Masonic Research Society
The Reception of the Flags
By Bro. Louis Block, P.
G. M., Iowa
At the public ceremonies preliminary to the
of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, the British, French and American flags were
by a girl dressed in the white nurses’ uniform of the Red Cross. When
flag was borne down the aisle to the stage the quartet sang "Rule
and the flag was received and welcomed by the speaker with these words:
The Union Jack
MOST Worshipful Grand Master, Mr. Chairman, my
Ladies and Gentlemen: As Masons we have often been taught that Masonry
is the science
of symbols. Flags are either intensely symbolical or they have no
all. It is natural therefore that Masons should take a keen interest in
This is the flag that is best known as the
Jack." It is called this because it symbolizes the Union of England,
and Ireland. As you will see, it consists of a blue field across which
laid three crosses, a red one running straight across and up and down,
and a white
one and a red one which run crossways from corner to corner. These are
of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick, St. George being the patron
England, St. Andrew the tutelary saint of Scotland, and St. Patrick the
saint of Ireland.
The banner of St. George was a red cross laid
across a white field. We can all recall the famous legend of St. George
dragon, how the beautiful daughter of the King of On was rescued from
jaws of the dragon who threatened to devour her. Today in France the
sons of St.
George are freely offering up their lives to rescue God's beautiful
from the all-devouring jaws of the dragon of militarism.
The banner of St. Andrew consisted of a white
laid diagonally upon a blue field. It has a special meaning for Masons,
for in the
early days it was the banner of the craftsmen and King James the Sixth
to say, that whenever he attempted to impose upon these sturdy workmen
burden, they arose in their wrath and hoisted "their bloody blue
and resisted him. This banner had painted upon it a thistle and round
about it the
motto, "Nemo me impune lacessit." This, my brethren, is a latin phrase
which being interpreted meaneth, "Nobody monkeys with me without
and the sons of Scotland fighting today Somewhere In France are proving
to the enemy
how sharply this thistle can sting.
The banner of St. Patrick consisted of a red
diagonally across a white field. We are told that St. Patrick was
because he drove the snakes out of Ireland. I sometimes suspect,
however, that their
real reason for leaving was that they could hardly stomach the music by
cats of whom the poet tells us,
"There were two
cats of Kilkenny,
They fought and they fit,
They scratched and they bit,
Until instead of two cats of Kilkenny
There wasn't any."
Be this as it may, it is nevertheless sure that
sons of the old sod are today proving to the Prussians that the
Kilkenny cats could
take lessons from their Irish masters when it comes to fighting.
Taken all together, the three crosses go to
the Union Jack, the banner of our ancient enemy, John Bull. You know
that in the
old days we were forced to teach him a couple of lessons in human
to make him understand that we would neither endure taxation without
nor permit him to impress free-born American seamen upon the high seas,
and to make
him learn this lesson we had to larrup him twice, once by land and once
But that was a long time ago and for over a hundred years now he has
been our good
neighbor on the North and we have lived side by side with him for over
with never a soldier or a fort needed to maintain peace between us.
This is the flag of the land which gave Masonry
birth. It is the banner of the country which produced the greatest
system of human
law known to man – at once the wisest and fairest, the safest and
of free self-control that has ever blessed a troubled world. This is
emblem of the people who speak our mother tongue and for that reason we
and understand them a little bit better than any other people on the
We used to think and feel that while England
for herself she was not quite so ready to grant it to others. But we
have seen her
heart undergo a wonderful change – have seen the soul of the Great
rise and shake off its selfishness and offer itself as a sacrifice for
and the oppressed of the world. If Britain was ever beset with the
greed of conquest
she surely has shriven her soul by the great sacrifice made by her sons
of poor, broken, bleeding Belgium and we are now ready to believe that
whole heart and soul she loves liberty for her own sweet sake, and that
proudly declares that "Britons never, never, never will be slaves" she
means that slavery shall exist nowhere in the world and so we are glad
here today the proud banner of Britain, fold it to our hearts, and wave
alongside the Stars and Stripes.
(Then the National flag of France was borne to
and the quartet sang the Marseillaise and the speaker welcomed it by
This, my brethren,
is the tri-color, the tried colors of the sunny land of France. It is
the flag of
our sister Republic, the standard of a great, cheery, laughing,
happy-hearted people, and if there is a flag on the face of the earth
to which the
American soul is irresistibly drawn with a tingling thrill, it is this
banner of France. How well our own song of the Red, White and Blue
would fit this
fine flag. Let us give three cheers for this Red, White and Blue!
(Whereupon the great audience arose to their
roared out a cheer that seemed to rock the building on its foundations.)
This is the banner that has proved to the world
a people can be free and still not lose its power of fighting. Just
think of the
magnificent resistance that this free people has made against the most
most magnificently organized and perfectly operating Or as it fighting
world has ever seen. Under the leadership of old Papa Joffre, the
of France, they have fought this military machine to a stand-still and
its wheels grind backward. At last, my brethren, we have an opportunity
the debt we have so long owed to Rochambeau and Lafayette and we were
indeed did we not respond to the call of our ancient friends who have
poured out floods of their patriotic blood upon the sacred altar of
it takes a free people to know the heart of a free people, and if there
is a land
in the world to which our hearts go out in its hour of trial, it is
beloved land of France, the land that was so true and helpful to us in
our own hour
of crying need.
The other day in addressing the Chamber of
Monsieur Ribot, the President of the Council, speaking of us to his
that by taking part in this war for human liberty we had proven
to the traditions of the founders of our independence and had
the enormous rise of our industrial strength and economic and financial
not weakened in us that need for an ideal without which there could be
nation. He further declared that the powerful and decisive aid which
States had thus brought to France was not only a material aid but was
all else a moral aid and a real consolation in their hour of heavy
us here highly resolve that we will prove ourselves true to the faith
brothers have in us.
(Then the Stars and Stripes were carried to the
the audience standing upon their feet and singing the "Star Spangled
When the flag was placed in the hands of the speaker, he said:)
This is Old Glory,
my flag and your flag. If there ever was a flag about which an American
be able to speak freely, fluently, and with great force, it surely is
and Stripes. But alas, on this occasion I feel as though human speech
were far too
frail, poor and weak a thing to tell of the thoughts that fill the mind
feelings that thrill the soul. This is one of the times when words seem
worthless. This is the flag which the poet spoke of when he sang:
from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there!
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies
And striped its pure celestial white
With streakings of the morning light.
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle bearer down,
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land."
Unequal as I am to the occasion I yet must try
what this banner means for us as
"Blue and crimson
and white it shines
Over the steel-tipped ordered lines"
Or as it
"Catches the gleam
of the morning's first beam
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream"
even if I call to my help the words of others to tell the story. This
is the flag
that speaks to us of
"Sea fights and
land fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the state,
Weary marches and sinking ships,
Cheers of victory from dying lips.
Days of plenty and days of peace,
March of strong lands swift increase,
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe.
Sign of a nation great and strong,
To guard her people from foreign wrong,
Glory, pride and honor all
Live in the flag to stand or fall."
Even though I had the skill of the sculptor
him to carve the cold rock into a living semblance of life, or the
a painter who dips his brush in the colors of the sunset to make the
quiver with life upon the canvas before him, or the exaltation of the
caught the high note of the music of the spheres when the morning stars
– even then I could not begin to picture the power, the glory, the
dignity, and the sanctity of the love of the free patriot for his flag.
"I am unworthy.
Should strike the chords
And fill the lands
From sea to sea with melody
All reverent yet with harmony,
Majestic, jubilant to tell,
How love must love
If love loves well."
Think of the sacred love of a mother for her
child – of the cradle
Silent, peaceful, to and fro,
Of the mother's sweet looks dropping
On the little face below,"
think of the love of a fine strong man as he
to his breast his blushing bride, think of the sacred affection linking
the lives of an old couple who have journeyed far along life's road
side by side
into the sunset, think of the love and the pride and the joy that
flames back and
forth between a staunch and sturdy son and his silver-hailed sire –
think of all
these and roll and blend them into one and you cannot begin to tell of
of the freeman for his flag! Surely then we are ready to say:
"This is my flag.
For it will give
All that I have, even as they gave –
They who dyed those blood-red bands –
Their lives that it might wave.
This is my flag. I am prepared
To answer now its first clear call,
And with Thy help, Oh God,
Strive that it may not fall.
This is my flag. Dark days seem near.
O Lord, let me not fail.
Always my flag has led the right,
O Lord, let it not fail."
Some of us can fight, others can work, others
can pay, each in his place can do his duty and be worthy of the honor
of being an
American citizen and enjoying the blessings of liberty. Each one of us
can do his
bit and remember that
"Honor and fame
from no condition rise,
Act well thy part, there all the honor lies."
The poorest citizen in the land can buy at
Liberty Bond, and every dollar spent for a Liberty Bond is a bullet
blown into the
bowels of the enemy. Let us here today in overwhelming gratitude for
that we have enjoyed under this banner of the free, consecrate our
souls anew to
The Missing Flag
But there is another banner which is not here
today, a flag which for the present at least we are forced to shut out
of our sacred
circle. I speak of it with pain and regret, with heart-ache and with a
of deep pity, for it is the flag of my ancestors and my own father's
ashes now lie
buried beneath the soil over which it waves. It is needless to say that
of the German flag. This flag once flew over the heads of a great
people, a people
that stood high in the ranks of world achievement, a people who were
the world, both in medicine and in music, a people who love liberty, a
produced Martin Luther, who was the foremost champion of religious
liberty in the
world. There is one curious thing about the colors of these flags which
I am not
sure that you have noticed. Is it by mere chance that it happens that
of all of the flags of freedom are red, white and blue, while those of
of Prussian despotism are red, white and black? Was it a matter of mere
that this dark streak and sinister stripe appears in this flag which
for the outlaw among the nations? Is not this dark stripe symbolical of
of the mind, the military madness that holds a great people in bonds
and is fast
driving it on to ruin? Surely, the black must be a symbol of the
madness of militarism.
When a storm gathers in the heavens black
out from sight the face of the sun. But when the age and madness of the
has worn itself out and the roll of the thunder has died away in the
slowly but surely the blackness fades to blue and the earth is bright
once more. Let us hope that so it will be in this awful world war and
the storm of rage and madness has been swept from out the hearts of our
that the blackness which now blinds their sight will clear away, and be
by the pure blue of the unclouded sky of freedom and that peace and
once more prevail among all the peoples of the earth.
The Flag of Fraternity
But there is another banner here today,
cannot see it with our mortal eyes. It is the unseen flag of Fraternity
above the dome of that great "house not made with hands," that temple
of liberty which stands forever eternal in the heavens. Its colors are
all the colors
of the rainbow and it spreads its flaming folds across the world from
sunset. It is a flag that shall fall upon the world as a reward for the
it is now being called upon to make. In all of the history of this old
has there been a sacrifice so awful, so bitter, so heart-rending, so
so overwhelming, as that which we are making today for the sake of
and just so surely as we believe that there is a God of Justice, just
must be the reward that will bless humanity for this mighty
manifestation of divine
devotion to a most holy cause. Out of it all there must come a
and friendship, and a fraternity that shall reach wide-swept to the
of the globe. There must be a union of the states, not of Europe alone,
but of the
whole world, and Masonry which has been never the destroyer but always
must play a mighty part in erecting this world-wide temple of humanity.
Masons everywhere are praying for the dawn of that day so beautifully
"When all mankind
shall be one great lodge of brethren,
And wars of fear and persecution shall be known no more forever."
When that day comes we shall behold with our
eyes the mighty Temple of Human Liberty made more magnificent than
ever, and over
its shining portal we shall read in letters of living light the words,
and union, freedom and fraternity, now and forever, one and
inseparable, world without
The True Joy of Life
This is the true joy of life, the being used
for a purpose
recognized as yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out
are thrown into the scrap heap; the being a force in nature instead of
little clod complaining that the world will not devote itself to making
G. B. Shaw.
There are three qualities which will enable a
endure all hardships – unquestioning faith in a beneficent God, an
for an individual, or a burning enthusiasm for a cause.
Journal For The Masonic
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
VOLUME III NUMBER 9
TWO DOLLARS FIFTY CENTS THE YEAR
TWENTY-FIVE CENTS THE COPY
The Faith That Is In Them
– A Fraternal Forum
Edited By Bro. Geo. E. Frazer,
President, The Board Of Stewards
Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut.
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia
H.D. Funk, Minnesota
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Silas H. Sheperd, Wisconsin.
Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia
M.M. Johnson, Massachusetts
John Pickard, Missouri
Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
Joe L. Carson, Virginia
T.W. Hugo, Minnesota
F.B. Gault, Washington
C.M. Schenck, Colorado
H.L. Haywood, Iowa
Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin
Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois
S. W. Williams, Tennessee
Contributions to this Monthly Department of
Opinion are invited from each writer who has contributed one or more
THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are selected as being alive in the
of Masonry today. Discussions of politics, religious creeds or personal
are avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle
the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing
responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature.
Comment from our
Members on the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the
QUESTION NO. 5 – "Shall the several Grand
modify their rules as to physical requirements of candidates so that,
being satisfactory, Masons may welcome the petitions of all those
soldiers and sailors
who lose arms, legs or eyes in the service of their country? If so,
to support himself and immediate family be substituted as a requirement
initiate? If not, what physical requirements are reasonable?"
* * *
Mental Requirements Come
I should not regard it so much a "modification
of their rules as to physical requirements of candidates" as getting
those "first principles" which are the ancient landmarks of
if the Grand Jurisdictions followed the rules and policy settled for
years ago by Grand Lodge action, namely, that the Grand Lodge has no
the matter and the question of eligibility of persons who have physical
lies entirely with the lodge which receives his petition.
As I recall the first decision concerned the
of John Pope who was minus a left arm or hand. The lodge received him
and he became
one of the brightest Lights of both Masonic and Civil history in this
rule of reason is that unless the candidate is unable to feel the grip,
word or see the sign" physical misfortune is no bar, except in cases
entrance to Masonry by such persons is made under such conditions as to
to believe they might become a financial charge from the beginning.
Without entering into a discussion of
am satisfied that the reason back of the original requirement that a
man be sound
"in mind and member" was and still is purely spiritual and not physical
save incidentally as above set forth. A consumptive or a man with
eczema may have
all his arms and legs but is undoubtedly physically "unsound."
If I understand our rituals aright, there is an
trend to them that cannot be waved away with an idle word, and which
the student who would grasp our philosophy's meaning, regarding his
body as a machine
or set of working tools for the use of his mind. So that there may have
more reason than exists now, in these days of scientific surgery, for
require physical perfection.
But as I say, physical requirements in my
always been subordinate to and dependent upon the mental or "spiritual"
requirements, with the lodge itself as the judge.
Because of the erroneous notion that
Masonry" was merely an outgrowth of "Operative Masonry" whose symbols
and rituals were in large part adapted to the ancient wisdom we now
a great many of our unthinking and I am sorry to say unlearned Grand
built up "precedents" in their jurisdictions which are followed from
generation to another somewhat as attempts used to be made to confine
to a definite number, resulting in the most absurd situations.
I think a most interesting – and enlightening –
for research would be a comparison of the various decisions in every
I recall one jurisdiction in this country where the Grand Master
decided that a
man could not become a Mason because he had lost a certain finger on
the left hand
and exactly the reverse was decided (same finger) in another
a compilation of cold statistics would amply demonstrate the need for
J. W. Norwood,
* * *
Let Us Make New Laws Slowly
I believe that the several Grand Lodges have
enacted too many regulations and that it is impossible at present to
unite on any
uniform rule as to physical qualifications. If it were possible, I
doubt the wisdom
of additional rules.
We have heard the charge to preserve the
landmarks" and never suffer them to be infringed, or countenance a
from the established usages and customs of the fraternity given to
every Mason and
have given it ourselves, realizing we did not know what we were talking
Mackey's enumeration of the "landmarks" he includes physical
but why did he not include the requirement that apprentices serve seven
was also a regulation given in the "old charges"? Modern dentistry
the conformity to one of our requirements impossible in a majority of
it has never been seriously considered or its symbolic effect lessened.
lights now take the place of the time-honored candle and so we might
it were necessary to show that changes have been made in our usages and
Brother R. F. Gould says that "The dogmas of
Jurisdiction, Physical Perfection, and Exclusive (or Territorial)
have been evolved since the introduction of Masonry into what has
become the United
States," from England.
Before making more laws of Masonry let us get
and try and find out what a landmark is and what constitutes ancient
customs and in the interval regard the Lodge as a safe guardian of
those we now
consider as such.
The student of history cannot fail to see the
effects that have resulted from dogmatism in politics, science,
religion, and even
in social life. Let us, as Freemasons, avoid dogmas that will weaken
of our Fraternity and allow nothing to take preference over our
of "The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man." In the past 200
years many changes have been made in Masonic ritual and jurisprudence,
some of which
have been questionable, and we fear have been made without due regard
to the basic
principle. Let us be slow to enact laws and careful to make them on the
those things on which we all agree.
Silas H. Shepherd,
* * *
Involves Changes In Ritual.
I should not advocate any change in the
of petitioners for our degrees as set forth at present in the Grand
nor even modifications to meet the hypothetical cases covered in your
offers the men of the Army and Navy to seek Masonic Light, should the
chartering of Military Lodges already discussed in the Forum be
approved. Any such
radical modification as that embodied in your present query would
involve a complete
revision of the ritual.
Viewing the subject from another angle, so long
endures as an Institution in the United States, the Patriotism and
cardinal principles of the Order, will promptly provide for such
as the Red Cross, the National Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes and other
an increase of which must directly result as an aftermath of our
For Civilization. Our present high physical standard is an old landmark
Its abrogation, even for so laudable a purpose as you suggest, would
bad precedent and personally I am opposed to innovations which might
lead to others,
so ultimately lessening the great potency for good of an ancient and
If at any time the great Government of the
finds itself in the least hampered in properly providing for the
and sailors who have suffered physical impairment in its service, our
will be the first to contribute to the needs of the Fourth Great Light
Masonry – the Flag.
* * *
Virginia Is Investigating.
Aside from the motive of opening the doors to
veterans, which was not mentioned, the Grand Lodge of Virginia, at its
February, placed the subject of modification of physical requirements
in the hands
of the Jurisprudence Committee to be reported on in February, 1918. My
is that the requirement of a degree of physical perfection is but a
link with past
ages of the operative branch and should be retained for that reason
that degree of perfection shall be, should be left to the Lodges,
except that all
initiates should be able to receive and comprehend our ceremonies, and
able to make a living for themselves and families. Prior to 1866 this
Grand Lodges legislate too much and leave too
to the intelligence and Masonic zeal of the Lodges. A change is coming
as to physical
requirement and it would be well but not at all necessary that Grand
all agree. Certain it is that they will not.
Jos. W. Eggleston,
* * *
Few Changes in 1861-1865.
My opinion is that none of the Grand
in any way modify their present requirements as to physical
of military conditions. As I understand it, there was very little
these requirements made by the Grand Bodies because of conditions
arising from the
Civil War of 1861-1865 and in my judgment the present war does not
present any reasons
for such modification any stronger than were presented at the time of
Masonry is a fraternal and charitable
not an eleemosynary one. Whatever charity the order dispenses outside
of its own
membership should be given freely and in lump sums to worthy objects,
but the order
ought not to invite into its ranks those who would become burdens upon
it and cause
it to levy burdensome taxes upon its members. The ability of one to
and immediate family ought by no means to be substituted as a
requirement for physical
perfection. This would in a majority of cases be strained to take care
of what might
be deemed individual worthy cases and thus in the course of time the
be burdened with charitable distribution to many who, while deemed able
themselves and families at the time of their petition, would, due to
afterwards find themselves unable to render such support.
Wisconsin has always been very strict in
ancient landmark of physical perfection and I am not one of those who
the bars should be let down at this or at any other time.
Frank E. Noyes,
* * *
I beg leave to invite attention to the
ceremonies of a W. M., which makes it clear that we deny the right of
any man or
body of men to make innovations in the body of Masonry.
My belief is that tampering with the Landmarks
the Constitutions is like driving nails into the coffin of Freemasonry.
liberty has, I think, been taken with the original plan of Masonry, and
therefore advise protecting the Landmarks and Constitutions rather than
Geo. W. Baird,
Washington, D. C.
* * *
An American Anachronism.
There is an ever-growing opinion amongst
that the Mental Qualification, not the Physical, should be the test for
in our Order.
This physical qualification is an anachronism –
that has remained with us centuries after the substance has gone – and
say remained only in the minds of American Masons. This has been the
cause of more
worry to our Grand Lodge, more rulings, more disappointment than almost
single subject, all because we insist in dragging this ancient Fetish
into our assemblies.
The laws of Physical Perfection died with the
Lodge. We apply these rules to our moral and mental qualifications
rather than to
our physical today, or we should do so. Ability to support himself so
he may not
become a charge on the Order, a further ability to make himself known
to, or as
a Brother, by sight, sound or touch, should govern all future
initiations, and thus
give our brave maimed boys a chance to receive all the "comfort of the
when they return.
J. L. Carson,
* * *
The Missouri "Cripple"
My views on the Physical Perfection idea have,
past, been considered very radical. About fifteen years ago I
and the Grand Lodge of Missouri adopted, the following law:
"It is incompetent
for any Lodge in this Jurisdiction to confer either of the three
Degrees of Ancient
Craft Masonry on any person whose physical defects are such as to
prevent his receiving
and imparting the ceremonies of the several degrees; provided, that
contained shall be so construed as to render any one ineligible to the
of Masonry, who can by the aid of artificial appliances conform to the
This law met with furious criticism by some
and editors of Masonic papers, and I was dubbed an iconoclast, a
destroyer of the
"Ancient Landmarks," and one, after denouncing me, said, "That charges
should be preferred against me and expelled." But this was fifteen
and the Missouri "Cripple Law" or some modification of it, has been
in many Grand Lodges.
Freemasonry is a progressive science and a new
and age has dawned. The Physical Perfection notion became obsolete when
Masonry became speculative. We recognize today that a wooden leg is
a wooden head, and a few fingers missing is far better than a heart of
believe today, (not merely mouthing the Ritual), "that it is the
and not the external that qualifies a man to be made a Mason."
