever claimed
to be a
founder of religion. They all depended on antecedents.
– E. L. Rexford.
Man and Woman -- [A Poem]
man be more of
woman, she of man;
He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care,
Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind;
Till at the last she set herself to man
Like perfect music unto noble words.
Masonry: Its Philosophy
and Influence in Wartime
By Bro. John Lewin Mcleish,
Years ago one or our greatest Masonic writers
"Masonry is the great Peace Society of the World. Wherever it exists,
to prevent international difficulties and disputes, and to bind
and Empires together in one great band of peace and amity."
The general laity little appreciate the
for good exerted in troublous wartimes by the Order whose keynote is
unostentation, whose basic foundation is cemented by the principles of
love, relief and truth, of liberty, fraternity and equality. The
Masonic Order is
a vast army of men bound together by the mystic tie of brotherhood
In the United States it numbers over two
and has fifty-one sovereign Grand Lodges. Of these, the smallest
the District of Columbia comprising sixty square miles and embracing
with more than ten thousand members.
The Grand Lodge of England controls 2578 lodges
a total membership of 234,333. Eight Grand Lodges of Canada dominate
Germany are eight Masonic sovereign jurisdictions, in South America
six, in Australia
six, in India five, in the West Indies three, in Mexico, Liberia,
America, Hungary and Serbia, one each. In France and Italy Freemasonry
powerful, as also in Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal.
To the lot of the Freemasons of the United
has fallen to send first aid to their distressed brethren abroad. Right
have responded to the call. Through the United States Masonic War
with headquarters at Cincinnati, Ohio, a most substantial sum has been
liberal disbursements made respectively to the Grand Priory, Knights
England and Wales, the Grand Lodge of Masons of Ireland, Masonic Relief
Scotland, Grand Lodge of Masons in Germany, Supreme Council of Scottish
Luxembourg, Grand Lodge of Masons in Switzerland, Grand Lodge and
in Belgium, and the London Branch of the Masonic War Relief Association
of the United
It is hoped and planned to expend in like
by the end of the current year. At this moment measures are under way
to make ample
provision for veteran distressed Master Masons, their widows and
need will be especially pressing in the aftermath of war.
At no time in the world's history has the
Brotherhood failed to answer the crying need of humanity; never has it
call of country when the cause was just, nor failed to raise its mighty
protest at a time when to draw the sword against a weaker enemy, could
the staining of a nation's flag with lasting dishonor.
American Masonic History is especially
How many people today know that the Boston Tea Party had its inchoation
in a Masonic
lodge room, that the participants in the history making raid upon
in Boston harbor were all Masons? Of all the minute men answering the
Paul Revere, many were brothers of his Masonic lodge. General Warren
and fell at Bunker Hill, was a Worshipful Master. Our Declaration of
was the handiwork of two great Masons, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
Thomas Paine. Of the fifty six signing it, two-thirds, it is said, were
among them Charles Thomson, Rev. John Witherspoon, Captain William
Whipple and the
entire Virginia delegation. Peyton Randolph, the President and most of
Continental Congress, were Freemasons.
Every army of civilization has its Masonic
members of the American military lodges were Washington, Light Horse
Generals Warren, Israel Putnam, Mad Anthony Wayne, Baron de Kalb,
Jackson, Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, David Crockett, Worth, Quitman,
Robert Anderson, Garfield, McKinley, Albert Pike, Nelson A. Miles, and
Has it ever occurred to you to reflect exactly
in Masonry has attracted and sustained the unflagging, lifelong
and enthusiasm of Americans like Washington, John Paul Jones, Franklin,
Andrew Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt, Thomas Marshall, Bryan,
and a legion
more of our most representative men of affairs?
The whole Philosophy of Masonry is uplifting
Nowhere else can be found a more bitter arraignment of the horrors and
of war, than in the Masonic teachings. The question has been asked
late: "What is the attitude of Freemasonry towards the World Powers at
engaged in a titanic struggle to prove the right of might?"
I think it may best be answered by the
scattered through that voluminous masterpiece by Albert Pike, "Morals
of the Scottish Rite " They apply as forcibly today as when first
his Masonic brethren a generation ago. Read with me:
"Wars like thunderstorms are necessary to
the stagnant atmosphere. War is not a demon without remorse or reward.
the brotherhood in letters of fire."
"When men are seated in their pleasant places,
sunken in ease and indolence, with Pretence and Incapacity and
all the high places of State, war is a baptism of blood and fire, by
they can be renovated. It is the hurricane that brings the elemental
the concord of Power and Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately
it will continue to chasten."
"In the mutual appeal of Nations to God, there
is the acknowledgement of His might. It lights the beacons of Faith and
and heats the furnace through which the earnest and loyal pass to
There is in war the doom of defeat, the quenchless sense of duty, the
of honor the measureless sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of
in the flame and smoke of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and
the sacred obligations of Fraternity. . . The nation that grasps at the
of the world, cannot but become selfish, calculating, dead to the
and sympathies which ought to actuate States."
"It will submit to insults that wound its
rather than endanger its commercial interests by war; while to subserve
brethren of the blue and brethren of the gray in behalf of each other
were of almost
daily occurance. It was a Grand Lodge in South Carolina which first
it will wage unjust war on false or frivolous pretexts, its free people
allying themselves with despots to crush a commercial rival that has
its kings, and elect its own ruler." "A war for a great principle
"A war for commercial supremacy, upon some
pretext is despicable, and more than aught else demonstrates to what
depths of baseness, men and nations can descend."
"Who can sum up the horrors and woes
in a single War?"
"Masonry is not dazzled with all its pomp, and
circumstance, all its glitter and glory."
"War comes with its bloody hands into our very
dwellings. It takes from ten thousand homes those who lived there in
peace and comfort,
held by the tender ties of family and kindred. It drags them away to
of fever, of exposure, in infectious climes, or to be hacked, torn and
the fierce fight: to fall on the glory field, to rise no more, or to be
in awful agony to noisome and horrid hospitals."
"The groans of the battlefield are echoed in
of bereavement from thousands of desolated hearths."
"There is a skeleton in every house, a vacant
at every table."
"Returning, the soldier brings worse sorrow to
his home, by the infection which he has caught of camp vices."
"The country is demoralized. The national mind
is brought down from the noble interchanange of kind offices with
to wrath and revenge and base pride, and the habit of measuring brute
brute strength in battle."
"Treasures are expended that would suffice to
ten thousand churches, hospitals and universities or rib and tie
together a continent
with rails of iron. If that treasure were sunk in the sea, it would be
enough: but it is put to worse use, for it is expended in cutting into
and arteries of human life, until the earth is deluged with a sea of
'Each age re-enacts the crimes as well as the
of its predecessors, and still war licences outrage and turns fruitful
deserts, and God is thanked in the Churches for bloody butcheries, and
devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and
"There has not been a moment since men divided
into Tribes, when all the world was at peace. Always men have been
engaged in murdering
each other somewhere. Always the armies have lived by the toil of the
and war has exhausted the resources, wasted the energies, and ended the
Now it loads unborn posterity with crushing
all estates and brings upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest
"At times the baleful fires of war light up
a continent at once. At times, the storm revolving, howls over small
At times, its lights are seen like the old beacon fires on the hills,
No sea but hears the roar of cannon, no river
red with blood: no plain but shakes, trampled by the hoofs of charging
no field but is fertilized by the blood of the dead: and everywhere man
vulture gorges, and the wolf howls in the ear of the dying soldier."