The "Perfect Youth" doctrine has become so
absurd and ridiculous among thinking Masons, that it is no longer
necessary to even
argue the question. It lives in some Grand Lodges purely as a
reminiscence of a
past age, and like all obsolete notions, it dies hard. "Shall Masonry
the petitions of all those soldiers and sailors who have lost arms or
eyes in the
service of their country?" Yes, or any other good man similarly
There is only one point that should be
that is the question of becoming dependent. Freemasonry is a luxury and
not an eleemosynary
institution; pecuniary and material benefits must not be the motive for
admission. No man should be admitted, or he knowingly apply for
inability to support himself is self-evident. The physical condition,
as to loss
of legs, arms, eyes, fingers, toes, bow legs or baldhead, is of no
the question of ability to support himself is the only question
Wm. F. Kuhn,
* * *
A Survival from Operative
It was inevitable that the Operative Masons
that their apprentices be sound in limb and in good health, seeing that
was dangerous, onerous and difficult, and that a sick man had to be
of the common purse. Also was it inevitable that this ancient custom be
over into Speculative Masonry at the Revival in 1717, for it had come
to be considered
an Ancient Landmark, and we all know how careful the Early Speculatives
adhere to these. But in spite of the sanctions of antiquity the premier
gradually modified its rules as to qualifications, learning that what
had been necessary
among the Operatives was no longer essential to Speculative Masonry.
with all his loyalty to the past, was driven to see this, as witness
found in his "Treasury":
"It would indeed
be a solecism in terms to contend that a loss or partial deprivation of
organ of the body could, by any possibility, disqualify a man from
sciences, or being made a Mason in our times, while in possession of
and the healthy exercises of his intellectual powers."
In 1875 the Board of General Purposes of the
of England issued a circular in which the writer said:
"I am directed
to say that the general rule in this country is to consider a candidate
for election who although not perfect in his limbs is sufficiently so
to go through
the various ceremonies required in the different degrees."
As to whether the candidate was able "to go
the various ceremonies" was, it goes without saying, left to the
In an essay included in one of the early
the Iowa Grand Lodge Proceedings, T. S. Parvin takes the same position:
"It is the SOLE
RIGHT of each and every LODGE to act upon these physical
qualifications, as it is
universally conceded that they are the sole judges of the moral
This, it seems to me, is good sense. If a
is able to pay his dues, is in reasonable good health, of average
has a good reputation, we need ask no more, unless his physical defects
him from performing the ceremonies. I, myself, pray that the day may
come when the
chief qualification demanded of a candidate will be the evidence of a
TO TAKE MASONRY SERIOUSLY. We need more Masons and fewer members.
H. L. Haywood,
* * *
Manhood, Duty and Valor.
Eligibility to the Masonic orders should not be
any soldier or sailor of the United States because of physical
by such service, when such candidate has the other essential moral and
it being granted of course that physical impairment is properly
due to exposure in the line of duty as such soldier or sailor. Masonry
is not an
eleemosynary institution and every candidate for membership should be
supporting himself and family, or least he should not become an
upon the Order. A spasm of patriotic fervor or sympathy should not be
to vote a man into membership in Masonry simply because he bore in his
evidence of military heroism. But being a man and having done a man's
and is maimed thereby, such physical disability ought not to deny him a
our noble Order that in all its teachings places a premium upon
manhood, duty and
* * *
The Massachusetts Rule.
I do not think that I can better reply to your
for September than by quoting a provision of the Grand Constitutions of
which is as follows:
"If the physical
deformity of any applicant for the degrees does not amount to an
inability to meet
the requirements of the Ritual, and honestly to acquire the means of
it shall constitute no hindrance to his initiation."
The Grand Masters of Massachusetts have never
to rule on particular cases but have ruled in a general way that an
might be accepted.
The Worshipful Master of a Lodge is required to
on cases as it appears best. There was a vote of the Grand Lodge
a hundred years ago to the effect that a blind man might not be given
but that would appear to be unnecessary as a blind man clearly could
with the regulations of the ritual.
* * *
Symbolism of the Perfect
I fear that I could not bring myself to consent
initiation of any man into the body of Freemasonry who was not
possessed of all
of his physical members whole and complete. And I believe that this is
with the very genius of the Order.
But first of all, however, I must recognize and
to the dictum, "It is the internal, and not the external,
recommend a man to be a Mason," (Mackey, Book of the Chapter, p. 41
[Lib 1870]), and I fully realize
how it may be drawn therefrom that a man, having great internal
should not be debarred from the privileges and duties of Freemasonry
has lost perhaps the little finger of his left hand. This is further
by a parallel which I seem always able to find from the early Church. A
for Holy Orders must come freeborn, of lawful age, under the tongue of
and also sound of limb and unmutilated; but a man whose blood had been
shed as a
martyr – and who was possibly mutilated – had the priestly right of
and without further ordination. (Smith and Cheetham, Dictionary of
Antiq. Vol 2,
pp. 1118 and 1481-2.) [Lib 1875, Vol 1, Vol 2] So it could be argued
that a man who had lost a limb in the highly Masonic duty of the
defense of his
country, should, if otherwise worthy, be admitted into the mysteries of
Now all ceremonial, whether of the Lodge or of
has a materialistic, and a spiritual, or symbolic interpretation – and
as true as the other. Now, our ancient operative brethren could not
admit a maimed
man to their Gild because he could not perform the functions of the
Craft; but this,
it might seem, could be waived when we enter the realm of the
speculative. In other
words, inability to display the various external signs and tokens does
keep a man from being internally what it is to be a Mason.
But even with these considerations, I cannot
to believe that a maimed man should be admitted to initiation.
Symbolism is the
life of Freemasonry, and to such a degree that frequently what is
presented to our
attention is but the symbol of a symbol. And therefore, let us go to
quarries. The Giblim have hewn out of the living rock a stone that
shows a flaw,
although but slight. This they drag with their strong cables before the
his wardens. Should they accept it? We know what the overseers would
But should this imperfect stone be placed in the North-east Corner, or
by the stronger tie to the other stones of the Temple?
The candidate symbolizes, in his physical
perfect man, who alone is fit to enter into the composition of "that
building, that house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens." I
rather than be, for none of us has yet arrived at that perfection to
which the whole
of Freemasonry aspires, and there may actually be, in many of us,
hidden flaws that
tend to weaken the great Edifice. But still we must scrupulously
preserve the symbol
of what we would be; we must continue to teach that we seek the perfect
mind and spirit, that is, in the man, and that we cannot therefore
admit an imperfect
man to initiation.
Let us remember, moreover, that the Great
not maimed even in death (Ps. xxxiv., St. Jno. xix., 36), and that He
is the head-stone
of the corner (Ps. cxviii., 22), the model from which the whole
structure and every
part thereof may be taken.
H. W. Ticknor,
* * *
Note by the Editor of This
The purpose of this department is to show the
that is in Masons in order that there may be more light (and less
Masonry. The editor of this department believes that Masonry is a
that it is the philosophy that has come down to us through the ages.
Now a philosophy
is a system of thought, a system of living thought. Real Masonry forces
If this department stimulates you to think, my Brother, will you not
give THE BUILDER
the benefit of your serious thought by contribution of articles or by
to the Editor? The opinions given above as to physical requirements are
the serious thought of thinking Masons. You cannot agree with all of
– some of them are opposed to each other both in letter and in spirit.
If you have
Masonic opinion on Masonic subjects (not political opinion; not
then THE BUILDER welcomes you to the forum of its columns.
George E. Frazer,
True Heroism -- [A Poem]
others write of
Of bloody, ghastly fields,
Where honor greets the man who wins,
And death the man who yields;
But I will write of him who fights
And vanquishes his sins,
Who struggles on through weary years
Against himself and wins.
He is a hero staunch and brave,
Who fights an unseen foe,
And puts at last beneath his feet
His passions base and low;
Who stands erect in manhood's might,
Undaunted, undismayed –
The bravest man who e'er drew sword
In foray or in raid.
It calls for something more than brawn
Or muscle to o'ercome
An enemy that marcheth not
With banner, plume or drum –
A foe forever lurking nigh,
With silent, steady tread;
Forever near your board by day
At night beside your bed.
All honor, then, to that brave heart
Though rich or poor he be
Who struggles with his baser part –
Who conquers and is free!
He may not wear a hero's crown,
Or fill a hero's grave;
Yet truth will place his name amongst
The bravest of the brave.
By Bro. Leo Fischer, Manila
In its struggle against ignorance,
intolerance Freemasonry encountered a most formidable opponent in an
that for six long centuries ruled a large portion of the globe with a
rod of iron,
namely, the Inquisition. Wherever the Catholic missionaries had carried
of Christ, there the Inquisition implanted its system of tribunals and
practices of denunciation, torture, and spoliation, its autos
da fe and burning piles. The avowed aim of the Inquisition,
of preserving the purity of the Roman Catholic religion and with this
end in view
to ferret out, punish, and destroy all heretics and other offenders
faith was, of course, bound to bring it into violent collision with
especially after that institution had been condemned by the several
fulminated against it.
We shall now proceed to give a brief history of
Holy Office, as the Inquisition is also called, confining our attention
to Spain, the country where its reign was the longest and bloodiest,
we shall endeavor to give an idea of the character and procedure and
of the work of that institution, and finally we shall deal with the
suffered at its hands by Freemasonry on the Spanish peninsula.
There is some dispute as to what should be
the date of origin of the Inquisition.
Heretics were persecuted and put to death long
the Inquisition, as such, ever existed. History records the massacre of
of Vilgard in southern Italy in the 10th century; the burning of
at Orleans in the 11th, and numerous executions of heretics in
but these killings were in most instances the result of mob violence or
administered by secular magistrates and lords.
The first rules of inquisitorial procedure were
down at the councils of the Church at Verona (1183) and Toulouse
(1229). At the
latter council, sixteen decrees relative to the investigation and
heresy were passed, and the bishops were declared to be natural judges
of the doctrine.
Later, however, the bishops were deemed to be too lenient in their
offenders against the faith, and the Cistercian and then the Dominican
put in charge of the work of persecuting heretics. Of this task the
themselves with such zeal that their rigor and cruelty aroused much
hatred against the Inquisition. But no amount of opposition could stop
now: the tiger had tasted blood during the famous crusade against the
in southern France, where a century of the bloodiest and most cruel
resulted in the suppression of the sect mentioned and the destruction
of the flourishing
Provencal civilization; and although the inquisitors were driven out of
in 1235 and massacred at Avignonet in 1242, and suffered other
and reverses, the Inquisition took a firm foothold in Spain, Portugal,
and other countries of Europe and held nearly the entire Christian
world under its
bloody bondage for six centuries.
In Spain the Inquisition was first established
At the beginning it met with bitter opposition. The Spanish monarchs
towards the Jews and Mohammedans and thereby incurred much criticism
However, the priests did not remain idle, and massacres of Jews and
instigated by them, began in the 13th century and continued throughout
and 15th. Finally, in 1480, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella founded a
Inquisition for Spain, without the aid of the Papacy. Inquisitorial
established throughout the peninsula and the Spanish possessions in
Italy, and a
reign of terror was initiated. The course of the Inquisition did not
smoothly and several inquisitors, among them the merciless Pedro de
canonized by the Church of Rome, were slain.
In 1483 the Dominican father Thomas de
by papal bull, appointed Inquisitor General of the Crown of Castile.
first six months of his term of office, over two thousand Jews and
had embraced the Christian religion under compulsion, but had relapsed,
at the stake; others, who had escaped in time, were burnt in effigy,
and some seventeen
thousand persons suffered other severe punishments for heresy.
According to a careful, conservative estimate by
(Histoire Critique de l'Inquisition d'Espagne, Paris, 1818, Vol. I), [Lib
1827 (English)] during
Torquemada's terrible rule, extending over eighteen years, 10,220
persons were consigned
to the flames; 6,860 were burnt in effigy; 97,321 received sentences of
for life, confiscation of property, disqualification from holding
and other severe penalties, and 114,400 families were irretrievably
ruined. So hated
was the arch fiend Torquemada that on his travels he had to be guarded
by a small
army of "familiars," 50 of them mounted and 200 on foot, and on his
there always lay the horn of a rhinoceros ("unicorn," Llorente has it),
which was supposed to detect and counteract the influence of poison.
The Grand Inquisitors-General were nearly all
of the Dominican Order. Dominick de Guzman, the founder of this Order,
during the persecution of the Albigenses in southern France the
of Christ," a corps of spies and denouncers of both sexes, recruited
classes of society, which later became known by the name of "familiars"
of the Inquisition.
From Spain and Portugal the Inquisition was
to the colonies and possessions of these two countries beyond the seas.
and uprisings against the reign of terror instituted by it occurred in
but were suppressed with iron hand. At times the Holy Office relaxed
its severity, but periods of recrudescence generally followed. Spain
and her possessions
were still a stronghold of the Inquisition after the other countries
it out or reduced its power to practically nothing. On December 4th,
suppressed the Inquisition in Spain, but after the downfall of the
it was re-established and held that unfortunate country under its sway
when a general insurrection resulted in its final overthrow.
Nothing was sacred to the Inquisition, nothing
from its fury. Its thunderbolts did not spare age or innocence, and
rank and station
were no protection against them. Even death was not respected by it;
of many dead were disinterred and publicly burnt on the charge that the
had been a follower of the law of Moses or Mohammed or had been guilty
forms of heresy. Mere children were subjected to torture and the
children and often
grandchildren of persons condemned by the Holy Office were declared
addition to having their inheritance confiscated. In one instance a son
to disinter the remains of his father and burn them publicly.
The following is part of the decision
the Inquisition of Mexico in 1609:
"And the sons
and daughters, if any, of the said Jorge de Almeida are hereby
serving in any public office, or occupying any public position of honor
whether in the secular or ecclesiastic branches of the government; and
also forbidden to wear about their persons any ornament or jewel of
gold or silver,
or precious stones, or coral, or to dress in silk or fine cloth, or any
material of any kind." (Dr. Cyrus Adler, Trial of Jorge de Almeida [Lib
Heckethorn says that "the Inquisitors were the
first to put women to the torture; neither the weakness nor the modesty
of the sex
had any influence on them. The Dominican friars would flog naked women
in the corridors
of the Inquisition building, after having first violated them, for some
of discipline." (The Secret Societies of all Ages and Countries, by
William Heckethorn, London, 1875 [Lib 1875, Vol 1, Vol 2]).
Puigblanch [Lib 1816, Vol 1, Vol 2] ("The Inquisition
Unmasked," translation by William Walton, London, 1818) cites the case
noble lady, lately delivered of her child, who was arrested in 1557 on
of being a Lutheran, and to whom the tribunal of Seville administered
the rack "with
so much rigor that the ropes fixed on her arms, legs, and thighs
entered as far
as her bones, when she remained senseless, casting up quantities of
blood; and died
at the expiration of eight days, without any other attendance than a
who had also undergone the torture." The same writer tells us that "in
Seville … an inquisitor commanded a beautiful young female, accused of
Jewish rites, to be scourged in his own presence; and, after committing
with her, delivered her over to the flames."
It must be remembered that these horrors were
by virtue of orders of torture beginning with the phrase "Christi
After relating deeds like these, which one
only of fiends incarnate, it seems bloody sarcasm to read what one of
of the Inquisition has to say: "In reality, so great is the compassion
Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition with the offenders that these
it. The Holy Office shows much forbearance, much kindness, much
this being true, as the enemies and accusers of the Inquisition well
know it is,
let those accusers come forward and confess and repent their errors;
let them admit
that it was malice which made them say that the Inquisition is
and let them present themselves before this Holy Tribunal repentant and
to the bosom of the Church; so mote it be, Amen." (Defensa critica de la
Inquisicion, by Don Melchor Rafael de Macanaz, Madrid,
1788, Vol 1, Vol 2 (Spanish)] )
How little protection rank and station in life
is made patent by the fact that among the victims of the Inquisition
numerous nobles, statesmen, bishops, and persons of wealth and
influence. Even a
nephew of King Ferdinand V was thrown into the dungeons of the
Inquisition and released
only after undergoing humiliating public penance.
The right of asylum did not exist for the
The following extract from an order of arrest plainly shows this: "and
seize the body of Gabriel de Granada, a resident of this city of
ye may find him, although it may be in a church, monastery or other
fortified or privileged place." (D. Fergusson, Trial of Gabriel de
[Lib 1899]) Even the secret
of the confessional was violated. Don Juan Antonio Rodrigalvarez, canon
of the royal
church of St. Isidore of Madrid, said of the Inquisition: "The
every right and principle in this tribunal still goes further, for
is the very soul of all its proceedings, that of sacramental confession
not respected by it, in consequence of the declarations it frequently
confessors relating to their penitents." (Puigblanch, in the work above
A person could be the devoutest catholic
and yet be arrested, thrown into the dungeons of the Inquisition and
or at the stake, on the calumnious accusation of an enemy or on account
thoughtless remark, misconstrued and twisted to suit the purpose of his
or of the inquisitors.
If a person put a clean cloth on the table on
or sat at table with a Jew, or had his friends for dinner at his home
on the eve
of his departure for a journey, he exposed himself to the suspicion of
being a Judaizer,"
and if he sang a Moorish song or danced a Moorish dance, abstained from
of wine, or changed his linen on Friday, he was liable to be suspected
a secret Mohammedan. Once suspected, a person never escaped without
of imprisonment in the secret dungeons of the Inquisition, torture, and
humiliating penances were sure to be his fate, because the Inquisition
some way of finding a prisoner guilty. Llorente states that one
acquittal to every
two thousand cases was about the proportion observed in the judicial
the Holy Office.
The procedure of the Inquisition, evolved by
of crafty and fanatical priests, was the most insidious that could be
Upon receipt of the denunciation, though it often came from the most
sources and was inspired by the impurest of motives, the Holy Office
arrest of the accused, who was considered guilty unless he achieved the
task of proving himself innocent. He was arrested without warning and
to the secret prisons of the Inquisition.
During the first three days of his confinement
he received three monitions to confess his offenses against the
Catholic faith and
thus secure mercy. He was not informed of the charges against him, but
that no one ever entered the prisons of the Inquisition without being
some crime. If he confessed himself guilty of some offense or offenses
by the denunciation, his confession furnished grounds for new charges.
he said, his testimony was so turned and twisted by his tormentors that
appeared to be much greater than an unbiased judge would have found it
to be. In
many cases his confession did not save him from torture, and in none
did it deliver
him from the humiliating penances decreed by the tribunal.
After the monitions had been delivered, he was
arraigned and the charges were then read to him; but the name of the
never revealed, nor was the accused allowed to face his secret accuser
or the witnesses
that had testified against him. If the culprit remained mute or his
deemed incomplete, he was ordered taken to the torture chamber, where
pulley, thumbscrews, fire, and other means of extorting a confession
to him for hours at a time. If he fainted or remained obdurate, the
suspended for the time being. Thousands of persons remained firm,
from the barbarous treatment received, and many thousands confessed to
had ever committed and were punished accordingly.
The terror inspired by the Holy Office was a
torture that often brought about the same result as the physical
ascetic, cruel, relentless faces of the inquisitors sometimes sufficed
the prisoner into saying all the tribunal wished him to say. One of the
in the case against Jorge de Almeida, above quoted, "begged that the
Don Alonso de Peralta should not be present, because the mere sight of
his flesh creep, such was the terror with which his rigor inspired him."
All proceedings were carried on in the utmost
As they advanced, more and more persons were implicated in the case.
Many an accused,
shrinking from pain and death, driven frantic by the pangs of torture,
by false promises of clemency or immunity, became the accuser of his
relatives. Sons betrayed their parents and parents denounced their
the flinty-hearted secretary of the court coldly penned orders for the
victim after victim as the cowering wretch before the tribunal
stammered their names.
When the evidence was all complete and sentence
to be pronounced, preparations were generally made for an auto da fe
auto da fe, i.e., decision or sentence in a case regarding the faith).
began with a solemn procession, generally attended by much pomp, of the
familiars and henchmen of the Inquisition, the persons condemned to be
to suffer other punishment or penance, and religious organizations and
banners and crosses. A suitable stage and seats had been prepared on
where the ceremony was to take place, and after the arrival of the
mass was read; the king, viceroy, or governor of the territory and
other high government
officials took the oath of allegiance to the Holy Office; a sermon was
by the Inquisitor General, and the sentences of the persons condemned
by the tribunal
were read. The condemned prisoners were arrayed in sanbenitos and
garments and pointed caps painted with flames and figures of demons,
and many of
them were gagged in order to stifle their imprecations.
After the ceremony the condemned were "relaxed"
(turned over) to the secular authorities, for the execution of their
with the injunction that they be dealt with compassionately. What
says: "It certainly causes one surprise to see the Inquisitors insert
end of their sentences the formula praying the (secular) judge not to
penalty of death to the heretic, while it is demonstrated by several
when, in compliance with the request of the Inquisitor, the judge did
not send the
culprit to the stake, he was himself indicted as a suspect of the crime
An auto da fe was generally a gala occasion in
and her colonies. We have before us the account of one of the most
held at Madrid in 1680. This detailed account, written by a member of
was published in Madrid in 1680. (Relacion historica del
auto general de fe que se celebro en Madrid el ano de 1680, por Jose
del Olmo. [Lib
1820 (Spanish)]) At the
auto da fe mentioned, 120 prisoners, each accompanied by two priests,
and the effigies
of 134 accused persons who had made their escape or had died in the
prisons of the
Inquisition, were paraded through the streets of Madrid in a procession
of thousands of priests, soldiers, members of religious organizations,
their sentences read to them in the presence of the King and Queen of
Spain on the
"Plaza," and were then "relaxed" to the secular authorities.
Nineteen of them, who had been sentenced to death, were taken to the
at night, after the ceremonies were over, and were there burnt at the
The scenes that took place at these burnings
of the most revolting and gruesome nature. The following is an extract
account of one of these executions in 1691, on which occasion two Jews
and a Jewess
were burnt: "On seeing the flames near them, they began to show the
fury, struggling to free themselves from the ring to which they were
Terongi at length effected, although he could no longer hold himself
he fell side long on the fire. Catherine, as soon as the flames began
her, screamed out repeatedly for them to withdraw her from thence,
persisting not to invoke the name of Jesus. On the flames touching
Valls, he covered
himself, resisted, and struggled as long as he was able. Being fat, he
in his inside, in such manner that before the flames had entwined
around him, his
flesh burnt like a coal, and bursting in the middle his entrails fell
Often the poor wretches met their death
died mocking and cursing the executioners and of one, a Jew, it is even
he drew the blazing fagots towards him with his feet. The "relaxed" who
had repented were generally strangled to death before being consigned
to the flames.
The fanaticism of the populace is the best
by the following incident recorded by Del Olmo: "It seems as if God
hearts of the craftsmen in order that the serious difficulties that
be overcome; this is shown by the following incident: Tomas Roman,
overseer of works,
having taken charge alone of the execution of the work (of building the
for the auto da fe described by Del Olmo), at his own expense, in
the design and plan of Jose del Olmo, sixteen master builders with
lumber, and tools came, without human solicitation, to offer him their
in the performance of his undertaking, and such were their perseverance
constancy that, without observing the accustomed hours of rest and
taking only sufficient
time for food, they returned to their labors with joy and pleasure,
reason for their eagerness by shouting: "Long live the faith of Jesus
it shall all be finished in time, and if there should be any lack of
would tear down our own houses to put them to such holy use."
These were, of course, only ignorant persons,
more enlightened classes were not much better. We again translate from
work the account of an incident illustrating this: It seems that two
the auto mentioned, a preliminary ceremony took place which shows the
by the royal couple of Spain. A company of soldiers marched out to the
to get the firewood prepared there. Each soldier took a fagot and the
marched back to the Palace Square. "The captain went upstairs to His
apartments by the rear entrance, bearing a fagot on his shield. It was
him by the Duke of Pastrana and carried into the presence of His
Majesty. The latter,
with his own hand, took it in to show it to our lady the Queen, Dona
de Borbon, and upon his return the Duke received the fagot from the
hand of the
King and returned it to the captain, with the command that His Majesty
taken in his name and cast into the fire the first. In giving such
Lord the King followed the dictates of his pious character, inherited
from the sainted
King Don Ferdinand the Third, who on a similar occasion, in order to
give an example
to the world, took himself firewood to the burning pile."
Who were the principal
victims of the Inquisition?
When the Inquisition was first instituted in
its hand fell the most heavily upon the Albigenses of Languedoc, of
whom many thousands
Upon the establishment of the Holy Office in
its first efforts were directed against the so-called "New Christians."
These comprised the but lately converted Jews (marranos), many of whom
Christians in order to escape the numerous persecutions, but were
Judaism, and the converted Moors, who had abandoned their religion for
but were secretly practicing Moslem rites. These new Christians were
welcome victims to the Inquisition on account of the antipathy and envy
they were looked upon by the old Christians, owing to their constantly
prosperity and wealth, which latter, on the other hand, offered a
to the Holy Office, a very expensive institution, according to all
in need of all the money it could lay its hands on.
Later Lutherans, Jansenists, Illuminati, and
of other sects came in for a great deal of attention, and finally,
during the last
century of its existence, the Inquisition waged a relentless war
In addition to these, the Inquisition had other
of offenders to contend with.
It had jurisdiction over bigamists, persons
to be possessed by demons or to have supernatural powers, witches and
soothsayers, priests guilty of expressing unorthodox views or of
seducing or attempting
to seduce women in the confessional, etc.
It also had charge of the censorship of books,
auto da fe were held at which books, writings, pictures, and statues
that had incurred
the disapproval of the Holy Office were consigned to the flames.
Enormous damage was done to literature, art,
by this particular activity of the Inquisition. Valuable products of
were destroyed and suppressed or stifled in their birth, and works of
inventions that might have secured for Spain a place in the foremost
ranks of the
civilized nations were never conceived. This having continued for many
the very brain of the nation became atrophied, and it will take
unhappy Spain will be able to cleanse her life blood from the poison
it as a result of the many centuries of spiritual slavery and
This leads us to speak of the consequences of
The six centuries of the reign of the Holy
the most terrible and widespread consequences in Spain. The Inquisition
Spain's dominions millions of her most useful subjects; it depopulated
towns, and districts; it even changed the national character. Let us
what Burke has to say on this matter in his "History of Spain" [Lib
Vol 1, Vol 2]:
"The work of the
Inquisition, while it tended, no doubt, to make men orthodox, tended
also to make
them false, and suspicious, and cruel. Before the middle of the
the Holy Office had profoundly affected the national character; and the
who had been celebrated in Europe during countless centuries for every
became, in the new world that had been given to him, no less notorious
for a cruelty
beyond the imagination of a Roman emperor and a rapacity beyond the
dreams of a
We have no doubt that Spain would not have
so rapidly and would still be a first-rate power had she not had her
sapped by the Inquisition. Compared with the terrible injury wrought to
and nation by that institution; the destruction of the Armada, was but
incident which a rich and powerful country could have remedied
in order to repeat the attempt with better success under more favorable
Now we shall give a short account of the
the Inquisition on the Masonic Order, confining our attention to Spain,
with a few
brief references to Portugal, and to the 18th and 19th century. We
not allude to the persecution of the Knights Templar, who suffered such
torments at the hands of the Inquisition.
In 1738, Pope Clement XII excommunicated all
in the bull "In eminenti," [Lib 1738] and two years after, in 1740,
Philip V, king of Spain,
published a royal decree which was the first blow struck at Freemasonry
Many Freemasons were arrested and sent to the galleys where, laden with
ill fed and worse treated, they were compelled to toil at the oars
In 1751, immediately upon the publication of the bull "Providas
[Lib 1751] Ferdinand VI of Spain
issued a still more severe edict against the Order, and now the
to wage a merciless war against Freemasonry. We translate the following
"Ritual del Maestro Mason" (Madrid, 1909) [Lib*], an official
of the Spanish Grand Orient:
reached their height in Spain in 1751, as a result of the new anathema
by Benedict and the denunciations of an ambitious, malevolent friar
named Jose Torrubia,
who, desirous of obtaining a bishopric as reward for his services, had
to exterminate Freemasonry. He quickly rose to revisor and censor of
the Holy Office,
which latter ordered him to enter a lodge under an assumed name, after
from the Papal Penitentiary a dispensation authorizing him to take any
might be required of him. This Torrubia actually did, and soon
thereafter he began
to visit lodge after lodge in the peninsula until he had gathered all
he required for the execution of his infamous plan. Having achieved
he presented to the Tribunal of the Inquisition a terrible denunciation
of the labors
of Freemasonry, accompanied by a list of ninety-seven lodges, with the
roll of each.
"As a result of this denunciation, hundreds of
Freemasons were arrested and many were tortured by the Inquisition."
In his "Histoire de l'Inquisition," [Lib 1827 (pp 526)] Llorente
gives an account of the prosecution of a Monsieur Tournon, in 1757.
This man, a
Parisian, had been called to Madrid by the Spanish government to
workmen in the making of brass buckles. One of his pupils denounced him
to the Holy
Office as a heretic, alleging that Tournon had endeavored to induce him
to become Freemasons. Tournon had shown them diplomas or charts on
and astronomical instruments were depicted, and this had caused them to
magic, "in which belief they were confirmed when they heard the
contained in the oath that, according to Tournon, they would have to
take to preserve
profound secrecy regarding all they should see or hear in the lodges."
Tournon was arrested on May 20th, 1757.
Upon being interrogated by the tribunal, he
admitted that he was a Freemason and had been one for twenty years. He
he did not know whether there were any lodges in Spain; that he was a
that he saw nothing in Freemasonry that interfered with his religion,
and that it
was not true that Freemasonry taught religious indifference. Here are a
few of the
questions and answers:
oath must a person take in order to become
He swears to preserve secrecy.
Concerning things which it is inadvisable to
this oath accompanied by execrations?
One consents to suffer all evils and penalties
that may afflict body and soul if one should ever violate the
obligation taken under
what importance is this obligation that it is
considered justifiable to take an oath with such fearful execrations?
It is of importance for the good order in the
is going on in those lodges that might make
trouble if it were made public?
Nothing, if you judge things without bias and
However, as there is a general mistaken impression on this subject,
care must be
taken to prevent malicious interpretations, and these would surely
arise if one
told everything that is going on in the lodges on the days when the
The inquisitors further asked Tournon whether
Saint John was the patron saint of Freemasons; whether it was true that
moon, and stars were held in reverence in the lodges and were
why a crucifix, a skull, and a dead human body were present in the
lodge room during
initiations, and other questions more.
Tournon having answered all these questions
to the truth, in the most frank and intelligent manner, he was informed
answers were false and untrue, and was admonished, for the sake of the
owed to God and the Holy Virgin, to say the truth and confess to the
religious indifference, the superstitious errors which had caused him
to mix the
sacred with the profane, and the error of idolatry which had induced
him to worship
the heavenly bodies. If he confessed and repudiated all these errors,
the Holy Office
would use clemency in his case, otherwise he would be prosecuted with
all the rigor
authorized against heretics.
Tournon remained firm in his attitude during
hearings of his case. He finally stated, however, that nothing was left
to him but
to "admit that he had been in the wrong and to confess his ignorance of
dangerous spirit of the statutes and customs of Freemasonry; that he
all that he had testified in so far as he had said that he had never
was anything contrary to the Catholic religion in what he had done as a
but as it was possible that he had erred, owing to his ignorance of
dogmas, he was ready to disavow all heresies into which he might have
prayed to be absolved from censure and promised to undergo such penance
be imposed upon him."
In December, 1757, judgment was pronounced upon
Tournon, convicting him of the errors of religious indifference,
and pagan practices; but in view of his offer to recant, he escaped
with a comparatively
light sentence. A private auto da fe was held in the court rooms of the
attended by such persons as had received permission from the senior
and there Tournon had his sentence read to him, received a reprimand
from the senior
inquisitor, abjured all his heretical errors, read and signed a
declaration of his
faith, and promised to sever all connections with Freemasonry or suffer
He was sentenced to one year of imprisonment, at the expiration of
which he was
to be expelled from Spain, and to undergo certain spiritual exercises.
Then Freemasonry had a breathing spell and
spread. In 1767, the first Grand Lodge was constituted in Spain, and in
1780 a Grand
Orient was organized there. The following years, however, saw a change
for the worse.
The first Grand Master of Spain, the Count of Aranda, a minister under
was banished in 1794 by Charles IV. In the neighboring Portugal the
of Freemasonry reached the greatest violence in 1792. "Queen Isabel,
by her confessor, ordered the governor of the island of Madera to
deliver over to
the Tribunal of the Holy Office all members of the Masonic Order who
could be found.
But few of the families of Freemasons succeeded in escaping the fury of
by fleeing to Europe or taking refuge in America. In 1809 the
persecution was renewed
as a result of the constant agitations of the Catholic priests, who so
fanatical populace that at Lisbon the mob vilely murdered a large
number of Freemasons
who were following the funeral of a brother mason… In 1817, the Grand
Portugal had to dissolve again on account of the edicts of King John
VI, of 1818
and 1823, the first of which assigned imprisonment and the second death
as the penalty
for every Portuguese found to be a Freemason." (Ritual del Maestro
A new era seemed to have dawned for Freemasonry
when Napoleon I. conquered the country and abolished the Inquisition.
flourished exceedingly under the protection of the French invader and
for a brief
period after the French had been ousted. The Cortes of Cadiz, which
first Spanish constitution, were largely composed of Freemasons. When
came, however, the Inquisition was re-established and another period of
persecution set in for Freemasonry. In 1814, Ferdinand VII ordered all
Some continued to meet secretly, however. In 1815, lodges were raided
and Malaga and the brethren apprehended were cast into the prisons of
During the next few years the persecutions became extremely cruel and
"In 1819, a Lodge was surprised at Murcia; the
brethren, nearly all persons of distinction, died from the tortures
them by the Inquisition, except the illustrious lawyer Brother Romero
whose strong constitution enabled him to withstand the cruel suffering
and who was
released, the same as the other persons who were imprisoned because
they were Freemasons,
by virtue of a decree of the Provisional Government of 1820." (Ritual
In 1820, Ferdinand VII of Spain fixed death on
as the penalty for membership in the Masonic Order, and when a Lodge
at Granada, in 1825, all the members were hanged and the candidate, who
yet been initiated, was sent to the galleys. In 1828, the Marquis of
and Captain Alvarez de Sotomayor perished on the scaffold because they
had not come
forward and denounced themselves as being Freemasons. In 1829, a Lodge
at Barcelona; the Master was hanged, some of the brethren were sent to
life, and others were sentenced to less severe penalties.
In 1832, at last, the liberal government,
with the aid of Freemasons, issued a general amnesty for all offenders
of this class
and Masonry flourished once more. A new period of trial began in 1849
and many persons
were deported or sent to prison for their connection with the Masonic
the September revolution (1868) came and put a final stop to these
An attempt was made to renew them after the uprising of the natives of
Islands (1896), as a result of which the Grande Oriente Espaniol was
having fostered the separatist movement and fathered the "Katipunan,"
[Lib 1902] a nave revolutionary
society patterned on Masonry so far as matters of form and organization
His attempt fell flat, however.
While the persecutions last mentioned cannot,
be charged to the Inquisition, yet they were, to a certain degree, the
upshot of the bitter war which that defunct institution had waged
for so many years.
This concludes our brief study of the
its influence on humanity in general and the Masonic Order in
The thought that it will have inspired his
in Freemasonry with thoughts of gratitude and admiration towards those
and died for the cause in the days gone by is alone sufficient to
author for the time and effort which he has devoted to this subject.
The Masonic Relief Association
of the United States and Canada
(Note. By the courtesy of Brother Willis D.
we are in receipt of the following historical sketch of this
effective work in behalf of a saner Masonic Charity is perhaps little
known to the
rank and file of the Craft. In apprehending frauds, impostors and
and systematically caring for worthy cases it has developed exceptional
hence the constantly increasing support which it is receiving. Its next
meeting will be held at Omaha, September 25-27, 1917. By following the
suggestions with which Brother Engle closes this article, our Brethren
can in most
cases protect themselves against deception.)
THE institution of Free and Accepted Masonry,
fundamental principle is charity, has for many years, in this country
and in Europe,
carried on the work of charitable relief in a manner that encouraged
and, in a measure, tended to increase the fast multiplying class that
seeks to live
without mental or physical effort. The mere application of a man who
in the fraternity, for money, was amply sufficient to accomplish the
and many unscrupulous men (women also), with improper claims, have
managed to secure
a good living upon the well-known benevolent desires of the craft.
The majority of Masons now living remember the
when the legitimate business of every lodge session was interrupted by
for relief at the lodge door, which was always followed by the
appointment of a
committee to wait upon the applicant, the report of the committee after
superficial examination, and then the invariable contribution, with all
routine in connection therewith. Though this practice is still in
operation in the
small towns and villages of the country, nearly every city has learned
a wiser and better plan of giving relief. In almost every large center
there is now a Masonic Board of Relief, organized upon a systematic
basis, and managed
by Masons of experience and good judgment. The majority of these Boards
are operating upon a system recommended by this Association and by
have made Masonic relief a study of years, so that the practical part
of the general
plan has become a matter of uniform action.
Though these Boards of Relief, when operating
to the recommendations made, have proven the value of organization and
have succeeded in reducing the aggregate of donations to the improper
and thus accomplished a saving that cannot, for obvious reasons, be
but which is vast, still an isolated Board of Relief, acting
independently, is incapable
in itself of affording protection to the funds placed at its disposal
disbursement against more than a small fraction of the unworthy. The
this inability is sufficiently clear to need little explanation beyond
in the monthly circulars now issued.
Before the organization of this Association it
by comparison of notes, that at least sixty percent of the applicants
were unworthy for various reasons, chiefly because of unaffiliation -
of all evils Masonry has had to contend against in its progressive
The conditions attending the disbursement of
funds, and the necessity of establishing some kind of a check upon the
the unworthy, were laid before several Grand Lodges with the view to
authorized or concerted action whereby relief might be systematized,
Pursuant to a call authorized by the Grand
Maryland, signed by representatives of the Masonic Relief Boards of
Cincinnati, New York City, St. Louis, and Wilmington, Del., a
convention met in
Baltimore, August 31st, 1885, when representatives of twelve Relief
the General Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada.
It was a
day of small things, but the foundations were carefully and
upon which has been builded this Association, numbering among its
members most of
the Grand Lodges in North America.
While among its active workers have been
Masons from all portions of the country except the extreme West, who,
owing to their
distance from the places of meeting have not been able to actively
the deliberations of the Association, yet the hearty co-operation of
both in the Mountain states and on the Pacific slope has been had.
The growth of the Association has been a steady
demonstrating the good work that it has done and is doing, and the
thereof by the Fraternity generally. This will be shown by the
statement of its membership.
|| Grand Lodges
|| Relief Boards
There have been over 6,000 original cases
some of them traveling under different aliases, while there have been
reports concerning men already recorded, many of them being cases where
been detected by our circulars which contain the pictures of over 200
Where Claim For Relief Lies
Every Master Mason is obligated to contribute
relief of a worthy brother in distress to the limit of his ability.
While this is
a personal obligation assumed by every Master Mason, yet, in order that
relief may be systematized, the worthy provided for, and the unworthy
against, the usual practice is for the relief work to be done through
A brother's claim for relief primarily rests
lodge of which he is a member, and every lodge should, to the extent of
extend relief to its own members in distress wherever they may be.
However, if a
lodge to which a non-resident worthy brother belongs is unable, or
relieve him, he has a claim upon any brother to whom he may apply. But,
before stated, such work is usually assumed by the Lodge within whose
jurisdiction the brother resides. While the obligation to relieve
upon the lodge to which a brother belongs, any brother, lodge, or
relief board extending
relief to an applicant has no legal claim – although a moral one –
against the lodge
to which such brother belongs, unless it is specifically authorized to
How to Handle Applications
In communities where there is but one lodge, a
committee should be appointed; where there are two or more lodges, a
or board should be organized. This committee or board should designate
to whom all applicants should be referred for investigation and
This brother, hereafter called "The Officer," should be centrally
and easily accessible. The brethren should be instructed to refrain
any assistance whatever to strangers claiming to be Masons, emergencies
The Officer should be provided with our warning circulars, list of
and uniform application blanks.
When the applicant reaches the Officer,
must be handled according to the demands of the situation, but when
there is time
for careful investigation, the general procedure to be adopted is as
Allow the applicant
to tell his story in full and produce documentary evidence. It is not
to indulge in ritualistic examinations. Advise applicant all
applications must be
handled according to uniform code. Get out application blank and fill
out all blanks
on body and secure signature of applicant. Next consult this list of
lodges to see
if the lodge given exists. Also consult warning circulars. If applicant
reported, dismiss, or, if justified, arrest him. If not reported,
you will wire at once to the Secretary of his Lodge to establish his
this point many applications will be withdrawn, in which case write a
the Secretary, simply stating that So-and-So, claiming membership,
called. If the
applicant is a fraud, this will be sufficient to call out an answer,
and, if he
is in good standing, it will not disclose the nature of his visit. If
is not withdrawn, wire or have Secretary wire at once (day or night
letter is recommended)
to lodge (see sample telegram attached) and be governed by answer.
answer, furnish order on restaurant for meals (also for room, if
do not give cash. It is better to spend $5.00 to investigate rather
than 50 cents
on a chance. Request applicant to return later. Frauds seldom return.
Whenever a fraud is discovered, report by
Rev. W.D. Engle, Secretary, Masonic Temple, Indianapolis, Ind., giving
Be careful in case of foreigners. It is
to refuse relief unless a certificate and dues receipt are produced.
Never give money, if other relief is available
The same care should be taken in case applicant
to be member of family, widow, or orphan of a Mason.
Secretary Boaz Lodge Sixteen (use title only),
John Smith, engineer,
claiming membership your lodge, age thirty, height five ten, weight one
hair and eyes, dark complexion, Roman nose, scar over left eye, applies
(vary to suit occasion) Wire standing, worthiness and instructions.
MASONIC RELIEF BOARD,
of Ionic Lodge No. 40, F. & A. M.
Memorials to Great Men Who
By Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P.G.M.,
District of Columbia
ON the second of December, 1907, Congressman
of Alabama, introduced Bill No. 539 into the 60th Congress, asking an
of Public Money of $50,000, to erect in the Capital City of the Nation
to the memory of Jeremiah O'Brien, upon the pedestal of which should be
to the memory
The Heroic Irish-American
In the first sea fight of
The Revolutionary War
The British Schooner Margharetta.
The writer has been informed, by Mr. Wiley,
bill was exploited, lobbied, etc., by members of the Ancient Order of
and Knights of Columbus, who were proud of their hero and urgent in
in favor of the bill.
The "hearings" before the committee on Library,
in favor of the appropriation, were very complimentary to Captain
O'Brien, and quite
convincing of his heroism, patriotism, etc.
Captain O'Brien, however, was not Irish, as
believed, but was born and raised in the State of Maine.
During the month of June, 1775, a small British
schooner visited the Harbor of Machias: it was the Margharetta. O'Brien
her on the 12th of June, with several smaller vessels, armed with
pitch forks, axes, and one small cannon. The armament of the
Margharetta was far
superior, being "sixteen swivels and four four-pounders," but the
carried her by boarding. The fight was bloody but of short duration,
was the first sea-fight of that war.
O'Brien used the battery of the Margharetta in
vessels in "raiding" the enemy's vessels in the bay of Fundy, and
New Foundland and Halifax, which waters he faithfully patrolled. The
used, though smaller than the Margharetta, were faster sailers, which
was much to
their advantage. He encountered the Dilligence, the Fatmagouche and
tender, which came to Machias to retake the Margharetta, and he beat
The Committee on Library, in the House of
to whom the bill was referred for consideration and report, was
informed that Jeremiah
O'Brien was a pew holder and attendant of the Congregational Church at
of which his father was one of the founders, and that Jeremiah O'Brien
was a charter
member of Warren Lodge at Machias. This they probably communicated to
of the bill, for they as suddenly abandoned it and the committee never
the bill, pro nor con.
O'Brien served six years as a member of the
Congress, and was held in high esteem. He died in 1858, at the age of
and was buried in the protestant cemetery at Machias, and the memorial,
the cut, though not so ostentatious as the one asked for by the
is sufficient to identify the individual, who was not an Irish-American
The Stars and Stripes
Did you ever stop to consider what our national
represents to the true patriot? In form a memorial of events of supreme
in our history, it is a symbol of the national life itself, of the
power which binds
us into one cohesive whole. It represents not only the traditions, the
the struggles and victories of the past, and our love and devotion of
our institution and privileges and the liberty we enjoy, but it
represents and symbolizes
our faith in and hope for the future.
The Flag always represents the ideal State. No
how great injustice we may think we suffer at the hands of those who
wield the powers
of government at the time, the flag yet remains undimmed. We struggle
not to raise the National Emblem to a higher standard, but to raise
society to the
standard of the ideal nation of which our flag is the sign and symbol.
how far we may go, our National Banner holds a vision of a yet brighter
a vision of an ideal future which is a truly Masonic ideal, when
and Fraternity shall reign supreme.
Correspondence Circle Bulletin
– No. 10
DEVOTED TO THE "STUDY SIDE OF MASONRY"
Edited By Bro. Robert I.
The Lodge and the Candidate
Part I, Proposing and
(Note. The following article is one of a series
by the Editor for reading and discussion in Lodges and Study Clubs.
is based upon the Society's "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." Each
we present a leading article supplemented by a list of references on
the same subject.
Commencing with this issue, we also append a column of "Helpful Hints
Club Leaders," which we hope will assist those already doing this work,
inspire others to do likewise. This innovation is in line with the
of stimulating active Masonic study.
We recommend that Lodges and Study Clubs use
paper at their meeting one month after it is received. This gives time
study by the members; it also permits the preparation of additional
the references. In the original presentation of this paper, if it is
read a paragraph
at a time, and fully discussed as you proceed, you will find that each
get more out of it. By this plan, the leader can bring out the
listed under "Helpful Hints," as you go along, and the discussion will
perhaps be more to the point than otherwise.