No city is not tortured by shot and shell; and
fail to enact the horrid blasphemy of thanking a God of love, for
"Te Deums are still sung for the Eve of St.
and the Sicilian Vespers."
"Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his
powers are tasked, to fabricate the infernal enginery of destruction,
by which human
bodies may be the more expeditiously and effectually crushed,
shattered, torn and
"MASONRY ALONE preaches toleration, the right
man to abide by his own faith, the right of all States to govern
rebukes alike the monarch who seeks to extend his dominions by
conquest, the Church
that claims the right to repress heresy by fire and steel, and the
of States that insist on maintaining a union by force and restoring
by slaughter and subjugation."
In every war has been in evidence the potency
as an ameliorating influence in the horrors all abounding. Masonry was
dominant during the American Civil War and self-sacrifices between
brethren of the
blue and brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of almost
It was a Grand Lodge in South Carolina which first voiced the policy
should pursue towards brother Masons of the North, as early as 1862,
when the strife
was young. A Grand Lodge of Maine approved the encyclical almost word
and the beneficent Masonic principles were put into actual practice by
of the North and South almost simultaneously. Among other things Masons
"Be faithful towards all and singular the
whether these be met in lodges dedicate, or only known to you by divers
darkness or light, in health or sickness, in wealth or want, in peril
in prison, escape or freedom, in charity or evil-mindedness, armed or
or seeming foe and as to these, most certainly as towards brethren,
met on, by or with all due and regular intercommunication and
intelligence. . .
Let us not hear among us that there is war, that strife and dissension
as Masons it concerns us not."
How different this fraternal stand of the Grand
of a state at war, in 1862, and that this year manifested by the Grand
Germany which has issued an open announcement to the world from its
in Berlin, suspending all fraternal relations with the Masons of
and England during the continuance of this war.
Despite all this, the international Masonic
repeatedly filled with circumstantial and convincing proof-positive
Freemasons have not at all forgotten their Masonic obligations, and
deeds are narrated as performed by soldier Masons of the several
help a worthy brother in the ranks of the enemy.
At no time in history has Freemasonry played a
part against the country which gave it shelter. In the eighteenth
century the Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Wharton, a partisan
of the Stuart
Pretenders, endeavored to enlist the Masonic machinery of England
against the established
Government. In spite of his magnetic personality, and unusual
popularity, the Grand
Master could not prevail upon his Masonic brethren to have a hand in
plot. In disgrace, he surrendered his high office and fled to unhappy
exile on the
As a reward for their unswerving loyalty in
cunning conspiracy, and revolution, the Freemasons of England today are
Secret Society in Great Britain permitted by especial grant and act of
It may be that the human race is not yet ready
practical application of the Gentle Philosophy of Freemasonry.
One man in the present century tried to govern
functions as President of a Republic on Masonic Ideals. He fell a
martyr to the
passions of blind bigotry and darkness. I refer to Francisco Madero,
Jr., for a
brief period President of Mexico. This college-bred man of fine old
is an ever present obstacle to the recognition by our country of any
any way identified with the politico-religious sect responsible for his
Convincing proof may be found in "An Open Letter to American Masons" in
the New Age Magazine for August, 1915, by a high Mexican Masonic
Brother. This same
journal of the Scottish Rite, in its issue of March, 1913, had a
to Madero by Brother George Fleming Moore, 33d. In it he says:
"The murder of Francisco Madero, late President
of the Republic of Mexico, seems to me the foulest and blackest crime
of the age.
Not very long ago, I received a letter from him which clearly proved
desire to guide his life and actions, public and private, by those
equity and justice which make for the happiness and prosperity of the
and the race.
"He believed in the doctrine of sacrifice: that
sacrifices for the sake of the truth, or for his fellowmen would bring
either in this or in some other life.
"He was an active member of the Supreme Council
A. & A. Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Mexico, and was a
MASON. On one occasion
while addressing his lodge, he said: 'Brethren, this ritual of ours is
and we teach high ideals, but what are we, you and I, doing to carry
out these ideals
and teachings into expression in our own lives, and in the affairs of
"He was called weak and inefficient because he
would not shoot men merely because they crossed his pathway to power.
"He was laughed at as an Idealist because he
to lead his country to a place of honor and power without ruining it by
"He has fallen a victim to his ideals of truth
and justice and the evil wiles of false friends, for no man ever
with vices until after he became a prisoner and in the power of the men
he had trusted.
"If his death shall teach men that nations must
not let such crimes go unrebuked, and shall render them impossible in
whether through intervention or by other modes, then Francisco Madero's
bear good fruit, and we verily believe, he would have sacrificed his
life to secure
that great result."
Can we not hope that before the present
Blood is carried to more sickening extremes, the Sovereign Masters of
Grand Lodges will rally the Sons of Light and Peace to making a
against the insensate madmen glutted with power and relying upon the
of Divine Right, to send their subservient subjects to death? Stranger
In any event, when the last shot has been fired
present world war, when the representatives of the exhausted powers
determine the readjustment of territories, the payment of indemnities,
and the signing
of Treaties, … the Power behind the Pen which drafts documents of so
vital an interest
to posterity, will unquestionably be that Masonry which has fought the
through the ages, that Masonry which will insist that War must end
forever, so that
there may be cemented more firmly hereafter, Republics, Kingdoms and
Empires, … if these
two latter still exist, … in
one great band of Peace and Amity.
Keep On Keepin' On -- [A Poem]
the day looks
And your chances kinder slim,
If the situation's puzzlin'
And the prospect's awful grim,
And perplexities keep pressin'
Till all hope is nearly gone,
Just bristle up and grit your teeth,
And keep on keepin' on."
Questions on “The Story
references are to 'The Story of Freemasonry' by W. G. Sibley [Lib
By The Cincinnati Masonic
- When did
the Roman Catholic Church view Freemasonry with deep suspicion? Why did
into deep seated hatred? 18-1.
- When, where
and why did a Lodge of Freemasons defy a government edict and what was
- What was
the result of the promulgation of a government edict for the
abolishment of Masonry
in Holland in 1735 and by whom was it instigated? 18-1.
- Why did
Pope Clement XII denounce Freemasonry? What were the penalties
inflicted upon those
who visited a Lodge? 19-1.
- Give an
account of the life and sufferings of John Coustos, a Freemason, who
the Inquisition at Lisbon, Portugal. Page 20-21-22-23.
- What grounds
did the Pope have when he wrote the Encyclical "Humanum Genus" of 1884
condemning Masonry? Page 24.
- What was
the effect of the Encyclical "Humanum Genus" of 1884 issued by Pope Leo
- By what
Popes of the R. C. Church were constitutions, edicts, epistles,
encyclicals issued against the Freemasons? Page 23.
- Why are
the fierce denunciations of Pius IX of peculiar interest to Masons?
- Why was
Pope Pius IX expelled from Masonry, and who signed the proclamation of
- Quote the
Bishop of Malta, in relation to a Malta Lodge? 24-1.
- What does
a Catholic do when he becomes a Mason and what does a Mason do when he
Catholic? Page 26.
- What was
the nature of the articles against Freemasonry published in 1875, 1881,
"The Catholic World?" 25-3.
- What has
resulted from these bitter and sweeping attacks upon Freemasonry? 26-1.
- By whom
was the Roman Catholic Church drawn into an absurd entanglement and
what is said
of him? 28-1, 2.
- What reasons
were given for the Pope's attitude toward Freemasonry, The Odd Fellows,
of Pythias and Sons of Temperance? 39-1.
- What was
the purpose of the Anti-Masonic Congress assembled at Trent in
and of whom was it composed? 34-2.
- What was
the nature of the decision of the Holy See in January, 1895, by whom
Cincinnati, and who were included in it? 28-2.
- What is
the status of Freemasonry in Mexico at the present time? 110-2.
- How has
Masonry been affected by the tempests of war, the storms of persecution
or the denunciations
of fanaticism? Page 112.
- At the present
time is there any constant opposition to Freemasonry in the civilized
- What unfavorable
critic is worth noting? What favorable critic? 49 51.
- What is
said of the termination of our pilgrimage on this earth? 92-2.
- What does
the author consider to be the fundamental principles of Freemasonry?
- What is
said of the burial of a Freemason? 88-9
- Where is
Freemasonry now established? 71-3.
- What has
Freemasonry done for Humanity? 72.
- How did
Frederick the Great of Prussia help Free Masonry? Page 68.
- Who nullified
the temporal power of the papacy in Italy and established religious and
- What did
the Right Reverend Henry C. Potter (bishop of the Episcopal Church of
say of Freemasonry? 49-2.
- The most
sacred of all freedoms being threatened in this land who should be its
- How should
fellowship in the Order of Masonry be regarded? 50-1.
- As now constituted
of what does Freemasonry consist? 60-1. How conferred? 60-1. What is
- What is
the name of the first Lodge granted a charter and what distinguished
a member? 61-1.
- In what
year did the Masons of this country choose their first Grand Master?
- Why were
Masonic Lodges unknown in Austria, Russia and Poland in 1896? 34-2.
- What is
said of American Templarism? 65-1.
- What is
the first published written record of the investiture of Knight
Templar? Page 66.
- Is there
a literature that will carry the individual Mason to the highest
pinnacles of Masonic
learning? To whom should we go for proper direction? 113-1.
- What are
the real Landmarks of Masonry as specified by Dr. Mackey? 97-1. What is
any attempt to alter or remove the Landmarks by which we prove a
- How is a
lodge described? Page 87.
- Where are
Lodges of Freemasons (Grand and subordinate) now established? 109-1
- What kind
of Masonic Lodges are maintained in Mexico and under what opposition?
St John’s Day
AN old Latin document of our Order, said to be
with a Lodge at Namur, and purporting to be a proclamation of the
Masons of Europe,
assembled at Cologne in 1535, declares that Masons are called "Brethren
to St. John," first among the martyr stars of the morning. It tells us,
that prior to 1440, the Fraternity was called the Joannite Brethren,
but that about
that time it began to be known by the name of Freemasons. No doubt it
fiction, but it may serve as a text for an inquiry as to the relation
of the two
Saints John, and especially of St. John the Baptist, to our Order.
There is no proof that either of these holy men
ever patrons of our Fraternity, but it is a fact that Masonry has
for ages. The reason for this may be obscure so far as history is
it is obvious enough if we have a care for spiritual suggestion and the
of things. One was a prophet bearing witness to the Light, the other an
of Love; and since the object of Masonry is the attainment of Light,
and its first
principle is Brotherly Love, it is not to be wondered at that these two
became its patron Saints – one the leader of those who are seeking the
other the teacher of those who have found it. For the same reason they
on the festal days of the old, beautiful Light-religion of humanity –
St. John the
Baptist amid the splendor of summer, St. John the Divine at the winter
when the mighty orb of Light is most remote from us.
St. John the Baptist was a prophet, "a son of
Voice of God," in the old Hebrew phrase; "yea, and more than a
said the Teacher whose advent he foretold. "There hath not arisen among
that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist." No man ever
eulogy; no one ever more richly deserved it. What is prophecy? It is
– forth-telling and fore-telling. The prophets have been for the most
the great burden of their messages being the exposition and application
truths. Yet ever and again they have seen the clouds clear from the sky
of the future,
and have caught glimpses of a light upon the far away hills of Time.
They have seen,
as men see in dreams, places, cities, august figures, vast upheavals
and felt the incommunicable thrill of advancing destinies. It is
they speak in words cryptic and vague, foreshadowing in dim and awful
form the fashion
of things to be.
Such was St. John the Baptist; a rebuker of
scorner of sham, a denouncer of iniquity, whose speech was swift,
turgid, tearing away every thin veil of pretense and bringing men face
to face with
eternal realities. Austere, aloof, uncompromising, he saw clearly, felt
spoke plainly; and if he lacked those great fertilizing ideas out which
grow, he had a vast capacity for moral indignation. Mere formalism
evoked his withering
satire. Profession without performance provoked his blistering scorn.
he flayed with whips of fire. Terrible in speech, he was yet tender of
when the storm of his eloquence has passed by the qualities that stand
out in his
life are his exalted purity of soul, his passion for righteousness, his
his sincerity, his self-effacing humility, his grand magnanimity – his
of character and his heroism in death.
Truly, Masonry makes profession of high ideals
it invokes John the Baptist as its patron Saint! Were he to appear at
one of our
festivals on his day, what would be his message to the men of today who
their Lodges in his honor? Would his old indignation flash out upon us,
us for our snug contentment, our smug self-satisfaction, our worship of
and our ritualism without reality? Would he not say to us today, as he
did to the
men of old, that we must repent in our hearts and show by our deeds the
of our professions and the sanctity of our vows made at the altar of
These are things to think about on St. John's Day, and if we are worthy
in his name they will make us pause and ponder, the while we search our
Has Masonry, so eager to honor a great Prophet,
element in it today? Has it no vision, no dream, no forward-looking
creative purpose for the times to be? Has its altar light faded into
the poor flicker
of a painted fire? Or will it become an inspired teacher of
righteousness as the
sovereign reality of the universe, the solitary hope of humanity and
foundation of personal and social life! Will it put a new dignity into
a new fire into its philosophy, and tell the young men who throng its
that they must prove their faith by their deeds, and keep their vows in
in the marts of trade, in the state, and thus foretell the coming of a
order, a juster state, and a more humane civilization! Size does not
do not count. But righteous manhood is everything!
* * *
Several of our readers have asked us to solve
of the Shakespeare Sonnets, by which they seem to mean the question as
to who the
Dark Lady was with whom the poet became involved in intrigue. Was it
or some other light lady of the Court of Queen Elizabeth? Frankly, we
nor do we care, because that is not the real problem of the Sonnets.
story of the Dark Lady be fact or fiction, after the manner of the
times, does not
matter; the problem of the Sonnets is far deeper – the protest of man
transitoriness of love. Shakespeare loved a noble lad, and the more
deeply he loved,
as all of us know, the more he was afflicted by the frailty of life,
its change and decay. First he took refuge in the vague hope of racial
at the same time begging his friend to marry and leave a copy of
himself in the
world. But, alas! the youth must die, and even if he leaves a child,
the child is
not he, and for love no substitute will do. Then he vows to use his art
as a poet
to leave an ideal image of his friend in the world, that so long as men
read, and love beauty they may know the youth – as we know Arthur
Hallum in the
Tennyson poem. This theme runs like an undertone through more than a
until, at last, the poet realizes that such an image is only an idea,
not the lad
himself; his memory is not he. Time seems to be victor after all,
leaving us to
seek in old familiar places for "the touch of a vanished hand and the
of a voice that is still."
'Tis a squalid story told us in the third
the Sonnets, how, in an hour in temptation, the poet was caught by the
a wicked woman and led astray, and hating himself for it. She was older
poet, a musician, of dark hair and eyes, and known to be an adulteress.