The Bulletin Course may be taken up at this
profitably as elsewhere. The previous lessons may be considered review
Encyclopedia and the bound volumes of THE BUILDER remain the necessary
others will from time to time be given; rare references will be
reprinted in THE
BULLETIN. YOUR LODGE can undertake systematic Masonic study with small
dollars, but large returns to your membership, if you will let us
assist you. Our
"STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT" is organized for that purpose.
Address Geo. L. Schoonover, Secretary, Anamosa,
THE very word "candidate" has a special
It means one clothed in white. As a symbol the color reference is
as it does the stainless and unblemished. It is also a reminder of the
all which that emblem teaches.
One who applies for the degrees of Masonry must
of his own free will and accord. He cannot be solicited to become a
member. No invitation
in any form is offered to him. Of all the requirements for a clear
one is in the most rigorous class.
A petition for the degrees is usually in brief
It recites that the petitioner has long had a favorable opinion of the
and if found worthy is desirous of being admitted a member; that he
the existence of a Supreme Being; that he has (or has not) before
petitioned a Lodge
of Free and Accepted Masons for admission; that he has lived in the
since the date he sets forth in the petition; states when and where he
and also gives his occupation. To this document there is appended his
and usually two Masonic endorsers.
Of course it is only to be expected that the
of the application are able of their own knowledge to verify some, if
not all, of
the statements made in the document to which they have attached their
It is not altogether reasonable that as witnesses their names are
merely to be accepted
as deposing that if required they can prove the identity of the person
Changes Due To New Conditions
For a number of years there has been a tendency
the forms of petition for the degrees and that the method of
investigation be extended
and in general improved. That the candidate shall be more thoroughly
put upon record
in certain essential particulars is the object of these developments.
this paper I have presented a simple form of application and now I
offer the clauses
found in the application adopted in Pennsylvania so far as these are
"Name in full....
Date of birth......
Occupation (state specifically and in detail
of the occupation)......
Residence of petitioner (give street and
Where I have continuously resided since ......
My former residences were
Place of birth.......
Name of employer ....
Date of signature...........Signed......
"I recommend the petitioner as worthy, and
that I have been personally acquainted with him for....years
"I recommend the applicant as worthy, and
that I have been personally acquainted with him for.....years
Presentation of the Petition
This petition accompanied with the fee
the bylaws of the Lodge is presented at a communication of that body.
If no sufficient
objection, orally or in writing, is addressed openly to the Lodge or
to the Master, the petition is received and acted upon to the extent of
a Committee of Investigation. The Committee makes suitable inquiries
at a succeeding communication of a Lodge. Some difference of opinion
arise as to what are "suitable" avenues of investigation for the
Committee of Investigation
Whether the endorsers know much or little about
petitioner does not release the members of the Committee of
Investigation from the
full share of responsibility for a thorough inquiry into the worthiness
of the applicant
to receive the Masonic degrees in the Lodge to which he has applied for
The Essential Requirements
What are these essential requirements?
The Ancient Charges exact only the broadest of
"That religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular
themselves; that is, to be good men and true, or men of honor and
honesty, by whatever
persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the
center of union,
and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons that must
at a perpetual distance."
My own State (Ohio) interprets this in its Code
religious test shall ever be required of any applicant for the benefits
other than a steadfast belief in the existence and perfection of Deity;
and no lodge
under this Jurisdiction shall receive any candidate without the
such belief." Of course the Ohio Code also accepts as law the foregoing
from the old Charges.
It is also provided by the same State Code that
his reception into the Lodge of Entered Apprentices, the candidate must
to respond of his own accord that in times of difficulty and danger he
God. The Masonic requirement is in the expression of faith and trust –
God and trust in His protection – and if the candidate does not so
respond he should
be conducted from the Lodge." The Code further recites that "Masonry is
above sectarianism and embraces all who acknowledge a belief in God."
Sundry other qualifications are not so
upon as is the matter of religious faith, though even in that important
there are a very few instances where the rigor of the situation is
We are also informed by the old Charges that
persons admitted members of a Lodge must be good and true men, freeborn
and of mature
and discreet age, bondmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, but
of good report."
At least one great Masonic jurisdiction no
this paragraph in its entirety. England uses "free" instead of
Just what is "mature and discreet age" may
be variously estimated. Most jurisdictions specify twenty-one years as
Exceptions have been known. The son of a Mason was of old known as a
Lewis and was
privileged to become a member at an earlier age than other applicants
for the degrees.
Among the other regulations are that the
shall be of good and honest parentage, and that they have "right and
limbs and able of body to attend the said science."
Many hold that the individual must be judged by
own acts and therefore this old stipulation as to legitimate birth no
as tenaciously as of yore. There is also great difference of opinion
and of practice
with regard to the matter of what is sometimes called "physical
One jurisdiction has gone on record with the following: "A candidate
degree of Entered Apprentice should be able physically, as well as
of himself and without exterior aid or assistance from another, to
receive and impart
all the essentials for Masonic recognition." It is obviously impossible
on the printed page to specify in detail all that the candidate will be
as to the requirements of Masonic recognition.
Some Grand Lodges are much more insistent than
as to the extent of bodily imperfection that may prevail in order to
the applicant. It is usually held that the question only arises before
receives the Entered Apprentice degree. Should he by some accident
to initiation suffer mutilation, this is sufficient cause in eight
Jurisdictions for arresting his further advancement.
The Doctrine of "Physical
The Grand Master of Alabama, in 1915, in his
report dealt with the physical and other qualifications after this wise:
"One of the first
lessons taught the initiate is that 'it is the internal and not the
of a man which recommend him to be made a Mason,' and yet, we are prone
any little stain on the moral character, and waive any defect in the
of a petitioner which renders him incapable of properly understanding
the principles of our fraternity. We are not willing to sit in judgment
intellectual attainments – or rather, the lack of them – of one who
desires to connect
himself with our ancient and honorable institution, but we never
overlook a stiff
knee, nor waive the loss of a foot, nor the first joint of a thumb. In
we deny membership to many men of big brains and warm hearts; men of
character; men whose mental ability and intellectual attainments would
be of great
benefit to the craft and of greater benefit to the world by reason of
with us, and their help in the great work in which we are engaged.
that an acceptable petitioner shall be 'perfect in member' comes to us
days of operative Masonry when there was, probably, good reason
therefor, but has
little to recommend it now except its antiquity, and, as I view it,
with so little
to recommend it, and so much to condemn it, it is time that we modify
it, even at
the risk of shattering what might be termed a landmark."
I believe that intellectually, morally, and
the effect upon the candidate and upon the craft would be beneficial if
or modifying the present law concerning physical perfection or
look more closely into the intellectual, moral, and social
qualifications of the
petitioner, and admit those who are worthy and well qualified from
and waive such slight physical requirements as now prohibit the
reception of a petitioner
who cannot perfectly exemplify our ritual. I therefore recommend:
"That our constitutions
and edicts be so amended that the question of physical qualifications
or advancement be left to the subordinate petitioned lodge, subject to
of the Grand Master."
The suggestion bore fruit. An amendment adopted
reads as follows:
lodge shall proceed to confer any or either of the degrees of Masonry
upon any person
who is not a man, freeborn, of the age of twenty-one years or upward,
of good reputation,
of sufficient natural and intellectual endowment, with an estate,
or some other obvious source of honest subsistence, from which he may
be able to
spare something for works of charity and for maintaining the ancient
utility of the Masonic institution. If the petitioner be physically
reason of deformity or being maimed, his eligibility shall be
determined by the
lodge to which he has applied, and if determined favorably to the
shall be eligible to receive the degrees of Masonry when the action of
has been approved by the Grand Master in writing."
It is the law in Indiana that "The Grand Master
may with the consent of the Committee on Jurisprudence allow lodges to
ballot on petitions for membership of those who can by the aid of
conform to the ceremonies of the order."
Since the adoption of this law in 1911, the
number of such petitions has not exceeded eight in any one year.
Indiana has a membership
of over seventy thousand Masons and therefore the ratio of the
imperfect" is numerically very small. Probably the method employed acts
some extent to deter or at least to lessen the number of applications
the official approval required of those who are not influenced by the
equation. They do not have an acquaintance with the applicants other
than is requisite
to understand the extent of the bodily defect. Hasty and ill-advised
appear to be checked in every way by the Indiana method.
A special form has been prepared for Indiana
which makes it easy to compile and submit such data concerning every
will enable the Grand Master and the Committee on Jurisprudence to pass
upon the merits or the demerits of each case.
Says the Committee:
"We must remember
that we should not encourage this class of applicants any more than we
the applicants who are physically perfect, nor should we encourage them
that this amendment gives them an inalienable right to the blessed
our institution. Let them understand that this is a favor to be
bestowed only upon
those whose mental, moral, and social endowments have more than
the loss they have sustained in the physical."
In Massachusetts the law in reference to
is expressed thus:
"If the physical
deformity of any applicant for the degrees does not amount to an
inability to meet
the requirements of the ritual, and honestly to acquire the means of
it shall constitute no hindrance to his initiation." Grand Master
the significance of this regulation to be that "The physical defect of
candidate, whatever it may be, shall not be such as to render him
incapable of receiving
and imparting instruction, nor of performing any duties that may be
him in his capacity or vocation as a Mason. No such maim or defect of
the body as
the loss of an eye, an ear, a finger, or other member not essential to
of his Masonic duties, or to his personal maintenance, does any
violence to the
spirit and original intent of this regulation, and, in the opinion of
no other construction can be put upon it consistently with the higher
humanity, justice, and equality."
Additional Data for the
Some lodges in Ohio provide an additional
questions in order that investigating committees may be more thorough
out the character and reputation of applicants for membership.
Sometimes these questions
are printed on the backs of the petitions or reports. Under the heading
of Applicants" there is stated:
shall, collectively if possible, visit the Petitioner in his home and
to answer the following questions: "Do you pay your debts?” "Do you use
profane or indecent language, gamble, associate with improper persons,
in intoxicating liquors, own or tend a saloon?
"If married, do
you live with your family?
"Do you believe
in the ever-living and true God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures?
"To what Organizations
or Associations do you belong?
The committee shall then ascertain from outside
"If he is temperate
in all his habits.
"If his neighbors,
acquaintances and employers give him a good character.
"If he is mercenary,
narrow-minded, arbitrary, or a disturbing element.
"If he is physically
qualified to receive the degrees.
"If he has sufficient
education to understand that Freemasonry is to improve in knowledge, to
the social virtues, and to practice out of the lodge the great moral
precepts taught in it.
"If the Organizations
to which he belongs would circumscribe or prevent his usefulness in the
With the very broad scope of these queries
nevertheless omitted any mention of the provision to be made by the
the future welfare of those dependent upon him. The Grand Lodge of New
the applicant to satisfy the Committee of Investigation regarding the
or other provision for the family in case of the death or permanent
Among the recommendations of Grand Master
Missouri submitted to his Grand Lodge during the annual communication
of 1915 was
one that suggested that committees of investigation be required to
answer the following
questions with reference to applicants for the degrees:
"Has the applicant
resided in Missouri twelve months and in the jurisdiction of the lodge
"Is he mentally
qualified and of proper age?
"Is he strictly
honest and truthful?
"Is he addicted
to the intemperate use of intoxicating liquors?
"Does he gamble?
"What is the character
of his company and associates?
"Does he habitually
use profane or indecent language?
"Has he licentious
or immoral habits?
"Is he a law-abiding
"Do you consider
him suitable material for 'a beautiful system of morals"'?
Lodges in New Jersey have an application blank
the following directions and questions which the investigating
committee is in every
case charged with the duty of having duly and properly observed and
are appointed a committee to investigate the character and eligibility
for membership in our lodge.
information will guide you in performing your duty: "He is in business
(employed by) .... located at ...... He resides at ..........
"You will obtain
from said petitioner full and correct answers to the following
of parents.” Names of brothers and sisters. "Where has he resided
past ten years? (If more than one place, give places and periods of
"Does he appear to possess sufficient intelligence to understand and
the doctrines and tenets of our order? "What are the names and
all his employers for the past two years, and the periods and nature of
employments? "Is he married or single? "If married, is he living with
his wife? "If not living with his wife, state the reason for
he any children? If so, how many? "What provision has he made for
his family in case of his disability or death? "Does he contribute to
necessities of those who want, and is it his purpose to practice
charity so far
as his circumstances will permit? "Has he ever been convicted of a
so, state the circumstances and result. "Is he physically qualified to
a member of the order? "What three responsible persons, Masons
known him the most intimately, and for the longest time? "Said
report the results of its investigation to the lodge in the following
shall be properly filled in: "Your committee appointed upon the
Mr......... would report that they called personally upon such
petitioner, and have
called or communicated by letter with persons named in answer to
and fourteen, and have received the following answers: (Give report of
"From .................... "From ....................
"We are satisfied
that the answers in his statement contained are.... true; that his
morals, and general reputation and standing in the community in which
are such that he is ....qualified as a proper candidate for Masonry,
and that there
are ..... reasons to the knowledge of your committee why the prayer of
should not be granted."
Details so elaborate may for many accustomed to
simpler forms appear unnecessary. On the other hand it has in fact
the wrong man has been under investigation and that the lodge has
thereby been constrained
to vote improperly. In this instance the two men were of the same name
but not related
and both resided within the jurisdiction of the lodge to which an
tendered. The whole proceedings were subsequently officially declared
null and void.
The Grand Master found that "The committee did not report on the
placed in their hands nor did the lodge vote on the petition of the man
Accordingly there was but the one thing to do and the lodge received
explicit instructions: "Let the committee do its duty, make report on
man, and let the lodge vote on the proper petition."
Iris Lodge, No. 229, of Cleveland, Ohio, uses
blank for the petitioner's application for membership. When this
petition is received
the Secretary sends the applicant another printed blank which he is to
and return. This latter blank bears the name and address of the Lodge
and of its
Secretary an otherwise is as follows:
"Dear Sir: – I
am in receipt of your application to Iris Lodge. Will you kindly supply
to the following questions and return the form to me in the enclosed
your earliest convenience:
"Date of Birth
Place of Birth
"How long have
you lived in Cleveland ............
"How long have
you lived in Ohio .................
give Employer's name ...............
or Widower ......................
"If married, how
many in family ..................
"Do you attend
any Church ........................
"If so, which
"Do you belong
to any Secret Societies ............
"If so, which
"Give names of
three men to whom you can refer, other than those already on the
......................... Address "Name .........................
......................... Address .........................
"Have you ever
made application to a Masonic Lodge before ............
"Give any other
information that will be of assistance to the Committee."
The effect of the last line in the foregoing
be to encourage the applicant to make a more thorough search through
to the preceding questions and to supply additional data where his
may have been scanty of particulars.
In all these investigations there is the object
a sense of absolute confidence within the lodge must be satisfied. To
end the candidate is called upon for all the necessary details of these
essential to Masonic raw material. Systematization of the work of
simplifies the labors of the Committees, produces uniformity of
results, and do
much to provide that nothing of value has been over looked. When these
much to be
desired results are obtained the lodge can then proceed to ballot
of its ground the lodge then builds upon firm foundation the edifice
worthy candidate being by its labor fitted to the purpose of the Craft.
Helpful Hints to Study Club
Proposing and Recommending.
Under this heading we consider all of the
surrounding a candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry, his
qualifications, and the
duties of the Lodge with respect to a proper consideration of his
following points should be thoroughly brought out in the Club
discussion. In addition,
we append some questions dealing with the more general policies of a
will serve, as we think, to form in the mind of a student a correct
opinion on these
a complete and legal Petition for the Mysteries of Masonry?
a Petition come before the Lodge? What are the successive steps which
it must take
before finally being acted upon?
the duties of the Recommenders to a Petition?
the duties of the Committee on Investigation?
a candidate reside in order to petition a Lodge? What determines the
of a Lodge? When and where is jurisdiction referred to as "concurrent"?
the doctrine of "Physical Perfection." What is the law in your own
on the subject?
In the olden
time Lodges were small, and the members knew all candidates personally.
do modern conditions justify a Committee on Investigation in asking for
information regarding a candidate? In cities and towns with a
population would you regard the lists of supplemental questions in this
fact that a candidate has presented his petition to a Lodge be kept
from the general
the necessity of proper decorum in the ante-room and preparation room.
be the attitude of all the Brethren of a Lodge toward a candidate whose
the Lodge the right to try to learn whether or not a candidate will
seriously? Should the petitioner's motives be included in the list of
What is meant by "preparation in the heart"?
- Which policy
is best for Masonry, charging a high initiation fee, say from $50.00 to
or a relatively low fee, from $25.00 to $40.00?
the "human nature" element. Which do we value most, things that cost us
enough to demand sacrifice, or things which cost us little?
- Is the establishment
of a relatively high fee for the degrees in any sense placing a "money
- How far
may a Lodge be said to place its own valuation upon the work which it
it establishes the fee to be charged?
- Ought not
every Lodge to place itself in such a financial position that it can
charitable obligations to its members? What are these obligations?
- Ought not
every candidate to be presented by the Lodge with enough good Masonic
so that he may come to a full understanding of what Masonry is, and
what it should
mean to him?
the question of Lodge Dues as related to the above.
- Bring out
the fact that, though the candidate is presently to assume an
obligation to the
Lodge, the Lodge is also, through its W. M., to assume the same
the candidate. This being true, the Lodge MUST determine for itself the
of a candidate which tend to make him either worthy or unworthy of the
imposed by initiation.
Committee on Investigation, THE BUILDER, vol.
p. 254. Preliminary Statements of Candidate, THE BUILDER, vol.
Soliciting, THE BUILDER,
vol. I, p. 40. Qualifications, THE BUILDER, vol. I, pp. 126, 242, 248;
pp. 17, 30, 239, 274, 277, 350; (Cor.) pp. 95, 160, 191, 318; (Lib.) p.
B.) pp. 317, 381. Old Constitutions of Freemasonry, 1722, p. 15
Builders," p. 127. Mackey's Encyclopedia: Candidate, Esoteric Masonry,
Proposing Candidates, Recommendation, Residence, Qualifications of a
Jurisdiction of a Lodge, Physical Qualifications. Mackey's Text Book of
Jurisprudence, Book I, Chapter ii. The student is also referred to the
on "Physical Qualifications" in this issue of THE BUILDER.
Qualifications of a Candidate
What Is Freemasonry?
It is a society of men of all classes in the
scale, all nations, races, colours, and creeds.
They must be believers in one sole, personal
Further, of good position, i.e., following some
calling. A usurer, a police-informer, the follower of any degrading
even though perfectly legal, such as a hangman, would be an impossible
because his presence would dishonour the Craft, and he would be unfit
They must be of adequate means; that is, their
must be in excess of their actual necessities. Freemasonry is always
more or less
expensive, and we hold it a Masonic crime to devote to the Craft what
by one's family.
They must be of good repute or morals. This
imply that every candidate shall be absolutely faultless; but what is
known of him
must be, on the whole, to his credit. The man of business whose
on dishonesty; the boon companion whose conviviality resolves itself
excess; the man who is often seen in doubtful company; the hotheaded
whose violence of temperament leads him to forget the respect due to
these are not desirable members of the Craft, even though their good
their bad ones. And yet, if carelessly admitted there is a likelihood
that the Craft
and its lessons may do them great good.
On the other hand, the inveterate liar, the
liver, the drunkard, the rowdy, the companion of rogues and vagabonds,
bankrupt, the gambler, the spendthrift, the betrayer of innocence, the
and the niggard, are under no circumstances fit and proper candidates
for the privileges
They must be Free. When Masonry was first
serfs and villains existed in the land. Such were not admitted to
in our lodges. In like manner we must not admit a man who is not master
of his own
time and actions. But we apply the restriction to his intellect also. A
down in the chains of superstition, unable to take a free and manly
view of matters
in general, the bondsman of priestcraft, of social laws and prejudices
of his business
avocations even or a slave to his own passions, is not a fit associate
men and Masons.
They must be sound men. When Masonry was
of operative Masons, a cripple was not admitted to apprenticeship; the
obvious. We no longer insist upon soundness of limb, provided the
fulfill our requirements; but we stipulate for mental soundness. A
Mason must have
a sound mind, capable of reasoning, of instruction, of appreciating the
of our ritual, of expressing himself clearly, of discriminating between
evil, the noble and the base.
They must be educated men. This does not imply
career, or even a board-school education. The best and truest and most
education is often acquired amongst one's fellow men in the battle of
they must be able to read and write is obvious. But they must have been
to possess the most valuable attributes of a gentleman. Not in the
false sense in which My Lord Tomnoddy would apply the word. Polished
a good tailor neither make nor mar the gentleman. Masons understand by
a man who has learnt to be considerate to all men, of a kind and
who avoids acts and words which pain his neighbors, honest in thought
the support of the weak, the vindicator of the oppressed. Such a man,
hands be horny, his boots clumsy, his gait heavy and his H's misplaced,
is a noble
man, a friend to be trusted, and will make a good Mason. If in addition
the grace and accomplishments of Lord Chesterfield, or the erudition of
will be doubly welcome; but the latter qualities, without former, are
They must be of a charitable disposition.
in giving of their superabundance, charitable in sympathy with the
body and mind, charitable in thinking no evil of friend or foe. To
virtue ever kind,
to faults a little blind.
Such should be the members of the Craft; this
ideal which every lodge should strive to attain. That in many cases we
short of this high ideal, must be attributed to the imperfections of
our human nature.
Is Freemasonry?" by G. W. Speth. [Lib 1893]
Help To Make Your Lodge
a "Live Lodge"
Most of the Lodges that have been called off
summer season will call on again this month. The great number that are
our Course of Study will resume their monthly study meetings with the
of the course in this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin. They
better prepared than ever to successfully conduct their meetings since
of the new feature, "Helpful Hints to Study Leaders."
The facilities of the Study Club Department
greatly augmented and we are now in a better position than ever before
the many questions that are being referred to us by Lodges and Study
the past ten months one of our clerks has been employed in
card-indexing the contents
of all the Masonic books, periodicals, Research Lodge transactions,
Proceedings, Encyclopedias, etc., in the Library of the Society. Four
of us have
been busy for several months on our "Clipping Bureau." In this Bureau
we are clipping and classifying under their proper titles articles of
contained in all the Masonic periodicals coming to our exchange table.
will not be completed for many months to come but we already have a
vast fund of
information for reference purposes and the card-index system and
are both in excellent working order. When both of these systems are
completed (they will both be constantly added to each month as new
material is received
from other sources), we shall have the most complete reference system
that can be
imagined, and the references on every conceivable subject having to do
in any connection will be instantly available. Every subject will have
index-card and this card will show the volume and page of every book in
in which allusion is made to the subject in particular, be it but a
or several chapters.
Take, if you please, the "Oblong Square" for
a subject. We consult our index-card and find immediately a list of
of the subject that has been made in the many volumes of the "Ars
Mackey's Encyclopedia, MacKenzie's Encyclopedia, THE BUILDER, NEW AGE,
etc. We are
also directed to the exact volume and page of every other work on
Masonry on our
Library shelves wherein anything ever appeared on this subject. We then
folder from our Clipping Bureau, containing all the clippings from the
Proceedings and Masonic and other periodicals, and we are in a position
the individual member, Lodge or Study Club referring to us a question
on this subject,
everything that has been written about it.
In addition to these facilities, we have, by an
of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, free and unlimited access
to every work
on Masonry in the archives of the greatest Masonic Library in the
world, the Iowa
Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids, where are located two of the members
of the Board
of Stewards of the National Masonic Research Society. Need we tell you
of our vast resources of Masonic reference?
Right here is where YOU, as a member of the
Society, enter into the proposition. Your own Lodge, which may not have
up this valuable and interesting feature in its meetings, is entitled,
membership in the Society, to the free services of our Study Club
you will be conferring a great favor upon your fellow-members of your
Lodge by bringing
this matter before them.
You may not be in a position to take a leading
in the study meetings yourself, but doubtless there are others among
and members of your Lodge who have the time and the inclination to do
so if the
matter is properly presented to them. May we not depend upon you to do
you cannot do more? Talk it over at the next meeting of your Lodge and
us hear from you, or if you are too busy, have your Master or some
write us for full particulars of our Study plan, and thus number your
the many hundreds that are DOING THINGS and living up to their
obligations to their
Bi-Centenary of the Grand
Lodge of England
By Bro. Dudley Wright, Ass't
Editor London Freemason
The fortunate habit, adhered to by the London
of publishing portraits of Brethren elected to preside over some of
Lodges enables us this month to present to our Members a likeness of
Wright, of London, whose graceful pen has already adorned these pages.
But for this
publication, we could not have done so, owing to the rules of the
English Post Office
prohibiting the mailing of photographs to outside countries during the
Brother Wright was installed as W. M. of Tuscan
Lodge No. 454 in London, on March 30, 1917, the brief summary of his
revealing a high conception of Masonry, and a devout sense of the
duties and responsibilities
of the office. He occupies an eminent position in English Masonry from
standpoint also, being at the present time Associate Editor of the
We hope in due time, to be able to give to our readers a more extended
this Brother, and also to explain more fully the position of Mark Mason
England, this being a branch of Freemasonry not represented in America.
Gibbon in his "History of Rome," [Lib 2013 (Vol 6, pg 283)] in relating
the story of the birth of the future deliverer of that country –
Gabrini – says that from his parents, an innkeeper and a washerwoman,
he could inherit
neither dignity nor fortune. The history of every country and of many
teems with illustrations of the manner in which gigantic structures
have risen from
the tiniest of foundations. In the same way that before now a blow has
revolution and mighty contests have arisen from trivial causes, of
which the history
of the present day is presenting the most notable illustration in all
many of the great and solid institutions which adorn the world had
almost in obscurity.
Of these institutions, perhaps the most notable
story of the Grand Lodge of England. Its origin is known but the place
of its birth
has passed away. The members of the original foundation had ambitions,
decided that "till they should have the honor of a noble Brother at
their Grand Master should be selected from among themselves. But the
of the members of those four Lodges who assembled in the upper room of
Goose and Gridiron" in St. Paul's Churchyard – a room twenty two feet
by fifteen feet broad – on the 24th June, 1717, could not have glanced
vision across the vista of two hundred years and seen those four
grow and increase until they numbered nearly four thousand. But this
great as it is, is, however, one of the smallest links in the Masonic
in that upper room, a chain which now encircles the globe. That Grand
"pro tempore in due form," became the parent of the many hundreds of
Lodges now existent in all parts of the earth.
From the earliest days of its history the Craft
has attracted men of learning and of high attainments in science and
and in the fourth year of the history of Grand Lodge, the Duke of
Montagu was installed
as Grand Master amid the rejoicings of the Brethren "who all expressed
joy at the happy Prospect of being again patronized by noble Grand
Masters as in
the prosperous Times of Free Masonry." From that time onward the Grand
Chair has been occupied by a nobleman or a prince of the royal house.
of the Craft have not, however, been chosen merely for the sake of the
they bore, though some importance may undoubtedly, in the earlier days,
attached to this factor. One of the founders and the first resident of
Society – the Fellowship of which has always been regarded as the blue
learning – was a member of the Craft, and many of its prominent
in the early days of its history, have also been prominent members and
of the Grand Lodge of England. A similar relationship existed, and,
exists between the Grand Lodge and the Society of Antiquaries.
But there are some utilitarians who will always
in asking the question Cui bono? What has Freemasonry done that could
not have been
achieved by any other organization, say, a religious body? Happily,
and controversy are less poignant in the present age than was the case
years ago. There is now discernible a tendency towards unification
which must be
particularly cheering to those who have always maintained that in the
of Freemasonry may be found the common basic facts of all religious
India, where the caste system prevails in its most rigorous aspect, the
broken down all barriers: the high-caste Hindu will fraternize and
eat with the Mussulman, the Buddhist, and the Christian, if they are
If Freemasonry had done no more than this, it would have accomplished
statesmen and missionaries would, but a few decades ago, have regarded
as a miracle
and, in the same breath, have declared that such miracles, at any rate,
It was that same longing, that same ardent desire for unity, the
begetter of strength,
that led to the organization of the Grand Lodge of England on the 24th
The same eagerness has led Brethren during the ensuing two hundred
years – particularly
in 1813 – to cast aside everything that was tending to hinder the
and preserve and maintain the fundamental principle. There are
doubtless not a few
who, if asked to say what had been the personal effect of Freemasonry,
answer in the words of the poet:
No one could tell me
what my soul might be;
I sought for God, and God eluded me;
I sought my brother out, and found all three.
But to the unobservant enquirer, who persists
the question Cui bono? and who must see in order that he may believe,
may point with pride to the great Masonic Institutions which have
the-two last centuries and which were founded as a practical
demonstration of the
second Masonic principle of Relief. He could well challenge his
questioner to produce
their like as the result of less than two hundred years' activity on
the part of
any organization – religious, social, or philanthropic. He could also
tell him –
but then the instances would be far too numerous to relate – of the
thousands, of aged Brethren, their wives and widows, whose declining
have ended in tragedy but for the practical sympathy of the members of
He could point to the long roll of Girls and Boys who have passed
through the Institutions
erected for their care and support, many of whose names have been
some quite recently, on the annals of fame; and then let both
questioner and questioned
try to imagine what would have been their fate if Masonry had not put
helping hand. Then point to the record of relief granted by the Board
by the numerous Provincial Charity Funds, by the innumerable Masonic
and Charity Funds of the Sister Grand Lodges of Scotland, Ireland, the
Dominions, Allied and Foreign Countries and, at the same time,
recollect that these
are but some of the offspring of that meeting in the little upper room
Goose and Gridiron," St. Paul's Churchyard on the 24th June, 1717.
by no means least, tell the skeptical enquirer of the wonderful work
that has been
accomplished in less than three years the Freemasons War Hospital in
No less strenuous have been the efforts of
the Craft to disseminate Truth, the third great principle of the Order,
the words of Buckle, the historian, "to purify the very source and
of our knowledge, and secure its future progress, by casting off
obstacles in the
presence of which progress is impossible." A mighty weapon which might
been used for ill has been placed in the hands of the Grand Lodge of
surely, the fact that it has always been used for good must be the
reason for the
strength of the Craft today. "Right not might" has been the watchword
in the past and will be the keynote of future success. The fact that
through the Grand Lodge, has always stood for the right accounts for
As Lewis in his work "On the Influence of Authority in Matters of
said: "It is of paramount importance that truth, and not error, should
that men, when they are led, should be led by safe guides; and that
thus profit by those processes of reasoning and investigation which
have been carried
on in accordance with logical rules, but which they are notable to
verify for themselves."
The wonderful growth and strength of Freemasonry during two hundred
years is in
no small degree attributable to the fact that the body militant has
been under the
direction of safe guides, Brethren who have led by example and have not
force. Regard has been paid more to the center than to the
circumference, to the
foundation more than to the superstructure. Truth is one: And in all
the sun, Whoso hath eyes to see may see The tokens of its unity.
There is a vast difference, in point of
the gathering in that little upper room in "The Goose and Gridiron" on
the 24th June, 1717, and the huge assembly in the Royal Albert Hall on
June, 1917, but the principles for which both meetings were organized
and held were
the same. During two hundred years they have been preserved inviolate.
of time and circumstances have necessitated development in points of
these have involved no deviation from the original foundation. The
center is still
where it was. The circumference is an ever-broadening one. Freemasonry
employed the argumentum ad hominem, but rather, with a mind conscious
which has enabled its adherents to set at naught criticisms founded on
or wilful falsification of its aims, has adopted as its motto Respice
pursued unfalteringly its way.
By Bro. W. E. Atchison,
V. Physical Qualifications
(Note: The following is a digest of the laws of
several Grand Jurisdictions of the United States relating to physical
of candidates for initiation into the mysteries of Masonry. While it
was our primary
intention when this study was begun to cite only the laws pertaining to
qualifications, it became evident, from the replies of some Grand
it would be necessary in some instances to include also portions of the
moral, intellectual and age qualifications owing to the fact that these
in the same section or paragraph with physical qualifications, and to
but physical qualifications might lead to a misinterpretation of the
excerpts from the Codes are not in all instances exhaustive of the Code
comprehensive enough to cover the subject from almost every angle
the article too lengthy.
The present study is intended only to cover the
of candidates for initiation. The law of each jurisdiction covering the
of advancement of Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts sustaining
after initiation or passing may be found in the February, 1917, number
of THE BUILDER,
pages 50 to 56, inclusive.)
No subordinate lodge shall proceed to confer
either of the degrees of Masonry upon any person who is not a man,
the age of twenty-one years or upward, of good reputation, of
and intellectual endowment, with an estate, office, trade, occupation,
or some other
obvious source of honest subsistence, from which he may be able to
for works of charity and for maintaining the ancient dignity and
utility of the
If the petitioner be physically defective by
of deformity or being maimed, his eligibility shall be determined by
the Lodge to
which he has applied, and if determined favorable to the petitioner he
eligible to receive the degrees of Masonry when the action of the Lodge
approved by the Grand Master in writing.
(The Jurisprudence Committee, being requested
Grand Master to interpret the above law replied "we do not believe it
or desirable to attempt to specify the particular instances which would
the waiver of physical infirmities or deformities. The spirit of this
of the constitution is broad, and its purpose clear, and the
should be left to the deliberate judgment of the subordinate lodge and
Master, in the light of this spirit and purpose under the facts of each
The person who desires to be made a Mason must
man; no woman or eunuch; free born, being neither a slave nor the son
of a bond
woman; a believer in God and a future existence; of moral conduct;
capable of reading
and writing; having no maim or defect in his body that may render him
of learning the art, and physically able to conform literally to what
degrees respectively require of him.
No person must be made a Mason unless he be a
full age, of good character, honest and upright; he must have the use
of his limbs
and members, as a man ought to have; and with no maim, nor any such
defect as may
incapacitate him to learn the art, to give all due signs and
salutations, to be
made a Fellow Craft and Master in due time; honestly and reputably to
of subsistence; and to comply fully and entirely with all the duties
assumed by him towards the Craft at large and individual brethren, and
such as Masonic
law and usage impose upon or require of a good Mason.
Defects which have been held to disqualify:
arm. Stiff knee. Eunuch. Loss of left hand. Loss of foot. Inability to
Defects which have been held not to disqualify:
Slight defect in hip. Broken right thigh causing partial loss sense of
right foot. Loss of one eye. Loss of last joint of thumb on left hand.
No Lodge in this jurisdiction shall receive an
for the degrees of Masonry unless the applicant be a man; no woman nor
born, being neither a slave nor the son of a bond woman; a believer in
God and a
future existence; of moral conduct; capable of reading and writing;
having no maim
or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the
art, and physically
able to conform substantially to what the several degrees respectively
A petition cannot be received from one under
though he would arrive at that age before action on the petition could
A Lodge cannot with propriety receive an
from one who has served a term in State's prison.
Nor from one under indictment by a grand Jury.
The candidate must be a believer in the God of
Isaac and Jacob, and not quibble about Omnipotence, Omniscience and
The non-observance of the first day of the week
day of rest does not disqualify an applicant.
Saloon keepers and bar keepers are ineligible.
A candidate for the degrees shall be a man, at
twenty-one years of age at the time his petition is presented to the
born, of sound mind, having no maim or defect in his body that may
render him incapable
of learning the art and becoming perfect in the work, but physically
able to conform
literally to what the several degrees may require of him; shall be of
and shall possess a belief in one ever-living and true God. No Lodge
the Entered Apprentice Degree upon a candidate unless he possess these
No substitution of artificial parts or limbs is a compliance with the
law. The loss
of a hand or a foot, or any considerable part of such member, or a
deformity therein, is an absolute disqualification. Except where the
is absolute, the Lodge has a discretion, which must be governed by the
the law as above set forth.
The necessary qualifications of a candidate are
that affect his character, which are termed the internal
qualifications, and such
as affect his body, which are termed the physical or external
The internal qualifications are –
- That he
shall be free-born – born of free parents – and under no restraint as
to his liberty.
- That he
shall be of lawful age, not less than twenty-one years.
- That he
shall not be an "Irreligious libertine," nor a "stupid atheist."
- That he
shall be of honest reputation, of humane disposition, and of temperate
- That he
shall be actuated solely by a desire for knowledge, and of being
servicable to his
- That he
shall be of sound mind and memory.
The external qualifications are: That he shall
man – not a eunuch, nor a woman and that he shall possess the full
those faculties, organs, limbs and members which are necessary for the
and imparting of Masonic knowledge, and for a full compliance with all
and ceremonies employed in such reception or imparting, as practiced
from time immemorial
Masons must be freeborn, of mature age and of good report, hale and
sound, not deformed
at the time of their making and having full and proper use of their
limbs, so that
they may be capable of receiving and communicating the art of Masonry.
No Lodge shall initiate any candidate who is
years of age or whose physical defects are such as either to prevent
him from being
properly instructed or from conforming literally to all requirements of
degrees in Ancient Craft Masonry.
Held: That the loss of right thumb; loss of
loss of index finger and middle finger of right hand and part of right
knee are all disqualifying disabilities.
The candidate for initiation into Masonry must
man; free-born; with good moral reputation; of reasonable intelligence;
capable of conforming literally to what the several degrees require of
he must not be an atheist.
A light physical deformity will not bar the
of a worthy applicant. The physical, mental and moral qualifications
must all be
considered in preparing a ballot, and all must have their due weight.
of a Lodge are the judges as to these qualifications.
It is a safe rule in these days, though its
may be greatly doubted, that a candidate should be able to read and
The casualties of war are no reason for
Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry. The candidate must be hale and sound,
or dismembered, and must be able to perform the work required in the
degrees of Masonry.
An artificial substitute will not qualify a
A candidate at the time of filing his petition
be fully twenty-one years of age.
Old age is not a bar to Masonry provided that
in consequence thereof, has not lost possession of his physical and
faculties, of which the Lodge must be the judge.
A candidate should be able to perform all the
of Masonry, whether intellectual or physical.
The question of when a man is in his dotage is
of fact, to be applied to each particular case. There is Ill no stated
age at which
a man would be considered in this unfortunate condition. A man
possessed of all
his faculties, capable of transacting the ordinary affairs of life and
our lectures and ceremonies, no matter how old he may be, is not in his
One man may reach this condition at a much earlier age than another.
One whose vision or hearing are so much
to prevent his full understanding of any of the forms and ceremonies of
is ineligible to receive the degrees.
A candidate must be able to both read and
write. A man
who can read, but cannot write, except to sign his name, is not
eligible for admission
Every candidate for initiation in this
must be upright in body, not deformed or dismembered at the time of
of hale and entire limbs, organs and members, as a man ought to be.
In the following cases the candidate is
- If either
hand is amputated.
- With only
- With one-half
of one foot lost.
- When any
limb or part of limb is lost, although approved mechanical appliances
- A hunch-back,
who is necessarily a deformed man
- One who
has one leg materially shorter than other.
- One whose
left hand is crippled, and who has lost a thumb and two joints of the
- One who
has lost two joints off of two fingers of the right hand.
- One who
has lost his right thumb at the first joint.
- One who
has lost the first or index finger of the right hand at the first
joint, the second,
half-way between the first and second joints, and the third at the
- One whose
thumb and index finger of the right hand are sound, but the two middle
drawn against the palm of the hand, and cannot be straightened, and
arm is also slightly drawn, so that when straightened as far as
possible would form
an angle of about 120 degrees.
- With the
thumb and fingers of the left hand lost
- With the
fingers of either right or left hand, except the first finger and thumb
- With two
joints of the index finger lost.
- With the
little finger and the ring finger lost, with two other fingers off at
An illegitimate is not thereby disqualified.
The loss of first joint of the first finger
Held: If any candidate for the mysteries for
possess any physical defect which shall cause him not to conform to the
set out in our laws, or that may render him incapable of learning the
art of Freemasonry,
he shall be ineligible.
Decision by Grand Master Waterhouse, 1898: The
regulations governing the qualifications of a candidate for the degrees
were that he should not be formed nor dismembered. Since Operative
Masonry is not
coupled with Speculative Masonry, and we deal with Speculative Masonry
has been modified so that a man be not deformed to an extent that will
from receiving and giving all Masonic signs, etc., nor prevent him from
an honest living for himself and family, and that he be not likely to
become a charge
upon the Lodge. The Lodge to be the judge of this.
Held: That a man who is a trifle lame – one leg
than the other – capable of making all signs correctly and who would
a charge on the Lodge and is not barred by some particular section of
is eligible. The Lodge to be the judge.
Held: That the following defects are
Loss of one eye; loss of one hand, loss of two fingers from right hand;
leg; loss of right thumb.
Every candidate applying for the degrees in
have the senses of a man, especially those of hearing, seeing, and
feeling; be a
believer in God; capable of reading and writing and possess no maim or
his body that may render him incapable of conforming literally to what
degrees require of him. No provision of section shall be set aside,
dispensed with the Grand Lodge.
The loss of sight in one eye or the necessity
a truss, are not disqualifications.
Lodges are prohibited from initiating any
under twenty-one years of age, or one who has not made a declaration of
in the existence of the Deity, or one whose physical disability is such
as to prevent
his literal compliance with the ceremonies of the Order: Provided, That
Master may, with the consent of the Committee on Jurisprudence, allow
receive and ballot on petitions for membership of those who can, by the
aid of artificial
appliances, conform to the ceremonies of the Order in every particular.
It has been held that:
An applicant whose
left knee is anchylosed, and cannot kneel on his left knee and can not
both knees is not eligible to the degrees in Masonry.
That one who has lost the entire four fingers
left hand is eligible to be made a Mason, because that is not such a
defect as would
prevent him from fulfilling strictly the requirements of Masonry. If it
right hand, the decision would be otherwise.
A man to be eligible to the degrees must be
conform to all the ceremonies required in the work and practice of
his natural person. No substitution of artificial parts or limbs is a
with the law. The loss of a hand or foot is an absolute
deformities may or may not be, depending upon the nature and extent.
Masters and Lodges will be held strictly
for the observance of this rule. Except where the disqualification is
the Lodge has a discretion, which must be exercised with prudence.
It has been held that a loss of a foot at the
after a person is elected for the degrees, absolutely disqualifies,
the election, and he can not be received.
A candidate for the mysteries of Masonry must
be a man,
free born, of sound mind, of mature age, without bodily defect, without
disability and living under the tongue of good report.
A candidate for initiation must possess no maim
which will prevent him from being perfectly instructed in the art and
Freemasonry, and in his own person instructing others by
exemplification. Of all
this the Lodge is the sole judge.
The Entered Apprentice Degree should not be
on one who wears a metal truss, unless he shall dispense with it, but
is the sole judge as to whether the candidate is duly and truly
A candidate should be able to see, hear, feel
and should be in such possession of his physical and mental faculties
as will enable
him to fully perfect both himself and others, and be enabled to obtain
living that he may not become a charge to the Order.
The loss of an arm disqualifies; a defect in
hip, that makes it impossible to put the right heel to the ground is a
Loss of three fingers on the right hand
One who has but one foot is not physically
nor can this physical disqualification be cured by the fact that he has
Loss of left arm between the shoulder and elbow
The loss of an eye, the candidate being able to see well with the other
the loss of the first articular joint of the thumb on the right hand
does not disqualify.
The Lodge, in deciding upon the physical
of a candidate, must be governed by the views of this Grand Lodge.
Held: That a man whose right ankle is stiff,
foot turned out and who slightly limps, may be initiated providing he
the ceremonies of initiation and give the signs of recognition, and has
That one who has one leg shorter than the other
uses an extension shoe, but who can, without the aid of the extension
all positions required in receiving the degrees and give all signs of
could be initiated.
The loss of right thumb disqualifies. The loss
of left hand does not disqualify.
Ancient regulations: The physical deformity of
operates as a bar to his admission into the fraternity. But as this
adopted for the government of the Craft when they united the character
with that of Speculative Masons, this Grand Lodge authorizes such, a
of the regulation as that, when the deformity of the candidate is not
such as to
prevent him being instructed in the arts or mysteries of Freemasonry,
and does not
amount to an inability honestly to acquire the means of subsistence,
will not be an infringement of the requirements, but will be perfectly
with the spirit of our institution.
To which are added the following decisions
time to time according to the Maine Masonic Text Book.
A man who has lost his right hand cannot be
made a Mason.
Nor a man who has lost an arm or a leg, a hand
Not even if the deficiency has been supplied by
So of a man who, by palsy or other cause, has
use of a leg.
If the Senior Warden can conscientiously
the candidate "is in due form," and he is fully able to receive and
all signs and tokens necessary for Masonic recognition, he is not
No Lodge shall on any account initiate a
is under twenty-one years of age nor initiate, pass or raise a
candidate whose physical
defects prevent him from conforming literally to all the requirements
of the several
degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry.
If the physical deformity of any applicant for
does not amount to an inability to meet the requirements of the ritual,
to acquire the means of subsistence, it shall constitute no hindrance
to his initiation.
Numerous requests for rules concerning the
qualifications of particular candidates are made of the Grand Master.
precedent, he has persistently declined to pass upon particular cases.
state only Masonic Law on the subject, and that general statement of
law, the Master
and his Lodge must apply upon their own responsibility to the case on
The following is an authoritative statement of
Committee of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts on the question taken
from the Proceedings
is to be interpreted, not according to the Levitical law, with which
had anything to do, either as a symbol or a fact, but by its own terms
and the logical
consistency and propriety of its application. So interpreted, its
is, that the physical defect of the candidate whatever it may be, shall
not be such
as to render him incapable of receiving and imparting instruction, nor
any duties that may be required of him in his capacity or vocation as a
such maim or defect of the body as the loss of an eye, an ear, a
finger, or other
member not essential in the discharge of his Masonic duties, or to his
maintenance, does any violence to the spirit and original intent of
and, in the opinion of your committee, no other construction can be put
consistently with the higher demands of humanity, justice and equality.
the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit
Your committee take leave of this branch of their report here, in the
the regulation of our own Grand Lodge on the subject may be safely left
as it stands,
and the interpretation and practical application of it, to the
intelligence of the
Lodges. With the cases before them as they arise, they can with more
greater propriety determine the proper disposition of them."