Yet he is
fascinated by her, all the while knowing, with one side of his nature,
that he was
being besmirched. How could he be base enough to be enslaved by one so
Yet it is just here, in the intensity of his bewilderment and
defilement, that the
possibility of spiritual immortality is made known. Within himself he
finds an immortal
nature at issue with his sin, denouncing it, refusing to consent to it.
recognizes as his true, eternal Self, and upon that fact he builds his
by conquering his lower nature the great victory both of life and death
won. Hence those forever wonderful lines in the one hundred and
which is one of the greatest utterances of all time.
* * *
We are happy to announce a series of five
beginning with our next issue, on Masonic Jurisprudence, by Brother
Dean of the Harvard School of Law, whose studies in the Philosophy of
so much enjoyed last year. The titles of the lectures are as follows: –
of Masonic Jurisprudence, The Landmarks, Masonic Law – Usage, Masonic
Law – Decisions,
and Masonic Legislation. These lectures, first delivered to the Acacia
of the University of Nebraska, and again in the winter course under the
of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1916, are a distinct
contribution to Masonic
literature. After they have appeared in The Builder they are to be
a little book by Brother F. E. Chipman, of the Boston Book Company, and
we are sure
that many of our Members will want to own the book.
Following these lectures, Brother W. E.
Colorado, whose article on "Making Masons at Sight" created no little
interest, will give a digest of the various Masonic Codes of the
topically – a huge undertaking, to be sure, but a work much needed and
Taken together, these two series ought to clarify the field of Masonic
both as to its principles and practice, and initiate our Members into
of Masonic legislation. Nor is that all. Such a course of study should
have a very
marked influence upon the future legislation of the Order, for that it
to each Jurisdiction the thought and experience of the Craft at large.
* * *
Very wisely, as we think, the Board of General
of the Grand Lodge of England has decided, at a recent meeting, not to
resolution submitted to it demanding more drastic measures against
Brethren of German
birth. It is deemed best to let the matter rest as it is, inserting in
resolution a proviso which will keep it in force after the treaty of
peace has been
signed until such time as the Grand Lodge shall see fit to modify its
is indeed good news, and we sincerely trust that Grand Lodge will
concur in the
decision of the Board. Heaven grant that it may be so.
* * *
If any of our Members are unfamiliar with the
the International Bureau of Masonic Affairs, we are sure they will
desire to come
in touch with its work. It is conducted by Dr. Edward Quartier-LaTente,
26, Neuchatel, Switzerland, and its publications are well worth while
both for their
matter and spirit. We wish also to call attention again to the
a little monthly journal of Masonic Notes and Queries, intended to
between Masonic students, edited by Brother F. W. Levander, Middlesex,
Villas, Camden Square, London, N.W. England – price Five Shillings.
Both of these
publications are worthy of encouragement by the Craft.
* * *
We are sure that Brethren will not deem it any
to the dead, much less an offense to the living, if The Builder does
not make room
for obituary notices and appreciations sent to us. Such notices belong
to the journals of the jurisdictions in which the Brethren of whom they
and toiled. The Society thinks it wisest to confine its labors strictly
to the task
set before it, seeking to deepen interest in the deeper aspects of
using all the power at its command to that one end.
The Spirit of Man
SINCE the time long gone when we first read the
Greek Anthology [Lib 1917/20; five volumes –
had a fondness for such selections, and here is one so beautiful that
it makes one
want to go off and cry: "The Spirit of Man," [Lib 1916] selected by Robert Bridges. At
any time this
would be an anthology of distinction, but it is doubly so now, because
it is the
work of the Poet Laureate of England, and because it portrays the war
of the soul
of man against dust – the intrepid and unconquerable faith of humanity
brute forces of the world. Amid the smoke and din of world war, it is
that higher and deeper war which never ends, as it is prophetic of the
of all victories.
The purpose of the work, as well as its unique
attract attention, the intent being to show that spirituality is the
basis and foundation
of human life, rather than its apex or final achievement. The method is
forward a cloud of witnesses, chiefly poets and philosophers, beginning
meditations of Spinoza [Lib 1891; Vol
1, Vol 2 (or Complete
Works)] on the futility of
life and closing with a triumphant chorus of faith; in short, to show
is a spiritual being, and the proper work of his mind is to interpret
according to his higher nature, and to conquer the material aspects of
so as to bring them into subjection to the spirit," This is indeed the
Work which each man must achieve for himself, and by as much as he wins
of deity over dirt, of sense over sensuality, of mind over body, by so
he attain the only success worth attaining.
How real this war is, how dark the shadows that
us, how menacing the array of foes that come up against the soul, is
shown in the
First Book by the testimony of poets expressing weariness with life,
defeat of faith, and the old world sadness. Over against this mood, in
Book, we see the spirit of youth measuring itself against the facts of
its wings made in fairyland, and singing of love and beauty, of the
wonder of Nature
and the glory of the Ideal. It is lyrical with joy, defiant alike of
life and death,
confident, audacious, unafraid, for that it has not yet been subdued,
if not dismayed,
by the heat and peril and tragedy of the battle. Oddly enough, Shelley
more often than any other writer, and as one reads his glowing lines
seem like some remembered speech from another and higher world, as if
he were a
Skylark caught and caged for a brief time in this House of Mortality.
Turning to the Third Book we hear the voice of
after its rough encounter with reality; its sense of the terror of life
– the themes
being mortality, melancholy, sorrow, and sin. It is the still, sad
music of humanity
in battle with Fate, which Sophocles heard in a time far gone,
and unutterably pathetic. Happily, in the latter half of the book the
mind of man
lays hold of great ideas of God and truth and justice, and lifts itself
out of the
low valley of fear toward the heights of vision and power. Frail he is
– here today and tomorrow gone – but by making a noble life man passes
out of the
realm of things that fade, free from the tyranny of Time and the terror
of the Tomb.
To unfold a beautiful soul, to build a pure character, is to become a
immortal spirits, a citizen of that City where the sting of mortality
and where a thousand years are as a day. Hence the grand chant of
victory in the
Fourth Book, with its rosary of hope, its radiance of joy, its
of the Happy Warrior who, by loyalty to the highest truth, has
vanquished fear and
fate and the dark shadow of death.
Read it, Brother; it will help you to live
this beautiful world, while looking beyond it to the reality of things
keeping your heart responsive to the Unseen, and bringing the light of
truth to the service of the humblest duty. It will deepen the old
making more vivid those ideals that torment by their loveliness; it
you with hauntings of an eternal tomorrow, and make you redouble your
a larger, freer, richer life.
* * *
The Cathedral Singer
"Slowly the Cathedral rises, in what unknown
to stand finished! Crowning a city of new people, let it be hoped, of
Finished and standing on its rock for the order of the streets, for
order in the
land, and order throughout the world, for order in the secret places of
Majestical rebuker of the waste of lives, rebuker of a country which
lives into it and wastes lives most ruthlessly – lives which it stands
shelter and to foster and to save."
After this manner James Lane Allen meditates on
larger meaning of the cathedral of St. John the Divine, now slowly
rising to crown
Cathedral Heights, New York City, and about it he has woven his story,
also a national parable, entitled, "The Cathedral Singer." [Lib 1916] It is a story of toil and trial
and tragedy and
tears – heart-breaking in its ending – the while it wonders whether in
and scramble of American life we have room for a cathedral. It is a
pondering, most of all by Masons, and one likely to be pondered long
after we close
the book and brush the tears away. Does the life of our "gay and
time" tend to make men of cathedral-like soul? Can that great pile now
in New York be humanized and become a real part of our life? If so,
as the one here told will not happen, and the help which mother and son
their sorrow will be more common than it is. It is a Story to break the
and mend it.
* * *
The Power of Masonry
The power of Masonry is like sunlight, quiet,
unhasting and unresting. It does its work without bells or blare of
often, in our impatience for results, we forget the silent force of a
by which men are brought together at an altar of light and friendship,
such an altar means, in ways too many and hidden to trace, in the life
of a community.
From a tiny book called "Freemasonry, its History, Principles, and
we read these words:
"What a power
for good in the whole community a well-ordered Lodge can become. It is
a body of
influential and thoughtful men held together by principles appealing to
development of the moral sense. Most other associations have to appeal
to what is
novel and perhaps untried. But it is one of the signs of high genius to
best use of old materials. Beethoven invented no new instrument, Handel
new stop to the organ, Milton and Shakespeare added no new letter to
nor did the great painters enrich the palette with any new color. And
need no bringing up to date, nor do we propound any novelty. Our
them may change to suit the varying need, but the principles are
founded on the
same rocks as the throne of God himself, and they have for ages past
an unvarying goal, the diffusion of light and happiness; and so long as
toward that goal with one step, seeing with clear eye, speaking with
we shall never fail to attract to our ranks the best and noblest of our
* * *
Said Mr. Dooley: – "Opporchunity knocks at
man's dure wanst. On some men's dure it hammers till it breaks the dure
thin it goes in an' wakes him up if he's asleep, an' afterwards it
wurrks f'r him
as a night watchman. On other men's dures it knocks an' runs away; and
on the dures
of some men it knocks an' whin they come out it hits thim over the head
ax. But every man has an opporchunity."
* * *
Articles of Interest
The Mason and the Child, by J. G. Gibson.
Three Times Three, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic Standard.
The Origin of Templary, Freemason, Toronto.
First Degree Lecture, by D. S. Wagstaff. Trestle Board.
Masonry in Greece. International Bureau for Masonic Affairs
York and Scottish Rite. Virginia Masonic Journal.
Lief Ericson, The Norseman, by C. F. Willard. The New Age.
* * *
Pamphlets of Value
What is Freemasonry? by G. W. Speth.
Some Notes on The Knights Templar, by E.C.B. Merriman.
Origin and Development of Masonry, by J. M. Wise.
The Origin of Freemasonry, by W. W. Root.
Luther – His Relation of John Hus, by L. M. Kuhns.
Culture and the State, by Thomas H. MacBride.
Where Are Our Nation's Credentials, by A. E. Bear.
* * *
Literature Since 1870, [Lib 1915] by F.L. Pattee. Century Co. $2.00.
History of the Eastern Star, [Lib 1912] by W. D. Engle, Indianapolis, Ind. $2.00.
The Spirit of Man, [Lib 1916] by Robert Bridges. Longman, Green Co. $1.50.
Lives Worth Living, [Lib 1920] by E. C. Peabody. University Chicago Press.
The Books of the Apocrypha, [Lib 1915] by W. O. E. Oesterley. Revell Co. $3.00.
Concise Cyclopedia of Masonry, [Lib*] by E. L. Hawkins. A. Lewis,
The Cathedral Singer, [Lib 1916] by
J. L. Allen. Century Co. $1.00.
[Lib*] by A. H. Ward. Theosophical Publishing Co. $1.00.
God's Mariner -- [A Poem]
David A. Wasson
winds that o'er
my ocean run,
Reach through all heavens beyond the sun;
Through life and death, through fate, through time,
Grand breaths of God, they sweep sublime.
O, thou God's mariner, heart of mine,
Spread canvas to the airs divine!
Spread sail! and let thy Fortune be
Forgotten in thy Destiny.
For Destiny pursues us well,
By sea, by land, through heaven or hell;
It suffers death alone to die,
Bids life all change and chance defy.
Life loveth life and good: then trust
What most the spirit would, it must;
Deep wishes, in the heart that be,
Are blossoms of necessity.
A thread of Law runs through thy prayer,
Stronger than iron cables are;
And Love and Longing toward her goal
Are pilots sweet to guide the soul.
So Life must live, and Soul must sail,
And Unseen over Seen prevail,
And all God's argosies come to shore,
Let ocean smile, or rage, or roar.
Abou Ben Adhem -- [A Poem]
Ben Adhem (may
his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold;
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in his room he said,
"What writest thou?" This vision raised its head
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow-men."
The angel wrote and vanished. The next night
It came again, with a great awakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
The Question Box
No Trace of Age
Brother Editor: – Tell me, if you can, who
following lines, and whether there are any more that go with them. I
for the author in vain:
"Teach me your
mood, O patient stars!
Who climb each night the ancient sky,
Leaving on space no shade, no scars,
No trace of age, no fear to die."
Those lines mean much to me, being a kind of
my faith, and I would so much like to know who wrote them.
They were written by Emerson,
and may be found among the fragments of a poem begun as early as 1831,
earlier, and which received additions from time to time for more than
but was never completed. In its earlier form, it was entitled, "The
Poet, A Masque," but appears in his works – fragments and all – as "The
Poet." (Works of Emerson, Vol. IX, p. 277 [Lib 1883; Vol
9]). They are indeed
great lines, reminding one of the Matthew Arnold poem, Self-Dependence,
as we think.
* * *
Of late you have been referring to a book
on Masonry," [Lib*] by Lawrence. Tell us more about it, and what it is
one of a series of little books written or edited by Brother John T.
Lawrence, Past District Grand Warden, Madras, and is exceedingly
worthwhile. Indeed, the whole series is valuable – and inexpensive –
such as “By-ways
in Masonry” [Lib*], “The Perfect Ashlar” [Lib*], “The Keystone” [Lib*],
Jurisprudence [Lib*]” and “Symbolism” [Lib*]; and we recommend them
They are published by A. Lewis, 13 Paternoster Row, E. C. London, and
sell for $1.25
each. They are particularly valuable for a Lodge library because they
and the essays and discussions are brief and can be read by busy men.
will be glad to secure the set, or any volume in it, for any of its
* * *
Right against Right
A Brother asks if we believe that Jesus was
and if he was how could he be tempted? Questions of this kind have no
place in The
Builder, but since he asks simply for our opinion, for what it is
worth, we may
(1) that if Jesus was sinless it was not
could not sin, but because he would not sin; that he became Master by
(2) the most trying temptations of life are not
right and wrong, but between one form of right and another, between the
the best. Shakespeare knew this when he said: "O virtuous fight! When
with right wars, who shall be most right!" (Troilus and Cressida). Weak
are tempted by their weakness; strong men by their strength. The
temptation of Jesus
in the wilderness was an epitome of the struggle of every great soul
began – how to use rare power, for self or for others, for a lower good
or a higher
end? Surely the Father of men does not tempt us with evil, but with
to entice us to follow the truth to freedom. So much by the way.
* * *
Brother Newton: – I heard a sermon not so long
which the preacher – my pastor – advocated the use of initiation by the
or at least a kind of blend of Lodge and Church polity. He referred to
of the kind in Philadelphia. Tell us what you think about it. What was
it that happened
in the city of Brotherly Love, anyway?
Your pastor must have had in mind the usage of
Christian Church, in which initiation was practiced – probably in
imitation of The
Mysteries – whereof you may read, if you are interested, in "Monumental
[Lib 1876] by Lundy,
the chapter on The Discipline of the Secret. The affair in Philadelphia
and it stirred up a bad muss. One minister organized a secret society
of men called
the Stonemen, after the manner of Masonry, having three degrees, and
many men of
his own church and others joined it. It grew rapidly, but it was found,
that the third degree was really little other than a way of joining his
or at least, of confessing to its peculiar tenets. Whereupon, as you
there was an explosion, and the wrath of rival churches was terrible.