No Lodge shall initiate, pass or raise a
lacks any qualifications required of him by ancient usage and by a
A Grand Master has no power to dispense with
the "qualifications of a candidate" prescribed by the Regulations.
A candidate for Masonry must be a man of mature
free born, of good report, hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered
and no eunuch.
The requirements of the Landmarks, that a
must be a man of mature age, of good report, hale and sound, not
deformed or dismembered,
may be deemed to be complied with if the petitioner is twenty-one years
of age when
he files his petition, of good character, physically and mentally
sound, and if
no physical defect exists which will disable him as a candidate from
to and meeting the requirements of the rites and ceremonies of all the
without assistance, or the aid of any artificial substitute for any
member of his
body he may have lost, and especially can take all of the positions and
in any of the degrees and has a perfect thumb and third joint of the
of his right hand, normal hearing, and perfect sight of one eye.
No ruling of a Master of a Lodge, nor decision
of the Grand Master, can warrant any departure from the regulation laid
It is incompetent for any Lodge in this
to confer either of the Three Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry on any
physical defects are such as to prevent his receiving and imparting the
of the several degrees; Provided, That nothing herein contained shall
be so construed
as to render any one ineligible to the privileges of Masonry who can by
of artificial appliances conform to the necessary ceremonies.
It has been held:
That a man who has
lost the left leg below the knee and wears a cork leg is eligible, if
able to conform
to the ceremonies.
That a Lodge could
receive a petition from one whose feet were of unequal size.
That a man having lost
the second, third and fourth fingers of his right hand is ineligible.
No Lodge shall confer the Degrees upon any
unless he be a perfect man, having no maim or defect in his body that
him incapable of learning the art and becoming perfect in the degrees.
That a person with one defective eye is
That the eligibility of a person who has lost
thumb, rests with the Lodge having Jurisdiction.
That a person who has lost the index finger of
hand at the knuckle joint is ineligible.
That one who has had his right leg amputated
knee is not eligible.
That the loss of either finger from the left
index finger and thumb being intact, would not render a man ineligible.
A person with part Indian blood is eligible.
Note by Grand Secretary Hedges:
"The crux of the
matter with our Grand Lodge is the following, taken from the Ohio
the subject, which was adopted by our Grand Lodge in 1899: 'A candidate
degree of Entered Apprentice should be able physically as well as
to receive and impart all the essentials of Masonic recognition, and
this the Lodge
A Lodge can not initiate any one who can not
write, nor one having physical imperfections which impair his ability
himself and family, or by reason of which he is unable to conform to
all of our
peculiar rites and ceremonies.
Men to be made Masons must be free born, of
of good report, hale and sound, perfect in their members, so far as to
be able to
perform all Masonic labor.
Report of Jurisprudence Committee adopted in
We do not propose that
our constituent Lodges shall confer any degree – either on its own
material or the
material of another Lodge or Jurisdiction – upon one who cannot comply
rules laid down by this Grand Lodge,- that an applicant must be hale
perfect in all his members, so far as to be able to perform Masonic
labor, and in
full possession of all mental faculties.
This rule must be given the earnest
every Master within this Jurisdiction and we urge that no relaxation be
By the ancient regulations, the physical
an individual operates as a bar to his admission into the Fraternity.
But as this
regulation was adopted for the government of the Craft, at a period
when they united
the character of Operative with that of Speculative Masons, this Grand
such a construction of the regulation as that, when the deformity of
is not such as to prevent him from being instructed in the art and
mystery of Freemasonry,
and does not amount to an inability honestly to acquire the means of
the admission will not be an infringement upon the Ancient Landmarks,
but will be
consistent with the spirit of our Institution.
An applicant who has lost a thumb and second
of his right hand is ineligible.
An applicant who has lost his left arm below
An applicant for the Degrees who has a stiff
A Lodge rejecting an applicant on account of
disqualifications cannot waive jurisdiction in favor of a Lodge in
where physical disqualification is not a bar to being made a Mason.
Applicants for the Degrees must be able to
and naturally with all the requirements of our ritual.
The Grand Master has no authority to grant a
which would enable a Lodge to initiate a candidate who has lost a thumb
finger of the right hand.
A person who has lost his left hand at the
not eligible to receive the degrees.
A man whose foot is artificial and whose leg
about half-way from knee to ankle is artificial, is not eligible for
A candidate with one leg several inches shorter
the other and obliged to use a crutch is not eligible to the degrees.
Before proceeding with an initiation the Master
in his absence, the acting Master, must have accurate knowledge of the
physical competency to literally conform to all the requirements of
If a Master is in doubt as to the physical
of a candidate, he must not proceed until after a personal inspection
has been made
by the direction of the Grand Master. The instructions of the Grand
be followed without question.
If a candidate has any visible physical defect,
Master must suspend all proceedings looking to his initiation and at
the case to the Grand Master, who, in person or by Deputy, shall, after
examination, decide as to the physical competency of the candidate.
The assumption by a Lodge or its Master, of
to determine the eligibility of a maimed candidate for initiation is
No degree shall be conferred upon any one who
unable to conform to the letter and spirit of the ceremonies of the
who is unable to read and write; who is affected with any incurable
has no visible or legitimate means of support for himself and family.
We look more to the moral and mental
of those who knock at our doors.
All questions relative to physical
petitioners for degrees have been answered by reference to our Law –
physically unable to conform to the letter and spirit of the ceremonies
of the Fraternity?"
The officers and members of a Lodge are better qualified to answer that
than the Grand Master.
An applicant for the "mysteries" who has lost,
in its entirety, the thumb from the left hand, is eligible to receive
The rule in this Jurisdiction is that if the
has any physical disability which would prevent him from conforming to
all our rites
and ceremonies, then he is ineligible to Masonry.
No one can be made a Mason who is physically
to conform to all the rites and ceremonies. A point to be decided by
Lodge – and no stigma attaches to a rejection of this kind.
If the committee finds the candidate
any other reason than one affecting his moral character, they may so
the Lodge may permit the return of the fee and the application without
rejecting the candidate by ballot.
A candidate must be able without artificial aid
of members or parts thereof to conform to the ritual and to learn and
art as a brother should. This includes not only Masonic work within
but ability to earn his livelihood by manual labor if necessary outside
It does not include those whose dismemberment
is such as to require or permit the substitution of an artificial
member or part
thereof, even though with such substitution the same result could be
That every candidate for the honors of
be a man, free born, of mature and discreet age, no eunuch, no woman,
or scandalous man, but of good report, having no maim or defect in his
body or mind
that may render him incapable of learning and practicing the art.
That the right of a Lodge to judge for itself
be admitted to initiation or affiliation therein is inherent and
subject to dispensation or legislation of any kind or from any source
Definition 6: Sec. 3: Physical ability without
aid or substitution of members of parts thereof to conform to the
ritual and to
learn and practice the art as a brother should. This includes not only
within the Lodge room, but ability to earn his livelihood by manual
labor if necessary
outside the Lodge room.
The Landmarks are inherently and by Section I
of the Constitution, a part of the Masonic Law of this State and "the
part of the Masonic Law or rule that may never be altered or disturbed."
A candidate for initiation must possess no maim
which will prevent him from being properly instructed in the art and
Freemasonry and in his own person instruct others by exemplification.
Maim or deformity
after initiation shall not prevent the brother from advancement. Such
is a recognition of the claims of a worthy and unfortunate brother.
That a man paralyzed more than thirty years
which time he has been unable to walk without crutches and has very
little use of
his legs, is ineligible to Masonry.
That an intending petitioner who had lost his
just below the knuckle, but, in the opinion of the Master was able to
give the grips
without much trouble, was held eligible to the degrees. That one who
has lost his
left arm below the elbow is ineligible.
If the physical disability of any applicant for
degrees does not amount, aided by any ordinary artificial means, to an
to meet the requirements and honestly to acquire the means of
subsistence, it shall
constitute no hindrance to his initiation.
The Grand Lodge makes the "Ancient Charges,"
as printed with its Constitution, Code, etc., a part of its fundamental
the language of the "Ancient Charges" is so plain as to admit of but
construction, viz.: that a candidate for initiation must be "without
defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the Art,
- A person who has lost his right hand at the
not be legally initiated.
- A person who has lost a hand, an arm, a foot, a
or is deficient in any of his limbs or senses, cannot be made a Mason.
- A stiff knee is such a defect as will bar a
- Seeing and hearing are two of the most
of an applicant for initiation, and if he is unable to hear ordinary
he is disqualified.
- An applicant for degrees being blind in one
otherwise eligible, would not, because of such defect alone, be
to receive the degrees of Freemasonry.
- A candidate for the degree of Entered
be able physically, as well as intellectually, of himself and without
or assistance from another, to receive and impart all the essentials
A petitioner shall have attained the full age
years, be free born, of good moral character and without maim or such
as would incapacitate him to make all signs and salutations and to
It has been held that:
- One who has lost his right arm is physically
Where a man have lost his left foot, same having been removed about two
the ankle joint, who wears a cork foot, is not eligible for the degrees
- One who has lost part of right thumb, if enough
thumb remains so that he can give all grips clearly and distinctly,
does not necessarily disqualify.
- One who has lost the index finger of his right
and has a wire finger attached to hand cannot be initiated.
- One whose eyesight is such as to prevent him
instructed in the arts and mysteries of Masonry, is disqualified.
- The loss of the right eye (or of either eye)
disqualify a candidate.
- One whose leg is shorter than the other but who
stand erect without too much strain or effort, both feet square on the
put himself in proper position to give the necessary steps and signs,
for the degrees.
Every candidate applying for the degrees of
must be a man, free born, have the senses of a man, possess the ability
a livelihood, and possess the physical ability to conform substantially
to and be
instructed in and give instructions in the arts and mysteries of
The requisite qualifications for initiation and
in a Lodge, are that the petitioner shall be a man, free born, of
mature age, sound
in all his members, of good Masonic report, and able to earn a
livelihood for himself
and family, and perform the work of a member in a Lodge.
The perfect youth is the standard; perfect in
form, and so perfect in his mental and moral structure, that no
deformity in either
will ever prevent him from properly understanding those virtues and
teaches and enjoins. There are no degrees in disability. If it exists,
so that the
slightest violation of the perfectness is cognizable, it is as fatal to
as though it took away his arm, hand, finger, leg, or foot. There is
not in Freemasonry
a positive, comparative, or superlative disqualification. It is the
per se, the simple naked fact, that the standard of a perfect youth is
that ends the question. It is neither debatable nor avoidable.
wordy casuistry, persistent importunities, or the citation of
ignorance was the discredit of the example, will not suffice to
to the Landmarks. The Rough Ashlar must be fitted to its proper place
the perfect symmetry of the perfect work.
By the 5th Article of the Gothic Constitution,
at York in the year 926, it is declared that "a candidate must be
and have the full and proper use of his limbs, for a maimed man can do
no good." This is the first written declaration of the Landmark, which
from that period until 1722, when the further condition was expressed
that the candidate
must "be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body," etc.
In 1783, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania declared that the candidates
hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered at the time of their
is the Landmark, and the most ordinary understanding can comprehend
what the disabilities
are which "forbid the making."
The qualifications of candidates are thus
the Ancient Charges: "The persons admitted members of a Lodge must be
and true men, free-born, and of mature and discreet age, no woman, no
scandalous men, but of good report." "No Master should take an
unless he be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body that
him incapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master's lord, and of
a Brother, and unless he be descended of honest parents."
When a candidate appears for initiation, and
discovers that he is not physically perfect, and declines to initiate
for this reason, his petition can be withdrawn; but all the facts of
the case must
be entered upon the minutes of the Lodge and at once reported to the
No man who is unable to perfect every part of
in the Three Degrees of Symbolical Masonry is eligible to receive those
Every candidate for initiation in this
must be without maim or defect in his body or mind that may render him
of learning and practicing the art, and who can comply literally with
all the requirements
as to initiation ceremonies without artificial aid or friendly
A candidate must be free-born, under no
years of age, in possession of sound mind, free from any physical
defect or dismemberment,
no atheist, eunuch or woman.
It has been held that:
- A man who has lost his foot and part of his leg
be initiated if wearing a cork leg.
- A slight deformity is no bar to the candidate's
unless it prevents his receiving and imparting Masonic knowledge in the
The Lodge must consider the matter and draw the line. A deformed man is
to the degrees.
- A man who is physically able to conform fully
requirements of our ritual, receive and impart instructions therein,
and who possesses
all the necessary qualifications to be made a Mason, may petition for
The local Lodge and not the Grand Master should
judge of the moral, physical and intellectual qualifications of its
it being responsible to the Grand Lodge for its actions.
When the Grand Lodge is appealed to and the
in a question of physical disqualifications, it is the duty to pass
A candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry
a man, free born, not less than twenty-one years of age, and of good
He must be physically and mentally capable of
a livelihood, and of receiving and imparting the Ritual of Masonry. By
is meant by actual demonstration. To describe by words does not comply
The perfect man is an ideal being, and absolute
does not exist among men, neither physically, mentally nor morally;
is not obnoxious to the Ancient Landmarks and Charges of Masonry that
or defects of body should debar an applicant for initiation or
advancement in Masonry,
and an applicant for initiation must be sound and hale, without maim or
his body that may render him ineligible to be a Mason; that is,
physical maims and
defects should be considered on the basis of his ability to receive,
impart freely and without artificial or other aid, all the rites and
of Ancient Craft Masonry including Masonic work in the Lodge room and
the mental and physical ability to earn his livelihood in his chosen
outside the Lodge room.
That when an applicant for initiation has a
defect, the Lodge to which the application is made shall refer the
case, with a
faithful description of such maim or defect, to the Grand Master, who
rule upon the eligibility of the applicant in the light of these
Every candidate for the degrees in Masonry must
man, free born, have the senses of a man and possess physical ability
to earn a
livelihood, and to conform substantially to the rites and ceremonies of
and be instructed in its mysteries. It has been held that the loss of
of the fingers of right hand will not debar a candidate.
Physical ability to earn a livelihood, and to
substantially to the forms and ceremonies of Masonry, and be instructed
in its mysteries,
is all that is required, provided the candidate possess the higher
of a belief in God, of mental worth and the record of a moral and
that this interpretation of the ancient charges and regulations is not
with the true spirit of the Masonic Institution, but in keeping with
teachings from time immemorial.
Mental or physical deformity:
Since deformity is not such as to prevent the
from being instructed in the mysteries of the Craft, the admission will
not be an
infringement of the ancient Landmarks, but will be perfectly consistent
spirit of Freemasonry.
A blind man cannot be made a Mason. Hearing,
and feeling are the senses most revered by Masons.
No petition for initiation shall be entertained
any person who is not a free-born man of the age of twenty one years,
of sound mind,
of good repute, and so perfect in body that he can without artificial
aid or friendly
assistance, conform to the Ritual, and who does not believe and trust
in God as
the Supreme Architect and Governor of the Universe.
It has been held that:
- One who had lost a leg cannot be initiated.
- The petition of an applicant whose elbow was
rigid, and who could not comply with the Ritual, could not be received.
- A Lodge could not confer the degrees on a
who, after filing his petition, lost the small finger of his right hand
next to it.
- One who had met with an accident, or received a
in his left arm which necessitates an amputation a couple of inches
below his elbow
and who had an artificial arm and hand but was unable in any particular
to the ritual, was ineligible.
- A man with an artificial foot is ineligible.
Every candidate petitioning for the degrees of
in order to be eligible, must have the senses of a man, especially
those of hearing,
seeing and feeling, and possessing no maim or defect in his body that
him incapable of conforming literally to what the degrees respectively
him. No provision of this section shall be set aside, suspended or
by the Grand Master or by the Grand Lodge.
The Lodge shall itself determine the
disqualifications by the sole test of whether any maim or defect in his
him incapable of conforming literally to what the several degrees
require of him.
A request for dispensation to receive a
the degrees from a man with an artificial foot was refused.
The general rule is that "when the deformity of
the candidate is not such as to prevent him from meeting fully the
of the ritual, or from honestly acquiring the means of subsistence," he
The edict of the Grand Lodge as to physical
of candidates, as above stated, is in derogation of the ancient
the candidate to be sound in limb and member; and while it must be held
as law in
this Jurisdiction until modified or repealed by the Grand Lodge, yet it
given a strict construction, and if it is doubtful as to whether a
is within its provisions, the doubt must be resolved against him.
It has been held that a candidate is eligible
Loss of the thumb and
index finger of left hand; loss of fingers of left hand; loss of the
of left hand; loss of second finger and third finger off at the first
the right hand; loss of first joint of forefinger of right hand and the
the second finger, except at knuckle joint; loss of the second and
of forefinger of right hand, leaving a stub protruding long or short;
loss of first
joint of the middle finger of the right hand and the third finger
towards the second finger; loss of the two little fingers of right hand
joint; loss of one eye and the other in which the sight is defective
but not entirely
gone; loss of one eye; a hunchback whose deformity is not such as to
from meeting the requirements of the ritual and from honestly acquiring
of subsistence; a person who has a deformity on the right shoulder
blade, next the
back, of the size of a beef-heart, who walks erect and is not hindered
such deformity from gaining a livelihood; hernia, unless it be such as
meeting some of the requirements of the ritual, or from honestly
acquiring the means
of subsistence; stiff right ankle, with foot somewhat smaller than the
turned out, if he can conform to the ritual.
It has been held that a candidate is not
the following cases:
Loss of the thumb of
the right hand; loss of the first three fingers of the right hand; loss
of the first
or knuckle joint of right hand; loss of part of the second finger at
joint, and the ring and little finger at the approximal joint of the
loss of right index finger at the second joint, the second and right
the hand, and the little finger curved inward, contracted and
stiffened; loss of
the two middle fingers of the right hand, including the knuckle joint;
loss of the
first three fingers of the right hand close to the palm; loss of thumb
first joint on right hand; born "into this world minus his left hand;"
left hand crippled in such a manner as to prevent flattening it out;
minus the thumb
and all the fingers of the left hand; minus the thumb on the left hand,
thumb on the right hand is forked almost amounting to two thumbs; right
than the other, the fingers of which were not more than one-half inch
Born with but two fingers on his right hand,
being perfect; left arm three inches shorter than the right, four
inches less in
circumference, left hand could not be turned upwards on a level with
incapacity to bend left leg from stiffness so that person could not
knee joint and unable to kneel on right knee; left leg two and one-half
than the right; right leg four inches shorter than the other and walks
loss of right foot at the ankle and uses cork foot; right leg off below
badly deformed in both feet from birth, with large bulges instead of
in his feet, rendering the person perceptibly lame; deaf, but could
hear with an
The Landmarks as to physical qualifications to
construed. The candidate must be a man, free born, hale and sound and
The above physical qualification is founded on
Eighteen and reads as follows, viz.:
of candidates for initiation are derived from a Landmark of the Craft.
are that he should be a man – shall be unmutilated, free born, and of
That is to say, a woman, a cripple, or a slave, or one born in slavery,
for initiation into the rites of Masonry. Statutes, it is true, have
from time to
time been enacted, enforcing or explaining these principles; but the
really arise from the very nature of the Masonic institution, and from
teachings, and have always existed as Landmarks."
When the deformity of the candidate is not such
prevent him from being instructed in the arts and mysteries of
does not amount to an inability honestly to acquire the means of
admission will not be an infringement upon the ancient landmarks, but
will be perfectly
consistent with the spirit of our institutions.
It has been held that:
- A man with only one eye is eligible.
- A man who had lost part of the forefinger of
hand is eligible.
- One who had lost the two middle fingers and the
of his thumb at the first joint on his right hand, is eligible.
- The loss of a foot renders a man ineligible.
- A man who had a stiff hip joint, the result of
going off in his pocket while on horseback, is ineligible to the
*Referred to Grand Secretary for confirmation
reply received up to time of going to press.
General Statement of the
With the language in the various Codes,
and Regulations varying in almost every instance, it seems almost
arrive at any "general rules" of our American Jurisdictions. And yet,
a reasonable interpretation, having in view all the surrounding
and the apparent intent of the Grand Lodges in passing the legislation,
lead our readers to agree with us, at least substantially, in the
In any event, we have tried to take a reasonable view of the rule in
taking the provisions of all the documentary evidence as a whole. We
have not attempted
to quibble over absolutely exact definitions. In several cases we have
overlooked apparent attempts to modify the doctrine of physical
in fact no discretion is specifically allowed to anyone, either Lodge,
or Grand Master, to so modify. Such an attempt has justified us, in one
or two places,
in saying that a "liberal" construction of the law is intended. It
be interesting indeed if we could discover the actual interpretation
that is being
placed upon some of these modifications by the Lodges, in practice. For
grave suspicions that in at least a few cases, equivocal language has
deliberately, or at least as a compromise between extreme views, in
order that the
Lodges could as a matter of fact do about as they pleased, without fear
With this tendency, not confined to Masonry
"wink" at evasion of the law, ye scribe is entirely out of sympathy.
law should be so written as to mean exactly what it says,
responsibility for defiance
or evasion of the law should be placed exactly where it belongs, on the
the Worshipful Master, and discipline provided which would stop the
practices. If a Grand Lodge determines that the doctrine of physical
is right and in harmony with the modern application of the Ancient
should be no misunderstanding about it. If the Grand Lodge decides that
head is less desirable than the wooden leg, the Fraternity as a whole
will be benefited
by saying that such is the principle which is accepted by that Body,
and its application
to individual cases by the Lodges should follow the lines of
down. To equivocate on this important matter leads to confusion and
that is entirely out of harmony with the established principles of
Having relieved ourselves of this "effusion,"
we will endeavor to summarize the rules.
First. "Physical Perfection" obtains in 16
Jurisdictions, while 20 others specify that "literal conformity to the
of the ritual is a necessary prerequisite to initiation."
Second. Five Jurisdictions use language
"substantial" conformity to the requirements of the ritual is
Third. Three Jurisdictions say that the use of
parts or limbs in conforming to ritualistic requirements shall not
a disqualification, leaving the Lodge to decide, either in whole or in
the latter case providing for review either by the Grand Lodge or the
Fourth. Nineteen Jurisdictions specifically
the use of artificial parts or limbs, or provide that such shall be an
Fifth. In 10 States the Lodge is specifically
as having authority and power to determine the question of eligibility;
allow the Lodge discretion in its determination "within the specific
laid down," or "where the disqualification is not absolute," one
denies such right.