It was to
laugh. Let us hope that your pastor will take due notice and govern
– and not after the fashion of the minister in Philadelphia.
* * *
Prince of Wales
The item which has been going the rounds of the
press to the effect that the Prince of Wales was recently made a Mason,
is an error.
The mistake was due, says the Birmingham Daily Post, to a
misapprehension as to
what young Royal Prince it was who was admitted to the Craft. It was
of Connaught, the only son of the Grand Master of English Masons – not
of Wales. Albeit the Post adds: "It would not be surprising if in the
future the Prince of Wales joined the Order, following the example of
not only his
grandfather the late King Edward VII., but George IV., when each was
The close connection between Princes of Wales and Freemasonry goes,
farther back than either, for one of the earliest official publications
of the Grand
Lodge of England was dedicated in 1738 to Frederick, Prince of Wales,
of George II., 'a Master Mason and Master of a Lodge,' and a direct
the present Sovereign."
* * *
There was read before our Lodge the other
lecture in which reference was made to the ancient land of Lemuria a
which it is claimed preceded the more or less fabled Atlantis. Also
made to one Rama, a descendant of that people with fair skin, blue eyes
hair which, according to the lecture, migrated from what is now the
and who inhabited that country in large numbers previous to the ice
age, and in
time drifted to what is now continental Europe and western Asia; and
this Rama was
the one who introduced civilization into India, etc. Outside of what
in the lecture I have been unable to find any reference to either
Lemuria or Rama.
If a proper question I would be pleased to know the probable source of
in the lecture.
Almost certainly from some such work as "Rama
Moses," [Lib*] by Edouard Schure. (Theosophical Publishing Co., New
or "The Great Initiates," [Lib 1961] by the same author, in which
his series of interesting
and highly imaginative studies are gathered together. They are valuable
us to form some conception of the beginnings of things, of the
migrations of humanity
in the dawn of time; but as authentic history they are hardly to be
the utmost respect for the lecturer, we regret that he did not give his
and also that he did not indicate in how far his narrative could be
and how far not. Esoteric history, like esoteric philosophy, is rather
* * *
I am doing
some research work in Masonic Tradition if it is not asking too much
to have reference material. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Settle, first of all, what you mean by
tradition – a
word which is used in two senses in Masonry and everywhere else. (1)
events either in part or in whole historically authentic, or altogether
of arbitrary fiction intended to convey an allegorical or symbolic
meaning – as
Dr. Oliver used Masonic tradition; (2) traditions which refer to
customs and usages
of olden time – and, in Masonry, especially in matters of law and
Take up, second, the value of tradition in general, and the methods of
worth – a rich field with many difficult questions, as you must know if
at all familiar with theological discussion, which may be found in
to do with authority in matters of faith. The principles formulated
to tradition will be found to apply to Masonic traditions, whether it
of the first kind or the second, "which has been handed down at all
in all places, and by all persons," which Vincent of Lerins said must
test of an authoritative tradition – antiquity, universality, and
The importance of this subject is seen from the fact that tradition has
place in Masonry, and our Brother will need to define his principles
and keep his distinctions clearly in mind, the while he sifts the mass
as for example in the "Traditions of Masonry," [Lib 1870] by A. T. C. Pierson, on the one
side, and traditional
Masonic usage' embodied in our landmarks, laws, and ritual on the other.
* * *
Taking Masonry Seriously
Through the exemplary life led by my revered
who was a member of our Order sixty years, I had always held Masonry in
esteem. But those feelings were totally eclipsed when I experienced the
must come to a thoughtful man when the mysteries of Masonry are
unfolded to him.
My feeling of solemnity, and the determination of my set purpose,
climax when, standing before the Master of the Lodge, I heard him
pronounce me a
just and upright Mason. Imagine my feelings when I heard that a Brother
sponsor for my reputation! Can you wonder that my firm resolve was
never to drop
below that standard, if for nothing else than honor's sake, and to
reproach upon the Brother who had vouched for my integrity? Does not
explain why we should take Masonry seriously? To me it does, most
Let me ask this question: Do we, in our attitude toward Masonry, blend
a full percentage
of esteem with efficiency?
Yours most fraternally.
Sidney Bartlett, Iowa.
* * *
Dr. Mackey's Works
Could you tell me whether Albert G. Mackey's
History and Encyclopedia are considered reliable?
L. E. D.
Reliable, but not infallible. There is no book
provoke differences of opinion both as regards facts and the
interpretation of facts
– our little book, The Builders, is no exception – but the works of Dr.
not only valuable, but almost indispensable to the Masonic student. He
was a tireless
student, covering many fields – almost the whole field of Masonry, in
fact – and
he was not always accurate, perhaps; for one reason, because it is very
to be accurate as to many things in Masonry. But his work as a whole is
and vastly important; it cost him time and money and labor unbelievable
– we hope
soon to publish a sketch and appreciation of the man himself, who
deserves the honor
and reverence of his Brethren. Nevertheless, we have dreams of a
of Masonic Encyclopedia, which shall limit itself to subjects more
Masonic, treating each one adequately, so far as possible, giving
authorities where needed, and a brief bibliography with each article –
manner of Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. [Lib
– See Bibliography] Perhaps
time will fulfill our dream; and if it does all the best Masonic
students of the
world will join in its making, and each article will be signed by the
man who writes
it. We shall see what we shall see.
* * *
The Farley Family
Can you assist me in some work I am doing in
of the Farley Family? The particular information I desire is the
of John Farley in Virginia. He is a great-grandfather of mine, born
about 1758 or
1768, and was a Mason, I believe, in Bedford County. I have attempted
with Lodges direct and the Grand Secretary of Virginia tells me that
there is very
little use trying to get information back of 1800. I would like to
date and place of his birth. His occupation was that of surveyor, and
or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
J. K. F.
Perhaps – who knows? – some member of the
be able to furnish exactly the information wanted by Brother Farley.
we suggest that he take up the matter with the Historical Society of
Richmond, which has untold stores of genealogical treasures in its
keeping. If Brother
Farley has not tapped that source of information, it is worth his while
to do so.
* * *
The Master’s Hat
Can we not agree upon a head-dress for the
Master which shall be at once seemly, dignified and characteristic? The
incongruity of a Master in a "cady" marred my initiation, and took from
the impressiveness of the ceremony not a little. The operative Mason's
be less out of keeping, it seems to me. Again, does not the "G" savor
of provincialism instead of that universality which should be the
F. H. Dewart, Vermont.
* * *
A. F. & A. M.
In our list of regular Lodges I notice some
are headed F. & A. M., and others A. F. & A. M. What is
of the difference? Is there an association known as the American
Federation of Masonic
Lodges, and are there Lodges working in this country under the
jurisdiction of Scotland?
There are none in our list of Lodges. The other day I was informed that
Lodges in this state – California – who make claim that they are from
and that their work is the same as ours.
A. J. B.
(1) These differences are a reminiscence of the
of the rival Grand Lodges of Ancients and Moderns in England. After the
1813, some jurisdictions kept one form of title, some another. That is
(2) The American Federation of Masonic Lodges
is a bogus
body which takes itself very seriously.
(3) The Lodges claiming to work under the
of Scotland are clearly clandestine. We are not familiar with their
greatly interested in it.
* * *
If it is not asking too much, I would like to
article on The American Indian as a Mason, in The Builder in the near
is, if the Indians have any Masonry, and where they got it.
See a little book entitled "Indian Masonry,"
[Lib 1907] by Wright.
So far as the Indian had or has any Masonry as we know it, he got it
from the white
man, though he of course had his secret order corresponding to The
Men's House of
all primitive society. (See Primitive Secret Societies, by Hutton
Webster [Lib 1908]). We shall
be glad to publish such an article as Brother Gentry asks for.
The Oath of Hippocrates
By the kindness of a Brother we have the
of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, taken by the ancient Greek
upon entrance into his chosen profession. It has been revived of late
in our medical
colleges, as for example, by a non-secret, fourth-year, Medical Honor
the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chicago. It breathes a lofty
spirit of dedication
to a noble art, as follows:
I swear by Apollo,
the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the
gods and goddesses,
that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and
to reckon him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents,
my substance with him and relieve his necessities if required; to
regard his offspring
as on the same footing with my own brothers, and to teach them this art
should wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation, and that by
and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the
art to my
own sons and to those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a
oath, according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will
follow that method
of treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider
for the benefit
of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and
mischievous. I will
give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such
I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion. With
purity and with
holiness I will pass my life and practice my art. I will not cut a
person who is
suffering with a stone, but will leave this to be done by practitioners
work. Into whatever houses I enter I will go into them for the benefit
of the sick
and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption;
from the seduction of females or males, bond or free. Whatever, in
my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I may see or
hear in the
lives of men which ought not to be spoken abroad, I will not divulge,
that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this oath
may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art,
all men at all times; but should I trespass and violate this oath, may
be my lot.
* * *
"Rough Sands of the
Dear Brother Newton: – I was much interested by
letter from Bro. Ticknor. re the "Rough Sands of the Sea," in your
issue. Unfortunately, I have forgotten my Greek pretty thoroughly, but
I asked one
of our best scholars here about it, Principal Hutton of University
I append the gist of his letters:
"I know of no
passage which regards the foreshore as worse than either land or water
there are many allusions to foreshore burial, but all of a perfectly
rational kind: a body is washed up – the body of a drowned stranger –
one bury it so naturally as on the foreshore. Horace (Odes 1.28) writes
the mathematician being so buried near Mutinum and of the spirit of
person appealing to him and to any passerby for similar burial."
"The ancient world
– like our own faded sentiment on the same subject; but much more
earnestly – demanded burial for the dead; it felt that only burial
ghost," It regarded the burial of drowned sailors on the foreshore as a
end, not because the foreshore in itself was the most dishonorable
place of burial,
but because it was a wild, forlorn, and weather-beaten grave, wet by
the sea, though
not perpetually as in the worst case of all. I find this idea expressed
in the Greek
anthology three or four times; in the section of epitaphs it occurs
in No. 430 (p. 199, Edwardes' Edition) where the dead man lies eight
the sea, and the sea is told to rage as it pleases, but to keep off
Other epitaphs bearing on drowned men are 456 (p. 211, Edwardes), 513,
"The Greek sentiment
does not appear to me to have included any idea of consecrated ground
least of all any special aversion to the foreshore as worse than burial
but merely the world wide idea that burial was necessary for the
case I imagine his religion, if not also medical scruples, forbade his
the earth proper, which was all consecrated; and suggested the
foreshore as the
only alternative – and a more humane one – than casting the body back
into the sea."
So much for the Greeks, but this is hardly what
looking for. So I suggested to Principal Hutton, that the idea of
be implied in the fact that the foreshore is a no-man's-land, owned
neither by sea
nor land but the scene of constant battles between Poseidon and Gaia;
altar could be raised whereon to offer a sacrifice to the departed
shade, not could
any memorial be built there to his memory. His body would be constantly
by the strife of natural forces, and his spirit would be similarly
that its former tenement could not rest, disintegrate in peace, and set
If a suicide was to be buried at four corners, why not the perjurer in
turmoil of the foreshore.
To this he replied that if any sect, or church,
regarded burial on the foreshore as peculiarly ignominious, because the
is the battle ground of the deities of earth and sea, the idea is
logical and to
that extent natural, but while these two customs probably go back to a
it is not to a classical source, rather to the imagination of some
more gloomy and less rationalistic than were the very light-hearted and
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
Conservatism Should Be Reasonable
I read in a recent issue of The Builder an
an inquiring correspondent on the question of physical qualifications
for the degrees of Masonry which I believe to be pertinent. I believe
is a proposition that should not be arbitrarily dismissed as being
beyond the pale
of serious discussion on the ground that the requirement of physical
in the applicant is a Masonic landmark and therefore cannot be waived
by the Masonry of today.
I may begin by stating that I am
in all things: in matters of religion, of politics; of social and
and of Masonry. I believe firmly in "holding fast that which is good"
in "all things" which concern the spiritual or temporal interests of
while the irresistible current of the law of evolution inevitably bears
and I may say largely unconsciously, toward better and higher
conditions. The label
"Progressive" is always a signal of caution to my intellectual eye and
causes me to stop at once and carefully consider what is covered by
Having lived through a rather extended period of time, and for the
of that time having been a student of Man, psychically and physically,
and of his
activities and their resultants in both of these phases, I have learned
is not to be attained by leaps and bounds – by jumping over things –
but by the
slow and patient processes of removing the effete and no longer
that which has been well proven to be bad, as the new and studiously
substituted for it. Many serious errors have been made in the past, and
made in the present, by attempting to erect new and hastily or
temples on foundations that do not rest upon the bed-rock of human
nature or human
wisdom, the grain-by-grain accumulation of the thought and experience
With this understanding of my mental attitude,
approach Masonic questions unsuspected of being of those who would
"innovations upon the body of Masonry," But may I ask what are we to
as the body of Masonry in the light of what it has been for now nearly
Are we to regard the dust of operative Masonry not even the bones of it
to our age, as a "body" to which we are to be hopelessly chained for
time? Speculative Masonry has nothing in common with Operative except
its name and
in part its traditions, its ritualism, its legends, its degrees and
its broader purposes, have been born or developed within the era of
As to the bodily perfections required in the
of the old era, it was the worthy aim and intent of the material rather
builders of the time to exclude from the inner circle of skilled
workers those who
for natural or accidental reasons could not hope to attain to
perfection, or even
to competency, in the laborious and exacting service of the Craft.
Defect of limb
might easily be an insuperable obstacle to the mechanical success and
of the man in the practical art of building; at the least it was a
handicap to his
participation with his fellows on equal terms.
But Speculative Masonry, having no connection
labor in any form, has declared that "it is the internal and not the
qualifications that recommend a man to be made a Mason." It requires of
a prepared heart, a receptive mind, an appreciation of moral worth, a
faith in an
all-wise and all-ruling Supreme Power in which he lives and acts and to
is responsible for time and eternity. He is a builder of character in
sense of the term, both in his individual and in his relational life:
not of monuments
of stone, however grand and temporally enduring such might be.
In this building with "living stones," this
construction of temples "not made with hands," not to be disintegrated
and destroyed with the progress of the ages but to grace the unchanging
of the empire of God himself, what matters it that the perishable body
If heart and mind be competent to the work the Speculative Mason is
perform, what more in justice may we exact of him who desires to engage
in our "great and important undertaking?"