Sixth. Conformity with the views of the Grand
or Grand Lodge approval of the ballot are provisions in 3 States; 4
specifically deny the right of either the Grand Lodge or the Grand
Master to waive
disqualifications or repeal the strict provisions of the law.
Seventh. Four Jurisdictions require the Grand
approval to a petition, or his permission to ballot upon such a
petition; in one
State he is allowed some discretion in determining whether the
is or is not absolute; 4 States deny him any discretion, or say that he
has no prerogative
giving him any right to interfere.
Eighth. Nineteen Jurisdictions recognize the
"means of subsistence," or "ability to obtain an honest livelihood"
as an important factor in determining his eligibility. Some say "and,"
and some say "or," leaving it doubtful whether this is or is not a
test of physical qualifications.
Ninth. Fifteen States, directly or by
for a liberal construction or interpretation of the law; 13
specifically say it
shall be strictly interpreted.
Tenth. Minor infirmities or deformities do not
in 17 of our Jurisdictions. A few of them, either in the Codes, or
specific lists, though they do not specify that it is necessarily a
Corrections to Former Tables
Advancement. Maine. (February, 1917, BUILDER,
In column headed "When rejected applicant may renew application" change
to read "It is the right and duty of the Master to determine when a
shall be advanced except when objections have been made."
In column headed "Objection" change to read
"Objections must be made known to the Lodge and their sufficiency
by a two-thirds vote."
Minnesota. (Same issue and page as above.) In
headed "Time between degrees" change to read "Proficiency required;
no time limit."
Affiliation. Maine. (January, 1917, BUILDER,
In column headed "To whom petition may be presented" change to read
Lodge within or without the State." In column headed "When rejected
may renew petition" change to read "To any Lodge within the State as
The Two Readings -- [A Poem]
laid his body in
the covering earth,
And mourned a well-filled life now closed, –
Remembered kindnesses well planned and done,
And temples built ere weary he reposed.
His tools another took, and straightway sought
To emulate the life now lost to Man.
His life on earth is but a Memory now, –
Past work is all the tenderest eye can scan.
Yes! All is Past, though Memory sweet recalls
Each mighty effort made, and each success:
Upon the casket holding that which WAS
We drop the Acacia sprig, and Memory bless.
Our doubt is too unworkmanlike!
What workman works for one TODAY?
He who is gone is just behind the evening cloud
That hangs between earth's gloaming and the clearer way.
Behold him now emancipate
On greater Levels of the LIGHT.
Behold him as he dares to use the tools of Heaven, –
Erect the brighter homes of Heaven's Love and Might.
And listen to the strains that fill
The cultured ear, the noble arch,
That nerve the high ambition, stir the awakened soul
And tell of true success in the long Eternal March.
No earthly tomb can close a life well lived;
Nor cloud once hide the Ultimate of Love.
Acacia means a life that cannot die;
And death is but the door to Heaven above.
By Bro. Joseph Fort Newton,
NOT one of the eight thousand Freemasons , who
the Royal Albert Hall, in London, June 23rd, will ever forget the
scene. Nor will
any one of them ever see another like it. As an occasion it was
memorable; as a
spectacle it was unique. It marked the 200th anniversary of the
founding of the
Mother Grand Lodge of England, and was in all ways worthy of that noble
Truly it was a great privilege to have been present on a day so
historic, and to
have looked upon a scene at once so picturesque and so remarkable.
The assemblage was arranged in five tiers,
from the arena to the highest gallery beneath the roof, all wearing
regalia. Even without the evening dress, usually worn in English
Lodges, it made
a very striking picture not to be forgotten by one accustomed to the
less ornate ways of American Masonry. Although the number was so large,
none of the rank and file of the Craft, but only Grand Officers, past
Past Masters of Lodges, the reigning Rulers of the Order, and, of
visitors. Sitting in the closely-packed arena, I thought of many
to look beyond the scene before me to that other gathering in the old
in St. Paul's Churchyard, June 24th, 1717.
Shortly before three o'clock, a procession was
and the Deputy Grand Master, Brother T.F. Halsey, was escorted to the
Throne," as it is called in England. He is a sturdy and noble man, his
bowed with the weight of more than eighty years, most lovable to know,
popular among the Craft. He formally opened the Lodge, and then a
in which he himself took part, moved to the main entrance to receive
the Grand Master,
the Duke of Connaught. It was an imposing procession through the arena
to the orchestra,
as the Grand Master ascended to his Throne. Where all are distinguished
idle to mention names, except to say the procession included, besides
Master and his Officers, the Grand Masters of Ireland and Scotland,
Masters of Argentine, Malta, Ceylon, and Bengal, and the Provincial
The Grand Master announced that in the name of
he had sent a telegram to the King, expressing the loyalty of
Freemasons to the
Empire and the hope of a speedy victory and a lasting peace. He then
read the reply
of the King, in which His Majesty conveyed his cordial thanks, and
added that the
traditional loyalty of English Freemasonry "has been to me a proud
the anxious years through which we are passing." The Deputy Grand
gave a brief but vivid account of the growth of Grand Lodge during the
of its existence, from four Lodges in 1717 to 3,226 in active work
under its obedience
today, besides the many Lodges and Grand Lodges descended from the
mother body and
now working in lands beyond the boundaries of the British Empire.
In reply, the Grand Master made a very graceful
appropriate address, in which he said that every Mason could say of
Brethren who, to their lasting honor, invoked the original assembly in
was said of their illustrious contemporary – whose maul, used in the
St. Paul's Cathedral, he held in his hand – "If you wish to see their
look around." They builded better than they knew, because they built on
strongest foundations. He recalled the close association of members of
House of England with English Freemasonry, which began shortly after
of the Grand Lodge and has continued to this day. Indeed, the Grand
Lodge had been
in existence only twenty years, when the Prince of Wales became the
Master of a
Lodge. The Grand Master recalled, further, that it was his grandfather,
of Kent, who did so much to promote the Union of Grand Lodges in 1813,
so many Masonic blessings had flowed. Loyalty to the Empire, he said,
public order, and a determination to assist in every beneficent and
has always characterized English Masonry, and those qualities remain
titles of honor.
An address from the Grand Lodge of Ireland,
Grand Master Lord Donoughmore, and another from the Grand Lodge of
by Grand Master General Gordon Gilmour, followed. There were also
Grand Lodges in oversea Dominions, and from representatives of Grand
Lodges in the
United States, to all of which the Duke replied very happily. A number
and appointments were announced, including that of Sir Edward
Letchworth, the Grand
Secretary, which was regarded as a fitting recognition of the
completion of twenty-five
years of service. The Grand Secretary read an address from the interned
Freemasons at Ruhleben, Germany, and the session closed with the
singing of the
Very beautiful, too, I am told, was the Service
held on Sunday morning, June 24th, at which the Bishop of Birmingham
I was not permitted to attend it, owing to my engagement in my own
pulpit at the
City Temple. His sermon dealt, it is said, with the great problems
which are to
follow the war, and the part which Masonry should have in solving them.
like to have heard it, because it seems to me that our Order ought to
have a very
large and benign ministry in helping to build upon the wreck of today a
purer, wiser, greater tomorrow. And so endeth an event which will
linger long in
the memory of English Masons, and which marks, let us hope, the opening
of a new
era in the story of the greatest order of men upon earth.
In my next Official Communique I shall be
impressions of English Masonry which I think will be of interest to
that side, and especially with reference to what is going on in the way
Research. Meantime – and, truly, it is a mean time – I send greetings
to all the
Builders, and wish them every blessing in their labors.
City Temple, London, June 25th.
The Business of Masonry
OF all the sources of misunderstanding among
there are few if any that are more potent in evil possibilities than
with what may be termed the business of the institution. We are
of all, and there are many of us who never seem to grasp the fact that
when we are
least businesslike we may be least effective as a fraternity. So it
that there are too often, inside and outside the body Masonic, curious
ideas of what the fraternity should do in monetary matters.
By way of being more explicit let us state a
actual experience to show what the outside world thinks of Masonry and
what is often
expected of it.
A business man was for several years a member
of a lodge
and at his death in good standing thereof. He died after a long illness
he was frequently visited by his brethren.
A desire was long previously expressed by him
the event of his death the funeral ceremony of the fraternity should be
by the brotherhood and this was promptly promised by the officers, and
so made opposite his name when he signed the Constitutions. A son in
fair but not
over well-to-do circumstances and a sister in like condition were his
relations but he had several cousins of considerable means. The son was
When death came the Secretary of the lodge was
and he went out at once to visit the family. They knew of the wish to
Masonically but suggested that in some way it might be possible to also
church service for the dead that is given by the communion adhered to
by the departed
brother. This seemed easily capable of adjustment and the Lodge
Secretary so informed
the relatives but also pointed out that this he felt should be referred
to the Worshipful
Master for his consideration and formal consent.
On taking up the question with the Master the
advised the relatives that he thought it most seemly for the funeral
be kept separate and distinct, the Episcopal service to be rendered at
and the Masonic service at the grave. It seemed to him that any contact
of the one funeral ceremony with the other was a detriment to both. The
on consultation agreed with him and this point was passed without
and the plan of burial eventually carried into effect to the
satisfaction of all
The morning of the funeral a request from the
was made for a further conference with the officials of the lodge.
Master and Secretary
reported at once and were advised of all the arrangements made for the
These appeared to be complete and no expense had been spared to make
of the most impressive type.
The brethren knowing that the deceased had left
or no property were pleased that his relatives were able and willing to
go to so
much expense and care to show their respect and affection for him.
To this comment the relatives replied with
because, as they pointed out, the better the lodge was pleased the
better they would
in turn be satisfied.
This mutual exchange of compliments was not
sufficiently explicit to meet all the expectations of one relative
present. He was
not a Mason. A brother of his was a member of the fraternity, and the
dead man was
a cousin. It was easy to see and to hear that he was furnishing the
for the funeral.
When he mentioned the amount paid for the grave
the expenditure for the coffin and all the other items necessary to his
standards the brethren were somewhat dismayed at the detail. They
somehow felt that
they were being given too intimate a view of the cost.
The Master was indeed embarrassed. He was
that he should say how much this lavish allowance told of the affection
In doing so he could not refrain from saying as delicately as he could
was purely a matter for the family and not for the lodge and that on
he the more appreciated their confidence because he had really no right
of any kind
to inquire into the amount they might choose to spend.
At this statement there seemed to be a distinct
in the prevailing unanimity. The man of means at once spoke up:
"Why it is only
the proper thing I am sure to tell you the total of the bill, isn't it?"
said the Master, "We are not concerned with the bill. This is not our
"Do you mean to
say that when a Masonic lodge conducts a funeral it does not pay all
"That is exactly
what I must say if you ask the question. There may be cases where the
pays the bill but every instance is judged on its own merits. We have
no rule, as
I read the Masonic law, requiring us to pay the bills when the family
are well able
to do so."
me. I thought that all secret societies had death benefits or things of
to meet the funeral expenses."
"No death benefits
are paid of equal sums in all cases, – in fact nothing of the sort is
We do attempt to aid the widow and orphan in their distress but here
there is no
widow to be succored, no child to cherish. You as relatives want this
have a funeral suitable to your condition in society. You have taken
steps to bring this about. You are fully able as far as we know, to
meet the expense
you have incurred. But into this we do not seek to inquire because that
is not our
business. All that we have to do is to render the funeral service at
the grave and
do it as well as we know how. Beyond that we have nothing further to do
cost except to provide the transportation for our members. So far as
go we are no more to be charged with them than is the minister whom you
have a part in the ceremonies."
"But I want to
tell you that this brother of yours has left no estate and there are no
meet these bills when they come due."
"That is something
that you ought to have considered before you gave orders for this
I do not see how you can expect us to pay the bills nor for that matter
do I see
how you can escape the responsibility for them."
"But are you not
a philanthropic organization? Seems to me that here is a case where you
appropriately contribute the amount for giving this member of yours
It was evident that
he did not propose to pay the bill if he could get out of it. There
of witnesses present and it was undoubtedly the place and the time to
So the Master thought for a moment or two before replying, then he
"We do pay many
bills where those most benefited are not in a position to take care of
acts are done as a charity. Each case is judged on its own merits. If
you will say
here and now that you believe this to be a fit subject for charity I
will take the
matter up with my lodge at its next meeting and we will see what we can
it. But at present I see no good evidence that you relatives cannot
take care of
these bills at the proper time. Therefore I don't think that I ought to
the payment of the bills as a charity by my lodge."
And when the matter was so bluntly set forth
nothing more than a growl or two privately that that funeral was not to
be a charity
affair. It was not. With all the musical and choral adjuncts possible
gave prestige to the social crowd for whom it was conducted. The
from the large house in town of the wealthy relative and even he, sore
as he may
have been in pocketbook, and rebuffed as was his business zeal for a
that left him so much to the rear in money results, was a cheery loser
on the surface
and met his mishap with a philosophic face.
* * *
Says the Young Master Mason
At the altar of Masonry have I knelt and mine
seen the Light.
The Apron has been explained to me; with pride
Into my hands were laid the tools of the Craft.
Symbols of serious import taught me much, and
me more as the years slip fast behind my onward march.
Before me in all directions outstretched lies
chart of duties great and glorious, as exacting as they are elevating.
Tied to the fraternity by bonds tight-wound and
easily I cannot escape the obligations due from me to it.
To do my part well, I well must know my part.
Willing to learn am I.
At the door I still stand and strike thereon my
Arouse ye, I say.
To you I present my plea.
Ye are my brethren. To you I plead for Masonic
to the end that I too may be among you a well-informed Master Mason.
Each year one hundred thousand of us take your
We enter the sacred hall and from the Temple go
impressed to readiness by the ceremonies.
We are puzzled at their significance, and
of future study.
Most of us soon find the social worth of
Content with our increased acquaintance we
stop our search for knowledge.
Satisfied with the added grips of the hands
flock of button and badge bedecked members we lose our grip upon the
of the head and the heart.
Yours is the duty of our enlightenment.
On you is the burden of our instruction.
What we know comes from you our Elder Brethren
fail and fall by the wayside of a busy world, too tired to tread an
where toil is sure and labor long.
Full well ye know we Masons are the more akin
we are the better taught.
No union is so close as that of a perfect
No friendship is so strong as that founded on
When we all know Masonry as it was intended to
we not the better know each other?
What ye know of Masonry belongs to me and to
Our claims ye cannot ignore.
We have done our part, we have filled our
demand the wages due.
Neither disregarded nor despised can be our
Your institution and ours rests upon the
Either you shall accept a lower level of
or you must set your banner high and educate us to its lofty heights.
At the door we stand and knock for admission to
inner mysteries of the Holy Tabernacle.
Echoes in your hearts are stirred by our alarm.
At your hands we seek more light.
From none shall it come but from yours, for
has the Great Architect given the charge, and you must administer your
Why then stand ye here idle?
Are ye content with numbers, satisfied because
is writ large with names?
Empty and vain as a rope of sand is then your
Ye then are building upon the shifting shores
of a treacherous
When the winds of adversity come upon you the
shall not withstand the storm.
Its walls will crumble, the foundations be
it be swept aside for things more stalwart and sufficient.
Today is your era of events, tomorrow is ours.
Your opportunity is now, the future belongs to
Is it not wise therefore to plan for us that we
in due time carry forward your labors to still nobler achievements?
Come, let us go. Time waits neither on man nor
The hour is at hand. We are the sons of light. From us the darkness
the gloom of ignorance be lighted up with knowledge. Only with your
help can we
the sooner make for Masonry its proper place. Withhold not therefore
my brethren in help, for unto you under God's great grant of life to us
to fulfill the destiny of all true and earnest Master Masons.
A Study Club Speech Before
speakers there are many and in our fraternity opportunities quickly
the exhibition of whatever skill may be exercised to this end. These
altogether too numerous for mention save as in the present instance by
way of comparison.
Meridian Lodge, the Daylight Lodge of Cleveland, observed this summer
as in previous
years a "sunrise raising." Lodge was opened at 2:30 a. m. Breakfast was
served at 6 o'clock. Before the closing of the lodge a representative
of THE BUILDER
was invited to discuss the National Masonic Research Society and the
work in particular. He puts the fact upon record and points out that in
the work of Study Club extension is as well done early as late. Please
make a note of this and act accordingly.
"Studies in Mysticism"
NOTHING is more interesting in the whole field
history than the story of the Ancient Mysteries. These were secret
for the purpose of teaching the rudiments of knowledge and the
principles of religion
to their adepts, a very valuable service in a day when the priesthood
make knowledge a monopoly. The men admitted to these societies by
bound by awful oaths of secrecy and were led through a number of
ordeals to test
their courage and their earnestness. The Egyptian Mystery of Isis and
Eleusinian Mystery of Greece, and Mithraism, a Persian cult
transplanted in Rome,
exercised an incalculable influence in their day.
After Christianity had begun to show signs of
pagan writers, especially in the third and fourth centuries, sought to
the teachings of these Mysteries, the theosophy of the Jews, the
doctrines of the
Gnostics, and certain floating doctrines, into a religion that might
as a worthy rival of the new faith. Many of the writers who undertook
attributed their books to "Thrice Greatest Hermes," a more or less
Egyptian personage who was probably, in the beginning, the god Thoth,
and book-keeper of the Egyptian deities. In this way the mixture of
magic and mysticism
thus evolved came to be called "Hermeticism." The reader who may feel
a curiosity to learn more of this story may be referred to Mead's
Hermes," [Lib 1906, Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3] a very interesting
and well-informed volume.
Meanwhile, among the Jews, a number of
had been at work interpreting the Old Testament from a similar point of
argument was that there is a hidden meaning behind the letter of the
can be understood only by those possessing the key. What this hidden
cannot very well be described in a paragraph; it may here be sufficient
to say that
this "Secret Doctrine" sought to teach men how to find union with God,
using the symbolism of numbers, the Tetragrammaton, the Story of the
Garden of Eden,
and of the building of Solomon's Temple, as
allegories through which
to convey the secret to the initiated. A.E. Waite, in his: "Doctrine
of the Kabalah," [Lib 1902] tells
the story in full for those who may be interested. The Kabalah
many centuries and exerted a profound influence in Christian theology
at about the
time of the Reformation.
At about this latter time a legend found
Europe which told that a certain Christian Rosenkreuz, while traveling
in the Orient
in the Fifteenth Century, had re-discovered the secret of the Wise Men
of the East.
Here and there individuals appeared who claimed to possess this Secret;
very numerous, and even powerful in the early Seventeenth Century, and
it is even
believed by some that these "Rosicrucians" organized lodges in which
qualified men could be initiated into the hidden lore of the Orient.
Meanwhile, from a time beginning before the
of Christianity, there had grown up a different kind of school – the
men were, for the most part, in the churches, and their chief interest
was the religious
life, instead of philosophy and metaphysics, and they sought to teach
men how, by
devotion, prayer and spiritual discipline, they might learn to live in
the Mystics, Plotinus [Lib 2014], Tauler
[Lib 1910], Ruysbroeck [Lib
1916], and William Law
[Lib 1908], may be mentioned
as typical great names.
Alongside of these, since a time when the
man runneth not to the contrary, there had stood the secret societies
of the Builders,
known in latter days as the Gilds. These also taught secrets to
initiated men, using
their working tools and building processes as symbols. Needless to say,
school of Masonic historians believe that it was from these Gilds that
of our modern social cult of Freemasonry derived.
Other secret or occult fraternities, the
for example, might have been included in this brief sketch; but we have
a sufficient number to bring us face to face with this question: How
much does Freemasonry
owe to these several movements? That all our symbols and ceremonies did
with the Operative Masons has long been held by our greatest scholars.
was Pike's favorite theory that the Speculative Masons, many of them,
the lodges in the Seventeenth Century, men such as Ashmole and the
like, were really
Hermeticists who made use of the Builders' simple rites as a vehicle
for their "Secret
Doctrine." Woodford, in a paper read before the Lodge Coronati, argued
same point, and suggested a number of our symbols which seem to be of
Dr. Westcott, in another paper before the same Research Lodge, sought
to trace others
of our symbols to the Rosicrucians. Oliver and Mackey, as we all know,
many echoes of the Ancient Mysteries in our ceremonies.
Now it is the purpose of A.E. Waite's "Studies
in Mysticism" [Lib*] to show, at least it is one of the principal
how much Freemasonry is indebted to Mysticism and to the occult
we have mentioned. Few men have ever been better qualified for such a
it has been his chosen vocation to make a special study of occultism in
as witness his various books, among which are the two works on the
"Real History of the Rosicrucians," [Lib 1887] "The Secret Tradition in
1911, Vol 1, Vol 2] "The Way of
Divine Union" [Lib 1915] and the
translation of Eliphas Levi's "History of Magic," [Lib 1922] not to mention that
other work, a volume of peculiar power, compact of sweetness and light,
Life of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin." [Lib 1901] It is because of this
erudition, and because he has
enjoyed personal initiation into many of the secret bodies, that his
in Mysticism" [Lib*] may be so heartily recommended to the Masonic
who seeks some leading in this difficult problem as to the relationship
Freemasonry and the various mystical and occult movements.
Waite's thesis in this book, if we may hazard
of a volume so manifold, so rich in material, and so profound, is this:
the Mysteries, the occult fraternities, and the other similar
movements, have all
one end in common, the way in which a man may find union with God; that
achieved through regeneration, or re-birth, which is the doctrine that
or natural, in man, must be placed under subjection to the spiritual in
this is the real end of the ceremonies and teachings of Freemasonry;
and that therefore
our own order is now carrying on the ancient tradition. In this wise he
show that, while the BODY of Freemasonry may have been inherited from
Masons of the Gilds, the SOUL of Freemasonry has come to it from the
of the old secret and occult fraternities. Mr. Waite expounded this
theory in very
simple fashion in a series of articles that appeared in the early
issues of this
Some have found Mr. Waite's books difficult
in a sense they are that, for he does not carry his mind on his sleeve.
But it is
worth something of an effort, even for busy men, to persevere until
they have familiarized
themselves with his vocabulary. We have read and re-read his books; we
so many other times; for we believe that there are few living teachers
who are so
wise, so sound, so true to realities, so well equipped to lead the
the way that leads to the Inner Chamber of the life of the soul.
* * *
"Things a Freemason
There are very many such things, are there not?
number sufficient to fill an encyclopedia; indeed, to master the lore
of one small
department of Masonry has now become the task of the life-long
specialist, so that
the rank and file of us must stand aside "in giant ignorance.” But even
there are some things which EVERY Mason should know and which will not
average brain to learn. Fortunately, the literature on Masonry
addressed to the
"man in the trench" grows apace and will doubtless continue so to grow,
and so mote it be. "The Builders," [Lib 1914] written by the former
editor-in-chief of this Journal;
"Speculative Masonry," [Lib 1914] by Brother MacBride; "The
Philosophy of Masonry,"
[Lib 1915] by Brother Pound,
himself a philosopher, and many other things besides; "Freemasonry
Grand Lodge Era," [Lib 2010] by Brother
Vibert: these and many another similar book have set new currents to
moving in the
life-blood of the Craft; and again, so mote it be.