I think it time that we should relax our
as to ability to strictly conform to purely mechanical and no longer
of our ritualistic ceremonies and accept any man internally qualified
and not arbitrarily
exclude him because of some perhaps slight natural or accidental
deformity or deficiency
of the body. If he be morally, spiritually and intellectually able and
conform to the only requirements now essential in a true Mason, that
should be sufficient.
I do not believe such relaxation could now be by any stretch of the
meaning of terms
construed as an innovation upon the body of Masonry or as the violation
of a landmark.
A landmark can only exist while the "land" exists; and the land of
Craft Masonry was long since swallowed up in the changing ocean of time.
Frank Peffley, Washington.
* * *
The Church and the Craft
It has long been the claim of some of the
among the churches that fraternities, particularly Masonic Orders, are
and even hindrances to their work – a commission which has the Divine
The sincerity of this claim has been quite
by their making the matter involved a pivotal test of membership,
though in the
final analysis of motive in the matter involved, it has, no doubt been
human nature in this, as in many other things centering in the success
through given principles, has often played for the higher stakes
through the benefit
of a doubt.
While the "war of words," to say nothing of
other means employed, has been from "time immemorial" the weapon of the
warfare of its enemies, Masonry's only defense has been its absolute
Right here I wish to make it clear that this
paper is in no sense whatever a defense or arraignment of either of the
involved, as from neither of these angles can anything be accomplished
harm. I would merely call attention, both from the standpoint of a
a Mason, to the main question of the ages, recognized now more than
– human welfare and uplift.
No two moral institutions in the world have
and clearly defined methods for given purposes than the Church and
Masonry. As light
and warmth, air and moisture are essentials to life, there is no
conflict in the
elements and no one of the essentials can be eliminated. So it is with
which must have its schooling and training in this world.
This human quantity, however, must necessarily
its tutor, as the rough Ashlar goes into the hands of the Fellowcraft,
in its crude
and natural state. Herein is the practical application of Masonry to
the institution to the human nature of which it must its temple build.
If the stone
has only the right material in it to render it eligible to a place in
it may, eventually, in the symbolism, become a living stone in that
House not made
Thus Masonry takes man into its fellowship and
as it finds him, only stipulating that the material must be sound.
Creeds or dogmas
count for nothing as regards the quality of the material. Most men are
for some of them, some men for most of them, while yet others stand
from under them
all. Even in their classifications, it would be difficult to find two
who are alike.
So it is the man himself, his moral fiber and habits that furnish the
for the material, that Masonry applies.
Religion, or profession, or its opposite, like
wealth or honor, does not, as such, recommend a man to Masonry. It is
solely a question
of morality and a belief in a Supreme Being. On these two points
Masonry has always
been an absolutely fair proposition for HUMAN NATURE to invest in. It
has been as
just as it has been true, and human as it has been fair.
But, relatively speaking, men must leave their
and come either to the Church or Masonry, or, as some churches do not
carry on their
string of keys one that locks the fraternal door, they may come to
and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be
you," perhaps equally applies to both. And here the parallel ends.
fundamentally, takes the man, the material, because it is sound. The
him because he has a creed. It makes this the supreme and final test.
If the creed
is wrong, or lacking, all is wrong. If the creed is right, all MAY be
what churchman would dare to say "creed right, man right." Far be it
me to criticize the Church in this matter, I am simply stating facts. I
however, that it is largely the differences noted herein that to a
answer the questions as to why the Church in adult male membership is
so fast declining.
Nature is the basis and background of all
nature is the highest expression of nature and must be met measured and
in a NATURAL way. Further than that, whatever prerogative the
assume, human nature, relatively speaking, in the final analysis, will
The work of the world for social, ethical and
uplift, to achieve a maximum of success, must originate and be carried
on from a
practical standpoint. It must take the material, the man, as it finds
him, and not
on points that in themselves cannot guarantee his character and by
which it would
sort him out from the rest of the world for its special own.
While the institution may have the highest
it cannot conceive that its material for its human Temple in the
quarries and forests
and mines can be finished in advance of its being passed upon as GOOD
its final place. Masonry is of worth to the world only as it builds
well and it
cannot build without the human material and to its glory be it said
that among these
necessary quantities there is found many "diamonds in the rough." So
man, to a given formality, must be "made over" to be eligible to a
in the Church, Masonry takes him, practically, as it finds him, and it
is in the
hearts of most men to render themselves deserving of the confidence
I have long believed that every man who truly
to be good and do good should be eligible for Church membership. Why
not? The Church,
as such, is a man-made institution from start to finish. Christ himself
suggested such an institution as the Church as we know it. We must
conceive of Him
only as the founder of the Kingdom of the Heavens among men. "According
your FAITH be it unto you," was His only test. It would seem to be
imagination of a normal mind to conceive of this King of the Kingdom of
as descending from the sublime pinnacle of faith for His subjects to
gate of the formalism of which the Churches have made Him their
But the scales are falling from men's eyes. The
as it relates to individuals, is in the heart, and as it relates to the
practical, or applied Christianity. While Masonry makes no claim to
being a religion,
"it is so far interwoven with it as to lay us under obligations to pay
rational homage to the Deity which at once constitutes our duty and our
This sublime declaration is a "clearing house" of spiritual and Divine
ethics. No single man-made sentence ever meant more. In its directness
it constitutes the very foundation of the Kingdom of the Heavens in the
is a declaration as broad as the universe. It suggests no anticipated
or creed, and alludes to no authority but duty, and duty glorified is a
for love is the motive, the angel who presides at the throne of the
The man of affairs, especially, has a strong
instinct. He loves an unencumbered personality more than an opinionated
Every man has, or should have, his close friends among all shades of
all political parties, all professions, in short among all men who are
he will, so long as such can meet in the bonds of Brotherhood on the
by the Plumb, and part on the Square, find this powerful social
instinct met and
satisfied and in a dignified and uplifting way than which it may be
said that the
genius of man has never been able to improve upon.
The Church, as constituted, goes forward mainly
lines weighted down with dogmas. Masonry progresses on practical lines
by brotherly love, relief and truth – the universal Brotherhood of man.
has been the architect of its own misfortunes, but this is not the
place to enumerate
them. Even as it is, it is a world necessity for it may mean something
to every person from childhood to the grave.
Every man who is both a Churchman and a Mason
be a better Mason therefor. Every man who is a good Mason should be a
– of the Kingdom of the Heavens – the true Church of God. No
institution, in the
old orthodox sense, can save a man. He is solely the architect of his
If he is trusting to his Church or his Order for the salvation as
the above classification, he is building on the sand. Neither the one
nor the other
can obtain it for him, but they may both be the means – blessed means –
to the best
there is for earth and what may follow on.
L. B. Mitchell, Michigan.
The Bible -- [A Poem]
from the heart
of nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nations came,
Like the volcano's tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below, –
The canticles of love and woe.
The word unto the prophet spoken
Was writ on tables yet unbroken;
The word of seers or sibyls told,
In groves of oak, or fanes of gold,
Still floats upon the morning wind,
Still whispers to the willing mind.
One accent of the Holy Ghost
The heedless world hath never lost.
One Holy Church -- [A Poem]
holy Church of
Through every age and race,
Unwasted by the lapse of years,
Unchanged by changing place.
From oldest time on farthest shores,
Beneath the pine or palm,
One Unseen Presence she adores,
With silence or with psalm.
Her priests are all God's faithful sons,
To serve the world raised up;
The pure in heart her baptized ones,
Love, her communion-cup.
The Truth is her prophetic gift,
The Soul her sacred page;
And feet on mercy's errand swift
Do make her pilgrimage.
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