Alongside such studies one is glad to place
a Freemason Should Know," [Lib*] by Brother Fred J.W. Crowe, a former
of the Lodge Coronati of England, warrant enough for any reader. It is
little volume of 86 pages, built for pocket wear, done into a book by
Son of London: its cost, according to a stub in our check-book, is one
price of a few potatoes! Its worth, however, cannot be computed in such
these days, is saying much.
The first thing a Freemason should know,
Brother Crowe, is the history of the Craft, the HISTORY, we say, not
the fairy tales.
He who reads the first three chapters of this book will obtain a very
Then comes "Our Rulers." Many times we boast
of the calibre of the men who lead the Craft in its work; but not often
do we take
the time to make their acquaintance, though their names are often known
outside our boundaries. Brother Crowe begins, as is proper, with
himself, and closes with the Duke of Connaught, as an Englishman
Chapter five deals with the various Grand
in operation while chapter six gives a very brief, but valuable,
account of Our
Literature. The "our" here is very English, indeed, as all the names
are English, the scholars connected with the Lodge Coronati receiving
share of attention, which is as it should be as we have already
testified in this
"Our Regalia" is by far the most worth-while
chapter in the volume for it tells us just what we need to know about
badge of a Mason." Brother Crowe may be said to have specialized on the
and does not hesitate to drive his plow through the mass of rubbish
that has accumulated
about that emblem. He has the distinction, further, of having made the
attempt, in the spirit of the scientist, to account for the use of blue
His theory, briefly stated, is that the Craft borrowed the hue from the
the Garter, and that its symbolical significance grew up "after the
Scholars not a few have attacked this theory but thus far it may be
said .to have
as good a right to existence as any other theory we have.
Masonic Charities, which the English brethren
great deal more of than we do, receive attention in the last chapter of
and, on the whole, very authoritative brief study.
The Question Box
Grand Lodge Recognition
and the Right of Visitation
Dear Brother Editor: I attended last evening a
of the Square and Compass Club of the University of Chicago. There were
representatives of eleven states and two foreign countries – one from
one from the Philippine Islands. The former had visited Lodges in
France. The latter
had receipts showing his lodge – La Regeneration, Manila, P.I. – to owe
to the Grand Orient of Spain.
How will these brothers stand on visiting
this country? They have all the necessary documents to prove their
they be eligible on visiting a regular lodge to examination?
Brother Willis D. Engle, of Indianapolis, Ind.,
1917 "Complete List of the Masonic Grand Lodges of the World," gives
Lodges under the Grand Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the
At the meeting of the Grand Lodge in their new temple in February,
were granted to 27 new Lodges. It appears from the Proceedings that
most of these
represented groups of Masons who had belonged to Lodges previously
under the Jurisdiction
of the Grand Orient of Spain. Brother Newton C. Comfort, Grand
in Grand Lodge in favor of a motion to grant charters to these Lodges,
It will be remembered that our R.W. Deputy
in his message at the opening of the first annual communication of this
said "The purpose of its formation (this Grand Lodge) is to promote and
harmony and UNITY in our Masonic relations and to increase the
usefulness of our
Fraternity in the Orient." And the M.W. Grand Master said, "Our hearts
beat with exultation and gratitude to the Grand Master of the Universe
the opportunity of a century – that of bringing to this country a
and nonpolitical. We are sincerely in hope that the year will bring
our jurisdiction the regular lodges of the Philippine Islands."
The next year the Grand Master made a number of
to the particular aim of this Grand Lodge being the unifying of the
entities and interests in the Philippine Islands, and among other
things he said
"All were productive of a lively influence for
amity and harmony among the members of the various Jurisdictions
the cosmopolitan city of Manila, among whom and for whom, the best
efforts of this
Grand Lodge must be pledged if the high aims and fundamentals of our
are to be realized. This can be done in time without the abandonment of
or one tittle of the American standards, and in full accord with the
and Charges of the Fraternity. All of our Americanisms, some of which
are not Landmarks,
and perhaps to some not essentials, can also be safeguarded; and no
standards should be made in our endeavors to solve one of the greatest
the Fraternity has been called upon to work out in recent decades and
end in view, a work magnificent in its possibilities and results lies
and we will be equal to the task only in so far as we are strictly
obedient to the
precepts of our universal brotherhood. We will win and the victory will
years be a glory of which every Mason can justly be proud."
Last year also our Grand Master alluded to the
great vision before our eyes, that of the unification of the Masonry of
Islands. In our hearts, in our addresses, and in our work throughout
the last ten
years, the uppermost thought has been to bring Masonry to her own,
united and triumphant
in these far off isles of the sea.
We who have not had to suffer for our Masonry
as fully cognizant of its sweetness as those whose Masonic history
sacrifice of the lives of brethren, the suppression or their lodges,
of use of the name, the struggle for Light in the thick darkness, and
the most strict
selection of members lest one enter who could not be implicitly trusted
would deliver the Mason to be executed, – these are the fires of
have sanctified the Fraternity here and resulted in the formation of a
As time passed it seemed more and more
if we were to accomplish the greatest good of which we were capable,
these far flung isles must present a solid front before the world. To
use an overworked
expression it really seemed as if the psychological moment had arrived
all the lodges working under the various Jurisdictions into our Grand
well we knew the sincerity and love for the Fraternity which had been
shown by the
brethren in the lodges working under foreign Grand bodies. Some, yea
many, of whom
had suffered, bled and even died solely and simply because they were
our beloved Fraternity. So a special committee was appointed and
empowered to take
any and all necessary steps to regularly and properly bring in the
then working under other Grand Jurisdictions, at our meeting of all the
of the Grand Lodge which was held informally several months ago.
Later we again met informally with a large
of the Grand Lodge present and after full and free discussion we
upon the methods of regularizing and admission of the lodges by being
by the Grand Master after all necessary steps had been accomplished.
This was done,
and today these lodges return their Dispensations and request Charters,
with those who have been working only under Dispensation, and who never
heretofore constituted. I recommend that the report be unanimously
By this action we will take into our fold 27
most of the members of which heretofore were under the Grand Oriente
have now been brought into regular affiliation with our Grand Lodge by
acknowledged as proper and correct. You are nearly all in full
possession of a true
conception of the splendid heart Masonry represented by the members of
many of whom were Masons before some of us were born, and their
to the principles of our Institution, and the work of their lodges, has
glorified Masonry, the which we have observed approvingly during the
years of Americanism
in these Islands.
Whether "La Regeneracion" Lodge, under the
Grand Orient of Spain, was merged bodily into a Lodge under the Grand
Lodge of the
Philippines is doubtful, since the Lodge of that name ("La
36") is stated in the 1917 Directory of the Lodges of the Grand Lodge
Philippines to be located at Tarlac, and not at Manila.
The status of this particular Brother,
now be determined by his membership in a regular Lodge, chartered by
the Grand Lodge
of the Philippines. The Grand Orient of Spain, according to Brother
Engle, has been
recognized only by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.
The Grand Lodge of Hungary is recognized (in
according to Brother Engle, only by the Grand Lodges of Alabama,
Canada, and New York.
Under such circumstances as Brother Jones
course, the real meat of the question has to do with the Recognition of
for it may be stated as a general rule that visitation in a Lodge
from a Body not recognized by the visitor's own Grand Lodge is
Have any of our members made an exhaustive
these two subjects, "Recognition of Grand Bodies" and "The Right
of Visitation"? We would welcome papers on these subjects. G.L.S.
* * *
Masonic Baptism for the
The inquiry of Brother W.L.A. in the August
regard to a Louveteau is prompted by the article that appeared on pp.
the May BUILDER, reprinted from the New Age of 1915 and written by
G. McChesney, Master of St. John's Lodge, No. 11, Washington, D. C.
We are not aware that any Grand Lodge has
baptismal ceremony for use in this country. The only endeavor of the
kind that occurs
to us in the English language is the one by General Albert Pike. This
leader labored most diligently and with a rare degree of skill toward
ceremony, the ritualistic completement of the Craft.
Added to his work on the series of grades in
favored Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, he developed a ritual of
for women, the near relatives of Masons. Elaborative and dramatic as it
was we are
not able to discover that to any considerable extent this ritual has
Another admirable effort of Brother Pike's was in the three ceremonials
by him in 1871 for the Supreme Council of the Southern Masonic
entitled "Masonic Baptism [Lib*]," "Reception of a Louveteau,"
and "Adoption." [Lib*] Each of these ceremonies is preceded by the
instructions necessary to make the proceedings most impressive and of
is the son of a Mason. The word is of very ancient origin, so ancient
that it was
long ago corrupted into other words, and its etymology unknown. The
the mysteries of Isis wore, even in public, a mask in the shape of a
gilded; and therefore came to be themselves called 'Wolves'; and their
Wolves.' A wolf, in French, is 'loup', and a young wolf, 'louveteau.'
The wolf was
peculiarly sacred at Lycopolis (Wolf-City, from the Greek lycos, a
wolf, and polis,
a city), in Upper Egypt, where, Plutarch says, that animal was revered
as a god.
Eusebius says that the wolf was honored in Egypt, because when Isis,
with her son
Horus, was on the point of encountering Typhon, she was assisted by
came from Hades in the shape of a wolf. Macrobius says that the sun was
called Lukon, a wolf; and that they worshiped Apollo and the wolf with
in each venerating the sun. In Greek, the same word, lukos or Iykos,
meant a wolf
and the sun; and Lykeios, or wolf-like, was one of the titles of
Apollo, the sun-god;
because, says Cleanthes, as the wolves carry away the flocks, so the
sun with his
rays consumes the vapors and mists, because, Macrobius says, the shades
flee before him as the sheep flee before the wolf."
The above explanation is by Brother Pike.
We doubt much whether in all the ritualistic
of Brother Pike he did anything nobler than the preparation of these
The admirable addresses to the young are in the simplest words and
taken to describe the teachings of Freemasonry, the objects of the
Craft, the qualities
and the rewards of the Mason. Nothing better for the purpose of our
is known to us.
Perhaps the use of the ritual might be secured
the officials of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at Washington,
and S. Streets. We are also assuming that the matter will be taken up
with the Grand
Lodge authorities of his State before our correspondent as Worshipful
such a ceremonial to his lodge. That would be but a matter of courtesy
due the governing
body. Less than this we could not advise.
Then, too, it has been and is now our great
to carry a commission issued by this grand old Masonic body!
* * *
Present Status of Masonry
I have had a question come up to me that I
your information upon. Is it true that the Imperial German Government,
will not permit any of its officers, either Government, Army or Navy,
affiliated with the Masonic Order, for reasons of State?
At latest reports the Emperor's cousin, Prince
continued as the Grand Master of the Grosse Landesloge. Since the
beginning of the
war several lodges of the Masonic brotherhood have received military
of these, as we learn from the Bulletin of the Bureau of Masonic
Relations, is the
"Iron Cross of the East" and has been stationed at Warsaw. These facts
appear indisputable and certainly do not accord with the points raised
in the question.
Should different information be in the possession of any of our friends
be pleased to receive it.
Carving On Hiram's Tomb
Bro. Editor: – Not to criticize, but to shed
Brother J. W. Barry's excellent and scholarly articles on the "Pillars
Porch." In the July number of The Builder, he says, in connection with
of Hiram's tomb, near Tyre: "To the right will be noticed a compass and
cut in the rock, by whom and when are questions that cannot be
Brother Rob. Morris, in his book on
in the Holy Land," [Lib 1876] gives
an exhaustive set of measurements of the tomb, etc., and says that he
compass and square upon it, in the place shown in Bro. Barry's picture
of the tomb.
Such excellent matter as Bro. Barry is furnishing, and the general
contents of "The
Builder," make it of priceless value. Long live The Builder!
F. W. Hart, 32d, Bellaire, O.
* * *
"Brotherhood of the
Dear Brother: – That article on the Brotherhood
Wise was written before I was raised in Masonry. It had a certain
as a record of observation among the Ingiet of the Bismarck
Archipelago, but I am
not willing to publish it in that form at the present moment because I
see that it does little more than scratch the surface of a most
Military operations in the western Pacific have prevented me from
carrying out my
plan of returning to the islands for further field investigation of
this as well
as many other themes.
When this war is over, when the ban is lifted
Pacific and I am discharged from my voluntary service here, I shall
to the Pacific. Then I expect to do something really worthwhile along
the line of
the Ingiet signs and perambulations; for the present it would be unwise
the incomplete and faulty records.
William Churchill, Washington, D. C.
* * *
Another Viewpoint of Military
When a body of troops is to go into a region
does not exist a military lodge may have a legitimate reason for
existence, as distinguished
from a merely sentimental one. But under ordinary circumstances a
seems to me to be of doubtful expediency as it creates in the military
the regiment, an organization to which all the members of the military
body do not
belong. That is, it creates internal subdivisions in the military body.
no argument to show that such a thing is bad. Therefore, under the
I do not approve of the chartering of military lodges in out
If the permitting of the Brethren to attend
Belgian lodges would entail the recognition of lodges which, because of
tenets, are at present, and for good reasons, unrecognized by
then I do not think that the brethren ought to be permitted to visit
Harold A. Kingsbury,
* * *
What Is Taught By the Symbols
and Ceremonies of Masonry
We are indebted to the courtesy of Brother
Past Grand High Priest of Ohio, for the opportunity to transcribe a
letter in his
possession written by Albert Pike to Brenton D. Babcock of Cleveland.
It is as follows:
O. '. of Washington – 25 January, 1887.
Dear Bro. Babcock:
Like you, I laid away the enclosed "Screed,"
and it has been only now got out from a mass of papers which I have had
over. I have read it, but I don't think it would pay to investigate and
I think that no speculations are more barren
in regard to the astronomical character of the symbols of Masonry,
about the Numbers and their combinations of the Kabalah.
All that is said about Numbers in the lecture,
mere jugglery, amounts to nothing. That the object of Masonry is "to
weights and measures," is an entirely new notion; and I fail to see how
If the Symbols and Ceremonies of Masonry don't
great religious truths, not in the ancient ages made known to the
are worthless. The astronomical explanations of them, however
plausible, would only
show that they taught no truths, moral or religious.
As to the tricks played with Numbers, they only
in what freaks of absurdity, if not insanity, the human intellect can
As you may want to keep the Lecture as a
I return it to you, with thanks for your kindness in sending it to me.
Always fraternally yours,
"Even This Shall Pass Away" --
Theodore Tilton (1835-1907.)
reigned a King,
Who upon his signet ring
'Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before the eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance,
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they:
'Even this shall pass away.'
Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarkand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these.
But he counted not his gain,
Treasures of the mine or main;
'What is wealth?' the King would say;
'Even this shall pass away.'
In the revels of his court
At the zenith of the sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried: 'Oh, loving friends of mine!
Pleasure comes, but not to stay;
Even this shall pass away.'
Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield:
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tent;
Groaning from his tortured side,
'Pain is hard to bear,' he cried,
'But with patience, day by day –
Even this shall pass away.'
Towering in the public square,
Twenty cubits in the air,
Rose his statue, carved in stone.
Then the King, disguised, unknown,
Stood before his sculptured name,
Musing meekly, 'What is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay,
Even this shall pass away.'
Struck with palsy, sere and old
Waiting at the gates of gold,
Said he, with his dying breath:
'Life is done, but what is death?'
Then, in answer to the King,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray –
'Even this shall pass away."'
Bull - In Eminenti
Pop38 / auth. Pope Clement XII. - Vatican City : Holy See, 1738. - Vol.
1 : 1 : p. 4. - 0.2 MB.
Bull - Providas Romanorum
Pop51 / auth. Pope Benedict XIV. - Vatican City : Holy See, 1751. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 6. - 0.3 MB.
Defensa Critica de la Inquisition
Mac88 / auth. Macanaz Melchor R. - Madrid : Don Antonio Espinosa, 1788.
- Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 277. - Spanish - 8.3 MB.
Defensa Critica de la Inquisition
Mac881 / auth. Macanaz Melchor R. - Madrid : Don Antonio Espinosa,
1788. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 148. - Spanish - 8.1 MB.
Dictionary of Christian
Antiquities Vol 1
Che75 / auth. Cheetham Smith and. - London : John Murray, 1875. - Vol.
1 : 2 : p. 921. - 87.2 MB.
Dictionary of Christian
Antiquities Vol 2
Che751 / auth. Cheetham Smith and. - London : John Murray, 1875. - Vol.
2 : 2 : p. 1173. - 60.6 MB.
Plo14 / auth. Plotinus. - Unknown : Martin Euser, 2014. - Digital :
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 713. - 2.5 MB.
Freemasonry Before the
Existence of Grand Lodges
Vib10 / auth. Vibert Lionel. - London : Spencer & Co., 2010. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 163. - 0.5 MB.
Freemasonry in the Holy Land
Mor76 / auth. Morris Rob. - New York : Masonic Publishing Company,
1876. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 608. - 30.2 MB.
History of Spain Vol 1
Bur00 / auth. Burke Ulick R / ed. Hume Martin A. S.. - London :
Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 444. - 17.0 MB.
History of Spain Vol 2
Bur001 / auth. Burke Ulick R / ed. Hume Martin A. S.. - London :
Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 397. - 15.5 MB.
Liberal and Mystical Writings
Law08 / auth. Law William / ed. Palmer William S.. - New York :
Longmans, Green, and Co., 1908. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 182. - 6.8 MB.
Real History of the Rosicrucians
Wai87 / auth. Waite Arthur E.. - London : George Redway, 1887. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 456. - 18.1 MB.
Relacion Historica del Auto
General de Fe
Olm20 / auth. Olmo Jose del. - Madrid : Imprente de Cano, 1820. - Vol.
1 : 1 : p. 181. - Spanish - 13.9 MB.
Secret Societies in all Ages
Hec75 / auth. Heckethorn Charles W. - London : Richard Bentley and Son,
1875. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 404. - 9.4 MB.
Secret Societies in all Ages
Hec751 / auth. Heckethorn Charles W. - London : Richard Bentley and
Son, 1875. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 334. - 13.0 MB.
Ruy16 / auth. Ruysbroeck John of / ed. Underhill Evelin / trans. Wynschenk C. A.. - London : J.M. Dent &
Sons, Ltd., 1916. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 290. - 11.0 MB.
Sermons and Conferences
Tau16 / auth. Tauler John / trans. Elliott Walter. - Washington D.C. :
Apostolic Mission House, 1910. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 811. - 41.6 MB.
Mac141 / auth. Macbride A S. - Glasgow : D. Gilfillan & Co.,
1914. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 283. - 18.6 MB.
The Book of the Chapter
Mac70 / auth. Mackey Albert G.. - New York : Clark & Maynard,
Publishers, 1870. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 257. - 31.7 MB.
For14 / auth. Newton Joseph F.. - Cedar Rapids : The Torch Press, 1914.
- 5th : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 317. - Original pagination for reference - 0.6
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 1
Gib13 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 1 : 6 : p.
373. - 2.8 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 2
Gib131 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 2 : 6 :
p. 395. - 2.9 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 3
Gib132 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 3 : 6 :
p. 339. - 2.5 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 4
Gib133 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 4 : 6 :
p. 364. - 2.7 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 5
Gib134 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 5 : 6 :
p. 350. - 2.6 MB.
The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire Vol 6
Gib135 / auth. Gibbon Edward. - Pictou : ronigo, 2013. - Vol. 6 : 6 :
p. 324. - 2.5 MB.
The Doctrine and Literature of
Wai02 / auth. Waite Arthur E. - London : The Theosophical Publishing
Company, 1902. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 528. - 30.2 MB.
The History of Magic
Lev22 / auth. Levi Eliphas / ed. Waite Arthur E. / trans. Waite Arthur
E.. - London : William Richer & Son, Ltd, 1922. - Vol. 1 : 1 :
p. 577. - 28.4 MB.
The History of the Inquisition
Llo27 / auth. Llorente Juan A. - London : Geo. B. Whittaker, 1827. -
2nd : Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 604. - 16.3 MB.
The Inquisition Unmasked Vol 1
Pui16 / auth. Puigblanch Antonio D / trans. Walton William. - London :
Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, 1816. - Vol. 1 : 2 : p. 459. - 17.9 MB.
The Inquisition Unmasked Vol 2
Pui161 / auth. Puigblanch Antonio D / trans. Walton William. - London :
Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, 1816. - Vol. 2 : 2 : p. 478. - 17.4 MB.
Cla02 / auth. Clair Francis
St.. - Manila : Amigos del Pais, 1902. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 343. - 9.2 MB.
The Life of Louis Claude de
Wai01 / auth. Waite Arthur E. - London : Philip Wellby, 1901. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 450. - 17.0 MB.
The Philosophy of Masonry
Pou15 / auth. Pound Roscoe. - [s.l.] : The Builder Magazine, 1915. -
Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 53. - 0.3 MB.
The Secret Traditions in
Freemasonry Vol 1
Wai11 / auth. Waite Arthur E.. - London : Rebman Limited, 1911. - Vol.
1 : 2 : p. 474. - 19.1 MB.
The Secret Traditions in
Freemasonry Vol 2
Wai111 / auth. Waite Arthur E.. - London : Rebman Limited, 1911. - Vol.
2 : 2 : p. 478. - 19.6 MB.
The Trial of Jorge de Almeida
by the Inquisition in Mexico
Adl96 / auth. Adler Cyrus. - New York : American Jewish Historical
Society, 1896. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 52. - 2.2 MB.
The Way of Divine Union
Wai15 / auth. Waite Arthur E.. - London : Wittier Rider & Son,
Ltd., 1915. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 357. - 35.4 MB.
Thrice-Greatest Hermes Vol 1
Mea061 / auth. Mead George S. - London : The Theosophical Publishing
Society, 1906. - Vol. 1 : 3 : p. 497. - 15.8 MB.
Thrice-Greatest Hermes Vol 2
Mea062 / auth. Mead George S. - London : The Theosophical Publishing
Company, 1906. - Vol. 2 : 3 : p. 411. - 16.5 MB.
Thrice-Greatest Hermes Vol 3
Mea063 / auth. Mead George S. - London : The Theosophicl Publishing
Company, 1906. - Vol. 3 : 3 : p. 390. - 16.4 MB.
Trial of Gabriel de Granada
Fer99 / auth. Fergusson David. - Philadelphia : Jewish Historical
Society, 1899. - Vol. 1 : 1 : p. 148. - 7.1 MB.
What is Freemasonry
Spe93 / auth. Speth George W. - London : George Kenning, 1893. - Vol. 1
: 1 : p. 16. - 0.3 MB.